Posts Tagged ‘in-sickness-and-in-health’

Reviewed by Nikyta

The Choosing by Annabelle Jacobs eBookTITLE: The Choosing
AUTHOR: Annabelle Jacobs
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 210 pages
BLURB: Jerath is facing the biggest problem of his life. When boys in his shapeshifter village Eladir get their fangs, they must endure a coming-of-age rite called the Choosing, so they can take on their animal form. The rite is performed on the full moon, but the trouble is the Choosing involves having sex with a girl, and Jerath’s only interested in boys. Even if he manages to somehow get through the rite, he doesn’t know if he’ll ever find a mate in his village, where opposite-sex couples are the norm.

Even worse, he may miss the rite altogether after raiders attack his home and take several young men prisoner. Jerath will need the help of warriors if he’s to free the captive shapeshifters, so with his best friend, Serim, he flees south to find aid. Along the way, they meet Meren, a handsome warrior whose attraction to Jerath is instant and very much returned. But with the next full moon approaching and available time for the prisoners to undergo the Choosing running out, Jerath’s love life is far from his only worry.

REVIEW:

I’m going to shamelessly say that covers are the first thing that draw me in so when I saw this one, I was intrigued. Then I found out that it was not only fantasy but had shifters and I just knew that I had to read it… and I’m very glad I did.

Jerath is eagerly awaiting going through The Choosing, where he can finally find out the nature of his animal. Unfortunately, he can’t do that until his fangs come in, which don’t seem to be in any hurry to grow. One day Jerath and his friend Serim are catching fish as part of their chores only to realize on the way back to their village that raiders have taken over the village and captured some of their people to sell as slaves. Scared for their lives and their captured loved ones, they try to seek help with a southern village, Chastil. The journey to Chastil is long and tiring but comes with a few unexpected surprises. Jerath thought he’d never find a mate but when he meets Meren, one of the warriors from Chastil, that just might change his whole future. The real question, however, is whether Meren and his people can help Jerath free his fellow shifters and whether they’ll both survive it to be able to see where their connection leaves them?

I must say, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this story as much as I did. I found Jerath amusing. He’s fierce and possessive but sweet and innocent. It was endearing to see him flustered one moment but then aggressive the next. Meren was the opposite in that he was bold and confident but then easily melted whenever Jerath decided to take the reins. I adored these two and the connection that they make. It’s sweet but intense, loving and hot. I wished there had been more of them because while I feel like I know them, I don’t feel like I know them as well as I could.

The characters are definitely a great addition to this book, however, I think the main appeal was the world the author created. It’s complex but easy to understand. I loved that shifters were freely known about and even that there were whole communities dedicated to them. I liked that the women were born knowing their shifter animal while the men had to wait until they completed The Choosing to know theirs. It added mystery and conflict to the story and made it interesting seeing how the rituals were done. I also liked the fact that it wasn’t just ‘expected’ that they were going to eventually shift but there was always that fear for Jerath that it might not happen.

I had a few niggles with this story. Mostly, I felt like sometimes Serim (Jerath’s female friend) outshined not only Jerath and Meren but the relationship they were building. At times, I felt like the bond between Serim and Jerath was stronger than the one between Meren and Jerath. (This is actually even more prominent when you look at the cover and see the black panther (Serim’s shifter form), which leaves me wondering why is there a black panther on the cover? I would think there would be a jaguar instead.) Personally, that lessened my enjoyment at times because I wanted to see more of the bond between Jerath and Meren not be reminded of the connection between Serim and Jerath. Beyond that, there are a few inconsistencies but I would have loved to see more of Meren’s culture since it seems so different, yet similar, to Jerath’s culture.

Readers should be warned, however, that there is m/f sex in this story. While necessary to the development of the story arc and of Jerath, I know some readers would appreciate being told of this. I’m not all that fond of girly bits in my stories and while I didn’t exactly like this part, I did think it needed to happen so I was fine with it overall.

All in all, even with my issues, I absolutely adored this one. It’s refreshing in a way, unique in others in how different it is from other shifter stories. Add to that, the world is quite fascinating and engaging and the bond that Jerath and Meren ultimately develop was nice to see. I’m hoping Ms. Jacobs decides to write more stories in this world because I’d love to explore it further, especially if that means seeing more of Meren’s culture and rituals.

Definitely recommended for those looking for a different kind of shifter story with an interesting journey and a good HEA.

