Characters so real and honest that when tragedy strikes it’s shocking and chilling and so utterly traumatizing. Five hundred stars. Because it’s that damn good. Don’t read this book unless you like reading books with a hand over your mouth and a storm in your heart. But yes, do read it, because the writing is too good to miss.
There are some lulls in the plot early on, and at times it’s a serious slow burn, building lives and characters with lots of talk of ballet. I’ll admit I almost set it aside. Don’t set this book aside. Keep going. Once you reach the thick of it there is no option to set it down until you reach the end.
I read books to find complex, real characters who temporarily–and sometimes forever–become a part of me. I read books to find raw human struggle and survival and portrayals of deepest love. This book has all of that.
THE MAN I LOVE (THE FISH TALES BOOK 1) by Suanne Laqueur
Amazon | Goodreads | Suanne Laqueur’s website
This book has everything I love to read (and write). Ancient magic, underground war. Detailed modern setting with an undercurrent of fantasy. A hero haunted by the past. A heroine with her own demons. Both hunted, both fighting. Reluctant allies. Equals. Soul mates. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
If you like my books, you have to check out this series. Right now the first book is only $.99 on Kindle!
THE SCRIBE by Elizabeth Hunter
Amazon | Goodreads | Elizabeth Hunter’s website
I wrote a review on Goodreads immediately after finishing NOBODY BUT US, and although it’s a bit frantic and simple, I can’t come up with anything better. So here it is. This book will gut you. In the best way possible. And right now it’s only $3.99 on Kindle.
OH MY GOD. I hate this book. I love this book. Five screaming stars. Thank you to the author for having the courage to do that. Poignant, explosive, so brutally romantic.
I do have to add, though, that if you’ve read my books you know my definition of “romantic” is a bit, uh, weird? Twisted? Gory? I’m surprised I don’t get hate mail over what TB does to Liv in Chapter 33 of THE ALIGNMENT.
NOBODY BUT US by Kristin Halbrook
Amazon | Goodreads | Kristin Halbrook’s website
THE RAVEN BOYS was so entertaining on so many levels I could barely stand it. It was hard to read without shouting aloud at the end of every page. What would I be shouting? No idea. Gibberish probably. Or maybe fangirl squeals. My brain was so consumed by great characters and story it had no power left to form words.
THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater
Amazon | Goodreads | Maggie Stiefvater’s website
THE GASLIGHT DOGS is my favorite read of 2016. It was published six years ago and I don’t know why I waited so long to read it.
Karin Lowachee’s writing is filled to the brim with powerful storytelling enriched by poetic, expert prose, and this book is proof of that. The care that goes into each and every word leaves me speechless. And the characters… their struggles, their reluctant unions, how human and authentic they feel… at times in this book it was almost overwhelming. I often had to set it down just to catch my breath.
I love Sjenn, her peaceful strength, her morals, her refusal to accept the violence that was coming into her land. I found her to be the perfect anchor to Jarrett’s (understandable) bitterness and hostility. Their journey from the comfort of their known worlds into each other’s was both beautiful and devastating. The layers of emotion and human struggle are piled thick, and I know it will take me a long time to fully process it all.
And that ending? My heart! I know there’s been mention of a second book and a third. If it’s really happening I know it’s probably years from being published but I need the second book now. My advice to readers is to buy this book now but hold onto it until #2 is published. Maybe #3 as well.
Wait, what am I saying? Read this book!! You can read it again when #2 is out. Because if you wait, you’re going to be screaming just like I am. Why did I wait so long to read this book?!
I have such hope for these characters, and they are going to be on my mind until I can finish their story.
THE GASLIGHT DOGS is alternate history/fantasy/literary fiction. Some readers classify it as steampunk but I don’t think that’s accurate at all. Don’t let the alternate history part throw you though. This book is a story about people. The setting is historical but the story is timeless. And the fantasy element is just perfect. There’s no romance but it’s really not needed. The relationships built in this book are just as touching as any love story.
THE GASLIGHT DOGS by Karin Lowachee
Amazon | Goodreads | Karin Lowachee’s website
Oh, and if you do read and enjoy this book please post a review on Amazon and Goodreads. Right now it only has a 3-star average which is outrageous.
This isn’t a recommendation. It’s an order. Read this book.
A tormented hero, nurtured back to life by the heroine’s quiet strength. It’s done so well it’s like a burn inside you as you read, as the plot unfolds to become so much more. Not that you need any more, but that’s what THE LEOPARD KING gives you. A powerful love story and so much more.
Ann Aguirre writes emotion with such striking simplicity, such depth and power. Her prose is magic. Every line sings. Nobody does romantic torment better than her. Nobody. And riding above it is an intricate plot of kingdoms in struggle, secrets, manipulation, war. A modern world so much like our own but so different, drawn with such detail it feels like our own.
Normally I don’t write a recommendation until I’ve finished the book. In this case I make an exception because Ann Aguirre can not let me down. She could kill off every character and I’d still be fangirling like crazy. I also make an exception because this book is only $2.99 on Kindle for a limited time–only a few more days I think. If you’ve never read Ann Aguirre that’s a great price to try a new author.
Fans of my books, you’re not allowed to read any more of my books until you read this one.
Okay I’m kidding. ACTUALLY NO I’M NOT.
THE LEOPARD KING by Ann Aguirre
Amazon | Goodreads | Ann Aguirre’s website
Note: There’s a lot of detailed sex in this book. A lot more than what’s in mine. So if that’s not your thing, be warned. Don’t let it scare you away from such a great book though. Just know than when they start going at it, you might want to skim. :)
RADIANCE by Grace Draven is another book I devoured due to how much I loved it. My lack of spare time was inconsequential.
The love story here? Oh my, the love story. It’s perfect and refreshing and funny and so so romantic and sexy and these two characters are just plain magic together. They’re so fleshed out I’m convinced they’re real, living in some other realm.
Yes, there’s a larger plot than the romance, in a expertly built fantasy world, and it’s strange, because there’s a decent amount of tension, not really a lot, not enough to explain why I was madly turning pages and couldn’t put this book down. I can’t explain why it’s so good it’s just SO GOOD because of the love story. THE LOVE STORY!! Did I mention the love story?
Fans of my books will love this one.
RADIANCE by Grace Draven
Amazon | Goodreads | Grace Draven’s website