Susan

M/M romance addict.

Obsessive Sterek reader.

Hurt/comfort is the best.

Review: Hard Wired (Cyberlove #3)

Hard Wired - Megan Erickson, Santino Hassell


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This was definitely angstier than the other two in this series.

While I really loved how Ian and Jesse grew closer after the original angsty part, I didn’t like the OTT drama near the end.

I didn’t like the way Ian lied to Jesse at the con they were at, but I did understand it, so that part was manageble for me.

I liked how after their first hot meeting, they were awkwardly chatting online and eventually having some pretty hot phone sex. I also liked how sweet these guys were with each other. They were both honest about their feelings and I enjoyed the parts where they grew closer and closer by chatting about their every day life.

Jesse was adorably cute and I just loved Ian (despite his angst & drama). My heart melted when Ian referred to Jesse in his art as his cinnamon roll. How cute is that!

But…. I didn’t get the drama near the end. I felt it was a bit fabricated and I could have gone without. To me everything was good and sweet between them and all of a sudden they were fighting and Ian was ready to become Cerise and to deny Jesse (because his fans expect him to be this broody single artist, not a happy guy with a boyfriend). I felt his problems were so intense and so deep (yes, why don’t you just throw that child abuse out there without any follow up… *massive eye roll*), that I had a hard time believing Ian would be fine. Ever.

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I did like the HEA, and I had a good time reading this right up until the stupid angst started. So 3.5 stars it is.


Thanks to Marte for the BR!

Reading progress update: I've read 34%.

Hard Wired - Megan Erickson, Santino Hassell

I was expecting angst, but I can handle this kind of angst just fine. I think it's because I'm loving Ian so much. I want to hug him, wrap him in a blanket and give him hot tea.

Review: The Aftermath

The Aftermath - Kay Simone

While this started out really good, the story slowly got away from me until I got to a point where I just wanted it done.

This is a story about the romance between an 18 year old high school student and his 28 year old English teacher. Daniel meets the tattooed sexy man, when he is playing pool in a bar he got into with his fake ID. The two end up in the bathroom together with Will on his knees for Daniel, after a game of pool and lots of flirting. Daniel tricked the older Will, by hustling him in a game of pool. The loser had to give the winner a bj in the bathroom.

After this memorable night, they suddenly meet again when Daniel meets his new English teacher at school Monday morning….

Will is scared shitless when he comes face to face with the guy he blew in the bathroom. He then finds out Daniel is only 18 and not 21 like he thought.

After a couple of weeks of ignoring each other, Daniel ends up asking Will for an explanation. He doesn’t like to be ignored, and is fed up with this treatment. But Will tells Daniel they can’t be anything more than student and teacher.

When Will gets a call that Daniel has gone to the bar they met to hustle some more, he knows he has to save Daniel. When Will gets there he is just in time to rescue Daniel from being beaten up. Daniel has already taken a few punches, but nothing too bad.

Daniel ends up at Will’s apartment for the rest of the weekend and it’s clear neither man can resist the attraction any longer...

The first 50% was pretty good. I liked how the relationship developed so far. Then from 50 to 80% it was a bit boring. Nothing really happens. And the last 20% was a jumbled mess. We suddenly got all these weird time jumps (31 december, 24 december, 31 december, 26 december). It was very confusing. And of course we got the ANGST I was waiting for from the start. Not the angst I expected, but this just annoyed me more.

I was expecting someone to find out about them, not Will breaking things off because he felt he wasn’t good enough for Daniel.

(show spoiler)



And while I started off liking Will a great deal, his self-loathing really started to get on my nerves and I was constantly rolling my eyes when he polished off another bottle of whiskey. This dude was an alcoholic, but the author treated it as if it was no big deal he spent most of his days drunk off his ass.

While I expected it to be a big deal that Will was Daniel’s high school English teacher, that fact was not the main source of problem in their relationship. That was all Will and his self-hatred. Daniel was definitely the mature one in the relationship even though he was only 18.

So, while this started out good, it dragged in the middle, and was angsty and messy at the end.

This does have a HEA, but it didn’t feel all that happy to me. Might be because I was still upset over all the angst.

Oh, and I have to mention the weird 'Introduction' at the start of this story:

This book takes place in a world different from the one that you and I inhabit, where consequences are much lower than they are in reality.

