Ah, three days off. We have no big plans. We have to get some back-to-school stuff and of course the endless chores of laundry and groceries never end. I considered going to Montreal Monday but we'll see. Hope everyone has a great weekend.
This is set in the future where cybernetic implants are the norm. Padraic is a bit of a nerd who works for high tech companies, although he has done work on himself and has a neural net system which basically is a port in his chest connected to his brain so you could download information. He kind of a giant walking USB drive. His cousin hooks him up with a company in Japan who he believes would be interested in the technology and sends a bodyguard with him, as Padraic is quite naive and doesn't get the full ramifications of his technology. They are met by Minoru who is the son of the company owner, but the company execs aren't interested so they come up with a plan to prove the technology. however when it starts malfunctioning and Padraic wants to back out, both the body guard and Minoru threaten to report him to the police where he'll be arrested for stealing information. I liked the espionage part of this story, who is on his side, what is the truth, however I was very frustrated with Padraic's reaction to Minoru. The guy just threatened to tell the police you stole information if you won't do what he wants, and then you are begging him to kiss you 10 min. later. Ugh. And Minoru was more turned on by doing it with a guy with a port in his chest than Padraic, at least that's how it seemed. I just wanted him to kick Minoru to the curb and get some self-respect. The whole concept was rather creepy, but it's set in a time where being without some kind of modification is looked down upon. An interesting look at the future through sci-fi.
Alex is a vampire who is running from his ex and vampire society. He buys a house in the middle of nowhere near his wolf shifter friends, although traditionally wolves and vamps are enemies. His neighbor, vet Tate stops by but Alex is quite rude, he wants to be alone, however he ends up calling on Tate for help with the old house and when one of the wolves is injured by something in the woods when Alex allows them to run on his property, he calls Tate to help. Before long Tate has figured out they are shifters and he's not backing off a relationship with Alex. Alex is a bit mystified with it all but finds himself going along with it. This is quite an ensemble book and although there is a wolf on the cover, the vamp does not get together with a wolf, although the pack plays a pretty large role and you get to know each character in their little pack of four. The reason Tate is so quick to accept werewolves and vamps comes to light later. There's quite a lot of things going on, the explanation of why Alex wants to escape vamp society, his ex returning, one wolf's sister who won't accept what's happened to him, the homophobia in the wolf community, so lots of stuff to cover, but it's done well and with a pretty light hand. It's not overly angsty and I rather enjoyed poor uptight controlled Alex having to deal with a life out of control. Werewolves are living in his house, the snotty sister show up with no intention of leaving and Tate just seems to be bowling him over and not letting him back off. The poor guy was floundering. Definitely a good read when you're in the mood for some paranormal fun.
Carl worked for the Armenian (I think) mob until things went to far and he saw an innocent woman killed, so he went to the feds. However he refused witness protection. He's now just waiting for someone to track him down and kill him. He knows his days are numbered and then Pete, the enforcer he worked with, shows up and he's sure death is coming. However to his surprise Pete grabs him and takes him to Mexico where Pete has been living. Seems Carl didn't give the police much information about Carl and he appreciates that so wants to help Carl. Pete runs a repair garage of sorts and when Carl is still not sure what the hell is going on. when he gets drunk and comes on to Pete he freaks and runs, but Carl drags him back and admits he wants him too. Things are going well, the local community accepts them, until a cop shows up which could mean they need to run again. This was quite different and not a traditional "soft" romance. These are two tough guys, criminals, and they don't swan about saying how much they love each other, they just do it and there is a definite D/s edge to their relationship. I liked it though and I though Carl's confusion about what Pete was doing, because explaining it would be to unmanly :-) was well done and showing how both men had changed since their days in the mob, but they weren't completely different. Dealing with the Mexican community was also interesting and the insight into the drug wars in the region was a nice addition. Pete's mechanic/friend Jose was a likable character as well who accepted both men for who they were. I liked it even though non-explainersWTF moment.