Thursday, April 30, 2015

Book Review: A Clean Break (Gay Amish Romance #2) by Keira Andrews

In this sequel to A Forbidden Rumspringa, Isaac and David have fled the strict rules and oppression they felt in the Amish lifestyle in Zebulon, Minnesota and have now settled with Aaron, Isaac's brother, in San Francisco. Experiencing extreme culture shock, David and Isaac try to acclimate and rebuild their lives. They still feel a great deal of guilt for leaving their families, but there was no other way. Despite knowing he made the right decision, David finds it increasingly difficult to blend in as he becomes buried by his insecurities, jealousy and little understanding of the new world he lives in.

This book definitely caught and held my attention throughout. However, the constant bickering, miscommunication and overall lack of communication between David and Isaac was frustrating. I completely understand how difficult it was for David to get used to his new life, but he seemed to take ten step back from where he was in book one. In A Forbidden Rumspringa, David was confident and more aggressive in going after what he wanted, even if it wasn't at all accepted in the Amish community. Now the tables have turned and it's Isaac who is the go-getter and excited about what the future holds. David was so burdened by his guilt that he could barely enjoy anything. To me, there was a disconnect between Isaac and David. They had no problems sexually, but sex isn't everything in a relationship. I fully believed they loved each other tremendously, but the past and fears of the future built a wall between the two of them.

It would be completely unrealistic to think that these two men would move to San Francisco and everything would be perfect. I expected there to be apprehension and self-doubt; however, I soon started to feel closed in by David's inner monologues of worthlessness and knowing he was going to hell (per his family). It was very sad.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Cloudy with a Chance of Romance by wordsinpaper

Connor and Oliver literally run into each other on the street. Gazes are fuzzy and apologies are said, but what happens when Oliver finally sees Connor clearly?

This is nothing but pure, unadulterated fluff and I loved every moment! Both Connor and Oliver are so incredibly sweet in this one-shot that you can't help but fall in love with them! Definitely give this quick read a try!

~ M

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I ❤ Yaoi: Nakimushi na Little (Little Cry Baby) by Kinoshita Keiko

Greetings fellow yaoi lovers! This week's adorable feature is Nakimushi na Little (Little Cry Baby) by Kinoshita Keiko.

College student Kishino-kun is a slightly blundering, but cute and adorable guy that everyone loves. Classmate Fujimoto-kun is resident ladies man, but you can always count on him to bail you out of a sticky situation. What happens when these two fall in love?

This is actually a collection of sweet one shots that show various relationships and how the persons involved deal with their newfound feelings of love and affection. All of them are pretty heartwarming and fluffy with the exception of You are Mine. That particularly story was my least favorite because one of the main characters was quite unlikeable, mean and off putting, but his friend was incredibly kind and accomodating. The drawing style isn't my favorite, but Kinoshita Keiko definitely has a knack for drawing cute ukes. :)

3.5 stars
~ M

Monday, April 27, 2015

You're the Beast, I'm the Beauty (of magic & monsters #1) by venomedveins

You're the Beast, I'm the Beauty (of magic & monsters #1) by venomedveins

When Nasir's family and caravan makes its way through the kingdom led by Agron's father, the citizens are intrigued and stunned. Not only do Nasir's people hold great beauty and allure, but they also possess magical powers. In order to move safely through the kingdom, the often tyrannical king strikes a deal with Nasir's father: Nasir in exchange for safe passage. He will be wed to Agron and produce an heir. Nasir is obviously greatly distressed by the news, but there is something about the wild and beastly Agron that piques his interest. How will the two very different people come to terms with their current situation and their growing attraction for one another?

I'm not the biggest fan of the fantasy genre, but this story definitely caught my interest. This is the first story in the "of magic & monsters" series by the highly talented author, venomedveins. She created a world that draws you in. You will immediately find yourself caring deeply for many of the characters and probably hating a few too. ;) Pietros and Duro play pretty significant roles in this story, which is always a treat since they were taken away from us way too soon in the series.

Definitely give this fic, which is turning out to be quite epic, a try! You won't disappointed!

~ M

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Book Review: In the Distance (In the Kitchen #3) by Eileen Griffin & Nikka Michaels

After being kicked out and forced to live on the street when he came out to his parents, Tyler Mitchell is slowly rebuilding his life. With the help of his honorary big brothers, Ethan and Jamie, Tyler found a job, acquired an apartment and is attending culinary school. Everything seems to be going in the right direction, but different professional interests and his desire to have the sort of love Ethan and Jamie share weighs heavily on his mind.

