Friday, April 1, 2022

On the Shelf: March 2022

I'm not sure I did anything in March other than read, and I have zero regrets! I mostly immersed myself in historicals—both new to me and familiar, and all enjoyable in different ways.  

One of my favorite historical romance authors, Jeannie Lin, released her latest Lotus Palace mystery, Red Blossom in Snow. And I'm counting it as a birthday present even though my birthday was in February. Magistrate Li Chen takes center stage in this book, and it a stage full of reserved pining between him and courtesan Song Yi—until a murder draws them into a tangled web and into each other's arms! I could not put it down, and why would I even want to? You know who else gave really good pine? Dash and Gia in Jess Michaels' The Queen's Man. Dash pined enough to fill a forest in this romance about a ruler and her righthand man and the secret passion they've nurtured for more than a decade. I also tore through Deanna Raybourn's latest Veronica Speedwell mystery. It leaves our intrepid investigators Veronica and Stoker in a precarious place in their relationship, and I am on tenterhooks waiting for the next book. (Patricia the giant tortoise is still fine, don't worry.) I'm also really interested to see how people react to Vaishnavi Patel's Kaikeyi. It's a feminist retelling of the Ramayana from the POV of Lord Rama's "wicked stepmother," Queen Kaikeyi, and a very fascinating take on the characters. The prose is beautiful. I'm still thinking about this book and probably will be for a while.  (It is not a romance, and Kaikeyi is actually ace in this rendering!)

My one dip into contemporary this month will probably make some folks jealous. I got a sneak peek at Mia Hopkins' much-anticipated third Eastside Brewery book. And I am happy to report that Tanked is as hot and heartfelt as Thirsty and Trashed. I hope other readers will enjoy it as much as I did!

The Reading Rundown
Tanked by Mia Hopkins (out 4/26, contemporary romance, erotic romance)
Red Blossom in Snow by Jeannie Lin (historical romance, historical mystery)
After Dark With the Duke by Julie Anne Long (historical romance)
The Queen's Man by Jess Michaels (historical romance)
Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel (out 4/26, historical fantasy, speculative fiction, Ramayana retelling)
An Impossible Imposter by Deanna Raybourn (historical mystery)

Backlists and rereads: I reread Scandalous Desires and Thief of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt and then realized I had the next Maiden Lane book—Lord of Darkness—so I reread that, too.

Currently reading: ARCs of 100 Nights With the Duke by Jess Michaels and The Candid Life of Meena Dave by Namrata Patel, Wish out of Water by Holley Trent, and Wolf at the Door by Charlie Adhara. And possibly something else. I'm really ambitious with the reading lately. 

On the TBR/ wish list
Crowbones by Anne Bishop
The Emma Project by Sonali Dev (5/17)
The Wedding Crasher by Mia Sosa (4/5)
The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James
At the Quiet Edge by Victoria Helen Stone (5/1)
The Oleander Sword by Tasha Suri (8/16)
Fake it Till You Bake It by Jamie Wesley (6/21)

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