Review: Backfire by David-Matthew Barnes

Backfire

Tired of keeping their love a secret in their small Southern hometown, Evan and Cameron plan to runaway together, unaware that someone is determined to stop them – no matter what it takes.

 

REVIEW

This was very sweet. I loved the characters, they both were very sweet and the story in general was really good but I did feel like it was too short. Evan and Cameron were beautiful together, it was so easy to care for them.

I had a little issues about the time. There were flashbacks of beautiful moments, but the reader get no way to know they were the past and it becomes a little confusing because there were mixed moments from the present and the past. The Idea was great, but I would appreciate if there was any kind of signal that there were memories and not the present.

Dusty was a bittersweet character. I hate his conduct but I understood what was behind it. As little as we got to know him, I kind of feel a little sympathy for him. Overall it was good. I really enjoyed but it had some issues about it. The story was good enough to make me want to try other book from the author.

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Audiobook Review: Femme by Marshall Thornton

Femme

 

Queeny cocktail waiter, Lionel, wakes up to find himself in bed with Dog, a straight-acting softball player and the two embark on a rocky road to romance. A journey that requires coming out of the closet, going into the closet, a pair of red high heels, many pairs of red high heels, a failed intervention, a couple of aborted dates, and homemade pom-poms. Mostly, Lionel and Dog learn what it means to be a man.

 

REVIEW

 

Prejudice seem to be a common theme in the books I’m picking this days. This wasn’t any different. Lionel has to deal with people judging him because of the way he looks and he does it beautifully.

I listen to the audiobook and it was fantastic. I haven’t read it before. It was amazing. The plot was good, entertaining and interesting enough but the characters were the best part of it. I think I would like it if I had read it, but I have to admit that it was the narration what made me loved it. It’s not the first time I listen to the narrator, but I’ve never been more impressed. It was so easy to notice the change of characters but it was his Lionel personification what impressed me the most. It was absolutely stunning. I’d listen to a few audiobooks, but none as good as this one. The narrator was great.

I loved the main characters, Lionel was hilarious. He made me laugh so many times. It was brilliant. Dog was nice, he was sweet, but not as remarkable as Lionel. The secondary characters were also great. I loved Carlos so much, his friendship with Lionel was lovely. I don’t think I would like him as much if I had read it, again an amazing job made by the narrator. Dog’s family was also so fun. I had such a great time with this book. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun romance to read.

Review: Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan

Antisocial

 

A single stroke can change your world.

Xander Fairchild can’t stand people in general and frat boys in particular, so when he’s forced to spend his summer working on his senior project with Skylar Stone, a silver-tongued Delta Sig with a trust fund who wants to make Xander over into a shiny new image, Xander is determined to resist. He came to idyllic, Japanese culture-soaked Benten College to hide and make manga, not to be transformed into a corporate clone in the eleventh hour.

Skylar’s life has been laid out for him since before he was born, but all it takes is one look at Xander’s artwork, and the veneer around him begins to crack. Xander himself does plenty of damage too. There’s something about the antisocial artist’s refusal to yield that forces Skylar to acknowledge how much his own orchestrated future is killing him slowly…as is the truth about his gray-spectrum sexuality, which he hasn’t dared to speak aloud, even to himself.

Through a summer of art and friendship, Xander and Skylar learn more about each other, themselves, and their feelings for one another. But as their senior year begins, they must decide if they will part ways and return to the dull futures they had planned, or if they will take a risk and leap into a brightly colored future—together.

 

REVIEW

From cover to end, this was a magnificent book. I love every aspect of it, from the stunning cover art to every single character and the way an unusual love story comes to lighten up the heart of such beautiful persons. It was an absolutely joy to read it.

Xander is an amazing artist with zero social skills. Skylar, a frat boy, and son of a very powerful family with a bright future ahead and the ability to transform everything he touches into a success. When Xander is forced to work with Skylar for his senior project, both men have a plan in mind. But as friendship start taking place, they both start looking things from a different point of view and they begin an unexpected journey of self-discovery and acceptance.

