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.

Wild Magic - Poppy Dennison This review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.

First things first. If you haven’t read the Triad series… well, you seriously need to get your butt in gear and read them because they’re great. Different, intense at times but still has enough soft and sweet moments to make it not too heavy but an engaging read nonetheless.

With Wild Magic, it’s no different. While we aren’t experiencing the wolves as much, we’re taken in a different direction in what’s happened to the surviving mountain lions that no one knew about and the fear that they’re still in danger. For those that have read the Triad series, you’ll know why this is so significant. I loved the fact that we got to see more of the cats but also enjoyed exploring how a human reacts to knowing about shifters.

It was interesting to see the relationship between Dominick and Joseph, who were best friends back when they were teenagers. Unfortunately, Dom had to break off their friendship when he realized he was in danger of spilling his shifter secret to Joseph. When they meet again, Joseph is still hurt by Dom’s sudden withdraw but he’s willing to put aside his feelings for the boys… especially when he still yearns to be in Dom’s arms. This story goes beyond that, however, by eventually bringing both types of shifters together that will ultimately set things to right. Along the way is the possibility of trouble and the fear that Dom might not be enough for his nephews to survive while also exploring a little of Dom and Joseph’s rekindling relationship.

I loved that Joseph was so willing to get Avery and Blake to safety even when he just got the shocking of a lifetime. He’s a sweet, successful and tender man. Dominick is hard to explain. When he hears about what happened to his sister, he’s lost. He has no idea how to raise two little boys and even less of an idea of how to keep them safe. It was obvious to me that he still wanted Joseph so I found his need to protect both the boys and Joseph so adorable. Joseph and Dom together fit perfectly, IMO, because where Dom was nervous and unsure, Joseph gave him a shoulder to lean on and where Joseph was unsure, Dom gave him the strength to figure things out. I just loved these two and Dom’s little nephews! Soooo cute! I had this little “OMG, I KNEW IT!” moment when I realized who Avery and Blake were… it was great and I’m curious if other readers will make the same connection that I did.

I only had two issues with this book. One, I felt like Avery and Blake spoke and acted much older than the ages of six and four. Second, the resolution to the conflict was very anti-climactic to the point that I was left wondering if that was it. Beyond that, I wished the story, in general, had been longer so that some of the scenes and what was glossed over could have been expanded on. I wished there had been a tad more emphasis on the romance because there wasn’t enough to make me really understand their feelings (as there were with the previous couples) but I’d love to know where Joseph and Dominick go from here and to see their actual mating.

In the end, I adored this story just as much as I enjoy all of Ms. Dennison’s books. I’ve always loved this world and I’m happy that we got more of a taste from it but from a cat’s point of view instead. It was definitely interesting and I loved the moment when the connection between the previous Triad books and this one became known. I sincerely hope there’s more to come of this series because I’m not ready yet to let it go!
To The Highest Bidder - Jordan Brewer 3.5 stars

This is a difficult book for me to review. There are some things I adored about the story and some things I struggled with.

As it is, I loved the first half of the book simply because I found the secret inner strength Jonathan had admiring and entertaining. He's had a terrible life filled with nothing but cruelty and being unwanted yet he adapted to situations very well. Granted, he had a rocky start with Adrian, he still made the best of it and then showed everyone the true 'Jonathan'. The one that can take down a whole army with only one arm. It was amazing to see and I really loved that Jonathan was an underdog that shocked everyone when he blossomed into a great character. I'm not quite sure if I like Adrian or not. With him (and Jonathan if I'm to be honest) there were moments when I wanted to smack him silly to pull his head out of his ass then there were moments when I absolutely adored him. Adrian did grow from a spoiled prince to an honorable king by the end of the story and I did appreciate the fact that he fell so hopelessly in love with Jonathan that he'd do anything for his consort.

The story revolves partially around getting Jonathan out of the horrible scenarios his father has pushed him into but then veers into Jonathan and Adrian coming to terms with ruling as a couple, learning each other, trying to trust each other and settling the issues Jonathan still has with his horrible father and then turns to something horrible that Adrian has to go through. I liked that we got to see the different transitions between each conflict because it allowed the reader to not just see Adrian and Jonathan settling into their new relationship but showed them as an existing couple that experiences some of the same problems ordinary couples face.