Nobody uses condoms, for example. Nobody goes to jail (at least in this story, though jail of course exists in this universe) for doing bad things. As a reader, I hope that you can trust me to tell you this story and that you can suspend disbelief at some of these elements. It takes a certain level of patience and trust in me as a writer to read these fantasy elements and not be taken out of the world of the story.


If you don't want your MCs to use condoms, don't 'create' an alternate universe please. Have them use condoms, or have them talk about not using them.

Reading progress update: I've read 17%.

The Aftermath - Kay Simone

Wow, I'm really really loving this. ♡

Review: Mexican Heat

Mexican Heat - Josh Lanyon, Laura Baumbach

Re-read February 7 2017

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Let me start with the most important thing about this book: It has a 25 pages long sex scene!!! That was some hot sex! :D

--- This review is filled with spoilers. Read at your own risk---



This is one great read! I never expected to like this as much as I did. I thought this entire book would consist of Gabriel and Antonio falling in love while deeply undercover in the Sanchez and Botelli crime family. I thought it would drag a little there because one can only read so much about being undercover and not being able to be yourself. But I was wrong.

I thought it was brilliantly done to have the first part written from Gabriel’s POV and the second part from Antonio’s POV. The first part does consist of these two meeting while both undercover. But instead of it being boring, it was fast paced. These two share an immediate connection and are wildly attracted to each other. And damn, that sex scene in Mexico… freaking hot!

But when Gabriel’s cover is blown the shit hits the fan and Gabriel is seriously injured, that is where part two starts, from Antonio’s POV. No more cover stories to tell each other, so the only option is to be honest. Antonio has already realized his undying love for Gabriel and he just wants to take care of a blind, but not helpless, Gabriel. Gabriel has trouble accepting help from anyone, so Antonio has his work cut out for him.

But these two are perfect for each other, so after a lot of patience from Antonio Gabriel realizes he can trust him and...aaaaww....insert tender moments here...

I loved the fact that Gabriel did not have some miraculous recovery. He was still blind at the end of the book (I guess the authors wanted to write more books in this series, but never did). But he was definitely not helpless and with Antonio’s help he found ways to cope with his blindness and to still be his badass self.

Action in the first part and hurt/comfort, love and tenderness in the second part. This was awesome.

Reading progress update: I've read 1%.

Mexican Heat - Josh Lanyon, Laura Baumbach

Time for a re-read since I've only read this once, 3 years ago.

Review: The Impossible Boy

The Impossible Boy - Anna Martin

I liked the premise of this book so much that I bought it on release day and started reading immediately. I got to 40% and then put it down. But even though I didn’t really like it, I wanted so much to like it, that I picked it up again, determined to like it, damn it.

But it wasn’t meant to be…

The first 50% of this story read like the author was ticking off a list.
- The meeting
- The exchange of phone numbers
- The date
- The kiss
- The sex
- The relationship
- The love

And when Stan and Ben talked about important stuff like Stan being gender-fluid or anorexic, it came out of nowhere for me. They both didn’t think about these subjects before. They just talked about it and after that it’s back to the not thinking about it.

Stan didn’t seem to have much thoughts at all. Stan was gender-fluid, struggled with anorexia, got a new job, found the love of his life, enough things to think about I would say. But we found out what he looked like, what he wore, how his hair shines, what purse he brings to work, but no real inner thoughts or struggles.

Stan just started his new job and in the first week he wears a dress to work. I read about the color of the dress and how tight it was, but what I really wanted to read about was how Stan’s colleagues reacted to him wearing a dress. They could be open-minded or bigoted as shit, but I wanted to know! Stan told us people react differently to him, but I haven’t read about one single person in this book reacting differently to him at all. Everyone accepted him and liked him. Which is fine, but also a little strange and unrealistic.

I have to admit I picked it up again because I heard there was some hurt/comfort going on, but darn what a letdown that was for me.

When Ben comes back from his tour with his band,

he finds Stan in the hospital. No reading about Stand struggling without Ben, nothing about what happened and how he got there. Only what he tells Ben later on.

(show spoiler)

If I have to hurt for one of my book characters I would appreciate if you would let me be there when it happens. Not try to pull me in after the fact.

I got one more niggle and then I’ll shut up and you can all ignore this ranty review and keep on loving this book to death. ;)

I never once felt as if Ben really liked being in a band. He even told people that it’s not his dream. And when he wanted to quit, his friend Tone wouldn’t let him. I felt as if Ben was roped into it and not that happy, but since no one wanted to let him go, he stayed.

I’m still sad I didn’t like this more. I really do like the premise. And I have enjoyed other books by Anna Martin before. So don’t let this review keep you from reading this book. It’s just one opinion in a sea of 5 star reviews…

 

Review: The Last Thing He Needs

The Last Thing He Needs - J.H. Knight

You know how some books are very good, but trigger something inside you and you end up disliking it, because it is making you so sad. That was this book for me. It depressed the heck out of me. So don’t think this is a bad book because it isn’t. It just isn’t the book for me.

Tommy is 22 and has 7 little brothers and sisters. He has two drug addicted parents who are almost never home, so he is left to take care of everyone. His 17 year old sister helps him the most. Especially because the youngest two are twins of only 7 months old. Everyone else is between 1 and 17 years old.

Everyone is doing their best to keep their family afloat. Tommy works in a pub, and the rest tries to either earn money or steal food so they won’t starve.

Bobby is a young cop, only a couple of years older than Tommy and has been to the house on disturbance calls more times than he can count. Always involving the dead beat parents.

Tommy is suspicious when Bobby starts hanging out at their house on his days off. And Bobby always seems to help them with stuff. It is not until Tommy bumps into Bobby at a gay bar that he finally admits his growing attraction.

After that hot night, the two cannot stay away from each other and it is clear it’s not just a one night stand between them. But Tommy still needs to take care of all his siblings, so he hopes Bobby will stick around, even though Tommy doesn’t have a lot of time to spare.

I really liked the hurt/comfort part of this story. It was sweet how Bobby was constantly trying to help Tommy.

But what made me so sad was the overwhelming feeling of despair that runs through this book. It’s not easy taking care of kids by yourself. And the feeling of being stuck, of having no way out, no time for yourself, always being on high alert to see that nothing happens to the kids, and having parents that show up to ruin everything, that’s what broke me.

I wanted to throw this book aside and run away yelling, freeeeeeedom.

I was also a bit disappointed in the romance. There isn’t much romance. Yes, Bobby and Tommy were together, but it kind of happened, and after that they gradually became more than just friends who have sex. But because the kids and Tommy’s everyday life ate up so much time, there wasn’t a lot of page time for just Tommy and Bobby as a couple.

Even the epilogue felt a bit anti-climactic when Tommy casually mentions

that they tied the knot a year ago.

(show spoiler)


Overall, it was a good book, but it’s not a happy book. It depressed me and now I need to eat cookies to make me happy again.

 

 

Review: The Alpha King

The Alpha King - Victoria  Sue

4.25 stars

If you are looking for an mpreg shifter story with an actual plot, look no further! You found it here.

This was really good. This is an action packed shifter story with some sweet romantic ‘I cannot live without you’ moments. If I have one complaint it is that I felt the action took over in the second half, and I would have liked just a couple of pages more so we got just a bit more romance.

Luca lives in a world where shifters rule and humans are being enslaved and abused. Luca is the Alpha-heir and as soon as his father steps down he will become the Alpha of his pack.

He is 18 when he is stabbed by his twin brother out of jealousy. He is left to die in the woods when he meets a 13 year old boy. This boy touches him and tells Luca he will be the Alpha King, not just an alpha. Luca is rescued when the boy gets help. But he is sad he never sees the boy again.

The legends say the Alpha King and his one true Omega mate have powers no one can comprehend. He is to rule the entire kingdom and bring peace.

When Luca is 25 he is awaiting his crowning ceremony together with a couple of other Alpha-heirs. Each get to pick an omega to mate with, but when Luca sees a young human man being whipped, he jumps up to stop the attacker. It is then that his powers show himself. When he looks into the boy’s eyes he knows it is the boy from 7 years ago.

Because of Luca’s new powers it is clear from the start he is the true Alpha King and that the boy, Kit, is his true human Omega.

