Overall A fairly delightful story that suffers from a hardcore case of Insta-Love. Otherwise, it’s enjoyable, sweet, and has a warm message at the core...moreOverall A fairly delightful story that suffers from a hardcore case of Insta-Love. Otherwise, it’s enjoyable, sweet, and has a warm message at the core.
Review I enjoyed this tale from beginning to end, but it also made me roll my eyes something fierce. If you believe in love at first sight, then you’ll be fine, but if not...tread carefully. I still think the story is worth reading, but these two men fall hard and fast for each other (and I don’t just mean in the bedroom!).
Daniel and Taylor have a great dynamic, although sometimes Taylor toes the line with his bossy-ness (but never crosses it). They bring out the best in each other and their interactions show an honest connection that can easily lead to love. I just thought the leaps there were a little fast.
Still, the unfolding story, the ex, the motivating introduction--these all built up a pleasant, although oftentimes dark, story that played across my ereader delightfully. The passion of these two men, at their pasts, each other, and jerk exes, were great. However, the problems I had with it (which was rather pivotal to the storyline, or at least was a focus) couldn’t bump it above a 3-star rank, although I couldn’t go any lower for this little gem either.
Overall A sweet Christmas tale that looks at family, stereotypes, and prejudice, all without going too dark, but still gripping the heart and not letti...moreOverall A sweet Christmas tale that looks at family, stereotypes, and prejudice, all without going too dark, but still gripping the heart and not letting go until the end.
Review After a long day of Christmas with half the family, I curled up with this story, just planning on reading a bit before bed. Yes, I realize this is the trap we all fall into. I stayed up much later than I was planning, and then scarfed down the rest with breakfast.
The plot wasn’t edge-of-your-seat or overly dramatic (except a few parts, which needed to be). It was just so warm I wanted to keep reading. Hank and Justin are complete opposites, except for the fact that they both want to give the best to Josie, who is adorable, just enough annoyance to feel true and just enough sweet to make even this grinch smirk.
While there isn’t a lot of relationship building given to Hank and Justin, and it feels a little like they go from 0 to 60, I didn’t mind. Both men had good reasons and enough history between them that once they started to help each other, it came together.
Speaking of helping each other...I loved that Justin, who works, goes to school, lives at home, and is the younger of the two, is actually the one riding up on the white horse in this story. It takes the standard and turns it on its head, which is nice and is part of what made me love Justin so much.
I found Hank’s two friends, especially Alan, to be really annoying. I get that it was the point, and thankfully they don’t spend much time on the page, but I really wanted to reach through the screen and throttle him. But he sure did explain a lot about Hank!
While everything gets wrapped up a little too tidy for my tastes--usually--here I felt the characters, especially Hank, earned his ending. We join him in his growth and suffering so that when I got to the last page, I was completely satisfied--and all warm inside.
Overall A sweet sort of holiday tale that I found to be too easy and kind of questionable about certain events. It was enjoyable, but like...moreStars: 2.5/5
Overall A sweet sort of holiday tale that I found to be too easy and kind of questionable about certain events. It was enjoyable, but like mindless television.
Review There was a lot about this story that I wanted to like, but too much was hard for me to swallow. I liked Zach and Ben, and while I found their meeting and the sequence of events a little brow raising, it wasn’t enough to turn me off the story. The Christmas part of the tale worked the best, and while I was glad to see the rest of the story unfold, it made the pacing unbalanced.
The first 75% of the story is the first winter they’re together, then it jumps months at a time. It’s difficult, because it does resolve some plot points that were good/necessary to see through, but it also felt like an excuse to have lots of sex, plus the jumps felt more stilted than the rest of the story.
Along those lines, sometimes the writing felt a little stilted too. There was some adjective abuse. Normally it doesn’t really jump out to me, but one line in particular illustrates that: “Jesus Christ,” he cursed bluntly.
If the character is cursing, it’s probably blunt (especially in the surrounding circumstances), and in the situation, explaining that “JC” was a curse wasn’t needed either, although I could let that slide.
In addition, the characters tended to internal monologue and describe instead of acting. To some degree, hearing the character’s thoughts was necessary, but in other instances it just explained what the reader already knew, or described why a character was doing something (when the action itself made it apparent).
So this is a tough one, because I liked the story that Scott told, but I also had some problems with it as well, mostly in the style and craft elements, which other readers may not find problematic.
