Book Review: The Family We’re Born With – Kaje Harper

The Family We Are Born WithI really enjoyed the flow of this holiday story. It’s about family – being together, its minor and major conflicts, understanding each other and accepting each other regardless of who they love.

Jesse and Devin are at the center stage of the story – They have been spending the holidays at Jesse’s family since introducing Devin to his family and effectively coming out almost five years ago. This time though, Jesse’s mom didn’t want to have Devin for Christmas Eve for fear that this would make the meeting between his long lost half-brothers and his family uncomfortable about Jesse’s sexuality [/ relationship] which made Jesse rethinks his family’s stand about their relationship. Have they truly accepted him and his relationship with Devin after all these years?

I guess what I really loved about this story was the smoothness of Jesse and Devin’s relationship. There’s a beautiful romance in there. There was no heavy, angsty stuff going around. It was clearly a reasonable misunderstanding and natural reactions from a mother who haven’t seen her child since birth and for a son who feels the needs to hide in order to maintain peace.

I also loved the conclusion on how Jesse patched it up with his mother and it made me excited to read more about the secondary characters in the coming books.

Do read this you guys, it’s a good one and FREE!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Download for free
Goodreads HERE

Wow Moment: Charice Sings Let It Go!

ChariceJust a quickie. I was checking out some posts on Facebook and came upon this amazing amateur video of Charice with her own rendition of Academy Award winning song Let It Go from the movie Frozen. I was like – O.My.Freakin.Gawd! That’s what you call proper vocal belting! Damn Girl!

She’s never going back, the past is in the past.

image courtesy of supercharice

Book Review: Gangster Country – Kade Boehme

Gangster CountryTwo very different men from two very different backgrounds…

LoganLogan Marshall is a social worker whose job has taken him to New York where he feels he’s needed the most. This country boy who grew up in a Texas ranch has got it easy with his hippie parents who have no qualms about him being gay.

Then he meets Gianni Rodriguez.

Gianni

Gianni grew up in Brooklyn and is part of the Los Cuervos gang as his brother’s right hand and the doer of its dirty deeds. When he met Logan at a party, what started out as a simple arrangement to fool around became something Gianni didn’t expect to blossom. They are after all just friends with benefits. Right? Right?

When Logan’s work got tangled up with Gianni’s secret life, the latter has to decide whether to risk everything he’s ever known including his family or risk losing the only man he ever loved. Could Logan be Gianni’s salvation in the harsh and cruel gangster country?

What I really enjoyed most about the book is the pacing of the story. At the beginning, (like literally after the prologue) I was at a loss because it was just a wee bit fast then the whole story developed and the next thing I know I was at the last page already. I thought about it and I figured that it’s for the best that I didn’t have to read a lot of killings, drug dealings and all to get the gist on Gianni’s background. I thought there should’ve been more about Logan but obviously, his entanglement with Gianni is what made his character interesting.

I was a bit saddened by the way Gianni’s family reacted at the end especially his Mami. I guess it’s a part of the story that we’ll get to read about in its sequel [yup, there’s a sequel coming up this year according to the author]

I also loved the characters of Gabriel and Hennessey. I’m hoping that Kade would do something about these two secondary characters. Much more for Gabriel’s sake because that beautiful, broken boy needed something to lift him up.

Overall, I thought the whole thing was solid. There’s more healing to be done for both Logan and Gianni and although Gianni has made a lot of wrong choices in life, everyone deserved their second chances and I can’t wait to read its sequel for that and of course, Gianni needs to avenge Wendy!!! Oops. Yup, I guess I’m big on sweet revenge when my character gets beaten up! He needs to stand up more for what he lost and almost missed out on not having Logan in his life.

This book deserves five star rating from me because I’m a sucker for such characters and with true love beating all the odds… *wink*

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

BUY HERE: AMAZON

Miss Universe Philippines MJ Lastimosa’s GlamShot / Fadil Shot!

Fadil Shot Lastimosa MJ

Wow.

Wow.

Wow.

I’m…

Simon Speechless

Book Review: Caught! – J.L. Merrow

[Book 1 of The Shamwell Tales]

[Book 1 of The Shamwell Tales]

I’m a bit sad because I hate giving the author of one of my favorite MM books [Muscling Through] a one star rating for her latest effort. This one just didn’t work for me. The storyline was mediocre at best, characters totally charmless except for Rose and young Charlie and the rest about it was blah-blah.

