Peter Darling – Austin Chant

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“’That’s right,’ Peter spat. ‘I’m here to fight. I’m a boy.’”

 

In a word: Read the thing. I really didn’t know what to expect going into this but boy was I ever not disappointed. This story was beautiful and heartbreaking with more adventure and drama than you can shake a stick at. It’s a retelling of Peter Pan that takes place 10 years after the original story. Peter Pan and Captain Hook are the main characters and, to my surprise, the romantic leads. Unlike the original story, this Peter Pan is not the immortal forever-child from a magical land, he’s the alter-ego of Wendy Darling who escaped to Neverland for a chance at being his true self. Family obligation eventually had him returning home, hoping for acceptance, but 10 years later he’s going back to the only place he ever felt he could truly be himself. He soon realizes that Neverland is a bit of a different place now that he’s a grown man. His boyhood games no longer hold the same appeal, or the same stakes, as they once did, and he soon learns that his actions have grave consequences. He also discovers new sides to his old nemesis, Captain Hook, who is maybe not completely the villain that Peter always made him out to be. This story is a very interesting take on an old classic, and was a very emotional ride from beginning to end. At first I wasn’t sure how Peter and Hook would go from warring to romance, but as I read it I definitely came to see it. The original story had some disturbing elements, but this book could get a bit dark at times, especially as Peter was learning that childish games could sometimes take on more serious meanings when the players are all adults. The ideas this book had about Neverland itself were also pretty interesting, and not something I’d ever considered before. I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who’d enjoy an interesting and emotional twist on an old story.

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) Ten years ago, Peter Pan left Neverland to grow up, leaving behind his adolescent dreams of boyhood and resigning himself to life as Wendy Darling. Growing up, however, has only made him realize how inescapable his identity as a man is.

But when he returns to Neverland, everything has changed: the Lost Boys have become men, and the war games they once played are now real and deadly. Even more shocking is the attraction Peter never knew he could feel for his old rival, Captain Hook—and the realization that he no longer knows which of them is the real villain.

 

[available for purchase from Less Than Three Press, Amazon.ca, Book Depository, Chapters, and Barnes & Noble]

 

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An Intrepid Trip to Love (A Little Bite of Love #1) – Charlie Cochet

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“I wouldn’t want you any other way. The fact that you wear my shirts for comfort is the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard, and it just reminds me of how lucky I am to be in love with someone so amazing.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. This story had a bit more fantasy and in-world mythos than I was expecting (the prologue really took me by surprise), though the main part of the story seems to take place in a contemporary setting. Trip and Boone are the two leads, a husky-shifter and a husky/wolf-shifter respectably (from what I understand). The two of them know that they are actually a pair of rare true mates, but Trip is part of the Alpha bloodline (basically clan royalty) and Boone is a member of the guard (essentially) so clan law forbids them to be bonded together (also the people in power of the clan also seem to be very homophobic, which is another reason they can’t be together). Trip and Boone have known that they were meant for each other ever since they were teenagers, and the two of them have had to jump through a lot of hoops to get to where they are currently, but their relationship is secret to most people, and they still aren’t able to be together the way they want. Having to keep their true relationship hidden causes them both a lot of pain and frustration, but they do have some very close friends and family to lean on to help keep their spirits up. While Trip, Boone, and their close circle are just trying to mind their own business and get by (it’s implied that they’re being sort of shunned by a lot of the clan higher-ups), there seems to be some worrying stuff going on behind the scenes. The clan leader has allied himself with another clan for seemingly unknown reasons, and it also looks like there are some attempted forced-marriages going on (kind of like what happened to Trip when he was younger). The story only starts getting really into clan politics and shadyness nearer to the end of the story, most of the beginning is dedicated to Trip and Boone’s tragic circumstances and their interactions with their close friends. There are a lot of lighthearted moments in the beginning, even if Trip and Boone’s circumstances throw a bit of a shadow over everything. This seems like a solid lead-in to what could be a serious and action-packed series, for all the fluff and humour that’s also here. (Note: this story has shifter characters and mates, but there’s no mpreg.)

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) Tristan ‘Trip’ Hagan is a Husky shifter who was born to be the Hagan Clan’s next Alpha, a position of honor and nobility, a position he never wanted and was all too happy to pass onto his younger brother. But when they discovered his brother couldn’t have pups, the responsibility of continuing the Hagan Alpha line fell back to Trip. Under the weight of the Hagan Council’s demand to fulfill his duty, Trip settled down and produced an heir, but after years of struggling to uphold his family’s traditions, Trip found the courage to do what no other Hagan Alpha had done in the history of the clan: he came out.

Five years later, and Trip is living a happy life with his cheeky pup and their own little makeshift family. True mates within canine shifter clans are very rare, but Trip has had one since he can remember. Despite losing his heart to Boone twenty years ago, Trip holds little hope of ever getting to bond with the sexy Enforcer, as it’s against clan laws for pure-bloods to bond with half-breeds. With the call from their feral halves to seal the bond growing stronger by the day, can Trip and Boone find a way to be together without losing everything?

This story was written as a part of the M/M Romance Group’s “Love Has No Boundaries” 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.

 

[available for free from M/M Romance Group]

 

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Born This Way – Poppy Dennison

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“No one else had ever affected Hart like Dayton.”

 

In a word: Maybe read the thing. So it’s not that I didn’t like this book or anything, but it didn’t really do anything for me. I’m mostly ‘meh’ about it, to be honest. The direction it looked like it was headed in in the beginning made me think that I was gonna hate it, but then it turned itself around and went in a different direction, thankfully, but the story after that still didn’t hold my interest as much as I thought it would. I liked the premise, but the execution was a little lacking, most likely because of the short length. The characters weren’t really fleshed out, the world wasn’t really fleshed out, and the main couple didn’t have much chemistry together. The main relationship didn’t really sit well with me anyway, as I don’t feel it was very believable. Also the way Dayton ended up deciding to be with Hart was just too convenient and probably a bit premature considering the circumstances. It’s a quick read, and it’s entertaining enough to want to read all the way through, but in the end it’s probably not something I’d read twice.

 

[available for purchase at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon.ca, Chapters, and All Romance E-Books]

 

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Seven Tears At High Tide – C.B. Lee

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“One summer to be happy and in love.”

 

In a word: Go read the thing! It’s a beautifully written story about two boys falling in love for the first time, and the meaning of choice. It’s got romance, fantastical elements, a fun cast of characters, so much cuteness, some angst, and two loveable dorks you just can’t help but root for.

[available for purchase at Book Depository, Amazon.ca, and Interlude Press]

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