This book was fun! At first I thought it was going to be a predictable contemporary story but it turned out to be so much more. It had me la...more4.5 stars
This book was fun! At first I thought it was going to be a predictable contemporary story but it turned out to be so much more. It had me laughing and tearing up with characters that are both likable and real.
I enjoyed both Eli and Ash so much! The tension between these two is palpable and engaging. They are so different. Ash is in the Reserves, used to discipline and a set schedule. He's rough and intense but extremely charming. Eli is rebellious. He's a nature person, taking walks everyday, going on hiking trips and such. He's a calm, free spirit. He hardly lets anyone get under his skin because he's so laid back but when he's angry, oh man, how his temper can light things on fire!! The way these two hit it off, though, is scorching. Anticipation is a word they both love and it only builds onto the desire they already have for each other. By the end of the story, I really felt like I knew these characters and they just felt completely real to me, their love felt real to me.
I loved that this book revolved around bets. They are both stubborn, betting men but they keep their word and pay up when they lose. Although, in their case when they lose it's more like winning! But just the fact that they make betting into a fun, enjoyable but hot game made it amusing. While the story features the fact that Ash is Eli's student (and how they find out after they start their relationship), I really liked the fact that both guys knew it was a dangerous game they were playing by allowing their relationship to stay physical when they found out their strange situation. Both men agree to take things slow and as such, the intensity between them builds, they grow to know each other, they fall in love not because of the sex but because of who the are and the best part is we get to see it instead of being told.
Another thing I loved is how they both understand each other's reservations. They never forced each other into doing or saying something they didn't absolutely want to (unless it was important to push a topic) and I liked how they were both there for each other when it mattered most. That we were shown all this which is why this story appealed to me so much. The side characters are a hoot, too! Jabbers, Eli's beagle, was a joy to read about because the dog featured such a big part of the story with his howls and bays. Lu and the other characters in Amwich's small community gave me a few great laughs that made this story the perfect amount of sweet and light.
My only issue is that I felt like the ending was a little open ended. I was hoping after such a struggle between Eli and Ash's feelings we'd get a more set ending but while it's a definite HEA, I still have questions about what will happen next between these two lovebirds.
Overall, an amazing story. I enjoyed this one immensely. I fell in love with Ash and Eli and how they clashed and melded together. Their chemistry is definitely worth the read alone but the plot and what they have to go through made the book fantastic. Plus, just the fact that Ash is a ginger and Eli is a verbal rambler made this story great from the get-go! Definitely recommended. (less)
This is definitely one of those feel-good reads that leave you with a smile. I really liked that Eric was such a damsel in distress and Cameron had to...moreThis is definitely one of those feel-good reads that leave you with a smile. I really liked that Eric was such a damsel in distress and Cameron had to swoop in and save him multiple times. While I wish there had been more of them together, I loved the progression of the story. I adored Eric's twin nephews and how much Eric catered to their whims.
It's a great little story with a tiny bit of conflict but mostly a sweet one. I was confused a bit in the beginning on where Eric was teaching but that was soon straightened out. I just wish we knew what happened next between Eric and Cameron!(less)
I absolutely loved this story! While too short, I found Mitch's clumsiness around Sam so adorable. His inability to properly talk to Sam without Mitch...moreI absolutely loved this story! While too short, I found Mitch's clumsiness around Sam so adorable. His inability to properly talk to Sam without Mitch looking like a blushing idiot was just too cute. Sam found everything Mitch did adorable as well, and while I didn't like that Sam went after Mitch's friend first then drifted back to Mitch, I still thought they were a totally hot and sweet couple. I'm glad I finally read this story because it left a goofy smile on my face just from how sweet it was.(less)
While I liked this story, I felt like it ended way too fast and too soon. It didn't feel like Kevin and Gary really knew each other and I thi...more3.5 stars
While I liked this story, I felt like it ended way too fast and too soon. It didn't feel like Kevin and Gary really knew each other and I think that was because the parts where they realize they have so much in common is glossed over instead of shown. I liked the characters but didn't feel like I knew them. I did really enjoy the fact that Kevin went from being rich to living paycheck to paycheck. It was very eye opening for him so it made him appreciate everything Gary had even more. I also found Kevin's smartass mouth hilarious and liked that Gary took such amusement out of Kevin's slip ups even more.(less)
When Steve lost all his weight due to medical problems, he lost all his spirit fo...moreThis was my favorite out of the whole His For The Holidays anthology.
