Lots of drama, lots of emotion...somewhat predictable yet still entertaining plot. Everyone in here is just so super-perfect and nice and beautiful...Lots of drama, lots of emotion...somewhat predictable yet still entertaining plot. Everyone in here is just so super-perfect and nice and beautiful...The writing is really good, though. AND there was Nana, who upgraded this book from a bland, perfectly digestible bar of milk chocolate to chilli-cream filled-golddust-covered-dark-chocolate praliné. ...more
So after For Real, this one was a bit of a letdown.
Not because it wasn't an enjoyable read--it was--but because it simply didn't touch me quite as deSo after For Real, this one was a bit of a letdown.
Not because it wasn't an enjoyable read--it was--but because it simply didn't touch me quite as deeply as the former.
Waiting for the Flood is a quiet story with lots of introspection, single 1st person POV of Edwin. Which fits, since Edwin is an introspective guy, to a point where he's so focused on his inner goings-on that he almost forgets there's still a whole world outside his own head. Used to being disregarded from an early age--a "seen, not heard" child-- he trapped himself in his Snow White's coffin of consternation and hurt over being abandoned, for completely elusive reasons, by his long-time boyfriend. Actually, I found Edwin a bit hard to like with his--let's call a spade a spade--endless self-pity.
But inescapably, persistently and relentless like the flood he's waiting for, life invades his solitude in the person of a big, red-haired bear of a man named Adam. Edwin can't escape any of them, and he deals with both the same way: first fighting them--a bit halfhearted at first, and with a kind of awkward ardor later--then coming to terms with them and eventually, daring to enjoy them with all his heart. I loved how this book was something of a parable, how Edwin's (and Adam's, really) philosophical sophism fed my little inner geek. (view spoiler)[ Adam and Edwin's first flirt was a conversation about game theory of all things. If that isn't geeky, I don't know what is. (hide spoiler)] The writing turned a bit wordy at times, but never to the point of boring; I think Edwin's narrative voice mirrored his character (AND the changes he went through) perfectly. I liked following his musings from "oh poor me" to "bring it, life, I'm ready", and I'm really, really in awe of writing skills that can achieve this.
Despite what I said first, I recommend this book for its smart writing and my quiet enjoyment of Edwin's slow awakening. Just don't expect an emotional impact like with "For Real", this one is a whole'nother animal (or pair of wellies, if you want.)
Oh, and Edwin's elderly lady neighbor, Mrs Peaberry? She was a lovely breath of fresh air, literally, first blowing a bit of spicy scent over the barren plains of Edwin's daily routine and later on making delicious little waves in the oncoming deluge. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
“Dancing Days” was a story right after my heart. I liked almost everything about it: The light and yet never trivial tone of the writing, the hint of“Dancing Days” was a story right after my heart. I liked almost everything about it: The light and yet never trivial tone of the writing, the hint of sheer “British-ness” in the narrative, the sprinkles of dry humor, the gentle pace so fitting for the course of events.
Even though it’s told solely from Glen’s third person POV, I found both Aston and Glen well-drawn. They were mature men, both shaped by their respective life experiences, both somewhat set in their ways and yet young enough at heart to hope, to venture a chance on each other and on loving again. They’re both burnt children when it comes to that, and past hurts have left their marks, so I found their conflicts and the obstacles they had to overcome very comprehensible. And it made the romance of their reconnection all the sweeter.
Talk about “awwww-factor”—that particular scene was all rainbows and puppies to me, and yet saved from being saccharine by a healthy dose of tongue-in-cheek.
The only thing, basically, I didn’t quite adore about the story was how Aston and Glen sometimes turned into old farts regarding their subject of conversation. Yes, minor ailments are a fact of life and of getting older too, but I didn’t need the gory details rubbed in quite as much. For one, Glen and Aston aren’t that old, and for another, I am, so thank you very much. Sigh.
All in all, this sweet little masterpiece of a story had a wealth of detail, a fullness of plot and a depth worthy of a much longer work. A fully satisfying reading experience that I can only warmly recommend.
This book had everything I've come to expect from this series:
- Fabulous, totally engrossing writing. Really, I love listening to the melody of thisThis book had everything I've come to expect from this series:
- Fabulous, totally engrossing writing. Really, I love listening to the melody of this narrative voice in my head, the rise and fall of its cadence. Not a single word wasted.
- Singularly clairvoyant characters. This bullet point actually kind of ties with the one about writing above, since the narrative style is an unique mix of show and tell: We're shown the character making an obscure gesture/giving a particular look/acting in a certain way and then told by means of another, observing character's thoughts what said gesture/look/action is supposed to mean. An approach that takes really skillful handling as it has a tendency to buckle sideways into the ridiculously esoteric. Which it hardly did in this book (mostly when it came to Crabtree, who was at once the least sympathetic and worst-drawn character in this book, exaggerated to a point as to almost become a caricature, so let's not mention Crabtree, okay?), and that was amazing.
Also, this was a great way to convey insights into the why and how of drag without info-dumping. Which leads to the next item on the list of things I liked,
- Drag. Especially Caramela. Yes, she was every bit the treasure the blurb makes her out to be, and I took to her the second I first met her. But through her, this book also offered a fascinating incentive for going into drag--without selling it as the only explanation, without judgment, a mere statement of a fact, and that was amazing too. Travestism is something I've always been interested in, and it's not as if I didn't figure most of these things before, but reading about the how and why behind Chenco's Caramela, certain things fell into place in my mind.I love it when that happens to me by means of a book.
- Randy. Oh dear, Randy. Were he my co-worker, or my brother, or, God forbid, my lover, he'd drive me batshit. But I really want someone like him as my friend.
- Kink. Well, obviously, and in terms of violence the kink is rather heavy in here. Steve is a sadist, or to quote him:
"what I love, more than anything, is to fuck someone while he cries because of the pain I've given him"
And let's not forget, there's Randy, and where Randy is, there is Kink, with a capital K--and that's while saying nothing of Sam and Mitch and well, Ethan too. On the other hand (at least as for me) the squick factor was minimal. Despite the abovementioned mind-reading routine, there was less of the usual mindfuckery between the main characters than usual.(although some soul-searching and deep, meaningful conversations happen)Well, Randy tried playing his customary mind games, but Caramela just about outwitted him. No, leave the real mindfuck to the villain(s) this time. Actually, I'd call Chenco and Steve's relationship almost sweet, despite the entire alphabet soup going on between them (and in regard to the much-dreaded watersports: (view spoiler)[that's actually more of a mental thing for Chenco, a trust/shame issue, and even though it does happen physically, it's barely touched at onpage in a blink-and-you-might-miss-it two-liner (hide spoiler)]). They made a strong couple, and the heat between them--whoa.
There's not much about this book that wasn't right up my alley, except for the very last paragraph (if you don't mind being spoilered some more, look under the tag below and consider yourself warned.... sigh.)
Warmly recommended nevertheless.
(view spoiler)[This might not be something I personally care much about, but it deserves mentioning since it's another trademark for this series: - a wedding and an overly conciliatory teeth-rottingly sweet ending (hide spoiler)] ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
More like three and a half. Hot cowboys, an ex-SEAL with PTS, insta-love and a villain out of the left field. All a bit rushed, but sexy and nice to rMore like three and a half. Hot cowboys, an ex-SEAL with PTS, insta-love and a villain out of the left field. All a bit rushed, but sexy and nice to read. Light and entertaining. ...more
I've been a fan of this series since I first read Hard Fall,which came out back in 2009. Joe's narrative voice is something special; his local slang and the small crumbs of beautiful, beautiful poetry he drops now and then, almost as if despite himself. I loved listening to him right from the start.
Anyway, Joe. In my opinion, he's one of the best-drawn characters I've ever read. First, he's Mormon, and not only in name, he lives his faith, even though his religious community rejected him for being with Kade. Joe is a rock, a strong, dependable man, a protector at heart, as unshakable in his convictions as he is in his love for Kabe. And Kabe himself--oh, he's adorable despite the bad choices he made in the past (which, by the way, caused his and Joe's paths to cross in the first place) and full of fire and passion, just the right guy, perhaps the only one, to break down Joe's reserve and open a heart that had resigned to never be opened at all.
In Requiem in Leather, Joe and Kabe's relationship has survived several pull tests already, but now they'll have to face Kabe's past. San Francisco, to be precise, and Joe feels like a clumsy boar thrown into the urbane frivolity that used to be Kabe's world. It's Joe who's the outsider here--but in typical Joe-fashion he takes a step back, assesses, reconsiders and quietly takes back control, as is his nature. And solves a mystery along the way, almost like an afterthought.
I loved being in Joe's head for this, loved watching him discover new truths about himself, about Kabe and about the world in general while staying true to who he is. But my greatest joy reading this book was watching Kabe reconnect with his past and watching him realize what a long way he's come. His character grows in this book, but in reality, most of the growth has happened in the past already and now just breaks out in full bloom. It's amazing, the ways Kabe and Joe's relationship can still become deeper, richer, but it does, and I think it will continue to do so in the future, should there ever be another sequel to this series.
The BDSM aspect in this book is at once very important while at the same time, less pronouced than in the other volumes. Actually, I think this may be the most romantic of the series. There's just so much emotion wrapped up in all of this, both for Joe and even more so for Kabe.
Requiem in Leather is definitely a series book, and I'd strongly advise against reading it as a standalone. For that matter, the whole series is a real treat and should be read in order for full enjoyment.
So, okay, this had an interesting premise - a threesome with a blind man "in the middle", a formerly "straight" one at that. It's almost philosophicalSo, okay, this had an interesting premise - a threesome with a blind man "in the middle", a formerly "straight" one at that. It's almost philosophical that he had to lose his eyesight in order to "see" who he was really attracted to, isn't it?
Other than that, well. Gorgeous, rich, professionally successful protagonists, a hint of insta-love, super-bitchy ex-girlfriends, drama-prone boyfriends, steamy sex scenes and a sugary sweet happy end. An entertanining, light read for the right mood.
Picking this up, the writing style as well as the overall plot construction struck me as vaguely familiar, even though I couldn't quite put my fingerPicking this up, the writing style as well as the overall plot construction struck me as vaguely familiar, even though I couldn't quite put my finger on it -- until I learned it was Andrew Grey writing under a new pen name. Once you know, it's obvious, though.
It's a tried and tested trope, having two - preferably closeted - undercover agents posing as a gay couple in order to get them romantically involved with each other. Here, it's former NSA Dayton Ingram and former Marine "Knight" Knighton, going on a gay cruise in order to defeat a terrorist group from messing with the internet, to put it simply. Day is rather new, it's his first field assignment, while Knight is a seasoned agent but fallen into disgrace with his superiors after his breakdown over the loss of his wife and son. The agency Day and Knight work for, Scorpion Logistic Services, is too super-secret to ever be explained throughout the book but apparently some kind of intelligence agency; they reminded me a little of James Bond's MI6, minus Q's gadgets, but just as widely influential.
The actual mystery/ espionage plot actually worked for me; the background terrorist attack is an interesting "what-if" that would evidently cause a major catastrophe in global economy should someone attempt such a thing. It's all pure fiction, of course, with lots of far-fetched plot-twists and problems conveniently solved by coincidence, luck, and/or Scorpion's far-reaching arm but be that as it may-- it's what'd expect from that genre, and it kept my interest, even though some parts were a bit dragging due to stilted writing or overfraught with mundane details.
What didn't work quite as well was the romantic subplot, the budding relationship between Day and Knight. Both main characters remained flat and distant for me; I found myself almost unable to connect with either of them, and as a result, not caring much about the romance in and of itself. Their "voices" were so similar that it was sometimes hard to remember in whose head I was supposed to be at any given moment, and the way they connected sexually seemed almost contrived. I could've bought them as friend-foes à la "The Professionals", for example, but as lovers? Not so much; aside from physical attraction, there wasn't really that much erotic tension, let alone anything deeper.
Oh man, this book... I could clearly see where Llew was headed, though I prayed I was wrong- I wasn't- and it was so painful to read... But as sad4.5
Oh man, this book... I could clearly see where Llew was headed, though I prayed I was wrong- I wasn't- and it was so painful to read... But as sad as it was, Llew came out the victor in the end. So beautifully done. Couldn't put it down....more
At times like these, I despair of the "niche" character of our genre. A book like this, so full of wisdom and insight,sweetness,hope,pain, growth andAt times like these, I despair of the "niche" character of our genre. A book like this, so full of wisdom and insight,sweetness,hope,pain, growth and braveness and sheer plain awesome should light up the sky from the top of NY Times Bestseller list or something instead of "just" brightening our small corner of the reading world like the shiny gem it is.
Okay, it has sex--lots of it in fact, and mostly of the kinky, dirty, terminally hot variety. But there's so much more to it. So very authentic character voices. A most unusual relationship between two people who were so unique that their gender as well as their sexuality barely mattered. Well, okay, the "gay thing" as Toby put it, did matter sometimes except where it didn't. It wasn't the central element the story, and even if D/s is how Laurie and Toby meet, how they connect in the first place, this element didn't overwhelm the story either.
Most of all, this was a story of learning to trust, daring to love despite conventions, age differences, judgment, self-doubts, class distinctinons, life experience, even despite yourself. And to me, that was what I took home from reading this book--a new perspective at freedom. But I think there are even more layers to this story, enough of them so every reader should find something that works for them.
Books like this are the reason I write reviews, so I can shout it from the rooftops when a book touches me as deeply as this one did, and I can't wait for other people to share that experience. So here I am, shouting. Read it people, it's awesome. ...more
This book is aptly named - a blinding light of a story, made to brighten up my darkest day! Jake carries the weight of the world on his shoulders: carThis book is aptly named - a blinding light of a story, made to brighten up my darkest day! Jake carries the weight of the world on his shoulders: caring for his alcohol-addicted morther and his three sisters (and his niece), paying off a crippling debt, holding three jobs...you'd think he'd walk around buckling under so much pressure. But no; he just takes his bull of a life by its horns and wrestles it into submission. And cheerfully so, which is his most endearing trait. He doesn't take shit from anybody, not even his new employer. P. Sanderson is apparently a demanding, arrogant old codger who only talks to him in bullet point via notes left for him as Jake comes to clean his house. By chance Jake discovers the man behind the notes - Patrick, who turns out to be anything but old, if still something of a curmudgeon - until Jakes starts to work on him. Because once Jake discovers what hides behind the prickly exterior, he adds a new task to his already tremendous workload: making Patrick happy. What he didn't realize, though: he might find his own happiness in the process. It seems Karma isn't always a bitch.
To sum it up: I loved this book! Light in tone, uplifting in both characters and plot yet still with depth and meaning, what more could I want? Warmly recommended. ...more
So this was a very interesting premise: a sub who's a proud and independant man except being paraplegic and chair-bound, and a considerate, inventiveSo this was a very interesting premise: a sub who's a proud and independant man except being paraplegic and chair-bound, and a considerate, inventive Dom who can look past the chair at the man. So far, so good. And the story took a honest effort to show that a disabled man can still be and do whatever he wants to, even play an active role in the BDSM community (view spoiler)[ or have foursomes (hide spoiler)]
I liked some aspects of this story just fine, like the enterprising ideas Deacon came up with for Kade, and his seemingly endless patience when it came to Kade's many, varied and very comprehensible hangups and fears. Not to mention the fact that I found this story well-written and pleasant to read.
Actually, I had a whole number of buts that in the end almost outweighed the good and sadly, my buts were all related to the story itself.
For one, Deacon. Uber-dom, superhuman, unfailing and on top of it all, insanely rich and (view spoiler)[very obviously devoted to Kade from the word go. (hide spoiler)] As much as he might declare his interest in Kade as a man and sub, I never quite bought it. My feeling of Deacon throughout the story was of an overgrown, very intelligent kid with a shiny new toy that he'll still tire of sooner or later and throw away. Perhaps one of the reasons why I never really believed in either Deacon's sincerity about Kade or the genuineness of their bond.
Because Kade didn't actually have nor, in fact, make much of a choice. He was totally starved for affection, so he fell helplessly for the first man who showed him any, in fact, steamrollered him with it. Even though the only (on-page) villain in the book, Kade's ex, supposedly made an appearance as some kind of Deacon's negative counterpart, it did't work. To me, the whole Deacon/ Kade thing had a vague Stockholm syndrome feeling to it that made me decidedly uncomfortable.
So, while this book wasn't a complete miss for me, it wasn't the hit I hoped it would be. I can recommend it as a novelty read for the unusual premise, but as for both the romantic relationship and the BDSM content, it left me somewhat wanting. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I've been putting off writing a review for this book because...well it's hard. How do you explain loving a book you didn't actually like? But here youI've been putting off writing a review for this book because...well it's hard. How do you explain loving a book you didn't actually like? But here you are. ...more
I haven't really been wanting for good books lately - in fact, I've discovered quite some gems I'm planning on reviewing soonest - but this one took tI haven't really been wanting for good books lately - in fact, I've discovered quite some gems I'm planning on reviewing soonest - but this one took the cake so far. I'll admit freely I only picked it up because it was, well, AJ Thomas, whose writing I love, even though I was a bit wary of the "problem kid" part the blurb hinted at. Usually not quite my thing, I've had enough of this in my real life already.
But wow. What I got was ROMANCE, in capital letters, matter-of-fact, deal-with-it romance between two highly adorable men with the added bonus of a troubled, smart, precocious, brilliant kid, garnished with a healthy dose of real-life murk and outward threats to forge the three of them closer together. Oh, and Corbin, a FABULOUS supporting character who I dearly hope will have his own story in the near future.
I was sucked into this story right from the first sentence. Seen inidvidually, none of the plot points were exactly new - instant attraction warring with rationale on the forbidden-fruit thrill, and the angst resulting thereof; meddling friends and family; painful pasts and uncertain presents; event the scheming villain (whom I spied from a mile away, btw, but perhaps the reader is supposed to). But the writing that connected all this was mature, flowing, enthralling; the emotions (and the erotic tension) practically jumped off the page. Sure the end was a bit overly sweet but just so awwwwwww... I didn't care.
One thing I cared for though: too many editing errors to miss. What a pity for such a great book, it was really annoying. ...more