Crying GIF

I thought of actually not finishing this book but I was still hoping that it’ll pick up eventually. I was about 67% in the story and decided to just toss my reader and take some aspirin *wink* because it totally gave me a good amount of headache.

Frustrated GIF

But as I’m still holding a lil’ amount of faith for it to get better, I soldiered on and it resulted to a catastrophic disappointment. The flow of the story was consistent yet awfully slow – boring and too indulgent. I won’t even remember the main characters from this book after today.

Behind Robert’s cheerfully eccentric exterior lies a young heart battered and bruised by his past. He’s taken a job teaching in a village primary school to make a fresh start, and love isn’t part of his plans. But he’s knocked for six—literally—by a chance encounter with the uncle of two of his pupils.
Sean works in pest control, rides a motorbike, and lives on a council estate. On the face of it, he shouldn’t have anything in common with Robert’s bow-tie, classic-car style and posh family background. Yet Robert is helpless to resist Sean’s roguish grin, and a rocky, excruciatingly embarrassing start doesn’t keep the sparks between them from flaring.
Despite Robert’s increasingly ludicrous attempts to keep his past where it belongs, his past hasn’t read the memo. And soon his secrets could be the very things that drive Sean away for good…
Warning: Contains the alarming misadventures of a pest control technician, a stepsister with a truly unfortunate name, and a young man who may have more bow ties than sense. – BLURB via Goodreads.

 

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars :(

BUY LINKS
Amazon HERE
Samhain Publishing HERE

 

Miss Universe Philippines MJ Lastimosa at the Yamamay Swimsuit Fashion Show!

MJ in Swimsuit Yamamay

Here’s Miss Universe Philippines Mary Jean Lastimosa sashaying at a pool side in Doral wearing a two-piece bikini by Yamamay.

MJ in Swimsuit Yamamay 3

via Marky Mark

It’s crystal clear in the video that MJ has perfected her pasarela! She’s owning it and she’s totally making waves in Miami!

MJ in Swimsuit Yamamay 2

Yamamay is one of the pageant’s official sponsors of the 2014 Miss Universe Pageant.

Book Review: Semper Fi – Keira Andrews

Semper FiSemper fidelis is a Latin phrase that means “always faithful” or “always loyal”. Well known in the United States as the motto of the United States Marine Corps (and often shortened to semper fi in Marine contexts).

This is a story of two marines who fought the war together. Jim and Cal have been inseparable since they first met at the train on their way to training camp and up to the coast of the pacific to defend the country. Both survived the ugly war but both men will never be the same again. This is also a story of love.

This book begins each chapter with a flashback from their time together in the war and ends each at present time (three years since they got back). I normally don’t like tons of flashbacks in a story because it tends to dispel the buildup of the story for me despite the back-story it would provide. Here though, these flashbacks throughout the story are welcome distractions as they let us see how these two men formed their bond.

Jim’s wife just died and was left with two kids to take care of. In need of a hand to tend his apple orchard, Cal immediately lends himself to his best friend and the love of his life.

In an era where blatant homosexuality was considered a criminal offense, Cal was always careful especially around Jim who had no idea at all about his secret. Not until their friendship developed into something deeper that neither Jim nor Cal ever hoped to flourish. It was difficult for them especially for Jim who has been raised to deem what they’re doing as a sin.

I loved that Keira Andrews stayed with the era and didn’t deviate from its hostile acceptance / non-acceptance towards homosexuality [which sadly is still prevalent at some parts of the world]. The vividness of each flashback was also drawn to make you feel like you’re actually watching it happen in front of you. It feels like watching The Pacific while reading their war memories. Jim and Cal’s character are both so realistic that you’d really feel for them and root for them real bad.

This story is a story that is made for the movies. I think it’s high time for people to embrace another tandem [aside from Jack And Ennis] in the mainstream cinema. [Just a thought though, it’s a good one yeah?]

I wouldn’t change anything in the story because there’s perfect balance of the main characters, the secondary ones and even the era where the story evolves. This was my first read by Keira Andrews and I’m sure glad to have chosen this one. Miss Andrews, you are truly magnificent!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

BUY LINKS
Amazon HERE
Barnes&Noble HERE
Kobo HERE
All Romance Book HERE
iTunes HERE
Smashwords HERE

Miss Philippines MJ Lastimosa: Miss Universe Web Interview

mup (1)

Here’s Miss Universe Philippines Mary Jean “MJ” Lastimosa’s Official Miss Universe Web Interview!

I loved the way she talks about her family and the importance of education – she’s just so charming and well versed!!!

When ask to describe her fans:

“They are the heartbeat of every representative that’s fighting for Miss Universe. They’re my source of strength right. I’ll claim it, they are the best fans Miss Universe could ever have”

Way to go MJ!!! Claim it!

Book Review: Family Man – Heidi Cullinan & Marie Sexton

Family ManThis was the second book collaboration by Heidi Cullinan & Marie Sexton that I’ve read, the first one being the second book in the Tucker Springs series entitled “Second Hand” which I loved to bits!

Family Man centers on Vince Fierro and Trey Giles. Vince made it to middle age when he suddenly realized that he’s actually gay. As per the book’s blurb – How does a man get to be forty without knowing whether he’s gay? And HE IS gay but went through three divorces. He’s also got this big Italian family which totally means the world to him – or atleast their approval. Upon realizing this “mystery” about himself – he found himself tangled with someone from their old neighborhood.

Trey Giles has two jobs, takes care of his grandma and his alcoholic mother and attend school at the same time. The poor doesn’t have the time for fun until he stumbled upon his old neighbor Vince Fierro whom he decided to help figure things out.

Together both men forge a connection that led to romance and validates some of their suspicion but they also have to face their own family issues which could easily damage their budding relationship – for good.

I’m actually not big on stories with gay-for-you theme. I mean, I find myself rolling my eyes unconsciously with these characters but when a story is well written and well thought of, I tend to disregard that fact. Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton made some solid grounds here in developing both Vince and Trey’s characters. Both are charming and realistic. The angst was ample but it didn’t overshadow the easy chemistry between the MCs. I’m nicking one star from this story because the conclusion made my right brow raise a little. It was a bit ideal for my taste and it doesn’t feel that finished. I wished an epilogue was written showing that they’re still together after some years – so it’s a Happy-for-Now story but hey, I don’t want to be overly critical about this since I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Published March 12th 2013 by Samhain Publishing

BUY LINKS
Amazon HERE
Kobo HERE
Samhain Publishing HERE

Book Review: Scrap Metal – Harper Fox

Scrap MetalAfter reading Tyack & Frayne Series and thoroughly enjoying it, reading another book from the author is just a must – like seriously, Harper Fox is a beast.

First thing you have to know about Scrap Metal is that it’s long. It’s only 258 pages but the tone will make you slowdown in absorbing every single detail.

Nichol Seacliff’s life went upside down when a family tragedy brought him back to Seacliff Farm and help his Granda tend the farm leaving Edinburg and his doctorate aspirations in Linguistics behind. In a cold night during their lambing season, Nichol caught Cameron, an intruder in the barn who inexplicably touches something from within him thus giving him a place to stay instead of turning him away.

As they work together, Cameron found his way into Nichol’s heart. Even the farm’s matriarch was charmed by Cam especially with his abilities that set the farm back on its feet. Secrets from Cam’s past however were revealed and since Nichol was already in deep, he’s got to make the ultimate choice.

As per the author’s usual penchant for lyrical narratives, Scrap Metal lulls its reader into a song that will introduce you to its central character – Nichol who’s always been the second or even third best in the family. He’s the guy who gave up his life in the city to help their gloomy family estate. He’s the guy who loves with all his heart. Harper Fox definitely perfected the way to bring a character to life. Nichol’s description of the Seacliff Farm was vivid that you’d want to visit the place itself.

Cameron on the other hand was a gentle soul – odd like the artist he is and more sensitive due to his unpleasant past.

Nichol’s Granda Harry with his Gaelic lingo was also a character you would hate but felt for as well. He’s old school but open-minded at the same time.

These characters perpetuate a beautiful story development that made Scrap Metal a good novel – lyrical, easy and sometimes even nostalgic. I would’ve given this a perfect five stars if not for that one tiny bit detail at the end that felt a wee bit forced. That’s just for me though, otherwise this book’s another masterpiece from the author.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Published March 27th 2012 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

BUY LINKS
Amazon HERE
Samhain Publishing HERE