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review 2017-09-18 18:12
This may have gotten off to a bit of a shaky start but...
Manic Pixie Dream Boy (gay rockstar romance) (The Underdogs Book 1) - K.A. Merikan

at the end of it all things worked out quite nicely.

 

When I first started reading this book I also started to worry...I like K. A. Merikan and am a total fan of their series 'Guns & Boys', I found 'Hipster Brothel' to be an adorable story and their 'Sex & Mayhem' series isn't on my TBR list it's on  my 'why haven't I read this yet' list, so I admit when I first started this I also started to worry because a small voice in my brain quickly began to whisper..."Stop, right now...stop reading and step away from the e-reader...even you cannot handle this much fluff." but there was another voice whispering and it was saying "No, you need to keep reading...have faith, things aren't always as they seem." so after a bit of internal debate during which no other voices decided to take part...thankfully, because it definitely would have been therapy time at that point, I came to the conclusion that I needed to keep reading.

 

Sometimes it pays not to follow your first instinct because if I had I would have missed out on a story that it turns out I really, really enjoyed. The first part of this book on it's own just didn't work for me and had things continued in that vein I probably would have either done a dnf or this would be a '2 what the hell did I just read' stars review, but that's not what happened and things clicked and connections got made for me and at the end of it all it's 4 'WOW' I really liked that stars. I'm quite comfortable saying that if the first part of the book had worked for me as well as the last this would easily have been a 5 star review.

 

I'm not often a fan of rock star stories and this one started out as 'rock star meets boy, rock star screws boy' fluff, fluff, fluff...until somewhere along the way boy started to challenge rock star, display a bit of himself and rock star started to realize the world didn't revolve around him...that maybe he head to do more than just be, if he really wanted this person to stay a part of his life. 

 

For me this wasn't a case of miscommunication it felt more like 'finally communicating' and when that happened I started to become invested and I became a fan. I absolutely loved the ending of this one it made me happy and was well done and I'm very much a fan of the fact that this is the first book in a series because there's more we need from this group...I want to know what's up with Mage and Dawn? Where will things end up with Sid and Stan? Also could we please see a bit more of the fanboy 'Baby Blue' I thought he was sweet and I'd love to see him get a story...see more! We definitely need more and I'm sure that I'm not the only one who wouldn't be opposed to more Dusk and Lolly/Abe.

 

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An ARC of 'Manic Pixie Dream Boy' was graciously provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-09-11 22:07
MIDNIGHT by Erin Hunter
Midnight by Hunter, Erin [HarperCollins, 2005] Hardcover [Hardcover] - Hunter

A new series in the Warriors series has Brambleclaw receiving a dream from Star Clan.  He along with 3 other cats have received the dream.  What does it mean?  Why are the medicine cats not receiving the dreams?

 

I liked this story.  It starts off about a year after the first series ends.  We are now just about on the second generation since Firestar has become the leader of Thunder Clan.  Brambleclaw has to determine what his dream means and how the other cats fit in.  They must work together and travel to Midnight.  I like this group of cats.  We still have Firestar and his generation as well as a few elders but this next generation looks like it might change things up in the status quo.  I liked the Yoda-like character that appears.  I am anxiously waiting to see me niece to get the second book in this series.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-09-04 04:22
Review: Ariella's Escape by Carolee Croft

35609015

 

Ariella had always believed that the life of a warrior should include indulging in wine and men whenever they were on offer… And in Chaldea, the capital of the old empire, they certainly were. … Especially the man she finds in her bedchamber, a slave provided by her hosts to entertain her in any way she wishes.

 

But when betrayed and surrounded by enemies in a strange land, there is only one man she can trust—the slave who was meant only for her pleasure but is much more than he seems.

 

Demetrius had been captured in battle at the age of 15, and slavery was all he had known in his adult life. When his chance for freedom comes along, his fate is bound to the noble warrior maiden whose voice and body he cannot resist. Duty calls him to return to his kingdom, but the journey will take him places that will change him forever.

 

Together, they make their way through a den of thieves and an enchanted elf forest, but the biggest danger of all may be their fiery attraction to each other and the secret that will draw a dividing line between them.

 

***Disclosure: I was provided a free copy in exchange for a review.***

 

This was an odd book. It definitely belongs in the Erotica Fantasy Romance category, even though it's not billed as such, which hurts it because if you knew that going in, you wouldn't feel so let down by it all.

 

What's Good: a female protagonist who swings a two-handed sword, rules her own lands and gets to make use of a sex slave while on a diplomatic mission? Heck yeah- I'm in! But that initial encounter at the start of the book is as good as it gets. The reasons behind the assassination attempt were interesting, showing a deeper game than some of the players knew they were involved in. But it needed more development, more to invest you into it.

 

What's Bad: where to start? How about the stilted, overly formal way everyone speaks all the time? All that was missing was a few doses of 'yea, verily' and we'd have Shakespeare.

 

Or the ridiculousness of the sexual situations? Ariella gets to bang Demetrius while visiting the castle- fine. But an innkeeper who wants a live sex show in exchange for room and board... and protecting them from the soldiers chasing them? Not buying it.

 

Or all the @$$ pull magicks that sound like they came from an all-night D&D session? Ariella happens to possess a magic crystal that creates a yellow-brick road that lets ride over the castle walls...? And that she's descended from a line of legendary magical warriors- a lineage she never knew about- so now she's also the Chosen One? Gotta be kidding me.

 

And that Wild Hunt-style thing with the elves... no, none of it made much sense and just felt like page filler. *smdh* The idea behind the prophecy is kinda interesting, but clumsily handled. It reminded me of a 90's anime called X- where two people were destined to be at opposite ends of a prophecy. And no matter which path one of them decided to take the other would have to automatically oppose them. Because reasons. That's pretty much what's going on here.

 

What's Left: what started out as an interesting fantasy adventure with a strong female lead that devolved into some kind of teenage hormone fest that's pretty much off the rails. Not that it can't be salvaged, but I don't see that happening.

 

2.5/5 stars

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review 2017-08-24 00:51
Thank heavens for friends...
A Little Bit Like Love (South Haven Book 1) - Brooke Blaine

I have to admit I saw this one and I read the blurb saw some reviews and truthfully I was going to take a pass on it but then I kept seeing the reviews and some friends started rumblings about a buddy read and I checked it out again and again and I really thought about it...well then I got to wondering why aren't I reading this book? It's totally in my wheelhouse and the reviews look good and what the hell, right? Sign me up and that was all she wrote, boys and girls. I needed a buddy read and this one filled the bill to perfection.

 

'A Little Bit Like Love' was a lot like awesome. Lucas and Jackson first met when they both attended a private boys school. They started out as friends but after a few months it turned in to more. When circumstances force Jackson to leave without even so much as a good-bye, Lucas finds himself at a loss as to why and after the initial shock wears off. He gets on with his life becoming a well known and sought after local artist and sex god. 

 

it's eight years later and Jackson's returned to the scene of the crime so to speak and through a total fluke he overhears a conversation that brings the name of the boy he left behind to his ears once again. He knows he shouldn't but his heart isn't going to be denied this time and he sets out to see for himself that Lucas has gotten over him and gone on with his life...or at least that's what he tells himself.

 

This book was simply awesome. I loved it and reading it with my buddy read besties Josy, Christelle and Simone only added to the awesomeness of it all. As always you ladies make every read a good one, but this one was definitely better than good and thank you for helping me break my Buddy Read dry spell. it's been way to long since we enjoyed a good book together and I'm looking forward to our next one...see you Friday.

 

I loved the emotional roller coaster ride that this one took us on. There was anger, rage, resentment, frustration...all kinds of frustration, passion, forgiveness, love, happiness and on and on. I have to admit I'm surprised I don't have a bit of an emotional hangover but this one worked. Sometimes it's good to go on those journeys that make us exercise our emotional empathy. 

 

The other thing that really hooked me with this one was the secondary characters...Lucas's best friends Drew (and oh hell yeah, his story is next). Drew's a bit enigmatic and he's also tall and built and covered in tats and damn excuse me while I wipe the drool off of my keyboard, ok? and then there's Lucas's other friend...Sebastian or Bash as he's also known. Bash to me seemed to be his own force of nature...so yeah, you can bet I'm looking for his story too and then we have Sydney. She's Jackson's co-worker/friend/sorta' girlfriend/it's complicated and I won't even lie for a good part of this story I was so not a fan of Sydney but that definitely changed once we got to see Sydney and not just get bits and pieces of her. Sydney's awesome and I would so take her out drinking on girls night and last of all we have Jackson's father...or daddy dearest as I like to think of him...what can I say every book needs a villain.

 

'A Little Bit Like Love' is probably my biggest surprise read so far this year. I wasn't surprised that I liked it, but I was surprised by just how much I loved this book and yes, maybe that's due in part to the awesome company that I had while reading it, but mostly it was because this story just worked for me. It ticked all the boxes and rang all the right bells and I am so ready for book 2 or in the immortal words of Dwayne Johnson otherwise known as 'The Rock', back in the day..."Just bring it!"

