Their Stories

Mostly MM Novels and Manga. Occasionally Transgressive Fiction and Sci-Fi

Count Me Possessed Too

A Case of Possession - K.J. Charles

It's my second time reading the series and I love it even more than the first time. 

I enjoyed the mystery part immensely+ we're introduced to interesting side characters like Stetphen's small crew of justiciars, the Big Scary Council...

And we have more Merrick, y'all! 

One of the reasons why I love the books is the way it's written, the great dialogues:

"Inspector Rickaby turned Crane's card over and back as though he expected to find a clue on it. 
"Earl Crane. Shouldn't there be an "of" in that?
"No. It's like Earl Gray".
"The tea?"
"The lord" 

And did I mention am totally crazy about Stephen and Lucien?
On to the next part, because I need more time with those two. 

More Mystery, Less Thrill

Mere Mortals - Erastes

The book follows the story of three boys -Crispin, Myles and Jude who have been taken as ward by a mysterious rich man. 
The three get the life most people can only dream of. 
Too good to be true, right?

As it turns out later there's something common between the adolescents and they were not just chosen randomly.
The very way the story is told gives off the feeling something is going to happen. And I mean something very, very bad. 

It was suspenseful at first, all right.

However I felt like at some point I am just waiting for THAT something to happen...

And WOAH, it actually happens- literally in the last chapters. 
Now here comes my problem. 
I know, the action was building for that moment of discoveries and revelations/ realizations the whole time. But to me it all felt a bit too over- dramatic and over the top. 

In short- there is a lot of mystery, a pinch of romance /although not much focus on it, but there are some hot scenes among the whole waiting-for-the-storm-to-come /.

And I love the way Erastes works with the very language. It was the plot development that didn't really work for me.

The Secret Service vs. The Counterfeiters

The Road to Silver Plume - Tamara Allen
I love this author and her prose. 
She always manages to build a BELIEVABLE romantic relationship between characters who seem to be impossible to fall for each other. 
Very original plot and unexpected turns. I adore her brave and trustworthy characters.

Made My Heart Sing

Whistling in the Dark - Tamara Allen

"And jazz- it didn't sing sweetly, like the music he'd been raised on. It shouted out, fierce to lift the weariest spirit. It could own a fellow's soul if he let it- and even if he didn't " 
I wish I could hear that jazz, played in clubs in New York at that time.

It's one of those books whose characters I want to know personally.
I wanted to listen to Sutton play, go wander the streets at 2 am with Jack, go to their parties and have a drink with them. I wanted to have a friend like Harry...

The author has done an amazing job composing the setting, building masterfully a character at a time when PTSD did not even exist as an idea, when free jazz and "Dixieland" did not hold the significance they do now, and the Prohibition knocking on the door.

This is my favorite book by Tamara Allen and for some strange reason while I read I remembered Palahniuk's words describing the world we live in now : 
" We're the middle children of the history man, no purpose or place, we have no Great war, no Great depression, our great war is a spiritual war, our great depression is our lives " 

Whistling in the dark is that one work that made me want to time travel and shake the hands of those characters, who've lived and experienced all that we / for better or worse / can never have


If It Ain't Love - Tamara Allen
I remember talking to a friend and me telling her I sometimes like sad stories not necessarily with a happy ending, because such is often life, and then she asked me : 
- Why write about desperation and hard times if there's no hope in the end?
I think this is what those 34 pages are- a tale of hope in times when it's very hard to be expectant for better days and wish for a happy ending. It's remarkable how such a short story managed to convey such a message and I'm glad I found it.

Gather The Gentlemen

Another Place in Time - KJ Charles,   Jordan L. Hawk ,  Aleksandr Voinov,  Kaje Harper, Tamara Allen, Joanna  Chambers

Office Romance by Tamara Allen- 

" There has to be more to life than measurable benefits. What about values we can't calculate in hours or dollars? If this is all we fought for... " 
Tamara never fails to send me emotionally exactly where she wants me to be with her stories...I loved the way she portrayed the historical period with all its difficulties and struggles. The main characters are two men who seem so improbable to to fall for each other at first and i really liked their interactions and the way their relationship developed. 

Introducing Mr. Winterbourne by Joanna Chambers-

My first encounter with the author. I found her story quite entertaining. So entertaining, that I got some of her other books, which I can't wait to read. 

