This is a peculiar story about Koby who has been contracted to work in Antarctica as part of...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
This is a peculiar story about Koby who has been contracted to work in Antarctica as part of his contract for his Doctorate degree. Thinking working in a parium mine will be boring and easy, he’s very unprepared for what it really is: a place where imprisoned vampires mine the parium where no torture is off limits to them. Horrified at what he sees, he and a few of his colleagues, with the help of his friend Ivo, devise a plan to not only free the vampires but take down the very man who approves of such horrors.
There’s a good cast of characters in this one. Our main guy is Koby, who is the scientist on his way to studying the cohabitation of dead and living cells in a single body. He’s eager but nervous and very confused when he meets the criminal, Mircea. Mircea is the old, wise vampire that has made peace with the life he has, although he still wishes to kill the very men who make his life so bad. Other characters include Sophie and Ivo who give Koby the courage to do what he ultimate does and a few other minor characters that make it all happen.
The plot of this story is very intriguing. The fact that vampires are widely known and, more or less, accepted interests me a great deal. How Earth has completely ruined its ozone to the point that only something called parium is able to keep the atmosphere intact, is very intriguing. I liked that the author decided to go with this because it opened the story up to a lot of possibilities and made for some interesting discoveries.
At the same time, while the story had a lot of potential, I don’t think it lived up to it. I loved that it was set in the future but I also felt like I was missing a lot of the background story to completely understand not just the parium was used but the vampires and how they came to be so known. I also felt like a lot of the important parts where skipped over. I would have liked to see exactly how the vampires managed to leave or what Koby had to go through during the two year separation between him and Mircea. As it were, a lot of it is skipped, ignored or told very briefly to the point that it wasn’t very satisfying.
Beyond that, if you’re looking for a romance, this isn’t the right story for you because while there is romantic elements towards the end (the date is very sweet), it doesn’t come into play until literally the end. By that point, I didn’t feel a connection between Koby and Mircea. All I really knew was that there was some bone-deep pull Koby had towards Mircea but did Mircea feel the same? I could never really tell :(
In the end, I won’t deny that I still liked the story. There was a lot that I felt was missing that made the book feel almost like an outline but I enjoyed this author’s writing and found the world that she managed to create fascinating. I really wished it had been longer so that not only could the events be more detailed but we could actually see the connection and relationship between Koby and Mircea.(less)
When I read the blurb for this story, I was immediately intrigued. As someone who l...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
When I read the blurb for this story, I was immediately intrigued. As someone who loves fantasies, I find unique and complex worlds fascinating. So, right from the bat, this story had a lot of potential for me to enjoy it especially mixed with that cover and an edge of steampunk, I was all too eager to get started. Unfortunately, while I loved that the author put so much effort into the world building, the length of this story really hindered not only my enjoyment of it but my understanding of what exactly was going on.
To put it simply, Jules is an engineering sage who’s Master has been killed for conducting an illegal project… or harboring an illegal machine part (I’m not sure which). As such, creatures known as rippers were sent out to kill him and Jules. Fortunately for Jules, he was able to escape and ends up coming across Obadai, someone with seed magick. Knowing just how much danger Jules is in, Obadai agrees to help him fix an airship but before they can complete their task, the ripper shows up with the intention of punishing both of them and the punishment for their supposed crimes? Death.
Let me just say that I really liked these characters. Obadai is a strong, confident man who is willing to help someone when the situation calls for it. In contrast, Jules is more timid and shy unless it has to do with tinkering with machines and then he’s a whole nother person. In this story, the relationship between Obadai and Jules is just starting. Literally, it is like a seed in the ground: it’s been planted and just waiting to grow. The two together are both sweet and fierce and even though they just met, they are all too willing to put their lives on the line to save each other.
The best thing about this story is the world but unfortunately it is also the worst thing. Since the story is so short and the world is so massive, the author tried to cram so much information into a little over 17,000 words. The result of which only left me confused and frustrated. Not to mention there were so many unique words to describe the land, country, creatures, etc. that I kept stumbling over them because I didn’t understand what they meant and most of the time, they weren’t explained in a simplistic way. The beginning is particularly hard to get through because it is filled with a lot of info dump in an attempt to understand the setting but because of that, for me it was just a bunch of nonsense I couldn’t decipher. Add to that, there were a lot of complex names and individuals mentioned that didn’t seem necessary in the grand scheme of things.
To put it mildly, this was only an okay story. If this story had at least 100 more pages, the author could have spread out the descriptions on the world, the inhabitants and the numerous people that were mentioned but never appeared in the story and it would have been fine, or at least more understandable, but because there was just so much information to learn and understand, the end result was not comprehensive for my simple brain :( I liked the characters and I liked the concept of the mission Jules had to go on but as much as I wanted to enjoy the book, it was hard to really get into the story when so many details were pushed together in such a short tale.
As it is, while this is the start of a new series and wasn’t as good as I was expecting, I’m willing to give the sequel a try in the hopes that most of the information told in this story won’t weigh down the rest of the series.(less)
You know when you’ve just finished a great book and you sit there thinking, “How the hell am I supposed to review this?” Yeah, well, that’s exactly ho...moreYou know when you’ve just finished a great book and you sit there thinking, “How the hell am I supposed to review this?” Yeah, well, that’s exactly how I felt once I finished Throne of Glass.
To say I adored the story would be a gross understatement. I devoured this book within hours (as a slow reader that’s an amazing thing) and even bought the print editions of not just the first but the second book, Crown of Midnight, and the collection of short stories, The Assassin's Blade, right after I finished it.
Throne of Glass is about Celaena Sardothien, who earned the title of Adarlan’s Assassin, before she was caught and sentenced to slavery in the Salt Mines of Endovier. Now a year after her sentencing, an unexpected offer comes her way in the form of Adarlan’s Crown Prince, who gives her the option of her freedom… for a price. All she has to do is defeat twenty-three other candidates for the role of King’s Champion. If she wins, three years of service is all that separates her from complete freedom.
The story is centered around Celaena’s fight for that freedom, the numerous tests she has to compete in to advance to the next round but most of all, Celaena’s just been thrust into a new and unfamiliar world where evil magic is being used to kill off her competitors. On top of that, she has the Captain of the Guard who hates her and doesn’t trust her and the Crown Prince who’s getting a little too close for everybody’s comfort. Will she claim the title of King’s Champion or will all her efforts be for nothing?
Honestly, there’s so much that happens I don’t want to spoiler any of it. Some people won’t like this book because of the simple fact it’s not strictly a romance. While I’m also hesitant to call it Young Adult (things get very gruesome at times), I will admit that there’s ‘hints’ of a romance brewing. Actually, there’s hints that a love triangle is already starting and while I normally don’t like love triangles, it worked very well in this story because the possible love interests are so different. One of them I believe suits Celaena better than the other but that’s just my opinion (and I’m also biased because I just adored Chaol ^_^). Also, readers should be aware that these characters are very young; Celaena is only eighteen, Dorian is nineteen and Chaol is twenty-two.
One thing I loved about this book, though, was the characters. While Celaena is the main voice, POV shifts to multiple people that are significant to the story. Some of them I liked more than others (a personal preference because I hated Kaltain) but all were what made the story the way it is. As characters, Celaena, Chaol and Dorian are all very well in-depth. Celaena, while an assassin, is a little rusty in her skills but she’s also emotionally damaged in more ways than one. She’s surly and flippant but makes it her goal to get a rise out of Chaol or Dorian if she can. She has a lot of layers that still haven’t been uncovered but I loved being able to see some of them being peeled back by Chaol and Dorian. Most of all, Celaena is a fragile, vulnerable young woman who needs protecting in some ways and Chaol and Dorian unintentionally give her that. Dorian is the classic charming prince although he’s one that is disgusted with his father, the King. He’s not quite a man but Celaena makes him want to become one. Chaol is an intriguing mix between a sad, lost man and a severe, all business captain. All three characters are very young and, honestly, still have a lot of maturing to do even though they’ve been forced to live through some harsh realities.
As a huge fan of fantasy, one of the things I look forward to the most is the new world I get to discover. With Throne of Glass, while we don’t get a full detailed description of this new place as a whole, I have no doubt we’ll get more of it as the series progresses and Celaena journeys to different countries. What there is of the world, is phenomenal. I loved that it was a mix of a historical setting and a fantasy one with a flair of magic but the brutality that has consumed the world since the King has been decimating countries was interesting to read about and also quite sad.
