Sadly, this book was a fail. I enjoyed the first two books, but Consort had zero character progression1.5 Stars, rounded up only for nostalgia’s sake.
Sadly, this book was a fail. I enjoyed the first two books, but Consort had zero character progression. It was predictable and a carbon copy of book 2. The only difference was that Tam was the center of the plot in this book. At first, the book seemed to be showing the possibility of a character-driven story through some of the new friendships developing. (view spoiler)[ Vincent was becoming close to Nao, and I started to see glimpses of them coming out of their shell, but unfortunately nothing more came of their friendship. I did enjoy seeing Charon and Reiji together and learning more about Charon’s past, but it wasn't enough to propel the story. (hide spoiler)]
Worst of all it was predictable and there was an excess of re-telling. I also hated that all the boys seemed to “sense” the impending doom for no apparent reason other than to cause drama.
My one star is for the very few Vincent and Aburon scenes.
I still recommend the first two books. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This picked up right where Volume One ended. It was chuck full of action and suspense. However, the plot did get a little drawn-out and far-fetched to This picked up right where Volume One ended. It was chuck full of action and suspense. However, the plot did get a little drawn-out and far-fetched towards the middle. I love all these characters, so I'm ignoring that part. Vincent and Aburon are still my favorite. The connection between them is so freakin intense! They better be in the next book.
One of the most touching moments was when Reiji (view spoiler)[ and Charon got together at the end. I loved seeing Reiji's vulnerability. He desperately needed to feel special and cared for, and Charon gave him that. (hide spoiler)]
I didn't think I’d like this as much as I did, but I got sucked into the world of The House of Silence. The story is set in an alternate universe wherI didn't think I’d like this as much as I did, but I got sucked into the world of The House of Silence. The story is set in an alternate universe where we follow the rent boys of an elite bordello. It is well-written and intriguing. I was instantly drawn in to the world and lives of the House of Silence. The vivid descriptions set the tone of the book beautifully.
Here we meet Danny, Vincent, Tam, and Reiji. They all have unique personalities and a past that won’t let them go. I’m not sure when it happened, but each of these guys slowly got me to care for them.
The book starts off almost like a “day in the life” of a rent boy. The POV’s constantly change; we hear from each of the rent boys and sometimes from a couple of the prominent clients, namely Ander and Aburon. I’m not a big fan of POV shifts, but I think it completely works in this book. At first, I was put off by the format, but then as I read on, I realized how much I was learning about each of the characters. Danny is shy, sweet, and gentle. Tam is friendly and always there to help someone, while Reiji has a bit of a temper and is quick to fly off the handle (I heart him). (view spoiler)[ I felt so bad for him at the end when he kissed Charon. It was so sad to see Reiji clinging to him. I know his feelings for Charon are going to lead to his downfall. (hide spoiler)] Then there’s Vincent. He’s a submissive masochist that has an air of sadness constantly surrounding him. Oh, how I love Vincent.
Now onto Charon Marque, the master of The House of Silent. I have very mixed feelings about him. He’s a bit of a contradiction. He is a business man through and through. He always has his head in the books and his eye on the bottom line. He is also portrayed as putting the safety of his boys above everything else. He protects them and has a knack of setting up the clients with the perfect companion. He takes his responsibility extremely seriously. He supposedly values his boys. This point is drilled home throughout the book. All his boys trust him and there's a feeling with them, that above all else they want to make Charon happy and proud. Now here’s my problem: (view spoiler)[ In the past, Charon made the mistake of pairing Reiji with Montgomery, who's described as a sadist of incomparable cruelty. Even though we don't know the details of what happened, Montgomery obviously hurt Reiji. Charon claims this is his biggest regret. Now, knowing this, why would he put Danny in such a terrible situation with 3 clients who clearly forced Danny into things he did not want to do? This doesn't show me that Charon cares about Danny or how much he values and protects him. Yes, it is somewhat explained later in the book, that this made Danny stronger and more confident, but I don't believe it. It's a weak excuse for what Charon did. Danny even admits recognizing Charon's emotional manipulation, but I guess it's ok because he had worse in his life? And don't tell me Charon doesn't see what he's doing. (hide spoiler)] This disappointed me and now I'll always question where Charon will draw the line.
