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Monday, June 1, 2015

May 2015 Recap

When I think about this month, and I think about all the things I was up to, including two dogs shows and a lot of in between activities it's not wonder I read less than usual. I mean, even when I actually had the time I found myself too exhausted to read. It might also be the heat, the humidity with the longer days.. I really don't know. What I DO know is I had 1000 (!) more pages planned for my May Reading that I had to put aside for whenever in the who knows future.. 

So here is what I did accomplish: 

Total Read - 12 ebooks (+1 DNF) / 2800 pages (~90 pages a day)

Last month I've said that I think that around 100 pages a day seems a reasonable amount so I can "forgive" myself for just reading 90 per day this month. But anyhow I always have more planned because I'm "greedy" and also because I know myself and I do have a few DNFs most months.. This month I only had one though I can't say I had any "real disappointments" just a few "so and so" reads - I'll mention them specifically bellow. 

★  ★  ★  ★  ★ - Cheers and Shouts for the Favorites -  ★  ★  ★  ★  ★

I gotta say, Amy Lane blew me away with these two MM Romance novels. Both "Clear Water" and "Sidecar" were excellent reads which left me with a HUNGER for more books by her. I already added quite a lot to my reading list but since she wrote so much I mainly tried to add her stand alone novels and novellas with only a few short series. It's a shame that it will take me a few months to actually get to them since as you know I'm quite the order junky which means I have the following months already planned..

What I loved so much about both novels is the humanity of the character and how easy it was to relate to them, to really feel them - this is the only thread connecting these two and is exactly why I simply HAVE to read more by Amy and enjoy more of her beautifully build characters and sweet developing romance. 

As "Faith, Love & Devotion" by Tere Michaels left such an impression on me, I had to try out more by her! Originally I planned on reading two Anthologies but when I found out about the two closing novels in the series I decided to postpone the Anthologies for a different time and was left only with "The Heir Apparent" a very sweet novella. Though from reading the synopsis this one doesn't sound that special, and some of the twists were a bit predictable it's SUCH a beautiful read! I love both MC, their struggle to being together, to even perceive each other as MORE, more than just childhood friends, more than lovers (in just the sexual sense), the inner struggle to admit to themselves how much they truly mean for each other, THAT is what made this novella so tender and heart warming. 

I still have those two Anthologies by Tere, I hope I'll be able to add them sometime in the near future. She has two more novels besides the ones mentioned here, but since they are not in genres I usually enjoy I'm still considering if to add them or not. 

After a bit of a "fail" in the Paranormal category this month (mentioned bellow) I was a bit reluctant to try the Paranormal MM Romance "The Dream Alchemist" By Joanna Chambers. I knew it HAS to be different, as day from night from the YA Fantasy series I just read so when I was totally hooked I was so HAPPY! This is the state I love to be, especially over the weekend, with a book I have no desire to put away until I'm finished. Joanna did a wonderful job of world building not overwhelming and explained at a perfect pace. The romance between the MC was a JOY to read, reminding me of how I enjoyed the slow buildup in the previous series I've read by her (though this one's time frame was MUCH shorter). 

"Five Dates" By Amy Jo Cousins is a short sweet free MM Romance novella. This is my first read by Amy. I wanted to try her books but didn't have any place to schedule more books! so I "cheated" and added this short novella ;) I hope I'll find the time to read more by her because this one totally felt like the aperitif.  

My last read this month have been utterly perfect. 5 Stars is really an "under rating" for "A Symphony of Echos" a short MM Romance novella by Cecilia Ryan. It's THE most tender love story you'll ever read. It's a truly beautiful love story between two men that are so very different when you look at them "physically" - the age differences, life experience and general self assurance, yet love is love and when you see them together, the ease they find in one another is so tender and heart warming.. ~sign~ there are no words. READ IT! and I'll be adding most of her other short novellas for June's reads. 

▲  ▲ On the Fence ▼  ▼
As I wrote above, I don't have real disappointments this month but I have a few misgiving I wanted to share. 

My first read this month was "Two of Hearts" - Christina Lee's first Contemporary Romance novel. I was absolutely obsessed with her "Between Breaths" series so I was positive I'm going to utterly fall in love with both Dakota and Shane so imagine my disappointment when I couldn't get Dakota and I really disliked Shane. It's all me, it's not the book or really the characters I just get a MAJOR turn off from bossy guys (which most women extremely enjoy and secretly long for). So while the story itself, the suspense part, was very good, and while I could get what kept the MC from one each other in the past, I couldn't understood their behavior in the present. It has a lot to do with them keeping a lot of the cards to themselves and MOSTLY for me disliking the way Shane treated Dakota. So while I think a lot of women would ADORE this novel, I wasn't that impressed with the romance side of it. As I wrote in my review, it won't discourage me from reading more by Christina. She is still on my immediate-pre-order-list!  

In the beginning of May I found out the last installment in Tere Michael's "Faith, Love & Devotion" series is out! and with it I found out I totally missed the previous installment (released with the 4th installment together, both being short novellas). While I extremely enjoyed the first 3 novels in the series, I gotta say I wasn't very impressed with "Cherish & Blessed" (the bundle of installments #4+#5). I don't think it was very necessary in general and thought the focus was a bit off which was more pronounced in "Truth & Tenderness" (the last installment) which had too much going on - too many characters on the front stage, featuring both Evan & Matt as well as Jim & Griffin but also their coupled friends. So while I really enjoyed getting more from both couples I was a bit disappointed with the general plot around them. 

Last but not least "Daughter of Smoke & Bone" series by Laini Taylor. I don't have anything "bad" to say about this series, it's an EXCELLENT Young Adult Fantasy series. The world building and the character were really good, my only problem is again, like with the first novel in this list, is quite personal - I feel as though I don't have the patience for Fantasy anymore. I want my novels more "to the point" and with Fantasy being a lot about the journey I find myself a bit lost in all the details and the slow progress of the plot (not to mention the romance). So while the first one was a 5 stars read, the next ones' rating started deteriorating (with my patience) the last one being a DNF :( I can't and won't "blame" anyone but myself on this one. It's an excellent Fantasy series, yet it isn't for me.

As you can see, with all of these, it's not that I was truly disappointed, I mostly enjoyed the read I just wanted MORE or a bit DIFFERENT then what I got. 

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

That's it for my monthly Recap. It felt a bit different for me, I had a some REALLY excellent reads (in the beginning and ending of this month) with just okay reads to pad the middle of the month. Glad I got to check out more by authors I enjoyed before and got myself a new obsession to follow - Amy Lane's novels. 

Later! :)

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