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After Midnight by Santino Hassell

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Published: September 17th 2013 by Santino Hassell

Pages: 267

Summary: Gordon Frost is a survivor. He survived a war that ravaged the nation, and he made it through the orphanages and crime-ridden slums that followed. With few prospects for the future, Gordon carved out a niche for himself in the expanding drug trade of Lexington, PA. It’s not pretty, but it’s his, and it beats what he was doing before. But a classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time results in a brush with death, going by the name of Adam. Afterward, the life that seemed good enough before, isn’t quite the same.

Adam Blake is an assassin on the brink of being terminated by the very organization that controls him. He completed his mission, but not without being seen. With his secrets in danger of being exposed by Gordon, Adam knows he should kill the smart-mouthed redhead, but finds himself intrigued by the troublesome civilian instead.

When Gordon’s knack for finding trouble combines with the dangerous consequences of Adam’s indecision, their worlds intertwine in an explosive way.

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Read from December 02 to 03, 2013

 

Lets start with this: After Midnight is dedicated to me, me, me!

To me and my friends – To readers of “In the Company of Shadows” for being encouraging, enthusiastic and for looking past the flaws. Hell, yeah.

And I was enthusiastic while reading this spin-off too. I prepared myself for one hell of a ride, even it was way too short for me – Sonny and Ais spoiled me with four slowly paced installments of ICOS.

And my enthusiasm brought me straight to love.

Highly recommended.

Rating: 5/5

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2013 in reviews

 

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ARC Review: No Flag by Liz Borino

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Expected publication: October 23rd 2013 by Lazy Day Publishing

Summary: For Mike and Will, “No Flag” meant “come home alive”, but will their love survive what happens next?

Captain Mike Kelley does not ignore his intuition, so when sexy bartender Will Hayes captures his heart, Mike embarks on a mission to win him over to a Domestic Discipline relationship. Will accepts with one caveat: Mike must promise not to renew his Army contract. Mike agrees, and they spend a year building a life together, getting married, and starting a business.

Only days before their café’s grand opening, Mike receives news that threatens everything he and Will have built. The Army invokes the Stop Loss military policy to involuntarily extend his commission and send him back overseas. Will, left alone to cope with the café, must rely on the support of old friends who may be no longer be trustworthy. Through emails and Skype calls, Mike and Will keep their love and structure alive…until the day a horrific terrorist attack occurs on Mike’s outpost.

Mike awakens in a hospital with a devastating injury and no his memory of the attack. As the only survivor, Mike’s memory may be the key to national security. Mike struggles to cope with his injury and Will struggles to support the man who always held him up. Both fear they have lost their previous relationship. Will has Mike back rather than a folded flag, but in the aftermath of war, can they rebuild the life they had before? Especially when those closest to them may not have their best interests at heart?

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Read from October 14 to 15, 2013
No flag means “Come back home safe and sound. I refuse to receive the folded flag on your funeral”. It means “I will take care of myself, I will be careful, I won’t be reckless”.One of the main characters is a soldier. Military and gay – is there a better mix of guilty pleasure for a sinful reader?

The book of Liz Borino surprised me on many levels. Enough to say that I forgot to check my percentage progress of reading and there was so many moments I was quite sure that the book was at its end. But no. The plot was maybe a little bit predictable, but good.

I was not very fond of Domestic Discipline relationship of the main characters – it’s not my cup of tea after all, and I had a moments when I was like “I would strangle him” or “Fold your goddamned clothes yourself” (the dominant had an OCD). But it was a good story, I’ve read it with pleasure. I didn’t love it, but I liked it enough to give it 3.5 stars rounded down.

Rating: 3/5
 
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Posted by on October 18, 2013 in reviews

 

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ARC Review: Bad Idea by Damon Suede

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Expected publication: October 21st 2013 by Dreamspinner Press

Pages: 333

Summary: Some mistakes are worth making.

