Category Archives: AJ

4 Star and THREE 3.5 Star Reviews for Roadside Rescue by Caitlin Ricci #FF #Erotic

CoverTitle: Roadside Rescue
Author Name & Publisher: Caitlin Ricci (NineStar Press)
Publication Date & Length: June 27, 2016 – 35 pgs

Synopsis

After her girlfriend leaves her for an ex, Kelly takes off with her mustang, Shoni, and as many of her things as she can pack into her truck. The flip of a coin has her going west along I-70 from her home in Missouri, sending her toward Colorado. While driving through Dove Creek, she gets a flat tire on her trailer. She has a spare, but in his panic, Shoni manages to jerk the trailer enough to damage the wheel.

Her salvation comes in the form of sexy mechanic, Brigid, who owns a shop nearby. With a few days to wait for the wheel, the two get to know each other. A bit of fun isn’t all Brigid wants from her, but Kelly isn’t ready to jump into anything new so soon after her break up, and when Brigid offers her a job, Kelly doesn’t want to tie her life to someone so completely again.

Kelly is in need of some stability, and that’s exactly what Brigid is offering her. If she’s willing to take a chance on letting another woman into her life again, Brigid might be just who she needs.

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Review

FourStars

Kelly leaves town and a cheating girlfriend and heads off with her horse towed behind her truck with no plan as to where she will end up.   When she blows a tire outside a small town and has to get the local mechanic’s help things suddenly start looking up.  This is a lovely, sexy and romantic story of love coming out of nowhere and changing lives forever.  Things happen very quickly but it all feels just right and I thoroughly enjoyed this short read.  It had likeable characters in Kelly and Brigid, was well written had certainly had the feel good factor.
Kitty Kat
ThreeandHalfStars
This was an enjoyable little short, but it suffers a little from the length of the story and the small amount of time that elapsed within the story. I liked the instant chemistry between Kelly and Brigid, and the way they were drawn to each other. But it felt like everything moved way too fast. It hasn’t even been a full day and Kelly has decided to park herself in Dove Creek to explore things with Brigid. I know that Kelly really doesn’t have any plans, nowhere to go, nobody to go see, so it isn’t out of the realm of possibility for her to consider staying for a while, but this seemed way too fast for such a decision. Pretty much what I want is more story for both of these women to get to that point. Also, Kelly keeps saying that she doesn’t want to move this fast, and rely so much on her relationship with Brigid, but she goes ahead and does it anyway, which seems to perpetuate her past mistakes. This reads as more romance, with the attendant emphasis on feelings and hope for the future, than it does erotica, which is more what I would expect for such a short look into their meeting and interaction. It isn’t a bad story, but I would consider both of these women kind of flighty, impetuous, and a bit unrealistic. That said, there were things to like as well. I liked Shoni, and enjoyed hearing a bit about mustangs. I would’ve liked to understand more how Kelly acquired him and why. And like I said before, I do like the interaction between Kelly and Brigid.
Amy P.
ThreeandHalfStars
This was a nice short that started at a good pace, but then moved faster than expected. I hadn’t realized it was a shorter story until I was at the end. It was disappointing to have to say goodbye to Kelly and Brigid so soon; however, they were lovely to get to meet.I do still feel that the pacing of everything was a bit fast: who breaks down and then just decides on a whim to stay there and find a job in a small, out of the way town.

At any rate, the author still created interesting characters that made me want to see more of them. For those that don’t want all the drama of a longer story, this is for you.

Tori
ThreeandHalfStars
I was so excited to get to read this book and I was left a bit disappointed. I loved Brigid and I loved the premise/plot of the piece. However, I thought the movement was too fast in some places and too slow in others.

I felt the sex scene was thrown in because “it’s romance so a sex scene is required” when it truly wasn’t. It’s not that the scene was bad; it just didn’t fit with the pacing of the rest of the piece and I felt Kelly needed to be a bit more in tune with Brigid’s reactions to flirting etc to make it more realistic.

If the sex scene had been eliminated or even moved to the ending of the piece, then I believe this piece would have flowed very nicely. The writing technique was fantastic and I hardly got stuck while reading.

AJ

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TWO 5 Star Reviews for Elusive Radiance by Aidee Ladnier #FF #SciFi @PridePublishing

CoverTitle: Elusive Radiance
Author Name & Publisher: Aidee Ladnier (Pride Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: June 7, 2016 – 32 pgs

Synopsis

A young bodyguard finds her special abilities are no match for a flirtatious delegate willing to gamble everything on the galaxy trade talks.

Assigned to guard a diplomat at the galaxy trade talks, Security Officer Anais wants to shine during her first solo mission for the Chezeray Palace Conglomerate. An Elusive with the ability to make herself invisible, Anais knows her modified genes designate her servant class, but she yearns to be more than simply a protector to the beautiful delegate.

Savea Blackmun arrives alone to the trade talks with the weight of her planet’s future resting on her slim shoulders. Flirting with her pretty bodyguard reveals Anais’ knowledge of the colony markets and Savea realizes there’s much more to her protector than meets the eye.

As their attraction grows, will the diplomat and the bodyguard reject society’s rules to give in to desire instead?

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Review

FiveStars

This short novel was a real little gem. It was enjoyable, quite unique and leaves the reader encompassed in a happy  and hopeful frame of mind.
Although a light read it touches on some very controversial subjects and handles them in an definite and illuminating way  giving an optimistic outlook for what ever creations future science may achieve.
A short tale advocating that there are no barriers that can’t be conquered when love intervenes.
A totally uplifting short tale and a delectable read.
Chris
FiveStars
This book is amazing. I think I’m fast becoming a fan of Aidee’s work whether it’s MM or FF. This piece has exactly the right pacing, the right intuition from each character to the others. It’s simple in its shortness, but still with plot twists woven in beautifully. Too much plot and not enough plot are the devils of short stories but this one has found the perfect amount.

I loved the public atmosphere wrapped within the sexual components of this piece. It added to the pacing in making both plot and sex move along appropriately and it certainly added to the heat of the scenes.

This is a fantastic and amazing story to read. I’ll certainly be picking up other works Aidee publishes along the way.

AJ

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THREE 4 Star Reviews for The Best of Both Worlds by Victoria Zagar #FF #Dystopian @LT3Press @landale

CoverTitle: The Best of Both Worlds
Author Name & Publisher: Victoria Zagar (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date: July 13, 2016

Synopsis

Andrea Missanaugh lives on dystopian Earth’s exploration ship the HAND-5500. Lost in deep space and subjected to the monotony of survival under a regime that still holds the distant ship in its iron grip, Andrea has lost all hope of living a happy life and waits for her silent mental rebellion to be discovered and the inevitable death that will follow.

Then she’s whisked away from the HAND-5500 by two curious aliens from a planet called Evalaque: the President’s daughter, Ledieven, and her gentle partner in crime, doctor and scientist Jacq. Ledieven wants more than friendship, however, with Jacq and Andrea – something that is forbidden on Evalaque, where a fertility crisis has taken hold. Ledieven is one of the last fertile women on Evalaque and her mother will go to great lengths to press her into a socially acceptable marriage.

But Andrea’s done with settling for less.

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Review

FourStarsThis book left me with conflicted feelings when I finished. On one hand, we start out with a pretty typical dystopian story. The society in this sci-fi future is oppressive. There is no privacy, and some things point towards thought control, or at least monitoring. It began as a very Orwellian world, reminiscent in some ways of the book 1984. We have our heroine, Amanda, who subtly rebels against authority while trying to stay within the guidelines and not draw undue attention, but inevitably gains the focus she’s tried to escape. Into the story come two aliens, who whisk Amanda away to a life of freedom and love, with the both of them. Unfortunately the world they’ve come from has its own dystopian issues.  Their society is dying, and some have become fanatical about trying to save it at any cost. This fanaticism separates the lovers, and forces Amanda to return to her old ship, back in the hands of people she knows will torture and punish and probably execute her. She returns into the midst of a rebellion. Just as we think she’s won, everything gets turned on its head. This is where I finally get to the other hand. I keep trying to find a polite way to say mind (insert expletive), and I still haven’t come up with a way that conveys the idea in strong enough terms. And not only is it one for the readers, but poor Amanda is left questioning everything she’s thought, and felt. There are a lot of existential things to contemplate within Amanda’s dilemma, but unfortunately, she doesn’t have much time to figure things out. With things happening at such an accelerated pace, the ending comes quick and surprisingly enough, happy but with potential problems on the horizon. I’m still reeling from the big reveal, so I’m not sure I liked the book. It was, however, a quick read that engaged me from start to finish. There were things that could have been expanded and plumbed a bit more, or drawn out so it didn’t feel quite so rushed, but at the same time, the pacing is part of what makes the reader reel every bit as much as Amanda does.

Amy P
FourStars

The opening scenes give the impression of life reflecting all the proper-gander we might have elicited from what we have been told represented the evils some major political states conjoined  them all together to form the scenario of this book.
Our main character immediately makes us aware of her bravery and obvious intelligence while getting our complete sympathy by expressing her own desire for a perfect family.
The horrors and desolation she is facing are graphically told as well as the reader being made aware that the was between political dictatorships and out of control technology now represent what is normal for existence for life on earth.
Enter her salvation? On the onset she feels even the kindness and generosity offered by her rescuers and the reasons given for her being chosen appear to have restrictions. We are made aware that this race too has a caste system enforced even if it is one of kindness and concern for its citizens. Breeding is encouraged so it is left for the higher castes while if is the lower castes where homosexuality is perfectly acceptable.
The rest of this interesting novel shows the development  love and passion between the two women and one man and how what is important in a relationship is honestly, trust and respect.
I did enjoy this novel which was quite distinctive in its own way. My only lingering doubt was that if previously, only higher casts were encouraged to be heterosexual what happened to any gay offspring they may have given birth too?
Chris
FourStars
This piece is like a crazy cross between Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica (the newer one). There are twists up the wazoo in this plot and at times it’s as if I was saying to myself, there can’t be another one just as something new would happen.

I did struggle to read this at the beginning. I almost put it down and didn’t pick it back up, but I decided to give it one more try and I’m glad I did. The beginning of this piece was choppy and didn’t really make any sense to me and I felt no connection to Andrea. That changed about 20% of the way into the book.

I’d share more, but that would probably push this review toward spoilers. The book was good and kept me interested as soon as I got 20% into it. The writing was decent, although there probably could have been one more round of edits in there.

Overall a good read that I’ll probably be thinking about for a while.

AJ

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4.5 Stars and 3 Stars for An Act of Devotion by A. M. Leibowitz #Bisexual #MM #Romance #NewAdult @SupposedCrimes @AmyUnchained

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Title: An Act of Devotion
Author Name & Publisher: A. M. Leibowitz (Supposed Crimes)
Publication Date & Length: May 1, 2016 — 215 pages

Synopsis

Adam Lansing has always relied on his charm to get by. Sure, he’s starting over—new school, new graduate assistant position—but he knows he won’t have any trouble working his magic on anyone he chooses.

Antonio “AJ” Mancuso is deep inside his own head. He’s cool, calm, and confident. But despite all the friends around him, he often feels like he straddles two worlds. Is there anyone who could love him for everything that defines him—past and present?

From the first time they meet, Adam is determined to get gorgeous AJ to notice him. But just as the heat is cranking up between them, Adam spots AJ with another man. Adam strikes back through a fling with an ex. But when he discovers the truth behind AJ’s behavior, he realizes that his magic won’t clean up for him this time.

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Review

FourandHalfStars

I loved this story. Adam & AJ come right off the page and are so real I would probably be friends with them, both of them actually. Adam has a personality that the world is his plaything, and he takes every advantage possible to take out his new toy. AJ tends to shy away from the overtly fun joys that Adam sees and instead focuses on what gives him pleasure (which is probably completing tasks).

 

The writing in this piece is superb, and brings out personalities and actions between these two gentleman in ways that really bring them to life. Each of the main characters is rounded out, they both grow through the story, and they both make mistakes and try to fix them. Their story has ups and downs, sexual tension galore, and innuendos that might make Nonna blush.

 

For anyone who wants to read and learn more about the bisexual world, this is a fantastic book from that standpoint. We’re given two bisexual characters, who come to their sexuality very differently, who have experienced the opposite in terms of coming out, who could not have less shared experiences or feelings about the world and its interactions with the Family. The story takes us through activism for LGBT rights, through living as a part of the Family, through recognizing our faults in our own fears.

 

This is a fantastic read.

 

AJ

ThreeStar

I can appreciate the author’s desire and passion to want the reader to understand all the topics that are discussed in the story. All these topics are important and discussed frequently in the media today.

However, not only is the reader reading about AJ’s and Adam’s issues, we are also reading about what’s happening with the myriad of AJ’s friends. We get Luke and the abuse he’s suffering from his boyfriend. Piet and the cancer he’s suffering from. When Donny begins dating Lauren, AJ worries what Donny will say when he learns Lauren is transgender because Donny is straight. And then finally Connor.

