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review 2017-05-23 15:25
short and so deliciously sweet!
Mr. Plum - Sue Brown
I won my copy of this book and no review was required, but I gotta tell you about this book! Another addition to the Too Stinking Cute shelf, and I really rather loved it. Its only short, some 30 odd pages, but its so deliciously sweet! Tom will tell the story of his and Dave's relationship with the beginning in the launderette. But Dave will tell you, it goes back far before then, to a cup of coffee in a paper sleeve that matched Tom's tie. Even though only Dave has a say, and Tom doesn't get a word in, at all, I still enjoyed it. Its very written, and you connect to both Dave AND Tom really well, for such a short book. I didn't spot a single spelling mistake or editing errors. Sue Brown in a new to me author, and this was a perfect introduction to her work. Fabulous little hangover cure, if ever there was one. 4 solid stars **Same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2017-05-18 22:03
Personal The Complete Series Box Set by KC Wells
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
For the first time, all the men of the Personal series, together!
Making it Personal 
Blake Davis, the closeted CEO of Trinity Publishing, hires an escort to celebrate his thirtieth birthday. Enter Alec,and what follows is an unforgettable night.
So imagine Blake's surprise when the candidate for the position of Blake's PA the next day turns out to be... Alec, real name Will Parkinson.
And then things get really complicated…
Personal Changes
Rick has had enough of one night stands and quickies in club bathrooms. What he really wants is someone to love him. The trouble is, he's looking in all the wrong places. Angelo Tarallo is captivated by Rick, and when he saves him from danger, it soon becomes clear to both men that this could be special. What they hadn't counted on was Angelo's traditional Sicilian family.
More than Personal
Will and Blake are approaching their sixth wedding anniversary, and life is good. Their surrogate, Donna, is due to deliver their baby in three weeks’ time, and the two men can’t wait to become fathers.
Today is Will’s birthday, and Blake has plans to make it a very sexy and memorable one. Little do both men realize, the day will be memorable for an entirely different reason.
Personal Secrets
Brash, Cockney bear Ed Fellows celebrates the birth of his boss's daughter with a few drinks, shared with fellow rugby team-mate Colin. What follows rocks Ed's world. Okay, so it wasn’t the first blow-job Ed’s ever gotten from a guy—or given, for that matter—but that was a long time ago, right? And why does Ed now want more?
Strictly Personal
Colin has a romantic, long Valentine’s Day weekend planned for Ed. A visit to Manchester’s Canal Street, a really nice hotel, complete with four poster bed, and an intimate meal in a restaurant.
Unfortunately, things don’t go quite according to plan...
 
 
 
 
I have to start off by saying that we haven't read a lot of books in this gene but so far out of the authors I have read Ms Wells is one of my favorites.This author creates amazing characters that you just can't help but fall in love with.
 
Blake and Will definitely a favorite couple in this series.I loved both of them.Blake and Will at first seem to be a odd couple at first glance.What does a owner of a publishing company have in common with an escort other than chemistry and great sex?Blake is just what he seems confident man in work and business who is well liked and even loved by his team members at work.Yet that being said he has always kept his personal life and secret from his family and friends and about him being gay.Will on the other hand is out of the closet as they say and has had a very hard life up to this point.Non accepting parents through him out when he was a teen and he was forced to be what they call a rent boy just to survive.One of the things I loved about Will is he never tried to hide his past or the things he was forced to do but owned up to it all and just turned the negative in to the positive that just made him a stronger individual.
 
 
Will and Blake's night together is a one off when they meet .Its just and evening of Blake paying for a evening of sexual pleasure and Will is actually Alex at this point but turns up the next day as Will office applying for a job as a personal assistant .Can you say awkward?
 
A rocky start in this couples relationship turned into so much more.Wow! the chemistry this couple had was super hot.They had several heated sexual encounters as well as a little bdsm thrown into the mix. Making their love  making moments super hot and fun and playful and Alex makes an appearance every now and then just to spice things up a bit.This is the one time that ones past makes for a more of and interesting sex life for this couple as Will aka Alex has done it all.Grins...Just a really cute couple that balanced out one another.
 
Found Blake to be confident kind,passionate,love-able,sexy and on hand we saw sadness,loneliness and unhappiness at constantly hiding who and what he truly is that makes him happy.
 
Will on the other hand I loved him right off strong and confident emotional and very sensitive who had an amazing personality.He seemed to be at ease in his own skin and take the bull by the horn type and takes what he wants when he wants it.Will is that type who is definitely the dominate in his relationship with Blake.
 
An amazing love story that had many ups and downs along with many surprises thrown in the mix.I loved both Will and Blake they were a really cute couple that we saw blossom  throughout the pages just by being together.This couple brought happiness into each other lives at a point when both this couple need change at this point in their lives.An emotional tale that tugged at your heart strings who had you from the onset rooting for a happily ever after for an amazing couple who truly belongs together.
 
Loved it!
 
Rick and Angelo's Tale
 
This story had a lot of emotional ups and down for the characters as well as it reader.My heart broke for this couple at the heart ache and the decisions Angelo's parents were forcing him to make .Either Colin or them.
 
Rick works for Blake at Trinity publishing and loves his job and friends but, his love life is seriously lacking.
 
Omg !The hottest and intense memorable moment in the story took place when Ben and Ollie a couple in love and who are partners love to play.Their game tonight is Rick!Rick will forever remember his night with Ollie and Ben forever as it brought the hottest sexual gratification he has ever received in his long list of lovers. Omg! fanning yourself ladies and gents..
 
Grins
 
 
Rick at this point in his life is tired of the one night stands and is looking for something more meaningful and serious.Rick was definitely a guy unlucky at love and also had an awful taste in men until he meets Angelo from a situation that almost lead him to becoming a rape victim.
 
I liked Angelo he was outgoing kind gentle supportive and artist who was an all around great guy who seemed to be happy with his life.His attraction is Rick is overwhelming  and someone who he can't seem to forget.From the onset of seeing Rick from across the room he became protective of  him and vowed to watch over him even before meeting him.Did Angelo know right then in there that Rick was his Soul mate?And if so why is he willing to give up the love of his life to remain part of a family who are non accepting of who and what he is?
 
An emotional tale of a couple who are meant to be together and who make one another happy and fulfilled yet choses you lead a life of unhappiness over love.My heart broke for this couple and the unhappiness and pain that brought Angelo to make the decisions  he was forced to make even if they were the wrong ones because of his family.
 
Rick was my favorite character in this story.I truly felt his pain and suffering an unhappiness he was experiencing as nothing seemed ever to work out for his benefit.So unlucky in love and his doomed relationship brings him to the point where he would rather be alone then to ever experience the pain he is currently feeling over his breakup with Angelo.
 
Ricks saviors are Blake ,Will and Ed who are there for him not matter what and he could not but help but love them for it even more than he already did.He is truly blessed to have them as friends and he knows with their help he might survived the heartbreak he is currently experiencing .
 
A page turner that was filled with so much emotion,love ,friendship and sexual gratification and one overcoming life hurtles that were placed in ones path.The story had a great cast of characters with so many different personalities making it intriguing fun that brought you many laughs as well as many tears.
 
Ed and Colin's Tale
 
Loved this couple and their very intense love affair.
 
Ed has been with us from the start of this series and remains a constant favorite of mine.I loved him from the onset.Sexy,brash,love-able,funny ,protective of those he loves and type who speaks his mind and doesn't give a crap about what others think.Ed up until this point has been the loyal friend to all and a great guy to work with and for.He always seemed happy yet perhaps a bit lonely without even realizing it.Ed's love life has been lacking of late and seeing all of those around him finding love and happiness has him thinking about his own life.Does he want to find what his Boss and Co workers have found or is happy with how his life is at this moment? For Ed he has never had a problem with his friends and boss being gay as he has been with both men and women.It matters not he loves and cares for them as well as being protective over them and enjoys seeing them happy .How they chose to live their life is their business and not his place to judge them.
 
Ed and Colin have been best buds for over a year and yet one night with much drink under their belts changes things between them and their friendship.A night of a hot sexual gratification between them changes things and has Ed questioning his own sexual preferences.Was this encounter just about sexual release or is he truly attracted to Colin?
 
Colin on the other hand has had a thing for Ed for sometime but knows he is straight and has never made a move on him yet this encounter has him thinking could he have more than friendship with Ed?
 
Colin is comfortable in his own skin and has no problem letting people he knows he is gay.Ed on they other hand has to find his way to decide if he is straight,bi sexual or gay.
 
I loved this couple as Ed was so different from Colin he was had a hard edge to him yet friendly and kind but the kind of man who scared others to death.Colin was the sensitive and kind and funny type who was comfortable in his own skin and enjoyed life to the fullest.This couple had amazing chemistry super hot sexual encounters who were truly made for one another.Each of them different yet had much in common with each other yet the perfect mate for one another.
 
And emotional tale of a couple who struggle to find balance in their relationship when one who hasn't come to terms with his own sexuality and what other people think of him of being in a relationship with another man  yet the other one could not care the least what people thought of them.We saw a lot of ups and downs for this couple but we also saw a couple who truly loved one another who just need to find a way to be a couple. 
 
Of all the couples throughout the stories this couple had to deal with more hate and bigotry from others and those who were small minded.Perhaps being Rugby players had something to do with that.As with any relationship you have those who accept and hate you for who and what you are and who you chose to love.
 
I loved the story from cover to cover.I loved Ed from the beginning and I so wanted him to find his own happiness so I was thrilled to be along the ride with him as he found the love of his life.I loved how every time you though you had Ed figured out he did something that surprised you  had you admitting you didn't know him as well as you think you did.
 
Another awesome tale that carried its characters from one book to the next that had you laughing one moment and crying the next.
 
A recommend series to all.We loved the entire series and its characters and will definitely be re-reading about them at a later date.Another series for the keeper shelf and looking so forward to this authors latest releases.
 
5 stars for us
 
My overall thoughts
 
One of the things that I love about this author writing and characters is that she makes you fall in love with her characters from the onset.When I read her stories I love seeing her couples fall in love and overcoming things in their relationships that all couples face.Yes her books happen to be about two same  sexual males but she focuses on them as a couple and them finding their way with one another and not such much at just being a gay male.Yes they have more hurtles to overcome then most couples but is it any different from what and interracial couple has to go through...
 
 
 
K.C. Wells started writing in 2012, although the idea of writing a novel had been in her head since she was a child. But after reading that first gay romance in 2009, she was hooked.
 
She now writes full time, and the line of men in her head, clamouring to tell their story, is getting longer and longer. If the frequent visits by plot bunnies are anything to go by, that’s not about to change anytime soon.

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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review 2017-05-18 21:40
Book Review for Personal Challenges by KC Wells
 
 
Title: Personal Challenges
Series: Personal #4
Author: KC Wells
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 7, 2017
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Will and Blake couldn’t be happier. They have a beautiful little boy, Nathan, and Sophie finally has the little brother she’s been demanding. But all is not bliss in the Davis household. Coping with reality is going to change all their lives.

Rick and Angelo are sick and tired of trying to get a wedding organized. If it was up to them, they’d be married already, but Angelo's mother has plans and they keep getting bigger. Angelo can see problems on the horizon: big, traditional Italian wedding and gay do not go well together. Something’s got to give.

Colin receives an unexpected call from an ex, with bad news. He feels compelled to help, regardless of the consequences. Ed loves Colin’s big heart and supports him in his efforts, but when the truth comes out, he finds it difficult to keep a lid on his emotions.
As the coming months unfold, the friends are going to need each other more than ever.
 
 
 
 
“Personal Challenges is a full-length contemporary romance novel, a wonderful read that I couldn't put down and I give 5 Stars. Thank you KC Wells!” - KD Amazon Reviewer
“The series is worth revisiting…” - Light Amazon Reviewer
“I love the way KC writes! This was a great ending to this wonderful series!” - gruvermom Amazon Reviewer

I have to start off by saying that we haven't read a lot of books in this gene but so far out of the authors I have read Ms Wells is one of my favorites.This author creates amazing characters that you just can't help but fall in love with.

This was a very enjoyable read with yet again an cast of amazing characters.In this story the author caught up on all the lives of  her current characters in the here and now.I loved that part.

Blake and Will .I loved hearing what was going on in their lives with their children Nathan and Sophie and how Will and Blake are dealing with their current set back concerning Nathans health. In this relationship Will is my favorite character he is just so sweet and kind to everyone.I like that he is the one that is the emotional one in his relationship with Blake .He not only worries and puts his family first but constantly worries about his friends being happy in their relationships as well.With Will he considers them family and never likes to see them unhappy and moves heaven an earth if they to change all that.

I love Will and Blake they make an amazing couple.They have amazing chemistry a healthy sex life thats fun and playful and they are so in love it just so sweet.

Then we have Rick and Angelo prepping for their wedding and dealing with the mom from hell who just keeps butting in and making it the wedding from hell instead.Taking control back of their wedding and trying to appease moms feeling is not and easy task.

Rick and Angelo another amazing couple that are so in love.They have had so many ups and downs in their relationship but now its time for marriage and children to complete their happiness.What and amazing wedding these two are going to have just love them.

Colin and Ed in this story had so many surprises some amazing an others not so.I love this couple as they are just amazing together and so in love and still amaze me that they still seem to surprise one another.

Another fantastic read.A page turner from beginning to end and we could not put it down.One of favorite things I loved about this story and its series is that Blake and Will acted like the parents in their little family and I am not talking about Sophie and Nathan.Will and Blake hover and worry about Ed and Colin and Angelo and Rick .All these males look to Blake and Will for guidance and support and advice whenever they feel that they are not coping or unhappy.Blake is the voice of reason.Will is the one who acts like the mother hen.Its just so cute to see but not only that it is a collective group that truly loves one another.

A great cast of interesting characters that we loved reading about who all had amazing chemistry ,great sex,amazing friends along with the trials and tribulations that go along with being a gay male in today society.Another emotional tale we could not help but love.Well done another keeper.

Recommended read for all!
5 stars from us.


 
 
 
 
K.C. Wells started writing in 2012, although the idea of writing a novel had been in her head since she was a child. But after reading that first gay romance in 2009, she was hooked.
 
She now writes full time, and the line of men in her head, clamouring to tell their story, is getting longer and longer. If the frequent visits by plot bunnies are anything to go by, that’s not about to change anytime soon.

 

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text 2017-05-16 03:47
Bout of Books 19 Wrap Up and Weekend News!
Bout of Books
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 8th and runs through Sunday, May 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.

For all Bout of Books 19 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.  - From the Bout of Books team

 



I was out of town for the weekend starting Friday, and after so much activity and driving around, I'm worn out.  Sometimes road trips and vacation can be so exhausting!

 


At least Baby thinks so.  He probably slept a lot more this weekend than anyone else did though, AND he got a nice toy out of the whole ordeal!

 


The little one was dragging that thing around like a new security blanket, feeling perfectly content to having it just hanging off of him, when he normally doesn't even like having anything bulky or clumsy hanging off of him like that.  He must really love the new toy!  Mom thinks it looks like a noose though, so she's been removing it; however, it seems a bit heavy for him to drag around in his mouth, so it kept ending up back around his neck.

Anyway, the weekend was busy with my cousin's graduation from Pharmacy school (!!!), and some shopping, and lots of eating.  I ended up completing my mission of needing to find a nice outfit for my brother's wedding (!!!) coming up in about a month.  And yes, I DID put off shopping for clothes for a long time because, a) I'd been hoping to lose some weight so I could wear something nicer, and b) I just don't like going shopping because it's so exhausting and I suck at fashion trends and stuff anyway.

Needless to say, losing weight is not one of my better skills, so I just had to find something that looked nice on me, but also didn't make me look bigger than I already am.  With my mom's help, we managed somehow.

And in the meantime, I continued my penchant for NOT losing weight by enjoying any and all food:

 


We went for a go at this new place that made rolled ice cream, which was delicious.  Unfortunately, being lactose intolerant, I paid for it later, even with the help of Lactaid.  Apparently, I'm very good at making poor life decisions, even with my resolutions to quit making myself miserable by eating things I shouldn't.  But it was vacation, and rolled ice cream, and there are bananas on my rolled ice cream, and that should count for something... right?

Other food choices included an all-you-can eat Italian buffet called Cinzetti's which was fabulous!  The dessert and crepe station was even more fabulous!  The Sangria Blanco also hit all the right spots!

We also had appetizers for lunch at a chic little bar, but the food wasn't all that great.  I'd never seen a more pathetic looking loaded fries.  Then after my cousin's graduation ceremony, my aunt invited everyone out to an Asian Bistro where she proceeded to ply everyone with food and drink because she was so happy for her daughter's achievements.  And because we were all so happy for her, we indulged!  There might have been some Sake and Sashimi involves well.

 

 


At some point in time we stopped for an early dinner wherein I  ended up seeing the word "scallops" and "risotto" in the same menu item description and got really, really happy.  Also, there's a really good Seared Ahi Tuna appetizer my family and I couldn't pass up, even though my youngest brother and I are the only ones who enjoyed it.  Mom ate off of the salad on the side.

At least there were a lot of green veggies on my plates!

