Tag Archives: coming of age

5 Stars for Roped (Guards of Folsom #4) by S.J.D. Peterson #MM #BDSM @SJDPeterson

1.5

Title: Roped (Guards of Folsom #4)
Author Name & Publisher: S.J.D. Peterson (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: May 12, 2014 – 210 pgs

Synopsis

Life has been known by a series of constants: Violence, anger, drugs, sex, death, heartbreak, pain, fear and the most common, hunger; Always hunger. Not the kind that can be satisfied with food, but the kind born of circumstance. The kind that not only claws within a gut, but settles into a heart, consumes a mind. Deeper—Encircles, penetrates the soul. Hunger for something more, something better, safer. Always just out of grasp—Craving—Starved.
It’s part of me.
Who I am.
Born of blood and violence, hunger is my fate.
Yet, the slightest things can change the directions of a life. An unplanned circumstance, random act—a connection—a chance event, like a lightning strike, fate is trumped.
Jamie is my lightning strike.
Tek Cain

Tek Cain was cultivated from birth to lead the motorcycle gang, Crimson Eight. Jamie Ryan, his best friend, is destined to be his second. But forbidden desires have them questioning everything they know, and an undeniable bond makes them want more than their supposed brotherhood can provide. Their love could get them killed, but they are bound to each other—from the cradle to the grave.

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Review

FiveStars

SJD did it again. She was able to pull all the emotions out of me with this book. Jamie and Tek have got to be two of the strongest characters in this whole series in my opinion.

These two boys have lived more then one lifetime in their short lives on earth. Both was born on the same day and have been best friends from the start. Basically they have done everything together even join the motorcycle club Crimson VIII together that they grew up in. They had each other’s backs even when others did not. These two have been through hell with the club and have experienced everything from killing to protect the other to faking their own death to save one another.

Ending up in New York with Tek becoming a bouncer at Guards of Folsom they did not give into the temptation of adding a third into their mix. They have each other and if they want to experiment in the world of BDSM they will switch and experiment on each other even though they are both dominant individuals.

I just loved these two characters. They are the perfect compliment for each other. They both have the others back and are trustworthy to each other to a fault. Not to mention they love each other unconditionally. Even with all the bad that they have seen and done, both are positive people for the most part and they are both set on never going back to the bad and doing everything now above board.

This book was so good. I loved the background information that was given on how they grew up and how they ended up where they are now. And I loved seeing how loyal they are to one another and that never faltering. Amazing book. Can’t wait for the next one.

 Tosha

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4 Star Review for Shade’s Champion by Cheryl Headford #MM #ComingOfAge

CoverTitle: Shade’s Champion
Author Name & Publisher: Cheryl Headford (Wayward Ink Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: December 18, 2015 – 295 pgs

Synopsis

Shade has been kept in the dark for eight long years. Now he’s facing a world that terrifies him. A world that seems to hold no place for him.

When the authorities are unable to find a home for Shade, Penny, reluctantly accepts him into the secure school she manages, despite thinking it’s the wrong place for him. Penny fears for his safety among the other troubled children. In an attempt to forestall the disaster she predicts will happen she appoints one of them as his champion.

Dory, an engaging seventeen year old with mental health issues, is proud to be chosen as Shade’s champion and throws his heart and soul into the job. In doing so he is forced to face the thing he fears most – his own emotions.

An unexpected friendship begins to grow into something more, until a spiteful act tears them apart and leaves them broken.

When Dory falls ill, Shade is forced to face his demons and struggles to find the strength and courage he needs to fight for the right to love, and to be there for his champion when he needs him most.

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Review

FourStars

Triggers: Abuse, mental health issues, attempted suicide, wards of the state, bullying

Dory is such a wonderful character.  I love that despite his issues he is the bubbly character who really doesn’t allow life to get him down.  I hated that he was allowed to be bullied.  It made me so sad for him.  Despite his issues, he really developed in this story.  He grew, matured, loved, hated and survived.

Then you have Shade.  What a tragic story for him.  I wanted to really dislike his family – with good reason. He was so sad, had such a tough start that you just wanted to hug him and never let go.

Penny and the staff at the facility were the gems of the story – despite some misguided decisions, they genuinely cared for the children in their care.  This was a story of a system that is broken and people trying to make the best of it.  When things are not all hearts and roses, someone needs to be able to take the thorns and keep on gardening.

This was an emotional story.  While I didn’t cry while reading, I could see people having a difficult time with the subject/story, so just be forewarned that despite it’s romance, first love in nature, there is a lot of tough stuff in this book.

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4 Star Review for Moving In by Jane Ashley Carter #MM #Romance @Jane_a_Carter

Cover-15-200x300

Title: Moving In
Author Name: Jane Ashley Carter
Publication Date & Length: December 22, 2015 – 222 pgs

Synopsis

What do you do when you are fated to be with someone, but face an event that turns your world upside down?
Hunter was destined to be a loner. Living in a town where everyone knows everyone, making friends was not the easiest thing to do, especially with his father’s reputation. When a new boy moves into the neighborhood, fate seems to bring them together.
Alex was not enthused to be moving again, but hopefully this would be the last time. He never found it hard to make friends, but he wished he could find that one person that he could call his own; best friend and confidant. On moving day, he gets his wish.
Hunt and Alex were inseparable. When a secret is shared between them, the actions of others could make it the best thing ever or cause their worlds to come crashing down.

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Review

FourStars

This book was amazing. With every word that Jane Ashley Carter wrote I could actually feel the emotion behind them.

This book is about two best friends… Alex and Hunter.

They first met when they where 8 years old and have been inseparable since. When they where 16 years old they finally got the courage to admit to one another how they felt about each other. Just hours after they admitted to one another how they felt for one another, their world was ruled apart. That is when the true story begins….

As the story stars out I feel like Alex is this carefree individual with his head in the clouds. He optimistic and sees no bad in the world. Hunter is the exact opposite. He has lived through a hellish life with his father and he knows that not everything turns out the way it is supposed too. When their worlds are ripped apart and they find one another again it is like they have switched roles and Hunter is the one with a good out look on life.

This book is a book that shows how a person can let fear of coming out to his family and friends eat away at him and take away from him what it is that makes him who he is. It is also a book that shows that when u have the right people in your life that being who you are is ok no matter what someone else may think.

I found this to be an extremely good book. It is inspirational. Throughout this book I could actually feel what the characters was feeling. When hey was upset I felt it, when they wa happy I was happy with them, when they was sad I felt it in my heart.

The only reason I did not get a five star rating is because there was quite a bit of errors throughout the whole books. If I had one negative thing to say about the book it would be that the author needs to go through the book and edit the errors to make it more easily to read. There was a lot of misspelled words and had to stop several times to figure out what the word was supposed to be in order to make the sentence make sense. If it was not for that then I would have given it a five star rating. Regardless of the grammatical errors I would still highly recommend this book

Tosha

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5 Stars for Roped (Guards of Folsom #4) by S.J.D. Peterson #MM #BDSM @SJDPeterson

1.5

Title: Roped (Guards of Folsom #4)
Author Name & Publisher: S.J.D. Peterson (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: May 12, 2014 – 210 pgs

Synopsis

Life has been known by a series of constants: Violence, anger, drugs, sex, death, heartbreak, pain, fear and the most common, hunger; Always hunger. Not the kind that can be satisfied with food, but the kind born of circumstance. The kind that not only claws within a gut, but settles into a heart, consumes a mind. Deeper—Encircles, penetrates the soul. Hunger for something more, something better, safer. Always just out of grasp—Craving—Starved.
It’s part of me.
Who I am.
Born of blood and violence, hunger is my fate.
Yet, the slightest things can change the directions of a life. An unplanned circumstance, random act—a connection—a chance event, like a lightning strike, fate is trumped.
Jamie is my lightning strike.
Tek Cain

Tek Cain was cultivated from birth to lead the motorcycle gang, Crimson Eight. Jamie Ryan, his best friend, is destined to be his second. But forbidden desires have them questioning everything they know, and an undeniable bond makes them want more than their supposed brotherhood can provide. Their love could get them killed, but they are bound to each other—from the cradle to the grave.

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Review

FiveStars

Let me first start this review by saying that I have not read any of the previous books in this series.  I read this as a standalone and didn’t feel lost once.

This was not at all what I thought this story was going to be about.  I have read a few other Peterson books and loved them, but when I saw this one, I was exceptionally excited.

At first, I thought this book was going to be more about the coming of age that both Tek and Jamie go through.  Growing up in a biker club, they knew their place right away.  This was especially true for Tek – the next club president.

Despite their secretly harbored love for each other, it took several years for them to come out to each other.  In the meantime, Jamie was heartbroken every time Tek was with a woman, and Tek was with women to mask his desire for his best friend, Jamie.  It was slight juvenile in story line, but Peterson made up for it in how much love you could see pass between the two.  Their constant worry for each other, their disregard for their own preservation when it comes to the other and in their stolen moments.  Despite the sex not being extremely descriptive, you could feel the chemistry between them and the heat.

