Ten Days in August, Kate McMurray
Genre: LGBTQIA, Romance
I loved Kate’s Such a Dance, the first book of hers I’d read, but this one didn’t fit so well with me.
It covers, as it’s titled, ten days in August, in a sweltering heat wave in New York. People are dying from the heat, the police and hospitals are stretched thin trying to help, and among all that there’s a murderer on the loose. He’s killing male prostitutes, and sadly many in the force think time spent on tracking him down is time that could be better spent elsewhere. They don’t actually say that of course but its inferred. As someone in the force who has inverted ( what an awful word) tendencies himself Hank treads a thin line. His partner is ambitious, clearly one of those who abhor and inverted tendencies, doesn’t like Hank and resents spending time on this crime.
Along the way Hank meets Nicky, a female impersonator who sings at the club where the first man had been before his death. Nicky was the last person to see him and the man he left with. Hank thinks Nicky is hiding something and goes back to see him. Of course there’s the fact he’s attracted to him and looking for a reason to go back too….Soon they’re in the throes of an affair, not just a fleeting, passing thing though, its one where both of them have very deep feelings. Its a dangerous time for those who like the same sex, especially when one is in the force and his movements don’t go unnoticed. That could bring Nicky into more danger too, so they tread a very wary line. They’re aided too by Andrew, who works for the Commissioner and has similar inclinations. He’s been a long time friend of Hank’s and knows some of those on the force who can be trusted, and that’s good, its needed when things come to a dangerous head.
That all sounds perfect doesn’t it, a story right up my street, and the writing once more is easy to read and flows effortlessly, but somehow the story just didn’t really resonate with me. I think the constant talking about the heat got to me, I felt kind of drained and listless from it too…even here in UK cold January! I just didn’t really connect with the plot, and though I liked the main characters, Hank, Nicky, Andrew and Charlie, I couldn’t really “see” them in my mind, feel they or the issues they faced were real. That’s not good for me, a great book is one where I’m lost in the story, “there” with the characters and living it with them. (Drove my mum nuts when I was a kid, lost in the magic of a book, and deaf to her words. things haven’t changed, good books still have that effect.) Here I felt like a detached onlooker, and I put the book aside three or four times before finally finishing. Its a good story, will be great for the right reader but that just isn’t me. I’m glad I read it but won’t re-read.
Stars: Three, one of those that’s good but not right for me.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers for review purposes
The Do-Over, L.E. Bross
What a great fun read, I was laughing from very early on. Mel is such a terrific character, I could picture her, book in hand, trying to tell Eli that there might be a better way of doing things! He’s a fabulous character too, been through some tough things but picked himself up and moved on. Now he’s settled as a contractor in the little seaside town where Mel’s sister lives. I loved her, so friendly, so open to everyone and she really wanted Mel to just be happy. I love the idea of a cafe/arts place, arts and tarts.
Poor Mel had been through a huge upheaval in her life, from good job, husband, plenty of money to nothing, divorced, husband in jail and the money all frozen because of his actions. She’s been groomed since early childhood to be a certain way, to always be in control, to do exactly as her parents laid out and she’s followed that path slavishly. Now all she has left is the ramshackle cottage and her lovely. lovely sister.
Its a really fun read, flows easily and pulled me into Eli and Mel’s lives, where they got off on the wrong foot and yet somehow ended up hot and heavy in the kitchen! That was some serious steam, and not from the kitchen equipment.
Still, the path of true love never runs smooth and all that and true to form a couple of obstacles pop up that has Mel running scared. Eli needs to show her what she needs is him and he needs to work out what he needs to do to get that – he can’t just give up on love,. knows its special and will go all out to prove it.
Stars: Five, a fun lighthearted read.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers.