Tuesday, February 2, 2010

January Round-Up & Catching Up on My Reviews

January went by very fast and I didn’t read that much!
As a lot of other bloggers, readers or tweeps I’m also trying to find a better balance between reading, blogging, bloghopping, emailing, tweeting on the one hand and my EDJ (evil day job), RL friends, hubby & other hobbies on the other hand. And I have especially a hard time finding a balance between all the activities in the first group, because there’s only this small amount of free time in a day (and the EDJ and my man do the demanding thing very well ;) so no worries there).

But the more I bloghop or twitter for example the less I read. Every time the reading gets the worst of it compared to one of the other activities, which sucks to be frank. Don’t think I don’t wanna bloghop or tweet, nope, that’s not it, I really enjoy doing that (that’s part of the problem). It’s just that I want to read more, especially after hearing and reading about all the great book recs on your blogs and in your emails and tweets *sigh*.

Has anyone found a solution to this dilemma yet? Please let me know!

And then there’s the reviewing part! I don’t mind reviewing a book a few weeks after I’ve read it, in fact I prefer to create that little distance in time to look at a book with a more objective view. But even for me it’s taking too long now – I still haven’t reviewed this fabulous book that I’ve read in 2009 and then some more in 2010! The thing is that I’ve read all these books that were 4 or 5 stars reads for me and because of that I want to do a proper review, nice and long (for example my High Five, Low Five format).
But I better face it: that’s not gonna happen!

So I decided to do a January reading AND reviewing wrap up in one post. They will be short an it’s not that I’ve read that much so this shouldn’t take too long… And I already reviewed a couple of them earlier...

(P.S. It turned out to be longer than I thought. So, sorry for that – maybe you can read it in several small pieces or skip most of it ;) – I just had to get it out of my system!)

Here’s my reading list:

Read in 2009
The One That Got Away by Madeleine Urban & Rhianne Aile, 5 stars

This was one of the best M/M reads of 2009 for me! I can really recommend it. For a change it’s a book with no angst in it. The characters are well developed and the smexing is long anticipated but scorching hot when they finally get to it. The story is about two friends, one gay one straight. One of them breaks his shoulder and needs some help during his recovery. So his straight friend moves in with him. Because of the injury, the heroes share some very intimate moments and something starts to sizzle. I thought that the authors did a great job of making their feelings tangible and showing how lust and love developed steadily. This book is especially highly recommended to all my M/M virgin friends because of the new to gay sex hero who’s been lead into this wonderful experience by his kind and loving friend.

January 2010
1. Faith & Fidelity by Tere Michaels, 5 stars

And boy did my year start with another great M/M read! It has the potential of becoming the best M/M book of 2010 for me. At least one of the best! Here we have two alpha guys, both cops who become friends after the wife of one of them died. Their lonely souls connect and gradually they start coloring each other’s lives again. The buildup is beautiful. One day an intimate touch of consolation opens the door to a more physical relation. Everything is new to both of them since they never were with a man before and one of the heroes has to deal with his feelings of guilt towards his deceased wife. All elements that are worked out very well. The opening scene is heartbreaking so be prepared to shed some tears and the angst is big in this relationship. This made it not a light read, but every now and then I love an emotional rollercoaster like this one!

2. Cuffed and Dangerous by Bronwyn Green, 4 stars

I actually reviewed this one. It was my first experience with the paranormal genre and it was good! I received this book from Bronwyn Green as a present!

3. Mind F*cked by Mia Watts, 4 stars

This was another fabulous paranormal romance, this time of the M/M kind. It’s about a very attractive half-breed faery who has the ability to read other people’s minds. Due to that fact he became quite cocky because everybody is lusting after him thanks to his looks. When he meets (his average) Joe he can’t read his mind which is unusual and makes him very insecure. During the security job they are involved in together he starts falling in love for the first time in his life but Joe is skeptical about his feelings and his feary background. It was foremost a very funny book! And the characters were wonderful and very right for each other (even the magic approved of it). The security mystery was a nice addition to this pretty original love story although that particular part was a bit predictable and lacked real suspense. It’s the first book in a series, the next books feature Sage’s siblings and I’m really looking forward to their stories! Even for the humor alone I would want to read them!

