This was a short, angsty, precious gem of a story. I just wanted to hug the poor guy. I loved Ollie's brief appearance in Mr. Monopoli's full-length nThis was a short, angsty, precious gem of a story. I just wanted to hug the poor guy. I loved Ollie's brief appearance in Mr. Monopoli's full-length novel The Painting of Porcupine City, and can't wait to read more about him....more
Admittedly, I bought this bc I knew from reading the Deviations series, the author could deliver in the smut department, and that's what I was lookingAdmittedly, I bought this bc I knew from reading the Deviations series, the author could deliver in the smut department, and that's what I was looking for (sue me). While that was the case in this book, I was kinda looking forward to reading a well-developed M/M/M story, but it just didn't seem to deliver.
The evolution of the trio relationship just didn't seem to come across as realistic to me. The external conflict, dealing with work and familial acceptance was there, but I was surprised to see zero internal conflict within the triad (later drama appearing in the book aside... they were together for quite a while before that happened), and it just read as too sunshine-and-roses idealistic for the most part.
None of the characters seemed to have a unique voice and I had trouble keeping up with whose POV the story was in each time it shifted (early on, it was especially difficult with instances of headhopping within a scene).
Two-thirds of the story was very happy-go-lucky, which I could have remained on board with until a little while after Eric came into the picture and then there's a Drama Mack Truck suddenly showing up to deliver plot that seemed to be missing for about 200 pages. The Drama Truck just seemed to exist for its own sake and it was a very awkward read for me after that. It had the potential to be interesting given the subject matter, but the abrupt change in tone was jarring and just didn't seem to fit the story up until that point.
I skimmed the last 20-30 pages or so just to reach the end (instead of just stopping and shelving it as abandoned bc I was ~90% through it). I was sad for that because I realized I just didn't care what happened to the characters any more.
2 stars instead of 1 bc I did enjoy the erotic aspect of the story....more
This was a fantastic continuation of the Loka Legends series. It was so very easy to get lost in this world. I fell in love with the new characters anThis was a fantastic continuation of the Loka Legends series. It was so very easy to get lost in this world. I fell in love with the new characters and was so happy to revisit the one from The Cat in the Cradle. Mr. Bell's storytelling is unparalleled, his stories so vivid. "Darkness" was no exception.
Kio was amazing (seriously... he needs an action figure), Dylan and Tyjinn were perfect, I wanted to hug Cole and Jonah until they both passed out, and Crimson Barry and Thistle TORE MY HEART TO SHREDS. And while I was heartbroken near the end of the book (much like I was in the VERY BEGINNING ::side eyes Mr. Bell:: ), the final scene was exquisite. I could not have been happier with how that turned out.
I was a bit overwhelmed with some of the POV changes, as I'm not used to experiencing more than two in a story/book. I was also slightly disappointed with how Krale's fate and Kio's heritage was handled near the end, as I felt they were both a bit rushed. Those are what kept this from being a 5-star-read for me.
Fantastic fantasy (is that like redundant repetition? ::shrug:: Whatever... it was awesome). I highly recommend it. ...more
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!!! Refreshingly original, charming language, and endearing characters. The title theme all throughout was perfectly acBeautiful, beautiful, beautiful!!! Refreshingly original, charming language, and endearing characters. The title theme all throughout was perfectly accurate, to the story and in life in general. Timshel is a Hebrew word meaning, "thou mayest", that man has a choice. To quote the Mumford and Sons song of the same name, "And you have your choices/ And these are what make man great/ His ladder to the stars" - it's so very true. You may not choose your upbringing, your station in life, your abilities, or the kind of person you're attracted to, but you *do* have a choice in what you do with your circumstance. You can choose to use your gifts to enrich/help others, you can choose to change your environment, you can choose to live in love rather than in denial and shame. Eiland himself summed it up perfectly: "This was not an easy choice to make. But, Eiland had begun to realize, the important ones were never easy."
Eiland's tale of growth and love in the face of great adversity--illness, prejudice, danger--was inspiring and so delightfully told. I highly recommend this to everyone, and anxiously await new titles from this author....more
Much like with Mr. Monopoli's The Cranberry Hush, The Painting of Porcupine City has left me emotionally wrung out. The author has such a beautiful waMuch like with Mr. Monopoli's The Cranberry Hush, The Painting of Porcupine City has left me emotionally wrung out. The author has such a beautiful way with words that makes even the simplest life events a pleasure to read. Tons of funny moments, several OMG moments, and a handful of heart-shredding moments made this such a wonderful book. Highly recommended. I need more tales from Mr. Monopoli. Lots more....more
As someone who struggles with an axiety disorder, I found Isaac's story, at times, very difficult to read. I'd say right up until about 30% through, IAs someone who struggles with an axiety disorder, I found Isaac's story, at times, very difficult to read. I'd say right up until about 30% through, I had to frequently put the book down and take a breather, because the descriptions of his night terrors, and his conscious (meaning, while he was awake, not just including the ones that didn't knock him UNconscious) panic attacks were so vivid, they came close to triggering my own. If you trigger easily, I advise you to read with caution.