Nikyta rates it – star_review

BUY LINKS: Dreamspinner Press

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Nikyta is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: NIKYTA’S REVIEWS
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Reviewed by Nikyta & Sid

18471824TITLE: My Only Sunshine
AUTHOR: Rowan McAllister
PUBLISHER:
Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 
226 pages
BLURB:  Tanner Wallis is nearly at the end of his rope the night Mason Seidel finds him lying next to the mangled body of a cow on the back pastures of the Seidel family’s Wyoming ranch. Recently out of the hospital after he and his boyfriend were brutally beaten, Tanner is jobless, homeless, and almost penniless. His desperate hope is that Mason will believe he’s innocent of the senseless crime and give him a place to heal, both physically and emotionally, until he can get on his feet again.

But Mason already has enough on his plate. He’s only been back on the ranch a few months, ten years after his father kicked him out for being gay, and only because his sister begged him to come help after the man’s disabling stroke. With all his responsibilities—running the struggling ranch and keeping his sister and father off his back—Mason can’t really afford the distraction Tanner represents. But he can’t just abandon the attractive young man either. There’s trouble in spades on the ranch, but if they face it together, Mason and Tanner might find a future with a little sunshine.

NIKYTA’S REVIEW

I have a weakness for cowboy stories. Throw in the fact that one of the characters is not only injured physically but is damaged emotionally and you have a story I just had to read.

This is about Tanner Wallis, who life has not been kind to the last few weeks. Forced to endure one hellish situation after another, he unintentionally wanders onto Mason’s property. Seeing that Tanner is not in the best of shape, Mason allows him to heal and rest on the ranch until he’s healthy again. Unfortunately, Mason might be out but he has his own set of problems with his homophobic and disabled father and having Tanner on the ranch can cause way more issues than he wants. However, the feelings between the two develop quickly and intense, leaving both of them unwilling to leave the other no matter what. But what will happen when Mason’s daddy finds out about Tanner? Will Tanner and Mason be able to get through the inevitable trouble that’s bound to happen?

I must say, I simply adored Tanner. He’s so fragile but he’s also very strong. His worst enemy is himself and it was sad to see him have second thoughts about Mason. He doesn’t believe he’s worthy enough to have someone love him for who he is instead of what his face looks like. Very heartbreaking. I also loved Mason because of what he has to put up with. I loved that he was so willing to take care of a father who hated him but at the same time I wanted to shake Mason and tell him to stick up for himself when it came to his family! I found it frustrating that he would bite his lip and just let things get worse instead of getting the courage to tell things the way they really happened, especially when it came to his sister.

The plot of the story mostly revolves around the developing relationship between Tanner and Mason with a side mystery. IMO, the mystery was too weak. It really only showed up or was mentioned when it would add more conflict to the story. However, the relationship between Tanner and Mason was very strong. I liked the almost physical pull the two had for each other. It was cute, sweet but sometimes intense. One thing I probably adored the MOST was the fact that these loved to hug each other simply to be held. I couldn’t get enough of that and really loved that there was nothing sexual attached to the hugs. They were for comfort, love and to give each other strength. It might have been the highlight of the story for me.

I enjoyed the story but I had a few issues with it. My main issue was that for a while in the middle, it started to drag. It was nice seeing Tanner and Mason get to know each other but at the same time, nothing else happened so it didn’t hold my interest for long when I tried to read. On top of that, I had an issue with the foreshadowing at the end of some of the chapters, which felt awkward and unnecessary. The ending was too nicely tied up for my liking so by the end, it left me with a lot of questions. My biggest one being how Mason and Tanner could afford to do most of the things they ended up changing.

Overall, this was a sweet story. I enjoyed it for the most part but I did have my issues. It’s main draw for me was the numerous hugs, as I said. It’s just not something you see in abundance in m/m when there’s not a sexual undertone to it and the hugs between Tanner and Mason were just sweet and adorable, filled with love. So CUTE! It definitely ends on a happy note and I was glad that these two found the happiness they both deserve.

Nikyta rates it: 535px-3-5_stars-svg

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Nikyta is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: NIKYTA’S REVIEWS

==================================

SID’S REVIEW

Nikyta and I have quite a similar taste so when she suggested that we should buddy read on this one, I went to check out the blurb and said an immediate yes! The premise was so promising that I couldn’t say no and that’s how we ended up reading this together.

Believe me when I say – I never had an urge to read a book with hotshot Cowboys – sure, I lust for those hotties like any other gay men out there but this book was one of those exceptions where nothing else mattered but my reader’s soul inside me that craved to have a peek into this book and oh what a journey it was!

The beginning hooked me in an instant and I was more than excited to see how fate brings the two main characters together – like no one could imagine, yet it was believable enough to amaze me. The writing was outstanding and every character stood out in their roles – Tanner’s innocence and his pain or Mason’s desperation for a life in which he mattered made me connect with them. You just have to read this story just so you could live the moments they share as their relationship grows. How beautiful each of those stolen moments are, when they sneak kisses or – yes, those cute hugs Nikyta mentioned of course. It didn’t even bother me that the development was kind of slow because I know it was how it was supposed to be.

Secondary characters did well just by supporting these two (or even standing as a barrier to their relationship) – Ed and Lucy’s love for the boys or Brian’s protective demeanor over his friend Tanner when someone speaks ill of him or even Robert Seidel’s hatred to that extent where I hated him from the bottom of my heart.

However, that doesn’t mean I approve of how the author decided to just “get rid of him” so that the boys could finally live together. It was disappointing, considering how high I had my expectations built for this book and they just came crashing down bit by bit in the second half of the book. For the most part after the main characters make love to each other, there is nothing exciting happening at all. Words just seem to run for pages after pages describing how and what they did each day. Much of unneeded information is given to the reader – if this had been edited well, a shorter version (still a novel, though) with some best scenes would have been a final product. A couple of grammatical errors made the perfectionist in me cringe but one could overlook it easily, I guess.

Nikyta said it well – the mystery lacked its essence in this story and the climax was just not good enough. The ending of it all seemed rushed. The reader gets a bigger picture of it all at the end to show their happily ever after, however the little details – which actually made me fall in love with the story right in the beginning – remained missing right till end.

However, I would still recommend this book because Mason and Tanner do have a special story of their love to tell. It was a change for me – refreshing (even with the angst and all) and I found to be taken by Rowan McAllister’s talents.

For this romantic, cowboy tale, I give a rating of 3.25 stars.

Sid rates it: 535px-3-5_stars-svg

BUY LINKS: Dreamspinner Press :: Amazon :: All Romance eBooks

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Sid Love is the owner of The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all his reviews, click the link: SID’S REVIEWS
==============================================

 

Reviewed by Nikyta

five-stars120205

Hanging by the MomentTITLE: Hanging by the Moment
AUTHOR: H. B. Pattskyn
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 350 pages
BLURB: Pasha Batalov has lived his whole life doing what a good son is expected to do. He dropped out of school to help run the failing family restaurant, and ever since he’s put up with his difficult business partner, who also happens to be his father. And, of course, he keeps his sexual orientation a secret from his conservative Russian family. After being closeted costs him his first serious relationship, Pasha resigns himself to one-night stands and loneliness.

But after a chance encounter with lost delivery truck driver, Daniel Englewood, Pasha starts to question all of his assumptions about life. Daniel is sweet, funny, smart, drop-dead gorgeous—and for the last six years, he’s been living with HIV. Pasha worries that he won’t be strong enough to help Daniel if HIV turns to AIDS, but he can’t walk away from their deepening attraction. He also doesn’t know if he can be strong enough to face the hardest task that a relationship with Daniel demands: coming out to his family and friends, and risking losing everything else he holds dear.

REVIEW:

I first got acquainted with H.B. Pattskyn’s books when I read Heart’s Home in early 2012. I loved that book and thought the writing was phenomenal. When I noticed Hanging by the Moment, I knew immediately I wanted to read it not just because I enjoy Ms. Pattskyn’s writing but also because the blurb intrigued me.

I’m ecstatic to say that I loved this book just as much as I loved Heart’s Home. The writing was just as great, so much so that I was enamored with the story and once I started, I didn’t want to put it down. I couldn’t wait to see what Pasha and Daniel go through, how certain situations played out and whether or not Pasha will have the life he always wanted.

To be frank, this is a story about life being too short to fight or to worry or to even get hung up on the little things. It’s about living in the moment and taking chances you wouldn’t normally take because anything can happen tomorrow but today is what counts. It deals with a lot of issues such as coming out, HIV, gay-bashing, homophobia and ultimately sticking up for yourself and living the life you want to live but also about accepting who you are. It was a beautiful story that had me sad and crying one moment then happy the next.

Pasha is an unconventional character. He has a lonely life filled mostly with working in his family’s restaurant every day and fighting with his father constantly. He stresses over his weight and the fact that he’s in the closet and doesn’t think he’ll ever be happy. It’s sad but I connected with Pasha and I enjoyed the fact that he had issues with his weight. He would start a diet then something would happen so he’d eat a carton of ice cream to drown his sorrows. When he meets Daniel, there’s an instant attraction but Pasha doesn’t think Daniel would ever look at him twice… until Daniel comes back to his restaurant to see him.. except Pasha freaks out and pushes Daniel away and then regrets it later. Poor Pasha! He just has no self-esteem 😦

What I really loved, though, was the fact Daniel didn’t give up. Daniel might be this incredibly attractive Native American but he sees Pasha for more than just his waist size and thinks Pasha is gorgeous inside AND out. I loved that while Pasha wanted to lose weight, Daniel made every effort to let Pasha know that his weight didn’t matter to him even to the point of pushing Pasha into ordering what he really wanted and not some bird ford. It was sweet and made me fall in love with Daniel. More than anything, I liked the balance between Daniel and Pasha. We get Pasha’s troubles and we get Daniel’s troubles in their own time. I loved experiencing the emotions between Pasha and Daniel over Daniel’s HIV; from being freaked out to wary to scared to accepting but also the fact that Pasha eventually realizes that no matter why Daniel is with him, Daniel’s feelings and emotions are genuine and not a result of some bad luck (you’ll understand this when you read the book). It wasn’t just hard on Pasha because he didn’t want to lose someone he was growing to love but also on Daniel who had a constant fear that he would get Pasha sick or Pasha would see him in a different way and then leave Daniel. It’s heart-breaking if you really let yourself get into the story but it unfolded in a way that was enjoyable without being too overwhelming or too dense. It was just right, IMO, but mostly the fact that even when one of them freaked out, they eventually talked about it and got through their issues together.

My only issue with the story is that I felt the beginning was a bit rough. Pasha is very self-degrading. He doesn’t think highly of himself because of the situation he’s in and the way he’s been acting since he broke up with his ex, who he was still yearning for. When he meets Daniel, he can’t understand why Daniel likes him because Pasha thinks he’s unattractive since he no longer has a size 32 waist. In the beginning, it’s rough because it’s almost as if Pasha hates himself or at least his life. So, for me, it was brutal to see him debase himself in some ways (although it’s not extreme just sad) and some readers might have a hard time getting through this. However, as the story progressed, I couldn’t help but love Pasha. He doesn’t want much in his life except to be loved and respected by his father AND to have a man that loves him. Thankfully, he gets that in Daniel!

I will warn some readers that Pasha and Daniel move a little fast when it comes to love but, to me, it fit the story well. I enjoyed the intensity between them and I felt the love that they developed. I liked that they took things slow when it came to sex because of Daniel’s HIV but I also liked that their feelings for each other are shown and we get to experience every step of it. They call, they text, they go on dates, they even have some fights and we get to see it. It helped me connect with the characters, to get to know them in a way that had me very invested in the story.

With that said, this was an amazing novel that I loved reading. It’s sweet, intense and at times sad. I cried, I laughed and I fell in love with the characters and their journey. I even adored the secondary characters that weren’t so nice. I love Ms. Pattskyn’s writing and I really hope we’ll one day get more of either Pasha and Daniel (especially to meet Daniel’s family) or at least see the journey of another couple (*cough* Brett and Mark *cough*). For those readers looking for something that handles a range of issues that has a little angst but a happy ending, try this one because it was definitely something I enjoyed every step of the way!

BUY LINK: Dreamspinner Press  ::  All Romance eBooks

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Nikyta J. is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: NIKYTA’S REVIEWS
=====================================================

Reviewed by Nikyta J.

The Prince He LovedTITLE: The Prince He Loved
AUTHOR: Michael Barnette
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 258 pages/ 87,576 words
BLURB: Prince Raphael d’Alleven flees for his life after his family is murdered and the government of Alleven is taken over. Exhausted and unable to find a way off world, Raphael literally runs into his best hope for salvation: a genetically engineered soldier named Hadrian Ice. Ice hadn’t planned on taking service with anyone, but understanding the predicament Raphael finds himself in, Ice is unable to turn him away.

With bounty hunters on their trail and Vicount Alfonso Macchoine, scion of the House responsible for the coup, joining the hunt, it will take all of their combined skills to restore the government of Alleven to its rightful ruler, Raphael’s missing twin sister, Raphaella. As long as they don’t get killed first.

