Books: LGBT

Joely Sue Burkhart “Queen Takes Queen” | Their Vampire Queen 3

1Author: Joely Sue Burkhart
Title: Queen Takes Queen
Series: Their Vampire Queen 3
Genre: Paranormal, Polyamorous
Pages: 286
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Little by little we’re easing into the court of intrigues of “Their Vampire Queen” books. No pun intended. I’ve read through this one in a single sitting, even if it wasn’t the best one so far, it was still pretty damn fine.

About: Even though Shara has protected her nest with her blood, and tamed herself a vampire King who shifts into a Leviathan on her will, the enemies still seek ways in, they still seek to hurt her, harm her, kill those Bloods who serve her. Luckily, the new ones have brought with themselves their gods too, and so there’s now whole new means of self-preservation at hand. But, in the long run, even all the gods they could possibly pray to for help and protection will not save them if Tribune or Sitting Queens decide to take her out. Shara has only one choice: make a Sib (Sibling) alliance with another Queen. And while there are those who already offered her their hearts, hands, bloods, and nests, how can Shara possibly know whom to trust? Especially after such intricate attacks as fighter ants burrowing from beneath her nest soil.

Mine: A great battle with warrior ants I never thought I’d witness. Most powerful vampires, leviathan, dragons, bears, descendants of gods… Fighting ants. That was a sight to behold. But that’s what makes these books so damn special to me. For one, the vampires feel like aliens, like they’re from another planet, the damn Asgard, Valhalla, wherever the hell. They’re inhuman, and they’re amazing. I’m not sure how to take the fact that their gods can hear their prayers and choose to respond though. If we assume this is Urban Fantasy, then it’s just strange, and a little something extra to distinguish vampires from humans. But if not, then it feels almost like such High-Fantasy borderline Sci-Fi books as, say, Chronicles of Erlick, with warriors set by gods, gods who pull them out of the reality periodically to instruct them further, to empower them. Either way, this is good.

The story was a bit too slow for my liking, and there were a few other nuances I didn’t appreciate much (stuff others might enjoy, so I won’t tarnish the book with my personal preferences). But other than that, I really do feel like we’re finally on a highway to Tribune. 4 out of 5 for this one, with hopes I won’t have to wait too long for the next book.

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Categories: 4-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, F/F Literature, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, Nosferatu Books, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jordan L. Hawk “Necropolis” | Whyborne & Griffin 4

3Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Title: Necropolis
Series: Whyborne & Griffin 4
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Pages: 200
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Alright, time to continue a bit with Whyborne & Griffin before I forgot all about everything. Especially since these books didn’t fit into my October TBR, and since they are nice, and easy to read. Nothing too big, but not too little either.

About: After a mostly unsuccessful Christmas diner at Whyborne’s family, the couple’s Holiday is cut short by Christine’s hurried telegram explaining nothing at all, but requesting Whyborne to get to Egypt ASAP. Being a great introvert, Whyborne didn’t want to go, and had to be persuaded by Griffin, and a ghoul that attacked him at work. For in Egypt, under the dead scorched sands, something darkness is waking. Something evil, hungry, and very angry. And Christine, unknowingly, is stepping right in the middle of it.

Mine: People getting mad at Whyborne, because they thought he and Christine had a fling worked very well here. Best was Christine’s response when confronted about it: “ew“. These little incidents worked well with otherwise pretty stressful plot with too obvious villains, and too obvious masked heroes. I mean, I understand it’s not the goal of these books to serve you a detective, but… Ah, it don’t matter. The books are well written. The adventure was built in a perfectly smooth pace, with pauses for discussion, regrouping, a little bit of romance, and a little bit of comic relief, that this time came in a shape of a camel who stole Whyborne’s hats. Yes, multiple.

These are very light reads, and so far are fun too. Not utterly captivating, but I can still give it a solid 4 out of 5, and continue in November. Because really, why not? They might not put you on the edge of the chair, but they definitely won’t have you bored!

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Historical Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Davidson King “Snow Falling” | Haven Hart Universe 1

SnowFallingAuthor: Davidson King
Title: Snow Falling
Series: Haven Hart Universe 1
Genre: Romance; LGBT+
Pages: 166p
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I really did know that crime books don’t work as romance books. One genre will almost always mess up the other one. So either romance part will be lame, or gangsters will be ridiculous. But here I am, not listening to my own advice, just because I saw a pretty cover, and got promised some mob bosses. As you may guess, “Snow Falling” by Davidson King wasn’t a good book for me.

About: When Julian’s mother died, his father, an officer, has drowned himself in a bottle. He got indebted to the mob, and has fallen as a human being. Thus, once mob knocked on his door, offering an exchange of debts for his talented son, he didn’t blink an eye before handing his child over. On that day Julian as has died. Due to his pale complexion, the criminals claimed he blended in with the snow. That’s what he continues to call himself today, relatively free, on the street: Snow. But that relative freedom didn’t stop him from interfering with Russian Mafia’s Father’s son. The scum was trying to kidnap a luxuriously dressed child, alone on the street, for some reason. Snow interfered, offering an exchange of his own. But if he thought his problems had a limit then, he was very wrong. The kid he saved, a boy too scared to even tell Snow his name, turned out to be a nephew of a far bigger and badder boss.

Mine: All the action in the book revolves around people kidnapping from crime families. You kidnap from us, we kidnap from you, and repeat. Gangsters here are like vampires in Chicagoland Vampires: food obsessed humans who happen to kill other humans sometimes, and some even lose sleep over it. All the side characters were road-signs: they were there to say the right thing on the right time, so the hero could continue saying something clever, high and mighty, and look even more epic, morally superior to others. The story was pretty damn weak too. Between the kidnapping Snow would dance to Lady Gaga songs, preparing for a Drag Show in talent show, with the Boss’s nephew, and get real shy whenever someone walked in on him dancing in such a mighty private place as a the main house kitchen where everyone comes for food.

Alright, so I didn’t like it, and it’s my own fault for taking it before I knew more of what this book will be. The best I can give it is 3 out of 5, for I definitely read worse, and this, at least, was a solid book with no holes in the slim plot.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Crime Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joely Sue Burkhart “Queen takes King” | Their Vampire Queen 2

2Author: Joely Sue Burkhart
Title: Queen Takes King
Series: Their Vampire Queen 2
Genre: Paranormal, Erotica, Vampires
Pages: 350
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Remember I said “Their Vampire Queen” are short books, so I’ll read them between “Chicagoland Vampires“? Well, I spoke too soon. But it worked well here, and made perfect sense, since the book felt very much like the final preparatory step towards court politics and intrigues.

About: Somewhere out there in the dark beneath the mountain rages a dying leviathan. Dark, scaly, and dreadful he haunts Shara’s dreams. Her Bloods sense that, and urge her to take action, call more Bloods to her side. Especially now that the young, wild, and powerful new Queen has been noticed by others, and attacks already began. But more Bloods mean more troubles too, mostly in their own hierarchy among themselves. Thus Shara, convinced by visions of Goddess Isis, is on the search for something more powerful than that. What she needs is not in numbers, but in political weight. What she needs is a King that would be in her power. Someone mighty, someone dreadful.

Mine: You know, if you took out all the sex, these books would make awesome YA vampire books. But for better or worse, it is not that. And I know it’s not right to complain about erotica in a book that is in erotica genre, but it feels like people there really got no other hobbies beyond limb origami. Which sometimes really works well with the story, but other times, guys, don’t you got something more important? Like nest making?? Prioritize! But I digress. I do enjoy Shara’s character quite a bit. She’s not dumb, she’s true to her heart, and while unwilling to cause harm, she enforces laws she believes in with iron fist on a table. My favorite being: nobody will be made to do anything against their will. Which shone bright once the King entered their domain, and her alpha, her dominant Blood was threatened.

Listen, I am biased here too. There’s too many little things that play to me here, like really well made vampires, a sense of political dread, the bee-hive-mentality. So I don’t know if I can recommend this off the bat. But I can absolutely give it a 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Gothic Books, LGBTQ+ Books, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joely Sue Burkhart “Queen Takes Knights” | Their Vampire Queen 1

1Author: Joely Sue Burkhart
Title: Queen Takes Knights
Series: Their Vampire Queen 1
Genre: Vampire, Romance, Erotica
Pages: 190
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I found this doom, gloom, darkness, and blood cover, and of course it lured me in to give it a shot. The fact that it’s so short also helped. I figured I can read it between Chicagoland Vampires for a break. Though, mind you, pay attention to the genre and make sure you’re okay with the combo, for a lot of action is bed-based, and there’s blood as due to vampires.

About: Shara was hunted by monsters as long as she can remember. Creatures that come as the night falls, thirsty for blood, her blood. They killed her parents too, and she thought this night was her last, for she has been caught outside, with no shelter in sight, nor weapons at hand. But as the end seemed inevitable, two mighty fellas dropped in, and crushed the thralls like ants, promptly falling to their knees before Shara right after. For she is their Vampire Queen. She gives purpose to their life, as long as she’ll have them, and allow them to serve her. But this newly found Queen has so many questions, that the whole serving part might get delayed due to little detective line unfurling.

Mine: Vampires here seem to operate a lot like bee hives. There’s a Queen, who attracts a court of Bloods around her, and they serve her for it is in their nature to follow her will. Queens can be found in the wild, so, living among humans and such, or other courts, of which there’s only a brief mention before the end of the book, so there’s likely plenty of these little (and big) hives they call nests all over. Now, as for the erotica part, blood and sex go hand in hand here, so keep that in mind. And even beside this whole ordeal, I did really enjoy the darker take on vampires. It’s refreshing after all the humans with fangs who drink blood and happen to be immortal.

I liked this, I think I’ll continue with it. Seeing how short they are, I do think they’ll be good break-books. But I’d avoid audiobooks, the female voice… I would’ve preferred someone more mature sounding for the Queen. For now I give it a 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Gothic Books, LGBTQ+ Books, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Josie Jaffrey “The Gilded King” | Sovereign 1

TheGildedKingAuthor: Josie Jaffrey
Title: The Gilded King
Series: Sovereign 1
Genre: Paranormal, YA
Pages: 303
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I’ve received this book as an arc in exchange for some honest reviews. And while from the very start the world has intrigued me, I didn’t like the split of the story for a fair while: I loved to read one character, and hurried through the other one. But the more I read, the more I wanted to read more, and by the end of it, I just finished the amount I kept for two more days in one sitting. That should hint you.

About: Once humans apparently lived with vampires, Silver, side by side. But as humans who were failed to be made Silver turned into Weepers, things got out of hand. Weepers, being a sort of a zombie, bit others, and made entire populations turn in mere hours, thus endangering both human race, and the Silvers too. Up until they made a cure for it, a vaccine that made humans immune to the plague, and successfully killed Weepers. The only problem was, that the vaccine didn’t leave the blood stream, and just as it turned Weepers human, thus killing them, for their bodies were far beyond life, it turned vampires human too. The cured became the contaminated.

Away from the place, and the time that it all happened, some hundreds of years later, Julia watched the Red with longing, from the safety of Blue, the last uncontaminated city safe for humans. They were ruled by Nobles, the forever young, immortal kind that drank their blood in exchange for protection from whatever horrors lurked in the Red and threatened their existence. Cameron is one of those Nobles, a Silver who traveled the Red far and wide in search of a lost, kidnapped friend. Instead of her, though, he kept finding more horrors and strange things: remains of caravans with pits full of human bones smoldering, meat seemingly eaten off of them, blood spilled around the camp; unbelievable amounts of Weepers, pits of dead ones, with live bait of a contaminated human crushed under their sheer weight, them dying on top from the taste of the vaccinated blood. Bit by bit it starts to seem someone is making more of these creatures on purpose… But not all things are bad, or at least, some things are still good. Humans are making settlements, and there’s more of them with passing time. And best of all, this time on his voyage there’ll be a helping hand of a handsome and very skilled woodsman Felix, a man with oh so very much too much knowledge of what Silver are.

Mine: It started good, but too slow for me. I didn’t like Julia’s story for a very long time, but I really, really loved everything Cameron was seeing. The horror was making me regret reading mostly at nights. But as story progressed, their paths came closer, and closer, and finally chapters told both their stories in one. Best part: they’re completely unrelated two characters, with their own adventures, goals, and love interests. All they did was see each other from afar. Another thing I must mention is that this book is one big trick. You think you know what’s going on, but you don’t. Author has tricked me many times turning the plot around, folding it over itself, and presenting solutions I did not expect. That gives me hope for the next book, for the last sentence Felix spoke in my head can only be resolved with a cliche of “you betrayed me – but let me explain” with making up somewhere at the end of the tunnel. Maybe Josie Jeffrey has something better in mind though, I really can’t wait to see.

So, all in all, I really loved this book. I loved the lack of predictability, I loved that heroes were not destined to be together from the start, I loved the insanely stubborn and determined, but so very kind Cameron. I loved how scary it was at so many points, and how beautifully it would fit a zombie apocalypse genre if author would just push it a little over the edge. 5 out of 5 from me, and I really do await the next book!

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, Nosferatu Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

C.S. Pacat “Pet”

7Title: Pet
Author: C.S. Pacat
Series: Captive Prince Short Stories 4
Genre: LGBT, Romance
Pages: 40p
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Ah well. Here I am, with the last of Captive Prince short stories. I’ll start the Fence comic by this author now, and will summary it once a whole volume, not just chapters is out.

About: Ancel, the red-headed pet is as ambitious as they come. From a boy for hire in a brothel, to a lord’s bed, and then into the palace. It was his very last master, who bought him just because he was there, and was the most expensive, turned out to be his biggest break through. The man who didn’t want him, but brought him into palace. The man who didn’t care to show off his great wealth, but inspired loyalty even in the heart of someone like Ancel. Still. Once the opportunity arises to sit in the Regent’s lap, Ancel can’t help but remember how cold and boring his master seems to be. Especially once Regent promises any contract he might ever dream of…

Mine: I had forgotten about Ancel. But once story rolled out, and I recalled reading about this pet, I’ve gotten an urge to re-read the first book. It’s interesting to see the same scenes there and here, but from a different perspective. This was definitely one of the more intricate and political stories.

It was a very good read. And I’m still amazed how very different every short story was. I love each one of them for whole different reasons thus. In this one, it was nice seeing, so to speak, old friends. 5 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Fantasy Books, high fantasy, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

C.S. Pacat “The Adventures of Charls, The Veretian Cloth Merchant”

6Title: The Adventures of Charls, the Veretian Cloth Merchant
Author: C.S. Pacat
Series: Captive Prince Short Stories 3
Genre: LGBT, Romance, Humor
Pages: 26p
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Somedays I just really miss Captive Prince stories. Lucky me, though, not only can I re-read them in multiple forms, I still have (had) two short stories to get through too! So here’s on third.

About: Charls, as Vere and Akielos are slowly but surely growing into the idea of peace, is traveling his regular routes in the former enemy territory, making rounds with his clients and hoping to make new deals too. The prince of Vere himself gave him the gift of a beautiful caravan, with only one request: to be allowed to travel with Charls this one time, and Charls, being very kind hearted, takes it as a honor. But as they make their way into Akielos, it becomes clear that Charls’s rival is making better time, and on top of that, is spreading terrible rumors about Charls! More and more doors close right before the old Charls, and were it not for the young Charls, Laurent in disguise, this all might have went far worse.

Mine: This was the very funniest story of them all, and definitely became my very favorite. Charls is just such a dear and kind person! On top of that, let me remind you that Laurent’s own men called him a cast-iron btch, and would at times comment that he has a mouth on him, due to profanities spilled when prince got angered. So now I invite you to imagine this same young man as a merchant trying to beat a rival in business he knows little about. My face was in pain from laughing.

I loved this one. Gosh I love the people in it. 5 out of 5, for sure.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Funny!, Books: LGBT, Fantasy Books, high fantasy, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Diversity: Peter Darling and why is it so important

I already spoke of the book Peter Darling, but I’m not so good at expressing thoughts. So, fearing I missed something, I wasn’t content with my blog post. Like, ever. Lucky me, one of the booktubers I follow, made this video, and it hit every topic just like that, so today I can instead share it with you, than once more trip over my own words in attempt to explain why did it feel so very important to me. On top of it, I invite you to come and get to know me in the Ego Noctis, where I discussed this video in a little more depth.

Categories: About Msg2TheMing, Books: LGBT, Friday: Diversity | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Jordan L. Hawk “Stormhaven” | Whyborne & Griffin 3

2_stormhavenAuthor: Jordan L. Hawk
Title: Stormhaven
Series: Whyborne & Griffin 3
Genre: LGBT, Paranormal
Pages: 179p
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

If per chance you recall, I did not like the previous Jordan L. Hawk book in the series of Whyborne & Griffin. But as is seemingly a rule for me, that usually means I will like the next one. So, yes, “Stormhaven“, third book in the said series, was not an exception. Can anyone explain me why or how?

About: Whyborne keeps having these scary nightmares of an underworld city, with something lurking in the shadows. At times he can even hear someone sing, and it sounds almost like his mother. But, as is common in stories like these, he waves the dreams away as unimportant, and tells no one about them. Yet it seems he wasn’t the only one who heard the song. Allan Tambling, a kind hearted fella is found in a pool of blood, holding a knife and his beloved uncle’s body. According to him, he has no recollection of how he even got there. Which gives him first class ticket into a mental asylum. Here, being accused of murder, he fears for his life, for he will likely be sent off into the Fourth Floor ward, from where no one really ever returns. Griffin, having been in a situation like that, is feeling sorry for the man, and takes up to solve the case of who or what killed Allan’s uncle. His conviction that it wasn’t Allan is made stronger by the fact that Allan’s doctor is the same man who accused Griffin of being insane too.

My thoughts: The book seemed rushed. Most of the very good action took mere pages, where Griffin’s family and problems arising from that took whole chapters. I would’ve rather read more of this new cult on the rise (it’s not new per se), and the murderers working for them, or even the science behind summoning conducted there, than of whole that “let’s pretend we’re not boyfriends” stuff. But hey, at least Christine was as badass as always. Love that woman. She deserves her own book.

The book fell a bit short for my taste, but I can’t really complain, seeing how I saw the page number when I picked it up. But with all the cons in it, there were really decent plot twists that I absolutely did appreciate. So here’s 4 out of 5 from me, and let’s hope the next one isn’t bad again.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books, Gothic Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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