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vivian01

No Glitter Blown

Honest reviews of things that caught my fancy, or not.

Currently reading

Art in Theory 1900 - 2000: An Anthology of Changing Ideas
Paul Wood, Charles Harrison
Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan
Gary P. Leupp
Daughter Am I
Pat Bertram
Lionheart
Sharon Kay Penman
Silver Bullet (Falls Chance Ranch #4)
Ranger, Rolf

Brandon Mills Versus the V-card

Brandon Mills versus the V-Card - Lisa Henry, J.A. Rock

Dinos RULE!

 

Making them fight is always way more fun than just walking them around. Sure, when adults are spying you're all like humdeedum. But as soon as the coast is clear, it's mash potato tar pits and broccoli forest ravaging. So, I approve of Brandon and Alex's adorbs bonding. Totally cute. Like fuck, let me stick my hoarded Lucky Charms' marshmallow stars all over them--sweet and delicious.

Dinosaurs fucking meant something.

Plus, Brandon's whole backstory is way too heavy to just layout and then expect it to all work out fine. The pace with the guys was totally reasonable and that pull between want and fear--perfect. There's nothing like eager virgins and the quest to lose it that has one rooting for the best possible outcome for both Alex and Brandon. Which btw, is awkwardly perfect. So, with all the seriousness underlying the story, I get that the levity provided by Mark's antics and Blake's oblivious good-heartedness is crucial, but I felt like in parts they were too strong and pushed our protagonists, our heroes into wallflowers.

 

Problem? Too many characters! And I hate to say since I loved all of them, but it cacophonous. Alex and Brandon's story gets pushed out of the limelight much like their shyness pushes them to the corners of rooms because the bolder and flashier friends hog it. Mark and Deacon, nice to see them again, but they run roughshod over their BFF and little brother multiple times. And Blake... he's awesome and steals the show with his earnest, uncomplicated and inspiring actions.

 

So, how do I rate this? No clue. I liked it. A lot. Just wish that Alex and Brandon were stronger than the secondary characters.

 

3.5 Stars

Favorite quote:

Sometimes he felt like he was nothing except wasted potential.

Fear (The Copper Horse #1) by K.A. Merikan

Fear - K.A. Merikan

YOU WANT PONIES?

Yes, yes…YES! Pony Play. Real pony play, not alluded to or teased about or bait and switch. All the goodies guaranteed. This isn't one of those fizzle and duds, but a live firecracker--Pop…Pop…POP!

Set in an alternate universe where the plague has given way to the rise of zombies and the fall of civilization. Safety keeps people behind the walls of London for only the brave or the stupid wander beyond. Or those looking to make a good profit. 

Reuben has been looking for something better. He wants things and he either can't have them or can't find them. He puts himself in some dangerous situations, but then the bottom rung pretty much assures that anything or anyplace else would be a step up and taking a chance, he gambles.

And loses. 

He never had many choices, but now even those few are gone. Suddenly, finding himself in world he couldn't even imagine Reuben starts on the journey to become Copper. There are perks and struggles he faces as he learns to be Master Erik's show stallion--to accept his role, his place and his desires. 

While the setting and some of the scenes are gruesome, the story itself has a sweetness to it. Copper is a prized stallion and therefore treated as such, but he is expected to be an obedient one. So while this is a story that becomes more loving as it goes on and Copper and Erik bond; it is not a gentle one. Erik is firm, but never unduly cruel. In fact, there are several instances where you realize how gentle of heart Erik truly is. 

To be honest, it's pretty darn hot. There's a couple scenes that definitely turned my crank and Reuben's from the way Erik played him. Erik's a hedonist and he takes his pleasures, but he gives them, too. HAWT. You know, like take a personal break or maul your significant other HAWT. That's the only willing reason to stop reading.

This story ends at point where Copper has cleared a hurdle and is ready to progress to the next stage, one that's been hinted at. So the HFN is great, but I really want the sequel, now. Trust me there's some pretty tempting things waved in front of us. 

There are some kinky elements, but they are moderate. No extremes. This is more forced submission with dub con moments than non con. There is also pony play, mild humiliation, fisting, and caning. 

Favorite quote:

"There's no shame in pleasure. We need to use every bit of time we've got, Copper."



Guest Reviewed for:


He is Worthy by Lisa Henry

He Is Worthy - Lisa Henry

Brutal, hard, brilliant. 

Excellent piece of historical fiction. The attention to detail and facts was a beautiful blend. Richly laid out like a banquet this story tells of political intrigue in the last days of Nero's reign. The weaving of history and story--seamless. 

The ancient world was not a soft place even in the most decadent of pleasure palaces. And this was highly entertaining and while I kept guessing where it would end, I was wrong. 

BTW. This totally revved my inner Roman geek.

Mark of the Gladiator by Heidi Belleau

Mark of the Gladiator - Heidi Belleau;Violetta Vane

Cunning, Blood and Transmutability

Love me some gladiators, but this one comes with a twist--gladiatrices. Hell Yeah! 

Smart and sexy this story combines an alluring cocktail of gamesmanship and sexual power in the ruthless ladder climbing of ancient Rome. Reading this is truly like watching the Wheel of Fortune spin, who the goddess favors is always changing. And who's in charge? That changes, too. 

This is a meticulously scribed vision of a slice of one family's life and the games they play. The power shifts within the household, the roles people act out and the truth hidden beneath it all--awesome. I figured out the way to the center of this maze rather quickly, but was not once disappointed in the story. If anything, watching the threads being laid down and woven to reach that end were a pleasure and not without a few unexpectedly delightful twists. 

Gods! The best part? Besides watching Rhakshna--yeah, I'm more than a bit bloodthirsty--every single character was both flawed and admirable. Plus the understatement employed to depict the grimmer realities were all the stronger with the gentle delivery. 

::So Happy::

The Slave Catcher by Lilia Ford

The Slave Catcher - Lilia Ford

One gruff bounty hunter and a job he doesn't want.

Surprisingly amusing ride along with Sam as he narrates, showing you the highs and lows as a denizen of one of galaxy's pleasure spots. For a short story this packed a nice range of emotions into a tight package and gives a good smack as you exit.

Favorite quote:

And one of the things you learn is that you don’t go smashing stuff you can’t put back together if you’ve no clue what the results will be— and that includes opening fire on beliefs you disagree with.

 

Fish and Ghosts by Rhys Ford

Fish and Ghosts - Rhys Ford

Not a ghost fan, but had a good time. A very good time. 

Tristan's different and he knows. His family knows it. And they've sent in the big guns to leverage themselves into a position to take matters into their own hands. 

Wolf is the penultimate skeptic and his backstory adds a level of interest to this tale. Along with his crew, they set out for Hoxne Grange to get the skinny on "the hauntings". What they find is something they've never experience before. 

Alright, so the set up for Wolf and Tristan's romance is entertaining and provides good opportunities. The secondary characters of Mara and Meegan are fabulous with Mara edging ahead easily with some spectacular lines:

"Yours is not the first dick I’ve seen, Dr. Kincaid. And it certainly isn’t the best.”

On the other hand, Gidget and Matt were far less endearing with their lack of professionalism and common sense. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum need to be smacked upside the head a couple times and I would have staked them out for their behavior. 

Best yet, there's a fun little twist at the end;

The blow to the man’s ego was going to be huge, and Tristan allowed himself a small bit of glee over Wolf’s continuing downfall.



Good ghost story with a sweet and feisty romance.

Off With Their Heads! by K.A. Merikan

Off with Their Heads! - K.A. Merikan

So demented, fucked up with a flair of absurd that I have to love it.

I could imagine this as a play, the theatrical element is strong. Zombie heads, clandestine love affair, and anti-government forces all thrown together--love it. Love Xavier's quirky and certainly uncharacteristically sexy body and Clint's fascination. Quality entertainment.

Hooch and Cake by Heidi Cullinan

::lights cigarette, exhales and takes a deep sip of aged bourbon::

That is one seriously horny and happy read. Mitch, Sunshine and Randy…Randy, Randy…Randy. Holy fuck. That man knows what he's doing and it's so nasty and good. This is the perfect tie to leash Special Delivery and Double Blind together. Fucking fantastic. Great story. Debauched and emotional. Just wow.

This is a kinky fucker's dream cum true.

 

 

 

PS. It's free on the author's website for download  :D

Driftwood by Harper Fox

Driftwood - Harper Fox

I am always happy to get lost in the imagery spun by Fox. The added bonus here is water. I am a sea creature and to be gifted the lyrical beauty of the ocean makes me ecstatic. I love all the facets, even the ones that terrify, electrify and steal your breath away.

It was still like being caught in an avalanche, a bloody cosmic washing machine, tumbling them limb over limb into a coughing, spitting heap in the shale.

Or the alluring…

Wind song, lifting from the south as the sun touched the water. The soft slap of waves on a harbour wall or hull. And always, like bright silver stitches in the tapestry, seagull cries, lifting up the sky from the earth, creating wild free space for thought to take flight.

Or the partnership…

And if he had to be shot blindly into the dark, who better to trust with the task than Vic? Shell-shocked nutcase he might be, but centuries of wrestling the ocean ran in his blood.


This envelope rich and heavy enfolds Tom's story. As he struggles to claw back from the edge and emerge.

Balled up, clutching blindly at the dog’s scruff with one hand, he wept, unable to believe the depth, the age, of the wounds gaping wide in him.

For him the solitude of the West Country is necessary, more than home it is a refuge. How Flynn knocks him off his feet and drags him out of his self-imposed exile is not a happy tale, but one that makes you smile nonetheless. It makes you believe that even from dark and desolate places life can spring forth, reincarnate and flourish.

Cinnamon by Dericka Snake

Cinnamon  - Derekica Snake

**WARNING** Those prone to motion sickness should take Dramamine before reading this book.

Another spin on Snake's Wild Ride. Yee-HAW! 

A seriously messed up addition to the vampire saga of Blood Nation. Once again, totally out there and unrepentant in the crazy persona roulette going on. I give major kudos to Snake for individualizing the characters of Azrael, Xavier, Sex, Armor, Marcus, Carnage, and Claudius so well that there is absolutely no trouble following who the heck is on the page at any given time. And let me tell you, this is no mean feat as they jump in and out with abandon. 

If you've read Snake then you're prepared for the insanity. If you haven't, check the warnings. And you must be this twisted to read it:

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|---Snake devotee
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|---Men in white coats are looking for you, again
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|---Look! I just got a spiffy new jacket
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|---Medicated, and likes it that way
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|---Could benefit from counseling
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|---Quirky or eccentric
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|---Absolutely normal member of society



Love this installment. There are couple new grenades tossed that upset the apple cart. Hades in particular pisses me off. That Ancient has something coming for him. Forget strange bedfellows, the man's an asp.  

Claudius and Marcus have some moments of brilliance and stupidity. Again. That said there are some scorching scenes. Wicked hot. Everyone gets a moment in sun and it is HOT!

When that man got his cherish on, I wanted to do nothing more than kneel at his feet forever.


Finally seems like Xavier might be getting a handle on this emperor thing. 

As the Lord Emperor, it was probably smart to keep the number of people who called me by my first name to a select few, and I was pretty sure that it was not a good idea to have the kid dry-humping my head as one of those few.

Sex might fumble a few things, but when he works it right--BAM! Talk about loading the bases for Azrael to bring them home. 

When chaos isn't exploding around them this is actually a very sweet and loving story. Of course, then something gets ripped to shreds and then you want to throw the book/ereader/computer. But hold tight and close your eyes if necessary 'cause the last twirly spin twist sets up a whole new game for book #4.

Gimmee, GIMMEE! 

Favorite passage:

I wanted Armor with me so badly right now, but Marcus needed me. They were like salt and pepper. We, the Brothers and Father, were the rest of the spice rack.

 

Everything East of the Sumida River by Kaneyoshi Shikaku and Heiko Shihenkei

Everything East of the Sumida River - Kaneyoshi Shikaku, Heiko Shihenkei

Sensual story with subtly and intrigue. A slow, slow burn. 

I appreciate the terse brevity of concise language, but then there is decadence where one rolls around in language like a fragrant field of flowers and grass. Breathing deep, reveling and absorbing it. This story is the second:

"His heart was crumbling like a piece of paper inside of his body, ready to tear itself from the guilt.


I don't speak Japanese, but I have studied a bit of art and history and I've visited several times. There are all sorts of lingual references, geographical notations about cities and subway lines, etc. that it is easy to either feel overwhelmed or fall into as an armchair traveler. I smiled about the Yamanote line in particular because I've accidentally ridden that one in circles, and I could see how doing so to clear the mind and never get to far away would be a perfect use of quiet time. And still, I feel like I missed some of the understated notes in this story. The references especially, I know the importance of season and how one quietly states it without explicitly doing so. There were a few times when things we said in passing describing something that definitely had more information then I got from it. None of these were critical plot elements, but felt like I was missing some of the symbolism. Still, it was beautiful. 

Takamatsu, the yakuza businessman is controlling, savvy, and completely lost with what to do with Naoya. He wants to possess, but how does one hold on tight without crushing?


Koji. What can I do to distract the boy?”
The succinct reply came within seconds.
“Give him the Internet.”


Naoya personifies the gender fluid youth of Edo. His beauty and training definitely harken back and instill a nostalgic feeling.

If you could condense all the kittenish sweetness and naughtiness of the boy into a flavor, this would be it. Heavenly vanilla whipped with caramel and laced with tart crushed raspberries.

Or perhaps

"I am a feast that your eyes can never entirely devour.”


I don't have a background of yaoi literature with which to compare this, but I enjoyed it. A lot. There is an element of feeling unfinished, or rather more to come in the future as certain bits are not completely resolved. There are things about Naoya that are left undone. Overall, it is fascinating journey to take that is written lyrically; just enjoy the scenery and beauty.

