You Know Me As Lad

Books and things. Basically, welcome to my mind.

Come On, Google, You Know What Book I Mean

I think everyone who loves books has done it. You're screwing around on some blog/website and you come across a book that looks kind of interesting. You think "Oh, that sounds different but I'm more looking for a (insert genre or trope here) story". For some reason you don't write down the title of this intriguing book, you don't add it to your TBR list anywhere, no, you just click on by it. Like an idiot.


Months later you're looking for something to read and you remember that book. Well, you sort of remember it, and you really want to read it now. You don't know the title, you don't know the author, you don't know the publisher. You remember two or three things that have you dying to read this book but those two or three things are useless in the face of the sheer number of books in existence.


This is where I'm at right now.


I thought Google would be my buddy and help me out. I mean, Google knows everything. Yes, when I so much as cough it consistently convinces me that I'm dying or having a heart attack or both simultaneously. That's not cool, Google, but I forgive you because how did I find recipes or my way around town before you existed? So, I thought my buddy would be helpful. I typed in something along the lines of "recent horror or thriller novel maybe having to do with the Bible or something Christian and black magic or maybe witchcraft also goth maybe".


My buddy responded with "Trick, you playin', right?"


I'd given my buddy a lot to work with but it wasn't enough. For the last thirty minutes I've been rearranging words and trying to come up with alternate words, all while wanting to punch my buddy in the pixels. How is this search engine not figuring out what I need to be reading. Right. This. Second?! Frustrated is not even the word. This is my own fault, though, because I should have known better than to fail to record a book that I was even slightly interested in. Like I said before; idiot.

How I Learned To Dislike Caps and Exclamation Points

It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita - Heather B. Armstrong

I was so disappointed in this book. It could have been really great. I know this because I remember reading Heather Armstrong's blog and thinking how great of an author she would make. Instead of this book being amazing it's a perfect example of how not to translate a blog into a book. It made me want to go :"Never again. No one should ever attempt this again".


The problem with this book is not the story that's being told. The story is what kept me reading. Heather Armstrong suffers from chronic depression and when she was ready to have a baby she made a tough decision to go off of her medication. This is a decision that a lot of women who take medications for mental illneses have to face/make when they decide to have a baby. It's one that I'll have to make myself one day. You possibly have to be unmedicated for however long it takes to conceive, the nine months that you carry the baby, and if you decide to breastfeed then you go even longer with no meds, depending on how strong your medications are.


Armstrong's book is the first time I've read an account of what that experience is like, and she's very honest about the fact that it was hard and she pretty much hated being pregnant. And then there was the aftermath. She loves her husband and their new daughter, Leta,  but everything else is  bad news and she's going off the deep end fast and furious. The honesty with which she talks about this time in her life is refreshing and makes her very relateable. That's what kept me reading the book.


Why the two and a half stars? Because the writing style was atrocious. I felt as if her blog posts were taken straight from computer screen to page with no editing. There is a big difference between sitting and reading a blog post or two and reading a whole book. For the few minutes it takes to read a blog daily, the reader can forgive a lot of things. Excessive use of all caps, excessive use of exclamation points, so many italics, things like that. I felt as if Armstrong was constantly screaming at me from the pages. Instead of using the experiences and word choices to bring across what she thought needed emphasis, Armstrong uses capital letters. A lot of capital letters, and exclamation points. It's lazy writing and it got old really quickly. It wasn't a smooth reading experience at all and that's a pretty important thing when reading a book. Too bad because the story is one I think women should read.


The Stranger Beside Me: Ted Bundy The Shocking Inside Story - Ann Rule

Ever since I learned that there was such a thing as a true crime novel I have been interested in them. I have a strange relationship with true crime books and books about serial killers. I make myself read them and, because they scare the shit out of me, I don't read too many. They scare me more than any fictional novel ever will because the things that human beings actually do to each other will always be more horrific than what an author can come up with. Why? Because fiction is just a possibility and reality is what lives next door to you, reality is what you thought was a nice person who you had conversations with, reality is something that's so ugly and twisted on the inside but shows itself on the outside much less frequently than people hope.


I love reading about reality because it's a lesson but, oh man, it screws with me for months after I read it and I never forget it. Recently, I had the urge to delve into true crime again. Ann Rule is one of the best known in the business, and she's been doing it for years. I looked for her most popular book and The Stranger Beside Me popped up. This is her book about Ted Bundy, one of the most well known serial killers. Here's the twist though. Ted Bundy was Ann Rule's friend and coworker. Not only that but later on she also becomes his confidant while he's in prison. This makes the book so unique. I had to read it.


*Spoilers ahead (if it's possible to spoil a true crime novel...I don't know)*


Now, I haven't quite finished this book because I am reading it ridiculously slowly. This is not because it isn't engrossing. I'm reading slowly because this is the most afraid any book has ever made me. I have been reading this book for three weeks. That should tell you all something.


There are more than a few reasons why this book is so frightening. It's all about the content. Ann Rule chooses to give mostly facts, meaning she doesn't get flowery or let her writing overtake the horror that went on during the years Ted Bundy was free. What strikes me the most every time I think about Ted Bundy and what he did is the fact that the childhood Ann Rule writes of was pretty uneventful. There's nothing that makes a person think Bundy is going to grow up to be completely screwed in the head. It frightens me to think a parent could do what every other moderately good parent does and yet their child turns out so, so wrong. Seriously, seriously wrong for no discernable reason. How do you learn to avoid something like this happening again if you don't know the reason why it happened in the first place?


When Ted Bundy started his reign of murder, he started with break-ins. This was the early to mid seventies and security measures were not as much of a thing then. People locked their doors, yes, but there weren't fifty million deadbolts and twenty chains on people's doors. I get the feeling from reading this book that breaking into someone's apartment or house wasn't that hard back then. Ted Bundy took advantage of that. He violated young women's homes, the places that are supposed to be safe, and proved to the world and to the readers of this book that home is not as safe as we like to think it is. Bundy was also brutal. His first known victim was a young woman who lived in a basement apartment. He broke in and attacked her while she slept. This would actually become a pattern of Bundy's, attacking and killing women while they slept.


Let me make a note here on one of the things that freaks me out the most about many of Bundy's attacks and murders; they happened while the victims slept soundly in their own beds. Sleep is a human being's most vulnerable state. You have no knowledge of what's happeneing around you, and no ability to prepare for or fight off anything harmful. You're a sitting duck and there are some maniancally murderous and vicious hunters in this world. People, and it seems especially women because there's always that danger of rape for women, like to think that if you sleep with some kind of weapon near your bed you have a fighting chance. These are the things we tell ourselves and this book, where Ann Rule unflinchingly details Bundy's actions, says "There's a real chance you're going to die". Many of Bundy's victims never even woke up in time to fight back. They were left in the position in which they laid down to go to sleep. There was no skin or fibers under their nails, there were no defensive wounds or signs of struggle, and they never knew what happened to them.


This book made me wonder what would happen if someone broke into my apartment one day. I've always thought that I would hear a noise, be able to wake up in time to defend myself, put up a valiant fight. The first Bundy attack I read about in this book made me stop and I said out loud "Fuck. I might die". That is an absolutely horrifying realization and that was the first night Ann Rule robbed me of sleep.


Another thing that Ann Rule's account of Ted Bundy's murders brought to light was that the man was a damn ghost. Not in the sense that he was reclusive because he wasn't. He had friends, a girlfriend, jobs, he was living on the grid. No, Bundy was a ghost when he killed. No one saw him, and those who glimpsed him didn't really remember what he looked like, only that he wore a cast or a sling. That was one of his ruses; get the girl to help the poor injured man. He left almost no, and in most cases absolutely no, physical evidence. When he lured women away he did it in small spaces of time and within mere feet of someone having just seen that person, whole, healthy, and alive. The first time he's ever really seen is when he abducts two women in one day at Sammamish Lake. He had already killed and abducted multiple women at that point. Multiple women.


