I'm just another Goodreads refugee and this is my back up plan. Please be patient with me while I find my legs on here.
Oh I know I shouldn’t have, but I just couldn’t help myself. It should be known that I am not the target audience for this book, but there’s something to be said for impulsive purchases, especially when it’s free and features an uber-sexy cowboy and an ex-Navy seal right?
Of course there is! Even if it is full of everything I despise: insta-lust/love, cheesy lines, implausible scenarios, an over-the-top bad guy, and a possessive growly alpha man that, urgh …growls. If I was wearing my judgement glasses this story would have evoked the biggest as-if-eye-roll from me – followed by a shoulder toss, followed by a shout of NEXT!
But not this time. This time I put my judgement glasses away and just read it because a) it was so easy to read b) I was loosely interested in the PTSD thread. c) I just didn’t want to think too hard. And do you know what happened? I giggled at all that silliness, I awwwed in all the right places and surprise, surprise I was smiling and rooting for these guys. I actually enjoyed myself once I decided to.
Yes, I feel silly reading and even liking this book and swore I wouldn’t tell anyone I read it, because well, I’m totally shallow and a complete book snob and … uhm, this book reminded me of one of those Harlequin high romance novelettes that you find on the spiny rack at your local library – but I don’t care. I like it, it was sweet and it reminded me that fiction (especially contemporary fiction) doesn’t all have to be plausible and so true to life. It’s sometimes good to shove the cynicism in the closet and just indulge in what is given freely.
Sadly, and oddly (if you look at how this is everyones favorite)I didn't enjoy this one as much as the first. I've been stewing on the points of why it didn't work for me for quite a while and I'm not coming up with much, but this is what keeps bothering me.
I didn't feel as captured by the atmosphere of the era like I did with the first book. I felt that the setting, even with the pomp and grandeur of the Kings visit felt, superficial ...irrelevant(?)and didn't really feed the plot.
What exactly was the focus point of the plot?
Elizabeth's situation was dire but the solution too predictable to wow me. Any angst that surrounded David's association with his reporter friend fell flat and amounted to nought. The romance was fine and yes I enjoyed the growth, the feeling of inexplicable need but was let down by the predictable ending. I've never been a fan of the you-almost-died-now-I-know-I-really-love-you scenario to cement a relationship. I've also realised that David and Murdo just haven't been that memorable for me, it's been a few weeks since I read this and I've struggled to recall an emphatic moment between them ...
What I did like was how this author has weaved historical events into the story and how she highlights the plight of woman, even wealthy ones in that century. Very admirable.
Will I continue with the series?
Yes, I think I will ...
I do enjoy the writing and am looking forward to seeing how life for David and Murdo plays out on the Estate. Murdo is still set on taking a wife at some point and that promises to provide oodles of tummy churning angst.
Only 109 pages and I'm a fan of Jordan L. Hawk!
Great writing, awesome character set up and a vampire possession unlike anything I’ve ever read before. Hawk’s setting is a futuristic (I think) world like ours, inhabited with Non-Human Entities and ‘Mals’ – humans with paranormal gifts who are persecuted by radical religious groups like the “The fist”. And then there’s SPECTR, the organisation who regulates and polices them all.
Our two, no sorry – make that three MC’s all possess qualities, quirks and mysteries to keep me more than invested even with the limited detail I am provided with …
Caleb: Desperate to bring peace to the last member of his family Caleb walks into a nightmare. This adorably geeky young man is terrified, feeling lost, possessed (literally) and hiding his gift. He evokes my protective nature and empathy with his bravery and determination.
John Starkweather : sexy SPECTR agent Mr tall dark and handsome has the hot’s for his new charge, the drakul possessed long haired twink. John comes with a suggestion of a tragic past, a gorgeous smile and kind patience and so …he arouses the fire of my loins. Obviously :)
Gray: an ancient vampire/drakul (demon hunter) spirit accidentally possesses Caleb, the first living body he has ever inhabited and he evokes my mirth. His internal dialog with Caleb is just brilliant! He is so literal, and wry and honest and full of innocent wonder that even with the lack of page time he becomes my favourite! He’s a total scene stealer and I love what he brings to this symbiotic (albeit forced) relationship with Caleb.
The chemistry might be sizzling between John and Caleb but Gray’s etheric power seems to have a rather stimulating effect on John too, and his presence is not without benefits to Caleb either. I can’t wait to see how this dynamic triad evolves.
