Tuesday, December 11, 2018

ARC REVIEW : The Stars May Rise and Fall by Estella Mirai

Title : The Stars May Rise and Fall
Author : Estella Mirai
Genre(s) : contemporary gay romance
Publication Date : December 11th 2018
Heat Rating : 🔥🔥
Rating : 5/5 Stars

Buy link : Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Dreams don't always look the way you expect them to...

Teru came to Tokyo with dreams of making it big in the glam-metal visual kei scene, but three years later, all he has to show for it is a head of hot pink hair and some skill with an eyeliner pencil. He may look the part, but he doesn’t sound it, and constant bickering among his bandmates has him worried about his future. When he finds a mysterious business card in his bag, he’s willing to take any help he can get.

Help comes in the form of Rei, a crippled, disfigured composer whose own career was ended by an accident before it had really begun. With Teru’s voice and looks, and Rei’s money and songwriting skills, both of their dreams seem about to come true – but a forbidden kiss and a late-night confession threaten to tear it all apart. Now Teru, who has spent most of his life denying his attraction to men, and Rei, who vowed long ago never to love again, must reconcile their feelings with their careers – and with their carefully constructed ideas of themselves.

THE STARS MAY RISE AND FALL is an M/M retelling of Phantom of the Opera, set in Tokyo at the turn of the millennium. It comes with a healthy dose of angst and a dollop of nostalgia, as well as an age-difference romance, a physically disabled love interest, and memorable characters who will stay with you long after tehe pages are closed.

They fit together, here as well as anywhere. Like pieces of a puzzle. Like a lock and a key. 


A beautiful WOWmazing debut novel from Estella Mirai!

Good story with memorable characters that will stay linger in me long after I finished the book.

This book is like a gem in the sea of new release books at nearly end of this year and I’m so glad that I decided to give this book a try at first sight when I read the blurb back then. 

The story brought back the memories from my teenage life when the visual kei band were on the top of Japan music industry at that time. I grew up with X-Japan, L'Arc en Ciel, Malice Mizer, Luna Sea, Dir en Grey, GLAY and many more visual kei band at that time. I even become Gackt and Hyde shipper back then and cried hysterically when saw they stared a movie together (Moon Child 2003). So, yes! Reading this book that set in year 2000 and found those names being mentioned succeed throw me back to the era when those visual kei rock band group top the world.

I can help you. Call me.

Following the story of indie visual kei band, La Rose Verboten and their struggles to survive in the strict competitive with the other VK band to steal the spotlight and being seen are interesting. And I love how the author combined the struggle of the new band in gaining their success and the love story between a shy drummer turned singer, Teru and a mysterious talented composer with tragic past, Rei which pictured in a very poignant and heartwarming story.

I’m here…Forever. With you….

The slow maddening pace, the slow burn combine with good writing make everything feels perfect. The author with her typical Japanese style romance had successfully stir the reader feels to immersed deep into the story with her writing. She could make butterflies in my tummy flutter like crazy with just a simply chaste kiss! Even a simply hands touch or holding hands could spread the warm feelings in my heart. If you familiar with Japanese dorama, you’ll know what I mean. I can picturing ALL the scenes perfectly while I read this book like I’m actually watching a J-Drama playing in my head. I must admit, this book has movie materials and has potential to be a good movie if it seriously made. I just wish that I’ll see this story made into a movie someday…

Last but not least, I want to say thank you to the author for bringing back those nostalgic memories through her writing. I even digging back my X-Japan and L'arc en Ciel music collections and played it as a companions music during the reading. So, again...Thank you!

And now I’ll leave you with one of my favorite song from L'arc en Ciel, PIECES. I’ve playing this song over and over again while I'm reading this book and picturing Teru singing this song each time he sing SWEET GOODBYE…

Nakanaide nakanaide taisetsu na hitomi wo
Kanashisa ni tsumazuite mo shinjitsu wo miteite ne
Sono mama no anata de ite…


Estella Mirai lives just outside of Tokyo with her human family and a very spoiled lap cat. When she isn’t reading or writing, she works in editing and translation—which means that 99% percent of her day is usually words. In her minimal free time, she enjoys watching musicals, cooking (badly), and slaughtering power ballads at karaoke.

