1. Promises in Death by JD Robb. B. I know a lot of readers loved this book, and appreciated the return to form after being less impressed with Salvation in Death. I was that wowed as other readers – not that this was a bad book by any means, I just thought it was predictable. When Ammy first appeared and was from Atlanta, I figured the historical connection to Roarke via Ricker would reappear, so the premise for the procedural felt a little flat to me. Still, I like seeing the progression of the Eve/Roarke relationship, and her friendship with Morris.
2. Under My Skin by ML Rhodes. C Ebook, m/m, Kindle read. This was a suggested read on Kindle. Meh. The hero was supposed to come off as endearingly geeky, instead he came across as a priggish stick in the mud. Huge conclusion jumping.
3. Made to Be Broken by Kelley Armstrong. Mystery. B+/A-. Like Jack better than Quinn, but I’m not really interested in a potential romance. More interested in Nadia’s moral dilemma and where she goes with her sideline.
4. Polar Reaction by Claire Thompson. M/m, ebook. C. Enjoyed her Handyman. Eh, told me the three were in love, didn’t show me outside of hot sexxoring. Threesome seemed rather forced.
5. Branded As Trouble by Lorelei James. Ebook, series. C+/B-. The whole family angle is the weak spot for me in James’s books; the mentions of numerous people who I feel like I’m supposed to recognize is distracting. The Big Misunderstanding at the end was lame, capping what was otherwise a pretty good book.
6. Out of My Mind by ML Rhodes. Ebook, m/m, Kindle book. C. Not bad, but needed some work. Hints about Nick’s past were left too long; the POV was out of Rafferty’s head for too long, so his sudden move and then change of heart didn’t work well. Good angst. Gay for you.
7. Deathwish by Rob Thurman. Urban fantasy. A. Oh, the POV of Niko. Reviewed here.
8. Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy. Ebook, m/m, Kindle book. A/A-. Reviewed here. Loved it.
9. Def Con One by John Simpson. Ebook, m/m, Kindle book. D+. This book felt kind of bipolar: the military suspense was original, interesting and fairly well-written, but the relationship portion was elementary, simplistic and all "tell not show". And it felt kind of porn-y. And the relationship conflict at the end — I don’t know if it was realistic, but it felt wrong. The protagonists were uber-heroes, which was convenient for the Big Problem — they are investigated for suspicion of homosexual behavior. Here’s the thing: I don’t think homosexual behavior should be something that gets investigated or is a reason for discharge from the military. Having said that, if that is the construct being used, then the way the problem was swept under the rug — you’re good soldiers, decorated enlisted men, therefore there cannot be anything to investigate — doesn’t really work. IMO. YMMV.
10. Hot Ticket by K.A. Mitchell. Novella, ebook, m/m. A-. Hot. A story that fits the format! At last! Didn’t feel wedged in or stretched out.
11. Wes and Toren. M/m, YA. C+. Sweet coming of age story, a little too sweet in some places. Very stereotypical gender roles assigned. Burdened by the sex, but at the same time it was appropriate given teen protags. Still, felt vaguely squicky and exploitative. A little too mature in some ways.
12. A Fostered Love by Cameron Dane. Ebook, m/m. B-
13. Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews. Urban fantasy. Have a half-written review. A-.
Edited to remove extra apostrophe and to add links.