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.

Those dreaded words 'to be continued'

Through the Door - Ana Reese Into the Passageways (Serving Royalty Book 2) - Ana Reese

I'm rating this series at 3 stars for the moment. It would probably be 4 if each book didn't end with the dreaded words 'to be continued'.

 

Told purely from Jonas' pov there are times when I just wanted to slap him upside the head. But the tale is engaging and Noel and Jonas are sweet together.

 

 

There are some editing issues, mostly for wrong word usage (peak instead of peek, due instead of do).

 

I want Grant to get his HEA, btw. 

 

I'm enjoying the story but it is more serial than connected novellas. Each story ends with more questions than answers.

 

Bearing in mind there was a 4 year wait between the first and second books, that style of publishing isn't doing this story any favours. 

 

I want to recommend it but I can't while the story is so unfinished and with no end in sight.

SPOILER ALERT!

DNF - 40%

Penalty for Holding (The Games Men Play Series) - Georgette Gouveia

Unfortunately I had to call time on this one at about 40%. I actually started skimming at 33% and then finally had to give up. 

 

I felt like I was reading this book forever. The narrative would jump from one event to another, past to present, until I lost the thread. It seemed to meander along. It took forever for the MC, Quinn, to meet the love/sex interest (both of them). And that's when things went from bad to worse for me. There was no connection between the MCs before the 'relationships' started, and because of the way the story was written I never got any sense of relationship. One relationship was almost dub-con, and was definitely abusive. And then Quinn started a relationship with another character (who also had history with the abusive character), a character he thought himself in love with, but chose not to say anything. I got to the point where I couldn't stomach anymore.

 

On a positive note, I did like the cover.

 

'Should we, Shouldn't we' might be a better title for this book

I Do, I Don't - Lisa Gray

The ex and the cop really annoyed me in this one. And by extention Adam annoyed me too in his dealings with his ex. Yes he got feisty eventually but not soon enough. And as for the waitress sticking her oar in...

 

Wow, didn't realise how much the secondary characters really wound me up in this one until I starting writing the review.

Reading that back makes this sound like a negative review but it's not.


On the whole the story was an interesting look at how just because you can marry not everyone is going to want to. 

Enemies to lovers. Yum. My favourite trope.

Worst Men: An Enemies to Lovers Gay Romance - Rachel Kane

Let's get the bad out of the way first... That cover. How is it possible to like half the cover but not the rest. What is with the silhouettes along the bottom? They're not too bad in thumbnail until you see a larger version of the cover, and then you can't unsee them. Couldn't some sort of sculpture have been used, the same as the filming lights were used in the previous book.

 

Yes, previous book, because although there is no series name in the title this book is actually connected to All for Show. In fact it is Nat and Owen's wedding the guys are attending. Since I didn't realise this until after I read it I can confirm that there is no need to read the first book to understand this. 

 

Anyway, the cover aside, I really enjoyed this enemies to lovers story.

 

I spent a bit of the time wanting to do physical harm to Sergio, who had a serious case of 'open mouth insert foot' but I adored Marcus, his old nemesis and enforced roommate. Both men have been mentally traumatised by previous relationships to the extent that they don't know who to trust and an undercurrent of gossip as so many of their friends (and not so friendly) acquaintances are gathered on the small island resort doesn't help their situation.

 

I can't say I appreciated the last chapter (in fact I knocked half a star off for it) but I know there are readers that will.

Cutest tentacle porn ever

Wriggle & Sparkle: The Collected Tales of a Kraken and a Unicorn - Megan Derr

Not my favourite Megan Derr and I'm struggling to put my finger on why. 

The characters are great. Sarcastic, funny, snippy. Anderson especially is so against 'type' as unicorns are expected to be. I loved their banter and the way this didn't stop as the romance progressed. The concept of the story really appealed to me as well. And as usual the writing is excellent. It's gender/sexuality positive across the board, with a genderfluid (quite literally) kraken and a (formerly promiscuous) bi(pan?)sexual unicorn.

So why didn't it completely work for me? I don't know. Lynn had a habit of slipping between genders and as he always kept the same pronoun, I wasn't always aware of this until breasts or clothes were mentioned. This didn't help with my visualisation of the scene.

The greater problem was the format of the book. It was a collection of shorter stories taken over the first few years of their relationship. This gave the book a disjointed feel and I never really connected with the relationship. I also felt Lynn's character shifted in the last part of the book and I couldn't quite reconcile this wedding obsessed person with the foul mouthed kraken we encountered at the beginning of the book. I actually preferred the first 75% of the book. Once the wedding became the main focus I more or less lost interested.

