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review 2014-03-03 19:26
In Case The Daylight Never Comes - plume... In Case The Daylight Never Comes - plume_bob

 

This is a Sterek fanfic and its really, really good.

After reading the first 50 sentences I was sure I wasn’t going to like it because of the writing, but after that the writing changed, from a lot of short non-describing sentences to, well, just much better writing, and I really started to get into it. Especially because it evolves around one of my favorite Sterek kinks, which is hurt/comfort, and even better is the fact that they don’t really want to comfort each other.. at first.. kinda.. not really.. ok, so they really want to comfort each other, ok?

This fic is canon compliant up until 3a. Cora and Derek are back in town, and Stiles is having his night terrors. In them, these monsters are asking about Derek, and somehow Derek can sense Stiles’ screams for help. They discover that they can ease each other’s pain and tiredness, with simple touches and oh God it’s so good. So, so good. I legit shivered a few times. The fic is a 100% Stiles POV, but it’s about the whole pack trying to figure out how to stop the next big bad in Beacon Hills, and they do that while Stiles is trying not to go insane from not sleeping, and from finding out that Derek is the only thing that can make him have dreamless sleeps.

Both Stiles and Derek are written so well. Not so much brooding from our favorite Sourwolf, but that doesn’t really matter. I really wouldn’t have minded another 50k words in this world setting, and if you know me you know that that is as big a kudos as I’m capable of giving.

4 stars.

 

 

photo tumblr_map5zhJkpw1qmi1k9o1_250.gif

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review 2014-01-20 08:15
Ethan by Nicole Edwards
Ethan: An Alluring Indulgence Novel (Volume 5) - Nicole Edwards

I loved the hell out of this book! 

 

 

I wrote in one of my status updates in GR while reading that this book didn’t just tick my hurt/comfort kink box nicely, but it slammed into it with a 2″ x 4″. I can’t think of a better way to put it than that. I love hurt/comfort. I adore emotional hurt/comfort. It’s my drug of choice and these two gave it to me in spades.

 

I’ve not read the previous books in this series, but as the blurb said, I didn’t need to to enjoy this one. Having said that though, I will probably read them because I did fall in love with the brothers and this family. I loved the dynamic between them and the little glimpses I saw of their lives.

 

Ethan & Beau are damaged, but in so very different ways.

 

Ethan is irrevocably shattered by the death of his first love, Gavin, who was taken from him violently, and needlessly. All because of a narrow minded, hate-filled bigot, who relentless taunts him for years afterward. The guilt and pain that torments Ethan causes him to shut down, emotionally. He continues on, but he doesn’t live…just survives. No attachments, no emotion. With his family, his friends, and his lovers. Isolation and casual sex are Ethan’s gig. And he’s good at it, for a while.

 

Beau is kind of a lost soul. He’s one of those people that you can’t help but fall in love with. Sweet, gentle, kind. It’s amazing he ended up that way. Growing up in a loveless household, Beau has never felt what it’s like to be loved, cared for. He has friends, and has adopted the Walker family more or less as his own, but he’s never had anything that’s just his.

 

When these two finally give in, the chemistry between them is explosive. Their first time together is one of the most sensual, erotic, and emotional sex scenes I’ve read in a long time. (I’m quite certain I saw that in another review, but I can’t remember who said it.) And emotional sex…well, that can just about undo me when it’s done right. It ranks right up there with my h/c kink.

 

“I know exactly what I want. And you’d be smart to give in because I can tell you, I don’t have any intentions on giving up.”
[..]

“You don’t want this,” Ethan said, his voice low.

 

“You don’t want this,” he repeated, his voice containing less anger and more confusion.

 

Beau placed one hand gently on Ethan’s hip, tilting his head as he studied him. He kept his tone serious when he said, “I want this more than you’ll ever understand.”

 

Beau is determined to heal Ethan, and Ethan is just tired enough to let him try. The two of them are so sweet together, I didn’t know whether to smile or cry half the time.

 

It’s funny, there’s nothing new or earth shattering in this book, everything has been done before and yet I loved it to pieces. I guess that’s a testament to the writing and the characters, or it just really hit my kinks. If you like men comforting each other, watching a relationship grow and heal two broken people, I think you’ll enjoy this book. Give it a try, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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review 2014-01-06 01:15
ARC Review: The Gentleman's Madness
The Gentleman's Madness - Summer Devon,Bonnie Dee

A historical M/M romance, apparently well researched and written with the proper language of the times as well as creating the right setting. John Gilliam has been sent to an insane asylum after being discovered by his father in a compromising position with another man, something not done in 1880's England. John's account of the treatment he receives at the facility, and his mental and physical suffering are somewhat glossed over, but when the reader is given insight to John's musings, a clear picture emerges.

 

Samuel Tully is one of the asylum's attendants and "suffers" from the same affliction. The two men grow beyond the patient/attendant relationship, and I liked the slow burn of their affections. Their escape from the asylum was also well done, though I found John's father to be rather dull and wishy-washy, and somewhat unrealistic in his dealings.

 

The writing is what kept me interested, and the characterization of John Gilliam was rather well done. The relationship between John and Sam progresses slowly enough to be realistic, though both men are in fear of discovery. The processes of the therapy and the methods employed were also described in realistic ways, and it was clear that the author had done research on these things. 

 

The author managed to make me care about the characters, and I was happy to see them happy by the end. The two MCs seemed well suited to each other, and their relationship didn't appear fake or contrived, nor did it smack of John being simply grateful to Sam. The two men forged a relationship out of a terrible situation, but progressed beyond it in the epilogue. 

 

Not bad. Not bad indeed. 

 

PS: The cover is hideous. The image is a stock photograph that I've seen on other books and it doesn't do this book any favor to use it. Please, please, do a better job on choosing an image. 

 

** I received a free ARC from the publisher via Author's HQ. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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review 2013-12-31 15:30
Book Review - Beneath Angel's Wings
Beneath Angel's Wings - E. Summers

I'm not the target demographic for this book, and it showed. The writing is geared towards young adults, with more telling than showing. The messages in the book however are profound as expected, and I enjoyed reading about both Adam, who learns to stand up for himself and be who he is, and Angel, whose good deed turns into much more than he could have expected. It's about family, the one you're born into and the one you choose, and about the lesson that while blood may be thicker than water, blood doesn't always determine family. 

 

Realistic voices, realistic struggles and realistic outcomes make this a wonderful book for any young adult and might even be considered required High School reading. For someone in the YA demographic looking for a realistic story about young men coming of age, this is an excellent choice. 

 

I received this book directly from the author. A positive review was not promised in return.  

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review 2013-12-27 20:15
ARC Review - Sex and Sourdough
Sex & Sourdough - A.J. Thomas

So close to 5 stars, but a couple of issues that I had to question. Some excellent themes in this book, with great primary characters who are flawed but good for each other. 

 

I really liked the slow burn of the relationship between Anders and Kevin. I liked how there was a bit of a spark from the start, but neither acted on it, for differing reasons, though I could tell that Kevin was quickly feeling protective of Anders and acted accordingly. 

 

It's a sweet M/M romance at the core, with a well-rounded supporting cast, some nice, some not. The author does a fabulous job laying out Anders' and Kevin's personalities as well as their circumstances (Anders' abusive, manipulative ex-boyfriend Joel, Kevin's illness that has made him leave his family and keep to himself for the last few years), and it's all done organically through the story flow, without massive amounts of info-dumping.

 

The two men build a strong friendship on the trail, talking about their situations, being honest in their communications (Anders figures out that Kevin has lupus), and find common ground in Kevin's sourdough bread, which gives him his trail nickname. Every so often, the ex-boyfriend pops up to cause a problem, but for a long time, he's just a fly in the ointment, a nuisance, and I didn't take him seriously. He annoyed me, yes, but I didn't expect him to go as nutso as he does in the end. 

 

Anders' relationship with his family is strained. He's on the Appalachian trail, basically running away, because he feels stifled by their expectations, he doesn't want to follow the path they expect him to follow. His older brothers are pretty much assholes too - judgmental, hypocritical in one case, and more or less not very supportive. I got the feeling that they looked at Anders with disdain, as if he were a bother.

 

For about half the book, we follow Anders and Kevin on the trail, are treated to watching their friendship and then their romance unfold, even though both agree it's only a summer romance because Anders will go back to Jacksonville for law school, and Kevin will keep running away from his mom and sister so he doesn't burden them with his disease.

 

Up until Anders leaves, the book was perfect, and I fully intended to give it five stars, when I realized I was only half-way through. From that point on, it takes a bit of a dive into the overly dramatic, with Joel going jealous crazy psycho freak-out when he realizes that Anders meant their break-up and won't take him back. I despised Joel at that point for his actions and words, and I didn't see his purpose in the book anymore, even though I know there are people like that and his characterization was mostly realistic. It was much too dramatic at that point, and what would have been a nice, sweet romance, with Anders looking for Kevin's family and then reuniting with Kevin, instead turned into a whodunit overly dramatic, unthrilling sequence of events that had me part breathless and part scratching my head.

 

I also had to question what triggered Joel's freak-out, and why nobody else in Anders' family had any kind of inkling that Joel wasn't quite kosher. There were plenty of hints that I could see, since his actions didn't gel with what he'd initially used as an excuse to not accompany Anders on the trail. It's sort of explained, even though I felt bad for Anders that he had to deal with this kind of abuse. 

 

Be that as it may, as I continued reading, I could still see the sweet story underneath, and I appreciated the growth that Anders exhibits, when he stands up for himself and what he wants, but the side plot with nutso Joel was over the top and in my humble opinion unnecessary. Including the dramatic sequence of events at the climax of the story made me feel as if my emotions were being manipulated. I thought that the gruesome scene Anders finds in his apartment was a little unrealistic, and something out of a crime drama on TV. Cue the dun-dun-dun music. 

 

However - and this is why I'm giving this 4.5 stars after all - the book did keep me glued to the pages, and that's due to the great writing style. I needed to find out if Kevin and Anders would get their happy ending, because by that point I was fully invested in the characters. 

 

This was my first book by A.J. Thomas, but it likely won't be the last. 

 

I received a free ARC from the publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. 

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