He should have known better than to get involved with anything to do with families—anyone's family .
Ain't that right! Families is another very enjoyab...moreHe should have known better than to get involved with anything to do with families—anyone's family .
Ain't that right! Families is another very enjoyable short. It's funny, it's hot, and it gives us more insight in our boys; their background, their drives and their urges.
As the intrigue ups a major notch, the romance plot (because really: it is romantic) is developing nicely. To me for now it's clear the boys are deluding themselves in thinking they're just in it for the fucks. Even if they dare not to elaborate on their thoughts in their internal monologues, actions speak louder than words- and hello: holiday weekend at one's family is practically the equivalent of picking out curtains together. And oh: I stand by my earlier point: Toreth is not a sociopath. He's self centered and on a constant mix of survival and hedonistic mode. But he's fun and caring and I like him a lot. (less)
My first e-book and my first erotic story. The story was very cliché and very unbelievable, but boy was it hot! The sex served a deeper meaning of bre...moreMy first e-book and my first erotic story. The story was very cliché and very unbelievable, but boy was it hot! The sex served a deeper meaning of breaking down mental barriers and bounderies for the female character and one of the male leads (sexy Thorn, I kept picturing Sawyer from Lost, don't know why). And it actually was romantic too! I loved reading the POV from Thorn, especially regarding the m/m action. This was hot! (less)
Wow. I finished this in one sitting, which is rare for me, but for this book I was up reading until morning. Annoyed at first with the, at times, very...moreWow. I finished this in one sitting, which is rare for me, but for this book I was up reading until morning. Annoyed at first with the, at times, very sloppy writing and lack of editing (typos, bad grammar). Disappointed with some stylistic choices (like using flashbacks or just skimming very important scenes). All in all: technically speaking there was a lot of room for improvement.
But the book got to me on an emotional level. I had a constant knot in my stomach while reading. I was engrossed, touched, disturbed. I felt for Brant, was scared for him, got sad over him. Brant, who sacrificed so much for others. Brant (as another reader so aptly put it) whose strength is his weakness. Brant, whose life is filled with manipulation and who can't differentiate between love and loyalty and fear and conditioning.
This book is certainly not for everyone. It's dark, sad and brutal at times and there are no magic solutions, no Disney endings.
And that's what I admired most about the story. We see Brant grow and get stronger (view spoiler)[ but he doesn't get out of the world he was forced in to. In fact, he becomes an active part of it. His weakness is gone, but every choice he makes is still set within the boundaries of his world. He will never really be free of manipulation. He just makes the best of it. (hide spoiler)]
This story touched me. And it made really think about right and wrong, love, strength, freedom of choice, loyalty and family. A well deserved 4,5 stars. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
These kind of little stories are the reason why I really like The Administration. Toreth being in a rare sharing mood and Warrick trying to handle the...moreThese kind of little stories are the reason why I really like The Administration. Toreth being in a rare sharing mood and Warrick trying to handle the now unCaged tiger. Beautiful and painful, and showing the increasing trust and knowledge and attunement of the pair.(less)
For those of you who are looking for a quick contemporary m/m romance: skip this. Yes, the main character is attracted to men, but there's very littl...moreFor those of you who are looking for a quick contemporary m/m romance: skip this. Yes, the main character is attracted to men, but there's very little romance and Coyote's Creed is definitely urban fantasy. The plot and world building take the forefront.
And what a wonderfully original world it is: Fae and shifters, gods and sorcerers, feuds and fate and most importantly: tricks. Spencer Crane is an 18 year old card swindler who's trying to divide his time between his cards, catatonic mother and detention. News about the death of his no good father turns his world upside down and suddenly it's like he's the star in his own horror movie.
I LOVED Spencer. Loved his dry tone narrative, his wit, his humor. Adored his hornines and his fear for zombies. Was touched by his love for his mother and his ability to grow. Spencer was a wonderful protagonist. Besides him the story was filled with interesting secondaries with a certain toe stubbing Coyote as my favorite.
The plot was engaging and the world was certainly intriguing but at some parts I was thoroughly confused. And not only because Spencer is left in the dark, but also because it was just too much, too fast that too little of it made sense (I still don't get the importance of a Phouka king (view spoiler)[because Roarke seemed the least capable of all the characters in the book (hide spoiler)]). A few less "huh?"-moments and this book would have gotten a 5 star rating.
All in all: this story was an engaging and, most of all, fun read. I'm very much looking forward to the sequel. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
And so the Petit Morts series ends... Seventeen (mostly) delectable treats filled with romance, mystery and Chance.
