I'm not going to pretend there isn't some bias in this review. A few months ago, the author told me she'd been toying with the idea of doing this collI'm not going to pretend there isn't some bias in this review. A few months ago, the author told me she'd been toying with the idea of doing this collection and I gleefully nudged her in the right direction until she said yes. Since April, she has completed an amazing assortment of stories covering all aspects of the beautiful GLBT rainbow and I couldn't be more proud to have been a part of producing this amazing work. That said, I hope everyone takes the time to download this book and encourages their friends to do the same. There's something in it for everyone - from members and supporters of the GLBT family to those seeking to understand what members of the GBLT community experience every day.
My favorite stories are Designing Sam (which made me cry more than once), Oblivious, Behind Door Number Two..., Making Connections and Doubts and Darkness....more
I'm not sure I have the words for how much I loved this book. Most telling is that I stayed up to a ridiculous hour reading because I couldn't put itI'm not sure I have the words for how much I loved this book. Most telling is that I stayed up to a ridiculous hour reading because I couldn't put it down after a certain point.
I LOVED Lukas. I almost loved Alan, even when I wanted to shake the hell out of him and ask him why he was being such a douchebag when Lukas hadn't done anything to him. But I recognized someone I know in him and came to judge his actions less and less as the story continued.
What did I love? Damn near everything. (view spoiler)[Especially when Lukas proposed. Holy crap, he was insane for that, but then it felt perfectly natural and I loved the idea (hide spoiler)] I squeed right along with Mal (though the late hour may have had something to do with that).
My gripes? I really wanted to read their friends reactions at the end of the story and how Alan got along with Lukas's mom. And I kind of wanted an epilogue at the end that tells me where they were in five or ten years. Of course, that may just be me being greedy because I didn't want it to end. Alas, it did.
Did I mention I loved it?
Signed, Someone who stayed up until a little after four reading this. VERY few stories have inspired that from me.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Wow. I liked this one waaaaay more than the first. It's rare for me to read something with quite so much sex, much less enjoy it. At first, I felt sorWow. I liked this one waaaaay more than the first. It's rare for me to read something with quite so much sex, much less enjoy it. At first, I felt sorry for Alec. He seems to be overwhelmed by everything going on and then...he starts to take charge. I wonder if Hamilton even feels the shift. I'd like to think he doesn't feel any difference until close to the end, but every time he assures Alec how much he loves him, I wonder how much of Alec's opinion of his love is based on the fact that he had a crush on him before they ever got involved, versus people he's had a physical and emotional connection with since entering the life.
I gotta say, I love Sebastian. I just worry that since Alec seems to "really love" a number of people after only a few months (and quite a few of them love him), Sebastian may end up getting the short end of the stick. Alec doesn't seem able to distinguish between his love of the D/s dynamic and his love of individual personalities. The lines are constantly blurred and shifting in his mind. Regardless, this story remains a fascinating read and I can't wait until there's another complete volume. I'm too greedy to try to read this thing in short bursts. (Stayed up until nearly 4AM to finish this one.)...more
(If this is too long for some of you to read, I'm giving the book a hearty recommendation.)
I want to read it again.
I knew before I got to the end of(If this is too long for some of you to read, I'm giving the book a hearty recommendation.)
I want to read it again.
I knew before I got to the end of The Poet and the Prophecy that my first reaction to what promised to be a stellar end to the series would be the desire to read the entire thing again. That was how I felt at the end of The Incubus and the Angel. As soon as I'd gotten enough clues to make wild guesses about what would happen, I had to go back to the beginning of the first book and reread the series. As I'd suspected, there were more hints of what was to come—significant relationships, life events, symbolism—than I'd anticipated when I'd raced through the first two books. I anticipate discovering and marveling at new details when I give the last book a second, more careful read through.
