Title: Hard as Stone (SoulShares, Book 1) Author: Rory Ni Coileain Published: May 2015 (Originally Published October 2012) Pages: 185 Publisher: Riverdale Avenue Books Publisher Website:link Rating: ★★★★☆
[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.]
After committing the ultimate crime in the eyes of the Fae, Tiernan Guaire has been exiled to the world of the humans, cut off from the Realm and his people. But in the process, his soul was split in two, leaving him destined to roam until he finds and connects with the human possessing the other half–even if it means eternity. Enter Kevin Almstead, a bright but not very ambitious attorney, who has always felt like something was missing from his life. Little does he know that by walking to Purgatory, a gay nightclub, he just mind find what he’s been looking for in more ways than one with Tiernan. But connecting with Tiernan won’t be easy. And can the connection they have stand up to the magickal force that’s set out to possess Tiernan and find its way back into the human world?
A rather fun and enjoyable read, this combines several elements that I absolutely love in a book. It’s an urban fantasy that’s just rife with conflict (both internal and external), and the characters are rather dynamic. There is a lot going on here in terms of subplots, but the author has constructed things in such a way that they don’t become tangled unnecessarily and are still able to resolve in a way that makes logical sense.
Tiernan and Kevin do fall a bit fast, but when you end up in a SoulShare, I guess that’s what happens. I didn’t feel the sense of foreboding at the end of the book that I would have expected, but I’m definitely looking forward to picking up the next book in the series to see where things go from here!
Title: Dex in Blue (Johnnies, Book 1) Author: Amy Lane Published: October 1, 2012 Pages: 350 Publisher: Dreamspinner Press Publisher Website:link Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ Review:
David had a bright plan for his life, but that was all blown up after a tragic accident that took away the things that held the most meaning for him in his life. He found his way to California and reinvented himself as Dex, a top model for Johnnies, a porn company. He presents an image of normalcy to his coworkers, hiding the turmoil in his life that he’s never been able to resolve. But when one of his fellow models is kicked out of his home, Dex offers him a place to stay and soon discovers that they might just have more to offer each other than he thought at first glance.
This is the second book in a series, but I have not read the first one and had no problems following what was going on. It’s a largely self-contained story. The characters and story come across as very authentic and Amy Lane, as always, has written a story that it’s easy to get lost in while you’re reading. The emotions and complexity of the characters really shines through.
The only slight drawback I saw was that it probably could be just a bit shorter. There are a few places where I felt things dragged just a bit, but overall, it wasn’t enough to detract from my enjoyment of the story.
Title: My Fair Dork (Men of Holsum College, Book 8) Author: Daisy Harris Published: October 13, 2012 Pages: 134 Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand Publisher Link: link Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ Review:
Harold Jacobs is embarrassed of the size of his penis and as a result feels compelled to shower in the middle of the night when no one will see him. But one night when Owen McKenzie sees him, all bets seem to be off. Owen becomes surprisingly fixated that particular part of Harold’s anatomy, so much so that he wonders if he might actually play for a different team. The two of them are as different as two people can be, but can they get past that, Owen’s sexuality, and Harold’s insecurities to find a place that might allow them to be together.
I adored this series, and while this is probably one of the weaker titles in it, I still think it’s worth a read in the context of the larger series. Can’t get enough of the Men of Holsum College.
Title: A Reason to Believe Author: Diana Copland Published: October 22, 2012 Pages: 217 Publisher: Carina Press Publisher Website:link Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Review: When detective Matthew Bennett is called in on a missing child case on Christmas Eve, the last thing he would ever expect is for the child’s ghost to lead him to her body. He’s never believed in ghosts and can’t seem to wrap his head around what happens. He soon crosses paths with Kiernan Fitzpatrick, a famous medium, who challenges him in more ways than one and is taken on an adventure that changes the way he views his life and himself.
This one was chosen for me in a challenge based on the types of books I like to read and it definitely hit the mark. Mystery, paranormal elements, tentative/slow building relationship, and generally adorable characters: all things I enjoy on their own and even more when they’re together in one book. I find myself wanting to know what happens next for Matt and Kiernan, though I don’t know that there are any plans for author to bring us more in the future.
Title: Home Work (Life Lessons, Book 3) Author: Kaje Harper Published: October 5, 2012 Pages: 356 Publisher: MLR Press Publisher Website:link Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ Review: It’s interesting to see the ways in which Mac and Tony (and their relationship) have developed over the course of this series. There has been a number of changes and the way they’ve grown separately and together is definitely endearing. Following along as they work through the challenges of coming together as a family and raising two children on top of the stresses of their respective jobs – well, it’s refreshing to me in its own way.
I did feel like the case/mystery in this one dragged a bit slowly at the beginning and then rushed to a finish – especially more so than in the previous two books. But I still enjoyed it overall and it did keep me guessing through much of the book as well.
Title: Love Comes Silently (Senses, Book 1) Author: Andrew Grey Published: October, 2012 Pages: 200 Publisher: Dreamspinner Press Publisher Website:link Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Review: I read this series in reverse order, so it was interesting to see the characters in the later books before seeing them introduced and their back stories. And honestly, I love this one just as much as I’ve loved the rest of the series.
There’s a lot of emotion here – Ken goes through a lot in caring for his daughter, Hanna, as she battles leukemia – and a great deal of love. Without giving away too many spoilers, this is a wonderful story of love, family, community, generosity, caring, and being open to those who may randomly walk into your life.
Title: When I Say When Author: Tia Fielding Publication Date: October 3, 2012
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ Review: When busy publisher Jordan makes a date with a prostitute, the last person he expects to find on the other side of the door is his best friend’s brother and first crush, Gabe. But in that moment when they reconnect, feelings and questions come flooding in for both of them and Jordan finds himself unsure of what to do. Is this more than just something he’s paying for? Is it a mistake to go through with it? Could Gabe possibly have felt the same way about him all this time?
I enjoyed this one. It’s well-written and engaging, if not the tiniest bit cliche. The backstory is what I think really pulled me in, especially as we really don’t get much exposure to either character’s personality in the present. It’s a short and sweet read, though, and certainly worth giving a chance.
Title: The Mark of Athena Author: Rick Riordan Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Review: The two worlds of the Greek and Roman demigods finally collide – and in some unexpected ways! When the Seven of the Great Prophecy finally come together, it’s time to begin the journey to stop Gaea, something that isn’t as easy as it sounds (an understatement, even for the world of Percy Jackson).
The journey takes the Seven back to the old world – a place most demigods won’t dare to tread. But before they can get to Greece, they need to stop off in Rome so that Annabeth can follow the Mark of Athena (hence the title) to complete a quest than no child of Athena before her has been able to complete. And, of course, Gaea’s minions have no intention of making any of this easy for anyone.
It was interesting to see the demigods in Rome, to see some more of the minor gods and the way they manifest, and see how Riordan continues to weave all of the mythology together in a modern setting.
I did feel like there were parts that could have moved a bit more quickly, but that may just be me wanting to see how the quest progresses and how it all winds up. The House of Hades is next (as soon as I come up on the library’s waiting list, that is)!