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Death of a Blues Angel
Sarah Black
Unsettled Conditions (Pindone Files #4-5)
Ann Somerville
When You Were Pixels (Syntax #0.1) - Julio-Alexi Genao I know I should let this one breathe before I attempt a review. But I don't think waiting will make it any easier finding the right words. I wish I had the writing chops to do it justice.
My words: This story is heartbreaking, unutterably sad but so beautiful you won't mind sobbing your eyes out over Saturday lunch.
Other peoples' words: Way more eloquent than I could ever hope to be.

...“I gave you all my secrets, and you lost them all. You lost a lot of things.

But the treasure of it was in the giving, not the keeping.”

The writing is sparse but deadly. It will break your heart but you won't really mind.
Read it.
Julio, thank you. <3
Demolished - Astrid Amara Despite good intentions, I hardly ever get around to re-reading books but for some reason (like, the quirky humour and wonderful supporting cast) Amara's [b:Holiday Outing|6033472|Holiday Outing |Astrid Amara|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1230084069s/6033472.jpg|6208964] just does it for me and has become an essential holiday season re-read. This book doesn't resonate in quite the same way but her writing is so good, so effortless and her characters so appealing, I was happy to dive right in and not come up for air until it was done.
Perfect for a wet, wintery Saturday spent on the couch, wedged between two cats.

I'd have to agree with MandyM that Astrid Amara is terribly underrated. Give her a try. image
The Pedlar and the Bandit King - Kirby Crow I can't believe it took me so long to grab this one. Loved everything about it- the world building, the MC's, wonderfully rich and real characters. The snark, delicious chemistry and just the right amount of angst/hurt comfort.
Holding back on the fifth star 'till I've finished the series.
Hunting for Sport - D. River 3.50 stars

Totally porny and fun but I grew rather fond of Hunter- who seemed to have an inordinately huge amount of spare time for a youngish slut millionaire who owns sports teams and hotels and restaurants. Perhaps it's not quite worthy of four stars but damn, I've enjoyed myself immensely today. So, what the hell...right book, right time = happy reader :)
Black Dog - Cat Grant
This started with lots of promise...a bout of angry, martial arts-type sex and two broken, guilt-ridden men in need of healing. I wanted the angst. I was ready for it. Practically salivating. But it sort of fizzled like a damp squib and the story became Tom's (the young runaway)....how he finds martial arts and a new family. Blah.
The characters stayed pretty two dimensional (except Tom, perhaps) and I wish the author had invested in a bit more time with the two MC's- especially Eddie. I felt the way he got closure, riiight at the end, after a brief talk with his mom and a ghost giving him the thumbs up ....rather simplistic and quite disappointing. This is no fault of the author though. I was just hoping for something a little darker and deeper.

Cold Front - Ann Somerville What an incredible read.

This story was intense. The world building superb. Ren and Dek are so finely drawn, their relationship so complex and ....beautiful...they are now hands down, one of my favourite couples. The story is long, and dark and if you're not in the right head space you're likely to find it slow going until around the 30% mark. The reward for persevering is a gripping thriller, at times devastatingly sad, that will have you so utterly invested in the characters they'll be hard to let go at the end.

Probably not a good idea to read this in between watching episodes of season 2 of The Killing.... I plan on getting out today, playing with my nephew and doing (and then reading) something fun and silly and life-affirming.

Highly, highly recommended.
The Broken Triangle - Jane Davitt, Alexa Snow Firstly, I think it’s important to say right away,(and I don’t think it’s spoilerish because judging from the comments, people are wary of this) this story doesn't involve a threesome. Without giving too much away, it does not involve cheating either. What it does involve is sweet, somewhat naïve, sexy Vin and outrageously slutty Patrick -both from Square Peg #1.Riley, the other guy, is gorgeous and sweet too, and pretty much all Vin’s been dreaming about since High School. But Vin eventually chooses one. Actually, by the halfway mark you’ll be begging for him to make a particular choice.

I’m a huge fan of the UST/slow burn and although there was a good dose in this book, even more would possibly have made this a 5-star read for me. There’s an incredibly hot scene when Vin and Patrick go downstairs to investigate a noise in the bar and find Shane and Ben having rough, kinky sex on the pool table....phwoar!!!I wanted the more of the slow sizzle resulting from that scene. Once it had been established who Vin should be with, the authors could have really milked that aspect a bit more. Woah...pun so not intended but how else to phrase? Lol image

I really enjoyed Patrick. I love how a character can use vampy, in-your-face behaviour to cover up a world of hurt and insecurity. And then to see that character exposed,in rare moments of utter seriousness, all walls down, is like receiving a gift. I cheered when the story eventually (!!) moved to his POV. Fans of the first book will love the glimpses of Shane and Ben throughout the story, how they both take Patrick under their wing and but give him a snot klap (SA-speak for smack) back into line when he needs it.