This might be a romance, and I wasn’t at all disappointed in that area, but there was so much more about this book than only a love story. It brought so many subjects to the picture that this book ended up being an enlightening experience. It delivered so much more than what I was expecting from it. This is the first time I’ve read a book from this author, but I feel like I’ll be reading more of her work soon.

What I liked the most about the book were the characters. It had some great secondary characters, but as expected, Skylar and Xander won my heart. I think it’s impossible not to love them. I had some struggles with Skylar at the beginning but as I keep reading and start getting to know him a little bit more, I came to care for him as much as I did Xander. They both had extremely complex personalities and it was beautiful to slowly uncover those layers to get to the core of who they were. I love the time taken to get there, and I also love the way the romantic part of their relationship wasn’t rushed and the sexual part of it wasn’t at all what traditionally is expected. I was concerned about how things might work but I couldn’t be happier with the result.

One important part of the book was art, and it was something I loved about it. It is a relevant part of the plot and, at some point, the way their relationship started. It was so nice to try to understand something I’m completely ignorant about, as it was manga. I might not know anything about it, but it was lovely to see the passion the characters had for it and get to learn something about it.

Another important subject was family. It was so interesting to see their interactions and got to understand how everything became the way it was and how much or how little the family had to do with it.

Probably the only issue I had with the book was that there were times, very few but were there, when I had a hard time trying to connect with Skylar and Xander’s emotions. Other than those few moments, I really loved the book. It was very well written and I would recommend it to any reader. It might be a M/M pairing that I get not everyone would love, but there was some interesting cultural aspect and extremely well made characters that I can’t help want to share with everyone.

 

The Romance Review

Review: Rakka Surprise by Bey Deckard (a story from UnCommon Lands: A Collection of Rising Tides, Outer Space, and Foreign Realms )

UnCommon Lands: A Collection of Rising Tides, Outer Space, and Foreign Realms (UnCommon Anthologies Book 5)

 

UnCommon Lands presents 20 unique depictions of fantastic places and alien landscapes. These stories of the human (and inhuman) experience transcend time and place and will transport you to worlds you’ve never imagined. Including new and veteran voices, our UnCommon Authors bring you stories which span multiple genres, but hold together on a framework of quality storytelling and a solid theme. UnCommon Lands reminds us that where we are from isn’t as important as where we are going.

 

REVIEW

 

This is only a review for one of the stories of the anthology and the one that make me buy it, Rakka Surprise by Bey Deckard.

It was such a lovely story. I loved it. The odd world they were into, which is the common element on the anthology, was very interesting. The plot was great and it was so nice to discover little things about the characters. I loved the interactions between Drayan and Lala, it was so fun at times. I also loved Sitik, he was a fantastic character even though I struggle a lot trying to understand what he was trying to say most of the times, but I guess it was intended that way. The only issue I had with it was that it was too short. I wanted so bad to keep reading about them but I still liked what I read. It was an amazing story.

I have read other three stories of the anthology so far. I liked what I’d read. After Rakka Surprise, my favorite has been Silicon Oar.

Review: The Highlander​ by Kasia Bacon

The Highlander​

 

I, Lochan of the famed Féyes clan, know all about fighting.

As a half-breed Elf, I have struggled against prejudice and feelings of inadequacy.

A recluse by nature, I have battled my aversion to touch and interaction with others.

To become an assassin of The Order, I have learnt to overcome the limitations of my mind and body.

But denying the power Ervyn Morryés holds over me might be the one fight I lose. The truth is—damn it all—the relentless Highlander brings me to my knees.

Note: This novelette is the second in the Order Series, and not a stand-alone installment. Reading THE MUTT is crucial for its full enjoyment.

 

REVIEW

 

I liked so much more than I expected. I had some issues in the previous book, not big ones but there was something about Ervyn’s point of view that just wasn’t entirely right for me. This time was just the opposite. I loved Lochlan’s side of the story. I guess that made me loved this book a bit more than The Mutt.

There were a lot of things I really don’t like most of the time, but it work fine for this book. One of them was the fact that there are little interaction between characters, so few dialogues. Most of the time we only get to see the narration from Lochland’s mind and what he thinks. It should have bother me, I don’t like that sore of things, but it didn’t. Somehow I was ok with it. Maybe because Lochlan was so mysterious before and I wanted to know more of him, and I had just what I was wishing for.

There is little romance, is not absente but maybe it had something to do with the little time they shared on page that make me wish for so much more. I felt like there were some non-resolved issues at the end of the book, but in general it was very good. I really enjoyed reading it. I love where things are going. I can’t wait for the next book of the series.

Review: Magnetic by Avylinn Winter

Magnetic

 

He’d been afraid of me, and I had used fear to keep him away until I couldn’t stand to be anywhere but close. 

Dante Heron has lived a life surrounded by pointless affection and impossible demands. Driven to the brink by his parents in pursuit of fame and fortune, he has learned to circumvent anything that would force him to feel more than he can stand. Until Chris. But then, he drove away Chris just as surely as he’d chased off everyone else.

Lost and afraid of the truth of that rejection, Dante pines from afar—more used to suffering than facing his problems. However, his feelings continue to torment him and no matter how many times he wants to leave the past behind, it won’t let go.

Magnetic is a short companion story to Volatile in the Treacherous Chemistry series.

 

REVIEW

 

I have to start by saying I love that cover so much. It was great getting to know Dante a little better. I loved to see inside his mind but even though I loved the book in general, I felt a little underwhelmed by some parts of it.

What I liked the most about it was the emotions I felt. I felt devoid of energy while reading it and so sad most of the time, which I think was great because I think that’s what Dante was feeling. His grief was so tangible that was amazing to get in touch with his feelings.

What I didn’t liked about it was that Dante seemed a little too self-aware of his emotions. I think he came from a darker place and the awareness of his actions and the way the others impact his life would be more subtle. It bother me a little but it didn’t make the book any less enjoyable. Overall I really liked it. I missed those characters. I loved reading about the again.

Audiobook Review: Sutphin Boulevard by Santino Hassell

Sutphin Boulevard (Five Boroughs, #1)

 

Michael Rodriguez and Nunzio Medici have been friends for two decades. From escaping their dysfunctional families in the working-class neighborhood of South Jamaica, Queens to teaching in one of the city’s most queer friendly schools in Brooklyn, the two men have shared everything. Or so they thought until a sweltering night of dancing leads to an unexpected encounter that forever changes their friendship.

Now, casual touches and lingering looks are packed with sexual tension, and Michael can’t forget the feel of his best friend’s hands on him. Once problems rear up at work and home, Michael finds himself seeking constant escape in the effortless intimacy and mind-blowing sex he has with Nunzio. But things don’t stay easy for long.

When Michael’s world begins to crumble in a sea of tragedy and complications, he knows he has to make a choice: find solace in a path of self-destruction or accept the love of the man who has been by his side for twenty years. 

 

REVIEW

 

I have mixed feelings about this audiobook. I liked the narration, that doesn’t seemed to be much of a problem. I liked the voices given to the characters, the pace and most of it. I did feel like there were times when I got a little confused about who was talking but it didn’t happened too often. This was the first time I listen to an audio of a book I’d read and I think that might be most of the problem. I loved the book and when I read it, I felt heartbroken and just loved how much emotions there was on it. I didn’t feel it the same way this time around. I don’t know if it had something got do with the fact I’d read it or if there was something about the narration. But there was something that just didn’t allow me to love it as much as I loved the book. It might be something personal, I don’t know if other reader might feel the same way. It was the first time I listen to the narrator and it was a good first experience.