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karlakolumna

karlakolumna

I ❤ reading. Once started I don't seem to be able to stop. Many sleepless nights are the result of that particular addiction.^^ 

Find me also on Goodreads!

Currently reading

Power Play
J.M. Snyder
In Your Name
Bohemia
Look Who's Back
Timur Vermes

Lots of freebies and special offers out there atm!!

I've found some great freebies and special offers today on the www and thought I'd share, in case anyone is interested or appreciates the one or other freebie as well.. ;)

(Book links are linked to goodreads instead of booklikes, because this is a repost from a group on goodreads that I made earlier this day... Hope you won't mind too much.^^)

 

Currently free on amazon or instafreebie:

Wild Pitch by Sloan Johnson
Wild Pitch (Homeruns #1) by Sloan Johnson --> Grab it here

The Dating Game by Jay Northcote
The Dating Game (Owen & Nathan, #1) by Jay Northcote --> Grab it here

Guarding Morgan by RJ Scott
Guarding Morgan (Sanctuary, #1) by R.J. Scott --> Grab it here

Paper Hearts by AE Wasp
Paper Hearts (Veterans Affairs #4) by A.E. Wasp --> Grab it here

Unleashing Love by SC Wynne
Unleashing Love by S.C. Wynne --> Grab it here

Wake Up Married serial, Episodes 1 - 3: Wake Up Married, Meet the Family, Do the Holidays by Leta Blake
Wake Up Married serial, Episodes 1 - 3 Wake Up Married, Meet the Family, Do the Holidays (Wake Up Married #1-3) by Leta Blake --> Grab it here

Books currently on sale:
Elements of Retrofit by N.R. Walker
Elements of Retrofit (Thomas Elkin, #1) by N.R. Walker --> Grab it here

Not So Smart by Misha Horne
Not So Smart (Not So Series Book 1) by Misha Horne --> Grab it here

 

 

And on top of that:

There's currently a "MM Romance Valentine's Giveaway" going on. I haven't looked at the books yet, so no idea whether there's good stuff among these freebies, but seeing as tastes differ anyhow, I thought I'd share the "free love" with you guys. ;)

A Walk Through Fire

A Walk Through Fire - Felice Stevens

Currently at the 70% mark. Status update too long for the "update box", so I'll rant here instead:
(Also: Not sure if I'm willing to finish the book, at this point. So for now, this is a DNF for me...)

1.5 stars

So. Much. Drama. & Angst. (So bloody much!)
And dude, Drew, what's with always repeating that you're not gay (although it's okay! Your best friend Jordan is gay too, after all. It's true!) but when touching Ash... It just. Feels sooooo right. You fit like two puzzle pieces....
It's like coming home. Like finding your other half.... Like [insert any other puke inducing schmalzy thing].
YES. Got it. Check!

To say it with Eric Northman:


But now, you're "together". But Ash is so just broken on the inside, as your gran (great judge of character, that woman, it's true) said he was... And she was right. Yeah Drew, we get it. Childhood drama is bad. We are all feeling bad for him. (Don't get me wrong, abuse, rape even, totally is the fucking worst & nobody should ever have to live through it, much less a child.)
But boy, here it's just another tragic element of the book to justify the "asshole & player" on the outside, but oh, on the inside, once you get to know Ash, he's just a victim of tragedy and pain and suffering...

The whole book is quite over the top. Just. Idk. I could hardly read a page without making a scathing note or marking a stupid sentence or paragraph on my kindle... Or LOLing because. It's just too bloody much.

Well. here's a unicorn for you, maybe it'll make you feel better (or not. Because, yap, even the unicorn can't take it anymore & is judging you..)


Sorry, rant over.
_______________________
ETA: Or not, sorry. Because I did finish the book after all. And can I just ask: Are they bloody serious? I mean, really?! As if there wasn't enough draaaaama in the book already, no, sir, they had to add a death, i.e. murder to the mix??? Sorry. NO. I mean, why? Tragedy not bad enough already? Or was it simply another of those 'tragic elements'/instruments to make Jordan see the errors of his overbearing ways? Because, there was no other possible way this character could've realised that he acted like a wanker, albeit a well-meaning one???

That seriously takes 'Over The Top' to a whole new level. If buckets, no, bathtubs full of drama & tragedy are your thing, don't mind me and this added section...
_______________________

I probably need to add that I got this book for free. Freebies are always great. Thank you, author, for providing readers with such an opportunity.
And also, many readers have loved the book. And it totally isn't the worst I've read. I mean, the writing is solid. (Besides the characters' repeating inner monologues, it was good.) But I just couldn't empathise with the characters. And considering that these two MCs, especially Ash, experienced horrible things during their childhood, I'd say that that is not a point in favour of the book. At all. It was just too much. Too over the top.
But this is just me. Plenty of people thought differently, I guess.

Along Came Potter

Along Came Potter - Anonymous As was revealed some time ago, written by huldrejenta, so maybe one could change that now? :)

All in all a nice, enjoyable read.

Us

Us - Elle Kennedy, Sarina Bowen 3.5 stars

Yes. I did read this anyway. Despite what I said in my review of book #1. But goddammit, I paid for the book. Also, I was a bit in a book slump, which helped to convince me...

So yeah, this was actually better than the 1st book, even despite all of the m/m romance clichés in the world.
Yep, even inlcuding the famous hospital scene & subsequent coming-out via leaked "gay photos" to the press... I'm not even kidding.

But I've got to admit that while this book certainly reminded me quite a lot of those books I read back in the day when m/m romance was still new and shiny (which, most of the time, isn't actually a good thing, as certain people, cough, know all too well & would agree to, too^^), this actually managed to do so in a positive manner..?
Well, it kinda brought me back to the good(ish) old days, as opposed to those that lead to some extreme eye-rolling on my part... (Although, some eye-rolling couldn't be prevented despite my efforts. Some parts were simply too clichéd, I guess.)

Nevertheless, I kinda really enjoyed the book. Maybe because I already knew Jamie and Wes & the 2nd time around I found myself thinking they were rather a charming couple? Idk & Idc, really.

Oh, this time I can even, with quite some certainty, recall a favourite quote. Ha.
"Shaking hands with someone who works on infectious diseases seems a little sketchy to me, but I do it anyway."
Because. This is so me! Kinda a personal insider. LOL.

Anyway. Enjoyed the book enough to generously round up to 4 stars.

Him

Him - Elle Kennedy, Sarina Bowen Huh. Well, I must admit that I expected something, idk ...just more? This was an enjoyable enough and okay read (all in all), but really nothing special (in my very humble opinion). I missed the giddy feeling--the one while reading a really good book you can hardly put down. This book, though, managed to barely hold my interest in some parts...

I got both this book and the sequel for 2€, so I guess I can't say I misspent money, but then again I'm not all that psyched up to read the sequel (like at all).

I guess I'll sleep over it and read some fanfics in the meantime, maybe then I'll get in the mood for Wes & Jamie again, who knows?

Lift Your Open Hand

Lift Your Open Hand - firethesound Just a FYI: this author doesn't wish their fanfictions to be listed here on GR, as one can read on their AO3 profile page:
I do not give permission for my works to be posted anywhere else. Please do not add me or any of my fic to Goodreads.

Even though not everybody really understands this wish by some fanfic authors, I think it'd be nice to honour them, nevertheless. :)

Written on the Heart

Written on the Heart - Who La Hoop I read this in one day straight, not sleeping, not eating, that is how fucking awesome this book was.

God, how I loved snarky, scheming Blaise! (And all the other Slytherins for that matter.) But honestly, Blaise is hands down the most intriguing and fun (2ndary) character here.

I'm usually not much of a fan of the whole 'resorting Harry to Slytherin' trope, but here it totally worked. No, more than that. It was perfect.

All in all, a hilarious, fun, sometimes a bit angsty read that is by far (as far as I can tell from what I've already read) the best work in this year's H/D Erised fest.

Strong Side

Strong Side - Alison Hendricks More like 3.5 (possibly even 3.75) stars. Rounding up because this happens to be the first (published) book in a long time (you know, in contrast to fanfics) that I actually really enjoyed reading.

Yeah, sure, it suffers from some clichés and uses the ol' "serious injury gives way to public coming out & is reason for making up after relationship crisis"-plot device.... but nevertheless, this was a sweet hockey fic with likable characters.

The Douglas Fir

The Douglas Fir - Anyta Sunday What an unassuming & very sweet little Christmas treat. Nothing too deep, just a feel good story that made me smile.

