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Simsala`s Abracadabra

Reader of m/m fiction and romance, coffee addict, worst reviewer ever,

Nice cover

With or Without Him - Barbara Elsborg

I felt like I was dragged through this book by brewery horses, but at least the beasts were so nice to hop over the sex scenes - thank you.


How on earth is this relationship going to work? Our guys aren`t capable of communicating with each other without jumping to wrong conclusions and making negative assumptions. Through the course of the story they repeatedly waltzed over each others feelings like this was some newly invented art form - awe-inspiring, really!*insert sarcasm*


What really put me off - the negativity. Oh, the drama...

There wasn`t a single ray of light in sight. Totally overdone tragic pasts the poor guys had to deal with - apparently tragic pasts are needed to explain moronic TSTL behaviour, but that really is nothing new in m/m romance.


-An over-the-top villain that just made me roll my eyes.

-Paying student loans with prostitution of the worst kind.

-Offering the prostitute a large amount of money for four months of "company" but whining over unrequited feelings and expecting to be loved.

-Prostitute accepts the money but balks at buying expensive clothes (but can`t say no to an iPhone...) and constantly whines about not being worthy of love. Bla-bla-bla... -Prostitute gets offered large amounts of money from the villain for quietly taking everything that gets dished out - prostitute gets severely abused - and goes back. For paying student loans? TSTL? That`s where MY brain balked!

-The dialogue was awful. Mostly two-three-four word telegram-style. Absolutely didn`t fit the educational level the MCs are supposed to have.

-Equaling rape with "learning a lesson the hard way"...oh, dear!!


Complaints aside the story severely lacks originality. The same old drama tropes pulled out for the hundreth time. 

Rentboy falls for client - client falls for rentboy - tragic pasts - miscommunication or total lack thereof - outward forces raping, torturing and killing - everlasting love.


That wasn`t a m/m version of Pretty Woman - that was crap. Nice cover though...

A batshit crazy funny ride

Bone Rider - J. Fally

 Even if the first part of the book made me grit my teeth - single minded romance reader just wanted to get to the good stuff - it gets the full five stars for originality and a cozy place on my favorite list. A sure-fire re-read!

Whew... That book tried my patience to snapping point, but it was so worth it! I could try the squee thingy with twenty "e"`s in bold letters and a shitload of gifs with explosions and sweaty nekkid men going at it, but my keyboard gives me the evil eye, sorry.


The that`s-all-you-need-to-know blurb should be convincing enough to give this book a try. For those who shy away from science fiction (I`m one of them), be assured the few s/f gizmos aren`t off-putting or complicated. This is highly entertaining sci-fi in a contemporary setting and easy to read.


What awed me to no end (and tried my patience...) was the brillant way this book is written. Such a tight and carefully constructed plot is a rare occurrence in m/m romance and that makes it hard to believe this is a first published work.

9 different POVs! (If I counted correctly) The MCs and almost every secondary character get their own voice. And Wow!, what a clever move that was! The POV switching with every chapter might be seen as a minus (I don`t call it headhopping - for me headhopping is switching POVs in paragraphs and sections without making clear who`s head I`m in) but in hindsight it made for a fascinating read. The story doesn`t divide in good guys/bad guys, wrong or right. No justification for thoughts and actions of the involved characters and NO regrets...only agendas and the determination to pull said agendas through, come what may. Makes it damn near impossible to dislike any of the characters for their `slightly` askew morals and what they did or tried to do.



We`re talking about russian mobsters here - professional hit-men with blood on their hands who like their job - no question.

The U.S. Army that has only one goal in mind - protect their country at all costs and if innocent bystanders get hurt - so be it!

An alien armor system that only wants to survive and protect his host Riley - at all costs.

Misha, who is so in love with Riley he forgot where left and right is and gives a shit about his former life. He just wants Riley - at all costs.

Riley, who feels the same way but ran away from the love of his life because he couldn`t cope with Misha`s profession. Once convinced there is no running away from Micha he has the same single minded goal. Protecting Micha - at all costs.



