**spoiler alert** Can I say just one thing first? The killer was a complete surprise and totally out of the blue. I mean, after 3/4 of the book of Mar...more**spoiler alert** Can I say just one thing first? The killer was a complete surprise and totally out of the blue. I mean, after 3/4 of the book of Mark insisting his past had nothing to do with the shooting, we find out it actually does. And it was something so far back even Mark had trouble remembering. I found it a bit annoying to be chasing around town for supposed killers.
I was also a bit fed up with Stephen and Mark to be honest. It took 3 books for Mark to finally realise any argument he had with Stephen was not an automatic break-up. And Stephen always seemed to play the part of the wounded party, understanding and caring and unappreciated by Mark. The former spy did have a tendency to keep to himself, hide things or downplay them but Stephen wasn't all that great at communicating and sharing either.
So yeah, for some reason, I've had enough of them. They always have to hash things out, create this tension between them when I wanted them together against the world. They make a nice pair but don't think I'm interested in reading more about Mark and Stephen. I hope this is the end and they live their happily ever after. 2.5 stars towards 3.(less)
Strange little story. I liked it (enough for 3 stars) but it kind of left me wondering, both regarding the emotional level and status of things betwee...moreStrange little story. I liked it (enough for 3 stars) but it kind of left me wondering, both regarding the emotional level and status of things between the pair.
(view spoiler)[As much as most stories have a communication issue at the heart of the problem (and this was no exception) for the first time I found myself aggravated that they struggled to be honest with each other. I was repeatedly urging them to get on it with and come out in the open with their feelings, especially when they were aware of the damage they were doing and that that they were actively stalling in talking. I could relate to Mark's insecurities. And yet, sometimes they read like sulking and feeling sorry for oneself. Looking at it objectively, I can understand how hard it is to surpass your insecurities, fears and compulsions, even when you are conscious of them. But I wanted Mark to find that final push to get him over them and pouted when he didn't.
There are a lot of emotions, feelings and beliefs discussed in the book. So much that I needed some time after finishing the story to get through them all and also focus on the story line to figure out that Mark decided not to leave in the end. (hide spoiler)] Perhaps I was in a funky mood not appropriate for this book. It kept me interested and reading till the end but I was lacking emotional connection towards the characters, which for me is vital to loving a book.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
What an incredible story! I fell in love with Pip/Valentine and Lindsay. 4.5 stars well deserved
This read to me like a relationship evolving as the pe...moreWhat an incredible story! I fell in love with Pip/Valentine and Lindsay. 4.5 stars well deserved
This read to me like a relationship evolving as the people involved evolved themselves. It was written evidence of the way people learn from interacting with others, from learning to avoid past mistakes, from discovering what they truly want and how to go about getting that. It was beautiful to watch both Valentine and Lindsay come to know each other so well that they are able to push and prod when need be, diffuse a tensed situation or simply be there for the other in a way that is meaningful to that person. I said this before but it bears repeating. They can correctly interpret each small gesture, sigh, glance, word that their partner does. That really impressed me. To be able to know someone so well and be able to meet their needs and expectations and be willing to go to such lengths, even when it's something you are not comfortable with... that really proves just how much Valentine and Lindsay are in love with each other.
(view spoiler)[Another aspect I truly loved about this story was how involved I felt in their relationship. How I was so in-sync with Lindsay at times, feeling his insane and unjustified jealousy but unable to move past it. Or the times I could understand their need for violence and pain and how arousing I found it myself.
The only slightly icky moment (if I can call it that) was the peeping tom scene where Lindsay and Valentine had sex while another couple was watching just outside the car. Valentine and Lindsay's reactions and dialogue were funny but the idea itself... being watched and have the couple get it on... just no. Not for me. (hide spoiler)]
Overall, it's a gripping tale. Some aspects are rough and in your face so this might not be for everyone. But it was just right for me and I enjoyed spending time with this pair and getting to know them.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
The main reason why I dropped the rating on the second installment in the series is because I felt Valentine and Lindsay were selfish. Not only did th...moreThe main reason why I dropped the rating on the second installment in the series is because I felt Valentine and Lindsay were selfish. Not only did they hurt themselves (view spoiler)[with a 4 year separation (hide spoiler)] but they also hurt those around them or the ones they chose to get involved with. And yes, I also dropped the rating because in my mind they were still a couple and I viewed their actions as cheating. I'm not saying it needs to make sense, that's just how I felt. So 3 stars.
