Review: “Draakenwood” (W&G 9) by Jordan L. Hawk

About:

Someone is killing members of the old families…and the evidence points to Whyborne.

Widdershins has been unusually quiet for months. But now a mysterious creature from the Outside is on the loose, assassinating members of the town’s old families by draining their blood. Whyborne and Griffin set out to solve the mystery—but as the evidence piles up, the police begin to suspect Whyborne himself is the murderer.

Now Whyborne must both clear his name and stop the horrors the monster threatens to unleash. His only hope: an alliance with his old enemies the Endicotts.

Because something terrible lurks in the Draakenwood, and it will stop at nothing to seize control of the maelstrom itself.

Draakenwood is the ninth book in the Whyborne & Griffin series, where magic, mystery, and m/m romance collide with Victorian era America. Continue reading

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Review: “Enigma Variations” by Andre Aciman

About:

André Aciman, hailed as a writer of “fiction at its most supremely interesting” (The New York Review of Books), has written a novel that charts the life of a man named Paul, whose loves remain as consuming and as covetous throughout his adulthood as they were in his adolescence. Whether the setting is southern Italy, where as a boy he has a crush on his parents’ cabinetmaker, or a snowbound campus in New England, where his enduring passion for a girl he’ll meet again and again over the years is punctuated by anonymous encounters with men; whether he’s on a tennis court in Central Park, or on a New York sidewalk in early spring, his attachments are ungraspable, transient, and forever underwritten by raw desire—not for just one person’s body but, inevitably, for someone else’s as well.

In Enigma Variations, Aciman maps the most inscrutable corners of passion, proving to be an unsparing reader of the human psyche and a master stylist. With language at once lyrical, bare-knuckled, and unabashedly candid, he casts a sensuous, shimmering light over each facet of desire to probe how we ache, want, and waver, and ultimately how we sometimes falter and let go of those who may want to offer only what we crave from them. Ahead of every step Paul takes, his hopes, denials, fears, and regrets are always ready to lay their traps. Yet the dream of love lingers. We may not always know what we want. We may remain enigmas to ourselves and to others. But sooner or later we discover who we’ve always known we were.

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Review: “Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng

About:

Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.

So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos.

A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another. Continue reading

Review: “Practice Makes Perfect” by Jay Northcote

About:

Getting experience with the guy next door seems like a great idea—until the lines blur.

Dev, a geeky first year physics student, has zero sexual experience and he’s determined to change that ASAP. After a bad time in halls of residence, he’s starting the summer term with different housemates and a new plan of action.

Ewan lives in the house next door to Dev. He’s young, free and single, and isn’t looking to change that anytime soon. When awkward circumstances throw them together, Ewan offers to help Dev out in the bedroom in return for maths tutoring, and Dev jumps at the chance.

They work their way through Dev’s sex-to-do list, but what starts as a perfect no-strings arrangement gets more complicated as their feelings for each other begin to grow. If they’re going to turn their lessons in lovemaking into something more permanent, they need to work out how they feel about each other—before they get to the end of Dev’s list. Continue reading

Review: “A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara

About:

When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.

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Movie Review: “Cuatro Lunas” (Four Moons)

About:

4 Moons tells four stories about love and self-acceptance. An eleven-year-old boy struggles to keep secret the attraction he feels towards his male cousin. Two former childhood friends reunite and start a relationship that gets complicated due the fear one of them has of getting caught. A long lasting gay relationship is in jeopardy when a third man comes along. An old family man is obsessed with a young male prostitute and tries to raise the money to afford the experience.

In Spanish, with English subtitles

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Review: “Kings Rising” by C.S. Pacat

kingsRising

Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat

ABOUT:

Damianos of Akielos has returned.

His identity now revealed, Damen must face his master Prince Laurent as Damianos of Akielos, the man Laurent has sworn to kill.

On the brink of a momentous battle, the future of both their countries hangs in the balance. In the south, Kastor’s forces are massing. In the north, the Regent’s armies are mobilising for war. Damen’s only hope of reclaiming his throne is to fight together with Laurent against their usurpers.

