Twin Flames by Lexi Ander 4*
BLURB:Tristan Janick is a Lycan descendant of Gilgamesh and Enkidu, an average Warrior of Anat. He's one of the lucky ones who've found his Twin Flame, the one person who's supposed to love him no matter what. Betrayed, broken, and dying he breaks the sacred bond and leaves his life behind. His best friend, Ushna, vows to guard and protect him, keeping him alive, always so close but never touching. Waking up from his half-life after a hunt gone badly, Tristan realizes that he's in love with Ushna, and sets out to seduce his best friend. Overnight, life changes for the two men. Ancient secrets and lies are revealed, setting off a chain of events that test not only Tristan and Ushna's love, but challenge their ability to stay alive when creatures of myth awaken, and absent gods walk the earth once again
My Review: I would have given 5* to this story if it hadn't finished with a small cliff hanger (just a personal pet hate of mine). On the whole I loved the clever use of Lycan myths as the background to a wonderful story about a m/m romance liberally spiced with magic. Look forward to book two.
Holden & Yves -The Early Years by Maculategiraffe 5*
BLURB:Holden and Yves – The Early Years is a mini-prequel tale in the Slave Breakers saga, but is best read after the other stories in the series.
Imagine a modern society parallel to our own where impoverished peasants are legally permitted to sell their children into slavery starting at age 15. The upper class households in this world demonstrate their wealth by buying the best of everything - including people.
Holden and Yves – The Early Years gives us a glimpse (told through individual scenes) into the beginnings of the Slave Breakers family.
My Review:This is a prequel to Bran's story about two of the main characters. It was a lovely story that managed to fill in background but still felt fresh and interesting.
Jesse's Story (Slave Breakers #2)by Maculategiraffe 5*
BLURB:Jesse is a strong-minded "pleasure slave" who wants to escape across the border to freedom with his fellow slave and lover. In order to accomplish this goal, he is going to need to learn about cooperation and trust from the "slave breakers".
My Review: Having enjoyed both of the previous books by this author I was looking forward to this one and I was not disappointed. I'm just a little surprised not to find these stories professionally published.
Lee's Story (Slave Breakers #3) by Maculategiraffe 5*
BLURB:Bran returns to his old master but this time it is to retrieved yet another slave that is being sold to the "slave breakers". Returning to his former home, even for such a short period of time, has its effects on Bran as does Lee, his master's new acquisition.
My Review:I firmly believe these Slave Breakers books have improved with each new book. Not only was this the longest story but it was also the best and if I were to give more than 5* this one would get it just for the clever ending.
The Thirteenth Passenger by Sally Quilford 3*
BLURB: Mars born space cowboy, Jack Deimos, is taking a cargo to Mars when he finds a pretty stowaway amongst the few passengers he agrees to carry in the cryo-chambers. Mara Athena wants to know why her father died on a previous trip to Mars and she intends to get the answer from Jack. But Mara isn't the only stowaway on the spaceship Obama. There's a thirteenth passenger, and it's intent on killing everyone.
My Review: For a novel written in one month and using multiple weird and wonderful Plot Ninja's and conceived as a bit of a joke this was a reasonably good story. A nice story that would probably been much better if not written under NaNoWriMo restrictions.
My, My, Little Firefly by Dillon Fox 0*
BLURB:n Minas, jobs are created to fulfil people. Each colonist has a shard, a unique talent which gives them a rush of endorphins to practice. The native 'fireflies' constantly encroach on the colony, and it's Gal's job--her shard--to keep them at bay. Until her shard snaps. No place in the world, no rush of endorphins. Is Gal's salvation at the end of the world, or is it closer to home?
My Review: I liked the blurb to this but was bitterly disappointed with the actual story. I felt as if either the author or I had been high on drugs and I only take prescription drugs for asthma!
Me, Myself & I by Natasha DuncanDrake 3*
BLURB:Tristan is an actor and he plays a supervillain in the movies. At least he thought he did, but then he has an accident and he wakes up surrounded by the world of the films. Now he has to figure out if he's hallucinating, if somehow the movies are real and he's been transplanted to another world or if he is actually Devon, a supervillain having a psychotic break. Whatever the answer: it's frighteningly crazy.
My Review: A clever little story about an actor who ends up falling for his film character in an alternate universe, or did he?
Chains by Rowan McBride 4*
BLURB:A new prisoner has been brought to the castle. They say he's a warrior. They call him a demon. They whisper that he can grant wishes. Saiven can't resist. He sneaks into the secluded dungeon to see, but the man chained to the wall is not what he expects. Smiling. Teasing. He introduces himself as Faolan, and Saiven is caught. This...man. He makes Saiven feel things he should not feel. Draws forth confessions that were meant to stay secret. Faolan freely grants him warmth and laughter. But now...Now it's time to find out if Saiven is strong enough to earn a wish
My Review: A short and interesting tale that could have been improved with more story. Hope the author intends to extend it one day.
Between Two World by Chris Lewis 5*
BLURB:Christian (nee Ran Mit’hova Khithran) officially works as an accountant for Le Vitriol, a three-Michelin star restaurant and bar in Montemartre, in Paris’ 18th arrondissement. It is just a front, however, as he and all who work there are refugees from Agharta, a vast realm near the center of the earth. Agharta is an ancient, technologically advanced, and totalitarian society that is self-enclosed. To punish citizens for various offenses, it consigns them to death by expelling them into cavern systems near the planet’s surface. Over time, the refugees created Tsavans: subterranean communities between Agharta at the planet’s heart, and Prithav, the world’s surface. These Tsavans have infiltrated surface governments to make life more livable for themselves. Some dwell on the surface among ordinary people, watched and protected over by the Enforcers.
When an Aghartan is found dead on the surface, Christian is assigned to the case. But as more surface-dwelling Aghartans die, Christian realizes that there could be a serial killer among his people. The truth, however, is more terrible than his worst suspicions.
My Review: This was a lovely story that worked well as a very clever suspense but the m/m Romance didn't quite do it for me. I hope the author intends to write more from this world that he created, especially if it's without the romance.