Wednesday, March 2, 2016

[Review]: "Glitterland"

Glitterland by Alexis Hall
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (August 24, 2013)
Series: Glitterland, 1
Genre: M/M Romance

The universe is a glitterball I hold in the palm of my hand.

Once the golden boy of the English literary scene, now a clinically depressed writer of pulp crime fiction, Ash Winters has given up on love, hope, happiness, and—most of all—himself. He lives his life between the cycles of his illness, haunted by the ghosts of other people’s expectations.

Then a chance encounter at a stag party throws him into the arms of Essex boy Darian Taylor, an aspiring model who lives in a world of hair gel, fake tans, and fashion shows. By his own admission, Darian isn’t the crispest lettuce in the fridge, but he cooks a mean cottage pie and makes Ash laugh, reminding him of what it’s like to step beyond the boundaries of anxiety.

But Ash has been living in his own shadow for so long that he can’t see past the glitter to the light. Can a man who doesn’t trust himself ever trust in happiness? And how can a man who doesn’t believe in happiness ever fight for his own? 

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My Review:

I wanted -- I needed -- Somebody to save me. But how could you be rescued from yourself?

I'm so glad that I finally listened to @gimmethosebooks (Twitter) and picked up Glitterland. What an amazing, emotional roller coaster ride. And I loved every damn page.

Ash is suffering from bipolar and anxiety. His life has been giant waves of ups and downs. Because of that, he's always had a hard time connecting with others, of allowing himself to care. Allowing himself to believe someone else could care for HIM and handle all of his issues. He never expected to find all of that and more in Darian. But will he push Darian away like he has everyone else in his life? Or will he finally find his joy?

"So," I said, "I have . . . um . . . this antique rolltop writing desk. At my flat. Where I write. I wondered if you'd be, um, interested in . . . um . . . "

He played with one of the leather bracelets tied round his wrist. "What?"

"Fucking me over it."

He grinned gleefully. "I knew you liked me."

"I like fucking you. It's not the same thing."

"Whateva, babes."

I loved Darian and Ash together. They really complemented each other, even though at first glance they're complete opposites. Darian doesn't fix Ash, and his love and attention doesn't suddenly cure Ash. But he helped Ash, and they had so many great moments together. Passages that made me smile, and some that made me laugh-snort.

It's a very emotional read, and Hall does a great job at capturing the turmoil. It's real. It's not always pretty, or easy, or happy, but it is real.

There was little I feared more than happiness, that faithless whore who waited always between madness and emptiness.

But there's also sexy moments and fun, dry wit mixed in as well, to balance it out.

For example:

My nails scratched at the desk, my breath a broken torrent. One of his hands drew back a curl of hair that, heavy with sweat, had fallen across my eyes.

"It's ahwight, babes."

I twisted my head to the side, feeling the discomfort in my neck and ink pooling beneath my cheek. "Kiss me."


We grazed our mouths against each other in the barest of kisses. It was quite ridiculous. A bruising, graceless, haphazard business, a disorder of breath and a tangle of tongues, into which I drowned a soul-deep groan as I came.

And this:

"God help me, I'm being wanked off by Yoda." 

"Ha-ha, wanking the way to the dark side is."

"Shut up. For the love of Jesus fucking Christ on a moose, shut up. I'm trying to get off here."

He fell on top of me, howling with laughter. And somehow, in that ridiculous tangle, his hand moving awkwardly against my cock as he snuffled hysterically against my ear, and me yelling at him, my body shaking with frustration, amusement, pleasure, bewilderment, so much bewilderment, I did, in fact, get off.

Be warned, you will also need to grab the epilogue novella. The minute you finish Glitterland, you'll want to read Aftermath. But don't worry, it's free!

He catches my face between his hands, his painted fingernails twinkling like stars, and when he kisses me it feels a bit like fear and tastes a bit like tears, but it's a bright and sweet as sherbet, and I decide to call it joy.

This is my second time reading Hall, and I can promise you I'll be back for more.

4 1/2 STARS! 

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I bought my own copy of this book.

*Note: The quotes used belong to Alexis Hall; TBQ's Book Palace does not claim them. Any mistakes or typos in the quotes are my own fault.

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Seriously, why did I wait so long to read this one? It was fantastic! I would recommend it to anyone who loves an emotional M/M romance! 

Have you read Alexis Hall before? Do you have a favorite of his?

Remember, since this is a Royal Pick, come back on March 31st for a chance to WIN an ecopy of your own!


Until Next Time,


  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

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