Out of the blue.

It has been so long since I’ve blogged I wasn’t sure I’d remember how. I used to enjoy it so much, but stuff happened and it seemed to suck anything remotely like creativeness and a willingness to share right out of me. Nothing to do with the reading community, more life is a bit sucky stuff.

I also think I stopped blogging so much because writing reviews was too much like hard work and it felt like a lot of pressure for little gain. I think I may be coming out the other end of my creative slump and meh moment. (It’s only taken 2 years!) I’ve been reading Kassa’s blog too and enjoying her return to regular reviewing and blogging. I think too, that perhaps time away is not such a bad thing.

I’ve been reading loads, as always, but more of a balance between urban fantasy  contemporary and m/m. I’m finding I have less patience for rubbish writing. It frustrates me no end when characters are not fully fleshed out, the world building is cursory at best and the author just doesn’t do the job of making me believe in their world. I think maybe I am becoming a little cranky and if it doesn’t grab me in the first chapter I’ll put it down. I also yell at small children to get off my lawn. heh.

So, here’s my first rec for the year… and it’s going to be brief.

I thoroughly enjoyed this. Solid world building and good pacing. I did have a few issues about half way through but not bad enough to spoil my enjoyment. Definitely one to check out if you’re into sic fi.

Buy it here from Loose Id.

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Shorts.

Lord of the White Hell is out! Woot! If you’ve not ordered it then do. It’s such an amazingly cool book and one of my favourites from this year. I’ve been reading a little – mainly paranormal and mystery paperbacks. I find I have very little patience with TSTL female characters though. The ending of the last Rachel Gibson I read nearly sent me over the edge. Bleh! Currently I’m reading free stuff via Aleksandr Voinov. Titled Special Forces, so far lots of violence (stabbity, punching muscle stuff) and very little sexy time. Am hoping for more sexy time soon…

I’ve not read Josh Lanyon in a while, so this was a cool pick up. I always enjoy Josh’s deft plotting and smart characters. In Fair Game he’s created an ex cop who is forced to give up a career he’s loved and take up a more desk bound job. The dynamics between Eliott and his lover Tucker were pretty tense and steamy, although at times I wished Tucker was featured a little more prominently. I think the focus was more on Elliot’s journey and the mysterious disappearance of the young men, kinda like his scooby swan song. Cool read and worth checking out.

Life, Over Easy by K.A. Mitchell was very cool. A sexy college boy paranormal with great world building and spooky bits which were suitably eerie! The romance between John and Mason was sexy and the scenes between them had loads of lovely tension and drama. There was much angst about moving on with life after loss and coping with change. I liked this book hugely. K.A. Mitchell’s books are always incredibly entertaining, hot and honest. Get it here from ARe.

His Hearth by Mary Calmes was an interesting piece. They dynamics between the boys were a little hard to figure out initially and I felt like their actual personalities and motivations took a long time to become clear. If I’d real the blurb more closely, I might have been less surprised by the paranormal elements that seemed to appear out of left field too. There was little building of tension and the book at times felt too short to get any real sense of the world and characters. While I usually enjoy this authors lovely, imaginative and fresh voice, this one missed the mark for me. Available here via ARe.

Dark Horse by Kate Sherwood

Dan Wheeler thought he’d found lasting love and stability with his life and work partner, Justin Archer. But when Dan finds himself alone again, still working as a horse trainer for Justin’s parents, he has to find a way to accept that his perfect life is gone forever.
Then he meets billionaire Evan Kaminski, who arrives to buy a horse for his younger sister, and Evan’s lover Jeff Stevens, a horse trainer who seems to understand more than just Dan’s job. Struggling to deal with all the upheavals in his life, Dan finds himself drawn to both Evan’s mercurial passion and Jeff’s quiet wisdom. Is Dan strong enough to take a chance on new love, or would it be better—safer—for him to be alone?
Synopsis via Dreamspinner Press.

3somes, horse riding and grief created an ecletic and intriguing mix that kept me reading till the wee small hours.

There’s loads of horse stuff for pony buffs (not in a gross way!), the author is incredibly knowledgeable and the world building is vivid and realistic. It all made me feel totally nostalgic for my own horse riding days. She nailed that early morning routine in a working stable and I enjoyed the depth of knowledge and feeling she has for it.

The book is written in 3rd person present tense, so this does take a little getting used to. It almost felt like watching a movie and at times Dan’s moving on from the death of his lover is incredibly sad, but this perspective allows for great reader intimacy.

