Hello, lovelies! 🍁 August is gone and September is here, I need Autumn to come already – the weather where I live has been hot, humid, horrible, and inconvenient in all ways.
I always read more or less the same amount: between 10-14 books which you would think is a lot and right now, thinking about it: it is a lot! I never realize how many books I read monthly until I’m posting these kinds of reviews 🤯
I read 13 books total: 11 e-books and 2 paperbacks.
- After Felix by Lily Morton (m/m, time-span): OH GOD, OH GOD, OH GOD I CAN’T STOP GUSHING ABOUT THIS BOOK, for full review click HERE.
- Captivating by Onley James (m/m, child sexual abuse, emotional abuse, PTSD, sociopath): This book broke my heart. Elijah was abused when he was younger (later described by words in the middle of the story) and saved by his grandparent. Coming from a family wherein Hollywood they are like royalty, he was an actor since he was a young child. When he is back to the Hollywood industry years later he is incredibly famous – but still protects himself from anything and everyone. Shep is a high-functioning sociopath – he lacks a certain ability to completely understand emotions and lacks a sense of love, one of his strongest emotions is obsessiveness – especially when it comes to Elijah. Their relationship is wonderful (despite the whole sociopath and PTSD), Elijah calls Shep ‘Sam’ and Shep calls Elijah ‘rabbit’ which is so apt because Elijah is skittish and will run when he smells danger. The book is wonderful, it touches a dark topic which is child molestation and how in some circles this is ignored, even by parents. The love is real and I can’t go on without spoiling this story but the ending is EVERYTHING.
- The Stopping Place by Lily Morton (m/m, age gap, past emotional tragedy): This was very short (is meant to be a short story) but as per Ms. Lily’s style, it was everything. The story is sexy, the plot is excellent, the angst that makes you want to scream but that eventually, you know it will have a happily ever after, the sex, the characters, development, and the overall story makes this story an amazing read.
- Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon (f/m, sexual abuse, non-consensual sex through emotional bullying, mention of past character death): This book has always been a favorite of mine since I was a young girl I have always enjoyed reading about Julian and Grace’s story. For full review click HERE.
- Amusing You by Claire Cullen (m/m, past manipulation in relation to a child): Harper and William didn’t like each other since the first time they meet, but this is not an ‘I hate you for some specific reason’ kind of dislike, it was mostly because Harper is a happy soul and William a very gloomy one. William was an amazing character, very insecure, and anxious on one side and supportive, attentive, and extremely confident when needed. With Harper, he’s a mixture of both which Harper finds alluring. Harper is happy, loves his friends, and enjoys his life – even when it’s a bit crappy, all his friends are moving on and he’s feeling left behind. Together, William and Harper are strangers that are acquaintance through their respective best-friends, so they are aware of each other’s existence but don’t really interact. So, of course, they are clumsy, weird out, uncomfortable, and sometimes don’t even know what to do in each other’s presence. But, this story progresses so goo and most of all, the lack of communication is resolved easily which for me was a plus. I can’t continue disclosing more because of spoilers but would recommend with my eyes closed.
- Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kenyon (f/m, past abuse, torture, emotional manipulation): This story starts the journey of the Dark-Hunters who have always stood beside me as a book lover and reader. For full review click HERE.
- Infuriating by Onley James (m/m, stalking, verbal abuse by family, child molestation, cam-boy): One thing: the sex was rushed to the point where you blink and they are jumping on each other’s body. I liked Day’s character, he’s naive but devious at the same time. His background like the other books touches a topic that was very sad: verbally abused, mocked as a child, and sexually abused as a young teenager. Jackson was a favorite character since the first book but I found so unrealistic for them to immediately get into sex when Jackson is a business owner and more than anyone else knows about respecting boundaries. The suspense was good but at the same time, I never got how the bad guy which I will not mention names was able to not only kill the lawyer but also do the things he did – when he obviously looked like he was falling apart physically and emotionally. Overall, I did enjoy both Jackson and Day and there were many moments I did love but the rush in the sexual aspect took me by surprise (mostly because he was the boss and Day a customer). You will think, well the other books were the same, but unlike the other books the sex here was by the 3rd chapter if I’m not wrong and coming from Day who was technically a virgin, and Jackson a grown-up who could hold on until things progressed smoothly, it was very out of character.
- Exasperating by Onley James (cult, mental manipulation, murder, past human trafficking): I enjoyed Robby in book 2 – I think he deserved a book too and when I read it would be with Calder which I also enjoyed reading about, I was so happy. The book started on a good note, Robby is in a problematic stage where he doesn’t really know his place – but he knows he doesn’t want to be a virgin and is dying to get into Calder’s pants. I think the relationship was interesting to read and see developed but the subplot of the assassination and the ending were terrible [in my opinion]. The ending was rushed and Robby ending working for the church was so out of character. I thought him hating his parents would stop him to follow this path even when he knew the Bible by heart. The ending was so not what the book was building up to be.
- Common Goal by Rachel Reid (m/m, age difference, past mention of the relationship between an adult and 17 years old): I feel terrible putting this book as 3 stars, this whole series has been one of my top favorites since I read the first book, but this book was very weak. I did love Kyle and Eric’s personalities, as individual characters, they were smart, shy, and just overall adorable. Together, the main problem for them not to be a couple was very weak, something that could have easily been talked and get over with. I feel the whole ‘angst’ dragged the whole story because, for me, it wasn’t really something terribly big separating them, it was just a matter of them talking. Age difference seemed to be the issue yet Kyle expressed he liked older men -many times- even when he had a previous bad relationship. Eric enjoyed the company of thirty-something years old yet he was extremely attracted to Kyle who was only twenty-five so it wasn’t a matter of them not liking each other but rather of Eric overthinking the whole age situation even when Kyle expressed he liked older men. I did love Scott and Eric’s friendships, also Ilya and Shane I hope we get more of them. Overall, I did like it but the angst was poorly executed; the characters were lovely on their own.
- Duking It Out by E.J. Russell (m/m): I have mixed feelings with this book. I found interesting the superheroes concept but I felt the romance was extremely rushed. Of course, I know this is a short book compared to other novels but it didn’t have much depth. Plus, the fact that Tarik suddenly knew the reason behind Sanders’ lack of control for his power I was like … okay, meh! I did enjoy the description of Tarik from Sanders’ POV. Didn’t hate it but I also didn’t love it.
- Love Him Steady by E.M Lindsey (m/m losing hearing, physical attack, emotional abuse): I have been waiting for Wilde’s story since I read about him in the first book but the story felt underwhelming. It started good, I bleed for Wilde whose mother didn’t love him because he wasn’t deaf and how he felt misplaced in the world, I bleed when he was hurt by Scott and decided to start anew. I also loved Lorenzos’ backstory, how he was the younger, and then a new brother who didn’t know how to speak appeared. So Lorenzo decided to be his brother’s voice which squeezed my heart so hard. In the middle of the book, I got a bit demotivated and because I felt the story was stuck with Lorenzo’s ‘not belonging anywhere’ mindset, or now knowing what to do with his life situation. Also, I felt there was a lot of Raphael in this story which is fine because I loved his character and he’s one of the main MCs in the following book, but I felt it took a bit from the main MCs – mind you, I’m not complaining in a negative sense, his friendship with Lorenzo was everything. I think one of my favorite scenes was Wilde saying goodbye at his father’s funeral and just getting out of that part of his life. His relationship with Lorenzo was slow and good, the communication was there which is something I don’t see often and there was no outside drama, just Lorenzo trying to find himself and Wilde closing a chapter of his life. I also loved seeing Simon and Rocco again and Theo and Wilde’s friendship.
- Heart Trouble by D.J. Jamison (m/m, bigoted parents): I was more invested in Zane’s story [the main character in book 2] than in the main MCs. This story was very weak, we have Ben who is sexy and smart but refuses to be in a relationship with an adrenaline junkie – his words. When Ben learns that Gage is a teacher who is far from an adrenaline-anything, he is STILL reluctant to be in a relationship. Gage, is a very plain and boring teacher – nothing jumps out of this character. The description of Doc. Johnston was very creepy and made it sound like he’s a predator – and not in a good way [to then make him the main MC in book 2 which doesn’t make sense]. THIS BOOK WAS ALL OVER THE PLACE. ZERO character development. Didn’t make me root for anyone, I skipped most of the interactions between Ben and Gage. The only thing I liked and why this received 2 stars: ZANE. PERIOD.
1 star; (aka: let me wash my brain from this bs)
- Grabbed by Susi Hawke & Crista Crown (m/m, idiotic characters, verbal abuse by a parent, indication of a rape scene that is thankfully interrupted): Let me summarize this: Preston goes to a party (gets drunk on drugs)-> gets kidnapped (spoiler: apparently by the bad guys with good intentions) -> gets rescued (and dislike his savior, the feeling is returned) -> gets a sudden heat and jumps on said savior -> left behind with his crazy bastard father (after saying his father basically doesn’t care about him to said savior) -> is put in a rehab/jail against his will -> is almost raped -> gets rescued (by the same asshole savior) -> confronts his asshole dad (very anti-climatic) -> finds his mother -> has a family…