Wednesday, September 1, 2021

On the Shelf: July/August 2021

I was lagging so badly at the end of July that I combined it and August into one post. And I don't want to add September! So, let's just cut to the chase. Here are the books I read in the past two months. 


The Reading Rundown
Kiss the Bride by Melissa Blue (contemporary romance)
Peter Darling by S.A. Chant (historical romance, m/m romance, trans Peter Pan retelling)
Beyond Scandal and Desire by Lorraine Heath (historical romance)*
When a Duke Loves a Woman by Lorraine Heath (historical romance)*
The Scoundrel in Her Bed by Lorraine Heath (historical romance)*
Naughty AF by Misha Horne (erotic romance, contemporary m/m romance)
The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher (horror, science fiction)
A War of Swallowed Stars by Sangu Mandanna (science fiction, fantasy, Mahabharata retelling)
Reel by Kennedy Ryan (contemporary romance)
To Catch a Thief by Sloane Steele (contemporary romance, heist romance)
Twitch by Cate C. Wells (erotic romance, contemporary romance)
Forty by Cate C. Wells (erotic romance, contemporary romance)

Backlist adventures: Lady Be Good by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley. I also finished Night Hawk by Beverly Jenkins on the penultimate day of what the RomBkPod podcast has dubbed the annual Jenkins July!

Currently reading: The Hellion's Waltz by Olivia Waite. 

On the TBR/wish list
Well Matched by Jen DeLuca
Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas


* I want to add a little note about the Heath historicals. I read them back to back like I was inhaling a bag of potato chips, but they're incredibly gender essentialist. Even more so than what you'd usually expect from heterosexual romance novels. I actually didn't realize they were written recently until I checked the pub dates. Everything's "manly" and "womanly" and whatnot. The female protagonists losing their virginity is couched as "becoming a woman." (Like, wow, I didn't realize I needed to be dicked down to embrace my adulthood!) So if that kind of language gets to you, I'd avoid these.

Friday, July 2, 2021

On the Shelf: June 2021

Any month that includes reads from KJ Charles, Kennedy Ryan, and Zoraida Córdova is a month well spent! And there were so many series closers! From Charles's Subtle Blood to Córdova's Illusionary and Ann Aguirre's The Jaguar Knight

I'm hoping we haven't seen the last of KJC's Will Darling Adventures, because Maisie and Phoebe's adventures in Paris are just begging to be told. (Okay, maybe it's just me begging to read them!) Meanwhile, Holley Trent finished off her beloved Afótama Legacy series—for now—with Ótama and Lachlann's story, as they moved to keep their people safe and navigate their destined love. This highly anticipated paranormal tale definitely hit the spot! But don't worry: I'm sure we haven't seen the last of the fae or the Norseton wolves.     

The Reading Rundown
The Jaguar Knight by Ann Aguirre (paranormal romance, fantasy)
Uncharted by Adriana Anders (out 8/24, romantic suspensem contemporary romance)
Subtle Blood by KJ Charles (historical mystery, m/m historical romance)
Illusionary by Zoraida Córdova (young adult fantasy)
The Kingmaker by Kennedy Ryan (contemporary romance)
Legacy by Holley Trent (paranormal romance, Vikings)
Charge by Cate C. Wells (erotic romance, contemporary romance)
Scrap by Cate C. Wells (erotic romance, contemporary romance)
Hitting the Wall by Cate C. Wells (erotic romance, contemporary romance)

Currently reading: Lady Be Good by Susan Elizabeth Phillips and an ARC of To Catch a Thief by Sloane Steele.

On the TBR/wish list
The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang
A War of Swallowed Stars by Sangu Mandanna
Bombshell by Sarah MacLean
Beneath the Rising by Premee Mohamed
Reel by Kennedy Ryan
Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas
Hellion's Waltz by Olivia Waite

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

On the Shelf: April and May 2021

Reading slump? What reading slump? (I'm in a writing slump, but that's a whole other problem.) There's something to be said for the specific solace that we find in books. Climbing into the pages is like climbing between the sheets of a freshly made bed, knowing you're about to have the most interesting dreams. Maybe that's why I made a serious dent in my TBR during April and May. 

From the funny and heartfelt new release How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams to a few heavily recced titles I was behind on—like Janine: His True Alpha by Chencia C. Higgins and The Rakess by Scarlett Peckham—I went from one riveting read to the next. I genre hopped, too. Paranormal romance. Adult and young adult fantasy. Historical. The contemporary heist romances by Sloane Steele that will appeal to any Leverage fan. My favorite book of the past two months, though, is probably The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri. A taut South Asian queer fantasy that unites the magical and the spiritual with political maneuvering. I can't wait for the next book in the series. I need to know what happens to Priya, Malini, Bhumika, and Rao!


The Reading Rundown

Janine: His True Alpha by Chencia C. Higgins (paranormal romance)
Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin (contemporary romance, contemporary fiction)
Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane (domestic thriller, suspense)
Serving Sin by Angelina M. Lopez (contemporary romance)
Gentleman Jim by Mimi Matthews (historical romance)
A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow (young adult fantasy, YA fiction)
Ruined by M. O'Keefe (romantic suspense, dark romance)
The Rakess by Scarlett Peckham (historical romance)
Hot as Hades by Alisha Rai (erotic romance, Greek mythology retelling)
It Takes a Thief by Sloane Steele (contemporary romance, heist romance)
Between Two Thieves by Sloane Steele (out 6/29, contemporary romance, heist romance)
The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri (out 6/8, fantasy, f/f romance)
How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams (contemporary romance)

Backlist adventures: Steadfast by Sarina Bowen, Act Your Age by Eve Dangerfield, Lions and Lace by Meagan McKinney, and Hidden Honor by Anne Stuart.

Currently reading: Anne of Manhattan by Brina Starler, Illusionary by Zoraida Córdova, and Uncharted by Adriana Anders.

On the TBR/wish list:
Well Matched by Jen DeLuca
A War of Swallowed Stars by Sangu Mandanna
Bombshell by Sarah MacLean
Beneath the Rising by Premee Mohamed