Review: Behind the Curtain

Behind the CurtainBehind the Curtain by Amy Lane

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s been a while since I sunk into an Amy Lane kick but I threw myself in over the holiday break. I started with Beneath the Stain (review coming!) and decided to continue the angstfest with BtC. While in some ways I loved BtS, I felt as though this one was more Lane-light. It was funny, easy, and quirky in all the heart-warming (and predictable) ways but I honestly kept getting dragged out of the story due to slight problems. They weren’t enough to kill the entire feel good vibe of the story but I always firmly remembered that I was reading a story of fiction and being manipulated by a person’s intentions. I don’t mind that – I read a lot and know this is true – but I don’t like to be cognizant of it while I’m reading; if that makes any sense to readers. Continue reading

Review: Only You

Only You
Only You by Willa Okati
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read a fair bit of Willa Okati’s books and they are solidly average reads. I never really love or hate the books but I find them easy and forgettable. Which honestly is exactly what I wanted when I picked this one. I also liked that it was a shorter novella. I don’t have the time or mental energy for something long and involved right now, which only matters because that was my attitude coming into the book. I hadn’t read the previous book in the series but figured it couldn’t be that difficult to figure things out. The story was easy to read and romantic enough, although not having read the first book in the series did hinder my understanding somewhat. Overall Soulmarked is an enjoyable read and made me curious to continue with the series. Continue reading

Review: Replica

Replica
Replica by Jenna Black
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For dystopian YA fiction, Replica is average and middle of the road. Some aspects are far superior to other books in the genre, while other elements are decidedly inferior. The plot is overly familiar but the main focus of the story – friendship between a mild mannered female forcibly turned into a formidable foe (ha) and a spoiled gay playboy – is very engaging. There is very little romance and the plot is overtly a mystery in a dystopian setting but the writing is decent and premise offers just enough surprises to keep the story from being dull. I did find my attention wavering and I appreciated that I could put the book down for days at a time until my interest peaked again. That said, I do want to continue with the series and would still recommend this story for dystopian YA fans. Continue reading

Review: Off Stage: Right

Off Stage: Right
Off Stage: Right by Jaime Samms
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had initially read the reviews on this one when I got it months and months ago and only remember that it was supposed to have a ton of angst; the kind of angst where you’re exhausted when you finish reading the book, ie. Keeping Promise Rock or Red Tainted Silence. Perhaps my tolerance for angst is higher than other readers because while there is angst in this book, I didn’t really feel like there was that much. It definitely did not exhaust me and frankly I felt there could have been quite a bit more. The story is good, as Samms is a good writer. However, I never connected to the characters so I always felt removed from the angst and it never really affected me. I never felt for nor commiserated with the characters so I actually wanted more angst and for it to be real and meaningful. That said I enjoyed the book and read it in one sitting, which is saying something considering the length. However it’s not a book I would re-read. I liked it but did not love it, even if it’s a book I think I would remember (which is hard when you read a lot and have a crappy memory). Continue reading

Review: Missed Connections: I Swear to You

Missed Connections: I Swear to You
Missed Connections: I Swear to You by Sloan Parker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really liked this little novella and tore through it right up until the end. It ended so poorly that it affected how I viewed the story as a whole. Other than that blip, the writing is good with solid characters and some seriously hot sex scenes. I also say that as a reader who has become somewhat inured to sex scenes since they are so ubiquitous within the genre. The premise has enough innate tension to hold my interest without the addition of the crazy ex-boyfriend, which was by far the weakest aspect of the novella. Prior to that ending I was thinking this was a story I kind of loved and would rate at least 4 stars. With the sad ending that had me rolling my eyes and saying “really?!” out loud the rating dropped unfortunately. I’d still recommend this though as I think it’s a really good and engaging story, just know the ending sucks but it’s quick so try to get by it. Continue reading

Review: Blood Cross

Blood Cross
Blood Cross by Faith Hunter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is how I like my urban fantasy – heavy on the action and UF with a little light romance on the side. The main character of Jane annoyed the crap out of me for most of the book. She’s too snarky with few consequences for all her nosey, unrelenting ways and the timeline is wonky. Often Jane rushes into situations without thinking her plan through and usually makes it through unscathed. I appreciate that occasionally she gets her butt kicked, which she always deserves and then some. Thankfully the story has a lot of good urban fantasy elements – I especially like the vampire mythology – and a solid enough plot to keep me listening during the moments I wish Jane would die. She’s a better than average heroine, if pretty cookie cutter in a lot of ways. Continue reading

Review: Measure of Devotion

Measure of Devotion
Measure of Devotion by Caethes Faron
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m torn on Measure of Devotion. The book had me literally glued for over half of it but once I realized what was going to happen – and why – I literally started hating it. So I kind of hate-read the final half, knowing I couldn’t stand the actions occurring. That said, it’s a pretty familiar m/m romance theme, although it’s better written with clean, engaging prose. There isn’t a happy ending for this particular book, but it’s part of a trilogy that does end happily so readers won’t be upset. It’s not often that I start out a book liking one character and disliking the other and then flipping that entirely by the end. Usually you like both characters but not here. I struggled at the halfway mark to like both and found myself liking one significantly more than I thought. Ultimately this book made me think and want to slap a few people around, but it’s that human aspect of selfishness and self centered reality that more than anything made it realistic and emotional for me. Continue reading