Thursday, May 31, 2012

Raise Your Glass (Tales of Foster High #3) by John Goode

I loved this third installment of the Foster High Series for three reasons:

1. This one felt even more strongly like those stories I loved in my own youth. These stories always feel so familiar, but this one resonated the loudest to me. Kyle and Brad's voice were pure John Hughes like goodness. Teens who are a little too wise, and a little too jaded...But also sooo vulnerable, and so willing be strong even when they are scared to death. I love these boys voices, they are so open, so candid. They just sound so REAL.

2. This was a story that spoke loudly and strongly about the horrific reality of bullying in high schools, not just from the "cool" kids or the "jocks" but even from those that face their own difficulties...Even worse by the educators, those who should be fighting for these kids. There were very tough truths woven into this story. We the grown ups fail these kids EVERY DAY...The teachers in the school who turn a blind eye, because high school toughens kids up...Or us the parents who don't do nearly enough or hold each other accountable to make sure that all these kids are safe. I've been listening to this song (a favorite) all week partly I think, because last of week's news on that mess with Ravi, but today I'm listening to it for all the boys like Kyle and Brad.

3. Last but not least, I am in love with the Falling In Love these two are doing. I just love them, and it has been a steady thing. Such strength these boys have.

So the story. We catch up with Brad and Kyle the morning of their first day of school after they both came out. They are TERRIFIED, for themseveles for each other. The story alternates by showing us both each boys POV in the first person. Their voices are so different their personalities so distinct, but there is such harmony is the certainty they have of what they feel for each other. It's so lovely because only the young can love like that, that feeling that you can take on the world because that love you have will give you the strength. It was so nicely written too. I've said this before John Goode has a knack for writing teenage boys. I really love how he writes.

So there they are, coming face to face with he scorn of their classmates, friends, even the teachers. Everything is slowly unraveling. Brad realizes he might loose a lot more than he was prepared to loose...Kyle feels guilty that Brad is giving up so much for him...It's them against the world. That's what it feels like anyways. They keep taking turns being each other's hero, and it fucking awesome. They need a hero for both of them though, and they get them. In the end they realize that they do have people that will stand up for them and love them and that they will be okay.

Loved it, loved it, loved it. Can't wait for the next. I just want them to have an EPIC happy ending. I know John Goode will deliver for me...He's a John Hughes fan after all.


Raise Your Glass is for sale at the Dreamspinner Website 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The BIG MID-YEAR REVIEW...Our favorite reads for the first half of 2012!

Well it's almost June...Half of the year is almost gone, and we thought it was good time to look at what we've read this year and make a list of our favorites so far.


LA's Favorite books so far this year...

This is my Top 15 Books that were released this year...In order of when they were read/released:

The Island by Lisa Henry
This book was a hard read, and it had some really crazy twists and turns, and I absolutely loved it.

The Decisions we Make by RJ Scott
This is a lovelyYA story about two boys who grow up as brothers, but still fall in love. Very very sweet. One of my all time favorite YA stories.

Marlowe's Ghost by Sarah Black
Sarah Black is a word magician, her stories are powerful because she writes them so simply and beautifully. This might be her best one yet. Loved it completely.

Fall Into The Sun by Val Kovalin
This book was GREAT. It was on point with the Latino culture and how family and church can have such a deep effect on our lives. This story felt epic and it was beautifully written.

Dark Soul Series by Aleksandr Voinov
I read all five this year so will count them all as a read for this year, even though the first three were released last year. This was an exquisite read. Loved every single story.

Zero to Hero Shorts by Kyle Adams
There are two stories so far in this series of shorts with Wyatt and Brian Dirty Zero and Dirty Hero. I LOVE the Superhero stuff in these stories, and all of their antics. Funny, sweet, hot and AWESOME. They're like great little bites of deliciousness and they're free!

Shattered Glass by Dani Alexander
One of the best books I've read EVER in this genre. Dani Alexander has a gift for timing and writes First Person POV like it's meant to be written. Loved it.

