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


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

M/M Rut Challenge Complete!!!

So Kris in her boredom wisdom put out a reading challenge here-after referred to as the "m/m rut challenge". If you have yet had the pleasure of joining said challenge, click on the icon on the left for details. We were to read something outside of our usual comfort level, be it genre, author or trope. I committed to reading one historical and one fantasy as neither are favourite genres for me. While this book was not the historical I'd planned on, combined with the one I read on the weekend I think I was successful in that category.

Written in Blood by Luisa Prieto (133 pages)

Collin is a reporter in London who covered a child serial killer story and now is disgusted by London's fascination with some men who were caught in a gay brothel (of course he's gay). His friends decide to cheer him up by taking him to a het brothel. He manages to slip out and when one of his friends pursues him leaps in a cab with a handsome stranger. He ends up at the guy's hotel and after some hot smexin' he realizes the guy is a vampire (sucking his blood was a clue I suppose) and get so caught up he drinks the vampires blood. Ooops. In the morning he finds out de Sonac is in London to kill the reporter responsible for his friend (the serial killer's) death. Double ooops, that would be Collin. Collin runs with de Sonac on his tail but he forces de Sonac to examine his friend's behaviour. He may have done good deeds but he also killed 40 kids and skinned their bodies. They come to an uneasy truce with Collin giving de Sonac time to mourn his friend and accept that Collin was the one responsible for his death. It's hardly a HEA or even a HFN but I enjoyed the part about how we look at things, do 400 years of good deeds cancel out 40 deaths of kids, many who likely would have died in poverty anyway? Did killing a murderer make it better than killing someone innocent. So some interesting themes that came up.

Gaven by J.C. Owens (86 pages)

Medieval fantasy is really not my thing, so why do I seem to own so many (that sit in my TBR file forever)? Gaven is captured by the invading army that destroyed his keep. Seems that Gaven was not who he thought but is the son of the commander of the invading army. In their culture young recruits are given to an older solder for "training" (if you know what I mean). Seems he's to be given to Vlar (some kind of blood drinking creature). Gaven is freaked as being gay was baaaad in his culture and he really can't accept that he's one of the "enemy". His father's lover convinces them to give him some time and tries to explain things to him but Gaven still can't accept it (especially the butt secks part) so first chance he gets he runs. Vlar finds him and rescues him from baddies but when his father goes to punish the guards he takes their punishment. He's nearly whipped to death but the soldiers take him in and help him because they respect him for doing it. After he recovers and they get home he is officially given to Vlar and has his "first time". Then .... the end. What? How can you end it? Took me forever to get into it and then when I do .... nothing. What's the deal with the wolves and Vlar and will Gaven's father ever forgive him for running? Will he come to crave the butt secks? Sigh. The whole relationship storyline started on the last page more or less. So despite my lack of interest in these type of fantasy stories I would get a sequel because I want to have my questions answered. Which I'm not sure I applaud as good marketing or pisses me off that you suck me in and know I'll have to buy the next book now. It wasn't very long and I would have loved more explanation of things, the differences between Gaven's old people and new, how he came to be with them, etc. Some stuff was alluded too but not very clearly. While not to my taste I liked it enough to want to know more.

29 comments:

Chris said...

Ok, Gaven would totally drive me nuts. Did it feel like the book was actually longer, but was split into two pieces?

Tam said...

That's a bit what it felt like to me Chris. I knew the whole point was Gaven and Vlar getting together and I kept waiting and waiting and the other stuff was interesting, setting him up to be "one of the guys", bringing out Vlar's relationship with the wolves and him saying "you are pack now" but then it just ended. So I'm not sure there were limits on words for the author or it is being set up as a series or what. But I was pretty frustrated when it just ended leaving me with more questions than answers.

Chris said...

Interesting, especially since there isn't a second book... yet.

Of course, same publisher as Thaw in Winter, which totally felt like that and then did have a "sequel" later...

Lily said...

Interesting books. I'll pass on Gaven but at some point may get Luisa's book. I've read a couple of her stories and liked them.

Congrats on completing the challenge!!

I'm going to have to change the book I was going to read because frankly I'm not going to pay $9 for a YA story. It's not a genre I like and even with the good things I've heard about A Strong and Sudden Thaw I don't think it's worth so much.

Any ideas on another YA? Or I may just read a Fantasy book. I may have some already.

Chris said...

Absolutely Positively Not by David LaRochelle was a pretty good YA and I even got it from the library. Same with A Really Nice Prom Mess by Brian Sloan.

Tam said...

Yikes Lily, I don't blame you. I'm always pimping Steve Berman's book Vintage. Also J. Thomas Without Sin is really good. Perhaps more "young adulty" than the other.

Lily said...

Thanks for the recs! :)

Val said...

Hi, Tam! Congrats on finishing that m/m challenge! I really wanted to do it too but I'm drowning in stuff to read right now. Maybe I can do the next one with you all.