REVIEW:

When his family is massacred, Prince Raphael d’Alleven barely escapes with his life. Forced on the run, he’s exhausted, hungry and in pure terror while trying to get himself off world to get help from the Coalition of Worlds but with dozens of mercenaries looking for him, it’s almost impossible. Lucky for him, he runs into Hadrian Ice, the Augustus Regnant to the Hell’s Gate Clan Hellstorm, a world that creates genetically enhanced soldiers. With Hadrian’s help, Raphael can finally get off world and do something about the Pretenders taking over his rightful position. With so many roadblocks in their way and so many people looking to kill them, will Raphael be able to reclaim his throne or will everything he’s going through be for nothing?

First I want to say that I really loved this story. I was simply captivated by the world that the author created. It’s complex but at the same time simple and, for me, easy to follow. I liked that there were so many different worlds out there with different levels of advancement and especially that we got to see them. The scenarios that Hadrian and Raphael got themselves into, kept my attention throughout the whole book and I loved the fact that we got to see it all. I also liked the fact that we got to see most of the fights they were forced into.

As to the characters, Raphael is definitely a mystery. At first, I thought he was this weak, spoiled prince who didn’t know how to do anything besides run. Over the course of the book, you slowly start to see his true self, what he’s been trained to do, how strong he is both inside and out and ultimately how much he develops character-wise while still maintaining his good heart. It was definitely something I enjoyed to see unfold over the whole story. I liked seeing how much Raphael affected Ice but also seeing how Ice handled things. I found the fact that he was this super soldier simply fascinating; he’s complex but has a sense of honor that I really liked knowing about. More than that, I loved seeing the development between Raphael and Ice and how they got themselves out of some situations that I thought for sure was the end for them. It was sometimes funny, sometimes sad but always held my attention.

My only issue with the story was that there was a bit too much sex for my liking but I still have a few unanswered questions such as what exactly do the marks on Ice’s face mean? But more than that, I wish we had learned more about Ice’s culture and his people. There are some references to it and we do get to see more of his people but Raphael’s culture definitely outshined Ice’s so I was constantly left curious about Hell’s Gate. Did Ice still have parents? How does being the Augustus work? It would be awesome to get deeper into the Hells Gate world so I’m hoping there might be a sequel one day that would let us experience more of this world especially since I think it would be great to see Ice and Raphael after everything has settled down, where they decide to live and to explore more of Raphael’s abilities.

All in all, this was a great book. I adored the world but I also loved the characters. It had a good amount of suspense, action, romance and the world to make this an interesting one and combined with the well-written story it turned out to be a very well done book. I hope there’s more to come of characters in this world because I’d love to explore it more in the future!

Nikyta’s Rating: four-stars_0

BUY LINK: Dreamspinner Store :: All Romance eBooks

==================================
Nikyta J. is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: NIKYTA’S REVIEWS
=====================================================

Check out all our recommended books in Sid Love’s eBook Store:
Recommended Books

(Support this site and buy the books from my A-store)

Reviewed by Nikyta J.

Designs of DesireTITLE: Designs of Desire
AUTHOR: Tempeste O’Riley
LENGTH: 200 pages
BLURB: Artist James Bryant has forearm crutches in every color from rainbow for fun to sleek black for business. He even has a pair with more paint splatters than metal. After his family’s rejection and abuse from a man he thought loved him, James only just gets through the day by painting. He lives in constant fear that he’s not worthy of anything, let alone love.

As CEO of his company, Carrington Enterprises, Seth Burns is a take-charge kind of guy, and he is instantly smitten by the artist helping with his newest project. When he witnesses James suffer a panic attack, a protective instinct he never knew he had kicks in. He truly believes nothing is unobtainable—including James—if he’s willing to put in the time and effort.

James is shy and confused by Seth’s interest in him as a person. With Seth’s support, can he work through his fears to finally find the true love he deserves, or will someone finally land the crushing blow he won’t survive?

REVIEW:

This is the story about James who lives with EDS and is permanently disabled by an ex-lover. Mentally and physically damaged, James has no self-confidence and doesn’t believe someone such as Seth, a CEO of his own company, would want someone like him. When Seth pursues him, he can’t help but think Seth will eventually become violent or dump him soon after their relationship starts. However, Seth is serious about James and adores him for his talent, his beauty and his personality. When things start to work out between them, multiply situations occur that threaten their happy life including becoming a full time parent, dealing with a violent stalker and breaking down the walls James still has built up. When everything that can go wrong, goes wrong, will James and Seth still make it as a couple or will James’ fears comes true and Seth will leave him for good?

