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I'd do nothing but reading if I could (ok, maybe eat some great food, buy some fancy shoes between two books...oh, and spend some quality time with the gorgeous guy I married while I am on reading-break anyway...)

Not bad.

As The Crow Flies - Damien Boyd

And that is how I really feel.


It had a good crime plot, was not badly written or anything.


It just didn't stand out.


I got it free within Kindle Unlimited and found myself unwilling to read the sequel. That says it all, basically.

The characters remained very pale and unclear. The "relationship" part was done in three sentences, could have done better with leaving this out, if not having the story go anywhere and it just remained largely uninteresting to me.


Dragon Bond - Ruby Lionsdrake

And too much fascination with the dragon's penis.


I had too skim a lot in the end, because it got so tedious.


It had a fair shot at an original world-building, but the "hotness" ruined that as well.

The characters remained pale and stereotypical.



Nice romance - m/m

Helping Hand - Jay Northcote

It is a friends to lovers, GFY/BFY kind of story. Both MCs are really young, they just started uni and they start with a tentative physical approach.

It felt believable and pretty straight forward. 

The whole story was without much drama or unexpected turns.

The end felt a bit rushed, but overall a really nice read.

This sucked me in immediately.

Desert Run - Marshall Thornton

A really enjoyable, if a bit brutal read.


It gives a strong sense of time and place, which I always appreciate, without taking up too much space in the story.


The backstory of Don Harris - that was brilliantly done. The relationship between him and his old friend back in Chicago. The stark realism regarding motivations and actions.

This author always makes it hard for the following book - because after having read one of his books most M/M books look like fairy tales, pure fiction.


A really great read.


Only tiny niggle was the GFY/romance part. I think that was a bit too quick and was in stark contrast to the rest of the story telling.


DNF after 35%

Flare - Jonathan Maas

I won't rate, because it could have been just my mood here.


The writing was good, the world-building, well, original, I think.

At least in the beginning. Then I started to have doubts. Which happens when there is so much science involved, but the explanations seem to become more and more fiction...


I give you an example: The temperature is so hot that humans immediately get cooked when being outside in sunlight. They dry up like mummies , they die in minutes or seconds. So, my problem with this: it is absolutely dry outside, no rain - this world would have burnt. One piece of reflective glas is enough to cause disastrous forest fires. But in this world somehow nothing burns?

That is more than hard to believe.


Also what I strongly disliked and that might be true to the current status of the world (Trump, alternative facts etc.):

One of the characters, Calum, is a kind of preacher and he tries to sell the "bible is a book of truths, not of facts" bullshit. When you start to construe "truths" into something that is factually wrong and highly circumstancial to a historic time and the ensuing culture of three thousand years past, I am out. I am fine with trying to find the underlying meaning of the new testament, trying to understand what Jesus meant. Trying to find the universal love and acceptance and forgiving that I want to find, to be fully honest.


So, yes, maybe just semantics. But it rubs me the wrong way. Facts are facts. And the truth is not an easy thing to discern. But we should NEVER ignore facts on our way to truth. And one fact is the cultural and historic circumstances of the original texts as well as the texts themselvers.


Sorry, just had too much social media toady, and my heart hurts for all the people who might lose their health care, get deported, banned, discriminated against or whatever else ...


DNF at 20%

What It Looks Like - Matthew J. Metzger

I won't rate, because the writing and the characters were good, but I still didn't want to go on reading.


It was too heavy on the BDSM side for me - not something I like anyway. And it was a bit sex-heavy. Also it didn't have a "romance" as the couple was already established, which made it miss my favourite part.


I also didn't enjoy the repetitve drama scenes with the family - a bit too much.


So this might have been one of those "It was me, not you".



DNF at 20%

Ark: A Scifi Alien Romance (Dragon Empire Book 1) - Lucy Snow

Just some quotes to illustrate why this wasn't for me (besides the absolutely silly heroine):


Heroine, who accompanies the Earth ambassador to the most important meeting in all human history: "Of course I wanted a family. Working with Fuller all this time over the last few years had been wonderful, but it wasn't the same as having a special man in my life."

First of all, she sounds like 16, so "the last few years" had me scratching my head, and her general demeanor has me doubting Fuller's sanity for choosing a "I want me some romance" silly clutz as his attendent. Major FACEPALM.


The hero, who likes to kill things. Talking or interacting - not so much; killing, yeah! - tall, muscular, alpha: "I remembered venting to Kaalax in private, railing against the shame at being assigned to escort him to a "conference". The very world sounds like something babies would play at, not fit for real men, real warriors."


Of course insta-lust on the heroine's side as soon as she sees his muscular warrior's body, she nearly loses her professional cool (AHEM).


Their dialogue is so cringeworthy, I simply couldn't go on.

"Tell me about yourself, Ark." Ark stopped eating long enough to stare me down. "I am a warrior."


Oh, but he has a sweet and romantic side too! He has a little monologue about how passionate his race is about love, while shoveling food supplements down his gullet. And her reaction: 

I blushed, and quickly looked down to try and hide my face just as I noticed Ark's eyebrows raise in question. "Tell me about how your species loves, Ark. You make it sound so all-encompassing."


I even cringe inside writing that down. That has to be the worst come-on line in all history, alien or human. I can hear bad 70ies shag music in the background, groovy!


Then our precious heroine does a little slut-shaming with saying that humanity's way of love is basically crap with only serial affairs and one-night-stands and such awful things instead of sticking with their choices, because it has become "so easy to jump between relationships" (the 50ies called, they want their sexual morals back...)


I rest my case.


Well written.

The Murders in the Rue Morgue: The Dupin Tales - Edgar Allan Poe, Matthew Pearl

An interesting short novella from Edgar Allen Poe.


