A VVivacious Review: Immortal Watch (Godsbane Prince #2) by Olivia Helling

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Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
 
immortal-watchIlyas and Jem arrive in Nuriya to secure a trade deal on behalf of Lumi. But what Ilyas thought would be surprisingly easy turns out to be a whole lot tougher. Especially after he receives the news that he has a child.
 
As Ilyas is distracted by his child, Jem falls into a whole new trouble with people who call themselves the Immortal Watch. But what they both don’t know is that they are just cogs in the scheme of a much more elaborate plan
 
This book is all about its story. It is a story that has everything and would be near impossible to describe in a single word but if I had to that word would have to be ambitious. This story has gods, aliens, a supernatural war, interdimensional travel, bloody politics, a scramble for power, new hopes, crushing defeats, death and a search for a trade deal that started it all. And if I could get another word it would be interesting. This story is a high speed roller-coaster ride that just leaves you flipping the pages one after the other till the very end. I read this book in a single sitting, which definitely proves that I for one was hooked to this story.
 
My issues with this book are more morally inclined, I don’t like books with indiscriminate killing and there is a lot of that in this book, also the pig-headed MCs of this book didn’t help matters.
 
Olivia Helling has a gift she can make you hate and absolve a character in the span of one book. In the last book I faced this with Ilyas; this time around it’s Jem. What I came to realise is that while Jem’s behaviour and actions fit well against the background of the events taking place in Lumi, the same actions in Nuriya make him look unhinged.
 
The main focus of this story is on a war that took place between the gods and the members of the Immortal Watch ages ago and how that war has shaped the events that happen in this book. I won’t go into further detail as that would be a major spoiler but that aspect of this story is the best part of this book and is a thriller that twists and turns and leaves you all wringed out. But there is a subplot concerning Ilyas and Jem and their budding relationship and the strain that Ilyas’ discovery of being a father puts on it.
 
Personally Ilyas and Jem’s relationship seems woefully underdeveloped but as that underdevelopment was essential to the plot of the book, I let it go but it was still there in the back of my mind that there circumstances were unique in the extreme.
 
I liked Ilyas and I loved him throughout the book, especially as he finally gets Jem to see the fallacy of his actions. But their resolution seems a bit too hurried; I think they really need to work out certain things between them that were left unsaid at the end of this book. If there is going to be another book in this series I hope it focuses on their relationship.
 
Overall this is one hell of a book with an amazing plot that never lets up.
 
Cover Art by Lou Harper. I liked the cover but it doesn’t exactly match the image I had in my head, especially concerning the city of Nuriya which looks desert-like for a place with such fertile grounds. Also, the singular colour of the buildings didn’t fit with the colour loving Nuriyites.
Sales Links
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Book Details:
ebook
Published September 23rd 2016 by Olivia Helling
ISBN139780993918094
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series: Godsbane Prince

A VVivacious Review: The Buckland in the Vale and Sandstone Tor Gay Book Club (Inaugural Meeting) by John Wiltshire