In the end, this was an amazing story. I loved experiencing the growth in all the characters, as well as, seeing the tests that Celaena has to go through, not to mention the secondary characters made things more interesting. The mystery surrounding the evil inside the castle was a blast to uncover and while I have questions about some of the things that happened during the book, I think I’ll get my answers as we learn more about Celaena and why she’s so important to everything.
I definitely recommend this to anyone who is a fantasy lover, who doesn’t mind the romance developing over several books because while there’s only a hint of it in Throne of Glass, I have a feeling it’s going to be an epic one by the time the series finishes!
A few months ago, I read a story that not only blew my socks off but made me immedi...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
A few months ago, I read a story that not only blew my socks off but made me immediately want to read the sequel AND purchase the print books of both stories. In Liam's Wake (see my review here) was a ball of craziness I could not let go. I was nervous the sequel wouldn't live up to it but, to my pleasure, it was so much better...
This is the journey that Johann Andreas IV takes from being a self-conscious, overweight nobody to a person who finds his place in the world and a person to love him. I'm not going to go into details about what happens because, honestly, I wouldn't be able to explain everything that Johann goes through or the shear craziness that is this story (in a good way!). What I will say is that Tanner and Johann go through many things together and apart. They live separate lives but yearn for the same thing. It's about self-discovery and acceptance, love and friendship, right and wrong and how you have to lose things before you realize the importance of what you lost. It's a gripping tale that kept me captivated from beginning to end.
I loved the characters. Johann has so much depth to him that I wanted to save him from himself. He's not a perfect character. He's overweight, selfish, somewhat conceited but all he craves is someone who wants him for him. Tanner is that someone. Where Johann takes, Tanner gives everything he has just to make Johann happy, even at the cost of his own happiness. It's heart-breaking, to be honest, because these two have more of a history than anyone could ever know and no matter what they do, everything seems to conspire against them being together... even the 'needs' they think they each want. When all is said and done, the influence they have on one another not only grows them as people but matures them and cements them into the lives they were meant to live.
My only niggle with this story was that I felt like Johann was very self-centered, to the point it was frustrating to read. Considering how he grew up, I could kind of understand it but I just wish he would have taken into consideration how Tanner was feeling or how hard Tanner was trying to make Johann comfortable. I felt so bad with how Johann treated him at times that I wanted to yell at Johann :(
In the end, I absolutely adored the story even if there were some moments I wanted to smack Johann. The simple fact that Johann grew so much throughout the story, though, leveled out my dislike of his selfish moments. Tanner captured my heart and didn't want to let go, and the numerous twists and turns throughout the book kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. The world Ms. Forge has managed to create is awe-inspiring and I can't wait to read more about the characters within it!
If you're a science fiction lover like me and enjoy stories that have multiple conflicts, an intricate world and heart-wrenching characters, then you'll enjoy this one as well, so give it a try!(less)
Eight years ago, Liam was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Thrust into a world that’s c...moreThis review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.
Eight years ago, Liam was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Thrust into a world that’s considered ‘Topside’, life as he knew it was just about over. His only saving grace is Riley, the man who was sucked into the mysterious place with him. Unfortunately for them, they had to endure one hellish situation after another to survive. Now Liam’s been in the ‘Colony’, a more civilized place than Topside, for five years but Riley’s been in a coma for just as long. Liam’s world is slowly falling apart but what will happen when Riley finally wakes up? Will Liam’s natural affinity to causing problems put them in more trouble then the two can handle?
I just want to say for the record that this book is really crazy! There are so many layers to not only the world and the characters but everything that Liam and Riley have to endure. They each had their own problems and now have the emotional and physical scars to prove it but this book is one that is constantly moving forward. When something happens, it doesn’t just resolve itself in a matter of moments but propels the story into another situation and another to the point that they’re all interwoven and almost all can be resolved in a specifc way… by Liam registering with the Eletes.
To be honest, I don’t feel comfortable trying to explain this story because it would be hard to recreate all that in so many words. What I will say is that this book definitely took me for a ride. Whenever I thought something was going good, Liam would inadvertently cause another problem or part of Riley’s mysteriousness would start to unravel and we’d learn something new about the characters and how much more complicated things could get.
About the characters, I absolutely adored them. Liam is so broken, complicated and almost naive. He’s… well, he’s a hot mess. He just wants to break Riley and him free of the Colony and go back to New York but he can’t do that and each time he’s denied his way of going home, he starts to unravel more and more, losing his mind, becoming anxious and panicky. He has these built in receptors that are extremely dangerous and could kill him if he gets too worked up, which he gets close to doing multiple times. He always thinks he’s found a way to get out of the ‘prison’ he’s in but each time it falls through and he slowly loses hope to the point that he becomes suicidal in his mission to get them back to New York.
Riley is like Liam’s rock but, at the same time, their situation is unique. Riley is even more complicated than Liam because, as the story progresses, you learn over and over how Riley is different from anyone else alive but not exactly how he got that way. It’s amazing and intriguing to see it all play out. Even more so because of the connection between Liam and Riley. Which, while I wouldn’t exactly consider it a sexual one at first, it is definitely an emotional one. They’re linked together through their shared experiences and have created a bond that is hard to break completely.
I had a few issues with the story, though. My main one is that I was confused a lot. The transitions between one problem and the next weren’t very smooth so I was always left scratching my head wondering how Liam or Riley ended up where they did, almost like there were scenes missing between one chapter break and the start of another. It was hard to follow when mixed with Riley’s disadvantage of losing his memories or with Liam’s panic attacks that cause them to black out.
Another thing I had trouble with was understanding Liam and Riley’s relationship because sometimes they would be in love and other times it was almost like they hated each other or were disgusted with one another. I’m not sure if it was meant towards one another or at something else that was keeping them apart but it made me semi uncomfortable… but then they’d confess their love and their emotional connection would be so prominent that I was able to overlook it sometimes. Beyond that, I must admit that I still have a ton of questions about the world and Riley and Liam’s relationship. What is going to happen to Riley? What exactly is Riley? How did he get that way? What is his place in the Colony? Why is Riley still so apprehensive about being touched during intimacy? There’s just so many questions revolving around Riley that I’m burning to know the answers of… but then I also want to know more about Liam and these mysterious people still trying to kill him. Or how the Elete will change him? What will the Elete do to him now? What about Norman? Or Vlad? Omg, there’s just so many questions that I want to know NOW!
Phew! In the end, this was an amazing story. It’s been a while since I’ve been so intrigued with a book that, even though it was a crazy story, I just couldn’t put it down. I was so invested in this one and how Liam and Riley would make things work or how Liam would get out of his next fuck up that I didn’t even notice I was gobbling up huge chunks of the story at a time. I didn’t expect that this would become such a complex book but I’m so glad I read it. I can’t wait to read more in this series and in this world. It’s such a fascinating world with emotionally damaged and fragile characters. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone looking for something different that’ll grab you by the balls and not let go… so to speak. LOL. I loved the book so much I even bought the paperback! :D (less)
Having just finished this, I must say that I'm sort of speechless. I'm not exactly sure what to say about this book. However, it's been a lon...more4.5 stars
Having just finished this, I must say that I'm sort of speechless. I'm not exactly sure what to say about this book. However, it's been a long time since I've felt the desire to stick with a story in one go and even longer since I've finished a book this long (82k+) in only a day.
With that said, there are a lot of warnings that should come with this book. For one, there is no romance in this one. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to even call it a gay novel because the main character is more asexual than anything. There are 'suggestions' and 'impressions' that this could turn into a gay romance but that could also be taken as the MCs just getting violent. But to those readers thinking they're picking up a young adult, new adult, whatever you want to call it, romance, you'll be sadly disappointed.
That out of the way, I'm extremely glad I read this. It might not be romance or m/m but I adored the characters and the journey I took with them. They're intense to say the least, psychotic and likely to fly off the handle bars but there was something about them that made me want to continue reading and find out where things were going. While I wouldn't say there's a huge cast of characters, there are more than the typical couple and a few side characters. The main contenders here are three guys: Neil, Andrew and Kevin. Neil is an asexual (kinda) who just wants to play Exy (which is like a sport that mixes lacrosse and ice hockey). He's a frightened kid but knows how crucial it is to lie low for fear of his father discovering where he is. Kevin is difficult to explain. He's mean and criticizes everything about Neil but at the same time, he's this lost soul who's been dealt just as crappy a hand as Neil has. Andrew is... psychotic. It's the only way to describe him. I don't understand how he became this way but he's got nothing to lose and he acts on that. He's five foot nothing but he's not afraid of staring down giants. He's amazing but scary and willing to keep everyone who he deems 'family' safe and right now that is Kevin.
