Tuesday, December 25, 2012

O Come All Ye Kinky by Various Authors


What a great anthology! There's something for everyone. M/M, F/F, menage... all here. A great introduction to authors I hadn't read that I wish to check out. (I had only previously read L.A. Witt before.) 

Really, this is kink done right. None of this 50 Shades apologetic bullshit. These people enjoy their kinks! I can't even pick a favourite story out of the bunch because they were all that good. :) 

I guess I especially liked "Fireworks" by Katie Porter because I read so little f/f fiction. Of course that could change tomorrow. *LOL* But believe me, there are stories here that I will read again and again. Do yourself a favour and whatever time of year it is, check out O Come All Ye Kinky. You won't be disappointed. :) 

(And yes, I did finish it in the wee hours of Christmas morning. *LOL*)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Dark Soul Vol 3 by Aleksandr Voinov


Dark Soul Vol 3 - Books 5, 6 & 7

I forgot to review this when I finished it. :/ 

But I can tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed it. :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Santuario by G. B. Gordon


Santuario - Book 1

3.5 Stars!! Well, I want another half star so I can give this 3.5 stars. 

Santuario was a good read. I enjoyed it. Well-written with clearly defined and different characters, a juicy mystery, some interesting world-building and a plot that kept me wondering all through the book. 

The relationship between the two main characters, Alex and Bengt unfolds very slowly until a ramp-up into intimacy near the end of the book. It was working for me and even the rush was okay, given the plot line that I don't want to give away. But for me, there was a problem with the cliff-hanger ending. I think maybe I didn't need the epilogue dangled in my face to make me go for Santuario #2. 

I think I would have liked a little more insight into the differences between the two cultures of this world because I'm still not sure about some of the more important differences and how they'll affect our heroes. There are also a few spots in the book where the author uses clippings from a newspaper to explain things/further the plot and on my ereader, I could not get the darned things big enough to read the printing of them. The font of the paragraph before and the paragraph following could be HUGE, but the clipping stayed really, really small. That was unfortunate. 

All in all, I would definitely recommend this book to those that enjoy mysteries and alternate universe type science fiction. Maybe there'll be more heat in the following volumes, but you know what? I didn't really miss the heat in this one - I suspect it's coming. :)

EDT: I contacted Riptide Publishing and they've informed me that the problem with the 'clippings' has been resolved and updated versions have been uploaded to the site so I can download and replace the one on my Kobo. Have I mentioned that I love Riptide Publishing? They rock!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Flesh Cartel - Capture by Rachel Haimowitz and Heidi Belleau


The Flesh Cartel - Episode 1

I'm giving this 5 stars because it's SO outside my comfort zone and I couldn't put it down. I think it's probably the most hardcore thing I have ever read - if you're going to read it, HEED THE WARNINGS!

It was released for pre-order download last night at midnight, so I downloaded before heading off to bed. It's violent, it's intense and it's so dark and painful; but I could not put it down. 18K+ words, so not a really long read - it's part one of a serial - I figured I'd read the first chapter before turning out the lights and read the rest today, but I COULD NOT put it down! 

It scares me that I enjoyed it so much. Maybe the distance between me reading in my bed and the brothers being kidnapped and subjected to violence and degradation rendered it safe for me? I don't know. 

But what I do know is that the authors do a spectacular job of writing. I think that's what made this so good to read, getting me past the initial reticence I would have for such violent, triggering fare. A friend of mine wrote a fanfic once that went to many of the dark places that Rachel and Heidi are taking us and I had the same reaction I loved it and I hated that I loved it. *LOL* This is what a good writer will do, I think. Get past those boundary walls you have set up and open your eyes to something different. I am eagerly awaiting the second episode in this serial. Eagerly.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sublime - Collected Shorts by Rachel Haimowitz


Continuing the tales of Nicky and Devon as they explore many, many aspects of a D/s relationship. In these assorted short stories, there's something for everyone. I think my favourite was "Milk Run". Devon is a lovely, devious, mischievous Dom, especially when his Nicky steps out of line. :) There's a sweetness to Devon and Nicky that I just love and they are just perfect for each other. Loved it!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Notturno by Z. A. Maxfield


Believable vampires! I'm not a huge fan of paranormals, but that may be because I've not read any by an author that will make it work. (Or maybe I'm still scarred by the Hamilton woman.)

I enjoyed the characters, very much. Both the main characters and the secondary ones' This book felt full, in a very good way. The two main characters were not wrapped in a cocoon of their own emotions, they interacted with others and had other relationships and all the while, you knew they were thinking of each other without having to have it spelled out for you. 

And I want a Boaz. I surely hope we've not seen the end of him because he totally charmed me. Edward and Tuan as well, but to a lesser extent. 

So, a full book, a hotly romantic book, an adventure story, a character study and a few well placed spots of humour. I really enjoyed it. :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dark Horse by Kate Sherwood


Thank God, that's over with! This book clocked in at 382 pages on my ereader and nothing really happened before page 340. I was so disappointed. I mean, it had horses! And not just any horses - EVENT horses! You know, the dressage, the stadium jumping and the cross-country. I had high hopes.

To read the blurb about the book, I thought I was getting the story of Dan, the horse trainer, whose life intertwines with another horse trainer, Jeff and a rich stable owner, Evan. I expected a story with lots of physical heat and a lot of explorations of emotions as a polyamorous finds its feet. Did I get that? Nope.

Part One - almost 200 pages - was the study of Dan, the trainer, and how he's dealing with the death of his lover. We spend SO much time in Dan's head, being told how he feels ad nauseum. He meets Jeff and Evan and we're TOLD that sparks fly, but I honestly didn't see it. The author seems to think that we need to be told every last thing that happens to Dan in a day, including how he brushes his teeth, decides on the blue shirt or the white shirt, decides which horse to take out of its stall and which tack the horse is going to need. Minutiae! NOTHING happened to further the story.

And then came part two with more of the same, only this time, we've moved from Kentucky to California, so hopefully we'll be seeing more of Jeff and Evan and get this threesome on the road. They say the longest journey starts with a single step, but OH MY LORD, it took the author so long to pack the bag before taking that step! 

