Title: Show and Tell
Author: Kate McMurray
Publisher: Loose Id
Length: 79,641 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Fantasy Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 4 – Very Often
Keywords/Tags: Kate McMurray Week!, Time Travel (not really, just visions of a sort), Fated Lovers, Mythology (Gaelic), Gods, Reincarnation, Love Triangle, NYC
Rating: Really Liked It
One of the few joys in Dan’s life is the TV show Junk Shop, a reality show about antiques hosted by the handsome and charismatic Malcolm Tell. Then an old music box turns up, and Dan’s sister encourages him to try to get on the show and meet the object of his affection. He does, and his life changes completely.
When Dan and Malcolm first meet, they have a sudden vision of a couple from the past. Is it a glimpse at a past life or something else entirely? They agree to work together to figure out what is going on, and they stumble upon a forgotten Celtic myth that may explain everything. If the myth is true, then Dan and Malcolm could be a pair of lovers who have been reincarnated over and over again over two thousand years. That seems impossible, but it’s hard to deny that something very strange is happening.
As Dan and Malcolm work to find the truth, they fall for each other hard. But searching for who they really are puts them both in grave danger, and they find themselves racing against time to keep their happily ever after.
Okay…. I’ve just got to say this: What the hell is wrong with everyone? I had tempered my excitement for this book after it came out because so many people have written very luke warm reviews. I didn’t expect it to be bad, but what I found was a really fun, un-put-downable read. I mean, it’s not perfect and I’ll talk about that in a bit, but for the most part this book was highly enjoyable for me. So yeah, ya’lls on crack is all I can say.
Just like me ;), one of Dan’s favorite shows on tv is a reality show about an antiques shop where a guy buys/sells/pawns things and goes through the provenance of the items in detail for the viewers. Of course, a lot of Dan’s enjoyment is his attraction to sexy star of the show, Malcolm Tell (great tv name!). So when he comes across an old music box, his sister encourages him to use it to try to get on the show. When he gets to the store, he finds that they’re taping, which means Dan has to go through a whole song and dance just to get to the good part. Dan’s nervous, and meeting the man he’s found himself fantasizing about is much more important than the music box. When Malcolm comes out and it’s his cue to start talking about the music box, he is finally able to look in the man’s eyes and finds that they seem strangely peculiar. The strange thing is that Malcolm obviously feels the same way. It isn’t until Dan hands it to him and both touch the box at the same time that the visit gets really interesting. Both share a peculiar vision that includes a tremendous amount of pain and anguish, which abruptly ends when they remove their hands.
The visit goes to hell after that. The box isn’t really that interesting at all, except for an inscription. But Malcolm is reluctant to let Dan leave. And when he does, Dan finds that he’s got a date for the next evening for dinner and to examine the box again in private. Will whatever happened happen again? And what does it mean if it only happens when they both touch it?
The music box sets off a strange series of occurrences where different objects tend to show up giving them different visions. When they start to put the pieces together and find out what is really happening, they’re thunderstruck by what it all means and what it means for their now-growing relationship. But the inherent problem with repeating history is that they repeat their mistakes, as well as a tragedy that follows them. They have to follow each object and vision until they can find a way to change history and secure a real future for themselves.
I think what I loved so much about this story is the different visions they have. I won’t get into what they are of, but it’s pure gold for a story because it’s a mine of different settings and scenarios to explore. That’s exciting for a reader because it makes the book exciting. It also gives the book a really great pace, with so much forward movement in the story, so I never got tired of reading it and I was always interested to discover what would happen next. Of course, I did have one big problem with the story — I just found the ending anticlimactic. You can see it coming from a mile away. But, the way the story is set up makes for good, natural tension. Except, maybe too much tension. By the time the end rolled around the stakes were so high that I ended up just finding the ending a bit… lame and comical. However, though that might sour a bit of the story, I still found that I loved the rest of the story and it didn’t bother me too much. So, it wasn’t enough to mark the story down very far for me.
