The buddleia has almost taken over our front garden and I would like it pruned but in July the flowers are spectacular.
Quite a few books last month. I finally got my tbr list under control – yes, there are still some fairly ‘heavy’ books in waiting, but I allowed myself to buy a few by favourite authors, download some freebies and also borrow some titles from the Amazon Prime library.
There were more excellent titles than usual, partly because I was buying favourites, but the Prime library had some winners this time too. The five star books are all highly recommended.
And the mountains echoed by Khaled Hosseini***** Sweeping story of Afghan diaspora which is gripping but huge cast makes it hard to identify with any particular characters, even the brother and sister forcibly parted in the first section. I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the first two in the series, but it was still a great read and I was glad I’d requested it as a Christmas present.
The Bridge on the River Wye by Adam Fitzroy***** Exciting mystery romance with plenty of police and amateur investigation as Rupert tries to help Jake with his organic farm. Great minor characters. Example of a freebie that will send me looking for more by this author.
Taking Stock by A.L. Lester***** Growing relationship between a man forced out of a London company and a farmer who has had a stroke and is recovering. I loved the details, the farming community, the minor characters, and the way the sex was left right to the end.
The Gilded Scarab by Anna Butler***** Steampunk AU London 1900. Boer war with planes. British Museum. Fabulous!
Plain Jane Wanted by Rose Amberly***** Perfect beach/holiday read. (Sunny garden in my case.) An mf romance set in the Channel Isles. (Prime Library.)
The Bone Jar by SW Kane***** Outwardly a police procedural that starts intriguingly and ends with a great deal of excitement. First in a series featuring DI Kirby and I might read others because it was well written, but I won’t seek them out because the detective was the least interesting of the characters. (Prime Library.)
Stop Cock by JL Merrow***** Another great addition to the Plumber’s Mate series. Tom and Phil are on their honeymoon in Sorento but of course crime comes along to upset their plans. First buy after dealing with my tbr list. I’d had it on my to buy list for ages!
Trench Warfare by Fiona Glass***** Great mm thriller with paranormal elements set on (in?) an archaeological dig. Gripping and entertaining. I wanted it to be longer and would love to read another dig/mystery with these characters. The archaeology details were fascinating.
Then there were the very good.
Family Unit by ZA Maxfield**** An mm romance/thriller featuring the attempted abduction of a child by it’s biological parent. A good story that lost a star because there was too much explicit sex when it furthered neither plot nor character development.
In the Shadow of the Wolf by RJ Scott and Diane Adams**** Three interlinked shortish novels dealing with cops and conspiracies in a wolf/human society.Shattered Secrets/Broken Memories/Splintered Lies. Satisfying and engrossing but since it was just, in the end, the one ‘case’ I wanted more which won’t happen because Rob, the human ‘alpha’ of the mixed team, is no longer a cop. I liked the world building and the exploration of the psychology of the wolves, through an examination of their romances, mm and mf.
Muscling Through by JL Merrow**** Interesting relationship between a handsome academic and a sinister looking working guy. Perhaps not quite long enough to make five stars.
Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe**** An interesting historical read – rumours, quacks, angels and ghosts, arguments about methods of isolation, attempts to escape lockdown, etc. So different from our modern world and yet nothing ever changes! (Available free online.)
Isle of Where by Sue Brown**** A nice (and well written) mm romance rather spoilt by too much explicit sex that furthered neither character development nor plot. Setting it on the Isle of Wight made it sort of Brit but exotic…A freebie to introduce her series but as she clearly caters to the ‘more sex please’ market I probably won’t read more.
Don’t Lie to Me by Willow Rose**** Competent thriller set in Florida. I enjoyed it but not to the extent of seeking out the rest of the Eva Rae Thomas mysteries. (Prime library.)
And finally there were a couple of readable but probably forgettable ones.
Catastrophe by Deirdre O’Dare*** A shifter story centred on a zoo threatened by animal rights activists. Some less than stellar writing and the minor characters were almost wallpaper but the plot was exciting enough to keep me reading.
A Poison Tree by JE Mayhew*** Intriguing plot – pity about the characters and the world building. Set on the Wirral and because that’s almost ‘local’ I was interested. This police procedural is book 1 in a series but I won’t bother with it. (Prime Library.)
Nothing poor or dire this month and nothing abandoned.