When Ackley saves the crown prince of Morcia from possible death, he inadvertently gets magi...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
When Ackley saves the crown prince of Morcia from possible death, he inadvertently gets magically bound to the prince. Now tasked with being constantly within Prince Ealdwin’s presence, the two must figure out how to counter the spell that brought them together. But what’s a Skirfallan mage supposed to do when he’s in a country that hates his very race and his every action is only met with suspicion?
In the m/m genre, one of the things that I find lacking is the amount of true high fantasy stories out there. You have what I call ‘contemporary fantasy’ which is basically fantasy elements in a contemporary setting and ‘semi-fantasy’ which is a fantasy world but with only the bare bones for descriptions. Battle of Will is, in my opinion, a classic high fantasy tale filled with a ton of descriptions, two prominent warring races, a royal prince, a traitor and a forced bonding between enemies. Basically, everything I could want in a fantasy!
And how I loved every second of it! From the moment that Ackley realizes what is about to happen to Prince Ealdwin to the last word in the story, it satisfied all my cravings for a true high fantasy tale. It has a slow build-up, with descriptions left and right about the war, the layout of the country, and the spells that Ackley is forced to look through. You have the very real animosity between Ackley and Ealdwin, the inability to believe what the other is saying is the truth and the very real possibility that if someone kills one of them then the other will die too. It has some action, some twists and some sweet moments written in a way that had me spellbound throughout the book.
The characters have such depth that I felt like I knew them each personally. Ackley is very surly and stubborn. He’s not afraid of saying what he wants especially to a prince and absolutely will not back down even when Ealdwin is at his most scariest and intimidating. Ealdwin isn’t used to anyone sticking up to him so Ackley not only confuses him but intrigues him. I loved how Ealdwin was a respected prince who had no issues with fighting the war from the front lines but I also liked that even with their situation, Ackley couldn’t put away his bodyguard instincts and not protect Ealdwin, even when he didn’t need to… or want to. It was sweet the way they hated each other but slowly created a friendship that had so much trust, there was never any doubt of the other person’s actions… until Ealdwin tried to show Ackley his true feelings.
I had a few issues with this story, though. My biggest being that I felt the resolution to who the real traitor was and how to deal with him very anticlimactic. With everyone that was killed and everything that happened to not only Ealdwin and Ackley but to the King of Morcia, I expected more action to be taken to handle the King’s killer. I felt there also needed to be more editing considering there was a lot of typos, grammar mistakes, punctuation errors and inconsistencies throughout the novel. Also, while I loved that the fantasy and the desire to end the war was front and center of the story, I wished we could have seen more of the developing romance between Ackley and Ealdwin. I feel like we were missing just a little something between them.
All in all, even with its flaws, I still really enjoyed the story. It’s more fantasy than a romance and focuses more on the journey Ealdwin and Ackley go through from being enemies to allies. It has a lot of world-building and descriptions with an emphasis on the daily work of a prince turned King. I absolutely loved it and recommend it for those who enjoy a good, meaty fantasy that has very little romance. I’m also hoping we’ll get more stories in this world because I’d love to see what happens next especially if it involves Leavey getting his own HEA!(less)
On the recommendation of his brother, Lord Vellem from Belemere is arranged to marr...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
On the recommendation of his brother, Lord Vellem from Belemere is arranged to marry Prince Perdith of Tallideth in an attempt to end the war between the two countries. With peace in sight and the wedding only months away, things take a decidedly bad turn when more than one attempt on Vellem’s life is made, pushing the marriage to happen sooner than desired. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop tragedy from striking again in a way that changes both Vellam and Perdith’s lives. Now with more responsibilities then they ever thought they’d have, they both have to get accustomed to not only ruling a kingdom but having a stranger as a husband.
Well, this was not the story I was expecting! To be honest, I was thinking this would be closer to steampunk themed than fantasy but how wrong I was! This book had so much happening and so much loss that it was very tragic and heart-wrenching at times. It’s filled with betrayal and suspicion and just when things start looking up, something happens that brings everyones’ hostilities back up and makes things way more tense then they were to begin with. Yes, I am purposely being vague! LOL. But this is the type of book that is enjoyed much more when you experience the revealing at the same time as the characters. It’s a great book and an even better journey especially if you love fantasies.
Speaking of the characters, there will be readers that don’t like Perdith for the way he acts but it was easy for me to understand him and what he’s been through. Originally low-key and wrapped up in numbers, he’s forced to bring out the King in himself and change in a way that others will respect. Underneath it all, he’s still shy and nervous but lets Vellem see his wild and care-free side in bed. At the same time, Vellem is this lowly soldier that doesn’t understand politics even though he knows his war strategies. He’s been through a lot and while he might be clueless in being Regent, he knows how to demolish and rebuild structures. The two together are a force to be reckoned with and brings truth to the saying, “Two heads are better than one”.
My only issues with this story was that it needed more editing. There were a lot of typos and punctuation errors not to mention Vellem’s dragon, Krisanta, (who is just so lovable and amazing!) tended to be forgotten a lot then would show up out of the blue. Also, some chapters picked up weeks/months after certain events were trying to be decided. It was a tad confusing because I couldn’t figure out exactly how much time had passed and I really would have liked to see some of these scenes played out so that we could see when/how plans were formed. I am left with one question that was never answered, though. How in the world are Vellem and Perdith supposed to produce an heir that’s of BOTH their bloods?! Am I sensing a sequel?? With hopefully mpreg?! Oh, yeah, I went there, people!
Beside that, this was an amazing book. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Ms. Derr writes fantastic fantasies that I can’t get enough of. It still amazes me with how much she’s written that she can come up with unique worlds and this one is no different. If you enjoy a good fantasy with some mystery, deception, a little angst, great characters and an amazing world, give this one a try. It’s definitely not worth missing!(less)
This is a difficult book for me to review. There are some things I adored about the story and some things I struggled with.
As it is, I loved the first half of the book simply because I found the secret inner strength Jonathan had admiring and entertaining. He's had a terrible life filled with nothing but cruelty and being unwanted yet he adapted to situations very well. Granted, he had a rocky start with Adrian, he still made the best of it and then showed everyone the true 'Jonathan'. The one that can take down a whole army with only one arm. It was amazing to see and I really loved that Jonathan was an underdog that shocked everyone when he blossomed into a great character. I'm not quite sure if I like Adrian or not. With him (and Jonathan if I'm to be honest) there were moments when I wanted to smack him silly to pull his head out of his ass then there were moments when I absolutely adored him. Adrian did grow from a spoiled prince to an honorable king by the end of the story and I did appreciate the fact that he fell so hopelessly in love with Jonathan that he'd do anything for his consort.
