Review: Fighting against gravity by Rutherford Rankin

 Series: Standalone

Genre: LGBT (trans* character)

Rating: 1/5 stars

Cover: I’m not too sure what it’s supposed to tell us.

Links: goodreads

Trigger warnings: trans*phobic, trans*phobia, homophobia, conversion therapy, sexual assault

Description: From a young age, Londres Leon feels different from the other boys. He plays with the wrong toys, finds the wrong things appealing, and disappoints his father, a brain injury survivor with a bad temper.


The Leons live in a small community and as Londres grows up, he finds it difficult to fit into the mold small-town society has placed him into. He disappoints his family and friends on a regular basis and his father’s outbursts ensure he never forgets exactly how different he is.

Londres is confused about his identity until he meets a new friend and figures out the truth about who he really is. As life begins to spin out of control, Londres nearly dies at the hands of Dr. Taylor, the director of a treatment camp for teenagers, before Londres and another camp prisoner make a narrow escape together.

Adulthood becomes easier for Londres, but the surprise ending of this story will leave you speechless.

The story of Londres Leon is more than a coming of age story. It’s more than an adventure. It’s more than you can ever imagine.

The debut novel from Rutherford Rankin tells a story of struggle, heartache, and tragedy with a surprise ending you have to read to believe.

Review: Oh wow. And I’m not meaning the good ‘oh wow’.

At first I would have rated this book 2 stars. The story jumps around in time and I was confused why Londres is telling some parts of his childhood to a social worker (it gets explained later though).

Overall details – important details – get glossed over. There are for example bad things happening in that conversion therapy, but Londres doesn’t really suffer from this. Escape from camp, never really think about it again.

Apart from a few sentences about make up and taking hormones, Londres doesn’t work on presenting as female. Like no walking exercises or voice training. Nothing. Okay, well, the breasts have to be operationally changed to a C cup.

A few people were forgotten as well in this story, I think. Londres bff disappears from one moment to the other as well as some relatives who were very supporting.

And a quick question: Are german tents different? Because Londres’ tent is locked. I have gone camping for so many years and I used different tents through the years and not one of them could be locked.

So, I didn’t really get a feel for Londres and I was a little bit bored. But okay, I could work with that.

If that would have been all, I would have given 2 stars, as I said. But then came the ending. (There are spoilers below, but I think it’s so very important for a possible reader to know this, so I am spoilering the ending.)

 

Londres falls in love with a girl when they are in conversion therapy (she was there for having too much sex, which is never again mentioned by the way). It’s instalove and I never get why she feels that way. But okay, that’s often the case. Moving on.

The girl (I can’t remember her name right now) kinda loves Londres too. But only as a boy. So Londres, who is a trans*woman and who finally has the means to present as a woman, taking hormones and getting a risky operation to have bigger breasts and who finally is happy with her body, stops being a woman! She stops taking hormones, grows a beard and gets another operation to remove her breasts. Jump in time and they are getting married. And probably live happily ever after. Londres does say being in a male body is like fighting against gravity, but come on. We don’t see no struggles and being loved by that woman is worth it (and that’s why so many people in cishet relationships come out as trans*? I don’t think so).

Isn’t that a romantic story? Faking who you are? And the other person knowing this but only ‘loving’ you if you fake it? What the ever lasting fuck? What kind of message is this supposed to send?! You can only be loved if you are cishet?!

Is there a way to give 0 stars? or better yet, minus 5 stars. I’m so angry with this story (as you’re probably noticing).

Disclaimer: I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

Review: A seditious affair by K.J. Charles

 Series: Society of gentlemen (book 2)

Genre: LGBT (m/m, trans* side character), historical, romance

Rating: 5/5 stars

Cover: Not the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, but oh well.

Links: goodreads

Trigger warnings: none

Description: Silas Mason has no illusions about himself. He’s not lovable, or even likable. He’s an overbearing idealist, a Radical bookseller and pamphleteer who lives for revolution . . . and for Wednesday nights. Every week he meets anonymously with the same man, in whom Silas has discovered the ideal meld of intellectual companionship and absolute obedience to his sexual commands. But unbeknownst to Silas, his closest friend is also his greatest enemy, with the power to see him hanged—or spare his life.

A loyal, well-born gentleman official, Dominic Frey is torn apart by his affair with Silas. By the light of day, he cannot fathom the intoxicating lust that drives him to meet with the Radical week after week. In the bedroom, everything else falls away. Their needs match, and they are united by sympathy for each other’s deepest vulnerabilities. But when Silas’s politics earn him a death sentence, desire clashes with duty, and Dominic finds himself doing everything he can to save the man who stole his heart.

Review: I need to rate this one more than 5 stars.

It really is that good. I was reading A seditious affair (love the title btw) while taking the bus to and from work. Bad idea. Not only did I nearly missed my stops, but… it’s really hot. Like, really, really. There doesn’t need to be actual sex scenes, just give me the foreplay and I’m a mess.

Silas and Dom are such a thrilling pairing and I love how much they grow, both as individuals and together. I can’t decide which of them I love more.

But aside from the thrilling romance, this novel makes you think, too. About politics and laws and the status quo.

I can’t wait to read it again. Please give me more of this pairing.

Merken

Review: Reaper of souls by Jordan L. Hawk

 Series: SPECTR (book 3)

Genre: LGBT (m/m), paranormal, romance

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Cover: So demonic

Links: goodreads

Trigger warnings: mentioning of suicide attempt

Description: When an incubus murders the powerful ally of an anti-paranormal senator, it’s up to hotshot Federal agent John Starkweather to catch the demon before it can kill again. Fortunately, he has backup, in the form of his boyfriend Caleb, a telekinetic possessed by the vampire spirit Gray.

As the political pressure mounts and bodies pile up, John discovers an old enemy protecting the incubus: the Fist of God, a group that believes all paranormals are evil. But why would the Fist work with a demon? And why would they let it kill one of their own allies?

John and Caleb need to find out fast. Because the incubus lurks at the intersection of love and longing, and it’s willing to turn their deepest desires against them.

Review: I didn’t enjoy this part as much as the others, but I still liked it.

I think Gray belongs to my top ten book characters, I simply can’t get enough of him. But I’ve come to like Caleb more and more, especially because he begins to think and reflect more.

Sadly the love between John and Caleb (and Gray?) feels a little bit forced and way too fast. But I’m a sucker for slow-building romance, so…

Anyway, I found this case’s idea very interesting, but the case itself wasn’t that great. Still good, but not as good as it could have been. It is realistic, though. If there were such things as incubi and the like (maybe there are?).

Top six ALL TIME favourite books with female lead characters

Like always this meme is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Go and take a look at their blog!

We were supposed to do a genre but I couldn’t decide. Plus I feel like I would kinda repeat my other TTTs. So… books with female lead characters it is. Please note that the following list will not be LGBTQIA+ only. I do read other things after all.


 Here’s the thing by Emily O’Beirne

It’s only for a year. That’s what sixteen-year-old Zel keeps telling herself after moving to Sydney for her dad’s work. She’ll just wait it out until she gets back to New York and Prim, her epic crush/best friend, and the unfinished subway project. Even if Prim hasn’t spoken to her since that day on Coney Island.

But Zel soon finds life in Sydney won’t let her hide. There’s her art teacher, who keeps forcing her to dig deeper. There’s the band of sweet, strange misfits her cousin has forced her to join for a Drama project. And then there’s the curiosity that is the always-late Stella.

As she waits for Prim to explain her radio silence and she begins to forge new friendships, Zel feels strung between two worlds. Finally, she must figure out how to move on while leaving no one behind.

 

 The darkest minds by Alexandra Bracken

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.’

 

 The magicians’ guild by Trudi Canavan

“We should expect this young woman to be more powerful than our average novice, possibly even more powerful than the average magician.”

This year, like every other, the magicians of Imardin gather to purge the city of undesirables. Cloaked in the protection of their sorcery, they move with no fear of the vagrants and miscreants who despise them and their work-—until one enraged girl, barely more than a child, hurls a stone at the hated invaders…and effortlessly penetrates their magical shield.

What the Magicians’ Guild has long dreaded has finally come to pass. There is someone outside their ranks who possesses a raw power beyond imagining, an untrained mage who must be found and schooled before she destroys herself and her city with a force she cannot yet control.

