Tag Archive | m/m

Michael’s Wings, An Original Sinners Collection, Tiffany Reisz

Michael’s Wings, An Original Sinners Collection, Tiffany Reisz

Michael's Wings (The Original Sinners) by [Reisz, Tiffany]

Genre: LGBTQIA,  Romance

Well, if you love the Original Sinners series you’ll want to read this. I don’t usually read shorts/novellas unless like this they are about characters I already know, so can understand and follow easily something that doesn’t need space to tell me who everyone is and all about them.
The new novella covers 30% of the total, the rest being previously published shorts. I’d read all them before, but love this world and characters even though I find the concept of loving multiple people difficult to understand. then I guess we love all our children so in a way why should multiple lovers be an issue? something to ponder I guess….

Of course Michael needs time to answer That Question – griffin knows this and yet its hard (!!) waiting, an anxious time for him. Nora help Michael sift through his fears, he loves Griffin, they all know that but he’s has such insecurity about himself, and such a difficult past he needs to deal with this, work through it and a beating or three from Nora concentrates his mind!

A fun read, usual TR sensuality and spice, a bit of sass, a lot of sex and sensuality and a side of submission helps Michael understand himself.

Stars: 5, great value if you haven’t read the rest of the stories, but still good to have them in one collection at a decent price.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

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Two for the Show, Megan Derr.

Two for the Show, Megan Derr.

Two for the Show (Lovesongs Book 4) by [Derr, Megan]

Genre: LGBTQIA, Romance

This is book four in a series. Its billed as a stand alone so I requested although I hadn’t read the others.

I did follow the story just about OK but there were so many little snippets and incidences that I think if I’d read earlier books I would have enjoyed this one more.

Still, I hadn’t, came in cold so to speak and never really felt that I connected with either the characters or the story line. I liked both Nikko and Jake but didn’t really feel anything more between them that a spark of lust, it didn’t have that must-be-together feel that I love in romance reads.

Its an OK read for me, not great but not bad, just one that because I didn’t feel “into” the story it was a rush to just finish and pout it away.

I didn’t really understand the logic about creating a scandal, did see it would be a distraction but in the circumstances it would have created more eyes on Nikko and his world and I didn’t think that would have been a good idea given what he’s trying to do.

Like I said I think if I’d read earlier books, knew more about the overall story and characters I’d have got far more from this. As it is, its a short read, just 1903 kindle locations – I’d guess that’s about 125 pages or so, and there simply isn’t the space to let me get to know the people and understand the whole story well enough.

Stars: 2.5/3. Its an ok read coming in cold to the series, and if I’d read other books I think I would have rated this far higher.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Nocturne, (Hours of the Night 2), Irene Preston, Liv Rancourt

Nocturne, (Hours of the Night 2), Irene Preston, Liv Rancourt

Nocturne (Hours of the Night Book 2) by [Preston, Irene, Rancourt, Liv]

Genre: LGBTQIA, Romance

Vampires, supernatural suspense, M/M romance – what’s not to love? This is a great series but don’t start here, read books 1 and 1.5 or you’ll be lost.

Even though I’ve done that there are times when i needed to do a mental backtrack just to recall who fits where and how…There are some great characters here but the cast gets larger, with each book building on both short and long term story arcs, and that makes the whole thing pretty complex.

