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review 2017-05-22 16:47
One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva
One Man Guy - Michael Barakiva

I'm always on the lookout for cute LGBTQIAP+ books to read. I heard about One Man Guy a couple of years back but never got around to reading it. When my partner read it and told me that it was a cute read, I went looking for it at my library. I found it, read it, and agree. It is a cute book. However, I do have my problems with it.

 

The first being the writing. I am not in love with this writing style. It's almost too simplistic. To the point where I feel some sentences don't make sense. One sentence in chapter four reads, "He cheated his eyes open a sliver." Reading that is awkward. It doesn't flow well and you feel you need to reread it to make sure you didn't read it wrong. Barakiva did a great job in telling a coming-of-age story about an Armenian teenager discovering himself and his sexuality and I loved learning more about Armenian culture. but his writing style I just could not get behind. 

 

Another thing I had a problem with are the characters. Not so much the main character, Alek. He was sweet, kind, moral, and understanding. I liked him. But the object of his affection, Ethan, is another matter entirely. I didn't see the appeal to him. Seeing as how Alek liked him so much, I wanted to like him, too. And there were some things he did that I just was not a fan of. The way he talked about gay culture was a part of it. His use of the F-word rubbed me the wrong way. He said that if you're a part of that culture, it's okay to use such a word. And, yeah, okay, I get it, but I haven't met many people in the gay community who uses that word as if it were nothing. So it bothered me a bit. Another thing that upset me about Ethan was how he explained it's quite common for gay men to experiment with more than one person, even when they are already in a committed relationship. No. Just no. That's a harmful stereotype that's been perpetuated by our society. To say that gay men CHEAT on their partners is not only wrong but harmful. There are many gay couples who are in committed relationships and DON'T CHEAT ON EACH OTHER. As I've said in other reviews before, if you're in a polyamorous relationship, then it's fine if both partners involved are okay with having other partners. It's NOT okay to lump in every gay couple into being "experimental" with other partners without the other's consent! I did not like that Ethan was teaching Alek this terrible stigma about the gay community. And the last problem I had with Ethan was how misogynistic he was. He made comments when Alek didn't want to do something, he was acting like a girl. I didn't like how he treated Becky, Alek's best friend who is pretty awesome by the way, and thought of her immediately as "lesser" because she was a girl. It took her having to "prove herself" in order for him to show her respect. Just everything about his character was disgusting and I just didn't understand why Alek liked him so much.

 

An aspect that I did like about the book was getting to learn so much about Armenian culture. Especially the food! The food in this book sounds delicious. I've never had Armenian food before but I want to have some now! It was also interesting learning about the Armenian Genocide that happened in Turkey. That is a part of history I am not aware of. It was never taught to us in school, but I'm glad I know about it now. I love learning about history. Especially history that is different from my own culture.

 

Another aspect that bothered me, though, were how Alek's parents were. Oh, the hypocrisy with those two. And the fact that they complained about any little thing to the point where they didn't even want to drink water out of a plastic bottle, I was about to flip. Good thing they eased a tiny bit up towards the end. People like them upset me. DX

 

In short, I thought this book was good. I would recommend it to people who want to learn more about Armenian culture and food, who want to read a cute coming out story, and want a pretty quick read. Keep in mind that there are some homophobic slurs and racism towards Turkish people. These things are questioned and rebuked within the text and shows how it's not okay to do those things. The only thing not ever questioned is the sexism, which is a shame. Other than that, it's a good read so give it a shot if you're curious.

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review 2017-05-21 06:29
Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu (Writer) and Sana Takeda (Artist)
Monstress Volume 1: Awakening - Marjorie M. Liu

So many people have been talking and raving about Monstress. I've heard so many good things about this comic that I immediately placed an order at my library so I could read it ASAP! ...only to wait for months and still not have them contact me to let me know when the comic will be in... only to find it on the shelves as if no one placed a hold on it at all! Ugh... no. No. It's fine. I'm not bitter. (I'm a little bit bitter.) Well, I finally was able to read it and I must say it is well worth the hype.

