ARC Book Review – Back Piece

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Goodreads | Amazon

Title:  Back Piece

Author: L.A Witt

Synopsis: Colin Spencer is a tattoo artist with a past he’d prefer to keep a secret. Actually, he has a few secrets that he’d rather people didn’t know about, which is why Colin doesn’t do commitment. But when a shy naval officer approaches him at the gym, Colin finds this guy pushing all his buttons.

Growing up in a conservative family, then escaping with the Navy, Daniel Moore is an unsure virgin who feels like he can’t share his true self with anyone. Seeing Colin—and his tattoos—at the gym are the sign Daniel needs to finally get those tattoos he’s always wanted, and maybe try his hand at flirting.

As Colin and Daniel spend more time together, their awkward hesitations turn into a deep passion neither expected. But with both men harboring secrets, will their relationship be able to survive their insecurities and become something beautiful?

Back Piece is a sexy, emotional journey of two people learning to love and finding acceptance for who they really are.

Rating:  4 and a half stars

Review:  I received this ARC from the publisher via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Colin and Daniel meet at the local gym – Daniel, a young Naval officer, and Colin, a local tattoo artist – and sparks fly almost immediately. Both men have their insecurities, however, and despite their initial ‘casual’ relationship, feelings and inner demons soon appear.

It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of L.A Witt, so getting this ARC on Netgalley was amazing. First, I’m going to quickly go into why I only gave this one four and a half stars, instead of the usual five star rating, and then I’ll explain further why I loved this book.

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The only qualm I had with it was the extensive sex scenes. I know it’s the point of the book, but to me, there was too much sex in this one, and not enough other scenes to balance it out. That’s a personal opinion though, so just ignore that.

Now onto the good points:

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I loved how Witt wrote one of the characters as being a man with an eating disorder. That’s something that’s not represented well in media as a whole, so I appreciated the diversity there, where a lot of authors just have women with the eating disorders. Respect. Also, there’s a character who’s 26, and still a virgin, and I appreciated that even more, because in books, you generally find teenagers finding each other and losing their virginity to each other, and whatever, but as someone who’s 22 and never even dated before, it was especially nice to see a character in a book like that.

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As usual, the sexy scenes were brilliantly done – if a book can get me hot and bothered with just the sexual tension? It’s a keeper. I mean, damn! I loved reading about Colin and Daniel getting together, and figuring out what they both liked to do, and seeing that develop over the book? Wow.

Now for some quotes that I particularly liked – think of them as little tidbits to whet your appetite for this book:

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He was lucky to have shipmates who weren’t homophobic at all, let alone the type who could be menacing or dangerous Quite the opposite in fact – mostly they just tried to get him laid. Maybe not very skillfully, but they tried.

That was Colin’s Achilles’ heel. Hot men were great. Adorable guys? Want.

 

So that’s why everyone likes blowjobs so much.

The thought almost made him laugh out loud like a drunken idiot. And he still didn’t care.

 

“Well if you’re worried about your lack of skill, you’re more than welcome to practice on me.” He sighed melodramatically. “If that’s the sacrifice I have to make for the good of gay mankind, then…. Then-” He took a deep breath. “-I’m ready.”

Was this karma for taking so long to find someone? It was like the universe was saying, Sorry about keeping you a virgin for twenty-six years. Here’s an ex-porn star with tattoos and a six pack. Enjoy.

Don’t mind if I do.

 

Was Colin going to be upset? Think he wasn’t really enjoying it? Oh Christ, had he actually found a way to fuck up being fucked?

 

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Back Piece is the first in a brand new series, and was released on April 25th 2017.

 

Happy reading!

Man Crush Monday #4 (24/04/17)

Man Crush Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Sheri, aka Read In A Flash.This is the place where I tell you every week about the bookish men I’m hopelessly devoted to. Trust me, it’s a long, and ever-growing list.

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This week’s Man Crush is Jeff Christopher from the Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill.

 

 

“Verbal, this one,” Catcher said. Then quickly added, “Jeff, quit staring at her ass.”

There was throat clearing behind me before typing started again in earnest.

