Thanks to the author for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
Somewhere there’s a bar called Moonies where people can drink, sing karaoke, & fall in love…
In this latest novella in Anita Kelly’s Moonlighters series, Wherever Is Your Heart, MCs Mal & June build a long-building slow fire into something bigger & lasting.
As Anita Kelly tweeted last week, this book is “a quiet tribute to mutual pining, soft butches, growing old, & taking a chance during Pride. (Doesn’t that sound amazing?)
This book is so good. The writing is gorgeous & feels real (that’s a description that might not mean anything specific to you but it feels like something particular to me 😆) & it’s often funny.
I love the pacing, how Anita relays info about Mal and June’s long history, & the idea of a simple road trip that’s actually a momentous step/moment for two people.
This whole novella is soft but packs a punch.
5 ⭐️. Out now.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
Francesca May’s Wild and Wicked Things is a dark, engrossing story where magic is both something that’s craved & feared…if you’re smart.
It’s set in the years immediately after magic helped ravage soldiers in war & opens with protagonist Annie going to Crow Island, where the father who left her & her mother lived & died.
As the blurb mentions Annie’s soon fascinated by her neighbor Emmeline, a rumored witch who seems to know Annie’s estranged best friend Bea—also on the island & newly married.
Basically this is a twisting, twisted book that’s quite dark but also has hope, found family, & love too. I’ll be honest—some of the discussions of magic confused me (like it’s premise within the book 🥴) but the setting & the plot-points are compelling & entertaining to watch unfold. As is the complex characterization (though I didn’t really find a lot to grab onto with Bea).
This book isn’t for the faint of heart, really. It is scary & gory in spots 😆. But the Sapphic representation, the sense of danger & recklessness, of throwing off weight & enjoying oneself, are all winning.
4 ⭐️. Release date: 03/29
Thanks to the publisher & Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
Q: what percentage of your reading would you characterize as fantasy?
I knew from the first pages of Tasha Suri’s The Jasmine Throne, as a pyre was lit for women to be sacrificed on & one woman refused it, that I had stepped into an engrossing & also unsettling book.
Featuring complicated women walking the line between personal survival & wants & what will be best for their people, who are looking to the future even as they feel the weight of their fiery pasts, The Jasmine Throne has a lot to offer readers of fantasy.
In Ahiranyi, an imperial city state of the Parijatdvipa empire, many of the Ahiranyi suffer from poverty & a rot that affects the body. Tensions remain high between Ahiranyi & Parijatdvipa & as the characters are aware, the fact that the Emperor sends his sister, the princess, to be imprisoned there likely won’t help matters.
A maidservant, Priya, is assigned to help the princess Malini. But what Priya doesn’t know is that while the princess is at the mercy of her brother & his whims to some degree, to his fanatic obsession with female purity, Malini is also a master of emotional manipulation. It’s how she’s survived.
& what Malini doesn’t know about her new maidservant is the details of Priya’s past in their prison, where she once lived with Elders & brothers & sisters. What she’s capable of & will be capable of in the future.
Told from many different perspectives, TJT shows how people can be motivated by different reasons for the same things or even just be comfortable working together for different ends. The political machinations are fascinating, & it’s captivating & disturbing to see how far Malini in particular is willing to go.
The portrayal of women is hard-hitting & what it says about women & purpose & desires is particularly moving.
Weighty in page numbers & tone, this read will stay with me for a while & defies my attempt to succinctly describe it in a book review.
4.5 ⭐️. Release date: 06/08.
Give me that HEA, please.
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