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    The Bestiary Vol. 1: The Staff of Kyade – James L. Craig

    When royal soldiers attack his village in search of a magical relic, Kenji watches in horror as all that he loves is destroyed. Determined that they will not get what they want, he takes the staff they seek and flees, vowing to avenge all those he lost as soon as he can.

    Boring shit and cheesy too but not so abysmally bad as to merit one star. 

    Rating:

    2 Stars – it’s a struggle to finish the damn book

    (source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15839842-the-staff-of-kyade)

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    Whyborne & Griffin: Necropolis – Jordan L. Hawk

    Introverted scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne has spent the last few months watching his lover, Griffin Flaherty, come to terms with the rejection of his adoptive family. So when an urgent telegram from Christine summons them to Egypt, Whyborne is reluctant to risk the fragile peace they’ve established. Until, that is, a man who seems as much animal as human tries to murder Whyborne in the museum.

    Amidst the ancient ruins of the pharaohs, they must join Christine and face betrayal, murder, and a legendary sorceress risen from the dead. In the forge of the desert heat, the trio will either face their fears and stand together—or shatter the bonds between them forever.

    I don’t know if this was shorter than the other books but I finished this one really quick. Griffin gets to take Whyborne to Egypt, Whyborne gets to do some bad ass magic and Christine gets what coming to her.

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    (source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21533138-necropolis)

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    Backwoods Asylum – Megan Derr

    Skylar is used to the way people think of him as frightening, mean, and dangerous. Snakes are not the most popular shifters around and the fact he grew up wild doesn’t help. He knows the way he’s chosen to live alone in the woods only makes things worse, but he didn’t think it meant people thought him capable of killing a couple of wolf puppies.

    Determined to find the real monster who left them to die, Skylar calls up the only wolf he knows, a man he always wished would see him as more than a snake …

    Skylar is adorable but the whole domestic, taking-care-of-pups scenes were boring. The idea of shifters was interesting and it reminded me of the Sookie Stackhouse stories. I didn’t like the voices in the audiobook since the narrator’s voice and Skylar’s are too similar. 

    Rating:

    3 Stars – not exactly setting my world on fire but I liked it

    (source: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17472498-backwoods-asylum)

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    A Charm of Magpies: Flight of Magpies – K.J. Charles

    Danger in the air. Lovers on the brink.

    With the justiciary understaffed, a series of horrifying occult murders to be investigated, and a young student who is flying—literally—off the rails, magical law enforcer Stephen Day is under increasing stress. And his relationship with his aristocratic lover, Lord Crane, is beginning to feel the strain.

    Crane chafes at the restrictions of England’s laws, and there’s a worrying development in the blood-and-sex bond he shares with Stephen. A development that makes a sensible man question if they should be together at all.

    When a thief strikes at the heart of Crane’s home, a devastating loss brings his closest relationships into bitter conflict—especially his relationship with Stephen. And as old enemies, new enemies, and unexpected enemies paint the lovers into a corner, the pressure threatens to tear them apart.

    Warning: Contains hot-blooded sex, cold-blooded murder, sinister magical goings-on and a lot of swearing.

    I’m sad about Stephen Day’s decision about his job. I’m sad that this is the last book. I love this series and I wish this could just go on and on. Heck, I want to be a magic police.

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits 

    (source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21529170-flight-of-magpies)

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    Think of England: Song for a Viking – K.J. Charles

    ‘Song for a Viking’ takes place during/just after the events of the last chapter of Think of England and will be of no use at all to anyone who hasn’t read that book. It is not a standalone.
    You will definitely get the most out of it if you remind yourself of Think of
    England’s last chapter before reading

    This I enjoyed more that the main story because we get to see what’s going on in Daniel’s head. 

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits 

    (source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29754736-song-for-a-viking)

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    Crossroads: Shifting Gears – Riley Hart

    Rod Nelson is used to being someone’s good time, and that’s fine with him. Spending his days at his adult toy store, Rods-N-Ends, he never knows who he’ll meet. The second Landon Harrison walks in, he has Rod’s full attention. It seems as if Landon wants him too, so why won’t the man jump in the sack with him already?

    Landon never thought he’d return home to the town where memories lurk around every corner. He has to admit, Rod makes the adjustment a lot easier. He keeps Landon laughing. Despite the fierce attraction between them, he’s not willing to risk his newfound friendship to get laid.

    Neither man wants something serious, but the more they’re together, the harder it is to keep their hands to themselves, until eventually they stop trying.

    But flings between friends are never simple, and as they attempt to shift gears, diving into their first relationship, they’re slammed with setbacks. If they want to truly move forward, before they hit the open road together, they’re going to have to let go of a past that could make them crash and burn.

    I’m not really too keen on contemporary gay books or contemporary books in general (things are soo ordinary) and I only listened to this because I like the narrator. His voice acting is really superb. 

    The language here is really explicit with f-bombs, dicks and what-not. I’m ok with that but the story itself was boring. Ok, so you like hanging out with the guy, you have chemistry, he’s a good friend and that is a problem because you just want to sleep with the guy? The dad issues were also a snoozefest for me. What saved this book were the sassy lines by Rod. I think this is more of a it’s-not-the-book-it’s-me problem because the main MCs sounded good together. The other couple was great too and I would have liked to listen to more conversation between Bryce and Rod.

    Rating:

    2 Stars – it’s a struggle to finish the damn book

    (source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30262695-shifting-gears)
     

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    Crossroads: Shifting Gears – Riley Hart

    Rod Nelson is used to being someone’s good time, and that’s fine with him. Spending his days at his adult toy store, Rods-N-Ends, he never knows who he’ll meet. The second Landon Harrison walks in, he has Rod’s full attention. It seems as if Landon wants him too, so why won’t the man jump in the sack with him already?

    Landon never thought he’d return home to the town where memories lurk around every corner. He has to admit, Rod makes the adjustment a lot easier. He keeps Landon laughing. Despite the fierce attraction between them, he’s not willing to risk his newfound friendship to get laid.

    Neither man wants something serious, but the more they’re together, the harder it is to keep their hands to themselves, until eventually they stop trying.

    But flings between friends are never simple, and as they attempt to shift gears, diving into their first relationship, they’re slammed with setbacks. If they want to truly move forward, before they hit the open road together, they’re going to have to let go of a past that could make them crash and burn.

    I’m not really too keen on contemporary gay books or contemporary books in general (things are soo ordinary) and I only listened to this because I like the narrator. His voice acting is really superb. 

    The language here is really explicit with f-bombs, dicks and what-not. I’m ok with that but the story itself was boring. Ok, so you like hanging out with the guy, you have chemistry, he’s a good friend and that is a problem because you just want to sleep with the guy? The dad issues were also a snoozefest for me. What saved this book were the sassy lines by Rod. I think this is more of a it’s-not-the-book-it’s-me problem because the main MCs sounded good together. The other couple was great too and I would have liked to listen to more conversation between Bryce and Rod.

    Rating:

    2 Stars – it’s a struggle to finish the damn book

    (source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30262695-shifting-gears)
     

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    Think of England – K.J. Charles

    Lie back and think of England…

    England, 1904. Two years ago, Captain Archie Curtis lost his friends, fingers, and future to a terrible military accident. Alone, purposeless and angry, Curtis is determined to discover if he and his comrades were the victims of fate, or of sabotage.

    Curtis’s search takes him to an isolated, ultra-modern country house, where he meets and instantly clashes with fellow guest Daniel da Silva. Effete, decadent, foreign, and all-too-obviously queer, the sophisticated poet is everything the straightforward British officer fears and distrusts.

    As events unfold, Curtis realizes that Daniel has his own secret intentions. And there’s something else they share—a mounting sexual tension that leaves Curtis reeling.

    As the house party’s elegant facade cracks to reveal treachery, blackmail and murder, Curtis finds himself needing clever, dark-eyed Daniel as he has never needed a man before…

    Warning: Contains explicit male/male encounters, ghastly historical attitudes, and some extremely stiff upper lips.

    I couldn’t really connect with the main characters but it’s a testament to K.J. Charles’ writing skill that I still enjoyed the story. Can’t wait for the second book.

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    (source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20822874-think-of-england)

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    Whyborne & Griffin: Stormhaven – Jordan L. Hawk

    Mysterious happenings are nothing new to reclusive scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne, but finding one of his colleagues screaming for help in the street is rather unusual. Allan Tambling claims he can’t remember any of the last hour—but someone murdered his uncle, and Allan is covered in blood.

    Whyborne’s lover, dashing ex-Pinkerton detective Griffin Flaherty, agrees to prove Allan’s innocence. But when Allan is deemed insane and locked away in the Stormhaven Lunatic Asylum, Griffin finds himself reliving the horrifying memories of his own ordeal inside a madhouse.

    Along with their friend Christine, the two men become drawn deeper and deeper into a dark web of conspiracy, magic, and murder. Their only clue: a missing artifact depicting an unknown god. Who stole the artifact, and why can’t Allan remember what happened? And what is the truth behind the terrible experiments conducted on Stormhaven’s forbidden fourth floor?

    It will take all of Whyborne’s sorcery and Griffin’s derring-do to stop the murderers and save Allan. But first, they must survive an even greater challenge: a visit from Griffin’s family.

    There’s nothing as scary as a lunatic asylum or being mistakenly trap in one with no one believing your sanity. So yeah, this book succeeded in making me feel uncomfortable. I really felt sorry for Griffin. 

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    (source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18633099-stormhaven)

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    Kria: Prisoner – Megan Derr

    A man whom all men fear…

    General Dieter von Adolwulf has led the Scarlet Army of Kria to victory for the past decade, holding the infamous field known as the Regenbogen against Kria’s hated enemies—the deceptive Illussor and the ruthless Salharans. War has waged between the three nations for longer than anyone can remember, but no one has held the Regenbogen as well as the notorious Wolf of Kria and his fearsome army.

    A man who fears nothing…

    Returning home at the end of the year, the Scarlet Army is attacked in the dead of night by a single man who manages to kill hundreds before he is finally captured. A Salharan soldier with no name, no purpose but to kill, he refuses to bend to the Wolf who takes him prisoner and forces upon him a despicable Krian name.

    A man with nothing to lose…

    When the rest of his army is slaughtered by Illussor soldiers desperately seeking his prisoner, Dieter determines to hold fast—both for answers and in revenge for the men he lost. But answers and revenge are hard to come by when surrounded by secrets and treachery, and the man least likely to kill him is the prisoner who most wants him dead.

    I started reading the first few chapter but I couldn’t go on. I got lost and couldn’t figure out what was what so this book lingered on my shelf for months. Then I found the audiobook on Youtube and loved the narrator’s voice. Sean Crisden’s voices for most of the main characters were perfect. I think only Iah’s voice was off since he sounded like an old man. 

    This is one of the best enemies to lovers stories I have read. I live for Beraht and Dieter. I could listen to them bicker all day. Sol and Iah was kind of meh for me but I like them nonetheless. The female characters are not annoying so yay! Kalan deserves his own story.

    The world and the magic of the three countries were equally fascinating. Each country has their own well-defined culture and language. I love the name of the Krian generals (Scarlet, Cobalt, Verdant, Saffron), the curses each nationality  use but I wanted to see Illusor magic. Illusor was probably the less defined of the three.

    This is probably a 4.5 stars but I would go ahead and give it a perfect score since I really enjoyed the book and I like the cover art.

    Rating: 
    5 Stars – absolutely perfect  

    (source: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11116507-prisoner)