Rating: 4.5 stars of 5 I finished this story a few days ago and I've been going over and over it, again and again, in my head. Glory Lands by Vastine...moreRating: 4.5 stars of 5 I finished this story a few days ago and I've been going over and over it, again and again, in my head. Glory Lands by Vastine Bondurant is a powerful, gut-wrenching, and life affirming story that I will not soon forget. The story starts off with a heart stopping scene that sets an underlying tone, but by no means is it representative of the overall feeling the story evokes. The setting of the story, both location and time (rural east Texas in the 30s—to start) seems tailor made for the events... unfortunately our modern society is often not much better, and that in and of itself is a tragedy. But I digress... or maybe I don't. All I know is that as the characters were introduced, they became real people; what happened to them was immediate and right there in front of me. And even though I knew, just knew, that something awful was going to happen, I was so caught up in Emory Joe and Glory's story that there was no hesitation on my part. The positives far outweigh the negatives and I found myself incredibly satisfied as Vastine Bondurant'sGlory Lands came to an end.(less)
4.5 Stars ~ I'm new to Evangeline Anderson's 'Brides of the Kindred' series, but after having read "Shadowed" I am very curious to read the earlier bo...more4.5 Stars ~ I'm new to Evangeline Anderson's 'Brides of the Kindred' series, but after having read "Shadowed" I am very curious to read the earlier books. But even not having read the first seven books in the series I wasn't confused or feeling lost. Anderson's filling in of the backstory was enough for me to understand the basics of the Kindred society. It was also enough to give me a definite taste of Saber and Lissa's story, which precedes "Shadowed" and is somewhat entwined with Reddick and Nina's. Then there are some of the other characters--especially Kat and Deep and Lock, and Liv and Baird--who really piqued my curiosity. Anderson's storytelling has, once again, proven to be captivating. She's one of those authors who knows how to capture the reader's attention and get them involved with what goes on in the story.
If you enjoy science fiction and stories of hot men and the women who love, and tame, them, then I recommend "Shadowed: Brides of the Kindred #8". I don't think you will be disappointed. (less)
In this, C. Zampa's second novel, I once again found myself completely caught up in the book. I enjoyed Honor and Jorge's story tremendo...moreRated 4½ stars
In this, C. Zampa's second novel, I once again found myself completely caught up in the book. I enjoyed Honor and Jorge's story tremendously; in fact when I was going through it to solidify points I wanted to make for this review I found myself reading it again. It's seductive and downright addictive is what it is.
I really enjoyed the way that Zampa gives the reader first person perspectives for the characters, mainly, of course, Honor and Jorge. But the times we were allowed to see firsthand what Becky was feeling and thinking added spice to the story, and I very much enjoyed it, even if I found myself upset with her. However, it was the look into what Becky was going through that added verisimilitude to the rest, and for that I offer kudos to the author. And it wasn't only the direct insight into what the character—whoever it was at the time—was feeling that I liked so much, but also their impressions of what was happening with the others.
In Honor C, the phrase 'the course of true love never did run smooth' is very appropriate. I was heartbroken, for both of them, when Honor decided to end his love affair with Jorge. But I think my heart belongs to Jorge. There is something about him that calls to me; his honesty and forthrightness are totally beguiling—well that and his outright sexiness. What makes it even hotter is that he's only being who he is; there's no guile, no desire to snare anyone. It's just Jorge being Jorge and I can certainly understand just what it is that Honor finds so utterly captivating.
There's no 'bad guy' (or bad gal) here; this is a story of people who love, and of people who hurt. But most of all, it's a story of people who learn that, regardless of decisions made, there is a price. And, at the end, that's life.
Once again C. Zampa has done it; captured me heart and mind, and I look eagerly forward to the next occasion. Thank you dear author!
Man freakin' alive! T.A. Webb'sLet's Hear it for the Boy is powerful and compelling. The impact is like a one-two punch and it's one I won't soon fo...more Man freakin' alive! T.A. Webb'sLet's Hear it for the Boy is powerful and compelling. The impact is like a one-two punch and it's one I won't soon forget. It's not very long, but what it contains will take a lifetime to process—at least that's how I was left feeling.
Matthew's recitation of his memories of Patrick pulled me right in; no build up, just right there, right now. Even though I had a good idea of where the story was going to to—I was warned that there would be tears but that it ended on a positive note (she knows me well my friend does)—it still did not lessen the impact. I was totally caught up in Matthew's story; not only in relation to his love, but also in how he got to where he was, how part of his life was dedicated to Auntie Social.
And then there's the scourge of AIDS and HIV; how a generation lost their innocence in such a horrific way. I've read other stories, watched documentaries, read the news and yet I was always on the outside. But with T.A. Webb'sLet's Hear it for the Boy being on the outside was no longer possible. It's immediate and utterly visceral and completely and heartbreakingly stunning.
This is one of those books that will stay with me for a long time to come—and for that I'm very glad. And now T.A. Webb is now on my favourites list and I've already made good headway on acquiring his other books. Gotta love it!
If there's one book you read between now and whenever, I highly, highly recommend that this book, T.A. Webb'sLet's Hear it for the Boy, be the one. I don't think you'll regret it.
RATING: 5 out of 5 stars and VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
The final book in Amelia Gormley'sImpulse trilogy—Velocity—is much more than I expected, and I was expecting quite a lot.
It's not just a tying up of...moreThe final book in Amelia Gormley'sImpulse trilogy—Velocity—is much more than I expected, and I was expecting quite a lot.
It's not just a tying up of the threads comprising Derrick's and Gavin's stories, and their story—and it does do that beautifully—it's a fulfillment of the promise inherent from the very beginning. The promise of a rich and happy life for two men who, both damaged and living with the (metaphorical) scars,are still aware enough that their initial attraction is so much more than just lust.
Impulse is an extremely satisfying series in which, over the course of the three books, Derrick and Gavin are able to move beyond their crippling pasts to a partnership that is truly between two equals, both strong and loving men. Through Inertia and Acceleration, books one and two, each of them has to deal with the pain and betrayals experienced. Derrick's experiences are, for the most part, more distant while Gavin's are definitely closer. And yet their pasts are both part of the present and something that they have to deal with individually as well as together.
Velocity is a testament to the power of love, romantic and sexual, as well as that of friends and family—and friends who are family.
At the end I'm left breathlessly waiting for the next book by Amelia Gormley. With the Impulse stories she captured not only my heart and mind, but she titillated my senses. All wonderful experiences for this avid reader! (less)
5 out of 5 Stars ~ I've read The House of Silver Oak by Nix Winter a number of times and yet each time I find myself once again spellbound and utterly...more5 out of 5 Stars ~ I've read The House of Silver Oak by Nix Winter a number of times and yet each time I find myself once again spellbound and utterly captivated.
I'm really not sure what it is, if it's Cain and his struggles with his memories of war, the loss of his leg, alcoholism, the debilitating panic attacks... basically life since Iraq. Or if it's Shelly, the ghost that haunts Silver Oak. He is completely entrancing and his charisma, his sense of fun, exude from the pages.
No, I guess what really makes this book so special is all of it: the characters who suffer yet struggle for happiness; the past, both recent and distant, that is brought to life bit by bit; the coming together of the people, again past and present; the synchronicity of it all.
Whatever the magic is, Nix Winter wielded it wonderfully. The story pulls the reader along as we get to know, in depth, Cain and Shelly, and all those whose lives intersect theirs, one way or the other. There is anger, tears, hope, excitement, joy, terror, and over all a tension that builds and builds with each page.
The House of Silver Oak is a book I go to when I need a fairly quick read that grabs my imagination, runs me through a gamut of emotions, and leaves me feeling... amazing! (less)
After reading Brandon Shire's story, Afflicted, I was impatient for the followup book. And now that I've finished Afflicted II, in one sitting because...moreAfter reading Brandon Shire's story, Afflicted, I was impatient for the followup book. And now that I've finished Afflicted II, in one sitting because I really didn't want to wait any longer, I have to say that it's a wonderful complement to its predecessor.
I love that the progress made by Hunter and Dillon in building a relationship continues. Not only is the sex hot and very satisfying, the emotional component has grown considerably—both men are opening up to the other; not always an easy thing in any relationship, but both Dillon and Hunter have spent years protecting themselves.
If I'm going to give a brief explanation of both books I'd have to say that book one deals more with Hunter, his past, and its collision with his growing feelings for Dillon. While in book two it's Dillon's past moving to the forefront... and a nasty past it is too. The anger I felt on his behalf was almost overwhelming; parents like his, especially his mother, really get my ire blazing. They put their religion—not God, but religion—ahead of their children. They spout words of faith, of belief in God, but it has nothing to do with that and everything to do with them: their standing, their feelings. As a parent I despise them, totally and utterly. And that's enough of that! Obviously a hot-button topic.
