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review 2014-01-22 20:18
Secrets & Ink by Lou Harper
Secrets and Ink - Lou Harper

I really wanted to like this one more than I did given my love for rentboys and tattoos. ;) I'm still trying to decide whether or not it was 'meh' or 'cute'. It's probably both to be honest. It wasn't really what I was hoping for when I bought it, but it wasn't bad. I didn't realize it was a novella when I bought it. So, it was a little short for the cost I think. Ends @ 89%.

I don't really feel the need to rehash the plot in this review because the summary does a pretty good job of it already. I was hoping for a little more 'rentboy' in this. I know it says former, but somehow I thought we'd get a bit more of Jem's history and his relationship with Riley when they were kids. I would have loved to see him & 'Sasha' together. Possibly more with Nick during that time period too. It would have made for a great story. It was missing the angst and grittiness I was expecting, I think. I'm not sure.

Also, I didn't really connect with either character enough to care about them. I liked Jem enough, but Nick was really flat. I just finished reading this one and I don't remember a single thing about him. I can't tell you what he looked like, things he liked, or anything other than he smirked a lot and liked shibari. (Which is Japanese rope bondage for those unaware. A system of intricate knot work over the body. And while this might sound hot for those who like a little kink, it wasn't really delved into within the story. Another disappointment.)

This would have been a better story had it been longer with more fleshed out characters. There was far too much telling and not enough showing. And the villain was far too predictable for me.

I did like Pancake though. Or the story behind him anyway. ;) I'll let you discover that should you choose to read.

Overall, it wasn't a bad story really, just not what I was looking for or expecting. For me, this was a case of cover lust gone wrong, I guess.

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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 2013-11-18 02:42
Collide by Riley Hart
Collide (Blackcreek Series) - Riley Hart

Two childhood best friends who have no one else in the world to count on besides each other. Then the unthinkable happens and one moves away only to be reunited seventeen years later.

This was such a sweet story of best friends who fall in love. It's a GFY, where after finding out Noah is gay, Cooper finds himself obsessing about Noah and what it would be like to touch him, kiss him, taste him. I think the author did a good job of illustrating Cooper's confusion and struggle to accept his feelings for Noah without becoming repetitive or going too heavy on the angst.

Cooper fights his attraction to Noah at first, only to give in when the UST becomes to much for either of them to bear. They're pretty damn hot together and I really liked watching them grow closer over the course of the book. Noah was very patient and understanding, while Cooper tried to figure out what he wanted.

There was a nice little twist at the end that I probably should have seen coming, but I was so tied up in Noah and Cooper that I missed it entirely. I think it ended a bit abruptly, or it could have been that I wasn't ready to let them go, or both. I kind of wanted to stay wrapped up my Noah and Cooper cocoon and not come out.

The only complaint I have is the editing. There were several instances of completely the wrong word used, like 'breaks' instead of 'brakes', or sentences that started to say one thing then were partially changed to say another, but not fully edited to make it clear. If that makes sense. I think one was along the lines of 'there isn't will never not be a reason'. I can't remember exactly, but it was similar.

Having said that though, I enjoyed these two enough that it didn't even bother me. The characters were all likable and the story was good. I love GFY stories and this one was a little angsty, a little sweet, and a lot hot. I'm curious to see how Wes & Braden's story plays out and I'd love to see more of Noah and Cooper

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review 2013-11-18 02:40
Forbidden Love by Ellis Carrington
Forbidden Love (Amor) - Ellis Carrington

I think this one was good in theory, but let down by the writing. I liked the idea of it, but something about it just didn't work for me.

 

 

Full review to come.

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review 2013-11-13 18:17
Try by Ella Frank
Try - Ella Frank

This one is difficult for me to rate, because for great deal of the book, I really didn't like one of the MC's, Logan. But, at around 30% he started growing on me a little. He's arrogant, shameless, persistent as hell - almost to the point of annoying - but there were a few things I saw through the brash exterior that kept me reading.

 

Logan is, in a word, a slut. He makes no apologies for it either. I kind of respected that. He's a very blunt, in your face type of personality that I think you will either love or hate. Our first impression of him at the book's opening are his inner thoughts as he cashes in his ticket to the mile high club. He loves sex and has/will sleep with anything with a pulse - male or female. That's not what bothered me about him though, it was his relentless arrogance that I found grating - at first. Imagine my surprise when that very quality became almost endearing to me the further I read. Yeah, I was stunned too. 

 

The first part shows us Logan, who's a lawyer working next door to a popular bar. It's one he frequents weekly, but when he sees a newly hired Tate working there for the first time, he determines then and there to make him his - and will stop at nothing until he is. Problem is, Tate is straight, in the middle of a nasty divorce, and so not interested. The mix of them together is quite volatile.

 

The second part delves a little deeper into them and their relationship.  Logan, well... I think it was around 50% that I figured him out and stopped actively hating him, because I understood him. We come to learn later about the things in his life that have made him who he is. And Tate, I really liked him. He was always honest, and had no problems in calling Logan out on his shit. I think they were well suited for each other once they admitted it.

 

This is very much a relationship/character driven story. There is a lot of sex, but to me, it seemed to be how the author chose to show the change in their emotions/relationship over time. You can judge whether or not it's too much for yourself. Personally, I think it's just skirting the border of it, but It was pretty damn hot regardless. And these two are pretty explosive together, so if you're looking for sweet, romantic sex, you will be sorely disappointed. But, don't be fooled, there's still a lot of emotion under the surface in both of them. They are both very much the alpha male, slam each other up against the wall type. As far as the plot, if you put some thought into it, it's not really that hard to figure out. So while it's not terribly original, given my love for reading damaged characters, it kinda won me over in the end. For a first attempt at a m/m book, all in all, a good read.

 

Cliffhangers will never not annoy me though. ;) Annnnd, we have to wait until Summer 2014 for the next installment. Ugh.

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