Not so long ago, a friend and I were discussing authors who have problems writing grief. You can tell because the writing is hollow and incomplete. Gr...moreNot so long ago, a friend and I were discussing authors who have problems writing grief. You can tell because the writing is hollow and incomplete. Grief is an intimate, consuming, irrational, smothering creature. It's hard to write about if you don't understand it. Evan's grief, even when he was happy, was ever present and palpable throughout the story. Very well done.
I did rate this 4.5 stars and dropped it down to 4 stars for GR for two reasons. Matt gave in to the "second chance" too easily and without a true discussion. You don't understand why Evan now thinks that it will work this time, it doesn't feel as if anything has changed with Evan. The whole ending felt rushed and incomplete.
It was a great story and made me cry off and on throughout. (less)
Biton is in morning over the loss of his life partner and sub Erick to cancer. He is struggling to find a reason to go forward when his friend Antonio...moreBiton is in morning over the loss of his life partner and sub Erick to cancer. He is struggling to find a reason to go forward when his friend Antonio introduces him to Cavan. Cavan is a lost and broken soul whose former master did his best to kill Cavan before putting him out on the street, wounded and homeless. Biton is not sure he has what is needed to help Cavan’s broken soul but is drawn to him, then a “get to know you” lunch turns into a 30 day contract. As the extent of the horrors that Cavan had lived through is revealed, Biton is trying to do his best for Cavan, even bringing outside help. At the same time Briton hopelessly tries not to fall in love with Cavan because once Cavan starts to understand freedom, he may not stay once the 30 days are up.
I was afraid that this would be one of those brutal reads that leave you raw after reading and was surprised and relieved that it wasn’t the case. This was about healing and closure. Don't get me wrong, in no way is this nice and fuzzy. Cavan is so lost that he carries around the collar of the former master like security blanket. You cannot help but want to wrap him up in cotton and take care of him. I loved this story and before I even finished I went and bought the sequel Forever.(less)
Okay, so this was not as funny as the first book in the series but still really good. The beginning is a little depressing considering how the first b...moreOkay, so this was not as funny as the first book in the series but still really good. The beginning is a little depressing considering how the first book ending. Stanley is trying to reconcile that he and Tom aren't going anywhere. He tries to leave the police force and is persuaded to take an administrative leave instead and then he gets a call for help from an old friend and figures 'what the hey' anything to get Tom off his mind.
So for the first half we get the barest glimpse of Tom, which was none too flattering for him and Stanley is searching for distraction. It is a little slow until Tom shows up in a kick the kid out, underwear tearing, bruising kiss entrance which made me sigh in relief. This is in some ways more serious, not too much with Stanley narrating. What is going on or not going on with Tom and Stanley is tightened up some without proclamations of devotion or love.
There is one thing though...the murder of Donnie really pissed me off. This Bear Mountain community had formed this regard or lack of regard for the youth, this blind eye, this aura of abuse that in its own way lead to the victimization of that boy. I kept thinking, he died at 18 but everything that happened to him had been going on for years. Even though this was a fun read at times, Donnie's life in Bear Mountain stuck with me adding a flare of sadness. (less)
BlaqJaq is streetmuscle, like a regulator or an equalizer, in the under city. Nickerson is an off-world agent chased from up-top by hunters. To fulfil...moreBlaqJaq is streetmuscle, like a regulator or an equalizer, in the under city. Nickerson is an off-world agent chased from up-top by hunters. To fulfill a debt to Nickerson, BlaqJaq guides Nickerson deeper into the under-city as they are being chased by relentless hunters. Who is hunting Nickerson and why are questions that are beginning to be more important than the constant running.
I rated this 4.5 and dropped it down to 4 because of the difficulty of understanding the opening scene. Maybe I was tired and my mind wasn’t catching on because of it. I actually stopped in the middle of the action sequence and put it down for several weeks. You are dropped in the middle of a chase scene and that was fine. But there was no explanation of were you were or why Nickerson was being chased, what Nickerson’s goal was, and then dealing with unfamiliar terminology. It is still not clear to me what Steel sleet means…denied…unidentified…you’ve got a laser on your butt so you better move….who knows, obviously not me.
Re-reading the start the second time around was easier. When BlaqJaq was introduced, the picture of this world became more clear and sharpened in to this rich, multilayered underworld. The growing relationship between Nickerson was not force but had an easy nature flow to it.
I was not happy that it ended. I think indignant is the word for it. The story was just getting started and boom…their done. If the other two books in the series weren’t already out, I would have had to write a letter to the author. As it is, now I have to squeeze the rest of the series in between my challenge books somehow because I cannot wait until the end of the quarter to pick them back up!(less)
Yhalen is a Yhreji, a race that lives in the great forest to the west. He is part of an honor guard to his grandfather, the Yhreji shaman, who is visi...moreYhalen is a Yhreji, a race that lives in the great forest to the west. He is part of an honor guard to his grandfather, the Yhreji shaman, who is visiting the lowland cities to discuss the future migration of the northern Ogres. Yhalen is captured by an Ogre scouting party and presented to Bloodraven as a gift from a rival Ogre. Bloodraven is a half-breed warlord, sent to capture slaves in the south for his clan. The path of Yhalen and Bloodraven lives are irrevocably changed.
I am in LOVE with this book. The world, the detail, the characters. It is doesn’t pull any punches with the realities of slavery and oppression. It is honest and brutal and at the same time builds hope. The characters aren’t simple and neither is their relationship or the growth between them or the changes that happen within and without. The “happy ending” was well and truly EARNED. I was upset when the story came to an end because I wanted more.
This is my first real Ryan Field book and it is very much a 'guy' romance - meaning - not a lot of talk or thinking about feelings or love. Things jus...moreThis is my first real Ryan Field book and it is very much a 'guy' romance - meaning - not a lot of talk or thinking about feelings or love. Things just are what they are. It is romance without mush...not to say that I didn't have heart twinges here or there. It had some kink, a shoe fettish, and lots of lusty sex with a Navy Officer. I really enjoyed the change.
I not disappointed in this sequel. Cavan flourished and found his strength. He even got to....well, I wouldn't want to spoil it for you. Both books in...moreI not disappointed in this sequel. Cavan flourished and found his strength. He even got to....well, I wouldn't want to spoil it for you. Both books in this series is re-readers.(less)