I’m going to be completely honest, I didn’t really want to read this book. When I w...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
I’m going to be completely honest, I didn’t really want to read this book. When I was browsing Less Than Three Press’ Coming Soon page, I came across The Oracle’s Hatchling and wanted to read it ASAP. Unfortunately, it was book two in The Oracle series and when I saw that book one, The Oracle’s Flame, was ménage I almost, almost said forget it… but the second book was just so tempting so I took the plunge and I read this one.
It’s based around how the Oracle saw the world consumed with greed that turns into disease. The world was sick and it was all caused by a corrupt false king. That’s where Dragon comes in. A newly made Dragon of Fire, he has one of the highest positions in the Monastery and the Oracle sends him on a mission to protect the prince before the false king kills him. Just days into his mission, however, he’s brought onto a pirate ship where he meets the twins Shev & Shov, where more than just attraction develops between them. What’s Dragon supposed to do when he finds himself falling for both twins especially since neither of them know why he’s really on the ship?
Now, I’ll freely admit that I actually enjoyed this one. I absolutely adored the world and loved the idea around the Oracle and her efforts to not only save the world but to make her people happy. It’s a sweet tale about finding that missing part of yourself. We see that in the way Shev and Shov take to Dragon so quickly and their desire to make him part of their little love nest.
I really liked that this story revolved around finding the missing Prince. It’s obvious who the prince is but it’s still fun to see Dragon war with himself over his wish to have Shev and Shov but to also do his duty and protect a prince he still hasn’t officially met. Where Shev is the mischievous and adventurous twin, Shov is more for comfortable in the kitchen. Dragon is like that connection between the two twins because he’s able to be adventurous with Shev but also laid-back with Shov.
As I said, it’s a sweet tale about finding that person that completes you and taking that final step to embrace it. While I enjoyed it, I did have some issues. Mainly, I felt like the story was too short. I didn’t really feel a connection between the three characters and I didn’t feel like I understood the world that Dragon came from. Also, I was a little sad that we didn’t get to see the missing prince take back the throne from the false king. However, even with that, there’s something about this author’s writing I really enjoyed that made me want to keep reading.
In the end, I still liked the story. It was a short, sweet read that passed the time for a little bit. I’m looking forward to reading more by this author and seeing where she goes with this series. A word of caution, though, this story contains some incest (although briefly) but readers should be aware that Shev and Shov are twins and they’re also lovers who want to make Dragon their third.(less)
Angelo is soul bound to his Broodmaster Ardoin Baptiste, which means that whatever Ardoin wants Angel...moreThis review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.
Angelo is soul bound to his Broodmaster Ardoin Baptiste, which means that whatever Ardoin wants Angelo to do, Angelo must do it whether he wants to or not. Now Ardoin wants Angelo to take out Tallen, someone who’s poaching from Ardoin’s territory. What Angelo thought would be a simple job turns into much more when he learns about Dulce, Tallen’s pet, who’s much more than he seems to be. As the night unravels, Angelo learns the truth of why Ardoin sent Angelo on that mission.
When I read the blurb for this story, I was intrigued. I thought it would be something suspenseful, maybe with a little violence, but ultimately with a romantic subplot. Unfortunately, this was the kind of story that was nothing like that. I’m not going to lie, this was a struggle for me to get through. It had a lot of factors that I don’t generally read because I don’t like them and had I known even some of these from the blurb, I probably wouldn’t have picked this story. Also, I find it semi ironic that the title of the LT3 collection is “Proud to be a Vampire” since Angelo didn’t seem like he was proud of being a half-breed at all.
I won’t go into a lot of details about it because I think one’s feelings towards this story will be based on their owns tastes. I will say that this book doesn’t have any romance, not even as a subplot (although some might disagree with my opinion of that). To make it worse, I didn’t quite understand the book at all. I couldn’t get a read on Angelo, who he was, his true feelings, what he is because he would say one thing and then his actions would totally contradict what he’d say, such as his ‘hatred’ for Ardoin and his claims that Ardoin ‘rapes’ him yet when he was with Ardoin, he was like a cat in heat. Actually, when Angelo was with anyone he was like a cat in heat, which I think that makes him half incubus? I’m not quite sure, to be honest. There was no one around off limits to Angelo sexually and I think that was one of the reasons I couldn’t connect with him because he was such a slut and because there was just too much sex for me.
This one had a lot of potential. The world was intriguing but I think there was too much time spent on who Angelo was fucking and not enough time spent on developing the characters and the world. There’s also the fact that this story doesn’t really go anywhere. I had at least expected something to change by the end but where Angelo and Ardoin are in the beginning (with Angelo hating Ardoin with a passion) is exactly where they are in the end. So, Angelo goes through all these situations, having to hunt, kill and fuck people but yet, by the end, nothing changes. This just wasn’t my type of story. I wanted to enjoy it but it had too many elements that I don’t like reading about and a world that wasn’t explained enough to hold my attention. With that said, I think readers should consider reading it anyway. My tastes may be different from others and I don’t want a reader to miss out on a book that they could potentially love even if I did not like it.(less)
This is the story about Prince Hroald dreading the New Year because of the family curse he must partak...moreThis review can be found at The Armchair Reader.
This is the story about Prince Hroald dreading the New Year because of the family curse he must partake in. On the eve of the New Year, Hroald is sulking when Einarr, Hroald’s twice removed cousin, tries to turn his frown upside down. Intending to indulge himself in one last desire, Hroald spends the night with Einarr. Unfortunately, the next morning things become strained when Hroald fights with his mother over Einarr. Einarr doesn’t quite know what’s going on except that Hroald has given up his rights as Crown Prince and he thinks it’s because of him. Upset over this, Einarr tries to find Hroald to set things straight… Einarr soon realizes the real reason Hroald has disappeared so unexpectedly.
This is one of those stories that had a lot of potential but didn’t exactly live up to it. While the concept is very intriguing and the world it is set in is interesting, there are a lot of loose ends regarding everything. The characters are interesting but they are very dense in characterization so we don’t know much about them. I couldn’t figure out if Einarr and Hroald have been holding a torch for each other for years or if this was just a spur of the moment emotion they both embraced for a night and then realized they wanted to continue. I liked Einarr, though, because of his real concern and worry over Hroald and Hroald’s position as Crown Prince. Hroald, on the other hand, I had a hard time connecting with. He used Einarr as a scapegoat and I couldn’t figure out if he was really sorry over that or not.
I enjoyed the story but I think the biggest issue is the length of it. Since it is so short, there really is no backstory, development or depth to what happens. What there is, however, is very entertaining and I liked what the family curse was and ultimately how Hroald tells Einarr of the curse and Einarr’s acceptance of it. I’d have really enjoyed this story had it been longer and if we had gotten more of a feel about the curse, the feelings (how/when they developed) between Einarr and Hroald and how their relationship can withstand what Hroald’s new life will be about.
Overall, this was an okay short story. It’s intriguing but also frustrating that it wasn’t fleshed out to its full potential. I’d have enjoyed this one more if the characters and the world had been more developed. What there is, though, is entertaining because it was a bit different than normal family curses especially for how it is used (or will be used) by the royal family.(less)
Auction, episode two of The Flesh Cartel and the end of season one, picks up right where episode one,...moreThis review can be found at The Armchair Reader.
Auction, episode two of The Flesh Cartel and the end of season one, picks up right where episode one, Capture, leaves off. Where Mat and Dougie just finished being processed into the slave facility, they are now being held there. Beaten, raped and tortured, both Mat and Dougie are struggling with their new lives with nothing to wear and nothing to sleep on and the constant threat of more abuse. While Mat is still a fighter, he’s losing the strength and energy to fight but every time something happens to Dougie, he gains back that heated anguish and rage he possesses at what’s happening to them. In turn, Dougie is complacent and obedient being a “hole” because he knows it’s less painful to accept things. While Dougie is ashamed of not being brave enough to stick up for his brother, Mat is ashamed and humiliated into giving in to his abusers. After undergoing days of beatings and rapes, things change when they are outfitted for the Auction. With the threat of being separated, the Madame gives Dougie the option of being sold together or losing his brother forever. Dougie knows this is his time to save Mat, in the only way he can, even if it means torturing Mat himself to keep them together.
As with the first one, this book is intense, powerful and well-written. Where there were left over questions before, we get some answers this time. We know why the brothers are there and we get a hint into how they were selected to become prime stock for the Madame’s collection. We also get a more inside look into Nikolai, the mysterious man from the first story. This time, we know he’s looking into the brothers and why he wants them, and ultimately buys them. It’s interesting to see the dynamics of the process, how the brothers were brought in, how they’re treated and how they’re eventually manipulated into what the Madame wants them to do so their price becomes higher. Dougie is the pretty twink while Mat is the dangerous thug. They are polar opposites but together they are beautiful and the Madame realizes that and utilizes that to her satisfaction.
I was once again sucked into this world. While in Capture the violence was often experienced second-hand by Mat, this one we get the full details of a lot of what happens first-hand. We experience, in those moments, what the brothers are thinking and how they’re coping and when they break. Granted, there are some scenes that are experienced second-hand still but it’s no less powerful because, while one brother is being tortured or raped, the other brother has to physically see it so it’s just as intense. The first half of the book takes place over a few days and focuses being held in their cells. The second half went by very quickly because there’s anticipation and anxiety of what will come next. I knew something far beyond just the cruelty would occur and I was right but waiting for that to happen was torture in itself. It left me hanging on the edge of my seat, wondering if there would be a little happiness at some point and for one sweet moment there is… and then it becomes extreme and brutal and almost made me want to cry because of who does it and how it’s played out.
It’s a gripping tale that doesn’t let up, you’re thrust right back in to the cruel and harsh world Mat and Dougie were forced into. They’re still treated like dogs, humiliated and inserted with different types of objects but now they’re also treated like real slaves, at the mercy of anyone that wants them. Mat gets more abuse than Dougie but only because Dougie has been granted some protection to keep his price up. Everything these boys go through is heartbreaking but my sympathy will always go to Mat first because he’s so strong but reduced to such a lowly thing whereas Dougie can easily adapt to being a slave, it’s harder for Mat because of who is.
This was a captivating and fascinating story, one I couldn’t put down once I started. It leaves off right after Dougie had to make his sacrifice, so to speak, but that’s to be expected. Everything felt charged and heated. My heart clenched all over again for these boys but as with the first episode, I’m still left with a lot of questions about why they were selected and what will happen next. I’ll be eagerly looking forward to the next one but the wait might possibly kill me! For those that liked episode one, you’ll definitely like episode two. It’s just as dark, gritty and harsh as the first.(less)
This book tells the tale of Mat, an MMA fighter, trying to support him and his brother and Dougie, an...moreThis review can be found at The Armchair Reader.
This book tells the tale of Mat, an MMA fighter, trying to support him and his brother and Dougie, an inspiring Ph. D student, being taken in the middle of the night and required to withstand numerous brutal and horrifying actions to stay alive. They’re taken by multiple men, raped, abused and then forced to cooperate in being processed to become slaves. Mat is dangerous but Dougie is his weakness and his kidnappers know it. If he doesn’t cooperate, Dougie’s dead but Dougie’s too scared to do anything but endure their torture. This is the story of two brothers taken and forced into a new brutal world with no answers as to why they were targeted.
This was a great book. It’s powerful, intense and well written. It’s wonderfully brutal and captivating. I was sucked into the story from the beginning and fascinated with the play of events. It’s a great start to a new serial that’s sure to keep me on the edge of my seat. We get almost immediately thrown into violence, rape and kidnapping but we also get to know Mat and Dougie a bit, too. I winced a few times over what was happening and my heart clenched at what these boys went through.
Some of their abuse is told instead of shown so it’s not as brutal it could have been but then some of it is told in excruciating detail that lets you know just how much pain these boys are in. They’re treated like dogs, microchipped, chained and, in Mat’s case, caged. They’re forced to perform sexually, humiliated into orgasms, inserted with all types of objects and tested how much they want to live by requiring Mat to rim Dougie to stay alive. It’s intense and dark but not as much as I was expecting. The fact that Mat is gay while Dougie is straight is heartbreaking because Dougie gets most of the abuse and assault. I felt horrible for these guys, it’s shocking what they go through but I couldn’t stop reading once I started.
My main problem, though, is that I had a ton of questions from the start that weren’t answered which is understandable considering it’s a serial but also kind of frustrating. Still, I was plagued with these questions! It kept bugging me why Dougie was targeted, why would they stalk him, put so much effort into learning about him and Mat’s schedule. It seems like a lot of work for just one guy when there are numerous street kids out there that seem easier to obtain. Beyond that, I felt like, at times, the blurb gave more information than the actual story did. I also had trouble with the POV changes. In my converted copy, there was no indication that it switched from Mat to Dougie, or vice versa, which got me confused and pulled me slightly out of the story several times because then I had to go back and reread a few passages.
This book gives a hint of the workings of an underground slave auction. I’m curious where it heads and I really can’t wait to see how it all plays out and what Nikolai (who’s only mentioned in the beginning) has to do with it. There’s also no romance but I’m curious if one will develop (oh man, I hope one develops!).
In the end, this was a wonderful start to a new serial. Definitely recommended to those brave enough to read or those looking for something dark and gritty to pass the time.(less)
It's honestly hard for me to rate this one. I admit that I really did enjoy it. Okay, I loved most of it but sometimes I felt overwhelmed wit...more3.5 stars
It's honestly hard for me to rate this one. I admit that I really did enjoy it. Okay, I loved most of it but sometimes I felt overwhelmed with the unnecessary angst and the cowardice actions.
I'm not generally fond of ménages because I don't feel like the emotions are equal amongst the three main characters. With this story, there were times when it seemed like Liam, Kel and Seth were sharing the love equally and then times when it seemed like their feelings weren't the same as before. It was very contradictory and frustrated me a bit because I would think Liam loved Seth and Kel the same way only to learn that Liam actually loves Kel more.
Even with that, I was drawn into the story almost from the start. I enjoyed the pseudo-incest and the ex-lover theme of the plot. I even liked the fact this story was told solely from Liam in first person. The angst is very heavy and the situation tears Liam up, inside and out, but the way it was told was phenomenal. The way Liam and Seth's first relationship together was rehashed was interesting and how Kel insinuates himself into their renewing relationship was kind of cute and totally hot. Honestly, Kel was my favorite character out of the three. He had this sexy, innocent act going on that I really enjoyed when mixed with his stubbornness.
I was really enjoying this story but the more it progressed the more I got frustrated. There was a lot of sex to begin with and a lot of 'I love you's' thrown around from all three of the MCs. What really grated on my nerves, though, was the fact Liam would forget about the third guy when he was with the second one. For instance, he'd say he and Seth were over and done with, be having sex with Kel and be completely into Kel claiming his love, never once thinking of Seth. Then the next day he'd be with Seth, claiming he loves Seth and completely forgetting about Kel. Like WTF? How can you be in love with a person so much to the point you burn at their touch and your thoughts are consumed with them every other second of the day except when you're talking or with the OTHER person you're in love with. It made no sense to me at all. And it aggravated me. On top of that, I found Liam's go to move of just leaving with no warning absolutely childish and annoying.
Even with all that said, I can't deny I enjoyed this story. The story engaged me and the trauma and chaos that happened to Liam was something I loved to read about. Even with its faults, the story was good. (less)
One of the reasons I love RJ's stories is because she can always make me feel so much emotion with just a few words.
In The Decisions We Make it's no d...moreOne of the reasons I love RJ's stories is because she can always make me feel so much emotion with just a few words.
In The Decisions We Make it's no different. I fell in love with Jamie and Daniel when they first met as children and Daniel was afraid of getting his clothes dirty. The relationship these two develop over the years, being foster brothers, is sweet and touching. They've become best friends and they confide in each other when they have issues. Daniel is quiet, a bookworm and an amazing pianist. Jamie is the opposite of Daniel. He's brash, full of energy and a jock. He's a prankster and always drags Daniel into his jokes, which always end up back-firing. Which made for some very funny times.
The story revolves around these two coming to turns with their feelings for each other and the problems, emotionally and physically, that arise from being gay so young. They have to accept their love for each other and that there are homophobes in the world who will hurt them. It's a very touching story, one that I absolutely adored. It was hard not to feel some type of emotion for these two and what they go through together. I loved the the relationship this family had, though. The way they all came together when one of them is in trouble or hurt is very sweet. Especially since they all accepted Daniel, an orphan, so easily into their mix and made him feel like part of the family. It was nice.
The only reason I can't give this five stars (even though it is surely a five star read) is the editing. I felt like there was none. Throughout the whole book I found mistake after mistake and it kept throwing me out of the story. There were a lot of inconsistencies that a beta reader or an editor should have pointed out. I know this is a self-published story, but considering the readers are paying for it, I would have liked a more easy flowing story and that could have been accomplished by a bit of self-editing at least. That's my only complaint.
In the end, I really did love the story. The editing might have thrown me off but it didn't stop me from loving Jamie and Daniel and hoping there's more of their story to come. Recommended.(less)
I'm always skeptical starting a m/f book, whether YA or adult, because I'm afraid I'll hate the heroine since I'm not overly fond of females character...moreI'm always skeptical starting a m/f book, whether YA or adult, because I'm afraid I'll hate the heroine since I'm not overly fond of females characters.
With Clary, I ended up liking her, thankfully. It helps she's a ginger and I have a soft spot for gingers. But aside from that, she was a typical teenage girl. Bratty and snappish at times but still likable in how she's willing to risk her life to find her mom. Jace is entirely different in how he's pretty much closed himself off to being weakened by emotions such as love and caring, at least that's what he projects. He's probably one of the most arrogant characters I've ever read and he's only like 16 years old. I liked the fact that Clary shakes things up for Jace, though, she causes a lot of problems that lead to a lot of danger. I loved the secondary characters, too. Alec, Magnus, Isabelle, Simon and Luke were all interesting and the parts they played in the book.
I'm not going to go into details about the plot but I will say this story has a lot of suspense. Because of the dilemma Clary is in and what she's learning she's put into a lot of dangerous situations that result in injuries for pretty much everyone but her. I loved the world she's just now becoming a part of. It was fascinating and intriguing whenever a new Downworlder would be told about or would show up. There are a few intense encounters that had me wanting to bite my nails and a few shocking moments when all I could do was stare in disbelief. I'm still in disbelief, actually, and desperately wanting to know if something is true or not.
While I enjoyed the book a lot, I still had some problems. The beginning was a bit slow for me. It didn't catch my attention right away but once I read for a while I got suckered in. Another thing was I thought Clary was more than a bit selfish. She didn't generally think about how her actions affected other people. Then there's the fact that whenever she put other people in danger, she never actually helped to save them, just kind of stood there and let things happen. The only time she fought was when she was actually being attacked. That irked me because people could have died and it seemed like she'd have just let it happen.
Anyway, I enjoyed the story very much. I love the world, the characters and the direction the story is going in. While this ends on a semi-cliffhanger, it is not so severe that you don't have questions answered. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series ASAP. (less)
Wow, this is was intense read. Well written and captivating, I experienced a wide range of emotions and felt at times like I was the one being deceive...moreWow, this is was intense read. Well written and captivating, I experienced a wide range of emotions and felt at times like I was the one being deceived and lied to. I was sucked into the story faster than I thought possible and it took all I had to put the book down to get some sleep.
First and foremost, this is a very dark, complex epic fantasy that's only just beginning and not for the faint of heart. I have no doubt as this epic story continues that every dark and horrible event will happen but I'm also hoping along with those terrible things will lie something beautiful and magical about, and in, these stories.
Anaxantis while a weak, kind and fragile young boy in the beginning of the story grows up and becomes almost the exact opposite. He becomes a young man who's strong, cunning, hateful, cruel and cold at times but still has a sense of honor and caring about him in regards to certain matters. Ehandar, Anaxantis' half-brother, changed as well. He was arrogant, mean and dismissive in the beginning but turns into essentially a slave by the end having fallen for the deceit and web of half-lies Anaxantis created to act out his revenge on the hurtful acts Ehandar did to him. The love shared between the half-brothers, while true and honest, is not so simple. It's confusing and twisted and based a lot on hurt, deception, abuse, revenge, hate and remorse. It's intriguing while at the same time sad and astonishing. Sad because their roles are reversed and you get a taste of how deep Ehandar's love is for Anaxantis and just how unstable Anaxantis is at times.
