Nikyta *Miss Forgetful*

I'm an avid reader and a book hoarder. I just like to read and chat. Coming over here from Goodreads to see how this site works and to create a backup of all my existing books, shelves and reviews. Just in case ;) I can be found at Goodreads, Twitter and The Armchair Reader.

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In Liam's Wake: The Makeshift Soldier (Toys and Soldiers, #1) by Ashlyn Forge

In Liam's Wake: The Makeshift Soldier (Toys and Soldiers) - Ashlyn Forge

This review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.

Eight years ago, Liam was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Thrust into a world that’s considered ‘Topside’, life as he knew it was just about over. His only saving grace is Riley, the man who was sucked into the mysterious place with him. Unfortunately for them, they had to endure one hellish situation after another to survive. Now Liam’s been in the ‘Colony’, a more civilized place than Topside, for five years but Riley’s been in a coma for just as long. Liam’s world is slowly falling apart but what will happen when Riley finally wakes up? Will Liam’s natural affinity to causing problems put them in more trouble then the two can handle?

I just want to say for the record that this book is really crazy! There are so many layers to not only the world and the characters but everything that Liam and Riley have to endure. They each had their own problems and now have the emotional and physical scars to prove it but this book is one that is constantly moving forward. When something happens, it doesn’t just resolve itself in a matter of moments but propels the story into another situation and another to the point that they’re all interwoven and almost all can be resolved in a specifc way… by Liam registering with the Eletes.

To be honest, I don’t feel comfortable trying to explain this story because it would be hard to recreate all that in so many words. What I will say is that this book definitely took me for a ride. Whenever I thought something was going good, Liam would inadvertently cause another problem or part of Riley’s mysteriousness would start to unravel and we’d learn something new about the characters and how much more complicated things could get.

About the characters, I absolutely adored them. Liam is so broken, complicated and almost naive. He’s… well, he’s a hot mess. He just wants to break Riley and him free of the Colony and go back to New York but he can’t do that and each time he’s denied his way of going home, he starts to unravel more and more, losing his mind, becoming anxious and panicky. He has these built in receptors that are extremely dangerous and could kill him if he gets too worked up, which he gets close to doing multiple times. He always thinks he’s found a way to get out of the ‘prison’ he’s in but each time it falls through and he slowly loses hope to the point that he becomes suicidal in his mission to get them back to New York.

Riley is like Liam’s rock but, at the same time, their situation is unique. Riley is even more complicated than Liam because, as the story progresses, you learn over and over how Riley is different from anyone else alive but not exactly how he got that way. It’s amazing and intriguing to see it all play out. Even more so because of the connection between Liam and Riley. Which, while I wouldn’t exactly consider it a sexual one at first, it is definitely an emotional one. They’re linked together through their shared experiences and have created a bond that is hard to break completely.

I had a few issues with the story, though. My main one is that I was confused a lot. The transitions between one problem and the next weren’t very smooth so I was always left scratching my head wondering how Liam or Riley ended up where they did, almost like there were scenes missing between one chapter break and the start of another. It was hard to follow when mixed with Riley’s disadvantage of losing his memories or with Liam’s panic attacks that cause them to black out.

Another thing I had trouble with was understanding Liam and Riley’s relationship because sometimes they would be in love and other times it was almost like they hated each other or were disgusted with one another. I’m not sure if it was meant towards one another or at something else that was keeping them apart but it made me semi uncomfortable… but then they’d confess their love and their emotional connection would be so prominent that I was able to overlook it sometimes. Beyond that, I must admit that I still have a ton of questions about the world and Riley and Liam’s relationship. What is going to happen to Riley? What exactly is Riley? How did he get that way? What is his place in the Colony? Why is Riley still so apprehensive about being touched during intimacy? There’s just so many questions revolving around Riley that I’m burning to know the answers of… but then I also want to know more about Liam and these mysterious people still trying to kill him. Or how the Elete will change him? What will the Elete do to him now? What about Norman? Or Vlad? Omg, there’s just so many questions that I want to know NOW!

