All Night Long was dark and (tw: spoiler) turned out to have child rape in it. Not the usual Krentz/Quick/Castle fare. Do not recommend. (Then right after I tried When All the Girls Were Gone, which, while less graphic, is about tracking down a rapist.) I think I’m now out of Krentz/Quick/Castle books that I can borrow online from Big City Library, though the library in the next town does have a ton more in paper that I have not yet read. And in a few months our local library will be open again!) The library also had an old Krentz called “Lady’s Choice” which wasn’t that bad even though it was originally published in 1989 and neither the hero nor the heroine were particularly likable. It was kind of fun in that it turned the hero seeks out the heroine for revenge on her family trope on its head (this is not a spoiler) and it is the first book that I’ve read that starts mid-orgasm. Probably not worth rereading though. I also liked a trio of early Castles that have floral women’s names. They’re set in a world that is similar to but different than the Harmony books– the key differences being that, 1st, people with powers either have the powers or they can help someone with powers focus their talent, so it takes a pair to do anything substantially paranormal, 2nd, there are no dustbunnies. But they’re fun nonetheless. In other Krentz novels, Eye of the beholder was a great (non-paranormal) mystery, and I think I like the Coppersmith books enough that I will have to eventually buy them. I wonder what it would take for Krentz to write a novella with the gay brother, Nick, as the main character, since the two sisters have gotten full novels. And what Coppersmith family member would he eventually pair up with? Oh man, that would be so great. Krentz was an early romance novelist to add LGBT characters to her novels, and LGBT characters as completely normal people not sassy best friends. (Nick, in this case is a super sexy thief with paranormal powers. Just crying for him to pair up with some hunky Coppersmith guy. Especially since SHE SETS THAT UP in the second, and final, book.) Sadly she last visited this group in 2013, so it’s probably not going to happen. :( If I were super rich, I’d totally talk to her agent to see if I could commission one. (Update: I’m fairly sure he would pair up with a guy from the family that is in competition with the Coppersmiths. Like, it’s all there, just ready to be written.)
I’ve been having trouble getting through Unfit to Print by KJ Charles because although it is high quality, it is also dark and sordid and has child prostitution (not a spoiler because that’s pretty up front), and though it’s never graphic about it it is still disturbing. The quality of her work taking on these dark subjects is unmistakable, but I so much prefer her (equally high quality, IMO) lighter fare. Where children aren’t getting abused and family members aren’t betraying each other. And I guess that’s literally the definition to the plot of Any Old Diamonds, but the children are grown and the abuse is off screen and some of the betrayal is deserved unapologetic revenge betraying. Speaking of Any Old Diamonds, it is amazingly good– extremely well-plotted (at the end, I texted #2 to tell her it was “splendid”). You can read it as a one-off, but I think it gains something extra if you read it after reading An Unsuitable Heir, as it is set place in the same world a couple decades later. If you’re into rereading, then I might suggest reading this one first, then reading the entire sins of the cities series (which is dark and Victorian– I like the third book best… the people in it, even the more minor characters are amazing), then rereading this one to maximize pleasure (reading the first time for the plot which is riveting, the second time to indulge).
Last night with the earl by Kelly Bowen was pretty meh, and the Grace Burrows novella at the end was But Faaaaaaaamily and magical thinking.
I deleted A rake never changes his spots by Samantha Holt. It was ok, but not worth ever reading again. Maybe worth a library read if you have a lot of free time and need something brainless. I mean, it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t very good either. I’m a bit mystified by the high reviews.
Salt magic skin magic by Lee Welch was ok, I guess. I’m really not into that particular supernatural trope, which I can’t tell you about because the book is a big mystery leading up to the unveiling of that particular trope, but I figured it out pretty early because I feel like I’ve read this book before but without a M/M romance and without the main character being a jerk. Usually it’s a daughter in the trope. And the mom is always dead dead dead. (Usually there’s a “or is she” attached.) Aside from the trope, the writing was good, one of the two leads was great, but the romance wasn’t really believable given the other dude. There’s a long inner monologue in which the great lead thinks about how great the other guy is…how different from other aristocrats… and the things he’s saying are at odds with what’s actually shown in the book. Maybe worth trying this author again, I dunno.
I got so many amazing books for my birthday this year! The kids and I loved Lupin Leaps In. There’s a lot more substance to this one than to the first Breaking Cat News compendium. Squirrel Girl continues to be unbeatable!
A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert was wonderfully soothing. More than worth the $2.99 it cost on Kindle. I need to get the rest of her books now.
House of Cads by Elizabeth Kingston was fun! Part grand sophy, part farce. It has the irrepressible French woman trope but manages not to be obnoxious.
Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure was pretty good. Definitely a novella. And I think the first aging septuagenarian F/F romance in which the couple are the main characters and not minor characters (in which one invariably the heroine’s aunt… in this case, the aunt was aunt to a horrible nephew).
I was excited to see a Cat Sebastian book in the new books section at the library! Previously the library had been 0/(all of them) for LGBT romances. I already own this one, of course, because I get all her books when they come out, but I’m so glad that our town has purchased at least this one.
What should I read next, Grumpeteers?