I never warmed up to Dan. He seemed very schizophrenic to me. We spend 9/10ths of the book inside his head and one moment he's this quiet, retiring fellow, then he's a predatory wolf looking for a fuck, then he's an unsure young man trying to do the best in his job, then he's a uneducated bumpkin with all this horrid stuff in his past - yes, this horrid stuff that supposedly had a lot to do in forming his character and we find out about in in the last fifth of the book! OH, by the way, Dan has a juvie record, an abusive father, and a younger sister. 

I never saw what it was that Evan and Jeff saw in him - at one point, I think it's Jeff who says something along the lines of, "I don't know how to explain it, Dan, but you just bring us into balance. You just do." Well, I'm sorry, I need to know HOW and WHY this can be. And then... when both Jeff and Evan confess to burgeoning feelings for this paragon of wonderfulness, all he wants is sex, hot and heavy. 

I don't know if the author had an editor for this book, but if she did, I sure couldn't tell. 

The story was advertised as being about the relationship, but ended up being an exploration of the ever-changing personality of Dan's head. Personally, I would have cut out three quarters of the manuscript and made the focus of the story the actual story of the blossoming relationship between the 3 men and how Dan learns to fit in at his new home in California. I understand there's a sequel to this book but I'm not hurrying off to get it. It makes me wonder if Dark Horse was written as a scene setter for the second book. A 400-page scene setter. OY! Sadly, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dark Soul Vol 1 by Aleksandr Voinov


Dark Soul Vol 1 - Books 1 & 2

I had barely begun the second of the two stories in this volume, Dark Secret and there I was, adding all the rest of the Dark Soul Series to my MUST HAVE wish list. 

This series really isn't for everyone. Gritty is almost too gentle of a word to describe it. It's dark, it's violent, it's intense and it explores things that most people would rather relegate to the very back shadows of their minds. I will be honest, I spent most of the first story, Dark Soul with my eyes like this - 0.0 - while I devoured it. Horrified and fascinated at the same time. *LOL* 

The main characters of Stefano and Silvio are two of the most intriguing men I have ever read about and I cannot wait to discover more about them. I hope to learn more about Stefano's wife, Donata, as well. The wee glimpse we got as well as Stefano's thoughts about her have piqued my interest. 

So, it's really not for the faint of heart, REALLY NOT, but, man, I really, really enjoyed it. And it gets 5 stars because it's so far outside my comfort zone and Aleksandr made me care about the characters so that I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Second Hand by Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton


Tucker Springs - Book 2

I love Heidi's work and I love Marie's work and I was very curious, and maybe a tad apprehensive, to see how this joint venture of theirs would turn out. I was not disappointed! It was terrific! It's one of those books that I would recommend if a friend asked me what to read to introduce them to m/m romances. 

The main characters, El and Paul, are very likable - hell, I developed a bit of a crush on El within two pages of meeting him! I thought I might not be so fond of Paul because he seemed almost wishy-washy at first, but that soon changed when I realised that he was just The Most Clueless Man EVER. Which I found endearing. :) And he's a redhead. I love redheads. 

I thought that having the mix of first person POV and 3rd person limited might be a mistake at first, but not at all. It seems counter-intuitive and ungainly, this mix, but Heidi and Marie make it work really, really well. So well that I didn't even notice it after the first chapter or two. My first thought was that this was how they shared up the writing - Heidi writing El's 3rd person POV and Marie taking care of Paul's 1st person POV, but you know what? It doesn't matter other than I'm a curious type. It works and it works well. 

And the dog. The adorable dog. I loved Mojo. So, should you read this book? If you want a well-written, fun, romantic, heart-touching read, you most certainly should!

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Land of Night by Kirby Crow


Scarlet and the White Wolf - Book 3

This, the third and final installment of the Scarlet and the White Wolf series, was probably the best and I would like to give it a 3.5 stars instead of the 3. 

What made this volume better for me was the advent of some secondary characters that captured my affections. Liall's younger brother, the scholar sent to help Scarlet navigate the northern court, Liall's major domo, Liall's mother... I became attached to them all. :)

I found little of the Liall I had grown to enjoy in this novel - his wildness, his restrained violence, it was almost missing as he negotiated the return to his home court. I missed the Kasiri bandit a lot. All in all, it was a somewhat satisfying ending to the tale, although the plot twist that took it from a fantasy universe to a type of AU (alternate universe) was kind of lost on me. I didn't think the story needed it and would have been stronger without it. It was almost a cop-out on some good world-building. 

So, in the end, an enjoyable read and I will add Kirby Crow on my list of authors that I will read.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Frat Boy and Toppy by Anne Tenino


Theta Alpha Gamma - Book 1

This is a light, fun read, with endearing characters that will make you smile. Although I did find myself wanting to pinch both Brad and Sebastian in some of their more dim-witted moments. :) 

The thing is, Brad is young, he can be forgiven. Anne Tenino writes a perfect 21-year old young man coming to terms with his newly-realised sexuality. The way his thoughts jump around at times and the way they fixate on something so small and insignificant at others is bang on. My own son was 21 not so long ago, so it's very familiar. 

Sebastian, the older and supposedly wiser half of this duo is 28 years old and comes across as a wee bit jaded and cynical and a tad pretentious in this knowledge. It was fun seeing him realise what was what in the final chapters. And all the intimate moments and sex scenes between him and Brad were perfectly hot. :)

And from a technical standpoint this book was really well written. It flowed very nicely and the POV changes came when it was comfortable for the POV changes to be there. And witty, yes I chuckled a few times out loud while I read this. So in the end, a quick, fun, hot read that will make you smile.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Scorpion by Aleksandr Voinov


Memory of Scorpions - Book 1

4.5 Stars. Aleksandr Voinov has a new fan in me. The authors whose work I love and whose recs I trust, recommended Mr. Voinov, so DSP was having a sale and I thought it the perfect time to check him out.

I thought I was buying a contemporary spy/military, Navy Sealesque type book - BOY, was I surprised! (I only really scanned the blurb.) I guess the best way to describe Scorpion is that it's a military novel set in an alternate, fantasy world. But no elves or wizards here, not that type of fantasy. 

It's dark, it's intense, it's the story of Kendras, a soldier, a Scorpion and a very honourable man. It's a tough, rough, intense story, peopled by rough, intense characters. There's death, blood, beatings, torture and all kinds of mayhem. There are also moments of pure tenderness that take your breath away because you don't expect them after all the other things. There is strength in the 'weakest' of characters and weakness in those who appear to be bastions of strength. In other words, the characters are real. (Have I used the word 'intense' enough? *LOL* It really was that.)

