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Champion of the Scarlet Wolf Book Two (Cadeleonian Series, #4)

Champion of the Scarlet Wolf Book Two (Cadeleonian Series, #4) - Ginn Hale B-but. I'm not ready for it to be over. ;_;

Review will be posted on Boys in our Books.

A Case of Possession

A Case of Possession - K.J. Charles It's rare to find a book so well written and fun to read. The writing alone was the sole reason of continuing this series after my lackluster experience with book 1. I'm glad I persevered as A Case of Possession was nothing short of great.

There's blackmail, sexy wall sex, and giant killer rats galore. What more can a reader want?

Interlude with Tattoos

Interlude with Tattoos - K.J. Charles I liked this more than the first book. :D

Sexy story was sexy.
Banter between Merrick and Crane was fun.
And magpies that are contactable like STDs after sex is creatively...erotic.

The Last Thing He Needs

The Last Thing He Needs - J.H. Knight Rating: 2.5 stars

Tommy O'Shea's life is pretty much crap. Dead mother, drunk father & stepmother who are better left missing, and a whole horde of siblings to take care of - Tommy has learned to accept his life for what it is. And then there's that copper, Bobby, who just can't seem to stay away.

When I first read the blurb, I was reminded of the US television show Shameless. Just replace Fiona with Tommy, and you've got pretty much a similar setup. Which wasn't a bad thing, since I'm a fan of the show. However, many aspects of The Last Thing He Needs was just lackluster for me.

The biggest issue I had with the book was the sheer predictability of everything. Everything that happened were things I expected after thirty minutes reading into the book. Perhaps it was this lack of surprise that smothered the emotional punch that was supposedly waiting around each corner.

The relationship between Tommy and Bobby lacked a type of spark. Their relationship was more of a warm furnace instead of the explosive crackle of an open fire that I expected. It was pretty down key, which isn't always a bad thing - just not something that keeps my attention.

And while Tommy's stubbornness was understandable, it was kind of tiresome to read. Especially since it seemed to be the cause of 90% of any problems between him and Bobby, who himself was a little too much of a knight in shining armor for my taste.

In the end, I felt like the book read a bit too much like a modern day fairytale for my liking. Sure, it was well written and the children in the family were kind of fun to read about. But overall, the book failed to keep my attention and left me skimming towards the ending.

Rorschach Blots

Rorschach Blots - R.D. Hero, RoughDraftHero DNF @ 25%.

Just wasn't working for me. Then again, I'm not a fan of the high school setting, so perhaps I was just setting myself up for failure.

The Devil Lancer

The Devil Lancer - Astrid Amara The Devil Lancer is an interesting retelling of the Crimean war with a paranormal/fantasy twist. Some things worked for me, but others didn't. Overall, it was a good distraction from the present.

The overall world building is excellent. The author really, REALLY did her research in terms of the setting and the events of the war. Unfortunately, my knowledge of this specific war and time period was pretty much non-existent and I ended up having to Google a LOT. To the point that it actually started feeling tiresome and I would just quit doing so. There were a few major battle scenes that were also difficult for me to visualize since I had to do some research on the terminology, which kind of detracted from my enjoyment. However, I feel this is just a "me" thing, and I wouldn't have the author really change her writing or "dumb" it down as it would also take away from the authenticity of this era.

In terms of plot, The Devil Lancer is a story about demonic possession. It wasn't until I was halfway through the book that I realize I don't really like possession stories outside of fanfiction (oops!). The story also took quite a lot of setup time. It wasn't until about 25% into the book that I felt the story picking up. While the story did pick up midway into the book, pacing was probably my biggest complaint. I felt like the story was moving very slowly, regardless of the time jumps from one chapter to another. A good amount of the story could have probably been tightened or removed in my opinion.

I also felt like the story didn't really provide the emotional punch I was looking for. There were certain events that happened that I felt like didn't leave the impression it should have. For example, When Ilyas' mother drowned, I didn't really feel the grief I was expecting from Ilyas. However, the relationship between Ilyas and Elliot was a nice build up, even if the start was kind of slow.

So despite all my complaints, The Devil Lancer definitely had its moments. I liked the one-on-one fight scenes in the book, most of the paranormal/fantasy aspect of the plot, and Elliot's character. The sex scenes, while brief, was tastefully done (or as much so for a war story in the mid-1800s). Over all, if you are looking for an immersive historical fantasy/paranormal war romance, give The Devil Lancer a shot.

The Last Moonlight Serenade

The Last Moonlight Serenade - gankyourdarlings "Bobby told me once, 'Coincidences are just God's way of staying anonymous.' So is that it? Am I supposed to see some kind of sign here?"

Historical war settings are among my favorite when it comes to romance fiction. There's something about the ambiance of the past - something delicate, like looking at a faded black/white photo, that draws me in. Mixed with the type of pressure brought by war, even the ugliest most unlikely relationship can shine like a diamond among a sea of coals.