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review 2017-08-15 20:13
So just add me to the list...
Illegal Contact - Santino Hassell

What list you may wonder why the list of people who loved this book of course...yeah, that list.

 

First off let me just say I'm not much of  a fan of football, sorry I am Canadian the hockey arena is more than likely where you'll find me if sports are involved, but for me, when it comes to books it's the story that matters and the subject doesn't always have to be a favorite topic of mine. Santino Hassell is one of those authors whose name on the cover takes precedence over what the story is about...in other words a good book, is a good book, is a good book and I've learned that there are certain authors who I can rely on to deliver a good book no matter what they're writing about. Santino Hassell's name is on that list for me.

 

ICoS was my first reading experience with this author and he and Ais totally blew me out of the water with that series. So much so that after reading it I was compelled to buy the Director's Cut copies for Evanfall. I own the e-book copy or I own the book I don't make it a habit to own both and if  you know me than you know that doing so speaks to how incredibly much I enjoyed them. Next I discovered the awesomeness that is his 'Five Boroughs' series and enjoyed these as audiobooks and now this author has again shown his diversity with 'Illegal Contact' the first book in his latest series 'The Barons' again...mind blown! I have yet to enjoy his paranormal story 'Stygian' and his other new series 'The Community' but trust me, I have them all waiting for me on my e-reader...it will happen.

 

Gavin Brawley has it all the successful football career, the money, the huge house that you can get lost in, fame, success...so it begs the question 'Why is someone with all this so unhappy?'

 

Noah Monroe is a college grad, he's buried in debt, lives with his dad who is jobless after being on the wrong side of his employer's latest downsizing efforts and yet, in many ways he's happier than Gavin and would be even happier if he could just find a job that allowed him to earn enough money to pay his bills. 

 

Thankfully Gavin's misfortune is about to become Noah's golden opportunity. When the successful football player ends up under house arrest and needing a Personal Assistant. 

 

This one's a slow burn to be sure. There may be a bit of lust at first sight but Gavin and Noah have more of an oil and water mix going on at the beginning. Watching these two maneuver their way around each other as they slowly work their way past the barriers each of them have built is more than a little entertaining. 

 

As Gavin and Noah spend time together Noah begins to see past the gruff and rude exterior that Gavin has put up to the man...the man that no one but Gavin's friends and teammates, Simeon and Marcus, ever see and even they don't get to see the person that Noah ultimately uncovers. 

Noah’s lips stretched into a smile, and his eyes twinkled behind his glasses. “I feel like four and a half months ago those words would never have come out of your mouth.”

 

“Heh. Maybe. Four and a half months ago I didn’t see a need to not drive people away.”

So much of Gavin and Noah's story feels real, like maybe we could have read this in the tabloids. There's a lot of unvarnished truth in the story we're being given and much of it is a sad commentary on how we...and by we, I mean society in general, view celebrities. Whether they're actors, singers or sports figures...if they're in the limelight we tend to feel that their private lives are meant for public viewing and this is the issue that drives Gavin's actions both at the beginning of the book and at the end and how Gavin deals with the circumstances during both events shows his growth as an individual and how much Noah has influenced his life, which for me was definitely in a positive way. 

 

The secondary characters in this story as always were given enough depth and dimension to make them feel real...some of them were totally likable, such as Jasmine. Noah's best friend who calls him on his BS and isn't afraid to keep it real as well as Simeon and Marcus who do the same for Gavin. There was also Gavin's agent Mel, a tough, no non-sense businesswoman but then there was Joe Carmichael, Gavin's manager who was admittedly not very likable but he truly cared about Gavin and had his best interest at heart...likable but not. But when it came to secondary characters my personal favorite was Case the guy from the autoshop who befriended Noah. I totally want a story for him...please? There must be a quarterback or a linebacker somewhere in need of an awesome, sexy and genuinely nice guy to work on his care and maybe him? Just offering that one up for the powers that be to consider.

 

As for the sexy times in this one...well all I'm going to say is 'good things come to he or she who waits and this pair are so worth the wait...Gavin and Noah are seriously hot...I'm pretty sure that some circuits got scorched in my Kobo, but hey, don't take my word for it. There are lots of other awesome reviews you can read or better yet just read the book.

 

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An ARC of 'Illegal Contact' was graciously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

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