 

I almost don't want to tell you anything about it. I went in blind and I think that's the best way to go into it. You will appreciate the world more and the characters more. In this world there are humans, monsters, and half-breeds. Throughout the entire comic, you're able to see the mistreatment monsters receive for being "other" and how they're a people being oppressed. I love that this comic touches on inequality, racism, sexism, etc. I love that it's so expressive in the art and story! I will not tell you any more of the story because you HAVE to read it for yourself to fully enjoy it.

 

The artwork, however, I will talk about. Sana Takeda is incredibly talented. The art in this comic is one of the best artwork I have ever seen in any given comic. I am blown away by how stunning it is! It's detailed down to the very last lead in the forest scenes in this book. The colors are breathtaking! It's such a beautiful color palette with browns and greens and golds to match the "earthy" feeling to the story. I could go on and on about the art in this comic. It's just so beautiful!

 

And the characters are great. The main character is Maika Halfwolf. She is bold, strong, a bit sassy, and loyal. She is not without flaws. She tends to be a longer and can be a bit stand-offish but, considering her circumstances, I don't blame her. She is a wonderful character that I cannot wait to get to know. There's also my favorite character, Ren. He's an intelligent, magical, smart-mouth, talking cat. Yes, a talking cat, and I love him. He serves as a guide for Maika and what she can do in order to save herself and her world. I adore him so much and many of the ladies in this comic/  There are so many strong female-characters and they are strong not because they are cruel, but because they have their own goals and ideas and they will fight until they see those goals become a reality. I really enjoyed seeing these women shown to be in leadership roles without falling into the "cruel woman" trope.

 

I highly, highly recommend this comic. If you like strong female leads, action, adventure, magic, and talking cats, then I highly recommend you read this comic. There is swearing, violence, gore, and talk of sexual abuse so keep that in mind when picking this up. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy reading this comic. I had quite a fun time being in this world for a while~

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review 2017-05-16 19:09
The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere by John Chu
The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere - John Chu

This year I wanted to change a few thing about my reading habits. I have always read a ton of books but not much else. Well, if you've been following me for some time now, you may have noticed I started reading more graphic novels, manga, and non-fiction books. Along with them, I've also wanted to read a few more short stories and I've read a couple that were part of series I was reading, but never a stand-alone short story. Well, today I've decided to change that! I decided to read The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere by John Chu. It's a short story that got a lot of buzz a few years back during the 2014 Hugo Awards and I wanted to see what the story was all about.

 

The story follows Matt, a Chinese biotech engineer, who lives in a world where if you lie, copious amounts of water rains down upon you. In this rain-filled world, Matt must spend a Christmas celebration with his family and work up the nerve to tell them he and his lover, Gus, plan on getting married. However, things become more complicated when his sister gets involved and refuses to let Matt have the chance to come out to his family. It's a hard-hitting tale most queer people must overcome with sci-fi elements thrown in.

 

I really enjoyed this story. John Chu has a very straightforward writing style. What I enjoyed most about it is how he incorporates his own language into the story. I don't read or understand Chinese, be it Mandarin or Cantonese, but I loved seeing Chu's language throughout the story. And he uses the language unapologetically. Mind you, he doesn't leave the reader hanging. You can figure out what the characters are saying either by the author giving you the translation right after the Chinese, or with enough context clues. I'm glad he decided to write his story in such a way.

 

The characters are all beautifully developed, complex characters! Matt is struggling with who he is as a person and not wanting to disappoint his family. He also is having a hard time admitting what he feels because of years of shame and guilt. His lover, Gus, is so loving and supportive but he, too, has his limits. He loves Matt and will do anything for him but also knows when he needs to give space to the one he loves. Matt's family also have many layers to them. I love Matt's mother so much for reasons I cannot describe because it's a HUGE spoiler to the short story but she is amazing! Michele, Matt's sister, is the only one that seems to have a problem with Matt being gay. It's mentioned multiple times throughout the story that she treats him poorly because she loves him and only wants what's best for him. But from the reader's point of view, she is selfish, cruel, and close-minded. One message that I took away from this short story is that, yes, you can love your family but if they are causing you harm, then a bit of separation is healthy for everyone involved. I love this short story.

 

If you love reading short stories about coming-of-age LGBTQIAP+/racially diverse characters with a sci-fi twist, then I highly recommend you give this one a read. The only downside to this story is that I, ironically, found it to be too short. If there were about five to six more paragraphs showing what happened after the last event, then I think it would have been a solid short story. As it is, it's a good story with a bit of an abrupt end. Still, I do recommend this short story. It's such a beautifully told tale about two men in love and the obstacles they must face just to be together.