I really liked that you were given snippets from their very young years and then jumped to their mid-teen years and finally to their adult years.  I thought that the accelerated timeline helped me understand their state of mind at each stage.

Then you have their tough decision – I do wish more came of that aspect, as I think it would have been interesting, but understand that books can only be so long.

In what I consider the second half of the story, their “grown” years, it was more that they had a fascination with Kink rather than an actual BDSM relationship.  You can see them in a new type of self-discovery – especially Jamie who seems much more interested in the lifestyle than Tek.  When Jamie is tested by a Dom in their club, I liked how he was able to describe his feelings – how he truly understood what it took to be a sub.  However, I wished that it were played out more – you still only really saw the Dom side of each character, despite them being switches.  And, maybe that’s it – they weren’t true switches.

At any rate, I really enjoyed this story and can’t wait to see if their past catches them.

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4 Stars for A Man’s Man by Genta Sebastian #YA #MM @GentaSebastian

1.2

Title: A Man’s Man
Author Name: Genta Sebastian
Publication Date & Length: June 19, 2015 – 174 pgs

Synopsis

“It’s like this, see. My dad’s a fag, his boyfriend’s a queer, and I think I might be gay. I mean, I think it’s catching or something.” When thirteen year old R.J. decides to turn his dad straight, unintended consequences mess everything up. His father is miserable, the kids at school hate him, and his best friend Jessica is furious. To make things right he will have to figure out for himself what it means to be A Man’s Man. (For readers age 12-16)

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Review

FourStars

I had a difficult time liking this book.  I gave it 4 stars because it was well written, but I think I had a hard time with this story because of how much prejudice was inserted.  I get the coming of age concept and that RJ had to fight through his insecurities, but it was the malicious intent throughout this book that I had a hard time with.

I guess I would say that Sebastian did an excellent job at provoking me.  I enjoyed Jessica and her mom immensely and they were what held this book together for me.

I wish that I would have been able to read the dialogue between Stephen and Robert – I felt that not having their conversation was a huge hole in the story.

Overall, this was a good story of someone coming of age – working through their own prejudices.

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4 stars for Every Inferno by Johanna Parkhurst #MM #YoungAdult #mystery #comingofage @johannawriteson

EveryInfernoORIG

Title: Every Inferno
Author Name: Johanna Parkhurst
Publication Date & Length: July 24, 2014 – 180 pgs

Synopsis

Depressed. Defiant. Possible alcoholic. These are just a few of the terms used to describe fifteen-year-old Jacob Jasper Jones. Lately, though, JJ has a new one to add to the list: detective. He’s been having strange dreams about the fire that killed his parents ten years ago, and he thinks he finally has the clue to catching the arsonist who destroyed his family.

A murder investigation isn’t the only thing the dreams trigger for JJ. They also lead to secret meetings with his estranged sister, an unlikely connection with a doctor who lost his daughter in the fire, and a confusing friendship with McKinley, a classmate of JJ’s who seems determined to help him solve the mystery.

All JJ wants is to shake the problems that have followed him since that fire, and he’s convinced he must catch the arsonist to do it. But as JJ struggles to find the culprit, he sees there’s more than one mystery in his life he needs to solve.

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Review

 FourStars

This story has some triggers – alcoholism, death, suicide, mental health issues and arson.
JJ is such a wonderfully written character. Because Parkhurst wrote about JJ’s past, you really come to understand his mindset – his struggles and his achievements.
Dr. Ben was someone who JJ needed and I loved how despite having a similar tragedy, Dr. Ben’s perspective was mature and helped guide JJ rather than feed the fire within. I think this book would have seriously been lacking if Dr. Ben was not a part of the story. Dr. Ben was able to provide perspective to JJ in a way that no other person had.
Then there is the lovable McKinley. JJ and him have a somewhat complicated relationship at first. But, because they are both young and are working through their relationship, I can understand why some of the childish tantrums that McKinley throws are necessary.
The friend who adopted Penny – I do not even want to use her name – what a b**ch! I could throttle her and I really wish we would have seen what she would have to say for herself when she learned what her precious Patrick had said to 6 year old JJ.  I wanted more from that aspect – but was glad that JJ was maturing enough to say what he had to say, but not harp on it.
The mystery of this story was both tragic and redeeming all in one. It helped tie the story lines together and show that while sometimes the past is harmful and hurtful – you can overcome with support and love.
Great story.
~AvidReader

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Excerpt

A SMELL that wasn’t there before filled the bathroom.