That being said, the weekend was very long and very busy and very tiring, which didn't leave me a whole lot of time for reading except during those moments at the beginning of the day when you're sitting around and waiting for everyone else to wake up.  Since I'm such a light sleeper, I'm usually one of the first ones up, so I was at least able to get some reading accomplished, even if not what I'd hoped for.

And so, that brings us, finally, back to the Bout of Books update!

 

 

Update for Days 5, 6, 7 and a Summary
(Fri. 5/12, Sat. 5/13, Sun. 5/14)

 

  • End of Week Reading Status
    • # Books Read:  0
    • # Pages Read:  151

 

  • Running Totals
    • # Books Finished:  2
      • Before the Storm by Leslie Tentler | 336 pages
      • The Thing About Love by Julie James | 380 pages
    • # Pages Read:  951

 

 

 

Books I'm Still Reading

 

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton | 244 of 468 pages
Two Guys Detective Agency by Stephanie Bond | 15 of 255 pages
 

 

Read-a-thon Hopefuls I Didn't Get To

 

 

A Brief Summary

 

So I didn't quite reach my goal of four books and reading for at least four to eight hours each day.  I still feel like I made some good progress, but I was really hoping to do better, as well as finish my books before the weekend was over.  That being said, my hopeful plans of rolling once again for Booklikes-opoly by tomorrow, 5/16/17, is probably not going to happen.

That's fine.  I DO have two books I'm still finishing.

And while my entire body is still a little stiff from driving all day, and then falling asleep in a very awkward position upon arrival at home, I think this weekend has been a pretty successful one in terms of personal life necessities.

At least I got a cute new pair of dress shoes to show for it, and Baby seems to be a lot happier to be home as well!

 


Anyway, cheers, everyone!

 


This morning before returning home, Baby decided to make himself quite comfortable on my brother's couch, squeezing in right next to me while I was reading, between a stack of blankets, curling up just small enough to fit into the little space.

 

 

Previous Update Posts and Other Links

 

Bout of Books 19 Participation Announcement
Bout of Books 19 Starter Post
Bout of Books Day One Update
Bout of Books Midweek Update

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/05/bout-of-books-19-wrap-up-and-weekend.html
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review 2017-05-05 14:57
"The Situation and the Story," by Vivian Gornick
The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative - Vivian Gornick

Vivian Gornick's book on the art of essay writing was bound to get good marks from me, if only for its extensive drawing of examples from famous books and essays.

 

Criticism — as compared to reviews — is a singularly rewarding experience, especially in the hands of a good writer such as Gornick. It can open your eyes to a new way of seeing a piece you have already read or turn you on to writers you have never experienced. In the course of this book I was turned on to Seymour Krim, I reopened an essay by Joan Didion, and I've hunted down a PDF of Edward Hoagland's "The Courage of Turtles." 

 

The point is theoretically to help in the writing of essays, but I was delighted to discover that what drew me in was perhaps the point all along. Gornick does not reveal until the conclusion her suspicion of studying "craft" (as it were) and the idea that one can teach writing at all. It's not how to write but how to read, critically and with an eye toward story, that drives The Situation and the Story. Gornick is asking the reader to dig deeper, discover what it is about Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant" that makes it compelling.

 

"Who is speaking, what is being said and what is the relation between the two," is a repeated admonition as you read into a story. Orwell going out and shooting an elephant could be an act of bravado, it could be an act of cruelty, but  in the way he writes it is an exploration of colonialism. What it means to represent a ruling nation among a people who aren't keen to have you there, and especially when you're not too keen on the idea either. What does that position do to someone? This comes through in his voice, in the way he describes "the situation" as much as in the actions he takes. Asking these questions will make such readings more enjoyable and meaningful, but should also inform your own work.

 

The crux of this lies in a story about one of who students writing an essay about her grandfather — a man she has never met. The story isn't quite working until someone realizes that her learning about her grandfather is the situation, it provides a structure for the story, the actions on which the writer can hang meaning. The story, the meaning itself, is actually about the girl connecting with the grandmother. From there the essay starts to come together in a more satisfying way. 

 

I am not convinced with all of Gornick's stances, her belief in the inborn gift of writing skill is maybe just said wrong or maybe it is magical thinking. And the way her distaste for post-modernism is slipped in does not serve any end except to let you know she is not a fan. But if you are interested in personal writing, either to write or read, this is a good place to start.

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