**spoiler alert** What can I say, Mary Calmes really went out with a bang on this one, closing up the story of Jin and Logan. I have rarely found that...more**spoiler alert** What can I say, Mary Calmes really went out with a bang on this one, closing up the story of Jin and Logan. I have rarely found that I like the last book as much as the first in a series and often think the writer is just 'phoning' it in, just to get rid of it in order to go on to their next project. This is definitely not the case with Honored Vow.
The book begins on a dark note with Jin and Logan in Las Vegas heading to the morgue to identify his best friend Crane. It is in this moment that I knew this was going to be the darkest and most uncertain book in the series. I couldn't stop reading, but I was terrified of what was to happen next. Was Mary really going to break my heart after I had fallen in love with the characters and had come to love them? The answer, yes and no.
While there were no shattering losses (Crane was alive) there were also life changing trauma's that would never be overcome (What happens to him and others). I feel MC's writing shows more courage and depth of emotion than in the previous books. She is not afraid to challenge what we expect (or may wish for) but still manages to keep us with her until the very end. I have to say that there were certain things I absolutely did not see coming (Yuri,Domin,Semel-Atan?) and that was a pleasant surprise. So often, I can see what's going to happen from a mile away and I'm just reading to see when it will be revealed. Mary really threw me for a loop on this one.
Jin seems to have really matured and grown by his love for Logan. The absolute trust between the two is breathtaking. He shows in the beginning that he can still be foolish and stubborn, but he was also able to recognize this and did not run from his mate of responsibilities as he has so often done in the past. He certainly was no pushover and retained his strong spirit but tempered it with his growing awareness of his sense of duty and devotion to his people and his mate.
The ending was bittersweet for me. Jin had to let go of so many loved ones' in order to secure their happiness (which he did lovingly) but you can feel how hard this was for him. For a person to have gone so long without security, love or belonging I felt a stake through my heart at Jin's pain. At the same time it was clear that Jin and Logan were on their way to starting the next chapter of their live's that could only lead to more love and happiness than ever before. A beautiful way to end a beautiful love story and to set up the transition for the next installment of the tale....(Ah, Domin!!!!)
One thing I want to add about MC's male leads (Jin, Jory- A Matter of Time, Stef-Timing) is that they all share an ineffable kindness about them. That's what makes MC's books such a joy for me. They are never willing to hurt others out of self-interest, malice or spite. Even to their own detriment. Always willing to forgive and love despite their pasts without a trace of self-pity. This for me the secret of why they are so loved. Genuine caring is a rare thing in the world. All three men have this quality in spades. No matter their gorgeous appearances they approach others without a trace of ego, willing to love when they are not, forgive when they are harmed and still continue to keep a sense of laughter, wonder and hope for a better tomorrow. That's why they are and will always be the best of the best heroes of the m/m genre (IMHO!).
This book begins where 'Little Boy Lost: Vanished' left off but it is Jamie's voice that takes over. The first three books were written from Brian's perspective and I think it was a wise choice to present Jamie's experiences and perspective to the continuation of the story.
The series follows Brian and Jamie through the sweet, tender longing of first love (book 1: Enlightened) and becomes progressively darker as the story continues. At this point I am so invested in their story there is no way I can turn back. The writing keeps improving as the young lovers grow into manhood and face the challenges that threaten them through prejudice, abandonment, and into the seedy side of life on the streets and porn industry in California.
Little Boy Lost:Enlightened takes place in a small Alabama town where fundamentalist religion makes up the fabric of everyday life. As someone originally from the deep south who still has family there, I can attest to this reality. While a lot has changed for the better regarding race relations in my old hometown, homosexuality is still considered a choice deemed unnatural and against God's word by many. I have several family members and childhood friends who committed suicide due to the rejection of families, neighbors and community. In cases where there is a gay person who attends a family function it is commonly 'known' but something that is just 'not talked about' as my mother has explained to me about the attitudes of devout Southern Baptist relatives regarding their gay or lesbian offspring.