The story follows Neil along as he gets accustomed to living in such an open place and playing the sport he loves. Immediately he has issues with Andrew and his gang (who are Neil's teammates) that makes his life difficult but he loves Exy enough to put up with the hostility from everyone. It's about the trials that Neil has to go through, the panic and fear he always has about being found out and being hunted again and the consequences he has to deal with when he makes his decisions regarding whether to stay or to run.
The only thing I didn't like about this book (aside from the lack of m/m romance, of course!) was how confused I was at times. The beginning will be hard to get through for some people because you're left wondering what is going on. You don't get the full back story for Neil or Kevin or even Andrew that really makes sense until well into the book so you're left wondering and probably saying WTF multiple times.
I feel that I should warn readers that this isn't exactly about the mafia either. While there's an undertone of it and even the threat of a yakuza pride descending on Neil and Kevin, it's not actually shown or very prominent in the story. Given that, I didn't much mind this because I felt like the whole book was focusing on second chances and Neil finally living a life, finding a home and standing up to his past. To do that, he needs Andrew and Andrew is willing to help him because of Kevin. It sort of seems like a love triangle but, like I said, this isn't romance. It is more of a bonding between these characters over a common issue.
To be honest, it's hard to explain this whole book because so much happens and is revealed that would spoiler the whole story if told. So, I'm going to leave it here. I enjoyed the novel. It has its issues but I found the whole thing fascinating and couldn't put the book down once I started. I liked that it wasn't saturated in sex but focused on such broken, and in Andrew's case, frightening characters. These characters are misfits, pure and simple and their attitudes and aggressions show that. It's a book of deceit, loyalty, dangerous situations and trust. It's not your traditional story but a gripping tale nonetheless and I'm really looking forward to seeing where the series goes from here and seriously how there's some m/m romance in the near future for Neil and Andrew!!(less)
When I read the blurb for this book, I knew right away it had the potential to be a wild ride. Any au...moreThis review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.
When I read the blurb for this book, I knew right away it had the potential to be a wild ride. Any author that has the balls to have such an attention grabber for the start of a blurb was something that I wanted to read and I’m happy to say this book lived up to my expectations and more.
The story revolves around Vorgell, a brute of a man who unwittingly kills a unicorn, eats some berries and then becomes so horny he fucks himself with the unicorn’s horn. Now cursed with the unicorn’s magic, he’ll live the rest of his life unable to control his lust. Being jailed for his crime, he’s thrown into a cell with Maddog, a witchkin who’s forced to wear a love collar that binds him to the Baron. When they meet, Vorgell feels so much lust for Madd he’s willing to force himself on Madd but instead Vorgell settles for a kiss, turned bite, that Madd uses to tap into Vorgell’s new magic, allowing them to escape.
When their emotions settle down, they reluctantly decide to work together. Vorgell will help Madd break the collar while Madd will sate Vorgell’s constant lust. Unfortunately, to get rid of the collar, they’ll have to break back into the very place they just escaped from, steal an unhatched basilisk egg and do it all without getting caught. Madd attracts trouble, though, and things aren’t that easy. Now, they’re not just saving Madd from the Baron but trying to stop the wizards from increasing their powers through the Baron’s wife. With so many roadblocks, will they ever be able to succeed and gain their freedom?
I loved these characters. They were quite surprising from how they develop over the course of the book. Vorgell more than anyone because of his sexual appetites. Vorgell starts off as this mindless gigantic brute who will take what he wants and not care who he hurts in the process. He’s aggressive, forceful and quick to battle. He hates witches with a passion and vows to slaughter any he comes into contact with until he meets Madd. Madd is just the opposite, he’s small, determined and stubborn with no problems taking advantage of Vorgell’s magic. With his life, he needs to be in control. He’s a thief and has no loyalties to anyone, in fact, he pretty much hates everyone and couldn’t care less to help them.
As they work together, though, they form a bond that neither of them are willing to let go of. Now, Madd and Vorgell will do anything to stick together even if it means getting killed in the process. They develop a weird sense of honor but definitely form a bone-deep bond that allows them to trust and have faith in one another. It’s sweet, in a way, to see Madd go from something resembling a hissing cat to one who would do anything to keep Vorgell from getting used… at least from anyone besides himself. Vorgell is the same in that he won’t let anything happen to Madd. While they don’t necessarily love each other, there’s affection there and growing adoration that definitely could develop into love if their story were to continue further.
The world is quite amazing. I loved that it was so deep into the magical community centered on wizards and witches and the differences between the two while mixed in with an almost historical setting. The witches are women who believe that men are just tools to give them more magic and to create life while wizards are men who gorge themselves on all things related to necromancy, killing witches to strengthen themselves. Madd falls somewhere in the middle. He’s a witchkin which means he doesn’t practice necromancy but can’t necessarily create his own magic without refueling from an outside source, which generally means consuming living things. It’s a crazy world where magic is essentially part of everything. The journey Madd and Vorgell go on takes the reader deeper and deeper into the layers of witches and witchkin. It was fascinating for me because it provided enough information to stay interesting but not so much that it’s overdone and becomes too heavy in world building. It was a nice balance between adventure, affection and the overall world.
The only fault I found with the story was that some aspects of it are unresolved. Not majorly so but it’s left with a possibility of more to come for these two and I, for one, would be extremely happy if there were a sequel!
The book flows well from the start with an engaging first chapter that had me wanting to read more. The writing is smooth and has action interspersed throughout the whole story. When things would start to slow down, Madd and Vorgell would find themselves in another situation that required them to fight for their lives or go through dangerous territory. It’s filled with twists and turns but even while Vorgell and Madd develop, they never shed the criminal actions that got them caught in the first place. It was refreshing that they weren’t born again innocents but instead kept their gruff and dangerous exteriors. They’re completely hot together and I loved the ‘mastering’ (if you can even call it that) that takes place between the two. They’re very, very surprising characters and while I was afraid of the direction the story would take a few times, overall, I loved the way it was executed.
For someone looking for a true romance, you won’t find that with this story. This is pure fantasy with more of lust than love in the developing of feelings and companionship but you won’t find undying love in this book. It’s rich in a unique world, a fascinating journey and an interesting cast of characters and creatures. It was a fun, adventurous read that got intense at times but I’m so glad I read it because I loved it. I do sincerely hope there’s more to come of these two because I’d love to see what mischief Vorgell, Madd and Petal get into next. And if you want to know who Petal is… well, you’ll just have to read it and find out yourself!(less)
This was a fascinating story. I loved how it had two characters with such severe issues. Logan is just recently out of prison, a recovering alcoholic,...moreThis was a fascinating story. I loved how it had two characters with such severe issues. Logan is just recently out of prison, a recovering alcoholic, and working at a warehouse. He struggles daily with his desire to pick up a bottle and start drinking. I loved that he felt so much guilt over how he acted while he was drinking. His struggling was interesting to see especially with how he thought things through. He understood his weakness and he tried his hardest to stay on the straight and narrow. I also loved that fact that he was so freaking tall and scary! It was kind of funny. Caleb is a real sweetheart. So innocent and oblivious he doesn't even know his own appeal. It was interesting to see how Caleb handles being an agoraphobic. His constant 'What ifs' are sad to read about but I found it so fascinating to see the downward spiral those questions induced in Caleb. It was sad but also amazing to see that he was eventually willing to work on his problems with a little nudge from Logan.
One thing I really loved about this book, though, was how there were sporadic situations or moments that were extremely funny. I was either smiling from something funny or smiling from something extremely cute and sweet. I loved how the author was able to show the similarities between someone like Caleb and someone like Logan. They might have had two different problems but the struggles they go through are very similar and I liked that comparison because it gave them something to bond over. I adored how Logan put so much effort into helping Caleb. I also liked how we got such an up close look into Caleb's panic attacks. It made them very real but I also appreciated the fact that Caleb wasn't just cured all of a sudden because Logan showed up and offered affection. It was nice to see a little relationship develop between them before anything monumental happened. In fact, at first they start off awkward around each other. They also go through their fair share of roadblocks of shame, embarrassment, and being humiliated.
While I really enjoyed the book, I had a few difficulties with it. I definitely loved how this book dealt with two completely flawed characters. However, I felt like Caleb's problems overshadowed Logan's problems. At first, we get an in depth view of what Logan is going through as a recovering alcoholic and ex-con but somewhere during the story, we stopped seeing Logan's problems beyond a few vague comments of his cravings and the book focused on Caleb's issues. I would have liked to see more of Logan's issues, his AA meetings, his anger management meetings but also seeing Caleb incorporated in those situations as well. Because of that, I felt like the book ended before it needed to end and it almost felt too rushed. Beyond that, I felt like the issues with the theft was a little weak and took away from the intensity of Logan and Caleb's relationship.
