I got a surprising amount of reading done in December. But after turning in the final draft of Dancer’s Flame for edits, and finished my NaNoWriMo project, I was pretty wiped and it was time to feed the beast…I mean, the muse. Plus Grandma stayed with us for two whole weeks, so I got to do a lot of after-dinner curled up in a chair reading while the shrieks of bedtime carried on without me.
Sigh. Thank goodness for Grandma.
Here’s my round-up of what I read in December*
In three words: short, sweet and (pretty) sexy. This had all the markers of something I’d like in terms of setup but it wasn’t particularly memorable for me – though that’s perhaps a length issue.
Verdict: I’d pick up anything by Rowan again, but this wasn’t my bag.
What if your new next door neighbor was a nosy Hemsworth brother? Would you kick him out of bed (or off your lawn)? The best part of about this book for me was the friendship between Isla and her friends. They are loveable and zany, and so maybe some of their “helpful” interventions were over the top, the best (laugh out loud) moments of the book came when they were on the page. I was less in love with Leo, and I don’t read enough light-hearted rom-coms to judge but some of his behavior was too invasive.
Verdict: More Kant, less creepy next-door neighbors!
Full disclosure, Eva is a friend and a trusted beta reader. She writes charming sexy contemporaries about everyday people (I mean, billionaires and dukes are fun, but veterans and construction workers need love too!) Her series centers around a strong group of female friends, who navigate the challenges of their lives and love together. Basically my catnip.
Verdict: If you haven’t checked out her Girl’s Night Out series, you must!
A little confession: I read my first Tessa Dare in October 2017. Seriously. I’d just gone off historical romance altogether for a long time, and only after a little prodding did I pick up Courtney Milan’s Brothers Sinister series, which was smarter, and funnier than I expected. It was my gateway drug, which brought me to Tessa Dare. The audiobook of Romancing the Duke had me in stitches doing dishes. And as a long time geek, her loving and hilarious take on fandom won me over. If audiobooks are your thing, Dare’s narrator is one of the best.
Part of Castles Ever After series, I love Dare’s focus on unconventional heroines. I also love how sure they are of themselves and their desires. The romances are about finding their matches, not finding someone to prop them up.
Verdict: Romancing the Duke sets a high bar. This comes pretty darn close.
I read these out of order, and I’m glad. A Week to be Wicked was by far my favorite. It’s essentially a road trip story, and all of the little “stops” are hilarious, but they also illuminate the characters as they are and as they grow. Nothing is wasted in a Dare book.
I loved this book. It started it months ago but finished it in one crazy rush on a Saturday morning, curled up under the blankets like I used to do when I was a kid. The storytelling is wondrously simple and childlike, yet very sophisticated in the themes and not at all naïve. The book covers an enormous span of time, but never feels rushed. The near future setting is convincing and terrifying, but at heart, it’s a love story between characters, but also of the nexus between technology and magic.
“ONE DAY THE Singularity would elevate humans to cybernetic superbeings, and maybe then people would say what they meant. Probably not, though.” You guyz. This book. To be fair, I started months ago but I finished it in one blistering binge this morning. Come for the friendship and love and magic and technology in a near future dystopia. Stay for the philosophical arguments between a witch and a geek. #amreading #bookbinge #bingeworthy #allthebirdsinthesky #twominutereviews
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What are you reading? I love recommendations!
*full disclosure: most of the links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase after clicking, I make a little scratch.