Category - Recent Reads

Media Monday: Rockin' MM Romance - JCP's PsyCop Series

Hello all! On today's Media Monday, I'm going to share with you a series of MM Romance books that I've thoroughly enjoyed. 

Now, I'm not here to review, because quite frankly, I personally don't feel comfortable doing it, and there are plenty of people out there who do it better, but I'm always happy to share with folks books I've personally enjoyed. Please keep in mind, that what I enjoy may not be your cup of tea, but that's the great thing about books, there's something for everyone!

I've read a great deal of MM Romance, so there are titles I read years ago that I should probably revisit. There's also a whole heap of great authors I just haven't gotten around to reading yet, but there will be plenty more authors and books discussed on upcoming Media Mondays.
 
This week, I'm going to start off with Jordan Castillo-Price and her PsyCop series. Now, before JCP, I admit that I'd read close to nill on Paranormal stuff. It just wasn't a genre I thought I'd be interested in. (I'm not big on horror and such) but when I read the blurbs and excerpts, they really piqued my interest, and then of course, there were all the reviews (though I was careful not to read reviews that gave too much away). I thought--as I usually do with a lot of books I'm unsure about-- why not? I'll give it go. So, I bought the first in the series, Among the Living.

Well, let me tell you. As soon as I had finished it, I was online buying the rest. I LOVED it! The characters, the plot, the style, the relationships. I enjoyed everything about this series, and each book just seemed to get better than the last. I read them all in one week, one book a day. I stayed up until ridiculous hours of the morning, because I didn't want to put them down. One of them even had a scene that scared my socks off. Granted, it doesn't take much in my case, but picturing it in my little brain unaccustomed to the Paranormal and horrory bits, I actually closed my eyes. Then I remembered I wasn't watching a movie and that that wouldn't stop me from picturing the scene.

Anyway, Victor Bayne is an AMAZING character, and one I haven't forgotten even all this while after reading the books. Aside the great premise of PsCops itself, Victor is incredibly flawed, socially awkward, sarcastic, clever, moody, troubled, and has no clue why his hunk of a boyfriend Jacob is so into him. There's action, sexy sex, suspense, and loads of fun. It's not a traditional romance in the sense that it's not all about Vic and Jacob's relationship. After all, these fellas have cases to solve, but personally, I think JCP gets the balance of romance and crime-solving just right, and I know when it came to the parts about their relationship, there was a whole load of 'squeee' coming from me. If you haven't read any of the books, you can read the first half of Among the Living for free on JCP's site here. Enjoy!


x Charlie x

Media Monday: Recent Reads

Welcome to today's Media Monday. I don't get to read as much as I'd like, though I'm making a real effort to pry myself away from the PC every week to do some reading.

My tbr pile keeps growing, and as I tend to stock up on eBooks, I better get reading before I can't fit anymore on my kindle. Anyway, I'm going to share a few of the titles I read very recently that I personally enjoyed.



I love Eden Winter's writing style. Her books always hit the right spot for me. They have the perfect combination of heart, characters you can't help but fall in love with, drama, romance, and wonderful plot. In Settling the Score, Joey Nichols is a closeted mechanic in small town, one he plans to leave behind in order to join his actor boyfriend who's landed a major Hollywood role.

From the blurb, we know what's about to happen to poor Joey, and from the very beginning, your heart goes out to him knowing that his own is about to be smashed to pieces. On the other side, you have recluse author Troy Steele, who is no stranger to heartache. Watching these two meet, the vast differences in their worlds, and the way their relationship unfolds had me completely submerged in the story, and I didn't come back up until I'd read the whole thing. Settling the Score is available here.
 

Snow Day by Juniper Gray.

This was a wonderfully sweet and touching short story about two best friends, each secretly hoping for more, but too afraid to take that first step. I really enjoyed reading about these two regular guys with very real, every day problems, and how those problems can weigh you down. The balance of drama, sweet romance, and story was just right, and the message it gave left a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.   

Snow Day available here.

This story was beautiful. I just loved everything about it. The atmosphere was rich, and along with the little details made me feel like I was there in that period, on that beach with those fellas. You could practically feel the sand beneath your feet and smell the ocean. From the very beginning I was intrigued, and not long after, completely hooked. The writing itself was done in a very cinematic way.

The more I read, the more I was completely submerged in their world, wondering what had lead these men to this spot. I loved the characters, their attraction for each other, and especially the way they come together. I don't feel that my description does this story justice, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and it's definitely one of my favorites. Purly Gates is available here.





x Charlie x

Media Monday: Recent Reads

Toward the middle of last week, I took a short break so I could just relax a little, watch some TV, and finally get back into reading. It had been entirely way too long since I'd read anything and I was seriously going a bit loopy from it.

I'm learning very early on to take little breaks, because I know myself. I'll just keep working away until I'm so exhausted I'll fall asleep at my desk. When I start to feel the crankiness setting in, I take a little break, shit off the PC and pretend it's not there. It's a lot tougher than it sounds. Generally, I'm a pretty chipper person. So if I'm cranky, it's usually down to one of two things: not enough coffee, or not enough sleep.

Okay, so I had my mini-break and it was time to bust out the books. I turned on my Kindle and sat there. Just sat there staring at it. I had no idea where to start. My tbr list is so GINORMOUS, that when I actually got a moment to read, I couldn't decide! I wasn't in the mood for anything in particular, which didn't help at all. And then, I saw that I hadn't finished a book I had started because I got swept up in the craziness of my last release. Woot! The decision had been made for me. Especially since this book is part of a series and I had the next one sitting on my Kindle, waiting. So, I finally finished Divide & Conquer. I know, it's a crime I didn't finish it in one go, or even over a few days. It's very unlike me to start a book (especially one this awesome) and not finish it. Goes to show how much I needed a break. After that, of course I had Armed & Dangerous.

If you haven't read the series by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban, I ask you, what are you waiting for? I LOVE these books. They're just jam packed full of everything. Action, romance, humor, drama, and great characters. I love books that have a bit of everything, and these books are just so much fun to read. I enjoy most MM Romance, but if you've read my books, than you know I love characters who have a sense of humor. Stories with characters who can make me smile or laugh, always leave an impression on me. Anyway, I enjoyed these two immensely, and I was so happy to have more of Julian and Cameron, from Warrior's Cross. I missed those guys. I'll probably end up re-reading it one of these days. 

I also read An Oral Fixation by Piper Vaughn-- a sweet short story that was written for the Love Is Always Write event. I loved the feel of this, because sometimes in life, the timing of things can just suck, and poor Quinn's insecurities-- when it came to the fella he was head over heels in love with, struck me as being so very real. I could understand where he was coming from, and the more I read about him, his feelings, and his situation, the more I wanted things to work out for him. Their trip to the pier made me feel warm and fuzzy all over.    

This week I'm reading Ana Bosch's Art of Death

   

Followed by Christine Fletcher's Ten Cents A Dance. This isn't MM Romance, but it was recommended by a friend. She read it recently and loved it, and as it's set in the 1940s, she thought I might like it. I'm really looking forward to it. I've even got a hardback and everything! I love my kindle, but I LOVE the feel of a physical book in my hands. 


I've also got the next two Lennox books by Craig Russell to read. So many books, so little time! When I'm not reading MM Romance (which is rare), I tend to read crime/detective/pulp fiction, or fiction set during the 20s, 30s, and 40s. Now I just need more hours in the day! :D



So what are you reading at the moment, or recently read?

x Charlie x



Recent Reads - The Art of Death by Ana Bosch

Hello all! Over the last few days, writing has been a little slow on account of being on antibiotics that make me sleepy and the whole ball of pain thing going on in my face after my dental surgery. Sadly, this will continue into next week when the second half of the procedure gets done, followed by more liquid diets, mushy food diets, and blah, blah, blah. Anyway, this means I've been able to get back into reading which I have missed very much. Hopefully I'll be able to post more about what I read as I go along.

Now some of you have probably noticed that I don't rate books on Goodreads and I don't know if that may change further down the line or not, but as it stands at the moment, I don't really feel comfortable rating my fellow authors' books. Hopefully folks will understand and respect that. That doesn't mean I won't chat about books that I've enjoyed, or post about them on my blog, because although I'm an author, I have been and always will be a reader. When I come across a book I've enjoyed, I'm happy to gush about it.

Originally I had picked up another MM book on Thursday night before I picked up Art of Death, but it started off with a lot of sexy sex, and I just wasn't in the mood. I know what you're thinking, and no I'm not running a fever. At least not that I know of. I wanted to read something that would draw me in and just make off with my brain. Well, Art of Death did that.  I was completely swept away with the murder/mystery and the characters wondering what was going on, and what was going to happen next. I was up until very late Thursday night, and had to read the book in two sittings only because I had started it in the late evening, otherwise I would have easily read straight through.

Art of Death is not your typical MM Romance. In fact the story really isn't about the romance at all. This is a wonderful, plot heavy book about Riley Burke--a starving artist, and the series of gory murders he finds himself mixed up in. I'm really excited to know there's going to be a second book, because I really enjoyed reading about these characters. Riley especially reminded me of people I've known over the years, even a little of myself. He's hardly the perfect prince, but his flaws were very real. There are occasions when you think he's being an insensitive jerk, but I liked the fact that we were seeing a part of him that maybe wasn't so pretty, because hey, people can be insensitive at times, even if they don't mean to be. It's something we've all experienced at some point, and I like that the author didn't shy away from those uncomfortable situations. 

The sexual tension between Riley and Westwood was incredible, and although my heart went out to Nick--at first, I could understand Riley's actions. I don't want to give too much away, as it'll ruin the sweet little surprises you get throughout the book, but I will say: I loved Porter who was absolutely adorable, so much that I couldn't believe I was on a mini emotional roller-coaster with him until it was too late. Westwood intrigued me from the start, grew on me, and by the end I wanted to know a whole lot more about him. Coliaro was a fantastic villain, sophisticated, smooth, and creepy.

I found myself at times as confused as Riley, unable to decide between Nick and Westwood. Just when I started to make up my mind about one, the other would do something to make me reconsider. I was thrilled with the way it all unraveled. It was very well written, and personally I thought the author did a wonderful job in remaining true to the characters and the story. Definitely a great book to curl up with under a fuzzy blanket and cup of something hot and yummy.

Art of Death by Ana Bosch is 256pages, and available in eBook or paperback from Dreamspinner Press, and



x Charlie x 

Recent Reads: Speechless by Kim Fielding

Hello all! Last night I was up until the wee hours once again, though mainly due to writing. But when I was finished, just before going to bed, I had the urge to read something. No surprise there. Everything seems to strike me just as I'm climbing into bed.

I'm a big fan of short stories and novellas--that's a post for another day, so I picked up Kim Fielding's Speechless which I'd been meaning to read over the three day weekend. This was such a wonderful and sweet story. I'm a sucker for sweet stories, and was completely absorbed in these two men's lives.

Travis Miller is a machinist who is shy, and lonely with only his cat Elwood to keep him company. The description of Travis' life, his job, and his shuffling home dead on his feet touched a special place in my heart because I grew up around a lot of factory workers, my dad being a machinist himself. It's grimy, physically and mentally exhausting work, and add to the fact that Travis was all alone made it even more heartbreaking.

Travis walks the same route home from work everyday, usually too tired to even look up, but one day he does, and to his surprise sees Drew, sitting on his steps playing his guitar. Drew has Aphasia and can neither speak nor write. He can understand Travis perfectly, but communicating is difficult, yet the two men quickly embark on a wonderful friendship and soon a beautiful relationship. Their caring for each other is tender, sweet, and evolves slowly. Both Travis and Drew's personal stories are terribly sad, and your heart can't help but go out to them.

As in real life, things rarely go as planned. Complications that are very true to life spring up, and the two men are forced to make choices they don't want to make. I completely understood both Travis' and Drew's choices, even getting teary eyed by the results. I was glued to my kindle wondering how things were going to get resolved. In the end it worked out beautifully. This is a romantic story void of angst and heavy drama about two men who have been dealt heavy blows in their lives, overcame them, struggle with them, and now have the chance at love. The subtlety of this very well written story adds to its warmth, and by the end I was smiling like a dope. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Speechless by Kim Fielding is 62 pages and available in eBook formats from Dreamspinner Press and


Recent Reads: Muscling Through by JL Merrow

Over this past week, my tbr list--as it has a habit of doing frequently, has grown once again. A good deal in part to some wonderful recommendations. I have a few books in particular that I hope to get around to between writing and wrapping things up for GRL. I don't even remember what I was doing when I came across this enchanting novella by JL Merrow.

Muscling Through is a lovely tale about Larry Morton-- a Cambridge art professor, and Al Fletcher, the big, rather frightening looking fellow Larry stumbles across in a dark alley one night, and mistakes for a mugger. Physically, Al is imposing, what with his size, many tattoos, and scars, but inside he's a warm, gentle man. Those of you who know me, know I love those big lugs with a heart of gold, and I just absolutely adored Al.

Al is sweetly naive at times, and I love that the story was written from his point of view, so you get to see the world and the people in it through his eyes. Then there's the way Al sees himself, a lot of it having to do with how people treat him, and your heart goes out to him, especially since he takes it all in stride. He doesn't believe himself to be smart or clever enough for a pretty and refined fella like Larry, and it takes him a while to understand what Larry wants with him other than sex. Al's honest and straightforward, seeing things for what they are even if at times he doesn't understand what's going on. But the story is so well written that although Al may not understand, you do, either through Al's reactions, thoughts, or questions.

I loved how Larry accepted Al for who he was and wasn't ashamed of him, even when Larry's snooty parents disapproved of their relationship. The two men are opposites in almost every way, yet they bring out the best in each other, and I loved watching their relationship blossom. I was in the mood for something sweet and heart warming, and this story had me with a smile on my face almost through out, except for the part where I got a little misty-eyed. Granted, it doesn't take much for me, but the characters are just wonderful and nabbed me from the start. The plot centers mainly around the relationship, which personally, I don't have a problem with. When characters are endearing, I'm happy to follow them on their journey, wherever it may lead.

Muscling Through is a sweet novella about a fella who is more than what he seems to be, and the patient, understanding man trying to convince him of that. Perfect for curling up with a spot of tea or hot chocolate. I highly recommend it.

Available from:


Also available from Samhain Publishing


Things are kinda quiet... too quiet...

So after my ridiculous drive back with the folks from Kansas where we spent Christmas with my brother and his family, the folks and I thought our last food stop might have given us food poisoning, as we spent New Year's Eve pretty poorly. Nope. We all contracted this super evil stomach virus and I haven't eaten anything but toast as of three days ago when the idea of eating didn't make me want to pass out. I haven't had coffee in five days!!! Why world?!  Of course the idea of not having my precious java has been made a little easier by the fact that merely standing up reminds me that my body is just one big ball of pain right now, especially my stomach.

Oh sweet JesusI've been mostly bed ridden and slept more this last week than I probably did in the last six months. On the one hand, my little bouts of energy between naps and medication have allowed me to finish Julius's book and now I'm tackling the synopsis. Oh my God, when you hear authors moaning about these things there's a good reason. I just wrote a 96,000 word book and am dying to send it off but there's this little piece of evil where I have to squish 96,000 words into 4 to 5 pages.

Okay, so I'm working on Julius's synopsis and a few other exciting things. I've also written 3,000 words of Johnnie's book. There's heart ripping emotion and drama, and of course some humor thrown in because you know me, I like to soothe you and cuddle you and make you smile before I try and break you down. Tee hee. Chance is in top form and Johnnie's not far behind. I'm really pleased how the fellas are getting on, or uh, not getting on. Seriously, I'm dealing with some combustible material here. Chance and Johnnie living in the same house. I'm having too much fun for my own good with these two.

Acrobat Mary CalmesIn between writing, when the medication wears off and it's all Land of Ouch again, I've been catching up on my reading. Here's what I've read: Kim Fielding's A Great Miracle Happened There, Madison Parker's Sock It To Me Santa, Ana Bosch's Lucky, Hayley B. James's Undercover Sins, and Mary Calmes Acrobat. Thoroughly enjoyed all of them, though some of these authors I've read their other books and I'm already a fan of. Mary Calmes I already apologized to for not having gotten around to her books earlier. I'd already heard so many great things about her stories, yet you know how these never ended tbr lists go, but I was feeling particularly rough and I know her books are on a lot of folks comfort list too, and I certainly needed some cozy comfort, so I started Acrobat and it was just perfect. I absolutely adored it and she officially has a new fan. The story, the characters, the plot, all had me captivated from the beginning. May I also point out how absolutely gorgeous that cover is? I love it.

I plan on getting around to the rest of her books most swiftly. I've got three books I plan to finish this weekend: Frog by Mary Calmes, Hainted by Jordan L. Hawk, and Water Waltz by Hayley B. James. Oh Hayley, sweet Hayley. Do you know what time I went to bed last night after starting Undercover Sins? 6 a.m. I kid you not. You can ask poor Michael Rupured who received an email from me at that time to confirm the link to his post and inform him of my bout of temporary book insanity. But I couldn't put it down because OH MY GOD I had to know what was going to happen with Demetrius and Ty. You *waggles finger*, wait till I see you again.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!


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