Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mini-Reviews: Latest M/M Reads

During the past few weeks, I've been quite sick with flu and a viral infection. Since I cannot NOT read, in between spinning rooms and sleeping bouts, I chose to read short pieces that I could finish faster. I have a huge M/M TBR pile and decided this was the perfect time to tackle it. I'm still quite sick and not really up to par, so I'll be posting some M/M mini-impressions for you when I can.

While blog hopping and visiting friends, I encountered the blitz for Cover Me by L.B. Gregg, her new release and realized that I had not read anything by her yet! *gasp*. So, I decided to begin at the beginning and read Gobsmacked by L.B. Gregg, the first book in the Men of Smithfield series.

The story begins when Mark goes totally out of control after finding out that his partner Jamie is cheating on him. The opening scene caught me unaware as I was reading it while commuting on my way home (on the bus), and it was all I could do not to laugh out loud -- whatever you do, don't read the first scene in public, I was actually mewling. However, after that scene, the situation spirals into some violence between these two and we witness how Mark loses not only focus, but his judgment suffers after he finds out that all he believed about Jamie turns out to be false.

While all this is happening, Mark gets in touch with his friend Tony for help. Tony happens to be the small town's hot Trooper and a childhood friend. He is also a man whom he loved throughout his teenage years, but whom he gave up on, believing he was not wanted. Tony helps him out as much as he can... but not before the situation reaches a serious climax.

A combination of some very funny and some seriously scary moments, this story is a roller coaster -- Mark's emotional roller coaster -- I seriously loved his character. In this book I found some great characterization, incredibly hot, hot scenes... I mean scorching in my opinion, and the realization that sometimes we're blind because we want to be. I truly enjoyed the ride.


The Englor Affair by J.L. Langley. Now this one was a mixed bag for me... I loved the whole steampunk feel to it. It was very well done... the Regency details weaved in with the sci/fi, planetary details were great. Langley does an excellent job of giving us those great details of how the society works, as well as the political intrigue and the mystery. The characterization was excellent too for the most part... I fell in love with Simon and his friends as characters before I knew it. The sex in the story is hot and steamy too, there's a lot of chemistry between Simon and Payton during those scenes.

My problem with the book came with Payton's character. He is from the Regelence Planet where men marry men, exclusively -- a whole different society from that of Englor. Now, this is a great set up and some wonderful issues arise from these differences. However, Payton's character was a contradiction. We are told that these men from Regelence tend to be strong and violent at times, etc... in other words their DNA is such that they would make great warriors, so you would expect these men to be a certain way, but to me that's not what we were shown. There was something about Payton character I felt was written more like a missish historical heroine. The way he acted, his reactions, his feelings, his thoughts, almost everything about Payton screamed heroine to me... with the exception of a few obvious fight scenes and during those hot scenes with Simon, ergo the contradiction in characterization.

I was also surprised at how easily Simon made his decision to marry Payton -- that was a big Huh? moment for me -- and the use of the "big misunderstanding" often used in historicals, that I thought was thrown in to tie the end bugged me. So yes, I thoroughly enjoyed most of the book and had major reservations about the rest.

ETA: I meant to add this and forgot (I'm still out of it). I understand The Englor Affair is a really popular book and I might be in the minority here. To be fair, I have not read My Fair Captain and might have missed something in the world building when it comes to these characters, so I'll be going backwards in this series and reading it. I'll let you know what I think when I read it. :)

4 comments:

  1. Awww, I'm sorry to hear you're still sick, Hils!! I hope you recover soon!!

    LOL, at least you're still reading :D

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  2. Sorry to hear you're still sick! That sucks big monkey balls. lol I hope you feel better soon.

    I loved Gobsmacked but I loved Happy Ending even more. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on that one.

    Yes, you MUST read My Fair Captain. That's just wonderful m/m goodness. And I think it will explain some of the issues that you had with Payton's character. Not all of the Regelence men are warriors - there are the alpha's and the beta's and Payton's def. a beta.

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  3. I don't usually comment,but I'm so glad you enjoyed Gob! Great description--it's a roller coaster for sure. Fast!

    Hope you're feeling better, and you MUST read My Fair Captain. Most excellent.

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  4. Nath, Tracy, LBG, thank you all for your good wishes. :)

    Tracy, I'll definitely be reading My Fair Captain, I had the feeling I missed something there... I read Happy Ending and will be posting on it later -- I can see why you like it so much. :)

    LBG-- Thank you for stopping by and for the great ride you gave us with Gobsmacked! That first scene is not one I'll forget anytime soon. *g*

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