MMarte

Mostly reading MM romance. Just sharing my love of books.

 

I'm starting Imago by NR Walker

Imago - N.R. Walker

Let's see about these butterflies. 

 

 

ARC review copy.

Review: Afraid to Fly - Anchor Point series #2

Afraid to Fly - L.A. Witt

“I love you, Travis. You and all your dings and dents.”

This time I managed to laugh, and drew him in. “I love you too.” Brushing and lips across his, I added, “Dings, dents, and all.”

 

Ahhh Travis and Clint, how I very much enjoyed thee. Dings, dents, and all.

 

Afraid to fly is about two well-seasoned men and officers who have lost a lot, both in life and love. They haven’t had an easy life, and are both struggling daily with the curve-balls life has thrown them. They’re both scarred, they’re both messed up mentally from their work in the military, they’re both scared at taking new chances, they’re both not looking for love, but they secretly want it, even though it scares them shitless, and don’t think they deserve it since they don’t want their own mess to be a burden for another person. They both get their second chance at love in this book.

 

 

Commander Wilson Travis (45) and Lieutenant Commander Clint Fraser (40) have both been admiring and lusting after each other from afar for a while, but nothing more since they don’t know if the other is gay/bi, until Clint brings his (soon to be x-) boyfriend to the Navy ball. The attraction and interest between Travis and Clint escalates quickly since they now know each other’s preferences, and they meet in a whirlwind of passion.

 

”If it’s not too forward,” he said, lips barely leaving mine, “I would kill to see you naked right now.”

Holy fuck. He was direct, and dirty, and… dressed. Why were we dressed?

(...)

And why the hell did the Navy insist on so many buttons?

 

Oh my lord, can LA Witt write a scorching hot kissing, sex, no passion scene, I should call it. These guys go at it like the world is on fire. If it were, they probably wouldn’t have noticed.They only have eyes for each other, and I could practically feel their sizzling hotness through my Kindle.

 

Travis hurt his back when his jet crash landed on an aircraft carrier in rough sea several years back, so he deals with chronic back pain daily with better and worse days. This has an effect on his sex life, since he is unable to do anal. I didn’t miss it at all. I feel Travis and Clint had a great and fulfilling sex life with blowjobs and hand jobs. The sex scenes and their passion was amazing.

 

 

The story is low on angst even though it has several heavy subjects. Both Travis and Clint is suffering from PTSD, they get flash backs and have nightmares. I really liked how they worked together to managed that, when they finally talked to each other about it. They both have a tendency to down play or toughen out when they’re having an episode, or when Travis’s back is killing him, but when they get to know each other better they can tell something is up with the other and can confront. Travis is dealing with his fear of relationship since he fell so deeply in love with another man several years back, but it ended badly and scared Travis off falling in love, and having a relationship. Clint is a recovering alcoholic, and is dealing with the fallout from his drunkenness (due to PTSD from his missions), his divorce and his kids. I feel all these subjects were handled well, and they fitted into the story. It didn’t feel heavy, and it was clear the main characters were adults so they talked and didn’t freak out (much). Travis had a stupid moment near the end, but Clint didn’t take it lying down and went after Travis and made him see sense.

 

I loved how everything wasn’t an easy fix. Travis and Clint will have their issues, but now they can face them together. There was the sweetest epilogue from Paul and Sean’s wedding (#1 Just Drive), where some of the future steps for Travis and Clint is hinted at.

 

Afraid to Fly is the second book in LA Witt’s Anchor Point series. I loved the first book, Just Drive, where the characters had an age gap of about twenty years. In Afraid to Fly both characters are in their forties, and I loved this story too. Recommended if you like low angst, and well-seasoned men with issues getting a second chance at love and life.

 

”I love you too. (…) Dings, dents, and all.”

 

 

 

Review: Hipster Brothel

Hipster Brothel - K.A. Merikan

"Nothing makes a relationship as steady as a jam label."

 

 

Quite the interesting title for this book.

 

The plot was kinda ridiculous with what Mr. B wanted to do, and why, but I just went with it.

 

 

Hipster Brothel did made for unique, quirky and adorkable story.

 

I found Mr. B (Bernard) and Jo charming. I do wish they could have shared each other's thoughts more instead of jumping to conclusions, and have fallings out. They worked it out in the end, and there was the cutest epilogue. 

 

That's right. You in just your socks, wrapped in a blanket, and drinking hot cocoa. I am so kinky."

 

 

I've read 60% of At Attention

At Attention - Annabeth Albert

Ohhh, Apollo!

