Books: Romance

book review | The Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings by Lily Morton | Black and Blue 1

lily morton mysterious and amazing blue billingsAuthor: Lily Morton
Title: The Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings
Series: Black and Blue 1
Genre: Paranormal, LGBT Romance
Pages: 301
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

The Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings” by Lily Morton, not even a full chapter in, became my slow read. It wasn’t bad, no. It was just full of angry, murderous ghosts!

About the Book: Levi Black inherited a beautiful house in York. Abandoned due to scary reputation it stood there waiting to sooth the man after a painful break-up. Levi’s joy to have a home like that stands firm when contractors run scared, and guests flee before dark. Even the clear footsteps, all enveloping darkness, and strange chuckling heard from it are barely getting through at him. But once locked doors start swinging open, things slam into walls, and it becomes evident the house owner, the dead one, yes, wants him out – dead or alive – Levi looks around for some help. Lucky for him, the blue haired man leading Ghost Tours past his house might just have an answer or two.

My Opinion: At times the plot seemed a bit dragged, and the cliche events for character development, such as “let’s argue because we misunderstood one another” and “a wild ex appears, uses charm” didn’t help either. But then, the story is filled with thriller-like detective, scary ghosts, characters running for their lives, barricading themselves in rooms, and otherwise having scary kind of fun.

In general, I think it’s worth it to forgive the current hiccups due to this being the first book. I can give it a 4 out of 5, and will read the next.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, Books: Romance, Books: Supernatural, ghosts, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, Nosferatu Books, Paranormal, paranormal romance | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Queen Takes Checkmate by Joely Sue Burkhart | Their Vampire Queen 5

queen takes checkmate joely sue burkhart book coverAuthor: Joely Sue Burkhart
Title: Queen Takes Checkmate
Series: Their Vampire Queen 5
Genre: Polyamorous Romance; Vampires
Pages: 350
Rate: 3-5 | Goodreads

Hmm. It seems to me that often first three books in the series are the best ones. “Queen Takes Checkmate” by Joely Sue Burkhart not being an exception, what with the great culmination towards the battle with the god of light, Ra, and the flop that it felt to be.

About the Book: Shara absolutely cannot live in fear of Ra, the God of Light. Not fear for herself, not fear for others. And so he must die, for a Queen of Darkness cannot pray and receive peace from a God of Light. But how does one kill an immortal god whose very presence causes you physical pain?

My Opinion: The plot relied too much on sex, thus greatly weakening the actual action, sequence of events, battles, fights. Ra was not a misunderstood hero, a villain in someone’s story, no he was a mere old fashioned pig who underestimated women, because they’re that: women. And personalities of characters are falling short too, very rapidly to that. Maybe there’s finally too many of all those Bloods (“knights“).

I still hope it picks up with the next book. This one sadly only gets a 3 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, Books: Romance, Nosferatu Books, paranormal romance, Polyamorous Literature, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Queen Takes Rook by Joely Sue Burkhart | Their Vampire Queen 4

queen takes rook by joely sue burkhart book cover.jpgAuthor: Joely Sue Burkhart
Title: Queen Takes Rook
Series: Their Vampire Queen 4
Genre: Paranormal Romance; Vampire
Pages: 244
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Finally I got to put my paws on fourth book in Their Vampire Queen series by Joely Sue Burkhart, called “Queen Takes Rook“. Sadly this one’s much slower than the other ones, but the lore is getting better and better.

About the Book: House Skye is infamous with the power and cruelty. And their Queen expects to take Shara Isador, the last of her House, to swear to House Skye and be her sib (sibling, sister). Shara, not caring one bit for the cruelty towards herself or anyone else, especially not her Bloods (knights) sees no other option but to fight, and if push comes to shove – destroy House Skye. But to do so she needs a strategy wrought from iron, for some of her Bloods have Skye blood in them, and thus can be used against Shara and themselves too. And yet, that’s by far not all House Skye has in store for her…

My Opinion: The lore here is truly great. I’d happily read a whole book on how god of light, Ra, is the bad guy here. Be it because he is a bad guy, or because he’s the bad guy for vampires. As the saying goes, we’re all villains in someone’s story. Then there’s whole shifting vampires thing. Some turn to beasts, animals. But others turn to mythological creatures, from unicorns to leviathan dragons. The only true but big complaint I have is the slowness of the plot. There were too many unrelated steps before we finally got to see some vampiric scheming and ass kicking in leviathan proportion.

