Recent Summer Reading

So it’s still technically summer, though the British weather appears to think otherwise.  The summer lull has meant that I’ve flown through quite a few books recently – here are some of them.

25686927I bought Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy‘s HIM as soon as it arrived on the virtual shelves, and they totally hit it out of the park (or whatever the relevant hockey analogy is) with Wes and Jamie’s story.  It was funny and sexy and really, the perfect “best friends to lovers” romance.  Loved the sports/summer camp angle, the supporting characters (I’m kind of hoping for a sequel for a couple of them now), and the relatively low level of angst (I know – I surprise myself).  One of my favourites of the year, most definitely.

25777000On the fantasy romance side, I tried a new-to-me author, Melissa McShane‘s SERVANT OF THE CROWN, after reading Sherwood Smith’s review (the pretty cover didn’t hurt either).  This wasn’t an entirely successful read for me.  I loved the protagonist’s passion for books, and which reader could hate a plot that centres around a library, right?  However, I found the prose a bit clunky (continual mentions of how Alison turned blotchy when embarrassed or how she freezes up when complimented on her beauty started jarring after a while), and the world-building was kind of sketchy.  There were hints of some really interesting bits, for example, I’d loved to have seen a bit more about how family bonds influenced history and society, but on the whole, everything felt a bit wallpaper-y.  I’ll still try another book by McShane though.

25090918And libraries appear to be the new thing in fantasy – I also read Rachel Caine‘s INK AND BONE, which is the start of a new series (trilogy?) set in an alternate-history version of our world, where original printed versions of books are incredibly rare (also see Genevieve Cogman‘s THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY, which I thoroughly enjoyed).  I hesitated over picking up INK AND BONE because my experience with Caine’s previous works is that she loves her cliffhangers, but eventually caved, because well, LIBRARIES.  And this was a good adventure romp, with some magic and err… library-ing packed in for good measure.  I thought the world she created was really imaginative – Jess, the main protagonist, is a book smuggler-turned-scholar trainee, who’s trying to get a place at the Great Library of Alexandria. Academy-type stories are like my catnip, and this was one of them.  The weakest element for me was Jess’s eventual romance (I’m picky!) – it was a bit insta-love to me, and I much preferred the friendships that developed over the course of the book.  But I’m looking forward to see where the story goes next.

So that’s me – how’s your summer reading going?

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15 thoughts on “Recent Summer Reading

  1. Pingback: Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy | Chachic's Book Nook

  2. I have to say that the first McShane has worked best for me so far (even reminded me a bit of Wheel of the Infinite), character and worldbuilding-wise. I do like that in this book we have a heroine again, but you already pointed out the annoying bits (harping on about how utterly gorgeous she is and how it hurts her – and the love interest who supposedly is no teenager, being unable to form any sentence without commenting on how gorgeous she is either). I don’ t mind it being made clear initially, but the repetition makes the whole thing feel artificial.
    Her second book I just did not like the self-centeredness of the main hero. I wanted the book from the perspective of the female mage he is looking for, heh. Haven’t finished that book, I must add.

    • I think it was your review that first brought McShane to my attention! Yeah, I felt like there was a lot of repetition in SERVANT. I take it you’ve finished it – what did you think of the short story at the end and where it left things?

      I’m on the fence whether I’ll continue reading this series, but I’ll definitely try EMISSARY next (also, I really love her covers).

  3. I’m so happy that you enjoyed Him, Li!! I read it as soon as I got it and I loved it as well 🙂 It just hit all the spots for me too 😛 Just loved how laid-back Jamie was. It was just such a good read. Ms Bowen’s m/m are all winners for me so far 🙂

    LOL, two libraries books. Funny how some tropes will have us all pick up the books 🙂

    My summer reading is not so bad. I’m catching up after the NYC trip 🙂

  4. I read and thoroughly enjoyed HIM also. Those two make a super fun writing team, I think. Then I followed it up with Megan Erickson’s FOCUS ON ME and . . . well . . . fell head over heels in love with it. Colin & Catwalk. Sigh.

    • I thought the writing in HIM was pretty seamless, I was impressed! Fingers crossed they decide to do another one together – that’d be very cool.

      And Megan Erickson? I’ve the first book in that series! I’ll have to pick that one up now…

      • I really hope they do a second as well. I’d take Holly’s story any day.

        I’d love to hear what you thought of the Focus books. I read the first and really enjoyed it. Then I read the second and was a goner.

      • Yes to Holly! And Wes’s friend – can’t remember his name now, but I’d love his story too.

        Starting the Erickson right now… or maybe after the new Ilona Andrews 😉

  5. Pingback: 2015: My Favourite Books | Me and My Books

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