Wow, just WOW! I give this story four stars. It was nearly perfect. Sadly, only nearly.
So here are the Good Points of the story for me.
I am on the HEA...moreWow, just WOW! I give this story four stars. It was nearly perfect. Sadly, only nearly.
So here are the Good Points of the story for me.
I am on the HEA team so that key point is definitely plus points. I love it when all things work out in the end.
I am in love with the MCs, especially Alan. He's an effing paradox. A contrast that shows how strong and how vulnerable a person can be. Plus he's quirky and that is way up the scale on my list of interesting characters. He's just so adorable with his antics and the way he just can't help to rely on Lukas... KAWAII! It's awesome that even without he's POV, you got to know him too. Then there is Lukas the unmovable but is easily shaken by Alan's mere presence. Sweet. The two really found their match in each other.
Of course there's another point for a hot sex scene. Definitely a must in every worthy M/M book! They are both virgins too! Double awesome! Nothing like the first time for both, mind-blowing for them. And then it was bareback! Haha! Nothing separating them at all. Plus plus plus points!
Here are the thing I think the story Lacks.
I'm inclined to a switching POV to both characters. It's more fun that way and it builds more tension which I think was short in this one. Digs deeper to the minds of the MCs too. Would have been awesome to know what else is going on in Alan's head with all his quirks and smart-ass attitude.
I find Lukas a bit lacking in emotion especially during times when Alan is baiting him. He seems awfully quite in his head whenever that happens or more like the description of him trying to rein his temper is not enough and sometimes not even there. We know he's shaken by Alan, but sometimes it doesn't show at all. Yes he's sturdy and all due to his upbringing but if someones getting under your skin, you would definitely be riled up and break your calm. It wasn't shown quite clearly though. Also, he's struggle to keep his hands off Alan wasn't emphasized either. Basically, Lukas's emotions wasn't conveyed strong enough.
Alan's romantic feelings wasn't quite there too. It would have been nice if somehow he would give heated looks to Lukas too that would have unsettled Lukas more. A slip to his restraint or something. A show that he too wasn't quite capable of restraining himself.
The ending was kinda rushed. I know the request was a HEA but a shotgun wedding? The MCs didn't even know each other that much yet. The love thing just also popped up. It wasn't built carefully. It didn't really emphasized on the growing of that feeling to something really strong. You know, utter and complete trust in each other and undying love or something. Alan has still so much insecurities and Lukas doesn't understand him completely yet. It would have been better for me if the running away was concluded differently with the MCs getting more trusting with each other. Then have an epilogue about them graduating and getting married or something.
Well, I actually had more complaints but I still give this four. I'm just much better on describing the points I'm unsatisfied than telling you how awesome this book is. Which is SUPER AWESOME despite my other misgivings.
I've read the rough draft of this series before I realized that I was only reading the draft and not the published one. Once I knew though, I quickly...moreI've read the rough draft of this series before I realized that I was only reading the draft and not the published one. Once I knew though, I quickly availed myself of the series and did not let it go until I finished all of them. I must say though, that I'm quite not sure how to react to the changes of the published one from the draft.
What I found good in the changes was how defined the plot regarding the gods became. It explained some of the loose ends in the draft and cinched it perfectly. I also liked the sex. Duh, who doesn't right? It's kind of rare for Derr to actually describe it. Usually the descriptions are limited to the characters imaginations and the real action is a very heady kiss between the characters. It eases my frustrations that there was actually real action in this one. Though I did frown with that scene between Aillil and Kindan. It was hot, yes, but it rebels against the romantic in me. Kyo waited for Kindan and then you show Kindan with another guy? I would have settled with a mention of him in whorehouses but not a description of the sex.
I gave three stars for this because there are a few things I find disappointing. I'm a Megan Derr fan, I like her style. How she builds sexual tension and makes the character frustrated until they both just succumb to the need. But I feel that the tension here is not on the same level as her other books. I can't quite put my finger on it but I just find it lacking somehow. I also didn't like how the characters turned crass. Seriously, the word "fuck" doesn't fit with the whole ambiance of the story. It kind of shifted the focus on developing their personalities towards them being horny men. Finally, I find the emotions of love a little rushed and I blame this on the focus on sex again. Usually, it would be physical attraction first, then getting to know and blossoming of deeper feelings, then restraint and the climax where all are laid down between the characters and they go make love till they drop. That's the Derr style I came to love. Sadly, it's a little warped here. But even with my being fussy about the sex part, I still like it and I kind of hoped for more Kindan and Nankyokukai action. Another disappointment when I thought Kinni and Koori will be the main couple and they suddenly got dropped from main to secondary to Rai and Taka. What the hell?!
