~Review~Bear, Otter, and The Kid (Bear, Otter, and the Kid #1) by TJ Klune~

 


36490560Three years ago, Bear McKenna’s mother took off for parts unknown with her new boyfriend, leaving Bear to raise his six-year-old brother Tyson, aka the Kid. Somehow they’ve muddled through, but since he’s totally devoted to the Kid, Bear isn’t actually doing much living—with a few exceptions, he’s retreated from the world, and he’s mostly okay with that. Until Otter comes home.
Otter is Bear’s best friend’s older brother, and as they’ve done for their whole lives, Bear and Otter crash and collide in ways neither expect. This time, though, there’s nowhere to run from the depth of emotion between them. Bear still believes his place is as the Kid’s guardian, but he can’t help thinking there could be something more for him in the world… something or someone.


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Posted in *****5 Stars*****, By Rating, Home, LGBT Books, M/M Book, Reviews by~Simone~

~Review~ Bitter Legacy By Dal Maclean

 

~Review by ~Simone~

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Bitter Legacy By Dal Maclean

5-very-impressed-stars

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First of all, if there is one thing I hate in my books it would be cheating. I could instantly name you two quite popular series I will probably never read because of this fact alone. So you can imagine that I was more than just a little bit torn about reading this book. I have read other reviews that mentioned exactly this would happen here, but two of my close friends were absolutely thrilled and I resolved –although a bit reluctantly at first- to give it a go since there is always the option to give up.


Hahaha, that was a good one, Simone! No way I could have put this book down, once I picked it up.

I was hooked from the beginning imageedit_657_7921361099and absolute determined to pull it through, no matter what. The main reasons were the great writing style for one thing, although I have to admit that at first,I had some issues with the Scottish accent of Jamie’s partner. It took me a while to juggle the strange vowels into the pronunciation I’m used to.36564-big-smile-emoticon-for-facebook


On the other hand, there is Jamie…

Hotshot Detective Sergeant with the London Police Department and on a fast-track promotion to Detective Inspector. He is working on a murder case that is getting more and more complex by the minute and ends by pure chance as Ben’s flatmate while following a lead. I loved Jamie from his first appearance. facebook-comments-emoticon-with-heart-eyesHe is gay, but very unexperienced on this matter and desperately searching for friends outside from work with who he can be himself. He virtually radiates loneliness and his situation leads
to a kind of insta-attraction for Ben I could totally relate to, by the way.


Ben’s description alone made me almost imageedit_541_8771612565drool all over my Kindle.


Jamie fells really hard and fast and initiates a sexual relationship with Ben, although he knows about Ben’s affairs with other men. Of course he hopes for more and quite honestly, who would not? His struggle to make this relationship work was sometimes quite hard to take and needless to say that I was really madred-angry-emoticon-for-facebook at Ben for making Jamie suffer. Ben’s ‘cheating’ was no reason for me to give up on this book, though. For me, cheating requires an established relationship to start with and at no point Ben implies being in a relationship with Jamie.


We only get Jamie’s POV and he simply assumes this being the case. Well, this does not make it any easier and I hated that Jamie got hurt in the process, but somehow from the very beginning I had a feeling that there is more to Ben than he lets on, regarding his personality, but also his feelings for Jamie. It felt as if he wanted to keep Jamie at distance, because his own feelings were too deep and he wants to assure himself that he would be in control over his emotions that way. The only way to accomplish that for him would be to lash out. As I learned towards the end I was right and the reason for his behavior is evoked by and buried deep in his past. Of course that is no excuse, but I could empathize somehow…36564-big-smile-emoticon-for-facebook


As for the case, the murder investigation is just that, an investigation. You get no wild pursuits (okay, maybe except for one) and no overly nail-biting situations, but solid police work with lots of footwork, internet research, interviews of witnesses and so on. Nevertheless, I was a nervous wreck when the case hits very close to home for Jamie and the resolution of the investigation almost wrecked me. I never hated so much being right about a killer and I probably never had so much compassion for one, either. He almost broke my heart…broken-heart-emoticon-for-facebook-comments


What I loved the most about the ending was that Jamie and Ben got a second chance at their love,sparkling-heart-symbol-for-facebook even though it felt more like a solid HFN than a HEA, but still… I hope to see it turn into a HEA someday.

Highly recommended!