The story revolves partially around getting Jonathan out of the horrible scenarios his father has pushed him into but then veers into Jonathan and Adrian coming to terms with ruling as a couple, learning each other, trying to trust each other and settling the issues Jonathan still has with his horrible father and then turns to something horrible that Adrian has to go through. I liked that we got to see the different transitions between each conflict because it allowed the reader to not just see Adrian and Jonathan settling into their new relationship but showed them as an existing couple that experiences some of the same problems ordinary couples face.
I liked that there were essentially three parts to this story but at the same time, I feel like that hurt the book, IMO, because I ended up struggling between the end of one conflict and the start of another. At times, I wish it had been separated into three short stories because there was always a sense of finality to the end of a conflict, only to learn there's still more to come. By the end of the book, I was actually a tad depressed by the final problem, which didn't leave a good taste in my mouth. On top of that, this book needed way more editing and had too much sex for my liking. It contains some elements that are cliched that causes a lot of tension but ultimately kind of made me want to shake some sense into these usually level-headed characters.
All in all, I liked the story. It's not perfect but it pushed all the right buttons for me. I might not have liked some parts of it but I adored the arranged marriage between Jonathan and Adrian and enjoyed the journey they ultimately traveled from complete strangers to a great union.(less)
When Finn loses his hand in an injury, he rides all the way to London to find Dalton, who ma...moreThis review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.
When Finn loses his hand in an injury, he rides all the way to London to find Dalton, who makes living prosthetics, to be fitted for a new one. Unfortunately, with his new limb, he has to learn how to use it. While Finn gets used to having metal as his new hand, him and Dalton get close, much closer than either of them anticipated. However, Finn still has six months left of service, will the connection Dalton and Finn developed be enough to go through such a long separation?
This is a quiet story in that while it explores Dalton and Finn getting to know each other, there is no angst. It’s more sweet and lovely than anything else and that’s what I liked about it. It’s a quick read that touches on some kinkiness but also on the intriguing aspect of Dalton’s job. I loved reading about Dalton’s work, how he creates his mechanical limbs, how they become ‘living’ and so on. It was just fascinating for me.
I really enjoyed these characters. Finn is a strong, slightly naive and innocent young man who is hesitant at first with his attraction to Dalton but then fully embraces it quickly. Dalton is different in that he’s more experienced, mature and confident than Finn. I loved that Dalton took Finn under his wing, so to speak, and showed him what being with another man meant. I loved how they were so cozy together, comfortable and loving.
I think my biggest problem with the story is that it dragged about halfway. Beyond that, there was just something missing from it that I can’t really pinpoint. It’s hard for me to explain but there was something lacking that hindered my ability to really connect with the story.
In the end, I liked the book. It was intriguing and I loved the uniqueness of Dalton’s job. I also enjoyed the letters between them while Finn was away. I hope we get to see more of these two in the future because I’d love to see how they handle actually being together. Definitely recommended for those looking for something sweet and quick with no angst.(less)
When his family is massacred, Prince Raphael d’Alleven barely escapes with his life. Forced on the ru...moreThis review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.
When his family is massacred, Prince Raphael d’Alleven barely escapes with his life. Forced on the run, he’s exhausted, hungry and in pure terror while trying to get himself off world to get help from the Coalition of Worlds but with dozens of mercenaries looking for him, it’s almost impossible. Lucky for him, he runs into Hadrian Ice, the Augustus Regnant to the Hell’s Gate Clan Hellstorm, a world that creates genetically enhanced soldiers. With Hadrian’s help, Raphael can finally get off world and do something about the Pretenders taking over his rightful position. With so many roadblocks in their way and so many people looking to kill them, will Raphael be able to reclaim his throne or will everything he’s going through be for nothing?
First I want to say that I really loved this story. I was simply captivated by the world that the author created. It’s complex but at the same time simple and, for me, easy to follow. I liked that there were so many different worlds out there with different levels of advancement and especially that we got to see them. The scenarios that Hadrian and Raphael got themselves into, kept my attention throughout the whole book and I loved the fact that we got to see it all. I also liked the fact that we got to see most of the fights they were forced into.
As to the characters, Raphael is definitely a mystery. At first, I thought he was this weak, spoiled prince who didn’t know how to do anything besides run. Over the course of the book, you slowly start to see his true self, what he’s been trained to do, how strong he is both inside and out and ultimately how much he develops character-wise while still maintaining his good heart. It was definitely something I enjoyed to see unfold over the whole story. I liked seeing how much Raphael affected Ice but also seeing how Ice handled things. I found the fact that he was this super soldier simply fascinating; he’s complex but has a sense of honor that I really liked knowing about. More than that, I loved seeing the development between Raphael and Ice and how they got themselves out of some situations that I thought for sure was the end for them. It was sometimes funny, sometimes sad but always held my attention.
My only issue with the story was that there was a bit too much sex for my liking but I still have a few unanswered questions such as what exactly do the marks on Ice’s face mean? But more than that, I wish we had learned more about Ice’s culture and his people. There are some references to it and we do get to see more of his people but Raphael’s culture definitely outshined Ice’s so I was constantly left curious about Hell’s Gate. Did Ice still have parents? How does being the Augustus work? It would be awesome to get deeper into the Hells Gate world so I’m hoping there might be a sequel one day that would let us experience more of this world especially since I think it would be great to see Ice and Raphael after everything has settled down, where they decide to live and to explore more of Raphael’s abilities.
All in all, this was a great book. I adored the world but I also loved the characters. It had a good amount of suspense, action, romance and the world to make this an interesting one and combined with the well-written story it turned out to be a very well done book. I hope there’s more to come of characters in this world because I’d love to explore it more in the future!(less)
When I read Strength of the Pack a few months ago, I knew it was a series that I couldn't wait to read more of so when I noticed this book wa...more4.5 stars
When I read Strength of the Pack a few months ago, I knew it was a series that I couldn't wait to read more of so when I noticed this book was coming out, I just HAD to read it.
I'm happy to say that I loved this one as much as the previous one. Although, this book is quite different than Strength of the Pack and deals more with the intricacies of wolves in the military than with just the military itself. Whereas SotP was fast paced and intense this one is more slow and languid but in a good way.
I found Tim and Jeremy together fascinating. The transition that Jeremy must go through to become a True Alpha was interesting to see but I also enjoyed seeing Tim help Jeremy with the transition. When we first meet Jeremy, he's hostile and almost feral but as the story progresses, we see him as playful, intense and caring. I loved how he developed over the course of the book from sorta timid to this confident creature who could take down anyone (besides Noah :P). Tim, from the get go, is already confident and self-assured. He's strong and makes a perfect mate to Jeremy. I liked that even though Tim was promoted, we still see him somewhat in action with the military but more than anything I adored the bond the two of them created.
