We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Genre:M/M Sci Fi
Great science fiction, shaky at best romance.
To be fair, I did not read the first story in this series. I suspect that if I had my allegiances would have been different coming into the story, but I'm not sure I would have been satisfied as a reader in terms of the romance.
Bennet is a military man. The rebellious son who paves his own way ignoring his father's wishes. He's stubborn, determined, and duty-bound, the epitome of noblesse oblige.
Joss, twice Bennet's age and the dilettante academic who loves him. They've been together since Bennet was eighteen and pursuing him. He's sophisticated and torn while Bennet is way on missions. He wants Bennet to give up the military and stay home--he's already been egregiously injured once.
Joss was right. This mission takes Bennet's life as far as his loved one know. Planetside he meets a scrabble of people not evacuated before the Maess invasion. There are some great characters introduced: Ifan, local miner/ex-infantry man who finds Bennet and Luke, orphaned child Ifan and he find while surveying the local holdings for survivors of the Maess attack. True to Bennet form, they are important characters in his life until he moves on and then they're discarded.
The beginning is heavily militaristic, but when the botched mission turns more domestic as Bennet navigates his injuries, and subsisting with the other refugees while plotting an escape plan. And leave they do, but not without consequences.
During the formal grieving observances Flynn reenters the storyline. Flynn, the talented pilot who once saved Bennet and stole his heart. The first book in the series from my understanding has a much greater emphasis on this relationship. And thus, a love triangle emerges.
Bennet is an unmitigated ass to Joss during his recovery. Definitely his father's son there. Cruel in his dismissal of Joss's care seeing it as a slight against his weakness. They have been together for years, and there have been changes or rather Bennet has changed and Joss expects things to be the same.
The line between open relationship and infidelity is very thin, both Joss and Bennet teeter on it as their actions wobble their quasi-marriage, they made vows that are not legal in Albion. Then they take off the gloves and hurt each other in ways that only someone who loves you can. The status quo is no longer working for Bennet and Joss is angry that his wishes in their relationship are ignored.
Basically, Bennet is the sort of man who expects to the be sun and have all others orbit him, in this he is like his father. He doesn't do compromise, and frankly, he deserves to be alone. But, he keeps finding people who are willing to bend over backwards for him. So as far as leading heroes goes he does not engender positive feelings. And, the set up for the third story hints heavily not to expect better from him.
I loved the expeditions, but honestly would have loved to see the romance dropped. I hated the dynamics, the backstabbing and disregard founded on poor communication.
Overall, the science fiction military exploits is the win while the romance leaves a bitter taste.
“Having it all.”
“Yes. Isn’t that the way you like it?”
Sure it was. Only once you’d got it all, you sometimes wondered what it was you’d got and why the hell you’d wanted it in the first place.
Genre: MM Contemporary
Review: Rex is a soldier, serving in the desert and dreaming of coming home to his love, Shelly, and their white picket fence dreams. All that is keeping him going is “a remembrance of home, to my shining promise.” It takes an ambush to make those dreams turn into that desert-like sand. He returns home, after months of surgeries and therapy, in a wheelchair with his beloved Shelly not having visited him once and never returning phone calls. When his friend , Rider (also a broken solider) , brings him to the house he shared with Shelly, it is actually Shelly’s big brother, rough, tattooed biker, Riddle, who is there to let him know – baby sister Shelly pulled the worst thing you can do and she bailed. I hated her and she’s never even present in the story.
Riddle is a little crude, a lot rough and a whole lot awesome. He knows what his sister did was unforgiveable, “I tried. Told her not to leave, knowing what it would do to you, but she didn’t listen.” What Riddle does is pick up the pieces. He’s going to wait for Rex to ask for help and in the meantime, he’s going to help and be there for him. He puts up with a lot from Rex but he is the one light that Rex has, even if he takes it for granted while he’s trying to heal inside.
Rex is able to maintain erections and have sex just fine (luckily!) and he has a loyal, if a bit rough, ally in Riddle. These two don’t have the fluffy, sappy type of relationship, they have something better. Something real.
The huge burning question I had was – what happened with Shelly afterwards? Riddle himself says when he left to ride with his MC brothers he disconnected from all his family except her. Do they ever see her? Do they make amends (at this point, I hope not!) This is a romantic story regardless of the sniping they do with each other and I enjoyed it.
Review: Eric Allen with his best friend Nathan work to create a gay friendly resort much to the dismay of Eric’s family who wish to interfere. The local handyman Tim helps fix the issues the house has while falling for Eric.