Foxe Tail

Foxe Tail - Haley Walsh More like 1.5 stars.

Review & all the reasons why this was a total fail--regarding both the mystery and the 'romance' part--will follow.

But. Aargh. This was bad. Mostly because the characters were annoying as hell at bests & absolutely hateful at worst.
But apart from that the plot totally sucked as well. Not the best combination, really.

Cronin's Key

Cronin's Key - N.R. Walker DNF @ 42%.
Can't finish this, though I tried my damnedest.

But god was I bored to tears.

And gawd! All this (never-ending) stupidity!



While the book starts at least somewhat intriguing it soon shows its true colours, which could be best summed up with "wtf did I just read?".
The trope (or its execution – in hindsight I can't really decide between the 2, ...probably both?), is mind-numbingly dull & dumb. Oh so bloody stupid. Ridiculous. And so bad.

Detective Alec MacAidan's reaction to the shocking events and to the total turn his life has taken is not at all believable. And his acceptance of everything new and weird comes way too fast. But that's just one of 100 problems I had with this book.

Sorry, this was total miss for me. Because I really, really hated everything about the book. The trope, the 'plot', the characters. All the eye-rolling in the world wouldn't be enough to get me through this mess. So I did the smart thing and quit (while I still could).^^

I'm really quite glad that I got this book for free on amazon, so there's at least no ill-spent money to be disappointed by & to feel angry about.

If you happen to be a sucker for vampires (haha, see what I did there?) and like the whole 'destined to be together/mate'-trope (and aren't bothered by insta-everything), please don't listen to me. Chances are you'll end up loving this book. Who knows?


The Spencer Cohen Series, Book One

The Spencer Cohen Series, Book One - N.R. Walker 3.5 stars

Diversion

Diversion - Eden Winters 2.5 stars.
It wasn't bad. The problem was me, I guess, because I just couldn't connect to the characters, didn't care for them or the overall plot--it just was. You know, it was okay. But kind of boring, despite all the crime-fighting and undercover work etc.

Fair Chance

Fair Chance - Josh Lanyon wait.

....there's a 2nd book.
you know, after Fair Game? (that seems to also be already on my tr shelf? miraculously.)

how. the. hell. could i forget about there being another book?

Timing

Timing - Mary Calmes More detailed review to come.

Because. Boyoy. There are so many things wrong with this book. Over the top, past and beyond belief, a ton of clichés, ridiculous characters and overall plot.

And while reading it I actually marked passages and made notes on my Kindle! Which I never ever do. So that right there is evidence enough as to the ridiculousness of this book.

It really is like Mary Calmes only knows how to write one character (Jory) and one story.
And this particular book feels like she had to make due with a cast of characters and a plot that were not her own (& that she had nothing to do with and were "unloaded" on her) and then try to match both unfitting puzzle pieces together.

Like: Okay. Plot device #1: Grave danger & "murder mystery", MC#1 needs to be getting shot to add a life or death situation... -So who of the other given characters (non of which fit the bill) might be the least unsuited for that part? Okay. Yes, let's take his boss. And so on.

I was honestly wondering if that was the case. Because why would any author do such a disservice to themselves and create characters and plots that don't fit together? Or is it just like Mary Calmes needs to incorporate certain plot devices in her story, come hell or high water.

Thank heavens that I got this book for free on amazon.

Now excuse me, I've got some studying for upcoming exams/midterms to do & this short review became way longer than intended...

When to Hold Them

When to Hold Them - G.B. Gordon ***Minor spoilers ahead***

Hmm. What to say? Well.

I was far from impressed with this book. Even despite there being some kind of suspense and kind of a 'life-and-death' situation near the end there I was bored.
And even despite the sex being less vanilla and more on the kinky side I found myself skipping them altogether fairly early on.

The characters were just so ... bland. Yes, the author tried to give them a not totally normal/typical background--a gambling addiction and problems with a loan shark on the one hand and growing up as a gay person of colour in a small town and having a mother struggling with hemiparesis after a stroke on the other hand. And still. Their characterisation felt merely superficial.

It just wasn't for me, I guess. The many sex scenes didn't help either.
And I didn't feel the romance part on top of that. Doran starts out lusting after Xavier, gets together with him and is still just the equivalent of a lusting teenager with a crush. Idk. There's hardly any character development to speak of. Just, meh.