This is a mystery-romance series about a newspaper reporter and his artist boyfriend, and the constant shenanigans they get into while trying to solve crimes!
The first book is very mystery-centric, which makes sense because the protag’s love interest is also technically a suspect. Sidenote: I super loved having a newspaper journalist as the detective, as it allows him to use his natural nosiness and writing capabilities to solve the mystery! Also, his love interest is an artist. Fun!
Anyway, the first book was good, but the SECOND book was even better, despite being shorter and less mystery-y. It’s set in a winter artistic retreat. This time the mystery took a backseat and the romance came to the forefront– I think because there’s so few suspects and really only one motive, and it’s so short that there wasn’t any development of the mystery-plot. The romantic angle was much better, as it centered on protag’s desire for a better job while battling fears about his relationship with love interest. Emotional development, woohoo!
After the second book I fairly zoomed through books three through five, mostly because I’d fallen in love with protag and his boyfriend and wanted to see their relationship develop more. They’re not a gooey kind of couple, but they love each other heaps and the plot forces them into situations where the romantic goo MUST be expressed. It’s utterly delicious.
The balance between mysteries and romance differed from book to book, and if I’d gone into this series wanting a pure mystery with a tiny bit of romance, I’d have been disappointed. The first book had the best mystery plot, I think, while the rest of the series had a very lovely romance plot. This led to a kind of hit-or-miss situation in regards to plot development.
The last book in particular needed a hit of something to pep it up mystery-wise, as it was the most disappointing of the lot. But, on the relationship side of things, it was entirely wonderful!
So, basically: kind of iffy mysteries, very lovely romances.
Read: September 27-29, 2016