Accepting the Alpha by J.J. Black
Saw this was on sale at All Romance ebooks (ARe). I liked the premise and got it. I understand the bad reviews and I should’ve looked at them before I bought this instead of being blinded by the sales price.
I didn’t get why is was so badly reviewed until about page 20. With shapeshifter, you expect instalove, but this book took it to a whole other level. I love the gay-for-you trope (so prevalent in shifter books) but Eli adjusted too well to finding out his mate was a man. We see him checking out other men at the club, sure, but we don’t know about his previous pack life to determine if he was really straight before going to the Great Lakes Pack. I really wanted more of a foundation built between Kellan and Eli and more of the power battles between them.
I really disliked the author’s use of Tracy. He may have been a gay man, but he was still perpetuating the Jealous Bitch stereotype that other m/m writers utilize with women. Just because you changed the gender, doesn’t make it any less stupid.
The story was a lot more telling than showing. And the characters were inconsistent. The villainy of Eli’s father was incredibly ridiculous. Eli’s supposed best friend was extremely judgmental considering the situation, though I will admit Kellan and Eli having sex while Noah missing was in really bad form.
Overall, my feelings on this is eh. This one seems eerily familiar to another shifter series I’ve read that I can’t remember right now. I had a lot of deja vu when reading it. But I’ve also read a lot of shifter books to the point where they all blend together. There are better shift stories out there, but if you can’t find one, this one will do.
Our first Tumblr giveaway: $50 LGBTQ Ebook Gift Card
Yay we’re pretty now! :D And to celebrate, we’re holding our first Tumblr giveaway! Want to win a shiny $50 gift certificate to Riptide Publishing? (You know you doooooooo.) Just hit the reblog button and tell us your favorite Riptide book (or one you’re eager to read if, *gasp*, you’ve never read one of our titles before), and we’ll pick a winner on February 28.
Some quick rules:
1. You can reblog once per day, so you can enter up to 7 times. Likes don’t count as entries, but we certainly won’t tell you not to like us ;-)
2. Sorry, no giveaway blogs.
3. Your ask box must be open so we can notify you if you win.
4. If we hit 500 reblogs, we’ll pick a second winner.
And if you’re hearing about us for the first time, here’s a little bit about what we do:
Riptide Publishing is a boutique publisher of some of the finest LGBTQ fiction, romance, and erotica available today. Showcasing authors from fan favorites to Lambda award winners to New York Times bestsellers, we fill a critical niche in the LGBTQ market: top-quality books, pristinely packaged, that satisfy readers’ desires for rich, plotty, well-edited stories they’ll want to read again and again. From contemporary romance to literary fiction, gay to trans, lunchtime reads to epic novels, find your next read at Riptide Publishing.
Being Chase by J.J. Scott
I don’t know if I can really review this work fairly. This book is the first in a series, but this novella is incomplete also.
Being Chase ends in the middle of scene. I wouldn’t call it a cliffhanger, but was really abrupt. It definitely could’ve been handled better.
That being said, I did like Liam. Though, his voice alternated between masculine and more feminine. Like, there would his voice and then the author’s “voice” would sneak in and say something, if you can follow what I’m saying. Bottom line, his voice wasn’t consistent. Still liked him though. He’s sweet and endearing and I wish we got to know more about him in the book.
I didn’t care at about Chase’s book series or what Liam was reading about and skimmed over those parts. I felt like the pages those scenes took up would’ve been better spent doing something else.
I can forgive the implausible plot. It’s fantasy; it’s fiction. I can even forgive the 16 year-old chef prodigy. But I needed more than what the book had to offer.
I’m giving it 3 stars for now and hope that the next book will be better.
Dangerous Pleasures by Fiona Zedde
I liked this book until the last thirty-ish pages and then I was left highly annoyed. It started off shaky (the first few chapters had me really confused as to who this story was about and there were a lot of typos), got better, then went off the deep end.
I never warmed up to Renee. I have no patience for wishy-washy characters with a ‘woe is me’ outlook on life, but not doing anything about it. I also felt her reasons for signing up for anonymous sex was such a bad idea. Nothing wrong with having one night stands, but she was doing it to fill a void and to run away from her problems and I really don’t have time for that. I needed Mayson to step in and not be so supportive of Renee’s plan.
But Mayson did go along with Renee’s plan, unfortunately, and involved an innocent bystander, playing on his feelings for Renee. I really can’t forgive either of them for doing that. I was excited to find out who the mystery man was, but felt really hollow about how he was used in this book.
I think if Mayson and Renee were the end game, they’re needed to be more less-than-friendly scenes with them. Like, near-kisses, touches that meant more. Actually seeing the characters wrestle with their feelings for each other (especially Renee). There wasn’t any need for the side-love interest characters. I think the sexual tension between the two women would’ve/could’ve been enough. No need for a dramatic, over-the-top event to make them realize their feelings.
For most of the book, Mayson and Renee spend a lot of time having sex with other people. As a romance/erotica “purist” it’s hard for me to swallow that. And they don’e really acknowledge their feelings for each other. I was confused as to why Renee and Mayson didn’t have their own books until the last two or three chapters. And therefore, I couldn’t really believe their love was beyond fraternal by the end. Not even the “I dated a girl in college” story could make it believable.
The strongest part of this work is the sex scenes. Lord almighty someone pass me a fan and a cigarette. I can’t describe them any other way than hot and masturbatory. Zedde knows how to write sex and makes you feel like you’re in the room with the characters. Or you wish you were.
All in all, I think Dangerous Pleasures was a good read with a mismatch ending. I just wanted a better suitor for Mayson.
I give this novel 3 stars.
*Dangerous Pleasure was given to me by the author for an honest review.
Anonymous asked: Destined Union by Tina Brescanu
Thanks for the suggestion!
Crash by Zoe Perdita
Crash is the kind of story I like. Friends becoming lovers it’s one of my favorite themes. I was intrigued by the premise, so I decided to check this out.
This book met my expectations. I wasn’t expecting to be wowed, but I didn’t dislike the story. I did find Ben to be quite irritating. He kept calling Axel a fuck up, but it was all based on assumptions and it annoyed me to know end. He literally didn’t know anything about what Axel was doing, only from what he thought he saw. After their initial falling out, they never really spoke again. I’m not saying Axel wasn’t wrong in the situation and how he handled everything, if it weren’t for him, I’m sure Ben would’ve suffered a worse fate.
And I agree with other reviews who thought the repetitive smaller wolf/taller wolf, omega wolf/alpha scion was excessive and unnecessary. I also thought the ending was rushed and would’ve liked Axel’s POV in the present. Other than that, I’ll check out the other books.
Under Her Spell by Maggie Morton
I got this free from NetGalley.
I just couldn’t get into it, so I didn’t end up finishing it. I actually found it quite boring and the world-building left a lot to be desired. I suppose it was a parallel world to ours, but this one contained magic. However the way many of the characters spoke, the story felt like it was based in Ye Olde England. Terra and Althene had more contemporary/American ways of speaking, so I had trouble keeping up with what era they were supposed to be in.
The only reason I didn’t completely dislike this were Terra and Althene’s sex scenes. They were hot and filled with passion. While I wasn’t a fan of the name-calling parts, I liked the BDSM-lite of their scenes.
One day, I’ll find a lesbian title I can actually finish.
This was an ARC from Netgalley.
Criminal Pleasures by Darien Cox
This was a pretty decent read. And you really can’t beat the $2.99 price tag. I was really drawn in by the premise. I wasn’t wowed by the execution, but this book kept my interest.
From the premise, you get the hint that Marcello isn’t on the up and up. Brendan is a lawyer, Marcello works for an in Italian family and is secretive. Wonderful, a tale about two men on the opposite side of the law falling in love. I’m hooked already. So imagine my disappointment when that’s not how things pan out at all.
I didn’t hate the “big reveal” I just hated that it happened to early in the book. I was hoping for more tension, more hot and cold Marcello which I really loved. More/actual mob dealings. It was instalove for Brendan at first sight and his obsession with Marcello after a one night stand and then seeing him one time after was a bit much. He can’t even say the D was too bomb, since he didn’t get to sample it (til later on, at least). So Brendan’s frantic searching for Marcello just came off creepy and unstable to me. I think that could’ve been easily solved with more relationship development in the beginning.
Cox kept repeating throughout via the characters, “I know this is sudden/this is too soon [for us to be in love]…” It always comes off like the author is apologizing for their work/characters. I always think to myself, that if you, the author, think they’re love is happening a bit too quickly, why not flesh out the story a bit more? No need to apologize if you stand by your instalove story.
I don’t have much to really say about the Criminal Pleasures. I did like it, though I wish the premise (and the title?) matched what I actually read. The sex scenes were hot, yet realistic. And I liked the MCs even though they were sappy and dramatic at times. Not saying that men can’t/don’t cry, but the way they did was boring on teenage girl hysterics.
My biggest issue was Brendan waffling between bisexual and gay. He dated women, but fooled around with guys in college. Meeting Marcello confirmed he was bisexual, so how did he come to the conclusion that he was gay? Just comes off like veiled biphobia and bi-erasure. And I thought it was strange that Brendan’s parents made a point to say that they don’t care if he’s with a man, but didn’t go to his holiday party.
I feel like the MCs’ story isn’t finished and I wouldn’t mind reading another book featuring them.
Re-blog this if you’re a 100% book blog!
I want to add some more diversity to my dashboard, as far as book blogs go. So re-blog this if you’re a 100% book blog!
The Fireside Inn by Lily Everett
This was a quick and simple read.
While I’m sure it’s not necessary, I think I’ll have to go read the previous series of books set in Sanctuary Island. I wanted to read this because I was in the mood for a typical, formulaic romance and that’s exactly what I got. But since I didn’t read the previous books set on the island, I don’t know if the scene was set already or if Everett was intentionally vague with the details.
It’s a novella, so I wasn’t expecting much detail, but I would’ve like more information on the town. Again, I’m assuming that’s information I can get reading earlier works. It’s not a big deal that the information wasn’t there. But I was confused as to why the book is titled “The Fireside Inn” when not much is given about it and the setting didn’t really help nor hinder the plot.
I more disappointed with the lack of a written sex scene. It’s hard when the hero gets talked up as a playboy and the readers don’t get to see what he’s working with. However, the novella does just fine without one. I wish there had been more glimpses into Leo and Serena’s developing feelings because we go from them meeting, the next day they have sex, fast forward a couple weeks, and they have the blow up. Then another week passes, the wedding’s here, they declare lover for each other, the end. I think a couple scenes where Serena is showing Leo around the island and doing things that don’t involve them researching poetry couldn’t have hurt.
But I liked the simplicity and basic plot filled with the overreacting melodrama that I love so much in my romance.
And not once did I roll my eyes.