How was your Thanksgiving, if you were in the U.S.? Personally, I'm glad it's over. I'd much rather focus on all the fun Christmas events coming up. I'm not a big fan of Thanksgiving day. I did get to see Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them for a second time though - my parents came along and they really loved it! I knew they would though, as they really loved the HP movies too. Seen any good films lately?
I thought I'd do a little mini update post since I haven't posted in a week. I'm reading a lot of LGBT+ fiction though, so there should be more book reviews posted soon!
Right now, though, I wanted to see what you would like to see in 2017:
I'll continue reviewing books, etc. but what else do you want?
Should I bring Etsy Pride back?
Do you like the author Top Ten Tuesday posts?
Do you want more LGBT+ news? Other entertainment related posts? (I do want to add more about music, movies, etc.)
Please share your thoughts!
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
I wanted to make sure that all of you knew that between now and November 27, you can claim complete LGBT+ novels, short stories, and sample chapters from 80+ authors. I've already visited and grabbed the ones that I wanted, and you should definitely do the same! Visit here to see what is up for grabs (and remember, it's FREE!!) All you do is click the books you are interested in and it will take you to a page where you have to put in your name and email - for the author's newsletter. It will also let you know if you are getting the whole novel, a short story, or just a sample. All worth it.
The books I've already read and you should too:
The Thing I Didn't Know I Didn't Know by Brent Hartinger
Buzz by E. Davies
The books I claimed for free:
Helping Hand by Jay Northcote
Play On by Avery Cockburn (I've read the first book in this series, but this is the novella that starts it all)
Dangerous Ground by Josh Lanyon
Friends Like You by Beau Bishop
Incognito by L.A. Watson
Taking Chances by S.K. Grayson
It looks like all the books are m/m BUT there are a variety of genres, so there is something for everyone that likes m/m fiction. Definitely think about grabbing some of these - either the ones I've already read/loved, the ones I chose for myself, or any of the many others!
Happy Thanksgiving to those in the U.S.!!!
Monday, November 21, 2016
Hotline by Quinn Anderson - Review by Rebel Mommy Book Blog
Black Snow by EAB - Review by Metaphors and Moonlight
As I Descended by Robin Talley - Review by Bookwyrming Thoughts
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin - Review by The Nocturnal Library
It Looks Like This by Rafi Mittlefehldt- Review by Diva Book Nerd
Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst - Review by Lisa Loves Literature
Friday, November 18, 2016
Daring Fate by Megan Erickson
Review by Lauren
source: copy from the author; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: I wake up chained to the wall of a dark cell aware of two things: I failed my sister, and I smell my enemy.
When I’m taken to meet Dare, the alpha of the Silver Tip pack, I’m sure I’m about to lose my throat. The last thing I expect is for the Alpha to recognize me as his fated mate. No way is he going to let me go now, and I still have to find a way to rescue my sister.
As I plot my escape to save her, I find that if I leave, Dare could be killed by power-hungry members of his pack. And now he’s more to me than my fated mate—my heart is involved. With time ticking by on my sister’s life, I have to make a choice I never thought I’d face—my sister’s life or my mate’s? That’s if I can survive the undead shifters intent on killing me first...
Review: I really don't remember the last time I read a shifter novel. I don't mind paranormal stories, and I used to review a lot of them for Romantic Times magazine. However, it's definitely been awhil since I've read one, so I was really excited when I saw that Megan Erickson was looking for people to review the first in her new shifter series. I'm a huge fan of Erickson's m/m fiction and this falls under that, so I was pretty sure I was going to love it, regardless of the genre or overall story line. And I was right.
One of the biggest themes of Daring Fate is family. Reese made plans to leave the place he's called "home" for years, because it's definitely not a safe place to be. He got his brother, Jude out, but when he went back for Selene, he was beaten up and left in the wild. This is where the Silver Tip pack comes in, a group of Weres who are seen as enemies to werewolves like Reese. However, these Weres are not as bad as Reese was led to believe. And it helps that as soon as Reese meets the Alpha of the pack, Dare, they realize they are True Mates. Not everyone gets a True Mate, and Reese only knows about them because his parents were, so it was definitely interesting learning about this along with the two guys. Regardless of the growing bond with Dare, Reese cannot and will not forget about his sister. He's not sure he can trust Dare at first...and then he just doesn't want to hurt Dare's pack by bringing him into his plan.
I don't want to give away too many details of this story, because it was a very unique story of shifters. I've never read a book about Weres, and I assume Erickson created them herself - they are different from werewolves, like Reese and his family, though they do have similarities. I also really liked the various things that come along with being a True Mate too. It was easy to get to know Reese and Dare, and I felt for both of them. Neither know how to react to the other, and while their physical need for each other is apparent, they have a lot to deal with in terms of emotional collections and trust.
This is definitely an adult read in terms of the physical relationship between Reese and Dare, but it very much as an overarching story too, and I loved getting to know the secondary characters, like Bay, Dare's brother. The next book will be following Bay and I can't wait!