From the beginning the brothers are doomed to fail, set up by their father, the king, who thought the two of his youngest sons were essentially useless. The brothers, however, are trying anything in their power to prove their father wrong once they know about their destined failure. With Anaxantis' brains and Ehandar's fighting abilities, you'd imagine they'd make the perfect, formidable pair. Unfortunately, Ehandar is too arrogant to listen to his younger brother and sets events in motion that leads them to where they get to by the end of the book. From there everything in Ehandar's life turns to dust while Anaxantis' becomes everything he desires. He takes to the life of lord governor and becomes ruthless and efficient, anticipating things before they happen and dealing with them accordingly. He makes friends based on usefulness instead of what class they are from and before he knows it, he's become a lord governor that people want to follow. I could write a synopsis about this book and just go on and on and on, writing ever single little thing about this story but that would make for one long review, even though this one is already long. Lol
All you need to know is this: It's captivating. There's a bunch of entertaining characters and interesting places, plans of action and horrible acts. Manipulations, deceits, betrayals, a hint of cruelty and remorse. It's a fantastic read and above all else, it's the start of an epic one. There's more to it and I can't wait to read it. I want to know what happens to Anaxantis and Ehandar and whether or not they get an HEA (which they better or else I'm coming after you, Andrew ;-P). I want to know about all the secondary characters like Hemarchidas, Lethoras, Bortram, Obyann (who's so cute and surly), Arranulf, and Rahendo but most of all, I want to know how Anaxantis handles his family and the battle and whether or not Ehandar will ever retain everything Anaxantis made him lose.
I definitely can't wait for the sequel. It can't come soon enough! Whole-heartily recommended :D (less)
3.5 is more my rating. This book definitely had potential if it were only longer. Forewarning, obviously by the blurb, it's between cousins, no doubt...more3.5 is more my rating. This book definitely had potential if it were only longer. Forewarning, obviously by the blurb, it's between cousins, no doubt they are blood related cousins so it's still considered incest. I have no problem with that but others might.
I thought this was a good story and could have developed into a great one given the chance but as it was, it's too short to have a big opinion on. The only thing I had a problem with besides how short it was, was the constant use of 'Cousin'. Cousin Dan, Cousin Jake, Cousin Dan, Cousin Jake. It just got a bit annoying, imo.
Other than that, if you don't have a problem with kissing cousins and only have a few minutes to spare, it's good enough to pass the time. :D(less)
**spoiler alert** There's things I liked about this book and there's things I didn't like about it. Overall, it's a good book but there's definitely s...more**spoiler alert** There's things I liked about this book and there's things I didn't like about it. Overall, it's a good book but there's definitely some elements in it that aren't suitable for certain people. For instance, there's mild bestiality and mild incest in it. So, forewarning on that.
I liked a majority of the characters. Jack was my favorite and Keallan was my second favorite. Ferran and Savannah were nice, too, but I really, really hated Logan and Aidenock. Aidenock was a douche bag and Logan just didn't appeal to me at all. I know he was under Aidenock's spell and everything but I still didn't like him when he was out of the spell. I loved Keallan and Jack. It's really hard for me not to love a character like Keallan because of what he's been through and the way he looks and Jack helping Keallan and taking the time to push through Keallan's walls to reach his heart even with everything Keallan did to Jack made him my favorite character.
I will be honest and say that this was a four star read for me because I did like the story but it took me so long to get into. I'm talking more than a third of the way in is when it finally dragged me in. This is because Logan and Aidenock annoyed me so much that I couldn't get into the story because of them since almost the whole beginning is about them. When Jack died, though, is when I had to take away another star because that's ultimately when the story started to have less appeal to me and sadly, I was glad it happened towards the end because otherwise I wouldn't have finished it. With Jack dead, I didn't like how it ended at all. I just wanted to scream at all of them and tell them how they could have fixed the problem without all the extra fuss and maybe Jack would have lived.
But aside from that, I was still left with a bunch of questions. Like, what's so special about that particular land and why does it need a Keeper? What is the Keeper supposed to do, anyway? What qualifies someone as a Keeper? Can just any human, or creature, be one? So, while the fantasy was good, there isn't much information on Keepers and since Jack was my favorite character, Keallan my second favorite, I'd like to know these things especially since there are three Keepers now.... I was also kinda disappointed this wasn't a romance since I was under the impression it was going to be (or maybe that was just me that thought that?) but the only romance in it was of a het couple :-( I love my fantasy but I love my m/m romance more and I thought this was going to be both but I was wrong :-/
Overall, this will most likely appeal to fantasy lovers but not to m/m lovers. It was a good book but had I known there were no romance, I probably would have stayed clear of it. (less)