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JayneMisc / Need A Rec!book-pimp / Open Thread / Promotion6 Comments
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Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 25 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading more fantasy and SciFi.→ Jayne
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I’ve had a good but slow reading month thanks to my e-reader dying a couple weeks ago. I read Phyllis Bourne’s Between a Rock and Hot Mess, which was a fun, quick contemporary romance. It took me a couple chapters to warm up to the heroine, but once I did, I really enjoyed her. She was awesomely tough and competent. Loved that the hero never wanted her to change.
I also had good luck with Amara Royce’s Always a Stranger. I don’t read a lot of historical romance and the storyline was a bit dark, but I really enjoyed this one. There was a lovely, lyrical quality to the author’s voice and I’m planning to read more by her.
Tara Wyatt’s Necessary Risk also hit the mark for me. It’s not the most novel storyline but I liked the main and supporting characters and it satisfied my craving for a page-turning romantic suspense. I’ve got the second book, Primal Instinct, queued up next on my new e-reader.
There were pacing issues, but overall I really enjoyed Nalini Singh’s Allegiance of Honor.
The mystery plot was meh, but I liked Nora Roberts’ Bay of Sighs for the heroine.
I also liked Merline Lovelace’s second book in her Three Coins in the Fountain trilogy, Third Time’s the Bride! and Hidden Impact the first book in the Safeguard series by Piper J. Drake.
Otherwise June has been a very slow reading month for me. For July, I am looking forward to Nalini Singh’s final Rock Kiss book, Rock Wedding and Sweet Little Lies, the start of Jill Shalvis’ new series.
I will also buy Alissa Johnson’s A Gift for Guile though I still haven’t read the first book in her new series. She’s one of my few remaining historical author autobuys. After nearly 5 years I guess my historical reading slump has turned into a… What’s beyond a slump? Complete funk? Decline? I have a few dozen books by Dare, Milan, MacLean, Rodale, etc. in my massive TBR. I just feel so burned out still on the whole genre. :( So this year I finally decided to stop even buying new historical books, My only exceptions are Alissa Johnson and Amanda Quick.
I’ve been reading a lot of sale books.
I read several of Annabeth Albert’s mm contemporaries – Bundled Up is a box set of three novellas from her Portland Heat series. The 3rd was my favorite. And I loved Beta Test – the latest in her gaymers series. Rivals to lovers road trip romance! (Even though one of the MCs is called a graphic designer but is clearly is more of an illustrator).
Read Strong Signal by Megan Ericson and Santino Hassell – another mm contemporary with gaymers, but with much more angst than the Annabeth Albert series. I’m still not sure what I think of this one – I enjoyed it but I’m not sure I totally buy their hea. They both have so many issues (especially one of the MC’s crippling social anxiety) – I liked that love did not conquer all and that therapy and medication were also involved, but the timeline was too rushed for me.
Read and enjoyed a couple mm fantasies – Lodestar of Ys by Amy Rae Durreson (and it’s free!) and Tournament of Losers by Megan Durr.
Finally read Cotillion by Heyer and really enjoyed it.
Just finished a new book A Midsummer Night’s Fling by Eliza Walker. Ms Walker did an amazing job interweaving her characters with Shakespeare’s dialogue…..her characters holding roles in a Shakespearean play as part of a theater group. I’m not an adoring fan of Shakespeare but enjoyed the sharing of his prose woven into the story and the characters lives. Costume, scene creation, character building all melded together well. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review – and have discovered a new author to follow.
For manga fans (or those who might like to try some), I read the first volume of EVERYBODY’S GETTING MARRIED and was pleased and surprised.
So many josei (manga aimed at adult women) titles that have been translated into English feature ditzy heroines and jerkass-with-control-issues heroes, but the main couple here were relatively mature and competent, and USED THEIR WORDS. Also, the main thematic conflict (is being a stay-at-home wife and mother a respectable ambition for a smart, capable twenty-first century woman?) is (so far) presented with some subtlety and nuance.
Hope that this continues into the future volumes!
My book club does not read romance, so the picks are always hit or miss for me, but this month we read a winner, The Secrets of Mary Bowser, by Lois Leveen. It’s historical fiction based on a real life former slave who was freed by her owner in the 1850’s, and sent to Philadelphia to get an education. She then returned of her own free will to Richmond, VA in 1859 to take care of her father, who was still a slave. She pretended to be a slave because African Americans were not allowed to stay in or return to the south after they were freed, and ended up working in Jefferson Davis’s household where she spied for the North during the Civil War. Records on African Americans during that time are pretty sketchy, so there is no way to know what her life was really like, but it is generally accepted that she was, in fact, a spy. The book was fascinating and chock-full of period details about life for both slaves and freed African Americans in Richmond and Philadelphia at that time. The book has a bit of a Forest Gump quality to it as Mary gets involved in all kinds of pivotal events in the Civil War, but it was still very entertaining and informative.