Monday, November 14, 2016
Blank Spaces by Cass Lennox
Review by Lauren
source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: The decision to stop dating has made Vaughn Hargrave’s life infinitely simpler: he has friends, an excellent wardrobe, and a job in the industry he loves. That’s all he really needs, especially since sex isn’t his forte anyway and no one else seems interested in a purely romantic connection. But when a piece is stolen from his art gallery and insurance investigator Jonah Sondern shows up, Vaughn finds himself struggling with that decision.
Jonah wants his men like his coffee: hot, intense, and daily. But Vaughn seems to be the one gay guy in Toronto who doesn’t do hookups, which is all Jonah can offer. No way can Jonah give Vaughn what he really wants, not when Jonah barely understands what love is.
When another painting goes missing, tension ramps up both on and off the clock. Vaughn and Jonah find themselves grappling not just with stolen art, but with their own differences. Because a guy who wants nothing but romance and a guy who wants nothing but sex will never work—right? Not unless they find a way to fill in the spaces between them.
Review: I absolutely loved this story and I can't wait to read more by Cass Lennox. This is the first in the Toronto Connections series, so I'll definitely be reading on!
Anyway, this book is about Vaughn and Jonah, two vastly different people who just happen to both be gay and whose jobs intertwine. Vaughn works at an art gallery and when one of the painting goes missing, Jonah and his partner visit the gallery to determine if their insurance company needs to pay them. The theft seems suspicious, so they are waiting until they hand over a lot of money, as this is not the first time pieces have gone missing from the gallery.
Vaughn is well-dressed, comes from money, and doesn't like sex. It was obvious to me that Vaughn was asexual, but Vaughn doesn't have a word for it until later in the book. He just knows that sex isn't for him. He's still attracted to guys and would love to have a relationship, but he doesn't think anyone would be with him if they couldn't have sex. As for Jonah, he's a kid who grew up in the foster system and is desperate to make money and have a good life. He's also obsessed with sex, going out all the time and getting off with strangers. He's not dating. It just makes him feel better. It's a release for him.
Like I said, these are two very opposite men. I wasn't really sure how it would work, but it does. I won't say everyone will love their relationship but I liked that Lennox portrayed a modern relationship. It works for them. That's all I'll say on that. The theft mystery was really interesting and I was curious as to who was stealing them. It was a nice addition to the story. There are other secondary characters and story lines that are portrayed well in this book too. It was nice that it wasn't all focused on the relationship, as it made everything seem more real. Also, everything Jonah deals with is a good thing in terms of making him see how Vaughn could be a real asset to his life.
Overall, I really loved this one. I think it's great that more authors are exploring asexuality in books. There are varying types of asexuality and I think Lennox explained that well.
Friday, November 11, 2016
Timekeeper by Tara Sim
Review by Lauren
source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: The official summary gives away something that I keep secret in my review, so I'll just direct you to Goodreads if you want to read.
|I absolutely loved this book. It's been on my wishlist for a long time, so I was really excited that I was given the chance to read/review a copy from Netgalley. This is definitely one that I need to personally own in a physical copy though.|
The basics of this story is that a 17 year old named Danny Hart is a clock mechanic who lives in London, England. Clocks are what control time, and the mechanics are men and women who can feel time and make sure that the clocks are always correctly running. If a clock tower breaks down, it can Stop a town. Nobody can enter or exit. This is what happened to Danny's father, and it's been three years since they've seen him, as he's stuck in one of these Stopped towns.
The mechanics are trying to build a new tower that will hopefully restart the town, but a lot of people are protesting it. Danny is desperate to work on the tower, as he desperately wants to rescue his father. Unfortunately, a previous accident keeps Danny away from the tower. Instead, he visits other towns and repairs clocks. This brings him to Enfield, whose clock tower keeps losing numbers, hands, and even has cracks appearing in its face. What's happening to the tower?
This is when Danny meets Colton. I don't want to be too specific about this character. I know other reviews might, but I want to avoid as many spoilers as I can. I loved the character of Colton though, as well as Danny, and when the two of them find themselves attracted to one another, I really rooted for their romance to work! Despite taking place in Victorian London, homosexuality isn't vilified. Some don't care, while others are supportive. The author's note explains more about why she decided to do this, but I'm glad she did! It makes same-sex relationships one less worry that these characters must deal with.
Timekeeper is such a unique, fascinating story. I'm so glad it's a trilogy so I can read more about these characters! As for Timekeeper itself, it's a great story in and of itself, though you'll want to continue the series, believe me! There is plenty of romance, suspense, steampunk, and more. Please get a copy - ASAP!
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine
Due Out: June 20th, 2017
Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29283884-the-gentleman-s-guide-to-vice-and-virtue
Official Summary: An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.
Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.
But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.
Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.
