Tag Archives: m/m uban fantasy

skin deep sw vaughn

Book Review: Skin Deep, by S.W. Vaughn

I picked up a copy of S.W. Vaughn‘s Skin Deep from Amazon in the summer of 2017. Lately, I’ve been trying to read some of the books that have been buried in my kindle cloud. And Skin Deep is one such book. I think the book has since gotten a new cover, but this is the edition I have.
skin deeo sw vaughn

He knows everything about love… except how to find it for himself.

Will Ambrose hosts a popular LGBT relationship radio show, but lately he feels like a fraud. His own relationships have been anything but successful — a fact that his current partner, a sadistic closeted cop, has made painfully clear.

After his partner flies into a violent, jealous rage that leaves him battered body and soul, Will finds an unlikely savior in Cobalt, a smoking hot tattoo artist who offers shelter and healing. But Cobalt is hiding a devastating secret: He’s not human.

A Seelie Fae banished from his realm by a jealous lover of his own, Cobalt has given up risking relationships with humans. None are strong enough to handle the truth. But Will is different, and Cobalt can’t help falling for the man who’s dropped into his life without warning and captured his heart.

Unfortunately, Cobalt’s powerful ex-lover will stop at nothing to destroy his newfound happiness — and every moment he spends with Will is risking both of their lives.

I’ll give this a pretty lackluster 3 stars. It’s not that there’s anything really wrong with it, there’s just nothing especially right with it either. It’s competently written with a follow-able plot, but it’s all pretty shallow. The villains are crazy-pants evil, just for the sake of evil. No discernible motive or even enough control over themselves to be a believable villains. The lust is instant and mutual, and the love comes rushing in right on it’s heels with no real feeling of having developed. The paranormal elements are interesting, but not deeply developed, etc.

I did have a problem with the torture porn and sex though. One character is beat unconscious and raped and literally begging for sex by the next day. I think probably both the physical and mental trauma would come into play to prevent that. Plus, Will is just too stupid for words when it came to Lyle.

All in all, I don’t regret reading this but I’m in no real hurry to read the next in the series either.

skin deep

witches for Hire

Book Review: Witches For Hire, by Sam Argent

I’m not sure where I got Witches For Hire, by Sam Argent. It’s been resting in my Caliber file since 2017 though. So, I suspect I picked it up during one of DSP’ events. But I wouldn’t swear to that, only that I came by it legitimately.

Witches For HireAll recovering drug addict and witch Jeremy Ragsdale wants is to shamble on to the next job without any disasters. Instead, the temp agency saddles him with a fellow witch who hates him, an Amazon one violent outburst away from deportation, and a knight from another world as his boss. Even worse, their jack-of-all-trades magic business stumbles upon a conspiracy to kill Desmond the Great, Atlanta’s sexy star magician. Jeremy must prevent it without letting his colleagues know that he not only has ties to the energy vampires behind the plot, but that his past misdeeds might have instigated the attacks.

Despite Jeremy sporting a suit and tie like a good witch, his lies snowball to bite him in the ass. The lack of trust brewing between him and his teammates could cost Desmond his life and Jeremy his progress on the straight and narrow path if his secrets are revealed. Because no matter how much Jeremy has reformed, there’s still enough bad witch in him to kill anyone who messes with him or the people he cares about.

I had a truly odd experience reading Witches For Hire. The book has an awesome cover and blurb (though much of the blurb, while accurate, is irrelevant to the story). I liked the characters. I enjoyed the humor. I liked the voice or tone of the storytelling. The writing was mechanically competent and I don’t remember any big editing mishaps. By all accounts I should have adored this book.

But…and it’s a big but…the book would do well as a second or third book in a series. It does not, however, do well as a first. There was so much missing backstory that was hinted at throughout, and world-building that was left hazy, at best, that I spent most of the book asking “what is happening” and considering DNFing it.

I can’t count how many times I went online to check if there was a prequel or if this was a spin-off from another series. As far as I can tell there isn’t and it isn’t. It really is a first in a series, all on it’s own. And as much as I wanted to love it, the stingy was information was doled out, one frustrating crumb at a time, was a style that didn’t work for me.

The thing is though, there was so much I did like (even if not enough to rescue this book) that I’d be willing to give an Argent book another chance. Like I said, odd.

witches for hire