I didn't even realize I had been reading in a theme more or less until I uploaded the covers and it hit me, they all had psycho exes. Weird how that happens, especially as I didn't notice it while reading. I guess they were all unique enough that it didn't trip my stalker switch. I don't mind a stalker story though, although I know some people are "over it".
I seem to do the theme reading purely unintentionally. I'll find I read a bunch of vampire stories, or in this case stalkers/exes, or one time I read a bunch of high school jock-geek stories in a row. Probably some subconscious need I'm fulfilling. After a boring weekend maybe I was craving the excitement of someone fire-bombing my house. Hmmm. Or not. I hope.
Turquoise: Somethings Gotta Give by Kiernan Kelly (46 pages)
Heath came home to find his car and all of his furniture gone, even his pots and pans. He's let his ex-con childhood lover stay with him and foolishly gotten involved only to pay the price. Policeman Bill stops by and asks him out. Heath isn't sure, he's just been burned badly but agrees to try. Bill tells him he's looking for a relationship so be warned. Things are going well, about a month later when Heath gets a phone call from the ex ranting about him being with a cop and threatening him. It's obvious he's been watching Heath and Bill. They go to Bill's place and find the entire house trashed. They go to a hotel to hide but even that's not far enough from psycho boy. This was a bit different from other Kiernan Kelly books I've read. Not as much of her trademark humour but it was still a good story. I didn't really care for the part where Heath remembers how he got sucked into a relationship with the ex, but I guess it explained their past some, I just wanted to get on to the new relationship. So it's a good read especially if you like the wacko ex theme.
Diamond in the Shade 2 by DJ Manley (59 pages)
Diamond and Sebastian are living happily ever after, killing rogue vamps and smexin' it up. Suddenly there is someone killing at random it seems. Oh wait, it's Sebastian's ex. It was another slayer he had an affair with back a couple of hundred years that turned into a vampire without his knowledge. The guy stole Sebastian's blood and now wants him back and plans to kill Diamond to get him. After Diamond very nearly does die, Sebastian agrees to stay with David as long as he promises never to hurt Diamond. Diamond thinks he killed Sebastian due to mind tricks of David and when he finds out he's alive, even though he's told Sebastian is with David and never wants to see him, he refuses and goes back to have it out with David and win back his man, um vamp. For some reason I really had trouble getting into this one. Took me forever to read 60 pages. Diamond was raised to have no feelings at all but he and Sebastian were sending me into a sugar coma sometimes they were so freaking gushy. Also they joke about Diamond not really understanding the nuances of English being Hungarian but I thought he talked pretty normally. Anyway, they seem to be HEA now for sure.
Wanna Be Your Dog by Glyn Soitiño (36 pages)
Evan is a dog shifter who has been living in an animal shelter for 3 months after being on the run. He could leave if he wants but has food and a place to sleep so hangs out. On his last day before being put down he finally agrees to be rescued by Luke. They goes home only to be confronted by Luke's (married with kids) controlling ex. He attacks Luke but Evan (now known as Jet) saves him. Things are going well until a Molotov cocktail comes through the window. Luke freaks and Evan shifts to human to save him. After the commotion dies down, Luke confronts Evan and he explains about being a dog shifter and what happened to have him on the run. Amazingly Luke takes it fine and proceeds to drag him off to bed. Meanwhile the psycho ex is watching and sees that Evan is a shifter and plans to blackmail Luke to keep from pressing charges for rape and the firebombing. I have read some of this author's other works and really enjoyed it. I did enjoy this but I thought Luke's calm acceptance of Evan as a dog and immediately taking him to bed made me go "whoa". Talk about taking it well. Maybe he reads paranormal romance so the shifter idea doesn't freak him out? I'm not sure I'd be hauling the guy off to bed within minutes, but hey, maybe he was that hot. It was a good enough short read, you just have to let some things go.