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review 2017-12-30 22:06
I seem to be in the minority here, so really there’s nothing here to see…carry on…
Five Dares - Bret Easton Ellis

Andy and Jake have been friends…best friends for a long time and during that time The Andy & Jake show has kept their friends thoroughly entertained. Andy’s the daredevil. His stunts are daring, nerve wracking and at times downright scary. Jake’s the show’s promoter. He adds the drama and the flare with his dares, his pleading, cajoling whatever it takes to build anticipation of the pending event. Crazy stunts are nothing new for either of these young men…having them go awry is…or at least it was until the day Andy convinced Jake that they could safely hold lit firecrackers in their hands as long as they kept their hands open.

 

It could have gone so much worse than it did but still after a trip to the local emergency room resulting in a pronouncement of second degree burns on both of their hands, Andy and Jake find themselves having to revise their summer plans leading Andy to come up with the plan that they stay at his family’s summer cottage since they both need help with all of their basic ADLs (activities of daily living) and since Jake’s family doesn’t have the awesome health coverage that Andy’s does it only makes sense, right?

 

As the summer progresses Andy daredevil streak surfaces in the form of a dare between him and Jake…a dare that while it may bring some relief for the sexual tensions they’re each enduring it could also lead to potential heartbreak for one or maybe even both of them.

 

From a purely objective viewpoint this really was a cute, friends to lovers, new adult, coming out story. From a subjective viewpoint I could appreciate the writing and the story concept. What I didn’t seem to be able to do was connect with either the story or the characters. I liked the story well enough I just didn’t find myself enchanted with anyone.

 

I’m not going to sit here and attempt to pick this story apart and expound on all the things that I didn’t like or any of that rhetoric because truthfully, I wouldn’t know what to say. It’s not that this was a bad story or that there were things about it that I didn’t like. It’s just that for me it didn’t have ‘it’, whatever that ‘it’ is that endears a book to us and makes want to crawl inside and live in it…well that wasn’t there for me. There were times when I know things should have been funny or at least mildy amusing for me and they just weren’t.

 

So maybe this was a case of ‘it’s not you it’s me’ or maybe it was just a case of ‘the right book having the wrong reader or maybe that’s the wrong book with the right reader’. I can’t even say that it was a problem with the narrator because honestly, while the narrator, Tristan Josiah may be a new to me narrator. I thought he did an awesome job with this story. I really enjoyed the voices and looking at it from the perspective of the only the narration I’d have to give this one a solid 4 stars…so no matter how I look at it for me it comes down to the fact that this time around things just didn’t work…that’s it, that’s all.

 

Would I recommend this book…absolutely a lot of my friends really loved this one and I value their opinions a lot. Don’t get me wrong I value my opinion too but just like not everyone loves what I do…not everyone doesn’t love the same things as I do and there is the fact that overall, I really like Eli Easton’s writing and whether I love them or only like them…I’ve never been sorry that I read one of her stories…definitely a win in my eyes.

 

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A copy of  ‘Five Dares’ was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2016-08-24 23:06
Sometimes things just don't work out how we expect...
Curioddity: A Novel - Paul Jenkins

Curriodity landed on my radar at a time when I was wanting to read something really different and unusual. So after pondering it for a few days and reading the blurb several times I thought why not? 

 

While I have to admit it was definitely unusual it also turned out that it just wasn't the book for me. I struggled with just how much unusual was in at.

 

Wil works as a detective...well, works might be a bit of a loose term to use...maybe, more like struggles to earn a living. He studied to be an accountant because this was what his father wanted for him. But for Wil life until the age of 10 had been filled with the exploration of the unusual and unique an interest that was nurtured by his mother until she disappeared.

 

Now as an adult he plods through life struggling each day filled with his efforts to ignore the existence of the unusual and quirky things that surround him. Things like the noises coming from the pipes in his apartment, the fact that said apartment seems to always smell like mushrooms and things aren't always where he left them when he went to bed the night before or when he gets home from work.