Chase in Shadow by Amy Lane
Amy Lane is a FOR SURE read for me, so like all her other books I loved this one. It was heartbreaking and it was powerful. Mighty love these boys had.

The Starving Years by Jordan Castillo Price
Absolutely FAB speculative fiction, JCP at her best making this world a little more twisted and a little more interesting while providing us with fantastically layered characters. GREAT read.

Stroke! by MJ O'Shea
Sweet little short YA that I LOVED LOVED LOVED!!! A perfect little read.

A Hole In God's Pocket by KZ Snow
A fallen Amish boy and an ex Catholic Monk, in the words of KZ Snow. Need I say more?

Scrap Metal by Harper Fox
BEAUTIFUL, proabably one of the finest set stories I've read. Scotland was just as much a character as the men in this book, and they were quite something. Angsty and poetic. In my Top Five this year.

Out in the Field by Kate McMurray
Baseball players, one Dominican, in NYC. It's like Kate wrote this for me. *whispers* This might be the top fave for this year....Shhhhh...

Frog by Mary Calmes
Web and Cy were like a fairy tale romance. Sooooo lovely.

Acrobat by Mary Calmes
OMG Drrrrrreeeeoooo...I love thee. This book made me a Mary Calmes fan FOR LIFE!

Gambling Men by Amy Lane
High Quality Erotica people. Amy Lane upped the game in this one and DAMN. Have a cold drink handy!

Top Five "Older" Books Read this Year

Chulito by Charles Rice Gonzalez
I  don't think I've read a better look at the Neuyorrican/Dominican York subculture. Gorgeous story.

Sins of the Father by DW Marchwell
There are a couple of niggles in this one, but if you can roll with it, it's one of the best second chances books I've read this year.

Cop Out by KC Burn
Great book! Just awesome second chances/coming out story. LOVED it.

Heart in Hand by salifiable 
One of my fave sports books and for sure one of the best slash stories I've read.

Split by Mel Bossa
Friends to lovers, soulmate story with a twist. LOVED.

Here is Laddie's Favorites list...There are a few we have in common!

Shattered Glass by Dani Alexander
So far, this has been the best book I've read this year and it's made
even more impressive because it's a self-published offering. Awesome,
awesome book.

Gambling Men by Amy Lane
When it comes to Amy Lane's low angst stories her work hits all of the
right notes with me. I fell in love with these guys and they're also
on my Super Reread list.

Frog by Mary Calmes
Mary Calmes stepped up her game in the month of April and this was the
first book she released. I adored Weber Yates and want a Weber of my

Acrobat by Mary Calmes
Mary Calmes' second book released in April and just as good as Frog.
Dreo is one sexy beast and just look at that gorgeous cover.

The Hanged Man's Ghost by Missouri Dalton:
I stumble upon Missouri's Dalton's work and immediately fell in love
with her imagination. She's not imsanely well known but she should be
because her stuff rocks.

Written In The Stars by Alix Bekins:
I was told that I would love this book and I absolutely did. Snarky,
cantankerous geniuses have never been so funny and adorable.

Cinder by Marie Sexton
A gay fairytale for the ages. I loved this reworking of a classic.
I've never read any Marie Sexton beofre but I'm glad I picked this one

Stroke! by M.J. O'Shea
There's no other word for this story but CUTE. Was it predictable?
Yeah a bit but it was just so charming that I didn't care.

Bartender, PI by Ethan Stone
This story had me giggling like a fiend. The bumbling narrator was a
hoot to read about and this story was an entertaining way to spend a
few hours.

So that's all for our BIG LIST. We hope that you've had a chance to read some of these, and those that you haven't seem interesting enough to try out. We loved every single one of these stories and hope you find some that you love as well!

Hurrah for Summer!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The SEAL In My Attic by Jan Irving

Wait...What? What Just Happened Here?!

The WTF-iest WTF of all the WTFs. Just...WTF?!