Sara: I love him, open, cheerful, confident in his sexuality and very much in love with Thad. He’s 23 and has a wonderful joy about him that makes him feel young, but not immature. He’s on the fence about the Monks, but respects Thad’s devotion to them, his quest for redemption.
I’m with him about them, not so sure they are the good guys they appear to be, and irritated at the way they use Thad’s guilt over what he is for their own ends. They withhold information to suit themselves and don’t worry about danger to Thad, seem to see him as dispensable.
There’s one bit where they are meeting with Brother Michael – I think it was him – and Sara remarks on the surrounds, very luxurious and Michael says that the monks give up all material wealth when they join. As Sara thinks you’d imagine that would mean they live frugally, but somehow they make it so they’re living in the lap of luxury. Pretty much like real life religion for many…..
Thad: He’s young in age, about 30ish I think but actually 115, and he’s got that historical mindset in many ways.
He was going to become a monk- or was one – when he was changed, and carries such guilt about what he is, calls the vampire part Le Monstre, and his work with the Monks is to atone for that. Like Sara, I think they use his guilt for their own ends.
It must be hard when so long has been spent suppressing his sexuality, thinking it a sin, and then finding Sara and falling in love. I love the way we get the closeness, the tenderness between them without need for overt sexuality. Some books it fits to read about characters sex lives in detail, in this one it would just feel wrong, the way its handled discreetly is exactly the way Thad would be. Anything more just wouldn’t fit his personality.

There are new and old characters here, Mardi Gras festival celebrations, Demons and Witches and lots of supernatural issues. They still need to track down the missing book, and Michael also tasks them with finding out who killed a relative of his and protecting his young twin relatives, Jo and Sep.
Its a tangled tale, and of course Nohea, Thad’s awesome kick – a$$ assistant is still angry about her missing baby niece, and they’re trying to track her down.

A busy book for the trio, full of the usual suspense, dangers, twisted clues and the Monks machinations. another great read.

Stars: four and a half, it didn’t quite rivet me as the first two, I found parts a little confusing, but still an excellent read.

ARC supplied for review purposes by authors.

An Unsuitable Heir, KJ Charles

An Unsuitable Heir, KJ Charles

An Unsuitable Heir (Sins of the Cities) by [Charles, KJ]

Genre:LGBTQIA, Romance

KJ Charles is my favourite m/m author, and I love taking a dip back in time with her books.
This trilogy has been another fun read, and what amazes me is when in this final book little clues and things I recall from the previous two make sense now, plot lines that were secondary now fit in as major ones.

I love reading and am always in awe of just how cleverly authors wrap up a story, tie in lose ends, put everyone in the place I want them to end, when halfway through the final book I still can’t see how it can be done. This trilogy has been like that with each book.

It was good to catch up with Clem once more, I love him, so gentle and unassuming but so Right all the while. His character seems like he’d be background and yet he has an inner strength to him that others lean on. He’s a genuinely kind and caring man.
Julian from book two is here as well. Oh how I disliked him at the start of that but loved him by the finish, and here he’s the same slick character, incredibly clever, formed by his upbringing (or lack of it), but now with Nathaniel he can work at a living that doesn’t mean betraying the trust of others.
I love when that happens, he wasn’t happy at what he was doing, forced into it by circumstance and now with help he can find a way forward to be proud of. That past though, the skills he learned help him here, well, help him aid Mark, Pen and Greta anyway.
Pen and Greta, what a great pair, relied on each other for so long and have struggled so hard.
Life could be incredibly tough for people in the past, and in KJ’s books some of that comes over, making me look at why people do what they do, at the struggles they have, and for anyone like Pen who doesn’t fit the traditional roles society believes in, life gets really complicated. Greta understood him, few others did til Mark came along, and quiet, watchful Mark sees what Pen needs.
Mark, he’s been in earlier reads, and always seems the strong, silent type and slightly detached from issues. You get the feeling though that once his mind is set, once he decides to help he won’t stop till all avenues are exhausted. But for poor Pen the result Mark needs for his friends, what need to come out into the open to save them, is the one thing that will emotionally destroy Pen.
That tears Mark up, he can’t let more people die, and yet how can he condemn Pen to life in the public eye where his differences will be mocked, ridiculed and tear him apart?
I just couldn’t see how it could all work out, but luckily i’m just a reader and KJ has the perfect solution for everyone, wrapped up in a very neat way.