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ARC REVIEW : Dear Cassius by Alice Winters

Title : Dear Cassius
Author : Alice Winters
Genre(s) : gay romance, suspense
Publication Date : December 11th 2018
Rating : 5/5 Stars

Buy Link : Amazon

Dear Cassius,
Do you feel me watching you? 

When Cassius starts his junior year of college, he has no idea how different it will be. The only thing he’s worried about is getting through college and his unrequited love for his best friend.

Initially, Cassius thinks nothing of the picture with a strange note slipped under the windshield wiper of his car, but it ends up changing his entire life.

Dear Cassius,
I can’t look away from you. 

As strange things begin to occur around Cassius, he starts to feel like someone is watching him, following him. Stalking him. They are determined to destroy his peace of mind and the people around him. Thankfully, his friends and family are there to support him. But who can he trust when no one seems to be who he thought they were?

Cassius realizes that sometimes love can be found at the wrong time. But right now, love may be what he needs to help him get through this alive. Can Cassius open himself up to new love when he’s not sure he can trust those closest to him?

Dear Cassius is a light thriller with a romantic subplot. There is suspense and some violence, with the promise of a happy ending. 
Trigger warnings: Certain triggers may be considered spoilers, so they can be found by using the “Look Inside” feature or by downloading the sample.

Dear Cassius,
I can’t look away from you. You consume my world. My life. My every thought. And I can’t wait to destroy you. I’ll let you burn, Cassius. I’ll let you burn.

I’m ENJOYING every part of this book, the suspense, the mystery and all the creepiness this book gave me!

This book successfully hooked me since the very first page until the end. I keep guessing who’s Cassius’s psychopath stalker is and the reason behind all the creepy terrors that threaten Cassius’s life. I must admit that the author succeed in playing with the game. The way the author trying to blurry the suspect and leave the readers to keep guessing and guessing then ‘smoothly’ lead the reader to the wrong suspect before finally revealed the real one is fascinating. It’s feels fun and annoying at the same time, BUT that’s what make this book didn’t lose it grip and interesting enough to follow.

I have my own suspect of course but I must admit that I’m a bit ‘fall’ into the author’s ‘game’ and didn’t  see the twist until its coming. And its kinda ‘hurt’ the Sherlock side in me you know. But THAT what also  made this book deserve my rare five stars!

Overall, the story is good, very intriguing, a bit dark and creepy at some part. I love ALL the characters in this book, and THAT include the creepy stalker!
But what I love the most about this book is the writing!

Well, I won’t give you any spoilers  about the story. I WANT you to feel what I felt during the reading and enjoy the guessing games the author set! *devilish smirk*

Dear Cassius maybe my first book from Alice Winters, but if her other works will be written as good as this one, I’ll looking forward for her books in the future!


ARC REVIEW : Trusting Jack (MC Securities #1) by Ruby Moone

Title : Trusting Jack
Author : Ruby Moone
Series : MC Securities Book 1
Genre(s) : Contemporary gay romance, holiday romance
Publication Date : December 10th 2018
Rating : 4.5/5

Buy Links : Amazon

With only a few days to go until Christmas, Michael Cross has to admit there is something amiss about his latest employee, Jack Whelan. Quiet, jumpy, thin… he never seems to eat. He is also incredibly gorgeous with dark spiky hair that Michael aches to touch. But as his boss, Jack is off limits. And when it comes to relationships, he…well, he sucks.

Jack Whelan is at the end of his tether. He’s living rough in the middle of winter, and paying off a massive debt, so getting a job with MC Securities is a lifeline. His new boss is also the hottest guy ever. Geeky, broody, and scarily clever.

