Quick Reads and Quick Reviews 6

Gray Matter: Deep Six Security Series Book 5 by [McGraw, Becky] An Equation For Murder by [Nichols, Jayne] Desire Me Dearly (Heron's Landing Book 3) by [Morland, Iris]

Gray Matter: Deep Six Security Series Book 5 by [McGraw, Becky]Both of these people were passionate but in different ways. They had the potential to really compliment one another and bring out the best in the other person too. Their bickering was a bit more than just that, though, at times Gray was downright mean and I couldn't get behind that. And to have angry sex be a focus wasn't exactly my favorite either. Gray was so determined to not be swindled that he held on to his mistrust tighter than he held onto Michaela and that cost him in the end. Did they work it out? Of course they did...it was the how that was pretty entertaining. The whole story was tumultuous and full of frustrations on all sides. I liked Michaela's fire and vulnerability. She was the star of the couple and kept me hoping for the best for them. A couple other people stole the show, though and that was Hawk and Dante. Especially Dante. I'm looking forward to reading their stories. 

Overall, this was a pretty good book that makes me curious about all the other players in the series. As for this particular relationship, I'm on the fence because I think that there are some key foundation elements that are missing from their relationship. Their fire and commitment should see them through, though, so their HEA did feel both hard-won and believable.  3 stars.

An Equation For Murder by [Nichols, Jayne]This wasn't like I expected it would be. I enjoyed it even if it took a reeeeeaalllllly long time to get moving. The extremely slow progress in the beginning made it easy to take breaks while reading and not feel like I've missed anything when I came back to it...and that's not exactly a good thing. The content of that progress, however, was very sweet. It built a foundation for success not just for the relationship between Sam and Lillian, but for Lillian's confidence and self-awareness.

Lillian struggled for many years with an inattentive husband and then after his death because she essentially gave up everything for him, his career, and their family. When she finally comes to the realization that she needs something for herself, to get to know who she is as a woman and prove that she can be of worth and do something worthwhile, she chooses school. Finding herself in the arms and classroom of Sam is something she didn't expect.

Sam is struggling with his own immediate family as well as having to take on a basic math class that he would generally avoid. Finding Lillian in his arms and his classroom, however, was a reward he wasn't expecting. Throughout the story he falls deeper into all that is Lillian. Her strength, her heart, her generosity, her determination, her intelligence. With so much to keep him in her orbit he can't help but want to keep her in his.

There's quite a bit of external drama that brews on the periphery until all the players come together. I wasn't expecting the ending to be slightly open in terms of one of those meetings, but the resolution was pretty satisfying. There was a small paragraph of summation of the future which was a little disappointing because of length and the fact that important things were given only a few words, but the content was sweet, hopeful, and healing. Overall, it was an interesting story but had a tendency to drag for the first half.  3 stars.

Desire Me Dearly (Heron's Landing Book 3) by [Morland, Iris]The writing in this story is interesting, engaging, and it flows well.  The story itself, however, isn't nearly as good as many of the other works from this author.  Drama was quite a bit bigger than necessary and the resolution of that drama was the same as well as kind of lackluster.  Romance was also kind of a let-down.  There was so much potential for the fiery, outspoken, multi-layered Kat and the taciturn, hurting, gruff, brooding Gavin.  We learn a lot about these characters individually, together, however, we see longing from afar and more than a little physical attraction.  I don't believe that they're building a romance together at all and with a lot of declarations of protection that didn't really jive with how the story played out.  And then there's Emma.  I was expecting more from Kat and Emma but there was a huge complication there that was eventually accepted by Gavin and strides went toward coping and healing.  Overall, this was slightly disappointing based on how much I usually like the author and other books from this particular series.  2.5 stars.

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