Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Blog lovin’ & Last Five Books I Read

The lovely Tracy @ Tracy’s Place has given me the Bodacious Blogging Book Reviewers Award. Thank you so much, Tracy!

Here's how it works:
  1. Leave a comment on the post you were nominated on.
  2. Then copy and paste the post and add it to your own blog. Make a list of the last 5 books you read and pass the award on to 5 other bloggers.
  3. Please also identify the blog from which you got the award and don't forget to tell them they have a blog award!

I took the chance to share my thoughts about the 5 books, although that’s not requested for the award. So, don’t worry, my sweets :)

I am paying this award forward to:
Heather @ Darkly Reading
Lynette @ Lynette’s Two Cents
Renee @ Renee’s Book Addiction
Pattepoilue @ One Book Away From Heaven
Miranda @ Sweet Vernal Zephyr

The last 5 books I read were:

Out of My Mind by M.L. Rhodes (151p.)

Summary: Police detectives Rafferty and Nick are best friends and colleagues for four years now. But since his divorce a couple of months ago Raff’s been having erotic fantasies about Nick, which shocks him, being the straight man he is. Nick’s always known he’s gay, but keeps this under wraps on the job. When the two of them make a weekend trip on Raff’s boat things get stormy.
My thoughts: I’ve never read anything by this author before, but I’m definitely going to make up for that. Because I LOVED this story! I’m always a sucker for friends become lovers stories and for the GFY (gay for you) theme, especially when it’s been exercised so well as in this story. Raff and Nick both got to me, almost instantly, and I felt really connected with each of them. Ms. Rhodes shifts the point of view from one character to the other at the right moments to accomplish that. And OMG, the emotions were so tangible, it was heart wrenching! I couldn’t help sobbing for these guys. Besides the heart aching moments this story also had some nail biting, thrilling scenes, very hot smexing and sweet kissing scenes, great interior monologues and a satisfying ending. So, what are you waiting for, go grab this book! ;)
4.5 stars

Somatesthesia by Ann Somerville (177p.)

Summary: 2041. Devlin and Connor are both investigators of the Federal Justice Agency. Connor is not an ordinary human, he has scientifically enhanced senses, as some sort of cyborg. He’s known to have zero social skills. When he’s being partnered up with Devlin this rapidly changes together with the building sexual tension between the two of them. But their attraction puts everything at risk, not in the last place their jobs.
My thoughts: This book was recommended to me by blogger and twitter friend Lynette @ Lynette’s Two Cents. I bought it more or less blindly, so I was kind of surprised when I started reading it to find out that it’s a futuristic novel. The cyborg thing caught me off guard and I wondered what I’d gotten myself into. But, it didn’t take me more than 20 pages to get used to the idea and actually start liking the premise. The awkwardness of Connor and the openness and quirky humor of Devlin did work for me and I couldn’t wait for the teasing sexual tension to turn into something concrete. Meanwhile the case they were working on, about child abduction, brought some good suspense too. But then in the middle of the book I started to get bored a wee bit. There was not only a dip in the plot – not a lot happened regarding the investigation or the romantic evolvements – but I also couldn’t appreciate the narrating choices of the author. There was too much telling instead of showing imo. And, not unimportant for me, the love scenes mainly took place off stage. Fortunately, the flow came back in the story when the suspense got high again and some decisions were to be made regarding the relationship. All in all, this was a good futuristic novel that had its highs and lows for me, but that I enjoyed pretty much.
3.75 stars

Positive Possibilities by Shayla Kersten (82p.)

