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review 2015-12-19 17:00
My Top Ten Books Of 2015!

 

And, once again, only M/M-books made it to my Toplist.
 
 

 

1. Slaying Isidore’s Dragons, by C. Kennedy
What a ride! What an amazing story. I’m still reeling. And so full of hope, for the future, for the future of these boys, all our boys.
And then there is the momentous message to abuse victims and survivors that there is a future, also for them. That there is hope for sunshine and love, in all our futures.
My Review!



2. A Solitary Man, by Shira Anthony and Aisling Mancy
This story just speeds off from page one, running, dashing, skipping, and jumping obstacles.
It is a rush and a half—this storyline grabbed me by the collar, shook me to the core, made me scream, rave, laugh, rejoice.
My Review!




3. Home and Away, by Samantha Wayland
What a little gem this turned out to be. Hockey players, a cute British gentleman, fun neighbors, and lots of cuddly times.
My Review!




4. Silver Scars, by Posy Roberts
This book is a beautiful and hard read. I am constantly amazed at how this author manages to space from silly and funny, to real and harsh.
Read this. You won’t regret it.
My Review!




5. Misfits, by Garret Leigh
Wow. Simply wow.
This was better than good. This was dang good. Actually, this is the first time I’ve read about an open relationship that I actually believe in. And then see it turn into a ménage that is truly believable, to boot.
My Review!






6. Cronin’s Key, by N. R. Walker
I seriously thought I would never read another vampire book again in my life.
Right?!
And there goes Walker, writing me one that I just fall into and roll around in and fall in love with and just simply adore.
My Review!



7. True Brit, by Con Riley
Riley is adding more diverse figures in this story, with a backdrop of London, Cornwall, and Afghanistan. Soldiers, mothers, mansions, and project housing, all in one huge swirl of her paintbrush.
I loved this. I loved the fandom aspect (that not everybody will get, but that’s okay), I loved that Ed (-ward) got whiplash, and I loved the nod to the boy bands out there. I loved that the bad-guys don’t always win, and that smarts can still out-maneuver them.
My Review!


8. Silent, by Sara Alva
This story is heartrending. Sad. Full of devastation. Kids and drug dealers. Young people who probably never stand a chance.
And yet.
In the middle of all this misery is a young man of 15, standing tall, doing his absolute best. He mucks it up, of course, because he is only fifteen years old. But he tries. Oh, lord, but he tries.
My Review!


9. Hero, by Perry Moore
This book was a ride and a half! And then yet another ride!
I haven’t had this much fun in a long time, and still, there were moments of near despair here. YA at its very best.
What a fantastic book.
My Review!






10. Red Dirt Heart #4, by N. R. Walker
So, author. You proceed to break my heart in so many pieces I’m still looking for some of them. Then you go on and mend it, like it was never broken in the first place.
As I sit and read, I get lost in the red dirt trails, and I rightly don’t know where I am when I look up from the pages. It takes a moment to realize that I am in my home, not in the outback, struggling.
My Review!


Source: annalund2011.booklikes.com/post/1298284/my-top-ten-books-of-2015
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review 2015-10-25 20:01
ARC Review — A Solitary Man, by Shira Anthony and Aisling Mancy
A Solitary Man - Aisling Mancy,Shira Anthony

This story just speeds off from page one, running, dashing, skipping, and jumping obstacles.

It is a rush and a half—this storyline grabbed me by the collar, shook me to the core, made me scream, rave, laugh, rejoice.

Xav and Chance were great characters, both believable and real. I could see them in front of me, racing in dark alleys, or at work in the local sheriff’s office.

 

It was an amazing ride, with the dark and realistic subject of child trafficking for sexual exploitation, which is not a common subject. It was a deeply emotional story, on many levels. It rang true, and felt believable, and as most people would want to close their (our?) eyes to the very fact that this trafficking exists, we need stories like this one; these children need to be made visible. We need to hear their truths.

 

The strength needed to investigate these crimes? Incredible and amazing mental power. And a heart as big as the moon itself.

 

As Xav says, “The only way I’ve been able to do what I do is to think about the boys I can save.” And, further, “The one kid, who does make it, makes what we do worthwhile.”

 

Let’s not back away from this subject, in fear, or in disgust. Let’s look this monster in the eyes, and say, we will not accept this anymore! Because, until we all do, child trafficking for sexual exploitation will continue to happen.

 

A book like this one is important: Not only is it written very well, with a lot of action and a lot of things happening, it is also an eye-opener. I learned many new things during my read. I also felt a deep and utter satisfaction with where the whole story arc ended. There were bitter losses, too, because life is hard. But, as always with authors I love, resolution and HEA.

 

Yes I think we can safely say that this was a great book for me. I would, perhaps, have preferred the sex scenes to be fade to black, as I felt them to be beside the story itself, (you never thought you’d hear me say that, huh?) but all in all, this was a truly amazing read. I won’t be able to leave it behind me, for a long time.

 

Grab your hat, and fall right into the chase! Let’s go get these bad guys, and lock them up for good.

 

***

 

I was given a free copy of this book from the authors, and a positive review wasn’t promised in return. Publishing date: November 6, 2015

Source: annalund2011.booklikes.com/post/1276414/arc-review-a-solitary-man-by-shira-anthony-and-aisling-mancy
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review 2015-07-21 13:26
ARC Review — Silver Scars, by Posy Roberts
Silver Scars - Posy Roberts

This book is a beautiful and hard read. I am constantly amazed at how this author manages to space from silly and funny, to real and harsh.

 

This story takes you in and shows you the hard underbelly of what PTSD can be like. And yet, it is both uplifting and beautiful.

 

It is sweet, and fragile, and it hurts, and it is beautiful, and it is full of pain, and then there is understanding. Love. Recovery. Dealing.

 

I even loved the best friend, Frankie, who was so far away, and still so very present every time Gil needed him.

 

The best part with this story isn’t the pain and the dealing. It is the showing how one plus one actually DOES become more than simply two. There is not one weaker and one stronger character; there is no savior/saved.

 

There are just simply two people who get together and are the better for it.

There is hope and courage here, in abundance.

 

Read this. You won’t regret it.

 

***

 

I was given a free copy of this book from the author. A positive review wasn’t promised in return.

 

Source: annalund2011.booklikes.com/post/1205564/arc-review-silver-scars-by-posy-roberts
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text 2015-04-23 18:24
Hosting a cool author on my blog!

I am so excited to have author Cody Kennedy visiting my blog today! It has been a long month of touring for him with his book, Slaying Isidore's Dragons, and this is one of the last tour stops—see all the other stops here, every one is FULL of useful information and facts. Especially the first one, the kick-off of this book tour, is near and dear to my heart. Don't miss it.

 

Go here:

 

Cody Kennedy talks about authoring.

 

 

Source: annalund2011.booklikes.com/post/1151874/hosting-a-cool-author-on-my-blog
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review 2015-04-05 14:00
ARC Review — Slaying Isidore's Dragons, by C. Kennedy
Slaying Isidore's Dragons - C. Kennedy

What a ride! What an amazing story. I’m still reeling. And so full of hope, for the future, for the future of these boys, all our boys.

 

In this story, as is the usual fare with Kennedy, there is action; there is no time to relax, no time to slow down, things are happening all the time, and in so many layers, it takes all my concentration to keep it together. And I love it. I just simply love it. I roll in it, I run with it. I revel in it.

 

I feel I know these people, already after a few chapters. It is as if I am running beside them, seeing what they are seeing, feeling what they are feeling. It is almost overwhelming. I scream, and I scare the cats. I giggle, and I wake Mr. Anna.

