Lenni Reviews: "The Black God's Drums" by P. Djèlí Clark

*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review

Living with a goddess inside her, Creeper happens upon some valuable information about a scientist and his powerful but dangerous invention. A streetwise kid like her decides to sell this information to become a crewmember for Captain Ann-Marie of the "Midnight Robber." But the weapon in question could kill thousands and reignite the Civil War.

Other than the casual use of racial epithets typical of the South around the time of the Civil War, this was a cool take on a steampunk-like world set in an alternate universe. It's a shame it's just a novella but enough entertainment is packed into its short length, great characters, and fun action. Not enough books are written about the African Orishas and this is a highly creative and enjoyable take on that mythos. 4.5 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: "Barren" by Peter V. Brett

*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review.

In this novella set in a world where demons come out at night, Selia, a 69-year-old Speaker in her village, is instrumental in protecting everyone by leading the charge to keep the demons at bay. With every kill, Selia is imbued with some of their magic and she is gifted with youth and vitality. As jealousy and anger come to a head in Tibbet's Brook, it appears the demons are devising a new play which may wipe their town and everyone in it off the map.

There may be some things I'm not getting since this is a novella set in a five book series' universe, but I felt there was enough here for me to chew on. Selia is a badass and her need to just do right by her neighbors without having to hide who she is comes off as noble and real, not pandering at all. It's been awhile since I read some good high fantasy and this fast-paced, well-written novella absolutely fits the bill. Since I feel as if I would have gotten more out of this with the rest of the series in mind, I give this a 4.7 out of 5 and I will check out the rest of the series when I get a chance.

This novella will be released 9/25/2018.

Lenni Reviews: "Jackass Flats" by Julia Talbot

*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated for 18+

Tate is a 30 something cowboy who believes the best days of his life are behind him.He spends his nights getting hammered in bars and one night a young soldier named Dave helps Tate bumble back to his apartment. The two become close and form a relationship but Dave's military life poses a threat to their relationship.

Mild spoilers so skip this paragraph if you wanna avoid them but around 30% in, sudden gay married friend is sudden! I mean, geez what an asshole...

Anyway, other than the out of nowhere dickweed friend, the story felt well paced and very realistic. Dave and Tate take things slow at Tate's request and the patient way they come together is refreshing to see. Their chemistry goes beyond a 'hookup-turned- relationship,' their feelings come through the pages. Yes, of course there are some steamy scenes but just having Tate and Dave interact with each other left me with a happy feeling when the story was done and I wouldn't mind reading more in this series or by this author. 3.9 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: Because You Despise Me by J. S. Cook

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In this novella, the setting is Morocco in 1941. WWII is in full swing and a German courier winds up dead in a brothel in the city of Mariff. Police chief Nicholas Renard suspects the brothel owner, Jacob Plenty, knows more about the killing than he lets on. However, Renard has been in love with Jacob ever since they served together during the war and is involved with the Free French underground movement; two things that could easily land Renard in a concentration camp. Both Jabob's and Renard's pasts collide with the danger looming in the form of Major Danzing; a fanatical sadist sent to investigate the murder.

This book is short and sweet. It has as much intrigue and sentiment as a WWII spy flick and was enjoyable to read. Every man has believable secrets to keep and pain to hide, making the ending all the more bittersweet. Bear in mind, this is a male/male romance so there's some man lovin' in this book. If you're looking for some historical romance for your pleasure in this romantic month, J.S. Cook has a nice one for you here. A bit short for the price ($6.99 on Kindle) but I can't say I'd regret spending the time or money on this original and satisfying story. 

Lenni Reviews: 'Rule of Three' by Lore Graham

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Ian is an adept magic user but his rival, Jae, always teases him that he doesn't take any chances with his work. Finally having enough, Ian does the research and summons a demon he can show off to Jae to prove he can do something risky. The demon Ian ends up with is an incubus named Alistair; and a sexy romp progresses from there.

This short novella gives you exactly what it promises; a smutty romp with two guys and a demon. It has the sort of pacing that occurs when you need to get three men in bed and naked in under 50 pages; rushed and dirty. But, yeah, that's the price of admission here, folks. You don't get short erotica for the character development. Alistair is my favorite by far, of course. He seems to have the most personality out of the three.

What made me stumble was the replacement of pronouns like "his" "him" and "he" with "ze" and "zir." I just rolled with it after awhile. If you are looking for a quickie with some magic and fun, 'Rule of Three' isn't half bad! A little short for $3.99, in my opinion; but if you are looking for a m/m/m fantasy short story, you may want to check it out.