4. Beth's Acceptance by Teal Ceagh, 4 stars

And yet another paranormal romance! I did a good job on this new to me genre, didn’t I? This is also the first book in a series (of three) which seems very promising. Take a human, a vampire and an elf and put them together in between the covers of a book and you get one very steamy romance! That’s what this book is in a nutshell. Then there’s something going on with ugly evil creatures and a war that has to be fought. The three protags have to prevent the creatures taking over by forming a holy trinity. I know, this sounds like pretty heavy stuff but it was not that bad. I could easily comprehend what was going on and had no trouble believing any of it. The only thing that happened too fast for me was the woman’s acceptance of the paranormal world she had no clue about until then. And this world saving thing is not wrapped up in this first book of the series but will go on in the next two I presume. The romance story did have a nice happy ending though. I like that in a series! The smexing in this book was excellent too. To become a real trinity there was some unusual love making going on between these three sexy protags, really unusual *won’t say more*. In short, I loved this novella enough to wanna read the sequels, that have different H/h. I won this book over at the Blackraven's Erotic Cafe blog.

Look here for my selection of a sexy, smutty scene from Beth’s Acceptance.

5. Blind Faith by Claire Thompson, 4 stars

Great short M/M novella about two on-and-off lovers who haven’t seen each other for over a year. When one of them returns from one of his wanderings around the world and want to meet the other again, it turns out that his lover has been in a car accident almost a year ago. He was badly injured and lost his sight permanently. This comes as a shock and changes their relationship. I loved the dynamic of this couple. The heroes are hot and have a good chemistry going on. Their loving is sweet and Ms. Thompson knows how to develop a story well. It was too bad that this wasn’t longer, that’s the only thing I disliked besides the overly clichéd ending (it involves a cruise ship, need I say more?).

Look here for my selection of a sexy, smutty scene from Blind Faith.

6. Hard to Hold (Hold trilogy, #1) by Stephanie Tyler, 3 stars

I did a High Five, Low Five review about this book last weekend. It was a bit disappointing due to my own high expectations.

7. The Broken H by J.L. Langley, 4 stars

Last but not least, another good M/M story, recommend to me by K.C. from Smokinhotbooks who is celebrating 14 days of man love over at her blog (with great giveaways!).
It’s actually the second book in this author’s Ranch series, but can be read as a standalone. I myself have yet to read the first book, The Tin Star. And there even is a third one! The Broken H is about two stepbrothers who haven’t seen much of each other the past decade. But now they are forced to run their father’s ranch together for a while after he had a heart attack. One of the heroes is a cowboy with Indian blood who is the adopted son and the other hero is the more muscular but younger one and the town’s sheriff. Turns out that their split from ten years ago is caused by their mutual feelings of lust and love. They start to figure out how deep their love really was and is while they explore each other’s bodies eagerly. Not much of the ranching is actually involved it was just the immediate cause for their renewed friendship and new loving. I liked their inventiveness in the bedroom (verra steamy!) but I loved their emotional relationship! It was nicely developed and the information was well dosed. Really good read!

So this was my first month of the year. I better turn up the reading speed, otherwise I won’t get the 100+ books of the Reading Challenge done!

And as a reward for those who have made it to the end of this post... here's some man candy. Enjoy!


  1. Wowza, lots of awesome books for me to add to my buy list! esp the M/M one for my ertading challenge!

    Great reviews of them all!

  2. My comments:

    TOTGA - agree
    #1 - agree
    #2 - haven't read it
    #3 - agree
    #4 - haven't read it
    #5 - sounds interesting
    #6 - haven't read it
    #7 - I liked it but preferred The Tin Star

    Great pic. It is hard with so many demands. I don't tweet, I find Facebook and blogs keep me busy enough. I also have no social life IRL. LOL That contributes to my reading, and I'm a fast reader as a rule. Hope you have some good books lined up for Feb.

  3. I really liked the story of Faith and Fidelity, the author did a great job of handling how two formerly straight men would be intimate.

    Psst Tin Star cuter ending than Broken H.

    I know what you mean about blogging, reading, and commenting. I don' blog, twitter, or blog hop on the weekends. I use that time to read and write my own reviews.

  4. You had a good month for reading!

    TOTGA - agree
    #1 - agree
    #2 - agree
    #4 - agree

    Haven't read the others!

    My solution is that line in the virtual sand. No tweeting. No facebook. :)

    Oh, and like Tam, I find that having no IRL social life is really helpful! Heh.

