I found the first story about a pair of magical shoes that turn a curmudgeon into a nice guy in love with his valet, a little dark. Probably more likeI found the first story about a pair of magical shoes that turn a curmudgeon into a nice guy in love with his valet, a little dark. Probably more like fairy tales of old. The shoes start to take over his body and sounded kind of gross to be honest. But intent ends HEA of course.
The second is a man tasked by his future-MIL to find a magician who will find missing magical wedding rings. He doesn't want to marry the girl but must or lose his inheritance. He find a man he's instantly attracted to but he can never really remember. This happens over and over until the wedding day arrives and the truth comes out. It is fairly repetitious given the nature of the story, but it ends well with even the young lady getting her HEA. I enjoyed it....more
Okay, I'm not exactly what necromancers are but they seem to be less than attractive, or maybe super attractive, I'm not sure. Anyway, Rochus has beenOkay, I'm not exactly what necromancers are but they seem to be less than attractive, or maybe super attractive, I'm not sure. Anyway, Rochus has been summoned for help by the Queen, who then informs him that he has to marry a dragon who has problems. Well. Just by chance, the night before some dragon hottie got Rochus in bed and lo and behold, the same guy. Only Rochus is sure that the guy slept with him only to prove that he could and not be grossed out, not because he wanted to. He agrees to do it, sullenly and they set off to see why the dragon's land is being attacked. The whole time there is the pull of attraction but Rochus is determined that Tilo doesn't want him really, and half the time Tilo is sure that Rochus doesn't want him and they go along blundering until after working together to save the land, and some hard core wooing, Rochus FINALLY clues in that Tilo thought he was hot and definitely wanted to sleep with him. Sigh. Boys.
So while I enjoyed the magic parts and all the world that the author created (as usual) I was so frustrated with Rochus refusing to listen to anything Tilo had to say and being so SURE he knew what was what that I wanted to smack him upside the head. Open your ears, man. So depending on your tolerance of dense necromancers you may love this more or less than I did. ...more
Myka is an off-the-book spell-weaver. When his mentor died, he refused an offer from a questionable tailor although the most famous in town. Now he woMyka is an off-the-book spell-weaver. When his mentor died, he refused an offer from a questionable tailor although the most famous in town. Now he works in the poor part of town hoping no one ever checks if he's got his license. He has a rich client named Johan who he's crushing on and when Johan drops his invitation to the ball, Myka decides to embellish his clothes with a spell and go. Sure enough, he meets Johan and they end up having sex in the garden until he has to make a run for it at midnight before Johan figures out that a) he's not rich and titled and b) Myka. Of course Johan figures it out and helps Myka solve is license problem and HEA. :-) I always enjoy the little shorts like that that the offer writes. They just have a lovely feel to them and you can just submerse yourself in the world she creates. ...more
Okay, ran out and bought book 1. While I again stayed up reading way too late, I didn't care for this one quite as much because Sarrica was a total asOkay, ran out and bought book 1. While I again stayed up reading way too late, I didn't care for this one quite as much because Sarrica was a total asshole to poor Allen. I loved Allen. I get it, your spouse died, the kingdom is at war, you want a warrior spouse, but sheesh. I was glad that Lesto and Rene had no problem telling him where to shove it and were more like brothers than employees. At least other people were nice to Allen and he was brave if a bit foolhardy and only wanted the best for people.
I was also rather impressed that the author (view spoiler)[had Allen have off-page sex with Rene after he had met the king and was waiting to see if he'd be hoofed out. Okay, they were both drunk but I liked the way it was handled and not seen as a big deal. Allen tells Sarrica about it later. (hide spoiler)] But some may hate this. Click at your own risk. I also like Tara a great deal who took Allen under his wing. Lots of great characters at the court who I quite enjoyed, but Allen was my fave.
There is the suggestion of mpreg (the king's former husband had their children biologically) and I was praying it didn't go there because I can't stand it, and beyond mentioning the option, it didn't. That's my personal bugaboo, to each their own. ...more
Ummm. Did I mention that "check if it's book 2 in the series thing?" Oops. Again.