We all know that the idea for my "Crack Attack" shelf on Goodreads was born of my addiction to Jan Irving's books. We know that. What I didn't know was just how powerless I am in the face of the phenomenon that is Jan Irving's body of work. My last conversation with you all about Jan Irving's books went something like this:

Me: Two disappointments in a row! I am done until I see a good review!
You: Yeah. Okay. *full of sarcasm and doubt*
Me: That's right. Done. You need me to spell that shit? *righteous indignation*
You: *blink blink...doubt...blink*
Me: You'll see!

And apparently you do see. You see me writing the first review for this book. Laugh and I will death glare you to death.

In any case...this book.

Murph is a doctor who's just had the day from doctor Hell. A patient died and he's been forced to go on sabbatical. He arrives home to find that there's food and coffee on his table that he didn't leave there. There's blood and a bloody cloth on his floor.

A rational and smart person would do this: Back out of the house while calling the police on their cell phone.

Murph does this: "Oh, screw this," he says and moves further into the house to see who broke into his place.

STOP! Murph, when they forced you to go on vacation at work did you decide to spend that week on Dumbass Island where everyone's favorite pastime is running with scissors?

But, alas, Murph finds a wallet that identifies his intruder as Caleb Black. Caleb is a Navy SEAL that Murph had a brief affair with a year ago and who he hasn't heard from since. So, Murph finds Caleb bloody and bruised in the attic. Caleb doesn't remember who he is and only vaguely remembers Murph. While cleaning Caleb up they hear someone break in downstairs. Caleb tells Murph to stay put and then disappears.

A rational and smart person would do this: Call the police!

Murph does this: Runs outside barefoot to see where Caleb went.

At least PUT ON SOME SHOES, DAMMIT!! @$#%@!&!!! Agghhhh! Oh, and he proceeds to get almost killed while getting kicked in the ribs and face. You know what? Who gave this man a MD? Who? I want to smack them in the face right now.

Caleb after that decides that they need to book it and NOT call the police. Turns out that something has happened to Caleb but he can't remember what. The key to whatever happened might be in a locker at a bus depot though, so off to the bus depot they go.

It's the middle of the night at a deserted, abandoned bus depot in the middle of nowhere. Caleb tells Murph to follow him but then disappears. What happens next is just...I don't even know.

Enter creepy, whistling, milky eyed dirty mutant man. He's calling Murph a little birdy and talking about ripping Murph's head off.

Dear Murph,

This would be a good time to call the police. Yeah, Caleb said not to but Caleb's not being called a birdy whose head is about to be ripped off. So let's say "fuck you, Caleb" while we dial 9-1-1 shall we?


Things happen though and Caleb end up snapping mutant guy's neck and then...

Rational and smart people would do this: RUN!!

Murph and Caleb do this: Caleb gives Murph a hand job on the ground next to the mutant man's dead body.

*blink blink* ONE step away from NECROPHILIA. Because nothing reminds you that you're alive like an orgasm next to a dead body.

This is not the last time that the brain trust that is Caleb and Murph have sex at a completely, ridiculously inappropriate time. Late in the story they break into a super secret government testing facility that's a bad and dangerous place. They hear suspicious sounds in the place that's supposed to be abandoned.

Rational and smart people would do this: Investigate maybe because I've given up on them being smart enough to go for help.

Murph and Caleb do this: First Murph takes a shower and ends up having sex with Caleb in the shower. Then they indulge in some medical kink and have sex on one of the operating tables.

Oh, but wait, maybe they thought it was okay because Caleb locked the door. Psychotic killers totally respect locked doors. I think they knock and everything.

The book just gets ridiculous from there and by the end I wanted to punch both men dead in the face.