 

Stars:Five, a clever end to what seemed like an insurmountable problem and a trilogy that will join  the keepers.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Foxglove Copse, A Porthkennack novel, Alex Beecroft

Foxglove Copse, A Porthkennack novel, Alex Beecroft

Genre: Romance, LGBTQIA

Well, I almost always enjoy Riptide novels – I think maybe there’s a handful out of many reads that haven’t worked for me. Porthkennack novels I love too, remind me of Bluewater by the sea 😉 and of course its written by Alex Beecroft.

It was great being back in Porthkennack, and meeting the mighty Luscombes again….and a update on Brix, I loved that guy. There were some terrific new characters too who I hope we catch up with in later novels.

Sam’s wandered into Porthkennack on his travels escaping from his awful family.
Poor Sam, he really is suffering, had what seemed like a charmed life to many, wealthy family, great, high earning job, home of his own. The pressures of keeping it all up, earning the high income which stressed his conscience, trying to keep up with his family, who just don’t understand him, don’t even attempt to, led to him almost breaking though and he knew he had to get away, go off grid so to speak.
Now funds are low and he doesn’t want to go back, even thinking about it brings on panic attacks. They can be incredibly scary, and I so felt for Sam. Going back would probably kill him, and somehow I felt his family were so awful they’d rather he died than have to explain to their freinds why Sam is different. No wonder he left.

He meets Ruan under difficult circumstances. His aunt has been having sheep ritualistically  killed and Sam comes across one freshly butchered, and there he is, on the scene, a stranger in the village when Ruan and his aunt find him.
Ruan soon sees Sam just isn’t capable of doing something like this, but Sam can’t move on as his aunt is determined that the police will do something, so insists on pressing charges. I loved Ruan, perfect foil for Sam. He felt slightly Fey almost, with an uncanny insight and unusual way of dealing with issues. The attraction between the two was just perfect, and I loved this story.

I really enjoyed the way the story unfolded, the sheep killings that needed to be stopped, the way the teens in the village came into the story. It had a real camaraderie about it, but also some pretty scary events too, things that are too common in this age of technology and cyber crime.
I enjoyed too the descriptions of how Sam had adapted the van, how he used nature to support himself, the bender tent, the makings of the fire, cooking outside, and the use of solar energy. It all felt so real. Its a mix too of the old ways, living off the land, and the new, Sam’s talent with PCs means his laptop, powered by solar, lets him stay connected, keep up with life, find out information on his interests, which converge neatly with the satanic ritualistic appearing killings he comes across. He fits in so well, has the skills they need and is able to be himself.

Its real village life here too, where everyone knows everyone, history and feuds go back generations, and often the law is put in place outside the actual Law, dealt with by villagers who protect their own.

Its not just a romance, but a story with so much more, and that’s just what I look for. One to keep and reread.

Stars: Five, beautiful tender romance, wrapped up in some very real suspense.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Wolfsong, TJ Klune A story I bought!!

Wolfsong, TJ Klune

Wolfsong by [Klune, TJ]

Genre: LGBTQIA, Romance

I’ve been seeing recommendations for this story for a while now but you know what its like, there’s ARCs and KU, free books so actually buying one by an author whose work you don’t know if you like….well, for me it rarely happens even though I was very intrigued.
Then a few weeks back it was on sale at £1.49 so I bought it. Only got round to reading it last week and wow – what a book. Its kind of hard to review, one of those that defies categories.

It is Romance, but its a very slow burn and TBH though we know the two are going to get together they’re kids when we first meet them and have such a lot of growing to do, meeting others, just maturing. someone wrote criticising the sex, but I’m wracking my mind and all I can recall is one scene right at the very end.
Its M/M but the characters are so good that you don’t think of any of them specifally in terms of what sex they are, just that they are right for each other.
Its werewolf/Supernatural but again so much more. The werewolf/witch angle is just a part of who they are it doesn’t define any of them.

