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ARC Review: Bliss by Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau

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Pages: 230

Expected publication: August 18th 2014 by Riptide Publishing

Summary: They’re always happy.

Rory James has worked hard all his life to become a citizen of the idyllic city-state of Beulah. Like every other kid born in the neighboring country of Tophet, he’s heard the stories: No crime or pollution. A house and food for everyone. It’s perfect, and Rory is finally getting a piece of it.

So is Tate Patterson. He’s from Tophet, too, but he’s not a legal immigrant; he snuck in as a thief. A city without crime seems like an easy score, until he crashes into Rory during a getaway and is arrested for assaulting a citizen. Instead of jail, Tate is enrolled in Beulah’s Rehabilitation through Restitution program. By living with and serving his victim for seven years, Tate will learn the human face of his crimes.

If it seems too good to be true, that’s because it is. Tate is fitted with a behavior-modifying chip that leaves him unable to disobey orders—any orders, no matter how dehumanizing. Worse, the chip prevents him from telling Rory, the one man in all of Beulah who might care about him, the truth: in a country without prisons, Tate is locked inside his own mind.

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Read from August 10 to 11, 2014

 

My copy was an ARC I received from the publisher for an honest review.

There’s something strange in a mix of mm romance and dystopian or post-apocaliptic setting. It’s driving me crazy and makes me greedy for more.

Bliss made me greedy for more as well. There’s everything you need: the intersting plot (even if the idea is a little bit familiar), likeable characters and a lot of, well, let’s say, mm interactions (lol). I liked the worlbuilding and the pace. I liked the writing.

What’s more to say?

It was a good read. Good enough to give it 3.5 stars rounded up.

 
Rating: 4/5
 
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Posted by on August 11, 2014 in reviews

 

ARC Review: Pretty Girl by Amy Heugh

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Published: July 29th 2014

Pages: 393

Summary: If there were one day that she could change it would be the day she was taken.

After her parents’ divorce, seventeen-year-old Izzy Scott and her mother move to the old town of St. Augustine to begin a new life, a life beyond the media attention and the memories of the traumatic experiences that left an everlasting affect on their family.

The former ballerina is trying to adjust to the outside world without suffering a panic attack and exposing who she is – all while getting through her senior year at a new school. That’s easy to say until she meets local boy Mason Winchester, a boy with a tragic past.

Mason has a reputation for violence, but a love for motorcycles. At the age of eleven he lost his mother to cancer and from then he has been running from something, but could never really get away.

Like any other angry teenager, he just wants to be left alone and to have nothing to do with anyone else because he believed that he had nothing to offer. That changes the moment he saw what was in the new girl eyes.

Tragedy wasn’t new to either of their lives but among the secrets and the memories the one thing they both never excepted was to find hope.

*This book is recommended for readers 18+ for violence, language, and some adult situations.*

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Read from August 08 to 10, 2014

 

I received this book free from Amy Heugh in exchange for an honest review.And damn me to hell, I will post an honest review here.

First thing first. The plot? Predictable. The pace? Painfully slow. The most of writers would squeeze the events in some short story or a novella, but not Amy. Why? I’ll get to this later. There’s not much “action” here; Isabella and Mason (I feel myself wincing now-I hate heroines named Isabella, Izzy, or Bella with passon-but it’s just me, I guess)are hardly likeable at first. Pretty girl contains inner monologues, mostly.

Normally I’d have given such a book one or two stars, depends.

Why not now?

The writing is incredible. Every sentence is a work of art. I took my time with this book and I found myself simply admiring the beauty of Amy Heugh’s style.

And when I finished her book I thought that there’s a reason for all that bad things I’ve enumerated above. Amy Heugh wanted it to be this way. The plot, the pace, the lack of torrent of events.

Her book is a metaphor for life after breakdown, for life full of guilt and self-hatred. For redemption.

That’s why I’m giving it 4 stars.

Rating: 4/5
 
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Posted by on August 11, 2014 in reviews

 

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ARC Review: The River Leith by Leta Blake

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Published: May 15th 2014

Pages: 173

Summary: Memory is everything.

After an injury in the ring, amateur boxer Leith Wenz wakes to discover his most recent memories are three years out of date. Unmoored and struggling to face his new reality, Leith must cope anew with painful revelations about his family. His brother is there to support him, but it’s the unfamiliar face of Zach, a man introduced as his best friend, that provides the calm he craves. Until Zach’s presence begins to stir up feelings Leith can’t explain.

For Zach, being forgotten by his lover is excruciating. He carefully hides the truth from Leith to protect them both from additional pain. His bottled-up turmoil finds release through vlogging, where he confesses his fears and grief to the faceless Internet. But after Leith begins to open up to him, Zach’s choices may come back to haunt him.

Ultimately, Leith must ask his heart the questions memory can no longer answer.

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Read from August 04 to 05, 2014

Braved the forests, braved the stone
Braved the icy winds and fire
Braved and beat them on my own
Yet I’m helpless by the river.
I’ve faced the quakes, the wind, the fire
I’ve conquered country, crown, and throne
Why can’t I cross this river?

Pay no mind to the battles you’ve won
It’ll take a lot more than rage and muscle
Open your heart and hands, my son
Or you’ll never make it over the river

It’ll take a lot more than words and guns
A whole lot more than riches and muscle
The hands of the many must join as one
And together we’ll cross the river.

The lyrics of this particular song (Puscifer-The Humbling River)came to my mind as soon as I finished The River Leith. The song and its lyrics are beautiful. As beatiful as the book.

I’ve read some various realizations of the plot idea, but I don’t think it was a cliché. The author apologized in afterword for oversiplification of amnesia and brain trauma and said that she’d decided to explore the well-worn romance idea. And it was a good move.

The River Leith was a very good read for me.

My copy was an ARC I received from the publisher for an honest review.

 

Rating: 4/5

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2014 in reviews

 

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Nowhere Ranch by Heidi Cullinan

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Published: February 15th 2011 by Loose Id

Pages: 240

Summary: Roe Davis is a man who works hard, keeps to himself, and never mixes business with pleasure — until he takes a weekend away from his new job at Nowhere Ranch and runs into the owner at the only gay bar for two hundred miles. Getting involved with the boss is a bad idea, but Travis Loving is hard to say no to, especially when it turns out their kinks line up like a pair of custom-cut rails. As Loving points out, so long as this is sex on the side, no interfering with the job, they could make it work.

The truth is, there’s good reason Roe never settles down and always spends his birthdays and holidays celebrating alone. Shut out in the cold by his family years ago, Roe survived by declaring he didn’t need a home. As his affair with Loving grows into more than just sex, Roe finds out what happens when he stays put a little bit too long: the past always catches up with you. Eventually, even a loner gets lonely, and home will grow up through whatever cracks you leave open for it — even in a place called Nowhere.

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Read from December 09 to 10, 2013


Well, here’s the book everyone loves but me.

And I’m sorry and I feel bad, but it’s true.

While reading Nowhere Ranch I was like:

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The story seemed just… shallow. The plot – I’ve read it before. The characters – predictable. The sex scenes – I can’t find a word. It was just not for me. I’ve starded to read this with some great, great expectations, but something went wrong. Maybe it was just the contrast after reading Training Season or Don’t…. Maybe it’s the sign from above that I need to rest a bit and stop reading the MM romance for some time. (But I don’t want to, not really.)

Giving this book 1 star would be unfair. I’ve read worse after all.

Rating: 2/5

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2013 in reviews

 

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Training Season by Leta Blake

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Published: December 2nd 2013 by Leta Blake

Pages: 253

Summary: Unquestionably talented figure skater Matty Marcus is willing to sacrifice everything for his Olympic dream, but his lack of discipline cost him the gold once before. Now the pressure’s on. He needs a coach who can keep him in line, but top coaches don’t come cheap, and Matty can’t afford to stay in the game no matter how badly he wants to win.