The boys are also pretty progressive and work hard at having a meaningful polyamorous relationship. There is loads of introspective soul searching and navel gazing; as one does when you’re leaping into bed with two other chaps and heading for something long term!

This is not to say I didn’t have a few problems. Getting used to the narrative style was different, but it worked. The minutiae of Dan’s life does get a little heavy at times too and I think that some of this could have been a little leaner. I wanted them all to get in the sack quicker too. Impatient pants!

However, there’s loads of sexual tension, some nice teary moments and a really well fleshed out story that will keep you with your nose firmly in the book. I was pretty excited to see that there is a 2nd book coming out and that I’ll get to see how it all turns out. This was defnitely a story that needed another book to round it out.

Great reading. Check it out here.

Shorts.

I seem to be doing more reading than reviewing lately. This is not such a bad thing as I’ve read some truly wonderful books in the past couple of weeks.

Strange Fortune by Josh Lanyon was a great fantasy read. I did find it a little difficult to get into initially, but after a couple of chapters I was totally sucked in. Unique world building aside, it was the characters and their budding attraction that kept me engrossed. I liked Valentine Strange and his lithe good looks, snippy comebacks and that he did not suffer fools gladly. He was a good foil for Aleister, who seemed rather vulnerable at times. Not in such a way that was irritating to read, but he definitely had a fragility about him that belied some of his actions. Characters with many facets always make for wonderful reading and I think this is something that Josh Lanyon does particularly well. Great read. Get it in paperback here at Blind Eye Books.

Broken Boundries by Evangeline Anderson is a bit of a weird one for me. There were definitely some bits that I liked, but lots of the book just drove me a little bat shit. I am willing to whip out my big ole suspension of disbelief undies for a good story, but unfortunately some of the world building and details of the ship flying were a little over the top. I liked some of the tension between the characters and the whole I don’t wanna be different thing, but the way some of the sexual stuff was dealt with and the non con just got on my goat. So, some good, some bad. Parts were definitely a guilty pleasure. Definitely an author I’ve enjoyed, but this one was just not my cuppa tea. Get it from Ellora’s Cave.

Immortality is the Suck by A.M. Riley was a seriously cool read. I did not pick it up initially as I was feeling a little over the whole vamp genre, but I really like the author so eventually gave in and brought it. Despite there being a very obvious romantic relationship between Adam and Peter, most of the book is seen through Adam’s POV and is about him dealing with waking up a bit dead and wanting to snack on people. I liked that Adam is a total shit and needs a boot in his ass, but it’s his underlying goodness that peeked through every now and then that kept me totally wrapped up in this book. Loads of drama and fast paced action that does not miss a beat. That and some seriously smutty sex. Loved it. Buy it from ARe and Loose Id.

Gatekeeper by Rayne Auster was an interesting read. The descriptions of Duiem, the Land of Earth and Fire, were reasonably well developed and provided enough detail to give you a good picture of the characters and their lives. Mystery over where Aniol comes from and how he and Kaji are going to save their respective lands provided pretty standard fantasy fare. The authors characterization and slow building of tension between the leads was nicely done and the book proved to be rather entertaining. Loads of wonderful secondary characters and adventure, definitely a pretty cool read. Check it out here at ARe.

Two Man Team by Jet Mykles

Others might be fooled into thinking Davey is just a computer nerd, but Jason knows better. He knows his geeky best friend is wicked to the core. Threesomes with girls lead them to try sex alone. Now Jason wants to make them a two-man team.
Synopsis via Loose Id.

It’s true, Davey has possibly got the most readable ass I’ve read this month. If you buy this gem for any reason, buy it for his ass alone. His behind was so well described and so well loved that even I was contemplating giving it a gold star. heh.

Two Man Team carries on from Jet’s previous book One For The Team, set within a couple of months of a wedding and of Davey, Jason et al. getting it on. Davey makes a few gentle suggestions to Jason that maybe he’d like to get the band back together, with some chicks, and so they do. There is much surreptitious watching of each other and almost touching during their sexorin fest, and until finally they end up in the sack, just the two of them. Nice.

Normally the whole chick as an add on can kinda squick me, as it often feels like she’s just the tag along. Unless the book is a purpose written menage. The way the author handled this was nicely done and even though they’re not a huge focus, how they’re dealt with was nicely written. I guess this was kinda important to me, that it fed and drove the plot rather than adding a random sex scene.

