Posted in LGBT Book Reviews

Netgalley Review: Night Owls and Summer Skies

NightOwls

Hello friends,

Night Owls and Summer Skies by Rebecca Sullivan is a Wattpad book that I wanted to like so much more than I did. I made it about forty percent before giving up. The spacing of this book was weird. There were a large amount of grammatical errors, and the book clearly needed an editor.

That aside, the story itself had promise-a girl, Emma, is foisted off her mother into a camp for the summer, as her mother goes on her unexpected honeymoon. I say unexpected because her mother failed to mention she’d gotten married. And her mother is embarrassed about her daughter being gay. It’s a family complicated situation all around, but the essential bit is that Emma is not thrilled about spending the rest of summer at a camp-the same camp she learned of her parents divorce.

As far as books go, this wasn’t bad-it just didn’t wow me as much as the cover did, which that cover is absolutely gorgeous. I shouldn’t be suckered into a book based on a cover, but regretfully, it does happen now and again. This book was also read and chosen from me for Pride Month. I was hoping more from it, but it failed to deliver on my hopefulness.

Overall, I’m rewarding this 3 out of five stars, and I’m now off to choose my next book.

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

Posted in LGBT Book Reviews, Romance

Book Review (sort of): My Brother’s Husband

MyBrother'sHusband

Hello friends,

My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame is wholesome, diverse, adorable. Despite the slow pace at the start, it built up into a well written plot, that I spent most of two hours devouring. The art was cute, and I liked the real life implications within the story. Canada + Japan culture were both intriguing, and the family within the book were fun as well as amusing at times to read.

Reviewing manga is hard. This is my first official manga that I’ve read, and I’m not even sure how to pronounce it correctly. It took a while to get the hang of reading a book backwards (which is just wrong, in my opinion) and while I enjoyed the art, I felt frustrated and stifled at not having a real book. Perhaps I’m just used to real books, as opposed to manga/graphic novels/comics. I rarely read those, and only when trusted friends (beg) ask me too.

I’m definitely intrigued by this story, and liked the slow relationship build up, however, I will say that the main character is a bit off putting within the first segment. It took a bit to grow to liking him, but now he’s my favorite out of the three in the family, but all of them are equally likeable.

I shall add volume two to my tbr pile, because I’d like to see how the rest of this plays out. A slow building plot, but still fun to read, I’m giving this a 3.5 out of 5 stars, rounded up to 4.

Until next time,

Pass Me That Book.

Posted in Historical Fiction Book Reviews, LGBT Book Reviews, Mystery/Thriller Book Reviews, Romance, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Woman in the Veil

The Woman in the Veil

Title: The Woman in the Veil
Author: Laura Joh Rowland
Series: Book 4
Genre: Adult Fiction, Mystery, Historical
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Arc, Kindle Ebook
Received: Publisher, Netgalley
Review Word Count:
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes:

I haven’t read any of the first three books, but will likely rectify that when I can because I very much enjoyed book four. While the mystery of Sleeping Beauty, as she’s called by the papers in this book, was interesting, I wasn’t fully invested in this book. I feel as though I missed out a lot on the characters, and their stories from previous novels. While the author does a great job of letting you know what’s happened, I feel it’s best to read this series in order.

There was a surprising gay couple in the book of which I very much enjoyed seeing, especially with one of the characters being a former priest. That was very surprising and nice to see in historical fiction for a change. I liked the main character, and I liked the mystery overall. But as I said, I think I’ll read the other three books and then re-read this one to see how I feel about it.

Overall I liked it, but I think I’ll enjoy it more when I read the rest of the series. 4/5 stars.

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

Posted in LGBT Book Reviews, Mystery/Thriller Book Reviews, Romance

Book Review: Hitting Black Ice

Hitting Black Ice

Title: Hitting Black Ice
Author: Heloise West
Series: Book 1
Genre: Adult Fiction, Romance, LGBT
Page Count: 200
Publisher: NineStar Press
Type of Book: Arc, Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley, Publisher
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes: High action, lots of romance, and plenty of thrills.

This is one of those rare Netgalley arcs that I requested because it sounded like exactly what I wanted to read, got it within two hours, and then finished it three hours later. It left the book hanging wide open for a sequel, but I fell hard for Shawn and Hunter. Both young men were involved in a high stakes hostage situation, an mysterious FBI guy chasing after Shawn, guns, shootings, and more dangerous scenarios taking place in the snowy mountains during blizzard like conditions. Exactly what I wanted to read.

