Page Fright: September and October Reads

I packed September and October with a lot of over-the-top bananapants reads and sci-fi/fantasy romances — guaranteed to whisk me away from reality for a while. Given the current political climate, we all need a break, right? But the bottom line, in anything that I really enjoy reading, is deep, believable, connection between the characters. Without that, it doesn’t matter how many bananas are in a book’s pants!

gettinginsideGetting Inside by Serena Bell (out 1/3/17, contemporary romance)
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova (young adult, urban fantasy)
Ice Planet Barbarians by Ruby Dixon (erotic sci-fi romance)
Barbarian Alien by Ruby Dixon (erotic sci-fi romance)
Adore You by Nicole Falls (contemporary romance)
Breathless by Beverly Jenkins (out 1/31/2017, historical romance)
lonenswarLonen’s War by Jeffe Kennedy (fantasy romance)
Oria’s Gambit by Jeffe Kennedy (fantasy romance)
The Tides of Bára by Jeffe Kennedy (fantasy romance)
Hold by Claire Kent (sci-fi erotic romance)
Release by Claire Kent (sci-fi/fantasy romance)
Along Came Love by Tracey Livesay (contemporary romance)
Hold Me by Courtney Milan (contemporary romance)
The Beast Prince by Marian Perera (sci-fi romance)
holdmeMy Scandalous Duke by Theresa Romain (out 11/15, novella, historical romance)
Seconds to Sunrise by Nico Rosso (out 1/16/17, romantic suspense)
Love the Way You Lie by Skye Warren (erotic romance)

Backlist adventures: Angel’s Wings by Anne Stuart, Ravished by Amanda Quick, Wedding? Impossible! by Karen Templeton.

Booking Around This Place: August Reads

August was packed with good reads! I’m pretty proud of myself…and pretty bummed about the state of the world, since that’s what drove me to dive into a pile of books.

I’m really glad I finally got around to Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes. It definitely lives up to all the good things I’ve heard about it — and the bad guys creeped me out like whoa!

Mission-ImproperA Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet (fantasy romance)
Between a Rock and a Hot Mess by Phyllis Bourne (contemporary romance)
Take Me Home by Lorelie Brown (contemporary LGBT romance)
A Change of Heart by Sonali Dev (contemporary romance, romantic suspense)
Perv by Dakota Gray (erotic romance)
Skin Game by Cara McKenna (erotic romance/thriller)
Mission: Improper by Bec McMaster (steampunk paranormal romance)
emberHer Halloween Treat by Tiffany Reisz (category-length erotic romance)
Her Naughty Holiday by Tiffany Reisz (category-length erotic romance)
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (young adult dystopian fantasy)
My Beautiful Enemy by Sherry Thomas (historical romance)
A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay (horror)

Shelf Pleasure: June and July Reads

I had a major reading drought in June and a couple of DNFs. Thankfully, July picked up the slack a little. There were so many excellent reads, from Sarah Kuhn’s Heroine Complex to Tessa Dare’s latest and the erotic goodness from Melissa Blue and Alisha Rai!

One of the best books I read in July doesn’t come out until 2017, so it’s not mentioned here. Just know that when it’s closer to release, I WILL be squeeing.

TessaDareScandalBluest of Blue by Melissa Blue (erotic romance)
Do You Want to Start a Scandal? by Tessa Dare (out 9/27, historical romance)
The Devil’s Doorbell by Anne Calhoun, Megan Hart & more (erotic romance, anthology)
Little Secrets by Megan Hart (horror/suspense)
Hell Breaks Loose by Sophie Jordan (romantic suspense)
Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn (sci-fi/fantasy, superhero)
SarahKuhnHow to Say Goodbye by Amber Lin (new adult contemporary romance)
Love on My Mind by Tracey Livesay (contemporary romance)
Burn Down the Night by Molly O’Keefe (erotic romance)
Stay My Fantasy by Alisha Rai (erotic romance, novella)
Any Time You Need Me by Farrah Rochon (contemporary romance)
Her Billionaire Rancher Boss by Genevieve Turner (contemporary romance)

Backlist adventures: I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter.

Dancing With My Shelf: May Reads

I can safely say that I made up for the reading drought of prior months. So many interesting books! OMG!

