There were several laugh aloud moments. I liked the reference to Jekyll and Hyde. Bad boy in bed and ni...moreI liked this for what it was. Gay BDSM erotica.
There were several laugh aloud moments. I liked the reference to Jekyll and Hyde. Bad boy in bed and nice outside of "scenes"
I liked the way non-traditional toys were used. Actually made by the wielder. Also cliched situations were given a novel twist, eg the scene at the bar where Luke gets challenged by another sub wanting Slader's attention. Most books would go down a certain path, and Brad intentionally takes the less obvious one.
Because I bought (shudder) the compiled version, I got the repetitive sections in each story which rehashed what had happened so far. But they were easily skipped as nothing new was introduced.
The writing was good, only a couple of typos.
All in all, good enough to check out the author's other work.
If you're interested and have the patience to ignore the interviewers, there is a Podcast where the author discusses the book and the difference between forced and reluctance. Non-con/Dub-con.
He also touches on romance and relationships in erotica, noting that once you start writing a series, the relationship between the characters grows as the characters themselves develop and this leads to what some might consider a romance.
I really liked this one. For a number of reasons, it made a nice contrast to a lot of the other books in the series. A top who didn't object to being...more I really liked this one. For a number of reasons, it made a nice contrast to a lot of the other books in the series. A top who didn't object to being fucked. Who didn't come across as a know it all, never wrong top and biys who weren't perfect.
Like a lot of Sean Michael's books we just see them having sex, but in this case a lot happened off screen we just didn't see it.
Paul away from the club, Peter and Bowie missing him, Peter and Bowie's confrontation with Mal. Their jobs. Peter's past. These were all mentioned in passing.
Most writers would have shown these angsty moments, but Sean doesn't.
If it had been anyone else I might have objected, but at least I got a hint of deeper and more rounded characters and that was good.
Most boks in the series have just been about a kink and that seems to be the book. Because this book revolves around twincest and threesomes, rather than a toy or sexual practice, there was a lot more variety and depth. The needs of each were explored more from a personality point of view.
There was kink there, but it was varied and done to create an effect rather than because it was the set piece. In fact Bowie came across as a person who thought about what he was doing and why. He reacts to situations and builds them to his ideas and is not afraid to go with the flow. All welcome changes to the usual Sean Michael comfort read.(less)
Fabulous trilogy. I find it fascinating as a writer the way she starts out deep in the mind of one or two characters, but expands her POV as the serie...moreFabulous trilogy. I find it fascinating as a writer the way she starts out deep in the mind of one or two characters, but expands her POV as the series continues.
Most times that would annoy me as I feel I drift away from characters I have come to deeply care about, but the glimpses into minds with totally different attitudes and agendas adds a lot more layers to the story.
Basically this a series about fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of not being true to a way of life (religion?) and fear of that which can't be controlled.
The regul have to be one of the most repugnant races that have ever been written and I must admit Jabba the Hut came to mind when I read that.
As for the People? Is there notion of resistance to change and unwillingness to adapt to new ways a good option?
I think the final message was that there is no "wrong" or "right" way for a race/species to live, but they have to be true to themselves.
It definitely brought into question a lot of aspects pertaining to First Contact and my research of an era when Europeans first came into contact with Maori definitely resonated. The ripples that even the addition of the simple staple, the potato, into their diet caused. Because then they were able to travel a lot further afield, fuelled by a sinpler, stronger source of cabohydrate.
In some scholars minds, that had as much bearing on the intertribal wars that followed as the muskets did.
In the same way, Duncan's arrival in their midst and his ability to adapt and learn their ways ultimately changed them.
My only quibble was the introduction right before the end of the final book of a race that has been around all the time but doesn't get mentioned until they're needed to be. Almost like she was filling a plot hole and needed some means of providing the People with the chance of their HEA. I can see how they fit and their logical, I would have thought that their existence would have been brought in earlier.
Also the Dusei that are born to the two that they bring with them seem to grow to adulthood quickly. The passing of time wasn't shown to encompass that. It seemed more like days or at least weeks.(less)
Cherryh loves writing strong women characters, but often the effect of this is lost as we experience t...moreWow, just wow. Stargate meets Lord of the Rings.
Cherryh loves writing strong women characters, but often the effect of this is lost as we experience the story through their eyes. Their concerns are interesting, but the stories lose some of the impact as they are often better told through the eyes of the person most vulnerable to that strong character. The beta watching the alpha.
In this case, we have a beta male viewpoint, Vanye.
Alpha's main concerns are threats against their goals. This can sometimes seem a bit manufactured (as in the Chanur series) where most of the conflict is in what might happen, or what Pyanfar thinks could happen rather than here where the conflict is more in the nature of who and what Morgaine is, as seen through Vanye's eyes.
It doesn't hurt that Cherryh has created such a wonderful secondary character in Rho. His relationship to Vanye, Vanye's inherent goodness and honesty and the twist of Rho's inner fight to remain true to himself keeps the conflict churning along nicely right to the end.
Most stories are stronger when the conflict stems from who they are as well as where they are and what they are doing.
There is definitely a "Lord of the Rings" feel to the trilogy, but the trouble is that classic drew on so many themes that going anywhere near arrows, swords, long lives, items of power can't help but echo some of them.
The inherent premise is good though.
The description in the second book of a world inundated by water and threatened by earthquakes was fantastic. I could almost feel moisture dripping off the page. Lucky I was reading it on an ereader and not paper.
But further to the POV comment. A few reviewers describe Vanye as weak. Which I see dfferent from a Beta character. On CJ's website, is a discussion in which a person made this comment:
Another very important thing to remember about Cherryh books is that you have to be very careful about describing someone as weak or strong. Vanye is often described as a weak man, dominated by a the strong female Morgaine. But I think a lot of that is because you get to hear his inner angst, and only see her actions. If the roles were reversed so that Morgaine was the viewpoint character, we would probably get a lot more of her angst (and based on some of the conversations that she and Vanye have, I am sure that she has a lot of it), while Vanye would appear as a quiet, capable, decisive man based on his actions. I have, in the past, actually taken a scene from the book and edited out all of Vanye’s internal monolog to show just how different he seems when all you consider are his actions. It was interesting to see how much of a difference that makes to the impression you get of him!
My main problem with this was that I feel this would have been more effective told through the eyes of NG. The alpha male is usually seen through the...moreMy main problem with this was that I feel this would have been more effective told through the eyes of NG. The alpha male is usually seen through the eyes of the weaker co-lead and in this case, the alpha female would have seemed less of a charicature if seen through the eyes of the more vulnerable male who she would have the power to hurt.(less)
Where's the conflict? Without it, I found it boring. At least in the current Sean Michael I'm reading "Velvet Need" the sub resisted being that at the...moreWhere's the conflict? Without it, I found it boring. At least in the current Sean Michael I'm reading "Velvet Need" the sub resisted being that at the start and there was a glitch in their relationship.
When subs instantly do whatever is asked, where's the incentive to turn the page?
Plus there was a smoking gun introduced of Connor dreaming of a lover with a huge dragon tattoo and wow, that's what he got. But why did he dream it?
I gather this started as a serial and it shows.(less)
My biggest beefs with this book which so many quote as the best eva?
Although the author gave reasons for Kael's quick acceptance of his fate, storywis...moreMy biggest beefs with this book which so many quote as the best eva?
Although the author gave reasons for Kael's quick acceptance of his fate, storywise it came too quickly. The analogy with breaking in a horse with kindness was used. But this mare was tame before it even started. It certainly wasn't a high strung stallion.
I have no argument about the amount of sex.
My problem is that concubines throughout history have often been the brains behind the throne. Their brains being just as treasured as their body. They couldn't be the consort because of their position in society or because the ruler/nobleman already had a wife. This didn't apply, yet here Kael ended up merely being a sex slave. Let's get the terminology right.
So, one star off because all Kael is seen as is a fuck toy. Despite his brains, his physical prowess, his background, all he is good for is to stay at his Master's feet so he can suck him off or be fucked when the urge strikes.
Second star? This tendency for guys who are bigger and beefier to be able to be picked up and carried by their smaller counterpart, just because he is the dominant one. Maybe it's the demon genes, but this aspect always throws me right out of a story when I come across it.
Talk about Mary Sue wish fulfilment.
