Review of Arctic Absolution by Lynn Kelling

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Blurb

Dixon Rowe is a good man and a good cop who keeps finding himself in bed with the enemy. After he picks up a young ex-con named Jaye Larson for stealing food, Dixon is seduced by the possibility of helping someone truly in need. He tells himself he’s assisting young Jaye out of the goodness of his heart—not because of how sexy Jaye is under all of the tattoos and defiance. But temptation entangles them as the malicious ghosts of Jaye’s past returns to haunt their every step. Jaye’s ghosts are bad enough, but the demon from Dixon’s past is real enough to put both of their lives in danger. (M/M)

Review

This book was simply fantastic.
I’d try to read it as slow as possible because i didn’t want it to end.

I think the writting was magnificent, each scene it’s so beautifuly described. It was very easy to get into the story. I’ve read Caged Jaye first and therefore i already knew the main character, if my reading experience had been the other way around, getting to know him would be as great as it was on the second book of the series.

The plot has very interesting twists, it contain very dark subjects not often seen in a book that involves a romance, and yet, the way it’s done is so amazing that the reader can’t imagine how anything good might come out of all the darkness the story is deep into, but there’s always a hopeful feeling around it.

As i remember him, Jaye was just a delight to read. So damaged, so broken, so hopeless.
The way his ghosts try to bring him down it’s fantastic, the memories that keep coming trying to stop any step ahead on getting better. The way he sees himself and the distrust to others. I don’t remember any aspect of him i didn’t loved, he is one of the best characters i’ve ever read and I know he’ll be in my mind for a long time.

Dixon was unexpectedly great, when i’d read the description of the book, i expected Dixon to be a kind of boring cop without much to bring up to the story and i was thinking that all the weight of the book was to be led by Jaye. I couldn’t be more far from reality. Dixon was as complex and amazing as Jaye was, fighting with his own demons and nearly as damaged as Jaye was.

The relationship between this two character was just delightful as each of them was, full of conficts, mistrust, fear, shame, not an easy situation but with a feeling of hope that keep the reader expecting a good outcome for them. One of the things i liked about it was that the same kind of difficult interaction was kept all through the end, so they had to really fight to conquer their own demons to make it work. I think that made the story more realistic.

Overall i think it was an amazing book, it has very dark elements and i would recomend to read the warnings before reading it, but again, an amazing book that it’s become on of my favourites, because of so beautifuly made characters.

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Caged Jaye by Lynn Kelling

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Blurb

It’s Jaye Larson’s nineteenth birthday, and all he wants is to spend time with his boyfriend and his mother—the people he loves most and who make life worth living. But, faced by his mother’s demons, the imperfections of his relationship with boyfriend, Kris, and dangerous, homophobic strangers, one by one, all of Jaye’s dreams are soon derailed. Plunging into a waking nightmare, shortly after going to bed alone, he wakes in an alley, pinned down by two men with slow, bloody rape and murder in mind. It’s just the start of Jaye’s fight for his life, and his sanity, as time and time again, he’s forced to make impossible choices and survive, no matter what it costs. (M/M – See publisher’s website for content labels.)

Review

I think this was a great book.
It’s the first Lynn Kelling’s book i’d read and i’m tempted to read more.

The beggining show a sweet and happy character, full of dreams, who, since that moment, the reader is able to imagine how resilient he is because he hasn’t let that, what seems like a difficult childhood, get the best of him. I loved Jaye from that moment, i know most readers had read Arctic Absolution first and they already know the character, but for me, this was the first time i get to know the character and he got me loving him from the first scenes.

The prision was captivating for me, understanding the different gangs, who has the power, the rutines, the rol that the guards play and the fact that Jaye was getting himself into a new world and everything he knew was leave at the door.

Cash and the Disciples were great, they are not good persons but what they represent to Jaye was beyond being good or bad, was about survival, respect and, in sort of way, family.
Cash specifically was magnificent, how intriguing he was. I really loved the way he interact with Jaye, sometimes unexpectedly, some very predictable. The reference to Johnny Cash made me smile.

Jaye was a delight to read, i couldn’t help to loved him. It was amazing to see how can someone change so dramatically, but it was made at such a nice and slow pace that it made it very realistic, i don’t think any reader might have doubts the experience Jaye had could break someone.
It’s interesting to see how the desire to live can take a person to unimaginable paths, it’s great to see how brave Jaye is and how much he is ready to compromise in order to get what he needs.
Jaye’s ghosts were something i enjoy to read, all the hopelessness and how he try to handle it. It was very well represented

I think the writing was great, i felt hooked to the book from start and i couldn’t stop reading. It is an amazing book, but is certaintly not a romance, and is full of violence and it might not be suitable to all reader, so it’s very important to read the warnings. I would definitely recomend it to reader that enjoy reading dark theme books.

