Mike is a police officer packing more than your standard flashlight and baton. And when he stumbles upon shameless Kenny f**king in the park he receives an invitation he can't refuse. He follows Kenny to an abandoned farm and they play out a fantasy. Either Mike's or Kenny's is still unknown. But it's hot, dirty and arousing. Too bad it ended so soon. I would have liked to read more about the pair.(less)
I only read "Gray" by Patricia Briggs. And sadly, I was expecting more from her. I am a devoted fan of the "Mercedes Thompson" series and I was someho...moreI only read "Gray" by Patricia Briggs. And sadly, I was expecting more from her. I am a devoted fan of the "Mercedes Thompson" series and I was somehow hoping this might be similar to that. Not necessarily with werewolves but the same sense of hope and drop of romance. This had way much less than what I was looking for.
(view spoiler)[I wanted Elyna to get a chance at happiness despite being a vampire, despite having killed her husband. For half the story, I hoped Jack might have survived and they would be reunited. Then whehn it became apparent that would not be the case, I imagined they would overcome her being a vampire and him being a ghost just like they overcame their difficulties when they first met. I hardly got any romance because the story suddenly ends. I didn't even get a solid piece of action because Corona's death is mentioned offhand and Colbert died in the blink of an eye. So this really was just about home remodelling. (hide spoiler)]
Overall an ok read. Too short to make me fond of the characters and not enough of action/romance to make me value the story.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Strange little story. My epub version was all garbled up, missing the second 'l' in any word with double "l's". Coupled with the present tense use......moreStrange little story. My epub version was all garbled up, missing the second 'l' in any word with double "l's". Coupled with the present tense use... and I had a hard time warming up to the story.
It was way too short to give me time to understand who they were and what these characters did other than a vague notion of being on opposite teams.. a hired killer and a police officer?. I finished this with a 'meh, it was ok' feeling. (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)
Let's get one thing straight. The story rates about 4 stars. But it left such a bitter taste in my mouth that I'm not sure I'll ever want to recommend...moreLet's get one thing straight. The story rates about 4 stars. But it left such a bitter taste in my mouth that I'm not sure I'll ever want to recommend it to anyone, much less re-read.
(view spoiler)[It's a form of madness that Gabriel suffers and it affects everyone around him. The reason why I would give this 1 star is because I identified with Uriel too much. I felt despair and rage at having my choices and freedom taken away from me and forced to accept someone else's decisions, especially when they made no sense or collided so strongly against my own beliefs.
I wouldn't have been able to forgive Gabriel, and I resented Uriel for doing so in his final moments. I kept picturing myself in Uriel's place, (view spoiler)[right before he took the cyanide (hide spoiler)]... and wanting to hurt Gabriel one last time by refusing to give him that which he craved the most. Nor would I have relented in letting him keep Uriel's ring. (hide spoiler)]
The book pushed some of my boundaries and made me realise some new ones I didn't know I had. It's not for the faint of heart. You have to read it for yourself, though I don't know which is better: to have read it and visualise the world or not read it and miss out on such a disturbed depiction.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
A cute short story. And it was told from the point of view of the dog which gave most of its charm. 3.5 stars rating for this.
(view spoiler)[I liked h...moreA cute short story. And it was told from the point of view of the dog which gave most of its charm. 3.5 stars rating for this.
(view spoiler)[I liked how Hey Girl perceived the world and tried to communicate with Hey and Shorty. Even how she named them and thought what she did was correct and logical. I could almost see myself in a dog world, perceiving everything differently. It was easy to read along and feel glad that Flora found a god home at last.
I would rate this somewhere between 1.5 and 2 stars.
(view spoiler)[My greatest peeves were that I had envisioned the Scotsman to behave differently wh...moreI would rate this somewhere between 1.5 and 2 stars.
(view spoiler)[My greatest peeves were that I had envisioned the Scotsman to behave differently when faced with the modern world. So when reading that he quickly and easily adjusted to stone and glass buildings, television, cars, mobile phones and condoms, I rolled my eyes and stopped caring about the characters or the story. I was also disappointed that, minus a couple of exceptions, there was no language barrier despite the hundred of years of cultural and etymological diversity separating the men. I wanted to believe and really be invested in the story but when they jumped straight to sex, I figured there was no point in trying to immerse within the story telling. Which was just as well because seeing that one character was named Darren and the other Duncan could have royally pissed me off. As it stands, I only had to re-read some passages to figure out who was saying/doing what. (hide spoiler)]
The book had good premises, which is why I wanted to read it. However, it was poorly delivered, at least compared to what I expected. Thus the low rating.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Bounty Hunter - 2 stars Changing the Guard - 4 stars The Machinist - 4 stars My Rifle Is Human - 4 stars In the Pines - 3 stars Compromised Judgment - 4 st...moreBounty Hunter - 2 stars Changing the Guard - 4 stars The Machinist - 4 stars My Rifle Is Human - 4 stars In the Pines - 3 stars Compromised Judgment - 4 stars
(view spoiler)[Bounty Hunter. I'm not much of a fan for cowboys (or maybe haven't found the right book). And I was getting confused when the action jumped to moments in the past. I liked the MCs well enough and the idea that they added the hunt to the thrill of their relationship. But did not love the story.
Changing the Guard was well done. I liked the characters and their interaction throughout the book. Tomi was sweet in his policy to follow rules (and did that ever turned out to be a good thing). The background was interesting, with living on a different planet, cast away and alone. I wouldn't have minded reading what happened to the two after the brief encounter.
The Machinist was the most brutal out of the anthology. I originally picked up this book solely for this story alone. So I left reading it last. Avery is a machinist in a world plagued by fearsome beasts, where the population is split into colonies and the only rule is 'survival of the fittest'. He is rescued from a colony only to end up prisoner to another colony lord. Only this one has no qualms about using force to convince Avery to be their machinist. I actually winced in sympathy when Avery was fucked with the gun he had cleaned (even if he seemed to enjoy it) and then fucked by Harrow with barely any preparation. However, by the end of the story, it seemed he got off on rough playing, so his capture wasn't without benefits.
In the Pines was the saddest of the bunch. As I read, I kept hoping my suspicions would be wrong. As Tyler kept spending more and more time in the dream world and as Flynn kept asking him to join him in his world, with Tyler waking up with the gun pressed to his head, I figured where it was all headed. I kept hoping till the last line in the story. I felt sad that Tyler died. It would have been nice if a different alternative had been possible.
Compromised Judgment was pretty complex and well shaped out. I could really get into the skin of Ignác with this story, feel his thrill at playing with the gun. And there was some nice imagery in describing the guns and how they were made, carrying a part of their creator. I would have liked more room for the world to be described as I felt rushed to understand the hierarchy and social move of the characters. But the action scenes and tension between the MCs more than made up for that. And the ending scene with Ignác and Konrád in the bedroom, playing with the gun and Ignác having to prove his worthiness for using Konrád's creation... very hot! (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Review to come later, after I've gathered my wits about me...
Ok, haven't managed to gather my wits so excuse the poor review. This was a...moreWow! Just wow!
Review to come later, after I've gathered my wits about me...
Ok, haven't managed to gather my wits so excuse the poor review. This was amazing! (view spoiler)[It felt a bit off in the sense that a police officer would so easily give up his life and go into hiding with a paid assassin. But other than that, everything was sublime.
I loved Justin. I was enchanted by his mysterious background (and I was dying to know his real name). He had such a dark and troubled past. But it was fantastic to watch his transformation: see him arguing with his conscience, be truthful in admitting his sins and past crimes as well some current criminal urges. He made no excuses for doing away with Janich. And his love confession was so sweet for being a surprise even for Justin. And the care and commitment he dedicated to Shawn, a perfect stranger. It made him human despite his flaws and I liked him all the more for it.
Shawn was a quiet presence in the book, the driving factor that helped Justin in his change. He was young, too young to have to deal with the death of his first partner, then be betrayed by his lover. And on top of that, be attacked for doing the right thing. I admired his perseverance when faced with an unwilling body. And, though a bit cheesy, I loved it when his heartbeat responded to Justin despite him being a coma. (hide spoiler)]
The whole story was well put together. Lots of action and just the right amount of sweetness and romanticism to make it more memorable as the characters were brought together. Quite the interesting reading!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
What a gripping tale. The story was made of feelings. I really felt for Vince and Rowan. However, ultimately, I sided more w...moreI really enjoyed the book!
What a gripping tale. The story was made of feelings. I really felt for Vince and Rowan. However, ultimately, I sided more with Rowan than I did with Vince despite the story being told from Vincent's point of view.