Phew! In the end, this was an amazing story. It’s been a while since I’ve been so intrigued with a book that, even though it was a crazy story, I just couldn’t put it down. I was so invested in this one and how Liam and Riley would make things work or how Liam would get out of his next fuck up that I didn’t even notice I was gobbling up huge chunks of the story at a time. I didn’t expect that this would become such a complex book but I’m so glad I read it. I can’t wait to read more in this series and in this world. It’s such a fascinating world with emotionally damaged and fragile characters. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone looking for something different that’ll grab you by the balls and not let go… so to speak. LOL. I loved the book so much I even bought the paperback! :D

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/731880171

Good Moments

No matter how shitty my day gets, it always brightens up when I see that package full of books on my desk. *bliss*

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/user_status/show/35581024

To Serve the Count by Cassandra Pierce

To Serve the Count - Cassandra Pierce

This review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.

This was a short, intense story about Rupert, who’s thrown out of his home for kissing another man. On his journey out of town, he thinks the man he kissed, Devereaux, is up at Castle Blutstark and seeks shelter and work from Count Kaspar, the master of the house. Unknown to Rupert, Castle Blutstark holds much more sinister things than he originally thought. Before he knows it, Rupert is swept up in the spell of Kaspar’s seduction, pleasure and the fact Kaspar is a vampire. Rupert’s feelings towards Kaspar are a mess but will he succumb to Kaspar and all that he offers or will the lies someone is telling him about Kaspar cause Rupert to do something drastic and wrong?

When I started reading this, I thought Rupert was very naive and innocent. That opinion didn’t change by the end of the book BUT he shows that he’s at least brave and will stand up for himself and those he loves, which I really liked. Since this story is told solely from Rupert’s POV, we only get snippets of Kaspar. He’s very mysterious and holds a lot of authority over his community but he’s still very puzzling by the end. I will say that when I finished reading, I had a smile on my face because I just found it so cute. There’s not much to the story besides briefly exploring how Rupert struggles with his new found life. What there is, however, is simplistic and easy to read, which was exactly what I needed.

The plot for this book is actually quite good. It had a lot of potential and could have been something great but it’s biggest fault is the length. The story is very shallow and doesn’t have a lot of depth to it. It needed to be fleshed out and expanded because, as it is, it feels more like a rough draft. You get a taste of Rupert, Kaspar and all the world holds but you don’t actually go deep enough to connect with it. The conflict and resolution is very quick and while there was a little suspense, it was very brief and went by too fast. The connection between Kaspar and Rupert is more told than shown so that we don’t actually experience any of the developing feelings between the two to justify the reasoning behind Kaspar’s offers.

All in all, this was a cute, short story with a lot of potential but the length of the book really hindered the story. I would have loved to explore not just the world and the characters but the developing relationship between Kaspar and Rupert. I will say that I do enjoy this author’s ‘voice’ and I did like the book but it needed way more fleshing out to be a really good read.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/753733789

Force of Law by Jez Morrow

Force of Law - Jez Morrow

Originally read 2/13/2010 - reread 11/13/2013

 

I had originally read this book in 2010. I adored it then and I still adore it now. I was surprised how much of the story I had forgotten, though. The whole beginning is what stuck in my mind but the ending and how gentle and caring Law gets really surprised me. I liked that Law had so many layers. He was this tough, possessive, alpha male. he's very intimidating but people are drawn to him for his money. By the end, he still manhandles Tom but he's more gentle now and loving. Tom's reaction to everything Law does just cracked me up. He's cranky, sulky and snarky at times but he can't help but do what Law says.

*sigh* This is just a fun, hot story that is definitely a comfort read to me. It makes me all melty inside when I read it and Law and Tom together? Damn, they're so freaking hot even *I* couldn't get enough of them!

But, but, but.... now I want a sequel! I want to see their wedding! And their babies!