At this point I'm not even going to say that I won't read the next one. I'm done trying to fight this. If every author figured out what it is about Jan Irving's books that makes me snap them up as soon as they're released...well, I would go broke. So, so broke.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Backspace - an eRomance by Jules Whimsy

Gamers Do It Better
When Nathan was a teenager he was one of those kids wrapped up in the world of online gaming. Namely a game title The Land of Shallowsea. His screename was BitMe and his partner in crime was another boy called BarkingMadd. They were a legendary team in the game. Players created a catch phrase for the awesomeness that was Barking and Bite. And then one day, Nathan finds out that his best friend is gay and, because he's questioning his own sexuality, Nathan freaks and ends the friendship.

Oh, this story made me smile. I love reading romances set in the e-universe. In a world that's been made smaller by the internet, and where it's sometimes easier to connect with those online than with your neighbors, online romances are becoming common. Nathan is the quitissential teen who's caught up in his first-person shooter role playing game. He even has sexual fantasies and dreams about his and Barking's characters.

When the story starts, Nathan has just graduated from college and is home for a few weeks before his new job starts. After a conversation with his mom he decides to try and find his old friend Barking again so that he can apologize for rejecting the best friend he ever had. Nathan finds out that the old game has been shut down but they are accepting beta testers for a new version of the game. Nathan signs up to beta the game and that's where he meets one of the game's moderators, Hatter.

While Nathan is looking for Barking, and getting back into the game, he and Hatter strike up a friendship.

While those story isn't super deep or anything it was really, really cute in a very dorky way. There's cyber stroking and a bit of a twist to the story. It was predictable but I found myself not caring about the predictability. The ending was sweet and made me go "Awww, how adorable!".

One thing I do have to note here is that I read the Kindle edition of this story and the formatting was horrible. It was annoying because it kept distracting me.

I was in the mood for something cute and this hit the spot.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Most Wanted May 14-May 21

Well it's Monday folks! This week we don't have too many books on our list. But our first is a BIGGIE Ty and Zane are back and I CANNOT WAIT to read their book...It's a sickness, I cannot help myself. Also from Dreamspinner Press is the third book in the Wolf's Own series by Carole Cummings.

Jan Irving has a new book featuring a Navy SEAL and Laddie is trying very hard not to be overwhelmed by temptation and read it the SECOND it comes out!

There is also a short coming out from Riptide Publishing by Heidi Belleau and Violetta
Vane that looks quite interesting.

So here they are this week's most wanted.

1. Armed & Dangerous (Cut & Run #5) by Abigail Roux
Release Date: May 18th
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Category: Contemporary/Law Enforcement
Proiority Reading: To read ASAP!

2. Koan (Wolf's Own #3) by Carole Cummings
Release Date: May 21st
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Category: Fantasy
Priority Rating: Read ASAP

3. The SEAL in my Attic by Jan Irving
Release Date: May 21st
Publisher: Total E Bound
Category: Contemporary
Priority Rating: Come on Lad baby...You know you wanna...

4. Cruce de Caminos by Heidi Balleau and Violetta Vane
Release Date: May 21st
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Category: Contemporary
Priority Rating: Curious

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Laddie's List of SUPER Rereads!!

I have so many books that I love but there are some books that transcend all others and become SUPER rereads. Books where I just have to revisit the characters again and again. Here's a list my lovelies of those books that have me coming back to them again and again. I'll link to the books' Goodreads pages and my reviews.

I just read this book about five days ago and I have already read it twice. Quent and Jace are a captivating and intense couple that damn near had me gasping for breath with the heat blazing off of my Kindle. Sexy and sweet doesn't even cover it.

This is another one that I read about a week or two ago for the first time. I've already read it three times. Web and Cy stole my heart and made me smile. Web is an especially heart warming character and I swear that I want a Web of my own.

Bailey and John's story is one of the best friends-to-lovers stories that I've read. It's so very, very funny and I really believed in the connection that these guys had. Also, who can resist a cranky genius?

I actually bought the print version of this book because I love it SO MUCH and want AKM Miles to sign it at this year's GRL. The story of Soldier, Dillon and the seven foster kids they love is so sweet. It melts my heart every time I read it.

