June’s short stories (and my tbr list)

Usually they revert to standard colours but these aquilegia are beautifully two-toned.

In January I made a resolution: not to buy books or download freebies till my tbr list was under control. Mostly, I’ve stuck to my resolution with the occasional lapse in favour of something I desperately wanted that was on sale for a very short time. I’m pleased to report that now, mid July, I’m almost there…!

It has been interesting to deal with the list. I found things I’d downloaded with more enthusiasm than sense, and deleted them after re-reading the blurb. I’ve found some gems. I’ve ploughed through a number of short stories that have somehow all merged into one amorphous mass of reasonably well written light romance with, usually, too much explicit sex (mm and mf). I don’t want a lot of explicit sex before I really know the characters so I don’t honestly think the very short story is the place for it. Obviously it will appeal to some readers so good luck to the authors. It just isn’t for me.

I did find quite a lot of books I was able to abandon after a chapter or so and some that went unread after the first paragraph (and which I didn’t even bother to review or list). Sadly, a lot of these were in the fantasy and sci fi genres which I would have said were my favourites. Still, probably all down to the above mentioned enthusiasm.

It isn’t at all a case of free or cheap books being less worth reading. As I said, I found some really good reads. Nor is it a case of sticking to known authors – I have found some new favourites. Now that I’m almost at the book acquisition stage again I must be more careful. Perhaps the way to go is to download fewer at a time and really examine them before going for more.

In a way, it’s a bit like being faced with a library and taking out too many books at once because the covers are so appealing. I must be strict and ration myself! A book diet…

I’ve treated the short stories and novellas like an anthology, though one gathered by me rather than by an editor.

Here are the ones I read in June:

The only one I’d recommend:

Home Sweet Home by Clare London**** Not sure if this was a long short story or a short novella… Nice mm and well written.

The ones I quite enjoyed but can’t remember well…

Lessons for a lifetime by Hudson Lin.*** Sweet story about an ESL teacher and an immigrant .

Trex or Treat by Tara Lain*** Sweet halloween story.

Diplomacy of the heart by Mel Gough*** Bittersweet story of hospital worker (MSF) and diplomat thrown together in war-torn Liberia.

Tainted Life by Mel Gough*** An mm romance with thriller elements. Could benefit from being written as a novel rather than a novella.

Flour, Eggs, Sugar, Magic by Daniel de Lorne*** Well written mm story about magic that goes wrong.

The Mistaken Fiance by Kim Katil*** Quite a nice twist to the fake boyfriend trope but not particularly memorable.

The Bogus Boyfriend by Rebecca James*** Another fake boyfriend trope and again not memorable.

Then the ones I thought were poor and that I’d wasted my time:

Murder by Android by JJ Toner** Maybe if Asimov had written it…

Yours truly, your soldier by Kaci Rose** Sickly sweet m/f romance and no drama. Too much sex.

Executive Decision by Alice Archer** Weird story about a stonemason and a CEO. Not really a clear plot.

Lone Cowboy by Inge Mayhem** Initially interesting, though short, then ended on a cliff hanger with the main character as a criminal. Wouldn’t bother reading the next in the series.

Want you bad by Lynn Michaels** Demons never appeal to me.

And one that annoyed me a little:

The First Door by KP Maxwell. Fantasy. Turned out to be a prequel with a cliffhanger. No stars. That’s a sneaky form of advertising but I suppose if people buy the series it’s worth the author’s while. I’d have been really annoyed if I’d paid, but it was a freebie so *shrugs* No stars.!

Expect another batch next month! I have now got all my backlog at least uploaded to my kindle…

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