The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh by KJ Charles-

What did I get into with that one...
I will not praise the style of writing, the story or the characters. I will only confess I finished the rest of the books in the series for less than a week after reading this short story. 

Unfair in Love and War by Kaje Harper- 

It definitely made me feel differently from the way the other stories in the anthology did. For some reason it made me feel nostalgic and even sad in some moments. The characters seemed quite honest and real - I really liked that one.

Carousel by Jordan L. Hawk

I have read the Whyborne and Griffin, Books 1-3: Widdershins, Threshold, and Stormhaven, and Carousel was another entertaining episode of the two characters' adventures. I cannot say if the story would appeal to me the same way hadn't I read the rest of the books though...

Deliverance by Aleksandr Voinov - 

I have a special attitude towards Voinov's books, since he's one of the first MM novelists I encountered, and I always, always have great expectations from his works. I haven't read The Lion of Kent yet, and perhaps this is why I could not fully understand the characters' motives. I might get back to Deliverance again, having read William's story.

Be Careful Whom You Trust

The Only Gold - Tamara Allen

I am not sure if the romance blooms slowly, to me the story had a certain flow and then at some point it made a very sharp turn which I totally didn't see coming...

My opinion about Jonah changed dramatically and I think I began understanding his reasons.
I liked Reid / of course/ as well as the side- characters. Tamara Allen is great at creating strong and likable side characters.
Beautifully described historical setting as usually for this author and I am always in love with everything she writes. 

Are Heroes Human Beings?

The Heirs of Fortune - Heather Domin





The tale of Drusus Germanicus , who was a Roman politician and military commander / January 14, 38 BC– summer of 9 BC / , is told from an interesting perspective. I will not focus on this-
overall, just as in the first book, the whole depiction of the setting is great. 

Please, keep in mind the book is quite heavy on historical facts and with not so much focus on romance. 


What I expected was maybe to see the characters more as humans, not so much as heroes. 
I wished they would surprise me, I hoped to think and feel with them. In stead, I felt more like a bystander, and they were more untouchable than ever. 
Which I didn't really expect, since the first book laid the foundation for different understanding on the image of the Classical Hero. 

As far as I checked, the author is planning on writing a third book- Valerian's Legion: The War of Illyria - maybe that's where the surprises I hope for will be. 

Now Fight!

The Soldier of Raetia - Heather Domin



Except for the fact that Augustus Caesar preferred Raetian wine to any other, I knew close to nothing about the region and the system for dislocation of auxiliary troops in Raetia. ..

Heather Domin has done an impressive work with this book - the factual information about that place at the time is so well incorporated in the fiction , that at some point I found myself looking at maps, reading about legion formations and articles describing hierarchy of the Roman Empire. 

Despite how little is known about the religious practices of Raetia,the author has used that scarce information so thoughtfully, that the picture of spiritual life in the book does not feel even for a second incomplete. 

And besides all the things I learned about SPQR, I was introduced to two very intricate characters. 
I wanted to know more about Valerian- the man behind the titles and military honors, and Dardanus - the young soldier, constantly inspired by his readings of Homer's works . Yes, the reference to Achilles is there, with a twist. 

The action though is not driven by their relationship and throughout half the book a possible affair between them seems like a very improper thought.

I like how different those two are. The age difference between Valerian and Dardanus was serving the purpose of creating a bigger contrast between them in terms of experience and status , and at the same time it was to some extent the reason for their feelings about each other. 

The first books builds a very solid foundation for development of Dardanus' character, and I really hope to see him as a strategist rather than a field legionnaire in the next book. 

As fоr Valerian- the general begins to look more and more human to me as the story unfolds and i really want to know how much of his character will be revealed.


Crush - Richard Siken

As I have mentioned before, I've always thought preference for poetry is very strictly individual, this is valid for all genres of literature, of course- it's just that to me poetry gives more freedom for interpretation of forms and compositions. 


It feels like interpreting poems is something VERY intimate.


I am not going to actually review the book, since I lack the vocabulary I need to express my admiration, so I'll only share my favorite part of a poem : 

“For a while I thought I was the dragon.
I guess I can tell you that now. And, for a while, I thought I was
the princess,
cotton candy pink, sitting there in my room, in the tower of the castle,
young and beautiful and in love and waiting for you with
but the princess looks into her mirror and only sees the princess,
while I’m out here, slogging through the mud, breathing fire,
and getting stabbed to death.
Okay, so I’m the dragon. Big deal.
You still get to be the hero. " 

The Magpie Lord - K.J. Charles

The very fact I called one of my colleagues at work Stephen / and his name is nothing close to that/ just because I couldn't stop thinking of the book it's explanatory enough how much I love it . 
Thank you. K.J. Charles for not naming one of your main characters some name like Jabari or Aloysius, cause that would've gotten me in trouble.


