July 16th, 2019

books

Book Reports (78- 85)...

For those of you who happened to Google your title and ended up here, please know that one star is not a bad thing in Robin's world — just the fact that I picked up your book and started it means that somewhere it's getting good buzz (or that your blurb was really cool).

* I didn't make it beyond the first 20 pages.
** I made it to the end, but I either skimmed or skipped large sections.
*** I might have skipped/skimmed, but I liked it and might read it again.
**** I read at least 95% of the book and it was good — probably will be reread.
***** I read every word, and I loved it! A favorite and definite reread.

This year, I'm only going to list the stars and a brief recommendation for the type of readers I think will enjoy the book [(R) means it's a re-read; [ ] means it's an ARC; DNF means *did not finish*].

****-
The Perfect Plan, by Bryan Reardon -- recommended for those who like psychological suspense, those who like blue-collar MCs, those who like family angst/drama, and those who like political ambitions -- Dutton, 6/19

(Disclaimer: I 'know' Bryan (or did -- we were crit partners years ago), so I'm probably a bit biased. But I enjoy his writing style and the psychology in his suspense. This definitely held my attention, even if I started out by skimming a bit.)

***-
Love and Other Hot Beverages, by Laurie Loft -- recommended for those who don't mind unrealistic (and perhaps unhealthy) approaches to relationships -- Riptide Publishing, 7/17

(Here's a link to my rant (ha) on GR about why I really didn't like this book: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2894943110)

*****
Check Please!, by Ngozi Ukazu -- highly recommended for those who like graphic novels, those who like hockey tales, and those who like sweet (and non-graphic) male/male romance -- Firstsecond, 9/18

(I don't read a ton of graphic novels, but when this came up during Pride Month recs, I had to grab it -- and I loved it! Eric Bittle (the MC) is so much fun to spend time with (he bakes pies!), and I loved all the hockey aspects, as well as the love story. I'll definitely look for the next one and will probably buy both down the line. There's a fair amount of f-bombs and other crude language, just so you know it's not really for kids, LOL.)

*****
Stone Cold Heart, by Laura Griffin -- highly recommended for those who like the Tracers series, those who like FBI/amateur mixes, those who like Texas settings, and those who like mystery/suspense -- Pocket Books, 3/19

(This is the latest Tracers novel, and I loved it! I started it in April but then forgot about it somehow. But when I picked it up again for our trip to Glacier, I devoured it.)

****+
The Fifth Doctine, by Karen Robards -- highly recommended for those who like Robards' writing, those who enjoy the rest of this series, those who like romantic suspense, and those who like Bond-like heroines -- Mira Books, 3/19

(I enjoyed this a lot, even though it didn't have as much time spent on the secondary characters as the previous two. However, the romance factored in more, and I liked that. All in all, it's a nice wrap-up, though it leaves a smidgeon of room for another.)

***-
Hotline, by Quinn Anderson -- recommended for those who like phone sex operators and those who like male/male attraction -- Riptide, 10/16

(Meh. This wasn't really a romance, and although I liked the MC well enough, I found the overall story to be heavy on lust and misunderstandings. I did a lot of skimming.)

***
[Building Up to Love, by JV Speyer -- recommended for those who like contemporary male/male romance -- MLR Press, 5/19]

(This was okay. The romance wasn't anything spectacular, and the book dragged in a number of areas.)

****+
Empty Net, by Avon Gale -- highly recommended for those who like hockey tales, those who like male/male romance, and those who like triumph over challenging circumstances -- Dreamspinner Press, 9/16

(I liked this one even more than the previous one -- which actually came later in the series, but I read it first. Anyway, this is about the goalies that were mentioned in the coaches' book, and I enjoyed it a lot.)