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/89497796

Loving Aidan by Ashavan Doyon

Loving Aidan - Ashavan Doyon

This review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.

Aidan Flemming is an out and proud, quirky college student. He hasn’t had the easiest life but he’s at least content with where he is now. The only problem is, the one person who would make his life perfect and happy is his roommate, Sammy, who’s straight. Aidan can’t help yearning for Sammy, though, even when he knows there’s no chance there. When Sammy’s friend, Steven, makes increasingly more demanding moves on him, Aidan finally gives Steven a chance. Things are great until Steven makes their courtship public causing a lot of anger and hatred towards gay students to the point of violence. Steven’s fallen for Aidan and Aidan is quickly falling for Steven but when Sammy’s jealousy gets in the way, Aidan won’t put up with it especially since Sammy’s not gay. But when Aidan tells Sammy to prove he’s a better match than Steven, will Sammy be able to accept all it means to be Aidan’s lover? Or will he be too scared to actually own up to his feelings?

I gotta say, this was quite a ride. I started it late in the afternoon one day and then just could not put it down, reading until three or four in the morning. It’s a very entertaining, sweet and enjoyable read. It explores a lot of what Aidan goes through on a daily basis. The stares, snickers, leers that he has to put up with for being who he is. A lot of it is based around Aidan’s love life. Steven’s courtship of him and then Sammy’s demanding and possessive attitude toward him. Two alpha males fighting over one lonely, sweet but confident man. At times, it doesn’t feel very realistic. After all, two jocks (one who’s straight and one who’s closeted) fighting over a literature geek after all this time BUT then again, it didn’t really matter to me. I like this author’s writing and she spun a tale that really grabbed hold of me and wouldn’t let go.

As I said, Aidan is a very quirky guy. He wears a very sophisticated style of clothing so around college kids, he really stands out. He doesn’t really fit in to any crowd or clique but he’s managed to become friends with very different people to the point that they’re loyal to him and care about him. His inner voice is slightly whiny but also very entertaining. It was sad the way he’d pine over Sammy even when Steven in all his glory was willing to give him everything. Steven is… well.. perfect. I loved him. I was sad for him. He falls hard and he loves hard but he’s such a romantic I just wanted to steal him for myself. Sammy is the opposite of Steven. Where Steven is sweet, gentle and loving, Sammy is more demanding, possessive and rough. It was quite a contrast but, then again, the differences made it worth Aidan’s struggle with his feelings for the two.

I won’t lie and say this book doesn’t have it’s faults. My main issue was that there was too much sex for my tastes. More than that, I felt the emotional and physical connection between Aidan and Steven was more intense than the connection between Aidan and Sammy. Up until the last chapter, Sammy and Aidan’s relationship felt purely physical. There’s a lot of lust but I didn’t FEEL the emotional bond between them that they seemed to have. Not the way I could feel it between Aidan and Steven, at least. Beyond that, there are moments within this book that felt like cheating (although I know most people won’t think of it as such) that I wasn’t comfortable with.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. I normally don’t like love triangles but this one intrigued me and I’m glad I read it. It’s been a while since I’ve been kept up reading a book and while this book isn’t perfect, it was still something I really liked. The characters have enough depth that I could understand their feelings and this story covers a lot of school issues such as bullying, gay bashing and a school’s inability to take corrective action. For those looking for something long but engaging, try this one out because you just might like it ;)

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/693978682

Alrik by Carol Lynne

Alrik - Carol Lynne

This review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.

This is the story of Dr. Ben Cook, who has a fascination with Mexican Grey wolves and saving them from extinction, and Alrik, the bodyguard Ben’s sister hires to keep Ben from getting shot again while gathering data of the few known Mexican Grey wolf packs in America. Attraction is instant when the two meet but Ben is determined to get the information he needs to help the wolves, even if they don’t want his help. While Alrik thought it’d be an easy job to shadow Ben, neither of them count on their attraction becoming physical nor do they expect to find shifters merging with natural wolves. Unfortunately, Ben’s desire to help the wolves has caused Ben and Alrik to stumble upon an issue the wolves have been having for some time. Now they’re trying to help but just how wanted is their assistance? And who keeps saving Ben from sticky situations? But, more importantly, does the sudden lust between Ben and Alrik mean something more and is it even wanted?

