Review: Heat Trap by J.L. Merrow … still good but not maintaining the same oomph.

Heat Trap (The Plumber’s Mate, #3)Heat Trap by J.L. Merrow

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The third book in the Plumber’s series was short and sweet, though unsatisfying for me. The mystery was bland and unappealing honestly and there were some serious problems with Tom’s character (in my opinion) but the romance finally flourished after some unnecessary angst and the story ended on a bit of a cliffhanger. The series could either way, I could see it continuing or ending here. Given the ending, I’d be surprised if the author didn’t give at least a short story addressing the last issue but who knows. I think I’m ok to be done with the series as Tom has slowly lost his charm and appeal for me as a reader over the course of the series. He’s interesting and offers a good mess of neuroses and intelligence but his reaction to Phil in this book made me want Phil to run far, far away. I’m curious what other readers will think of this particular offering. Continue reading

Review: Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews .. not as good as their other series.

Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1)Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series, even when it annoys me at times. Burn for Me is a new series by the duo and it’s very, very similar to the Kate Daniels series. Very similar. As in you could almost replace Kate with Nevada and Curran with Rogan. However, I found Nevada to be more annoying than Kate and the story to be much more predictable and less entertaining. However to be fair I was on a roller coaster with this book – sometimes I liked it, sometimes I was annoyed, sometimes I really liked it, and sometimes I hated it entirely. Overall I think it’s just ok but I dislike how formulaic the series is when you consider the similarities to the existing KD series. Although a lot of fans may preferentially prefer such formatting and therefore adore the hell out of the series. YMMV. Continue reading

Review: Relief Valve by J.L. Merrow – good sequel but meh mystery

Relief Valve (The Plumber's Mate #2)Relief Valve by J.L. Merrow

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Interesting sequel that sets up a good series but the mystery is complicated and not well developed. The characters carry the story with their charm so if their near constant manly bickering isn’t your thing, the book may not be as engaging. It’s well written with Merrow’s classic British taste and slang but it lacks a good deal of the humor I usually associate with JLM. I found the couple lackluster and more like friends with benefits than a madly in love relationship. What got me through the story the most were Merrow’s writing, British background, and narrator. I liked Tom but I just didn’t feel his romance with Phil. I’m still going to continue with the series and maybe Relief Valve is just the typical middle book slump. Continue reading

Review: Social Skills by Sara Alva – I’m probably the only reader that likes Jared more than Connor.

Social SkillsSocial Skills by Sara Alva

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ok – Jared is not the ass everyone seems to think he is.
I picked this one up randomly on audiobook and found it very readable, or listenable (?). The story is decent with some expected turns and I liked seeing young adults act in immature but age appropriate ways. I thought the narrator, Andrew Eiden, was really incredible. He managed to capture Connor’s painful shyness very well with just the right breaks in his voice and hesitation. He also gave the other characters enough differentiation in the voices and inflection that I never got confused between dialogue and internal musings, which can happen with a lot of audiobooks. Mostly I was pleasantly surprised with this one and although it’s not necessarily a story I’d want to read/listen to again, I’m glad I read it. Continue reading

Review: His Client #1 & 2 by Ava March … Meh, more of the same

His Client (His Client, #1)His Client by Ava March

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ava March’s regency mm books are always easy and enjoyable to read. His Client takes a familiar and classic framework and gives it a happy ending with a small taste of kink along the way. Jasper is a hooker in love with his client, Nate. Nate visits Jasper as a way to have sex but also lament his long standing infatuation with his straight best friend. When said best friend gets married Jasper is beyond exasperated by Nate’s despondency. Despite efforts to get Nate to see that Jasper is in love with him, Nate refuses to see the truth. Thus Jasper leaves the whoring life, forcing Nate to follow and see the truth.

The story is fun, quick, and enjoyable. It’s clear Nate and Jasper are well suited with a small bit of kink and role playing thrown in for some extra spice. It’s not much and I doubt anyone will be bothered by the inclusion since the main thrust of the story is all about the two men’s inability to recognize each other’s feelings. They of course work things out well in the end with a satisfying resolution. For such a fast read this novella was delightful and another solid March book. Easily recommended for both fans of the author and those new to her work.

His Request (His Client, #2)His Request by Ava March

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is a free follow-up to His Client and it includes a roleplaying sex scene – doctor and patient hehe – and some nice progression in the main couple’s romantic relationship. It’s as well written as any of March’s books and the fact that it’s free is a surprising but nice bonus. It shows the couple very happy and well equipped to have a happy ending while communicating about their various needs. It’s one of the few follow ups that makes me feel as though the couple really could live HEA.

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Review: Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities by Lyn Gala .. tail sex continues to be hot while humans generally are not

Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities (Claimings #2)Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities by Lyn Gala

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities returns to the alien world of Ondry and human Liam as they have settled into their relationship. The second book in the series by Lyn Gala entertains just as much as the previous book, but in a different way. The first book was more about personal relationships and relied on Ondry and Liam, two different species, figuring out their wants and needs without common language and mannerisms. Now the two are together and doing well but face a threat from a human officer with a hidden agenda. Continue reading

Review: Racing for the Sun

Racing for the SunRacing for the Sun by Amy Lane

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I seem to be on an Amy Lane kick and continued with Racing for the Sun audiobook. I found it very interesting and easy to listen to but had a bit of a problem with the main relationship. Here is where the argument of fiction vs. realism really comes into focus. When the singular romantic relationship is clearly unhealthy and one of the protagonists is deeply disturbed, can the book still be enjoyable? Well it’s up to the readers’ tastes then. I read a review with the insightful comment that if the book was M/F then a lot of readers would have really be bothered by the relationship. It’s a true statement for sure and even with M/M I was still bothered. When I tried to look at the book as sheer fiction and over the top romance, I liked it and could enjoy the dysfunctional relationship in that scope. Trying to make it seem realistic or actually healthy in any way just doesn’t work – because it’s not. So I think it’s up to the individual reader. This will likely resonate more with established Lane fans than newcomers, but that’s just a guess. Continue reading