 

Kennedy must be the king of purple prose, and yet, somehow, here, it just works; it doesn’t become ridiculous, it just becomes powerful and full of awe-inspiring, foreign flavors.

And then another bomb goes off.

 

Why am I not surprised?

 

While reading until my iPad hits my face, I realize, just as I am falling asleep, that there is so much more to this story than meets the eye.

 

There is the careful choosing of words. The loving turn of phrase that won’t scare a potential victimized reader. Words are of such vital importance to young survivors; those of us who have never lived through abuse, can never quite understand how loaded a simple word can be.

 

And then there is the momentous message to abuse victims and survivors that there is a future, also for them. That there is hope for sunshine and love, in all our futures.

 

It is uplifting. It is caring. There is hope.

 

And then another bomb goes off, yeah?

 

This book had me sitting on the proverbial edge of my seat, jumping with excitement, smiling with bliss, and feeling the love between the two young men grow and blossom. (See? I have achieved some purple myself). I cry me an ocean, too, for good measure.

 

The way Declan and Isidore discover each other is beautiful, loving, enriching, sweet, and so sexy. Without ever going into the exploitative and crude, the physical love they explore is simply beautiful. They are both on the older side of their teen years, at eighteen and seventeen, thinking about their bodies and discovering a new sensuality, and the way Declan gets frustrated with his dick makes me scream with laughter. So many good feels, here, too.

 

There is no way I can review this book without drawing parallels to Omorphi, Kennedy’s other long novel about abused youth. The similarities are of course there, but what really strikes me is the difference between them. The main character in the first story, Christy, is a survivor of abuse. In Slaying Isidore’s Dragons, Isidore is still a victim, and he is still living with his abusers. There is such a huge difference in mindset.

 

Now, there is a special talent to be able to describe and write about this kind of abuse, without either falling into the exploitative, or brushing over the sad facts. Here, none of those things happen. There is truthfulness in these pages, but most of all, there is hope. Awe-inspiring Hope. It makes the reader understand what goes on inside the mind of an abuse victim.

 

It shatters me to see how this new life, when saved from an abusive environment, can be so overwhelming that the victim is ready to go back to the abusive home, just to get to a place where everything makes sense.

 

This is a book with really difficult themes, and it is striking how it can ring true in all its horrid details, while still giving hope and showing a way out. This book may very well be saving lives, and giving hope.

 

It is interesting how well the double POV works, where we see things mostly from the eyes of the boyfriend, Declan. I don’t think we could take seeing it all from inside Isidore’s mind, but the short interludes that we do get to see are so revealing. Thank you for showing us how completely different the same scene may seem to the victim.

 

Now, I also want to tell everybody about how much I adore Sorcha, Declan’s mother. She is a powerful, gorgeous, strong, beautiful, and loving woman. I love all those things in people, but I especially appreciate them when they are attributed to a woman in an m/m setting. This is finally happening more often, but I still want to say thank you for this: thank you, author, for a strong and good woman. Mothering is not easy, and she does shine a light. The fact that she was also an Ambassador in her own right, makes my heart sing. A real woman. Somebody with both a job and a career. Not only, she is also absolutely hilarious, and a good belly laugh really makes life worth living. The healing value of humor is well known, but is even more so to a victim of abuse.

 

It is important for me to see that the story in this book actually rings true in the ears of the intended readers, i.e. young survivors of abuse; youth who, through this novel, can visualize a potential future, a possibility of a decent life, of love, of happiness. Reading young Timmy’s review of this book, I see the story through his eyes. See his review here.

 

It is true. This story brings hope. It shows the path forward, it shows the possibility of future.

 

This is top notch.

 

On my Top-Read-Of-2015 shelf.

 

Well done, Kennedy. I just realize that I have written the word “hope” nine times in my review. That must mean something.

 

You pass with flying colors.

 

Five shining stars.

 

***

 

I received an ARC of this book from the author, and a positive review wasn’t promised in return.

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