The chemistry between Davey and Jason was unspeakably hot and there are a couple of scenes that need some kind of achievement certificate or well done! Seriously, they were so filled with tension, angst and raw sexual appeal I am quite sure my wee iphone won’t ever be the same.

Jason’s voice was easy to read and at times provided surprising and unexpected turns in character. I liked that I was not really sure what was going to happen next. Sometimes I feel so jaded, I can tell you where a story is going. I think I read too much! But this was just a little different. And, was it just me or was Davey’s ass really that hypnotic? 😀

A wickedly hot read and I liked it lots. Get it from Loose Id.

Shorts.

Some quick reviews, cause I’m too lazy and hot (yes the sun is actually out) to write anything longer!

Can’t Hurry Love by M. Jules Aedin was damn fun. Vincent is in trouble at the Easter Bunny Department and gets shunted off to work with a grumpy cupid as punishment. Cuteness ensues. Despite being quite short this was super entertaining and I enjoyed the authors style, quick pace and the romance was just gorgeous. I liked it much; really it gets loads of stars cause one of the main characters has bunny ears and a tail. How cute is that? Check it out at ARe.

Bee Among the Clover by Marguerite Labbe and Fae Sutherland was an interesting read. Set in England when the Romans were still hanging out in London, this was a historical romance between a captured slave and an indentured thrall. The book was rather long with much smex amongst the animal skins and the odd menage with the head honcho. This last element did not get in the way of the romance between our two star crossed lovers, but made the book more feel a little more well rounded and kinda grubby! The 1st half of the book had great pace, but I did find my feet dragging in the 2nd half. There were a great deal of misunderstandings, which is a trope that I can usually cope with in very small doses. Unfortunately, this element made the story too drawn out and I did find my attention wandering at times. It was a little disapointing after such a good 1st half. For all that it was a reasonably good read and one to check out.

Coming Home by Ava Rose Johnson is a cowboy romance and well worth a look. Cade has had the hots for Brett for ages, but it is not until he has to come home to sort the family ranch that their attraction develops into more. The world building was tight and ranchy with good pacing and I liked the boys. This was not just a straight up m/m romance, there is some ménage-à-trois action with a girl no less!  It worked though, which was good because I’ve read another book with the same kind of feel and the chick just felt like a 3rd wheel. I found this to be a pretty entertaining read and think it is definitely one to have a nosey at.

Special Delivery by Heidi Cullinan was a cool book. Sam, a young nursing student hooks up with a trucker Mitch and they road trip and find themselves. It was great. While at times I did find the narrative a little patchy and some of Sam’s internal dialog a little repetitive (I’m sooooooo slutty), this was a fantastically grubby read to just check your suspension of disbelief at the door and totally get into. What I found so entertaining was the authors give it a go voice and while there are definitely parts that had me a little WTF?? It was genuinely entertaining. Liked it. Check it out at ARe.

Shorts.

I’ve been catching up on some of my paperback reading over the last couple of weeks. I brought several books ages ago and they’ve been languishing in a pile next to my bed. As much as I LOVE ebooks it’s been nice to read an actual paper book. I finally finished The Catch Trap and loved it, but will write something a little longer in the coming weeks. It deserves some pondering!

Y: The Last Man Vol. 1: Unmanned is seriously cool and I cannot wait to pick up the next volume. When all the men on the planet die mysteriously AND simultaneously, apart from Yorick and his monkey, adventure, mayhem and mystery ensue. The boy has read this and is a huge fan and I’m glad I picked it up, because I really enjoyed it much. Check out Y and a few other cool comics on this goodreads list.

A Feral Christmas (Lost Shifters, #2) was a cute and quick read. It reminded me loads of Tara Janzen’s books in that her secondary characters are what will keep you coming back for more. It was a little shorter than I would have liked and occasionally lacked a little depth, but was an entertaining read. I’ll definitely be going back for more as Rat’s story has to be a bit of a winner! Check it out here at ARe.

I’ll Be Your Drill, Soldier by Crystal Rose has been a difficult book to rate. The beginning was rather choppy, but once it got into the army basic training it smoothed out a little. It was a procedural kind of writing, but with enough crisp character detail and insight into army life that I found it incredibly readable. Even though there was not too much focus on the romance at this stage, it was rather engrossing. The build up to the smexorin was smokin and I’d read it again just for that! The author states that this is most definitely set in a fictional world with regards attitudes towards homosexuality in the army. I felt, in spite of this, that the world building was good enough for me to suspend my disbelief with reasonable ease. What stops this book from being a total 5 star read is the pacing, head hopping and the many occasions I just wished the editing was tighter. Large parts of the book suffered from this and despite moments of brilliance, I think this is either going to be a book you’ll love or find hard going. Check it out at Dark Roast Press.

