Book Review: A Cup of Tea and a Few Broken Rules – C.C. Jazz

indexBailey and Caden have common friends. They cannot stand each other. After one drunken night, they found themselves in bed. That one night of sex was great and it goes on and on and on. Then Caden admitted to falling in love with Bailey. Bailey being Bailey, a control freak and all naturally freaked out and ended what they’re doing. Bailey needs to let go and Caden needs a bucket full of patience.

I actually find the set up of this story all too weird. The author showed each of Bailey and Caden’s perspective but the lack of back-story was really bothering me. There was no personal touch with these characters – they’re like just in there. I didn’t feel attachment with anyone in the story. The whole “enemies with benefits” fiasco doesn’t sit well with me. And it was too long given the thinly veiled plot. Yup, not my cup of tea.

This story was written as a part of the M/M Romance Group’s “Love’s Landscapes” event. Group members were asked to write a story prompt inspired by a photo of their choice. Authors of the group selected a photo and prompt that spoke to them and wrote a short story.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

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Book Review: Hooch & Cake – Heidi Cullinan

20811584I initially didn’t like Randy back in the first book but I fell for his character when he fell for Ethan. In this novella that happened between the first two books, I’m just utterly floored! I’m not really into Mitch’s voyeurism in the first book and even the foursome in Double Blind but this one totally turned me on! I’ve to admit though that having Randy on their wedding night was a big shit no thanks for me so that is one minus star from me. The story’s totally on fire and I’m really,really happy for Mitch and Sam. It’s also nice that Sam’s aunt was able to explain herself. And man’ I can’t even begin to described my feelings towards that hot-dirty-kinky foursome with Keith. (It was wicked but uncomfortable at the same time) That was just the hottest shit ever! Fans of the series would really get a kick out of this! It’s simply scorching!!!

 

Synopsis: Mitch Tedsoe isn’t expert on many things, but he’s pretty sure getting married shouldn’t be this hard. A justice of the peace, some hooch, some cake—all Mitch wants is to walk down the aisle with Sam Keller, have a party, and live happily ever after. But every day of wedding planning brings a new set of handicaps, legal, logistical, and emotional…until he brings in his best friend, Randy Jansen. Randy loves being the third point in Sam and Mitch’s kinky triangle, and nothing would give him more pleasure than to thumb his nose at small town snobbery and give Iowa the most fantastic gay wedding it’s ever seen. But as his plan comes together and his friends prepare to sail off into the sunset, Randy Jansen begins to consider the unthinkable: that maybe, just maybe, he wishes he could have a little hooch and cake of his own.via Goodreads

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

To fully appreciate this, try reading Special Delivery [Book 1]first. Oh, and download this free novella HERE!

Book Review: Bird Meets Cage – Anyta Sunday

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

Bird Meets The Cage is a story about first love, friendship and chasing a dream. And you see, it’s true that when you love someone, you’d do anything for them even if you have to set them free for them to be happy. Such as the way Nathan/Floss stayed in love with his dearest Stardust despite their 12 years separation. Stardust/Jean is the bird and he needs to fly. He needs to realize his dreams. But dreams don’t always come true and Stardust is back in the place where he first met Nathan – his cage. There are people who wait for their one true love and Nathan is one of them. This time, he’s no longer just a cage; he’s also a home for Jean.

This sweet yet melancholic story will transport you back to a place of magic, fun and everything colorful about circus in the 40’s. It’ll introduce you to special characters that will leave you rooting for them. The mere spirit of this short story may break your heart at some point but it’ll also leave you hopeful and happy at the same time.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This story was written as a part of the M/M Romance Group’sLove’s Landscapes” event

Book Review: Better Than Good – Lane Hayes

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

Wow! What an amazing read! I loved everything about this book. The couple here is just too adorable! I loved how Matt tells the story and how he describes Aaron that makes the other guy utterly irresistible. It’s also nice to note how the conflict was presented in such a manner (via Aaron’s inhibition on dating Matt, Matt having a girlfriend and his supposed heterosexuality) making the story very dynamic thus resulting to an uber-romantic and swoon worthy conclusion. What a beautiful debut from Lane Hayes!

Synopsis via goodreads: Matt Sullivan understands labels: law student, athlete, heterosexual. He has goals: graduate and begin his career in law. One fateful night, Matt tags along with his gay roommate to a dance club and everything changes. Matt finds himself attracted to the most beautiful man he’s ever seen. All labels go flying out the window.

Aaron Mendez doesn’t believe in labels, and he’s leery of straight curious men. He makes it clear that he’ll hide his fabulous light for no one. While Aaron can’t deny the attraction between him and Matt, he is reluctant to start anything with someone who is still dealing with what this new label means—especially when that someone has a girlfriend.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Play Me, I’m Yours – Madison Parker

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

This is Madison Parker’s debut offering and I’m kinda on the fence with this one. Reading it makes me feel like watching “Popular” meets “Glee” meets “Gossip Girl.” The story centers on Lukas, an introverted teenage boy who takes solace from his music and is bullied at school for being gay. I find the interchanging POV’s between characters a bit distracting. The first half was excruciating to read because of its slow pacing aside from the constant changing of POVs. I almost stopped but was glad that it picked up once it centered again on Lukas. I also thought there is more to Zach’s character that the author failed to capitalized. Overall, it was a decent story, a bit overbearing but decent.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Openly Straight – Bill Konigsberg

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

As much as I loved Rafe’s character here, I’m not entirely convinced with the book’s premise. There’s just something about it that feels awfully unrealistic. First, I don’t exactly buy Rafe’s hippie “ideal” parents. They’re “fun” and “funny” but they’re too made up. The whole boy school setting reminded me of Hungry Young Poets or maybe I’m just imagining Robbin Williams as Mr. Scarborough.

