Tuesday, 27 May 2014

[REVIEW] Stockholm Syndrome (Stockholm Syndrome #1) by Richard Rider

Recommended to Kynthos-the-Archer by: Aimee
Recommended for: Not able to recommend this.
Read from May 22 to 27, 2014 — I own a copy, read count: 1

DNF at 11%. I've tried. I had actually wanted to go beyond 20% to see if things would work out for me and if the writing would improve, but unfortunately it kept grating on my nerves ever since page one. I might try again if I have nothing better to do.

What didn't work for me:

1) Writing Style - it sucks!
- The narrative structure is a mangled piece of framework. To sum up, it was inarticulate.
- Spent half of the time trying to figure out who is talking, who said what. It's a major distraction, a story flow breaker.

2) Characterization - also sucks!
- Absence/lack of motivations in the characters makes it hard to understand them or make sense of their action and rationality. They are so daft it's a pain to read on. I felt like putting a bullet into Lindsay and Pip's empty heads.
- They have zero common sense and the things they do is utterly unreasonable. Brainless bunch really.
- Exaggerated reactions like wanting to pass out just from someone licking cum off his fingers. One would think the poor guy was locked in chastity for eons.

3) Far-Fetched Storyline
- Just too many unrealistic situations to recount. Conflicts was resolved so sloppily that it does not make any sense.
- I am SO not buying the attraction between Lindsay and Pip. This is not even instant-attraction it's sudden-attraction.

Okay so these are the reasons I couldn't go on reading. Besides that the so called sexy scene in the car at the beach gave me goosebumps. Not in a good way kind. Ugh! Pip is just so slutty and Lindsay was behaving like an overexcited fumbling teenager.

I would have to have the willpower of a saint to re-attempt this book again. I am still puzzling over all those 5 stars ratings. What really happened? Why all the rave and hype? Damnit! I am still curious bout this and I am dying to find out for myself. If only I could push on.

* Reviewed on May 27th, 2014


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Friday, 23 May 2014

[REVIEW] Mated to a Monster by Diana Sheridan

Mated to a MonsterMated to a Monster by Diana Sheridan
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Recommended for: Not recommended
Read on May 23, 2014 — I own a copy, read count: 1 

Promising premise. BUT... Characterization FAILED. Plot FAILED.

The story could have been great for me as I happen to love such premise.

So what sucks?

  • Info dumping (for example: describing the monster in one fell swoop)

  • Impossible vantage point (for example: how on earth could the MC tell if the monster have any tail on his behind when the creature was facing him and he has just finished describing its sexual organ to us?)

  • MC exhibits missing and inadequate motivations for actions makes him highly unrealistic (for example: how on earth can a person think of food when a hulking King Kong was inches from your face and you have no way of knowing if you might be his snack at the very moment?)

  • Lack of plot (this book has lots on eating, cooking and daily mundane stuff but nothing big ever happen nor did it have any conflicts to drive the story)

  • Odd/Weird Word Choices (for example: What the fuck is 'sitting tailor-fashion'? Then cum was replaced with 'white stuff' and 'creamy stuff'. Orgasm was described as 'discharging sperm' or 'squirting white stuff'. NOT sexy at all and this is supposed to be erotica damn you!)

  • Tons of telling and telling and telling and more telling (It was all about, this and that happened and then this this this and that plus more of this happened)

And damnit! My dream for another Bloodraven meaty arm-size peen busting tight ass was blew to smithereens!

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Monday, 19 May 2014

[REVIEW] Trigger by Susan Vaught

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Recommended for: Everyone from 14 years old and above.
Read from May 17 to 18, 2014 — I own a copy, read count: 1

Suicide victims often times are misunderstood by others. Many tends to be judgemental of them, calling them selfish, attention seeker or even mad. Suicides account for twice as many deaths as AIDS and over half of suicide deaths are by firearm.

Jersey Hatch is the voice of all those vulnerable, troubled teens out there. Vaught has crafted him based on her experience of working with young people as a practising neuropsychologist.

Jersey suffered permanent physical and neurological impairment after a botched suicide attempt. His sentences are often punctuated with random odd words in between and half of his body no longer work like it used to be. A big chunk of his memories leading to the day he shot himself in the head was obliterated after the tragic attempt to end himself. The Jersey After has no recollection as to why he pulled the trigger that day. Together we navigate along with him through his unsynchronized mind as he tried to piece everything together again while he faced hardships due to his disabilities and from his family, friends and teachers. Would the truth give him the peace he needed to finally settle down or would it cause him to want to pull the trigger for the second time?