(view spoiler)[Both Valentine and Lindsay chose to go their separate way and both had one night stands as well as tried to be involved in a serious relationship. Irrationally, again, I despised Lindsay more for his adventures than I did Valentine. Perhaps it was because he chose to go back to Elsie, after having been involved with her some 20 years back, after she had been the wife of his best friend, after he had slept with her right after the funeral (and that had been one of the reasons why he and Valentine broke up). I felt it as a double betrayal. (hide spoiler)]
Yes, Lindsay and Valentine's relationship doesn't make sense. It's abusive, violent, depraved and filled with dark sexual desire. And yet, they are incomplete when apart. It might be that their time spent together ruined them for anyone else... they pushed their own boundaries and cannot find comfort trying it with another. Or it might be that Valentine's brand of insanity, degradation, co-dependent behaviour is best matched with Lindsay's and vice versa.
(view spoiler)[It's not a pretty tale. Albeit both manage to survive the break-up and have a go at a simulacrum life, there is always a dark shadow over their attempts, a memory of their previous life that just won't fade away, expectations that are not met. And as surprising as their separation was, their reunion is the same. I was a bit taken aback to see that 4 years was enough to bury all the resentment and negative emotions they each had, enough to smoothly slide back in a relationship. (hide spoiler)] I guess I'll have to see if the third books answers that question.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Smug is the cutest dragon ever! 3.5 stars for him alone!
You have to suspend reality if you want to enjoy this. But once you do, it's all fun and a lit...moreSmug is the cutest dragon ever! 3.5 stars for him alone!
You have to suspend reality if you want to enjoy this. But once you do, it's all fun and a little magic! (view spoiler)[Smug was absolutely adorable when he was on stage performing his magic tricks or when he was shy in front of Adam yet being honest about his dragon heritage or when he was anxiously waiting to see if Adam would not believe him and walk out!(view spoiler)[ Mr. Smuggles was just so cute and a perfect sidekick.
What a wonderful read! Made me laugh, made me cry, made me ache with hurt and most of all, made me fall in love with Isaac!
(view spoiler)[I really ide...moreWhat a wonderful read! Made me laugh, made me cry, made me ache with hurt and most of all, made me fall in love with Isaac!
(view spoiler)[I really identified with Isaac, felt and saw the world through his eyes. And most amazing, the author managed to make me dip into and out of his mind so that I could perceive his world but also catch a glimpse of the world around him. And his world was utterly fascinating. So many thoughts and emotions and yet Isaac was unable to convey them. Such a simple and clear way of thinking, without the clutter other minds usually throw up. I loved Isaac's easy acceptance of all the nasty remarks or comments or impressions people had of him and his ability to move past it and focus on improving himself.
As for Rick, I was rather displeased with him. I felt he was taking advantage of Isaac, hoping (perhaps believing) Isaac might not understand what Rick did during his long trips but then expecting to be welcomed home with open arms (view spoiler)[and just sweep his sexual affairs under the rug. It wasn't fair to keep himself in Isaac's life if he had no intention of fully committing to being with him. I did not like that Rick fooled around then came home and became the hero Isaac thought him to be. (hide spoiler)] He got off easy in the end. (hide spoiler)]
A very emotional story! I simply loved it and would very much like a sequel, just because I can't let go of Isaac just yet.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
So, the story is placed in a steampunk alternate reality and it took me a while to catch on since there were no clear indications. But it was the perf...moreSo, the story is placed in a steampunk alternate reality and it took me a while to catch on since there were no clear indications. But it was the perfect background for our unlikely heroes. I don't know which one I liked more: Gus or Enzo.
(view spoiler)[Enzo is barely surviving after being maimed by a spurned husband. His arm was destroyed by acid and now has a mechanical device posing as his hand and forearm. The mechanical arm doesn't have much mobility so Enzo is reduced to seducing a patron to take care of him. He meets Gus in a bar and proceeds to follow him home. Gus is an airship designer and engineer intent on Giving Enzo a better mechanical arm. He's been leading a lonely life for the last 15-20 years, surrounded only by his machines and the sound of music.
