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.

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 Barks At Everything:

  

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.

 

Silly fun

Army Of Darkness/Xena: Forever…And A Day #1 - Scott Lobdell, Elliot Fernandez

This review is for all 6 issues that make up the graphic novel.

 

I have to admit I knew nothing about Ash (or the Army of Darkness). I looked it up after I finished reading and at least that explained who Ash reminded me of. (Bruce Campbell)

This is a time travel story, and for a while there I was a tad confused as to what was going on. But it was fun trying to work out what was happening. Ash is a ladies man but he never got his leg over because he kept getting hauled back in time by Xena, who is trying to save herself and her girlfriend, Gabrielle, from a hoard of the undead.

 

The final reveal as to who is causing all the trouble is strange to say the least but by this point I was just hanging on for dear life and enjoying the ride.

 

Art style is great. Fun and bold.

 

Xena and Gabrielle are more side characters in this story. The comic (and most of the action) belongs to Ash.

 

 

 

 

Had potential

The Nero Protocol - Victoria Zagar

This had the potential to be something great but unfortunately it ended up being underdeveloped.

Elias started off as a hard-boiled homeless guy, then as soon as he returned home he regressed to a whiney teenager and his character never really recovered. I felt as if the author never really had a true grip on Elias' personality or his history. Also there were points where I almost felt she was hinting that Elias was a synth himself, but that line of thought was either a red herring or me reading too much into certain phrases. 

I never really felt the romance between the leads and since Ario was a sex robot it would have helped to know he wasn't just following his programming. There were hints but it wasn't a strong enough connection for me to be sure.

The plot kind of went haywire for me towards the end, things reaching a crescendo and being wrapped up too quickly.

 

Had some interesting ideas on humanity and what makes us human but failed to deliver on the romance front and a solid end to the plot.

Review and rating includes short story 'Until the End of Time'

At Long Last - Shawn Lane

I read the LooseId edition which includes the short story 'Until the End of Time'.

 

Unfortunately there was way too much sex in this story for me. Even in a story where the characters get down and dirty on the first page I need relationship development and I didn't think I get it here. I wanted a delicious slow burn attraction and I got wham bam, thanks, but don't tell anyone I'm boning you every chance I get.

I found Preston to be selfish and I didn't think he redeemed himself at any point, not even in the short sequel. And the resolution to the conflict happened far too quickly. 

 

 

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.