Book List 2017

Review: (Un)Masked by Anyta Sunday and Andy Gallo

Un-masked-fTitle: (Un)Masked

Authors: Anyta Sunday and Andy Gallo (self-published)

Genre: M/M paranormal romance, magical realism, new adult

Buy it here

Summary: 

Jay Walker has two wishes: to perform the play of his dreams alongside his best friend at Wellington’s Tory Street Theatre, and to meet that special someone. Someone he’d go to the ends of the earth for. Someone who might only exist in fairy tales.

When Jay meets accordion busker Lethe Cross, it’s like living a dream come true. Lethe’s music captivates Jay, and he resolves to meet the man who plays so beautifully. But then he discovers Lethe’s life is more like a nightmare. The phrase “down on his luck” can’t begin to cover it. Determined to help, Jay does some snooping for answers—and winds up on the wrong end of a centuries-old curse. The good news is there’s a way to break it. The bad news is it might cost Jay his life

Excerpt:

His music sailed over me, beautiful, seductive; the call of a siren—and I went willingly.

He stood on a concrete wall dividing the beach and pavement, cutting notes into a thousand beautiful fragments that the air caught and whipped around me.

His hips twisted and his fingers slid over the accordion keyboard as he commanded the bellows.  Like magic, the disappointment that had clung to me all morning dulled, and I sank against a pylon across and watched him. Watched, and wished the lip of the hoodie he wore would lift so I could see his face.

He swayed with the music, and I glimpsed blond hair and a scar splitting one brow.

Nearer and nearer, I inched, until I stood before him.

His song ended abruptly, and he stared down at me with haunted, tired eyes.

I opened my mouth to ask him to play again, to tell him he was truly talented, but he jumped onto the beach and fled.

My soul prickled, and I knew I would never be the same again.

One never was, when death lurked nearby.

Continue reading “Review: (Un)Masked by Anyta Sunday and Andy Gallo”

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Book List 2017, Reviews

Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

63.jpgTitle: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Author: Mackenzi Lee

Genre: Historical Fiction, LGBTQIA+

Summary: 

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Witty, romantic, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a sumptuous romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.

Review: 

This book is an insane amount of frustrating fun. I know that sounds like one of the weirder descriptions that I’ve given a novel but it’s true. The language in this book is flourishing and imaginative without being too descriptive which you all know is my Achilles heel when it comes to reading.

The plot is over the top in one of the best possible ways and to be honest it is not a book I would have chosen for myself. Which is why I am so glad it was included in an Owlcrate box which allows me to step outside of my comfort zone a little more and pick up a book I might otherwise have not read. There are pirates, there is alchemy, mystery, scandal and intrigue.

Olivia Pope would have her hands full with the Duke of Bourbon, that’s all I’m saying, y’all. That’s all. Because he is a mess, and not even a hot one.

The frustrating part of this novel comes with the knowledge that although the ignorance of some characters is contextual for the time, it is still a piss off. The racism made me grit my teeth and growl in frustration, so did the ablelism and the misogyny. When I say grit my teeth I mean for a moment, until I found myself ranting, alone, in my bedroom at about…1 in the morning. If this review does not make sense that would be why. Please forgive me.

How dare they treat my darling wonderful Percy in such a manner? And Felicity as well? Monty stop talking and start thinking. And Scipio. ❤

Characters:

Monty is the main character and he will piss you off, and make you love him in equal turns. He is one of those people who could be smart. He could be. And in the end he is (Thank God). But along the route to his character growth, and he does grow, you will want to smack him upside the head (gently) or rail against the attitude he gives the world (with reason). But he is wonderfully written, and I have a real soft spot.

Percy. Oh Percy. He is a character that could do with a bit more backbone, and yes, he does get it thankfully. More serious than his best friend, he fleshes out the pages and gives the book more humanity, and humility where it’s needed most. He also experiences quite a bit of growth over the course of the novel.

Felicity is tenacious with a capital T and has brains in spades, hidden behind fake dust-covers. She is badass. So freaking badass and definitely deserves a tale or two of her own.

The Duke. Oh the Duke. A true asshat. A real villain. I don’t like him at all.

Scipio is a character I need more of. He’s trying so hard to suppress his cinnamon roll side and it’s not really working for him. But make no mistake, I think he’s at least thinking about killing you.

Favourite Quotes:

“Just thinking about all that blood.” I nearly shudder. “Doesn’t it make you a bit squeamish?”
“Ladies haven’t the luxury of being squeamish about blood,” she replies, and Percy and I go fantastically red in unison.”

It’s beginning to feel like he’s shuffling his way through the seven deadly sins, in ascending order of my favourites.

I have lived most of my life as a devotee of the philosophy that a man should not see two sevens in one day…

Other Thoughts:

Take a minute before opening this book and enjoy the cover design because it is gorgeous and deserving of a second, third and fourth look.

Book List 2017, Reviews

Review: “DJ Dangerfield” by Anyta Sunday

60Title: DJ Dangerfield

Author: Anyta Sunday

Genre: LGBTQIA+, Romance

Summary: “. . . and you’re listening to 91.3 FM.”

Justin knows three things for sure about DJ Dangerfield:

He has some questionable taste in music.
He always provokes Justin into ringing in.
And he might just be his favorite weekly distraction.

But who is this DJ Dangerfield in Real Life? And will Justin like him in the flesh as much as on the air?

Review:

I enjoyed this novella thoroughly, though I wouldn’t have minded a little bit more of a slow burn.

Justin is an interesting character, a little rough around the edges maybe? Without true knowledge of who he is as of yet, without giving too much away. He loves music in a way I can certainly identify with, and I enjoyed him.

This is cute, sweet and made me want to snuggle down in a blanket and read a little slower. But instead I devoured it. This book is a familiar-ish trope, especially for those who read fan fiction and I enjoyed it quite a lot.

Book List 2017

Review: “Scorpio Hates Virgo” by Anyta Sunday

59Title: Scorpio Hates Virgo

Author: Anyta Sunday

Genre: LGBTQIA+ Romance

Summary: This year is all about healing the heart, Scorpio. It’s time to leave negative attitudes and stoic facades at the door and let others see the real, more vulnerable you.

Percy Freedman is not grieving. Absolutely not, take that back at once. No, he’s entirely sure that selling his dead aunt’s home and leaving the neighbors he’s known for years is the sane thing to do. Who in their right mind would keep the house that smells like all the hugs he’ll never have again?

Nobody, that’s who.

Well, except his cul-de-sac neighbors. They all seem to think some paint and new furniture will clean the emotional slate. They all want him to stay.

Even his nemesis, Callaghan Glover. Especially his nemesis, Callaghan Glover.

Lured into a game of Sherlock Gnomes, Percy finds himself hanging out with his neighbors more than might be considered healthy. Along with juggling new and surprising verbal grenades from Cal, and his burgeoning friendship with Gnomber9, Percy is starting to wonder if selling might have been the grief talking after all…

That’s right, Scorpio. With a little patience, heartbreak might be a thing of the past…

Review:

Anyta Sunday does it again, leaving me with a romance that had me flipping the pages so quickly that my poor Kobo kept freezing up. It just couldn’t keep up with my voracious appetite for more of this story and the nerdy, wonderful characters within it.

Percy is a character that is very identifiable to some, I believe. Afraid of the word home, and all the “trappings” that might come with it. Afraid of commitment, even though he does want his own happiness. Instead of trying to stick close to the one place he feels most comfortable, cared for and loved he seems to spend most of the book fighting against those feelings instead of treasuring them.

Callaghan amuses me for so many different reasons, including his verbosity. He is my kind of guy, with a word for every occasion, and a dictionary as a weapon. Sometimes almost literally. His love of dinosaurs is honestly what drew me to this book, as I’ve been obsessed since a child, and I want to own every single one of his t-shirts.

Their relationship is the type of slow burn I do love to read, and their quips and jibes at each other are truly amusing. Callaghan’s family honestly felt like spectators in the best possible way. Ellie and Marg have their own kind of heart, filling the pages they’re in with love, and amusement. It is the heart of this novel which burns brightest.

I can’t wait for the next Anyta Sunday book I can get my hands on, as she has truly made me fall in love with her writing.

** Received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. **

Reviews

Review: The Practitioner by Ronica Black

the practictioner

Title: The Practitioner

Author: Ronica Black

Genre: LGBTQIA+, Contemporary Romance

Rating: 

Johnnie Hamilton has conquered a lot in life. An anxiety disorder, loss of her business, and homelessness have been difficult to overcome. But Johnnie has come through the other side to find success as an artist. Now, however, she’s lost her creative drive and she’s struggling to produce.

Elaine Taylor has an interesting job. She’s a “creative practitioner,” known to awaken her client’s creative side by using many different approaches, including a sensual or sexual approach. Most of her clients are male and she likes it that way. Women are the last thing she wants in her life, having lost the most important woman she’s ever known, her wife.

Fearing she’ll lose all she’s worked so hard for, Johnnie takes her friend’s advice and calls a lone number on a business card, steps into Elaine’s office, and shakes up both their worlds forever.

I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Continue reading “Review: The Practitioner by Ronica Black”