4-5

book review | The Lion and the Crow by Eli Easton

the crown and the lion eli easton book coverAuthor: Eli Easton
Title: The Lion and the Crow
Series: –
Genre: Historical Romance, LGBT Literature
Pages: 146
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

After the giant book that Mistborn 2 was, I wanted something light, short. So I picked up The Lion and the Crow by Eli Easton. I don’t know this author, nor have I read anything of hers before. But after this one, I’m down to getting more.

About: Seventh son should not be a threat. He shouldn’t concern his brothers. He’ll have no claim to the throne unless all six before him die, and that’s unlikely. And he’ll marry the most profitable bride for the whole family. But the young man is too pretty. His eyes linger on other men too long. And he’s far too dangerous. So when Christian, nicknamed Crow, offers to be the guide for the knight known as Lion, on a suicidal mission to save his sister from a tyrant, there are those in Crow’s family who don’t take this selfless suggestion as such. But in truth, Crow just wants to escape the pressure, the constant watchful eyes, the bullying. And if that can only be achieved on a deadly mission, well, at least the knight he’ll be with is not hard on the eyes.

Mine: I expected many things, but none of the ones I got. The plot twisted on me, making turns where I least expected them. I mean, take the plot: a knight, honorable and brave, is off to save his sister from an abusive husband. He takes another brave young man with him, whom he believes to be a pampered lordling. So you’d expect what? Proving of self, and a honorable entrance into the castle of a tyrannical old man who’d order them cut down instantly. But luck would be on their side and so on, and on. Instead we got planning, clever scheming, daring but weighted plans. The story, if short, was dynamic, serious, and concluded. Hands down, a real well written book, if nothing else. The only thing, and that’s purely my own preference, is indeed that seriousness. I’m more into light-hearted, humorous characters.

I was wondering, should I let you know if there’s detailed love scenes in books? Would that make a difference in choosing the book? Because some just skim over it, others allude to it, and then some are like this one. I, personally, can give this one a strong 4 out of 5, and will definitely check out what else Eli Easton has written.

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Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, historical romance, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

diversity | “Fallow” by Jordan L. Hawk | Whyborne & Griffin 8

2Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Title: Fallow
Series: Whyborne & Griffin 8
Genre: Paranormal romance, LGBT literature
Pages: 210
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Not gonna lie, I got a little bit tired of these series, I am looking forwards to both their final, and I am indeed thinking I maybe need to take a break from them. We’ll see.

About: A man from Griffin’s hometown murders a sorcerer before his very eyes, and then must be killed himself. For the corruption inside of him that Griffin can see, is making him violent towards the man, blaming him for something Griffin got no clue about. Yet one thing is obvious. Since this man came from Griffins home, the same one that once exiled him for his nature, then they all back there, including his mother, are in grave danger. And he’s too kind of a soul to just let them die.

Mine: I do like that these books always touch upon LGBT community questions that are relevant in our reality, today. Like, how does one carry on living, when those who were supposed to love us unconditionally – turn away? It’s a legitimate truth some people have to live with, and I hope you all know that you can make your own families, and that you matter. But on the lighter note, for one, I almost cried laughing at Whyborne vs Rooster named Diabolo. And for two, oh how I love Christine! She and Ester Gold would surely be best friends, and they’d go hunt bad guys with magic and shotguns. Does anyone know of such a book? I want to read it.

I guess due to the fact these stories are written in a pattern of “one case per book” – it got a little too predictable for my liking. You know trouble will happen soon, and you know trouble will be solved by the end of it. So I think I’ll take a little break, but give this one a firm 4 out of 5, it was one of the better ones for sure.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, historical romance, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, paranormal romance | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

historical fiction | “The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy | Montague Siblings 2

5Author: Mackenzi Lee
Title: The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy
Series: Montague Siblings 2
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Pages: 450
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Another book I heard warnings about, and read poor reviews of in that little collection of book blogs that I follow (not all of them). But if I set my mind on reading something, that’ll not discourage me, so here I am.

About: Felicity just wanted to be a doctor. She wanted to learn, to know, and possibly be known for her contribution to medicine. But instead, her being born a woman at this time and age, has made all the men close the door to her face before even hearing her out. Yet Montagues aren’t so easily made to give up.

Upon hearing that her former childhood friend is about to marry a scientist Felicity has admired for a while, she sets off to visit her, with a plan at hand of how to not upset the friend she didn’t part on the best of terms with; And how to possibly get a spot at her soon-to-be husband’s side. For this man is known to be an eccentric among his kind, so at the very least she’ll be heard, she’s sure. Instead she soon finds herself on yet another pirate ship, with her childhood friend at hand, off to adventures worthy of books, escaping grave danger into strange lands of myths.

Mine: Felicity is what I’d imagine Sherlock Holmes would’ve been if he was born a woman. She’s stubborn, annoyed, angry, feeling invisible. She also believes she has to prove herself to be seen, and doesn’t always choose the best ways towards those goals, thus, doing so, she hurts others and comes off as arrogant. Here her childhood friend really fits into the picture. She’s a very different kind of a woman from Felicity, yet just as strong and just as smart. Her kind clashing with Felicity creates a dynamic character development that I very much enjoyed through the whole of the book. The only big minus I got for the story is the overbearing amount of details where there was no need for so many, and great shortage of them where it would’ve been interesting to know more.

I’d really like me more books of Montague siblings. They’re real fun kids, with ability to adapt unmatched. I give this book a strong 4 out of 5, and remain hopeful.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, F/F Literature, Historical Fiction Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, Pirate Books | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

diversity | “Midnight” by Megan Derr | Dance with the Devil 3

4Author: Megan Derr
Title: Midnight
Series: Dance with the Devil 3
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 212
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Have I mentioned before, that these books remind me a lot of Castlevania cartoon? There’s this vibe of magic mixed with science. The really modern inventions in almost medieval settings. The distinct territories and lines between the Normals and Supernaturals.

About: Somewhere far, at the edge of the vampire, the Draculas territory, and too close for comfort on the edge of the dragon territory, a Siren song rises the dead from their slumber, and turns them into draugr. But these are inferior beings as Lord Devlin White knows it. For he once shared his own heartbeat with a dying boy, Midnight, which resulted in a fine young man, capable of thought, function, growing up. Midnight is nothing like these shambling monsters. And, apparently, someone is more than aware. Someone out there, using the song, is luring Lord White into a trap, for Midnight is a secret highly prized…

Mine: This was a slow, but very fun and dark adventure. There were fierce but cute dragons, their knights, yes, their knights, and magic. Priests who dabbled in evil and still thought themselves holier than thou. And, as I now noticed, the usual little line of a classic fairy tale woven in there to lead on the detective plot of who did what and why. The only thing I horribly did not like was the not-yet-even-a-boyfriend jealousy. Yes, how dare you have had life before them, and love interests. Bah.

These are very easy to read magical books. I like them a lot, so I’m glad there’s more to get through. Much like some of the KJC’s romances, these too follow different people through same setting, universe, and it works very well like that. So I give it a strong 4 out of 5.

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Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, paranormal romance, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

diversity | “Maelstrom” by Jordan L. Hawk | Whyborne & Griffin 7

1Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Title: Maelstrom
Series: Whyborne & Griffin 7
Genre: LGBT Literature, Historical Romance
Pages: 204
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I’ve nothing new to say. Same story: I’ve grown attached to the series, so I intend to finish them to the end. They’re maybe not favorite material, the best books out there. But they’re certainly not bad.

About: Someone’s ritualistically murdering people, covering them in strange symbols, and leaving them on sacrificial sites. Even Whyborne has no clue on neither what those symbols are, why it’s being done, for whom, or, most importantly, by whom. So, naturally, he and Griffin start investigating. This time they don’t even have to go far, it’s enough to ride around Widdershins in Griffins horrible new car, and visit the sea, where Whyborne’s mother and sister live. Oh, and, avoid death both on the road, and by whoever it is killing people in such a gruesome manner.

Mine: I’ve got real used to them traveling to strange sites by now, so it was almost strange that they remained on Widdershins soil. But hey, it was fun to read. For one, Whyborne was very funny. He, this progressive gay guy, is very opposed to anything modern. Why call anyone, and talk to them, if you can just send a very fast telegram or something? And the cars? Oh, the horror. But I’ll give him that one, since it was real funny, and real scary to read about driving where driver feels pride that he only slid sideways a little bit, and didn’t even knock the light pole off. Yep.

