* 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*].
One True Thing, by Piper Vaughn and MJ O'Shea -- recommended for those who like m/m romance, those who like men who communicate, and those who like family drama -- Dreamspinner Press, 10/12
(So, it turns out I've read the first one in this series too, and I liked that one more than this one. This one is fine, especially the first 3/4 (which I based my rating on). I like both Dusty and Asher, but Asher's relationship with his twin brother didn't work for me. The drama between them and because of Archer jumped the shark with believe-ability, and it ruined the whole story. *sigh*)
Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts, by Charlie Cochet -- recommended for those who like sweet m/m romance, those who like short tales, and those who like insta-love -- Dreamspinner Press, 8/15
(This was cute. I liked both characters, though Quinn was pretty self-absorbed (or just unaware?). It's definitely a *short* story, so be prepared for quick everything (including falling for one another). I thought the drama was a little forced, and both Spencer and Quinn were total idiots for allowing the culminating problem to peak, *but* I guess there had to be something, right? I still liked it. :) )
Dawn and Dusk, by Dirk Greyson -- recommended for those who like mysteries, those who like weak m/m romance, and those who like family tales -- Dreamspinner Press, 5/15
(So I marked this one a little inaccurately -- I read the whole thing, though I skimmed through much of it. It just isn't for me. The characterizations were so weak that even though you get both guys' perspectives, it didn't make much different. The romance was...barely a romance. And the mystery wasn't a mystery -- I guess it was more of watching the two guys work through finding the bad guy? I don't know...it just didn't work for me.)
Newton's Laws of Attraction, by MJ O'Shea -- recommended for those who like m/m romance, those who like boyhood friends-to-lovers, and those who like teacher tales -- Dreamspinner Press, 1/13
(I read this really quickly. I loved the pacing and Ben's perspective, and I loved Ben's friends. All that kept me hooked, but I will admit a huge downside (and the reason I didn't give it five stars) is Rory. Rory is a neat character, but man, he used Ben for a looooong time, and Ben just let him. I get that Ben felt guilty for what happened when they were teens, but for me, that didn't justify Rory's actions as an adult. I actually teared up reading Ben's distress, and Rory's eventual forgiveness just wasn't enough *for me*. Others might not have any issue with it. :) )
Hook, Line, & Sinker, by Piper Vaughn -- recommended for those who like m/m romance, those who like childhood friends meeting again, and those who like long-distance romance -- Dreamspinner Press, 11/14
(I checked this out because it's by Piper Vaughn -- who wrote my new favorite hockey book -- but this wasn't as great. *sigh* I liked the set-up (with Cas and Blake), and I could kind of see their romance (I wouldn't say the chemistry was obvious, but it worked). But when Cas had to work from a different city and their new relationship was tested, I just didn't love how Cas reacted (well, how he reacted to Ben's reaction, LOL). Here's the thing: if you're claiming to be in a relationship, to me that means you're not going out with other gay men and dancing in clubs (while drinking). For Cas to act like Ben's jealousy was way over the top meant that he didn't agree; he thought there was nothing wrong with going out with other guys and grinding against them. I simply disagree, and although Ben might have been too quick with his jealousy (and not talking to Cas first), Cas's justification of his actions didn't work for me at all. So that kind of ruined this book for me too, LOL.)
Dogwood Days, by Poppy Dennison -- recommended for those who like southern romance (m/m), those who like settings that are almost like characters, and those who like loyal families -- Dreamspinner Press, 10/15
(This is just a sweet book. I happen to love small-town settings, and even though the romance kind of took a backseat to everything else, it worked for me. Jefferson Lee is a fun character to live with, and his narration kept me entertained throughout. I also liked his uncle, his bff Clover, and his love interest. All in all, it's fluffy but fun.)
So can you tell I discovered a new ebook checkout at my library? :D It's be awesome, and although I've read some not-so-great books, I'm also enjoying the freedom to read without having to buy first.