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

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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

Book Review: Heatstroke – Taylor V. Donovan

via goodreads

via goodreads

At twenty-one years old, Richard Lewis Bancroft was on the fast track to fame and fortune. An award-winning start on the Broadway stage led him to the silver screens of Hollywood, where his star began to rise, and his heart fell hard for professional baseball sensation, Manuel Guzman. But there was no script for living out loud with the man of his dreams in the world of 1964.

Then Richard disappeared without a trace.

Forty years later, Michael Spencer discovered a journal in his grandmother’s attic that would change his life forever, and quite possibly, solve the mysterious disappearance of Richard Lewis Bancroft. – via Goodreads

I really enjoyed reading this FREE novella. It’s one of those stories that lingers with you days after reading it. I loved its nostalgic vibe with Michael discovering journals of a famous Hollywood actor which led him to unravel the truth about his family and getting a glimpse of love at its purest. I think I even cried by the end of the story. This is a special book with a fairy tale ending – another great piece from Taylor V. Donovan.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Sweet Little Thing – Renée Carlino

19507801Sweet Little Thing gives us a glimpse of Mia and Will’s life as a couple starting out a new journey and pursuing their dreams in music. This, hands down is one of the best novella sequels ever! I love that Renée Carlino gave us a chance to see how Mia and Will’s adventures in life panned out as they also start creating a family of their own. It’s a beautiful, beautiful journey and reading it made giddy with happiness. Thank you Renée for this wonderful novella!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Review: For A Lost Soldier (1992)

via wikipedia

via wikipedia

For a Lost Soldier is a 1992 Dutch film based on the autobiographical novel by ballet dancer and choreographer Rudi Van Dantzig. It is a tender story of the bond between Jeroem (Maarten Smit,) a young boy from Amsterdam during the World War 2 and a Canadian soldier named Walt (Andrew Kelley) who helped liberate the Nazi-invaded country.

Since the arrival of the Canadian troops, Jeroem found himself somewhat attracted to the young soldier and the latter have also shown interest to the young boy. Jeroem according to Walt is so “fucking special” and both found themselves always together and even had a subtle, sweet sexual relationship. The film was actually quite engrossing even if it’s 80% in Dutch.

The scenes between the boy and the soldier were quite romantic (despite the pedophilia an all)  and a bit melancholic that I find myself dreading each scene  because I was afraid for them. It’s just too bad that the ending was anti-climactic and it’s somehow a tad confusing. Nevertheless, it was a worthwhile film to watch even if it lacks story development towards the end.

Rating: 8/10
Director: Roeland Kerbosch
Starring: Maarten Smit, Jeroen Krabbé, Andrew Kelley, Freark Smink, Elsje de Wijn
On DVD

Book Review: Sweet Thing – Renée Carlino

via goodreads

via goodreads

I’ve been meaning to read this one earlier this year but I got soaked up with a lot of fantasy and sci-fi reads. The first book I’ve read by Renée Carlino entitled Nowhere But Here was released earlier this year and I totally loved it. Now Sweet Thing was actually her debut and it’s just up there! It’s crazy good and it’s the kind of story that I’d die to see in movie (I already have Anna Kendrick in my mind playing the lead role lol).

Sweet Thing centers on Mia Kelly landing in New York to start out a new life after the untimely death of her father leaves her with all of his assets and a café to run. Then he meets Will Ryan, a struggling musician who ends up renting a room at her father’s house. From there, their friendship blossoms and any tinged of romance was easily killed off by Mia fearing the involvement with Will would result to the destruction of all her carefully planned goals. As usual, life would keep getting in the way and Mia needs to figure things out and rearrange her plans before truly losing her dreams and the love of her life – that is if she’s not already too late.

The characters of Mia and Will here just have this unbelievably great book chemistry leaving us readers rooting for them from start to finish. Mia seems like a real 25 year old woman who’s still searching for her place in the real world. Will meanwhile is a heartachingly beautiful guy that readers would totally fall in love with – I know I did. *blush* Aside from being beautiful, he’s also smart, funny and very talented. ‘such a perfect book boyfriend. With these two entangled in a journey of finding themselves and finding their way through love – things couldn’t get any better.

I said it before and I’m saying it now – Renée Carlino writes with passion and this book is a clear testament on how really good a writer she is.

Bravo!

Rating: 5 out of  5 stars

Book Review: The Perfect Place – Kol Anderson

via goodreads

via goodreads

I actually find the first few chapters interesting – I mean pretty interesting like this is going to be so good but then somewhere in the middle, it just became messy. I don’t know why I had this foreboding that this thing about the couple won’t go well. By the end of it, I was utterly stunned by their revelation. Jax’s illness was already a foreshadowing on what’s going to happen but I still refused to accept it. Then about fifteen more pages from the ending, I was like – why is the narrator stalling? There’s definitely some dark shit looming here. I was indeed right but it still came as a shock. It was sad and heartbreaking but something’s gonna give what with everything they have endured – Jax and his bittersweet relationship with Lee and Lee himself and his inner demons.

synopsis via goodreads: When Liam Dailey arrives in his hometown of Flint Hill, Virginia because of a family tragedy, he has every intention of leaving with the first flight back. Unfortunately, when he encounters long time ex Jackson Brooks, things start taking a turn for the worse and Liam finds himself getting stuck in a spiral again. Will he ever be able to leave?

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Review: The Cure (1995)

via wikipedia

via wikipedia

I was bawling after watching this film. I’m just like that – but only when the movie is sad and has a really good story. The Cure stars the late actor Brad Renfro and the very young fragile looking Joseph Mazzello. Dexter (Mazzello) is suffering from AIDS that he acquired through blood transfusion and his neighbor Erik (Renfro), a loner and into his adolescence befriends him that led to their journey in finding the cure for the young Dexter. Both have found someone to cling to in their young lives and they went into a short journey that made them entangled until after life.

This film is truly sad but endearing at the same time. There was ignorance about the disease but that did not drag the film. It didn’t talk much about AIDS but rather the personal and moral issues that was subtly masked thru simple lines and actuation of the people in the film. Annabella Sciorra who played the loving mother of Dexter was amazing! You’d really feel the pain that she was feeling as the mother who’s trying to make his son’s remaining days easier and happy. I know that there are similar cases like these in real life where young kids are affected not only through blood transfusion but also in different ways and that thought just adds additional heartache.

For some reason, the feeling that I had about this film reminds me when I watched The Boy Who Could Fly. There was this heartache I’m feeling for both young Dexter and Erik but there was also a sense of serenity because of the friendship they have imparted with the audience.

Rating: 9/10
Director: Peter Horton
Casts: Brad Renfro, Joseph Mazzello, Diana Scarwid, Annabella Sciorra
P.S
I found out that Brad Renfro died in 2008 and it makes it doubly sad for me. Gone too soon. Rest in Peace Erik.

Book Review: A Younger Man (Cabin Fever #3) – Cameron Dane

via goodreads

via goodreads

This is by far my most favorite Cameron Dane’s book. It’s sweet, romantic, moving and feels oh-so-realistic.

Recently divorced and out of the closet in his middle age, Noah Maitland is still testing the waters on the do’s and don’ts of dating another man. An all-around handyman, he stumbled upon the young blue-eyes Zane Halliday on his way to work. Zane who takes care of his brother and sister who go thrown up from their apartment was offered help by Noah that led to their eventual friendship. From there, both developed feelings for each other but for Noah, Zane’s age feels inappropriate for him while for Zane, his need to keep custody of his siblings prevents him from pursuing the older man.

Now this is one book that will make you feel so good and will make you want to fall in love after reading it. I love me some DILF. Haha. The romantic aspect of the book was very well captured by Dane’s writing similar to his “Dreaming In Color” novel. This books feels like watching a beautiful Disney fairy tell (yeah the M/M edition) – there’s the giddiness like a kid for the character, the contented sign with its happy-ever-after conclusion and that pure bliss just about the whole thing.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars