3.5 stars Prince Berhanu is off on a peace mission, but for some reason refuses to take the best interpreter, Volos, showing only scorn and hatred tow3.5 stars Prince Berhanu is off on a peace mission, but for some reason refuses to take the best interpreter, Volos, showing only scorn and hatred towards him. But, when the Prince is kidnapped, it is Volos who is the soldier/bodyguard/interpreter who is sent on a mission to retrieve him.
The rape/abuse of the Prince takes place mostly off page, so it was not that difficult to read. Other than mentioning it in a childish “I had to endure this, and you didn’t” way, Berhanu didn’t experience many lasting effects. It was kind of funny that Volos could conveniently respond that he experienced the same treatment in the past.
The biggest issue I had with this story was the relationship between Volos and Berhanu. I never really saw any interest by Volos until after the rescue, so it came as a bit of a surprise. I also never saw any redeeming qualities in the Prince or what Volos could possibly see in him. He was a pompous ass for most of the story, an entitled stuck up snob. They were an extreme contrast in character, but I wasn’t convinced they had an opposites attract thing going on either. When they were together, I just never really felt the connection.
We did meet some wonderful side characters, especially in the course of the rescue planning. I actually would have preferred Volos return there and have a go with the innkeeper who was instrumental in the rescue, Mato. He seemed a much better match for the brave and burly Volos.
I had not read the story before listening to the audio, and I think that played a big factor in my overall enjoyment. Some of these characters have heavy accents which were hard to follow at times, though I did get used to and even enjoyed them once I became more acclimated. Mr. Tremblay does a great job differentiating the characters, but not having any idea ahead of time of what was going on gave me some trouble. The world building in this is wonderful, and I had no trouble picturing the environment whatsoever. I am not an extremely seasoned audio book listener, so perhaps that is my own issue. If you have already read this story as part of the MM Romance Group Love’s Landscapes, Don’t Read In the Closet event – Guarded, I recommend you also listen to this version which is sure to enhance your experience.
As an aside, I also noticed Ms. Fielding has written a short story for Mato, which I definitely look forward to reading as well.
I just love when I read a follow up story and hearing the characters’ voices brings back all the memories of what I loved from the first book. Murphy and Sarge definitely did that for me here.
Aside from a new leg and some upgraded parts, it is the same Murphy and the same Sarge, doing what they do best, in all their glory. This is classified as BDSM, but they really have more of a DS and power exchange than any kind of traditional BDSM relationship. At this point, they are even more comfortable in their relationship as they now prepare for their next mission. The chapters switch between each character so that we get to see things from both perspectives. I absolutely love their dialog and the way they each speak. I smiled so many times at little things they said that make each stand out so distinctly.
I don’t think I’ve ever thought a sci-fi story felt so real as this one does. Or maybe I just like to think there is a Murph and Sarge out there fighting the good fight. Either way, this story is so descriptive and colorful, I couldn’t help but feel as though I was seeing things from their eyes – the landscape, the ship and other settings, as well as the colors Murph sees. It’s all very vivid and one of the things I enjoy most about this series.
Things are not all as they appear, and Sarge has a bad feeling from the get go. There are some twists and interesting advancements to the story which make it quite interesting. Murph and Sarge push forward, side-by-side, doing their duty and getting things done, making do when needed. Through it all, you can easily feel how perfect these two are for each other, and they both realize it as well.
This, as well as the first, are short stories, but they are not lacking in any department. If you have any misgivings about reading short story series, sci-fi, or first-person, throw them out the window and jump into these as fast as you can. You will not be disappointed and will surely be left jonesing for the next, just as I am.
Audio: There isn’t much more to say about this series that hasn’t already been said. It is rough and tumble, yet heartwarming and full of feels. Mr. Russo again brings Murph and Sarge alive, adding more color to an already abundant kaleidoscope that makes up this world.
I would not recommend reading or listening to this story without having read or listened to the first one, Sarge. But, if you are already sucked in, do not hesitate to grab this as well. It is a wonderful story that, while it contains some elements outside of the norm, the fundamentals shine through, even when they aren’t spoken. It has fabulous world building, exceptional descriptiveness and will surely captivate you as it did me. I can very easily highly recommend both the print and audio versions of this gripping tale. ...more
Wow, where to start with this one. This called to me right away, from the cover and the blurb, it just sounded like my kind of story, and I wasn’t disappointed. It is everything that the blurb leads you to believe and then some.
It starts out with poor Jon, who already is suffering because of his life and the horrible migraines he has been getting. Then, he is taken captive by a pirate captain, Baltsaros, who is already in a sort of “relationship” with his first mate, Tom. They basically have a d/s thing going on with Tom in the role of the masochistic sub. Things get pretty harsh between them, but there is such depth to each character. Tom is pretty ruthless, but I loved him from the start. He’s cheeky and mischievous even when he’s being used and abused and asking for more.
Baltsaros, even though he cares for Tom, cannot help but be drawn to Jon. He helps bring him back to good health and they form a sort of bond that is totally different from the one Baltsaros shares with Tom, which puts a lot of strain on their relationship leading to much of the treachery part of this story.
Jon is a sweet soul. He has had very little pleasantness in his life, with little to no physical contact or nurturing to this point, which seems to fascinate and draw Baltsaros to him. As he gains strength and finds his way and position among the crew, he grows so much and is, by no means, a doormat. He doesn’t take much crap from Baltsaros, which I loved.
This remains a fairly high tensioned love triangle throughout most of this story with various circumstances keeping it that way. I really loved all the characters here and was feeling for them at various times right until the end. There is so much to this story, but it moves along at a nice steady pace that I never felt as though I wanted it to move faster or end anytime soon. When everything came together in the end with Baltsaros, Jon and Tom, I was disappointed it was over, but it left me eager to read the next installment of this fabulous story. These three guys provide something different to each other that makes them a perfect fit, and I’m really excited to see where things go next.