Why I Want to Read: Despite the fact that I have to wait until next June to get my hands on this one, I had to share it because I'm so excited! It sounds fantastic. I love LGBT+ fiction - of course- but I also love the fact that this sounds like a historical fiction adventure story of sorts, and I'm so curious to see where Monty and Percy find themselves on their tour of Europe! I also just love the sound of Monty - how he's not afraid to be himself and do what he wants, despite his family's expectations.
What do you think? Anything you are waiting on this Wednesday?
Monday, November 7, 2016
Running Blind by Kim Fielding and Venona Keyes
Review by Lauren
source: copy from Dreamspinner Press; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: Kyle Green is on top of the world. He and Matt have been together for ten years, and—as the voice of Ecos, the wildly popular anime character—Kyle is treated like a rock star in anime circles. But in an instant, a stroke leaves him blind. When photographer Matt gets the opportunity of a lifetime, Kyle reexamines their relationship, discovers it has been a safety net rather than a true romance, and sets Matt free to pursue his dream. Kyle’s life and career as he knew them are gone, and he must now find the courage and creativity to draft a new plan.
After being away for fifteen years, Seth Caplan comes home to Chicago to care for his mother and to partner with a small start-up tech company. He and Kyle meet after Kyle’s collision with a child’s sidewalk toy, and they hit it off. Kyle wants to get back into running, and Seth becomes his guide. As they get to know each other, they start seeing each other beyond their three-times-a-week runs. But Seth’s revelation of the dark reason why he left his career in California sends the relationship into a tailspin and leaves both men running blind.
Review: I had read a YA novel where the main character was blind, but also a really good runner, and she eventually got a running guide so she could run for her school team. When I read the summary for this book, I immediately knew I had to read it so I could read another story that featured running guides for blind runners. The basics of the story is that Kyle has a stroke and ends up blind from the result. He breaks up with his current boyfriend, Matt, so that Matt can go on and fulfill his dreams - besides the two were more brothers than lovers by that point.
It takes Kyle a bit to get used to his new life. His job is voice narration and he is famous for voicing an anime character. Without his sight, Kyle can't watch the video to sync up his voice with the animation. It's a rough blow and Kyle isn't sure what he'll do from there. Kyle eventually tries running, realizing that if he's moving, he can start to see the outline of shapes and he thinks this will be enough for him to run on his own. Unfortunately, he crashes on the sidewalk and is helped by a man named Seth.
Fast forward and Seth becomes Kyle's new running guide. The two are a good match. Seth is back in town to take care of his mom, who has Alzheimer's, so he knows how to treat Kyle with dignity and respect. As for Kyle, he does the same for Seth's mom, even if she's calling him the wrong name or getting lost in time. The two of them eventually get closer and go from friendship to relationship.
To keep from spoiling everything that happens in the book, I'll just say that this was a really good novel. I loved both guys and I think they complimented each other well, like I said above. I love reading books with disabled characters, as it's something that people should read about more. It creates empathy, and to me, it seems like the authors did a great job with their characters and their various diversities in Running Blind.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
The Outfielders by Robert P. Rowe
Review by Lauren
source: copy from publisher; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: Tony was waiting until he went away to college to come out to his parents and start his new gay life. Unfortunately, at twenty-four, it doesn’t look like college is going to happen after all. Stuck in a dead-end job in a small town and still living at home, with all the arrested development that entails, he finds escape in playing for the company baseball team and lusting after his straight outfielder crush, Alex. But Tony’s best friend, Jennifer, thinks she’s found a plan in the pages of gay romance novels. All Tony has to do is convince Alex he’s gay for you… or for Tony. It’s easy—just find some excuse to be alone in bed together and let nature take its course. What could possibly go wrong?
Review: I was given a chance to read and review The Outfielders from Dreamspinner Press and while it's not my new favorite LGBT+ novel, it was still really enjoyable. The premise of The Outfielders is that twenty-something Tony is stuck in a dead end job in a dead end town. Oh, and he's gay and nobody knows but his best friend, Jennifer, who most people believe is his girlfriend. He's been crushing on his baseball teammate Alex for years, but Alex is straight, so it's pointless, right?
Having read many m/m romance stories, Jennifer tells Tony about "gay for you" storylines - you know the ones! An otherwise straight guy falls for his best guy friend, making him "gay for you" instead of just gay. Jennifer tries to give Tony tips on how to make Alex fall for him, even telling him to read a book called The Outfielders. Tony refers to the two main characters in this as Book Tony and Book Alex. Don't worry, it's not as confusing as it seems - and the two storylines don't quite match up, so it's not a complete spoiler!
I really liked learning about Tony and his world. He's good at explaining his hometown and the people that populate it. He's not the brightest crayon in the box, which Jennifer is always lovingly telling him. He does mean well though and while he wishes Alex were gay, he's not willing to push the issue and lose him as a friend. The book has some other interconnecting story lines as well which makes the book more than just a romance.
The Outfielders was slow in parts, but I did want to keep reading, and I was satisfied with the ending!