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August 2023

August 23 Reading in Review

99. Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q Sutanto (Mystery, AW).

When a terrible man in found dead in her tea shop, Vera is determined to find the killer,  unfortunately she grows quite attached to her suspects.

CW: murder, emotional abuse, ref. to violence.

 

100. The Long Call by Ann Cleeves (WM MC, Mystery, English gay police detective)

Really enjoyed this new series. Engrossing mystery, dangerous conspiracy and fascinating backstory

CWs: murder, homophobia, ableism references to SA, IPV, estrangement past trauma: death of child

 

101. The Heron’s Cry by Ann Cleeves ( Mystery, WM MC, serial killer & suicides)

A series of murders, shards of glass, fractured families, guilt, art & the conflicts and intersections of small communities.  Great 2nd book. Love the 2ndary POVs.

CWs: murder, suicide, depression

 

102. The Raging Storm by Ann Cleeves (WM Gay MC, UK set Mystery, No.3, audio ARC, out Sept.5, 23)

In a claustrophobic & superstitious village, Venn & his team try to sort face from fiction after a famed sailor is found murdered off the coast.

CWs: murder, sexism, ill child.

 

103. The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves (Mystery WW, UK set, Vera 1)

This is such a contrast to Venn books in structure and style.  Told in multiple POVs & parts with Vera in very late.

CW: suicide, mental illness, child death, foster care, neglect, murder, adultery, homophobia.

 

104. Mysterious Abduction by Rita Herron (RS,WM/WWHQN Intrigue, child abduction, depression)

Bonkers on how much happens in the 2nd to last chapter & covered in the 6 weeks later last chapter!

CWs: kidnapping, death of parent, stalker, arson, depression, infertility, adultery

 

105. Desperate Measures by Brenda Jackson ( BM/BW,  RS, playboy/doctor).

They keep having hot encounters at weddings but he hesitates to invite her to a notorious weeklong fling trip…he wants to keep her.

CWs: guns, violence, abduction attempt. Past trauma: parental deaths.

 

106. Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn (Thriller/heisty, 60+ assassins). When their retirement cruise turns into kill zone, they need to figure who is gunning for them & take them down! 4 women against the agency that turned on them.  CW: murder, violence, sexism.

107. There Should have Been Eight by Nalini Singh (Modern Gothic Thriller, MC is AW, Dark, Out 11/21/23)

Friends reunited 9 years after their beloved friend’s death, a chance to ask questions or take revenge.

CW: murders, ableism, mental illness, MC is going blind).

 

108. The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna (AW/WM, UK set, Cozy Fantasy Rom)  Fantastic, funny, surprising & tender book. Great found family, confronting traumas & looking for a way to make things better (CW: toxic childhoods, abandonment, loneliness).

 

109. Pack of Lies by Charlie Adhara (WM/WM PNR/RS).  Julien is trying to come to terms with his brother’s death by retracing his last adventure & he stumbles on to secrets he didn’t expect to be real! 💕💕💕

CWs: murder, grief, gaslighting, PT: toxic relationships, imprisonment.

 

110. Role Playing by Cathy Yardley (AW/WM, Demi/Bi MC, Contemporary Rom, 48+ yrs MCs). Loved the pairing of  snarly but caring heroine & the big strong softie hero & how both blossom around each other.

CWs: homophobia, toxic parents,  toxic exes, elder care.

 

111. Claws and Contrivances  by Stephanie Burgis (WW/WM, SFR).  When two abused dragons appear in the crumbling manor she shares with her distant relatives,  Rose leaps into action to protect them, ensnaring visiting scholar Sir Aubrey in the process.

Cw: animal abuse, coercion

 

112. How to Save an Undead Life by Hailey Edwards (UF, WW MC, Savannah-set) After 5 yrs of torturous false imprisonment Grier is thrust into necro high society with everyone after control her unexpected powers.  Who can she really trust?

CWs: murder, violence, PTSD, kidnapping

 

113. How to Claim an Undead Soul by Hailey Edwards ( UF, WW Mc, Bk 2).

Edwards is great at complicating relationships & turning things in unexpected ways.  New threats, some very close! And ouch the ending. CWs: Murder, betrayals, violence, mention of DV, abandonment, PSTD.

 

114. How to Break an Undead Heart by Hailey Edwards ( UF, WW MC, bk 4)   Oof I had to read this one from back to front, the foreshadowing was too intense about how everything would break.

CWs: murder, xenophobia, secrets, betrayal, violence, stalking, toxic families

 

115. How to dance an Undead Watlz by Hailey Edwards (UF with Rom Elements, WM/WW bk4)

Love seeing Grier start to figure out what makes her happy, and forming new bonds.

CWs: murder, betrayal, secrets, stalking, toxic families

 

116.  How to Live an Undead Lie by Hailey Edwards ( UF with Rom Elements, WM/WW, Bk5)

This totally read like a final book including a damn big boss battle but it wasn’t?? Still big things happened including 💕💕💕

CWs: murder, betrayal, secrets, stalking, toxic exes.

 

117. How to Wake an Undead City by Hailey Edwards (UF with Rom elements, WW/WM, bk6)

A lot a lot of plot happened in this book and uff not all if it worked for me but I was still rooting for the MCs at yet end.

CWs: murder, betrayal, secrets, pregnancy, trauma


July in Review

Blue Sea Moodboard Photo collage Greece
92. Wild Life by Opal Wei (eArc: Jan 24, contemporary rom, rom com in the right way!, Taiwanese-Canadian MCs,MMC has anxiety/panic attacks)
 
Mini-Synopsis:  A cancer researcher bullies her way on to the private island of former C-pop star-aspiring wildlife rescuer after he accidently ends up with a slide crucial to her researcher. Hi-jinks ensue!
 
I loved Zoey, how grumpy, snarly and vibrant she is.  I fully agree with Davy that she is radiant!
 
CW: sister had bone cancer, addiction
 
93. Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells (SF, Murderbot Diaries 3)
 
Mini-Synopsis:  While trying to find more evidence against the corporation that tried to kill him original team,  Murderbot ends up trying to keep another group of hapless humans and their pet bot from being killed.
 
Murderbot just can’t help getting involved and saving people! It is so intense and emotional and comforting!
 
CWs: betrayal, violence.
 
94. Exit Strategy by Martha Wells (SF, Murderbot #4).
 
Mini-Synopsis: While returning to Dr. Mensah and the Preservation crew with evidence against the villanous GreyCris corporation Murderbot realizes that Dr. Mensah is missing!
 
Reunion/rescue mission, more deadly battles! Love it… did I say was going to space them out… CWs: kidnapping, violence, gore.
 
95. Network Effect by Martha Wells SF, Murderbot Diaries 5).
 
Mini-Synopisis: Finally on Preservation, Murderbot is trying to figure out themselves and their relationships and what role they can have or should have in Dr. Mensah's life, when an old frenemy needs their help.
 
I just love all the sulky growth Murderbot continues to experience and how it doesn’t just transform their life but that of all others around them!
 
96. Capture the Sun by Jessie Mihalik (SFR, bk3, thief/teleporter)
 
Mini-Synopsis:   Lexi a retrieval expert (thief) is used to working for terrible people but her latest job has lured her back to Valorian space and the betrayals come fast and hard and she has no choice but accept the help of Nilo, who once betrayed her himself.   But things get complicated when they realize the Empress might be about to restart the brutal war they sacrificed so much to end.
 
I think I was in the wrong mood for this. But the tension seemed weak.
 
Cw: kidnapping, betrayal past trauma: war
 
97. A Most Agreeable Murder by Julia Seales (Mystery with Rom elements, AM/WW).
 
Mini-Synopsis:  When a most eligible and wealthy bachelor is murdered in the midst of a ball, Beatrice Steele has no choice but to attempt to solve the murder especially since the inspector present is all set to blame her sister.
 
With a light yet satirical tone, a plot bordering on farce, & diverse cast, it’s MCs charm, amuse & detect! CWs: murder, violence, betrayal, abelism & misogyny
 
98. Resonance Surge by Nalini Singh (SFR/PNR WW/AM, Bear Changeling/ mentally scarred Psy)
 
 
Mixed feelings…wasn’t enjoying the book…took a 3 week break & enjoyed the ending? Wrong mood? Hmmm. CWs: murder, child abuse, serial killer, non-conventual medical procedures, ableism.
 
 
Cw: abductions, medical procedures, violence, gore.