A Stella Release Day Review: My Dragon My Knight by John Inman

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RATING 4,5 out of 5 stars

Danny Sims is in over his head, torn between his abusive lover, Joshua, and Jay Holtsclaw, the bartender up the street, who offers Danny the one thing he never gets at home: understanding.

When Joshua threatens to get rid of Danny’s terrier, Danny knows he has to act fast. Afraid of what Joshua will do to the dog, and afraid of what Joshua will do to him if he tries to leave, Danny does the only thing he can do.

He runs.

But Danny isn’t a complete fool. He has enough sense to run into the arms of the man who actually cares for him—the man he’s beginning to trust.

Just as their lives together are starting to fall into place, Danny and Jay learn how vengeful Joshua can be.

And how dangerous.

I have to say I wasn’t expecting a story like the one I got to read in My Dragon, My Knight. I’m used to laughing with John Inman and his works, while this new release is more serious and angsty, I was waiting for some drama of course, the blurb is pretty clear, but I wasn’t ready for this level of abuse.

I’d like to make a little promise. The book speaks loudly of domestic violence, if you are not comfortable with it, the author has written a lot of great and different stories, just go there and skip this new one. I read My Dragon, My Knight and soon after another story with the same theme, and although I have never been victim of a violence like this, it made me cringe more than once. I soaked up and then I couldn’t take it anymore.

That said, John Inman has confirmed how talented he is, I loved the plot, I loved the characters but what conquered me was the writing. This novel was a pleasure to read, I spent one night on it and I didn’t even realize the time passing. It totally captured me and my heart. The words were never too many and just the right ones. Yes the writing totally satisfied me, actually the whole story filled my craving for a good read. You know when you read a book and you want more? Not always is a positive thing, often it means the author lacked somewhere or you simply wasn’t in the mood. Well, this time my mood and My Dragon, My Knight aligned.

Danny had a special place in my heart. I was happy for him to have found Jay on his path, first a friend to trust, then a place where he and his dog Jingles can take a shelter, finally a special person to love. And then there is Jay. Gentle, caring and ready to wait for Danny to be brave. I loved how, although he had lost his lover just the year before, Jay wan’t closed in his grieving, on the contrary his openness made him more lovable.

Now I would like to explain why I didn’t give My Dragon, My Knight the full five stars, because not sure if I have been clear so far but I really adored this book. One thing I couldn’t overcome and ignore, the death of a second character, not going to tell you who because I don’t want to spoil your reading, but of course someone will die. I could have easily done without that.

My Dragon, My Knight by John Inman is a winner, I surely will reread it in the next future, it has all the little details I like to find in my books, friends to lovers, age-gap, characters with huge baggage on their shoulders, cats! I feel to highly recommend it.

The cover art by Reese Dante is simple, real and fitting. I like the font, the colors, everything.

Sales Links

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 200 pages

Publication Date: March 31st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN13 9781635332858

Edition Language English

A Sammy Review: Song of the Lonesome Cowboy (The Society of Masters ) by Lynn Kelling

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

If William could find love and escape oppressors, find his own kind of happiness, maybe there was hope for all of us—myself included. I wanted to write a song about that—the struggle to own your dreams, to chase them and hold on no matter who tried to kick you down. Sometimes it was like love and happiness was a big bucking bull, trying to knock you off, to bolt free or throw you into the dirt, and all you could do was hold on and pray.

Song of the Lonesome Cowboy coverThey say that fame comes with a price. For many people that price means their privacy, the constant, watchful eyes of people just waiting for you to mess up so they can catch it on camera. That’s one payment for fame, but for Tucker, that’s barely a paper cut compared to the way his debts have been paid.

He sold himself to get where he is now, famous and just finishing a tour with his best friend. For six years he’s had a shadow following him, haunting him inside and out. The end of the tour and a champagne delivery bring that shadow into view, looming even greater.

Jess Grayville, a member of the band, seems to be the only one to see through the facade Tucker’s carefully constructed and always thought he held in place so well. But Jess isn’t just going to let him drift along anymore, but in order to move on, Tucker will need to face unimaginable demons, starting with himself.

Everyone had secrets. People wanted to fit you into a neat little box, but life wasn’t like that. We were all more complicated than we appeared to be on the outside. It was a good thing, something to be thankful for. All of those unexpected details were what gave people and circumstances their beauty.

First, I want to put it out there that I’m a fairly heartless person when it comes to books. Yeah, I feel what they write, but I don’t really become captivated easily. When people say dark, I often expect it to be a difficult topic with a lot of angst and pain thrown on top of it. This book I would consider to be truly dark – not just an imitation of the theme.

The author doesn’t simply skim by horrible memories of rape and abuse, Ms. Kelling takes them head on and in graphic detail. The thing is, as horrible as it is, she doesn’t do it just to have these scenes thrown in. They serve a purpose, a point… they are necessary to understanding Tucker and his pain. I truly felt my heartstrings being pulled on during this book, and the sadness ran quite deep. To put it simply, this book is not for the faint of heart. At times, it’s literally like reading someone’s living nightmare.

So why do it? Well, because books like this give me faith in humanity. They show people in their darkest, most vulnerable moments, and then it gives them hope. Is this hope always easy? No. It’s difficult and oftentimes tragic, the road is rocky, but the fact is that there is a road, and these are stories worth telling.

The author did a fantastic job of capturing the thought process of someone with an abusive past. There was conflicted thoughts and Tucker really went through a process with himself, one that continued even after the last page. There was no easy fix, and I appreciated the reality in that.

Now to the relationship, which really was not, in my eyes, the primary focus of this story, but it was a really lovely part. I really enjoyed seeing them come together. I would’ve loved to find out more about Jess though, as I felt his story was half told. But still, I appreciated their love and how they grew together.

The story was hard to get through but it was still a good book. Unfortunately, the cover by Siolnatine is a complete no go for me. I appreciate the symbolism of things such as the chains and the dark background, but beyond that, it’s really not an attractive cover for a good book.

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

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 270 pages
Published February 10th 2015 by Fantastic Fiction Publishing
original titleSong of the Lonesome Cowboy
ASINB00S8HLP9C
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://forbidden-fiction.com/library/story/LK1-1.000185
seriesThe Society of Masters