Tag Archives: published: 2013-08

Scrum by P.D. Singer

Scrum

Scrum by P.D. Singer

Published by: Goodreads M/M Romance Group on August 16, 2013
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

Robin is not what one would call a rugby fan. But when his friend Sebastian drags him out and he sees the new player, Yves, Robin is totally in love with the game. Or, at least, the player. Their eyes seem to meet often, and Yves is all smiles. Which leaves Robin wondering if that smile is specifically for him or if it’s all in his head. And he really, really hopes it’s not all in his head…

This is an entertaining short story that would certainly hit the spot for those who like the athlete-fan romance. There are all of the elements that you might expect. And then there are a couple of unexpected twists that are likely to leave readers wanting more…

Owning Corey by Maris Black

Owning Corey

Owning Corey by Maris Black

Published by: newBIGmedia on August 11, 2013
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

From the outside, Ben Hardy appears to have it all. He’s a medical chief of staff. He has a large house and a nice car. He has a beautiful girlfriend. But what no one knows is that he’s planning to break up with her tomorrow. And he’s still trying to find himself.

When his girlfriend approaches with Corey, the mysterious new EMT, Ben is intrigued. And that intrigue reaches a new height when he learns that her goal is to invite Corey into their bedroom. The idea is shocking to Ben at first, but as he considers it some more, he realizes he might be interested in the idea.

Learning that Corey is living in a dicey part of town, Ben invites him to move into his pool house. There’s something about Corey that Ben appreciates, but when they make good on their threesome, he slowly begins to realize that something might not be what he imagined at all. But is Ben gay? And is Corey? And if they are, could Ben really be with a guy?

These questions are all interrupted by secrets from Corey’s past that haunt him. And those secrets just might put both Corey and Ben in danger.

It’s interesting how one little request can turn someone’s life upside down. Although Ben knew he wanted to make a change, he never expected to have the catalyst to do so that showed up in his life just a few hours later. But sometimes it is those things that shake us up that help us see that we haven’t really been living as we should.

The relationship builds quickly here, but there are things that happen that this can be attributed to. And although I would have liked to see these two together a bit more, that seems like more of a personal preference than anything else. Definitely an interesting read for sure.

The Beating of his Wings by Paul Hoffman

15997975Title: The Beating of his Wings (The Left Hand of God, Book 3)
Author: Paul Hoffman
Published: August 15, 2013
Pages: 512
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Author Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Review:

The world is in a state of chaos. The war started by the Redeemers continues, their commitment to their mission unwavering despite the fact that Thomas Cale–their Angel of Death–has escaped again and gone into hiding. Broken and weak, Cale knows he cannot hide forever. Even as he tries to find a way to recover, he knows Pope Redeemer Bosco is hunting him, hoping to find him and use him for his intended purpose. Cale will need to decide whose side he is on and what he’s capable of. Will he live out his destiny as destroyer of mankind or will he stand against the Sanctuary and try to save a people he knows are damned? And what will be the final cost?

Such a wonderful end to this trilogy and I’m still very glad that I came across these books in the first place. There are so many layers to the messages woven into these pages, and it is so much more than your typical post-apocalyptic, young adult, dystopian novel. The world that Paul Hoffman has created straddles the line between being so close to our own reality and so far from it so beautifully that you know you’re being transported but you can so easily see the parallels that exist. This was probably the most challenging to read in the trilogy, largely because of the emotional investment in the characters and the levels of peril in which they find themselves with each continuing chapter.

I definitely give this book (and the whole series) a high recommendation.

From the Ashes by Daisy Harris

17560419Title: From the Ashes (Fire and Rain, Book 1)
Author: Daisy Harris
Published: August 13, 2013
Pages: 259
Publisher: Daisy Harris
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Review:

When Jesse’s apartment burns down, he’s at a loss.  As a busy college student working his way through school and a dog to care for, he has nowhere to turn.  But Tomas, one of the firemen who responded to the scene, offers him a place to stay.  Tomas is definitely one of those sexy firemen you might see in a calendar, but Jesse figures that doesn’t matter much since Tomas is clearly straight and only making the offer because he’s a decent guy.  But once Jesse moves in,with Tomas’s family literally in their backyard, he finds there might be more to Tomas than he saw at first–and he just might learn some things about himself, too.

This was such a ridiculously cute story, I don’t even know where to begin.  I know on its face the concept could come across a bit cliche, but it didn’t read that way at all to me as I was turning the pages (and honestly I did have a hard time putting this one down).  As a Seattle-ite, it was great to see the way Daisy Harris was able to capture the spirit of the city as the backdrop to this story which drew me even further into the world of Tomas and Jesse.

