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review 2018-05-17 01:12
ARC Review: Bad Attitude by K.A. Mitchell
Bad Attitude - K.A. Mitchell

Well, then. This was at times a frustrating read, because both Gavin and Jamie had some issues. I mean, issues. Like, ISSUES. 

This book gave me whiplash from the constant hot and cold and yes and no, much like that Katy Perry song. 

Gavin is rebelling to some extent against the expectations of his wealthy family. He's supposed to show up at events, look good in a tux, and behave. Which has stunted his emotional growth by a large degree. He's starved for affection but too chicken shit to admit that to anyone including himself, so he postures and prances and performs because who the fuck needs feelings. 

Jamie has a massive chip on his shoulder, because all his friends are paired up, and that's just fucking fabulous, because Jamie wants nothing to do with a ball and chain on his ankles, no, sirree. He's just fine with the wham, bam, thank you, Sam, and he sure as hell doesn't need a boyfriend. Or love. Also, he's a redhead, so that's another strike, amirite? No, no, Jamie is a man's man and feelings are for pussies. 

So, both of these men have a really bad attitude towards love and making themselves vulnerable. They fuck, they fight, they dance around each other, neither capable of asking for what they really want but are too afraid to face, and so we are treated to a weird sex party, and accidental dives off a bridge, and feeling uncomfortable at a social event, and generally being too damn emotionally stunted to get a clue. 

Eli and Quinn from book 2, as supporting characters, really steal the show, especially Eli. I've adored this character ever since I first read Bad Boyfriend, and I enjoyed seeing him in this book. 

It took me some time to warm up to Gavin and Jamie, but I was on board about halfway through the book. Jamie comes around a little faster than Gavin, but both of them hide their true needs behind macho alpha male behavior, using sex to avoid intimacy, and displaying bitterness about their lot in life to mask their loneliness and vulnerability. 

Gavin's friend Beach - yeah, I found zero redeeming qualities in him in this book, and knowing that book 5 is about him... well. While part of me is looking forward to seeing what the author does with this character, another, albeit smaller, part wants to simply forget he exists. The only good thing I can say about Beach at this point is that he serves as a catalyst for Gavin to get his shit together and finally tell Jamie the truth. 

So, whiplash. Be prepared for that. Be ready for an at times frustrating read that delivers flawed characters who still have a lot to learn, despite thinking they know it all, and a romance that almost crashes and burns before it even begins. 

But it is a romance, so there is a happy ending. In case you were wondering. 


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

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review 2018-05-11 02:34
ARC Review: Forgiveness by Grace R. Duncan
Forgiveness - Grace R. Duncan

I flew through this, from opening the file this morning until finishing it tonight, with grumbled interruptions for such pesky things as lunch and dinner and errands needing to be run.

The romance was slow burn, frustrating at times, and sweet at other times. The mythology is still well done, and I enjoyed catching up with the couples from previous books. 

Nine years ago, Eric's chosen mate broke their bond, and he's been in wolf form ever since, roaming the woods, thinking he can never go home again. An unexpected encounter leads him home, returning him to his human form, having to learn to be human all over again. Opposing thumbs are a tricky thing if you've been on paws for a long time. 

Soon after coming home, Eric runs into Ben, a newcomer to their pack, and finds his destined mate, the person their goddess has chosen just for him, a mate that trumps a chosen one. 

And Eric freaks out. 

Because he's a dumbass. Because he's been hurt and he doesn't trust that this one won't also leave him. 

Like I said, this was a frustrating read at times - I wanted to slap him in multiple times as Eric keeps asking for time and patience, and Ben was a fucking SAINT and kept giving Eric time and space and whatever he needed, because that's what destined mates do.

Ben has some struggles of his own - for all his life, his mother told him that the wolf within is a demon to be kept inside. I couldn't for the life of me figure out why Ben's father would choose his wife (a destined mate also, but one who never took the bite to become wolf) over his son, when he could see how much his wife's ranting about the demon-wolf hurt his kid. He never really stepped in to stop her from inflicting this emotional abuse on his son. I was ENRAGED! And then she... well, no, I won't give that away.