Still, I was able to read this fine without having read book 1. LestUmmm. Did I mention that "check if it's book 2 in the series thing?" Oops. Again.
Still, I was able to read this fine without having read book 1. Lesto, the head of the king's security, ends up getting kidnapped and rescued by the pirate who had sex with several months ago and figured he'd never see again. Once they realize that they are in a bit of trouble, they set off to tell the king what is going on, a several days journey. Along the way the sexual tension sizzles, but both figure the other is not interested or interested for the wrong reasons. They are set upon by baddies and Lesto is badly injured (I think he was poisoned) and Shamal the former pirate has to help save him.
There is lots of political intrigue with the different kingdoms, but I just loved Lesto and Shamal and their banter and they were just perfect for each other. I stayed up way to late on a work night reading this. Haven't done that in a LONG time. Ran right out and bought book 1. Highly recommend. ...more
In book two, Flax is a newer recruit elf who is crushing on Val. Despite himself, he starts to like Quinn but he still holds out hope. It seems that iIn book two, Flax is a newer recruit elf who is crushing on Val. Despite himself, he starts to like Quinn but he still holds out hope. It seems that in the elf world, someone who is dominant like Val would have 4 or 5 "mates" for lack of a better word. Sort of a loose polyamourous group and it's difficult for elves to be alone and they can pine away. However Flax is sent to "rescue" two elves who've fallen through the veil. He becomes friends with them and they start a relationship but he's so fixated on Val that he can't see what's right in front of his nose.
Hmmm. Is it bad I kind of wanted Val to form a group with the three elves and Quinn? Okay, pervy me. It didn't happen but there is more police work all of the different creatures again which I enjoyed. ...more
This was an okay read if you are looking for some action. A bit of a fast falling in lust/love and I never really got all of the political backgroundThis was an okay read if you are looking for some action. A bit of a fast falling in lust/love and I never really got all of the political background about who is running/organizing who and why, but it kept me entertained and I liked the main characters well enough. ...more
This just did not work for me. It felt disjointed and there seemed to be a lot of local fantasy jargon which I felt was unnecessary given the short boThis just did not work for me. It felt disjointed and there seemed to be a lot of local fantasy jargon which I felt was unnecessary given the short book. you don't need to create new words for everything. I also wasn't sure where it was going. Poor boy joins harem with best friend, gets training, catches eye of prince... that was kind of it. It was a bunch of scenes and yes, he wanted to escape the poverty he was raised in but it just seemed rather pointless.
There is an excerpt from the next book and it jumps forward about 15-20 years.
Anyway, some may like this and want to follow the story, but for me it just didn't catch my attention or interest. Sorry. ...more
I really enjoyed this and there are two more books but I know they separate in the other books until they get themselves together. Not sure I want toI really enjoyed this and there are two more books but I know they separate in the other books until they get themselves together. Not sure I want to go through the separation phase. :-) Even though I know it's not permanent, I have to be in the mood. I really liked the world and I love the cover, so I'm sure some day I'll get back to the rest of their stories. ...more
I kind of loved this against my will. These two little psychopaths should be on that show The World's Child Killers where their reign of terror is revI kind of loved this against my will. These two little psychopaths should be on that show The World's Child Killers where their reign of terror is revealed. Yet, the author managed to separate out their dirty deeds which they only did to earn money and stay alive (when they weren't killing people for revenge) and OMG, how filthy they must have been 24/7. It's kind of a co-dependent relationship with Gabriel keeping "Drake" alive in the city and showing him the tricks, while Drake manages their money and makes sure they have fuel, the rent is paid and that when Gabriel goes into his psychotic breaks that he takes care of him. There is much wanton violence which should have made them revolting "heroes", yet I was cheering for them to get away. So I'm very conflicted. I feel like the upstanding law-abiding citizen in me should have been horrified, but the romantic in me was firmly on their side. Sigh. But I couldn't stop reading and I enjoyed every minute of it....more
The other say it much better than I will. Took me a long time to read this but I really enjoyed it. Kind of dark but with enough humour to have you chThe other say it much better than I will. Took me a long time to read this but I really enjoyed it. Kind of dark but with enough humour to have you chuckling now and then. I also liked that Crane wasn't "perfect". Sometimes his temper got the better of him and he had his own demons.
