I can’t believe we’re getting towards the end of summer.
There are four new releases that interest me this month, of which I’ve read three. Which is pretty good going considering my severe lack of reading time recently…
KJ Charles’s SPECTRED ISLE (historical paranormal): KJ Charles is 100% an autobuy author for me. She has this knack of interweaving the paranormal with the ordinary so seamlessly, while getting the period feel just right. This series promises much.
Archaeologist Saul Lazenby has been all but unemployable since his disgrace during the War. Now he scrapes a living working for a rich eccentric who believes in magic. Saul knows it’s a lot of nonsense…except that he begins to find himself in increasingly strange and frightening situations. And at every turn he runs into the sardonic, mysterious Randolph Glyde.
Randolph is the last of an ancient line of arcanists, commanding deep secrets and extraordinary powers as he struggles to fulfil his family duties in a war-torn world. He knows there’s something odd going on with the haunted-looking man who keeps turning up in all the wrong places. The only question for Randolph is whether Saul is victim or villain.
Saul hasn’t trusted anyone in a long time. But as the supernatural threat grows, along with the desire between them, he’ll need to believe in evasive, enraging, devastatingly attractive Randolph. Because he may be the only man who can save Saul’s life—or his soul.
Sarah Rees Brennan’s IN OTHER LANDS (YA fantasy): I devoured this portal fantasy when she serialised it on her blog a while back. This polished and expanded version is even better – it’s definitely one of my favourites of the year, with hidden depths underneath all the snark. I loved how SRB combines social commentary with humour, and Elliot shines here as the pacifist hero who grows up but never loses his sense of wonder.
Sometimes it’s not the kid you expect who falls through to magicland, sometimes it’s . . . Elliot. He’s grumpy, nerdy, and appalled by both the dearth of technology and the levels of fitness involved in swinging swords around. He’s a little enchanted by the elves and mermaids. Despite his aversion to war, work, and most people (human or otherwise) he finds that two unlikely ideas, friendship and world peace, may actually be possible.
Santino Hassell’s ILLEGAL CONTACT (contemporary romance): I’m a sucker for sports romance, and I really like how Santino Hassell grounds his books in current-day New York. This was the perfect summer escapist read, and I’m really looking forward to the next in this series.
The rules of the game don’t apply off the field in this first Barons novel.
New York Barons tight end Gavin Brawley is suspended from the team and on house arrest after a video of him brawling goes viral. Gavin already has a reputation as a jerk with a temper on and off the field—which doesn’t help him once he finds himself on the wrong side of the law. And while he’s been successful professionally, he’s never been lucky when it comes to love.
Noah Monroe is a recent college grad looking for a job—any job—to pay off his mounting student debt. Working as Gavin’s personal assistant/babysitter seems like easy money. But Noah isn’t prepared for the electrifying tension between him and the football player. He’s not sure if he’d rather argue with Gavin or tackle him to the floor. But both men know the score, and neither is sure what will happen once Gavin’s timeout is over…
Megan Derr’s THE HEART OF THE LOST STAR (fantasy romance): I went on a Megan Derr glom earlier this year, and am still buying pretty much all of her new releases. Her books are best described as total comfort reads.
Kamir is on the verge of losing everything. Knowing full well he can’t meet the ultimatum his parents have issued, he instead finally puts in motion his plans to live completely independent of them. His plans are interrupted, however, by the unexpected return of his despised ex-husband—and thrown even further into upheaval when he ends up comforting the man he’s secretly loved for years.
Jader may not know where he comes from, but he knows where he belongs and what he wants—until he helps rescue some stranded Bentan travelers, one of whom look almost exactly like Jader, throwing his life and everything he thought he knew into tumult. Scared and overwhelmed, Jader flees—and lands unexpectedly in the arms of a man he’s always seen, but never really noticed.
(I probably should say that Karen Chance’s latest Cassie Palmer, RIDE THE STORM, also came out this month. I’ve been a long-standing fan of this UF series, but RtS was such a dragged-out mess. I really struggled to finish it, and I may have just given up on Cassie)