From what I can tell the existence of NHE’s and Mals is all fairly new to this world and everybody has a lot to learn about their existence. With some rather interesting side characters like Kaniyar, John’s (Vivianesque type) scary ball-breaker boss and the rest of his team it all looks very promising.
So far this has elements of PsyCops and Bone Rider(YAY!) And if you enjoyed either of those then this is one for your list. This is very much a set up for the series but with so much potential I can’t wait to see how the characters develop and what plethora of entities and angst will be thrown in their way. With such great writing and plenty to speculate over I’m fairly confident that this has the potential to be a favourite.
Have you ever thought about the power of the subconscious mind? How it responds to your every thought and emotion, your fears and desires? At the risk of sounding like a universal self-help guru I will remind you that your subconscious is your loyal slave, your greatest protector and your fiercest ally; it is your absolute truth and there is no hiding from it. It is YOU, with the most powerful will to do what your conscious mind will not. Now imagine what your subconscious would do for you, if it had control of your body, while you, and all the world sleeps…
For Daniel Whitlock it’s a fucking nightmare! For years his subconscious has surfaced while he sleeps and played servant to Daniels deepest darkest fears and desires; seeking pleasures and avenging the wrongs that Daniel’s conscience mind will not. Dangerous thoughts, obsessive guilt and desperate fear of his subconscious action have led to Daniel’s self-imprisonment in his tiny cabin in the woods. It’s worse than a nightmare; it’s an excruciating existence that honest to God, began to read like a horror story. So of course I was thrilled!
The author’s paint Daniels condition with broad strokes and detail the emotive effects on his psyche with a fine liner. Its irresistible reading. The contrast between his waking and sleeping self is so conflicting you would think it a case of split personalities and this adds depth, intrigue, and a whole lot of guesswork about his true persona. Daniel sleepwalking scared the hell out of me, and I was excited to explore the possibilities of his fearless, devilish and horny subliminal mind! I found him extremely psychologically arousing with the potential to be one of the most original and emphatic characters I have ever read – until I reach the 35% mark…
Then he manifests into yet another tragic hero who constantly obsesses over his guilt and sorrow over the things his conscious mind cannot control or recall. Seeking his penitence he embraces masochism as a means of driving his subconscious to exhaustion. It makes for good reading BUT, when the authors continue to rehash every detail of that night, the aftermath, the emotions and hatred toward Daniel from a bigoted, hick town community it gets old fast. It gets boring because well, I’m not daft – there is no need to patronise me by going over and over and over the same things all the freaking time. I get it already! For this I blame the editor, cos this does not need to be 400 plus pages long, 150 of those pages are purely repetitive: this-is-why-you-need-to-feel-sorry-for-poor-bullied-misunderstood-Daniel melodrama.
That was my biggest criticism and my other one was; what starts out as something unique, inspired and full of suspense turns into something that’s not. I had to wrap my head around the fact that I was now dealing with sweet, loving, pulpy, healing kindness in the form of Bel – who was very lovely and an oh-so-very-perfect antidote to Daniel’s nightmares – too perfect perhaps? Maybe not, I’m just feeling a tad bitter because it didn’t go MY way. I think the author’s tamed or repressed Daniel’s subconscious a bit too much and my dazzle faded fast.
Now I bet you all think its crap and it really isn’t. It’s good, well written, (as always) and the sex is among the best I have read from either of these authors. They brought something innocent and fresh, erotic and decadently sexy to this power exchange but most importantly, it made sense! In the bedroom they made sense, but outside? Not so much. I never quite got what Bel saw in Daniel; what was the attraction beyond his innate need to protect him? To avoid spoilers, I’ll say that Bel’s deep attraction and willingness to go as far as he did for Daniel was questionable. But I suspect that these guys will be a lot of reader’s favourites. Only time will tell if they will be mine…
Overall this failed on the promise of dark suspense for me and then I was battered into boredom with long winded, repetitive explanations BUT, I still admired a lot of it and even loved a little of it …
And such a shame I don't live in Seattle, I would have bought the lot!
I could probably sell this book to you with two words: Gay and Pirates. Ha! I know you all just imagined a whole lot of Captain Jack slash because that was my first thought too
But this is better! So, so much better than better, this is outstanding!