Trevor Pratt is rich and successful in all things except love. He nearly lost his friendship with Jamie when he tried to meddle in his relationship with Ethan for selfish reasons. Even though he's no longer in love with his best friend, it still stings. While visiting Seattle on business, Tyler catches Trevor's eye, much to the chagrin on both Ethan and Jamie. Will he be able to prove himself worthy or will he fall back into his old habits?

I first want to say that I did not read the first two books in this series, but I never felt lost. Sure, there were instances in which I wish I had a just a little more information, but I don't think it's completely necessary to read other books first.

I really enjoyed this book and felt that all of the characters were well-developed and complex. The story moved quite steadily and I never found myself bored with the interactions between the main characters or the secondary characters. I was instantly pulled into Tyler, Trevor, Ethan and Jamie's worlds and how they deal with their professional and personal lives.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Shot Throught the Heart by themugwump

Shot Through the Heart by themugwump

After the water gun fight with the Iwatobi team, Rin and Sousuke talk about their potential future together at university.

Oh my! This one shot was so adorable! themugwump perfectly captured each character's essence and made them come to life before my very eyes. I understood Rin's frustration with Sousuke's often vague and apathetic responses to his questions about the future, his shoulder and whether or not he would be able to swim again. However, the last act really tied everything together and made my heart melt. If you're a Sourin shipper, you'll definitely want to give this story a shot.

~ M

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I ❤ Yaoi: Sugar Code by Natsume Isaku

Hello all! This week's yaoi feature is Sugar Code by Natsume Isaku.

When Takagi Akira, an owner of an apartment complex, was in town, he ran into a scene where a man, Oodoi, saved an old man from a gang. Akira fell for Oodoi’s manly courage and took him in his apartment. Oodoi found Akira’s apartment comfy and spent time there. Akira thought Oodoi's manly act was now part of the past, but when Akira is harassed by mobs and nearly forced to sell his apartment complex, it was Oodoi who saved his life. Truth is, Oodoi is a yakuza...

I found this manga to be incredible sweet and funny. Oodoi's double life can be confusing at first, but you soon find out that he's a really good guy who has peoples' best interests in mind. I would highly recommend this sweet manga, especially to those who are new to the genre. Check it out!

~ M

Monday, April 20, 2015

To Become Whole by EmeraldSoul

To Become Whole by EmeraldSoul

Agron helps run a ranch that provides hiking and overnight camping services to those who want a taste of the cowboy life. He's had a troubled past and has shut a lot of people out of his life because of it. When a determined camper manages to chip away at the cement wall surrounding Agron's heart, he must finally face his demons and leave the past behind him once and for all.

I've been reading this story for a while now, and with each passing chapter I'm pulled farther into the wonderful storyline and universe EmeraldSoul has created. Both Agron and Nasir are flawed human beings, but together they are incredible. If you're in the mood for a story that has a great mix of angst, romance, humor and sexual tension, this is the story for you!

~ M

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Book Review: Sweetness and Strength by J.N. Olsen

While awaiting the arrival of his blind date, Miles slowly comes to realize that he's been stood up. Rather than having his evening ruined, Miles decides to make the most of the situation and having a good meal. All is not lost, however, because he may just find that special his gorgeous waiter.

Short and sweet, this story will bring a smile to your face. I found myself becoming angry on Miles' behalf at the way he was treated by his blind date, but the arrival of Jordan definitely lifted Miles' (and my) spirits.

Given the short length of the story, there wasn't much time for character development, but it was a nice slice of life tale that made me want to know more about the MCs.

Buy links
Wayward Ink Publishing | Amazon

Wayward Ink Publishing provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

~ M

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I Think We Need to Talk by monicalshipscoliver

I Think We Need to Talk by monicashipscoliver

While planning a special evening, Oliver grabs Connor's attention by saying the dreaded phrase "I think we need to talk." Connor immediately thinks the worst, but he's in for an unexpected surprise!

This story truly warmed my heart. It's so sweet and fluffy that I couldn't prevent a big goofy grin from spreading across my face. If you're interested in a Coliver fic that is nothing but adorable fluff, this is story for you!

~ M

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I ❤️ Yaoi: MakoHaru Date by Aoi Levin (Free! Doujinshi)

Good morning yaoi lovers! Today's feature is MakoHaru Date by Aoi Levin!

Makoto is certain that Haru is upset with him, but he can't figure out why.

I thought this was a delightful look into the relationship Makoto and Haru share. As you can expect, Makoto is completely oblivious to what is going on and has to enlist the help of Nagisa to open his eyes. I don't want to give away too much of the plot, but this is definitely a quick read that will bring a smile to your face and make you love the MakoHaru ship even more!

4 stars

Read the doujinshi here.

~ M

Monday, April 13, 2015

Learning Territory by FunkyinFishnet

Learning Territory by FunkyinFishnet

Agron and Nasir spend a quiet evening at home exploring each other's tattoos.

Yum! Even though this is a relatively short one-shot, it's filled with heat and passion. The story behind each tattoo was fascinating and I found myself hoping that Agron and Nasir's tattoo collection wouldn't end.

~ M

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Book Review: Did You Leave Any for Me by Sarah Hayes

Sheridan and Oliver are exes who find themselves locked inside a hotel room due to a freak glitch in the system. During this time locked away from the rest of the world, the two men must come face to face with their issues and exactly why their relationship failed.

This short story is a very quick read. It was nice to see an established couple, but I was initially confused as to why they were in a hotel room in the first place, especially since they could barely have a conversation without bickering. The mystery of their break up definitely made me want to see the story to the end, but I think I expected the cause to be something much more alarming. However, I also understand that miscommunication and routine can be detrimental to any relationship.

2.5 stars

Wayward Ink Publishing provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Buy links
Wayward Ink Publishing | Amazon

~ M

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Tears Before the Grave by SEMellark

Tears Before the Grave by SEMellark

Haru watches Makoto from afar, but cannot determine why he's always so sad and his life seems so dark and bleak.

I will admit, this isn't a story full of rainbows and puppies. It's pretty heavy, a little heartbreaking and I probably had a lump in my throat for three quarters of it. It probably won't take long for you to figure out what is going on in this story, but I do recommend that you read it. It's beautifully written and proves just how strong the bond between Haru and Makoto really is.

~ M

artwork credit: owner

Monday, April 6, 2015

I've Got Friends in Low Places by venomedveins

When Agron discovers that Nasir has accepted a proposal of marriage from Caesar, he will stop at nothing to get his little man back, even if he has to make a fool of himself in the process.

*swoon* If you're in the mood for a good sweep-you-off-your-feet story, this is the one for you! Agron is raw, pulsing masculinity as he fights for the man he loves. venomedveins always writes incredible Nagron stories, but I think this is now one of my all-time favorites. Check it out!

~ M

artwork credit: Darkstar357

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Book Review: Soufflés at Sunrise (Just Desserts #2) by M.J. O'Shea and Anna Martin

Competing on the hit cooking show, Burned, can be stressful on its own. Add a blossoming romance, manufactured drama and the pressure to win, and the process can be downright disastrous! Contestants Kai and Chase find themselves in this predicament as they claw their way to the top of the ranks in an effort to win national recognition and compensation.

I loved this book! Cooking competition shows like Top Chef, Chopped and The Great British Bake Off, and cooking are two of my (many) hobbies. As a self-proclaimed foodie, I love anything having to with the creation of delicious dishes, so this book was right up my alley.

O'Shea and Martin's previous offering the Just Desserts series, Macarons at Midnight, was also enjoyable, but this book knocked the ball out of the park! I found the MCs to be very likable and relatable, and the competitions were fascinating. It's not often that you read about characters making choux pastry and croquembouches. The food nerd inside of me went wild!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Untitled Coliver Fic by an-alternate-world

Untitled Coliver Fic by an-alternate-world

Connor is desperate to keep Oliver in his life, but his drug addition (lie) is preventing Oliver from truly opening himself up again. Trust has been broken and no amount of flowers, dinners or pretty words can fix things.

Wow! I loved how such a short fic could conjure so many different feelings and emotions. I felt the hurt, annoyance and frustration emanating from Oliver, and Connor's fear, desperation and contrition was palpable. Definitely give this story a try! I know Coliver fans will love it!

~ M