Update Sunday (30/04/2017)

Update time!

This is the space where I give you a quick briefing on various things that have occupied me this week – songs that have been in my head, movies I’ve been obsessed with, books I’ve been absorbed in, etcetera.

Reading

The Wishing Heart – J.C. Welker. This is an ARC I requested on Netgalley, and I’m about a quarter of the way through now. Lesbian protagonist, and djinn? Hell yeah! Watch this space for a review of this incredible book.

Listening To

 The entire Hamilton soundtrack. I have no regrets.

Watching

 Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid. This anime is just one of those things that can’t be put into words. You just have to watch it to appreciate how awesome it is.

Waiting For

acowar_usA Court of Wings And Ruin! I’ve been waiting a whole year for this, and it’s gotten to the point where I’m having to actively avoid any major spoilers. Seriously, if you’re lucky enough to have gotten an ARC of a book like that, use some common decency, and don’t post spoilers!!!!

 

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If you’re at all interested in any of these things, please comment about it – I like talking to nice people about common interests.

Happy reading!

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!

ARC Review- The Upside of Unrequited

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Title: The Upside of Unrequited

Author: Becky Albertalli

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.

Right?

Rating: 4 and a half stars

Review:

First of all, thank you so much to Penguin Random House for supplying me with this review copy to read – when I read the email that said my review request had been accepted, I think part of me died and went to heaven, purely because this happens to be the book I’ve been most looking forward to reading.

Okay, for this review, I think I’ll do it a little differently – first I’ll quickly go through why I didn’t rate this a full five stars, and then I’ll list some of the reasons why you HAVE to read it. Sound good? Okay, lets get cracking.

 

I didn’t relate to Molly as much as I related to Simon in the first book – Simon’s the adorkable Harry-Potter-loving, secret romantic, and I get that so much, whereas with Molly, I didn’t connect with her in the same way. That’s nothing against the author – it’s a purely personal thing. I understood how Simon was feeling, because I’ve had to deal with similar stuff myself, but since I’ve never had to experience Molly’s issues, I didn’t fully connect. Hence, the four and a half stars.

Another little thing that I find issue with, is the use of the word ‘fat’ to describe Molly. Again, maybe this is just me, but I hate that word and the connotations behind it. I’d much rather have preferred to read other words like ‘big girl’  or ‘plus-size’ rather than ‘fat’ – that word gives me the squicks, and a horrible feeling inside.

Other than that, I adored this book, and these are just five of the many reasons you should read it when it’s released in April:

  1. SO MUCH DIVERSITY!! I love how much diversity is in thi
    s book – there’s Molly’s who’s a plus-sized Jewish girl; Cassie who’s gay; their interracial mums, one of whom happens to be bisexual (!); Mina who is pansexual….the list goes on and on, and it’s wonderful.

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  1. Reid Wertheim – just….Reid. He’s a Game of Thrones/Tolkien fan, and he’s just amazing. I want to marry him so freaking much, and just have lots of little nerd babies with him….and I’m getting carried away now. Moving on-
  2. Cameos from ‘Simon Vs’ characters – you better believe I was fangirling when Simon appeared suddenly. I was basically like this:

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  1. The mothers – Patty and Nadine are so cool, I almost want them to be my mums too! They’re so chill about basically everything, and they treat Cassie and Molly like adults, instead of little kids, which is very nice to read.
  2. The Supreme Court legalising same-sex marriage – part of the book happens at this time, and it actually talks about it, and I’m so happy that something as important as this ruling was given its own moment in the book. This alone should be reason for you to read ‘The Upside of Unrequited.’

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And now, let me tease you with some of my favourite quotes from the book:

Classic adult logic. Reid and I are vaguely the same age, so of course we’re basically soul mates.

That’s two legit new friends today, and it’s not even four thirty. Mina of the Labia and Middle Earth Reid.

I’ve had crushes on twenty-six people, twenty-five of whom are not Lin-Manuel Miranda.

It would be nice if I were the kind of person who didn’t require a battalion of wingwomen to make this happen.

I mean, how does a person explain YouTube to her seventy-year-old grandmother?

When Patty came out, the first thing Grandma did was try to set her up with the cantor’s daughter. Who is actually straight, but Grandma gets thrown off when women have short hair.

“Yeah, so this one and his boyfriend just spent two hours arguing about whether I’m a Gryffindor or a Hufflelump.”

Hufflelump?” Simon covers his face. “I can’t. Jesus Christ. Abby, you’re embarrassing yourself.”

 

The Upside of Unrequited is being released on April 11th 2017

Book Review – Making Love

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Title: Making Love

Author: Aidan Wayne

Synopsis: Carla the cupid is an excellent shot, but her chemistry is so bad that most of her matches don’t last. Her dream is to shoot a True Love pair, but until her scores improve, she’s relegated to the Puppy Love division of Aphrodite Agency.