I liked that we got to go deeper in the nature of the wolves, to experience some of how they work and the numerous rituals they have. There wasn't as much action and suspense as with the previous book but we still experience the military aspects and we finally get to see the transition a true alpha goes through to become so strong. I happen to think Ms. McKenna writes the best (and accurate) military stories I've read so I adored reading the jargon and seeing all these military boys in their elements but I also liked that Tim's military world flowed well into Jeremy's civilian life. It was a good balance, IMO, especially since parts of the story deal with the military finally doing something to make things better for the wolves in their service.
To be honest I loved the book but I couldn't really remember why Noah and Lucas were so different. I thought it was because Noah was a True Alpha but that's not right because Jeremy and Tim don't have the type of connection that Lucas and Noah do (there's still the bond it just doesn't give them the same abilities). Besides that there was a tiny bit too much sex for my liking even if I did find Jeremy and Tim together extremely hot. I also wished the final conflict had been more detailed, so we could have experienced it fully.
All in all, I love this series, the world the author has created and the great characters that inhabit it. I can't wait to read the next book and to finally see a mating between two wolves! I can already feel it's going to be intense!(less)
On an unknown planet, Sergeant Marc Staille is on a mission to clear a valley of deadly mindless preda...moreThis review can be found at The Armchair Reader.
On an unknown planet, Sergeant Marc Staille is on a mission to clear a valley of deadly mindless predators so a battalion can set up shop and strip the planet of a valuable resource. Unfortunately, Commander Hamm Orsonna, one of the predators, captures Marc before he can escape. Except, Marc’s not just overpowered by the Commander, he’s pretty much incapacitated by the shear amount of pheromones the Commander unintentionally uses on him. What neither of them expected was the bond those pheromones created between them and how that affects their loyalty to their own people. The Commander just wants Marc to stay, even if he does cause a lot of problems, but Marc is more confused than ever especially when he realizes he wasn’t killing some random predators but a strange, slightly civilized intelligent feline race.
I really enjoyed this book for a variety of reasons. While I wouldn’t consider it technically romance, I loved the pheromones that shaped the bond between Marc and Hamm. I found it amusing but also sweet in how it could essentially cripple both men with desire, possessive and the need to protect. I loved that Hamm’s race, the furr, were so reliant on scents because of how they used their pheromones for attraction, fighting and dominance in their clan. However, while we get a feel for both men and their current situations, we actually don’t know them beyond the surface details.
The story is shaped around the humans invading Hamm’s world and how the furr must defend themselves against the humans. What it ultimately comes down to, however, is negotiations between the humans and the furr. This is one of those stories that take place in the span of a few hours and is heavy in clan politics and the almost hostile negotiations between the furr and the humans. It is an interesting world because the furr have feline characteristics like their thick manes, purring and roaring. I loved those parts, they always made me smile, because they were innocent yet dangerous. I also found Marc’s reactions to Hamm’s purring and roaring very entertaining.
With I really liked the story, I had a few issues with it. My biggest problem was a lack of detail on a lot of areas such as the world, Hamm’s clan, the culture and ultimately the relationship between Marc and Hamm. They form a strong bond but there’s no hint of intimate feelings from that bond so it was just based off Hamm’s pheromones without a deeper, mental connection between them. Aside from that, I found the ending very abrupt. We don’t actually know how anything is resolved or how the couple will live now. How Hamm was able to hold his position or even if he still has his position (I’m just assuming he does because it’s not mentioned otherwise). Also, what happened to Dehna, how is the clan coping with Marc, and a lot of other questions I have. Some parts of the epilogue also confused me. Mostly the reference to Marc healing from his wounds but what wounds and how he got them, I’m not quite sure so it left an impression that there were a few parts of the story missing.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story but its biggest downfall is the lack of details necessary to really love it. The writing is great and engaging and I adored the elements and conflicts brought on by Hamm’s pheromones. The secondary characters are enjoyable, and even the ones you want to strangle, brought entertaining quarrels to the story. I’m hoping Ms. Etzweiler visits this world again (a story for Reccin would be awesome!) so that we can go deeper into this world and see more of what it has to offer.(less)
When I first read the blurb, I thought it sounded a bit vague but after reading this story, I...moreThis review can be found at The Armchair Reader.
When I first read the blurb, I thought it sounded a bit vague but after reading this story, I realized that it is pretty dead on with explaining the book without giving away too many details. I appreciated that while reading because I didn’t feel like I knew everything that was going to happen. With that said, I’m not going to reiterate the story because I’ll give away more spoilers than I want to.
I loved this story, though. I loved the connection between Lucas and Noah. As Noah’s Lieutenant, Lucas is a bit weary of Noah and having to command him. As a Sergeant and Lucas’ Team Leader, Noah is the True Alpha of all the weres and while he’ll humor his commanders, he doesn’t submit to them. I took great delight in Lucas’ reaction when Noah finally submits to him. Lucas was so adorably confused and excited. He had no idea what was going on but he secretly loved every move that was made between them. One thing I really loved, though, was how dominate Noah was but then how pliant he became at Lucas’ touch. It was so nice to finally see a story where the alpha doesn’t always have to be an alpha. Lucas, while physically smaller and a human, was Noah’s Dominate and had a lot of control over Noah. Seeing that dynamic between them and how they balanced each other was great because it heightened the intensity between them. It’s one of the things that made the story so appealing for me. I just found them extremely hot and, even though I’m a stickler when it comes to a lot of sex, I couldn’t get enough of them together.
Ms. McKenna is still a relatively new author in the m/m genre. However, she seems to offer something you don’t find in military stories that often (at least I haven’t) and that’s actual detailed combat in the war. This story is rich in that aspect and it gave me an inside look into the military lingo and everything associated with it. She doesn’t shy away from the missions they go, the situations they have to get through or the tension they constantly feel for being in Afghanistan. It’s something I really loved about this story because it placed me in the heart of the war and made me feel like I was there. Another thing I enjoyed was, with the relationship between Noah and Lucas, Noah tried to explain their connection to Lucas by using stories from history. I found these hysterical and fascinating for how the author put a spin on them to include werewolves.
While I very much enjoyed the book, and I desperately want to give it the highest rating possible, I did have some problems with the story. It starts off rather confusing. For someone as me, who doesn’t understand much of military speak, it was hard to understand what was going on, what they were saying and all that. I grew used to it but those first few pages were rather hard to get through. In that respect, there’s also a lack of world building and details about the weres, how they were put in the limelight, when it all happened, etc. Because of that, I still have a ton of questions about them. My main niggle was how the wolves were made. Were they all born like Noah or are they turned by other weres? If that’s the case, why doesn’t Noah turn Lucas so that they can both be weres?
