Currently Reading: Properly Scandalous (Young and Scambitious #2) by Mina V. Esguerra

Properly Scandalous (Young and Scambitious #2) by Mina V. Esguerra

Some thieves get away with it, and appear to live the rest of their lives in comfort and luxury. But not without meeting twenty-something society brats Jane del Mundo and Gabriel Grande first. Jane and Gabriel are not in the business of apprehending them though, but in recovering what has been stolen, in very specific amounts.

How are society girl Elizabeth Madrid and young actress Truffles Marquez connected? Not in any way Truffles is aware of, until a government official with a very specific crush unwittingly becomes the next mark for Jane and the gang.

(10,500 WORDS / ADULT THEMES AND SITUATIONS / Story #2 in the Scambitious series)

 

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AUTHOR BIO

Mina V. Esguerra writes contemporary romance, young adult, and new adult novellas. Her young adult/fantasy trilogy Interim Goddess of Love is a college love story featuring gods from Philippine mythology. Her contemporary romance novella Fairy Tale Fail won the 2012 Filipino Readers’ Choice award for Chick Lit. Through her blog Publishing in Pajamas (minavesguerra.com), she documents her experiments in e-publishing.

When not writing romance, she is president of communications firm Bronze Age Media, development communication consultant, indie publisher, professional editor, wife, and mother. She created the workshop series “Author at Once” and #romanceclass for writers and publishers.

AUTHOR LINKS

minavesguerra.com
twitter.com/minavesguerra
facebook.com/minavesguerra
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3014313.Mina_V_Esguerra

Book Review: In Despair (Princes of the Blood #3) by Megan Derr

My rating: ★★★★★

In Despair (Princes of the Blood #3) by Megan Derr
Publisher: Less than Three Press
Main Characters: Prince Telmé Guldbrandsen, and Korin, heir to the Reach of the House and the Temple of the Sacred Three

It was mentioned in ‘Of Last Resort’ how, and I quote: “twenty-some years ago, nearly all the Legion had been slain, including all of the Princes of the Blood save one: Telmé, who had only been a boy at the time.” After reading that part, I wanted to read ‘In Despair’ right away. The Princes of the Blood were the Queen’s most powerful and most “notorious” among her Legion so naturally I wanted to know how the princes were killed. The third installment of the series mostly revolved around that incident and I found myself wanting to read more about the current Telmé (the Commander of the Princes of the Blood) and Korin (his husband, the High Priest). You see, the ‘current’ Korin was mostly in a ‘coma’ for the most part of the book up until the ending. I thought the book ended perfectly, but I’m hoping that the ‘current’ Telmé and Korin will have their own ‘short’ (story) too.

With that said, I thought the young versions of Telmé and Korin fighting most of the time was cute. But the part that I loved the most in this book was Telmé’s despair. How he found himself helpless and unable to do anything as he watched the love of his life sleep day after day. That, and his despair during the incident twenty-seven years ago when the princes he considered his brothers were slain. His pain for losing his loved ones and the pain he felt for being alone was so acute and so raw. It isn’t easy to deal with the loss of a loved one, nor is it easy to watch and feel helpless while a loved one is suffering.

And this is exactly why I love Megan. It’s not just her endless imagination and ability to build awesome worlds such as in the Princes of the Blood series, or the way she was able to incorporate romance and action scenes in her complicated stories, but also because her works have themes, too.

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About the Book

Prince Telmé Guldbrandsen has been groomed since childhood to become a Prince of the Blood and Commander of the Legion. He will be the youngest person to ever take the Blooding—if he can behave long enough to prove he can be trusted with the responsibility. But behaving is difficult when he is constantly forced to endure Korin: heir to the Reach of the House and the Temple of the Sacred Three, and the snotty brat Telmé is expected to someday marry.

Then the unthinkable happens, leaving Castle Guldbrandsen—and the Legion—in pieces. Overwhelmed by fear and grief, Telmé convinces Korin to help him attempt the impossible. But rather than relief, Telmé’s triumph is met with anger and rejection…

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Book 2: With Pride:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19162047-with-pride

Buy the book here: Less than Three Press: http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_bookx_info&cPath=92&products_id=576&zenid=7dateu08953r056367lht8jer2

Book 1: Of Last Resort
https://josephinelitonjua.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/valentine-read-of-last-resort-by-megan-derr/

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About the Author

Megan is a long time resident of m/m fiction, and keeps herself busy reading, writing, and publishing it. She is often accused of fluff and nonsense. When she’s not involved in writing, she likes to cook, harass her cats, or watch movies (especially all things James Bond). She loves to hear from readers, and can be found all around the internet.

Follow her here:

maderr.com
maderr.tumblr.com
maderr.livejournal.com
lessthanthreepress.com
@amasour

 

Book Review: God Sees the Truth, but Waits by Leo Tolstoy

God Sees the Truth, but WaitsGod Sees the Truth, but Waits by Leo Tolstoy

My rating: ★★★★★

This story is about Ivan Dmitrich Aksionov – a young merchant who had everything until he was wrongfully accused of murder. In a blink of an eye, he lost everything, his family, his wealth, his life.

He would spend the next twenty-six years of his life in prison. It was there where he met Makar Semyonich, the real murderer. In the end, Makar confessed but Aksionov was already dead when his release order came.

I hate this story, seriously. What a way to live. As a Catholic, I have been raised not to hold hatred in my heart, only love and forgiveness. While it is true that a person will not be able to move forward unless s/he forgives, I can’t help but feel the unfairness of life in this story. Aksionov spent twenty-six years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit and that’s it? Sometimes I can’t help but feel that life is a load of crap, nothing more. That there’s nothing profound about it. I get that the moral of the story is forgiveness, but did Aksionov have to spend twenty-six years in prison just so he could learn how?

Absurd.

Still, I gave this story five stars because of the truth that it represents. In this life, we all have our own prisons and crosses to bear.

Twenty-six years ago, the man I loved like a father was murdered and the man who committed the crime was freed. Twenty-five years ago, I had to watch how my four-year-old cousin got beaten time and again by his own father. He had a very poor constitution and eventually died.

To forgive is asking a lot. To not hold hatred in my heart is asking a lot. Ironically, I understood that the guy who knifed the person I loved was an addict and was not in his right frame of mind. I understood, too, that it wasn’t normal to whip a child the way my uncle did–that he must’ve been suffering some type of illness–that’s why he did what he did. What I couldn’t forgive is myself. I wasn’t Kuya Tito’s child, I didn’t want to be a bother so I shunned him. How was I to know we would only have nine years together? How was I to know that my cousin would die before his 18th birthday? But I should have known. After all, he had a poor constitution as a result of the constant beating. I couldn’t forgive myself for not doing the things I should have done for them.

No, forgiveness does not come easy.

View all my reviews

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About this author:

Leo Tolstoy - photo taken from Goodreads

Leo Tolstoy – photo taken from Goodreads

Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (Russian: Лев Николаевич Толстой; commonly Leo Tolstoy in Anglophone countries) was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. His two most famous works, the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are acknowledged as two of the greatest novels of all time and a pinnacle of realist fiction. Many consider Tolstoy to have been one of the world’s greatest novelists. Tolstoy is equally known for his complicated and paradoxical persona and for his extreme moralistic and ascetic views, which he adopted after a moral crisis and spiritual awakening in the 1870s, after which he also became noted as a moral thinker and social reformer.

 

His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him in later life to become a fervent Christian anarchist and anarcho-pacifist. His ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You, were to have a profound impact on such pivotal twentieth-century figures as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Source:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/128382.Leo_Tolstoy

Book Review: Stranger on the Shore by Josh Lanyon

Rating: ★★★★★

Published May 2014 by Carina Press

StrangerontheShoreOMG. LOL. I don’t know what to say… Josh Lanyon had done it again. The thing is, I’ve said the same, exact thing after reading his Christmas codas in his blog… and his other works that I’ve read before that.

Josh’s works make me laugh; make me feel on the edge of my seat; make my heart clench; bring tears to my eyes; keep on making me guess (who the culprit is), render me speechless. Stranger on the Shore made me feel all of these. I just wish there were more lovey-dovey moments between Griff and Pierce before they jumped in the sack but that’s just me, I guess. 😛

I find it romantic that even as a kid, Brian couldn’t get his hands off of Pierce. Aww, really sweet.

My most favorite part of the book is when Griff was reading through Gemma’s journal and there was that entry in July 4th that made me bawl like a baby. It was like a punch in the gut. It’s just… I remember reading and going through my mother’s things when I was 12… trying to get a glimpse of how she was as a person. In the end, I stopped doing it because those books, notebooks, slum book could hardly give me an idea of who she was. Just that she loved reading, loved, Science… had a very neat penmanship, loved a cheesy book and music and that’s it. Put that way, she could have been anyone.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that this is why I love Josh Lanyon. He understands human emotions and he successfully translates those into words every time making the readers laugh or cry, commiserate with the main character or be mad at him and so on and so forth.

Then of course there was the mystery element in his books as a bonus. 🙂

Looking forward to reading his latest work: The Boy with the Painful Tattoo. ❤

Stranger on the Shore by Josh Lanyon [Goodreads]

Twenty years ago young Brian Arlington, heir to Arlington fortune, was kidnapped. Though the ransom was paid, the boy was never seen again and is presumed dead. Pierce Mather, the family lawyer, now administers and controls the Arlington billions. He’s none too happy, and more than a little suspicious, when investigative journalist Griffin Hadley shows up to write about the decades-old mystery. Griff shrugs off the coldly handsome Pierce’s objections, but it might not be so easy to shrug off the objections of someone willing to do anything to keep the past buried.

–Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Stranger-Shore-Josh-Lanyon-ebook/dp/B00I15VL86/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1403029252&sr=1-1&keywords=Stranger+on+the+Shore+by+Josh+Lanyon

–B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stranger-on-the-shore-josh-lanyon/1118327863?ean=9781426898327

GoodreadsbadgeAbout Josh Lanyon

Bestselling, multi-award-winning JOSH LANYON is the author of over fifty titles of mystery, adventure, fantasy and romance. Josh is the author of the critically acclaimed Adrien English Mysteries series, including The Hell You Say, winner of the 2006 USABookNews awards for GLBT Fiction. Josh is an Eppie Award winner and a three-time Lambda Literary Award finalist. When not writing Josh enjoys gardening, film noir, fine wine, vintage mysteries, and night swimming.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/359194.Josh_Lanyon
Website: http://www.joshlanyon.com/
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Josh-Lanyon-Fan-Page/107401402656849
Josh’s Blog: http://joshlanyon.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoshLanyon