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Review of When it All Falls Down by Tanya Chris

When It All Falls DownWhen It All Falls Down by Tanya Chris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blurb: Maybe Charlie should have waited until he graduated high school before coming out, because since that revelation there’s been a growing distance between him and his friends. Charlie’s tough, though. He doesn’t mind eating lunch alone or watching his former gang interact with their new best buddy. What he does mind is seeing Drew Lavoitt suffer the same fate.

Drew didn’t come out. As far as he, or anyone else knows, he’s straight. What Drew did is accidentally hit and kill a little girl. Now the boy who was voted Most Popular, and who Charlie has maybe had a crush on since eighth grade, faces financial ruin, expulsion, and the fear that if he’s not everything, he’s not enough.

Popularity, wealth, acclaim—these things are easily lost. In each other’s arms, Drew and Charlie find something that can’t be taken from them. Together the two build a foundation on which they can re-create their lives.

——-

I am not a big reader of YA or High School romances, mainly because I need the happy ever after, like a junkie need a fix, and I cannot believe in a happy ever after when the characters are that young. However, this was so much more than a High School romance, this was a coming of age story filled with heartache and tragedy, but also hope and friendship, and so I will warmly recommend it.

Tanya Chris is a new author to me, but I will be looking up her other books, as this was very well written and engaging from the start. The story flowed nicely and the characters were sympathetic and likeable.

The only reason this book does not get 5 stars is the fact that I felt that the teenagers acted a tad too mature most of the time, everyone were just a little bit too nice and understanding and embracing of one another – a tad too after school special, really. And while I do understand why the author made those choices (without the sympathetic side cast, this could have turned into angst fest 2017) it just felt a tad too idealistic to ring true.

I received a free review copy of this book from the author and have reviewed it for www.openskyebookreviews.com

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Review of From Top to Bottom by Kevin Klehr

From Top to BottomFrom Top to Bottom by Kevin Klehr

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received and ARC and reviewed this book for the Open Skye Book Reviews blog.

Is there such a thing as erotic comedy? Because if there is, this must fit in that genre. Tony, a dedicated top, is curious about bottoming and decides to advertise for likeminded tops, for a little self help group. Butch and Ford reply and the three embark on an adventure of ass and cake.

This is primarily erotica, a smorgasbord of dick and ass, of rimming and blowing and fucking, in different locations and with different partners. We start out with the self help top to bottom group in Tony’s apartment, but quickly relocate to orgies in clubs and saunas.

The lack of length means that we get very little back story or real plot in the book, this means that we never really get to know our main characters or what drives them, which is a pity, because they all had interesting facets, that I would have liked to have known more about. Tony is a dedicated man child, pushing thirty, without any close friends, who only works part time, because that leaves him more time to fuck strangers, Butch is a bear in a very unhappy open relationship who loves to bake, Ford is a cheat, who actually has a supportive boyfriend when it all comes down to it!
I wanted to know more! I wanted their back stories and their characters to grow, but alas, this was erotica. A fluffy steamy bite sized snack, not a full length character driven novel.

I thought the dialogue felt a bit wooden and stiff and to be honest: cheesy porny, and I hate to be a prude, but the complete lack of any sort of safe sex throughout the story, regardless of location and partners bothered me immensely, even for an erotic short, I couldn’t get over it.

But aside from that, it worked well as an erotic short with a few funny light hearted bits to lighten the mood in between sex scenes. However, thinking of the cringe worthy conversation I had with my father about still liking girls, even if he had just stumbled upon my google image search on cock rings, I cannot imagine how anyone could have the kind of conversations Tony has with his father and not die of embarrassment. But that is probably just me.

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Review of Lord of Ravens by Amelia Faulkner

Lord of Ravens (Inheritance, #3)Lord of Ravens by Amelia Faulkner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, the plot certainly thickens! Even if we get more knowledge of Quentin’s background and history – not surprising, but still horrid – we also open up so many new and exciting possibilities and directions for both Quentin and Lawrence to move in.

Lawrence and Quentin face new challenges as Lawrence’s gifts are evolving and he starts meeting Herne in the Otherworld in his dreams and tries to take the steps to fulfill his true destiny. Quentin is still denying a lot about himself, but he does try to move forward, but in relation to his gifts and as a functional human being. Add to that that they are now dealing with a house full of teenagers and the fact that Quentin’s father has found out where he is, there is quite a lot going on!

This book cannot be read as a stand alone, you need to read the series in order, to gain the understanding of the universe and the characters. Where book 1 is mainly a kind of introduction, number 2 was so action packed you could hardly breathe. The third book is different once again, more retrospective, although quite a lot happens.

Quentin is still by far, the more interesting character to me – but the little mean cliffhanger-y sneak peek at the end of the book certainly made me very very interested in Freddy too!

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Review of The Weight of it All by N.R. Walker

The Weight of It AllThe Weight of It All by N.R. Walker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I want to hug this book close to my heart and pet it. And then I want to be Henry’s BFF. 4EVAH!

I loved this book. To pieces. It was completely and utterly adorable and since I already know it’ll be a favourite feel-good re-read for me and that I will be getting the audio as soon as it is released, I may as well just go ahead and give it 5 stars right away.

Henry is an actuary, who is unceremoniously dumped by his boyfriend of 8 years, for being too old and too fat. This ends up being the wake up call that sends him to the gym where he meets his new personal trainer, Reed. A God-like being with a body to die for and a personality to match.

Henry and Reed’s relationship moves slowly and organically and is a pleasure to watch unfold. Both characters are sympathetic, Henry is hilarious, shy honest Reed is cuddle-worthy and you root for them and their happy ending. The secondary characters are wonderful too and you wish you had friends like Annika and Sean. And yes, it may all be a little too sweet and a little too easy, but it’s just so lovely and makes you feel so happy, that you cannot hold it against the story.

This is warmly recommended for a day when you need that little ray of sunshine to pick you up – the HEA is so lovely it made me tear up!

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Review of Falling Down by Eli Easton

Falling DownFalling Down by Eli Easton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love Eli Easton. I love her when she is doing sweetness, light and fun and I love her when she goes more serious and give us depth and emotional turmoil. And this one is probably her darkest, most melancholy story yet.

Both of our MCs are haunted by emotional wounds. Josh is 18, left adrift when his mother dies suddenly of a brain aneurism, homeless and all alone in the world he just gives up. He decides to travel to New England to watch the fall leaves his mother always wanted them to go see and then end it all. He has nothing left to live for.

Mark is in his twenties. A former marine, broken by his experiences in Afghanistan, working as a handyman in a small village in The White Mountains. Closeted to his large family and plagued by nightmares and loneliness.

He discovers Josh sleeping under a bridge outside his cabin one night and end up giving him a sleeping bag. Coffee and breakfast. A job and place to sleep.
The relationship between the two move slowly and organically. Josh is seesawing between despair and hope through most of the story and it is not a light read. His mother is so much a part of him, that she walks beside him and talks to him often, but not really offering the advice and words he needs.

Even if we all see it coming, the last couple of chapters are still hard to push through. There was definite ugly crying for my part. But thank you god, Ms. Easton gives us a lovely epilogue, which makes all that melancholy lift and leaves us with hope instead.

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