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review 2017-02-08 05:56
Jizzmas approved! ;D
The Fortune Cookie (2016 Advent Calendar - Bah Humbug) - Matt Burlingame
It's the spookiest time of the year...CHRISTMAS JIZZMAS time!!

A lot of readers are going to smother themselves in Christmas Jizz. Whelp at BMBR, we're reviewing Dreamspinner's Bah Humbug anthology - Grumps vs. Jizz Lovers (1 guess what team I'm on)



Here's my 2 cents:

4.25 Hearts--I feel!



Possibly the Jizzmas spirit? *squints*

This Santa jizz Grumpcorn was tickled by this adorably snarky story. I swallowed this load easily.

I think this year's anthology theme of Scrooges reigning supreme is great. (You can't tell me that the Scrooges don't reign) It's the only reason why I even looked at this year's Dreamspinner anthology. I felt one with this story's Scrooge, Laurence. He's 33, single and not a big fan of the Christmas commercialism. And if he shreds unwanted Christmas decorations from his office cubicle, so what? They shouldn't be invading his space. I feel he is misunderstood. He stood up to the Christmas cheery and their Christmas sugar, fought the good fight...maybe he might have been a little stern.

But he got his point across. *shrug*

Maybe too well, since he's been at it for years and this year an office mishap lands him in an office holiday planning committee. Mandatory or else. *gasp* And to make matters worse, the committee is being led by a Christmas loving ginger giant by the name of Nick Kringall. Nick tries to complete the impossible with Laurence on his team--throw a big party in a limited amount of time. The two men are forced to work together. During this short period of time Laurence thaws out, Nick seems a little otherworldly, is it a Jizzmas miracle?

NO!

Where this story wins is not the Jizzmas cheer, it's watching Laurence realize his flaws, grow as a person and open to let someone in. Also, Matt Burlingame, the author of this story has a fine hand at letting the story unfurl without letting it get lost to Christmas fluff and cheer. There was a speck of feels as there are mentions of past abuse - Trigger warning. There were also moments of cheese--hm, like Cheddar cubes--but it worked to make a well rounded story. And the romance was sweet not sticky. The laughs had a snarky tinge. Thoroughly enjoyed and will be looking for more MM romance from this author (it's his first time!)

On second thought, I don't think it's Jizzmas spirit I feel. I think it was a little indigestion. *burp* ;P

A copy provided for an honest review.
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review 2016-07-27 03:26
A different sort of fae/shifter story. Wished it was longer
Faerie Riddles (2016 Daily Dose - A Walk on the Wild Side Book 10) - Cassia Rose

Three Hearts--If you love puzzles, fantasy based stories that features all sorts of magic and finishing the story without feeling you fully know the answer, let me introduce you to "Faerie Riddles" by Cassia Rose.




Alastar is a human researcher who studies all information he can get his hands on about magical creatures, namely the fae and changelings beyond the Great Iron Wall. The Wall separates the magical creatures and humans as fae are deathly allergic to iron. Changelings are as well. Changelings are special as they share a soul with an animal. (This is where the shifter requirement kicks in) Changelings choose their animal when they are ready to reach maturity.

Alastar gets to leave the Wall to study the magical beings every moon and he befriends Gadhar, a changeling who is a mule-sized dog and loves to tease Alastar with riddles. They travel through an enchanted forest, where they travel for days to changeling settlements.

As a first time author, I think Cassia Rose did a good job on setting a basis for the world created. However, it was too condensed to achieve the magic I think this story could've been. The writing style isn't my favorite and doesn't normally work for me. But I can see it being a better fit for readers who don't mind less romantic, high fantasy - there is only fade to black and mere kisses.

The romantic elements lacked chemistry for me. Not due to the fade to black scenes but Alastar didn't really seem to crush on Gadhar until late. I mean if you're gaga over a guy, wouldn't there be some hint closer to when you finally get to seem him after a month (or however long the moon cycle is in this world)? Gadhar read lackluster too in the romance department. I think the story would have worked without the romance as the main problem of the tale is short length.

Sometimes it can work, but there were changes that happened too quickly to rush through tacked on feelings. The setting however is the best part, though it too could have been stellar with about 5-10K of story, less time with riddles more time developing the main characters. I finished this with more questions than answers and it ended weird.

Definitely read worthy but not suggested for every reader.

Loved the cover, it was very fitting of "Faerie Riddles."

Find the unicorns reviews here for #ShifterSundayFunday!



A copy provided for an honest review.

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review 2016-05-29 03:12
Disabilities are not defects...
Loud and Clear - Aidan Wayne

3.75 Hearts--Disabilities are not defects.

Because they're not.




I jumped at the chance to take a chance on new author, Aidan Wayne after reading the blurb. And this story was more than either man's disability, it was more about letting someone in when you've had to fight harder to make your place in this world. This is a slow burn romance and more about opening yourself when you've learned it's better to be closed off...but there is something about the other man that made them give a chance.

Dyslexic cab driver Jaxon picks up an easy fare on a Tuesday night. His tipsy fare didn't talk much, wore a sexy business suit, appeared to have a cold demeanor and tipped well. This became a pattern, his routine fare nary saying a word until one Tuesday, Jaxon got a little written note on his receipt. Out of normal routine, Jaxon was curious about his Tuesday fare, who was intoxicated but never tried answering back at Jaxon's attempt at small talk. This pattern continued for several weeks until his handsome Tuesday fare cancelled his Tuesday night bar pick ups.

Jaxon's mind for memorizing comes in handy when he had a chance to save his Tuesday fare and thus begins a tentative friendship. When they discovered their communication issues, they didn't make a big stink or tried to ignore each other. They found middle ground and learned a few new things about themselves.




Loud and Clear isn't about their disabilities. They play background to both men who carry damaged baggage.I loved learning about them and their background (though I felt it could've went deeper for Caleb) Jaxon comes from humble beginnings, has low self esteem, think of himself as "stupid" since mostly everyone thinks he is and tells him. Caleb is a wealthy marketing and research developer who had specialists, went to expensive special schools and uses ASL to communicate when his stuttering is bad. Both men had barely anything in common except for their disabilities and people's perceptions of them.

Since the story was slow burn, the men take time to get to know one another and I felt it as believable. The author clearly did their research and didn't make it read like a manual. (If there was any incorrect facts, I didn't notice) I love that the story was light in tone, low angst, and basically let the characters be the stars. The setting could be any city really. The author didn't really give much detail in either main character's description, letting their personalities and actions be the driver. (Badda bing!)


Jaxon! He stole my heart in this story. He was so sweet, took the time to try to bridge the gap, even when he was filled with trepidation at points. He is a great character and good soul. I took slight longer to like Caleb but I got where he was coming from and sometimes resting bitch face can be misconstrued.

Were there any issues with the story? I didn't find much really. The story might've hit a lull in some spots. I questioned Caleb diagnosing Jaxon as quickly. (How'd he pinpoint dyslexia from one conversation?) Overall, reading this was infectious.


There wasn't any sex, this story didn't need it. It was mere kisses and sweet. It ends with a HFN, a starting point and though I wouldn't mind another chapter to the last scene, I think it ended in a good spot, where feelings are developing.




I will end this review with stating my beginning statement once more: disabilities are not defects. Loud and Clear showed that disabilties can help people develop a bond.



A copy provided via Netgalley for an honest review.

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review 2016-04-09 22:57
Whatever. *rolls eyes*
Where The Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak

So not my normal choice of read. But it was a me and little one book, where I read and he listens or pretends to...hopefully we can nail down the 'pretend to listen' game with the kid. (But not with me, because I'm the favorite aunt--duh.)

Anyway, the story was...meh to me. I remember when I was younger and saw this book. I bypassed it then. Apparently, I was onto something because I totally would bypass it now, especially after reading.

I couldn't stand Max. Why would the awesome beasts/monsters be tamed by him? He didn't do anything but show up even if he's the one pulling the strings.

But the pictures were nice.

What did the kid think? Fucking enthralled! Seriously glued to the pages.
Or it could have been the sound of my voice. *shrugs*

If he could speak, he'd rate it: 10/10 would read again.

So...

Me: 2 stars
Kid: 5 stars


Let's meet middle ground and average, 3.5 stars. I'll round up because...ugh...we'll be rereading.

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review 2015-11-18 07:25
This was so cool. I'm definitely checking future work from this author.
Balancing Act - Angie Barry
3.75 HEARTS--Have I mentioned I'm a mythology geek? Greek mythology to be exact.

The moment I saw this cover and the tags...I jumped at the chance to read. I'll admit, I barely read the blurb. Modern Greek mythology MM doesn't grow on trees. And bonus...it's menage!



New-to-me and new author Angie Barry took classic mythology characters, Adonis, Narcissus and Ganymede and put them in today's world. Adonis is an up-and-coming fashion model who is in love with his currently off again lover Narcissus, the world renowned artist. Narcissus is happy playing the field. He doesn't understand why Adonis can't get with the program...though out of all the lovers he's had, he can't get Adonis off his mind. At a party they see Ganymede and make a bet, who could get with Ganymede first. So they both make a play for the younger man. Ah but who gets played in the end?

Adonis' angst was my favorite part. Because it's relatable and being inside his head was I think the author's best moments of this story. The words and quotes, not something that's going to blow you across the world, but quietly powerful in a way.

"I know who I am because I know who he is because I know what we are when we're together."

And get this? The author made the characters multicultural. And it wasn't a big deal. And it was so cool how they slipped in. Scored major points for me.

While I really enjoyed the tale, it's short. And reads rushed at parts especially toward the end. Ganymede is supposed to the glue to bring the former lovers together. And he does an okay job. He seems to have a handle of both men pretty well. But the off scene parts where he got to understand each man so quickly, reads too quickly.

Granted, the story ends more with a hopeful, HFN end. For the length, it is very fitting. But I wish that either this trio would be explored more or this story maybe could be expanded on, more with Ganymede's thoughts. (I get there is a twist - I saw it a mile away) It was a cute one.

Readable? Definitely.

I enjoyed all the characters even the vain Narcissus (what else would he have been) LOL

I'll keep an eye out for more from this author in the future. I liked the tone.



A copy provided via Netgalley for an honest review
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