Tag Archives: 9.00 out of 10

Built to Last, by Erin Hahn

17 Oct
Illustrated cover for Built to Last; it shows a house with two open windows; in one, there's a dark haired white man with a beard, in the other a blonde white woman. They're both leaning slightly out the windows to look at each other. There's a ladder outside, leaning against the siding, with an open can of paint.

I asked for an ARC of this back in May, because I saw the cover on twitter, and the blurb said it has the kind of second chance at love I can enjoy: they were friends and more as kids and teens, now they’re in their late 20s. There’s enough time and distance for them to have grown from the people who screwed up their chances to grown adults who can make a relationship work.

Reader beware: there’s graphic sex on the page, and some cursing; there’s the tropetastic narcissistic stage mom, and a bastard ex whose motivations are…he’s an asshole? Also, all white, all the time.

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Nowhere Else, by Felicia Davin

11 Jul
Cover for NOWHERE ELSE; the silhouette of a male figure over a field of asteroids, with both the Moon and Earth in the background, and space dust swirling about. The silhouette is warm in warm tones, the background in cool greens.

After struggling to read past the oh, 60% mark on Out of Nowhere for a few weeks (not the book, it was ::gestures at the world:: me; I couldn’t read anything for weeks!), I finally got back to it, finished it in one sprint, then immediately started Nowhere Else, which I inhaled in one greedy gulp. It may well be my favorite of the trilogy, to be honest.

Reader beware: some swearing, sex on page between two adult men, one of whom is dealing with PTSD from recent trauma; both characters had difficult childhoods, for different reasons.

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Cold-Hearted Rake, by Lisa Kleypas

16 Mar
Cover for Cold-Hearted Rake; background shows part of a medieval-ish stone house and some gardens, in a blueish tint. Foreground shows a white redheaded woman wearing a pink gown, with the back mostly open and no underpinnings, looking at the reader over her soulder

I am trying to keep up with Wendy the SuperLibrarian’s TBR Challenge and struggling some to find novels that fit the themes; not because I don’t have entire cordilleras of TBR tittles, but because I have done nothing but over-commit this year. So when I realized how little time I had to get the reading done and the review written, I went off what I remembered of the “look inside” sample, wherein the male protagonist appears to be a callous and resentful ass.

Spoiler: turns out that neither of the main characters are all that grumpy by nature; rather, they’re reacting to pretty shitty circumstances. BUT I DON’T CARE, IT FITS THE THEME.

(Also, there are letters)

::ahem::

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Saffron Alley, by A. J. Demas

25 Feb
Cover for Saffron Alley, showing a man with short hair, wearing a Roman-ish short tunic, sword belt and holding a round shield aloft with his left arm, his right hand on the waist of a long-haired man wearing a long sleeveless tunic, who's holding a sword on his left hand, his right forearm over the first man's left shoulder as they face each other. The sun is behind the shield.

It has been a long time since I’ve been able to glom an author and enjoy it, and I must say, I’ve missed it.

And yet, I read the second and third books in the Sword Dance trilogy in one day, and now I’m torn between being grateful the author only has five books under this pseudonym/in this world, and bemoaning that there are only five books in this world. 1

In part it’s just because my reading has been shit for almost seven years, but I’ve also grown a lot more grumpy and a lot less forgiving of writing tics. Spacing out books by the same author benefits everyone here.

Readers, people. We suck.

Reader notes: there’s some graphic sex and just a bit of violence, mostly near the end. One of the leads is bisexual, the other is a eunuch (not by choice) and non-binary (entirely by choice); also an undercurrent of xenophobia.

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