One of my guilty pleasures is shifters. I can’t get enough of them, no matter how many of them I read. With this one, I liked that the shifter was of a different nature. Alrik is considered a chameleon shifter, part of the C-7 shifters, named because there is only seven of them in the world. They can change into any animal, no matter how small or how large. Alrik being part of the C-7 and what that all means, plays a big role in this book, in my opinion. I found all of that fascinating because I love seeing different takes on shifters and mixed with the fact that the C-7 are so different but so similar was very interesting for me.

As characters, Alrik is very forceful, demanding and surprisingly possessive considering he’s very adamant what is going on between him and Ben is ‘nothing’. It’s cute how he denies what is right in front of him but also sad (this is also a guilty pleasure of mine). Ben, on the other hand, I absolutely adored. He’s such a sweetheart and I loved that he could be stubborn when he wanted to be but also knew when putting up a fight would be useless. The two together are cute and indulge in their lust quite often. Their relationship isn’t as in depth as I would have liked (since the story is so short) but I liked what they went through and had a lot of fun reading it.

While I loved the world Ms. Lynne created and the characters, I had a few issues. My main issue was how much sex there was. It was too much for my tastes and it made me feel, in the end, that their relationship was more of a physical one than an emotional one. Besides that, I was confused in the beginning regarding the world. It feels like you’re thrust into this unknown society and expected to understand it already. So, it took a little time to get acquainted with the fact that shifters were common knowledge and lived among humans openly. Over the course of the book, the world becomes clearer but those first few pages were somewhat disorientating.

All in all, I enjoyed this one a lot. I love Ms. Lynne’s writing and I adored the world she created. This series seems to be all short stories so far (something that saddens me greatly!), they’re quick reads but I loved the characters and found the world fascinating. I can’t wait to see the direction this series goes in but I hope the other books are longer than this one!! Definitely recommended for those looking for something short, easy and fun.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/753632511

Too Many Fairy Princes by Alex Beecroft

Too Many Fairy Princes - Alex Beecroft

This review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.

This was a fascinating tale about Joel, a struggling artist who’s been forced to pick up the pieces of his boss’s financial problems, and Kjartan, an elven prince fleeing to Earth to save his life. When Joel finds Kjartan injured and unconscious near his home, he takes Kjartan in and cares for him. That is until Kjartan awakens and almost kills Joel for touching him. What follows is a slow-forming fondness between a haughty elven prince and a kind-hearted human while they try to stay alive fighting against a very deadly loan shark and Kjartan’s crazy brother who fancies assassinations.

It was hard for me to finally immerse myself in this story. One reason for that is because of Kjartan. I didn’t really like him in the beginning. He’s a pompous, arrogant prince that has no concept of what is considered grotesque or wrong. He creates disturbing creatures that have no right to be made. As the story progresses, though, you realize who Kjartan is in Vagar, is just a facade. More than anything he wants to be loved and cherished and that’s exactly what Joel gives him without demanding anything in return.

From the beginning Joel is a sweet, kind man. You might see him as naive and innocent but, in fact, he’s experienced how horrible people can be but doesn’t let that get him down. He’s strong and sincere but knows wrong from right and refuses to just sit back and let something wrong happen when he knows he can change it. I LOVED Joel but more than anything I loved what Joel does to Kjartan. He makes the usually conceited prince mellow and opened Kjartan’s eyes to what love is. It’s sweet in a way but also interesting to see the transformation that Kjartan goes through just by being around Joel for a short time. It’s lovely and made me eventually love Kjartan, too!