Aside from that, I found Lucas a bit dense who had severe horse blinders on towards the end of the story. It grew slightly annoying because he had all his answers right in front of him but he refused to look. This lead to him and Noah putting off talking until quite literally the end of the book. I guess, when you look at it, Noah and Lucas portrayed the stereotypical guys that don’t communicate and while they had this awesome ability to mentally communicate and did rather well, they still found vocally expressing themselves as weak or made them too vulnerable to do, I suppose. Either way, I loved it because it caused some conflict but then hated it because I wanted to shake them at times.
Overall, I still found this book phenomenal. I was on the edge of my seat because the story has a lot of action and suspense. Beyond that, I loved the development between Lucas and Noah. At times, I wanted to shake them but mostly I just loved them and wanted more of them. While it’s heavy in action, it still gives off a good deal of romance and ended sweet, which satisfied my need for an HEA. I’ll anxiously be awaiting the next in the series. Until then, I’m left to wonder, will there be more Lucas and Noah? Or will we get a new couple? I’m hoping for both!(less)
This story really should have used more pages. While it's interesting to read about how an FBI agent and an active Army guy make a relationsh...more2.5 stars
This story really should have used more pages. While it's interesting to read about how an FBI agent and an active Army guy make a relationship work, it has no depth to anything else so we don't actually know how they make it work. It was cute but where I thought there should have been more information about the couple, the situation, etc. there was sex instead. To me, that was a turn off because there was more sex than talking between the guys. I thought the chinchillas were cute and the limited banter they shared was adorable but I like my stories with more plot than sex and this one was more sex than plot.(less)
The story takes place over a period of weeks, mostly while Captain Alexander Porterfield and first lie...moreThis review can be found at The Armchair Reader.
The story takes place over a period of weeks, mostly while Captain Alexander Porterfield and first lieutenant Tom Anderson are out at sea. When they are on land, they embrace their alone time together but while at sea, they don’t tempt fate with being caught so they show amazing restraint by acting like they are just friends. I really liked how they were able to separate their lives like that even though it was obvious it almost killed them not to be able to visibly worry about the other without causing suspicions.
While this story isn’t exactly sweet, there were moments that were absolutely precious and had me smiling ridiculously. While Alexander might be a big, strapping macho man, he’s also sentimental and very much in love with Tom. I found his moments of thinking of Tom very endearing. Tom, however, is a bit different. He’s brash and shows his feelings for Alexander when he can. Their relationship is quite solid even though it must be hidden from everyone else.
The plot gives two distinct conflicts: dealing with a traitor and fighting other ships. Deciphering the information the traitor knew and figuring out how to deal with him lent the story a bit of mysteriousness. I really liked the way that was handled because Tom wasn’t going to lie down and take it while being blackmailed. He dished it right back and that was very entertaining.
The suspense of fighting other ships was a bit mellow so I was saddened it wasn’t given much detail because I’d have really enjoyed the action it provided. Aside from that, my only other problem was that some of the language completely stumped me. Whether it was because of the language used back then or the lingo for the ship, I was thoroughly confused quite often with what Alexander and Tom were speaking of.
Overall, I really enjoyed Tom and Alexander’s adoration for each other and how they coped with their situation. While the ending was left open-ended (it’s up to the reader to decide whether it’s a HFN or HEA), I would have liked a bit more concrete answers on how Alexander and Tom will handle Tom’s promotion after their next assignment but it was a fitting end to a nice story.(less)
This is probably one of my favorites out of the Advent Calendar this year. It's sweet but slightly heartbreaking. Berg, who's just out of the...more3.5 stars
This is probably one of my favorites out of the Advent Calendar this year. It's sweet but slightly heartbreaking. Berg, who's just out of the Army, is very sad and lost. He always settled for guys who wanted him and not necessarily for ones he wanted. So, when he goes to see an ex-lover he gets a nasty surprise. DJ, who's the neighbor of the ex, comes home to find Berg standing outside his house looking dejected. Not wanting to be alone on Christmas Eve, he invites Berg to spend the holiday with him.
I really liked this story because Berg is kind of broken and doesn't really know what to do with himself. He's an ordinary guy with ordinary looks so he can't understand why DJ would want someone like him. Even though Berg doesn't think he's attractive, DJ thinks Berg is sexy as hell and they both hit each others buttons. I really liked this story because of that raw sexual attraction. The writing is phenomenal and engaging and the story is slow but yet not. I felt like I could actually feel the connection between these guys, which made the story very appealing.
The only problem is that this one is pretty much one big sex scene. For me, I hate when stories are like that but the author's style drew me in even when there was so much sex. I really enjoyed the story but I really hope there's a sequel because I want to see what happens to these guys next!!(less)
This is a really hard book for me to review. I've been sitting on my feelings for weeks now and I've finally had enough. I'm a HUGE Ty and Zane fan (Z...moreThis is a really hard book for me to review. I've been sitting on my feelings for weeks now and I've finally had enough. I'm a HUGE Ty and Zane fan (Zane more than Ty) but this book... it was an extreme struggle to get into and definitely my least favorite of the series. I feel like Jenn said it perfectly, but here goes. This is my opinion and if you don't like it, tough shit. Write your own damn review. Btw, this contains spoilers.
The first 20% or so were brutal to get through. The flashbacks didn't add much to the story and, in fact, made me put the book down for something else to read. I hate flashbacks with a passion but every once and a while I'll come across a book I don't mind it in because there's a smooth transition between the present day and the past. This book? I felt like I was getting whiplash because it was present, past, present, past, etc. within what felt like pages of each other. It was highly annoying and made me angry, to be honest.
The story in itself is a hot mess. A crap load of inconsistencies I won't even TRY to explain (this review would be even longer than it is if I did) not just within the story but also relating to the timeline of THE WHOLE SERIES, Ty's ex-lovers coming out the woodwork left and right, ridiculously melodramatic situations and, on top of that, the annoying Nick. Oh, Nick, how you could be killed off and I wouldn't shed a tear for you. I'm sorry but Nick? He's a low-budget carbon copy of Zane. Not as cool, not as intense, definitely not as hot and no matter how much he tries WILL NEVER BE AS BADASS. Not only did I hate Nick but the fact that he took up more POV scenes than Ty? That's ridiculous. This is about Ty and Zane NOT about Nick giving a play by play OF Ty and Zane. Half of his POV scenes in the book should have been from either Ty or Zane NOT from Nick.
