Well, I have to say this book had a lot of things going for it. Lots of banter, some hot guys, lots of tension. It was definitely a fun and sexy read....moreWell, I have to say this book had a lot of things going for it. Lots of banter, some hot guys, lots of tension. It was definitely a fun and sexy read.
After reading this story, it's easy to say Will and Scott have to be one of my top ten favorite couples. Possibly top five. They are both so cute and cocky. The way they both have this impression of the other that is completely off was hysterical to me. The way they hated each other and their nonstop bickering gave me several laughs considering they had these little sparring matches while trying to act like a loving couple. I couldn't stop laughing once they'd start throwing innocent insults towards each other. They both are way more than they appear, though. Each man has their own appeal not just to each other but I think to the reader as well. I know I loved Will because of his soft heart but I also loved Scott because he's cocky and brash. Both men speak their mind and that creates lots of yummy sexual tension between them.
The plot revolves around Will and Scott going undercover as a gay couple in a small private gay community to find the murderer of another loving gay couple. While posing as a pair in love might be easy, or not so easy, for them, staying true to the straight guy persona they both have is a bit more difficult when this small community has a special 'gathering' once a month. Even with the tension of trying to find the murderer, the intensity between Scott and Will sky rockets when their desires for each other becomes more and more noticeable and undeniable. It's interesting to see how these two men who essentially hated each other can grow into such a hot couple while having to deal with everything else the small community has to offer.
While I thoroughly enjoyed the story, there are a few reasons I can't give this book five stars. The epilogue is the main reason. (view spoiler)[It basically leads us to believe everything will start all over. I was actually disappointed with it because now there needs to be a sequel or else I'll be completely pissed. I mean, we went through the whole book finding the killer, learning of his reasons and bringing him to justice and then we learned it was all for nothing? That even though he's been caught he's still going to be doing everything all over again (view spoiler)[and with the help of someone else in the small community that we are to believe is a trusted confidant of the victim??? What the fuck! (hide spoiler)](hide spoiler)] Another thing is I was very uncomfortable (view spoiler)[ with the almost orgies. (hide spoiler)] I understand some things needed to happen but I didn't like them. And I sure as hell didn't like that Will and Scott had to (view spoiler)[ make out with all the other couples OUTSIDE the orgies almost whenever they met up anywhere. (hide spoiler)] It pissed me off. I didn't want to read about that.
The book was very well written except for a few slip ups. There were a few inconsistencies I noticed and one or two scenes where a random head hop would make itself known. It was unexpected because the story was going so well then all of a sudden the scene would start from Scott's POV and switch to Will's within two or three paragraphs without any indication of a scene break.
In the end, I'd definitely recommend this book. While I did have some faults with the story, I believe they were well worth sitting through to be able to read about Will and Scott's adventure towards a happy ending. And, may I say what a delightful happy ending that was for them. I had a huge grin on my face after reading the last chapter (before the epilogue). On a side note, skip the epilogue. It'll only frustrate you. But definitely read it!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
It's not hard for me to say that this series is one of my all time favorite series. Right up there with Mercy Thompson and Kate Danie...more**Spoiler Alert**
It's not hard for me to say that this series is one of my all time favorite series. Right up there with Mercy Thompson and Kate Daniels.
The story picks up a month after the conclusion of Kiss of Snow. The aftermath of the fight between Pure Psy and SnowDancer, the wolves are still trying to get back into the flow of things. The Pure Psy are no longer targeting SnowDancer but they've turned their sights on Councilors Nikita and Anthony, which the changelings provide the necessary protection for when asked. In addition, the wolves are trying to align themselves with the BlackSea pack, which are water-based changelings. They offer their assistance to BlackSea and end up learning about ways to keep the Psy out of human minds. It's fascinating the way this series has developed. Not only are all three races intermingling and working together but the problems keep escalating and becoming more and more dangerous.