I like the way this book is written It flows and it's a pleasant read, technically speaking. I really couldn't put it down. I was invested in the characters, even the secondary characters. I think I actually went "Yes!" aloud when Kendras discovered his wounded comrades returning to the site of the first battle. DAMN, this was a good book! I want more. I want to know about that third battle, I want to know what happens to The Scorpions, I want to see how the newest member of the band of brothers grows and I want to see Kendras in his new role. I want to know more about the Lord and Lady Protector and their mother. 

I just want MORE! :)

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Locker Room by Amy Lane


Nobody... I repeat, nobody does angst and heartbreak like Amy Lane does. She does it in such a way that you welcome it! You love it! You want more and more of it. But she always delivers on that HEA - okay, the characters may be bruised, damaged and a wee bit broken, but dammit, they're happy together! 

Amy creates characters that are really gorgeous in their flaws and Xander and Chris are no exceptions. From their first meeting at the tender age of 14, on through the next 15 years of their lives, their flaws and their shining qualities just seem to meet each other perfectly. I think, even more so that Crick and Deacon, (The Promises boys) Xander and Chris are made for each other - they fill each other's empty spaces, both bad and good. I loved them and I wept with them and I laughed with them.

Another thing that Amy does par excellence is create non-standard families. In this family, we find not only our heroes, Xander and Chris, but we find Chris' parents, his kid sister, two stray 'lost girls' that Xander manages to come home with, the crusty lawyer and the quiet and efficient housekeeper. 

So the book is about two basketball players. I hate basketball. Even more than baseball. (Give me soccer, curling and hockey, thank you.) Anyway, the setting for a good portion of the story is the NBA and I imagine that what Amy describes is pretty much what a gay pro ball player would experience. I imagine that sometimes, it might even be much worse. But as the backdrop to Xander and Chris' love story I totally bought it. And I totally wanted to do bodily harm to the coach. I don't know if Amy is a basketball fan, or if she maybe played basketball, but the descriptions of Xander's feelings and thoughts as he played - be it in the games, or practicing or just holding the damned ball - those passages are really almost like poetry and perfectly illustrated the great gift Xander has for the sport. Kudos to Amy for that!

Great book, twisted and squished my heart and left it the better for it. :) LOVED IT!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

ePistols at Dawn by Z.A. Maxfield


Again, I need that damned half star, because I want to rate this at 4.5 stars. *grumble* Anyway, I read this because Heidi Cullinan, whose opinion I respect very much, had this book classified as one of her absolute favourites. 

The characters are lovely. Kelly with all his quirks, phobias and secrets. He's so damaged and flawed, but you can't help but love him when you see him through the eyes of his BFF, Will or his love, Jae. And Jae, Jae-Sun, the 6 foot 5 Korean giant with the thick braid of hair that grows down to his ass. Oh, I loved him to bits! So assured, smart, friendly and loving, but underneath, he hurts like everyone else, he feels guilty about things that aren't really his fault, he feels responsible for everyone in his life. He cares, y'know? Cares.

And the secondary characters, Will, Shannon, Vega and even the bartender near the end of the book, all served to bring something special, something needed, and something different to the story of Jae and Kelly's romance. Not every author is able to pull this off.

I loved this book. The only things keeping it from 5 stars was that sometimes the POV changes, the scene changes were too abrupt and I'd have to go back and reread a time or two to make sure I knew what was going on. (I often wonder if this is because of the way the book is formatted for ereaders, the double spaces etc..., not being evident. I read the e-pub version.) The other thing that niggled at me was that by the end of the book, I wanted to see even more inside both Jae's and Kelly's heads as they struggled to come to terms with their inescapable feelings for each other. 

Go, read this. It's hot, it's funny, it's heart-breaking, thoughtful and sweet. And if you don't fall in love with both Jae and Kelly, I'll be surprised. :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Master Class by Rachel Haimowitz


Master Class Series - Book 1

Now this, my children, is BDSM, unlike that shady shit. The author certainly knows her stuff. My personal taste would have been to have more insight into the characters of Nicky and Devon outside of their Dom and sub roles, but what the author has done actually works for me in the context of the hard-to-please Dom finding his perfectly-matched sub. 

I found myself reading the book not as a novel, but as a series of short stories, scenes if you will, working their way up to the moments that Nicky actually submits completely. 

The humiliation was a bit much for me and I do have a total squick with faceslapping, but there was enough warning in the summary of the book to not be a problem for me. 

What I loved a lot, were the looks into Devon's thoughts during the last scene; the reasons why he was doing what he was doing to Nicky. This is NOT BDSM-Lite by any means. So yes, I will be picking up the second book of this series and definitely add Rachel Haimowitz to my preferred authors list.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Dark Farewell by Josh Lanyon


My first foray into Josh Lanyon. :) 

I really enjoyed this! Everyone who reads m/m practically worships this author as one of the the genres superstars, so I was actually ready to be disappointed, as one often is. But I wasn't!

The Dark Farewell is a novella set in the mid-1920s. There are murders, there are seances, there are spirits, there is humour, there is sad reflection on loves past and there is some lovely intimacy between the main characters, Flynn, the almost-cynical reporter returned from The Great War, and Julian, the special man who claims to hear spirits. Lanyon is a terrific writer, if I can judge by this. The atmosphere is perfect, the characterisations right on for people of those times, the plot works, and most importantly, it made me want to read and know more - more about the characters and more stuff written by Lanyon. 

In a genre that's so full of crappy writing, it's tough at times to find new authors to add to your list, but I can safely and heartily recommend that you add Josh Lanyon to yours.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Stars & Stripes by Abigail Roux


Cut & Run - Book 6

I really, really wish Goodreads had a 4.5 stars!

Okay, so this installment of the adventures of Grady and Garrett introduces (or reintroduces) us to members of their families. The first half of the book is very romance-centric, delving into the deepening feelings the men have for each other, their relationships with various family members and thoughts about the future. The second half focuses more on the action and the climax - whooeeee! I loved it!

While reading this book, I laughed out loud, I got choked up, I sighed happily and I bawled like a baby. Okay, maybe Ty and Zane were a little TOO mushy at times and maybe I shuddered every time one of them referred to the other as "my boyfriend". It just sounds wrong coming from men past the age of 25 - at least to my ears. Minor, minor problem though. I enjoyed the mystery and didn't have it totally figured out before I was supposed to. That's a big plus! I loved the tiger; seriously loved him. And the 'cameo appearance' of Nick was PERFECT!