It's just before 1945, and Dean Winchester is feeling the wear and tear of World War II. During the New Year, he bumps into a fighter pilot by the name of Castiel Novak. This is just the beginning.

As historical war romances go, I would say The Last Moonlight Serenade would rank somewhere in the middle when it comes to the nitty gritty. It's definitely no [b:Special Forces|6708511|Special Forces (Special Forces, #1-3)|Aleksandr Voinov|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1268577845s/6708511.jpg|6904341], but it isn't a walk in the park either. It does get emotional towards the middle and heavy towards the later third of the story, but the emotional punch never got too extreme (I only had to use a couple Kleenex).

Characterization was done well, though Castiel's personality was different from the naive angel that we all know and love from the television show. Instead, he's the master of euphemisms and the romance languages.

In terms of the writing, it was kind of rough despite having a beta reader. Not the cleanest of reads, but I found myself enjoying my time spent in this war era. I would definitely recommend this story for lovers of historical war romance!

Manipulation

Manipulation - Eden Winters Being the fourth book in the series, Manipulation is another great addition to Lucky and Bo’s adventure, as partners in love and work. It’s a shame that I can’t say much of anything in terms of the plot without spoiling the whole thing, but I will say this: Manipulation seems to be focusing a lot on Lucky’s past.

Book three, Corruption, was a book that left many questions unanswered. Questions regarding an important figure in Lucky’s pre-Bo past. Manipulation helped to shed light on these questions, while creating new ones of its own. Yet throughout the chaos of all things happening, one thing shines brightly through the nitty and gritty: Lucky&Bo (or Lucky&Bo/Cyrus).

I was worried that after three books, Corruption wouldn’t bring anything new to this beloved couple. Would the author create unnecessary angst and huge communication breakdowns that would force our couple to re-evaluate their relationship? I don’t want a “big misunderstanding” or a “breaking up with you is for the best” kind of situation!

Phew.

Thank goodness the author sees sense.

While the investigation and such was interesting (and learning more about Lucky’s past), I felt like the meat of the book was the development between Lucky and Bo. And yes, there’s further development here as we see these men take small steps into the future. Together. It’s great, because I can see a many possibilities between these guys, and I am so ready to read about any one of them. These guys stay strong with one another throughout Manipulation, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

It was also nice to see the author create a plotline that focused on the development of a new dosage form of an already existing drug (i.e. hydrocodone), as opposed to the creation of something completely new/fictional. It makes the inner (legal) drug dealer in me happy and the story more “real,” especially with the inclusion of the rescheduling of hydrocodone products on the market. Definitely a thumbs up to Eden Winters for doing research and making her story relevant to current day events.

So pretty much, if you liked the series up to this point, including Bo&Lucky, then Manipulation will not dissapoint. I’m ready for the next book!

Jump the Track

Jump the Track - alysian_fields What you would expect in a high school/YA story, with a nice dash of Dean and Castiel goodness.

Pain in the Head

Pain in the Head - RockinJanelle The blurb for this Supernatural fanfiction doesn't really give much hint of what Pain in the Head is about. So let me tell you.

This is a heartbreaking story about faith.

It's about living in death. And death in living.

It's about believing in eternity, only to be limited by reality.

I'm sure this isn't making much more sense than the blurb. But I've spent 8 hours reading this with red puffy eyes and a box of Kleenex that is almost empty. So let me try again...

Set sometime after the events of The Apocalypse (in which the Leviathans never occurred), Cas and Dean have settled into a life together. It's a (newly) established relationship between hunter and angel. Domestic bliss at its best.

But it all starts with a headache. And the story spirals into something shadowed in grief and heartbreak, all held together with a flimsy piece of tape called faith that things will work out in the end.

The story is well written. Great characterization. Well proofread.

I don't think I can say much more as I'm trying to make myself presentable for work (good luck with that). Luckily, I can just say it's just allergies. I'll probably edit this review to be more coherent later.

The Magpie Lord

The Magpie Lord - K.J. Charles Rating: 3.5 stars

I believe The Magpie Lord is a rare kind of book: the kind that has many unique ideas and concepts. A (five foot) magician with "champagne hands," an English lord that was exiled to China for twenty years, and magic of the type that exists as a current in the air. The writing is smart, and the plot was simply riveting as the mystery reached a peak towards the end.

Despite all this, I couldn't seem to really get into both characters. Lord Crane was an interesting enigma to me at first, but he couldn't seem to hold my interest as he played spectator throughout the book while his magician partner did all the leg work. At the same time, Stephen Day didn't really pop out as an interesting guy, even though he's a magician. To me, Day was the one doing all the work while Lord Crane was just a nice piece of furniture in the background. Both characters were just "there" for me, and not much else.

To me, The Magpie Lord is a great historical fantasy story with great writing, an interesting mystery and fun (and not-so-fun) magic. I just wished I could connect with the characters more.

Someone I Forgot to Be

Someone I Forgot to Be - MatildaMavis MatildaMavis is one of those writers I wish wrote more fanfiction. It's been a while since I've read Someone I Forgot to Be. Was it the most original story out there? No. But it had great execution and was an enjoyable read.