While I love the world and the couples and their stories, this one I was very disappointed in, in a lot of ways. For one, this story is about Riaz and Adria. Riaz came home to lick his wounds because he found his mate but this mate, Lisette, doesn't want him because she's happily married. Adria is also home to lick her wounds when she finally ends it with her long time lover, Martin. The two start off as friends with benefits with no strings and gradually grow to love each other. Normally, I'd be fine with this type of plot but I didn't feel a connection at all between them. They jump into bed and they stay that way. I don't feel like they know each other and I don't feel like their love is actually real. Then there's the way it ends. I was really, really disappointed in that. (view spoiler)[I've come to associate Psy/Changeling series with mates in the end. Logical assumption, right? But no, this story veered from that HEA element and had me extremely sad. Riaz already met his mate, I understand that but so did Hawke. Why is it Hawke can have a second mate and not Riaz? Made no sense to me and actually pissed me off because Riaz acted like a mate but there's never that firm bond. Riaz could still one day go back to Lisette if the compulsion became strong enough even though that compulsion isn't there now. It still can be there one day. (hide spoiler)]
Second, this story tried to cover so many things in relation to couples. Not only are we getting Riaz & Adria's story but we're also getting a continuation of Hawke & Sienna and Riley & Mercy's stories mixed in with the ever present Sascha & Lucas scenes. Granted, it was nice to know why we were getting Riley and Mercy's POVs but this was Riaz and Adria's story and all the other POVs that dealt outside of the Psy/Changeling conflicts, just took away from the main romance of the story, which incidentally made me actually feel like Riaz & Adria were a secondary couple instead of the main couple.
Lastly, I'm not fond of love triangles. The way Ms. Singh handled the problem with Riaz, Lisette and Adria didn't appeal to me. Especially when Lisette was 'single' again. I didn't like the fact that Riaz yearned for Lisette and then she came back in the picture. I thought the scenes associated with that were awkward to say the least and didn't really pacify me on the whole 'Riaz chose Adria over his true mate'. Instead it just made me think that Adria would always be second best, the rebound girl.
I have to say, though, that I really enjoyed how much Kaleb was in this book as well as other Arrows. I liked the fact that we are seeing how the Arrows are dealing with everything, their loyalties and how they respond to it all. I love that Kaleb isn't as Silent as he likes to believe and that he's actually obsessed with a certain person. The ending was pure torture because of that last line! But, oh God, I can't wait until the next book! I really love Kaleb, Aden and surprisingly enough Vasic. He can be redeemed! He can! Also, I really hope Bo gets a story one day, too!
Overall, while the world is still fascinating, the main couple's romance didn't do it for me because I felt like we were getting so many other couples' POVs that Riaz and Adria just didn't get the justice they deserved. Then there's the fact my views on Psy/Changeling and mates have completely been crushed into pieces. The other aspects of the story like the trouble Nikita and Anthony are in, Kaleb's mysterious person and the Arrows, Aden and Vasic, was really interesting to me. They made the story appealing when the romance wasn't. I'm still looking forward to the next book. Although I hope it veers off from the fact the last two stories have been mostly romance/sex and brings in more suspense because I just didn't feel like there was much suspense in this story, not like there used to be in previous stories. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I thought this was a great installment to the series. While everything should have been fine and dandy with Katniss and Peeta just winning the Hunger...moreI thought this was a great installment to the series. While everything should have been fine and dandy with Katniss and Peeta just winning the Hunger Games, it soon becomes known that things have just gotten worse and their lives are again going to be shaken up.
I have to say I was shocked with how the story turned out. I wasn't expecting it to go in the direction it went but I liked the way it progressed. We meet a bunch of new people, victors of previous Hunger Games, and we get to revisit Katniss and Peeta's lives which I enjoyed a lot because I love these two.
We get to see more of Gale and District 12 as well as the Capitol and President Snow. I loved Katniss and Peeta just as much in this book as I did in the first one. Gale grew on me a bit more but I still want Katniss to end up with Peeta not Gale! Grrr!
This one wasn't as intense and suspenseful as the previous one but it still had me just as interested. I loved reading about all the new animals the Capitol created and seeing how Katniss and Peeta were affected by them. Plus, I loved Finnick. Absolutely adored him! And I loved Nuts and Volts. They cracked me up. But like the first book, we end up losing some of the characters we grow fond of so be prepared for the inevitable!
This is definitely one of my favorite series! Even if this book ended on a major cliffhanger! I'm just thankful the third book is already out. LOL(less)
I didn't enjoy this story as much as I had thought I would. It's very dense and rushed right from the start so we don't really get to know the charact...moreI didn't enjoy this story as much as I had thought I would. It's very dense and rushed right from the start so we don't really get to know the characters, the full situation or even explore the world especially since this involves an actual goddess. I was a little disappointed with that because the story started out interesting and then kind of fizzled out.