In retrospect, I enjoyed the steamy sex scenes, but the parts that meant far more to me were the quietly romantic moments. Zane laying his head on Ty's stomach at the fireworks, Zane watching Ty sleep, Ty loving the Texas swagger in Zane's step. Those small moments, small things - they make the story for me and Abigail is a real pro at writing them. (And boy does she make the image of Ty in his hat and sunglasses HOT!)

This book was really more intimate than most of the previous books in the series. Funny, it felt more intimate while being set in the huge, wide-open spaces of Texas, how odd is that? :) I love Ty and Zane and Stars and Stripes didn't disappoint.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Nowhere Ranch by Heidi Cullinan


Heidi always manages to surprise me. I read in a review that she'd done, that she had 'issues' with first person POV. This book is written in the first person and damned if I can see a problem with it! 

I liked Roe, the POV character. I liked his toughness which, while at times a cover for his vulnerabilities, was also an intrinsic part of him. In other words, even if/when he allowed his vulnerabilities to show, the toughness would still be there. I liked Travis, his boss and the object of his affections. :) I wanted to know more about him, but being as the POV was first person, well, it doesn't allow from that type of introspection. Fair enough. :) Seeing him through Roe's eyes was enough though - I'm just being greedy. 

What I found interesting and refreshing, was the friendship between Roe and Haley. She was as important to his character growth as Travis, and maybe at times, even more important. I'm convinced that even though we don't get to see it, that there's a HEA for her down the road. 

An integral part of this relationship, this love story, is the kink. It allows both Roe and Travis to be free and open early on in their relationship. And some of it is intense, I must say. :) And I'll say that I never thought I'd be reading about pony play - I still don't get it, but hey, whatever floats those men's boats. :) My one disappointment was the putting away of the playroom by the end of the book. It left me wondering if kink really has to be put away while the children are small. It's a small disappointment though. Heidi is a lovely writer and her characters are always real and vivid to me and that's one of the reasons she's one of my favourites!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Armed & Dangerous by Abigail Roux


Cut & Run - Book 5

This is the best Cut & Run book yet! I was so sad when I heard that Madeleine Urban - co-author of the first 4 C&R books - was retiring from writing, thinking that there would be no more Ty & Zane adventures. Then I read that Abigail Roux was continuing the series on her own and I was thrilled! Then I got concerned, worrying that the tone of the books wouldn't be the same, that the things I had come to love would't be there any longer, that Ty & Zane wouldn't be the same any more. In the end, worries were all for nothing! Abigail exceeded every expectation I had. :)

Yes, the overall tone of the book was different from the previous 4; it felt different, almost more friendly, I think. And the 'caper' part of the book actually was the most logical of the adventures since the boys' initial outing. 

So... the major guest-starring roles of Julian and Cameron (and Preston) from Warrior's Cross were PERFECT!!! Oh the four of these men together was a beautiful thing to read! And where Cameron could have come across as pretty baggage, in the end, he more than held his own with the three macho men. :) Nick O'Flaherty, Ty's best friend, also returns and his scene with Zane in the early morning hours brought me to tears. And Deuce! Deuce was back too and this made me very, very happy. As did Smith and Wesson. :) 

Anyway, I am totally in squee-heaven over this book. We learn so much about Ty and why he's the way he is, and we see so very clearly why Zane loves him so much. There were moments that made me laugh out loud and I swear, I'll never think the same way about antique dealers. There were moments that touched me, moments that made me mad and want to smack those men, moments that had me on the edge of my seat and moments that actually made me pause, sigh and go "Awwww!". 

I could not put this book down - well, the ereader - *LOL*. I started it last night and read until I couldn't keep my eyes open and then did absolutely NOTHING today in order to finish it. I loved it!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Divide & Conquer by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux


Cut & Run - Book 4

It's really 4.5 stars, damn you Goodreads!

So this latest installment of the adventures of Ty and Zane was everything I needed it to be. It was filled with action, sexytimes, humour, angst and a bunch of handsome men. The action/suspense part of the story, the bombs going off throughout Baltimore served its purpose as the background of the love story of Ty and Zane and served it well. It didn't distract me with odd questions, nor did it leave me scratching my head at any point. 

There were wee glimpses of Deuce, one of my favourite characters in this series, but definitely not enough. We gt to meet Ty's Sidewinder squad (not sure if I have the actual military terminology correct) and he has some intense dealings with them. Manly men being manly. We get to meet Nick, a Very Important Part of Ty's life. We get to see Zane tie himself up in knots, get badly injured, come to some pretty big realisations. All in all, a lot went on in this book and it was all good. 

And then came the last paragraph. 

I wanted to throw my ereader across the room and scream! I HATE these types of cliffhangers - and that's why D&C didn't get 5 stars. :) And that's also why I went online right away and bought myself Armed & Dangerous. And that's why my reading list has been thrown all out of order. *LOL*

I love Ty and Zane and I loved this book! Go! Read the whole series!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Into Deep Waters by Kaje Harper


I unabashedly loved this simple tale of the life of two ordinary men who met, fell in love, and lived their lives. It touched my heart in so many simple, little ways that brought lumps to my throat and tears to my eyes. Jacob and Daniel could be any two men, really. I'm reminded of a man I knew many years ago, he was the pharmacist at our local drugstore. He lived together with his 'friend' a few blocks away from my first husband and I. They had been together for over 15 years at the time and I'm sure they're still together today if they're still among us. 

Kaje has crafted a simple, heart-warming story of an enduring love and I highly recommend it. :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley


The Mackenzies/McBrides - Book 1

4.5 stars, damn you Goodreads! 

I loved this book, the first book I've read by Jennifer Ashey. 

I loved the unconventional hero - he suffers from Asperger's (or something similar) you guys! I loved him and I loved his crazy brothers and adorably snarky nephew. I'm a sucker for family sagas and this is right up that alley. Oddly, I know the setting is 1881, but in my brain I was reading it as set a good 30 years earlier - I have no idea why, perhaps the lack of time-defining details? But the story doesn't need them. 

I would have given this book 5 stars had I been in love with the heroine as much as I was with the hero and all the other characters. She was feisty, yes, she had a mind of her own and I LOVED the fact that she loved sex. "Carnality"! She just didn't shine as brightly as I wanted her to when put up against all those gorgeous, tormented men. 

