Monthly Archives: February 2016

4.5 Star and 4 Star Review for Darkness Descends by Alex Westmore #FF #SciFi

Cover

Title: Darkness Descends (The Silver Legacy #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Alex Westmore (Broad Winged Books)
Publication Date & Length: August 3, 2015 – 260 pgs

Synopsis

Denny Silver is just a normal college student living a not-so-normal life in the most haunted city in America.

Sure, her lover is a ghost, but in Savannah, that’s not what’s unusual.

What is strange is the influx of supernatural creatures roaming the streets looking to start trouble—with Denny specifically. To fight back against the wave of demons, she racks up one unusual companion after another––from ghosts to witches to demons.

In her search for answers to her supernatural problem, Denny discovers that she is a born demon hunter, and, no, she doesn’t have any choice in the matter. Okay, so being possessed by an ancient demon doesn’t exactly fit into her life plans, but somebody has to do it.

Denny must either accept the mantle of demon hunter or stand back helplessly as the dark forces destroy everything and everyone she’s ever loved.

At least she can always pick up her sword and chain whip to go kick some demon ass. After all, it is her legacy, right?

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Review

FourandHalfStars

This book ensnared me from the beginning. I just found so many of the plot points in it intriguing and innovative. Things don’t always go the way Denny, Golden that is, wants them to go. But let’s face it, if they did, we wouldn’t have a story to read. This first book in the series explains how Denny becomes a Demon Hunter, and a little bit about what that entails. I think it’s pretty awesome that her girlfriend is a ghost. And then further on in the book, I think it’s a little sad that her girlfriend is a ghost. Total plot point there, and I did not expect the resolution that Westmore wrote. That actually blind-sided me a bit. I’m still not sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s a great story twist. I’m not sure I totally trust Denny’s tutor, Ames, and I think there’s a reason for feeling that way that will come up in future books. As far as her family goes, wow. Dysfunctional is a mild word, but Denny’s attitude about things is part of what makes her who she is, and why she makes the choices she makes. This was a very good introduction to a new series, and I’m looking forward to reading book two. Why not five stars? Denny gets some points taken off because there was a lot of hemming and hawing about what choice she was going to make, about whether to step into this paranormal world or not. The problem is, I never got the feeling that there was any other choice for her. Everybody spoke about the plans and dreams Denny had for her life, but I never figured out what they were. As far as I was concerned, there wasn’t much that was keeping her from following in her mother’s footsteps. And based on her own values, there wasn’t really any other option she could choose, so I never believed she was conflicted about it at all. Since I didn’t believe in the conflict, it got a little annoying to hear her keep trotting it out as an excuse for holding back. But that was such a minor, minor thing, that I have no problems recommending this book. If you like paranormal stories, this is one you shouldn’t miss.

Amy P.

FourStars

Denny is a college student looking after her younger sister after their parents were in a car crash, killing her father and leaving her mother catatonic. Her brother is in jail for a horrific murder and her other sister in a convent. Not your usual run of the mill family. There is more to come though. Denny is in a sexual relationship with a ghost, Rush, who has been ‘living’ in their haunted house for years. When Denny’s brother Quick wants her to use a medium to talk to their catatonic mother in a bid to clear his name, she finds out a lot more about her family and it’s a lot more than she bargained for. Her mother was a demon hunter and now Denny has to take on the mantle if she is to save their whole family.
I really enjoyed this book. The story of Denny’s initiation into the job of demon hunter and all of the revelations, bit by bit, about her mother and he family legacy was well told. I was hooked very quickly and really enjoyed the extended group of characters, family and friends, who were there to help the story along and to help Denny in her new life. I loved all the background story of the family and how they had been involved in demon hunting for centuries. As Denny found out about it all so did the reader and it was well teased out. I am glad there is another book in the offing as I want to know more about the whole story and hope that all of my favourite characters will be included. I liked Brianna especially and hope that her relationship with Denny progresses. Rush was interesting and obviously loved Denny but I wanted her to end up with Brianna.
A great read and I look forward to the next one.

Kitty Kat

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Filed under 4 Star, 4.5 Stars, Amy P, F/F, Kitty Kat, Review

Pre-Release Review: 5 stars for Dian’s Ghost by Justine Saracen #FF #Thriller #environmental

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Title: Dian’s Ghost
Author Name & Publisher: Justine Saracen (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: March 15, 2016 — 264 pages

Synopsis

Dana Norland shoots two men in cold blood and flees the US for the mountains of Rwanda. Posing as a biologist, she finds herself caring for gorillas with Kristen, Dian Fossey’s successor at the Karisoke research center. She has plenty of time to think about what she’s done, but can she find peace? Apparently not, for the mountain is haunted both by the ghost of Dian Fossey, and by the men who murdered her. Personal vendetta joins with genocide, and to flee the marauding butchers, the women hide in the rainforest. Among the mountain gorillas they once protected, they learn what justice is. And what it is not.