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Rating: 3 Stars out of 5
the-buckland-in-the-vale-and-sandstone-tor-gay-book-clubRory McGrath and Adam Sandstone both figure that a book club for gays would be a great place to meet gay men, what they don’t know is that The Buckland-in-the-Vale and Sandstone Tor Gay Book Club is a gay-book club not a gay book club.
While Rory and Adam’s first meeting couldn’t have been worse, the other nine members of the club have different ideas about Rory and Adam’s future. Well the old dears have decided that Rory and Adam will be perfect for each other and they will do everything to make sure that the only thing in Rory and Adam’s future is each other.
I have really mixed opinions about this book and I guess, with this book it’s definitely me and not the book.
I have read quite a few books by John Wiltshire and I love his books, but this book was very different from anything of his I had read this far. This book is funny and light-hearted; it doesn’t have very intense characters or situations. Overall this book should have been a fun, light, enjoyable read but it didn’t quite turn out that way.
This book starts out really funny and that’s what kept me reading but then Rory and Adam go for an away trip and things get really sad. I mean I don’t know if anyone else felt that way but for me the story went from funny, happy, light-hearted to sad really fast, that it made what would probably have not been so sad even more depressing.
I think the reason this book was a miss for me was because I couldn’t get behind Rory and Adam which is weird because Rory and Adam are great characters. Rory is the guy who wants to find his true love and Adam is all intense and finds Rory kind of hilarious for his ideals, but Adam’s thoughts on gay relationships happen to be tragically influenced by his past.
My biggest problem with this book was that it fails to give a conclusive ending. The ending leaves you hanging and unfulfilled.
But what I loved about this book was the Old Dears – Gertrude, Ivy, Myrtle, Hetty, Mary, Jane, Thea, Hilary and Constance. While writing this review when I was trying to think about the good scenes in this book, all those scenes had these wonderful women in them. I loved these meddling women and how even despite their advanced age they were ready to take on new ideas and try new things. When these nine decide to do something they go all the way and well any tale with them in it is a guaranteed fun ride.
So in not so many words I am trying to say that this book has a lot of good points but none of them have anything to do with the Adam and Rory’s relationship. Their relationship is still kind of up in the air and while it is heading in the right direction, I would have liked to have seen their relationship a bit more consolidated by the end of the book, which is not the case with this one.
Cover Art by Molly Wright. I loved the cover for this book with the big loopy handwriting and the turquoise background it kind of fits with the image I have of the book club in this book.
Sales Links:
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Book Details:
ebook
Published August 2016 by MLR Press
Original TitleThe Buckland-in-the-Vale and Sandstone Tor Gay Book Club (Inaugural Meeting)
Edition LanguageEnglish

A VVivacious Release Day Review: Coin of the Realm by Michael Murphy

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Rating: 3 Stars out of 5
 
Coin of the RealmTimothy is struggling to make ends meet as he tries to put himself through college. When one after the other jobs don’t pan out, Timothy ends up becoming an escort.
 
Then one day he gets called on to service a high profile guy. But just how powerful is this guy? Timothy is just about to find out how much…
 
Timothy finds himself in a fairy tale only to realise that every good fairy tale has behind it an equally evil villain.
 
Coin of the Realm is a pretty straightforward story. It is also quite predictable only because two-thirds of the book is revealed in the blurb itself. The first hundred plus pages of this book basically rehashes everything that you already know if you have read the blurb.
 
This book is extremely well written and well planned. Time is devoted to every aspect of the story but since a lot of the story progression is revealed in the blurb, it takes some time before the story becomes less predictable and more interesting.
 
What I liked about this book were its characters Jared, Timothy and Agent Robinson. The characters are fleshed out and since the story spends quite a bit of pages developing the main relationship, it doesn’t feel rushed or implausible. Personally the characters are the best part of this book.
 
Because of the circumstances most of Jared and Timothy’s relationship is mediated by way of Agent Robinson and Agent Robinson kind of out-shines the MCs at points in this story. I loved Robinson and I loved how hard he works to get Jared and Timothy’s relationship back on track and how he ran interference for these two.
 
I would have liked a bit more focus on the element of power which was introduced in this story. We are talking about the most powerful man in the free world and he never, even once, wonders if his lover loves him just because of his power. I mean you can view it from a million angles but you can’t just ignore the appeal of power, the fact that power makes people infinitely more desirable than they may be.
 
During their first encounter there is this palpable air of power that permeates the atmosphere but it is subsequently unrealistically toned down.  I mean I would have liked more awe, much more awe and it would have been nice to see people, kind of, making, a bit of, a fool of themselves around someone with that much power. I mean a little sycophantic behaviour was a definite requirement.
 
But for the most part of this book the power element is sorely lacking till the person in question ends up feeling just like everyone else, which I agree he is, but it would have been nice to see the reactions of new people meeting him contrasted with the reactions of those who were closer to him. Basically everyone ends up him treating him like just another person and not the most powerful man in the free world.
 
This absence of power would have been completely okay except for the fact that this book kind of hinges on Jared’s power. Also the fact that Jared is such an admirable human being maybe makes it harder for him to exercise such great power without appearing at least a bit evil. So in other words the author sacrifices power in lieu of Jared’s character development. But truthfully if this element had been explored more this book could have been one of a kind.
 
I feel like this book has a lot of elements and if justice had been done to at least a few crucial elements this book would have been amazing instead of the sweet one time read it turns out to be.
 
Cover Art by Paul Richmond. It is a good cover that fits the story.