Overall, definitely a great story. The characters were the highlight of this book and while they were a bit subdued because of the weak theft subplot, they were still a great couple. Their struggles felt real at times and gave this story a unique and fresh feel. I'm hoping there's more to come of Logan and Caleb because I'd love to read more about them and see how their efforts have paid off sometime down the road (I also hope we might get a story for John Dabb *wink, wink*).(less)
I enjoyed this story quite a bit. I loved Brute as a character but I felt very sorry for him at times. He's had a rough life and the fact that he's so...moreI enjoyed this story quite a bit. I loved Brute as a character but I felt very sorry for him at times. He's had a rough life and the fact that he's so tall and not exactly the prettiest person in the world made me like him even more. I liked Gray, as well. He was an interesting character and I really liked learning of his background. Although, at times, I felt like we could have learned more about him because even now I feel like he's a bit vague and can't get a clear picture of him.
I had a few issues with the story, though. The excessive talk about the brothels and prostitutes and all that jazz really annoyed me. I'm not very fond of anything relating to prostitution so the moments around them and Brute talking about them weren't my favorite. On top of that, I felt like the story dragged at times. I would be liking it and then I'd hit a lag to the point once I put it down, it took a while to pick back up. I also felt like some of the questions that I had weren't answered by the end and considering what Brute and Gray go through, I was expecting some more concrete answers.
In the end, I loved the world and I loved the characters. The adventure Brute and Gray go on was entertaining and fun to read about. Even with it dragging at times, it was still a good story but I hope we get a sequel one day because I don't feel like their story is completely over just yet.(less)
In The Winter Courtship Rituals of Fur-Bearing Critters, I was intrigued by Jeremy - the ex-con man that told tall tales, could never shut up and seem...moreIn The Winter Courtship Rituals of Fur-Bearing Critters, I was intrigued by Jeremy - the ex-con man that told tall tales, could never shut up and seemed a little shifty at times. This story is told before, during and after the first book. It starts years before and tells of how Jeremy was, what made him clean up his act and how he ultimately got to Granby, Colorado. It tells of his slowly developing friendship with Aiden and the feelings that come after.
This was a very sweet and heartwarming story. There's a lot of internal monologue but I loved Jeremy. He was a bad guy but he has a good heart. I loved his almost childish delight in everything about Rance's business - the knitting, the animals, all of it. It was very, very cute. Aiden was an interesting character. He's determined and persistent but patient which are good qualities when handling Jeremy who tried to run at the smallest thing. They were cute together. I wish Aiden had been a bit more developed because I really don't know much about him but I still really liked him. I also wished we'd had seen more of his family.
All in all, a really nice story. It's just adorable. That's the best way I can explain it. I loved them but I really wish it had been longer. I want to see Jeremy and Aiden as a couple more and see those roots they are putting down. (less)
I adore Amy Lane's stories. I always feel a connection with her characters and what they go through to the point that I end up crying over them nonsto...moreI adore Amy Lane's stories. I always feel a connection with her characters and what they go through to the point that I end up crying over them nonstop. Unfortunately, I struggled with this one.
It was hard for me to connect with Stanley because I felt like his character was forced.... or maybe I should say the story felt forced? Regardless, he wasn't a genuine character to me, if that makes any sense, so it was hard for me to even like him. His personality is shifty - one moment sweet and nice, the next extremely bitchy and catty - I wasn't feeling that at all. Then again, I wasn't too fond of Stanley before this book either and it didn't make me like him more when Stanley felt the need to blab to pretty much everyone that Johnny was in WITSEC and then give his whole story over again. He was in the program for a reason... and that was to keep his identity and his past life hidden... Stanley apparently didn't understand the concept of that, though. Johnny is an enigma, even though you know his situation. For some reason, I couldn't connect with him either, which is weird because I love mobsters - ex or otherwise.
Mostly, I struggled with this story. I've enjoyed this series so far but this one I just couldn't get into. I didn't feel like there was a connection between Stanley and Johnny at all. Even though they went on dates and talked about their lives, there was no spark, IMO, because there was always the underlining feeling that Johnny was only with Stanley because of his "sweet little bubble-butt". The situation regarding Johnny didn't quite make sense to me. How did Johnny's past catch up with him? I didn't understand. Usually, in series, I'm not all that fond of Amy Lane's desire to revisit past couples but in this one I found it a blessing because I enjoyed seeing Aiden and Jeremy again... although I was left scratching my head in how the whole conflict was taken care of and why Jeremy seemed almost eager to get the crap beaten out of him without calling for help or anything.
All in all, not my favorite Lane book. It was very hard to get through, and I think that might have been because there was a lot of telling from Stanley instead of showing, which made it difficult for me. Also, why did everyone feel the need to get Stanley to dump Johnny? Yeah, he was in the mob but I don't remember everyone trying to get Aiden to dump Jeremy cuz he's an ex-con (although I could be wrong) so why did everyone gang up on Stanley? Kudos to Stanley to sticking with him, though.(less)
I had high hopes for this book when I read the blurb. I mean, I liked the story but I grew frustrated multiple times with it.
Asher is put into deep tr...moreI had high hopes for this book when I read the blurb. I mean, I liked the story but I grew frustrated multiple times with it.
Asher is put into deep trouble when his brother acquires severe gambling debt and is injured for his inability to pay. Taking up his brother's slack, Asher is forced to do certain things to repay the debt. Starting a new job, though, he's pushed into a world where he attracts a lot of attention and not all of it is wanted. When he unknowingly starts a semi-relationship with the owner of the club, Tyler, he works at, he gets harassed by his beau's ex-lover.
I liked a lot of things about this book. The whole brother owes gambling debt was a nice touch because it put Asher in the situation he was in. I liked that Asher is straight but has an uncontrollable attraction to Tyler. Asher is also such a pretty boy that a lot of guys wanted to have sex with him. I liked that Tyler is forceful but gentle with Asher. I didn't feel like their love was genuine because they honestly didn't know each other but I liked how things developed and the situations they were put into. And I really loved how it ended because I thought it was sweet which left me with a smile on my face.
What I really hated about the book, though, was Asher's inability to say enough was enough. To be honest, if I had a brother that constantly put me in dangerous situations where my life was constantly threatened, I'd say "Sayonara, sucker!" It's one thing to help out someone you care about but to do it over and over again without that person giving a shit whether they put your life in danger is just ridiculous. I wouldn't put myself through that. But that's just me. I also felt like there was too much sex. When something happened and Asher and Tyler needed to talk, they'd have sex instead which is why I don't feel like their love was genuine.
All in all, not a bad story. I'd read more from this author and I did like that this book dealt with the more criminal side of things. It had a few suspenseful moments, some sweet moments as well and I liked that about it. I wouldn't mind getting more stories in this world, though, as long as they were more fleshed out with less sex. (less)
This was my first book by Missouri Dalton. While the story is relatively short, I enjoyed it enough to...moreThis review can be found at The Armchair Reader.
This was my first book by Missouri Dalton. While the story is relatively short, I enjoyed it enough to consider reading more by her one day.
With that said, the first thing a reader needs to know is this is a very quick read. The blurb is also not quite accurate and tells pretty much everything you want to know about the story while it also misleads the reader a little bit. For one, Takashi doesn’t actually work for the yakuza he’s more indebted to them so he has to do as they say. He’s promised to be free of his debt with one last assassination job. Things don’t go as planned for him and he ends up almost dead facing off with a creature that in no way could be real, only to be saved by another mysterious creature. From there, Takashi runs into Daisuke an old friend and lover. Their time together is quick before they part ways which leads Takashi back to finish the job he couldn’t finish before.
The first thing that popped into my head when I started this story was whether or not it was part of a series. It kind of just started with an expectation the reader will understand what’s going on. I was confused by it, to say the least. Even with that, though, I was able to get into the story. It’s fast-paced, very fast-paced, and a shallow read. There isn’t much depth to the story so you only know the most surface of details. Any questions that you have while reading are not answered and only lead to more questions.
The story is rather interesting, however, it dips into the paranormal and talks of folklore creatures that are quite fascinating to read about. Given the fact Takashi is saved by one of those creatures made the story fun when Takashi brings it upon himself to repay the spirit that saved him. Another thing I liked about the book was that there’s no sex between the MCs, Takashi and Daisuke, they have a bit of chemistry but anything beyond that isn’t shown. There’s also a bit of suspense that leaves you with the hope some of your questions will be answered.
