August 17th, 2019

books

Book Reports (88-94)...

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*].

(I'm so far behind with these -- I apologize for the skimpy reviews for some of these.)

***-
[Hitting Black Ice, by Heloise West -- recommended for those who like suspense/mysteries, those who like male/male romance, and those who like FBI involvement -- Ninestar Press, 8/19]

(This was kind of meh for me. Here's a link to my GR review, if you're interested: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2941227805.)

****
[Goalie Interference, by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn -- recommended for those who enjoyed the first one, those who like male/male hockey-based romance, and those who like sports action -- Carina Press, 9/19]

(I enjoyed this quite a bit, even if it wasn't as strong for me as the first book. Still, the hockey action in this is detailed a fair amount more, something I liked, and even though the romance/love story isn't as strong, I still liked the two MCs (Emmett and Ryu) and found both sympathetic. I'll definitely look for the third when it comes out!)

****
[The Monument's Men Murders, by Josh Lanyon -- recommended for Lanyon fans, for those who like male/male romance (kind of in the background here), and for those who like history in their stories -- Vellichor Books, 6/19]

(I enjoyed this, just as I have all the other Lanyon books I've read. I thought the history aspects were fascinating, and I really liked Jason's narrative voice. The only downsides (and reasons it's not got a higher rating) came with Jason's relationship with Sam. It felt uneven to me, and that bugged me. Plus, the murder aspect of the mystery seemed like an afterthought. Still, I will look for the next one in the series (it doesn't come out until next year, I believe).)

****-
Whiskey Business, by Avon Gale -- recommended for those who like small town settings, those who like male/male romance, and those who like quirky MCs -- Dreamspinner Press, 12/16

(This was cute and fun. I liked it mostly because of the setting (small town in Kentucky) and the quirky secondary characters (and MC). It was dual POV, which I also like, though I felt like Adam's POV was a little stiff (kind of like Adam, himself). The romance is sweet though predictable, and Ryder's antics and personality drive the book.)

***+
Risky Behavior, by L.A. Witt and Cari Z -- recommended for those who like cop tales, those who like male/male romance, and those who like police procedural details -- Riptide Publishing, 5/17

(I didn't get to finish this (it was from Hoopla, and it went back when I was not even halfway, sigh), but I'm planning to check it out again when I can. I mostly wanted to mention it here because I really like police procedurals, and having one with the addition of the male/male romance is ideal. :) )

****+
The Blueprint, by S.E. Harmon -- highly recommended for those who like Harmon's writing, those who like sports-related stories, those who like professional athletes, and those who like male/male friends-to-lovers -- Dreamspinner Press, 3/18

(I loved this! It was just slightly less wonderful than the second book, which is why I only gave it 4.5 stars, but for a book about a professional football player who has to come to terms with his own sexual preferences -- and with dual POV that includes the snarky bff/boyfriend -- it was right up my alley. :D)

*****
Wolfsong, by T.J. Klune -- highly recommended for those who like shifter tales, those who like complex characters and situations, and those who like male/male mates/bonding -- Dreamspinner Press, 10/16

(I've heard about this book for a while now, but I wasn't invested enough to buy it. It finally became available through Hoopla, and holy cannoli...I'm going to have to buy it now. :D I loved it! Ox is one of my favorite characters of all time, and even though I didn't find Joe as attractive and sympathetic, I still will want to read this again. I'll probably even get the final book (which comes out in December, I believe).)