Category Archives: Rose Bouquet

It was so good… Lor fainted.

Cinnamon by Derekica Snake

CinnamonCinnamon by Derekica Snake
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  SL Publishing Group
Novel:  488 pages
Purchase at Amazon
Roses:  Bouquet Roses
 

Xavier Von Drachenfeld is being hailed as the first Lord Emperor in four hundred years, and the Blood Nation is starting to break into factions. The redheaded yearling has more on his plate than he can handle: a stalker, perplexing medical issues, and work, all while still trying to learn what it takes to be a Blue Blood vampire.

However, a powerful Ancient, Hades, has brought his attention on the young assassin. When Hades speaks, the nation listens, whether it be affairs of state, matters of finance, or orders of assassination. What Hades wants, Hades gets, and Hades wants the redhead. Can a minor Ancient such as Claudius defy that authority? Can the broken lover stand up to protect his heart of hearts? Does the Brotherhood of Von Drachenfeld need outside protection?

Then the Lycan Nation begins to move…

Well, this is a Derekica Snake book.  If you have read anything by her you know it is graphic and violent.  Her books aren’t for anyone who has issues with rape and violence.  Plenty of bad/good guys and it isn’t a black and white world.  The hero isn’t always safe from harm and the love interest doesn’t always protect his love, sometimes he is the cause of the pain.

I’m going to try and stay away from the plot because I am afraid if I start I will spill the whole thing!  If you have read the last two of the books then you know in book two there become issues of keeping all the personalities straight.   I did think the author did a good job in this book straightening that all out and now you can see the different person each man becomes.  (I will add here that I really believe that Xavier/Sex/Azreal is more of a realistic split than Marcus/Armor.  They say multiple personalities are rarely ever just two.)  Each of the personalities becomes his own separate person.  Though we didn’t really see much in the split of Marcus/Armor we also see it more clearly now.  The whole of the plot has still not been revealed in this book.  What is revealed though is quite skillfully crafted.  I am continually surprised by the plot’s twists and turns.  The author is an excellent writer and well schooled in her craft.

The details given in scenes make each stand out and live.  You feel the heat, pain, and sorrow, you see and smell the pain, blood, fear, and frustration each scene you read.  People may not care for what the contents of this author’s stories are but they must admit she is wonderful at writing and creating a mood with it.  The characters come alive.  You hate them, you “awww” with them, and you laugh with them.  They are vivid even if you hate them, which I think when you read you will agree Hades is a HATED character.

I believe the author left lots up in the air and many things hinted at.  You wonder if there will be more personalities emerging, will Hades be killed or redeem himself, and WHAT is the deal with the Lycans!  I hate the wait personally but Snake makes it all worthwhile.

So, wrapping up…wonderful writing (maybe with some horrific to us elements), excellent character, plot twists you can’t see coming, and we are left hanging…so good, bad, in-between?  I have learned most of the time that Snake’s writing is love it or hate it…I loved it!  This is one author that knows dark writing at its best!

rose-b-1

Advertisements

Caregiver by Rick R. Reed

CaregiverCaregiver by Rick R. Reed
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press
Novel:  63,866 Words
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  Bouquet
 

It’s 1991, and Dan Calzolaio has just moved to Florida with his lover, Mark, having fled Chicago and Mark’s addictions to begin a new life on the Gulf Coast. Volunteering for the Tampa AIDS Alliance is just one part of that new beginning, and that’s how Dan meets his new buddy, Adam.

Adam Schmidt is not at all what Dan expected. The guy is an original—witty, wry, and sarcastic with a fondness for a smart black dress, Barbra Streisand, and a good mai tai. Adam doesn’t let his imminent death get him down, even through a downward spiral that sees him thrown in jail.

Each step of Adam’s journey teaches Dan new lessons about strength and resilience, but it’s Adam’s lover, Sullivan, to whom Dan feels an almost irresistible pull. Dan knows the attraction isn’t right, even after he dumps his cheating, drug-abusing boyfriend. But then Adam passes away, and it leaves Sullivan and Dan both alone to see if they can turn their love for Adam into something whole and real for each other.

Excerpt

Dan has moved to Florida to escape his boyfriend’s temptations.  Mark is an addict but Dan hasn’t got to the point yet where he realizes Mark is the only one who can help Mark.  Shortly after his arrival Dan signs up to be a “buddy” to someone suffering from AIDS.  This was the early 90’s when AIDS was a death sentence and still a bit of an unknown for a lot of people.  Adam is Dan’s assigned man.  Adam isn’t what Dan expects.  Adam is a lively man that shows little outside sign of the illness that is slowly killing him.  Dan also meets Sullivan, Adam boyfriend, and is blown away.  The man strikes his interest right away but both men are involved so Dan suppresses it.  What Dan doesn’t expect is how much a difference Adam will make in his life in such a short period of time.

This was a very gripping book.  The characters draw you in.  You don’t get to know Mark much but he is only a bit of the story.  The story revolves around Dan and what happens with him.  It really shows how AIDS effected the time and people, especially the gay community but also how they all pulled together to support those with it.  I thought this story did an excellent job showing how one man even if not known long can make a much greater impact on a person.  The love and devotion that was shown by both Dan and Sullivan was beautiful.

The writing was superb.  The author wrote in such a way that you could feel the love, hope, fear, and heartbreak of the characters.  The only fault I thought in the book was not really getting to know Sullivan’s character.  We really don’t get much of him in the story.  We know he loves Adam deeply and some of what goes between them but not enough to really get me attached to his character.  It was a lovely story!

rose-b-1

King Perry by Edmond Manning

King PerryKing Perry by Edmond Manning
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press
Novel:  106,800 Words
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  Rose Bouquet
 

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.

Excerpt

This is a really hard story to review.  This isn’t a romance!  There is not a HEA ending!  It’s a very interesting and intense read that is very difficult to describe.

Perry is an investment banker who is selling his father’s paintings.  Vin is a mechanic from Minnesota.  Vin is at the gallery and runs into Perry.  There is something there that sparks Vin and he decides to “King” Perry.  The book is very twisty and turny.  Trying to figure out where it is all going is worthless and like Perry you just have to give in to the experience.

This would not normally be a book I would enjoy or even approach to read, but I had a challenge read for it and so I bought and read it.  (As a side note, I bought this in paperback at GRL and had dinner with the author.  I really wish I could have read it before then, but the author is a wonderful and sweet man.)  The writing is way more descriptive than I like.  By the end of the book I didn’t notice it as much and it just added to the writing.  I really think the author did an amazing job in drawing me into the story.  Just like Perry I wanted to hear more and more about the Kings.  I wanted to see what Vin would do next and what he had waiting for Perry.  Even more than that I wanted to know what “Kinging” meant and how this would affect Perry.

Vin is a very interesting character.  He is mysterious throughout the whole of the story which is fascinating since he is the storyteller.  The author manages to show you all the depth of the story but leave you with shadows of the unknown when it comes to Vin.  It is a very interesting and complicated paradox.  (Ah, Vin might like that word.)  I really had a hard time with Vin in the beginning of the story.  His word play and descriptions and the like were a little over the top.  Perry seems so cold and hard compared to Vin.  Vin is just out there!  He so grows on you through the story.  By the end he is a fun friend that you want to join in with the word game with.

This is a complex and compelling read.  A warning in advance, the beginning is hard to get through; I wanted to give up on the book so many times.  I was so glad I didn’t!  So don’t give up a few chapters in, just like Perry you will slowly soften to the story.  I don’t think you will regret hanging in to read it all.

rose-b-1