My latest reading recommendations
Been a while since I updated this blog, life has been very busy. But of course, I've made time for books and have read some corkers over the last few weeks! Some of my favourites are below, all of which happen to be self-published/small press. I found the majority via the Writing Community on Twitter - a great resource for finding some amazing new reads. The links below lead to the books on Goodreads where you can find my full reviews and links to purchase these fab reads, if you're so inclined.
What to read if you're...
a sucker for enemies to lovers:
This is my all-time favourite trope and this diverse, two-volume anthology of contemporary romance short stories was a delight from start to finish. A stuffy librarian vs an erotica writer; two women in a cul-de-sac house decoration rivalry; a jaded movie star vs a stubborn paparrazzi photographer, age 50+ grumpy neighbour vs age 50+ sunshine neighbour, and so many more - there is something for everyone! (Just an aside, VGP's next anthology has the theme of Friends to Lovers - and one of the stories in volume 2 is written by little old me! **happy dance** More info on that to come in a later post.)
dreaming of romance in the wilds of Scotland:
ONE STORMY NIGHT by Sofia Sawyer
Charlie quits her job as an overworked assistant to grumpy, distant boss Lachlan and heads off to a run-down cottage on a remote Scottish island, ready to start her life afresh. Lachlan follows, determined to win back the best assistant he's ever had, but quickly realises he wants so much more. When a storm rolls in and they're trapped on the island together, sparks fly. Slow burn boss/assistant romance in a beautiful wild setting.
a fan of close-knit family bonds:
THE FIRES OF TREASON by Michele Quirke
Princess Elizabeth loyally follows her brother Gregory into exile after he's falsely accused of treason by their father. While she struggles to cope away from the ease and luxury of palace life, Greg deals with debilitating physical injuries and inner turmoil about their future. With intricate world-building and heart-warming (very relatable!) sibling dynamics that had me laughing out loud at times and gasping at others, this is a fabulous historical fantasy.
pining for slow burn, gothic sexiness
OUT OF SIGHT by Rebecca Duval
My favourite read of the year so far. Antiques evaluator Isla is sent to a gloomy Scottish castle to evaluate the contents before they're sold. The brooding owner, Ethan, is blind and (he feels) disfigured after an accident and suffering from PTSD, depression and self-hate. I don't read much gothic romance but this book has me converted! The slow burn and pining was exquisite, the sex was hot as hell and the sensitive topics handled with empathy. Trigger warnings are listed at the back of the eBook, accessible via the contents page.
ready to be swept off into a sweeping YA adventure
SARANA AND THE DARK KING by Ivy Keating
This wonderful fantasy novel charts the life of main character Sarana, intertwining it with the antagonist, dark king Edmund, all the way up to a thrilling, heart-in-the-mouth climax. The reader is swept up into the action from the very first chapter, with Sarana's dramatic birth. Without giving away any spoilers, I was rooting for her all the way along, I hated the evil king and yet kept wondering if he was redeemable, and I absolutely loved the the mysterious, wolf-like Valomeres.
in a mythology kind of mood
INDIE BITES VOLUME 2: MERMAIDS AND MYTHOLOGY - by various authors with Indie Bites
This is a free fantasy short story & review magazine, and their latest issue had the theme of Mermaids and Mythology. The theme was interpreted and showcased very differently by each author and the stories were all thoroughly enjoyable reads. My favourites included a Greek mythology retelling featuring Daphne the nymph by Adie Hart, and a sweet romance between a human girl and a mermaid by Rebecca Crunden. The next issue has the theme of shifters and I believe the submission call is still open if any writers have shifter-based short stories brewing in their heads :-)
That's a wrap for my favourite books of the last couple of months. For my next post, I'm going to fight an irritating bout of imposter syndrome and talk about MY book - which comes out next month! Dragon shifters, magic and romance, oh my :-)
Thanks for reading!