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review 2017-05-26 06:38
Consider me impressed... again!
The Poison Within: An Order Universe Short Story (Inspector Skaer Book 1) - Kasia Bacon
FOUR HEARTS--And once again, I'm impressed with this author's writes.



Two for two, both short stories that left me wanting more but enjoyed the hell at what was given.

Set in the Order universe, a fantasy based world with supernatural beings and humans coincide, The Poison Withinis another creation from the author where the characters took a mind of their own.

And I'm not mad at it.

In fact, I need to send a bottle of bubbly to those blokes for getting their stories, or should say, start of their stories out for public consumption.

Clandestine human lovers of two years, low born Inspector Käyru Skaer has been meeting whenever he can with his lover, Count Ellydhar Finn-Jánn. Käyru worries that his lower class status will call an end to this love affair with his "Elly". He knows one of these days Elly will wise up and leave him, even if it would crush his heart. He'd let his lover go. He tries to hide his feelings and takes all that he can get. Did I mention there is a noted size difference? And D/s undertones? Someone has a penchant for writing hints of D/s.

*stares*

The world they live in is xenophobic, some humans regard non-humans are lesser. Political warfare and unjust treatment runs rampant. Case in fact, nymphs are living on Elly's land due to being ousted by a power hungry, racist power that fuels on scaring the masses (sounds familiar?) Käyru is called on duty from his lover's thighs to a solve a multiple murder. And it gets a little graphic when described which I liked.

The suspense is very quick. Justice is met swiftly--hooray! And we're introduced to a new being, cousin to the vampire, the Furia. What they can do is cool! (And if this character shows up in future works, I'll have excite)

I can go either way with established couples. This couple wasn't boring in the least. The story is told from the Inspector's POV, so the reader has to rely on his feelings for Elly to get a sense of their relationship.


I craved his proximity to a degree that would've been mortifying if I hadn't long stopped caring about hiding my want for him.


I thought the author succeeded on that front. There was even snatches of snark. I don't want to include my fave snippet as it'd give away a key part to the action/suspense bit.

Now my nitpick: despite the story being short, there were two instances where the scene ended weird. Like there was either something more to be said or done or shown. Both instances are when Inspector Skaer leaves Elly. The last time, after such a pivotal moment, seemed off. The love of his life just survived, and he leaves quietly? It's a minor nitpick and most likely a me thing. The inspector has a bit of an issue with his self confidence with his lover... so it could just be his way,

This is the start of a serial, by the way. The story ends with: to be continued . After 'the end', has there ever been more cursed words?

The writing is sharp. The sense of setting is just right. The story has a way of pulling the reader in. This story has a little bit of a lot of things I enjoy reading: hint of kink, strong main characters, interesting worldbuilding, cool concepts and a hint of dark. (I wonder how dark this author could get, hm?)

A suggestion as this world and the beings seem to be intricate; a glossary of the types of beings wouldn't hurt. Especially if there are going to be more detours from the main event.

I've fold my napkin.

I'm holding my utensils.

I'm waiting super patiently.



So patiently.

Consider me there once the novel drops, which I hope is soon. Or maybe I'll need to chat with the characters a bit, ask them to plague the author.

The Order universe has facets. I'm curious to read them all. And looks like I'm victim of another serial. ;D

Recommended.

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review 2017-03-19 21:33
The Errant Prince by Sasha L. Miller
The Errant Prince - Sasha L. Miller

king's guardsman Myron, sent out to find and bring back a missing prince Tam, finds him in an enchanted cottage. They talk, they work, they play school of magic, where Tam spends pages and pages on teaching Myron some spell, they smooch, they cook and clean and so on. Nothing significant happens up until 45% of the book.

Then the prince suddenly decides to return to the royal castle to see his brother, the king. Tam magically transports Myron and himself to the king's quarters. Catching up with the brother and an ex-lover, kiddie scenes, more frigging spell teaching (hey, anyone needs beaming up? I have the manual! *waves "The Errant Prince" in the air*) ensues.

There is a minor issue of arranged marriage, but everyone plays nicely, even the evil ex, and as a result Tam and Myron live happily ever after.

The book is very nearly angst free. I was waiting for a conflict with the ex-lover, but the guy was decent, he apologized and said all the right words, even went an extra mile to teach Tam's new lover new spells. I really felt for the guy and Tam acted like a "bad dude" to him.

2 stars.

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review 2017-03-15 07:13
The writing, the characters....oh this book is too great! *hugs*
Private Truths - C.B. Lewis
Tag Team Review w/ Sara

FIVE HEARTS
--I love reading romance.

I love reading about all types of protagonists: the socially awkward, the ultra-suave, the shy, the grumpy, etc. Hell even the super possessive 'alpha' has a place and time. Call it fantasy, guilty pleasure, whatever, just give me a good romance where the main characters have to work for a happy ending, and you will have a fan in me.




