Apr 272016
 

On-The-Hunt B

 

Isn’t there no better feeling than finding a book that’s like magic in your hands.  A story that, from page one, sucks you in and holds you hostage.  One that when you get to the end and you can feel your heart squeezing, and your soul aching, and you just clutch the book to your chest because you know that physically putting it down would be like ripping off the toughest of band-aids.
I’ve felt that way about only a handful of books and the sad fact is that, despite rereads, I’ll never get that initial feeling again.  There is literally nothing like reading an epic story for the first time.  Nothing.
I want that feeling again.
This time I’ve decided not to wait for an epic romantic read to just fall in my lap.  I’m going to be proactive.  I’m on the hunt, tracking, and capturing as many of these elusive novels as I can.
Starting now.

 


Sinners Gin

Mission: Find Epic Romance | Book 1: Sinner’s Gin

Series: Sinner's Gin
Genre: M/M Rock Star Contemporary
Publication Date: December 24th, 2012 (Dreamspinner Press)

Sinner’s Gin is a story/series about a rock band (Sinner’s Gin) who faces tragedy in a fatal crash killing three members.  It leaves Miki St. James alone and scarred, full of demons.  The body happens to be found in the back of Miki’s GTO, and it just happens to be the body of the villain from Miki’s childhood.  Enter Investigator Kane Morgan, Miki’s initially grumpy neighbor, to save the day and potentially mend Miki’s broken heart.

Sounded like a pretty good setup, and I figured that a book by Rhys Ford was probably a safe bet, so  I jumped into Sinner’s Gin with both feet, excitement at full throttle.  Blame it on how much I enjoyed reading Fish and Ghostsbut I really felt like Sinner’s Gin was the perfect candidate for some good reading.

Unfortunately the one minor problem I had in Fish and Ghosts was magnified in Sinner’s Gin.  Miki and Kane seemed to dive into romance far too fast.  In particular, I thought Miki opened his heart far faster than it seemed to make sense to me.  Miki’s baggage went far deeper than the limo accident that took the lives of his best friends.  Miki’s baggage went all the way back to somewhere around 2-3 years old.  It was serious stuff, which made me feel like the walls should have been a bit more impenetrable.

Despite the unbelievable insta-love, I did find myself invested in the history of Miki and his band.  I wanted to find out why this series is named after a band with only one member left.  I also adored the Morgan family.  Kane’s mother, especially, was pretty fantastic.  Add to that, there was a pretty big reveal at the end of the story, and I knew that I would definitely be moving on to the next book immediately.

Mission Status: Failed
Final Analysis: Lukewarm feelings at completion
Rating: C+

Whiskey and Wry

Mission: Find Epic Romance| Book 2: Whiskey and Wry

Series: Sinner's Gin
Genre: M/M Rock Star Contemporary
Publication Date: August 19th, 2013 (Dreamspinner Press)

I’m not going to give you the synopsis of the second book in the Sinner’s Gin series.  I also implore you to not go read it, because it starts off with a pretty major spoiler.  Suffice to say that Sinner’s Gin left off in a place that just begged the reader to dive right into the second book.  If you decide to read this series and feel the way I did, I’m telling you, don’t do it.  Take a break.  Breathe in something else.  Not because Whiskey and Wry was bad.  It was set to be at least as good as Sinner’s Gin.  Take a break just so you start this read with fresh eyes.

I truly think that was my main problem.  I shouldn’t have attempted to jump right into the sequel.  It really only works if you are so enamored of the series that you don’t mind the small flaws.  Whereas, in this case, I was incredibly annoyed by the flaws, and my mind just magnified them in Whiskey and Wry, to such a degree that I couldn’t ignore them.

For instance, I do not like the word ‘suckle’.  Major turn off.  Babies suckle, it’s not sexy.

I also do not like the use of the term ‘boyo’.  Not when talking to a friend/lover.  The word itself is kind of hokey, but that could be me.  Even more importantly, it gives the impression of an imbalance of power.  It’s similar to ‘kid’.  If it’s a father figure talking to a son, it can pass as endearing.  If it’s a boss, or teacher, it comes across condescending.  At least that’s how I read it.  So, when the two main characters are talking about being intimate, talking about perfect asses, and tasting each other… ‘boyo’ should not be used.