The plot really doesn't get going until about 65%. The political intrigue and the suspense gets kicked into high gear, and we follow the MC’s while they try to protect one of their own.
My only other complaint was sex fest at the end of the book. Most of the sex in the book had a purpose. It told us who the characters were, and built-up their stories, but the last 10% of the book was a throwaway. The only moment that held any consequence was what occurred with Reiji. Other than that it was a waste.
For the most part I really enjoyed this book and I can't wait to see what happens to everyone, especially my Vincent!
Warning: There is a lot of sex and some of it is dub/non con. This is NOT a romance. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I had a hard time with this book. I wanted to love it, but instead it tired me out :( I can see why so many people are attracted to this book. Ther2.5
I had a hard time with this book. I wanted to love it, but instead it tired me out :( I can see why so many people are attracted to this book. There were occasions when I thought the writing was beautiful, but for me it was too flowery. Where the lyrical style was meant to draw me in, it effectively did the opposite and took me completely out of the story.
As I mentioned in one of my updates, I felt like something was keeping me at arm’s length from Marcus and Thomas during the first half of the book. I didn't feel their connection. Even though I felt more of a connection in the second half of the book, I didn't enjoy it as much as the first half. Things got way too sweet and mushy. I didn't like that the book delved into Marcus’ back-story. Even though it was meant to show his vulnerability and trust in Thomas, it only served to weaken him in my eyes. It seemed like unnecessary drama. (view spoiler)[ Then the entire 180 that Thomas’ mother did at the end, was a major eye-rolling moment. The “we’re one big happy family now” ending was over-the-top . (hide spoiler)]
These were my major issues. There were definitely some enjoyable parts. I loved the interactions with Marcus’ friends. Julie, Josh, and his wife were all good side characters. There were some tender and moving moments between Marcus and Thomas that kept me engaged and wanting more. I just think that as soon as I got pulled in to the story, the writing went one step (sometimes several steps) overboard and became melodramatic. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I didn't feel any chemistry between Nick and Spencer or Spencer's developing need for submission. I felt like both men were just going throug2.5 stars
I didn't feel any chemistry between Nick and Spencer or Spencer's developing need for submission. I felt like both men were just going through the motions. The sex scenes were well written but even though this book was longer than the other two, these MC's didn't seem as well-developed.
I'll keep this brief since I think many people feel the same way I do about some of the points below.
I liked both MC's and their relationship in theI'll keep this brief since I think many people feel the same way I do about some of the points below.
I liked both MC's and their relationship in the beginning, but I never cared enough about them to root for their HEA. There was nothing glaringly wrong with them but there was nothing special either. I enjoyed the first half of the book much more than the second half.
There were two major problems for me:
1. Haley. She was a little miss know-it-all that annoyed me from the first time she opened her mouth. Not only was she unbelievably pushy but she also insinuated herself in Roe's life every chance she got. It got to the point where I didn't even believe it was Roe's life anymore. I wasn't even sure if he could make any decisions on his own. Haley took over Roe's life and he let her. In my eyes he lost his individuality.
2. The Sapfest. I enjoy a sweet story IF it fits the characters, IF it's not OTT, and IF it feels like a natural progression in the characters and/or story. This wasn't the case for me in this book. The last third of the book turned too sugary for my taste. Their HEA felt rushed and not truly theirs. Haley's presence and what she did at the end threw their story completely off track. It didn't make sense and more importantly it doesn't fit who the characters are.
So far none of Cullinan's books has come close to Special Delivery. ...more
Funny, Tristan thought as the doors closed behind them, the one time he let go of control, he got exactly what he wanted.
