Friday, May 30, 2014

Sparty Strip Poker by VintageJacqui

Sparty Strip Poker by VintageJacqui

Agron and Nasir have been flirting and not-so-subtly dancing around each other for what seems like forever. Frustrated, their friends take it upon themselves to give the pair the little push they need to finally confess their feelings for one another. What better way that a little strip poker?

Cute, sweet and to the point, this humorous story will have you chuckling to yourself the entire duration of the one-shot. Agron and Nasir are so adorkably awkward with each other that you will fully understand why their friends want to yell, "just kiss already!" at them. If you're looking for something fluffy, adorable and funny, this is the story for you!

~ M

Artwork credit: crazzzedope

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Book Review: Bollocks! Anthology

Bollocks as a word is a little naughty. It's a little cheeky. It's a little rude. And it's the tongue-in-cheek theme for this collection of short stories celebrating all things English. You'll discover a bonk is not a typo for somewhere to keep your money. A shag isn't something thick and plush under your feet to keep them warm, thought it is guaranteed to heat you up! And as for a snog, the books of Bollocks! can assure you it's worth finding out with that Brit term means.

The stories will make you laugh.

They'll make you snort.

They'll make you blush.

Sigh - they'll probably make you shake you head.

They may even make you want to catch the next flight to England to find something a little British of your own. It's not just cricket, or jolly hockey sticks, it's's very British, Bollocks!


I was very excited when I was presented with this anthology filled with all things British. Even though I'm American, I've always been fascinated by British culture, the accents and definitely the men, so this anthology was right up my alley!

Overall, I thought the anthology had a good mix of stories covering a variety of topics like shape shifters, best friends falling in love, and meeting the man of your dreams in the unlikeliest of places.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Box Full of Sharp Objects by alexinwonderlandd

Box Full of Sharp Objects by alexinwonderlandd

Jasper has been to hell and back. He's suffered things no one should ever experience, but he's made it to the other side and now has a pretty good life living with his older brother, Emmett, in Forks and hanging out with his best friend, Edward. Ever since Jasper moved to town, he and Edward have been the closest of friends and attached at the hip. Whenever Jasper's past demons return to haunt him, Edward's always there selflessly giving his support and love. What happens when Jasper's feelings towards his best friend start to change? Will he push him away or accept him with open arms and an open heart?

Occasionally I come across a story like this one that completely draws me in to the storyline and characters. I read each chapter in almost one sitting because I was anxious to see what happens next. Now that I've reached the end of the written chapters so far, I find myself even more anxious to see how this story unfolds.

The friendship between Jasper and Edward is quite beautiful, and even though Jasper thinks he's unworthy of such a friendship because of his past, Edward is always there trying to make him laugh and showing his support. I will warn readers that this story contains some pretty serious and tragic topics that might make some a little uncomfortable, but they're handled in a responsible and appropriate way. I highly recommend this beautiful story and can't wait to see what's in store for the boys!

~ M

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I ❤ Yaoi: Otokogokoro by Kanda Neko

Hello yaoi friends! Today's wonderful manga selection is Otokogokoro by Kanda Neko.

Overworked and not properly taking care of himself, Saki is overcome by fever while walking home from work one evening. Fortunately, college student, Shinomiya, just happened to be walking by and helped the man suddnely stuck by illness. When Saki awakens the next morning in a strange bed, he is confused yet endeared by the young man so eager to help. As they get to know each other, both men realize that something more powerful brought them together that fateful day.

I really enjoyed this manga and the series as a whole. It is filled with fluffy goodness that definitely brought a smile to my face and melted my heart. There isn't anything overly angsty or heavy in this series, but the love scenes certainly will get the blood pumping through your veins.

