Breaking Up With Dan, by P. Sean

This book was provided to me for free by the author in exchange for an honest review.

This book is about Gene and Josh, who were friends through High School and College but broke up when Gene got to know his belated boyfriend Dan. Josh couldn’t stand Dan because he didn’t treat Gene well. But now Dan has died and Josh comes back in Gene’s life to support him getting over the death of his boyfriend. The relationship actually was problematic because Dan betrayed Gene several times and was now ready to break up for good. But Gene doesn’t learn about this plan until the funeral of Dan where Dan’s new boyfriend pronounces this in front of all people attending the funeral. Gene’s world breaks apart.

Not only is his boyfriend dead, he now knows that he wanted to leave him. He also finds out that Dan had already submitted an offer for a house he wanted to buy together with his new boyfriend whom he also wanted to marry.

Now you should assume that Gene is devastated and heartbroken because of Dan’s betrayal and death. But that’s not the real reason for his grief. He seems to be angry because he can’t scream at Dan anymore. But actually I can’t say for sure. The problem is I couldn’t find a connection to either one of the characters. I read through the story without any kind of emotions.

If Gene had really loved Dan although he had betrayed him I’d have understood why he his grieving that much, isn’t open for a new relationship, needs therapy and so on. But he states that the relationship between him and Dan hasn’t been well since his last betrayal and okay, now he is dead and this is a real shock. And please don’t think that I’m a cold monster without feelings but I cannot retrieve that it really takes Gene that long to break up with Dan and start a new relationship with Josh who has actually been his great love and whom he loves much more than he has ever loved Dan. I mean, I’d have understood if Gene hat been afraid of losing Josh. But this is just one of the reasons and not even the most important one why it takes him so long to finally commit to Josh.

Another point that really disturbed me about Gene was that whenever he was ready for a next step or found something out about his feelings, he had to tell his therapist first before actually taking steps.

And Josh… I couldn’t find the connection to him either. He has a kind of bad boy image, who doesn’t want a relationship and enjoys just having sex with different women. But then he is acting so differently and I found it unrealistic that as soon as he sees Gene again he changes 180 degrees and is Mr. Perfect who is ready to wait for his great love as long as it takes him to commit to him and declares his love to him.

So all in all the characters didn’t convince me much. I think if it had come out that Gene had really loved Dan badly or that he was his great love. I’d totally gotten the grieving which nearly lasted one year. In that case I’d also taken three years or more grieving as comprehensible but in Gene’s case I didn’t get why he is pushing Josh away that often.

I mean this could have really been a god story if I’d found the connection to both characters and would have understood them or their feelings better. But I think you shouldn’t conclude from my review that the story isn’t worth reading. Because it really is and I’d even recommend it to you to make your own opinion because maybe you do understand Gene and Josh better than I did and can understand their behavior. If so, I’d be happy hearing from you.

All For Show: A Fake Boyfriend Gay Romance

(Rachel Kane)

I was stumbling over this book when I actually had been searching for another one. But the cover caught me because I love romances where pets are included (if they are well treated and not harmed) and the plot sounded funny. So I decided to give it a try. I didn’t expect too much of it but I actually was in the mood for an easy going holiday-read with a simple HEA without hard feelings or problem dealing couples. And that’s exactly what the story was. The language is really easy and it’s not hard to follow the plot. You can easily read it on one afternoon or evening. There are also some laughs in the story and I have to admit that I actually liked the couple.

BUT there is a real huge BUT… I got somehow angry or frustrated already at the beginning… I know many of you would ask themselves now why I didn’t stop reading then… I simply liked the two main characters and although their sentences made me frustrated I developed negative feelings against the author who let the two men talk about a serious illness as if it were something disgusting or something you should be ashamed of. I too wouldn’t like anyone to tell about me that I’m suffering from a serious illness but not because I’d be afraid that people would laugh about it. I’d feel bad for all the people who really suffer from that disease and see me making it up just for being pitied or looking good in the show.

The second huge BUT is how the author describes a person who is obviously suffering from depressions. It’s like, I had them but I’m doing better now so don’t mind, everything is good now… The author obviously hasn’t done enough research on depression to realize that this is a very serious psychological condition that is unlikely to go away that easily.

