I can't believe it's Wednesday already. Well, sort of. The week is dragging yet flying by. Go figure. More snow this morning. Sigh. Not much but still, after a day of sun it's a bit depressing. And a few more months to go. Enough whining. One long book, one shortish and one shorty short. I like to spread the love. In order from smallest to biggest. I should have added it's Josh Lanyon's birthday today so you can spam him with good wishes on Facebook or his website.
King Kong vs The Skinny Pirate by Addison Albright (10 pages)
I am an Addison Albright fan and enjoy her shorts, this one no exception. Blaine (a classy lawyer) goes trawling at the bar and orders a "skinny pirate" (rum and diet coke) and is sitting beside a guy he refers to as King Kong (big bear). Pickings are slim and he and George decide to give it a whirl even though neither one is the other's type AT ALL. Blaine's not even sure he'll be able to get a hard-on with all that hair. Surprisingly he has the best sex ever. Blaine starts searching for George and a week or so later he finds him in the bar and they decide to give it a try despite their acknowledged differences in lifestyle. It's just a cute story of two guys finding someone they totally mesh with in a package they totally didn't expect. In 10 pages you just get to the start of their relationship but I like Addison's writing style. So a cute taste.
Earth and Sun, Cedar and Sage by Margaret Mills & Tedy Ward (77 pages)
This was one of the Dreamspinner Christmas things that I didn't read and everyone said it is amazing and I finally sucked it up and read it. There is a reason why I don't read historicals, I had to skim over part of it. I KNOW really really bad shit happened, I don't want to read about it. But besides that, Jed is a half-breed traveling with Gideon whose family owned a traveling wild west show. They are heading to New Orleans but it's Christmas and they are only in Arizona and it's starting to snow. They stop at a small town and face prejudice which just makes Gideon wacky despite Jed telling him to let it go. They find friendship in the form of the livery stable owner who lets them sleep there (no boarding house with take a Native American) and tells them of an abandoned mining camp where they can set up house if they want. They do spend a few days and get to know each other better and Gideon (20) finds out why Jed (much older) was so adamant about not fooling around in the livery. (skimmed part). After "educating" the locals and proving that Jed is not a savage they still decide to push on to New Orleans where Gideon believes they can have a "normal" life, relatively speaking.
It was really well written - there was some nice background about aboriginal customs such as smudging and despite Jed's stoic nature you knew he loved Gideon and it was obvious Gideon had that naive enthusiasm of youth. I liked the characters but the constant living in fear of discovery combined with being aboriginal and dealing with that causes a level of angst for me I don't particularly enjoy. (You'll likely notice I also slipped into calling him aboriginal or Native America because as a Canadian we never use the word Indian unless you are from Mumbai. Just NOT done, and I have difficulty even typing it in that context. PC is us. :-)
Three Wrong Turns in the Desert by Neil Placky (198 pages)
I have never read anything by this author although I've seen his name on a few things. Aidan is dumped by his lover of 10 years and on a whim decides to head to Tunisia to teach English and start a new life (or perhaps get his old life back before he hooked up with rich, stoic, boring Blake). He is being chased by some kids when he dives into a bar and sees a hot guy showering naked in the courtyard. He is intrigued so comes back and ends up meeting Liam. They are chatting and when they leave they see a man who looks suspiciously like Aidan get gunned down. Ooops. Seems Liam was supposed to be the other guy's bodyguard and thought Aidan was him. Liam convinces Aidan to help him get the information from the dead guy's hotel room and it has to be delivered to a desert tribe. There is an attraction and when Aidan's work visa doesn't come through he decides to help Liam, a former Navy SEAL deliver the information, but someone is after them and they are nearly kidnapped, end up hiding out on a tour bus and on a camel train and catching terrorists. It's quite the rollicking tale of them on the run one step ahead of the bad guys and despite Aidan being an ESL teacher for 10 years, he's smart and resourceful and Liam finds himself liking him as a person and not just a hot bod.
The ending seems to leave it open for a sequel as Aidan and Liam decide to become partners in Tunisia and take on more jobs. I really liked Aidan, he was spunky and realized his life had sucked despite having every kitchen gadget and appliance known to man and 300 thread count sheets. Liam basically was forced out of the SEALs when he admitted he was gay and had "lone wolf" issues, but it was a fun read. Was it realistic? Oh probably TOTALLY not, but that wasn't the point, it was a fun adventure story with two hot guys. So if you like that sort of thing I would recommend it. It was a fun read. My ONLY complaint, in the picture the main guy (Liam) has nipple rings and even Aidan comments on them in the shower but then Liam takes them out and they are never mentioned again. Hello, put those babies back in. Neil? Are you listening? They better be back in for the next story. Just sayin'.
Oh and did you know there is a place in Tunisia called Tataouine, like in Star Wars and apparently they filmed there and there's a hotel you can stay in with Star Wars stuff? I'm hoping the author didn't lie to me about that because it tickled me pink. Damn he was in his prime then.