TITLE: Falling Hard: Stories of Men in Love
AUTHOR: Dale Cameron Lowry
PUBLISHER: Terrestrial Press
LENGTH: 172 Pages
RELEASE DATE: February 11, 2017
Nine of Dale Cameron Lowry’s best short romance stories are available for the first time in one book. Meet a sign language interpreter who finds unexpected love at middle-age, college students in their first relationships, a vampire who would rather be a vegan, and a proudly gay ex-Mormon who sells Bibles. From sweet to sensual, this collection exhibits the quirkiness, fun, and diversity Dale’s writing is known for.
REVIEWED BY KAT
Ex-Mormon Alma Larsen doesn’t know the first thing about alcohol, so he hires bartender Damian Banks to help out at his winter holiday party. They build a friendship that simmers with sexual tension—and possibly something much deeper. Will this Christmas bring them both a love that lasts?
This was a very quick, fun story of an ex-Mormon missionary and a bartender.
Alma, a good Mormon name from the Book of Mormon, has separated from the church, moved from Utah and started his own business to support himself after being excommunicated for being gay. His very successful company is having it’s Christmas party and he doesn’t have a clue about alcohol so he runs an ad for hiring a bartender for the night. Damian has finally landed a great job at a popular club but he his low man on the seniority list so he doesn’t get the great paying shifts yet. He answers an ad on Craigslist for a bartender for a Christmas office party. Sparks fly when both men are attracted to each other and discover they are both gay.
I have been a big fan of Dale Cameron Lowry for awhile now. Ever since I read one of his first short stories about gay Mormon missionaries. What I have been the most impressed with was his grasp of the religion and has been very factual in his writings. I even discussed his work with my Son-in-law, who served on the mission field. I find his work to not only be truthful but respectful.
Great fast read that has a sweet ending.
REVIEWED BY KAT
Soon after they fall in love, Jake makes Eric a promise inspired by an old track uniform. But demanding work schedules at Jake’s four-star restaurant and Eric’s newspaper keep them from following through. Six years later, they take the honeymoon they never had, heading to the Florida coast in search of sea turtles—and rekindling their passion for each other in the process.
A short story about love needing a bit of rekindling.
Jake and Eric meet when Eric is doing a story about culinary chefs who start at mid career. The sparks fly immediately. Fast forward six years. The reader is to assume that they are married because there is talk of never having made the time in their busy professional lives for a honeymoon. When Eric questions Jake about the Loggerhead turtle insignia on his old high school shirt a trip is planned for the long overdue honeymoon and to show Eric the elusive turtles. “Loggerhead” is the story of what happens when the two men finally take quality time to rekindle their love.
This is by far the most erotic piece I have ever read by this author! It was wonderful to watch these two very busy professional men in middle life reconnect on a closer and more intimate level when they finally make time for each other. It was a pleasant surprise to have the main characters in their late thirties and early forties.
This was a nice, fast story but I think it would have been better served to have been more developed.
REVIEWED BY KAT
Reading the Signs
The only thing twenty-three-year-old Theo De Jong expects when he enrolls in a summer school for linguists in New Mexico is to get more ideas for his master’s thesis in Dutch Sign Language. But then he meets the American sign language expert Alfonso Grossman, and sparks fly.
A very quick story of a May/December relationship.
Theo De Jong is a young man that has traveled from The Netherlands to attend a summer program for sign language from around the world. It will give him in insight into foreign sign language for his Master’s Thesis in Dutch Sign Language. He gets to meet the renown Alfonso Grossman, an ALS sign language expert. While he tries to ignore his crush on the older man for as long as he can , it is simply a task in futility. When the two men get together the sparks ignite and develop into more than just a colleague friendship.
I thought this would be the story that would be my favorite. I had learned ASL for working with my disabled and non-verbal students and was eager to read this story. Unfortunately it wasn’t the case. The chemistry and developing relationship seemed rushed and never fully blossomed for me. I believe this story needed more “bones” to make it grow to it’s full potential. Good premise but I just needed more.
REVIEWED BY TAMMY
Born of Fire
The fairies on Ireland’s north coast are notorious for kidnapping, and Aodhán has the scars to prove it. When the fairies abduct the handsome youth Cainnech, Aodhán seeks to free him—but risks losing his health in the process.
Born of Fire is a beautiful love story about Aodhán and Cainnech. When Aodhán was born, he was so sickly his mother thought he was a changeling, replaced by the fairies because, “ It seemed a newborn couldn’t be around longer than a few months before the fairies switched it with one of their own elderly people who, though aged and decrepit, could not at first be distinguished from the human babe it replaced.” Only, Aodhán was a human baby born with Cholera except when his mother tried to send him back to the fairies by burning him in the fire Aodhán was badly burnt instead. Instead of letting his disfigurement get him down Aodhán became a celebrated basket weaver.
One night Aodhán was resting by the road when he sees a beautiful young man in the moon and he fell in love with him. The fairies are a very jealous race so they trick Aodhán into going with them to their place where they take away his burns, other injuries, he forgets he’s human and that he fell in love with the man in the moon. That is until the fairies decide to go out hunting for a human and abduct the same man. As soon as they speak their connection breaks through the fairies hold on Aodhán and out of spite the fairies give back his burns and injuries.
