This was a very slow month for reading, mostly because I’ve read almost nothing for the last week.
1. Pemberley by the Sea by Abigail Reynolds. This was sort of a romance and sort of mainstream fiction. But mostly blah for me, D. My notes from LibraryThing: Strained, melodramatic prose. Uber evil family of the hero. Pathetic family of the heroine. Constant misses by both because of failure to communicate.
2. A Constant Heart by Siri Mitchell. Elizabethan-set historical. C-. Picked this up because Mitchell’s The Cubicle Next Door is a keeper. Anticipated a historical inspirational novel, but it was a straight historical. Sadly, this change of pace for Mitchell didn’t work very well — first person POV did not serve the plot well at all; I was bored and frustrated with the behavior of the hero and heroine for 90% of the book. Twits.
3.Moonshine by Rob Thurman. Urban fantasy, 2nd book of the Cal Leandros series. A.
4. Salvation in Death by J.D. Robb. Futuristic romantic suspense, 28th book of the Eve Dallas series. B+/B.
5. Flat Out Sexy by Erin McCarthy. Contemporary. B. Bought a copy because it is a straight up contemporary, which feels like an endangered species. Notes from LibraryThing: Likeable. Hot. Ending was a bit of a let down, with trumped up conflict. What was the point of the family feud.
6. In A Bind by Stephanie Bond. Contemporary, category. F. As I mentioned earlier, I was utterly repelled by the characters’ behavior.
7. The Englor Affair by J.L. Langley. Futuristic SF/F, m/m, ebook. B-. Notes read: Hot but mostly forgettable. The exact Regency transplanted into the future doesn’t work for me, just seems kind of creepy. And unlikely, because eventually everything changes and evolves, except in this world. Also, being antigay means you are a traitor, too.
8. Run Among Thorns by Ana Louise Lucia. Contemporary suspense. DNF/F. Cover art seemed YA-ish. Again, Medallion’s typesetting leaves something to be desired. Falling in love with kidnapper, interrogator/torturer is not romantic.
9. Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James. Contemporary. B-. Liked it, but didn’t love it.
10. Rough, Raw and Ready by Lorelei James. Contemporary, American Western, menage, ebook. C. Bought a copy of this based on Joan/SarahF’s review. At the 1/3 mark: this story is not really working for me. Edgard is an asshat; I don’t care what soul searching or whatever the fuck he is doing. Looking up a married ex and then hitting on him is dickish behavior, whether coming from a male or female. Ultimately, my problem isn’t with the threesome, but with the dishonesty of Trevor and Edgard. You don’t welcome the Other Love of Your Life into your home as a guest (or let your spouse do so unknowingly) without coming clean to your spouse. And hunting up a married ex because you are missing something in your own life, knowingly fucking with his life and the life of an innocent bystander is a prime example of asshattery.
Doesn’t feel like the threesome is a natural outgrowth, unlike in some other erotic romance I’ve read/ Comes across (to me) just as Chassie doing something to hold on to Trevor rather than being something that she is really interested in herself. "His smile lit up her world, reminding her he was her world. And she’d do anything in the world to keep him."
Experimental man-lust? What an odd phrase to use. The whole "I’m not gay" wibbling bothers me. To paraphrase a recent Dan Savage column, being gay isn’t about what you do in bed, it’s about with whom you do it. The WNGWJLEO (tm Joan/SarahF) stance here, even though it was used to explain how a "not gay" man could love another man and also how a gay man could want a woman, just struck me as dishonest in how Trevor was using it. Like a shield or something.
At the 2/3 mark: okay, as the story developed, it improved, moving from the F range to a C.
But the ending, meh. Distracted by all the family members with C and K names, not really clear on who’s related or how, disinterested in learning more. Didn’t care about the high drama between Trevor and his family, or about whichever McKays were constantly disappearing or whatever. Also, Cajones is not a word, at least not the word LJ means to use. Cojones, please. Thxmchly.
11. Ritual in Death by J.D. Robb. Futuristic romantic suspense. Novella. B-.
12. Madhouse by Rob Thurman. Urban fantasy, 3rd Cal Leandros book. A-. I’m impatient for the next book of the series, which is due out in March.