Great characters, an interesting idea, and the cutest tentacle porn ever.
 

Cute but not without its issues for this reader

Travel and Spice (Famous on the Internet, Book Two) - Alina Popescu

Ultimately this was a cute, low angst, easy read.

 

 

However it did have some issues that I couldn't overlook:

 

There were too many sex scenes for such a short story and few of those advanced the story or characterisation.

 

I also struggled in the early part of the book with Dante's internal musings, I found them repetitive and occasionally contradictory.

 

The use of the word 'clean' when the boys decided to bareback. I can accept this wording in an older book. However in recent years there have been many discussions about the use of the word in this context (gay guys who are not HIV positive) and how many gay men find this offensive. I would prefer writers consider the impact of that word and not use it.


Overall it was a satisfactory read that filled a few pleasant hours.

WTH!?

Justice League Vol. 4: The Grid (The New 52) (Justice League Vol II) - GEOFF JOHNS, IVAN REIS

Gathers issues Justice League 18 - 23 

 

Meh, not my favourite cover of the run. Plus the character that dominates the cover is barely in the graphic novel.

 

Where do I start? This was confusing. Introducing characters to the Justice League, destroying The Watchtower, a weird semi story with Shazam that seems to start a war with another Justice League (JLA), Pandora and her skull 'box', a fortune teller who can see the future. Turns out this is the due to the volume being part of the Trinty storyline, in fact the last two issues are the first and last issues of this storyline. It also runs into the Shazam storyline (it's the last issue in the Shazam run of that story) and runs on from Justice League Dark. As I hadn't read any of those issues, this accounts for my confusion. This feels like a strange way of collecting a multi-run arc. Putting all those issues aside (and they were major issues) I only have one more thing to say, I HATE, HATE, HATE the relationship between Superman and Wonder Woman. Stop it. Stop it now!

 

Having said all that, the artwork is brilliant.

 

Everything else is just confusing. I know this is years ago now, but it shows a complete lack of respect to the reader to package a volume in this way.  

 

And for heavens sake, will somebody please help Superman?

 

5 stars for the art, 2 stars for the confusion of the story presentation. Total rating 3.5

 

No better way to pass 30 minutes

The Royal Inquisitor - Megan Derr

I adore Megan Derr's short fantasy stories/fairy tales. 

 

Second chances and betrayal wrapped up in a short story. With only being in Esmour's POV this story gave me all the feels. As is often the case with Megan Derr's short fantasy stories, there is no sex scenes, which means it's all story.

 

I'd have happily read a novel based on this short.

Look who it is...

#5 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Silence in the library

Reblogged from BookLikes:

Say Hello to the next blogger in the Follow Friday session!

 

Follow the blogger behind the Silence in the library: http://choccygrl.booklikes.com

 

Tell us how did your book love begin?

 

I’ve been reading voluntarily since I could string a decent sentence together. Read adventure books all through my tweens and teens. And crime of all kinds (Golden Age, Police Procedural, hardboiled detectives) in my twenties. Since then I’ve shifted focus to gay romance and comic books, sorry, graphic novels.

 

On your blog page you write: time spent reading is never time wasted. How much time do you spend reading?

 

I read every day. If I’ve not taken at least half an hour to enter a fictional world then I start to get antsy. But generally I spend at least 1.5 to 2 hours reading a day. If a book is really good I’ve been known to stay up long past the pumpkin hour to finish it, even though I know I’ll be like a zombie at work the following morning. I’m that kid that had a torch under the bed so that I could carry on reading under the covers after Mum had turned out the light.

 

What made you start writing about books/book blogging?

 

The internet. No, I always kept a note of books I’d read, little ticks and crosses in books with titles like ‘100 Crime Novels You Must Read’. Since the internet and sites like this one appeared, it has given me a much better structure to record the things I’ve read or bought (because otherwise I’d end up buying the same book twice). Also, I’m a writer under another name and I know the importance of reviews. It’s not so much what you say (enjoyment is subjective and what I dislike about a book maybe what encourages another reader to pick it up) as the visibility that a review gives to a title. There are a huge number of titles out there and if one of my reviews encourages just one person to buy the book then I’m happy.

 

Did blogging have an impact on your reading life?

 

Generally I blog about the books that I would pick up anyway. I don’t tend to step outside of the genres I normally read but ARC reading and Netgalley have encouraged me to try authors or titles I wouldn’t normally consider.

 

What are you favorite genres? Why are they special?

 

Graphic Novels. I love the visual aspect of a comic and the different concepts and characters that can be explored in the pages of a comic.

Gay Romance. There isn’t enough queer representation in mainstream writing, especially relationships with a positive message and, more importantly, a happy ending. In mainstream romance it is almost non-existent. Those of us who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, and queer need representation too. And reading those stories shouldn’t be restricted to readers in the QUILTBAG. A well-crafted love story can be read by all, regardless of the sexual orientation or gender of the reader.

 

How do you choose your next read?

 

Depends on my mood. Sometimes I use a random number generator. Or only read books beginning with a certain letter. Or I change the setting on my Kindle and read the next book that comes to the top of the page. Or more boringly, I read the books waiting in my Netgalley/ARC folder because I’m aware I owe those people reviews.

 

What are your favorite book covers?

 

I like covers with a hand drawn feel to them. I guess that stems from my love of comics.

 

Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?

 

If I could only pick one author’s body of work, I think it would be K J Charles. Historical stories with gay characters. But I would say take a chance on gay romance. It’s been unfairly tagged as erotica by all and sundry simply because it is two men falling in love but these stories are as varied as the spectrum of colours in a rainbow.

 

An Unnatural Vice (Sins of the Cities) - KJ Charles Spectred Isle - KJ Charles

 

What’s your reading spot? 

 

I’ll read anywhere. But especially like to read in the garden.

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

I have more than one e-reader now. Partly because some of the books I buy aren’t available in paperback, generally ebooks are cheaper, and I really don’t have the space, because I don’t live in a library. Gosh, I’d love to live in a library. An old one with one of those ladders on wheels.

 

Three title for a dessert island?

 

OMG this is impossible. It’s like trying to pick your favourite child. Spectred Isle by KJ Charles, The Princess Bride by William Goldman, & Are You Dave Gorman? by Dave Gorman.

 

Spectred Isle - KJ Charles The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure - William Goldman Are You Dave Gorman? - Dave Gorman,Danny Wallace

 

Snowball in Hell - Josh Lanyon

A book that changed your life?

 

Snowball in Hell by Josh Lanyon. It showed me I could have my hard-boiled 40s/50s detective noir with the gay characters that spoke to me.

 

Favorite quote?

 

Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

Neil GaimanCoraline

 

If you could meet one author, who would it be?

 

Hard question. I was going with Hammett or Chandler but I’m wondering if it should be Agatha Christie.

 

 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

 

 *

 

Missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links:

 

#4 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Nicole Reads ->

 

Remember, you can nominate your blogger friends for the Follow Friday interview! Click here and leave the URL address in the comment section.

 

See you next Friday!

New to me superhero.

Blue Beetle Vol. 1: The More Things Change (Rebirth) (Blue Beetle (Rebirth)) - Keith Giffen, Scott Kolins

New to me superhero in that I'd heard the name but not read any previous issues.

 

This is a new incarnation of The Blue Beetle, Jamie Reyes, teenager, and he has a scarab beetle-type tech welded to his back. Unfortunately, someone wants it back and it appears it can't be removed without killing him.

Fun in the way a teenage hero should be. Lots of worrying about skipping school to do superhero duty and hanging with friends that know your secret (it's barely a secret, the world and his wife seems to know). Lots of banter between school friends and with his mentor, former Blue Beetle, Ted Kord.


We get his origin in several panels almost at the end of the book rather than a whole issue at the beginning.


The artwork is bright and well drawn. 


Impressed, can't wait to get the next issue.
 

Catlett Cove sounds like a great place to live...

The Real Thing: A Catlett's Cove Novel, Book 4 - Grant C. Holland

Unfortunately this book had many similar problems to book 3 in the series. The really important events in the story were skipped and told to the reader rather than shown so that it was hard to feel any connection to the characters. At least in this story the characters were slightly more engaging, although the situation with Dex's grandfather was more than a little strange.

 

On a positive note, Catlett Cove sounds like a great place to live.

 

I think it's possibly time for me and this author to part ways.

Short and sweet read

Dragon Home (Supernatural Consultant) - Mell Eight

Another sweet addition to the series. This time it's Aqua's turn to find a friend. 
Jealous of his brother's relationship with Nixie, Aqua is sent on an adventure of his own. The only stipulation is to avoid Texas. Of course Aqua ends up in the desert...