This a good, well written story with strong, likeable characters. Recommended to those who loved the first in the series.

Beyond the Edge - Elizabeth Lister 3.5

This story has some of the hardcore bits usually missing in M/M BDSM (enemas,puppy play and humiliation oh my!)but what it doesn't have is much emotional tension and conflict. The triangle element is introduced too late in the story (by this point I was already skimming the sex scenes, of which there are MANY)and it was all a bit....well, here's that awful word...too sweet, really. There is very little character development..other than the Dom turning to mush after falling in love with Tate and admitting he'd sub for him. image
I'm disappointed that it wasn't emotionally edgier but there were some intense scenes.... Tate having dirty words written all over his body then, later, in make-up and dressed like a whore, being forced to go to dinner with James. Hot!
I just couldn't connect on a visceral level with any of the characters and that is the one make or break factor for me and BDSM (well,reading it, anyway ;P)image ....forget the toys and implements of torture, it's all about the feelz. And this one left me a bit meh.

Taboo For You - Anyta Sunday, Teresa Crawford, Lynda Lamb, HJS Editing, Caroline Wimmer 3.75 stars

A sweet and gentle romance about Sam, who had to grow up too soon, desperately trying to tick off everything on his pre-30 bucket list, and Luke who will do everything in his power to help him achieve it. In true friends-to-lovers style the slow burn is delicious but this story has more than just a healthy dose of UST. The characters are very real and very charming and will warm your cockles :)
Bound By Guilt - Sandra Bard 2.75 stars

I loved the first half of this story. Kit really is a rather unlikeable character- emotionally stunted, shallow and weak. Starved of love and affection and lacking in any kind of self-worth, all he needs is someone warm and giving and supportive. I can't believe that he'll get much of this from Sasha, who seemed to grow more prickish and arrogant as the story progressed. He never showed any interest in Kit, never wondered why he was virtually friendless and homeless but was ready to believe the worst, resulting in the 'Big Misunderstanding' in the penultimate chapter.

The ending was rushed, there was not enough grovelling (Sasha had some serious apologising to do) and I could not believe in a HEA, although I fervently hope Kit gets one.
Five Times Roland Mars Didn't Hook Up With His Partner (and One Time He Did) - Domashita Romero,  engine This was like a citrusy sorbet- a refreshing little palate cleanser after some clunky, overly sweet stories I've been reading lately.
Love the way this author writes.
Will happily gobble up anything she serves. ; )
El Presidio Rides North - Domashita Romero,  地下ロメロ,  neomeruru Oh, good grief this was so much fun!!
Mercury and Gaga are utterly adorable. Crazy and scary, desperate and wildly funny not to mention incredibly romantic .....I did the dance of joy when I'd finished. Now I want more.

Who is this Domashita Romero and has she written anything else? image

Thanks to Vio for the rec.
Highly, highly recommended to anyone with braaaaiins!

ETA- WTH, bumping this up to 5 stars. I can't think how it could be better-- except maybe longer.
The Darkling Thrush - Josh Lanyon,  Max Miller 3.5 stars rounded up for the narration

I want to tie up Max Miller, and force him under torture, (with feathers and sex toys...and only if he protests, of course) to narrate everything on my favourites shelf. I love his voice and the way he uses it. Light and achingly vulnerable..or velvety smooth and sexy when it needs to be. His accents (Scots must be really difficult to pull off), excellent characterisations and completely unforced, relaxed style is brilliant.

Oh yes. The story? Perhaps not as emotionally charged as some of Lanyon's other books but hugely entertaining nonetheless.

Treasure - Kim Fielding What an utterly charming little story! Julian, a bookish, lonely young man, finds a family in the quirky and magical people of Urchin Cove and love in the roguish adventurer, Kit. I loved the warmth and whimsy and gentle humour in this story.
It's a world I'd love to revisit.

Highly recommended!
Falling Away - Lisa Henry This totally wrung me out. Jason's pain and anguish was mine, and man did it hurt so good!!image I had no idea how this would turn out for him and spent most of the book telling him to just leave his bloody Ben already! To be honest, the shortness of the story and the fact that we only ever have Jason's POV didn't leave me with much confidence in a HEA. It's definitely a HFN in my book. And that's OK. Really. *sniffs*
There's a helluva lot of angst in this story.
And I loved it!
Widdershins - Jordan L. Hawk I really enjoyed this one! I loved how the terribly awkward and insecure, (but oh, so loveable) Percival grew throughout the story- he found his mojo (and his man!) and fought some truly scary monsters in the process. Just the right blend of romance, mystery and some wonderful world-building turned this into a cracking good read.

Well-written and pacey, I'm adding more Jordan L. Hawk books to my TBR pile.