Silence in the library

A reader for pleasure and a reviewer to spread the love of great books. My mantras, 'you can never have too many books' and 'time spent reading is never time wasted'. Books are my passport to many times, places, and experiences, and I want to stamp them all. I focus most of my read on LGBTQIA and comics, so any comic with gay leads then I want to read it.

This book has humour, mystery, romance, and fun

Murder Takes the High Road - Josh Lanyon
Josh Lanyon does it again with another 5 star read for me. Cosy mystery meets fish out of water/stranger in a strange land.
A librarian, on a book tour to meet a murder writer, gets embroiled in murders. And solves the mystery with...books!
Well written and plotted, this book reminds me of a modern Christie, a la Murder on the Orient Express or Death on the Nile, albeit with a much less glamorous mode of transport. The romance is slow burn and the two leads are really endearing. I love Lanyon's laid back approach to the romance. 
Overall this book has humour, mystery, romance, and fun. 

Started great but couldn't keep up the pace

Oops, Caught (Expanding Horizon Book 1) - Alli Reshi

This story suffered for its length.

It started fast and furious, our two heroes captured by insect-like aliens but while the action scenes sped along I was confused by the backstory between our MCs -- they obviously had history, possibly were only pretending to hate each other. I didn't think this was suitable explained. Then when they finally had a moment to connect I thought certain things came from out of the blue, not the attraction, because while I didn't really feel it, I knew it was supposed to be there. But Gavnson's feelings of worthlessness and the depth of his feelings for Norland seemed out of place. Also I wasn't convinced Norland wasn't doing it just because Gavnson claimed he couldn't recover on his own. Plus that whole scene where they 'talk' read as very stilted and forced. Nobody talks like that, not even aliens.

All in all, started great but couldn't keep up the pace.

I think I'd like to read the sequel to see where the author takes these guys.

Started great but couldn't keep up the pace

Oops, Caught (Expanding Horizon Book 1) - Alli Reshi

This story suffered for its length.

It started fast and furious, our two heroes captured by insect-like aliens but while the action scenes sped along I was confused by the backstory between our MCs -- they obviously had history, possibly were only pretending to hate each other. I didn't think this was suitable explained. Then when they finally had a moment to connect I thought certain things came from out of the blue, not the attraction, because while I didn't really feel it, I knew it was supposed to be there. But Gavnson's feelings of worthlessness and the depth of his feelings for Norland seemed out of place. Also I wasn't convinced Norland wasn't doing it just because Gavnson claimed he couldn't recover on his own. Plus that whole scene where they 'talk' read as very stilted and forced. Nobody talks like that, not even aliens.

All in all, started great but couldn't keep up the pace.

Excellent mystery

The God Game: A Dan Sharp Mystery - Jeffrey Round

This is my first experience with Dan Sharp. He's a hard character to like sometimes, doesn't let people get too close, even his partner (and soon to be husband) and friends. He very morally rigid and self reliant.
I thought the mystery was excellent (I didn't peg the bad guy til nearly the reveal, although I got a bad feeling about him early on and just couldn't put my finger on why).
The Canada backdrop made a nice change.
I look forward to the next book, and will certainly check out the the previous four.
Don't let the writing style in the prologue put you off. The rest of the book is nothing like this.

 

NB. This is a mystery with a gay lead. He is in a relationship but said relationship is very much on the backburner and not a massive part of the story. Just thought I should differentiate between this and a mystery/romance where the romance plays a far greater (and often explicit) part. The couple don't even share a kiss in this story. The physical side of their relationship is not focused on at all. 

The romance is missing from this erotic romance

Spanking the Boss (An Office Kink Novella Book 1) - Hunter Frost

Damn this one was a hard book to review.

 

The first 50% was basically erotica,and exceptionally well done, definitely 4, maybe even 5 stars. I felt their connection even though it was an almost instant romantic attraction.

 

Then the night ended and I expected some emotional scenes before a a final glorious resolution. Unfortunately this is where I was disappointed.

 

The first thing Charlie did was act like a douchebag, not once but twice in a couple of pages. Kiss and tell? So not cool. Then to compound that by revealing that what they did was in some way kinky (and I suspect he would have said more if she hadn't said she didn't want to know). Jesus, this was her boss too. Why would you put either person in that position?

 

And the confrontation and resolution when it came gave me nothing that I'd not had already in the book and provided a very lacklustre finale. I didn't feel the desperation (especially from Charlie) and there wasn't enough build up before the big reveal. Personally I'd have had Trent keep catching glances of people that look like Chaz (leaving the building, or having to deliver a file up to the penthouse suite, in a nearby coffee shop) but after going up to the first few and them not being Charlie he stops chasing them even though they are Charlie. Something to build up the tension there. 