Their interactions are strained at first, each still caught up in their own world. But you gradually learn more about each of them and are witness to their budding friendship. I enjoyed Enzo's sense of humour and attempts at seducing Gus. I loved Gus for his shyness, complete devotion to his work and humility with which he secluded himself in the hangar. He was so honest and charming, I was glad he came across Enzo who would help him, not take advantage of him. (hide spoiler)]
A charming story all in all. A bit of mechanical tampering (but not enough to make you reach for a dictionary), two characters seemingly opposites and a sweet romance in the making. You'll want to read this. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
It was a nice story but didn't grab my full attention. There wasn't enough of the characters to make me love them.
(view spoiler)[The plot is standard....moreIt was a nice story but didn't grab my full attention. There wasn't enough of the characters to make me love them.
(view spoiler)[The plot is standard. Clumsy (almost) courtesan is picked by the ruling lord. An uncle (in this case) sets his eyes on said courtesan, while at the same time trying to kill the lord and assume power. Cole had a sassy attitude (and, for some reason, I expected him to be as vivacious as Ryan from In the Blaze of His Hungers). But then again, I didn't really get a feel for the characters to empathise with them or care more deeply about what might happen to them. Plus, I was annoyed by the present tense used in the story telling (I blame Emma and Julio for this). And why did Darren have to set Cole free? Perhaps the man would have much rather enjoyed being kept as slave, then apprentice a physician. I'm just saying there was that possibility. (hide spoiler)]
It's good for a slave being released type of story, for characters that are not overly emotional, for minor plotting and a happy ending. I just wanted a more meaningful connection.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
That was the proverbial icing on the cake! 1.5 stars is all I can give. I usually reserve 1 star for books I hate, so that's why this gets rounded to...moreThat was the proverbial icing on the cake! 1.5 stars is all I can give. I usually reserve 1 star for books I hate, so that's why this gets rounded to 2 stars.
(view spoiler)[For a 1/3 of the book I wasn't sure if I was reading book 2 or 3. It was the same boring stuff: Austin waking up with Hank, morning sex, making breakfast, a blowjob then Hank going off to work. The series had to end with Austin cussing and hitting his mother in a fight for ownership over Hank. Of course, she's now this fat manipulative bitch, hoping to get rich and spoil things between the happily married couple. Luckily, Austin doesn't believe in her tricks and heroically comes to Hank's rescue. Their reward is Angie going away for good and another sex marathon to celebrate they 1 year anniversary. (hide spoiler)]
If words like "boy spot" and "pussyboy", Daddy play and a bit of roughing up does it for you, then you might enjoy this despite the bad narrative.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Apparently this is meant to be funny and not taken seriously. Totally missed that.
(view spoiler)[Whereas in the first book, I thought the details abou...moreApparently this is meant to be funny and not taken seriously. Totally missed that.
(view spoiler)[Whereas in the first book, I thought the details about Austin loving Hank were added to ensure the readers didn't think this was non-con, in this installment they are included to emphasise Austin's feelings for his stepdad/husband. So the story progresses with the happy couple having married and moved to a new city and still enjoying the honeymoon bliss. Then we get a small scene where Hank shows his possessiveness and jealousy (and here I thought they were headed for a threesome) and loses the capital needed for his business to flourish. Life goes on, and Austin finds himself being stalked and almost raped in his own home by a ghost from the past, one of Hank's former employees. Of course, Hank comes right in the nick time and kills him, getting a nice reward for it. So with one smooth kill, we are shown how brave and loving Hank is towards Austin while also ensuring the needed financial capital. (hide spoiler)]
By this point, I was already considering this a fairy tale, so the happily ever after slapped at the end came as no surprise.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This was definitely much better than the first novel. Somewhere between 4 and 4.5 stars for this.
(view spoiler)[I connected emotionally with Tim and i...moreThis was definitely much better than the first novel. Somewhere between 4 and 4.5 stars for this.
(view spoiler)[I connected emotionally with Tim and it was easy to understand his anxiety at meeting Luke. I found it natural that Tim would distort the memory of their relationship while he had been drinking. It was hard going back to a town filled with drinking memories and friends who knew you more drunk than sober because the craving for a drink never goes away. It’s a constant battle to resist it. And it’s hard dissecting a past relationship, admitting your faults and mistakes and putting aside your pride. And there is always one person who is going to be hurt the most.
Like another member (Susan) remarked, it’s a depressing book. It’s gloomy and only in the last few pages do you get a ray of hope, however, clearly not enough to dispel the heavy atmosphere felt throughout 95% of the book. Yet that is what I liked about the story. Perhaps you need a certain mood to be able to read this. If the author was able to immerse me to such a degree in the story and make me experience even dark emotions, (view spoiler)[so much that I even accepted the fact Luke and Tim would go their separate ways (well, the ending comes as a surprise) (hide spoiler)], then how could I not praise the writing? (hide spoiler)] The intensity of emotions bled through the pages. Well done Mr. Lanyon!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
What beautiful writing! How can a story so short make me feel the whole span of emotions from despair to hope and love?
(view spoiler)[I was right alon...moreWhat beautiful writing! How can a story so short make me feel the whole span of emotions from despair to hope and love?
(view spoiler)[I was right along Wyatt. It was like I also felt his emotions. Wyatt was brave to confess his feelings, he was entitled to being angry at Graham for not reciprocating, then he realised it wasn't really Graham's fault if he hadn't fallen in love. Wyatt then let logic prevail, he came to terms that their love was not meant to be. I feel like practically every line in this story can be used as a proverb in every day life. There are great loves that are not meant to be. There are hearts that are broken. And people still fight for love even when that love brings them pain. (hide spoiler)]
**spoiler alert** Probably not a good idea to read this in between the books from Darwin's Theory series. Oh well. There wasn't anything truly excitin...more**spoiler alert** Probably not a good idea to read this in between the books from Darwin's Theory series. Oh well. There wasn't anything truly exciting happening. Which is why I had a hard time investing any interest. That and the fact Cole read like a 12 year old boy, not a lonely man tending a lighthouse.
A fact that was confirmed when Cole referred to his lover's private parts as "He was long in another way, too, if you get my meaning." It's ok to say penis. Cock. Dick. Love rod. Meat stick. And so on. Another thing slightly annoying was the speed with which Cole would get aroused. I suppose it's due to his long term forced isolation that anything, really, was a trigger.
So yes. A cute story overall but average and quickly forgettable for me.(less)
(view spoiler)[Let's get one thing clear. I could not believe for one second that Peter was dead. Despite all the evidence (and trust me, it doesn't g...more(view spoiler)[Let's get one thing clear. I could not believe for one second that Peter was dead. Despite all the evidence (and trust me, it doesn't get more real than a funeral), I refused to acknowledge that Peter had died. I hung with teeth and nails to the idea it was a hoax to allow Peter to get away from Rebecca and all the secret agencies behind her. A ruse that required Darwin to also believe he was dead.
And I was proven right about 1/3 way into the book. Which is about the same time I wanted to strangle Whitcomb to death. However, the mourning D went through was very real and heartfelt. I felt really sad for him. Probably more sad, because I was repeating in my head "But Peter isn't really dead! You just don't know it yet." And Raithe... oh, he was a jewel. So caring and thoughtful! I want a happy ending for him too after everything he did for D, the way he took care of him and fought to keep him alive when D had given up all hope, then helped D in getting the truth out of Whitcomb (that almost rape scene was priceless!!) and going with D to save Peter My heart melted at all that selflessness.
The second half of the book took on a more paranormal/sci-fi edge as the cast struggled to break the metaphysical bond between Peter and Darwin. I thought that bond existed for some time so why not leave it be? (well, other than Withcomb wanting to have Peter for himself). Why was the bond suddenly dangerous to Darwin? Or was it a ploy to get him to the facility? And I hate Darwin for being so indifferent to the reasons why he was wanted by Rebecca, why and how he was different leaving the reader in the dark. This must mean another installment will be written, right? (hide spoiler)]
Darwin and Peter forma great pair. I love reading about them. Hopefully, Raithe will not disappear from the scenery and we'll get to hear more from all of them.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Fun times and hard times. Literally and figuratively speaking.
(view spoiler)[I am still a bit grossed out by the biting thing. It definitely adds a sp...moreFun times and hard times. Literally and figuratively speaking.
(view spoiler)[I am still a bit grossed out by the biting thing. It definitely adds a spark of originality and authenticity to the Kin/Lesser-Bred element in the story it's just that I can't stomach it (no pun intended). I understand and appreciate its use but feel the need to avert my eyes when reading those passages.