Trigger gave us insights to a suicidal teen's mind enabling us to better understand this widespread devastating act of self harming. Aside from that it also explored the aftermath of suicide on family members, friends and those around the victim. The book represents a wake up call to us to start paying more attention to those we cared about, start to listen more, judge less, for you might save a life.

I would say that Vaught handled the theme of this book really well. It wasn't judgemental or clinical, she let the readers decide for themselves based on what they see -- this would create deeper impression on the messages within. As extra food for thought, she even managed to raise several other social issues such as parenting, school bullying and also the responsibility and risk of firearm ownership. Although Trigger addresses a heavy subject, it wasn't a difficult book read as I have first thought it would be. Vaught has included the right amount of humor to smooth out the rough edges. I admit to burst out laughing many times because of the humorous situations Jersey unintentionally created due to his runaway mouth.

Frankly there are some plot holes that chips away bit of the realism but it wasn't that big of a deal and since the book did achieved its aim on creating awareness on suicide, it didn't bother me that much.

I would highly recommend this book to older teenagers and to adults as well. In fact, everyone should read this book. Knowledge could save lives - even your own life. Prevention should always be the first step.

Know that...

Consider this statement below before you act on your impulse or start judging others...
IMPORTANT to continue reading about the above statement here: Metanoia

Title: Trigger
Author: Susan Vaught
Publication Date: April 10th, 2011
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary
Type: Novel, approximately 75,000 words
Main Characters: Jersey Hatch, Mr&Mrs Hatch, Leza Rush, Todd Rush, Mama Rush
Title of Spoiler:
brains, brain damage, patients, rehabilitation, gunshot wounds, suicide, wounds and injuries, teenager, depression, school bullying, firearm, parenting, stigmatize
Jersey Hatch seemed to have it all together-he played sports, was popular, had a great girlfriend, best friend, and supportive parents. But when he emerges from a recuperative care center, all that is gone, his legs and hands don't work right, his mouth says every word that pops into his brain, and he has to write down his thoughts so that he remembers even the most basic directions and details. Through it all, one question haunts him: why did he try to kill himself

This review has also been cross-posted on my blogs:


* Reviewed on May 19th, 2014


Saturday, 17 May 2014

[REVIEW] Nicholi's Vengeance by J.A. Jaken

Nicholi's Vengeance

Read from October 6th, 2013 till now - Unable to finish

DNF! Might re-attempt. Main character stepping all over my pet peeve.

I could not finish it. Stuck at 20%. The characters was pissing me off. That MC should be wearing a skirt. Oh gawd! his whining is particularly nerve-grating. Yes unfortunately this book has triggered one of my biggest pet peeve - whinny characters especially main characters.

I might try to pick it up again, one fine day, maybe, just maybe. It's not healthy to wish for those brutes that captured the MC earlier had cut his throat instead of letting him off.

Friday, 16 May 2014

[REVIEW] King Perry (The Lost and Founds #1) by Edmond Manning

King Perry (The Lost and Founds, #1)
King Perry (The Lost and Founds #1) by Edmond Manning
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kynthos-the-Archer by: Cdmr9816 (LGBT Fantasy Fiction - May 2014 Pick-it-for-me Challenge)
Recommended for: Give it a go if you love poetry with your M/M romance, unconventional ending and a dash of purple.
Read from May 03 to 14, 2014 — I own a copy, read count: 1

I love it and I hate it with equal vigour. Yet why 4 Stars?

After finishing this book I felt like I have just visited San Fransisco and wanting to physically visit San Fransisco. The book could give the best San Fransisco tourist guide book a run for the money.

I wish for a crazy guide like Vin to take me around but I don't want to be in his head though. His wandering mind annoys me mighty since he is the narrator and the sole POV throughout the story. I know he says the most brilliant thing from time to time but his ever loud mind is a big disturbance to the flow of the story. His out of focus ramblings was highly distracting!