The only reason it’s four stars was because it left it hanging on a cliffhanger. Sigh. I very much need book two, and I am now invested in this series. The author immediately soared to my top ten favorite LGBT authors.

This made me think very strongly of the survival stories of Stargate Atlantis fanfiction that I used to read in a way, with lots of plot, romance, and characters. I very much enjoyed this and eagerly look forward to book two. Overall, I’m giving this 4/5 stars, and I’m hopeful book two will be out as quickly as possible. I especially liked the dogs that were thrown into the plot for good measure and the heroic rescue at the end. Highly recommended for those who enjoy fast paced action with lots of twists and turns!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Posted in LGBT Book Reviews, Romance

Book Review: Artic Wild

 

Arctic Wild

Title: Artic Wild
Author: Annabeth Albert
Series: Book 2
Genre: M/M Adult Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
Page Count:
Type of Book: ARC, Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 3/5 stars
Notes: I was hoping for more outdoorsy survival scenario, not sickeningly sweet romance. Sigh.

This was a book that where it said ‘plane crash’ + ‘m/m developing romance’ = unexpected good times, I was all for ‘yes please’. But the two main male characters, while charming and adorable, were rescued far too quickly and most of the rest of the book was all just smutty smutness.

And while that’s not a bad thing, it wasn’t what I was in the mood for, or hoping for based on the plot that I read on the blurb. I was hoping for two men trapped in the wild for more than just a couple of chapters, and that is most definitely NOT what I received.

Ah well.

Still, it wasn’t a bad read, and I liked all the characters. Every character felt realistic, and the storyline was interesting if rather smutty, I wish it had been more about survival in the wild with just one strange man at your side.

3.5/5 stars for a overall decent job, but nothing super fancy or memorable (at least for me).

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Posted in Fantasy Book Reviews, Historical Fiction Book Reviews, LGBT Book Reviews, Romance, Science Fiction Book Reviews

New Release Review: Once and Future

Once and Future

Title: Once and Future
Author: Amy Rose Capetta + Cori McCarthy
Series: Book 1
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Publisher: Hatchett
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Hardback, New Release
Received: Library
Rated: 5/5 stars
Review Word Count: 500
Notes: Read for the “Ancient Runes” category of my O.W.L. Exams/Read-a-Thon, for in Ancient Runes you were meant to read a ‘retelling’.

Slow to start, this built up to a cliffhanger that made me scream as I saw at the end of the book a page that read “The Sword in the Stars Coming 2020”. Noooo. I didn’t want to start another series. And did this list it as a series on Goodreads? Nope. Did it list it at the beginning of the book? Nope. Grr. But I’m heavily invested now, because oh the characters!

The storyline is definitely different from the original, and it’s not just because Arthur got turned into a girl for this plot. There was a f/f romance that I didn’t see coming-two of them. There was a back romance plot of an m/m romance that I also didn’t see coming. There were knights in shining armor, even while in space. There were dragons. There were miracles and heartache and flirting and lots of musical references. Everything from Queen to Katy Perry musical references that made me appreciate the book even more.

At points, it felt like this story dragged in the middle, but then it picked up again with a startling speed that I flipped through to the end faster than anticipated and read the book in one sitting, it was that good. I was invested in the characters, their romances, the betrayals, the deaths, the bad guys and if they were going to be defeated or not. There was so much going on, but it wasn’t a hard book to read and the authors took care not to pander or info-dump the readers with a whole lot of back story which I appreciated. There were brief bits where they explained certain things, but it went well with the story. Even if I already knew the story of Arthur and Merlin, it being one of my favorite classics to read retellings of more so than, say Beauty and the Beast.

This was a breathtaking and beautiful retelling, with its own original twists and storyline that felt fresh and new. With plenty of positive LGBT representation, this book was a lovely read and one that I didn’t expect to be in my top ten favorites list for 2019 this early in the year. There have been several others of those already, and this year is shaping up to be a great year with loads of amazing books, with this being one of them.