A good, short, steamy vampire read. 4 out of 5 from me.

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

book review | The Enchanter’s Soul by Michele Notaro | The Ellwood Chronicles 2

the enchanters soul michele notaro book coverAuthor: Michele Notaro
Title: The Enchanter’s Soul
Series: The Ellwood Chronicles
Genre: LGBT Literature; Paranormal Romance
Pages: 304
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Eh, okay. I’ve read “The Enchanter’s Soul” by Michele Notaro, and I don’t think I’ll read the third one. It’s a bit too shallow for my liking, with those annoying “I won’t listen to you” tropes that ruin any good romance.

About the Book: Supernaturals are fleeing into human territory, away from horrors and slaughter being committed on their lands that leave entire clans in shambles. One or two such instances would be understandable. But Sebastian and Ailin barely have time to catch their breaths between these events. That paired with Sebastian’s newly found Enchanter’s powers is worrying Ailin to no end. What if the wrong people find out? What if wrong people already know?

My Opinion: It’s a short and shallow story, safely and predictably written. Romance got ruined by lovers quarrel that could be resolved if one of them would stop acting like a baby, refusing to listen. If your trust can be crushed that easily, you’ve not had any trust to begin with.

It’s not a bad book per say, and could serve someone as a comfort read during the cold autumn evenings. Not my cup of tea though, 3 out of 5.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, Books: Romance, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, paranormal romance, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Enchanter’s Flame by Michele Notaro | The Ellwood Chronicles 1

the enchanters flame michele notaro book coverAuthor: Michele Notaro
Title: The Enchanter’s Flame
Series: The Ellwood Chronicles 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance; LGBT Literature
Pages: 245
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Alright, so maybe I’m cheating a little bit, since The Enchanter’s Flame by Michele Notaro is a paranormal romance, and not really horror. But after Laura Palmer I was more than a little afraid to get another assault-y book in diversity horror. Yet if you got anything to recommend, where horror wouldn’t come from human monsters, please do.

About the Book: Brinnswick is shaken by horrifying ritualistic murders. Victims are left bloodless, mutilated, with strange markings on their bodies. Just the way Sebastian’s partner and lover has died. So when his chief pairs him with strange and a little annoying Ailin Ellwood, Sebastian is determined to suffer through what comes to get to the bottom of this. Luckily, Ailin, as strange as he is, turns out to be plenty useful. Soon they find that there were way more murders like this than they were led to believe. Someone’s covering up that psychopath.

My Opinion: The book is well written, but not very interesting in itself. I mean, from the top of your head, how many books you can name me that have: an orphan hero, abandoned as a baby, with strange marking on their body, who then turn out to be the last/powerful something, fairy, alien, princess, sorcerer? Yeah. This is one of those.

I won’t complain, it wasn’t bad, and I’ll read the next book too, since I have it. This one gets a 3 out of 5 though.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Romance, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, paranormal romance | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Vampire’s Club by X. Aratare | The Vampire’s Club 2

x aratare vampires club mm vampire romance book cover.jpgAuthor: X. Aratare
Title: The Vampire’s Club
Series: The Vampire’s Club 2
Genre: LGBT+ Literature; Vampires
Pages: 96
Rate: 3-5 | Goodreads

The Vampire’s Club by X. Aratare books, that are seemingly all titled by this same, and merely numbered beyond it, are horribly too short. Sometimes it works. But this time it led to rushed scenes and cliches.

About the Book: Konstantin decided to let go of Lucas, the young man with magical blood with a power to lift the suffering of his curse. And almost regretted it bitterly. As Lucas approached Club Dyavol for his first night at work, mesmerized he almost got hit by a car. The stress caused by this finished what good magic man’s blood has given Konstantin, sending him into pain-induced nightmare, unable to help the young man. How is he supposed to protect Lucas without locking him up, making him a blood slave?

My Opinion: As I said before: read it, seen it, heard it. A young man with magical blood that draws in anyone and everyone who might feed on said blood. Not really a human, but doesn’t know it, and no one who knows – is telling him. A big bad vampire whose dead heart suddenly blooms with morality over this same fella. And so on. But the fantasy lover in me demands I get to know where these vampires came from, so I will read further.

It’s readable. And if you’re into m/m romances, depending on how much and what you’ve read before – you might really enjoy it too. I, personally, give it a 3 out of 5, for it’s barely my cup of tea.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, Books: Romance, Books: Supernatural, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, Nosferatu Books, Paranormal, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

tag | Vampire Protagonists

Summer to me is very much a vampire time. Autumn is too, so I basically spend half a year wanting to read vampire books, even if I don’t read all that many of them. Mostly because it’s a bit hard to find good ones that aren’t just fifteen books of cheesy series with vampires who are almost humans with high metabolism and tendency to drink blood, if you get my drift. So, in hopes to find more, here’s a little tag from me to you. If you’re reading this, you’re automatically tagged, okay? Link me in the comments below or tag me, basically just inform me any way you can, so I can fill out my TBR with bloodsuckers! (Q’s and A’s are separate to make it easier for you to copy/paste)

The Summer Vampire TBR Tag:

  1. The Pride – LGBTQIA+ vampire or at least a book containing them.
  2. The VoC – Vampire of Color, bonus points if main character!
  3. The Classiest – Classic-type trope vampires, the fear of garlic, sun, etc.
  4. The Unique – The least classic-type vampires, or otherwise unique bloodsuckers.
  5. The Human – The most human vampires, and why or how are they so.
  6. The Monster – The least human, monstrous vampires, why or how they’re so.
  7. Underloved – Vampires who deserve more love than they got!
  8. Overrated – Vampires who don’t deserve the love they got!
  9. Dracula – Favorite book about or with Dracula in it!
  10. Dead Crush – The vampire I had a crush on is…
  11. I, Vampire – If I was a vampire, I would…
  12. The Last – The last vampire book I’ve read is, and the vampire(s) in it…
  13. The First – The very first vampire book or book with a vampire I’ve read is…

The Summer Vampire TBR | My Answers:

