Friday, March 30, 2018

Mini Review: A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Review by Lauren
source: personal copy; all opinions are my own
Read the Summary on Goodreads
I’ve wanted to read this book for a long time, and I finally found the time to do so and boy did I love it! It’s every much as enjoyable as I thought it would be, and as other reviews made me believe it would be. This book follows Monty who is going on a year-long Grand Tour of Europe with his sister, Felicity, and best friend, Percy. Monty has been in a lot of trouble – getting drunk, being expelled from school, and bedding girls and boys. I loved Monty though. He’s not as aware of other people’s circumstances as he could be, but he learns as the book goes on. He’s in love with Percy, but he doesn’t get how Percy’s life is very much different from his own  – they are both part of affluent families but Percy is biracial and that will always hold him back in the eyes of some.
This book is full of fantastic history, amazingly well-written characters, and enjoyable humor! You’ll learn, you’ll laugh, and you’ll feel. I cannot wait for the companion novel, this time following Felicity! 5/5 stars for sure!

In case you missed it, I also did a recap of the Mackenzi Lee signing that I went to - you can find that here

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Blow Down by J.L. Merrow

Blow Down by J.L. Merrow

Review by Lauren

source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: You can add the book and find the summary on Goodreads. I don't want to ruin too much if you haven't read any of this series. This is the fourth in the series. 

Review: If you've been paying attention, you know that I love this series. It's a mystery series with an m/m romance, but if you aren't a big romance person, don't worry! I think this series does a good job mixing the mystery and romance so that neither really overpower the other. Blow Down is the fourth book in the series, and each one follows the same characters, so it's probably a good idea to start with the first book. I'm sure you'll fall in love with Tom and Phil like I have!

Tom is a plumber, but he also has a gift for finding things. I was asked after my last review if this was a power or just something he's good at it, so I want to clarify that it's a power. He can sense really strong emotions and if something has been purposely hidden, he can follow the tracks of that emotion toward the item. He usually has to be focusing on finding something though; otherwise he's not likely to notice. As for Phil, that's Tom's private investigator boyfriend. Tom and Phil are often teaming up in these books because Phil can usually use Tom's power to help them solve the mystery.

Each book in the series has its own separate mystery, which is fun, but it also progresses the relationship of Tom and Phil, which I love! Definitely give these a shot!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

A Recap of Mackenzi Lee's Author Signing!

I attended a local author event this past Monday to see Mackenzi Lee, who wrote the fantastic book The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue. This tour was in honor of her nonfiction collection Bygone Badass Broads.

I'd love to share what I thought of the event, as well as let you all in on some other information Mackenzi shared. Instead of copying and pasting it all, I'll just direct you to ShootingStarsMag where you can see the full post!

Mackenzi Lee Author Recap Event - check it out!

Have you read anything by Mackenzi? Are you interested?

Monday, March 19, 2018

Love, Simon is...Amazing

Has anyone seen Love, Simon yet? It's amazing. I'm seriously in love with it and ready to go back and see it again. I'll have a more full review on my ShootingStarsMag blog tomorrow, if you want to keep an eye out. However, I'm also taking other people's thoughts about the movie because I hope to share those in a post this Friday. So if you've seen the movie and have something to add, let me know, or if you wrote your own blog review of the film, send me a link and I'll happily share that too!

Now, if Love, Simon is our near you and you aren't sure about seeing it...please, please do! Or buy a ticket or someone who wants to see it. Show the movie studios we want more LGBT+ movies and hopefully Love, Simon will do so well, they'll make them.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Heat Trap by J.L. Merrow

Heat Trap by J.L. Merrow
Review by Lauren
source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own
Check out the summary on Goodreads
Review: I don’t want to spoil too much about this book as it’s the third in a series, which is why I didn’t include the official summary above. However, I can say that I absolutely love these books. I’m a big fan of m/m romance – as you probably know if you’ve read my blog for awhile – but I also love m/m books that aren’t just focused on the romance (though those are awesome too!) and the Plumber’s Mate Mysteries are just such books. Plus, it’s a series that follows the same couple, which can be rare – most “sequels” in m/m fiction tend to be companion novels.
While I don’t always rate books I read, I gave the first two books (Pressure Head and Relief Valve) four stars, and I rated Heat Trap five stars on Goodreads. Once again, this book features a mystery that Tom and his PI boyfriend, Phil, must try and solve. Tom’s a plumber by trade – hence the series’ title – but he also has the ability to find things that have been purposely hidden, connecting the emotion of the hider with it, so sometimes it’s a bit cheeky, but other times (in the case of murders), it’s much darker. As for Phil and Tom, they have been growing their relationship across all of these books and I love how they are growing closer, as well as getting to know more about each other. Phil and Tom knew each other in school but they hadn’t seen each other in years, and a lot happened during that time period, especially because Phil was definitely not out back in the day.
I feel like this series just gets better and better. The mysteries are all intriguing, and I love when Tom uses his abilities, but I also like the growth of a relationship across multiple books. It feels natural and realistic. I definitely recommend this series, and Heat Trap in particular.