Love Thief – Gay Silver Fox Cat-Burglar Romance!

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Love Thief by Alex Ankarr

Lang is a career thief, a mature and sophisticated man of the world, and his work is perfect. His plans are immaculate, his execution is flawless. So how can one pretty teenage wiseass turning up in the middle of a burglary turn his world upside down? Is Lang’s heist at the Ingley family mansion going to involve more than he bargained for? James Ingley seems to think so…

Image – Last Hero on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/uwe_schubert/ under a Creative Commons licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/.

What I’ve been reading – Outtake from ‘Night Broken’ by Patricia Briggs

This is another outtake, included in the short story collection ‘Shifting Shadows’ by Patricia Briggs.  This one is from ‘Night Broken’ which is not a hot favourite of mine.  It’s the book where Mercy and Adam’s relationship – at least for the reader, or at least for me – started to slow down and become repetitive, a little stagnant.

(Their mutual adoration society is getting a little cloying.  I’d love to read them having an actual row, sometime.   I mean, a proper row, about taking out the trash or who drank three-quarters of the bottle, you dipso pig. 

Not, “Oh, Adam,” *breathy voice, maidenly hand to forehead* “it’s so claustrophobic when you adore and protect me all the time!” 

“Oh, Mercy, damn you woman, must you be so wild and free and recklessly brave, it makes me insanely aggravated with desire!”  /Adam chews a countertop into kibble with frantic unhinged devotion)

But the outtake is rather cute, and maybe it would have improved the book if it had been included.

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image – Erin Perry https://www.flickr.com/photos/pips/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ no changes

Of course, it could just be cute because it includes both Coyote – Mercy’s supernatural ‘Daddy’ – and the walking stick.  These are two of my favourite supporting characters in the Mercyverse.  They’re both fun and daft and frivolous, and make everything they feature in fun.

It’s not difficult to tell that Briggs is a pantster, as far as writing goes.  This outtake contains a one-line plot-hole explanation, subsequent to the entire action.  (Something regarding Coyote’s role, you’ll have to read it if you want to know what.)  And it’s not the first one I’ve come across from Briggs, or the second, or even the third, I think.

That isn’t exactly a criticism.  Tight plotting isn’t my own strength, either.  OTOH, I’m not making big bucks on the bestseller lists.  So I feel pretty much free to jump up and down, shout “YOWZA!”, and run around just writing whatever seems like fun.  Having a good time, in short, doing whatever I feel.

Ms Briggs, however, has fans who’ll shell out for a pricey hardback, sight unseen, on the basis of having followed the series for yonks.  When all they know about it is the title.  I mean me.  I mean, like me.  I do that, on the regular.

I think a little extra care, an outline here and there, wouldn’t be unreasonable.

What I’ve been reading – outtake from ‘Silver Borne’ by Patricia Briggs

 

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image – https://www.flickr.com/photos/internetarchivebookimages/ – no known copyright restrictions.

This is, as suggested, an outtake from the Briggs Mercyverse novel ‘Silver Borne’.  That novel isn’t my fave, although it’s not bad.  But I’ve never much cared for Samuel Cornick – for a supposedly dominant werewolf he’s a bit of a drip, a moaning Minnie with not much go in him.  And Ariana the dark and tortured Fae, his old girlfriend – well, she has more flowery speeches, all over the place, than she’s got personality.

This is overwritten, annoying, verbose and dull.  No chemistry, no charm, no ta.

Sorry to the superfans, but although I love Briggs she sometimes cocks up completely.  It only makes her human, and I appreciate the really wonderful parts of her writing all the more.

What I’ve been reading: ‘In Red, With Pearls’ by Patricia Briggs

Oh, wow.  This is the eighth story in the ‘Shifting Shadows’ short story collection by Patricia Briggs.  And this, this is my favourite, by far.

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It was an unfair contest, really.  This is the first story to give Mercyverse characters Warren, and his human mate Kyle, starring roles.  Warren and Kyle.  I know for sure that they’re not just my favourites.  They are swoony, ladies.  And gentlemen.  Swoony.

And it’s not only that it features my special pets.  This story, compared to the others thus far, is perfectly structured, the harmony of incident and character sings out, it’s just so satisfying.  It gives you everything you need to work with, warning rumblings of the storm ahead.  And yet, they’re backgrounded sufficiently for the ending to be a kick in the teeth from a mule.

And the passion!  The naked emotion from manly reserved men!  (Well, manly reserved Warren.  Kyle doesn’t hold back his feelings, any more than a bustin’ dam with a hundred tons of water pent up behind it.  When Kyle is indignant or enamoured or just plain out for blood, then look out!)

Oh man, don’t mess with Warren – or his man!  I pity the sister who messes with Warren’s Mr!  (Or Kyle’s, for that matter.)

Dammit.  It’s just too good.  It’s a taste that only makes the reader hungry for more: for a full-length novel, with Warren and Kyle front and centre.  Come onSurely there must be plans in the works?  A novella, even?  A little prequel covering how they met and got together would be amazing!

Ms Briggs!  With all these wonderful LGBTQ characters, you have truly spoiled us!  And like any spoilt brat, all I can say is can we have MORE slashy Mercyverse stories, and soon!  (Can we have gay Bran?)  (Can we have any kind of romance for Bran?  Bran needs lovin’!  Urgently!)

There’s just something about a gay werewolf, folks.  Furry, muscular, wild and free under the moon…  And after this wonderful story, I’m just howlin’ for more.

What I’ve been reading – Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Sense and SensibilitySense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This gets an extra star just because it’s Austen, and I can’t bring myself to rate Jane Austen lower than that. This is the only major Austen work I’ve never managed to finish, until now. What a labour, almost a waste of effort, except at least I know better than to ever pick this book up again. I’ll just re-read Pride & Prejudice or Persuasion for the nth time instead. What a pair of insipid limp rags Elinor and Marianne are. Even Fanny Price is Nicki Minaj combined with Sharon Horgan, compared to Elinor. (I quite like Mansfield Park although obviously Fanny should have run off with Henry Crawford instead of mooning around over Edmund. Fanny is all right, she’s a bright spark, underrated.)

You may deduce from the above that I didn’t care for it much, but it’s still Austen. She’s still a genius, but no-one could convince me this qualifies as essential reading. Forget it, try George Eliot or a Bronte instead.

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Strictly Professional – Wistful, Pining Gay Romance!

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Buy Strictly Professional by Alex Ankarr!

Ben and Alec are together now, after Alec’s past as an escort has been discovered, and Ben has paid for his services. But how will they make it work, and can they really put it behind them and stay together? Can Ben forget about their painful past history? Can Alec? Approximately 4000 words: sequel to A Thoroughly Unprofessional Relationship.

Image – https://www.flickr.com/photos/calliope/, licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

What I’ve been reading – Lemon Cake by Kess Martin

Lemon CakeLemon Cake by Kess Martin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Cute MCs, in a straight-to-gay type romance that isn’t clearly flagged up as such from the beginning. Friends to lovers which is something I always appreciate, and they were sweet together. The real star of the show was the cake, though, positively edible descriptions of it bordering on food porn. The hottest most delicious thing in the story! Do not read while hungry!

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What I’ve been reading – A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson

A Countess Below StairsA Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ll never not love this book. It’s like eating just the icing off the (vegan) cake, and the little edible sugarcraft bride and groom, too. (Or groom and groom. Or bride and bride.) And what’s wrong with that?

Diabetics beware, but what the hell. Delightful anyway.

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