Sunday, July 2, 2023

On the Shelf: June 2023

How am I already reading books due out in January of 2024? Say it ain't so! But we are indeed halfway through 2023, and publishing's schedules do go on. Still, I've kept to my habit of relaxing and reading more titles from an author's backlist and doing more rereads. Books are a comfort. They shouldn't stress us out—unless they're trying to stress you out. Like The Heiress by Rachel Hawkins or Johnny Compton's The Spite House. Give me a creepy house and a gothic feel, and I'm in! Both authors delivered and then some—with extremely different but equally compelling voices. Also, there are shoutouts to Hawkins' previous books in hers, and I was totally that Leonardo DiCaprio-pointing-his-finger GIF. As for calling the twists...? Wellllll, I wasn't quite as on the ball there. But it was fun to be wrong!  

Oh, speaking of it being fun to be wrong...Lady Viper and the Bastard by a perennial fave Eva Leigh is all about two villains who fall in love while trying to break up a young couple at the behest of their parents. It was so satisfying to watch them hoisted by their own passionate petards. I also tried a few new-to-me authors this month. And one old friend under a new name! If you've enjoyed Ruby Lang's contemporary romances in the past, be sure to preorder Wild Life by Opal Wei! It's so entertaining. I was wary because there's an element involving cancer research, but it's inspired by a relative who had it in the past and is fine now! Nobody dies! But two tightly wound people—one a former pop idol and the other a harried MD/PhD—learn to let go while holding on to each other. Also, there are attack geese. 

The Reading Rundown
The Spite House by Johnny Compton (horror)
The Heiress by Rachel Hawkins (out 1/9/24, thriller/suspense, contemporary gothic)
The Footman by S.M. LaViolette (historical romance)
Melissa and the Vicar by S.M. LaViolette (historical romance)
Lady Viper and the Bastard by Eva Leigh (historical romance)
How to Steal a Scoundrel's Heart by Vivienne Lorret (historical romance)
Runaway Rogue by Cassie Mint (romantic suspense, novella)
Wild Life by Opal Wei (out 1/23/24, contemporary romance)

Backlists and Rereads: New to me but not quite new to shelves were Lady Derring Takes a Lover by Julie Ann Long and Not Quite a Lady by Loretta Chase. And I read Lorraine Heath's The Last Wicked Scoundrel novella despite not having read any of the previous Scoundrels of St. James books. Then I did a quick reread of Grace Callaway's Her Husband's Harlot. After that historical foray, I came back to the present for a reread of Molly O'Keefe's Burn Down the Night.

Currently reading: I am on track to finish Topaz by Beverly Jenkins during the first week of Jenkins July! Whoo-hoo!

On the TBR/wish list
The Notorious Lord Knightly by Lorraine Heath
What Never Happened by Rachel Howzell Hall
Blood Betrayal by Ausma Zehanat Khan
The Duchess Takes a Husband by Harper St. George
Role Playing by Cathy Yardley

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