I liked that there were essentially three parts to this story but at the same time, I feel like that hurt the book, IMO, because I ended up struggling between the end of one conflict and the start of another. At times, I wish it had been separated into three short stories because there was always a sense of finality to the end of a conflict, only to learn there's still more to come. By the end of the book, I was actually a tad depressed by the final problem, which didn't leave a good taste in my mouth. On top of that, this book needed way more editing and had too much sex for my liking. It contains some elements that are cliched that causes a lot of tension but ultimately kind of made me want to shake some sense into these usually level-headed characters.

All in all, I liked the story. It's not perfect but it pushed all the right buttons for me. I might not have liked some parts of it but I adored the arranged marriage between Jonathan and Adrian and enjoyed the journey they ultimately traveled from complete strangers to a great union.
Strength of the Wolf (The Tameness of the Wolf, #2) - Kendall McKenna

When I read Strength of the Pack a few months ago, I knew it was a series that I couldn't wait to read more of so when I noticed this book was coming out, I just HAD to read it.

I'm happy to say that I loved this one as much as the previous one. Although, this book is quite different than Strength of the Pack and deals more with the intricacies of wolves in the military than with just the military itself. Whereas SotP was fast paced and intense this one is more slow and languid but in a good way.

I found Tim and Jeremy together fascinating. The transition that Jeremy must go through to become a True Alpha was interesting to see but I also enjoyed seeing Tim help Jeremy with the transition. When we first meet Jeremy, he's hostile and almost feral but as the story progresses, we see him as playful, intense and caring. I loved how he developed over the course of the book from sorta timid to this confident creature who could take down anyone (besides Noah :P). Tim, from the get go, is already confident and self-assured. He's strong and makes a perfect mate to Jeremy. I liked that even though Tim was promoted, we still see him somewhat in action with the military but more than anything I adored the bond the two of them created.

I liked that we got to go deeper in the nature of the wolves, to experience some of how they work and the numerous rituals they have. There wasn't as much action and suspense as with the previous book but we still experience the military aspects and we finally get to see the transition a true alpha goes through to become so strong. I happen to think Ms. McKenna writes the best (and accurate) military stories I've read so I adored reading the jargon and seeing all these military boys in their elements but I also liked that Tim's military world flowed well into Jeremy's civilian life. It was a good balance, IMO, especially since parts of the story deal with the military finally doing something to make things better for the wolves in their service.

To be honest I loved the book but I couldn't really remember why Noah and Lucas were so different. I thought it was because Noah was a True Alpha but that's not right because Jeremy and Tim don't have the type of connection that Lucas and Noah do (there's still the bond it just doesn't give them the same abilities). Besides that there was a tiny bit too much sex for my liking even if I did find Jeremy and Tim together extremely hot. I also wished the final conflict had been more detailed, so we could have experienced it fully.

All in all, I love this series, the world the author has created and the great characters that inhabit it. I can't wait to read the next book and to finally see a mating between two wolves! I can already feel it's going to be intense!

Accidental Alpha (Pack Partners) - Poppy Dennison I adored this story! It's a quick read but I found Lex absolutely sexy and Spencer so adorable. It was easy for me to get hooked on the book and being a shifter lover I liked how Ms. Dennison gave the typical wolf shifters a slight twist in how the Alpha of the pack is chosen.

Lex is this grumpy ex-cop that just wants to be left alone. He's so annoyed at his neighbor Spencer because he thinks Spencer is always having these parties that disturb Lex's quiet life. In reality, Spencer is a werewolf and that's his pack visiting him. Lex learns all this when he's bitten and forced into the role of the pack's Alpha. I found Lex's reaction to becoming Alpha hilarious but also liked how he came to terms with it all and his actions while getting accustomed to having claws and sharp teeth. I thought of Spencer as the motherhen of the pack. Everyone relies on him and adores him but he'll always be there for everyone. It's really cute and means he fits perfectly with Lex now! :D

I liked that this book showed the struggle of Lex trying to refrain from claiming Spencer as his mate (even though he didn't realize what was happening at first). If anything, I wished this book had been longer so we could have gotten more of these boys, learned more about them and how things work out from here but I loved it too much to not mind all that much that this is a brief glimpse into their bonding. Mostly, though, this book is about Lex taking up as Alpha and mending the broken connections that cause some of the pack to feel like outsiders. It was nice to see that play out and how much Lex helped in making the pack better and overall a whole 'family'.

I can't wait to see where this series goes from here and to get deeper into the world that's been created. Plus, all the characters were so fascinating and lovable to me and I really hope we get Nathan's story soon because I feel really bad for him and he deserves some happiness!
Six Degrees of Separation - Taylor V. Donovan Review to come shortly
Bonding - C.B. Conwy As a scifi/fantasy lover, I found this to be an interesting story with a fascinating setting. However, having picked this from a post apocalyptic list, in my opinion, this has nothing to do with a desolate or bleak setting so I was constantly wondering why this book was put on that list.

Regardless, I liked the overall story. I loved the world that it's based around and how aliens (Himika) have invaded Earth, trying to communicate with them and ended up making humans fear them instead. I adored most of the characters. Matt is this hothead who hates authority while Pietr is this sweet gentle alien. However, my favorite characters were probably Robbie and Aki. Robbie is this sweet little doc while Aki is this surly warrior. They are adorable together but I really wished we had gotten their story separately. Beyond that, I loved that the Himika had pointy ears and had the ability to mind read and such. I enjoyed the world that the author spun and how the Himika played a part in all of our historical discoveries. It was interesting to see it all unfold and even more so to see how Matt played a part in it and how much of a handful Matt ultimately was.

While I enjoyed the setting and the characters, I had a lot of issues with the story in general. Mostly, there was a ton of sex and it felt like it was back to back. To be honest, after the third scene, I started skipping them all together. I was also confused on some things and why they were necessary and still have questions leftover, such as what the Himika do with humans after they kidnap them. If what they do to Matt hadn't of worked, where would Matt have gone? Do they go back to their lives? Are they vegetables? It's confusing but mostly I was just overwhelmed by the constant sex to the point that I was struggling to get through the story and had a hard time coming back to it once I put it down.

All in all, this was a cute, sweet story. If you're a scifi lover and like smut, you'll enjoy this one but readers should know that this is a very sweet story, almost bordering on sappy.
Hanging by the Moment - H.B. Pattskyn This review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.

I first got acquainted with H.B. Pattskyn’s books when I read [b:Heart's Home|13087212|Heart's Home|H.B. Pattskyn||18258079] in early 2012. I loved that book and thought the writing was phenomenal. When I noticed Hanging by the Moment, I knew immediately I wanted to read it not just because I enjoy Ms. Pattskyn’s writing but also because the blurb intrigued me.

I’m ecstatic to say that I loved this book just as much as I loved Heart’s Home. The writing was just as great, so much so that I was enamored with the story and once I started, I didn’t want to put it down. I couldn’t wait to see what Pasha and Daniel go through, how certain situations played out and whether or not Pasha will have the life he always wanted.

To be frank, this is a story about life being too short to fight or to worry or to even get hung up on the little things. It’s about living in the moment and taking chances you wouldn’t normally take because anything can happen tomorrow but today is what counts. It deals with a lot of issues such as coming out, HIV, gay-bashing, homophobia and ultimately sticking up for yourself and living the life you want to live but also about accepting who you are. It was a beautiful story that had me sad and crying one moment then happy the next.

Pasha is an unconventional character. He has a lonely life filled mostly with working in his family’s restaurant every day and fighting with his father constantly. He stresses over his weight and the fact that he’s in the closet and doesn’t think he’ll ever be happy. It’s sad but I connected with Pasha and I enjoyed the fact that he had issues with his weight. He would start a diet then something would happen so he’d eat a carton of ice cream to drown his sorrows. When he meets Daniel, there’s an instant attraction but Pasha doesn’t think Daniel would ever look at him twice… until Daniel comes back to his restaurant to see him.. except Pasha freaks out and pushes Daniel away and then regrets it later. Poor Pasha! He just has no self-esteem :(

What I really loved, though, was the fact Daniel didn’t give up. Daniel might be this incredibly attractive Native American but he sees Pasha for more than just his waist size and thinks Pasha is gorgeous inside AND out. I loved that while Pasha wanted to lose weight, Daniel made every effort to let Pasha know that his weight didn’t matter to him even to the point of pushing Pasha into ordering what he really wanted and not some bird ford. It was sweet and made me fall in love with Daniel. More than anything, I liked the balance between Daniel and Pasha. We get Pasha’s troubles and we get Daniel’s troubles in their own time. I loved experiencing the emotions between Pasha and Daniel over Daniel’s HIV; from being freaked out to wary to scared to accepting but also the fact that Pasha eventually realizes that no matter why Daniel is with him, Daniel’s feelings and emotions are genuine and not a result of some bad luck (you’ll understand this when you read the book). It wasn’t just hard on Pasha because he didn’t want to lose someone he was growing to love but also on Daniel who had a constant fear that he would get Pasha sick or Pasha would see him in a different way and then leave Daniel. It’s heart-breaking if you really let yourself get into the story but it unfolded in a way that was enjoyable without being too overwhelming or too dense. It was just right, IMO, but mostly the fact that even when one of them freaked out, they eventually talked about it and got through their issues together.

