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Cronic Bookaholic

I read any kind of books but lately I'm reading more and more of M/M.

Currently reading

Medium, Sweet, Extra Shot of Geek
R. Cooper
Lessons for Survivors
Charlie Cochrane
The Sense of an Ending
Julian Barnes
The Road Home
Michael Thomas Ford
Where There's Smoke
L.A. Witt
Mind Fuck
Manna Francis
Crimson Spell, Volume 3
Ayano Yamane
Call Me by Your Name
André Aciman
Neil Gaiman
Tea and Crumpet
Jay Rookwood, Lisa Worrall, Josephine Myles, Alex Beecroft

Feathers From the Sky

Feathers From the Sky - Posy Roberts That was a delightful holiday story. It's so true that during holiday there were two courses bound to happen to houses; either they got empty or burst at every corners with multiplying residents. Being an introvert, crowd-avoider and middle-child myself, I sympathized with Calvin for his struggle to cope.

That saying, as adorable as he seemed, I felt he's a bit childish and overly dramatic. His anxiety was all for nothing except tuckered himself out. But he and Philip were tots adorbs. In fact, all members of Calvin family were just awesome - a tad too good to be true weird in a way - but lovely all the same.

This is certainly a comfortable light reading that would put smile on one's face.

Master's Blood

Master's Blood - M.D. Grimm How could he love someone so much after so short an acquaintance? How was that even possible?

Well, that's MY question too while reading this book! (I know, I know, PNR stories with shifters where mates, bound, and yada yada were instinctively normal blah blah blah...).

This was actually a story I had been so looking forward to read. Been curious about Agent Poe ever since his first appearance on this series. Alas, it didn't turn out to be what I hope...

I mean, I like the story enough. And it was good to see the inside of the Agency here, to know that Poe - despite his super strength was only human with all their nature and weaknesses. Aside from Poe being a dwarf descendant (which made him NOT tall), the other character - the bear shifter - was a native american; which made for interesting couple.

However... The plot left me frustrated. Earlier in the series, Poe somehow being described as top agent, pretty unbeatable. Same went for Nordik. Here, in their own book however, I didn't much see that top notch ability. I pretty much grumbled "you should've KNOWN better" over and over. Another thing was the constant "me, Alpha - him, alpha" appear here; and the instant "Aha! He's my soul mate!" mere hours after face to face encounter. The proclamation was also very rushy to my humane opinion.

The Poe/Nordik sex scenes were quite HAWT though. Theirs were pretty raw (and painful) wherever the occasion took place. Then again Nordik was closer to being neanderthal that it's a bit "normal" for him acting rather brutal or wild.

And that epilogue... Not necessarily a cliff-hanger. Honestly though, I'm running out of patience with "mystery" being dangled in front of my face like that. As much as I wanted to find out more about Arcas, my feeling started to lean on the "too much" already...

Hearts and Minds

Hearts and Minds - M.D. Grimm I guess should've read this later, after [b:Master's Blood|18298752|Master's Blood (The Shifters #6)|M.D. Grimm|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1375862214s/18298752.jpg|25784496]. There's tiny detail here referring to event happened in #book6. But what's done is done. So I'd just consider this as a way late Valentine story (considering the pinky heart-shape cuttings mentioned here ^__^).

It was nice to know how Josh and Xavier doing at their new home and work place. After they had been through in the early stages of their relationship, this pair kept going strong. Though the process of becoming established couple was a bit of a struggle.

These were two guys who spent most years of their lives as an island, never got really close to others. More so that Josh, as told in previous book, was a virgin in a relationship in every sense (and details) of the word, while Xavier had been the type to indulge in a row of acquaintance with benefits himself. Their communication as a couple also hit some bumpy path. Josh had been working as Agency aide for years; despite his adorable and sweet nature (I keep having trouble picturing a six feet tall man as cute) he was trained for self-defence and battle. Xavier, with his paramilitary upbringing and wolf Alpha nature, was very protective of his mate.

A rehabilitation patient gone wild causing first huge row between this couple. But thank gads for lack of drama for reconciliation process. This was the thing I love about this couple; their careful approach on their (still) brand new relationship. Of all the couple of this series, I consider them the "normal" one - past baggage and all.

Nice shorty, this one.

Healing Minds

Healing Minds - M.D. Grimm This was the best of the series so far! The story packed some (bloody) actions, survivors adventures, some sexy time seasoning, and not so perfect characters. In fact, Xavier - the wolf shifter - had pretty sordid background to begin with.