But Eric and Ben have friends now, and they have support, and they learn, they grow, and they accept what Diana has given them. 

I would say that this book was probably my least favorite of this series. For one, I found Eric disappearing for nine years a bit long, considering that Kim wasn't his destined mate. Secondly, I strongly disliked that both important females in this book were portrayed as uber-bitchy and had few, if any, redeeming qualities. I really don't like that in a book. 

The author has a writing style that works well for this type of book, and there weren't any lulls in the plot or any kind of big time jumps. I appreciated seeing couples from the previous books all step up to help Eric and Ben where they can - the sense of family, of belonging, is strong with this series. 

While this could be read as a stand-alone, I would recommend you read this series in order for full impact. 



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

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review 2018-05-05 07:43
The Old Maid
The Old Maid (The 'Fifties) (Dodo Press) - Edith Wharton

"In the old New York of the ‘fifties a few families ruled, in simplicity and affluence. Of these were the Ralstons. The sturdy English and the rubicund and heavier Dutch had mingled to produce a prosperous, prudent and yet lavish society. To “do things handsomely” had always been a fundamental principle in this cautious world, built up on the fortunes of bankers, India merchants, ship-builders and ship-chandlers. Those well-fed slow-moving people, who seemed irritable and dyspeptic to European eyes only because the caprices of the climate had stripped them of superfluous flesh, and strung their nerves a little tighter, lived in a genteel monotony of which the surface was never stirred by the dumb dramas now and then enacted underground. Sensitive souls in those days were like muted key-boards, on which Fate played without a sound. In this compact society, built of solidly welded blocks, one of the largest areas was filled by the Ralstons and their ramifications. The Ralstons were of middle-class English stock. They had not come to the Colonies to die for a creed but to live for a bank-account. The result had been beyond their hopes, and their religion was tinged by their success."

It with this short novella that I dip my toes into the world of Edith Wharton for the first time. I've seen so much praise of the work - and from trusted friends and reviewers - that I just had to find out for myself what I'm missing out. 

 

What has held me back from picking up Wharton's work so far are really two things:

 

For one, I have always associated her writing with that of Henry James, which is not helped by an article in the Guardian I read a few years ago about the two of them - Wharton and James - on a road trip in England. This is, of course, hugely unfair towards Wharton, but sometimes that is how associations of the mind work. There is nothing for it but to go investigate and see if there is some truth to it. I just hadn't gotten around to that, yet.  

 

The second reason, is that I have always thought of Wharton as a kind of Edwardian author, in the same way that E.M. Forster was. But as I love Forster, his works are normally what I turn to for a fix of Edwardian drama.

Again, misconception is at work here. They may have written in the same time, but not about the same time ... or place. 

 

Anyway, time to put things right with Edith Wharton - not that I think she'd care... but I do, not least because I don't like having pre-conceived ideas that aren't founded on any actual research.

 

The Old Maid is the second of four novellas in Wharton's "Old New York" series, which features stories set in New York, one in each decade of the 1840s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. 

 

The Old Maid is set in the 50's and tells the story of two cousins - Delia and Charlotte, one who marries well and one who has a child out of wedlock. After several turns of fate, the cousins both end up bringing up the child, one as mother and one as aunt, but with a reversal of titles that sparks some resentment, misunderstanding, pretence of right, and other high drama until the end of the story. 

 

Without giving too much away, I really enjoyed how candid Wharton describes the circumstances of the family arrangement, how clearly she brings up how much misery is caused by a society that is so set on the illusion of propriety at all costs, and how unhealthy it for grudges to fester. 

 

I had no expectation of it, but the story of the cousins - neither of whom was a perfect human being - really drew me in. Wharton's writing was clear, concise, yet full of emotion, sensitivity, and even wit. 

 

The only aspect that I did not quite find convincing was that did not get a sense of place or time from the story. I just could not say what makes this the a story of "The 'Fifties" as the subtitle proclaims. 