  1. The Pride – LGBTQIA+ vampire or at least a book containing them.
    From the top of my head I can name three. First being Blackwood’s Farm by Anne Rice with its protagonist Tarquin Blackwood coming out as bi. Then there’s Parasite Life by Victoria Dalpe with protagonist falling in love with a girl, though sexuality is not specified there. And the third is Joely Sue Burkhart series of which I’ve read first three, Their Vampire Queen. The Queen in question is polyamorous and the dynamics are beautiful.
    1 LGBT vampires
  2. The VoC – Vampire of Color, bonus points if main character!
    I am deeply ashamed to say that I don’t recall any protagonists of color. But I know for certain there were VoC in both Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice and in Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris.
  3. The Classiest – Classic-type trope vampires, the fear of garlic, sun, etc.
    Hm, this one’s easy too. First would be Dr Greta Helsing series/trilogy by Vivian Shaw. Then, one of my favorite comedies, The Unattractive Vampire by Jim McDoniel. And, of course, Anno Dracula series by Kim Newman.
    3 the classiest
  4. The Unique – The least classic-type vampires, or otherwise unique bloodsuckers.
    The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey, a very unique book in itself. Empire V by Victor Pelevin, a strange breed that feeds not just on blood, but also on a thing they call “bablos“, which seems to be the essence of… Well, money.
  5. The Human – The most human vampires, and why or how are they so.
    Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neil. Just a bunch of humans who are immortal and occasionally drink blood. Like, in between heavy meals because hey, vampire metabolism. Apparently.
  6. The Monster – The least human, monstrous vampires, why or how they’re so.
    The Strain trilogy by Guillermo del Toro. Not gonna lie, I’m not a fan of creatures like that, but the idea was pretty damn great.
  7. Underloved – Vampires who deserve more love than they got!
    Yulric Bile from An Unattractive Vampire by Jim McDoniel. That bastard was too evil to stay dead. But the mess he gets into would rival What We Do In the Shadows! It’s hilarious!
  8. Overrated – Vampires who don’t deserve the love they got!
    Edward Cullen from Twilight series. And then possibly Lestat. Chronicles are FULL of really great vampires, and this one just happens to set the tune for them all for no real reason. And those guys from The Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin. I noticed it got hype recently, and I’m not quite sure why. The book is mighty damn dull.
  9. Dracula – Favorite book about or with Dracula in it!
    Night Prince series by Jeaniene Frost!
  10. Dead Crush – The vampire I had a crush on is…
    Other than Dracula, you mean? Eric Northman and Pam Swynford de Beaufort, I guess, from Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. And Cian Mac Cionaoith from Circle Trilogy by Nora Roberts. No I have no shame.
    0 dead vampire crush
  11. I, Vampire – If I was a vampire, I would…
    I’d do what Lestat’s mother did. Go roam the deepest jungles, caves, explore!
  12. The Last – The last vampire book I’ve read is, and the vampire(s) in it…
    Sadly The Strain Trilogy by Guillermo del Toro.
  13. The First – The very first vampire book or book with a vampire I’ve read is…
    Now that’s a hard question. Yes, I know I wrote it… Since I hated school readings, and so read Dracula sometime on my own later, I think it might really be Blackwood’s Farm by Anne Rice. Other than the mentions of vampire cities in Swords And Deviltry by Fritz Leiber books.
Categories: book facts, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, Books: Other Fiction, Books: Romance, Books: Supernatural, dark fantasy, Historical Fiction Books, historical romance, LGBTQ+ Books, Nosferatu Books, paranormal romance, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Any Old Diamonds by K.J. Charles | Lilywhite Boys 1

any old diamonds charles kj book coverAuthor: K.J. Charles
Title: Any Old Diamonds
Series: Lilywhite Boys 1
Genre: LGBT literature, Historical Romance
Pages: 320
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Sometimes it’s great to read at nights. Other times I get very mad with myself. Reading Any Old Diamonds by K.J. Charles I was the latter. For you want to read more, you’re mad curious, but… Your ereader is threatening to smack you in the face if you don’t go to sleep right now.

About the Book: Alec’s father murdered his own wife, their mother, to marry an archetype of an evil, greedy stepmother. Driven by the woman’s fury he kicked his children out too, and cut them off on basis of disrespect. Alec’s older brother took it upon himself to support their sisters of whom one was very sickly and eventually died due to lack of care. Alec, seeking to relieve his brother of any burden, took up illustration. So, naturally, everyone were very surprised and angry with him, when he said he intends to make amends to father and ask for allowance.

But Alec has a plan. Via his sources he made contact with the best jewelry thieves, the Lilywhite boys, and has full intention of taking them right into the heart of his former home, where his dragon of a stepmother is sitting on all her jewels, and those of their mother. It’s time to pay the debts.

My Opinion: Alec had a very strong moral compass that eventually loosened up, but you could really see the struggle and the overcoming. And if character development like that is not enough, then just wait until that plot twist turns everything upside down. I don’t remember the last time I’ve read anything this tricky that I’ve not even suspected! It was very, very good. But, of course, I am a little bit biased. I mean, can you blame me? Jewelry thieves, criminals who are very good at their job… (recommend me more of those, preferably in modern times, please)

Yes, this was a great book, and I’ll happily put it among my favorites. It gets a firm 5 out of 5 from me, and I’m looking forwards to the second.

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

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.

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

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