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review 2017-05-12 20:58
Book Review for Arranged A Master and Mercenaries Novella by Lexi Blake
 
 
 


 
Arranged
A Master and Mercenaries Novella
by Lexi Blake
 stars
 
Reviewed by: Angels
Format:Kindle
Published: Evil Eye Concepts
Source: ARC
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
 
 
 
Kash Kamdar is the king of a peaceful but powerful island nation. As Loa Mali’s sovereign, he is always in control, the final authority. Until his mother uses an ancient law to force her son into marriage. His prospective queen is a buttoned-up intellectual, nothing like Kash’s usual party girl. Still, from the moment of their forced engagement, he can’t stop thinking about her. 

Dayita Samar comes from one of Loa Mali’s most respected families. The Oxford-educated scientist has dedicated her life to her country’s future. But under her staid and calm exterior, Day hides a few sexy secrets of her own. She is willing to marry her king, but also agrees that they can circumvent the law. Just because they’re married doesn’t mean they have to change their lives. It certainly doesn’t mean they have to fall in love. 

After one wild weekend in Dallas, Kash discovers his bride-to-be is more than she seems. Engulfed in a changing world, Kash finds exciting new possibilities for himself. Could Day help him find respite from the crushing responsibility he’s carried all his life? This fairy tale could have a happy ending, if only they can escape Kash’s past…



We loved this story cover to cover.What a great cast of of characters that were really funny and enjoyable to read about.I cannot tell you how many times I laughed throughout this story something we needed lately.

I loved the plot and its characters.Day she was my favorite in the bunch.I found her to be intelligent,kind,passionate,beautiful inside and out and one who owned her sexuality. Day surprised me the most as she was not the kind of girl that Kash normally went for yet still attracted to.This was a intelligent women who decided to act on her sexual desire and become a Dominatrix making her even a stronger women in her life and work.I loved seeing a strong female character in a story and Day was the perfect match for Kash the worlds most irresponsible playboy who happens to be a king. Kash will never rule his wife in or out of the bedroom the perfect women to make him change and be the man she new he to be all along.I loved that Day got a second chance at love with Kash but, is he willing to except the women she is now without feeling weak?Is she willing to give up what she needs and wants to be able to be with him?I was rooting for Day to stick by her guns and stay true to herself.I just loved everything about her she was just to sweet not to love.

Kash a king with a playboy reputation .I found him to be intelligent and to have a sense of humor but, most of the time I thought he was an a**.I thought about kicking this kings but more than once throughout this story.How could he admire Day for being intelligent kind and a strong women and in his next breath despising her for those qualities.He could not except that she had a past and how she lived her life and yet he had no problem being a king with his sexual interludes splashing the Internet far and wide. Hypocrite much?

A story filled with passion and deceit ,danger,love and regret and second chances.We loved it.I love when you are able to connect with the characters that you read about.And I was able to do that with these characters.I love when you read about two alpha's characters and wait and see if their willing to meet in middle and compromise .

Kash's upbringing is responsible for a lot of his current thinking concerning women but in the same breath he doesn't want see a women be suppressed.I understood his inter struggles as he was a king and didn't want to be seem as weak. But, submitting to his wife in the bedroom was not going to make him weak yet he couldn't and was not willing to give up control in all things.

A great love story that had you rooting for a couple of strong characters who were perfect for one another and had a lot in common yet so far apart.I enjoyed being on this journey of this couples self sexual discovery and learning to see if love truly conquers all.I will definitely be looking to read the rest of the books in this series as we can't wait to read about the other characters we met in this current story.

A recommend story to all. 
 

5 stars from us
 
 


 
 
 






NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn't until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem. 

Her first novel, Their Virgin Captive: Masters of Ménage, Book 1, was a collaboration with New York Times bestselling author Shayla Black. There are six more books available in the series: Their Virgin's Secret, Their Virgin Concubine, Their Virgin Princess, Their Virgin Hostage, Their Virgin Secretary, and Their Virgin Mistress.