Well, well, well...in this iFunny, Tristan thought as the doors closed behind them, the one time he let go of control, he got exactly what he wanted.
Well, well, well...in this installment of Market Garden the tables are turned on the oh-so-clever Tristan. It was a great idea to have Tristan on the receiving end, while Jared was taking charge. It was nice to see Jared so confident and bold. Although at times, Tristan's voice reminded me of Jared's in Quid Pro Quo. I could easily see the possessiveness and jealousy in Tristan but there were a few times that Tristan's need for Jared (beyond the dance) seemed a little too excessive. Maybe if the story was a bit longer and we saw Tristan's feelings develop for Jared it wouldn't have been the case.
This was HOT! Jared was sweet and simply delectable while Tristan was sexy with a dominating presence. I loved the sly negotiations, the powe3.5 Stars
This was HOT! Jared was sweet and simply delectable while Tristan was sexy with a dominating presence. I loved the sly negotiations, the power exchange between Tristan and Rolex guy. Who had the power? Rolex guy with the cash or Tristan with Jared putty in his hands? All I know was that I kept yelling at Rolex guy to throw down more damn money!
I am very curious about Tristan. That little shiver outside the lift at the end, completely hooked me.
Joey is simply adorable! My favorite Mitchell book so far. There's lots of sex but it was crucial to the development of Joey and Aaron's relationship. Joey is simply adorable! My favorite Mitchell book so far. There's lots of sex but it was crucial to the development of Joey and Aaron's relationship. There were a few scenes had my eyes rolling to the tune of "like that would ever happen" but you know what, I loved it.
Joey and Aaron are perfect for each other. Joey was just what Aaron needed in his life. I just wish it didn't end so abruptly.
**spoiler alert** So this is a bittersweet day. I was ecstatic to get DS5 but I also knew that it was the end to one my favorite series. 4.5 stars
Dark**spoiler alert** So this is a bittersweet day. I was ecstatic to get DS5 but I also knew that it was the end to one my favorite series. 4.5 stars
Dark Soul 5 brought everything together beautifully. I figured I'd just list everything I loved because I don't think I can put together something more than that at the moment. I'm a bit disheartened that's it's over. So here's are some of my thoughts:
1. Sebastiano - He was a great character, provided more insight into Silvio. I only wished we saw a Silvio/Sebastiano face to face.
2. I loved how Stefano's feelings were all laid out. He held nothing back. At the same time he had to make the tough decision of leaving Silvio. He struggled with Silvio's feelings for him, his doubts were palpable. He felt Gianbattista would always have Silvio's heart. How could he have come to any other decision? Oh and when Silvio thought about his feelings for Gianbattista: Love as inevitable as death. This just gave me chills.
3. Silvio - So with Silvio I loved how the author kept us guessing about what he would do to Stefano, both with Augusto's offer and how he would deal with Stefano leaving. I have to admit, my heart was saying he would never hurt Stefano but my head kept that little piece of doubt alive. In the end, I do wish we knew more about how he dealt with Stefano leaving. That would have made this perfect for me.
4. Donata- She was strong and courageous, great development with her character.
5. The suspense - It started with the introduction of Sebastiano and didn't end until the last page.
6. The Puppy - I LOVED SHARKY! The gift, the symbolism, the feelings it invoked in Silvio, everything. "There's just something fundamentally right about a good-looking guy with a stupidly cute puppy". Perfect!!!!!
7. The ending - Stefano at gunpoint. This just brought us all back to DS1 and the perfect role reversal.
8. The writing - Once again masterful!
I have so many favorite lines but here are two that just stuck with me:
"Falling in love with you isn't easy. Most people waver between loving you and killing you, and you're usually lucky they come out at the loving side"
Another phenomenal Dark Soul installment! There's so much going on in these 3 short stories, I don't know where to*****Review Contains Spoilers******
Another phenomenal Dark Soul installment! There's so much going on in these 3 short stories, I don't know where to begin. I loved every minute of it. Aleksandr Voinov has such a beautiful way with words which leaves me utterly captivated and always wanting more.
