YA Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the UniverseAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Published by: Simon and Schuster

Format: Paperback

Genre: YA

Reviewed by: Judith

Score: all of the stars ever given anywhere, ever

If you’re here on I Love YA Fiction, you more than likely know that I…well, I love YA fiction. Really love it. I love the character development, the moment of self-awareness, the deepening maturity and the subtle change from child to adult. It’s a heady mix and beautiful to read. Only problem? I read so much of it over the last three years that it all got rather tired and monotonous; the dreaded B word cropped up quite a lot whenever I talked about books. You all know the B word, right? It’s the kiss of death for authors and reads alike: BORING. That’s right. All the YA books I read were just boring.

So when a friend suggested I give Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe a shot, I was skeptical and ready to be bored bored bored.

But ya know what? I was wrong wrong wrong! This book is outstanding! It’s all the best parts of YA with none of the BS. And if you’re anything like me, it’ll hook you just as quickly…

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Exclusive Excerpt #2 for Roan Parrish’s In the Middle of Somewhere

Today, I’ve got another gorgeous and sexy exclusive excerpt for the highly-anticipated In the Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish.

This one is so hot, I have to smack a warning label on it: there’s cursing, there’s sexy innuendo, there’s definitely nothing in here you should be looking at if you’re under 18. If you are, don’t go any further! I MEAN IT! (seriously, if you’re under 18 stop here, ‘kay?)

So without further ado…

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An Interview with Alexis Hall, Author of For Real and Glitterland

Last week, I had the great pleasure of interviewing Alexis Hall, romance author whose latest work, For Real, came out June 1st from Riptide Publishing. We chatted about this, his other works, queer lit, and the deep bowels of London, amongst others.

For Real by Alexis HallFor Real:

Laurence Dalziel is worn down and washed up, and for him, the BDSM scene is all played out. Six years on from his last relationship, he’s pushing forty and tired of going through the motions of submission.

Then he meets Toby Finch. Nineteen years old. Fearless, fierce, and vulnerable.  Everything Laurie can’t remember being.

Toby doesn’t know who he wants to be or what he wants to do. But he knows, with all the certainty of youth, that he wants Laurie. He wants him on his knees. He wants to make him hurt, he wants to make him beg, he wants to make him fall in love.

The problem is, while Laurie will surrender his body, he won’t surrender his heart. Because Toby is too young, too intense, too easy to hurt. And what they have—no matter how right it feels—can’t last. It can’t mean anything.

It can’t be real.

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Exclusive Excerpt #1 for In the Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish

I have a treat for you.

I know, I know, you’re all agog: what can it be? WHAT CAN IT BE?!

Only the sweetest, most sexy, most literary treat you’ve had in a while. Today I have an exclusive sneak peek at Roan Parrish’s In the Middle of Somewhere. It’s the first of several and believe me, you will only want more cause Roan? Man, can she write.

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NA Review: The Girl Next Door by Amy Jo Cousins

Girl Next Door artThe Girl Next Door by Amy Jo Cousins

Published by: Samhain Publishing

Format: Kindle ARC

Genre: Romance

Reviewed by: Judith

Score: 10/10

People. Hands to yourselves and take one big step back: I have a new book boyfriend and he is off limits.

No really, while I may have shared in the past, this time I mean it.

Cash is mine.

We first met him in Off Campus and were given hints at how truly amazing he could be. But in The Girl Next Door, he proves hands down why he’s practically perfect (for me) in every way. He’s that jock with a heart of gold willing to play the lovable goof to spare someone pain; the sexy and extremely open minded hottie willing to try anything once and break all barriers in the bedroom; the dude who will give up a job and a home and a sweet life handed to him by his parents in order to mold himself into something self-made and worthwhile. He’s well…he’s Cash and no matter what some people might contend, he is ALL mine.

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Book Reveal: In the Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish

ROAN PARRISH.

Name ring any bells? No?

Well, I can promise: you will know it soon enough cause this author’s debut novel, In the Middle of Somewhere, is one of the most effortlessly nuanced, effortlessly beautiful, and oh-so effortlessly sexy stories I’ve read. EVER. You will find yourself reading and rereading entire chapters as much for the naughty bits as for the beautiful language and unique plot. Roan has crafted a gorgeous book and I’m thrilled to share the cover and blurb with you. Ready for it? Ok, get ready for hot…

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Old School Review of Poppy Z Brite’s Lost Souls

LostLost Souls Souls by Poppy Z Brite

Published by: Dell

Format: Paperback

Genre: Paranormal Vampire Horror

Reviewed by: Judith and Santino

Score: We didn’t bother!

[Warning] Lots of spoilers for this one…and we get wordy…

We’ve all been there: you read a book a few years back and now, brimming over with nostalgia and love for all those half-forgotten scenes you want to whip that book out and reread it.

