Tuesday, December 2, 2014

November Reads + Favorites

I hope everyone in the States had a Happy Thanksgiving and holiday weekend with family and loved ones. My monthly reading summary is short. I read a total of 6 books during the month of November. I began a few others that I didn't finish mostly because of poor concentration on my part. The following are the books that kept my attention:

November Total Books: 6
Historical Romance: 2
Science Fiction: 1
LGBT: 3 (Fantasy 1, M/M Mystery Romance 1, M/M Romance 1)

My Favorite Books:
That Door Is a Mischief by Alex Jeffers: A
This gay fantasy about men and fairies obviously hit the spot for me and is an all around winner. Jeffers is an extremely talented writer, hard to resist because he consistently brings on that winning combination of great prose, depth, and imagination to his books.

Ancillary Sword (Imperial Radch #2) by Ann Leckie: B+
Ancillary Sword is the follow up to the one of my favorite reads of the year, Ancillary Justice. I particularly love the tight focus that led to further exploration of character and world in this second installment.

A Place Called Harmony by Jodi Thomas: B
If you are familiar with Jodi Thomas's books you know that both her historical and contemporary romances are filled with warmth that leave the reader feeling great. A Place Called Harmony is a western historical romance that leaves the reader satisfied because of the warmth, love and kindness found in the individual characters, as well as the loyalty and strength found in them collectively as community. I enjoyed this book from beginning to end.

Fair Play by Josh Lanyon: B
I became a big fan of Elliot and Tucker after reading Fair Game, one of my Lanyon favorite reads. Fair Play has a good combination of crime mystery and enough emotional battles between Elliot and Tucker to keep their romance interesting. Elliot's issues with control outside the bedroom and his struggles to understand Tucker's tenderness and love continue. Elliot is such an over-sensitive, prickly, contradictory character! The mystery is particularly interesting as it involves Elliot's radical father and his involvement in 60's politics and anti-government activities. Lanyon lays out the differences in belief between father and son, as well as the reasoning behind violent vs. peaceful radicalism during those times. Overall, a solid installment with a wish that this series continues.

Darling Beast (Maiden Lane #7) by Elizabeth Hoyt: B
Darling Beast is a solid, enjoyable historical romance by Elizabeth Hoyt with plenty of heat. One thought that I did not include in my mini-impressions: I'm not sure where Hoyt is going with the Maiden Lane series. The main thrust of the series has shifted it no longer has that dark, heavy atmosphere, or the everyday characters that I so loved in the first few books. It seems that although there are still non-aristocrats as characters, aristocracy wins the day -- Dukes, Viscounts, Ladies. I will continue reading the series, but, will Hoyt return to the troublesome streets and dirty alleys of London? I can only hope that the wonderful atmosphere that initially won me over will return to this series.

There's Something About Ari by L.B. Gregg: C+
I enjoyed this friends-to-lovers m/m romance by L.B. Gregg. This is a good story about a young man whose best friend ran away and returns home after succeeding as an actor. Of course he still lives at the same address and works at the same place -- his future smashed to pieces when his mother died and he had to take care of his young brother. I like the reasoning behind this couple's separation and lack of communication, as well as how this couple of friends come together. I believe that, for me, this story is a bit short and needs that extra LBG pop and sizzle to make it a personal favorite. Overall, an enjoyable read.


  1. I was struck by your comment about Darling Beast. I liked it, but I was surprised the series is still going after the reveals about the Ghost in previous books. I'd like to see Hoyt start something new, although I admit I'm not about to stop reading (yet).

    I'm sorry you've had trouble concentrating. I've been thinking about you. Warm hugs, Hilcia.

  2. Phyl, I liked it too. It just wasn't a great read for me. And, yes, the whole Ghost issue is now old. I would love for a fresh approach to this series, maybe with some of that great atmosphere and non-aristocratic central characters? I don't know the answer. I am a fan, but as you say, something new by Hoyt would be great at this point.

  3. PS: Thank you for your thoughts and hugs! I need them. I believe my concentration will get better with practice. I'm trying. :)

  4. Hi Hilcia, I hope you're feeling better....I pray for you at every Mass.

    Your favorite book seems intriguing...does it end well? Because it gives off the vibe of bad things might happen....lol


    1. Sonia, I am doing better. Thank you for your prayers, they are needed and appreciated. ((Hugs))

      My favorite book That Door Is a Mischief is a journey through life. It's a fantasy, but just as life has the most beautiful moments, it also has it downs. It's lovely with one of those everlasting loves that just gets to you.

  5. I'm intrigued about the Hoyt series now, and the change in direction! I don't think I've ever read any of her books, but I remember her debut making a bit of a splash.

    I think you liked the Josh Lanyon more than I did - I couldn't really connect with the 1960s radicalism movement, maybe because it's not something I'm that familiar with.

    Also I'm glad you're doing better, big hugs!


    1. Li, I love Hoyt's historical romances and the first book of the Maiden Lane series Wicked Intensions is a personal favorite. (I also loved Scandalous Desires) The setting is St. Giles in Regency London and both the story and atmosphere are excellent. This book is good (the whole series is good), I just don't know where Hoyt is going with it at this point.

      And yes, I did like Fair Play more than you did! I'm familiar with the 1960's radical movement in the US and some of the debates that pop up. I find the political dynamics between Elliot and his father quite interesting (radical v conservative), but also the love and protectiveness they share despite their differences. That was very well done.

      And thank you Li! I'm doing my very best.


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