A MelanieM Release Day Review: Sweet Clematis (Being(s) in Love #9) by R. Cooper

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Can a curse be a blessing?

Clematis works hard to embody every fairy stereotype. He can be a sulky prince or a submissive flirt, slutty and arrogant or silly and soft. He makes himself into whatever causes someone to want him. Combine that with beauty that’s incredible even for a fairy, and everyone wants him sooner or later… just not for long.

Well, everyone except the fairy Clematis secretly adores. But then, he’s never expected happily ever after, not when he’s spent years burying his emotions and making himself unlovable to push people away and protect his heart.

But his curse changes all that, and Clematis can no longer prevent his feelings from rising to the surface. He’s terrified that when his few friends see him for who he really is, they’ll abandon him, just like his parents did.

It’s hard to imagine friends who see past his act to the sweet person within, but maybe happiness has been in front of him the entire time, waiting for the real Clematis to break free and blossom.

So it’s not often a story has me sobbing by the first 18 pages, well, ok, not a story by R Cooper.  I adore R Cooper.  This author has a definite style and approach to  writing and their stories, especially this series.  It flows very naturally, with ebbs and eddies, long lovely narrative winding strolls through storied forests and a town occupied by humans and magical beings alike.  From the first novel, Some Kind of Magic, the author has been building an amazing universe and ever increasing,  always interlocked ,cast of characters.  And they flit, sometimes on gossamer wings or growl or stomp or what have you through each other’s stories, making appearances both large and small.

The romances take  time to come to fruition, slow like the seasons, but eventually, love and the couples find a way.  And it’s amazing.

But I don’t find myself sobbing in the first couple of chapter.  Nope, nuh uh.  But then again there’s no one quite like Clematis.

You see, Clematis has impacted just about every character, often badly, within this series. And we’ve always seen the ramifications of Clematis’ actions from the perspective of the other person/being’s life.

Until now.

Now we see the tragedy, the pain, the victim that is Clematis.  And I’m here to tell you that it’s shattering in R. Cooper’s totally quiet, disquieting way.

I spent most of this book reaching for tissues because just when I thought his gentle acceptance of  victimization,  of his state of awful existence for such a long period of time  had gotten to a point where I could see him working through issues and trying to see what those around him did, R Cooper delivers a blow, not with a strike of a hand, but with the cut of a narrative feather. One that goes so much more quickly straight to the heart.  To the reader and to the other characters finally getting a true picture of the fairy in their midst all this time.

What an incredible talent that exists in this writer!  In this one story, Cooper takes one character that has existed throughout all the series and now reveals Clematis to have been not the being represented at all, but a new truth uncovered.  And some of the beings from the other stories?  Well their actions don’t seem quite so shiny in retrospect given the new revelations here.

These aren’t novels where you can relay details because the plots are too complicated and linked with other beings and their stories.  Suffice it to say, the characters/beings are created so realistically that they come alive from the moment you meet them.  They shower glitter, shed fur, and weep tears that leave tracks that shine into your heart.

This is the ninth book.  I don’t know if there will be a tenth.  So many characters from all the stories appeared here that it almost felt as though the author was wrapping things up. Excerpt that, R Cooper style, they also stirred up things as well.  So your guess is as good as mine.

I love this series. Sweet Clematis (Being(s) in Love #9) by R. Cooper certainly shook things up in many ways.  I’m going to have to restock my  tissues, that’s for certain.

I will say it has a wonderfully happy ending for all the tears that was shed.  Just as I hoped for.

For those new to the Being(s) in Love series, I have no idea what to tell you.  Without the foundation of the other stories, you might be somewhat lost here, but it takes time to read all eight stories (which I adore) before getting here.  I do recommend you do that,  Just pick a lovely  spot, take you time, get comfy, and be prepared to go on a wonderful journey.  You’ll end up here.  For now.

Cover art: Paul Richmond.  Love this  cover but…somehow something is missing. Read the story and you will know what I’m talking about.  Because that’s not Clematis. Read and find out who it is.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 306 pages
Expected publication: November 27th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 139781640808188
Edition Language English
Series Being(s) in Love #9

A Boy and His Dragon

A Beginner’s Guide to Wooing Your Mate

Little Wolf

The Firebird and Other Stories

Frangipani and the Very Shiny Boy

A Dandelion for Tulip

All the Futures That Could Be

Treasure for Treasure

His Mossy Boy

Sweet Clematis

 

A MelanieM Release Day Review: His Mossy Boy (Being(s) in Love#8) by R. Cooper

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

A Being(s) in Love Story

Years ago, a very intoxicated Martin nearly died in the woods outside Everlasting, and a beautiful creature saved him, although Martin’s done his best to forget it. He spends his time in a haze of weed as he avoids his emotionally abusive mother—and the way he feels about men. Martin is already a weirdo in his isolated small town; he doesn’t need a sexuality crisis too. He’s a mess, but someone—or something—always seems to take care of him, usually a tall, sarcastic deputy by the name of Ian Forrester.