And the forgiveness was too quick. And I didn't like how they resolved things, I didn't need more sexy times. I needed feelings, and I felt I'd been short changed.

 

Disappointing

Rock-A-Bye: A Gay Romance (Cray's Quarry Book 1) - Rachel Kane

The overwhelming emotion on reading this one was disappointment. I normally really enjoy Rachel Kane’s books and I was looking forward to a new series from her, but this one was just okay.

 

I found it hard to get worked up about the issues of the two MCs and while everything came together at the end in a cohesive story I found by that point I just didn’t care. The bones of the story were there but I didn’t feel the connection (between me and the storyline) and small things kept pulling me out of the story. I found I wasn’t invested enough in the characters to skim over the blips—pov issues, the MCs names got mixed up enough to make an impact, and other small things that shouldn’t have bothered me that much but poked at my brain anyway (if  because the main storyline wasn’t keeping me fully engaged.

 

This could have been a good book but, in all honesty, I think it was rushed out (I swear I only just read a new release by this author) and suffered for it. It’s a shame because Rachel Kane was fast becoming one of my auto-read authors.

Witches, necromancers, and lovers

Darkling - Brooklyn Ray

Love this cover.
Ultimately this is a friends to lovers story, just with far more obstacles in the way than you would normally expect. Ryder has secrets, many many secrets, and worry if Liam, his best friend and the person he's been in love with for the last two years, will accept Ryder once he discovers he's trans is probably the least dangerous of the secrets he's keeping.
The writing is lusciously descriptive, I could almost feel the dark magic swirling around me with every page I read. But that same quality gave the book an edge that meant I could never truly relax while reading. Some of the blood letting and knife play had heart in my stomach. Ryder's not the easiest person to like, but he's the only narrator and I think an unreliable one at that, because he is scared about the development of his magic and tries to cover that fear by distancing himself from the people he loves.
The world building is excellent and I could easily image this world of witches and necromancers.

 

Why not 5 stars? Well, occasionally I felt like I really didn't know what was going on, that maybe I missed another book that should have explained some things. Oh, and that sense of unease rarely makes for a 5 star read for me, it has me too much on edge. 

Yay for a genderqueer hero

An Unsuitable Heir - K.J. Charles

An excellent end to the series. This brought the trilogy to an exciting head. As this is written to overlap with the other two books in an entwined story covering three (four) couples, there are moments of clarity that you only get when all three books are put together. I prepared for this by listening to the previous two books.


I loved meeting up with the others again, especially Clem (who was just adorable in the way he took his nephew under his wing) and Justin, and meeting Tim in more than passing.

 

As for the romance in this, I adored the gruff pragmatic Mark, and Pen, yes Pen spoke to my soul. There aren't enough Q representations in the LGBTQ spectrum and Pen's experiences and feelings resonated with me.

 

It was all Pen wanted out of life: for people to let him to be himself, Pen Starling, nothing more or less or different. He didn’t want special treatment, only what other people had, which was to walk down the street without having to dress up as someone else.
That sometimes seemed absurd, on the days he enjoyed the set of his shoulders and wondered how he’d look with a beard. It was only clothing.

 

The plain fact was, Pen’s mind didn’t always fit his body. Jaw, beard, shoulders, prick: they all said one thing, and it wasn’t him. He couldn’t change what parts his body had—and he wouldn’t have wanted to, because the other set wouldn’t have been right either—but he could change how it looked. Long hair and eye paint, jewellery and scarves: he put adornments that said woman on a body that said man, and together it added up to something else. To him.
All that meant nakedness felt difficult, sometimes, and Mark hadn’t demanded it, or touched where he hadn’t been invited.


I was worried about how KJ would bring this to a close and still get these guys a HEA, but I needn't have worried. The outcome was perfect for all concerned.

I'm sad that these books have come to an end but I have all 3 audios (Matthew Lloyd Davies does an excellent job) and I'll be listening to each and every one of these time and time again.

 

An excellent slow burn story.

FREEBIE: "Leo Loves Aries" (Signs of Love, #1) by Anyta Sunday

Reblogged from ⚣ MM Does MM ⚣:
— feeling money

 

~ Currently FREE on Amazon. ~

An oldie but goodie

These Haunted Heights - Ally Blue

First off, that's a bad cover. Not the worst I've seen from MLR, but still bad enough to annoy me.

But this isn't about the cover, it's about the story.

 

Loved this. Poor Drew was so broken. And Ron was patient and understanding.
There was no doubt who the ghost was but that didn't matter, this was all about the relationship.


Thanks, Audible, for debasing my genre and reinforcing all those stereotypes.

Audible Has Introduced An "All You Can Eat" Romance Streaming Service

Reblogged from Bark's Book Reviews:

  

Audible:  https://www.audible.com/ep/Romance-Package?source_code=SNGGBWS1031170027

 

The cost:  $14.95 or $6.95 for KU & Audible subscribers. Supposedly it has a catalog of 10,000 romances and you can listen to as many as you can consume (update from Audible: This service would be similar to Kindle Unlimited and you would be able to borrow up to ten books at a time and keep them for as long as you want. You can also swap them out whenever you are ready.) Sounds intriguing and I say FINALLY and friggin' yay (and we need one for horror) but the articles coming out today are pissing me off. Apparently Audible has added a new feature that allows one to type in terms to bring you to the good parts; sexy bits, witty banter, etc. It sounds unnecessary and like click-bait to me but it's brought out the misinformed who think romance readers are nitwits only reading for the sex. Dum dums. That's what Monster-porn is for. I totally read that stuff for the story.

 

Idiot #1:  https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/01/audibles-new-romance-audiobooks-service-uses-machine-learning-to-jump-to-the-sex-scenes/?ncid=rss

 

"Let’s admit it: you probably aren’t reading that romance novel for the plot. Or its literary value. Audible knows this, and is today launching a new collection of romance-themed audiobooks that come with a handy feature that lets you skip right to the action. Called “Take Me To The Good Part,” the feature will fast-forward you to the steamy sections of the audiobook, says Audible."

 

 

Idiot #2:  https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/talkingtech/2017/11/01/audible-romance-takes-you-steamiest-parts/819212001/

 

"You devour romance novels to get to—ok, admit it—the steamiest parts."

 

Seriously, are we still in the 80's?! Do horror readers read horror only to skip to the gory bits, mystery readers to the murder? This makes me so incredibly mad and I don't even read a lot of romance (but when I do it IS for the plot and characters you presumptuous snobs!). 

 

Another visit to Oceanside

One More Chance: A Second-Chance Gay Romance (Boys of Oceanside Book 3) - Rachel Kane

This is the third book in the Oceanside series. This book deals with a new couple but Nat and Owen from book one appear in this one on several occasions.

 

I really like Cave and Jojo, but I found it really difficult to warm to Ransom. In fact he seriously pissed me off a lot of the time. He was often self-centred and seemed to care more about his career than Cave once he was no longer in the same room as him. 

This is why I rarely read established pop star stories. These people are in a position to have a positive impact on getting acceptance for the lgbtq community but instead choose to hide behind lies and deceit. I'm not saying every lgbtq artist has to come out to the public but there is a big difference between keeping your sexuality private and purposely weaving a web of lies that ultimately implies that being lgbtq is something to be ashamed of. And this is what made me so mad at Ransom.

 

However the story is well written, the baby is adorable (as is the manny) and Ransom does finally get his head out of his arse for long enough to give us a happy ending. Plus your opinion of Ransom may differ from mine, you may think he's a tortured soul, trapped in an impossible situation *mutters unfavourable things under my breath* Anyway, not always liking a character isn't a deal breaker, hence the four star review.

 

 

 

Not a romance

Brady's Choice - Anne Brooke

This is not a romance. Instead it is a man coming to terms with the end of a relationship which had broken him. It's well written but I didn't find either of the characters sympathetic.

A tale of coming out and self discovery

Strong Side - Alison Hendricks

A light, low angst friends to lovers story, in a US college football setting.

 

Likeable characters make this an easy, feel-good read.

 

Well written and (mostly) well edited.

 

For those who like to know, this is alternate first person written in present tense.

A Cinderella story of sorts

Spell Weaver - Megan Derr

For those of you that know Megan Derr's fairy tales this is another story in a similar vein. This one is slightly higher on the heat scale with not one but two sexytimes scenes. The story is familiar, as fairy tales should be, but told with style and sweetness.

Argh, this is so infuriating

Country Boy (Hot Off the Ice Book 2) - A. E. Wasp

I didn't love the story line as much as the first book of the series but that is because the pivotal plot point is a personal peeve of mine. I can't understand parents that put their religion before their family's wellbeing. Preaching an unloving God goes beyond my comprehension and baulks against everything that God is supposed to represent. As a parent my urge to defend my child to be who and what they want to be goes beyond anything else. As this is a major plot point in the story I spent much of my time incensed with several of the side characters and the way Paul had been treated. Unfortunately that doesn't make for a relaxed read.

The relationship between Paul and Robbie was adorable and they were a convincing and endearing couple. 

 

Hopefully all the editing issues in the ARC were straighten out by the time it went to publishing because there were a lot. Enough that I wondered if it had ever seen a beta reader or a proofer. The last few chapters in particular were a mess that made following the story difficult. And that is why I couldn't give this the 4 star review that I wanted to. 

 

Can I leave the author with this insight. It's 2017, I thought we all knew how offensive this expression (I'm clean) is by now. Obviously not.