Summary: Gabe's life has just turned upside down. His lover of six years is cheating and his supposedly straight best friend of twenty-something years claims to be in love with him. Throw in that his cheating ex has possibly exposed him to HIV and Gabe's world is a confusing place. Dean has always been attracted to both sexes, but staying on the straight and narrow seemed an easier path. Now he has to convince Gabe of the positive possibilities of taking their friendship to another level.
My thoughts: Ms. Kersten always writes wonderful characters, that I can feel connected with. The way she shows a snippet from their lives, makes you understand them completely. In this story we meet Gabe and Dean, who are such hot, delicious and sweet guys. And their chemistry is great! They are friends for decades and one is straight, the other gay. So, both my favorite themes are present: friends become lovers and GFY! Add some tension to the mix in the shape of a cheating boyfriend and the threat of HIV, and Positive Possibilities has all the ingredients that make me happy. The only thing that could’ve made me even happier, was a little more anxiety or angst, for example when they had to fight another obstacle to be together over a longer period of time. Now the complete story took place within only a few days. But it’s my standard reaction to want more when I really like a couple, so nothing new there. I enjoyed this story anyhow, so I’ll better put my demanding inner self back in the box. ;)
4 stars

Gaps in Your Soul by Shayla Kersten (52p.)

Summary: Jared can handle any challenge life throws him, whether in combat or at his best friend's wedding. Facing the groom's brother and the memories of their one-night stand isn't so easy. Even tougher is the excitement he still feels for the man he left behind. For ten years Dalton hasn't forgotten the pain of Jared walking out on him or the passion of their one night. He has the perfect plan for revenge. Bring Jared to his knees with pleasure and leave him there.
My thoughts: Jared is breaking my heart, he’s a tortured soldier who’s lost one of his men in Afghanistan in the attack that wounded his leg. And he’s so deep in the closet that he doesn’t know how to find the door when he wanted to. And then there’s Dalton, light-hearted and happily gay, but still crushed on Jared after avoiding him for ten years. His plan to take revenge does of course backfire. And then the awkwardness begins. Everyone can tell that they are meant for each other, sparks fly around when they’re together, but how to get this closeted gay out of that dark closet? That’s a tricky thing in romance stories and I got to say that Ms. Kersten didn’t convince me completely with the way Jared came out. First there were the alcohol and drug induced previous encounters with Dalton that left me with doubts about Jared’s willingness to admit he’s gay. Then there were the symptoms of him having some sort of post traumatic stress problems, that made me think he should get therapy first, before he could decide who he loved or what life altering changes he could make. Alas, when you don’t mind to suspend some disbelief I guess the ending was pretty cute. But I think maybe only a full length novel could’ve shown this kind of subject to full advantage. It would’ve given Jared some more time to come to terms with his feelings and that would’ve made the happy ending more believable. But this still was an enjoyable read, despite the length.
3.5 stars

Mark’s Toy Box by Laine Williams (33p.)

Summary: Mark and Keith have a good relationship. Even though Mark is way more experienced than his cop lover, he knows Keith loves him, and he's pretty happy. Every once in awhile, though, Mark thinks about the box of toys he's collected over the years. When Keith catches Mark playing with a few toys by himself, things heat up fast, but will Keith be freaked out by some of Mark's collection?
My thoughts: This is the prequel to a series of shorts about the sexy couple Mark and Keith, that’s called Lessons in Mastery. Tam @ Tam’s Reads brought it to my attention a couple of weeks ago when she did a New Zealand post (haven’t discovered the NZ connection in this first one yet, Tam, ;) but that’s not what I bought this series for of course). It was Tam’s praise and the to be discovered D/s aspect of Mark’s and Keith’s relationship that piqued my interest. Although it’s a very short first story, I instantly liked this couple. Mark is the playful, smaller guy that has the happy, bouncing around attitude, despite the bad experiences he must have had. Keith is the big, caring alpha who’s self-assured even while he lacks experience when it comes to gay love. They have chemistry in kilos but still a lot to discover together. That’s why Mark doesn’t know how Keith will react when he finds out about Mark’s toy box which contains quite some collection! Well, I can only say that I loved his reaction! A lot. The rest you should check out for yourself. :)
4 stars


  1. Congrats on the award!

    I really liked Out of My Mind, Gaps In Your Soul and Mark's Toy Box. Haven't read the other two.

