Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Blue Rose Review's Top 20 Books of 2013

1) Into This River I Drown by Tj Klune - This book will always stay with me. This makes the top of my list for two reasons. First because Tj describes mourning on a whole new level, very poetic like. Second, it gives us a look into the window of the soul belonging to the author. One of the best stories I have ever read. (I read A LOT)

2) Billy's Bones by Jamie Fessenden -  This book is about a man who suffered from abuse and blocked out a heinous crime from his mind. This subject is not an easy thing to write about. You always have to worry whether you're sending your reader towards a downward spiral with the words you write. It's not easy to find the balance between a nightmare and happy feelings. I believe this book has done that and I just fell in love with the main characters, it's hard not to.

3) Murderous Requiem also by Jamie Fessenden - I was told that this book wasn't as popular. I absolutely loved it. Sure, it had to do with the occult but it wasn't an occult worship manual. And sure, I had to look a few things up but isn't that part of what a book is supposed to do, teach you? I suppose this one for the nerds. Well I'll proudly announce that I'm a nerd because I really enjoyed this one. I cannot wait for more.

4) Intervention by Mia Kerick- I'm not sure what I can say about this book to give it justice. All I can say is music is power, music is healing and when words are not enough, start playing the music. It's a fantastic form of communication.

5) The Broken Road Cafe by T.A. Webb (Tom Webb) - I just love Dan and his ability to pick himself up and dust himself off. I love the community that helped him do it and I love the burly Nick that Dan likes to argue with. This is a well written story like all of Tom's books. It'll make you cry and then it'll make you laugh.

6) Serenading Stanley by John Inman - I couldn't think of another reason why I love this book so I stole the review I wrote for the book. I cannot say I have a favorite character in this story which is a first for me. There is always a character that stands out above the rest that the reader takes notice of, this is usually the main character. Serenading Stanley has no such character because they all stand out. This is the most colorful cast of characters I have ever read. From an over-weight, hairy drag queen to a timid STRAIGHT accountant there's a hodge-podge a different personalities. Want to know the in between then you have to read it. It will make you laugh in one breath and make you cry in another

7) The Tin Box by Kim Fielding - Kim made my list last year with Speechless and here she is again. This story tells a story within a story of what it was like to be gay years back compared to now. It's heartwrenching at times. While he's telling someone else's story, William's story unfolds around him to happy endings and closure.

8) The Chalk Butterfly Trilogy by Audra Red - The story is basically more than one book but I purchased it as one and it reads that way. So now having said that this book will stay with me until I take my last breath. It is beautiful. I will leave you with a part from the book. "You don't understand," Alexander replied slowly. "This is my life, this grief." Immense sadness filled Alexander's eyes and he held up his bandaged hands once again. "My skin is as delicate as butterfly wings. They call us butterfly children, how easily we are rendered flightless."

9) Curious Sustenance by Charley Descoteaux - This book is just simply delicious..enough said. It does have a message though :-)

10) Junk by Josephine Myles- Some people are hoarders. Some look at these people with distain but there is always a reason for it. Jasper is hiding something behind all of that stuff. With the love and support of Lewis, he unearths what he was hiding and hiding from. Love this book!

11) Tell Me It's Real by Tj Klune - What can I say? It's down to earth and well very real.

12) I Can See For Miles by Lisa Worrall - I love to read about strong characters. Josh Daniels is as strong as they get.

13) Unbreak My Heart by K-lee Klein- I cannot pinpoint why I love this book, I just do. The characters are well written. You can just feel the pain and the love rising from the pages.

14 & 15) Goes to  B.G. Thomas because these two books go hand in hand. Anything Could Happen and Boy Who Came in From the Cold. - I love these books so much, I've read them over and over. It's embarrassing.

16) You Were Always the One by Hollis Shiloh - I enjoy books that deal with love that lasts through everything even if they're not with the person at the time.

17) Love, Like Water by Rowan Speedwell - It's in New Mexico. Enough said. Seriously this is a terrific book.

18) Play Me, I'm Yours by Madison Parker - another one of those books where music speaks volumes when words cannot be used.

19) Designs of Desire by Tempest O'Riley - Ok, I admit it, the first thing that drew me to this book was the main character walked on crutches like I do. It doesn't matter what attracted me to it, I'm just so glad I found it.

20) Puzzle Me This by Eli Easton- I was drawn to this at first because a character has Spina Bifida, that is what I have. I've heard Eli has been getting flack for not portraying a person with Spina Bifida correctly. I found no fault in it. There is no one way to deal with Spina Bifida. Everyone is different depending on their level of disability. I LOVED this book.

I apologize to those who didn't make it on the list. It was hard to narrow it down but at the end of the day I picked the ones that stuck in my brain, were unusual or had a deep message. Doesn't mean I love other books I've read any less. Love my shifters and cowboys ;-)

Lots of Love and Hugs. Happy New Year.

PS. It has come to my attention that The Chalk Butterfly Trilogy by Audra Red was published in 2012 but I didn't read it till 2013. So here is one for the list to replace it that was published in 2013. I'm going to put it here because I still want to put that book on the list. So to finish off my list for best of 2013 is A Heart Without Borders by Andrew Grey. I really loved this book, it is different than his others so I had to get used to that but he's still dealing with the subject of broken and lost people finding their way through the love someone gives them. This is such a must read book. Ok, I'm done.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Worth Waiting For by Kim Dare

Worth Waiting For by Kim Dare is a page turner.  Colby and Noah seem to be all wrong for each other at first glance. Colby is sweet and innocent and only fifteen years old and lives with his older brother. He’s on the swim team at his school and always does what he’s told.  Noah is old enough to get into clubs without a fake ID and  has had a troubled past not to mention been around the block a few times.

Colby has been watching Noah dance from across the street in his apartment since before he was fifteen bordering on stalking and voyeurism. Then one day when he was fifteen he decided to follow the man when he left his apartment. He knew he was going somewhere to pick someone up to bring home. Colby followed Noah to this club where Colby proceeded to use his brother’s ID that he took to get in. He found Noah at the bar and asked if he could buy Noah a drink. He told Colby he could have anything he wanted when he was old enough to get into the club without a fake ID. They had three years to wait.

Colby watched Noah dance everyday and waited. The time came to go back to the bar to buy Noah that drink. He caved and gave in and ended up taking Colby home to his place. The only thing that was promised was sex. No feelings, no dates just sex. Noah couldn’t help himself around Colby because he was a submissive and Noah knew just how to play Colby’s body and give him just what he needed.

Time passes and without either one of them noticing they become close emotionally.

At times in the story it seemed that Colby had the old soul and Noah was the one learning from him. He had certainly taught Noah that he deserved more than what he settled for and love was strong enough to last until the time was right.

If you like light D/s stories, this is for you. It is well written and deals with a tough subject but not in a really dark way.

I would give this book four and a half Blue Roses.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Truth or Dare: Keeping House by Lee Brazil

Mischa is your typical trust fund baby. He's a big spender and a partier and he goes through his money like it's water. However, his trust fund is guarded by his older brothers after his parents tragic death until he turns 35. His money is deposited in his account every month but only what his brothers think it should take for him to live on. He is always borrowing money from his brothers so at their weekly poker game they set up a bet and a dare. They dare him to get a job for an entire year to take care of himself without the trustfund. If he loses the bet he has to pay a penalty to each of his brothers and do as they wish. This is not an option.

Donavan is looking for a housekeeper for his new home. He has always dreamed of owning his own home and having a family to come home to every night. The home is a wreck and he desperately needs help to get it in order. When he opens the door to find a skinny kid in Goth attire, and spiky hair, he almost closes it again. He doesn't think this kid is here for the job and he doesn't have a clue that this punk kid might turn out to be more than he was asking for.

First the banter between Mischa and his brothers is nothing more than hilarious at times. You can tell they love their little brother even though they get overbearing at times but what family doesn't?

Being a rich kid, Mischa has never done anything domestic in his life, like laundry and washing dishes but he is resourceful. With the help of the internet he is a quick learner and learns to take care of Donavan and his house. The last thing he was looking for when he applied for this job was to lose his heart to his employer.

Donavan cannot believe how much having Mischa around comes to mean to him. They are total opposites but somehow together they fit like a puzzle.

This book may be a novella but it reads like a full blown novel. The characters are well written and they have depth to them. The plot is sound so the reader does not come away feeling like they missed something.

I give this page turner a rating of five blue roses. This is a must read.

Body Guard to a Sex God by Rj. Scott

Adam gets stuck with convention detail when he is forced on an assignment to be the bodyguard to a ‘pretty boy’, otherwise known as actor Logan Brady. Logan has received threats and was involved in a near miss ‘hit and run’ it’s Adam’s responsibility to ensure Logan’s safety on U.K. soil, but Adam has to fight his attraction for the closeted TV star.

Logan is freaking out not only from the threats to his life but to the secrets he has held for years to be able to stay on top in the television business. He has a lot of decisions to make that doesn’t  impact just him, but his best friends and fellow actors as well. Everything comes to a breaking point in the U.K. and he can’t fight his attraction to Adam. However, his stalker is still lurking and their personal relationship may just stand in the way of  their professional one.

Body Guard to a Sex God by Rj. Scott is crazy good. Not only are the main characters strongly written, so are the sub characters. The writing makes it very easy for the readers to feel what the characters are feeling.  This is a fun whodunit lite read that will keep you guessing until the very end. Just when you figure it out, the game changes.

The story technically takes place in only a few days. Rj Scott has written it to feel like it takes longer for things to run its course. It didn’t feel rushed even though the timeline was much shorter than the reader was made to feel.

This story gets a five blue rose rating. If you are a fan of Rj Scott, this is a must read. If you have never read anything by Rj Scott this is a good place to start.