Special thanks to Leontine from Leontine's Book Realm for the super header.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day after Boxing Day - What's that called?

Oh yeah, Sunday. The trees look lovely after yesterday's freezing rain, it seems to have stopped now. I should go out and buy lettuce for the rabbit but we'll see how motivated I get or if I watch Star Trek movies all day.

Smart Alex by AKM Miles (197 pages)

Smart, as everyone calls him, grew up in a tiny town where he felt he was the only gay guy on earth. He heads off to university in the city hoping to find more like himself. His first day in the dorms he runs across Tommy and Mike necking in the hallway. He invites them in and explains he's just so damn happy to find gay people. When Smart's homophobic roomie shows up they quickly switch so that he can share with Tommy while Mike lives at home with his homophobic parents. Things go well although Smart wishes he had someone. One night Mike is gaybashed on his way home from school and Smart ends up as the liaison for Tommy and Mike at the hospital dealing with Mike's parents. He meets Alex a nurse and they hit it off. Mike then goes to Tommy's parents farm to recover and deal with the psychological aftermath of the bashing and Alex and Smart get to know each other better. A few niggles, it said that Smart was youngest in his class so would be only 17 when he graduated and heads off to University, and Tommy and Mike are older, at least by one year or two. But then later he claims they are all nearly 20. Huh? The whole book takes place his first semester on campus. And they go to a gay bar (only drinking soda) but no one questions them there. This takes place in the US too, not Canada where 18 or 19 is the legal age. Also these guys talk about their feelings ALL the time. LOL Not like most young men I'd imagine. I think it dealt pretty well with the aftermath of such an attack and Mike's reactions (not that I'd really know thankfully) but there were some things I had to overlook to make it more enjoyable.

Mistletoe on the Mountain by PD Singer (14 pages)

More follow-up stories. This is a little Christmas short about Jake and Kurt of Fire and Snow on the Mountain. Jake knows that what Kurt really wants is Jake to acknowledge him in public, to be "out". Jake just can't seem to bring himself to do it. They talk and find out Kurt was in the same position years ago and the relationship fell apart because Kurt couldn't admit publicly his relationship. Finally after avoiding a freaking town full of mistletoe, Jake makes his move at the Christmas dinner hosted by their friends and plants one on Kurt in front of everyone, the best Christmas gift ever. A cute little story and I can imagine that being forced to pretend your not with someone you love in public must grate on nerves after a time.

Love Bites by Jade Falconer (52 pages)

Yes, I'm reading a Halloween short or two. Shut up, it's AFTER Christmas, technically and the cover has nothing to do with the story, it's just one of those covers they make up for all stories in a series.

Matthew's boyfriend died a year ago and he finally agrees to go to a Halloween party at a club with some friends. He's only there a few minutes when he meets Peter who's dressed as a vampire. Within minutes they are on their way to Matthews place for some hot smexin'. Matthew is totally hooked and Peter has to leave before dawn. Doo doo doo doo *insert Twilight zone music* They get together the next night and have more smokin' hot sex and Matthew is even more hooked after Peter bites him and Peter tells him he's a vampire and Matthew is good with that and declares his love (24 hours later). But I'll let it go since there is a paranormal aspect. It was an okay story.

The Carpenter and the Fairy by Cassandra Gold (33 pages)

More Halloween but no paranormal. First note, when you open the file it says 44 pages, the story actually starts on page 11. There are 10 pages of warnings, duplicate pages with the author's other stories, name of publisher, etc. 10 pages. Jesus. Anyway ...

Mason's friends drag him to the club on Halloween. He hates it but goes as a carpenter, easy peasy since he is one. He's big and muscular and usually hooks up with similar butch guys but sees slim twinky Avery in a loin cloth and fairy wings and is totally enamoured. They end up back at Avery's and have a great night but Mason totally freaks because Avery is way out there gay and so not Mason's type so he sneaks out. Avery is hurt but figures he was too gay as he's been told. Mason finally tracks him down to apologise and explain and ask for another chance. So a cute story of someone finding himself attracted in a big way to his opposite type and dealing with that. I liked Avery, he's a baker who wears eye liner and lip gloss. Very cute. So while they meet at Halloween it's more of a plot device simply to get them together.

