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TinaK

She Reads Too Much

There are a million other things I should be doing with my time...cleaning my house, riding my motorcycle, cooking my family dinner, talking to my Mother on the phone. But I can't. I just....can't. There are too many good books to read.

Currently reading

The Forsaken (The Survivor Chronicles #3)
Erica Stevens
The Skin Map
Stephen R. Lawhead

The Resurrected -- Part One

The Resurrected -- Part One - Megan Hart Part one of a serial that's been sitting on my TBR forever.

And I'm not entirely sure what just happened. Stranger sex. Tornado. Death. Flowers.

I can't rate though, not enough stuff.

Hmmmm....on to the next installment.

Dinner At Home

Dinner At Home - Rick R. Reed Damn it Goodreads! I want half stars! *shakes fist*

Rating 1.5 stars, rounded to 2.

It's time to let the reign of bitchiness continue.



Dinner at Home should have been a slam dunk for me. I'm a foodie and God knows I love books with food involved. However this book? Um....

Please, I need to know! How do you have a book that starts just about every chapter with a recipe (which I wrote down and will try just about all of) and have paragraphs of cooking descriptions, down to detail about chopping onions, yet have no food smexyness AT ALL? EVER? I mean I expected at least one smexy scene while Ollie and Hank were cooking but...I don't think we even saw them cooking together on page?!



And then there is Olli and Hank's relationship. Where did the actual relationship development go off to? One page Hank is breaking into Ollie's car and several pages later they are living in the same house, have an excellent working relationship and what seems like a good friendship. Then BAM - they're lovers. No on page progression. No gradual getting to know each other, no angsty silent yearning, no covert looks. Because of that I didn't believe their romantic relationship at all. Which meant what little sex there was fell flat. Gahhhh.... So much good shit missing!!!!



I was totally thrown off and pulled out of the story by Hank's mother and sister when they showed up on page. Hank's mom is portrayed at first like this shrew of a woman who kicked Hank out and doesn't want the responsibility of caring for her granddaughter, she wants to send said granddaughter to Hank even though Hank has no job and is living in a homeless shelter. Then suddenly there is a big thing, they are holding each other and crying and it's all "Mommy I love you". Dude, you can't go 180 like that! It almost physically hurts to get yanked out of the story!

And then the sister Stacey? Like a few paragraphs of a religious nut and then oh, maybe not so much? It's like, my daughter can't live in this house of homosexual sin but hellz yeah I'll take a plane ticket for me and my kid to come for Thanksgiving with you gay guys and oh...a few lesbians too.. No problem....



To top off the crazy sauce sundae we also have Rose. She delivers a horrible back story towards the end of the book and then...that's it! It's a horrible story. Awful. But..um...why did we need it? In my opinion it didn't do anything to move the story forward (much like the excessive food preparation paragraphs) but rather filled up space between characters actually doing something!

Oh, also, I can't forget to mention the 4-year old niece that shows up periodically in the book. The way she talks? Way too old for a 4-year old. Even a 4-year old with a shitty, hard life. She sounds more like a 70-year old crotchety bitch. So, while I'm thinking she was supposed to provide some levity and comic relief it totally missed that mark for me.

Much of the emotion was told rather than shown which is a huge pet peeve of mine. Things along of the line of saying that Ollie was too depressed and/or upset to eat rather than giving us a few lines where he is picking listlessly at food he prepared. Whatever, I can't even be bothered to go back and look up instances but they're there. Trust me.

So overall, I didn't like this book. I didn't hate it either. It got half a star because the recipes were delicious looking (can't wait to try to spaghetti sauce and meatballs because I love to experiment with that). I guess this was more effective as a really short cook book than it was a work of M/M romance for me...


Stay With Me

Stay With Me - S.E. Harmon While I did order this when it was first listed for publication I'm putting on my never will I ever list.

According to reviews, while this is a GFY (my weakness) it also contains infidelity/cheating which is a hard, hard limit for me.

So...nope, nope, nope.

Stripping the Pain

Stripping the Pain - Kathleen   Lee Okay, short, freebie.

There was no BDSM in the book, there was a need for pain. Different thing.

Really too short to properly deal with the issues raised.