In the end, I’ve not given up on Sinner’s Gin.  I refuse to say that this was a DNF.  I truly believe that I’m going to go back to this series.  We’ll call this a ‘Not Right Now’ read.

Either way, not epic.

Mission Status: Failed
Final Analysis: Revisit at Later Date
Rating: NA

Finding the Sky

Mission: Find Epic Romance | Book 3: Finding the Sky

Series: Standalone
Genre: M/M Contemporary YA
Publication Date: February 11th, 2016 (Harmony Ink Press)

Finding the Sky isn’t technically a romance.  It does have romance in it, but it’s also a coming of age story and YA contemporary fiction.  It’s about a biracial young man who is struggling between being lured into the gang life and staying out of trouble.  He then finds himself out in the country, where on top of it all he feels attraction for another boy.  It seemed like it was the perfect selection for me.

I was wrong.

Let me start out by saying that I hate when people use the word ‘juvenile’ when talking about a book.  I feel like it’s so patronizing.  Perhaps it’s that my mother used that word years ago when telling me why she couldn’t read my favorite book (Outlander), but it immediately sets me off.  Unfortunately I can’t find a better word to describe this book.  It was juvenile.  It was painful to read.  There was no substance anywhere.

The conversations between characters read like cue cards, and there was very little emotion to carry the poor writing.

I wish I had more to say.  Unfortunately it was completely uninspired.

Did. Not. Finish.

Thank you to Harmony Ink Press and Netgalley for providing a copy of his book, in exchange for an honest review.

Mission Status: Failed
Final Analysis: DNF
Rating: F

Hell & High WaterMission: Find Epic Romance | Book 4: Hell & High Water

Series: THIRDS
Genre: M/M Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: July 6th, 2014 (Dreamspinner Press)

PsyCop by Jordan Castillo Price is one of my favorite ongoing ‘romantic’ series.  I think that’s because, while the romance is top notch, the story is actually more of an Urban Fantasy.  What the two main characters are doing with their lives is just as important as what develops between them.

Keeping that in mind, when I first bought Hell & High Water I was pretty excited to read it; it’s got some pretty good reviews.  Even though I was excited, and I kept looking at it on my Kindle, not quite able to forget that it was waiting for me, I hesitated picking it up.  That could have potentially been because I was afraid that it would be too sweet.  While I read a lot of UF M/F pairings, PsyCop is the only one I read that’s M/M, and it holds a pretty high standard.

Happily the first THIRDS book was about more than just sex and Insta-love.  It wasn’t actually Insta-love at all.  It’s about a relationship that will take time to develop, as it should.  Sloane has way too much baggage to just jump right into love with someone new.  Apparently some readers had a problem with how the romance in the story wasn’t wrapped up in this first book, but for someone like me it felt perfect.  I think I would have been more bothered if it had packaged up all neat and tidy.  I’m not generally a fan of a love story that starts with one, or both, of the characters having been in a ‘soul mate’ type of previous relationship.  When it is done, it needs to be tasteful, and in my opinion that comes with time, so in that regard Hell & High Water was perfect.

The icing on this very delicious cake, though, was Dex.  Yeah yeah, so sometimes he could be impulsive and I can see how some may find that annoying.  I found it refreshing.  He kind of reminded me of Rhage, which is the biggest compliment I can give, IMO.  He was funny, sweet, kind… and he used his humor and quirkiness to bust people out of their shell’s or boxes.  He’s clever, and charming.  Hilarious.

If Sloane plays his cards right, he’s going to be a very lucky man.

Mission Status: Inconclusive
Final Analysis: Highly enjoyable.  Major potential.  Further investigation required.
Rating: A

 

Unfortunately it looks like this time around we may have missed the mark.  It’s alright, there are bound to be some duds.  Thank goodness for THIRDS that was so good I feel as though I may have some new leads…
Now here’s your mission, should you choose to accept it:  Send me recommendations!  I’ll do my best to choose some and read them, include them in my journey.  M/M, M/F, F/F, anything is a go.  Nothing is off the table.
Can you find my next Epic Romance?