Brethren is everything you could ever want from a seafaring historical novel with admittedly not quite pirates, but buccaneers because duh, pirates came a bit later in history than 1666 ya know. But let’s not split hairs shall we…
Let’s explore the New World of the West Indies and the infamous pirate havens of Tortuga, Port Royal and Chocolota Hole – towns swarming with ‘purported deserters, dissidents, escaped bondsmen and white slaves, former convicts and all other manner of rabble’ all of whom are armed and wild and most of whom, are sodomites. Whoop! *fist pump*
Now let me tell you about the man you will journey with: Lord John Williams (aka: Will), Viscount of Marsdale, heir to the Earl of Dorshire, he is your narrator and your very awesome companion. Will is an ex assassin, a rogue, a philanthropist, a holder of romantic notions and idealistic folly, an occasional philosopher and a champion of humanity who – with much satisfaction – disregards social boundaries to embrace his fellow man regardless of social rank or standing. And so, it is through him, no – with him – that you will embark on this most epic of voyages.
Together you’ll raid Spanish galleons with cutlass & muskets and share the spoils with the wild men, your Brethren. You’ll lie on the deck and look up at the stars and scratch at the fleas crawling in your hair while listening to the sounds of sodomy. You’ll share the poop deck and contribute to the feeding of the sharks. You’ll suffer sickness and rail against the treatment of your fellow man. You will plot, you will fight, you’ll get drunk and you’ll philosophise; defining the characters you meet as wolves or sheep, leaders or followers, and those in between. You will grow and learn and fall down and be the anchor for the madman you will fall in love with. Hell! You might even fall in love a few times. I did
If this is not enough, know that there is more here because, for me, every single element of this story is remarkable. The setting and mood of the era is simply faultless as the author incorporates (with only slight fabrication) history and hearsay of the time to create a world that is exciting, harrowing and bursting with vitality. It’s not all action and adventure though; there are many moments of quiet reflection, journey time and not inconsequential detail about the small things. The author is in no rush to tell this story and I wasn’t in a rush to finish it.
But the stand out element for me is the romance. It’s different, it’s shadowed by haunting pasts on both sides, it’s chaste, it’s consuming and it is a constant two steps forward and three steps back, its angst and it’s crazy but it makes sense, they match. It feels right and perfect, despite the challenges and the scars. For once this is a relationship that sates the corners of my dark heart while simultaneously feeding my soul. Gaston’s madness pushes the limits of my acceptance and yet I am helplessly in love with him, just like Will.
Okay, it’s not perfect and I’ll tell you straight off that this took me a while to get into, but oh boy, once I hit the 10% mark I was flying… So be patient. This is a long book and only the first in a series and sometimes it feels like you need for it to move faster but the pace, for me, is all part of the journey. I’m not taking points away for that. In fact I’ll take nothing away. I LOVE these wild men who are now my Brethren, especially Pete and Striker. I loved the humour, the language (especially Pete’s) and the feeling of belonging … It’s like I have a relationship with these characters, I feel for them, would kill for them. I kept thinking about them, worrying about them and couldn’t wait to get back to them. So guys and girls, I can’t give you a better recommendation for a historical novel, and I’m sorry I’m going to echo the sentiments of another reader after discovering this series …
WE HAVE A GAY PIRATE SERIES PEOPLE!!!! GAY PIRAAAATES!
Favourite Quotes, without spoilers:
He was beautiful and brought to mind a fine rapier or even my grandfather’s wheellock musket: a finely crafted thing of grace and tempered strength inlaid with jewels and designed for killing
“I wish my heart could come,” I blurted. He frowned with consternation and so I explained about how I was uncomfortably swollen with emotion. “I know that feeling,” he said soberly. “I feel it.” “Then what do you do?” “Kill something,”
In my eye, men appear at their most powerful when they strain to reach that momentary perfection. Every muscle and sinew is taut, and for them there is nothing else except their bodies and the sensations. Fighting in concert, side by side, it is as if they storm the gates of Heaven demanding entry.”
This was the stuff of poetry, play, and myth. It was equally transcendent and harrowing. There was no condition that could be placed upon it. It was enduring and conquering. And I had never felt its like before.