Unfortunately, the story ends with no explanation of what’s going to happen next. In fact, the story doesn’t have much to do with Daisuke but it ends with him in the last scene right when you think you’ll get answers about him only to end and leave you without getting those answers. It’s like there’s a cliffhanger because not everything is resolved least of which whatever is between Takashi and Daisuke. It left me a little peeved.
So, while I enjoyed the story, it didn’t quite satisfy the expectations I had from the blurb and only left me confused and with more questions than answers. Still, if you’re looking for something quick and sort of intense without much romance, this is definitely what you’re looking for.(less)
I have to admit there are two things I love to read about. One is mobsters and the other is the whole 'I pushed you aw...more3.5 stars - may contain spoilers
I have to admit there are two things I love to read about. One is mobsters and the other is the whole 'I pushed you away to save your life' theme. I'm a total sucker for both even though they aren't really extravagant and a bit cliche (at least the 'I pushed you away to save your life' part is).
This book has both, plus the added benefit of ex-lovers with two decades worth of hate, anger and bitterness. I liked the way the story was told, how it showed Eli in his life in California then when he went back to Missouri. I thought the pacing of the book was very good until the last bit where it went too fast. We go from Eli and Murphy just getting to know each other again through sex to all of a sudden a goodbye, an admission, and an arrest. Then months later a barely wrapped up ending. I was left confused on how things were left. How long is Murphy serving jail time? Is Eli going to enter WITSEC, too? But of course he has too! Where will they live? What were their lives be like now?
So really, it ended way too fast, IMO. It was nice and slow then went boom boom boom, which left me with loads of questions. I enjoyed the story even though I felt like we didn't get enough Eli and Murphy time. I'd like to read more about them one day, though, maybe to see where they end up and how they work out the conflicts still between them.(less)
I really liked this story but I had a few problems with it.
What I loved about it is how it deals with a cop and the leader of a gang. I love...more3.5 stars
I really liked this story but I had a few problems with it.
What I loved about it is how it deals with a cop and the leader of a gang. I love characters that are so engrained into a criminal life. Gabe, the cop, isn't actually on active duty but on medical leave for a majority of the story while Angelo, the gang leader, we get numerous brief scenes with him dealing with being a crook. Gabe and Angelo have amazing chemistry. This story deals with insta-love, however, so beware for all those that don't like that type of theme. There's also big possessive, aggressive attitudes going on, which I found hot because I like that type of thing.
What I didn't like about the story, however, is the amount of sex. I felt like there was just too much to the point I started to skip some. Gabe and Angelo tended to have sex instead of talking things through when they had arguments. I also wish the book had elaborated on a lot more scenes. I felt like some things could have been longer to get the full aspect of Angelo's criminal life. Then there were glossed over scenes, like Angelo's jail time, that I wished had been fleshed out.
Overall, I liked the story very much. Gabe and Angelo were definitely hot. The story is engaging if you take it at surface value but more than that the ending was extremely sweet and I loved that. I'm looking forward to the sequel because I know it'll have to do with more gang life. (less)
Before I started this story, I hadn't read the blurb or even an excerpt but I like Mary Calmes' writing. It's like comfort food for me so I w...more4.5 stars
Before I started this story, I hadn't read the blurb or even an excerpt but I like Mary Calmes' writing. It's like comfort food for me so I wasn't too worried I wouldn't enjoy the story. And I was right. I loved it so much I didn't want to put it down.
At first, I was worried who the second MC would be. I was praying it would not be the doctor. Thankfully, my prays were more than answered because not only does Nate not end up with the doctor, he ends up with Dreo, the mobster! Um, hello? Mobsters? Why did no one tell me?! I would have read this books as soon as it came out if I'd have known there were mobsters because I looooooooooove them!
Anyway, the story was great. It's suspenseful, funny at times and kind of sweet. Nate is the typical oblivious character who really is kind, beautiful and intelligent but thinks he's just bland. Dreo is just yummy. He's tall, dark and mysterious. Just lovely.
The story is fast paced with a nice plot even if it's not very original. I liked the fact that there was a kid, Dreo's nephew Michael, so involved in the story. I also liked that Nate was such a fatherly figure for him (well, Nate is a father after all) but it was a nice addition to the story, IMO.
There were some problems with the book, though. It was in need of a bit more editing because there were a bunch of typos and even name mix ups (and in a few cases completely foreign names for already existing characters). I think there were too many secondary characters that were not really necessary. Then there was the fact after a day or two of Nate getting hurt, his injuries were basically completely forgotten and never mentioned again. I also got confused a few times because there were flashbacks to what happened that morning. The reason I got confused was because Nate and Dreo would be doing something like talking in front of Michael then next thing they were fucking which made me go WTF?! I had to re-read to realize it was a flashback to earlier that day. Lastly, I still have a bunch of questions that were made from unnecessary comments. (view spoiler)[Like, why was it so weird Duncan went from homicide to major crimes? What did James almost say about why he left homicide? Why was it so weird that Tony Strada cooked for Nate? What was the big deal? (hide spoiler)]
Even with all that, I had a lot of fun with this story. Ms. Calmes always has a way of sucking me into a story that makes me overlook a lot of the things I normally have a problem with. Nate was loved by everyone but he was so cute and charming and Dreo was hotter than hot. I'll probably end up re-reading this story soon. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
There's something about Mary Calmes' writing that makes me adore her stories no matter if they are completely crazy or completely sweet. In t...more3.5 stars
There's something about Mary Calmes' writing that makes me adore her stories no matter if they are completely crazy or completely sweet. In this story, it is somewhere in the middle of crazy and sweet.
For one, the relationship between Landry and Trevan is not exactly traditional. Landry is dangerously close to a psychopath and is, in fact, believed to be bipolar because of his attitude and the actions he does. Trevan on the other hand, is probably more messed up than Landry but he tends to keep that fact quite. As long as they rely on each other, though, their lives are perfect because that is all they ever need... the love and security of one another. But it is very sweet, in a way. What is actually the best part of this book is the way these two grow throughout the story. They start out as needing constant attention from one another but then grow to the point where knowing the other is safe makes them content.
The conflicts within the story are a bit chaotic in that there are so many situations they get themselves into and have to find solutions to. From Trevan's job as a runner, murder and then kidnapping, not to mention Landry's family, it is a bit hard to follow the conflicts without getting confused a time or two. It is very entertaining but possibly the worst thing with so many conflicts is the fact that it doesn't exactly add up and a ton of questions are wondered and not all of them are answered. More than that, my biggest problem (and the reason I couldn't love this story) was I felt like the flashbacks were very jolty. With Calmes, I normally don't mind her flashbacks but in this story, they grated on my nerves. Maybe because there were a lot of flashbacks of just sex between Trevan and Landry that got on my nerves (which I felt like added nothing to the story) or the fact that the flashbacks didn't really relate to whatever was happening in the present. Either way, I didn't appreciate them and they made the story drag for me.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. I had my problems but I can't deny that Calmes has a unique 'voice' in her writing that always draws me into the story and into the characters. I adore her characters especially Landry and Trevan because they were so dysfunctional. I wished there had been more elaboration on certain parts (like Landry's family and Trevan's job) but it is still a very entertaining read. Now if we could only get Conrad's story next...(less)
Well now. How am I supposed to compete with some of those reviews out there? I think Heather C wrote a great review that pretty much describe...more4.5 stars
Well now. How am I supposed to compete with some of those reviews out there? I think Heather C wrote a great review that pretty much described everything I felt for this book. So, go check hers out because it's quick and easy to read ^_^
So, yes, I loved this book. At first, I couldn't get into it. The first couple of pages didn't draw me in right away but after that I was suckered in. I didn't want to put the book down and even stayed up late to read as much as I could. Austin is snarky and playful. He says the stupidest things to make people not take him seriously then questions why no one ever believes him when he's confessing about something serious and important. He's really smart, though, and asks the questions that normal people wouldn't ask. He's a great detective. He has an obsession with Peter and his bunny slippers that was just so cute and funny. He also tends to think with his dick whenever Peter is around (and kinda every other time of the day, too). Peter is just adorable. He's a freaking ginger with lots of freckles. How can you not like that?! While Peter may look cute, he had to grow up fast. Only twenty, he already knows what it's like to live a hard life. It's sad but he hasn't let life break him yet and I doubt he ever will.