 

Things begin to take a turn for the truly unusual when Wil encounters Mr. Disndale the curator of the Curioddity Museum. A man that strikes Wil as being most unusual and a man who seems to challenge Wil to look at the world from a totally different perspective and who never really takes no for an answer. Wil's instincts tell him to distance himself from this strange man but it's the offer of a job that promises to pay Wil a considerable amount of money that keeps tempting him along until before he realizes it, he's accepted the challenge of finding the missing box of levity from the Curioddity Museum.

 

Wil's search for this elusive and valuable object takes ihim to places that are not what he expected and place him in the path of one Lucy Price. The beautiful girl who captures his heart instantly. Along with the adventures and misfortunes that occur in his search Wil has to deal with his father's pending visit which has thrown him off kilter because Wil's father has no idea that his son is not working as an accountant much less that he lives in an apartment building that is managed by the neighborhood cat lady whom Wil strives and fails to avoid every morning as he leaves the building to start his day.

 

I liked the story line about Wil and his father it was the primary reason that I kept reading the book I wanted to see how things played out between this two men and for me this was definitely my favorite part of the story, I also liked anything involving Lucy driving a car or Wil's Lemon phone especially when it was using the navigation function...turn left, turn left, turn left...it goes to a personal experience that my husband and I had while on vacation and we were using his cell phone for directions and yes at one point that was all we heard...turn left, turn left...in 200 meters turn left...Sara is real or at least for me she was realistic.

 

Unfortunately there was more that didn't work for me than what did and I often found that I was bored or becoming frustrated with the pace of the story so I would take a break and move on to other books...once or twice maybe three times...this is not the norm for me. Making me feel that it was a good indication that things just weren't clicking with this story.

 

I'm sure I could probably go on and on about why this book didn't work for me but at the end of the day it would still come down to just that. It didn't work. It wasn't the right book for me to read or I wasn't the right reader for this book because truthfully I don't feel even remotely inclined to make inferences that the author wasn't a good writer. I truthfully think he was.

 

So yes, I've given this book a 2 star rating much to my chagrin. But I also think if you're someone who wants a story that's quirky and incredibly unusual from a new author who knows how to write you need to check it out for yourself because truthfully...a literary critic I am not. I'm just someone who enjoys reading books, loves to step outside of her comfort zone from time to time and really loves chatting with her friends and sharing her thoughts on what she's read and before I forget while it really has no bearing on the book good or bad can I just mention this book has a superb cover.

 

Happy reading and remember the only person who truly knows if it's the right book for you...is you.

 

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A copy of 'Curioddity' was graciously provided by the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2016-08-24 19:43
I liked it...
Three Little Words - Allison Cassatta

Yep, those are my 3 little words I was hoping for something more but 'I liked it' is as good as it got for me on this one.

 

After spending 3 weeks working out of town Matt returns to the home that he's shared with Brandon the man he loves, shares his life with and hopes to marry one day only to discover is dog, Zeus out in the back yard and a 'Dear John' letter on the dresser...ok, can we just stop here so I can say 'Brandon, really? A Dear John letter? You've been with this man for 5ish years and he goes out of town to work so he can give you all the nice things he thinks you deserve and this is how you end it with him with a pitiful letter written on paper from a legal pad, not even nice stationary and the last thing you tell him in your letter is 'I love you, I'll always love you.' Can I just say 'dude you have got one hell of a way of showing love.

 

Anyways, at this point I like Matt. I felt really bad for him. He seemed like a really sweet guy and damn, he just did not deserve this. But go Matt, he pulls on his big boy pants and decides to head out to New England do some lobster fishing for his brother, get his head on straight. Ok so now I'm maybe crushing on Matt a little because hey, sweet guy adores his mom, always brownie points for that with me. Puts everything into storage and his best friend Luke (remember this name, it's important) offers to take care of Zeus so that he'll have a yard to play in...did I mention that Zeus is a pit bull that Matt rescued from the animal shelter, yep, Matt's racking up those brownie points like nobodies business with me.  

 

Every thing is done, taken care of so it's time to hit the road. Easy, peasy right? Well it would have been if Luke hadn't decided to kiss Matt good-bye only Luke was hoping it would turn into a 'hell yeah, I'll stay' because unbeknownst to Matt, Luke's been in love with him for years. Now, is anybody besides me totally on board for this? It's going to be awesome right? Oh, I forgot to mention Luke's a firefighter...yep, I'm hooked sign me up.

 

Ok, so here's where things detoured for me. Somewhere on the ride to New England Matt shifted from this adorable but heartbroken guy, who walked away from his best friend because he knew he had to get his head on straight before getting involved with anyone else, especially the one person he'd loved for the past 20 years. So far so good still because while he loved Luke in his heart he'd always believed this to be unrequited because Luke was straight  as far as he knew so he truly loved Brandon and and was committed to making a life for with him. Anyways, somewhere along the line Matt seemed to change for me. He became wishy washy and self-absorbed with a bit of whiny thrown in. I was really starting to not like him. Add in the fact that he'd barely arrived in New England and he's calling a guy who gave him his business card when they met very briefly at the hotel where Matt stopped to get some rest for a night. This for me was so not cool and I just couldn't rectify it with someone who's trying to get over the end of a 5 year long relationship while finding out that the person he's crushed on an ultimately loved for 20 years isn't beyond his reach and they could have a chance at a life together...nope, just not seeing it.

 

But skipping ahead a bit, Matt goes out lobster fishing on his brother's boat and honestly this part of the story was pretty good. I liked it and Matt seemed to be getting back on track a bit. They've barely returned to shore when Matt's mom phones to let him know that Luke has been hurt. Needless to say Matt goes home ASAP and things start to improve for me. I like Matt and Luke together, they really work. While the relationship moved a bit faster than I would have liked. I was still ok with it and I liked the ending that Matt and Luke were given.

 

Matt was loving and supportive and he adored Luke always had and was determined to make things work for them and Luke loves Matt every bit as much. He was mostly afraid of how his parents would react to finding out their son was gay because of course they were oober religious. But in the end it was his love for Matt and his desire to be with him that won out so for the most part I liked what the author did with this part of the story, it worked for me.

 

While the main story was about Matt and Luke there was also a lot of stuff happening on the periphery and none of it really got resolved, in fact some of it just seemed to vanish leaving me wondering why it was ever included to begin with and in the end this also took away from my overall enjoyment of the book.

 

In the end 'Three Little Words' was an ok read for me and I liked it well enough but it just didn't quite have what I needed to make it an 'I love it' book.

 

Note:  The copy of this book that I received to review is a second edition and while I didn't read the first release based on reviews done by those who did it seemed to me that some of the inconsistencies mentioned as part of the first edition appeared to have been corrected so kudos to the author for this and for the lovely new cover.

 

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A copy of this book was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

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review 2016-08-17 02:54
Can 'Be the Air For You' pass the test of time...
Be The Air For You - T.A. Chase

I first read 'Be the Air For You' back in 2010 and back then I gave it 5 stars. 2010 for me was early days of reading M/M and I really liked the story and 6 years later what I've discovered is that I still really like the story but what took this from a 5 star read 6 years ago to a 4 star read now was simply years of reading experience that has changed my personal taste. Specifically where I loved the story as it was 6 years ago the me now would have loved a longer story with more of the background between Rod and Hawk rather than just the few indications that are given in the story.

 

'Be the Air For You' is a friends to lovers story between rock star Rod Hannah and his lifelong best friend Hawk McLoed. Hawk's been there for Rod since they were kids. He's been his friend and his support through it all good, bad, highs, lows and everything in between and over the years Hawk has quietly loved his friend never letting the true depth of his feelings be known, while Rod has quietly returned his feelings loving the one person that he can't imagine not having in his life.

 

Everything changes for these men when Hawk is faced with a crisis of his own and realizes that if he's ever going to act on his feelings for Rod it needs to be now. 

 

I loved the relationship between these two men. It wasn't insta-love or love at first sight this was a life time of love finally acknowledged. When Hawk let's Rod know that his feelings are shared. Rod maybe scared of losing his best friend if things go wrong, he may be confused why things are changing between them now, he may be a lot of things but what he's not is stupid. He loves Hawk and letting him go just isn't an option.

 

Did I enjoy 'Be the Air For You' less than the first time I read it...a little bit because I wanted more.

 

Am I sorry I re-read it...no, it was still a sweet, friends to lovers romance.

 

Was the story now vastly different from the original release...no, the only notable difference between the story from 6 years ago and now was the publisher and the cover, I cannot lie the original cover was much more visually appealing.

 

Did either the new publisher or cover factor into my current rating...no, covers and publishers are of no consequence to me when I'm reviewing a book. This one was purely a matter of personal taste having changed. 

 

While I would have liked more story I still very much enjoyed this version and re-reading it was definitely a pleasure. If anything the fact that my only complaint after 6 years and many, many more books is that I need more of this story only tells me that when it comes to the test of time 'Be the Air For You' has passed.

 

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A copy of 'Be the Air For You' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

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review 2016-08-16 19:43
The things we do for love, the things we do for love...
Midlife Crisis - Rob Rosen

Like walking in the rain and the snow
When there's nowhere to go
And you're feelin' like a part of you is dying
And you're looking for the answer in his eyes.
You think you're gonna break up
Then he says he wants to make up.

The Things We Do For Love

by 10 CC (with a little editing from me)

 

Sometimes when I'm reading a book things just pop into my brain randomly and 10CC's song 'The Things We Do For Love' was one such thing as I read this book. I haven't read a lot by Rob Rosen but I have to admit I'm glad this was one of them. 

 

'Midlife Crisis' was both a mystery and a romance with a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor thrown in. Jack is 35 years old and his latest relationship has just ended so he's having a bit of a pity party when his friend Monroe stops by for some Coke (of the cola variety) and to dispense a bit of sage advice in the form of a walk down the memory lane of Jack's love life which culminates with the memory of Jack's first love who of course was also the one that got away...Bing O'Malley (hey, I did not name this guy, sadly someone thought his parents should be allowed to. What the hell, it worked for Bing Crosby, right?). It's with a great deal of determination that Jack decides to go back to his hometown of Ono, California and yes, it is pronounce oh-no! trust me it's appropriate. This is where his search for Bing and in many ways his journey to get his own life back on track begins.

 

While Jack may have been the main character in this story he definitely was not the only 'character' there was Jack's mother and his father but especially his mom. She was one unique individual, Chompers the dog, David the hospital nurse and former high school bully who it turns out was more in the closet than bully, there was of course Bing, Monroe and his husband Paul, and just for good measure lets add in a host of small town characters and more twist and turns than a piece of abstract art.

 

I loved that like most of us Jack's hindsight was considerably better than his foresight and he was fully aware of this and like most of us it was more than a little annoying at times. 

 

I'm not really sure how to explain the humor in this book, it was quirky and at times it was even a bit lame but in a rather entertaining way. It just really, really worked for me. I was totally entertained and amused from start to finish and yet there were a couple of things that didn't work too well for me and honestly I'm not going to delve into them because in the overall scheme of things they didn't spoil the book for me or take away from the entertainment factor so really not worth spending any time on. 'Midlife Crisis' is however, worth considering if you're looking for a romantic, mystery that tends to poke at life and love with a very tongue-in-cheek and totally irreverent attitude.

 

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

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