I love a good Tali Spencer story, so when she asked me to beta read this one, I didn't hesitate! I love the way Tali blends romance and political intrI love a good Tali Spencer story, so when she asked me to beta read this one, I didn't hesitate! I love the way Tali blends romance and political intrigue with the hottest sex and sexual tension imaginable in her Uttor series. I've even enjoyed the 2 MF books in the series (though not as much as the MM books like this one), even though het romance isn't exactly my favorite.
The Uttor books are intertwined, standalone stories set in the fictional Kingdom of Uttor. Each focuses on the children of the vanquished Seboyan king. The children are all beautiful, intelligent, and talented, but they've been manipulated all their lives by their domineering and off-kilter father. In Uttor, they are treated like royalty, although they are prisoners of the emperor.
Victory Portrait is the story of Peta, one of the princes. Nearly killed for his homosexuality, being taken captive by the Uttoran emperor is definitely better than the fate that awaited him in his home country right before it fell to Uttor. Peta is beautiful, curious, and brilliant. And he's always had a thing for the Uttoran general Darius Arrento. So when the Uttoran emperor orders Peta to "inspire" a portrait of the standoffish Darius, Peta obliges (and enjoys it). In the end it's wily Peta who saves the powerful general, and wins his heart in the process.
I loved the rich language and the sexy sittings for the infamous "victory portrait." Nice little kink with the painter, but the story is a sweet and satisfying one, along with being hot as Hades!...more
Loved this book - definitely my favorite so far in the series! I've been fortunate enough to beta read the last few series books, and it's been a pleaLoved this book - definitely my favorite so far in the series! I've been fortunate enough to beta read the last few series books, and it's been a pleasure. I love how the relationship between Trent and Reed has grown, and in particular how Trent has come into his own and become more of an equal to Reed, rather than the slightly off-beat sidekick (although I enjoyed that as well).
This particular book has a bit more of Reed in it, and I enjoyed getting to know him better. The love scenes are hot, as always. I loved the exciting ending. I also enjoyed the secondary characters (one in particular who I hope we'll see more of at some point - spinoff perhaps????).
As always, the locale is a character in itself in this series, and EM shows her familiarity with the culture in a way that adds, but never feels as though you're reading a guidebook.
Lush, full of wonderful descriptions, and sexy as all get-out, you can feel, smell, and taste the worlds Tali Spencer creates. Thick as Thieves is noLush, full of wonderful descriptions, and sexy as all get-out, you can feel, smell, and taste the worlds Tali Spencer creates. Thick as Thieves is no exception. I was fortunate enough to beta read this amazing book, and I fell in love with this seemingly mismatched pair of men.
There's Vorgell, built like an ox and admittedly not the sharpest knife in the drawer (I mean, really, fucking yourself with a Unicorn horn???). But I loved Vorgell's kind heart and good intentions. Then there's Madd, the young witch who stirs more than just Vorgell's magically oversexed body. Madd is a wonderfully flawed man who shoulders a great deal of pain and has learned not to trust anyone as a result. Together, these two are as perfect for each other as they are different. It just takes a little while for them to realize that they need each other.
I highly recommend this wonderful book. It's at once sweet, funny, and poignant. Oh, and beautifully written, of course!...more
I had the pleasure of beta reading this book. It's a beautifully crafted novel - Ms. Cohen has a lovely writing style, clean and elegant.
The story isI had the pleasure of beta reading this book. It's a beautifully crafted novel - Ms. Cohen has a lovely writing style, clean and elegant.
The story is set in a fantasy universe, but the emotions and relationships are entirely human ones. Her two main characters are so clearly meant for each other, in spite of their very different personalities and talents. In spite of all of the obstacles that threaten to come between them, their love grows stronger and matures.
The political intrigue is well-done, too, and the story will keep you guessing as to who is behind all of the threats to Lornyc and his family, and to the kingdom he may be called upon to rule. I enjoyed watching Lornyc struggle with his place in society and his duty to his family. Through that struggle we see his growth from boy to man.
Lovely book and fascinating story. I'm looking forward to her next release (which I also got to read - lucky me!) this fall....more
I'm thrilled to have been a beta reader for this beautiful story. I had heard of Beau Brummell (mostly from the lyrics to the song, "You're Never FullI'm thrilled to have been a beta reader for this beautiful story. I had heard of Beau Brummell (mostly from the lyrics to the song, "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile"), but I knew little of his history. And although the real Beau upon whom the story was based may not have ended up quite as happy as Ms. Ryan's Beau, the story is believable and beautifully written. And if I choose to believe that maybe Beau did have his happy ending, well, so much the better!
Without delving too much into plot, the stylish and sophisticated Beau takes on a bit of a project (a bit like "Pygmalion/My Fair Lady") in the brave and good-hearted Toby. Suffice it to say, it's not just Toby who is transformed as a result.
Ms. Ryan's love of the period and knowledge of the history is evident in this book. Her Beau is far more than just an historical footnote, and Toby is the kind of man you will fall in love with in a heartbeat. It's a lovely, warm and passionate read....more
I love E.M.'s style and the way she knows how to push all my buttons. Even better than the sex (although it's always hot in her books) are the tropicaI love E.M.'s style and the way she knows how to push all my buttons. Even better than the sex (although it's always hot in her books) are the tropical locales she sets her stories in which are SO damn sexy! "Bonus" is no exception.
Alec Compton is an up and coming Wall Streeter, watching his fellow employees lose their jobs, but convinced that he's "golden." That is, until the big bosses tell him he either closes a certain deal or he'll be out on his behind.(view spoiler)[In an effort to prove that he's got what it takes (and not lose his job!), he approaches the handsome and uber-successful Brant Linton (think a younger, gayer Donald Trump - okay, a lot more sophisticated, too!) to try to salvage the deal. But when Linton leaves town without consummating the deal, Alec has to scramble to save his butt.
Brant's sister and family live on a stunning French Polynesian island (okay, so this is my total fantasy vacation!). Brant, on the heels of another failed relationship, wants nothing more than to escape. But when Alec shows up and Brant's sister thinks Alec is Brant's boyfriend, well, you can imagine what happens.
Needless to say, anger turns to lust and ultimately the promise of more. Nothing like a little hot sex to get the heartstrings throbbing (as well as other parts of the body). (hide spoiler)]
As always, well-written and a pleasure to read, with a fun, engaging and sexy plot. So while we're all waiting on the next installment of Thief of Hearts: Tempted in Thailand (yes, please!!!), this is a nice intermission....more