Category Archives: Gay / Yaoi

[Book Review] Losing Ground by Sasha L. Miller

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Losing Ground

Sasha L. Miller

What rating would you give it?
3.75/4 of 5 Stars

Give us a summary.

(Goodreads Description)
Carter Bellwood’s family has Earth-claimed the Bellwood territory for generations and they’ve always had an excess of Earth energy to back it up. Until Carter, whose energy is barely a fraction of that his mother has. But he’s the only Earth wizard in his generation and set to inherit the territory—if there’s anything left of it. The territory is being ravaged by a disease that kills all plant life it comes into contact with. They can’t cure it, can barely contain it, can only watch as their territory turns into a barren landscape.

Then a new Earth wizard shows up. Tai is everything Carter is not when it comes to the strength of his magic, and more importantly he knows how to cure the disease. But he’s also terrified and clearly on the run from something, and Carter’s not sure Tai’s help is worth the risk of him trying to stake his own claim on the territory—or the risk that whatever he’s running from finds him…

What did you think of the book?

I honest to goodness enjoyed this story.

I found the world-building satisfying enough, although I would have liked more of it.

The pacing was good, a little slow at times, but still okay. I actually didn’t find this story boring like some readers did. It was actually kind of refreshing actually to see a real “slice of life” kinda story revolving around earth elementals that didn’t involve them fighting monsters or being warrior elves or being super badass or anything like that. Just… regular folk who take care of their territories, people, and land.

There was just enough intrigue about who Tai was and his mysterious power tho keep the story from getting truly boring or dragged out. (Although I do wish had been explained as to WHY…)

Plus the friendship and relationship between Tai and Carter was worth it. Much more believable than some of these insta-love situations M/M books are so often guilty of.

So yeah. That’s my take on it. Definitely one I’ll revisit at a later date to see how I still feel about it. For now? I’m loving it.

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

Nothing particularly out of the ordinary.

One of the main characters gets hit by a car, but y’know. No big deal.  (His words, not mine! xD)

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Tons and tons, per usual.

Would you recommend this book?

Yeah, I’d say so. But I’d warn that if you don’t like books that don’t have action driving them or if you get bored easily, this might not be the book for you. The biggest issue with this book for me (besides the anti-climate ending) was that there were more than enough slow moments. I know that’s a deal-breaker for many readers, so just be aware.

Otherwise, enjoy! 🙂

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher:  Les Than Three Press
Publication Date: March 2015
Format: eBook, RvC
Pages: 140
Genre & Themes: Fantasy, M/M Romance,
Bisexual/Gay Sexualities, Magic, Elemental
Powers, Wizard, Diseased Lands
Age: Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Provided by NetGalley
Challenge2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (156),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
Read A Million Pages105 Reading Challenge,
2015 New To You Reading Challenge,
NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge,
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[Book Review] The Dragon’s Curse by Victoria Zagar


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The Dragon’s Curse

Victoria Zagar

What rating would you give it?
3 of 5 Stars

Give us a summary.

(Goodreads Description)
War is brewing between the Greenlands and the Summer Kingdom, despite the efforts of Lord Aidan and Prince Varion, who have been meeting in secret in an attempt to maintain peace. When war proves inevitable, Aidan offers Varion asylum, loathe to see the man he’s come to care about become his enemy.

But Varion refuses, sacrificing safety and his own desires to stay in the Summer Kingdom in order to protect his little brother from their ruthless father. The two men instead declare a blood oath to always protect each other, an oath that will see them through war, transformation, and a deadly curse…

What did you think of the book?

I liked it. I mean there were moments when I just couldn’t, but it was still a satisfying read. It started out soooooooo strong and promising, even as it began to taper off at the end and eventually fizzled out with that ending. But all in all, I enjoyed it while it lasted.

World-building was acceptable, though I would have preferred to see more of it better visualized.

Characters, save for the brother Tiernon, were all quite likeable, and I was seriously rooting for a good many (especially two very old dads). That being said, that damned kid though made me wanna vomit. I can understand where he’s coming from with his decisions in life, especially since it was driven by fear of their father, but damn. A true survivalist would have taken the offer from Varion and left with him a long freaking time ago. Tiernon’s ultimate decisions just made him an unforgivable little shit.

Lastly, I will end by saying one thing though:

“MAGNIFICENT SCALED COCK”

Yeah…. the answer is NO. A RESOUNDING, EMPATHIC NO.

Me and this book could have done without that, thank you very much.

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

Sexual situations (eventually) and some general violence, but nothing really out of the ordinary or trigger worthy.

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Tons and tons, per usual.

Would you recommend this book?

 

Uhh… I’m torn. Though I liked how it began, I can’t really say I’d definitely recommend it to someone who asks. It fell short in too many areas, only just getting the “like” status for the characters – which I really DID like quite a bit.

So… toss-up?

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher:  Les Than Three Press
Publication Date: June 2015
Format: eBook, RvC
Pages: 86
Genre & Themes: DRAGONS!!!, Fantasy,
M/M Romance, Bisexual/Gay Sexualities,
Magic, Politics, War, Paranormal, Betrayal,
Terrible Dad Of The Year Award, Greatest Dad
Of The Year Award, Family, Vows, Promises,
Goddesses,
Age: Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Provided by NetGalley
Challenge2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (155),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
Read A Million Pages105 Reading Challenge,
2015 New To You Reading Challenge,
NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge,
2015 LGBT Reading Challenge

Books ‘N Tunes #7: Trees, Volume #1

Welcome one and all to the next installment of my Books ‘N Tunes Reading Challenge!

