Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Kissing Booth by Jinxy


Nasir is persuaded into working a kissing booth his sister is coordinating for the college carnival. He begrudgingly does his part until a tall, mesmerizing, green-eyed adonis swaggers up to him.

This one shot is so incredibly cute! The way Nasir awkwardly tries to gain Agron's attention, while at the same time kissing people he couldn't care less about, will have you chuckling behind your computer screen. It's pretty obvious what will eventually happen, so I don't think I'm spoiling anything, but let me tell you, the pay off is definitely worth it (think about the Spartacus: Vengeance scene above *giggle*). If you're in the mood for a fluffy, cotton candy-sweet Nagron story, this is the one for you!

~ M

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I ❤ Yaoi: In These Words (Vol. 1) by KichikuNeko & TogaQ

Greetings yaoi lovers!

A few years ago, I attended a comic book convention with a cosplayer friend of mine. As we were walking through Artist Alley, my friend excitedly told me that she wanted to see Jo Chen because she really admired her art over the years. As my friend explained all of the various projects Jo had worked on, we approached the table and I saw a petite woman working almost feverishly on a large piece of artwork. What blew me away were the incredible prints she had available for purchase. Everything from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Superman, The Runaways and much more was on display, and I was in sensory overload. Her drawings are beautiful!

Once we were right in front of her table, Jo looked up, smiled and greeted us. My friend then started to speak to Jo about things I had no clue about (I'm not much of a comic book fan) while I continued to peruse her extensive collection of prints. At some point in the conversation, Jo mentioned yaoi. Now, at that point I was in the honeymoon stage of my slash infatuation. I knew what yaoi was, my friend even mentioned that Jo created artwork for it, but I still hadn't picked up a manga at that point. When I expressed my interest in it, Jo then pulled out a separate book and showed us some of her yaoi drawings, which were just as rich and beautiful and her more mainstream projects. I couldn't help but laugh when she mentioned that she sort of keeps that part of her career on the down low because it's not mainstream. She certainly isn't secretive about it, but some people just cannot wrap their heads around the genre.

After spending close to 20 minutes chatting with Jo and purchasing a couple prints (my friend purchased an awesome Superman drawing while I fell in love with a drawing from The Runaways series - unfortunately there were no yaoi prints available), we said our goodbyes. It was a great experience and I'm grateful that my friend introduced me to to her work.

Fast forward to earlier this month and I finally decided to look into Jo Chen's yaoi work and see if I could find a new manga to read. Well, I came across In These Words. It's nothing like the other yaoi manga I've read over the past year or so. There is no romance. There are no hearts and bunnies and sweet nothings whispered into the ears of ukes. This series is very dark and very graphic, but I loved every moment!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Human Mate by Odalis88

Human Mate by Odalis88

After Agron and Duro are brutally attacked by their pack, they seek solace in a safe zone so they can recover and regroup. The last thing Agron ever expected (or needed) was to become enamored with a beautiful, long-haired human. Will Agron be able to walk away from their one night of passion to figure out his and Duro's next steps, or will he become irrevocably attached to Nasir, who seems to get him so well?

Suspenseful, tense and romantic, Human Mate has everything I look for in a good Nagron story! I can't help but eagerly await each new installment because Odalis88's writing has pulled me into this universe. She has effectively merged the Nagron/Spartacus universe and Sherrilyn Kenyon's Night Play universe so that it becomes something new and refreshing for Nagron lovers. Highly recommended!

~ M

Picture credit: crazzzedope

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Ice Sculpture and the Never-Aging Man by Gaia_bing

The Ice Sculpture and the Never-Aging Man by Gaia_bing

Nasir went from a subdued body slave to a fierce warrior under the tutelage and support of the great rebel leader, Spartacus. However, a near-fatal injury by a Roman sword almost ended his existence. By some miracle, he lived....and lived....and lived. Now 2,000 years later, Nasir is continuing his search for answers regarding his immortality. Why did it happen? Who or what caused it? Frustrated and at the end of his rope, a supernatural push finally provides the answers Nasir so desperately needs.

Sweet, emotionally-charged and beautifully written, The Ice Sculpture... drew me in immediately. The mystery surrounding Nasir's immortality kept me wondering, but the outcome is definitely worth it! My heart completely melted. Definitely give this lovely love story a try! You won't be disappointed!