When Steve lost all his weight due to medical problems, he lost all his spirit for Christmas as well. He leaves for Vegas to cope with his lost love of being Santa and runs into Chandler and Poppy at a rest stop. Chandler's on his way to his parents' house with his niece, who he's the new guardian of. Both Steve and Chandler are lost, looking for two separate things but Fate has something else in mind when Chandler's bad luck keeps bringing Steve to his rescue.
I loved the way it was so deep into Christmas and how Steve was a real live Santa who just lost his spirit. I enjoyed seeing Chandler and Poppy show Steve you can still be Santa even if you aren't fat anymore. And I loved that Steve showed Chandler that he can be a great parent even though Chandler thought he wouldn't be. Loved these two guys and the way they connected so well especially after Chandler's continuing bad luck had Steve helping him over and over again.
Definitely something I'll be re-reading because it was such a sweet, cute story especially the ending. Definitely recommended. (less)
I liked this little short. It's a nice, short read for anyone looking for something quick.
Like I said, I enjoyed the story, the characters are both c...moreI liked this little short. It's a nice, short read for anyone looking for something quick.
Like I said, I enjoyed the story, the characters are both cute and funny and while it is free, it could have used a tad bit more editing. I kept getting pulled out of the story because it seemed like there were missing words from sentences which made the writing a bit choppy.
I had a little trouble with the flashbacks, they were a bit annoying at times, and it took a while for me to get used to the fact this is written in alternating first person. However, I did really like the plot and how it revolved around Liam and Alex's Christmas Tradition and what "The Plan" was going to be. Definitely adorable.
All in all, this was a fun short story. I liked it :)(less)
Whenever I'm looking for a story that's sweet and cute, I know I should read an Andrew Grey book. And that's exactly what I did and I loved the it.
Len...moreWhenever I'm looking for a story that's sweet and cute, I know I should read an Andrew Grey book. And that's exactly what I did and I loved the it.
Len has been in the whole Farm series and has made probably just as big an impact on all the characters are Eli and Geoff have. I was glad to finally get his story at a second chance because I think Len deserves to be happy.
In the first book Love Means... No Shame, I was curious about Len and Chris so I was extremely happy to finally get their story!
I adore Len because he's so simple and doesn't expect much. He just lives his life the way it is and he's content and happy about it. He still grieves, though, over his lost lover, Cliff, and when Chris shows up and makes Len feel things he doesn't think is appropriate it causes some friction between them. Chris is definitely a great guy. Former marine, he likes a simple life with peace and quiet. The two are great together and I loved this story because of how they heal each other.
The only thing I had a problem with was the inconsistencies. More than once I picked out the little details that, in passed books, made Len's statements incorrect. (view spoiler)[Say, for example, the fact he says Cliff was his first and only lover. The beginning of Love Means... Courage starts off with Len in another guy's bed (this is before he meets Cliff) so that proves his statement false. There were also a few other things, like how the ending of Healing Len wakes up without Chris on Christmas morning and not seeing him until late afternoon when in Simple Gifts Geoff walks in to find Len and his 'still-sleepy partner Chris' in his kitchen on Christmas morning. There were a few other ones I noticed as well but I think I got my point across with those. (hide spoiler)]
Even with that said, I still enjoyed the book. Len and Chris are definitely a great couple and I've enjoyed their interference in previous books with other characters. And it was definitely awesome to see a still young Joey again! Looking forward to reading more of the series. Recommended. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This was an easy read. I enjoyed the fact it had it's sweet moments while simultaneously being angsty and tension filled without being overly so.