The readers learn more about the secondary characters within the first 10 chapters than the main characters. We don’t know what exactly happened between AJ and his ex-girlfriend until the end of the book.

I believe every character and their situation is important, but all the secondary characters were given too much power in this book. This was about AJ and Adam and the struggles and successes they went through to get together and stay together.

I want to give this story a higher rating, but because I struggled to stay focused on just AJ and Adam, I can’t. And mostly my rating is because of the topics discussed. This book is good learning tool. I won’t deny I learned many new things.

Kris

FiveStars

This is a book that hits on some very serious topics. It is a book that places these topics into the scenario of people’s lives.

The senerios range anywhere from transvestism, to cheating partner, to rape, to abuse, to cancer, to gender confusion. Even though they are so many different topics in this book, AM Leibowitz was able to incorporate each of these scenarios into the book without it being overwhelming or underplaying the situations. A.M. Was able to bring the topics into the book and was able to do justice to how important these topics are and how they can affect the individuals that are in these types of scenarios.

I would say that the main characters are Adam and AJ because they are the two that the book revolves around but at the same time all of the other characters are just as important like Lauryn or Luke or Donny or even Connor just to mention a few of the characters in the book.

As far as Adam and AJ are concerned I think that both of these men have emotional issues with things from their past that has made it almost impossible for the two of them to have a relationship. I think that it is not so much what happened to them in their past but more to the point that neither of them know how to communicate with the other. They both have feelings for the other but when it comes time to voice to the other issues that can affect their relationship they are both tight lipped. The only way that these two are going to be able to work through their issues is if they learn to communicate with the other. And their lies the problem because they both seem to not want to upset the other. So I guess the question is, is not talking to one another worth the risk of losing each other. Will they grow stronger together or will they give each other up over misunderstandings and trust issues?

I really enjoyed this read but as I said earlier their are a of different, difficult situations in this book that are addressed so if you have triggers to them you may not want to read this book. Otherwise I would highly recommend this read.

Tosha

AuthorInterview

  1. If you could write with any other author who would it be and why?

I can’t pick only one because it depends on the genre. If it’s F/F, someday, I’d love to actually write a novel with Adrian J. Smith. I loved Memoir in the Making, and I was thrilled when she asked if I would write a story for Adam (who appears there and is one of the MCs in An Act of Devotion). But we’ve never actually written anything together, and I think it would be fun! If it’s M/M, I’d be over the moon to write with Raine O’Tierney or Debbie McGowan. They’ve written together, and they both explore the kinds of emotional and psychological themes I enjoy. However, I think either of them would be ready to throttle me because they write fast and I’m a slowpoke.

 

  1. If you could join a character on an adventure, which character and what would the adventure be?

My own characters don’t tend to go on adventures, which is good because I’m not the adventuresome sort myself. But if I had to choose someone else’s character, I’m going on an adventure with Hermione Granger. She knows how to pack for a trip and is more prepared than any Boy Scout ever. Plus, knowing her, our “adventure” would be to someplace educational with a very large library.

 

  1. If money were no object – where would you live in the world and why?

Anywhere warm. I hear Arizona is nice. It’s really not money (well, okay it is) but being away from family. So I’m stuck with the cold and the snow for now.

 

  1. Favorite kind of underwear for characters and non-favorites.

I don’t think I have a favorite or non-favorite kind of underwear for a character. I tend to think undies fit the character. I have a work-in-progress with a MC who is gender fluid. His underwear selections vary with his internal sense of self, and it’s really fun to write. In An Act of Devotion, a particular undergarment features into the story, and it’s almost a minor character of its own.

 

  1. What do you view as weak points in a character and wouldn’t include them in the characters you write about. What are the strong points you always try and include.

The one thing I won’t write is a “hero” who consistently violates people’s consent in romantic/intimate situations. Otherwise, there isn’t one thing I try to exclude or include. I mostly try to avoid writing tropey characters who behave in stereotypical ways. I’m particularly sensitive to bad representation of bisexual characters, so I try to have at least one bi character in most stories.

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FOUR 4 stars and ONE 3 star Review for Sarah & Jude by Marie Piper #FF #Lesfic #Romance #western

28235458

Title: Sarah & Jude
Author Name & Publisher: Marie Piper (NineStar Press)
Publication Date & Length: January 4, 2016 — 26 pages

Synopsis

ude Farraday is as rough and hard working as any man on the Tate ranch in Nebraska, and by far the best at breaking horses. Sarah Tate, daughter of the ranch boss, finds herself drawn to Jude despite the danger a relationship between the two of them could bring. After all, Jude is a woman.