Overall Despite an interesting plot and characters, I found the story to be slow-moving at times and it just didn’t grab me.
Review I enjoyed Mason’s str...moreOverall Despite an interesting plot and characters, I found the story to be slow-moving at times and it just didn’t grab me.
Review I enjoyed Mason’s struggles and the care and tenderness that Rig and Bobby show him. That said, I found myself skipping over large chunks of text on my second read, as it didn’t move the story forward. This is a personal preference, but the verbosity seemed to bog down the storytelling.
But, keeping that in mind, I still want to get the next in the series. The reading isn’t painful, it’s just not to my liking, and I enjoy the characters and their stories enough to be curious about the men on the side who get mentioned. So even though this story didn’t blow me away, I enjoyed it enough to want to continue.
One of the best things for me was seeing two doms who were very different and who were changed by the sub they were dealing with (rather than the sub who is always the changed one). In addition, at least one of them has a judgmental thought about the previous doms and later rescinds it in his own mind as he comes to understand why it would happen. He still think it was wrong, but he reaches an understanding.
I love that we see the growth of each of these characters and not just the sub. It makes the growth feel real and, in turn, makes the characters feel real (you know, aside from money never being an issue).
It took me a while to write this review, one because I didn’t have much to say, and then because I needed to reread it for a proper review. But even then, this book didn’t scream at me what to write about it. So sorry for a mediocre review that you had to wait for. I think my overall review would be: If you liked the first in the series, you’ll probably like this one at least a little. If you didn’t read the first in the series...then you should start with that one!
Overall A long story that is worth taking your time with to savor the ups and downs of Evan’s and Jonah’s lives. Gobbling it all down at on...moreStars: 4.5/5
Overall A long story that is worth taking your time with to savor the ups and downs of Evan’s and Jonah’s lives. Gobbling it all down at once may seem like a good idea, but may result in a Thanksgiving-gorge-like hangover.
Review This story runs somewhat parallel to Chase in Shadow and Dex in Blue, and while each story stands alone, the reader would be better served by reading them in order.
First, a warning: The Johnnies stories tend to run long because of the issues that are handled and the number of events that have to appear as the stories crossover. I still feel the stories are longer than strictly necessary, but I also understand why they're so long, and I enjoy them enough that the length doesn't bother me (except when I'm kept up reading when I should be going to bed).
Because much of the same content is covered in each story, it's commendable how Lane handles the plot points that overlap--hitting major points without rehashing everything, but yet giving the reader adequate information if they haven't read the previous novels. She also develops the events from different perspectives, turning events that may not have been as emotional into a poignant moment.
Ethan/Evan is my favorite of the boys so far, because of his reasons for getting into porn, his general personality, and his relationship with Jonah (the first to be outside the business). Plus, his need to be touched speaks deeply to me.
He's a likeable character and dips into some nerdy elements (or perhaps I should say different nerdy elements, since Kane and his reptiles were pretty nerdy!). The conversations about anime and manga was appreciated (although that element faded as the story went on), although I wasn’t familiar with the particular pieces that were mentioned, so they may have been faulty.
Evan’s story, like most of the Johnnies boys, is a tough one (although none really compares to Chase’s). He had a crappy childhood, and although he’s tough, and he recognizes that, he still has a low self-esteem. Or more like he doesn’t want to bother/sully the people around him whom he loves. It’s commendable, although many readers (like Jonah) will want to smack him for it.
And of course Jonah has his own struggles to handle as well, both familial and in courting the stubborn Ethan. These are two sweet boys who grow together and together overcome great obstacles.
Overall A sweet, short tale that is probably just the treat for the February holiday.
Review A sweet little short that has a good message, bu...moreStars: 2.5/5
Overall A sweet, short tale that is probably just the treat for the February holiday.
Review A sweet little short that has a good message, but lacks much depth, both for the characters and the plot. I definitely enjoyed this, and I especially liked how it was both a Valentine's story and not solely focused on Valentine's day.
I would have liked to have seen more of Isaac's backstory. We get the major points that are related to the plot, but in some ways the straightforward provision of this information makes it feel less real and more an element that was added to create the story. A more natural reveal, as well as a few more character-building facts about Isaac's previous situation, would have made everything feel more realistic.
Thierry was just the right mix of uncertain, nonaggressive persona and knowledgeable bed partner. They had a nice dynamic and I was happy when they ended up together, but the story lacked any depth that really would have helped me care about the characters and their relationship.