Friday, December 27, 2013

Pestilence by T.A. Chase


The Four Horsemen - Book 1

I finished this book on Christmas Eve and am just now offering up my review and rating.

I enjoyed it. It wasn't great, but it was a bunch of fun for me. I love the concept of the Four Horseman and how they supposedly act and interact in our world. The love story between Pestilence and Bart was intriguing and given time to form and grow. The quest for the cure to the disease that figured as a main plot point was okay, but I think I wanted/expected there to be more heft to it?

There were a few times when something would come up that seemed a little Deus ex machina, bits of information or backstory, along those lines, where you say to yourself, "Look at that coming out of the blue like that." Not a huge deal, but I figure if I noticed it enough that it brought me out of the story, then it was something that could have been fixed with a bit more focused editing maybe. The other thing that bothered me, but your mileage may vary, was that Pest seemed to talk in a very modern fashion, using slang and current turns of phrase and it didn't work for me. He didn't sound like a man from 1350ish and I expected him to. To make him sound a little different from Johnny Off The Street, you know?

But all in all, the premise is cool, the characters are well drawn for the most part, the love story works and the sex scenes are nice and hot. *g* And, I do want to read the rest of the series, War, Famine and Death.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Long the Mile by Ally Blue


So this is the final book in the "Home for the Holidays" collection from Riptide. It was the first published, if I'm not mistaken, but I didn't get around to it until now. I was disappointed. Yes, the blurb said that it was angst-filled, and I should have expected it, but my LORD it was depressing.

The story is about two men, Judah and Toby. Both men are homeless and live on the streets. Judah has been in prison for insider trading and when he is released, his sentence complete, he cannot find a job anywhere and soon ends up on the streets where he meets Toby. Now, quite understandably, Judah is negative, down, scared, depressed, angry... all those things. And Toby is the more positive of the two, hopeful from time to time, easier to smile, easier to love. Opposites attract and all.

Did the novella have anything to do with the holidays? Not so much. Sure, parts of it were set around Christmas, but it was barely even a plot point. I guess I was expecting a Christmas Miracle type of thing for these two men. I will admit that the characters were well done, although Gloomy Judah was really starting to grate on my nerves by the time the last third of the story began. And of course, I felt guilty for that because I should have more compassion and understanding for a homeless man and his plight.

One plus about the book was the setting. It's set in Asheville, North Carolina, a place I've visited and it was kind of nifty to re-visit places I'd been.

All in all, I found that while Long the Mile is a very well-written book, with full, rounded characters, I didn't enjoy it much. It brought me down and that was certainly not what I was looking for in a Christmas read.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane


This is a wonderful story. I mean, seriously, Lifetime or someone should make a movie of it and play it every year. It'd be so much better than a lot of the stuff they're showing!

Rusty and Oliver are friends. They meet in high school. Rusty is a football player and Oliver... is not. Rusty's family leaves much to be desired. Oliver's family, while challenged, is a warm, loving place. Oliver is gay... Rusty is... well, at the start of the book, he's undeclared. *g* This is the story of how Oliver and Rusty became a most adorable couple.

Nobody writes confused young people the way Amy does. She understands the angst that consumes so many of them and how everything is so important, so live or die important. And she creates characters that you take to your heart and, well, in my case, just want to mother the hell out of. *LOL* And she creates secondary characters that I always fall in love with. Oliver's father, his cousins, Rusty's sister, his college roommate... I loved them all. Rusty's roommate, Rex, made me laugh out loud so many times. What a piece of work! I've heard murmurs that he will be getting his own book (as is de rigeur in M/M circles)

So, if you're looking for a heart-warming, easy-to-read, emotion-packed, fun Christmas read, you can't go wrong with this one!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Lost and Found by Z.A. Maxfield


Lost and Found
is another great holiday read. It's the story of two men and a dog, even though the dog doesn't get a lot of page time. :) To use a canine analogy, one of the men, Ringo, could be described as a Bernese Mountain Dog. He's the head of security for a beachside RV resort community (which I kept setting in Florida in my mind. *LOL*), he's 30 years old and has a huge, loving family. The other man, Gavin, in my opinion, is best described as a Staffordshire Bull Terrier who needs some resocialising. He's a musician, a loner, cranky, impulsive and older than Ringo.

Mature heroes, guys!!! Mature heroes be in this book!! :) Yes, for me, this was a big deal.

So the catalyst of this story is that Gavin's chocolate Lab, Bird (named after Charley "Bird" Parker of course.), goes missing. Gavin and Ringo have had an on again, off again relationship, but Ringo hasn't given up. And, since this is a Christmas story, he's right to be so determined.

Z.A Maxfield seems to do these cut from a different cloth type of characters and I love them. See, I've read a few things about how Gavin is a totally unlikable character. As I said, he's cranky and a loner. He's closed off, acts on impulse - those knee-jerk reactions that are never good, bristly, mean when he's been hurt..., but you know what? They can't all be paragons of virtue. Even in romantic books. :) I found it SO refreshing that Gavin was so difficult. Ringo is the good guy - big, handsome, patient, loving... in other words, he's the perfect match for Gavin. He GETS Gavin finally and realises what the love of his life really needs, and therein lies the tale. :) And then there are the sex scenes that fairly steam off the page. I mean Serious Sexy Stuff goin' on in here!