The characters don't really know each other because Justin spends half the time avoiding Peter then the other half being kidnapped so I didn't feel any type of connection between them. The story has so much deceit in it that it started to annoy me since a lot of it on Justin's part was very unnecessary. Then it ends on a cliffhanger which really sucked.
Overall, the story lacked any type of detail I really wanted which dampened my enjoyment of the story. The book still has a certain charm but it definitely wasn't one of Ms. Kell's best. I'll still continuing reading the series, though. (less)
This was an intriguing short story. It contains all those elements that I ref...moreThis review can be found at The Armchair Reader. Spoilers ahead!
This was an intriguing short story. It contains all those elements that I refuse to read. Open relationship, cheating, bittersweet ending? Check, check, check! Honestly, I was shocked I liked this one and in a way, I still don’t, but I think that’s just my natural rejection of those plot elements. I can’t deny, however, that once I started I had to figure out how it all happened.
This book holds a lot of punch for a short story. It starts off by introducing the couple, Mark and Mark. They differentiate the guys by giving nicknames. Marx, is the younger, initially less experienced Mark. While Top Mark is the older, experienced Mark. Over time, Marx gets frustrated with his lack of experience and explores on his own at the blessing of Top Mark. The story, however, is told from Top Mark’s (just Mark for this review) POV. It tells of his reaction to the way their seven year relationship has progressed and ultimately declined. It tells of his realization that something isn’t right, how he figures out some startling revelations of Marx and finally gets to the point where Mark has irreparably damaged the relationship to the point of no return.
This isn’t a hearts and roses type of story. It’s raw and powerful and captivating in a way that you’re hoping it gets better but also dreading the moment you realize it won’t. In a way, you sympathize with Mark because the man gets dumped by a cowardly douche bag. But then while you’re reading, you realize that while Marx grew distant, it’s very likely he did so because he didn’t want a relationship with himself. That’s exactly what happened, in my opinion. Marx changed in attitude and appearance and as he changed, Mark changed to match except Mark was no longer the sexy confident man. He became a domesticated, almost needy man. So, while I felt bad for Mark and hated Marx, I slightly understood why Marx wanted to leave. But I still hated Marx. No one deserves to get strung along and then dumped with not even a ‘See ya later’.
Either way, this story was amazing in the self-reflection it told about. Mark had his life changed and now he’s back to ground zero after giving his heart to a man that he thought would be his forever. It’s real and raw and touching. It’s something I don’t read often but I’m glad I picked this up because it shows that things aren’t always perfect and that sometimes you do have to start from scratch after getting all your preconceptions about a content life shattered into pieces.
My only reservation about the story was the ending. While I can handle the bittersweet ending because of its realism, it just ended. The last scene, after Mark figures out Marx has taken all his things, someone is banging on the door. But who you ask? I don’t know because it ends right before he opens the door. Can I get a nooooooooooooooooooo here?! I was devastated to say the least.
I would desperately love a sequel. Knowing who’s on the other side of the door would be lovely but also Mark getting a little bit of happiness would be even better. Maybe a little cheering up from his best friend, Sydney, is in order here. ;)
Definitely recommended to those brave enough to read!(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)
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)
Wow! I enjoyed the first book, Dirty Kiss, but I loved this one so much more! It's left me speechless, to be honest.
I felt like Cole and Jae grew so...moreWow! I enjoyed the first book, Dirty Kiss, but I loved this one so much more! It's left me speechless, to be honest.
I felt like Cole and Jae grew so much closer in this one. Their relationship is intense and deep and so touching it makes me want to cry sometimes. They obviously love each other so much but their circumstances stop them from taking that final step into full blown life partners. It's heartbreaking. Cole's still the snarky man I fell in love with and Jae is still the caring, but sometimes distant, person he was before. But they still grew and developed. They're more secure in their feelings and their love. I adored the secondary characters but my heart stopped several times when things got too intense and dangerous.
The plot is full of twists and turns. This well written story is face paced and addicting. What I love about this series is that I never really can figure out the mystery. I have my suspicions and while they might be right, I'm led around and made to second guess everything then figure out that I didn't figure out all of it. It's refreshing to have such a complex and intriguing story. I loved that we got to see Cole's family but my heart twisted with what Cole had to go through with them.
My only reservation about the book is that I got confused with the names but these are Korean names so that's understandable. But then there's a cliffhanger! A big one! Gaaaaaaaaaah! Talk about torture!!!
All in all, a fabulous read. I fall more in love with Cole and Jae with each book I read of them. This one kept me up until the wee hours of the morning and I loved every single second of it. I can't wait to read the next one!(less)
Choices, the start of season two of The Flesh Cartel, starts off right where Auction left off...moreThis review can be found at The Armchair Reader.
Choices, the start of season two of The Flesh Cartel, starts off right where Auction left off. Mat and Dougie have been bought and are being moved to their new master. First, Dougie is stripped of almost all his senses, forced into sensory deprivation, he slowly starts to go mad, fearing he’ll lose his mind and they’ll break him. Mat is now the only one subjected to constant torture, abuse and rape while Mat and Dougie wait days before they can finally leave the Madame’s facility. Unfortunately for Mat, their new master, Nikolai, is almost as bad when he forces Mat to endure endless pain throughout his body brought on by drugs. Dougie is given a reprieve when Nikolai treats him like a precious toy. Treating each brother differently – Mat with pain and Dougie with care – he’s training them by giving them choices. But they must remember, choices come with consequences and it’s up to the brothers to decide what type of consequence they’ll receive.
One thing can be said about these authors, they sure know how to weave a captivating tale! Whereas the previous two stories were gruesome and intense, this story was not as bad. It still provided some moments of cruelty and abuse but most of the damage is told rather than shown and all of it through Mat’s perspective and only briefly. It seemed like most of the story is told from Nikolai’s POV and his reactions to the brothers. Whereas he must train Mat for his client, he wants Dougie, covets him it seems like. He’s under the impression when he’s done training the brothers, he’ll sell them and give them a life of contentment, something that they’ll be eager to embrace and take great pleasure in. The brothers obviously disagree but Nikolai is firm in his opinion.
Nikolai is actually a creepy person. He’s adamant he’s not a sadist or even enjoys the work he does, yet he does take great pleasure in seeing the brothers submit, especially Dougie. I find him worse than the Madame, which I didn’t realize was possible until Dougie and Mat arrived at Nikolai’s home, where Nikolai’s true colors are shown and the brothers must make their choices on how they’ll proceed. Mat fights as much as he can, as is his nature, but he’s not very successful. Dougie grows a bit of a spine but then realizes he’s in for pain and quickly reevaluates his situation.
One thing that sucks about this serial is that they literally pick up right where the last one left off. Unfortunately, because of the weeks/months in between each reading and the lack of a recap before the story starts, I was pretty much confused on what was happening in the beginning and why because I couldn’t really remember how it ended. There’s a brief mention of the auction but that didn’t help in reminding me or what exactly Dougie had done to Mat. It took a bit before I was able to recall at least the major pieces (I do have a horrible memory though lol). I won’t deny it’s still a captivating story. I was drawn into it and no matter how much I wanted to stop, I had this compulsion to keep reading. Unfortunately, that compulsion was quickly followed by disappointed when the story actually ended leaving me extremely dissatisfied. I didn’t feel like there was much progress with this segment as there possibly should have been. Considering how much weight episode one and two held, I was expecting something a bit more.
Overall, I liked the story. It’s an alluring read, well-written to the point I didn’t want to stop reading. However, with the way each story is ending, and with this one not feeling like it progressed much, I feel like I’m left with more questions and a slow sense of frustration. With that said, for those who are brave enough and have liked the first season, they’ll enjoy this one as well.(less)
This is a really hard book for me to review. I've been sitting on my feelings for weeks now and I've finally had enough. I'm a HUGE Ty and Zane fan (Z...moreThis is a really hard book for me to review. I've been sitting on my feelings for weeks now and I've finally had enough. I'm a HUGE Ty and Zane fan (Zane more than Ty) but this book... it was an extreme struggle to get into and definitely my least favorite of the series. I feel like Jenn said it perfectly, but here goes. This is my opinion and if you don't like it, tough shit. Write your own damn review. Btw, this contains spoilers.
The first 20% or so were brutal to get through. The flashbacks didn't add much to the story and, in fact, made me put the book down for something else to read. I hate flashbacks with a passion but every once and a while I'll come across a book I don't mind it in because there's a smooth transition between the present day and the past. This book? I felt like I was getting whiplash because it was present, past, present, past, etc. within what felt like pages of each other. It was highly annoying and made me angry, to be honest.
The story in itself is a hot mess. A crap load of inconsistencies I won't even TRY to explain (this review would be even longer than it is if I did) not just within the story but also relating to the timeline of THE WHOLE SERIES, Ty's ex-lovers coming out the woodwork left and right, ridiculously melodramatic situations and, on top of that, the annoying Nick. Oh, Nick, how you could be killed off and I wouldn't shed a tear for you. I'm sorry but Nick? He's a low-budget carbon copy of Zane. Not as cool, not as intense, definitely not as hot and no matter how much he tries WILL NEVER BE AS BADASS. Not only did I hate Nick but the fact that he took up more POV scenes than Ty? That's ridiculous. This is about Ty and Zane NOT about Nick giving a play by play OF Ty and Zane. Half of his POV scenes in the book should have been from either Ty or Zane NOT from Nick.
I felt like half of the problems that caused most of the situations in this story should have been addressed AT LEAST two books ago. This is the 7th book for crying out loud and WE ARE JUST NOW LEARNING NEW THINGS ABOUT THESE CHARACTERS?! They've been together for YEARS, yet Ty's exes, that he was only with for a MAX OF A FEW MONTHS, know more about Ty than Zane does?? Are you fucking kidding me?! I'm sorry but that's unacceptable. We should know Ty and Zane like the back of our hand and let me tell you, up until this book? I was a loyal fan. I've reread this series so many times I've lost count. I don't plan to ever reread this one. The DRAMA within this story drove me nuts. Extremely unnecessary, I felt like I was watching a soap opera at times.
The most hated thing about this series (besides Nick) was Liam Bell. Liam. Fucking. Bell. Know it all, strategist extraordinaire... oh, yeah, and Ty's ex-lover that TY SHOT. Is he a traitor? Is he an ally? Does he want to get into Zane's pants? Is he fucking Houdini?! I don't really know! BUT I can tell you that he somehow mind fucked every single person in this book to do EXACTLY as he planned so that, in the end, HE WAS THE MASTERMIND BEHIND EVERYTHING! *GASP* Give me a break. Out of everything that happened, it's hard to stomach that Liam who hasn't spoken to Ty in YEARS, never met Zane or anything somehow predicted EVERYONE'S moves? Ummmm, no.
Lastly, the ending sucked. I'm sorry but after all that and THERE'S A CLIFFHANGER? Not only that but NOTHING feels resolved. The resolution between Ty and Zane is half-assed at best and now they don't even have time to work things out further because Ty's being deployed? Like we didn't see that a mile away anyway but STILL. Unacceptable. Oh, and yeah, there are SOOOOO many unanswered questions I feel like my head is bursting with them. Tiny observations by Ty and Zane that were never elaborated on only led to questions. If you're going to have these boys be observant, at least follow up with answers to the subsequent questions that readers are going to obviously wonder about (Burns/Not Burns at a party, anyone?).
At this point, it was already a bad story for me but now that I've gotten that out of my system, I'd like to say that it was fun to see Ty's whole team. I liked being able to see their wacky ways (I LOVE DIGGER!). I liked how even though Zane was pissed at Ty (rightly so because that fucker got on my nerves. Ty needed a few hard bitch slaps) he still road in to rescue Ty like a white knight on his trusty steed. IT WAS COMPLETELY AWESOME. There were a few scenes that I really liked such as Zane beating the shit out of Ty and the brief moments of suspense that were not enough. Actually, there was a brief period of time where I was actually starting to like the story (somewhere in the middle I think) but then, things started to go downhill again and my brief enjoyment went out the window. I HATED the ridiculous fact that Ty and Zane had 'met in the past' but at the same time the romantic in me thought it was cute. But, hello? How does Zane not remember meeting Ty YET he compared all his lovers to Ty? Does that mean he compared Ty with the old Ty? And WHY are we just learning about this now? Oh, yeah, I forgot because ZANE ALSO FORGOT but he still compared his lovers to a guy he couldn't even remember.
For what it's worth, this is my opinion. If you feel differently, that's your prerogative but I just couldn't love this book like I would have expected I would. I was disappointed and to be honest, I felt like not only had Ty and Zane moved backward in their relationship but the whole plot was utterly predictable. I KNEW what was going to happen by the end of the story and the resolution to the conflicts that just kept popping up out of nowhere. This book was just too cluttered with unnecessary drama and it made for a poorly entertaining read.
The only reason I'm giving a neutral rating is because I know right after I read the book, I didn't hate it but I didn't love it but having written this review, it's hard to think of things that I actually liked. This book has already given me enough headaches, I'm not going to add to it by deciding what the right rating is because I know DAMN WELL it's not a five but not a one either. *sigh*(less)
Evan and Rourke are two very different types of humans. Evan is a Vaultee, a person who’s lived his wh...moreThis review can be found at The Armchair Reader.
Evan and Rourke are two very different types of humans. Evan is a Vaultee, a person who’s lived his whole life in a shelter underground; Rourke is a Common, an evolved human with a thick layer of fur everywhere on him which protects him from the harsh conditions of the sun. When they meet, Evan’s disgust is evident but overtime they strike up a friendship that turns into more. With them both learning about each other’s cultures and developing a deeper connection, they’re limited to only nights together. Soon, Evan wants more than that and decides to find a way to make that happen. The problem is, the only solution that’s ideal is turning himself into the very being that he was raised to hate and fear… and that’s a Common.
This was a fascinating story. The world the author created is extremely captivating and the way that humans have evolved, yet been reduced to a very basic setting was very well done. I loved the way that Evan started out disgusted by Rourke but then couldn’t get Rourke out of his head. From Evan’s perspective, Evan is the sophisticated one while Rourke is the beast. Quite literally since Rourke has, from what I understand, the appearance of a gorilla, although with more humane features and more intelligence. I enjoyed the connection Evan and Rourke created, how Rourke thought of things in the most basic of ways yet Evan thought of them in a more scientific way. I felt like, even for such a short story, Evan grew as a character. I absolutely adored Evan’s version of the bonding beads. I found it so sweet and I really liked that concept of the story (along with everything else).
Since the book is so short, however, it only covers those first few meetings between Rourke and Evan. The slow relationship they develop and then the eventual decision on Evan’s part to become a Common and how he establishes that. It’s a good start to a series, however, it does end rather abruptly in a cliffhanger, which leaves a bunch of questions about Rourke’s tribe, his customs and such. Beyond that, I found that there was a lot of head-hopping that had me very confused because for the most part, it is from Evan’s POV but occasionally there would be one or two paragraphs here or there that was from Rourke’s perspective, which it interrupted the flow of the story. Aside from that, I felt like Evan’s solution and retrovirus was too easy to create, and quite quick. I didn’t understand how that was possible even if the machines he had were so advanced.
Overall, I really enjoyed the story. There’s a lot I’m not elaborating on because it’s a bit difficult to do so. The book ends on a cliffhanger and there are problems with it but I really enjoyed it. It’s so unique and different from other scifi books that I’ve read, especially with the way the world ended and how humans ended up where they did and how they evolved, that it appealed to my inner geek. I’m looking forward to exploring this series more and hopefully getting answers to my questions.(less)
Lavender Skies starts exactly where Duanta Beads leaves off with Evan leaving his home to be with Rourke and live as a Common. Now sporting a thick layer of fur himself, Evan gets to see the sun for the first time without fearing for his life. His adjustment to his new life is rocky at best, made more difficult by how his fur differs in color from everyone elses, but he has Rourke and that’s all he needs. Left to wonder what skills he can offer the village, Evan comes to realize the Commons are in the same situation with reproduction as the Vaultees and, as a geneticist, he’s hoping he can figure out a solution. Along the way, events happen that cause Rourke to drift away and a lack of communication and cultural differences threatens their fledgling relationship.
I’m a bit confused on why this series is separated into multiple stories when they could most likely easily make up a full novel when completed. Regardless, I liked this one a lot. Not only do we get thrust back into this world with it’s fascinating occurrences and how different the world is after the Bang but we get to explore more of Rourke’s culture. It was interesting to see how Evan fit in with the Commons and how people reacted to him. Rourke has quickly became my favorite character in his simple ways and feelings. He adores Evan and is hurt by some of the things Evan unintentionally does. I liked Evan as well but the way he thinks sometimes makes me want to just shake some sense into him.