The books are adventurous, well written, full of simple easy jokes. They’re fun, even if the plot is always somehow lacking. It’s good, but lacking. 4 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, historical romance, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, paranormal romance, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

classics | “The Kreutzer Sonata” by Leo Tolstoy

2Author: Leo Tolstoy
Title: The Kreutzer Sonata
Series: –
Genre: Fiction, Classic
Pages: 128
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Reading this book made me realize I’d like to melt my diversity section into the general pot, and simply make an active attempt to introduce more diverse books into my normal reading. Why, you’d ask? Because this damn book made me want to throw it into the first fire I found.

About: So, ah. This whole book is about a toxic freak of nature of a man who made this whole philosophy of how love doesn’t exist. He based it upon his own baseless jealousy of his wife. Due to this jealousy he killed her, so that’s your proof. What love can exist, when a man can get this jealous, and kill his wife? And what is a woman if not a corrupted maiden, who would never in a million years enjoy sex, but is forced to imagine that she does, so that she can take a certain amount of control over a man? This here waste of space rants this whole story to another man, and by the end of the book I concluded neither should’ve walked off that damn train.

Mine: Don’t get me wrong here. I understand why this book exists. I can even, sort of, appraise the message it sends: a woman is easily killed by toxic men who forget they’re people too. But it was still so incredibly disgusting to read. I know those women. And I know those men. Often I get to read rants on facebook by strong women in their safe towers, tutoring other women to not be afraid to refuse, to not be afraid to leave toxic men. But this here is reality. Freaks like this exist in real life. It’s easy to speak when you trust the man you’re with to be a human being, not a monster. This book portrays it all well. (this not to say that a woman shouldn’t leave a toxic man, but from a standpoint from someone in an LGBT community, I know that I’d put my safety first, and seek certain measures before I came out to certain people)

It is, of course, written incredibly well. So, for that, and the message, if that was the case, I give it a 4 out of 5. I’m just real disheartened to understand the world barely changed from those times when this bag of dicks killed his wife, because he imagined something.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Classic Books | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

diversity | “Dance in the Dark” by Megan Derr | Dance with the Devil 2

1Author: Megan Derr
Title: Dance in the Dark
Series: Dance with the Devil 2
Genre: Paranormal, LGBT Literature
Pages: 350
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I’m not sure whether I liked this book because it was good, or because it was a cozy read. Either way, the book is not bad at all. Had a good vibe to it, so to speak.

About: Johnnie, a normal, had to grow up among supernaturals. After his family was slain by a blood crazed wife of a Dracula, the vampire followed tradition and adopted the child, raising him as his own in all but the vampirism. But not all liked it, even if it was what tradition demanded. And even Johnnie grew up to resent this position a little, for now he didn’t fit in either of the worlds. A human among vampires, never a vampire. No longer a Normal, so unable to live in that side of the world either.

So he does what he thinks will fit the situation best, and moves out of the Dracula’s estate, taking up supernatural cases in a shady part of town. All goes well and good until they start affecting his life more and more. And then one day a woman knocks on his door, asking to find her beloved. A man, who, Johnnie soon finds out, is no other, than his brother, Dracula’s heir. Soon to marry a noblewoman.

Mine: The book had a nice A Wolf Among Us vibe to it. Supernaturals living separate from the Normals. Old fairy tales seeping into their current life. A slight re-telling of a Snow White, poisoned apples and mirrors included. And even if there was stalling, it was still cozy, and fun enough.

This might not be your next favorite book, but it’s definitely an interesting take on it. 4 out of 5 from me, and we’ll see what’s next.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, Books: Supernatural, dark fantasy, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

sci-fi | “Scarlet” by Marissa Meyer | The Lunar Chronicles 2

1Author: Marissa Meyer
Title: Scarlet
Series: The Lunar Chronicles 2
Genre: Sci-fi, Fantasy
Pages: 454
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I was getting warnings left and right of how I’ll just have to bear through this book, how boring it’ll be, and so on. And yet I liked it very much. I guess it only shows how no matter what your favorite bookbloggers say: only you may know whether you’ll like a book or not.

About: Scarlet’s grandma went missing. And nobody’s doing a thing about it. No, they even go as far as slander her name, saying she was crazy, or that she possibly killed herself, because she left her ID chip behind. But Scarlet knew her grandma, and would never believe such horrible things. Her fears are confirmed when her father breaks into their home and frantically turns everything upside-down, in search of something her grandma hid. You see, he was kidnapped and tortured in front of his own mother, Scarlet’s grandmother, and she’d not give up her secrets anyway. So he must find it on his own, or die trying, since the people who had him, will surely kill him. Scarlet has an idea of what it could be, but she doesn’t trust this man she barely ever saw enough to share the information. Instead, she’s off to find her grandmother on her own.