I felt like half of the problems that caused most of the situations in this story should have been addressed AT LEAST two books ago. This is the 7th book for crying out loud and WE ARE JUST NOW LEARNING NEW THINGS ABOUT THESE CHARACTERS?! They've been together for YEARS, yet Ty's exes, that he was only with for a MAX OF A FEW MONTHS, know more about Ty than Zane does?? Are you fucking kidding me?! I'm sorry but that's unacceptable. We should know Ty and Zane like the back of our hand and let me tell you, up until this book? I was a loyal fan. I've reread this series so many times I've lost count. I don't plan to ever reread this one. The DRAMA within this story drove me nuts. Extremely unnecessary, I felt like I was watching a soap opera at times.
The most hated thing about this series (besides Nick) was Liam Bell. Liam. Fucking. Bell. Know it all, strategist extraordinaire... oh, yeah, and Ty's ex-lover that TY SHOT. Is he a traitor? Is he an ally? Does he want to get into Zane's pants? Is he fucking Houdini?! I don't really know! BUT I can tell you that he somehow mind fucked every single person in this book to do EXACTLY as he planned so that, in the end, HE WAS THE MASTERMIND BEHIND EVERYTHING! *GASP* Give me a break. Out of everything that happened, it's hard to stomach that Liam who hasn't spoken to Ty in YEARS, never met Zane or anything somehow predicted EVERYONE'S moves? Ummmm, no.
Lastly, the ending sucked. I'm sorry but after all that and THERE'S A CLIFFHANGER? Not only that but NOTHING feels resolved. The resolution between Ty and Zane is half-assed at best and now they don't even have time to work things out further because Ty's being deployed? Like we didn't see that a mile away anyway but STILL. Unacceptable. Oh, and yeah, there are SOOOOO many unanswered questions I feel like my head is bursting with them. Tiny observations by Ty and Zane that were never elaborated on only led to questions. If you're going to have these boys be observant, at least follow up with answers to the subsequent questions that readers are going to obviously wonder about (Burns/Not Burns at a party, anyone?).
At this point, it was already a bad story for me but now that I've gotten that out of my system, I'd like to say that it was fun to see Ty's whole team. I liked being able to see their wacky ways (I LOVE DIGGER!). I liked how even though Zane was pissed at Ty (rightly so because that fucker got on my nerves. Ty needed a few hard bitch slaps) he still road in to rescue Ty like a white knight on his trusty steed. IT WAS COMPLETELY AWESOME. There were a few scenes that I really liked such as Zane beating the shit out of Ty and the brief moments of suspense that were not enough. Actually, there was a brief period of time where I was actually starting to like the story (somewhere in the middle I think) but then, things started to go downhill again and my brief enjoyment went out the window. I HATED the ridiculous fact that Ty and Zane had 'met in the past' but at the same time the romantic in me thought it was cute. But, hello? How does Zane not remember meeting Ty YET he compared all his lovers to Ty? Does that mean he compared Ty with the old Ty? And WHY are we just learning about this now? Oh, yeah, I forgot because ZANE ALSO FORGOT but he still compared his lovers to a guy he couldn't even remember.
For what it's worth, this is my opinion. If you feel differently, that's your prerogative but I just couldn't love this book like I would have expected I would. I was disappointed and to be honest, I felt like not only had Ty and Zane moved backward in their relationship but the whole plot was utterly predictable. I KNEW what was going to happen by the end of the story and the resolution to the conflicts that just kept popping up out of nowhere. This book was just too cluttered with unnecessary drama and it made for a poorly entertaining read.
The only reason I'm giving a neutral rating is because I know right after I read the book, I didn't hate it but I didn't love it but having written this review, it's hard to think of things that I actually liked. This book has already given me enough headaches, I'm not going to add to it by deciding what the right rating is because I know DAMN WELL it's not a five but not a one either. *sigh*(less)
Aldrick’s time as a soldier is nearly finished when he is anonymously volunteered to hunt for a griffi...moreThis review can be found at The Armchair Reader.
Aldrick’s time as a soldier is nearly finished when he is anonymously volunteered to hunt for a griffin egg. Aldrick wants no part of the hunt but unless he wants to be deemed a traitor, he must participate. His plan is to stay well behind the others and just go along for the ride. Unfortunately, when he finds an injured griffin, his plan changes and he does everything he can to bring the little griffin home even if it means fighting his own people. With the help of his friend, Lor, Aldrick gets knee deep in blood and the griffins nest. He just has to figure out where his loyalties lie and how that’ll affect his family.
The world this story takes place in is very fascinating. Not having read many stories with griffin shifters, I really enjoyed the mannerisms they had and how protective they were of their nest and the eggs. I had a ton of questions about them because it seemed like the only griffin who could shift was the leader, Phire, but no explanation was given on why no other griffin shifted. Aside from the time spent with the griffins, there isn’t much detail about anything else. We get a brief explanation about Aldrick’s past and the old man he considered a second father. We understand that Aldrick is worried about his family and confused over why he was volunteered for the hunt but beyond that, this story lacks a lot of detail.
If you’re looking for a romance, though, this one doesn’t pack a lot of that. In fact, I was confused for a good majority of the story if this would be a ménage because both Lor and Phire seemed to be attracted to Aldrick but there’s never any development on their relationships. While the story alludes to Aldrick and Phire being the main couple, there’s no actual actions that suggest there’s any feelings between the two besides a brief spout of jealousy.
My biggest enjoyment of the story was the action, though. There’s a surprising amount of suspense because Aldrick, Lor, and the griffins are trying to protect the griffin nest. It was interesting to see how they fought and I loved the details around it. The story is really too short for the execution, however, because the ending seemed very abrupt and I was honestly confused about what was going on, how Aldrick was going to live and what exactly would happen between Aldrick and Phire. I think a few more chapters would have been beneficial if it had explained the outcomes and answered some questions. As it was, the ending seemed out of place with the rest of the story.
Overall, not a bad book but it left me with a lot of questions. It was hard for me to believe the feelings that developed between Aldrick and Phire because there’s no build up to it. The world is very interesting and I enjoyed reading about the griffins but it lacked a clear and concise execution, which ultimately distracted me from the story.(less)
I have a lot of personal favorite themes and genres, I won't deny that. Military men hold a special place in my heart, though, because of what they gi...moreI have a lot of personal favorite themes and genres, I won't deny that. Military men hold a special place in my heart, though, because of what they give up to serve our country, no matter what their reasons are for signing up. With this story, I knew no matter what I'd end up liking it.
Well, I ended up loving it even if it's not exactly a style of writing I like reading about. The story is told from Tuck's POV and tells how he meets Owen and how frustrating and annoying Owen was. I enjoyed the way Tuck hated yet desired Owen then was slightly disgusted at himself for that desire. It was cute the banter these two had and the ways Tuck had to put up with Owen's taunting. I loved that it takes place over a few years time when Tuck first meets Owen in boot camp and how their paths keep colliding. It was pretty funny how often they got paired up together especially when you learn of Tuck's reaction to it each time. Owen isn't very fleshed out so I couldn't really connect much with him.