This is a difficult story for me to rate and review. On one hand, I enjoyed it to some extent; it was one of those books that I didn’t want to stop reading but on the other hand, it has a lot of issues. I enjoyed the characters and I really adored the fact that James was so broken emotionally. Because of his past, he’s afraid of anyone that is bigger than him or interested in him. When Seth enters the picture, he doesn’t think anything good could come out of forming a relationship and truly believes that Seth will eventually get violent with him. It’s sad, to be honest, but I liked that James was so meek but had moments when he would stand his ground. As an artist, he’s praised for his art work and I really enjoyed the times that he would get lost in painting. I also liked that his disability and disorder was mentioned at times to reinforce the fact that he had physical problems. Although, it took a little while to learn that James has EDS, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, so when that came to light, I couldn’t help but have a ‘Whaaaa?’ moment.

Seth, though, I felt was very contradictory. I would like him at times but then I felt like, at others, he was very condescending when he handled James. They have a sort of dom/sub relationship going on without the BDSM sex (just kinky sex for you smut lovers). By that, I mean Seth would control portions of James’ life such as ordering food for him, demanding he do this, telling him what to do and even silencing him at times. That part of the story, I wasn’t fond of because Seth would make this grand speech of not being like James’ past boyfriends and then he’d do actions such as that, which totally negate what he just said. It was frustrating to say the least BUT James seemed to revel in Seth taking control so I can’t exactly fault Seth for doing that. I just didn’t like the tone he took with James at times when James was already feeling so low, even if it did smooth James’ worries, it felt too much like Seth was scolding James or bullying him.

The best thing about this book were the secondary characters. I simply adored Chase and his exuberant ways. I loved that he was so easily excitable and enjoyed the banter that would come up between Chase and Seth. I also really liked Rhys and truly hope that there is a story about Chase and Rhys to come someday. There were other characters such as Mel, Brittany, and Danni that never failed to make me smile and I very much enjoyed Seth’s parents because they weren’t what I was expecting from a highly rich couple.

I think the biggest downfall about this story is the fact that the author incorporated so many conflicts into the book but didn’t properly resolve the issues to their full potential. It seemed that whenever something bad would arise, there would be a quick resolution within a chapter then a new problem would come up and a resolution would occur soon after. This happened throughout the novel so, by the end, there was probably seven, eight, maybe even nine or more situations that not just James but Seth had to go through as well. It was overwhelming because there would be a good lead up to what was happening and then everything would be fixed quickly or you would be told that they talked and everything was back to rights. To be honest, I was disappointed at that and that’s why it is hard for me to decipher my feelings because I’d like the way the story was going and the new situation that James was thrust into but then things would be fixed by what seemed like just an easy way to wrap up the issue so you can move on to the next problem. If the author had focused on one or two conflicts that spanned the whole book, without having the other inane issues, I would have enjoyed this one much more but because there were so many, it seriously hindered my enjoyment.

All in all, I liked the story but at the same time, there were a lot of issues with it. Not just with the many conflicts and weak resolutions but also with stunted dialogue and overall there was just too much sex for my tastes. Readers should be aware that this novel does contain some kinky sex. For me, the writing was engaging and made me want to continue even when I was saddened by the lack of execution and I enjoyed the characters especially the secondary ones. I’d recommend this to readers who are looking for a sweet, easy read about a damaged man who finally gets a love he desires.

Nikyta’s Rating: 535px-3-5_stars-svg

BUY LINKS: Dreamspinner Press :: Book Store :: All Romance eBooks

==================================
Nikyta J. is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: NIKYTA’S REVIEWS
=====================================================

Check out all our recommended books in Sid Love’s eBook Store:
Recommended Books

(Support this site and buy the books from my A-store)

Reviewed by Nikyta J.

Blessed CursesTITLE: Blessed Curses
AUTHOR: Madeline Ribbon
LENGTH: 168 pages
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
BLURB: Though he’s a sorcerer with a talent for creating blessings, David can do very little with any other magic. He works the night shift for his cousin’s magical supply shop because he’s cursed—his brother did it when they were kids—and now people can’t stand to be near David since he inspires irrational fear. Many experts have tried to remove it, but the curse has proven completely binding. Then David meets Vaughn at his brother’s wedding.

