Book Review: An Australian Christmas In New York (Mistletoe Madness) – Sean Kennedy

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

This was an oh-so quick romantic story of an Australian guy in New York getting homesick for Christmas down under. Vince has been living in New York for the past four years with his partner Chuck. As Christmas approaches, he found himself missing the tradition of the Aussie holiday. Little did he know, something’s up as the big day arrives…

The title itself was a clear giveaway. I loved short stories like this one. It makes me feel good and happy. It’s only a few months before Christmas and this story makes me homesick for Christmas at home. What a happy shorty. Yup, go read it you saps! *grin*

 Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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Book Review: Pleasures with Rough Strife (Mistletoe Madness) – J.L. Merrow

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

There’s really not much to this story. Philip Luccombe is the reclusive owner of the manor and the estate where young Danny Costessey does his poaching. Danny had an accident while picking up mistletoe after poaching and was brought inside the manor where he meets Phillip, the master of the house for the first time. Instead of condemning Danny, Philip surprises himself and Danny with the turn of events that may lead into something unexpected.

It was actually a fairly quick read with succinct narration. Set just a few years after the First World War, it does have a side of bleakness and somehow a glitter of hope concerning both Danny and Philip. It’s an okay read but nothing really special.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Catch My Breath – M.J. O’Shea

17798654When Danny Bright and four other guys are put together in a boy band, his dream of becoming a singing star seems to be within his reach. He and the shy Elliot Price were the closest in the group, a closeness that blossomed into something they have not expect to find while starting out their careers. This however was discovered by their management resulting to a barrage of lies, deception and cover-ups which put a strain in their relationship – with money as the bottom-line of it all.

I’ve to say that this is by far my most favorite novel by M.J. O’Shea. It’s beautifully written with amazing and interesting characters, very characters and the feels – romantic as hell.

Danny and Elliot are sweet and delightful as a couple. It almost hurt to see them being restraint from declaring their love in the open. I loved how the author made a pretty current and realistic approach in dealing with gay issues involving the couple. I wished, though, that there’s more backstory regarding Danny. I feel like Katie’s [His girlfriend] his only “background” connection and his “wealthy” upbringing. Elliot on the other hand is perfect in every sense. I love his naïve views which totally coincide with his shy and sweet persona.

And don’t get me started with Webb, Reece and Tate. [Danny and Elliot’s bandmates] They’re a bucketful of sweethearts! I was hoping that Webb may not be straight at all and he’d be paired with Chris Collins (a second book perhaps?). Oh well, that’s just me daydreaming. I’d love for such a spin-off to really happen!!! *keeping my fingers crossed*

So there you go folks, if you’re up for some sweet, bubblegum pop romantic story – I guess this one’s the right fix for you. >_@

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Yvethe Santiago’s Back-To-Back Campaign For The Miss Supranational 2014 Crown!

Yvethe Santiago

Last Sunday saw the arrival of the Philippines’ rep Yvethe Marie Santiago into this year’s edition of Miss Supranational in Krynica-Zdroj, Poland. The Bicolandia beauty and reigning Binibining Pilipinas Supranational is set to start her campaign for a back-to-back win after fellow Binibini and Miss Supranational 2013 Mutya Johanna Datul snagged the crown last year during the fifth edition of the pageant.

Santiago, a favorite to win since the start of the Binibining Pilipinas season is confident that she’ll do well in the pageant having trained by former Binibining Pilipinas winners and getting the encouragement from Mutya Datul herself.

On her way to Poland... Represent girl' via Bb.Pilipinas

On her way to Poland…
Represent girl’
via Bb.Pilipinas

Here she is a week before her departure to Poland telling ANC’s Headstart her preparations and expectations for the upcoming pageant.

I’m sure Yvethe will do her best to represent the country but she’ll also need our support to carry through her campaign of winning it back #forthePhilippines.

Miss Supranational 2014 finals will be held in Krynica-Zdroj, Poland on December 5th.

