Monthly Archives: July 2017

Review of The Sumage Solution (San Andreas Shifters #1), by G. L. Carriger

I purchased a copy of The Sumage Solution, by G. L. Carriger.

Description from Goodreads:
NYT bestseller Gail Carriger, writing as G. L. Carriger, presents an offbeat gay romance in which a sexy werewolf with a white knight complex meets a bad boy mage with an attitude problem. Sparks (and other things) fly.

Max fails everything – magic, relationships, life. So he works for DURPS (the DMV for supernatural creatures) as a sumage, cleaning up other mages’ messes. The job sucks and he’s in no mood to cope with redneck biker werewolves. Unfortunately, there’s something oddly appealing about the huge, muscled Beta visiting his office for processing.

Bryan AKA Biff (yeah, he knows) is gay but he’s not out. There’s a good chance Max might be reason enough to leave the closet, if he can only get the man to go on a date. Everyone knows werewolves hate mages, but Bryan is determined to prove everyone wrong, even the mage in question.

Review:
I really quite enjoyed this. True, I thought some of the humor—fizzy jizz, spicy cum, etc—crossed the line into stupid-funny and made me roll my eyes and cringe, instead of laugh. And the endless banter sounded exactly the same, regardless of which two characters were actually bantering, which kind of sucked. But for the vast majority of the book I was thrilled. Bryan is one of the sweetest shifter leads I’ve read in a while and Max was a good pairing for him.

I’ve not read the prequel, but I was able to follow the plot and world easily. It does seem a well developed world, though it’s just barely laid out here. I was left with a few questions, but not enough to be dissatisfied at the end.

There were a few editing mishaps. Maximilian, who goes by Max was named Mac on more than one occasion, for example. (Yeah, X and C are next to one another on the keyboard.) But it is pretty clean.

All in all, I was pleased. I’m always a little wary when M/F authors cross over into LGBTQ+ stories. But in the Carriger books I’ve read, she always had strong, positive queer characters anyhow, so she made this transition well. I’ll be looking forward to more of The San Andreas Shifters.

Review of Cutie and the Beast (Fae Out of Water #1), by E.J. Russell

I received a copy of E. J. Russell‘s Cutie and the Beast through netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:
Temp worker David Evans has been dreaming of Dr. Alun Kendrick ever since that one transcription job for him, because holy cats, that voice. Swoon. So when his agency offers him a position as Dr. Kendrick’s temporary office manager, David neglects to mention that he’s been permanently banished from offices. Because, forgiveness? Way easier than permission.

Alun Kendrick, former Queen’s Champion of Faerie’s Seelie Court, takes his job as a psychologist for Portland’s supernatural population extremely seriously. Secrecy is paramount: no non-supe can know of their existence. So when a gods-bedamned human shows up to replace his office manager, he intends to send the man packing. It shouldn’t be difficult—in the two hundred years since he was cursed, no human has ever failed to run screaming from his hideous face.

But cheeky David isn’t intimidated, and despite himself, Alun is drawn to David in a way that can only spell disaster: when fae consort with humans, it never ends well. And if the human has secrets of his own? The disaster might be greater than either of them could ever imagine.

Review:
Cute. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing particularly standout and stellar about it either. Both characters are likable and there are some cute side characters. The plot moves along, though it’s 100% predictable. There is very little on page sex and it ends with a happily ever after. I’ll happily read the next one, but I’m not chomping at the bit to get it.

Review of The Dragons of Nova (Loom Saga #2) by Elise Kova

I’ve spent the last couple days roughing it….in a tent…in 100+ degree weather. I’ve been wholly without internet and, honestly, didn’t get much time to read. Too busy floating the river, staying hydrated by any means and generally engaging with nature. Despite all that, I did finally finish Elise Kova‘s The Dragon’s of Nova. I reviewed the first in the series, The Alchemists Loom, last year. I got both through Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:
Cvareh returns home to his sky world of Nova with the genius crafter Arianna as his temperamental guest. The mercurial inventor possesses all the Xin family needs to turn the tides of a centuries-old power struggle, but the secrets she harbors must be earned with trust — hard to come by for Ari, especially when it comes to Dragons. On Nova, Ari finds herself closer to exacting vengeance against the traitor who killed everything — and everyone – she once loved. But before Ari can complete her campaign of revenge, the Crimson Court exposes her shadowed past and reveals something even more dangerous sparking between her and Cvareh.

While Nova is embroiled in blood sport and political games, the rebels on Loom prepare for an all-out assault on their Dragon oppressors. Florence unexpectedly finds herself at the forefront of change, as her unique blend of skills — and quick-shooting accuracy — makes her a force to be reckoned with. For the future of her world, she vows vengeance against the Dragons.

Before the rebellion can rise, though, the Guilds must fall. 

Review:
To start with, can I just note that Kova’s book always seem to have the most beautiful covers? Seriously, I love them all, this one included.

I have to admit, I didn’t like this one quite as much as The Alchemists Loom. It was set at a faster pace, which was a relief and I understood the world coming in, which was also beneficial. I even loved Cvareh. I appreciate a male who knows what (who) he wants and is willing to do what is needed to win them. In this case, take a back seat to her needs and play support. And a whole culture that makes no distinction on the gender of romantic partners was a bonus.

Unfortunately, as much as I liked Cvareh, I didn’t so much connect with Arianna. I felt like half of the attention that would otherwise have been focused on her was given to Florence. And of the time given to Arianna’s POV, I didn’t much care for her gruff persona and dishonesty with her own emotions. I did like Florence, however. There is a character that grew into herself.

Like book one, this one comes to a natural stopping point. But it’s a stopping point, not an ending and certainly not a conclusion. I don’t know how many books are planned for the series, but this isn’t the last one.