Reclusive comic book artist Trip Spector spends his life doodling super-square, straitlaced superheroes, hiding from his fans, and crushing on his unattainable boss until he meets the dork of his dreams. Silas Goolsby is a rowdy FX makeup creator with a loveless love life and a secret streak of geek who yearns for unlikely rescues and a truly creative partnership.

Against their better judgment, they fall victim to chemistry, and what starts as infatuation quickly grows tender and terrifying. With Silas’s help, Trip gambles his heart and his art on a rotten plan: sketching out Scratch, a “very graphic novel” that will either make his name or wreck his career. But even a smash can’t save their world if Trip retreats into his mild-mannered rut, leaving Silas to grapple with betrayal and emotions he can’t escape.

What will it take for this dynamic duo to discover that heroes never play it safe?

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Read from October 06 to 07, 2013


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

Bad Idea is brilliant, witty and very, very good. The main characters are likeable and real. The plot is very interesting. The writing is excellent – how I loved to read a real, smart dialogues, with inside jokes! It’s all we, the readers, want, and we got it, nicely wrapped in fast paced, rollercoaster-style story. The book is the work of art, and I mean it.

It reminded me of Kevin Smith’s Chasing Amy somehow. And I loved Chasing Amy.

And now I love Bad Idea.

Rating: 5/5
 
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Posted by on October 7, 2013 in reviews

 

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Father and Son by Larry Brown

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Published: September 15th 1997 by Owl Books

Pages: 368

Summary: This classic story of good and evil takes place in the rural American South of 1968. After being released from prison, Glen Davis returns to his hometown only to commit double homicide within forty-eight hours of his return. Sheriff Bobby Blanchard, as upright as Glen is despicable, walks in the path of Glen’s destruction and tries to rebuild the fragile ties of the families and community they share. Dark secrets that have been simmering for two generations explode to the surface, allowing us a chilling glimpse at how evil can fester in a man’s heart and eat up his soul.

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Read from September 27 to October 02, 2013


I know it’s very different setting, but I heard it all the time while reading Father and Son:

I was driving up from Tampa
When the radiator burst
I was three sheets to the wind
A civilian saw me first
And then there was the cop
And then the children standing on the corner
Your love is like a cyclone in a swamp
And the weather’s getting warmer

I was getting out of jail
Heading to the Greyhound
You said you’d hop on one yourself
And meet me on the way down
I was shaking way too hard to think
Dead on my feet about to drop
Went and got the case of vodka from a car
And walked the two miles to the bus stop

Got on the bus half drunk again
The driver glared at me
Met up with you in Inglis
Thumbed a ride to Cedar Key
If we never make it back to California
I want you to know I love you
But my love is like a dark cloud full of rain
That’s always right there up above you

The blurb says that it all about evil eating up man’s soul.
There’s no good and there’s no evil.

The book of Larry Brown is beautiful and terrifying story. It’s rough and heartwrenching at the same time, full of violence and yet I couldn’t stop reading.

Highly recommended.

Rating: 5/5

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2013 in reviews

 

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ARC Review: Castles of the Heart by Hale Meserow

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Expected publication: January 1st 2014 by Cross Dove Publishing Company

Pages: 416

Summary: “Castles of the Heart” relates the life of Starlight O’Bannion, a very bright white girl born in the heart of redneck country in the years leading up to World War II. Her growing-up companions are a treasured Negro family living nearby. Starlight graduates early from high school and college and is sponsored for law school by a local attorney. Soon she becomes a high-flying, hugely successful New York attorney, rising fast in her firm and her profession. From out of the blue comes a crisis from her past: the father of the Negro family pleads with her to represent his grandson, who is falsely accused of murder. If Starlight is loyal to her roots, she risks losing everything she has worked hard to win in her career. If she rejects her old friend’s appeal, the innocent boy will likely swing at the end of a rope and she must live with her conscience. Her choice sets the stage for an explosive courtroom showdown that leads to permanent changes in the nature of race relations in North Carolina. When Starlight understands where her true ‘castle’ is, she demonstrates God’s powerful work in the lives of men and women everywhere.