My biggest complaint is that pretty much the whole story is 'told' not 'shown'. I felt like I was being given a verbal story like I'd hear from a friend recanting their weekend. Or in this case the tale of how Tuck met Owen. For me, I'm not exactly fond of that type of writing style. I like being able to experience things and with this story, while it deals mostly in the army, nothing is elaborated on. There's also no details beyond the initial brief description of the troubles in boot camp and beyond which was slightly disappointing. I was also a bit saddened by the ending. I wasn't really expecting an HFN ending.
All in all, I enjoyed the story. It's funny at times and hot at others. I loved the chemistry between Owen and Tuck. I hope the sequel gives us more insight into who Owen is and hopefully more details on military/ranger operations.(less)
This story had a lot of elements that I enjoy reading about. For one, it's set in historical China (there just aren't enough Asian books out...more4.5 stars
This story had a lot of elements that I enjoy reading about. For one, it's set in historical China (there just aren't enough Asian books out there, IMO), there's the whole arranged concubine theme, the deceptive secrets and the fact this Princess kicks ass!
Honestly, I loved this book. It's not perfect, I will admit that. The MCs, Hüi Wei and Lan'xiu, are instantly ensnared with each other. It's essentially love and lust at first sight even with all the chaos surrounding Lan'xiu's arrival. I enjoyed the story because I found the love they develop for each other sweet and intense. What Hüi Wei struggles with in regards to his position and how enemies could take advantage of his feelings for Lan'xiu was sad but interesting.
I've always been a sucker for stories that have a character pretending to be someone else and the fact Lan'xiu is disguised as a princess when he's really supposed to be a prince was intriguing for me. Especially when Lan'xiu actually enjoyed dressing in silks and satins as a woman as opposed to a man's clothing. I also liked the way Lan'xiu's identity was such a closely guarded secret and the way Shu Ning (Lan'xiu's eunuch) was so protective of Lan'xiu even though Lan'xiu was so fierce he was an ass kicking warrior.
As I said, though, this story isn't without its faults. For one, I know Lan'xiu was a princess to the outside world but even he considered himself as a 'she' in his own POV. I found that odd and he's not the only one that did that. Hüi Wei and Shu Ning did that, too, even though they knew the real Lan'xiu. Also, while the beginning was pretty good, the ending tended to have more scenes with head hopping.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story. It doesn't have much outside conflict but there are a few suspenseful parts. A bit too much sex at times for my tastes but the characters and their love story were fascinating to me and I had a hard time putting the book down.
And for all those wondering about the harem element to the story (view spoiler)[Hüi Wei doesn't sleep with any of his other 'wives' from the moment Lan'xiu arrives. So there is no 'cheating'. Hüi Wei only ever has sex with Lan'xiu. And y'all will never know how happy I was for that! (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
First Lieutenant VégEszes Ignác is undercover as Rózsa Ignác trying to bust a gun smuggling o...moreThis review can be found at The Armchair Reader.
First Lieutenant VégEszes Ignác is undercover as Rózsa Ignác trying to bust a gun smuggling operation assumed to be controlled by Second Apprentice Tarr Andor. While undercover, he’s simply supposed to mark a crate of weapons for evidence and keep tabs on certain individuals. He doesn’t expect to be attracted to one of Tarr Andor’s subordinates, Third Apprentice Cistalan Konrád, and when Konrád catches Ignác unaware and decides to become Ignác’s informant, things become dangerous rather fast. Ignác wants to help Konrád but he doesn’t know if he can trust Konrád, even though he has to, and when the operation starts to fall apart, Ignác realizes he might have made a mistake trusting Konrád.
Set in a world that is both complex and fascinating, it holds a lot of punch for such a short story. I really enjoyed the way everything was so unique in the way the law enforcement was designed and how the gun production facilities varied. There’s also hints of either a mob or an enemy culture being dangerous but we don’t get much on that.
Ignác is an interesting character. He’s definitely an honorable man of the law but he’s also conflicted about his feelings over Konrád. His desire for Konrád makes him want to believe Konrád has honorable intentions as well but his mind tells him to be cautious. Konrád is a rather mysterious character. He loves making guns but he hates what’s happened to his ‘school’. He wants to fix it and he’s willing to sacrifice anything to do that including Ignác.
My biggest issue with this book was the lack of explanation. The world is really fascinating because of the Feke, Orsá, gun schools and everything. Extremely interesting, however, I was confused about everything. There are a lot of foreign words and I had no idea what they meant. I had so many questions regarding what the difference between a Feke, Orsá, Birís and other words were and they aren’t answered. There’s a very brief attempt at explaining them but it’s over so fast that it just left me more confused. I didn’t understand how a school could be producing guns and how the school would be selling them. It all left me very bewildered. So, while the world is interesting, the lack of explanation of what all these foreign words (and there are a lot) mean.
Aside from that, I liked the way the story headed and how it all played out. Ignác’s confusion over Konrád and his desire were nice to experience as well as the subsequent betrayal Ignác feels. The resolution was a bit rushed and I’d have liked to get more information about the months between the end of the operation and when Konrád and Ignác meet again.
However, when they do meet again, holy crap was it hot! They definitely have an intense attraction together and that boils over and leads to some very hot and kinky sex, although not very much of it. Still, there’s gun play but it’s aggressive and intense and I really loved it. They bond of guns, Konrád and Ignác understanding the significance they hold and they passion they have towards guns plays over into their intimacy.
Overall, a nice read. I was confused most of the time but I adored the attraction between Ignác and Konrád. I sincerely hope there will be more of these two because I’d really love to see how they make a relationship work in this society.(less)
This little story was a real gem. Even though it is only 21 pages, I really enjoyed it and zipped thro...moreThis review can be found at The Armchair Reader.
This little story was a real gem. Even though it is only 21 pages, I really enjoyed it and zipped through reading it faster than I normally would have.
The blurb does a very good job of explaining what the story is about. I’ve always been a fan of new and interesting worlds so the setting of this story was really something for me. An essentially frozen location with no one or anything for miles and miles around. The fact this story is scifi and deals with inter-galaxy intelligence agencies and all that had me glued to the screen.
The two characters – Tomi and Andile – where interesting even if they weren’t fleshed out like I would have preferred. Tomi is the one working security for a remote access node while Andile is the ‘engineer’ and suspected hacker trying to steal the node’s data. Tomi is by the book and handles Andile mostly as protocol states. The attraction between the two isn’t intense but it’s there and something you notice right away. When they act on that attraction, they realize they both have a certain gun kink that cranks their engines. It was hot but not as intense as it could have been and fit the story perfectly.
