So I’ve decided to take a break from reviewing. I’ve been reviewing this genre for 4 years (wow) and I still love it. While my taste in books has definitely changed and evolved with time, becoming more discerning, I still think the best books in this genre stack up against the best books in any genre. I won’t stop reading or reviewing what I love but I am taking a short break. It could be a long one but I hope not.
While the holidays should be a time for cheer and wonderful reflection, unfortunately this month has decided to devastate my family. Not even once either, but on multiple fronts. My mom and I actually listed everything that’s been going on this month and it’s really staggering that so many horrific things could happen to one family. If I believed in karma then I’d wonder but there is no way karma could have anything to do with the sad events this month. When I think about it I just want to cry and never get up from bed but of course that helps no one. So I do get up and go through the day but just coping takes all my energy with nothing left over for reviewing or much interaction. I am still reading here and there, mostly to zone out though so not exactly critically reading.
I think I’ve reviewed everything waiting in my queue or I’ve tried. If I missed something just let me know and I’ll put it at the top of my list when I can think about reviewing again. I apologize for not commenting on blogs lately – it’s not that I don’t read them but I do it in fits and starts and never seem to have the time/energy to comment. I’m sorry. I should do a better job and please know that I value the effort people put into posting and I’m at least reading.
I think that’s it for now but I hope everyone is having a better holiday filled with healthy/prosperous family and friends.
D*U*C*K by Poppy Z. Brite
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
D*U*C*K is a series of vignettes put together featuring G-man and Rickey. They’re somewhat related but also has a random feel to the collection. I guess there is an over reaching arc in that a former employee is rising to kind of challenge Rickey while Liquor is getting ready to serve at an out of town banquet featuring Rickey’s hero crush. The stories do have common elements but they also feel disconnected and arbitrary. That said it’s a fun, quick novella to read without the punch and impact of previous novels. Continue reading
Lorcan’s Desire by S.J.D. Peterson
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
As I’m a somewhat firm believer in the happy ending of romances, I shocked I didn’t mind the ending. Instead the characters and their internal monologue left me bored silly and I didn’t care for any of them. I think the story is trying something interesting, giving a definite not happy ending but trying to show that there is more than one potential mate for people. Perhaps not the perfect mate but a good person that can develop into a good relationship. I like that concept a lot, even if some die hard romantics aren’t going to, but the writing is bulky and filled with unnecessary details. Then whatever potential the story has is killed by the weak characterization and ultimately while I give credit to the author for trying something different, the execution isn’t good enough to pull it off. Continue reading
The Tea Demon by Cornelia Grey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Pirates and thieves and treasure abound in this short fun story. It’s quasi steampunk with just enough details to set the story in that genre but not enough to really delve into the setting or satisfy die hard fans. The Tea Demon works despite this lack of detail because the real focus is on the men and their entertaining relationship with a backdrop of rather humorous and far-fetched hijinks. The writing and Grey’s style is what I like the most. The story is enjoyable and short enough that it gives a quick thrill and an enjoyable tale. Continue reading
When I Fall by Belinda McBride
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
I’m not sure what’s going on with sequels lately but they haven’t been living up to the greatness of the first books. Sadly, When I Fall is no different. An Uncommon Whore was such a vivid and wonderful book that I’m so disappointed and saddened in When I Fall. It has the same world and excellent writing but after that I’m left to wonder exactly what I read. The characters feel very different from the first book and unfortunately I couldn’t connect to either one. There are too many secrets, too many political plots and no real resolution or happy ending. Instead the happy couple just ignores their many, many problems in a move that makes me think these two actually won’t end up together. Continue reading
The Value of X by Poppy Z. Brite
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Value of X is a prequel to Liquor, the story of G-man and Rickey as two chefs who decide to open their own restaurant in New Orleans. This novella starts with both men as kids when they meet and bond a lifelong friendship/relationship. The writing is very good and filled with tons of New Orleans flavor. You can’t help but envision the city as it was, down to the last detail. Additionally watching how the two men grow up, change, and deal with individual challenges sets up the tenor and basis for their relationship. They’re not lovey dovey kind of guys but they have a rock solid bond that can’t be broken, though it can be tested. Continue reading
His Holy Bones by Ginn Hale
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Rifter Book Ten: His Holy Bones is finally here. The end of an epic series and it’s both good and bad. The ending is good with a solid happy ending but getting there is a challenge. This episode is filled with blood, torture, pain, suffering, and basically every horrible thing you can imagine that happens. Of course it’s alright in the end but you have to be willing to slog through the blood to get there. Furthermore the story valiantly attempts to tie up the loose ends and give closure to the many subplots going on but I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the choices. I think ultimately the story is simply too big and too convoluted to wrap up so simply but regardless, it remains an epic and masterful tale. Continue reading
Winter Warmers by Chrissy Munder, Clare London, JL Merrow, Lou Harper, Josephine Myles
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Winter Warmers is an anthology of 5 short stories about the holiday season with an obvious British flair. This collection is exactly what I wanted to get me in the mood for the upcoming Holidays and it’s short, sweet, and to the point. Each story is obviously different with their own tone and mood. I like the variety offered and each author is clearly talented. The stories are also short and often sweet, just a glimpse into the lives of these men and that’s enough for me. I never got bored with any particular story but neither did I want them to continue. I’m good with the stories offered and happy enough to move on. For only a few bucks this is one of the better holiday collections and worth the money. Continue reading
It’s Not Shakespeare by Amy Lane
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I know I’m likely to be the minority on this one but this Lane book just didn’t work for me (which is a first). I liked the characters as individuals but they didn’t seem to work as a couple and there are several unnecessary and rather random scenes that didn’t add to the story very much. I like Lane’s writing now as much as ever, though the repetitive use of “heifer” in almost all books is annoying, but I wish I’d skipped this one since I think Lane is capable of much better books. Continue reading
A Chip in His Shoulder by L.A. Witt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A Chip in His Shoulder by LA Witt is a really good and often used idea in science fiction. There are a few fresh twists and a brief attempt at tension but overall the story is interesting and fun to read. Where the novella stumbles though is on the pacing and content. There is too much that is skipped over and summarized leaving a very rushed and choppy feel. The world building is decent for the length but sadly leaves out so much. I wish this had been a fully fleshed out novel with solid world building and complete characters; instead it reads like the first book of a series and not a satisfying stand-alone. Continue reading