Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Take My Picture by Giselle Ellis

The Review Where My Inner Voice Makes A Reappearance

I've been unable to sit down and read a book for a couple of weeks now but early this morning my Inner Voice (I.V.) had a little something to say...

I.V.: It's been too long since we've visited Gay Romancelandia. I'm going through withdrawals. I need a cock & balls injection! STAT!!

How could I ignore that? So, after wandering around GR I saw that a friend had commented on my thread for Take My Picture. My friends were all "Read this! Read this nooooooowwwwwwww!" and I decided to jump in with both feet after putting this book off for ages.

At 3% I stopped reading and said "I CAN'T BELIEVE I WAITED THIS LONG!!"

I.V. was like "You put off reading this? Did you forget that you like the funny?"

Because this book, the story of Aaron and Jake, starts off in a sinfully funny way with the banter. Who likes the clever banter? Oh, that would be me.

Aaron is broke as a joke, living in a shitty Manhattan studio after leaving London, and looking for work. He goes to audition to be a model for Jake, a well known photographer, and somehow ends up working for the man. The very cranky man with more than a few idiosyncrasies. Right from the beginning Jake and Aaron's banter is super snappy and hellishly hilarious.

There's something else that starts to happen as Aaron and Jake spend every day together. They get to know each other and care about each other in the most meaningful of ways. Things like how they come to keep Harry the dog, their nighttime phone calls, the blue pots and the pottery wheel all show how much these two men are seriously made for each other.

Jake and Aaron's connection actually made me misty-eyed.

I will admit that I was scared of the angst that I'd heard about. I did have to make myself keep reading at one point when it got really poignant and was making my chest hurt. Keep reading I did though. I'm glad I did because the last part of the book was like the sweetest and most satisfying pay off ever. When these two men came together it was like dynamite and I was all too happy to watch the explosion.

I am so, so glad that I let everyone convince me to read this book. It made my night with its awesomesauciness and y'all know me; it takes a lot to make me give a book the awsomesauciness medal.

And I.V.? I.V. is happy but now I need a new amazing book because that inner voice is just a greedy bitch.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Where Lad Goes Baby Book CRAZY!!

Father's Day has blessed me with a baby book bonanza and I just don't know what to do with myself. Oh, wait, I do know what to do. I'll give you all reviews for the three daddies-and-their-babies books that I read yesterday. Hooray for Father's Day and for father's all across the globe.

The Good Life by Dianna DeRicci

One word, people: Adorable.

Chad and Sony have been friends since they were little kids. Sonny is the big bear with a heart of gold and a shaved head. Chad is the kind of nerdy one who doesn't know just what a good person he is.

Sonny is calm and pretty much the rock in Chad's life. Actually, Sonny is pretty much the rock in everyone's life. This is good because the story opens with Chad freaking out after finding out that the friend he donated sperm to has just died and left the newborn baby to Chad. Sonny is called and what ensues is the start of a little thing called family.

Sonny and Chad together were just sweet as apple pie. You really feel the fact that they love each other and would do anything for one another. Watching them settle into family life with little baby Annalee was very heart warming. The progression was convincing and at the end of the story I felt like they were a couple who would be watching their grandchildren play one day.

This story was satisfying and I can definitely recommend it.

P.S.: I WANT Brian and Dex's story SO BAD. 

When Souls Collide by N.J. Nielsen
This story was such a disappointment to me. I was excited about it because it's COWBOYS and BABIES. Two things that I love, but this story was not something that I ended up loving.

Riley's an Australian who's been kicked off of the ranch of his dead wife's family. Now Riley and his newborn son have nowhere to go, no money and no prospects. The family's driven him to the middle of nowhere in the middle of a cold and rainy night. Dramatic right? I know but I was sticking with it because of the cowboys and babies.

In any case, Riley ends up in a barn and is found the next morning by Noah, a big strapping cowboy. What comes next is gobs and gobs of drama and tears. Kidnappings, vicious rumors, hostility, cops, crazy women and...well, did I mention the tears?

Riley seems to cry quite a bit and I thought that he could have used a Valium or something.

With all of the melodrama and tears not even cowboys and babies could save this story for me. Recommend? No, I just can't.

 Almost Paradise by Caitlin Ricci
I was looking forward to the story and hoping so, so hard that it would knock my socks off. People were telling me not to get my hopes up and I was defending this story because shifters AND babies should be a recipe for greatness. I was the champion of the baby/shifter book.

This book though....this book did not work for me at all.

Travis is a guy who's won custody of his 2 year old daughter but lost everything else in the process. Liam is a shifter who works for his alpha, has money and two big puppies. You now know everything about these two men that I know. How is that, you ask? Because in 79 pages there isn't much of anything that's explained and it drove me CRAZY!!

Nothing is really explained about the shifters. Nothing is really explained about the little girl's ability to know they are shifters. Travis' back story is disjointed and hazy at best. The confrontation with the little girl's mother is a total WTF moment and the end of the story just made me go "That's it??!".

This story was just...not..good. I was actually frowning when it ended because not only had my hopes had been dashed, but they were stepped on and then set on fire.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Two Reviews: Second Time Lucky by Ethan Day and Finding Zach by Rowan Speedwell

Top three reasons why Ethan Day's Characters should rule the world:

1. NO ONE and I mean NO ONE can make me laugh so hard that I fear for my life.

2. He makes it so I want to read AN ENTIRE BOOK about an airport security guard named Dana that was in the book maybe for a page and half, yet has been making me laugh for three days.

