Unicorn Favorites: Love's Landscapes Stories : Week Ten

The M/M Romance Group is celebrating its five year anniversary!
see below for more information :D
The M/M Romance Group on Goodreads hosts a Don't Read in the Closet event each year where they invite members to submit a photo with a story prompt.  Interested authors then volunteer to write the requested stories, which are published for free for everyone to read.  It's a fun/exciting/stressful process, and a great opportunity to read stories from favorite authors.  And chances are, you'll also discover some new authors, who hopefully have a backlist of goodies to check out :)

This year's event was named Love's Landscapes and they started releasing the completed stories on June first. Here at BMBR, we've been following along on comment threads, anticipating the stories from our favorite prompts, and now greedily reading the stories as they become available.

You can read about some of our favorite stories from earlier weeks of the event here
And some of our favorites from the tenth week of the event, August 3-9, are below:

Breann: Going Home by Kris Ripper

I can't even be coherent about this, so here we go:

Geo's complete adoration for Rory was so evident the entire time. My goodness, he loves his boy. It's obvious right from the beginning. The author never had to tell us he's completely lost without Rory, we knew because it was shown to us. Beautifully.

Rory is such a strong character. He's willing to take the hard road to do things right with Geo. He could have very easily gone right back into the life they shared, but instead he found out who he was without a Master before going home. (<-see what I did there? Heh.)

Because they did things right, it added to the complexity of their relationship. They didn't want to be a Master and his slave, but they wanted to act like a Master and his slave. They had a lot to work through and I loved everything about how they did just that. They worked at it.

But in the bedroom things were hot as hell and they definitely fell back into their natural roles. Geo for sure knows how to take charge juuuuuuuussssst how his Roar likes it. *bites lip*

I really couldn't have asked for more. I loved everything about Going Home.

OMG. Demon. Demon! Please tell me there will be more Demon and Teddy. LAWD, I need her to have an HEA.

Lorix: Indian Summer by D.C. Williams

This story was short and quiet and gentle. It seemed the kind of story where much was said in the silence between the sentences..if that makes sense. It wasn't obvious and in your face, but subtle. A friends to lovers with a difference. I did feel sad for the wasted years though, but know that the years ahead should be more than enough to make up time.

I liked the setting - it was simple, like the story itself. I like a change of pace in my reading sometimes and I found it with this book. 

Optimist ♰King's Wench♰: The Arroyo by M. Caspian
“The people who make the rules don’t have to follow the rules. That’s the one thing that stays the same no matter where you go.”
I’ve been waiting for this one ever since I saw the prompt and who picked it. Checking my computer and the event page like a madwoman.

If you haven’t read Kraken that shit is whack and a must read. This author certainly has a penchant for mindfuckery with a hint of horror. If you know me, you know horror isn’t my thing, but this author has a way of constructing worlds, characters and storylines wherein the horror bits are incorporated into the landscape. I find myself cringing and cheering simultaneously. An odd dichotomy to be sure, but I somehow crave it all the same.

The Arroyo is a dystopian tale wonderfully told with rich imagery, loathsome characters, and some of the most beautiful sentences I’ve read in quite some time. I blasted through this thing so quickly I didn’t have time to status update, but the language is both evocative and provocative. There aren’t many authors who can utilize such a dearth of words that conjure so much. There’s a precision here, a succinctness that’s very gratifying.

He clenched and unclenched his hands, and Trace was there, touching him, grounding him, smoothing across the landscape of his body and giving him something to cling on to that wasn’t this growing urge to come and come and shout and flail.

Oh, this was better; he could move now, mumbling incoherent words against Trace’s back as he pumped his hips and wished his skin could speak his feelings.
Trace is a slave, harvested twenty years ago with eight weeks left on his sentence to the Colonel. The Colonel is a bastard. Excuse me, a monstrous, fuckwit bastard. Trace has endured unspeakable things. He doesn’t remember a time when he made his own decisions, chose his own path and that sort of suppression leaches all the optimism out of a soul. The sense of despair and hopelessness permeates his thoughts until Isaac. Isaac doesn’t transform everything to rainbows and butterflies, no. Isaac does give Trace a sense of purpose and an emotion long forgotten, possessiveness. He wants Isaac. He knows it’s an impossibility, but the heart wants what it wants. 

The world building here is divine. I could see what’s become of America in all its desolate glory through this author’s eyes. Medical kink doesn’t do much for me, but it’s done well here. Trace and Isaac definitely have chemistry. Some will say this is instalove. I disagree, but I can’t say why for it’d be too spoilery. I like both of these characters so much, neither of whom are perfect, one of which has a touch of malevolence in him, both of whom leapt off the page. The literature references were a lovely touch. This author clearly enjoys reading. I, personally, would’ve liked a prologue with some further explanation of the Protectorate, the Federation of American States and why the harvest was instituted, but that’s probably me being curious by nature. And greedy. A solid 4.5 Hearts rounded up.

Don’t let the warning tags scare you away from reading The Arroyo. It’s beautiful and awful like any great story should be.

SheReadsALot: Elevation by Jenna Jones

“Have I been harassing you? I didn’t think of it that way.”

“It’s a fine line between harassment and aggressive flirting.”
I punched my bed. I punched my pillows and my bed. While reading you see. From utter enjoyment of this story.

I quelted.
I squealed.
I got all gooey and mostly pink. (Excuse my gushiness, cause I'm kinda soft and pink at the moment.)

“Sometimes you meet someone and you know not only are you going fuck them, but you’re going to fall asleep next to them and wake up beside them, and you’re going to be there for everything in between.”

“Some people call that falling in love.”

This was on my list of prompts I couldn't wait to read. And I just took a peek this afternoon...and well you see I finished it. You know how that story goes.

To put it succinctly, this is Cinderfella. But good Cinderfella.

Could this happen in real life? I highly doubt it but who gives a shit, it's fiction. :D

Cruz Morales has it rough. Life has shat on him and continues to do so. His mother left when he was fourteen, his father is emotionally comatose and depressed, he has to focus on taking of his family, leaving no time for himself. I get Cruz. I know Cruz. Life gives you a kick in the pants but you have to keep living, keep surviving.

He's a college student but his family situation keeps making him have to put his dreams and college education to the side to deal with reality. Enter the playboy knight who has a funny way of seducing which I enjoyed. Some readers probably won't but I thought it was fitting to the rich Malcolm.

(I loved when the main characters called each other Mr. King and Mr. Morales...I just adored that *gushes*)

A possible one night stand turns in a sort of reunion which turns into elevator camera seduction which turns in yummy words of characters who are circling around the L word but aren't quite there yet.

But they can be.
“We should go out,” he says. “See a movie, go out to eat?”

“Like, a date?” I say slowly, and he grins.

“Like a date.”

“Are we a dating sort of couple?”

“We are if we actually go on dates.”
This isn't instalove. There's time to watch feelings grow. There's a little twist that was unexpected but added more depth. The story got a little Disney-esque towards the end. But the main characters make up for any quibbles I have. (I have a few but the story just hit my buttons, I'll put them to the side. For now.)

There's hot, intense sex...that was hot but not perfect. There's some fade to black sex too but I enjoyed it just as much as the sex scene. And that first kiss scene was adoringly embarrassing.

I really loved these main characters. They made this story for me. So romantic yet with a dose of real life kinda fairy tale.

P.S. Cruz's job choice...that was unique and cool. Never read about a draftsman. And I loved the grandmother! :D

Sunny: Going Home by Kris Ripper

Wow...this was a wonderfully complex story. So much showing, and the emotions perfectly played out. Geo and Rory were so good together.

I liked their desperation to see each other, and their determination to do it right. When they did reunite, they struggled to adjust to new relationship dynamics, getting caught up in old habits, working to create new rituals. No easy fixes here, and the process added a lot of depth to their new relationship.

The secondary characters were also wonderful. Their strong, distinct personalities added so much to the story.  (More Demon and Teddy, please?)

This was everything I hoped for and more when I saw Breann's prompt.

The only detraction was the drama at the end. I thought it was unnecessary and too jarring. The sudden wrap up after the earlier slower build up was also disappointing.

The M/M Romance Group is celebrating its five year anniversary!
"In celebration of the groups five year anniversary, we're going to celebrate ALL WEEK LONG! We'll be posting lots of games, puzzles and contests with chances to win fabulous prizes. We'll be wrapping up the festivities next Sunday with another of our famous marathon chats where you'll have a chance to talk about the group, ask the mods questions, offer suggestions, schmooze with the authors and win prizes!"
For more information, see the Celebration 2014 topics under the M/M Romance Group on Goodreads. And check out that PRIZE VAULT!!! Woohoo!

No comments:

Post a Comment