Huh. Guess I better get my act together and read the rest of them. :-) Late to the party as usual. ...more
This was okay but felt like a bit of a set-up for more or else that I should have known more about Dark's history. I guess it didn't stick with me becThis was okay but felt like a bit of a set-up for more or else that I should have known more about Dark's history. I guess it didn't stick with me because I could't really remember much that happened and I only read it a couple of weeks ago. Not bad, but could have been more. ...more
I liked this but I felt there was a bit of a superficial level to it. I never quite got the point of the hunt and I sometimes felt as lost as Eadric.I liked this but I felt there was a bit of a superficial level to it. I never quite got the point of the hunt and I sometimes felt as lost as Eadric. I did enjoy the type of wolves, that they were more wild than traditional shifters, they slept in a pile in their wolf form. So that was different than most shifter stories. Cadeyrn's patience with Eadric was sweet but they spent a year together getting to know each other but it's just glossed over. It's a short read and I enjoyed it but it's not something I would likely go back to. ...more
This was a cute sequel to the other book with hardcore drinker Axle figuring out his life with Puck's brother Foster. I did find Axle's turn around prThis was a cute sequel to the other book with hardcore drinker Axle figuring out his life with Puck's brother Foster. I did find Axle's turn around pretty quick from being a total dick to decent guy rather fast, but I guess we can blame it on fae influence. The end jumped about 4 years and you are just told certain things happened, I would have liked to have more info about that period, but it was cute. ...more
Kind of a different take on the North Pole with more of a porny bent to it. It was interesting to see the elves as little sex machines and to3.5 stars
Kind of a different take on the North Pole with more of a porny bent to it. It was interesting to see the elves as little sex machines and to see Lars and Rudy take it as an open relationship which you don't see often in m//m. This is totally my issue and superfical, but the idea of flavoured spunk was lovely but I have a deathly (not literally, I'm not allergic) to peanut butter which was Lars. The idea of mixing peanut butter with cinnamon (Rudy) was so-off-putting, I nearly had a gag reflex just reading it. That is weird and just me, but it was a fact none-the-less. Why not fruit cake? :-)...more
This was a cute take on the Emperor's New Clothes with just a hint of court intrigue I wouldn't hThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
This was a cute take on the Emperor's New Clothes with just a hint of court intrigue I wouldn't have minded reading more of. Florian is preparing for the big summer festival and has lost his enthusiasm. It seems he gives off the image of a rather dim fool in order to protect himself from whomever killed his parents. As he complains of his boredom to his tailors, and he reveals his most trusted adviser lied to him, the tailors suggest a suit made of the "cloth of virtue" which only those telling the truth can see.
Florian thinks this will be a great idea to see who will tell him the truth, that's he's negative, however as the day goes on, he becomes more and more discouraged as no one dares speak the truth. Finally during the big parade, he's getting more and more annoyed and sees the gardener Adem and asks him how he likes his suit. When Adem is bold enough to tell the truth, Florian is shocked and pleased.
As I said, there are hints of court intrigue and Florian's true desire to step forward and be a proper leader. I would have liked to see the story go on to explore this. It's not truly a romance, Florian has a favourite and he feels guilty to putting all his courtiers in the position of lying to him, but he's caught up in a game that as emperor he can't get out of. So he's not a bad guy, just struggling to continue on a path he doesn't enjoy. You know next to nothing about Adem except that he is from a working class family. There is the indication at the end that he and Florian will become a couple, but the story seemed to be more about Florian's personal struggles in his role, than a romance or HEA for any of the characters.
