Posts Tagged With: m/m

A Queer Trade by K.J. Charles | Rag and Bone 0.5

1.jpgAuthor: K.J. Charles
Title: A Queer Trade
Series: Rag and Bone 0.5
Genre: Romance, Historical
Pages: 59
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Yes, I have full intentions of getting through whole of K.J. Charles bibliography. I was also told that Rag and Bone series are set in the same world as Magpie Lord. So I started at the beginning, with “A Queer Trade“.

About: Crispin is a magician. An apprentice to an old and powerful warlock, who died a couple days ago. Yet the fact has only reached him today, which means he’s already in a lot of trouble. For the family who owns the house is getting ready to flip all they can. They crammed what books seemed important into a tiny little office, and were in a great progress of selling everything else away. They had no intentions on waiting for Crispin, after all, he should’ve known, somehow, that his master is going to die. So, for instance, papers with weird scribbles on the floor got sold to waste vendors. And waste vendors would then sell those to the market sellers, who will then proceed to wrap you produce in those papers. I invite you to imagine the dread that washed over Crispin at this realization: say, you bought a gutted, dead fish, and brought it home wrapped in a blood written spell paper that reanimates dead things… Yes. Chaos erupts, and magical police gets informed, and Crispin is indeed in one hell-ton of trouble.

Mine: As I was reading, I was dreading this is going to be one of those movie stories, where someone tries to get some kind of an object out of market, but copies just keep appearing. But KJC once again proved she’s very good as steering the plot through all the nooks and crannies, and not take the obvious road. It was a great fun. Made even better by appearance of Esther Gold, Stephen Day’s best friend. Really, love that woman. People should listen to her more, and argue with her less.

I really did enjoy this short little tense adventure with unexpected turn of events. So it gets 5 out of 5 from me, and I’m moving onto the full length book next.

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Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Other Fiction, Historical Fiction Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | 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

Jordan L. Hawk “Threshold” | Whyborne & Griffin 2

2I enjoyed the first book in Jordan L. Hawk series Whyborne & Griffin, so it was only a matter of time, and finding the time, until I got into the second one, “Threshold” (Whyborne & Griffin 2; ISBN 0988564971; 249p.; Goodreads). I must say, this was the most unexpected turn of events. And yet I didn’t like it so much. But I do enjoy the Lovecraftian vibe the author has.

Whyborne’s father was never overly fond of his younger son. Especially not after he decided to make his own life, and not follow the path he provided. That slightly shifted after the battle with monsters from another dimension, where Whyborne showed immense knowledge and great courage. Still, even with that little bit of mending, Whyborne is mighty suspicious when his father hires Griffin to investigate supernatural happenings in one of his coal mines.

Miners hear buzzing, vibrations behind the walls. Some claim there’s voices telling them of rich coal veins nearby. People disappear or die in strangest accidents. Some return, strange and different. A lot of these strings lead to excavation site in a cave system nearby, so that’s where the trio heads. There’s nothing real special there, nothing archaeologists haven’t already taken account of. Up until the floor breaks under Whyborne’s feet, and he is plunged into the darkness of the caves below. Here walls are all covered in drawings of strange creatures enslaving humans. And there’s something lurking just behind the band of light…

SPOILER: this is a personal preference, but I really do not like when mild fantasy meets mild sci-fi, and results are aliens vs cowboys. END OF SPOILER. I think the biggest peeve here was the romance line. I really hate the whole “but I thought this, so I did that, because I thought…“, for as a reader you know exactly how that’ll go. There’ll be spilling sand between the fingers, then making up, and apologies, and in romance novel cases: make-up sex. Other than that, the events were very unexpected, so while I can only give this book 3 out of 5, I will definitely read the next one.

Categories: 3-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Fantasy, Books: Horror, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, Sci-Fi Books, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

K.J. Charles “An Unsuitable Heir” | Sins of the Cities 3

4Yes, I’ve read this book forever ago. Yes, I was too lazy to review it. Yes, it was very good. And if you’re not buying into it just yet, let me just say this one thing: K.J. Charles book “An Unsuitable Heir” (Sins of the Cities 3; B01MZ7SF83; 246p.; Goodreads) has a gender fluid character, and the fact alone could’ve made my day. But good plot harmed no one, ever.

A murderer continues to lurk in London’s toxic fog. Their goal is pretty clear to Mark, who is fully involved in the investigation of Clem’s brother’s death, marriages, and living heirs. The killer is surely after the next in line, and if Mark wasn’t motivated enough by what’s at stake already – Clem’s livelihood, for instance, then the deal was sealed by the heirs themselves. Twins. A male and a female in the most loose sense one can put genders into. Pen being the one murderer would want, with his beautiful long hair, well trained body of a trapeze artist, Mark’s dream, in other words.

Pen has absolutely no wish to be no damned heir. To be one would mean to be part of the gents society: cut your hair, wear a suit, contain yourself in a single shape and form forever now. Behave. His love for Mark is too strong to just toss it all away for a case of gold anyway. But then, if he does choose his freedom and Mark over the earldom, he will betray his sister. Sister, who wishes to stop being a trapeze artists, who wishes a calm and peaceful life, a home, a husband, on whom she already has an eye set.

The book was so very great. And while I’m aware someone gender fluid might not be defined by he/him pronouns, for most of the time Pen did refer to himself in such a manner, so I’ll just hope he wouldn’t mind if he read my review. For this was a fine end to a great series, with people getting what they deserved left and right! 5 out of 5, of course.