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Apr 262016
 
Early Review: Loud and Clear by Aidan Wayne

Loud and Clear by Aidan Wayne Genre: LGBTQIA, Contemporary Romance Publication Date: May 23rd, 2016 ARC provided by Netgalley and Riptide Publishing Synopsis from Goodreads: Jaxon is getting by fine, severe dyslexia or not. Being a cab driver means he doesn’t need to read much, and the job has its perks. The pay isn’t bad, the people can be interesting, and having memorized the city streets keeps him from feeling too stupid. When he picks up Caleb, a quiet fare in a nice suit, Jaxon doesn’t think anything of it. Then he ends up driving Caleb home the next week too, [ Read More of this Review ]

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Apr 222016
 
The Devil Made Me Do It | Young Adult

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how many people have read a book you love; it’s just not enough. If begging, borrowing, and stealing doesn’t work, you put it under the guise of a new feature, and voilà! You’ve just conned your fellow blogger into reading the book you want them to! But you’re more than willing to return the favor. And that’s what our ‘The Devil Made Me Do It’ feature is all about. A discussion about genres led to our ‘must read’ choices, and Wendy and I decided to give each other’s YA faves a go. Read on to see [ Read More of this Review ]

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Apr 192016
 
Early Review: The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood Genre: Young Adult, Romance Publication Date: May 3rd, 2016 ARC provided by Netgalley and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group Synopsis from Goodreads: This is what it means to love someone. This is what it means to grieve someone. It’s a little bit like a black hole. It’s a little bit like infinity.  Gottie H. Oppenheimer is losing time. Literally. When the fabric of the universe around her seaside town begins to fray, she’s hurtled through wormholes to her past: To last summer, when her grandfather Grey died. To the afternoon she fell in [ Read More of this Review ]

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Apr 182016
 
New Release Review: Fear My Mortality by Everly Frost

Fear My Mortality by Everly Frost Mortal Eternity #1 Genre: YA Sci-Fi Publication Date: April 5th, 2016 Publisher: Month9Books, LLC   Synopsis from Goodreads:  The future is bright for 16-year-old Ava Holland and the residents of Evereach. They don’t have to worry about old age or even getting sick. In their world, humans regenerate, heal, and live for hundreds of years. Mortality isn’t something to fear. Disease has been all but eradicated. Everything changes when Ava watches her brother die and he doesn’t regenerate. Ava’s genetics are called into question by the government, scientists, extremists, and Ava herself. Could her genes hold [ Read More of this Review ]

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Apr 152016
 
Reviews | The Year We Hid Away & Blonde Date by Sarina Bowen

The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen Book #2 in The Ivy Years Genre: Sports/New Adult Romance Publication Date: June 1st, 2014 Synopsis from Goodreads: She’s hiding something big. He’s hiding someone small. Scarlet Crowley’s life was torn apart the day father was arrested for unspeakable crimes. Now the shock has worn off, but not the horror. It’s a safe bet that Scarlet is the only first year at Harkness College who had to sneak past TV news trucks parked on her front lawn just to leave town. But college will be Scarlet’s fresh start. Clutching a shiny new student ID [ Read More of this Review ]

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Apr 132016
 
Early Review: Savage Urges by Suzanne Wright

Savage Urges by Suzanne Wright Book #5 in The Phoenix Pack Genre: Paranormal Romance Publication Date: May 3rd, 2016 ARC provided by Montlake Romance and Netgalley Synopsis from Goodreads: She’s a lone wolf with a cause. As a volunteer at a shelter for lone shifters—the same one that rescued her—Makenna Wray has dedicated her life to finding homes for its residents. And when she discovers that a teen in her care is related to Ryan Conner, the broody, handsome-as-sin enforcer of the Phoenix Pack, she’s eager to help connect the two. She just wasn’t prepared to feel a connection of her [ Read More of this Review ]

