I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend. It is starting to feel like Fall around here. Not cooler weather. That doesn’t happen until much later here in central Texas. School is underway with football games and bonfires, marching season for the band and pumpkin and gourd displays at the stores. Plus everywhere I look is something flavored with Pumpkin Spice. lol I even got in the spirit of things and pulled out the fall decorations for our house too.
I listened to a delightful audiobook by Megan Derr titled Tournament of Losers, I also read two fun books. Adulting 101 by Lisa Henry and Fred & Ginger by Isobel Starling.
Title: Tournament of Losers
Author: Megan Derr
Narrator: Michael Stellman
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Publication date: August 3, 2016 (audiobook)
Genre: M/M, Fantasy
Summary: All Rath wants is a quiet, peaceful life. Unfortunately, his father brings him too much trouble – and too many debts to pay – for that to ever be possible. When the local crime lord drags Rath out of bed and tells him he has three days to pay his father’s latest debt, Rath doesn’t know what to do. There’s no way to come up with so much money in so little time.
Then a friend poses an idea just ridiculous enough to work: enter the Tournament of Losers, where every 75 years, peasants compete for the chance to marry into the noble and royal houses. All competitors are given a stipend to live on for the duration of the tournament – funds enough to cover his father’s debt. All he has to do is win the first few rounds, collect his stipend, and then it’s back to trying to live a quiet life….
Thoughts: This book is a wonderful fairy tale. It is sweet and predictable, although that didn’t matter – in fact I think it made it all the better because, I as the reader, knew where this was destined to end and it was perfect – happy sigh) I was also brought to tears a couple of times. Right in the feels.
Rath is one of those characters that just can’t seem to get a break, misses things that we as readers see and has a heart of gold. I wanted him to have his HEA so much. I adored Tress as the love interest and the idea of the tournament. I also enjoyed how the author wove this tale with just enough adversity to keep me hovering one the edge of “Is this all going to go terribly wrong and they not get their HEA?” all the while hoping they would. They must. Such a lovely well written story.
I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Michael Stellman. It is a very enjoyable narration. This is definitely a book I will listen to again. Going into my keepers, all time favorites list.
Janice (My good friend and enabler extraordinaire who recommended that I listen to this book) had this to say: “A wicked smart fairy tale…5++” I wanted to steal this review because – yes, it is a wicked smart fairy tale and… I love the word wicked, but she beat me to it. 😉
For a wonderful in depth review, I am sharing this one by Whit!!!!! at It’s About The Book. (Enjoy)
Title: Adulting 101
Author: Lisa Henry
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Publication date: August 13, 2016
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Summary: The struggle is real.
Nick Stahlnecker is eighteen and not ready to grow up yet. He has a summer job, a case of existential panic, and a hopeless crush on the unattainable Jai Hazenbrook. Except how do you know that your coworker’s unattainable unless you ask to blow him in the porta-potty?
That’s probably not what Dad meant when he said Nick should act more like an adult.
Twenty-five-year-old Jai is back in his hometown of Franklin, Ohio, just long enough to earn the money to get the hell out again. His long-term goal of seeing more of the world is worth the short-term pain of living in his mother’s basement, but only barely.
Meeting Nick doesn’t fit in with Jai’s plans at all, but, as Jai soon learns, you don’t have to travel halfway around the world to have the adventure of a lifetime.
This is not a summer romance. This is a summer friendship-with-benefits. It’s got pizza with disgusting toppings, Netflix and chill, and accidental exhibitionism. That’s all. There are no feelings here. None. Shut up.
Thoughts: I loved this book. It is a very cute, sweet coming of age story. Nick is a huggable, quirky character dealing with growing up, making adult decisions, leaving his best friend and making sure he isn’t a virgin before he leaves for college. His quirks aside, his character is very believable. This is a scary time in a lot of peoples lives, huge changes and his relationship with his family isn’t helping. Then there is Jai. Older, smoking hot, world traveler that is the object of Nick’s fantasies.
Once these two get together, nothing goes as either one of them planned. I enjoyed reading about their experiences, meeting the wonderful secondary characters and seeing how it was all going to work out. I finished this book feeling happy and hopeful for the characters.
Title: Fred And Ginger
Series: Stand alone
Author: Isobel Starling
Publisher: self published
Publication date: November 19, 2015
Cover artist: Isobel Starling
Genre: M/M Romantic comedy
Length: 72 pages 11.577 words
Characters: Christopher Miller and Robin Summers… and of course, Fred the puppy.
Summary: A sexy, funny, stand alone short Christmas story. Patisserie Chef Christopher Miller works for Big Boy Cupcakes, London’s only gay bakery. His boss had closed the bakery on the 23rd of December, and Chris was looking forward to some well needed time off, and Christmas ALONE. But then his boss calls him with a last minute order—the order of his dreams—to bake for his movie idol, actor Jason Beck. Just as he is about to deliver the order, Chris’s dreams are turned upside down by an explosive, fateful meeting with Fred, an errant Chocolate Labrador. The dog’s owner turns out to be Robin Summers, a one night stand from months before…the man that Chris could not forget.
Thoughts: I love holiday books. This short story is sweet and cute and sexy. I enjoy food-centric stories and this one was fun, especially since parts of it reminded me of an event they have at the GayRomLit Retreat. It is a short, snippet in the lives of two men,and an exuberant Labrador. Bonus – the author includes a recipe at the end. So much fun.
I hope you have a fantastic week and read (or listen to) some amazing books.
Grab a cup of your favorite brew and enjoy.