Hot Head by Damon Suede – I read it because it’s pretty much a classic in the subgenre of m/m romance, but it’s one of those cases where it’s just a mismatch between book and reader. I gave it two stars on goodreads which I almost feel bad about it because it’s not like there’s anything wrong with it. I just don’t really like it. The bits that work for other people didn’t really work for me (even as I could see why it caught on) and I skim-read pretty much everything after the two main characters got together. I may just be allergic to the writer’s prose style, the same way I am with Annie Proulx. I did like that one kissing scene in the locker room, though.
Her Most Secret Affair by Jesalin Creswell – I’m not sure this isn’t actually terrible? But I enjoyed it. It’s ridiculous! The madame of a very swish Victorian-era brothel falls for the new hire, so in addition to the lesbian romance, there’s also a lot of m/f sex scenes described and it’s kind of porny. The whole scenario is straight into the erotic romance id vortex, I think. But fun! Also, short. I was drawn in by the gorgeous cover and I have no regrets about buying it.
Muscling Through by JL Merrow – This is pretty much just adorable. It’s your classic lower-class British thug and upper-crust Oxbridge grad opposites attract pairing, not super long, and a very easy read.
Glitterland by Alexis Hall – I wasn’t sure I would like this at first. It’s not just that the main character was a little pretentious, it was that the prose seemed to also be so. But I persevered and once I got into it I was charmed. Darian was all charm and I loved watching Ash fall for him. I also liked the depiction of mental illness; for once all the overwrought feelings that come at the more dramatic end of the romance novel scale made sense, because Ash was already so off-kilter. The book didn’t excuse his bad behaviour, even if the self-loathing engendered by his bipolar disorder explained it, and it made sense that someone who struggles with the black dog would struggle so in the wake of a break up.