Another late-ish post, but June has honestly been a month of way-too-much-to-do-and-very-little-time. The mini-heatwave we’ve had this week has not helped at all – I just wanted to collapse in the evenings after braving the London tube home. London does not do heat well.
And a link for a good cause – Authors for Grenfell Tower is raising funds for the British Red Cross. Signed books etc galore. Auctions end Tuesday 27 June.
Onto the new releases this month:
Tanya Huff’s A PEACE DIVIDED (military SF): Tanya Huff is now an auto-buy author for me, regardless of what she writes. I really enjoyed this one – she explores the aftermath of war in this series, and while it would help if you’ve some familiarity with the linked Confederation books, this works relatively well as a standalone series. I’m always impressed by how Huff juggles multiple POVs with ease, and I definitely didn’t see that ending coming.
Ex-Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr drew together an elite corps of friends and allies to take on covert missions that the Justice Department and the Corps could not officially touch. When the scientists doing a preliminary archaeological dig on a Class Two planet are taken hostage, Torin’s team is sent to free them. The situation is further complicated by the fact that the mercenaries holding them are a mix of Confederation and Primacy forces, and are looking for a weapon with power beyond anything previously known. Torin must contend with the politics of peace that have added members of the Primacy, former enemies, to her team. She will have to sift through shifting loyalties as she discovers that the line between “us” and “them” is anything but straight.
KJ Charles’s AN UNNATURAL VICE (historical romance): Another one I’ve already read. I was a bit lukewarm about the first book in KJ Charles’s Victorian-set Sins of the City series, but this enemies-to-lovers story worked much better for me. I liked all the spiritualist behind-the-scenes reveals and the London setting came alive (as always).
In the sordid streets of Victorian London, unwanted desire flares between two bitter enemies brought together by a deadly secret.
Crusading journalist Nathaniel Roy is determined to expose spiritualists who exploit the grief of bereaved and vulnerable people. First on his list is the so-called Seer of London, Justin Lazarus. Nathaniel expects him to be a cheap, heartless fraud. He doesn’t expect to meet a man with a sinful smile and the eyes of a fallen angel—or that a shameless swindler will spark his desires for the first time in years.
Justin feels no remorse for the lies he spins during his séances. His gullible clients simply bore him. Hostile, disbelieving, utterly irresistible Nathaniel is a fascinating challenge. And as their battle of wills and wits heats up, Justin finds he can’t stop thinking about the man who’s determined to ruin him.
But Justin and Nathaniel are linked by more than their fast-growing obsession with one another. They are both caught up in an aristocratic family’s secrets, and Justin holds information that could be lethal. As killers, fanatics, and fog close in, Nathaniel is the only man Justin can trust—and, perhaps, the only man he could love.
Yoon Ha Lee’s RAVEN STRATAGEM (military SF): The first book in this series was incredibly absorbing, but also made my head hurt at times – however, all reviews indicate this follow-up is much more accessible. I’ll still wait until I’ve a solid block of spare time to dive into this one.
War. Heresy. Madness.
Shuos Jedao is unleashed. The long-dead general, preserved with exotic technologies and resurrected by the hexarchate to put down a heretical insurrection, has possessed the body of gifted young captain Kel Cheris.
Now, General Kel Khiruev’s fleet, racing to the Severed March to stop a fresh incursion by the enemy Hafn, has fallen under Jedao’s sway. Only Khiruev’s aide, Lieutenant Colonel Kel Brezan, appears able to shake off the influence of the brilliant but psychotic Jedao.
The rogue general seems intent on defending the hexarchate, but can Khiruev – or Brezan – trust him? For that matter, can they trust Kel Command, or will their own rulers wipe out the whole swarm to destroy one man?
Yoon Ha Lee’s critically acclaimed Machineries of Empire trilogy continues with Raven Stratagem, coming from Solaris Summer 2017.
Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy’s STAY (contemporary romance): My current read, and I’m totally loving this sports romance. These writing duo are on fire.
Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never even met?
Hailey Taylor Emery has a hunch that her favorite client at Fetch—an anonymous virtual assistant service—is actually hockey star Matt Eriksson.
Although it’s against the rules for her to check his file, she’s 95% sure she spends at least part of each day texting with her lifelong crush and catering to his every need. Still nursing a wounded heart thanks to her recent breakup, Hailey is perfectly content with some harmless online flirting… until she has to meet her client. Face to face. Cue: utter panic.
Matt Eriksson is no stranger to heartbreak. He’s still not over the destruction of his marriage, and it sucks to be the only guy on the team who knows the truth—that hockey and long-term relationships are a toxic mix. He barely sees his kids, and dealing with his ex makes him feel insane. The only person in his life who seems to understand is someone who won’t show her pretty face.
But it’s nothing that a pair of fourth row hockey seats can’t fix. Hailey can’t resist the offer. Matt can’t resist Hailey. Good thing he doesn’t have to. Fire up the kiss cam!
Warning: Contains rabid hockey fans, misunderstood dick pics, hockey players at the opera and exploding ovaries.
Santino Hassell’s OVERSIGHT (paranormal romance): Quite possibly my next read. I didn’t love the first book in this series (great start, but then fizzled out – possibly suffered a bit from having to set up the whole series), but he’s still an auto-buy for me.
Spoiler Alert! The following blurb contains spoilers for Insight, book one of The Community.
Holden Payne has it all . . . or so he thinks. As heir to the founder of the Community—an organization that finds, protects, and manages psychics—he’s rich, powerful, and treated like royalty. But after a series of disappearances and murders rock the Community, he’s branded the fall guy for the scandal and saddled with a babysitter.
Sixtus Rossi is a broad-shouldered, tattooed lumbersexual with a man-bun and a steely gaze. He’s also an Invulnerable—supposedly impervious to both psychic abilities and Holden’s charms. It’s a claim Holden takes as a challenge. Especially if sleeping with Six may help him learn whether the Community had more to do with the disappearances than they claimed.
As Holden uncovers the truth, he also finds himself getting in deep with the man sent to watch him. His plan to seduce Six for information leads to a connection so intense that some of Six’s shields come crashing down. And with that comes a frightening realization: Holden has to either stand by the Community that has given him everything, or abandon his old life to protect the people he loves.
Out June 26
Maybes for the month:
Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell’s MATURE CONTENT (contemporary romance): Their Cyberlove series has a bit too much angst for me and overdoes the hurt/comfort trope, but I’ll probably end up buying this at some point.
Diana Gabaldon’s SEVEN STONES TO FALL (historical): Another of those short story collections with mostly previously-published material, but with a couple of new pieces. I try to borrow these collections from the library.