That meant third-shift hours for my grandfather, his admin Marjorie, Catcher, and Jeff Christopher, my grandfather’s second right-hand man, an undefined shapeshifter and computer whiz kid. Who also had a giant crush on yours truly.

The top of Jeff’s desk was taken up by a Frankenstein-esque collection of keyboards and monitors, upon which sat a stuffed toy I’d learned was a model of H.P Lovecraft’s Cthulhu.

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“Shifters are happy. They’re people; then they’re animals; then they’re people again. What’s not to be happy about? They live with their friends. They drink. They ride their Harleys. They party in Alaska. They have hot shifter sex.” 

At that revelation, Jeff winged up his eyebrows at me, an invitation in his eyes. I bit down on a grin, and shook my head sternly in response. Apparently unruffled, he shrugged, and turned back to his computer. Happily.

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“Asking about someone’s animal is the shifter equivalent of pulling a ruller and asking a guy to whip it out,” Catcher said. 

And down went toast into my trachea. I choked, had to swallow half my glass of OJ to get my breath back. “I’m okay,” I said, waving Mallory off. “I’m fine.” I gave Jeff a sheepish smile. “Sorry.”

He beamed at me. “Oh, I’m not offended. I could show you. I think you’d be pretty pleased.”

I held up a hand. “No.”

13 Reasons Why (You Should Read)… Part 2

As you probably know already, ‘13 Reasons Why’ recently premiered on Netflix (and if you didn’t know, then which rock have you been living under?!) and while I haven’t seen it yet, I’ve been inspired to start a series of posts, in which I will detail 13 reasons why you should read a certain book.51nclybserl

Here’s thirteen reasons why you should read ‘The Wheel Mages’ by Aimee Davis.

“His pleading eyes shattered the fragile walls I’d tried to construct around my feelings for him.

I glanced at Nikolai again, at his high cheekbones, kind green eyes, messy brown hair, and broad muscular body.”

 

  1. Constant plot twists – seriously, you’ll never be bored while reading this book. There’s constantly surprises tripping you up, and making you re-evaluate who’s a good character and who isn’t.
  2. Morally ambiguous characters – who doesn’t love those?
  3. High Fantasy – essentially the best genre ever, if I do say so myself. Think, along the lines of Sarah J Maas’ ‘Throne of Glass’ series – that’s how good this is.
  4. Element magic! Basically if you combined Harry Potter with The Last Airbender? Except way better! The main character is a rare water mage, and her mentor is an earth mage, and so forth. Elements are cool.
  5. Vaguely historical? It’s set in an era that’s very similar to our 1800s, so it’s fascinating to see the magic woven in these historical elements – for example, at one point in the book, two of the main characters open a tavern together.
  6. Nikolai….. Oh, Nikolai deserves a whole book just to himself. I would read that book so much. He’s sweet, and well-meaning, and genuinely cares about the people around him. In short, he’s in my top ten book boyfriends right now.
  7. LGBTQ+ representation – even though the main character isn’t queer, there are multiple references to the existence of LGBTQ people, and there’s even secondary characters who identify as queer. Unlike a lot of other fantasy books, same-sex relationships aren’t ignored in this book, nor are they portrayed as amazing and perfect. They’re portrayed as realistically emotional and complex, and I love that.
  8. An absolutely lovely author – I’ve been corresponding with Aimee ever since she first emailed me about reviewing ‘The Wheel Mages’ and that’s evolved into simply just us chatting about random things, like real friends. She’s not pretentious, or stuck-up, or rude in any way. She’s so lovely, and I encourage you to reach out, if you do happen to read and love this book as much as I do.  
  9. Girl power – the MC, Alena, is so strong in her own right, but then we have Catalina, another character, who seems frivolous and simpering at the start, but then shows her fighting edge later on, showing that girls can like dresses and makeup but also kick ass. Because, of course we can!
  10. It’s self published – we should all support self-published authors just as much as authors who are traditionally published, if not more. Go indie authors!
  11. Good pacing – the book’s action is so well paced, that it never feels rushed ( or on the flipside, too slow), and you have time to get to know the characters aside from the action scenes.
  12. World-building – it’s a universe you can feel immersed in. I know when I was reading it, I was wishing I was a mage, or a patron of Nikolai and Alena’s tavern, or a part of this world in general.
  13. Corrupt politics trope – because reading about fictional politics is a hell of a lot more enjoyable than listening to real-life politics, right?

