Book Review: Good Bones – Kim Fielding

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

 I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book! I’m not really big into paranormal / supernatural / shafeshifting shit but this one’s quite a read. This is just my second book by Kim Fielding (after The Tin Box) and this totally changed my perception about the author. The book is thorough with the flow of the story. The characters of Dylan and Chris are both charming and relatable. I loved that the flashbacks of Dylan were summarized quickly and the chemistry between him and Chris is just over the top it’s so freaking good! I’m so looking forward to reading the second book of the series!

synopsis via Goodreads:Skinny, quiet hipster Dylan Warner was the kind of guy other men barely glanced at until an evening’s indiscretion with a handsome stranger turned him into a werewolf. Now, despite a slightly hairy handicap, he just wants to live an ordinary—if lonely—life as an architect. He tries to keep his wild impulses in check, but after one too many close calls, Dylan gives up his urban life and moves to the country, where he will be less likely to harm someone else. His new home is a dilapidated but promising house that comes with a former Christmas tree farm and a solitary neighbor: sexy, rustic Chris Nock.

Dylan hires Chris to help him renovate the farmhouse and quickly discovers his assumptions about his neighbor are inaccurate—and that he’d very much like Chris to become a permanent fixture in his life as well as his home. Between proving himself to his boss, coping with the seductive lure of his dangerous ex-lover, and his limited romantic experience, Dylan finds it hard enough to express himself—how can he bring up his monthly urge to howl at the moon?

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Str8te Boys – Evangeline Anderson

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

What I’ve read from this short story and even based on its title and the cover itself is exactly what I’ve expected. Two college jocks fooling around with each other and eventually they fell in love. It was pleasant enough story, shallow but nice. Although I’ve to wonder why such story took more than 20 page to write but hey, that’s just me

synopsis via Goodreads: How far would you dare to go…to win it all?

Maverick Holms and Duke Warren share almost everything–a college soccer team, an apartment and the same extremely competitive nature. Thanks to that never-back-down spirit, they’re about to share more than they bargained for.

The game is “gay chicken.” The rule: get as close as possible without kissing, and the one that pulls away first is the loser. The problem: neither of them likes to lose. It isn’t long before the game becomes an excuse to touch and kiss in every possible forbidden way. And after they pose for a gay website to earn extra money, things really heat up.

Suddenly Duke is talking lifetime commitment, and Mav is backpedaling as hard as he can, not sure if he’s ready to accept all his best friend is offering him. Or the truth about what he is.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Silent – Sara Alva

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

Silent is the story of two lost boys in a foster home who found solace from each other after both escaping their rather unpleasant pasts. Alex was taken away from home after his school’s discovery of an abuse. Against his will, the fifteen year old boy was placed in foster care where he meets the Sebastian, a mute kid whom they call a special case. Through Sebastian, Alex was able to pour all of his thoughts and secrets until a tragedy forced them apart. Determined to “get through” Sebastian, Alex did everything to be able to really “hear” what’s inside the boy’s mind and heart.

It’s always heartbreaking for me whenever the story involves foster kids because they’re real. Their stories, their past, those boys and girls truly exist. This achingly beautiful narrative of two foster kids with their young love and their pasts just made me realize yet again how ugly and beautiful at the same time human nature could be. The book was heartbreaking, romantic, maddening and hopeful at the same time. It’s all what I’m looking for such theme and it’s beautifully written by the author. You can really feel the authenticity of Alex’s voice and the yearning of Sebastian to express himself fully. I could only wish now that the author considers writing a short story about their future as adults. Now that would be really lovely.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Mr Plum – Sue Brown

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

Dave picks up coffee every morning at the train station on his way to work. He can’t help but notice when the man in front of him is given a plum-colored cup holder, as it goes perfectly with his own tie. There are other things he can’t help but notice, like how hot “Mr. Plum” is.

When Mr. Plum hands over a cup of coffee, exactly how Dave likes it, the morning he’s late getting to the station, it’s the start of a beautiful friendship. Or is it? via Goodreads

This short story reminds me so much of the “First Impressions” shorties by Josephine Myles but in a less charming way. I thought there should have been more background about the MCs since the coffee shop premise is just too cute and it just need more stuff to make the characters more relatable. Nonetheless, it’s just a very short story so there’s not much really to fuzz about. I guess it’s pleasant enough, is all I’m saying

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Going Up – Amy Lane

via goodreads

via goodreads

Every dreary day, Zach Driscoll takes the elevator from the penthouse apartment of his father’s building to his coldly charmed life where being a union lawyer instead of a corporate lawyer is an act of rebellion. Every day, that is, until the day the elevator breaks and Sean Mallory practically runs into his arms.

Substitute teacher Sean Mallory is everything Zach is not—poor, happy, and goofily charming. With a disarming smile and a penchant for drama, Sean laughs his way into Zach’s heart one elevator ride at a time. Zach would love to get to know Sean better, but first he needs the courage to leave his ivory tower and face a relationship that doesn’t end at the “Ding!” via Goodreads

This one didn’t really work for me. It was comical to the point of being folly. I loved Amy Lane but this story’s just too bland with uninspired characters. The elevator “dates” are just downright ridiculous. Like seriously? I’m like, get his freaking number already and ask him out on a freaking date!!!! It’s just way too over the top for me and it’s not even romantic at the least. I’m almost sorry I’ve to give this a 2 star rating.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Book Review: A Small Miracle Happened – Marie Donne

via goodreads

via goodreads

I kinda liked this story because I find it a bit educational. Yeah, we learn a lot from books aye? I’m not sure how factual it was but who cares? It’s easy and romantic enough but I find it a bit rushed although given the premise, I didn’t see anything for the author to play with the story more.

