Book Review: Model Love – S.J. Frost

18664798It wasn’t the characters that drowned this story into nothingness but it’s the thinly veiled plot that didn’t deliver its characters the story they deserved. I’m actually very disappointed with it especially after reading the first three books of the Conquest series. I was like, “the same author wrote this right?” – What seriously just happened?

The story simply goes like this – Ian used to be a successful model whose life turned upside down after the death of his twin brother who also happened to be a model. Encourage by his friend and former agent to take some time off from his new day job as a waiter (and from grieving going on three years now) he found himself in Bora Bora with the beautiful islander Temaru who helped him realized a lot of things which includes letting go of his grief, guilt and his heart in order to fall in love again. And sadly folks, it stopped there. They fell in love, Ian got back on his feet and then it ends. I was like, “that’s it?” Yes, the story totally lacks development. It was a lazy novel yes but I think this was simply a fluke on the author’s part given the greatness that is the Conquest series.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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Book Review: Relief Valve – J.L. Merrow

Relief Valve[Book 2 of The Plumber’s Mate Series]

I actually liked the first book better than this installment. I thought the first one was more focused in comparison and a lot funnier. Now that Tom and Phil are officially dating despite their rather unpleasant past, they are now in the stage of really getting to know each other more including their respective families. I really loved how J.L Merrow writes her stories – the usual sarcastic and dry humor was there, the quirky characters and the story most of the time just goes with the characters so smoothly. Tom’s character here is just one of my favorite characters I’ve read from her and it pains me that I didn’t get much from him in this book despite having his character telling the whole thing. Perhaps, I’m just too annoyed with Phil’s character up until now since reading the first book (I think he’s really got it pretty easy) and the way Tom viewed him really irks me. Tom’s a pretty laid back character with a self-deprecating attitude to go with it. Phil, the grumpy detective was rather too shelled for me. I’m still waiting for that moment where I’ll warmed over his character but it didn’t happen in this book. This book isn’t less enjoyable though, even if I liked the first one better. I still love the way their relationship developed. At least there’s something happening yeah? And there’s Tom’s cats – Arthur & Merlin!!! I loved their scenes whenever Tom talks about them. It was a good book, a good follow-up in the series and I’m really looking forward to reading the third installment. I’d like to give Phil the benefit of the doubt :)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Keys To Love – S.J. Frost

8524793[Book 3 of the Conquest Series]

“He’s shown me things I never saw before. We went camping and I peed outside! And we had sex outside, too! Have you ever had sex outside? Of course you have. Look who I’m talking to. But I never had and it was amazing!”

The third installment of this series centers on the band’s keyboardist Julian Forrester and his quest for love. With everyone (aside from Brad) finding their special someone, Julian is feeling left out in the romance department. Then he meets music teacher Morgan Chandler who works as a roadie for their first solo world tour. Morgan have had a crush on Julian for so long prior to him getting the job and getting the opportunity to be near the guy opens a lot of possibility for him. Now, will this encounter turn into something more?

Now see, the beauty of a great story is how an author is able to create an attachment between his characters and his readers. This story like the first two books has that. In this installment, I immediately fell into the charm of Julian and his laidback innocence. I was also easily smitten by Morgan’s sense of responsibility and yeah – he’s a total babe too. LOL

What’s so good about this story is that it was not overly sappy. It’s just right and then there’s the gang. Jesse’s still driving the crazy train (he’s just so adorbs!) and still got that personality we come to love from him. The reason I’m giving this one short of five stars is because I feel that it was prolonged a bit considering its very thin plot. I’ve no serious complaints about that though. It was still, overall a very good read that I’m sure fans of the series would enjoy! I know I did.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Love Lessons – (Love Lessons #1) – Heidi Cullinan

Love Lessons[Book 1 of Love Lessons Series]

Kelly Davidson is a Disney-loving-allergy-magnet freshman who arrived at Hope University thinking he’ll be able to find his Prince Charming and explore his recent outing from the closet.  Then he was roomed with the campus Casanova Walter Lucas who doesn’t believe in fairy tale endings and whose goal is to bag as many guys as possible and just be his happy self.  With the sexual tension building between them, either of them needs to compromise their beliefs. One has to learn the lesson about “true” life and the other needs to realize that true love does exist.

 It’s been awhile since I’ve read something from Heidi Cullinan (not really that long, but about a couple of months or so) and this book just gave me all those beautiful Disney-ish feelings. I just loved the on-the-get-go chemistry between the MCs here. Kelly is too adorable (those blushes!) and so as Walter. There’s something about their easy chemistry that makes me all gooey inside. I loved the fact that they’re so opposite but still manage to be compatible in so many ways. Kelly’s naïve disposition was never annoying in any way. It’s actually a bit refreshing. His character reminds me a bit of Connor Owens from Sara Alva’s Social Skills only because they’re both too innocent but Kelly’s character’s way ahead of Connor and much, much better.  Walter on the other hand was just disgustingly endearing. He’s cocky, strong, out and proud but deep inside he’s actually got some issues but he doesn’t show it to the world at large. Only the closest knows all about them and I loved how he’s somewhat best friend with his professor and also opened up with Kelly. I loved his vulnerability because it makes you want to take care of him even more. Behind his Casanova façade laid a sensitive and somehow lonely boy with abandonment issues. I think he’s one of my favorite Heidi Cullinan characters.

