Showing posts with label Glyn Sotino. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Glyn Sotino. Show all posts

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Saturday Shorts Part 1

I've gone a bit mad with the shorts this week: Possibly the result of Toy Poodle Flu or possibly just that I've found it difficult to concentrate with all the other crap going on.

*Note to self: it's time to stop feeling sorry for yourself and get on with some reviews*

Anyway, because I don't want to bore you with a huge list of shorts, I'm going to divide them up into two lots and post one lot today and another tomorrow (yes, I know I don't usually post on Sunday, but I'm making an exception this week).

Win and Lose by TC Blue
Luz is an aspiring singer in a pop group. His coach breaks down and rather than stay on the bus as he's been told, he sets off walking in the middle of a snow storm. Win is trapped in his tattoo shop by the snow, he hears knocking at the door and goes to investigate. He finds Luz passed out on his doorstep and takes him in. The two men hit it off straight away and have a wonderful few days of smexing before the snow clears enough for Luz to leave. I've said before that I enjoy TC Blue's stories but this one wasn't such a hit for me. I liked the initial situation, the sex scenes and the way that the two men gradually came to an independent realisation that they wanted this to be more than just a quick fling. However, a separation was looming on the horizon because the men didn't talk to one other. They made incorrect assumptions about how they believed the other hero felt about their time together and didn't bother to discuss this with each other. I have to be honest and say that this isn't my favourite plot device, so at that point my sympathy for the two men began to fail. However, all's well that ends well and I did finish the novella feeling happy that they'd come to their senses, even if I did want to bash their heads together at one point! Grade: Good.

Serendipity by Glyn Soitino
This British set story begins with our hero Jeff in an airport. He's been in Britain for his father's funeral and is now travelling back to Geneva where he lives and works. Before he can do that he has to suffer through his bags being searched by security, waiting for ages for his flight and then his flight being cancelled. This struck home to me because exactly the same thing happened to me in February when I was travelling from Aberdeen back to Leeds, so immediately I could connect with Jeff's frustration and rising temper. Jeff lets his temper get the better of him and makes an angry comment. Before he can be arrested for trouble causing, Jeff is rescued by a cute bloke, David, who Jeff had been checking out earlier. The situation is diffused and the two men make their way to the hotel to await their flights the next day where they discover that there aren't enough rooms for everyone. Jeff offers to share his room with David and, of course, the inevitable happens. This was an amusing story with very likable characters. As I said I could identify with Jeff and the impotent rage he feels about being stuck in the airport which springs more from his grief over his father's death than his current situation. David was a little less rounded but then again we have the story only from Jeff's point of view and he hardly knows David, so that is understandable. All in all, a well written story about a chance encounter which may lead to more. Grade: Excellent.

The Right Kind of Help by KC Warwick
This fantasy story involved trainee wizard Rowan who has been sent to help a city in need. He is partnered by his Elfin bodyguard, Valiance. Rowan is a pretty useless Wizard who has no confidence in his abilities and it doesn't help that Valiance spend most of the time making unhelpful sarcastic comments on Rowan's lack of ability. It isn't until trouble arises and Rowan has to prove himself that the dynamic changes in the relationship causing both men to re-evaluate how they really feel about each other. This was a funny story which had quite a serious theme of being true to yourself. Valiance uses his cutting wit and sarcasm to hide the fact that he has feelings for Rowan, only stepping out of that when Rowan really needs him. Rowan isn't really useless but his lack of self-esteem causes him to make mistakes. Together they make a strong team and I found it satisfying when the two heroes used that knowledge to essentially save the day. Grade: Very Good.

That's it for today. I'll be back tomorrow with three more shorts.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Saturday Shorts

Out of the Blue by Glyn Sotiňo
This charming novella was a lovely, bittersweet paranormal. Our hero, Aidan, is suffering terrible grief after the death of his partner, Richie, in a car accident two years previous to the book which also left Aidan with a bad scar on his face. He mourns Ritchie so deeply that he has all but shut himself away from the world. Richie's Mother is having a birthday party and she asks Aidan to attend. She also wants some of Richie's belongings returned to her. As Aidan is looking for these items he discovers a small glass bottle. When he removes the lid a genii, Zahir, appears and and wants to grant Aidan three wishes. The only thing Aidan wants is Ritchie back, but that can't be done so he uses his wishes throughout the story to help others instead. Aidan's shift from being completely grief stricken to starting to feel the attraction to Zahir and opening himself up to the possibility that he can love another was really delightful. It was a gradual journey through the novella and never felt forced or unrealistic. The relationship developed slowly and by the end of the book I was happy with the way that the events of the story had unfolded. It helped that both had suffered and were therefore almost kindred spirits to begin with, each able to sympathise with the situation of the other. All in all a well written book on the theme of lost love and second chances, which gains a grade of 'Very Good'.

The Whole Deal by Lorne Rodman
I was attracted to this novella by the fact that one of the heroes, Denny, only has one leg. There's a conception in m/m novels that the heroes have to be physically perfect, so I thought it was a nice change to see a hero with a disability and I was interested in seeing how the author was going to develop this relationship and maybe show how Denny copes with his disability. I'm sorry to say that although that aspect was handled quite well, I was generally disappointed with this book. There were many things I didn't like about it: The characters were two dimensional at best, mainly because the whole book is just a large number of sex scenes with some minor plot to fill in the gap. The sex wasn't even that great, just dull, with each scene reading pretty much the same as the last one. The dialogue was boring with many words and phrases such as 'wow' or 'nice' or 'cool' being terribly overused. The one good thing about the book was the way Denny coped with his disability. He has a very matter of fact way of dealing with the prosthetic leg and isn't afraid to ask Robin for help when he needs it. Robin admires Denny for the way he manages with only one leg and I liked his kindness and attentiveness in helping Denny move about. However, this wasn't enough to pull this story out out the mire so it gets a grade of 'Poor'.

Audition by Thom Jaymes
This book caught my attention because I was in the mood for something hot and short to fill in a gap between books. It's about a famous singer, Adrian, who is interviewing for a new bodyguard after the last one stole from him. The final man to be interviewed is Duke, a long-time fan of Adrian. There is an instant attraction between the pair and before anyone can start singing "I will always love you" Duke is banging Adrian into the desk. Sounds good, doesn't it? Well it wasn't. The whole story was a disappointment from start to finish. The dialogue was clunky, the characterisation non-existent, the sex pedestrian. Worse than that was the fact that both men were thinking about about hearts and bunnies and together forever when they'd only met each other for 30 minutes and half that time they were having sex. It was totally unrealistic, even for erotic romance, and gains my first ever grade of 'Terrible'.

All in all, a bit of a sub-standard week for shorts. Let's hope next week is better.