Immortal Coil is the last addition...moreAnd so the Petit Morts series ends... Seventeen (mostly) delectable treats filled with romance, mystery and Chance.
Immortal Coil is the last addition to this experience and I was expecting to go out with a bang. And as engaging as the story was, I have to say that at the end I was left with the feeling that I wanted to like this one more.
Don't get me wrong, it was a great story. A typical JCP read with likable characters, easy to visualize scenes and a great mix of romance, sarcasm and humor.
The romance plot revolved around Richard aka coach Rick, and Joel, who last saw each other 5 years earlier. Both have changed into completely different men when they meet each other again and we are privy to their very first moments of their budding romance. It was engaging, it was sweet, it was funny, but lets be honest: what I was most waiting for was the resolution of Chance's story arch. And it was that part that left me not quite satisfied.
While I got more insight on Chance and Hunter, I was left with more questions than answers. I'm all for open endings, but some things just weren't clear to me. (view spoiler)[At the end, Chance and Hunter needed to work together -to be together-for their plan to work. That was a beautiful solution and the perfect and final way to close the gap between then. But: what was the reason of that gap? What was the purpose of have them swapping tasks? Make them understand each other? If so: was this enough? Also: what does losing their corporeal forms entail? Will they go back to what they were before? (hide spoiler)] Rereading the ending made me realize that it's not so much the questions that bother me as it is the speed and the little page time in Chance and Hunter's story is told. There's so much going on but we get to see so little! So all in all though beautiful, the ending left me wanting more.
So at the end: I liked this story a lot. I can even say I loved it. But not as much as Wishink Well. Not as much as I hoped I would. And not as much as a great series' ending deserves. (4 stars)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I started reading this story because of the manic raving of my trusted Goodreads friends. They promised a highly addictive and emotional roller coaste...moreI started reading this story because of the manic raving of my trusted Goodreads friends. They promised a highly addictive and emotional roller coaster ride which spread over four books and thousands of pages. Safe to say I immediately made the connection to Special Forces and had very high expectations.
Evenfall was totally different than I had expected. Unlike that other epic m/m book, I didn’t have a constant sense of panic while reading, which meant that this time around I wasn't forsaking sleep and food just in order to read a few pages more. A lot of parts were too fantastical, lacked nuance and not to mention good common sense. There was too much introspection which was repetitive and at times slowed the story down and towards the ending the story just seemed to be going on and on.
This all being said: I liked the book. A lot. Dystopia, government conspiracies, prejudices, parental issues, identity problems, m/m lovin’; you name it: the book had it. And -despite the absurdity of some situations and the overabundance of internal monologues- the events and psychological consequences were dealt with in a very satisfying manner. The tension was built up gradually, the action had me on the edge of my seat and the love scenes had me fanning myself.
I found Sin and Boyd to be wonderfully captivating and as the book progressed they got more and more layered. I loved how these two seemingly polar opposites turned out to be much more alike than one would have thought and how their relationship lead to learning from each other and about themselves.
All in all Evenfall was a great book (4,5 stars) and I'm very curious about the sequel. (less)
I got this one recommended because I found the first book in The Slave Breakers series to be way too light and cute and sappy to be even called 'Slave...moreI got this one recommended because I found the first book in The Slave Breakers series to be way too light and cute and sappy to be even called 'Slave Breakers'. I wanted something itty and gritty and worthy of a dark slave theme. And I got my wish and more, because light and cute this story was not! Okay, to be honest: there were some almost sappy parts but then again: all that violence and torture needed some balancing out.
There was lots and lots of sex in this story, yet it never felt like a smutfest to me. That's because sex was pretty much a means of communication in this book. Hate, anger, desperation, hurt, adoration, love... sex was a way to express all of the emotions and thoughts. And because the author addressed themes like loyalty, friendship and emancipation, the book actually had substance. Also: towards the ending several sex scenes were even glossed over and it never got overly descriptive.
The story was published chapter by chapter on LiveJournal, so it lacks editing (and that's painfully obvious at some points) and doesn't always flow well. But it's certainly something different and strangely engaging. There are four parts in the Texas saga (which actually centers around Paul and not Texas).
Texas I: In where we meet Texas and his Kitten and Puppy. I found this to be the most upsetting part of the book. My heart went out to Paul (the Puppy) who gave everything in order to keep his brother safe. I also liked how the author worked with occasional flashbacks. (4,5 stars) Texas II: In where Paul gets kidnapped and his soul searching begins. I found it really interesting to see Paul not only coming to terms with his trauma but using that as a trigger for self development. (4 stars) P for Paul: Paul takes a break and learns to read. This one had a totally different feel to it and it lacked substance. Later on I found out it wasn't even written by the same author. (1,5 star) Texas III: Where Paul's emancipation fully blooms and love, friendship and loyalty are tested. The last chapter was a bit confusing and the story didn't always flow well, but a decent and satisfying ending nonetheless. (3,5 stars)
So, all in all a very different and engaging read. Certainly not everyone's cup of tea, but for those of you who can stomach some brutality, violence, twincest and a few grammar mistakes here and there: do try Texas! (less)
**spoiler alert** Lover Unleashed is the tenth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood universe and it’s about Payne and Manny finding love. To me, it’s...more**spoiler alert** Lover Unleashed is the tenth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood universe and it’s about Payne and Manny finding love. To me, it’s also… a huge disappointment. Why? Because I feel that the loyal fans got screwed over. The way Ward just blatantly rewrites history, disregards her own world's rules and has characters act completely out of character... It's insulting really!
I’ve been looking forward to this book like crazy. Eventhough I wasn’t interested in Payne and Manny’s story at all. In fact: I was fully expecting to hastily flip through the Payne/Manny bits, just to get to the good stuff: V’s downward spiral and the Qhuinn/Blay drama. At the end though: the love story between Payne and Manny was the best part of the book. And that’s saying something.
If this book emphasizes one thing, it is that Ward needs a new editor. Sure, the current one cries and raves about everything Ward says. But I thought an editor’s job was to actually, oh I don’t know… edit? Correct mistakes? Make sure the story flows well? Secure continuity in characters, actions and events? Check the time line? Nope, no such thing. But hey: I bet she’s great at nodding her head.
Basically, Lover Unleashed is two big story lines and three mini story lines put together. The two bigger story lines revolve around Payne & Manny and V, Jane & Butch. The three mini story lines are about Qhuinn & Blay, the Band of Bastards and about the next Fallen Angels book Jose de la Cruz and his new partner.
The good: - Manny: before this story I was simply not invested enough to care about what happened to the guy. Over the course of this book, however, I grew to really like him. Ward described him as ‘a metrosexual motherfucker’ but he’s really a regular alpha guy who’s not afraid to let his lady have the limelight. - The Band of Bastards: I loved the itty grittiness of them. Xcor is really intriguing, Zypher needs a long way to be redeemed (somehow that’s sexy) and Throe, what can I say: I wish Tara hadn’t called dibbs cause I wants him! - Butch: I just love Butch.
The bad: - Vishous' downward spiral: spelled C-O-N-T-R-I-V-E-D to me. The angst was completely forged and supported only by out of character actions by both Jane and Vishous. Plus: the whole thing was based on a faulty premise: the mating ceremony between V an Jane supposedly not having taken place. Say what?!? - The Butch story line: yes I love Butch, but I can’t get over the fact what a missed chance this was for Ward to write more about our favorite ex-human with his chipped tooth (which mysteriously turned into a capped tooth in this book…). In a story which features Vishous, Manny and Jose de la Cruz, you’d expect more about him! And I’m not even going to mention the missed opportunity concerning the V/Butch quality time. Such a waste… - Payne: ‘the female warrior’. Right… Payne is what Xhex haters would want her to be: a tough chick disguised in a Chosen package. We are told she’s tough and she holds her ground. We just don’t really see it. Also: this Payne didn’t resemble the girl we met in Lover Avenged. She felt more like Marissa. And Cormia. Only with dark hair. -Layla: like Payne, there was a change of character in Layla. Ward decided to give her a backbone this book. It just doesn’t match her behavior from last books... or this book, really. I feel like it’s an attempt from Ward to make us like Layla. Mission failed on my account. - Jane: okay now: I’ll admit: I’m not the biggest Jane fan. I have problems with her status as Super Shellan and I get annoyed by the way Ward just needs to drive the point home (again and again) about how smart Jane is. And well.. in this book we were told (again and again) how smart the super doc was. Bad thing she didn’t actually show it in her behavior. - the blending POVs: maybe it’s me, maybe it’s due to all the Wardisms, but all the inner POVs are starting to sound alike. Open up a random chapter and it’s almost impossible to differentiate who’s talking or thinking anymore. - the ending: if felt rushed and unfinished. Twenty pages is too short to wrap up five story lines!