Other than that, I really feel one with D. There were a couple of moments in the book that I thought along the same lines as he did (the part with the stain marring one of Raithe's cheeks - and me wondering which cheek he was talking about - and then the scene in the bathroom, Peter saying it fell off - and me wondering what fell off. And I guarantee you, I wasn't thinking of the shampoo.
I really like the love flowing between the two. There are scary moments they are going through and yet, despite everything thrown at them, their love is the one thing unchanged. The reader gets a deeper sense of their relationship as you see past D's adoration and see the same level of trust and devotion on both sides.
I was a bit putt off with not knowing more about D's ability to set things on fire and what that means exactly. (hide spoiler)] And I also hate the cliffhanger ending. Good thing this is a complete series (it is complete, right) or I would have blown a casket. Hoping the next installment elucidates the still unanswered questions.
I love the little twists and turns this story is taking. I might have some small personal nitpicks with a couple of things within but this is a solid...moreI love the little twists and turns this story is taking. I might have some small personal nitpicks with a couple of things within but this is a solid 4 stars.
(view spoiler)[Secret military funding, the answer to understanding the transition to Lesser-Breds. Kidnapping. Declarations of undying love. Hot sex scenes. But what stood out to me was one small scene that captured all my interest. D catching fire? I was immediately thinking of a different type of Becoming Lesser-Bred or becoming Kin. Or even better, a new species all together. And the change is thanks to Darwin's absolute love of Peter. What can I say, I'm a sucker for that. And it would explain his passion for fire and pyrotechnics displays.
I did turn a bit squeamish when Peter actually bit and... *shudders* chewed a piece of Darwin? I thought I understood how far Darwin would go out of love but this seemed a bit too much. The fact he found it arousing made it that more unappetising. It drives home the fact that D has no logic or survival instinct if it involves Peter. Yet, it was disturbing. (hide spoiler)]
Can't wait to see what happens next in Lost.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
(view spoiler)[I knew there was something off with Peter. Unlike D, I wasn't blinded by love to find Peter's su...moreThings are getting serious. And hotter.
(view spoiler)[I knew there was something off with Peter. Unlike D, I wasn't blinded by love to find Peter's sudden change of heart about sex natural. And going by what D knew of him, he too should have found it odd that Peter gave up school and sexual intercourse so easily.
I wanted to cast Whitcomb as the bad guy (and granted, he has some hidden agenda of his won) but I was mellowed out by his sincere concern over D and Peter's fate and their chances of surviving Peter's change without any help. I put a fairy tale glow over their dilemma and refused to think anything bad could happen to them. But Whitcomb's words and D's worries broke that bubble. The Shift is dangerous for both of them. I'm curious to learn more about Kin and Lesser-Bred and the pair's adventures. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
(view spoiler)[Did not understand why Ms Gray hounded them so assiduously. Before her betrothed died, I would have expected to see h...moreThe plot thickens.
(view spoiler)[Did not understand why Ms Gray hounded them so assiduously. Before her betrothed died, I would have expected to see her extremely happy and planning out her wedding, not stalking Taggert to see whether he had a tattoo/bracelet around his wrist or not. And for that part, I thought the headmaster, Douglas was on Taggert's side. Did not expect him to fire Taggert and act so scandalised.
At one point I almost dropped the rating to 1 star. When Taggert's neighbours and Duncan's family organised a meeting to show their support and the nosy neighbours kept using terms like "us" and "them". I hated that kind of social divide. And Taggert played right along them. Hardly the undying love spawned by the great Oracle. He should have praised him and stood by him. Not ask Duncan to play the stupid to appease his neighbours when the boy first moved in with him.
Then there was the accident at the foundry. Frankly, I could care less about Ryan and William. The accident was their only appearance in the book. I suspect they were included to be a live example of the wedge between the wealthy and the poor. If that were the case, I expected more generosity from Taggert if he felt that strongly for Duncan’s family and the situation of those in need. 3 guineas is hardly enough to sustain a family. (hide spoiler)]
And then all the side plots hastily added throughout the book are all resolved in the last 3 pages with everyone living happily ever after. Yeah, 2 stars for this. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I'd like to say I was mislead but it was my fault for not reading the summary more carefully. The only thing I remembered when I picked this up was th...moreI'd like to say I was mislead but it was my fault for not reading the summary more carefully. The only thing I remembered when I picked this up was the cover which led me to think it would focus on spankings.
(view spoiler)[Silly me. There was only small scene where Duncan gets 3 strikes with a birch. I failed to understand why Callum was so worried about being dismissed from the Academy. And I wasn't expecting Duncan to top from the bottom, nor for a mysterious Oracle to randomly decide who should end up with whom. The most surprising part was when Callum was one moment trying to get Duncan to stop pining after him, then the next he was struck by love. And just like that, he was head over heels. Yet, despite the love blooming in his chest, he still wanted for the two of them to keep their distance to avoid any scandal.<.spoiler>
And then the book ended. Not sure why the author split the book in two. 2.5 stars worthy. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
For some reason, I failed to connect with the characters. Yes, it's the type of book where I have to say "it's me, not you" because other mem...more2.5 stars
For some reason, I failed to connect with the characters. Yes, it's the type of book where I have to say "it's me, not you" because other members and friends quite enjoyed it.
(view spoiler)[Dylan and Alec were cute, apart and together. They had their funny moments. But beyond that, the story felt rather typical and seemed to rely a lot on the amusing comments and situations the characters found themselves in. We have Alec, coming from a wealthy family, esteemed doctor, working hard to save HIV and homeless patients and get Proposition 8 overturned. Your perfect example of gay man. Then there is Dylan, butch (or as close to it) mechanic, coming from a broken home and spending his youth on the streets, sporting attractive oil or grease stains strategically displayed on his body, discovering his bi nature. Alec is committed to devoted relationships. Dylan doesn't have the word 'relationship' in his vocabulary. Ensues the expected path of least resistance. They become friends. Then The Look passes between them and the attraction is born. Follows some pushing and shoving as result of competition with an ex and they move things into the bedroom. They have their ups and down but in the end, the two live happily ever after (with kids in the foreseeable future). Gay for you with a predictable outcome. But then again, what other ending can there be to stories such as this?
I, for one, did not expect Dylan to enjoy bottoming out, at least not from the first intercourse scene in the book. I think that was the point I veered off from the book. And also disliked the sudden twist towards the end of the book when it was hinted that Dylan's feelings for his friend Rick went beyond friendship and camaraderie (after spending 3/4 of the book highlighting that Dylan was straight and had no interest in men... at least until Alec showed up). I stopped seeing Alec and Dylan through my eyes and only saw them as characters from a story. I wanted to feel sympathy for Dylan's rough childhood or Alec's oppressive mother but there was nothing to give. And all the jokes and witty remarks between the two MCs, or additionally included courtesy of nosy Noah, gay friend to straight and gay alike, didn't seem all that amusing to me. Sure, they put a smile on my face but didn't make me fall in love with either story or characters. (hide spoiler)]
So, in conclusion, I was looking for certain strong emotions and striking characters that I could not find in this book. Still, it's a pleasant read and sure to make you laugh along the way.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
It's a good thing I have the next installment or the ending would have made me really mad. You don't stop right in the middle of the scene. It's just...moreIt's a good thing I have the next installment or the ending would have made me really mad. You don't stop right in the middle of the scene. It's just not cool!
(view spoiler)[Darwin is certainly an interesting character. I'm not sure whether the suffering he mentions is due to him pining after Peter for so many years or something else altogether. His self-destruct routine is heart wrenching and makes me want to hug him and try and make things better for him. But I love his *I don't care* attitude and his fierce protection of Peter.
I need more information to understand what the Kin, the Lesser-Breds really are and how they fit into the story. And I wonder whether Peter's sudden change of heart had anything to do with the video Mark Tolbert, Darwin's arch nemesis, had sent or something more sinister. A second point of view would also help since I can't believe Peter is all that perfect. D just sees him through loved filled eyes. (hide spoiler)]
3.5 stars and off to read Secrets.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I had two major issues with the story which made me give it 2 stars.
(view spoiler)[One.Both MCs were shy in making a move towards the other. The first...moreI had two major issues with the story which made me give it 2 stars.
(view spoiler)[One.Both MCs were shy in making a move towards the other. The first half of the book was filled with either Dan or Leif pining after the other, making no move towards something physical and listing the reasons why they shouldn't get involved. At one point I started to wonder if anything would happen between them since neither was inclined to approach the other. Luckily the author solved that by putting one of them (Leif) in danger and used the resulting adrenaline and fear to make the pair get intimate. The second half of the book was lukewarm at best in terms of romance for Dan and Leif, Dan tried to hide his sexuality from the people in town and then they had to battle Leif away from his abusive master. I was a bit put off that, after spending 2.3 of the book listing reasons and staying away, their relationship was nicely wrapped up with them moving away and living happily ever after. All of a sudden and just like that? That's just too easy for me.
