This isn't my Official Review—I need a regular keyboard for this, phone won't cut it—but I felt it imperative my adoration for Wirth's writing be post...moreThis isn't my Official Review—I need a regular keyboard for this, phone won't cut it—but I felt it imperative my adoration for Wirth's writing be posted immediately! ^_^
Beth Wirth writes atmosphere beautifully! I expected a comic adventure of hate-to-love romance with alien shenanigans, based on the blurb. Instead I got a coming-of-age novella about a young man for whom the alien invasion becomes a wake-up call, a reminder to remember his roots and himself, and stop being the petty, hateful person he's become while using grief and rage to block out his conscience.
I love that through wandering with Kyle and Taylor, Matthew recovers himself and his center, opening himself to love and honesty, and to his drive to protect and help rather than bully or ignore. The journey seems a bit dreamlike in my head, and I love that it's during this dreamy desert wandering that Matthew wakes up!
Stopping for now because no keyboard (still!), and I refuse to write an essay—specific to this story—on why I'm going to "Fan" this author's GR page the minute this posts. <3(less)
This story's premise and blurb made it an immediate must-have for me. Upon reading, I found my hopes far exceeded, and was thrilled to happy, flutteri...moreThis story's premise and blurb made it an immediate must-have for me. Upon reading, I found my hopes far exceeded, and was thrilled to happy, fluttering pieces by the development of Avery as a man, and of Avery/Beaux as a couple.
While I think parts of the storytelling could be improved, these were almost all setting-related: I wanted more physical details to help ground me in each setting; and to feel the pressure Avery feels to be perfect, beyond reproach, and to settle for less than what he needs for fear of judgment.
I forgave all of that when rating this story. The emotional execution was absolutely perfect, and this book's a definite reread for me,. 5 of 5 stars, do recommend! ^_^(less)
Wonderful story! I'd gladly read more about these characters and their universe. I'd rec this to anyone who likes male/male romance, historical fantas...moreWonderful story! I'd gladly read more about these characters and their universe. I'd rec this to anyone who likes male/male romance, historical fantasy, and a dash of intrigue.
The premise--an accidental demon summoning--is most fun, I love the characters involved, ended up snickering lots at the adorable, and was also very, very happy about the romance--was surprised, in fact, by how hard I rooted for the characters involved. Which says something, considering how sensitive I am about that subset of romance. Threesomes are generally not my cuppa tea, as so often the lovers involved don't properly balance each other, and end up lopsided in important ways. I didn't see that in the future of these characters, and was thoroughly satisfied by the ending.
Also surprising to me was that despite the Whodunit being pretty clear from the beginning, I wasn't upset; the characters were so stellar, and the sexual tension smoldering, that I can't fault the mystery since it wasn't the central story being told.
If you've got a little while and a dollar to spare, definitely read this. You'll be happy you did.(less)
An excellent short story! I adore the main characters, and how readers are given a dual view of them (without flashbacks!) as the men they were when t...moreAn excellent short story! I adore the main characters, and how readers are given a dual view of them (without flashbacks!) as the men they were when they first met, and the men they are when they meet again, after life has forced both down unexpected, darker paths. I found myself loving both for who they are in the story, and feeling sympathy for who they might have been had life not handed them "lemons" (ie. demons).
The worldbuilding in this story is also amazingly done. The complexity of the magic system and the supernatural; the cultures influenced by magic and geography, from jobs to names to clothes to buildings; the way magic is bound up in the history of land, people, and government; and the clear threat that misuse of magic might cause history to repeat itself... Derr is a brilliant worldbuilder who fuses information seamlessly with character and narration. Reading, I was given the world and character information necessary in active ways that didn't take me out of the story. Given what I learned, I really hope Derr writes more in this universe. While the story of Bannick and Ezell has been satisfyingly wrapped up, the world of Dire Straits has depths I'd love to see explored further.
There are still things I'd like to know that were mentioned in this story: what's the town alchemist's story, for one; details of the sheriff's colorful family history for another.
While I want to know more, however, I don't feel cheated. This story hit a bunch of my genre "kinks" (gunslingers and magic and supernatural creatures in an American Old West-esque setting), and is well written and compelling, so the desire to continue the adventure isn't surprising. This story was great fun to read. I highly recommend it.(less)
I loved the characters, and reading their internal struggles about their new attractions only enhanced the other story plotlines, and the myste...more4.5 / 5
I loved the characters, and reading their internal struggles about their new attractions only enhanced the other story plotlines, and the mysteries therein. The first story sucked me right in with Lowell's internal monologue, and the book refused to let me go until the last story finished. I grew very attached to the small town of Midsummer, and would jump at the chance to read more about the town's inhabitants. Once again, Derr has done wonders.(less)
Derr packs a lot of sweetness, character, and world-building into this short read, to great effect.
Kaeck is a hardworking third-year mage in the mage-...moreDerr packs a lot of sweetness, character, and world-building into this short read, to great effect.
Kaeck is a hardworking third-year mage in the mage-and-combat school. He struggles to make ends meet and lives ignored by his wealthier fellow students. Then a letter from a secret admirer makes him wonder if someone notices him after all. Shortly after the first letter arrives, he befriends star combat student Bellamy. But while Kaeck soon realizes his feelings for Bellamy are more than those for his admirer, Bellamy has his eyes on someone else entirely.
I love the detail Derr puts into her worlds, from the potentially messy adhesion of jewels to mages as a power focus, to the ins and outs of social politics in school. Derr's writing is clear and strong, and I will never tire of her characters, who make mistakes and mend them in fully believable ways.
I heartily recommend "An Admirer." It's an inexpensive, fast, adorable story that will make you smile.(less)