Book Review: In Memoriam – Cari Z.

In MemoriamThis short story will definitely tickle your mind regarding the twist in the end. It was sort of somber all throughout about a gardener named Lee Summers who is past expecting to find love. In short, he was just drifting through life until one fine day while checking out a farmer’s market in Colorado; a dog stole his lunch that led him to meeting its owner Felix Clymenos.

Felix is the exact definition of enigma especially after he started appearing in Lee’s dreams. Now, as they explored their blossoming feelings – things started to unravel right in front of Lee’s eyes that could mean something big for their future but first, he’s got to make a choice for himself.

I am a total fan of Cari Z. I loved most of the works that I have read from her and this one is no different. Here, I see a more fluid storytelling from her. In Memoriam reminds me so much of Heidi Cullinan’s writing style in The Devil Will do but I liked this way better.

The story will definitely lull you into a certain subdued mood until you discover its twist. I don’t know why I’m expecting vampires to jump off its pages but I was sure glad that no “undead” materialized from it. Now, before I divulge what the twist is – I recommend you getting a hold of the book ASAP. It’s a neat short story that you won’t regret buying.

Again, thank you Cari for this amazing story!!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Published July 8th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press LLC

Buy now:
Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo 

About The Author
Cari Z. is a Colorado girl who loves snow and sunshine. She has a wonderful relationship with her husband, a complex relationship with the characters in her head and a sadomasochistic relationship with her exercise routine. She feels like Halloween should happen every month, which is why you get this picture of her, and hopes that you enjoy reading what she’s put out there as much as she enjoyed writing it in the first place.

Book Review: Victim Of Love – Darien Cox

Victim Of LoveUsed to long hours of work and a deluge of monotonous musings about his life, young lab scientist Olsen Westergard believes that his life does not need any complications and he’s very content with what he has.

When he goes on a summer holiday vacation with his friends, he didn’t expect to stumble upon a drunken stranger with a surprise identity to awaken something in him that overwhelms even him. Only, problem is – the stranger, Beckett Turner claims that he isn’t real. With a dark secret keeping Olsen in the dark about Beckett, will they be able to get past it and be what they need for each other?

I really enjoyed this one. It’s fun, easy, a wee bit dramatic here and there but yes, very much enjoyable. This is my second book from the author. The first one didn’t work for me well so I was a bit hesitant with this one at first but I’m glad I listened to my fellow Goodreaders here because it’s such a delightful read.

I’ve only two light criticisms – one was the insta-love Olsen felt towards Beck. Hmm, I dunno why I find that odd and not very Olsen – I guess he’s just really lonely. And what he mentioned at first about abandonment issues and all – I guess I’m just being anal about details ^^

The second one would be the massive reveal of Beck’s secret which isn’t that secret at all apparently and not that “shocking” at all…at least for me. That scene though – I just wanna cuddle with Beck forever…

Overall, this one more than made up with my disappointment over Fit For The Job and definitely see myself reading more of Darien Cox in the future.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Published July 11th 2015 by Dusk Notes

Buy now:
AllRomance | Amazon | iTunesSmashwords

About The Author
Darien Cox lives in New England, bouncing back and forth between the mountain and the ocean states, anywhere there’s a wave or a ski slope. A nature lover and thrill seeker, he enjoys exploring the intensity, insanity, humor and chaos that accompanies cupid’s arrow, whether it’s love at first sight or just the overwhelming power of lust.

website: http://dariencox.com
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Book Review: Eagle Man and Mr Hawk – Dawn Sister

Eagle Man and Mr HawkThis story was written as a part of the M/M Romance Group’sLove is an Open Road” 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.

Dear Author,
I have never been good at first impressions. This fact has not been much of a problem until the neighboring farm house was purchased by a beautiful, bookish man and all of a sudden I found myself with someone I wanted to impress.

The first time he wandered from his house to mine he found me in a terribly unflattering padded suit, being attacked by a German Shepherd, and today he stumbled across me half naked while training Rupert, a hawk needed for a new adventure film, with either a dislike of me, or of my clothing. It wasn’t my most shining moment.

See, I train animals for use in movies and commercials, and while I am good at my job, this lovely man seems to just think I am a lunatic. And unlike everyone else I have ever met, I can’t change his mind by impressing him with my credentials. He thinks movies and television will be the downfall of society. But still, everything about him draws me to him, even has he wants nothing more than to push me away.

§§§

Okay, so I’m kinda on the fence with this one. I super loved both MCs and the story was real cute but I’m really not sure about the latter part.

It felt that the Kelly angle came out of nowhere and didn’t get resolved in any way or maybe I was just waiting for Ethan to smack her into oblivion. LOL b!tch was too ambitious.