REVIEWED BY TAMMY
Ghost of a Chance
When shy Jeremy meets mysterious Frank at a spooky old library, their connection is instant. Their romance waxes with the full moon—but just as quickly, Frank’s interest seems to wane. He insists he loves being with Jeremy. So why does he keep Jeremy at arm’s length?
Ghost of a Chance is about Jeremy meeting Frank in the university library. Jeremy is a very serious senior who doesn’t date or party in fact his parents declared that he was born old! When Jeremy meets Frank, he is immediately smitten. Frank is an incredibly good-looking, old fashioned young man and Jeremy can’t help but begin to fall in love with him. They spend every night together for the next week, Frank even agrees spend Sukkot with Jeremy in the sukkah Jeremy builds. After spending the night together Jeremy is heartbroken when Frank pulls away and won’t touch him or let Jeremy touch him. Frank then tells Jeremy about how he was killed in a fire in the very same building they’re in now and this is when Jeremy does some investigating and discovers they discover that the more time they spend together and the stronger the emotion Frank feels the more solid Frank becomes and for longer periods of time.
REVIEWED BY TAMMY
Far From Home
Rajiv met his husband, Mateo, while working to transform Mars into a suitable home for humans. Years into their shared mission, Rajiv is ordered back to Earth to restore the barren lands of the American Midwest. With a little help from technology, the two men find innovative ways to nurture their long-distance relationship.
Far From Home is about the love and connection Mateo and Rajiv have with each other. Rajiv has been sent to earth to restore the barren lands to try to make earth livable again whilst his husband Mateo is back on Mars. Rajiv and Mateo get limited time together so they they’ve worked out a way to “be” together with the help of the TTASS. The TTASS – or temperature, texture and shape simulator used a combination of probes and ultra-high-frequency sonar, is actually just a common piece of lab equipment that Mateo adapted into a sex toy for them to share. Because Mateo knows that Rajiv uses his sense of smell a lot he has worked out a way to incorporate this into the TTASS’s workings as well. Far From Home is when Mateo surprises Rajiv with the added sensory input he developed for him and how they have to express their love for each other until they can be together again.
REVIEWED BY DONNA
Sweeter Than Blood
Keith was a vegan before a hot encounter with a stranger turned him into a vampire. Though his sire tries to help him rein in his impulses, temptation is strong in the form of Andres, one of Keith’s regular barbershop customers. When Andres finally asks Keith on a date, the real danger begins.
This short story was really not what I was expecting.
Keith is a self-loathing vampire who was accidently turned when his hookup for the night lost control. John got a little carried away and in the process of sucking up a hickey, buried his fangs in Keith’s neck and the next thing Keith knew his vegan diet was out the window. John has spent all the time since trying to make it up to Keith by teaching him how to survive as a nonlethal vampire. Keith however, is more focused on Andres, a regular customer at the barber shop where Keith works.
I had no idea until the very end of this story just who it was that Keith was going to end up with. In fact, I had no idea how this story was going to go at all, until shit happened and I was left very pleasantly surprised. There’s a BDSM element to this, which is a big tick as far as I’m concerned. Blood play is one of my favourite things to read and when that’s added to a vampire story…well, it was just a whole lot of heat!
REVIEWED BY DONNA
Blake thinks new boyfriend Michael doesn’t like French kissing. Michael thinks Blake doesn’t like rough sex. Neither are virgins, except in the art of conversation. Can they set things straight before the honeymoon’s over?
Did I say the last story was hot? Well this one just ramped it up by a few more degrees.
Blake and Michael are college sweethearts. They meet one day in class and both give up their slutboy ways to embark on a very “romance novel” romance. Blake especially, wants to do this the “right way”. It’s very important to him that he treats Michael like a respected boyfriend rather than a casual hookup. Of course, it wouldn’t be a story if their romance didn’t involve at least one hiccup. And in this story it comes in the form of the two men being sexually incompatible…Or are they?
I loved the contrast the author gives us between the sweet new-adult love story and the sudden inclusion of rough, biting, no-holding-back sex. Actually even before the two young men combust on page there is plenty of frank talk about Blake’s love of rimming, and fellating just about any body part he can get into his mouth. As with the previous story, I was struck by the author’s skill in perfectly judging what parts of their story needed to be told in such few pages.
REVIEWED BY DONNA
For Mike’s 40th birthday, husband Ken encourages him to bed a gorgeous 20-something man they encounter in Pacific Rim National Park. A night of no-holds-barred passion among the three men reveals a sizzling chemistry. Can what started as a one-night stand transform into a threesome that lasts?
Ok. I’m pretty sure I ended up getting to review the sexed up section of this anthology, because each story I’ve read has been heavy with steam.
This time the story involves a married couple who like to spice things up with a third man every now and again. Mike and Ken first spot Jason on the last night of his holiday. Which means the rate these three move from initial meeting to the bedroom to deeper feelings has to be very fast paced. And the author does a really great job of accomplishing that.
I liked the fact that one of the characters was deaf but it was never a major part of the story. Usually if a main character has some form of disability it’s used to define that character and is a pivotal part of the plot. I liked that this man was deaf – and so what – he was more than just that, so it wasn’t a big deal.
Despite the emphasis on the sex, and it was hot sex, the author still managed to inject some mushy emotion and include a happily ever after.