There is one aspect that never seemed to be really addressed, and I kept waiting for it to come to light or be an issue. I’m hoping to get some answers as the story continues.
I’m always excited to see something like this from a new author, and for a first novel, this was a very good start. It is well written, very nicely fleshed out and quite engaging. I’m really looking forward to more of Bey’s work in the future if this is any indication.
Review – Book: I previously reviewed the the original version of this book here, and it was wonderful at that time. It has since been revised and further edited, which I have not doubt only made it better.
This is one of those stories that has a life of its own and you are lucky enough to be sucked into. It is a very descriptive world with some very complex characters (Tom being one of my all-time favorites). It is not fluffy or overly romantic, but still a love story. Three very different men come together, each with their own pasts, needs and secrets, who end up becoming integral pieces to their overall relationship puzzle. How they get there is a very exciting and suspenseful, and often difficult journey.
Review – Audio: I don’t read a ton of audio books, but I have read enough to know a good narrator when I hear one. The narrator can make or break a story for me, can either dull a story down or bring more life to an already fabulous one. Mr. Ferraiuolo falls into the latter category. He did a fabulous job with these tricky characters. He easily distinguishes between the three, as well as others in the crew, and does an excellent job at portraying each one. Mr. Deckard has already given a vividly clear picture of these characters, so they are some pretty big shoes to fill, but Mr. Ferraiuolo has definitely succeeded in my opinion.
If you are looking for a story to get lost in, one that makes you feel as though you are right there watching it unfold, that allows you to escape reality for a bit, with characters you can’t help but love (and even some to dislike at times), this one definitely fits the bill, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Definitely heed the trigger warnings on this one though, because things can get pretty rough on the Baal’s Heart, so if you have any tendencies of “sea sickness,” you might be better off staying on dry land. :) ...more
This was an ok story but was mostly one masturbating scene that led Ted and Grey to realize they each wanted each other. Then, they seemed to be instaThis was an ok story but was mostly one masturbating scene that led Ted and Grey to realize they each wanted each other. Then, they seemed to be instanly in love and were moving in with each other aand talking about forever. The epilogue explains a bit about the events, but still too much insta everything to be very believable for me....more
Sweet story about a scarred cowboy who finds love and acceptance from a sweet southern blind violin player. I liked how they each brought the other ouSweet story about a scarred cowboy who finds love and acceptance from a sweet southern blind violin player. I liked how they each brought the other out of their shells and just seemed to fit perfectly together....more
I am very glad I picked up this series. It has a little bit of everything that I enjoy in other similar series with just a little more edge and gruffnI am very glad I picked up this series. It has a little bit of everything that I enjoy in other similar series with just a little more edge and gruffness. Kate continues to kick ass, and I absolutely love the way she interacts with the other characters. I love the banter with Saimam, Bran, and, of course, Curran and find it refreshing that she hasn't fallen instantly into a relationship. Looking forward to the next one....more
This was a well written, interesting story with some suspense, mystery and a little young love. I loved Oscar's quirky humor and that he managed to maThis was a well written, interesting story with some suspense, mystery and a little young love. I loved Oscar's quirky humor and that he managed to maintain control over his own life. He helped other kids escape, but it was mostly to benefit and fund his own future escape. That is, until he meets Nia, a girl who appears to be just as strong willed as he is.
The subliminal messages aspect was kind of creepy, as the entire town appears to be brainwashed on one level or another, even though the focus is on creating perfectly behaved children.
I would have loved to hear how the kids that made it out are getting along and would love to read a follow up sequel....more
Finally got through this one. I liked certain parts and the concep of the psynet, etc. However, there were parts where I was bored to tears. Certain pFinally got through this one. I liked certain parts and the concep of the psynet, etc. However, there were parts where I was bored to tears. Certain phrases were used to death (i.e. night sky eyes). The second half was a little better with more action. I have been told this series gets better, so I will probably give it another shot....more
I really enjoyed this book. I listened to the audio version and was worried I would get bored and lose track. My interest was held from beginning to eI really enjoyed this book. I listened to the audio version and was worried I would get bored and lose track. My interest was held from beginning to end. There were a few points that felt a little bit dragged out or filled with scientific info, but I became so engrossed into the adventures of Diana and Matthew that I hardly noticed and had no trouble understanding what was happening. I'm really looking forward to the next segment of this interesting story....more
This was a bit better than the first book, though perhaps it is due to us learning more of the nitty gritty about things. Everything I liked about theThis was a bit better than the first book, though perhaps it is due to us learning more of the nitty gritty about things. Everything I liked about the first book is present here. I was not happy about the ending though and am glad I don't have to wait to read the next one. ...more
Uck. I didn't get very far before I had to stop. Dragon man wants to marry Dragon woman so she can have as many babies as he wants. She doesn't want tUck. I didn't get very far before I had to stop. Dragon man wants to marry Dragon woman so she can have as many babies as he wants. She doesn't want this but cannot resist him. They have sex and she is immediately and miraculously pregnant. Turns out that the baby needs the sperm of the father continuously for the first six months in order to survive. So, more sex. Almost continuous, non-stop sex, with way too many adjectives used. There is a side story on the Dragon woman's part about needing to find her first husband's (this Dragon man is her third) murderer who, by murdering her Dragon husband, in turn, by depriving it of the needed sperm, killed their Dragon baby. It is totally overshadowed by the repetitious sex with the current Dragon husband.
At times, this feels historical, while other descriptions make it sound futuristic as though it couldn't decide what it wanted to be. Perhaps I would have done better without the audio version of this one....more