No one knows much about Ian, which is how he and his family prefer it. Ian has resigned himself to a lonely life keeping his secrets and guarding his forest. It’s safe to dream of Martin, because Martin never remembers Ian helping him. Besides, Martin barely speaks to Ian, so nothing can ever grow between them. Right?

But with the dragons—and the magic—back in Everlasting, suddenly anything seems possible, even a happily ever after for two men who never expected one….

When I pick up an R Cooper story I know exactly what I’m getting into.  A long, densely layered, fabulous fantasy tale, a slow burn romance so slow moving we are talking a smouldering peat fire, one that’s simmering under the surface and takes chapters, hundreds of pages to come to fruition. No you won’t get any sort of instant love here.  That’s the absolute love and joy for some, and total frustration for others.  For me?  It’s what I love and know I’m getting from the opening sentence.

His Mossy Boy is just part of a rich tapestry of tales that R. Cooper has been building in their (Being(s) in Love series, each story adding more vibrant storylines, characters and history to an overall mythology and town of Everlasting.  It’s sheer magic!  And like any wonderful bard R. Cooper takes their time.  Always has and I expect always will.

Martin is young man in pain.  Emotionally abused by his mother, uncertain about his sexuality, Martin feels like a freak, unloved and worthless. He takes refuge in alcohol and drugs, often ending up in a stupor outside and alone.  Cooper brings us into the mind and heart of this bruised and aching man through Martin’s perspective.  And it’s often a tortuous one.  Especially with his scenes with his mother, as she drags down and kills what little hope and progress he’s made to to self worth through the day.  It’s heartbreaking and all too believable.

But Martin has someone looking over him.  Deputy Ian Forrester who has he own secrets and heartbreak.  We get Ian’s perspective too.  We get his insight into the town, into Martin, and we see the blinders, well, not blinders but perhaps lack of knowledge is keeping him from making the right decisions about Martin and their future.  To get these two together will take the entire book.  They will come so close at times but fear, low self esteem, town pressure and more, even magic seemingly strives to keep them apart.

There’s even dragons!  Joseph and Zarrin, his sister Zazzy and Bernard the chatelaine, the dragon parents and the town of Everlasting feature prominently here.  Did I mention this is a densely woven incredible tapestry?

But primarily it’s about getting Martin to accept himself, to see beyond other’s abuse of him and their intolerance and to be brave enough to reach for what he wants and think he deserves it.  And not just Martin alone.  There are two that need to believe that boundaries can be broken, rules bent so lovers can be together.  In the end it all comes together in a powerfully simple walk down the street holding hands that makes you want to cry in happiness.

Yes, I love this story and this author.  Neither one, the story or the series is for the impatient.  Neither is the author for that matter.  But for those of us who love to meander, take our time, looking around, appreciating the trail as much as the  destination. Those of us who love the slow burn, the hesitation before the kiss…well, this is magic.

It helps to have read the story before this one, Treasure for Treasure (Beings in Love #7) to get background history on Joseph and Zarrin.  Indeed pick up the entire Beings in Love series.  It’s wonderful.  I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.  His Mossy Boy and the rest are all highly recommended!

Cover Artist: Paul Richmond.  What an absolutely gorgeous cover.  Its perfect for the story and characters.  One of my favorite of the year.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 350 pages
Expected publication: September 11th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781635338850
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Beings in Love #8

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Treasure for Treasure (Beings in Love #7) by R. Cooper

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

treasure-by-treasureA Being(s) in Love Story

In the nineteenth century, the dragon Dìzhèn put the small coastal town of Everlasting under her protection. Her family was supposed to carry on the tradition, but all of Dìzhèn the Great’s heirs eventually left rather than live in the shadow of such a powerful dragon.

Only the youngest dragon of the current generation remains: Zarrin, the softhearted disgrace of his family. He might be weak, small, and afraid, but he is determined to show the humans they have not been forgotten… one human in particular. The problem is, Zarrin can barely get that human to talk to him.

It should be a dream come true to have a dragon trying to get his attention. But Joe refuses to bow to Zarrin like everyone else. Yes, Zarrin is sexy, oddly gentle for a dragon, and stares at Joe with a gaze so hot it makes him shiver. But hurt, mistrustful Joe can’t believe Zarrin’s promises that he’s here to stay. Joe doesn’t realize he is the treasure Zarrin has been looking for his whole life, a treasure he once let slip through his fingers out of fear. Now, to win Joe’s trust, Zarrin has to be brave and become as strong as Dìzhèn herself.

