Thursday, November 27, 2014

Book Review: The Working Elf Blues by Piper Vaughn

Garnet Evergreen, an elf who works at the North Pole, has been watching Wes since he was a little boy. Wes had a difficult life growing up, his parents died and he was forced to move from foster home to foster home, so Garnet always had a deep desire to bring joy into his life. Now that Wes is an adult, Garnet is dismayed to see that Wes is still spending much of his life alone.

Determined to make Wes' Christmas, and overall outlook on life, a little brighter, Garnet breaks the rules and travels to earth so he can stay with Wes for good.

This is another sweet, heartwarming Christmas story from Less Than Three Press. I enjoyed the magical feel of the story as well as the theme of hope, love and starting anew. Garnet is 100% adorable as the big-hearted elf who fell in love with a human. Wes' story is heartbreaking, but I was happy to see at least one being, other than his dogs, who truly looked out for him and ensured he was loved, whether he wanted to admit it or not.

The Working Elf Blues is a quick read that will certainly make your day a little brighter with Christmas cheer.

3.5 stars
Release Date: December 17, 2014

Buy links

Less Than Three Press | Amazon

~ M

*The publisher provided an ARC of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Love, Again by LosT-in-Twific

Love, Again by LosT-in-Twific

Jasper and Edward have always been flirtatious with each other, but Edward isn't into relationships and Jasper has had a steady boyfriend, Riley, for five years. They can't, however, deny their incredible chemistry. When an opportunity finally arises for them to give in to their desires, they unlock feelings that not only shock, but excite them.

This short story is quite cute. The banter between Edward and Jasper is fun to watch and I found myself on pins and needles wondering if they were going to admit how good they are together. Definitely give this sweet story a shot!

~ M

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I ❤ Yaoi: Hana to Usagi by Kashima Chiaki

Good morning yaoi lovers! Today's recommendation is Hana to Usagi by Kashima Chiaki.

When a new delivery worker, Kajiyama Ryouta, encounters an odd customer, he doesn't quite know what to make of the man. Aizawa is a recluse who always answers the door wearing a huge rabbit head and barely speaks. Kajiyama soon finds out that Aizawa is extremely shy and can't stand for people to look at him. How will their tentative and slightly strained friendship develop?

I must admit that I found this manga to be very different, but also kind of refreshing. The fact that Aizawa likes to wear a giant rabbit head was humorous and just plain weird at first, but soon readers see that there are much deeper issues at play. I look forward to reading more about these characters and how their relationship grows amid all of the phobias and frustrations.

3.5 stars
 ~ M

Monday, November 24, 2014

Bloodletter by littleblackcat

Bloodletter by littleblackcat

Rin is a vampire hunter tasked with ridding the world of the dangerous creatures. His latest assignment is proving to be more complicated than most. Nitori seems to be the exact opposite of everything he's known about vampires. He blends in well at school, he doesn't cause any problems and he doesn't even drink human blood. Rin actually likes the vampire. Will he be able to carry out his assignment or will he help his little kouhai avoid certain death?

Even though it's still in its early stages, I'm really fascinated with this story. Seeing Rin struggle to reconcile is feelings for his friend and his duty as a vampire hunter is quite interesting. Nitori, as always, is a little ball of sunshine that makes you want to hug him. Definitely give this story a try!

~ M

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Book Review: The Wish Augur by Cecil Wilde

Gabriel Juarez lives a very mundane, unfulfilled life. He hates his job, his boss harasses and insults him on a daily basis and he only has one friend. Christmas is quickly approaching and the holiday just doesn't have the same luster or meaning now that his mother has passed away.

After another stressful day at work, Gabe wishes he could just have a hug. When he wakes up Christmas morning, there's a man his bed holding him tightly. Gabe doesn't know what is going on, but an elf named Felix is determined to make this the best Christmas Gabe has had in a long time.

This is an incredibly sweet holiday story that is heartwarming and fun. Gabe was a little cold towards Felix when he first arrived, but I enjoyed watching their friendship grow and Gabe's spirits lift. Felix is an adorable character who found joy in the smallest things. His attitude towards life, and Gabe, made me really like him as a character.

If you're in the mood for a feel-good story this Christmas season, definitely give The Wish Augur a try. It's a very quick read that will bring a smile to your face.

