Reviews by Pat Henshaw

C-
Designs of Desire

Focus is so crucial in fiction that reading a book without it can be a disorienting experience. Often authors who write from the seat of their pants with no preplanning and don't go back to fill in the gaps produce unfocused stories that seem to jump from one important point to another, never quite ...

D
Cost of Loving

In outline, Cost of Loving looks like it should be an emotionally gripping angst fest surrounding two young men's reactions to their friend's suicide. Unfortunately, author Kelly doesn't quite have the writing ability to pull it off; instead he lets the story get trapped in a morass of crying jags a ...

B
Billy's Bones

It's not often a book's title is the spoiler for the story, but that's the case here. The Billy of the title not only isn't mentioned in the first half of the book, but he doesn't appear at all in the flesh. Instead, he's the nightmare that keeps one of the characters screaming in the middle of the ...

B
When Love Takes Over

Anything can and usually does happen in a fairytale. Pumpkins turn into coaches and mice into horses. The prince falls in love with the commoner. Love has no boundaries and men can see through dirt, grime, and rags to the beauty below. When Love Takes Over, the title implies, the sky's the limit. Th ...

A
Love Lessons

Not only does serendipity happen, Cullinan says in her latest gay romance, but we have to be ready to clutch it, live it, and enjoy it, no matter how anally we've been trying to arrange ourselves and the world around us. College junior Walter Lucas is angry when he finds out he won't be able to l ...

C-
Sweet Young Thang

"Sweet" is the operative word in this third installment of the Theta Alpha Gamma (TAG) fraternity series, and not in a good way. In fact, the love interest of the protagonist calls him about every possible variation of "sweet" there is, proving why at age thirty-something he's unattached until he m ...

B+
The Final Line

McKenna tackles so many issues that other M/M romance authors avoid that this book almost seems like a playbook for sensitive issues handled well. The effects of PTSD and the atrocities in war are woven into a framework of gays in the military, presenting a compelling and sympathetic story of a care ...

C+
It Should Have Been You

I want to like author Murphy's books. I truly do. That he is well-meaning and has a good heart shines through his writing. The only problem is that his style tends to be overly journalistic, which doesn't translate well to romance or to relationship stories. This book is a case in point. ...

B
Lydia's Hope

Through a relative's slip of the tongue, Lydia discovers that she has living sisters. After her family's accident in which her parents were killed, the three young sisters were split up, Lydia and her sister Susanna to Amish couples and her youngest sister Chloe to her English, non-Amish grandmother ...

A
Beyond Duty

Peterson fans should be delighted with her newest couple, two career Marines who are on the verge of retiring just as the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is about to be revoked in 2011. Of all the writers of gay romance who have a handle on what love really is, Peterson outshines them all. ...