The beginning of the story leaves you wanting to know more. The author’s voice was distinctive and imaginative. By the end of the first chapter, I could not wait to finish the book. The world the author created was easy to picture in my head. The author’s writing helped convey a sense of place and time frame and pulled the reader into the story. The pace of the story was a very steady pace, not too fast or too slow. The characters were fascinating and electric. Both Eric and Tim were not perfect, each had faults. This make both of the more realistic and lifelike.
The point of view is third person mainly focusing on Eric. I would have liked to know more about Tim faster than we did. The main conflict of the story is Eric’s creating a gay resort while developing a relationship with the local handyman while dealing his family. The level of conflict while a bit complicated was a bit light. I would have liked a little more to the story than what was there. The dialogue between the characters was open and distinguishing. The characters voice seem to match not only the setting but the overall personality of the character. I would like to see this story turned into a series. Their seems to be many secondary characters that I would like to know more about.
Genre: MM Paranormal, Shifters
Review: I loved the idea of Tromp, the rhino shifter. He’s got poor vision in both forms, he’s a little clumsy and uncool and he’s sweet and kind. And a vegetarian, yes! When Tromp goes out, he’s very self-deprecating - he wants to see the beautiful people dance (something he isn’t good at) and he wants to have a beer. When he sees the beautiful Pepper go onstage to dance, Tromp is immediately smitten.
Pepper is a black panther shifter (with an albino sister named Salt!) and he’s had a rough past. He is beautiful, and in his words, pointy. The two hit it off with a bit of an interruption in the form of a really nasty crocodile.
The story is a fairy tale, after all, so the insta-love was okay by me. It’s a very cute premise that consists mostly of sex but I thought it was a fluffy chaser between longer books.
The novel, largely set in London, United Kingdom plots the development of a triad among three diverse gay men. Tom and Cass have been partners for most of a decade. Sharing the responsibility of several different restaurants and food delivery service, they have work ethic that would make a Puritan seem lazy. Tom’s focus is business aspect and Cass take care of the food. They don’t see each for days.
Jake, a waiter at a chain restaurant, meets Tom while he is waiting tables. As the friendship develops between the three it culminates with Jake moving in, with Cass complete approval and encouragement.
The most interesting part of the story is that Jake is afflicted with Tourette’s syndrome. The author as stated in her concluding note, performed first hand research into the subject interviewing and observing a man with Tourette’s. No cursory Goggle search for her.
My one difficulty with this book was the frequent use of British slang and colloquialism. Although most could be understood in context, several I had to research. On a positive note, I actually learned new slang.
I recommend this title for those seeking a pleasant story, triad or a character with Tourette’s syndrome. The characters are far the from ideal and that is what makes for an interesting story.
Genre:M/M Historical Romance
A beautifully written book detailing a plausible romance between Christopher Marlow and William Shakespeare.
Meticulously researched; Elizabethan London comes alive on the pages. The filth, poverty, and squalor is almost palpable. One can almost smell the pollution of the Thames as it flows through London, more sewer than river. The vocabulary, syntax, and writing style conveys the author’s skill. My third trip to the Oxford English Dictionary (unbridged) confirmed this to me.
That being said, this humble reviewer admits this title is not for everyone. Those seeking a salacious book filled with sex scenes will not find it. Those who simply wish for a non -challenging straight forward plot, will not find it.
What the reader will find is a novel filled with insight into the life and times of Elizabethan England when homosexuality was punishable by death. The rich and the powerful nobility engaging in child trafficking get a free pass due to their status and wealth.
Snippets of the works of both Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare ae expertly woven into the dialogue.
I enthusiastically recommend this work for all too at least attempt. The rewards for exceed the effort. A truly memorable work
Murder on the Ranch.
Aptly named story in this rural Coloradan tale of family infighting, a failing ranch, and fatal consequences. Russ Morgan gets hired to investigate an issue of vandalism on the Ellis ranch, but that's just the beginning.
Personal, confidential tone to the storytelling with the first person narrative that works well. Russ is an honest, straightforward man: no bullshit, no showboating, and to the point. He's not perfect, but he's a damn fine man.
Nice little mix-in of his personal life that's woven throughout the mystery. Just a bit that carries the down time as events are proceeding and information is processing. Non-graphic, but it helps to round out Russ's personality. Also, the personal reflection and Russ's philosophy on life is very rural western in its viewpoint and helps set the story firmly in Colorado.
Real humdinger of a twist at the end, which I really appreciated and made me smile. Not cozy, and lacking the urbanism of a hard-boiled detective novel this travels a middle road giving the reader the benefit of both. This is my second Meeker novel and I pleased to have found an author the I can turn to for a good yarn with a likable MC.
3.5-4 Hearts, rounding up for being in the perfect mood.
Overall, a dependable diversion.
I kissed the soft-spiky top of his head, feeling my solitary life ready to scatter into chaos.