I could really go on for longer about the horrors in this book and I haven't even finished it yet. I'm going to stop now though because I think you guys get the idea. This is very weird to say, I think, but I suggest that every woman reads this book. When your daughters reach, 13 or 14, maybe tell them about this book or if you think they can handle it let them read it. Ann Rule says she wrote it so that women and girls will know what to look for, that this kind of evil is out there and that it might not look the way they expect it to. Telling a woman or girl what to watch out for is great but, let's face it, a lot will forget because no one likes to think violence is lurking around them. A lot will rationalize why they should help that injured guy, why getting so wasted that you maybe don't remember to lock your door is okay, why going home with this guy you just met at the bar is safe because what are the chances really, why they should just let it slide when a roommate maybe brings home strangers, the list goes on and on. I've made those mistakes and I think most women have. Not because they're not smart or at any fault if they become a victim, but because no one wants to see themselves as a potential victim. This book really brings home the point that NO woman should rationalize anything that would put her in danger. It brings home the point that a person should do everything they can to be safe because even when you think you're safe you STILL might not be.


What this book said to me was "Don't leave a door open that lets that monster in. If he wants to come in make him work for it because while the monster is working, you just might have the time to slay him."

Shockingly Engaging

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) - Mindy Kaling

Let me explain the title of this review because I know it seems insulting that I was shocked. This is Mindy Kaling. She's so amazing on screen. How could I doubt her? Sacrilige. Once again, let me explain because this is not only going to be a review of this book. It will also be a bit of a story on my history with memoirs.


I have not been able to finish a memoir in years. The book by the creator of Hyperbole and a Half is the exception and I'm convinced I only finished her book because it was half pictures. When I was in my early twenties I read more than a few memoirs but they were all really serious. The ones that stand out are one by a woman with an eating disorder which resonated with me, a couple of Michelle Tea memoirs that were interesting because they were so unlike my life experiences, Prozac Nation which I hated and think is overrated, and Smash which was so bad I only made it to the half way mark. Then I read a lot of almost memoirs by Charles Bukowski that I LOVED, and all three Dan Fante books that were out at the time because I'd run out of Charles Bukowski material. I loved Dan Fante's work as well. I know, I know most of you are probably crying out in outrage "They are misogynists!". You know what? Their writing is also really freaking honest and I like that, so hush.


After that period of being a total book snob, reading Atwood, Bukowski, Tea, Brecht, Huxley, and my favorite, Mark Z. Danielewski, I found ebooks and romance and got into M/M romance almost exclusively. In the past year I've almost given up on romance and gotten back into non-fiction but each memoir I've started has gone bust and I've DNF'd a few. They were all pretty disappointing.


When I decided I wanted to read Mindy Kaling's book I went in with really low expectations. Kaling's book exceeded them. I loved it from word one. Kaling writes in a very conversational tone but I didn't find her work to be sprawling or disjointed. So, even though I felt like she was sitting next to me, telling me a story, it was a story that I knew had a point and I enjoyed the journey. Mindy Kaling is also hella funny. She's not always laugh out loud funny but I don't think she's trying to be. Her type of funny is not a sprint, it's a marathon. She's entertaining and she makes the most mundane things seem like really great anecdote fodder. This is most apparent at the end of the book when one of her writer friends writes her a eulogy. His type of humor was definitely a sprint looking for big laughs. It's my least favorite part of the book because it tries too hard.


Actually, what I was expecting when I started Kaling's book was a writer who was trying to hard to get big, boisterous laughs. Instead I got really sincere takes on a very funny woman's life experiences. Kaling's book was an excellent surprise.

Pleasantly Surprised

Above All, Honor - Radclyffe

After bombing out with the last two books I bought from this publisher I didn't have high hopes for this read. I tried anyway and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. The book wasn't spectacular but it was okay.


Cam Roberts was part of the Secret Service investigative unit but a few months ago she was shot. Now she's coming off of her injury but the higher-ups have decided to move her to the protective unit and assign her the job that no one wants; protecting the president's daughter. Cam is not happy but she'll give the job her all just like she gives every assignment. I liked Cam. She's tall, slim, muscled, stoic, confident, and sexy. Cam is haunted by the event that caused her injury but she's ready to get back to her job.


