*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.
In this gender swapped and modern take on Sherlock Holmes; Holmes and her partner Watson are assigned to a case where a homeless woman has been murdered and Holmes’ name is carved into the corpse. But with her nemesis, Moriarty firmly in jail, Holmes must track down the killer before more people die with her name on them.
The idea of a female Holmes, Watson, and Lestrade is cool but I think this should have been a full novel rather than a short story. The concept buckles under a lackluster resolution to the mystery itself, which is kinda important when you’re adapting or parodying Sherlock Holmes. The representation of Holmes’ asexuality, Watson being a lesbian, and a budding romance between Holmes and Inspector Lestrade is done really well and I enjoyed those parts but it wasn’t enough to balance out my disappointment with the mystery. That’s a shame considering such a great setup and good writing! 3 out of 5.
*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is suggested for mature readers.
Rin Sarduuri has everything going for her. She’s a powerhouse in her company, negotiating deals her parent’s are immensely proud of and taking the business to new heights. But as she is still single, one of her business partners quite suddenly proposes to her right in front her the entire office as well as her parents. Feeling trapped, Rin flees to the altar of Vistri; a shape-shifting trickster god and agrees to whatever the god wants to get her out of this marriage. But what Vistri offers is to be her bride instead.
It was hard to get a bead on this book because of the distinctly modern setting but the gods are real. I can only really chalk that up to the story simply not having enough time for world building because of the breakneck pace and short length. This cute little story about a god and a human falling in love hits all the beats it should without feeling forced and it’s a nice diversion for a quick read. 3.9 out of 5.
*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+
Life hasn’t exactly gone as planned for Sarah Brannigan. Divorce, loss of home, loss of her good job… Now in a cramped apartment with roommates working two crappy jobs to barely make her bills, Sarah has only one respite; her dreams. At night she escapes to Coney Island in its heyday with her dream man. But too much time in her dreams has them leaking out into the real world.
This is an interesting story about living too much in your “what if’s” can take away from your “now.” Sarah is a great character, a smart woman just in a rough patch but not willing to give up. And the ending is not what you would expect.
There are some pretty dark and sexy scenes and the connection to Coney Island is vivid and real, like you could reach out and touch it. Very enjoyable! 3.8 out of 5.
Upon finding out their son is gay, Adam’s parents ship him off to a Christian camp and warn him they won’t tolerate having a gay son. But while there, he falls for Paul and both teens must reconcile their faith with love in order to find happiness.
First off I gotta say, I’m Pagan and even I wish there were nicer Christians in this. From the parents to Randall, they’re almost cartoonishly evil. Boys can’t go shopping together? That means they’re gay? How do you get clothes then?
Anyway, this is a quick story; which makes sense considering it takes place over a short period of time. It has the innocence and charm of a summer camp story without it feeling too much like a typical coming of age plot. I empathize with Paul’s struggle and it’s portrayed in a realistic way that doesn’t overstay it’s welcome. Despite being brief, the story does feel complete instead of rushed like some short stories can be. I can see a teen reading this and liking it and for me, it’s a nice change from the quickie smut. 3 out of 5.
While Clayton splits his time between his graduate thesis and being a teaching assistant, he meets dragon and magical teacher Syralis; who is in possession of manuscripts crucial to Clayton’s work. Syralis is intrigued by the magic surrounding Clayton and agrees to teach him how to control his abilities. But there is an obvious attraction between Syralis and Clayton and when a dragon wants you, they want to keep you like any other pretty bauble they possess and Clayton doesn’t want to be a prisoner for the rest of his life.
This story does have a good plot and introduced the reader to an interesting world of magic and magical creatures but the length doesn’t allow the reader to enjoy much of it. This is another short story where I feel the world and characters could use a longer narrative. This is a fun little romp though and is good for readers who may want the titillation of lust but no actual boning. 3.7 out of 5.
*I was given this book in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+
Mike, a gallery owner in his forties, puts out a call for local artists to be in his next show. His first candidate is the much younger Tommy, who is not only talented but attractive. Mike believes himself far too old for a twenty-one-year-old but Tommy isn’t about to let that stop him.
We got another one that’s too short for its own good, folks. It took me a minute to get used to the third person present tense point of view but I felt like I could have gotten more story and the age difference could have been a more important plot point – aside for Mike’s personal insecurities. The story sorta drops in, does what it wants, then ends. A pity, really, since there were some interesting elements that deserved more exploration. Gotta give it a 3 out of 5.
*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+
*This review is cross-posted to Otakus and Geeks.
Marcus Allegro travels to the City of Dreams to study art under Sebastian Moreaux; a master painter and well known to bed any willing student he comes across, shunning any sort of commitment. When he sets his sights on Marcus, Sebastian is baffled when the young man absolutely refuses to add his name to Sebastian’s long list of forgotten conquests. This makes Sebastian want him even more but Marcus is looking for true love, which Sebastian takes great pains to avoid.
I feel if given more space to grow, this story would have more of an impact. I would have had a better understanding of how magic fits in this world, how artists have The Eye, how Sebastian came to be so guarded, how Marcus came to be such a romantic, and gotten to know them both more; I would be more invested in their romance and in their world. Coming in at a scant 59 pages as it is, this story is more like a sweet breeze; enjoyable but gone too fast. 3 out of 5.
When Kate Murdoch sees her baby boy for the first time, she decided there is no way she will allow Snazzy Corp to begin a process called fetal imprinting; which ensures brand loyalty to the company before a person is even born. This corporation is powerful and devious, not simply taking no for an answer and Kate will have to fight to protect her son.
This is a cool story with an interesting premise but man is it jumpy. Where it could have been fast-paced, this story is blasting it all at you as quickly as possible. It seems crammed in where it could have been a decently written longer novel. I give it a 3.7 because I felt I blinked and it was over.
**I purchased this book for free from Amazon and is intended for 18+.**
Excited to try out his new fake ID, Daniel heads to a bar for a few drinks to check out the scene. While there, be meets Wilson, who offers a game of pool. Thinking he can hustle the man, Daniel accepts the game and during it, drunkenly bets Wilson a quickie in the bathroom for the winner of the game.
Is this a thing that happens? I dunno, nobody’s ever offered this to me.
Anyway, this is Daniel’s last hurrah of the summer before he goes back to his swanky private school to find out his new English teacher for the year is Wilson.
While this short story could stand alone (as stated in the description) it really is a taste of a novel called The Aftermath. Daniel is a cocky brat (no pun intended) and I mean that in the best way. Since it’s from Daniel’s perspective, Wilson seems sultry and tempting but it ends right when you find out he’s Daniel’s teacher. Any further delving into his personality will likely have to wait for the novel. As the situation intrigues me, I am going to be reading the full novel when I get a chance. I’d give it a 4 out of 5 for being steamy but too short.
Jasper is a Will-o-Wisp who ran afoul of a warlock named Hendrick and is now cursed to guard Hendrick’s treasure. He can’t leave unless he tricks someone into taking his place and if he doesn’t before Hendrick returns, Jasper will die. When a hunter comes by, Jasper sees his chance to escape but he’s a horny little sprite who has gone way too long without any relief but his own hand. Will Jasper choose to end his 100-year entrapment or give into the temptation and give up this chance at freedom?
This story is the first in a series of trysts Jasper has while he’s trapped guarding that box. It’s not badly written but it is purely a guilty pleasure read. You don’t have a slow build to get to know the characters, just some brief, naughty fluff to take up a few minutes of the day. I’d give it a friendly 2.9 since this is really an excuse for some steamy smexy times but it’s written well enough that I didn’t cringe while reading it.