I received a copy of this title to read and review for Wicked Reads
I have no idea how to begin a review for this book without creating a booI received a copy of this title to read and review for Wicked Reads
I have no idea how to begin a review for this book without creating a book report, which would do a great disservice to the story and the reader. My only option is to express what emotions the journey elicited from me.
I mean this in the literal sense: I read Craving's Creek from word one until the end without moving from the sofa. I spent six hours completely engrossed with my kindle. My emotions ran the gamut, only to start the cycle again. I found myself smiling through the sweet & innocent moments, cringing during the mentally, physically, and emotionally painful moments, and crying at least ten separate times.
Craving's Creek beings with two 17 yo boys. There is a dark, oppressive feel to the entire book, but in the beginning it's an innocence filled with darkness, and you can feel the shadowy hand of something horrific on the horizon.
At the 1/3 point in the book, we (the reader) are thrust nearly fifteen years into the future, where we endure the pieces of their lives being scattered about, and then begin to witness the healing. It's a painful journey, and at the risk of revealing spoilers, I will have to add a Trigger Warning at the bottom of this review.
Craving's Creek is a story about believers and nonbelievers, the Catholic Church, embracing homosexuality while retaining your faith, and gaining faith when you least expect to receive it. It's a dark, gritty, downright painful read. But more so, it's exquisitely agonizing, with a bright undercurrent of innocence and hope.
Craving's Creek was beautifully written, the flow was flawless, and I was so engrossed, I can't tell you if there were any errors in editing or not (but I'd lean more towards the not).
Genre tags/Trigger warnings: YA/NA | Dark | Romance | Taboo (Priest victim/lover) | Religion | Abuse of Religion | Finding Faith | Coming-of-age | Gay | Abuse | Addiction (alcohol) | Abduction/Violence/Rape (none of which are shown, but this does NOT lessen the impact, especially from a survivor. This is my trigger warning. If you are sensitive to this, tread lightly) | Severe Mental Illness | Therapy | Guilt/shame/grief | Sexual Content: mild, non-explicit | (view spoiler)[HEA!!!! Thank God!!!(hide spoiler)]
Would I read more by this author? Definitely. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Realistic and emotional, yet sweet, GFY romance. Freaking out over turning 30 and the father of a son who is turning 15 on the same day, their5 Stars
Realistic and emotional, yet sweet, GFY romance. Freaking out over turning 30 and the father of a son who is turning 15 on the same day, their lives are intertwined with the supportive alpha male living next door. Three-dimensional, endearing main and supporting cast of characters. Thoroughly entertained and left feeling warm and fuzzy.
I almost peed my pants laughing when Sam said, "Luke, use the force," in the middle of a sex scene. ...more
Why 5 stars? Because while I was reading, I wished I had the next book for when I was finished. Then when I was finished, even though I knew t5 Stars
Why 5 stars? Because while I was reading, I wished I had the next book for when I was finished. Then when I was finished, even though I knew there wasn't another book yet, I was starved for it. I read the book from page one to the end in one sitting, completely hooked and pressing to turn the pages like mad.
Alessandra Hazard is my favorite in gay-for-you romance. I found her books on New Year's Eve while searching to use my December Prime Borrow, with the second book on January first for January's Prime Borrow. I then bought the half book immediately upon finishing. The books never left my thoughts, and when I thought to use my April Prime Borrow, my mind immediately went to Alessandra Hazard. I 'squeed' when Just a Bit Unhealthy popped up. Total fangirl moment. Let me say, I'd buy these books in a heartbeat, and plan to because they are perfect for a reread to recapture the warm and fuzzy feeling.
There is such depth in these novellas, and with so few pages that is a feat. In the end, it feels like a complete story and I wouldn't change a thing (That's amusing for me, as I'm a perfectionist who rewrites (in my head) the books I read most of the time)
The author has the ability to keep the voice of the narrators sounding like men, where some books evolve into feminine sounding characters as soon as they 'fall in love'. Hazard maintains the complex characters throughout the book, never changing them when they finally pair up. I can tell she respects the integrity of the characters, her genre, and the type of men she writes about, by not making a gay man sound feminine simply because he's gay. (the author's feminine voice doesn't interfere with the male characters) In the case of Gabriel, he's like the perfect twink who doesn't realize he's a twink. There was something cute yet endearing about the selfish, spoiled brat. Jared was the ultimate alpha male: protector, provider, and the voice of reason who is completely undone by Gabriel.
Then there was Claire: many a reader will hate her, I'm sure. As angry with her as I was, I understood her position. She was wrong, obviously. But I understood the human nature of things; the jealousy and need to grasp what you hold dear, even when you know you are not who they want to be with. & I like how Hazard showed a poor decision had consequences for the people it affects, without Gabriel and Jared holding resentment and finding an appropriate resolution.
I can't wait to get my hands on Gabriel's brother. Gimme now! :D
Genre Tags: Gay for you | Gay Romance | M/M | LGBT romance | Sports/ Sports Doc | Angsty, deep and needy | Emotional depth | Novella | Hot yet sweet | Older alpha, younger twink (who doesn't realize he's a twink) |
Sexy level: Medium Hot. A strong buildup, leaving the reader squirming. Less is more, creating tension you could cut with a knife. It was perfect for me, as this is romance not erotica. I thought it was just right.
Recommend: YES! M/M & GFY romance fans.
Will I read more by this author: Impatiently waiting... ... .... can't wait.... *grins* ...more
Meet the Earl at Midnight was a delight to read. I was thoroughly engaged, reading the book cover to cover in one sitting (which was a feat,5 stars.
Meet the Earl at Midnight was a delight to read. I was thoroughly engaged, reading the book cover to cover in one sitting (which was a feat, as it wasn't a short book). Gina Conkle is a new-to-me author, who I found when I was awarded the pleasure to read the second book in this series for review. I purchased the first (Meet the Earl at Midnight) in order to be caught up, and was pleasantly surprised.
Gina Conkle's writing style was mature, written in a way to lend to historical accuracy without sounding pretentious (many in this genre add superfluous words to sound historical) The flow was a breeze to read- nothing jarring. The characterization was consistent and flowed cohesively throughout.
The hero and heroine were 3-dimensional characters. Edward was a mysterious, introvert scientist who was physically and emotionally scarred. Lydia was a strong female lead, where the author was able to keep the character assertive without being pushy, domineering, demanding, or overtly annoying. In fact, Lydia knocking Edward down for size was pure perfection. The characters fed from one another. Edward would be misogynistic (according to the era), yet his inability to bend was a comfort, as it made him consistent (unlike in most books where the characters do, say, act, and react in contradicting ways). Instead of turning into an irrational, hormonal female, like Edward expected, Lydia surprised him by taking his insults in stride, and thwarting him at every turn, earning everyone's respect without coming across as crass, unmanageable, and vapid.
I loved the entire cast of characters- flawed, realistic, and consistent. What I adored the most was the dry wit during every interaction between Edward & Lydia. The tension was palatable, the wit was humorous without coming across as forced and over-the-top, and both had me blushing and grinning from ear-to-ear.
Meet the Earl at Midnight was a historical romance, but it wasn't a syrupy sweet romance. Character-&-story-driven, Conkle didn't rely on the usual trope of instant infatuation, lust, and the spewing of undying love.
Slowly evolving, realistic, the reader was drawn in emotionally, feeling as one with the characters as if they were real. Not overtly sexual, MtEaM was one of the best examples of less is more. The flirtatious, witty banter was heart-racing. After the build-up and tension, a simple kiss to a knee, or an accidental or premeditated brush of a hand, came across as more than an elaborate, sexually explicit scene in many a book.
Genre tags: Historical Romance | Unconventional, experienced woman | True Heroine & Hero | Scarred, alpha male | Earl & a commoner | Artist | Scientist (botanist) | Realistic (not light and fluffy, yet warn and endearing) | Witty humor that is never over-the-top or forced | Introversion | Marriage to beget an heir | Emotionally extorted into marriage | Historically accurate |
Recommended: Historical Romance Fans | Mature readers who appreciate a fully fleshed out story instead of the smoke and mirrors of sex and unnecessary angst (no mis-communications as the conflict, as any of this type of conflict that arises was cleared up within the next chapter)
Will I read more by this author: Absolutely. Starting book 2 in this series after my eyes have a rest and my Kindle charges. I look forward to reading more by this author. ...more
I received a copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads
5 Star | Read in one sitting | Totally engrossed |
Spectacularly Broken was a spectI received a copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads
5 Star | Read in one sitting | Totally engrossed |
Spectacularly Broken was a spectacular read. Well-written, the narration flowed smoothly, and the situations were realistic and surprisingly deep. Lysander is a rich, gay kid with absolutely no direction in life. He's lost. The narrator was written in such a way to remove the vapid, arrogance which would have been expected, but in its place was a compassionate kid, who was realistic, and easy to understand and love.
Without giving the entirety of the plot away, Lysander is sent to Naughty camp for misfit teenagers, where we meet a mishmash of broken teens who were a pleasure to read. Each and every character was unique and multifaceted.
What I loved the most about the book: it took a long while for a romance to appear, as friendship, familial bonds, and the characters' issues were in the foreground. The bond between Lysander and Finn was refreshing, as was the bond between Lysander and Cai. The reader could feel the familial bonds, even from the grave.
Spectacularly Broken didn't use tricks, action sequences, or excesses of romance to cover the fact that it was lacking in story, because it perfectly showcased the human condition.
Very deep read, yet light-hearted with the age group and Lysander himself. I'm not one who enjoys an endearment in a book (in fact, it's my biggest pet peeve) but when he called his cousin Cupcake, I couldn't help but smile. The endearment spewing was so Lys, that I found it darling. My favorite line of the book is when he called his older cousin 'sweetheart' and told him to go step on a Lego!
I also really, really want pancakes now.
Genre: Young adult (but there is swearing, sexual situations, drug use, yet they were not unrealistic to the age group) | New Adult | Coming of Age | Dark | LGBTQ Gay Romance M/M | Contemporary Romance | HEA | Standalone | Recommend: Contemporary LBGTQ Romance fans | Those who like a deep read, who aren't afraid of the realistic pains in everyday life | Would I read more by this author: will be checking to see what other works the author has written as soon as I push send on this review.
I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads
Earls Just Want to Have Fun was a surprisingly deep read, when I thouI received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads
Earls Just Want to Have Fun was a surprisingly deep read, when I thought it would be light-hearted and comedic as suggested by its title. The main characters were fully fleshed out and three dimensional. The side cast made you long to read their stories. The main premise showed the heartbreak, pain, and poor quality of life of the lower classes, while showing their courage to do anything to survive, as well as the upper class's ignorance of the situation. Fast-paced, packed with suspense, and 100% story-driven, I was engrossed from page one until the end.
I feared a formulaic, cliched book, but it broke the mold from the beginning. Time after time, I worried that it would fall into the trap. I waited for the Heroine to run off for the simplest thing and need the assistance of the Hero. I was so thankful I was wrong. There weren't any miscommunications, or misunderstandings, which could be solved with a simple conversation.
The Heroine didn't need to be saved, and she didn't turn TSTL and run off to get harmed. She fought, used her street-smarts to get them all out of danger, and the largest surprise, she asked the Hero for help. Instead of pulling apart as a plot device, the Hero & the Heroine joined forces and worked together, showing their deep connection and lending to a lifelong partnership.
As for the romance? It wasn't in your face. The author took the time to develop a connection the reader could believe. There was still plenty of witty banter, smoldering bed-sports, and heart-felt moments.
Would I recommend this book: Yes, especially to those who read Historical Romance and are a stickler for the facts of the era, and for those who want to feel the gamut of emotions on the path to an HEA. With plenty of lusty thoughts and several highly detailed 'romantic' scenes, Earls Just Want to Have Fun is definitely story-driven.
Will I read more by this author: As soon as I was finished, I messaged my fellow Wicked Readers joining me on this read and said, "5 Star. I hadn't realized I read the night away. I'm going to check out the author's backlist when I wake in the morning."
Grant's last scene hit me harder than any of that 'type' of scene had before. I know how difficult itGut-wrenching. Bittersweet. Book-hangover-worthy.
Grant's last scene hit me harder than any of that 'type' of scene had before. I know how difficult it is for the writer to write 'that'. I was feeling highly empathetic for the author in that moment. If it was Gut-wrenching for me... I can't imagine.
I was thankful for the comic relief at the very end. "Virgins are like unicorns" & "ass-babies".
