Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mindscape by Tal Valante

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Long Time Gone (Hell or High Water) by S.E. Jakes

I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions contained therein are my own and influenced by nothing, and no one, but me.

I was so excited when I saw this book on Net Galley. I really enjoyed the first one, and I was excited to read the sequel. I am very happy to report that this book did not disappoint. I love the paranormal touches throughout this story. Nothing too much just enough to add some interest, and a little creepy factor to the story. The swampy setting during and after the storm really played a large part in the story, and I loved the atmosphere it evoked. It almost felt like the swamp was another character in the story in parts, and I enjoyed that. It felt grounded in the location, and it brought the story to life for me.

The character continue to be some of my favorites. I enjoyed seeing them continue to grow, and learn about each other, and themselves. I liked the part sex played in the story. It wasn’t a story about how sex cured their problems, but more how sex can be used to help release tension, and aggression, and boy did they use it effectively. This book especially was scorching hot. I did, however, like that sex didn’t completely overtake the plot. It was smutty, but the smut wasn’t the sole focus of the story either.

The secondary characters were really well done in this story. I really liked Etienne, and the bond he and Tommy shared was nice to see. Tommy’s aunt was another interesting character, and I loved her strength, and spirit. Her friends were a fun couple as well. It’s nice seeing such a strong, committed, older gay couple who are still so clearly in love. The less savory characters were well drawn with a mixed bag of motivations, and personalities. They helped the story from feeling too flat or predictable.

The plot was fast moving, and nicely edge of your seat. More than once I found myself biting my nails wondering what was going to happen next. Once again I loved how it wasn’t the story of how Prophet and Tommy solved all of the problems by themselves. It was nice to see characters from this, and another related series coming back to play a large role in the resolution. Blue is one of my personal favorites. The resolution was well done, and, while I might have shed a tear or two, I appreciate that the author did not pull her punches to craft a sparkly happy ending that wouldn’t have felt honest to the series. No matter how much part of me wanted it to end better, I don’t think it would have worked. I was thrilled to see that Mal and Cillian are going to be getting what might be their own series. I really like Cillian, and found myself intrigued by Mal, and wanting to know more about him.

Overall I really liked this addition to the series, and the universe. It’s nice when a series only continues to get better, and I look forward to seeing where things go from here.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Long the Mile by Ally Blue

 I received this book from NetGalley for an honest review.
This was a nice warm fuzzy story, which would have rated it a solid three star if it wasn’t for one thing…badly done time skips.

Oh my goodness, the time skips in this book; there were a lot of them. If you didn’t pick up on it, I really am not a fan of time skips. I mean I can deal with them if they are well done, but that wasn't the case here. The author jumps over a lot of the story that should have been included. I mean I wanted to know what it was like for Judah's first night on the street; I also would have liked to have more face time with the main characters in the beginning of their relationship. The author skipped over the first three months, my favorite time in a warm fuzzy romance such as this. I like that period of time when the feelings of friendship grow into love. I missed that. So here I am sputtering about that, when the author goes and skips over Judah's climactic moment of acceptance of himself, and having Toby in his life. There were also a few times when the author switched perspectives that left me very confused for a few moments.

So all in all I feel this could have been a better story if it flowed better, because the base line story was really heartwarming, and sweet.

 Rating: ★★
- Elspeth

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Freshman Orientation by Brandon Reed

I received this story as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was a very short pretty silly story of instant lust that quickly becomes instant love. I found Ryan to be insufferably shallow, and being in his head got old fast. I didn’t have a good feeling for the characters so the sex felt flat, and shallow to me. It might have worked as pwp if it was a bit dirtier, but considering the ending the author seemed to be trying for an ending that didn’t fit either one of the characters. I saw no reasoning why Ryan would say that even in the heat of the moment. It just didn’t fit with everything he has said, and done up until that moment. It wasn’t a bad story, just lacking in many ways. If it had just stayed a hook up story I think I would have found it more believable, but the “happy” ending just didn’t work for me.   


Friday, November 1, 2013

The Book of Jezebel: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Lady Things

I received this book as an ARC through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Fun, funny, and informative. I found myself really interested in finding out more about the men, and women I had never heard of, and seeing different perspectives on people I thought I knew. I liked how unflinching some of the articles on some of the different people were, and they didn't avoid looking at the more negative attitudes, and judgments of many of them. Pretty sad how many older feminist leaders seem to be deeply transphobic. I did like the breadth of women and men included. They seemed to do a good job including important, and less well known figures from all groups without having anyone feel included just to be included.

They tried very hard to keep an open mind, but there were places that I felt were a bit disappointing. I didn't like some of the dismissive, and almost patronizing attitude they seemed to have towards Pagans and Wiccans. They are not all flaky Goddess worshippers or Hippies (that really shouldn't be a pejorative term), and it's pretty sad to see a book like this falling for those outdated stereotypes. I also didn't like the generalizations of "white women". Making blanket statements about any race should be unacceptable, and white women are no more a homogeneous group than any other race of women. I wouldn't make such a statement about another race of women, and it would be nice to receive the same courtesy in return. I did like the refusal to fat shame, and the respect shown to women of all sexualities, and gender expressions, and the attention focused on racism (except for that one small issues), and classism.

Overall a well researched, interesting book on a diverse range of people, and ideas. Both funny, and thought provoking. An enjoyable read that was really an immersive experience. Thanks to this book I found some really interesting art, some great music, and expanded my knowledge of the people who have and are shaping our world.