There’s also something peculiar or perhaps a bit illogical (which was well explained by Rage at the latter part of the novel) on Rafe’s reasoning that was prolonged like WAY TOO LONG!

I also loved Ben’s character. I so loved the bromance thing between him and Bryce and him with Rafe. I’ve to admit that I was a bit put out with the ending though I know that it was actually the right and more realistic conclusion. I also wouldn’t mind reading a follow up novel regarding Ben and Rafe’s life after high school. Mr. Konigsberg should really ponder upon this suggestion.

All things considered, I thought the author was able to deliver a hopeful message of acceptance here and that old mantra about being you resounding loud and clear.

Synopsis via goodreads: Rafe is a normal teenager from Boulder, Colorado. He plays soccer. He’s won skiing prizes. He likes to write.

And, oh yeah, he’s gay. He’s been out since 8th grade, and he isn’t teased, and he goes to other high schools and talks about tolerance and stuff. And while that’s important, all Rafe really wants is to just be a regular guy. Not that GAY guy. To have it be a part of who he is, but not the headline, every single time.

So when he transfers to an all-boys’ boarding school in New England, he decides to keep his sexuality a secret — not so much going back in the closet as starting over with a clean slate. But then he sees a classmate breaking down. He meets a teacher who challenges him to write his story. And most of all, he falls in love with Ben . . . who doesn’t even know that love is possible.

This witty, smart, coming-out-again story will appeal to gay and straight kids alike as they watch Rafe navigate being different, fitting in, and what it means to be himself.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Book Review: First Impressions Series (1-3) by Josephine Myles

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

FIRST IMPRESSIONS (First Impressions #1)
Surly artist Jez just can’t help staring at the brightly colored socks of the businessman who sits opposite him on the train every day. He weaves a whole history for the mysterious stranger in a vain attempt to stave off his attraction, but it only ends up feeding his bizarre obsession. Then one hot morning, Jez finally snaps and starts sketching…

I am totally loving this shorty about Jez and Steve!! It’s a very cute story of “love developing at first sight.” I just loved the visual of Steve wearing those quirky socks!!! And Jez’s locks was like OMG-asm!!!!! I’m just totally digging both of them. The story’s lovely, sweet and just too a-dork-able!!!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

***

via goodreads

via goodreads

Fuzzy (First Impressions #2)

This was like a very short, exceedingly adorable story five months after Jez and Steve got together. Steve unleashes one of his special talents and that is………. KNITTING!!!!! Yay! It’s just too cute!!! I swear this couple should’ve gotten a full on novel!!!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

***

via goodreads

via goodreads

Last Chance (First Impressions #3)
Jez and Steve’s story is like one of the sweetest shorts I’ve read in a while and I so loved this uber adorable couple. In this third installment, Jez received some bad news from his old home that revealed a painful past he’s been trying to keep from Steve. Dunno why really but Steve’s such a sweet guy…and this one’s making me wish that their story will continue ;)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Love On A Wing And A Prayer – T.A. Webb

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

This story was written as a part of the M/M Romance Group’s “Love Has No Boundaries” event. Group members were asked to write a story prompt inspired by a photo of their choice. Authors of the group selected a photo and prompt that spoke to them and wrote a short story.

I love me some good ‘ol sweet navy men who are proud and aren’t afraid to love. Davey and Chuck are two beautiful guys who found love in a post-DADT era flying aircrafts and I just so loved ‘em! It was an easy breezy story that will make you feel good regardless of who you love! Kudos to the author for writing yet another wonderful short story!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Brothers of the Wild North Sea – Harper Fox

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

This is by far my most favorite book by Harper Fox and it’s exactly what I needed when I was reading it. The book transported me to a place where people speaks the old/ dead language (or strangely that is), where being in a homosexual relationship was merely a “friends with benefits” thing and all first aid meds came from herbs. But seriously though, this was a beautiful story of love between two very different man coming from two very different upbringing. One was supposed to become a fierce warrior but chose a different path and became a monk and the other was born and raised to fight without mercy and found his humanity through love.

The dissection of faith in the book was an enthralling welcome because you’d realize that there’s really some good point in it. No matter what the era is, human nature is human nature. I just loved the part when Caius mentioned something about an infinite god or a merciful god who will not hold judgment as an advise when one of his brethren (Benedict) was desperately seeking solace.

This story at some point will leave you in some sort of wonderment about the beauty of love and miracles of life especially in times of dire circumstances.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Let’s Hear It for the Boy – T.A. Webb

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

Journalist Paul Stewart was tasked to interview Atlanta’s legendary drag performer Auntie Social and he’s set to uncover more about the man behind all the facade. What he learned though was the story behind Matthew Trammel’s plight for AIDS leading him back to the latter’s bittersweet first love.

I’ve been broken into pieces by Mr. Webb after reading Second Chances and I haven’t quite recovered from it (I can’t even listen to At Last now without remembering the book and tearing up). In this very short, melancholic story – the author has once again proven his innate ability to shatter the epicenter of his readers’ emotions. I’ve read quite a lot of books relative to this short story’s theme but there’s only few that really gets to me. This shorts is one of ‘em – bittersweet, poignant and simply beautiful.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars