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review 2017-10-02 06:56
Snoozefest delight
Two for Trust (Dreamspun Desires Book 34) - Elle Brownlee
A Tag Team Review with Sara!

BROKEN HEART
--How to sum up Two for Trust?



I've been wanting to read something from this author for a while. And once I read the blurb and saw the cover... I rushed to read it.

After reading, it was not a great first impression of this author's work.

The elements are there for a winning story:

Finch - down and out dorky ginger ex-nurse who struck out on life in the work and love department
Benedict - a very stiff upper lip Brit with a mysterious air
A British countryside vacation filled with historical talking points

The air for romance while on vacation was there.

The thing is, neither main characters were interesting or charismatic enough to have a believable romance. I hesitate to call this a romance. There is a HEA and the right words showed up at times. But the delivery is so wooden, so stiff, so dry, so crusty.

My favorite part is stolen instant oatmeal. I think it was the highlight.

The book spends so much time on the English historical artifacts and research that the non existent romance and chemistry suffers from the boring and dry characters. Finch was pathetic and too similar in disposition to make any impact. Benedict... he was too "reserved". He just manipulated Finch and didn't share anything until it was too late.

And that ending? Please. *side eyes*

If you're new to the Dreamspun line, do not try this. I can't recommend. I do enjoy a quiet romance but this was too staid, too reserved and too boring.

So in closing, if you're having difficulties going to sleep or need something to start a nap, I'd give this book a try.




It worked wonders for me.



A copy provided for an honest review.
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review 2017-02-05 03:43
Messy x infinity = I'm reading
The Straight Line - EAB

Where I ramble my thoughts on the entertaintment of The Straight Line and why I needed it...

So this book has the honor (or horror - depends on who you ask) being read pre- and post- election.


(Don't worry this won't get political)

The Straight Line was supposed to be introductory peek into EAB's writing, because his other book Black Snow sounded all kinds of yum. But this book's blurb was a SRAL order du jour on the author's short menu: cheating, an uptight guy losing his mind over the third from he and his wife's supposed to be one time threesome...and look at the drawn cover.

Yaoi haze descended on me.

I saw the drama filled lights blaring loud and clear.



And the peek was only supposed to be brief; my review pile is so long, it probably has its own zip code at this point.

To be honest, I was going to DNF after the first 10%. The book's start was rough as fuck. And I was getting weird sort of FSOG vibes with not naming the genitals that is a pet peeve of mine: if you're old enough to use the fuck parts, call them by their name.

The husband and wife were your run of the mill couple I guess. The hubby was WAY uptight. The wife thought bringing her resident from her job would be a good idea to spice it up. And the third...he's one interesting character.

There's something intriguing about him. It could be fantasy that he represents.
Or that he fucked like a champ.
Or maybe that he dismantled the hell out of the husband, Courtney, piece by piece.

Thankfully, the author got into the groove as the story progressed. This is a self published book and reads as such - yes there is a need for editing. But I can overlook it especially if I'm hooked (which I was).

So I'm trekking along as the story continues to unfurl deeper with messy antics (I'll get to that)

And then the election. Cut to post election. :|

And mourning. What's a girl who loves to read to do?

Get back to the fucking book (and visiting GR for more books to add the massive TBR because book therapy is definitely going to be needed)

This book...oh...I feel like I should buy EAB a drink.



Because damn it. I was entertained!

It wasn't the best book in the world. Trust.

Biggest concern: Editing. It's self pubbed - so if you don't mind things like age discrepancies, or changing hair colors, the story entertains. But the editing issues are glaring that even I noticed.

I'm waffling on where it rates, somewhere in the 3.5 to not quite-4 stars range.

This story is yaoi-ish, drama filled with Courtney (uke) and Sebastian (seme). Sebastian's age varies (editing issues) but I believe he's 10 years younger than Courtney, the married suburban lawyer husband who was secretly closeted. It takes the invited third to rattle Courtney's world. Our book's seme is fantasy quality - tall, dark and handsome. Add the chemistry and charisma he oozed and it was just delicious.

But it wasn't just hot seduction for 300+ pages.

Courtney is an asshole supreme. His self hatred and the way he views and treats others including Sebastian and Claire, Courtney's wife, can be vile. Courtney is so paranoid and deep in the closet, he can't seem to realize his effect in the first half of the book.

And Sebastian isn't a saint either. In fact, he's about maybe a level 6 on my scale of cray . *squints* He actually touched level 7 - those threats. *widen eyes*

So...triggers: non-con drugging/physical abuse/emotional abuse/ cheating

If this was a RL couple, I'd be calling the cops. Messy x infinity

I even questioned why once or twice...but their chemistry. It's undeniable. I don't think either one could function without the other. Vicious...crazytrain cycle.

