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review 2017-11-19 18:47
Review: "Kidnapped by the Pirate" by Keira Andrews
Kidnapped by the Pirate: Gay Romance - Keira Andrews

 

~ 5 STARS ~

 

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review 2017-11-19 01:05
If loving one man's hard...is loving two even possible?
A Bolt of Blue - Nicky Spencer

Ian and Mitch have been friends for most of their lives and for a lot of that time Ian's been in love with Mitch but to scared of losing his best friend to tell him. Mitch can't imagine his life without his best friend in it but it's only Dusty who makes him want forever...or at least that's what he thought until he finds himself face to face with Ian and thoughts of how his lips would feel and what it would be like to wake up next to him start creeping into Mitch's brain.

But he's so sure about how much he wants Dusty...so how can he want Ian too...it's not possible to love more than one person, right?

I'm more than a little impressed with this one. Nicky Spencer isn't just a new to me author...she's a new author and while there were things about this that weren't perfect for me there was a lot that I liked. I've read a few books where the author wrote each chapter from the POV of one of the MCs and yes, those books were written about traditional pairings of 2 people so I have to admit when I saw that this was done that way but alternating between 3 MCs my brain might have stuttered a little but when I took a deep breath and thought about it I decided that reading it certainly couldn't be harder than writing it and it wasn't...for me it actually worked well since I tend to enjoy stories told from alternating points of view. Spending too much time in one person's head space more often than not tends to be annoying, disconcerting frustrating or some combination of those things for me so alternating POVs usually works best. 

I found the dynamics between these three men interesting...Mitch and Ian are both college students Mitch comes from a family that's fairly well to day. His parents pay for his schooling, his condo, provide an allowance and gifted him with a nice car, he's on a sports scholarship for baseball...yep, basically Mitch is one lucky dude and in a lot of ways I got the impression that he doesn't take this for granted, he knows he's lucky so I like that about him. But at the same time I didn't feel like I could relate to him. For me Mitch just seemed to wear his rose colored glasses too much when it came to how he viewed life in general and there were times when he was a little to quick to pass judgement on things when he didn't really know all the facts.

While Ian's had a very different life. He's studying to be a nurse and he works as a CNA (certified nurse's aide) to help pay for this, he rides the bus to get where he's going. Ian's been raised by a single mom and an absentee dad that he learned long ago not to rely on. I really liked Ian, I'm not even 100% sure why I liked him so much but I did. He came across as cute and funny, a bit of a nerd but a sexy one and a really loyal friend.

Lastly we have Dusty. Dusty's a bit older than Mitch and Ian. He's working as bartender at 'Angel's' when he meets Mitch and they're one night stand turns into a relationship. Dusty turns out to be the grounding force for this trio. He's a little more mature and that's partially due to his age but it's also because of his life experience and yet, ironically in some areas of his life Dusty has definite issues with self-esteem and confidence.

I can't say that the dynamics between the three of them didn't work for me but more like...it wasn't quite what I expected. I was really surprised to find that when all was said and done I felt that while Dusty and Mitch seemed to still loved each other. The relationship that I really felt and bought into was Ian and Mitch. I just really, really liked and enjoyed the interaction between these two men, it felt more natural and realistic. Which also leads me to feel that Dusty was actually what pulled the three of them together and yet when I take everything into consideration logic tells me it should be Mitch or even Ian but when I break it down and look at Mitch & Dusty/Ian & Dusty/Mitch & Ian (and I have to admit I wasn't feeling this last pairing at all) things just kept coming back to Dusty.

The other part of this menage that strangely enough I was ok with was the fact that there isn't a perfect balance between these three...realistically even a relationship involving only two people doesn't have perfect balance at all times...it's give and take and when that happens quite often the balance shifts back and forth...that's just how it goes as long as one person doesn't always seem to hold the control in a relationship I'm ok with things shifting around. 

I really enjoyed this story. While it wasn't perfect for me there was definitely more good than not in it. It held my attention and I had no problem with involved with the characters and the events of the story. There were some things that I would have enjoyed more of such as maybe a bit of Mitch and Dusty pre-Dusty-meets-Ian or a bit more Erik and Ian...just to be clear, we're talking a purely platonic friendship here. I'd love to see more of these two interacting and maybe even eventually becoming friends. I'm pretty sure the worlds not ready for that but it'd sure be fun. The one thing that I would have been ok with less of was April...but that's a very, very subjective opinion so we won't worry about that one. 

Last but not least I really enjoyed the author's writing style it worked for me and I found myself easily about to re-engage with the story whenever I was able to resume reading...pesky RL is pesky. I'm impressed with this author's first time story and I look forward to finding out what she has planned for the future.

If you're looking for something new...check it out, it's being released today...'A Bolt of Blue' by Nicky Spencer...curled up in a comfy chair with 3 hot men...it's definitely my idea of a good way to spend a cold winter's day.



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A copy of 'A Bolt of Blue' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-11-19 00:58
More fun with James and Derek...
Law and Disorder - Brooke Edwards

'Law and Disorder' basically picks up where 'Mens Rea' ended and while James and Derek's relationship continues to move forward it's not without obstacles. But when you're a police chief and an assistant USDA those obstacles take a lot of different forms. James catches the bad guys and Derek tries them and bad guys they don't care about quality time for people in love...not that anyone's used the 'L' word yet. 

But it's not until James is called to the scene of his latest crime...a whole lot of dead sparrows all neatly lined up on the Justice Building that Derek and James begin to find out what busy means because those birds are just the beginning of a crime spree that's going to confound them all and happily me too. I love it when I solve the crime with the characters and not ahead of them...leaving me to wonder why these characters that I've come to like aren't smart enough to figure out what for me was the obvious. Happily that did not happen here and I was left to solve this with New York City's finest. As events progress it does become increasingly clear that things are personal and whoever is behind the unusual events that are leaving everyone more than a little confused has someone specific in mind.

While the relationship between James and Derek is an important part of this story, I can't honestly say that I'd call this a romance novel it's really more of a mystery/thriller story with secondary story line of romance. But having said that the romance between these two is also a solid constant part of the story.

If I liked the first story...I loved this one. The banter between James and Derek for me is delightful. The fact that these two men with busy and stressful careers have so little time together...well...that's reality and honestly it just made me appreciate how much more precious their private time was. 

While the usual cast of secondary characters are present we also have the addition of Briony, Derek's assistant and Peter Saracen who for some reason seems to really get under Daniel's skin...mmmm...I wonder what's up with that and best of all we get to meet Derek's parents. 

As the story progresses along with the questions of who and why things are happening there's also a question of will James and Derek's relationship survive. James's protective instincts are in overdrive and Derek's habit of distancing himself and handling things on his own are putting them at odds with each other and causing a rift one that James will need to bridge because Derek's reaching his limits on how much he can take.

I really like this author's writing style. While the story moves at a good pace and there's a lot going on I was kept interested and my mind was engaged from start to finish without being overwhelmed. It was nice not having to wade through a lot of unnecessary details trying to sort through them and figure out what mattered nor was it so sparse that things were blatantly obvious.

My one and only niggle and really it was a small one because...greedy me I wanted a bit more of Derek and James after all was said and done and the dust had settled but having said that we did get a complete story, Derek and James are left in a good place and there's no cliffs anywhere in sight so...what can I say..."I'm greedy. I like these two and I just wanted more time with them...maybe in the next story with any luck they're bound to take a vacation eventually, right?"

*************************
A copy of 'Law and Disorder' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-11-17 19:44
Hell House by Richard Matheson
Hell House - Richard Matheson,Ray Porter

Bought during Audible's $2.99 sale (10/13/17)! . It's more now, sorry about that.

 

A rich guy offers to pay a group of people to stay a few nights in a haunted house to prove there is life after death. All previous attempts to do such a stupid thing at this particular house have ended very badly for the suckers brave or stupid or hard-up enough to have a sleep-over. It’s no different this time around.

 

I read this book closely on the heels of finishing up Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House which was probably a big mistake on my part as the premise of these two books is nearly identical and Jackson’s story didn’t thrill me the way it did most people. Same goes for Hell House though I did like it a wee bit more than Jackson’s story but probably only because it was more lurid and crazy-pants and I like that kind of thing but it does suffer from the same over the top characterization.

 

This story is much more sexually horrifying. Some of the things that happen within these pages are upsetting. Trust me on this. The house was basically turned into a pit of debauchery and hellish events when its original owner cuts loose with a group of hangers-on who dip into orgies, drugs, murder, cannibalism (as you will, I guess) and every other nasty thing your brain can imagine! The house is tainted and incredibly haunted by a horny ghost who eventually infects the woman folk and does shocking pervy things.

 

I listened to this story on audio and the narrator, Ray Porter, does an excellent job. He is deadly serious which suits the story and he manages to deliver the lady voices in a way that doesn’t make them sound completely ridiculous even when they’re forced to behave in overly hysterical ways. He does a good job with the men and the evil inhabiting the house as well.

 

I’m going to give this the same rating as the Jackson book. 3 Stars.

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text 2017-11-17 17:25
Reading progress update: I've read 40%.
Kidnapped by the Pirate: Gay Romance - Keira Andrews

"Face drenched, Plum looked back over his shoulder and grinned, a delighted laugh on his lips as he reveled in the downpour. There was no artifice there, his happiness in such a small thing as being rained on shining from him and capturing Hawk in its rays like dust motes dancing in a shaft of sunlight.

He tried to discern the warmth flowing through him, an unfamiliar sensation that wasn't lust or triumphant satisfaction. It was... Good fucking God, he was charmed. He wrestled with the peculiar sensation, letting go of Plum and stepping back until he hit the corner of his desk, wood digging into his hip.

You make me feel young again."

 

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