This...moreThis was an easy read. I enjoyed the fact it had it's sweet moments while simultaneously being angsty and tension filled without being overly so.
This book started out very well, in my opinion. It grabbed my attention from the start. Kurt is a rather stubborn and forceful detective when it comes to Davy which I found very cute. My heart broke over Davy and what he's been through and going through. He was just so fragile and vulnerable, it's hard not to feel something for him. The relationship these two men develop starts as just Kurt helping Davy get through losing a life partner. Slowly, they become friends and it was easy for me to enjoy the interactions and fun these boys had together. When they finally become lovers, things blow up and I didn't realize until that happened how much I was able to connect with Kurt and Davy. It was fun going through every emotion Kurt when through. Although, a lot of his harsher feelings were consequences of his stupid actions.
The story is rather slow and anticlimactic, aside from the beginning and end. It's a story about self-discovery and healing, about finding love in the most unlikely places and coming to terms with that love. It was very well written but more than that, the sexual tension between Davy and Kurt, even when neither realized it was there, I could feel right off the pages. I also liked the fact that everything started because of a tragedy and injury. I even found the fact they reconnect over Kurt being injured again sweet.
I loved the book but I had some problems with it. Kurt was an idiot the second half of the book. And a hypocrite. I didn't appreciate the way he'd say he was nothing like Ben but then kept his and Davy's whole friendship a secret. Just like Ben did. It just amazed me because they were friends not lovers but he still hide that from everyone. I thought the way Kurt grieved was heartbreaking but the way he handled the situation after he came to terms with who he was, was just ridiculous. I understand wanting to get things settled with yourself first before dealing with a relationship but how was Davy supposed to know Kurt came out for him if he never tells Davy?! Aside from that, Kurt was well fleshed out but I felt like I barely knew Davy beyond the surface. I'd have liked to know more about him.
Overall, this was a great, well-written story. I loved the slow build up to the relationship and seeing a real friendship develop between Davy and Kurt. Kurt's family and his partner were great secondary characters that, I think, made the story more appealing. I'm hoping with what happens with the epilogue, Ian will be getting a story, too!(less)
I have to give Ms. Blaydon credit for writing about a priest and having the book so heavily placed inside the religious community. There are...more4.5 stars
I have to give Ms. Blaydon credit for writing about a priest and having the book so heavily placed inside the religious community. There are a lot of readers out there who won't even touch a book with religion in it because of their own preferences. Me, I'm not religious at all and because of that I don't read a lot of m/m books with religion. I gave this book a chance because I liked the cover. Yes, I am shallow like that. ;-P
I was actually shocked at how much I enjoyed the story. The beginning was rocky. I wasn't sure which direction it was going to go in and a few times I was even uncomfortable with Father Israfel's line of thinking. But there was just something about either the writing or the storyline that had me so captivated I didn't want to put it down. I stayed up late to finish it because it turned from sad to angsty to happy to down right sweet. I was glad I stayed up to finish it because it left me with a smile and good thoughts when I went to sleep.
The story is told solely from Father Israfel's POV. He is a complicated character who, while a devout Catholic, was basically pushed into the clergy by his twin brother when he was a teen and got caught with another boy. Raf has spent the last eleven years dedicated to the priesthood in a life of celibacy to stay away from his 'unnatural' urges. He's a good man and he's helped a lot of people. It's not until he meets Nate (view spoiler)[one of Raf's altar servers who is 17 years old but where they live that is the age of consent (hide spoiler)] that Raf's desires start to become uncontrollable. There's something about Nate that Raf can't deny and when Nate sets his sights on Raf, Raf doesn't stand a chance. He folds like a house of cards and the short time they have together is blissful. However, it's not until Raf's twin brother, Michael shows up that chaos reins again. Michael pushes Raf to make the hardest decision of his life which could hurt both Raf and Nate.
