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.
I 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.
On 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.
And 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?