So if you like easy going stories and don’t mind some statements which really could offend some people and give you the feeling that the author either doesn’t know which illnesses she talks about in the book or doesn’t give a shit about people who really suffer from these illnesses, then you should read this book. In my opinion you shouldn’t write about lupus or depression in such a flat, trivial way. (There is definitely no funny part about these illnesses and I don’t think that people would laugh about somebody suffering from them.)

-> If it wasn’t for the BUTs I’d given 5 stars for a good easy summer read instead of 2,75 stars

A Matter of Duty

This book was provided to me for free by the author in exchange for an honest review.

This review contains spoilers!

Again a tough one to rate because I’m kind of two minds.

One the one hand I really liked the plot and the story and wanted to read more of it when the story finally got some kind of speed and drove me into it. But on the other hand there were those first chapters when it was really hard for me not to put the book away and the abrupt ending which really left me kind of unsatisfied. I’d had wished it to be more emotional.

Actually the book started really great and thrilling. But then there was this switch and everything went on so slowly… Which is not a bad thing per se. But the way the story is told and how the characters describe their feelings didn’t get me at all. The thing is, both men are actually torn between the fight they have to struggle and fall in love at exactly this unfitting time. And I mean they do state that but it didn’t get or convince me at all. This story isn’t just a romance where two men get to know each other and fall in love, it’s also about a series of rapes, a war between two Chinese gangs and two Americans getting in the middle of this. This sounds like a lot of action and emotional struggles. And I actually hoped getting that when I started reading the book. Don’t get me wrong I’m not the kind of person who is so into the action thing but when I read the plot of a book I have certain ideas where it’ll lead me and well, this one led me to crime scenes but to me they appeared as some kind of side stuff although they were the main topic of the story… I know that sounds confusing but let me explain…

The story starts with this injured girl being in real huge trouble calling her brother for help. But the thing is the girl is in Hong Kong and the brother home in the US. So when he finally arrives in Hong Kong three weeks have passed. And that’s the first point that kind of irritated me. Okay Noah, the brother, states that he didn’t listen to the voicemail message his sister left until one week later because he was angry with her. But when he finally did he immediately felt that she was in real trouble so what the sh… takes him another two weeks following her without even having a plan?

Okay I tried not to question this. So when Noah finally arrives in Hong Kong he decides asking the police for help. That’s where he gets to know Wei and feels immediately attracted to him. And then the whole love story starts… Well kind of… Because now this emotional part starts with the two men falling in love and explaining to each other why they can’t give in to their feelings which didn’t convince me at all. I don’t know why but the emotions didn’t jump onto me.

When I was at about 70% of the story I was still on the second day of the plot and Wei tells himself for the third time that he wouldn’t kiss Noah in his fragile state and Noah does quite the same except that he talks about his bad conscience thinking about sex and feeling attracted to a guy when his sister is still missing and in danger. And I mean I totally get those feelings but I didn’t feel them when they were told in that book.

I can’t even tell the exact things that disturbed me. Maybe it were those many long descriptions of the different places the characters were which really took a lot of speed from the action. Or maybe it were all the statements of the gang-members about Wei wanting Noah and having sex with him and Noah still didn’t believe it without really explaining his doubts. Maybe it was the fact that I had already read 70% of the book, was still on the second day and nothing really flashing had happened so far, except some talking and a burglary. Or maybe it was all of this that didn’t tear me into the story. But that changed when I reached that 70%. Suddenly the story gained momentum.

It comes to a fight and eventually the two guys confess their love to each other. I liked those 30% pretty much although the author once mixed the names of the two main characters which got me a little confused but wasn’t really disturbing.

One thing I really didn’t quite get through the whole story was how Noah could understand so much of the different conversations which weren’t exactly addressed to him. Maybe I should first explain that the story is told from different point of views but always in the third person. So the narrator is not an omniscient one, he is just telling the thoughts of one person per chapter. Although you or better I sometimes got the feeling that he has a hard time doing so because he sometimes describes thoughts of a person that can’t be known by the character who is in the spotlight at that moment. It’s really hard to retrace why Noah understands most of the things people talk when he is around. I mean I totally get that his friends would talk in English to him or even to each other whenever he is around but seriously two Asian gang-bosses wouldn’t fight in English just that he could follow their discussions, would they?

To summarise my opinion, all in all the idea for this story is a quite good one. But for my taste it’s developing far too slowly. And I don’t know why but I didn’t get the feelings and suffering from the two main characters which really made me kind of annoyed at the beginning. Then there was a short part when I really got attached to the two men and I thought they finally have touched me and I totally get them but then at the end there is Noah’s statement that he was somehow relieved that his sister has already been dead when he arrived at Hong Kong. He’d have tortured himself forever if she had been still alive when he came to Hong Kong and he couldn’t have saved her then. But seriously??? Why not still having this bad conscience about taking three weeks to finally come to Hong Kong???

And then there is this ending. The two men totally lost me there again because it came far too quick and there was a real lack of emotions for my taste.

But besides all these points the plot was quite interesting and I think I’ll read the next book of this series not least because I liked the two-side character Winston and Steel and the unspoken thing that goes on between them.

 

 

 

The Boy Next Door

 

The Boy Next Door

If it was just for the plot I’d given five stars because I really liked it.

The book is told out of two perspectives… Amelia’s and Dash’s and I loved both.

It starts with Amelia meeting Dash and then you get to see what past the two now grown-ups share. They have loved each other since Dash saved Amelia when she was a little girl – the day they first met. But since Dash is three years older than Amelia neither of them confessed the true feelings to the other. But then Dash leaves for college and although he has promised to write he rarely ever does. When he comes back in summer as a sophomore and meets Amelia, they finally confess their love to each other but the next day Dash disappears and leaves a heartbroken Amelia.

6 years later they meet again… And that’s the point where both characters start telling the story alternately. Both still love each other but Dash thinks he isn’t worth being loved by Amelia because of the thing he did. But he can’t resist her or walk away from her again. And Amelia is fighting for him. She loves him and she knows that he still cares for her so she wants to know why he’d left her all these years ago. But that’s Dash’s secret he has to take to the grave. Eventually, however, Amelia finds out and so does the reader….

So the plot is not bad.

When Dash’s secret is revealed I first thought that Dash is kind of overacting by leaving Amelia all the years ago and by telling that he hasn’t earned Amelia’s love or being happy at all. But then I started to think about it and changed my point of view. Because Dash didn’t know Amelia’s thoughts and real feelings for her then. So I as the reader am quite sure that Amelia would have never let Dash down not even as a teenager but how could have Dash known about that? For him his deeds are unforgivable and besides that he was afraid. So I think I do understand him now. And I think it’s kind of comprehensible why he left and things turned out to be like they are now.

What I didn’t quite like were the small things like Amelia’s fighting for Dash… She is giving him orgasms with BJs or finger-jobs. And I don’t know but I think those scenes don’t quite fit into the plot. I mean Amelia is a person who thinks about feelings and she tells she is having sex with Dash because she wants to be near him but there are no more thoughts about it. I mean these scenes are told like a shopping list for food or something similar. I totally miss the feelings in those scenes. I somehow had the feeling that these scenes were told by another person. And this really, really disturbed me and is the reason why I rated the book with 3,5 stars only.

Camp Lake Omega – book review

This book was provided to me for free by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Camp Lake Omega

Well, reviewing „Camp Lake Omega“ is a real tough one for me. It’s not the book’s fault – but I’ve actually got no experience with this genre… I didn’t even know about its existence when I read about the content of the book. Now I know that some of you may laugh about me but I thought that the book would be about students – one from an alpha and one from an omega house. But it really soon (I think already on the second page) turned out that it wasn’t what I expected it to be and I got confused and somehow a little frustrated because I didn’t quite get anything. I mean I somehow got the feeling that I had missed anything or my English was somehow disappearing out of my brain *lol*. But then I did a short research on the internet and I found out about this special genre. But I’m still far away from being an expert so I can’t tell if the book really fits into it or if it fulfils its characteristics.

What I can tell you is that I really liked the story. It’s a straight love story where you can see the development of love and where it leads too.

After I had found out about the genre and my confusion was gone I really got driven into the book and I had the feeling of being at the camp myself. The story itself is alternately told by Jim and Zachary. But it’s not overlapping. They always continue with their own part where the other stopped.

