Veterans is the fourth book in the epic Special Forces series and it’s the final part of Dan and Vadim’s story. Unfortunately: it wasn’t the ending tVeterans is the fourth book in the epic Special Forces series and it’s the final part of Dan and Vadim’s story. Unfortunately: it wasn’t the ending this series deserved. Don’t get me wrong: this is not a bad book. And it breaks my heart to give it 3,5 stars, but Veterans just did not come up to the standards of the previous three books. It didn’t show the same level of enthusiasm, attention to detail, depth or nuance as the rest of the series.
My major problem was that Veterans felt like an epilogue. A mellow epilogue. There was a lot of telling in stead of showing which decreased the intensity of the story and it seemed like a lot of loose ends needed to be tied in any way possible. To me, the rawness and honesty of the Special Forces series got lost. In this series full of extremes, the authors always still managed to maintain some nuance and a vast amount of gray. Actions and characters were layered and often (morally) ambiguous. This time some things were overdrawn, black and white, out of left field or downright over the top. The story just felt a little rushed and unfinished at times.
I also had trouble recognizing the characters in the beginning. Partly because of slight changes in writing style and partly because of some out of character actions. I understand that times have changed and the men’s change in age and lifestyle validates changes in thoughts and behavior, but the shift -to me- was very sudden.
So, it took me a while to get used to the new feel of the book, but once I did, I really did enjoy the story. Dan and Vadim are such phenomenal characters and it was great to be part of their journey in life, in a stage where they’re getting ‘old and decrepit’, as Dan put it. We revisited a lot of old characters and met some new ones, which all served its purpose in the development of the characters of the men and their relationship. And eventhough I have the unreasonable wish for Dan and Vadim to stay young forever (as in their Soldiers time), there’s no denying growing older becomes them.
It was truly exhilarating to be able to follow 25 years in the lives of Dan McFadyen and Vadim Krasnorada, and it is with an ache in my heart that I say goodbye to them.
Prayer beads, energy bars, boots, scars, blades, and a bullet.
"Vadim wanted to move away and keep touching Dan, wanted to claw into him, wanted to be held, wanted to break his neck and just rest his head against"Vadim wanted to move away and keep touching Dan, wanted to claw into him, wanted to be held, wanted to break his neck and just rest his head against his shoulder."
Mercenaries Part II is the third book in the Special Forces saga about ex SAS soldier Dan McFadyen and ex Spetznaz Vadim Krasnorada. An epic love story which mixes violence, lust, torture, love, heart ache and friendship, as the quote above beautifully underlines.
The Special Forces series makes for a truly exhilarating reading experience. It’s a wild rollercoaster ride with a wide range of emotions. It’s often hard, sometimes brutal, but so very rewarding. Mercenaries Part II was no exception.
This book follows roughly a year in the lives of Dan and Vadim. A year full of travels, friends, the horrible war in the Balkans and most important of all: revelations.
There are a lot of very explosive moments in the book, but thankfully also some really emotional and intimate scenes. The men’s love for each other is deep, ever prominent and palpable, but there are so many outside problems and inner demons to deal with. It’s horrible to see Dan and Vadim making the same mistakes over and over again. Their incapability to talk openly to each other is frustrating and heartrending.
A lot of people might disagree with me, but I feel like Dan redeemed himself in this book. Soldiers made me fall in love with Dan, the always resourceful SAS soldier, quick on his feet and with a great sense of humor. In Mercenaries Part I we lost Dan to Mad Dog, his ever smoking, ever grinning and ever promiscuous alter ego. Dan seemed indifferent and downright superficial at times. Combined with the fact that we hardly got to really be in Dan’s head anymore, there was just no understanding him. In this book he is back! Dan finally shows some real emotion! And strength, character and a great deal of sacrifice! My heart goes out to him, to both men, and I can’t wait to start the last part of this ever engaging rollercoaster ride,Veterans. ...more
Mercenaries Part I is the second book in the Special Forces series which spans twenty five years in the lives of Scottish SAS soldier, Dan, and SovietMercenaries Part I is the second book in the Special Forces series which spans twenty five years in the lives of Scottish SAS soldier, Dan, and Soviet Spetsnaz soldier, Vadim. I loved and adored the first book, Soldiers. I loved how Dan and Vadim's relationship evolved and how something so fucked up could turn into something so beautiful. … Only to turn into something really fucked up again in Mercenaries part I….