In addition to the Masters of Ménage series, she is the author of the Masters and Mercenaries series. The first nine novels, The Dom Who Loved Me, The Men with the Golden Cuffs, A Dom is Forever, On Her Master's Secret Service, Love and Let Die, Dungeon Royale, A View to a Thrill, You Only Love Twice, and Master No are available now, along with the novellas Sanctum, Unconditional, Dungeon Games, Cherished, Luscious, Adored, and Just One Taste. The tenth novel, From Sanctum with Love, is coming February 23, 2016, along with a new novella, Devoted, on April 12, 2016.

In 2013, Lexi also began releasing her urban fantasy series, Thieves. The full series, Steal the Light, Steal the Day, Steal the Moon, Steal the Sun, and Steal the Night, are available now on Amazon. The first two books in a spin-off of the series, Ripper and Addict, were released in 2015. Look for Sleeper, the next book in the spin-off series, to be released in Fall of 2016.

Lexi again collaborated with Shayla Black in a new series The Perfect Gentlemen. The first book, Scandal Never Sleeps, is now available. Book two, Seduction in Session, will release on January 5, 2016, followed by book three, Big Easy Temptation, on May 3, 2016.

Sign up for Lexi's FREE newsletter at http://lexiblake.net.

For more information about her books, her appearances and her wacky life visit her Facebook page (http://goo.gl/q2IHnJ) or her website (http://www.lexiblake.net).
 


 
 
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review 2017-05-12 17:49
Foxheart (Foxheart #1) by Claire Legrand
Foxheart - Claire Legrand,Jaime Zollars

I will start off by saying I did not finish this book. I read up to page 139 and decided this book was not for me. I was not enjoying it one bit and I don't believe you should continue reading a book if you're not fully immersed in the story. That being said, you might like this book so if you're interested in reading Foxheart then go ahead and read it! I truly hope you enjoy it. 

 

Foxheart is about a girl who is shunned by everyone around her because of how different she looks. She decides that the only way to survive this world is to make it her own. That's when she becomes a thief... until she witnesses the Wolf King destroying the convent where she is staying. When she escapes and realizes that she has powers of her own, she must learn to control them and collect the bones of the ancient race of witches so that she might one day destroy the Wolf King and bring peace to her land.

 

From the beginning of the book, I did not like the writing style. It's extremely juvenile. Whilst I understand this is a middle-grade novel, I don't feel you should ever write in a way where you're talking down to your readers no matter how young they are. Children are intelligent individuals and will be able to sense when they are being treated as if they are dumb. The way Legrand approaches a subject, explaining to death, as if the reader couldn't figure out what was happening in the scene is demeaning. 

 

Also, the characters acted foolishly every single time. Yes, they're children, but a few of the actions taken were just stupid because "they're children." For example, one of the characters, Anastazia, warns both children, Quicksilver and Sly Boots, that they mustn't tell other witches what they are up to because witches like to hurt and kill one another. Then the boy, Sly Boots, runs off and tells the first pack of witches he see, putting his group in danger. Now that was stupid enough. And it could be explained "Oh, he's a child. He didn't know any better." Fair enough. But what about the scene immediately following that? Where Quicksilver cloaks them to hide from the witches and then Anastazia, an old woman, laughs at a comment one of the other witches make, alerting the witches that they were indeed in the area hiding. And that's not the only time she messes up either! Later, when talking with the witches, she nearly let slip that she can travel through time which is a type of forbidden magic! She's the oldest of the group and she was making stupid decisions left and right! I was never one to fall in love with stories where the characters made dumb decisions in order to "further" the plot. It's lazy writing.

 

In fact, throughout reading these 139 pages, I was just bored. I was bored with the writing. I was bored with the plot. I was bored with the characters. I was not enjoying it at all. Every aspect of this book was mediocre to me. And it's a shame because I saw the potential. I was looking forward to seeing how these characters were going to stop the villain, The Wolf King... until I saw how much of a caricature he was and how dumb the "heroes" acted. It was just a disappointment.

 

That being said, if you're still intrigued by the premise then, by all means, read this book. Just because I didn't like it doesn't mean you won't. I do think it's a very easy read so you could read it in one sitting despite its size. So give it a try. As for me, I was not a fan and will not be reading the rest of this series.

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