Slash Op (Toy Soldier #2) by J. Johanis

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Blurb

The White House has ordered the execution of a highly sensitive covert operation in dragon-occupied territory. Though a Slash Op has a zero percent survival rate, the commanding general is forced to enlist his most prized officer for the task.

Major Gideon is embarking on his first mission in the dragon district. Yet Gideon has hardly recovered from all that Drago made him endure. For the past three months, Gideon has been plagued with dreams of dragons terrorizing him, but his dreams have gradually turned into sexual fantasies. Despite coming to terms with his longing to have Drago in bed, Gideon cannot suppress his desire to beat Drago’s face in. When Gideon is called for a mission in the most dangerous district on Earth, what freaks him out the most is the prospect of seeing Drago again.

Content Advisory: Graphic violence, dragon sex, & non-con.

Review

Another great book.
It was such a fast paced that i could’t stop reading, so interesting. I realy loved it.
On the same way of the previous book, it’s full of twists that keep the reader guessing all the way through it.
The characters are nice, but again i felt i need to know more of the misterious Drago. The reader get to know a bit more of his feelings, but i still think the character was underdeveloped. Maybe becuase i found him so intriguing, i needed to know more of him.
On Gideon’s case, i was annoyed by some of his actions, but maybe they were aceptable considering the situations he was going through.
In general i think it was a great book. I liked this author’s writing and i apreciate that is puching my boundaries because, i don’t like reading shifter stories and yet i’m willing to make the effort for her books. I will be reading the next book of this series as soon as is out.

The Two Gentlemen of Altona (Playing the Fool #1) by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

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Blurb

Mischief, thou art afoot.

Special Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness is having a rough week. Not only is he on a new diet, but he’s also been tasked with keeping Henry Page-the world’s most irritating witness-alive. Which is tough when Mac’s a breath away from killing the Shakespeare-quoting, ethically challenged, egg-obsessed Henry himself. Unless killing isn’t really what Mac wants to do to him.

Con man Henry Page prefers to keep his distance from the law . . . though he wouldn’t mind getting a little closer to uptight, handsome Agent McGuinness. As the sole witness to a mob hit, Henry’s a valuable asset to the FBI. But he’s got his own agenda, and it doesn’t involve testifying.

When evidence surfaces of a mole in the FBI office, Mac and Henry are forced to go into hiding. Holed up in a fishing cabin, they’re surprised to discover that their feelings run more than skin deep. But as the mob closes in, Henry has to make his escape. And Mac has to decide how far he’s willing to go to keep Henry by his side.

Review

This book was so great. I loved it so much.
Both main characters were absolutely amazing. Henry made me laugh so many times, he has the mots delightful thing i’ve ever read, he was so fun. Mac was refreshing, the way he looked is not what you would expect a MC look alike but that made him more realistic, and made me enjoy him a lot more. On terms of his personality, i guess is what a reader might expect from a cop, a little bitter and sometimes rude but i liked him. The fact that non of them were perfect was something that i loved to read.
There wasn’t any moment on the book i didn’t enjoy, it was realy exciting and i always wanted to know what would happen next. The plot was great, the twists it had, even in the last moments of the book was simpy brilliant.
The realationship the characters built was a realistic one, full of doubts and taking it’s time, that made it better for me.
It’s always a hit, for me, with these two writers. Simply amazing.

Drago Star (Toy Soldier #1) by J. Johanis

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Blurb

Captain Gideon’s military training taught him never to fall for his captor, but when he’s sold to a sexy dragon shifter, Gideon discovers that training is much easier than real life. Drago Star is about survival, resistance, and escape when faced with an enemy who’s not afraid to use his deadliest weapon: a dangerous mixture of persuasion, seduction, and animistic lust that cannot be sated.

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Captain Gideon is a candidate at the Drago Star Academy and well on his way to fulfilling his lifelong dream—to be a Star Commander and fight the alien insurgency on Earth.

However, before he can complete his training, he is captured by an unknown entity who sells him to a sadistic alien master. He strives to follow his military training, but nothing can prepare him for the abuse he endures at the hands of his deviant captors.

Despite his disorientation, Gideon realizes things are not as they seem. Though his captors appear to be slavers, they have the resources of a government or rebel entity. To complicate matters, the air smells different, the people look strange, and the light of the sun is all wrong. Gideon’s only hope is escape, but if they’ve taken him from his home planet, is escape even possible?

Content Advisory: Graphic violence, non-con, & abuse.
Kink Tags: Dragon shifter sex, limited femdom, non-consensual BDSM, (bittersweet).