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Dan accepts an interesting new job, only to discover after he moves that he’s the only Jewish gay man in a small Midwestern town. On the first night of Hanukkah, he’s a bit homesick and very lonely. Then the mailman delivers a box containing his menorah to the wrong house.

Chris sees that misdirected package as an excuse to knock on his attractive new neighbor’s door. He doesn’t know a thing about Judaism, but he’s willing to learn, especially if it means becoming better acquainted with Dan.

Eager for company, Dan explains the meaning of the menorah and introduces Chris to less traditional amusements like a game of strip dreidel. Soon they are celebrating long into the nights with sweet, sexy fun. As Dan and Chris light a new flame each night, what started as a playful fling deepens into passion that promises to outlast the eight days of the holiday.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Book Review: The 51st Thursday – Mercy Celeste

via goodreads

via goodreads

Shelby Bainbridge, former championship winning quarterback and son of an Alabama Senator with presidential aspirations, lost everything one Thursday night fifty-two weeks ago. Lost, alone, battered, and broken Shelby finds comfort in the local bar called Deacon’s Place. Week after week, he finds himself drawn to Deacon’s for the beer, for the atmosphere, for the solace and for Deacon himself.

Deacon can no longer deny the desire he feels for the man he calls Thursday. When Deacon wants something Deacon is a hard man to resist. The problem is, Deacon never planned to lose his heart. Especially to a man who could be destroyed by an unexpected night of forbidden passion. via Goodreads

First, I may have expected too much after reading the surprisingly good story of “Behind Iron Lace” but don’t get the wrong idea that this isn’t any good at all. The main characters are actually very interesting; perhaps too interesting that the story’s shortness didn’t do them much justice at all.
This would’ve been a great full-on novel but alas, it was reduced to something that feels like it has no conclusion at all.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Between Friends – Lou Harper

via goodreads

via goodreads

Lucas and Julian were childhood friends, but when bachelor party hijinks landed them in bed together, no one was more surprised than Lucas. That one night turned into a full-blown hidden affair—until the openly gay Julian couldn’t stand being Lucas’s dirty little secret anymore. After two years of missing his best friend and lover, Lucas finds himself desperate to convince Julian that his love really does blaze as bright and as proud as the fireworks on the Fourth of July! via Goodreads

This is a beautifully written short story that is direct, romantic and yes oh-so-sexy. The night of the Bachelor Party, I was like “No, they didn’t” – that was so freaking hot man!

It’s cute how the story was told through Lucas’ perspective from his younger years with his buddies until they’re all grown men. It seems like everything got covered here and it resulted to an awfully pleasing read!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Stories Beneath Our Skin – Veronica Sloane

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

Tattooing might have once been Liam’s passion, but he left it all behind along with ugly memories when he went to college. When his uncle’s health fails, Liam must come home at last to say his goodbyes. His days are spent at the hospice, leaving his nights to rake over the past. To fill those empty hours, he takes a job at Great Sin Ink. The close knit friendship of the workers there both intrigues and shakes Liam, who has spent the last four years keeping everyone at arm’s length. Neither Deb, the no-nonsense piercer, nor Goose, a manic tattoo artist, will let Liam get away with his isolationist ways for long.

If it were just those two, Liam might have stood a chance — but there’s also Ace, the owner of Great Sin. He hires Liam despite a thin resume, and that is a kindness Liam can’t forget. The two start up a tentative friendship, learning about each other as the summer days melt into each other. Slowly, Liam reveals a tender heart underneath the wall of quotes he uses to keep everyone out. Unfortunately, life doesn’t stand still, and both Liam and Ace have hard struggles before them that might break them up before they can even get together. via Goodreads

I find the premise quite intriguing and thought that it’d remain that way through the end but sadly, it went a bit sluggish midway with a rather gloomy vibe. I was hoping for the plot to thicken but it remained almost placid that it almost felt like reading a long narrative despite of the enormous amount of dialogues thrown in. I almost wished that there’s something more to Liam’s emotional baggage and Ace isn’t all chill like that. Nevertheless, the book was pleasant enough despite of all those literary quotes that made me like, “whoa! stop right there – what was that?”

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Secrets And Ink – Lou Harper

via goodreads

via goodreads

When Karma writes you a ticket, pay up or else…

If life was like the movies, Jem Mitchell’s wouldn’t be such a mess. In LA’s glittering world of dreams, he works an unglamorous job at a gourmet grocery store. His past is so deep and dark, the details are lost even to him. All he knows is he was once cursed by a meter maid, and ever since, his love life has sucked.

When Detective Nick Davies becomes a regular at the store, Jem dares to hope he’s un-hexed at last. He should have known that sex with a remarkably normal guy, devoid of weird fetishes and fatal personality flaws, was too good to be true.

During a post-encounter cuddle, Nick recognizes the tattoo on Jem’s back—and remembers him as a young hustler he arrested nine years past.

As Jem’s memories come crashing back, he flees from Nick, but fate contrives to keep pushing them back together. And when Jem’s old partner in crime is found murdered, the stakes are raised for life, for love, and a dangerous drama with no guarantee of a Hollywood ending. – via Goodreads

I’ve to say I was a bit disappointed with this one especially after reading the author’s short story entitled “Between Friends”. That one was awesome. This, however is pretty much running on all sides of cliché with characters that are simply forgettable. I also didn’t like how Jeremy’s backstory was revealed. The whole karma and Jeremy’s shady past is borderline ridiculous – that’s just too WTF to even be part of the story’s conflict. The spider tattoo, the Japanese bondage and the whole dealio with that actor also didn’t make that much sense. Oh I don’t know, it was just all over the place.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars