* 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].
A Merciful Truth, by Kendra Elliot -- highly recommended for those who've read the first (A Merciful Death), those who like slow-building mysteries, and those who like familial and romantic relationships as strong side plots -- Montlake Romance, 6/17
(This was just as good as the first, imo. I liked the building relationship between Mercy and Truman, and the mystery here was also very intriguing with a surprising twist (that I kind of guessed at, but still...). I can't wait for the third!)
The Layered Mask, by Sue Brown -- recommended for those who like historical male/male romance, those who like novellas, and those who like happily ever after (even when slightly unrealistic) -- Dreamspinner Press, 7/15
(This was a quick read, and I liked the characters. For me, though, it just needed more...the ending could have worked better if we saw more about what happened after. *shrug* It was fun but not great.)
You Never Know, by Mary Calmes -- recommended for those who like Calmes' style, those who like contemporary male/male romance, and those who like 'first love return' stories -- Dreamspinner Press, 7/17
(I enjoyed this, even though it happened awfully quickly (the romance). I also thought the MC protested a LOT throughout the book that he wasn't in love with his first love still...and I wanted to see more about why Mitch gave up on Hagen in the first place (and how he ended up with a woman). Still, it's a sweet love story.)
Michael, Reinvented, by Diana Copland -- recommended for those who read David Renewed, those who like contemporary male/male romance, and those who like strong friendship tales -- Dreamspinner Press, 5/17
(I enjoyed this quite a bit, but it was more because of Gil and David/Jackson than Michael. It's just a personal annoyance of mine when a character stubbornly and continually refuses to admit to their own feelings, and that was part of the premise here. Still, I really like the idea behind the group of friends, and I will definitely read another book in this series -- maybe about Manny?)