Half hour read. Sweet with nothing more than a few hugs. Ash is an interesting character, almost an outcast from his group. And Aqua's protective instinct is a contrast to his spoilt nature at the beginning of the story. 

This is the first Lane Hayes book I've read. It won't be the last.

A Kind of Truth - Lane Hayes

This should have been a 5 star read but any romance that has me so worried it makes me feel physically sick can't get 5 stars. I had to put the book down at various points because I simply couldn't carry on reading. Once Leah was out of the picture my sickness disappeared and I was able to finish the last part of the book in one go. Even though the last part of the book made me cry. But tears I can handle, pushy, conniving groupies I obviously can't.

 

While certain aspects of the background story had me floundering to finish, it was the relationship that made me determined to make it through to the end.

Will is an adorable confusing mix of adorableness all wrapped up in glasses and freckles, glitter and sequins. Since the book is written solely in Rand's POV we never really know what's going on with Will until he chooses to tell us. Rand is all about his music, he wants fame but more because he knows it will get recognition for his music than for the fame itself. He's loud and brash, doesn't always think about how things he does and says impact on others. And then he meets Will. Don't get me wrong, he's still all those things but tempered in some way. As the story goes on Rand's priorities change, and so do Will's. The relationship in this story is fun, the banter and playfulness between Rand and Will feels real.

No need to read other books in the series

Dragon Adventure (Supernatural Consultant ) - Mell  Eight

This is #5.1 in the Supernatural Consultant series. However I haven't read any of the other books in the series and I didn't find that the story suffered any for a lack of knowledge.

 

This is a short, cute read. It took me less than half an hour to read. It's sweet, as befitting a tale where the MCs are both 15.

 

And really there is little more that can be said without giving the story away. 

 

 

Another worthy addition to the series

The Heart of the Lost Star - Megan Derr

Title

The Heart of the Lost Star

 

Series name/number

Tales of the High Court #3

 

Author

Megan Derr

 

Date started

07-Aug-17

 

Date finished

08-Aug-17

 

New to me author

No

           

Reason for review

Netgalley & Fave Author & Series Read

 

Genre

Fantasy & romance

 

Length

5 to 6 hrs reading time

 

Cover

I adore these covers. Excellent.

 

Tropes

Long distance relationship, long lost heir, pining

 

Heat level

Some scenes, more sensual than graphic

 

MC1

Jadar. Previously Deputy High Commander. Taken over as High Commander since Lesto hung up his sword. An Islander in all but birth. Loves pretty things. Family is important. Never sleeps with somebody more than once.

 

 

 

 

 

MC2

Kamir. Sweet but strong divorced father of two. Abused by his former husband & with a family that tries to control him into doing his bidding. Kamir is FTM transgender. Kamir has low self-esteem because the High Court and is parents treat him like damaged goods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Relationship

Kamir has been in love with Jader for a long time but thinks he is below Jader's attention.  Jader isn't used to wanting the same lover more than once or twice. And just when it appears that maybe he wants more with Kamir, Jader is dragged off to another country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What worked

Megan Derr's world building is excellent and her characters are rich and diverse. All of the previous characters appear in various degrees in this story and it's great to catch up with them.

 

 

 

 

 

What didn't

The lovers are apart for about 50% of the book and only carry on their relationship through letters. This makes for some great pining.

 

 

 

Extra info

This is book 3 of the series and I highly recommend reading the other books first. They are excellent in their own right but also provide background information to the ongoing political climate and character relationships. There will be at least two more books in the series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary

Excellent addition to the series. Jader's surprise as he falls in love is adorable. Kamir is strong despte the abuse he suffers and yet he learns that it is okay to accept help. And it is fun to catch up with all the other couples in the series so far. Well-written with some amusing scenes to temper the parts that made me mad and the ones that choked me up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Star rating

4.5

 

                 

 

Audio review

Crooked Tree Ranch: Montana, Book 1 - RJ Scott, Sean Crisden, Love Lane Books Limited

Crooked Tree Ranch is a low angst and sweet story. It's very much a simple tale of a 'city boy' and his family (sister, niece, nephew) moving from New York to Montana to take a job after he gets laid off. There he encounters many things that are new to him: Mountains, horses, and, of course, cowboys. 

 

Sean Crisden's smooth and sexy narration really brings the story to life. Definitely a comfort listen.