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Book Details:
ebook, 210 pages
Expected publication: August 15th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634775325 (ISBN13: 9781634775328)
Edition LanguageEnglish

A VVivacious Review: Darkside (Mate of the Tyger Prince #2) by Shannon West

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Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5
 
Dark Side“The course of true love never did run smooth.”  – William Shakespeare
General Haggoz finds himself in the impossible situation of having to imprison his own nobyo. As he struggles to come to terms with the wrong doings of Kevin, he also realizes that he will never stop loving Kevin. Kevin finds himself imprisoned in a cell in Haggoz’s house where the only thing that breaks the pall of his existence is Haggoz and the few times he deems to visits him. But while Kevin may have reasons for his deeds, he has given up hope on ever having Haggoz forgive him.
 
On the other hand, Mikos and Ryan are trying to get through everyday life. They bicker like an old married couple but are just as much in love as they were before.
 
But when Mikos and Haggoz disappear it is up to Kevin and Ryan to find them and bring them home.
 
This book is a good companion to its predecessor.
 
The story of this book follows two couples – Mikos and Ryan; and Haggoz and Kevin. The best part about following two couples was that since both these couples where in different places in their respective relationships, it made for an interesting story as we kind of got all the phases that a relationship goes through in one go.
 
Mikos and Ryan love each other more than ever but they also argue more than ever. Their story is basically about how navigating married life has been for them so far.
 
This time around we get more of the royal family. We get lots of interactions with Blake, who I have come to adore. His will is second to none. Also we get to see a whole lot more of Vannos, Anarr, Larz and Nicarr but I guess the best thing was that we got to see Blake interact with his children which is so sweet. I mean I loved the parental vibes he gives off and how well he knows all his kids and how much he loves them. Also we see more of Davos. I can probably read an entire book about Blake and Davos. But there was also a very inconspicuous absence of Blake and Davos’ fourth child Darrek, I mean this time around when we got introduced to all his other siblings, I would have thought we would get to see him too, but no there is nothing about him in this book, absolutely no mention whatsoever. Also more Mikol!
 
This time around we get a bit more on the shifting aspects of Tygerians. Well we actually get to see Haggoz in his tiger form and personally I loved the scene. But I wish we could get more of tiger Mikos, now that I would love to see.
 
Kevin and Haggoz’s story line was something extremely beautiful. I mean here are two people who love each other a lot but find themselves on opposite sides of the law. Haggoz had a horrible childhood and Kevin is his one and only shot at happiness because Kevin is his happiness. But Haggoz also has a duty to his king to keep his nobyo, Kevin as a prisoner but try as he might to hate Kevin for his actions he realises that his love for Kevin is boundless. In fact during the entire story I was positive that any hurt Haggoz had ever inflicted on Kevin actually hurt him more and hurting Kevin was actually his way of hurting himself.
 
Kevin might have reasons for his wrong doings but he doesn’t think that Haggoz will understand. But loving Haggoz is something that has become synonymous with living life for Kevin.
 
These two tortured souls who want nothing but to be together must walk a difficult and treacherous path to be together. But since their hearts are already one it won’t take long for their minds to realize how foolish their forced separation is.
 
I loved the story and how it is written the POVs alternating between the two couples, on one side there was the playfulness of Ryan and Mikos and on the other was the heartache of Kevin and Haggoz and they balanced each other perfectly. The plot was the best because seeing the Ryan and Kevin work together to get back their mates was really well done. Also it was nice to see the humans work together to rescue their more powerful Tygerian mates.
 
My only irritation with the book was that the meeting scene between Haggoz and Kevin was repeated i.e. we got that same scene from Haggoz’s as well as Kevin’s perspective but reading it again was kind of a dredge. Also the party at the end of which Mikos gets shot in the previous book was rehashed this time from Ryan’s POV, these repetitions got kind of boring. Actually as such it wasn’t the repetition of the scene that was so boring it was the fact that I was anticipating that I would have to read the events that I already knew about again that was trying.
 
Otherwise this book was a great follow up to its predecessor and I loved the epilogue, finally Mikos learns how to deal with his husband. I hope we can get more Mikos and Ryan.
 
