August novels: reviews

The photo shows the front of our house in August.

I read a lot of novels in August – mostly in the back garden over extended lunches under our parasol. Apparently, I didn’t read any short stories or fanfiction. That shouldn’t surprise me, really, because having reached the end of my long tbr list I haven’t (yet) started downloading like a maniac again!

It occurs to me that I ought to explore in more depth what makes books truly memorable (or not) for me and that will probably be my next post. Meanwhile, here are August’s recs and non-recs.

Two superb:

War for the Oaks by Emma Bull***** A gorgeous urban fantasy written in 1987 and considered seminal in the genre. Exciting, beautiful and romantic (m/f).

Subtle Blood by KJ Charles***** A totally gripping end to the Will Darling mm inter-war spy trilogy. The story would make a good film. I won’t give any spoilers here. I also read the short interlude To Trust a Man on his Oath, sent as a pdf in her newsletter and that was a lovely prequel to this novel.

Seven extremely good:

Jared by RJ Scott**** (Boyfriend for hire Book 4) An endearing story about a young boy trying to rent a boyfriend for his widowed father.

Winter Cowboy by RJ Scott****Daniel and Micah and a lot of angst.

Summer Drifter by RJ Scott**** Continues the story of Micah and his sister but adds Quinn and Levi for another angsty romance – with horses on the ranch. I make no apologies for the number of RJ Scott books here – this author can be trusted to deliver an interesting and exciting story, beautifully told.

A deal with the elf king by Elise Kova**** Luella is chosen as the new human queen and must come to terms with her elvish husband and the problems of both their lands. Nice magic and well developed characters. There’s a series, but the book is adequately standalone.

Stranger at the Dower House by Mary Kingswood**** Murder and fraud (not associated with each other) wrapped up in Regency romance. A good read if you have no Heyers to re-read. Some echoes of Austen, but faint.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen**** (re-read). The satire seems a bit heavy handed on a second or third reading. Not sure if that’s my tastes changing or whether satire (and other humour) works best when completely fresh. Take note, writers in this group of reviews, that I’m comparing you with Austen…

Love’s Legacy by Blake Allwood**** Two young men inherit, respectively, a motel and a ranch. There are family problems to grapple with and some violence, as well as their growing attraction to each other. A nicely rounded story with excellent minor characters and some good world building.

Six readable but not specifically recommended:

The House in the Woods by Mark Dawson *** Combined police procedural and PI investigation. Rather long winded and I never really took to any of the characters. First in the Atticus Priest series but I won’t be looking for the sequel.

The First Time Ever by L M Krier*** Police procedural (book 1 of a series) which has a gay detective and some nice local detail (set in Stockport) but the dramatic highpoints are muted and there is too much fairly mundane police station stuff.

Her Missing Daughter *** by DS Butler. Some poor writing and proofing. In the final all-action scenes there’s a sudden switch from 1st person to 3rd. We don’t know the dog’s breed till the epilogue. The plot hinges on the villain being insane. I read to the end because I wanted to know who dunnit but then wished I hadn’t bothered. This author comes highly recommended by the UK Crime Book Club but I don’t really know why.

A quiet place to kill by NR Davis*** Set on a WWII airbase. Another one with a mad villain. . A series is promised/threatened

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black*** Great world building, but I disliked all the characters intensely, so I won’t be reading the second volume (The Wicked King) of The Folk of the Air. Scrapes into Urban Fantasy by a whisker, but mostly set in a modern fairyland.

Serial by Casey Hill*** Forensic investigation that is mostly boring and occasionally unrealistically exciting. .

Two abandoned, but not because the books themselves deserve criticism:

Turning Point by Jeffrey Deaver. The story follows the criminal rather than the investigators so doesn’t appeal to me.

More than this by Alexa Milne. The book starts with sex (f/f) between largely unknown protagonists so I put it down. I need to know the characters before I can read explicit scenes.

I know perfectly well that both these books will appeal to a lot of people and both authors are good writers. It was just that in these instances, their work was not for me.

‘Exotic’ recipes made easy

This is my recipe book where I keep all the recipes like these. No photoshopping (other than resizing for posting). It had a really nice cover till my cleaner managed to spray it with some kind of kitchen stuff resulting in green splodges…

My daughter and I have both experimented with one of those delivery sites that send everything you need, including instructions, for an unusual meal. We both used them when they were initially cheap, then when they reverted to their original price we decided independently that they weren’t quite worth it. However, we each got a handful of recipes as a result and here are two of them – both now firm favourites in our households.