I feel that beginning this story in such a setting adds a realism to the story and leads to an understanding of how Jamie is led into a world of abuse and as a result addiction to cope with his bleak and hopeless existence.
I have read of many mothers' who were condemned (rightly so)as having rejected their gay children in m/m literature, but to me Jamie's mother is the most despicable of all. This is a woman who turned to religion as gratitude for having saved her unborn son (Jamie) from a potentially fatal accident but then goes on to punish and reject this son in a soul damaging manner in the name of her so called 'religious' beliefs...
"The night she told me about the Center, with my father staring studiously at the blank tabletop, I finally understood that she cared more about God than she did about me. The realization was sobering. When I told her there was nothing wrong about my love for Brian that I needed or wanted to cure, she just smiled. It seemed that she had passed the point of slapping the sin from me".
Jamie's mother's cruelty and his father's inaction sets the stage for the tragedy that becomes his life. It is only in the end of book 3 (Vanished) which immediately continues into this one that we learn the extent of Jamie's suffering. In book #1 I believed that 'Little Boy Lost' referred to Brian who not only suffered tragedy as a child but also violence and bigotry in book 2 (Abandoned). I am now convinced however, that the true 'Little Boy Lost' of the series is in fact Jamie. To me Jamie's circumstances seem authentic. There are countless teenagers who turn to drugs and sex as a way to survive. To me Jamie's story is both heartbreaking and real. Where before he seemed almost almost this ideal image as seen through Brian's eyes, Discovered breathes life and depth to Jamie which is achieved in one book more completely than the previous 3 were able to achieve with Brian. Together however, they make a provocative reading experience.
Even the tone of this book feels different to me. Where Brian's 'voice' has a certain naivety even through his decadent period in Vanished, Jamie's 'voice' immediately hit me as desolate and hopeless, even upon seeing his true love for the first time after several years apart. I can honestly say that this is the first m/m novel that had me wracked with tears. Without this book the 'Little Boy Lost' series would be disjointed and incomplete. There may be some who have stopped reading this series because of books 1-3 one-sided perspective. To those who have given up, I say please don't, this book rescues it from that fate. I do feel this series needs to be read from the beginning. You will understand the tenderness and depth of love between these two boys by doing so.
I will not lie and say this book ends with a HEA it doesn't. If anything it seems that book 5 (Escaped) may be as dark or darker than Discovered. This makes me want to stick with the story in hopes that eventually they will find it.
I would like to see in the future both voices 'joined' in one book (even if only in book 6). Both Vanished and Discovered have ended in breathtaking cliff-hangers and there is a part of me that dearly wants to be put out of my misery. In this case it seems the adage "the course of true love never runs smooth" definitely applies. However, I have lost my heart to Jamie and Brian and in my case it is definitely worth the journey.
Slow going at first, I enjoyed the adventure in the mountains and the interaction between Ty, Zane and Ty's family. I like the fact that Urban and Rou...moreSlow going at first, I enjoyed the adventure in the mountains and the interaction between Ty, Zane and Ty's family. I like the fact that Urban and Roux write male alpha's extremely well. Especially as relating to making them a believable in an intimate relationship.
So if they would both just say "I love you" already! Oh, well maybe in 'Fish & Chips'!(less)
I loved the relation ship between Ty and Zane and the book was really well written. However I had to take .5 off the review bec...more**spoiler alert** 4.5.
I loved the relation ship between Ty and Zane and the book was really well written. However I had to take .5 off the review because of the complete stupidity of the guys to not figure out who the killer was. Could it have been anymore obvious! Everything they said about the killer and about the one person in the FBI assisting them matched completelely (Enamored of authority figures, etc..), Zane describing the FBI asst. as being too enthusiastic and basically a butt kisser (not the exact words). Also they did not figure out how they kept getting attacked and only this person knew where they were at all times? I mean, hello!!! You think they would at least not tell this person 'everything' they were going to do. I just wanted to smack them and say hey, wake up!!!
