If you'd like to see my recent four-plus- and five-star recommendations, visit Robin ReadsnWrites.
* 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.
Entice, by Carrie Jones carriejones ****+ I started this a year ago, and because I wasn't happy at all about Nick being gone, I couldn't make myself keep reading it. But now, after all that time, I was more willing to go through the book with an open mind ;) The thing is, Carrie does a great job of showing Astley as a neat 'person' as well, and by the end of the book, I'm completely torn between Astley and Nick. I can completely understand why Zara is torn, as well -- yet I so love that she's fighting to be one hundred percent loyal to Nick, that she values that...still, I hurt for Astley too. *sigh* That's a sign of some good writing, imo. :) The story: Zara is determined to get Nick back from Valhalla, but things are getting so much worse in her town as the bad pixies continue to steal students (mostly boys) and destroy them. Plus, now that Zara has allowed Astley to turn her to a pixie so that she *can* save Nick, she's beginning to see that she can't simply label all pixies as bad. It doesn't help that someone is out to undermine everything Astley's attempting to do -- and that betrayal extends to Zara's desire to get Nick. In the end, Zara has to decide how far love will take her, regardless of the outcome -- and the war is only just beginning. (YA urban fantasy, released 12/10, publisher: Bloomsbury)
[Blue Notes, by Shira Anthony ***+ I enjoyed most of this, although it was a little more sexually graphic than I prefer. It got to the point where I was skimming through the multiple sex scenes. However, I definitely liked the characters. I especially liked Jaz -- I felt like his character was consistent and growing, and I loved his musical background (and even his fear of performing, as I've experienced that). All the music talk seemed very authentic, so either the author is a musician herself, or she did some good research. I also liked Jules, though his behavior at the end almost seemed like more a device (to add some tension) than truly consistent with his character -- but it made the resolution that much nicer, I suppose. All in all, it was mostly enjoyable. The story: Jaz travels to Paris when he catches his fiancee cheating on him, feeling like his life has gone beyond his control. Once there, he meets a young man playing in a jazz group -- and playing original music. Jaz is sucked in by the emotional and unique pieces he hears, and when he realizes that the violinist is practically living on the streets, he offers the spare room in his sister's apartment (where he's staying). Soon, Jaz is attracted to more than just the music, and the two begin a relationship -- but how far can it go when Jaz is on the rebound and has never really admitted that he can love men as much as women? (Adult romance (heavy on the sex), GLBTQ, released 12/11, publisher: Dreamspinner Press)]
[Love Means...Family, by Andrew Grey ***- There were aspects of this I liked -- such as the warm family atmosphere of the ranch. However, it's clearly a series, and as this isn't the first, all kinds of foundations had been set earlier (I'm assuming), and I often felt like I was missing the undercurrents. Still, the emotions were nice, and I liked the concept well enough. Also, there were more musicians (and I always enjoy that). The story: Ari's family is reeling from his sister's and her family's death, and Ari decides to return to a place where he knows he'll find distraction -- a ranch in Minnesota. Once there, he meets a sheriff and they start a relationship, but Ari can't use Duane to run from his emotions and must face his grief and his parents' expectations for him. (Adult romance, GLBTQ, released 12/11, publisher: Dreamspinner Press)]
[Foundation of Love, by Scotty Cade & Z.B. Marshall ****+ So this is a publisher on Netgalley that I tried out mostly because I wanted to give a little support to GLBTQ writing and books. I wasn't sure what I'd find, since I know it's something of a newish genre and probably doesn't have a ton of support or readership. It's so neat to find books like this one -- well written with strong and complex characters and thoughtful plots. I really enjoyed this from beginning to end. In fact, I wanted to start it over again as soon as I'd finished. The characters weren't perfect, but they were people searching for their own peace and happiness. I liked that not everything was resolved, but that the main characters had hopeful endings. I liked almost everything about it, I'd say. :) The story: After his mom's death, Wes learns that she and his father had hoped to start a Children's Hospital in SC, Wes's home state. Wes's dad asks him to take charge of putting it together, to Wes's surprise, as the two have always had a rocky relationship. Wes agrees to do it, leaving his home of Seattle (and his position as pediatric oncologist) for a few weeks to begin the initial stages of the project. Right off, he finds himself in the midst of a dilemma, as an old childhood friend (who wants more) begins flirting. He doesn't want to hurt her feelings, but he also doesn't know how to stave her off when she's a member of the board his father's put together to head up the project. Then, to Wes's shock, he finds himself drawn to the architect for the project, a man suggested to him through a friend. Wes has never considered himself gay or even bi, and the thought of further alienating his very proper, Southern father is daunting. But before long, Wes is faced with a personal choice of seeking out his own way and happiness or living for the expectations of those around him...and the choice between finding the truest love he's ever known or keeping his mother's dream of the hospital alive. (Adult contemporary romance, GLBTQ, released 12/11, publisher: Dreamspinner Press)]
Still Reading: Supervolcano (It's finally gotten to the volcano, and now I'm trying to drag it out rather than rush through it.)
On Deck: Maybe Between, by Jessica Warman?