September readings | Classics, Space Operas, Magic & Erotica

Title: Dune
Series: Dune #1
Author: Frank Herbert
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Fantasy, Space Opera, Adventure
Page count: 688 pages
Published: First published June 1965

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Title: The End Zone
Series: Atlanta Lightening #2
Author: Riley Hart
Genre(s): Contemporary, Sports, Romance, MM
Page count: 306 pages
Published: 16 July 2021

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Title: Black Moon
Series: Wolf Moon Rising #1
Author: Sam Burn
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Werewolves
Page count: 330 pages
Published: 22 April 2021

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Title: A Veilled & Hallowed Eve
Series: Soulbound VII
Author: Hailey Turner
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, MM
Page count: 485 pages
Published: 01 October 2021

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Title: Homecoming
Author: Keegan Kennedy
Genre(s): Erotica, MM, Contemporary, BDSM
Page count: 188 pages
Published: 12 April 2013

My review | Book

Title: Foundation
Series: Foundation #1
Author: Isaac Asimov
Genre(s): Science-Fiction, Space Opera, Fantasy, Classics
Page count: 255 pages
Published: August 1951

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Title: Ashfall Legacy
Author: Pittacus Lore
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Mystery, Young Adult, Fantasy
Page count: 432 pages
Published: 17 August 2021

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Title: Ink & Sigil
Series: Ink & Sigil #1
Author: Kevin Hearne
Genre(s):
Page count:
Published:

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Homecoming | Keegan Kennedy

18 year-old, Lucas Hudson has six weeks remaining before leaving his small town for college, but first, he must adjust to the return of his new stepbrother, Dane Bolton, from the Marine Corps. Although initially reluctant about the return of the local hero and former football jock, who had been three years ahead of him in high school, Lucas develops an instant crush on his new stepdad’s son. 21 year-old, Dane Bolton is a dominant marine with a kinky side and has secretly been fixated on Lucas long before they were stepbrothers. Under the guise of bonding with his new little brother, Dane quickly becomes controlling and starts to take over Lucas’ life. With a deep and mostly untouched submissive nature, Lucas is ripe for the picking and falls completely under the spell of the dynamic Alpha Male. Dane, who will stop at nothing to possess the object of his longtime fantasy, spins Lucas into his web. Dane attempts to take control of the young, blonde boy and demands nothing less than Lucas’ complete and total submission. In this erotic novel filled with love, possession and obsession, Dane and Lucas struggle to overcome many obstacles on their way to happiness which most importantly includes their respective parents. This novel is approximately 65,000 words. This work features many aspects and fetishes of a m/m dominant and submissive relationship including, bondage, sports gear, foot play, kink, chastity, discipline, toys and control. 

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How was it?

I’ve had The Harbinger series for years – I’ll get to them promise – but this is my first Keegan Kennedy book, and boy was I not ready for this. For some reason I thought it was a sweet little MM romance. It’s not, not really. It’s almost pure erotica with just enough story – to keep edging ;), I’m joking – to justify the romance label.

The story is hot, there’s enough of build up, a raw primal quality between the main characters interactions and in their intimate scenes, but there are quite a few things that dampened my enjoyment. Dane’s whole confession about when and how he first got attracted to Lucas was a tad creepy for me, and then Dane’s attitude about being the man and wanting Lucas to be his kept woman was unnecessary. At least he didn’t mind him going to college.
Besides that the way Kennedy made some intimate practices, that hold no interest to me, hot and entertaining is a skill. However there were few parts of it that I zombie read* but overall I liked it enough to seek out other books he wrote in that genre and bumped The Harbinger up a few spots on my TBR list.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Homecoming is available on Smashword, Amazon, Audible and other book retailers near you.

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*Zombie reading: reading something without really processing any of the words on the page. One often wonders how they got a particular section, with little to no recollection of what came before, after zombie reading.

July readings | Baseball, Roommates, FWBs, and Magic

Title: Bat Boy
Series: Easton U Pirates #1
Author: Christina Lee
Genre(s): Contemporary, MM, Sports, Romance
Page count: 218 pages
Published: 20 November 2020

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Title: First Impressions
Series: Auckland Med. #1
Author: Jay Hogan
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, Mystery, Crime, MM
Page count: 351 pages
Published: 15 December 2019

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Title: Carry On
Series: Simon Snow #1
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, LGBT, Romance
Page count: 522 Pages
Published: 9 May 2017

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Title: True Mate
Series: Prosper Woods Chronicles #1
Author: Patricia Logan
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, LGBT, Romance
Page count: 202 pages
Published: 30 April 2021

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Title: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Genre(s): Poetry, Fantasy, Fiction, Mythology, Historical
Page count: 208 pages

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Title: Enthralled
Series: The Knight and the Necromancer
Author: A.H. Lee
Genre(s): Fantasy, Paranormal, MM, Fiction, Short stories
Page count: 78 pages
Published: 12 January 2021