You can see I'm not submissive material.....(less)
I enjoyed this for what it was, a tale of two traumatised men who need to learn to deal with tragedies in their past. It's not a romance although the...moreI enjoyed this for what it was, a tale of two traumatised men who need to learn to deal with tragedies in their past. It's not a romance although the two main characters end up together. As usual with the author's stories, the world building is great, and once again, the theme of empathy is explored. In this case what happens when there is empathy overload.(less)
I'd read "Javen and the Pretty Boy" as a freebie, but it didn't appeal to me as much as when I read it again as part of this collection of short stori...moreI'd read "Javen and the Pretty Boy" as a freebie, but it didn't appeal to me as much as when I read it again as part of this collection of short stories. Although each stands alone, you get a much better appreciation of the underlying themes and the arc of the characters' relationships when read sequentially.
Dispossessed aboriginals (in the true sense of the word) is a famliar topic to everyone brought up in Australia. As is the concept of new immigrants not seeing how they can be held responsible for insensitivities or outright acts of violence which took place long before they or their forebears arrived.
The subtleties and ramifications of this is depicted beautifully here and this is just the background.
Once again the theme of empathy is explored, the fear others have toward those who possess the trait and the way this can be used or abused.
Although this book is not one of Ann's most popular stories, to me, it has the best balance of emotion, plot, action and backstory.
Like all her books, it doesn't really classify as "romance" and is so much stronger because of that fact. It is a story about love not just sex or wine and roses.(less)
I loved how the symbiotic creatures were really a mirror of a character's needs and feelings. Although they could be depicted as fun, fluffy add-ons,...moreI loved how the symbiotic creatures were really a mirror of a character's needs and feelings. Although they could be depicted as fun, fluffy add-ons, their role is integral to both plot and the character arc. Perhaps over and beyond what the characters recognised and admitted themselves, but the author "showed". (less)
My biggest beef with this story is that the characters were the same as the ones in "Cold Front" and "Unsetled Conditions", yet it's not a sequel or a...moreMy biggest beef with this story is that the characters were the same as the ones in "Cold Front" and "Unsetled Conditions", yet it's not a sequel or a prequel. Or if it is, there are too many discrepancies to make it work for me. It's described as an Alternate Universe. (The AU after the series title).
There are some similarities in backstory and in the secondary characters, but the story could have just as easily (and less distractingly) be about two totally different characters. But set in the same Universe.
As it was I found myself comparing bits and pieces.
The bits of the story that differed from the backstory of the other books grated. Age, relationships, professions, Dek's sons. Why not simply have two totally different characters?
It would be interesting knowing why the decision was made to do it like that. Was it a Sliding Doors scenario about two people who were fated to be together no matter what? It might even have worked in the original Universe if Dek's memory had been changed. But the lack of the BDSM element and a few other anomalies meant I didn't really feel I had the same two characters anyway.
Shame, because if I hadn't read the other two books, I would have enjoyed this one a lot more.
I was enjoying this until the end. All of a sudden, the major problem was solved off screen. The twins had somehow worked out how to communicate. Then...moreI was enjoying this until the end. All of a sudden, the major problem was solved off screen. The twins had somehow worked out how to communicate. Then all of a sudden Troy loved Dylan.
While both these things might have worked eventually, I would have preferred to see this linking coming because of Dylan.
This is one of those books where I would have loved to rewrite the ending. I would have had Dyland and Mike have full on sex (with Troy's permission) and through that, Troy learning more about Dylan and developing stronger affection and eventually love for him.
But that ability to communicate might never need to actually happen. Dylan could be the conduit and they could accept that.
But that wasn't the book the author wrote, and it was the too easy ending after such a great build up that prevented me from giving it the full 5 stars.(less)
What a wonderful series. There is so much to appreciate. I loved the side characters. The world building was mostly done in the previous book. The plo...moreWhat a wonderful series. There is so much to appreciate. I loved the side characters. The world building was mostly done in the previous book. The plot in this one was interesting and linked two love stories together beautifully. The last Scene was probably the best I've ever read from a Dom's POV. The motivation, care and the way it panned out may not suit the expectations and preconceptions of the average mm reader, but I thought it was fabulous.(less)