**spoiler alert** When I got this book I wasn’t aware of the fact that this is actually the sequel to “Boys of summer”, which I had not read. So it wa**spoiler alert** When I got this book I wasn’t aware of the fact that this is actually the sequel to “Boys of summer”, which I had not read. So it was kind of hard for me to get into the story. I didn’t know the protagonists, had no idea how they got together and any of the circumstances. I was thrown into their lives and had to wrap my head around the whole situation at first. What made it even more difficult was that it was written in first person and present tense, something that I don’t appreciate that much. However, once I got past the first chapter, I kind of got into the story. There is actually not much of a plot to speak of. Max takes Hunter home to his homophobe family, they spend a few days there, they leave, they marry, end. There is some tension, but certainly not nearly as much as there could have been. The bit of tension there is comes from Max’ family, mainly his father and his twin sister, but more about that in a minute. The two main characters are so much in love with each other, it is almost sickeningly sweet. We don’t know a lot about Max’ feelings, since the whole story is told from Hunter’s point of view, but we can safely assume that he reciprocates Hunter’s feelings completely. They both think the other is perfect, gorgeous, beautiful, smart and whatever else you can think of. End of story. Arguments, or rather discussions, that stem from either difference in opinion or little insecurities are resolved in a flash with no bad feelings to speak of. Now the family. Max’ father is a homophobe and so, it seems, is his twin sister. Both characters’ change of heart came way too quickly for me and without any obvious reason. His sister, out of some warped thought that it is her fault that her brother “became” gay, hurts Max over and over. But, after one talk with Hunter over a cigarette, she changes from being totally hostile to volunteering to be the wedding planner! The father needs a bit more time and takes an odd route. He turns from being prejudiced but at least somewhat civil to openly hostile to the extent that he refuses to let Hunter enter his home again to regretful and accepting. The only reason for this seems to be some serious soul searching. I found that rather hard to believe. Other than that I quite enjoyed reading this. Even though it was extremely sweet and un-exciting, it was entertaining and a nice change from all that angst and overwhelming obstacles. Actually the whole story made me curious as to how Max and Hunter met in the first place, so I might go back in time and read the prequel....more
**spoiler alert** The blurb sounded nice enough and you don’t see too many incubi in books, even though you would think for erotica they would be the**spoiler alert** The blurb sounded nice enough and you don’t see too many incubi in books, even though you would think for erotica they would be the perfect protagonist.
However, the story did not live up to the blurb. No, that’s not true, the blurb doesn’t say anything that is not in the book, however, it leaves out a few things that made reading this book quite unsatisfying.
Let’s start at the beginning. Poor Tristan, half incubus, half human, is left in the care of a promising warden, assigned to him by Blanco. The warden turns out to be a sadistic jerk who uses and abuses Tristan continuously. Eventually Blanco comes to his aid (more about this later) and Tristan manages to get away from the “sheltered” life that he has known so far. He wants to live a normal life.
What bothered me? (By the way, for better understanding I am saying “incubus/incubi, when in the book the term for the half incubus/half human beings is “cambion”).
* Cory, a talented, yet unsuccessful photographer, catches Blanco red-handed while killing someone, but in order to be left alive himself he agrees to find Tristan for Blanco. What follows now is so strange and appalling that I really needed to wrap my head around it in order to talk about it in a way that makes sense. * Cory takes Tristan, who is homeless and totally screwed up, in and takes nude pictures of him. The nature of the pictures gets more explicit in the course of the book, mainly at the request of Blanco. Why Blanco requests nude pictures doesn’t interest Cory in the least. * Cory, I can only repeat it, an unsuccessful photographer, who explicitly says to Tristan that he does not have many models which is why he is so grateful for Tristan posing for him, has a large collection of nude or pornographic photos of various men. Where do all those men come from? Who are they? * Cory keeps a laptop Blanco has given him on at all times so that Blanco can watch what is going on in his apartment, this includes sex scenes. Naturally Tristan knows nothing about this. * Cory masturbates in front of his laptop for Blanco for a few hundred dollars. He reckons, since Blanco has already seen him sleep with Tristan, what the heck? * Blanco, who is supposed to protect the incubi, in fact he has sworn an oath to do so, let’s Tristan be abused for years and does not step in, because he was distracted by the suicide of his own protegé. He admits that he failed Tristan, but makes up for it later by killing the abusive warden. What about the oath that he broke? Shouldn’t there be repercussions? * The wardens, who are supposed to protect the incubi from society and their inner demon, don’t think anything of exploiting the incubi’s sex driven nature by pimping them, renting them out as escorts, dancers in clubs or porn stars. * Cory’s career is furthered by Blanco who organizes a show for him. As it turns out his work, mostly his pornographic work I might add, is being shown in the “ghetto” for the incubi. Almost all the guests at the show use his photographs for sexual stimulation there and then. Is this the sort of career an aspiring photographer who wants to get his name out is aiming to have? Shooting porn pictures for the sexually overactive? * Cory eventually decides to become a warden in order to help Tristan. He reaches that goal by being touched sexually by Blanco (who very much desires Cory) and in return by touching Blanco. How that would empower him to deal with an incubus and his demon is beyond me.
All in all, apart from Tristan, who was a character who was constantly pushed around by people who “wanted the best for him”, I thoroughly disliked the main characters. Cory sold himself out for his career. Blanco failed at his job, failed Tristan in a big way and has no valid excuse whatsoever. The way the wardens dealt with the incubi and their demons made no sense to me. The overall feel of the story was disturbing. I can’t recommend it in good conscience....more
The story starts medias in res with Rory following Scott around to make sure he was safe. Scott’s background is completely in the dark. We only know hThe story starts medias in res with Rory following Scott around to make sure he was safe. Scott’s background is completely in the dark. We only know he hides from the other minders out there and that Trey, another wolf, has sent out Rory on his mission. When I got this I wasn’t aware that this is obviously a book in a series. It seems there are more books about the minders out there and it would have been nice if I had known a little bit about the background. I could still follow the story easily, but the reasons why Scott hid and why the other minders wanted him to join them, what was the deal with Scott’s connection to Trey etc. were all left unexplained. I liked the storyline, the characters and the chemistry between Scott and Rory. Just, “Wolf Town” seemed to be starting in the middle of a bigger story and it also ended there. We have a HFN, but we don’t really know what the future will bring. It was entertaining, but nothing I would probably read again....more
In my usual fashion I had no clue that this was the fourth book in a series called “Promises” by Marie Sexton and only found out about that afterwardsIn my usual fashion I had no clue that this was the fourth book in a series called “Promises” by Marie Sexton and only found out about that afterwards. However, even though characters of the previous books were mentioned, it was no problem to read it as a stand alone.
The book starts with a short paragraph that takes us 18 months after the beginning of the actual story, so we already know what is going to happen then. Until that came to pass it was exciting to see how those two guys met, got involved with each other and developed feelings that they both first denied and later on just couldn’t ignore anymore. Even though they had sex right from the start we never witness any of this and I was beginning to wonder whether this was one of those stories where all the sex is taking place behind closed doors. In the second half of the book this changed and there is a good reason for it. Marie Sexton did this just right, as she did everything else in this story. It was fantastic.
The way Jonathan changed from some career driven moron (sorry) who really had no clue about Cole’s personality (how he could not anticipate Cole’s reaction to the recipe box for example is beyond me) to someone who knows what he wants and still can’t bring himself to swallow his pride to someone who finally sees what is important is totally realistic. I suffered with Jonathan and Cole all the way and just couldn’t stop reading.
About the title of this book: When I first read the title I dismissed this as another fluffy story, cute and sweet. I couldn’t have been more wrong. There is nothing fluffy and sweet about this. Unfortunately I’m afraid that maybe some readers will give this gem a miss simply because of the misleading name, which would be a real pity.
“Strawberries for Dessert” will join “Take my Picture” by Giselle Ellis (another story by the way that I don’t hear enough about in the blogging world, possibly because it was published first in an anthology, even though it was released separately some time ago) as one of my top favourite m/m books so far. Both are intense, complicated and feature men who are, for one reason or other, unable to acknowledge what is right in front of them.
I am a sucker for Lord and Squire stories, so when I saw The Lion of Kent by Aleksandr Voinov available on Netgalley I picked it up right away.
Of theI am a sucker for Lord and Squire stories, so when I saw The Lion of Kent by Aleksandr Voinov available on Netgalley I picked it up right away.
Of the three stories I read so far by Aleksandr I liked this one best. I liked the historical setting, not to mention the two protagonists. William, a wild boy who wants to earn his spurs, and Robert, who recognizes himself as a young man in William. I found William as someone always reacting before thinking unless he forces himself to calm down and count to three very realistic. Robert as the older was the more reasonable and composed one, but still passionate and loving. The two men were absolutely great together.
The plot was solid and believable with some good side characters. Even though Stephen was a real jerk I liked him, well, as much as you can like a drunken priest who is droning on even though the only creature who listens is his dog.
The story was great from start to finish, there are not even minor things I’d like to have seen done differently. Only I would have liked it to be longer than it was. However, it seems this was not all. I read on Aleksandr’s website that two more novellas about William are planned which reconciles me a bit.