I really liked the way the author wrote these two. I liked how their sexual tastes matched up and the way it had a dubious consent feel to it. I also liked how there was an attempt for the characters to get to know each other as well as the little twist in the end. The only thing wrong with this story is the length and overall lack of details. I’d really love to read more about these boys especially with the way it ended. I’d love to see where they venture off too and what happens with them next.
Definitely recommended for those looking for a hot, quick read. I know I’ll be looking forward to more stories by Mr. Hansen and I’m hoping there will be a sequel soon :) (less)
Okay, so this book starts out a little rough and very slow. I'm not very fond of flashbacks which is why the beginning was rough for me. With this sto...moreOkay, so this book starts out a little rough and very slow. I'm not very fond of flashbacks which is why the beginning was rough for me. With this story, the beginning/prologue is in the present, the ending/last chapter is in the present but the rest of the story is in the past. It's interesting the way it's handled but throughout the whole story, I just wanted it back in the present!
I liked Chance. He's pretty stubborn and aggressive and doesn't listen to anyone really. He tends to be insulting but he's a good guy and knows when he's needed. Also, he tends to internally ramble sometimes but I still enjoyed him. I loved Jacky. He's pretty intimidating but he's sweet and kind. Everyone loves him and he has an amazing way of handling misfits. He's also very hot and I loved the chemistry between Jacky and Chance and also how much Jacky got under Chance's skin. I loved the secondary characters Johnnie, Bobby and Alexander. I really hope we get their stories soon because I really want to see what messes they get into!
Only thing I didn't like about the story was the ending. I loved how Chance and Jacky end up where they end up but when it reverted back to the present, I was wanting to see their lives and how its developed over time! Instead, it just ends after a sweet moment. I was saddened by that :(
Overall, I very good book! I can't wait for the sequel, maybe then we'll be able to see what Chance and Jacky's lives are like in their new home. (less)
When I first started this story, I really had no idea exactly what I was getting myself into. I knew it was scifi but beyond that, I was left in the d...moreWhen I first started this story, I really had no idea exactly what I was getting myself into. I knew it was scifi but beyond that, I was left in the dark. What I found when I read this book was an intriguing, captivating, suspenseful and beautiful story. From the beginning I was enamored and drawn into the book, I didn't want to put it down and I ended up devouring the story so fast I was left bereft when I had nothing left to read. Not because the story lacked anything but because I just wanted more and more and more.
The beginning starts out gruesome and horrifying and had me hanging on the edge of my seat. I felt a wide range of emotions throughout this whole book, from horrifying to happy to sad to angry to being warm and fuzzy to even worry and pain. I felt what the characters felt and there is nothing better out there than when I can physically connect with a fictional character. Issac and Turk are both so unique and have their own voices that it was interesting exploring who they were and what their customs were. I loved these characters because they were flawed and because their lives were threatened constantly yet they were able to stick it out for the love they developed.
There isn't one thing I would change about this book except to make it longer and maybe having had the glossary in the beginning of the book instead of the end (where I didn't notice it until I finished the story). I loved learning about this world, the different species, the characters and especially experiencing Turk's family and his customs. I liked the fact that Turk was so mentally broken while Isaac was a bit bitter over being defective. I don't have anything bad to say about this book because I honestly loved it that much. I really hope there is more to come from this world because I would love to see Isaac and Turk in their new roles as well as getting to know more about Logan and Turk's other brothers.
Definitely recommended to those looking for a great scifi book. (less)
This is a hard book to rate. I enjoyed the story for the military aspect of it but the romance is quite lacking, in my opinion.
I'm a sucker for a good military story and you don't find many out there that deals with the soldiers actually in the war and following their daily duties, at least I haven't. I thought this book did a pretty good job of embracing the fact these Marines are in Iraq and the jobs they are tasked to do there. I liked the descriptions and the mysteriousness of what Jonah has to go through being a Gunnery Sergeant.
I enjoyed Jonah because he's a bit stoic but he still has a somewhat black sense of humor. I loved the funny, playful insults between all the Marines. Their bickering and bantering gave me a few laughs especially because they all had history together and knew each others little quirks. We don't get much of Kellan but I liked how he's so bossy as an ex-Captain but pretty much pliant when it comes to sex.
The beginning was a bit confusing for me. I hate reading about memos. I also do not like flashback sex and this story has a pretty long and detailed scene of Jonah and Kellan's first and only night together. But beyond that, Kellan doesn't come into the story until more than halfway through. That, unfortunately, was my main problem with the story. Because there isn't a lot of romance or couple time, the ending feels too abrupt.
In all, I really enjoyed the story. I think what is lacked in romance is more than made up for in suspense and action because there is a ton of that which is why the story appealed to me so much. I just wished there had been more to the story to incorporate the lack of romance. But that's just me. Still recommended. (less)
It's hard for me to not like this series because the world is still fascinating. So, while I might have some hangups about the story, I still...more4.5 stars
It's hard for me to not like this series because the world is still fascinating. So, while I might have some hangups about the story, I still ended up loving it.
I've been waiting a long time for Colton and Sebastian's story. I loved the interactions and teasings between the two especially since they bonded over horses. Colton managed to worm his way under Sebastian's skin and make him want Colton back just as much. They are adorable together when Sebastian finally gives in to Colton. They were so hot together. I loved, loved, loved seeing the Townsend family again! I forgot how much fun they are. We got to see a little of everyone and I especially enjoyed the parts with Rexley because damn that man is fine but we also see another side of him that Trouble brings out. I can't wait until his story. It was great seeing Steven and Cony again and I laughed so hard when Aiden made Cony blush with his educational drawings. I loved Steven's matchmaking and meeting some new characters that we'll *hopefully* get stories for.
My only hangups about the story is that, while the sex was uber hot, there was a lot of it. It almost became too much for me. There were also some scenes that were glossed over. I wished they had been shown instead of told because they were parts I wanted to read about. This book is also (sort of) a continuation of the mysteries from the previous two books and unfortunately, it is still not solved. I'm curious as to where it will lead next, though.
All in all, a nice addition to the series. This book doesn't have as much suspense as the previous two but I still enjoyed it very much. I love the world, the characters and their conflicts. I can't wait for the next one. Hopefully it's soon!(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 book was fun! At first I thought it was going to be a predictable contemporary story but it turned out to be so much more. It had me la...more4.5 stars
This book was fun! At first I thought it was going to be a predictable contemporary story but it turned out to be so much more. It had me laughing and tearing up with characters that are both likable and real.
