There are several more books in the series which I do plan to read but I’ll give myself a break before (and between) reading that I did not allow myself on this occasion. I found three books (and they’re not short by mm standards) were a little too much of Skyler and his friends, however, because of the cliffhanger nature of the first three books and the overarching storyline, I needed to read these three close together.
Skyler is one of those characters that everybody in his orbit loves: his exes, his students, most of the teachers, random strangers he picks up in bars. The only people that don’t seem to idolise him are the bad guys and homophobes. Maybe because of this trait, Skyler induced many of the eye-rolling moments that I referred to in my title; in fact he is a character that probably should come under the TSTL banner. Given the number of attempts on his life in such a short period (the books take place over a couple of months) by the law of averages he should be dead already.
Sidney, Skyler’s best friend, is far too indiscreet to be a police detective and was probably my least favourite character of the bunch; a shame since she was really the only woman in the series (apart from Skyler’s Mum). The SFC (Skyler Fuck Club)—all exes of Skyler’s—seemed easily led into Skyler’s schemes despite regularly telling him to keep out of the investigations.
I know it sounds like I didn’t like the books but that’s not true. According to the author’s notes the mystery was based on true events in her local community, which I thought gave a sense of reality to the proceedings, nothing was too farfetched (apart from the all-encompassing Skyler love).
I loved Keith, Skyler’s eventual love interest, and was right behind him when, at the beginning of the third book, Skyler asked why Keith didn’t tell him the truth. I also liked 'Skyler the teacher', and the way that he interacted with his favourite class. I loved the kids in that class, especially the two boys and the way their coming out was dealt with.
So, despite my urge to slap several members of the cast, I did enjoy these books and I would recommend reading them without a gap.
4 stars for the overall trilogy.
However my favourite read of the last two weeks was A Hidden Magic by Angela Benedetti. A Hidden Magic is the first book in the Sentinels series.
Fey incursions into the mortal world have been on the rise, and Paul MacAllister's trying to figure out what the king of the local Elven enclave Under the Hill is up to and how to stop it. Rory Ellison was caught up in one of those attacks and nearly killed by a gang of goblins. He doesn't believe they were real, though, and is resisting anything Paul might say to the contrary.
Normally Paul would be willing to let Rory go his own way, at least until he's taken care of more immediate business. But Rory has a particularly rare gift, one the Elven king needs to have under his control in order to carry out his plan. Keeping Rory away from the fey who will use him, to death if necessary, means protecting him night and day, whether Rory agrees or not.
I guess you would call this book urban fantasy/mm romance. It was a fun read with a great cast of characters and excellent world building that didn't drag the story down with too many superfluous details.
I followed this book up with a collection of all the shorts that have been written in this series.
Definitely a 4 star series so far. I plan to start reading the next book in a few days.