Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday, Elisa!
I hope you have the best day ever, you deserve it.
I admire you so much for all you do with the Rainbow Awards, and your reviews.

The Wicca Man: Tongue-Tied, by Emily Veinglory
The Wicca Man: Tongue-TiedThe Wicca Man: Tongue-Tied by Emily Veinglory

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am fast becoming a fan of Emily Veinglory, which has surprised me.
I think that's because of her name, which is whimsical but rather porny, and the torrid covers on some of her books (the one above is an example). I assumed Emily wrote meaningless porn. She doesn't. Not the ones I've read anyway.
This book (so far) has a great plot, and really good writing that makes me smile a lot. And I treasure that in a book, because I often feel ill and laughter is the best medicine, okay.
Will edit my review if this book doesn't deliver; but I'm pretty sure it will.
I love the mc, Sean: a nerdy, very well-closeted untenured professor "the academic equivalent of a disposable minnion". Poor guy is trying to fight off his amply endowed teaching assistant, who keeps rubbing her arse against him in the filing cabinet bottleneck in his office, while being friends with the only gay man in the science department "Sean (was) just a woolly enough liberal to be his friend despite it". Yeah.
It seems the person to sort Sean out will be the hunky, leather-clad Thane. Who is dead. A vampire, to be precise, and now in thrall to Sean, who happens to be a practising pagan and 'accidentally' bonded Thane to him when Thane caught him wandering in the bad part of town and was about to eat him.
More will follow, and I can't wait. THe writing is so fresh, full of marvellous descriptions. Bring it on, Emily!

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Midsummer's Moon, (Midsummer #1) by Megan Derr
Midsummer's Moon (Midsummer, #1)Midsummer's Moon by Megan Derr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Really liked this lovely little tale, the start of a series by Megan.
Lowell, the hero, is a great character. His newspaper headline thoughts cracked me up.
I'm going to read the rest of the series, starting now, and am happy I've found another jewel by Megan, one of my favourite authors whom I can rely on to be worth spending the money on, time after time.

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Pandora Project: Runaway Star, by Anah Crow
Pandora Project: Runaway StarPandora Project: Runaway Star by Anah Crow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I did enjoy this sci-fi story, set some time in the quite distant future where Earth has a number of colonies which are widely different from each other.
I was fascinated by Luna, where most of the action occurs, and Elios' Roman religion. I wasn't sure how it came about that early gods were being worshipped in this setting, and would like to have seen more of the religion and how it's part of society: it's intriguing. Other religions were mentioned too, and I hope to see more of these cultures later on.
The main characters, Sender and Elios, are very good. They are compelling, human and you really care what happens to them. The secondary characters of their workmates and families are well done too, and came across not as mere sketches but real people.
In the end I wanted more. This volume, the start of the 'Pandora Project' series, has the feel of an extended prologue.
As with some other stories I've read recently, I got the feeling that so much sex was included not to establish a romance, which had been done quite early on and very well, but to pad out a short book into something that would stand alone more convincingly. Maybe others would think the purpose of the book to titillate in every chapter, but I preferred it for its plot, which was interesting and, as I said, I wanted more of. I will definitely get book 2, but hope there's less padding and more progressing the story now we've got the premise out of the way, so to speak.
Very imaginitive main story, which I'm looking forward to reading, about alien first contact and the men who are interpreting their communication, and planning to intercept their ship.
Definitely going to follow the series, and had this first volume had a bit less padding and elaborated on the interesting world building instead I'd have given it 4 stars more happily, but as it stands it's 3.5 rounded up.

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Those Who Cherish, by Jamie Craig.
Those Who CherishThose Who Cherish by Jamie Craig

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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Bedknobs & Beanstalks, edited by E.M. Lynley
Bedknobs & Beanstalks: Anthology of Gay Erotic Fairy TalesBedknobs & Beanstalks: Anthology of Gay Erotic Fairy Tales by E.M. Lynley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Won't go into a great deal of detail about this, except to say that for a fairy-tale anthology it didn't quite live up to my hopes.
The stories and my ratings:

Jack and the Peenstalk by Clancy Nacht - 1 star
The Rebelliously Single Prince by Lenore Black - 3 stars
Cry Wolf by Mercy Loomis - 4 stars
Kintaro by S.J. Frost - 3 stars
Ashes and Crystal by Jason Rubis - 2 stars
Handsome and Grateful by Kilt Kilpatrick - 1 star
Swan Made by Mina Kelly - 2 stars
King’s Honor by JL Merrow - 4 stars
The Merman’s Tail by Jay Di Meo - 3 stars.

So I've rounded the book up to 3 stars, but I wish I could give it 2.5 which is nearer the mark.
For me the two stand-outs were Mercy Loomis' Cry Wolf, a good rendition of 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf', which was a nice escapist piece that really felt other-worldly and took me away from reality, and JL Merrow's King's Honor, which not only retold a fairy tale I've not seen done before, 'The Twelve Dancing Princesses', but had deeper, underlying meaning about power and corruption, and the lack of honor of many princes/governments/corporations. JL is one of my favourite authors and handled it very well, as I could have trusted her to. I hadn't encountered Mercy Loomis before, but would happily read a longer book of hers.
The anthology as an edition was well crafted and edited on the whole, but most of the stories just didn't live with me or compare with some other fairy tale m/m romances I've read - I'm thinking of Megan Derr here particularly, and Amy Lane.
Maybe this collection just couldn't stand comparison with these favourite authors of mine, but I usually expect more from anthologies and this one didn't live up to the type.
So if you fancy a fairytale fix, try Amy's Truth in the Dark or Megan's Fairytales Slashed.

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Wight Mischief, by J.L. Merrow
Wight MischiefWight Mischief by J.L. Merrow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoy J.L. Merrow's writing. As an Englishwoman it's great to read well-written m/m fiction set in areas I know or have visited.

The Isle of Wight is brilliantly portrayed here - it's almost a character in the book. You really get the feeling of the place, and I think that would work wherever you come from.

I liked both main characters, and even came to like the annoying Baz, who I found I wanted to slap throughout the first half of the book.

Will is great, but I did think J.L. maybe played up his deafness a bit more than necessary. I do know about this because 2 of my children are deaf in one ear, and they both manage very well except when someone is on the wrong side of them. It's not something they mention to people, as 99% of people they interact with would never notice anything. But that's just a personal gripe, and very minor.

The humour in the first two thirds of the book was refreshing and had me laughing aloud sometimes. There was just the right amount of UST in the relationship, and certainly the right amount of suspense in the mystery side of things.

I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good, tight plot with their m/m fiction, and characters they'll come to love.

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The Prince's Boy, Volume 1, by Cecilia Tan
The Prince's Boy: Volume One (The Prince's Boy, #1)The Prince's Boy: Volume One by Cecilia Tan

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I did not enjoy this story as much as I'd hoped to, given its fantasy theme.

I found myself getting more and more dragged down by the storyline of the prince's interactions with the sorcerer, Seroi. It all just got very dismal and while I expected the author to resolve it, it wasn't happening soon enough to my mind. I wanted the story to go on to something different, something more, and not just focussing on the sexual abuse. I appreciate it might have been setting up the plot for later scenes, but there was just too much of it to make the story enjoyable for me.

I do like my stories, especially fantasy types, to show some light between the clouds, some hope for the future. I couldn't see that here, so I gave up reading at about 30%.

I know plenty of other folk have enjoyed the story, but it didn't fit my needs at the time I read it.

I have to say that it was well edited and Ms Tan's writing is professional, so no gripes there. Which made my experience even sadder, but you can't like all the books you think you will.

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The Slippery Slope
Originally posted by beren_writes at The Slippery Slope
Stop Internet Censorship!
This is a petition to bring awareness and protest about Paypal being able to dictate to eBook sellers what forms of erotica they may and may not sell.

Gabriel 1089, by C. C. Bridges (prelimanary review)
Just starting this, 6% in. I don't usually comment so early, but this is quite different from the herd, so really wanted to.

The world-building and the characters I've met so far are good - very good. Obviously there are still many deeper levels to explore, both world-wise and people-wise, but it's very promising indeed.

First, I love the premise of the fallen angel, Gabriel 1089. He's not a fallen angel in the usual sense of the word - this guy's been attacked by demons, who damaged one wing so it had to be removed and have stolen his 'halo' for good measure, before leaving him in the care of a human whose motives I've not really discovered yet. There's a hint the guardian human, Jeff Werth, is possibly under duress because of his 10-year-old daughter, but so far he isn't showing a lot of fellow-feeling for Gabriel, except when treating the angel's broken wing and halo ports very gently. I think you'd have to be gentle unless you have a strong stomach and could stand the agonised screams! Not good with a child around.

Gabriel 1089 is a techno-construct of some kind, his body augmented by 'Heaven Corp', which controls the upper levels of the world, the levels up near the daylight. The angels protect the (no doubt worthy) people who live in that part of the city, with help from a very advanced techno-system that links them, via Metatron, to each other and to Heaven Corps' resources.

Gabriel was just finishing a typical night flying around hunting demons, who control the lower levels in their constant battle with Heaven, when he was lured into an ambush, surrounded, pinned by one wing and then zapped with something that shorted out his brain while they stole his halo. This halo doesn't float over the angel's head, rather it's the device that encircles it and provides information both ways about his body, his surroundings and is in contact with his fellow angels and most importantly, Metatron (gotta love it!).

So currently our poor Gabriel is in sh*t street, Earthbound where the sun don't shine. I can't wait to see where C.C. Bridges takes him. The book is novel-length, but I must admit with the possibilities here it's a case of the more the merrier, so I hope it's all resolved in the time given.

Like I've said, I'm looking forward to the rest; I just hope it continues as well as the beginning and I will be able to keep the 5-star rating :)

I haven't spoiler-hidden this, because I think the blurb and excerpts you can access give as much. I'm only 6% in.

Will update when done :)


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