Review: Wide Asleep

Wide Asleep
Wide Asleep by Nick Nolan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book honestly just left me confused and disappointed. I’d read the first two books in the series, Strings Attached and Double Bound, and quite liked them. Plus I really like Nolan’s writing style so although it had been four years since I read DB, I knew I wanted to read Wide Asleep. Unfortunately this time the book didn’t work for me at all. Whereas I’d loved the characters and general mystery involved in the previous books, this time the plot felt convoluted and all over the place with no cohesion. I wasn’t entirely sure what the point of the book was when I finished. The writing repetition was odd and not something I’m used to reading with Nolan’s work. Although I tried hard to suspend disbelief with the fairy tale connection, the ghosts and past life regression just made me sigh. Neither one adds to the story and in fact diluted the main theme of the mystery. Sadly this ended the series on a bad note for me and I struggled to force myself to finish the last third. Continue reading

Review: Only You

Only You
Only You by Katrina Strauss

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

So apparently I’m going through a phase where all I read are series books out of order. I kind of hate doing that, by the way, and try hard to avoid it when I can. With Blue Ruin, I actually thought I’d read the series since I like the author and the books sounded familiar. Well apparently I’d read only the first book in the series but none of the subsequent books. I’m ok with that because I definitely did not like the characters enough to want to read more but I seriously lacked some considerable context for the cast and situations mentioned. I would not recommend reading this one if you haven’t been following the series. That said, I also don’t think it’s a series I want to catch up on but it’s an easy enough read with a happy ending that seems final for the series. Continue reading

Review: Nice Tie

Nice Tie
Nice Tie by Jules Jones
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

My recollection of Jules Jones’ work is sweet romances with a distinctly British flair. In that respect, I suppose Nice Tie delivers but I really struggled with it. I find the concept could have been good but it feels so mechanical and without passion. The two men act considerably older than their age and there isn’t really a relationship to speak of. I found the story kind of silly, not in a humorous way, and the end resolution cringe inducing. The writing is perfunctory but I never connected with the story and by the end I was sorry I’d picked it up. I’ve liked previous books of this author but I think I’m going to stay away in the future. Continue reading

Review: The Prince and the Frog

The Prince and the Frog
The Prince and the Frog by Rob Rosen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I like Rob Rosen’s writing as he’s funny, witty, and often over the top. My problem with his short stories is that they tend to be more erotica based than I prefer, but I always appreciate the humor. The Prince and The Frog is good for that. It’s a definite tongue in cheek take on the classic fairy tale and I read it in about 15 minutes so I can’t complain. It’s not as memorable as some of Rosen’s other work but it’s cute, easy to read, and doesn’t take itself too seriously as erotica; a trait I enjoy in Rosen’s writing. Continue reading

Review: A Not So Hollow Heart

A Not So Hollow Heart
A Not So Hollow Heart by Sharon Maria Bidwell
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I wanted to like this one a lot more than I actually did. I had some problems with the character building and scant world building, surprisingly too much sex and not enough plot. I felt the entire story was crammed into a short novella when it needed more breadth to make it work. The outline of a decent to good book is there but I felt mostly disappointed with the outcome. Continue reading

Review: Truth Or Lie

Truth Or Lie
Truth Or Lie by Lynn Lorenz
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Lynn Lorenz’s work always seems to land in the middle of the range for me. It’s not great but not bad either. It’s pleasant for the time to read it and ultimately very forgettable. Truth or Lie goes along with that trend. It’s very easy to read, the characters fall in love nearly instantly, there’s a brief hint of tension but it’s smoothed over very quickly with a touch of a lesson for everyone. I think fans of the author may like this one more than those new readers but either way it’s an easy and mildly pleasant way to pass the time. Continue reading

Review: Forever is Now

Forever is Now
Forever is Now by Kimber Vale or K. Vale
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Although I do enjoy a good rock star elicit love story, I struggled with this one. The plot is fine, if extremely familiar and predictable, and the characters are decent, though bland. There’s a lot of sex and I was done with these scenes halfway through the book. Although the story isn’t unique or different in any way, that’s not what bothered me. The biggest problem is that I felt there was no real tension and I got bored very early on. I powered through to the end, forcing myself to read it and taking much longer than the length would have dictated, only to get a ridiculous ending. I was thinking this book would land in the “ok” region until I got to the end, which annoyed me greatly. For that and my general boredom with it, I can’t recommend this novel. Continue reading

Review: Mountain Prey

Mountain Prey
Mountain Prey by Lyn Gala
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

While I’m a fan of almost anything this author writes, check out Urban Shaman, I definitely struggled even to finish Mountain Prey. It has a decent concept but I couldn’t get past the dialogue and overly annoying accents mixed with a disconcerting sense of atmosphere. Although I know the story is contemporary I felt like I was reading a historical. The juxtaposition between the two kept me off balance and unable to really enjoy the book. I was glad it finally ended and I felt little to no connection to the main characters or the story itself. I really hate to think such a great author is hit or miss for me but perhaps that’s so. No doubt this will appeal to some readers but I can’t personally recommend it. Continue reading

Review: Take A Gamble

Take A Gamble
Take A Gamble by N. Wood
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The book is listed as out of print on GR. Considering it was just published recently a few months ago, I’m not sure why. Perhaps there’s some scandal I don’t know about but in case it’s just something random or benign, here’s what I thought about it. N. Woods is a new author to me and I choose this novella due to shorter length, new author, and a seemingly fun premise. I like the offbeat vibe of the story but I never connected to the characters or their romance. They seem nice but the problems brought up are way too easily solved and the couple doesn’t really become a couple until they have sex at the end of the story. I took a break around the halfway mark and it took me almost a week to want to finish the novella, despite the easy reading. Continue reading

Review: A Beautiful Disaster

A Beautiful Disaster
A Beautiful Disaster by Willa Okati
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I always think of Willa Okati books as easy reading, sort of romance light. The writing is ethereal and tends to lack a real connection with the drama presented. I knew this going in so I wasn’t disappointed with the book. However, I didn’t always particularly like it. The concept is good but like other books by this author, any attempt to add depth is superficial at best. This reads like magical sex cures deep-seated emotional and physical trauma. Sean is entirely different by the end with the love of a good man and some hot sex. That’s a nice thought and the problem isn’t that it’s unrealistic, this is romance after all, but that the story does very little to sell the change to the reader. There’s nothing that makes you want to believe in the transformative powers of sex. Continue reading