Turkish lamb mince with bulgur wheat.

My daughter uses Quorn, a vegetarian substitute mince available in UK. But I suppose you could use any vegetarian option.

Ingredients:

Lamb mince (or substitute)

Cherry tomatoes

Yoghurt (preferably Greek style)

Bulgur wheat

Seasonings etc: sumac, harissa, dill, garlic, salt and pepper, olive oil.

Method:

Mix the yoghurt with chopped or minced garlic, black pepper and a little oil. Set aside for the flavours to infuse.

Fry the mince and halved tomatoes then add harissa. You can use bought paste or make your own which is easy: garlic, chili powder, sugar, salt and a little hot water. One advantage is that you don’t then have a jar of opened paste risking mould in the fridge.

Add the bulgur wheat to boiling water and simmer for about 15 minutes then drain. Add chopped dill, alarge pinch of sumac and a drizzle of oil.

Finally reheat the mince if necessary.

To serve:

Assemble in shallow bowls (e.g. pasta bowls).

Ladle a layer of bulgur wheat then a layer of yoghurt then a ladle of mince. Top with more chopped dill and sprinkle with sumac.

I have deliberately not given quantities. Only you know the size and appetite of your family. As a very rough guide I use a few tablespoons of wheat, ditto of mince, about a dozen tomatoes and half a large pot of yoghurt. For spices etc. that will depend on your liking for heat and other seasoning.

Mock kedgeree

Ingredients:

Risotto rice (again, the quantity is up to you)

An onion, finely chopped – more if you are catering for a large party

Cherry tomatoes – allow three or four per person

Hard boiled eggs (halved) – allow one per person and have them ready in advance

Cashew nuts

Smoked haddock fillets (if veggie, omit this and double the quantity of eggs) – one per person

Sultanas

Lemon (an actual lemon, not juice)

Seasonings: curry powder, saffron (just a few strands), salt, oil, coriander (preferably fresh but frozen will do), stock (I use bouillon powder made up with hot water)

Method:

Sprinkle the tomatoes with oil and salt. Add the cashews in a separate container (I put those and the tomatoes on a roasting tray) and roast in the oven. Take the cashews out after about 7-10 minutes but leave the tomatoes for about half an hour altogether. Put the slightly cooled nuts in a bag or under a cloth and use something like a rolling pin to crush them.

Fry the onion till soft, stir in the curry powder then add the rice and gradually stir in the stock with the saffron added. Continue stirring – you are basically making a risotto and you want the rice to cook by absorbing all the liquid. I use about half a pint but you might need more depending on how many you are cooking for. (Basic risotto rules apply and you can find these online.) Once cooked, add the chopped coriander, sultanas and crushed nuts.You want these hot but not overcooked so continue to heat for just a minute or so.

You can do the haddock fillets in the oven (foil wrapped) alongside the tomatoes or you can poach them in simmering water on the stove top. I prefer the oven method and if you use a big enough oven tray everything goes on one shelf. They take about the same time as the tomatoes.

To serve:

Place a serving of risotto in a bowl (again, pasta bowls are ideal)

Place the eggs, tomatoes and fish (if using) on top.

Decorate with more coriander and lemon wedges which people can squeeze.

With both these recipes it helps to work out a timetable and do the things that take ages first.

Both are quite impressive for entertaining and are an easy option since you can do a lot of the work well in advance. Rice, though, should be cooked at the last minute since it is prone to grow nasty fungus once cooked unless frozen. Incidentally, that applies to takeaway leftovers, too.

August Viewing

Japanese anemones. sometimes called windflowers. They grow easily and accept all sorts of conditions. Palest of pale pink, tall, and beautiful! I love the way they’ve spread in our garden.

Nothing very special in August – not surprising, really, because they don’t put new exciting things on here in summer.

Deceit. (Ch 4) **** A dramatic reconstruction of the entrapment of the wrong man, Colin Stagg, over the Rachel Nikell murder. Quite an interesting series with a focus on the policewoman who went undercover. Available on All4 (UK)

The Railway Killers (Ch 5) *** Another reconstruction of the hunt for the railway killers. This stuck more closely to the memories of the police involved. Available on My5 (UK)

Pretty Woman*** A disappointing rewatch of a film I used to love. The story still appealed but I found the characters too ‘glossy’ and the direction somewhat laboured. So some favourites are for ever and others aren’t…

Sweet tooth. (Netflix) Abandoned. New Scientist praised this sci fi series and made me want to see it. A plague results in human/animal hybrids and the story follows an antlered boy’s journey through life and survival. We watched two episodes then gave up and I’m not really sure why. Husband said he couldn’t be bothered with it, and I meant to watch on my own then found myself postponing it till it became something in the past. I suppose I didn’t connect adequately with the characters.

The Virgin and the Unicorn

The Virgin and the Unicorn is finally ‘live’!

At last! After some technical problems involving tearing my hair out (after going grey) and relying on wonderful friends, my novel The Virgin and the Unicorn is finally available on Smashwords and Amazon.

Kian, son of a lord of the manor, finds himself with an arranged marriage to a foreign prince. The prince’s sister needs a unicorn horn for her dowry and Kian wonders if his only qualification is his virginity. (Same sex relationships are illegal in his home country.) The marriage brings problems faced by most newly wed couples alongside culture clash and the royal duties that take Alair from Kian’s side. It also brings court rivalries. Eventually, the unicorns of the title appear but are not quite as expected and Kian has no intention of parting one from its magnificent horn. So can the marriage survive, and will the princess ever get her dowry?

The buy links are as follows:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1101529

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09FB1JC63

Serious thanks and lots of love to all my FB friends especially Tal Valante, Jackie Keswick and Gynn Silva (and Gynn’s cousin).

Oh, and it appears I need to subscribe to or buy a new version of Word. I think I’ll subscribe then I’ll never have this kind of chaos again. My current copy is 2013 and was state of the art when I bought it – so I suppose in this age of built-in obsolescence it has served me well till the last couple of weeks.

Fanfic recs for July

Needless to say, I access fanfic via AO3, the fic ‘arm’ of OTW.

All SGA this month and all AUs. All recommended.

Unexpected Discoveries by Brumeier***** The start of the series as a TV show AU. Part 1 of As Seen On TV. https://archiveofourown.org/works/2145420 I’ve read a number of short fics in this series and they are invariably entertaining. SGA team in an AU where they investigate paranormal rumours for TV.

Fashion Victim by Lamardeuse*****https://archiveofourown.org/works/85219 16k. Rodney is in a coma and John goes into the virtual environment to rescue him. Echoes of lock it away (keep my heart at your place) by nagi_schwarz – I’m not sure which came first and in any case they aren’t the same, just both using the coma trope.

Edge of Passion by Brumeier****https://archiveofourown.org/works/29887014 John and Rodney as actors in a nice AU. 4k

Life in a Bubble by Elayna**** https://archiveofourown.org/works/29882850 16k. AU in which John and Rodney meet during the pandemic. Interesting use of lockdown rules, etc.

Within You by Brumeier**** In a crossover/fusion with Labyrinth. Rodney needs to save Jeannie (his sister). http://archiveofourown.org/works/1278607

An ‘anthology’ read in July

Molewort: a garden invader, strange but welcome. The flowers are unremarkable but those seedheads!!

As some of you know I spent a lot of July trying to get through my tbr list. I had uploaded a lot of short stories and novellas, most of them free or very cheap, to my Kindle. I think it was a kind of insurance when we were travelling frequently and I was afraid of running out of reading matter!.I’d had most of them all ages and no longer had any idea why some had appealed to me in the first place. Others were by favourite authors but had somehow sunk down my list. Anyway, I read them to the exclusion of almost anything else other than newspapers and journals whilst enjoying the garden during our spell of nice weather.

I won’t (mostly) go into great detail but will give you a list, with the usual stars. Some were surprisingly good – I say surprisingly because on the whole I prefer novels. Not because there’s anything wrong with short stories – I’ve written some myself and stories are as long as they want to be – but because I like being able to ‘lose’ myself in a long novel whereas short stories bring me back to earth rather too quickly. The four star ones I would recommend. The three star are pleasant enough but not very memorable. The two and one star were not for me. This was at least partly because some of the plots were thin and seemed to be an excuse to write very explicit sex, something I only enjoy if I’m already invested in the characters and the story. I treated the list as an anthology though nobody apart from me had deliberately put them together.

So – my July anthology!

Recommended:

Foxy Heart: Blade and Dust by Rhys Lawless**** Rhys Lawless is another pen name for Rhys Everly. I loved this short story with magic and mayhem and might even try the series to which it’s the prequel. (This is obviously why authors provide freebies.) A fox shifter finds his soul mate but they are instantly on the run from witch hunters. Loses a star because it needs to go further. And yes, I assume the next book will do that, but I would have liked slightly more in this one.

