Thanks to the publisher & Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
#SundayShelfie + Review
I recently reorganized my bookshelves, getting rid of some books I was N E V E R going to read, consolidating my two TBR shelves into one overflowing one, & making a lot more room for books I’ve loved in the rest of the bookcase.
So here she is: a reorganized bookcase with some different books at the front!
& now here’s that aforementioned review ;).
If you’re searching for thick fantasy books with romantic elements you M U S T look at the Last Binding series by Freya Marske. Book 1, This Marvellous Light, was one of my top reads of last year. A Restless Truth is a sensational follow-up & my guesses & expectations about the couple for book 3 are S K Y high.
In this book, Robin’s sister Maud Blythe is accompanying a woman holding part of the Last Contract back to England. Said woman hasn’t revealed what item in her belongings is actually the Last Contract, which is a problem when she’s murdered & someone ransacks their room.
In order to find that item, & yeah, prevent a lot of bad things from happening to Britain’s magic-possessors & probably just the world in general, Maud ropes others into helping her, including the stunning Violet Debenham.
There is intrigue galore in this book & lots of twists & turns. As Maud & Violet work together they indulge in their attraction, even as Violet struggles to really let someone in.
Not only are the world-building & the plot strong, the emotional acumen shown here is really lovely. Marske has a deftness with emotions that left me hoping these leads could go to the relationship distance.
Book 3 will likely focus on a different couple & I have my hopes for it will be. In the meantime, I highly recommend checking out these two interconnected queer fantasies, beginning with A Marvellous Light. They’re very very good!
5⭐️. Out 11/01.
CWs: one of the secondary characters that we’re presumably kinda sorta supposed to be rooting for calls another “Mediterranean gutter rat.” Violence, including murder.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the complimentary e-ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
I’ve been dipping my toes into holiday romance novels so to speak & Helena Greer’s Season of Love has some winning qualities but ultimately falls somewhat flat for me.
Miriam Blum is an antique upcycler who’s estranged from most of her family, including her horrible father, her mother who remains married to him, & the beloved aunt who owned the one place she felt totally comfortable, a Christmas tree farm.
At the beginning of the book Miriam’s aunt has passed & Miriam’s going to return to that farm after many years away to sit shiva. Back to the other people she loved but hasn’t had a meaningful relationship with in years, including a cousin.
But there’s a new person living on the farm, Noelle Northwood, who immediately dislikes Miriam, & Miriam’s time at home is complicated by the presence of this person who doesn’t like her but whom she’s attracted to.
There’s a lot to appreciate about this Queer romance, including Jewish rep, romantic moments on the ice, & how Miriam finds her way back home & to an old artistic love.
But in general, I wasn’t a huge fan of Noelle (whose brashness & personality might feel authentic in some ways but also gets a little off putting for me in moments) and a secondary storyline which is a little puzzling at times. Also, a lot seems to happen to Miriam personally & professionally & it’s a little unsettling how quickly it did.
Overall, there’s potential here & I can see a lot of people relating to & enjoying this sweet romance, but it didn’t really work for me.
3 ⭐️. Out 10/11.
CWs: Noelle has a tattoo of “deadly women” including Lizzie Borden & I just found that choice a bit odd. Death in the family. Difficult relationship with mother & father. Noelle is a recovering alcoholic and was drinking as a youth. Dad destroyed her paintings.
Q: what’s something you really need for a long car drive?
I can think of few social situations that would be more awkward than going on a road trip with someone you’ve had difficulty conversing with—especially if that person is your former best friend who dropped you like a hot potato.
So it’s against her better judgment that Megan agrees to drive from Florida to Quebec with her former BFF Scarlett. They haven’t spoken in years, since the aforementioned hot-potato-dropping. Since then, both women have been pretty stagnant in the job department & Megan’s realized that, like Scarlett, she’s bi. A fact which she hasn’t yet revealed to Scarlett.
The childhood friends to enemies to lovers dynamic in Hairpin Curves totally hooked me. I love how both women carp at each other & then remember the vulnerable things about their former BFFs that stop them from drawing real blood.
As they travel closer toward Quebec making small detours along the way, the ice starts thawing & the attraction they’ve both been secretly harboring is no longer deniable. That’s when the book gets 🥵.
Emotionally, Hairpin Curves satisfies as well. It’s funny but also moving, & I loved how the road trip turns into an opportunity for Megan & Scarlett to re-conceive what their lives could be like.
The only real place the book falls short for me is the ending, where the resolution feels a bit rushed. But all things considered, Hairpin Curves is a journey I definitely recommend taking (*wink).
Hairpin Curves is out on 07/28. Thanks to Harlequin Publishing and Netgalley for my complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
4.5⭐️. Tropes: f/f, age gap, workplace
Give me that HEA, please.
Join my mailing list.
Want to receive a weekly email with links to my latest blog posts? Sign up below!