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Review

FourStars

This was a well-written short story that I finished in under an hour. I loved being able to hear the character voices in my head, the way Jude spoke versus the way Sarah spoke. The plot is simple, which is expected for short stories, so I wasn’t wowed by it at all.

 

The connection between the two characters is strong, and Sarah has quite a bit of character growth in such short pages. The sex scenes weren’t has steamy as I expected them to be. That’s not to say they weren’t good, they were very well written. I guess I just expected more? Don’t know why. I did enjoy the world Ms. Piper created in just a few short pages. There were enough details to give it life and not make it overbearing.

 

Overall a great read for a lunch break!

 

~AJ

FourStars

Jude works on Sarah’s father’s ranch and is a tough as all the men, maybe more so.  She has to be.  She dresses in masculine clothes and works hard and this has come to the notice of Sarah.  I really enjoyed this short story as it had a bit of excitement, sexual tension and more than a hint of threat.  The two women are really drawn to each other and when they get together it is hot.  The characters were well written and I felt I knew them very quickly.  I wanted them to be together but it seemed impossible.  In the old West they were going to face enormous obstacles and even in such a short story the threat was palpable.  A good short read that holds out hope for maybe more in the future.  These two characters deserve a novel.
Kitty Kat
FourStars
A really short and enjoyable story. It was fast paced,with likable characters and I found it a real pleasure to read.  Predictable plot but that this does not detract from the fact that it is a fun entertaining story.
~Chris
ThreeStar
I am very conflicted about this story. The short story was well written; however, the pacing felt off. It felt rushed and the relationship is not really delved into. It feels unrealistic and could have benefited from them going into more detail about their feelings so that the relationship is more believable.
However, I found myself wanting to know more about the women and I enjoyed the setting of the story. The author did a great job pulling the reader into the story.
Other than the pacing and the believably, the story was a hot and spicy break from my day. Well done.
Tori
FourStars

This is a short, quick read that was entertaining and fun. There are some things that made perfect sense in this story and some that I questioned. Sarah obviously doesn’t quite fit into the stereotypical role of a woman on a ranch in the West in that time period. But I find two things strangely oppositional; she doesn’t feel like she fits the person her mother wants her to be but she doesn’t do anything to rebel, but also doesn’t hesitate to do things with Jude that would definitely not be accepted by her parents. Jude, too, has things that make me think; she does everything to fit in as a man, yet has no problem allowing Sarah to reciprocate love-making as a woman. She seemed extremely hesitant to allow Sarah to do that, but gives in quickly. Also, she knows how difficult it is for her to find a place in this man’s world, but has no hesitations about messing around with the owner’s daughter, knowing that if she was found out being fired would be the best result. Although these questions made me think more about the story, I found the idea that the two got together and decided to stay together a wonderful one for the time period. It was a sweet ending to a hot beginning.

AmyP

Excerpt

The stallion jumped a little but he didn’t fight. He’d wait before making his move. Almost broken, almost tame enough to allow himself to be ridden peacefully, the black-as-tar horse was sixteen hands of pure power. The tall rider on his back coiled in anticipation.

Sarah Tate washed a mountain of clothes in the basin as she knelt in the grass, but her attention wasn’t on soap bubbles that warm afternoon. It was fixed on the scene in the pen. Sweating in the sun, Sarah brushed a stuck piece of fair hair off her forehead and stood up, wondering if there’d be blood or broken bones in the next few minutes.

Jude Farraday worked as hard as any man on the ranch, fixing fences and driving poles like a rail worker and breaking horses better than any other hand. With the same sun-leathered skin, scraggly hair, and rough hands as the other boys, Jude seemed no different than the rest.

Sarah couldn’t see why folks said Jude was unnatural. She was just a hard-working woman, not much different than Sarah herself, except she was built like a boy and wore men’s clothes and did men’s work. Sarah hated washing clothes and felt in some way she understood the woman’s plight, even though she was nineteen years old and had never worn pants in her life.

The male ranch hands sat on the fence and watched as Jude expertly tamed the stallion. Sarah’s father had given Jude the task especially; she was notably better with the horses than the other men, and the horse had been expensive. Folks argued that Jude shouldn’t be kept on the ranch, but Sarah’s father knew a good worker when he saw one, and it was his vote alone that counted. Jude knew horses. Jude was valuable.

