Book Review: My Boyfriend’s Back by Elliot Cooper

My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

I enjoyed reading My Boyfriend’s Back very much.

I must admit I didn’t read the blurb before reading this book because, hey, it’s Elliot Cooper, I love him! Needless to say I was surprised when I started reading. Not only is it a story I didn’t expect, it was both dark and tragic as well.

The problem is, I don’t like it when main characters die and a few pages into the story I kind of got where it was going. I almost stopped reading because, well, I hate tragic stories but I’ve read two of Elliot Cooper’s works before and he’s always created something new and magical out of something old and somehow I knew he would do the same thing with this book. Didn’t stop me from getting horrified when Dax died though. Few pages in and I already loved the guy, that’s how powerful this writer’s writing is, he managed to make me care for the love interest in the span of a few paragraphs.

Anyway, I’m glad I pressed on even if some scenes horrified me tremendously. Lol. It is fast-paced as well so the reader need not worry about getting bored.

Five stars from me; I therefore recommend My Boyfriend’s Back .

Happy reading!

View all my reviews

About the Book

After losing both of his parents, Academy of Magecraft student Steven Durant doesn’t want to see anyone else lose a loved one before their time. Traditional resurrection methods, however, only create mindless, flesh-hungry zombies; they’re no cure for death. He’s certain his unique brand of necromancy—using alchemy and blood magic—is the only answer.

When his boyfriend, Dax Everhart, has a fatal accident, Steven sees no choice but to use his experimental Lazarus Elixir. Dax comes back wrong, but the more humans he consumes, the more human he becomes.

With the help of his best friends, his ghostly aunt, and her living doll homunculus, Steven fights to regain normalcy and repair his shattered relationship with Dax. But with Dax openly embracing his monstrous nature, Steven shoulders the guilt of assisting in a murder spree that could lead the mundane and magical police right to their door.

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About the Author

Elliot Cooper writes speculative fiction featuring queer characters. His novels and novellas come with hopeful and happy endings, though his short fiction runs the gamut of styles and genres. He strives above all to make his readers feel, while also increasing positive representation of LGBTQ characters and their stories.

Website

http://www.elliotcooperwrites.com

Twitter

Book Review: Jefferson Blythe, Esquire by Josh Lanyon

In this fast, fun and dead-sexy male/male new-adult caper from multi-award-winning author Josh Lanyon, twentysomething Jefferson Blythe gets lost, gets found, falls in love and comes out…all in the span of one wild summer.

After his first relationship goes disastrously awry, Jeff Blythe uses his savings to tour Europe—the old-fashioned way. Armed with his grandfather’s1960 copy of Esquire’s Europe in Style, Jeff sets off looking for adventure but finds much, much more than he bargained for…

In London, dodging questions from shady criminals about a mysterious package he most certainly does not have is simple. Losing the gunmen who are convinced he’s someone else is not. And when George, an old friend, offers him help—and a place to stay, and perhaps something more—things become complicated.

Is George really who he seems? And is Jeff finally ready to act on his attraction?

From Paris to Rome and back again, Jeff and George fall for each other, hard, while quite literally running for their lives. But trusting George at his word may leave Jeff vulnerable—in more ways than one.

65,000 words

Expected publication: November 16th 2015 by Carina Press

Purchase Link: amazon UK

About the Author

Arguably the single most influential voice in m/m romance today, JOSH LANYON is the author of the best-selling and much beloved Adrien English series — in addition to over sixty titles of gay mystery, adventure and fantasy.

Josh’s work has been translated into nine languages. The FBI thriller Fair Game was the first male/male title to be published by Harlequin Mondari, the largest romance publisher in Italy. Josh is an Eppie Award winner, a four-time Lambda Literary Award finalist for Gay Mystery, and the first ever recipient of the Goodreads Favorite M/M Author Lifetime Achievement award.

Josh is married and lives in Southern California.

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My Review
Warning: Contains Spoilers
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 5 stars

I enjoyed reading Jefferson Blythe, Esquire immensely as I’m wont to do when reading a Josh Lanyon book.

Jefferson Blythe, twenty two, is fresh out of college and is currently facing a crossroad in his life. His childhood sweetheart Amy broke off their engagement and, hurting, he went to a two-week vacation in Europe where he is supposedly spending four days each in London, Paris, and Rome using the money he saved for her engagement ring. 🙂

Equipped with his determination, his thirst for adventure, his fedora, his grandpa’s book [which Jefferson referred to as The Book, Esquire’s Europe in Style], a partial list of the places he wanted to see, and his old, battered suitcase (again, courtesy of his grandpa), he ventured to mirror the grand tour his grandpa made fifty years ago. The moment he landed at the Heathrow Airport however, things started to take a bizarre turn. From there, everything that could go wrong went wrong and half of his journey was spent getting kidnapped or trying to dodge someone who’s trying to kill him.