When reading this, keep reminding yourself that this is not a romance. It's a love story which in principle is romantic but the normal rules of a romance do not apply here. Combined with the horrible reality of war and the fact that the main characters are a couple of alpha males who hardly wear their hearts on their sleeves, it makes the first 80% of the book an agonizing read.
I’m serious when I say Dan and Vadim are bad for my appetite, my night rest and my blood pressure! I wanted to yell at them, shake them, maybe even punch them, just to make them see! Even though they endeared me to them at times, they frustrated me to no ends on many more occasions.
There were a lot of things I wasn’t too happy with story wise. I couldn’t relate to certain decisions or actions the characters took, but that might be due to the fact that I’m a hopeless romantic (or a conservative vanilla girl). But my biggest problem was the fact that I feel like we’re losing Dan. While we learn more about Vadim and his internal dialog is interesting, that of Dan lacks depth, seems one dimensional and often is revolving around sex. He just seems really superficial and indifferent at times. It’s like we lost Dan when he became Mad Dog.
Reading Mercenaries Part I was like being on an emotional rollercoaster. I felt angry, happy, frustrated, sad, surprised and outraged. Which underlines the undeniable fact that the story has gotten under my skin. It moves me. Dan and Vadim are on my mind. All the time. If a book does that to you, it deserves 10 out of 5 stars.
Yhalen is of the Ydregi, a Fey-like people who dwell in the forest and live in the ways of the Goddess, in harmony with nature and subtle magic. His pYhalen is of the Ydregi, a Fey-like people who dwell in the forest and live in the ways of the Goddess, in harmony with nature and subtle magic. His privileged and sheltered life turns into a nightmare when he's captured by a group of ogres who only have malice in mind. When he miraculously survives this horrible ordeal, Yhalen finds that the nightmare is far from over: he is to be the slave of Bloodraven: a half ogre, half human war leader.
I was warned before reading this book. Goodread friends, reviews, the ever recurring 'not for the faint of heart'.... they all told me to beware of brutality, rape and torture. So safe to say: I was expecting some really dark D/s story, with lots of gore and non-con from beginning to end. Boy was I mistaken!
Now don't get me wrong. The beginning of the story is very gruesome indeed. There is a horrible scene that turns your stomach. And (as incredible as it sounds) that bit is a walk in the park compared to a scene near the ending of the book which had me cringing and put down the book for a little while. BUT: in between those horrors, the story read like a ... regular fantasy novel. Albeit: with a m/m relationship.
The story was well written, with good pacing and great characterization. I liked how Nunn stayed true to her characters throughout the story. They didn't become overly sympathetic, emotional or sappy. They kept their insecurities, broodiness and weaknesses. But that didn't prevent me from loving Yhalen and Bloodraven. Mainly because Bloodraven, despite his aloofness and dominance, was tender and caring. And because Yhalen, despite his innocence and naivety, showed spirit and strength.
Unfortunately, there were some shortcomings. I was bugged by the dichotomy in the world building concerning ogres. It was too black and white and that made that it didn't add up in some parts. (Because where does Icehand fit in with the descriptions of ogres being savages incapable of deep emotions and only ruled by their primal needs? And are we to believe that Bloodraven got his sense of compassion for his people only from his human side?) Also: the lack of proofreading and/or editing was evident. There were numerous grammar mistakes, wrong use of punctuation marks and the recurring mixing of the words 'that' and 'than'. Which is truly a waste in a book that is so well written.
All in all, Bloodraven was a very enjoyable fantasy that left me wanting more. And, despite all the cringe-worthy parts, it was a sweet story, really.
I don't know what it is about Josh Lanyon's books and yours truly... Most of his stories are not the "I'll forsake sleep to finish this"- kind of pageI don't know what it is about Josh Lanyon's books and yours truly... Most of his stories are not the "I'll forsake sleep to finish this"- kind of page turners for me. There is a mellowness to the books that keeps me from that. Also: I still wouldn't want to classify mystery as a genre I particularly like. But still: I love his books. The whodunit is interesting but what Lanyon excels at are his characters. They're deep, layered, engaging. And the angst... Love it! Major drama with a subdued quality to it. Lanyon books just equal guaranteed good reads to me.
Snowball in Hell is one of Lanyon's darker books. The story takes place in Los Angeles during WWII and has a perfect film noir feel. This is a murder mystery, but the mystery part is not the focus of this story. The characters are. Secrets, war, inner struggles, loneliness... In a time where homosexuality is a disease and the war -though fought in far countries- is ever present in their daily lives, you can imagine police Lieutenant Matthew Spain and journalist Nathan Doyle don't have it easy.
Engaging, sad, endearing, funny... this story had it all (4 stars)
Maverick and Duke are best friends, roommates and about to leave college. In their last week on campus the stakes are raised as their game of ‘gay chiMaverick and Duke are best friends, roommates and about to leave college. In their last week on campus the stakes are raised as their game of ‘gay chicken’ intensifies a notch and the guys need to find a creative way of making some money.
What can I say: typical Evangeline Anderson: light story, simple writing and a smutfest from beginning to end, with a little bit of actual emotion thrown in there for good measure.
Rates 4+ on a smuttastic scale. A three star rating in general. ...more
Note: I have to -just have to- write a more cohesive review for this, but right now I'm drawing a blank and I can't think of anything beautiful or smaNote: I have to -just have to- write a more cohesive review for this, but right now I'm drawing a blank and I can't think of anything beautiful or smart.
I'm torn between a 4 and a 5 star rating.
The good: great writing, a story that gave us both the historical background about a battle of faiths as well as the battles between the characters and -more importantly- within the characters. The depth of the characters (especially Abdul) is amazing, considering the length of the story.
The not so good: The story was too short. A little more length would have made it more well rounded and would have had me even more invested in the characters (mind you: knowing how it would end probably caused me to hold back on that). Then again: the shortness of the story and the little time the book spans added to the intensity and that nerve wrecking feeling of impending doom. Also: I was confused with the POVs. I first thought we were switching from one character to the other, without a more 'general voice' but then those inner monologues didn't fit. So I started to read it like there was a general POV who showed us both characters' thoughts and feelings and flowed from one head to the other. It did fit that way but it wasn't clear enough in the beginning (or maybe it was just me).
All in all, a great story, which could have been even better. But kudos to the authors for writing a story that makes you really think and for not taking the easy way out. ...more
Chris Gibson and John Soong are partners -professionally that is- who work as agents for the super secret GORGON organization. When they get sent outChris Gibson and John Soong are partners -professionally that is- who work as agents for the super secret GORGON organization. When they get sent out to assassinate the mob affiliated Andrei Voronin they find somebody has beaten them to the job. Well: tried anyway, because Voronin still lives. In the heat of the moment, John decides that the Russian might be worth more alive than dead. So a plan is set up to nurse Voronin back to health, both physically and mentally (Voronin has amnesia) while both Chris and John pose as his lovers. But things don't go as smoothly as planned ...
Judging by the reviews, I knew I had to suspend my disbelief and just go with the flow while reading this book. Clean Slate is meant as a light, fun and sometimes even campy read. Not too many things make much sense (starting with the basic premise: why not just kill Voronin?), the plot is paper thin and everything -both action and emotion wise- goes too fast to really make sense of it. So I just sat back and enjoyed the ride. I immediately liked Andrei Voronin and how he turned from a criminal to a really vulnerable and insecure guy- who did show his strength and strong mind when it all came down to it. It took me a while to differentiate the inner voices of Chris and John, but once clear, I really liked Chris. He brought both humor and angst to the table and I love me some angst! Sadly though, some events near the end of the story crossed the line from 'not likely' to 'totally ridiculous' and 'eye roll worthy'. Not a good thing in my mind. Apparently, my suspension of disbelief only goes so far.
So, at the end, Clean Slate was just okay for me. 2,5 stars, bumping it up to 3. ...more
I don't know why I assumed this would be a fluffy and sweet read, cause fluffy and sweet it was not. This ultra short story (about ex-marine F.B.'s fiI don't know why I assumed this would be a fluffy and sweet read, cause fluffy and sweet it was not. This ultra short story (about ex-marine F.B.'s first date with super market hunk Matt), is a smutfest from beginning to end. Light, very hot and funny too. Here's an extract that best describes the book:
“Hey,” F.B. drawled.
His accent always got thicker in direct proportion to his level of horniness and at that moment his cock was getting ready to bust the fly of his camos wide open, making F.B. sound like Texas personified.
A 4,5 on the smut scale, a solid three stars in general. ...more