3. Who better to rule this planet than Peter Panish, highly slutty, deliciously snarky gay men who love their drink, and have SERIOUSLY bad cases of Road Rage? Ahhhh the answer is simple my friends, NO ONE!

So this is Luke's and Owen's story. Their second one actually. They first were together in college. They were in love. HARD. Like forever in love. But they drifted apart and they broke up. Fifteen years later Luke is sitting in a bar, having yet another epically horrendous birthday when Owen (still hotness personified) walks into the bar and all of a sudden Luke's luck ain't so bad anymore. They have a GREAT night together and from then on they begin to work at getting back together. 

They're it for each other they KNOW THAT, but Owen is just getting out of a bad relationship and Luke's pretty to his Peter Pan, won't grow up routine (he's also the poster boy for Daddy Issues). So, it's a slow going with these two. They figure it out though...

This story is a pretty straightforward "reunion after all these years" type of story, but it was written by Ethan Day, which means it was all kinds of awesome. First of all you will almost die laughing, this is not especulation, but a fact. The sex is BEYOND hot, seriously like keep some ice handy. Owen and Luke are LOVELY and Luke's smart mouth is a thing of beauty. The secondary characters are FABULOUS...Look it's worth reading if only for Dana the airport lady and she says maybe a total of 50 words. 

Ethan Day was in his sweet spot for this one, and that means whatever you think you're doing today, obviously taking the day off work to read this book is more important. 

Second Time Lucky is available for purchase at the MLR Press website

Rowan Speedwell writes BEAUTIFULLY. Every book I've read of hers, I've said it.

I don't know what kept me from reading this book for so long, but I'm so glad I finally read it. I LOVED IT.

There are three things that are a for sure thing for me with a book, second chances, damaged but engaging characters and resilience...This book had those three things in spades.

At 15 years old Zach Tyler was kidnapped in Costa Rica by a paramilitary group and kept for five years as a prisoner...Worse than a prisoner when he is found he is barely alive, barely human. The story starts for us when Zach is found, and quickly we get to a couple of years later after he has "recovered" more physically than emotionally from his captivity.

That is when David comes back into the picture, a childhood friend, his best friend, also the person Zach loved more than anyone else. He comes back reluctantly since Zach refused to see him when he first came back. But once David is back they can't stay away from each other. Despite how messed up Zach still is. The sweet polite boy that Zach was is now a hardened man, with too many rough edges, but if anyone can find the loving boy inside it's David.

Things are not easy, but they are in love and they work hard at getting to a place where that love can survive through all the setbacks Zach's traumas cause.

David was so patient and SO IN LOVE with Zach, so sure that they were meant to be "forever and always". Zach was so strong, and so stubborn to not let those five years take his whole life. His parents were wonderdful and so were the friends, but my delight in this book was reading about Zach and David. What love. 

The ending was sweet and comforting, it felt victorious. I wish I could read another 1000 pages of these two men, and their happily ever after.

Gorgeous writing as always, beautiful story. LOVED!

Finding Zach can be purchased at Amazon.com

Monday, June 4, 2012

Louder than Sirens, Louder than Bells (Love is Always Write) by KD Sarge

There's a drumming noise inside my head
That starts when you're around
I swear that you could hear it
It makes such an almighty sound

There's a drumming noise inside my head
That throws me to the ground
I swear that you could hear it
It makes such an almighty sound

Louder than sirens
Louder than bells
Sweeter than heaven
And hotter than hell

Florence + The Machine lyrics for story title...Ummmm HELL TO THE YES!!!

OMG I LOVED THIS STORY! Who is this author? I don't frigging know! But give me more of her PLEASE!!!
How am I reading this for free? Ummmm cux I'm a lucky bitch and I've got to thank the M/M Romance group for this treat!
Is there sequel? Please baby Jesus! I HOPE SO!
How much did I love this story? LOVED LOVED LOVED!!!

Ok so Lukas is a boy from Indiana, he's pretty organized he's in film school, has a life plan, he's a go getter. He knows what he wants out of school, how he's going to get it, he's also pretty set on how his personal will go too. A family, a girl he likes, something "normal"...Until he sees Alan. Alan Lacroix. Beautiful, flamboyant, a force of nature, with eyeshadow and nail polish tight clothes, and everything that Lukas could safely categorize as "not his type" except that he wanted Alan. SO FRIGGING MUCH. 

They end up in a group project together for school and once they are thrown in together Lukas realizes Alan does not like him very much. But Lukas is a good guy and Lukas' aunt takes a liking to Alan and before you know it they are reluctant friends.

Alan is prickly there is A LOT about him that Lukas does not understand, he's been damaged and hurt and Lukas does not know how to help him...Except despite his reluctance towards Lukas everytime he needs a hero Alan knows that Lukas will come to his rescue and EVERY SINGLE TIME he does...I loved these boys SO MUCH. Alan is just a great character, so vibrant and Lukas was steady and strong and soooooo THERE.

It was a tough go for these guys, Alan was so set on not being happy, he just could not see how someone like Lukas could love someone like him...But Lukas kept at it and gave Alan his superhero happy ending.

This story was so lovely, so heartbreaking, so funny and just ALL THAT IS SWEETNESS. With great secondary characters, beautiful images and just awesome. 

The ending was a bit outrageous 'tis true, but once you get to know Alan you want nothing for him other than a fairy tale ending, besides Lukas was always his knight in shining armor, so I expected no less than what they got. I can only pray that we can see more of these boys in the future. 

REC-O-MMEND!! Please go read this! IT'S FREE!!!

You can read Louder than Sirens, Louder than Bells here