But maybe…you’re a little trepidatious?You remember something about dirty hot vampires who liked to rip out throats and play at being rock stars. You remember a pervading sense of horror as humans and half humans and creatures of the night vie for top billing as the creepiest character. You remember one particular scene so grotesque that it’s literally haunted you FOR YEARS and that’s when you think, “Man, what this reread really needs is a buddy. Stat.”

So I found myself one…and oh yeah, it’s author Santino Hassell.

Santino and I set out to read Poppy Z Brite’s Lost Souls over the course of a week. We each pulled out our battered and tattered paperbacks from our sad emo childhoods and set to work. The result? For two people who had adored this particular read as teens, we had two rather different takes as adults…

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Romance review: For Real by Alexis Hall

For Real by Alexis HallFor Real by Alexis Hall

Published by: Riptide Books

Format: Kindle ARC

Genre: M/M Romance

Reviewed by: Liz

Score: 9/10

I can’t tell,” says one character to another, “if I’m being seduced or bludgeoned.”

Which is something you will need to know when starting “For Real” – it will do both at the same, and you will love every second of it. Much like with the rest of Alexis Hall’s work, you have to be ready to enter into an exceptionally personal, tight, and vulnerable point of view, where the narrator misses no pertinent detail. The words quickly slither under your skin and into your mind until you are in the scene, with these people, experiencing what they experience, and feeling what they feel.

Ostensibly, this book is billed as a BDSM novel, but what it truly is at its heart, is an unapologetic and stunning romance centered around – and also having nothing to do with – kink. If you go into it expecting carefully worded negotiations around safewords, soft and hard limits, and which toys are allowed to go where, when, and how, you may be a bit disappointed. However, if you are looking for a beautifully realized love story with a stunning backdrop of sexual compatibility that goes beyond the physical, it’s hard to imagine you won’t find it here.

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Quickie Review: Body Art by Jordan C Price

Body ArtBody Art by Jordan Castillo Price

Genre: Thriller M/M Novella

Format: Kindle

Score: 8/10

Plot: Does everyone have a certain “type” they end up with…whether they want to or not? If Ray Carlucci’s ex is anything to go by, Ray likes his men gorgeous, rebellious, and chock-full of issues. But now that Ray is single again, he has a shot at a fresh start—a very fresh start, since his tattoo shop was gutted by repo men and he can fit all his belongings in the trunk of a taxi.

Ray’s shiny new chauffeur’s license lands him a job as a driver for an elderly couple on Red Wing Island. It’s a cold fall, and since the Michigan island is the summer home to snowbirds who fly south for the winter, it’s practically deserted—save for Ray’s new household and a sculptor named Anton Kopec, who works day and night twisting brambles and twine into the distorted shapes of macabre creatures. Compelling, bizarre, and somewhat disturbing…not just the sculptures, but the artist, too. Ray has a feeling Anton is just his “type.”

Despite their scorching chemistry, when a dead body is unearthed by some workers and a freak ice storm traps them all on the island, Ray can’t say for certain that his new flame isn’t capable of murder.

Review: The same holds true here as it does for all of Jordan C Price’s books: there just aren’t nearly enough words. There never are. But what it lacks in quantity, JCP more than makes up for in stellar writing and fascinating characterization. This novella starts off fast, throwing us straight into Ray’s sad and dismal world and then propels us forward at warp speed onto the isolated island where all the tense drama unfolds. Into 90 pages (there really are that many?! It reads as so much shorter! MORE WORDS), she jam packs a handful of flushed out and intriguing secondary characters, a disturbing and chilling setting, and enough tension and thrills that you’ll find yourself breathless and cursing when the end comes way too quickly. This is truly thrilling drama – there’s the dying master of the house, the unwelcoming household staff, the creepy neighbor/possible love interest, and many a dizzying plot twist to keep you guessing. The writing is incredibly nuanced for such a short read. The characters are fascinating and far deeper than you normally find in novellas. All in all, a quick, lovely read from the queen of the macabre that will leave you wanting more…so much more.

What you’ll love: extremely creepy in a way that only JCP can do with tension that ratchets higher and higher in a short amount of time; tattooed MC and tortured artist love interest with a whole lot of chemistry and some extremely hot and rather unexpected love scenes (there’s a particular car scene that will have you fanning yourself!); a fully realized cast of secondary characters; a mystery that needs solving!

What you might not like: too short, TOO SHORT; we don’t get a whole lot of Ray’s backstory or current motivations; the relationship between Ray and Anton seems to spring out of nowhere without a lot of explanation for it; a mystery that needs solving!

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Quickie Review: Scientific Method (Book 1) by Kris Ripper

scientific methodScientific Method (Book 1) by Kris Ripper

Genre: Kinky  M/M

Format: Kindle

Score: 10/10

Word of Caution: these books are really for 18+. Lots of kink, lots of smut, lots of…Kris Ripper.

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