Angel Requiem by Jaime Samms
In a world without hope that kills what it can’t understand, a solitary priest who has lost all he ever loved may be the last man to still believe in Angels. In the end, his belief may be all that can safeguard the fate of two Angel lovers—and restore his own faith in the power of love
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Samms is a pretty amazing author and I wish there was more buzz for her exceptional writing. I picked this up immediately and got an incredibly story that kind of leaves me speechless. It’s not an easy story and there is cruelty, torture, and pain but this is offset by hope, love, and forgiveness, which together delivers a stunning story.
The setting is a post-apocalyptic world where humans have given up faith and turned to torturing and killing angels as an outlet for their rage. In a world where despair and unhappiness reign, they’ve turned against their saviors. Since angels are built to protect humans, they can’t and won’t fight back, making the actions even crueler. A lone priest retains his faith against the heart ache and despair and even that is tested with a pair of love crossed angels.
The world building is incredible and dark. The world is not a happy place and although all the torture and pain takes place off page (thankfully) the effects are very present and important to the story. The essential themes revolve over and over – love, fear, forgiveness, faith – and the lone priest (unnamed for a good portion of the story) has his own demons. The priest struggles against the pain of losing his brother, and then his lover. With both of them gone, faith is the last vestige he can cling to but is afraid to really help others at the same time.
While the story is stark, the threads of hope and love are constant and help alleviate what might otherwise be a depressing story. The idea of sewing hope for future generations makes an uplifting message – as does the girl in the red coat seen frequently throughout the story. The characters are interesting and the narrative is very riveting, even as a short story. Part of me wishes this had been longer but it’s so raw that it might be too emotional and dark.
Instead I’d easily recommend this for those looking for a story that’s well written, moving, and different. There is romance and love but it’s not traditional and that makes the story even better in my opinion.
Get it HERE!
My Summer of Wes by Missy Welsh
I didn’t know. How could I? All through high school, I was beaten up and teased for being gay. But I wasn’t gay. Or didn’t think I was. Now Wes, the guy across the street who’s taken me under his wing and been the best friend I’ve ever had, won’t stop invading my dreams, hell, my every waking thought. Am I gay? Because I’m thinking I’d like to kiss him. Actually, I’m thinking there’s a lot more I’d like to do with his mouth and the rest of that tall, confident, muscular body. Ah, man… I’m so gay!
But what if he doesn’t feel the same way about me? And, Jesus, what about my parents? And those bastards from school are still around. And I’m supposed to go to college this fall… Shit, I need to sit down. I can’t breathe and I’m about to shake apart.
Then Wes puts his hand on the back of my neck, gives me one of those encouraging squeezes and his bright smile, and everything’s okay again. Yeah, I’m hooked. Oh, boy…
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Summer of Wes is a cute, fun contemporary story about awakening a teenager to his real sexuality. Mal is about to go to college after being taunted and bullied through high school for being gay. Yet Mal never considered he was gay until sexy Wes moves in across the street and Mal starts to realize he’s attracted to the other boy. The story is short but a lot of fun to read with quirky characters and some steamy sex scenes. It’s also set up for sequels, which I think will be equally engaging and interesting to read so hopefully we’ll see as Mal and Wes grow.
This story is just an introduction to the characters and their instant attraction as Mal figures out his own sexuality and what it means for him. He’s not perfect and stumbles along the way but he has such charm and wit you can’t help but like him. Similarly Wes is a little too good to be true as a hunky, independent slightly older young man (26 to Mal’s 18/19) but he has his own flaws that I think will come out more in future stories.
As a fun quick story, I enjoyed reading this and makes for the perfect lazy afternoon read. The quick pace makes the novella read much quicker than it seems, which is easy but leaves you wanting more. There is no tension though and the story is nothing but a sweet and fun romp so leave this for when you want something light, easy, and delightful.
Get it HERE!