Favorite quote:

You are only one thing.” Takamatsu paused for emphasis. “Mine.”




~~A copy was provided to me for a No Glitter Blown review~~
~~~Reviewed for Hearts On Fire Reviews~~~

Pony by SJD Peterson

Pony - SJD Peterson

First time shame on you, second time--Shame on me. 

I like the story. I like the writing. I like Max and Aiden. What I did NOT like is the title's unfilled promise. I swore after Pup and the non-existent puppy play that I wouldn't fall for another. Well…hit me with a stupid stick and leave me out in the rain 'cause I did it again. Here, there was the tease and that's it!

I'd say more, but after being strung along the whole book with the unmet expectation I don't have anything else to say. Therefore, the rating reflects my disappoint not necessarily just the writing or story.

ETA: The tacked on epilogue and all the off page references did not satisfy me.

The Elegant Corpse by AM Riley

The Elegant Corpse - A.M. Riley

LA based murder mystery with some kink? Why, yes…I"ll take that.

Perfect timing for this read. I was so in the mood for this story and gobbled it right up. It had a nice mix of nostalgia, mystery and this coming to accept the changes of time. So, emotional and a bit sad at times, but the kind that makes you realize that it all still goes on. Some things get lost and new ones found.

The murder mystery was an interesting premise and the everything up until the reveal was quite good. A little weak at the end, but I enjoyed the story more than the mystery. I especially thought Jay's intervention with Roger and Sean was brilliant and made me want to smile and cry simultaneously. 

Roger and Sean. Hot and sweet and mercy that is some fine fun unfolding. Roger's got issues and Sean's got some, too. The intersection of them and the resolution--very nice.

Favorite passage:

Sean’s voice was defensive, and Roger felt, once again, challenged, as if Sean were throwing a dozen Scrabble tiles at him and daring him to read the secret word.

Bone Rider by J Fally

Bone Rider - J. Fally

It's about the story, stupid.

Okay, this was fun. I had my doubts when I saw the bits filtering through my feed about the mafia, aliens, and cowboys--and all I could think is how disappointed I was when that movie came out promising similar delights. Well, this book delivered.

Action-packed, funny as hell, and a memorable cast of characters.

I recommend we run like hell before they drop a helicopter on us.

This was a dense gem that just charged through and racked up an impressive body count while still managing to successfully weave a believable romance between Misha, Riley and McClane. Not to mention the excellent secondary characters and antagonists that keep adding to fun.

Love the sarcasm, dry wit, and when these guys come together--Hawt. Sweet bejeezus. ::fans self::

I've been lucky with my sci-fi picks lately. Just might be my genre of 2014. Hot damn!

Favorite quote:

I don't care what it's called; you planted the tadpole idea, stop criticizing my metaphors!

The Boy Who Belonged by Lisa Henry and JA Rock

The Boy Who Belonged - Lisa Henry, J.A. Rock

Go, Lane!

Nice addition to the story of Lane and Derek. Love how Derek continues to draw him out of his shell. Really liked how both men faced their issues head on--Lane kicked ass and Derek finally figured it all out. What a wonderful place to find them both. 

Entertaining read besides the drama and scorching hot play Derek and Lane are up to, there's the antics of Andy and Mister Zimmerman as well as Brin! Brin kinda takes backseat to Andy and Z, who are just funny. Great sense of humor weaves through the story to keep heavy issues from dragging one down.

Shit was getting a little too domestic if they were going to try carrying on a conversation about pet-sitting while they were fucking.


This isn't a wild monkey sex, swinging from the chandelier kinda book. Sure, there's some kinky play: pup, breath and sounding; but Henry and Rock quietly rip the emotions out of the scenes while this is all happening. It's that sort of intense. 

With Lane, it couldn’t always be about taking the pain away. Sometimes it was just about being there with him when he felt it. Watching him hurt and survive, and loving him for it


Or maybe I no longer pay attention to all the window dressing, because at the end of it all--it's about emotion, trust and love. So, I really liked the dynamics between Derek and Lane.

The Wild Side of Paddy McGuire by Jack Brighton

The Wild Side of Paddy McGuire - Jack Brighton

The raunchiest romance I've ever read.

 

Damn. Brighton writes some seriously nasty, hot stories. In order to appreciate, you need to check reality at the first page and just ride. A wild one at that. For a book that has as much sex as this one does it is a huge tease. Angus and Paddy are like two huge dogs circling each other. That circling was wicked hot, but torturous.

 

The reader needs to appreciate naturalism in their sex for this one to work. Straight up, get down and dirty sex. Every part of your body is amazing and want it kind of sex. Indelicate. And since I'm of the mind that sex better be worth getting hot and sweaty for--this suits me just fine.

 

Love both these filthy men. Perfect.