Forced into an uneasy alliance the two princes journey deep into Akielos, where they face their most dangerous opposition yet. But even if the fragile trust they have built survives the revelation of Damen’s identity—can it stand against the Regents final, deadly play for the throne?


 

REVIEW:

Fair warning: This is actually the third (and last) installment in this series. If by the end of this review your interest has peaked and want to give the series a try, you can follow this link, that will get you straight to Amazon and the Captive Prince ebook box set.

A little bit of history on the series before I start with the review for the third book, shall we?

So, if you haven’t read these books, you should know that Captive Prince is a fantasy series. Here you will meet Laurent, a ruly Prince with a dark humor and extremely masterful mind. He’s possibly one of the most brilliant characters I’ve read. He’s intelligent, royal, and a right pain in the ass… But don’t let him fool you, Laurent is also one of the most loyal and selfless characters you’ll ever encounter… He won’t let you see that easily, though.. And chances are you’ll hate him A LOT for the first book.

The other side of the coin is Damen, or Damianos. Damianos was a Prince as well, though when the book starts he should be ruling Akielos, as a King, but his brother, who hates him, sends him to Vere, to be a pleasure slave for The Prince of Vere, Laurent. Laurent doesn’t know who Damen is, and they have, to put it mildly, a very rocky start.

One of the things that I find most appealing about this series is not only the setting, but the incredible characters. This is one of those stories where everything counts. Every little detail will serve for something, and you need to pay a lot of attention. There is a wonderful growth in both Main Characters both individually, and as a… couple.

The build up is painfully, but deliciously, slow. The story itself isn’t quite relationship centered, but really, story/plot centered with a huge centering, also on the MC’s. It’s beautifully equilibrated, in my opinion.

The writing is gorgeous, and the story telling is a mix of easy and complex. All the characters that you read have a part. All the characters in this book have a motive, a reason to be there. They ALL play a part, and they all, carry on (even if they are killed) on to book three.

The way Laurent and Damen come to depend on each other before they have to part ways by the end of book two, is just delicious. You read them and realize that you need more. Your heart jumps with every single nuance you read. Every single glance, and absent minded (or extremely intentional) touch, gives you goosebumps. And then, your heart breaks.. It breaks when you realize how difficult it all is…

But then, there’s Kings Rising… On to book 3, yeah?

I think this book will be in my top three of this year… Yeah, I know you must think I’m speaking too soon, after all, it’s only February, but… I kid you not… This book was just brilliant.

Kings Rising starts right where Prince’s Gambit ends. Laurent and Damen are temporary separated and are meeting to fight together, once more. I do recommend rereading the first two books before you get to this book… Remember: every detail counts. You want to have everything fresh in your head.

Laurent and Damen have to join forces, now was Laurent and Damianos. I have to say, that this moment. The moment when Damen comes out as Damianos, was one of the ones that gave me goosebumps… I don’t want to spoil anyone, so just know that this was everything I knew it would be and more.

Our boys fight together, and in this union their connections strenghtens. They become tighter, and stronger, and they realize that together they can do more than they could ever do separately.

The action in this book is wonderful, and the humor is absoultely brilliant… But what absolutely stole my heart was the romance. I simply wasn’t expecting this to be so sweet, so heartfelt, so emotional, and so heart wrenching… At least not in the way it was. To see cold Laurent melting in Damen’s eyes. To read him say his name and give himself fully to the moment… Damn it all, it was bloody perfect.

My only problem was that the conspiracy with the Regent and all seemed a bit loose. I mean, some of the things that happened seemed pretty strange when it came to the Regent who is this ruthless idiot that I hate with my soul. At the same time some of the things that Laurent did seemed like… Not much like Laurent. I mean, he’s always been this cold character, with a brilliant mind, that forsees every little thing, and plans everything in detail, so a few things read odd to me, in that respect.

That being said, I adored this. I just wish that part of the ending had been tied up more carefully, because it read like it had plot holes, or inaccuracies, given how we learned the characters in previous books.

That being said, imagine my excitement when I learnt that C.S Pacat is writing three more short stories to go with this series! XD YEAR MADE, dude!


 

Purchase Links:

Amazon |  Barnes And Noble