My Rainy Valentine by Ruby Moone***** Excellent very short story set in my local city. An example of really good storytelling art. The people standing by at a tram stop get involved in a Valentine’s day apology and relationship development,which is both hilarious and romantic.

The Christmas Curse also by Ruby Moone**** Nice shifter story with echoes of The Princess and the Frog.

The Case of the forgetful genius by Charlie Cochrane.**** Not sure if I’d read/reviewed this before. It rang bells but maybe just because of being about her actor amateur detectives, Alasdair and Toby. Worth a re-read if that’s what it was!

A Flirty Dozen by JL Merrow**** An interesting collection. Some appealed to me more than others (even this very good writer can’t make me care about ghouls) but all were intelligent and well written stories. These were mm with some romance and some sex. I have also got A Feminine Flirty Dozen**** (ff stories) I enjoyed it just as much, especially the ones with paranormal elements or that referenced fairy tales.

Two flash fics from newsletters:

Ewe’s Stocking by Charlie Cochrane****Clever spy story set in WW2

Perfect Picture by Clare London****Sweet very brief story featuring an artist and his lover.

Not particularly recommended but well written and readable.

The Machine Stops by EM Forster*** A sci fi curiosity, I suppose. Published in 1909 it’s a kind of echo or pre-echo (?) of Brave New World and 1984, and is surprisingly ‘modern’, relating well to things like our internet usage and the pandemic lockdowns. However, I found the style very stiff, and never really empathised with the characters. I was surprised to find typos but perhaps that’s because it was transcribed from the original magazine publication.

Total Fabrication by Saxon James*** A TV competition story (it’s quite a common trope – they meet, they compete, etc.) which was nicely done but could have been expanded and given greater detail. One of those short stories that reads like a summary of a novel.

My Fake Billionaire by Ana Ashley and Rhys Everly*** A Braxton Boys series short story. A pleasant tale of a billionaire who finds his heart’s desire tending the library on the island he is buying. I gather the series follows a number of ‘old boys’ of the school.

Kilts and Lies by KA Belle*** A typical ‘fake boyfriend’ story that ends up – of course – with real romance. Another one that could have been longer with more detail. The families, all minor characters, were interesting.

Treehouse Whispers by Elouise East***Pleasant but unmemorable story about two guys who have shared a treehouse since childhood.

Faking Familiar by Abigail Kade*** Witches and familiars in a prequel to a series but none of the characters were particularly interesting and I won’t be following it.

Five Fake Dates by DJ Jamison*** Quite a sweet story – friends to lovers.

Ante Up by Charlie Cochet*** A Four Kings Security Short. Dancer gets together with bar manager.

The Second Act by HI Day*** Actor renews relationship.

The Artist’s Model by ZA Maxfield.*** Well written story but I do wish this author would stick to novels or at least novellas – I usually enjoy those but am invariably disappointed by the shorts.

Keep paddling by Charlie Descoteaux*** Two slightly older men with mild physical handicaps. Pleasant but not very memorable.

Just Say When by EM Lindsey*** Blind vlogger Tristian challenges chef Enzo to a blindfold cookery session with predictable results.

Coffee, tea or me? by Elizabeth Silver*** Fairly boring but competent short story about busy bookseller meeting barista.

Not recommended

Boyfriend Emergency by Rheland Richmond** Unlikely fake boyfriend story that seemed to be just an excuse to write sex.

Overnight Stay by Lynn Michaels** Another excuse for explicit sex with no real story.

Anh Sang by Barry Brennessel** Depressing account of doomed mm romance during the French departure from Vietnam. Written a bit like a travelogue.

Definitely not recommended

The Naked Cleaner by Sophia Soames* I hated this, mostly because of the unnecessary amount of foul language used by both the main characters. Weird story about a naturist who goes out cleaning and has an arranged meeting with a hermit-like IT expert. Unlikely and unsatisfying.

A new book is imminent!

I’m about to publish my latest novel: The Virgin and the Unicorn should be available towards the end of next week. It’s a story of arranged marriage and is a standalone but I’ve left room for a sequel featuring some of the minor characters in more prominent roles.

I’ve finished all the final proofreading, the formatting and the cover. I’ve been working on the blurb which I find harder than the initial novel writing. I’m also working on marketing, which is why I’m actually giving advance information this time!

I never realised, when I started out, just how much time is taken on all the peripheral aspects of publication; time that detracts from writing and that, to be honest, I don’t enjoy. I especially don’t enjoy marketing. It requires a totally different skill set from writing, and I just don’t have it! Besides, tagging and marketing are particularly hard, because although the novel does contain one major sex scene, it’s by no means erotica.