I absolutely adored most of the side characters. Cai and Darryl were awesome and I loved that they stuck up for Peter when needed to. All three of them are like brothers and they'd do anything to keep each other out of trouble. Darryl and Peter's main concern is Cai, though, so they put their lives on the line for him. Luis, Austin's partner, was a hoot. I loved that he took everything Austin dished out in stride and even helped Austin get the support he unintentionally needed to be a full-fledged gay man. There are so many great lines in this book that had me laughing my ass off. Mostly Austin is the one that would say these ridiculously funny lines or comebacks but Peter had sarcasm and snark down to an art. Both of them could bicker and banter for long stretches that always ended up with them teasing each other and getting hot and heavy.
The only thing I didn't like about the story was Austin's constant need to say whenever he would get a boner by someone else besides Peter. Like seriously. I understand Austin is 'new' to being gay. He's repressed his gay tendencies for years now but he didn't have to broadcast every time he was attracted to someone else (mostly just whores and assholes). It got really annoying and made me slightly pissed off and upset. I mean, I loved Austin, I really did, but I love him less because of his need to express over and over and over that Peter's not the only whore who can make him hot. It was beyond annoying. I still love him. But I want to smack him and sic Darryl on him. I think I love Peter more, though. I have a weakness for ginger's. I can't help it *shrugs*
This book is very twisted, though. Just when you think you have everything figured out, something else is thrown into the mix to completely smash that line of thinking. On top of that, it's filled with deceits, betrayals, lies and omissions. It comes to a point that you can't even believe what some characters are saying because they'd most likely just come back and say they were lying or you'd realize what they say isn't the truth. It's deception personified.
This was a totally awesome book, though. It really is filled with twists and turns but it's so captivating you want to stick with it and consume it all. The story draws you in, the characters draw you in and the only thing you want is to figure out what happens next and to see Peter and Austin finally have a relationship. This story left me on the edge of my seat multiple times and had me craving for more. I want loads more and I could probably never get sick of Austin or Peter. Honestly, I could devour at least three more books with Austin and Peter as the MCs and even right now I have this urge to just reread the story again. And I just read it last week. I'll anxiously be awaiting Cai and Darryl's books because this one ends on a cliffhanger! Grrrr Definitely recommended.
ETA: I forgot about the hilarious titles at the beginning of each new scene break! They had me cracking up so much!(less)
I have to agree with a lot of reviewers out there and say that yes, this was a great story. It was gripping from the start, the characters are interes...moreI have to agree with a lot of reviewers out there and say that yes, this was a great story. It was gripping from the start, the characters are interesting and the plot is captivating. However, what I cannot agree with is that it's brutal. It's heart-wrenching but in no way is it brutal in my eyes. In fact, there is actually neither torture nor rape in this story. It's all done behind scenes so we never get to see it.
The book starts off with Shaw landing on a private island so he can sell a stolen painting to crime boss, Vornis. However, while Shaw was there to just sell the painting, and hope Vornis would invite him to stay and make some new contacts with other wealthy criminals, he doesn't anticipate meeting Lee, Vornis' kept pet. Lee's been with Vornis for eight weeks and he's already a broken man. Raped, tortured and treated like a dog from the time of his capture, he doesn't know kindness anymore until Vornis gives him to Shaw. While Shaw and Lee get unwillingly closer, Shaw struggles with doing his job and doing the right thing. Meeting Vornis' friends could give him what he needs to be set for life in his job but the feelings he's developed for Lee could make him throw away all his hard work just to save the poor man.
In all honesty, Shaw is a bastard for most of the book but I understood why he was that way. He needed Lee to understand that while he wasn't going to hurt him, he wasn't going to help him much either. There's also the fact that he needed to be like Vornis to earn the crime boss' trust fully. I still liked Shaw, though. I liked his internal debate against doing his job and wanting to get closer to Lee. Lee is the type of character I love. He's broken emotionally and physically and the smallest kindness is taken with gratitude. He's drugged up all the time to keep him docile but he's a fighter when he's not drugged. He's not sure what to think of Shaw but hope springs eternal when they meet. I felt for Lee. It was sad what he went through and why but I think, in the end, he embraced what's happened and knows what he wants now.
The plot is very engaging. Shaw trying to help Lee without blowing it with Vornis and how they develop feelings for each other that seem misplaced. It really is a great plot and one I eagerly gobbled up. However, I did have a few problems with the story. It was a bit repetitive at times. Shaw would constantly think over and over how he pitied green eyes or how he was there to make new contacts; how he was trying to meet so and so for years; the others were just icing on the cake; how the boy in the painting looked sad and lonely and tired. It grated on my nerves a bit and disturbed the flow I had going because I already knew all that and Shaw just kept bringing it up. I also find it just a bit hard to believe that Lee could recover so much in such a short period of time but that's just me and wanting things to be drawn out. I like to get into characters minds and I couldn't exactly do that to the extent I wanted to with Lee's abuse or his recovery.
I put too much expectation into this story which is completely my fault. I kept reading how people were raving about this story. How it was sad, brutal, dark, had rape and torture so when I finally read the story, I was a bit disappointed because while it is sad, it's not dark or brutal or has rape or torture. There is no actual on screen torture which was disheartening. Everything is done behind closed doors and it's left to your imagination of what really happened. It's not talked about what Lee goes through but it is implied and you see the injuries he incurs afterwards. While I'm glad I didn't see Lee being forced to have sex with others, I still would have liked to see him actually abused. I think it would have added a little something more to the story while making me feel deeper for him and connected to him at the same time. Without it, I kind of feel like I didn't know Lee until the very end and even then it wasn't enough for me to connect with him in the way I would have preferred. I also wished in the end, when Lee is recovering, we could have seen him talk to his parents about it all. Instead, like the torture, it is fade to black and we don't get to see it.
Overall, I did love the story. A few things annoyed me and I was a bit sad there was no actual torture but I did love the characters and the plot. I loved how they formed their bond and even though it wasn't made under the best of situations, it was still solid enough for them to create a relationship out of. I do hope we get to see Lee and Shaw in the future because it would be nice to see how they're relationship has lasted and see more of Lee recovering. (less)
It's taken me a few weeks to come to terms with what I wanted to write about this book and with all the reviews written already I'm sure I don't even...moreIt's taken me a few weeks to come to terms with what I wanted to write about this book and with all the reviews written already I'm sure I don't even need to write one so I'm going to be brief (mostly).
If you don't already know, you should read Warrior's Cross before reading Armed & Dangerous because Cam and Jules play a pretty big role in this book. If you don't read WC then you won't be able to grasp some of the trials within this story like how difficult it is for Jules to get frustrated and upset and show it. But let me tell you, Ty pisses Jules off something FIERCE! And it makes Jules so off balanced that I enjoyed this new side we never got to see before.
It's not hard for me to stay I loved this story. From the start I was ensnared and did not want to put this story down. There's suspense, a bit of mystery, definitely some sweet and touching moments with the usual dash of funny snark that had me laughing my ass off constantly. Honestly I don't ever see a time where I won't love a Ty and Zane book. I honestly don't.
The story takes place mostly on the road since Ty and Zane are tasked with a sort of recovery job. It made the story a bit different from the others because Ty and Zane are actually able to be themselves for a majority of the book. And let me tell you, them broadcasting their true selves and feelings? Freaking hot! I absolutely loved the fact they freely express what they feel now without shame or confusion or even hesitance. It's truly something remarkable because I've been with these boys from the start and seeing them finally blossoming into this type of relationship is just amazing to me.
In the end, another great addition to the Cut & Run series. I truly love the direction all these books have taken. I feel like they are each different in their own way. They are never boring to me and Ty and Zane's relationship continues to develop so strongly in each book that I'm satisfied with what they've overcome emotionally and always want to know what will happen next. I loved seeing Cam and Jules in this story because we even got to know them better than before. Anxiously awaiting Stars & Stripes and can't wait to see what happens next! Ms. Roux did an awesome job transitioning into the sole author in this series.
P.S. I totally want to buy some of Ty's shirts! They are freaking hilarious!(less)
**Possible spoilers but I'm just too lazy right now to tag them**
One of the things I really like about the Downside Ghosts series is the world that it...more**Possible spoilers but I'm just too lazy right now to tag them**
One of the things I really like about the Downside Ghosts series is the world that it's based in. It's quite fascinating, in my opinion. The fact that ghosts are such evil, vindictive spirits and the Church has debunkers to banish them when necessary, or prove people are trying to scam the Church when it's not, is extremely captivating.