Somewhere in the middle of the book all involved parties meet - and from here on it gets NUCLEAR! Brillantly written action-scenes galore - I had no nails left to chew on - kudos Ms. Fally!!!


This book has only one sex-scene (sniffs!...but the palpable and very emotional forever-is-not-enough love between Micha and Riley makes more than up for that) with Micha and Riley as couple (there are more sex-sc. - but this is their only reunion scene) and McClane as `enhancement`. But what a scene! How they survived that unscathed is anyones guess.... Why do I point out the smut? See "single minded romance reader".


I don`t highlight and in this case I regretted it. Many funny lines that would have been more than worth it, especially from McClane. How he adjusted to his human host and got all snuggly...awwwww! An endearing mix of clueless alien falling in love and a deadly, protective weapon.


Highly recommended!


The unwalkable bridge

Try - Ella Frank



The review has a little history at another well-known book community.

Never before I saw such a pre-release hype for a m/m book like it happened with Try.

Written by a famous/well-known - what do I know - m/f author with a large fan base.

Over thirty previews - all of them ARCs, adorned with 74 (counted two days before official release) gifs and pics of nekkid men and these godawful squee gifs. Text - if existent - in bold letters. A visual apocalypse! Someone told me this kind of hype is common in the m/f community. I would say that fits to the overall reader-IQ there. (I would never ever dare to say this out loud at GR - I`m not suicidal). Also I didn`t rate it one star like I wanted to. Rating a book after reading only three chapters? I would get strangled! But rating it five stars without reading a single word is totally ok, of course...)

It took me a minute to just scroll down to the bottom of the page to get to the next page, in search of a "real" review. All I found was a remark from a m/m blog reviewer that apparently something went wrong with this glorious attempt to get m/f readers dipping their toes into the m/m genre.


That I was was dying of curiosity puts it mildly and it`s common knowledge that curiosity kills the cat, so here we go...

 I read the excerpt downloaded from Amazon - three chapters - and I really, really don`t have to read on. Chapter two and three were slightly altered variations of the first and I doubt very much that will change. The Story has - so far - NO plot, NO worldbuilding, ZERO character development. What I got was the generic arrogant asshole (Logan) who sticks his dick in every willing orifice, may it be female, male, furry, or battery operated, just to get his rocks off. (Apparently this sort of male character is hot shit in m/f romance, but PLEASE don`t ask me why...) All I know about his newest erotic challenge (Tate) is that he`s straight, gets divorced and has the nervous habit to wipe down the counter. So far just het-sex with breast wiggling females drooling over dicks - a mere decoration to put m/f readers at ease, I guess. Sexual tension between the male characters? I was told it`s there but I didn`t feel it - not a single, tiny spark. Don`t let me start about the dialogue - these men think and talk ONLY with their little brains - is this supposed to be erotic? And...there is no "and"...that was it. In one word - bland! This might have been written as a bridge between m/f and m/m - admittedly not a bad idea and with good intentions - at least I hope so. Sorry to say it passes that goal with flying colours. I don`t know what quality in books m/f readers are used to, or what they require from an erotic romance but for most m/m readers this strange hybrid might/will/SHOULD be a disappointment.


Could someone help an old woman out and add the book Try by Ella Frank so I can post my lovely little rant no one will read anyway?

Pretty please?

I still can`t figure out how that works.

Thanks SO much in advance.;)

One of these books...

Under a Crescent Moon - Mercy Celeste

I wasn`t very happy with some of Mercy Celeste`s books in the past. - to put it mildly.

But now I made the mistake to ask a friend for suggestions because I was bored and couldn`t find a book to read(!).
She suggested this book together with an evilly laughing smiley. I just thought "why not, maybe it got better, it has been a while since I read a book by Mercy C."

It didn`t get better, it got worse.
A badly written, badly edited (if at all), and - in my opinion - incredibly silly story.

Four things are needed to read this book:
- suspending disbelief
- nerves of steel
- keeping the mind firmly in the gutter
- deactivating every functioning brain cell that might be able to pipe up and dares to question content and characterisation

142 pages of wading through molasses - one step forward, four steps back.
A neverending circle of the same whiny, nonsensical thoughts and dialogue from the two MCs - ad nauseaum. It must have been hard work to come up with characters that contradictive. Jesus H. Christ...

