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Saturday, April 4, 2020

Mutable by Cari Z.

WHY and HOW did I wait this long to read this wonderful story? It's the usual, I'm not a fan of Sci-Fi and yet AGAIN I find myself immersed in Cari's characters and story, unable to put the book aside. So there are "aliens" and "mutants" and different galaxies in the unknown future, so what? Everything else about the story of Rone and Cas was simply AMAZING. Well, not to them, most of the time or at least not till the very end. I'm not sure what I think of the ending. It WAS good and yet I'll admit I was surprised, wondering how things will work out. Hoping Cari re-visits these two that's for sure. And as usual not understanding why this is a free read on Cari's blog when she DEFINITELY should be paid for her wonderful work.

Cas Farling has grown up in the planet of Leelinge, but his nation - the Delacoeur - have been fugitives in this planet ever since they arrived from their own uninhabitable planet. Hiding in caves they assimilated as best as they could, some of them, the strongest ones, being able to accept into their body a sort of bacteria they call "Phage" enhancing their physical abilities (and making them excellent trained assassins). Yet his kind was betrayed - by someone of their own and now there are so few of them left.. and only one other who like him contains a Phage inside him - Christala. Cas deduced she must be the one to play a huge part of the betrayal who cost him his little brother Beren as well.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Evergreen by Cari Z.

WOW. I can't really tell you what I expected this novella to be like because I don't even know myself.. I haven't even read the synopsis until AFTER I finished it so I didn't even know what it's going to be about so everything was a surprise as I was reading it. I'm not a fan of Sci-Fi but I AM a fan of Cari so I HAD to give it a go even if I was skeptical about it - silly me..

Lieutenant Commander Cyril Konstantin, our sole POV, is a Russian soldier on a special training in the Evergreen project with a few selected officers from all over the world. The mission is a one way ticket (not to the moon, stop humming for a second) to Mars. Though he is extremely passionate about the program he isn't a very friendly guy so the only person he connects with is the one guy who started talking to him first - Captain Scott Andrews. It doesn't take him more than two sentences to introduce himself as Scottie and nickname Cyril - Cy. From there a tight friendship forms which soon blossoms into a relationship even if a rather secret one considering they are not allowed to have a relationship between the group.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies by Christina Lee

What can I say besides the obvious - I LOVED LOVED LOVED this book. Loved Emerson and Rhys, the interaction between the two, the family connection. The tenderness, the love. Best Friends to Lovers is one of my absolute favorite tropes and there is also something to be said about dealing with amnesia that always appealed to me in these kind of romance novels. It's the chance to re-get to know yourself, the people around you and make different decisions than you did before.

Emerson and Rhys have known each other their entire lives, besides being neighbors the two families completed one another for years and though as teenagers they slightly pulled apart from each having different interests - Emerson being the quiet reserved guy and Rhys outgoing and adventurous - the connection never failed. When a devastating car accident take the lives of Emerson and his two siblings parents the heart broken Emerson takes charge of the younger kids, putting aside his own dreams and aspirations. Rhys feels like he has lost a set of parents himself and he tries his best to be by Emerson's side to comfort and reassure he is there for him and always will be.

4 years have past by and though not a lot of changed something sort of did in the last year, at least for Emerson Rose. He has started questioning his sexuality. Not only because he has NO time to date these past few years but because his feeling towards Rhys confuse him. Can he be attracted to his best friend? When did THAT happen? His search leads him to the realization he is Demisexual. It's not about the sexual identity of the person it's about the connection they share. With everything Rhys and him went through together it's only natural that at a certain point Emerson would realize THIS is the person he wants on his side. The guy who has always been there.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Master Wolf (Capital Wolves Duet #2) by Joanna Chambers

OUTSTANDING. I really don't have enough words to describe how heart breakingly beautiful the second part of Lindsay and Drew's story progressed (and ended). While the first part "Gentleman Wolf" - was told solely from Lindsay's POV in the second part we get Drew's sole POV. I can't imagine the struggle Lindsay was in during the time after making Drew a Werewolf, but Drew has his own personal turmoil. I gotta say, I wanted to strangle him at times (and I wasn't the only one..) but I could also understand why he was unable to trust himself and his emotions when everything was tainted by their bond.

I'm getting ahead of myself.. So let's go back to a reminder of what this Duet of books is about. Please note this is a REMINDER which also means if you haven't read the first of this duet - first YOU MUST and second, please don't continue on reading as this will contain MAJOR spoilers for you.

Lindsay Somerville is a Werewolf, when his pack leader Marguerite de Carcassonne tasks him to find important documents for her in Edinburgh concerning the whereabouts of her maker Alys, he isn't thrilled but accepts. That's where he stumbles upon Drew Nicol and though it takes him long enough to seduce him he is willing to put in the effort. Everything about Drew simply feels right.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Rag and Bone (World of A Charm of Magpies) [Ned & Crispin] by K.J. Charles

Sadly this as well wasn't a favorite of mine. There was something about the interaction between the two MCs that simply didn't work for me. There was also something maybe a bit OTT about these two literally saving the world while having so little knowledge and / or ability and yet somehow "winging it". Stephen and Lucien would have done in better is all I'm saying.

That being said, I simply ADORE KJ's writing. Even in the gloomiest situation I can still laugh out loud with her special wording not to mention I feel like cleaning the house from dust just reading about Ned's "home environment".

We've met this couple in the prelude "A Queer Trade". It all started when magic practitioner Crispin Tredarloe is looking for his masters writings who were sold to a waste-man after his unexpected passing. Edward "Ned" Hall is said waste-man and he does a lot more than just help Crispin and soon become friends and lovers.

The story continues when Crispin is trying to learn how to do magic the "right" way, unlike how his Warlock master taught him (using blood and bone) and no matter who they match him with it doesn't work. When they finally find Mr. Sweet a new comer to London on his own project he FINALLY gets the help he needs and yet while being focused on magic, learning how to do magic and trying to improve his (lack of) self esteem his relationship with Ned suffers greatly.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

A Queer Trade (World of A Charm of Magpies) [Ned & Crispin] by K.J. Charles

Though I was a HUGE fan of the main series, this short novella somehow wasn't "it" for me. I liked both Ned and Crispin but I didn't feel a real connection to them or the story. It's a prequel to their full length novel ("Rag and Bone"), telling us the circumstances they came to meet and get to know each other.

Crispin Tredarloe is in BIG trouble. While away to tend his sick mother his master had died and all his VERY important (and also harmful) scripts were sold to a waste man. Crispin is stressed about finding all the scripts before (A) anyone is harmed by them (B) the Justiciary find out about the whole thing and charge him with being a Warlock (for practicing blood magic) even if he hasn't harmed a soul.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Jackdaw (World of A Charm of Magpies) [Jonah & Ben] by K.J. Charles

Beautiful. SO SO Beautiful. This was a bit different than the ones of Stephen and Lucien, a different pace, as well as a the personal and relationship buildup and not only because Jonah and Ben have already BEEN in a relationship before. It was a heart felt and heart breaking story and though there is quite a lot of magic involved (with Jonah a practitioner) for me the story was about something else differently - two men getting to know one another again as well as learning together what truly matters to them in life. Finding their place mentally and physically. Finding their own kind of peace.

We've met Jonah Pastern before. He was a villain though he wasn't really a "bad guy". He did what he needed to do to save the man he loves - Benedict (Ben) Spenser and even though he already failed the man, he couldn't have let anything more happen to him even if Ben would never forgive him and / or accept him into his life. People died. Innocent ones. He wasn't very "nice" to the Justiciary but for him it wasn't about doing any harm, it was about surviving - which most of his life he needed to do on his own - and saving Ben.

Ben had a life before Jonah, but after Jonah left he was a broken man. He used to be a respectable policeman. But all changed when the man he loved betrayed him. Betrayed everything they had together. When Ben met Jonah it was like magic (it wasn't though.. it was just them and how they connected). It didn't take them long to become partners. Sharing a house together on the pretence of "sharing costs" (common at the time). They were happy together even though Ben knew very little about Jonah or what he actually did for a living. He knew he was rather simply, not knowing how to read or write but nothing at all about his background or skills. Especially not the magical kind of windwalking...

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Flight of Magpies (A Charm of Magpies #3) by K.J. Charles

I don't want to write this review because it would mean the story of Lucien and Stephen is over and though I feel like we got the ending they deserve I'm also selfish and I already miss them. Miss the interaction between them, the way their relationship built up. With the difference in their status, their personality and what each brings into the relationship. There is something that WORKS between them even if you wouldn't guess that.

As usual Stephen is over-worked and though Lucien generally understands that for Stephen he IS his job, he is more than just frustrated because he can see what it does to him. He wants him ALIVE and WELL and it doesn't seem like his job will be allowing that for long. He is tired of London and the restrictions that are always there around them but he WON'T give Stephen up no matter what even when Stephen himself is (almost) willing to let them go when everything becomes overwhelming. There is just too much to DO and so little time to do it in.