 

I've listened to 75% of When All the World Sleeps

When All the World Sleeps - Lisa Henry, J.A. Rock

His throat got tighter as he read. His face burned, but the heat seemed to go deeper than his skin, into his skull, and gathered behind his eyes. (...) But he kept staring, turning his head, reading the words over and over. Memorizing the scrawl of Bel's writing.

In a dark band around his neck, it said, BRAVEST MOTHERFUCKER IN LOGAN.

 

Favorite moment.

I've listened to 53% of When all the World Sleeps

When All the World Sleeps - Lisa Henry, J.A. Rock

"Stop," Bel said sharply. "Don't talk like that. You shouldn't've done it."

Daniel's rage flared. "He shoudn't've fucking beat me!" He struggled up onto his hands and knees, than sat back on his heels. "The problem's what he did. What he fucking did! Only reason he didn't kill me was someone was coming, and he didn't want to get caught."

"But he didn't kill you."

"No, but God, sometimes I wish he had," Daniel said, voice breaking.

 

Perfect emotional narration. *wipes tears*

 

Review: The Impossible Boy

The Impossible Boy - Anna Martin

I really wish I could give this book a higher rating. I was captured by the blurb and what it promised this story could be. There are too few books out there which feature gender fluidity, so I was looking forward to this one. Unfortunately I didn't enjoy this as much as I had hoped. There are several reasons why it didn't work for me.

 

I felt I only got to know Ben and Stan on the surface. There was little going deeper than that. Everything was described, they met, they talked, they exchanged phone numbers, they went on dates, started dating, had sex, moved in together, and hung out with Ben's friends in the band. There was little about how it all made them feel. It's all so straight forward, nothing challenging the progress of the story. I felt I didn't get to know them, what made them tick, what made them fall in love with each other and so on. I didn't feel them. It made for a uninteresting read, unfortunately. Ben and Stan's first time having sex felt so bland. I didn't have much emotional connection to them, since I hadn't been privy to their thoughts. I felt I was on the outside looking in, and only reading about them having sex for the first time, but didn't feel them having it. I really missed that connection.

 

There were a lot of descriptions of how Stan looked, what he was wearing, what kind of makeup he was wearing, how he did his makeup, his hair, what he was eating (and wasn't eating), when he got to work, when he left work and so on.

 

"With his hair already partly dry, there was no point in trying to make it smooth and straight. With some moouse and scrunching and his hairdryer on a low heat, he teased rough curls from the unruly strands and let the hairstyle lead the rest of his outfit choices. Slightly mussed was a look he could do. He mentally picked out tight black jeans, high-top sneakers, and a loose, low-cut tank top, because it was going to be a warm day, he could tell already. A smoky eyeshadow and sketchy kohl liner, a quick slick of mascara, all on top of his usual base (..)"

 

I felt like I was getting styling advise, instead of getting to know Stan as a person. I really wanted to know how he felt about all this. I loved the fact that he dressed differently, like a boy, or a girl, or a mix, but I missed Stan's inner dialogue thoughts behind all the descriptions. Stan was an interesting character, and had so much potential to be explored, but I never got to know what was going on inside his head, only what he looked like on the outside. 

 

There's also emphasis on different brands of makeup, clothes, shoes, bags and such. Maybe fashion and makeup says a lot about a person, but I don't speak fashion and makeup, so I sometimes felt stupid for not knowing what the big deal was. I felt like my obliviousness was kinda shoved in my face.

 

"He rummage in his bag--okay, it was more than a bag, it was a Chloé, but he got it on sale and no one needed to know--and handed her a ten-pound note (....)"

 

I have no idea what's big about Chloé. It's a bag brand I recon? Is it an exclusive and expensive design? Why didn't anyone need to know? Why was it important for Stan to point this out? I'm not interest in brands (as you can tell), so descriptions like that made me feel left out. Why couldn't the brand have been subtly written in to the sentence, like  "he rummaged in his Chloé bag, which he had made a great deal on sale" or something like that.

 

Stan's opinion related to fashion annoyed me when he gave me his opinion of it relating to Ben.

 

"Stan packed his iPad in his backpack before they left--his designer, tan leather backpack, not the scrappy thing Ben often used--and pulled it out to entertain himself (...)"

 

There's nothing wrong with a scruffy backpack, even though Stan thinks so. When Stan and Ben was discussing transitioning and hormone therapy, which Stan considered at one point in the past, he came off as standoffish and condescending. I didn't like that at all.