Which is kind of the point I guess; the author reminds us that a good-sized segment of society continues to be blind, ignorant, and hateful. Unfortunately, far too often it includes parents; the people who should love unreservedly and unconditionally. For them I hold nothing but disgust. Aaaand I digress once again...
But Dillon and Hunter's story also reminds us that there is always hope; that there are people, like Dillon's friend and mentor Shu-shu, who care and do something.
There are groups, like those to whom Mr Shire donates 10% of the proceeds from his books, who are a visible and active presence in the lives of the discarded children, whose greatest concern should be what to wear to school, not worry if they'll even be alive the next day.
Ultimately, Afflicted II is about hope, love, family and friends, survival, life. It's a reminder to those of us, who take for granted the lives we have, that we are fortunate. Brandon Shire has written a story that entertains, wonderfully, but that also informs. And for me that makes it a big winner.
If you've not yet read these two books then I strongly urge you to check them out; I honestly don't think you will be disappointed—I certainly was not! ___________________________________
An edge of the seat read I go back to at least once a year. It's erotic, thrilling, tense, and out-and-out fascinating. Son of the Morning by Linda Ho...moreAn edge of the seat read I go back to at least once a year. It's erotic, thrilling, tense, and out-and-out fascinating. Son of the Morning by Linda Howard is a book I'll pick up if I need something...
The title—Acceleration—is very apt for this, the second story in Amelia C. Gormley's second book in her Impulse trilogy.
Words I'd use to describe this story: Emotionally Rich; Intense but energising; Powerful; Honest; Engrossing
Again it took no time at all before I found myself totally caught up in the continuation of Derrick and Gavin's story. The road has been, and continues to be, somewhat rocky at times but knowing these two men that's not surprising. The relationship has taken them both by surprise, and what's more they're both dealing with emotions neither of them has experienced before.
Then there are the surprising but also very satisfying dynamics of Derrick and Gavin's developing relationship, both physical and emotional. Ultimately satisfying because they show the depth of trust, the strength of the feelings they have for each other, all while binding them closer; it's also amazingly freeing. As an observer it's not only tantalising but also exciting, and not just in a prurient way.
This dynamic works so well for both of them because of their pasts—distant for Derrick, much more recent for Gavin. They are finding who they are, separately as individuals and together as a couple. What they have goes beyond labels—it's what it is because they need it to be that way.
For Derrick the closer he gets to Gavin the more he learns about himself, and as we all know this is never an easy thing to undergo. But eventually, and with help from his friends, he's finding a way through the landmine-dotted emotional landscape.
Then there is the way that the author finishes the story, leaving the reader turning the page only to discover... that we've reached the end. I am not a big fan of cliffhangers, unless I have the next book in hand but honestly—while we are teased and most definitely tantalised—I didn't feel as though we were left hanging. The ending is obviously not the final word but it is an ending that I can live with. Knowing, of course, that there is more to come.
Ms Gormley has given her readers a very powerful follow-up story to Inertia, the first book in her Impulse trilogy and I for one could not be happier. Of course the flip side to this is that I now have to wait for the third and final story—Velocity… patience has never been one of my stronger virtues.
It didn't take me long to be totally absorbed by Amelia C. Gormley'sInertia, the first book in her Impulse trilogy. The story is sweetl...more4.5 of 5 stars
It didn't take me long to be totally absorbed by Amelia C. Gormley'sInertia, the first book in her Impulse trilogy. The story is sweetly sexy—and I mean that in all the best ways. One of the things I enjoyed about it is that, even with nothing overt, it is a book that resonated with me. The main characters, Derrick and Gavin, are both gun-shy when it comes to relationships but for very different reasons. And exploring those reasons, getting to know the two men, is a very rewarding experience.
Even with the story in Derrick's POV, the author does an excellent job bringing to life the other characters' personalities. With Derrick we are front and center with his introspection and the subsequent growing self-awareness he undergoes. His ultimate acceptance that his life prior to meeting Gavin was nothing to write home about rings true. There's no one magic moment, it's a process and one I felt deep within—it's certainly something that I could relate to.
I fully enjoyed Derrick and Gavin's developing relationship, so much so that I found myself going back for a second helping. Now I intend to dive headlong into the second book in Ms Gormely's Impulse trilogy—Acceleration. In fact I'm very impatient to do so and I don't intend to come up for air anytime soon.
