Speed Dating Bibliophile Style: February (Catherine)

Reading AloneOkay, I’ll admit it: I am a bad, bad book blogger.

Ninety-nine per cent of the time when I finished a book, I don’t want to blog about it. If it was a good book, I want to ride that sweet high while I scour my To-Be-Read pile looking for the next awesome story that is going to make me laugh or cry or blush furiously before I melt into a giant puddle of lust and hormones. If it was a bad book, I need something to wipe it from my memory STAT – like chasing a shot of cheap tequila with a really good imported beer.

Alas, blog posts do not write and post themselves (no matter how much I sometimes wish this were true).

Still, I know me, and I’m not going to magically turn into the person that reviews every book I read. So, for those times when I absolutely cannot tear myself away from finding and reading the next shiny book right this second, Runell suggested writing a ONE sentence book review to tide over the bookish hordes (uh… I guess that’d be you guys).

Surely even can manage a single sentence between books, right?! Right.

So I dubbed these mini book reviews Speed Dating Bibliophile Style and there you have it. I hope you enjoy these bite-sized morsels!

1. Sixty-Five Hours (Sixty-Five Hours #1) by N.R. Walker: This gay-for-you/out-for-you MM romance novel may not be entirely memorable, but it’s a sweet, sexy, fun book that is way too good to be free. [3 smooches]

2. Sixty-Five Hours: The Twelve Days of Christmas (Sixty-Five Hours) by N.R. Walker: This super short story was sugary sweet, completely over the top Christmas cuteness and I loved every Diabetes-inducing word of it. [4 smooches]

3. The Nothingness of Ben by Brad Boney: A great book that took me through a wide range of emotions but ultimately left me feeling buoyed and optimistic. [4 smooches]

4. Newton’s Laws of Attraction by M.J. O’Shea: The friends-to-lovers trope is one of my favourites, and O’Shea always seems to find the perfect balance of sweetness and bittersweetness for her novels. [4 smooches]

5. The Flesh Cartel #1: Capture by Rachel Haimowitz & Heidi Belleau: Objectively, this was a well-written start to what many tell me is a compelling and addictive series, but I only found it sickeningly violent with a beginning so abrupt it left me feeling disconnected from the main characters. [1 smooch]

6. Way Off Plan (Firsts and Forever #1) by Alexa Land: This book was one giant, cheesy, endearment-filled insta-lovefest with an entirely improbable plot and a laughable conclusion, but I read the whole thing with a big, stupid grin on my face. [3.5 smooches]

7. Broken Pieces by Riley Hart: My feelings about this deeply moving book are difficult to articulate, but it has probably become one of my favourite of all time – one that I know I will be drawn to re-read and recommend to friends for many years to come. [6 smooches. That’s right, 5 smooches just wasn’t enough!]

8. Fire Balls (Balls to the Wall #2) by Tara Lain: This horribly titled novella was an awful combination of cheese and sleaze (with the added bonus of cheating and main characters that sound like 13-year-old girls). [1 smooch]

9. Learning to Feel by N.R. Walker: This book about the unlikely love that blossoms between a workaholic doctor and an artist in small town Maine is a sweet, fun tale of self-discovery that gets a little gooey towards the end. [4 smooches]

10. Totally Covered by Sean Michael: A deliciously spicy BDSM short about an injured cop and the two growly Doms who just want to tie him up and looooooove him. [3 smooches]

11. All In by Alexa Land: This book had a way, way over the top Days of Our Lives-esque melodramatic vibe to it, but between the gooey insta-love that this author seems to favour and the curiously PG-rated BDSM scenes, the whole thing fell kinda flat for me. [2 smooches]

12. Hot Ticket (A Serving Love Story) by K.A. Mitchell: I loved the dynamic between the alpha male and the naive virgin in this hot short story, but the story itself both began and ended rather abruptly. [3.5 smooches]

13. Tag Team (Guards of Folsom #2) by S.J.D. Peterson: A definite improvement over the first Guards of Folsom novel, Tag Team is a sweet novel that’s more about the depth of the bond between its main characters than it is about three-way sexy times. [3 smooches]

14. Smartass (part of the Love Has No Boundaries anthology) by Lynn Lorenz: A free short story about a veteran and a t-shirt maker who’s more damsel-in-distress than smart-ass – not a lot of sugar or spice. [2 smooches]

15. Getting Rowdy by Lori Foster: This book was the classic case of “it’s not you, it’s me”; I really enjoy this author’s work and the previous books in the series, but I found that given my newly discovered love of M/M, the M/F romance just couldn’t hold my interest this time around. [3 smooches]

16. Saving Sam (Zero, Ohio #2) by Megan Slayer: A sweet (but not entirely memorable) short story about old friends who get a second chance at love. [2 smooches]

17. Queers by A.J. Rose: A slow-building story with multiple story lines, complex characters living complex lives, and a hard won (but completely satisfying) happily ever after.  [4 smooches]

18. Lazy Valentines (Lazy Days #2) by K-Lee Klein: This totally cute (and free!) short story picks up just four days after Lazy Sundays ends and manages to bring a wonderfully surprising amount of emotion and character development in so brief a story. [3.5 smooches]

19. The Proposal (A Valentine BDSM Story) by Nik Valentine: I was exactly in the mood for something naughty, short and not too serious, and this story delivered all of that. [3.5 smooches]

20. A Better Man (The Men of Halfway House #1) by Jaime Reese: A book about second chances and being true to yourself that is both sweet and incredibly romantic. [4 smooches]

21. The Accidental Cupid (A Valentine Rainbow) by Xavier Mayne: An adorably quirky Valentine’s Day short story with a kickass narrator; Josh (a.k.a. Cupid) is bold, snarky, and refreshing. [4 smooches]

22. Unintended by M.J. O’Shea: No one writes about those first blushes of young love and self-discovery quite like O’Shea – her stories always get me right in the feels and leave me smiling like a dope. [4 smooches]

23. Blah Blah Valentine’s Day by Kyle Adams: Though not poorly written, this short story was not particularly sweet, sexy or snarky, and it ultimately failed to hold my interest. [2 smooches]

24. Elements of Retrofit (Thomas Elkin #1) by N.R. Walker: Another smart, sexy short story from Walker with a fun May-December twist and plenty of panty-dropping architectural jargon. [4 smooches]

25. Clarity of Lines (Thomas Elkin #2) by N.R. Walker: There’s nothing not to love about this second helping of dreamy Thomas Elkin and his sassy boy toy Cooper Jones – it’s smart, funny, and feels-filled. [4 smooches]

26. Sense of Place (Thomas Elkin #3) by N.R. Walker: A fantastic conclusion to Walker’s Thomas Elkin series that was even funnier and sweeter than the first two combined, with plot points that just made my heart sigh. [4 smooches]

27. One Good Deed by Andrew Grey: A wonderful book about risk, reward, guilt, grief, forgiveness, and love (so much love). [3.5 smooches]

28. Being Chase (Chase #1) by J.J. Scotts: The first in a series, Being Chase has a unique premise and a lot of potential, but not as much interaction between the two main characters as I had hoped for/would have liked. [2.5 smooches]

29. Paper Planes by M. Jules Aedin: This book was equal parts poignant, deliciously filthy, and unexpectedly funny – I loved it! [4 smooches]

30. Heat of the Moment (Out of Uniform #1) by Elle Kennedy: This short story was well-written and the naughty bits were plenty entertaining, but the plot and characters were wholly unoriginal. [2 smooches]

31. Pole Star by Josephine Myles: A free short story filled with two sexy main characters and tonnes of fun British-isms. [3 smooches]

32. Southern Winterland (By Degrees 0.5) by Taylor V. Donovan: A sweet, sexy introduction to the By Degrees universe that made me feel for the characters and want to get to know them more. [3 smooches]

33. Ten in the Bin by N.R. Walker: Classic Walker, this short story was sinfully sweet and left me with a massive case of the warm fuzzies. [4 smooches]

34. Quid Pro Quo (Market Garden #1) by L.A. Witt & Aleksandr Voinov: The first in a series of short stories about rent boys, Quid Pro Quo was scorching hot. [4 smooches]

35. Three’s Company by N.R. Walker: This super sexy menage novel felt like a brand new Walker too me; more raunchy than sweet, it took a little getting used to. [3.5 smooches]

36. Str8te Boys by Evangeline Anderson: A super fun, super hot, way over-the-top short story about two “str8te boys” playing “gay chicken” and falling in love. [3.5 smooches]

37. Someday It Will Be by S.A. McAuley: This short story was beautiful – poetic, even – but it fucking destroyed me emotionally. [5 smooches]

38. Taxes and TARDIS by N.R. Walker: Another solidly cute, opposites attract-type novella from Walker, but it was missing just a little bit of the spark that I love about her work.  [3 smooches]

39. Physical Chemistry by Jana Downs: For me, this short story blew hot and cold so often in the beginning it gave me whiplash and the whole thing ended up feeling amateurish and clunky. [2 smooches]

40. Professor’s Keeper by Nicole Dennis: A cute short story about an unlikely couple, but between the insta-love and the fact that the voice of Rhys was inconsistent (flip-flopping between extremely proper and good ‘ole boy), it had some definite issues. [2 smooches]

41. The Boy Who Belonged by Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock: A delicious second helping of Lane and Derek that was incredibly loving and sweet, but spicy  enough to push me out of my comfort zone as a reader (unsurprisingly from these two talented authors). [4 smooches]

42. Red Dirt Heart by N.R. Walker: A fantastic novella that transported me to the heart of the Australian Outback, introduced me to two amazing new men, and wrapped me up with warmth and acceptance and love. My favourite N.R. Walker title to date. [5 smooches]

43. Cinder: A Cinderfella Story by Marie Sexton: This fantastic twisted fairy tale was a light, sweet, FUN retelling of an old classic that gave me the expected happily ever after in a completely unexpected way. [4 smooches]

44. The Broken Road Cafe (The Broken Road Cafe #1) by T. A. Webb: In terms of plot, characters, and writing, this book was a bit of a mess (and the “cliffhanger” ending was both lackluster and frustrating). [2 smooches]

45. The Red Sheet by Mia Kerick: A wonderfully written YA novel about high school, bullying, identity, the consequences of our actions, love, and forgiveness, this book is at times confusing, funny, heart-wrenching and inspiring. [4.5 smooches]

46. Sno Ho (Sno Ho #1) by Ethan Day: A charming short story that had tonnes of laughs, throw-me-up-against-a-wall sex, and some surprisingly sweet moments. [4 smooches]

Read a book lately that I simply can’t miss (or one I should avoid at all costs)?! Feel free to leave your own single sentence book reviews in the comments section below.

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2 thoughts on “Speed Dating Bibliophile Style: February (Catherine)

  1. Pingback: Speed Dating Bibliophile Style: February (Runell) |

  2. Pingback: Speed Dating Bibliophile Style: March (Catherine) |

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