(view spoiler)[Each man had a past they were trying to come to terms with, trying to separate from the choices they've made and carve a new future. I cared for Vince and grimaced alongside him every time he jarred his spine, every time he was scared by thoughts of paraplegia. I initially believed Jack had betrayed him, that the 'blond god' was working for Goran Maric. When it turned out it had been fear that had made him run away, I wasn't sure if I was relieved or upset. After so many years together in the force, how could Jack hide that? How did Vince not see it? Why wasn't Vince more upset? I mean he ended up with two bullets in the back because of Jack. Even taking into account Vince was head over heels in love (and love makes anyone blind) his easy disregard of the whole incident left me with a sour taste. Jack got off way too easy for his cowardly attitude.
But coming back to Vince. It was a pleasure (if one can say that while watching the slow descent into depression and hopelessness) to watch Vincent as he came to terms with the latest events in his life and tried to accept his new reality. I was most impressed with the scene where he is imprisoned by Val and laughs at her first attempt to beat the truth out of him. Yet I must admit there was a slight inconsistency I felt between the supposedly savage beating and his enthusiastic mad dash to safety while at the same time stopping Rowan from committing suicide. I chose to ignore it and focus on the adrenaline moving me from scenery to scenery until both men was safely in police custody.
But through it all, Rowan was the shining beacon in the story. I was more impressed with him. I felt he suffered the most. Perhaps not physically but emotionally. He was repeatedly verbally abused by Vince but did not give upon him. Rowan constantly watched out for him, came to his help more than once and even went as far as admitting his feelings for Vince. I admired his courage to stay clean, to be truthful about his past and defy enemies that he had fled from for years. All for Vince. The most hurtful thing that I can imagine is to daily fight the urge to take another hit and then have someone you care for heartlessly treat it as inconsequential. Rowan was a brave man for that alone. (hide spoiler)]
I gulped this down. I enjoyed every shadow that hinted at enemies, every loaded glance or heartfelt touch that passed between the 2 MCs. The intimate scenes between them was scorching hot while still keeping to the plot line (Vince's injury). The imagery was beautifully described to complement the action and fill in the background. Not strong enough to make me 5 star rate this but a very satisfying read.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
**spoiler alert** Really? Have Black and Calyx pretend to be lovers in the pornography industry so they can apprehend some criminals? Well, that was o...more**spoiler alert** Really? Have Black and Calyx pretend to be lovers in the pornography industry so they can apprehend some criminals? Well, that was original. Not.
I disliked the fact that Black not only was unsure, but now suddenly needed emotional support from Dickerson's wife. While there was not one mention of this woman in the first installment. And I hated Black's deceit in asking Calyx to be friends when he had no intention of actually doing that, and lying on top of it. How am I supposed to grow fond of this character, when he hides all that he is and was from everyone, when he lies and sacrifices all sort of things trying to protect inconsequential things?
And then, almost everyone in the book turns out to be gay: captain of JC1, Genesis, Dickerson (despite being married) and the list goes on. Are there no more straight men (except Sola, who seems included in the book just so there is that one character absolutely hating gay men)?
I eventually figured out part of Black's history and what the secret meetings with Dickerson were all about. None of which endeared him to me. I expected that as one trying to rise from such despicable origins, Black would be sympathetic towards Calyx, not be so resentful.
I can't put my finger on what it is exactly that disturbs me about the story. Perhaps it feels disjointed. This installment gets only 2 stars and I'll see if I can manage to read the third one as well.(less)
(view spoiler)[Why? Because there were times when it became too mushy for my taste. And because there is just soo muc...moreOverall, I'd give this 2.5 stars.
(view spoiler)[Why? Because there were times when it became too mushy for my taste. And because there is just soo much drama, accidents, murderers and attempts on one's life a character can have.
I reached a point where there was just too much sweetness and cuddling between Cole and Jae and too much adoration from Cole. I understand how he feels, and I admire the depth of his feelings but it was getting a bit annoying how he kept praising the man. After 2 volumes, I think, it was safe to say every reader was aware how in love Cole was and there was no need to keep highlighting it.
And, like Bobby said... how many killers can a detective draw? Yes, there is a risk factor involved in detective work, but Cole just seems like a magnet for trouble and crazy people. And Sheila, his partner's widow, came out of nowhere. I'm hoping this is meant to be interlude for a fourth installment, otherwise, I see no point to adding that small fragment into the story and increasing the list of enemies Cole has. (hide spoiler)]
With those nagging tidbits out of the way, I quite enjoyed the rest of the story. Ichigo, the unknown half-brother turned out to be quite an interesting character and I'm dying to read more about him. (view spoiler)[(Is he really going to hook up with Bobby or was that just a tease?) (hide spoiler)] There were a lot of Korean characters (so the list of characters at the start of the book was a good idea). Had a couple of moments where I wasn't sure who was who. Again, the killer turned out to be someone I didn't expect (view spoiler)[(why is it that in all the books of this series, the killer turns out to be slightly deranged and the reader (or at least this reader) has a hard time understanding their reasoning for committing the murders?) (hide spoiler)].
There were plenty of good things in the book and I am fond of the characters. Had it been less sugary, I probably would have given it a higher rating. That said, I'm looking forward to the next installment.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
(view spoiler)[This would have been a 5 stars but I just found it hard to go through the sex scenes with so...moreWhat kind of ending is this? Such a teaser!
(view spoiler)[This would have been a 5 stars but I just found it hard to go through the sex scenes with so much emotional baggage included. I mean, I understand that sex is not just the physical but it went a bit too psychological and emotional for me.
Other than that, it was quite a pleasure to read. I just love Cole, his love for the ones close to him and just his personality, his sense of humor (I found funny quotes in more than half the book, will have to revisit and post them). I liked how the story mixed a mystery with Cole and Jae's relationship and how they live their life and try to make it as a couple. (hide spoiler)]
And of course, I was fascinated by the Korean cultural information sprinkled throughout the book.
The ending took me completely by surprise. I can't wait to read the third installment. (view spoiler)[And I want to know that Jae and Cole find a way to be together openly. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
What an adorable little story! Packed quite a punch in such few lines.
Chris was very adorable with his insecurities and doubts. And I liked how the re...moreWhat an adorable little story! Packed quite a punch in such few lines.
Chris was very adorable with his insecurities and doubts. And I liked how the relationship was portrayed between Liev and Chris. They talked dirty to each other, and had amazing sex and still managed to show emotion, like the time the kissed for the first time, or Liev locked the door because Chris was worried. Or how Liev tried to defend him in front of Chris' dad. How Liev went out of his way to get Chris to a college and when that didn't work, took him away from his messed up home.
My small peeves were with the 'bitch' calling. While I understood it was part of their relationship, it made me cringe at times. And also the fact that Chris just gave up on any hope of going to college and Liev was ok with that. I would have liked both of them to fight for a better future. Sure, Chris had to leave his family and try for a better life but that meant college too.
Still, a very emotional story, plenty of hot sex and a couple of adorable teenagers finding their way in life and in love.(less)
Conrad and Brayden make a great couple! (view spoiler)[The whole role playing act of fleeing after being pulled over was gre...moreVery adorable short story!
Conrad and Brayden make a great couple! (view spoiler)[The whole role playing act of fleeing after being pulled over was great. Conrad was funny as hell, trying to bribe the dog, leaving the closet door open for the dog to chew on whatever and playing rock, paper, scissors. Liked him from the start. And the whole sex against the wall scene was really hot. I was a little put off when I saw Conrad just get it on with a stranger (and no condom) but then it dawned on me, the stranger was in fact his boyfriend.
The ending scene really made it obvious how in love they were with each other and how committed they are. Really cute reading! (hide spoiler)] ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This required an incredibile amoung of disbelief. I simply could not relate to the characters or find them in any way believable.
Where Kevin was suppo...moreThis required an incredibile amoung of disbelief. I simply could not relate to the characters or find them in any way believable.
Where Kevin was supposed to be a klutz, all adorable and brilliant, I found him irritating and obnoxious. Where Walter was meant to appear strong but with a soft side, I found him undecided and much too hung up about his age. The straw that broke the camel's back: the scene towards the end when Walter tries again to break up with Kevin because he can't see them together on the long run, doesn't want to burden Kevin with having to take care of him and outlive him. The scene was over in less than 5 minutes with Walter confessing he didn't really want Kevin to go. And Kevin, after initially all but storming out of the apartment, replies he wouldn't ever leave Walter. What a conundrum both of them were.
Found nothing to like in the story and finished it simply because I dared myself to read till the end. Complete opposite from More which was the reason why I tried this book. Such a let down. :((less)
**spoiler alert** The story started out pretty good.
Plenty of action and brooding heroes that collide in personalities. But then, halfway through the...more**spoiler alert** The story started out pretty good.
Plenty of action and brooding heroes that collide in personalities. But then, halfway through the story, it kind of veered from what I was expecting. Black went from being calculated and in control to second guessing himself, unsure and needy. I expected him to be strong. Yes, give in when things became too hard and have his weak moments, but know to pick himself up and build his walls again and stride forward with confidence.
The only one that stayed faithful to the image I was expecting was Calyx Starr. He was indeed the addict, whoring himself to get out of a hellish life. But he became more complex throughout the story, showing us that he made a deal with Dickerson in the hopes of reaching Silent City, becoming attached to Black, even coming to understand Jake.
What I disliked about the story were some inconsistencies (or what I perceived them to be as such). For all that Black demanded respect from his team, he had no problem belittling Calyx and calling him all kind of names. And I hated how some activities were kept in secret, like Black and Dickerson's secret meetings and Genesis, etc.
I was really excited when I started the series but it petered out towards the end. I couldn't grow attached to Black so there was no drive to keep me hooked. I'll read the next installment but doubt the rating will increase.(less)
(view spoiler)[I loved how gradually each story propelled me further into the world of the supranatural. W...moreQuite the interesting collection of stories.
(view spoiler)[I loved how gradually each story propelled me further into the world of the supranatural. We had Keith and Gunther sneakly working around the human world, trying to solve a mysterious series of murders. I found it very realistic and slightly frightening (it was hard to enjoy dinner after reading that story).
I kind of liked Archer and Rake more out of all the couple presented because they had a bit more romantic development than the rest of the cast. However, as standalones, Rake didn't get a lot of characterisation and Archer was a bit selfish. Though, I felt that I was slowly moving from the human world towards the other realms.
Deven and August made another step towards the supranatural world, as half the story took place on other worlds or presented other alien beings. I liked Deen for his shy nature and clumsy meas of getting accustomed to the human world. He and August made a nice couple, perhaps because of their differences. However, I felt the story dragged a bit. There was just a hint of exasperation as Night Axe, then Lord Jaguar kept getting the upper hand. And after the serious injuries both characters endured, I found it unbelievable that they would still be able to defeat their enemies.
Henry and Jason were the last pair to be introduced. Their story was even more plunged into the supranatural with more than half the scenes taking place somewhere other than the human world. I felt bad for the suffering Henry had to endure and found it fitting that he should end up with Jason, prince of Tuatha Dé Dannan. And their skills and abilities were vry original and fascinating. It was a pleasure to discover what they could do. (hide spoiler)]
I was biased about the stories and if hard pressed, I'd say the first 2 and the last were the nicest that I liked, with Amara's book coming in second place. But all of them are worth reading for the world building, solid characters and fantastic plot that keeps you hooked to the last word.
P.S.: Thanks Akansha for suggesting me this story! :)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Sadly, I couldn't focus on the characters and the plot as I was constantly distracted by the unanswered questions throughout the book.
(view spoiler)[I...moreSadly, I couldn't focus on the characters and the plot as I was constantly distracted by the unanswered questions throughout the book.
(view spoiler)[I wanted to care about Tabansi, Taggart, Jordy and Maddock but there were various new concepts being presented, about the world they were living in, the quartet they had to form in order to be accepted by law and society and what role each individual played within the marriage group that I lost interest of what was going on between the men.
It also struck me as odd that while at first, still mourning the death of his former partners, Tabansi had to qualms about joining the group immediately. Other than sexual attraction, I couldn't find any other reason. And perhaps that might have been enough, if the workings of the groups and society had been explained a bit more in detail. (hide spoiler)]
There is potential in the story. However, I personally could not get attached to the characters, therefore the 2 star rating.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I had trouble at first figuring out which was the first book in the series, by summary alone. But as I read "The White Knight" I realised it was not s...moreI had trouble at first figuring out which was the first book in the series, by summary alone. But as I read "The White Knight" I realised it was not so much a retelling of how Sean and Dan met but more a focus on key moments that made up their relationship.
(view spoiler)[I was a little surprised by the first change in POV but the story was so seamlessly woven together between paragraphs, I hardly felt the change as I read on. It was a lovely journey to watch the characters meet, get to know each other, face challenges and differences but still fight to be together. There were moments when I could connect with Sean in his moments of confusion as he struggled to remember how he came to break up with his lover.
Dan was more verbal in this sequel. He expressed his feelings and surprised me as much as Sean by his insecurity and uncertainty within the relationship. But he still shone with kindness and care as he rushed to Sean's side and confessed his love. (hide spoiler)]
The plot was nicely done as I figured out the reason for Sean falling down the stairs halfway through the book. But as opposed to the first novel, the plot held more interest here, not just the romantic development between the characters. I can't say I was blown away by the story but I did like it and cheered for Sean and Dan's happily ever after.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
(view spoiler)[The reason I can't give it more is because I couldn't fully identify with Sean. Logically and almos...moreI would give this a 3.5 star rating.
(view spoiler)[The reason I can't give it more is because I couldn't fully identify with Sean. Logically and almost clinically, I understood Sean's fears and reactions. But I could not feel them at a more deeper level, which left me with the odd impression of watching the scenes unfold from afar. I could not visualize the triggers that set him off. I could well imagine how he felt, I could understand his reasoning (or lack thereof), the author was great at describing this. But all the while, there was a tiny voice in the back of my head, urging Sean to stand up to his fears, not only Paul Hammond.
I had expected a great mystery and was surprised to see it play out like I suspected, with Steve playing Sean against Dan only to get rid of the actor and inherit the money. And also a bit saddened that years of friendship were so easily discarded over lust for money. (hide spoiler)]
But the plot was interesting overall. Lanyon did a fantastic job at inducing a sense of dread and foreboding as well as unease whether Sean was right or losing his mind. There was great chemistry between the characters, nicely played out in elaborate discussion, poignant silences and meaningful glances. Both men come with baggage (Sean's more detailed than Dan's) and it was interesting to read how they worked around each other to create a relationship.
I'm looking forward to reading the sequel to this.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
(view spoiler)[I loved Austin with his intelligent humor to mask his emotions and insecurities. I loved Peter for his courage an...moreThat was a great book!
(view spoiler)[I loved Austin with his intelligent humor to mask his emotions and insecurities. I loved Peter for his courage and sacrifice and endurance to put up with Austin.
They made for a curious couple and I was drawn to their interactions from the beginning. Despite the flirty feel of their acquaintance, Austin's easy banter and Peter's flippant attitude, there was depth to their personality which was slowly revealed.
Peter came from a rough family and was forced to horrible choices in order to survive and take care of those he loved. He was a hardened and experienced man in a 20 year-old young man's body. And it was only towards the middle of the book that I was able to grasp the real reasons for the things he did. From then on, I admired the courage he had to do what was necessary, no matter the costs.
Austin seemed like a joker at first. He always had a joke ready, hiding behind them whatever strong emotion he felt. But then, upon meeting Bunny Slippers, his world is changed and the jokes no longer act as a shield between him and the hard truths that wound him. He is swept off his feet by Peter and has a long journey to take in order to accept his true self and understand how to make things work between him and Peter.
The side characters were equally very well done and did a great job in enriching the story. From best friend Dave, to first crush Jesse, to Angelica, ex-fiancee that accepted his new found freedom with grace, to Luis, police partner and martyr to all of Austin's good or bad jokes.
The plot itself was riveting and kept me hooked till the end. Not only about drugs and trafficking but also adding mobsters and children killers, along with drug problems and various physical disorders. It was no picnic for the characters, that's for sure. (hide spoiler)]
But everything worked well together. The angst, the developed plot, the complex characters made everything real. You were sucked in the story and left with a smile on your face when it was all over. Great read indeed!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I enjoyed reading this! It wasn't the excitement and adventure I might have hoped for but it was still good.
The characters were beautifully depicted,...moreI enjoyed reading this! It wasn't the excitement and adventure I might have hoped for but it was still good.
The characters were beautifully depicted, each one with its inner demons and battles to win, while at the same time adjusting to the changes brought on by fate and also learning how to love and trust again.
The whole book felt like a leisurely afternoon spent enjoying the sun, doing nothing in particular but still it relaxes you and puts you in a good mood. That's how I feel after reading this. It was nice reading about their day to day activities and their interactions and how they fought for their happily ever after. It wasn't the explosive story that leaves you reeling. But it didn't need to be. It was nice the way it was.(less)
This turned out to be a nice read. Granted, not one that sweeped me off my feet, but enough to keep me interested till the end.
(view spoiler)[I liked...moreThis turned out to be a nice read. Granted, not one that sweeped me off my feet, but enough to keep me interested till the end.