The sex scenes, I have to say, were quite hot and steamy. OH! And the hints of the proclivities of the Duke, oldest brother Hart, were very tantalising. Kinky in a D/s sort of way? I hope she carries through on them. A GREAT romantic read and believe that I will be following the adventures of the Mackenzie brothers as well as searching out Jennifer's other books.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wicked by Gregory Maguire


The Wicked Years - Book 1

I don't normally have a problem with weird, odd, off-beat books - especially in the fantasy genre - but this one... *shaking my head* I couldn't get through it. I made it 22% of the way through, as per my Kobo reader and felt defeated. I didn't like ANY of the characters and quite frankly, I didn't 'get' most of the story he was trying to tell. So... today I consign it to the DNF shelf.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Gambling Men: The Novel by Amy Lane


This book had a bit of a different flavour than the other Amy Lanes that I have read. Maybe it was the switching POVs? Maybe it was the big city setting? Maybe it was that both men were the same age (that I was reading as early 30s - I don't remember if it was stated. *LOL*)? 

At any rate, I fell for Jace and especially Quent in a big way! 

I loved that both were a little fucked up about stuff - Jace more so than Quent and I loved how difficult it was for Jace to put things into words. Like SO many men I have known over the years. :) And I loved how Quent and Jace loved each other. That's the thing with Amy's books - I ALWAYS feel the love between the characters and it always leaves me with a smile and a warm heart.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A to Z by Marie Sexton


Coda - Book 2

The second book in the Coda series tells the tale of Zach and Angelo, and tells it in a very interesting way. A dual first person POV, which I find rarely works, but this time it worked PERFECTLY. 

I loved both main characters. Maybe Zach a little bit more than Angelo because I understood him all too well. :) Angelo remains a bit of a mystery to me, but he's one of those quirky people who you just can't get a complete handle on, you just love them fondly for being that person. :) 

It was lovely revisiting Matt and Jared again, from Promises, Coda #1, and learning a bit more of their relationship, and I liked the bonding between Matt and Angelo. I love Marie's romances, they take their time to really develop and allow me, as the reader, to fall in love with the MCs as well as their love story. Kudos!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Double Blind by Heidi Cullinan


Special Delivery - Book 2

4 and a HALF stars! 

I loved this sequel to Special Delivery. I loved that it was the story of Randy/Skeet who Heidi made me love in the previous book in spite of myself. I loved Ethan, pure and simple. And I loved that neither of the MCs were in their early 20s. I loved how Ethan and Randy just melded perfectly with Sam and Mitch - well, not without a few hitches. :) I loved how Sam grew and became what both Randy and Ethan needed. I love dark and silent Mitch as well. The Old Man. And the kitties! OMG, the kitties were the perfect cherry on the sundae!

It all worked for me, really, really well. Randy's interest piqued by Ethan in the beginning and it leading to all kinds of interesting sex and feelings. And the story is more than Randy and Ethan's love story - it's also the story of how a family got formed. Randy, Ethan, Sam and Mitch. They all compliment each other so well! I even found my heart softening towards Crabtree, for heaven's sake! Manipulative old bastard!

I only had two complaints and they are small ones. For my taste, there was too much explanation of the poker games. It seemed to take away from the story instead of adding flavour and atmosphere in certain scenes. And the other thing was that it seems that the story takes place over a month, but it seemed to unfold over a longer period of time to me. A couple of months maybe? Any references of time passing I sort of pushed aside, because they weren't working for me. That's why I can't give this super book 5 stars though. 

I would highly recommend both this book and its prequel to anyone who likes their sex a little more daring than the usual. BDSM and polyamory are at work here and nicely done! I think it's safe to say that I will go back to both Special Delivery books for a reread!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

St. Nacho's by Z.A. Maxfield


St. Nacho's - Book 1

Good, good book! :) 

I really enjoyed Cooper and Shawn. I appreciated the way the author turned things around from the usual tropes and stereotypes. The younger, deaf man was in reality the stronger, more aggressive of the couple and the tattooed biker with the piercings and the violin the man that had to come to terms with everything in his life and move on. 

I don't usually have a problem with first person narrative, and I didn't this time either - the author is a very good writer - but I found that I would have liked to be a little inside Shawn's head to see what he was thinking at various times in the story. Anyway, good, good book, like I said and I would recommend it to anyone who likes their love stories with a nice sprinkling of spice, tough, angst and awww. :) 

And I do like the idea of a place like St. Nacho's.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tatterdemalion by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox


Foundations of Magic - Book 1

Truthfully, 3.5 stars. This was a good read.

The fantasy/urban fantasy elements were good even if I would have liked them explained a little better. Maybe this comes in later books, but I would have liked to understand why some people have magic and others don't. I also would have liked more insight into exactly what Dane, Cyrus, Vivian, Lourdes, Ezkal et al really are. And exactly how Lindsay fits in with them. You know... it's almost like reading a fanfic when you don't know much about the original canon. I felt like I was missing things, some important, all the way through, which curtailed my enjoyment. 

That being said, Lindsay and Dane were lovely main characters even if a bit stereotypical. Their love story was fun to read as it unfolded for the most part and the sex scenes were hot and spicy. I just found myself wishing, as the story went on, that Lindsay would stop coming across like a typical damsel in distress. Maybe that comes in book 2? 

So in the end, while the love story was nicely played out, I found the fantasy elements lacking and I think had more attention been paid to that part of the plot, this would have been a spectacular book.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Warrior's Cross by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux

4.5 STARS 

I want it to be 4.5 stars, really. :)  (2016/05/29 - So I updated from Goodreads. *g*)

I loved this book and wonder why I haven't read it before, seeing as Abigail and Madeleine are among my most favorite m/m authors. 

I will state it right here and now, I am in love with Julian Cross. I want to mother Cameron, but I am madly in love with Julian. *LOL* I loved how they met, I loved how their relationship grew, I loved the trials and tribulations of their relationship and I loved the climax and denouement of their story. 

Not only were Julian and Cameron gorgeously drawn characters, bordering on stereotype, but not tumbling into the abyss, they both held a sweet charm that grabbed me from the beginning. And the supporting cast, the waitresses, Blake, Preston, the animals, even the villain of the piece were wonderfully drawn, helping out the story, fleshing out Cameron and Julian's lives and just being 'right'. The sex was hot, the love and affection heart-warming and affirming, the humour chuckle-inducing and the mystery well done enough to give one pause. 