In Dark Soul 4, each story is told from Stefano's POV. Stefano is a complete mess. He's struggling with his feelings and doesn't know how to deal with any of them.
In Dark Rival I, we see the beginning of Stefano's world crumbling. His capos are questioning him and his decision to have Silvio "help" with the Russians. Stefano not only has to deal with his men but Silvio and Franco are away and all he can think about is his need for Silvio. His fantasies aren't ending with just Silvio though. Nope, now Stefano is thinking about both Spadaro brothers. HA, he can't even come to terms with how he feels for Silvio, how the hell can he deal with wanting both of them?
In Dark Rival II, Silvio and Franco return from having successfully gotten rid of the Russians. Stefano finally gives in to Silvio's advances and Stefano realizes how much he enjoys being the one to fulfill Slivio's needs. Stefano, however once again finds himself in trouble. This time with his wife Donata. She suspects Stefano is having an affair and confronts him. Stefano denies it but in the end he admits he doesn't want to lose her, thereby telling Donata all she needs to know.
An important part of this story is a conversation that Stefano and Franco have. Franco is preparing to leave and he knows he can't give Silvio what he wants. He tells Stefano exactly what Silvio needs and makes it known that Stefano is in deep with Silvio. Franco gets right to the point with Stefano by telling him: "Silvio wants to belong. Make him". God I love this line. It just give me chills. Franco leaving sets up an emotional collision between Silvio and Stefano. Silvio deals with it the only way he knows how, by looking for sex and Stefano isn't liking it one bit.
In Dark Temptation, Stefano faces the repercussions of Franco leaving head on. Stefano makes his decision to go after Silvio. I love Stefano's possessiveness and raw emotions. He wants Silvio and no one is standing in his way. When he sees Silvio at the bar picking up 2 cops, I could feel the tension and jealously pouring out from him. This leads to a hot hotel scene and now there's no turning back for Stefano.
I loved the ending but now I'm left with a ton of questions. Stefano knows what Silvio needs and of course Stefano wants to be the one to give it to him but can he without his entire world falling apart? Uggg, only one more book left with all these unresolved issues. This makes me very nervous.
Dark Soul, volume 3 really pushed the boundaries for me but in a good way, I think. Silvio just keeps getting more and more complex by the minute. HeDark Soul, volume 3 really pushed the boundaries for me but in a good way, I think. Silvio just keeps getting more and more complex by the minute. He does what he wants, when he wants, and how he wants and be damned with the consequences. I loved all three stories but Dark Lady I was truly amazing. Silvio knew the task at hand and we all saw it coming but to have that level of brutality and still show feeling and tenderness was insanely brilliant and it left me speechless. Whenever Silvio placed his hand on Sergei's face, it was like an understanding passed through them. It was a simple but profound gesture. Loved it, Loved it, Loved it!
Dark Lady II continues and we see how comfortable Silvio is with himself. What I loved was that both Silvio and Stefano give even more of themselves. Stefano realizes how he needs Silvio and wants nothing more than to please him. Once again a great ending.
Ok, now onto Dark Brother. Here we learn about Silvio's childhood and the family dynamics. His relationship with his brother Franco was completely unexpected but now that I've had time to digest it, I've accepted it as another complex facet of Silvio. Albeit one that's severely messed up but nevertheless it's part of who Silvio is. It worries me because Silvio and Franco both need this level of intimacy and understanding and I hope that they're not the only ones that can offer it to one another.
