Flesh and Kisses by Vivien Dean
I don’t really have a long review for this one.
I wished we got Trev’s point of view, but I realize this was more of Jett’s coming out story. But I love old man angst and so this is on my list of favorites by Vivien Dean.
Pregnant with His Werewolf’s Baby by Anya Byrne
Still on that mpreg kick. Because I’m a weirdo who likes weird things. I saw this a while back on ARe and it’s been sitting in my wishlist, so I decided to get it. I wasn’t expecting to be wowed, but I was still a bit disappointed with the execution of this book.
I don’t know how to say this without being really problematic, but if Gavin had been a “Gwen” I wouldn’t tell the difference between an m/m and a run of the mill harlequin (right down to the playboy hero and the virginal “heroine”). Yes, men can be effeminate and emotional because men are not robots. But there was just something so…womanly about Gavin (and Jessie for that matter). The language is flowery like a harlequin and just as saccharine with the pet names after an hour of knowing each other.
In the grand scheme of things, the MCs were more apart than together. I wish that this book had been longer so that Gavin and Saul could’ve have gotten to know each other better. The melodrama with the pack made everything feel convoluted just for the sake of needing conflict when Gavin’s past and estranged family could’ve worked really well.
When I’m reading an mpreg, I expect to get a baby out of it, which doesn’t happen here. And I don’t particularly want to read the other books in the series, where Saul and Gavin are not the MCs, just to see what happens to them. At the very least, I hope I can skip over Jessie’s book because I found his character to be annoying and unsupportive in a backhanded kind of way. But I guess if your friends can’t tell you the truth, who can?
I am looking for romance/erotica fiction with a Domme and a male sub
So if you guys know of any titles please let me know.
Collide by Riley Hart
I really liked Riley Hart’s Full Circle series, so I decided to check out her Blackcreek series. I liked the concept—friends turned lovers/long lost love—so I thought this was right up my alley.
I did like it, but I thought is dragged in places. Hart seemed to run out of stuff to say, so she kept repeating the same lines over and over again.
"You’re not to blame for the fire and the death of your parents."
"You’re not like you’re Dad who just let your mom treat him like a doormat"
"I know I should be freaking out about being with a man, but I’m not."
"Is he ready to be out. Is he ever going to be comfortable being with a man?"
I’m paraphrasing. While not word for word, the gist of the above kept getting repeated throughout the book. It was fine during the first 1/3 of the book, but after it became tedious and annoying to read. For that, I think “Collide” could’ve been edited a lot. I’m not saying it should’ve been shorter, but different conversations could’ve been had. It was getting into real sap territory and I wasn’t feeling it.
That being said, I liked Noah and Cooper together. For once, I’m reading a gay-for-you trope where the MC actually freaks out over his sudden change in sexuality other than just accepting it. There story I think went as far as it can go, but I would read another book about them.
Fit by Rebekah Weatherspoon
Firstly, I want say how floored and honored I am to be in this book’s ‘Acknowledgements’
I liked the MCs, Grant and Violet, but I can’t decide if I liked them together. I think it had to do with “Fit” being too short to have much relationship development between the two.
I can’t think of a better word to describe Violet other than ‘spunky.’ Though, thinking on the genre of this book, that might be a tad inappropriate. I empathized greatly with her struggles to lose weight and how she felt about her body. And very rarely do I see asian women in romance-erotica, so that was a plus.
I was creeped out by Grant at first. I must be the only person who doesn’t facebook stalk people. Sure, you never know who you’re meeting when referred to by a friend, but I’m just not the type of person who cares that much. After he stalked Violet, it made me want to check my privacy settings on all my social networking accounts. I don’t have anything to hide, but I don’t want people all up in my business.
I was expecting a lot more D/s than what was in the book. I wanted more of Grant being a ‘Dominer’ and Violet being a ‘Submitter.’ I thought the slow burn to getting the ‘D’ was amazing though and was satisfied when Grand and Violet finally got it on. It was torturous for me, so I can imagine what it was doing to Violet.
Overall, I just wanted more. I’m not sure what’s in store for book 3 in the Fit Trilogy, but I hope Ms. Weatherspoon revisits Grant and Violet’s story. I feel like their relationship/story ended just as it was getting good.
GOD DAMN YOU TUMBLR AND NOT SAVING MY DRAFTS
Hell & High Water by Charlie Cochet
I got this because it came recommended by a few friends on goodreads and it got very high ratings. I ended up just feeling okay about this first book in the THIRDS series.
By the end Hell & High Water, I just couldn’t warm up to Dex. His personality rubbed me the wrong way and I didn’t find him as charming as the characters in the book did (save for Ash). I’m just not a fan of characters everyone likes (eventually) or wants to bang (save for Ash). And his “jokes?” Corny as hell. Are you 31 or 13, bro? I was rolling my eyes every time he made a joke. He couldn’t be on my time for that alone.
I didn’t expect to know everything about Sloane, but he still remained a bit of a mystery and therefore I couldn’t warm up to him either. But he was more tolerable than Dex. Hell, I even liked Ash more than Dex.
I think what really gets my goat about this book is that I figured out the ENTIRE “mystery” at about half-way through the book (page 145 to be exact), which is actually when the book starts to get good. Kind of anyway. And once I figured out who the culprit was and why, I was frustrated that it took Destructive Delta until about page 250 to figure it out. Having it take that many pages made this book drag.
I honestly think this book could’ve been cut down a lot. I appreciate Cochet’s attention to detail to the settings, but sometimes I didn’t care what the room looked like and it took away from interpersonal details between team mates. I would’ve liked to have been shown Destructive Delta slowly warming up to Dex rather than instantly liking him after a day.
All in all, this didn’t live up to the hype. But I’ll continue reading the series hoping to see Ash and Cael hook up on page. Or just skip to that book entirely.
LGBTQ Publishing House Seeking Illustrators
To all the lovely, talented, amazing artists (that includes you, fanartists!) sharing your talents on Tumblr: Do you want to see your artwork on the cover of a book? We’re hiring!
We’re seeking freelance painters (primarily digital, but traditional is fine too if you have an excellent camera/scanner setup) to create illustrations for our our print and digital book covers. Experience is not necessary, and we’re hiring worldwide. What we expect of you is skill, creative flair, the ability to paint a photo-realistic image without a reference (or to find and license any necessary reference(s) for faces/bodies/backgrounds on stock photo sites), the capacity to accept critical feedback and revise as necessary, a strong command of English (or someone who can translate nuanced details for you), and the absolute ability to hit deadlines.
To get a sense of our house aesthetic, please check out our existing illustrated covers (by: Imaliea, Simone, Petite-Madame, April Lee, Del Melchionda, Kirby Crow, Roberto Quintero, Littleskrib, and Vongue). Fandom folks will likely recognize many of these painters; we LOVE fandom artists and would love to work with more of you!
Commission rates range from roughly $100 to $500 per image, depending on your experience, turnaround times, image complexity, image size (full jacket or front cover only), and inclusion or exclusion of typographic elements/cover design. Please note we buy the copyright, though you retain the right to display all images in your online and offline portfolios, and you receive full credit on the copyright page and our website (and a copy of the book you illustrated for). If you’re a good fit with the company and enjoy the work, we may keep you quite busy :)
If this sounds like something you’d like to try, please send a cover letter and a link to your portfolio to artdirector (at) riptidepublishing (dot) com. It’s fine if your portfolio is all fandom work, but we need to know you can paint backgrounds as well as bodies and faces, so please display as much variety as possible. We can’t wait to hear from you!
Us Three by Mia Kerick
This book was an attempt at writing a rarely, if ever, seen look into polyamory between three high school students. That’s the reason why I picked this up. I can’t decide if it succeeded or failed. Perhaps it succeeded in some areas and failed in others.
It took me a while to get into the writing style and structure, which is why it took me so long to actually get passed the first few pages. The unique way Kerick portrayed each other MCs’ point of view was interesting. But I wish that Zander and Nate’s points of view were in real time like Casey’s. Zander emailing his brother and Nate writing in his diary came off as more telling than showing and a lot of information was lost between each transition and it made the story seem really uneven.
Also, I felt the prose were detailed in the wrong places. Like, I didn’t care about the food they were eating or what food they made. It didn’t do anything for the story. I would’ve loved more relationship development between the threesome. More dates, more opening up.
