Remnant by Jordan L Hawk and KJ Charles and one of my fave mixologies, The Negroni.

remnant

Sooooooo...Jordan L Hawk and KJ Charles wrote a story together and it’s free…Featuring characters from their stories which we know and love!!!! That is what I call GOOD NEWS! These ladies have been producing some of the best reading material I’ve gotten my hands on in the pasty year. KJ and Jordan each have very unique writing styles, and their stories are RICH with captivating adventures, great humor and very intriguing mysteries. These ladies bring elegance to the horror genre, I kid you not. But where the both take really bring it in their stories, their men. I LOVE their characters. Jordan’s men they are not always comfortable in their own skin, but they are noble and true. Whyborne and Griffin are a delight to read.  As for KJ, the woman elevates the term dark and mysterious, to some new heights. She also has a true gift in weaving humor into her stories in a way that really adds value.

Like I said my excitement was susbtantial when I heard that Jordan and KJ has hooked up to write  story…That got me thinking what to do, what do drink, what to eat…I decided food, might not be the thing for this one, because people this is a PARTAY…Like a let’s get tipsy and go kinda a crazy up in here…So naturally. Cocktails. One of my favoritest cocktails is the Negroni, it’s a got equal parts of Campari, Vermouth and Gin. Three things I enjoy very much separately, but when they come together it’s PERFECTION, and then sipping it while reading a story written by two authors I LOVE!!!…I need a GIF for this…

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Now back to this collaboration, to be honest, despite the fact that their stories do dabble in similar areas, I had never considered they could write something together. Thankfully, I’m not the one doing the brainstorming for the authors I LOVE. This story brought the two worlds they created together seamlessly. They played the characters off each other so so well. Honestly, it was like the four guys had meant to meet all along.

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Ok let’s get serious here. The story. SO! Remnant is set in London just a few months from when we left Whyborne and Griffin after their last adventure. Simon and Robert have been together for about five years and their latest case is a strange one indeed. Three people have been found dead, HORRIBLY dead that is. When Robert and Simon arrive at the scene of the latest murder, they reach an impasse.  The writings on Simon’s body, which usually tell the tale of the ghost at hand turns out to be in some sort of ancient language. Egyptian language to be more specific, this is a problem. If they can’t decipher the runes, they won’t be able to figure out what needs to be done to appease the angry spirit from the beyond.

While reading the paper Simon happens to spot Percival Endicott Whyborne’s name in the list of notable passengers, arriving in London on a steamer from America. He has heard of this Whyborne, and of his association with cults, necromancers and all kinds of unsavory types. BUT the man is said to be an Egyptologist which means he could be valuable in helping with the message in the runes. Robert quickly sets of to try and find him. He eventually identifies Whyborne and his travelling companion (a very fetching young man) and before they know it they’re all in a weapon laden stand-off. Things are tense, but Whyborne and Griffin are not ones to walk away from an adventure, specially if they can help prevent more deaths. So pretty soon the foursome is teaming up to come after the person responsible for the the strange murders.

Whyborne and Feximal are not too fond of each other, but Griffin and Caldwell get on like old bosom buddies…And doesn’t that chafe their respective lovers asses?  The dynamics that ensue from this unlikely team effort are fabulous. The banter is exquisite and so fun to read, Whyborne was in rare form  in this story. He is so awkward and lovable and the way Griffin completely adores him ALWAYS charms me. Robert is such an imp and completely shameless, the man can certainly get sober and serious Simon to loose his cool. In the BEST ways possible. This one is a winner for sure. I really do hope these ladies consider bringing these guys together again. It was a delight to read, the mystery itself was not really the meat of the story, there was not much horror on this one. I was fine with that, just seeing these guys run into each other take of in an adventure together was satisfying to the extreme.

Totally recommend this one! It is available for free here. 

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The Negroni

1 oz Vermouth

1 oz Campari

1 oz Gin (I used Citadelle, which in my opinion is the best value in the market)

Stir in a cocktail shaker and serve over ice. Add a couple of slices of orange to the glass for garnish and taste!

I hope you enjoy the story and the cocktail.

Cheers and Happy Reading!