Three great stories that has me wanting more. ...more
Not much to say except that I can't get enough of Silvio and Stefano. The story continues and we see more darkness in both their lives. Both these menNot much to say except that I can't get enough of Silvio and Stefano. The story continues and we see more darkness in both their lives. Both these men are intense but also begin to show vulnerability and tenderness. It's just raw emotions bubbling to the surface. Onto volume three! ...more
**spoiler alert** I'm really not sure how to review this because I have so much to say. First off, I loved it! I was drawn in from page one. I don't k**spoiler alert** I'm really not sure how to review this because I have so much to say. First off, I loved it! I was drawn in from page one. I don't know how Mr. Voinov does it with so few pages but his characters are enthralling.
Dark Soul is split into two short stories: Dark Soul and Dark Secret. They are more like pieces of the same story. You don't get many details of the mafioso families but what you do get is the emotional connection to the characters. Oh and I loved the Italian thrown in. Being of an Italian descent, this made me smile every time it came up.
Stefano Marino, a west coast mafia boss, travels to the east coast when the news that the head of a large mafia family is dying. Stefano is a married man that keeps his dark desires well hidden, until he meets Silvio. Silvio "the Barracuda" Spadaro is a killer and the heir to Gianbattista Falchi, who is the head of a well known mafia family. He is also Silvio's Godfather and lover. When Stefano first sees Silvio pulling up on his motorcycle, he's immediately attracted to him. Silvio has dark eyes, dark hair, a dark soul and basically exudes sex and Stefano can feel it.
Stefano can't seem to get Silvio out of him mind. Whenever he sees him, he feels like he can barely breathe and it gets harder and harder to escape Silvio's sensual pull and Silvio knows it. You can clearly feel Stefano's turmoil. One night Stefano's deepest desires are pushed to the limit.
Stefano is not the only one that can't get Silvio out of his head. I can't seem to stop thinking about him. I keep wondering what makes him tick. By the end of the second story you get more background and some of the pieces are laid out but I'm sure we've just skimmed the surface of Silvio "the Barracuda" Spadaro.
One of my favorite parts was when Stefano sees the painting of Silvio in Gianbattista's office. It was so poignant. The description was absolutely vivid. Silvio's lips, his position, his "knowing, full of darkness smile". Gianbattista's tells us it's his Dorian Gray and lets us know how much trouble the painter had capturing Silvio's soul. It gave me chills when Gianbattista says: "That is maybe because he doesn't have one." Even Stefano's reaction, simple but full of impact. "It's....impressive. Beautiful. For some reason this struck a chord with me.
The second story ends when Stefano asks for Gianbattista's help with some trouble he's having with the Russian Mafia. Silvio travels to the States with Stefano at Gianbattista's request. What gripped me at the end, was Silvio's emotions. His heartache tore right through me.
I can tell this is the beginning of an intense ride. ...more
4.5 stars for the book but 5 stars for the series.
I just finished Veterans and what a sad day it is. I can't be*******Review contains spoilers*******
4.5 stars for the book but 5 stars for the series.
I just finished Veterans and what a sad day it is. I can't believe my journey with Vadim and Dan is over. Twenty-five years of passion, anger, violence, loneliness, torture and above all LOVE. I miss them already!
Veterans is the final book in Special Forces and although I did love it, I had a few problems with this book. My expectations were higher mainly because it was the last installment and I wanted everything tied up but it didn't quite reach that point for me.
In the beginning, Veterans gripped me and drew me in. Vadim and Dan had gone through so much over the years but to see them so emotionally disconnected was heart-breaking. They always had something between them even if it was anger but for them to be so estranged and practically accept being this far apart was horrible. Although, Vadim's outdoor excursion was perfect (took him long enough to get off his ass)!
The biggest problem was the ending. I was so happy they got married but I needed more and Vadim and Dan deserved more as well. The wedding was simply beautiful but not being able to see them make love for the first time after getting married really struck me in a bad way especially since this book severely lacked private Vadim and Dan time. Why not show more of Vadim and Dan and leave out some of the non essential people, such as Beauvais?
