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. :)