  5. @Sparklybearsy: You're welcome, sweetie! I bet you'll enjoy them a lot :) What's that challenge's name? 'Ertading'? I've never heard of it...

    @Tam: I think you will like #5 too, it's a quick, fun read. And The Tin Star is on my ereader already ;)
    I don't do Facebook, pffew, I couldn't handle that too.
    LOL, maybe I better quit with my social life IRL as well, or better yet with my EDJ, coz I would love to have some more reading time :)
    Yep, I have some very interesting M/M books lined up to be read in my near feature (like Cut & Run and Sticks & Stones, Grey's Awakening and a lot more)!

  6. @KC: I agree with you on Faith & Fidelity, the alpha/alpha love is hot! And I'm really looking forward to their sequel that will be released in March!
    Thanks for the tip on not blogging, tweeting and blog hopping in the weekends. And what do you do with your hubby and friends in the weekends? Mine are demanding some attention especially than, :D

    @Chris: Haven't you read Mindf*cked too? I thought you had. Good to know you agree with me :)
    I know, but Twitter is so much fun! I won a book via Twitter today :D
    But how do you get rid of your RL social life?! LOL

  7. Oh, I probably got my numbers all messed up, trying to be cool like Tam. ;) Yes! I have read and enjoyed Mindf*cked.

  8. Nice try Chris ... but try harder. :-P

  9. *sneakily kicks Tam in the shins*

  10. It is hard to find time to read with so many other fun things to do. I'm pretty lucky that I can read at work as long as it doesn't interfere with my performance, I don't do too much of it but when it's slow my Reader comes out right away.

    I gave up on twitter because it was just taking too much time and stopped playing a few of the FB games as well. Also I don't watch TV. There are a couple of shows my hubby hooked me on but I watch the DVDs on my computer.

    TOTGA - loved it!!
    F&F - liked it a lot (4stars)
    Blind Faith - read a long time ago, liked it.
    Broken H - 4 stars, really loved The Tin Star better.

    Thanks for the lovely pic, enjoy your Feb reading!

  11. Sorry, I didn't get back to you sooner! It got distracted by work and stuff...

    @Chris & Tam: LOL! You girls better don't bicker and keep treasuring your virtual friends ;)

    @Lily: Wow, that's great that you can read at work, I envy you! I sometimes can hardly find the time to read my personal email at work ;)
    I can't give up on Twitter yet, but I don't go overthere every day. Giving up TV was pretty easy though and that really gave me back loads of time :)
    I'm glad to see you agreed with me about those books and I'm definitely going to read The Tin Star! Thanks, hon!

  12. Great Month hon....

    Love the set of books you got through...

    1 Yup, agree
    2 Sweet little romp -
    3 I remember thinking Shades of Twilight - but I loved this none the less...
    4. Not read
    5 I love this one - Zane was just the best...
    6 Not started yet....
    7 I agreed with Tam love the second book better and the short story... But this does have classic JL style...

    Beautiful boys... nice pose..


  13. @EH: Well, it weren't that many books, but they were pretty good. So in that sense I had a great month :)

    I agree with you on Zane, he was so cute and sweet, yet hot!

    The Tin Star is high on my tbr, but the short story I haven't purchased yet. I only recently found out about it!

    Thanks for your thoughts on the books, hon!

  14. LOLz!! i meant to type "Reading challenge" I blame your smexen reviews of the M/M books for fogging up my brain and making me typo! HAHA!

  15. @Sparklybearsy: LOL! I take that as a compliment :)
    See, my Dutch brain didn't pick up on that.. Had I been a native English speaker I probably would have deducted it myself ;)
    Thanks for checking back in and clearing it up!

  16. ACK!!! NOT a Twilight fan here. *harrumph* Maybe Stephanie retroactively wrote Twilight with shades of Mind F*ckage. Hmm? Maybe?


    Thanks Janna and Chris and Tam for the props. :) What a nice surprise to see a review posted here. Love you and the blog... but you knew that already, right?

  17. LOL! You're too funny, Mia! You should get your percentage of Stephanie's profits ;)

    You're welcome and yeah, just like you know I heart you and your witty writing :)

    And I'm really looking forward to your giveaway overhere in March! Yay, I'm so happy :)


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