There was kitchen towel-swishing/fingertips-burning magic involved, but why?
To add to the "New Orleans-feeling"? Same as the Cajun-dialect thrown in here and there, and numerous references to local food. (That actually made sense. The Crescent Moon is a restaurant)
I felt absoluty nothing of the special charme that makes New Orleans.
A good editor would have thrown the `magick` out at first glance, the paranormal part added nothing to the story just fuel to the sillyness of it all.


A serial killer - pulled out of the box when needed - a murder investigation that was amateurish at best. Secondary characters right out of a Disney movie. Pseudo-rough sex-scenes in flowery language with countless "fuck me`s" - I couldn`t read them anymore after the third round, gave me the skin crawlies!
24/7 lifestyle D/s coming out of nowhere. And of course a cute baby and many, many personal secrets thrown in for good measure.
A lot of stuff for a novella and it was a glorious mess!
I won`t mention the godawful attempt at writing a credible romance here, it was painful to read. The HEA was the last straw - a sugar-overdose that put every Harlequin romance to shame.
Whoever has the time and energy can read the 32 status updates that led to this review. I just want to forget this crap as fast as possible.



The status updates are posted on GR. But who wants to read 32 updates? I guess no one...

I want to post a review - I can`t find the book - trudging back to GR...

The day I`ll figure this site out I`ll open a bottle of champagne...

Devil at the Crossroads - Cornelia Grey You make a deal with the devil? You better listen!

I have a thing for people (aka authors) who are able to describe music with words - making me feel it...hear it.
And a story that fits the feeling of the music...the blues? Oh my...
This little gem of a story really made my day. It doesn`t have a Happy Ever After or a Happy For Now, BUT it does have a happy end! Made me smile and a little blues-ey.

Oh, Cornelia, the crumbs you feed me are delicious, but can I have a cake now? Pretty please? :)
The Magpie Lord - K.J. Charles 4,5 stars

Almost eighty reviews - everything I could add to this gush-fest has already been said and would let me sound like a parrot.;-)

The Magpie Lord gave me everything I missed when reading Harry Potter.

Magpies (not a single owl to be seen)


Two men in love




And a foxy smile....


Great story!!
Das Lächeln der Fortuna - Erweiterte Ausgabe: Historischer Roman - Rebecca Gablé The good news...
Extended Edition - 1760 pages - 560 pages MORE!

...keep breathing Sims...

The bad news...
It`s not out yet!!

Half Moon Chambers - Harper Fox Well, Half Moon Chambers is a former DNF - I deleted my negative review and now I`m trying to figure out what the Hell happened to completely change my mind.

The culprits are two previously read books - My Cowboy Heart by Z.A. and Brothers Of The Wild North Sea by Harper - and my back!

The couple in Chambers reminded me of Malloy and Crispin from My Cowboy Heart - a big plus, and I really liked Harpers prose in North Sea, it fit there to a T. In comparison to that book the prose in Chambers was toned down and there went my complaint about it being purplish. From annoying to appealing...

And most important - my back did hurt as I read the book (It still does, just sayin`...).
Vince - first person POV - has a bullet lodged in his back and lives in constant pain. On top of that he`s kind of an accident prone and has a knack for making it worse all the time - what made me feel better.
How he managed to fall in love, have passionate sex, and solve a case in that condition was ENVIABLE! I didn`t find him annoying like the first time I read this - he whined and moaned and complained, well, yes, of course he did, that HURTS damnit!! Means - I could relate and just wanted to hug him - or smack him for pulling stunts that just made me shake my head...MEN!!
There is a certain testosterone level required for climbing twenty storys up (with the help of Rowan who could show Vince on that occasion that he`s not so frail as he looks...tseh...romance authors!) to your flat in the clouds when you had a shitty day, hurt like hell and the elevator`s broken. The other half of the human population (those with the oestrogenes) would call a taxi, spend the night in a nice hotel and send the bill to the landlord.