 

I look forward to finding out if Wharton's other stories are similarly engaging.

As the truth stole upon Delia her heart melted with the old compassion for Charlotte. She saw that it was a terrible, a sacrilegious thing to interfere with another’s destiny, to lay the tenderest touch upon any human being’s right to love and suffer after his own fashion.

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text 2018-05-02 09:10
Release Blitz - Amending Plans

 

Title:  Amending Plans

Author: CM Corett

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: April 30, 2018

Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 40300

Genre: Contemporary, BDSM- mild; D/s, workplace romance, surveyors, camping, humor

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

Luc Weston is employed by his uncle as a cartographer. He’s an office dwelling creator of maps and plans, but as his uncle’s heir, he must learn all aspects of the company. Specifically, surveying. The upside—spending time with the gorgeous surveyor, Rick Masters, in a cozy cabin. The downside—the cabin is in the woods. Luc hates nature, and nature hates him. He’s got the injuries and bites to prove it. How can he impress

 

Rick in such a foreign and hostile environment? Rick Masters can’t believe he has to babysit the boss’s privileged nephew for two weeks. Come on, the man turned up for a mountain survey wearing skinny jeans and toting a suitcase on wheels. But Luc’s attitude and self-deprecating humor has surprised him. Perhaps he’s misjudged him? He’s nothing like the robust outdoorsmen Rick is usually attracted to, and yet…those skinny jeans sure hug him in all the right places. But Rick has a plan for his life, and a man like Luc Weston could never be part of it. No way!

 

 

Excerpt:

 

Amending Plans

CM Corett © 2018

All Rights Reserved

 

Chapter One

 

Luc Weston pressed his heel down onto the floor to halt his nervous leg jiggling and leaned forward in his chair. “I know what surveyors do! Why do I need to follow one around for two weeks?”

 

Luc’s uncle, Jeremiah Weston, sighed. “I expect all my employees to participate in the job-swap program, and that includes you, Luc.”

 

Needing an outlet for his agitation, Luc stood up and paced around his uncle’s office. The workspace was uncluttered, organized, and neat, just like his uncle, and provided plenty of room for pacing. The large tilted drafting board beside the window caught his attention, and he stopped to stare at the displayed survey plan. “I know, I know, but I’m not just an employee. Surely I’m different?” He winced. Okay, that had come out wrong. He hadn’t meant to imply he considered himself better or more important than his colleagues, just…different. Shit.

 

Jeremiah frowned. “Yes, you are different. It’s important for every employee to understand the various roles within the company, but it’s vital for you, Luc. If you want to take over this company one day, you need to experience every aspect of the business. I need to make sure I’m leaving the company with someone who understands not only our drafting practices, but the surveying and other offsite processes too.”

 

Luc drew in a deep breath. When his uncle spoke in his official “boss talk,” there wasn’t much room for negotiation, but Luc had to try. “Sure, I get that, but I understand the surveying side of the business. I practically grew up here. I’ve been surrounded by cartographers and surveyors since I was six years old. Hell, old Harry Miller taught me to mark up a surveyor’s field book as soon as I could hold a drafting pen.”

 

“Yes, you’ve gained a lot of knowledge over the years, but hearing stories and anecdotes from a bunch of surveyors is not the same as experiencing what they perform in the field. And yes,” he held up his hand as Luc opened his mouth, “you interpret field books as well as anyone, but physically finding coordinates and hammering in marker pegs is another aspect altogether.”

 

“Yeah, I know.” He grimaced. “Out in the wilds of nature and all that.”

 

“Is that what’s worrying you?”

 

“Come on, Uncle J. You know how useless I am in the great outdoors. Surely our one and only camping trip convinced you I was destined to be a city boy.” Luc’s mouth twisted into a wry smile at the memory. He had been twelve years old and had begged his uncle to take him camping in the nearby national park. During the anticipation stage, his excitement had been off the charts. Once they’d arrived—not so much. Between his tent-erecting ineptitude and his determination to trip over every rock, tree root, and tent peg, the experience had soon lost its promise.