Alex was adorable and so as Ethan. Gah, they’re perfect book boyfriends but seriously, second guessing themselves almost all throughout the story like it was a tennis match between them was a bit too much for me.
But like I’ve said, I really adore this couple and wished the ending was far stronger or perhaps a bit more than that.

Thank you Dawn Sister for this wonderful story with such wonderful characters and gaaahhh Ethan’s crew = just too adorbs!!!

Cover Art: Phil Rose (the author’s hubby) ^_^

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Published July 11th 2015 by M/M Romance Group @ Goodreads

FREE DOWNLOAD HERE: EAGLE MAN AND MR HAWK

About The Author
Dawn is from the North East of England. Her life is spent juggling: the juggling balls are: children, husband, work (occasionally), voluntary work, professional knitting (notice she doesn’t class this as work), and writing. When she has time she actually sleeps.

For a long time nothing she wrote was shared, even with her husband. Nothing seemed to be right. Then she discovered M/M through a very dramatic encounter with the movie Brokeback Mountain. She became desperate for those characters to have a happy ending, and through this desperation (ie frantically searching the internet for happier ending fan fiction) she discovered a wealth of original M/M fiction. She’s never looked back since.

Her favourite quote is by Philip Pullman of “His Dark Materials” fame, who said: ““If you want to write anything that works, you have to go with the grain of your talent, not against it.” This is the quote she churns out every time someone asks her “Why gay romance?” The other quote she gives is her own (or maybe she might have heard it somewhere else as well) and that is “Why the hell not?”

The whole point of writing for Dawn is not to publish and be read but just to get it all off her chest and out of her head. If she doesn’t write it down then she ends up having long conversations with the characters out loud and her husband thinks she’s nuts.

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DawnSister1

Free Download: Hope (A Short Story) – epub, text and pdf.

HOPEHere’s another one of my free short stories you can download. Written in multi-lingual dialogues namely English, Kapampangan and Tagalog – Hope tells the story of a boy pursuing his dream until one awful experience turned that dream into a nightmare.

He was the most brilliant child to ever come out of Barrio San Simon.

They have big dreams for him and so was he.

He was their hope.

FREE DOWNLOAD HERE: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/560667

You can also rate or leave your review at
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25919180-hope

or download my other stories – > at the right side of your screen.

Again, salamat!

Book Review: Treble Maker (Perfect Harmony, #1) – Annabeth Albert

Treble MakerLet me start by saying I totally loved the cover of this book! Of course, it’s the first thing that made me interested to get a hold of it (most of us do that yeah?). Lucky me because Netgalley has it available for request. Anyway, this is my first book by Annabeth Albert and having heard so much about her well-received participation in Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s “Love is an Open Road” event, my expectations prior to reading this was probably way off the charts.

To easily picture Treble Maker, think of NBC’s The Sing-Off and put two cute guys in the limelight who got together because of their intense attraction and well, they always say that opposite attracts right? So that is where Cody Rivers and Lucas Norwood’s characters comes into play.

Cody’s determined to win the a cappella reality show and is using the show as a springboard to finally hit it big. He’ll do everything in his power to win. Lucas however is content to sing his heart out as long as he’s making his parents and school proud and maintaining his “virtue” of being a model gay citizen. As Lucas pointed to Cody, “I’m gay but I don’t act on it.”  Okay.

There’s one big problem for me when I am unable to connect with the main characters when I know that I’m halfway through the book. I’ll start asking myself why am I still not tossing this into oblivion and heading to read another book. The main answer to that question is that the author’s writing is not bad. It kept me glued to finish the book. Her style is very easy to grasp but somehow lacks consistency here. It’s also way too long in my opinion for such a clichéd premise, I would’ve thought that it’d be shorter by at least fifty to a hundred pages.

Don’t get me wrong though, it’s not just about the show right? It’s about Lucas finding his own voice and standing up on his own with Cody being his guide. I loved their monkey-hot sex and the whole kink (probably) stemming from being repressed juxtaposing what Lucas tried to hold firmly when he started “something” with Cody. And that is one of the reasons I didn’t connect well – it felt like the story’s all about Lucas petty drama of being out yet acting like he’s in the closet despite having dual POV all throughout.

The romance was almost nil albeit the hot steamy sex and it pains for me to say that I really didn’t get much enjoyment from reading this story. Let me remind you though, what’s not so great for me may be the best read of your life so do try to check this out for yourself.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Expected publication: August 4th 2015 by Lyrical Press

About The Author
Frequent tweeter, professional grammar nerd, and obsessive reader, Annabeth Albert is also a Pacific Northwest romance writer in a variety of subgenres.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two toddlers.

The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. 

Top Model Update: Ayu Gani’s Storm Model Management Portfolio

Gani8As part of the package of winning the third cycle of Asia’s Next Top Model, Ayu Gani of Indonesia is now represented by Storm Model Management – one of the top modeling agencies in the world based in Chelsea, London. She now has the same agency as Cara Delevingne, Emma Watson, Liu Wen, Karolina Kurkova, Cindy Crawford, Kate Moss and many more…

Here are the photos posted on her online portfolio via stormmodelmanagement.com

Ayu Gani 1

Ayu Gani 2

Ayu Gani 3

Let’s hope that Gani will live up to her title – and let’s all wish her the best of luck!

Semoga Berhasil!

Book Review: Tigers on the Run (Tigers and Devils, #3) – Sean Kennedy

Tigers On The RunTigers on the Run is by far my most favorite Tigers and Devils installment for oh-so-many reasons! Here, Simon Murray and Declan Tyler are still stronger than ever on their eight years being together (Wow! I’m getting good at rhyming!). Simon was still adorably snarky, cynical and sarcastic – traits I loved most about his character. I laugh out loud and giggled so many times with all of his antics here. I just really loved this guy! Declan Tyler™ is still swoon-worthy and always the perfect boyfriend! These two are totally one of the loveliest couples in the genre.

The story was solid-proof that their magic’s still there and I’m sure any fans of the series will enjoy it and won’t complain one bit about it. There are times that I feel that Simon was right about Declan taking everyone’s side except his side but yeah – I could relate more with Simon because I am a bit cynical at times, so at first I was totally on his side. I know this is getting weird but yeah Dec of course wanted the best for Simon, is all I’m saying but still…tsk.

I loved the angle about Coby! I thought he should’ve grovel more though. That traitor. I may have been hoping for a massive catfight but we all know that Simon is such a class act. LOL

“Didn’t Jesus forgive Judas? I like to think, in my own way, I am like Jesus.”

“Don’t forget,” I called after him. “Only one sugar. I’m sweet enough as it is.”

“Then we’ll make sure Jasper gets the poisoned chalice.”

Then we have little Micah Johnson and all of his shit. He’s just seventeen alright but he’s fucking annoying as hell! I still loved his part in the story though. It says more about Declan and Simon and the dynamic of their relationship. I’ve a feeling that we’ll be hearing more from him. A spin-off series Mr. Kennedy?

Now, now, now – that ending was exciting though. Am I right to assume that my boys will soon be shopping for cribs and little bassinettes? God, I hope so. I keep on hoping that they’ll have it by the end of the book but knowing Sean Kennedy – he’s surely a believer of happy endings but he just want to drag us all to that journey and that is totally cool with me so bring it!

What a fabulous follow-up and long overdue as it was – the wait was all worth it. It was just perfect! Thank you Mr. Kennedy!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars   

Published July 13th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press

Buy now:
All Romance | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
iTunes | Kobo Dreamspinner Press

About The Author
Sean Kennedy was born in Melbourne, Australia, but currently lives in the second most isolated city in the world (although there still seems to be conjecture over whether it is actually number one). Living in such deprived circumstances can only affect his writing, which is published by Dreamspinner Press.

You can find him at http://www.seankennedybooks.com

Book Review: Burning Up (Fitting In, #3) – Silvia Violet

Burning UpThis third book of the series Fitting In did not stray much from its first two book’s premise. It’s still a ménage but this time, it is between firefighters. Bryce has been a firefighter for ten years and when a horrific house fire pushed him to move into a new city, he found himself thrown into the temptation that is Matt and Toby – two hot young firefighters in the closet who are looking for a third in their relationship.

As they indulge in a night of passion, Bryce realized what he’s been missing but refuses to hide sexuality. Given that they are working together professionally, they now have to make tough choices in order to stay together and make their personal relationship work.

I am not a fan of this ménage at all. I didn’t connect very much with Bryce despite having him narrating the whole thing. It felt very uncomfortable whenever he interacts with Matt and Toby. The sex was very hot in a way but it’s also awkward at the same time. The kinky side of these three guys would have worked if not for Bryce’s awkward demeanor towards it. So BDSM is one more thing they have in common with the first couple featured in the first two books.

It is also very disconcerting how immature Matt and Toby sounded especially with all the whining about Bryce initially not wanting to sleep with them. I’m like, seriously guys? You two are like the hottest thing in the room and you are worried about an older guy who is more uptight than a brand new Speedo?