About Gaven: "The whole relationship storyline started on the last page more or less."

Absolutely. That's exactly how I felt about it, and yet I think I blathered on for a whole review and didn't really express it all that clearly. I love how you can get to the essence of something in one sentence! :)

wren boudreau said...

I read both of these books a while back and rather liked them, Gaven especially. For me, it wasn't the relationship so much as it was Gaven's coming to terms with this new life. I liked the journey!

I am patiently waiting for Collin and deSonac's story to continue.

And your hoodie boy's eyes - beautiful!

nichem said...

Congrats, Tam! That was fast! I haven't even started on the book I said I'd read, though I did read a book in another genre I don't particularly like (historical), so maybe Kris will let me count that.

Based on what you've said, I don't think I'd like Gaven. I've actually considered buying Written in Blood before, but I think it'd end up being one of those that just sat in my TBR forever.

Tam said...

Thanks Val. I guess unlike Wren, while I found the other part interesting (I still would have liked more information rather than vague mentions of things like why his other culture had taken over the keep they used), I wanted the relationship to get going. Ah well. Next time?

Tam said...

Ah, I didn't realize there would be a second story Wren. It did end kind of hanging (but I felt less bereft than with Gaven). Would I read it? Maybe. In this case I was more interested in the "morality" discussions if you will. When Collin made his first kill, was it okay that he killed a murderer? Those kind of things. Weird how both books ended at similar points but in each one I had a greater or lesser degree of interest in the main couple than the surrounding issues. Huh. Way to make me think Wren. Sheesh.

He is pretty isn't he?

Val said...

Next time? Maybe so. I would read a sequel. Like you say, there is plenty of material for it.

Tam said...

Thanks Richelle. They've both been sitting in my TBR forevah, so I just had to give myself a kick in the butt to get reading them. Unless you really enjoy medieval fantasy then Gaven is not likely a great choice to spend your money on. Some poeple adore it and it's a well written book but my wishy-washyness on the genre combined with a feeling that I was left holding the relationship bag (which was empty) didn't work so well for me.

wren boudreau said...

Tam, I'm sorry I was responsible for making you think. It won't happen again, I promise.

Tam said...

I haven't actually pursued whether there will be another Gaven book Val, but as you said, I think there is certainly enough story left to tell.

Maybe someone else would know. It's been out for a while but I know authors often get caught up in other stories and sequels can get put on the back burners for months (or years).

Jenre said...

There is supposed to be a sequel to Gaven, or so I've heard. I've not read Gaven yet but it's on my TBB pile as I really liked the author's other fantasy book Wings.

Congrats on completing the challenge :).

ErotRomReader (Janna) said...

Both books would be out of my comfort zone too! Based on what you wrote about them I don't think I will ever read them...
Congrats on completing the challenge so quickly :D

Tam said...

Thanks Jen. If you haven't read it yet you might want to wait until the sequel is available unless you don't mind being kind of left hanging. Obviously some people didn't mind how it ended but I felt it left me feeling incomplete.

Tam said...

Thanks Janna. They are quite different and certainly not to everyone's taste. I didn't hate them at all, both are well written books that people have loved, but we all have our preferences when it comes to literary themes and styles.

Erotic Horizon said...

Congrats on the Challenge Tam...

I do like your take on both books - Gaven sound very interesting, irrespective of the end...

both are well written books that people have loved

Sometimes it nice to push yourself out of your comfort Zone...

E.H>

Tam said...

EH: I certainly don't regret reading them as they were high quality reads, pushing is good sometimes though, shake us up a bit. :-)

Kris said...

Go you. You'll get a cookie. *g*

I've read Gaven, which I quite liked. The second in the series I've heard some mixed reviews about.

Tam said...

Yay, cookies! Thanks hon.

So there IS a Gaven II. Hmmm. I'd be curious why the reviews are mixed. May have to track down the info one day.

K. Z. Snow said...

"Will he come to crave the butt secks?"

:-D :-D :-D

Actually, we already know the answer to that, don't we? Once you go up the dark track, there's no turning back.

No one writes reviews like you do, Tam. No one. Your reviews are my favorites.

Great job of taking on the challenge!

Tam said...

"Once you go up the dark track, there's no turning back."

LOL That is so true.

"No one writes reviews like you do, Tam."

Uh, yeah, probably with good reason. :-/ But thanks anyway.
Thanks KZ. I aim to please. Well, not really, I just ramble on for my own pleasure I think. :-)

Chris said...

KZ does have a point - I like your short reviews (probably not a surprise, based on how long my reviews aren't) and I never have any doubt what you thought of a story.

Tam said...

Thanks Chris. Hopefully I don't come across as too snarky. I know for every story I'm meh about there are 10 people who love it.

Chris said...

Nope, you're not too snarky! :)