I loved these characters, I truly did. Raf was hard to like at first because of how meek he seems. Nate, however, is intense which I enjoyed a lot. It was nice to see Nate go after Raf and showed that while Nate might still be young, he's determined and stubborn enough to know what he wants and goes for it. The internal angst Raf has was chaotic and extreme. I loved being able to see him fighting with himself and struggling with being a man of the cloth. It takes almost the whole book for him to realize he doesn't need to hate himself for loving who he does. In the end, he comes to love himself for who he is while still being able to have his religion without self-hatred involved. One thing I really loved about this book was how close Nate and his brother, Tom, were even though they are four years apart. They both were home-schooled so they only had each other but they were really close and told each other almost everything which made their teasing and interactions together quite nice.
I enjoyed the book a lot but at first I was extremely confused with all the Church talk. I haven't gone to Church since I was a small child so I had no idea what any of the Church speak was about. This started the book off rocky and rough for me. I wasn't sure if I liked it or not for a good portion of the beginning but then it quickly became a page turner for me. I think this book could have used a little more dialogue, however. More talking between Raf and Nate as well as secondary characters. There was also the fact that Raf is never described, at least not that I can remember, so I was never able to actually visualize what he looked like. Even his twin was never described outside his body build.
In the end, this is one of the best books I've read this year. While it didn't grab me in the beginning, it wasn't long before I lost myself in the pages of the story. I loved the characters, their story and their angst. I loved the fact that while it's sad, it's not too heartbreaking because there are sweet, lighthearted moments that even out the intense parts. It was a struggle for Raf to get to where he goes but I was very satisfied with how it ends and what they both sacrifice for the love they have together. It was an amazing book and while I know some people won't read it no matter what, I do encourage everyone to at least give it a try.
One of my favorite quotes that sums up Raf nicely:
"Israfel has long been a house of cards, and he has been disturbed. He can feel his supports collapsing, day by day."
I enjoyed this one very much. I loved the characters and the descriptions of the art. I love how Sarah Black always writes about something so powerful...moreI enjoyed this one very much. I loved the characters and the descriptions of the art. I love how Sarah Black always writes about something so powerfully that it always makes me stand up and listen, so to speak.
I loved both Jesse and Maryboy and their love of art. I felt like the hold art had over Jesse was extremely fascinating as well as the way his paintings were described and how much political unrest it caused. While I enjoyed the characters and their blooming relationship, the characters themselves don't have much depth but I loved the story enough not to care.
I liked the plot a lot and how it showed Jesse using the painting that speaks for itself to make others aware of the problems with this society. Like I said, it's powerful and the subtle relationship Jesse and Maryboy build is nice. It's soft and sweet while at times intense.
My only faults with this book is that is was confusing in the beginning. Why? I don't really understand myself just that I was confused. I felt like the ending was a bit rushed so it left me with a few unanswered questions (view spoiler)[ such as who the shooter was and why were they not caught? Why would they shoot Jesse? What was the point of that? So it felt like that was never concluded (hide spoiler)].
Aside from that, I really did enjoy this book. I love passionate books and this one has a passion for art as well as a subtle passion between the characters. I loved it but then again I've always loved Sarah Black's books. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I loved Jimmy. He was soooooooo cute and sooooooo honest. I fucking hated Joey. He was a douche that just kept leading Jimmy on even though he knew ho...moreI loved Jimmy. He was soooooooo cute and sooooooo honest. I fucking hated Joey. He was a douche that just kept leading Jimmy on even though he knew how much Jimmy liked him but then he still kept teasing. And shame on Jimmy for letting him. It also really pissed me off that Joey loved spending so much time with Jimmy and kept saying, "yeah, yeah we're friends" then wouldn't even acknowledge Jimmy at school. So more like 3.5 stars rounded up because it was a cute story and I did enjoy it but I still hated Joey even at the end, just a little less than I did in the beginning. Fucker. (less)
This was a nice story that was a bit cute as well. I liked it (view spoiler)[but I didn't like it when Matt would think about his dead lover while his...moreThis was a nice story that was a bit cute as well. I liked it (view spoiler)[but I didn't like it when Matt would think about his dead lover while his current lover was fucking him at the same moment. Upset me a little.
