Reaper's Fall (Reapers MC #5) by Joanna Wylde: Levi "Painter" Brooks, is the king of mixed messages. While he undeniably lusts after her, he pushes Mel Tucker away at every opportunity. Their romances becomes a complicated on-but-never-quite-off five year plus slog, as these two dance around each other, failing to trust or communicate. She fears being abandoned, and Painter is a master at being wishy-washy. I think I am pretty much over these books. There were really good moments in this, but I skimmed the long involved biker politics plot, I didn't like the sexual dynamics between Mel and Painter (he continues to sleep with who ever he wants while claiming to be with Mel, and trying to interfere in her dating life). It honestly read more like a cautionary tale, "don't sleep with possessive but wishy-washy bikers"
Glory in Death (In Death #2) by JD Robb Eve faces off against a serial killer targeting prominent and powerful women, while questioning her increasingly serious relationship with Roarke and her fear of learning more about her past. Once again I figured out who the murder was very early on, and I once again didn't care. I am here for the romance and watching Eve struggle with figuring out how to let herself have normal emotions and relationships while continuing to be good at her job. There were some odd and uncomfortable depictions of people of color and racial dynamics in this one. I wasn't sure what Robb was going for but it made me uncomfortable and sad.
Fool Me Twice (Rules for the Reckless #2) by Meredith Duran Olivia Mather goes undercover in the recently-widowed and reclusive Duke of Marwick's house in order to steal some incriminating information the Duke has on a man that has been threatening her life for almost a decade. Her plans are complicated when she discovers that the household is in utter disarray with the Duke refuses to leave his room. I hate listened to the first half of this book. I really couldn't stand how Olivia became infatuated with the dangerously gaunt Alistair. The book didn't begin to click for me till around chapter 10, when Alistair discovers why Olivia has been in his house. The book really picked up steam for me at that point, and I really found the second half very very strong, with great conflict and characterization.
A Midnight Clear by Emma Barry and Genevieve Turner: This novella is set in Annapolis in 1949, a dozen years before Star Dust and is the story of Joe Reynolds (another Perseid astronaut) and Frances Dumfries. Frances is an Admiral's daughter, who constantly must fend of the attentions of ambitious midshipmen who want to rub shoulders with her father. Joe, while ambitious and dedicated only has eyes for Frances. The novella is sweet and romantic, as Joe sets out to impress Frances with his desire to seek her happiness above his own. The conflict and resolutions both seemed real and believable. Barry and Turner did a wonderful job developing a great supporting cast without stealing any time from the young lovers.