Seems I suffered a bit of burnout after reading like a mad-woman last week. I ended up skimming through lots of my old books rather than focussing on something new. Reading an old favourite doesn't require the same level of concentration that a new one does, but I am getting back to it. I'm starting to freak because my TBR list is over 10. LOL I know for some (who shall remain nameless *Tracy*) that's NUTHIN' but for me its a big deal. Probably the reason I read like a madwoman right after I buy a bunch of books, so I can get the number down. ANYWAY, he's my short update.
Cheating Chance by James Buchanan (177 pages)
I've been vowing to read this series for evah because I really like this author and I like cop/mystery type books. I had a read a few shorts like in the Toy Box Rope anothology but never delved. So finally. Brandon is a tattooed pierced cop who meets goth boy Nick at a gothCon. Brandon lives in Vegas and works for the gaming people making sure you don't doctor the slot machines. They hit it off but Brandon is waaaaay in the closet. There is a whole mystery of someone cheating at slots and Nick gets sucked into it and Brandon has to rescue him. I really felt for Nick though, having to deal with someone who is so far in the closet and never plans to come out because of his job. I'd like to believe that police forces are not so closed minded but I'm afraid I might be wrong. So I really felt Nick got the raw end of the relationship deal and wanted to slap Brandon upside the head a few times. But they are adorable and combined all my fave things, goth boys, tattoos and piercings and motorcycles. Sigh. I'm reading the second one now.
The Lost Books by Evangeline Anderson (168 pages)
This is two stories, one shorty and one medium. In Broken Vows Daniel decides to head down to the gay strip and find out if he really is gay. He misses his stop and ends up in the vampire part of town. After being stopped by a nasty vampire he is rescued by Gabrielle who takes him home to remove the mark of the bad vampire and put his own Guardian mark to protect him. Daniel also gets him to show him the buttsecks ropes and falls in love (in minutes). Gabrielle sends him away because he's too young but finds him 8 years later when Daniel is a up and coming artist and he's been miserable because no one lives up to Gabrielle as a boyfriend.
In Blood Hustler James is out wandering around depressed because his companion of a hundred years or so is dead and rescues young (18) hustler Tad from a REALLY bad vampire. He ends up taking him home and they are attracted but he doesn't want to use Tad. Tad comes back the next day and they decide to try it. There is some thing where if he feeds off Tad while having sex with him then Tad stays permanently young but not a vampire and they are bound forever. Tad's all up for it but James isn't so sure. Tad's got some shit happening with being raped by his step-Dad, James eventually sends him home with his memory erased. When Tad remembers he almost gets suckd out (not off) by the bad vamp, the step-father gets his and Tad and James live happily ever after.
My only concerns was this ran very close to the insta-love thing for me. Because its a paranormal I can kind of let it go, but in Daniel's case it was within hours of meeting Gabrielle and in Tad's case I got the impression he just wanted someone to accept and love him and James fit the bill. Could have been any nice guy. But if I suspend my disbelief that two teenagers can fall in love for evah and evah within minutes of meetings I enjoyed it. And really, why aren't more bad guys like the step-father punished properly? There's always this high road bullshit. Nope, kill em I say. :-D So I was happy the uber-bad vamp got his dinner.
Off the Beaten Path by Katrina Strauss (140 pages)
Travis seems to spend most of his time sucking off his straight roommate and other guys at college where he's on a scholarship but doesn't advertise he's gay. He gets caught spray painting the gay granola frat house (he is innocent of course) and his punishment is to go on a volunteer work vacation with Kyle and two other members of the frat. He's NOT thrilled even if Kyle is hot and Kyle would rather eat meat than spend time with Travis. So they go to the park, share a tent and bodily fluids once they acknowledge their hotness. Kyle realizes Travis isn't so bad but thinks they are too different and unhappiness ensues. There is this who subtext with the baby raccoons that someone commented kind of went OTT on sweetness and while I love me some baby raccoons I have to agree. Could have found another way to end it but it didn't ruin it form. I have to say I loved the character of Mac, the token lesbian. LOL Now I'm all aware of women in books since Wave's post I have to say that I thought she was rational, funny and didn't get into the whole interfering mode that many chicks in books hit. The other gay character was fine as well but he was just kind of there for me. So I liked Kyle and Travis even if Kyle was holier than thou most of the time.
Beautiful Boys by Anne Cain (104 pages)
This is four interlocking shorts in that one or more character from each story knows/is friends with a character in the other stories. Number 1 is Dean who goes on vacation to Greece with his ex. Dumb move right off the start. His ex strands him on some desert isle (shades of Gilligan, really, can you avoid singing that song when you hear that phrase?) and he gets it on with some totally random stranger and is suddenly over his ex and in love. Ooookay. I didn't really get what the hell the stranger was on doing on Dean's isle but whatever.
Second one is Dean's brother Neil who believes his horoscope and bad luck and all that. On his birthday his coworkers throw a surpise party and during the stripper he breaks a mirror and is sure his life is over. The stripper (Jinx) helps him clean up and admits he can related because he brings doom and gloom to everyone around him. He claims to have a boyfriend but when Neil tracks him down he lied to protect him and they decide to get together and maybe bad luck is not quite so certain. I liked this on the best because it was kind of extreme and Neil was such a whack job that he was funny. So I found it amusing.
Third is Nathan (friend of Jinx) who is crushing big time on his straight roomie. Basically turns out roomie is soooo not straight and has been equally crushing and they hit the sheets, um, couch.
Fourth is Andy (Neil's coworker) and Luke who are graphic designers. They are constantly bitching as Andy won't admit that Luke is good and Luke takes over Andy's projects. One night at a bar they find out they live in the same freaking apartment building and start sniping at each other until they are forced to fuck it out. Umm. Okay. I'm way too meek to get off on hate you/fuck you relationships like this one.
All in all they were okay. But I'd say the second was my favorite and they are cute steamy reads that consist of mostly sex and not much talking except for #2.