My only issue with the story is that I felt the beginning was a bit rough. Pasha is very self-degrading. He doesn’t think highly of himself because of the situation he’s in and the way he’s been acting since he broke up with his ex, who he was still yearning for. When he meets Daniel, he can’t understand why Daniel likes him because Pasha thinks he’s unattractive since he no longer has a size 32 waist. In the beginning, it’s rough because it’s almost as if Pasha hates himself or at least his life. So, for me, it was brutal to see him debase himself in some ways (although it’s not extreme just sad) and some readers might have a hard time getting through this. However, as the story progressed, I couldn’t help but love Pasha. He doesn’t want much in his life except to be loved and respected by his father AND to have a man that loves him. Thankfully, he gets that in Daniel!

I will warn some readers that Pasha and Daniel move a little fast when it comes to love but, to me, it fit the story well. I enjoyed the intensity between them and I felt the love that they developed. I liked that they took things slow when it came to sex because of Daniel’s HIV but I also liked that their feelings for each other are shown and we get to experience every step of it. They call, they text, they go on dates, they even have some fights and we get to see it. It helped me connect with the characters, to get to know them in a way that had me very invested in the story.

With that said, this was an amazing novel that I loved reading. It’s sweet, intense and at times sad. I cried, I laughed and I fell in love with the characters and their journey. I even adored the secondary characters that weren’t so nice. I love Ms. Pattskyn’s writing and I really hope we’ll one day get more of either Pasha and Daniel (especially to meet Daniel’s family) or at least see the journey of another couple (*cough* Brett and Mark *cough*). For those readers looking for something that handles a range of issues that has a little angst but a happy ending, try this one because it was definitely something I enjoyed every step of the way!

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Conquer the Flames - Ariel Tachna Stupid gifs aren't working but I'm so excited!
By the light of the Moon  (Assassin/Shifter, #3) - Sandrine Gasq-Dion I can't help but think this one was so adorable and cute. There's something about this series that just makes you want to continue. For me, it's because these big alpha males are brought to their knees by small little guys. I just love that sort of thing.

In the last book [b:Alaska, With Love|13447553|Alaska, With Love (Assassin/Shifter, #2)|Sandrine Gasq-Dion||18964494], we learned that Dakota was a wolf shifter. I was really excited to read this one because I simply adored Dakota. In this book, I found him so cute and funny. Sam was a good match for him. With his Native American and bad boy looks, he could keep Dakota safe when Dakota got into trouble. There's one thing that I find a lot of shifter books don't have and that's shifter playing so I was very happy that this book had it in abundance. Not only with Dakota playing with other wolves but also with Sam as a human, they were moments that always made me smile.

My issues are still the same as they were for the previous books. The editing doesn't get much better so it constantly brought me out of the story. There's also still way too much sex for my tastes and I still have trouble grasping how things were connected and played out. For instance, how did Taylor know where Dakota was? That's just one question out of dozens I still have.

All in all, a delightful read if you don't expect all the answers. I loved the characters and I loved the special moments that kept popping up. We meet so many new characters in this book that I just can't wait to read their stories.
Alaska, With Love (Assassin/Shifter, #2) - Sandrine Gasq-Dion I won't deny that this is far from a perfect book. It has a lot of issues but I also won't deny that there's something that keeps you reading. Whether it's the characters, the author's voice or simply because the story is just that addictive...

I adored Josh and Mark. I felt really bad for what Mark went through but I loved the fact that Josh was so protective of Mark even if it meant protecting him from Josh. More than anything I liked the fact that it expanded to Alaska and we got to experience more characters and also see the world the author is starting to build. One character I really loved was the wolf Dakota who was so cute and helpful. I just wanted to squeeze him!