Mnevermind 3: Life is Awesome - Jordan Castillo Price

This will not be an actual review, I will just put together a few thoughts on the series. 

What happens every time I read a JCP book is after I finish it, it's like I've spent time with her characters in real life and they are actual people. 
If a book makes you go and read two more books and articles on the topics discussed in it, that undoubtedly proves how great it is. 

Mnevermind is perfectly well thought and built. Great characters- I loved Elijah, and at the same time I felt very emotionally involved with Daniel. The way the interaction between them was progressing was beyond unpredictable and I really appreciated how their problems wouldn't just disappear if they closed their eyes
Amazing concept and focus on the detail, I don't even want to think how much research JCP has done before writing the series

The Persistence of Memory - Jordan Castillo Price

As usual, I don't know what I get myself into when I read a Jordan Castillo Price novel...


The Well - Marie Sexton

Stephen King meets Mark Frost / and why not David Lynch /

"Welcome to the world of paranormal investigation. Even when you experience something first hand, you're left with more questions than answers and no proof whatsoever. " 

This is a very good, dynamic story for all the fans of suspense and mystery. 

There isn't much focus on the romantic side of Pierce and Haven's relationship, but I think that fit the story very well. 
I liked how the action is composed with chapters set in present day and past. I will not spoil anything about the murder case from 12 years ago, the investigation of which brings back our main characters together,I'll only admit I couldn't really predict who the culprit was, so the book kept my interest to the very end. 

And let's not forget we have a paranormal element. 
I won't dwell on that, since I think my fellow readers have shared some great thoughts on that side of the story, let me just share my favorite example Pierce gives about human perception:

"Let's say I stand in front of a room full of people with a little vial of water. I tell them it's peppermint oil. Then I open the vial and spill it on the floor. I tell them to raise their hands the minute the smell of peppermint reaches them. Without fail, about half the people in the room will eventually raise their hands. Now, are they lying? Or is just the thought of peppermint oil enough to convince their brain they smell it? And if their brain thinks they smell it, and our brains create our reality, then how is thinking we smell something any different from actually smelling it?" 

This was my first of Marie Sexton's stories and I am definitely looking forward to seeing more of her works. 

**Copy kindly provided to me via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.**

In a nutshell- it was awesome!

Riding Drag - shukyou

This is a small gem I discovered thanks to my friends on Goodreads. 

I won't retell the story or describe the protagonists, as it's better if you see for yourself. 
I'll just point out Riding Drag has a very original setting and characters. Awesome prose and dialogues and I'd definitely read more from this author.


It is free online and you can read it here .

"Thirty-five and ye still believe in goblins?"

The Gentleman and the Rogue - Bonnie Dee, Summer Devon
"You are rather like a child" Alan said, but he didn't sound scornful, and his tight mouth had relaxed. 
" I skipped that part o'life. So I decided to try again when I can". 

Meet two VERY different from each other characters. The stone-cold-and-composed at first sight Sir Alan and the easy-going-I -always -have-something-to-say boy from the streets Jem. 
The meet accidentally and the irresistible charms of our Jem capture Alan's attention immediately. 
The book starts with a very intriguing dialogue between the two of them that got me hooked from page one. 
But I'll be honest- I didn't like Jem much at first. I thought he lacks dignity.I know, I know... However, as the action unfolded and our characters had a very difficult task ahead, he won my respect and trust with the way he cooped with the situation and the risks he took. 

Overall, this is a very good historical novel with lovable characters, who don't get their happy ending easily. 
Oh, and there is a story about a goblin.

Currently reading

Maurice by E.M. Forster

DF's books

The Magpie Lord
Veronika Decides to Die
Dark Space
Fence #3
Similar Terms
From points of three
Nanohana Boys
The Road to Silver Plume
An Uncomfortable Truth
Wolf in the House
Milk and Honey
ほんと野獣 1 [Honto Yajuu 1]
King's Maker
Kindred Hearts
Fence #2
Riding Drag
Life is Awesome

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