rivers_bend: (books)
posted by [personal profile] rivers_bend at 06:47am on 04/02/2017 under ,
Lookie here! Book post on the fourth of the month! It's amazing what you can accomplish when you only fead a few books in a month :D

It seems I read this first book the last day of December, but forgot to put it on December's book post, so.

Whiskey Business by Avon Gale
I've only read three books since this one, but I still had to go back and look what it was about, despite the fact it's literally about a dude in the whiskey business. It was well-written and fun, and I liked the characters, and it suffered more from my excessive feelings about the books I've read so far in January than it did from any issues with it itself, but it's enjoyable rather than a must read. I did really like that the character from a tiny town is totally out and his friends and neighbors are much more likely to try to matchmake him with a man than they are to have a problem with his man-loving ways. A+ on that.

January marked the beginning of Massage School, and my life becoming a whirlwind of class and massage trades and studying. I've barely found time to catch my breath, never mind a moment to read, but I did fit in a few hours. Three books I'd had on pre-order came out this month, or, at least two books and a short story, and then I discovered Seven Summer Nights which came out a bit ago but I'd missed it. It was a month of Quality over Quantity.

Books I read for the first time:
The Summer Palace by CS Pacat
A;slkdjf;asdfhas;dfj DAMEN AND LAURENT FOREVER. AND EVER. AND EVER. This made me SO HAPPY I was rocking around on my bed. If you're a captive prince fan, you are not waiting for my book list to have read this. If you're not, this is not the book to start with.

Wanted, A Gentleman by KJ Charles
This is an absolute romp. I've seen several reviews that implied it was hard to like one of the MCs, but I didn't find this at all. I'm not sure if I was doing it wrong, but I didn't find him at all an unsympathetic hero. YMMV of course. Everyone loved the other MC though. Including me. I could have taken this being longer, though I don't think it particularly suffered from being closer to novella length, and it had Charles's typical sharp writing, social commentary, and yummy sex scenes.

Seven Summer Nights by Harper Fox
I'm not even sure I can put my finger on why, but this was SUCH AN INCREDIBLY GOOD BOOK. I saw several of my fave authors recommending this on twitter (KJ Charles's for example), and I have enjoyed many other Harper Fox books (though they are not always of consistent quality ime), so I picked this up. It's long. LONG. Most romance books say they will take me 2-3 hours to read, this one said it was going to take 9.5. It's REALLY satisfying. No threads get left dangling, and the whole thing is an amazing tapestry of post wwii historical, archeology, village life, ancient religion and magic, love, family, and psychology. I can't stop thinking about it. There's quite a lot of PTSD depicted, including nightmares, night terrors, flashbacks, fugue states, and descriptions of battles. There is also talk of period (1950s) psychiatric treatment including electroshock therapy as punishment and lobotomy. The ensemble cast is incredible, and because there is so much book, you really get to know everyone, even though there are many characters. Including a trans character. This one is going to stick with me for a very long time, I suspect.

Undertow by Jordan L Hawk
I was so excited to see this was coming out! Femslash! Human/not-human! A series I adore, despite a few frustrations. It delivered on all those fronts. Funny, hot, and exciting, and every inch a Widdershins book. I would think you could read it without diving into the whole series, so long as you read the synopsis of the earlier books, though I do recommend the others (especially if you're a quick reader). Not for those who squick at interspecies romance, though. Hawk doesn't shy away from Persephone's non-human features. Including tentacle-esque (though no suckers) "hair".

I re-read two favorite early-20th-century-set books this month, Eleventh Hour by Elin Gregory, and Think of England by KJ Charles. I was utterly perplexed by Eleventh Hour, though, because there were two scenes I remember clearly that weren't in the book, which leads me to wonder what book they ARE in. I can't picture either scene with other characters.

I hadn't thought of these as particularly similar books, and indeed, there are definite differences, but I feel a similar soothingness about them, despite their dashing adventure plots with guns and spies and fights to the death. I think it's to do with characters that have/find a strong sense of self. I just feel very happy and empowered reading them. Good choices for the fraught-ness that comes with a radical change of life, even when the change is great.

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