Book Review: Wake Me Up Inside by Cardeno C.

Wake Me Up Inside (Mates #1)Wake Me Up Inside by Cardeno C.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another dip into the Kindle Basically Porn But With A Story pool, and I really liked this one! I loved the world building! The characters were good, the setting was somewhat interesting. I really enjoyed this as a light, easy read, even though it was like 50% erotica, so it wasn’t really as long of a story as it is a book.

I think that I will read the rest of the books in this collection because, even if it’s a shitload of unnecessary sex (again, I know that’s the genre, I’m just not INTO the genre) I’m very interested in this universe and I want to see more of it.

(Also, Kudos on the most emo title of all times. Bravo!)

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Book Review: Drawn IN by Sean Ashcroft

Drawn In (The Family Jules Book 1)Drawn In by Sean Ashcroft

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was my first foray into the “Random Gay Kindle Romance Novella” genre, and it was pretty much what I expected. I really did enjoy this adorable story and am glad I read it, however, I’m also glad I got it on Kindle Unlimited.

While I love the story and absolutely appreciate ‘incidental gay’ writing, as you would expect from ‘random kindle novella’, it’s pretty average quality. The beginning is very ‘the fuck, dude???’ because it’s entirely unbelievable. There is no way that neither of them heard about each other’s tragic lives if they’re from a small town where one of their moms runs a grocery store and they were childhood friends. I hear, “Hey, didn’t you go to school with a girl named X? Her dad died this week” about people I went to the same middle school of 15 years ago. It is kinda weird of Jude not hearing about one of his old friends dying, but it’s absolutely impossible that Owen didn’t hear about Jude’s parents.

Even if you account for Owen not communicating with his family very much, that’s not something that would escape being learned about at some point in a year.

However, the weird, out of place, thrown together beginning didn’t take too much away from a sweet, happy little story about pretty likable characters. All in all, it was a light, enjoyable read.

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Book Review: Murder on Black Swan Lane by Andrea Penrose

Murder on Black Swan Lane (A Wrexford & Sloane Mystery, #1)Murder on Black Swan Lane by Andrea Penrose

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Murder on Black Swan Lane is far from what I expected and I’m pretty glad about that. What I expected was a fun little mystery, and instead what I got was interesting characters that I got pretty attached to pretty quickly.

While the mystery was a little more abstract than what I wanted initially, I find that I don’t care at all. Wrexford was an interesting guy, but the real draw for this book was Charlotte and the two boys! I found myself growing more and more attached to her and, in particular, her relationship with Raven and Hawk. When I thought something bad was going to happen to them I was beside myself!

I see that this is a #1 so I have high hopes for more of the mystery of Charlotte’s past to be revealed in later books. I will absolutely be buying the next one whenever it may come out!

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Book Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and VirtueThe Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It has been a long time since I read a book that I gave 5*s and far longer since I read a Young Adult novel that I enjoyed this much. I’m not really a big fan of YA and I’m a huuuuge hater of 1st Person POV, and yet I genuinely loved this book and it is both.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue tells the story of Monty (Henry Montague) and his best friend Percy (a biracial son of a family friend) leaving on their Grand Tour, along with Monty’s sister, Felicity, who they are taking to drop off at Finishing School, and exactly how badly wrong things can go when the leader of your merry band of misfits is a bit of a spoiled troublemaker.

Without spoilers, I can say that, though a lot of people have commented in their reviews (because unbeknownst to me, everybody seems to be reading this book lately; I just picked it up at random at the library) that they don’t really like Monty very much, I really got attached to him from the start. His story screams, “acting out because he’s so messed up internally he has no other way to express himself” and that whole ‘tortured hero’ vibe works well. Except, even better, the real ‘hero’ of this story is Felicity! Oh how I love Felicity! Percy broke my heart in every way except for how steadfast and loyal to Monty he was. I was so scared, knowing queer fiction like I do, that this would end in Percy going to his original destination and Monty never seeing him again, and I was terrified of the coming sad ending, because it’s soooo clear throughout the whole book that they’re in love with each other and each think their love is unrequited.

I have never read a more enjoyable M/M queer romance, especially in the YA genre. This was one that was such a page-turner. The last book I tried to read, I spent 2 weeks and only managed 70 pages of forcing myself to read a few pages at a time because it was so boring (I gave up at that point), but this book? Oh man, I read all 500+ pages in just under a week. It’s an easy read, it’s a quick read, and I was so engrossed in the story I didn’t want to put it down. I absolutely loved this story’s tone, the pace, the characters, the adventure, the history, all of it!

I’m a big fan of queer romance and historical fiction so a historical queer romance is really right up my alley. It’s hard to find a good historical romance that isn’t all rapey and especially a queer one. This story is delightful and I adore a good happy ending!

Read it! You won’t regret it.

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Pardon Me For This Very Unprofessional Rant But I Need To Vent

WHY DO MALE AUTHORS HAVE TO DESCRIBE PENISES IN SUCH DETAIL???

Why does the narrator have to compare said penis to his own???

Why did I just read, for the THIRD TIME THIS YEAR, a coroner observing things about the dead guys dick and thinking about how it compares to his own???

Why did I just read a murder victim’s penis and ‘taught, hairless scrotum’ explained in detail when it has zero things to do with him being dead. He drowned! I don’t need to know the shape/size/details of his junk when that has ZERO THINGS TO DO with him being dead!

Why is this something only male authors do???

WHY ARE MEN SO WEIRD???

Book Review: Blue Light Yokohama by Nicolás Obregón

Blue Light Yokohama (Inspector Iwata, #1)Blue Light Yokohama by Nicolás Obregón

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a hard review to write, because if I was just reviewing the main ‘gotta find the killer’ storyline, it would get a 4-4.5, but if I was just reviewing the characters and the world building and the side plots, this would easily get a 2.

The murder mystery itself is very intriguing, there are amazing plot twists that I never saw coming, there are red herrings that I really thought were legitimate leads, and the way the story builds and goes into all these intricate twists and turns keeps you deeply invested all along.

However, the book has some serious ‘wtf’ issues that I’m gonna address further under a read more to avoid spoilers, this is the TL;DR version:

Basically, this book had a good story but character content that was severely over the top at best and disturbingly problematic at worst.

I would recommend it to those who are forewarned going in that the story is great but the backstory and side plots are so over the top and weird that the non-main-plot stuff is just flat out bad.

 

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Book Review: The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot, #1)The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Upon discovering my local library had the very first Hercule Poirot book, I had to read it, and I cannot say I was at all disappointed! I’m not the biggest fan of Poirot, not because I don’t like the mysteries, but rather because I’m not a fan of the ‘poor stupid everyone else’ thing that always happens in Poirot novels. Not sure why it never bothers me in Sherlock Holmes stories, but it does with Poirot.

However, this one had a far more interesting cast of characters than usual! I confess I don’t like the first person at all, but the way this one was so widely observing and less introspection, it didn’t bother me as much as usual. I enjoyed that this one went beyond just a mystery but on to multiple loose ends and mix-ups and turns after the police thought the murder was solved and found that it really wasn’t. This was just a really interesting mystery and one I really enjoyed.

If you’re a mystery fan who wants something a bit different in that the first person POV is not from the detective, but an observer, give it a shot!

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