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dnf, m/m book reviews, NetGalley, No stars given

Review: The Other Five Percent

The Other Five Percent
The Other Five Percent by Quinn Anderson

My rating: 0 of 5 stars

DNF. I’m just not crazy about the MC’s attitude regarding gay/experimenting/straight. No stars.


Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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1 star, m/m book reviews, NetGalley

Review: Caught!

Caught!
Caught! by J.L. Merrow
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

ETA: June 2017:
The other day I requested this book through NetGalley, having (for some unfathomable reason) forgotten I had read (and greatly disliked) this book last year. If you continue reading my review you will also wonder how I could have forgotten. I’m going to blame it on the cover, which is different for this new edition, though not nearly as attractive as the original cover. And now that I think about it, I really liked that old cover, which is about the only thing this book had going for it.

So, um, thanks NetGalley for allowing me the chance to review this book…this just might stretch the definition of “honest review” more than one would like.

(Honestly, I’m not nearly this bitchy in real life, I swear…no, really!)

Original Review: May 2016

First off, something to note: Of the ones who rated/reviewed this book, nearly all my GR friends or people I follow highly rated this book so this may be a case of it’s me, not the book. I guess this means, for those of you interested in this book who are reading this review I would probably check out some other reviews in addition to this one. I usually love J.L. Merrow‘s books so yeah, it is probably “It’s not you, it’s me” with this.

Disclaimer over, on to the review.

Oh, thank God that is over.

This was an incredibly painful read, as in the “I skimmed most of the last 30% in desperate hope it would get better” painful, not the “Oh, this is such a great book filled with endearing, yet tortured, characters” kind of painful.

I seriously do not want to devote any more of my life to this book but I always feel like I should explain why I give a book such a low rating. Ironic, really, considering I rarely review my five-star reads, though in my defense I am usually unable to do justice to those books or have so many notes and highlights I never know where to start.

I do not, however, have that problem with J.L. Merrow‘s Caught!. So to simplify things, here’s my review in list form.

1. From my one and only status update: I’m 58% done with Caught!: I’m really struggling with this book. I read book three, Out! first, which I loved. That book had the POVs of both MCs whereas this just has Robert’s POV. I am not really feeling much of Sean at all. Even the sexy times are not that exciting. Yawn…

2. Exposition. Exposition. Exposition. Exposition. God, will he ever just shut up? Robert spends so much time in his head and, unfortunately, the writer tosses us in there right with him.

3. I already said I never connected with Sean. I guess this is partly due to a lack of his POV (something I ALWAYS hate in a romance novel) but it could also be from the fact that he doesn’t really appear very much in the book, or at least not as much as the MC’s love interest would be expected to appear.

Which slides easily to my next point:

4. If so inclined to go back and count pages (and trust me, I am not so inclined), I would not be at all surprised to find Robert spent more time with his co-worker/friend Rose than he did with Sean. And I would feel rather confident betting ALL of the scenes with Rose were longer than any of Robert’s scenes with Sean. Since I’m most assuredly not a betting person -hell, I won’t even commit to betting I have a face full of freckles (which I do)- it’s saying something when I tell you I’m willing to bet anything.

5. Big Misunderstandings, especially when due to the idiot MC muddling things up with outright lies or even lies by omission, are annoying and a huge waste of my time.

6. There were so many minor storylines that took up way too much page time (naughty children, an evil school secretary, a parent questioning their child’s sexuality/gender identity, I could probably go on). And don’t forget (though I’d like to very much) the not-so-short breaks in the story to go do other things (his entire visit home for the holidays and his God-awful step-sister, for example).

7. Robert’s big secret. Yeah, it was a big deal, but eventually I just wanted to slap him and tell him to just tell Sean already (see #5).

I am so glad I read Out! first because had I read Caught! first I never would have given Out! a chance. Considering the fact that I very much enjoyed Out! that would have been a shame. I’ve read a handful of books by Merrow and have liked all of them, so I’m bummed about how much I did not like this one.

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m/m book reviews

Review: The Queen & the Homo Jock King

The Queen & the Homo Jock King
The Queen & the Homo Jock King by T.J. Klune
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I just finished listening to the amazing Michael Lesley narrate. I am addicted to his narration and Klune provided the perfect story to show off his talents.

I’ve also decided I really need my very own Helena in my life, just to shake things up a bit. She’s fabulous and I could listen to another ten hours of her and her Scooby Doo hijinks, especially when she tries to be inconspicuous while spying on someone.

Yes, an inconspicuous drag queen. It worked about as well as one would expect.

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5 stars, fanfiction, Featured Posts, m/m book reviews

Review: The Light in the Woods

The Light in the Woods
The Light in the Woods by DiscontentedWinter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, this fantasy AU is so good!

Fantasy novels often need chapter after chapter to build a new world that is both believable (in a fantasy kind of way) and interesting. DiscontentedWinter has managed (yet again) to create a fantasy world I find fascinating and she did it with only a little over 12,000 words.

In a nutshell: 5 Stars

I got out of bed long enough to sneak downstairs, brew a cup of coffee, dump it in a travel mug, and head back to hide in my bed where I proceeded to read this, UNINTERRUPTED by little people (the first day of summer vacation always sucks…my reading time is sadly reduced).

And she posted it all at once! Completed! None of that stupid delayed gratification! No waiting for an excruciating 24 whole
hours
for updates!

It’s like Thanksgiving and Christmas and Tyler Hoechlin’s birthday all rolled into one marvelous day.

*sighs happily*

This has so many of my favorite things. Arranged marriage, magic, tragic backstories, and Peter. Yes, he’s one of my favorite things, and I’m always happy to find a not-evil Peter in my Sterek fics.

It also has a scene that had my Tolkien heart a flutter, whether by design or by accident, I don’t even care, it reminded me of the Ents and it made me smile.

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m/m book reviews

Review: Dark Space

Dark Space
Dark Space by Lisa Henry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I left the perfect amount of time between re-reads of this book. That translated to everything feeling new again, which meant I enjoyed this book just as much as I did the last time I read it.

Perfect amount of sci-fi, perfect amount of angst, perfect amount of humor, perfect amount of emotion. This book has just enough of everything to be engaging without being overdone.

Most of my highlighted passages in this book are about the relationship between Brady and Cam. For a cocky little shit from the slums, Brady has a truly romantic heart (just don’t let him hear you say that unless you want your nose broken). And Cam, god, Cam, so sweet.

You’d think with all the dystopian books flooding the bookstores there wouldn’t be too much left to the imagination to make the world building in Dark Space worth mentioning.

You would be wrong.

The setting of this book is Earth several generations after a devastating sort of hit-and-run alien attack (they attacked, then didn’t bother to stick around). Instead of going the futuristic techno babble Star Trek route to the story, the author chose to build a world not too much unlike our own. For me, that mostly-familiar setting made me comfortable…for about two chapters. After that, it served to reinforce just how scary and alien everything really was. It was easy to feel Brady’s fear of the Faceless because the writer had already made it easy to feel Brady’s homesickness for a world I could easily envision.

So yes, world-building worth mentioning.

I couldn’t write a review for this book the first time I read it mostly because I am awful at writing reviews for books I love. Crazy, I know. I still only shared a sliver of everything I enjoyed about this book but it will have to do for now. Perhaps I’ll come back and add more after the next time I read this book. Because there will be a next time.

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m/m book reviews

Review: Spun!

Spun!
Spun! by J.L. Merrow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Please be good…please be good…please be good…

ETA: It was good! It was good! 4.5 stars… Review to come…

Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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m/m book reviews

Review: A Day Makes

A Day Makes
A Day Makes by Mary Calmes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ceaton?
Like Keaton but with a ‘C?’
Gotta love romance novel hero names.

ETA:
I’ve been reliably informed it is pronounced like “Sea-ton.” Not that that changes my opinion of romance novel hero names, but good to know!

So… what to say about this?

Overall I enjoyed it, though I’m not as accepting of the insta-love aspect like so many other readers. I tend to reserve judgement about insta-love if the book is paranormal (who am I to roll my eyes at the ‘destined mates’ trope) but I don’t buy it in contemporary romances, no matter what real life experiences have proven otherwise.

Readers have said this was a pretty typical Mary Calmes book with lots of her ‘usual.’ I might have to disagree. The first book I read by MC was , quickly followed by All Kinds of Tied Down every Sam & Jory book I could get my paws on, and every single one of them felt very similar. She had a formula to those, and I liked it. There might be some of this in A Day Makes but I never once thought to myself, yup, this is definitely a Mary Calmes book…after all, I think I only saw the phrase “golden skin” once in this book. (A search in Change of Heart came up with the word “golden” 14 times.)

I also thought Brin was slightly annoying in his enthusiasm and determination to ‘keep’ Ceaton. Just weird.

I don’t think I actually have an opinion on Ceaton one way or another, which as the main character I probably should?

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m/m book reviews

Review: Old Loyalty, New Love

Old Loyalty, New Love
Old Loyalty, New Love by Mary Calmes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Just…meh.

Not bad, not great. By the end I was bored enough to skim the last chapter. I’m skipping the rest of the series entirely.

I think one problem is the shifter angle. This particular paranormal world was not at all interesting. I’m also not crazy about shifter animals other than wolves. Bears? Deer? Lions? Nope. And ohmygod I even came across a hedgehog shifter once, wtf? So jackals don’t interest me.

What I need right now is some Derek Hale-type shifting.

And one must never question the call of Sterek.

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