(view spoiler)[I liked the fact that the story was told from both points of view but distinctly set apart. And how not everything was laid out but that the characters slowly revealed their hang ups and troubled past. They were different and yet Rey and Sam found a way to move past the boundaries they had set for themselves and fall in love with each other. Sam seemed like this nice guy that did everything right but just didn't get the happily ever after on a first try. And Rey seemed like the kind of guy that got the short end of the stick for most of his life despite hard work and sacrifice. A guy who had stopped hoping and needed Sam to wake him from his routine and instill faith in him.
Unfortunately, I found the overall story a bit predictable, with the only surprise coming at the end by way of Tomkin's (strange name indeed) attack and reason behind it. I was a bit unclear as to whether Rey would continue fighting for his daughter or if that would remain a permanent regret in his life. (hide spoiler)]
But all in all, I enjoyed the characters and the way in which they came to be together. Were it not for my funky mood, I would probably rate this higher. As it is, it's a good 3 stars.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
(view spoiler)[The sequence of events and the play of the characters kept me at the edge of my seat and ther...moreWell, I found this to be a riveting story.
(view spoiler)[The sequence of events and the play of the characters kept me at the edge of my seat and there were moments where I was holding my breath reading through the pages. I loved the way Vic and Jacob showed character development throughout the story and how each scene blended into the next, keeping me hooked.
I was a bit put off by the fact that Vic being a level 7 medium turned out to be a secret everyone knows. But as the events unfolded in the story, he proved to be so much more than that. I was fascinated when he managed to exorcise a repeater with nothing more than imagined salt and his own energy. And when he started showing ectoplasm and going into the astral plane, I was blown away. I really like it when the main character keeps discovering new traits or abilities. And the final scene with Karen was awesome, the way he projected and faced her off with nothing but imagination and own power. Laughed out loud at his attempts at flirting with Lyle and how he felt ridiculous and out of his element. Oh, and I loved the part where he stumbled upon Crash being threatened and was all butch and aggressive with the thief and so protective of Crash. Made me want to hug them both.
Jacob also developed and changed along the way. He already proved he had some ability (loved the fact that his energy showed red and that it intertwined with Vic's) and the fact that he could also go astral was cool to read about. I was touched by his show of vulnerability (albeit in a trance-like state) and really liked how the conversation flowed between them. While seeming imperturbable, in fact he felt jealousy and insecurity and even fear. And I totally did not expect him to quit the police and join the FPMP, unless he plans on being an inside mole (and somehow I doubt it). (hide spoiler)]
In a nutshell, I loved the book. It had plenty of surprises in terms of plot line as well as characters. It left me longing and craving for the 7th volume to be published sooner.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This book brought with it several surprises. I'm still trying to sort whether they were good or bad.
(view spoiler)[The first half of the story kept me...moreThis book brought with it several surprises. I'm still trying to sort whether they were good or bad.
(view spoiler)[The first half of the story kept me worried and distrustful of almost everyone in Vic's circle of friends. Even Jacob seemed dubious at one point and I dreaded the thought that he might be the spy. The stories and memories of Heliotrope Station were depressing. The author managed to convey in them a sense of sadness, weariness and hopelessness that tugged at me while I was reading. Though, I have to say Vic's memory lapse with anything related to Camp Hell seemed strange since in the second half of the book, he dredged up his practice from that time in order to exorcise the ghosts.
There were hints throughout the series that Vic was stronger than a level five medium. And it was refreshing to see it confirmed in this book as well as witness the development of his abilities and the way he put them to practice. More so when he stopped running away from ghosts and actually faced them.
The things I disliked about the book? An all-knowing, all-seeing group capable of anything when it came to keeping tabs on psychics. They were portrayed so powerful that it seemed futile to even try to hide from them. Everything just had a feel of conspiracy theory that didn't quite ring well in the confine of the story. And come on... an assassin secretary? I suspected she was the hired killer when she was hovering around the prison, there was no need for Burke to spell it out. The second thing that irked me was Jacob turning into a heavy psychic himself, stealing white light and jumping in leaps and bounds in what he could do with his ability. That came out of nowhere. I'm guessing it's supposed to strengthen their relationship or provide a stronger ally on Vic's side for the upcoming novel? Whatever the reason, I think Jacob was enough of a presence when he was a fan of all things paranormal and eye candy without the added bonus of psychic powers. But that's just me.
