Monday, June 29, 2015

Six Sexy Second Quarter Reads

So in the end of March, I made a post highlighting my favorite books for the first quarter of the year. Jump HERE to see it. Since I love recommending books to people, I figured I'd try it again. So here's a list of the books I think you should one-click right now! Because good stuff!

There's not an exact order to this list, although you'll notice there are two #1s. And that's because I loved both of them so much! Putting For Real at the top of the post does sort of imply it's my favorite-favorite, although my other favorite, Jackdaw, is so different it's almost impossible to compare the two. In the interest of expediency, I'm calling it a tie. So, without any more blathering, here are my six favorite books for April, May, and June...

1. For Real

This is one of the few books I've read that deals with the topic of BDSM as if real people might be involved in it, and not some class of weird sexual superheroes. For me, For Real is just about the perfect book. There are big ideas and small moments of tenderness, and an absolutely fantastic use of language. The way Alexis Hall weaves in bits of brilliance while keeping the story moving is astonishing. This is a book you could spend hours discussing with your friends - trust me, I have. It's about real people, about challenging expectations, and it's one of the most unique love stories I've ever read.

1. Jackdaw

My other #1 favorite story this quarter was Jackdaw by KJ Charles. It's the fourth book in her Charm of Magpies series, and the only one not to feature Stephen & Crane. They're there, but they're kind of the bad guys, which was fun. While the first three books in the series told a BIG story, with huge stakes and a romance for the ages, Jackdaw had a much narrower focus. This one's about two of the guys who got caught up in the BIG DRAMA from the previous book, how it tore them apart and how they eventually found their way back together.

And oh, you guys, the FEELS in this one. Jackdaw has so much heart, and so much sweetness. Jonah was one of the bad guys in the last book, but he redeems himself - and then some - here. The role-reversal (good to bad/bad to good) won't mean quite as much if you haven't read the other books (so jump HERE to get started with The Magpie Lord) but even without that background, this is an entertaining read.

3. Baked Fresh So this is the second of three books in Annabeth Albert's Portland Heat series, and while they're all good, this one was my favorite. (The other two are Served Hot and Delivered Fast.) I think the reason I liked this one the best was the chemistry between the heroes Vic & Robin, and the sensitive way the author dealt with the subject of homelessness and drug addiction among kids on the street. It's really easy to make an "issues" book feel like a school assignment - something that's good for you, but not all that fun to read - but this story flowed naturally. Vic and Robin are a little bit of an odd couple, but they totally work together, and I was so happy with the way their story unfolded. 

4. On A Lee Shore

I have recommended this book to all kinds of different people. Like YOU. Read it! On a Lee Shore is hands down the best historical I've read this quarter, maybe even this year. It's like they took the movie Master and Commander and made the Russell Crow and Paul Bettany characters gay. The details are gritty and real, and the voice is perfect for the time period. My friend Nan, who has read all the Patrick O'Brien "Master and Commander" novels, seconds my assessment of the voice. Elin Gregory nailed it, and she tells an entertaining story of pirates (and love!) on the high seas.

5. Clear Water

This one came highly recommended from on of the private Facebook pages I hang out on, and I'm SO happy I read it. Last year I read a different book by Amy Lane, and while it was entertaining, it didn't grip me the way Clear Water did. Both Patrick and Whiskey are tremendously sympathetic characters, and their journey to happiness felt real to me. There's a mystery-suspense subplot that worked fairly well, and the resolution ticked all my boxes. I love books that take me out of my regular old world, and this one had me spending lots of time on a houseboat on a hot summer's day. Too fun!

6. Jinn and Juice

Look! A Girl!!


Jinn and Juice isn't the only m/f book I read this quarter, but it was absolutely the best! Nicole Peeler is a wizard at creating memorable characters and her dialogue rocks. This is the first in a new series set in Pittsburgh (of all places). Because of the 'first book' thing, there was a fair amount of world building, but it didn't bog the plot down at all, and I loved the way she integrated the setting into elements of the story. You'll have to read it to see what I mean, but this book could ONLY have been set in Pittsburgh. This one's all about the urban fantasy fun, with lots of hot teasing but no actual naughty bits. She's holding out on us for book 2, I guess.

There you have it! Six books that are well worth your reading time. I hope you one-click on at least a couple. Meanwhile, I've already started on next quarter with last nights read of Payback and Vertigo by Jordan Castillo Price. They're the first two books in her Channeling Morpheus series, and so far my only complaint is that I bought Payback as a single book. I didn't realize how short it is, and if you're interested in queer vampires having blazing hot sex, look for the whole five-book set. I guarantee you'll want to keep reading, but spending $2.99 for each book is fairly pricey when you can get all of them for $6.99.


If you've got a favorite recent read, leave a note in the comments...

I'm infatuated with this cover, ya'll...

1 comment:

  1. Decisions, decisions... I have read your two number ones, but none of the others. For Real was wonderful - I do love Alexis Hall's writing. And I liked Jackdaw, although the only one of KJ Charles' books that I absolutely adore remains Think of England.

    I may be doing some wishlisting, if not one-clicking... ;-)