Not everyone likes it that things will now change and that humans need to be treated with respect from now on. Luca and Kit now have lots of enemies…

I just loved how it was clear from the start that Luca and Kit belonged together. Is it insta-love? Yes, totally. But because it was meant to be, it felt very romantic instead of fake.

”I was made for you.”

There is some relationship angst when the couple thinks they need a female breeder so Luca can have an heir, but it’s not dragged out and it all works out when they find out

Kit is pregnant.

(show spoiler)


I do have to say that the end felt a bit rushed. We get all the action and then 2 pages of ‘end’, while I wanted just a bit more relaxation time for the two after all they’d been through.

This is definitely one of the best mpregs out there. If you’d like to try a shifter mpreg with lots of action, try this one.

 

 

DNF: Trust Trade (Gem City Grit #1)

Trust Trade - Ki Brightly

DNF at 35%

This is not a bad book, really. There are just a couple of things that annoy me, and I don’t have the patience for this big ass book to continue.

What I liked:
- I LOVE the cover. It’s beautiful.
- The writing has a very nice flow to it. Good balance between inner musings and dialogue.
- Jeb is a great character. I really liked his strength.

What I didn’t like:
- Freddy. He just rubs me the wrong way. It starts off with Freddy and Jeb going for a walk when they’ve just met each other. But then Freddy takes Jeb on a hike while it is obvious Jeb is not enjoying it, is out of breath, and trips because he is trying to walk and lip read at the same time. That seemed like a very selfish thing of Freddy. Especially because he does notice these things. He is the same with touching Jeb. Jeb is clearly uncomfortable (at first), but Freddy does it anyway.
- There are some weird phrases during sex scenes.

“Let’s have a morning salute. Shoot with me.”

Cum boils in my balls.

Those things just don’t do it for me.

I definitely would have finished this book if it wasn’t so darn long. Normally I love the long books, but not if it is becoming a chore to finish it.

Review: Chosen Pride (L'Ange #3)

Chosen Pride (L'Ange Book 3) - Mary Calmes

I like how Mary Calmes writes men who are big, tough, muscular, but cry like babies and turn into goo when they are with their mates. For some reason these men are almost childlike in their new found enthusiasm. I just love that! It feels intense and emotional. Only Mary can pull that off.

Jon Slade is a lion who feels like he doesn’t really belong anywhere. So he is thrilled to finally meet his mate, Kelvin. Unfortunately Kelvin is the champion of the wolf shifters king and therefore cannot be mated to a man. He is betrothed to a woman and must produce offspring.

Jon spents a year pining for Kelvin. But all of a sudden he gets a message that Kelvin and the wolf shifter king are coming to visit the estate of L’Ange.

As soon as Jon and Kelvin see each other they know they cannot live apart…

I liked how Jon and Kelvin just shoved everyone and everything aside to be together. I just love all that possessiveness.

What bothered me in this was that most of this story takes place in one single day. That’s not really enough for me to develop a relationship. I especially rolled my eyes when Jon said to Kelvin that he was going to love him one day, but not yet, and tells Kelvin he loves him several hours later.

Still, it was all very Mary.

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Review: Fighting Instinct (L'Ange #2)

Fighting Instinct - Mary Calmes

This was better than I expected. Yes, Arman was an asshole. Yes, he was also a serial killer. But I melted with how much he loved Linus and how he would do anything for him. That made it better for me to endure him.

Arman is an arrogant ass for this entire book, but never to Linus, just to other people. So I was okay with that.

Arman is a shifter, working as head of security for Roman Howell. He has also been trying to court Linus, a white deer shifter, for the past 7 years. But Linus is broken because of terrible abuse in his past, so he doesn’t let anyone get close.
Except Arman of course.

It is time for Linus to finally give in to Arman. And when he decides that, he jumps in with his whole heart…

I loved the sweetness of the relationship. It was very Mary. Arman was possessive to the max and Linus the sweet blushing man who would do anything for Arman.

I was a bit surprised at the fact that Arman was killing off everyone who hurt Linus in the past. And not as a shifter, no, just with his gun. Like a true serial killer. Alright then.

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Unfortunately around halfway through I got the feeling Mary was trying to come up with all this new shifter stuff. I think she pulled all these new rules out of her ass. And the words! I was so confused. Not as much as I was with Change of Heart, but still, it was ridiculous shit.