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Title: Roommate
Author: Sarina Bowen
Genre(s): Contemporary, Queer, Romance, Fiction
Page count: 304 pages
Published: 12 January 2021

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Title: THE taking of Jake Livingston
Author: Ryan Douglass
Genre(s): Young Adult, Paranormal, Queer, Fiction
Page count: 308 pages
Published: 13 July 2021

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Title: Lux
Series: The Reckoners
Author: Brandon Sanderson, Steven Michael Bohls
Genre(s): Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy,
Runtime: 13h55min
Published: 22 July 2021

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Title: Home Plate
Series: Eastern U Pirates #2
Author: Christina Lee
Genre(s): Contemporary, MM, Sports, Romance
Page count: 257 pages
Published: 29 January 2021

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The Necromancer’s Reckoning | S.J. Himes

Every action has consequences.
For a decade, Angel Salvatore has been the most powerful sorcerer and only necromancer in all the Northeast. Never one to ask permission nor apologies, he has acted with near impunity for years.
Until now.
The High Council of Sorcery has come to Boston, and Angel is their target. Charged with numerous violations of practitioner laws, his freedom and family are placed in jeopardy.
If found guilty, Angel’s apprentice Daniel will be imprisoned to serve out the remaining years of his apprenticeship. Isaac, his brother, is too vulnerable to be left unguarded, and Angel fears for his sanity and health. And Simeon, Elder vampire and Angel’s mate, refuses to see Angel convicted under the laws of the Council and his actions to keep Angel free threaten to start a war that could destroy their world. And Angel faces the severest of punishments—the castration of his gifts.
The Council has never cared for the people of Boston, and Angel doubts their motives. They have come for some insidious reason, and it has nothing to do with upholding the law and everything to do with Angel.
Dealing with an impending trial, a wayward ghost, and a grave robbing ring of thieves leaves Angel on the edge. He thinks he may have a handle on things until violence erupts across the city, and a stranger comes to town…a stranger with his own dark powers of necromancy.

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How was it?

The Beacon Hills Sorcerer series is among the best books in the genre. The storytelling is smooth and smart, from Dance, Dilemma to Reckoning it’s a captivating saga that’s unfolding bit by bit and gets better each time. The characters are amazing, they keep growing and evolving, and it’s always earned. Nothing is rushed but the story is far from a slow burn.

In fact Reckoning is fast paced with plenty of action and mayhem. The “magic police”, the High Council of Sorcery, is back in town after a long absence. A Sorcerer civil war didn’t capture their attention but it seems that the growing fame and power that Angel’s latest accomplishments afforded him doesn’t sit well with them.

There always was some kind of geopolitical aspects to the series. The sphere of influence and rules for Vampires, Humans, and Practitioners have always permeated the story, but here it’s centered stage and it’s entertaining as hell. Angel, Simeon and Eroch are just badass. I pity the fools that underestimate them.

The Necromancer’s Reckoning is gripping, exciting and sweet entry to the series.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Necromancer’s Reckoning is available on The Book Depository, Amazon, Audible and other book retailers near you.

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Previous books in the series:

June reads | Sizzling Short Stories, Paranormal Romances, Mercenaries and Hockey

Title: Just Friends
Series: Never Just Friends #1
Author: Saxon James
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, MM
Page count: 259 pages (ebook)
Published: 27 August 2020

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Title: Cruising
Editor: Shane Allison
Genre(s): Short Stories, Erotica, LGBT
Page count: 232 pages
Published: 17 April 2012

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Title: Familiar Beginnings
Series: Demon Magic
Author: Alice Winters
Genre(s): Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Romance
Page count: 214 pages
Published: 26 March 2020

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Title: How to Save a Human
Series: VRC: Vampire Related Crimes #4
Author: Alice Winters
Genre(s): Humor, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance
Page count: 332 pages
Published: 6 November 2020

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Title: Waking Bel
Series: Lords of Discord #3
Author: Jocelynn Drake
Genre(s): Menage, Paranormal, Fantasy
Page count: 378 pages
Published: 29 May 2020

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Title: Pledges
Author: Shane Allison
Genre(s): Short Stories, Anthologies, Romance
Page count: 232 pages
Published: 16 April 2013

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Title: The Gray Man
Series: Gray Man #1
Author: Mark Greaney
Genre(s): Thriller, Action, Adventure, Spy, Fiction, Mystery
Page count: 456 pages
Published: 29 September 2009

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Title: Line Mates & Study Dates
Series: CU Hockey #4
Author: Eden Finley, Saxon James
Genre(s): Hockey, College, Romance, LGBT
Page count: 306 pages
Published: 23 June 2021

My review | Book

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Bell, Book, and Scandal | Josh Lanyon

Bell, Book and Scandal (Bedknobs and Broomsticks #3) by Josh Lanyon published 12 April 2020

Cosmo Saville loves that his husband has finally accepted his witchy ways. And in return, his promise to stay out of police business guarantees them a happily ever after. At least, until he discovers he might be responsible for a dangerous game of blackmail…

Police Commissioner John Joseph Galbraith feels relieved that his marriage is back on track. Especially since he has his hands full with a high-profile suicide and rumors of a city-wide extortion ring. But when he stumbles across Cosmo breaking his vow by playing cop, John agonizes over old wounds.