I wanted to get this one in before the end of the month, so here we go! Hope y’all enjoy~ 

Trees (Volume #1)
by Warren Ellis & Jason Howard

Publisher: Image Publishing
Publication Date: February 2015
Format: ebook, ARC
Pages: 160
Genre: Graphic Novel, Comics, Fiction, Fantasy,
LGBTQUIA / QUILTBAG, Science Fiction,
Dystopian, Belonging, Aliens, Paranoia, Social
Collapse, Military, Gender and Sexual Identity,
Dark Fiction, Social Constructs, Morality,
(Self) Identity, Corruption
Age: YA / Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Provided by NetGalley
Challenges: 2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (62),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
2015 LGBT Reading Challenge (VARIOUS),
Read A Million PagesBooks N Tunes,
105 Reading Challenge (Category: 1, 2, 3, 4, 10),
2015 New To You Reading Challenge (Brand New
Series), NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge,
2015 Graphic Novel and Comic Reading Challenge

SUMMARY

(synopsis taken from GoodReads)

Ten years after they landed. All over the world. And they did nothing, standing on the surface of the Earth like trees, exerting their silent pressure on the world, as if there were no-one here and nothing under foot.

Ten years since we learned that there is intelligent life in the universe, but that they did not recognize us as intelligent or alive.

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Summarize in a word?:
ZEFUCK.

RATING
4 / 4.5 STARS!

THOUGHTS & REVIEW

Oh… that was so messed up, but DAMN was it good!

Okay, so this one collects issues 1-8 in a single volume, and THANK GOODNESS FOR THAT. I don’t think I would have understood a single thing if I had to read it piece by pieces.

Tress takes place all over the world: militant China, a research facility in Svalbard, Somalia, the slums of Italy, what’s left of New York, and so much more. Each place has its own set of problems and unique characters that all add to the overall story and the cryptic message.

Why are the Trees here? Are they alive? Do they think? And if they do… what do they think of us pathetic humans scurrying around beneath them?

Another question: Can they communicate with us? And if they can… have they been doing so all along? Were we just too deaf, dumb, and blind to see… to listen… to respond back? And what will they do if we take too long to respond?

My biggest issue with Trees was the pacing — which is SLOW AS FUCK. You’ll have to have patience while reading this one, but by the end of the 8th issue, you’ll definitely being gasping for some of the twisted turn of events that take place. It also leaves us on one HECK of a cliffhanger, so this is my main reasoning for only giving the comic 4, MAYBE 4.5 Stars.

Also some seriously depressing shit happens towards the end that had my mouth hanging open for days because of how… graphic and heart-wrenching it was.

SO ONCE AGAIN – NOT A PERFECT 5.

As to any warnings I would give…

Some sexual content, vulgar language, violent imagery and the like. You know… the usual. Some major character deaths as well. :<

Would I recommend?

Oh yeah. Although I still hold to the belief that it would be better if whoever reads it was able to do so along with volume 2 (which I haven’t read yet, but anticipate to be just as good if not better than the first).

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SONG & LYRICS

1. System of a Down – Toxicity

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~
( Pfft~ You mean, all of them? XD )

Conversion, software version 7.0
Looking at
life through the eyes of a tire hub

Eating seeds as a pastime activity
The toxicity of our city, of our city

New, what do you own the world?
How do you own disorder, disorder
Now, somewhere between the sacred silence, sacred silence and sleep
Somewhere between the sacred silence and sleep
Disorder, disorder, disorder

More wood for their fires, loud neighbours
Flashlight reveries caught in the headlights of a truck

Eating seeds as a pastime activity
The toxicity of our city, of our city

New, what do you own the world?
How do you own disorder, disorder
Now, somewhere between the sacred silence, sacred silence and sleep
Somewhere between the sacred silence and sleep
Disorder, disorder, disorder

New, what do you own the world?
How do you own disorder
Now, somewhere between the sacred silence, sacred silence and sleep
Somewhere between the sacred silence and sleep
Disorder, disorder, disorder

When I became the sun
I shone life into the man’s hearts
When I became the sun
I shone life into the man’s hearts

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Reason for choosing this song

System of a Down’s, Toxicity  just seemed to capture the corruption and disorder of the world at large after the landing of the “Trees.”

I wouldn’t say the song is from the POV of any one character. I think it can be split between the different POVs that we see in the comic… The different cities, and the different states and levels of disarray, confusion, and disorder that’s proliferating the many cities’ walls, and furthermore corrupting the people within.


[Book Review] As Spring Rain

As Spring Rain

Valentina Heart

What rating would you give it?
1.5 of 5 Stars

Give us a summary.

(Taken from Goodreads)

Michael only wants for his twin brother to be safe as he picks one bad boyfriend after another, never even lingering on the thought of loving Michael the way Michael loves him.

All Gabriel wants is Michael, each morning when he faces the day, and each night when he pulls a stranger’s face in for a kiss instead of the one he wants the most.

Fixing Gabriel’s boyfriend problems is a way of life for Michael, but what he doesn’t know happens behind closed doors, where Gabriel welcomes each kick or hit, and where he numbs his pain with the sharp edge of a razorblade.

Can they find a solution to their situation and make both of them happy?

What did you think of the book?

I decide to round up only because… well… ugh… Story wasn’t utterly horrible, but everything else was.

This was really bad. I mean, I understand it was a short story, but… this is ridiculous. So much went wrong, it isn’t even funny. And not to mention the writing. It was… *rubs at eyeballs and tries to erase image of horrible writing from my mind* I just want to forget the last half hour of my life ever happened.

This is how NOT to write a twincest book.

NEVER. AGAIN.

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

There is SO MUCH to warn my readers away from. How about this? JUST STAY AWAY FROM THE BOOK COMPLETELY.

The end.

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Look, see? I’m smiling.

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Tons and tons, hah ha~

Would you recommend this book?

DEFINITELY NOT. I just don’t know how a book could go so wrong. Really. I get the idea behind most of what happens in this book, but it’s just done in such a… fucking ridiculous manner that it all came across as some sort of twisted, demented, sick thing when it shouldn’t be. I get it. One brother wants the other, but in no way does it need to go down LIKE THAT just to get across the idea that he’s tormented by his feelings. Furthermore, who the fuck FUCKS SOMEONE “LOVINGLY” after finding them BLEEDING ALL OVER THE BATHROOM FLOOR in attempted suicide/trying to hurt and punish themselves? HUH? WHO THE HELL DOES THAT?!

Triple-Facepalm-Star-Trek

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publication Date: October 2012
Format: ebook, e-ARC
Pages: 85
Genre & Themes: Novella / Novelette,
Romance, Contemporary, Dark Fiction,
Twincest,  Incest, Attempted Suicide, Self
Mutilation, Cutting, QUILTBAG / LGBTQUIA
Age: Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Provided by NetGalley
Challenge2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (27),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
Read A Million Pages105 Reading Challenge,
2015 New To You Reading Challenge,
NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge,
2015 LGBT Reading Challenge

Books ‘N Tunes #6: Tame A Wild Human

Welcome back to another installment of my Books ‘N Tunes Reading Challenge!

This week is actually something of a repeat as I’ve got nearly an entire playlist ready for this one, too. Difference is… well… YOU’LL SEE.

And, also like last week, my review of this book is much more rant than review. BUT IT’S NECESSARY. Read it. You will understand.

Tame A Wild Human
by Kari Gregg

Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Publication Date: January 2015
Format: ebook, ARC
Pages: 80
Genre: M/M Erotica/Porn, QUILTBAG /
LGBTQUIA, Dark Themes & Dark Fiction,
rape, gangrape, humilation, sexual
humilation, lots and lots of sex, non-con,
stockholm sydrome, abuse, explicit savage
violence, hatefucking, psychological breaking,
psychological and sexual training,
objectification, abduction, drugging, dystopia,
paranormal, dark fantasy, torture, D/S,
dominance & submission, heavy kink,
degradation, deep-throating, gagging, throat
rape, master & pet, pet training, inter-species,
captivity, sexual torture, pleasure slave,
spanking, forced seduction, confinement,
pain&pleasure, bondage, murder
Age: Adult (EXPLICIT)
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Provided by NetGalley
Challenges: 2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (42),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
2015 LGBT Reading Challenge (MM),
Read A Million PagesBooks N Tunes,
105 Reading Challenge (Category: 1, 3, 4, 9),
2015 New To You Reading Challenge (Brand New
Publication & New Author To Me),
NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge,

SUMMARY

(synopsis taken from Publisher)

Drugged, bound, and left as bait on the cusp of the lunar cycle, Wyatt Redding is faced with a terrifying set of no-win scenarios. Best case: he survives the coming days as a werewolf pack’s plaything and returns to the city as a second-class citizen with the mark—and protection—of the pack. Worst case: the wolves sate their lusts with Wyatt’s body, then send him home without their protection, condemning him to live out the rest of his short life as a slave to the worst of humanity’s scorn and abuse.

Wyatt’s only chance is to swallow every ounce of pride, bury his fear, and meekly comply with every wicked desire and carnal demand the wolf pack makes of him. He expects three days of sex and humiliation. What he doesn’t expect is to start enjoying it. Or to grow attached to his captor and pack Alpha, Cole.

As the lunar cycle ends, Wyatt begins to realize that the only thing to fear more than being sent home without the pack’s protection is being sent home at all.

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Summarize in a word?:
DEPRAVED.

RATING
WILL NOT STAR.

793020
Reasoning: This could easily be 2 or 5 Stars because of how weirdly jfkndlajkdaln it is

THOUGHTS & REVIEW

. . .

I… have SO MANY WORDS for this book, it’s not even funny.

Nasty, lustful, unapologetic rape fantasy, wolf gangbang with not a trace of romance to be found in this depraved piece of kinky guilty pleasure. This book is pure, hardcore erotica at it’s best. Which means –  quite frankly – it’s not for everyone.

Even after all this time, I *still* don’t know what star rating to give this one. On one hand, this was definitely a guilty, filthy, delicious pleasure for me. On the other, I… I just couldn’t.

I think… I just simply won’t star this one.

Yeah. Yeah that sounds like a good plan to me. o__________o

Because if I did I would have to give it both a 1 AND 4.5 star rating for being both utterly disturbing and purely PWP, but also HOT. Like.. really… REALLY HOT. Would I buy this for myself? HELL YES. Did I have moments of “WTF?!” …HELL YES. Did I like it?  … HELL. FRIGGIN’. YES.

I think my biggest problem with this book is… that god-awfully misleading cover. I mean, it looks like your typical gay wolf shifter romance book with flowers and kisses and hugs and sweet caresses – which is SOOO not what this atrocious, 80-pager of a guilty pleasures is.

._______.

NOT. AT. ALL.

I would even go so far as to complain to the publisher to get that cover changed because… Good GODS, so many people are going to be traumatized by this book thinking it’s something it really, REALLY isn’t.

Tame A Wild Human is in no way a romance. Let me make this VERY CLEAR. This is… this is Stockholm syndrome + drugged up coercion + psychological breaking = “I’ll do whatever you want just make me feel good and don’t kill me pleasepleasePLEASE.” ._____. That’s what this is.

And lots of sex.

Because… well… SEX.

That’s really about it.

To describe the book in a quote from its pages:

“You need a dick in this ass, human. A lot of dicks. Fortunate for you that you’ll be fucked in abundance. Now shut up.”

It is an unreserved hardcore gangbang porno, primal and depraved, and unapologetically nasty. It’s sole purpose is to get you off, not make you swoon with pretty words or melt the frigid cold of one’s heart. There is no world-building, no relationship development, no character development, no plot or storyline besides a couple lines to explain why all this shit is happening. Then it’s repeated raping, gangraping, drugging, and more raping, humiliation and carnal degradation until it comes to its conclusion. Of more sex.

And some “Good boy *patpat* I think I’ll keep you because you haven’t displeased me yet.”

Yup. That’s it. End story. Move right along.

The best part about it was the intensity of the sex. What do you call it? The “heat level,” I believe? Yeah. That shit was THROUGH THE ROOF. It was erotic as all hell. You could slowly fall into the submission of Wyatt (the main character) as he began to give in, as the drugs began to do their work and rewire his brain, as he began to… want it. It was watching like the downward spiral of an addict as they go from clean, never touched a thing before to wanting their hourly fix or bump or hit again and again and again.

It was shameful. It was a debauchery. It was really good. It was like being possessed for a short 80-pages of your life.

This is why I can’t give it a rating, why even writing up a review is hard. Because it’s soooo WRONG, and yet really, REALLY good. I wonder if this is like what it feels like to be a devote Catholic or Christian when they say they’re wrestling with good and evil?

Yeah. Yeah this might just qualify for such a statement.

Kronk_Unbiased

 

As to any warnings I would give…

SO MANY. SADFGHULJKHFDG Uhh… okay, first off crazy all over the place trigger warning for this entire book. I would not let anyone read this book unless they fully knew what they were getting themselves into.

So to recap, we’ve got: rape, gangrape, humiliation, sexual humiliation, lots and lots of sex, non-con, Stockholm syndrome, abuse, explicit savage violence, hatefucking, psychological breaking, psychological and sexual training, objectification, abduction, drugging, torture… and that’s just in the first few pages.

Now I know someone people consider this book BDSM, but… I really, REALLY do not consider this BDSM. D/s? Okay. I’ll give you that. This is a wolf hierarchy here. But BDSM? I mean, from my albeit limited understanding of the BDSM world… even then there are rules. And both participants want what is happening. So it’s consensual, even if it’s fantasy rape/non-con/abduction/whathaveyou. It’s a FANTASY and thus something both want to enjoy and participate in. No matter how dangerous it can get.

But this book?

This book is about actual viciously repeated rape, abduction, drugging, gangbanging and whatnot where the main guy who this is happening to ISN’T EVEN GAY, he’s NOT into BDSM or anything even close to any of this, is only doing this because he DOES NOT WANT TO DIE, HAS NEVER HAD SEX WITH A GUY BEFORE, and furthermore is being fucked – repeatedly – in order to be BROKEN, not pleasured or because he wants it. But because the wolves fucking him do not see him as anything more than a hole to be used to sate their desire and – at best – an unfortunate, wicked creature to be molded into their perfect fucktoy.

Ta-da! 😀

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I’m gonna be over here if you need me. Yeah. Over here.

Please. For all that is good and holy, do not read this book unless you are absolutely sure you want to, are reading it as fantasy porn, or are really fucked up in the head like I am and was CURIOUS after reading a review much like this one and ended up love-hating it as I do now. T_____T

I should feel bad about enjoying this book, but today is not that day.

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Would I recommend?

I would recommend this book ONLY IF you are looking for a really hot ‘n kinky with no plot whatsoever, but HOT, non-con scenes and hurt-comfort-Stockholm-syndrome, weirdest-boner-right-now and/or weirdest-lady-boner-right-now book that you can read by yourself where no one can EVER KNOW.

However. If you’re looking for plot, or ANYTHING remotely consisting of a story, then please don’t. You’ll be traumatized FOR LIFE. I will not be responsible for the damage done to your eyes and your brain.

Otherwise, ENJOY.

And I mean it. ❤

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5Track PLAYLIST & LYRICS

(Because one song just isn’t enough.)

1. A Perfect Circle – The Hollow

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~
(The whole song)

Run desire run
Sexual being
Run him like a blade
To and through the heart
No conscience
One Motive
Cater to the hollow

Screaming feed me here
Fill me up again
Temporarily pacify this hungering
So grow
Libido throw
Dominoes of indiscretions down
Falling all around
In cycles
In circles
Constantly consuming
Conquer and devour

2. Zilch – Fucktrack #6
(HIGHLY Sexually Explicit Song; VERY, VERY NSFW)

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~
(The whole song works, but these lyrics in particular…)

I am absolute corruption
Absolute corruption
(I wanna fuck you… in the ass… Until you bleed!)
I am the power that sways
I am the beast that’s in human nature
I am the masonry of greed
Tease me, please me, don’t believe me
I will suck and fuck the very heart of you
Into two
Need me, bleed me, don’t believe me
I will separate every fucking part of you
Into two
3. Placebo – My Sweet Prince

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~
(There’s something about this whole song that just WORKS.)

Never thought you’d make me perspire.
Never thought I’d do you the same.
Never thought I’d fill with desire.
Never thought I’d feel so ashamed.
4. Queens of the Stone Age – Sick, Sick, Sick

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

Eternal eclipse in the teeth of the risk,
The tounge is a twist in perpetual bliss ,
Forever midnight forever midnight…,
Sick, Sick, Sick,
Don’t resist,
Sick, Sick, Sick,
Don’t resist,
(I’m gonna change,
I don’t wanna change),
Sick, Sick, Sick,
Don’t resist,
Sick, Sick, Sick,
Don’t resist
5. Savage Garden – Break Me, Shake Me

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

I never thought I’d change my
opinion again
But you moved me in a way that I’ve
never known
You moved me in a way that I’ve
never known
But straight away you just moved
into position again
You abused me in a way that I’ve
never known
You abused me in a way that I’ve
never known

[chorus:]
So break me shake me hate me
take me over
When the madness stops then you
will be alone
Just break me shake me hate me
take me over
When the madness stops then you
will be alone

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Reason for choosing these songs

I don’t know if it was during or after reading the book that these songs became to resonate with me and THIS SICK (AMAZING) BOOK.

Though there really isn’t anything to spoiler in this thing… I’ll be vague-ish and only comment on the ones that really seem like, “UM, WHAT???”

Track 1: Wolves song during a full moon cycle (to their prey). Or likewise just Cole’s song (to Wyatt, perhaps? or to just anyone who’d help fill his hunger and lust).

Track 2: This entire song is… about… nasty, kinky, painful sex. It’s basically the book’s theme song. End of story. (Plus that heavy beat just makes you think “Drugged, Fucked out of one’s mind, and Addicted to whatever comes one’s way.”)

Track 3: I see this as the song to capture a soul-deep change in Wyatt. Once Wyatt’s seriously been “tamed” and even starts thinking of Cole as “his wolf” and tries to play games with him later in the book, only to have everything backfire on him… kinda

Track 4: Probably a Cole to Wyatt song.

Track 5: Always think of this as my reckless abandon song. It’s one that gets put to a lot of books or playlist I make if the situation calls for it. In this case…. THE SITUATION CALLS FOR IT.


[Book TBBReview] In Despair (Princes of the Blood, Book 3)

In Despair

(Princes of the Blood, Book 3)

Megan Derr

What rating would you give it?
4.5 of 5 Stars

Give us a summary.

(Taken from GoodReads)
Prince Telmé Guldbrandsen has been groomed since childhood to become a Prince of the Blood and Commander of the Legion. He will be the youngest person to ever take the Blooding—if he can behave long enough to prove he can be trusted with the responsibility. But behaving is difficult when he is constantly forced to endure Korin: heir to the Reach of the House and the Temple of the Sacred Three, and the snotty brat Telmé is expected to someday marry.

Then the unthinkable happens, leaving Castle Guldbrandsen—and the Legion—in pieces. Overwhelmed by fear and grief, Telmé convinces Korin to help him attempt the impossible. But rather than relief, Telmé’s triumph is met with anger and rejection …

What did you think of the book?

Note of point, I originally sorta skimmed In Despair on 1/22/15, but didn’t actually pick up the book to read until later. 🙂

Now, onto the review!

I gotta say, this wasn’t what I was expecting. AT ALL.

Thankfully, that means it was FANTASTIC and HIGHLY ENTERTAINING and WHOLLY PRECIOUS all rolled up in one.

I think, this one might just be my favour–second favourite in the series. XD I don’t know if I can ever like it better than the first book, which absolutely captured my imagination and made me fall in love with the wonder of this world, its characters, its customs, and its obvious build-up of potential storytelling that only grew and grew with each and every book. As I mentioned before in my review of With Pride, I truly love the aspect of moving backwards in time as you read each novel of this series, how with each book it builds on the last even as you descend further and further back in the original cast of characters’ lives. This story tells of the fateful events that led to Telme and Korin becoming the serious power-couple they are, as the youngest EVER Commander of the Legion and High Priest of the Sacred Three. I always wanted to know how they came to be who they were, ever since the first book when it was so obvious there was a story to be told there. I couldn’t have been happier with the results this book provided.

Now, lemme first start by saying — what little shits you both were! XDDD

god i hate you

oh my GOD you are both SO annoying but I can’t help but love you even more anyway ❤

What I really, REALLY did not understand, or perhaps didn’t grasp from the first novel, was that they were betrothed and – at least in Telme’s case – Blooded so young. (Telme wasn’t so bad since he was at least 17, but damn! Korin was only 15!) Furthermore, I didn’t realize they were such… oh, what’s the word? oh yes – BRATS for pretty much the duration of their ENTIRE younger lives. XD Hell – in fact, they never grew out of it (which I LOVE, by the way! XD) and continued to be as infuriating as they grew older. They just got a lot better at hiding it in front of others. XD I was really happy to be able to see them in a light that showed… that they were normal, average teenagers too. (Well, as normal and average as one could be given their circumstances.) They fought each other. They got emotional. They were both the most adorable crybabies, completely warranted for crying at the horrifying, COMPLETELY UNWARRANTED, fucked up, unbelievable events that literally turned their lives upside-down in a matter of days. And then kept their lives IN DESPAIR (aha? Aha? See what I did there? ;D ;D ) for longer than I think MY OWN sanity would have allowed before I tore the whole kingdom down and showed them what it means to be a half-demon.

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Which only shows that Telme is seriously a better person than me. I wouldn’t have endured that crap for as long as he did. And Korin, too – although he needed to stop whining so much throughout the book. That’s probably my only quip. That, and the abrupt… uh… sorta ending because I would have really liked to see what happened after they walked into that hall [highlight for spoiler] after they defeated the Incubus and went to check to see if people still hated their guts or not[/end spoiler]. I also think the book would have been better had Korin’s side of the story been seen as much as Telme’s… Y’know. So we could get the chance to sympathize a little more with his troubles and worries, instead of just hearing him complain about it or only seeing it from Telme’s occasional glimpses into the disrespectful actions of the Priests and the rest of the Legion towards him. Those mere glimpses seemed overshadowed by the utter ridiculousness of Telme’s situation, and I think if we had followed Korin around in some chapters instead of Telme, seen how bad it was for him as well, I (at least) would have had a bit more sympathy for him. As it was, I often found myself groaning whenever I heard Korin once again go off in a rage, and only sometimes caught myself to remember that he had it just as bad, if not worse in the long run.

That being said… I really enjoyed this book. I wasn’t quite expecting some of the theatrics those two pulled in their misadventures or the turn of events that transpired in the walls of Castle Guldbrandsen, but hell, was it an amazing ride!

Highly recommended!

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

Ehh… not really. There’s the usual blood and gore and youngins in bad situations, but nothing too horrific or graphic that you’ll lose your stomach. Some underage sexual situations, but no actual sex in this book.

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

As per usual:

Would you recommend this book?

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I think I said that already!

A P.S. for any potential readers: Although this series does NOT have to be read in order, I have the feeling that the reader would enjoy it better if read in its proper book order (books 1-2-3) and not in its time order (books 3-2-1). And if anyone wants to completely skip around, I would still suggest this book be read last. Something about… getting to meet these two in their older and, ehem, “wiser” selves first AND THEN reading about their teenage bumbling (and super-duper-holy-crap-rockin-woozers! heroics, too) makes it so much more… refreshing, I guess? It all sorta comes full circle to see that underneath those masks of professionalism are still two boys, who are still brats, but are also still so very much in love.

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Publication Date: July 2014
Format: ebook, RvC
Pages: 221
Genre / Themes: Medieval Fantasy, Bisexual,
Paranormal, M/M Romance, Magic, QUILTBAG /
LGBTQUIA, Shifters, Demons, Pseudo-vampires,
Coming of Age, Idiot Teenagers, Royalty,
Nobility, Misunderstanding, War, Monsters,
Arranged Marriages, Love+Hate Relationships
Age: Young Adult / Adult (I think…)
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Provided upon request by Publisher/Author
Challenge2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (21),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
Read A Million Pages105 Reading Challenge,
Readathon Day 2015, 2015 LGBT Reading Challenge,
2015 Monthly Motifs & Keyword Reading Challenge,
Ethereal 2015,

[Play Review] The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer

The Normal Heart

Larry Kramer

What rating would you give it?
4 of 5 Stars

Breakdown is as follows:

Actual rating is both…
3.75 Stars (mostly due to the unremarkable writing)

and 5 stars (for the incredible, heartbreaking tragedy that can’t even be described as a “story,” for it effected too many lives, brings rage to my heart some thirty years later, and tore apart a man who was simply trying to be the voice of a denied people)

Thus, to be fair, it gets a rounded 4 stars so we’re even.

Give us a summary.

(From Goodreads)
THE NORMAL HEART is the explosive drama about our most terrifying and troubling medical crisis today: the AIDS epidemic. It tells the story of very private lives caught up in the heart-rendering ordeal of suffering and doom – an ordeal that was largely ignored for reasons of politics and majority morality.

Filled with power, anger, and intelligence, Larry Kramer’s riveting play dramatizes what actualy happened from the time of the disease’s discovery to the present, and points a moral j’accuse in many directions. His passionate indictment of government, the media, and the public for refusing to deal with a national plague is electrifying theater – a play that finally breaks through the conspiracy of silence with a shout of stunning impact. As Douglas Watt summed it up in his review for the New York Daily News,THE NORMAL HEART is “an angry, unremitting and gripping piece of political theater. You are bound to come away moved.”

What did you think of this play?

Now, I want to say something about this understandably powerful play – I think… seeing it would have been more beneficial and successful an endeavor than simply reading it. Watching the actors put on the performance of a lifetime and searing into your eyes, your mind, your… very soul the profound impact of a government turning its back on its own people, simply because of their sexuality or social-economic backgrounds. Realizing that had they done something sooner, helped – people sooner… much of the tragedy of AIDS would not have spread so quickly or so staggeringly throughout the U.S.; a country supposedly in the height of First World privilege.

I was über curious about this play from the moment I heard Mark Ruffalo would be making a movie from a play of the same name. I can’t say I ever heard about it prior to that (which – I know – is a tragedy all in itself) but I’m thankful to have been able to read this and have the events through this play now part of my life.

I try not to read books about the HIV-AIDS epidemic (or the horrors of black slavery, or the Holocaust, or native american “relocation”), not because I want to close my eyes to the situation, but because I am too acutely aware of exactly what is going on. Sometimes, to have to relive it again and again in books sometimes more appalling than one might expect, is just too much.

This play has that sort of effect on you. You read it, and suddenly you are there in 1981, and you live through that four year period of utter hell. You see a government… a free, representative democracy, a “by the people, for the people” government…literally fuck everyone over by ignoring the cries of their gay citizens, by refusing to be involved with the gay cancer, by default… aiding in the spread of the disease. The overall writing might have been mediocre, but – let me tell you – the message was loud and clear.

My heart goes out to Ned, who feels like he hasn’t done enough; to Dr. Brookner who’s righteous anger mirrors my own so clearly; to all the men, women, and others of varying genders who suffered because their voices weren’t heard. We hear you. Even if it took thirty years – gods… we hear you.

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Sure does~ Although it was specifically read for the 2015 Play On Reading Challenge, it also fits these challenges as well:

Would you recommend this book?

ohyeahIf for no other reason than to educate yourself on a topic very often pushed under the rug. As I said before, the writing itself could use some work, but the message definitely outweighs the faults in this one.

So, GET TO IT!