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Review

FiveStars

I found this novel difficult to classify re genre as in all honesty I could not call it an f/f novel. This novel is one of the most special and hard hitting novels I have read in a long time. Ms Saracen, apart from being a brilliant author, has obviously researched her subject extensively.
The plight of not only the Gorilla’s but the rarely mentioned political turmoil that Rwanda was subjected too was told through a mixture of hard facts and history. Facts were clear and those character’s mentioned real the fiction was the loving relationship between Dana and Kristen. This relationship was so entwined with reality that one could not be separated from the other. The fiction allowed the story to be told for the benefit of readers like me whose only knowledge of Silver Backs was from watching the film of Dian Fossey.
This incredible book was a revelation. At times it brought me to tears, at others times it just brought the Silver Backs to life, at other times I was appalled at the way one human can treat another. This fascinating and astounding book is one that anyone who cares about animals, who cares about equality and who believes in morality cannot fail to be impressed by.
The impression this book  had on me will remain with me. Although it covered a very difficult and at times heart rending subject it was told in such a sympathetic and engaging way it was an enjoyable as well as an educational pleasure to read. I for one cannot recommend this book enough and I look forward to reading further book by this dynamic author.
~Chris

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4 stars for Mute Witness by Rick R. Reed #MM #Romance @RickRReed @dreamspinners

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Title: Mute Witness
Author Name & Publisher: Rick R. Reed (DSP Publications)
Publication Date & Length: February 9, 2016 — 290 pages

Synopsis

Sean and Austin have the perfect life. Their new relationship is only made more joyous by weekend visits from Sean’s eight-year-old son, Jason.

And then their perfect world shatters.

Jason is missing.

When the boy turns up days later, he has been horribly abused and has lost the power to speak. Small town minds turn to the boy’s gay father and his lover as the likely culprits. Sean and Austin struggle to maintain their relationship amid the innuendo and the very real threat that Sean will, at the very least, lose the son he loves. Meanwhile, the real villain is much closer to home, intent on ensuring the boy’s muteness is permanent.

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Review

FourStars

Jason is the son between Sean and Shelley.  It seems that before Sean realized that he was gay, he tried very hard to fit in to the stereotype of straight.  When Jason goes missing, not only is Shelley able to rely on Sean, but also on Sean’s partner, Austin.
While this book’s synopsis makes it out to be community based hatred, I didn’t really get that feeling.  I always felt the insider-job that this book so easily portrayed instead.  Reed did an amazing job at writing a villain who the reader could hate, as well as family who was just as easily the culprit in allowing someone so close to this family to hurt Jason.
I really liked how Shelley was able to stand up to those around her who wanted to destroy her family.  Once she realized that she had surrounded herself with people who didn’t support her, she was able to pull away and stand on her own.
Then, you have Sean and Austin’s relationship.  It’s both sweet and complicated.  I really was saddened by their struggle, but knew that Reed would not leave me hanging, in terms of why Sean and Austin were struggling.  Their love was so strong, but with outside forces trying to change their relationship, it was easily broken down.
The love that Sean has for Jason is outstanding in this story.  He is patient, kind, understanding and protective of his son. Ultimately, he wants what is best for Jason.  I love how we were able to see the progression of what Sean was going through internally while with Jason.
This story is both heartbreaking and heart warming.  It shows that the love of a parent and child is unbreakable and that true love of family, any kind of family, is unending and forever bonding.
~AvidReader

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Filed under 4 Star, AvidReader, M/M, New Release, Review, Uncategorized

3.5 stars for Aftermath (Fated Date Agency #9) by Abraham Steele #MM #Paranomalromance #shifter

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Title: Aftermath (Fated Date Agency #9)
Author Name & Publisher: Abraham Steele
Publication Date & Length: December 31st, 2015 — 227 pages

Synopsis

The Fated Date Agency closed its doors just days before Zack turned eighteen. Completely alone in the world, the young shifter craves the love that only a mate can provide. He vows to do whatever it takes to find his omega – including tracking down the agency’s owner across the globe.

But Praya can’t help this time. She already matched every alpha and omega in the country, and Zack’s mate isn’t on file. If Zack wants to find love and start a family, he’ll have to embark on an epic quest that will take years and span continents.

When all hope seems lost, will the stubborn alpha manage to find his omega? And if he does, will his mate be everything he expected?

Aftermath is the ninth and final book in the Fated Date Agency series. This 200-page gay shifter romance novel is best enjoyed after reading the other books.