While reading it I realized I must have read it before, as I started to guess the solution and that is truly impossible without knowing it.

What I mean by this is, that the solution is precluded by hints and enough different facts to give the impression that the reader can reach the conclusion with thinking it through like the genius analyst/investigator himself.

But as said, the solution is so ludicrous that it is impossible to really guess it in my opinion.


But still - very smooth writing, interesting and also a quick read.


It feels like a sketch, lin comparison to other detectives in novels like Poirot or even Sherlock Holmes.


Enjoyable enough.

Fed Con in June!
Fed Con in June!

We got the tickets! Booked the Hotel!


This will be so great - nearly the whole TNG crew will be there (Picard won't be) and I am looking forward to it very much!


We thought about going to the big convention in Las Vegas (Picard, Janeway, the original Uhura will be there), but when we calculated what it would cost we reconsidered...Trekkies must be loaded!

So Fed Con it will be.

I stopped reading halfway in - DNF

Dyeing to be Loved (Curl Up and Dye Mysteries, #1) (Volume 1) - Aimee Nicole Walker

It might be me, not the book.


I was missing the back-story (in another novel?), and did not enjoy the "romance" missing the for me most interesting part - i.e. when the two MCs get to know each other and fall for each other.

This was a "repair" case of love story.


Also Jazz's criticism of Gabe's a**holeish "I don't like femme guys" seems a bit, well, contrived. Because Jazz does like Gabe's Alpha-Male-Cop-Tall-Dark-Dangerous type well enough. But if Gabe likes masculine guys better, it is demeaning. It is a bit difficult for me to follow that. Maybe because I am a very distinct "type" myself and always was aware that there are people who simply won't be attracted to me. And vice versa - as I have a "type" too :)

I am aware of the underlying mysogeny (femme guys being "less of a man"/"less desirable"/"more male=better"), but this still felt a bit hypocritical to me. I would have liked it more  if Jazz showed that he is not a walking stereotype with his job, limber Yoga-style flexibility and happy reverse-cowboy bottoming.


So, to cut my ramblings short, I wasn't really into the story. On the plus side, I did enjoy Jazz's voice and think this book could have been good without the emphasize on the romance with the jock detective.

DNF after 33%.

Capable of Murder - Brian Kavanagh

The writing felt clumsy, the characters stereotyped and also the protag was not really likable. She came across as bland, impatient, the motivations or impulses not clear or compprehensible.


It felt kind of sketchy.

"Agents of SHIELD" on steroids...

ONSET: To Serve and Protect - Glynn Stewart

I absolutly loved this author's Mage of Mars series.


This one - not so much.


It felt quite unoriginal and I skimmed a lot.


It never really got me pulled into the story.



PS: Another little niggle is the way the (unnecessary) emphasize is on US, explained with how many personnel the Agency has worldwide. If Canada is to bow down before US because they have a tenth of the US population, fine. But mentioning that Europe doesn't have much troops either is simply ludicrous.

A quick comparison in population, while also keeping in mind that there are 25+ languages spoken in Europe which adds complexity:

US: 320+ Million people

EU: 510+ Million people


Notice something?


Yeah, me too.

Nice writing.

Unendliche Weiten: Losungsorientiert Denken Mit Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock Und Dr. McCoy - Simone Stolzel

I did enjoy reading this. The writing was humorous and smooth.

More the episode-stories than the "exercises" though.

I also enjoyed the philosophical thoughts and the reflection on star trek.


What confused me a bit was what this exactly was supposed to be.

The title means "solution-oriented thinking with Star Trek". That was in my opinion misleading.


There were some tips and tricks that I found meandering between helpful and silly.


All in all, not really for anyone who doesn't enjoy pretty much anything with Star Trek in it :)


Into the Fire (Night Prince) - Jeaniene Frost

I was so much looking forward to this. I liked Vlad always better than Bones, I found the whole love story with him and Leyla really great.


I re-read the previous three books, internally rubbing my hands waiting for the 4th, high-fiving myself when it sold for only 4 Euros.


And then.


A lot of action. A lot of "I would kill the whole world for you" (even my father, my oldest friend, your whole family, you get it). It went OTT pretty much immediately.

The Mircea-angle was wasted in my eyes. Vlad and Leyla became the unbearable über-couple and I was disgusted by their obsession with each other. 

Leyla was a bit less intense, she at least kept some kind of resemblance to a real person.


I am so disappointed.


Ian was wasted in this novel, I can only hope he gets his own soon. And I also hope this was the last one about Leyla and Vlad. Or the story improves with the next one. Because I really disliked this one.


The two stars are solely for "I used to love this story".

It had all the ingredients...

Ancient Magic (Dragon's Gift: The Huntress) (Volume 1) - Linsey Hall

But none of the magic.


I was hoping for a good UF - or PNR. This was so run-of-the-mill with the rich, super-powerful Alpha-guy, who is honorable and decent, and kicks ass and is incredibly beautiful and immediately interested in the kick-ass, super-powerful, quirky heroine...


It was just so immensely boring.


I had to skim a lot.


The world-building was boring, the characters were boring, the story was...

well, you get it.


It was not an awful book. It was just not special in any way.

And I am disappointed.

This left me wondering if there are two Ann Aguirres...

The Leopard King (Ars Numina) (Volume 1) - Ann Aguirre

I loved the Sirantha Jax series, and more recently the Dred chronicles.


They have some drama, action and some love story.


This was a drawn out, quite boring and cliche-ridden paranormal sap-fest.

It started out mostly ok, but went downhill after the first half.


I got bored and annoyed. Finished it though, yay.