Tag Archives: M/M

Review of Cursed with Claws, by Asta Idonea

I received a copy of Asta Idonea‘s Cursed With Claws through Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:
A dragon dwells atop the mountain that overlooks Ode’s village. Every year the surrounding villages gather to make an offering to keep the beast at bay: chests of gold and a human sacrifice.

When the wise men choose his beloved sister, Malle, as the latest sacrifice, Ode immediately offers to take her place. But instead of a dragon on the mountain ledge, he meets a mysterious young man.

I’ve learned. It took a little while, but it’s finally sunk in. Less Than Three Press publishes a certain sort of novella that I dislike. I always get caught by the blurb, but now I know not to be fooled. I read Alexandria Bellefleur’s Frostbite last year, which is also by LTTP and essentially the same plot as Cursed with Claws. I felt about it the same as I did this one. Meh. That’s it.

Cursed beast in a mountain cave? Check. Ingenue young man encounters him? Check. Almost instant attraction, despite one party being deadly/monsterous (both dragons)? Check. Love developing in too short a time? Check. Happily ever after? Check. Everything is very shallow, very linear and very Mary Sue/Marty Stew. It’s not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with it. There’s obviously a market, so those that enjoy it. I’m just not one of them. I was not impressed by Idonea’s Cursed with Claws, but it was the book that finally taught me what to be on the lookout for, so I can avoid reading it or its ilk again.

Review of Magic Runs Deep, by Alex Whitehall

I received a copy of Alex Whitehall‘s Magic Runs Deep through Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:
For the last five years, Veier has been chained to a king’s throne in his bear form. When a neighboring kingdom overthrows the crown, Veier’s imprisonment ends, but true freedom is not so easily earned. With blood on his hands, he needs someone with patience, strength, and trust to help him become the person he was before and prove to the invaders that he isn’t the monstrous king’s loyal pet.

Elrid, the invading king’s brother and a powerful mage, is everything Veier despises. He’s also the only thing between Veier and execution, because he thinks he can help Veier change from an aggressive bear shifter into a reasonable man. While the pair have a rough start, with long talks and mutual leaps of faith, they begin to care for each other.

However, the closer Veier gets to his freedom, the closer he is to losing Elrid. He must find balance in his heart and his life if he wishes to truly claim the freedom he’s been given—and the man he loves.

I think it was me. I’ve read books like this before and been ok with the plot. But this time I just wasn’t able to overlook how quickly Veier got over five years of enslavement, physical, mental and sexual abuse (the last being implied) when it came to Elrid. They were just instantly civil with one another, trust bloomed in no time and almost instantly Veier and Elrid were comfortable with one another. It was too much too fast, and instead of reading as building trust and Elrid being a nice person, it just read as Mary-Sue, bland. I was frankly bored for most of the book, absolutely all of the book in which I wasn’t too busy being utterly incredulous.

Having said all that, the writing is fine and any editing issues I noted were few and far between, and probably due to the fact that I was reading an ARC. Thus, my assertion that I this case, “it’s me, not you,” might account for my dislike of the book.

Review of Contemporary Draconic Hoarding Practices, by Dae Richards

I received a copy of Contemporary Draconic Hoarding Practices, by Dae Richards, through Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:
While researching his thesis, Clayton’s work leads him to Syralis the wise, a dragon and professor at the university where he studies. Syralis’ hoard contains original manuscripts which are invaluable to Clayton’s research. Clayton soon finds himself one of the few students to ever study under Syralis, and during their lessons Clayton learns not only about medieval art, but his own history and his unusual magical sensitivity as well.

Clayton also finds himself enamored of Syralis, but when that attraction proves mutual, not everybody is pleased…

Not bad for a bit of fluff, but honestly that’s all it is. I liked the characters, the world and the writing, but I would have appreciated more to the story than insta-lust, a small misunderstanding and an easy resolution. I don’t regret reading it and would read more of Richards’ work, but there was nothing here to impress me either. A nice, safe, middle of the road read.