Good Luck Yvethe! Mabuhay ka!

Book Review: Double Blind – Heidi Cullinan

17798654[Book 2 of Special Delivery aka the uber-kinky series]

Okay, so let me tell you guys first how I’m so not into the first book (Special Delivery) at first because I find Mitch’s voyeurism and their three way special [Mitch, Sam, Randy] a bit too kinky for my taste but after reading this installment, I actually fell for Randy (whom I didn’t like at all in the first book) and now viewed his uberly-weird friendship with Sam and Mitch a lot closer to a family (now this sounds incestuous. Never mind). So this second book is Randy’s very own love story which is way better than Mitch’s. It was a bit predictable, yes but it was predictable in a good way. Here, we see more of why Randy acts that way in the book and just a wee bit of his past growing up.  Then we have Ethan whom he meets at the casino and felt some attraction right away. Then right there – it was sexy times. I loved Ethan’s character as well. I think he’s a perfect balance for Randy’s wild side. The weird thing is I don’t find the sex between them that much enticing than Sam and Mitch (so much for my prude comments about Mitch voyeurism – lol. Sorry)

This book definitely has more personality which not only established Randy’s ability to fall in love (he’s human after all.LOL) but also made Mitch and Sam’s marriage a dreamy one. Again, Heidi Cullinan delivered a total blockbuster. I honestly couldn’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

Book Review: After The Rain – Renée Carlino

After The Rain“But then again, everything reminds me of you…”

There are authors who write stories and authors who tell stories. The latter is where Renée Carlino falls under. In After The Rain, the author enthralled us once again with her ability to weave characters that will stay with us long after reading the whole story. I read the book almost non-stop and had to stop every now and then to really ponder upon what I just read on a particular page or chapter. This book centers on Avelina Belo and Nate Meyers – living worlds apart, both young and full of hopes and dreams. Avelina is an eighteen year old woman who falls for a handsome cowboy and settled into a married life in a ranch in Montana full of hopes for the future until a freak accident halted this dream leaving her unable to move on with life and mend her heart. Nate is following the footsteps of his father who is the best cardiothoracic surgeon in Los Angeles but when he found himself being sued for medical malpractice, he began to doubt himself and relented to take some time off to clear his head and headed to a ranch Montana. There, he meets Avelina and began the journey of healing and understanding the way the heart truly works.

I’ve read all of Renée Carlino’s novels and I am always in awe on how her works influenced the way I appreciate reading a romance novel. This book isn’t just a romantic novel – it’s more profound than that. Avelina and Nate’s story is the testament of how short life really is; how an instant could change everything. This is a book that delivers hope, inspires forgiveness and gives us a guide on letting go.

I adored Mia and Will in the Sweet Thing, I loved Kate and Jamie in Nowhere But Here but Avelina and Nate took me into a deeper journey where you realized that there’s always second chances if you allow your heart to feel and be open about what its saying. It may not always be right but if it feels right, why not take the risk? Let it hurt, let it bleed, let it break because one way or another – someone or something will be able to fix it or put the broken pieces altogether. Avelina and Nate lets their heart be free and somehow, they found each other at the end – rebuilding their future, feeling the beat of their hearts that will only beat for each other – because for me, that is what love is. And yes, sappy as this may sound but there’s a rainbow always after the rain…

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Get your copy of After The Rain on the links below

Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Kobo
Indigo
Target.Com
Google Play
Half.com

Book Review: A Private Gentleman – Heidi Cullinan

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

I always find period-themed stories fascinating because they give insights of the past that we can very well compared with the present. A Private Gentleman is the story of Lord George Albert Westin who’s suffering from heavy stutter rendering him antisocial and a disgrace to his family. With great affinity to orchids, he visited a local hobbyist’s house to check out an exotic new orchid. There, he found a rather exotic beauty that took his breath away. Michael Vallant is a professional sodomite whose alluring beauty can demand anything. He also hides a secret that is closely associated with the young Lord. As their relationship deepened, they both must overcome their own demon before its too late.

It’s a pretty convincing story actually, though not as good as some of the author’s other novels. The editing was a bit distracting and the romance side lacking. The book was mainly centered with Weston which feels like an addict narrative of his plight. I wished the author provided more back-story for secondary characters like Rodger and his rise to power and all. Penny’s character doesn’t sit well with me. She’s like a fairy godmother, too contrived for me. This for me is fairly passable and yeah, may serve well with readers into this stuff.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Junk – Josephine Myles

17798654[Book 1 of the Bristol Collection Series]

I always enjoy reading stuff from Josephine Myles. I love the quirkiness of her characters. This one would’ve been more enjoyable though if not for its lengthy narration. I feel like there’s too much talk in it but less action – less romance, that is. I mean the connection between Lewis (a professional clutter cleaner) and Jasper (a book hoarder) doesn’t seem much at all.  It’s like, that’s the story itself – the Lewis helps Jasper with his hoarding and fell for the guy. Period. I also feel like it was too rushed despite its length and didn’t have a stronger conflict to make it more exciting. Truth be told, I feel like watching an episode of Hoarders minus too much drama. I was even more interested with the story’s secondary characters [Mas] than the couple here. But hey, I’m not saying that it is that bad – not just my thing I guess.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Social Skills – Sara Alva

17798654I may have expected too much from this book after reading “Silent” because that one’s incredibly good rendering me heartbroken and hopeful at the same time. This one, however, was kind of just there. It didn’t resonate at all with me and the characters aren’t that interesting to begin with. The main guy Connor sounds like he’s suffering more than his anxiety attacks. It’s almost stressful whenever he’s having an almost-breakdown just for merely saying “Hello” – I was like is he for real? Don’t get me wrong though, it was clearly stated that he’s having anxiety attacks whenever confronted by social situations but sometimes it was almost unbelievable [don’t mean to be dumb about said disorder but this book is just…] I also noticed how unfocused the story was compared with Silent.  Connor and his football jock boyfriend, though in love didn’t have that much chemistry and aren’t likable at all. This book totally reminded me of Play Me, I’m Yours by Madison Parker – Connor reminds me of Tate for some reason. Anyhoo, I really cannot fault the writing style of this one but the story development and its character – I didn’t get them at all.

Music is the only form of communication Connor Owens controls. No matter how badly he wishes to fit in, friendly banter and casual conversations have never been his thing. College is yet another social universe he has no clue how to navigate—until he meets Jared, a football player with chestnut eyes and a cocky grin that holds the power to shatter his self-imposed prison. 

Jared’s attention opens Connor up to a new realm of emotional and physical intimacy. But as Connor’s self-confidence grows, so does his fear that everything will fall apart. Because in this socially stratified world, how long can a relationship between an introverted violinist and a closeted football player really last? Via Goodreads

 Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Book Review: The Tin Box – Kim Fielding

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

The Tin Box may have seemed like a really promising novel but it turns out to be a bit underwhelming. William Lyon is working on his dissertation and took a job as a caretaker of an unused old asylum in the small town of Jelly Valley. With the divorce from his wife being finalized, William is still in the process of coming out of the closet and his very repressive past. While checking out the asylum, he discovered a tin box containing letters from a patient whose plight so clearly reflects his own. Then he meets flamboyant and outgoing Colby Anderson who works at the general store and is very openly gay. Through Colby, William learned to let go and decided to live his life the way he wanted to. With their budding friendship turning into romance, William also needs to prove to Colby that he’s ready to take what they have into the next level and make the owner of those letters from the tin box proud.

There was a really good concept here that somehow failed to materialize. Those letters inside the tin box tore me into pieces and they would have been a great starter for the story to follow a different and more involved romance between William and Colby. It’s just too bad that as the story goes on, it went downhill and became a snoozefest. I feel that there should’ve been more to it in connection with the letters. Sadly, that was not realised at all.

 Rating: 2 out of 5 stars