Recent Reads – The Good, the Bad… and the So-So?

How about some actual book talk here?  For a book blog, I’m conscious I don’t post a lot about books I’m reading (probably because that would take some actual focus and thought, both of which have been sadly lacking here).  Let me see if I can get back into the rhythm of things…

27074515At the moment, I’m reading Alison Goodman‘s YA historical fantasy THE DARK DAYS CLUB (which is marked Lady Helen #1 on Goodreads, so am assuming it’s the first in a series).  I’m about a quarter in, and it’s all good so far – I’m suitably intrigued, the story’s moving at a snappy pace, and I’m liking the period flavour.  It is feeling a bit Buffy-like, so I’m reserving judgement (I wasn’t a massive fan).

28246697I finished Nora Roberts‘ new romantic suspense THE OBSESSION the other day – it’s been a while since I’ve really enjoyed an NR, and picked this up after seeing mostly positive reviews.  Alas, this didn’t work for me.  It had a promising start which sucked me in immediately, but a very soggy middle (if a book could be described as such) – I ended up flipping through the rest of the book just so I could find out whodunnit.  Spoiler: it wasn’t worth the time.

And then books by two new-to-me authors I’ve really enjoyed

25404499Santino Hassell’s Five Borough series – a M/M contemporary romance series set in New York City.  I picked up the first when it was on sale a few weeks back, and ended up buying both the second and the third (just released!).  I flew through all three books – the first, SUTPHIN BOULEVARD, may be my favourite because I really liked the school setting.  It’s also probably the angstiest; the second two books are much more straightforward romance. Each is a standalone romance, so feel free to dive into the series whenever. Hassell is definitely a new auto-buy for me.

29247999And then Julianna Keyes’ UNDECIDED Kaetrin’s review of this NA romance @ Dear Author piqued my interest and I one-clicked it.  I totally loved.  There’s a certain kind of NA that hits all the right buttons for me – I haven’t spent too much time analysing the exact formulae, but elements definitely include (1) protagonists who talk to each other (2) non-angsty conflict (3) some messy self-discovery and growing up (4) chemistry.  UNDECIDED had all of this a-plenty, with a college setting as bonus – I have a soft spot for college!

I loved the Keyes so much that I bought one of her contemporaries straight after (UNDECIDED is her first NA).  I picked GOING THE DISTANCE using my (not-so-)trusty Goodreads formula (highest rated standalone book), but I’m not entirely sure – not exactly connecting with the h/h.  Hence the jump to the current Alison Goodman read.

So that’s a few of my recent reads – have you read any of these?


13 thoughts on “Recent Reads – The Good, the Bad… and the So-So?

  1. With Julianna Keyes, I’m sorry to say that Going the Distance was the one I had the hardest time enjoying – I liked Just Once and In Her Defence a lot more (In Her Defence is the second in the Time Served series, but you won’t miss anything by reading it as a standalone).

    • Arrghhh – looks like I chose the wrong Keyes to try. I was eyeing the Time Served books, good to know they work as standalones – thanks for the input!

  2. Awww, sorry the Nora Roberts didn’t work for you, Li ;( What’s the last NR that you read/enjoyed? Maybe I can point you to others…

    Alison Goodman – author of Eon/Eona right?

    Hmmm, I would have skipped Undecided based on the cover, but if you liked it that much, perhaps I should check it out 🙂

    I’m currently reading Wasted Words by Staci Hart and based on your formula, I think you’ll want to check it out 🙂

    • I’ll check out WASTED WORDS! Though – I’ve just seen that it’s based on Austen’s EMMA which I love. And I just read ELIGIBLE, which is a modern retelling of PRIDE & PREJUDICE, and didn’t really care for it. Mmmm….

      Yes to Alison Goodman and Eon/Eona – that’s how THE DARK DAYS CLUB came to my attention.

      Ha – I don’t know why the UNDECIDED cover is unpopular (I’ve read similar comments elsewhere), I quite like it!

      I think I’d have to go back quite a bit for the last NR I’ve really enjoyed – not sure what’s changed about her writing. Maybe it’s me…

  3. I’ll have to check out the Goodman book. I haven’t read anything by her. I decided to give the NR book a pass. I don’t like books about obsession…lol. I haven’t been reading many of her books lately either. I haven’t read either of the other authors.

    • Maybe it’s time for me to give up on NR. Old habits die hard!

      I’ve been totally glomming this time travel series over the past week (hence the radio silence here!). Will post a bit more about it, probably when I finish all seven books…

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