  2. Thank you ma belle!!! ((hugs))

    OMG Out Of My Mind sounds amazing *must not look must not look* arghh too late I looked...Now I need to get Out of My Mind...well out of my mind. lol

    have a great day hon
    and merci beaucoup for the award!

  3. You're very welcome!

    I liked Icing on the Cake by Kersten I'll have to look into these others as they sound good as well.

    I'm so happy you liked Out of My Mind - wasn't it great! But yeah, I was tearing up at times in the book as well but so damned good!

  4. @Lily: Thanks! :) They were so good. I think you'd like the other book from Shayla Kersten too.

    @pattepoilue: You're welcome, sweetie! :D
    Don't get Out of My Mind out of your mind! You'll love it!
    You have a great day too, hon *hugs*

    @Tracy: I'm a big fan of Shayla Kersten's m/m romances. Icing on the Cake was very good. I think you'll like her other work too.
    And Out of My Mind left me breathless at one point, so freakin' good! :)

  5. Congratz on the wonderful award Janna, reminds me I have to do an award post to real soon LOL Your five books/reviews remind me I still have to add Shayla Kersten to my cart!

    This morning I went clicking the buy button at fictionwise with the 40% off sale and bought 7 books and no Shayla kersten *sigh*

    Anyway, I'm going to moisterize my skin, I had an afternoon of sun and my milky white skin turned red...why is it you never feel this when you're in the sun but only notice at the end of the day when you're out of it *sigh*

    No Black Wade in the mail today...I'm an impatient woman according to my hubby. I say post can arrive from England in two days...really!! It can!!

  6. @Leontine: Thanks hon! Oh, you'll love Shayla Kersten's smut, but I think it's best to buy her books directly at Ellora's Cave, price-wise. Much cheaper if I'm not mistaken.
    Aw, for the red skin. I'm sorry, but hey, look at it this way, I had to stay inside all day and I'm still white as milk ;)
    Dammit, why hasn't Black Wade arrived yet - must be the ash from Iceland still ;) cos I know for sure that two days is very realistic, lol! I can't wait for you to finish it and forward it to me! :D

  7. Congrats on the award!

    I like that weird title, Somathesia :)

    Ok back to making the rounds, I spent 5 hours correcting exams today

  8. @Blodeuedd: OMG hon! That sounds awful, 5 hours!!?
    Thankies :)

  9. Congratulations on the award!

    I have the Kersten books on my TBR list. She's one of my favorites.

    I steer clear of anything with cyborgs. Just not my thing.

  10. Congrats on your award-isn't it a beautiful one?

  11. Congrats!

    Oh, you've read some that I really like. :) That's one of my favorite ML Rhodes titles! And I love Shayla Kersten's m/m romances... Have you read her Tennessee Cops series yet? Helping Hands has more GFY...

  12. Congrats on your award honey! You know I think you rock!!! Hugs to you and I hope you have a great day!!!

  13. The ML Rhodes book is 'speaking to me' it says 'buy me KC'.

  14. @Eyre: Thanks! This was not too heavy on the cyborg thing, it was more cyborg-like ;)

    @ABGR: It is! Thanks :)

    @Chris: I love her Tenessee cops. I think A Helping Hand was the first of her books I read. It's one of my favorite m/m books! :)

    @Cecile: Thank you, sweetie! :) Likewise!! Hope you had a great day too!

    @KC: LOL! It has a lot more to tell you, if you do buy it! ;)

  15. Congrats on the award Janna - and those are some hot reads! I need to read some m/m books soon - there are just so many good books out there. Thanks for passing on the award to me sweetie!

  16. @Heather: Thanks, sweetie! I know, so many books, so little time! *sigh*
    You're welcome, hon! :)

  17. Congrats on the award..

    I love Rhodes and Kersten. Sharp and spicy, just hit the spot..


  18. Congratulations on the award and thanks for passing it on! You reminded me that I have Somatesthesia waiting for me on my ereader!

    I've posted my thank you here...


  19. @EH: Thanks, hon! I love those authors too :)

    @Miranda: Thanks, sweets! Your five recent reads are looking good! :) I just checked them out.


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