I’ve heard from friends who read this that they found Dan a bit too weepy and whiny. I’m not sure if it’s just a case of some people not really liking for their guy characters to cry too much (I know some people don’t — that’s fine), or that I just felt like the circumstances were justifiable (if I was facing possible death and loss of my newfound and totally awesome love of my life and counting down the days for find a remedy I think I’d be a ball of angst and tears!), but it just didn’t bother me at all.
So, while I might caution some readers who these things will automatically send up red flags, I would encourage you to give this one a try. Because while it may not be perfect, it’s still a really fun and exciting read with quite a few twists and turns that I wasn’t really expecting. Expect for the book to take a turn towards real fantasy and be a bit surreal toward the end, but I found that part of the fun 😉
Kate’s new book, Save the Date, is out tomorrow along with my review!
Posted by Cole in 5 Really Like It, 76-100k, Authors M-O, Contemporary, Fantasy, Heat 4 - Spicy & Smutty, Romance, Sex Freq 4 - Very Often Tags: Fated Love, gods, Kate McMurray, Kate McMurray Week!, Loose Id, Love Triangle, Mythology, NYC, Reincarnation, Time Travel, Villain
Title: Lyrics of Love
Author: Angelina Aniyha
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Length: 50k words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far Between
Keywords/Tags: Musicians/Rockers, Love Triangle, Famous, GFY/OFY, Bisexual, Bicurious, First Times, Dub Con
Rating: Not Feelin’ It
Performing in a club one night, the last thing Steve expects is for the effort to actually pay off. But a popular band has just lost its lead vocals and their manager, after hearing Steve, thinks he might just be the perfect replacement. The only problem is Nero, the band’s rhythm guitarist, who seems to want absolutely nothing to do with Steve for reasons he won’t explain.
I’m always up for a good rocker book, and I’ve noticed that, for some reason, the rocker theme is common among new authors. Maybe because so many people love it? And, maybe it’s just that it’s the common theme I’ve noticed most, among several others. But, whether Angelina Aniyha has written before, this is definitely the first time I’ve come across her work. But hey, it’s a rocker book! So, I dove in. And, for the most part, I was disappointed. I’ll explain why after I introduce the story.
Steve has been the frontman and lead singer for his band for a long time now. They’re not really going anywhere, but that’s okay with Steve. His passion is music and singing, not fame, and he’s the glue holding the band together, the others all have similar feelings. So he’s surprised when a manager of popular band Fate calls him up and convinces him to fly out to LA and audition for their band. Fate has lost it’s previous lead singer to alcohol, drugs and a bad attitude. But going into an already established group brings it’s own difficulties — mostly fitting into an already cohesive family.
Nero doesn’t make that any better. The surly guitarist of the group, he’s the head of the group, or he at least thinks of himself that way. And his decision goes. Being trumped by their manager to have Steve join pisses Nero off, and what Nero is best at is holding a grudge. He does pretty much everything he can think of to not welcome Steve to the group, no matter how much he grows to like him over weeks and months of rehearsal and recording.
But Nero is surprised with the turn in his thoughts when everyone starts remarking about how “pretty” Steve is. Bassist and bicurious Jon can’t stop talking about wanting to make out with him, and worst of all, signs point to Steve having a secret boyfriend (when no one even knows which way he swings). The worst part is that the man in question is both Nero’s enemy and idol, incredibly famous guitarist from another band, Bruce. But nothing will happen, including a cohesive band family, unless Nero can get over his problems and welcome Steve to their group. It just sucks that now he can’t keep his mind off of welcoming Steve to his bed as well.
I think that the real problem with this story is the writing. I don’t want to discourage the author either. And that’s why I mentioned that I don’t know anything about this author other than my presumption that they’re new to writing. I think the author should practice more (which means to keep writing!) because I really think that there were kernels of good pieces in this story, but the writing itself was awkward, as if the story was approached from a “telling the story” view rather than by constructing scenes and stringing them together. There was way more telling, rather than showing and the voice of the characters (in narration and dialogue) was often awkward. The point of view is third person but incredibly close to the characters, so some of their voices bleed into the narration and there are different point of view “sections” for different characters.