I also wasn't overly fond of the constant reminder there's a dead lover. I like to live in the present and not the past so being reminded every few paragraphs that there's someone else Matt is thinking about made this story into an okay read as opposed to the good read it started as. (hide spoiler)]
Andy was just adorable, though. I loved his exuberance of the holiday. It put a smile on my face. :)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I actually enjoyed this story. I felt like there was real emotion in Craig and Shin's feelings even if it was insta-love. I loved both Shin a...more3.5 stars
I actually enjoyed this story. I felt like there was real emotion in Craig and Shin's feelings even if it was insta-love. I loved both Shin and Craig and how they danced around each other a bit in the beginning but I also thought it was sweet the way they didn't jump into bed 5 minutes after meeting each other. I also found it hilarious Shin's best friend, Tisha, and how she had a hand in getting the two of them together.
I really did enjoy the story but it felt like it ended way too soon and now I want to know what happens next and how they'll make a relationship work now that Craig is back. With that, I would have liked there to be more scenes with Craig and Shin together and more details about the time they spent apart because it felt like a lot of the story came from before Shin met Craig than it did when they got together.
Still, in the end, I loved these characters and their story, I just wished there had been more.(less)
Even though this says 'alternate reality' I don't think you can take in the full scope of these characters unless you've read Mann of My Dreams. I say...moreEven though this says 'alternate reality' I don't think you can take in the full scope of these characters unless you've read Mann of My Dreams. I say this because this short doesn't give the full magnitude of why it's so shocking and horrible for Mark Vincent to be leaving the WBIS and going to the CIA. It also doesn't give the full information of why Vincent and Mann hate each other as well as who they are as a whole.
You can't actually get a feel for these characters and who they are, why what they do in this book is so uncommon unless you've read MoMD because in MoMD you just know them so you know why everything is such a big deal.
I'm not sure if I'd have liked this one so much if I hadn't read MoMD but since I did, I loved being able to see Mark Vincent and Quinton Mann again. See their indifference to each other and the subtle mind games they play with one another. Is Quinn gay? Is Vincent gay? And all that.
But, I did enjoy this story. I forgot how much I loved Vincent's paranoia LOL. It makes me want to re-read their book so I'm definitely looking forward to Mann of My Dreams being published soon. Love these guys!(less)
This was an adorably cute story. It's about Curt getting stuck in a snowstorm on his way to visiting his family and Oscar coming to his rescue. It's a...moreThis was an adorably cute story. It's about Curt getting stuck in a snowstorm on his way to visiting his family and Oscar coming to his rescue. It's about family understanding and forgiveness, making up for lost time and finding someone special when you least expect it. It's a very nice, sweet story and I loved the fact that Curt and Oscar essentially go through the same things with their parents but that there's hope Oscar's family will come around since Curt's family did after their falling out.
I loved the story because it's a simple, classic Christmas story with spurts of funny moments and that is exactly what I needed. (less)
I enjoyed this one. It was cute and the ending was so sweet. Jeremy is still grieving over his mother's death the previous year and Paul is a lonesome...moreI enjoyed this one. It was cute and the ending was so sweet. Jeremy is still grieving over his mother's death the previous year and Paul is a lonesome businessman who got a flat tired on his way home. They both hit it off right away. I did like their story although at times I felt like the book dragged. I enjoyed the characters, though, and how they could form a relationship in such a short time. Paul's ex-wife annoyed the shit out of me, though. Talk about a bitch. Thankfully she's not actually in it LOL(less)
It's always tricky for me when an author writes about an individual with a manic-depressive personality. I feel this way because a lot of my life is s...moreIt's always tricky for me when an author writes about an individual with a manic-depressive personality. I feel this way because a lot of my life is surrounded by people like that so when it comes to reading about them I nitpick the book and can't help but think it's nothing like that at all.
