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review 2018-06-16 05:43
Lima Oscar Victor Echo and the Truth About Everything
Lima Oscar Victor Echo and The Truth About Everything - Suki Fleet

I decided to start using my lunch breaks to try to get through some of these DRitC stories I've had sitting on my Kindle for the past two+ years. This was the first one. And might be the last one.

 

It had it's cute moments, don't get me wrong. The few short scenes that Oscar and Jamie actually spend on page together, it was easy to see why they're such good friends, and why they would be great as something more. They just don't get to spend a lot of time together - even though they're best friends and work in the same record store four days out of the week. *shrug*

 

But in the end it didn't really hold my interest. If you've read even a handful of friends-to-lovers or GFY stories (though this isn't GFY but teases at it for most of the story) then you can predict every single step the plot takes from beginning to end. It has ALL the tropes, including but not limited to:

 

~Dudes who don't talk about feelings.
~Dudes who angst about not being able to talk about feelings.
~Dudes who are so terrible with feelings that they're not even sure what feelings they're feeling and they don't know how to feel about that. :(
~The female bestie who likes to meddle. Because someone's gotta move this plot forward.
~The ex-girlfriend who conveniently shows up to throw a wrench in the clockwork, though really the guys not talking to each other does that just fine on its own.

 

If you like those tropes, then you'll enjoy this story a lot more than I did.

 

On top of that, there are several dropped plot lines that really didn't need to be crammed into this novella. There are inconsistencies as well. Jamie and Oscar seem to have been besties since forever, but Oscar never met Jamie's mom even though she only died a year before, and Jamie only met Oscar's dad once. At one point, it's mentioned that Jamie opens the shop - but then later on, he doesn't have the keys to close it. Huh?

 

And then it just ends in the middle of a scene. What?!

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review 2018-03-03 22:05
Whistling in the Dark (Audiobook)
Whistling in the Dark - Tamara Allen

This is true Tamara Allen sweetness here: a quiet little story full of hope in a bleak time.

 

Sutton and Jack are WWI veterans trying to figure out how to get back into civilian life after the war. Jack runs an emporium which is struggling because of the economic times. He's also suffering from PTSD, unable to sleep most nights. Sutton suffered a hand injury that has prevented him from getting back to playing the piano, and he's running out of ways to make it on his own in NYC.

 

I really liked the way Ms. Allen took her time with this story and building up these characters and their relationship, so that while this is another one-month romance, it didn't feel rushed at all, and it actually felt like a lot more time had passed. She really pays attention to the details, like the "treatments" for PTSD and the "health advice" for influenza, and makes sure the characters feel like they're from the time period. Normally, when this many side characters are tolerable of Jack and Sutton's relationship, I'd bemoan "gay okay" revisionist history in M/M, but Ms. Allen never loses sight of the consequences, not just of the general public but of the law as well, if the wrong people find out or decide to spread the word. Plus, it's New York, where almost anything goes. There's also a variety of different ways that the characters react to it when they find out, so they're not exactly 100% on the Rainbow Train even when their responses are mostly positive.

 

I also liked that Sutton wasn't the wide-eyed country boy, and that Jack wasn't the "corrupting" influence his friends teased him as being. Though they'd both served in the army, they didn't come out of it tough-as-nails warriors like you see so much of in contemporary stories. You can see the weariness on them both, and Jack especially had a hard time forgetting the things he saw or the people who died so he could do his work. They were tired of fighting and eager to put it behind them.

 

The narrator, Meral Mathews, has a nice old-timey quality to his voice that suits the story. I do wish he'd made more of a distinction between the various voices, but I was still always able to keep track of who was speaking and which POV we were in.

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review 2018-01-16 03:43
Locked In Silence (Pelican Bay #1) by Sloane Kennedy
Locked in Silence (Pelican Bay, Book 1) - Sloane Kennedy

I really loved this book up until 60%, where I started to feel like the author is trying to inflict as much pain and suffering on the MCs as possible without introducing actual physical torture. Oh, wait, there was that bear! :( Anyway, I would have done just fine with all of that if it wasn't for the finale. Everything, and I mean - e-veh-ry-thing - bent and twisted and in the end righted itself, short of resurrecting dead people. 

And so, while I enjoyed most of the book immensely and even got some perverted satisfaction out of the too-good-to-be-true ending, I can't give it more than 3.5 stars. Which way to go tho, which way to go? 

Ahhh, hell, I did read it well into the night, so - 4 stars in the end.

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review 2018-01-14 06:02
Stygian by Santino Hassell
Stygian - Santino Hassell

I have a bit of a problem with the characters. Maybe a couple.

I hate to say it, but Jeremy comes off as self-centered and whiny. I am not blaming him, he had lived through too much loss and pain, I get it. Yet the fact remains.

Everyone's either relative(s) or a friend or a lover is dead or a drunk or a punk or a weirdo. Throw me one undamaged person. Please. Because this is like reading a book where everyone is gay, even pets. Weird.

And one more thing: I don't find it creepy or scary, just overly dramatic. I was skipping paragraphs and - never thought I ever would, while reading SH - pages. 

3.5 stars. Since I really liked Hunter and his evil mindf*cking ways, I am rounding this up to 4.

PS I had no problem with the ending whatsoever. It was clear where things were going, I thought it was perfect. Another reason I rounded up, not down. I do hope for a sequel, just to see if Q got over his "sickness".

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review 2017-11-29 05:02
Every Move He Makes by Barbara Elsborg
Every Move He Makes - Barbara Elsborg

This was a great book until the last 25% or so. 

Extra points for excellent russian here and there, tho I still can't figure out why stupid typos were left untouched. "Pecherskaya" was spelled "Pe r cherskaya" literally half the time. No matter the language, it's an annoyance. "The band was called "Gryaznykh Angelov"...". Say what? @.@ A minor mistake, sure, but on top of interchangeable peRcherskaya it screamed "I don't really care. they won't get it anyway.", not to mention the name is such a cliche. What else... "'mu'dak' means 'asshole'". Sure if "asshole" means "meany". Let's be nice, I guess. So, that was the minor stuff.

My major complaint - and it's me, probbly, since I like sex in my books in very moderate amounts - is that the last 20% turned into pure porn. I really don't care who topped whom in the end, how many times and how sticky the stickiness got. Both characters, especially Zak, were crazed enough on sex from the very beginning, but by the end the lust came out full force without MCs surfacing for air for 20% straight. I lost all interest in the book and going to DNF it at 93%.

That leaves me with - what? 75% is pure awesomeness, save for the typos. I can easily dish out 5 and more shiny stars. The last 25% tho? A star and a half maybe.

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