Leipziger Buchmesse 2017

Just a quick heads up from a tired blogger: I’ll be at Leipziger Buchmesse/ Leipzig Book Fair on Friday and Saturday.

I never attended that one (only the one in Frankfurt), so I’m very excited. Well, I would be excited if that were my 10th time as well, so… Anyway. I won’t write any reviews this weekend (duh), but I will probably tweet sometimes/a lot. Feel free to follow me if you’re interested!

I try to write at least a few reviews next week. And of course I will write something about the Book Fair.

See you soon!

 

Review: What they always tell us by Martin Wilson

 Series: Standalone

Genre: LGBT (m/m), Romance

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Cover: I really like it.

Links: goodreads

Trigger warnings: mention of suicide attempt, child neglect mention

Description: JAMES AND ALEX have barely anything in common anymore – least of all their experiences in high school, where James is a popular senior and Alex is suddenly an outcast. But at home, there is Henry, the precocious 10-year-old across the street, who eagerly befriends them both. And when Alex takes up running, there is James’s friend Nathen, who unites the brothers in moving and unexpected ways.

Review: Why can’t there be more?!

There is no real end and at the same time it’s a very fitting end, if that makes any sense at all. But let’s start at the beginning.

I love how we get to read about both brothers’ life separately. Alex may be the mc, but James has his own life and he keeps living it after his brother’s failed suicide attempt. Their relationship changes because of this, but it comes back to being very sweet (unexpectedly sweet) and leaves a warm feeling inside you.

There is some romance in this novel, but it’s not the main focus. No, this is a story about recovery. And it’s a good one, a hopeful one. I still liked the pairing very much.

I enjoyed how the writing reads like the characters’ age. It’s not often done and when it is done, it can easily be overdone.

So you may ask why I’m only giving 4 stars if I enjoyed the characters, the story, the message, the writing… It’s all those girl bashing. Being female does not mean being weak. Yes I know a lot of males (and quite some females as well) see it that way, but guess what?

You can have characters being sexist and then have other characters telling them off for this! It’s not hard to do, you know? And if a character is sexist in his thoughts, you can make him change his mind. I’m sorry (no, I’m not), but this is really hitting a sore point with me and I’m not willing to overlook it because I like the book.

You should still read it.

Merken

Review: Future Leaders of Nowhere by Emily O’Beirne

 Series: Future Leaders (book 1)

Genre: LGBT (f/f, bisexual), Romance, YA

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Cover: Somehow I really love those little leafs…

Links: goodreads

Trigger warnings: none

Description: “Finn’s solid. Not in body, but in being. She’s gravity and kindness and all those good things that anchor.”

“Willa’s confusing. Sometimes she’s this sweet, sensitive soul. Other times she’s like a flaming arrow you hope isn’t coming for you.”

Finn and Willa have been picked as team leaders in the future leader camp game. The usually confident Finn doesn’t know what’s throwing her more, the fact she’s leading a team of highly unenthusiastic overachievers or coming up against fierce, competitive Willa. And Willa doesn’t know which is harder, leaving her responsibilities behind to pursue her goals or opening up to someone.

Soon they both realise that the hardest thing of all is balancing their clashing ideals with their unexpected connection. And finding a way to win, of course.

Review: Is Emily O’Beirne even capable of writing a book I do not like?

If you follow my blog/my reviews you know that she is one of my favourite authors. But it’s not like I’m blindly liking her books – they just are really good and each one has a different story and I just love her books, okay?!

Ahem.

Future Leaders of Nowhere has a very interesting idea behind it. What makes one a leader? And what makes one a good leader? I think this question may be more important now than it was a few years ago. There are quite a few elections this year in europe for example and people are really confused and afraid (which is not a good combination, let me tell you).

So the game that’s played in this novel is really interesting and important. I would love to take part in it myself. But of course not only the story is interesting.

There is quite a diverse racial cast in Future Leaders of Nowhere and each character has their own personality. I really hope we will be able to read more about them in the second installment. But I really can’t wait to read more about Finn and Willa.  I enjoyed how both girls are this fierce human beings with their own thoughts and ideals instead of one being the doer and the other doing what she is told.

Their romance itself is a slow building one, full of confusion and longing and I really felt for them. Those romances are the best, aren’t they? Of course there is some drama that’s keeping them from their happiness, but it doesn’t feel forced but realistic and… it simply had to happen.

Speaking of drama: Not only is one of the characters ON PAGE bisexual, but the drama is not because of that identity! It was really refreshing to not read about a character being anxious because their partner is bi and how they of course will be missing the other gender because of that – which is plain bullshit but a lot of people believe that bullshit. I would have been very confused if Emily O’Beirne would have written something like that though.

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

Review: Whiteout by Elyse Springer

 Series: Seasons of Love (book 1)

Genre: LGBT (m/m), Romance

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Cover: Sooo beautiful. I had to buy the printed copy because of this cover!

Links: goodreads

Trigger warnings: Suicide (I’ve got no memory of this but since I wrote this in my notebook… it’s no big part of this story for sure!)

Description: Noah Landers wakes up one day with a headache and no memory of where—or who—he is. Jason, the man taking care of him, tries to fill in some of the blanks: they’re in a cabin in Colorado on vacation, and Noah slipped on ice and hit his head. But even with amnesia, Noah knows Jason is leaving out something important.

Jason O’Reilly is sexy as hell, treats Noah like he’s precious, and seems determined to make this the romantic getaway they’d apparently dreamed of together. But Noah’s more concerned that he’s trapped alone with Jason in the middle of a blizzard while his slowly-returning memories bring hints of secrets and betrayal.

Noah’s not sure what’s the truth and what’s a lie. But as he learns who he is—and who Jason is to him—he’s forced to reevaluate everything he believes about himself, about loyalty . . . and about love.

Review: Plot twist! would be a great way to sum this one up.

I did not expect this. Not at all. Not saying I expected it to be bad (I wouldn’t have bought it if that were the case), but I wasn’t expected to be that… manipulated. In a good way. You usually know what’s going on in amnesia stories, don’t you? Not in this one. I was so sure and then suddenly everything did a 180 and when I say everything I mean everything. Plot, setting, characters…

I love how this book starts with drama and then the aftermath of said drama develops before the readers’ eyes. Usually you get drama near the end, it’s resolved, end of book. And while I do like reading those things, I didn’t know what I was missing. It was so great to be able to read about Noah’s growth because of said drama – and may I add that this growth is a sure case of showing instead of telling?

To be honest Noah made me think of myself and my life a little. The things I did and did not do… But I feel like I’m (finally) on the right track, so enough about me.

There are little tidbits in this novel that show the author herself. And I love how I can see her in this first published work of hers. It made me wanna go and see way more musicals, too and who can say no to Harry Potter references?

Like I said I loved Noah’s development and I really enjoyed the romance between him and Jason – especially because there is so much focus on them as individuals. It’s Noah and Jason, not Noah-and-Jason. But the character I loved most is Abby. She is only a side character in Whiteout, but she will be getting her own story in Thaw (YAY!). I can’t wait to read her story. An ace librarian? Count me in!

If you’re looking for a slow building and thoughtful romance, go and buy Whiteout. What are you waiting for?

Review: Rock Hard by Olivia Cunning

 Series: Sinners on Tour (book 2)

Genre: Erotica, Romance, LGBT (bi side character)

Rating: 1.5/5 Stars

Cover: Overdone tbh

Links: goodreads

Trigger warnings: sexual harassment, drug addiction, slut shaming

Description: An ultimatum can break your heart…

Every night lead singer, Sed Lionheart whips thousands of women into a frenzy with his voice alone. But the stage is the only place Sed feels any passion since he lost Jessica…

If you’re not willing to break all the rules…

It shattered her heart, but law student Jessica broke off her engagement to Sed, determined to be successful on her own terms. But no other man can ever hold a candle to Sed…

Then a chance meeting and tortuously close quarters lead to uncontrollable flares of passion and rediscovery of their unique penchant for public encounters. Now, in addition to the risk of mutual heartbreak every time they get together, they’re in danger of truly scandalous public exposure…

Review: Can they stop fucking for a minute? OMFG!

There’s a lot of sex. End of review.

No, seriously, I can’t tell you a lot about this book because it’s seems to be only about fucking. Which would be alright if it were only erotica, but it’s supposed to erotic romance… and you need plot for romance and character development and so much more.

You’re probably already guessing that I did not ship Jessica and Sed. At all. Not even a little bit. Honestly I wasn’t giving a chance to start rooting for their romance because there is none.

And to go even further… I kinda despise them. Little spoiler ahead probably, but I won’t be giving too much away, I think. One of their friends is addicted to drugs and they help him get clean without a hospital. While he is in withdrawal they have to fuck right next to him because they just can’t help themselves. What. The. Fuck. Empathy levels are below zero. How can you be horny in a situation like that?! And then go through with it…

The only parts I liked in this novel where those featuring Trey. He is one of my favourite characters in this series and the following one.