 

Also, in case you want more proof of how awesome Aimee is, I actually got to do an interview with her, which you can go and read if you click here. Go on. Click it. I know you want to. 

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You can also go and check out Aimee’s blog right here, where she posts musings on various topics, both bookish, and otherwise.  You should especially have a dander over there, so you can keep up to date with news about her upcoming sequel – ‘The Blood Mage’ – because I know I’m DYING for it to come out already!

Happy reading!

Man Crush Monday #3 (10/4/17)

Man Crush Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Sheri, aka Read In A Flash.This is the place where I tell you every week about the bookish men I’m hopelessly devoted to. Trust me, it’s a long, and ever-growing list.

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This week’s Man Crush is Dragos Cuelebre from the Elder Races series.

 

 

The bulge, like the rest of his human form, made her eyes widen. Alrighty. As far as size went the details in the dream hadn’t been wish fulfillment in the slightest.

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“I am cursed with a terminal case of curiosity,” he said. “I am jealous, selfish, acquisitive, territorial and possessive. I have a terrible temper, and I know I can be a cruel son of a bitch.” He cocked his head. “I used to eat people, you know.”

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He looked at the paper again.

I’m sorry I had to take your penny. Here’s another to replace it.

Yep, that’s what it said.

One corner of his mouth twitched. He gave himself a deep shock when he burst into an explosive guffaw.”

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“Yes, I know,” he said, impatient. “I am going to rend you from limb to limb. Someday. When I feel like it. In the meantime, you will not faint, you will get warm, and you will stop being distressed.” His nostrils pinched. “I don’t like how it smells.”

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“You might have noticed I’m a primitive kind of guy.”

Book Review – Serpent’s Kiss (Elder Races #3)

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Title: Serpent’s Kiss (Elder Races #3)

Author: Thea Harrison

Synopsis: In order to save his friend’s life, Wyr sentinel Rune Ainissesthai made a bargain with Vampyre Queen Carling—without knowing what she would ask from him in return. But when Rune attempts to make good on his debt, he finds a woman on the edge.

Recently, Carling’s Power has become erratic, forcing her followers to flee in fear. Despite the danger, Rune is drawn to the ailing Queen and decides to help her find a cure for the serpent’s kiss—the vampyric disease that’s killing her.

With their desire for each other escalating just as quickly as Carling’s instability spirals out of control, the sentinel and the Queen will have to rely on each other if they have any hope of surviving the serpent’s kiss

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Okay, so I’ve just binge-read the first three books in the Elder Races series so far, and I’m in love! This is the third book in the series, and while the first two were centered around Dragos and Tiago respectively, this one focuses on Rune Ainissesthai, Dragos’ second-in-command and best friend, and Carling Severan, the Vampyre representative on the Council. Rune owes Carling a favour, but whenever Carling calls that favour in, there’s something not quite right about the gorgeous Vampyre.

I’ve seen three Elder-Races guys so far – Dragos, Tiago, and Rune – and aside from Dragos (always my favourite!), I love Rune’s character in this. He uses words like ‘bitchin’ and ‘dude’ and I love that. It brings to mind the image of a hippie guy in board shorts, with a surfboard, and long blond hair, for some reason. I was a bit averse to him in the last book, but I genuinely did warm to him this time around.

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Carling’s okay, as far as heroines go, but in comparison to Niniane, and Pia, she was sort of a let down. I didn’t really connect with her like I did with Pia and Niniane, and for me, she didn’t give me that spark that a reader gets for a character.

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That being said, Thea Harrison is an amazing writer, and there were quite a few times I found myself laughing out loud while reading this.

Some of my favourite parts include:

How like a male. Pull out some tools and start banging on something, and they flocked in from miles around.

“If you fail in the slightest to do this one thing, I will find you. I will pull out your entrails and leave you to watch them bake in the noonday sun. Do you understand me?”

