Posts Tagged With: homoerotica

K.J. Charles – A Gentleman’s Position [3]

25893424I somehow didn’t realize third book of Society of Gentlemen by K.J. Charles is out. Something in my brain thought it’s to yet happen. But I remedied myself quickly, after a friend corrected me, and got on with finishing the trilogy with “A Gentleman’s Position” (Society of Gentlemen 3; ISBN 1101886072; 246p.; Goodreads). And I can say that this one is my favorite one. With slight Kuroshitsuji vibe of resourceful butler, here – valet…

David Cyprian, Lord Richard Vane’s valet, goes out of his way, and beyond, to keep his master’s comfort. It is why, after all, he’s the very best, and most sought after valet. It is his pride, and joy to serve such a great man as Lord Richard, so when the need comes for him to blackmail, bribe, and burglar – the man takes it as his duty, no less. After all, he’s not a gentleman himself, and, truth be told, has a thing or two he could live with staying hidden from his personal life, and the past. The only little problem is that he is in love with his master. And there’s nothing to be done about it.

Richard Vane is a powerful man, with strong morals, and great mind. Made even better by his resourceful, irreplaceable valet, he tackles even the worst of situations, such as a threat hanging above the head of his beloved friends. Someone wants to expose them, and Richard is just not having it. Especially not when he sees nothing wrong with two men in love. After all, he himself harbors less pure thoughts about his valet too…

While a little slow with action, this was a great book, made so by Cyprian’s character. He’s clever, and resourceful, something I keep mentioning in my review a lot, and I think, in some other book, he would’ve made a great villain. 4 out of 5, very firm!

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

Madeline Miller – The Song of Achilles [diversity]

thesongofachilesWhen you loathe a character, you need to stop and ask yourself why: because author wrote them so bad? Or is it because they wrote them so good, that you’d wish to strangle the fictional person? I had this problem, and need of constant reminder with “The Song of Achilles” By Madeline Miller (ISBN 1408816032; 352p.; Goodreads). The book is well written, but Achilles was driving me nuts.

Achilles is a half-god. His mother is a sea nymph. His father – a powerful king. He himself is a warrior with no equal, and without his aid, the war against Troy has no chance. Patroclus is almost a complete opposite. His father is a mediocre unknown king, his mother is weak of mind, he’s barely a decent soldier himself. And when he was exiled from his father’s court for accidentally killing a guest for trying to take something away from him – he didn’t expect anything good. Instead, he found an instant friend in Achilles, who not only didn’t judge him, or mock him, but respected him, and treated him fairly. And very soon he found himself in love, hoping beyond hope…

His mother wasn’t too happy about this friendship, and lingering feeling of love underneath. But to kill Patroclus, would be to tear her son’s heart out. Instead, thus, she sends him away. To study first, just to find Patroclus there, risking it all just to find Achilles again. Then further away, into hiding, where Patroclus again shows cunning beyond his seeming capabilities. And then at war for beautiful Helena, war against Troy, where Patroclus can barely keep his own weight, but still hardly ever leaves her son’s side. And Patroclus knows this well, her resentment to him. It frightens the young man, this anger of a goddess. Who does one invoke, who does one pray to, when a god is angry at them?

The story is pretty good. Fantasy elements were in place, and there weren’t too much of them either. Love story is pretty good too, felt fair, and natural. But. Achilles got on my nerves a lot. His pride kept getting hurt in that damn war, and I kept waiting for him to hold his breath and threaten to not breathe until he’s apologized for. Patroclus, on the other hand, got wiser as time went, and they both filled each other out very well, one being a master of this, and other – of that. So I can give this book a 4 out of 5.

Diversity: M/M romance, well written, with little non-graphic sex. They were fair to each other, and cared for each other.

