Shelved: September 2018

OkayOkay! So, sometime ago I picked up Spencer Spears’ Adam’s Song, 8 Million Hearts Book 1, and didn’t get very far before I dropped it. I just wasn’t feeling it. Of course I didn’t remember that when book 4 came out. I didn’t even read the synopsis, but I just had a feeling about it, but you know I have to start from the beginning, so I did. It was when I opened book 1 in Kindle and it started on a chapter in progress that it came back to me. Anyway, I just went with it and I could kind of see how it could have soured before, but it didn’t take long for me to be really glad that I gave it another chance. It was good. Even though one of the MCs was annoying (but in a way you will come to understand), the friendship between the leads was so believable as a best friendship and that made all the difference.

Anyway, I get to Gray for You, book 2, and the (new) MCs are going to be acting in a crowdfunded film that’s based off a gay romance novel called Foresight. So the book is describing the story and I just, WAIT! That’s– That’s Aftermath! They’re describing Kay Simone’s Aftermath! Well, it wasn’t to the letter, but I know it was; it’s one of my favorite stories despite the fact that it is a teacher/student story. And that right there made me disproportionately excited about the rest of the book. I love ish like that!

But it gets even better. And it took a minute for me to catch it. The author of Foresight is named Danny Wilson–Daniel and Wil are the MCs in Aftermath. Like, if I had any doubt, any thought that it could just be a coincidence, that settled it for me. Somebody out there has to understand the giddiness that I feel having stumbled across this.

Turns out the series is really good and I’m glad I unknowingly gave it another chance.

But with every high comes a low.

I passed on Peter Styles’ Sex, Lies, and Headlines when it was initially released; the idea of a character that actively outed people and wasn’t explicitly set up to be the antagonist was so overwhelmingly unappealing that nothing else about the story mattered. I can’t say I forgot, but after enough promos in my inbox, I decided to read it. I didn’t reread the synopsis. I regret that as it probably would have reminded me why I passed in the first place. Still, I vaguely knew what I was getting into when I started this book.

You know, I get fear as a motive for keeping secrets. Simon, however scared he was, kept his secrets from Luke because Simon was selfish. There’s no way around it. And I can’t get behind that. His opportunities to come clean were like coffee addicts and Starbucks: every time you turned around he was running into one. And yet, he was no closer to fessing up at 80% of the way through than he was at 18%. Moreover, the story didn’t really hit on the fact that Simon’s sister and employer made her money off of outing closeted people until so far in that I pretty much forgot. But when it did come up, Simon didn’t seem to have a problem with it. That was the penultimate straw. Though, he’d already been working for the publication, so I shouldn’t have been surprised. I suppose I’ll chalk it up to the difference between passive knowledge and seeing it in action.

The final straw was when, even after–I mean right after–he realized how closely his situation resembled one Luke had been in before and felt deeply betrayed by, he accepted Luke’s invitation to get together but decided against telling the truth and went as far as rationalizing that it was for Luke’s sake.

There is nothing that could happen in the last 18% of the book that would convince me that Luke would be able to forgive Simon once the truth was out. So I dropped it. Besides, I don’t want to see anyone who supports (passively or otherwise) people being outed getting a happy ending.

I’m also feeling over Styles’ frequent writing partner, J.P. Oliver. Oliver’s Fighting for Love series has flagged;  I liked the first two books, but it just kind of fell off after that. I think they do decent work together, so I won’t dismiss them completely.

I started the month with a bunch of short stories from a giveaway bundle and that’s how I found R.G. Alexander. I really enjoyed they way her characters interacted. Obvious, the short I read, is a side story from her Finn Factor series. I checked the series out, but it seems to be rampant with BDSM themes, so, rather than try to figure out if they’re all like that or not, I’m just skipping it altogether. However, there is a spin-off series called Finn’s Pub and I read the first two books from that and I liked them, too. Also, I remember laughing quite a bit, so I definitely want to check out her other works.

Included in the short story bundle was Laguna, a side story for one of my most anticipated series, Sawyer’s Ferry, by Cate Ashwood. It was okay, but I think if I knew there was a continuation, it would have been better. I read book 1, Alaska, back in May and have been waiting for book 2 ever since. She also happens to have written my FAVORITE M/M short story, Married for a Month. And with All He Ever Needed, the other book I read by her this month, scoring five stars, she’s becoming a favorite.

Lastly, this is the first month since April that I’ve read something other than M/M. I listened as Robin Miles read books 2 and 3 of Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti series. I did enjoy it. I really love the world Binti lives in. Tribal beliefs, science, technology, fantasy, interstellar travel, among other things, all came together to bring the fascinating world to life. The only bone I had to pick with the story is with Binti herself. Her stubbornness was really frustrating at times and reminded me of what I didn’t like about Avatar: The Legend of Korra. The way book 3 ended, I feel like there should be more. I hope there is because I’d really like to see how Binti navigates life after all of the changes she’s gone through and maybe give her a chance to show that she’s grown with them.

Alright, that’s all for now. Thanx for hanging out. See you next month!

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