 

And then there were the sounds—scary, predators-coming-to-get-you-in-the-night sounds.

 

Jeremiah gave him a stern stare. “You’re not twelve years old anymore, and this is your career. And the future of our family company. So, you’ll do as I ask.”

 

Luc stood, hands on hips, in front of his uncle’s desk. “Or what?”

 

Jeremiah rubbed his hand across his face. “Or nothing. You’re twenty-six years old, Luc. You’re a damn fine cartographic draftsman—one of our best. I’m not about to ground you like some disobedient teenager, and I’m surely not going to fire you or even demote you, but I will be severely disappointed in you if you refuse to do this.”

 

Oh, God. Luc dropped his hands to his sides, and his shoulders slumped. In the past, he had clashed with his uncle over a few issues, and the resulting anger and the consequences were understandable, but disappointment? Hell, no. He hated disappointing the man who’d raised him and had always been there for him. No way could he win the argument, but perhaps the details were negotiable. “Okay. Okay, I’ll go.”

 

“Thank you.”

 

“But does the surveyor have to be Rick Masters? Can’t I tag along with someone else?”

 

“Why not Rick? Rick Masters is our best and most experienced surveyor, and we were lucky to hire him two years ago. He had job offers from multiple companies. Yes, he can be a little gruff, and he’s a man of few words, but I’ve always found him to be decent and hardworking. I have a lot of respect for the man. What do you have against him?”

 

“I have nothing against him, but I feel… It’s just…” His heart hammered in his chest. How could he explain his feelings for Rick Masters? He couldn’t admit—to his uncle—that Rick Masters made his heart race and his dick behave inappropriately every time he caught a glimpse of the man. No, not the type of explanation his uncle would want to hear. He cleared his throat. “Actually, I think I’d get more out of the experience if I paired up with someone else. What about Jessica Taylor or Stan Myers?”

 

Jeremiah frowned. “If this was coming from anyone else, I’d think they had a problem working with a gay man, but as Rick and you are both gay, I really don’t— Ahh!” He nodded. “Are you worried about the gossip, or is there something else you want to tell me?”

 

“Well, I…”

 

“You know what?” Jeremiah raised both palms. “I don’t want to hear it. What you think or feel about another of my employees is none of my business. You’re a professional, and I know you won’t let those emotions interfere with your job. The same goes for your dislike of nature.”

 

“Yes, sir.” What else could he say? He had no legitimate reason to refuse, and he would have to suck it up and follow Rick around for a while. Two weeks. With Rick Masters.

 

And field trips into the wilderness.

 

Shit.

 

 

Purchase:

 

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble

 

 

 

 

Meet the Author:

 

CM Corett is an Australian author of M/M romance who has given up on trying to limit herself to one sub-genre. She writes contemporary, historical, sci-fi, and time travel… and she may have a few paranormal drafts hidden under the bed! An avid writer and reader of love between men, she has lived in the USA and traveled the world gathering inspiration for her stories. She loves movies, superheroes, and video games with awesome graphics. She hates housework and anyone who expects her to notice (or care about) the dust on top of the fridge.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

Giveaway:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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review 2018-05-02 06:31
Trust
The President's Daughter - Micky O'Brady

 

Alix has had so much taken from her.  Her body is not the same.  Her relationships with others' are not the same.  Her feelings about herself and what she can accomplish are not the same.  But all of this is about to change.

 

Sam and Ian are men in her life that help her in some way.  Whether it be emotional, physical, or mental - they both serve a purpose.  She cares about both of them deeply.  The question now remains, who can help her move on to her future?

 

This book was fast paced and exciting!  I loved every page and devoured it like candy.  I think the characters themselves are deep and rich.  I love the setting, it gives the writer a lot to enrich the story for the reader.  The book overall was one of the best I have ever read.  I am so excited for the next installment to this new heart thumping series.  I give this a 5/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review, by Netgalley and its publishers.

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