Enigmatic, eccentric Vin is baffling, surprising, cryptic, charming, brilliant, annoying and a total asshole. He has been a dick to Perry, then a tender lover, then back to number one asshole, then the sweetest most romantic guy ever and back to controlling freak! Only, you can't hate him for all those shits he laid on Perry because it is all for the return of "the one true king."

The story goes like this -- Perry met the White Rabbit in the city. While chasing it he fell into the rabbit hole ala Alice minus the voluminous petticoat and full skirt. I am not exactly sure if Vin is that hurrying waistcoated rabbit or if he is the Mad Hatter himself. Cheshire cat is another potential candidate for Vin's true identity. Along the adventure Perry met some Lost Kings and Queens then found himself in front of the Mirror of Forgiveness.

Truthfully I have a love-hate feeling towards this book. They are brilliant parts, unfortunately it was also marred by absolutely draggy and naggy parts. I nearly died of undue frustrations and impatience while wishing for the pace to pick up and the confounding fog to lift before I give up on it. The story did quite a number of twists, twirls and turns which latched onto my curiosity and in turn keeping me interested. I did dozed off a couple of times during the Vin ramblings. Vin, Vin is the most manipulative character I've ever known YET I could fall for a guy like him despite only knowing him for like two full days. I have a thing for the eccentric types as they are a work of art -- they are very much like surrealism art. Nonconformity is exciting to me.

King Perry is not an easy book to devour you have got to have mountainous patience and of course enough sleep to stay alert for better 'read between the lines' processing. There are times when I actually though I am reading a piece of poetry instead of a M/M fiction with enough hot sex to satisfy any horny readers. You have to read it to believe it. I am not pulling anyone's leg here.

This has to be the TALLEST tale I have ever read and I mean it in a good way. A daring and adventurous self-discovery journey to unlock a man's heart to trust and love again. To return a Lost King to the land of the Found Kings is a journey for the brave ones because forgiveness is an act of supreme braveness.

By the way, I adore the ending. Yes it was bittersweet but sweeter than it was bitter really. Fits the story well like a comforting glove, a warm hand guiding your heart to the right place. I can't say this isn't romance for there are certainly quality of excitement and mystery associated with love. Besides that, Vin was truly courting Perry and gave him all the love he could. So you tell me, what is romance?

I am giving this book a 4 stars as I have greatly enjoyed the tour of beautiful San Franscisco and the tour of two vulnerable men's heart.

*SIDE NOTE: I read this book for the LGBT Fantasy Fiction - May 2014 Pick-it-for-me Challenge. Someone picked it for me but don't ask me why I am reading this book for a fantasy fiction group for I have no idea on that as well. It did screw up my expectation a little since I really thought the story has fantasy elements in it.

Title: King Perry
Publication Date: February 27th, 2012
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance Fiction
Type: Novel, approximately 106,158 words
Main Characters: Vin Vanbly & Perry Mangin
Location/Setting: California, San Fransisco, Sausalito
Tags/Keywords: gay romance, enigmatic character, messiah/god complex, self-re-discovery, adventure

In a trendy San Francisco art gallery, out-of-towner Vin Vanbly witnesses an act of compassion that compels him to make investment banker Perry Mangin a mysterious offer: in exchange for a weekend of complete submission, Vin will restore Perry's "kingship" and transform him into the man he was always meant to be.

Despite intense reservations, Perry agrees, setting in motion a chain of events that will test the limits of his body, seduce his senses, and fray his every nerve, (perhaps occasionally breaking the law) while Vin guides him toward his destiny as "the one true king."

Even as Perry rediscovers old grief and new joys within himself, Vin and his shadowy motivations remain enigmas: who is this offbeat stranger guiding them from danger to hilarity to danger? To emerge triumphant, Perry must overcome the greatest challenge alone: embracing his devastating past. But can he succeed by Sunday's sunrise deadline? How can he possibly evolve from an ordinary man into King Perry?

A Bittersweet Dreams title: It's an unfortunate truth: love doesn't always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.


* Reviewed on May 16th, 2014


Thursday, 15 May 2014

[REVIEW] Give Me A Hug: 8 Life Lessons From Nick Your Kids Cannot Miss by Nick Vujicic

Give Me A Hug : 8 Life Lessons From Nick Your Kids Cannot Miss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Recommended for: Everyone. Especially parents to share with their kids.
Read from May 03 to 15, 2014 — I own a copy, read count: 1

I love the artwork, it's lovely, adorable and helps to bring the story across nicely. The inspirational messages within was easy to understand hence would be great for young children. Even grownups could flip-tru it especially when life gets tough, it would surely help to put things into better perspective and potentially renew hope. With hope, we could try again and again until we succeed. You call the quits now, you fail the moment you stop trying.

I hope my boy has taken Nick's heartfelt messages to heart and start believing in himself. I too should start recognizing my own potential.

Everyone needs a hug or a pat on their backs every now and then. Since it's free why not give it out every chance you get?

I would recommend this book to all parents to share with their kids. Might not be instant life-changing but it is never too early or late to plant the good seed.

Author: Nick Vujicic
Illustrator: Dreamergo
Publication Date: August 2013
Publisher: Ignatius Ho
Type: Children's Illustrated Novel
Genre: Children, Inspirational and Motivational Real Life Story

Nick could be angry about not having arms or legs, but he chooses to be thankful for his little "chicken drumstick" instead.

We will all face difficulties in life, but if we don't give up, if we try to do things in a new way, if we take a different view of things, everything is possible!

You may have some doubts: "No hands? How can he hug then?"
If Nick can do it, so can you!

This is an inspirational illustrated storybook about the importance of love in our life.

Whether you are a child or an adult, learn to appreciate and treasure each day, and most significantly, live a life full of gratitude.

Love others as yourself, and give someone in need a big warm hug!

"Give Me a Hug" is an illustrated storybook based on the true story of a limbless Australian motivational speaker, Nick Vujicic.

"Whether your life is happy or not is your own choice.

Many people think I can't live a normal life because 

I don't have arms or legs.

I could choose to believe that and give up trying.

I could stay at home and wait for others to take care of me.
Instead, I choose to believe that I can do anything, 
and I always try to do things my own way.
I choose to be happy.
I am happy because I am always thankful."

* Reviewed on May 16th, 2014


Click to view:
I've just bought this lovely Hardcover book a moment ago when I was at the local mall. Can't resist the beautiful of the artwork and the story. Plus the 25% discount was compelling me to make it mine -- So I did.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

[REVIEW] Haikei, Niisan-sama by Tohru Tagura

3.5 Stars for this angsty brotherly romance.

As usual, I appreciate abundance of angst in my stories and this one was at it from the start till the end.

The brotherly love between Yutaka and Minoru was really endearing. The angst are mostly the pair of brothers battling with their own more-than-brothers affection towards one another. It is an incestuous story but it does not involves..
Title of Spoiler:
...any sex. Minoru leave Yutaka's chastity intact.
So this is just shonen-ai instead of yaoi.

Since they both are suffering from deep brother complex, there are times when I would question if they truly loves each other as lovers or it was only a misinterpretation of strong siblings love? They themselves was pretty confused on this as well.

As for the artwork, it was pretty nice although some might complain Yutaka looks like a girl. He's still a teenager anyways. On the other hand Minoru does looked really young here much like a high schooler despite being a 26 years old man. Then again asian guys tends to look younger than their age and the years would only begin to show in their late 30s.

All things considered, this is a decent shonen-ai manga and was fairly engaging.

* Reviewed on May 10th, 2014


Friday, 9 May 2014

[RANDOM] The Peabody Memphis Ducks

I had to google these ducks because of a book I am reading. Didn't know there's such a tourist attraction. Pretty smart marketing idea.

These duckies lives like royalties in a 5-stars hotel and even have their own bachelor suite at the hotel rooftop. Sweet right? They walk the red carpet every single day and travels from the rooftop the the lobby via the elevator.

The hotel rotates these ducks every 3 months with a new set of ducks and the predecessors was release back into the wild where they were first secured from.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

[AUDIOBOOK REVIEW] Better Than Good (Better Than Good #1) by Lane Hayes

Better Than Good
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Recommended for: Slow romance, adorable couple what's not to like?
Read from: April 06 to May 03, 2014 — I own a copy, read count: 1


A fun and charming Gay-For-You slow burn romance. And I am freaking loving the audiobook!

It's not easy to love someone who's insecure of relationships and overly protective of their heart. Yet Matt Sullivan knows he had to give it his best shot anyways for he couldn't forget this special person who has caught his heart as never before. He is certain this person is the right guy for him even if gender is a big roadblock for a straight guy like him to hurdle. All he knew was that it felt right. They felt right together.