Some of the sentences made absolutely no sense. And I guess the smell of Irish Spring is toxic. Who knew.

But - friends to lovers. Bonus.

And - hot sex. Bonus.

P.S. Precede means before. Just saying.

Not Just Friends

Not Just Friends - Jay Northcote Quite sweet with a relatively low angst level. The age group was a bit young for my taste, only 18, which of course made me feel like a dirty old woman.

Two college freshmen, one openly out and one not quite sure about his sexuality. Most of the angst and emotional stuff was regarding the stuttering steps these two took towards a relationship rather than the whole realizing you are gay and coming out part. Both guys were just plain nice. Nice guys, good kids and very much typical young men in their behavior and communication skills.

Very much enjoyed the last bit - from the dance club forward. While it was a HEA it didn't feel solid for me simply because of the fact that they are so young.

This was my second by this author and I enjoy his style so I'll be going back for more.

Recommend to fans of virgin gays who are out for you and done mind the younger age group.

Wolf Run by BA Tortuga

Wolf Run by BA Tortuga - BA Tortuga

Whoa. There was, and I can't believe I am actually going to type this, way too much sex. Like all the sex, all the time and then over again.

Other than that it was cotton candy fluffy stuff. A three page crisis, easily solved. And fluff again.

So very different from the only other book I've read by [a:B.A. Tortuga|538830|B.A. Tortuga|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1311359092p2/538830.jpg], [b:The Terms of Release|20902389|The Terms of Release|B.A. Tortuga|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1393318769s/20902389.jpg|40266424]. No bad. Just different.

So this was good for sweetness and fluffiness. And sex. Heavens, the sex.

Did I mention the sex? They needed way more hydration than what they got in the book.

Just saying.


In the Key Of

In the Key Of - Willa Okati Another solid offering from Willa Okati!

This one an unconventional slow burn of a romance with some unique sex scenes.

Teague is a lawyer who is still learning to live again after his husband's death just over two years ago and Julian is an immigrant from Northern Ireland who plays violin on the street corners. A chance encounter and the two men embark upon an unusual romance that is both sweet and sexy.

Satisfying read that I recommend to romantics who love a slow burn romance with a mild heat level.

The Stand: The Complete & Uncut Edition

The Stand: The Complete & Uncut Edition - Stephen King Now, I love me a long book. There have been times I've said "The longer the better". But this time? Way too many words!

To be honest it took me from July 26 to around August 7 to read half way through Book II. Once I hit about half way through Book II I read the rest every time I sat town with my iPad.

During the slow reading period there were moments that engaged me but there were more moment where I was skipping swaths of narrative because I really didn't care. I did enjoy getting inside the heads of characters I had only met via the TV movie. It helped to understand their actions and reactions.

Though it's been years since I saw the movie I felt like most of the characters were true to their book origins. Nadine was, for me anyway, quite different. I actually found her more sympathetic in the book. Harold was creepier in the book and Fran and Stu had more layers. Seeing Larry's progression from self involved user to sacrificial lamb was wonderful to behold.

The overall tone of the book was, as expected, dark and honestly hopeless. Because it's really about a battle that is as old as time and continues to be fought - good versus evil. While there are sparks of hope, of promise, you also realize that it's not ever going to be an easy journey, that there will be losses along the way and that you might not see a victory in your lifetime.

Overall I enjoyed the book and though I skipped parts I'm not entirely sure how it could have been cut down.

Recommended for Stephen King fans, lovers of post-apocalyptic fiction and how relationships are impacted by that.

Try

Try - Ella Frank So, a solid 2.5 stars. Much of this story is really not romance. At least for me. There were two times when they were...tenderish with each other. Both times during sex. I believed the gay for you plot. Logan was sort of an ass most of the time. Poor Tate has a rough, rough ride. The sex was off the charts hot but I didn't get enough romance. Enough tender.

While it didn't have a HEA and there was no resolution I have hopes these guys will work their shit out. At the same time I can't say for sure if I will read the next installment of their story.

It just left me feeling vaguely unsatisfied. In fact the first time I caught my breath and got chills was 80% of the way through the book. Not enough for me.

As Hot As It Gets

As Hot As It Gets - Elle Kennedy Read this smex scene. Must have book.

Smexy Books

Ironhearted

Ironhearted - Cate Ashwood Not my favorite but it did have a good HEA.

Killing Time

Killing Time - Jane Davitt, Alexa Snow Still on the fence here - waiting for some more trusted friend reviews. Paranormal is hit or miss for me in the M/M genre. Now give me [a:Moira Rogers|1441593|Moira Rogers|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1290114207p2/1441593.jpg] and I'll read anything!

For You

For You - C.R. Guiliano Time jumps, established couple. Just not for me....

Simple Men

Simple Men - Eric Arvin Did absolutely nothing for me.

Floodgates

Floodgates - Mary Calmes Reread 8/2/14 - still fucking loved it. WTF moments and all!

So this was my first [a:Mary Calmes|3152411|Mary Calmes|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1265682917p2/3152411.jpg] book and I think I'm gonna be going back for more.



I really, really, really loved this story. Adored Tracy. Drooled over Cord. Wanted to be a member of the Brandt family. I totally didn't care about anything that might seem implausible. DIDN'T CARE!!

Tracy Brandt is this fantastic "every man" with a self-deprecating sense of humor, a fantastic family, a job he loves and great friends. While at work one day some shit goes down! It kinda sucks but draws his ex, Breckin, (dumb name) back into his life.

Cord Nolan is a homicide investigator who used to be partnered with Tracy's brother Alex. He takes the case (which considering the family/friend ties I'm not sure he could have done IRL? But I DON'T CARE!) and sets out to protect Tracy (and other things I don't care about) and conquer his heart too! Wheeee......

Cord and Tracy have known each other for something like 5 years (I don't care how long, it's still fuckin' awesome) and first impressions were...well...not good for horn dog Cord. While there is some major sexual tension between the two of them Tracy, Mr. Relationship, is totally not going there with Cord. And life goes on.

Tracy ends up in a relationship with Breckin (of the dumb name and doucheness) but at the time the story starts they have been taking a break for four months because Breckin (dumb name) is an asshat. Then the shit happens, Tracy ends up in the hospital and Breckin (dumb name) rushes to Tracy's side.

As does Tracy's brother Alex and Cord, Alex's former partner and still BFF.

A BIG SEKRIT is revealed! Poor Tracy!



Cord offers comfort. And he is growly and possessive and all alpha and it's amazeballs!

There is a mystery sub-plot here and I DON'T CARE! Because this story for me is all about Tracy and Cord!



I love...nay...adore the way Cord pursues Tracy. He's frustrated, exasperated, scared, nervous, hopeful, passionate, tender, angry and...and..and...ALL THE FEELZ! And alpha on top of it all. And he is an alpha that can show that small amount of vulnerability and still look tough as shit doing it.



He says stuff like:

"I fuck everybody because I don't fuck you." (<----Cord)

I wasn't following. (<----Tracy)

"Things change, things we want, and five years ago I was different than I am now."

Easing closer, I heard how rough his breathing was, felt the slight tremble in his touch, and saw his gaze move to my mouth.

"I think about you all the time," he said on an exhale, cupping my cheek. "But you don't see me now; you only see how I was."


Tracy kicks ass. He's all in man. Once he buys what Cord is selling he is fuckin' ALL IN!



What I loved is the fact that once these two were all in, that's it. It was serious from day one! It worked because of their off page history. Even though we didn't see it, didn't live with with them, I believed it. Every second of it.

So the mystery thing was okay. I mean, I totally figured out who it was when the guilty party was introduced but that's okay. Again, the mystery wasn't the story. It was the impetus to get my boys together and keep them in close proximity for awhile.

The smex was infrequent but I DON'T CARE! Because what was there was smoking hot dude! I was binge reading in a Chinese restaurant during lunch before coming to school today and I was totally blushing! And re-reading. And the FEELZ!

There was stuff like this:

Cord to Tracy during the first smex!
"If you give me permission, you can't ever take it back. You're done and I'm moving in and you're getting a ring. You're stuck with me 'til you're dead, so you better think."

"How come I can't just get laid?"

"Because that was never you, and now it's not me. So let me love you or I'll go."


And...

"Oh fuck," I cried out as he fisted his fingers in my hair, releasing my dripping cock, and shoved me facedown into the bed.

