Good morning! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Did your husbands/fathers have a wonderful Father's Day? Both my hubby and my dad had a great day. Just nice and relaxing.
So we finally figured out what was happening with my email - the hard drive on my computer is complete shite! I'm not sure how it was fucking up my email but it was. Not great for a 6 month old computer, geez. Anyway - they overnighted us a new hard drive and my hubby will be putting it in this week sometime. I spent a huge portion of the weekend transferring all of the books I had on my hard drive as well as books I had on CD's to my new 32 GB flash drive. It was a painstaking endeavor but it's wonderful to have it all in one spot instead of trying to figure out if the book I'm looking for is on CD and if so which CD is it on, or is it on my computer, yada, yada. I've got all of my ebooks now cataloged via author so I can just look up the author's name and see if I have a particular book. Heaven, I'm tellin ya, sheer heaven. I also discovered that I have shitloads of ebooks I haven't read. I mean I had an vague idea that I hadn't read many of them but really, there's just a boatload in there that I haven't gotten to. I need to add them to my TBR challenge reads instead of just the print books.
Speaking of my own self-imposed TBR challenge...I didn't read a TBR challenge book this week. I know, I suck. But I DID read 2 the week before when I plowed through the last 2 Wallflower books so I'm counting that. Hey, it's my challenge, I can do that. Stop arguing with me, yes I can! :)
So on to what I read this week - some really great stuff in here:
My first read was an absolutely brilliant book that I just devoured. Actually it took me several days to read it because I was just busy but it was one of those books that you think about even when you're not reading it. It was The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe (there's an accent mark over the e in her name but I can't do that on blogger!) and it was fabulous. The writing just sucked me in and I was a goner. As much as I love the story/romance itself I think that 75% of the enjoyment of this book was Abe's writing. Loved it. And it's a historical paranormal/fantasy book which combines some of my favorite elements. This was a DIK book on Christine's list and I just hadn't gotten around to reading it. Ciara recently reviewed it last week and it reminded me that I had it on my list.
The story revolves around Rue and Christoff who are both Drakon - dragon shapeshifters. Drakon do not leave the compound that they live on as they cannot be trusted out in the world and the Drakon do not want their secret out. Rue fakes her own death to leave the compound, Darkfrith, and many years later Christoff, the Alpha, comes after her. Romance ensues. Good stuff. 5 out of 5
Next up was my first "official" Yaoi novel called Caged Slave by Yuiko Takamura. Kris is holding The Great Yaoi Swap so I took advantage and this was sent to me. While I understand all the facets of Yaoi this just didn't do it for me. While I liked the story there were so many things in it that made me laugh - and I'm pretty sure that's not what the author was going for. The noises the beta (I know there are Yaoi terms but I'm going with beta & alpha) made during sex, the way the alpha was constantly cutting off the beta's talking totally reminded me of The Unfeasibly Tall Greek Billionaire's Blackmailed Martyr-Complex Secretary Mistress Bride - which of course made me laugh. And the beta, had he been a woman, would have been characterized by me as TSTL. As I said though, I liked the story so it gets a 3 out of 5.
Next up was an m/m short called Marry Me or Die by DJ Manly. It was an impulse buy and sometimes I wonder why I do that. Not all of them turn out the way I want them to. lol Anyway, this was a historical (not sure where the gun on the cover comes in) where the laws have changed and single people are not allowed. You must be married because if you're not, you threaten the sanctity of marriage due to the fact that you can seduce those who are married into illicit behavior. If you don't get married you are sent to work camps or sentenced to death. The new ruler's son, Crash, decides that he wants Silus, who wants absolutely nothing to do with marriage. Crash forces Silus into marrying him but can their relationship continue when the laws change back and being single is now legal? The book had a cute premise but the dialogue seemed stilted and I couldn't get the emotion that I think the book was going for between the two men. Nice sex scenes though. :) 3 out of 5
My next read was One Reckless Summer by Toni Blake. Very good book. I really liked the way Toni writes and I love her books. This was a come back to your hometown and hook up with the bad boy from across the tracks (in this case, lake) that you always had your eye on story. Mick Brody is definitely from the wrong side of the lake but that doesn't stop Jenna from continuing to see him. I loved Mick. Bad Boy was his middle name but he was trying to make a good life for himself and that got me right there. I'm kind of a sucker for the underdog. Stacy from Stacy's Place on Earth did a review for Romance Novel TV that you can read here. 4 out of 5
Next was one of the most amazing books. Butterfly Tattoo by Deidre Knight is simply an incredible read. The story of Mike who is bisexual but has been in a committed gay relationship for the past 12 years when his partner dies in a car crash. It's been a year and he is struggling to make it through the days himself and still trying to take care of his 8 year old daughter who has survivor's guilt since she was in the car with her father. Mike meets Rebecca at the studio where they both work. Rebecca is dealing with her life after being attacked and almost killed by a stalker. The relationship between Rebecca and Mike is touching and moving, stormy and rocky, and just beautiful. I definitely couldn't keep my eyes dry while reading this one. You can read a review by Dear Author here. 5 out of 5
I loved The Smoke Thief so much I decided to dive into The Dream Thief by Shana Abe which is book 2 in the Drakon series. This book takes Rue and Christoff's daughter, Amalia or Lia, and secondary character Zane from book 1, and mixes them together. While I didn't feel as emotionally connected to this couple as much as I did Rue and Christoff the writing was still amazing. In case you're wondering, yes, I have book 3 that will be read this week. :) You can read Christine's review of The Dream Thief here. 4.5 out of 5
My next read was another book that I was sent from Tell Harlequin called The Family He Wanted by Karen Sandler. This book was not really my cuppa. It's a friends to lovers story but it also involves the heroine being pregnant by another man. The hero of the book, while being a wonderful man, has so many friggin family issues from his past it just got kind of old. 3 out of 5
Last on the list was Immortal Outlaw by Lisa Hendrix - book 2 in the Immortal Brotherhood series. I read this one for The Book Binge so as always I will let you know when the review posts.
btw - I just love this cover. I love a man's back and with that blond hair flying and the animal in the backgroud? Niiiiiice.
Week in Photos: A Few Days by the Sea
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