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Apr 122016
 
Release Day Review: OCDaniel by Wesley King

OCDaniel by Wesley King Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary Fiction Publication Date: April 12th, 2016 Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books   Synopsis from Goodreads: From the author of Incredible Space Raiders from Space! comes a brand-new coming-of-age story about a boy whose life revolves around hiding his obsessive compulsive disorder—until he gets a mysterious note that changes everything. Daniel is the back-up punter for the Erie Hills Elephants. Which really means he’s the water boy. He spends football practice perfectly arranging water cups—and hoping no one notices. Actually, he spends most of his time hoping no one notices his strange habits—he [ Read More of this Review ]

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Apr 112016
 
Review | Captive: A Graced Novella by Amanda Pillar

Captive: A Graced Novella by Amanda Pillar Book #0.5 in Graced Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy, Romance Publication Date: February 11th, 2016 ARC provided by Momentum (Pan Macmillan) and Netgalley Synopsis from Goodreads: Civilization has ended. Vampires, werewolves, and the Graced are at war with their human creators, and humanity is losing. But one girl might hold the key to salvation. Held captive with her fellow humans by alpha Wolfgang and his pack of weres, Laney secretly inches ever closer to breaking were and vampire blood dependency forever. But Laney doesn’t have long. Their numbers decimated by plague, humans are being kidnapped [ Read More of this Review ]

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Apr 082016
 
A Badass Read-Along: Cress by Marissa Meyer

It’s time for book 3 in The Lunar Chronicles, Cress! If you want, please join the discussion in the comment section. We’ve decided not to list the short stories as part of the read along, but please feel free to mention them in the discussion. This includes the prequel Fairest. Please be advised, as this isn’t a review, that since we’re specifically discussing the aspects of the story it’s very likely there will be spoilers. Cress by Marissa Meyer #3 The Lunar Chronicles Genre: YA Fantasy Publication Date: February 4th 2014 Publisher: Feiwel & Friends Synopsis from Goodreads: In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder [ Read More of this Review ]

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Apr 052016
 
Release Day Review: The Beast by JR Ward

The Beast by JR Ward Black Dagger Brotherhood #14 Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy Publication Date: April 5th, 2016 Publisher: NAL   Synopsis from Goodreads: Rhage and Mary return in a new novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, a series “so popular, I don’t think there’s a reader today who hasn’t at least heard of [it]” (USA Today). Nothing is as it used to be for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. After avoiding war with the Shadows, alliances have shifted and lines have been drawn. The slayers of the Lessening Society are stronger than ever, preying on human weakness to acquire more money, more [ Read More of this Review ]

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Apr 012016
 
Early Review: A Gentleman's Position by K.J. Charles

A Gentleman’s Position by K.J. Charles Society of Gentleman #3 Genre: M/M Historical Fiction/Romance Publication Date: April 5th, 2016 Publisher: Loveswept   Synopsis from Goodreads: Power, privilege, and the rigid rules of class leave two hearts yearning for connection in the sizzling new Society of Gentlemen novel from K. J. Charles.   Among his eccentric though strictly principled group of friends, Lord Richard Vane is the confidant on whom everyone depends for advice, moral rectitude, and discreet assistance. Yet when Richard has a problem, he turns to his valet, a fixer of unparalleled genius—and the object of Richard’s deepest desires. If there [ Read More of this Review ]

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Mar 312016
 
March Mini Reviews: The Good, The (Not So) Bad, and The Ugly

Because of the amount of books I read most months, I don’t get to review everything for the blog. The Mini Review Catch Up is my place to give you a little information about some of my other reads and whether or not I would recommend them without going into tons of detail. These are a good sampling of the books I read this month and I’ll let you know whether they were good, (not so) bad, or just plain ugly!     Borderline by Mishell Baker Book #1 in Arcadia Project Trilogy Genre: Urban Fantasy Publication Date: March 1st [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on March 31, 2016 at 5:18 pm
Mar 302016
 
New Release Review: Between Ghosts by Garrett Leigh

Between Ghosts by Garrett Leigh Genre: LGBTQIA, Mystery & Thrillers Publication Date: March 14th, 2016 ARC provided by Netgalley and Riptide Publishing Synopsis from Goodreads: In 2003, journalist Connor Regan marched through London to add his voice to a million others, decrying the imminent invasion of Iraq. Eight months later, his brother, James, was killed in action in Mosul. Three years on, Connor finds himself bound for Iraq to embed with an elite SAS team. He sets his boots on the ground looking for closure and solace—anything to ease the pain of his brother’s death. Instead he finds Sergeant Nathan [ Read More of this Review ]

