This month I've decided to feature quotes from some of the books that I'll be reviewing in the near future. I've been collecting quotes lately, and I'll let you know the reason for that later... but for now, here are my reads for August and some of those quotes:
Totals Books Read: 12
Contemporary: 2 (Romance: 1 Erotic Romance: 1)
Historical Romance: 6
Paranormal Romance: 1
LGBT: 2 (Speculative Fiction: 1 Young Adult: 1)
- Speaking Out: LGBTQ Youth Stand Up edited by Steve Berman (Upcoming Review): This is an anthology written about and for LGBTQ young adults that is not to be missed. Here's a quote from the Introduction by Steve Berman, he says it best:
"I'm daydreaming as I type this -- the look on a fifteen-year-old Steve's face as future (or is that present? damn, time travel plays havoc with adjectives and tenses) me hands him an anthology of stories, all showcasing the self-esteem every LGBT kid needs. No, deserves. I'd probably be all mumbly-mouth, telling teenage Steve to read this story first...no, that story. Well, I'd recommend he avoid the intro or else the entire space-time continuum might collapse around New Jersey (a risk in any era, let me tell you). That fifteen-year-old me would be able to face high school, then college, then his twenties without much of the fear of being alone, being different, being gay. He would know that the voice he used to entertain himself with odd stories could be heard by many who understood the daily trials (harassment by bullies, hiding from parents and straight friends).
Voices are meant to be heard."
- Wilde Stories 2011: The Year's Best Gay Speculative Fiction edited by Steve Berman (Upcoming Review): This is another anthology except that this one is all about that wonderful speculative fiction sub-genre that I love! There are some excellent stories in this anthology by authors whose works are new-to-me and that I'll be looking for in the future and others whose works I've read. A quote for you from Oneirica by Hal Duncan (Artefact II):
"I raise my own hand now, feel the weight of wood in it. I do not have to look to know that I'm holding a mace or sceptre of sorts. I have been carrying it all along, the thyrsus of Dionysus and the club of Heracles, the staff of Prospero and the spear of Longinus, Odin's Gungnir and Sun Go-Ku's Rúyì-Jĩngũ-Bàng. It is the most modern magician's wand and the most ancient spearthrower. I squeeze it in my grasp and it shrinks to a twirlable size, sits comfortably between my fingers, a pen. There is no need for any statement of authority more grand than this, I think, not in this day and age. What was comfortable in one era as a humble reed with a wedge-shaped end, will be comfortable here and now as simple ballpoint. It is the most important of all these objects of power, I think -- though I am prejudiced, I suspect -- the original of all tools for shaping order and chaos."
- Snowflakes and Stetsons: Western Christmas Wishes by Jillian Hart, Carol Finch, Cheryl St. John (Upcoming Review): This is a holiday anthology of the western historical romance kind... yeap! It's lovely and cozy and warm and just what I needed to read toward the end of this last month. I know I'll be re-reading it during the holidays too... here's a quote from The Magical Gift at Christmas by Cheryl St. John:
She looked into his eyes.
"I will come back for you."
"No one can find you here."
"We'll be fine, Jonah."
He wanted to kiss her. His gaze dropped to her lips, now chapped from the cold and wind, and he wanted to press his mouth against hers and feel her sweet warmth.
She knew what he was thinking, because her eyelids fluttered and even more color than what the cold created rose in her cheeks. "You may kiss me."
She never stopped surprising him.
- The Many Sins of Lord Cameron by Jennifer Ashley: B
- One Good Reason by Sarah Mayberry: B
- Leah and The Bounty Hunter by Elaine Levine: B
- The Tempering of Men by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear (Upcoming Review)
A Companion to Wolves, a fascinating fantasy book that I read at the beginning of just this year. I'm a fan of Elizabeth Bear's writing, although I've never read anything else by Sarah Monette. I can tell you that this book is obviously the middle of what is shaping out to be a fantasy trilogy with Norse culture as its base, a fascinating study of the bond between man and animal, as well as relationships between the men, plus the social structures that they've built between themselves and those of other beings. It's a fascinating world full of nuances with plenty of room for exploration.
- Unlocked by Courtney Milan: B-
This novella by Courtney Milan was a mixed bag for me. There were so many things to like... how well Courtney Milan developed both the characters and the situation between them in such short format is one of them. The fact that Evan had the courage to rectify a wrong in front of society was another. The way Lady Elaine Warren led her life and became nothing for a period of ten whole years, and the fact that she only came back to "life" because Evan saved her in front of society was not. There was something lacking in Elaine's character, she allowed herself to be broken by the ridicule of one man and one woman. Was there really no one else to see her for who she really was during those ten years?
There are a few other inconsistencies (the rope scene) and some of the dialogue that pulled me out of the story. I did like the unexpected way in which Evan and Diana worked out their differences, and that Milan developed a friendship between Evan and Elaine before their romance came to a conclusion. This made sense as she at least needed that space of time to reconcile her feelings for Evan. This novella is a rather inexpensive ebook and I would say worth reading.
- Temptation Island by Lorie O'Clare: B-
- It's Always Been You by Victorial Dahl (Upcoming Review)
I read two books by Victoria Dahl in the space of a week, a historical romance and a contemporary. I'll tell you right now that I enjoyed the contemporary much more than the historical... this was a good romance, but not one that will stay with me. I will let you know more about it later.