Mini Reviews: September Reads


I'm starting a new feature on the blog - Mini reviews. I'll try to make make a monthly post with short reviews of a couple books I have read in the past month (or even before) but for which I haven't written more elaborate reviews.

This time I will review four novellas I read in September: The Layover by Roe Horvat, A Taster of Honey by Rose Lerner, Peter Darling by Austin Chant and Jigs and Reels by Leigh M. Lorien.

Title: The Layover
Author: Roe Horvat
Genre: MM romance

Author links: Website / Facebook / Goodreads
Purchase links: Amazon / Kobo / Dreamspinner Press

My rating: 4.5 Stars


This is a very powerful debut, very European centered, topical on the issue of LBGT rights (in Slovakia and across EU in general) It is also a tender love story, which packs a punch in a short format.
I basically loved everything about it - solid writing, interesting and realistic plot, complex characters. Ondro is defensive, sort of just passing through life without really living it, Jamie, is in a bit of a similar situation, trying to be more outgoing, reckless if you want. 
They form a deep connection over some some usual circumstances and it didn't feel forced or rushed, it was just right for them. I really appreciate that he author kept it real, there is no glossing over the hard aspects, no miraculous reconciliation with homophobic family, just moving on without them into a future shared with a person who loves them for who they are.

Title: A Taste of Honey
Author: Rose Lerner
Genre: Historical mf romance

Author links: Website / Facebook / TwitterGoodreads
Purchase links: Kindle / kobo / nook /iBooks

My rating: 4 Stars


This is a historical erotic novella, full of deliciousness. It's rich in food detail that will make you crave all the Victorian desserts. We have two characters who want to be together but neither feels truly worthy of the other. I liked how it was the heroine who she took the imitative despite her doubts and fears. Mr. Moon is a lovely beta hero - a virgin who is opens himself to carnal pleasure and love. I feel the sex scenes were a bit too much for such a short read and would have preferred more character development (especially insight into their background and motivations). Still, fans of the series will no doubt enjoy seeing Mr. Moon get his HEA after his disastrous misadventures in courtship in book 1.

Title: Peter Darling
Author: Austin Chant
Genre: Retelling, trans romance

Author links: Facebook / Twitter / Smashwords / Website
Purchase links: Amazon
My rating: 5 Stars


To be completely honest I don't feel fully equipped to review this story. It's both magical and painful to read at times, profound and mesmerizing. It made me feel all the feels without going into  melodrama. Austin Chant is a master story teller in this trans retelling (re-imagining) of Peter Pan. The story is made up beauty and emotion and so much fragility that it makes my heart ache. Peter's (and Captain Hook's) journeys are all about finding yourself, your place in the world, someone to share happiness/hardship with. The story has a lot to say about family (birth and chosen one), friendship, building relationships. I can't recommend this book highly enough.

Title: Jigs and Reeels
Author: Leigh M. Lorien
Genre: Contemporary m/m romance, Musicians

Author links: Twitter / Facebook / Blog / Goodreads
Purchase links: Publisher / Amazon / Kobo

My rating: 3.5 Stars


This s sweet mm romance about two musicians in renaissance fairs band falling in lover. It's a quick, fluffy story about finding and keeping the joy in your life. The plot is focused on the choice between what you should feel and do and what you real feel and want to do with your life. It's gives a strong encouragement to go after your dreams without being preachy or going overboard with positive message of "You can do anything". We see the hardships, the difficult choices but also the joy and freedom and it's heart-warming. A bit of a rushed ending and less tension/conflict that I would have liked, but overall it's a nice, solid romance.

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