Tag Archives: complexity of plot

A tale well told with loads of feels

the good green earth ebookThe Good Green Earth by V.L. Locey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Each time I open a book from Vicki Locey I know I’m going to get a tale told well with depth and loads of feels, usually with a side order of ice hockey.

This one did all that but it also did more.

For one, it made me hate a character with the fire of a burning sun and all with just a few throwaway lines and a bit of explanation.

But by all that’s holy, I wanted to do painful damage to Nate’s brother Chris.

Secondly, it gave me a complex and emotionally scared young man who I wanted to cover in bubble wrap and save from all the hurt he’d had to deal with in such a short lifetime.

Thirdly it gave me a perfect person to make that safe place for Nate. Bran had his own issues and traumas to deal with, but his older pain has been processed, giving him the experience to know how to support his younger lover.

Fourthly, it examines the damaging culture of alcohol which has been tied up in sport for so long. It looks at how drinking is almost a daily routine if you’re a sports star and how getting utterly hammered isn’t frowned on until something goes wrong.

The slow development of Nate and Bran’s relationship is supported by a bunch of ornery seniors, one awesomely supportive agent, a bunch of other interesting side characters and two entitled seagulls who bring light relief to what could have been an overly angsty narrative.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Complex and intriguing introduction to this new fantasy series

apple boy cover finalApple Boy by Isobel Starling

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There’s a lot going on here!

And it’s not concluded at the end of this first book in Isobel Starling’s new fantasy series either, but there is the start of a complex narrative which I’m eager to learn more of.

I believe the three books together will bring different characters’ backgrounds and stories so far into one over-reaching plot that will conclude once all is done.

First up was Adam and Winter and they’re very cute together and delightfully stumble their way not only into a relationship but also into an epic adventure.

It’s really hard to review this without giving the key parts away, which I’m not going to do, but let’s just say I was kept interested from start to finish even when it all got a little bit complicated.

The book itself is gorgeous, with internal illustrations and a stunning world map, there’s also a handy glossary at the start with a decent chunk of background information on each of the realms.

Like all good fantasy novels, it leaves as much unanswered as it does concluded so I can’t wait to see where the story goes next.

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Jay’s latest takes a path less travelled for a complex look at a second chance love

Second ChanceSecond Chance by Jay Northcote

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Awesome, awesome book from Jay which is all about finding your true self, living an authentic life and finding that the one who stole your heart as a teenager not only still has it, but is willing to hand theirs over too.

It’s authentic and at times it reads harsher than the norm because it’s not just your typical romance where guy meets guy, guy falls for guy, there’s a bump in the road and then all ends well – although fear not all that does happen here too!

There’s past history between Nate and Jack, but it’s complicated by Nate’s pre-transition role in Jack’s life, when he was still Nat and his best female friend.

It doesn’t avoid the conversations about what it’s like for a gay FtM transgender character to get involved in a relationship with a cisgender gay man, it lays it out clearly that it won’t be smooth sailing.

There’s discussions about how Nate prefers to name his genitals, there’s discussions about how the sex will happen.

Now that doesn’t mean this book isn’t as sexy and that the lovemaking between the two isn’t hot, not one bit. Their experiences together are even more emotional, given the history, and they’re just as erotic and treated with the same skill as all Jay’s other books.

These two are beautiful together and it’s a joy to read them exploring their feelings again, especially as its also a mature romance, both men are in their 40s and isn’t that a lovely change from all the super perfect young things normally found in the genre!

There’s turbulence on the way, families complicate things and Jack totally screws things up through his own fears but there is some great groveling, a bunch of soggy daffodils, and the blessing of a teenage daughter to make it right.

The epilogue is just all ends up perfect and I had such a huge smile on my face as it jumps just a small way into the future but enough to know these two will be growing old together over the roast beef dinner and spotted dick while the rest of the world just gently passes by.

#ARC kindly provided by the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Brilliant paranormal from Jay Northcote examines a sense of self and place

The Half WolfThe Half Wolf by Jay Northcote

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When Jay said he was thinking of writing a shifter story I was enthusiastically cheering him on and this book is proof positive that he can turn his hand to the paranormal side of MM romance as well as he does young and new adult.

It’s inherently British too, set in the Welsh valleys where it’s entirely too easy to believe there really are shifters living among the tiny little farming communities.

It also very much shines a light on another typically British tradition – that of travelling people who follow the routes their families have driven for generations around the country.

By that I don’t mean the New Age Travellers, as they came to be known, but the genuine Romani families whose lives have changed little only to exchange a horse and vardo for a pickup and a caravan.

There’s also an element of self-discovery, as Quinn begins to feel something’s up after meeting Kellan and and having an instant attraction to the shifter.

I also loved that this didn’t feel in the slightest bit paranormal outside of the turning into a wolf bit that is! Now by that I mean there wasn’t an emphasis on the supernatural fact that these people could turn into wolves. It was just treated as one of those things.

Mostly The Half Wolf is a book about discovering your true self, about falling in love, about family being more than just blood, it’s about friendships and fears, about ancient mistrusts and new hopes; it’s settling down and digging in roots, and it’s about always being willing to listen to the voice inside when it nags you to go out and find your place.

It’s lovely and passionate and sweet and emotional and it packs a lot in to a fairly short length. I hope Jay lingers in this world for a while.

The beautiful cover from Garrett Leigh perfectly sums up the delights inside as Quinn awakens in a number of ways.

#ARC provided by the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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