Posts Tagged With: romance

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

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jordan L. Hawk “Stormhaven” | Whyborne & Griffin 3

2_stormhavenAuthor: Jordan L. Hawk
Title: Stormhaven
Series: Whyborne & Griffin 3
Genre: LGBT, Paranormal
Pages: 179p
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

If per chance you recall, I did not like the previous Jordan L. Hawk book in the series of Whyborne & Griffin. But as is seemingly a rule for me, that usually means I will like the next one. So, yes, “Stormhaven“, third book in the said series, was not an exception. Can anyone explain me why or how?

About: Whyborne keeps having these scary nightmares of an underworld city, with something lurking in the shadows. At times he can even hear someone sing, and it sounds almost like his mother. But, as is common in stories like these, he waves the dreams away as unimportant, and tells no one about them. Yet it seems he wasn’t the only one who heard the song. Allan Tambling, a kind hearted fella is found in a pool of blood, holding a knife and his beloved uncle’s body. According to him, he has no recollection of how he even got there. Which gives him first class ticket into a mental asylum. Here, being accused of murder, he fears for his life, for he will likely be sent off into the Fourth Floor ward, from where no one really ever returns. Griffin, having been in a situation like that, is feeling sorry for the man, and takes up to solve the case of who or what killed Allan’s uncle. His conviction that it wasn’t Allan is made stronger by the fact that Allan’s doctor is the same man who accused Griffin of being insane too.

My thoughts: The book seemed rushed. Most of the very good action took mere pages, where Griffin’s family and problems arising from that took whole chapters. I would’ve rather read more of this new cult on the rise (it’s not new per se), and the murderers working for them, or even the science behind summoning conducted there, than of whole that “let’s pretend we’re not boyfriends” stuff. But hey, at least Christine was as badass as always. Love that woman. She deserves her own book.

The book fell a bit short for my taste, but I can’t really complain, seeing how I saw the page number when I picked it up. But with all the cons in it, there were really decent plot twists that I absolutely did appreciate. So here’s 4 out of 5 from me, and let’s hope the next one isn’t bad again.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books, Gothic Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

K.J. Charles “Spectred Isle” | Green Men 1

1_SpectredIsleAuthor: K.J. Charles
Title: Spectred Isle
Series: Green Men 1
Genre: LGBT, Paranormal
Pages: 271p.
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I had to wait for quite a while until I got myself a chance to read one of the newest KJC books, the “Spectred Isle“, first in the series. And even then it is thanks to a friend for all the help. It was definitely worth the wait though. This book is a fine piece of paranormal.

About: After the disgraceful discharge from the military, Saul is happy to have any job, really. Even if it means working for a crazy eccentric fella whose life goal, it seems, is to get in touch with real magic. He pores over books he claims anonymous sources sent him, maps, and whatever other things he got to find certain places. Then he travels there, drags Saul along, or just sends Saul there alone, to trudge through mud, forests, ruins, and other kinds of not likely magical places. But this time Saul’s conviction shook at the foundation of it. First of all, this was a rare time when he got to a place and knew exactly that he was in the right place. And second of all, if the colossal ancient oak wasn’t enough eerie in itself, it suddenly burst into flames and burned like no living tree should ever, ever burn. That, of course, attracted attention, people, among which was the last member of the great and old family of occultists: Randolph Glyde. From then on every adventure Saul got himself into seem to have led him to the man. It would’ve been funny if it wasn’t so irritating and strange at the same time. Especially when they met in the Camlot Moat, the most unlikely of all places, the island that was so incredibly difficult to reach that even Randolph couldn’t believe what he saw. For Randolph’s duty is to protect the isle within the moat, and he knew full well how unlikely it was for Saul to just stumble in there, and them meet. This only confirmed his suspicions that Saul is involved in something sticky and occult.

My thoughts: Loved these two to bits. Saul is a very interesting, strong and intelligent man. And Randolph pretty much leads the rebels. Well, resistance if you please. The occult kind who don’t want to be ordered around by nasty Shadow Ministry. Those people, after all, are responsible for this thinning veil between their world and the one under it. They forced occultists of all kinds to summon, use, and abuse all manner of creatures and monsters. In one of those summonings, one that Randolph refers to as the Great Summoning, whole Glyde family has died, leaving Randolph alone to cope with all the secrets and knowledge that his family possessed. Thus he takes care of those like him, including Saul.

