Hi guys, we have Riptide Publishing’s Laylah Hunter stopping by with Gabriel’s City. Laylah chats about world-building, she brings along a fantastic giveaway and there’s my review for you to enjoy, so enjoy the post and then leave a comment (with email address) for a chance to win some ZOMG Smells perfume oil blends <3 ~Pixie~
(A Tale of Fables and Fortunes 01)
For spoiled young aristocrat Colin Harwood, the port city of Casmile is a buffet of easy pleasures. But when he steps into a pub brawl to help a dangerously outnumbered young man, he is drawn into the seedy underbelly of the city the young man calls home.
Gabriel is a cutpurse and a knife for hire, practically an urban legend. His vision of Casmile is touched by a strange combination of faith and madness, driven by fairytale logic and a capacity for love that he often must suppress to survive. He’s always worked alone, but when a dashing dragon who calls himself Colin saves him in a bar fight, he pulls Colin into his world.
Gabriel’s city is nothing like the refined, socialite existence that bored Colin senseless. Colin finds adventure and excitement there—and maybe even love. But with his layers of finery stripped away, nothing remains to protect him from poverty or danger—except Gabriel. So he must choose: go back to the civilized young man he once was, or fly free as Gabriel’s dragon.
Blurb: Simon Pollux and Adrian Lovasz are podmates, and a matched set besides: Simon, the lethal scout, and Adrian, his willing and even more lethal combat specialist. In the midst of exploring an alien world, Simon is infected with an alien virus, and Adrian must decide to what lengths he’ll go to ensure Simon’s comfort.
Ok! Imagine a big muscle man, all meat, and brawn and scientifically enhanced soldier with a gold, soft, sweet, loving heart. And then imagine a wiry, snippy, snarly, constantly irritated, and irritating Intel scout soldier. Don’t they make the perfect match? Hell yeah, you have no idea. This pair – along with others we don’t really care for, because they are not so much a big part of this story – travel the universe trying to find suitable planets for resources and relocation. When they are not on the ground securing, scouting, and/or anything that their work as soldiers requires, they spend the rest of their time in cryo-sleep aka unconscious. Their time to just be is limited and they are more often than not treated by their superiors as gear, another set of weapons, expensive yet replaceable ones. Not very good for morale so our perfect match has to do with the little in between fights time they have on their hands to relieve stress.
Yup, you got the main idea; there’s fast sex, there’s rough sex, and there’s no room for feelings, even if they simmer underneath their skin barely managing not to escape their mouths. So the entire read beside the action part, is quite tense with unconfessed feelings and their intimate encounters are HOT.
Action plot; keeping a fast pace we follow this pairs efforts to recon a planet that is suitable for them to inhabit. Among the old architecture that is found there are also encounters with alien semi-sentient life, a type of creatures resembling humans yet have a couple more appendages on them awfully similar to tentacles. Oh wait, they are tentacles, and my day just got brighter. Have I mentioned my new fascination with them? Loved it, absolutely loved it.
As the pair makes their round they get jumped from these aliens a time too many and our snippy, snarky Intel guy, Simon gets bitten. Fear brings up the tension of the read a notch or two, our sweet meat-shield (the nick-name for Adrian – isn’t Simon a darling for thinking that up) getting worried for his partner, and Simon himself getting a bit mellower after panic hits his system. This might be the end as Simon suffers a transformation that leaves him with sensitive tentacles flopping around, but we get to witness real romance when Adrien refuses to do the sensible thing and abandon Simon, instead standing by his side no matter what. The passion fuels by a great range of emotions leads the pair into some really hot and sexy love scenes, while they wait for help to come their way. Will they make it and if they do, will they be able to be together as normal beings or will they go back to being yet another set of gear, stored into cryo-sleep until they are needed again?
Yup, this story is interesting, enticing, erotic, and mostly it keeps evoking different emotions from you at every turn. Strongly recommended for those who love hot men in a sci-fi setting, and action with a dose of tentacles thrown in for the fun of it. Enjoy!
Blurb: Luis Delgado, a boxer, and Davey Taylor, an artist, live in a future when Earth is home to the destitute and the only chance for a better life is found among the colonies that orbit the once-great planet. Davey has the opportunity to make a name for himself with an art sponsorship on the Luna Minor colony, but he needs to get there first. Luis may have the answer, but it means choosing between his career and his future together with Davey.
Review: Earth has become a place where only the ones out of luck are stuck behind. The entire future out there in the Colonies.
Luis is a boxer that barely makes his rent and his future doesn’t shine bright at the moment. Yes, he’s a winner and lately he’s been in a serious strike, but that still doesn’t afford the money to make the flight out of Earth. That escape is merely a dream he shares with his buddy/lover Davey.
When Davey’s chance to get out of Earth shows up when he wins a contest and a job in one of the Colonies, both men start to really give it a thought and make plans to go there together. But, even as Davey wins the job he still has to pay his journey there and there is simply not enough money even for one of them. Unless…
This Shorty could have been good, but somehow there were too many things lacking. First of all, the pair lacked chemistry and some kind of a bond. They seemed like fuck-buddies who just made a decision to leave the slums together and although there were hints of romance there it didn’t quite make a show.
And there was the boxing part that felt somehow detached. Here we had this guy who got high on winning. His entire life was just that and the intensity of the fight was a no-show. And there he was going against everything he knew, against every instinct he had, yet still there was a serious lack of blood-boiling tension that should be there. The entire thing was just… yeah, detached. Simply narrated, told with an almost boring voice. It just didn’t grip me the way I know boxing can.
In the end this story was yet another lukewarm one for me.