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Darkover: First Contact
Marion Zimmer Bradley
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Paula Coots
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Jerome K. Jerome
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Robert Ryan, Arthur Conan Doyle
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Shattered Glass (Shattered Glass, #1) - Dani Alexander Awesome book by an awesome new (as far as I know) author. I didn't even make it until the end of the sample before I hit the 'Buy' button. And you need to buy this quick, because if Mr Alexander takes my advice he'll double the price of this book. It's one of those 'I can't believe how much more money I've spent on much crappier books' things.

While the humor in this book is what fueled the need for an insta-buy and me dropping all the other 17 and a half books I am currently reading, the full impact of what I liked about this book didn't hit me until much later. Don't get me wrong, this is worth reading for the humor alone. Austin is brutally - hilariously - honest with himself. Except, of course, when he is not. The chapter captions are classic, even if sometimes they give away too much.

But its big strength was the depth of character, going so far beyond the Hooker-With-A-Heart-Of-Gold and the Cynical-Detective-With-A-Protective-Streak-A-Mile-Wide that even the charred remains of those two cliches are blown away by the wind. Austin is so rough, the diamond is barely discernible at all and Peter, I am not even sure where to start with that one.

Often I found my little m/m romance saturated brain happily skipping ahead on the trail of some trope it had thought it had detected, only to be yanked off course again and again by Mr Alexanders firm hand on the leash. With a sentence or two he'd eviscerate that little trope as if wielding a scalpel. In that regard, I was very much reminded of Rothfuss's The Wise Man's Fear, a book that sadly exposed my addiction to fantasy tropes. But like with that book, the more cliches that got derailed, the more I enjoyed it.

Sure, the book isn't perfect. There were some uneven pacing bits, some over the top scenes, some inconsistencies (a professionally decorated house without a dining room?) and some editing glitches. But way less than I have come to expect from even published-by-publisher books, let alone self-published ones like this one.

I may have to start stalking Mr Alexander, although I am a little scared of that scalpel he must be carrying around. The big question is: will he write faster if we whine at him? 'Cause I'd be willing to stoop that low.