That being said, I adored Isaac Matthews so much. My heart broke into countless pieces as he struggled with his anxiety, and I wanted so very badly for him to be happy and to live a life where he wasn't in constant fear of something happening to him or someone he loved. Having horrific visions while you're awake, or equally horrific nightmares when you're asleep, can drive you crazy...even when you realize that they're not real. Dealing with similar issues myself and reading about Isaac's struggles, I can't help but wonder if it's even more frustrating for those of us who realize that those things AREN'T real. You start to question your state of mind by asking yourself, "Why would I even THINK that??!!" It's frightening. And that's not even including the social anxiety, having to struggle with yourself when you're surrounded by other people.
I was so, so, SO grateful for Grace. She was such a lovely character, made even more lovely when you discover how she's able to so easily interact with Isaac. She's selfless, encouraging, patient, and only wants the best for him, putting her own feelings to the side until Isaac is ready for her to share them with him. You don't meet people every day who make friends with other people regardless of what others would have to say. I only wish there were more people like her.
A compelling story, and a real eye opener that will challenge you to look at loners and social outcasts in a new light. In a world where the word "freak" is a blanket label for those who are different, stories like Isaac's will make those who are quick to make snap-judgments think twice. ...more
Not going to rate this since one of my hard-limits on what I can read was all but spelled out in the blurb (and how I overlooked it, I'll never know).Not going to rate this since one of my hard-limits on what I can read was all but spelled out in the blurb (and how I overlooked it, I'll never know). My rating would not be fair.
Difficult to read but very well told story. Unless you're a weakling like myself who triggers easy, I'd recommend it. ...more
It's been a while since I've read a good ghost story and Wraith did not disappoint. The main characters were very likable (those who were meant to be,It's been a while since I've read a good ghost story and Wraith did not disappoint. The main characters were very likable (those who were meant to be, of course) and relatable.
Jane aggravated me time and time again with her hot and cold feelings toward Connor, but I had to keep reminding myself that she was only seventeen, and, well, teenagers are by nature psychotic. I was grateful to the author for Jane's authentic voice. Too often teenagers are written as quasi adults and end up coming across as pretentious. Jane was genuine and wanted what a lot of girls her age want: acceptance, friendship, and someone to care for who cares for her back.
Evan was adorable. His playfulness and his friendship with Jane made him easy to love. That he put Jane's needs before his own for so very long spoke volumes of his character, and made his story all the more heartbreaking. Over and over again, Jane wanted to offer him some bit of affection and comfort, and I wanted the same thing. To see his pain, even in death, was difficult to handle.
Connor was a gem. That he and Jane had a common bond and similar past experiences made him the perfect match for her. I'm glad that he was persistent, not allowing Jane's wishy-washy feelings for him completely derail his intentions. Giving Jane the benefit of the doubt, I could definitely see her actions as a defense mechanism...didn't make them any less frustrating, though.
Loved Jeannie. Would have loved to hear more from/about her.
Without giving away spoilers, Evan's family's story struck a chord with me. I can empathize with them and their situation for it's one I'm personally familiar with, and I wish that their situation "resolved" itself differently. While I was angry, it was very realistic.
Last but not least, I loved the cover. I thought it was gritty and gorgeous before reading this book, but can now appreciate it even more for capturing the theme of the story so perfectly.
Over all, very enjoyable and entertaining read. ...more
After reading other reviews, I decided to buy this book, expecting a quick, fun read. I decided not to finish it after reading through to the second "After reading other reviews, I decided to buy this book, expecting a quick, fun read. I decided not to finish it after reading through to the second "slice" of the book because I kept growing more and more uncomfortable with the matieral. While, I know I should take it for what it is, a short look into the lives of a polyamorous relationship, some plot points just set my teeth on edge.
(view spoiler)[I understand the aspect of role-playing and know full well that it can be a fun way to spice up one's sex life, and I know that the characters in this story aren't brothers. That being said, the disciplinarian "brother" scene between Alan and Jamie almost made me stop reading right then. Call me a prude, but I'm not too keen on incest as a kink. Since they weren't actually brothers, I skimmed the scene and continued onto the next part of the book.
I certainly understand the necessity of protecting your family and can definitely appreciate the need for revenge when someone openly hurts a member of the family, but slipping said someone a Roofie and basically raping the guy (he couldn't give consent since he was heavily drugged, and I'm calling a spade a spade here) and using the photographic evidence of said rape to publicly humiliate him (I'm taking liberties and assuming the latter part because it was right up until that point that I stopped reading) made me quite angry. (hide spoiler)]
I really, really wanted to enjoy this because I've heard great things about the author. I do plan to read his full-length novel A Dish Served Cold, and am crossing my fingers that I'll be able to enjoy it more. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more