Random (but not really)

Saturday, February 1, 2020

The Books of January 2020

I believe I am going to remain in denial about it being February for another few days. Because WHERE HAS WINTER BEEN? I have not been able to take a SINGLE HIKE in the snow.


Because of the super crappy weather, and because the news has been destroying my calm, I’ve been doing a LOT of reading. I’ve been aiming for comfort reads, and mostly found them, but there were a couple of books that really fell short for me (including a DNF).

What was good? Talia Hibbert is marvelous. I’ve almost read my way through her backlist and then I’ll be stuck waiting for her to write more.

I hate waiting.

C.S. Poe wrote several books that were just what I needed. (I still think her fated-mates penguin shifter tales was one of my favorite stories to read last year). She writes LGBT mysteries and romances and the mysteries are good, but the romances are lovely. And if you don’t like boinking in your books, Joy (States of Love) is boink free.

Although I was kinda MEH on Annabeth Albert‘s Portland series, her Alaska series has been lovely (there is HIKING!) and I’ve really enjoyed reading it.

ThawElyse Springer‘s Thaw is another LGBT romance without any graphic boinking–because the main character is Ace. So lovely.

Last year I re-read Drew Hayes Fred, the Vampire Accountant series, which I loved, because Undeading Bells was coming out. This wasn’t my favorite book in the series, but it was still quite good and enjoyable and you should really read the series.


Merry Inkmas (2017) Talia Hibbert Rating: 8/10
Get a Life, Chloe Brown (2019) Talia Hibbert (Brown Sisters) Rating: 8/10
RAFE: A Buff Male Nanny (2018) Rebekah Weatherspoon (Not Rated)

Romance, LGBT

Joy (States of Love) (2017) C.S. Poe Rating: 9.5/10
Hither, Page (2019) Cat Sebastian Rating: 8.5/10
Arctic Sun (2019) Annabeth Albert (Frozen Hearts) Rating: 8.5/10
Arctic Wild (2019) Annabeth Albert (Frozen Hearts) Rating: 8.5/10
Status Update (2015) Annabeth Albert (#gaymers) Rating: 8.5/10
Thaw (2017) Elyse Springer (Seasons of Love Book) Rating: 8.5/10
The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky (2019) Mackenzi Lee (Montague Siblings) Rating: 8/10
American Love Story (2019) Adriana Herrera (Dreamers) Rating: 7/10
A Matter of Disagreement (2018) EE Ottoman Rating: 5.5/10

Hither, PageMystery

Murder by the Seaside (2013) Julie Anne Lindsey (Patience Price Mysteries Series) Rating: 6.5/10

Historical Mystery

The Nun’s Tale (1995) Candace Robb (Owen Archer) Rating: 7.5/10
The King’s Bishop (1996) Candace Robb (Owen Archer) Rating: 7/10
The Art of Theft (2019) Sherry Thomas (The Lady Sherlock Series) Rating: 5/10

Mystery, LGBT

Southernmost Murder (2018) C.S. Poe Rating: 8.5/10
Ramen Assassin (2019) Rhys Ford Rating: 8.5/10

Supernatural Fantasy

Evil Dark (2012) Justin Gustainis (Occult Crimes Unit) Rating: 8/10
The Night Raven (2018) Sarah Painter (Crow Investigations) Rating: 7/10
Black Dog Blues (2014) Rhys Ford Rating: 6/10
Undeading Bells (2019) Drew Hayes (Fred, the Vampire Accountant) Rating: 8/10

Supernatural Fantasy, LGBT

Lime Gelatin and Other Monsters (2016) Angel Martinez (Offbeat Crimes) Rating: 8/10
The Pill Bugs of Time (2016) Angel Martinez (Offbeat Crimes) Rating: 7/10
Skim Blood and Savage Verse (2017) Angel Martinez (Offbeat Crimes) Rating: 7.5/10
Feral Dust Bunnies (2017) Angel Martinez (Offbeat Crimes) Rating: 9/10
Jackalopes and Woofen-Poofs (2017) Angel Martinez (Offbeat Crimes) Rating: 8/10
All the World’s an Undead Stage (2018) Angel Martinez (Offbeat Crimes) Rating: 8/10
Undeading BellsDim Sum Asylum (2017) Rhys Ford Rating: 7.5/10


DNF: His Convenient Husband (2017) Robin Covington

And now: the stats!

All ebooks this month, with 9 re-reads. I’ve got some comics lined up to read, but the burden of having to find my reading glasses has kept bumping them down my TBR pile.


Lots of romance this month, because I desperately need the HEAs. Even the straight-up mysteries I read I was certain were going to end on a positive note. Because I just cannot with anything dark or depressing right now.

Fantasy: 12
Mystery: 15
Romance: 22
Boinking: 17
Historical: 6

Almost all female authors this month. You’ll note that the numbers don’t add up, because I read one book by a non-binary author, and I don’t have a category for that, so I’ll just note it when it happens.

Male: 2
Female: 25
Joint + Anthology: 0
Initials: 1

Since most of the romances were M/M it was mostly male characters. A high number of white characters with no minorities, but I read six mostly British historicals, which is going to heavily skew those numbers. (NOTE: I have several historicals set in Asia, they just aren’t what I’m reading right now.) And unsurprisingly, I read only seven books that didn’t have any LGBT representation. Interestingly, the Candace Robb’s Owen Archer (Set in England in the 1360s) series has had gay characters, including a very complicated character who has been redeemed over several books.

Male: 20
Female: 4
Ensemble: 5
White: 12
Minority: 16
Minority 2ndary: 1
Straight: 7
LGBTQ 2ndary: 3

And that’s what I read the first month of 2020.

Any recommendations for me?!

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