Private Truths by C.B. Lewis did this for me, hooked me with layered main characters who didn't expect love to be the final order....and were so happy that it happened to them.

A publicly closeted aristocrat and a war damaged veteran, who at the core of what matters, are great people who totally deserve each other. That's what you can find in Private Truths. This is my first 2017 fave for a reason, it's getting harder and harder I'm finding to read a book I actively want to re-read and bask in. I took joy in starting my day reading about Jack and Edward and seeing what the world threw at them next.

Set in present day London, the book starts with ginger haired vet Jack McCall being sort of forced into promoting his charity for vets in need, Those Returned, at a dress up event. His boss put him on the trail of wealthy Edward Marsden, Viscount Routhsley. Jack awkwardly places a bid for Those Returned, doesn't make much small talk and hightails it out of there as soon as he could. What he doesn't expect is really capturing the attention of the presumed ladies man viscount Routhsley.

I knew this book was going to be a winner from 4%. Jack and Edward have a chemistry that slow burned and simmered from that event and it carried itself all the way to the final page.

"I had no notion I would grow so attached to you, Mr. McCall."
"I'll second that." He leaned sideways until his shoulder rested against Edward's hip. Edward's fingers stroked through his hair and brushed down his neck. There was something comforting about the casual intimacy of that touch. "I'm glad it happened, though."
Edward kneaded his neck gently. "And I," he murmured, "shall second that."


Class differences? Yes. But Lewis didn't make it be the leading difference. Edward is smooth but he cares for people. And he takes a shine on Jack. However his public life is fodder for the gossip rags and ruthless paparazzi. So in the closet Edward remains. He and a reluctant Jack start of as men with a shared passion to help others in need, to friends, to lovers.

Jack gets swept into Edward's world. But Jack's had a taste of the limelight via harassing paparazzi. and for a man on edge and has PTSD, the results weren't favorable.

The story shines a light on those who suffer PTSD without going to extremes or brushing the aftereffects for a far fetched plot line. It's realistic. The relationship between the men doesn't happen overnight, the author wonderfully gives them time. Slow burn is the aim, over saturated sex-fests that drown out the plot won't be found here.

"Why the hell do you care?"
Edward's hand was warm against his cheek, and he had to fight the urge to tilt his head into Edward's touch.
"Why wouldn't I?" Edward asked quietly.

The passion is abundant as is the romance. The author (yes I nerded out to find out more about this author after reading) calls this book an "old fashioned romance", I couldn't agree more. At times, it gave me historical romance in present day feels. I could have easily put two men in a different time period and the story would still work.

The story mainly from Jack's POV. The reader gets to share in his wide range of emotion. The lust (yes, there is a good amount of sex, though not overly graphic), the fear and the uncertainty of falling for someone. Plus, the paparazzi/villainous angle also helped move the story along.

And the humor!

"Jesus Christ!" he exclaimed, rushing around the table to hug her, her round belly knocking against his ribs. "What's that big clown been doing to you?"
"Same thing you lads just done," Tommy said smugly, "with a hundred percent more fanny."

The humor was wonderfully mixed in throughout the book. Edward was a dashing leading man. I could buy why Jack was enamored. And Edward's parents are a hilarious delight. Even when times got rough, the humor peeked though, Great mix.

Another facet of this story is that it's on the quieter side of romance but their chemistry spoke volumes. I do enjoy a well written quieter romance, where the little moments tell a lot about the main characters' feelings. A touch can say so much.

I'm a quote-nista. I love a good quote. The more I love a story, the more quotes I save like a mad woman. Sara has 5 pages of quotes. (I'm pretty close w/ # pages of quotes from Private Truths) After my first time reading C.B. Lewis, I am a fan. I loved her words, pacing, the moments & in-between and all of her characters (even the arsehole ones)

Good persevered, an important light on veterans was portrayed with respect and a romance that definitely left a lasting impression was written. This ends with a solid HEA for me.

I'll be looking for more C.B. Lewis with bells on.

Recommended to readers who love romance between layered characters and enjoy reading slow burn.



A copy provided for an honest review.
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review 2017-02-16 06:36
My Jizzmas spirit (ha) was a little underwhelmed with this one.
Cursed Miracles - Meg Harding
It's the Jizzmas 'Corns vs. Grumpicorns Round #3!

Check out all of our reviews here for this week's latest batch of Sunday Funday Jizzmas



3-3.5 HEARTS (a sliding scale)


Out of all the Jizzmas tales from this anthology--I'll admit I didn't look through them all for fear of turning into gingerbread--this was the one I wanted to read hard. That cover, the author and that blurb?




Buuuuuuuuuuuuut...after reading, I'm not feeling the magic. And once again, it's nothing to do with the Santa Semen. In fact, the Christmas aspect in Cursed Miracles could be considered a throwaway for as much as it really mattered. Had nothing to do with the central plot which was long lost lovers.

Two hundred years ago in Britain, childhood friends turned lovers Lords William Mashinter and Brady Gallagher go through trials to hide their love. On Christmas, the love is tested ultimately where one is frozen in time cursed to walk the earth, the other is killed, cursed to be reborn and remembering his past life, yearning for what he can't have. We jump to present day after the curse and that's where the unease starts for me. (I'm ignoring the modern feel of the historical part)

Present day starts off a little cheesy with 'frozen' lover working in an office, being forced to wear a candy cane tie. Minor issue but I could do without the slice of silly. And when the grand reunion happens, I was expecting thunder and lightning...something. Two hundred years of yearning for this man, your soul mate and it read a little anticlimactic. What happened to the person who cursed them? Why wouldn't William keep tabs on them? Who is she? What is she? What's the purpose of cursing? All these unanswered questions I have.

Was the reunion worth the read? I guess. But the epilogue was too long I would have rather than focus be put into the reunion or building the tension prior to William and Brady's reunion. I can't rate this high than 3 Hearts because I've read 2 variations of a past life plot that left an impression--one recently that was bombastic compared to Cursed Miracles. I think it might be why I was underwhelmed. I can't help wishing maybe this was a little longer and stronger in places.

Overall, the story is readable.

Boy meets boy, says he loves him. He's taken away and he travels the earth cursed looking until he stops. And he ends up where he least expects him. Oh and the sprinklings of Christmas jizz. *shrugs* The meld of past and present wasn't as smooth for me.




A copy provided for an honest review.
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review 2017-02-15 00:49
Nothing like Tremblay reading Calmes in your ear...
Chevalier - Mary Calmes

FOUR HEARTS--You know what enhances a Calmesian experience?

Greg Tremblay reading Calmes in your ear!

It's a team that just works!

Like toast and butter...



Margarine (or a substitute for you healthy types)


Like peanut butter and jelly...

 

 

 

 

 

Not that one you perv (who are we kidding?)

 

Chevalier is a sequel I never thought would ever happen! The novella starts months after Romanus ends. Mason and Luc are going strong, still in love and still haven't moved in together.

 

Oh, what's an Calmes alpha to do?

 

I found myself smiling when Luc alpha-ed and let Mason see the inevitable. And just when I got excited, Calmes threw a loop in the form of gargoyle history! We meet Mason's long lost family, discover his origins, find there is more than the chasse in Kentucky. There's a ruling class and you won't believe who is on top.

 

The gargoyle world Calmes created isn't one I expected. It wasn't as paranormal heavy. It was more mythology and history based, a history/ slightly urban fantasy web weaved. The mystery of what exactly a Romanus is and what a Romanus does carried the plot while we meet Mason's birth family, the Moreaus. (Who I find to be deplorable) Mason and Luc's bond gets tested BUT it only gets stronger because their love is 100% and won't change for anything or anyone.

 

The Moreaus believe in class differences (i.e. Luc is nothing more than a warrior and should never be with a Romanus) The same argument from book #1. The lengths the Moreaus, and gargoyles who think like them, went to keep the classes different and treated Luc differently was pathetic. But Mary Calmes combats that with Romanus powers. (When we find out what a Romanus is, it's classic Mary Calmes hero)

 

Here the narration and story were evenly matched. I think my favorite parts were listening to Tremblay read Calmes dialogue, which can get a little ho-hum. Just because it really reads every day life. I mean, how many times can we read about normal domestic squabbles without getting a little bored. Tremblay has a way of breathing life, drawing me in.

 

Maybe making me feel like I'm the neighbor listening into Mason and Luc argue about moving in together.

 

Or a spectator to their passionate making up over the silliest of fights.

 

And Tremblay's accents were everything. As per usual. (Loved his gargoyles)

 

Did I have gripes? Minor ones - the final 'test' made no sense and was a little easy. Also, if the Moreaus had all the cash and power, how was it they just found Mason? And even after finding him, the father's reaction...it was a little false.

 

The good most certainly outweighed my minor quibbles. Mason and Luc lit up the pages with their chemistry. And it wasn't sex-a-palooza either! (Granted, we get more sex scenes than book #1, it doesn't start until way later as the mystery unfolds) I loved learning the history (I'm a history nerd, I'll confess) And the ending of this novella let me more satisfied with the couple and their standing in the world. They're definitely equals, stronger and ready to face whatever heads their way.

 

Yummy!! Calmes cracky goodness!

 

Ahhh!! MC + GT = a happy PBJ me!



A copy provided for an honest review.

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