Cam's job is Blair Powell. I have to say that I didn't like Blair very much and she never grew on me. She's perfectly beautiful, perfectly sexy, perfectly bratty, and completely self-centered. Blair resents having a protective deatil and feeling like she has no privacy as the President's daughter but really I wanted Blair to quit her bitching. Yes she's not able to do whatever she wants whenever she wants but Blair has it good. She makes a living doing what she loves, painting, and basically doesn't have any of the every day worries that most people have like, oh I don't to afford groceries, can they work getting their car fixed into the budget, how to provide for their children, how to provide for their parents when they get older, will medical insurance cover this or on and so forth. Blair constantly works to lose her protective detail and make them look bad. This so shitty of her on a lot of levels. First if Blair gets kidnapped it poses a national risk but Blair doesn't care. Second, by making the protective detail look bad she can ruin people's careers but Blair doesn't care. She just wants to do what she wants and damn how it affects others. She's ungrateful and childish.

In any case the whole book is basically Cam trying to keep Blair safe, Blair whining about the fact that people are trying to keep her safe and that Cam won't sleep with her, and somehow the two women falling in love. I definitely understood why any woman would fall for Cam. She was yummy awesomeness. Blair was meh but Cam made up for that.


All in all this book wasn't bad. It also wasn't worth the $9.99 I paid for it. I wish Bold Stroke Books would get their act together and stop charging so much for their books. It's outrageous.


Better Off Red: Vampire Sorority Sisters Book 1 - Rebekah Weatherspoon

This is the second book from this author that I tried and could not finish. While "At Her Feet" disturbed me, this one annoyed and disappointed me. Right from the beginning I didn't like the MC. Ginger was...just...ugh. I'm not really sure why her roomie wanted to pledge or rush or whatever with her. I'm not sure why she wanted to be Ginger's friend at all. Ginger had this air of thinking she was better than everyone else and it disgusted me. I really tried to stick with this book because f/f romance is thin on the ground but I'm sure I can find something...anything...else. Especially since lesbian romance novels from this author cost $10 and a kidney and I don't have money to throw away like that.


Sometimes an author's work just doesn't click with me and I think I'm going to have to put this author's work on that list.

Review In Haiku: Smexy Starfighter

Starfighter #1 - HamletMachine

"Touch" "Startle" Ah! Ahhhh!

We illustrate the motions

in case you missed it 


While I like this webcomic about space cowboys fighting to save Earth and its colonies I feel like what I need to comment on the most, or at least first, is the artwork. I actually bought the print version of chapters 1 & 2 instead of reading Starfighter on the web. I'm glad I did. This comic is done in black and white with splashes of color which I liked. There is much smutty goodness to be had right from the beginning which I also liked. What didn't like was the fact that the characters didn't have too many facial expressions and weird things were verbally illustrated with tiny words written into the pictures. Someone's startled or surprised? Just write the word next to their expressionless face. Someone touched something? Just write touch next to their hand and if they've squeezed something write squeeze. 


Poor illustration

in the form of laziness

Just widen his eyes


The laziness of not expressing emotions through illustration was almost made up for by the dirty, sexy, rough sexy times. Oh, I liked that BUT some of it was ruined by the little words that were everywhere. Stop telling me that they're touching! I see that they're touching! I see it, dammit!


Wait a minute here

assholes self-lubricate now?

The future's so bright


So much sex is had and none of it involves lube. I'm pretty sure I didn't even see spit. Apparently, in the future assholes don't tear and dry fucking feels so good. Oh man, I'm cringing just thinking about it. Oh, and Abel's a virgin, so he had to be tight, right? I mean, right? Futuristic shortage of lube.


Grubby, sweaty sex

Just can't get enough of you

I'm caught in your web


Despite everything I had issues with I'll definitely be buying chapter 3. The story is kind of thin on the ground but c'mon man, it's not about the story. It's about Cain and Abel knocking boots and how many times Abel is going to let Cain bite him. I won't even pretend otherwise.




You Knew This Was Coming

Shady - Jan  Irving

Oh, Jan Irving has once again sucked me into the vortex of crazy that is her books. I pretty much read anything that Irving writes even though I know it is like writing a prescription for insanity. Irving hadn't come out with anything new in a while, so when I saw this book was out I could not hit the buy now button fast enough. 


Basically, Shade is a homicide detective who also does some contract killing on the side. He's some sort of clone or something. Well, one step ahead of a clones...maybe...I don't know. This confusion bled out into just about every part of the story. So, yeah, there's been a murder and Shade is called onto the scene where he meets legal rent boy, Nick. Nick is beautiful and delicate and Shade, much to his digest, wants the little blond prostitute. There are a few reasons why Nick is pissed off about this. 


