Thursday, March 13, 2014

February 2014 Recap: Reads, Minis + Link

I didn't read a lot of books during February -- either because I didn't have the time or because I wasn't able to concentrate. However, the majority of the books I was able to read were highly enjoyable.

TOTAL BOOKS READ: 6    DNF: 1
Contemporary Romance: 2
Science-Fiction: 2
LGBT: 2 (Young Adult)


TOP READS OF THE MONTH:
Annihilation (Southern Reach Trilogy #1) by Jeff VanderMeer: A-
Annihilation is one of my two top reads of the month. The emotionless, distant, disconnected voice of the biologist as she narrates the fantastic setting and weird events that occur in Area X swept me away to another world and kept me on edge to the end. I'm now both dreading and waiting impatiently for the continuation of this story in the next installment Authority.

The Unwanted by Jeffrey Ricker: A-
The Unwanted also made it as one of my February top reads. I finished it on the 1st and it was the best way to begin my reading month. I really loved this LGBT young adult fantasy by Jeffrey Ricker who created a great adventure filled with wonderful characters and relationships.

Honor's Knight (Paradox #2) by Rachel Bach: B+
I liked the second book in Rachel Bach's science fiction Paradox series even more than Fortune's Pawn! And I liked that first book. Devi's space adventure continues, her budding romance goes through some changes, and the overall story arc takes some twists and turns that you wouldn't believe. I'm having a lot of fun reading this series.

Too Much of a Good Thing? by Joss Wood: B
Is there such a thing as too much of a good thing when everything clicks in a new relationship? Apparently so. Lu chose to give up part of her youth and a career to become a full time mother to her twin brothers when their parents died. Now that the boys are grown and leaving home maybe it's time to catch up on what she missed out -- things like clubbing and dating. Ex-rugby player, now rugby coach Will Scott is in town temporarily and after meeting him under unusual circumstances, Lu decides he is perfect for a temporary, fun relationship. But complications arise when they click perfectly, in every way.

Will has more than a bad boy reputation, he was a bad boy during and after his failed marriage to another athlete. He really likes Lu and would prefer to spend time and have fun with her as a friend/companion instead of having a temporary sexual affair or a couple of romps in the sack. Lu, on the other hand, really wants that romp. The problem? They become friends who have fun together and genuinely like each other and neither wants to mess that up, but when they are together the sexual tension and desire takes over.

I liked that they're both adults and frank about their desires and objections. This is a really sexy couple even when they are not having sex. A few things niggled. One: Lu chose to give up her career, etc., (she didn't have to) to take care of her brothers, but seems to spend an awful lot of time feeling sorry for herself about it. Two: It is true that people change and are affected after a failed marriage, but Will sure gives his ex and that failure a lot of power over his life for a long period of time -- too long if you ask me. Regardless, those niggles didn't take away my enjoyment of the overall romance between Lu and Will. The push and pull and sexual tension, the friendship and adult relationship that develops, all serve to make this an enjoyable, solid contemporary romance. (Harlequin/KISS/ November 19, 2013, Kindle Ed)
The Last Guy She Should Call by Joss Wood: B
This is another solid contemporary read by Joss Wood. In The Last Guy She Should Call, Wood uses a "friends to lovers" device where the main characters go from fun, hostile, bickering interactions to a hot, "OMG, I have to have him/her" lust filled relationship. Wood develops this one well, particularly since both the male and female protagonists have family issues to work on. I like that those issues are not wrapped in a neat little bow at the end because in real life that's not always possible. Yet, the romance is still the focus and quite enjoyable. I'll be reading more books by Joss Wood. (Thanks to Nath for her review and recommendation).
Mark of the Demon (Kara Gillian #1) by Diana Rowland: DNF
It is never easy for me to DNF a book, unfortunately as it turns out this popular book was not meant for me.

UPCOMING REVIEW:
Cub by Jeff Mann
Cub is a young adult LGBT contemporary by the talented Jeff Mann that released in February. I'll be telling you all about it soon.
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LINK/COMMENTARY: I am an avid science fiction reader and a huge fan of the science fiction genre. As such, I've been following the latest controversy involving the Hugo Awards and Jonathan Ross. There is a great post written by Ana at The Book Smugglers that resonated with me, particularly since my love of SFF, speculative fiction, and magical realism first came from reading books written in the Spanish language by authors from different cultures. I'm still thinking about her words. Check it out: Smuggler’s Ponderings: History, Fandom and Masters of Science Fiction .

2 comments:

  1. I'm not surprised you were distracted during February... Hope your husband is on the mend and taking it easy now!

    I'm tempted by that Rachel Bach trilogy now - didn't particular care for the other book of hers (which she wrote as Rachel Aaron), but this SF series has been getting good reviews!

    Looks like the Joss Wood books are pretty solid ones? She's on my list of authors to check out after Nath's reviews as well.

    I've been following the Hugo awards controversy as well... don't think anyone involved really did themselves any favours. But it's very easy to say in hindsight that so-and-so should or shouldn't have done this or that... live and learn?

    Li

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for asking, Li. John is home recuperating slowly and doing better!

      These are my first reads by Rachel Bach (Aaron) and I'm really enjoying the trilogy. I have some niggles (they're not A reads for me), but overall it's a really fun sci-fi series. I've seen some reviews referring to these as UF in space, and well... there's a bit of that going on (if you want to see it that way). To me this is a light space opera with lots of great action, mystery and a central character I like. I hope you give Devi a shot. If nothing else, you'll be thoroughly entertained. *g*

      Joss Wood's contemporaries were solid reads for me. I'm glad I checked her out. I'm planning on following up by reading her other books.

      RE: Hugo controversy. Hindsight = 20/20 ;P

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