James and Rafi are an multicultural romance done right. I adore these guys and when I want an interracial romance these guys are my go to. Actually, it's them and the couple below who were also created by Amy Lane.

Yes, Amy Lane is on my list three times. This book is the first M/M romance to ever make it on my reread list. Ian, Joel and their crazy cat (Manky Bastard) are my FAVORITE interracial couple. Ian stole my heart with his absent minded genius and to this day I just want to hug the stuffing out of the man.

Mary Calmes makes another appearance on my list with a book that was released just this month. It's also another one that I've already read twice. Dreo, oh, Dreo how I adore thee. A sexy man who's trying to make good and create a family. I just had to love him.

When I think of a family story this is the book that comes to mind. These guys and the two little sweethearts that are their kids star in a story that just begs to be read over and over again.

This book has two of the most atypical characters that I've come across and I love them for it. The author could have gone with stereotypes but did something a little more original. These guys are definitely two of my favorites.

This is probably the only G.A. Hauser book that I really, really, REALLY love. Hell, it might be the only one that I like. Jordon and Tyler were so cute and I rooted for them to get together. This is another one that i love so much that I bought it in paperback.

So, that's my list. Which books are on your reread list?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Gambling Men by Amy Lane

Poker is Life...You gotta to go all in sometimes to WIN BIG...Jace Spade was a man that liked to take a gamble and when it came to Quent Jackson he had been waiting to play his cards just right. Because Quent he was the BIG WIN...The one that once you had it, you could walk away without looking back.

Eight years they had been friends. College roomates, business partners and Quent was always happy to let Jace take the lead. Quent trusted Jace with his life, and would have happily followed him wherever he took him. He loved him too. Always, from the first day, but Jace was straight and a ladies man, so Quent kept it to himself. He'd rather have him close, like his best friend, his business partner, the guy who he did everything with, than not to have him at all...He took what he could get.

Until the day that Jace raised the stakes and made his move...All of a sudden Jace and Quent were in bed together and it was all that they both wanted, because apparently Jace had been pining for Quent for just as long, and well once they both showed their hands it was a fucking NUCLEAR thing. They were so hot for each other, it was like their entire lives had been leading up to THEM, them TOGETHER. So MUCH LOVE and they couldn't get enough of each other. So MUCH TIME wanting and waiting, and once it was their time to be together they did everything like they always had. Jace went at it like he was going to set the world on fire, and Quent just let him walk him right into the flames. These two men were a thing of fucking beauty, the gestures, the love, the passion, and the HOTNESS. SWEET SWEET MERCY, have some ice packs ready people...Because DAMN.

Here's the thing with Amy Lane. I love her books. Every one I've read, I've loved. She writes beautiful couples, that always affect me, and they are always hot and sexy and just amazing. She upped her game with Jace and Quent though, this was DAMN fine erotica. Just like Marie Sexton with Song of Oestend, or KA Mitchell with Bad Boyfriend it was like I went from some lovely Ben and Jerry's chocolate ice cream to that awesome stuff from Godiva, and yes they're both good but there is a difference. 

This was purely indulgent, spicy, sweet, hot, good and just very very tasty.

They were SO IN LOVE, I just smiled the whole time, the friends were fantastic, the office manager Elsie was a hoot, and I LOVED all the poker metaphors. I was not bored for a single second.

One more awesome book, with awesome men, with a beautiful love story (angst free this time).

I wish every day was New Amy Lane Book Day. RECOMMEND!!!!

Gambling Men is available at

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Acrobat by Mary Calmes

I don't even know where to start about how fine Dreo's character was. I loved the whole book, but Dreo YIKES! Made me BLUSH!! Swoon, shiver, shudder (maybe pant a few times)!

Nate Quells is a professor of Literature at the University of Chicago. He's 45 and had a 28 year old kid with his best friend.

His life is a good life, he loves his son, his family, his son's mom is his best friend. He loves his job and is very good at it.

Love life is a bit stuck right now, mostly because he wants a bit more than casual and he just has not found anyone that like him wants forever. His last relationship with a deeply closeted man let him feeling like he could not compromise anymore.

One really good thing in his life is his neighbors. Michael and his uncle Dreo. Michael is 16 and four years ago lost his mom, who gave guardianship to Dreo. Dreo does his best to raise him, but it's hard doing it alone. Somehow through the years Nate became the other parent for Michael, he loves the kid and cares for him when Dreo is working.

Dreo's job as a bodyguard for a local mafia boss is a distant thing for Nate. He never thinks about it. Until a night where things go wrong and Dreo comes home in shock and full of blood. Suddenly Nate is caring not just for Michael anymore but for Dreo as well, and very quickly it becomes clear that Dreo this last for years has thought about Nate as a LOT more than just a neighbor and when he turns all of that on Nate...Well Nates falls HARD like flat on his ass in love and it's so awesome!

Dreo is so intense and so passionate, with the possesive, dominating thing and Nate just wants to submit to him and GOOD LAWD the ITALIAN!!! OMG It's so hot. Dreo I love him forever. Nate is such a great guy you want him to be happy...Michael is amazing. All the characters are, but Dreo...He's just so present and willing to be open, he loves Nate and he's going to do all that is right to show him to show the whole frigging world that he's Nate's man. End of Story. 

There was a little twisty at the end, that was ummm a bit crazyish, but at that point she could have brought out aliens and I would have been on board as long as Dreo was around. Nate felt the same way I'm sure.

Mary Calmes has been AMAZING with her last two books, you better believe that whatever she's writing next is getting pre-ordered baby!!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

One Small Thing by Piper Vaughn and M.J. O'Shea

The Recipe For Cotton Candy And Fluffy Clouds

 One sarcastic, happy, flamboyant and toppy twink named Rue
One adorable geek with a stutter, some OCD and a problem with crowds named Erik
One sweet, charming best friend named Dusty aka Uncle Dustpan
One little newborn girl named Alice, unexpected but completely loved

Rue is a bartender who goes to cosmetology school during the day and has dreams of being a hairdresser in California. One night he gets a visit from the one woman he slept with and finds out that he's going to be a papa and he decides to keep the baby. With his best friend, Dusty, Rue decides to raise the little bundle of joy who'll be making her appearance in 6 months.

One problem...the week Rue brings Alice home he finds that he has no one to watch her during the times he and Dusty can't be with her. The daycares either suck or have waiting lists three miles long. In a fit of desperation he asks his neighbor across the hall, Erik, to watch the baby during the day.

Erik, oh Erik, you are one adorable mass of geekiness and neuroses. Erik's a guy who's really bad with change, has a stutter, panic attacks, an aversion to healthy food, a LOVE of Star Wars and a HATRED for crowds. He's not too sure about watching a newborn but when he hears that a homophobic neighbor is planning to take advantage of Rue's desperation, Erik comes to the rescue...and it won't be the last time he does.

So begins the formation of Erik, Rue, Dusty and Alice's little family.

One thing I loved about this book was that it was that it was about the making of a family. It was about how these three men make each other stronger and how they're there for each other through thick and thin. Dusty and Rue slowly pull Erik out of his shell and become the first friends he's ever had. Dusty and Erik help Rue raise the little girl who ends up stealing all of their hearts. Erik and Rue help Dusty break away from his abusive asshole of a boyfriend and it was beautiful to read about Erik giving Dusty comfort when the man needed it.

And then we have the small and big changes that happen in Erik. He finds a confidence and strength in himself that had me grinning like a damn fool. He surprises Rue, Dusty and himself in the best ways.

Yes, there's a romance in this book between Rue and Erik but that, for me, really took a back seat to the family aspect of the story. I didn't mind that so much though because I like these family stories and this, more than anything, is a family story.

