Tag Archives: published: 2013-04

A Sticky Wicket in Bollywood by T.A. Chase & Devon Rhodes

A Sticky Wicket in Bollywood

Book Info

Title: A Sticky Wicket in Bollywood (International Men of Sports, Book 1)
Author: T.A. Chase & Devon Rhodes
Published: April 8, 2013
Pages: 155
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Publisher’s Website: link
Rating: ★★★

Review

Rajan Malik is THE hottest actor in Bollywood and things are only looking up. He, along with his girlfriend and co-star, are the hottest couple both on and off screen, and he couldn’t be more successful. But this isn’t entirely the life he wanted–it’s the life his mother wanted for him. When Ajay Singh, cricket star and Raj’s ex-roommate from university, sees Raj in the paper and reaches out to him, glimpses of a life that could have been immediately wash over them both. Ajay is out and not ashamed of it. But Raj has appearances to keep, and there’s the constant reminders from his mother that he could never be in a relationship with a man and still be successful. Raj believes her, but he knows there’s something missing from his life. Can he find a way to have everything: Ajay AND his career? Or will he need to make a decision about what’s most important and leave the other behind forever?

In an age where we often think it’s “so much easier to be gay” than it was years ago, it’s easy to dismiss the idea that people might still feel pressure to stay in the closet. But those pressures still exist and are very real for many people. In some cases it’s like Raj’s concern of career success. For others (like Ajay’s friend Neel) it’s concerns about family reactions and fallout. But regardless of the reason, we can’t just assume that what has become true for many people is true for everyone. And here we get a very modern story of how three men (I include Neel even though his struggle isn’t a major focus of the story) navigate the reality of being gay, being Indian, and being celebrities. The story is different for each of them, as it’s likely different for every single person who finds themselves in such a situation. The authors approach the topic very sensitively and don’t minimize or overstate any of the issues involved.

Definitely an enjoyable read that really hooked me in. I’m set to continue reading more from this series after finishing this one–and I’m looking forward to it.

Sailor Boys by Anthony McDonald

17859089Title: Sailor Boys
Author: Anthony McDonald
Published: April 28, 2013
Pages: 26
Publisher: Goodreads M/M Romance Group
Author Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:

Will & Harry met 50 years ago when they were both sailors in the British Navy, working on different ships.  At the end of their service, they met up again and have shared a very interesting life together with ups and downs and few meanders to the side as well.  Will narrates this reminiscent journey through their past in what ends up as a sweet and romantic tale.  Short, sweet, and interesting, for sure.

Dirty Laundry by Rhys Ford

17560488Title: Dirty Laundry (Cole McGinnis, Book 3)
Author: Rhys Ford
Published: April 18, 2013
Pages: 260
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher Link: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:

Private investigator Cole McGinnis can never seem to catch a break for long. On the heels of his last major case which led to his office manager being shot, he finds himself in the middle of two sibling surprises. His still-closeted boyfriend, Jae-Min, gets a surprise visit from his sister while Cole is sprung upon by a previously unknown half-brother from Japan. The personal drama aside, he’s also approached by a fortune-teller whose clients are meeting mysterious and deadly ends.

I do really enjoy where this series goes with each installment. Unlike similar series that I’ve read, this one manages to take the case in each book as its sort of “episode” while keeping the overall story thread of Cole and especially Cole and Jae-Min’s relationship. So many times the relationship and character development is just as episodic as the rest of the plot, and there isn’t as seamless of a connection from one book to the next. I’m definitely looking forward to the next book!

Title: Amity & Sorrow
Author: Peggy Riley
Publication Date: April 16, 2013

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
Amaranth and her daughters, Amity & Sorrow, have fled their family and their life in a polygamist religious compound with nowhere to go and Amaranth’s only thought being to get them as far away as possible. But when the car crashes in rural Oklahoma and she is forced to rely on a farmer for help (one of many things that challenges the strict rules they’ve all been taught to follow), she is also forced to confront the past, the present, and the future for both herself and her daughters.

A gripping tale of the aftermath of being indoctrinated into what I can only describe as a cult, Amity & Sorrow contains some difficult content but is one of those books that really hits you emotionally. The layers of Amaranth, Amity, and Sorrow’s experiences that are slowly revealed over the course of the book through narrative and flashbacks are complex and provide the reader with a dark and vivid picture of their lives before the book begins.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, though I know it’s not one everyone is likely to enjoy. It’s gritty and certainly isn’t a shiny happy tale, and I know some people don’t like books like that. But I’d still encourage people to give it a chance.

(eGalley provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Content warnings: [mentions of child abuse, sexual abuse, and incest; religious fundamentalism]

Title: The Envelope
Author: Stephen del Mar
Publication Date: April 26, 2013

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
I really wish this was longer! We get dropped in on a story already in progress and very quickly learn that Tony recently lost his partner and has been trying to cope. While the story is powerful (especially considering its length), I really want to know more about them. A prequel, a sequel, something? There just wasn’t enough time to really connect to the story before it was done.

Title: The Sentinel
Author: Troy Denning
Publication Date: April 1, 2013

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
I’ve been enjoying The Sundering, a series of books surrounding a major reshaping of the world of Forgotten Realms, so of course I requested the fifth installment, The Sentinel, as soon as it was available. And can’t say I was left particularly disappointed.

The Sentinel reads, to me, like a typical fantasy novel. We’re dropped into the action of the story and quickly introduced to the characters when they’re already fighting off the Shadovar. The truth of their quest/adventure is revealed shortly thereafter (though there might be some underlying motives not being spoken, we’ll have to wait and see). There are a few altercations between the ‘heroes’ and the ‘villains’ and they reach a point where it seems like victory is impossible, and the ‘heroes’ are put to the test.

Tory Denning’s writing stile is engaging, but I found much of the story predictable. The ‘twists’ that are thrown in were ones I expected before they were revealed and the ending just seemed a bit anti-climactic. That said, the story itself was enjoyable – especially in the context of the overall series – and I’d certainly recommend this to anyone who is interested in reading The Sundering from start to finish.

(eGalley provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)