My issues with the story are the same as they were for the previous book and that's because this series seriously lacks editing. I was constantly brought out of the flow of the book because of inconsistencies, grammar issues, lack of punctuations, etc. There was also too much sex for me again and in the end I kept wondering WHY Raoul put Mark through everything he put him through. It was something that really left me scratching my head and ultimately didn't make sense to me.

In the end, it's a cute little story. It's easy to read but I feel like readers should go into this series knowing that you might have trouble with the lack of editing and the fact that when you REALLY think about everything, it doesn't really make sense lol.
Stolen Hearts - Sasha L. Miller This was a refreshingly cute story about Callisto who comes to Mervyn seeking help when a wizard steals his heart and replaces it with a charm that drains Callisto's energy. Mervyn is willing to help him but to do that he needs expertise from another fairy, who just happens to be Callisto's estranged brother, Denzil. Denzil and Mervyn do everything they can to get Callisto better before the mysterious wizard drains all of Callisto's life-force. In the meantime, they enlist some help from an Investigator friend to find the corrupted wizard and stop him from doing to other faeries what he did to Callisto.

I really adored this story. It's cute and easy to read with a few funny and lighthearted moments. I loved Callisto and how vulnerable he was. He was brought up to hate and fear wizards and as Mervyn is a wizard, he was afraid to ask for help. At first, he's just this drained man who can't do much but over the course of the book, he gets better and starts to blossom. I loved the fact he blushed whenever Mervyn was around and loved it even more when Mervyn would purposely tease Callisto so that he would blush. It was just so adorable. Mervyn, on the other hand, is very absentminded and stuck in his work but he lives to help faeries even though they don't trust him. When it comes to Callisto, he's happy to help him and realizes there's this connection between them.

My only issues with the story is that the world building is a little weak, making me confused at times because it's not really explained nor explored. Besides that, I wish there had been more romance. What there is I found extremely sweet but I would have like to explore Mervyn and Callisto's budding relationship a little more after they decide to take things further.

In the end, this was a very good book that I'm glad I read. I don't know how else to describe it besides cute and lighthearted. It was different than anything else I've read especially the conflict that Callisto has to go through, which is why I considered it to be refreshing. It's very easy to read and flows nicely and besides the fact that I felt things could have been a little deeper and fleshed out, I still enjoyed it very much. I hope we get the sequel soon because Denzil and Malone (the Investigator friend) definitely had some vibes going on between them and THAT story will be fun to read!
My Heartache Cowboy - Z.A. Maxfield I'm really excited about this one!! Happy Eddie gets his own story! :D
Man On (Black Jack Gentlemen, #1) - Liz Crowe This review can be found at The Armchair Reader.

The first thing I want to say is if you’re coming into this book thinking it would be a real sports story, you won’t get what you expect in this one because it follows Nicco through his journey to finding love in Parker but doesn’t contain many scenes regarding the actual sport.

I liked Parker because he was so innocent, naive and vulnerable. He comes from money but he’s not an obnoxious spoiled brat. He’s very sweet, dedicated to soccer and just wants a simple life where he can be himself. I adored the fact that he blushed so much at the littlest provocative comment. I found it so cute. Nicco is a different story. I won’t lie, I didn’t like him at all. He’s arrogant, stubborn and doesn’t give a crap about anyone else but himself. He does what he wants to and won’t care if someone objects to it. His reaction to Parker is instantaneous and intense. The lust he feels for Parker consumes him to the point he can’t stop thinking about Parker. However, Nicco is a sex addict and he’ll take that lust out on anyone.

The biggest issue I had with this story is that the blurb is very misleading. Coming into this book, I was expecting some intense sexual tension of enemies with a lot of sports related scenes, showing the rivalry between Nicco and Parker, the aggression and face offs for the same spot and ultimately the soccer season that they play together in. Unfortunately, that is not what this book is about and you don’t actually see any of those scenes but are told about them in just a few short paragraphs throughout the story.

To be honest, I didn’t like a majority of it because it is so focused on showing Nicco’s sex addiction (which is not mentioned in the blurb and considering it is SUCH a huge part of the book, I have to wonder why). I struggled to get through at least the first half of the story because Nicco would do anything that had two legs, even indulging in threesomes and orgies with women and men. I will say that while Nicco does have a lot of sex, thankfully most of it (especially with the women) were either glossed over or fade to black. Even with that, however, the constant talking about his conquests and how many he did last night, the orgies he partook in, the soft flesh of so and so grew extremely aggravating and annoying. I kept asking myself, “Why is this in here? Shouldn’t we be focusing on more of Parker and Nicco?”