Thanks to Hollywood, the 1930’s (in my mind) was all about the cigar toting, fedora wearing, machine gun carrying gangsters in pin stripe suits who say stuff like: broads, capisce and ‘Say hello to ma little friend’. This novella transports us back to this era effortlessly. The language, dialog and styling are so precise I could see it, even hear it all! The wooga-wooga of passing cars, the art deco styling, the unapologetic violence, and sociology of the gangster era is all very authentic.
Frankie and Gent are sexy sexy, dangerous men who lived by the mafia code of old world honour. They are also gay men who were forbidden to be together. Mob boss Sal separated them years ago, sending Frankie to run the LA operation and tying Gent to his side as assassin and henchman in New York. It’s years later and Frankie’s booming operation is under scrutiny from the local DA and Sal is not happy. Things need tidying up and so Sal sends Gent to ‘fix’ it.
I adore a forbidden love story, and the danger that surrounds this reunion is intense. Does Gent carry out his orders or does he follow his heart? Is there a point in the conscience of immoral men when enough is enough? Frankie and Gent must decide.
This story is flagrantly violent that sees these men swop their pin striped jackets for black leather aprons with ease. Betrayal and perceived wrongs are at best a brutal beating; forgiveness is a mercifully snapped necked. But it’s not all violence; it’s a cleverly plotted escape from the law and the ties of an age old institution. It’s angsty, it’s exciting, super sexy, moving and solid but dammit all …it’s too short!
For me this should have been Brita Addams epic love story, not Tarnished Gold. Frankie and Gent’s story has the legs to carry an epic love story from childhood beyond even this ending. This is much more to my taste, the characters feel alive and the pace and setting is perfect! Very nicely done, but it was over too quickly, too much is left hanging and the scope for more is immense. I still loved every minute of what was here and look forward to more of the Tarnished books. :)
End Note: You can totally read this is a standalone novella.
This is where I draw the line!
Fisting, sounding, enema's, humiliation and yes even partner sharing I can deal with easily. No problem, bring it on!
What I don't like and never have, is 'Daddy' Kink. It engages my gag reflex faster than attempting to swallow down a slimy oyster. But this books takes the Daddy kink to a whole new level; bordering on pedophilic fantasy in my mind.
“You are so fucking tight, baby boy.” ......“God, Daddy!” “My baby boy.” Archer shudders as he comes inside me.No! Just fucking NO!
Get fisted, fine! But not while clutching a teddy bear for Gods sake!
Daniel is of a consenting age but it makes no difference when the young man is dressed in robot pajamas and boy boxers. He sleeps and gets fucked in a bedroom designed for an eight year old with stars and rocket ships on the ceiling!!! JESUS!!!
Call it a weird sick game, call it a psychological adjustment/correct of a missing childhood, call it whatever the hell you want. To me, this is none of those things. It's an excuse to play out some sick paedophilic fantasy and then use it to manipulate a boy into doing your dirty work. I hate this book! It made no sense to me. It's sick porn and not for me. You'll say I didn't *get* it and you are RIGHT! I did NOT!
Why did I finish it? Because I wanted to see Daniel get revenge, I wanted to see him pull a gun on Archer and his cronies and shoot them up their 'boy pussy's'!! GAH...
Somebody pass me the brain bleach. I wish I could unread this one.
The synopsis is only but a lured attraction to what lies beyond this fantastical rabbit hole. Set in a contemporary world with number named characters or Others. These men are psychics, empaths and telepaths, designed in the realm of science fiction and boasting the powers of the paranormal. Some are skilled and some are defects, but all are the defenceless pawns of Dr Stone, a sadistic megalomaniac.
Seven is an Other and he is on the run, hiding with the help of Nine to protect a secret from Stone. His forced madness is the only way to stay one step ahead of Thirteen: an aluminium hat, foil tipped ears, backward steps and disorganised chaos is what keeps Seven safe. He’s nuts, adorable, vulnerable, lonely, and oh so broken – so duh, obviously I loved him instantly.
Then Seven meets Chase and all his crazy OCD and erratic defences dissolve in the face of an inexplicable attraction to his new neighbour. Chase is maddeningly (against his better judgement) drawn to Seven despite his weird habits, and so, he too is pulled into Seven’s dangerous world.