If you like fantasy stories set in a historical time period I think you'll enjoy it. It's not extremely graphic, the emphasis is on Florian and his frustration with the sycophants around him than on a romance. I would love to read more about Adem and Florian and see them tackling the issue of possible assignation and Florian becoming the real emperor....more
If you like your stories with a rich sense of sights and sounds and textures, this is the story fThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
If you like your stories with a rich sense of sights and sounds and textures, this is the story for you. Nikos is at a formal ball, when to everyone’s shock, the rulers announce that he has struck a deal with the vampires, allowing them to live in the catacombs below the city. Vampires are knowing for attacking and killing humans, so Nikos is not sure how this can possibly work, however when the ruler speaks…
Before long he is tracked down by Rune, a vampire with an aptitude for smug innuendo. It’s soon clear that Nikos and Rune have had a relationship of sorts (which seems to have started by Nikos trying to kill Rune) and despite knowing better, he has trouble resisting Rune’s allure. Before long they are sneaking off to a bedroom in the palace Nikos decides to go for it, even knowing it’s probably a mistake. Although after sex, perhaps Rune’s smug attitude is a bit of a mask to hide his real feelings.
As I said, the rich work created here is very much a large part of the story, especially the sense of smell, where Nikos can smell the dead and how that mixes with his own powers. My biggest complaint if you will, is what exactly a necromancer does and how he became one. He says that most lovers don’t want to be with him because of his connection to the grave, but I wasn’t sure exactly how that fit. A few more details of the background of Rune and Nikos would also have been welcome. Trying to piece it together I’m not sure I got the proper view of it. However this is a short that takes place over a few hours as they reunite, so you aren’t going to get much more than you do. It’s worth a read if you like lush vampire stories....more
This was a sweet little fantasy romance, although I found the end smacked of insta-love, which IThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
This was a sweet little fantasy romance, although I found the end smacked of insta-love, which I didn’t love.
The blurb pretty much explains it. The two men are dueling, when a flash of light causes Kaelys to mis-strike and he nearly kills Raein, however healers are able to keep him alive, and he rests at Kaelys’ house to recover. They discuss whether the flash was an attempt on Raein’s life, or some other nefarious plot. Raein may be a Baron, but his family lost their fortune and horse farm, and he needs the money to buy a small piece of land. Kaelys is the son of the Emperor, but his father insists he make his own way, and needs the winnings to buy some property where he will raise half-horse/half-unicorns.
However to throw a wrench in the mix the two find themselves attracted, and they know that can’t go well as they will surely have to have a rematch for the yearly championship. How can you concentrate on winning when you are attracted to your opponent?
It’s an interesting world, where despite Raein’s poverty, he has expensive clothes and jewelry, as a large part of winning the duel appears to be how you are dressed. If you aren’t up to snuff, you don’t win. Or as often. However there are also different species. Raein is small with purple hair, Kaelys is large and has red eyes and fingernails that will form claws if not trimmed. This was where I was left wanting a bit more world building. How do the species mix? Obviously Kaelys’ father rules over everyone, but the logistics of it weren’t clear.
Then when a solution presents itself, there is a declaration of love, although at first Raein is cautious that maybe it’s just love. One bout of sex though leads to mutual declaration. I get that it’s fantasy (they ride unicorn stallions to deliver the mail), and believe that the gods put them together for a reason, but there is fate and there is insta-love. So I would have preferred they just leave it as “we are fated to be together” rather than “I love you”. But others won’t mind that so much, it just kind of disappointed me at the end.
It’s a lovely written story though, with lots of descriptions of the world, and some alternative relationships, including same-sex marriage and polyamoury depending on the species. I just would have liked a bit more background and a slower relationship conclusion....more
I'm only not giving it 5 because there is so much more I want to know. The author promises more to come. I was totally caught up in the story4.5 stars
I'm only not giving it 5 because there is so much more I want to know. The author promises more to come. I was totally caught up in the story and it's such a nice long one with lots of rich detail. There are also some amazingly funny lines, and Ash is a total dick, who manages to redeem himself. Definitely worth the time it takes to read. Super job on interpreting the picture. ...more
It seems to be the month of the dragon, but I thoroughly enjoyed this short story, even though IThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
It seems to be the month of the dragon, but I thoroughly enjoyed this short story, even though I think there was so much more that could have been added. It's set in an alternative reality where dragons presence among humans is "normal". The biggest joy in this story however was Grunk. He's just kind of surly, hates that he has to do this new job for the council and it's his little internal dialogue like being hopeful when he sees Kyfan sitting in the office that maybe they've found someone else for the job and he can get out of it. Or his shock and incomprehension of the fact that Kyfan hasn't shifted in decades and has never really flown, because Grunk can't fathom that kind of life for a dragon and he's determined to right it immediately.
