Rock by Anyta Sunday
October 1, 2014
About the Book:
When Cooper’s parents divorce, he finds himself landed in Week About—one week with his mum and one week with his dad.
Only, it’s not just his dad he has to live with. There’s Lila, too: The other woman, the one who stole the rock-solid foundation of his life.
And then . . .
There’s Jace. Lila’s son. Lila’s smug, regurgitated-fish-scale-blue eyed son.
All Cooper wants is to have his family back the way it once was, but there’s something about this boy that promises things will never be the same again.
Resisting the realities of his new life, Cooper and Jace get off to a rocky start. But rocky start or not, after hundreds of shared memories together, they forge something new. A close . . . friendship.
Because friendship is all they can have. Although it’s not like they are real brothers. Technically, they’re not even stepbrothers . . .
But how does that friendship evolve under the pressures of life?
Under pressures of the heart?
After I discovered Anyta Sunday books I went looking for her other popular books. Rock jumped out at me for having a high rating, and a more unusual plot. I haven’t read many romance novels about step-siblings, because it straddles a line for me. However, Rock intrigued me. I was curious.
For the first half of the story I was captivated. I loved reading about Cooper and Jace growing up. I loved their friendship as children, learning to navigate their broken families and figuring out if they could be friends. I loved their dueling stares, and how Jace started noticing and collecting rocks almost right after meeting Cooper. I could have read about them as teenagers forever.
Unfortunately it was just as High School ended that everything went south for me. Okay, so I’m going to just say this, and it is a spoiler so if you don’t want to know, jump to the next paragraph. I just feel like this is something others may want to know, so I’m going to say it. They discover there’s a chance the two of them are biological brothers. A DNA test is done, and they choose to not open and read the envelope. It clouded my entire read, both because it made me uncomfortable and because I thought it caused the book to have way too much undue angst.
I’m sure I’ll think about this for a long time, but I’m not sure that I’ll be thinking about it in a good way. What could have been a really beautiful story now feels marred, and it sucks.
Lovesick Gods by Amanda Meuwissen
October 2, 2017
About the Book: Heroes aren’t meant to act like their villains—or fall in love with them.
The elements touch everyone on Earth—Fire, Water, even Light—but every so often someone becomes more attuned to their elemental leaning and develops true power. When an evil Elemental known as Thanatos arrived in Olympus City, it saw the rise of its first hero—Zeus. But the death toll caused by defeating Thanatos changed Zeus, who by day is young detective Danny Grant.
It’s been six months since Thanatos terrorized the city at the start of Lovesick Gods. Danny should be used to his duty behind the mask, but the recent past haunts him. His girlfriend left him, he snaps at the barest provocation, his life feels empty—he needs an outlet, any outlet to pull him out of his depression.
Enter notorious thief Malcolm Cho, the Ice Elemental Prometheus. There was a time when Danny welcomed a fight with Cho, filled with colorful banter and casual flirtations that were a relief compared to Thanatos. Even as a criminal, Cho had recognized the threat Thanatos posed and promised to help Danny stop him, but the day Danny needed Cho, he never showed. Cho was the reason so many people died that day—including Danny’s mother.
Danny decides to teach the man a lesson and fan the fire of their attraction into something more. At worst, he’ll get some no-strings-attached sex out of the deal and finally blow off steam; at best, he’ll get Cho to fall in love with him and then break his heart to spite him. Danny doesn’t expect to fall for Cho in the process, and he certainly can’t predict the much darker threat on the horizon.
Lovesick Gods is another one of those books that, no matter how many issues I had with it, I can’t seem to get it out of my head. I finished reading last night, sometime around 11pm, and it was still stuck in my thoughts so deeply I was dreaming about these characters and imagining what is going to happen next. Basically, I dreamed a whole ending for the story… but it wasn’t very good. Amanda Meuwissen’s going to be so much better, I just know it.
So, first, I did have issues. The whole ‘make him fall for me to break his heart’ was so immature, which is fine. It can be immature. I can handle that. What was frustrating to me was how it was treated like some big horrid, evil thing. Danny was going to break Cho’s heart, and that made him soooo horrible. Nobody would understand how he could be so evil, as to break Cho’s heart. Cho would be so disgusted if he knew Danny wanted to ‘break his heart’. Danny was a borderline villain!
Come on! Seriously! Cho is a thief. He’s killed people. He didn’t show up to backup Danny like promised, which ended up being catastrophic. Trust me, planning to break Cho’s heart is teenager revenge. It’s not that heinous. Lovesick Gods is only part 1, so there’s no big conclusion. It has a cliffhanger, so it’s not a spoiler for me to say that if Cho acts like he can’t possibly forgive Danny’s initial lame idea for revenge, I’m going to be seriously annoyed.
Also, I think the story needed some editing. There were too many wordy descriptions.
I thought I’d feel worse about Lovesick Gods, but when it was all done I realized how much Danny and Cho ended up meaning to me. They snuck up on me and made me love their relationship. If I already had Lovesick Titans in hand I would have immediately moved on to part 2, and not because of the cliffhangers, but because I want to see how Cho is going to handle Danny’s depression and self-loathing. How are they going to hold onto each other despite Hades and Thanatos, and their own broken history. That’s what I want to get to. I want these two mean to get their HEA, and I want to read all about it.
Deal Maker by Lily Morton
Deal Maker #1
December 22, 2017
About the Book: Sometimes your mouth makes deals that your heart can’t honour.
Jude is a highly successful model, but a very reluctant one. His life is full of casual hook-ups with pretty men in glamorous locations, but it’s still empty. However, circumstances decreed a long time ago that this was his path, so he’s resolutely stayed on it and accepted his fate with good grace. He made a deal with himself and his hook-ups. Get in, get out and no ties with anyone.
However, an accident at home one night leads to him making a new deal and accepting the offer of help from an unlikely source. It leads to an unexpected summer of falling in love with a larger than life man and his child.
But by the end of the summer his reasons for not staying are still valid. Will he turn away? Can he?
Asa is a talented actor who has spent time away from the scene to look after his son. But now he’s back, and the last thing he needs are complications from the gorgeous man who is staying with him. Scarred from too many betrayals, he has no intention of forming a lasting tie with anyone. However, he can’t resist the beautiful man with secrets, and to his horror he develops feelings.
But a deal’s a deal and they said it was just for the summer. What can Asa do with a man who has forever in his eyes and goodbye on his lips?
Possibly choosing Deal Maker as my third Kindle Unlimited trial book was unfair. I’ve already read Rule Breaker, and enjoyed it, so I knew I would at least think Deal Maker was decent. Well, it was more than decent. It was AWESOME!
As much as I liked Rule Breaker, I didn’t jump right into this spin off simply because I was sure it would be very heavy on the angst meter. Rule Breaker was angsty, and I thought this one would be worse (just based on Jude’s history and the synopsis). It was the complete opposite of what I anticipated. Deal Maker was light and fluffy and sweet! Jude was one of the funniest characters I’ve ever read, and Asa was the perfect blend of gentleness and alphaness. He was vibrant and good-natured. I loved how tender he was with Jude, even when Jude deserved a bit of wrath. Asa juggled Jude’s antics with humor, like he could see right through Jude’s act which I think was their success in love. Nothing Jude did could truly get under Asa’s skin. It had the opposite affect. It made Asa really look at the person Jude was, and he was enchanted.
Then, add to that, Asa’s son Billy was such a joy to read about! He was the perfect glue to draw these two men together. I adored what a brilliant father Asa was. Wonderful father figures are always going to be a huge draw for me in a story, and Asa exceeded my expectations. I also loved how quick Billy and Jude took to each other. Sometimes when you read a book with a child in it, the children aren’t as well written as the adults, and it causes any scenes with them to feel dry and emotionless. Not with Billy. I loved reading about him as much as the two men. I loved reading the three of them together especially. They’d become a family before they finally allowed themselves to recognize it. It was beautiful.
I can’t wait for Henry’s book. I keep stalking Lily Morton’s website and Goodreads for updates. I’m not expecting to love it as much as Jude and Asa, however. I was just way too crazy in love with their relationship/family, I could have read an 1000 page book about them. I know I’ll be reading this one again!
Thank you so much! This is such a thoughtful and critical review of Lovesick Gods with such wonderful excitement for book 2. I am so sorry I missed this until now, but I just shared it over my social media. I have an event coming up in a little over a week, MSP ComiCon, where I will be debuting Lovesick Titans. Technically it is already available in paperback https://www.amazon.com/Lovesick-Titans-2-Amanda-Meuwissen/dp/1732299706/, but the official release and eBook will be ready May 19th. I truly hope it lives up to your expectations for the ending and look forward to your thoughts. Again, thank you so much! This type of review is always the best to discover.
Oh my goodness, thank you so much! Lovesick Gods was actually recommended to me by Kristen Burns at Metaphors and Moonlight, and I’m so glad she did because I really did love the story you wrote and I can’t WAIT to read Lovesick Titans!
Oh hey, I was just about be like, “I loved Lovesick Gods!” and then I saw your comment that you read it cuz of me, haha. That makes me happy though! I’m so glad you loved it too! I didn’t even realize the next one would be coming out soon, and now I’m excited!
I actually went back to your blog to make sure you were the one who hinted that I might like it, and you were obviously so right! I can’t wait for the next one either.
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