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Posted in *****5 Stars*****, By Rating, Home, M/F Book, M/F Reviews by~Jan~, Romance Books

~Review~ A Love Letter to Whiskey by Kandi Steiner

 

~Review by ~Jan~

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A Love Letter to Whiskey by Kandi Steiner

*****5 Stars for all the hell it put me through.*****

With over 150 books read in 2016 , A Love Letter to Whiskey is one of my Top 5.


It is funny how a story can pull me totally in, as if what is happening there is my own business, when in fact, it is not. I am only the reader.

I am pointing this out because I’ve read stories where I am totally engrossed by, yet they keep me on my seat, contained and hypnotized, like watching a movie. Open mouth and all, drooling. Some were brilliant, 5 white-star reads.


And then there are the others, where I cross an invisible line and stop being a reader to become a character.
I think and think and I cannot find why or what triggers this magic portal open to me. Normally, when it happens, I put myself in the heroine’s shoes.

This time, I couldn’t.


From the start, I knew it would be a difficult read. I just didn’t realize how much. Before I even reached the middle it escalated for an extra#hard#extra#difficult#ohnoshit level.
I heard when the ring of the alarm bell went on, telling me to get the hell out of the story, but my instincts were deaf.
Don’t take me wrong, I wanted to read it. I just didn’t want to get involved in that freaking horrible mess. I would rather watch it like a movie.


The heroine:

“B” was her name. Geezzzz… I swear I’ve tried to keep it cool but I failed miserably.
B did a number on me!

I shouted at her so many times I lost count of it. She had happiness at her fingertips, MORE.THAN.ONCE. What was she waiting for?! It was like she had a self-punishment button pressed on all the bloody time!

For the life of me, I can’t believe I would have made so many mistakes over and over and over, again. Who wants to be a person who is constantly digging a hole to bury herself? Not me. I became her bestie instead, for my sake!


Up to about 65% in the story, I was only blaming B for this whole fucking mess. Her inability to see what was right in front of her nose was making me lose my marbles. Because come on… Jamie.

I screamed at her: Jamie is your other half!!! Jamie is your soul mate. Jamie IS IT!!!! She didn’t listen. I guess that portal only works in one way.

65% was also the mark where Jamie got on my nerves. He did the unthinkable. I know I have no right, he was moving on, but how could he?!?!megaphone-emoticonwarning-sign (This is spoiler) How can a person consider starting a life with someone, being in love with somebody else? ( spoiler end)]


Oh.the.feels.

There wasn’t a single moment in the story I could breathe normally. It was a hold your breath forever kind of story. I felt drained at the end.imageedit_615_5982143454 In fact, the author should pay me a few therapy sessions to bring me back to my placid normal state of mind and put my heart at peace again.36564-big-smile-emoticon-for-facebook

The truth is: the whole book was a building up for a train wreck to happen. I thought it couldn’t get worse, but from there on, about +- 65% it was a ,“oh shit” “no shit” after another.


AT 90% I was choking on my emotions and aching. I felt with both MC’s all the shitty things that were there: guilt, regret, love, lust, desperation, want, need, pain, fear, and loss.


My bestie, B, had once more, a chance to make it right. Did she? You asked me. No, she didn’t. ..  I know, I know… I felt the same.        Let’s just get rid of the body.
                                     


I am trying to make it funny here, but it wasn’t funny in the story. The story hurts, it was like poking an open wound with a stick.

One year spanned in a few pages and at 92% in the story, B and Jamie are face to face again. Both broken by too many mistakes. Some ogling… small talk…. and Jamie finally asks:
“ARE YOU HAPPY?” That sentence broke something inside of me. That was the moment this reader couldn’t hold back the tears.


I know I am being vague. And tragic. But it got to me. 
I know my review won’t help anyone but I needed to get this out of my chest.
GR = free online therapy. Besides, I don’t want to spoil this for anyone.
Now, I need some time to get my shit together because although the end was not bad, this story still raw and hurting.


“I think sometimes life I think this story is about embracing what hurts because pain is one of the most vivid emotions we can feel.emoticon-of-heart-stabbed-with-an-arrow-for-facebook-comments Pain reminds us that we are alive, and I’ll always appreciate that stinging reminder.”

What is it in a story that makes you hurt and yet you want to shelve it as a precious bookquestion-mark-emoticon


 

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