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

K.J. Charles – Flight of Magpies [3]

21529170Well, this ended way too soon. I wasn’t prepared for it to end! But at least it did end well. So, the third K.J. Charles book in A Charm of Magpies trilogy “Flight of Magpies” (ISBN 1619224291; 212p.; Goodreads), and the last one so far… (I say “so far”, because there’s a willing answer of “maybe” in author’s page)

Lucian’s nagging to leave for China sounds more and more appealing to Stephan, as his world is slowly but surely trying to choke him. His only able co-worker takes a maternity leave, thus making him the only witch present in the battlefield. Someone steals his Magpie ring. His student is suspended due to suspicions of thieving! And worst of all, he can no longer put up with all the harassment. London is being plagued by gruesome deaths that leave no magical trace for him to follow, and most of the dead people are police officers. Those still alive demand justice to be given to the law, to them, and the only one they can demand this from is Stephan. The pressure is on, and all of it is on him.

Which is getting on Lucian’s nerves. Watching his beloved come in overworked, irritated, and sometimes even bruised, and battered is a torture in itself. Every time he leaves, Lucian is afraid he’ll never see him again due to the danger of justiciars work, doubled by him doing it all alone. On top of it, some nasty truths come to surface, his magical enemies are closing in, still dreaming of Magpie Lord power, and this time they have a superb advantage up their sleeves, a huge weakness in Lucian’s defense: the lonely soldier, Stephan, now so very weakened by the missing ring, and lack of allies…

Truly, a beautiful piece, these stories. Magic in Victorian London, law-forbidden love, refreshingly honest too, detective, and horror elements, yes, all that. To each book I gave fours, since something was missing, and this one would get a four too, if not for me wanting to allow it a high-note end. I give it a 5 out of 5, for all the intriguing ways people got killed in it, all the odd, funny, sarcastic, stubborn, smart-ass, cheeky characters it had, and the awareness they had of themselves.

Categories: 5-5, Books, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Fantasy Books, Gothic Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

K.J. Charles – The Magpie Lord [1]

17730586Ah, what a wonderful transition from a fantasy world with realistic history similar to our own, that of Captive Prince, to this. Our very England, filled with warlocks and what not. “The Magpie Lord” by K.J. Charles (ISBN 1619215764; 200p.; Goodreads) was yet another recommendation I took from Bonnie Burton (not personally, but the book club she’s in, and her goodreads are good sources for curious, open minded, and ever searching people), and once again, it did not disappoint.

Lucien Crane Vaudrey was the bad and rotten son in his father’s eyes. Thus, when this became possible, he packed the boy off to Shanghai, informing his servant that there’d be no tears if the lad fell over board during the journey. It says nothing good of Lucien, especially knowing what the rest of his family is like. Folk already learned to avoid the Vaudreys, and expect no justice from them. In fact, they’re realizing they might have to take justice in their own hands, for otherwise innocent blood will continue to flow as the father and son pleased. We could imagine here a mob, pitchforks and torches. But why the bother when there’s a witch at hand?…

After whole Vaudrey family took their own lives due to sudden madness, Lucien has no other choice but to return and take care of all the legal matters one has to take care of when one is the new Earl. He didn’t plan to stay long in the country, and at best – stay in London, up until first nuisance, attempt to arrest him for his orientation (being gay was illegal in those times, and thus the reason he was exiled too), or such, then he’s off, back home, to Shanghai. It’s just that the madness that pushed his father and brother to suicide seems to be lurking in his blood too. Dark spots in his memory, and vision, voices. Getting back to your own mind, with your servant trying to take away the knife that you didn’t use all that delicately in attempt to carve your life out of yourself. This can’t continue. Either he’ll go mad, or… Merrick, with his lord’s blessing, went out to the darkest places of London in hopes to find help that would’ve been at hand in an open-minded Shanghai. He needs a Shaman. After all, all England cannot hate Vaudreys, can they?