Grace Draven’s Wraith Kings series continues to rock. Vanessa North’s upcoming f/f romance Roller Girl is lovely. Tiffany Reisz’s twisted The Bourbon Thief marks her as the 21st Century answer to V.C. Andrews. And, honestly, I would read a Tang Dynasty grocery list written by Jeannie Lin.

Without further ado, here are the books that gripped me in May!

GambledAwayEidolon by Grace Draven (fantasy romance)
Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand (horror, novella)
The Liar’s Dice by Jeannie Lin, in Gambled Away (historical romance, novella)
Playing With Fire by Kate Meader (contemporary romance)
Roller Girl by Vanessa North (out 7/25, contemporary LGBT romance)
Seduced by Molly O’Keefe (historical romance, novella)
Tempted by Molly O’Keefe (historical romance, novella)
Redeemed by Molly O’Keefe, in Gambled Away (historical romance, novella)
TheBourbonThiefLooking for a Complication by Tamsen Parker (contemporary LGBT romance, novella/short story)
Borrowing Death by Cathy Pegau (out 6/28, historical mystery)
Be My Fantasy by Alisha Rai (erotic romance, novella)
The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz (out 6/28, mainstream fiction)
The Vines by Christopher Rice (horror)
One Minute to Midnight by Nico Rosso (out 7/18, romantic suspense)
Beyond Ecstasy by Kit Rocha (dystopian erotic romance)

Tom Hiddleston as Bond? Paging Dr. No!

tumblr_mzz5pmLV5C1sgxceqo5_250I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the campaign for “the Internet’s Boyfriend” Tom Hiddleston as the new James Bond. For an actor, there’s no doubt that the opportunity to play Bond is next level. It’s a long-running, wildly successful, franchise. You go from stolid period dramas to a blockbuster paycheck. Everybody knows your name. (That was even the gist of the Chris Cornell theme song of Daniel Craig’s entrée into the series, Casino Royale). But, as a viewer, and as someone who is known to have a bit of a crush on Tom Hiddleston, I just cannot get my head around this idea.

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Feeling Shelfish: April Reads

I feel like I got my reading mojo back in April…probably because I wasn’t doing much else. April showers bring SO MUCH TIME INDOORS. At any rate, here’s the rundown of the books I really enjoyed!

StarDustStar Dust by Emma Barry and Genevieve Turner (historical romance)
Down to Ash by Melissa Blue (contemporary romance)
Sutphin Boulevard by Santino Hassell (LGBT erotic romance)
Sunset Park by Santino Hassell (LGBT erotic romance)
Scratch by Rhonda Helms (new adult contemporary romance)
The Pages of the Mind by Jeffe Kennedy (out 5/31, fantasy romance)
The Warlord and the Nightingale by Jeannie Lin (historical romance)
Fairest by Marissa Meyer (young adult cyberpunk/SFF)
Her Every Wish by Courtney Milan (historical romance)
Uprooted by Naomi Novik (fantasy)
Rise of a Queen by Chanta Rand (historical romance)
Taken by Charlotte Stein (contemporary romance)
The Hidden Blade by Sherry Thomas (historical romance, prequel)
So Right by Rebekah Weatherspoon (erotic romance/contemporary romance)

•I’ve decided to quit listing whether something is e-book or print, as that’s sort of irrelevant to the enjoyment of the story itself.

•Looking back over the past few years, I realize that my genre designations might be a little loosey-goosey.

•On the TBR for May? Alisha Rai’s Be My Fantasy and Kate Meader’s Playing With Fire.

Shelf Indulgence: March Reads

I swear I read more than this in March. It’s also possible that Anne Bishop’s latest Others novel ate my brain.

markedinfleshThe Road to Silver Plume by Tamara Allen (historical romantic suspense)
Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop (urban fantasy)
To One Hundred by Melissa Blue (erotic romance)
Mayday by Olivia Dade (out 5/10, contemporary romance)
Scratch by Rhonda Helms (new adult contemporary romance)
Give it All by Cara McKenna (romantic suspense)
Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older (young adult, urban fantasy)
Silence for the Dead by Simone St. James (gothic, historical romantic suspense)

In the backlist adventures, I picked up Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor and devoured it. SO good!