Another thing that surprised me. In previous books I've enjoyed Vic and Jacob's trysts. I found them erotic and alluring. But for some reason, there were some moments in this book where I felt like a peeping Tom, intruding on their relationship. It was a strange feeling, as if left out and unconnected with the characters. Perhaps it was the fact that I didn't imagine Vic to be a closet masochist or for their sexual relationship to take a slightly rougher turn. (hide spoiler)]
Overall, I think the fifth volume was much more serious than the others, with a darker atmosphere to it. The paranormal occurrences were more developed than before and it definitely showed a change in character and behavior for both Vic and Jacob. I'm just unsure where it's all supposed to lead.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I think this was better than the previous book. Or perhaps Vic was more funny and so I didn't mind some of the things so much.
(view spoiler)[I still h...moreI think this was better than the previous book. Or perhaps Vic was more funny and so I didn't mind some of the things so much.
(view spoiler)[I still have the habit of taking every bit of information thrown in the book and expecting to elucidate the mystery of the novel. But after reading about half the book I started figuring out Stefan and Camp Hell were mentioned only to hint at the plot of the next story.
It was fun and interesting to find more about Vic and Jacob's life, now that they moved in together. How they managed to make everything work, despite their shortcomings. Vic being scared of a housewarming party was just so hilarious... and at the same time, I wanted to hug him. His jealousy was a bit overdone, however. Vic himself had fantasies about Crash, and yet he reacted strongly to the idea that Jacob might be cheating on him. Which wasn't really a viable possibility, since Jacob's adoration was pretty plain. But in the grand scheme of things, I suppose it's plausible, since Vic has no idea of the allure he has, nor is he convinced that a man like Jacob might love him. And the sex scenes in between their fights... sizzling hooot. They're making their way in my top favorite!
The astral ghost was quite a new concept, though I started to suspect something of the kind since the evidence was contradicting itself. It was a great way to introduce the need for Victor to get some more training on how to use his abilities. And also hinting towards him being able to command ghosts. (hide spoiler)]
There were a few things that could have been done better, but overall, I was satisfied with the book, thus the 4.5 rating!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I enjoy reading about the pair from Jacob's point of view.
He seems like the quiet, indulging one, always humoring Victor. I liked that the story picke...moreI enjoy reading about the pair from Jacob's point of view.
He seems like the quiet, indulging one, always humoring Victor. I liked that the story picked up bits from Inside Out and showed that Jacob has friends outside work. The romantic moment when Vic ran home to give Jacob a New Year kiss was very touching. The whole fragment showed both men realising they were happy even though some things weren't as they had expected them to be.
Would definitely love to read more from Jacob's point of view!(less)
I would rate this somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars.
(view spoiler)[Perhaps I got accustomed to the pace of the other stories, where danger lurked at e...moreI would rate this somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars.
(view spoiler)[Perhaps I got accustomed to the pace of the other stories, where danger lurked at every corner but everything was revealed and resolved by the end of the book. I didn't feel that here. I was surprised and somewhat disappointed to find that the whole deal of the missing persons was that they had died by accident and kidnapped to be used as zombies. Call me an optimist but I was hoping they would still be alive. Though, considering they brought a medium on the case I should have picked up the hint that there was no happy ending for those 3 persons. Still, dead leaves and silver coins to make some money... a rather flat plot compared to the other two. And I was somewhat confused by Lisa's sudden change in behavior, which was left unresolved. I'm hoping that will be cleared in the next volume. But those are the things I disliked about the story.
I was pleased to see Vic and Jacob taking their relationship to another level... spending Thanksgiving and moving in together. And I liked the subtleties sprinkled along the way, how they both abhorred cheating, how they understood each other and took strength in the other's presence (well, more Vic than Jacob). Also, Vic finally seems to have found a reliable partner (I liked that Zig was still affected by the accident he had inadvertently caused years back). Last but not least, I love Vic's sense of humor which shows itself in all sorts of situations, making me like him even more. His dialogue with the sculptor ghost was funny. (hide spoiler)]
Overall, there were things that could have been improved but I love the main characters to let anything deter me from enjoying the series.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Firstly, at the end of Criss Cross I was left with the feeling things were a bit awkward and strained between Vi...moreThis little story took me by surprise.
Firstly, at the end of Criss Cross I was left with the feeling things were a bit awkward and strained between Vic and Crash. So I wasn't expecting them to be so friendly and to hang out. Secondly, I didn't sense that Crash was jealous of Vic's abilities or that he wanted his own powers to have been more strong. Other than that, I guessed Crash would try something with Vic. He is Jacob's current boyfriend and even if Vic weren't, Crash would still try to get some action. I wonder if Vic would say anything to Jacob about the kiss?(less)