Review: Benjamin Pepperwhistle and the Fantabulous Circus of Wonders

Benjamin Pepperwhistle and the Fantabulous Circus of Wonders
Benjamin Pepperwhistle and the Fantabulous Circus of Wonders by Cornelia Grey
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I like this author and she’s done some really incredible short stories, however, this one is just straight up weird. It’s not so much that I personally don’t have a gun fetish, because I can read a great number of stories where I don’t share the particular proclivity, but more so that the characters, behavior, and more so the writing were just overwrought and uninteresting. The gun kink is of course the theme but it’s the only aspect to the entire story. There is literally nothing else to the draw the reader’s attention. If someone has a deep and abiding love of the depiction of a gun fetish, perhaps this will be a hit with them. Otherwise I can’t really see whom this will appeal to, but ymmv. Continue reading

Review: Like It or Not

Like It or Not
Like It or Not by S.L. Armstrong
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This anthology has been around a while, but like always I’m late to the party reading it. The theme of dubious non-con is always a hot button with some readers loving it and others not so much. I think this anthology does a good job of attempting to appeal to all those readers – something for everyone – without really gelling as a single theme. I think the stories work better individually or perhaps sticking with other stories closer to their general feeling. For example some of these stories are more romantic while others are straight up BDSM erotica. Like I said, something for everyone, but it’s unlikely that all these stories will appeal to the same reader. It might suit a reader more to pick and choose which of the anthology hits a particular sweet spot. Continue reading

Review: Sinews of the Heart

Sinews of the Heart
Sinews of the Heart by Cody L. Stanford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I actually like anthro books so I was an easier sell for this one. I think it makes an easy and well-timed analogy to humans and their motivations and also because it’s just fun. I love Kyell Gold’s books and was thinking this might be a similar type of novel. I was also looking forward to a young adult anthro book with a genderqueer protagonist, which is more rare. The writing was amazing with interesting characters and a relatable story set amid a post-apocalyptic setting. At times the lessons within the story were a bit obvious and I felt pummeled over the head but the likeability of the narrator helped. At the core, it’s a story about acceptance and identity in whatever forms it comes. Continue reading

Review: Dark Around the Edges Find Me

Dark Around the Edges Find Me
Dark Around the Edges Find Me by Cari Z.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Endings are so sad. It’s tough to get to the final chapter in a serial and know it’s over. At least Cambion ends with a bang and hopefully a glimpse into the future of the series. This installment is action packed and well written, as I’ve come to expect from this series. However, once all put together I wonder if the story would really hold up in one reading. I worry that the characterizations are sacrificed episode after episode in favor of action. Not a bad concept to entice readers each month, but I’m not sold on the main characters. Oh I love them make no mistake, but I’m not sure they’re fully fleshed out. That said, it doesn’t take away too much enjoyment from this fun and highly entertaining urban fantasy series. It’s an easy one to recommend. Continue reading

Review: Dark Around the Edges: Possession

Dark Around the Edges: Possession
Dark Around the Edges: Possession by Cari Z.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cambion is back in the 5th installment and if you’re not on the edge of your seat, why not! This is a great, punchy series that just gets better every episode. I honestly can’t recommend it enough. I’m enjoying reading short bits of it at a time and think it’ll hold up really well (if not actually better) when re-reading the whole thing at one time. It feels as though this was a novel that they split into parts for a serial so I’m kind of excited to re-read it all at one sitting. Anyway, in this installment Devon has been cambion-napped by his demon father, Cressidus, while Rio is struggling to find him. Time is running short and once Cressidus binds with Devon completely, all hope is lost. Continue reading

Review: Overture: Shadow from the Past

Overture: Shadow from the Past
Overture: Shadow from the Past by S.L. Armstrong
My rating: Unrated

I’ve come to the conclusion this series just isn’t for me. I never really connected to it and though I’m curious about what happens, I don’t actually want to read about these characters anymore. This installment fits very well with the series and it’s definitely well written. I just struggle to engage with the characters, as I dislike them all. This part turns up the heat on the relationship between Gabriel and Dorian and they go off in an entirely new and erotic direction. It remains to be seen how they will eventually fit together and what role Michael the ghost will play but the story is setting up all the elements. Continue reading

Review: Dark Around the Edges: Put the Gun Down

Dark Around the Edges: Put the Gun Down
Dark Around the Edges: Put the Gun Down by Cari Z.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book 4 of Cari Z’s Cambion series is electric. Devon is back in action and Steven becomes an important minor player. Action ramps up with some interesting twists and the relationship between Rio and Devon starts to emerge on another level. You know an episode is good when you immediately want more. I read through this in record speed and was sorry to reach the end. It honestly just keeps getting better and better. Continue reading