 

"We [Stan and his therapist] were talking about the side effects, and I couldn't do it."

"Which side effects?"

"The putting-on-weight ones," Stan said. He grinned up at Ben ruefully (...) "She told me I'd start gaining weight on my hips and ass and chest and that just freaked me out. I got the prescription and everything, sat there with the box on my lap, wondering what the fuck was going to happen to me."

"Are breasts that scary?" Ben teased.

"Yes! Especially when they were going to be attached to me. It was the fat aspect of it. I'd spent years trying to control the shape of my body, and I'd been so successful at it. Those drugs were going to change me, and there wasn't anything I could do about it. All my wishing for a more feminine shape was right there in a white box and my fears stopped me from taking that step."

 

... so being a woman equals being fat then? O__o 

 

When Stan's anorexia flairs up again, it was very sudden. From one paragraph to the next he went from being perfectly fine (in Stan's way, anyway) to being in the hospital fighting for his life. I really wanted to know how he came to be there! What happened leading up to it?

 

All in all, I felt I was missing a lot. There was a lot of potential here. I really wished I could have gotten a stronger emotional connection with the characters. I actually ended up loving Ben's friend, Tone, the most. He felt really fleshed out, even though he was "only" a secondary character. I loved the advice he gave, and how important he got to be for both Ben and Stan, and the story all together. 

 

 

I wish I could have enjoyed Ben and Stan's story more than I did. It had great potential, but I felt it didn't manage to live up to it's promise.

 

I've read 40% of At Attention

At Attention - Annabeth Albert

"And we can't make the same mistake twice."

Dylan's chest gave him an unhappy twinge. He shouldn't be surprised or hurt that Apollo called him a mistake. Of course, Apollo was going to have serious guilt and feels. But still, he hated that one of the single hottest moments of his life was reduced to a mistake

 

Apollo is still being kind of a dick. 

 

I've read 26% of At Attention

At Attention - Annabeth Albert

"It was just a kiss. Doesn't have to mean anything---"

"It didn't," Apollo said far too curtly (...)

"I'm just saying. We're both adults. There's no reason we couldn't--"

"We are never going there." Apollo cut that argument off before Dylan could convince him to be stupid. "Again. Ever. Am I Clear?"

"You. Kissed. Me." Dylan poked him in the chest, clearly not going to let him have the fantasy where Dylan had been the one to close the gap. "But, sure, lecture away if that makes you feel better."

 

Apollo, you're being kind of a dick.

 

 

Gotta get my buns in order.

 

This post isn't book related, just a snippet from my real life this morning. So feel free to just skip this longish post, or stay and read why I'm always behind on my reviews (and reading).

 

My boys, 6 and 7, were going on a school trip today. First and second grade were walking to a picnic site, making a fire and grilling hot dogs. (For once) I had hot dogs in the fridge, but I didn't have the buns. Can't have hot dog without buns, right?

 

 

Gotta have the buns.

 

Hubby said he'd go to the store last night and get them, but he ended up gaming on his computer instead. Standing in only his underwear in our living room saying good night at 10.30, he remembered that he was supposed to get the buns.

 

 

So I said I'd go.

 

Gotta get the buns.

 

But I was kinda exhausted after being at the swimming pool with the boys (I'll get to that story in a minute), so I figured I'd run by the store on my way to school this morning instead. Waking up this morning, I realized that I didn't have my car, since we left it at the garage yesterday, so I had to get up in a hurry hoping I'd catch hubby before he drove to work. Luckily he hadn't left yet, so I borrowed his car and rushed to our local grocery store.

 

It opens at 7 am. I was there 7.05.

I was the only customer.

Buying hot dog buns.

 

 

I got the frikkin' buns!

 

 

Rushing home to hubby, so he could get his car to go to work, I helped the boys make their backpacks. They each had to bring a piece of wood for the fire, wrapped in a bag, their hot dogs and buns (yay!), water bottles, insulating seat pad, a sliced apple in a box, and cocoa.

 

Gotta make the cocoa.

 

Ha, now you're probably thinking I didn't have the cocoa and had to go to the store again, right? Wrong. I had the cocoa. I have two kinds of cocoa, actually, one to mix in water (hot chocolate cocoa) and one to mix in milk (chocolate milk). So I was heating the water to make hot chocolate cocoa to put in their thermoses, only the 7-year old piped up he didn't like the water mixing cocoa, he wanted the milk mixing kind.

 

Gotta have the chocolate milk cocoa AND the hot chocolate cocoa.

 

 

This is after I had heated the water to make both, right. So, fine! Milk mixing stupid chocolate it is. So out with the rest of the heated water in the casserole, in with the milk, made it and put it on his goddamn thermos.

 

Finally, got two right effing kinds of cocoa.

 

 

Then time for putting on clothes, and go to school. 15 minutes to the bell, and we had to walk, so hurry up! Kids do not know the meaning of hurry up FYI. 

 

Locking the door on my way out, I got a text, so I checked my phone. At the same time I noticed another text I got yesterday afternoon from a mom asking my 7-year old to come and visit her son. Since we were all going to the swimming pool I asked hubby to message her directly and see if her boy wanted to come with us, since I was in the middle of getting my 6 year old fed, changed clothes, and go to his gymnastic class on time. Hubby could bring the boy with him and our 7 year old, and we'd meet at the pool. Once at the pool, we met another boy from their class who was there with his father. 

 

Now, at 8.15 am the next day, looking at the text it dawned on me I had totally misread who the message was from. I had told hubby to text a totally different mom asking her boy to come with us to the pool, not the right mom texting me in the first place. 

 

Oh my frikkin buns!

 

 

Both mom's have the first name, similar to Mary and Mary Ann, and the boys are all in the same group of friends. In my rush, though, I mixed it up. The "wrong" boy did tag along, however. The boy and his father we met at the pool was the "right" boy, who probably went to the pool since his mother didn't get a reply from me about a visit, since I was busy getting hubby to text a totally different mom!

 

Goddammit.

 

While walking to school, (no car, remember, since it was at the garage), giving myself the biggest mental facepalm, I texted the "right" mom apologizing for my mistake, saying it turned out alright in the end, though, since all the boys ended up meeting in the pool and had a great time.

 

Text sent, finally arriving to school, walking through the door to get inside, I ran into a girl classmate and her mom. Exchanging pleasantries about the cold weather and the slippery ice on the ground, as is custom, right, I said:

 

"So much ice, it'll be a challenge for the kids walking on their trip today."

She paled, and said.

"....trip? Was that today?? Fu--, shi-- I mean, darn, I totally forgot!"

 

 

She rushed home to get her girl's backpack.

 

 

I do hope she remembered the buns.

 

So yeah.

 

What was the name of the book I was reviewing again?

 

 

 

Conclusion:

I'm trying to have my buns in order.

But mostly, I just wing it.

 

 

I've read 11% of At Attention

At Attention - Annabeth Albert

"I'm the least romantic person on earth. It's the last thing I need in my life." [Apollo]

"You're wrong." Dylan's grin didn't falter, not even a little bit. That smile was dangerous. All full of pink lips and white teeth. And the dimples. God save him from the dimples.

 

*rubs hands*

I bet dimples can cure this grumpy jerk of a SEAL.

 

 

 

I'm starting At Attention by Annabeth Albert

At Attention - Annabeth Albert

ARC copy from the author.

 

Review: Watching and Wanting

Watching and Wanting (Housemates Book 4) - Jay Northcote

Hot, dirty, exhibitionistic sweetness with feels!

 

Just the way I like it.

 

I've listened to 17% of When All the World Sleeps

When All the World Sleeps - Lisa Henry, J.A. Rock

"You telling me you get three hours of sleep a night? No wonder you feel crazy."

"Sometimes I put another set of locks in the freezer. So when I get up I can replace the locks to go back to sleep for another couple of hours."

Bel leaned back. "Hell. Hell, I'd kill myself."

"Thought about it. Or figured someone would do it for me. But I don't want to die."

Bel turned his head. "No?"

"No. You think I ought to want to?"

 

 

So intense..

I've listened to 7% of When All the World Sleeps

When All the World Sleeps - Lisa Henry, J.A. Rock

Master Beau jingled the chains. "Crawl to me, Boy."

The chains scared him, but he needed them. Deserved them. He'd fucking killed someone. He was a murderer. He hated himself for the times he forgot. The minutes or sometimes hours he went without reminding himself he was a murderer. If felt like the thing you ought to keep close to you, ought to remember all the time (..).

 

 

I'm so glad I've read this book before, and know how this terrifying scene ends. Doesn't make it easier, though. Run, Daniel, run!

 

 

Also, my heart breaks for Daniel, and his thoughts of himself.

Review: Murder Once Seen - Oddities #1

Murder Once Seen (The Oddities) (Volume 1) - Susan J. Hall

Review to come!