As with before, though, I really did not like Chess. In fact, I hated her with a passion. Before she was at least snarky but in this book I felt like she was too whinny. She would blame the situations she was in on other people (Bump, Terrible, the Elders, Oliver, etc.) instead of taking the responsibility, sucking it up and dealing with the consequences that she caused. She always had a choice in a situation and yet she still put herself in such positions. Chess's drug problem was also way worse than it had been in Unholy Ghosts and, to me, it's like she's spiraling farther and farther down in her addiction. So bad, in fact, that I felt like a big majority of the book revolved around her taking numerous drugs and one long scene even shows her withdrawing (which I took great pleasure out of). No offense, but she seriously needs an intervention. And to break things off with Lex (because really, she's just a kept whore at this point).
On a side note, I absolutely love Terrible! He's sweet and big and caring and dominant and cruel to those who deserve it and... well I could just go on and on about how much I love Terrible and what great qualities he has! I really loved that Terrible was man enough to lay it all out for Chess about his feelings and what he wanted from her. But then I hated Chess even more for how she handled it (view spoiler)[Fucking skank! (hide spoiler)].
I have to say that the first half of the book did not interest me at all (was a two star). I couldn't get into the story and I honestly can't tell you why that is, just that it didn't draw me in. It could be because I felt like it was focused too much on Chess's drug problem than the actual story (but then that could just be me making a big deal out of nothing. Who knows?). BUT the second half of the story was VERY suspenseful and had me hooked (4 star!). I loved the conflict with the famous actor, Roger, and how all the prostitutes were tied in. I admit to being more than a little confused at times when Chess was talking about how it all was explained but it was enjoyable nevertheless. With that, I still have some unanswered questions regarding the book (view spoiler)[What's going to happen to Terrible now that Chess saved him like Oliver saved Kemp? Is he going to turn out like Kemp? Is he bound to Chess now? I don't understand how this will all affect him (hide spoiler)].
In the end, I liked the story. It wasn't exactly better than the first in the series but I believe that has more to do with how much I dislike Chess than it does the writing style or the conflicts of the book. The mysteries were still just as engaging once I could get passed my Chess problems and once I allowed myself to sink into the story it became a gripping action-packed story. I do plan, and even look forward to, reading the next in the series.
"Naw," he said. "Naw, Chess, you ain't a whore. A whore's honest." - Terrible
"I got some pills on me, dig. Figure I hand em over, I come back your place on the later an fuck you?" - Terrible to Chess
There were some other great lines (even some by Chess) but I forgot to mark them :( (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I felt like this book had a lot of potential. The premise of the story is very interesting. A normal, 'boring' guy getting together with a thief, punk...moreI felt like this book had a lot of potential. The premise of the story is very interesting. A normal, 'boring' guy getting together with a thief, punk rocker with the ability to freeze things. They have similarities but they are just different enough to keep each other from getting bored and keeping the relationship exciting. The characters themselves are interesting especially Brady because he's such a carefree but broken character.
Unfortunately, I didn't much like the actual book. I felt like it revolved too much around sex and not enough around the actual characters and their conflicts. While there might not be a lot of sex scenes (mostly bjs over and over), they last much longer than I would've liked and consisted of very small minute details that made them drag much longer than they probably were. When Etienne and Brady weren't having sex, they were thinking about having sex and when they weren't thinking about having sex or actually have sex they were groping each other or making out. It could have been hot but to me it fell flat and was not hot at all.
In my opinion, these characters are kind of shallow, they really don't know anything about each other besides what their sweet spots are. They hung out a lot and apparently talked a lot but it all happened 'off screen' so we never got to actually see them getting to know each other. The fact that Brady can freeze things felt more like a small detail than a big part of the story it should have been. In fact, even though you'd think this story would be based on supernatural powers, the book doesn't make it into that big of a deal. The conflict with Brady's family was a little disappointing because, like the getting to know each other, it happens off screen. We are told what happens a majority of the time instead of seeing it happen.
In the end, I didn't much like this book. It dragged a lot which made it a tad boring. I liked a few things of it like Brady's shirts, the very brief times that the powers are brought into play as well as the epilogue (because it was cute and sweet and had no sex or thoughts of sex. Oh, and Brady does something really awesome). I feel that this story might have been more interesting if it had been told from Brady's POV instead of Etienne's. Not because Etienne is boring, because he's not, but because the story revolves more around Brady than Etienne so everything major that happens happens when Etienne is essentially not there. Due to that, while the beginning and middle were slow, the ending was too fast. The 'showdown' happens while Brady is away dealing with his family and we don't get to see any of that happen because it deals with Brady not Etienne. Very sad because I honestly think this book would have been great from Brady's POV with a bit less sex. (less)
This was a tough one to rate and review. Mostly because I had a major problem with it but then I absolutely love the ending so it's a toss up...more3.5 stars
This was a tough one to rate and review. Mostly because I had a major problem with it but then I absolutely love the ending so it's a toss up with what I want to rate it.
I have a ton of feelings towards this book but the one feeling that stands out the most is amazement. Amazement at how much these two MCs are like magnets to a fridge. I'm dead serious. They could not stand to be away from each other for long and when they were together they couldn't stand to NOT touch each other. It's sweet and cute but at the same time extremely frustrating. Alexei and Patrick are definitely passionate men, they have a chemistry that sparks off the pages. I loved them both because of that and because of their need for each other. The feelings they couldn't verbally say but expressed in their voices and the nicknames they have for each other. I enjoyed seeing them suffer when the other was away or when they couldn't be around each other.
The plot was a good one. A mobster meeting a cop and then unintentionally creating a relationship out of the 'meetings' they held together for information. I enjoyed it. I lived for the moments when I could see the plot evolve and grow. Unfortunately, the biggest fault of this book is the sex. I felt like I was drowning in it. Any time Alexei and Patrick would get together, there'd be sex (view spoiler)[and sometimes even when they weren't together there'd be sex :-/ (hide spoiler)]. And there were a lot of scenes where they are together and even some flashback scenes of them having sex. In fact, I'd say a majority of the story revolves around the sex instead of the actual plot.
What plot there is, like I said, is a good one. I was excited about this book because there's not many mobster books out there so I was anxious to read this. In some ways, this book filled all my expectations of it but in other ways I was disappointed. I don't like to read books filled with more sex than plot. It's not something I enjoy and I suppose I should have known this book would be something like that since the few books I've read from this duo has been pwp but I held out hope I'd enjoy this story.
In the end, I did but I did not. In my opinion, the story was slow in all areas but the sex department. Still, I enjoyed the book for what it was but I still want more of Alexei (view spoiler)[or I should say Mikhail now (hide spoiler)] and Patrick. But I want a book about who these characters are. Not just how much they can scorch up the sheets.
I will say that a big redeeming factor in this story was the ending. I absolutely loved it. It left me with a silly little grin and an occasionally giddy giggle because of how these two end up making it work. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I found this story quite fascinating. Although, it ended way too soon, IMO!
I loved the fact it's scifi with vampires and enemies to lovers. It was int...moreI found this story quite fascinating. Although, it ended way too soon, IMO!
I loved the fact it's scifi with vampires and enemies to lovers. It was interesting to see the play of emotions go through Liam with him having to kill his ex-lover (who he still loves but denies it) and then getting caught in a situation where he has to rethink everything. I really wished we got some of Daniel's POV because I think it would have been interesting to see his hatred for all things mods but being in love with a person who has more mods than probably anyone else.
I loved how, even though this is a short story, we were able to get a feel for the world AND know both Liam and Daniel beyond the surface. This story has both suspense and bloody action. It was intriguing to see Liam and Daniel reconnect after five years being apart.
I only wish the story had been longer! It ended without having anything resolved. Daniel's father is still out there plotting Daniel's demise and both Daniel and Liam are now in even more danger. While I enjoyed their reunion, I really wished it had solved some of the other conflicts regarding the situations they were forced into.
Overall, a very good story. I'm really looking forward to the sequel and, hopefully, getting some answers to all the questions I still have. (less)
I'm at a toss up on how to rate this. On one hand, I really liked the story. It had a grunge, harsh feel to it but on the other, I was uncomfortable w...moreI'm at a toss up on how to rate this. On one hand, I really liked the story. It had a grunge, harsh feel to it but on the other, I was uncomfortable with some of the scenes.
I've always loved Voinov's writing and combine that with this being a mafia story, one of my favorite themes, this book appealed to me a lot. It's a brutal world and Voinov's ability to capture that in such a short time is simply amazing. Already I love Silvio. He is just himself. He's dangerous and sex identified, IMO. Stefano is a little harder for me to like. I'm not really sure of my feelings about him.