It's typical Sean Michael in that you have the strong dominant type male, with the smaller nervous virginal bottom, but that is part of why I enjoy this particular author, so if that's what you are in the mood for it's a good choice. So while I thoroughly enjoyed the relationship between the two, watching Kyfan who was "old" for someone to have found their heart-mate realize that despite being odd for a dragon, someone loved him, there was so much more that could have been fleshed out.
Why was Grunk in trouble with the council? Was it just his surly attitude? What about Kyfan's background and his current conflict with his supervisor who has been jealous of Kyfan. There was also the process of telling the council about their bonding and what that means. So I was definitely left wanting more of this world, or more of Grunk more or less grudgingly following the rules so they'll stop bothering him. However despite that, I still enjoyed this a great deal and found myself smiling several times through-out, so if you like dragons, this is another good selection this week
This story is quite laden with pop culture references, but if you enjoy that kind of thing, I belThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
This story is quite laden with pop culture references, but if you enjoy that kind of thing, I believe you’ll find the humour quite enjoyable. Hogarth is rescued by Memphis Rook, one of a league of super heroes, however the rescue seems to have caused him to collapse and Hogarth drags the man (mountain?) home to help him. Rook is big and gruff, but seems to have a bit of a soft side you discover. He was kicked out of the Alliance because a child died everyone believed he should have saved.
Hogarth is torn. Rook is so not his type, in fact he used to be the secret lover the closeted leader of the Alliance and is still rather hung up on him, but he can’t deny the attraction. He starts to see the light about his ex, who warns him away from Rook, when he and Rook help in the capture of some criminals only to see the other man take 100% of the credit. However someone is out to get Hogarth, and Rook’s not about to let that happen.
What was interesting here is that pretty much everyone in this universe has super-powers, except it may be a case of being super speedy, and since everyone has super powers, all you can do it get a job as a pizza delivery man. Hogarth himself has tried to join the alliance and has the ability to create new machines, simply by touching another and somehow compelling the parts to create something useful, such as turning a car into a robot or pieces of it into an on-the-fly defibrillator. I liked both Rook and Hogarth. Hogarth is rather flighty and lives off his Grandfather’s royalties for developing the Google search engine. He gets embarrassed and runs off at the mouth. Rook is the typical taciturn reluctant hero, but he’s got a soft-spot and his own special powers.
The villain was a bit stereotypical, but that’s the point of this book really. I read it a bit as you would a comic book or an older-style TV superhero. Coincidence and convenience abound, but it’s meant to be fun and entertain you, not educate. My only thought was that while I enjoyed the pop culture references, many of them a bit older, I wondered how the story would translate for some of my fellow-readers outside of North America. Obviously there are some universal cultural icons, such as the Delorean from Back to the Future, but at times I thought, “I’ll bet a Brit wouldn’t really get that.” I find that we are much more in-tune with each other now thanks to the internet than we were in the past, but perhaps I’m wrong.
Still, if you like something light and entertaining, and can just go with the flow, Hogarth really was a fun character and there is plenty to smile about as you read....more
Ah, the series is starting to pick up now. Our four managed to escape the country, however when tThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
Ah, the series is starting to pick up now. Our four managed to escape the country, however when they arrive at Veyr they are “convinced” to help the man who was originally trying to purchase the sword in the first book. It seems his family will be challenging for the rule of their country and having the special artifacts will help their case. They need a mage and a swordsman to challenge the other house, winning the Gilded Knife and a better chance at taking over the rule. The simultaneous battle between Solister and two fighters and Giovanni against a female mage go poorly until a Giovanni is able to turn things around for them at the last minute.