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

K.J. Charles – Think of England

3When tired and not feeling like choosing next book to read, I just pick whatever I have by K.J. Charles. So I just grabbed “Think of England” (ISBN 9780995799004; 239p.; Goodreads) audiobook, muted my game, and propped my ears up. Whatever I expected, I did not expect such an intense plot full of spies, blackmail, extortion, and bluffs!

A faulty shipment of guns that exploded upon use has left Captain Archie Curtis maimed, lacking fingers, with dead comrades, friends, and many questions. Not the least one is: was it an accident or has someone sabotaged them? On a quest to find answers Curtins soon finds himself in a company of a poet, Daniel da Silva, at an isolated country house party. He has full intentions to find a way to break into the office of the host, in hopes of finding any proof on either guilt or innocence.

The thick-walled house hides many secrets. Under guise of night, determined to uncover at least one of them, Curtis sneaks out of his room and towards the office. Just to run into the poet, and a whole different secret. The poet, as it turns out, is not who he seems to be. And while neither trust another enough to share their secrets, they both seem to have a common goal inside the host office. It’s firmly locked, and booby-trapped, and since there’s now two men trying to get in, they both can be sure of one thing at least: the hosts do have something to hide.

This was a great damned book! Thieves, soldiers, spies, plots, sieges and lies! Like a small-scale James Bond movie with a dash of Agatha Christie vibes. I can happily give it a 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Crime Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Diversity: Austin Chant – Peter Darling

33358438I always claimed that validation feels too tremendous to mean nothing. “Peter Darling” by Austin Chant (ISBN 1620049589, 164p.; Goodreads) is a good example of that. While the story itself is mediocre, it passes on a colossal message.

Peter Pan is a powerful story teller, with imagination so wild, and pain so severe – he almost tore the Neverland apart. He played his wars, fought the pirates, and lived his life free, as Peter, as a boy, until one day he remembered he had a family. A family who, truth be told, didn’t like the whole pretend games much, nor their daughter Wendy dressing up as a boy. Yet his love for them was far too great to just leave them like that, so he came back, sure they will have to accept him now, sure that he is indeed a real boy and they have to see it too. This way Peter doomed himself to a decade of living a pretend life, putting on a mask and a smile, just so his parents wouldn’t disown him or worse, put him into a mental hospital. For Wendy just cannot be Peter.

Ten years later Peter, unable to bear it no more, returns to Neverland, and as rules of this place demand – forgets having had any life outside this land at all. Now, a grown man, he still is unable to shake off the concepts of masculinity plastered on him, and tries to restore his former life here, regain power, and hopefully continue having fun with the Lost Boys, fighting those pesky pirates! But thing is, pirates flourished without him, and were perfectly able to live with no bloodshed under captain Hook’s rule. Lost Boys grew up and found there’s little fun to play a war against an enemy who isn’t really an enemy. The world has changed, but Peter is just unable to live and feel whole without his adversary. How else if not via killing the villains does one become a good man? Or, at the very least, a man?

Gender is a more complex concept than those who never had doubts about theirs would have you think. On top of having to accept yourself for who you are, you have to find your way through all the frames just ready and waiting. Peter’s actions might be hard to understand to those who were never in his or Wendy’s shoes, it’d seem cruel and silly to fight for the sake of fighting, or even make such silly gestures as claim you fight for you are a boy. But likely any transgender person will confirm: it is difficult beyond measure to allow yourself something that’s not considered normal to the gender you’re claiming to be. Trans men often avoid wearing make-up, for it lessens their word’s worth in the world, or at least it feels like it does. So while I can only give this book 4 out of 5, due to story being so-so, I still claim this is a fine message, with a fine transition out of a stereotype and into your own life.

Categories: 4-5, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, Pirate Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

K.J. Charles – A Case of Possession [2]

18074870I am the worst, I know. I finished the book probably a week ago, but here I am, only now making up some kind of a review. K.J. Charles book “A Case of Possession” (A Charm of Magpies 2; ASIN B00D89QGW8; 159p.; Goodreads) is the second book in the trilogy, and I must admit, I am more than half way done with the third by now. And not that this book wasn’t as good or anything, it’s just… I get lost in comparisons, I guess.

Peter S. Beagle taught me that there’s no force more dangerous, than a magician who found no peace in death. When giant rats start flooding London, coming from no where, going hell knows where, killing mercilessly – Crane finds himself able to help his magical lover, and point him in the right direction. No matter how modern you are, how deeply you abandoned old beliefs, and how much you don’t care for superstitions, if a Shaman dies in your care, you’d want to make sure they found peace, just as a precaution… For giant rats is a myth told in Shanghai, that is proving to be very real, and very hard to stop back here, in London. And if that didn’t get under the Lord Vaudrey’s skin, the next best thing over fluence is coming when the magic in his blood is noticed by the very worst…

This book was pretty intense, I’d say. Blood and gore is just as present here, as it was in the previous one, but add the unappealing idea of dog-sized rats inflicting the gut-tearing. It’s not too badly detailed, I’d not dare call this a horror story, but author really knows how to dash the dark colors into the lines. I’ll give this one another 4 out of 5, for while better than the previous one, it still fell short… And maybe that’s the problem: it was short.

To those curious, yes, there’s smut here, fairly rough but absolutely consensual sex between two similar age guys with severe size difference (Stephan is short and red-haired, while Crane is tall and blond). Njoy the ride!

 

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books, Historical Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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