 The way this story was told through the perspective of both MCs was also a welcome delight. I loved the fact that they have family issues but the author didn’t see the need to drag it further where some author will milk it until the story bleeds to oblivion. This is what I really liked about Heidi Cullinan. There’s some sense of reality in her stories. There’s a certain reality grasp that readers will be able to relate more intimately. I’d really love to read more about this couple and as this is a start of a new series from the author, I’d definitely go grab the next book! This is truly a must-read series!

 Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Book Review: No Fear – S.J. Frost

7743539[Book 2 of the Conquest Series]

Wow. What an incredible follow up to Jesse and Evan’s story. In this second installment of the Conquest series, the author introduced a bunch of secondary characters – some interesting; the others are flat out ridiculous.  Anyway, the story goes on for our beloved couple [the superstar couple]. Jesse’s still cocky as hell and Evan’s still incredibly stoic and overly attentive towards Jesse. This book is basically their coming out story. I honestly can’t at these two. I love how the whole dealio about stupid Trish was finally put to rest. Gosh, that girl is exhausting. She totally grated on my nerves. What I also appreciate in this sequel is how more carefree Jesse is. He’s acting a bit childish at times but he’s still funny at the same time – childish in a good way is all I’m saying. He’s definitely a character I’d remember for a long time.

I loved how solid this sequel is despite the many dynamics that open with different characters involved.  The story is definitely meatier. I actually find it ridiculous that it’s just only now that I discovered this series. I’d definitely go check out the rest of it what with the first two being so great and all.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Something Like Summer The Movie: Introducing Davi Santos As Tim Wyman!

Davi Santos

Yassss!!! I’m so stoked to finally know the actor who will be playing one of my favorite book characters of all time. The movie adaptation of Jay Bell’s bestselling young adult romance novel Something Like Summer has revealed its last main cast which already includes Austin McKenzie (L.A.’s sold-out Spring Awakening) as Ben, Ben Baur (Logo TV’s Hunting Season) as Jace, Ajiona Alexus (TVOne’s The Rickey Smiley Show) as Allison and just last night – Davi Santos as TIM WYMAN!!! It’s was a great cast overall and I couldn’t wait to actually see the chemistry between Davi and Austin.

Austin McKenzie, Davi Santos, Ben Baur, Ajiona Alexus

Austin McKenzie, Davi Santos, Ben Baur, Ajiona Alexus

For all of you guys who haven’t read or at least heard about Something Like Summer – it tells the story of the relationship of Ben Bentley (Austin McKenzie) and Tim Wyman (Davi Santos) over the course of a dozen years, starting when they get together in high school, go their separate ways, then try for a second chance, only to face the worst kind of failure.

The novel won widespread praise from readers on Amazon.com (4.6 stars out of 5), Apple’s iBookstore (4.5 stars) and Goodreads (4.2 stars). 

Something Like Summer

click the image to buy your copy of the book (available on kindle, audiobook and paperback edition)

Written with sincere honesty and relatable characters, you’d surely enjoy this book and take the journey with Ben and Tim.

Now on to the film adaptation again,  you can help bring Jay Bell’s acclaimed young adult novel & Davi to the screen as Tim Wyman by contributing to the $100K Indiegogo campaign before it concludes this coming Sunday. Please share with all your friends http://igg.me/at/likesummer  

imagery and youtube pitch c/o jaybellbooks.com / indiegogo.com

Book Review: Bone Dry – Kim Fielding

Bone Dry[Book 3 of Bones Series]

This has got to be my favorite in the series and not because of its central characters but because of its story. I loved Dylan and Chris but Ery and Karl’s story just did it for me big time. We met Ery Phillips in the second book as Dylan’s former lover-turned friend in college and his affinity towards supernatural beings with a spiritualist for a grandmother.

Unable to find inspiration for his painting and getting fed up with his dayjob as a graphic designer, Ery grab the opportunity to look after Dyan and Chris’s farm as the two heads off to Europe [in Barcelona which is in Spain and Paris specifically – man’ the Barcelona thing never gets old. lol].

With a warning from his friends about the farm’s pond, Ery suddenly find himself in the presence of Karl – a beautiful, white haired naked man. Getting to know Karl and becoming his inspiration, Ery tried to fight his heart for the feelings he’s having for Karl and suppressing it in order to reach his lifelong dream. His priority however took a toll on his heart – something he needs to decide on before it’s too late.

This was the first time I’ve ever cried reading a book by Kim Fielding – and I cried twice! The story of Karl simply struck me speechless and nostalgic. I could just feel the longing, the melancholy of his existence before Ery. I also loved his sweet innocence that it’s almost painful whenever he’s upset or those bad dreams he was telling Ery about. Oh’ man – he’s just so loveable. I also liked the fact that Ery is so open to possibilities and the way he’s still very human after all of he’d witnessed.