There’s a lot about this book that I love. It’s hilarious for one. Okay, so there’s nothing funny about getting kidnapped or getting shot at many times but his pursuers were. There’s nothing like someone dumb, greedy, plus a nutter getting together to make a story colorful. It’s clearly a recipe for disaster.

I loved the main character, Jeff, and I loved that Josh wrote Jeff’s story wherein he literally embarked on a tour in order to find himself. I loved what Josh Lanyon’s trying to say in this book: that life is a journey, an adventure we must savor and experience never mind that half the time we’re met with disasters (or one disaster to another). For what kind of life is it if we don’t experience both the good and the bad? ❤ Because in the end, it’s how we find out who we truly are. ❤

Mystery: check, humor: check, romance: check, adventure: check. So yeah, five stars for me. 🙂

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Book Review and Giveaway: Wolf, WY by AF Henley

My Review
Warning: Contains Spoilers
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 ½ out of 5 stars

What I love about Henley’s writing is his ability to make me laugh. Or cry. Depending on the scene of course. Wolf, WY did not make me cry but it did make me laugh out loud a few times because of Randy’s sense of humor.

The author AF Henley has a way with words. I loved how Randy described his thoughts (I did not mean how Randy articulate his thoughts on Vaughn and Lyle and their muscular and mouthwatering physique *laughs* although there is that of course. Ahem), his feelings, his surroundings.

I also love that Henley makes his character easy to relate to. No, I did not mean that I saw a neighbor of mine morph into a wolf like Randy did. Lol. But some of us do tend to run away. That, or at least we want to run away from our problems even if it’s just for a time (or from someone else the way Randy ran away from his ex-fiancé Avery). While we cannot all do a Randy and move to Wolf, Wyoming to nurse our heartaches, we could at least read a book. That’s what Wolf, WY is for.

I do wish there were more lovey-dovey scenes between Randy and Vaughn (maybe Henley can write a short story about the two in the near future *nudge, nudge. Poke, poke*) minus Lyle and the little tykes Hannah and Isaac though I must admit I loved them too. 🙂

On a side note, go check out the awesome giveaway. You still have five hours to join. 🙂 Good luck!

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Blurb

Wolf, WY

There’s nothing like a fresh start, and for Randy, still nursing wounds left by a cheating ex and harboring a deep mistrust for all things corporate, Wolf, Wyoming seems like the perfect place to start over. Secluded, quiet, and self-sufficient, Wolf is bound to not only inspire, but to bring Randy the peace he needs. The view’s not bad, either.

Vaughn O’Connell and his family are Randy’s only neighbors for miles, and while Randy knows it’s somewhat unlikely that a man with three kids is gay, it doesn’t hurt to look. When a misunderstanding brings Randy face to face with both Vaughn and his eighteen year old son, Lyle, Randy’s not sure what to feel about either of them.

But things are not what they appear in Wolf, and the closer Randy gets, the stranger the O’Connell family seems…

Word Count: 70,000

Genre: Gay, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Notes: Wolf, WY contains some explicit content

Book 1 in the Wolf series

About the Author

AF Henley_Avatar croppedHenley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica. A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish.

Henley has been proudly publishing with Less Than Three Press since 2012, and has been writing like mad ever since—an indentured servant to the belief that romance and true love can mend the most broken soul. Even when presented in prose.

For more information please stop by for a visit at afhenley.com.

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Purchase Links

Less Than Three Press

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

The Giveaway

On behalf of the tour, please join the giveaway by taking part in the Rafflecopter below. The prize consists of a ‘Wind & Fire’ paw print charm bangle (a portion of the sales from this “Charms For Charity Bangle” goes directly to Guiding Eyes For The Blind), a $20 Gift Certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market (free books!), and a signed, print copy of Wolf, WY. For all the tiny-whiny terms and conditions, please check out the t’s and c’s posted on the Rafflecopter.

** Please note that this giveaway is being offered tour-wide and there will be one winner awarded for the entire event.

ENTER RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY HERE:

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Book Review on Paul: Tarsus To Redemption (Volumes 1 to 3) by Matthew Salisbury & Sean Lam

My rating: ★★★★★

This series was recommended to me by Sister Fatima of the Daughters of St. Paul.

Like every Filipino, I’m aware of St. Paul’s story. Reading it in the graphic novel form, however, brings a different kind of reading experience for me. Although it makes for a quick read, the book successfully conveyed how regretful Paul was for his transgressions.

The first volume of the series showed how remarkably good Saul was at his “job”: persecuting Jesus’ followers. He was not only very good at it, he was also very passionate about it for he truly believed that death is the payment for those who have “sinned”. He was a merciless man. He believed that death was the only way the “sinners” will be purified. Later on, he will change his ways but will be haunted by his former group due to his defection.

The first book of the series concluded by showing several kids who were reading (in awe) the passage that Paul has written about love specifically 1 Corinthians 13:4 which is one of my favorites if I might add. It said:

1 Corinthians 13:4New International Version (NIV)

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

Volume Two of the series is the story of how Paul formed friendship with young Timothy and Phoebe. It also relates how hard the life they have chosen is but how the fire in their hearts make them go on and do their mission in life.

The last volume of the series. This book was focused on Paul’s captivity–how Timothy and Phoebe tried to rescue him, and how, in the end, Septus patched up with him.

This story is about honor, courage, faith, perseverance, wisdom, love, sacrifice, and friendship.

Book Review: Kids These Days (Stories from Luna East Arts Academy Vol. 1)

luna east vol 1.front.coverKids These Days by Chrissie Peria, Mina V. Esguerra, Jen C. Suguitan, Jayen San Diego, Stella Torres, Richard Cy (artist), Jonnalyn Cabigting (artist), Robert V. Wong (artist) , Ronald S. Lim, Miles Tan, Athena Claire Dueñas, DR Lee, Anne Plaza, M. Protacio-De Guzman, Kristel S. Villar, Alyssa Ashley Lucas, Addie Lynn Co

Cover and book design: Tania Arpa

My rating: ★★★★☆

I think that the underlying concept of Luna East is brilliant. And so are the stories itself in this volume, mind you. I liked how the stories are interrelated even if there are various authors.

I enjoyed reading the collection because it made me remember my own high school days. That first crush, the CAT thingy, the various club activities… etc. Even the booze, LOL. Nope, I didn’t drink even if my classmates did (I only actually went once, and only because it happened right where I was staying LOL); no they didn’t coerce those who didn’t want to drink. It was clean fun (there was parental supervision) and no, no one was making out at some room (and this is why I think that the title of the volume fits and is quite telling), and nope, there were no parties of grand scale such as the ones that Odette and Bianca throw (then again, we were from a public school – it’s nothing like Luna East – not to mention it’s on an island where the lifestyle is downright simple).

My personal favorites in this collection are: “Sitting on a Tree” by Chrissie Peria, “Fifty Two Weeks” by Mina Esguerra, “Yours Is the First Face That I Saw” by Ronald S. Lim, and “Picture Me Naked” by DR Lee. These are the stories that made me feel kilig. I would really love for “Yours Is the First Face That I Saw” to be longer. Seriously. ^__^ Can’t wait to read more of that.

Looking forward to reading more of their adventures on the second volume and congratulations to everyone.

View all my reviews

About the Book:

The stories from LUNA EAST ARTS ACADEMY are about love. And also, friends, food, kissing, rumors, mean people, insecurities, birthdays, breakups, making up. We set it in an arts academy because we wanted everyone to have a talent, and know it. Because no one is ordinary, if you know them well enough.

Who are you, at LUNA EAST? Are you a popular kid, a wallflower, a drama club diva, a debate whiz? Visit lunaeastacademy.org to read more stories from #LUNAEAST, and submit your own. For readers 16 and up.

BOOK LINK:
Luna East Website: lunaeastacademy.org
Paperback Order Form: bit.ly/lunaeastv1

Everyone is invited to the ‪#‎romanceclass‬ anniversary party + ‪#‎LunaEast‬ paperback launch at the AYALA MUSEUM on February 8, Saturday, at 6 PM. You can pre-order the book here: ‎bit.ly/lunaeastv1

Throwback Thursday: The Story of Saiunkoku, Vol. 1 by Kairi Yura and Sai Yukino

Saiunkoku Monogatari

Saiunkoku Monogatari

The Story of Saiunkoku, Vol. 1 by Kairi Yura and Sai Yukino

Shurei Hong, destitute but of noble birth, has always dreamed of working as a civil servant in the imperial court of Saiunkoku, but women are barred from holding office. The emperor Ryuki, however, refuses to take command, leaving everything to his advisors. Shurei is asked to become a consort to the emperor to persuade the ne’er-do-well ruler to govern.

Shurei enters the palace as Ryuki’s consort, but he has yet to seek her out. It is rumored that men, not women, share the emperor’s bedchamber. Shurei must think of a way to stop the emperor from shirking his responsibilities, but she has to find him first!

