This story was... hard for me to get into. The world is extremely interesting. If I could rate on just...moreThis review can be found at The Armchair Reader.
This story was... hard for me to get into. The world is extremely interesting. If I could rate on just that, I'd give this book five stars but I can't because I struggled with other factors within the story.
What I liked is how desperate Sean was to stop reliving Cormac's ex-lovers death. I also liked how shattered Cormac still is about his past. It made for some interesting conflicts between them. I also liked the chemistry they could have had together. Bits and pieces are shown but the full potential there wasn't achieved, IMO. More than anything, I wished their relationship had been more developed because, while they might have had some attraction, I didn't feel like there was any connection between them at all. In fact, I felt like there was always Cormac's ex-lover that Cormac would put before anything else, including Sean, and I didn't think that was fair to Sean, especially after everything he just did for Cormac.
As I said, the world is very interesting. It's intriguing and captivating but I didn't enjoy how it was handled. I was confused most of the time about what was going on. I couldn't understand how Sean and Cormac would get into these situations, and while they were intense and interesting, it didn't really make sense. This made reading the story difficult and I think what made the book also drag for me. I just really struggled with it. More than anything, though, the ending is what frustrates me. Sean and Cormac changed the past but nothing in the present changes?! That made no sense to me at all. Also, while I found the ending very sweet, it came out of left field for me. Sean and Cormac love each other but I'm wondering how that development happened because I didn't see it in the writing. I also really wished we got to see their time in D.C. because I felt like the ending was very abrupt in not showing that.
All in all, amazing world building but everything else I was just confused on. The events they go through and how they end up where they do, didn't add up for me. I was confused on so many things that by the end, I was a bit disappointed by not only the journey they go on but the supposed love they've seemed to have developed off screen. Some people will really enjoy this one but it missed its mark with me.(less)
I usually round up when I give half stars but this one had me both uncomfortable by some aspects (and not in a good way) but also intrigued b...more3.5 stars
I usually round up when I give half stars but this one had me both uncomfortable by some aspects (and not in a good way) but also intrigued by others.
The book itself is fascinating. The premise of the story is very unique and captivating especially with the dystopia/technologically advanced setting. The way the world revolved around a nano-virus and AIs and how the hives created and continued to create and procreate based on those infected with the virus, while the humans were trying to fight them off and survive, was something I enjoyed immensely. The complete chaos the world has become because of this nano-virus was something I gobbled up and wanted more of. This world is seriously amazing.
The characters were a surprise. For one, Nicholas Rider was infected with the nano-virus. For a while, he was consumed by it but he somehow managed to beat the infection so he can make his own decisions now and follow his desires without infecting new people. Rider is snarky and uses sarcasm for everything but still knows how to charm people and get them into his bed. Robert Sutton is Lieutenant at a human compound trying to survive the virus. He hates Rider right from the start because, while Sutton is immune to the virus, Rider still gets under his skin and makes Sutton want him. When they are paired together to fight incoming hive colonies, the tension between them starts to escalate and Sutton just can't resist Rider anymore. It's one of the things I liked about this story. Rider had such a powerful influence on Sutton BUT Sutton had the same affect on Rider, which left Rider bewildered and intrigued. The way Sutton and Rider have an almost all-consuming jealousy over anyone that gets too friendly was very entertaining to me because I always loved stories with jealousy and possessiveness. So, yes, I really loved these characters because of how they acted to each other and the feelings they didn't want to feel but couldn't help but develop.
I loved the story, I truly did but the beginning had me wondering if I should keep reading or not. It mostly has to do with the relationship, or I should say the friends with benefits, Sutton had. I didn't like it at all and later I didn't like finding out that the three people he had that type of relationship with (Sevti, Gryff, and Annabel) were essentially using him or at least that's what it felt like to me. In addition to that, the constant talking of Sevti, Annabel, and Gryff, got on my nerves. Especially since they are still present in the story and didn't seem all that broken up about Rider claiming Sutton, and vice versa, but were freaked out and pissed with what Rider did to Annabel. I didn't much like the constant comparison between them and Rider. Also, I didn't like how Rider described a number of his conquests. It didn't seem to help or further the story and wasn't that hot, in my opinion.
Overall, while I loved the concept of the story, the characters and the amazing world that was created, I didn't like the relationships and constant boasting of past conquests at all. It fell flat for me. I did, however, enjoy the chemistry that Sutton and Rider had and the way the author easily captured their intensity. This was very well-written and easy to read. I wish the story had been longer and a bit more elaborated on with the hive colonies to explain more of how they got certain marks and scarring. I would definitely recommend this, though, because the world is truly awesome and I sincerely hope there will be more of it in the future. I would definitely love to have more Sutton and Rider as well because it doesn't feel as if their story, and their new found cure, is fully told. So, sequel please!(less)
This was a very cute and sweet story. I very much enjoyed it.
It's a book about acceptance and self-discovery. Of overcoming your fears and social diso...moreThis was a very cute and sweet story. I very much enjoyed it.
It's a book about acceptance and self-discovery. Of overcoming your fears and social disorders to finally being able to be happy and content. Mark grows so much over the story. In the beginning he's miserable and alone, scared to come out of his shell because he's gay. Over the course of the story, he realizes being gay is not as horrible as he thought from being raised by a homophobic father. He sees there are people who accept individuals for who they are and he grows to ultimately accept himself. Seth helps him in a surprising way because he's willing to take things as slow as Mark needs and help Mark work through all his emotions. It's powerful and sweet.
