I love to read and to talk about books. I review many of the books I read. I do not accept any author/publisher submissions for reviews. I do not read or review ARCs. I do not enter any giveaways or contests. I obtain the books I review by purchasing them at the same price they are offered to the general public at the time of purchase. My reviews are intended for the use of my fellow readers. They are not advertising or promotion. They are not beta reads or constructive criticism or editing or advice to the author. My only obligation to the author is to pay the price charged for the book at the time of purchase. My reviews are sometimes critical and I will not stop posting critical reviews just to spare delicate authors' feelings. I am happy to make new friends, but friend requests from authors or promoters who have few or no books (and/or friends) in common with me and write or promote categories I do not read (especially new adult) will be ignored. I used to read more self-published books. After recent meltdowns by self-published authors, I now only read self-published authors I've previously read or who have been recommended to me by fellow readers I trust. I also used to read young adult/new adult books but rarely do so now.
This summer I tried to bang through some series that have been sitting on my kindle for a long, long time. I’m not going to review every book. I’m just going to toss up some mini reviews of the series, generally.
Series 1: Maya Banks - Kelly Group International (KGI) Series
Overall: Good, solid enjoyable series. There were no books I hated or wanted to throw across the room and several that I liked a lot. Of all of Ms. Banks’s series, this one is my favorite. For most of the series, there’s a good balance between suspense and romance, likeable heroines and heroes and interesting stories. These books are less erotic than many of her other romances (though the love scenes are explicit). There’s almost nothing kinky in them. Best of all there is no bathing. (Long time readers of Ms. Banks will understand what I mean by this!) These are the books I would recommend to a first time Banks reader. Several reviews mention the books taking a turn towards paranormal romance. There is a bit of that, but it only comes up in two books out of the entire series and I didn’t feel it was too heavy handed. The only downside to the series for me is that the books seem to lose some of their suspense as the series goes on. There are a few books to come and I’m hoping Ms. Banks gets her taste for suspense writing back. Considering who the heroes will be, I’m betting she will. I’d give the entire series 4.5 overall.
Series 2: Susan Mallery - Fools Gold Series
I wish I could draw a chart of this series. It would go something like:
Good book, horrible book, good book, novella, strange book, mediocre book, half good-half horrible book, novella, horrible book, mediocre book, horrible book, novella.
The writing is not structurally awful. In fact, in many cases it is quite good. Ms. Mallery’s problems have to do with her plot points and ideas and in some cases with shoddy research and bizarre takes on things like medicine and law. Her bad law makes me especially angry. I thought her bad family law in the second book was as bad as it would get but no. Her bad property law and criminal law is so very much worse. (And to be honest, the reviews of the bad property law book on goodreads are full of additional bad property law so there’s just bad law all around for the book with the bad property law.) Oh, but then there is the thing that makes me super angry: sex as a cure for post-rape ptsd/trauma. That seriously made me ragey.
In my opinion this series would work as a light sports romance series. She’s got a bicycle rider, and a football player who have pretty good stories. She’s got an underwear model/stunt man who could have had his story sportsed-up a bit (and the horrible, awful part re: the sex as a cure for post-rape ptsd/trauma taken out). That could be the nucleus of a good series. Instead we get a town that supposedly has few men despite there being more than enough men for all the heroines and rage inducing plot points. But hey, her grammar is good and there are occasional puppies.
Eh, I am spending too much time thinking about a series I dislike a lot. I own a few more books in this series and I will probably read them despite my dislike. Why? I don’t know. I just probably will. Overall I would give this series 2.5 stars and that’s being generous. Depending on my mood I might give it less than 1.
Series 3: Jaci Burton - Play by Play Series
Erotic sports romance. Not the best out there but far from the worst. Ms. Burton’s style is a bit choppy in my opinion. But the stories are good and the heroes are delicious and it filled my sports romance needs for a while. I know that’s not much of a review but these didn’t stick with me much. They are just sports romances that I like fairly well. Overall I would give them 3.5 stars.
I’m currently working on Kallypso Masters’s Masters at Arms series. I’ve only made it through the prequel and about half of the first book, though, so I’ll wait to review it.