Tag Archives: m/m

Book Review: Lord of the White Hell [Book One]

I was first introduced to writer Ginn Hale when I came across her book Wicked Gentlemen at a convention a couple years ago. I ate that book up quickly, and when I came across more books by her last year at the same convention, I was quick to grab them all.

I read book one of Lord of the White Hell while on my honeymoon, and again, finished it in a couple of days. This wasn’t just because I was lounging on an island and had nothing better to do – I just couldn’t put it down and my husband understood and played Puzzle Quest. Such a patient and understanding man he is.I am always looking for stories that show the way that two people are attracted to each other, and how they deal with that attraction. Though I was, at first, not sure if the relationship between Kiram and Javier would move in a way that I liked, I was quickly surprised with the way it went. I’m not a fan of the ‘oh i hate you/now i love you’ route that many stories take.

Kiram comes from a culture that approves of male/male relationships, and where women run the households and are the heirs. The Haldiim seem very earthy and slightly bohemian in their ways. However, Kiram has been sent to a Cadelonian academy, the first Haldiim ever to attend, where the culture is very different, and relationships are strictly reserved for men and women. This, of course, causes issues when Kiram finds himself extremely attracted to his upperclassman, Javier, from the very start.

But it isn’t as simple as that.

The only reason that Javier is assigned to be Kiram’s upper classmen is because of the supposed white hell that is within Javier, which is something that Kiram doesn’t believe in. It becomes quickly clear, though, that there is something different about Javier – something is within him that could kill him, or someone else, if not taken care of, and Kiram wants to figure out what it is.

I appreciated that this book didn’t have Kiram and Javier jump into a romantic relationship right away – that they realistically assessed the situation and knew that them being involved would have terrible repercussions for both of them in the Cadelonian society. Eventually they break through that, and it is the way they become close that I really enjoyed reading. There are many other twists and turns that happen throughout the story, and I liked the trials that were put in their path – again, it felt very realistic that these two young men would be put through some of the social constraints they were exposed to.

Book One of Lord of the White Hell is an exciting read, and Ginn Hale does an awesome job of getting the reader attached to the characters throughout the story – and throws in some crazy turns that I didn’t quite see coming, despite my attempts at guessing ahead (it’s a bad habit I’m sure).  Definitely a fun fantasy read, which i have already read twice. ^^

Review: A Midwinter Prince

Since this is my first review here, I just wanted to say that I never used to read romance novels. More specifically, hetero romance novels. I couldn’t handle the fluff, the cheesy lines, the bodice ripping. It was all too much for me. However, in discovering m/m novels, I often find an awesome balance of romance, angst, and sexiness mixed with a good story as its backbone. And no bodices to be found. A Midwinter Prince by Harper Fox was an exciting, suspenseful read that held all the aspects that I enjoy in a good romance, without actually being a romance. It’s a story revolving around two men from two totally different worlds, and I have to say it broke my heart at least three times. I ached for these boys so much that at one point I allowed myself only three hours of sleep so I could read on, repeating to myself It has to get better.

It starts off with the main character Laurie, who is the only son in a wealthy family in London, and whose passion for being in the theater [and for men] is overruled by his father’s strict and dangerous ideas on how things should be. Forced into a life that he is too afraid to leave, he takes a step out of his rich world when he sees a handsome young homeless Romanian named Sasha on the streets one winter night and reaches out to him.

It’s from this point that Laurie’s life changes rapidly, as his worry for Sasha leads him through the underbelly of the city that he never really looked at before. But it is also here that he begins to learn that he can fight his way out of the cage that he is in, and it is through Sasha that he discovers that it isn’t so bad, living a little rough. I enjoyed the way that Fox created these two characters, with personalities that meshed so well together despite their different backgrounds and lots that life dealt them. Laurie is determined to protect Sasha from the streets, but Sasha is more worried about what would happen if he left them. They both support each other and I felt there was not one person who was the stronger of the two – they each had their weaknesses that the other held up. These characters were strong and developed, and each time they did something that caught me off guard, even if I didn’t like what they did, I saw how it worked for their character.

Eventually the two begin to settle into a new way of living as lovers after Laurie comes to terms with who he is with his family, and the thought what could possibly go wrong pops up. Then the past that Sasha had been hiding from comes running through the door, disrupting everything and sowing seeds of doubt into Laurie’s mind. Without giving anything away, cue my heart breaking all over the place for him. Hit after hit threatens to tear the two apart and test their new love for each other.

What really got me in this was the amount of realistic angst – the truth behind everything that was slowly revealed as the story went on, the fact that there was so much failure and each step forward for the two of them seemed to be followed by a trip on a hidden crack. There was a point where I actually believed there was a chance that this book wouldn’t have a happy ending, and I was almost okay with it. Almost.

Overall, this book has a storyline that kept me connected to the characters and interested in what happened to them, as well as just the right amount of hot sexy scenes in between the angst. I enjoy tortured souls, what can I say!