Now that we have been given the background on each man, it’s moving forward with more of the adventure. While I enjoyed the descriptions of Veyr, the clothing and housing, I thought the author did a great job on the battle. I was caught up in the fight between the mages and Solister’s failing challenge of strength. I like a snarky character and that is how Giovanni wins. He’s not a magician who can conjure lightning bolts like his opponent, but he can trick you and confuse you and that’s how he gets the upper hand.
There is also quite a bit of intrigue as the female leader who solicited their services is not above doing anything to get her way, and when another Chevalier asks to have the four men, she’s more than happy to agree, however her nephew is not thrilled. So what will happen? You doubt she’s being upfront and honest, but …
Also you get to see a bit more about the men and their true personalities. The friendships are coming to the fore whereas at the beginning it seemed more like they banded together out of convenience rather than friendship. There was less sex in this book, only one masturbation scene, and I think it fit. Sometimes I felt the sex in the others was a bit tossed in for erotica purposes, but in this case I didn’t miss that side of the story as I was caught up in the adventure. I wasn’t sure if the series was going to hold my interest, but this book has definitely got me eager to see how things go for them next....more
I enjoyed this story with an unusual creature, but would have liked a bit more background informaThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
I enjoyed this story with an unusual creature, but would have liked a bit more background information at times. Miller lives in his small house, minding his own business, living with the ghosts of the past when his parents died in a fire and he was disfigured. One day something hits his house and starts it on fire, he escapes, but when he realizes someone is inside, he braves the flames to rescue them. Rain extinguishes the fire, and he begins to rebuild his house while nursing the man back to health.
Sasha wakes and is upset by what he’s done and believes he cased Miller’s injuries. When Sasha’s emotions get the better of him, the fires happen. After some time he starts to recover and when Miller hears him singing, he realizes that Sasha is a Phoenix, only Sasha is defective and can not shift from his human form. His family treated him badly and actually abandoned him. He was searching for them when he crashed at Miller’s. There is also the plot of the local Council who want Miller’s property, and demand he send Sasha way, but as the property is outside the Council limits he sends them on their way. On the day they have to go to the village, they are attacked and Miller nearly killed and Sasha let’s fly with the fire.
You don’t get to know too much about the Phoenix’s, and I wanted to get a bit more information about the death of Miller’s parents because given that the Council attempted to kill Miller, I had to wonder if the reason he’d been unable to wake his parents during the fire was because the Council had taken action, but it’s not really discussed further. It was also amusing to see Miller be slightly dominant, much to Sasha’s dismay. But he did what Miller said, including learning to meditate to control his fire. He was a bit like a pouty child at times, with Miller being the sensible one.
If you are looking for a creature that is out of the norm, I don’t think I’ve ever read a Phoenix before, not as such anyway, it’s worth picking up. Miller was a lovely character, a sensible strong man laden with guilt over his parents’ deaths and Sasha helps him through that, and Sasha finds acceptance in Miller he never found in his family....more
The focus in this book is almost exclusively on Casic and his past and relationship with his sistThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
The focus in this book is almost exclusively on Casic and his past and relationship with his sister. Her female lover has found Casic and asked him to help free his sister from a lover who intends to use a mage and a ring to destroy her desire because he fears she is cheating on him. You find out more about Casic and the fact that he and her sister were adopted as teens, but their “father” used their special talents to hire them out as prey for his friends who would hunt them, then a mage would heal them only to do it all over again. Each member of the quartet have a pretty horrific childhood/early adulthood.
However it seems perhaps his sister doesn’t need the assistance her lover thinks she does. In this case, Casic goes undercover as a whore to try to get close to the mage who is hosting a massive gay orgy. Thanks to Giovanni’s spells, he is able to avoid having sex with anyone and manages to destroy the mage. I’m still trying to figure out what the deal is with Casic. I’m not sure if he’s straight, gay, bi or asexual . He seems a bit turned on by the groping he experiences, but it seemed to be a new experience for him. Not sure where that will go.