If you like a medieval setting, this is a must read....more
From reading the blurb I already figured that I will have to supsend disbelief to a certain extent here. Why assassins who come too late to kill theirFrom reading the blurb I already figured that I will have to supsend disbelief to a certain extent here. Why assassins who come too late to kill their victim should change their mind and all of a sudden want to save him I didn’t understand. Also I was slightly annoyed at the way John and Chris were lying to Andrei in the beginning. They told him a half-baked story and Andrei accepted it almost without batting an eyelid. I would imagine someone without any knowledge about himself would – even though he might want to grasp at straws – be a bit suspicious when he was told he was sexually involved with two men carrying guns 24/7. So, yes, the plot was somewhat unrealistic, but once I accepted that, it flowed. John, Chris and Andrei were three hot guys. I didn’t care too much for Chris, the manslut, but John and especially Andrei were extremely likeable. The way those two found a way to merge their budding relationship with John’s and Chris’ sort of “teammates with benefits” affair and turn it into a working menage was nicely done. Aleksandr Voinov said on Goodreads about “Clean Slate” that he cheated a bit and took away the memory and issues from one of the guys to make this easier and he was right. With Andrei’s memory intact the three men certainly would have never hit it off. The story ended perfectly, with a redeemed Chris and everybody happy. This was highly entertaining and made me want to read more of those authors....more
I hate anonymous sex scenes. Whenever I come across one I get bored and skip it. Anonymous sex just does not do it for me. This is what I thought anywI hate anonymous sex scenes. Whenever I come across one I get bored and skip it. Anonymous sex just does not do it for me. This is what I thought anyway. After reading the first few pages of Touch of a Wolf I have to re-consider my last statements though. I was impressed. That scene with two strangers in some dark alley in Philadelphia was more intimate and intense than a lot of “conventional” ones and drew me right into the story.
And then I just couldn’t stop reading. I totally loved Touch of a Wolf. Matt and John (even though he is mostly referred to as Channing) were great characters. The plot just flowed, turning slightly improbable towards the end in my eyes, but that didn’t matter in the least.
The wolf angle was done slightly differently than usual. Not only was it not an issue between the two men, the wolf existence was introduced somehow like in passing as if it was no big deal. There were problems being a wolf, especially being one that’s been around for a while, but nothing a smart computer savvy man couldn’t fix. Which brings me to the only question about this story. How did Matt turn from a researcher who hated tampering with files into such an accomplished forger? Looking at his considerate counterfeiting skills you would think he’s never done anything else. But I didn’t want to let this trifle spoil the overall enjoyment and accepted it in stride. Touch of a Wolf is a love-at-first-sight story, road movie and wolf-man wrapped up in one great package.
One drawback was the editing, however. I noticed punctuation marks at the wrong place, sentences that should have been negative were positive etc. The book deserves better than that.
Even so. This was a great read. Jez Morrow has some more were stories out, I MUST go and check them out. Highly recommended....more
When I read the blurb of “Spoils of War” I immediately decided to read it. I like Greek mythology. All the political agendas as well as the quibbles aWhen I read the blurb of “Spoils of War” I immediately decided to read it. I like Greek mythology. All the political agendas as well as the quibbles among the gods always fascinated me. The fact that one of the main characters is Achilles was a slight drawback for me, however. If I had to choose between him and Hector I’d always go for the latter. I found Achilles’ extremely vindictive and petty behaviour after he killed Hector very disconcerting, but I admit that he was grief-stricken about Patroklos’ death, which brings me back to “Spoils of War”.
The short story starts right after Achilles’ death when his soul is being claimed by two gods, Ares and Hermes. This is an interesting twist, since Ares usually never meddles with the dead. However, he is so interested in seeing Achilles being around longer that he makes an exception for him. Achilles is very tempted to take up Ares’ offer, since it would give him all the means for total revenge on the Trojans. But there is Hermes waiting and he has something to offer which might be even more rewarding.
I have never heard of or read anything by Aleksandr Voinov before but “Spoils of War” made me want to check out his other stories. The way the characters and their motivations are depicted is credible and Achilles change of tune was believable as well. As for the gods, the fact that the one opposes the other and Hermes does things just to spite Ares is typical divine behaviour (at least among the ancient gods) and fun to read. The one sex scene (you can’t call it love scene, not by any stretch of the imagination) is pretty hot and, um, powerful.
If you like Greek mythology this story is a must read. However, if you have no clue about the Trojan War and the involvement of the gods in it, you might want to read up about it first. A little prior knowledge will enhance the reading experience immensely....more
**spoiler alert** I liked "Between Us", so when its sequel "Between us two" came out there was no question about reading it right away.
Jason and Matt**spoiler alert** I liked "Between Us", so when its sequel "Between us two" came out there was no question about reading it right away.
Jason and Matt were a nice couple, in the first story and they were just as nice here. However, two of my least favourite components were way too prominent in this story for me to really love it. When it comes to children and pets my eyes glaze over and I lose interest pretty quickly.
In the blurb it is mentioned that Matt is in trouble as suspect for a child kidnapping. The kidnapping issue was resolved rather quickly and to everybody’s satisfaction. As far as I was concerned the child related plot could have ended here. Well, it didn’t. Jason had two dogs (I knew that from the previous story) and those two played quite a big part in the story. Really cute, no doubt, but I just am not interested in that sort of thing. The guys were nice, loveable, hot and all, so if you don’t mind pets and kids, this will be for you. It’s a good entertaining story. Just a little too sweet for my taste. ...more