Cover Art by E Connors. The cover is a little weird what with that huge scarf but it is actually a depiction of Kevin from a scene in the book but it makes no sense whatsoever if you haven’t read the book.
Sales Links:  Amazon  | ARe
Book Details:
ebook
Published April 5th 2016 by Dark Hollows Press LLC
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Mate of the Tyger Prince

A VVivacious Review: Fire Up My Heart by Asta Idonea

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Rating: 5 Stars out of 5                    ★★★★★
 
Fire Up my HeartFane Maddox works in a rundown gay bar and battles loneliness. His life has been the same for ages but one flickering, neon sign and two legs hanging out of a dumpster are going to change his life forever.
 
Jo-E is one in a line of top-notch service bots but with a fried wiring, but when Fane fixes the glitch and wakes Jo-E up something is different. Jo-E realizes that ever since Fane woke him he has been different, for one he now has opinions and… emotions?
 
As Samuel Yapp the robotics engineer who discarded Jo-E realizes the discovery he trashed, he can’t wait to get his hands on Jo-E again but what will Fane decide to do – give Jo-E up or fight for him?
 
This story is set in the year 2045 where service bots are common and the race to the creation of strong Artificial Intelligence to the extent that it mimics humanity is on.
 
This is a short story/novella but it packs a punch. The author has a really awesome ability of investing the reader in the fate of the characters of the story from very early on. I read this story in a single sitting and the read was most enjoyable.
 
We have Fane Maddox who is lonely and his loneliness is tangible but Fane is a really nice person, I loved his personality, his humanity. He is one of those characters you like just because they are human and all humans deserve to be loved even if they are nothing extraordinary. I actually loved the character of Fane he came across as a really simple and straightforward human being.
 
Jo-E on the other hand is inching ever closer to humanity but his every human emotion seems tied to Fane. Like every robots take over the earth movie fan out there I am a bit scared of his abilities especially towards the end but what I loved about this story was that we got a look-see into Jo-E’s wiring and how he sees the world and how he figures out what is happening to him.
 
This story is fantastic on so many levels. The best part of the story was that how invested it had me in its characters and their happiness. Also I loved how the romance between Fane and Jo-E is handled, so carefully and slowly and plausibly. The author gives generous times to both characters to work out their feelings for each other and the plot which heightens their emotions for each other works out very well and gives the story the right push at the right time.
 
This story is sweet and has you thinking a lot and I am awfully intrigued about knowing more about these two characters also about the implications of having such strong-AI on a rogue bot because seriously remember every book and movie that has robots take over the world and enslave the human race.
 
This story has it all and is a must read. This is my second book by this author and from what I have deduced so far this author is really good.
 
Cover Art by AngstyG. That cover is just beautiful and along with that blurb I don’t think anyone in their right mind can resist being intrigued by this book.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:
ebook, 67 pages
Published May 25th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634773330 (ISBN13: 9781634773331)
Edition Language English
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A VVivacious Review: The Prince’s Psalm by Eric Shaw Quinn

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Rating: 5+ Stars out of 5      ★★★★★
 
The Prince's PsalmDavid ben Jesse of Bethlehem finds himself looking after his father’s farm. Dismissed by his seven elder brothers with the womenfolk, he wishes to prove his worth in the battlefield, he wishes for great adventure.
 
But when Samuel, the priest of all of Israel comes to the house of Jesse to find David, David’s life will be altered forever and he finds himself in combat with the giant Goliath.
 
As he sets out for the palace in Gibeah he doesn’t know that great love awaits his arrival or that the love he is going to find will become the stuff of legends…
 
This book is beautiful.
 
This book was 688 pages long according to my reader (it is 561 pages long according to Amazon) and by the end of it I wished I could read a 100 more.
 
The story of David and Jonathan is an ancient one and this is just one interpretation of it, but what a wonderful one at that.
 
I loved the book in its entirety but mostly because of how inexplicably and irreversibly it had me fall in love with David and Jonathan.
 
As such this story begins and ends with David, we see David grow up from a boy to a King and the author weaves the story so beautifully that even though you expect to find nothing in common with this man who lived ages ago and inspired such greatness you find several points of similarity. David is one of the most distinctly etched out character I have ever had the good fortune of reading. Seeing him as a little boy cribbing for adventure and respect, to the youth who defeated Goliath, to the most distinguished general a battlefield has ever known was a revelation. The author weaves the story around David and his journey, and his words change subtly to show us how slowly but surely David grew into a man.
 
