The Best Corpse for the Job by Charlie Cochrane

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Grade: C
Hotness Level: Ember
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary, m/m, mystery
Published: 11/24/14
Reviewed by Anne
298 pages

Robin is an inspector on the police force and he’s not thrilled to be called to scene at his old primary school.  There aren’t a lot of happy memories for him there.  Adam is a school teacher he meets there during his investigation.  They’re immediately attracted to each other, and the case keeps throwing them together, but neither of them wants to compromise the investigation.

I’d read a story by this author earlier in the year and enjoyed it.  I was saw this book listed on NetGalley’s romance section and I thought I’d give it a try.  I thought it worked well as a mystery, but was weak as a romance.  Unfortunately, I’m a romance reader who enjoys a mystery now and then, not vice versa, so it didn’t work very well for me.

It’s a typical large cast who-dun-it mystery.  I had a bit of hard time keeping everyone straight, but I know that’s part of the mystery.  I really enjoyed that Robin and Adam had a lot of chemistry but were responsible enough to keep it in their pants during the case.  It was also cute how they were happy to find reasons to contact each other.

While it wasn’t a great read for me, I’d recommend it for mystery lovers.

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How to Train Your Dom in Five Easy Steps by Josephine Myles

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Grade: A
Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: Moderate Kink
Genre: Contemporary, m/m, BDSM
Published: 9/23/14
Reviewed by Anne
260 pages

This one was a surprising mix of BDSM and humor that really worked well! I’ll definitely be reading more by Josephine Myles!

Jeff is a Dom fairly new to the BDSM scene in his small town in England. He’s got a more experienced neighbor, Niall, who has helped him find others to socialize with, but Jeff’s not so good with the ladies. His manners and a really unfortunate bad first try have left none of the female subs in his club interested in spending time with him. He’s greatful with Niall steps in to find an experienced submissive willing to give Jeff some lessons on how to be a good Dominate. Niall finds Eddie.

Initially, Jeff is really put off by the fact that Eddie is a man. Jeff knows he’s straight, straight, straight, so he doesn’t want to even consider it. Eddie thinks Jeff is attractive, though, so when time passes and Jeff decided he’s willing to learn from Eddie after all, Eddie is still willing to help Jeff learn the ropes.

At the beginning of this book, Jeff was a real asshole. Mostly he was an ignorant bigot. He had a lot of irritating prejudiced assumptions about gay people, what makes a man a man, women, and even BDSM. He was also blunt and unintentionally offensive.

Eddie was the perfect foil for Jeff. A very thick skin and self esteem enough to not put up with that behavior He also had a way of pointing out Jeff’s prejudices and assumptions in a way that made Jeff think.

Jeff was open to changing behavior and recognizing his prejudices. That didn’t just save the story – it made it great. I really enjoyed watching Jeff’s journey. Jeff was still a bit of a doofus, but his willingness to change behaviors when they were pointed out was awesome.

Besides the issue of whether Jeff and Eddie can ever have a lasting relationship, there’s a lot of sex and BDSM in this book! And it was really good! I absolutely enjoyed the BDSM without the angst that normally comes with this genre. I’ll absolutely be reading more Josephine Myles and looking for more of this approach!

I also heartily approve of the happy but not too happy ending. It was realistic and satisfying.

I totally enjoyed this book! I’d recommend it to readers who like m/m and BDSM, but I’d also recommend it to readers who are curious about m/m and BDSM romance!

Talk Sweetly to Me by Courtney Milan

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Grade: A
Hotness Level: Blaze
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Historical, London
Series: Brothers Sinister #4.5
Published: 8/19/14
Reviewed by Anne

I saw “Courtney Milan” and “novella” and “mathmetics” and I was in!  I have a good history reading Milan and enjoying her stories.  I’m not a huge historical fan anymore, but Milan + math was enough for me.  I was right, too, this story did not disappoint.

Rose is a “computer,” a person who does math for a researcher.  She’s a genius and really enjoys her work.  She’s a bit shy and shocked to find herself attracted to her neighbor, the scandalous Stephen Shaughnessy.  He’s an advice columnist and a known rake and he’s surprised to find himself falling for her.  As a way to spend more time with her, he manipulates her into giving him math lessons.  This leads to some incredible math innuendo!

Stephen and Rose are wonderful characters.  I was pleasantly surprised that the Rose is black!  That was new for me in a historical.  Stephen is white.  He seems untroubled by their differences, but Stephen is not a worrier by nature, and he’s not experienced the discrimination that Rose is used to, both for her gender and her race.

Rose is very intelligent and comfortable with it.  Stephen is entranced by her and her abilities.  He appears to be quite shallow, and as it turns out, he has a pretty light hearted approach to life, and he doesn’t feel bad about that.  It’s who he is.  It does turn out to be an obstacle between him and Rose, though.  He’ll have to convince her that he’s serious about her.

This was a wonderful historical novella, and I highly recommend it to historical or math lovers.  I think it’s the very first historical nerd-mance I’ve read!  And the math jokes abound and are awesome!

 

“You’re not going to multiply with me?”

“No,” she said somewhat severely. “You’re going to multiply on your own.” p. 20

 

 

“All you had to do was look up a number in a table.  Was that too difficult for you?”

“A great and might table, ringed by fearsome logarithms, with their terribly, terrible…” He trailed off.  “Oh, very well.  Set me another problem, Miss Sweetly.  My resolve is firm and my angles are acute.  But beware — if I have to draw another diagram, things may become graphic.” p.32

 

I will say, despite the cover, it’s not a ballroom and opera historical.  Stephen and Rose are solidly middle class.  It’s a great story, though!

This is the last installment in the Brothers Sinister series.  I haven’t read any of the others, and I still loved this one, so jump right in!

I only read historical romance occasionally.  How about you?  Do you enjoy historicals?  If so, do you prefer ballrooms and opera?  Pioneer America?  Medieval?  What’s your favorite?