Posts Tagged With: romance

book review | King Slayer by Layla Reyne | Fog City 2

king slayer fog city layla reyne book reviewAuthor: Layla Reyne
Title: King Slayer
Series: Fog City 2
Genre: Romance; Crime
Pages: 195
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

Didn’t I say I won’t read book 2 of Fog City? And yet here I am, having read “King Slayer” by Layla Reyne, having needed something not demanding of brain power.

About the Book: Betrayal and dark secrets put a wedge in between Dante and the King of the Madigan criminal empire. Neither can trust the other, it seems, being sword enemies and all. And yet, as threat to the Fog City rises, they have no choice but to work together.

My Opinion: A very overused tale. Vengeance for dead partners, partner’s dark past bubbling up, the no-surprise surprise of who the culprits were and all that.

At least it was short. 2 out of 5.

Categories: 2-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, crews, gangs, etc, Crime Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, mafia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Gilded Cage by K.J. Charles | 2

gilded cage kj charles book review historical romanceAuthor: K.J. Charles
Title: Gilded Cage
Series: Lillywhite Boys 2
Genre: Historical Romance; Mystery
Pages: 248
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Oh how I miss just reading one K.J. Charles book after another. Lillywhite boys is one of my favorite series too, so “Gilded Cage“, second book in it, was a treat.

About the Book: Templeton Lane, one of the Lillywhite Boys, notorious jewelry thief, is obsessed with opals. So when news spread of an exceptional piece out there, he can’t contain himself. But solo job went awry as soon as it began, in the eerily quiet house, with a dead man on the floor. Now Templeton is wanted for murder he didn’t commit, and there’s only one person on earth who might both believe him, and help him.

My Opinion: Opals, Templeton’s love for them, are so well described, that now even I want one or two. The story is cleverly written, with detective Lazarus, a former con artist herself, navigating intrigues, secrets, plots, and seemingly everyone’s feelings. To add to that there’s a whole bunch of lovable characters.

If you got this far, I probably don’t need to sell you on another KJC book. Go take yourself a treat, I give it a 5 out of 5.

gilded cage kj charles book review historical romance vakaris vakare instagram

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Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Other Fiction, Books: Romance, Historical Fiction Books, historical romance, LGBTQ+ Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Indebted by J.L. Beck | 1

a kingpin love affair indebted j.l. beck mafiaAuthor: J.L. Beck
Title: Indebted
Series: A Kingpin Love Affair 1
Genre: Romance; Mafia
Pages: 160
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

Wow, okay, this was bad. Picked up “Indebted” by J.L. Beck, A Kingpin Love Affair book. Mafia romance is bad almost without exception. But this was next level dull.

About the Book: Bree’s father is indebted to the mafia and they’re here to collect. Having nothing to give them, he’s about to die as his daughter steps out and offers herself as repayment. Alzerro King, the mafia king, agrees, and the young woman falls into the deep dark web of criminal world.

My Opinion: The book was short and consisted mostly out of the emotional state of the two main characters, their inner monologues about each other. Mafia work apparently consists out of fear for double agents, great deal of talk about them, and some anger issues to spice things up. Bad guys might as well carry a sign “I’m the traitor“, and cliff hanger the book ends with is eye-roll worthy.

Another tale of a broken bad boy whom this good girl will fix. A 2 out of 5 is the best I can do.

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Categories: 2-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: Romance, mafia, murder | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen | 1

bridge kingdom danielle l jensenAuthor: Danielle L. Jensen
Title: The Bridge Kingdom
Series: The Bridge Kingdom 1
Genre: Fantasy; New Adult
Pages: 354
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Oh wow, a brand new piece of great fantasy has graced my virtual shelves. Just read “The Bridge Kingdom” by Danielle L. Jensen, the first book in the series of same name.

About the Book: King’s daughters were trained from the very early childhood to be the most lethal weapons of all. Only the best of them will get to live. She’ll marry the prince of the rival nation, a demon whose rule has starved her own country. And she will find a way to bring him and his nation to their knees, a salvation to her people. That is, if she can survive the nightmare that is known as the Bridge Kingdom.

My Opinion: A very unique piece of fantasy, with a very unusual and great setting, and a well woven if predictable plot. There were issues, like characters being a bit two dimensional, acting strange, causing more problems to themselves, or lacking logic in general. But other than that, it’s easy to read, and feels like a breath of fresh air. Two very different countries, landscapes, way of life. And a thick if slow plot.

A solid 4 out 5, and will read more.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Fantasy Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Other Fiction, Historical Fiction 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 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

Chloe Neill “Wild Things” | Chicagoland Vampires 9

11Author: Chloe Neill
Title: Wild Things
Series: Chicagoland Vampires 9
Genre: Paranormal, Vampires
Pages: 350
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I forgot how weak the bad guy plot line always is in Chicagoland Vampires books. But we’re almost done, bear with me! Wild things is 9th book out of, yes, you guessed it, 13!

About: Things made of magic are attacking groups and gatherings of supernaturals. Things that don’t exist. People disappear right after those attacks with no traces, no bodies, no witnesses. And while this happened during shifter gathering, in the house of one prominent pack master, who accepted to shelter Sullivan until his case with GP is solved, Merit has no choice but to try and solve this.  Otherwise, vampires and witches will be the first suspects in line.

Mine: “Oh, but the bad guy who is now dead had a daughter no one knew about” is a nasty little trope that I really don’t like. Almost as much as I don’t like the magical impossible birth tropes. Or supernaturals becoming humans trope. Sullivan was my happy place here, his drive for political power reminded me of mr Northman from Sookie’s books. As for the story itself, it was mediocre. Readable, but meh.

These are good for a quick and very light read, and while not good, still better than a lot of other vampire series I’ve read in the past. I can only give it a 3 out of 5 again.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Crime Books, urban fantasy, 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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