Grave Secret is the 4th part of the Harper Connelly series. Really, Charlaine Harris can do no wrong in my books, but I must say this series and also her Lily Bard Mysteries are just a cut above. They’re deceptively simple, but with plenty of twists and turns to keep you going and female characters that I just love. Harper gets hit by lightning when she is younger and can see not only dead folks but the cause of their deaths. Her STEP brother travels with her helping folk out with the whole dead and dying thing and scoobyness ensues. It’s cool beans. AND can I just say, that he is not really her brother. They’re not blood relatives. So, no squick. HONEST! Wicked cool series. Check it out here.

Stuff.

Click on the pic to view more of this photographers work. Beautiful and beardy.

Below are a few links that I’ve come across that are kinda cool.

Two new review blogs, Three Dollar Bill Reviews and also MANtasticfiction. Have read a couple of reviews on both sites and it will be interesting to see how they turn out.

Man’s Adventure has really cool art and  I love his squared off style. Kinda funky.

Homocomix is one of my favorite follows on tumblr. He continually posts some srsly cool work.

On a more personal moany note, the kindle iPhone app blows goats. There is no page turning animation thing (the slidey transition makes my eyes sore) AND I do not like DRM ebooks. They suck. This was the only way I could read The Mane Squeeze however, so I am kinda stuck with it until someone sees some sense and I can get my ebooks via plain old pdf or epub. Amazon you suck big hairy goat balls. It takes all the fun of being able to put the book into a folder on my HD, label it and catalogue – a nerdy occupation to be sure. But srsly? It is these things that give me pleasure! This is not my only moan, the cost was ridiculous. As much as I love her work, I think I’ll get the pb next time. At least I’d be able to shelve that sucker.

I am almost out of good books to read. So suggest away PLEASE!!!! I am bidding on an auction for The Catch Trap, but that will mean it is still a week or so away. Plus it looks like some new digital comics are coming soon, but I need some good reads now!! The plumbing of the characters is not important, good writing is essential!

Shorts.

Becoming Us by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox was a wonderful post Christmas read. A college coming out/coming of age story about finding that sometimes someone to love can be right under your nose. Awwwww! While the angst level had the potential to be rather overwhelming, it was nicely balanced with much smex and the pacing was quick, clever and provided me with much entertainment. A great read with memorable characters. Get it from Torquere.

Goldilocks and His Three Bears by A. M. Riley was a ripping good yarn that did not really pretend to take itself too seriously. Brian is such a skank, but a likeable one and his penchant for the hairy and beary strongly influences his choices in partners. Luckily (could my tounge be any further in my cheek) there are 3 hirsute boys who live under the same roof – so there is not too far for Brian to go to try out the next bed. Daddy bear, momma bear and baby bear all provided Brian and me with much entertainment and just a few giggles! Get it via Reader Store.

Carol of the Bellskis by Astrid Amara had the authors trademark sense of humor and well executed plot. I really like her writing style and Seth and Lars angst and snow affected romance was a delightful read. I think she nailed the pacing of the story as it comes in at a pretty pivotal time in the boys relationship. The story flows over the ensuing angst beautifully. I think Lars did seriously need a kick in the pants, but his coming to terms with his sexuality and what was important to him made this a sweet read. I am beginning to look forward to this time of year and these holiday reads! Check it out here at Loose Id.

Wanting by ML Rhodes had a great premise. College boys discovering their love for one another, working through family issues and coming clean about their feelings after an illicit night of sex. It should have rocked my wee socks off, but the execution failed to fire with me and I was left feeling a little disappointed. While all the elements were there, at times the characters level of angst overtook the story and their development seemed stilted. Still, a quick read if you’re up for some college boy smooching. Check out the book here.

I read Amor En Retrogrado by A. M. Riley because Treva Harte said it was cool beans. Reading the synopsis, after I bought it, I was initially not that keen as the book focuses on an established couple and the break down of their relationship. I am rather guilty of preferring that first flush of romance between a couple and all that lovely anticipation. I was happily proved wrong and could not have enjoyed this book more. It was romantic, heart breaking and beautifully written. I think I almost got what I wanted really, but don’t want to spoil it! I loved it. Check it out at ARe.

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