Review: Patchwork Heaven

Patchwork Heaven
Patchwork Heaven by Jaime Samms
My rating: DNF

Um I usually love Jamie Samms but I feel like an alien took over her writing and this is the result. I’m struggling with this book pretty mightily and considering I’ve had a rash of bad luck with books I really don’t want to continue with this because I’m pretty confident it’s not getting any better. Then I’ll have invested a lot into a book I got no enjoyment or entertainment from. YMMV. 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: Bone Rider

Bone Rider
Bone Rider by J. Fally
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2.5 stars

I heard so much buzz about this book and how it made best of the year lists by numerous readers. This is definitely a case of a book being overhyped and not living up to the buildup. The basic premise is good and I quite liked Riley and McClane, even Misha. Unfortunately that’s all I liked. The plot has so many plot holes that it takes more than just suspension of disbelief, you basically have to ignore any kind of logic, rational thought, and physics. Then if you can get beyond all the problems in the plot, which is a feat in itself, the multiple POV might just kill whatever enjoyment could be had. I don’t mind multiple third person POV but I do not need to read every single character’s viewpoint of a scene that just happened and adds nothing to the story. I don’t care about the background of a tertiary character that is only minorly involved and I certainly do not need to be constantly pulled out the story again and again to be told irrelevant and uninteresting information for no reason at all. This could have been a great book and there were things I liked about it a lot, but overall the execution made my eyes and brain bleed with all the problems. How people loved this I’m just baffled. I know tastes differ but I’m legitimately in the dark about this being a “best of” book in any way. Continue reading

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: Tarnished Souls: Frankie and Gent

Tarnished Souls: Frankie and Gent
Tarnished Souls: Frankie and Gent by Brita Addams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thought I’d read something by Brita Addams before but after seeing I hadn’t reviewed anything of theirs, apparently Addams is a new to me author. Great! I’m pretty pleased and surprised by how much I liked this little novella. It’s interesting and sucked me in immediately. I actually finished the entire story when all I meant to do was read a few pages to get the concept. I’m curious to see where the story goes from here and what else this author has to offer. It’s not a perfect story, nor one I loved unconditionally, but it’s entertaining and engaging. It’s one I would read again and would recommend to other readers. Continue reading

Review: Turbulence

Turbulence
Turbulence by Lyn Gala
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m a huge fan of Lyn Gala’s works and she’s one of the only authors I tend to buy on trust. I know it’ll be good and I’ll enjoy it and maybe even love it. Turbulence is a good book. It’s well written, intricate, complicated, and has good world building and a solid romance. There is nothing I can overtly criticize except it just kind of dragged in the middle. The beginning sucked me in more than I expected and I was wholly invested in the characters and the world building but then, things got slow and uneven. I guess they had to considering the lull before the dramatic ending, but still. I struggled slightly there before picking up momentum knowing the ending was near. It’s a book I’d recommend to sci-fi lovers but I ultimately didn’t love it as much as I wanted to. Continue reading

Review: Gumption & Gumshoes

Gumption & Gumshoes
Gumption & Gumshoes by Alex Kidwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was one of those books that starts off really strong, so strong that it carries the book when the second half drops off entirely. I’d be interested in reading more books about these characters as long as the focus is on the cases they’re trying to solve and less about the relationship. The strengths of the story are the fun characters, the shapeshifting to a chinchilla, the bumbling antics that actually solve a case, and the sly wink at private detectives in general. I think this author really gets the heart of the character she was portraying and it makes me buy into the humor. It helped smooth over the second half of the book when the tension disappears, the sex scenes take over, and instant love rules the day. 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: Small Miracles

Small Miracles
Small Miracles by Ellen Holiday
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked this short novella well enough, though it strained even willing disbelief, and more so I liked the writing and emotion conveyed. While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this book, I’ll try this author again. It’s not a bad introduction but I’m hoping she can do better with more space, giving a hopefully less ridiculous solution. I can see where the story was trying to go but never quite developed the relationship and characters to the point to sell it. Regardless I enjoyed reading this and look forward to picking something from this author again. Continue reading

Review: Freedom

Freedom
Freedom by Jay Kirkpatrick
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I chose Freedom based on a suggestion. I didn’t read the blurb but went in with high expectations. I quite liked the book for most of it, though once the group broke out of the hospital and were on the run, things started to fall apart. The ending is nicely wrapped up but I was left with a lot of questions. Most of all I couldn’t buy into the chemistry between the two lead characters and I found one of the lead men to be weak and uninteresting. These two issues definitely killed some of the reading enjoyment for me. At the same time the writing and creativity are high and I’d cautiously recommend this one. I’m on the fence whether I’d read this author again. Continue reading