 

Review

Definitely not a romance story. It was a very interesting story, it got my attention very fast and it was hard, for me, to stop reading it. The main character, Gideon, was nice, it was good to see how he react to all the things that were going on and mostly to uncertainty. I was most attracted to one of the anthagonists, Drago, but i felt like his character was underdeveloped, i think there was so much potential on him, he was very intriguing, i really loved him but i wish there was more to know of him.
The story had some interesting twists that made it unpredictable and that was so good. I didn’t know what to expect and that always make a good read.
The story is full of violence, it has hardly romance on it. It has a content advisory that is important to be read, because i think it might not be a good read for everyone, but i enjoy it very much.
In spite of the content advisory i’d pushed myself to read it becuase i’d read other books of the author and i liked them. I don’t read books about shifters, that is definitely a no for me. But i give it a try to this one and it work for me, i realy enjoy it and i will be soon reading Slash Op.

For the Love of a Steampunk Heart by Leah Ross

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Blurb

Sixty-four years ago, the Blast changed everything. The modern, interconnected world died and two disparate societies took its place. The pioneers founded their own world in the frontier of the Fringe. The rest crowded themselves into dome cities and cut themselves off from the world. Fringer or Domer. One or the other. Never both. Until now.

Nick Massey is an inventor and mechanic, a Domer struggling to break out of his poverty-stricken existence and escape his tragic past. He’s brilliant. He’s talented. He just lost his job. With nothing keeping him in the city, he leaves his meager life behind and strikes out for the wild unknowns of the Fringe. He’s hoping to find happiness and purpose. Instead, he finds Zander.

Zander Pennington is a Fringer, born and bred, a lifelong resident of the town of Firebend. He’s tough and resourceful and absolutely intolerant of unknowns. As a partner in the region’s most lucrative mineral mining operation, he doesn’t have time to deal with anything but business. Business is what he knows. Business is his comfort zone. Nick is not business.

Despite their inherent differences, Nick and Zander must learn to trust each other and work as a team to thwart the danger that threatens them and all of Firebend. It’s the danger they can’t fight, though, that could break both of their hearts and destroy their lives.

Review

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through the DBML program of the M/M Romance group at goodreads.

I loved this book so much. It was a very sweet story.
Both main characters were so likable, it was so easy to care for them. Nick was sweet and there were moments, were he seems so vulnerable and have some struggles accepting himself , those moments were just beautiful. I think it’s easy to the reader to feel related and it left a good message about accepting ourself the way we are. In Zander’s case i felt he was also very nice character, i generaly like more complex characters but he was ok. I liked about him how easy was too felt his emotions.
The secondary characters were very nice but i finished the book wanting to know a little bit more about them. There was this one named Wyvern that got my attention, i felt he was a great character and i would love to read more of his story.
It’s very easy to get into the story, It has a nice pace. There are some interesting action moments. The story was very entertaining. Once i started reading it was difficult to put it down.
The moments when the main characters are together are very beatiful and sweet, the author manage to make a belieaveble connection between them, maybe a little too fast to my taste, but i’m sure most of the readers woul’d love it.
The only problem i had with the book was that the world created for the author was a little confusing to me. It was hard to imaging it and sometimes it looked a little contradictory, but other than that i realy loved it.
I think it was a great book, i enjoy it so much and i woul’d love to read more books from this author.

Stygian by Santino Hassell

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Blurb

Jeremy has been isolated and adrift since the death of his brother. Most people just see him as the skinny emo kid who wears eyeliner and plays drums. No one gets him. Nobody tries. He thought the indie rock band Stygian would become his anchor, but—lost in their own problems—they’re far from the family he sought.

Still, hoping to get close to Kennedy, the band’s enigmatic guitarist, he follows Stygian to northern Louisiana for a summer retreat. They had planned to spend six weeks focusing on new music but things go awry as soon as they arrive at the long-deserted Caroway mansion. Tempers flare, sexual tension boils over into frustration, and Jeremy turns away from the band to find a friend in his eerily beautiful landlord Hunter Caroway.

Kennedy suspects there’s something off about the creepy mansion and its mysterious owners, but Jeremy thinks he’s finally found somewhere he fits. It isn’t until Kennedy forces the Caroway’s secrets into the light that Jeremy realizes belonging sometimes comes with a price.

 

Review

I think it was a good book. The characters weren’t much likable, i felt they were mostly quite annoying, fighting for everything and without possibility of seen things that weren’t them self. There was hardly a moment in the book were there wasn’t an argument and it become tiring. The only character that saves himself from that description was Quince, who was nice. I don’t think that they been unlikable was a mayor problem, i don’t have to love the characters to like a book and this one was a good example.
The plot was good, mostly at good pace, but there were moments in the middle were i lost some of the attraction that i felt at the begining. The ending was also very good, the last pages brought back the initial interest i felt for the story.
I liked the style of the author, i will be reading more of his books, this wasn’t my favourite from him but i think is talented and i enjoy his stories.
One of the things i loved of this book was the cover, it’s one of the most beautiful i’ve seen, an amazing job on that.