The writing was repetitive at times and lacks original material. I wish there was more connection I could pull out the story itself but alas, there’s just so much of a threesome I could take in a series. I will recommend this if you’re looking for some scorching sex scenes but other than that – I’m inclined to keep my mouth shut.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Published February 18, 2015 by Silvia Violet Books.

Buy now:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo 

About The Author
Silvia Violet writes erotic romance and erotica in a variety of genres including sci fi, paranormal, and historical.

Silvia Violet can often be found haunting coffee shops looking for the darkest, strongest cup of coffee she can find. Once equipped with the needed fuel, she can happily sit for hours pounding away at her laptop. Silvia typically leaves home disguised as a suburban stay-at-home-mom, and other coffee shop patrons tend to ask her hilarious questions like “Do you write children’s books?” She loves watching the looks on their faces when they learn what she’s actually up to. When not writing, Silvia enjoys baking sinful chocolate treats, exploring new styles of cooking, and reading children’s books to her wickedly smart offspring.

You can email Silvia at silviaviolet [at] gmail [dot] com

Silvia enjoys chatting with fans on Facebook. You can find her at http://facebook.com/silvia.violet.

Guy Ritchie’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. 2nd Official Trailer!

The Man From UNCLE posterSlated for release this coming August 14th, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’s second official trailer was streamed at the San Diego Comic-Con International over the weekend. And it’s just marvelous!  I wonder if this will be some kind of test whether Henry Cavill truly deserves to be Daniel Craig’s predecessor as James Bond. As much as I’d loved for him to tackle that role eventually, I’ve a feeling that it’d be given to another actor once Craig retired from the role. Henry Cavill after all (I mean just after Man Of Steel) became the most iconic actor to play superman in this century thus far. Anyways, going back to the film – let’s just try to see all those explosions and a lot of Hugh Grant in this second official trailer. Enjoy!

Henry Cavill and Army Hammer via Entertainment Weekly

Henry Cavill and Army Hammer
via Entertainment Weekly

Book Review: In the Middle of Somewhere – Roan Parrish

 

In the Middle of SomewhereDaniel Mulligan is the bright, snarky and tattooed professor from the city who arrives in the small town of Holiday, Michigan to teach in their community college.

Rex Vale has always loved the quiet and solitude of his little cabin in the woods. Despite living in town for years, his imposing size and shyness makes connecting to people difficult.

From the very first time they met, they’re already attracted with each other and both explored their passion and blossoming romance. Rex however fears that Daniel will leave Holiday eventually and this would leave him lonely yet again.

When a secret of Rex was revealed and Daniel was called to apply for a job back in Philly, changes unraveled between them that will either break or make their relationship.

I enjoyed reading this book at most parts – well, mostly the scenes between Daniel and Rex (gaahhh… can I have one just like him?), Daniel and Ginger, and Daniel and Leo. Daniel’s internal ramblings = golden!

And again, Rex – he’s just the most perfect character ever. I just wanna cuddle with him all throughout the story.

Daniel is part a-hole and part character from the Les Misérables. There’s something about him that you want to root for but there’s also a selfish part of him that people might find off-putting.

And Rex – he’s just the most perfect character ever. I just wanna cuddle with him all throughout the story.

Also, I seriously do not get Daniel’s family though. It doesn’t feel like it’s about the whole gay thing because they’ve been like that since he was a kid. I almost wondered if he was actually adopted – seriously, I’m like – okay, part of the ending would be like,

Dad: Daniel, there’s something you need to know.

Daniel: Uhm. Yes Dad? (inner monologue insert)

Dad: No. Do Not Call Me Dad. I am not your father. Your real dad left you at our doorsteps that’s why we’re all such a-holes towards you and your brothers – again, not your real brothers – use you as their punching bags.

Ugh. It’s just so fucking strange. Now, don’t even get me started with Collin. Ugh. Please author, do not make him a main character in your upcoming books. His dealio was so cliché it’s almost funny. A redemption arc? Hah! No thanks!

The author’s story telling was very pleasant though. At the beginning it feels too slow – like the pacing was snail-like slow but once it picked up when the MCs finally got together, the narration became fluid.

I’m on the fence about this book. There are some sucky moments in the book, but I just loved some of its characters especially Rex so yeah – I’d definitely read more from this author and see where this series will go from here.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Published July 10th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press

Buy now:
Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble| Kobo

About The Author
ROAN PARRISH grew up in Michigan and lives in Philadelphia, but is always a few minutes away from moving. A former academic, she’s used to writing things no one reads. She still loves to geek out about books—now, though, she’s excited to be writing the kind of romantic, angsty stories that she loves to escape into

When not writing, she can usually be found cutting friends’ hair, listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and cheese. But mostly cheese.

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