Tag Archives: Coin Tricks

Book Review: Integrity by Willow Scarlett

Blurb: Tyler Kostritch is famous for his integrity. It’s just a pity he’s lying to everyone.
Ty gave up a promising MMA career to focus on his band. As the frontman of Proletarian Yell, he’s famous for the aggression and brutal honesty of his live performances… all while hiding in the closet, and never risking relationships.
After years of hard work, Proletarian Yell finally have their big break: a tour with the hottest metal band around. It’s the best thing to ever happen to Ty.
Until he meets Hale.

“We’re real. We’re part of a movement. You’re just a boy band playing dress-up.”
Hale Tahmid, vocalist of the staggeringly-popular Funeral Kiss, is everything Ty’s not: Showy, flirty, openly gay. Hale’s the quintessential rock star from his staggering good looks to his attention-craving love of social media.
The two bands couldn’t be more different, and their vocalists are opposites. They clash from the moment they meet, a constant verbal sparring and battle of personalities.

But they can’t ignore their extreme attraction. Hale’s passionate and ruthlessly dedicated, facing Ty in a way the ex-fighter never imagined. The temptation is too right to resist.

“I’m nobody’s dirty secret.”
Ty lives in a castle of lies that would come crashing down if he came out. He’d risk losing his band, his family, and everything he’s worked for.

How can Ty choose between his love and the music he’s built his world around?!

One of the things that Tyler was so hung up with is that ‘some gay people aren’t gay enough because they aren’t showing it’ – I was like, “dude, move on already. You keep on repeating yourself.” I find him very irritating initially, but he kind of grew on me. Hale, meanwhile, is one fantastic character! He’s fun, flashy, and very much relatable. I loved the diversity of the author’s characters in her books (so far, I’ve only read this and Coin Tricks), and I loved learning so much about their culture – this time, a bit of Bangladeshi culture. I think it’s essential that authors explore diversity with their characters because it makes their stories more interesting, realistic, and getting the feeling of inclusiveness.

A very well-written story and a definite must-read if you’ve enjoyed Coin Tricks. (Read my review of Coin Tricks here)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Kindle Edition, 140 pagesPublished May 12th 2016

About The Author
Willow Scarlett is a queer romance writer from New Zealand. In early 2015, she quit city life and moved to a ski hut at the foot of Mt Doom. She now happily lives and writes in a tiny town which is home to more alpacas than people.
Her greatest joy is in creating holistic romances, bringing characters through friendship and lust to consuming, eye-opening, world-fulfilling love. Her stories often feature punks, rebels and outcasts. Willow is an avid jogger and cyclist, a neocrust violinist and an enthusiastic fan of horror movies.

Please also note that this blog is reader-supported. When you buy through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission.

Book Review: Coin Tricks – Willow Scarlett

Coin TricksDate of Publication: February 26, 2016
Genre and Themes: LGBTQ New Adult, Family, Romance
Format: 232 pages, ebook
ASIN: B01CAVI2F6
Characters: Sid Riley, Wiremu/Wire

First, can we just take a minute to admire that uber-lovely cover? That is one beautiful and enticing cover! Yup, there ya go…

On with the story, it’s very much easy to say that out of the 70 plus books I’ve read so far this year, this is definitely one of my favourites.  The story is just all kinds of lovely from the main characters up to its secondary ones and the goodness just won’t let up until the last word of the book!

The story is narrated by Wire all throughout the story telling us about his job, about his family and how he met Sid Riley whom he eventually fell in love with.

“My name’s Wiremu: Like William but said Widdymoo” Okay, I totally don’t get this one so I am going to stick with Wire.

You may be wondering why the book is called Coin Tricks. Basically, it is some sort of homage to what Sid does on the side, rather what he really enjoyed doing and that is magic! I thought it was real sweet how Wire and Sid started to really get to know each other  after Sid was caught by Wire shoplifting just so he could give something for his sister’s birthday and Wire eventually deciding to bring foods to Sid’s place. I guess, most people would find that odd but that is how Wire is built. He’s got the kindest heart – built like a brick but very much a teddy bear at heart.

This is not just a romance book though. Half of the story revolves around Wire’s family and the concept itself. It’s heavily embedded with Maori culture because Wire’s from a Maori family and I guess that is how close-knitted Maori people are. I loved that aspect of the story because I could totally relate with it. We Filipinos have this close-knitted extended family as well and we always like to keep in touch, and even if we’re older and we can support ourselves – some of us decides to still live at home because that is where “our” family is. ‘Not saying this is an exclusive trait (obviously) but I just loved how easily relatable the family angle in the book is.

As for the romance aspect, it was very subdued. Every ‘romantic’ gestures by Wire towards Sid can be construed as platonic and I think at first, it was simply platonic because he wanted to help Sid get back on his feet or at least help him out on ‘raising’ his little sister. As the story developed, the subtle change in their relationship was just a joy to read. I loved that they both have insecurities but they don’t let those insecurities cowered them into keeping their feelings from each other.

I’d also like to mention how Wire’s character reminds me so much Alan Fletcher from J.L. Merrow’s Muscling Through. There’s just all kinds of similarity with their characters and the sweet innocence nature of their personality will just melt your heart like Hersheys.

I am totally recommending this to anyone who’s up for a wonderful, feel-good and beautifully written read. Pick it up you sappy people because I’m pretty sure you’d fall in love with the story as well.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About The Author
Willow Scarlett is a queer romance writer from New Zealand. In early 2015, she quit city life and moved to a ski hut at the foot of Mt Doom. She now happily lives and writes in a tiny town which is home to more alpacas than people.
Her greatest joy is in creating holistic romances, bringing characters through friendship and lust to consuming, eye-opening, world-fulfilling love. Her stories often feature punks, rebels and outcasts.
Willow is an avid jogger and cyclist, a neocrust violinist and an enthusiastic fan of horror movies.