I’ve to say though that this third book has gotten really over the top with its fantasy theme and all but I totally loved it. Kim Fielding can give me unicorn for the next installment (or a novella pretty please) and I won’t even blink if it’s as good as this book. Seriously people, you need to read this series!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Conquest – S.J. Frost

7052147Jesse Alexander is an aspiring rock-star who really thinks that his band Conquest would someday conquer the world if and when given a chance. Then he meets Evan Arden, his idol who disappeared from the limelight at the height of his career. Music takes its course and emotions took control – is Jesse ready to sacrifice his rising star for love? Is Evan willing to come out again and literally face the music and the beat of his heart?

I really, really adore this book! It was actually S.J. Frost’s first novel and man’ what a great debut novel released in 2009. Jesse is just so adorable and is impossible to resists. I love his characterization her – his passion, his artistry and his over-the-top self-confidence! I also appreciate how the author made Evan’s character equally delectable. The story was beautifully written from the point of view of the couple. It started from when they met each other to the development of their mutual attraction. I wished there was more to the narrative about the initial success of the band. What bothers me a bit though was the excessive amount of sex scenes. Or rather the prolonged sex scenes. They would’ve been okay if they were a bit shorter. Sometimes, in a couple of the scenes – I’m almost skimming them because they were just too long. That was just a minor criticism on my end though. Overall, this was a great first book in the Conquest series – one hell of a story setting the standard so high for the next books to come!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Mannies Incorporated – Sean Michael

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

Slayde’s got the best job on earth: he’s a nanny to Army nurse and widow Mindy’s three kids. He’s been with the family since the oldest was born and is Uncle Slayde to all three children. When Mindy’s deployed, things aren’t easy, but he manages just fine. At least he does until Mindy’s big brother Drake shows up unexpectedly, announcing he’s there to help while Mindy is gone.

Drake is almost a stranger to the kids, hot as hell, especially in his motorcycling leathers, and straighter than straight. On top of that, Drake’s not used to dealing with kids, with things like gluten free, recycling and not eating fast food and soon has Slayde’s tight routine in shambles.

Slayde thinks Drake is far more of a hindrance than a help, at least at the start, but he tries to get along for Mindy’s sake and eventually, having Drake around is easier than not. But what’s he supposed to do when the straight, sexy leather wearing ex-cop makes a pass at him one night? Maybe there’s more to Drake than Slayde assumed. via Goodreads

The concept of this series is pretty interesting and this first installment is kind of okay. I loved Slade’s character and the three kids but Drake’s character just doesn’t sit well with me. I know that he’s totally in the closet but he came off in this book as an overbearing prick. I was actually waiting for a bit more conflict to happen but it never – never came at all. It was all good though, I thought it’s sweet that Drake finally opened up to his family and close friends but I’m wondering if there’ll be a continuation of this story when Drake will finally be proud to be out in public with Slade.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Impractical Magic (Newton’s Laws of Attraction #2) – M.J. O’Shea

Impractical Magic[Book 2 of Newton’s Laws of Attraction Series]

I liked Fen’s story better than Ben and Rory. It’s not that I didn’t like Ben and Rory as a couple but for some reason; I get to appreciate them more here.

Physics teacher Fenton Keene is the supposed straight BFF of Ben who’s lost and lonely without his trouble twin Ben. Then over the summer, he met young, sexy and out firefighter Kevin. Initially just an invite for a dinner at his flat turned into a one sexy summer romance leading Fen to come out to his friends and his family.

I noticed the difference between the narratives of this one compared to Newton’s Law of Attraction. It’s somehow more convincing and alive. I feel that through Fenton’s story – we got more of Ben and Rory which I loved because I thought the first novel’s ending was a bit abrupt.

I like Fenton’s character although I find his characterization a bit contrived at times. There are times that I find his bond towards Ben sounds like more of adoration which I find kind of weird, like without Rory in the picture – he’ll totally grab Ben for himself. He’s also a bit clingy at times. But hey, I liked that he’s actually open with his friends though and doesn’t have that much of a baggage.

Kevin on the other hand was another story. For some reason, I tend to get really turned-off with one of the MCs getting it on with others except for his supposed love interest. Although they’re technically not together, him sleeping with two other guys (even if he stated his reason –which I thought isn’t valid at all) was just a no-no for me and knowing that it didn’t take him that long to do it! I thought that’s where his age come into play. One unanswered issue about Kevin is why he’s so different with his San Diego friends and his Chico’s friends. There’s more to it that we didn’t get so much especially when he was telling Fen that he was the one who had to take care of his little sister Janet because his parents were always busy working. I actually didn’t buy that one bit. There’s just a lot about Kevin that was a bit off or the much better term is under developed. It’s like we didn’t get much from Kevin aside from his sister and his job as a firefighter. He’s likeable alright but there’s should’ve been more about him.

I also liked Jeremy’s character, though a straight guy – I loved how he’s very much comfortable with his gay friends. I almost wished that he’s actually single because I’d love for him to turn gay and have his own story. Now, I wonder what would be in store for us the next time. This was definitely a big pick-up from the first book which was rather lazy. This one’s juicy and the story’s well developed albeit some flaws with some of the characters.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars