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review 2017-05-15 19:00
Review: "The Cattery" by K.A. Merikan
The Cattery - K.A. Merikan

"I'm gonna pet you so good on the inside."

 

Too tame for a kinky erotica and too shallow for a full-on romance (I never felt any true connection between Goran and Ollie outside of the bedroom).

 

Plus reading about grown men meowing during sex has not once felt NOT weird.

 

At least I can cross off "cat play orgy" from my "Things I want to read before I die" list, so there's that.

 

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review 2017-01-23 17:30
Review: "Finding the Sky" by A.M. Burns
Finding the Sky - A.M. Burns

"If there was any lingering doubt in my mind about being gay, it's gone. I've never felt so incredible. Nothing felt wrong or even majorly awkward. Yeah, it hurt a little bit. Even with Scott taking it slow for my first time, but after I relaxed, it felt amazing. Scott is so awesome. I don't think things can get any better."

 

That quote above is a prime example for how awkward the writing was in this book (it's also everything that we got from Dillon and Scott's first time). The first-person POV was artificial and jarring and read like a 13-year-old writing a diary.

 

The rest of the dialogues weren't any better. They were stilted and unnatural and painful to read at times.

 

 

Judging from the language and the naivety of the main character (who doesn't read like a 16-year-old at all), the target for this book could have been young readers at the age of 12+. But then people got shot and killed left and right at several points during the story, so some YA this is.

 

The weirdest thing though was that there have been several hints that Dillon's uncle and Scott's (married) dads were fooling around. Even Dillon noticed that awkward sexual tension and had to ask Scott at one point if there was anything going on between them.

 

AWKWARD, AWKWARD, AWKWARD.

 

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review 2017-01-15 18:39
Review: "Violated" by Jamie Fessenden
Violated - Jamie Fessenden

"I like you, Russ. A lot. You’re a great guy, and you deserve to be with somebody who can hold you and make love to you—"

Russ held up a hand to quiet him. "Sorry. I think I got some dog hair clogging up my ear or something. That whole last sentence was just ‘blah, blah, blah.’ I didn’t hear anything after ‘I like you, Russ. A lot.’"

Derek stared at him for a long moment. Then a shy smile slowly crept across his face. "That’s okay. I didn’t really say anything after that."

 

Trigger warning: on-page sexual abuse & male rape!

 

Judging from the serious topic and the blurb, I was prepared to be left with my heart crushed when I finished this book. And I'm not gonna lie, this was NOT an easy read. Far from it.

 

But even though Derek's sufferings made me angry, raging, feeling frustrated and outraged most of the time, I've never once felt actually depressed or hopeless.

 

And that's because of two things:

 

1. RUSS

 

Sweet, patient, supporting and comforting Russ. Russ, who was just desperately looking for love and a serious relationship, for "a nice guy who likes dogs and cuddling". Russ, who couldn't have stepped into Derek's life at a more convenient time. Russ, who took my heart by storm and instantly became one of my all-time favorite characters ever.

 

 

2. Jamie Fessenden's writing

 

The writing was very strong, and it handled the difficult subject of male rape and its fallout very well, with a lot of respect and dignity. There was just the right balance between the "hurt" and the "comfort" parts of the story. It was a satisfying and great read overall. Well done, Mr. Fessenden. Very well done, indeed.

 

 

So if you're mentally prepared for a tough and challenging read with a sensitive subject, you should give this book a chance. The author handled the heavy topic of male rape realistically and respectfully, but there were also enough sweet, tender and romantic moments between Derek and Russ to make your heart still go all "Awwww!".

 

This is an outstanding book. An important book. A book that will be staying with me for a long time. It gets a million stars from me.

 

 

Highly, highly recommended!

 

Thanks to Julie for the BR!

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review 2016-12-06 19:16
Review: "Freckles" by Amy Lane
Freckles - Amy Lane

"I needed to see you again," Carter said plaintively. "Needed. You make me want crazy things. Not just sex or a man in my life, but a better life. But I can't build a better life if I don't know your taste."

 

This book appealed to the dog lover in me more than it did to the romance reader. It was cute and über-fluffy, but also a little boring. Sometimes it needs more than a truckload of fluff to keep my attention. But if you're looking for a short and angst-free holiday read, then you should go for it.

 

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review 2016-07-08 14:00
Review: "Status Update" (#gaymers, #1) by Annabeth Albert
Status Update - Annabeth Albert

"Adrian kissed like he was in charge. Like he expected to be the one in charge. And something inside Noah opened up and said yes. Yes, in a way he'd never been able to before. Yes, with a thousand small exhales. Yes, with his lips parting, welcoming Adrian's tongue, welcoming Adrian taking over his mouth, taking over his person."

 

This book made me so, so happy!

 

 

And not just happy as in "this was such a sweet and well-written story and I had a great time reading it" happy, but as in "this book made me fall so hard for its MCs and their crazy ass chemistry and gave me all the fuzzy feels that I had a constant grin on my face" happy.

 

Noah and Adrian - though being so very different from their upbringing and their own personal dealings with being gay - just felt right together from the start. They both gave each other so much and they were both just so genuinely nice and good-hearted people that I couldn't help but root for them to fall in love and get their HEA.

 

 

This story ticked so many of my boxes:

 

  • ga(y)mers
  • men with dogs
  • a spontaneous RV road trip
  • a hipster
  • a virgin

 

And cuddling. Sweet Baby Jesus, so much cuddling.

 

 

Usually, when I read "35-year-old virgin", this is my initial reaction:

 

 

So kudos to Annabeth Albert's mad writing skills to make this part of Noah's background absolutely believable and comprehensible to me.

 

The building trust between Adrian and Noah was a delight to witness and each step of their relationship was a joy to get lost in. I loved how Noah finally came out of his shell and how Adrian was so sweet and patient with him.

 

 

Oh, and you should totally get the audiobook. Sean Crisden already is a favorite narrator of mine, but once again he brought an already great book to a higher level with his performance.

 

 

I can't wait to reread this again. Perfect romance is perfect.

 

 

Highly, highly recommended!

 

Thanks to Julie & Marte for the BR!

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