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Published: October 29, 1985 (by Plume)
Format: PDF
Pages: 128
Genre & Themes: Play, Theatre, Queer, LGBT,
QUILTBAG, Drama, AIDS epidemic, American
History, Politics, Human Rights, Activism,
Closeted Gays, Morality (Or The Lack Thereof)
Age: Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: jcc rochester. Click here.
Challenge2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (79),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
Read A Million Pages105 Reading Challenge,
2015 Play On Reading Challenge2015 LGBT Challenge,
2015 New To You Reading Challenge

The Re-Read Challenge Review ~ Update 4

THE LIST of Books I Re-Read Last Month (April)

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Haito Diamond 1 Haito Diamond 2 Haito Diamond 3 Haito Diamond 4

  1. Songs of the Earth (Sumeria’s Sons, #2) by Lexi Ander  [Review]
  2. Ikenai Otoko by Hiroi Takao  [Review]
  3. Ore ni Koi Shite Dounsunda by Kou Yoneda [Review]
  4. Jigoku Meguri #1 & 2 by Siam Kuju  [Review]
  5. Dark Prince (The Dark Earth manga, #3) by X. Aratare & T.Wolv  [Review]
  6. Haito Diamond #1-4 by Mika Sadahiro  [Review]
  7. The Abyss: Upon A Midnight Clear by X. Aratare  [Review]
  8. The Erl-King: Jealous Sons and Mistletoe by X. Aratare  [Review]

WHAT I Remember

About Songs of the Earth… that everything was STILL NOT OKAY, NOT OKAY MAN!

About Ikenai Otoko… nothing actually. XD That is until I saw the cover and then one thing led to another and I ended up reading the whole thing in one go. No joke – the title does NOTHING to jog my memory of the story. Only the cover art brings the comedic escapades back in full swing.

About the Jigoku Meguri series… that I… I read it before… but somehow I felt like I hadn’t finished reading it or something? It’s possible that I started this series when it was being scanlated and never got back to it, which could very much so explain away why at least the ENTIRE SECOND BOOK and, maybe… the second-to-last chapter in the first book was such a blank to me.

Either that, or I have shit memory.

S’toss up between the two, fer sure.

About Dark Prince… that I had read most of it when it was being serialized but hadn’t finished it because 1) wasn’t completed yet and 2) membership ran out. Now that both of those things have been rectified, I decided it was about time to catch up on my favourite series.

About Ore ni Koi Shite Dounsunda… that… once again THE TITLE GAVE AWAY NOTHING TO ME. xD Just like with Ikenai, the only thing that helps is the cover art. Once I got a glimpse of that I had the same sort of feeling as I did with Jigoku, knowing that I HAD read it, but not ALL of it, so… yeah. *needs to get a physical copy of this one SOON* Anyone know where I can get one? xD

About the Haito Diamond series… that it will forever be one of my favourite fucked-up series that will live on in infamy till the end of time, because

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About Upon A Midnight Clear (A short holiday tale from The Abyss)… that it was fuckin’ cute and I wanted to re-read it. END OF STORY.

About Jealous Sons and Mistletoe (A short holiday tale from The Erl-King)… that it was EVEN MORE FUCKIN CUTE, AND I WANTED TO FUCKIN’ RE-READ IT. GOD 

WHY I Wanted to Re-Read

I think I made myself clear with Jealous Sons and A Midnight Clear, so I won’t reiterate.

For Haito Diamond, I was actually dusting off my ATF (All-Time-Favourites) bookshelf and ended up picking up one book, dusting it off, reading it. Picking up the rest of the books, dusting them off, and reading all of them one after another. Then upon putting down my dusting cloth, went over to my computer and looked through my scanlations of all four books to compare and contrast the horrible “translating” to the original raws.

It was a gloriously entertaining afternoon. ❤

The rest were basically spurred on by random, “Oh! What’s that title? I don’t remember reading this—OHHH. Yes I do. Yup. Yes, I doo~ooh——fuck, I’m actually already halfway through this one, aren’t I? Might as well finish reading it. 8DDDD”

Only Songs of Earth was re-read again for the sake of refreshing myself for the next book.

HOW I Felt After Re-Reading

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And I think that was pretty much for each and every book on this list. Nothing disappoints. XD

WOULD I Re-Read Again

I think the answer for all of them would be…

can i get a hell yeah

The Re-Read Challenge Review ~ Update 3

THE LIST of Books I Re-Read in March

   

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  1. The Antique Bakery by Fumi Yoshinaga  [Re-read Review]
  2. Twin Flames (Sumeria’s Sons, #1) by Lexi Ander  [Review]
  3. 19 Days by Old Xian  [Review]
  4. Under Grand Hotel v.1 by Mika Sadahiro  [Review]

WHAT I Remember

About The Antique Bakery… not as much as I’d thought I would. o__O I actually remembered the anime in more detail.

About Twin Flames… that everything was perfect and I needed the next book immediately. xD

About 19 Days… that EVERYTHING IS PERFECT and EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE A BEST FRIEND LIKE THIS GUY. XDDD

About Under Grand Hotel… little bits and pieces. I was actually looking for a scene that I wanted to compare another book I was reading against, but I couldn’t remember if it was in the first or second book so… one thing led to another. Next thing I knew I’d re-read the whole thing. XD

WHY I Wanted to Re-Read

I think what triggered me wanting to read The Antique Bakery again was because I heard the theme song and it got me all nostalgic and shit. XD Which sort of plays along to why I re-read Under Grand Hotel, the first book… and ONLY the first book. I heard a song that reminded me of it, and wah-la! The instant, “MUST READ NOW!” trigger was switched.

I ended up reading 19 Days again because it made local online news, and I just couldn’t help myself. xD It’s so ridiculously funny that once you start – you can’t stop until you’re done. This is just one of those books. It’s also kinda funny (but in a different way) because the last time I’d read 19 Days there wasn’t as many strips yet, so seeing that an entire book was finished was quite surprising!

cover (1)

Twin Flames got another re-read because I got my hands on the next book, so REFRESHER TIME! HERE WE COME!

HOW I Felt After Re-Reading

For all of them it was either refresher, “OH that’s right. THAT’S what happened. Right, right.” I didn’t feel any differently about the books than I did the first time reading them. Only love them all over again.

Under Grand Hotel and 19 Days won out though. Because after anothe re-read, I just love them ALL OVER AGAIN WITH GUSTO.

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WOULD I Re-Read Again

Definitely for all of them except The Antique Bakery. I really have nothing against it, it’s just… well… some books you like to AND CAN re-read again, and again, and again, with no problem and no possibility of ever getting bored of it. And then there’s The Antique Bakery, which – while being a good manga – can be a bit… eh… it’s not re-read worthy. That’s all I’m saying, y’know?

[A Book RE-READ Review] The Elf and Shoemaker

6139004The Elf and Shoemaker

M.L. Rhodes

What rating would you give it?
5+++++++++++++++ of 5 Stars
(I adore this book. Like, you do NOT even know. To me, this book can do no wrong asdfghjkl;lkhgfdsas)

Give us a summary.

(Taken from Goodreads)
Logan Shoemaker’s honest, hardworking, and loves what he does. Though he never expects to get rich, he’s fared well enough to stay comfortable with his quirky metaphysical store, Shoemaker’s Magick Shoppe. But when the economy falls on hard times, his store pays the price. As each month passes, slow sales turn into no sales, and soon Logan’s living off ramen noodles and sleeping in a freezing house during the cold winter nights as he struggles to make ends meet. His personal life isn’t much better—the worse business at the store grows, the more isolated and lonely he becomes. After a string of mishaps that wipe out the last of his small savings, he finally hits rock bottom the day he discovers the disconnection notice from the electric company hanging on his door. That night, desperate and in despair, he makes a plea to the universe, asking for help.

Needless to say, he never anticipates receiving a response so quickly. Not only does he awaken the next morning to find on his kitchen table four little bottles of a special potion labeled “PASSION,” but he keeps remembering the erotically charged dream he’d had during the night. A dream where a tall, gorgeous man with pointed ears comes to his bed and shows him just what kind of magick they can make together.

But was it a dream? All Logan knows is that his customers can’t get enough of the special potion—an aphrodisiac—and he can’t stop thinking about the sweet seduction of the nighttime visitor who made it. As he tries to sort out what’s real and what’s not, he discovers there’s a much bigger world out there than he’d ever believed, and his true heart’s desire might come in a most unexpected form…

What did you think of the book?

I honestly read this book at least a few times every year. Not for tradition or anything, simply because I love it so. Sometimes I’ll think back to it and say, “Oh, I wonder where it is…? I should read it again and see how they’re doing.” I kid you not. This little book has such a warm spot in my heart that I actually think of it and Logan and Hallan as old friends that I need to check on every so once in awhile. I just don’t know what it is about it… that’s just how I feel. :<

I don’t know what it is about the story that draws me to it so… It’s a romance, yes…. but there’s something else about it that’s so charming and… believable, too…. that I just can’t help going back for more. I’ve even created scenarios in my mind as to what’s happened to them since the end of the book. What adventures (or should I say misadventures) they’ve had trying to navigate their newly shared life together… this whole new world Hallan’s never been to before. For such a tiny book (barely a hundred pages) there’s SO MUCH WORLD-BUILDING, IT ISN’T EVEN FUNNNY. And it’s done tastefully so as not to overwhelm the reader with WAAAAY too much information all at once. In a short amount of pages, M.L. Rhodes has created an entire TWO WORLDS with substances and politics, history and depth. The magic actually makes sense, as does their romance. It’s kind of adorable too, because… though some (more cynical folk) might find some moments in it to be unbelievable, I would have to say – if you can watch a movie about a girl with magically enchanted HEALING HAIR that’s miles and miles long (AND HEAVY AS ALL HELL, TOO – LET’S NOT FORGET ABOUT THAT, even as she prances around like it weighs nothing) then you can read a short novella about a young man who finds out he has a magic mirror in his shop and a handsome elf on the other end just waiting to be able to reach through and finally meet him face to face (and body to body ehem *COUGHCOUGH*).

TpXpKEK

Sometimes I wish there was a sequel to this book… but then I realize I’m glad there isn’t one. It gives me the chance to make up whatever stories I see fit to follow this enchanted tale and lovely characters. asdfghjkl;lkjhg~~

Would you read this book again?

HA! You’re not seriously asking me that after I’ve just gushed all over this post, now are you?

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

None whatsoever. Except… y’know… beware of a possible and sudden onset of obsessive compulsion towards the book wherein you feel the urgent need to hold said book to your chest and stroke it muttering, “My preeeeccciiiooousssssssssss” upon completion OR DURING the reading of said book.

Because… y’know… that’s tend to happen. *EHEM* Occasionally. >.> Possibly every time I look at it on my bookshelf. *COUGHXOUGH* WHAAT? No! I don’t do that! What are you talking about? Ha ha ha… you must be mistaken. <A<;; You read no such thing only a moment ago.

No such thing. .____.

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Yeah. I wasn’t really “reading” it for anything… but obviously it counts towards The Re-Read Reading Challenge, but also for these as well:

Would you recommend this book?

What do you think?

tumblr_m3y3pbITAT1r3zat8Go read already!! XD

 

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: Amber Quill Press / Amber Allure
Publication Date: 2009
Format: Paperback
Pages: 120
Genre & Themes: Love, M/M Romance,
QUILTBAG / LGBTQUI, Elves, Magical World,
Alternative World, Elf Mirror, Royalty, Magic,
Contemporary, Fantasy
Age: Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Bought
Challenge2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (29),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
2015 LGBT Reading Challenge, Read A Million Pages,
105 Reading Challenge (Category: 3, 4, 5, 8, 9),
The Re-Read Reading ChallengeEthereal 2015,
2015 Monthly Motifs & Keyword Reading Challenge