The Poet and the Prophecy finds Kyle at the beginning of his senior year, at a kind of crossroads. He begins doubting his beliefs about the prophecy he translated, how the end will manifest itself and how it can be stopped, when it comes to that. The structure of the magical world is falling apart around him and Kyle feels at once responsible to help those who are struggling and guilt for bringing his beliefs into light. At the heart of his questions is this: Is his translation borne from his magical ability to discern meaning from the original poem or a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Kyle soon finds out there are no easy answers. When it comes to magic, everything he has learned is in question, including the stability of the strongest spells in existence. When it comes to love, and the power it has to heal and ultimately fulfill the prophecy, the one person he wants to believe is the other half of his whole can hardly be a room with him, let alone consider anything more than a nodding acquaintance.
Spoilers from here on out.
What I enjoyed most about this story (and there many things) was the progression of Kyle's relationship with Frost. After all of the emotional and physical upheaval the two experienced from the second book forward, it was nice to read about them having honest conversations about their feelings, their wants and needs. Kyle, as always, was willing to play sacrificial lamb (or perhaps white knight is more appropriate) to give Frost everything he needed to feel comfortable. Whether that meant going without sexual satisfaction or making himself vulnerable to whatever spell Frost wanted to perform, Kyle was willing to make that sacrifice out of love for Frost and guilt for having changed him irrevocably. The changes in their relationship were so touching, and Frost's emotional changes handled so delicately, I found myself rereading passages. Seeing the two of them learning to trust each other and grow closer in spite of the issues between them felt real and was beautiful to read.
Kyle's vulnerability is on display more so in this book than the last, with Frost there to witness, and be touched by it, almost every day. A steadfast show of unconditional love was the only way the ice queen was able to break out of her protective cage and the two could come together. One passage in particular was the most memorable exchange for me, where Kyle expresses his feelings and why Frost is so important to him:
"Whether you count it as twice, or six times, or whatever, I know that doesn't give me the right to talk to you or even look at you if you don't want me to," he began. "And maybe it didn't mean anything to you or it only meant bad things to you, but for me, it was some of the most significant interaction I've ever had with another human being. Not just the best sex, that doesn't even describe it, and not the strongest magic I've experienced either. Making love with you changed me, Frost. That doesn't mean you owe me anything. But it does mean I wish you could acknowledge it. And that you can't ask me to forget it."
There was a moment where it looked to Kyle like Frost was holding in tears. Where her face went completely still except for the way she breathed.
"Neither of us has been the same since," Kyle added hurriedly. "And I know... I know you want to go back to the way you were before. But I don't. I can't. I'm different now. Even if I never get to see you again or speak to you again, painful as that would be, I wouldn't trade it for going back. It's like I wasn't really alive until you. And I thank you for that. I wish... I just wish you could acknowledge that. That even if it was horrible, or nothing, to you, that it was something for me. You're always going to be important to me."
Frost sat back. "You have plenty of other lovers," she said. "Surely one will supersede me soon."
"That's not what I'm saying." Kyle shook his head, though he had a feeling Frost was arguing for the sake of arguing. "You'll always be the one that changed me."
Who wouldn't fall in love with Kyle after that?
As far as the prophecy goes, I'm not sure how I expected that to play out. There were certainly a number of possibilities at the end of the third book and, as with all times when humans try to meddle with destiny, the actions of the characters led to the prophecy being fulfilled, not prevented. Master Brandish in particular surprised me in her hopes for preventing or altering the course of the prophecy. Every measure she or Dean Bell took ended up leading to the course of events Kyle experiences at Veritas which makes one wonder what would've happened had they not interfered.
Kyle's relationship with Alex has always fascinated me. We don't see as much of Alex in this book but, as with The Incubus and the Angel, his few appearances are important to Kyle's understanding of his personal path and the support of those around him. At times I feel like Alex is the voice of the author herself, telling Kyle everything he needs to know to reach his ultimate goal, while also allowing him to question the paths he could take and the very real possibility of failure.