1.) Nick is a suspect in the murder.

2.) Nick is in a relationship...though Shade kinda doesn't give a damn.

3.) Shade is all "I don't have FEELINGS" but Nick makes him feel all kinds of things.


Shade is all kinds of anti-hero. He's crazy mean and I'm not quite sure why he had a thing for a Nick. I mean, Nick is sweet and whatnot but there wasn't anything that made me think he'd transformed Shade with all his ummm...delicateness....and blondness...and velvety skin....and stuff. Plus, these two didn't have a moment or anything and if two people needed a moment to make me believe in their attraction it was Shade and Nick.


Shade seems like he hates Nick most of time except when he's doing creepy things like paying for sex with Nick and creating clones of Nick to fuck even though creating a clone is super illegal. Nick keeps protesting that he has a boyfriend but in the end that doesn't matter because Shade's super sex pheromones are all but suffocating and Nick's dick can't help but get hard every time Shade's all mean and, yanno, shady. Why do these two reach a happy ending? I have. No. Damn. Idea.


So, this story made pretty much no sense when a person really thinks about it BUT like with most Jan Irving books you just have to not think about it. At all. No, seriously, just don't pick it apart. That's only asking for problems.


As per usual, I'm not going to say I'll never read another Irving. It doesn't even matter what she writes at this point. I'm going to buy it, I'm going to read it, and I'm going to like it even if it's against my better judgment.

Perfectly Perfect Perfection

In These Words, Volume 1 - Kichiku Neko, TogaQ

I saw this book and the sound of angels singing let me know that it was going to be GREAT. A cornucopia of orgasmatastic greatness that would be well worth everything I went through to find a copy. Amazon was temporarily out of stock and it took me days to find a copy in my price range but I did and I ordered it...and I waited...and I waited...and today it came and I devoured it.


In These Words is a manga about Asano, a psychiatrist who helped catch Shinohara, a serial killer. Now Shinohara has agreed to cooperate as long as Asano is the one who takes his confession. This sounds like the recipe for so much delicious craziness doesn't it? Like nothing good can come of giving in to a serial killer's demands, right? Right. Nothing good does come of it and it was divine candy for my mind and my eyes.


Here's the thing, since Asano started on Shinohara's case he's been having these absolutely psychotic nightmares. Nightmares about him being held captive, raped, and tortured repeatedly. What is it that makes this manga even more of a mindfuck than it would have been if that was the whole story? The way the novel begins. You first meet Asano when he's approached by a wealthy stranger who ends up drugging and kidnapping him. You're never told that the stranger is definitely Shinohara and I wondered for the whole novel if it was a nightmare or a memory. Then I began to wonder if the other nightmares are actually memories and then I got the feeling that Asano has his suspicions too. 


And then there's Shinohara. Holy freaking serial killing psycho. He's creepy, calm, and did I mention creepy. Also, I'm pretty sure Shinohara is the only one who knows what the hell is going on. The reader's lost, Asano's lost, and Shinohara is laughing at everyone and I got the feeling that he's only allowing himself to be held because it's part of his plan. What his plan is, I had no idea and I wasn't able to focus on trying to figure it out because I kept being startled on how absolutely messed up Shinohara is. 


No. Seriously. Bloody, covered in semen, violent, twisted, sexual, knife wielding bucket full of crazy.


Oh, and then there's the artwork. GGAAHHHHHHH! SOOOOO GORGEOUS! I'm hyperventilating just thinking about it.


I say all of this to say that if you love M/M and especially if you love the darker stuff, that you need this graphic novel in your life. Don't be put off by the fact that it's manga and you need to tread it a little differently. There are instructions inside on how to read manga. It takes a minute to get used to but then the story sucks in you and takes over your life while you're reading it and it is sooooooooo good.

At Her Feet

At Her Feet - Rebekah Weatherspoon Nope, Nope, NopeNopeNope...