Here’s the blurb (which might have some changed details between now and the time when it appears on Amazon or Smashwords).

“I knew you needed a unicorn and I knew I was a virgin and…”

A same-sex marriage is arranged in a Regency-style alternate universe . Can a hard working prince find wedded bliss despite his duties? Does his sister really need a unicorn horn as her dowry and if so how can she get one? Will a young foreigner ever settle in his new country and accept his own family’s attitudes? Find out how Alair and Kian cope in this tale of discovery and romance. There’s only one explicit sex scene (the wedding night) but the discussions of sex and emotion are probably only suitable for adult readers. A full length novel that explores culture clash, social expectations, the problems that beset any young couple and a new slant on some mythical creatures which turn out to be very real.

And the cover, which won’t change other than to have slightly different sizing for the different sites, is the header picture for this post.

Books I read in July

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.

What I watched in July

Season of ripe grass and violent hay fever…

There were some interesting things to watch in July

Black Space***** Israeli cop drama centred round a high school shooting. Excellent acting and direction. On Netflix in 8 episodes and hopefully there will be another season. Thoroughly deserves the good reviews. (May be Blackspace – I’m never sure how to search correctly as I’ve seen both versions in reviews.)

Black Spot Seasons 1 and 2 ***** (Netflix.) The ending wasn’t a cliff hanger but we could really do with another season to answer some questions and get some of the characters into a more satisfactory place. Think Twin Peaks but in the eastern forested mountains of France. For those who don’t like subtitles there is an English language version. Disturbing and gripping with paranormal elements, violence and occasional humour. Each episode has a solved crime, but the paranormal stuff is in the over-arc plot. The original title is Zone Blanche; the area has poor phone signals which is part of the problem faced by the police.

Katla **** (Netflix again) Icelandic noir (aka horror) watched out of the corner of my eye because husband had it on. In a town destroyed by a volcanic erruption, people start to reappear… I suppose it deserves at least four stars for acting, direction, etc. but it wasn’t quite my scene! I went to bed before the end of the last episode but my husband updated me on the plot resolution.

Nordic Murders Season 2 *** (More 4.) I loved season 1 of this police drama set on the island of Usedom in northern Germany on the Polish border. But in season 2 the lead detective has been written out (in the first episode) and this means we are left with a new and less convincing lead, and a gap in the intriguing family dynamics that underpinned the first season. As a result, I started to get bored and regard it as being mainly about the scenery. I don’t grudge the actress if she needed to leave – if she didn’t, I think the writers made a mistake.

Fanfic read in June

I love irises. For some reason our yellow ones have vanished this year (slugs?) but the purple/blue ones have been beautiful.

Some really good stories this month (or rather, last, because I know we’re now nearing the end of July).

Absolutely fabulous and highly recommended:

Save me by Brumeier***** SGA AU novel. Rodney inherits a haunted mansion. John is the caretaker. Cameo parts for others. Exciting and interesting plot. https://archiveofourown.org/works/1591586

Poisons by silverr***** Gorgeous crime ff with aliens. Original work. 21k. Set in the world of The Taitaja. The author archives all her work on AO3, both fanfic and original. http://archiveofourown.org/work/16122698

Spoonful of Sunday by pushkin666 and MistressKat***** QI rpf https://archiveofourown.org/works/9322742 Wonderful coffee shop style romance set in Nottingham.

Worth reading:

Throw off the bowlines by Brumeier**** Rodney buys a second hand sex bot expecting to harvest it for parts. A different take on the discovery of Atlantis. https://archiveofourown.org/works/27766168

The role of Primordial Amino Acids in the Evolution of Sentience by silverr**** Sweet ff short story (9594 words) about a robot and the human who finds it. Better, in my opinion, than Murderbot. Not really fanfic but uses fanfic tropes and was written for a challenge. http://archiveofourown.org/works/19082290

Ray Doyle’s Cottage Garden Diary by Boothros**** Only on LJ. Lovely writing but would probably only appeal to people with detailed knowledge of Pros. Later edit to add that the author told me it is now on AO3: https://archiveofourown.org/works/31944859

Also read:

Enshroud by Charlotte Frost*** S&H kidnap story. Not thrilling but quite nicely written. https://archiveofourown.org/works/1992753

In other fanfic ‘news’ I added to my Lewis/Harry Potter crossover series with a new episode featuring some clever work by Olive Owl. See my AO3 (moth2fic) for The Case of the Kidnapped Kobold.