* 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*].
Loveblood, by MJ O'Shea -- recommended for those who like New Adult shifter tales, those who like m/m romance, those who like teen angst/drama, and those who like dual-POV -- Harmony Ink Press, 7/16
(So I read this in one sitting, which tells me it's very engaging and compelling. Unfortunately, part of what drove me forward was the hope that Jonah would pull his head out...and man, it took a long time for that to happen. Here's my review on GR, if you're interested in my pros and cons: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22707725-loveblood.)
All the Things I Didn't See, by Cindy Sutherland -- recommended for those who like soap operas/actors, those who like angst/drama-free m/m romance, and those who like recovery tales -- Dreamspinner Press, 4/12
(This was okay. I thought the premise sounded intriguing (two actors, one straight and one gay, attacked by someone who thought they were their characters), but the execution left a lot to be desired. I'd guess that Sutherland is perhaps a newer writer, as the prose itself is weak and inconsistent. Plus, she jumps from head to head throughout the book, and the dialogue and inner narrative is choppy and stilted. Meh. The tension never really delivered, and the pacing was weak -- so yeah, didn't love it.)
Kissing Lessons, by Susan Laine -- recommended for those who like New Adult gay version of Some Kind of Wonderful (though without all the complexities) and those who like pretty easy friends-to-lover romance -- Dreamspinner Press, 4/17
(I didn't love this one, either. I adored Some Kind of Wonderful -- who didn't? -- but this definitely didn't live up to that standard (and too bad -- I'd love a gay version of that movie). For a more detailed look at my pros and cons: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34694796-kissing-lessons.)
A Solitary Man, by Shira Anthony and Aisling Mancy -- highly recommended for those who like male/male romance, those who like police procedural mysteries, and those who like slow-burn -- Dreamspinner Press, 11/15
(I really enjoyed this one. Of course, I'm a huge Law & Order fan, and this had mostly police work but also a touch of lawyering, as well. Even though the two MCs jumped into bed together on their first meeting (a pick-up at a bar), the romance was actually very slow to build and, imo, very sweet. I liked both characters and felt they were realistically portrayed, and even though I suspected the bad guy right out of the gate, I still greatly enjoyed the journey. I wish this duo had written more together -- I've read Shira Anthony before, and I didn't love it...but together, they make it work.)
BFF, by KC Wells -- recommended for those who like angst-free male/male romance and friends-to-lovers -- Dreamspinner Press, 6/18
(Yeah, I didn't hate this, by any means, but as I mention in my GR review, it's like floating on a still lake -- pleasant but not that exciting. Here's that review, in case you're interested: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36296868-bff.)
No Quick Fix, by Mary Calmes -- recommended for those who like male/male romance, those who like security/police tales, those who like Mary Calmes (ha), and those who like kids in stories (even if they're unrealistic kids) -- Independently Published, 3/19
(I enjoyed this, even though it had some of Calmes' usual issues (the most annoying of which is the time thing -- I'm not sure why she can't seem to figure out a timeline for her books...it's really irritating). But I liked both MCs, and even though the girls (6 and 8) act nothing like girls that age, they were fun to read. All in all, I will probably pick up the next one in the series. ;) )