 

“My give-a-shit button’s broken, baby.”

 

Khalil scowled. “I could have sat on the children.”

“Sat with the children,” Carling murmured, as she fought the sudden urge to laugh. “With, not on.”

 

Carling made a note on her new iPad to remind herself to go a Google search for a definition of booyah.

 

Overall, I’d have to say that while this isn’t my favourite Elder Races book of the series so far, it’s still enjoyable, and well-written. LIke I’ve said before, if you like urban fantasy with a whole lot of sexual tension, this is a must-read series.

 

Happy reading!

13 Reasons Why (You Should Read….)

As you probably know already, ‘13 Reasons Why’ recently premiered on Netflix (and if you didn’t know, then which rock have you been living under?!) and while I haven’t seen it yet, I’ve been inspired to start a series of posts, in which I will detail 13 reasons why you should read a certain book.

Now – 13 Reasons Why You Should Read Fans Of The Impossible Life

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“May we live impossibly,” Sebby said when he opened his eyes. “Against all odds. May people look at us and wonder how such jewels can sparkle in the sad desert of the world. May we live the impossible life.”

 

  1. The amazing writing style of Kate Scelsa – the book’s chapters alternate between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person POV, by Jeremy, Sebby, and Mira respectively, and while other people might not pull this off, Scelsa really does.
  2. Hint of polyamory? The tagline for the book is “The story of a girl, her gay best friend and the boy who falls in love with both of them.” And that’s basically what you get – a whole lot of love. Also, there’s one scene in particular, that will get the good kind of goosebumps popping up over your skin.
  3. Diversity – Sebby’s a foster kid with drug problems, Mira deals with serious depression and an unsupportive family, and Jeremy’s painfully shy as a result of past bullying. Mira’s also biracial, half-Jewish; one of the other characters is Korean, Jeremy has two gay dads – just….so much diversity.
  4. Complex characters – none of the characters are just one thing. They all have these really intense layers to them, and they have problems, and those problems are dealt with. They’re not shied away from.
  5. Open ending – books with open endings are always the best, because then you can imagine whatever you want to happen to the characters after that. It’s not set in stone, and your imagination can wander.
  6. Mental health issues – this is a big thing in the book, and I like that it’s something that’s dealt with, since it is a real thing that affects real people. In this book, we see Mira struggle with her issues, and Sebby with his, and Jeremy trying to handle both of their problems as well.
  7. Sebby. Literally, just Sebby. He needs to be protected at all costs, and I adore him.
  8. If you like ‘Perks of Being A Wallflower’, then I guarantee you’ll like this.
  9. Very distinct personalities – even though the chapters alternate between the trio, and the POV narratives change, each character has a very distinct voice, so at no point are you confused about whose thoughts we’re seeing.
  10. It’s just really hella intense – from page one, you’re hooked, and that’s it. You’re enveloped in these characters’ lives, and their problems, and you’re there until the last word.
  11. The slight flirtation with going against gender roles – when Jeremy wears one of Mira’s dresses and lets her put makeup on him – is freaking awesome, and I need more of that in books.
  12. A gorgeous cover – not that the cover really matters in the big picture, but still. The three sets of feet on the bed, just truly incapsulates what the book’s about. It’s wonderful.
  13. Absolutely beautiful language, and quotes that will stick in your head long after you’ve closed the book.

 

 

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Credit To Kylee on Tumblr

 

“In a really good thrift store you feel like you’re in a room with all of these stories, and it’s up to you to go and find the stories that you want to bring home with you. And then when you wear the clothes, they help you tell a new story, but they’re bringing that old part with them and with you and you’re benefiting from that in a way that you can’t even really understand.”

 

If You Like

If you’re been here a while, you’ve probably seen my posts where I suggest books to read based on other things you might like –  you can read them here and here – but this one’s a little different. This is book recommendations based on tv shows, and movies, and even a podcast or two.

Ready?

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If you like…. The Vampire Diaries  

You’ll like….. The Morganville Vampires series ( Rachel Caine)

A whole town where vampires are the head honchos? Hell yes! Also, morally ambiguous characters, and characters of various supernatural species, if that’s what you’re into (which I am!).

