Words That Stay: June so far

Because otherwise books just all… merge together, or I completely forget.

  • Surrender of a Siren, by Tessa Dare. I loved it in so many ways but WHOA NELLY is this an angst-fest, which would be better if I were feeling more up to having my heart bruised. Still, seriously loved it, loved Sophie who is flawed and unapologetic, loved Gray and his “Sweetheart” name, loved some of the really raw sexual imagery Tessa Dare evokes. Since a lot of my reading has somehow been PEOPLE ON BOATS recently I was quite cool with this — not as sweet as Miss Whittier Makes A List, but plenty of simmering tension and growly banter. I would have liked Gray to capitulate a bit more and for Sophie to not always make the first move and basically forgive him anything ever immediately, but honestly it was in her caregiver nature. Joss was pretty awesome too when he finally let it all out. Hang The Court For Piracy was fab.
  • Moon Shine, by Vivian Arend. Evan, the pack leader, finally gets his full book, and we get to see a little of the “Take care of the pack” vs “Take care of myself” struggle that he’s pretty much never had to deal with, ever. I loved Sam, I loved the idea that hey wolves are not all cut from the same mold and there are a lot of damaged, quiet, introverted ones who don’t fit in to Trampoline Dodgeball Takhini. I also loved that she was more than strong enough to stand up to Evan, and that he did finally get his head around “Wait maybe my way is not the only way and my experience is not the only experience, fancy that”. I want more Takhini, I still love Whitehorse like you would not believe, and I am this close to getting a “Whitehorse Forever” tattoo on my arm.
  • Firelight, by Kristen Callihan. I picked this one up as it came recommended in the comments at DA, and… I don’t know. If I was grading I’d give it like a C+. I liked the worldbuilding (what little we saw) and the characters were okay and I DID get caught up in some of the tension between them, although the tongueing scene squicked me out. I mostly wanted to find out what Big Secret the moody masked man was keeping and while it’s good it wasn’t revealed till near the end (it kept me turning pages) I was skimming by 2/3 of the way through just to finish it and get the big reveal etc. The heroine’s ability is like… completely unremarked-upon. I get this is a London where uh, summoning occult demons works, but still. SHE CAN SET FIRES WITH HER MIND. And this is… not really noteworthy? Okay then.
  • Blood Red,by Mercedes Lackey. I summed it up to someone as “What if Little Red Riding Hood went out and became a werewolf slayer” and yep, that’s pretty much it and it’s pretty much awesome. I am glad we are getting re-told fairy tales despite Harlequin cancelling the Thousand Kingdoms because that magic system kicked ass (and it was nice to have the love story be the focus), but we’re still getting a little romance, and still getting super cool tales with an Elemental Master twinge. I like Earth Mages so was really glad to read about another who was NOT a hearth-and-home healer, it was super cool. Getting out of London and into the Caucasians was really good too.
  • Heartmate, by Robin D. Owens. I’m almost done, it’s… entertaining? T’Ash is way too caveman for my tastes, but the cats make up for a lot of it. I think I would read more if they were centered around the Holly family, they seemed much more fun and much less snarly alphahole. I do find the whole concept of Heartgift creepy so I’m really glad that was immediately turned on its head.
  • Shield of Winter, by Nalini Singh. Yes. Vasic. I really enjoyed it for the characters, but the over-arching plot just didn’t hit home for me this time around — I just couldn’t quite get my head around it, and unlike the last book where there were major disasters happening all over the place, this was more… I don’t know. It didn’t feel like the potential end of the world. I really liked seeing some people we hadn’t in a while (Devraj, Zhie Zhu) as well as more about the Arrows, and while I’m sad to hear the next book will probably be the last in this story arc, I’m okay with it too — I’m pretty sure we’ll still get small tales here and there from this awesome world. I still don’t understand leopards in packs in America, but that’s okay, I love them anyhow and they’re constant re-reads.
  • Lord of Scoundrels, by Loretta Chase. Yep, finally read it. I liked it! It was definitely fun watching “The Devil” fall to Jess, who is a pawn star in another life. I love books where the main characters have witty banter and a lot of antagonism — the “I hate you I hate you damn it I can’t stop thinking about your hair” is totally one of my favourites and it’s great here.
  • Duchess in Love, by Eloisa James. House party where three married women find love — with their own husbands. Loved it, loved it, loved it.
  • The Escape, by Mary Balogh. Oh my gosh. I love The Survivor’s Club, and this one was just wonderful. Seriously wonderful. I only remember bits and pieces (sigh) but it was probably one of my favourites of this series. I can’t wait for the next.

That’s most of it so far, everything else is half-read or unfinished, although I am back to Carla Kelly for tonight.

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