Tag Archives: m/m romance

a mage's guide to human familiars

Book Review: A Mage’s Guide to Human Familiars, by A.J. Sherwood

I accepted a review copy of A.J. Sherwood‘s A Mage’s Guide to Human Familiars through Eliza Rae Services and I read it as my FIRST book of 2022! It was also featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight.
A mage's guide to human familiarsCover
One mage, Bel Adams – needs a familiar, gun shy about being rejected by one again.

One familiar, Nico di Rossi – Army Ranger, needs a change of pace and a new purpose in life.

Plus one familiar, Garen Dallarosa – Secret Service, needs his ex-lover Nico back.

One second chance – all for the taking.

bel nico garen
My Review:

I thought that this was really cute and I enjoyed the heck out of it. I liked all of the characters, including the side characters and I was really rooting for the relationship to work out. However, I also thought that the book dragged in the middle, with too much time dedicated too many random things and going on equally random missions, as all the men mulled over the same things. I would have liked to know a bit more of the world in general, how magic, mages, and familiars fit into it, for example. I thought the dialogue tripped into cheesy occasionally and the whole thing just got too childishly ridiculous at points (especially around Nico’s character). All in all, however, I liked a lot more than I didn’t and I’d happily read more.

2 a mage's guide to human famiiliars phots

Other reviews:

Review: A Mage’s Guide to Human Familiars by A.J. Sherwood

twenty-one arrow salute banner

Book Review: Twenty-One Arrow Salute, by Kasia Bacon

I purchased a paperback copy of Kasia Bacon‘s Twenty-one Arrow Salute some time ago. I’m not sure why it’s sat unattended for so long.
twenty-one arrow salute

Verhan Tŭrryés of Black Mountain is a handful.

Freshly enlisted in the Highland Regiment, he does all he can to steer clear of responsibility and commitment. Just not his cup of mead, that. Loose of tongue and even looser of morals, he rarely misses an opportunity to get into trouble—and into the other archers’ knickers, too.

In a unit composed almost entirely of Dark Elves, Hernan Seinnés, with his green eyes and auburn hair, is an outsider. When Verhan, up the creek again, is blackmailed into helping Hernan, he never expects to fall for him. But during the long hours spent training Hernan for the Honour Guard, feelings strike the Highlander right in the heart—and with the force of an arrow.

Unversed in relationships, Verhan finally plucks up enough courage to tell Hernan how he feels, only to drive the Asirhwӱnian away instead. If Verhan can swallow his pride, he might get one last chance to show Hernan what he means to him—and maybe this time he can hit the mark.

my review

I had this marked as READ in my Calibre file, but hadn’t written a review for it. Which left me in an uncertain space. Had I read it? Yes…no…maybe. In the end, I decided to either read it or re-read it. And I’m glad I did. I so love Bacon’s use of feels, sarcasm, and characterization. But so many of her works are too short for me. (Just a personal preference kind of thing.) This is a bit longer, but still full of all the character, feeling, and wit I adore in her shorter works. (In fact, it’s longer, so it has more even.) I’m so happy to have read it…for the first time or not. twenty-one arrow salute photo

Other Reviews:

What I Think about Twenty-One Arrow Salute by Kasia Bacon

Review: Twenty-One Arrow Salute by Kasia Bacon

Book Review: To Linzer & to Cherish, by Jen Fitzgerald

I won an e-copy of Jen Fitgerald‘s To Linzer & to Cherish. I read it as part of this year’s Christmas Reading Challenge.
to linzer and to cherish

The town of Linzer, PA is all about Christmas and every other December holiday.

For Zane Rutledge, ‘Tis the Season… to be single?

Being dumped by his long-time boyfriend five months before Christmas, Zane can’t yet fathom a new relationship. Besides, he’s neck deep in holiday party prep and Christmas play rehearsals. Who’s got time?

For Simon Wickham, it’s looking like yet another blue, blue, blue, Blue Christmas…

Being alone at Christmas isn’t for the faint of heart, but, at this point, Simon’s a pro. Besides, he can’t seem to find someone who appreciates his sass, his chatter, and his bow ties. What’s not to like?

But Santa’s elves work in mysterious ways.

Find out how Benedict Cumberbatch, Hallmark movies, and bumble bees show Zane and Simon that Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year.

my review

Meh. Meh in the sense of being neither very bad nor particularly good. The characters are sweet but the story is rushed, simple, and predictable.

I liked both Zane and Simon, but the reader doesn’t get to know them well (Zane especially). And as a pudgy person myself, I didn’t care for Simon’s seeming obsession with his weight in the beginning. (What’s an extra 15lbs to someone who is 6’2″? Not much, I image.) But I appreciated the families’ support and the characters mutual love of Hallmark movies, while living a Hallmark-like story-line felt meta in a satisfying sort of way.

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Come back tomorrow. I’ll be reviewing Bittersweets Christmas: Arvin & Tina, by Suzanne Jenkins.