Some nice discoveries this month.
The Secret Life of Albert Entwhistle by Matt Cain***** Fascinating novel about finding a teenage love after fifty years, with lots of detail about how gay men were treated in UK at various points of the twentieth century. Beautifully written. Highly recommended.
Lust and Other Drugs by TJ Nichols***** Urban fantasy mixed with cop buddy story. Great exploration of culture clash. Fascinating protagonists and lots of UST. I must get the rest of the series.
Surreal Estate by Jesi Ryan**** Interesting story with a house whisperer… will follow the series.
Quarter Storm by Veronica Henry**** Unusual amateur detective story set in New Orleans where Mambo Reina, a vodou priestess, needs to see justice done. Reina’s character was brilliant and so was the depiction of vodou tradition and practice.
Death in the Sunshine by Steph Broadribb*** I suppose if you like cosy mysteries, this fits the bill though the retired detectives investigating a murder in their gated community have more mystery about them than the crime does, and the ending tries to lure the reader to a sequel with hints of yet more secrets. For me, it doesn’t work.
Long Winter by Rachel Ember*** Nice mm romance on a ranch in winter. Slightly marred for me by being told in present tense. I will probably read the sequels because the characters (especially the horses) were endearing.
The Griffin Mission by Arizona Tape*** Ella finds a winged cat and follows it to another world. Reminiscent of something I’m currently writing but without the explanations I feel obliged to provide. It’s the prequel to The Griffin Sanctuary series but I don’t think I’ll bother. (I’d really rather other writers felt obliged to explain things, too.)
Dark is the grave by TG Reid*** Very gruesome police procedural that had more focus on the gory crimes and the detectives’ private lives than the detecting.
The Blacksmith and the Ex-con by Jackie North*** Nicely written romance but too sweet for my taste, and there was very little drama during the story. What there was was mostly related to the ex-con’s past. Again, not to my taste but that isn’t a criticism.
Barista and the Bear by Rebel Carter** The amount of banter detracts from the romance and the sex. In any case, despite the ‘electrical charge’ I couldn’t sense a spark between Teresa and her Bear Shifter mate, Cash. Basically, boring. Quite short or I would probably have abandoned it.
And the abandoned:
Rescue Me by Wendy Rathbone. Stories where a criminal is the main character rarely appeal to me and I wasn’t keen on the writing style.
Tracking Trouble by Aldrea Alien. There was so much loving detail about violence and so little actual story that by a quarter of the way through I’d had enough. The story involves elves and humans living in the same kingdom, dangerous ‘spellsters’ and a variety of bisexual characters.