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Mar 292016
 
Release Day Review: Once a Rancher by Linda Lael Miller

Once a Rancher by Linda Lael Miller The Carsons of Mustang Creek #1 Genre: Contemporary Romance Publication Date: March 29th, 2016 Publisher: HQN Books   Synopsis from Goodreads: The Carsons of Mustang Creek: three men who embody the West and define what it means to be a rancher, a cowboy and a hero in this brand-new series from the queen of Western romance. Slater Carson might be a businessman by trade, but he’s a cowboy at heart—and he knows the value of a hard day’s work under the hot Wyoming sun. So when he sees troubled teen Ryder heading down a dangerous path, [ Read More of this Review ]

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Mar 252016
 
New Release Review + Excerpt: Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton

Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton Genre: LGBTQIA, Romance Publication Date: March 21st, 2016 ARC provided by Netgalley and Riptide Publishing Synopsis from Goodreads: It’s 1986, and what should have been the greatest summer of Nate Bradford’s life goes sour when his parents suddenly divorce. Now, instead of spending his senior year in his hometown of Austin, Texas, he’s living with his father in Warren, Wyoming, population 2,833 (and Nate thinks that might be a generous estimate). There’s no swimming pool, no tennis team, no mall—not even any MTV. The entire school’s smaller than his graduating class back home, and in a [ Read More of this Review ]

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Mar 232016
 
Reviews: The Bedding Proposal & Happily Bedded Bliss by Tracy Anne Warren

The Bedding Proposal by Tracy Anne Warren Book #1 in The Rakes of Cavendish Square Genre: Historical Romance Publication Date: March 3rd, 2015 ARC Provided by Penguin Synopsis from Goodreads: Lord Leo Byron is bored with the aristocratic company he keeps; he needs a distraction, preferably in the form of a beautiful new female companion. So when he sets eyes on fascinating and scandalous divorcée Lady Thalia Lennox, he’s determined to make her intimate acquaintance. But the spirited woman seems to have no intention of accepting his advances no matter how much he chases—or how hard he falls…. Once a darling [ Read More of this Review ]

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Mar 222016
 
Review: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen

The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen Book #1 in The Ivy Years Genre: Sports/Contemporary Romance Publication Date: March 20th, 2014 Synopsis from Goodreads: The sport she loves is out of reach. The boy she loves has someone else. What now? She expected to start Harkness College as a varsity ice hockey player. But a serious accident means that Corey Callahan will start school in a wheelchair instead. Across the hall, in the other handicapped-accessible dorm room, lives the too-delicious-to-be real Adam Hartley, another would-be hockey star with his leg broken in two places. He’s way out of Corey’s league. Also, [ Read More of this Review ]

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Mar 212016
 
New Release Review: Storm and Silence by Robert Thier

Storm and Silence by Robert Thier Storm and Silence #1 Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance Publication Date: March 19th, 2016   Synopsis from Goodreads: Freedom – that is what Lilly Linton wants most in life. Not marriage, not a brood of squalling brats, and certainly not love, thank you very much! But freedom is a rare commodity in 19th-century London, where girls are expected to spend their lives sitting at home, fully occupied with looking pretty. Lilly is at her wits’ end – until a chance encounter with a dark, dangerous and powerful stranger changes her life forever… Enter the world of Mr [ Read More of this Review ]

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Mar 182016
 
Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Lyre Thief by Jennifer Fallon

AAAWelcome to our blog tour stop for JENNIFER FALLON‘s new book THE LYRE THIEF. This is the first book in a new series, War of the Gods, but it also connects to Ms. Fallon’s other Hythrun Chronicles novels. New readers, have no fear!  This was my first Jennifer Fallon novel and I had no trouble reading The Lyre Thief.  The world building and character introductions are done so well that anyone could jump right in with this book! Guest Post AAA The Demographics of Fantasy Jennifer Fallon A few years ago, I had the interesting experience of doing a book signing with [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on March 18, 2016 at 6:00 am