I’m finding it interesting getting the back-story of the men, and now I suppose we’ll see where it goes. They are on the run again and know that a Chevalier is after them, so an additional challenge to the trouble they seem able to find on their own. There’s not much that happens to push the story forward in this one, it’s more background and has significantly less sex than others, but little pieces are given that I presume will play out in a larger story arc. I know not everyone enjoys the serial nature of stories, and some may find it an interesting way to enjoy a longer story.
This was a rather fun start to a series of four mercenaries, each with their own skillset. The fiThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
This was a rather fun start to a series of four mercenaries, each with their own skillset. The first book gives you the opportunity to meet each man and see their first adventure. The blurb explains who the four men are and their particular talents, but this story is told from the POV of Giovanni, the ‘mage’. It’s not a romance per se, there appears to be no romantic relationship between any of the men and there is some indication that Casic has a lady love somewhere. However they have the type of relationship where Giovanni and Solister carry on a conversation about the pros and cons of taking the latest job while Solister is getting a blow job from a comely young man.
It reminded me of an old-fashioned movie or TV show. There are swords and potions, and some sorcery involved in the magical spear they are searching for. And of course lots of intrigue and double-crosses and a fair bit of bloodshed, but that is rather glossed over without too much detail, but enough. I found it quite fun and it kept me entertained, even if it’s a bit predictable in how it played out.
Each character has specific characteristics which makes it easy to keep them separate in the story, so there’s no melding of four interchangeable characters. The author manages to bring in a bit of understated sarcastic humour as well which makes it fun to read in that it’s all meant to be good fun, not a serious adventure story. You know they’ll all survive to go on and have more adventures another day. You can tell they’ve been together for some time, each one tossing out little barbs about the other abilities or lack there of, but beneath it all respect and camaraderie.
I’m not certain there will be an over-arching romance theme, or if it falls more into the erotic fiction category. The sex is not the main point, it’s not erotica with a bit of adventure thrown in, rather adventure with a bit of sex thrown in. Giovanni seems to be falling into the bi side of things, Solister definitely gay and I guess we’ll see about the other two as the series progresses. If you like a bit of fantasy history, with a dose of magic thrown in for good measure, I think it could be fun series to see the four as they carry out their adventures and have some fun along the way....more
This is less a romance, than a story about family and creating your own family not necessarily thThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
This is less a romance, than a story about family and creating your own family not necessarily through blood but through love. Pryl and Tyler have been together for many years and have grown children with children of their own. It’s the time of Solstice and they are all coming home for the celebration, having moved to far away villages to live their own lives. Tyler has found that the empty next (literally since they live in a tree) very difficult, as family is everything to him. While joyful this children and grandchildren will be home, the joy is tempered by a young woman about to give birth who is dying. She has decreed that Tyler and Pryl will have her child after to raise.
Once the whole brood arrives, Tyler and Pryl decide they should tell the family the entire story of how two very different sprites met and fell in love and how they started their family. It seems that Tyler was an orphan who was taken advantage of by his village and had to escape in order to be with Pryl and their oldest son was found in woods. As I said, this is a story about family more than romance. If you’re looking for hot sprite sex, this is not the book. It doesn’t go beyond a kiss or hug. It’s a very gentle story with the joy of the entire family with all the little ones being back together, along with the squabbles amongst young children at an exciting time of the year.
If I had any niggles, it was that I was interested in finding out more about how they put their family together. They seem to be the kind of couple who kind of collect strays. Their oldest was orphaned when his parents were killed, but there was a passing mention of one of the children being rejected by their own family, and there was the young pregnant woman whose husband had died that they had kind of adopted. So I was curious about the family. It does end several years later as the twins are older with one of their sons coming home with his mate and they announce they are about to have a baby. So I was curious if it was a surrogate situation (both males) , as the other children seemed to come more haphazardly if you will.