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Read from October 04 to 06, 2013


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

Castles of the Heart brings he story of Starlight O’Bannion, lawyer, who sacrifices her career in New York for her childhood friend, Negro. It wouldn’t be the strange decision in the modern setting, but it’s a historical book.

It was a good read, maybe a little naive and too pushily christian, but still interesting and well developed.

 

Rating: 3/5

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2013 in reviews

 

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Two Minutes to Midnight – Devil at the Crossroads by Cornelia Grey

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Published:  September 23rd 2013 by Riptide Publishing

Pages: 75

Summary: The devil covets more than his soul …

Six years ago, Logan Hart sold his soul to the devil to become the greatest bluesman of all time—and now the devil has come to collect.

The irony is that Logan squandered his gift. High on fame, money, and drugs, he ignored his muse and neglected his music. And despite managing to escape showbiz in a moment of clarity, it’s too late to redeem himself. All that’s left is to try to go out with some dignity. Alas, the prospect of an eternity in Hell isn’t helping much with that goal.

But Farfarello, the devil who bought Logan’s soul, isn’t ready to drag him down to Hell quite yet. He’s just spent six years working his ass off to whip a bluesman into shape, and he refuses to let that—or the opportunity for more sinful pleasures with Logan—go to waste.

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TWO MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT

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Devil at the Crossroads. I didn’t even know that it was a MM book at first. The title itself was enough. Southern gothic as its finest!

Then I realised it’s MM “romance”. No need to explain my interest.

Cornelia Grey reinterpretated, even demithyfied the classic faustic myth of making the pact with the Devil. The main character is so similar to (in)famous Robert Johnson (there’s a legend that he went to Dockery Plantation crossroads, the devil himself tuned his guitar and he sang of his dealings with the Devil until he was six feet deep – yes, there were hellhounds on his trail, of course) – he’s the musican, he wants to play blues, he wants the major changes. He gets it, he makes a deal sealed with the kiss (that’s the Supernatural influence, I bet). Expect, contrary to the legends, the kiss is hot, passionate and erotic, since the Devil appears to be the very, very handsome rockman with the red eyes.

Like I said, Devil at the Crossroads is the deconstrucionist (I dare not to say hermeneutical) story. And I liked the twists.

I liked the split narrative, the naturalistic descriptions – who ever dare to say that the spit of his character gathered at the corner of his mouth?

Sold My Soul - Brunswick, MD - 1991

That’s right.

Rating: 4/5
 
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Posted by on September 27, 2013 in reviews

 

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Link

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Published: July 12th 2012 by Serpent’s Tail

Pages: 407

Summary: In 1984, 15-year-old Norfolk schoolgirl Corrine Woodrow was sentenced indefinitely for the ritualistic murder of a schoolfriend. With rumours of Satanism surrounding her, Corrine became a notorious hate figure. But 20 years later, re-examination of the forensic evidence suggests that the ‘Wicked Witch of the East’ didn’t commit her crime alone.

Pensioned out of the Met after an altercation with a teenage gunman, Sean Ward finds himself investigating another juvenile delinquent when he agrees to take on Corrine’s case for the QC determined to get her a re-trial. Travelling to the coastal resort where the crime unfolded, outsider Sean enters a world which has always known how to look after its own…

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Read on September 24, 2013


My lately favourite genres are southern gothic and its variant,stripped from any kind of spirituality or paranormal motifs, country noir.

Weirdo is the great example of the second genre (even if there was some hints of paranormal stuff), only with a much different setting – it’s Norfolk, England.

The main character, Sam Ward, reinvestigates a cold case, twenty year old Satanic ritualised murder, supposing miscarriage of justice. The guilty one is Corrine Woodrow, imprisoned for life in the mental institution. As he digs, he sinks deeper in deeper in complicated web of small town connections.

The writing is good, the split narrative doesn’t confuse the reader (it happens a lot), the plot is very interesting. All of this makes Weirdo a real page turner. I’ve read it in one sitting.

Rating: 4/5

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2013 in reviews

 

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