I went back and forth over whether or not I wanted to write a review for this book. 1.)Because it was a DNF for me and 2.)Because it is a F/f and it's such an overlooked genre that I only want to say good things about it. I decided to write this review because if I DNF'd any other kind of romance book I'd write a review and that really shouldn't change. Also, the fact that this book is F/f had nothing to do with why I disliked it. I've been searching for good F/f ever since I read [b:Selume Proferre|18430352|Selume Proferre|E.E. Ottoman||39963912] by [a:E.E. Ottoman|6426133|E.E. Ottoman|] which was FREAKING AMAZEBALLS.

So, on to the book. You've most likely reasd the blurb but basically the book is about Suzanne and Pilar who are embarking on a D/s relationship. A Mommy/little girl D/s relationship. Now, I've read a few Daddy/boy kink books in my M/m travels. I've also read a couple of books with big freaking age differences. I'm not a stranger to that kind of dynamic. Where this book differed from those books, in a way that lead to me DNF'ing it, was the way the kink was handled. Not only does Pilar play the Mommy in a mental power exchange capacity that is seen in most D/s relationships but, in my opinion, she goes a little far. Pilar sets up a room in her house that is the "ideal little girl's room". It's pink with Hello Kitty, ruffles, and stuffed animals everywhere. This is where I started getting creeped out. Pilar also sets out little girl pajamas for Suzanne and the next day she dresses her in clothes that are as close to a little girl's wardrobe as they can get without drawing stares, as Suzanne puts it.

I usually have no problem with people's kinks. People get off in different ways but my brain could not compute how someone could get turned on by turning someone into a child visually. The little girl room, the little girl was just too much for me. I tried to equate it to people being turned on by schoolgirl uniforms and whatnot but I was still not feeling the vibe coming off of this book.

I wish I could say that the writing pushed me to keep going but I didn't find the writing style at all engaging. Usually I don't mind first person POV but this time I had no desire to spend 200-300 pages in Suzanne's head. Her voicve was just not that captivating and by 30% I was skimming.

Oh, also, there was one moment in Suzanne's head when I kind of wanted her to just shut up. She's thinking about the relationship between her best friend Liam and his boyfriend and she thinks of how no one ever thinks Liam's boyfriend is gay because he "acts so straight". Yeah, what? Just...what? Apparently, the boyfriend watches a lot of sports. I actually had to stop and step away from the book for a moment because I almost threw my Kindle at the wall. People need to stop with this "acts straight" and "acts gay" thing. It makes me mad every single time I come across it and I wasn't expecting it in this book.

All in all, I couldn't bring myself to finish this book which is sad because I really went into it hoping that I would love it.

Selume Proferre

Heritage - Stephen Churchett Holy..Oh My.. *melts*

This. This story is EVERYTHING. It started out a little rocky but found it's groove and almost fucking killed me.

1.) Queer ladies FTW! Not just queer ladies but masculine-of-center ladies, a non-cisgender main character, and a yummy yummy butch woman in a cowboy hat. Hooray for something DIFFERENT and an author who's stepping outside of the box and whose writing is representing for some of the other letters in LGBTQ. WOOT!!

2.) An awesome, awesome world was set up in this little story. An-An works as a part time inscriber for spell-craft firms as an inscriber and sometime researcher. Spell-craft firms employ exorcism specialists, spellcasters and other magic-y people. Unlike in other books though, in E.E. Ottoman's world spell-crafting is a big business. The firms are kind of like law firms. I loved it.

So, An-An gets called in to work on a case with a super star in the spell-crafting world, M.C. None of the other inscribers will work with M.C. because she's, well, more than a little abrasive. They're also jealous of how far she's gone for being so young. Add to that that some people have an issue with the fact that she presents as masculine and you get why the firm had to call in an outside inscriber, An-An.

I loved the whole plot of this story and found it very interesting. It was new and engaging. I wish the climax had been a little more exciting but that's just a minor issue for me.

3.) Hot, hot, HOT ending. The issue I have with most f/f stories I've tried is that the sex is just not ummmm...down and dirty enough for me. I like raunch. Even though we don't get to see the full blown sex, what we do get to see had my damn toes curling. So good. So, so good. I can do without the sweet, soft touches. Give me wet blowjobs, hot talk, strap-ons and lust any day please.

So, yeah. I loved this novella and hope from here to etenity that we get more hotness from this author. Now, please excuse me while I attempt to find more stories like this one.

