So Lily inspired me to start an alphabet reading challenge so I thought I'd give it a whirl for my next few books. I did fine up until C then I didn't seem to have a book for D and I got sidetracked by H. Ooops. Oh well, I don't think the rule is you have to read 26 in a row. I would also appear to have hit many of the major publishers out there in one fell swoop. LOL
Crazy crazy week at work, I'm glad it's almost over. My Grandmother is doing well now, my kid is working her buns off practicing for the school musical which starts in a few weeks and MAYBE we hear spring will arrive next week. One can only hope. At least it's been sunny here.
Hope you all have a great weekend.
Accompanied by a Waltz by Andrew Grey (180 pages)
This book really seems to be about two relationships. It starts with Jonathan who is in his mid-40's and his older lover Greg. They are deeply in love and have been for 17 years and Jonathan is devestated when Greg suddenly dies. Plus he has to deal with Greg's 3 children and vicious ex-wife. However he soon develops a very close relationship with Greg's daughter (they are all in their early 20's) and after a couple of years of wallowing she convinces him to take an apartment in Vienna owned by relatives of her girlfriend for the summer. He agrees and starts to enjoy life and meets Fabian, the 30 year old son of the family who own the apartment. Despite himself he starts dating Fabian and really comes back to life for the first time since Greg's death, however despite falling in love, won't consider staying or asking Fabian to come with him since he's got his family in Austria. Umm. Hello? I was really frustrated with Jonathon. He kept saying "I have to go back." What for? Sure he had a job as a teacher, but Greg had left him a wealthy man so he didn't HAVE to work. He had a house. So. He had no friends to speak of, no life outside of work and a cabin he owned on a lake. He could have taken a leave of absence for a year or two to see if it worked out. But he was so set on "I have to go back". I'm afraid I'm extremely intolerant of people who are stuck in a place. Who would never consider moving away from family or what they know. I know, I know. How unfair of me and it's one of those character traits I just don't get because I appear to have no physical connection to a "place". I've raised my daughter the same it seems. She doesn't get why moving to NZ if your family all live in Canada would be a problem. I guess despite growing up in a place that was 3 miles from the same place my Great-Grandmother landed straight off the boat (and train) from Scotland in 1911, I just don't have that sense of place as being important. Oh well, anyway, it all works out in the end of course, it's an Andrew Grey and you know he's going to have a HEA and I did like Fabian a lot and I enjoyed Jonathon's step-daughter Jeanna and Fabian's little brother Hans. For fans of the athor I think you'll love it because in the end it's very romantic and Vienna is a GORGEOUS city.
Beyond Reckless by Ava March (23 pages)
This is a very steamy little short historical. Rys shows up at a ball and manages to avoid everyone shoving their daughters at him as tomorrow he comes into his inheritance and goes in search of someone. Suddenly he is grabbed and shoved into a room and attacked sexually by another man. However you soon discover the other man is Martin, Rys' lover of 4 years and they quite enjoy playing these sexual role-playing games although it becomes clear that Rys has been the instigator in this side of their relationships. It's very steamy and hot but after in the few short pages, you really know Martin loves Rys to distraction and would do anything for him and trys to keep his daredevil safe by hoping risky sex will assuage his need to race his carriage through the streets or other dangerous pursuits. I'd love to know how Martin and Rys met and see how their current sexual relationship got started because while it may be THEIR kink now, it didn't start out that way for Martin.
Concubine by Jill Knowles (141 pages)
In this fantasy story, Kael is a scholar and army leader in his country. They are at war against a neighboring country who are half-demons and have decimated Kael's army. At the formal cessation talks, Kael is stunned to find that his father has gifted him to the warlord, Taren, as his concubine. Kael's country does not condone gay relationships, and he is shocked to say the least that his father would betray him this way. However, he knows if he doesn't do his duty, more people will die and he can't have that, so he is determined to take it. He is surprised by Taren's world. It is much more advanced than his own, running water, beautiful buildings, delicious foods and Taren is very kind to him and to be honest, Kael's always been a teeny bit curious about gay sex. Taren's culture is VERY open sexually and he's into BDSM, Kael is his concubine and he decks him out in fancy jewelled butt plugs, revealing clothes and the half-demons think nothing have having a little sex with their coffee after dinner in the salon with everyone else. I really liked this story and how Kael dealt with his new position. He was determined to accept it for his people but he also had to accept that maybe he liked it, and Taren. He spent a lot of time working out the whole thing in his head as Taren pushed him sexually, but was always kind. The second half of the book gets into political intrigue as the concubine guild try to attack Kael and they have to figure out who is behind the attacks. While I don't mind political intrigue plots, I really thought the strength in this book was Taren and Kael working out their relationship, Kael accepting his role and Taren working to slowly bring an untrained concubine to his full potential and get him to believe that it didn't make him less of a man. The second half was less that and to me less gripping. However, Taren's spunk tastes like raspberries. Bonus! I would recommend this one and it was one of my fave reads in the past while.
Happy World by Kiernan Kelly and Tory Temple (191 pages)
One of these ladies has worked at Disney, I swear or knows someone who did I'd say. :-) Kyle has always wanted to work at Happy World, he's like to be a dancer/actor but has been content to be a grounds keeper hoping his chance will come to move up. He's assigned to train a new guy Rory. Kyle LOVES rules and NEVER breaks them. However Rory is the opposite. It makes Kyle crazy and within a couple of days he's nearly fired because Rory has insulted the "star" of the show Charlie and broken a few other rules and since Kyle's in charge of him, he's also in trouble. Charlie has also decided he wants to date Kyle even though he's ignored him for three years. Kyle tries to put him off as he and Rory have started fooling around and it soon becomes clear Charlie is only doing this to try and drive a wedge between the two because Rory shunned him. There is a lot of information about the hierarchy. Because Charlie is the "star" he throws his weight around and gets people to do what he wants by threatening to have them fired. Kyle is afraid to go to management about him because he knows it will all come back on him and he'll end up suffering more than the harassment (which I think sadly often happens). Eventually Rory ends up with an acting role and Charlie is determined to make his life hell, causing diabetic Rory to collapse. Kyle is a bit of a spineless invisible guy and I was glad he manned up at the end and stopped going long just to get along, as I was about ready to smack him. The descriptions of the park are very funny because they align with some Disney stuff with slightly different names names and descriptions. It was quite amusing. You don't clean up "vomit" it's a "protein spill". For those who find the forced joy and stepfordness of a theme park rather disconcerting, this will probably be rewarding as all of it is poked fun at a bit. I did like Rory and Kyle both, nice guys with different personalities, each bringing something to the other to compliment them. A fun read which I read in an evening.