Otherwise I loved the story and can't wait to read the rest of the series. Hopefully Ms. Urban and Ms. Roux will handle this issue a little better if it comes up in the following books!!!(less)
Very well written, I just hoped for more of a HEA instead of a HFN. I love Mac and Tony. The book is a great thriller as well as a touching m/m romanc...moreVery well written, I just hoped for more of a HEA instead of a HFN. I love Mac and Tony. The book is a great thriller as well as a touching m/m romance. I can't wait to read the sequel!(less)
**spoiler alert** I can't believe I got the last paperback in stock at Barnes & Noble! I tried looking everywhere for it online to buy, even the w...more**spoiler alert** I can't believe I got the last paperback in stock at Barnes & Noble! I tried looking everywhere for it online to buy, even the website listed with the title, but no luck. I saw it as a paperback so I bought it (which I never do). I just had to have it after finishing a Bit of Rough, and I'm so glad I did!
Roughhousing starts right where Bit of Rough stops. I am not going to review BOR here, even though I haven't written a review for it yet. One review is probably enough for both books however, because Roughhousing continues so closely to where BOR leaves off.
For me I can sum up my love for both books in one word "Bram"! This is an Alpha hero with a true heart of gold. Manly, sexy and oh so seductive you find yourself just wanting to cuddle up to him as he searches your eyes and tells you oh so meaningfully how he worships, adores and loves you. Believe it or not, you this guy actually means it. He can take down a baddie wanting to hurt you and then wrap you in his arms and carry you off to have hot, wild. steamy lovin' which makes it impossible to not scream your head off. He also likes you to be a full partner in the relationship and has no need to dominate outside the bedroom (yowsa)! Okay so this is the perfect guy. He doesn't run if you're screwed up like our poor 'Jamie' with his commitment issues just keeps reminding you how wonderful you are in his eyes, and yes, he can go a little 'cave man' but you know deep down inside you really, really want it.
I was joking with a GR's friend about another character and Bram has convinced me to create my own shelf. Instead of 'Gay for You', I'm calling it 'Straight for Me' because I really, really wish he was! (less)
The story is about Shawn and Bobby who meet at the age of twelve and then again a year or so later. Shawn has grown up in a religion who feel that hom...moreThe story is about Shawn and Bobby who meet at the age of twelve and then again a year or so later. Shawn has grown up in a religion who feel that homosexuality is a sin and a chosen lifestyle and those who are gay are abominations in the eyes of the Lord.
Bobby, on the other hand spends his early childhood being raised by a neglectful mother who turns him out to live with his father after remarrying. He learns quickly to manipulate and use others. He has the attitude of hurt them before they hurt you and feels that the world is an untrustworthy place. His famous saying throughout the book is 'trust me' and he uses it to get what he wants from those around him.
It seems like an odd pairing, but the two boys find healing and love with each other. Bobby learns to trust more, and Shawn begins to accept himself as he is, not as others perceive him to be.
I really love this book because it doesn't just start at the two boys meeting each other, but goes into detail about their pasts that have influenced the way they see themselves and the world. The focus on Shawn is especially touching and at times very disturbing. Shawn has been raised with the expectation that he will be a leader in the church because of his piousness and gentle manner. He is constantly at odds with himself and is filled with self-hatred due to his inability to live up to others expectations. His knowledge that he will be rejected by the church if anyone discovers that he is gay leads to feelings of shame and unworthiness towards himself.
The book mainly takes place between the boys 12-18th years. It is really a beautiful love story. There are some really shocking and heartbreaking events that take place in the book. These events are very realistic and are that much more disturbing because of this.
However, there is also great joy and love and taking the journey with these two remarkable young boys in the search of their happily ever after is definitely worth the time. (less)