JJ drew in a deep breath, trying to match the scent to anything that might already exist in his short memory. It was a difficult scent to describe: like pine trees, but not the real ones in his backyard. More like the smell of the stuff his father used to clean the kitchen floor.

He tried to push off the sudden sense of apprehension that filled him; who cared if someone else had also come into the restroom? This was his town, the tiny world he had spent his entire five years in, and there was a good chance he knew whoever else had just joined him.

Even if he didn’t know anyone who went around smelling like pine trees.

JJ took a few breaths and flushed the toilet, eager to get back to the movie and his parents.

As he shoved the door of the stall open, though, the scent grew stronger. The person who had brought the scent in with him—a man—was facing the wall across the room. He was wearing a backpack and hugging his arms to his chest.

“I did it… I did it,” the man whispered. “I finally did it.”

JJ moved to the sinks, more eager than ever to return to the comforting gaze of his mother. But the noise of his sneakers against the tile alerted the man to JJ’s presence, and now the stranger was turning around to face him.

It was the oddest sensation to only be able to see certain details of a person: blue jeans, a red long-sleeve shirt. And then a detail so clear it almost seemed to be the only thing JJ could see: the outline of a long and winding paintbrush, tattooed on the man’s hand, snaking down from just below his thumb to where it disappeared beneath the cuff of his shirt.

But nothing else. No other details were there. The man was faceless. The color of hair was… what was it? It was as if it had never been there.

Then JJ could see nothing, and all he could hear was the man shouting. Something about how JJ shouldn’t be there, and he couldn’t know, and it wasn’t time yet….

The pain began then. Horrible, burning, pain, and JJ knew he was screaming, but he couldn’t hear himself over the roaring in his ears. He needed to find the door, the door, where was the door—

JACOB JASPER Jones woke up sweating, twisted into a trap of sheets and blankets. He frantically cast his eyes around the walls of his bedroom, looking for anything that would remind him he was not in that restroom again. There was the Modest Mouse poster, his bookshelf, the old dresser that had once belonged to his aunt—yes, he was safe.

Safe from what? Or who?

JJ quietly wrestled with the covers, thankful that he wasn’t a screamer and didn’t seem to have woken Aunt Maggie up. If it was up to JJ, Maggie would never know that JJ was having dreams about that day again.

They’d started about a month ago. Before then JJ had never dreamed anything specific about the fire. The nightmares were always vague and mushy, filled with flames and noise and not much else.

Not like this dream. This dream was clear and specific and so real it was as though JJ was reenacting every detail from that day. Right up until the end, when the faceless man turned and everything went black.

It was so vivid that JJ was starting to think it might be more than just a dream. That it might be a memory.

AuthorInterview

  • Can you describe in detail what your writing environment is like?

 

I love writing in a comfortable chair in my office or outdoors on my patio in the sunshine. Wherever I feel relaxed and at peace—that’s where I’m likely to do my best writing.

 

  • Is there one of your characters that you relate to (from any of your works)? Why?

 

I relate strongly to Jack from Here’s to You, Zeb Pike. His desire to help others (whether they want to be helped or not) is something that resonates greatly with me. I don’t think I have half the patience that Jack does, though!

 

  • If you couldn’t be an author, what would you do instead?

I definitely need a creative outlet of some kind, so if I had to give up writing, I’d need to replace it with something else creative. Maybe sculpture or pottery? I’m always thought it would be fun to play with clay.

 

  • Is there anything that you learned during the writing process that you wish you had known before hand?

Beta readers make life infinitely better! I used to write in a vacuum, not showing anyone a draft until I was so deep into it that I couldn’t see the forest through the trees. Now I have a circle of fantastic beta readers who tell it to me straight when I’ve got a story line that just isn’t working AND who keep my confidence up when I’m ready to give up on writing. It’s a much happier writing life all around.

 

  • Is there anything that you wish you could change about your book now that it is out?

The ending of Every Inferno sometimes garners criticism because the book plays with elements of the mystery genre and doesn’t follow all the traditions of the genre…which frustrates some readers. So sometimes I imagine a world where I’d written the end of the book differently. But I also write the ending the way I did for a reason, and I like the way it turned out. So I don’t think I’ll ever want to change it.

 

  • How do you come up with new ideas for your story?