When a lucrative house-sitting gig brings him to rural Montana, Matty does his best to maintain his training regimen. Local residents turn out to be surprisingly tolerant of his flamboyant style, especially handsome young rancher Rob Lovely, who proves to be much more than a cowboy stereotype. Just as Matty requires a firm hand to perform his best on the ice, Rob shows him how strong he can be when he relinquishes control in the bedroom. With new-found self-assurance, he drives himself harder to go straight to the top.

But competition has a timetable, and to achieve his Olympic dream, Matty will have to join his new coach in New York City, leaving Rob behind. Now he must face the ultimate test. Has he truly learned how to win—on and off the ice—during his training season?

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Read from December 08 to 09, 2013


Well, damn.

I can’t write anything coherent enough to make my admiration simple and clear.

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I’ve read two parts of Training Season at night and I had to put it back and go to sleep. Yet I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters, about their intense relationship and the very good plot, so I went to work moody since I haven’t had my sleep up and frustrated since I couldn’t get back to read. Yes, it was just damn peachy.

But it was worth it.

This book it’s an epitomy of perfection.

Rating: 5/5 shining bright North Stars

 

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2013 in reviews

 

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Bone Rider by J. Fally

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Published: October 28th 2013 by Dreamspinner Press

Pages: 310

Summary: Riley Cooper is on the run. Misha Tokarev, the love of his life, turned out to be an assassin for the Russian mob, and when it comes to character flaws, Riley draws the line at premeditated murder. Alien armor system McClane is also on the run, for reasons that include accidentally crashing a space ship into Earth and evading U.S. military custody. A failed prototype, McClane was scheduled for destruction. Sabotaging the ship put an end to that, but McClane is dubbed a bone rider for good reason—he can’t live without a host body. That’s why he first stows away in Riley’s truck and then in Riley himself. Their reluctant partnership soon evolves into something much more powerful—and personal—than either of them could have imagined.

Together, they embark on a road trip from hell, made all the more exciting by the government troops and mob enforcers hot on their trail. Misha is determined to win Riley back and willing to do whatever it takes to keep him safe. When hitman and alien join forces, they discover their impressive combined potential for death and destruction. It will take everything Riley has to steer them through the mess they create.

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Recommended to Yuki by: Trix

 

Read from December 04 to 08, 2013


So a cowboy, an alien and three hit men walk into a bar…

At first I was like:

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I said to myself: Let’s get over with it, I will read it quickly, give it two stars and say to Trix that’s not for me. Aliens? Serously?

Well. Now I can say one simple word:

Fangirling

The story was perfect.The characters were well developed and I especially loved the southern hints.

So if you don’t know if it’s for you, or if aliens is your thing – damn sure it is.

Highly recommended.

 

Rating: 5/5

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2013 in reviews

 

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Don’t… by Jack L. Pyke

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Published: December 13th 2012 by Fantastic Fiction Publishing

Pages: 354

Summary: “Don’t… open me.”

Three simple words that tease Jack, taking him places from his dark past. For Jack, BDSM is a way to resist his worst impulses. Yet, the stranger calling himself The Unknown seeks to use that to seduce him.

As Jack slips further down into the abyss, two men hold the power to save him. Will it be Gray, the Master who knows Jack’s every secret? Or Jan, the first man to give Jack a reason to hope? With deadly ghosts coming out to play, Jack may lose everything, even his life.

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Read from December 03 to 04, 2013


Why GR keeps asking me what did I think when I trying to type any coherent sentence? I didn’t bother me before, but now..

Just don’t.

I really don’t know what to write, what to think. I’ve finished this book about an hour ago and I can’t stop thinking about what the hell did I just read, about why the hell the characters and the situations are still in my head, itching and coming back while I do some random things.

Don’t… is brilliant, midfucking piece of art. And I’m really not into BDSM theme, not at all. Yet here I loved it.

Can I give it 6 stars? Please.

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2013 in reviews

 

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