This book follows Evan as he gets accustomed to Rourke’s culture and the language. It was interesting to see how he settled in but then how he went back to his own people to get them to follow his lead. Both species (if you can even call them that) are facing the same problems and if they just merged their talents and knowledge, they could get their problems solved. Beyond that, where the first story is of Rourke and Evan getting to know each other, this one shows how their feelings can be misconstrued and causes some confusion. I found it very sad because it hurt Rourke more than it hurt Evan, who didn’t realize what his actions were doing.
In some ways, I liked this story better than the first one, especially since we get to see so much of the Commons culture and how things work with them. However, a big conflict within the story was a lack of communication, which I’m not much of a fan of, but also towards the end, Evan started to become a bit too obsessive over a friend he had while he was living underground. I grew slightly annoyed by that because it makes me think sometime in the future, a move will be made that I won’t like, which dampened my enjoyment a bit. That’s just me, though, so chances are, other readers won’t be thinking that way. Aside from that, this story had some of the same problems as the first one, where a lot of head-hopping takes place and an abrupt ending, which I was a bit baffled at. I don’t quite agree with Evan’s reasoning towards something and I’m wondering how their lack of communication and cultural differences will be fixed so that Evan can convey his wishes towards Rourke. I’m also wondering, as Evan being a scientist, why he did not warn the others he injected about symptoms they should look out for with their change.
All in all, I really did enjoy the story. I don’t quite agree with some of it but I can’t deny this series absolutely fascinates me with the world and how much I’ve come to love Rourke. The relationship between Rourke and Evan develops a bit further and I loved getting to know the customs and ways of Rourke’s people. I’m looking forward to the next in the series and seeing how the story progresses from there. I’m also secretly hoping that Jimbo gets a man of his own... maybe Kenneth?? We shall see and hopefully soon!(less)
According to the King, Ingram is worthless as a prince. He can’t use a sword, barely knows h...moreThis review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.
According to the King, Ingram is worthless as a prince. He can’t use a sword, barely knows how to fight and faints at the sight of blood. But under that ‘weakling’ exterior, he’s a magnificent strategist with a soft heart that just wants what’s best for his kingdom. When the King loses a bet to a foe, Ingram suddenly finds himself wedded to Lord Mallory and his life turns upside down. Not only does he have to leave his home, and his beloved siblings, for Mallory’s lands but he finds himself forced to play spy for his father to accuse Mallory of a rebellion that hasn’t even happened yet. As time progresses and Mallory and Ingram get closer, will Ingram be able to betray his husband or will he finally stick up for himself and do what’s right?
These characters were fun to read about. I loved Ingram because of how naive he was in the beginning. He just wanted to be loved and accepted by the King but everything he accomplished and did never lived up to the King’s expectations. He’s sweet but innocent and I loved the journey in his development of who he was and the courage that was always inside of him. Mallory is more of a mystery. From the beginning Ingram constantly questions why Mallory chose him and that made me wonder as well. I liked Mallory, although I wished we knew more about him, but I loved that while he didn’t verbally tell Ingram about his feelings, it was there in his actions and his expressions with his courtship. The two of them together are just so sweet and their personalities fit perfectly, IMO.
The story revolves, at first, around uncovering whether Mallory is using Ingram and whether he’s starting a rebellion. As the story progresses, however, we slowly get into Ingram’s self-discovery and his developing relationship with Mallory. It’s a slow read that doesn’t have the traditional sense of romance. I’d consider it ‘light’ in romance even though there is an obvious courtship that spans the whole book. It’s the start of a new series so there’s, of course, the build up to what I imagine will come next. It’s filled with surprises and I kept wondering what would happen next and the last half of the book literally had been an anxious mess with the intensity and twists associated with it. By the end, while it leaves with a set up for the next book, I couldn’t help but feel I was taken on a wild ride that I can’t wait to continue. More than that, I adored the secondary characters as well. Ingram’s siblings were touching while Mallory’s people, Aiden and Eirlys, were enchantingly grumpy individuals that had me chuckling a few times over their antics.
