November 16th, 2019

books

Book Reports (95-108)...

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*].

So, it's been a while, LOL. The reason for this (in case the five of you who read this are curious, hehe) is because I spent Aug thru mid-Oct working 2 jobs (basically) because I was long-term subbing at my kids' high school (teaching Digital Photography) while also keeping up with my online teaching job (high school writing). I did read, but I was swamped, and it's taken me this long (about a month) to get back to my regular routine after catching up with *Everything* that I set aside during those months. *Whew*

Here we go:

****
Lucky Break, by AM Arthur -- recommended for those who like Arthur's writing style, those who like ranch-based books, those who like dual-POV, and those who like male/male romance -- Carina Press, 10/19

(I enjoyed this, mostly because I liked Shawn's POV and story. Robin annoyed me a bit, and I felt like he was too hung up on the past (of his own life) to be strong enough for Shawn (not to save Shawn, per se, but to be his partner). Still, it was a sweet story, and I truly enjoyed Shawn's growth and their romance.)

***-
Clueless Cabot, by Andre Michaels -- recommended for those who don't mind the lack-of-communication trope, those who like supportive families, and those who like best-friends-to-lovers tales -- Ninestar Press, 9/19

(This was meh for me. I found the complete lack of communication between Lloyd and Cabot to be really annoying and immature, and by the end, I was just too frustrated to even care that much if they ever got together.)

***-
Breathe Out Slow, by AD Lawless -- recommended for those who like the New Adult genre, those who like tragedy-to-triumph, and those who like tons of angst -- Ninestar Press, 9/19

(This was also meh. Ryan's blaming of himself for his boyfriend's death was a little over-the-top, and it didn't help that Chris's mom also blamed him (very immature). Liam seemed almost too good and patient, and when Ryan learned what really happened the night Chris died, it seemed anti-climatic. *shrug* It just didn't work for me.)

**
[Summer of Hush, by RL Merrill -- recommended for those who like heavy metal and their fans, those who like band tours, and those who like dual-POV -- Dreamspinner Press, 1/20]

(I'm not entirely sure why I got this. I don't like heavy metal, so I didn't have any connection with that part of the story (which is most of it, LOL). Plus, I felt like all the characters spent too much time talking about bathroom aspects, which is not my thing at all. I ended up DNF-ing around 50% (though I did read the end, like I always do -- and that was satisfying, LOL).)

****-
Happy for You, by Anyta Sunday -- recommended for those who like Sunday's style, those who like Australian settings, and those who like family drama -- Anyta Sunday, 9/19

(I like Sunday's writing style, and I like this particular series (which is about different characters who live in the same town in Australia). I enjoyed the dual-POV, and I especially liked both Felix and Mort ... so the aspects I didn't like as much weren't as annoying, I guess. Overall, I will continue to look for Sunday's books.)

****-
Guarding His Melody, by Victoria Sue -- recommended for those who like the Enhanced verse, those who like dual-POV, those who like paranormal romance, and those who don't mind an age difference in the protags -- Dreamspinner Press, 9/18

(I picked this up because I love the Enhanced world, but this one wasn't as strong. For one thing, Finn and his crew didn't appear much at all, and the story felt too short and rushed to me (along with some other issues). Still, I did like both Gray and Seb, though they did seem a little under-developed.)

*****
The Mystery of the Bones, by CS Poe -- highly recommended for those who like Snow&Winter, those who like unusual and intriguing mysteries, and those who like unique heroes -- DSP Publications, 9/19

(I've loved every book in this series, and this was no exception. Even though the mystery here wasn't quite as strong as in the previous books, the relationship aspect was stronger to make up for it. I'm hoping there will be another!)

***
Crossroads, by Logan Meredith -- recommended for those who like dual-POV, those who like college friendship tales, and those who like sexual diversity (gray-ace, in this case) -- Dreamspinner Press, 1/8

(This was okay, even though the plot was very convoluted, and I couldn't really tell what the book was supposed to be about. I wouldn't go out of my way to find something else by this author.)

****+
Braving the Rapids, by Brandon Witt -- highly recommended for those who like CO settings, those who like dual-POV, and those who like realistic and complex characters -- Dreamspinner Press, 11/17

(I enjoyed this, especially because it's set in Estes Park, a place I've visited often throughout my life. I liked the realistic characters, as well, and I enjoyed spending time with them. I don't know if I'll read the first book, and this can obviously be read on its own.)

****-
Speed Dating the Boss, by Sue Brown -- recommended for those who like single-dad tales, those who like speed dating, and those who like fast-moving romance -- Dreamspinner Press, 6/18

(I enjoyed this more than I should, LOL. Gideon's character was so unrealistic, but I liked Dan and the speed dating parts enough to overlook that. It was a fun read.)

***-
The Imperfection of Swans, by Brandon Witt -- recommended for those who like relationship drama (and then some), those who like business-relationships-turned-more, and those who like supportive families -- Dreamspinner Press, 1/16

(I didn't love this, even though I enjoyed Witt's other book so much. In this one, I just didn't like Kevin very much, and since he was half the story, it kind of soured my whole impression. I felt like Caspar could've done better ...)

***+
Deadly Silence, by Rebecca Zanetti -- recommended for those who like alpha males, those who like females who apparently are overwhelmed by alpha males, and those who like sci-fi elements -- Forever, 4/17

(I picked this up because of the latter aspects (though I didn't know much about them), and that's really what kept me reading. I found the heroine annoying (she kept saying she didn't want him to stay with her or kiss her, but when he did, she just caved -- yuck!). His character *with her* was over the top, though without her, I liked him -- go figure.)

****-
Winter World, by A.G. Riddle -- recommended for those who like dystopic sci-fi, those who like slow-moving romance (that's not the focus), and those who like brilliant heroes -- Legion Books, 2/19

(I really enjoyed the first half of this and couldn't put it down. But then they returned to earth, and the pacing started slowing to the point that I almost completely lost interest (and skipped to the end). I'll wait for the third before I pick this up again.)