If you like…. Riverdale

You’ll like…. Pretty Little Liars (Sara Shepard)

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Opening both series’ with a body, these two are very similar. There’s mystery, and intrigue – and romance, because duh! Also, there’s awesome LGBT characters in both series, and Pretty Little Liars is also a tv show, in case you’ve been living under a rock since circa 2010?

If you like…. The Flash

You’ll like…. Gone (Michael Grant)

Big massive event, and suddenly all these people have powers – that’s what both these things have in common. Gone is definitely more sci-fi than anything else, but don’t let that put you off reading it. The kids in this series are just as badass as Barry and the others in the Arrowverse.

If you like…. Spirits: A Drunken Dive into Myths and Legends

You’ll like….. Percy Jackson And The Olympians (Rick Riordan)

(and following PJO-related series)

If you know me in any capacity, you’ll know that I’m obsessed with mythology, and that’s why these are both right up my alley. Spirits is a podcast I recently discovered on Tumblr, and I’m currently obsessed with it! It’s two lovely ladies chatting about a different myth every episode, and so far they’ve covered a variety of subjects from Persephone and Hades (which we also come across in the Percy Jackson books) , to Haitian voodoo. Cool, right? Also, warning – once you get into Percy Jackson, it’s almost impossible to get out again. You’ll be captured by Seaweed Brain, and all the other charming demigods.

If you like…. Once Upon A Time

You’ll like….  Cinder (Marissa Meyer)

Seriously, just give me all the fairytale-related stuff! Once Upon A Time is one of my all time favourite fairytale adaptations (tv-wise, at least), and once I read Cinder, I was hooked on that particular fairytale world as well. One puts the fairytales in the real world, whereas the other one puts them into a futuristic dystopian where cyborgs and aliens exist. Pretty cool, right?

If you like…. Alice In Wonderland

You’ll like….  Alice In the Country of Hearts

Both are adaptations of the famous Lewis Carroll story, but both with a bit of a darker twist to them. I watched the Alice movie years ago when it first came out, and then I saw the sequel last year, and I came across this manga version in the library last year as well – well, obviously I had to read it and find out how good it was. It was very, very good; trust me. If you’re a fan of the whole Wonderland thing, check out these, and also maybe even read the original novels if you haven’t already? Yeah, alright.

If you like…. Elementary

You’ll like…. A Study In Charlotte (Brittany Cavallaro)

Another obvious thing if you know me at all – Sherlock Holmes in any form is like catnip for me, even more so when it’s modernised and switched up a bit. First, you have Elementary, with Jonny Lee Miller as Holmes himself, alongside Lucy Liu’s Watson; and then the next generation book which focuses on Holmes’ and Watson’s descendants, Charlotte and Jamie respectively. If you want more of my thoughts on A Study In Charlotte, head on over to my review, but let me just quickly state that if you’re a Sherlock fan, or even just a mystery fan, you HAVE to read this particular title. If you have, please talk to me so we can fangirl together?

If you like…. Roswell

You’ll like….Obsidian (Jennifer Armentrout)

ALIENS!!!! Don’t even get me started on how much I love aliens, I could talk all day. I have so many feelings about all of these charismatic aliens. Roswell has Katherine Heigl, Obsidian has….Daemon. ‘Nuff said.

If you like…. Beastly

You’ll like…. A Court of Thorns and Roses/A Court of Mist and Fury (Sarah J Maas)

This one’s especially apt at the moment, with the Beauty and The Beast movie coming out in the next few weeks, but I’m always a fan of retellings of this classic story. Beastly (starring the gorgeous Vanessa Hudgens) is more modern, whereas Maas sets her retelling in the world of the Fae, but both are just as good. Also, Beastly happens to be a book as well, if you’re interested in that?

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If you can think of any others, please let me know – either for tv shows, or books. I’m always looking for something new to read/watch (as if I don’t have a long enough TBR as it is…), and recommendations are always welcome. Extra points if you can link a tv show and a book.

Happy reading!