~ M

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Book Review: Medium, Sweet, Extra Shot of Geek by R. Cooper

Nearly every morning, cool yet nerdy Tommy O’Shaughnessy stops by his local coffee shop to receive the perfect cup of coffee from his crush, Tavio Reyes. Tavio is a man of few words, but Tommy somehow manages to make him smile and actually feel...something that's been lacking since he left the military. Tommy is determined to not only gain more of Tavio's attention, but he also wants to ask him out on a date. Will he succeed?

This is a quick easy read. The characters are likeable and nice, but I wish there had been a little more character development, especially with Tavio. We learned a little about his background, but something still seemed missing. I do appreciate how the author somehow managed to make me feel the tension that seemed to radiate off of Tavio at any given moment. However, so many times I wanted to scream at him, "just speak!" There's the strong silent type and then there's Tavio. I figured he suffered from PTSD and just wasn't comfortable around people, but his lack of talking or even reacting was frustrating at times.

The introduction of Tommy's daughter was a little unexpected, but was used as a plot device for Tommy to convince Tavio to go on a date. I personally would have preferred a different route.


Buy Medium, Sweet, Extra Shot of Geek here and here.

~ M

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Heart of Glass by Jenasys Loveless Lovecraft

Heart of Glass by Jenasys Loveless Lovecraft

Jasper lives a pretty mundane life. It's not bad, but he misses the companionship, love and passion that comes with a boyfriend. On his birthday, Jasper jokingly wishing for it to rain men. Much to his surprise, his wish granted because a man literally falls from the sky just for him. Jasper is frightened and confused at first, but soon discovers that the innocent and endearing angel, Edward, just wants to make him happy. As Jasper and Edward's relationship grows, obstacles continue to stand in their way. Will they be able to build a happy life together or will Jasper only have his memories of an adorably sweet angel to carry with him for the rest of his days?

This story is so unbelievably cute! Edward's wide-eyed, childlike wonder and awe at the smallest things will bring a huge smile to your face. He tries his absolute hardest to ensure Jasper's happiness, and will probably make you wish you had your own angel just like him. If you want a quick read that is full to the brim with humor and fluff (with just a little angst mixed in), Heart of Glass is perfect for you!

~ M

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I ❤ Yaoi: Junjou Romantica (Pure Romance) by Shungiku Nakamura

I first discovered Junjou Romantica while perusing DVDs one random weekend. The anime section just happened to be right across for the horror section (where I was looking for something new and cool to watch), and when I turned around to leave, I saw an anime box set that had two men on the cover. Curious, I picked it up and read the description.
Three very different couples caught up in a storm of pure romance! The Junjo Romantica DVD Collection includes the series' complete 12-episode first season. Romantica: Misaki is struggling to prepare for his college entrance exams, so his brother arranges for a private tutor. But Misaki's nightmare is just beginning when his tutor, Usami, comes on to him! How will Misaki ever manage to pass his exam? And why does he feel so mysteriously drawn to Usami? Egoist: Just when Kamijou's life is at its lowest, he has a chance meeting with a man who never lets anything hold him back: Nowaki. His name means ''typhoon,'' and he's about to take Kamijou on a whirlwind ride that will turn everything upside-down. Terrorist: Miyagi always seems to shrug off the cares of the world with a joke and a smile. But even he has problems, although he doesn't let them show. Foremost is Shinobu, a relentless young man who's adamant that they're destined to be together.
Well, since I'm a slash fan, I thought this would be right up on alley! I didn't purchase the DVD box set, but I definitely went home and sought out the manga online. Over the next couple of weeks, I devoured the numerous volumes of the manga and really enjoyed it. This was my very first yaoi manga ever, so I had to get used to the characterizations of the seme/uke relationship. Occasionally I felt a little uncomfortable because it seemed like quite a few of the sexual situations were dub-con, but I soon learned that sort of depiction comes with the yaoi manga territory.

I think my favorite couple in the series is Nowaki Kusama and Hiroki Kamijou. Nowaki is so calm and kindhearted and really balances Hiroki, who tends to be hotheaded and prideful. Of course Misaki Takahashi and Akihiko Usami, who I view as the main couple of the series are a fun pair to watch.

Definitely check out this cute yoai series! It's great for yaoi beginners and veterans alike!

~ M


Monday, April 21, 2014

Heaven in Hard Times by rivlee

Heaven in Hard Times by rivlee

Nasir makes the tough decision to break up with the love of his life in order to protect Agron's military career in the wake of the DADT appeal. How will Agron react to the news and will Nasir be able to carry on without his heart?

It's always difficult to read angsty break up stories when it comes to one of your favorite fanfic couples, but this one, while emotional and heartwrenching, is told with tenderness and realism. Secondary character, Donar, will make you smile as he supports our boys. I don't want to spoil the story, but I'll just say that the angst doesn't last forever! Check it out!

rivlee also wrote Agron's POV, Worth & Reward, that is just as emotional, yet heartwarming at the same time!

~ M

Friday, April 18, 2014

Heart by swordcane91

Heart by swordcane91

Agron is intrigued by the young Syrian who burst into his life after overthrowing his villa. He wants to gain Nasir's attention, but is unsure how to go about it. Whenever he does try to talk to the man, he perpetually suffers from foot in the mouth syndrome. Will he be able to catch Nasir's eye and potentially build something wonderful?

Wow, this story is adorable. Seeing Agron trying to court Nasir (and failing nine times out of 10) is not only humorous, but endearing. You will find yourself rooting for Agron as he tries his best to win the affections of the raven haired former slave. Heart is truly a heartwarming story.

~ M

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Everyday by whatiknew

Everyday by whatiknew

Kurt's just been in a horrible accident has been in coma for weeks. His husband, Blaine, is at his wit's end because Kurt's doctors feel it would be best to take him off life support. How can Blaine let go of the man he's loved since high school?

At the last possible moment a miracle occurs, but Kurt wakes up thinking he's still a freshman in high school....and 14-years-old. He remembers nothing of his friendship, courtship and marriage with Blaine.

This story is awesome! Emotionally charged and realistic, whatiknew, puts Kurt, Blaine and readers through the ringer. Blaine's unwavering patience with Kurt and his memory loss will make you want to wrap him up in a big hug, and Kurt's frustration at not remembering someone who is so important to him will break your heart. Don't worry, this story isn't all heartache and angst. There are some really sweet and light moments as well. Definitely give this story a try! You won't be disappointed.

~ M

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bookstore by o_rcrist

Bookstore by o_rcrist

Nasir, book nerd and introvert, is shocked when he runs into his extremely popular crush, Agron, at the local bookstore. He doesn't understand why this guy, who could hang out and be with anyone he wants, is remotely interested in him and his comparably mundane life. Little does Nasir know that Agron thinks he's the most wonderful person in his world.

Full of fluff that will make you heart melt and skip a beat, Bookstore is part of a collection of lovely Nagron one-shots. You won't be able to contain your "awws" when you read this story because Nasir and Agron are absolutely adorable. If you're looking for pure, unadulterated fluff, Bookstore is the one for you! Be sure to check out this story's companion piece, New Year's. It's just as adorable and sweet! :)

~ M

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I ❤ Yaoi: Love Stage!! by Eiki Eiki

A while back I discovered manga (Japanese comics) through a friend of mine. One of the first mangas I read was Fruits Basket and I thought the characters and storyline were interesting and fun (Momiji has to be one of the best manga characters ever!). Fast forward and I discovered something even better....yaoi manga!!!!! Yaoi (or BL - boys' love) manga is basically m/m comic books/graphic novels. Over the past year or so, I've read many yaoi mangas and novels, and I've enjoyed most of them. Occasionally I'll come across a manga that makes me slightly uncomfortable due to the dub-con and non-con situations, but I try my best to avoid them.

So going forward, I'm going to feature some of my favorite yaoi so far.

First up is Love Stage!! by Eiki Eiki
With a father who’s a singer, a mother who’s a movie star, and an older brother Shougo who’s the lead vocalist for the super-popular band ‘The Crusherz’, Sena Izumi–an otaku college student–is the only dull one born into this super famous and talented family. He loves “Magical Girl LalaLulu” and is working hard to become a mangaka, but one day he winds up appearing in a TV commercial he just can’t turn down. There, he’s reunited with Ichijou Ryouma, the super-popular young actor he costarred with on a project ten years prior.
Love Stage!! is a good manga for someone starting out in yaoi. There is romance, humor and a little heat mixed in. Sena Izumi is so adorable that you can't help but fall in love with him. He's spoiled and a little immature, but I can respect his drive to make a name for himself as a mangaka away from his famous family members. Ichijou Ryouma, Izumi's love interest, doesn't quite understand why he's so attracted to the obviously male Izumi, but the development of his feelings is interesting to see. Izumi's older brother, Shougo, and manager, Segara Rei, are hilarious secondary characters who have a love story of their very own.

Love Stage!! is still a WIP, but with each chapter and volume that's released, I somehow manage to love it more and more. An anime based on the manga will be released in July 2014 and I cannot wait to see it when it finally comes Stateside.


~ M

Monday, April 14, 2014

We Were All Rooting for You by strictlybecca

We Were All Rooting for You by strictlybecca

Agron, Nasir & co. are all competing on the hit reality show, Rome's Next Top Model: Men's Edition, and tensions are running high. Competition is bringing out the best and worst of people; romance is blooming and jealousy is flaring. Through it all, the competitors must remember to put on their game faces and always, always smize.

As a former viewer of America's Next Top Model (ANTM), this Sparty version definitely brought a smile to my face and elicited more than a few chuckles. Each of the characters is believable as a fierce modeling competitor, and the interactions between Agron, Nasir and Duro are quite sweet, emotional and silly. If you're in the mood for a few laughs with a little romance mixed in, We Were All Rooting for You is a great story to try!

For those of you not familiar with the infamous "we were all rooting for you" scene from ANTM....

~ M

Dan's photo: ©dennys ilic photography
Pana's photo: ©TJ Scott Photography

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Thing About Falling by mistyhaze420

The Thing About Falling by mistyhaze420

When Brady encounters the gruff, tough and dangerous, Brandon, the cousin of his close friend Jasper, he's knocked off his feet. Never has been so enthralled by another man in his life. Brandon is drawn to the optimistic and fabulous Brady, but tries to keep him at arm's length because nothing good from them being friends. He has a record and doesn't want to taint Brady and his future. However, the feelings each man holds for the other cannot be denied. They're falling hard and fast...

This is easily one of my favorite fanfics ever. mistyhaze420 blew me away Lessons Learned, and this follow up lives up to that story and more. Every time this fic updates (and they're always long chapters), I pretty much drop everything to see what our boys, Brady and Brandon, are up to. If you haven't already, please give this story a try. You will not be disappointed!

~ M

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Someone Like You by iconicklaine

Someone Like You by iconicklaine

Kurt and Blaine have been close since their days at Dalton Academy. Both harbored for feelings for each other, but there were always circumstances, and romantic partners, that got in the way. When they randomly run into each other in New Mexico, old feelings resurface and explode. Will they finally have the relationship they've always wanted or will they be doomed to unrequited love?

Well-developed and filled with twists, turns, angst and romance, Someone Like You is a great story for all Klaine lovers. I really enjoyed how well rounded each of the characters, both canon and original, were written, and felt myself rooting for Blaine and Kurt even when obstacle after obstacle was placed in their way. The icing on the cake was the music that accompanied chapters, setting the tone and putting the reader in the correct mindset for the chapter to come. Definitely check it out!

~ M

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Next Step by rivlee

The Next Step by rivlee

Nasir is in love. He's never felt closer to another human being, but he wishes he could be closer. Nasir waits, hoping Agron will ask him to move in with him so they can take their relationship to the next step.

*swoon* I loved, loved, loved this story! Nasir recounts how he first met Agron, their disastrous first date and how he ultimately fell in love with the all around good man. This is a perfect fluffy story to read when you need a sweet pick me up.

~ M

Friday, April 4, 2014

Love in the Unlikeliest Place by Hank's Lady

Love in the Unlikeliest Place by Hank's Lady

Edward and his small group of friends make a bet that each of them will lose their virginity by the end of senior year. That only gives each of them four weeks to meet their goal. Unfortunately for Edward, it won't be that easy. He has been trying to come to terms with his sexuality and the fact that he harbors a huge crush on his good friend, Emmett, doesn't help. Will he meet his goal or will he continue to hide in the closet?

This is story is so adorable! My heart went out to Edward as he struggled with his feelings and not wanting to hide who he is anymore. Emmett, as always, is big sweetheart that will make you want to give him a big hug. If you're looking for a nice fluffy story with a little angst mixed in, this is the perfect one for you!

~ M

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Void by QueenofQuill

Void by QueenofQuill

Work and life's responsibilities have gotten in the way of Agron and Nasir's relationship. When Agron makes a horrible mistake one night after getting drunk, he must not only confront his feelings of regret and disgust, but he must also deal with telling the love of his life that he's betrayed his trust...and the consequences that follow.

Wow! This story is filled to the brim the angst that will break your heart, and the realistic approach to the situation was refreshing. Infidelity is never an easy subject to tackle, but QueenofQuill manages to take that topic write a wonderful story with our beloved Agron and Nasir. Definitely give this story a try!

~ M