Less Than Three Press

Frostbite by Alexandria Bellefleur

FrostbiteRating: 3.5 stars
Genre: 
Fantasy; Fairytale
Publication day:
 April 26, 2017
Length: 
48 pages  
Publisher:
 Less Than Three Press

After his sister touches a lethal Frost Flower and succumbs to Frozen Sickness, Rainor seeks out the mysterious Dragon, who purportedly holds the only cure for the fatal disease. In gratitude for saving his sister’s life, Rainor agrees to bring him fresh bread twice a week—despite the man’s insistence he wants for nothing.

As Rainor makes his deliveries, the two slowly become friends, and Rainor finds in the Dragon all the things he never found in his little village. But on his way to make his latest delivery, the unthinkable happens, and Rainor fears that if he asks for the cure he needs to live, he’ll lose the man he’s coming to love…

My View: Frostbite is a cute take on an old fairytale. The settings, atmosphere, and period characterization were excellent. The handful of characters is diverse and well-thought.

Drachen and Rainor are an interesting couple. I enjoyed how their friendship started and how they complemented each other. They have similar stories and family plays a role in their pasts and futures.

My only complaint is about the pacing. Not because it’s a short story, but because the time lapses seem randomly selected. Some unimportant details took the place of more relevant information.

Overall, a quick bedtime story.

What I liked the most: The main characters.

I wanted more/less: Less of a time lapse.

Who should read it: Fans of fairytales.

ARC provided by Less Than Three Press, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. 

Eight Seconds by William Davrick

Eight SecondsRating: Unrated
Genre: 
Contemporary; Western
Publication day:
August 31, 2016
Length: 
285 pages  
Publisher: 
Less Than Three Press

Dustin Marston, wannabe professional bull rider, cannot stay on a bull for the required eight seconds. Suffering from sinister flashes of suppressed memories from his childhood, Dusty has a panic attack during a hazardous sexual encounter that lands him in serious legal trouble.

When he proves to be uncooperative, his health counselor, Diana, turns to a colleague for assistance—only for the to learn that Joe was once the boy Dusty loved when they were kids, and who was lost to him twenty years ago. Then Joe proposes a highly unorthodox treatment to save Dusty, a treatment that wakes old nightmares and threatens any chance they have of a future.

My View: Eight Seconds is a very complex novel with a series of dark and challenging topics. Even so, the author did an excellent job balancing the flow of the story. It never got too angst or difficult to read. There are small scenes inserted allowing the reader to see that hope was within reach. All these said, the story has perhaps too much happening; too many twists and turns for each subplot.

The characters are the salvation of this story. They’re easy to fall in love with and hope for the best. Wanting to learn more about their future kept the reader engaged and allowed them to see beyond all the darkness. Every single one of them had a reason to be there and added to the overall plot.

My main issue with this book and the reason I’m not rating it has to do with Joe’s therapy approach. I don’t see how he can be a renowned doctor and act the way he did. His methods are more than questionable; especially due to their relationship. Also, Dustin’s secret seemed unprovable and how easily Joe found about it felt unrealistic. Just like Joe’s background and connections.

This novel isn’t a romance, but a gay fiction story with romantic elements. We get a reunion after twenty years but is more about their friendship and their support for each other.

What I liked the most: Dustin’s and Joe’s relationship.

I wanted more: In this case, I wanted less of everything.

Who should read it: Fans of gay fiction.

ARC provided by Less Than Three Press, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Spell Weaver by Megan Derr

Spell WeaverRate: 3.5 stars
Genre: 
Fantasy
Publication day: 
June 29, 2016
Length:
47 pages  
Publisher: 
Less Than Three Press

Myka’s dream was to someday own his shop, making and spelling suits that were prized throughout the world. Instead, he rejected an apprenticeship with a master who proved to be reprehensible—and touchable—and lost everything. Now, he works in a derelict shop in the wrong part of town, and it’s only a matter of time before he’s caught spelling without a license or thrown out by his odious landlord.

The only bright part of his days are the occasional visits from his best client, Johan, a man who works in the palace and always brings the finest suits to have spelled. When he accidentally leaves behind an invitation to the royal ball, Myka takes it, determined to have one evening where he can enjoy himself—and perhaps even spend time with Johan as something other than a spell weaver.

My View: Spell Weaver is a fresh take on the Cinderfella troupe. Myka has been working hard since his master died to keep his little shop open, but without his license, he doesn’t see his life changing anytime soon. The only bright part of Myka’s day is the times when Johan visits his shop. And the work he gets from him is an added bonus.

It’s easy to fall for Myka in such a little story, and the way he talks about Johan makes the reader want to cheer for them. There are some unique twist and turns in the story that might get the real Cinderella blushing, but worked well with the story. Other elements like the fairy godmother, the animals, etc. are absent.

The spell weaving concept is fascinating and I wish we had more time to learn more about it and to see Myka succeed. The resolution felt a little rush, but that’s to be expected in a short story. Overall, this is a very sweet and sexy story–easy to read and love.

What I liked the most: How much the MC wanted each other.

I wanted more: Time to enjoy the MCs’ relationship.

Who should read it: Fairy tale lovers.

ARC provided by Less Than Three Press, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. 

Dangerous Territory by Cari Z.

Dangerous TerritoryRate: 5 out of 5 stars

Genre: Western Romance, Shifters
Publication day: January 13, 2016
Length:  877 locations (.mobi file)
Publisher: Less Than Three Press

With his father barely in the ground and his sister married to a scheming bastard, Carter is on the verge of losing the family ranch. His only chance at holding onto his inheritance is to get his cattle to market before his brother-in-law. That means braving Mason Canyon, which on top of being snake-infested and easily flooded, is also shifter territory. Most clans would just as soon shoot humans as look at them.

His only hope of making it is to trust the shifter who’s agreed to help him, and pray that Rani won’t double-cross him. If Carter doesn’t go he loses everything, and if he doesn’t make it there his family is as good as dead.

My View: I absolutely loved this story– it was a pleasant surprise. Since the very beginning, the reader was pulled toward Carter and his situation. With every detail, we get to feel and stand in his shoes; almost as if experiencing the events through him. His solace and despair were very vivid, as well as his developing relationship with Rani.

Both MCs were interesting and multi-dimensional. Each had a unique personality that evolved through the story. They complemented each other and their journey together, even when short, was perfectly paced to engage the reader into their travels.

All the characters and events had a real purpose, and none were simple placeholders. From the start, we get the sense of a real western setting. The author did a great job combining the lexicon and atmosphere of the Ol’ West. As you read, you can almost hear the twang in the characters’ voices and the difference between the humans and the shifters.

The snakes, the canyon, and the Big Top arrival felt real. The characters were not the only ones in the journey; the readers experience everything with them– from the terrain to the high waters, and Carter’s recovery.

And, the characters relationship just added to an exquisite story. Even removing the romance aspect, Dangerous Territory was a great western read. Their scenes together and how they developed until their mating made the reader want more of their HEA.

What I liked the most: How their relationship transformed and the prospect of their HEA.

I wanted more of: Their future. I wanted to see them together as an everyday couple.

Cover: The cover for this story is beautiful and all encompassing. Everything in it is also part of the story.

Who should read it: Ol’ Western fans.

 ARC received via NetGalley, courtesy of Less Than Three Press, for an honest review.