Okay, that’s not entirely true. At the beginning I did like Jessica. I was so proud of her for taking her life into her own hands and not giving a fuck about the future Sed had planned for her. God, was he an asshole… And at first I thought there would be no female hating/slut shaming. And then it began and become worse and worse and worse.

FYI: After writing this review I’m lowering my rating from 2 stars to 1.5 stars. I wasn’t aware of how much I hated this book until I started putting it into words and now it doesn’t feel like two stars book to me anymore.

Merken

Review: The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic

 Series: All for the Game (book 1)

Genre: LGBT (m/m), Romance

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Cover: Simply perfect.

Links: goodreads

Trigger warnings: Suicide attempt mention, child abuse, drug slipping, overdose mention

Description: Neil Josten is the newest addition to the Palmetto State University Exy team. He’s short, he’s fast, he’s got a ton of potential—and he’s the runaway son of the murderous crime lord known as The Butcher.

Signing a contract with the PSU Foxes is the last thing a guy like Neil should do. The team is high profile and he doesn’t need sports crews broadcasting pictures of his face around the nation. His lies will hold up only so long under this kind of scrutiny and the truth will get him killed.

But Neil’s not the only one with secrets on the team. One of Neil’s new teammates is a friend from his old life, and Neil can’t walk away from him a second time. Neil has survived the last eight years by running. Maybe he’s finally found someone and something worth fighting for.

Review: Can I marry a book?!

I read the e-book and then I had to buy the printed copy and reread it – that should tell you enough about how much I love this book/series.

Maybe one of the first things I noticed where how greatly done the female characters are. In a lot of m/m romances there are next to no females and if there are they are rather blank. Not here. Each one has her own personality and past. I enjoyed as well how Exy teams are mixed teams. Speaking of Exy: I would love to see a game live but sadly that’s probably never gonna happen (since it’s a fictive sport)…

But not all is nice and easy in this book. Far from it really. It’s dark. It’s violent. It’s perfect. Seriously, there is a lot of violence in this series, but it’s so amazingly written (both the violence and the non-violence), but the most amazing thing is Andrew. I love his character so fucking much…!

The story itself is slowly developing but far from boring. It’s simply not rushed.

Even though I have read the entire series I can’t wait to reread the second installment and then the third very soon!

Review: An Unseen Attraction by K.J. Charles

 Series: Sins of the cities (book 1)

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

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Cover: I love how “in your face” POC it is.

Links: goodreads, publisher

Trigger warnings: none

Description: Lodging-house keeper Clem Talleyfer prefers a quiet life. He’s happy with his hobbies, his work—and especially with his lodger Rowley Green, who becomes a friend over their long fireside evenings together. If only neat, precise, irresistible Mr. Green were interested in more than friendship…

Rowley just wants to be left alone—at least until he meets Clem, with his odd, charming ways and his glorious eyes. Two quiet men, lodging in the same house, coming to an understanding… it could be perfect. Then the brutally murdered corpse of another lodger is dumped on their doorstep and their peaceful life is shattered.

Now Clem and Rowley find themselves caught up in a mystery, threatened on all sides by violent men, with a deadly London fog closing in on them. If they’re to see their way through, the pair must learn to share their secrets—and their hearts.

Review: If this were my first K.J. Charles book, I’m not sure I would read one again. Luckily it’s not!

If you follow my blog, you know I simply love the Society of Gentlemen series (and if you’re not following it you know it now). But somehow everything I love about that series is missing here.

The characters are interesting enough on their own at first. I really enjoyed reading about Clem, who is half-indian and somewhat of a black sheep in his family. And at first I liked his friendship with Rowley, but… to me it stayed a friendship. The romance was neither believable nor interesting. It felt rather forced.

But I can still enjoy a book with a lacking romance if the other parts manage to captivate me. They didn’t here. The mystery soon became boring and felt way to long.

I’ve read this book in december and apart from remembering how I struggled through it and how long it took me to finish it, nothing stands out in my memory. That’s one of the reasons why it took me so long to write this review. I just don’t know what to tell you – aside from ‘meh’ maybe. Of course I tried to take notes while reading but even that was hard.

If you’ve never read a K.J. Charles book before, maybe start with another one and then come back to this one.

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