Rec: To Target the Heart (Spellster Series #2)

Title: To Target the Heart (Spellster Series #2)
Author: Aldrea Alien
Format: Kindle
Published/Free: Published. $2.99 (until the 15th of April)
Length: 598
Status: Complete book of on-going series
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Suicide attempt. Violence. Homophobia.
Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0834FL7QG
Summary:

How can he win with the odds stacked against him?

Prince Hamish has no interest in fulfilling his duty of marrying. Not to a woman, at least. That doesn’t stop his mother, Queen Fiona, from presenting him with every eligible noblewoman that enters their castle. He’s certain it’ll be no different with the representative of the Udynea Empire.

So when they do arrive, Hamish is relieved the imperial prince, Darshan, is not the woman everyone expected. Until the man kisses him and Hamish is confronted by the very emotions he has been forced to conceal or be punished for. Emotions he is eager to explore.

But the kiss proves to be a little too public and leads his mother to take drastic measures to ensure Hamish adheres to her family vision. The contest of arms will force Hamish to make a choice: give up his happiness for convention’s sake or send the kingdom spiralling into civil war for the right to love his own way.

Review: Entertaining read. Really liked Darshan and Hamish. Excited for what happens next!

Rec: Fourth Point of Contact (Legends of Lobe den Herren Book 1)

Title: Fourth Point of Contact (Legends of Lobe den Herren Book 1)
Author: AJ Sherwood
Format: Kindle; Paperback
Published/Free: $3.99; $13.99
Length: 335
Status: Ongoing series
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Death
Link: https://www.amazon.com/Fourth-Point-Contact-Legends-Herren-ebook/dp/B07JJZR6H9/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=3866HGLRLJ0XZ&keywords=fourth+point+of+contact+aj+sherwood&qid=1560636918&s=gateway&sprefix=the+fourth+point+%2Caps%2C158&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1
Summary:

“Renjimantoro.”

Ren’s head snapped up, as Brahms only used his full name when being completely serious.

Those dark blue eyes met his levelly, penetratingly, as if he could see every thought going through Ren’s head. And he likely could. The man was exceptionally good at seeing through people. “Come with me.”

Oh hell. He really had no defenses against that plea. Brahms rarely asked anything of him, and every time he had, it turned out to be for Ren’s own good. “You realize that if I go, your reputation is never going to recover. People assume I’ve seduced you over to my side as it is.”

Brahms just stared at him.

“Right, you don’t care. Of course you don’t, silly me, why am I worrying about it?” Relief filled him, making him a little giddy with it, and he had the strangest urge to giggle. Which wasn’t manly, he stamped that out immediately, but still a grin took over his face. “Alright, alright, I’ll go home with you.”

Not once in the past five years has Castle Warden Sho Renjimantoro regretted following his best friend to Aart. How can he regret it when he finds open acceptance regarding his sexuality from everyone around him (even if they don’t understand it), and he gets to be with the man most important to him?

No, finding someone in this country is a fantasy best forgotten.

General Arman Brahms, finally home from deployment, has waited over two years to show Ren he’s wrong, that fantasies can come true. Unfortunately, his plans get put on hold to help Ren solve the crisis unfolding in the castle.

Someone is doing their level best to make sure the engagement of Prince Charles and Princess Alexandria of Scovia falls through—by fair means or foul. In addition, they’re trying to make Ren deemed incompetent and dismissed from his position. While hunting for the perpetrator, Ren and Arman do everything in their power to protect those they’re sworn to before the irredeemable occurs.

And along the way, prove that even an ordinary life can become extraordinary.

Review: A nice entertaining read. Really liked Arman and Ren. Excited to see what happens next!

Rec: Spitfire

Title: Spitfire
Author: Dean Wax
Format: Short story
Published/Free: Free
Length: 11.4K words / 12 chapters
Status: Complete
Rating: Ultra Mature
Warnings: Nonsexual cannibalism, violence, rape, monster men
Link: ao3 link
Summary: In a world where old gods still roam, a wealthy city in the grips of tyranny has run out of beautiful men to appease their maniacal king; all except the Oracle, that is. Three old men would offer him up to die to save their own skin. When one tears at the strings that Fate is weaving, the consequences can be dire indeed.

Review: I think it’s good but I’m biased because I wrote it. This started out as a writing practice heavily following the rhythms of a fairy tale but then the character of the Oracle got his nails into my muse and I was compelled to finish it. There is technically a Transman x Man pairing in it but it’s not romantic and ultimately beside the point of fates, old gods and treachery. Give it a whirl and see how you go.

Rec: Immunity Series

Title: Immunity
Author: Epic Solemnity (Dark_Cyan_Star)
Format: Novel
Published/Free: Free
Length: 2 parts so far, Part I: 22 Chapters, Part II: 19/30 Chapters
Status: WIP, updates once or twice a week
Rating: Mature
Warnings: graphic violence, implied/referenced incest
Link: AO3 (Part I)  AO3 (Part II)
Summary: Raised in the slums, away from his scheming relatives, a prince grows up dreaming of revenge. However, blood is power, and despite his royal lineage, Ezra isn’t an Elemental. Or so he believes. When he reencounters his darkly enthralling uncle, he finds himself facing new, enigmatic possibilities and unlocked powers. He soon realizes he doesn’t want to kill his family. He wants to beat them at their own game. 

Review: The world built around this story is amazing. I love the dynamics of all the characters, and the story itself is new and refreshing. The author is a great writer and it really shows in her word choice and grammar. Although they claim the story updates once a week, they have posted more than one chapter a week many times. If you love fantasy and slow burn, this is the story for you.

Epic Solemnity (Dark_Cyan_Star)

Rec: Euclidean Signature

Title: Euclidean Signature
Author: mobiusghost/mobiusreach
Format: webcomic
Published/Free: Free
Length: currently 38 pages, will be pretty long
Status: wip
Rating: currently Teen, will go up to Mature eventually 
Warnings: blood, mild gore VERY later on, sexual themes, implied abuse/csa later on
Link: https://tapas.io/series/Euclidean-Signature
Summary: An angel and an alchemist travel across the lands on the run from thrill seekers and bounty hunters.

Review: "it’s good, read it.“ – me, the author

Rec: Blue on Black

Title: Blue on Black
Author: Carole Cummings 
Format: Novel
Published/Free: Published
Length: 380 pages
Status: Complete 
Rating: Mature 
Warnings: non-con (not between main pairing), mind control, violence, slavery through debts
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25654472-blue-on-black
Summary: Bas is a Directorate Tracker on the trail of Baron Petra Stanslo, a megalomaniac and ruler of a little desert barony on the edge of nowhere. Techs tend to die and disappear around Baron Stanslo, and the latest one is Kimolija Adani–Class 2 gridTech, beloved brother, most promising student the Academy’s ever had the privilege of calling their own, genius mechanical gridstream engineer, brilliantly pioneering inventor. A dead man Bas has definitely not fallen in love with through his diaries and work.

For almost three years, Bas has tried to find a way into Stanslo’s Bridge, and when he finally makes it, shock is too small a word for what—or, rather, whom—he finds there.

Review: I was not expecting to enjoy this as much as I did. I’ve read Cumming’s other works before, specifically her Wolf’s Own series, and though I didn’t mind it, I certainly didn’t love the books. Maybe it’s the subject matter and the genre that caught my attention. It’s a Wild West Punk with psychics, and my god I did not know I needed that in my life until now.  

The romance is slow, and the plot is convoluted, and Cummings does an excellent job of weaving it all together. I love reading about Bas contending with his feelings for Kimo, whatever they might be, while dealing with Stanslo’s particular brand of insanity. Not to mention that everyone seems to have their own agendas, and he’s not sure who to trust. On that note, the secondary characters really stood and I would have loved to read a number of backstories about any of them. Even the most villainous of character were fascinating in their own right, even if sometimes that fascination is laced with disgust. 

I really enjoyed the worldbuild, and how it’s revealed bit by bit, rather than in episodes of massive info dumps. It felt natural, the way the information is given to the readers. Not to mention Bas is a hilarious character in his own head, whose love for being a hero battles constantly with his survival instincts and common sense. 

That said, the story doesn’t pull punches when it comes to the violence either, which might not be to everyone’s taste. And admittedly, the slow start can be a bit of a slog to get through, and Cummings is not kind with explanations but it’s worth it for the story that unfolds. 

Rec: Silver in the Wood

Title: Silver in the Wood
Author: emilyenrose
Format: short story
Published/Free: free
Length: 19k
Status: complete 
Rating: Teen
Warnings: violence
Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/12161433
Summary: It was the middle of an autumn downpour when Tobias first met Henry Silver. Midsummer had come and gone, and the wood was quiet.
Review: This is a beautifully written story about a grumpy woodsman and the lordling that finds him. It has elements of fairytale and folklore but is ultimately something of a redemption story. I only wish it was a hundred times longer. This is the first original fic of emilyenrose’s that I’ve read and if she maintains the same quality I am definitely looking forward to more. If you’re in the Dragon Age fandom, I’d also recommend her other works, By the Still Waters.

Rec: First Kiss at a Spooky Soirée

Title: First Kiss at a Spooky Soirée
Author: NomNomNami
Format: Visual novel
Published/Free: free/name your own price
Length: 25min~
Status: Complete
Rating: Teen
Warnings: some strong language and screen shakes
Link: https://nomnomnami.itch.io/first-kiss-at-a-spooky-soiree
Summary:You play Marzipan, a light witch who’s gone her whole life without kissing anyone–UNTIL TONIGHT!

Review: Marzipan tastes great and that’s reason enough to play… no? The art is super cute and I loved the different endings. Even characters I didn’t really like at first got to me. Kinda sad we can’t date ourselves because Marzipan is a sugarbomb. Or a pumpkin latte. If you like Halloween and girls, that’s the game for you. Got translated into Korean and German, and there’s an option to change the font for dyslexic players.