But overall the relationship gave me all the warm fuzzies, so I ended up enjoying it a lot.

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Reading progress update: I've read 1%.

Fighting Instinct - Mary Calmes

I'm totally blaming Tara for this.

 

Review: The Missing Butterfly

The Missing Butterfly - Megan Derr

Re-read January 22 2017

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This was awesome!! If you want a feel-good book, read this!! It pushed all my happy buttons.

Cassidy is 18, and ready to give everything he has to his band, when he gets terrible news. His parents died in a car accident, so he now has his two younger siblings to take care of. He immediately gives up his dream of becoming a famous singer and gets a job to support his family.

9 years later, Cassidy is happy he now has a nice office job. His brother and sister are almost grown up, so he doesn't have to parent so much. He is happy with his new job, and tries his best not to screw it up by crushing hard on his hot boss.

This hot boss, Malcolm, really likes Cassidy. Too bad he has a thing for tattooed bad boys, and Cassidy just seems so nice. He doesn't even wear any short sleeved shirts.

When Malcolm goes out one night, he sees his dream man. A tattooed hottie, singing in a bar on karaoke night. Too bad he can't really see his face with the cap he's wearing...

This was just lovely. Such a lovely Cinderfella story. One complaint: the sex scene we got was not that detailed and described in 3 sentences. But.... the rest of the story is so sweet, it didn't bother me all that much.

And can I say we got the best HEA in this! Like rainbows and unicorns and puppies.

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Review: Watching and Wanting (Housemates #4)

Watching and Wanting (Housemates Book 4) - Jay Northcote

This was just as hot as the others in this series. I loved the parts where Shawn was slowly exploring his newfound sexuality, and where Jude was patient in showing Shawn the way.

What kind of ruined this book for me was, when they had the talk about maybe becoming boyfriends, Jude immediately told Shawn he had to come out now, or no relationship.
Even though I could understand his reasoning, there was no room for compromise. Shawn was very insecure about everything and had a hard time changing everything he thought he knew about himself. So a little consideration would have been nice.

But what I hated the most is that after their ‘break-up’ Jude goes out with his friends, kisses a former hookup and gets a serious boner from dancing with him. And all of a sudden Shawn swoops in and tells him he wants to come out so they can be together.

I just wanted Jude to admit he had no right to make that demand. A compromise, yes, but to demand someone come out RIGHT NOW, was a bit too much for me.

3 stars for the hotness, less for the relationship.

Review: #Blur (GearShark #4)

#Blur  - Cambria Hebert

4.25 stars

I really liked this!
I was a bit afraid this would be all about racing, and since I hadn’t read the other books in the series, I had no idea what to expect. But I was happy to find out this book was very relationship focused. And I loved that!

We get to see how Arrow is treated by his father when he is 18, and we suffer with him when he gets kicked out of the house and

raped in an alley.

(show spoiler)



We also learn how Hopper, born as Jayson, loses a part of himself when

his boyfriend dies in a motorcycle accident.

(show spoiler)


It is now 3 years after the events of Arrow’s horrible past and 5 years after Hopper’s

boyfriend died.

(show spoiler)

 Hopper has been asked by his boss to meet up with Arrow and to get him to sign with his company as a racer.

And that’s how the two meet. On their first meeting the two immediately recognize another broken soul, so these two feel an immediate bond. Of course it’s not easy for both of them to let go of their pasts. Hopper feels guilty for wanting another man, and Arrow doesn’t know if he can ever be in a real relationship…

I guess you can say this book was very insta-lovey, since these guys kiss when they first meet, and dove immediately into the difficult conversations. They didn’t ease into things, they jumped in head first. I can really appreciate when my MCs are written this intense. It was like these guys had all their emotions turned up to 11. I’m such a sucker for this.

The hurt/comfort in this was perfectly balanced. I never once felt it was too much with two broken souls instead of one. Even though the first 30% in this were hard to read, this book never felt dark or depressing.

The relationship was sweet and more than a little cheesy at times, and I loved these guys together.

I did have one complaint and that was the use of the word ‘rod’. So not sexy. And it is used a lot!

Overall, a very nice, sweet read.