I know I've been going on for a while, so I'm going to stop now. I just have to add that it's rare for me to read a book that I feel is perfect – in execution, characterization and story development. Everything from the setting to the interaction with secondary characters served to flesh out the story and merge this world seamlessly with our own. This is one of the small handful of books for which I cannot name a flaw. Every question I had was answered, the writing was fantastic and I felt this book was a satisfying and thrilling conclusion to a brilliantly written series. I know my bias is obvious here, but the first book in this series is the first I'd read from Cecilia Tan and the last assures that I will be a fan for life....more
I think this is becoming a pattern with Marie and me. She writes something awesome and I stay up half the night to read it. I don't know if this is aI think this is becoming a pattern with Marie and me. She writes something awesome and I stay up half the night to read it. I don't know if this is a review so much as a thank you because of how much I loved this story....more
This story was eleven kinds of awesome and I'm so glad I got to read it. I don't even think I can name one thing about it I loved because the entire tThis story was eleven kinds of awesome and I'm so glad I got to read it. I don't even think I can name one thing about it I loved because the entire thing was so good - characters, description, writing. Can't wait to read more.
On my second read three years later: I still love Jonah and Laurie. Man, I wish this story was longer. Can't wait to read the third installment of their story later....more
I loved this book. There are probably more eloquent ways to say that, but I think the fact that I started it at a little past midnight and couldn't puI loved this book. There are probably more eloquent ways to say that, but I think the fact that I started it at a little past midnight and couldn't put it down until I finished at just before four in the morning says more than some long-winded review could. I'm in awe of Marie Sexton's ability to draw me into a story when, being a romance, I knew how it would eventually end. My favorite element (and there were several) was the agonizing and heart-wrenching tension between Jared and Matt. It had me sitting up in bed, shouting at them to get it together, frantically going to the next page so I could read how it was all finally resolved. I knew before I'd even gotten halfway through the story I would have to read the rest of the series, but if they're all this good, I think I'll wait until I can afford to stay up all night again....more
I loved this book. I keep losing track of all the things I want to say about it, but the rating is kind of self-explanatory. Boone was hilarious and mI loved this book. I keep losing track of all the things I want to say about it, but the rating is kind of self-explanatory. Boone was hilarious and more likeable than in the first book. The entire town of Summit City was nuts, but in a (mostly) good way. Gabe...well, his story line bugged the hell out of me, but I suppose they needed more conflict. I loved the way the author showed the way their relationship becomes more than just the aftermath of great sexual chemistry when they easily could've let it stay as shallow as that. A nearly perfect romance. Major points for making me laugh so hard I snorted a few times and being very difficult to put down. Drawbacks: It ended! Plus, there were a serious number of typos....more
Loved it from beginning to end. Just when I think this author can't surprise me or make me fall in love (and get frustrated with) characters any more,Loved it from beginning to end. Just when I think this author can't surprise me or make me fall in love (and get frustrated with) characters any more, I pick up yet another story of hers I have to force myself to put down (to do silly things like work or sleep). I especially enjoyed appearances from characters in a previous book in the series....more
I'm not going to pretend this is any way an objective review. (I copied this from my blog where my reviews are on the gushy side.) I became a fan of JI'm not going to pretend this is any way an objective review. (I copied this from my blog where my reviews are on the gushy side.) I became a fan of J.M. Snyder before I picked up this book and reading it made me a fan for life.
Normally I like to read stories with a little more prose and less sex, but as J.M. wrote in the introduction, sometimes you just need to kick back and have a little fun. That's not to say that some of these don't have substantive story lines, just that the main event is usually the center of attention.
Joy Ride - Okay, I have to admit to finding something about a man on a roaring motorcycle sexy. I'm not sure if the image of strong machinery roaring between a man's legs is fully realized when picturing a skinny guy on a Kawasaki. My reaction was the same as Mack's - intrigued, but there was something missing from that ultra-masculine image that did nothing for my libido. Then I got further into the story and started picturing Brad in his tight red biker shorts, bending over a bike with a look that begged to be answered - I'm thinking this story would make one hell of a movie. And I'm volunteering to direct. With a sexy premise, a teasing younger man and just enough action to get the blood pumping, this story is a hot must-read.
