Authors new to me: July 2022

The recommended:

The Man who tasted Words by Prof. Guy Leschziner**** An interesting non-fiction read, written by a doctor but one who manages to explain things to the layman. It looks at the inside world of our senses and recounts stories of when things go wrong as well as how they should work and how we may all perceive the world somewhat differently.

Leap of Faith by CF White**** An interesting mm romance with a focus on a circus and the acts. There was a slight mystery (most readers would probably, like me, solve it well before the characters did) and there was plenty of angst.

The readable:

Hexxed by Shannon West*** I didn’t really enjoy this but some people might. It’s well written but it’s too ‘busy’ if that makes sense. It’s a shortish novel that manages to pack in witches, voodoo, bdsm, monsters, murder, theft, cursed diamonds, active grimoires, kidnapping, ECT and lobotomy, haunted cemetaries, paranormal fire, and a dysfunctional families. I felt somewhat overwhelmed. The mm romance wasn’t very believable despite the flashbacks in lieu of explanations, since we never really saw the build up or the personalities of the characters outside the wild events of the novel. I won’t be following the series.

Dawn’s Desire by VC Locey*** I wasn’t quite sure how many stars to give this. I was seriously disappointed. I was really hooked by a well written story set in Wyoming, which is beautifully described, with the main focus being a dinosaur dig on a ranch. The romance is between the ranch manager and the professor. The characters, location and main plot were interesting. There was the added excitement of people poaching the dinosaur bones, and injuring some of the university team. Then – well, the book just ended. The romance was still not fully explored and there was no real clue as to who the villains were. I then found it’s part of a trilogy rather than a series, and thought maybe the second book would help but read the blurb and saw the new focus was a different romance. So, as I said, real disappointment and I don’t think I’ll carry on.

My Fallen Dragon by CG Rayne*** Quite a nice (and well written) story featuring a dragon shifter and the teacher who helps him recover from a fall, etc. If I’d read this first instead of the TJ Nichols series I might have like it. But the world building was comparatively poor as was the character development. There is a shared element of the shifter world merging with our own which is an interesting concept.

Loving the Marquess by Suzanna Medeiros*** A regency romantic thriller – worth reading to the end but nowhere near as good as e.g. Heyer. The melodrama is constant with no light relief. I worked out what was happening long before the protagonists did, and although Louisa could be forgiven for not realising, Nicholas showed less than average intelligence. I won’t bother with the sequel as it’s quite obvious Louisa’s sister will ‘get’ her earl.

Sea Change by Jessica Marting*** Nicely written romance story of a mermaid meeting a human man in a steampunk world. I found the location odd, perhaps because it was meant to be near where I live and was written by a Canadian who had clearly merely consulted maps and perhaps Wikipedia. I expected some kind of twist on The Little Mermaid but the plot didn’t echo the fairy tale at all.

The Library of the Dead by TL Huchu*** Paranormal mystery set in a post-apocalypse Edinburgh. The magic was random and poorly explained. The characters were fun but insufficiently developed. I enjoyed the plot but won’t be reading the sequel.

The Woman on the Island by Ann Cleeves*** Quite a pleasant short story but since it’s about Vera (I love the TV series) I was expecting a crime story/mystery and didn’t get it. Despite knowing the TV series (Vera, Shetland, The Long Call) I have put this under new authors as I’ve never read any of the novels the series are based on.

Sixteen Horses by Greg Buchanan***. A seriously dark gruesome crime story that gave me nightmares. I hesitated about the stars because I hated it, but the BBC raved about it and I suppose the writing was literary and good. Sixteen horses are found killed but the plot goes on to cover more (and all too detailed) animal deaths as well as human ones. Told from the viewpoint of a forensic vet working with the police. Needless to say, she is traumatised. Be warned – not for the faint hearted.


Dragon Mated by Eliza Doyle** Quite well written but what started as an intriguing shifter romance (MF) degenerated into too much sex and too little explanation of the shifter world. The last couple of chapters were clearly a prequel for the next book in the series which I won’t be reading.

Lethal Resuscitation by Mairi Chong ** Mystery with a doctor as the main detective. Poor, rather stilted writing, uninteresting characters and a very artificial plot.

And then… a whole slew of abandoned books. Remember, these just simply aren’t for me and in most cases I didn’t read enough to comment on the writing.

Daring Duplicity by Edale Lane. Supposed to be a story of lesbian detectives in Victorian London. It read like something awkwardly transported from America and I couldn’t be bothered with it.

A Governess of Great Talents by Emily Murdoch. The first few chapters had a focus on an election that would have been an impossibility in nineteenth century Britain. (Or now, for that matter.) Dukes do not stand for election to the House of Commons. An untrustworthy author!

House of Bastiion by KI Kolarich. There were rave reviews about this fantasy series but after wading through pages of very dry history I lost interest. It might be good but it isn’t for me.

Cleopatra’s Dagger by Carole Lawrence. Abandoned. I just couldn’t get into this mystery set in New York about 1900.

Rebel without a Claus by Zara Keane. I thought a female PI in Ireland sounded intriguing but I was quickly bored.

Dreams of Chimera by Samantha Gardner. Really poor writing and proof reading. (Yes, I abandoned this one because I thought it was dire.) I think the heroine was about to enter the world of fairies etc. and find them less lovable than she hoped. However, I had no desire to find out.

My Not So Funny Valentine by Ellie Pond. Although it belongs in a series, this was supposed to be a stand-alone. However, I didn’t understand a lot of the references and gave up. Actually, this was a good thing as it encouraged me to remove a lot of books from my Kindle. Some freebies sound good until you realise they are parts of series, and not the first parts!

I also culled my tbr pile on my Kindle by removing a number of books I’d downloaded in various sales. It’s easy to get carried away when titles are free and then realise once you read the blurb properly that you are unlikely to enjoy the book. Most of them are available in KU if I ever get that far in their assorted series.

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