Mine: This is a very interesting and fun take on Little Red Riding Hood, with very big bad wolves, and lots of red. There’s also a continuation on the monsters from Luna that we saw pictures of in the previous books. I liked Scarlet, she was smart, clever enough to get around and tell Cinder off for lacking the wits, and even being selfish. For Cinder definitely wasn’t around, if you know what I mean. Her decisions sometimes seemed off, arguments – lacked substance. That’s all because her mind was on a whole different matter at all times, but still, Scarlet was a good call of reality. The story itself is well written, easy to read, filled with action, and perfectly paced. Entertainment for hours or even days.

I enjoy the series a lot so far. Hopefully it grows ever better, 4 out of 5 for now, strong.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Fantasy Books, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

diversity | “Hoarfrost” by Jordan L. Hawk | Whyborne & Griffin 6

1Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Title: Hoarfrost
Series: Whyborne & Griffin 6
Genre: Paranormal, LGBT Literature
Pages: 274
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I feel odd attachment to the characters, much like I had with Nightrunner series. Stories are similar too, just, this one here, is not fantasy, and is more concentrated on the romance part. Either way, a light read.

About: Griffin has finally found one of his brothers, and exchanged some correspondence with him. He lives in the frozen Alaska, working in a mine, digging for gold. One of such work days he came upon a tablet filled with strange symbols, and, having heard plenty of Whyborne by then, sent it over to his brother. Whyborne translated it fairly quickly, packed Christine and her beloved, and all four went to wade in the snow. They must hurry and find the gate tablet speaks of, for the runes that lock the gate between humanity and monsters in the city under the mountains are growing weak… And worst part? Griffin soon starts hearing voices, hearing them.

Mine: It’s a very strange story. I’ve no better word than that, for it is strange, full of dark tunnels, snow, frost, monsters. It felt like reading a video game at times. I neither liked it, nor disliked it. No, I think I liked it more than disliked it. Mostly because, even though predictable, the story is well wrapped around. There’s no plot holes, writing is smooth, reading is easy. You start in the morning, and you can put it away, finished in the evening.

It’s definitely good enough to continue with the series. So here’s a 4 out of 5 for the time being.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Supernatural, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, Paranormal | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

fantasy | “Asunder” by David Gaider | Dragon Age 3

4Author: David Gaider
Title: Asunder
Series: Dragon Age 3
Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy
Pages: 416
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Did you know Dragon Age 4 is in the making? A teaser came out in 2018 December, and I missed it until recently. Announcements are to be expected in this year’s E3. I can barely contain myself. But that was a great excuse to continue with the book series.

About: Blight is over, but troubles are far from it. Kirkwall fell as mage Anders pushed the Chantry, Templars, and the Circle of Magi into an open conflict, forcing everyone’s hand. He believed a change is necessary, and can only happen when there’s no other choice. Otherwise everyone will succumb to the old ways. His actions rippled through Thedas in an echo, creating tension and outright battles.

While some mages, still huddled in their Circles, formed loud political groups, demanding freedoms and rights, others believed there ought to be a better way than lose mages on the world, or mages locked in their towers, away from the world, under constant, maddening surveillance. One of such mages is Wynne. And with the secret support from Divine Justinia herself, she sets off to a former Grey Wardens keep, now left scared due to a fairly recent demon outbursts. For, you see, Wynne seeks a friend there. A friend who has become an abomination against all odds. For this friend was a Tranquil, cut away from the Fade, and all human emotions, made as unsavory for demons as a rock would be. And thus, the answer to how this happened, and how it affected the said Tranquil might just be what they all need.

Mine: The setting of this book is right after the second game, and just before the third one. There’s very many familiar faces, names, places. Some very interesting lore, a bit of history, and a good handful of nostalgia to those who have played their share of Hero of Ferelden, or Champion of Kirkwall. On top of that, one of the most prominent characters in this book is a young man called Cole, who people either can’t see or if they saw him – they forget all about it. The only true minus I got for this book is that there was truly plenty of time for walking and talking spared. Of course, it’s understandable, if you remember the maps in the third game, for those are the ones they cover in this book. But still, pacing could be just a little brisker.

I loved it alright. There wasn’t even a chance that I didn’t love it. 4 out of 5. Ah how I wish I could replay them all now…

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Fantasy Books, high fantasy | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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