Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Torquere Charity Sip Blitz Set #6

Still working my way through this substantial collection.

Have Hope by Emily Moreton

When what was supposed to be a simple exchange of information goes to hell in the form of armed soldiers and two bullet wounds, double-agent John Grey makes a fairly desperate run for his rendezvous point. And doesn't make it.

Fortunately, luck's on his side, and he wakes up in the house – the bed – of a local clinic doctor, Mohammed Saleem. Attractive and smart, with a sharp sense of humor and a tattoo, Mohammed is exactly the kind of guy John falls for. Mohammed has very strict rules about what should and shouldn't happen during a recovery period, but John's sure he can change that.
The present tense makes this story feel very urgent and immediate -- while it's a choice I don't always enjoy, here it was perfect for combat and escape. The situation is savage, with only a moment for sweet, and the two men take what they can from their opposite sides of a great divide. The ending left me sighing.

The Rosebud by M Raiya

James was born with the ability to heal any injury or illness simply by touching the person who is suffering. The price James pays is falling in love with the person he's just healed. But how can he act on any of his infatuations if he knows that the moment he heals someone else, his feelings for the last person will end? He goes through life avoiding people as much as possible, using his gift with great discretion, and constantly nursing a broken heart.

One night, James comes across a car crushed beneath a logging truck in northern Vermont. Inside, dying, is Ambient, the most beautiful man James has ever seen. All he can do is hope that this time, his gift will not turn into a curse, because Ambient is not someone he can resist.
Insta-love with a good explanation works lots better than insta-love just because. James comes with a built in insta-love generator, and coping with it is a major plot point, so yay. Not so sure where the other guy is coming from, aside from a serious case of gratitude and a hippie attitude. I don't like the soul-mate thing in general, and Ambient's choices smack of that, so it's left me with mixed feelings. Name choice here was a bit of a mood breaker. Non-standard names are fine, but this one isn't easy to say so it became little jolts on the page. I wanted to call him River or Wind and see if that helped.

I really liked what the writer did with James, so I'll keep an eye out for other stories, cause this one has a lot of good points.

Dregger's Deep by J. Rocci

Tulley is the head of security for the most influential business man in Oilsmouth. His latest assignment from the boss is to escort the company’s new doctor down to tend to the miners of Dreggers Deep. Unfortunately, Dr. Edmund Peniwill and Tulley have a history. Edmund left Tulley behind to attend medical school overseas, with no request for Tulley’s input. But Tulley isn’t the type to hold a grudge, even if he’s not sure what he’s currently feeling. Life in Oilsmouth isn’t easy, though, and a brush with sky pirates soon has the two resolving a few issues.
I was impressed with the world building -- the impression of a dirty industrial world hit the page really fast.

"At least he had new boots on his feet and had washed the grime off his face just that morning."

Like washing his face wasn't something he did all that often, no reason to, grime's just part of everyday.

For some reason, I had the impression that this whole setting was underground, so sky pirates needed an attitude adjustment on my part, which is my bad.

This sort of had the feeling of being part of a larger project. Tulley and Edmund came to an understanding by the end, but a couple of characters that got introduced like they were really important (Kit and Edge) disappeared completely. Where'd they go? Were they supposed to come back in a chapter three that isn't there?

I haven't read a lot of steampunk, but I think I like it, and will check out more of this author.

Buy any or all of these stories here, and help support Doctors Without Borders.

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