"Now," he yelled, hammering into me, gripping my hips tight, allowing for no wiggle or squirm, no movement of any kind. "Do you want me to love you? Yes or no."


And...
The kiss was hard and slow, and I took my time because all I really wanted was to taste him. He closed his eyes, and I kissed his throat and his jaw before returning to his mouth. He moved his hands over my chest and down across my stomach to the snap on my jeans. He was not gentle and tugged the snap open roughly. I dug my fingers into his shoulders to bring him close, and he smiled down at me before covering me with his big, hard body, crushing me gently under him.

"I'm lucky you finally saw me," he whispered against my mouth.


And...and....just GAH man, totally GAH! And GUH!

And I could write a million words here and not express how happy this made me. Instead I'll speak with my weeping credit card and go forth and purchase a good portion of the Calmes back-list.



And highly recommend to lovers of M/M feelz! And tender alphas. And cool families. And you know...all of the above!

Nothing But Smoke

Nothing But Smoke - Daisy Harris First, we really really have to worship at the altar of this fucking cover. Because, hello bitches, THAT is how you do sexy. I want to lick his abs. Immediately!

A moment of silence please.







Moving on...

This was a difficult book to read. Both Michael and Nicky were messed the fuck up. Nicky is a closeted firefighter with a dying mother. She's been dying for years but in this book she at he end. He has only been on the receiving end of blow jobs by random park hook ups. It's his only outlet.

Michael is a college senior who previously dated a MAJOR closet case who messed his head up and broke his heart four years ago. He hasn't been in love since and it seems as though most of his relationships have been either brief or just hook ups as well.

So, these two train wrecks meet in a park. Hook up and go their separate ways. And here is where my problems kinda start.

When Michael first sees Nicky he pegs him as a closeted guy who comes to the park, hooks up and then goes home to his wife or girlfriend. But he goes down on him anyway. Totally not cool and kinda made me dislike the character so now we are starting with a deficit and something big is gonna have to happen to make me like him.

Nothing does.

For the most part he remains pretty selfish and demanding throughout the duration of the story. There are times he is quite tender, supportive and understanding. But for me, not enough to completely redeem him. He spends most of the book trying to fucking drag Nicky out of the closet! Really? The man's mother is DYING asshole! Step off!



They actually meet by accident a second time at a firefighter picnic and end up hooking up again. Phone numbers are exchanged because though both are skittish they connected somehow. *sigh* I never bought it



Nicky is all over the place emotionally! But dear God, who can blame him. It's been him and his mother for pretty much his entire life and now she is months way from dying. He's got no one to lean on. No one to support or comfort him. And it's fucking heartbreaking.



However I really felt like maybe this relationship was too built on the basis of the crisis in his life. He was desperate for comfort and attached himself to Michael but for some reason I never figured out quite why.



Now, the sex is hot because Harris gives good sex. The last portion of the book Michael is very consistently supportive and Nicky is very consistently needy. If you like this dynamic (needy man being needy) you've got it here. I greatly enjoyed the younger and physically weaker Michael being the dominant partner in this relationship. Nicky needed that. It's not BDSM or TPE but more a forceful personality on Michael's part and a need for someone else to be in charge from Nicky's side of things.

Firefighting was in name only, there was no fire action in the book. Michael's mother was a interesting character. Nicky's mother was a straight out plot device used to provide angst & conflict. Thank GOD the whole religious thing didn't spiral out of control (except for the stereotypical priest) as it was used more as another stumbling block against Nicky's decision as to whether or not he should come out to his mom.

Brief glimpses of the two couples from the previous books. I think there were missed opportunities there. Logan could have been a great support and friend to Nicky. Tomas as well. In the previous books both had been closeted and Tomas had some religious issues to surmount.

It also drove me APE SHIT that a 29-year old man went by the name Nicky. I kept seeing a 12-year old in my head.

Overall it was okay for me. I'm still a Daisy Harris fan but as a whole I think this series is not my cup of tea.

Then again, I'm on serious bitch pills it seems and I've been hypercritical of nearly everything I've read over the last month. So I'm also shelving this as "me not you" because I think people should totally take this review with a grain of salt.

So, two stars for the story and one star for the cover because, dayum, that cover.