This makes the story varied. The author really managed to present the two points of view differently so that you totally believe that it is told by two different people. And both of them use a lot of dialogues while narrating, what I really like because so the story gets livelier.

Within the story you get information about alphas, omegas and little bit of betas and the whole society they life in and what life is expected to be in this reality.

One thing I didn’t quite like at the beginning, maybe because it was kind of disturbing for me, was the fact that people don’t seem to care about the gender of the partner they fall in love with or bond. So there is no homosexual, bisexual or heterosexual. But then, given a second thought, I actually loved it. Because there is just love for the one person you want to spend your life with. Why do we or I always think in these stubborn patterns?

The only thing I didn’t quite like until the end is that kids refer to the partner who gave birth to them as mum, even it’s a man – but well I think that’s just one more of my thinking in the patterns I’m used to.

But all in one I really liked the story and have to rate it with five stars. I got along well with the plot and the content as soon as I found out about the existence of this fictitious society. All the typical features about them are described in detail, so it’s easy to follow even if you don’t know anything about alphas, betas or omegas. Just make sure you know about their existence otherwise you’ll get as confused as I was at the beginning.

I’ll definitely read more from this author.

Time for love – book review

This book was provided to me for free by the author in exchange for an honest review. It is actually the second book of a series but I haven’t read the first one (which I definitely will do now) and still could follow easily.

Review contains spoiler!

Actually, this is exactly the kind of “love at first sight”-story I love to read. Two humans get to know each other – fall in love – get to know each other better, reveal the secrets of their past to each other and struggle through daily life together helping each other to develop without many moments of great angst or splitting up (well not really spitting up… ?)

Also, the story is written in the present tense, which I enjoyed. In former times, this was kind of disturbing for me and I didn’t like it, maybe because I hadn’t been used to it. But the more stories I read written in that way the more I like it. It somehow gives me the feeling that I’m experiencing everything together with the protagonist.

So, you’d think I should have given five stars but there are three things I have to criticize.

The first thing is that there are too many sex scenes at the beginning; at least for my taste. I mean, don’t get me wrong – I like reading those scenes if they are well written and the author really didn’t do a bad job describing them. But at the beginning I somehow had the feeling that there is one love-making scene after the other and they aren’t doing anything else the first days… at least it seemed like that to me. I totally get that when you are freshly in love you want to have much sex but I somehow missed the development or action. I really was thinking of putting the book away. I’m glad I didn’t do it then, because it really turned out to be a good story at the end. But nevertheless I didn’t quite like the beginning.

That leads me to my second point to criticize. The narrator mentions having sex nearly every day he describes and also mentions quite often that he thanked Caleb with a BJ for something. I mean yeah, great, but do you really have to tell about all the times you did this and besides can’t you just accept a gift in a relationship without returning a reward?

Before I come to my third point to criticize I have to state I’m totally into love at first sight. Why not have sex at the first date (well not as often as they did *lol* but okay we had this one…)? Seriously, I’d never say things like the two men do if it were my first date. Maybe on the third or fourth date if it’s really love at first sight for both, but not the moment I first meet the other person. This really disturbed me somehow.

I would have preferred the getting to know part to last at least three dates. Or it could have been told in a kind of flashback involving the first dates. I mean I totally get that the author wanted to state that it was love at first sight but for me it would have worked better if the narrator clearly would have pointed that out. Those sentences like “…Your are mine”, “…We are  together…” didn’t convince me at all.

Finally my last point: The story is told in first person, which is not a bad move, but then the narrator refers to his partner so often as boyfriend or to his best friend as best friend, when he thinks about them… That somehow disturbed me because when I’m thinking of these people in real life I recall them by their names. Maybe when looking at my husband or after him, I’d think omg I’ve got a sexy hubbie but not when thinking of him or what he is doing at the moment or stuff like that.

So, although as you see I had to criticize quite a few points I really liked the story or at least finally after the getting to know part was over. This part weren’t bad as well if it had gone over more than two days. But then the book turned out to be really good. And I really loved the second part, the development of Nicolaus, which is just awesome. I also liked how everything turns out in the end. It’s really romance – love – passion. Being there for each other and fighting for each other. That’s why I rated it with four stars at the end.

So, if you love romance and you’re not into this whole couple finding – splitting – finding again stuff then you definitely should read this book.