This story, however, I felt like it showed more along the right lines of what someone with such a personality really acts like. The book was chaotic but, to me, it felt exactly how someone with a manic-depressive personality thinks. They're depressive at times, gloomy, paranoid, impulsive and they can't help it. But with the writing and how choppy it may seem to others is exactly how people with such an illness thinks. It's not just an easy thinking process for them. It's complete, fucking chaos and that's one of the things that appealed to me with this book.
I will say at the beginning I was confused because I didn't know where this was going or why Alex was so depressing so the first few pages I was left thinking, "What?!". I thought Alex was already Everett's partner but then realized he wasn't so that added to my confusion. After I found out that Alex was sick, it became a really great story, in my eyes. The things Alex put Everett and his family through were heartbreaking but it showed that they loved Alex enough to stay with him and support him through his pain.
The tension between Alex and Everett is extremely high and all I could think was "why don't you two just get together already?!". I loved the build-up, though, and I loved the outcome when they finally got together. With that said, I wished this story had a bit more dialogue, it was spent too much in Alex's head and while that was part of it's charm, there is only so much depressing things I can read in a Christmas story.
In the end, this story is a bit dark but it ends on a happy note. It's something I'd recommend.(less)
This was such a cute story. I admit, the knitting stuff went right over my head but I still enjoyed it. Rance had such a cute way of relating courting...moreThis was such a cute story. I admit, the knitting stuff went right over my head but I still enjoyed it. Rance had such a cute way of relating courting men to the way his animals did. It was just so cute. I loved Rance, although he had a tendency to go into long internal monologues. He's such a big man with a big heart. I liked the way Ben accepted all of Rance's gifts and how he acted around Rance. We don't really know much about Ben, so he wasn't as developed as Rance was. They made such an adorable couple, though. I did like the secondary characters a lot, they gave me a few laughs. I wished the story was longer and more focused on what happens after they move in together but this was exactly the type of story I needed. It was short, sweet and cute. (less)
There is something about Mary's writing and characters that makes me love them even when sometimes I want to yell at them.
This story was actually a b...moreThere is something about Mary's writing and characters that makes me love them even when sometimes I want to yell at them.
This story was actually a bit of a surprise because it's a light, easy read and then it becomes deeper, delving into topics that made me, the reader, feel sympathy for the main character, Eli aka Jacob. I loved Eli from the beginning but his constant need to evade everyone's questions frustrated me beyond belief! Probably because I'm one of those people that hate it when someone doesn't directly answer my question. Still, that little flaw didn't make me hate Eli, just made me want to smack him a time or two.
One of the things I seriously love about Mary's characters, though, is the fact that one of them is always possessive, so infatuated with the other character that they won't let them get away when they try to run away. That's exactly what Craig was like. Eli ran away but Craig wouldn't let him just end everything so he went after him and no matter how many times Eli said it's over, Craig wouldn't take no for an answer because he knew Eli didn't really want things to end. And no matter how many times I read a book like that, it always makes me smile and go 'awwwwww'.
In the end, I seriously enjoyed the story. I loved both Eli and Craig even when Eli refused to answer any questions. I loved Eli's family and their easy acceptance of him back into the family. This was a feel good read with a select few scenes of angst but it was still great.(less)
This book was pretty dark and kind of depressive for something of a Xmas story. It happens during the days of Xmas but doesn't revolve around it.
I di...moreThis book was pretty dark and kind of depressive for something of a Xmas story. It happens during the days of Xmas but doesn't revolve around it.