Guaranteed HEA ending for the entire series, and no cliffhangers!

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

I have only read the previous 2 books before this one, but I have enjoyed them both. This one, however, I found to be somewhat lacking. From the very beginning, Zack was driven – he needed to find his Omega. This singular drive became his obsession and despite seeking Praya out and having her teach him how to figure out who his Omega might be, it takes Zach an obscenely long time to figure out who his Omega is.

This was mostly a story about how Zack learns the business – takes over the match making business that Praya began. It was far less about the love story and I think that was what I disliked the most. I wish, especially for the ending of the series (unless there will be another one or spin off series) I wish it would have gone out with an epic love story.

Another issue I had with this story was that Zack was not very nice to anyone – even once he finds Korey – he is hot, then cold, wants him but wants to go out and help those who are searching for their mates, regardless of Korey’s life. And, what makes these issues much more pronounced is that we never know why Zack runs hot and cold. It’s just something that we have to accept.

I think the redeeming factor in this story was Korey’s outlook on life. And, despite the fact that he bends way too easily to what Zack wants, I know that it’s because of love that he does. I do wish that he was able to stand up to Zack and demand more respect and love – it seemed that he was willing to let himself be consumed by what Zack wanted, rather than create a partnership.

All in all, this was a good way for this series to end – but, in a way, it does give hope that perhaps there will be a spin off of international matches.

~AvidReader

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, AvidReader, M/M, Review, Uncategorized

3 stars for A Proper Young Lady by Lianne Simon @liannesimon #intersex #MIF #Romance

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Title: A Proper Young Lady
Author Name & Publisher: Lianne Simon (Faie Miss Press)
Publication Date & Length: December 18, 2015 — 227 pages

Synopsis

An M/I/F Sweet Romance.

A woman with the complete form of Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome might never discover that she has testes in her abdomen rather than ovaries and uterus. Danièle knows, and she grieves that she can never have her own children. She has a partial form of AIS that left her with ambiguous genitals, a steady stream of doctors and psychologists, and parents determined to see her happy as a girl.

After Danièle’s best friend and childhood crush agrees to have a baby for her, Danièle learns that the clinic can extract sperm from her own gonadal biopsies, and she becomes the father of Melanie’s baby herself.

Ethan adores the graceful young woman named Danièle, while Melanie imagines a life with the father of her child. Danièle? She’s happy with her intersex body—somewhere between princess and little boy. But in a black and white world, she must choose—once and for all—who she will be. And whom she will love.

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Review

ThreeStar

There’s something ridiculously charming and fun about this book.
Danièle is the main star, an intersex person initially identifying as female, but not without internal conflict. Melanie is her childhood friend, who loves her but is ambivalent about gender and sexuality. In the 90s we would call this ‘romantic friendship,’ blurring the lines of both. It’s very sweet. And it has that youthful desperation everything is Important feel that comes along with New Adult Fiction.
It’s unrealistic, plot-wise. There’s drama and lies and things happening way too fast—a sense of urgency, and like I said, Importance. If you’re not open to flights of fancy and a bit of soap in your opera, this will be trying. For me, I couldn’t put it down.
The intersex elements are medically sound, and forgive me, interesting. The novel ably confronts questions without answers—what does it mean to be a girl with testes? What does it mean to have a clitoris but not a vagina? What does it mean to be intersex? What does it mean to be heterosexual and yet love what feels like the wrong gender? The characters have good hearts, which is nice to read about. Everyone’s doing the best they can.
Ultimately, I feel Lianne could strive for greater heights in her writing. She could go so much deeper into these conflicted feelings, reveal something rawer, and be  much bolder about her conclusions. What this novel lacks is relatable, human truth. She’s obviously a gifted author. I hope in future works she allows her characters to exist, without apology or justification, in the real world.
There’s something there. I want more.
~C. E. Case

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Filed under 3 Star, C. E. Case, Intersex, Review, Uncategorized

5 stars for The Queen & The Homo Jock King (Tell Me It’s Real #2) by T. J. Klune @TJKlune @dreamspinners #MM #Contemporary #Comedy #humor

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Title: The Queen & The Homo Jock King (Tell Me It’s Real #2)
Author Name & Publisher: T. J. Klune (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: February 29, 2016 — 350 pages

Synopsis

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Sanford Stewart sure doesn’t. In fact, he pretty much believes in the exact opposite, thanks to the Homo Jock King. It seems Darren Mayne lives for nothing more than to create chaos in Sandy’s perfectly ordered life, just for the hell of it. Sandy despises him, and nothing will ever change his mind.

Or so he tells himself.