Now, baby books are my kryptonite, so will this make it onto my reread list. I'm not going to say no but while I was in love with the story the writing style was good but didn't completely grab me. BUT...BUT BUT BUT I will definitely be reading Dusty's story if these two authors decide to tell it. His character really plucked at my heart strings so his story, if there is one, will be an auto-buy for me.

All in all, this was GOOD. Yet, another baby book that left me with a smile on my face and there ain't nothing wrong with that.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Most Wanted (April 30-May 7)

What UP peepsies?! It's May! This year is going QUICKLY and this week we have a lot of goodies. Last week was pretty impressive with all good books, like Out in the Field by Kate McMurray (which I've read three times already), False Start by Janey Chapel, and Frog by Mary Calmes among others...So this week we have the from Dreamspinner Press the sequel to Morning Report by Sue Brown a new book by MJ O'Shea and Piper Vaughn with a Manny theme which is our KRYPTONITE, last but not least is Mary Calmes' new book, which we are highly interested in after we fell in love with Frog. Also Amber Allure there is a new book from Dianne Fox and Anah Crow which looks great.

So here are the most wanted for this week!

Complete Faith (Sequel to Morning Report) by Sue Brown
Release Date: April 30
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Category: Contemporary, Cowboys, Interracial
Link to LA's review on Goodreads

One Small Thing by MJ O'Shea and Piper Vaughn
Release Date: May 4th
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Category: Contemporary, Kids, Flamboyan Character
Priority Rating: I get googly eyed just thinking of this book!

Dirty Little Secret by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox
Release Date: May 6th
Publisher: Amber Allure
Category: Contemporary, Bad Exes
Proirity Rating: Read ASAP

Acrobat by Mary Calmes
Release Date: May 7th
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Category: Mafia Boys (need I say more?)
Priority Rating: Reading the minute it hits my kindle, pre-ordered

That is all for this week's list guys. Lad and I plan to post our list of our top books for this first quarter of 2012, so check in for that!

Laddie's Journey To The Special Forces Series

Since I started reading M/M romance there's been one series that has been talked about more than any other I can think of: Special Forces by Aleksandr Voinov and Marquesate.

There are very few books in the genre whose reputations preceed them. The Special Forces series is the father of them all. Seriously, the debates these books have inspired, and the strong emotions they've pulled out of readers, are damn near legendary. I've seen people organize massive buddy reads for the series and passionately declare their love for the writing and the complexity of the characters.

All of this and I have never read these books. I've wanted to but I always find a way to talk myself out of it. Why? Because they scare the ever loving crap out of me. Gut wrenching is a phrase that a lot of people use to describe Special Forces and up until yesterday I wasn't sure that I wanted to feel like someone was twisting up my insides. Still, I've always been really curious about these books.

So, what changed yesterday? Honestly, I'm tired of feeling like I'm missing out on something that some readers have said is life-changing. No, I'm not exaggerating. People have said that and, dammit, that makes me feel like I've bypassed some rite of passage.

Once I decided to take the leap and read this series I had to decide what format I wanted to read it in. The first book, Soldiers, is long; around 560 pages if I'm not mistaken. I asked myself if I really wanted to read that many pages on my Kindle or, even worse, on my phone. The answer was no. Plus, if this book turns out to be as brilliant as everyone says it is then I want to have a physical copy. Last night I ordered Soldiers part I and II. I'm glad that I bought the print copies because this feels like an occasion that calls for a book to be held in my hands.

I've gotten some surprising responses since I've told people that I'm planning to read Soldiers I & II as soon as they arrive. A lot of other people are scared to read it too. People who LOVE the series have asked me if I'm sure that I want to read it. It's that hard of a book to read. That makes me a little more antsy about taking on this series but I'm pretty determined.

This, my friends, is the beginning of my journey through this series. I'm excited about this because I think it will change the way I view other books in this genre, maybe in all genres for that matter. I'll be posting my reviews and thoughts on the blog as I go along because I have the feeling that this will be one hell of a ride.