Tag Archives: Celia Kyle

Things I read over Thanksgiving Break 2017

I visited my aunt and uncle in Tennessee this Thanksgiving. That’s a six hour drive from my house, plus a four day visit and a six hour drive home. As my husband is one of those men who insists on always driving, that meant I got lots of reading time in. But while rural Tennessee is beautiful and we couldn’t have gotten better weather, the internet connection is sketchy, at best. So, I opted to save all my reviews for one post once I got home, instead of the normal one post per book.

This is that post. I’ll give each a little review below; but as you can maybe see from the books I chose, I was going for base enjoyment. St. Nacho’s was the winner of the bunch and Misbehaving  ranked bottom of the pack, closely followed by Undaunted. Leaving Jarek, Hell is Where the Heart is and Submerging Inferno lingering in the middle somewhere, neither wowing me nor leaving me cringing to admit I read them.

Undaunted, by Devin Harnois

This was one of those books in which everyone is just so darned lovely you can’t stand it. People make instant connections, earn trust in no time, love blooms easily, and EVERYONE lives happily ever after together. The writing was ok, though the dialogue didn’t feel particularly natural, at times. But the pacing felt off and I didn’t believe the relationships for a moment.

Jarek, by Celia Kyle & Erin Tate

I think you kind of have to be invested in the Mars Needs Women trope to enjoy this, it’s just so pared down. Unless you already know what to expect from the genre, you might not feel satisfied with this. Mars Needs Women is one of my guilty pleasures. I generally find them cheesy fun and this one was no different. There just isn’t a lot to it and what there is is diluted by a lot of outside drama and it felt like it might be part of a spin-off series, as there was a lot of history discussed. It wasn’t bad, but certainly wasn’t one of my favorite to use the trope.

Misbehaving, by Ava Mallory

Bad, just bad. It jumps around, the pacing is a mess and it needs an editor. But what really ruined it is that it’s literally like 95% dialogue. It’s really hard to make a novel work when it is all dialogue, and not even good dialogue. Mallory didn’t manage it.

St. Nacho’s, by Z.A. Maxfield

Slow and heavy, but good. I’ll admit that the beginning of this book left me confused, but once it found its groove I thought it really pretty. I liked that Maxfield messed with expectations in Cooper and Shawn’s relationship and Shawn was just a truly lovely character. The book did break my hear a little bit. I’d love to read Jordan’s book, which I think is #2 and Kevin’s, which I don’t think exists.

Hell is Where the Heart is, by Eden Winters

I was tempted to write this book off as absolutely ridiculous, but honestly that’s its whole point. It is ridiculous, but it laughs at itself and I found the whole think amusing in a silly sort of way.

Submerging Inferno, by Brandon Witt

Not too bad. A bit repetitive, the middle dragged a bit, I didn’t really buy Brett ‘s decisions, and it ended just about the time it got most interesting, but not bad. It has an interesting plot, two likable heroes and a diverse cast.

More bloody novelettes


Some might know that I’m trying to clear the short stories, novelettes and novellas less than 100 pages off my To-Be-Read shelves. I started with the shortest and am working my way up to the longest (99 pages). Below are those between 60 & 69 pages in length.

He Ain’t Lion,  by Celia Kyle: This is basically porn with plot. I mean, 80-85% of it is sex and that’s not even an exaggeration. And it’s chocked full of horrid porny dialogue. I very rarely give more than two stars to this sort of erotica. I dislike the language generally used to describe sex and get then cheesed out. But I appreciate that Maya was given quite a lot of agency, Alex wasn’t just an alpha A-hole and there was quite a lot of genuine humor in it. So, I’ll give it a 2.5 and round up to three.

Like a Fox, by Celia Kyle: Basically just one long sex scene. Better than a lot of erotica, but it is what it is.

Playing with Shadows, by Sasha L. Miller: It felt a little shallow, but not under-developed. Had a pleasantly creepy vibe and was well-written. Had very little romance that I honestly thought was surplus to requirements.

Wicked, by Diana Bocco: Erotic fluff; two people meet, instant attraction, excuse to have lots of sex. Eh. It is what is is, but it’s nothing special.

The Bridge, by Kay Bratt: Very sweet story. The writing was fairly straight forward, bordering on simple and there were a few jarring POV slips, but mostly it was a sweet (if cloying) tale.

Dark Soul Vol. 1, by Aleksandr Voinov: Hot damn, that was a scorcher! I put this off thinking it would be off-puttingly violent/erotic (if you know what I mean), which often feels artificial and gratuitous to me, but I think it tread that edge well. I love how intrigued but confused Stefano is and appreciated his love of his wife. I usually don’t like wives in m/m because I don’t like to see them get cheated on, but this one didn’t raise my heckles (not yet at least). I preferred the first episode to the second and would be well up for reading more. Voinov’s voice is marvelous.

Twice in a Lifetime, by Jennifer Jakes: OK but it wasn’t a real winner for me. I don’t think the logistics of the plot really hung together. I understood the author’s intent, but it wasn’t quite accomplished. Plus, the whole thing seemed like an extreme response to a minor problem.

Delicate, by C.K. Farrell: There were things I appreciated–the over forty, voluptuous sex vixen, the preference for pubes over prepubescent baldness, and such–but I thought the story self-indulgent in its word choice (coincidentally one of the same criticisms the writer in the story receives) and I never really found anything to like in the story itself.

Alabaster Nights, by Elle J. Rossi: Standard vampire meets his mate, insta-love ensues PNR. Not bad, but nothing special. Plus, it’s a prequel to a series so it ends before the actual story really gets going.

Flight Risk, by L.A. Witt: A pleasant enough stand-alone novelette, but I felt like it was all blown out of proportion. The two were talking and acting like they had to make forever decisions after one night together. I also thought it got a bit repetitive toward the end.

Cops, Cakes, and Coffeeby Sara York: OMG, so bad! Rushed, insta-love, insta-relationsip, painfully saccharin and artificially, cloyingly sweet. No development. No build-up. No character development. Even for a novelette it’s no good. I literally made so many gagging noises while reading it that my partner asked if I was ok.

Shepherd, Slave, and Vow, by Lyn Gala: Really quite enjoyable and well written. It did go from enemies to lovers awfully fast and from lovers to life-mates even faster, but a fun read.