As the #5 installment, this book also served much like cross-link of the previous books. Xavier was the big bad blood-thirsty wolf in [b:Psychic Moon|11883058|Psychic Moon (The Shifters #1)|M.D. Grimm|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1309379945s/11883058.jpg|16841517]. Time frame of this story was closely parallel with the end of [b:Hunter and Hunted|16133226|Hunter and Hunted (The Shifters #4)|M.D. Grimm|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1352221012s/16133226.jpg|21959873]. While on the run Josh and Xavier met with Caleb and Ryan from [b:Love is a Whirlwind|13423221|Love is a Whirlwind (The Shifters #2)|M.D. Grimm|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1374007154s/13423221.jpg|18869272] and guess where they finally decided to settle down: the town set on [b:Blind Devotion|15755708|Blind Devotion (The Shifters #3)|M.D. Grimm|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1342499876s/15755708.jpg|21452872] of course! :D

The plot was pretty clean cut. The substation where Josh kept guard of still recuperating Xavier got ambushed by Knights' goons. The fights wounded Josh but Xavier gone feral on the attacker and ran away with Josh. Driving cross-country on the run from Knights and ducking the Agency, the shifter and aide forged a deeper connections, that might prove to be the salvation Xavier needed to overcome his beastliness.

Other thing that I loved about this book was the gradual attraction of the MCs. Josh had been stationed to guard Xavier for six months before chaos hit. During that time and while on the run, they learned more about each other and built solid connection. No instant "you - me - mates! - lived together ever after" here. But HEA was definitely there, at the end of the page.
/ happy sigh /

Everything Changes

Everything Changes - Melanie Backe-Hansen What it is to me was a roller coaster ride, with ups and down, plunges and climbs. Do I like this book? Yeah, enough - but it wasn't what I expected. Not really.

The story was told as third person POV alternately by Carey and Jase; both survivors of sandbox duty turned devastating, with their own PTSD. They met on training base before deployment and got close all through their tour and after. For Jase, it was lust at first sight turned to love. He took care of his buddy overcoming loss-limb to be independent person again. Little did Carey knew, for while Jase came back whole from war, he suffered from his own traumatic experience. Or even that Jase carried a torch for him.

So the ingredients were: strong disabled guy, mentally-wrecked EMT/musician, slow burn, gay for you, friends to lovers. I was pretty excited when I started this book. Alas, I found the first 39% of the story rather bland, even with flashbacks from their tour of duty time filled in between long narration. By the time Carey at last gave in to his attraction to Jase, the pages turned into marathon sex scenes. Now I didn't mind some sexy times in my reading, but not at the point to become cross-eyed and yawning because of it.


Around the last 40% of the book things picked up. Some accident triggered Jase's anxiety attack and the after effect had him admitted his problem to Carey and agreed to seek counselling. This process to healing was not instant. And the fact that both characters had weaknesses endeared me more. Even Carey's after long weekend decision still had my approval. The process, see? It took time, and both were not the sort to make rash decision. And then there's this stupid action happened close to the end.
While I appreciate the author didn't come up with dramatic romantic scene, and that stupid action only NEARLY happened... it still pissed me off.

Thus, I didn't consider this a smooth sailing for me. Nope. Too many yawning and gritted teeth moments although all in all, I still like it.

Hunter and Hunted

Hunter and Hunted - M.D. Grimm The title might seem unimaginative. But hey this series kept surprising me - in a good way! After blind shifter of the previous book, we finally got a Knight as main character - and a black man too. And the shifter taking the front stage this time was a deer shifter. What a refreshing change!

Hunter was a confused Knight, questioning things the organization doctrined him to believe, ever since he was adopted by a high ranking member there. On Hunter's rite passage, Glenn - a deer shifter - stumbled into his line of riffle. From then on, Hunter's world turned upside down.
Romantic plot wise, there was nothing new here. As common in shifter universe, shifter beings often got attracted, attached, and mated someone in a short span of time. In this case, within days of knowing each other. Our MCs were likable enough, but nothing so special about them other than what I pointed out earlier.

Getting stronger in this installment was the Agency versus Knight organization. We met again with Agent Poe and his team, trying to infiltrate Knight's headquarter on a rescue mission. The link to previous book was also more felt here (the premises occurred two months after [b:Blind Devotion|15755708|Blind Devotion (The Shifters #3)|M.D. Grimm|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1342499876s/15755708.jpg|21452872]).

And that epilogue! As if I needed that dangled in front of me to get me want to speed to the next book!? Oh what the heck, YES! That epilogue would certainly got me hurrying along with Agent Poe to get to [b:Healing Minds|18046558|Healing Minds (The Shifters #5)|M.D. Grimm|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1370656701s/18046558.jpg|25326379]. There. Happy now?

Discreet Young Gentleman

Discreet Young Gentleman - M. J. Pearson This was a wonderful journey of a young earl and a discreet young gentleman set in early 19th century. A bit like GFY in the olden days. It all started with an ambush of a fake highwayman when the Earl of Carwick was on his way home. Little did either party knew that this was a plot to break Carwick's engagement. Stubborn and desperate, Dean - the young earl - toted the turned-out-to-be prostitute, Rob, to Bath to claim his innocence and win his fiancee back. Along the way, they learned about each other and how everything were not as it seemed.

It was an entertaining story from beginning to end. There were some annoying things, like the repetitive mentions of "the prostitute this" "the prostitute that". We knew Rob was a prostitute, that detail already been aired out, no need to stress it every time. And then there's the use of German in the conversation which I felt was a bit off. While I have grasp of some Deutsch myself, this book is supposed to be in English language. I prefer the notation 'he spoke in German' rather than putting the actual language without any translation. Or perhaps the author expect the reader to clutch English/German dictionary while reading this book??

I found the characters the likable lot: Dean, Rob, and even Dean's mentally altered "Hessian" coachman, Erich. These three were young men with troubled past and somehow they healed each others' scar. Despite his often callous comment to Rob, Dean was actually a kind person. That he indulged Rob's wish to visit some decrepit ale house, haunted church, listen to ghost stories, etc was to name a few. He also had low opinion over his own look that Rob never tired to avert. The road to healing was not all moonlight and roses; I cringed at Rob's decision and action he took right after they encountered real highwaymen and felt the raw helplessness along with Dean. There were some misunderstanding and hurting that took time to fix, but this pretty angst-free for me (which I approved!).

Also, this book got me want to fly to England and have a ghost tour of historical architecture there. Ghost tour... yeah right. :D

Blind Devotion

Blind Devotion - M.D. Grimm More of love story in The Shifters world. This time pairing Haven's sheriff wolf-shifter and a blind cougar shifter. I loved how this two spent years getting close before blurting the ILU and those you-me-mates short of thing. The pack politics, as always, just... grrrr! Fortunately, there was shift and breakthrough in the tradition in the end.

What intrigued me was the presence of the Agency vs Knights felt more in this book. Not as much to make this story couldn't be read as standalone, though. But I definitely would read further books in this series! :)

Eastern Cowboy

Eastern Cowboy - Andrew  Grey Not that this isn't a good story, it is. The plot was nice enough and the characters were both okay what's one with gimpy leg and the other with the stutter. But somehow it felt too bland for me and the chemistry between the MCs wasn't very convincing. Also, it was too black and white type of story; some goodie goodie, abused characters versus the whiny, lazy, greedy ones - like saints versus evil - the whole thing became too predictable!
Truly disappointing and not what I pictured from reading the blurb... Thank gods for a bit of humor between the stuttering banter.

With or Without Him

With or Without Him - Barbara Elsborg 2.5 stars

First off: not the book's fault that I don't like it. This is not my cup of tea. In fact, if it wasn't for it being picked as March book reading challenge by Indonesian MM Readers group, I would never pick it up - Brit book notwithstanding.

That saying, I tried to keep an open mind reading this. Scout's honour!! But then the story started with sex party... **EEP!!**

Trudging on through chapters (I sort of ran through the sex orgy and the beginning of BDSM party | shudders) I found that it wasn't that bad. I mean, I like the writing style. But the story span too long (the aura of mystery the characters desperately clinging to (Haris and Tyler were a pair of mixed-up men with bloody dismal past), the misscommunication/misunderstanding (instead of talking inside your head why not man up, SPEAK UP and really TALK! jeez), the repeated sex scenes - yep, that's A LOT) that personally I just found... exhausting. It's like watching never-ending smutty soap opera where black and white were so cut and dry.

Thank gads for Wilson and his antics. Yes, he's a secondary character. But for me, he's way more entertaining than the MCs.

Wizard's Moon

Wizard's Moon - Josh Lanyon 3.5 stars

Way too short for this rent boy thrust into the middle of assassination plot. There's not much of a world building, but the quick pace of the story help the enjoyment of reading this tale. If only this was NOT a short story, if only there's more magic action played - on top of the sword/dirk/blade and all those shiny pointy sharpy thingies... Yes, this reader IS greedy!! :D

Just in case my point didn't come across clearly: I enjoy this story.
It had potential to be much more enjoyable that, sadly, didn't get a chance to develop because... it's SO short!