 

 Flinging it by G. Benson

Frazer, head midwife at a hospital in Perth, Australia, is trying to make her corner of the world a little better by starting up a programme for at-risk parents. Not everyone is excited about her ideas. Surrounded by red tape, she finally has to team up with Cora, a social worker who is married to Frazer’s boss.
Cora is starting to think her marriage is beyond saving, even if she wants to. Feeling smothered by a domineering spouse, she grabs hold of the programme and the distraction Frazer offers with both hands. Soon the two women get a little too close and find themselves in a situation they never dreamed themselves capable of: an affair.
As the two fall deeper, both are torn between their taboo romance and their morals. But walking away from each other may not be as simple as they thought.

 

 

The winner’s curse by Marie Rutkoski

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. Set in a richly imagined new world,

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

 

 

 Me before you by Jojo Moyes

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.
What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.7

 


What are your all time favourite books?

Review: Misfits by Garrett Leigh

 Series: Standalone

Genre: LGBT (m/m/m), Romance

Rating: 5/5 stars

Cover: Those lips remind me of Jensen Ackles?

Links: goodreads, publisher

Trigger warnings: none

Description: Restaurant owner Tom Fearnes has loved his partner Cass for as long as he can remember, but their work often keeps them apart. When he meets a striking young man named Jake on the vibrant streets of Camden Town, their heady first encounter takes an unexpected turn.

Jake Thompson can hardly believe his luck when he wakes up in Tom’s bed. Tom is gorgeous, kind, and . . . taken. Tom’s explanation of his open relationship leaves Jake cold, but Tom is too tempting, and when hard times force Jake to accept Tom’s helping hand, he finds himself between two men who’ve lost their way.

Cass Pearson is a troubled soul. He loves Tom with all he has, but some days it feels like he hasn’t much to give. Jake seems like the perfect solution. Cass risks everything to push Jake and Tom together, but Jake resists, wary, until the darkness of Cass’s past comes to call. Then Jake finds himself the last man standing, and it’s time to dig deep and shine a light for the men he’s grown to love.

Review: I had really high expectations and guess what? They were surpassed!

This novel is settled in the restaurant industry and I love how important this setting is. There are so many details about food and restaurants…

Jake has Tourette’s syndrome, which is not forgotten through the story and there is no magical love cure! It is and stays a part of him.

Speaking of characters… all three are very interesting characters and I love how intriguing the relationships between them are. Misfits truly is not your typical romance. Usually I don’t quote in my reviews, but I have to do so now:

Fuck’s sake, Tom. I don’t want to be the most important thing in your life; I just want you to love me, and I know you do. ~ kindle pos. 1153

No unhealthy, dependant love in this love story! Isn’t this refreshing?

 

Review: Magnified by Mell Eight

 Series: Magnified (book 1)

Genre: LGBT (m/m), Paranormal, Romance

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

Cover: I’m a little bit confused. Does it have a hidden meaning I’m not getting? (edit: look at the comments below for justloveromance’s explanation of this cover)

Links: goodreads, publisher

Trigger warnings: Holocaust

Description: On her deathbed, Yani’s Great Grandmother reveals she has one last story from her past to tell: that of his Great Uncle Yakov, who helped her survive the Nazis. It’s a story of vampires and werewolves he can scarcely believe—and in the wake of his Great Grandmother’s death, Yani realizes the story is far from over.

The world of vampires and werewolves isn’t a safe place for a human, even one with Yani’s unusual family history. With danger at his door, the smart thing would be to run, but much like his Great Grandmother Yani has never been very good at running away—especially with his loved ones and the whole world at stake.

Review: The idea of this book is very interesting, but the outcome… not so much.

Let’s start with the good things, shall we? I loved how many supernatural creatures there were and how each species interacted with the others. The main character is jewish and it’s a big part of him, which was interesting, because I don’t know much about jewish culture. Sadly the book got very lecturing at times and… honestly, I don’t know why some information was in it. For example: Yani thinks about how Jews are not brawny (can you even say something like that about a people?) and then suddenly the reader gets told about Christoph Columbus and the Jews back then and I was like ‘Where’s the connection? Why do I need to know this now?’.

Even worse, I couldn’t connect with Yani or the other characters. I didn’t understand why he so readily accepts there are vampires (his uncle did the same by the way) and I didn’t feel the romance. And of course Yani is a special snowflake – I won’t tell you more, so no spoilers. Why can’t we have MCs who are just normal human beings in a world of supernatural? It would make a nice change, that’s for sure.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

Merken