The love between David and Jonathan was epic. Initially when they came to be I was unsure if these two would live up to expectations but they surpassed them long ago. The thing about their love was its ferociousness and how it had knitted these two souls into one, undeniably and irreversibly.
 
This story is one filled with great characters because even the characters with the smallest of roles have been handled with great tenderness and love. What I loved the most was how the author was able to manipulate our feelings towards these characters subconsciously and this is especially seen in his treatment of King Saul. Saul is one person who you will greatly admire and love but as he slowly and inexplicably descends in to chaos you will find your feelings unalterably changed.
 
I feel this story does justice to its origins and stays true to the bones of that story. It is tragic and hopeful and enlightening yet heart-rending. Once you start reading this book you will be swept up by the imagery this book paints and with how gracefully and with what great care it treats its characters who are nothing short of epic.
 
It was great joy to read this book and the only fault of this book is that it ends.
 
Cover Art by Paul Richmond. The cover of this book is beautiful. It truly depicts what this book sets out to achieve and what it succeeds in doing.
Sales Links:  DSP Publications | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 480 pages
Expected publication: June 7th 2016 by DSP Publications
ISBN139781634768368
Edition LanguageEnglish

A VVivacious Review: No Good Deed by Michael Rupured

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5
 
No Good DeedDaniel Bradbury and James Walker have a lot in common. Both of them find themselves in dire straits after having been kicked out of their houses by their parents and both of them die within hours of each other.
 
On Christmas Eve Philip Potter comes home to be informed that his lover James killed himself. Soon after that he meets Beau Carter, a high school English teacher.
 
As Philip finds himself a suspect in Daniel’s murder, he finds himself desperate and turns to a surprising ally to clear his name and solve the mystery.
 
That is my attempt at writing a blurb for this story, but I don’t think it quite covers it. Mostly because this book has a lot going on and the blurb would turn out longer then this review if I attempted to cover everybody so I am not. But as such the official blurb of this book is a good preview for what’s in store for you.
 
I read this book in starts and stops, procrastinated a lot and then one day decided that I am not going to let up till I finish this book and that is how I finished this book. The reason for the multiple starts and stops in the beginning is the fact that I didn’t find the first half of the book very interesting. This is because the first half of the book is essentially a setup for how things go down in the latter half of the book. What this entails is basically an information dump where the author introduces a bunch of characters and fleshes them out really nicely. But there is just too much happening to hold your interest. Also a lot of things happening in the beginning are quite tragic which kind of sets an atmosphere of gloom over the book which just doesn’t let up for quite a few chapters.
 
This book is kind of like a murder mystery without much of a mystery. There is someone killing teenage boys who turn tricks for a trade and he is definitely not stopping at one. The only thing we know for sure about this murderer is that he drives a yellow Continental car. This book has a lot of characters interacting with each other in multiple ways that complicates the search for the murderer.
 
I liked Philip instantaneously seeing him being so nice and charitable. Also the author manages to get us to like Potter really easily by introducing Beau, who is quite annoying. So I guess the fact that I could see Philip in contrast to Beau really increased my liking of Philip.
 
But the characters who make this book really worth reading are Terrence, Anthony, Harold and Daniel. Terrence is this fire-cracker of a guy full of life who wants to avenge his boyfriend, Daniel. Daniel was someone I liked from the moment I started reading about him and his death was something that really set the tone for this book. Anthony is a PI hired by George Walker on the behest of Philip to find out the person who murdered Daniel. I loved Anthony a lot especially his interactions with Terrence which were awfully endearing. Harold Clarkson is a boy who likes to dress up in girl’s clothes, but he knows his father will never understand. What I liked about Harold can be summed up in the fact that I had him pegged as gay from the get go but when he himself says that despite his father’s thinking that guys who like girlish things are homosexual he definitely doesn’t think of himself as one, made me realize that even I render judgement without knowing the whole story.
 
George Walker is James’ uncle and also a lawyer. When Philip ends up needing a lawyer on account of him being a suspect he goes to George as he is the only lawyer he knows but George and James end up sharing quite a few interests and develop an unlikely but charming friendship.
 
This book is really well written and once you pass the halfway mark it also becomes very interesting. As such the story is not much of a mystery since the murderer was narrowed down to two possibilities early on in the book, but the back forth on who is really the murderer and how he is finally caught manages to keep the story interesting till the end.
 
Cover Art by AngstyG. This book has an appropriate cover. It manages to capture the tone of this book, the yellow Continental car and Philip’s state of mind after James’ death.
Sales Links:  DSP Publications | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 2nd Edition, 222 pages
Published April 26th 2016 by DSP Publications (first published October 11th 2013)
ISBN13 9781634765718
Edition Language English
 

A VVivacious Review: Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me by Anna Martin

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Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
 
Five Times My Best Friend Kissed MeScott and Evan have been best friends since forever. But when Evan realises he is gay, he also realises that he has almost always held a flame in his heart for his best friend.
 
When Scott kisses him in the beginning of senior year, Evan believes his wildest dreams to have come true but when he finds Katie, Scott’s friend-with-benefits kissing Scott just minutes after, his hopes come crashing down. He decides to forget the kiss as a drunken misadventure, never to be mentioned again.
 
But even though Evan is ready to forget Scott’s drunken mistake, Scott isn’t so ready to have Evan forget him.
 
This story is a best-friends-to-lovers story, which is one of my favorite tropes. Evan and Scott are so good together and their story was so cute and so sweet and seeing them finally find each other was the best thing of all.
 
This book is very well written. I liked the 5+1 (Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me and One Time I Kissed Him First) idea which the author says originated from fan fiction. It is my first encounter with such a type of story. It’s kind of like six short stories chronicling the epic love story of Scott and Evan. I felt like this particular way of writing the story made it much more interesting, especially as the story of the kisses is out of order, so there this awesome feeling of understanding how future events occurred which we learn about first based on things that happened in the past which we came to know about later. I kind of got the surreal feeling of time traveling to uncover the story of Scott and Evan.
 
Evan is an artist working to make ends meet he isn’t struggling and he is comfortable living in his own house, doing what he likes and actually getting paid for it. Evan is the type of guy who is trying to figure his life out in high school but is unable to as he has to keep a part of himself under wraps. But once he comes out he tastes the freedom of being who he wants to be and living life as he wants to. I loved Evan he is the kind of loner who has a really popular best friend.
 
Scott on the other hand is still figuring his life out but getting a job being successful at it and having multiple relationships still hasn’t helped him move on from that dreaded What If question. What if Evan and him could be something more?
 
Well this book does say five times and I really wondered if this story would be another angst-fest and if the author could justify the MCs letting each other go so many times. As it happens this story was considerably low on angst than I expected and everything that happens in the story feels natural and real and it makes sense that things would go down the way did. It is a beautiful story about how Scott and Evan become Scott and Evan and when they are together it is beautiful.
 
I loved the story it was one hell of an awesome love story with two characters meant to be with each other and their story, the path they take to find each other may have been long but in the end it made the story worth it.
 
Cover Art by Garrett Leigh. I loved the cover. I loved the sunset background with those orange tones and the two guys fooling around having fun. Personally the cover will make you look twice. It is really pretty.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 200 pages
Expected publication: May 20th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleFive Times My Best Friend Kissed Me
ISBN139781634771566
Edition LanguageEnglish

A VVivacious Review: Bad Dogs and Drag Queens (Rose and Thorne #1) by Julie Lynn Hayes

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Rating: 3 Stars out of 5
 
Bad Dogs and Drag QueensDetectives Vincent Delarosa and Ethan Thorne are federal undercover cops designed to give local cops the extra push without actual FBI involvement.
 
Vinnie and Ethan are partners in every sense of the word and they find themselves in Roanoke to deal with a pesky mugger situation, only to have their stay extended. As Vinnie and Ethan go undercover in a bar they need to find out who is harming the customers and the drag queens of The Stroll, one of the biggest gay nightclubs in Roanoke.
 
This book is an established couple romance when it is not trying to be a mystery and vice versa.
 
The MCs Ethan and Vinnie have been together for five years. There are some unresolved issues in their relationship but the author chooses not to explore those in this book. At the same time the author also doesn’t give us any details on how they met except the fact that it was during a drag show and Vinnie was the drag queen.  This approach left the book hanging a little on one hand I love an established couple romance where the couple resolve their issues and come out on the other side victorious and in love but this book doesn’t give us that.
 
On the other hand this book could have been about a crime fighting duo but both the crimes in Roanoke don’t seem to add anything to the overall story which still seems to revolve around how much Vinnie and Ethan love each other. Also both the crimes are quite petty in nature, definitely not at the level of a murder mystery and get resolved very quickly.
 