So yes, I really, really enjoyed this one!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Goodreads Does Indeed Suck

*crossposted to my blog Ev's Place*

I had been debating buying Book Collector, a book database program that's full of lovely bells and whistles and the most important thing, provides me my own copy of my collection of over 2600 books on my computer as well as cloud storage etc.. etc... So, I went ahead and bought it.

Now, two months ago, I opened an account here at Booklikes for my book blogging and imported my collection from Goodreads. Now I love Booklikes, but it's newish and growing and it doesn't have an export function yet, so... I used my Goodreads export to load up my Book Collector. I sure wasn't going to add all 2600+ books one by one AGAIN! Once was enough. :)

Anyway, in doing this, I have realised how Goodreads has totally fucked my books and shelves. I had taken the time when originally adding my books into Goodreads, to find the proper ISBN numbers, the correct covers and editions etc... Then Goodreads was bought by Amazon. They "cleaned up" their database because no one using it had books any older than 10 years old, right? *eyeroll* Now I have ISBN numbers that don't match the books I own, covers have gone missing all over the place, even books have disappeared from shelves. Add in their censoring of reviews and peoples shelves and all the other bullshit from the past 6 months, and I'm CONVINCED I did the right thing in moving to Booklikes and buying Book Collector.

I have sorted the author names (you wouldn't believe the mess of the import) and now I 'm about to dive in and do covers and series. It's going to be FABULOUS once I'm done. :)

But DAMN, Goodreads used to be the PRIME way to catalogue books, but then Big Business got involved and it went into the shitter. And it's made me so very pleased I don't own a Kindle. :) Now, if only the Kobo Aura HD will go on sale.... I'm due for an upgrade.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Found on FB...

... and I thought it would be fun here too. :) So, copied from my FB page...

So Amy Lane had this up on her FB page, and I loved the idea. Only I won't tag anyone. If you go ahead and do it, please tag me so I don't miss what you wrote.

Rules: In your status line list books that have stayed with you in some way. Don't take more than a few minutes and don't think too hard they don't have to be " right" or " great" works just the ones that have touched you.


1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
2. Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
3. Deryni Rising & Harrowing of Gwynedd by Katherine Kurtz
4. Practically Perfect by Janet Lambert
5. Roots by Alex Haley
6. The Robert the Bruce Trilogy by Nigel Tranter
7. Still Glides the Stream by D.E. Stevenson
8. Dance with Me by Heidi Cullinan
9. Beau Geste by P.C. Wren
10. With Angus in the Forest by Meta Mayne Reid

Thursday, December 5, 2013

How I Met Your Father by L.B. Gregg


So, 'tis the season for holiday reads and How I Met Your Father is a charming, light-hearted, sexy and fun read.

The story of Justin, the closeted one-time boy band star and Jack, the sexy, doctor, father of the girl who is marrying Justin's best friend and bandmate has its deepish moments - for instance when a couple of the onetime bandmates explain to Justin exactly why he's wrong about many things - but for the most part its a comedy of errors that begins in turbulence and ends with a very cute HEA that's SO cliché that it works.

Had the author wished, I think this would have made a full novel and I could have done with a little more fleshing out of Jack's character - and by the way... 44 is NOWHERE near old. *LOL* He's pretty much too good to be true, but I know there's a flaw or two there to make him more interesting. And I thought the take on Justin staying in the closet because of all the people counting on him was intriguing too, and would have liked more insight into that. But then it wouldn't be a happy, fluffy Christmas story. :)

So brew yourself some coffee, tea or hot chocolate and curl up on the couch and give this a read. It's fun and left me smiling. :)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Book Collector Software

I am really thinking of getting the Book Collector program from so that I have my own personal database of books as well as what I have here at Booklikes. I just have to pull that purchasing trigger. *LOL*

I've been playing with their trial version (100 book capacity) for the past couple of days, an I really like everything I can do with it. It speaks to that inner organisational demon that lives inside of me. Decisions, decisions... :)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Let It Snow by Heidi Cullinan


Minnesota Christmas - Book 1

What a terrific way to start some holiday reading! Let It Snow is a sweet, quiet, heart-warming love story that just left me smiling and happy and feeling so good. :) Heidi is one of my favourite authors and she doesn't disappoint.

Outwardly Marcus is a grumpy bear living up in the North Woods of Minnesota with his two other beary buddies, Arthur and Paul. Outwardly, Frankie is a young man from the city who is so full of swish that even a blind man could tell he was gay. It's a story about opposites on the outside who are really not so opposite on the inside. It's a story of how everyone has fears and sometimes they can rule a person's life and sometimes, people you think aren't afraid, really are. It's a story about totally changing your life and taking a chance. It's a tale about doing nice things for people and how sometimes it works and sometimes it can backfire. It's about some really hot and steamy sex scenes that are really beautifully written. And it's about getting your HAE, just in time for that magical Christmas Eve snowfall. :)

I loved it! If you're looking for a good holiday romance, you can't go wrong with this one. :)