When Michael stumbles upon the reality of Jack’s life, he offers to help. But as Michael’s feelings deepen, and Jack’s terrible past catches up with him, Michael has to decide between believing in the awful truth that is staring him in the face, or trusting Jack.

Well, first of all….I need to say that I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH!!

The book and cover already grabbed my full attention since I saw it for the first time, and I knew that I’ll love the story as soon as I read the first few pages of the book and really can’t put it down. I read it in one sit and I got this constant overwhelming feels inside me while I read it.

The story is a bit fun and light at the beginning then slowly turned a bit emotional after halfway through it, and yes there’s include some teary eyes here and there, but most of all the story is sweet and heartwarming and all wrapped in good plot, lovely characters and good writing.

The story start with Michael who cannot take his eyes from his newest employee Jack Whelan. He’s quiet, intelligent and hardworking, but there’s something about the new guy that drawn his attention. When his team manager ‘complaint’ to him about the new guy which never go out for lunch and a bit ‘smell’, Michael want to know what his new employee hide from him. So he decided to following Jack after work. When he found out that Jack is actually homeless and live at one of the abandoned building and being threatened by someone, he decided to offer him to stay at his place for his safety.

At twenty five years old, Jack Whelan had live a rough life. After the death of his brother and put him in serious debt his brother leave him, Jack must work extra hard to pay the debt back and faced the terror from a guy who want him to pay his brother debt. When his boss offer him to stay at his place for a while he felt confused at first but then accepted Michael offer just for a night. But then everything start to change…

The story then grew more and more interesting when both Jack and Michael must fight their attractions to each other. The high sexual tensions feels thick in the air. The flirting and push and pull between the two enough to make me flush and blush. They trying so hard not to cross the line but with the growing attractions that strong hung between them? It definitely not easy to do.

After what his ex done to him, Michael didn’t trust a guy easily, he didn’t do relationship and only do hookup with no string. But since Jack came to his life there’s this strong urge in him to protect the poor young man and he almost can’t control his wild fantasy toward him. Jack had learned hard way that there’s nothing come for free in this world. So, when Michael offered him some helps, what’s come to his mind is what the motives behind all the kindness offers Michael gave him. And sex is the only answer. So, he offer him sex in exchange for all the help. But when Michael refuse it, surprisingly it hurt him because deep in his heart Jack can’t denied that he want all the intimate things with Michael…

Michael actually also want what Jack’s offers him, but he want Jack to want him not as the act of gratitude because he’d help him with a place to stay and pay his debt. On the other side, Jack want Michael to want him because he want it and comfortable with it. Jack want to feel needed. And he need that from Michael. Things then get more and more complicated at nearly end of the book, and Michael had to decided whether he could trusting Jack or not…

I must admit that there's some things that feels not quite right here and there, but I decided to ignore it because the warm feeling this book gave me is enough to make me closed my eyes to those small mistakes.

This is the first book from Ruby Moone new series MC Securities. And I can’t wait for the next book from this series especially the author already drop some hints about who will take the next spotlight in this series, and YASSSS! It’s Christian and his cousin, Daniel McCaffrey!


Friday, December 7, 2018

REVIEW : Starstruck (Opposites Attract #1) by LJ Stark

Title : Starstruck
Author : LJ Stark
Series : Opposites Attract Book 1
Genre(s) : contemporary gay romance, enemies to lovers, fake marriage
Publication Date : October 19th 2018
Rating : 4/5 Stars

Faking a marriage to my worst enemy shouldn't be this easy. 

Peter. I was a working actor struggling to make rent when I scored a part in Aiden Hunt's latest blockbuster.
Too bad the man himself turned out to be rude, abrasive and annoyingly cocky. But at least I'd never have to see him again after filming.
Or so I thought.
One drunken wrap party and two gold rings later, I'm married to the bastard and we need to sell a fairytale romance to the tabloids, his legions of fans, and the world.
Falling for him in the middle of all this should be out of the question.
But there's more to him than I thought, and if it turns out that he really does have a heart underneath his bespoke suit?
Well, then I'm in trouble...

