Books: Romance

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

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

“Into the Fire” by Jeaniene Frost | Night Prince 4

1Author: Jeaniene Frost
Title: Into the Fire
Series: Night Prince 4
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Vampires
Pages: 340
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I really didn’t want to finish these series. They were too good, and I have not yet found a replacement for good Dracula series. But… I really needed more of it, so I’ve read it. And now I must obtain them all in paper form, so I can re-read and mark every awesome bit down.

About: Leila is bound to a powerful necromancer, Vlad’s stepson, Mircea. If one gets hurt, the other one gets hurt too, so there seems to be no way in killing him without killing Leila off. And the need to do so quickly becomes dire as Mircea falls into the hands of big mean magical enemies of Vlad Dracula.

Vlad resorts to renewing his ties with this sort of a blood brother (they’re made by same vampire), for he dabbles in all sorts of forbidden things. And while Ion hides too much, gets on everyone’s nerves, is an outright whore of a man, shifty and not really trustworthy, he proves to actually be useful. While he got them into some trouble, and even turned them all into women, Vlad included, he also helped Leila discover that the key to breaking the binding spell might lie in her heritage. It’s just that from here to there there’s a lot of time, time which they just don’t have, for the necromancers have found Dracula’s weak spot.

Mine: This is a very intense, fast paced supernatural thriller with hefty paranormal romance. An unusual choice for me, so in case the cover didn’t warn you of the nature of this book: keep it in mind, yes? Otherwise I’d not be this keen on a romance, but hey, I’m a sucker for Dracula kicking ass and asking no names. And sure, at times it was very sappy, but I loved how nothing went perfect, every character did their own thing, hid their own secrets, Vlad kissed a man, and nobody stood there waiting to be the support character with the right question on the right time. What I didn’t like was the fast end to it all. I wanted a demon hunt, tea time with Ion and maybe Leila’s sister, and all the other goodies. Oh, what books I’d not give for a 5th one in these series…

I loved it. And while I’m biased a lot by Dracula existing here, and being main character, I loved it due to writing too. It had substance both in plot and characters. So I give it 5 out of 5, and series get the same mark too.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, Books: Romance, Dracula: General, Nosferatu Books, Paranormal, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, vampires, Vlad Dracula III | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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