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M/M Romance Reviews by Maybedog

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Honesty and Artifice
S.H. Allan
S.H. Allan
G.S. Wiley, Rowan McAllister, Dawn Douglas, Stephen Osborne, Anna Martin, Elizabella Gold, K. Lynn, Eva Clancy, Rhidian Brenig Jones, Anna Butler, Caitlin Ricci, S.H. Allan, Rob Rosen, River Clair, Nico Jaye, A.C. Valentine

The Institute, Book I: Healer

Healer - Cassandra Gold
The blond guy on the cover is straight out of Zoolander, don't you think?

I loved this book. It had the elements those of you who’ve read my reviews know I love: mortal danger, action, drama, and so forth. I loved the characters. Each was separate and distinct and had his or her own quirks, although it kind of read like the X-Men. There were strong female characters, although not enough. There was a fakedubcon scene that was really hot. The Institute was interesting and well thought out in that I could completely picture it.

The pacing was okay through most of it, but it lagged between the 1/4 and 1/2 mark. The last quarter was perfect, though, all the mortal danger and self-sacrifice I love and want. Yes I’m a sick puppy.

There was a fair bit of humor. I found this particularly funny. (He’s talking about reality TV shows.):
"They're all so stupid," Cam complained. In a fake announcer voice, he intoned, "Tonight, watch as twenty bachelors vie for the love of one man-eating shark. Then, in an hour, see ten aspiring singers try to make their way through an obstacle course--that's on fire!"

“I thought we'd try something new. It's this thing people do sometimes called 'talking.' I don't have much experience at it, but I thought it sounded like fun." The shy expression on Cam's face told him the man wasn't being sarcastic.
(The last line is what I thought was hilarious, even though it wasn’t supposed to be.)

At one point, (medium spoiler) the two split up and Cam considers cheating:
Tristan's face flitted through Cam's mind, and he recoiled, horrified. What was he doing? He and Tristan might not have any kind of formal commitment, but if he slept with someone else Tristan would be hurt. Really hurt. The last thing Cam wanted was to make Tristan unhappy. The thought of Tristan, sad because of him, made Cam's stomach clench. Forcing a smile, he shook his head. "No, thanks, Esteban.

I really like that he’s not just saying this because he hopes to get Tristan back, because at that point he doesn’t think that’s going to happen. I like how he’s concerned about Tristan’s feelings even though they’re not together anymore.

A few nitpicks:

How would Tristan get through medical school without being exposed as a healer? He would have had to do a rotation in an ER.

Tristan tells Cam that if he’s relocated to another place, not to the Institute, he could have a chance at a normal life. He’s done this numerous times himself and he’s always found.

As you can see, my nitpicks were few and my praises are many. I just wish the book were longer.

4.5 stars rounded up to 5 because of that fantastic last action sequence and its aftermath.