And if they weren't fighting, they were sexing. The yaoi sex sound effects...(it could grate on a nerve after a while.) And these went at it...hard.

There's a HEA (I was a little worried there around 83%) and it all worked out in the end. Maybe a little too easily after trekking through the soap opera that was Courtney and Sebastian's love life.

The novel could benefit from an edit - it needs to be shaved down maybe 15-20%. And some areas could benefit being expanded on.

But for what I got now? Especially now...



Enjoyable introduction into EAB's writing for me (despite my gripes)

I don't recommend "The Straight Line" for everyone. More for readers who don't mind the triggers and liars.

aka readers like me.

*on the hunt for more books*

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review 2017-02-03 05:02
Like erotic thrillers? This is one to check out!
Max - Bey Deckard
A tag team review with Sara!



4.5 HEARTS--

There was no climbing back out of the rabbit hole; he was fucked and fucked good, but at least the company was interesting.

Down the rabbit hole indeed...




What a twisted, psychological thrilling roller coaster of a ride Max turned out to be.

I'd rather warn potential readers there are triggers in here: rape, dubious consent, unethical practices, cheating, some violence. (A checklist of sorts that guaranteed me reading) And I don't consider this a trigger by any means, but there are readers who don't like vaginas in their fiction *gasp*...whelp, there are few in here (put to good use might I add. I mean it is a Bey Deckard title *grin*) Is Max dark? I don't think so. On a scale from 1-5, maybe 1 or 1.5? It's more a head game...a devious fucking head game.

Lying.

There's oodles and oodles of lies. And I've read this 1.5 times, and I'm trying to figure out where all the truths were.

Set in Montréal, Dr. Dennis Crane is a newly minted psychologist, married and seems to have a normal life. Enter his patient, young Max, who he can tell has a madness in his eyes, that Max is hiding something. But Dr. Crane is drawn to the younger man. Maybe he can diagnose him, fix Max. He doesn't even realize he's been ensnared in the spider's web and Max is running the show.

"Are you afraid of me, Dennis? You shouldn't be. I'm trying my very best to make you understand that I like you. And I'm offering you the very thing you desire the most: me. You know I'm a fine specimen of amorality. I'm giving you the opportunity to look behind the curtain. No holding back."

I believe I've made it known I enjoy reading the cray crays, especially when they're well written. Psychopaths, sociopaths, amoral puppet masters that treat others they encounter as their toys...I enjoy reading them.


This is Max.

He's a level 7 on my scale, 100%.  And I was plugged in for his show. Really enjoyed that twisted fucker.

Reading Dr. Crane lose more of himself to the miasma of the depravity that reeks from Max, and you read it as Crane knows and still can't help himself. *claps hands wildly* That was everything. The story is told in a journal style, from Dr. Crane's POV. Max and Dr. Crane's interactions starts with sessions, and steadily moves from the doctor's practice, taking over Crane's life. A mild mannered man who develops kinks he didn't even know existed. The sex was scorching hot, while the lines between doctor and patient blurred, melded and made new definitions.

"I've opened you up to a whole new range of experiences. Once you get acclimatized, you'll see it the way I do."

I had minor quibbles.  I wanted to know more. What exactly happened during the missing days? There are hints, subtle hints dotted in between the lies. It's a little frustrating not knowing. Maybe there'll be a B-side to Max? Maybe not. Who knows if the world's ready to know what's going on inside that "lizard brain" of Max's. *wink*

The ending is...I'm still a little wide eyed after that ending. I don't know what else to define it other than a little sad, yet fitting.

Recommended for readers who like amoral liars, characters who don't care to define their sexuality and twisted psychological erotica.

Watch your step.



That rabbit hole, man...it's a helluva ride.



A copy provided for an honest review.
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review 2016-07-12 01:12
Suit Porn with a romantic-ish twist
Bespoke - Megan McFerren,Val Prozorova

3.25 Hearts--Suit porn.



*mutters filthy things*



*bites lip*

I lost my train of thought. This happens when I see a good looking man in a good looking suit.



So when I read the blurb of this new to me author duo, Megan McFerren and Val Prozorova, I just had to read! Suits, demanding customer paired with a possibly obnoxious tailor? I imagined high tensions and sexy smolders while measurements were taken. After reading, I can say both authors definitely love a good suit. This was the ultimate suit porn (and no I'm not talking sex).

In Bespoke, an arrogant neurosurgeon, Vance, is having a very bad day. He just arrived from London to stay for an extended neurosurgeons' conference in NYC, the airport lost his clothes and he just can't be seen wearing the only two suits he managed to bring as carry-on. Why, he'll be the laughingstock of the conference. While suffering from his very, bad, horrible day, he can't even check into his hotel suite. He needs a suit stat, so why he asks for the best tailor in the city, he's directed to a little shop that doesn't look like it houses the very best tailor.

The arrogant doctor meets super confident tailor: Louisiana bred Ethan Adler.

Ethan doesn't ask he tells. And the British doctor is flabbergasted.

Now this is when the setup climaxes, because the story spends more time describing the color and fabric of the suits and not building the relationship between the two men who got off on the wrong foot. Here was an opportunity to have the doctor cut Ethan down to size, he seems to have a pompous backbone to him. But he was quiet.

And while I love the entire process of creating clothes and had a Project Runway moment while reading and saw the ubiquitous fabric store, Mood mentioned, I didn't read this just for the clothes.

I liked both characters. I especially loved the distinct tone and voices of the main characters, and have to call out when the voice matches the person presented. Vance threw out $20 words like it was nothing to him. It's the little details that I enjoy. Ethan was a dedicated, geeky-ish, confident tailor who knows his skills.

But does one 'me-time' session and a shared passion for clothes really mean these men would hit it off so quickly?

For a time frame as tight as these two were under, I'd buy it more if there was any believable chemistry. The passion is there...for suits.




Ethan and Vance? Not so much.

I think this story should have been longer, I just can't buy someone as uptight as Vance who thinks so highly of himself he had to rush to buy a one of a kind suit, to going there with someone who isn't even on his level. If he had a change of heart, or came off his high horse (especially after his mean trick to Ethan), more time was needed.

For escapism? I guess it could work.
For lovers of crafting clothes? This is porn for your fabric loving selves.

Thank goodness for the epilogue.

A very short story that might work best when you don't want to bust your brain reading a quick romance with likeable characters, nice writing and instalust feels.



A copy provided for an honest review via Netgalley

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review 2016-07-01 07:03
When the story doesn't live up to the potential...
Werewolf PTA (2016 Daily Dose - A Walk on the Wild Side Book 28) - Felicitas Ivey

Two Hearts--Me when a decent premise misses the mark:

 

 

It's not uncommon to have a story or two in anthology that is a miss.

 

Whelp, "Werewolf PTA" definitely is one to skip.

 

I'll be honest, I jumped to read this based on the title - I thought it would have maybe a cute older werewolf dad and teacher vibe going. Or something cute with werewolves. Because though I am a shifter lover, I can't forsake my #1 shifter love: werewolves.

 

Instead, this was a romantic (?) suspense where a serial killer is on the loose in the small town of Goodfields. The new vegetarian doctor, Dr. Malak Shahzed helps the sheriff, Shiloh, try to figure out the motive behind the murders while crushing on each other. Malak also hides a mysterious secret.

 

The story starts on the third murder with the doctor bending over a mauled corpse wondering about if the sheriff was watching his ass. This was my first warning niggle. But I read on. And the ingredients, a new doctor from a big city, who is a different ethnicity and religion from the majority of the town was very interesting. I don't usually see much gay romances starring a Muslim gay protagonist. Reading Malak adjusting to his new home, trying to flirt in the small town without openly adding fuel to the gossipy fire - that was great.

 

But the story started to come off the rails when sex happens and Malak's buddy, Faysal, comes to town. Instead of explaining things, Malak kept brushing things off with an 'I'll tell you later' excuse. And when later finally comes, it's worthless and a waste of time.

 

Faysal was added for comedic relief and tension between the MC. But it read forced. How does Shiloh go from shy and bumbling to overtly possessive?

 

 

 

And this quote:

 

"What Malak means is that I hunt things," Faysal explained. "I am a Hunter.""Hunting season isn't for months," Shiloh said perplexedly, not hearing the subtle capitalization.

 

Um...am I the only one who doesn't hear capitalization, no matter how subtle or overt it can be? Who hears capitalization? Wouldn't it have made more sense to just say emphasis? No? Just me?

 

This anthology had a shifter requirement for each story and it never read more like a requirement than Werewolf PTA. Every other story I've read so far from this anthology cared to at least describe the type of shifter if it was an animal, or at least give some background if it was fantasy based. This story just dumps 'oh yeah, he's a snake shifter' and moves on to the weak suspense. Like an afterthought.

 

The serial killer? Way easy to figure out and the motive behind it could have been cool if this story was written differently. But it was jumbled. As was the "Hunter" part - a supernatural society of killers and it gets jumbled along the rest of the plot.

 

Just...no.

 

A heart for the interesting parts, a heart for the villain - wasted opportunity, but I liked his motive. Not a good first impression of this author's work.

 


For the unicorns' #ShifterSundayFunday reviews:


A copy provided for an honest review.

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