Tag Archives: Adult

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed That Weren’t My Typical Read

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For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new theme and everyone is invited to join in! (Note: all book cover images in this post link to that book’s Goodreads page.)

Today’s Theme: Ten Books I Enjoyed That Weren’t My Typical Genre

This week’s theme was really hard for me, and if I weren’t already making an effort to read more broadly, this would be a serious kick in the pants for me! I had to cheat a lot with this list, and most of my “atypical” genres aren’t really all that atypical – most of them are just romance sub-genres I tend to avoid. That being said, most of the ways I want to expand my reading focus on exploring different cultures and perspectives rather than genres, and I’m okay with that, at least for now. So with that out of the way, here are my top ten!

Young Adult

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)  Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers, #1)  Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda  The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – Science Fiction is one genre that I feel like I should love, but I can rarely get into. I definitely did not have that problem with Illuminae. The fascinating format and action-packed plot kept me racing through the story and I finished it in a couple sittings!

Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron – I’ve reviewed both this book and it’s sequel, so you may have seen them on here before. It’s genre-nonconformity makes this series hard to describe to others, and I was initially hesitant to pick it up, but I’m so glad I did!

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – I can be a little wary of YA Contemporary, but more than that, I almost never read books from the perspective of one male main character. This is definitely something I’d like to change!

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh – I adored this book, and retellings/YA romance aren’t exactly a stretch for me. I’m including this one because it’s also a more diverse YA novel, taking place in historical Persia and having been written by a woman with a mixed-race heritage. We absolutely need more diverse perspectives!

Adult

Venetia  Fortune's Pawn (Paradox, #1)  Hard to Be Good (Hard Ink, #3.5)  A Spear of Summer Grass  Silver Lining

Venetia by Georgette Heyer – I usually shy away from purely historical romances, despite being a lover of Jane Austen. This is largely because I often run into historically accurate context (like discrimination and xenophobia) that detract from my enjoyment of the romance. I didn’t encounter that in Venetia, though it does crop up occasionally in other Heyer novels.

Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach – Here’s another Sci Fi! Just like I mentioned with Illuminae, this one was seriously action-packed, and it sucked me into the story.

Hard To Be Good by Laura Kaye – This novella was my first M/M romance, and I loved it 🙂 I was already a big fan of Kaye’s work, so I was more than willing to step out of my box for this one. It’s a good thing, too, because I discovered a new sub-genre to enjoy!

A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn – Here’s another Historical Romance. This one did have a couple cringe-worthy historical scenarios, but the African setting was vibrant and engaging, and the story was fascinating.

Silver Lining by Maggie Osborne – I have to admit, I only picked this American western historical romance up because it was a book club pick. I won’t be reaching out for the genre again any time soon, but I can say that Silver Lining made me laugh, and I’m really glad I gave it a shot.

Top of my TBR

Akata Witch (Akata Witch, #1)

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor – For my tenth pick, I’m going with another diverse book that’s on the top of my TBR pile! This is a YA Fantasy taking place in Nigeria, and the blerb sounds fantastic 😀

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Which books shook things up for you? Link your own Top Ten Tuesday in the comments!

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Series Review: Servants of the Fate by Sarah Fine

Marked (Servants of Fate, #1)  Claimed (Servants of Fate, #2)  Fated (Servants of Fate, #3)

Servants of the Fate by Sarah Fine
Marked: 4 of 5 stars
Claimed: 4 of 5 stars
Fated: 5 of 5 stars

Series Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

She laid her cool palms over the backs of his hands. “You’re making this so hard.”

“Good. We’re almost there, then.” He ducked his head until they were nose to nose. “My plan is to make it impossible.”

Servants of the Fate is an adult paranormal/urban fantasy trilogy, with a hefty dose of Greek mythology thrown in. Each book follows a Ferry sibling, a long-living descendant of a family that ferries souls into the afterlife after they die. The setting is post-apocalyptic Boston, and due to environmental disasters, it has been transformed into a dangerous network of canals (think Venice). The world is a fascinating blend of dystopian/urban dangers, the surviving modern technology, and mythological beings – namely ferrymen, Keres, Moros, and the Fates.

Each novel features its own main couple, with their own romance, but the overarching trilogy plot is also compelling, and everything comes together excitingly in Fated.

I really enjoyed this series! It has a blend of both YA and Adult themes that add up to a winning combination for me. As with Fine’s Guards of the Shadowlands trilogy, I was hooked within the first couple of chapters, and I raced through the whole series in less than a week. It helps that I had a great time reading them, and I was always dying to know what would happen next, even without cliffhangers.

Recommendation: Read this if you are a fan of YA urban fantasy with some sexy times thrown in, especially if you’re intrigued by Greek mythology!

Minute Review: Mercury Striking by Rebecca Zanetti

Mercury Striking (The Scorpius Syndrome, #1)
Mercury Striking by Rebecca Zanetti (The Scorpius Syndrome, Book 1)
My Rating: 3 of 5 stars

“If there are bullets, I’m between you and them. If you get taken, I’m hunting you down till my last breath. And if you end up in hell, I’ll storm the f*cking place until the fires go out.”

Mercury Striking was a whirlwind read for me, because every time I picked it up, I couldn’t seem to put it down without knowing what was coming next. It was a little more “alpha” than my usual read, but the overarching plot was intriguing and I’m curious to see what direction book 2 will take.