Still, it was a very sweet story, but not in the saccharine way. Life was not perfect but they were a family who loved each other unconditionally and made the best of perhaps some less than ideal beginnings. This is the author’s first published story and I’d definitely check out more of her work in the future. The sympathetic characters expressing a long-term love and commitment were nice to read and a change from hormone driven young love....more
I am a fan of all things related to Greek myths, and while not specifically stated that this is tThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
I am a fan of all things related to Greek myths, and while not specifically stated that this is the setting, using a Minotaur pretty much makes it clear the time period. The aspects of the story that didn’t mesh with that time period kept distracting me. Dymas has been told that he will be the chosen sacrifice to the Minotaur in one year, and during that time he goes to a “training” institute where he will learn how to prepare himself for death. He meets Martin (known as Mouse) on his first day and they forge a friendship that eventually turns to love. However they don’t go “all the way”, forming a pact that once they are both in heaven (Mouse is the next sacrifice after Dymas), they will then consummate their love.
On the day of Dymas’ sacrifice, he takes his goat Nathanial with him in hopes it will please the Minotaur. Once he meets, the creature is a bit mystified by the goat and Dymas, but before long they are getting “friendly” and the creature agrees to let Mouse live the next month and he will join them in their bed forever.
Okay, the names distracted me. Save for Dymas, the names were Martin, David and Nathanial (who happened to be a female goat). I’m pretty sure that Martin and Nathaniel were not ancient Greek names. And also given that Dymas was at the training centre for one year before his sacrifice, he meets Mouse on day one, but Mouse is to be sacrificed after him. And then what will happen now that the Minotaur has two men, is he just going to continue killing the others? What was the point? Was he raping them as rumour had it? I was left with far too many questions. Even bigger was reference to sky gods and going to live with the sky gods after death, whereas in Greek mythology all the dead go to the underworld, not a heaven in the clouds. There aren’t sky gods unless you count god of the sun Apollo. So I was quite distracted by the presented mythology. Perhaps if there hadn’t been the veneer of ancient Greece and it was just made up completely it would have worked, but Argos and Minotaur scream Greece.
Readers unfamiliar with Greek mythology or history may not find this as much of a problem as I did. There isn’t really a typical HEA. Dymas goes from professing his love of Mouse, to the next day gladly surrendering to the Minotaur and declaring he loves him as much as Mouse after one bout of sex. I’m afraid this just didn’t work for me as everything was just glossed over too much for me to truly enjoy it and I can’t recommend it to Greek myth fans....more
In this next installment of the story, it’s Giovanni, the mage’s turn. I’m still sure if he’s reaThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
In this next installment of the story, it’s Giovanni, the mage’s turn. I’m still sure if he’s really a mage or more of a magician, but none-the-less he has been called back to the north by a friend who asked for help. After many weeks of traveling they arrive at the frozen city where it is explained that his friend wants the group’s help to steal a valuable artifact. The current owner is Giovanni’s old master, who took advantage of him as a young boy sexually in exchange for teaching him to be mage.
His friend also has a new apprentice who has managed to bind a fox spirit’s soul to a human body, and in exchange for experiencing human pleasure he offers Giovanni one wish. Giovanni is forced to endure his old master’s attentions once more as part of the plan, then gets his revenge using the fox spirit after the artifact is recovered.
I was very interested in the fox spirit and I wouldn’t mind seeing him show up again. Maybe because he reminded me of a kitsune with a tail and an interesting tattoo. The story just really gives you a background of Giovanni’s life, the place where he grew up and I suppose what he was escaping when he went off and became a mercenary. The artifact itself, which had interesting capabilities seemed to be less important to the story than merely a mechanism to bring all four men together. I was sorry that while Giovanni was with his master we didn’t get to see the actual stealing of the artifact as the aftermath made it sound like a rather exciting battle.
I know the next story is the background of another member of the group. I am enjoying the adventure part of the stories, and so far the sex has all been purely erotica, and in some cases, used more by people to assert their power over them, than truly reciprocal pleasure. We shall see if down the road there are HEAs for the men or if it will remain an erotic adventure series....more