I went on vacation. Maybe you didn't know. Above you can see the dash of our minivan. We spent a lot of time in the van, so, despite taking a husband and four kids with me, I managed to do a LOT of reading. (Yay!) Some of it even happened poolside instead of in the van! (Double Yay!) Now I'm home and writing up reviews, but I know a lot of the reviews won't show up here for weeks, so I couldn't resist a little preview. So here's what I read on vacation:
Just What He Wanted by HelenKay Dimon - This was my first HelenKay book (other than some short story anthologies I read years ago.) I liked it. My only complaint is that now I've got several books in this series I want to read!
Mercy Bound by Kele Moon - This was pretty short and I liked it, but I wanted more. Not more sex, because there was plenty of that, but more of the world and the people. Interesting look at humanoid aliens!
Closer by Charlotte Stein - I'll go almost anywhere with Charlotte Stein. This time it was rubbing up against strangers on a train. Another pretty short one that was just right for me. Now I need more Charlotte Stein! (I'm working my way through her backlist.)
Breaking by Claire Kent - this is a novella sequel to Escorted, featuring the same characters. It was written to stand alone, but I really think the whole thing had more meaning because I read the first one. A novella about a man who uses sex to distract his partner from a discussion he doesn't want to have - that makes for a LOT of sex. At least Ander is very good at it. :)
Lamplighter's Love by Delphine Dryden - I'm working my way through Delphine Dryden's backlist, too. I REALLY enjoyed this one right up until the ending. Ugh. The steampunk world was really cool. The strong, intelligent woman was awesome. The ending made me want to pull my hair out. That's a lot of feeling to have for a novella.
The Chocolate Touch by Laura Florand How have I not read this series? I'll tell you how. I didn't think it was hot enough. I read something about this book (4th in the series, I think) that mentioned that it was hotter than the others and I was sold. And, once again, my biggest problem? Now I want to read the first books in the series. I haven't been transported by a book like this in a long time. It made me want to go to France and eat chocolate. I settled for the chocolate, but it was still a very good read.
Unscripted by Jayne Denker This wasn't bad, but it was much more chick-lit than I like. First person POV from the heroine only, and has lots of humiliation for her to endure. Just not my cup of tea.
Her Favorite Rival by Sarah Mayberry - I'm a Sarah Mayberry fan. This book is exactly what I expect from her. Very well written realistic contemporary romance. She is so good at what she does and this book was AWESOME! Co-workers have the hots for each other, but neither thinks office romance is a very good idea. This is two intelligent, hard working people falling in love, and I loved it!
Curio by Cara McKenna - I'd heard about this book. The male prostitute book. Like I'll follow Charlotte Stein almost anywhere - I feel the same way about Cara McKenna. Still, I hesitated with this one, until I read Escorted by Claire Kent a few months ago. That male prostitute story really worked for me. I think I liked this one even better. They've got a lot in common, though. Both stories are told from the heroine's POV only, and both have novella sequels. Curio has several sequels. I'm definitely checking them out!
Never a Hero by Marie Sexton - This is Tucker Springs book #5. I want to move to Tucker Springs and be friends with these people. I think this story was my favorite in the series, which I've read totally out of order. I still need to go back and read book 1!
Making it Last by Ruthie Knox - This was by far my best read of the entire vacation. I never cry when I read and this book had me tearing up. It's a novella sequel (I guess those are a thing now.) to How To Misbehave. It catches up with Amber and Tony several years and three kids later. They've barely got any time together. The construction market is tight, and that's got Tony working way too much and traveling way too far to get jobs. Amber just sent her youngest off to school and she's feeling a little lost. A destination wedding in Jamaica gets them away from it all, but herding their kids along makes it not much of a vacation. This story was so good and so real. I need everyone to read it so I can talk to them about how much they loved it!
I'm still working on Exotica by Eden Bradley and I just started The Stone Guardian by Danielle Monsch. Both are Netgalley copies. Exotica is already out, and The Stone Guardian comes out on July 15. I really want to love The Stone Guardian. It's a GARGOYLE ROMANCE. You guys! How cool is that? And it's the first in a series, so I'm crossing my fingers. I just got through the first chapter/prelude. The thing is I've got tons of laundry and other chores to do before I have a chance to read. Unless I take my kids to the pool... then I can read poolside and pretend I'm still on vacation!
So, how is your summer reading going? Have you read anything really good or really bad this summer?