I adored Joe, been through so much and what a wonderful family. I got so angry at him at one point though I understood what he did but my heart broke for Ox.
And Ox, what a star he is, so truly good, loyal, despite the things that had happened to him, despite his awful father.
There’s lots more characters here, who fit the story so well, and I’d really like to read more about them – but seems they don’t have books. Yet – TJ Klune 😉

Its one of those books that are bittersweet when they end, where part of you is glad things worked out finally, and the other part just isn’t ready t leave the characters. Its a slow paced book, not an all action racey sex fest, but one where things develop over several years, where the story slowly expands, brings in more and more people and where Ox really grows into himself, becomes confident, where others see the strength and goodness that’s in him.

A wonderful story, one I’ll definitely re-read and I’ll be trying more from this author.

Stars: five, a fabulous, slow sensual read, with a great story building theme.

Blackmail, Anna James Watson

Blackmail, Anna James Watson

Blackmail (Skeleton Key Book 1) by [Watson, Anna James]

Genre: erotica

A dip outside my norm, but I was pointed in this direction, and the book is free for KU subscribers. I love KU!
I do like erotica when it has a solid story attached. This was fun and certainly very steamy and sensual! I was a bit surprised to find it continues in further books, though look forward to reading more from the three main characters. Its labelled skeleton Key part 1 but there’s also a series called Skeleton Key, where different authors have written stories that are unconnected except for the title, so I mistakenly thought it was part of that, and not part 1 of a series by this author. My bad…but just in case you have that thought too 😉

I liked – and disliked in the case of Tristan – the characters here. They’re all in their 20’s and studying at school/uni?
As a UK reader sometimes the terminology can be confusing, and I found a few words here that even kindle look up couldn’t help, but context gives me a rough idea. One big issue for me was this Tap thing, its a big part of the story, involving people being selected for secret(ish) groups, and TBH I hadn’t a clue exactly what it was at first, but it became clear as the story went on.
American colleges/schools/universities seem to have a great emphasis on these lifelong clubs, which are often difficult to join. We don’t really do that so much in UK. Same with frat/sorority houses etc.

Anyway, Mia gets caught out, and caught up in some hot and sexy times with Tristan and Julian. The background connecting the trio, the story and the sex scenes is the clubs, and what happens and who can join.
There’s day to day stuff that makes the story feel real, and gives a sense of grounding to the characters, its not just a sex fest but a sexy story and I was disappointed when I came to the end and found…it wasn’t the end ;-0. I’d been watching the % bar waiting for some crisis as usually happens at about 70-80%  and thinking “what’s going on?” and then  realised around that, yep, there’s more to come.
I’m kind of sad as I want to know now whats going to come next, and pleased because it means the story gets longer to evolve, and that way we can really get to know the characters well.
Already I can see that Tristan is so much more than the jerk I first thought, but don’t yet know why he acts that way. I like Julian, he’s very self assured and composed, and Mia is learning a lot about herself. I think this has got the potential to develop into quite a complex series ( I hope), something that’s not often found in erotica, a genre that’s dominated IMO by the short’n’hot reads, where the story come last in priority. Its fun to get an erotic series with a solid and interesting, something I’ve not found very often so far, and something I’m looking forward to continuing. M.Q. Barber’s Neighbourly Affection series is one I really enjoy, though thats very BDSM orientated in comparison to this. Who knows how this one will develop though 😉 .
I did feel the story was a little overtaken by the sex, and that’s why its a four for me not a five, but as always sex is what many readers want, and they’re happy for story to come second. Its a very personal thing.

Stars: four, a good intro to a sensual and steamy series.