With the commissioner’s badge and family in jeopardy, Cosmo has no choice but to put his life on the line…

Can the witch expose a dark conspiracy, save John’s career, and return to love’s delicious spell?

Bell, Book and Scandal is the third book in the Bedknobs and Broomsticks romantic gay mystery trilogy. If you like quirky characters, snappy spells, and madcap suspense, then you’ll love Josh Lanyon’s supernatural story.

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How was it? Oh my god I remember what was so frustrating about this series, the lack of communication. Then I remembered that they’re still getting to known each other despite being married. This series is a weird one for me, I’m not enamored with it but I seem to come back for more. Despite a rocky start for me with Mainly By Moonlight, I Buried a Witch delivered in more ways than the first book.

This time around I couldn’t care less about the mystery that was unfolding here. I didn’t try to unravel it with the character. I’m not sure that I could if I try since I was like a friend listening to the musing of an acquaintance, so not paying much attention.

What kept me somewhat engaged was Cosmo and John’s evolving relationship. There’s a clear progression from book one to book two to now, even if we had to ignore some major red flags along the way. Things are getting better though and their relationship doesn’t seem as toxic as it was. However I still weighed each plot points to the potential damaged it could cause to the relationship.

I found Bell, Book and Scandal easier to enjoy and a tad more engaging. I read it faster than I anticipated to the point that the ending didn’t feel like one since I thought I had more chapters to go through. As turns out there’s a fourth book in the works, it has a title and everything (Hex in the City).

This book was about me finishing the trilogy I started but this entry warrants a look at the next. Bedknobs and Broomsticks seems to be on a slow but steady climb toward becoming a solid book series, entertaining and easier to read as the whole picture is laid out.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Previous books in the series:

Bedknobs and Broomsticks 1
Review | Book | Audiobook
Bedknobs and Broomsticks 2
Review | Book | Audiobook

The Fantastic Fluke | Sam Burns

The Fantastic Fluke by Sam Burns published 06 August 2020

A lost fox. A gorgeous ghost. And an unlikely partnership to stop a murderer.

Since his mother’s murder, Sage McKinley doesn’t live, he exists. His weak magic has made him an outcast, shadowing his life with self-doubt. All that changes when the spirit of a gunslinger appears in his bookstore with a message that will flip Sage’s world upside down. According to the mesmerizing apparition, a powerful magic lies within Sage… if he can find a way to tap into it.

But dastardly threats accompany this untapped power. Bodies are piling high as a killer hunts for the secrets of the mage that now course through Sage’s veins. Can Sage find the confidence to embrace all he’s capable of? Or will the next life snuffed out be his own?


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How was it?

I discovered Sam Burns reading the Fire and Valor series, so I dove into this book without reading the blurb. It’s something I often do in particular with the first book of series, and that’s what I did with The Fantastic Fluke, which is a bit of a roller coaster because as much as I enjoyed it there are some problem with it.

The idea of magic being apart of this world kind of came out of nowhere. I wasn’t expecting it for some reason, again I didn’t read the blurb I picked up this book because of the author. So the paranormal, fantasy elements of the story were not smoothly introduced but once I jumped that hurdle I got into. The lost fox that Sage McKinley, the main character, finds helped quite a bit in my enjoyment of this book. For a character that doesn’t speak, because magic or not it’s a fox, he’s hand down my favorite character.

I had a bit of a hard time connecting with Sage because of how he was presented. The fact that he’s been through a lot, that he’s sort of down on his luck, and doesn’t have a lot going for him when we first meet the guy was fine. It makes him sympathetic but the constant self-doubt almost did me in. You can make it clear that your MC has low self-esteem without constantly telling us. At some point I even wondered if it was a way to hit a certain word count.

As for Gideon, I liked him but thinking back I think he was just there to be lusted over. The focus is very much on Sage so I only have a vague sense of who Gideon is. He’s not as sharply define as Mckinley but it’s obvious that we’ve only had a glimpse of his story and there’s more to come.

The Fantastic Fluke might sound like a mix bag but I still got a kick out of this story. There’s a great atmosphere, a really good vibe. The world building is interesting with its different types of magic, the monitoring and policing of said magic, but the larger mystery with this set of characters makes me want to know more.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Fantastic Fluke is available on Amazon, Audible and other book retailers near you.

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