This is a great series for those who are just starting out in yaoi manga because it features a sweet love story and doesn't have shocking subject matter or extremely explicit sex scenes. Definitely give this manga series a try! You won't be disappointed! :D

~ M

Monday, May 26, 2014

I Have Nothing to Give by Pax_2735

I Have Nothing to Give by Pax_2735

In this sequel to But for Now Emotional Ties Stay Severed, Agron has been released from prison and is trying to gain some semblance of a life back. Gaining employment and housing isn't extremely difficult, but with a prison record it isn't necessarily easy either. Through it all, he's never forgotten about the small man he fell in love with in prison. Nasir, on the other hand, has just received yet another parole rejection letter. He knows he cannot hold Agron back from the life he's meant to lead and makes a great sacrifice for both their sakes.

This is another angsty addition to Pax_2735's Overcome series and my heart continues to break for this couple. Agron wants to ensure that Nasir knows he will never forget him and will support him through is sentence, but Nasir feels as though Agron should be living his newly free life and not worrying about someone like him. I know this has to end happily (Pax_2735 revealed that another installment is on the way and should give Agron and Nasir the ending they deserve), but getting there is kind of tough. If you're in the mood for a story that is heavily emotional and bittersweet, but is not overly dramatic and sad just for the sake of it, check this out!

~ M

Friday, May 23, 2014

But for Now Emotional Ties Stay Severed by Pax_2735

But for Now Emotional Ties Stay Severed by Pax_2735

After a job gone very wrong, Agron finds himself in prison doing a 10-year sentence. Demons haunt his memories, but one fellow inmate, Nasir, help ease some of the pain and loneliness. When Agron is granted parole, he must now face the fact that he has to leave the one person since his brother's death who has made him feel free, even when he was confined to a prison cell.

Even though this story is on the angsty side, it is really quite beautiful. The relationship that Agron and Nasir forge in the one of the worst circumstances possible is interesting to watch unfold. Your heart will go out to each man as they try to remain strong for one another and make the most of the time they left in in their tiny cell. Have no fear, though; there is definitely more to this story!
~ M

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Book Review: Puzzle Me This by Eli Easton

Luke Shumaker begins receiving cryptic messages in the local newspaper's daily crossword puzzle that seem eerily aimed at him. Alex Shaw, a crossword puzzle writer, has had a crush on the game designer, and fellow neighbor, for a while and figures the messages would be an interesting and different way to get his attention. When the men finally meet, there is instant chemistry, but there is also one glaring obstacle: Alex is confined to a wheelchair.

I thought this story was sweet and relatively uncomplicated. The chemistry between the MCs was great and I really enjoyed their humorous banter. I did feel that the requisite conflict/misunderstanding was little cliche, but the author didn't drag it out forever. Unfortunately, the ending came rather abruptly and left me wanting more to help tie things up completely.

Like many of Andrew Grey's books, I appreciated that Eli Easton incorporated towns and locations with which I'm familiar in rural Pennsylvania. It's always nice to read about these places in fiction and know that I can relate in some fashion. :)

Buy Puzzle Me This  here and here.

~ M

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Choice by ladyvenoms

The Choice by ladyvenoms

While in the midst of battle, the unthinkable happens and Agron fears that he's lost Nasir forever. However, a supernatural force gives Nasir a second chance at life, but it would turn him into a monster and force him to give up those who loves most.

I don't often come across many Nagron stories that involve this kind of supernatural element (vampires), but I must say I'm impressed so far. The consequences Nasir must endure are a refreshing change, especially if you're familiar with the Twilight  series and how everything turned into bed of roses when Bella became a vampire. My heart breaks for both Agron and Nasir as they try to come grips with the loss of their relationship, closeness and love. I'm really looking forward to seeing what ladyvenoms does with this story going forward!

~ M

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I ❤ Yaoi: Rutta to Kodama by Fujitani Youko

This week's adorable yaoi manga is Rutta to Kodama by Fujitani Youko. I really think you all will enjoy this one! :)

4.5 stars

This is an adorable story about Rutta and Kodama, roommates who fall in love while attending school. Even though they're opposites (Rutta is the school punk who likes to start fights and Kodama is quiet, laid back and always thinks of others), their interactions with each other are really sweet. There are plenty of fluffy, heartwarming moments, so be prepared for your heart to melt on more than occasion!

Rutta's rare smiles are so awkward that you can't help but feel warm and fuzzy like Kodama.

~ M

Monday, May 19, 2014

Riptide by samekraemer

Riptide by samekraemer

It's Jasper's first year in college and things haven't started off on a good note. His roommate is an alcoholic slob, he's unfamiliar with his surroundings and his crush, and former swim coach from high school, has just waltzed back into his life looking better than ever. Will Jasper be able to make it through his first year of college without losing his mind?

This story is extremely sweet. It has its heavy/angsty moments as Jasper tries to figure out how to deal with homophobia, classes, a new social life and the ever-present Edward Cullen, who seems to find himself constantly by Jasper's side. Side characters, Emmett and Jacob are a hoot to watch, and I'm looking forward to seeing how this story evolves.

Update 5/23/15: Wow. This story took a hard turn. It is no longer sweet nor cute. The characters, especially Jasper, have become frustrating and borderline infuriating. The author repeatedly tells readers that it will be get worse before it gets better, but I don't know how more much Jasper, Edward and their friends can take. Every single character, both primary and secondary, are living under a cloud of misery and pain and I just don't understand this kind of plot development, but I guess we'll all just have to wait and see.

~ M

Friday, May 16, 2014

I Do It For Your Love by SubtextEquals

I Do It For Your Love by SubtextEquals

First impressions are everything, but Agron's introduction to Nasir is anything but nice and sweet. Insults are hurled and noses are broken. Through it all they manage to forge a friendship with eventually becomes romantic. Unfortunately, past demons, fears and insecurities drive Agron to hurt the one he loves the most.

In this companion piece to SubtextEquals' awesome story, I'm Someone Who Loves You, readers see the events of that story from Agron's POV. No less emotional, and at times painful, I Do It For Your Love provides additional insight into Agron's thought process, feelings and every-changing emotions. I really enjoyed Spartacus' slightly larger role in this story as he proves, over and over again, what a good friend he is. If you enjoyed I'm Someone Who Loves You, definitely check out this equally great one-shot!

~ M

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

If Your Heart Wears Thin, I Will Hold You Up by En_Kelleher

If Your Heart Wears Thin, I Will Hold You Up by En_Kelleher

Nasir feels himself drifting away from his boyfriend of two years after he starts hanging around a new group of friends. He also starts developing feelings for one new friend in particular, Agron, who would do anything to put a smile on Nasir's face. When a tragic event occurs, Nasir's life is sent into a tailspin. Will he be able to continue his friendship with Agron or will guilt and regret push them apart?

I don't know if I struck gold or if this is just an awesome coincidence, but the last couple ofNagron stories I've read recently have been out of this world!  If Your Heart Wears Thin... is one of those great stories that you can't put down because you're so engrossed in the characters and the storyline. Agron is absolutely delightful as the overly eager puppy who wants Nasir's friendship...and his love. Poor Nasir is torn because he's in a relationship, but he cannot deny his growing feelings for the lovable oaf. Definitely check out this story to see if Nasir and Agron get their HEA!

~ M

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I ❤ Yaoi: Love Letter of Flowers by Mishima Kazuhiko

Hello yaoi lovers!

Today's yaoi pick is Love Letter of Flowers by Mishima Kazuhiko. It's a collection of stories that will, for the most part, give you the warm and fuzzies as you watch couples explore and confess their feelings of love.

When a teacher begins receiving beautiful origami flowers from a secret admirer, he anxiously desires to know the person's identity. One particular student of his could be the culprit, but in the mean time he'll just have to sit back and enjoy his growing collection of gifts from the heart.

