Pisces Hooks Taurus by Antya Sunday

Rating: 4.5/5 stars Pisces Hooks Taurus.jpg

Length: 288 pages

Series: Signs of Love, Book 4

Genres: Romance, Male/Male Romance, Contemporary, LGBT+

Publication date: October 14, 2018

 

He lifted his wine glass and swirled the contents. “Zane, right? Here because you desperately need me?”

“I need -” Zane noticed a splotch of red wine on the breast of the guy’s jacket. “Becky?

“Beckett.”

(Ch. 2)

Zane might very well be the biggest romantic there ever was. Yet when his visa is about to expire, he tries to force a Meet Cute – both to ensure his own personal happiness and to stay close to the only family that he truly loves. Zane thinks he’s willing to do whatever it takes to stay, to fall in love, but what happens when love blindsides him? Will he notice what’s right in front of his face?

Zane might be considered the family misfit, having dropped out of high school when all of his brothers ended up being extremely successful, but he’s a shining star to those that care for him. He might mistake Tolstoy with Toy Story, but his heart is always in the right place.

Family might not always understand you, but it’s important to stay close to the people that do. For Zane, only his older brother, Jacob, understands him. Luckily, his brother is willing to do just about anything to ensure he find his happiness. When Zane needs a place to crash, Jacob and his loving wife, Anne, find him a place. Just for a couple of days, of course.

My favourite part of this tale was the interactions between characters. Zane and Becky might not come from the same world, but they managed to make their living situation work. Jacob and Zane have a loving relationship and are truly always there for each other. Heck, even Darla made this story a fantastic read.

Of course this tale had the adorable moments that I’ve loved throughout the series, as well. The way the relationship builds into something more so organically makes me smile. Zane and Becky need to learn how to be themselves, how not to be afraid of the world. Sometimes opening up to someone isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it can also be a beautiful thing.

If you’re looking for a Meet Cute romance, look no further. Zane and Becky pulled at my heart strings as they pieced each other together and I’m sure they’ll pull at yours as well.

 


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Gemini Keeps Capricorn by Antya Sunday

Rating: 4/5 stars Gemini Keeps Capricorn.jpg

Length: 268 pages

Series: Signs of Love, Book 3

Genres: Romance, Male/Male Romance, Contemporary, LGBT+, New Adult

Publication date: December 18, 2017

 

Caleb was peeking over Wesley’s shoulder, eyes bugging, nicking his head for Wesley to turn around.

Wesley whipped around but caught only a twitch of Lloyd’s lips before they settled back into a flat line. This was a game now, was it? Bring it on, Lloyd.

(Ch. 5)

The smile test is just one of the many adorable scenes that happens in this story, in this series. Wesley is convinced that Lloyd never smiles at him while his friends tell him that he’s just never noticed it. When he brings it up to Lloyd? Well, it might just very well become a game. One that Wesley is determined to win.

I adored the relationship between Wesley and Lloyd. Lloyd is all about rules and discipline while Wesley is all about breaking rules. Their heads butt more than once over rules, and I loved seeing who was willing to give in first. Sunday kept things interesting because it wasn’t always the same person who gave in. No, both boys needed to learn when to stand strong and when a little wiggle room was warranted.

As an RA, Lloyd’s rule following should come as no surprise. Sure it gains his respect, but mostly this just makes Wesley love teasing him even more. While it’s true I spent most of my first year at university living in a dorm, I didn’t actually spend much time in it. I had friends outside of the residence, mostly because I moved in a couple months late, so I spent most of my time with them. Even my roommate, who’d been there the whole time, didn’t spend a lot of time in our room. It’s interesting to see what another person’s experience living in residence was like. It was cool getting to see Wesley and his friends hanging out and actually using their common room. I know this is the experience that some people have in res, but I personally never did.

On a different note from the whole dorm room side of things, it was really great to see the way that Wesley and Lloyd supported each other. Sure Wesley might joke that Lloyd’s relationships weren’t going to last long, but that doesn’t stop him from being there for him when things go sideways. Or helping Lloyd when another RA ropes Lloyd into planning a party – definitely not his forte. Lloyd, in return, is there for Wesley when he needs help focusing on school work and looking out for his younger brother.

Sunday does a fantastic job at building a friendship before anything romantic starts to unfold – which is great for me as this seems to be the kind of romance that I gravitate towards. Lloyd and Wesley’s friendship made me smile, and I’m glad that they have this foundation to lean on when things become… more.

If you’re looking for a cute, male male romance, I’d recommend checking this book – and the rest of the series – out. The relationships – both the main and secondary ones – are adorable and left me rooting for the couple. Plus, Sunday does a fantastic job at tying in the different novels to one another, even though they can totally be read as standalone novels.

 

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April TBR

It’s taken me a little longer than usual to get this up, but I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to read this month. With everything that’s going on, I find myself having a harder time sitting down and just reading. Luckily, the weather is getting nicer and my parents have comfortable outdoor furniture. This month I plan on taking full advantage of that, reading in the backyard while Yzma runs around like the goof she is.

**For anyone who’s discovered my TBR system for the first time, I’ve organized the books on my TBR by Physical Books, AudioBooks, and eBooks. Oh, and Library books, too. **

 

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The Angel of Evil by Kenneth B Andersen

The Angel of Evil

The Angel of Evil Cover - Book 4

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Length: 315 pages

Series: The Great Devil War, Book 3

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Publication Date: October 2019

 

The stakes are so much higher for Philip and his friends in the latest installment of The Great Devil War series, The Angel of Evil by Kenneth B. Andersen. Read on for details, an excerpt, and a chance to win a digital copy of the book!

 


 

Nothing will ever be the same. Satina is gone, kidnapped by the enemy. Disobeying Lucifer, Philip heads out to find her, journeying into the deep darkness of Outer Reach. But nothing can prepare Philip for the horror that awaits—or the demons he will face.

Meanwhile, Lucifer’s kingdom is threatened as the Great Devil War draws closer. All Hell is about to break loose.

The Angel of Evil is volume 4 of The Great Devil War series.

 

Get ready for volume 5, The Fallen Angel, coming this spring!

 

Add to Goodreads

Available on Amazon

 

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March Wrap Up

This month I certainly didn’t get as much reading done as I’d expected to do. Firstly, I ended up getting a concussion by tripping because I’m that klutzy. So I couldn’t really read much for a a little over a week. And it was a bit longer than that before I could sit down and focus long enough to get words together in a way that got my point across in an at least semi-understandable manner.

And then came the quarantine period and social distancing. I hope that everyone who reads this is doing well and taking the appropriate precautions. I hope that you stay healthy with everything that’s going on, and so does everyone around you.While

I might be an introvert, even I need to get outside every once in a while. I found myself being unable to focus on reading being alone so often. Sure, Yzma tried to keep me as sane as possible, but eventually I found it easier to stay at my parents’ place for a while as I work from home. Being around other humans helped keep me sane. It also means that Yzma gets to see her best friend on an almost daily basis. Thankfully, playing with him tires her out and gives me time to focus on my day job.

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Without further ado, here’s my reading stats for this month:


For reference: Physical books, eBooks, and AudioBooks. Library books.

Total books completed: 19

Total pages read: 6,290 pages (avg. 331 pages per book)

Completed Books:

  1. Don’t Cheat Me by Jackie May (Nora Jacobs, Book 2)[4 stars]
  2. Don’t Bait Me by Jackie May (Nora Jacobs, Book 3)[4.5 stars]
  3. Leo Loves Ares by Antya Sunday (Signs of Love, Book 1)[5 stars]
  4. Flashback by Shannon Messenger (Keeper of the Lost Cities, Book 7)[4.5 stars]
  5. Small Bones by Vicki Grant (Secrets)[4 stars]
  6. Alone in the Wild by Kelley Armstrong (Rockton, Book 5)[4.75 stars]
  7. Hidden Magic by Melinda Kucsera, et. al. (Magic Underground Anthologies, Book 1)
  8. Don’t Tempt Me by Jackie May (Nora Jacobs, Book 4)[4.5 stars]
  9. Her Majesty’s Necromancer by C. J. Archer (The Ministry of Curiosities, Book 2)[4 stars]
  10. Scorpio Hates Virgo by Antya Sunday (Signs of Love, Book 2)[5 stars]
  11. Perfectly Wrong by Summer Brooks [1 star]
  12. Gemini Keeps Capricorn Antya Sunday (Signs of Love, Book 3)[4 stars]
  13. Pisces Hooks Taurus Antya Sunday (Signs of Love, Book 4)[4.5 stars]
  14. Cancer Ships Aquarius Antya Sunday (Signs of Love, Book 5)[4 stars]
  15. This Time by Azaaa Davis (Nadira Holden, Demon Hunter; Book 1)[4 stars]
  16. That Night by Azaaa Davis (Nadira Holden, Demon Hunter; Book 2)[4 stars]
  17. Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder (Glass, Book 1; The Chronicles of Ixia, Book 4)[4.5 stars]
  18. Dream Keeper by Amber R. Duell (The Dark Dreamer Trilogy, Book 1)[5 stars]
  19. In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree by Michael McLellan [4 stars]

 

Dedicated Blog Posts:

  1. Don’t Cheat Me by Jackie May
  2. Leo Loves Ares by Antya Sunday
  3. Don’t Bait Me by Jackie May
  4. Flashback by Shannon Messenger
  5. Alone in the Wild by Kelley Armstrong
  6. Small Bones by Vicki Grant
  7. Hidden Magic by Melinda Mucsera & Many More
  8. Don’t Tempt Me by Jackie May
  9. Perfectly Wrong by Summer Brooks
  10. Scorio Hates Virgo by Antya Sunday
  11. That Night by Azaaa Davis
  12. Dream Keeper by Amer R. Duell
  13. In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree by Michael McLellan

 

Continue reading “March Wrap Up”

In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree by Michael McLellan

Rating: 4/5 stars In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree.jpg

Length: 268 pages

Series: N/A

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical, War, Military History, Fiction, Civil War Fiction

Publication date: April 26, 2017

 

I found In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree to be hard hitting and powerful. While I’m lucky enough to be a white female that was born to well off parents, I can’t even begin to imagine what Henry and others like him had to face every day of their lives. While I’d love to say that slavery and racism is in the past, the sad truth is that it still runs rampant in the world today.

This novel was a hard hitting look into what life was truly like for many people at this time. The horror of the reality that people were treated like cattle, like they were less than human. That treating people like this was socially acceptable. If that isn’t horrible, I don’t know what is.

As if that isn’t bad enough, he American Civil War carried even more darkness than slavery alone. No one was safe from the clutches of the all powerful white man. Going after the “Indians”, as the Indigenous peoples were so distastefully called, seemed to be the next logical move for these men.

If you’re looking for a glimpse into the past, a chance to see what life in America was like for many people in the 1800s, I recommend picking this novel up. McLellan does a wonderful job at bringing his characters to life, of making it possible to love and hate the people of this world. To hope for some and condemn the wicked. It’s tales like this that make me recognize my privileges, to be thankful that I was born when, who, and where I was.

As long as you’re aware that this time period – and therefore this novel – is filled with bias, violence, bigotry, and hate, I truly believe there is something that everyone can take away from this tale. The best way to avoid repeating history is to learn from it, to not ignore what happened and try to better yourself and those around you. Though this novel offers so much more, this tale acts as a wonderful lesson of how not to act, of how to be the best you can be. It is a cautionary tale, and one that many people alive today could learn from.

 


Michael McLellan

Author Bio

Michael’s love of books began with Beverly Cleary’s The Mouse and the Motorcycle when he was seven-years-old. Later influenced by the works of John Steinbeck, Harper Lee, Stephen King, James Baldwin, and Cormac McCarthy, Michael developed his style of storytelling. A self-proclaimed blue-collar writer, he draws on his experiences and observations to bring relevant and compelling topics to life.

Michael lives in Northern California and when he’s not writing, he can usually be found wandering around the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges.

His body of work includes the 2014 novel After and Again, the 2015 novel American Flowers, and the 2017 novel, In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree, as well as various shorts and essays.

Michael McLellan | GoodreadsTwitter


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Dream Keeper by Amber R. Duell

Rating: 5/5 stars Dream Keeper.jpg

Length: 288 pages

Series: The Dark Dreamer Trilogy, Book 1

Genres: Fantasy. Young Adult, Romance, Paranormal

Publication date: January 29, 2019

 

“Let me guess. You have a warrant out for your arrest,” I joked.

His smile was taut, his eyes following the flashing lights when they turned the corner and whizzed by the store. “Why? Are you into bad boys?”

I snorted. “In your dreams.”

His eyes flashed, the tiniest of true smiles breaking through. “Maybe in yours.” (Ch. 3)

 

For some reason, the song “Dream Weaver” by Gary Wright played in my head the whole time I was reading this story. Hmm… I wonder why that could be…

This is my second read from Duell and I find she’s quickly becoming an author that I adore. The other book of hers that I’ve read, When Stars Are Bright, is one of my favourite retellings of all time. If you’re looking for an engaging read and a fulfilling story, I highly recommend checking out her works.

Okay, now for my thoughts on this fantastic story – Dream Keeper.

The dark vibe of this story had me hooked right away. While I’m not always the biggest fan of dark tales, it’s nice to take a break from upbeat stories every once in a while. When a story is as good as this one, I don’t miss the frills one bit. Inf act, Duell did such an amazing job with the story that I can’t wait to read more like it.

The gruesome death scenes in this story might not be for everyone, but if you can get over a little bit of gore, I’d highly recommend checking this story out. In my opinion, these deaths make the story feel more real and raw. It brings depth to the story that took the read to a whole other level. I adored it. I felt that these deaths were a valuable tool to keep the plot moving forward, not used as plot filled the way deaths are sometimes treated in stories. They weren’t needless deaths, and that’s what I liked so much about them.

I also really enjoyed the character development that went on in this world. We get to learn more about the Sandman and Nora along with what makes them tick. We get to see their fears being realized and the lengths that they’ll go to combat them. We get to see them facing the truth head on and doing what needs to be done.

Duell also did a fantastic job at bringing these worlds to life. While I exist in the real world, I was able to picture the Sandman’s beach as well as the nightmare world pretty well. Duell’s words brought this novel to life, and I got to exist in the world for a little while. Thankfully, I only existed there for a little while. I would’ve hated to be trapped in nightmares myself!

Coming out of this story, I find myself wanting more, and I’m so glad that this is the first book in the trilogy. I can’t wait to continue reading, to discover what else this world has to offer. I hope we get to find out more about the Sandman has he’s such an interesting character. I also hope that their relationship continues to blossom into something deeper. And I hope that Nora and the Sandman continue doing what needs to be done in order to come out triumphant.

 

Continue reading “Dream Keeper by Amber R. Duell”