Second. The action scenes. I was expecting adrenaline packed moments, uneasy and fearful scenes spanning for pages where Dan or Leif fought a ghost. But all I got were sparks. Before I had a chance to get into the mood, the problem was solved and the ghost laid to rest. The only lengthy fight was at the end, an amalgam of discovering the secret cave, killing Leif's former master, Runar and defeating Ezekiel, busybody/blackmailer/sorcerer that had lived hundreds of years before. And frankly, I found it a bit amusing to imagine Dan waving those antlers to help the ghosts cross over.
Second and 1/2. I remembered there was one other thing that bugged me. And that was Dan lamenting his inability to save his mother. I counted at least 3 or 4 times throughout the book (I was afraid to actually check the real number of times) where he went over the same lines: not saving his mother, letting her die alone, he was useless. I was just about ready to bitch slap him and ask him to man up. (hide spoiler)]
I suppose the plot and the characters just weren't my type. It was an ok read but not something that I'm going to remember on the long run.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
(view spoiler)[I was a bit wary at first of the whole insta-love between Shiloh and Travis. But it all made sense...moreSuch a nice story! Quite enjoyed it.
(view spoiler)[I was a bit wary at first of the whole insta-love between Shiloh and Travis. But it all made sense as the story progressed. (view spoiler)[I truly felt attached to the them the moment Shiloh found out Travis had cancer. (hide spoiler)] That was the moment I really connected and started caring for them. And it all flowed so well, having Shiloh remember a future that had yet to happen and knowing just what to tell others to ensure a happy life and avoid a disaster.
It was amazing to read about a young teenager fighting abuse at school and self doubt decide to end his life then find the motivation to move past dark thoughts about himself and look towards the future. It was beautiful to see how much confidence he had in the things to come, how his relationship with Travis would progress and what his life was destined to be. (hide spoiler)]
Even with all said and done, I'm not quite ready to let them go. It would be nice to read more of them.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Well this proved less savory than expected. I remember quite enjoying Ava March's books. Yet this one didn't hold any special spark.
(view spoiler)[Per...moreWell this proved less savory than expected. I remember quite enjoying Ava March's books. Yet this one didn't hold any special spark.
(view spoiler)[Perhaps I had too high expectations of this. I failed to understand Max. A duke no less, and he was resorted to fetching Tristan's clothes himself. Didn't he have trusted men to do that for him? The action felt too linear. All Max ever did was look over ledgers and work all day long. Tristan wasted time away until night could come. And there were hardly any other characters involved, other than Morgan, faithful driver and Rawling, sole friend in London (both who coincidentally happened to be gay). And since the book seems to be the first in a series, I imagined they were mentioned only to give rise to a second novel where they could be front center for the plot.I was also expecting something more definite for the BDSM style. But there were only a couple of scenes where they indulged in sexual variety. Lastly, both characters were slightly off than I imagined. Max started out strict and imposing, then ended up following Tristan everywhere and pleading for a second chance. And Tristan started out as this young man not excited with his profession as a whore but willing enough. Who then managed to get a position as kept man for a Duke and still he wasn't satisfied. Who played hard to get until he thought things over and reconsidered, agreeing to Max's solutions. (hide spoiler)]
So bottom line, I couldn't align with the characters thus failing to truly feel the story and rejoice at the happy ending. A nice enough read but lacking inspiration to leave a mark on me.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
**spoiler alert** I was looking forward to reading more about the 2 MCs. Sadly, the plot was rather predictable and stole some of my excitement. That...more**spoiler alert** I was looking forward to reading more about the 2 MCs. Sadly, the plot was rather predictable and stole some of my excitement. That is to say, I was happy to read more about Jason and Aedar's adventures but it wasn't anything surprising.