A lot of the book revolves around that aspect of Nicco and I can’t say that it endeared me to him. It made my opinion that he was selfish and couldn’t understand the concept of monogamy nor be able to uphold it even more intense. It also made me think that even if he did get into a relationship with Parker, that he wouldn’t be able to keep it in his pants long enough to not break Parker’s heart. Regardless, the physical showing of Nicco’s clubbing and conquests took away from the actual Parker/Nicco story, IMO. By the end of the story, we are told and somewhat see the love and supposed devotion (as I said, it’s hard for me to believe Nicco won’t cheat eventually) but we didn’t see the lead up to this love and devotion. Out of the whole story, Parker and Nicco only spend maybe a third of it actually together that we see. The rest is either told to us (such as the time they spend on the field, their teamwork together and this long vacation they took) or of Nicco and Parker getting some action from other individuals.

Personally, that is not something I’m fond of. I like to SEE the development between characters but this book didn’t have any of that until the very end and I found that disappointing. I wanted to like this book but it started off really bad for me because I don’t appreciate seeing to this extent how much of a whore a character is. I want to see the connection between the main characters not between ONE main character and other people. We aren’t shown the connection between Nicco and Parker until very far into the book and at that point, many months have already past between them, none of them where we see them together and this happens more than once where weeks or months pass without us seeing any of what I believe were crucial moments to these characters relationship. More than anything, I really wished we had seen them play together on the field, during practice, at a game, anything to show that not all these boys have is lust because the emotions of love they share, I didn’t see and couldn’t FEEL.

In the end, I will freely admit this isn’t the type of story I like. I prefer to have stories that focus on the emotions that characters share and seeing them NOT on the physical releases of the flesh. Readers that enjoy books that have layers of sex and decadence will enjoy this but if you’re looking for a story about sports and love, this won’t exactly fit the bill. I will say that while I didn’t enjoy the story as a whole, there were pieces that I adored but those happened at the very end and by then, not enough was focused on that to lift my overall opinion. Still, I encourage readers to make up your own mind about this one because I know others will enjoy it much more than I did.

One last thing I want to say is that this book seems to be somewhat of a spin-off of another m/f series by this author. I say this because a few times it was hinted that we should already know a side character’s background and having looked up the author after reading this book, I can say that some of the secondary characters have books of their own in other works by this author.
Spook Squad - Jordan Castillo Price image
The Ranch Foreman - Rob Colton This review can be found at The Armchair Reader.

2.5 stars

This is a difficult review to write. I won’t deny that the writing drew me in even though this is essentially just an erotica novella, I still had that desire to continue reading even when I was being overwhelmed by sex.

When Matty puts his aunt in a nursing home, it leaves him homeless until his cousin gets him a job at a ranch. Once there, he’s immediately attracted to Baxter, the older ranch foreman who’s very deep in the closet. Everyone on the ranch pretty much knows that Matty is gay but over the course of the book, Matty and Baxter strike up a purely sexual relationship that has a tinge of bitterness and resentment to it. Matty wants a relationship but Baxter is stuck in his old ways. Now Matty has to decide whether he wants to keep his self-respect or take what little scraps Baxter is willing to give him.

Matty, at first, comes off as a slightly battered character. He’s feeling guilty about his aunt but grateful he’s no longer homeless and without a job. He’s a sweet guy that has a thing for older gentleman like Baxter. Baxter, in my opinion, was a complete douche bag. I sincerely disliked him for most of the book because he would either snap or growl at Matty, completely ignore Matty or push Matty to his knees for some head. He didn’t have a personality beyond that of a bastard and even with all these people saying he’s a good man, I never saw any of that. All I ever saw was Baxter silently demanding Matty to suck him when he was drunk, getting mad at Matty for no reason, ignoring Matty for days after they get together and then getting jealous when Matty decides he wants to move on to other guys. By the end of the book, however, he does lighten up a bit and I did like the way he helped Matty and Brian when things take a turn for the aunt but it was in no way enough to redeem himself for how he acted the whole time.

Aside from my hatred of Baxter, this was a promising read and definitely had a lot of potential but I found I had a lot of issues with the story. Mainly, I severely disliked the way the author handled not only Baxter but his encounters with Matty. I didn’t feel any connection between Matty and Baxter because all their time together consisted mainly of Matty giving Baxter blowjobs and then Baxter ignoring Matty until the next blowjob. I could have gotten past that but then it seemed the only way Baxter would do anything with Matty was when he was drunk. It was frustrating and disappointing to say the least because Baxter had no problems molesting Matty when he was wasted but wouldn’t even LOOK at Matty when he was sober let alone have a friendly conversation. Beyond that, this story had a lot of sex to it and what parts didn’t have sex had Matty pining over Baxter. It was hard for me to understand Matty’s obsession when we never saw any of the qualities in Baxter that Matty was pining over. Then again, he was very obsessed with Baxter’s package so granted that was shown quite often. To be honest, I don’t think Matty and Baxter had a meaningful conversation until the last few pages of the book and even then it wasn’t more than a few paragraphs, if that. One last issue I had was Clyde. I felt like the whole issue with him was pointless and the resolution to it didn’t bring Baxter or Matty closer, if anything it pushed them farther apart. I will say one thing, I’m very grateful that what Clyde does was not shown.

In the end, while this book had a lot of potential, it was overcrowded by sex and Baxter’s bad personality mixed with Matty’s willingness to be walked over by him. If this story had more dialogue between Matty and Baxter that didn’t occur while they were having sex, it would have been better. If the sex had been cut down, that would have been even better, IMO, but as it is, this felt more like an erotica story than a romance considering that there was no lead up to the love these boys apparently have together.

Those looking for something smutty and easy to read will like this story IF you like May/December, as well.
The Prince He Loved - Michael Barnette This review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.

When his family is massacred, Prince Raphael d’Alleven barely escapes with his life. Forced on the run, he’s exhausted, hungry and in pure terror while trying to get himself off world to get help from the Coalition of Worlds but with dozens of mercenaries looking for him, it’s almost impossible. Lucky for him, he runs into Hadrian Ice, the Augustus Regnant to the Hell’s Gate Clan Hellstorm, a world that creates genetically enhanced soldiers. With Hadrian’s help, Raphael can finally get off world and do something about the Pretenders taking over his rightful position. With so many roadblocks in their way and so many people looking to kill them, will Raphael be able to reclaim his throne or will everything he’s going through be for nothing?

First I want to say that I really loved this story. I was simply captivated by the world that the author created. It’s complex but at the same time simple and, for me, easy to follow. I liked that there were so many different worlds out there with different levels of advancement and especially that we got to see them. The scenarios that Hadrian and Raphael got themselves into, kept my attention throughout the whole book and I loved the fact that we got to see it all. I also liked the fact that we got to see most of the fights they were forced into.

As to the characters, Raphael is definitely a mystery. At first, I thought he was this weak, spoiled prince who didn’t know how to do anything besides run. Over the course of the book, you slowly start to see his true self, what he’s been trained to do, how strong he is both inside and out and ultimately how much he develops character-wise while still maintaining his good heart. It was definitely something I enjoyed to see unfold over the whole story. I liked seeing how much Raphael affected Ice but also seeing how Ice handled things. I found the fact that he was this super soldier simply fascinating; he’s complex but has a sense of honor that I really liked knowing about. More than that, I loved seeing the development between Raphael and Ice and how they got themselves out of some situations that I thought for sure was the end for them. It was sometimes funny, sometimes sad but always held my attention.

My only issue with the story was that there was a bit too much sex for my liking but I still have a few unanswered questions such as what exactly do the marks on Ice’s face mean? But more than that, I wish we had learned more about Ice’s culture and his people. There are some references to it and we do get to see more of his people but Raphael’s culture definitely outshined Ice’s so I was constantly left curious about Hell’s Gate. Did Ice still have parents? How does being the Augustus work? It would be awesome to get deeper into the Hells Gate world so I’m hoping there might be a sequel one day that would let us experience more of this world especially since I think it would be great to see Ice and Raphael after everything has settled down, where they decide to live and to explore more of Raphael’s abilities.

All in all, this was a great book. I adored the world but I also loved the characters. It had a good amount of suspense, action, romance and the world to make this an interesting one and combined with the well-written story it turned out to be a very well done book. I hope there’s more to come of characters in this world because I’d love to explore it more in the future!

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