One thing this story has, that I wasn’t expecting, was action. When Kjartan fled Vagar, it meant his brother, Tyrnir, would eventually find him and try to assassinate him to become King. While Kjartan doesn’t want to be King, he also doesn’t want to die, which is why he flees for his life. I liked the mix of Kjartan’s problems and Joel’s problems and how they eventually merge. More than that, I liked Kjartan’s world and how unique and gruesome it is. It’s vastly different than Earth, made up of a kingdom that values emotionless and cold-hearted beings. It’s repulsive and disgusting but at the same time fascinating to experience Vagar and the creatures that inhabit it.

There were a few issues I had with this story. My main issue being how much I struggled to get into it in the beginning. It took about a third of the story for me to really get invested. There were also times when there was too much purple prose for my taste to the point that I would get confused at what was trying to be conveyed. More than once, I was left scratching my head at what I just read. Then again, that could just be because Kjartan has a very regal upbringing that confused me at times. I’m not quite sure. Either way, it still left me wondering what in the world was trying to be said.

All in all, I enjoyed the book once I got into it. I liked the world Ms. Beecroft created and how detailed it was. The characters were fascinating and had multiple layers to them that gave them a great amount of depth. The conflicts provided enough action and suspense to keep me reading and overall, the story was a delight to read. Definitely recommended for those who are fantasy fans who adore The Prince and the Pauper type stories.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/715457377

The Hanged Man’s Ghost by Missouri Dalton

The Hanged Man's Ghost - Missouri Dalton

This review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.

When I first read the blurb for this book, I thought the story would be something suspenseful but with a pairing of Fynn and the Internal Affairs guy who was investigating him. Imagine my delight when I started reading and realized it was between Fynn and Jack, Fynn’s work partner. The story features a lot of issues that all boil down to Fynn. He’s the connection between everyone, everything and every time something happens. From people being murdered to finding help for his addictions to even being admitted into a mental hospital.

Fynn Adder is reckless, careless and doesn’t give a damn who he fucks or how much he drinks. He has no concept of self-preservation because, at this point, he’s just going with the motions. He doesn’t pull his head out of his ass until he starts to realize that the supernatural really does exist. I adored Fynn, even at his worst. I can’t say I loved all his actions but I felt so bad for him. I just wanted to hug him and keep him safe from the world. He’s so broken inside and he has a lot of issues. His family keeps secrets from him that hurts him a lot but also leads him to realize why he feels so empty. Jack Winchester is Fynn’s work partner with the Chicago Police Department. Jack is Fynn’s rock. No matter what Fynn does, Jack is always concerned but he’s always there. He gets angry at Fynn’s lack of concern for his own health but no matter what the situation, Jack will stick by Fynn’s side. I loved him but I also loved the relationship that they eventually form. While it’s not the main focus of the story, I could feel the connection between them and I only wished there had been more of it to see!

The story, at times, feels like a hot mess. There are just so many things that happen to Fynn that seems unbelievable and too much BUT they all happen for a reason that becomes clear by the end of the book. As I said, it centers around Fynn but it’s more than just a crutch to move the story along. Things happen because they need to happen and while I had trouble at times keeping pace with how many problems Fynn ultimately runs into, I won’t deny that I enjoyed every one of them… even the gruesome ones. I don’t want to get into too much detail because I think part of the appeal with this story is the fact that you just don’t know what is going to happen before it happens. It’s suspenseful and has some action and starts the foundation of a relationship that was brewing for months, if not years. It’s sweet but sometimes intense. I was hanging on the edge of my seat a time or time and I can’t explain enough how much I loved that feeling.

One thing I had an issue with was the fact that some of the moments that I really wanted to see were glossed over and told briefly about such as when Fynn would confront his family about something, which happened often but we never got to see these fights they got into. Experiencing them and the passion that is mentioned but not shown would have been great, IMO. I had a few other minor issues such as inconsistencies (the story in general could have used more editing) and that the book had so many conflicts that the transition between some of them was a bit confusing.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I had a lot of fun with it. I went into it expecting one thing and got something totally different but overall, I’m glad I read it. Fynn is so broken and Jack centers him. I adored the two together and even though Fynn goes through so much, it made the story why I adored it so much. Definitely recommended for those looking for something easy to read, that’s fast-paced and a lot of fun…. but be warned, the smut is pretty much glossed over :)

Source: http://sidlove.com/2013/11/01/book-review-the-hanged-mans-ghost-by-missouri-dalton

Want, want, want

Crust
1 1/2 cups (325 mL) graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp (30 mL) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (60 mL) butter, melted

Filling
3 tubs (475 g/each) Tre Stelle® Extra Smooth Ricotta Cheese
1 1/2 cups (325 mL) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) all purpose flour
1 tbsp (15 mL) vanilla extract
2 tsp (10 mL) freshly grated orange peel
7 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup (75 mL) miniature chocolate chips
candied orange slices or shelled pistachios for garnish if desired
Preheat oven to 350ºF (175ºC).

Wrap all sides and bottom of a 9” spring form pan securely with a double layer thickness of aluminum foil. Combine all of the crust ingredients together and press evenly across the bottom and 1/2” up the sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes; allow to cool before filling.

In a large bowl beat Ricotta Cheese and granulated sugar until smooth. Beat in flour, vanilla and orange peel. Add beaten eggs one at a time and blend on low speed only until incorporated (do not over mix). Carefully pour into prepared pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Place in a large baking pan and add 1” of hot water to the pan.

Bake for 75 minutes or until center is almost set. Carefully remove pan from oven and lift out spring form pan and place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove aluminum foil; run a sharp knife around edge of pan to loosen; allow to cool an additional hour and remove side of pan. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with candied oranges or pistachios if desired.

Makes 12 servings.

Source: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151949866091654&set=a.387172841653.198773.386056616653&type=1&theater

Eeeeee

http://joshlanyon.blogspot.com/2013/10/about-that-super-secret-special-holiday.html?spref=tw&m=1

Reblogged from Jenn
Heather, Ang & Nikyta
Heather, Ang & Nikyta
Ang, Heather, Tina & Nikyta
Ang, Heather, Tina & Nikyta
Nikyta, Ang, Heather & Tina
Nikyta, Ang, Heather & Tina
Laura, Tina & Ang
Laura, Tina & Ang
Heather, Gyn, Julie, Trish & Nikyta
Heather, Gyn, Julie, Trish & Nikyta
The Family
The Family
The Family
The Family
Nikyta, Anna, Heather, Tina, Ang, MJ & Lorelei
Nikyta, Anna, Heather, Tina, Ang, MJ & Lorelei

GRL 2013 - Atlanta, GA

By The Numbers by Chris Owen & Tory Temple

By The Numbers - Chris Owen, Tory Temple

This was such a cute story! I loved how it started and how Deuce and Trey first meet. I also loved how Deuce and Trey were kind of circling each other at first and the ultimate lead up to where things start to progress around them. The fact that it revolves around a pregnant dog and the puppies that soon come was just adorable and had me smiling nonstop.

My only real issue is that there was too much sex for me. Too many scenes and a few that were too long for my tastes as well to the point that I started skimming them. Beyond that, I wished we could have seen more of Deuce and Trey together with them getting deeper into their relationship. I feel like I know more about Trey and his life than I know about Deuce. In fact, Deuce is sort of still a big mystery to me.

In the end, it was a good story that I enjoyed. I liked how Chance from Ms. Temple's Firefighters series made a few appearances in this story. It was a pleasant surprise. I'm looking forward to the sequel and seeing if some of my questions get answered. Definitely recommended, though, for those looking for a light, sweet and smutty read.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/216304998

My Only Sunshine by Rowan McAllister

My Only Sunshine - Rowan McAllister

This joint review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love, along with Sid's review of the same book.

I have a weakness for cowboy stories. Throw in the fact that one of the characters is not only injured physically but is damaged emotionally and you have a story I just had to read.

This is about Tanner Wallis, who life has not been kind to the last few weeks. Forced to endure one hellish situation after another, he unintentionally wanders onto Mason’s property. Seeing that Tanner is not in the best of shape, Mason allows him to heal and rest on the ranch until he’s healthy again. Unfortunately, Mason might be out but he has his own set of problems with his homophobic and disabled father and having Tanner on the ranch can cause way more issues than he wants. However, the feelings between the two develop quickly and intense, leaving both of them unwilling to leave the other no matter what. But what will happen when Mason’s daddy finds out about Tanner? Will Tanner and Mason be able to get through the inevitable trouble that’s bound to happen?

I must say, I simply adored Tanner. He’s so fragile but he’s also very strong. His worst enemy is himself and it was sad to see him have second thoughts about Mason. He doesn’t believe he’s worthy enough to have someone love him for who he is instead of what his face looks like. Very heartbreaking. I also loved Mason because of what he has to put up with. I loved that he was so willing to take care of a father who hated him but at the same time I wanted to shake Mason and tell him to stick up for himself when it came to his family! I found it frustrating that he would bite his lip and just let things get worse instead of getting the courage to tell things the way they really happened, especially when it came to his sister.

The plot of the story mostly revolves around the developing relationship between Tanner and Mason with a side mystery. IMO, the mystery was too weak. It really only showed up or was mentioned when it would add more conflict to the story. However, the relationship between Tanner and Mason was very strong. I liked the almost physical pull the two had for each other. It was cute, sweet but sometimes intense. One thing I probably adored the MOST was the fact that these loved to hug each other simply to be held. I couldn’t get enough of that and really loved that there was nothing sexual attached to the hugs. They were for comfort, love and to give each other strength. It might have been the highlight of the story for me.

I enjoyed the story but I had a few issues with it. My main issue was that for a while in the middle, it started to drag. It was nice seeing Tanner and Mason get to know each other but at the same time, nothing else happened so it didn’t hold my interest for long when I tried to read. On top of that, I had an issue with the foreshadowing at the end of some of the chapters, which felt awkward and unnecessary. The ending was too nicely tied up for my liking so by the end, it left me with a lot of questions. My biggest one being how Mason and Tanner could afford to do most of the things they ended up changing.

Overall, this was a sweet story. I enjoyed it for the most part but I did have my issues. It’s main draw for me was the numerous hugs, as I said. It’s just not something you see in abundance in m/m when there’s not a sexual undertone to it and the hugs between Tanner and Mason were just sweet and adorable, filled with love. So CUTE! It definitely ends on a happy note and I was glad that these two found the happiness they both deserve.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/715743943

Illumination by Rowan Speedwell

Illumination - Rowan Speedwell

There's something about Ms. Speedwell's writing that always draws me in. When I read her, I know I'm going to enjoy her story and this one is no different.

I absolutely adored these characters. Miles just breaks my heart with his issues. He's complex and has so many hidden things about him. I loved that as the story progressed, we slowly started to understand why Miles is the way he is. I'll admit, I wanted to shake him silly a few times but I also wanted to hug him and keep him safe. I connected with Miles because of how broken he is but it took a little while for me to like Adam. At first, I thought he was this conceited, spoiled rock star but the more I read, the more I realized that he just needed to find his way and where Miles helps him do that, Adam also helps Miles find his way. One thing I hated about Adam, though, was his drug habit. Then again, at the same time, his denial in actually having an addiction was very realistic.

The story explores how Adam and Miles meet, the instant connection they have and then the separation they go through when they get back to their lives. Unfortunately, they each have their issues and those issues make having a relationship difficult. Add to that, doubts and insecurity create unwanted second thoughts that cause some conflict between their fledgling relationship. I liked the way the book was handled and also the journey that Miles and Adam take to finally be together. It's sweet and heartbreaking but I couldn't put the story down once I was able to sink my teeth into it.