Going Up

Going Up - Amy Lane I loved it, loved it, loved it and didn't want it to end!!!

Amy Lane writes my favorite mushy, sweet, cute stories. I adore them. Yes, she's known for her angst but when she turns out the cute stuff I am first in line. I was not disappointed with this one.

This is a delightful story about a lawyer who falls for a teacher through the many times they ride the elevator together in the morning. It was simple but engaging and absolutely adorable while tugging on my heart strings. Loved.

Butterflies (The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal #2)

Butterflies - K.J. Charles Another five star installment in Simon and Robert's story!!! This is when the partnership really begins and it's awesome. I would love a full length novel for these guys but I am totally okay with the installments. I'll take these guy's story any way I can get it.

The Caldwell Ghost

The Caldwell Ghost - K.J. Charles I don't care that this is the shortest of shirt stories, it still gets five stars from me!!! I seriously have a new favorite author. KJ Charles' writing hits all my buttons. I love it!!

Robert is a journalist who's inherited a haunted house and Simon is the ghost hunter who comes to lend his services. Robert is inquisitive and endearing. Simon is freaking HOT, mysterious, and a guy who has a host of secrets. They are smoking together. Sizzling. Then there's also the case of the ghost, the moans, and the creepy walls that bleed.

I loved this. LOVED and needed more because these guys are just too good!! More please!

The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies 1)

The Magpie Lord - K.J. Charles Perfect. Absolutely perfect from the intense beginning to the even more intense end.

When I was told to read this book I didn't think it would be nearly as damned amazing as it is. Seriously. I am blown away. Lord Crane is back, reluctantly, from China to handle the affairs and estate that have been left to him by his odious father and older brother. When it turns out someone is trying to kill him he is referred to magic practitioner Stephen Day. The two meet and what follows is an engrossing, intense, and exciting story of magic, evil plots, ghosts, warlocks, and more.

First we have Crane. He was sex on legs. A man who's been living in China and living life his own way, he's everything you would not expect of aristocracy. Tattoos, mouth like a sailor, amazing body, and a dirty fighter. And then we have Stephen. Stephen is small, rust haired, barely five feet tall, full of sass, and a powerful magical practitioner. I loved these guys together. I loved that they didn't immediately want to sex each other up. Crane thinks Stephen is entirely too small and scrawny. Stephen has bad history with Crane's family and is not inclined to like Crane. It takes a while for these guys to come together but when they do? ELECTRIC!

The plot is this book is just as cool as the characters. I'm usually not into magic but damn this book had me on the edge of my seat!! I also liked that the bad guys in this book were BAD. Seriously BAD. I'm not even going to break down how awful those characters acted because part of the awesomeness of this book was how I was not expecting a lot of it.

This is a book that I DEFINITELY recommend. Even if you don't like magic I still think you should read it. It's SO WORTH IT.

Strong Enough (Family Series)

Strong Enough - Cardeno C. Spencer & Emilio Sugar Pops

Cute and sweet. Really, really sweet like rock candy lollipops. This was a very uncomplicated story and I was totally cool with that.

Emilio Sanchez is a 22 year old electrician who works with his brothers for his family's thriving contruction business. They're buolding an addition on the local university and that's where Emilio spots Spencer Derdinger, a 38 year old math professor. Spencer is an adorable, buttoned up, geeky guy who wears sweater vests, blushes, and has a little bit of sexy grey in his hair. Emilio is totally gone on his object of affection and waits for a long time for the perfect opportunity to talk to Spencer.

I really liked Spencer. He's shy, older than most M/M characters, suffers from erectile dysfunction, and though his self-esteem is not great that somehow makes him more endearing. He's just a nice guy. He's also super cute, which Emilio tells him all the time. Emilio was also great. He's young but he's mature and knows what he wants in life. One of the things he wants is Spencer and he goes after the man but in a really adorable way. Emilio is all about making Spencer happy, and letting Spencer know just how special he is. Emilio is just IN LOVE from day one.

The age difference in this book might discourage some from reading it but I would say to give it a try. The age difference is handled really well and the relationship never seems unbalanced.

*sigh* Did I mention how SWEET this book is? Because it is. I adored it and it will definitely become one of my comfort reads.

Currently reading

We Need to Talk About Kevin
Lionel Shriver