I’m definitely going to get the second book to the series. Because that cliffhanger was evil and unexpected and just plainly left me wanting more. My hat is off to the authors for a spectacular job well done on a new version of the tale, and I eagerly anticipate the sequel. 5/5 glorious stars.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Posted in LGBT Book Reviews, Romance, Science Fiction Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Netgalley Review: Conviction

Conviction

Title: Conviction
Author: M. D. Neu
Series: Book Two
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance, LGBT, Futuristic
Page Count: ?
Publisher: Nine Star Press
Release Date: March 15th
Type of Book: Ebook, Kindle Book, ARC
Review Word Count: 1000
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: This series continues to delight. It went a different area than what I expected, though still pulled through with a happy ending with plenty of things to resolve in the next book.

Following the continuation of Book One “Contact” which I read last year, and really enjoyed, I was delighted to find myself approved for this book within hours of requesting it. Therefore, my thanks to the publisher Nine Star Press, and I am pleased to have read and am reviewing almost immediately within receiving it. (If only all my requests worked out this way!)

Todd Landon is recovering from the attack that took his husband, and many of the Nantreaa that had arrived at Earth last year when they had first visited San Jose. He’s still grieving the loss, but he’s determined to help these visitors of another world settle in without too many hiccups along the way. Yet others are bound and determined to prevent them staying, fear, bigotry, and outright hatred making it difficult for him to do his job as well as he can.

Then there’s Mi’cen and his family. With the political aspects of this book proving to be challenging, as well as interesting in reading, Todd’s attempt at getting to know and understand Mi’cen’s family is fascinating to read and see through his eyes. I loved Todd’s interaction with Faa, a small creature that can speak, and I also liked how everyone was their own person and unique to the story. Each character breathed life to the pages that otherwise would have seemed to be dull and overly political when dealing with an alien ‘invasion’, though really the Nantreaa are more political refugees than anything, as they are trying to find a safe place to stay after their planet was destroyed, their sun having gone supernova.

The whole situation is a bit impressive build-up, and I found myself devouring each page. I really like the author’s writing style, and he explains things reasonably well without pandering or info-dumping the reader. My one complaint was the religious aspects of the book. Granted, it wasn’t bad, and more debatable between aliens and humans which is understandable, but attempting to sway aliens over to a god that they know nothing about? No. Sorry, but I don’t think that would actually fly. Not to mention “God is mysterious, his ways of hurting people always has a reason”-I never liked nor believed that was a good line to tell worshippers. You need to have a better reason than that to make innocent people suffer. Sorry, but that’s just my opinion.

Though since the religion aspect did actually matter and come to play a part in the story-surprising me completely, actually-I actually didn’t mind it overmuch. I found it was actually helpful in the plot as well, because of course when introducing aliens to a human world, they’re going to touch base on religion at some point or another, and it seemed that much more realistic than anything else.

But I digress.

The plot was excellent. The world-building was cool, and the aliens were unique and fascinating. I would have liked to have learned more about their technology, animals, and history, but it focused more on the characters than the actual history of the Nantreaa this time around. I’m hoping that those things will be more explored in book three, or perhaps four if this is a series and not a trilogy.

Overall, I’m definitely giving this a 5/5 stars, because this was a delicious LGBT science fiction with politics, humor, some pretty hefty action towards the end, and a HEA but with enough unresolved issues that it still leaves things wide open for at least two more books. I highly recommend reading these if you like realistic characters, believable science fiction, and a fast paced plot. Book three cannot come fast enough!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.

Posted in LGBT Book Reviews, Romance, Science Fiction Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Netgalley Review: Contact by M.D. Neu

contact

Title: Contact
Author: M.D. Neu
Series: Book 1
Genre: Science Fiction
Page Count: 300
Publisher: Ninestar Press
Type of Book: Arc, Kindle Ebook
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 4/5 stars
Received: Netgalley
Notes: Death of an lgbt character, but makes sense for the plot. Harsh swearing from two different characters, and a bomb attack about halfway through the book in a populated city.

This is a hard book to review. While I flew through the pages, there’s several things that I didn’t much like about the book-the harsh language, and the death of an lgbt character made it a bit darker for me to read. The harsh language was almost off-putting for me, though I skimmed through a lot of that.

There wasn’t much in the romance department, though the obvious love between the main gay couple was evident and real, and I liked it. There were some issues that I had Jerry and his attitude towards Todd, but it made the character seem more realistic as well.