I was already a fan of Brandon Shire's, but after reading Afflicted I find myself even more enamoured of his storytelling.
In this story—and I'm very glad to know that there will be at least one more Dillon and Hunter story—I found Shire's descriptiveness really helped me to experience just how it is that Hunter, as a blind man, how he lives in, and comes to understand, a visual world. The words used by those of us who see would not work, at all, in this story. We're immersed in Hunter's mind and it makes perfect sense that it is his senses of smell, of touch, of spatial acuity, of hearing that allow him to function in a world for the sighted. I felt as though a new world had opened up, and I'm still marvelling at how it feels so real.
On top of Shire's ability to take us into the mind of someone whose life experience is, partially, that as a blind person, the romance between Dillon and Hunter thrilled my romantic heart. Their connection was immediate, their attraction powerful; so much so that they would both, at times, doubt that what they were feeling was real, never mind reciprocated. Their inner struggles in dealing with what had led them each to their present place in time were visceral and, especially with Dillon, often very painful. One may think that it is the blind man who suffers more but, in my opinion, it is Dillon who has far more to overcome.
Once again, Brandon Shire intrigued me and kept me glued to the pages as I read his book. Afflicted is sexy—and very HOT—but it's also heartwarming and life-affirming. It's about family—and not always the version we want it to be—and friends; it's about discovering who you are, who others see you as, and learning to live life on your own terms. Brandon Shire'sAfflicted while leaving us with unanswered questions—and oh, how curious I am to get the answers!—did ultimately leave me feeling very satisfied with the ending. But it also left me wanting much more—I want to know what's going to happen next, and what's going to happen further on down the road. And I'm going to have to wait.
But I know that, in the end, it will be worth every frustrating second's wait; and that's not something I can, or will, often say about a story with a cliff-hanger ending.
With each book in Scott Sherman's Kevin Connor Mystery series [alas, trilogy?] I find myself falling more under Kevin's spell. He's the kind of person...moreWith each book in Scott Sherman's Kevin Connor Mystery series [alas, trilogy?] I find myself falling more under Kevin's spell. He's the kind of person I'd love to know in real life: confident, smart—especially of the street and people variety, intuitive, self-aware and caring. That's one of Kevin's biggest assets—well, that and being so danged cute! He cares about people. He's not, delightfully, saintly or a goody-goody. He's someone that I admire and respect, even when I feel like kicking his butt. Can anyone get in over his head quicker? And that has nothing to do with his 5'3" height either. Kevin's the kind of guy that jumps in with both feet--the thinking comes after, or in the middle, of whatever crisis he ends up in. But he's not one to wait to be saved. That's where his street- and people- smarts come in... and he doesn't panic.
Then there's the motley cast of characters with whom Kevin shares the pages of these three books. They are each wonderful in their own right, and I've loved every opportunity to get to know each and every one.
And while I absolutely loved this book I can't help but feeling a little sad, a little lost: in Scott Sherman's words "I always planned on the Kevin Connor books as being a trilogy." He does go on to say that, even "...if they end with Third You Die, I think it's a satisfying send-off. However, weeks after sending off the manuscript, I thought, 'What if...?'" Well, that's a what if I'd love for him to explore!
All I can say is Hallelujah and here's hoping that Kevin, Tony, Freddy, Rafi and the other characters we've got to know over the course of these three books will make a speedy return. Because I had to wait long enough for Third You Die to make its way into my hands!(less)
With his first book--First you Fall--Scott Sherman became a favourite. And now, after reading the second in his Kevin Connor mystery series--Second Yo...moreWith his first book--First you Fall--Scott Sherman became a favourite. And now, after reading the second in his Kevin Connor mystery series--Second You Sin--Sherman has my mind reeling. I went through the gamut; laughter, tears, on-the-edge-of-my-seat, and ultimately satisfaction. Of course I need to read the third book as soon as possible; I'm waiting for it to arrive and right now I'm even less patient with waiting than usual.
Scott Sherman's Kevin Connor is not the usual hero-type; he's about 5'3", a hustler / rentboy, and--oh yes--he keeps coming up against murders. His relationship with sometime boyfriend Tony Rinaldi is showing cracks and his mom--she's her usual 'interesting' self. Kevin's plate is more than a little full, and getting fuller by the second.
All I can say is, Good one, Scott Sherman; you've done very, very good!(less)