Mooreeffoc by Aleksina & Single (review)

Mooreeffoc Book Cover

Title: Mooreeffoc
Authors: Tetiana Aleksina & Tony Single
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Format:  Short Story (19 pages)

SitesGoodreads | Amazon
Publisher: Kindle (March 2016)
ASIN: B01CX4WYUY

Bonus: Kindle Unlimited title

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

Tagline:  Divine presence intrudes on a coffee house pick-up

While I normally focus on male/male romance, especially paranormal romance, Mooreeffoc (read it backwards if you’re confused) is a short story that centers on a possible male/female hookup with a supernatural bent.  The presence of divinities wrapped in the encounter makes this a nice little urban fantasy read.

This was a trippy short story replaying a pick-up at a coffee house from various perspectives, including the eyes of the two flirting mortals and the gods who haunt each one.   It’s an interesting journey into a comparative “point of view” escapade with a man, a woman, and several Egyptian gods all providing their own, somewhat snarky reactions to the encounter.  The contrasts between the characters are certainly interesting and the authors provide an interesting window into each personality, which is a noteworthy accomplishment in such a short piece. The ending is nicely surprising and entertaining, yielding an overall quick but enjoyable reading experience.

Be My Queen by RayeAnn Carter (review)

Be My Queen Book Cover

Title: Be My Queen
Author: RayeAnn Carter
Genre:  Transgender Romance
Format:  Novella (38k words /114 pages)
Sites: Publisher | Goodreads | Amazon

Publisher: Less Than Three Press  (April 2015)
ISBN: 978162045268

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

Tagline:  Handsome bi guy slings into town and sweeps transgendered heroine off her feet

This was a relatively simple, short, and extremely sweet novella regarding a handsome bisexual guy sliding into town and sweeping a young transgendered woman off her feet. It was a quick, nicely escapist, and rather straightforward contemporary romance.  Lavender, the heroine, displayed a nice combination of nervousness, excitement, and pragmatic (if perhaps a bit jaundiced) expectations.  Her struggles with issues related to her physical and mental health, including the safety of living with supportive friends which also exposed her to their tribulations, injected both some obstacles to overcome and at least a little bit of “realism” in the otherwise fairy tale feel of the romance. Diego was a bit of an over-the-top hero, but his “love at first sight” ridiculousness worked just fine in a nicely saccharine story.

Overall, I enjoyed this as a wonderful little “feel good” romance that has protagonists who could use more love and representation in fiction (as well as in non-fiction and real life visibility). It’s fantastic to have a transgendered heroine, which is clearly the draw of this piece, but I was also pleased to read a fun story with a fully realized (i.e. not confused or experimenting) bisexual character.

 

Blowback by Lyn Gala

Blowback  Book Cover

Title: Blowback
Author: Lyn Gala
Genre:  Science Fiction Romance (M/F)
Format:  Novel (392 pages)
Book sites:  Author | Publisher Goodreads
Edition: 2nd Edition
Publisher: Loose ID (June 2015)
ISBN: 9781623009373

4.5 stars (out of 5)

Tagline:  Tough alpha male soldier submits to the crazy, strong, and blue alien woman

An amazing tale from one of my favorite authors, some of the writing was more difficult and slow than typically found in light romances, but the payoff in the end was absolutely worth it for me.   Lyn Gala writes a wide range of stories, including one of my absolute favorite m/m romances, Claimings Tails and Other Alien Artifactsa gently firm and a bit erotic exploration of a strong but submissive human man submitting to powerful alien.  Blowback  is an earlier work  by this author (although recently revised) with similar themes, except in this case the outwardly buff  human man with a submissive side is submitting to a powerful female alien.

Reading this work reminded me of the writing progression of another of my favorite m/m romance authors, Amy Lane.  Her early Little Goddess series, a paranormal erotic series (with a female protagonist) had a rough-edged but wild prose style that was engaging but perhaps a bit undisciplined, as well as highlighting some of the strengths we see in Ms. Lane’s later works.  I find a similar progression in Ms. Gala’s writing – her early work Blowback is a bit rough to get through at times but it showcases the author’s love of linguistics and cross-cultural communication issues that are so brilliantly built into her later Claimings series.  In short, I find in both of these authors’ early works plenty of genius a somewhat “rough around the edges” but still extremely engaging writing styles that are clearly honed to great effect in very enticing later works.

I read this genre primarily for escapist reads, so the alien (and traumatic) confusion of the main character wasn’t as easy to navigate as I usually expect in romances, but in the end any struggle through the sieve of an injured alien mind was well worth the eventual payoff for me.  Of course, I greatly enjoy stories where strong men are able to find comfort and joy in submission to another, especially when the relationship focuses on the mental and emotional side of  Domination and submission.  For this reader, Blowback was an absolutely enchanting tale and the wonderful jumble of the blue woman’s crazily enticing vocabulary was an extremely enjoyable escape that paid off handsomely in the end.

Heat:   4.5 stars (just a few scenes, but I found them to be very smoking for my tastes)

Relationship Chemistry:  4.5 stars (slow boil of enemy to prisoner to lover)

Characters:   4.5 stars (tough, alpha male who secretly wants to submit and an uber-strong, apparently crazy, and wonderfully blue alien woman)

Setting:   4 stars   (military operatives undercover as smugglers caught on a slaving planet)

Plot:   4 stars  (caught in a web of deceit among slavers, aliens, the military, and the government)

Writing:    3.5 stars  (excellent hints of the author’s future xenolinguistic exploits, but sometimes dragged a bit much in the crazy alien woman’s mind)

 

Themes:  Aliens, Slavery, Enemies to Lovers, BDSM (submission, control, light bondage)