It’s not until the owner of Jack It—the club where Sandy performs as drag queen Helena Handbasket—comes to him with a desperate proposition that Sandy realizes he might have to put his feelings about Darren aside. Because Jack It will close unless someone can convince Andrew Taylor, the mayor of Tucson, to keep it open.

Someone like Darren, the mayor’s illegitimate son.

The foolproof plan is this: seduce Darren and push him to convince his father to renew Jack It’s contract with the city.

Simple, right?

Wrong.

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Review

FiveStars

Sanford does not like the homo jock king Darren or at least that is what he tells himself and he his defiantly not attracted to him no matter if everytime he sees Darren he has to remind himself that he does not like him. But then his boss asks him for a favor that would have him pretending he was interested in Darren… Can he fight his attraction to Darren when he has to pretend he has feelings or will he continue to fight his attraction.

I thought this book was hilarious. From the start Helena Handbasket had me laughing so hard there were tears in my eyes. Between the things he would say and the thoughts he would have I found myself laughing so much through this book.

Then there was Darren which honestly I just loved his character so much. He was so sly about his feelings through this book and the way he acted around Helena was a mixture of so sweet and so funny.

You also get to see the characters from the first book in this series which I loved so much! The way these friends interacted with each other was hilarious but also heartwarming which how much they cared about each other.

So with this book you will get your angst, humor and the sweet too! I 100% loved the way T.J. Klune wrote these characters in this series and this story.

I loved this book and would definitely recommend it!

~Kara

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TWO 3 Star Reviews for Red River (Pack #2) by Cardeno C. #MM #Shapeshifters @CardenoC

Cover

Title: Red River (Pack #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Cardeno C. (The Romance Authors)
Publication Date & Length: January 29, 2016 – 122 pgs

Synopsis

Two Alpha shifters join together to lead their pack and build a family.

Commitment, loyalty, and strength aren’t enough to make Wesley Stone’s birth pack accept an Alpha with a physical imperfection, even if it’s a meaningless mark. Putting the safety of his pack above his own wellbeing, Wesley trades himself for another Alpha and agrees to mate with a stranger in a mysterious, insular pack.

Alphas from Jobe Root’s family have led the Red River pack from the first day shifters walked the earth. Now the time has come for Jobe to fulfill his destiny, but to do that, he needs his mate by his side. Spiritual, easygoing Jobe reveres Mother Nature and trusts in fate, yet he can’t help being nervous about how his mate will react to his new life in Red River, his new life with Jobe.

Two Alphas with contrasting personalities, different upbringings, and divergent beliefs come together for the good of their packs. But to stay together, Wesley and Jobe must see beyond the surface and embrace every facet of themselves and their union.

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Review

ThreeStar

This was a good story. One I haven’t read before. One alpha being traded for another to mate with the Alpha of the other pack.

I felt sorry for Wesley, the first main character we’re introduced to. He was destined to be the alpha of his pack and he was trained to be one by his uncle, but everyone in the pack just didn’t trust him and sort of ostracized him because of a birthmark. The poor guy tried so hard. I really felt for him.

Jobe, the other main character we’re introduced to about 55% into the book, reminds me of a hippie. He’s all about Mother Nature and connecting with the earth and other New Age hippie type stuff. He’s a different character. I haven’t read one like him before, so that was kind of refreshing. When Wesley saw Jobe, opposites do attract.

The only criticism I have for this book is it was too wordy; not enough dialogue. I really wanted the characters to interact more.

I do recommend this book for werewolf shifter lovers who also want a hippie character. You will love this.

Ariel

ThreeStar

I love mizz C.C so I dive on in to her latest shifter book. Wesley is an alpha, but his pack refuses to accept him because he has a scar…ok. So he’s told that he can lead a different pack who happens to be looking for an alpha to mate with their current alpha. He hates the idea, but leaves to prevent any violence.
Jobe, is the alpha of the pack that Wesley travels to. Apparently they met before, but Wesley doesn’t remember this til later even though Jobe is already aware. I want to say that I liked this story, that I liked these characters…but sadly, I wasn’t really into them. Here’s why.
Too much info.
What I mean by that is…there’s a lot of talking about Jobe’s pack and history. Don’t get me wrong, I like reading about an authors buildup of their fantasy world, but in this case, it eclipsed Jobe and Wesley’s relationship for me. I usually get a lot of romance from Cardeno C, that’s why I love this author, but the romance was second stage. I didn’t hate this book, but it left me feeling confused and disappointed.
With that said, I’ll still be on the look out for C.C’s next book cause this gal (me), cannot stay away. lol
Cookie

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Filed under 3 Star, Ariel, M/M, New Release, Review, Sarah