Monthly Archives: September 2015

Review of Wolf, WY (Wolf #1), by A.F. Henley

Wolf, WYI received a copy of Wolf, WY (by A. F. Henley) from Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:
There’s nothing like a fresh start, and for Randy, still nursing wounds left by a cheating ex and harboring a deep mistrust for all things corporate, Wolf, Wyoming seems like the perfect place to start over. Secluded, quiet, and self-sufficient, Wolf is bound to not only inspire, but to bring Randy the peace he needs. The view’s not bad, either.

Vaughn O’Connell and his family are Randy’s only neighbors for miles, and while Randy knows it’s somewhat unlikely that a man with three kids is gay, it doesn’t hurt to look. When a misunderstanding brings Randy face to face with both Vaughn and his eighteen year old son, Lyle, Randy’s not sure what to feel about either of them.

But things are not what they appear in Wolf, and the closer Randy gets, the stranger the O’Connell family seems…

Review:

This is a hard book to review, because there were some aspect of it I really liked, some that got on my nerves and then there was the ending which I thought fell apart. But on which of these do I base a review?

What I liked, I quite liked. I liked that Randy wasn’t a pushover, even if he was out of his element. I liked that Vaughn put his family first. I liked seeing Lyle’s situation. The scene in which Vaughn obliquely tells Randy about it is one of my favorite in the book. I thought the sex was sexy.

What I didn’t like was the cliche, status-greedy mother (How many times can we read the same character?) and everything after Randy leaves Wolf. I had two main issues with the last bit of the book. The first was that if felt like it was simply trying to deliberately open the universe to allow for sequels. Two, it just got too saccharine and sweet for my tastes.

All in all, I quite enjoyed the book and Henley’s writing style. I’ll be up for more.

Review of Off Campus, by Amy Jo Cousins

Off CampusI bought a copy of Off Campus, by Amy Jo Cousins.

Description from Goodreads:
Everyone’s got secrets. Some are just harder to hide.

With his father’s ponzi scheme assets frozen, Tom Worthington believes finishing college is impossible unless he can pay his own way. After months sleeping in his car and gypsy-cabbing for cash, he’s ready to do just that.

But his new, older-student housing comes with an unapologetically gay roommate. Tom doesn’t ask why Reese Anders has been separated from the rest of the student population. He’s just happy to be sleeping in a bed.

Reese isn’t about to share his brutal story with his gruff new roommate. You’ve seen one homophobic jock, you’ve seen ’em all. He plans to drag every twink on campus into his bed until Tom moves out. But soon it becomes clear Tom isn’t budging.

Tom isn’t going to let some late-night sex noise scare him off, especially when it’s turning him on. But he doesn’t want any drama either. He’ll keep his hands, if not his eyes, to himself. Boundaries have a way of blurring when you start sharing truths, though. And if Tom and Reese cross too many lines, they may need to find out just how far they can bend…before they break.

Review:
This book is of such a higher caliber than many of the M/M books I’ve read. If I used stars, I’d say it only skirts around a 5 star for personal preference, not-the-perfect-book/reader-matchup issues.

I really appreciated the two real, flawed, but surviving main characters. I liked the larger than life side characters too. Cousins used repetition to highlight Tom’s obsessive thinking and his anxiety level was instantly recognizable. Similarly, Reece’s coping mechanisms were believable. I liked how hard the characters had to work for their happiness and I really loved Toms need to make ‘this one thing’ work out and be right and good for someone. It was both utterly selfish and completely generous at the same time and the dichotomy of it was delicious. I The writing and humor is also excellent.

I did think that a couple major problems were solved with questionable ease toward the end and I was almost offended with how easily the second largest issue on Tom’s list of fears was just swept away. (Though I do see what the author was doing there.) But these are small complaints in the grand scheme of things. Really a great read.

Review of New Sky: Eyes of the Watcher, by Jason Kent

New SkyI downloaded a copy of New Sky: Eyes of the Watcher, by Jason Kent, from the Amazon free list.

Overly Long Description from Goodreads:

See the Future.
Kill the Mechs.
Save the Earth. 

See the Future. Kate Thompson did not expect to receive the power to see into the future when her day started. Everything changed for Kate after boarding an enemy Ironclad Star Cruiser, a mechanical wonder seemingly from another time, alongside a platoon of Stellar Union Marines. Embedded with Master Sergeant Kelly Merrick’s SUMC unit by her corporate employer, Electro-Magnetic Technologies, Kate is expected to repair the high tech gear the Stellar Marine’s somehow manage to keep breaking. Unfortunately, Kate’s work is never done as the space-going Marine’s constantly find new and unusual ways to destroy their equipment each and every time they embark on a mission. Her previous work does little to prepare Kate for the complete electronic system failure the team experiences aboard the Ironclad starship. When Kate finds her high tech gadgets useless, she is glad to find her assigned guardian, Kelly Merrick, functions just fine with only his sniper rifle and a combat knife. They fight their way deep into the Ironclad, where Kate’s Quest truly begins. Together they encounter an enigmatic Tallinn Watcher, and Kate finds she needs Merrick more than ever. Javin is a Watcher, one of the enemy’s top battle commanders charged with ensuring Tallinn victory over Earth’s forces…at any cost. Javin shares a mysterious link with a powerful entity called Knowl, allowing him to predict the outcome of crucial events with startling clarity. Javin uses this insight to utterly defeat his opponents in battle after battle. While fighting on the side of the Tallinn, defeating far superior forces, Javin has been secretly searching for someone who will end this bloody conflict. When Kate bursts in on Javin’s inner sanctum, he knows his search is over. With his dying breath, the Watcher passes his ability to see into the future to Kate; opening her eyes to wonders she never imagined! 

Kill the Mechs. Master Sergeant Kelly Merrick’s mission is clear and brutally simple; destroy as many enemy machines as humanly possible. Carrying out his orders as a Stellar Union Marine Corps sniper is the only way he knows to protect his fellow Marines as they battle legions of the relentless Tallinn clockwork soldiers. Fortunately for his team, Merrick is very good at his job. Little did he know he would end up assigned to baby-sit Kate, one of the civilian contractors who keeps getting in his line of fire. If only he was not so attracted to his new charge as she ends up requiring more protection than even he may be able to provide. After their life-altering encounter with the Tallinn Watcher, Merrick enlists the help of his fellow Marines to keep Kate and her new abilities safe. He also convinces them to follow Kate halfway across the galaxy to worlds only a Watcher can see. Merrick discovers his new mission; keeping Kate Thompson alive, is the key to saving everyone on Earth! 

Save the Earth. The strange encounter with the Watcher leaves Kate linked to Knowl and in possession of a new inner sight beyond time and space. Kate has many questions about her new found abilities but Javin is gone before she can get her answers. Several things are clear; Kate must find Knowl, stop the Tallinn’s, and save the Earth…no problem. She is not alone on her journey.

Review:
This was an amusing, if somewhat shallow read. It’s action packed and never seemed to lag, despite being quite long. So, my main take-away is that I had fun with it. But that doesn’t really negate the fact that the characters were not fleshed out; not one of them had any history at all. The romance came out of nowhere and was wholly unsupported. Plus, there was absolutely no chemistry between the characters, even if I did like them both and liked them together. The point of view was inconsistent and a random enemy showed up at about 60% through, but never really did anything.

Anyhow, it was an enjoyable read. And though it could use a little more editing, the writing was quite readable.