My Review

My Rating: ★★★★★

Saiunkoku Monogatari

Saiunkoku Monogatari

Some three years ago, my friend Adrian gave me Saiunkoku Monogatari books as pasalubong. He knew how much I loved the anime so he gave me copies of the manga when he went home for vacation from his doctoral studies in Japan.

So I still don’t know how to read the manga (it’s in Nihongo). But I love it so much! The story is so complicated and beautiful and funny and amusing and at the same time, heartbreaking. I love Shurei Hong – the protagonist – she’s so strong and wise for her age. I love her love interests too – Ryuki and Seiran.

It’s not the usual shoujo story. The story is so beautifully-written and the characters are really lovable and fun. I can say the same for the  setting as well. Most of all, who would not love the art? It’s gorgeous! 😀

I don’t want to spoil the story for you so that’s all I’m going to say.

I recommend this series to everyone. You won’t regret it if you read it. 🙂

Happy reading! 🙂

[Book Review & Giveaway] In Over Her Head by Anne Plaza

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In Over Her Head by Anne Plaza

All she wants is to get even… Erika Apostol’s quiet and unassuming life gets disrupted when she learns that Richard Javier, the very same person who broke her heart many years ago, is now back in the country. Her world is turned upside down as old

In Over Her Head by Anne Plaza

In Over Her Head by Anne Plaza

feelings she thought were buried resurface to haunt her once more. Determined to give Richard a dose of his own medicine, Erika finds herself involved in an outrageous plan devised by her friends. They enlist the help of Jerome Gonzales, an attractive and charismatic DJ (with a playboy reputation), to pose as her significant other. As the plan goes in full swing, Erika discovers Richard’s jealous side, and that there’s something more to Jerome than meets the eye. Will this grand charade work out the way it should, or will she be left with nothing in the end?

BOOK LINKS: Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G63DGYC Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/370212 Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18717399-in-over-her-head Paperback: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1YhyjbkTluTDBQXrR-jb_2DMcNilutcRKbdGzAsWXdQg/edit#

AUTHOR BIO: anne_picAnne Plaza has a degree in Psychology, but has actively pursued a career in writing in her previous work as a reporter and online editor. She currently works in the field of marketing communications and spends most of her time writing fiction (while not on the lookout for the nearest cupcake and cronut store). Aside from writing, she loves to read contemporary romance, young adult, fantasy, and historical fiction. She also collects stamps and postcards, and loves everything about cats. Anne is based in Quezon City, Philippines.

In Over Her Head is her first published work in English.

AUTHOR LINKS:

Blog – thoughtsbrewed.blogspot.com
Twitter – twitter.com/anneplaza
Facebook – facebook.com/anneplaza2013
Email – anneplaza@gmail.com

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Book Review

** spoiler alert ** Warning: Do not read if you haven’t read the book yet!

In Over Her Head was five stars for me until I realized who Erika was going to end up with. By then, the story went downhill for me, noooooooo!

Don’t get me wrong, I was all up for Erika ending with Richard right at the very start of the story. But, as I was reading and I was learning more about Jerome, I couldn’t help but root for the guy. I mean, who wouldn’t?

Yes, I’m Team Jerome, LOL! Never mind that he had a playboy rep, he was a sweet guy and I thought he really was willing to change for Erika not to mention that they had chemistry.

It’s just that I never really learned more about Richard and there were no “kilig” moments between Erika and him. I’ve only ever seen his weaknesses. Well, I could go on and on but I really don’t want to say any more without revealing the story for you more than I already have.

I finished the story feeling like the ending happened before it should. I really would’ve wanted to read more about the Richard-Erika pairing if only to be able to like the ending even for just a bit. I mean, the story ended with Richard still a douchebag in my eyes. LOL.

Rating: 3.5 stars which means that I liked it (just not the ending, LOL – there’s no getting over this one for me).

Recommended to romance readers and for those who couldn’t get over their first loves.

Read Anne’s interesting thoughts on writing alone vs. writing with a group by clicking the link below:

https://josephinelitonjua.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/blog-tour-guest-post-writing-with-a-group-vs-writing-alone-thoughts-and-insights-on-writing-in-over-her-head-for-romanceclass-by-anne-plaza/

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Join the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of the book by simply clicking the link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Link – http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c30af110/

Prizes:

One Swag Bag containing the following:

-In Over Her Head postcard and bookmark
-Floral memo pad
-A7 memo pad -Sticky notes
-Idea Dream Think Memory Draw Japanese Wallpaper Planner
-Jouets Origami Pure Diamond necklace (note: it’s not a real diamond. Haha!)

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