*points to icon* This was a bad month for reading romance. Of the eight books I read, only four were romance; the others had romance threads but belong to other popular fiction genres.
Nine Tenths of the Law by L.A. Witt. Contemporary m/m romance. DNF. The MCs first meet when one of them realizes the other is dating his long term boyfriend, who turns out to be a cheating snake. Oops. So they start out having revenge sex and then get to liking each other. But the insecurity and constant intrusion of the ex got to be irritating. Eh.
Witness by L.A. Gilbert. Contemporary m/m romance. Mostly sweet romance that I’ve already forgotten about. C
(Are there no other initial combinations available for m/m writers? LA? Then there’s PA and KA. What’s up with the A ending?)
Those two were well-reviewed at a fairly popular m/m review website. I think I need to discount the grades given and just use the site for synopses and new releases, because the reviewers’ tastes and mine don’t seem to coincide.
All or Nothing by James Buchanan. Contemporary m/m mystery/romance. This is the third book by Buchanan that features Nicholas O’Malley and Brandon Carr, all with a mystery/suspense subplot. The romance was kind of light in this book, since the characters were facing larger issues that resounded outside of their relationship, and the suspense played a much larger part. I like Buchanan’s voice and her characters, but I find the copy editing of the MLR Press books to be horrendous; this book was better than the last few MLR books I’ve read, but there were still inconsistent spellings/usages, misused punctuation, etc. B+ for the story but a D+ for the format/copy quality.
Marrying the Royal Marine by Carla Kelly. Harlequin Historical set during the Peninsular Wars. This is the third book of Kelly’s naval series; each heroine has been the illegitimate daughter of the sleazy Lord Ratliffe. His youngest, daughter, Polly Brandon, is on her way to Oporto, to live with her sister and work in the field hospital there by dint of some chicanery, when she meets Lieutenant Colonel Hugh Junot, a Marine. I’m still thinking about this book and plan to write about it later, but was sidetracked by the arrival of my copy of Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews. Will circle back to it.
Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews. Urban fantasy. Fourth book of the series. Working on a review for this one. Loved it. LOVED it. One minor quibble about timing that I noticed on my first re-read, but otherwise, this book ROCKED.
A Murderous Procession by Ariana Franklin. Medieval mystery discussed here.
Mahu Vice by Neil Plakcy. Contemporary gay mystery discussed here.
Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris. C. Stick a fork in me, I am done (with this series). The narrative felt episodic and disjointed. Niall’s curse/magic on Brendon didn’t make sense. Machinations with Victor were left unresolved. Harris is being extremely heavy handed to show that Eric/vampires are bad; Sam/shifter/more human is good. Sookie’s christianity scale alienates me; I feel hammered at by her moral qualms and insecurities, which come perilously closing to whining (IMO). I want to remind her of the old proverb: Take what you want, then pay for it.