I enjoyed both Eli and Ash so much! The tension between these two is palpable and engaging. They are so different. Ash is in the Reserves, used to discipline and a set schedule. He's rough and intense but extremely charming. Eli is rebellious. He's a nature person, taking walks everyday, going on hiking trips and such. He's a calm, free spirit. He hardly lets anyone get under his skin because he's so laid back but when he's angry, oh man, how his temper can light things on fire!! The way these two hit it off, though, is scorching. Anticipation is a word they both love and it only builds onto the desire they already have for each other. By the end of the story, I really felt like I knew these characters and they just felt completely real to me, their love felt real to me.
I loved that this book revolved around bets. They are both stubborn, betting men but they keep their word and pay up when they lose. Although, in their case when they lose it's more like winning! But just the fact that they make betting into a fun, enjoyable but hot game made it amusing. While the story features the fact that Ash is Eli's student (and how they find out after they start their relationship), I really liked the fact that both guys knew it was a dangerous game they were playing by allowing their relationship to stay physical when they found out their strange situation. Both men agree to take things slow and as such, the intensity between them builds, they grow to know each other, they fall in love not because of the sex but because of who the are and the best part is we get to see it instead of being told.
Another thing I loved is how they both understand each other's reservations. They never forced each other into doing or saying something they didn't absolutely want to (unless it was important to push a topic) and I liked how they were both there for each other when it mattered most. That we were shown all this which is why this story appealed to me so much. The side characters are a hoot, too! Jabbers, Eli's beagle, was a joy to read about because the dog featured such a big part of the story with his howls and bays. Lu and the other characters in Amwich's small community gave me a few great laughs that made this story the perfect amount of sweet and light.
My only issue is that I felt like the ending was a little open ended. I was hoping after such a struggle between Eli and Ash's feelings we'd get a more set ending but while it's a definite HEA, I still have questions about what will happen next between these two lovebirds.
Overall, an amazing story. I enjoyed this one immensely. I fell in love with Ash and Eli and how they clashed and melded together. Their chemistry is definitely worth the read alone but the plot and what they have to go through made the book fantastic. Plus, just the fact that Ash is a ginger and Eli is a verbal rambler made this story great from the get-go! Definitely recommended. (less)
This book was a nice surprise. I've been a little skeptical of reading a Marie Sexton book for a little while now since I read another of her...more4.5 stars
This book was a nice surprise. I've been a little skeptical of reading a Marie Sexton book for a little while now since I read another of hers that I didn't much like. This one, however, was a delight to read and one I'm glad I didn't miss or put off.
Captain Tristan Kelley has an easy life that he doesn't like. Tasked with protecting a spoiled Prince and meeting the Prince's needs, he's far from happy. When the ship they're traveling on gets taken over by pirates, his life gets turned upside down. Temporarily blind, Tristan is at the mercy of all the pirates, more specifically, at the mercy of Valero. Unable to see, Tristan tries his best not to give into Valero's seduction even if he does desire the sexy pirate something fierce. It takes a betrayal and facts about his own government that really starts to make Tristan think if giving in really would be so bad.
At first, I wasn't sure if I was going to like this one because of the way it started. However, it quickly turned into one of those books that I couldn't put down. I adored Tristan. He's a bit naive, IMO, but he slowly realizes that he's being played by those he's supposed to trust. I loved Valero from the start but then again I'm always more partial to the kidnapper than the kidnapped ;P I was very surprised with the little fetish Tristan had. It was seriously hot but totally shocking! And I loved that Tristan was so embarrassed over it while Valero was so attracted and accepting of Tristan.
I enjoyed the struggle Tristan had with wanting Valero. His internal debate was amusing at times and I liked that he took into consideration all points of view and not just what he's been told by his government. He's a very smart, brave person who definitely knows how to defend himself. I didn't get to know Valero as much as I'd have liked but I loved what there is of him. You don't actually know what he looks like until the end (Tristan is blind after all) but it was a shock to get his description.
While I enjoyed the story, I felt like it was way too short. The ending was a bit rushed, IMO, and because of that I felt like it ended sooner than it should have. It was a very sweet ending that had me smiling but I was still looking for that little more. Aside from that, the traitor was predictable. I guessed who it was within the first few chapters.
Overall, this was a great story. A little slack on the sci-fi details that other sci-fi fanatics will want but that didn't deter my enjoyment. This one has a fun, light plot with the added problem of an embarrassing fetish and blindness. It's a very nice story. I hope there is more to come of Valero and Tristan because I'd love to see how Tristan is adjusting to his new life. (less)
I enjoyed this one very much. I loved the characters and the descriptions of the art. I love how Sarah Black always writes about something so powerful...moreI enjoyed this one very much. I loved the characters and the descriptions of the art. I love how Sarah Black always writes about something so powerfully that it always makes me stand up and listen, so to speak.
I loved both Jesse and Maryboy and their love of art. I felt like the hold art had over Jesse was extremely fascinating as well as the way his paintings were described and how much political unrest it caused. While I enjoyed the characters and their blooming relationship, the characters themselves don't have much depth but I loved the story enough not to care.
I liked the plot a lot and how it showed Jesse using the painting that speaks for itself to make others aware of the problems with this society. Like I said, it's powerful and the subtle relationship Jesse and Maryboy build is nice. It's soft and sweet while at times intense.
My only faults with this book is that is was confusing in the beginning. Why? I don't really understand myself just that I was confused. I felt like the ending was a bit rushed so it left me with a few unanswered questions (view spoiler)[ such as who the shooter was and why were they not caught? Why would they shoot Jesse? What was the point of that? So it felt like that was never concluded (hide spoiler)].
Aside from that, I really did enjoy this book. I love passionate books and this one has a passion for art as well as a subtle passion between the characters. I loved it but then again I've always loved Sarah Black's books. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I actually enjoyed this story. I felt like there was real emotion in Craig and Shin's feelings even if it was insta-love. I loved both Shin a...more3.5 stars
I actually enjoyed this story. I felt like there was real emotion in Craig and Shin's feelings even if it was insta-love. I loved both Shin and Craig and how they danced around each other a bit in the beginning but I also thought it was sweet the way they didn't jump into bed 5 minutes after meeting each other. I also found it hilarious Shin's best friend, Tisha, and how she had a hand in getting the two of them together.
I really did enjoy the story but it felt like it ended way too soon and now I want to know what happens next and how they'll make a relationship work now that Craig is back. With that, I would have liked there to be more scenes with Craig and Shin together and more details about the time they spent apart because it felt like a lot of the story came from before Shin met Craig than it did when they got together.
Still, in the end, I loved these characters and their story, I just wished there had been more.(less)