While I enjoyed the story a lot, though, I did have some issues. Mostly, I understood the bond Miles and Adam created but I still found it hard to believe that these two had such a deep connection to the point that they'd be willing to wait for each other. IMO, they barely knew each other, or at least we didn't see them getting to know each other to the depth that they claimed. Beyond that, I wished we could have seen more of Miles and Adam when they finally work things out and I would have loved to see Adam's rehabilitation with Miles.

All in all, this was a great story. It pulled at my heartstrings and made me fall in love with the characters but I also loved how these two got to where they finally ended up. Definitely recommended for those looking for something semi-angsty but with great characters.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/676279827

Bad Idea by Damon Suede

Bad Idea - Damon Suede

This review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.

Trip Spector is a talented comic book artist who hates the comics he draws but can’t seem to change his life because of his sexy and sleazy (but straight) boss. When he meets Silas everything changes and his world turns upside down. Now, it’s full of possibilities and new inspiration. When the two get together, it’s more than just a one time thing, it’s the start of something real, intense, and beautiful but with every good thing, there’s always that fear and, more than anything, Trip is scared his new-found happiness will crumble. The chemistry between Silas and Trip is fierce but will Trip let his fear ruin that?

When we first meet Trip, he’s this big ball of allergies, dreading having to participate in a Zombie Run (where he ends up meeting the super hot Silas). He’s cute and slightly nerdy and I really liked him because of that. He’s confused and mislead by his Unboyfriend (i.e. his cock-tease of a boss). I loved him but I also wanted to shake some sense into him! He’s sooo stubborn! But, at the same time, he’s insecure and wonders how someone like Silas could like him. I felt bad for him because he’s so wound up and doesn’t know how to handle things. Silas, on the other hand, was my favorite character. He’s out and proud, charming, sweet but a closeted geek. He grew up chubby so he always feels like he’s unattractive even though he’s doesn’t have any issues getting a guy. It’s heartbreaking the low self-esteem he has but I found myself smiling ridiculously whenever he’d do something ‘gentlemanly’ that Trip always ended up ruining somehow. It was funny but also kinda cute. Silas was sexy as hell but the two of them together?! Jesus, I don’t like reading much sex but even *I* found these two smoking hot! The two have a great connection and fit each other perfectly, IMO, and I couldn’t get enough of them.

The story revolves around Trip and Silas chartering new waters. Neither of them have much experience in relationships. Silas has a ton of exes while Trip has just been pining after his ‘straight’ boss for the last four years. They start off pretty intense because of the chemistry between them is intense BUT that isn’t the only thing. The story tells how Scratch, an erotic graphic novel that Trip creates based off Silas, comes to be, how much pleasure Trip gets from creating something that’s HIS but also the trouble it causes him to do that. Silas, through everything, is his rock and I really, really loved seeing the conflict Trip always had and how Silas could calm him down. When things start to get rocky, my heart almost broke for these guys.

While I loved this story, there was one big issue I had with it. Mainly, I felt like the writing was choppy and confusing sometimes to the point where I had to go back and reread certain passages to clarify how or why the characters got on different subjects. Mostly, this happened between the shift into the philosophical discussions (that I actually quite enjoyed) but I can’t deny the transition between what was originally talked about and that pulled me out of the story multiple times.

One of the many great things about this book, though, were the secondary characters, specifically, Max, Jillian, Kurt and Ziggy. Jillian and her son, Max, were just great additions to the story. Always filled with something funny or smart to say, I loved Trip’s interactions with them. More than anything, though, I found Ziggy to be a fascinating character and how Kurt is drawn to him was even better. I really hope that we’ll be able to see Ziggy and Kurt get their own story one day because it really would be something amazing to see.

In the end, I adored this story. I found the telling of how Scratch was created fascinating and really cool to experience but I also loved the characters. The journey Silas and Trip go down while they figure out how to have a relationship was sweet, hot and put a smile on my face. I can’t wait to read more in this series and since I haven’t read Horn Gate yet, it makes me want to start it ASAP.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/737915160

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