I didn't really like James in the beginning. I usually don't have a problem with characters that having drinking or drug problems but James' attitude rubbed me the wrong way. His 'I don't give a shit' personality was more annoying than charming and when he got hurt all I could do was think he deserved it. I think this partly had to do with how confused I was in the beginning. I didn't know what was going on because the writing was just all over the place. The dialect was not something I was familiar with so I had to keep looking up what almost every word meant which made the book drag and a bit boring for me.
Thankfully, after Toby comes into the picture the book gets a bit better and a little bit sweeter. Their quest to get James' little girl back was interesting and miraculously the dialect didn't have any confusing words after Toby came into the story which made it a bit inconsistent and showed that the author was trying a bit too hard with the flowery words. I enjoyed Toby and how he changed James, however, and by the end I liked James. He also 'stopped' drinking so that helped me like him a bit more.
The book ends on a good note. I loved the ending because it was both sweet and endearing but it ended way too soon and felt rushed. The beginning was difficult to get through but the ending was sweet enough for me to at least like this story. (less)
This is an extremely sweet book that I absolutely loved. This story is a little different compared to the other books I've read from Ms. Lane. When I...moreThis is an extremely sweet book that I absolutely loved. This story is a little different compared to the other books I've read from Ms. Lane. When I think of Amy Lane, I automatically think of angst. It never fails with her books but I always end up crying either just a little or a lot. With this one, however, I didn't because while it touches a few serious issues, they aren't so angsty as to make the read intense as her other stories are. It was a nice change :)
I loved James and Rafael. They are definitely a couple that would fit into the opposites attract category. Where James is white, middle-aged, quiet and sophisticated, Rafael is hispanic, young, outgoing and has a basic education. It was surprising seeing them get along together and move past their differences. But even with their vast differences they still had a few things in common like their love of pets and their desires to take care of each other. It was extremely sweet. I loved the secondary characters. Sophie, Noni, and Marlowe were great additions to this already enjoyable book. Marlowe, James' dog, was definitely a treat. Who knew something so small and hyper could make a book so uplifting?
As I said, while this book isn't too angsty, it still addresses certain issues that would normally put barriers up between people such as their different races and Raphael's family's religion and how much pressure that puts on Raphael. It also deals with trust, with emotions and money, and self-confidence. In itself, it holds quite a punch but Marlowe made the story not so heart crushing.
I think my favorite quote out of this whole book was cuz of Noni (Raphael's crazy grandma that no doubt scared James shitless):
"You need to be the fool to fall in love."
Overall, it was a great read. It was funny and a bit sad but sweet enough to give me a goofy grin in the end. Definitely recommended and I hope there will be more of James, Raphael and Marlowe in the future. (less)
I liked this one a lot. I enjoyed the overall story and the characters (mostly) but some parts really annoyed me so in the end I really liked...more3.5 stars
I liked this one a lot. I enjoyed the overall story and the characters (mostly) but some parts really annoyed me so in the end I really liked the story.
This book is mostly focused on Priest as opposed to Luke, though. I didn't like Priest in the beginning not because of who he is or what he does for a living (because I love assassins and messed up characters) but because of his way of handling Luke. It's nothing bad or harmful (view spoiler)[ he just had a tendency to not pay attention to Luke while they were having sex. Thinking of this and that, past lovers, pictures, anything but focusing on Luke which really pissed me off because what was the point of being there if you're not going to focus on your lover? I can understand why he'd do it (he didn't want Luke to become his weakness by letting his emotions for Luke grow) but thinking of past lovers while screwing a current one is one big no-no in my opinion. (hide spoiler)]
I loved Luke. At first I couldn't remember who he was but then I remembered he was Kenny's friend and that I really liked him. I liked his troubles and his problems. I liked that he desired Priest so much and that Priest desired him just as much. The only thing about Luke that annoyed me was his past relationship with Stretch. I have no idea who that is. He must have been mentioned in Kenny's book, Making the Grade, but since that was so many books ago I can't remember anything about it so all the references Luke made to being 'used' and such went right over my head because I had no idea what he was talking about :(
While I enjoyed this book a lot, I think it could have used more pages and more explanations on a few things. The ending felt too abrupt for me (especially since I wanted to see a certain someone actually being tortured) and my first thought when it did end was, 'Holy crap, did this end in the middle of a paragraph?' I enjoyed the conflict within the story and that was detailed enough for my liking but the events around the conflict are short and nondescript. I would have liked more conversations between Luke and Priest, about themselves, and basically just more 'them' time. As it is, both Priest and Luke are shallow characters, what we know of them is what we've essentially learned from past books and a little about their past from this one. It wasn't enough to satisfy my urge for more of who they are and who they were, though.