Aiden. Hollywood has a bad habit of chewing up young, starry-eyed actors and spitting them right out. That's what I thought would happen to Peter Czerny, and I didn't care.
He was rude, self-righteous, and...distracting.
Ending up married to him was an inconvenience, but I could use it for my own gain.
I just didn't bank on Peter getting under my skin. He slipped into my life like he's always belonged there, and we have an attraction that my body can't deny.
I just need to get him out of my system.
Then we can both go back to our two separate lives.
Somehow, playing a role has never felt this complicated.

This is a standalone, 60k+ Enemies-to-lovers fake marriage contemporary MM romance with an HEA and no cheating.

Aiden Hunt is the biggest movie star in the world. He was Hollywood royalty, born into the business, and he’d been acting in movies since high school. And now, at the age of twenty five, he was a bona fide A-list movie star with a combined box office of over a billion dollars. And one word from him can affect someone career in the movie industry.

Peter Czerny, is a struggling near-starving-artist who acted in tiny indie movies who trying to climb into Hollywood movie industry through an audition cast as one of superhero in a movie starred by Aiden Hunt.

People says ‘first impression’ is important, and Peter agent had warned him to ‘play nice' when they scheduled to meet Aiden in person because he’s actually the one who decided who’s deserve to be his partner in the movie he stared in. And Peter accidentally ‘ruined’ it by confronted Aiden in the middle of the meeting and then leave.

Knowing that he’d been ruining his chance to enter the Hollywood movie industry, Peter then preparing for the worst and start to thinking for looking another job aside from the movie industry. What he didn’t expected is the call from his agent that tell him that he had secured his role on the movie because – surprisingly - Aiden had approved him as his partner in his upcoming superhero movie!

The story then become more and more interesting when Peter must faced Aiden superstar annoying behaviors during their filming. They act like besties on the screen but then switched as Tom & Jerry after that. Following their interactions and then turn to friend before they ended accidentally married after the Premier Night is reaaaaaaally interesting.

When the marriage accident continued as ‘fake marriage’ to maintain the image and as part of publicity. Both Aiden and Peter have to adjust to their new life as ‘a newly-madly-in-love-marriage-couples' until the contract is over. 

But what they didn’t expect is….at the end they falling in love with each other for real….

But could they brave enough to admit what they feels inside and continuing the marriage or ended it like what it written on the contract?

Starstruck is a very light and fun enemies to lovers story mixed with fake marriage. And I enjoying the reading very much. 

Sunday, December 2, 2018

ARC RE-RELEASE REVIEW : Foxes by Suki Fleet

Title : Foxes
Author : Suki Fleet
Genre(s) : contemporary gay romance, disability
Publication Date : November 22nd 2018 (re-release)
Rating : 5/5 Stars

Buy Links : Amazon

When Dashiel’s body is found dumped on an East London wasteland, his best friend Danny sets out to find the killer. But Danny finds interaction difficult and must keep his world small in order to survive. By day he lives in an abandoned swimming pool and fixes electrical devices to trade for supplies, but by night, alone, he hunts sharks a reckless search for dangerous men who prey on the vulnerable.

A chance meeting with an American boy selling himself on the streets throws this lonely existence into disarray. Micky is troubled, fragile, and Danny feels a desperate need to protect him. Though from what, he doesn't know. As Danny discovers more about Micky, he realises that what Micky needs saving from is the one thing Danny has no idea how to fight.

To save Micky, Danny must risk expanding his world and face something that scares him more than any shark ever could: trusting he will be accepted for who he is. If a freezing winter on the streets, a sadistic doctor, and three thousand miles don't tear them apart first, that is.

I wish things were different. I wish it with everything in me—the thought sharp as a spear in my heart. I don’t normally let myself think like this, but right now I’d give anything, absolutely anything, to look ordinary. For him to look at me and see an ordinary boy looking back at him. I wouldn’t ask to be beautiful. 


Danny is a loner…live at one of bathroom on abandoned swimming pool.

When his best friend, Dashiel found dead, Danny start his mission to find who the killer is by following some of the sharks, the predators who rummaging around the street seeking for the victim.

On his searching of the murder, he meet this beautiful young boy, Micky, an American rent boy who sell himself on the street. There’s something in this skinny fragile figure that drawn something in him. Suddenly he has this urge to protect him with everything he could just to stop Micky life to end like Dashiel. Even if that means he must leave his comfort zone and took a huge leap in his life to keep Micky safe.

You took the lid off the sky for me… you gave me hope...

Following their interactions and their growing feeling happen in very slow pace was a bit maddening but beautiful at the same time. But if you’re familiar with Suki Fleet’s trade mark writing, you’ll find that everything in this book is mesmerizing and hypnotizing at the same time.

“….having smooth, unscarred skin does not make you beautiful. Shining like the brightest light in the dark does, though. And you light up everything. You light me up. I’m falling in love with you,”

When others look down on Danny due the scars on his face, Micky is one of them who look past it and see the real Danny to his heart. Danny start to open himself and slowly put more trust in Micky. On the other hand, Micky also finally found something he want to fight in life...someone who finally made him feels worthy....

“When I’m with you, it’s the only thing I wish was different. When I’m with you, I don’t want to disappear.”

The unique relationship they have is one things that made this book so intriguing. Their pure connection that start only as a friend then slowly going deeper and deeper is something that made this book interesting to follow. Both Danny and Micky characters are lovable and unique in their own way.

“If I really did have superpowers, all I’d want to do is make people happy. Not for the attention or anything,” I add. “I’d want to do it secretly, so I’d be Mr. Happynonymous. And if I could only make one person happy, it’d be you.”

Not all superheroes wear capes…

The real superheroes is people who simply could change and touch someone else life by simply being there with them when they’re in need. And Danny is one of those superheroes in this story…

On his journey to find who the killer is, Danny didn't realize that he had become a superhero by savings people life, and that include saving someone life who turned out to be the one who caused his sadness....

Foxes is an art, one of beautiful and heartwarming story I ever read. The slow burn combined with amazing writing and good main characters had leave deep impression in me and almost all the reader. And again, Suki Fleet had made this book sings in perfect harmony. So, please do make sure you didn’t miss it!

Highly recommended!

Monday, November 26, 2018

ARC REVIEW : First Light (Heartsville #2) by Christina Lee & Felice Stevens

Title : First Light
Author(s) : Christina Lee & Felice Stevens
Series : Heartsville book #2
Genre(s) : contemporary gay romance
Publication Date : November 26th 2018
Rating : 5/5 Stars

Buy Link : Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon UK | Amazon Universal Link 

Two years after the death of his wife, Aubrey Hendricks is still weighed down by grief. He can’t focus on anything beyond working at the family farm, First Light. At the urging of a friend, he takes a step toward resuming a normal life and reopens the bakery his wife once ran. He places a Help Wanted ad in the local paper, and to his surprise, an applicant shows up the next day.

When Oliver Hansen gets a second chance at life, he grasps it with both hands. Leaving his stressful life in New York, he plans to enjoy the simpler things. Driving to Heartsville in the Pocono Mountains to thank his heart donor’s widower is a top priority. But the brusque man with the melancholy eyes strikes a chord in Oliver. So when Aubrey mistakenly believes he’s there to apply for the bakery job…Oliver takes him up on the offer.

As Oliver busies himself with the grand reopening, he and Aubrey establish a tentative friendship, which soon shifts to blazing attraction. Oliver falls hard for him, yet he can’t help but wonder if Aubrey’s feelings are an attempt to maintain a connection to the wife he’s still mourning. And Aubrey is unsure if Oliver will tire of the slow pace in Heartsville and go running back to the city he loves. The two must successfully navigate the stormy waters of grief, doubt, and their very different lifestyles, or they risk losing both their hearts—again.

*Please note: This is in the same world as our MMM, LAST CALL, except FIRST LIGHT is MM and a complete standalone.

“It’s never been more right than it is now. With you. Now you’re here, and it’s like you’ve breathed life back into my body.” – Aubrey


Sometimes the road of life takes an unexpected turn and you have no choice but to follow it to end up in a place you are supposed to be… - Unknown.

And that’s what actually happen to Oliver. He come to Heartsville with one purpose, to meet with a person who had given him a second chance but mistakenly took as the new baker by First Light owner, Aubrey.

There’s something in Aubrey's sad eyes that intrigued Oliver and suddenly a new mission grow in Oliver mind, he want to help the man and brought the sunshine back into Aubrey’s life…

First Light is not only a story about a farmer and a lawyers turned a baker, but also a beautiful heart warming journey of love between a heart transplant recipient and the donor's widower. Fate then brought the two stranger from different world together and falling in love…

The writing is beautiful with good plot and slow burn pace, the main characters are very lovable and leave very deep impression in me. I love seeing the change from grouchy and lonely Aubrey to playful Aubrey when he's with Oliver and I also love how Oliver show the man how to live again. Love the dynamic and chemistry between these two and I really enjoying every moments when they slowly growing their feeling and how they build the relationship with strong connection from pure friendship to lovers. Everything feels so natural, believable and perfect!

Their journey to the happiness was not easy, they still must face some obstacles from self doubt, their own insecurities that haunt both Oliver and Aubrey life and also the secret Oliver brought with him, but again I love how they solve their conflicts through communication and finally have courage to confess what they really want. Both Oliver and Aubrey deserve to have their own happiness after what they been through and grab the second chance given to them and cherish the life together. Who knows that fate has put them in the circle of live through grief and another love?

First Light is a beautiful, heart warming story that will warmed your winter this year.

Last but not least, I do really enjoy the glimpse of Quinn, Gray and Emery from Last Call , it made me miss the guys A LOT…

Highly recommended!

ARC REVIEW : Loving a Warrior by Melanie Hansen

Title : Loving a Warrior
Author : Melanie Hansen
Genre(s) : contemporary gay romance
Publication Date : November 26th 2018
Rating : 3.5/5 Stars

BUD/S: six months of the most intense training there is. It’s survival of the toughest, and Matt Knytych is determined to come out the other side a navy SEAL.

Distraction is life or death. And just the sight of former marine Shane Hovland is enough to shake Matt’s concentration.

Shane came to BUD/S training ready to prove himself—again. Semper Fi is forever, but he needs a new start. Not this dangerous heat with a man he barely knows.

Everything they’ve ever wanted is riding on a thin, punishing line. And they’ll have to fight for more than just each other if they want to make it through intact.

After all, the only easy day was yesterday.

Matt turned to bury his face against Shane’s shoulder. “Why are you so perfect for me?” he said raggedly. “Why?” He clutched on to him, twisting his fists into Shane’s damp shirt. “Because you are. Perfect.”

This is the story about Soup and Clown, two strangers who become brothers in arms during the hell weeks on special training…

I thought that it would be some battles scenes in this book, but it seems I’m totally wrong!!

The story mostly only about the BUD/S training and how Matt and Shane spent their hell weeks together during the training before they become SEAL and a glimpse of the life outside the base camp. And I must admit it’s kinda disappointed me a bit and more less affected my mood because I was hoping to find some battle scenes and love story in the middle of secret missions and conflicts that will squeeze my heart while reading it.

The interactions between the MCs were good and so tense right from the beginning. Their growing feeling, the connections, the push and pull all written in slow and heartwarming way. How they support and encourage each others during the rough Hell-weeks on DUI/S training, the UST and strong attraction between the two, the denial, the conflicts and their dynamic and growing relationship all feels so natural and convincing enough. Good plot combine with the slow pace, good writing and loveable characters had made this story become enjoyable enough to follow.

Thanks to all the documentaries and some movies I’ve watched about how hard and brutal the SEAL Team training is, I can picturing all the DUI/S training weeks with no problems at all.