Things aren't easy for Matt for it was tough trying to convince out-and-proud Aaron Mendez that he is serious and that Aaron wouldn't be just a gay experimentation for him. I couldn't blame Aaron for being so wary of Matt's advances, that guy has been straight his whole life and on top of that he has a girlfriend. Matt Sullivan certainly comes with baggage attached and Aaron is adamant and on travelling light. Smart guy!

The story charmed me with highly relatable characters and realistic situations. Love Matt our protagonist, for his steadfastness and his honesty with his feelings. Aaron isn't shy on admitting his attraction either. I liked that they both knows what they wanted and goes about it maturely. I appreciates that they aren't those guys-in-skirts type of characters. Even effeminate Aaron is manly in some ways. They are convincingly male. Another thing I like much about this story was the focus on the development of the relationship -- to watch them fall in love as they get to know each other was a beautiful thing, it was gradual and natural. The slow and steady courtship was indeed endearing.

They are most adorable together.

I do believe this audio version I am listening to has added extra charms to this simple story. The narrator Tyler Stevens was just fabulous! His voice was easy to listen to and he has successfully brought out the personality of each characters so much so that I felt like I am listening to an audio-drama with multiple voice cast instead of just a one person narration. This is a fine example of how important it is to secure a good audiobook narrator as this person's skill could easily make or break a book.

I don't think I would have enjoyed the story as much if I wasn't listening to this quality audio version. The plotline is a calm and simple one. In other words not much excitement to be had and the major conflict was quite predictable. What makes this story worthwhile was the endearing characters and the sensible romance. Oh yea, and the chemistry between the main characters was undeniable and that's a plus of course.

Series: Better Than Good #1
Author: Lane Hayes
Publication Date: March 24th, 2014
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC
Read by: Tyler Stevens
Genre: Gay Contemporary Romance
Main Characters: Matt Sullivan, Aaron Mendez
Key Themes: Gay-for-you, Out-for-you, Bisexuality, Slow Burn Romance, Instant Attraction, Straight-to-Gay, Coming Out, Romance
Location/Setting: Georgetown, Washington, D.C., US

Matt Sullivan understands labels: law student, athlete, heterosexual. He has goals: graduate and begin his career in law. One fateful night, Matt tags along with his gay roommate to a dance club and everything changes. Matt finds himself attracted to the most beautiful man he's ever seen. All labels go flying out the window.

Aaron Mendez doesn't believe in labels, and he’s leery of straight curious men. He makes it clear that he’ll hide his fabulous light for no one. While Aaron can't deny the attraction between him and Matt, he is reluctant to start anything with someone who is still dealing with what this new label means—especially when that someone has a girlfriend.

★|| AUDIBLE ||★

* Reviewed on May 5th, 2014


Thursday, 1 May 2014

[REVIEW] Beautiful by Liliaeth

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Read on April 22, 2014 — I own a copy, read count: 1

I am so torn on the rating. Liliaeth is a creative storyteller and her fanfics are compelling but most of it touches a taboo subject I am not keen on.

Truthfully this story is very addictive and the events is like a train wreck you couldn't look away. Because of this, I have to give this a 4 stars despite the sensitive subject within that I am not comfortable with. If only it does not have an underage MC it would have scored 4.5 to 5 stars. I have to ignore the stated age of the MC and go with the adult Dean as per the TV series for my own comfort.

What could I say? Petplay when done right is like crack to me. I am a total sucker for it.

Title: Beautiful
Author: liliaeth
Publication Date: February 12th, 2012
Type: Fanfiction of the Supernatural TV Series, 28,235 words (Completed fanfic)
Genre: M/M Erotica Fiction
Characters: Dean Winchester / Sam Winchester / John Winchester / other original characters
Title of Spoiler:
Noncon, Kidnapped, Petplay, Human Kittens, Master-Slave, Sex Slaves, Slavery, Confinement, Brainwashing, Drugging, Bodymodication, B-Mod, Violence

Donahue is your rich eccentric business man, with a love for cats, it’s just that his cats used to walk on two feet. One day when he decides to add another cat to his collection, his attention falls on Dean.


* Reviewed on May 1st, 2014