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Cry Wolf

Cry Wolf (2021) Charlie Adhara (Big Bad Wolf) Any resemblance to actual persons or events is coincidental. Though if you do know of a criminal plot involving werewolves that has taken place at any of these locales, that is a coincidence I would love to know about. I love that Cayla–and Coopers interactions with her […]

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing (2020) Charlie Adhara (Big Bad Wolf) It’s the random, unexpected passages that delight me. And then there were the days—not many, but memorable ones—Cooper had come home unexpectedly or woken up a little earlier than usual to find Park “in fur” sticking his considerably longer nose into those impossible-to-reach places while […]

Thrown to the Wolves

Thrown to the Wolves (2019) Charlie Adhara (Big Bad Wolf) Cooper meets Oliver’s family. It goes worse than expected. And one was expecting it to go badly, what with it being a funeral. Cooper put the guidebook down and cleared his throat. This was getting ridiculous. “Did you tell them I was coming?” Park blinked […]

The Wolf at Bay

The Wolf at Bay (2019) Charlie Adhara (Big Bad Wolf) I love the beginning of the book so much. “You’ve been standing here staring at that flower shop for fifteen minutes. So is it for her birthday or anniversary, or are you making up for a fight? Because I’ve been married for thirty-two years, and […]

The Wolf at the Door

The Wolf at the Door (2019) Charlie Adhara (Big Bad Wolf) “It’s a standing joke around the Trust that the real reason behind the coming-out was to combat the number of public indecency charges wolves rack up every year.” “You’ve got exactly twenty-seven hours and then I’m coming in there and trimming you down,” Park […]

Damaged Goods

Damaged Goods (2018) Talia Hibbert (Ravenswood) The worst thing about Samir’s parents—worse than the cruelty, the manipulation, the toxicity—was the fact that Samir had loved them. You would think, with the number of awful things she’d done in her life, that they’d all blur together. But she remembered every desperate, acidic moment. Those two words […]

A Girl Like Her

A Girl Like Her (2018) Talia Hibbert (Ravenswood) Avoiding conflict was his mode of operation. They’d taught him that at basic training, once they’d figured out his hair-trigger temper. Always avoid conflict. “No,” she interrupted. “But you don’t need to cook for me.” “I do,” he said calmly, “because if you die of malnutrition just […]

Paladin’s Hope

Paladin’s Hope (2021) T. Kingfisher (The Saint of Steel) Galen is one of the broken paladins of the Saint of Steel. Like his brothers (and sisters) in arms, he works for the White Rat, and does his best to be helpful. He was one of the two paladins who survived Hollowbind, and the guilt sometimes […]

Paladin’s Strength

Paladin’s Strength (2021) T. Kingfisher (The Saint of Steel) For some reason, every time Galen said”Boss” to Istvhan I kept thinking of Loiosh from Steven Brust’s Vlad Taltos series. “What are you afraid of, Boss?” “Shut up, Loiosh.” “What if she kills you, Boss?” called Galen. “Then either avenge me or put her in charge. […]

Think of England

Think of England (2014) K.J. Charles Set in England in 1904 (Peakholme) had been an extraordinarily modern creation at that time, equipped with the very latest innovations, with running water in all the bathrooms, heated by hot-water radiators and illuminated throughout by electricity from his own hydroelectric generator. “It was a damned business. My company […]

Proper English

Proper English (2019) K.J. Charles Set in England in 1902 If Pat stayed, she would continue running Skirmidge House, and either she would resent Olivia for treating her as an upper servant, or Olivia would resent her for usurping her rights as head of the household Pat did not corset. She had had no mother […]

Paladin’s Grace

Paladin’s Grace (2020) T. Kingfisher (The Saint of Steel) The Rat’s priests fixed things that could be fixed, and when things were broken past all mending, they helped people pick up the pieces. “Gentlemen,” said Beartongue, “I forbid you to smash the Archon’s decor and try to duel with it.” “Yes, your holiness.” “I’ll have […]