Cutting this short now - I had a great time reading this story, even the chemistry between Vince and Rowan was suddenly there.
Sometimes it really just depends on a reader`s mood (or health*g*) if they like/feel a story or not.
Brothers of the Wild North Sea - Harper Fox Jenre`s review

I would have liked it even more if the author had taken the fantasy elements/myths out of the viking raids and the celtic christianity.
My favorite historical era - familiar like a well worn glove.
You have to be a very bad author to louse that up for me. But Harper`s prose perfectly fit time and place.
Thanks, great story.
Catch a Ghost - S.E. Jakes DNF - somewhere in the middle after skipping

Everything was just fine...
A book I thought I would love
- Interesting blurb, great reviews etc. -
Cuddly place on the couch
Coffee - enough for an army
Chocolate - favorite at hand
No fever!

What happened?
I don`t know...
Story left me cold and I have no idea why
Was it me? The book? Solar flares?
Moi has a sad...
Auf & Davon (Ty & Zane #1) - Abigail Roux,  Madeleine  Urban,  Feliz Faber 4,5 stars

I will never forget this - a formatting-ghost-infested son of a bitch manuscript from Hell. It took three people, countless hours of work and frayed nerves to fix it - but we did it! Hah!!

Nonetheless - I liked it much better in German.
Must be Feliz` fault! ;-)

Sie jagen einen Serienmörder und schießen scharf - mit der Dienstwaffe und verbal.

Da bekommt man zu dem neuen Fall auch noch einen neuen Partner aufgehalst, den man auf den ersten Blick nicht verknusen kann - als ob man nicht schon mit
sich selbst genug Probleme hätte. Wäre alles bestens, wenn man diese wandelnde Nervensäge in aller Ruhe hassen könnte, um sich auf den Fall zu konzentrieren, aber was soll dieses seltsame Kribbeln im Bauch bloß bedeuten?
Aus den fliegenden Funken wird bald ein Großbrand - was nicht heißt, daß sie sich auf einmal leiden können.
Und mal abgesehen von dem Gefühlschaos - der Killer schläft nicht...

Spannender Actionkrimi + Romanze mit Herz, großer Klappe und einer gepfefferten Prise Erotik. Auf & Davon macht einfach einen Heidenspaß - und Ty und Zane machen süchtig!
Thorns - Feliz Faber That puts me in an awkward position - the third beta is piping up...
Eden and Val did a very good job of reviewing Thorns and giving it the rating it deserves, so - what to write?

I`ve known Nic and Louis for years. First draft, second draft - they were like old friends to me.
Then Feliz sent me a new version with the succinct comment - "You won`t recognize it anymore".
So true.
I was all "Huh...what happened to the story? Who is Will, who is Francis?
Wait a moment...Francis? OH GOD! An alpha male! Give me more, MORE!"
Somehow I have the feeling I got what I wanted - more Will and Francis - less Nic and Louis. (If Nic and Louis are your favorite couple - all the complaints to me, please.:))
In the end it was Will and Francis love story, a great story about the world of horseracing and Nic and Louis story remained a bit of a mystery. I liked it that way, I loved the story how it is and got everything I want from a romance. Intelligent plot, likeable characters - not to forget Will`s wonderfully pushy boss - a well fledged out mystery and really nice smut.
So what about Nic`s and Louis` story?
Chase the Storm - V.M Waitt Somewhere between 30/40 % - right after the first sex scene - the plot didn`t go downhill - it jumped off a cliff.
Kate points out the flaws of the story - no need to do it again.

Just my thoughts about these two lovely characters...

Chase - treating the one he just had sex with worse than dirt under his boots. If this is his way of expressing grief he doesn`t deserve compassion or even love, but a well placed kick where it really hurts.

Elijah - either he`s a masochist (or as Kate said a `martyr of love`) who thrieves on being treated like shit OR he should get his head examined.
And while he`s at it - just thinking how often his heart skipped a beat - I strongly recommend a long-term ECG.

I can`t remember the last time I disliked book characters that much...