I really adored these characters. Mark is so cute with his shyness and how crippling that social disorder is for him which makes him freeze up and stutter in front of men he's attracted to or large crowds. He has severe anxiety in a lot of situations but most stem down to having to do with being gay. He's scared so much of that side of himself that he keeps it in secret and bolts when things start to escalate between him and Seth. Seth was a great character as well. I felt like he was made perfectly for Mark because he knew how to handle Mark, sort of as if Mark was a skittish animal.
It was nice seeing these two circle around each other and I loved seeing Mark try to work through his problems and learn that just because he's gay, doesn't mean he deserves to be lonely and miserable the rest of his life. He realizes he could be happy, open and in a loving relationship. I loved his awkwardness around Seth and how he just couldn't get passed the intensity between them. It was definitely palpable.
The only problem I had with the story is about halfway the story started to drag. I think Mark's internal monologue became a little excessive. I also would have liked a few more scenes of Seth and Mark actually alone together (outside of having sex) so we could have gotten to know them better with the way they act around each other in close quarters. But, I loved Belle, Mark's dog, and I loved the role Claire played in helping Mark understand what Seth is to him. Mark's sister-in-law, Lisa, played a nice role as well and it was funny seeing Mark taking care of her, since she's pregnant, and people mistaking him for his brother, Pete, who's away at war. There were definitely enough laughs to make this story heart-warming and an easy read.
All in all, I really enjoyed it. I loved Mark's social disorder and Seth's instinctive way of soothing Mark. It was a fun, sweet and interesting tale with a great ending. I would love to see these guys again to see how Mark is coping with his new-found courage and see how their relationship is working. (less)
I enjoyed this one a lot. The world is extremely fascinating as well as the conflict between the characters and their duties but this was one book I d...moreI enjoyed this one a lot. The world is extremely fascinating as well as the conflict between the characters and their duties but this was one book I didn't want to put down.
I loved how broken both these characters are. Elios, an important linguist, is afraid to get into a relationship because of how hurt he still is over his last lover leaving him for someone else right when they were supposed to start a family. Sender, a pilot, is ashamed of his desire for other men since it's against his religion. Both these characters aren't looking for anything serious but once they get together they can't stop the feelings that grow. Unfortunately, when something happens back at Sender's home colony, it starts to drift them apart and requires Sender to choose between duty and love.
This world is extremely fascinating with the different colonies and the Pandora project that Elios and Sender's world revolves around. It had a lot of potential but one thing that kept annoying me was how confused I'd get at times. It's a great sci-fi book but while some things are explained, it's not as detailed as I would have liked which caused my confusion. When talk of Pandora happened, I would always have questions about it. What is it? Why do they need to look at it? What is the point of the project? Why would the project take five years? By the end of the book, some things are explained but not everything so I was still left with unanswered questions. I also felt like the story ended too soon. I was hoping to see them go up to Pandora and how they'd make a relationship work up there but it ends before that which makes it feel a bit like a cliffhanger.
However, while I was confused, I truly loved this book. I fell in love with Sender and Elios, Macy and Sender's sister, Katy. Macy is extremely hilarious and does everything he can to smooth Sender and Elios' relationship when it gets rocky because he just wants Sender to be happy and he knows Elios makes Sender happy.
Overall, this was a great book. It's entertaining, fascinating and was very easy for me to immerse myself in. It lacked a few details in places I thought were important but the conflict and the characters more than made up for that especially with how easily I was able to connect with all of them. The problems they go through were fascinating to me and I was happy to see them work through them. It's a fun read while at the same time a tad angsty and intense. Definitely recommended. (less)
This particular book deals with an exceptionally talented and famous but low key soccer player, Riley, who ends up falling for his neighbor, Max, who...moreThis particular book deals with an exceptionally talented and famous but low key soccer player, Riley, who ends up falling for his neighbor, Max, who just so happens to be one of the most notorious soccer reporters out there. They make a relationship work until both their careers and love are tested. Now the question is should Max give up his career by not writing a story about Riley? Or will Riley's career be ruined by Max's story?
Sports themed books hold a special place in my heart because of the simple fact sports are so testosterone laden. It always comes down to the player being in the closet for fear that he'll be shunned by his uber macho teammates and his fans. No matter what sport, they are all 'manly' in some way and these characters are always in the closet. I love seeing the turmoil the player goes through and watching him figure out whether he should stay in the closet for the love of his career or come out for the love of his partner or somehow keep both his career and his lover without too many consequences.
In this one, Riley holds enough angst for me to be satisfied with his turmoil over coming out but at the same time it wasn't too angsty which suited my mood perfectly. The added conflict of being attracted to but yet afraid to start a relationship with out and proud sports writer, Max, made this story a very great read.
I loved the characters and their dilemmas. I felt like I knew them by the end of the story. I loved the way this story was handled because we went through Riley's problems, Max's problems and then found a happy medium between the two while the story kept the realistic feel that I was looking for.
My only complaint with this book is I felt like there was a bit too much sex which, in my opinion, took away from the more advanced characterization this story could have achieved. Don't get me wrong, I loved the characterization in this book but I felt like there could have been more of it as well as more of an emphasis on seeing Riley actually competing in soccer games as opposed to just the conflict that revolved around the games.
Still, in the end, I loved the story, the characters, and the trials Riley and Max went through. Their story was sweet and hot at the same time with just a tiny bit of angst. It was a great book and I hope we get to see more of them someday. (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)
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)