The Missing Page

The Missing Page (2021) Cat Sebastian (Page & Sommers) Set in in England in 1947 “The letter from the solicitor said the uncle’s will stipulated that all legatees attend the reading at the family home in Cornwall or forfeit their bequest.” Leo’s eyebrows shot straight up. “Was it his uncle’s dying wish to reenact a […]

Hither, Page

Hither, Page (2019) Cat Sebastian (Page & Sommers) Set in England in 1946. This story reminds me very much of an Agatha Christie, only with boinking. A combination of A Murder is Announced and The Moving Finger. None of the witnesses could suggest a possible motive, nor did any of them think Mrs. Hoggett had […]

The Severed Streets, Audio Book

The Severed Streets, Audio Book (2015) Paul Cornell narrated by Damian Lynch (Shadow Police) TW: murder (on the page), drug use, death of a main character, general horribleness This story astounds me every single time I read or listen to it. ‘Would you please answer that,’ said Sarah, ‘and tell them to fuck off?’ Quill […]

Ex Appeal

Ex Appeal (2022) Cathy Yardley (Ponto Beach Reunion) This follows Gouda Friends and one of the characters is the brother of Tam from that book, but you do not need to have read the previous books for this story. Vinh is very good at what he does–even though what he does isn’t especially good. Aimsley’s […]

Two Wrongs Make a Right

Two Wrongs Make a Right (2022) Chloe Liese (The Wilmot Sisters) I picked up my first book by Chloe Liese because it was highly rated and had a female main character with ASD. I’ve very much enjoyed every book of hers I’ve read since then, although I don’t read them one after another, because they […]

Mortal Follies

Mortal Follies (2023) Alexis Hall Set in alternate England in 1841. This isn’t just a story of love and curses and betrayal and hot springs and sacrifices. It’s a story of all those things told by the most unreliable of story tellers. I am that knavish sprite that frights the maidens of the villagery. I […]

The Mistletoe Motive

The Mistletoe Motive (2021) Chloe Liese Gabriella Di Natale love Christmas. She also loves working in Bailey’s Bookshop, where she can recommend books (especially her favorite romances) to customers. But the store is in trouble. A chain is trying to put them out of business, so the Bailey’s hired another manager–one focused on business–to try […]

Glass Tidings

Glass Tidings (2016) Amy Jo Cousins This story is full of little things. Then he changed his mind and gave the jeans a quick hand wash in the utility sink next to the dryer, unable to stand the thought of all that blood swishing around with Eddie’s clothes in the wash. Eddie didn’t trust anyone […]

Shelter in Garnet Run

Shelter in Garnet Run (2023) Roan Parrish (Garnet Run) We met River Mills in Best Laid Plans as one of the teens who hangs out in Rye’s derelict house, and again in Adam’s younger sibling in The Lights on Knockbridge Lane. Cassidy is an ethical taxidermist, often working with animals who were hit by cars. […]

Wolf Gone Wild

Wolf Gone Wild (2020) Juliette Cross (Stay a Spell) Mateo Cruz has been cursed. He doesn’t know by whom, and he doesn’t know why, but he hasn’t been able to shift for months and his wolf is almost impossible to control and won’t cease his randy and bloodthirsty thoughts. Evie Savoie helps her sisters run […]

A Kiss for Midwinter

A Kiss for Midwinter (2012) Courtney Milan (Brothers Sinister) Set in England in 1862 He hadn’t chosen to become a doctor so that he could foretell the death of children. He’d been seduced by the stories—the stories of John Snow saving hundreds of lives by careful observation, of men who noticed the world around them […]

A Christmas Dance

A Christmas Dance (2014) Alissa Johnson Miss Byerly did not feature in his matrimonial plans. Pity, really, that she wasn’t a bit softer. He’d spoken to her once or twice before and she seemed an intelligent sort, with an efficiency of speech and manner he appreciated. But he wasn’t in need of additional efficiency in […]

Rough Around the Hedges

Rough Around the Hedges (2023) Lish McBride (Uncanny Romance) Vanessa Woodbridge and her sister defied their father–and paid the price when both were cut off. But Vanessa wants to go to school, but to do so she needs her father to verify her education–since she and her sister were both home schooled. He sighed. “You […]