This book is story driven with lots of fast highs, and slow lows. The author guides and then misguides, feeding little clues, leaving traps, giving hope and snatching it away. It’s littered with humour, heartbreak and suspense. All my emotions were fully involved with powerful, skilfully crafted characters like Nine, Thirteen and Twenty three who held me engrossed, curious, and even stole my affection. And then there’s the relationship between Three and Four, phew … it’s intense, powerful, and (for me) totally eclipses the intended romance between Chase and Seven. I’d read this book just for them alone.
This author gives us a lot to indulge in here with many points of focus: Chase’s guilty past, Stones unrelenting sadistic quest to control the world, (ha!) the relationships and abused psyche of the Others, Nine and his influence over everything, love, sex, secrets, fates, lies and truths! It’s all very cleverly plotted, very entertaining and most certainly recommendable.
Unfortunately I found the plot principles very similar to Christine Feehan’s (m/f) Ghostwalker series, which I really enjoyed, but it was so close that I am unable to call this unique. I am disappointed that Seven became a bit of a nothing character in comparison to the Others. All the way through I recognised the baited hooks hinting at a series to follow, but as I reached the end, I wasn’t so sure about that anymore. There are a couple of threads left hanging which I wonder will evolve into something more. And I think I would like more
There was a lot that I liked, and characters that I loved, I had a few niggles along the way but I’ve forgotten what they were now, so minor stuff. I more than really liked this one, I kind of loved it.
It's no secret how hard I crushed on this book and wanted, no needed, more. So I had to ask and I admittedly, got carried away asking more and more. I hope you enjoy Joe, and her book. She's a real firecracker this author and I'm very excited about her future.
I think real life got in the way for me while reading this. I failed to feel captured by it. I really liked it and I loved a lot of it but not enough to completely stun me and fall in love with ALL of it. This really should have blown me away, I mean just look at all the things I LOVED about it!
The mystic and magic - I love
'Champagne hands' - I love
The candlelight atmosphere - I love
The descriptive extremely skilled writing - I love
Merrick - I love
Lord Crane - I like him. He's sexy, but maybe too nice? I like his rough side, his history and the references to his Shanghai adventures. Now the Shanghai adventures of Merrick and Lucien is a book I would love to read.
Stephen Day - An interesting little man, an admirable and original character. But ...I perceive his voice and actions to be that of a heroine, not a hero. Sorry. I can't pinpoint why, I just do *shrugs*
I'm excited about this author, an amazing talent who I'm sure is going to thrill me in the future. It's nice to know I have something to look forward to with the sequel coming soon. This is definitely a unique and inspired series that deserves a lot more praise than I can muster right now.
Dammit. This writer is so darn good.
With intent is about Adam. Adam is our psychic narrator and, he see’s dead people.
Nah …just kidding.
He see’s people with the intent to kill, he sees what they want to do, or what they have done; he also sees acts of violence that have already occurred. As a result he’s quite the odd ball who is hanging onto his sanity by a ball hair. He is awkward, vulnerable, a self-confessed coward. Plus he's a gay man who always falls for the straight guy and God hates him. He also has severe OCD and counts to cope with it all.
When his moral compass once again points him in the direction of another soon to be victim his life gets entangled with the mysterious hot guy from work and things really get interesting.
Adam had me laughing out loud, he had me freaked, and he had me almost in tears for him, God how I felt for him. He is so tragic and yet so strong. I think I fell in love. There is so much here despite what the author feels are plot holes I see them as room to manoeuvre. The pace is fast and Adam holds my attention completely.
This is very entertaining even though I felt the author might have lost his/her way just a little in the middle, it soon picks up again. With fantastic secondary characters, a dog that really does take after his owner, some hilarious and tragic dialog, Gods constant barrage of peanuts on Adams head, this really has the potential to become a great series!
Bravo Zebbie! Just keep it coming please. I need MORE!
PS: If you love Jordan Castillo Price's Psycops you will like this.
****MAJOR CRUSH ALERT****
Soldiers, Cowboys, Aliens and Hit men all come together to… wait. What? Go Back. Oh yes I said Aliens, sorry where you confused? I suppose you would be because I never read about aliens or sci-fi things. I mean, I have done a couple of times but you know …it’s not really my thing and yet the alien was my favourite character!
Bone Rider is so much fun and so very, VERY good. It all starts when System Six (a sentient symbiotic artificial weapons and armour system) decides he can’t live with his (real) alien host and decides to jump ship. His actions lead to a crash landing on Earth which sets off an explosive chain of events involving a Cowboy, the Russian mob, a soldier, a scientist, a bunch of survivalist and an alien named after John McLane (yup, the alien has a crush on Bruce Willis from Die Hard).
System six needs a new host and Riley (cowboy on the run from his hit man boyfriend, Misha) just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Whop! Smack! Choke and gag! Riley is invaded by McLane. Ha! I bet you just flashed to a hundred different movie scenes, none of which are correct btw. McLane is not going to burst through his chest or lay eggs – he’s a smart armour and weapons system. He’s very useful to a guy running from the mob. Plus he’s adorable in a non-tentacles kind of way.
“I can and will protect you in return for riding your bones for a bit. I’ve already taken the liberty of hardening your skeletal structure. Did you know your left knee was all kinds of fucked up?”
General Nick Young with the help of his SF team is getting closer to the alien that got away and in the interest of US security he will not, cannot fail to retrieve the critter.
Misha (dangerous but sexy as hell – you will love him) is a hit man born and raised and he is desperate to win back the love of his life. Riley is the only man who has ever meant anything to him. He LOVES him, misses him desperately and needs him back. He too, will not, cannot fail.
Riley and McLane are still working out their cohabitation rules when Boom-Boom-Boom all three forces collide in El Paso, Texas. Sharpshooters, helicopters, missile launchers and the wrath of Armani clad hit men. Holy Hell! This gets so freaking good, my blood was pumping and I could feel my adrenaline spiking. J. Fally knows how to write an action scene like nobody’s business. More than once she writes her darlings into a tight corner that seems impossible to crawl out of.
Okay, that’s the idea of it.
The bonus part is the humour, the additional hitmen and the sex (very different but nonetheless very hot sex) the pace is fast and PERFECT and I guarantee you will be more than entertained from start to finish. The writing is snug, nicely compact, very informative and yet without any unnecessary superlatives. Doesn’t mean there aren’t any quotables, there are some sparkling quotes here.
“Gentled like a skittish horse, roped in like a bimbo, lured out with the patience of a sniper, and it made Riley’s gorge rise how desperate he must’ve been for affection …”
Lots of points of views (about 10, 11, 12?) make me want to smack and shove each character out of way in favour of the last one, and yet I loved them all. J. Fally’s writing style reminds me of Martina Cole in it’s set up but that’s where the comparison ends. The characterisation is so excellent that I never wanted anyone getting hurt or losing at the end.
I could tell you that at times it feels like you are trapped in a B movie; I could tell you that it’s a little over the top and I wouldn’t be lying. But what I will say is: I don’t care, I don’t care that this is the closest I’ve ever come to tentacle sex and loved it. I don’t care that I had to suspend my disbelief a few times. Hell I’m allowed to – it’s sci-fi (ish).
This book is original, thoroughly entertaining, has characters I freaking LOVE and I want more of. Dammit, do I want more! Please! I admired the hell out the writing and even though I want an epilogue to the epilogue I love it enough to make it a hands down favourite; it gets a full 5 stars!
*Quite possibly a few mild spoilers ahead*
There are parts of this book that I loved: The original styling of Nicholas as the MC. A chemist and a cripple with no chance of ever getting it up again! Bloody brilliant character and I believed in his pain, guilt and grief - he was excellent! The writing, world building and atmosphere? Big tick!
Then there is a lot that I admired: The moral of the story, the whole meant-to-be soulmates thing wins over the romantic in me every single time. Sigh ...
I also really admired the really bad guy here - what a villain! God damn that vamp was brutal and so totally wicked that he really gave me the freakin willies - God! I wish he could have been the love interest! LOL
Then there are the parts that I wish had gone my way - a darker way. Ha! yes! Darker please *cue evil laughter* I expected this to be darker whereby "The Creature Of Darkness" would be really really despicable and actually carry out those brutal threats when he first meets Nicholas, because I am a sucker for watching the bad guy grovel and earn my love. Ban was just too ...nice for a vampire raised and moulded by someone like Serafino - oh I know , I know he was innately good and nothing's going to change that because good conquers evil and all that, but still ...that's not how I wanted it to go :)
Now that ending? Nuh-uh-oh-hell-no! That was unfreaking believable!!! I was NOT happy at all (view spoiler) I HATE overly sappy endings like that make me remember the book for all the wrong reasons and not what I actually enjoyed. Sorry, I'm knocking a big fat star off for that alone. Urgh ...shudder.
Now this is a minority review because my reaction and my expectations are not normal ones. If you don't believe me have a look at this awesome joint review by the girls at Boys in our books
I'm doing a blog review for it so thought it would be fun to get some other opinions as we go. Anybody want to join me?
You know what I love about this book?
The hype! No really, I love it.
I’m thrilled that an m/m book is attracting so much attention and enticing a whole lot of new curious hetero readers to explore the genre. I absolutely love that, and for that reason I really, really wanted this book to be a shiny sparkling example of what new readers can expect from this genre. Ella Frank is not an author I have read before but she comes with a reputation for writing good hetero erotica and so I thought if Joey W. Hill and Kele Moon can pull off the switch so beautifully why not give her a chance.
Ella Frank’s first mistake is to not being able to let go of the hetero by including a graphic m/f sex in the first paragraph – a big no-no! “her creamy thighs where spread wide apart with his cock sliding in and out of her soaking wet pussy” is not something that appeals to the typical m/m reader. Yes 80% of us are woman and yet, I do sympathise for the 20% who are GAY men. Is it not polite to mention somewhere in the blurb that this book contains scenes of graphic m/f sex? Not (according to some) necessary, but I do feel it is courteous and respectful. If the roles were reversed I suspect there would be uproar.
Try is a gay-for-you erotic story – that’s it – there is nothing else, no surprises, no angst, no humour, no plotline – want and possession – that is all. Logan is the bisexual initiator and Tate is the confused straight guy. The two men circle each other in a dance that’s predictable push and pull with dialog that is uninspired – full of clichéd sexual innuendos like this …
“You’ll be hungry then? Logan: Yes, but not for food. Tate?”
Not only is the dialog clichéd, it’s very questionable. What man actually says things like “All of that honey-colored skin, naked under me, your curls all over my pillow as I drive my cock inside you—oh yeah, Tate, that’s going to happen. Mark my words.” – This is not realistic.
The conversation is so borderline cheesy and without weight that I never connected to either of these MC’s, they are simply too simple, too fictional and shallow. How old are they? Why is Tate a barman, did he not get a college education? All I know is their petty high school jealousies and the need for constant (girly) reassurance. No matter how many times (at least 49!!) I am reminded of their physical attributes I found them uninspiring; together they fired up about as much chemistry as a bowl of milk.
This book is labelled erotica and yes there is a lot of sex. But each scene is like a copy of a copy of the scene before it – the mechanics might change but the descriptive is the same: rigid cocks, molten kisses, groans and growls, up against the wall, biting lips, heated stares, mine blah-blah-blah. I really couldn’t care about a 20 page blow job scene that might as well have been performed by a woman. I was bored while Ella Frank worked her way down her list, ticking every off each sexual act to eventually reach a point of ultimate surrender. For me this writer does not capture the true essence of what m/m erotica is and her effort pales in comparison to what this genre has to offer. But then, your mileage may vary …
I slump and can only hope that Ella’s fans will enjoy this one as much as they enjoy her previous works. I want to embrace all these brave new readers and welcome them into the genre with open arms but I fear that this book not a good representation at all. So please believe me when I say that in comparison this book really sucks is the poor relation.
I find myself bitterly disappointed with this book. All of it. It feels so far removed from m/m romance that I could scream and weep for the genre’s missed opportunity. I’m sorry I have to be the droll policeman standing in front of the spotlight of shiny gif excitement waving a hand and repeating “Nothing to see here folks, move along ….this way please” and points to the recommendation list below.
To the new m/m reader:
Boys in Our Books recommend these books as a great place to start your m/m journey:
This genre has SO MUCH MORE to offer you, SO MUCH! If you loved this book then m/m is going to rock your world – if you didn’t love it? I don’t blame you. This is NOT a good introduction (IMO) but don’t give up yet.
Honestly, you don’t know chemistry until you have read books by the likes of Abigail Roux, Anne Tenino and Aleksandr Voinov, and if you want great m/m erotica? We recommend anything by Heidi Cullinan or Cameron Dane. There are so many more wonderful authors like Brandon Shire and Tom Webb that offer heartfelt, beautiful descriptive prose and genuine quality to call on.
For the devout m/m readers: There really is nothing to see here, you have read it all before. I cannot recommend this book to anybody.