We get to learn more about Aedar's life and how he comes into the wares he sales in the markets. There is a subtle hint early in the story that Aedar and Jason too might be interested in a threesome with a Tari but at the time choose to explore other means of pleasure. Being the oddity that he is on Skoria, Jason is kidnapped to be sold to Uldor, Aedar's former master. This leads to new adventures, Jason proving to have courage and initiative. And there is also a new acquaintance being made. I wasn't sure whether the mind connection to Kari as well as the friendship growing between Jason and the Tari was just added so it would make the threesome more interesting. Either way, I wasn't bothered by it. I wouldn't have minded a couple more scenes between the 3 men but the one scene right at the end was nice enough.
Like I said, it became pretty obvious Jason would be kidnapped or that something would happen to him, prompting Aedar to come to his rescue. Kari was a nice bonus but again, not something completely unexpected. All in all, it was worth the read. Might be even better if a third installment ever comes along.(less)
(view spoiler)[The book had a good start. From the first few pages I had a sense of foreboding and dre...moreI liked this. Just not as much as I anticipated.
(view spoiler)[The book had a good start. From the first few pages I had a sense of foreboding and dread. I already sympathised with Lee and wanted him to escape the hell Vornis had created. The best way to describe various tortures is to let the reader imagine what they will. And I could think of so many ways that Lee could have been hurt, physically and emotionally. But then little issues started popping up. Some of the horrors I imagined part of Vornis' imprisonment were too harsh to what the book later on revealed. In some ways it was tamer than I had thought it would be, and in other ways it proved hurtful enough to deeply mark Lee and Shaw. Another issue I had with the story was Shaw's character. Before I knew he was an undercover agent, I found it disconcerting to have him act the dominant part and then bow before Vornis and the others, letting it be implied that he would accept becoming Guterman's bitch if it came with contacts and connections in the criminal world. It was obvious that if Guterman would have ever been allowed to use Shaw's body, Shaw would have ceased to exist as a person and become an object. It made it easier to accept this behaviour once it was revealed it was part of a fake identity. (hide spoiler)]
What I liked about the book were the insightful comments and views into what makes a person, how someone is affected by events in their life, how one is forced to meet everyone else's expectations. I found those had a ring to me and they made me think how they apply to my own life, irrelevant of any traumatic experiences.
So overall, not a book I enjoyed because of its characters or action but because it made me think of certain aspects of my life and how I react to them.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
(view spoiler)[It was such a nice read! I really liked Ferro with with mouthy attitude, his confidence that he would be rescued by his family, even if his being sold as slave was punishment for angering his parents. He was under the impression that there wasn't anything he couldn't handle. And then he met Lisias. A mysterious sheep tender that had many remarkable qualities and who managed to surprise Ferro and gain the upper hand. Lisias made Ferro understand what desire and commitment really meant and how those feelings can change a person. There were moments when I felt a teacher and pupil relationship between the two, a wise man and a foolish youth brought together by fate or gods. But as you reach the conclusion of the book, it's obvious they are meant for each other, making a stronger unit together. (hide spoiler)]
Very nice indeed!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Review to come after I gather my thoughts. And get some sleep.
What a wonderful way to end the year! I so enjoyed Seven and Chase's adventur...moreReview to come after I gather my thoughts. And get some sleep.
What a wonderful way to end the year! I so enjoyed Seven and Chase's adventure. The book started with some funny and witty comments and I immediately liked the seemingly misfit men.
(view spoiler)[I liked Chase. With his troubled past, his anger towards his father, his guilt and his human frailties against supernatural beings. Despite his disadvantage, he forged on and stood by Seven's side. He had a normal reaction upon first meeting Seven: he thought he was nuts. There is the vague notion of love at first sight but both Chase and Seven question it and look for reasons beyond that. Chase slowly comes to care for Seven and decide to actively participate in saving him. Then there is Seven. Compassionate, loving in spite of all the torture and brutalities he suffered at the Delta Research and Development Center. You can't help but care for him and wish him well (much like Thirteen ended up doing after connecting with him).
This book has it all. Plenty of twists and turn in the story that keep you on the edge of your seat till the end. It has romantic moments, it has spicy encounters and hot sex. It has sci-fi elements. There is an array of interesting and flawed characters. I cared for each and everyone of them (well, except Stone) and came to understand by the end of the book that even the wrongs they did served a higher purpose. Out of the whole cast, I think Nine impressed me the most with his intelligence, his passion, his conviction and strength of character to do what needed to be done, no matter the cost (his friends, his very existence). (hide spoiler)]
There is nothing I disliked in the book. Recommended for romance, sci-fi, action lovers. Actually, recommended to all.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)