I guess the problem that this book faces is one of labels it’s not a mystery and it is not an established couple romance either. It is kind of doing a tight walk rope between these two genres. It is definitely a cute romance but almost nothing more.
 
The book’s title does say Bad Dogs and Drag Queens and we do get one bad dog and lots of Drag Queens. The dog in question, Benny, has a pesky problem which just makes him more adorable. It would have been nice to see Vinnie and Ethan training him to not go around running away with ladies’ handbags.
 
This book is a fun read with lots of love and it is interesting but it is just a story. I never got the feeling that we were delving deep into these characters or that these missions were actually important. This story was just skimming the surface, it doesn’t offer much conflict and also doesn’t give us any details on the love story between our two MCs or on their appearances for that matter. In my opinion this book would have been better if the focus was on one aspect of this book instead of trying to drag both along and doing justice to neither.
 
But despite everything I didn’t find the book awful, personally because of the lovely moments shared between Ethan and Vinnie. These two characters are very much in love and there love is really sweet.
 
Cover Art by Paul Richmond. I don’t like the colour combination of blue with yellow but the cover works for the title of the book “Bad Dogs and Drag Queens”.
Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 138 pages
Expected publication: May 25th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781634772846
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesRose and Thorne #1

A VVivacious Review: Ocean of Secrets by Jerry Sacher

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Rating: 2.5 Stars out of 5
 
Ocean of SecretsAndrew Elliot finds himself caught in an unwilling engagement which is bound to get him trapped in a disappointing marriage.
 
Mathew Ahearn, lost after his parents’ deaths, finds himself desperate for a new start in his life.
 
These two men from very different strata of society find themselves together on a journey from Southampton to New York aboard the RMS Titanic.
 
The blurb of this book is what really had me interested in this story. Because once you reveal that the MCs are aboard the Titanic there is just something tragic that attaches itself to the storyline.
 
This book had a certain novelty attached to it seeing as this is the first story I have ever read about the Titanic which is kind of what drove me to start and finish reading this story. But it should also tell you something else and i.e. the fact that the Titanic is the hero of this story. Because almost all the things I liked about this book are somehow related to the Titanic. Also more than following the journey of the characters we are also following the journey of this ship right from where it was created in Belfast, Ireland to its maiden voyage from Southampton which it never got to complete.
 
The plot and writing in this book are not very nuanced. Things are pretty plain from the starting; nothing really catches you with surprise. I guessed all the turning points of this book before they happened, which on one hand means that the events of this story lend themselves to future events but on the other hand with things being so forthright it is hard to find the story very interesting.
 
Andrew was quite irritating probably because all the time he spent on the Titanic not in company of Mathew he was either trying to get away from his current engagement or was being reprimanded to pay attention on the now and here seeing as he was so lost in his thoughts. Which yeah is okay the first few times but by the tenth time you start wondering if the guy ever really pays attention. Also his storyline was a little too transparent from the beginning.
 
Mathew is a twenty year old lad who finds himself in a difficult position but he just wants to get away and start a new life far away from everything he has ever known. Mathew’s story was actually interesting but his story pretty much wraps up in the first few chapters and later on the plot focuses more on Andrew. Personally I would have liked to have read more about Mathew’s time as a steward aboard the Titanic.
 
Overall what really lets this story down is the fact that the love story between these two characters is a little too unbelievable. I mean if they had probably spent a little more time together before they were professing their love for each other, it would have made their love a lot more believable.  The plausibility of their love story is a bit hard to swallow literally because these two go from catching glimpses of each other to talking for 2-3 minutes at a time to making love and this all happens in the span of five days.
 
Also another thing I found a bit unbelievable was the number of people who were okay with Andrew’s homosexuality, I mean personally I would have expected more caution and disgust if just for appearance sake back in the 1912.
 
I guess if I had to summarize I would say the Titanic is the clear hero of the story and dominates the story line. Everything else feels and probably is secondary to the legend that is the Titanic. Personally as a love story this book sorely lacked development even though I liked how the story ended.
 
Cover Art by Bree Archer. I loved the cover of this book, it is really pretty.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press |  Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 200 pages
Published April 18th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634768221 (ISBN13: 9781634768221)
Edition Language English