Tag Archives: m/m romance

Review of King’s Killer, by Ki Brightly & M.D. Gregory

I received an Audible Code for King’s Killer, by Ki Brightly and M.d. Gregory.


Description from Goodreads:

Walking the Line Between Good and Evil
Physician’s assistant by day, doctor to the Kings of Men MC by night. Grant Arthur’s life is tough to balance, but he does what he can to help his brother, Aaron “King” Arthur, the president of the motorcycle club. Trapped as an outsider to the club by his brother for safety, Grant prefers the quiet life, until the Kings visit him in the middle of the night with an injured member. With them is Kai Woodrow, rugged and dangerous, who Grant can’t tear his gaze from. 

A Killer Who Gave Away His Heart
Reaper kills for a living. He’s the man King calls when he needs to send a gruesome message. Unfortunately, Reaper’s also human, and has all the needs of a man. He’s been in love with Grant since they shared a foster home as teens, but he knows how protective King is. Reaper could never betray his president and friend, even if Grant’s the only one who sees him as Kai. He settles with quietly stalking Grant, until one night they bring him an injured club member. 

One Wild Night
When Grant is nearly hurt, Kai can’t resist living in the moment, even if it’s bound to get him killed by King—or someone worse. The world doesn’t stop turning because he finally kissed Grant, but with any illegal motorcycle club, trouble comes along for the ride. When Grant is kidnapped, Kai would move heaven and hell to find him, and destroy the people who took him. 


Review:

Soooooo…..no.

The writing in this book is fine. However, despite a strong start it was a total flop for me. The reason being the sex. At one point while listening to this book I strolled by a mirror and noticed that I actually had my lip physically curled into a sneer. I was that displeased with it. 

Here’s the thing. I have no problem with the Master/pet, Sir/boy, D/s (whatever you want to call it) relationship as a kink. HOWEVER, in a book it really has to be tied in somehow. In King’s Killer, not only did nothing in the narrative suggest either man was into this sort of sex (and at no point had either felt the other out to see if the feeling was mutual), prior to the first sex scene the reader is given the distinct impression at least one of them is against it and the other has only ever really had one night stands. There is a scene in which Grant is speaking to another King, who is into whips, chains and such, and Kai thinks to himself that Grant is too good to get involved with such things. So, when Kai later literally pulls out a chain during sex it felt HORRIBLY incongruous.

Further, part of what Kai is supposed to love about Grant is that he can be his more gentle self. Kai is supposed to be the only man he doesn’t want to see him as a monster. So, the first thing he does once he gets him in bed is slap him and start calling him Boy in a distancing manner? No, it doesn’t fit the narrative AT ALL! I sneered every time he said it. 

I cannot stress enough how out of place this dynamic felt to the story. In fact, I strongly suspect it was only included because the whole Sir/Boy thing was a fad for a little while. I just started skipping through the sex scenes. 

Similarly, Kai and Grant were supposed to have known each other since they were children. Exact time frames aren’t given. But it’s more than 10 years, at least. Since Kai is older, he’s fantasized about Grant since he was 16, and Kai is 27 in the book. But the two seem like practical strangers. In the beginning Kai insists on keeping his distance from Kai because he’s loyal to Aaron and Grant is afraid of Kai. Then out of nowhere, with no instigating event, the two suddenly threw themselves at one another. What changed? NO idea. 

Lastly, I need to address the narrator. He did a fine job. Mechanically I have no complaints. But I think he was the wrong choice for this book. He sounds about 12. I looked him up. He seems to be mid-twenties (or there about), but he sounds young. This made the already unappealing sex scenes super awkward and uncomfortable for me. 

All in all, I felt like this book tried to accomplish something it wasn’t able to. It didn’t have the foundation to carry the dynamic the authors set out to develop (or fell into developing). 

I also have a few odd little notes. I’m a little befuddled by one author naming a character after themselves. It may be spelled differently, but I listened to the audio. So, that made no never mind to me. And I think there was a point late in the book where Grant was referred to as Arthur more than once. I was confused, maybe I was misunderstanding something.

Review of Sonata, by A.F. Henley

Author, A.F. Henley was generous enough to send two of their books to be included in my Little Free Library. Sonata is one of them. This afternoon, I chose to borrow it back and read it.

Description from Goodreads:

At thirty-six Ian feels done with the world. When a night at a bar goes as poorly as expected, he wants only to return home to be miserable in peace. Instead, he encounters Jordan. Hot, young and interested, Jordan is everything Ian’s ever wanted and nothing he believes himself capable of actually obtaining. 

Jordan has enough going on in his life trying to scrape together a living for himself and his autistic son. When he meets Ian, all he wants is a brief, erotic moment and nothing else. 

But fate throws them together again and again, and Ian finds himself determined to do whatever it takes to give their story a happy ending – no matter what secrets Jordan’s past has waiting for him.

Review:

This is another hard one to review. I really adored some aspects of it. I mean Ian’s openness and heartfelt desire to care for someone was super touching. I really liked him. I felt Jordan’s desperation, even before we knew why (though I guessed his circumstances fairly early on). They were a compelling pairing.

However, even as I appreciated Henley’s inclusion of an autistic child, I also felt like he was simply a plot device. He had no real discernible personality and conveniently disappeared when the plot needed him to. Plus, the happy ending wrapped up so easily that I felt Cole had simply been shunted off into the wings.

Speaking of endings, I felt like Henley just fixed everything off screen and I found it difficult to make the transition along with the story. Plus, I felt like there were a lot of things I wanted the men to talk about (to see the men talk about) that didn’t happen.

For the most part however, I thought this was a sweet little romance.

Review of Master of Restless Shadows, by Ginn Hale

I received an copy of Master of Restless Shadows, by Ginn Hale, through Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:

Freshly graduated Master Physician Narsi Lif-Tahm has left his home in Anacleto and journeyed to the imposing royal capitol of Cieloalta intent upon keeping the youthful oath he made to a troubled writer. But in the decade since Narsi gave his pledge, Atreau Vediya, has grown from an anonymous delinquent to a man renowned for penning bawdy operas and engaging in scandalous affairs. 

What Narsi―and most of the larger world―cannot know is the secret role Atreau plays as spymaster for the Duke of Rauma. 

After the Cadeleonian royal bishop launches an unprovoked attack against the witches in neighboring Labara, Atreau will require every resource he can lay his hands upon to avert a war. A physician is exactly what he needs. But with a relentless assassin hunting the city and ancient magic waking, Atreau fears that his actions could cost more than his own honor. The price of peace could be his friends’ lives. 


Review:

I’m really torn about how to review this book. I finished it really enjoying it and wanting to know more about what happens. But I didn’t really start to feel that way until about 75% into the book. And I’ve read BOTH of the duologies that precede it. The problem is that I haven’t read them recently and this book didn’t give me enough recap to remember the kind of small details it requires to really feel invested in the plot, and the first 3/4 of the book depends on those previous books. If you have not read the Lord of the White Hell and Champion of the Scarlet Wolf series (and read them recently) I would strongly discourage you from picking this one up. Because, as I said, even having read them I felt like I was fumbling along. 

Having said all of that, I did enjoy Hale’s writing style. I was rooting for both of the romantic pairings (the secondary one especially), though romance is definitely not the plot’s primary focus. And I do still appreciate the world Hale has created here. 

No doubt I will pick the next book up. I was just a bit disappointed to not love this one more.