And if I may: sequel please. A longer one... perhaps?

Bitten by Snake Oil

Bitten by Snake Oil - Shiloh Saddler
Copy of this book was received from the author via Goodreads MM Romance DBML program in exchange for fair and honest review.

I'm not familiar with Ms. Saddler's story having never read her book before. And this book left me feeling confused.

The story was set in a late nineteenth century Kansas, I didn't see the correlation between the prologue - which started inside the circuit tent where a little man with a tall hat spin a tale to his audience - with the whole story. No idea why the little man had a blue tarantula and why, seeing a blacksmith among his audience, he decided on a tale about blacksmith and medicine-show man.

Swapped into the life of Jed, the blacksmith of Tumbleweed, Kansas. Ever since his wife passed away he's fighting his attraction to men. Why? No clue. No explanation. It just happened. When a medicine show wagon rode into town, he caught the eye of the medicine man selling him the elixir to get rid of his forbidden desire. Instead of being cured, he started to have erotic dreams with said medicine man. I wasn't convinced with how the sudden attraction built between these two men. The encounter with the town preacher was too cliche and how stuff turned out for Jed's mother in law in the end was way too unbelievable.


There's no plot here. The story just ran amok to every directions. I like the idea of magick practice in historical western setting. But somehow the execution left a lot to be desire...

Bound By Nature

Bound By Nature - Cooper Davis DNF at 40%
Got tired with the back and forth past and present, long unclear convos.

Resilient Heart

Resilient Heart - Annabeth Albert This is a beautiful story of second chances. I dragged to start reading as stories with PTSD character could be so angsty and full of drama. This was NOT like that. It felt real. The hurt, the denial, the acceptance, and - finally - the healing.

Xander and Mackey were best buddies as well as friends-with-benefits for years, as long as their military service time. What they never revealed was their true feelings of each other. One new year's eve while on deployment in the sandbox, they had huge argument and the next day all hell broke loose during their field assignment. It left Mackey unscathed, but had Xander seriously injured and body part removed. The tragic accident, that had other fatal casualties, pushed Mackey to rethink the decisions he took and kept secret years ago..

The story was told alternately from Xander and Mackey POV. It allowed the reader insights to both MC's head, the guilt and fears they kept hidden all along. Both characters were likable despite their (Xander's mostly) hardheaded tendency. In my mind Mackey was this big lovable teddy bear that so wanted to surround Xander with love without being overwhelming. The process of how they finally - FINALLY - come together was achingly touching (impatient that I am, I often wanted to throttle Xan even when I understood his frustration). But the healing was just the beginning of their adjustment and journey together.

In a way I wish the story were longer, but also appreciate it ended the way it did. Xander still had long way to go, with his disability and with his family, and not least - his commitment with Mackey.

Two-Man Advantage

Two-Man Advantage - Riley Shane Reading the first installment two years AFTER I read the second one, [b:In the Penalty Box|13355389|In the Penalty Box (Seattle Marauders, #2)|Riley Shane|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1330565418s/13355389.jpg|18582222] - I guess I'm a bit contrary that way. :p

This is a sweet if somewhat instant love story. Would a week enough to get you fall in love with a stranger? Apparently it was for Nathan Troy who found his Goldilocks - Kyle Harper, an ex Marauder left winger - on his bed in his holiday cabin. What started as misunderstanding and double-booked turned out as the best week these two tired souls ever had.

Despite the insta-love, also the quite early and lots of smutties, I kinda like this story. It was focusing on these two characters - rather isolated cabin, y'know - the way they learned to get to know each other, including past love, hurting over lost carreer, and angst-free.

I guess I could say this hit me good at the right time. Even two years too late. Lucky me! ;-)

Tasting Cherry Blossoms

Tasting Cherry Blossoms - Marie Medina 2.5 stars

Well, that was darn entertaining. The year was 3000 something set in a world where two suns shined. The vampires of this world lived just like humans - only with way longer life - woke up at dawn, able to move about under the sun. Lord Ettore found his mate, Simon, when he visited a human castle. And it's love at the first taste of blood. Typical eh? ;D

But the wooing of this couple was so endearingly cute and sweet; Ettore was so patient in the face of his virginal human lover.

This was a mostly smooth plot flow, the incident - with a bit of a tragedy - was pretty quickly solve. So if you had a wish for some light fluff vampire story, you might wanna try this one.
And I shall just leave below pic to help your imagination. :D