This leads me to my second complaint. Much of the book was focused on Dan and Jean's relationship. Dan and Jean have always irritated me but when I don't get more of Vadim and Dan and combine that with the ending, it puts me off in a very bad way. To see Dan fucking Jean and then to have Jean tell Dan he loved him was too much to take. Thank God Dan never said it back or elaborated on his feelings because that would have been the end for me.
There were many missed opportunities to see just Dan and Vadim together. Not only on their wedding night but also when Dan had to leave Vadim so he can begin his therapy and he asked Vadim to make love to him but we get nothing. This wasn't acceptable especially for the last book. Sorry, but I felt a bit cheated.
There were however, many beautiful moments: the tent scene, Dan wondering if Vadim will love him after his 3 month therapy, Dan meeting Kisa, Vadim resolving things with Nikolai, Dan telling Maggie he loves her, Vadim's reaction to Duncan calling him brother-in-law, and of course their wedding with the steel rings and Vadim's blue cufflinks.
Best LOL moment hands down goes to Hooch when he asked Jean at their first meeting "Did you cry?" Love Hooch and Matt but I thought it was so out of character for Hooch to make up with Jean.
And I couldn't believe Vadim's run in with Konstantinov. Wow, I really felt for him and never saw that one coming.
I thought the proposal was absolutely perfect. I loved how Dan was genuinely shocked and would only say yes if Vadim was marrying him for love and no other reason. I loved the part when Dan was staring at Vadim, thinking of the past..."Vadim still was the man he'd always wanted. Everyone else, no matter who or where and what, paled in comparison to Vadim. His Russkie. His cunt. Dan smiled at last."
This was quite an intense journey. I cried, laughed out loud, got pissed (more times than I wanted) but as always I loved every moment with Vadim and Dan. Whenever I hear the words, lapis lazuli, the Afghan mountains, energy bars, and Russkie I will always think of Vadim and Dan and smile.
Thank you for one of the best series I've ever read!
Mercenaries II, is the next great installment of the epic story Special Forces which continues the journey of V*******Review contains spoilers*******
Mercenaries II, is the next great installment of the epic story Special Forces which continues the journey of Vadim and Dan. Here we see Vadim and Dan fighting the war in the Balkans, visiting friends and family while still trying to deal with their pasts.
The emotional roller coaster ride continues. The story definitely had my heart racing. I love the beginning in Scotland. It was so touching to see how Dan begins to get his family back.
The fighting in the Balkans was so intense and showed me just how in sync these two men are no matter what they're going through.
Of course there's still lots of extracurricular activities outside their relationship. BAH, this drives me nuts! IMO Dan's new "friends" were totally unnecessary. What did it show? Dan is a slut and pimps himself out every chance he gets. Dan's sexcapades went too far and I basically just wanted to smack him most of the time. Let's not forget that Jean the Weasel is back and in full force. All the pre-wedding "bliss" just sucked. What's up with all the tender hugs and kisses with these two. Not only do we see Jean in Paris but once again in Rome. It's in Rome that I began to worry that Dan was realizing that his feelings for Jean were escalating. Geez, what Dan almost let happen with Jean just about put me over the edge. But I guess it's also in Rome that a bomb is dropped on Dan so he gets what's coming. End of the Dan rant, whew.
I did enjoyed seeing Hooch rely on Vadim, he needs this relationship as much as Hooch does. Although, Vadim did frustrate me at times because he was just ignoring the past and not dealing with any of the problems that arose. He just ran from them, understandably but nevertheless frustrating.
Most importantly during this time, secrets are exposed which once again puts Dan and Vadim's relationship on the line. Every time you think they're back on track, you get smacked again.
For me, the biggest issue that comes to mind between Vadim and Dan is their lack of communication. I wanted to shake them both and scream, "WTF are you guys doing?" It's so painful to see two people so much in love hurt each other the way they do. I hope they can overcome this. I must say that towards the end I did see Dan express some of the emotions he lost in Merc I. Not enough but he's getting there.
As always I still felt their love, anger, and passion for one another. ...more