While I loved this story, I can’t deny it had its faults. For one, I was confused a lot on who or what some of the characters were talking about because no explanations were given on it. For instance, well into the story, Mallory brings up Cormac a few times but we don’t know who that is. More than that, I had to wonder, considering Ingram’s heritage, why did it take so long for him to come into his powers when Ella was able to use hers so freely? In regards to Ingram, there are a lot of questions I still have left over that I’m hoping will be answered in the sequel. My only other issue is that when things were just getting interesting, the scene would end and Ingram would wake up somewhere else which left me wondering what happened during the blacked out period. I’m not referring to sex here but fighting scenes and the like. I was a tad disappointed that we didn’t get to see things played out between those lags of time.
Overall, this was a fantastic read. It’s a slightly slow book that is light on romance but sweet in its intensity all the same. I loved the characters and I loved how much potential depth there is to the world this author created. I was on the edge of my seat a few times and the farther I got into the story, the more I wanted to know what happened next especially since it gets intense in the last half of the book. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series and I think readers who enjoy fantasies that are easy to read will enjoy this one as well.(less)
Shadow is the elusive man that saved Ben’s life twice in Alrik and Seger is one of the C-7 shifters t...moreThis review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.
Shadow is the elusive man that saved Ben’s life twice in Alrik and Seger is one of the C-7 shifters that are trying to find him again. They think Shadow might be another C-7 but they aren’t sure. When Shadow shows up unannounced and sick at Ben’s work, he causes quite a stir. They can’t figure out what’s wrong with him but they know one thing, he’s definitely not a C-7. Nero, Seger’s boss and the leader of the C-7 shifters, is instantly suspicious of Shadow because of his immense power and the questions he can’t seem to answer. Shadow is there to help but he doesn’t know exactly who he’s supposed to help, why he’s supposed to help or even for what he’s helping against. All he knows is that he’s pulled to Ben and the rest of the C-7. When Shadow shows up, Seger is beyond relieved since he’s been searching for him for a while. The two have quite a connection but Shadow refuses to open his heart to Seger. He’s lived a much longer life than Seger and has too many broken hearts to count but Seger won’t give up. Will they be able to figure out just who and what Shadow is? And will Shadow’s efforts to keep his heart from Seger actually work?
I enjoyed this story better than the first one. For one, there is much less smut than in Alrik but also because I think Seger and Shadow had more of an emotional connection than Alrik and Ben were able to develop. For Seger and Shadow, their story revolved more around trying to figure out why Shadow is there. He doesn’t know what he is but knows that something has driven him to seek out Ben again and to ultimately help the C-7 shifters in anyway he can. While there’s general distrust from Seger’s boss towards Shadow, it’s clear that Shadow is a kind hearted man that is just trying to do what he was put on Earth to do…. whatever that may be. I loved Shadow and how mysterious he was. I liked that he had effects of amnesia without actually having it. It made for an interesting read. Seger was probably my favorite, though. I didn’t much like him in the previous story but in this one he’s a sweet, caring and gentle guy. It made me smile whenever he stuck up for Shadow but more than that, I liked that he wasn’t consumed with lust like Alrik was. Granted, he still lusted after Shadow but it wasn’t all-consuming. It was subtle but intense and the emotional relationship they built out-shined that, in my eyes.
As I said, the story revolves around finding out who and what Shadow is, why he’s there and also on how that affects the C-7 shifters. You get deeper into the world that Ms. Lynne has created and you slowly start to see what direction she’s going in and what’s in store for all shifters. I like the slow unravel of answers that you experience throughout both books. This is the type of series that you would have to read in order just so you aren’t confused. More than that, though, I liked how it seems to be broadening into the general public and all shifters. It’s becoming more and more interesting with each book and I can’t wait to experience the rest of it.
As with Alrik, this is a short story. Possibly too short, in my opinion, for the conflicts that are starting to develop, but I like it all the same. The length is definitely an issue because it hinders the characters and the plot from getting too deep, which was one of my problems. Unfortunately, another one was the cliff-hanger. Not so much the fact that I have to wait to continue reading the series but the fact that it ends in the middle of a conversation. It felt too abrupt and awkward compared to the rest of the book.
Overall, the series is getting better. As it progresses, the characters get more likeable and the plot thickens as you learn more and more about the world and what is happening. I found it an enjoyable read and I loved the characters, as well as, the journey that Seger and Shadow go on to get where they are. I desperately wished it had been longer because I would have liked to read more about them but, as it is, it was a good read. For those looking for something slightly sweet, quick and easy, this is the series for you… especially if you like unique shifters ;) (less)