Review: Shaken Up by Nicole Forcine .. why I can’t seem to quit DSP.

Shaken UpShaken Up by Nicole Forcine

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I surprisingly enjoyed this one. It’s a surprise only because the author is new to me and it’s from DSP, so I didn’t have a lot of faith or hope. I keep trying with DSP though and it’s books like this that keep me on that crack. This is a pleasant and well written little novella with some interesting characters. It kept my attention from the very beginning and my only compliant is that it ended too soon and felt too abrupt. I would have liked the couple to have more time together before their HEA, considering all the obstacles between them that were washed away with insta-love. This was a minor issue though as the story creates a cast of intriguing characters that feel fleshed out and does a good job with the main couple and even with their instant love I could see them together and why it worked. I’d recommend this one for BDSM fans that want a quick, enjoyable read. Continue reading

Review: Fatal Shadows by Josh Lanyon – It’s still good the second time around

Fatal Shadows (Adrien English Mystery, #1)Fatal Shadows by Josh Lanyon

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I’ve been re-reading books I quite liked previously and was excited to see that the Adrien English series from Josh Lanyon was on audiobook. So I dove right in. I was then even more surprised that I hadn’t reviewed this series before so here I am. I know I liked the series and that feeling has continued with this reading. I found more problems than I remember noticing but overall it was as good as I remember and I was absorbed right away. I definitely forgot more than I remembered about the series, characters, and mysteries so in some ways I’m reading with an open mind and no preconceived notions. I’m curious how I’ll feel about the series as a whole when I’m done. For now, I liked the opener book a lot but it had some glaring plot problems at the end. If anyone hasn’t read this series I easily recommend it and even more so recommend this particular narrator who is good. Continue reading

Review: Four Emperors (and a slut)

Four EmperorsFour Emperors by Evan Allen

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
So I chose this book without reading the summary because the publisher sent an intriguing inquiry for me to review it. I liked the email so I gave the book a shot. I’m glad I did because it’s rather entertaining and decently written. This is definitely a series I’d continue with, if I can remember it whenever the sequel gets released. The story is fun, energetic and whimsical with enough supernatural danger to keep things interesting. The only complaints I have are that in keeping the story light and easy, despite ancient Chinese history and supernatural powers, the characters come across very one dimensional and flat. The entire story reads superficially without a lot of depth and complexity. It’s an undemanding story to read with a quirky kind of humor, but definitely did not leave much of a lasting impression and I wanted some more depth and nuance to the various characters. That’s not going to happen with this book or series in general so I’d recommend this for readers who want an easy, fun read with an unusual supernatural backdrop. Continue reading

Review: The Douglas Fir

The Douglas Fir
The Douglas Fir by Anyta Sunday
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I actually got this back in November but ignored it until recently. It’s a really cute, well-written story that kept me guessing where it was going to go. Looking back I can see where it was heading all along but I appreciated the writing and construction such that it could have taken numerous twists. It’s been a while since a story surprised me and I really liked not knowing what could happen next. The characters are decent, but two-dimensional and a little flat. The dialogue is cute and the supporting cast makes a nice little novella to read and has me curious about other books by the author. I’d easily recommend it – $1.50 for a novella, which makes it really cheap – and it’s a fun, entertaining story. Continue reading

Review: No Man’s Land

No Man's Land
No Man’s Land by G.S. Wiley
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I’m a big fan of author GS Wiley. While her books may never be 5 star reads, they’re very solid 3 star stories that I really enjoy reading for the lovely romance, intriguing settings, and the smooth almost singsong quality of the prose. I always know what to expect from a Wiley story and I’ve never been disappointed yet. She’s an easy author to recommend too – solid, dependable, and familiar stories in unique settings. The characters are never over the top passionate but instead shimmer with emotion and need. It’s all under the surface and I like how the author peels back the layers. This delightful story is a good addition to her backlist. Continue reading

Review: Where You Hurt the Most

Where You Hurt the Most
Where You Hurt the Most by Anne Brooke
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Anne Brooke always impresses me. I quite literally love her writing. There’s a sophistication and refinement to the clean, sparse prose that sets her apart. In fact I enjoyed reading the writing more so than the story itself, which wasn’t slacking. The theme of pain is one that Brooke has dabbled in before and intense concepts are truly her forte. Love, longing, need, desire, and characters that are anything but easy combine to offer a deeply moving yet still light story. I didn’t walk away depressed or depleted from an angst ridden story. Instead the quick story manages to be hopeful and inject laughter amid the intensity. Continue reading

Review: The Bacchi

The Bacchi
The Bacchi by Belinda McBride
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5-4 stars

I’m a fan of this author’s alternate world stories and was excited to see another one. The Bacchi is peripherally associated with An Uncommon Whore and When I Fall but can easily be read as a stand-alone book. The world building and occasional character from the previous books shows up but I think the author offers enough details to understand this one on it’s own. The writing is clean and engaging and the characters draw you in from the start. The world building is creative and interesting even as it draws on so me considered taboos. There is some m/f but really it’s minor and I honestly wouldn’t think it would bother a lot of readers. This is definitely an m/m romance with some hermaphrodite and other species kinkiness added in. Continue reading

Review: Fraternal Devotion

Fraternal Devotion
Fraternal Devotion by K. Piet
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I’m behind the curve with this anthology. It’s been out a while and well reviewed by several great reviewers but I’ll be honest I didn’t really know anything about that when I read this anthology. I happen to like the incest kick and wanted to read SMP’s take on a complicated issue. Stories in this niche tend to be angst ridden or sex filled, both of which I like, but I was hoping for something more well rounded and nuanced from Fraternal Devotion. Thankfully almost all the stories delivered this and offered a range of interpretations. Not all stories resonated with me as a reader but all are well-written and interesting takes on this particular kink. As an anthology I think the collection works very well and is worth buying. I especially like that this collection offers 5 well thought out stories than 20 extremely short ones. One final point I wanted to add is that the collection as a whole is edited beautifully with a wonderful flow of topics and interpretations. It works well reading them all in one sitting. Continue reading

Review: Lily of the Wastelands

Lily of the Wastelands
Lily of the Wastelands by Gabriel Belthir
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Lily of the Wastelands has the kind of meaty world building I’ve been craving. The story is very short so the plot and characterizations suffer somewhat for the intricate world building and solid happy ending. There’s simply not enough time and space for an in depth exploration of all the issues brought up but as is, the story is a nice foray into the genre with some creativity. The romance is well crafted and fits with both the shortened space and overall atmosphere. I think the story would have really benefited with a longer length and the ability to flesh out the intriguing concepts and issues brought up but I can’t complain about a tight, well crafted short story either. Continue reading

Review: Chase in Shadow

Chase in Shadow
Chase in Shadow by Amy Lane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Chase in Shadow is a somewhat typical Amy Lane story filled with angst and emotionally damaged men. There is enough emotional turmoil, tears, and intense drama to exhaust anyone at the end of reading but the ending is definitely and very solidly a happy, deeply in love ending. These kinds of stories have become almost, I’m sorry to say, formulaic for Lane. The individual protagonists are expectedly broken and damaged almost to the point of no return but the deep love of another slightly less damaged but still broken man can help save them both. This only happens after considerable emotional torture and pain but all’s well in the end. There are enough differences in the circumstances and details to make each story interesting so if you’re a fan of Lane’s style, you’ll likely appreciate this addition. Continue reading