An emotionally torturous journey... I'm depressed now, & bawled dry....more
The Prince: 5 stars ++++++. I loved every minute of it. Every single minute of it. Past. Present. North. South. I wasn’t even upset when one time framThe Prince: 5 stars ++++++. I loved every minute of it. Every single minute of it. Past. Present. North. South. I wasn’t even upset when one time frame ended, leaving me wanting more, because the one prior was finally getting finished. I could have read that book forever. Everyone acted in character, by the traits laid out in The Siren. All except the ending. I found it hard to believe that no one would have warned Wesley with all the “Kill the bitch” written on the wall, with the bed burnings. A simple phone call, when King and Soren were sworn to protect Nora. That was… odd. ...more
5 stars do not come easily to me anymore, and it's been years since I added a book to my 'Best of its Genre' shelf. *Crosses fingers* Every time, book5 stars do not come easily to me anymore, and it's been years since I added a book to my 'Best of its Genre' shelf. *Crosses fingers* Every time, book #2 disappoints me, without fail. I hope this series breaks the string of bad luck.
Undone by A Duke was a pleasant surprise- a book I quickly chose without much research since I had a few days left on my Amazon Prime Borrow, and had to pick something. I absolutely loved it. It hit on every emotion, making me feel right alongside the characters: laugh, cry, feel frustration and anger. But mostly it just made me feel good and put a smile on myself without coming off as cheesy.
The end of the book went a bit off course, making me want to shake Jonathan, and it felt as it should have ended sooner... but I didn't mind.
I would recommend to fans of Regency Era Historical Romance, and to the Scottish fans as well, as the book takes place on Scottish soil. Will I read more from this author: Most definitely. Will I read more of this series: Buying book #2 as soon as this review is finished. If it doesn't disappoint, I will immediately buy book #3 thereafter, and it's only a few weeks' wait for the next in the series (I believe book 4 is the conclusion. Unless the author thrills me by giving the parents' their own book. I'd love to read that)...more
I read Never Marry a Viscount as one would eat a decadent dessert created by Sophie- from start-to-finish in one sitting. The innuendo with the cook vI read Never Marry a Viscount as one would eat a decadent dessert created by Sophie- from start-to-finish in one sitting. The innuendo with the cook versus mistress debacle was light-hearted, fun, and addictive. I'd not-so patiently waited for the finale to this trilogy, and devoured it on the day of its release.
I've now read two of Anne Stuart's Historical Romance series, and I think it's high time I perused Ms. Stuarts backlist. ...more
I have no way to review this book. The voice of the narrator instantly trapped me until the final word. I began knowing (guessing) the outcome, not knI have no way to review this book. The voice of the narrator instantly trapped me until the final word. I began knowing (guessing) the outcome, not knowing the journey there. Thankfully, I was numbed. I was proud for keeping my composure. I made it to 99%... & one sentence out of Simon's mouth released the torrent.
Dark. Surprisingly true-to-life. The Brothers Bishop read like a memoir. Taboo subject matter that is very raw with reality. Most readers won't be able to relate. But I felt connected to the narrator, having a similar emotional signature.
It's worth the read, sobbing aside. Well-written in a way not to be too graphic.
Don't expect a love story, or an HEA. The Brothers Bishop is a cerebral-f@ck, delving into the narrator's psyche, dealing with abuse (physical, mental, emotional, & sexual), homosexuality, incest, grief & guilt, responsiblity, suicide & death.
I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads Review Team
I began reading, and I was slightly confused, asking myself who theI received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads Review Team
I began reading, and I was slightly confused, asking myself who the narrator was in relation to Bully. I couldn't place Fallon. So I stopped reading, and began debating if I should reread Bully, since I initially read it so very long ago. After consulting a book bud who read this prior to me, I was told Fallon was new to the reader. So, if you read this review before reading the book (something I do) then you've been schooled.
I was gripped by the story immediately. Fallon was a kick-ass sort of girl. Her internal monologue had me busting a gut, as well as tearing up a time or two.
Madoc was easy to love, and he was written as so very male. I say this because sometimes books with a dual perspective sound like the same voice no matter the narrator (the author's natural voice). Fallon and Madoc each had a distinct voice of their own in Rival. Thank goodness for their voice, or I'd have been even more confused. (I will explain this in the con section of the review)
I loved Bully, as I did its sequel. I laid in bed, planning on reading a few chapters, and ended up reading it from start to finish. Rival is NOT a tiny book. It took me over 7 hours, and I didn't finish until the sun was rising. I was thankful that I finally found a book that clicked with me after so many disappointments as of late. I've read book after book of smoke and mirrors, hiding the fact that it lacked in story behind scene after scene of mechanical sex. I cannot express how many times I've used the phrase I don't want sex with a side of story. I want a story with sex as the decadent dessert.
