Daily Archives: August 13, 2015

Just a Feeling by JH Knight

GoodReads Presents http://www.mmromancegroup.com/just-a-feeling-by-j-h-knight/

just a feelingBlurb

Dear Author,
My name is yours to give, I’m a new father, whose best friend in the world just died and took with her all the magic of being an uncle, leaving only the harsh reality of being a father with no idea how to do that, AT ALL. Thing is, I’m looking for a nanny, my child is a colicky baby trying to wake the dead screaming, I haven’t slept in a while, and this handsome stranger who’s knocking on my door seems to be the answer to my desperate pleas… Only, he seems to know an awful lot of things about me and my baby that even I don’t know, can I trust him? Should I let him near my child?

Photo Description:
A man holds his sleeping newborn. The baby clutches a set of dog tags while resting his chin on the man’s shoulder. The word “family” is tattooed across the father’s back.

This story was written as a part of the M/M Romance Group’s “Love is an Open Road” event. Group members were asked to write a story prompt inspired by a photo of their choice. Authors of the group selected a photo and prompt that spoke to them and wrote a short story.

feeling real

Review

This is a sweet short but full story about Mark, an ex-military man who helped his friend with her pregnancy when she found herself unexpectedly pregnant. There is no “father” in the picture and when she dies in childbirth, he finds himself as the best suited candidate for the job.

Though he loved his friend and knows he wants to be the best dad he can, he’s overwhelmed and not at all prepared to be a father.

Luckily, he finds Ian, a nanny with loads of experience and hires him to help him with the newborn, Leo.

Ian has the patience of a saint and never takes anything personally, though Mark is more often than not, kind of a jerk.

Over time, the two develop deep feelings for one another and we get our HEA.

**

JH Knight is one of my favorite authors out there. She is amazingly talented and has a way of tugging at your heartstrings like no other.

This short story is a great example of her talent.

Though, there is only a small amount of sex in this book, there are lots of wonderful feels. Ian’s family is amazing, and has a vaguely sixth-sense which helps them to know when to do the right thing… just a feeling they call it.

I loved the growth Mark experienced it and my only wish was that we could have seen the couple in action for more than a little bit at the end.

4.5 of 5 hearts

4.5

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Lucky Linus by Gene Grant

Dreamspinner Presents
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6672

LuckyLinusBlurb

Is the possibility of fulfilling your heart’s desire worth the risk of breaking it?

Fourteen-year-old Linus Lightman is understandably reluctant to trust his newest foster family, the Nelsons, after he’s bounced through the system since being being taken from his neglectful mother. He’s certain they will reject him when they find out he’s gay, and getting to know them will only lead to hurt later. Trying to cope, he builds a friendship with Kevin Mapleton, and it quickly grows into romance, despite Linus’s fears. Then a video of Linus and Kevin having sex is posted online, and Linus knows from past experience exactly what’s going to happen. This sort of scandal will cost him his new home and Kevin’s love, snatching away his fragile hopes of belonging.

Review

Linus has had a very rough life. We meet him at 5 when he is being abused by his mother’s lover. From foster care home to foster care home he is passed around, abused, neglected and most importantly, not loved or made to feel safe.

He finally finds a home where he can make friends, be part of a family and settle down and plant roots when he meets a boy online. Though the two have a strong connection, there is more to their relationship than meets the eye and drama ensues. (See blurb above and sex tape reference.)

In the end Linus, who has remarkably kept up a warm, caring personality all this time, is forced into therapy – which he desperately needs – and begins the process of healing.

**

Ugh. I hate writing reviews when I don’t love the book but really, really wanted to.

There is so much about this book that I really liked. I liked how straight forward it was. Like the boy telling the story, it’s an accounting of his life, without emotion, without added drama.

I thought the way the sex in this book was handled was very appropriate for the audience.

I also liked the way the dark, ugly abuse was handled. No un-necessary re-creations just a flat telling of events. Nothing was sensationalized.

I liked the characters – on the surface there were countless of very interesting people in this story: the biological mother, the foster children, the social worker, the boyfriend and of course Linus himself.

What I didn’t like: I really wanted the author to take me through the flat, emotionless story-telling phase and then “show” me the colorful, real world, experience of being Linus. It felt like the entire story was a prelude to the real story, wherein some of that emotion from the abuse gets let out or explored or hopefully, reversed.

I just didn’t get that “reward” for all the painful stuff. It was one bad thing after another and only a brief respite at the end with the therapy, adoption and the “maybe we can start over” with the boyfriend.

It was way too heavy a story without something at the end to lighten things.

I also felt very disconnected from everyone and everything. I imagine that this is good – Linus must have felt this way at the beginning as well – but then I wanted to be brought back to the land of emotion and given a real connection again. Sort of like the color in Oz versus the black and white of Kansas. This story was all in black and white. There were many shades of gray and it was very interesting, but lacked the color or zing it could have.

3 of 5 hearts

3

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