Welcome to Oz

Welcome to Oz - bauble Rating: 3.5 stars

The writing was great. But that ending killed me.

Thursday’s Child

Thursday’s Child - strangenessandcharm Thursday’s Child (TC) is a Supernatural fanfiction that takes place in a dystopian setting revealed in season 5, episode 4 of the television series. Readers should have watched up to this point to understand the events leading up to TC, and to avoid any major spoilers to the show from both this fanfiction and my review!

The world has become a different place, and the Winchesters weren’t able to divert the apocalypse set forth by Lucifer. But this all ends with in the opening page, and a new world is set forth in motion. However, Castiel is now alone in this world and makes the decision to stay with the one person he would give everything to (and has).

Don’t let the blurb fool you with its seemingly carefree tone. TC is a book that deals with the struggles of a drug-addicted character in finding his anchor in a world reminding him of his failures. The struggle of drug addiction, while frustrating to read about, was portrayed well and does not make light of the issue (no waving the magic wand called “love” to make it all better!).

There was a good mixture of angst, action, humor and heart wrenching moments.

But most of all, TC shines in its display of complete, and absolute devotion to the one person we love. And who else can offer that, if not for an ex-Angel of the Lord? Looking for a sweet office romance filled with fluff where the biggest problem in a relationship is saying the four letter word? Then skip this story right the fuck now. Because this is the kind of story that makes you grab at your hair, and pull in frustration. You want to root for Castiel, smack him real hard when he messes up, cringe at the things he does, and cry for his loss and devotion.

But most of all, you just want him to be happy. Happy with Dean Winchester, the righteous man and the only one for Castiel.

My only complaint is that the story felt a bit over-the-top with the events towards the end. But it managed to not cross that fine line of eye rolling (but just barely!).

Overall, an emotionally gripping story about love and devotion with a large heaping of angst and conflict.

The Boy with the Painful Tattoo

The Boy with the Painful Tattoo - Josh Lanyon I am thoroughly pleased with The Boy with the Painful Tattoo. It's been years since I've read the last book, so it was a pleasure to get reacquainted with Christopher's mental musings and antisocial behavior.

Unlike the previous books, which focuses much on the mystery, this addition places much focus on the relationship between Christopher and J.X. Having just moved in together, Christopher starts having doubts. Not about whether he loves J.X. or not (that is pretty obvious), but whether or not they can make it. He also struggles with making this new house a place he can call home, which isn't aided by the fact of a dead body in a box that was supposed to contain his china.

That's not to say that the mystery takes a back burner. It just felt like the mystery was an accessory or a means for Christopher to further explore his relationship, or come to some much needed conclusions. You would think that after two books, there wouldn't be too much left to learn about this couple, but TBWTPT certainly proves that wrong. And even still, after finishing the book, I feel like their story isn't complete.

I hope there will be more to this series, because I feel like there is much to still explore with both Christopher and J.X.!

Bad Things

Bad Things - Varian Krylov Rating: 2.5 stars

Living with the guilt of his sister’s rape, Xavier has grown and nurtured an inner hatred for many kinds of people. So it isn’t surprising when he decides to unofficially assist in an investigation into a human trafficking ring taking on the front of a high end club catering to rich men. And perhaps it isn’t too much of a stretch that he meets a very attractive man who may be key to ending it all.

If I had to describe Bad Things, I would say it was a road trip that starts off pleasantly, but ends frustratingly with traffic and detours. Xavier was definitely the more interesting of the two, but Carson (unfortunately) gets a good amount of page time. Their relationship starts off unconventionally to say the least, but the progression of it didn’t feel very believable. In a way, most of the emotional development was recognized in hindsight, which made for quite the jump in their opinions of one another quite a leap.

However, the unbelievable relationship between Carson and Xavier didn’t tone down the sex. Holy cow, talk about steamy. Bad Things probably ranks up there in terms of sexiest book of the year. But even too much of a good thing isn’t always…good. And after a while, I was actually getting tired of the sex scenes. Chalk it up to old age, but I need a little bit more than a good ol’ orgasm (or three).

In terms of plot, the book definitely had one to start. But somewhere along the way, it got derailed by the introduction of two characters from another book, Dangerously Happy. Perhaps if I had read this other book, I would have enjoyed the portion introducing them. Or perhaps not. Either way, I started skimming towards the middle as I realized not much was happening except for lots of sex, kissing, and picture taking.

And while the book starts off deliciously dark with an unconventional start of a messed up relationship, the last portion of the book was nothing but melodrama and sappiness. Which, is not my sort of thing unfortunately.

So overall, Bad Things just didn’t work for me. Great steaminess and one interesting character (Xavier). However, the story was probably 30% longer than it needed to be, and the plot felt derailed towards the middle. While I’m happy with how the the book ended, I’m not quite sure if it was worth the time and trouble to get there.