I can’t wait to pick up the next installment in this series!

Glitterland by Alexis Hall

17727137Title: Glitterland (Glitterland, Book 1)
Author: Alexis Hall
Published: August 24, 2013
Pages: 248
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:

Ash Winters has experienced some real ups and downs in his life. The author of best-selling novels, he now finds himself often struggling to deal with his depression and prefers to keep himself isolated from the rest of the world. But when he is dragged to a stag party and meets Darian Taylor, an energetic and outgoing aspiring model who almost seems to live in a completely different world, things change. There’s an attraction there, but it means Ash has to be willing to trust Darian and also trust himself. And that’s something he just might not be able to do.

If you’re looking for a fun romantic read, this is it. These two guys just crawl off the page and into your life and it’s simply a great experience. Alexis Hall has done amazing job with this one. The character of Darian is so incredibly well-written that if someone told me this was an account of a true story, I wouldn’t be surprised at all. (Even when Darian annoyed me, I was still smiling through it.)

Title: The Adorned
Author: John Tristan
Publication Date: August 12, 2013

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
Wow, my friends. This is a 4.5 star book that only misses the 5 stars because I’m so stingy with giving those out.

When Etan’s father dies, leaving him with nothing, he has no idea what to expect from what he knows will no doubt be a grim future. But after he encounters a bondsman who thinks he might make a good new Adorned – people who serve as a living canvas to display the art of the master tattoo artists – his whole world is changed. And it might just change again when he finds himself beginning to fall for his new master.

Dystopia, fantasy, nobility, romance, danger – John Tristan has created an incredible world here. His engaging writing – all done in first person, which is not always an easy feat – creates a world from which I find myself only wanting to know more.

Title: Love on a Wing and a Prayer
Author: T.A. Webb
Publication Date: August 7, 2013

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
I enjoyed this story, but for some reason, it wasn’t one that really wow-ed me. It’s one where the relationship just seemed to be so completely rushed from meeting and lust to head-over-heels love without there even being much interaction to support the change. Insta-love needs more than just a ‘here they are’ setup for me to really get into it and I just didn’t get a strong sense of that here.

But the interactions that do happen between the main characters are sweet, charming, and steamy enough to still make this a 3-star read.

Title: Love Comes in Darkness
Author: Andrew Grey
Publication Date: August 8, 2013

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
I’m reading this series backwards – not necessarily by design – having picked up book three first and then now moving on to book two. While the stories are interrelated with an overlap in characters, each focuses on a different main character, so you really can pick up whichever one you’d like to start with.

In this one the focus is on Howard Justinian. Howard has been blind from birth and has struggled throughout his life to find the balance involved in asserting his independence – finding that place where he’s not relying on others too much but he’s also not pushing them away. When his current boyfriend, Cedric, kicks him out of the car and leaves him stranded on the side of the highway during a fight, Howard meets Gordy who pulls up to help. Howard is instantly drawn to Gordy (and everyone tells him that the expressions on Gordy’s face seem to indicate a similar sentiment), but Howard wonders if Gordy knows what being with a blind man truly entails. And can Howard figure out how to find that same place of independence with Gordy without pushing him away, too?

Another great book in this series. The relationship dynamics that Andrew Grey has created here are amazing – so complex without feeling contrived in the least. I honestly can’t wait to go pick up book one and learn about the beginnings of a couple that I’ve now come to really like as they’ve been in the background of books two and three.

Title: The Companions
Author: R.A. Salvatore
Publication Date: August 6, 2013

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
It’s been some time since I’ve read anything from any of the Dungeons & Dragons settings, and The Companions by R.A. Salvatore has left me wondering why/how I let it go for so long. The rich fantasy world that Salvatore weaves found me quickly and easily engaged. The level of connection to the individual characters is one I personally haven’t found in a fantasy novel for quite some time.

Even if you haven’t followed the previous adventures Drizzt Do’Urden, you won’t find yourself lost in The Companions. Salvatore works enough background into the story to pick up the history of the Companions of the Hall along with following their current predicaments. The author also seamlessly introduces the history of the Realms themselves, making this a perfect “jumping in” point for someone wanting to read the books of The Sundering but concerned about not having read the 20+ previous Drizzt books.

Highly recommended for fans of the fantasy genre, of Forgotten Realms, of Drizzt, and of books with a well-written narrative.

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