Vaughn works for the magical enforcers, picking apart complex curses and making sure sorcerers stay within the law. He has the ability to dampen magical effects around him and loves solving supposedly irreversible curses like David’s. He quickly develops a more personal interest in David. Despite the distance David attempts to keep between them, he finally realizes when Vaughn is injured on the job that he doesn’t want to stay away anymore. But what about the curse?

REVIEW:

This was a cute story about David who was cursed as a boy by his jealous brother to inspire irrational fear in anyone or anything that gets close to him. He’s lived twenty years with this curse in which only his brother could withstand his company for more than a few minutes. At his brother’s wedding, he meets Vaughn, the bride’s best friend, who works as an enforcer at Arcana, which is like the police for all types of magical crimes and such. Vaughn loves puzzles so he loves breaking curses. When he meets David with the intention of helping to break his curse, it’s lust at first sight instead. David’s lived years feeling lonely so he has a hard time thinking Vaughn wants him for more than just as a chance to cure the ‘Impossible Kid’ as Arcana has nicknamed David. To be with David, Vaughn has to prove his love but in the process will he be able to cure David?

I’ve got to say, I absolutely adored David. The life he’s lived is so sad and lonely, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. To live decades with a curse that not only affects others but you as well must be brutal and because of that he’s a bit jaded and confused when Vaughn shows interest in him. At the same time, he’s this cute little nerd that has so many layers to him. It’s hard for me to describe Vaughn. I couldn’t clearly visualize the way he looks but he has a strong personality that seems genuine. I loved the way he handled David and how he tries to woe him. I loved the endearment he calls David, it’s so cute.

The story deals with mainly Vaughn and David tentatively starting a relationship and how they manage to get around David’s curse. Vaughn was born with a suppression power that enables him to suppress anything that seems harmful to Vaughn. There’s also a few side conflicts such as how Vaughn tries to break David’s curse but also deals with someone breaking into magical practitioner shops to steal a powerful herb so there’s a bit of a mystery regarding that. All together it is a little overwhelming and sometimes things go slightly too fast but it’s still a fun read and I loved the way the author handled the conflict revolving around curing David’s curse. I think it fit the story very well.

While I enjoyed the book very much, I missed the fact that more time wasn’t spent on Vaughn physically looking for answers to the curse. I wish the story was just a tad bit longer because I would have loved to see Vaughn and David out as a couple and not just secluded in their homes. To experience them in a more public setting would have legitimized the feelings between the two for me.

All in all, this was a light, fun read that had me laughing at times and feeling bad for the characters at others. I loved the world the author created because she has a smooth writing style that made it fascinating but not too confusing. I hope there’s more to come of either Vaughn and David or other characters within this world because it would be amazing to explore it further. Definitely recommended.

Nikyta’s Rating: four-stars_0

BUY LINK: Dreamspinner Press

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Nikyta J. is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: NIKYTA’S REVIEWS
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Check out all our recommended books in Sid Love’s eBook Store:
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Reviewed by Nikyta J.

five-stars120205

TITLE: Thick as Thieves
AUTHOR: Tali Spencer
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 200 pages
BLURB: After Vorgell the barbarian fucks himself with a unicorn horn, he ends up in a cell with Maddog, a pretty young thief. It’s lust at first sight for Vorgell—but honestly, he can’t help it. Unicorn horn is a potent aphrodisiac, and now he can’t stop thinking about sex. Luckily, Madd is one male witch who knows how to put Vorgell’s new magical body to good use when he tricks Vorgell into a kiss that helps them escape.

Vorgell may desire sex in general—and Madd in particular—but Madd has no intention of being screwed by a man twice his size. He has problems of his own, including an enchanted collar that causes him to desire his most hated enemy. He wants that collar off as soon as possible, but that requires stealing a basilisk egg from the castle they just escaped.

Drawn together by lust and magic, the two men join forces and soon find themselves up to their necks in witches, wizards, and trouble. Vorgell and Madd might just be perfect for each other, but first they have to survive long enough to find out.

REVIEW:

When I read the blurb for this book, I knew right away it had the potential to be a wild ride. Any author that has the balls to have such an attention grabber for the start of a blurb was something that I wanted to read and I’m happy to say this book lived up to my expectations and more.

