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review 2017-06-28 00:47
I thought it was a parody and then found it out it wasn't
Blood of the Sphinx - J. Johanis,Indigo Forest Designs,Jason Bradley
I really, truly do not know what to make of this book. I thought it was a parody, but apparently it is not.

This I found hard to believe.

This book would be better if Johanis lost what is supposedly the historical aspect. It's one thing to rewrite history and give those with tragic endings, happy ones. But this is like an alternate sci-fi Egypt on an totally different planet.

There is some weird shit going down. Like the fact that the men fight and then rape each other in the arena. Ummm. And I'm sorry, Sasha as a nickname for Caesarion? Adrian for an Egyptian guard?

Now to be fair, Johanis acknowledges the playing with history, a bit, and gives the bare facts in an afterword.

So I guess it's about kink, though where Sasha got a pick feather anus toy, I have no idea. But, hey, he is a blonde with long flowing tresses. (Yeah, I know).

The whole bit about seman, I honestly do not know where to start with that. I don't. That was just inventive, but very strange. And insulting.

Which brings me to a question - I haven't read much m/m erotica or romance. So is it normal for one of the partners to be constantly described in womanly terms? Even the sex is basically described as man taking a woman - some verbiage and what not. Honestly, you change some of the pronouns around and it could be m/f. Is that normal? I'm not a guy, but wouldn't the mechancis be a little different than standard frontal sex, right? I swear one passage makes it sound like the two men are entering each others womanly parts that they don't have. This confused me greatly. Do men have secret vaginas?

So as a parody it is quite funny, but it is not suppose to be one. So oops.
 
 

 

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review 2017-03-06 00:16
Review: Origin of the Sphinx
Origin of the Sphinx - Raye Wagner

I received this book in a newsletter and I am glad I did. I do enjoy reading mythology if it is written out really good. With this story I was kind of worried on if I would like it because I wasn't sure where it would be headed. I am glad I gave it a try as I was impressed. We follow Phoibe as she find out who she truly is and falls in love. Though it seems that one God named Apollo will not take no for an answer. Phoibe has a choice but the choice she picks will have a consequence. As this is a prequel I am not sure how the other books in the series follows but it makes a good short book. It seems that Hope will be cursed and it will be up to Priska to help guide her in the best way.

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review 2017-02-07 00:00
Curse of the Sphinx
Curse of the Sphinx - Raye Wagner Curse of the Sphinx - Raye Wagner This was an intriguing story. Hope has just lost her mom, and is feeling a little lost. Bearing the curse of the Sphinx has kept them on the run for most of her life, isolating themselves for fear of being hunted by demigods or forced into a relationship with Apollo or his sons in order to avoid the cost of being the sphinx. When her aunt, last known connection, goes searching for answers to her mother's death, she must set off on her own. Except she's still a teen and must attend high school. Her new life in Goldendale is supposed to follow the same prescribed path as the rest of her life, but without the watchful eyes of her mother, Hope may be tempted to break her isolation, especially if Athan, the cute guy who keeps bumping into her, has anything to say about it.

I enjoyed many aspects of this. I loved that the Greek gods were an acknowledged part of humanity, so much so that they even had a class on the subject, much like a history class. The writing and emotional draw were also well done.

Where the story fell flat for me was Hope and Athan's actions. We get a glimpse from Athan's point of view at the beginning of the story before switching over to Hope's. What Athan learned in that first scene should have left him much better informed. It took him longer to realize what was going on than it should have, and in fact, I kept wondering how he didn't know. I mean, seriously.

And the struggle of the book was more in Hope finding her way out of isolation to start really living than in anything else, which didn't make for the most compelling plot, in my opinion. Hope was also dense, denying her intuition about Athan and totally ignoring a "coincidence" at the end. For both Hope and Athan being "smart" characters, they really didn't act so bright most of the time.

But the writing is solid and the other books may be more enjoyable, I just couldn't quite get into this one.
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-02-06 00:00
Blood of the Sphinx
Blood of the Sphinx - J. Johanis Blood of the Sphinx - J. Johanis For a series called the Virgin King series it was quite erotic. The first book with features the prince of Egypt, Cesarean, he wasn't very virginal. For the entirety of the book Caesarion was pretty hard up for sex, his body was burning for it. He was ashamed of what it meant for him and his social standing. Not to mention what his bodily fluids did to his bed partners. He had a harem even if he never was penetrated. He lusts after his childhood friend and personal guard Aidan but is kind of in a situation where he can't and won't voice what he really wants.

When war comes to his door and his mother is otherwise occupied. He is advised to flee but rejects it in favor of trying to get troops together to save the city. When he's told he is viewed unfavorable by the citizens Caesarion decided to ventures out to find out more about why the citizen sees him as unworthy. He takes Adrian with him. During his little outing he is almost raped. Things quickly progress from there since this is such a short read. The enemy shows up, Caesarion needs a vassal, and the enemy marches into the city of Alexandria.

The story has four parts or chapters but for such a short read it wasn't rushed and didn't really skimp on details. Readers get to know Caesarion, his plight with his own body, the desperation and desires he feels (both with his body and with the situation with his kingdom). Along with his feelings readers also get to see a little of Aidan's feeling and what he desires.

The non consensual sex or rape can be a problem for some so if that turns you off you might want to skip this read. But if you don't mind it, do give it a read it was pretty interesting.

A free copy was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
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text 2016-11-15 19:54
Gothic angel morality tales are a thing; who knew?
Cruxim: You Are Never Alone (Dark Guardians Fantasy Series Book 1) - Karin Cox

Odd little book. The blurbcraft I saw for this book all called it a paranormal romance, but that really isn't right. It's more dark fantasy or Gothic, like Interview with the Vampire period Anne Rice. The plot concerns a Cruxim, an angel like being that hunts vampires. The novel takes place over the 16th and 18th Centuries, and our cruxim is a man of his time, convinced of his righteousness and utterly bought into the virgin/whore dichotomy.

 

Which is what makes this so not a romance, because when his now adult ward throws herself at him, begging for him to release her from the nunnery so she can marry and have a life, he completely freaks out. Like oh my God you can't want to have sex you slut! Then of course when he runs off like a big idiot his ward is deflowered and turned into a vampire OH MY GOD THE IRONY.

 

It's first person, and there isn't much authorial commentary on this, which makes the whole thing interesting indeed. The prose is overheated and formal, which I completely adore for the right subject matter, e.g. tortured angel morality tales. Oh, and there's a sphinx character who is the most impressive mix of sinuous sexiness and alarming bestiality. Bravo. 

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