The bullying parts of the storyline annoyed me. It’s not even that it wasn’t realistic, because kids can be horribly cruel and spawns of satan. But why weren’t charges pressed the first time? And what those girls were doing was a punishable-by-law act. If I were Casey’s parents, the entire school system would’ve been burned to the ground. Adding on to the fact that we have the “bitchy women/girls” trope running rampant throughout, I just wasn’t feeling that aspect at all.
However, I did like Zander’s part in the anti-bullying campaign and his own coming out were very touching. Not very proactive in the beginning and we didn’t get to actually “see” him forming a GSA (just what we’re told), but touching.
Nate was by far my favorite. I love tough, but gentle giants with broken pasts. I would’ve loved more of him and his sister.
Casey? Eh….he was a bit overdramatic for my taste. I felt for him and empathized with him a lot. But I got annoyed with how much of a doormat he was. I understand wanting to be liked and wanting to be part of the popular crowd. But I could not understand going back to those girls after what they did the first time.
"Us Three" just ended too abruptly for my liking, so I wonder if they’ll be a possible sequel. I’d like to see Nate, Zander, and Casey in their relationship as (new) adults.
The Scale by Mika Jolie
I got this book on a whim and it was a good decision on my part. I’ve been flunking hardcore on finding decent black heroine romance and “The Scale” is like a needle in a haystack. I’m glad I found this treasure.
The premise of being in love with your sister’s boyfriend pulled me in immediately. I really sympathized with Minka’s struggle with her weight, insecurities, and never being someone’s first choice romantically. I saw myself in Mika’s shoes, though I’m sure I’m destined to be forever alone. And I felt like I was being called out on my bullshit when Mika was being called out on her, haha.
I liked all the characters. Even though the meddling friends and family and romance trickery tropes were pretty constant throughout, it didn’t grate on my nerves like it usually does. Probably because the relationships/friendships between everyone just came off naturally and didn’t seem like it was some forced plot point.
Though I am kind of tired of the rich, playboy hero who gets tamed by the practical virgin heroine trope. Very rarely is the reverse true or both hero and heroine have the same amount of sexual bravado. Perhaps I’m not looking in the right places.
What a great start to a new series. This is pretty decent debut from this author and I’ll definitely be reading more of her stuff.
The Beginning by Vicktor Alexander
I originally got this because the excerpt made me laugh. Actually, this line is what really reeled me in:
Ronny’s eyes widened. He’d read enough romance novels to know what that word meant and he also knew that there was never a black man or woman involved in something like that. Mates seemed to be only for other races, so there was no way that he could be somebody’s mate.
It’s a true statement depending on what romance you’re reading. But it just made me cackle so I said eff it. I was looking for something absurd and I got exactly that.
To be honest, I was looking up ‘mpreg’ on ARe and goodreads and this popped up. Mpreg is the final frontier for me. I’ve read and accepted a lot off-the-wall shit, but mpreg is such a record scratch in my head. Cisgender men getting pregnant and giving birth is just so beyond my comprehension.
So anyway, so when I decided to buy this, I knew I was getting into the height of absurdity. But it turned out to be quite interesting and I got into the story. It starts off like most shifter romances do— mate meets mate and insta-love ensues— but the changing of biblical history got me paying attention.
All the similar sounding/looking “biblical” names made it really hard to follow the world building and in some parts, distracted from the current day timeline part of the story. I found the prologue and flashbacks out of whack with the rest of the story. In that instance, I’d be totally okay with more telling than showing and staying with Cole and Robby. And there was superfluous information that didn’t help do any for the story (eg- shopping for furniture).
As far as the mpreg was concerned, I was expecting more. But no one seemed to know anything in that regard. On the one hand, I would’ve liked more focus on the mpreg, but on the other hand, I’m glad it wasn’t as graphic as I feel it could’ve been. I’m still confused on the hows and the whys, but it’s fantasy, I can look over it.
There were a lot of characters, possibly too many, and the destined mates are supposed to save the world. While the writing could’ve been tighter and the world the book is based in could’ve been explained better, I’m definitely interested in where this series is going.