Proving less is more. Rival is very HOT. Smoking hot, yet done in a way to slowly build a banked fire that turns explosive. I haven't read a lot of erotica books that got me as bothered- squirming around uncomfortably- as Rival had me. Proof that when sex is the dessert, not the main dish, you appreciate the taste on the back of your tongue.
Rival was filled with everything I love in an addictive book: angst, angst, and more angst. Frustration. Love/Hate back-and-forth banter, while often mean, it's just as humorous. A great side cast of characters that add to the story but never overpower the main couple. Chemistry. Emotion.
We continue to see the developing/evolving relationship between Bully's co-stars, keeping us connected, as well as several other sets of characters.
Jax? Are you the next book? Goodness, I hope so. Rival sets up the next book perfectly, creating a rabid reader, thirsting for more. If it's Jax's turn, I'm excited. That book will rock. Hard.
Okay, now for the cons. I only have 2. I was being picky with all those DNFs I've experienced, but I don't have much to complain about with Rival. But it does need to be said.
1: Formatting. I don't know if this is because I received a reviewer copy from Netgalley, or not. But the formatting was wonky, making it difficult for me to read. Several times over, I had to guess or reread to determine the narrator. Yes, the author placed their name as a subheading beneath the chapter. But with the formatting screwy, it was tucked in tightly, hiding, and the same font and size without bolding to distinguish it from the rest of the wording.
In fact, there were no page breaks, so I'd be reading along, not realizing I'd started another chapter. I know this makes me seem dim, but the lines were so tight, it was easy to overlook. The chapter was literally at the end of the previous chapter's last sentence.
Next, scene skipping. From one sentence to the next, we were in a new scene. I cannot express how many times I reread a page, trying to figure wth was going on. The character would be doing one thing, and then BAM! There was no extra spacing or anything to denote a change of scene. It was discombobulating.
Lastly, with the crunch, dialogue was pressed together. "How are you?" Fallon said to me. "I'm great," I replied. this happened a lot. With long dialogue, I'd be reading along, confused as to why a certain character was saying something, only to decipher it was the reply. After reading it over and over again, many times, I would deduce from the he said/she said what was going on.
While this doesn't detract from the story, it DID pull me from the story more times than I can count. I didn't change my rating because of it. But I thought I'd bring it to the author's attention, in case it wasn't just the Netgalley Kindle copy. It was very, VERY difficult to read.
2: Length of the book. It was a long book. I'm not necessarily saying that's a bad thing. I write epic-length books. I'm only stating this because it started to drag when I felt like it should have met its conclusion chapters ago. Fast-paced lovers may become bored, and even I began to skip to get to the conclusion. I loved the story, eager for whatever the author would give us. But near the last 3/4th, I was asking myself what role the scene I was reading played out in the bigger picture, and whether or not it could have been crunched down into other scenes.
Rival was a huge book packed with even more story, raw emotion, with a strong connection between the characters, and a great supporting side cast.
I'll read whatever Penelope Douglas writes. Thank you for allowing me to read for free, and for proving there are still great books out there to read. I began to lose faith during my book slump. I've been renewed, and now I'm hungry to hunt down another read.
I found this paperback secondhand at my library's book sale. I'm glad I took a chance on it. A quick read, for which I was thankful. While I love thisI found this paperback secondhand at my library's book sale. I'm glad I took a chance on it. A quick read, for which I was thankful. While I love this genre, most of the books tend to drag on after the first half, not pulling the trigger on that ending we all know is coming, boring the hell out of me. With Sins of a Wicked Dude, the majority of the story was in the first half, with the last half barreling towards the conclusion, thank goodness. Only one bout of dragging out the inevitable, but it was tolerable. The book's ending sets up the beginning of the next in the series.
I read reviews before & after I read a book. Many stated they didn't like the Hero. After reading the book, I feel they may have not finished the book. Yes, in the beginning he is a bit of a rogue (but isn't that the point?) Obviously he isn't faithful. But why would he be faithful to a person who does NOT know exists? Oddness. I thought the hero was intriguing.
The premise of the story is wrapped up nicely with a bow, and I can tell the other two books will also be as tightly complete. What would be engrossing is to go back in the past with other characters, and perhaps have some more backstory on the school they grew up in... *wistful sigh*
Face-paced, original, sultry, and entertaining.
Recommended to any historical romance fans Would I read more from this author: this is the first book I've read by Sophie Jordan, and I will most definitely read more from her in the near future. Will I continue on with the series: already have it queued up on my Kindle. ...more