However, while there are some plot holes I really enjoyed the book. I loved the characters (in Priest's case, I grew to love him eventually), I liked the plot and the book was strangely captivating. I didn't want to stop reading it once I started even with some of the inconsistencies and questions I had. This happens with all the Cattle Valley books. As long as I love the characters and I have that strong desire to keep reading, I don't much care what else happens in the book. So, all I have to say is if you've liked the Cattle Valley series so far and have kept up with it, you'll like this one. I thought it was a nice read.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(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)
This was a very cute, sweet read. It left me with a nice little smile and a desire to read more of these two. I would just love to read about how they...moreThis was a very cute, sweet read. It left me with a nice little smile and a desire to read more of these two. I would just love to read about how they got together :)(less)
Cute story albeit too short. I was a bit lost in the beginning fearing it was something along the lines of an open-relationship between Conner and Vin...moreCute story albeit too short. I was a bit lost in the beginning fearing it was something along the lines of an open-relationship between Conner and Vince. Only to figure out it's thankfully not. It's about Taylor and Conner. I did like these characters although I know nothing about them and I felt like this was more of an excerpt for another book than anything else. I was slightly confused for a good amount of the story but it was still enjoyable because it was sweet with no sex. (less)
All I can say is that I love this little short!!! Allan and Mac are so cute and I hope we get a full story of them someday because this one was way to...moreAll I can say is that I love this little short!!! Allan and Mac are so cute and I hope we get a full story of them someday because this one was way too short! :D(less)
I was surprised about this one. I quite liked it not just because the story was cute but also because we got to see Wills and Theo from Mann of My Dre...moreI was surprised about this one. I quite liked it not just because the story was cute but also because we got to see Wills and Theo from Mann of My Dreams again. I had a soft spot for Theo while reading MoMD ;)(less)
For such a short story (8 pages of actual story) it holds a lot of punch. I loved it, I really did. I want to know more about these two because Micah...moreFor such a short story (8 pages of actual story) it holds a lot of punch. I loved it, I really did. I want to know more about these two because Micah is so heartbreaking and Shane is such a dick! But I want them to have that happy ending. I hate bittersweet stories because they seriously fuck with my fantasy of that happily ever after that I read books for! I won't read them willingly but once I do read them I end up loving them but I always end up sad in the end. This one left me sad but somewhat triumph because Micah got to pull one on Shane and show he's not a coward and that was a seriously awesome moment. Still, I really liked this short and I hope we get to see Shane and Micah get their happy endings one day. Preferably with each other ^_^(less)
This was a sweet little teaser about a boy just turned 18 who finally wants the older guy he's been desiring for a few years now and is finally able t...moreThis was a sweet little teaser about a boy just turned 18 who finally wants the older guy he's been desiring for a few years now and is finally able to make the first move to show how much he longs for the other man.
I liked it a lot. It's exactly the kind of book I'd love to read but it's way too short! I'd love to get to know these two better and to see what they go through to be together. Or at least how hard it is for them to be around each other without ravishing one another ;P(less)