Like a coil, the horse sprung into wild action. Hoofs hit the dirt and kicked up dust, and Jude rode hard, taking the ups and downs with a stony expression. The horse bucked and jumped as much as it could manage in an attempt to throw its rider, but Jude hung on and didn’t go to the ground.

Sarah stopped washing and made her way toward the pen.

“Miss Sarah.” Some of the men nodded or tipped their hats to her. She barely heard them as she leaned on the fence and watched.

“Come on, you son of a bitch,” Jude called to the horse, a brave smile coming to her face. Sarah noticed the lean flow of Jude’s body and the way her strong thighs clung to the sleek flanks of the beast. Jude’s dark braid flew behind her, same as the horse’s tail, flipping along with the horse’s jumps and sidesteps.

She was beautiful.

 

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5 stars for Stinger by Katya Harris @Katya_Harris #MF #Asexual #Scifi #Romance @LT3Press

28421871

Title: Stinger
Author Name & Publisher: Katya Harris (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date & Length: March 16, 2016 — 53 Pages

Synopsis

Kara was born and raised on the cold mining planet of Reach, and has dreamed her whole life of being somewhere else. Stuck with an abusive mother and a dead end job, she longs to experience the worlds she only sees on the vid-screens.

Then those other worlds come to her by way of a stranger, when she saves his life the night he arrives. From a planet called Haven, Sarit is a breed of human created to survive the unhospitable planet and who are now seen by many as less than human.

Though it causes resentment and brings her new trouble, Kara defends Sarit against abusers and builds a friendship with him that soon becomes the best part of her world. Try as she might though to enjoy the time they have together, even with the danger they face, it’s impossible to forget that eventually Sarit will return to traveling the stars and she’ll be left more alone than ever.

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Review

FiveStars

 

This was an excellent read! I had a hard time putting it down once I picked it up, which I was not expecting at all. The characters and the world are brought to life on the pages, and they left me wanting more.

 

The romance in this piece is sweet and warm. It grows from the beginning and just keeps on growing until the end. I would love to see another snippet of these character’s lives and the adventures I’m sure they’re bound to go on.

 

~AJ

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TWO 3 stars for Circus Games (Mecha Mania #2) by Lilliana Rose #FF #Lesbian #Steampunk @LT3Press

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Title: Circus Games (Mecha Mania #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Lilliana Rose (Less Than Three)
Publication Date & Length: March 30, 2016 – 67 pages

Synopsis

Nessie is overwhelmed with the amount of work that needs to be done to manage the Mecha Mania business she now owns with her father. Balancing accounts, stopping Operators from fighting, and ordering parts keeps her busy—so busy, in fact, that she keeps pushing Joy away. As frustrations build, the distance widens, and what could be slowly starts to move closer to what might have been.

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Review

ThreeStar

This book was well written by an obviously talented author The tension centred around the enigma of Nessie and her emotional relationship with Joy.
However I felt the relationship between the two women overpowered the essence of steampunk. I would have loved to hear more detail about the mechanical workings and their ultimate fight. The skeleton of a brilliant confrontation was there unfortunately, for me, it was much too succinct and lacking in tension.
I would also have liked to learn more particulars about the garments worn not only by the more well off but also the workers, once again I found this rather overlooked.
It was an interesting novel but I felt there was so much more content and potential bubbling underneath the surface.
~Chris
 ThreeStarI was disappointed with this story. I really liked the first book in this series, and I’m a fan of the steampunk worlds Ms. Rose creates, but this book did not do it for me. There is a vast amount of romance in the first 60% and it’s just the same thing over and over. “She loves me.” “She hates me.” “Maybe she likes me.” Honestly, the only reason I continued reading is because I’ve read the author before and enjoyed her work.

 

Now, the second half of this piece redeems the first half. There’s plot. Good plot that carries from the end of the first book into the new world that Nessie is facing. There’s conflict, issue, and definite character growth. I did feel as though these two characters didn’t quite match up to their personalities in the first book, which I expected with Nessie and her gain of now being the boss, but I did not expect the change with Joy.

 

I’m also glad the issue with rigging the fights was resolved in the very last few pages because I kept sitting there thinking the exact same thing Joy was thinking the entire time. Lastly, I struggled with the writing in this one, not sure why. But there was an abundance of passive phrasing that kept throwing me off and out of the moment of the piece itself.

NOTE: This piece can stand-alone from the previous one.

~AJ

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