Bending the Rules by Jack Green (28 pages)

Another one where the book doesn't start until page 11. I'm not sure if this is a Fictionwise thing where they add their own pages, or Phaze (all of them are Phaze books) but it's freaking annoying.

Zach is a personal trainer who mostly dates women but dating clients or employees is not encouraged although happens. He meets Kieran the new yoga instructor and thinks at first he's a girl (slim, long hair, eye liner) but it totally in lust. Kieran knows he's attracted but was told Zach was strait and is a bit cautious because straight guys seem attracted to him. After seeing Kieran in yoga class doing some amazing bendy things Zach asks him out that night. Seems Zach has no problems with dating guys too and after dinner and some dancing they head home for some hot smexin'. Just a little story of two guys meeting and hitting it off right away, both very different, slim and bendy vs big and brawny. It only takes place over a few hours so not much development but a HFN which worked for me.


Chris said...

Heh, since my ereader does its own wonky pagination, I just ignore number of pages, beyond "book is short" or "book is long".

I was surprised at how much I liked The Carpenter and the Fairy. I'm impressed that you kept things straight with Smart Alex - I can tell just by the summary that I'd be frustrated with it!

Tam said...

It wasn't overly confusing but everyone was either perfect or nasty. Tommy's Dad was amazing, Alex knew exactly the right thing to say, Smart was the best friend ever, that kind of thing. If I love a book I can overlook little things like timing being off (meet on Friday and 6 days later it's Monday) or starting university and suddenly being 20, but it was bothersome for me in this case.

Usually I don't pay much attention to page but 10 pages of crap at the beginning seemed excessive since it was basically duplication.t

Chris said...

I think that's a Fictionwise thing - I've noticed it before.

Heh, you know me and timelines. :D I think the no shades of grey people would bother me, too.

Kris said...

Why do I get the sense that another flow chart is imminent??

I hate it when books duplicate so much other stuff. I feel like I'm being duped about how much of the book is actual story.

PS - How would FW be able to change the format of the book? They're the seller not the publisher.

Tam said...

I think it must be Phaze:

Page 1 - cover
Page 2 - Copyright declaration
Page 3 - Table of contents with links (title of book; about author)
Page 4 - Title and author name (which was on the cover)
Page 5 - Other books published by the author; a big phase logo and the warning saying for adults only
Page 6 - the final sentence from above warning (could be a pdf issue)
Page 7 - Title of book and author name (with link to Table of Contents)
Page 8 - Copyright notice with the thing about all characters being fictional
Page 9 & 10 -another Phaze logo, copyright warning threatening fines and stuff like isbn #, cover artist, etc.

3 various copyright notices in 10 pages? Sheesh. So I think it's Phaze. I don't have that many of their books but since I read 3 in a row I noticed the page thing which may be the conversion to pdf made it slightly longer by 2 pages.

Lily said...

I can't stand the way Phaze adds filler pages. What takes 10 pages for them could be just a cover page followed by at most 2 pages.

I really liked The Carpenter and the Fairy, sweet! As for Smart Alex, it's trademark AKM. :)

Tam said...

I'm finding that about AKM Lily. I'm reading another one and the guy gets out of his truck and basically goes "Hi, pleased to meet you, I think you're hot, I hope your gay, would you kiss me." Ummm. Ever hear about building up the tension? And these are people who supposedly haven't have a relationship with anyone in years because they have issues. Right. LOL

I've never bought many Phaze books but yeah, the stuff most publishers put in a page or two they drag out. *shrug*

Chris said...

Wait, I think I read the AKM you just described, Tam. LOL!

nichem said...

LOL, or maybe I won't get Tommy's story. Based on your review of Smart Alex and the mention about the truck one, I'm not sure I want to read another AKM story. :P

Tam said...

Yeah, there is definitely a theme. I've never met men who talk about their feelings as much as these characters and right off the bat too. No build-up. Which worked for me once but over and over it's a bit repetitive. I think I'm going to have to take a break from the truck one.

Chris said...

So how's the secret blog thing working' out for you, Tam? ;)

Tam said...

It's sucking. :-P

Chris said...

Hee hee - 'cos we're all so nosy and blog stalked you? :D