Tag Archives: #DiverseRomanceBingo

Review of In His Majesty’s Service, by Elizabeth Silver & Jenny Urban

I received a copy of In His Majesty’s Service, by Elizabeth Silver & Jenny Urban through Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:
Everyone in the Drion Collective knows that finding your match—the one person in existence with the same soul mark as yours—is the best thing that could ever happen. But the last thing Lord Anders Hawthorne is thinking about when he boards a ship to Drion for the king’s funeral is finding his soul mate.

Captain Zachary O’Connell has the perfect life—his ship, the stars, and no emotional entanglements. When heat sparks between him and Lord Hawthorne, Zach gleefully dives into a no-strings arrangement. He doesn’t expect it to last beyond arrival at Drion, any more than he expects trouble along the way.

Trouble quickly finds them, however, and it soon becomes clear that Lord Hawthorne is not only not who he says he is, but also that he’s the target of a deadly plot. With danger all around them, Zach and Anders must work together to save the Collective. Meanwhile, Zach must come to grips with losing everything he always thought he wanted, to have the one thing he never dreamed he needed.

Review:
Sooooo, this was not very good. There was WAY too much sex, given the length and amount of plot. It seriously suffered from lack of subtlety or buildup. As an example, the first time the two men met was over a dinner at the captain’s table. The only conversation was about the steak, and it’s barely a conversation. There was no indication that these two men had any interest in each other. Then on the next page, they were jumping into bed and the pet names and ‘this is special’ starts. The whole book was like that. The authors don’t give anything time to develop, just lobbing stuff at the reader out of no where.

Mechanically, the writing is fine, except for some repetition. They seemed to do nothing but rub noses and fall into bed. But the book is just too long. Half of the petty squabbles could have been cut and we’d still understand they were struggling to get to know one another. As could half the sex scenes. They were fairly repetitive anyway, always doing the same things. I just didn’t enjoy it and have no interest in continuing the series.

Review of The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic, by F.T. Lukens

I received a copy of The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic, by F.T. Lukens through Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:
Desperate to pay for college, Bridger Whitt is willing to overlook the peculiarities of his new job—entering via the roof, the weird stacks of old books and even older scrolls, the seemingly incorporeal voices he hears from time to time—but it’s pretty hard to ignore being pulled under Lake Michigan by… mermaids? Worse yet, this happens in front of his new crush, Leo, the dreamy football star who just moved to town.

Fantastic.

When he discovers his eccentric employer Pavel Chudinov is an intermediary between the human world and its myths, Bridger is plunged into a world of pixies, werewolves, and Sasquatch. The realm of myths and magic is growing increasingly unstable, and it is up to Bridger to ascertain the cause of the chaos, eliminate the problem, and help his boss keep the real world from finding the world of myths.

Review:
Super cute, I mean it’s a little ridiculous too, but utterly adorable. I thought the characters had realistic young adult, coming into themselves sort of problems that they handled well. I thought the couple was too cute for words. I liked the side characters. I thought the fantasy aspect of the book was engaging and interesting. And I thought it was funny. Granted, some of the humor was of the slapstick, silly sort. But still I enjoyed it. A rare, all around win for me.

On a side note, if you hurry, there’s even a giveaway to win a copy. It ends Sept. 30th.

Review of Femme, by Marshall Thornton

I won an audio copy of Femme, by Marshall Thornton.

Description from Goodreads:
Queeny cocktail waiter, Lionel, wakes up to find himself in bed with Dog, a straight-acting softball player and the two embark on a rocky road to romance. A journey that requires coming out of the closet, going into the closet, a pair of red high heels, many pairs of red high heels, a failed intervention, a couple of aborted dates, and homemade pom-poms. Mostly, Lionel and Dog learn what it means to be a man. 

Review:
Generally enjoyable. For the most part I very much liked this. I liked that it took a look at stereotypes within the gay community, by the gay community. I liked that all sorts of identities were legitimized. And I thought the whole thing was warm and fuzzy and funny.But there were just a few too many moments in which I was rolling along, pleasantly enjoying the narrative only to have some needle-screech moment in which something that made me twitch happened.

I am apparently a lot less forgiving than Leon, because I would not have forgiven Doug for denying me so many times. Nope. Which means I had a hard time rolling with the happy ending. Further, I didn’t think some of the characters whose actions needed to be addressed as problematic were actually challenged. [spoiler] The sister who continued to set her brother up on blind dates (including with his ex-fiancé) despite being asked not to, who then outed him to his homophobic parents, AND THEN brought said homophobic parents to a place she knew he’d be on a date with a man, for example. Yes, she was a perfect example of an ally who is more concerned with how cool it is to be an ally than actual ally-ship, but not once was she reprimanded for her horrendously distressing behaviors, nor were the rest of the family.

Lastly, the book deals with stereotypes and I’m glad it did. I liked that. But I also found the characters, Lionel especially, too pat and stereotypical in some ways that weren’t being explored. Just because he’s femme, for example, doesn’t mean he also has to be flighty, unable to think before he speaks, consider the consequences to his actions, or perform a single domestic chore (like cook). This is not just the ‘femme persona,’ this is a stereotypical representation of the femme persona as it is often stereotyped. And part of the point of the book is that we are more than our stereotypes, a theme I thought would be a lot more effective if the characters actually went past their own stereotypes.

All in all however, I liked the book. I liked the theme. I liked the writing. I thought Joel Leslie did a great job with the narration. I’d happily read another book by this author.