* 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 Silence, by Kendra Elliot -- highly recommended for those who've read the rest of the Mercy series, for those who like unique situations (like Sovereign Citizens), for those who like an intriguing mystery, and for those who like established relationships and continued romance -- Montlake Romance, 6/18
(I really like this series by Elliot. She has some crossover with her other series, as well, and though I liked one of them (Targeted), the other was a little more gruesome than I prefer. This book also got a bit gruesome (losing 1/2 star), but I still like Mercy and Truman SO MUCH that I will continue on!)
Auld Lang Syne, by Tia Fielding -- recommended for those who like ranch settings, those who like sweet (though brief) male/male romance, and those who like low-to-little angst -- Dreamspinner Press, 7/11
(This was sweet but a little shallow for my personal taste. It was a snippet, really, and although I liked both Jack and Blair, it didn't really delve into their characters enough for me to feel I knew them well.)
Thank My Lucky Scars, by Tia Fielding -- recommended for those who like UK settings, those who like sweet/sincere MCs, those who like dual POV, and those who like low angst -- Dreamspinner Press, 4/12
(Though it's the same author, I connected more with both Nick and Matty here. I think the dual POV helped with that. Plus, although it's a short story, a greater time period is covered, and even though some of it is definitely *telling* rather than *showing*, I still enjoyed seeing how they conquered their distance issue. It was sweet, and I'm more likely to re-read this one than the other.)
Sinner's Gin, by Rhys Ford -- recommended for those who like gruesome, angsty tales, those who like male/male romance, those who like big families, and those who like cop tales -- Dreamspinner Press, 12/12
(So I got this one because I'd read about Kane and Miki in one of Mary Calmes' books, and I was curious. I especially liked the sound of Kane's huge family, and I *did* like that aspect. But Miki's background was so awful, and the graphic descriptions of the gore weren't to my taste, either. Plus, Kane falls so quickly for Miki -- like immediately -- and I couldn't really get what drew him in (even though he explains it to his partner near the end in a nice way...a way that I got even, but am I just supposed to take the author's word for it that this is why?). In other words, Miki's character was incredibly broken and rude and difficult, and I didn't ever *see* him behaving in the way that Kane said attracted him. *shrug* So I didn't love it, and I might pick up the next one (about Kane's older brother), but I suspect that will be it for me with this style.)