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review 2018-09-29 00:19
ARC Review: Threepeat (Secrets #3) by KC Wells and Parker Williams
Threepeat - K.C. Wells,Parker Williams

Super late to the party with this review, but life took a left turn that still has me scrambling to catch up... well, enough of me and my poor excuses.

I'm not usually one to read menages. There are but a few I've read in my time on GR, and I can probably count them on one hand. However, not only is this book 3 in the Secretsseries, but also written by the fabulous team Wells/Williams, so I definitely had grabby hands.

I have but one complaint after reading this book - why, oh why didn't we get to see Tim's blood family get what's coming to them? Why? I want to read that. 

Anyway, getting ahead of myself.

Aaron and Sam are an established couple, both into the BDSM scene, and both Doms. Obviously, that's a little tricky to navigate but for a good six years, they had a submissive that lived with them, whom they both loved, and who out of the blue decided to leave and break the contract, no explanation given. 

Obviously, this left them reeling, and two years later, Aaron is not ready to try again, and Sam doesn't know what to do. They're in danger of breaking up - that much is clear from the narrative. 

Then Aaron finds Tim, out on the streets after the poor young man was kicked out of his home for being gay, rescuing him from a situation that might have turned real ugly if Aaron hadn't shown up.

So, Aaron takes Tim home to Sam, and after nursing him back to health, the two older men offer him a roof over his head in exchange for some light house-keeping and cooking and such. Sex is definitely not on the table, which - thank goodness, because that would have been super gross, and I wouldn't have liked the characters if they'd done that. These are good men, so they don't. 

Tim sees the two men, thinks them hunky, observes them, learns about them, and realizes that they are exactly what he wants and needs. If only...

This is a sweet read. Not over the top sweet, but engaging and heartwarming and just smile-inducing sweet. I had some giggles too. There were some edge of my seat moments. 

I liked all three characters. Aaron was the softer of the two initially, but there is softness in Sam too - he just hides it better. There was so much sweetness in Tim, but also a lot of steel in his spine. I enjoyed seeing all three men's points of view, with each bringing something unique to the relationship. I enjoyed them learning about each other, learning to navigate the unknown waters, learning to make their threesome fit. I enjoyed the sexy times - I can always count with these authors to make them highly emotional. 

Obviously, this couldn't be a Wells/Williams book without a bit of drama. I won't go into detail here, but it's rooted, as these things often are, in lack of communication and bad assumptions. It doesn't last long, thank goodness, and all three men learn from the experience. 

The characters from the previous books all make an appearance, including Eli and Jarod, the owners of Secrets, and Jarod's indomitable mother, who not only provides a bit of humor but also a lot of really good advice. 

The ending was perfect and oh so swoon-worthy. Loved it.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can hardly wait to see what these authors come up with next. It's definitely best to read this series in order, though each book works as a standalone. 

** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher in exchange for an honest review. **

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review 2018-02-21 00:00
The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories
The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories - ... The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories - Ken Liu I don't usually read short fiction but last semester, I was exposed to them through my Philippine Literature class. There I was able to read works by Nick Joaquin who happens to write stories that have magical realism. It was because of those stories that I wanted to read more short fiction. This too is a story about magical realism. In addition, this is one of the stories that managed to make me cry. I know I'm late to this one as it already won awards but I did love the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed the depiction here of the Chinese mail-order bride and her son. He was basically her pride and joy- that much was obvious, practically the only one she could truly understand and understands her. Unfortunately, kids grow up. They rebel and decide that they don't want to be their parents or that they're ashamed of them. This is a story about how that boy grew up, made mistakes, and had to face his regrets. This is a story about a mother who had to face the fact that not only was her child growing up but also that influences around him place him outside her reach.

The ending of the story was cathartic. It was heartbreaking and beautifully poignant. At the same time, it brought a sort of relief due to the way it wrapped up. If you haven't read it yet, it's available on io9 to read and it's worth it.

This review is also on: https://thebookwormdaydreamer.wordpress.com/
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text 2018-02-08 02:04
Loving Shawl's work, and question about Ken Liu?
Everfair - Nisi Shawl
The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories - ... The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories - Ken Liu
The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty) - Ken Liu
The Wall of Storms (The Dandelion Dynast... The Wall of Storms (The Dandelion Dynasty) - Ken Liu
Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi The Legends of Luke Skywalker (Star Wars: Journey to Star Wars: the Last Jedi) - Ken Liu,J.V. Jones

So I'm loving Shawl's Everfair.   It's a steampunk alternate history of Belgium's colonization of the Congo, and it's a period I know nothing about.   It's also written by an African American women, which is nice: last year Readercon had a woman guest of honor and an African American woman who was a guest of honor. 


This year, it's an African American woman and an American man of Chinese descent.   (Liu was born in China, in fact, and immigrated at age eleven.)


I bring this up because it's nice to see diversity: Readercon has been fairly committed to diversifying it's guest and panelist pool, and so far I think these guests have been living up to that.   (I've also met a diverse mix of authors in general, although I think we always have to keep vigilant and work at keeping that diversity.   But it's nice to see it working a bit.)


Anyway, I've been staying away from most of Liu's stuff, because I feel like he's most well known for longer fantasies, which I'm usually not a fan of.   Novik's stuff worked for me because of the wit and the fair amount of action.   


So... have you read Liu?   Liked it?   And should I start with his Skywalker/Star Wars young adult collection?   But, then again, I never liked Luke all that much, so I've been hesitating. 


Anyone who's read him and has an opinion?   I'd love to hear it.   Or on Shawl's work, but I feel like she might be less well known.   (And I'll probably continue to love Everfair, but, yeah, I'd like to hear from you guys!)

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review 2017-03-22 19:37
Review: The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
The Glass Menagerie - Tennessee Williams

I talked with my husband and decided to spend an extra night in London so I could see the St Patrick's Day Parade on Sunday. So after saying goodbye to my friends on Saturday afternoon and finally finding a hotel room, I was ready to look at what the nightlife in London has to offer (besides clubs and bars, as I don't drink by myself). I stumbled upon a small (I mean small) theater (the Duke's Theater on St Martin's Place in the Trafalgar Square section) showing a limited run of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie. Since the cost of a ticket was just about as much as I paid for a 3D screening of Beauty and the Beast the night before, I decided to take a chance on seeing the play.


Here is what I know about Tennessee Williams and his works: he is an American playwright. That's it. I didn't know what the play was about at all, other than there was four characters because the posters outside the theater had pictures of the actors. So I went in totally blind.


I am so glad I took the chance - there were moments of laugh out loud one-liners that lighten a rather desperate situation of a family living in St Louis in 1937. The stage was sparse, but functional to help me separate scenes being played out. The actors' performances elevated the material; to be quite honest, I would have DNF reading this play, as the characters would have gotten on my last nerve. This is a play that needs to be seen and heard (so possible audiobook choice) rather than read.


 Cherry Jones, playing the role of the mother, took an obnoxious twat of a character and made me care for and hope along with Amanda that her children have better futures than her. Tom was kinda of an asshole character, with a selfish streak a mile wide; however, in Michael Esper's hands, the audience also senses the guilt, the burden of responsibility place on his shoulders, and his frustrations for wanting to live his own life and explore the world. I thought the character of Laura as pretty much simpering wall paper until the James shows up and love brings her out into the world - Katie O'Flynn and Brian J. Smith had some real chemistry and I rooted for them to have a HEA. Alas, it was not meant to be (Betty can go get bent for all I care!).


This revival is up for 7 Oliver Awards (the UK version of the Tonys) and I really hope Jones wins in her category and the overall stage production takes home at least one prize. A lovely way to spend a couple of hours. But I am still not going to read this because without the actors', the hissy fits from the mother, Laura, and Tom would just anger me.


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review 2016-10-01 07:05
who belongs in a cage when the creatures are more humane than the humans?
Menagerie - Rachel Vincent

"if monsters could look like humans, and humans could look like monsters, how could anyone ever really be sure that the right people stood on the outside of all those cages?"


This was my first foray into the the amazingly imaginative mind of Rachel Vincent and boy oh boy was I pleasantly/horrifyingly surprised! This was a very unique PN alternate world trope that was populated by hybrid & mythelogical creatures (called Cryptids) and plain ole Normies like you and I...or are we?? It turned out to be an interesting commentary on many topics like: How exactly do we react to any and all things "different" from us? What does it mean to One's sense of Self if we found out that we are not really what we originally thought ourselves to be? What if we are no longer considered middle of the road, spectacularly Meh Normal? How would it feel to have all of the luxuries one takes for granted abruptly and forcefully taken away only to find ourselves living a new life as Property, Pet, Plaything or Hunted?


“A cage locks other people out as much as it locks you in, and sometimes that’s for the best.” Rachel Vincent WOWED me with such a naturally paced, expertly crafted, realistically beautiful/barbarically honest imagining of a world faced with crippling fear of the unknown (especially after an attack by a fanatical faction of said unknown). This book was so realistic that it even made me rethink my patronage of Circuses and Zoos though I admittedly, not-so-secretly already harbored a hatred for these barbaric institutions where in majestic creatures are forced to exist in. The book just deepened my loathing!


"the only true difference between the hybrids and most of their handlers was that the handlers hid their beasts on the inside. A wolf will growl to warn that it’s angry and a bull will paw the ground before charging. Rattlesnakes rattle, cats moan and hiss, and hyenas grunt and cackle. But a man will smile right in your face as he drives a knife into your heart. Such was the nature of humanity,"


The book was told with varying POVs but did not confuse me as is often the case with such narratives. I thankfully did not find myself flipping back to the beginning of each chapter, trying to decode whose mind we were currently inhabiting. The MC was a no nonsense, kick butt young woman who did happen to rub me the wrong way at times (especially when she was stupid enough not to realize that playing along a bit would be smarter than repeatedly ramming your head against a brick wall because of your pride). Anyway...she lucked out finding Gallagher who not only treated her like an actual person but who also promised to be her Champion of all bloody Champions (pun intended). He Is hands down my book bff and is someone you DEFINITELY want on your side (though his motto of

"his word is his honour" I could happily have done without so often)! This pairing is so bad @$$ that no one thus far was able to mess with them and I don't foresee anyone besting them in the near future. I am extremely excited to see how their current predicament is handled as well as see what direction Mrs. Vincent takes the storyline in altogether.


All in all a 3.5 - 4.0 star read that unfortunately suffered from the aforementioned annoyances coupled with an ending that felt rushed. I will definitely read on in the series and I strongly recommend that you pick up this book asap!


WARNING:::: there are references to Rape (though not graphic), abuse and major brutality.

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