what I’ve been reading lately

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I’ve had a copy of Patricia Briggs’ ‘Shifting Shadows’ on my shelf forever, just forever, and finally I’m getting around to it.  Although it’s set in the same universe as Mercy Thompson and the Charles/Anna stories, all of the stories are stand-alone and not all of them directly involve Mercy and Anna’s trajectories.

I’m about halfway through at this point – and mostly enjoying it.  But I’ll start off my review with the first tale, ‘Silver’ – and that’s an exception.

‘Silver’ is the backstory belonging to Samuel, son of Bran,  Marrok of the North-American werewolves.  It concerns his first encounter with the fairy Ariana, she of the scars and the power.  Continue reading “what I’ve been reading lately”

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smiles to the people who be wearin’ a frown

It’s terrifying how many cheesy rom-coms lurk in the dark places of Netflix – and it’s even more terrifying, how many of them I’ve watched, now.

So I will totally cop to watching Queen Latifah’s Last Holiday, last w/end.

Latifah’s dying, right?  Isn’t she?  Is she?  Isn’t she?  She’s pining for her cute not-quite-boyfriend, she’s off on a spending spree, she’s really alive for the first time in her life anyhow…

It was… it wasn’t terrible.  That’s all I’m saying.  And I took this away from it with me.  And that made it worthwhile.

 

Whipped By A Werewolf – Sexy Paranormal Gay Romance!

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Would you want to get down and intimate with a wolf? A supernatural, magical shifter, dangerous and hot? Tate thinks the guy who’s living in the apartment next door is maybe, possibly, some kind of supernatural creature. Maybe a werewolf. He’s certainly magically hot, anyway. And when he’s having some fun alone time thinking about the guy, is when he gets an unexpected visit…

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Strictly Professional – Wistful, Pining Gay Romance!

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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.

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Cupcake Kissin’ 50 – Alex Ankarr free online gay romance serial

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Cupcake Kissin’ 50 – Alex Ankarr

Sam is half-lying on as much of the couch as is available to him, finishing a pack of corn chips and stroking his (growing) beard. Sara is actually, seemingly, watching one identical vocal ‘talent’ after another slaughter a beautiful classic rock standard, so she deserves whatever it is that she has coming to her. But Sam at least is paying attention. He’s watching Caspar, a little warily, out of the corner of his eye. He’s still munching as he replies, but at least he does reply. ‘I don’t think he thinks you’re a slut, man,’ he offers. His gingery-fair brows are crunched together as if he’s actually thinking about it, and the opinion proffered has been carefully considered.

‘Oh, what do you know about it,’ Caspar retorts sullenly. And he slumps back down to a more conventional sitting position on the couch, face forward, and grabs what remains of the corn chips out of Sam’s hands. ‘All you know how to do is fake-date people, flirt till you almost get ’em fired and eat their chips. That’s what you know. And,’ he continues meanly, giving Sam a viciously cold eyeing, ‘you haven’t apologised nearly enough for any of it. Not enough to get any more chips, at least,’ he says. And he puts his glass down on the coffee-table, and lifts the packet up, tips his head back, funnels the chips into his own little-birdie waiting mouth.

‘I never fake-dated you!’ Sam protests, even though his attention is slipping back to the show, somewhat. (It’s a very tense moment, a real sing-off. Caspar hates that he knows what’s going on with it, knows contestants’ names.) ‘I dated you!’

‘To begin with,’ Sara mumbles. ‘Then we figured out that Mack liked him, and you kept on dating him as our in, so we might one day have a chance to rid ourselves of the great and fearsome Asshole Adam.’

Caspar punches her shoulder, just sharp enough so she knows he means it, and then the same for Sam. They make weak yowling wails of protest, but even now he doesn’t have even fifty per cent of their attention. ‘Nice to be useful,’ he says, ironically, bitterly.

‘He likes you, Caspar,’ Sara says, as if this was more than just pointlessly, finickingly reasonable, as if it was a pertinent fact and something he should take into account in his calculation on the matter. ‘What exactly are you complaining about? More to the point, what are you doing here with us – or, maybe, what are we doing here with you, when you could have Mack here instead? I bet you’d have more fun with Mack,’ she says, and her voice is the slyest dig. She reaches for the chocolate on the table, takes half of it for herself, and throws the rest at the two guys to fight over like junior lions in the pride, getting the leavings of the lioness.

‘Oh, sure, he likes me,’ Caspar mutters, at that. ‘He likes me, he’d like to fuck me, he’d like me on a string when he hasn’t got a proper boyfriend on the go, he hasn’t at any point indicated he wants to take a guy whose professional uniform includes pink and a hairnet on a date, to a restaurant, to a god-damn première – ‘

It doesn’t finish there, but his voice gets quieter and whinier, and also more garbled as he scarfs down the chocolate. (Sam gets bupkes. Sam only deserves bupkes.)

And Sara nods, and actually turns her head to regard him thoughtfully. He has, however momentarily, one hundred percent of her attention. ‘Ohhhhhh,’ she says, as if she’s a rocket scientist who’s just discovered the secret of the universe. ‘You want him to court you.’

‘Damn right I want him to court me,’ Caspar mutters, chewing faster. ‘Or rather, more to the point, he’s not going to court me, and I’m damned if I’m going to put up with any less than being courted. I might have put up with being a casual lay two years back, five. But I’m not that guy any more. I’ve changed. I’ve grown. And I want more wine.’

But he doesn’t get to have more wine, or at least not immediately. Because Sara is holding it out of his reach, and Sam has sprung up and caught a hold of his shoulders, and they seek to frustrate him in his very moderate and simple desires. Because they are not good friends, and they have a habit of getting him into trouble, and how did he ever come to have awful friends like these, and why did he even let them over the threshold this evening anyway?

‘You know,’ Sara says, and her tone sounds philosophical, like she’s thinking hard. ‘That’s not really unreasonable. I mean, I don’t really think it’s necessary. I mean, I think he likes you. But why shouldn’t you be courted? Why shouldn’t you? Why shouldn’t Mack have to work for it a little for once?’

And Sam abruptly lets go of Caspar’s shoulders, and as Caspar collapses forward a little, he leans to pour a glass of wine, and stick it in Caspar’s hand. ‘Why shouldn’t he, you’re so right,’ he agrees. And both of them sound, frankly, a little bit malevolent. Even if not in Caspar’s direction.

And Caspar wonders if he maybe, just now, made some kind of a huge mistake.

***

© Copyright Alex Ankarr 2014

No unauthorised reproductions allowed. All rights reserved to the author. No inspirations for characters drawn from real-life individuals, no resemblance to real individuals intended.

Photo credit: duncan johnston under Creative Commons licence modified for book cover use.