Here are my reactions to some of the books I read in October in my favorite short, quick mini-impressions format. They are featured in order of books read, and as you'll see below my grades fluctuate from a solid B to D+'s for these seven reads. Genres included are romance suspense, erotic romance, m/m romance and m/m romance suspense.
Old Poison (Dangerous Ground #2) by Josh Lanyon: I enjoyed the second book in the Dangerous Ground series by Josh Lanyon more than the first book! It has one of the best "happy birthday" bedroom scenes I've read in any book. *g* There's a good mixture of romantic and erotic scenes, as well as suspense and action. There are a few incidental details that I found out of place, but overall Old Poison is a solid, enjoyable gay romance/mystery suspense. As a result of liking this one, I will definitely read the next book of this series. Grade B
Everything Changes (Alex Kennedy 1.5) by Megan Hart: A look at events that happened in Hart's Tempted from Alex's point of view. Written in broad strokes without much detail and very little emotion, this short piece didn't do much for me personally except to reiterate my initial thoughts about Jamie and Anne as two self-centered people who use and hurt Alex to please themselves. This is a sad story that I did not find erotic, nor does it showcase Hart's talent for rendering detail. Note that the cover featuring two males is extremely misleading. I cannot recommend this novella as a standalone read, nor to first-time readers of Hart's works. However, I would say that this book is a "must" read for fans of the narrator, Alex, and the book Tempted. Grade: C-
Pressure Head by J. L. Merrow: I liked this romance between a man with psychic abilities and the bully who made his life a misery in high school. Merrow has a flair for featuring characters who are very different from each other and selling a happy ending, but this romance did not quite convince me in the end -- too much unresolved anger on both sides and not enough time to resolve all the issues to make this relationship work, made the happy ending questionable for me. On the other hand, I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery the main characters solve together. An average read by this talented author. Grade: C
All Roads Lead To You by Harper Fox: I do enjoy a good gay romance by Harper Fox, unfortunately this was not it. Set in Italy, in my opinion this story about a model-turned-rent boy and his first love-turned-mafia boss tried too hard. It had a pretty unbelievable plot line with too many different conflicts going on at the same time and little room for development due to the short format. A good premise never realized. Grade D+
Heart Trouble Josh Lanyon: I love Josh Lanyon, but for me Heart Trouble turned out to be a surprisingly incomplete, outdated, and underdeveloped short story (very short), lacking in both detail and real emotion or connection between the two main characters. There is no happy ever after (which I don't usually mind), instead the story ends with the beginning of what might be a relationship. Why? I don't know. I didn't really understand when these two men 'clicked' with each other. A solid writer, Lanyon doesn't usually receive low grades from me, unfortunately I can't really recommend this story. Grade: D+
Perfect Day Josh Lanyon: Perfect Day is another very short story by Lanyon. This romance features the breakup between a man in love with a lover who lost his partner and is still grieving. In this short story, Lanyon successfully establishes an emotional connection between reader and narrator, but unfortunately there is an unlikely happy ending brought about or influenced by rather contrived circumstances. Grade: C-
That's the end to my minis, hope you enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed writing them.
Question: I love writing mini-impressions or mini-reviews. Do you enjoy reading mini-reviews? Or do you prefer the long, extended version of reviews with all the details and spoilers?