Betrayed by Blood, Beth Dranoff. Cutie and the Beast, Fae Out of Water 1, E.J. Russell


Betrayed by Blood, Beth Dranoff

Betrayed by Blood (Mark of the Moon) by [Dranoff, Beth]

Genre:  Sci-fi and Fantasy

I enjoyed the first book in this series, but had a few reservations. I still think Dana does a bit too much introspection, but its far less than in book one and the story feels as if it flows better to me. A bit more Show going on, less Tell 😉

Dana’s still working out how to live as a shape shifter, how to adapt to her new life. She’s still working at the bar, still having the occasional fling with Jon, and he’s still close to Claude. Clearly he isn’t an ex….

Sam, he’s around too. He would like it to be just him and Dana, but accepts Jon, while not liking it. He can see that commitment scares Dana so for now he’ll go with the flow. He’s not so happy though when an ex comes back on the scene, the guy who really let Dana down.

Seems the organisation she left has a job for her…but they need to get in line because a group of supernaturals also have a job for her. She’s kind of in a rock and hard place though, these are the kind of offers that don’t accept sorry, no can do as an answer….

Dana’s learning more about herself, about her heritage, her father, the strange tatts on her back, and of course her new life as a shape-shifter.

Busy time for her and means there’s a lot going on. she grows a lot over the course of this novel. She adapts to what she learns, grows to trust others and there’s less sex for the sake of it and more feeling comes across, though she still struggles with commitment. It made me wonder how she’d feel if she found Sam with someone else….

I found the action flowed better in this novel, that things fell into place easier, more naturally. It makes me want to know more, what’s really the secret, what do the tatts mean, and who wants the info? We know some of those answers now, but there’s still a whole lots we don’t know.

There’s less Pack stuff here, more emphasis on Dana herself and the secrets that surround her, the things she needs to know but doesn’t. I felt that made for an easier to follow book. I do like the Pack side and hope they feature in later books but for now keeping them as a minor side story felt right. I don’t mind complex, actually I love complex, but sometimes there’s a point when too much just spoils the story, just makes things confusing and that’s a bit how book one was for me.

The things I didn’t like? Well, pretty short list, mainly the “silly” stuff that I felt dragged the story down, the names and descriptions -Squid D’Le for example, felt too YA, too juvenile.

Can you imagine Mercy Thomson dealing with a weird tentacled crew, headed by a Squid D’Le? Kate Daniels slinging back Bloody Marys garnished with oil demon eyeballs, toenail clippings and frost nymph snot? Nope, nor can I…
The descriptions of some of the demons feels pretty much like that too. Can they be just frost demons, tentacled land evolved sea creatures? Nope they’re all kind of “pink, with blue spots, green horns, purple suckers, and six eyes, drooling acid yellow venomous slime..” kind of thing. Ditto the drinks and food. That really detracted from the story for me.

Its a good story, shaping up really well IMO but those silly bits let it down and make it hard to take seriously. Stories usually have either serious drama or comedy angles, but this feels like Beth has tried to incorporate both, and for me it doesn’t work.

It can be done, but its not easy, and doesn’t work here. Thankfully that’s only a small part of the story!

Stars: Four. Maybe four and a half, I can’t quite get past the silliness side…but yes, four and a half, its a real step up from book one and I do want to see what happens next.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Cutie and the Beast, Fae Out of Water 1, E.J. Russell

Cutie and the Beast (Fae Out of Water Book 1) by [Russell, E.J.]

Genre: LGBTQIA, Romance

I’ve enjoyed some of EJ’s stories before and love tales around Fae so was eager to read this.

Just didn’t work for me though, felt a little too “fluffy” and the characters too stereotyped. I couldn’t really get into it, didn’t care much about what happened to the people and it all just fell a bit flat for me.

A series that’s clearly not for me. won’t put me off reading different books by this author though. not all books suit all readers, even if we usually enjoy someone’s wring style.

 

Stars: Two, I’ll pass on the rest of this series but still look out for E.J Russell’s other stories.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

All Wheel Drive, Z.A. Maxfield

All Wheel Drive, Z.A. Maxfield

All Wheel Drive (Bluewater Bay Book 18) by [Maxfield, Z.A.]