There are quite a few other things that bothered me actually, but I don’t want to get nitpicky. The other real problem I found with the story was the love triangle. Having a love triangle isn’t bad in and of itself, though I know some of you readers avoid those books at all cost. I don’t mind so much, but I think in general there must be a real balance between the two suitors (in this case Bruce and Nero, with Steve as the fulcrum). There needs to be a building relationship of some kind between Steve-Bruce and Steve-Nero, and in this case it seemed pretty off balance. Most of the romantic bits are spend between Steve and Bruce and Nero only really starts opening up to Steve in the last third to fourth of the book. Going further, we’re presented with an outline of Nero and we certainly get to spend a lot of time with him, but I never felt like we got to dig deep and really understand his particular neuroses, though we see quite a bit of them. There’s some mention of past trauma in his family, but it’s never approached again. And Bruce. Bruce, Bruce, Bruce. *sigh* Honestly, he made me want to barf. I’m not sure if the author was trying to present Steve with Nero, in all his surliness and with major problems, as an even better catch than the other guy so they made Bruce that skeezy, but that’s the way it seemed to me. He’s full of himself, totally predatory and I felt like he took advantage of Steve. He preyed on his emotional vulnerability in his isolation from his band. There’s even a scene (the first sex scene, and first time for Steve) that I felt was firmly straddling the dub-con line. Steve keeps thinking that he wants Bruce to stop. We know he isn’t comfortable with going forward, but… it continues.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I had some pretty big problems myself with Steve, and I’ve seen a couple other people say the same. He’s a major pushover. I got it at first. He’s totally nervous to open up to this band that doesn’t want to accept him. But after months and months in LA and he hasn’t even tried to acclimate to his new home or make friends or anything? He’s completely passive in life and in the story, waiting on all the other characters to make his decisions for him. And by the end of the book, I just didn’t like him much.
So, I really can’t recommend this one. I will definitely look forward to what this author might write in the future, however. I hope she continues to write and gets better at her craft. I will probably even read something else she’s written in the future. But, I will definitely be more circumspect before picking up the book.
Posted by Cole in 2 Not Feelin' It, 41-75k, Authors A-C, Contemporary, Heat 4 - Spicy & Smutty, Romance, Sex Freq 2 - Few and Far Between Tags: Angelina Aniyha, Bi-curious, Bisexual, Dub/Non-Con, Famous, First Times, GFY/OFY, Less Than Three Press, Love Triangle, Musicians
Title: Science Friction
Author: Kyell Gold
Publisher: 24 Carat Words (Ebook Version), FurPlanet
Length: approx. 32,500 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 4 – Very Often
Keywords/Tags: Anthropomorphic, Love Triangle, College, May/December, Friends to Lovers, Fuck Buddies, Multiple Partners, Cheating
Rating: Pretty Good
**Note: The format I read, the ebook version, is available through Kindle. The Title Link takes you to FurPlanet, where you can buy the paperback version.
Meet Vaxy the pine marten. He’s a graduate student at sunny Hoffridge U., where he helps Dr. Forrest with teaching, lab work, and getting his pants off whenever things are slow. Meet Mike the rabbit. He’s Vaxy’s roommate and not-boyfriend, and he certainly wouldn’t have any reason to be jealous of Vaxy sleeping with someone else. If he found out. Meet Grace the fennec. He’s a student, a friend of Vaxy and Mike who holds the firm belief that sex is just sex and shouldn’t be mistaken for a relationship. Yes, it’s just another semester at “Hot Fudge U.,” where the sex is as hot and easy as a day at the beach. Vaxy and his friends have most of another year to go before they have to worry about that “real world” thing they’ve heard about. Now meet Mrs. Forrest. She’s Dr. Forrest’s wife.