They come from all over! Often I get ideas from watching my students (I’m a teacher) or news stories I read about. I once saw YA author Gordan Korman speak, and he said the best way to imagine a new story idea is to ask yourself a “what if” question. (I.e. what if a boy started having dreams about the person who killed his parents?) So I spend a lot of time asking myself “what if” questions. Often in random places, where people then give me funny looks and wonder why I’m talking to myself.

 

  • What’s next for you as a writer?

I just finished drafting the sequel to my first book, Here’s to You, Zeb Pike. That project’s taken me forever to finish, so I’m excited to be one step closer to a finished product.

 

  • Where do you live? Do you think this influences how or what you write?

 

I live in Colorado and I grew up in Vermont, so most of my books are set in one place or the other. Both are places I know well and love, so it’s natural for me to put my characters in these settings. I do want to branch out soon and start writing into some different settings.

 

  • What is your favorite genre outside of the one you write in? Why?

I love stories, so I’ll read in almost any genre. I just finished a spectacular fantasy novel and immediately followed it up with a romance. Next on the list is a YA sci-fi book.

 

  • Do you have any vices? Shoes, coffee, shopping…etc?

Travel is, in some ways my worst vice. I love to travel and I’ll spend far too much money on trips…on the other hand, travel makes me happy, and I think it makes me a better person and a better writer. So I’m not completely convinced it’s a vice. J

AuthorBio

Johanna Parkhurst grew up on a small dairy farm in northern Vermont before relocating to the rocky mountains of Colorado. She spends her days helping teenagers learn to read and write and her evenings writing things she hopes they’ll like to read. She strives to share stories of young adults who are as determined, passionate, and complex as the ones she shares classrooms with.

Johanna holds degrees from Albertus Magnus College and Teachers College, Columbia University. She loves traveling, hiking, skiing, watching football, and spending time with her incredibly supportive husband.

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4 stars for 100 Days by Mimsy Hale #MM #Romance #NewAdult #Friendship @mimsyhale

SM100Days 900px COVER-Front-1

Title: 100 Days
Author Name: Mimsy Hale
Publication Date & Length: April 7, 2015 – 376 pgs

Synopsis

Jake and Aiden have been friends—and nothing more—since age six. Now college graduates, they take a road trip across the USA, visiting very state in 100 days.

As they start their cross-country odyssey, Jake and Aiden think they have their journey and their futures mapped out. But the road has a funny way of changing course.

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Review

FourStars

How do you tell your best friend you love him?

 

Jake and Aiden have been best friends since they were five.  They have supported each other through everything life has thrown at them and are now ready to embark on a future making films together.  Or – they’ll be ready after their trip of a life-time.  Together, they will explore 50 states in 100 days in an inherited RV.

 

Each man is desperately in love with the other, but each worries that he could gain a lover only to lose his best friend.

 

Hale’s characters are complex and compelling.  Both men are very young, but each has been uniquely damaged.  The road towards a real relationship is as terrifying as the road towards the rest of their lives after college.  I like the fact that neither man is entirely good, or entirely selfless.  I love the years of shared history that Hale has wrapped around the men like a fading quilt they are carefully unpicking and re-stitching together.

 

The road-trip story has been told many times and a careful touch is needed to ensure it doesn’t become a series of ‘and then’ incidents.  Most of the time Hale manages to use Jake and Aiden’s personal struggles to keep it fresh.

 

After such an honest book, the ending felt slightly contrived.  Fortunately, the epilogue made up for it.

 

This is a wonderfully tender coming-of-age story with a sweet romance at its heart.

~Sarah

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Excerpt

Because anything really could happen, couldn’t it? What if what happened in Philadelphia wasn’t a total mistake, but simply the prelude to Jake finally listening to what his instincts have been telling him for weeks? What if, what if, what if…

“What are you doing? Come see this!” Aiden calls out.

Jake takes a deep breath and steps out of the shadows. Aiden is silhouetted against the fading sun, the light picking out the auburn in his hair, and as he stretches his arms up over his head, one finger hooked through the woven bracelet he bought earlier, he grins out at the horizon. Jake feels as if he’s watching Aiden through brand new eyes; he knows that there is rescue in those arms. Suddenly he wants to fall into them and hold on until he feels safe.

Aiden turns away from the vista, pushes his sunglasses up on top of his head and looks down at Jake, his eyes sparkling with warmth and light. He leans forward and holds out his hand, and he looks… beautiful.

AuthorBio

Mimsy Hale has been a contributing ghostwriter to several bestselling nonfiction books. She is also an established writer in online fan communities, where her stories have hundreds of thousands of reads. 100 Days is her first novel.  She lives in Suffolk, England, with her roommate and four cats.

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