A Little Something for Santa - I will admit to submitting to childish giggling as I read this one. The thought of anyone having pseudo-sexual thoughts about Santa seems so wrong it just has to be right on some level. After all, isn't fantasy supposed to be dirty fun? This story doesn't disappoint. Patrick was the perfect tease (my favorite type of guy), Santa was...well, you'll have to read the story. My favorite line: when Santa says, "I know what you're thinking, Patrick." I almost choked on my laughter and had to put the book down for a second. If Santa could read people's minds like that, a lot more of us would be on the naughty list. But, as the story illustrates, sometimes being naughty for Santa is just the way to be a very good boy.
Poolside - Fun. I have to say there's something about a guy who thinks he's completely heterosexual discovering a new side of himself with just the right motivation. While I was reading, I kept shouting at Kevin not to fight it because it would feel good. Heh. One guess on whether he listened to me. ;-)
Pony Play - Like the main character, Drew, I've never really been into anything S&M related. So, I completely sympathized with his reluctance to get into a rather interesting weekend diversion - doing a little dress-up and becoming someone's pony. Of course, there is something intriguing about the idea, but I was still a little surprised by how much I enjoyed this story.
Escape - Love this one. I developed a liking for erotic scifi after reading a few books in the genre. This story did not disappoint. It was short, sweet and gave me a strange craving for an erotic group scenario involving hot clones. Hm. Maybe I should suggest that to the author. Who knows, maybe she hasn't considered that.
Best Friends - Another fun scenario - two friends acting on an attraction for the first time. It was beautifully written and so compelling I was almost late to work because I couldn't put the story down until I'd completed it. I'm kind of hoping to go through her catalogue and find she's updated this story with a sequel or written the novel length equivalent.
One of Us - Love, love, LOVE this story. I don't think I can say enough about it without giving half the plot away, which would be a shame. Everyone must buy the book for this story alone. This is one of several stories where J.M.'s powers of description are given remarkable voice. The scenery felt almost alive, the characters rich and the execution of the story left me disappointed when it ended. I really hope, no I insist that this one be written as a longer story. If for no other reason than to explore the scenario (which I can't reveal because it's a spoiler) as a story encompassing the entire town. It's a brilliant piece and I can't wait to finish the book so I can come back and reread it.
Threesome - Okay, there was lots more giggling and superfast reading as I went through this one. I feel silly because I can't find another word, but HOT seems to fit this one perfectly. I especially love the last paragraph or so because it put such a vivid image of the characters in my mind.
Easily Addicted - Another fun story with an unexpected ending. I identified with the main character a lot in finding that sometimes being attracted to someone, and the strength of that attraction can take you by surprise.
Hooking Up - See, there are few things that scare me and the idea of being photographed is one of them. Of course, if I were behind the camera...mm. And that's part of the appeal of this story. Imagining two people getting hot and heavy in front of the lens and being able to look back on those pics later. The other appealing thing about this is her amazing attention to detail. I love reading stories with vivid imagery and this one fits the bill.
Devilish Good Time - J.M. is great at a number of things. I have to believe she knows that fantasy/horror is one of them. I'm not going to go into too many details, but let me just say the hot boy interaction was not the only thing that kept me turning the page. The suspense was terrific.
Battle of the Bands - A great short with a surprising ending. Speaking of short - it was far too short! I felt like I was being teased. In a good way, of course, but I really wanted to read more of the interaction between the main characters. Can I beg a sequel?
Office Visit - Wow. :-p Ever heard strange noises at your doctor's office and wondered what they could be from? Wonder no more. I guess I'm bad because if I heard anything like what was going on here, I'd be tempted to open the door and watch. But that's a story for another day, isn't it?
The New Client - Instant movie material. And I'm volunteering to direct. There's a beautiful, textured feel to this that makes it memorable. I suppose it's obvious that I loved this story, and there isn't much more to add. The descriptions were great, the characters interesting and some of what happened (or how it happened) kept me guessing. A very enjoyable read.
Overall I did love the book, though I'm sure that's obvious by now. I guess my only complaint is that I felt some of them were too short - a sign of my own greed more than a shortcoming with the writing....more