I’m mostly familiar with Kyell Gold’s work from his series, Out of Position, and reading a few shorter works of his this week as nice, mostly for the small commitment in time and getting to read a wider variety of his work. Because I don’t really read anthropomorphic fiction outside of Kyell Gold’s work (who introduced me to it), reading about even a few characters different than Lee and Dev and different from the contemporary football plot of that series was nice, and gave me a wider scope of what Kyell Gold can do.
This is definitely the sexiest of his work that I’ve read. The story centers on a group of friends at Hoffridge U. and their lives. At the center of that group and this story is Vaxy, a pine marten, and his sexual (mis)adventures — namely the love triangle that forms between the sexy professor he works for in the lab (and their daily appointments in the closet between lab work) and the casual sex relationship with his roommate and friend Mike.
The trouble starts when Vaxy is interrupted by a knock on the lab door as he’s sitting in Dr. Forrest’s lap. He’s actually surprised when it turns out to be Mrs. Forrest. It isn’t as if Vaxy has loose morals or anything like that, he just likes to have a good time. And he is rather tight-lipped about secrets, others and his own. His surprise that Dr. Forrest was cheating with him makes him question their relationship, even though it was just all in good fun. The wife, however, is like a dog with a bone. She won’t let the possibility of finding the person who her husband is cheating with, and somehow, Vaxy finds himself playing the wife off the husband and the husband off the wife, in a deep quagmire of kept secrets.
So why does it bother him if he’s not the only one getting down with the sexy doctor? And why is Mike constantly getting upset lately about his “extracurricular activities”. They don’t have a relationship and Mike has never made him think that he wanted more. Add in the extra complications of one-off with their mutual friend Grace, and Vaxy finds that he’s dug himself deeper into a mess that only just now realized was a problem in the first place.
Science Friction, isn’t the sort of story you might expect from the title, but a more literal description of the business Vaxy the science student gets down to around the college. The issues dealt with could be heavy, but are written in a humorous light as Vaxy digs himself deeper into the mess. He’s only really concerned with having fun and keeping things light, only to realize that it isn’t the same for everyone else and he needs to evaluate his life and his real feelings. The love triangle isn’t used to maximum effect. The focus of the story is really the misadventures of Vaxy. We get to know Dr. Forrest pretty well, but Mike much less so. This was a bit of an imbalance for me as a reader, though in retrospect works for the the story and was obviously done for a reason. And because the story is so short (at around 30k words), there really isn’t time for the story to create a world around them, but focuses on paring down the story to the main plotline without a lot of interference from the outside world or extra scenes.
The story is capped off by a short story called “Armadillo Peccadillo”, about Grace and his roommate Wally (briefly in the main story). I enjoyed this little extra so much! It really made me want more of the group of friends and their adventures, especially with Wally, Grace and Mike, who we got to know much less well than Vaxy.
This definitely isn’t my favorite of Kyell Gold’s stories, but it really couldn’t be compared on the same level as the deeply involved stories such as Out of Position and it’s sequels. It was, however, a whole lot of fun to read and very satisfactory indeed.
Posted by Cole in 16-40k, 4 Pretty Good, Authors G-I, Contemporary, Heat 4 - Spicy & Smutty, Romance, Sex Freq 4 - Very Often Tags: 24 Carat Words, Anthropomorphic, Cheating, Cirrus, College, Friends to Lovers, Fuck Buddies, FurPlanet, Illustrations, Kyell Gold, Love Triangle, May/December, Multiple/Other Partners
Title: By King’s Order
Author: Ann Anderson
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Length: 16,000 words
Genre: m/m, Fantasy
Heat: 1 – Sweet/None
Sex Frequency: 1 – None
Keywords/Tags: Griffin Shifters, Military, Suspense, Short Story, The Bestiary Collection, Warriors, Love Triangle?
Rating: Pretty Good
Reviewed by Nikyta
Aldrick’s required two years as a soldier are nearly finished, and then he can finally return to his simple farming life. Then he is forced into joining the hunt for a griffin egg, a suicidal mission that Aldrick wants no part of. His plans to avoid the matter, however, are shattered when he comes across an injured griffin and soon finds himself far more invested in the matter of griffins than he ever wanted.
Aldrick’s time as a soldier is nearly finished when he is anonymously volunteered to hunt for a griffin egg. Aldrick wants no part of the hunt but unless he wants to be deemed a traitor, he must participate. His plan is to stay well behind the others and just go along for the ride. Unfortunately, when he finds an injured griffin, his plan changes and he does everything he can to bring the little griffin home even if it means fighting his own people. With the help of his friend, Lor, Aldrick gets knee deep in blood and the griffins nest. He just has to figure out where his loyalties lie and how that’ll affect his family.
The world this story takes place in is very fascinating. Not having read many stories with griffin shifters, I really enjoyed the mannerisms they had and how protective they were of their nest and the eggs. I had a ton of questions about them because it seemed like the only griffin who could shift was the leader, Phire, but no explanation was given on why no other griffin shifted. Aside from the time spent with the griffins, there isn’t much detail about anything else. We get a brief explanation about Aldrick’s past and the old man he considered a second father. We understand that Aldrick is worried about his family and confused over why he was volunteered for the hunt but beyond that, this story lacks a lot of detail.
If you’re looking for a romance, though, this one doesn’t pack a lot of that. In fact, I was confused for a good majority of the story if this would be a ménage because both Lor and Phire seemed to be attracted to Aldrick but there’s never any development on their relationships. While the story alludes to Aldrick and Phire being the main couple, there’s no actual actions that suggest there’s any feelings between the two besides a brief spout of jealousy.
My biggest enjoyment of the story was the action, though. There’s a surprising amount of suspense because Aldrick, Lor, and the griffins are trying to protect the griffin nest. It was interesting to see how they fought and I loved the details around it. The story is really too short for the execution, however, because the ending seemed very abrupt and I was honestly confused about what was going on, how Aldrick was going to live and what exactly would happen between Aldrick and Phire. I think a few more chapters would have been beneficial if it had explained the outcomes and answered some questions. As it was, the ending seemed out of place with the rest of the story.
Overall, not a bad book but it left me with a lot of questions. It was hard for me to believe the feelings that developed between Aldrick and Phire because there’s no build up to it. The world is very interesting and I enjoyed reading about the griffins but it lacked a clear and concise execution, which ultimately distracted me from the story.
Posted by Nikyta in 16-40k, 4 Pretty Good, Authors A-C, Fantasy, Heat 1 - Sweet/None, Sex Freq 1 - None Tags: Ann Anderson, Less Than Three Press, Love Triangle, Military, Shifters, Short Story, Suspense, The Bestiary collection, Warriors
Title: Truest Mage
Author: May Ridge
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Length: 22k words
Genre: m/m Fantasy Romance
Heat: 1 – Sweet/None
Sex Frequency: 1 – None
Keywords/Tags: The Bestiary collection, Unicorns, Magic, Love Triangle?
Rating: Pretty Good
When Arion’s church gets one of the famed statues of judgment, the last thing he expects is for the statue to disrupt his life by activating his mage potential, and then telling him that the statue is actually a unicorn named Zephyr. Spurred on by the need to train his now active magic, and also from a sense of compassion, Arion lets Zephyr into his head, offering him a chance to find a way to free himself from his stone prison.
The blurb here tells the real pertinent information to the story in a concise way without offering any spoilers, which I appreciate. So, I really have nothing to add to it. I liked this story, even though I had a few problems with the romance within. In particular, I really enjoyed the different points of view we get in this story, specifically Arion’s and Zephyr’s, the unicorn trapped in the statue that are made to cast judgements on any who dare touch them. The differing viewpoints between those two allowed a better understanding, I thought, when the time comes that they share a body, because it shows the difference specifically from how Zephyr viewed the world as a free unicorn, a statue, and then within Arion’s body. I wasn’t quite sure how to feel about the third point of view offered, that of Arion’s mage mentor Lord Danel. But, that relates to the romance, which I’ll discuss in a bit.
I found the world built in the story rather interesting as setup of a flawed magical society. There is mention of an emperor, though we never learn much about him. Those in direct power over the statues seem to be a select group of priests, though their level of magic use is never discussed and mages seem to be exempt from being able to examine them in any way. This is important to the story, because the power structure is faulty and the religion based on a lie — that worship is based on truth, while that truth is in fact, a life. I would have liked to see this explored a bit more, but that might have perhaps taken more time. That faulty structure is central to the story, yet here we only see the outside of it and very little about how it directly relates to the priests.
Perhaps my biggest disappointment with the romance was that there seemed to be a romantic triangle of sorts forming that was never really flushed out. While Arion first finds he has feelings for Zephyr, he later seems to have feelings for his mentor Danel, when Zephyr doesn’t understand the feelings of love or even what it is. I was a little upset that after that formed I didn’t get a chance to see a struggle forming between who Arion would choose. Danel even seems to return his feelings at some point, but those were never investigated and the story ends without returning to that subject at all. It felt like a bit of a patch on the end instead of the story leading to it’s natural conclusion, and because of that made me wonder what happens after the story ends.
In the end I still liked the story, though I wished that I had gotten a bit more out of it. Sadly, that didn’t happen — but, it didn’t mean that I didn’t like the story. It was still cute and worth reading, just not my favorite of the group of stories in The Bestiary.
Posted by Cole in 16-40k, 4 Pretty Good, Authors P-R, Fantasy, Heat 1 - Sweet/None, Romance, Sex Freq 1 - None Tags: Less Than Three Press, Love Triangle, Magic, May Ridge, The Bestiary collection, Unicorn
Title: Push Comes to Shove (No More Heroes #1)
Author: JL O’Faolain
Length: 82,586 words
Genre: m/m Paranormal Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far Between
Keywords/Tags: Superheroes, Series, Unrequited Love, Best Friends, Love Triangle (??)
Rating: Not Feelin’ It
Super-powered superhero Push and his human partner, Scratch, have been best friends and roommates for years. Push is the gay posterchild for the Real-Life Superhero Association. Unfortunately, Scratch is straight, which makes Push’s suppressed feelings for him problematic—but not as problematic as their next assignment. Push and Scratch’s job: rehabilitating Wrath, a recently released supervillain, complete with super powers of his own. It’s not easy to trust someone who used to be on the other side, and Wrath’s presence creates just the wrong kind of friction.
When a bank-robbing practical joker throws a wrench in their plans and leads them on a wild chase across the southern United States, Push, Scratch, and Wrath have to leave their baggage behind and work together. But there are more secrets and danger awaiting them, and super powers may not be enough.
Though I’ve meant to read this author before, and do actually own her Thirteenth Child series, this is the first book I’ve read by JL O’Faolain. I’ve seen mixed reviews for that series, so was a bit unsure about asking for this for review, but in the end the superheroes swayed me. I love a good superhero story, but in many ways a superhero book has to live up to the Masks series, by Hayden Thorne, for me. Sure, it is Young Adult and this isn’t, but I was hoping I’d love this book like I do those. Unfortunately, I don’t. I’ll get into detail why in a minute, but I still liked the story enough that I’ll read the second book to see how the story progresses.
The basis of the story is a parallel world, or a slightly future one that is similar to ours, the only difference being the existence of superheroes. They’ve started an organization called the Real Life Superhero Association (or, the Association), even though the majority of superheroes don’t actually have a talent — they’re simply crime-fighters devoted to justice. Push is the posterchild for the Association, gay, very handsome and one of the ones that actually has a power (a sort of air telekinesis). His partner, best friend and roommate, Scratch, is human, and Push has been in love with him for years. He’s gotten really good at hiding his secret, but the addition of a third to their crime fighting changes their dynamic.
