Book Review: Let’s Hear It for the Boy – T.A. Webb

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

Journalist Paul Stewart was tasked to interview Atlanta’s legendary drag performer Auntie Social and he’s set to uncover more about the man behind all the facade. What he learned though was the story behind Matthew Trammel’s plight for AIDS leading him back to the latter’s bittersweet first love.

I’ve been broken into pieces by Mr. Webb after reading Second Chances and I haven’t quite recovered from it (I can’t even listen to At Last now without remembering the book and tearing up). In this very short, melancholic story – the author has once again proven his innate ability to shatter the epicenter of his readers’ emotions. I’ve read quite a lot of books relative to this short story’s theme but there’s only few that really gets to me. This shorts is one of ‘em – bittersweet, poignant and simply beautiful.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Book Review: Brute – Kim Fielding

 

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

Brute leads a lonely life in a world where magic is commonplace. He is seven and a half feet of ugly, and of disreputable descent. No one, including Brute, expects him to be more than a laborer. But heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and when he is maimed while rescuing a prince, Brute’s life changes abruptly. He is summoned to serve at the palace in Tellomer as a guard for a single prisoner. It sounds easy but turns out to be the challenge of his life.

Rumors say the prisoner, Gray Leynham, is a witch and a traitor. What is certain is that he has spent years in misery: blind, chained, and rendered nearly mute by an extreme stutter. And he dreams of people’s deaths—dreams that come true.

As Brute becomes accustomed to palace life and gets to know Gray, he discovers his own worth, first as a friend and a man and then as a lover. But Brute also learns heroes sometimes face difficult choices and that doing what is right can bring danger of its own.via Goodreads

This feel good story will remind you something from “The Little Prince” that says ” what is essential is invisible to the eye” and in Brute’s case, his gentle heart is what makes him an essentially beautiful character. Now this may sound like a Disney story (well it is a bit Disney-ish with all the magic, the palace, royalties and all but it’s best kind of Disney. My only not so good critique about it is the rather weak conclusion and how it abruptly ended,  otherwise the whole story’s a smashing hit!

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Louder Than Sirens, Louder Than Bells – K D Sarge

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

I’m not exactly sure if I liked this enough to merit it more than one star. I just find it a bit too cheesy and a bit on the trying hard side. The storytelling was okay with the first person POV employed on Lukas’s character that made him charming but Alan’s character didn’t do shit for me. He’s got this unbearable character bordering on cliché. I loved that there are so many scenes in the story and the whole “college” vibe is there. It’s quite fun and reminds me so much of my college years. I guess it’s just too placid as well as a bit indulgent for my taste.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

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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