I love how they used magic, how magicians a.k.a. practitioners are like vampires here: they need energy, and can very well take it from a person, even if it means taking their life in the process. I loved how Merrick reminded me lightly of Sebastian Michaelis (Kuroshitsuji), allowing little slips in courtesy towards his master now and then. And I loved how it all reminded me of the intense adventures I had with Bartimaeus, where walls shook from the power of those entities summoned. Oh, and not to forget, I loved how “prince charming” was a tiny, thin, redheaded man with crooked teeth. 5 out of 5, no less.

Categories: Books, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Historical Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

C.S. Pacat – Captive Prince: Kings Rising [3]

17158532As much as I tried to read C.S. Pacat Captive Prince trilogy, I still reach its end. I have finished “Kings Rising” (ISBN 174348495X; 385p.; Goodreads) last night, at exactly 4am, and spent a good hour thinking of this review I’ll do, what I need to point out, mention, and whether I should make a separate post on the whole trilogy, as a verdict. Then I also wondered what exactly does word “verdict” mean too. (it’s an opinion or judgement, basically) Be warned, there might be spoilers, so if you want to skip reading, know this trilogy became my top most fav of all times.

Prince of Vere, slandered and kicked out of the line to the throne by his uncle Regent, who pronounced himself King of Vere in Laurent’s stead, is now making his way into the depths of Akielos. Led there by no other than the very king of Akielos, Damianos, the prince-killer, his brother’s killer. Despite their differences, and possible hate on Laurent’s part, they have a bigger problem now, and the only way to solve it is to unite their meager forces into something greater. Both their thrones are usurped. And now, it seems, they’re taken not by two, but one and the same man Laurent fought all his life, alone.

They both had reasons to mistrust one another, and yet they both worked to keep the alliance afloat. Kyroi of Akielos had to be convinced to help their legitimate king, which would have been far easier, if Damen wasn’t rumored to be Laurent’s lover. And then there’s Laurent himself, cold, calculated mind of his might not be easy to adjust to, and whether he was willing to adjust to Akielos traditions was a great question too. So who would kyroi hate more? The usurper who brought Veretian King into the heart of their country, the same one who sent out his true-born brother as a bed slave to Vere? Or this young man, who seems to be scheming at all times, who kept their King captive, flayed him, and made use of him?

Even Damen realizes, that Laurent has an agenda he keeps secret in this whole. Why else would he try, lie, and manipulate, risking his own life doing so, just to get Damen’s kyroi on the side of this cause? And yet, if it all came down, and Laurent’s plans turned out to be the worst kind, if Damen had to choose: a kingdom, or this… He is no longer sure of his own answer.

Truly, loved these books a lot, and this one especially. The political battle in the previous one was amazing, but this one showed more of what Akielos is like, and what a great change the prince-killer has brought for it. I liked the simple and true evidence author used to unravel the final bit. I liked how seemingly insignificant bits turned out to be great final leverages, how puzzle pieces connected, and how twists happened without hinting to them beforehand. I loved the price Laurent took in exchange for all the guard he kept on his very being at all times. I think this was a beautiful exchange of two powerful beings who gambled it all, and sacrificed nothing essential of their beings for victory, which is a common case when love enters book pages. Somebody always loses something great to be with who they wish to be with, and I appreciate the fact it wasn’t the case. So here’s 5 out of 5, and I think I will make another post for all three books, a verdict for those who are not yet convinced.

 

Categories: 5-5, Books, High Fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

C.S. Pacat – Captive Prince: Prince’s Gambit [2]

23398894These books are exactly what I needed in my life, all my life. Direct result of that was me reading this one until 4am (mind you, I usually get to bed at around 2am, so it’s not as long as you might think), forcing myself to put it down, in case it ended too quickly. Then, I couldn’t write a review on it for a couple days. But since my nose is already in the third, here is, with a bleeding heart, my conclusion on book two in the addictive C.S. PacatCaptive Prince” trilogy: “Prince’s Gambit” (ISBN 0425274276; 216p.; Goodreads).