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Throwback Thursday: That’s What Brother’s Do by Derekica Snake

that's what brothers doI’m trying out something this new  today that I will try and do, if not every week, at least a couple of times a month! I have been reviewing M/M Romance novels on Goodreads for about four years now. It seems that in the last couple of years there are more and more newcomers to the genre, with as much appetite and enthusiasm for reading as I had when I first discovered the genre. One thing that I have been thinking about a lot is that many books which I read a few years ago may be easy to miss by someone looking for M/M novels today. There is just so much more to choose from, than there used to be, and the community is so big now.

Almost every day I get notifications from Goodreads for users liking some of the older reviews I’ve written. It’s always surprising because some of those I don’t even remember writing!! So that has given me an idea…Review Throwback Thursday!!!! I’m going to do a post a week for one of my older reviews that seems to be getting interest that particular week and pair it up with a cocktail. That’s right…A cocktail. My main focus for this blog is on wine, but I though it might be fun to do old school cocktails to go along with my old school reviews.

For the first one, I decided to go with the novel That’s What Brothers Do by Derekica Snake. This book is unusual, and it absolutely not for everyone, but I loved it. I read this book back in 2011, a couple of years after this book came out. I definitely recommend it cautiously, but for those that don’t mind edgy, this one is a FAB one to pick up.

For the cocktail, I have the Dirty Martini which is one my favorite cocktails and an all around classic.

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Now for my reviewSo what is the face of evil?  Is it the face of a criminal who has to corrupt a boy’s innocence to get what he is owed, but manages to make sure that that innocence if harried, and stained, remains unbroken? Or is it the face of a father whose weaknesses end up in the destruction of his family, and the sale of his son? Or even beyond that, is it the indolent face of a broken system that allows the cost of treating an illness to spiral down into a nightmare where people lose everything they have? <i>Evil</i> has many faces, so does honor, courage and strength. Sometimes they can all live in the same place…These thoughts were all floating around my head, barely a third into this book. This book is NOT easy, it is brutal, it is raw and it is harrowing. But IT IS GOOD.

Brant Williams offers himself off as payment to Wilber, the man that held his family’s fate in his hand. Wilber takes Brant, and whores him out for 10 years. In those 10 years Brant loses too much, but Wilber in the end gives him back his heart. He becomes Brant’s safety, his lover, his steady solid place. Things never do get easier for Brant. He is thrown into a hard life that becomes part of who he is and all he really knows.

These men live in a dark world, where people are killed, tortured, bought and sold and worse. And here is where perspective comes in handy. Because as much as it is hard to reconcile sometimes. There IS a place for love, even in a nightmare. There IS a place for honor and courage even at our lowest moments. There IS a place for happiness in places where it should never take root.

COMPROMISE, that’s the word I arrived to with this book. Because in life, for the most part, we can never have it all. The trick is figuring at what we’d rather have.

Brant is a martyred soul, whenever he needs to chose between himself, and sacrificing those he loves. He never chooses himself. Those decisions teach him many lessons. Like, sometimes those who you sacrifice for, are not always deserving. Or that finding something to cherish can change what you thought you wanted and who you thought you could be.

Despite it’s imperfections this story had an awesome point of view, and an incredibly generous take on morality, mercy, compassion, and right and wrong. And what those words can mean given the circumstances.

Brant and Wilber’s story ended well, with a ray of light. Did it have it’s shadows? Yes, but it still shined bright.

Not perfect, there were issues with editing and tons of typos. But I’d still give it a solid recommendation.

Hard read, but I really liked this book.

To go the That’s What Brother’s Do Goodreads page, click here.

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COCKTAILS!!!! The recipe for this martini is from one of my favorite bars in Ithaca where I reside, Felicia’s Atomic Lounge, I LOVE their Martinis and have never ever had a bad one there.

Dirty Girl Martini

2 ounces Grey Goose Vodka
½ ounce olive juice
3 olives (I use the Goya bran large olives)

Shake vodka and olive juice with ice. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with olives.

Hope the review encourages to find out more about this book and that possibly make yourself a cocktail this evening to sip while reading!

Cheers and Happy Reading!

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