I ran out of books, so while waiting to get off library lists (I’m trying to reread the Arcane Society books by Quick/Krentz/Castle in order update: also the Harmony series and Eclipse Bay and Copper Beach— these are all the same world and SO SOOTHING), I pulled up another (free!) E. F. Benson, this time Queen Lucia. This review says it so much better than I could, as does the google books description, “There’s many things in this world that will depress you, and make you good for nothing, if you take them seriously, and that cheer you up if you don’t.” As with Miss Mapp, I am astonished how enjoyable a book can be in which not a single character is sympathetic… and yet Benson’s sly humor had me reading aloud little bon mots to DH because they’re just so delicious and horrible. This one may have concerning racism against Indians, and yet… it seems like the joke is on the upper crust British much more than the Indian Yogi… definitely in a grey area, but consider yourself warned. Update: Does use the n-word, but the person who uses it is the worst of all the unsympathetic characters in the book.
I pretty much finished rereading all the modern Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick/Jayne Castle books in order by series. (I did not reread/read earlier works that aren’t library available, though I have read some of them… there’s also a lot of klunkers with rapey heroes which no thank you, and thank you one star reviews for warning me.) Reading them in order, the copied bits aren’t as noticeable.
Read the second to latest ABCs of spellcraft novella. It was ok. They’re not *really* worth $2.99 given how short they are, but… at least this one is an actual novella instead of a quarter of a full book. Don’t walk the boardwalk by Jordan Castillo Price (the latest) was a bit annoying in that it was only half a book and the second half isn’t out yet. Ugh. I much prefer actual novellas for my $2.99 compared to a novel that’s been split in 2 (or 4 as with the first four pieces in the series).
A match made for Thanksgiving by Jackie Lau was a decent little novella. A bit more short-story-esque than novel-ish in terms of depth or character development, but not unenjoyable. I will likely pick up the next one should it be novella-priced. Update: A second chance roadtrip was even closer to a short story, but also nice. Perhaps not worth the $2.99, but if you’re rich, why not? Although A fake girlfriend for Chinese New Year is the lowest rated of the four, I think it’s the one with the most believable romance. A big surprise for valentines day was pretty much a repeat of the first book with the girlfriend already aware of her sexuality rather than discovering it, and even a bit more explicit (also I think the author must read the same internets that I do).
Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman was not very good. Certainly no Losing Joe’s Place (though it’s from that part of his oeuvre– hormonal teen boys in farcical circumstances, though I prefer his farcical not-hormonal teens in farcical circumstances genre, but he sadly seems to have outgrown that since becoming a parent). I guess there’s a reason I don’t own it.
LOVED the Innkeeper Chronicles by Ilona Andrews so hard I bought all of them that are out and really want more. #2 and #3 are the best, IMO. I also made DH start the series and he really liked #1 (he hasn’t gotten to 2 and 3 yet, but he will, oh he will), which is good, but 2 and 3 are even BETTER. #4 is good too but with a different heroine and #5 is light and short. OMG, you can get the first 3 on kindle for 99 cents as a covid deal. DO THIS if you can.
I think the Luckiest Lady in London by Sherry Thomas was ok but not great? I don’t quite remember. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t get into His at Night by Sherry Thomas and I also gave up on What the Groom Wants by Jade Lee. And I gave up on My Lady Quicksilver by Bec McMaster.
I tried to read Underdog by Laurien Berenson because I was told it was a cozy mystery, but you get to know and like the murder victim, which is not cozy. :( It also needed a little editing. I think I’m going to try one of the author’s more recent books since this one was from the mid-90s.
I think I didn’t finish Just a hint clint by Lori Foster.
I liked XENI: A Marriage of Inconvenience by Rebekah Weatherspoon and look forward to reading more in this series! (This is a nice job of a silly “married because of a will” trope, but they do a good job… my one complaint is the amount of time the heroes spend apart from each other.)
I did not like The Counterfeit Lady by Kate Parker even though I like her later series.
There’s a new KJ Charles! Slippery Creatures is not from my favorite genre (post WW1, pre WWII British spy … which is odd since I love the Bright Young Things British mysteries from the same Golden Age time period… the difference I think is brightness. Early Ngaio Marsh vs. Early Christie (I mean technically the first Tommy and Tuppence is a spy thriller…but I digress) or even Wodehouse. KJ Charles is such a master of nailing whatever genre she tries and her books are always fantastic on top of it, even if it’s not my favorite genre. Anyway, this is a good book, though not as fun for me as some of her different genres, and I’m almost finished with it.) If you’re like us, you’ll want to read (and maybe own!) all of her stuff.
What is getting you through the After Times? Are you reading more or less? Are you leaning fluffier or deep diving into Pandemic dystopias?