As Regent plots a war against divided, and weakened Akielos, Damen is forced to side with the only one who has the will and power to stop it: prince of Vere, Laurent. It would be easy enough to attempt and keep him alive until he ascends the throne if Regent hadn’t pressured him to leave for the border to take up his duty in the ever lasting warring. Every step is an attempt to murder or maim, and every failure for it promises something worse in the future. And Laurent is a complex being to guard on top of it, being mistrustful of everyone, scheming, plotting, too full of surprised for Damen to keep up. The moment he accepts the fact that they’re as good as dead, Laurent bides their time, talking their way out of it, until something happens, and they get saved. Later on it usually turns out it was all part of a great plan where Laurent, barely, was a step ahead of his uncle.

On the other side of this war tent, Laurent is torn apart. It seems that the only people he can trust, are those who are open about being his enemy. Like the Akielon slave on his cushion pallet. Having no support of his own, Laurent makes the most twisted and breaking decision he could have, sending out a plea for help to a least likely source…

This book was so full of twists and political schemes, that I had a hard time putting it down. Every page, every chapter kept my brain buzzing, asking “what’s next? one more page? just one more, just to see, what’s next!” So naturally I can only give it 5 out of 5, and pray to the Universe I can have these books in paper, to fondle the good memories in physical form. That’s the only regret I have on e-books, you know? It’s less easy for me to turn back to a book when I have to exit the one I’m currently reading.

Categories: 5-5, Books, Fantasy Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

C.S. Pacat – Captive Prince [#1]

20878022Let me just put this out here right away, this book is strictly adult stuff. And now that I warned you, let’s talk about “Captive Prince” (ASIN B00I3REIHI; 241p; Goodreads) by C.S. Pacat, and why do I have another crush on another fictional character, and again, one that isn’t all that likable.

Damen is captured during an overthrow of power in his own country. His bastard (literally) brother is taking the throne, and has a hell prepared for the legitimate heir. Instead of just killing him, he prepped him up and sent him off with a slave shipment to a rival country. After all, Akielos bed slaves are valued all over…

In Vere nothing is as it seems. Everything is adorned, beautiful, pampered, made look pleasing for the eye. Pets are kept covered in gold and jewelry, while their masters often prefer a level of simplicity. The most vicious are the cutest, smallest, and seemingly harmless. Would that then mean one could trust those who seemed the most vicious instead? Prince Laurent, a gorgeous young man, spins a careful web of rule and survival. His uncle, current regent of the throne, seems to be the reason for all this tension. And Damen accidentally falls right in the middle of their feud. But you know how they say: where two fight… A slave might escape.

At first I thought this book to be same bdsm as Beauty’s Trilogy by Anne Rice (just with all the queerness possible, in Vere – bastards are abominations, so if you need a lover outside the marriage – it has to be your own sex), but the further it went, the more I doubted that idea. In this type of books all roads lead to bed, but this was not the case. Prince, behind his back, while loved terribly by his guards, who would’ve dropped to their knees at a mere offer from the prince (yes, that’s what I meant), kept calling him frigid for he took no lovers, and then a b-tch, for his temper made grown men stop and consider if what they’re doing won’t anger the gorgeous blond blue-blood. Even when lust-inflicting poison come into play – we don’t get a play. And, honestly, that made me admire this book, the characters too. They seemed shallow at first, but the further it went, the more I saw of that delicate little all-connecting web.

So while this is a smut book, one that doesn’t sugar-coat what’s what, it’s not your usual one. It had just about enough in it for me to develop a crush on Laurent, and start second book right after the first (I usually like to keep a bit of a space between books in series or trilogies for that matter). Politics were odd, I admit, and some things made absolutely no sense, but there was not a page boring. And when it seemed like it’ll get boring here, something real dramatic in a “dun-dun-duuuuun” sense of that word happened. So… yeah. 5 out of 5, let’s see what’s the second one all about.

Categories: 5-5, Books, High Fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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