Wrath is paroled in exchange for working with the Association. A past supervillain, he’s well known for once being part of the Deadly Seven, a group of supervillains who rose to the head of the New Orleans crime syndicate. He’s quite secretive and neither Push nor Scratch can really figure him out. The three are sent to Grand Rapids to assist the local police in apprehending the leader behind a rash of bank robberies, all committed in professional and unique fashion. The hunt leads to even larger prospects than they thought, however, and Wrath’s past experience gives them unique insight into the mind of a very dangerous criminal. Getting to that criminal, however, takes them to places they never expected and introduces them to all manner of new things.
I had quite a few problems with this novel, and they can be contributed to a couple of things. First, I can see that this is the start of a new series. I’m not sure if the author plans to explore the world later, but I felt like I didn’t really know a lot about it, specifically the people that have actual powers. Also, I never really felt like I settled into the story. I’m not sure that I had any preconceived notions, other than comic book-type flair, but I felt like this story was not reaching past the middle road in most aspects. There’s the world building and history that is barely explored. Also, at times I felt like the author couldn’t settle between a style, be it serious exploration of the story and world, or a more light-hearted tongue-in-cheek approach. There were a few moments that were a bit over the top, often situational humor. I kept waiting for the story to find it’s groove and to go either way but it never did and that left me uncertain how I was supposed to take the story.
There’s a lot to like about the story. I really like the characters. Push keeps quite a bit built up inside, due to a past trauma involving his boyfriend and his now unrequited love for Scratch. He’s a bit of an angsty guy, whose repression of his feelings often comes off as repression in general, leading him to look as if he’s upholding the ideal that was created for him as do-gooder poster boy. Yet, he feels very deeply, something we can see as the story is written from his point of view. Scratch is the perfect straight best friend any gay man could have. Supportive, open-minded, hot as hell and an all around good guy. He has this really funny routine (IMO) where he breaks out different colored cues and balls and shoots them at the bad guys, the combinations creating different effects. And Wrath has a darkness that covers what is so obviously good intentions. Leading a mysterious, yet undoubtedly troubled childhood and later the life of a major criminal has warped his moral compass, yet compared to how people think of him, he’s remarkably good once given the opportunity to be.
In the end, the book felt like a rough draft to me. It seemed like the author wrote out the story and then didn’t tweak any of the details or change around information and scenes to create a more cohesive plot. For example, we only hear about Push’s past boyfriend late in the story, in a sort of out of the blue moment without much buildup in the story. Therefore it seemed like it came out of left field. A lot of the story felt that way for me, which was ultimately frustrating.
I won’t really go into the romance, for a couple of reasons. First, this is apparently the beginning of a series, and I assume that the romantic pairing will continue there, andsecond, there is a bit of a mystery as to who Push will end up with and that would be spoilerish. Save to say that I wasn’t really quite satisfied on that score either.
I’m still confused as to how I feel about this book, because on the one hand I kept reading, wanting to see what would happen. But on the other, a lot of the book it seemed like very little was happening. The book ended and I still didn’t know anything about what was going on and what had really happened. Not to mention, the epilogue was about a whole new person whose story wasn’t explained at all. I realize I’m being miserly and I can deal with some cliffhangers or peeks into the next book to build up excitement for the sequel. But I didn’t feel like the first story really ended, so it really felt like Part 1 and getting a sneak into Part 2. It just didn’t work for me.
So, I’d probably not recommend this except in the case of if you’re a fan of the author. Even though I haven’t read any of the Thirteenth Child series, I can understand now why there were so many mixed reviews — if people feel the same way about those as I did this book. So, I’d say to read at your own discretion, and if possible, wait for the second book because hopefully that will have a more cohesive extension of the story we’re presented with here.
Posted by Cole in 2 Not Feelin' It, 76-100k, Authors M-O, Heat 3 - Sexy & Mild, Paranormal, Romance, Sex Freq 2 - Few and Far Between Tags: Best Friends, Dreamspinner Press, JL O'Faolain, Love Triangle, No More Heroes, Series, Superheroes, Unrequited Love