3.5 stars
                                                        Release date: December 17, 2014

Buy links
Less Than Three Press | Amazon

~ M

*The publisher provided an ARC of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Freak by addicted-to-romione-bedward

Freak by addicted-to-romione-bedward

Jasper's life hasn't been easy. In high school he was bullied just for being different and, unfortunately, the bullying has continued in college. He just wants to get through a day without being insulted or assaulted. The one shining beacon in his life is his history professor, Peter Carter. He's one of the few people who treats Jasper like an actual human being, but after a failed attempt at standing up to his bullies once and for all, Jasper feels he may have ruined that perfect friendship.

I am so glad I decided to read this one-shot! My blood boiled seeing the bullies harass Jasper for absolutely no reason. However, watching the interaction between Jasper and Peter really warmed my heart. If you're in the mood for something a little angsty that will leave you smiling at the end, Freak is the story for you.

Also, I love that Timothy Olyphant was used the the physical respresentation of Peter in the banner (created by Mina Rivera). *swoon* He is so handsome!

~ M



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I ❤ Yaoi: Ten Count by Takarai Rihito

Hello everyone! Today's yaoi selection is Ten Count by Takarai Rihito.

When Shirotani Tadaom's boss is injured in an accident, he meets Kurose. Much to his surprise, Kurose could immediately see that Shirotani is mysophobic (the abnormal fear of or distaste for uncleanliness or contamination*) and suggests consulting a doctor about it. However, Kurose's observation rattles Shirotani to the core. Who is this guy and how was he able to tell Shirotani’s condition so quickly?

This is one of the most interesting and different mangas I've read in a while. Watching Shirotani try to traverse life with his phobia was not only sad, but also scary. He is completely unable to have a connection with people...until Kurose comes into his life. Kurose pushes him just enough to help alleviate some of the Shirotani's OCD behaviors, while at the same time doing something that no one else has been able to do, build a connection. If you're looking for a yaoi manga that's outside of the norm, definitely give Ten Count a try!

4.5 stars
~ M

* Merriam-Webster.com

Monday, November 17, 2014

Ours by VintageJacqui

Ours by VintageJacqui

Nasir and Agron must deal with a very scary situation in their new relationship together. Will they be able to pull through?

Even though it's not the longest of stories, Ours is beautiful! It has serious themes, but also tells a tale of hope, support, encouragement and perseverance. Highly recommended!

~ M

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Book Review: Macarons at Midnight by M.J. O'Shea and Anna Martin

Tristan Green, an expatriate from England, is trying to advance his career in advertising at a big agency in New York City. He's not entirely happy with how things are going in his life, but he's stubborn and doesn't want to be viewed as a failure. One evening, while walking around his neighborhood, Tristan stumbles upon a quaint bakery and its handsome owner, Henry Livingston.

Henry worked hard to build his business from the ground up even though he came from a family of wealth and connections. He doesn't feel comfortable in that life, which is evidenced by his strained relationship with his WASP parents. When the bumbling and painfully adorable Tristan comes into his life, Henry feels things he's never felt before. Could it be too good to be true?

This is an extremely sweet story. The slow build of Tristan and Henry's relationship was really cute to watch. Their playful banter back and forth brought a smile to my face and made me chuckle more than once. The authors did a great job of creating characters that made me care about their well-being and root for their success.

I couldn't stop my mouth from watering while reading about all of the incredible baked goods Henry created. I love the fact that the book includes recipes for many of the confections described by the characters, and I can't wait to try some of them out.

Unfortunately, I did have a few issues with the book.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Morning by DarkAliceLilith

Morning by DarkAliceLilith

Agron and Nasir have a little fun in their kitchen.

This story is pure smut and I love it! There's not much to explain, you should definitely read it for yourself, but DarkAliceLilith paints a lovely picture of Agron and Nasir as they enjoy one another after a little morning coffee. Check it out!

~ M

picture credits: crazzzedope 1 | 2

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I ❤ Yaoi: Darenimo Iwanaide by Fukiyama Rico

Good morning fellow yaoi lovers! Today's manga review is Darenimo Iwanaide by Fukiyama Rico.

While taking a shortcut across campus to get to work, Shirahama Miharu interrupts a rendezvous between playboy Sumikawa Kaichi and his girlfriend and accidentally witnesses their breakup. Kaichi is not only unconcerned, but actually helps Miharu jump the locked gate so he can make it to work on time. As Miharu thanks Kaichi, offering to repay him with lunch, he blurts out that Kaichi is too fickle when it comes to women. No one's ever been so candid with Kaichi before and he finds the novelty and Miharu fascinating. Is this the beginning of friendship or something more?

So far the story is pretty cute and I'm enjoying the slow growth of Miharu and Kaichi's friendship and feelings towards one another. If you're looking for something cute, sweet and relatively uncomplicated, this is a great manga to try. My only complaint is with some of the translations. While I greatly appreciate how much time and effort went into translating this manga, the constant use of the word "therefore" and the incomplete sentences make it difficult to read at times.

Four stars for the overall story and two and a half stars for the translation.

3.25 stars
~ M



Monday, November 10, 2014

Suo Jure by figbash

Suo Jure by figbash

Under the tutelage of the great Spartacus, Nasir's confidence grows. No longer is he the helpless body slave, but a warrior. Armed with his new found courage and poise, Nasir challenges Agron to friendly fighting match.

This is a lovely story which shows Nasir's growth as a man and warrior. The playful banter between Agron and Nasir brought a smile to my face and made me wish I could be one of the spectators during their match. If you're in the mood for a short, but sweet and heartwarming story, this is the one for you!

Also be sure to check out figbash's latest Nagron fan comic, Itty Bitty Nagron: The Tale of Endymion. Her drawings are fantastic!!!!

~ M

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Book Review: A Closed Door By Andrew Q. Gordon

A horrible tragedy brings Orin Merritt back to his hometown in order to settle the affairs of his parents. Not only must Orin deal with his grief, but he also had to face the town that brings back bad memories of bullying and abuse by his fellow classmates. When his former best friend, Thomas Kennett, reappears and tries to atone for his mistakes of the past, Orin is suspicious. He just wants to get things in order and move on his life, but Thomas and memories better times, make it harder and harder.

I really enjoyed the emotion Andrew Q. Gordon poured into his characters. The pain and loss Orin experienced and the suffocating guilt from Thomas were palpable. So often I wondered if there could be any sort of resolution between the MCs because there was just so much pain, shame and regret in their pasts.

A couple of times throughout the novella I thought I'd missed some important information. One minute Orin and Thomas are talking about meeting up for a friendly meal and then a couple pages later, discussions about being more than friends arise. I had to go back to make sure I hadn't accidentally skipped a few pages. Because of that, I felt that the progression of the relationship seemed unfinished because readers missed out on integral moments.

Overall, I thought this was an interesting, emotionally-charged novella.

~ M

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Fifty Shades of Rei by whendidthisshowbecomemylife

Fifty Shades of Rei by whendidthisshowbecomemylife

Rei and Nagisa's relationship is great. They are best friends and would do anything for one another. The only problem is their feelings have surpassed the friendly level and neither of them are quite sure how to handle it.

Now before you roll your eyes or write this off, this fanfic is nothing like that other Fifty Shades story. This is an adorable look at the development of Rei and Nagisa's relationship and how they handle the ups and downs of falling in love. It's very fluffy and very sweet, and I know Reigisa fans will love it!

~ M

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I ❤ Yaoi: I'm a College Student by Akuta (Free! Doujinshi)

Hello yaoi lovers! Today's manga is I'm a College Student by Akuta!

I've been noticing doujinshis popping up here and there for a while now, so I decided to give it a try. I absolutely fell in love with this adorable story featuring Rei and Nagisa. Rei has been away at college in Tokyo and is eagerly anticipating the arrival of his adorable boyfriend, Nagisa, for a summer visit.

My heart melted as I watched the couple explore the city and their strong feelings for one another. This is definitely a manga that will make you go "aww" while reading it! Highly recommended!


4.5 stars


~ M

Monday, November 3, 2014

A Kiss of Death by venomedveins

A Kiss of Death by venomedveins

Nasir and Agron have an unconventional relationship. Agron is the right-hand man to vampire Rebel King, Spartacus, and Nasir is his human companions (or pet to other vampires), who has recently been freed from a lifetime of cruel slavery. Pets are common amongst vampires, but Nasir is special. Agron does not want to share his human and he will do everything in his power to protect the fragile creature.

I really enjoyed this alternate look at the Spartacus storyline. Agron is sexy as hell as a powerful vampire, and Nasir, as always, charms with his quiet demeanor and simmering sensuality. Agron's possessiveness is actually quite appealing and not at all overbearing in my opinion, but I also appreciated the quieter, more intimate moments between the unlikely lovers. Definitely give this one-shot a shot! You will not be disappointed!

~ M

photo credit: dennys ilic photography