Leeta, a succubus, is looking for a True Love match. Which is highly unusual, as most succubi are aromantic. But Aphrodite Agency—her only hope—turns her away because the receptionist can’t believe she’s not just looking for an easy meal.

Carla agrees to take Leeta’s case on freelance. She figures it’s a win-win: Carla gets to put a succubus’s True Love match on her résumé, and Leeta gets to find her True Love! Except as Carla tries to find a match for Leeta, she finds herself maybe . . . relieved when the matches don’t end well. And Leeta seems to be getting pickier and pickier. Things will never work out until Carla learns enough about chemistry to figure out who’s truly best for Leeta, and until Leeta can admit what—or who—she truly wants.

Rating: 3 stars

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

This was an incredibly short read – only just under 100 pages long in total – but it was sweet. When I saw this on Netgalley, I was intrigued by the notion of a romance between a succubus and a cupid, so I gave it a go.

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Personally I found it to be overly brief, if that makes any sense? There wasn’t a lot of character building, and everything seemed to be over with very quickly. If it had been a full length novel, I would have gotten into it more, but this was very short and over too fast.

 

 

The concept is fantastic, I admit, and after finishing my last ARC (a serious romance novel), I was delighted to be able to indulge in a spot of super-cute fluffiness, because it really was very cute. I loved the upbeat nature of Carla, and her determination to find True Love for everyone, even for someone whom everyone says is incapable of True Love. I do wish we had more character building for Carla and Leeta though – they have the potential for so much development, but the novella was so short that their whole interaction seemed rushed.

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If you’re looking for a cute novella to read over your lunch break, with a demisexual Cupid and a succubus who just wants love, then this is something you’d enjoy.

 

Making Love is due to be published by Riptide Publishing on Jan 30th 2017.

Book Review – Afraid To Fly

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Title: Afraid To Fly (Anchor Point #2)

Author: L.A Witt

Synopsis: Once a fearless fighter pilot, Commander Travis Wilson is now confined to a desk. It’s been eight years since the near-fatal crash that grounded him, and it still rules his life thanks to relentless back pain.

Lieutenant Commander Clint Fraser almost drowned in a bottle after a highly classified catastrophe while piloting a drone. His downward spiral cost him his marriage and kids, but he’s sober now and getting his life back on track. He’s traded drones for a desk, and he’s determined to reconcile with his kids and navigate the choppy waters of PTSD.

Clint has been on Travis’s radar ever since he transferred to Anchor Point. When Clint comes out to his colleagues, it’s a disaster, but there’s a silver lining: now that Travis knows Clint is into men, the chemistry between them explodes.

It’s all fun and games until emotions get involved. Clint’s never been in love with a man before. Travis has, and a decade later, that tragic ending still haunts him. Clint needs to coax him past his fear of crashing and burning again, or their love will be grounded before takeoff.

Rating: 3 and a half stars

Review:

I got this book from the publisher on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Between Travis and Clint, two military veterans, they don’t just have issues – they have the whole freakin’ subscription. Clint’s trying to regain his family life after alcohol destroyed it, and Travis is dealing with PTSD – his own, and his daughter’s – along with pain problems that give him serious limitations in daily life. However, one night after the Navy ball, they find comfort in each other, and things get romantic pretty quickly.

Okay, I have a lot of feelings about this.

Me before reading this (when I saw it was another L.A Witt book):

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Me halfway through:

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Me after finishing: 

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First of all, I love how both the main characters here are bisexual, and nobody at the base seems to really care about it. That’s just very nice to see some positive bi representation, especially in a military background like this.

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I also liked that both MCs were in their forties, instead of the usual early-20s twinks you tend to get in MxM fiction. The characters had history, and their own back-stories. Clint has his kids and his ex-wife that he’s unable to see, and Travis suffers from serious back pain that’s barely manageable even with his TENS machine and a whole load of pain medication.

However, the main thing I didn’t like was that there’s a whole lot of military jargon that’s difficult to understand if you’re not intimately familiar with it already. There were times when I found myself having to stop reading to Google what certain phrases and abbreviations meant, because I was clueless. That’s the downside which is why I brought my rating down to a three and a half star rating, because it is a big thing, but I enjoyed the book nonetheless.

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I’ve read quite a few of L.A Witt’s books in the past, and I always enjoy her writing – this was no exception. Despite the military jargon that caused me so much confusion, I found myself invested in the characters, and wanting them to have a happy ending. If you enjoy male on male romances with some sexual scenes, this is one for you.

 

Afraid To Fly is to be published on Jan 19th 2017 by Riptide Publishing.

#BookBloggerConfessions

I was browsing Cristina’s blog – because she’s awesome, obviously – and I came across this post she did way back in January about blogger confessions. Well, it got me thinking about what my own blogging confessions would be, and then this post came to be, because why not?
 
  • I procrastinate so much on reviews, it’s ridiculous. I have a long list of books I’ve read recently that I have reviews to write for them, but even when I do have time, I procrastinate and watch Youtube videos, or read more books.
  • Sometimes I go off on a tangent and do posts that aren’t in any way connected to books of any kind. I know this is a book blog, but sometimes I just want to write about other things.
  • I’m a sucker for a nice aesthetic. ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover.’ Well, what if the book has a really pretty cover that makes me feel all happy when I look at it?
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Ravenclaw aesthetic!

  •  I’m obsessed with finding the perfect gif for every post.
  • I will more often than not use a Supernatural gif, because Supernatural has a gif for everything. #sorrynotsorry

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  • I’m not too stressed about getting fancy ARCs from publishers – if it ever happens, aside from on Netgalley, I will be thrilled but I’m not going to stress over whether or not I get one.
  • I hate book reviews that just focus on very academic things like the tone of the book, or the history of the author. When I read a review, I want it to be warm and welcoming and interesting, instead of being as cold and clinical as an operating table.

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  • I’m so grateful to all those bloggers who posted about getting started in the blogosphere. Otherwise, I would have been absolutely lost to get started.
  • I would love to have a bookstagram, or a strictly book-themed Twitter, but that’s too much work…
  • I worry that people judge me because most of the books I read are either Young Adult, or LGBTQ.
  • If I didn’t look unattractive on camera, and weren’t an awkward turtle, I’d be a Booktuber.
  • When I started, I was all on my own, in my own little corner of the Internet, but now I’ve got a small following – just about 200 followers – and I’ve made amazing friends in the book blogging community,
  • I want to get into audiobooks, but I’d much rather have an actual book in my hands, or my Kindle.

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  • Physical books will always come first for me, no matter how much I love ebooks and their handiness.
  • I hate writing meh reviews or even reviews of books I just didn’t enjoy, because I’m always afraid I’m being mean about it or the author.
What are your book blogging confessions? Spill your guts to me in the comments, and let me know what deep dark secrets you’ve got, or even just letting me know which of mine you agree with.
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Happy reading!

Book Review – Roped In

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Title: Roped In

Author: Marie Sexton/L.A Witt

Synopsis: Graham and his roping partner, Jackson, have been friends since they were boys. They’ve ruled the rodeo scene for ten years running, but lately, Graham’s heart isn’t in the game. He’s tired of the bruises, the cowboy mentality, and the animal rights activists who picket every event. He’s also tired of being in love with Jackson, and nothing’s been the same between them since their disastrous drunken encounter the year before.

Then Graham has a run-in with one of the rodeo protesters, and everything changes. Kaz is young, idealistic, and sexy as hell. But he’s also a know-it-all, animal-loving vegan, bent on saving the world one cow at a time. They have next to nothing in common, but Graham can’t stop thinking about what might happen if they can stop butting heads long enough to give it a try. Unfortunately, no matter how attracted Graham is to other men, he always panics and runs when the clothes start to come off. But Kaz has an idea for getting Graham past his nerves and into bed.

All they need is a bit of rope.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars.
Review: I received this e-ARC via Netgalley from the publisher, and I’m just giving my honest opinion – I freaking loved this!
Graham is getting sick of the same stressful routine that comes with roping, but when he meets Kaz – sexy, sexy Kaz – he has his head turned. It takes a little compromise on both their sides, but soon they fall into bed together, and it’s hot as hell.
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First of all, lets list the things I didn’t like about this. Hm….I guess the only thing I didn’t like is that it was too short. I would have happily read about a whole relationship between these two, right through to marriage. As it was, I read this whole thing in about two hours while lying in bed. Too short.
Aside from that, it was incredible. I was hooked on these layered and complicated characters from the get-go. Graham is a cowboy who isn’t into the rodeo anymore, and Kaz is a stubborn young protester who isn’t afraid to challenge anything. Even Jackson grew on me by the end.
It was great to see both Kaz and Graham learn to compromise and bend a little by the end of the book – in fact, there was more than a little bending throughout, if you get my drift. Ha.
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I’ve been a big fan of L.A. Witt ever since reading ‘Running With Scissors’ last year, so this was a treat to be able to read another of their work. I hadn’t ever read Marie Sexton before, but the whole thing was great to read.
There are explicit sex scenes, so if you aren’t into that – well, if you weren’t into that, you wouldn’t have read this far already, would you? Just sayin’.
I give this a hearty four and a half stars, and I wholly recommend you go request this from Netgalley and read it, or even just buy it yourself, since it’s now published as of June 20!