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Search tags: Reviews-by-Charming
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review 2017-05-27 19:56
Status Update by Annabeth Albert
Status Update - Annabeth Albert

 

I surprised myself by liking this one rather a lot.  Contemporaries aren't my favorite and I am really tired of the whole "in the closet" trope, and so I probably would not have read this if it weren't a group read.  But I found both of the characters relatable - Noah was stuck in a rut, but he was working on himself and trying really hard to be a good person and contribute. And I totally get why Adrian pushes him to change. It isn't just for his own happiness or the relationship - it is to keep Noah from smothering himself out of misplaced sense of duty.

I also liked that they both had jobs they cared about and were good at. I pretty much saw how the job situation would work out

with Noah becoming a staff archeologist for the gaming company

(spoiler show)

 from nearly the beginning of the book, but I appreciated that

Noah left on his own terms rather than being outed - I was kind of braced for a huge drama and relieved it was Noah's decision and not a deus ex machina.

(spoiler show)


The author did a good job with the families and coworkers too. They seemed like real people.

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review 2017-05-27 19:21
A Matter of Time, Vol. I by Mary Calmes
A Matter of Time, Vol. 1 (#1-2) - Mary Calmes

 

 

I've been meaning to read this book forever.  It's a  - I hesitate to say classic, maybe foundational work? - in the M/M genre, and people get fanatical about it.  It gets referenced all the time.

 

On the other hand, I've picked up over the years that it has all the Mary Calmes' flaws in spades, so I knew it would probably irritate me. And I knew it ended in a cliffhanger so you have to immediately buy Vol. II. So I kept putting off reading it.  

 

Then I saw it was out as an audiobook. This seemed like.a painless way to absorb the book, so onward!  It was ... not great. I did listen to the whole thing, but I won't bother with Volume II.

 

At the beginning of the book, Jory says that he got a D in his logic class, and that only because his teacher felt sorry for him.  I'm glad that came up, because thereafter whenever he did something birdbrained I said to myself "D in Logic" and carried on.  I also decided to myself that he was an unbeknownst Veela, and that helped me make sense of the constant fawning he received from everyone. It is also how I explained to myself how Sam found Jory out and about in Chicago over and over (at least five or six times).  Drawn by Veela aura! (Dane must be a secret Veela too.  Maybe they are related!!)

 

But still - the repetition.  The endless new people who end up having nothing to do with the story.  The cursory treatment the thriller aspect received.  I wondered if this was once an online serial - maybe even fan fiction?  A good editor could have made this awesome, because there really is a lot of charm and humor in parts, and the thriller part could have been really good if it was interweaved with the story instead of dropped in like an anvil here and there.

 

I wish I had read this when I started reading M/M.  In 2010. I might have felt the magic that so many people did.  I am too picky now.

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review 2017-04-04 01:12
The Mermaid Murders by Josh Lanyon
The Mermaid Murders - Josh Lanyon

OK, no more serial killer mysteries by Josh Lanyon for me - or books where both MC's are law enforcement. Winter Kill didn't work for me at all, and now Mermaid Murders annoys me almost as much.

 

I think there are certain things that really bother me in a procedural type of book that I can overlook in other genres. Things like physical impossibilities - sensing when someone is looking at you, for example, or knowing a bunch of stuff you couldn't know from someone's expression or tone of voice. Procedurals are supposed to be tightly plotted and carefully constructed.

 

Also, the editing could use some help - people keep having the same conversations they already had, and forgetting things and re-figuring them out. I am guessing that happens when the author moves events around and then doesn't go back to make sure everything flows in the right order. 

I can accept Adrian English running off to be TSTL, but it irks me when an FBI agent does it. Also Jason's boss acts like a cartoon villain. I expect him to want to kill Moose and Squirrel in a minute.

 

This one has really good ratings, so I'm guessing it's me and not the book.

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review 2017-04-03 22:41
The Hardest Thing by James Lear
The Hardest Thing: A Dan Stagg Mystery - James Lear

Books with way too much sex often feel to me like nothing is happening. OK sex is happening, but it is the same thing over and over (like saying or thinking "you are my everything" repeatedly).

And this also explains why sometimes books with a ton of sex do work for me. Like this one. So much sex. The protagonist uses sex for everything. Not just passion or love but also for exercise, friendliness, networking, embarrassing someone into not telling anyone they saw him, tactical advabtage in a fight, etc. But by the same token, it isn't the same thing over and over. Each time it is serving a purpose in the story and advancing the plot and usually the characterization as well. This book is a thriller, so it isn't like there wasn't other stuff happening, but this explains why I didn't get bored by all the sex.

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review 2017-04-03 22:15
The Starving Years by Jordan Castillo Price
The Starving Years - Jordan Castillo Price

I am leery about dystopic novels because they bum me out, but it was JCP, so I had to. I listened to the audiobook and it took me a while, because I didn't want to listen unless I had some time to spend. I wanted to concentrate.

I really think Jordan Castillo Price is in a different league than most romance writers. Each of the characters was such an individual. The locations and situations were really vivid - and scary and grim. It is M/M/M, but it worked for me. Not too much sex, or stopping in the middle of a chase scene for sex. And they felt like good matches for each other, even though they were completely different people, each with significant weaknesses. Tim, for example, is a really good programmer, but he panics and gets distracted - so at one point he starts printing out everything he has downloaded instead of figuring out what is important first. And Javier's first reaction is to be cynical and untrusting, even when it doesn't actually make sense. Everyone is relatable without being superhuman. Definitely recommended.

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