Saturday, September 2, 2023

On the Shelf: August 2023

This was a month where small press and indie published romance ruled my TBR. I found several new-to-me authors — and even met one! Chloe Angyel was at Bookends & Beginnings in Evanston recently to talk about ballet and her books, Pas de Don't and Turning Pointe. Both she and her debut romance novel proved to be a delight! On the other end of the romance spectrum was Zoey Draven's space vampire fated mates book. I'm not generally into alien and monster romances for various reasons, but Desire in His Blood hooked me and kept me turning pages. (She gains agency and he has wings.) 

There is so much more space (heh) for experimentation and innovation and variety outside of traditional publishing. You can really find just about anything, and it doesn't have to fit in a neat little box that somebody has to pitch to a committee as marketable. You can hop from Liz Lincoln and Cat Giraldo's queer athletes to Elliot Fletcher's whisky distiller with anxiety to winged alien vampires and kinky Tristan & Isolde retellings. It's a gorgeous cornucopia of hidden gems and breakout stars and massive WTFery out there. 

The Reading Rundown
Pas de Don't by Chloe Angyal (contemporary romance)
Mrs. Peabody and the Unexpected Duke by Grace Callaway (historical romance, novella)
Desire in His Blood by Zoey Draven (sci-fi romance, paranormal romance)
Whisky Business by Elliot Fletcher (contemporary romance)
The Notorious Lord Knightly by Lorraine Heath (historical romance)
Scoring a Spouse by Liz Lincoln (contemporary romance)
Salt in the Wound by Sierra Simone (contemporary erotic romance, novella)

Backlist titles and rereads: I had a major hankering for Jennifer Crusie reread, so I dove into Faking It and Fast Women. I finished up my Blue Blood Conspiracy reading with You Only Love Twice, Dukes Are Forever, and From London With Love by Bec McMaster. I popped into Grace Callaway's backlist, as I periodically do, for The Duke Redemption.

Currently reading: Wild Pitch by Cat Giraldo.

On the TBR/wish list
The House of Last Resort by Christopher Golden
Blood Betrayal by Ausma Zehanat Khan
There Should Have Been Eight by Nalini Singh
Business or Pleasure by Rachel Lynn Solomon

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