I loved it.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Song of Oestend by Marie Sexton


Oestend - Book 1

Niiiice! I have to say that after reading the awful, incorrectly portrayed BDSM of 50 Shades, I've been lucky enough to cleanse my BDSM palate with a couple of excellent kinky tales, including this one. And again, this was a surprise, because I had no idea that it would play such a huge role in Song of Oestend.There was really so much to enjoy here. 

Two great main characters, Aren and Deacon, who are definitely not anywhere near cookie-cutter stereotypes, even role reversal stereotypes (ie: little guy being the sub, big guy the dom). I really liked that time was taken for the two of them to fall in love and come to know each other as co-workers and friends before the heat of their physical relationship overpowered them. :) In the very best of ways, of course. And a huge shout-out to Marie for detailing how both men discover and grow into their healthy BDSM roles. (Hint: NOBODY needs to be fixed here!)

The supporting characters were great too. Varied and diverse, some likeable, some pitiful, some hateful, they fleshed out the story quite nicely. The fantasy world aspect of the novel was rather background, sort of like the herbs and spices in a great stew - giving it flavour and body but not being the meat and potatoes of the story. I found myself wondering a time or two about why the populace of Oestend could have generators and not much else in the way of machinery, but it was really a fleeting thought.

To wrap up, Song of Oestend was a terrific read and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes some Lifestyle in their romance. :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Matter of Time Vol. 2 by Mary Calmes


A Matter of Time - Books 3 & 4

*sigh* I so wanted to like this/these books better than I did. I wanted it/them to be better than the first volume that I read and reviewed. But I didn't. And they weren't. And I am sad. 

Again, so many of my favorites have loved the story of Jory and Sam, I wanted to be among them. The thing is, I don't get the point. It's the same story as in Volumes 1 & 2. There is no pacing; the story was all over the place. The mystery seemed cobbled together at times and really? The whole police department is THAT slow on the uptake? And I thought it would never end. 

I actually loved Jory, even though as a character he's quite over the top - he saved the book(s) for me. Super Jory! He and many of the secondary characters. I wanted to love Sam too, but I felt that I didn't really get to know him. Either that or he really was quite one dimensional. I don't know, all in all, I think the ideas were good, the actual writing was very good, the characters were, for the most part, fairly good, but the whole 4 volume series just felt... scattered and jumbled to me. It's like everything is supplied to make a terrific read, but it's been put together wrong. So yeah, I was disappointed. 

I also would have put everything together in one hefty-sized book; I think it would have helped the continuity a whole lot. That being said, I will read more Mary Calmes and hopefully the plotting/story-telling shortfalls I found in this tale won't be evident in other works of hers. I do like her way with words and how she crafts with them. Oh, and yes, STOP PUTTING EVERYBODY'S HANDS ON THE BACK OF JORY'S NECK!! IT'S REPETITIVE BEYOND BELIEF! (Okay, I feel better having got that off my chest. *LOL*)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Talker's Graduation by Amy Lane


Talker - Book 3

Mmmmhmmm. That's the sound of satisfaction. 

Tate and Brian are grown men now (I'll still see them as boys but that's because I'm an old lady. *LOL*) and they've begun to actually live the life they've fought so hard to have together. They love each other SO much and they love their life and it's really pretty damned satisfying to this reader. 

There are some lovely bits of introspective thought in this book as Tate finally, FINALLY, truly understands what's between him and Brian. God, they're lovely together.

I'm sad their tale is done, but I can envision a future for them both, say, ten years from now, Brian with his art, Tate with his kids and how they conquer more of life's struggles together, with love and laughter and understanding. (And maybe get a fireplace in that cottage of theirs!)

Talker's Redemption by Amy Lane


Talker - Book 2

Rip your heart out, that's what Amy does here. Rips your heart out, turns it over a few times in her skilled hands and then shoves it back into your chest filled to overflowing. I love Brian and Talker. I love Jed, Aunt Lindie, Doc, Craig, even the rat... OMG, I love 'em all!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Promises by Marie Sexton


Coda - Book 1

This is the terrific love story of Jared and Matt and how they BOTH learn to accept who they are. 

Written in the first person from Jared's POV, the thing I liked best about him was that he really wasn't so 'at peace' with his sexuality and who he is as one might think. (And he has GREAT hair!) 

I loved the way the relationship blossomed between Jared and Matt. It wasn't a sudden, OMG, HE'S MY SOULMATE thing. It grew naturally and over a period of time. Don't get me wrong, though, there is AMPLE hotness and sexytimes here. Jared and Matt are hot, steamy hot, as Jared leads the way for his friend and lover and eventual mate. These are real guys and I fell in love with them both. :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Talker by Amy Lane


Talker - Book 1

A lovely, heartfelt, sweet story of first love. 

Tate and Brian are lovely young men that you root for from the very beginning. Tate is so open and so sweet and trusting and just gets so damaged by life. But Brian is there and Brian loves him even if Tate doesn't see it. Tate talks - hence the nickname Talker - and Brian listens. 

I think this would be a perfect read for young people and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to young adults. Yes, there is sex, explicit at times, but it's my opinion that young folks need to be exposed to this and allowed to talk about it openly and with no judgement. You know, I wish I had had this book 10 years ago when one of my son's friends was dealing with coming out.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Special Delivery by Heidi Cullinan


Special Delivery - Book 1

I wasn't expecting to love this book as much as I do. Yes, Heidi is one of my favorites, so I knew I'd enjoy it, but not that I'd love it to freakin', teeny-tiny, little bits! 

Sam is a young man who has an adventure one afternoon and finds more than he really bargained for when he hooks up with the more experienced Mitch, a rough and ready trucker. It's the story of how Sam discovers and learns to accept his kinks and feel good about them. Another review spoke of the creation of a power dynamic and the how and why it becomes part of a relationship and I found it very well done. It's romantic and it's sexy and it's real and it's hot. And it's respectful - unlike the so-called BDSM book that's so touted these days - yes, the 50 Shades book, which I have read - Special Delivery is the real deal. I love how Heidi blends all these things together to make a thoroughly entrancing story. The whys are just as important as the hows and there are a few surprises along the way. 

Ah, I loved it and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the genre or even anyone who is curious about it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The MacKade Brothers: Devin & Shane by Nora Roberts


The MacKade Brothers - Books 3 & 4

Do you know how to lose a day? Pick up a Nora Roberts book to check the prologue and see if you've read it or not. 

I wasn't going to read the stories of Devin and Shane yesterday. I had read an article by Sarah of Smart Bitches mentioning Devin's story and I couldn't remember it, so I went to the Nora collection to see first, if I had the book and secondly, had I read it. (If not I was going to buy it on sale for the ereader.) Well, I owned the book - the volume with Shane's story - and I'd not read it. Into the To Read pile, but Nora's like crack, as they say - I could not put the damned thing down once I'd read the prologue. 

I love just about all of Nora's romances. I especially love her series books when they're about brothers. And I love ghosts and ties to the past etc... So the MacKade stories really work for me. Devin's story especially. The tale of this big, gentle, patient man and the abused by her first husband, sweet, supposedly fragile, shy young mother is a beautiful love story. Read it. It's very worth the time. :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Bad Boyfriend by K.A. Mitchell


Bad in Baltimore - Book 2

This was good. Not perfect, but pretty damned good. :) 

I liked both main characters, Quinn, the seemingly quiet teacher and Eli, the outside-the-box young man who steals his heart. I hated Quinn's ex and he might have been drawn with a bit of a heavy hand, but it really didn't bother me much. It worked for the romance of the book. 

I'm pretty sure there are holes in the plot and some of them maybe quite big, but you know what? I don't care. I was in it for the love story and boy, did that deliver for me. It might be a cliché or a trope, this flamboyant young man coupled with the staid, middle-of-the-road older fellow, but who cares when it leaves you feeling all happy and fuzzy and warm because they came together? I don't. 

Yeah, there were a few things I would have liked more of - like where all this dominant daddy stuff was in Quinn's previous relationship(s). My other quibble, and let me emphasise the word quibble, was to wonder if Quinn had any friends at all other than his ex's family. One thing there was no quibbles about whatsoever was the hotness of the sex scenes. Ooowee baby! Hot, sexy and filled with lots of emotion when they needed to be filled with emotions. Now I usually get completely squicked by daddy kinks, but this one... it worked perfectly and didn't bother me in the slightest! Possibly because it wasn't overly intense? I don't know, but it did work for me.

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who wants an m/m love story that's spiced up with a bit of BDSM and daddy kink. K.A. Mitchell is now on my list as an author who delivers good product. :)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Lindira by Ann Somerville


I had downloaded this little gem to my ereader a while ago, so when I picked it out to read today, I had totally forgotten what it was about. :) What a pleasant rediscovery! 

A quick, heart-breaking, sensual, sweet tale of gods, shape-shifters, demi-gods, love, magic and curses, it did not disappoint. I love Ann's writing, how she turns phrases and the respect she shows all her characters by allowing them to be flawed and sometimes less than heroic. Even the fable-perfect ending was right. All in all, it was the perfect read for a chilly, rainy afternoon.

Muscling Through by JL Merrow


What an unexpected, thoroughly charming treat this turned out to be! I can't for the life of me remember why I decided to pick this novella up, but I'm sure glad I did. 

Written in the first person, the storyteller is Al and he is the most charming, sweetest, honest, unexpected (there's that word again) narrator ever, I think. His voice is decidedly unique and that makes this FP (first person) tale stand out from many others in any genre, really. I actually could hear him telling me the story of him and his love, Larry as I read - he sounded like one of the guys from Coronation Street. :) One of the things that impressed me about this work was the parts where Al is relating the sexual encounters. They're hot, yes, but they're also told in an honest and realistic voice which could easily turn vulgar, but they never do. For me, this will be the perfect comfort story and I know I'm going to reread it again and probably again. :) 

I highly recommend this!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Rhapsody for Piano and Ghost


What a sweet, heart-warming book! A real comfort read. I can actually see myself reading it again when I need an emotional cozy blanket.

We have a pair of adorable main characters, Fitz and Ari, as well as a mischievous pair of ghosts, Serge and Julian. We get to follow Fitz as he comes of age and realises (with his fairy ghost-fathers' help) that he's really quite special in some eyes. :) I don't know if any kind of sequel is planned - and quite frankly, there doesn't always NEED to be a furtheration of the main couple's adventures - but that being said, I like Fitz and Ari and their ghosties so much that I wouldn't be averse to reading their further adventures. :) 

There were a few persnickety nit-picks that I could mention, but nothing that really damaged my enjoyment of the story. 

This was my first Z. A. Maxfield and I'm safe in saying that it won't be my last. :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Rebuilding Year by Kaje Harper


Oh, it was good. :) A true romance, I thought. I fell for both main characters, 

John and Ryan and even though the whole 'gay for you' usually makes my back teeth itch, it was okay this time. Both men were damaged and even though their Rebuilding Year went a long way towards healing, I was left with the impression - a good impression, mind you - that there were still going to be 'things' to crop up. (Maybe John and Ryan are whispering to Kaje that they have more story to tell? I could hope!)

So yeah, lovely main characters, a believable development of the relationship, a kid that wasn't annoying and out of place and a tantalising glimpse of Ryan's family - all very good things. And I like how Kaje writes, it's full but it's easy to read, the flow is really good. The sex and love scenes are hot and steamy and the moments of tenderness and affection plentiful - something I like very much. 

I enjoyed the secondary plot of the kids and the drugs etc, it didn't seem overdone and gave an added depth to the story. The climax of the story, where Ryan has to face his fears, I really enjoyed. For action scenes it worked really well for me, there was an urgency and a tension that sometimes action scenes in books don't have. 

The one thing that bugged me was John's ex and her new husband when they came to the house. Up until then, they were working for me, but I found the sudden anti-gay ranting and raving using all the panicked, uninformed clichés to be jarring. Okay, the reason they are clichés is that they happen all the time, I get that. I have no problem with their worries that Mark living with his gay dad and his lover was going to be bad for the boy, I just thought the ignorant hysterics took away from the character. I didn't want to hate John's ex because dammit, he did love her for a long, long time, but this argument seemed geared towards making the reader despise the couple. I'd rather have just despised the new husband. :)

So, I'm hoping that Kaje has more tales of John and Ryan to tell and would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good, heart-warming tale. :) Oh!!! And Kaje originally comes from Montreal!! Like me!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Country Mouse by Amy Lane and Aleksandr Voinov


Country Mouse - Book 1

This was just the thing to cleanse my reading palate after experiencing the horrendous writing of 50 Shades of Grey.

I kind of fell in love with Owen and Malcolm. :) They are cute and handsome, have wonderful sex, fall for each other in 60 hours and have messy hair. Oh... and they banter. I love banter. I love clever banter, and theirs is definitely that. 

I had a couple of tiny negatives. First there was the missing pair of jeans during the encounter on the couch. Owen's jeans. They slid along the leather when he moved... and then he was in his boxers suddenly. How did they come off and where did they go? I actually paged back in my e-reader because I couldn't get it out of my mind. 

The other thing that sticks out, was the treatment of Owen's friend, and I use the term loosely, Jenny, I think her name was. She felt very cardboard and clichéd, but in a story this short, I understand that supporting characters - the only one really - is going to get short shrift, but I felt a little sad for her. She was so unlikable. 

That out of the way... this partnership of Amy and Aleksandr which sounds so, almost crazy, at first thought, works really, really well! The narrative was pretty much seamless and the two styles gelled together quite well. I wouldn't have been able to say it was a co-authorship if I hadn't already known, to be honest. I have never read any Aleksandr Voinov (Amy is one of my fave of fave authors.), but I think I'm going to have to add him to my list after this. 

I hate the way Goodreads catagorises their stars. 4 stars should mean more than I really liked it. 5 stars is perfect, but for ME, 4 stars means it was really, really good, almost perfect. And I'm anxious to learn more about Owen and Malcolm - I kinda feel shortchanged! *LOL* Amy and Aleksander MUST WRITE MORE!!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James


Fifty Shades - Book 1

I despair of the reading community. That such a badly written piece of tripe can have so many stellar ratings... I shake my head in disbelief. And to add insult to injury, the damned thing is a best-seller with the movie rights just being sold for many, many $. Where's the virgin that E.L. James sacrificed? Oh right... in her book. *eyeroll*

So, this was written originally as a Twilight AU (Alternate Universe) fanfic. It shows. All over the place. I will admit to never falling prey to reading any of the Twilight books, but the things I have seen written about Bella, the main character, could have been written about our virginal Anastasia. (And believe me, you don't need to have read/seen Twilight to be aware of the story and characters, the over-saturated media saw to that.)

It's badly, badly written. Ms James has proclaimed in her 20/20 interview that she is not a very good writer (or something along those lines) and she'd be right! I have read many first person present tense tales (they are very common in fanfic land) and the actual craft of writing was far better than in 50 Shades. 

I find the heroine, Anastasia, to be whiney, wibbly, totally unlikable and so damned... thinking she's better than those deviants who practice BDSM. And she has no agency, no purpose, nothing. She has no depth. The only really likable thing about her was her unruly hair. 

Our hero, Christian, was much more likable to me, although I got very tired, very quickly of hearing how other-worldly gorgeous the man was. (One of the many instances where this author could have used a professional editor - and if she did? She was bamboozled.) He seemed to have many interesting layers and I would like to have known more about him, to be honest. (I will add that I never, ever pictured Robert Pattinson when reading about Christian. Robert being far, far from my idea of drop-dead gorgeous and sexy.) 

One thing I can point out as it's very fresh in my mind, was the Deus ex Machina that is Anastasia's talking in her sleep. We discover this in the final 10% (bless you, my Kobo) of the book. And it's very important to the story - pivotal one might say. Something that important the author couldn't have mentioned earlier, say in some conversation with her roommate or something? So at least it doesn't look so contrived? 

The positives in the book were the emails between the main characters. I think that's where we see the true personalities come through and actually can like these two people! Too bad the whole thing couldn't have been done by email. 

And the book ends... excuse me... Part One ends with a totally clichéd cliffhanger that is a blatant ploy to get you to buy the next book OMG RIGHT NOW to find out what happens. That'd be another $9.99 for more bad writing. Yep. *nodnod*

I think what annoys me the most is that, among other things, this trilogy is touted as bringing BDSM to the mainstream. Yet... yet... the BDSM dom needs to be 'fixed'. He's the way he is because of some unexplained abuse as a child. The only reason that Anastasia enjoys the things that she participates in, is because HE likes and wants it. The enjoyment that she gets from it is always termed as dark and shadowy and she's always totally embarrassed by these reactions. (I have long-time friends who are no doubt laughing their asses off at this review, BTW. All I can say is that 20 years have passed. *g*) I can't imagine that the BDSM community is very thrilled about this portrayal of their lifestyle. 

I hated this book. Is it obvious? *LOL* I have read far better erotic BDSM romance stories in various fandoms that I frequent. (And they cost me NOTHING!) Better conceived, better written, better characters, just plain better all around. 

Will I buy the second novel? I sincerely doubt it. I have no plans to right now, that's for sure. I don't CARE if Christian comes after Anastasia! I don't CARE to find out who's missing (I suspect the sister, but since I don't know the Twilight plot...), I don't really CARE to find out why Christian doesn't want to be touched. I just. Don't. Care.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks


Lightbringer Series - Book 1

Goodreads ratings annoy the hell out of me. I'd have given The Black Prism 3.5 stars to be honest.

I enjoyed this book enough to want to read the second book when it comes out, but not enough to wail and gnash my teeth that I have to wait. :) 

Again, Weeks comes up with an interesting twist for his world. Colour magic. Colour magic which is a two-edged sword. The more you use it, the more debilitating it is on your mental health. I have to admit that even after reading 700+ pages, I'm still a wee bit confused on how it actually works. But it does work and that's the main thing for a fantasy world - that the magic work.

The characters - I felt that I was just getting to know them when the book came to an end. Kip, Gavin, Karris, Liv, Corvan, they all seemed to take shape in the last 150 pages of the book. Luckily, they turned out to be interesting folks of whom I want to read more. One thing though, I really wanted to see/know more about the Guile matriarch, she seemed quite the interesting woman, but sadly, we don't get to see much of her. Or Ironfist! I really need more Ironfist! 

I read in another review that for that reader, the turning point in the book for them, the point where they got invested, was when Kip met Ironfist and I have to agree. That's the point where I started to want to read just one more chapter before bed. :) Weeks has improved his writing skills since his Night Angel Trilogy. I love being able to watch an author develop as I read his/her works and I would very much recommend this book to anyone who likes fantastical adventure. Just be prepared to wait until September 2012 for the next volume.