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

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Long and Short of It.

So thanks to Chris, I ended up doing some shopping yesterday. 50% off at All Romance e-books. Woohoo. Actually I didn't get that many books as I had most of the new ones but got some shorts. I also finally tackled the 400 pager.

Shades of Gray by Brooke McKinley (402 pages)

Miller is an FBI agent who is sure of his place in the world. He's the good guys, they are the bad guys, the ends justifies the means. In his pursuit of a big drug dealer he captures Danny, one of the minion and "convinces" him to turn on his boss. When Danny is found out and almost killed Miller and Danny end up in a safe house. Danny makes Miller reevaluate everything he though. Maybe the world is not so black and white and maybe his life was not quite what he wanted when he finds himself attracted to Danny in a big way. Most of the book is Miller struggling with his conflicts although once he and Danny got together he never denied their attraction and friendship which was nice. I hate the "It was a mistake" thing that usually follows. There is then a chase as they are found by the bad guys. Miller has to make some hard choices to save Danny who feels that he doesn't deserve love or Miller because of the shitty life he led.

There are many flashbacks, some of which I found were not necessary as they were telling me stuff that I had already figured out. I also skipped the flashback of some of the more brutal stuff. I really don't need to read graphic torture scenes. I can imagine thanks. I liked the relationship stuff between Danny and Miller probably more than the mystery part. I did like that it didn't end when the crime part was wrapped up and that Miller had do pay a price for his actions and that it showed both Danny and Miller dealing with their issues after the fact. So I enjoyed this (perhaps not as much as some as I found myself waning at around page 150 but it picked up again for me later) but I liked that both characters had issues and maybe they weren't perfect even at the end, they still had to deal with it. I did think some of the flashbacks could have been cut with no damage to the story.

His Wolf Heart by Lila Dubois (67 pages)

James, the prodigal werewolf son returns home. He's been flitting around Europe posing for nude paintings by his older Dutch lover and having various flings. Micah stayed home and is a Guardian, as a gay man he'll never lead a pack so is like permanent security. He was attracted to James before he left (he's the same age more or less) and now the attraction is back. James finally tells the truth about WHY he left and they have to decide if he can live within the constraints of werewolf society. It was an okay read although I found James' little sister annoying. The minute she finds out they slept together she wants to run and tell her mother. She claims to be 17 and world-wise it never occurs to her that it might be just sex. Duh. I thought James' reasons for leaving made sense and I could understand why he did. So it was an okay shifter story.

Measure Up by James Buchanan (11 pages)

James posted a link to some free Brandon and Nicky shorts at Tracy's so I downloaded this one. The guys are hanging out when Brandon notes a new porn star who supposedly has a 10 inch dick. He wants to measure Nicky's and they have some sexy fun first. When he measures Brandon is shocked that it's not as big as he though. LOL Boys and their toys. So a cute funny sexy short.

Learning Curve by J.J. Massa (25 pages)

Kean is a 37 year old who has gone back to school. Although he's straight he's developed a massive crush on his English prof Richard. He accidentally comes across Richard having an argument with his lover when he's on his job as a cable guy. As Richard is leaving he asks Kean to come to his office. Kean arrives and Richard says he's not going to be his prof anymore but maybe Kean wants something more than English tutoring and gives him his card. Kean shows up despite his nervousness and has the most amazing time ever. There is sort of a subtle D/s vibe going on. I kept expecting Kean to start calling him "sir" at any minute. It's all told from Kean's first person point of view so his nervousness and desire to do well in case Richard gives him the heave-ho comes through. Kind of a different vibe to the story but it was okay, a straight guy finding out he's not so straight as he though.

The Real Deal by Gina O'Neale (24 pages)

Caleb and Kyle have been friends for years. Although Caleb was married he's gay. Kyle, a total slut, starts asking Caleb how long since he's had man-sex. Seems it was before his marriage to his wife, a couple of years ago. Kyle gives him a card for an escort service and starts bugging him until he finally calls. He has a great night with Rob but Kyle shows up at 8:00 the next morning for a sit rep. He finally confesses that he's had a thing for Caleb but figured Caleb who doesn't go or one night stands and casual sex wouldn't go for a slut like him. They end up in the shower and decide to give it a whirl. An okay little read about two friends who are opposites.

Temporary Absentee by Lainey Cairo (29 pages)

Mark is just out of a 10 year relationship and decides to bum around Europe for a bit. He's in Italy and sees a great looking guy by the fountain and asks to take his picture. Logan says sure in exchange or lunch. So they go out for lunch and seems they are both on the night train to Paris. Logan switches tickets and ends up in the same car as Mark and they spend the night on their little bunk together, just cuddling but Mark agrees to head to Amsterdam with Logan. They get there and Logan shaves Mark (pertinent in light of my post at Wave's) all over. They go out for dinner, get high and end up back at the hotel. The next morning it seems they shaved their heads too after they got back and Logan says he has to leave. He hooks up with guys with money who will buy him cigarettes and food so he can keep bumming around Europe but he did like Mark more than most. Mark is upset he's leaving but realizes that he has to take risks if he's going to be happy. A bit odd, I assumed the shaved head thing since he talks about stubble but it's never said explicitly, but there was hair the day before.


nichem said...

50% off at ARe? Are they having a sale now? And if so, do you have details? *grumblesiknewishouldhavesignedupfortheARenewslettergrumbles*

Tam said...

Here you go. It's only good until midnight tonight so get shopping.


Average Reader said...

Hi, Tam! Great reviews. I'm glad you liked Shades of Gray! That was really a stand-out one for me (though I agree with you on the graphic flashbacks).

Chris said...

Tam - You're welcome. ;)

Nichem - Not sure it ever showed up in the newsletter, but it was posted on Smart Bitches yesterday.

Thanks for the heads up about the graphic torture flashbacks. Maybe I'll read with my eyes mostly closed. Heh.

nichem said...

Thank you! *off to shop*

Tam said...

Val: I did enjoy it although I just skimmed some of the more graphic violence parts. I have a good imagination. :-)

Chris: They are not very frequent, really only one main flashback of a couple of pages and once I realized that's what it was I just skipped over it. I don't think I missed anything by not knowing the details of it and it didn't take away from the overall story in any way.

Happy shopping Richelle.

Kris said...

Heh. I didn't think the torture scenes in SoG were that graphic. Maybe all the action, crime and horror I watch has anesthetised me.

Oh well. Glad you liked it overall. :)

Tam said...

You'd think I'd be tougher, but I guess I'm still wimpy. I don't like horror and slasher pics because of that. But barring that I enjoyed it overall.

Chris said...

I'm with Tam - I hate horror movies and movies about serial killers. Crap, after watching Event Horizon, I had to go home for a little lie down.

Tam said...

I don't mind police stories, I watch CSI and NCIS and Bones and those shows on TV but things like Saw XVIII (or whatever number they are on) and Friday the 13th, etc. I HATE those.

Lily said...

Looks like you've been a busy reader. I haven't read any of these although I've got Shades of Gray in my TBR. It sound good, I'll have to work it in to my reading list soon.

Tam said...

It's definitely worth the read Lily. You just have to commit some time for it as it's not only long but not one of those light reads you can fly through.

Janna said...

Chris did that to me too ;) Considering my huge TBR tower it's not good for me to know about these sales *g*
Loved to read your thoughts about Shades of Gray. It's on my ereader since the last sale at Fictionwise and I'm really looking forward to it!

Tam said...

Chris is evil. :-) Tempting us poor innocent. Shades of Gray is a really well written book, not a light read but great once you get going.