Anyway, despite of my many complaints, I still adored the book. It's a Megan Derr story and it's the LOST GODS! Treasure was always my favorite. Who can resist Kin and Kyo? So I give it three stars. Meaning it was ok. Not fabulous but not exactly a waste of time. Thrilling and frustrating at the same time. (less)
What captured me most about this book is it's set in England with all its interesting hierarchy in play. I love historical books especially about medi...moreWhat captured me most about this book is it's set in England with all its interesting hierarchy in play. I love historical books especially about medieval England.
The whole story did enthrall me but not completely that's why I gave it only 4 stars. I do like the way Kildaire set up the two characters and the way she wrote the blossoming of their love. It was okay, but it would have seduced me more if the author emphasized the issues of both parties that have the greatest impact in their relationship. I feel like the author only had me glanced at it so I wasn't able to latch on to that feeling. I felt kind of withdrawn to the character's feelings because of that.
The politics, plotting and conspiracy of the antagonist was thrilling all on its own. Unfortunately, it stole the limelight of Julien and Leander's developing relationship. I felt like during those times that the two were separated, the author should have dramatized the feeling, especially longing, the characters have for each other.
Still, all in all, I'm glad of how the story went and I am satisfied with the happy ending for Julien and Leander.(less)
In each and every one of us, a seed of greatness was planted. In order for that seed to grow, we must break the bonds that tie us to our ordinary self...moreIn each and every one of us, a seed of greatness was planted. In order for that seed to grow, we must break the bonds that tie us to our ordinary self and begin seeing the possibilities of that greatness. We begin to dream of that greatness and later on act on it.
Steps to achieve our True Self 1.Seek who you truly are. See the greatness that is in you and begin with that end in mind.
2.Break the bonds that tie you. Go out of your comfort zone and seize the day. Take the risk and do not be overcome by fear. You will realize that the trials are there to test you and make you a step closer to who you should be.
3.There is no limit. Continue to grow higher and higher and your light will grow stronger and brighter each time.
4.Share your knowledge to others. In teaching them, you yourself will better understand and will achieve a higher greatness still. (less)
Gatekeeper is the first Rayne Auster book I've read and I can't say I'm disappointed. The whole experience was positively enthralling! I love the plot...moreGatekeeper is the first Rayne Auster book I've read and I can't say I'm disappointed. The whole experience was positively enthralling! I love the plot, the world, and especially the characters. I am an avid fan of romance with much drama involve and this book just overflows with emotions that you can't help but sympathize with the characters.
I love the whole fate-brought-us-together thing going on in the plot. There's just something about finding that one person you were meant to be with and coaxing the spark of your first meeting to an eternal flame that hooks me up for good. Plus the slow unveiling of the mystery about what brought the two characters together was just a delicious feeling for me. It's true that the answers on the mysteries is pretty obvious but that moment of confirmation and explanation of how things came to be is just momentous for me. The background story about the whole restoring balance and Duiem politics didn't really get me hooked up as much as the romance. I feel like the author should have explored that more.
I love the contrast that Auster made of the two worlds. The description was not elaborate but plain and simple. From opposite features of the people living in their respective worlds to the difference of their temperament, all emphasized the contrast. Yet what's fascinating is how these elements were meant to blend together to achieve balance. Sun and Moon joining in an eclipse.
I've been reading yaoi and BL for a long time and I can say that Kaji and Aniol is one of my favorite pairings. Kaji with his dominating yet protective love of Aniol and Aniol with his demure yet steadfast love of Kaji. I like how Aniol finds his peace whenever he is in Kaji's arms. It's awesome how Aniol seems pliant almost all the time but the control he has over Kaji is actually absolute and his occasional boldness just drives Kaji out of his mind. Kaji's obsession and possessiveness of Aniol is just so sweet.
The few negatives of this book is the repetitive introductions to every chapter and some deviation to the whole flow of the plot that causes some confusion. I don't entirely hate the introductions given in every chapter. I love quotable quotes but it got boring reading them because the author basically rephrases what he wrote before on some of the chapters. There was also some underlying story that was ended abruptly and left hanging without further explanation that I wondered why the hell is was included in the story. It was like the idea just popped up and the author added it to the story but didn't elaborate it much.
All in all, I still very much liked it. The romance just really did it for me.(less)