Genre: LGBTQIA, Romance

I love the Bluewater sereis, and devoured ZA Mazfield’s Cowboy sereis so I was sure I’d love this. But somehow for me it just doesn’t work.

Healey doesn’t seem to know what he wants, given what he’s been through that’s understandable, but I wasn’t convinced he’d be ready to jump into something with Diego so soon after the ultra traumatic breakup with Ford, someone he’d been with for (I think) two years, maybe more.
Diego is ultra prickly, being in a wheelchair myself I know how easy it is for people to be offensive even when they don’t mean it, but he seems to take offence at the slightest hint, maybe there’s another narrative.

I didn’t feel anything between him and Ford, no chemistry, no attraction or even just plain old lust, but to be fair I only got to 50% before giving up and just skimming to end to see what actually happened between Healey and Ford, and what the accident was.
I found all the things we couldn’t know so frustrating, Healey and Ford and The accident, the Gag order – wouldn’t his family insist he gets his own solicitors? He’s supposed to be ultra brilliant, wouldn’t he have seen the need for independent representation. even Ford tells him he needs it!
Diego, his past, his mum, whether she was famous, and why, and who wanted this exhibit, and why was he in a wheelchair, its kind of central to know what his history is to know why he’s so prickly. Is it from an accident, an illness, from birth? all those things affect differently how people cope with life on wheels.

Just too many unanswered questions, combined with lack of chemistry and me feeling I just didn’t Know the characters, didn’t feel they were real.

Stars: two, still love Bluewater and Z A Maxfield’s stories but this one just didn’t work for me.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Escaping Indigo, Eli Lang

Escaping Indigo, Eli Lang

Escaping Indigo by [Lang, Eli]

Genre:  Romance, LGBTQIA

There’s bits I love about this story, the band and music parts, really made me feel I was on tour with the band but…the romance. It was subtle, so subtle it almost disappeared, and for me it didn’t really work.

I liked the guys, but poor Micah, he’s had such a sad past, lost his best friend and still feels as if perhaps he could have done more, seen something, made Eric get help. I think we’re all like that, feel a kind of survivors guilt sometimes and its played on Micah to the point he was really depressed.
Then Eric’s brother gets him the job as a roadie for Escaping Indigo, a band Micah has always admired.

Its a kind of dream world, interacting daily with the band he’s so long admired, looked up to, aspired to be like. Bellamy though is very quiet, and you can feel Micah always worrying he’s in the way, going to cause offence, be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Poor guy doesn’t know what he should do, and then Bellamy starts talking. It’s a dream come true for Micah, and as they chat he begins to know Bellamy the man, not just Bellamy lead singer of the band.
Its odd though, Bellamy himslef and others kind of warn him off, tell him to be carefully, with Bellamy saying he’s no good for him, could hurt him etc one moment, and then worrying Micah is going to be like his ex, the last roadie and leave him.
He’s pushing away at the same time as he’s pulling Micah in and the poor boy is confused.
I so felt for him, he just wants to help, to be a friend and more, part of a couple and its what they do, help each other. Bellamy gets all hurt and offended though at Micah’s suggestions and he’s back to treading on eggshells trying to keep their relationship going without tipping Bellamy over.

At times I wanted to smack Bellamy. Yes he’s got issues, but he needs to decide what he wants to do, not blame everyone for wanting to help. It seems in the past everyone had just accepted he had moments, periods when he was…quiet, different, struggling and they all just worked round it.

Its a sweet romance, and I really wanted things to work out but by the end I still wasn’t sure whether what they were doing would be enough.
Its a very gentle romance, not a torrid sex-every-other-page read and that’s fine by me, I want tenderness, sensuality not just sex and more sex.
Somehow though this book, while being a good read, made me feel part of the scene, didn’t quite cut it for a romance read.

Stars: Three, a gentle read, great band side but for me a slightly unsatisfying ending.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers
 

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