A Little Too Familiar

A Little Too Familiar (2022) Lish McBride (Uncanny Romance) Declan needs to get away. His sister has fallen in love with his ex-girlfriend, and since they were all living together, it’s mighty uncomfortable. So he’s leaving Portland for Seattle. Even after a century and a half of being in the open, the Uncanny still made […]

Foxglove Summer, Audio Book

Foxglove Summer Audio Book (2014) Ben Aaronovitch narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Rivers of London) it was clear that requests for assistance were now being routed through the Police National Information Coordination Center (PNICC), commonly pronounced “panic”—particularly if you’ve reached the stage of having to call it. The problem was that once the government pushed through […]

Paladin’s Faith

Paladin’s Faith (2023) T. Kingfisher (The Saint of Steel) Marguerite Florian left town in a hurry after helping her friend Grace led her to trouble (Paladin’s Grace). Which wasn’t necessarily unexpected, since Marguerite is a spy. So she turns to the White Rat. Apparently one of the problems they had solved was bribery. You couldn’t […]

Moon Over Soho, Audio Book

Moon Over Soho, Audio Book (2012) Ben Aaronovitch narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Rivers of London) People don’t like to speak ill of the dead even when they’re monsters, let alone when they’re loved ones. People like to forget any bad things that someone did and why should they remember? It’s not like they’re going to […]

The Wonder Engine, Audio Book

The Wonder Engine, Audio Book (2018/2019) T. Kingfisher narrated by Khristine Hvam (Clocktaur War) This book picks up where the previous book left off. The group has made it to Anuket City, but have to find Brother Amadai, avoid the crime lord who wants Slate dead, and somehow stop the Clockwork Boys. I’ll be honest, […]

Muscle Cub

Muscle Cub (2023) Slade James (Bear Camp) Despite living nearby, Paul has never gone to Bear Camp. But he’s been single for awhile now, and isn’t getting any younger, so his friends convince him to take a weekend to help them celebrate their birthdays. What Paul doesn’t expect is Austin: young, handsome, and did he […]

Swordheart, Audio Book

Swordheart, Audio Book (2018/2021) T. Kingfisher narrated by Jesse Vilinsky I’d been playing this as background for a couple of months–not especially paying attention, but wanting voices talking. Then I finished Michael Prichard’s narration of the Spenser series (I absolutely cannot stand listening to David Duke’s narration) and while floundering trying to figure out what […]

A Kiss for Midwinter

A Kiss for Midwinter (2012) Courtney Milan (Brothers Sinister) Set in England in 1864 Jonas Grantham worked hard to rise above his beginnings and to become a doctor. He’d been seduced by the stories—the stories of John Snow saving hundreds of lives by careful observation, of men who noticed the world around them and cared […]

A Power Unbound

A Power Unbound (2023) Freya Marske (The Last Binding) Set in England in 1909 The final book in the Last Binding Trilogy centers on Alston, Lord Hawthorn who has been arrogant and supercilious throughout the series, but here becomes Jack, and Alan, Alanzo Rossi, who met Alston, Maud, and Violet on the ship from America […]

Served Hot

Served Hot (2015) Annabeth Albert (Portland Heat) I thought I was in the mood for this. I was looking for stories with complicated grief, and this story has that. “You feel what you need to feel.” What did I know about grief? I would be pissed, but I wasn’t David. And if David’s sadness made […]

A Restless Truth

A Restless Truth (2022) Freya Marske (Last Binding) Set in England in 1908 (or so) One of the things I especially like about this series are the lovely secondary characters. “Miss Debenham,” he said, warm with pride, “meet Lady Albert Barton. My wife.” Oh. Lady Albert Barton rolled her eyes and sat down heavily on […]

Wild Sign, Audio Book

Wild Sign, Audio Book (2021) Patricia Briggs narrated by Holter Graham I was conflicted about this story the first time I read it, and so gave it plenty of time and decided to see if a second reading (and as an audio book) would change anything. It did, in a way, but I’m still conflicted. […]

Finders Keepers

Finders Keepers (2018) N.R. Walker Sunday was just like any other Sunday, except this one was the day before Monday. The very Monday I was spending with Griffin. So naturally it dragged like a Wednesday, which was my Monday. “Oh, you’re not staying for dinner?” I asked his Mum. Dane stared at the side of […]

Role Playing

Role Playing (2023) Cathy Yardley Maggie Le thought being divorced was hard. But her son Kit living for college was worse. Now she had no reason to leave her house, except to get food. “Second: I have changed markedly since my twenties,” she said. “I don’t want to wear bandage dresses and club all night […]

Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure

Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure (2019) Courtney Milan (The Worth Saga) Set in England in 1867. She was sixty-nine and unmarried—one of the so-called surplus women who choked up the attics and rooming houses of London. Never mind her experience, her meticulous calculational capabilities, her voluminous memory. She was old and unpretty. “I was polite and […]

Four Walls and a Heart

Four Walls and a Heart (2023) Celia Lake (Charms of Albion) Set in the hidden magical part of England in 1884 Magni has served in the Guard for several years, and is told he is about to have changes in his job–including a promotion. Gil left the Guard to join the army, against the wishes […]

Ever After Always

Ever After Always (2021) Chloe Liese (Bergman Brothers) Aiden and Freya have been married for almost a decade, but the last six months have not been good. They have, in fact, been bad. But that’s when it all went downhill. That’s when it tripped something inside me that I haven’t been able to get under […]

Gouda Friends

Gouda Friends (2022) Cathy Yardley (Ponto Beach Reunion) Tam has had the day from hell. “I’m sorry, Tam. But he’s a vice president. What was I supposed to say?” Lydia had then pointedly glanced at her watch. “You can take tomorrow off, all right? Now, you’d better get going. The hotel people say the last […]

Donut Fall in Love

Donut Fall in Love (2021) Jackie Lau Ryan Kwok is worried that his latest movie is a flop. This movie could be a major setback. Movies about guys like him weren’t allowed to flop. People would point at this single movie as proof that no more like it should be made. He’s also dealing with […]

A Marvellous Light

A Marvellous Light (2021) Freya Marske (The Last Binding) Set in England in 1908 Another time period I love–not yet modernity, but some of the trappings are starting to appear. A chauffeur was not needed. Robin referred vaguely to friends of his who owned motorcars and had taught him the knack of it in Hyde […]

His Grandfather’s Watch

His Grandfather’s Watch (2012) N.R. Walker I’m having trouble focusing, so I’m reaching for short stories and novellas. My other option would be graphic novels, but then I’d have to find my reading glasses. I knew from experience when things weren’t great, there was something about the human connection of being hugged. It had healing […]

A Queer Trade

A Queer Trade (2016) K.J. Charles (Rag and Bone) “It’s the way of things. Burn your love letters, or have ’em put in the ground with you, or they’ll be tomorrow’s packing paper.” Hall gave a slightly rueful smile. “I put ’em aside for packing, when I notice, rather than foul use.” Publisher: KJ Charles […]

The Pride of Garnet Run

The Pride of Garnet Run (2022) Roan Parrish (Garnet Run) (H)is brain was very loud, and he needed to put thoughts into music to quiet them down. “This place was built in 1927. This all used to be bigger, but they turned it from one screen to three in the fifties.” Published by Monster Press […]

Once a Rogue

Once a Rogue (2023) Allie Therin (Roaring Twenties Magic) Set in New York in 1925 I wish I’d been better able to focus, because I love Allie Therin’s stories. In fact, I was hoping that the story would allow me to focus on something outside of myself. The failing is mine, not the story’s. I’ll […]

Come Unto These Yellow Sands

Come Unto These Yellow Sands (2011) Josh Lanyon It would be nice to believe in something like God. To believe some higher power with a greater purpose was concealed behind the violence and chaos. Max grunted. “Did you see any other possibilities?” “I didn’t let myself look for them.” He couldn’t afford this. Couldn’t afford […]