This was definitely a very great book, with very scary elements to it, so consider not reading at night. And, as is common for KJC books, the characters were indeed top notch. So here’s a 5 out of 5 for me, in hopes that second book won’t take too-too long. For it will take a while.

Categories: 5-5, Books of Occult, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chloe Neill “Drink Deep” | Chicagoland Vampires 5

1Author: Chloe Neill
Title: Drink Deep
Series: Chicagoland Vampires 5
Genre: Fantasy, Vampires
Pages: 321p.
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

The greatest plus of these books is them being real easy to read. You start one, and it already ends. So I’ve read through fifth book in Chloe Neill series Chicagoland Vampires, “Drink Deep“, and I do believe I will read me another one too.

About: After the death of Cadogan House head, Merit’s love interest, no less, power assertion and drama begins. Vampires who took over have no love for this house and soon start changing the rules, rationing their blood, making their training more strict, etc. They don’t even hide their displeasure and want to get rid of some people, and we won’t point fingers to Merit. But to her this problem soon becomes secondary. After all, whoever turned Lake Michigan into black tar might just be more dangerous than a bunch of vampire assholes. So Merit goes off with the secret vampire organisation to follow up on any possible leads. Those include other supernatural races, such as fae in control of elements, water nymps, and so on. But as leads dwindle to nothing, magical apocalypse continues. Sky turns red, and lightening storms serve destruction.

My Opinion: The book, for the most of the first half, was as boring as one would expect from a story where one of the lovers died. Romance drama is one of the worst plotlines for me, so this is my own fault, for picking up books like that, I guess. To add to that, Merit keeps having dreams about Sullivan, and they seem to be trying to warn her. So I just rolled my eyes at the “there was a storm behind him, and I started to run“, and continued. Of course, not all was bad. I did really enjoy the magical catastrophe, it was very apocalyptic, and very horror genre worthy, what with all the lightening strikes, and sky turning red. New races were introduced fairly well too. There was a pretty great Sookie-Stackhouse moment when hungry vampires went insane over sweet fae blood scent.

So, all in all I still didn’t much like any of the books. They’re about there, where you can continue reading, with random goodies to sweeten the pot. In this book it was that magical apocalypse, so I can give it a 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Peter Monn “The Before Now and After Then”

2I watched Peter Monn on YouTube for a while before I actually learned that he wrote a YA romance book called “The Before Now and After Then” (ASIN B00M8B6CLE; 304p.; Goodreads). As Peter in his videos points out, sometimes YA falls into that category, because the protagonists are young adults, while in truth the book might by for adults, merely having teens as characters. Maybe that’s the reason this book felt like a mature piece of work, a well polished piece by someone, well, like Peter. There’s a lot of him to be found here, and it’s likely made better by his vlogs, for you can really see where the things are coming from then. But even without them, this is a fine book.

Danny is a twin. His brother died in an accident, getting hit by a drunk person while going home from a park. Park was part of the plan. Sam wished to help Danny come out to their parents, so he got away from home, giving Danny time. Afterwards he was supposed to come back, crack a silly gay joke, and relief any possible tension. Thing is, they didn’t even expect tension, it was just a precaution. And yet that precaution got Danny’s life upside-down.

He found his parents fighting over his father’s affair. He blurred out that he’s gay. And then a doorbell rang, there – an officer here to tell of Sam’s death. Now, six whole months later, Danny is waking from the death’s stupor. He’s starting to realize that he has no idea who or what he is. Everyone around him seem to define him by these too broad or too narrow titles. Before it was so much easier: Sam’s friends were his friends, Sam’s hobbies were his hobbies… But new school (or new school year?) means new experience. He soon meets a charming girl named Cher, who befriends him right away. And then there’s the handsome Rusty for whom Danny is head over heels in mere moments. Time for the living to figure the damn life out.

It’s a beautiful love story. At points it got a little too idyllic, but it worked with the general way author wrote and described things. I really loved the evolution of characters, that was pretty damn brilliant. At the end of the book I preferred the bully more than the love interest. Merely because that one took actions when action was needed, while Rusty ran off without even trying, and next thing you know, came back expecting everyone to take him back. Yes, expecting. He stated the fact first, and asked later. I give this book a very solid 4 out of 5, one point away due to something greatly missing in the whole picture. And be sure, when Peter finishes his next book, I’ll be there to snag it.

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

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