Recommendation: Read this if you love action-packed, post-apocalyptic romances full of alpha heroes and heroes-to-be. I also recommend this to romance readers who like comprehensive series plot despite each book focusing on a different main couple.

***

(This ARC was generously provided through Net Galley for an honest review.)

Minute Review: Love Me Tenor by Annabeth Albert

Love Me Tenor (Perfect Harmony, #2)
Love Me Tenor by Annabeth Albert (Perfect Harmony, Book 2)
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Release Date: 2/16/2016

He cuddled into Jalen, burrowing against him until they were both under the blankets, Trevor’s head on Jalen’s chest, Jalen’s arms around him.

Not touching. Um. Yeah. That was going to work out well.

I read this in the middle of an Annabeth Albert binge, and I’m so glad I did. Set with the reality TV backdrop of a boy band competition, the writing style is conversational and the contemporary plot of singing and romance will suck you in. It’s a perfect guilty pleasure book that can be read as a standalone or as part of its companion series.

Recommendation: Read this if you love M/M contemporary romance and the goofiness of reality TV talent competitions. Oh, and LOTS of steamy adult scenes…

***

(This ARC was generously provided through Net Galley for an honest review.)

Review: Love in the Light by Laura Kaye

Love in the Light (Hearts in Darkness, #2)
Love in the Light by Laura Kaye (Hearts in Darkness, Book 2)
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Release Date: 1/12/16

Note: This review is for the much anticipated sequel to my favorite novella. To learn more about book 1, check out my review of Hearts in Darkness.

“I love you so much it feels like a part of me is gone when we’re not together. I love you because you’re beautiful and kind and smart and funny. Because you accepted me when I didn’t even accept myself.”

I have to admit, I had mixed feelings when I learned that there would be a sequel to Hearts in Darkness. I think that stems from the fact that I loved it so much as it was – not every great story needs another installment, and some things are perfect just as they are. That being said, I’ve loved everything I’ve read from Kaye, so I knew I had to get my hands on this as soon as possible. If anyone could do justice to an extension of Makenna and Caden’s story, it would be her.

While I didn’t love this one as much as its predecessor, I wasn’t disappointed in the least.

Love in the Light is really Caden’s story as he confronts the demons of his past and learns to hold on to the future he could have with Makenna. This makes for a more somber story than Hearts in Darkness, but it’s also more realistic, with real human struggles and emotions. One thing I love about Kaye’s work is that she’s not afraid to confront dark issues like depression, PTSD, and thoughts of suicide. When she writes about heroes who’ve known tragedy, they face many of the aftereffects that real humans experience in those circumstances.

In this story, Caden is forced to confront those aftereffects and find a way to move on with his life. Thankfully, he has friends, mentors, and Makenna to help him fight his demons.

All in all, Hearts in Darkness remains my favorite novella, and I’m glad to know what happens with Makenna and Caden down the road. I got the best of both worlds with this – a pleasing sequel that adds to the story without detracting from the appeal of Hearts in Darkness as a standalone.

***

(This ARC was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.)

Minute Review: Storm Warrior by Dani Harper

Storm Warrior (Grim, #1)
Storm Warrior by Dani Harper (Grim, Book 1)
My Rating: 3 of 5 stars

He towered over her, all rugged power and muscle, but she was assessing his usefulness this time, not his appeal. Morgan had a patient waiting, and she was all business now.

“Rhys, I need your help.”

“My sword arm and my shield are yours to command,” he said solemnly.

Uh huh. “Actually, it’s your hands I’m going to need.”

This was a fun, quick read about a rural veterinarian and a Celtic gladiator who was cursed to live eternally as a grim. The paranormal drama (Rhys and Morgan vs. the Tylwyth Teg) added a lot to the story, but the relationship drama (Morgan refusing to believe Rhys’ story and Rhys refusing to show her the abundant evidence) kept this from being a higher rating. That being said, I’d like to pick up book two to give this series another try.

Recommendation: Read this if you fantasize about naked, animal-loving gladiators, or if you’re a lover of giant dogs 🙂

Holiday Minute Review: Unwrapping Her Perfect Match by Kat Latham

Unwrapping Her Perfect Match (London Legends, #3.5)Unwrapping Her Perfect Match by Kat Latham (London Legends, Book 3.5)
My Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

“Oh look,” John said, holding up a cross-stitching kit that said, ‘Rugby’s a sport played by men with oddly shaped balls.’ “One for me.”

“You should get it.”

“If I do, will you teach me how to knit it?”

“That’s cross stitching.”

He shrugged. “Same thing, right?”

“Sure. About like how rugby and football are the same thing.”

He dropped the kit back on the table. “Blasphemy.”

This is an entertaining novella that is part of a larger contemporary romance series, though I read it as a standalone without any confusion. My favorite element was the London setting, which kept reminding me of Love Actually. In fact, the story could have easily been woven in with the film’s other short love stories. Then, of course, there’s the cast of professional rugby players 🙂 It was nice to read about insta-chemistry rather than insta-love, and I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that our heroine is a neither ultra-petite nor a wafe-like model (she’s 6’1″ and healthily proportioned, while he’s a 6’7″ muscular rugby god).

Elements of Holiday Cheer: Christmas in London, charity auctions, holiday baking, holiday crafts, and family bonding.

Holiday Pairing: Any variety of holiday cookies! There is a surprising amount of cooking and baking in this novella, so be prepared for some serious cravings!

Recommendation: This one is great if you enjoy holiday Hallmark movies, occasional British slang, and hot rugby players.