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Search tags: psychics-mindreaders-telepathy-bs
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review 2017-04-06 05:53
When you just want to lik-- SQUIRREL!
King of the Sea - Nathan Bay,Daryl Banner
2.5 HEARTS--New author Nathan Bay's novella, King of the Sea, is a story with a lot of elements. Set in San Francisco, 28 year-old Carlos Santiago has survived. His testicular cancer is in remission. But his body wears the scars from the battle. He has a single testicle. The scars from the surgery is wreaking havoc on his body including his pleasure for sex. His older lover, obstetrician Tyson, has been distant and not helpful during his recovery. And he finally has had enough. On their one year anniversary, Carlos made a decision to leave his lover. Saying a final goodbye to the lavish lifestyle Dr. Tyson afforded him, Carlos goes to a rocky ridge by the sea that night. High on Oxycodone, he plans what he'll do in his future and what he will tell Tyson but he sees a hand in the water to greet him.

Was he hallucinating? He leans further to inspect and falls in.

He's saved by Ross, the iPad watching merman with healing capabilities. After the first chapter the story suffers from first-book-itis: too many ideas, not executed to the best ability aka SQUIRREL!

So much SQUIRREL! that I don't know why half of the things happened in this story. But it did.

The merman with no actual name calls himself Ross from his favorite Friends TV character. How he came to be able to watch an iPad and keep it charged is answered. But the story goes to wonky really quick as it progresses. Carlos and Ross share an intimate encounter. Carlos is energized to end things but then he goes to his home and sneaks into his lover's locked guest house on their estate. There he meets an even weirder secret.

It went to a weird experiment suspense yet very hokey twist.

Carlos meets a prisoner who doesn't want to be saved. Then proceeds to go to Folsom Street to have a little public sex in a seedy leather bar to declare he's back on the market.

Why did the spot of BDSM get added in when it was unnecessary? *shrugs*

There was a sexy dick contest and a sex sling but the moment is aborted because of telepathy. Then we have a suicide attempt that becomes accidental. Royalty that should have been introduced from the first introduction. A mystery that wasn't as interesting because of drugging and any interesting action happening off page. It was a lot.

This book needed a better edit, especially content wise. There were too many ideas to get a grasp. I think it if was simpler, let the hint of romance develop a little more solidly with just interactions primarily between Ross and Carlos, since it ends with a romantic-ish finish, the story would have made a better impact for me.

It was SQUIRRELLY to the point where you could read each point the author had a new idea to throw in. Some really cool ideas (genetically enhanced mermen, global warming and its effects) that in swirled in with throwaway ideas (suspense, self sacrificing MC, BDSM scenes, drug abuse). It wasn't added in smooth enough, which made for a lackluster, disjointed read.

The blurb states it was dark, I don't think it was. It was more corny than anything. The jokes were flat. The mystery could have been more interesting but SQUIRREL! The unanswered questions kind of bothered me such as if Ross is super important yadda yadda...why let him roam free in the sea unchecked? *shrugs* Diagnosis: first-book-itis

Having a cancer survivor who seemed to be on the search on finding himself in life was a good concept. He finally was starting to realize what he wanted in life. The SQUIRREL just got in the way. I kinda wished the vibe from the first chapter continued, it was more serious, more focused.

So in closing...


A copy provided for an honest review.
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review 2017-03-08 07:15
NERDS! This one might catch your fancy!
Heartifact - Aisling Mancy
3.5 HEARTS--NERDS! This one might catch your fancy!

If you're a nerd who loves mythology, marine archeology and a lot of nautical terms, there are terms galore in Heartifact by Aisling Mancy. It's a research dense novella that stars a marine archaeologist and a trapped mythological deity that only get physical in the mind. A mythology-dense contemporary suspense with romantic tones  Are you nerdgasming yet? I have a microfiber cloth for your fogged up bifocals. Oh baby!

Dr. Harper Kidd is having a rough time in reality. He doesn't have a romantic partner, he's not working on a job that best uses his capabilities. His best friend offers him an out by joining her on a mission in the Mediterranean where the pay is great and there is possible treasure (of the historical variety) to be discovered. But from the beginning of the story as Dr. Kidd's life appears to be what he'd like it to be, it seems his subconscious has created a dream man that takes care of his sexual needs.

A creation that he can't see, but knows ALL of his thoughts and desires.

But the dreams feel real. And what starts as sporadic, moves to a constant night time occurrence. Harper's dream man is taking over, meshing into his reality as he and his friend, Stick and the archaeology team discovers ruins that hasn't been touched for centuries.

Something Harper is drawn to...especially when a discovery at the site seems to be a centuries old statue of his dream lover.

Pelora or Dr. Manhattan?

His dream lover, or Pelora is described as this otherworldly being that is ripped and blue. And once the descriptions were given, I couldn't get Dr. Manhattan out of the brain.

I'm unsure how to categorize Heartifact.

Is this romance? In a way, it is. And in a way, it isn't. The great thing about romance is that it's subjective. Heartifact doesn't fall under the traditional romance category. So if you're a reader who needs tradition, I wouldn't recommend. However, if you like puzzling history/mythology laden suspense trips, well then...welcome aboard.

The subject matter is interesting, the plot is fast paced. The mystery is not easily solved. But while the story is interesting and readable, the plot isn't as developed in crucial spots: Dr. Kidd falling in love (rather than having the reader told). The thoughts of Harper weren't as easily shared though it's told from his POV, so getting a grasp of what stage he was at different points during the book was not impactful as it could have been. The meld between the technical terms and romance could have been a little smoother. Since the most interaction we get of Harper and his dream man are in his dreams, I kinda wish just as much detail went into those dreams as the archeology parts.

For me, it was an unequal balance.

Interesting, but it could have been a touch longer to smooth out those parts. As is, we get brief dreams and nighttime moments to base the L word on.

The suspense part was cool. The ending is surprising (you couldn't get it on your best day). The epilogue...eh...I'm iffy on. The rest of the book sold me. I definitely dug the ideas this author has, and would read more from them.

If there was ever any follow up, I'd read it.

Do you need some alone time to nerd it out? Dr. Manhattan did it for you, huh?

I thought so. Our little secret. ;D

On a serious tip: net proceeds from this book goes to the following organizations: The Trevor Project in the US, le Refuge in France, and Arcigay in Italy!

Read for worthy causes! *Nerd high five*

A copy provided for an honest review.
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review 2016-06-01 09:11
Really great fantasy detailed fantasy menage
Kestrel's Talon - Bey Deckard

A Tag-Team Review with Cupcake!

4 Hearts--
Bey Deckard's, Kestrel's Talon (The Stonewatchers, #1), is a fantasy based romance that stars a triad that find themselves themselves and try to heal along a twisted path. In this fictional world, there are slaves, civil unrest among those who are slaves and freemen alike, telepaths, religion/mythology, lost cultures and a QUILTBAG cast of characters.

If I had known what all was going to be introduced *cough*namely psychics*cough*, I'd...probably not read it as soon as I did. But the premise intrigued me and the main characters actually won me over by the end. So if an anti-psychic reader can say it wasn't all that bad and kind of cool, you might want to check this out.

Kestrel is an ex-soldier, now forced into slavery in a pleasure house. He comes from a bigoted country when his sexuality is against their religion. Now in the Holy Empire of Pren, where slaves are the lowest of the low, his fountain of hope is all but run out. Until he locks eyes with a young ginger haired slave by the name of Talon. Talon is infectious and his master, a gentle giant with a reputation, Count Strade, purchase Kes and change what he knew as his life forever.

This story is long, 135K. And I will admit, the first 20% took me days to finish. It was interesting but not what I expected. I went in thinking it was going to be a dark, kinky tale between two slaves. But instead there was an extra partner, an asexual partner that threw my preconceptions out the door. The next 70%? I consumed in less than a day, I couldn't wait to find out what's next. The tale might take some time to get to a point (and when the paranormal part with shifters came to play) I couldn't get enough of it.

This book would work best for fantasy lovers, but it's not for everyone.

Let's get the triggers out front and center - rape (off page) and physical violence (between partners). I wouldn't necessarily call this story dark. I thought the tone was cool, angsty in spots. But not something I'll be afraid to read in the dark alone. Though there was a few spooky bits...oh if they were only longer. I've read darker work from this author, this is a 1.5 out of 5 on the dark scale for me.

The setting was hands down the winner for me. This author is wickedly talented with setting a scene, creating a landscape and describing the smells, colors and environment. It's 5 Hearts for me.

The story is swimming in 3.5-4 Hearts pool. The plots and side plots were good, the execution was mostly solid. I don't mind flashbacks, this story has an abundance. And sometimes the branching out to a flashback and jumping back to present time could be a little jarring in spots. Or the flashback scene here and there would end a mite early. Overall, solid but it's a beginning. I want to read the entire story and then review it on a whole. Kestrel's Talon is supposed to be the base of the triad's relationship.

The characters were 4 Hearts - I don't have a definite favorite of the throuple. Each guy brought something different to the relationship.

-Kes is struggling with his recovery, struggling with his lot in life especially after such horrific conditions. He is so angry, it's justified to me. I think the author did a good job of showing why he reacts the way he does and is so possessive of his spot of happiness. Imagine if you've never had any bit of hope and then a ray of sunshine is forcing themselves into your pocket? Reactions will be bumpy.
-Talon, the nubile, naive ginger slave whose innocence (and he's not innocent the least) brings a sense of newness that is refreshing. I didn't want anything to go wrong in his world. And I hated that he was a slave (not a sexy slave - but slave with no say in the world he lived in) But his perspective on life was a nice touch. There was no ounce of jadedness to be found here.
-Count Strade or Grimma, he was the enigma for me. And definitely not what I'd imagine to go with his looks. His back story, was shared in sections throughout the story. So he's the one the reader gets the most information on. He's sweet and interesting.

The secondary characters were the ones that really helped move this story along. I think my favorite character (including the leads) so far is Hessa. And she doesn't even speak!

The story ends on a sweet, loose end note. A soft cliffhanger, if you will. There isn't as much action, more setting the groundwork of more to come. I have questions and hopes for the future of this series. I want to know about Talon's ancestry, Kes' too. What is up with the telepathy stuff? Too many question marks at the end for me and not enough periods. ;D

This story has potential, it gives more than decent framework. But I had quibbles.

- The villains/bad guys - I want retribution. Badly. Especially for the one who took advantage of the ginger.

- This triad...I'm about 75% sold on them. It might be because not all parties are equals, the hypersexual to asexual ratio or though this is super novel, I don't feel like I got enough of a sense of each character. Or it could be a combination of the three. Something about this throuple just doesn't seem rock solid. They are new partners to relationship: there is infighting, insecurities, jealousies and stupid decisions. But I'm not sure if they're hearts are all in it because they ALL wanted to or there wasn't any other choice.

-The last 10% - it was a lull for me. I understand this is a beginning all 135K of this novel. But the last 10% seemed rushed, a little too sweet and just a little anticlimactic after all that happened in the last 90%.

Though this story is long, other than my slow start, this story was pretty easy to zip through. I definitely would read more of this series. It's more on the cerebral plot heavy than swords dashing and dukes flying. I didn't know how much I liked it until reflecting on the cool twists and turns...and I'm not telling you because it's one for fantasy lovers who don't mind flashbacks and a plot slow burn to discover for themselves.

A copy provided for an honest review.

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review 2016-05-25 06:53
Of course I'm all about the villain...
Wolf, en Garde - A.F. Henley
  3.5 HEARTS--A.F. Henley returns with the wolfy O'Connell family in the book #2 of the Wolf series, Wolf, en Garde. This is a series you must read in order, I wouldn't suggest as a standalone. I really enjoyed the ideas in book #1, Wolf, WY and jumped at the chance to read book #2. I'll admit I skipped over the most of the blurb in my haste and didn't see the one type of paranormal that isn't my fave...psychics.

Thankfully, the psychic stuff was late to the game and not as heavy. Plus, this psychic was cool in a way. This story had more things going for it than Wolf, WY: more Arius, more paranormal background vs. real world delving, more sex and more Lyle!

This is Lyle's book and starts three years after book #1 ends. Book #1 had a clear winner in the lopsided love triangle that wasn't, Lyle pining for his father's lover. His lust was a beautiful monster in that book. I lived for each moment he tracked Randy down. But since the story ends with a HEA...why Lyle is still stuck in the same mindset 3 years later at 21 years old without evolving, seemed a little odd for me. I know Wolf as a town is small but he didn't get his objection of affection and he can get very intense. No one came to blows and just let it simmer for all those years?

I thought Lyle would have got over it or somehow they'd have to put a major kibosh on the situation.

Wolf, en Garde starts with a visit to Washington D.C. and with Randy's parents. Randy's folks and the tensed O'Connell family make for an interesting bunch since all paranormal activity has to be kept a secret from humans. Lyle meets the charismatic Arius and gets swept off his feet in a whirlwind lust affair that provided one of the hottest moments in this book.

"Come here, wolf. Fuck me like you've dreamed of fucking that flutterfly of your father's."

Lyle is still tormented emotionally and stays in Washington D.C. under this guise of unleashing the wolf side he never fully got to embrace at home. But things aren't as they seem, double crossing characters are afoot. There are secrets, the paranormal agency snooping around and one scent that drives Lyle wild. If you're a reader who prefers the main character only having sex with the main lead, this isn't the book for you. Lyle finds his lead in an unusual circumstance.

Lyle starts to mature...some towards the end. The lying and subterfuge kind of proved he's definitely 21 and apt to make mistakes. Because he makes a good number of them in this book. But I liked him and his family in both books. Randy's family...the author has a way of writing characters that play both sides of the fence and that seem like jerks really well (ex. Vaughan, Randy's mom) But they also can be off putting to read about.

The story goes from country boy in a city to exploring his paranormal limits to road trip. I wasn't seeing that coming. In fact this story would take different routes to get to a central point. Call it quirky, or a different writing style. For example, Lyle meets someone new and he doesn't ask questions about who they or or really introduces himself until way later, just takes a stranger into his life when he's supposed to wary.

This story is readable, has decent action and a little intrigue. It's told mostly from Lyle's POV, so some plot points are clear. Maybe it adds to the intrigue but I got a little peeved at not getting enough answers.

While I enjoyed the story, there were parts that weren't as strong.

The meandering way it took to get to the point - the story would explain and detail the setting, the thoughts, everything...sometimes it worked. Sometimes it read redundant. This is a product of the writer's style. It's quirky and sometimes it read like pantsy plot because I found myself questioning what did it add to the overall story.

The Ending - it felt too abrupt. I see it's leading for another book in the series but the story was leading to a big battle and it was over so quickly and not satisfying at all. I would have rated this story a little higher but the climax was barely a blip in the long novel, leaving more unanswered questions like why the psychic, how did they get involved? I can see the villain's master plan, but it was too muddled in areas for me.

Overall, I like the paranormal ideas in this series but I hope the third book will have some major answers or I can easily see myself giving up on this series.

A copy provided via Netgalley for an honest review.


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