Tag Archives: published: 2011-09

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Published by: Bloomsbury on September 20, 2011
Rating: 4 stars (★★★★☆)

Princes in exile generally know they cannot expect too many great things out of life. Which is where Patroclus found himself when he was sent to the court of King Peleus. What he did not expect was to become friends with the king’s son, Achilles, and forge a quick and defining bond. The two become fast friends and there is the lingering sense for Patroclus that their connection might mean something more. A sense that Achilles’s mother, the sea goddess Thetis, does not appreciate at all. And Thetis makes it her mission to keep the two of them apart–for her son’s own good, obviously.

But things change for everyone when Helen of Sparta is kidnapped. Princes from all around are asked to join in the fight–and Achilles cannot escape the call. Despite the danger, Patroclus must decide whether to go with Achilles into battle, knowing in his heart that they cannot live apart. And knowing that the battlefield might just be where everything about both of their lives is truly tested…

I’ll be honest that I was a bit sold on this book before I even opened it up. Mythology, fantasy, romance, etc. are all things I tend to enjoy. But when I opened it up and fell into the story that Madeline Miller crafted, I was surprised at the wonderful construction of this book. Telling epic tales is not easy. It can be even more challenging when it is a story with which many readers may already have some familiarity. But Miller’s narrative is fresh, engaging, and compelling. And this has quickly risen to near the top of my favorite mythology-based novels. If you haven’t read it and have even a passive interest in any of its genre tags, considering picking it up at your earliest convenience!

Golden Dancer by Tara Lain

Golden Dancer

Golden Dancer by Tara Lain

Series: Dangerous Dancers, Book 1
Published by: Loose Id on September 27, 2011
Rating: 4 stars (★★★★☆)

Mac MacAllister is a reporter on a mission. He knows that billionaire Daniel Terrebonne is the one who stole the priceless Golden Dancer statue. It’s going to be difficult to prove, and he’ll need to focus. Which is why he doesn’t need the distraction of writing a ballet review. But since his parents are well-known dancers and he knows ballet, it’s an assignment he gets.

Mac quickly forgets the story is a distraction once he meets Trelain Medveyev in person. There’s just something about him that draws Mac in. (Though Mac’s not sure what it is; he’s straight, after all.) As the two spend more time together, Mac begins to realize that maybe there is a physical attraction between them that can be explained.

If Mac’s sexuality isn’t enough of a hurdle, another wrench is thrown into the mix. Terrebonne is also interested in Trelain, and he makes a decisive move while Mac’s head is still spinning. But Mac sees this as an opportunity; he might be able to use the connection to investigate Terrebonne more closely. Until that close investigation leads Mac to wondering if he might have feelings for his suspected thief, as well.

But Mac isn’t the only person looking for the Golden Dancer. The original owner wants it back. And he is prepared to stop at nothing to see it returned to his collection. Even if it means danger for Terrebonne and everyone close to him…

This is one I don’t think I would have come across if it hadn’t been for a reading challenge. But I’m glad I picked it up. I’m always a fan of Tara Lain’s writing. She has a way of developing characters and worlds that allows the reader to feel like they’re very much along for the ride. And this one is no exception.

There are certainly a lot of twists and turns along the way here–especially with the romantic elements. I hadn’t expected the outcomes of some of the conversations and situations that came up. But none of those unexpected events seemed out of character or out of line with the story.

I had honestly expected more tension and drama with the parents (especially Trelain’s) based on how they were described in the story. But I also know that it’s common for a child to describe their parents differently than they really are–especially if they have any reason to feel unsupported by them.

If you’re looking for a fun, interesting, and engaging read, then look no further.

Clear Water by Amy Lane

12393029Title: Clear Water
Author: Amy Lane
Published: September 1, 2011
Pages: 230
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:

Most people see Patrick Cleary and focus on the fact that he must live a privileged life. He has a rich father who can provide everything Patrick needs so Patrick doesn’t need to do too much for himself. But the truth is that he wants to. And he knows he can if someone can believe in him and he can find a way to believe in himself. Especially if that someone is not his boyfriend who has just left him for dead–until biologist Wes Keenan finds Patrick, saving him from danger, and offering him a space to sort things out and get himself together. But can Patrick be more than the screw-up his father and friends think he is? And what of this guy who has randomly shown up in his life doing more for him in one night than anyone else has his whole life?

This is an interesting, witty, and engaging read. Though one really should expect that from Amy Lane. The relationship dynamics here are really interesting and the layers that make up the plot are unexpected in a number of ways, too. I really enjoyed this. It’s sweet, hopeful, and just enough angst to give it some color.

Title: Forgotten Soul
Author: Natasha Duncan-Drake
Publication Date: September 12, 2011

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
John works as an escort for vampires, peddling both sex and blood. He’s good at his job and has managed to survive for a while in the business. But one night when he meets three clients, one of whom – Michael – grabs his attention in some interesting ways, he finds himself faced with a choice and some surprising results.

I enjoyed this quite a bit. There are a couple of twists that I didn’t see coming (largely because I didn’t read any descriptions of the book or the series before I read it), which is something I always enjoy when I’m reading as long as it doesn’t seem too out of place. Yes, it’s m/m romance with vampires, but it seems to be done in a classy and intriguing way, so I definitely recommend this one and am looking forward to the rest of the series.