Review: Going Up

Going Up
Going Up by Amy Lane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lately I haven’t been in the mood for m/m books but I chose this because it’s Amy Lane, usually a sure fire hit for me. It was a cute, sweet enough story but kind of boring. I find Lane’s greatest books come with heaping amounts of angst. When she tries to do sweet or light, it never hits the mark for me unfortunately. This is a novella so it was quick to read and innocuous but I forgot it almost while I was reading it and never really engaged in the story. The meet-cute was sweet but it lingered in nowhere for too long and then I never really bought into the chemistry between the two men. I’d probably recommend it for someone that likes very sweet renditions of fairytales. Continue reading

Review: Turkey in the Snow

Turkey in the Snow
Turkey in the Snow by Amy Lane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Turkey in the Snow is a super sweet holiday story with a touch of angst but mostly just a feel good, easy to read story about 2 men and a child making a ready made family. I found the maturity of the men somewhat startling given their age but it’s not impossible or unrealistic. Add in a very on point four year old and the quick novella is well written in Lane’s style and sure to please her fans. It’s definitely sweeter than Lane typically goes for so be sure you’re in the right mood. Continue reading

Review: Dex in Blue

Dex in Blue
Dex in Blue by Amy Lane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I like Amy Lane’s work and Dex in Blue is very much more of the same. I think it’s slightly too similar to previous books though and so I had trouble connecting to the characters. Dex in Blue is a companion piece to Chase in Shadows and the same events happen in both books, although from different perspectives. I think it’s almost better not reading CiS first because the repetitive events and changing characters. However that said, DiB has the same feel but is definitely lighter. There is not the same level of angst and emotional brutality as the first book and there is a pretty big bow tied on everyone at the end – everyone gets babies, jobs, money, houses, love, and security! It’s a bit much no doubt but Lane puts her characters through the emotional ringer so the big splashy happy ending is the payoff. Continue reading

Review: Gambling Men: The Novel

Gambling Men: The Novel
Gambling Men: The Novel by Amy Lane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m a fan of Amy Lane’s work and this is a good example of her writing and I enjoyed it. However, having said that, I think the story is very safe for the author and entirely expected. So much so that while I could appreciate certain technical aspects of the book and writing, overall I found the story repetitive and ho-hum. Part of this could be from my fatigue with my favorite authors, who seem to put out the same book over and over with minor differences, so I’ll try to separate my personal issues from the merits of the writing. For Lane fans I think most will enjoy this but die hard fans will have read this basic story many times over. Continue reading

Review: Chase in Shadow

Chase in Shadow
Chase in Shadow by Amy Lane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Chase in Shadow is a somewhat typical Amy Lane story filled with angst and emotionally damaged men. There is enough emotional turmoil, tears, and intense drama to exhaust anyone at the end of reading but the ending is definitely and very solidly a happy, deeply in love ending. These kinds of stories have become almost, I’m sorry to say, formulaic for Lane. The individual protagonists are expectedly broken and damaged almost to the point of no return but the deep love of another slightly less damaged but still broken man can help save them both. This only happens after considerable emotional torture and pain but all’s well in the end. There are enough differences in the circumstances and details to make each story interesting so if you’re a fan of Lane’s style, you’ll likely appreciate this addition. Continue reading

Review: It’s Not Shakespeare

It's Not Shakespeare
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

Review: Talker’s Graduation

Talker's Graduation
Talker’s Graduation by Amy Lane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s no secret that I adore Talker & Brian and the entire Talker series. It’s definitely one of my favorites for a lot of reasons. The third book in the series, Talker’s Graduation, puts a nice solid happy ending on the couple but due to the choppy writing, uneven pace, and flashbacks that hurt more than help this particular offering isn’t as good as the previous ones. Fans of the series will definitely want to read it and I recommend it, but it’s definitely not as emotionally intense as the previous books and thus offers a much more muted impact. Continue reading

Review: A Solid Core of Alpha

A Solid Core of Alpha
A Solid Core of Alpha by Amy Lane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Solid Core of Alpha is an impressive book. It’s intense, angsty, drama filled, and sure to make you cry more than once. Even so, once the drama stopped and the inevitable slow glide to a happy ending started, the book started to lose me. The characters definitely deserve a happy ending but when the story lost it’s intensity, the characters did as well and ultimately the book ended on a whimper as compared to the explosive beginning. I would still eagerly recommend this story to those who love angst and drama filled stories. This is intense in the best ways and sucks you in right from the start. This is definitely a not miss book. Continue reading

Review: Living Promises

Living Promises
Living Promises by Amy Lane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s no real secret I think Amy Lane serves angst with a side of awesome. She frankly knows how to make complicated men tug at your heartstrings and the Promise series is a great example of that. Unfortunately (and this easily could be a problem for me alone) the series starts off so high that it’s never really hit that same sweet note in subsequent books. I like Living Promises more than the second book in the series but they both pale in comparison to the first. You can read LP as a stand alone but you shouldn’t. I also realize that I just adore Crick and Deacon so much that any time the focus is on someone else, I just want more of them. This is a fine book but as a reader I’m totally spoiled by Crick and Deacon and realize that any other focus in this series will be lost on me. For the more open reader, this is a great angsty character driven story. Continue reading

Review: The Locker Room

The Locker RoomThe Locker Room by Amy Lane
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I have mixed feelings about Locker Room. The premise honestly works for me as I adore angst driven men –it’s a weakness of mine- but the ending really disappoints me. I know not all readers will feel the same but I personally feel cheated. The book also tends to exaggerate and the emotions are wild and outrageous, always the depths of despair and the height of happiness. That doesn’t bother me as I like Lane’s writing and the story works regardless but not all readers may appreciate the exaggeration. I also don’t think this the best Lane’s done and the writing especially misses some of the polish and effortlessness of earlier titles. It’s worth reading though if you’re a fan or like angsty men as it certainly delivers on that score. Continue reading