Saturday, October 25, 2014

Book Review: Raising the Rent by JL Merrow


Life as a rent boy is not a long-term career goal for Nathan, who's determined to get an education. But when he turns up for his first day at college he's horrified to find his English teacher is one of his regular customers: Stephen, the one Nathan dubbed The Voice for his educated, honeyed tones.

Stephen's just as shocked to see Nathan sitting in his class, not to mention terrified he's about to be exposed as having paid for sex with a student which would mean public humiliation and maybe the loss of his job. Yet it's clear Nathan is only interested in getting his A Levels, not in blackmail. And Stephen realizes there's more to the nineteen-year-old than meets the eye.

Nathan still has to earn a living, though, and when a customer turns ugly, he finds himself homeless and unable to work. Stephen steps in to help, and Nathan starts to think they could have a future together if Stephen's guilt and lack of trust don't end their back-to-front romance before it starts.

Dani's rating:

Merrow's writing, dialogue, and character development are brilliant. Even though I don't typically enjoy rent boy stories, there was something poignant about Nathan's plight. He hooks to pay rent and makes no excuses for his choices.

The story is told from Nathan's POV, but Stephen's motivations become more clear as the plot progresses.

Since Nathan is mature and level-headed, the age gap was an almost non-issue here, as was the fact that Stephen turns out to be Nathan's professor. Stephen is nothing but professional, even as he yearns to take care of Nathan.

I wish this novella had been longer, as I liked the MCs and story development. There was so much more to say, and the ending, which was a happy-for-now, left me wanting more.

Book Review: The Boy with the Painful Tattoo by Josh Lanyon

The Boy with the Painful Tattoo (Holmes & Moriarity, #3)From the blurb:

It's moving day at Chez Holmes. Somehow, against Kit's better instincts, he and J.X. are setting up house together. But while J.X. is off at a writing conference, Kit unpacks a crate that should contain either old books or new china. It doesn't. Within the mounds of green Styrofoam popcorn is a dead body. A very dead body.
There goes the neighborhood.

Rosa's Rating


I don't want to write a review where I give a book 4 stars and then proceed to complain about it. Usually when I write reviews I like to write 1) good stuff, 2) bad stuff  and 3) good stuff again. Because ending on a positive note is nice, right? Right. Excellent.

So, even though I feel like going right to the negative--here's the good stuff.

I LOVE Kit. I love being in his head. I completely identify with his insecurities, vulnerabilities--a lot of -ties. I love his humor. I love that he finally stopped complaining about the age difference between himself and JX. See? Character development! It's an awesome thing.

I love JX. I love that it takes so little to make him happy. Just a tiny bit of effort on Kit's part and he's satisfied. However, JX? STOP GIVING CAREER ADVICE. Let Kit work it out on his own. Okay? Great. Thank you.

I love the mystery. I love how the mystery really isn't that important--what is important is how the mystery gives Kit a way to explore the issues in his own life and his and JX's issues with each other.

What I didn't like? About the last 15%. It's not that the ending is sad. It isn't. But there's a major, painful, confrontation towards the end of the book, fairly shortly followed by an honest, loving, discussion. But both the argument and the making up took place too late in the book for me. I was still feeling antsy and worried over their relationship when the book ended. The last scene of the book is very positive, but I wanted more. I wanted more proof that everything was going to work out.

But if that's what you want, you're probably reading the wrong author. Lanyon doesn't do 100% guarantees. It's well-known that Lanyon loves to save the happy feels, the happy-for-nows, until the very end. Just as our heroes unite, the book is over. I've heard from a lot of readers that this drives them crazy. Normally, I don't mind, I even like it as a lack of guarantees feels more real to me. Would I like a long chapter on how happy the two MCs are with each other? Yes. But it's not Lanyon's style and 99% of the time I'm good with that. But not with this book. It keeps gnawing away at my brain. I'm confident that Kit and JX want to work out their issues but for the first time in this series I'm truly worried that won't happen. I know it will happen, because romance novel, but still--I'm worried.

Maybe it's just my mood? I'm really enjoying the sugar/fluff nugget books lately and those books are under a contractual obligation to end happily ever after. It'll be interesting to see what I think in a different state of mind.

Anyway! Back to the good stuff. Mixed feelings or not this book was well-worth the FOUR YEAR WAIT. And I will happily wait another four years for book #4. Okay, maybe not happily. I'll probably mope and complain constantly. But I will be monumentally happy when it appears on my Kindle.

                                                    Buy this book:

Thanks for reading my review!


Friday, October 24, 2014

Kindle Weekly Deals~ Week of 10/18/14- 10/24/14

"Painted Faces" by L.H. Cosway- Adult, contemporary romance~ Price drop to FREE!

"What I Didn't Say" by Keary Taylor- YA, contemporary romance~ Price drop to $0.99!

"The Duality Paradigm" by Lia Cooper- M/M, paranormal romance~ Price drop to FREE!

"Undeniable" by Madeline Sheehan- NA, contemporary romance~ Price drop to $0.99!

Spotlight: Heat by R.J. Scott and Chris Quinton


Serving up passion, family, love and hate, with a side order of arson.
Lewis has lost nearly everything, and now it seems that Devon is here to take the last thing he has left ­ working in his beloved restaurant, Laurels. But when an arsonist threatens everything Lewis loves, he realizes sometimes everyone has their ghosts, and he discovers an unexpected ally who is prepared to risk everything for him.
* * * * *
Set in the small cathedral city of Salisbury, Master Chef Lewis Mandineau no longer owns the Laurels, the restaurant that had been in his family for generations. Betrayed and robbed by an ex­lover, he's had to sell to Carnegie Enterprises, an American corporation. That isn't all Lewis has to contend with. Rachel, his beloved younger sister has been left severely hurt by the car crash that killed their parents, and taking care of her has to be his priority.

Enter Devon Trelawney III, sent to assess the viability of the restaurant and its staff. Devon knows all about family tradition. But he also knows sentiment has no place in business matters, and the Laurels' potential is swamped by the debts it has accrued. Devon is a hardheaded businessman, first and foremost, but Lewis and Rachel test his resolve in different ways. Soon Devon is forced to admit that what seems like an impossible love can sometimes become something very real.


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