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review 2017-09-26 00:30
Fluffy crack + amnesia trope = I'm reading!
Forgotten Paradise (Dreamspun Desires Book 32) - Shira Anthony

3.75 Stars-- Amnesia trope, vacay in the DR and cracky fluff? I'm all over it!

Shira Anthony's Forgotten Paradise is all about twenty-something ginger businessman Adam and thirty-something scuba instructor Jonah. Set in the Dominican Republic (for the first half), they meet while Jonah is working and Adam is lost at the resort on a forced vacation. Adam's family business which he was instrumental in saving, is being hounded by a Silicon Valley giant. He needed to destress.

And why not with the hunky diva instructor, Jonah? Jonah and Adam circle around their obvious attraction for a week. But Jonah has a past he can't remember due to having amnesia for 10 years! Something about Adam triggers his memories and then there are twists and turns!

The story was kind of staid until 40%. A lot of diving descriptions, some Dominican food descriptions (the food is amazing I can attest) and the men aren't heating it up, though it's obvious they get one another.

Once Jonah's identity was revealed, I was invested and breezed through the 50-ish%.

Amnesia tropes are my fave of mine. I liked the author's take on it. Jonah not only learned about his past self, he also grew as a person. There is a little mystery and a second plot twist I was surprised about (view spoiler)

This story has the max Dreamspun Desires sex scenes and it was nice, passionate.

I'm happy with the fluffy HEA and the epilogue was fitting for the fluffy feels the story gave. (It read like a Lifetime movie - comfort type of fluffy read)

Overall, a good addition to the house line.

P.S. (Anthony's first Dreamspun is in my top faves of the line: First Comes Marriage - features a GINGER billionaire!)

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review 2016-06-25 06:57
Save me from philosophical romance... :/
More Fish in the Sea (2016 Daily Dose - A Walk on the Wild Side Book 17) - Fil Preis

2.25 Hearts--It's not a bad story. It's just forgettable.

"More Fish in the Sea" is a tiger shark shifter/human romance between two individuals who are pretty similar (save the shifting magic) in the lovely destination spot Hawaii.

Travel agent Jarrett goes on a dream vacation to mend his broken heart. He finally starts to recognize his doormat ways while single on the island. He doesn't want to be single though and craves being a relationship where a partner will respect his Wiccan ways. Kainalu also had a breakup with a boyfriend who did not care for his family's mysticism and ancient practices. Good thing Kainalu didn't share his tiger shark shifting predicament with his ex-love. Kainalu has to shift every full moon.

Both main characters meet but are at different points in their lives...so they thought one night. Later on (the time change isn't really definite in here) they meet up, call on Mother Goddess, hook up (fade to nothing/black sex BTW) and discover what "Shark People "powers entail.

What you see in the blurb is exactly what you get.

Reading a story with main characters who are very similar, doesn't provide any tension or create anything memorable can lead to a dull read. Add to the repetition of the same points...it's dull city. I'm not one who enjoys this style of writing, it's more philosophic/mystical. I totally respect different beliefs and I thought a practicing Wiccan would bring something new to the game, but it was meh. I don't the story could be improved upon, it's just the way it's written. Execution can make or break a story - the pace dragged to me. In fact, I thought it was longer than it was. The story is told in alternating POV but more attention was given to Jarrett. Both the 'problem' between the MC's and ending were rushed.

Recommended? Probably for people who like that sort of writing style.
For readers like me? No.

For the rest of the unicorns' #ShifterSundayFunday reviews:

A review copy provided for an honest review.

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review 2016-05-25 03:03
Sugary dadcest...it's a thing. Who knew?
Quillon's Covert - Louis Stevens,Joseph Lance Tonlet


"Son. This can't happen," Martin whispered firmly.
Marty gently force his hand down and back up his dad's length. "Buh-buh-but what if I wuh-wuh-want it to?" he asked just as quietly.

Are your Spidey Smut Senses tingling yet?

Did you re-read the blurb? Checked out the tags? *whispers* I won't tell a soul. It'll be our secret.

Come join me down the smutty road of jizztastic intentions...



...to dadcest, my favorite 'cest of all.

Jospeh Lance Tonlet and Louis Stevens' contemporary novella, "Quillon's Covert" is a story that spans the years with the Quillons, dad Martin and teen son Martin Jr. aka Marty. With twenty years apart and nothing sexual beginning until Marty is 18 years old, the story focuses on their California vacation home/cabin, named "Quillon's Covert", where the males can be free with themselves for two weeks out of the year and relax. The spans from when Marty is age 14 through 27, each chapter reflecting on the year, through alternating POV.

Marty has a speech impediment (a characteristic I really enjoy in romances) and is traumatized from a past choking mishap. Being as Marty is Martin's only kid, he coddled his son more than normal. What is very clear in this story is that the Quillon men love each other, more than anything and share a special father/son bond. Nothing was untoward from Martin's end and Marty was the one who developed sexual feeling for his "old man" at a crucial point in his teenage development that carried on throughout the years. He was the aggressor, if you will.

Now with dad/son incest, for me, there can be magic if it's depraved or full of sexual tension and forbidden moments.

It's incest fantasy...so go full throttle, y'know what I mean?

"Yuh-yuh-you haven't forgotten I'm g-g-gay, right?"
"No, I haven't forgotten."
"So, um, th-th-that...what you're doing, feels really nice."
"But I'm your dad--"
"Maybe it's because you're my dad."  

This book...not so. It's one the sweetest, fluffiest incest stories I've ever read.

Sweet and sugary...

No, no...more sugar than that.

That's better.

I am not a reader who needs so much sugar, especially in my smut. But to each their own.

This story was fluffed out that it's pacing and editing were off. And the emotions that can make or break good incest story suffered from it. In fact, the story focused more on not making squicky for the curious and proving no badwrong started until Marty was legal, that plot points such as Martin's struggle with his sexuality (he capitulated way too quickly), the sexual tension was non existent and there was no recap of the other 50 weeks that didn't read like a massive info dump.

"Marty, I'm not gay."
"Dad, I know--"
"No, please let me finish. I'm not gay, but...but I love you more than anyone. Probably more than I should, in fact. But that's besides the point. The point is...The point is, although I'm not sure I'll be able to love you exactly the same way in return, the though of being that close to you, of sharing something so...intimate with you, it's very appealing. Very. And, honestly, I'd be honored. Beyond honored."

I can overlook editing errors (I am mostly in this case) if the story is good. But I was more focused on the need of editing, shaving down the words in spot that got underdeveloped rather than the characters. Most of the book (instead of the epilogue), the father and son read like they were strangers outside of their cabin retreat. I thought the son lived with his mom for most of the book until I realized they actually lived in the same house outside of the cabin. The start of the book was slow, then started to warm up in the second third and fizzled out in the last third. the epilogue was nice, it also had erotic parts under the sweetness.

And the talking, sometimes they talked so much instead of acting on something. Some parts should have been shaved down, some not needed like Marty remarking on his father's business partner being weird. Added nothing to the plot of it wasn't going anywhere.

Another thing that was a good idea until it tried to extra components was the kink. One of the Quillon men likes spanking. See nothing wrong with a little sensitizing, but there was bondage brought in...it read more for titillation for the reader instead of the characters and in something that is highly character based for me that scene read off. And the nicknames, which is usually my thing, weren't working for me either, I do that, make up cute nicknames for people special to me, but maybe it was the wacky choice. Something about it didn't work.

But I could piece together the main thread. It's a simple story of a gay young man carrying a torch for his straight father and getting his wishes. It's a slow burn, the authors voices melded very well. The sex was nice, romantic and sweet. I think the length was good, the telling parts could have been lessened and the weaker points could have been more developed. I did love the accidental 'setup' between father/son that read like an ode to common Nifty porn such as needing help in the shower due to broken arms (though carrying bags with broken arms? Hmm...) or walking around naked all the time or stealing spunky underwear. Nice touch!

There was sex with nothing happening until the latter half, all nice and respectable.

Well...for an imaginary father and son pairing, I guess. ;P

The ending was...realistic with the obvious difficult this couple has. (There is infidelity on both of their parts) But oddly enough, their significant others aren't introduced, aren't really explored and other than telling the readers about them, they could've been paint on the wall for all I know.

Overall, it was sweet read...yes, for incest. There aren't many sweet, fluff incest reads, particularly with no angst. It's swimming in the 2.5-3 Hearts range for me, not for the topic (obviously not my first time at the incest erotica rodeo, buckaroos), more so for the execution. But a certain pseudo-exhibition scene sealed me swimming to the higher end of my rating range.

I wouldn't recommend it to seasoned incest smut readers whose tastes run toward depraved. I'd recommend more for readers who are curious about incest romance and enjoy syrupy sweet. This would be perfect for those readers.

Other than the incest part of their relationship, it's quite...normal. Martin and Martin Jr. make their own HEA. I do believe they'll love each other until their very last breath.

A copy provided for an honest review.

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review 2016-04-09 23:14
Age gap and office romance set in the Scottish Highlands
Taste in Men - Douglas Black

3.5 Hearts--When I see a new Douglas Black, I barely read the blurbs in my excitement before adding it to my TBR pile. I know that simple yet complex characters and intense situations are on menu.

With the Scottish Highlands as the main setting, "Taste in Men" is an sexual tension filled story about Taylor, an IT employee who is one foot out of the door at his company and Charles, the older silverfox head of the company. Taylor worked for the company since he was eighteen and all the hard work finally paid off with a big lucrative deal. He can finally leave the company where his technology skills were under appreciated. Down to his final two weeks at Webb, sadly, Taylor has to participate in a company team building weekend in the Scottish wilderness.

At 24 years old and carrying the baggage of a crappy childhood, Taylor is closed off, private and likes it that way. Imagine his surprise, when he feels an instant attraction to a man who doesn't fit his type of: barely legal, blonde and in the twink category. Charles is taller, older and broader than Taylor and he can't keep his eyes off the man. The sexual tension was delicious to read, I didn't expect any less from the author.

But I must say, this book isn't going to be for every reader. I think readers who don't mind contrary characters could give this a chance.

Taylor...he's interesting. I actually think Taylor has mental health concerns and undiagnosed disorders. He's antisocial but there more's to just being antisocial when it comes to Taylor. He's compulsive in his need to "not be tied down", to the point of touching slightly neurotic. And possibly on the spectrum with some of his habits displayed. He's so adamant about not being tied down, he won't buy the simplest things, though he has the coins to back it up. And his word vomit, some times it could grates the nerves.

It's perplexing at points. And Charles gets overshadowed with his baggage (loss of family) by Taylor's...uniqueness. He might be odd for some people, but there's something about his damage that made it an interesting read. I do wish it wasn't a singular POV (Taylor's). I think Charles was an equally interesting character if given a chance. His addition could be seen as telling since the reader misses out on his experience since meeting Taylor.

While the story has tension filled undertone, it wasn't saturated with abundant sex. There was outdoor sex! And a few thwarted occurrences just when the sexy times was imminent. You could just feel those blue balls for the men.

But with some good things, there were parts that weren't as solid.

Things not as strong:

There were weird loose ends, like Ray - was he interested or not? What's his deal? At times he seemed jealous, other supportive. And then as we got to the end, he just disappeared.

The epilogue was cool until the final paragraph (okay maybe 3-4 paragraphs) It was a weird spot. The growth great, but the dialogue got a little wonky. Something was a little off with the HEA feeling.

And the biggest one for me was missing out on the personal growth from Taylor. I wish there was more chances to read the interim parts of him trying to become a functioning adult with the one thing he didn't like, before skipping ahead in time.

Other than those things, the story is readable. Sexy, a little sad in parts, a little funny in others, a quick romance that I think would last. Just wish there was more elaboration in the less stronger bits.

Not my favorite for Douglas Black, "Port in a Storm", but not bad at all.

Recommended for readers who like age gaps, characters who don't emote out loud very well and sexy times outdoors.

A copy provided for an honest review.

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review 2015-09-19 03:30
Deckard, vacation and GFY? Delish!
The Last Nights of The Frangipani Hotel - Bey Deckard

UNICORN TRIO REVIEW--Lori, Sunny and I took at trip to the Caribbean with James and Rudie. Fun times.

Group Reviewage can be found here (3.83 Hearts avg):

4.5 HEARTS--

"See, I like pleasing you. I like knowing that my body, my mouth, my hands... my ass can make you feel so good. I like feeling used. I liked it when you came into my room and held me down and fucked me. Like I was just a thing to be used to make you cum. Like your fuck toy."

After reading nearly all of this author's backlist, I've come to notice a few things.

1. It takes me longer to get into his contemporary. The fantasy pirates? I was all in after the first few pages. I mean pirates, hello. And the sci-fi soldiers...well, I love good D/s and a big buy bottoming, so it was a match made in heaven. The Last Nights of Frangipani Hotel didn't start to hook me until 26% and it was a tentative hook at first. But as the story progressed, I really began to enjoy.

2. This author is really, really great at painting a scene and dirty talk. The Caribbean setting was lush and I felt like I was there with actors James and Rudie in their dilapidated hideaway beach resort. The Caribbean is a favorite place of mine, so it's great to revisit in a story. And as for the dirty talk, I mean, look at the starting quote. I think all my quotes I chose from this story are of a sexual nature in some form. Deckard is to blame. (Or thank?)

James is an actor, hidden away from the stress of being rich and famous in a little vacation hut all on his lonesome. When Rudie, a hot younger German actor, encroaches James' peace and solitude with conversation and hot body. They've met years before and reconnect over shared interests, books and their occupation.

Oh and that pesky mutual attraction that straight, seperated James tries to deny.

"You are pitying yourself for something that isn't so serious. It's not like you and I are getting married. I'm only trying to help you see yourself in a different way. But if you don't want my help, I won't give it. Just realize that I'm going to lock my door at night so that you don't accidently find your cock in my ass again."

The men are virtually secluded, alcohol is consumed...passion can't be denied. *leers*

But it is an awkward start. And things don't automatically fall into place. James is having an identity crisis because he's adamantly straight. Right? James' denial of being attracted to men was funny. GFY can be hit or miss for me. I'm not that caught up in titles but I do enjoy reading a great internal struggle and James does deliver some good moments. And Rudie definitely knew how to rub James the right way.

I found this novella from The Actors' Circle series is slightly more stronger. Maybe because there was more page time between the main characters. I think I got a better sense of James and Rudie as characters, James more so than Rudie. But Rudie was the star of the book for me. I really liked the way the men got close. Would I call this sweet? Eh, maybe? It's light in tone. I think that they had cabin fever/ vacation-itis love going on for the way the insta-love kinda developed. I'd love to see them in the future if the author ever have plans for that but I'm happy with the way it ended too.

"I felt like I had just noticed that I'd been driving with the parking brake on these years."

Another quick, easy and hot read to break in new readers of the author.
Recommended for fans of vacation romances and dirty talk, seperate or together.

A copy provided for an honest review. 

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