The thing I have the most problem with now is Stefano's cheating on his wife, who he's deeply in love with. He hasn't *technically* cheated yet but it still *felt* like it to me. With my strange moods, it's hard for me to get past that. While the format of the book is unique (multiple short stories in one book), it was hard for me to connect the two stories together. It didn't feel like a smooth transition and left me confused when I finished Dark Soul and moved to Dark Secret. I was also uncomfortable with the scenes of Falchi and Silvio but I'm also not fond of sex outside the MCs. However, the part where Stefano has Silvio tied up was hot with a bit of gun play.
Overall, the plot is intriguing and the emotional struggle in Stefano is also interesting. I'm worried about the personal aspects and how they'll be dealt with but I can't deny that Voinov always seems to test my limits, in mostly a good way. (less)
I want to state for the record before I go on with my review that anything I write is my opinion (naturally). Others might feel differently t...more3.5 stars
I want to state for the record before I go on with my review that anything I write is my opinion (naturally). Others might feel differently than I do especially if they compare what they read to what I've shelved this book under. They'll most likely completely disagree with half those shelves but I feel they pretty much explain the book from my eyes.
With that said, this book, honestly, blew me away. There were, of course, things I didn't like about it but the world-building and the details and descriptions held me captivated. It was stop and go for me. At times, all I wanted was for the book to be over. I felt annoyed and scoffed at how some things were possible but other times I was glued to my kindle. I wanted the story to go on and on and never stop. Even with the menage.(view spoiler)[< And even with the quasi-cheating (see my status comments if you want to know more about that). (hide spoiler)]I was, literally, hanging on the edge of my seat, chewing my lip and unconsciously moving my legs whenever one of the many suspenseful scenes happened.
The book is definitely a unique one. Others might feel disgusted with some of the content in this book but I enjoyed it overall. It's told strictly from Querrilous Knotte's POV. He's an extremely adventurous, slightly egotistical, bold, selfish thief. He wants what he wants and that's mainly to live and have his ex-lover, Reginald Whitney, in his arms again. Unfortunately, Reg just wants to do his duty and marry and have kids. When pointed to a certain house, Querry becomes intrigued with it and eventually finds a clockwork doll. An extremely attractive, intriguing, innocent doll that has a thirst for anything new who eventually names himself Frolic. It's not long before everything comes to light including the trios eventual love for each other, the reason for Frolic's existence and how Frolic could be manipulated in the worst way.
All these characters are very interesting. Frolic was my favorite. He is an extremely fascinating character with his naivety and the things he does. I found him just adorable. Querry and Reg, I wasn't as in love with them. For one, Reg annoyed me in the beginning but by the end of the story, I liked Reg more than I liked Querry. Mostly because Querry is just an idiot. I wanted to smack him a few times so he'd start making sense and stop talking nonsense. Still, I did like him just not as much.
A lot of things happen in this book, most of it around the discovery of Frolic and his purpose. It causes a lot of chaos that requires a lot of fighting. In all honesty, I was surprised by this story, it wasn't anything I was expecting. For one, there's the menage. I didn't know about it until after I received the book. For all those wondering, it was actually not so bad. The romance wasn't really the main focus of the book and I appreciated that. I think also the fact that Frolic is a doll helped me get over my menage hang-ups. Also the fact that there's not many sex scenes helps as well ;-P. Another thing that surprised me was the storyline and suspense. The blurb doesn't do enough justice to how much excitement is in this book. That kept me reading the book till the end. (view spoiler)[Although a few times I wondered how the hell Querry could still be alive with everything he's been through, one thing after another. This boy must have gotten beaten up and shot more times than any person possibly could and still live! Lucky bastard, that's what Querry is. (hide spoiler)]
As much as I enjoyed the book, I had a few problems with it. My main problem was with the detail. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the detail. I enjoy good world-building and a lot of detail. I'm a visual person. Unfortunately, some of the details given were detailed in a manor that I could not picture at all. It left me confused sometimes on how something could be beautiful to these characters when all I envisioned was something disgusting or ugly. (view spoiler)[Another problem I had was the 'cheating' that happened after, even though it wasn't said, Querry and Frolic were in a relationship. There's stipulations to what happened, of course, but from what I read, Querry could have tried harder to stop something from happening. If you want to know more about what I'm talking about, just ask me or read the comments under my status. I'd be more than happy to explain. At least, as much as I can explain. Lol (hide spoiler)] Aside from that, I had a few questions over a few things in the book that I hope get answered in the next book. (view spoiler)[Like, what will Querry, Frolic and Reg do now? There's a bit of an explanation at the end but it didn't really answer my question. What happened to Jean-Andre? Will he contact Querry again? What happened to Lizard? What happened to the gentleman and Kristof? What is the gentleman's real name? Why did he make that comment about his and Querry's future together? What did it mean? Will Querry, Frolic and Reg try to stop any future clockworks of mass destruction from happening? How is it possible for Frolic to go from despondent, sad and kind of miserable after being brought back from the dead and after watching his other clockworks destroyed to happy and lovable again? What changed between the resolution and the epilogue? I have a lot more questions, too :( (hide spoiler)]
Overall, I DID enjoy this book. The steampunk and paranormal themes held me hooked throughout the whole book. There's some things that dimmed my enjoyment, however, so the only people I can really recommend this to are people who DON'T have any problems reading about unconventional and unique elements. Other than that, I think whoever reads this will appreciate the detail and work put into this world. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This is one book that made me feel just about every emotion I could. It's been hard trying to write a justifiable review for it because I'm just not s...moreThis is one book that made me feel just about every emotion I could. It's been hard trying to write a justifiable review for it because I'm just not sure how to put into words how much I enjoyed it.
Moonlight and Tiger have not had the best of lives. Taken from their homes at such a young age and then brought up in a society where they're expected to do illegal and horrible things, killing high profiled individuals who are bad for their organization or seducing them to get information that will be their demise is what their lives have become. Bleak is the most accurate word. The only thing that keeps Moonlight and Tiger sane is each other. Their interactions every few months when they've done good is all they see of each other and the only times they can express their love without it being tainted by others. Unfortunately, they have to do some unmentionable acts to earn the privilege to see each other. Tiger, an Iron, is the best of the best when it comes to assassination and Moonlight, a Rose, is the best and most beautiful seducer. Unfortunately, the things Moonlight is doing and the lies he's been told about Tiger almost break him, causing him to become a shell of a man and almost useless. It's up to Tiger and Smoke to free Moonlight from the nonstop misery his life has become and almost at the price of their own.
These characters are something else. While you pity the things they have to do to stay alive and may even be disgusted at what they do, you can't help not being in love with them. The trials and tribulations they go through just to be able to see each other for a few days is heartbreaking to say the least. Moonlight is seductive, deceitful and can easily be defined as perfection. He's beyond beautiful and trained to be the perfect courtesan, spy and manipulator. He is the jewel of the Rose Tribe. He's both hated and loved by his organization and probably the most feared man for his abilities. He's vibrant and alive but only when it comes to being with Tiger. Tiger is fearless, ruthless and relentless. He's the pride of the Iron Tribe. He's a cold, cutthroat killer; the perfect assassin because he holds no emotions. Except for Moonlight. He's become the best because he knows when he pleases his superiors he gets to see Moonlight and all he and Moonlight want is to be free of their kidnappers and run away together somewhere quiet.
I, in all honesty, loved this book. I couldn't put it down once I started it. It's emotionally gut wrenching at times and sweet at others, suspenseful and left me hanging on the edge of my seat wanting to know what happens next. There's just something about Moonlight and Tiger that buried themselves in my heart and wouldn't let go. Everything they go through just to be together is insane but more than that their love for one another is impenetrable. It withstands so much and even after it all their love never lessens. It's intense.
The plot revolves around what Moonlight and Tiger go through. The first half is about their training then moves into their growing feelings, how they become lovers and the manipulation the head master, Autumn, uses on them. The second half of the book is more suspenseful dealing with mostly Tiger's missions with spurts of Moonlight's orders and how he's handling knowing he's being manipulated while trying to put up with it without getting killed. Tie in the fact that Smoke, one of the guys they grew up training with, becomes a betrayer then an accomplice creates a rather action-packed but somewhat angsty book. The world that was created for this story is exceptional. The different terms for the different sectors of the organization are ones that give the book a depth and understanding that made reading it even more enjoyable and interesting.
I truly adored this story and I recommend it to all those who think they'd like something like this. I'd love to see more of these characters and how they are going to handle their new lives. (less)