There’s small handfuls throughout this book of characters bashing LGBT characters, but it improves over time. Todd’s brother started out as hateful and mean, but eventually grew out of that, into something that was a bit more bearable.

The science, aliens, and first contact approach with this book was great. I really liked the detail that the author put into the storyline; it was almost as if I was living it, though unfortunately that’s not the case. I think the coolest thing was Faa and the purple mountains comment.

I definitely look forward to reading book two. The ending was a little bit of a cliff-hanger, though without a lot of ‘must have book two now’ it was more of a, what will happen next kind of thing.

4/5 well deserved stars.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.

Posted in Fantasy Book Reviews, LGBT Book Reviews

Netgalley Review: No Man of Woman Born

 

No Man of Woman Born

Title: No Man of Woman Born
Author: Ana Marsdell
Series: Anthology
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Acacia Moon Publishing
Page Count: 300
Type of Book: Netgalley ARC, Kindle Ebook
Review Word Count: 600
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes:

No Man of Woman Born. The title is what caught my eye, it was catchy and interesting and sounded like the kind of thing I would read. Then I realized it was a collection of short stories, and while I’m not normally one for Anthologies, I definitely had to read this. It was exactly what I hoped for; true love, heroes, girls turned boys, boys turned girls, dragons, magic, witches…it was an amazingly, awesome experience reading this book.

I wish to thank the publisher for letting me have a copy of this on Netgalley. I was crossing my fingers, but wasn’t sure I would receive it, and am thrilled to have gotten it, and even more thrilled in reading it. Yet before I dive into the review, let’s go over the trigger warnings, shall we? Because there’s quite a few of them to list here.

Warnings: trans-characters in trying situations, non-supportive family members of a trans character, death of family members and children, imprisonment, murder, war crimes, suggested genocide of certain kinds of character, suggested rape

There’s various different kinds of short retelllings you might notice in here. The ‘sword from the stone’, not to mention the ‘sleeping beauty’; but there’s also quite a few that I didn’t recognize as being retellings. If they are, they’re done well enough that I’ve missed it, and it doesn’t state it in the story either.

I liked all the stories, though I think my favorites are probably “the Father’s Son” and “The sword from the Stone” remixed version. The writing was strong, the characters were believable, and I wish, I wish that I had found and read this as a thirteen year old teenager when I was confused about gender and everything else. While I’m not trans, I have a lot of trans friends, as well as gay and lesbian friends too. Most of my circle is part of the LGBT community, in fact. I have the feeling that had I read this as a teenager, it would have helped me to grow and figure a few things out a lot quicker.

I can’t review this book without spoiling it. I will say that there are quite a few scenes that are dark and heart-wrenching to read. So if you’re easily triggered or there are things you don’t like reading in fantasy books that deal with the LGBT community…I highly suggest not reading it.

But if you’re not scared away so easily, then I highly recommend reading this book. Because it is an important book, especially if you’re new to the LGBT community. It shows just how important gender identity is, and why it matters what you call a person.

I’m giving this a 5/5 stars because of how powerful the message is in this book, and I really hope that any who reads this review at least checks this book out and spreads the message that there’s a positive book for LGBT people to read that’s in the YA fantasy genre.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Posted in Fantasy Book Reviews, LGBT Book Reviews

ARC Review: Undertow

Undertow

Title: Undertow
Author: Brooklyn Ray
Series: Book 2
Genre: Fantasy, LGBT
Publisher: Ninestar Press LLC
Page Count:
Type of Book: ARC, Kindle Ebook, Netgalley Read
Review Word Count: 400
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes: I got book two without reading book one. Whoops.

I really liked this one. At first, I was hesitant in reading it because it was book two, but once I started I could not stop. While there were several confusing moments, such as not knowing who certain characters were or why they mattered to the story, I essentially liked it. I especially loved the character Liam and Ryder, though I identified more easily with Liam.

Warnings: this contains LGBT gay characters, strong sex scenes, blood magic, some light swearing, and lots of drama

This book also contains selkies, witches, warlocks, and so much more! The story was fascinating, and I am definitely interested in getting book one to discover more from this really talented author. I could not begin to describe how much I liked this book once I really started into it.

I’m giving this a four out of five stars, mostly because I was an idiot and requested book two without realizing it, and you kinda do need to read book one to understand some of the things going on in the book. Otherwise, it was beautifully and emotional roll-coaster ride.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.