January Round Up

Monthly Mini Review

Head and upper body of a short-haired brunet man against a red background, the left side of him is in a suit, the right side is in a red dress with drag queen makeupWow! by Sean Kennedy – B+. This brand new release from Sean Kennedy feels like a little bit of a departure – for one thing, it’s a bit hotter than I’m used to from him (not a complaint). Although it’s not super explicit there are certainly more than kisses.

Mark Hodges works in a bank during the week, but on Saturday nights, he dons drag and becomes “Allotta Moxie” who struts her stuff on stage at a local gay bar, lip-syncing to ABBA, Kylie and other icons. In the past, revealing Allotta to a boyfriend has led to the demise of the relationship so he’s cautious about who he tells and when.

Mark has a crush on Joel, a new employee (not a direct report so nothing icky here) at the bank but he’s shy and lacks confidence. Allotta has a distinct personality. While the book does explicitly confirm that Allotta is an aspect of Mark’s personality it is also clear that Mark only lets that side of himself out when Allotta is on stage. Outside of that, he’s a shy boy. Allotta, however, is a maneater.

May Round Up

Monthly Mini Review

White cover with a red-toned hollow heart with the title in the cenre. On the top right of the heart stand two men, casually dressed, hand in hand.When Was The Last Time by Kelly Jensen – B- This short story (it’s about 40 pages) is a relationship-in-trouble story. Paul and Evan have been together for 15 years but in the past 12 months, their sex life has gone stale. Evan raises it one morning and Paul realises he needs to reprioritise. He’s worried he might lose Evan if he doesn’t change. He plans a romantic Valentine’s Day date but interstate work runs late and he’s faced with a decision to potentially damage his career or potentially damage his relationship.

My impression was the Evan wasn’t anywhere near the stage of walking out but Paul’s wake-up is nevertheless a welcome one. It’s sweet and romantic without a ton of detail. I was curious as to why Evan chose that particular day to raise the issue with Paul – but as there was only Paul’s POV, it remained a mystery.

February Round Up

Monthly Mini Review

Yellow jagged/broken mirror? above a red New York skylineEchoes in Death by JD Robb, narrated by Susan Ericksen – B+ It took me quite a while to understand the title of the latest In Death book. (In fact, Roarke had to tell me what it meant before I got it.) The “echoes” are between the murders and violent crimes Eve Dallas investigates in the book and Eve’s own violent past. (There you go KM readers. Now you don’t have to wait for Roarke to make the connection. You’re welcome.)

Eve and Roarke are driving home after a social deal where Eve wears a sparkly dress, the dreaded facial goop and skyscraper high heels. It’s the early hours of a very cold winter morning and the couple are stunned to nearly run over a naked, bloody woman wandering down the middle of the street. It turns out she was raped and beaten by the man who killed her husband and thus begins the investigation the subject of the latest In Death installment. Perhaps I’m more sensitive and the earlier books were actually just as brutal but the last few have had some pretty difficult things to read or listen to. There is sexual violence in this book and it is fairly graphically described, albeit after the fact and not in the villains POV (so that’s something).  Anyway: all the trigger warnings.

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