The ugly: - No John Matthew. At all. I missed him. - The Jose de la Cruz and Thomas DelVecchio story line: I found it really interesting… right up to the point where I realized it didn’t serve any purpose in expanding Butch’s or the Bastards’ story line. It’s just one big infomercial for the next Fallen Angels book. - The castration of Xcor: here we have an intriguing, morally ambiguous hero with lots of potential. And Ward turns him into a sap near the end of the book. Why?!? - The revelation of what Qhuinn saw on the door of the Fade: if this is going where I think it’s going, then I’m seriously considering a series boycott. One word: ridiculous.
The hysterical: - The Wardisms: is it me or are they getting worse each book? The number one Wardisms for this book has to be ‘going/getting vertical’. Another favorite word: ‘kibitzer’. There was also lots of extrapolation going on. - Ehlena: she was the Super Extra. I think she was mentioned over forty times in the book. She didn’t utter one word though. - Manny’s perpetual hard ons: We get it: he’s excited. But it got a bit silly towards the ending…
Now, I’ll be the last to say that the BDB series has always been perfect. It’s a bit over the top, sometimes silly, riddled with continuity mistakes. But until now Ward managed to compensate all this with great story telling, excitement and entertainment. This time around I just didn't feel it. The main story line was okay, but the secondary story lines were either contrived (V/Jane/Butch), lacking of any substance (Qhuinn/Blay) or completely unnecessary (De La Cruz/Veck). It’s still good for the genre, but it’s certainly my least favorite in the BDB series. A mere 2,5 stars. (less)
Adrian and Friday have been best friends for over half their lives. They met when they were eight and have been inseparable ever since. Adrian spends...moreAdrian and Friday have been best friends for over half their lives. They met when they were eight and have been inseparable ever since. Adrian spends most of his days -and almost all of his nights- at Friday's. Friday's mother is more of a mother to him than his perpetually surly stepmom and Friday's father is more of a father to him than his always aloof dad. But Friday is not like a brother to him. Oh no, no way! Adrian doesn't love his own brother as much. And he doesn't hug his own brother as much. And while he feels he could live without his brother, the thought of being separated from Friday is just unbearable...
From the beginning of the story it's apparent that what Friday and Adrian share is much more than friendship. Much, much more. These boys have a bond that transcends everything. They live and breathe each other. They are good together. They belong together. It's obvious, you'd say... But it isn't so clear for Adrian. He needs to find out how and what he feels, about himself, about his life, about Friday. Just Friends is his journey of discovery, a coming of age (or out) if you will. A journey filled with very touching and sweet moments, but also heartache, pain and betrayal.
A moving and endearing read with instantly lovable characters, 4,5 stars. (less)
Wow... what a ride! The Interludes was yet another great part in the In the Company of Shadows series. It's not book 3 but rather a collection of stor...moreWow... what a ride! The Interludes was yet another great part in the In the Company of Shadows series. It's not book 3 but rather a collection of stories leading up to it (the WIP Fade). I really don't understand why, because despite the fact that the stories have separate titles rather than chapter numbers, they are in chronological order and as interconnected as the chapters in the previous books. Whatever the reason, this section of the series, combined with the back stories on the website, made for another very enjoyable read.
There is a lot going on in this book and we get many POVs because of it. That does make the general story feel a little less focused but it makes for a broader set up and it's intriguing to be able to see so many aspects of the iCoS world and the characters. The downside was that the Boyd/Sin story line tended to get overshadowed here and there. But that might also solely be due to the awesomeness of the other story lines (mainly: Emilio and Carhart, can you say tension?). I must also add that the Boyd/Sin story line had the tendency to get a bit juvenile angsty. I know our boys have issues, but to be apart from each other over a misunderstanding? And where was the rumor mill when you needed one?
That being said: the romance plot was still very enjoyable. But what really makes the iCos series stand out from other series is the strong action/suspense plot. While the smaller assignments seem to mainly serve the purpose of a catalyst function or showing us more aspects of a certain character, the major assignments have me on the edge of my seat. Meanwhile, the overarching suspense story lines -like the raid, the sabotage and the new admin- all simmer in the background. It all makes for that 'impending doom'-feeling in your stomach and at the moment is making it very, very hard for me not to start on the next book (I hate WIPs).
All in all, I must admit the first book of the series is still my favorite, but this installment was another great read. 4,5 stars (less)
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 p...moreYhalen 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.
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 t...moreVeterans 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.