Random (but not really)

Monday, September 28, 2020

Comfort Reads, Part the Second

As I said yesterday, I was somewhat (but not wholly) surprised to see that a lot of my comfort reading was either romance or romance-adjacent.

The reason it isn’t a surprise is because romance has a guaranteed HEA (happily ever after), and right now, I need some kind of guarantee that things are going to be ok—even if those things are only fictional.

Trick of the LightOn the romance-adjacent front is the Trickster series by Rob Thurman: Trick of the Light (2009), The Grimrose Path (2010)

I love the Cal Leandros series—except that it ended badly and she apparently wrote what was supposed to be the final book in the series, so I never read the last book that was actually published in the series. That give me a sense of unease, plus Cal has a lot of angst (much of it justified) and that’s just a little more darkness than I can handle right now. So instead I read another duology set in the same world.

This story has some of the same feel as the Cal stories: Griff and Zeke are somewhat parallels to Cal & Nico, as well as the Korsak Brothers. But Trixa is female, and as a narrator–unreliable as hell. Which is fine.

As much as I hate them in real life, I adore fictional trickster figures. Plus, she’s more chaotic good, which is always a little easier to read. Chaotic evil tricksters tend to be villains—and generally paper thin ones at that.

Cry WolfI’m in the middle of re-reading the Alpha & Omega series by Patricia Briggs: Alpha and Omega: A Companion Novella to Cry Wolf (2007), Cry Wolf (2008), Hunting Ground (2009), Fair Game (2012)

This series is a little shorter than the Mercy Thompson series, and I’m saving Mercy for if things don’t get better (although I will totally skip Iron Kissed, because I just can’t read that right now.)

Although in this series Anna is badly damaged by her past, the series—especially the earlier books—are about her healing, as well as learning to save herself. It’s very cathartic to see Anna rebuild her life. And it’s also good to see the work that she and Charles put into their relationship—not just because of Anna’s past, but also because of who Charles had to become for his father, to keep the werewolves safe.

But this series may well not be for everyone since Anna’s abuse is referred to throughout the series, especially in the earlier books. And although most everything is off the page, there are harmed children in more than one book.

But the books do always end on a positive upbeat note, with Charles and Anna having a stronger relationship as the series goes on.

Family MattersEverything I have read by Angel Martinez is MM or MF romance and quite explicit. Which is definitely not going to be for everyone. But her fantasy is extremely interesting and very well done.

Uncommonly Tidy Poltergeists (2017) is a novella about a man trying to deal with a haunting. Also, Taro is ace, which is not a common characteristic in romance, so the story navigates the relationship he develops as well as trying to figure out how to deal with his suspected ghosts. It’s a very sweet story, and leaves me feeling ridiculously happy.

The Brandywine Investigations series Open for Business (2016), Family Matters (2018) has some wonderful world building, that works extremely well with the MM focus of her stories. The gods (from Greek mythology as well as all the other pantheons) exist in the world, and have to keep themselves hidden from people, while also keeping themselves busy.

Each book has three stories, and each story centers are two different characters, although Hades appears quite often throughout the books. My favorite stories are the first, where Hades decides to become a private detective after Persephone sues for divorce, needing to become her own woman, and the forth story, which involves Dionysus and a Minotaur.

These stories are definitely not for everyone, but they are delightful (as are all the stories of hers I have read.)

The Wolf at the DoorThen there is Charlie Adhara’s Big Bad Wolf series: The Wolf at the Door (2018), The Wolf at Bay (2018), Thrown to the Wolves (2019), which is officer of the law agent dealing with the supernatural in a world where the supernatural is not supposed to exist.

The world building here is excellent, but I also really love the characters, and how throughout the story past injuries are not things lightly shaken off.

Cooper joined the BSI after a werewolf attack that led to some ugly scars as well as the loss of part of his intestines. He spends the series having to live around the problems and limitations that caused, while still managing to be a good agent.

There is a lot of boinking in these books, which makes it not for everyone, but the mysteries are quite good, and watching the relationship between the two grow over the course of the series is very lovely. Especially since both characters are flawed in their own ways and need to come to terms with those flaws in themselves and each other.

So those are the romance-adjacent books I’ve been comfort reading.

Got any good comfort reads for me?

Powered by WordPress

books main pictures cats e-mail