The story revolves around Vorgell, a brute of a man who unwittingly kills a unicorn, eats some berries and then becomes so horny he fucks himself with the unicorn’s horn. Now cursed with the unicorn’s magic, he’ll live the rest of his life unable to control his lust. Being jailed for his crime, he’s thrown into a cell with Maddog, a witchkin who’s forced to wear a love collar that binds him to the Baron. When they meet, Vorgell feels so much lust for Madd he’s willing to force himself on Madd but instead Vorgell settles for a kiss, turned bite, that Madd uses to tap into Vorgell’s new magic, allowing them to escape.

When their emotions settle down, they reluctantly decide to work together. Vorgell will help Madd break the collar while Madd will sate Vorgell’s constant lust. Unfortunately, to get rid of the collar, they’ll have to break back into the very place they just escaped from, steal an unhatched basilisk egg and do it all without getting caught. Madd attracts trouble, though, and things aren’t that easy. Now, they’re not just saving Madd from the Baron but trying to stop the wizards from increasing their powers through the Baron’s wife. With so many roadblocks, will they ever be able to succeed and gain their freedom?

I loved these characters. They were quite surprising from how they develop over the course of the book. Vorgell more than anyone because of his sexual appetites. Vorgell starts off as this mindless gigantic brute who will take what he wants and not care who he hurts in the process. He’s aggressive, forceful and quick to battle. He hates witches with a passion and vows to slaughter any he comes into contact with until he meets Madd. Madd is just the opposite, he’s small, determined and stubborn with no problems taking advantage of Vorgell’s magic. With his life, he needs to be in control. He’s a thief and has no loyalties to anyone, in fact, he pretty much hates everyone and couldn’t care less to help them.

As they work together, though, they form a bond that neither of them are willing to let go of. Now, Madd and Vorgell will do anything to stick together even if it means getting killed in the process. They develop a weird sense of honor but definitely form a bone-deep bond that allows them to trust and have faith in one another. It’s sweet, in a way, to see Madd go from something resembling a hissing cat to one who would do anything to keep Vorgell from getting used… at least from anyone besides himself. Vorgell is the same in that he won’t let anything happen to Madd. While they don’t necessarily love each other, there’s affection there and growing adoration that definitely could develop into love if their story were to continue further.

The world is quite amazing. I loved that it was so deep into the magical community centered on wizards and witches and the differences between the two while mixed in with an almost historical setting. The witches are women who believe that men are just tools to give them more magic and to create life while wizards are men who gorge themselves on all things related to necromancy, killing witches to strengthen themselves. Madd falls somewhere in the middle. He’s a witchkin which means he doesn’t practice necromancy but can’t necessarily create his own magic without refueling from an outside source, which generally means consuming living things. It’s a crazy world where magic is essentially part of everything. The journey Madd and Vorgell go on takes the reader deeper and deeper into the layers of witches and witchkin. It was fascinating for me because it provided enough information to stay interesting but not so much that it’s overdone and becomes too heavy in world building. It was a nice balance between adventure, affection and the overall world.

The only fault I found with the story was that some aspects of it are unresolved. Not majorly so but it’s left with a possibility of more to come for these two and I, for one, would be extremely happy if there were a sequel!

The book flows well from the start with an engaging first chapter that had me wanting to read more. The writing is smooth and has action interspersed throughout the whole story. When things would start to slow down, Madd and Vorgell would find themselves in another situation that required them to fight for their lives or go through dangerous territory. It’s filled with twists and turns but even while Vorgell and Madd develop, they never shed the criminal actions that got them caught in the first place. It was refreshing that they weren’t born again innocents but instead kept their gruff and dangerous exteriors. They’re completely hot together and I loved the ‘mastering’ (if you can even call it that) that takes place between the two. They’re very, very surprising characters and while I was afraid of the direction the story would take a few times, overall, I loved the way it was executed.

For someone looking for a true romance, you won’t find that with this story. This is pure fantasy with more of lust than love in the developing of feelings and companionship but you won’t find undying love in this book. It’s rich in a unique world, a fascinating journey and an interesting cast of characters and creatures. It was a fun, adventurous read that got intense at times but I’m so glad I read it because I loved it. I do sincerely hope there’s more to come of these two because I’d love to see what mischief Vorgell, Madd and Petal get into next. And if you want to know who Petal is… well, you’ll just have to read it and find out yourself!

PRE-ORDER LINK: Dreamspinner Press

==================================
Nikyta J. is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: NIKYTA’S REVIEWS
=====================================================

Check out all our recommended books in Sid Love’s eBook Store:
Recommended Books

(Support this site and buy the books from my A-store)