This manga can only be described as incredibly sweet! It follows five couples' journey to love and happiness, but my favorites were the first (Love Letter of Love) and the fifth (Craving Experience with Love). Both of these storylines were romantic and heart melting. Unfortunately, the other three couples, in my opinion, exhibited an air of manipulation with one person in each couple being uncomfortably sinister and creepy.

~ M

Monday, May 12, 2014

I'm Someone Who Loves You by SubtextEquals

I'm Someone Who Loves You by SubtextEquals

It's Nasir's freshman year in college and while trying to acclimate himself to college classes and college life, he encounters the insufferable Agron, who snores in class and (accidentally) breaks Nasir's nose while playing soccer. As their friendship slowly develops into something more, jealousy, insecurity and misunderstandings threaten to tear them apart for good.

Oh my goodness, I was blown away when I read this story! I couldn't put it down and completed it in one sitting. SubtextEquals has taken my favorite modern au trope, college life, and created a complex story filled with characters that have depth and complexity. The relationship between Nasir and Agron, as always, is lovely to watch, but the road to happily ever after is filled with many bumps, accusations and ugly words. My emotions were so wrapped up in this story that I didn't want it to end. However, the author hinted that a sequel is a possibility and I absolutely cannot wait. If you read only a few Nagron stories this week, make sure this is one of them. You will not be disappointed!

~ M

Book Review: Heart Knot Mine by Lily Velden

Noah Daniels' life lacks color, passion and excitement. He's very successful in his career, has a great relationship with his brother, sister-in-law and nephews, but no matter how hard he tries, he just can't seem to find that special person. When Noah decides to participate in a teacher exchange program, his life is completely changed and the world as he knows it will never be the same.

Already a fan of Lily Velden's, I was anxious to read her latest work, and I was not disappointed! The relationship between Noah and his British counterpart, Robert Callinan, is not only sweet and extremely hot, but also very believable. Noah is the type of guy that you can't help but like; he's sweet, responsible and has a good head on his shoulders. Robert is the quintessential British man that could easily make an American like me swoon at the drop of a hat.

I enjoyed the fact that Noah's sexual self-discovery was gradual and didn't turn into the gay for you (gfy) trope. There's nothing wrong with gfy, but I appreciated that Noah took steps to try to feel out his new desires before even trying to start anything with Robert. Robert, on the other hand, is out, proud and oozes sensuality and confidence. He's no where near perfect, but the journey that he and Noah embark upon definitely brought a smile to my face.

I'm hoping there is a sequel because I would love to read more about Noah's fractured relationship with his family and how he deals with it going forward. All in all, this a great read that I really liked!

Buy Heart Knot Mine here and here.

~ M

Friday, May 9, 2014

It's Not Goodbye by Fatebegins

It's Not Goodbye by Fatebegins

Agron always returns relatively unharmed from battle. As he prepares to once again fight for the rebels' cause, he promises that this time will be no different. Nasir, on the other hand, has good reason to worry. Not only does he want the love of his life to return safely to his arms, but his soon-to-be-born child needs to grow up with both fathers. When tragedy strikes, Nasir must remain strong for his newborn son as Agron fights for his life.

Short and sweet, this story packs and emotional punch. Your heart will break as you watch Nasir struggle with the fact that Agron may be lost to him forever. That's all I'm going to say concerning the plot, so you should definitely check out this lovely story that portrays sorrow, pain, regret and hope so beautifully. It is m-preg, but it's not squicky, weird or in your face. I know there are some out there that don't particularly care for this trope, but Fatebegins includes it subtly, mainly as a plot device for showing the even greater importance of Agron's safe return from battle.


~ M

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Freedom is What You Do With What's Been Done to You by aislingdoheanta

After success as a gladiator, Agron is sold to Julius Caesar and charged with being his bodyguard. Life basically means nothing to Agron after the death of his brother in the arena, so he keeps quiet and focuses on his tasks. However, when another slave, Nasir, tries to break down his walls, Agron soon finds himself falling under his spell. They live a life without free will and choice, but Agron dreams of a day when he and his love can live a life of free of Roman demands and servitude.

This story is beyond good. I practically read all 10 chapters in one sitting and I don't regret one moment! aislingdoheanta has created an alternate universe in which readers see how the lives of Agron and Nasir are quite different without the influence and encouragement of Spartacus. The love story is 100% swoon-worthy and will definitely bring a smile to your face. Give this engrossing story a try, it's emotional, tense and just all around good!

~ M

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I ❤ Yaoi: Sekaiichi Hatsukoi by Shungiku Nakamura


Last year, when I finished reading the various volumes of Junjou Romantica that were out at the time, I moved on to another popular series by mangaka Shungiku Nakamura. This manga series soon became a favorite of mine that I still love to this day. Sekaiichi Hatsukoi (The World's Greatest First Love) tells the story of four couples who try to deal with their hectic work schedules at Marukawa Publishing and falling in love. Each couple has its own special inner workings and complicated backstories that I immediately became engrossed in.

Even though each couple is enjoyable, I can't help but have favorites. Onodera Ritsu, new shojo manga editor, and Takano Masamune, his editor-in-chief, brought a smile to my face as they continuously find themselves pushing and pulling each other in an effort to either gain affections or thwart them. They dated 10 years prior in high school, but a misunderstanding tore them apart. Once reunited, Takano is determined to make Onodera admit his feelings for him, come hell or high water.

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Beastly Tale by DreamingPoet1988

A Beastly Tale by DreamingPoet1988

Anthony Edward Masen has it all. He's popular in school, is the son of a wealthy businessman and can manipulate just about anyone with his killer good looks. He and his friends take it upon themselves to ridicule and bully anyone who doesn't meet their standards of wealth and beauty. Jasper is particularly plagued by Anthony and his cronies. All he wants to do it get through each day with little to no pain. One day Anthony's behavior catches up with him when a witch curses him, making his outward appearance just as ugly as his insides. Will he learn his lesson before it's too late, and will be Jasper, even after all the pain he's been caused, be the one to help him?

This is the classic Beauty and the Beast story with a Twilight twist. Anthony (later referred to as Edward) is absolutely reprehensible when we first meet him. He finds enjoyment in others' misery, especially Jasper's and anyone who doesn't fit his warped perception of perfection. I couldn't help but cheer a little when Edward is cursed, but seeing his transformation, both physically and emotionally, over time was quite touching. Jasper, on the other hand, must not only deal with the jerks at school, but also an alcoholic father and a "disease" he must kept hidden each night.

I was amazed how DreamingPoet1988 managed to make me sympathize with such a hateful character like Edward, almost to the point where I had a lump in my throat a few times due to the emotionally-charged scenes. This is one of those stories that will take you on an emotional roller coaster ride, but it's oh so entertaining and worth it!

~ M

Friday, May 2, 2014

Black Ink Swirls by kateyes085

Black Ink Swirls by katyeyes085

For years Nasir has harbored a crush on his older brother's best friend, Agron. He knows the incredible strong and sexy man would never see him as more than Ashur's baby brother, especially after the parade of women du jour coming in and out of Agron's life. Little does Nasir know that his crush is suppressing feelings of his own.

I've always found this trope incredibly sweet. It's second only to my beloved college fics. Your heart will melt as you watch Nasir secretly pine for the older and more experienced Agron, but what I think will really catch your attention is the love that Agron has for his "little man". Definitely give this story a try! It's sweet, fluffy and a little angsty, but also really good. kateyes085 could use a good beta to help clean up various typos, but don't let that deter you from the lovely story she has shared with us.

Also be sure to check out Black Ink Swirl's  sequel, Only Mine, which chronicles Agron and Nasir's developing relationship. I'm sure you'll enjoy it just as much!

A moment from Only Mine... lol

~ M