Tag Archives: M/M

Review of The Ruin of a Rake (The Turner Series #3), by Cat Sebastian

I won a copy of The Ruin of a Rake, by Cat Sebastian in a Facebook giveaway. You can find my reviews of the first two books in the series here and here.

Description from Goodreads:
Rogue. Libertine. Rake. Lord Courtenay has been called many things and has never much cared. But after the publication of a salacious novel supposedly based on his exploits, he finds himself shunned from society. Unable to see his nephew, he is willing to do anything to improve his reputation, even if that means spending time with the most proper man in London.

Julian Medlock has spent years becoming the epitome of correct behavior. As far as he cares, if Courtenay finds himself in hot water, it’s his own fault for behaving so badly—and being so blasted irresistible. But when Julian’s sister asks him to rehabilitate Courtenay’s image, Julian is forced to spend time with the man he loathes—and lusts after—most.

As Courtenay begins to yearn for a love he fears he doesn’t deserve, Julian starts to understand how desire can drive a man to abandon all sense of propriety. But he has secrets he’s determined to keep, because if the truth came out, it would ruin everyone he loves. Together, they must decide what they’re willing to risk for love.

Review:
This was sweet and entertaining. I liked both the main characters, the writing was good, and it was fun to see the couples from The Soldier’s Scoundrel and The Lawrence Browne Affair make an appearance. But it was no where near as good as those first books, IMO. I found it repetitive and sloppy.

Also, as I said above, I won a copy from the author in a Facebook giveaway. I don’t recall it being referred to as an ARC (it’s been published 8 months), but I hope it was and I’m keeping the possibility open because there were quite a few editing mishaps. (The chance that it wasn’t is why I mention it, instead of just chocking it up to being an ARC.)

All in all, If I hadn’t read book one and two and wasn’t comparing this one to them, I might have liked it more than I did. (Keeping in mind that I didn’t actually dislike it.) I’ll no doubt read more of Sebastian’s writing. This just might not ever be one of my favorites.

Review of Shatterproof, by Xen Sanders

I purchased a copy of Xen SandersShatterproof.

Description from Goodreads:
Saint’s afraid to die. Grey can’t stand to live.

Grey Jean-Marcelin wants to die. He thought painting his passion—vivid portrayals of Haitian life and vodou faith—would be enough to anchor him to this world. But it isn’t. And when the mysterious man known only as Saint saves Grey from a suicide attempt, it’s more curse than blessing—until Grey discovers that Saint isn’t just an EMT. He’s a banished fae, and can only survive by draining the lives of those he loves.

All Saint needed was a simple bargain: one life willingly given for another. But as Saint’s feelings for Grey grow deeper, centuries of guilt leave him desperate to save a man who doesn’t want salvation, even if Grey’s life means Saint’s death.

When Grey’s depression consumes him, only he can decide if living is worth the struggle. Yet his choice may come too late to save his life . . . or Saint’s soul. And whatever choice he makes, it may shatter them both.

Review:
I read this as part of a Buddy Read and, of the ten or so of us, I think I’m the only one who didn’t love it. Now, I didn’t dislike it. But it ended and I was just sort of like, “Well, that’s a thing I’ve read now.”

I actually have a pretty high tolerance for Purple Prose, and I’ll 100% admit the writing in this book is beautiful. But with dozens of passages like this:

Saint’s lips parted. To question, to protest—he would never know when he never had the chance. Not when Grey’s lips stole his, stole him, and carried him away with a kiss made up of sighs on silk and the taste of amber. He kissed like sugar, sweet and gritty, and Saint clutched at his arms…

I eventually lost patience with it. Plus, the book is very angsty. I actually would say it’s overwrought. I can handle flowery language or I can handle constant push and pull between characters. But personally, I just can’t seem to handle both.

Then then there was the just too conveniently discovered solution to the problem of the book. It struck me as, well, too convenient and non-specific enough. By this I mean that I feel like Saint would have made the same choice for any of his past lost lovers, not just Grey. Out of guilt if nothing else. So, I found it profoundly dissatisfying.

My point is that this wasn’t a great book for me. The style just isn’t one I like. But it’s pretty and I really appreciate so many other aspects of it. When did you last see a suicidally depressed hero? There’s diversity in the cast (even on the cover). Creole religion is presented positively. There’s a lot to like in this book, if the writing style is one you can tolerate. I think I’m an outlier on this one.

Review of Havesskadi, by Ava Kelly

I received a copy of Havesskadi, by Ava Kelly, through Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:
Nevmis, the red dragon, is hunting her own. Up in the icy peaks of the northern mountains, Orsie spends his lonely days hiding from her, but eventually he is found and his dragon magic stolen. Cursed to wander the lands as a mortal unless he recovers his magic before twenty-four rising crescents have passed, Orsie embarks on an arduous journey. Spurred by the whispers in his mind, his quest takes him to a castle hidden deep in a forest.

Arkeva, a skilled archer, is trapped in an abandoned castle deep in the woods, his only company two companions—one kind, the other cruel. Then a stranger arrives, a young man who soon finds himself confined by heavy snowfalls—and in danger from what slumbers in the shadows of the castle.

Review:
This isn’t horrible, but it’s too long by half and heavily dependent on two people not having a conversation that the continued avoidance of feels manipulated and unnatural. Further, there’s very little character development and almost no actual characters beyond the two main ones. I also have questions about these all important dragon souls. It’s an interesting idea, but not nearly well enough explained. All in all, it’s a sweet story, but it’s a poorly executed book.