Treasure for Treasure (Beings in Love #7) by R. Cooper is another wonder of the slow build in story writing.  I’m a long time fan of both R. Cooper’s, this series, and this style of narrative.   R. Cooper has never rushed into anything when coming to a character build or story thread.  Its always a long and winding path this author takes us on.    We get a feel for the location, the geography, the village, the local townsfolk, and the main characters in a leisurely yet sure manner.  Much like a expect dry stacking those field walls of stone, Cooper leaves little space between the layers as quietly and slowly each character fleshes out and becomes deep and believable.

Joe we meet in all his past and then current pain and conflicted feelings about the town and the dragons who own it.  His sense of being an outcast, his sexuality as part of the cause is contrasted with that of the statue of the dragon in the square.  Powerless versus the power implied.  Its a wonderful starting point, especially where the author takes the story and Joe next.

Joe is such a special character, a believable human, pained, flawed, artistic, and angry.  Then comes Zarrin,  And in this character, Cooper really rises because you always believe that Zarrin is truly a dragon who can take the shape of a human.  Not a human masquerading as a dragon.  His thoughts are that of a dragon who doesn’t quite understand the humans he’s supposed to be protecting.  His emotions?  Also not that of a human as well.  Its as though the author has authentic knowledge of what a dragon must actually be like should be exist.  Or at least one like Zarrin, beautiful golden Zarrin who wants to claim his Treasure but has no idea how to do it.

He does get some help from the most unlikely places.  There’s a marvelous secondary cast of characters.  And the townspeople are as varied as one might expect to find in a real town, from the phobic to the hunters to those accepting and warmhearted.

And there’s Joe and Zarrin’s slow build to understanding and a relationship.  Just waiting for that first kiss is something else.  But the reward is just as great.  I was never frustrated as one might expect because I was so fascinated by the process and trying to see when and how Zarrin and Joe were going to figure it all out. I was so engaged in their own misunderstandings that the places where I might have been frustrated passed right by.

This is just such a  marvelous tale.  Of love and romance, of dragons and treasures found.  Of two beings so right for each other that nothing could stand in their way.  Not misunderstandings, not a town, nothing.  I loved this novel.  Its one I highly recommend, especially if you’re a fan of the slow build.

Cover art by Paul Richmond.  For some reason, this cover just seems off, the proportions or something, which is  unusual in a Paul Richmond cover.  Just not a fan of this one.

Sales Links

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Book Details:

ebook, 340 pages
Expected publication: December 12th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 163477888X (ISBN13: 9781634778886)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBeings in Love #7

A Lila Review: A Dandelion for Tulip (Being(s) In Love #6) by R. Cooper

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

A Dandelion for TulipDavid is in love with Tulip, a kind and unusually quiet fairy in his social circle. But everyone knows Tulip doesn’t date humans. David tells himself he is happy to be Tulip’s friend, because he doesn’t believe a fairy could love him and Tulip has never tried to “keep him”—as fairies refer to relationships with humans.

Fairies are drawn to David, describing his great “shine,” but David knows only too well how quickly fairies can forget humans, and thinks he’s destined to be alone. He can’t see his own brilliance or understand how desperately Tulip wants him, even if Tulip believes David can do better.

But exhausted and more than a little tipsy at a Christmas party, David makes his feelings too obvious for Tulip to deny any longer. Because of a past heartbreak involving a human, Tulip is convinced someone as shiny as David could never want a “silly, stupid fairy” in his life. Now, if he wants to keep David, he’ll have to be as brave as his shiny, careful human.

A Dandelion for Tulip takes fantasy to another level with the acceptance of beings as part of society. Even so, they’re mostly kept as a secondary group and this affected the humans that befriend them. There still a touch of ignorance about how they acted and associated with.

This is book six in the Being(s) in Love series but can be read as a stand-alone. I even went back and read all the blurbs to be sure I wasn’t missing anything important. I only noticed a cameo by one of the couples, which perhaps, can be considered an update on their relationship. The author did an excellent job building a believable world and beings that were easily identifiable.

I like David and Tulip individually, but basing a complete story on the MCs lack of communication didn’t work for me. If they had talked for two minutes, the story would have been done in less than fifty pages. I think I was as confused as the characters with the constant assumptions between them.

Their coming together felt forced, perhaps because the reader got the initial impression of them being friends and the unrequited love angle came out of nowhere. I understood the characters pasts and fears, but a lot happened off page as time passed by, leaving several questions unanswered.

I wanted to like this story more because it had all the elements to be great, but the long philosophical discussions were hard to appreciate when I wanted to smack David and Tulip on the back of their heads. I needed more of a connection between them to carry into their happily even after.

——–

Paul Richmond captured an important scene in the story with this cover. I’m not entirely sold on the characters’ features, but overall, it’s a good match for the story.

Sale Links: Dreamspinner | Amazon | ARe

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published: June 24, 2016, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 1634773144 (ISBN13: 9781634773140)
Edition Language: English

Series: Being(s) in Love
Book #1: Some Kind of Magic (Beings in Love, #1
Book #2: A Boy and His Dragon (Beings in Love #2)
Book #3: A Beginner’s Guide to Wooing Your Mate (Beings in Love #3)
Book #4: Little Wolf (Beings in Love, #4)
Book #5: The Firebird and Other Stories (Beings in Love Stories #5)
Book #6: A Dandelion for Tulip (Beings in Love, #6)

 

A Stella Review: A Beginner’s Guide to Wooing Your Mate (Being(s) in Love #3) by R. Cooper

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

A Beginner's Guide to Wooing Your Mate coverZeki Janowitz has returned to his hometown of Wolf’s Paw to start his wizarding career. Unfortunately, Wolf’s Paw, a werewolf refuge, follows centuries of tradition and shuns human magic and a very human Zeki. He knows he’s in for a struggle, but a part of him has always belonged in the mountain town, or rather belonged to Theo Greenleaf. Years away at school haven’t lessened Zeki’s crush on the quiet werewolf. When town gossip informs him Theo still suffers from his mate’s rejection and does not date, it does little to ease Zeki’s embarrassing feelings. He decides now’s the time to get the man he’s always wanted.

Werewolves usually don’t recover from losing their mates, and Theo barely pulled through by focusing on his love of baking. It’s a daily struggle, and Zeki’s return to Wolf’s Paw shatters his peace. Theo doesn’t know what to think when Zeki attempts to woo him, talking about his wizarding business and settling in town for good. It’s like Zeki doesn’t have a clue how his words years before left Theo a shell of a werewolf.

Beginners in love, Theo and Zeki must seduce each other with a bit of heavenly baking and magic.

A Beginner’s Guide To Wooing Your Mate by R Cooper is almost a second chance at love story, almost cause they weren’t exactly together the first time. After five years apart it’s finally time for our MCs to have their happy ending.

In a world where humans, werewolves and other beings live together, Zeki is a shy, young human wizard. He just got back to Wolf’s Paw after being away to study. He returns to live with his dad while trying to get a job. Theo is a fireman werewolf and Zeki’s high school crush. After having been rejected from his mate, he is surviving as best as he can. Finding out his mate he’s back in town, will shake Theo badly. It seems both Zeki and Theo are determined to have some happiness, but who is going to woo whom?

The book left me thinking a lot. I was afraid to have missed something, at the end I understood it was just disappointment. I read a couple of other books by R. Cooper and really enjoyed them. This one wasn’t a winner to me. It left me confused and hungry for more of Zeki and Theo together.

I don’t know how to explain it well, but I found the author’s writing style different. It was still endearing, but a little harder to read, sometimes with too long sentences. I had a hard time getting used to it. Moreover she chose to focus the writing more on the werewolves world and its rules, than show us Theo and Zeki together. She explained really well the world we were going to read about, I knew every little detail but I missed the chemistry between the MCs, because during the book they met and spoke directly a very few times. In fact if you like a slow burn story this is your book, cause really, nothing happens between them until two-thirds in.

At the same time what I loved in this book is the fact that I was able to feel the characters, feel their emotions. The author made an amazing work at showing to us what they are thinking, what’s bothering them, everything that came from within their minds and hearts.

Also there were some funny scenes, Zeki’s attack of verbal diarrhea were hilarious and I often found myself take a breath for him. While Theo didn’t speak through all the book, only at the end. Perfect for each other.

I loved the title, as soon as I saw it I wanted it. The point is, in my opinion, it’s misleading, it doesn’t fit the story. I was so curious about how to wooing your mate, but they actually courting didn’t happen or better, it happened but it wasn’t showed to us. Even the dates are showed to us as Theo remember them briefly.

So to me A Beginner’s Guide To Wooing Your Mate wasn’t what I was expecting from R. Cooper, nonetheless a good story, I just would have preferred it was delivered in a better way.

Cover art by Paul Richmond. A fabulous cover, like all the other works by Paul!

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press  All Romance (ARe)    Amazon   Buy It Here

Book Details:

Published March 13th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press LLC
ebook, 200 pages
ISBN13 9781632168207
Edition language English
Being(s) in Love series
Some Kind Of Magic #1
A Boy And His Dragon #2
A Beginner’s Guide To Wooing Your Mate #3

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