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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...)

This oscillated between great and meh.

Getting Rid Of Bradley - Jennifer Crusie

Case in point, this quote:


"There were never any women who looked to cook for men every day. There were only women who cooked for survival and pretended to like it. And now there are men who cook for survival. Like you. Think of this as survivalist training. Very macho."


It had its moments.


It was a fun read.

This was wonderful.

Wait for It - Mariana Zapata

A really wonderful romance story. It had everything. A fantastic female lead, her so so lovable two boys and the nice and decent man who lives across the street.

This was such a fun book, but also had some depth.

I loved the female protag, Diana. She was just so strong and funny and loving.

And Dallas, the silent, strong type.

They just made for a great couple.


But the best thing about the book?


The two boys.


And that from someone who usually hates kids in books...

Very good romance novel.

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me - Mariana Zapata

I so liked Vanessa.

She was tough, smart and capable. She got shit done. And she was very reasonable.


I could relate so much.


And the Wall of Winnipeg? So so good as the male protag. I liked very much that he wasn't smooth, overly charming or even especially witty.


I loved the slow burn and the pace, the dialogue and the hotness.


What I especially appreciated: this romance was centered clearly around the female protagonist.

Somehow this didn't work as well for me.

The Cad and the Co-Ed - L.H. Cosway, Penny Reid

I just wasn't really into the main characters.

Also the kid thing didn't really work so well. I don't dig this ready-made family thing so much.

I just have a weakness for blond guys...

The Player and the Pixie (Rugby Book 2) - L.H. Cosway, Penny Reid

I wasn't sure if Sean would be redeemable after his behaviour in the first installment.

But it worked out well.


I liked this one - it had a bit of drama, but not overly much.


A more or less straight forward romance with a professional athlete and a nice girl.

Fun romance.

The Hooker and the Hermit - Penny Reid, Luci Cosway

I did like the banter, the dialogue and the characters.


As with most romance novels it was a bit OTT, but it didn't have any pet peeves of mine, the female protag was relatable and I liked the story flow.


Very enjoyable.

Good crime plot.

Holy Island: A DCI Ryan Mystery (The DCI Ryan Mysteries Book 1) - LJ Ross

And some very interesting characters. I liked the interactions, the dialogues and the plot.


What was a bit disappointing was the quick and actually unnecessary romance part.


A good crime novel.

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.