Friday, January 30, 2015

Book Review: Blood Bonds by Kayla Bain-Vrba

Surviving a virus that turned most of the population into zombie-like creatures has left Sean alone and fighting for survival. He's come to terms with the fact that he's lost just about everyone he held near and dear to his heart, including his boyfriend, Aaron. When by some miracle he literally stumbles upon the man he's loved since high school, he must now get to know a brand new person. Is Aaron still the man he fell in love with so many years ago, or is that person forever lost due to the death and destruction of a zombie apocalypse?

As a fan of horror movies and The Walking Dead, I'm always interested in a good zombie story. Add m/m romance into the mix and I'm one happy camper! Overall, I enjoyed this short story. Given it's length, it's hard to provide enough exposition. While I felt I had a clear understanding of Sean's character, since the story was from POV, I felt as though I didn't know enough about Aaron and how he spent his two years after the zombie apocalypse occurred.

Sean was a likeable character, but unfortunately Aaron was not. To be honest, I didn't understand how Sean and Aaron were ever a couple prior to zombies. Aaron is a hothead with a bad temper who seems to gaslight his partner, and Sean is way too forgiving of the crap Aaron puts him through. Aaron's friends, especially Steven, also weren't very likeable. I understand that traumatic events can change people, but Aaron and his group of survivors had lost almost all their humanity. Steven seemed to be the perpetual thorn in Sean's side and I would love to see how Steven treated both Sean and Aaron after the ending.

Buy Links
Less Than Three Press | Amazon

This book was provided by the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

~ M

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Book Review: A Forbidden Rumspringa by Keira Andrews

Having grown up in the Amish community, Isaac Byler's life is filled with rules, restrictions and unanswered questions. He's always known that he's different because he is in no hurry to settle down and marry, and he's in even less in a hurry to join the church. When he receives a carpentry apprenticeship with neighbor David Lantz, his world is turned upside down. What he feels towards David is a sin in the eyes of the community, but he can't help it and doesn't want it to end.

David is currently in the process of joining the church. There is a stigma attached to his family due to an accident that occurred with his brother and two other members of the community years ago. Part of him wants to do well and take care of his widowed mother and siblings, but another part of him wants to break free from all the oppression. Isaac turns out to be a beacon of light in David's life, but also a curse.

As the two men grow closer, they must work hard to keep their relationship a secret. If they are found out, it could spell disaster not only for themselves, but also for their families.

I visited Lancaster, PA a few times as a child, and that is how I was first introduced to the Amish culture. As I've grown older, the Amish continue to fascinate me; therefore, I was very happy to discover A Forbidden Rumspringa!

Reading about all of the rules that Isaac, David and their family members had to abide by was difficult because as an "English" person I can't imagine myself in their shoes. The fact that basic things like indoor plumbing was viewed too worldly by their specific community boggled my mind. Other reviewers said they felt, at time, very claustrophobic while reading this book, and I would definitely agree with that description. The story held my attention, but there were some parts that seemed to drag and I found myself skimming over passages. That's not to say that the writing was bad, it was actually quite good.

The next book in the series, A Clean Break, will be released February 3, 2015 and I cannot wait to see how Isaac and David's lives continue to unfold.

3.5 stars
Buy Links
All Romance eBooks | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

~ M

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Home by quidditchchick

Home by quidditchchick

A year has passed since all communication with Rei's space shuttle ceased and Nagisa just wants his best friend, and the man he loves, back. He refuses to give up hope, but it's becoming more and more difficult to stay optimistic.

This is a lovely, emotional one shot that only made me love Nagisa and Rei even more. I felt so bad for Nagisa as he tried to remain hopeful in the face of hopelessness. The ending will certainly make you smile, so be sure to check it out!

~ M

artwork by quidditchchick

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I ❤️ Yaoi: Love Kids!! by Kitazawa Kyou

Greetings! Today's yaoi selection is Love Kids!! by Kitazawa Kyou.

High school students, Rin and Kyo, have been childhood friends since kindergarten. They're so close there's virtually nothing they don't know about each other.

Rin, who had been pining for Takahashi-kun, his father's lover, for many years, finally gave up and wished for his father's and Takahashi's happiness. After his broken heart is comforted by Kyo, Rin is finally able to move on. However, things then become awkward when Kyo suddenly confesses to Rin.

In this sequel to Koishite Daddy, readers see that adorable little Rin is now a high school student harboring a longtime crush on his father's lover. It was nice to see the characters from original manga back again, and even though he's growing up, Rin is no less adorable. There are a few twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat, and a little humor mixed in that keeps the overall tone of the piece light. My only gripe is in the very last chapter. I thought the addition of a new character was unnecessary and only used to add one last bit of conflict at the very end.

Another sequel, Love Limit, is in the works and I can't wait to see what happens next for Rin and Kyo!

~ M

Monday, January 26, 2015

From My Arms by SubtextEquals

From My Arms by SubtextEquals

After the final battle, Agron, Nasir and the remaining rebel survivors try to forge a life away from the battlefield. However, when tragedy strikes Nasir makes the ultimate sacrifice. Agron must now bend to the whims of the gods in order to return the love of his life to his arms.

This is quite a story. I can easily envision it on the big or small screen with it's sweeping landscapes, character-driven storylines and emotion-filled scenes. The close bond between Agron and Nasir is as strong as ever, but my heart broke when they were separated and treated as toys for the gods' enjoyment. I don't want to give too much away, but there is a particular (secondary) reunion that brought the biggest smile to my face! I know fans of the tv show will find a lot of joy and closure in it.

Definitely give this canon AU story a try!

~ M

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Book Review: Taxes & TARDIS by N.R. Walker

Brent, an electrician, takes his chaotic collection of receipts and financial records from his business to his new accountant after his original account is unable to handle the task due to other commitments. Expecting to see an old man sitting behind the desk, Brent is pleasantly surprised when he sees Logan, a man of the same age who is quiet, geeky, British and is wearing the prettiest blue shirt, which Logan explains is TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space from Doctor Who) blue.

Although complete opposites, the two men eventually forge a friendship that turns into a relationship as they get to know one another and find they really enjoy each other's company.

This story is so sweet. Brent and Logan are adorable and I liked the way N.R. Walker showed the aggressive side of Logan (even though he's normally quite shy and quiet) and the vulnerable side of Brent (who is often very outgoing). The characters were so likable that I really rooted for them and hoped they'd find their happily ever after.

Brent's friend Tim not only provided comic relief and silliness to the story, but also provided clarity and guidance for the couple. He really surprised a good way.

If you're in the mood for a wonderfully sweet story that will warm your heart, Taxes & TARDIS is the one for you!

Buy Links
Totally Bound | Amazon

~ M

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hui Taurima o PanaBear Aroha: PanaBear Love Fest by figbash

Hui Taurima o PanaBear Aroha: PanaBear Love Fest by figbash

It's no secret that I'm a fan of figbash's fanfic, but I absolutely adore her awesome and hilarious comics and drawings! In her latest project, figbash features sketches of her "favorite Maori" (and mine too) in some of his many roles. Her attention to detail in the realistic sketches is phenomenal and her chibi drawings always bring a smile to my face because they are just so darn cute!

I was so happy when I discovered that figbash's sketch was highlighted on Pana's very own Facebook page. How awesome is that?!?! If you haven't checked out figbash's work, please do so immediately!

~ M

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Book Review: Fugly by K.Z. Snow

Three shallow men, Jake, Tyler and Todd (The Hunt Club) are taught a powerful lesson about judging others and writing people off just because they don't fit the perfect mold.

I really enjoyed this book and thought the overall lesson of the story was fitting, especially in today's society where looks are preferred over talent, intelligence and character. Seeing each man deal with his affliction and slowly grow into a better man was a joy to read.

Buy links
Liquid Silver Books |

~ M

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

When the Roses Die by thelilacfield

When the Roses Die by thelilacfield

When Connor lost his two best friends and the love of his life within a year of each other, his life went into a tailspin. He throws himself into his work, and is very successful, but he is also a tyrant of a boss who continuously strings along a kindhearted employee who just wants to love him. When he is visited by three ghosts over the course of several weeks, he will finally see what he has become since the tragedies. Will he be able to become the Connor he once was or has the ice of grief completely hardened his heart for good?

I am really enjoying this modern take on Dickens' A Christmas Carol featuring the How to Get Away with Murder characters. Connor is perfect in the Scrooge role and plays the emotionally scarred and tortured jerk perfectly. It will be interesting to see how this story plays out and I absolutely cannot wait!

~ M

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I ❤️ Yaoi: Kami-sama no Iutoori by Moegi Yuu

Good morning, yaoi lovers! Today's selection is Kami-sama no Iutoori by Moegi Yuu.

Ever since his mother passed away, Hinata has been taken care of by Midori, who is as strict as he is caring. Midori’s smart, tall and handsome. He also doesn’t have a shadow or a reflection in the mirror. Wait. What? Hinata’s a scaredy cat and thinks Midori might be a ghost. But he's actually something quite different!

Upon first reading this manga, I was drawn into the characters and the mystery surrounding Midori. As Hinata learns more about his guardian, and his own feelings towards the man, he also discovers Midori's true nature. I enjoyed the closeness Midori and Hinata share, and it will be interesting to see how their relationship progresses.

I quickly noticed that Midori has the uncanny ability to guilt and manipulate Hinata. It's hard to know when Midori is being sincere or when he's just teasing his charge. Because of that, it makes it difficult for me to completely like him as a character. Hinata is sweet and a little naive, but seems to have a good heart and good intentions in all he does.

~ M

Monday, January 12, 2015

Benched by bornonhalloween

Benched by bornonhalloween

Edward begrudgingly takes on the task of coaching kindergarteners tee-ball and soon discovers that the uncle of one of the young players is none other than baseball star, Emmett McCarty. It's bad enough that that man is gorgeous, but now he's volunteered to be Edward's assistant coach? Things are about to get very awkward and uncomfortable very fast.

This story, told in 100-word drabbles, is silly, fun and an overall great read. You will eagerly anticipate each new chapter as Edward and Emmett try to coach tee-ball while not killing each other, and eventually develop a close friendship.

~ M

Friday, January 9, 2015

Book Review: First Class Package by Jay Northcote

Science writer, Jim, leads a pretty solitary life. When he discovers his hot new postman, Patrick, he makes it his mission to get to know the man.

I thought this was a sweet short story. The slow development of Jim and Patrick's friendship was nice to watch and seemed true-to-life. While the story definitely has a lighthearted feel, it also examines deeper issues such as loneliness.

If you're in the mood for a quick, uncomplicated read, this is the book for you!

Buy links (FREE read)
Amazon |   All Romance ebooks   |   Smashwords

~ M

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Pizza Boy by DominikaDecember

The Pizza Boy by DominikaDecember

Even though Connor is virtually invincible and on the highest rung of the popularity ladder, he can't help but be fascinated by the new pizza guy at his and his friends' favorite pizza shop. Oliver is the complete opposite of Connor's "type", but he's more determined than ever to capture the attention of the adorably nerdy and shy new guy.

If you've ever rooted for the underdog, this is definitely a story you will enjoy. Connor may be extremely popular and possess an arrogance to go along with that status, but deep down he has a softer, more sensitive side that wins Oliver's heart and will win yours as well.

~ M

artwork credit: unknown

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

I ❤ Yaoi: Houyou Jikken by Ogasawara Uki

Happy New Year, yaoi lovers! Today's review feature is Houyou Jikken by Ogasawara Uki.

Takahashi Miya is sick and needs regular check-ups. At university, he comes across Kanou Rei. Rumor has it that he is part of a dangerous club that distributes drugs and organizes sex orgies. Is this true? And why does Rei seem to know Miya? 

This manga took a while to get into, but once things started rolling I was hooked. Miya's mysterious illness and the even more mysterious man who comes into his life had me on the edge of my seat. I wanted to know more.

The beginning is slow and somewhat confusing, but soon the puzzle pieces start falling into place. I'm not used to this particular drawing style, but I think it fits the sometimes dark and morose subject matter. There are some explicit scenes, so if you're not a regular yaoi reader, be careful.

~ M

Monday, January 5, 2015

We Speak in Silence by f*ckslikeagod

We Speak in Silence by f*ckslikeagod

Agron is intrigued by the beautiful, mute former slave who has come into his life. He wonders what happened to the man and how he can gain his attention.

This is a gorgeous one-shot. It chronicles the slow development of Agron and Nasir's friendship and eventual romantic relationship. Even though Nasir does not speak one word, they are able to communicate almost perfectly with one another via touch and body language. Your heart will soar once you reach the end of this short story, so definitely check it out!

~ M

artwork credit: steorie

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year from Slashsessed!

Happy New Year!!!

Thank you so much for making 2014 such a great year for Slashsessed, and I look forward to what 2015 brings! I am truly grateful for each and every one of you and I wish you nothing but happiness and success in the coming year!

~ M