Reading List as of August 31st

I don’t know about you, but my brain is fried. We had a major storm blow through – wind and rain, complete with branches breaking off of trees. It gave me the excuse I needed to buckle down and work, and I got a lot done this weekend. Hence the brain-fried-ness.

That’s probably why I can’t remember a lot of what I read this month. I know I read stuff that I didn’t have to review, but…well, no. I’m pretty sure almost everything I read this month was for review purposes.

One of those was Twelve Kings in Sharakhai by Bradley P. Beaulieu. Since the death of her mother eleven years ago, Ceda’s been focused on revenge. The twelve immortal kings that rule the desert city will pay for what they did to her, even if it means dying herself.  Even as I found myself wondering how could I still be reading this book (it’s epic fantasy, so it is long), I kept turning (figurative) pages. The setting is beautifully, vibrantly alive, and Ceda’s my favorite kind of heroine – quick, smart, tough yet vulnerable, and wields a sword with ease. Basically, Buffy set in a magical desert kingdom, minus the vampires.

Huh. I never thought of that. Ceda really is a lot like Buffy. Anyway, a longer review will be posted at My Bookish Ways. Twelve Kings in Sharakhai releases September 1st (tomorrow!) and was one of those times where I didn’t care I was reading it for review, I still enjoyed every word.

I read a bunch of other review books, and I’m pretty sure the reason I enjoyed this next book as much as I did was because the second to last of those review books was disappointing, and I couldn’t even finish the last one I needed to read. I mentioned in my post last week I bought Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland’s Cocky Bastard after the sample made me giggle, and it was a pleasant (and welcome) distraction for a few hours. Aubrey’s dismantled her old life and is heading to California to build a new one when she meets Chance. The good-looking Aussie’s stranded at the rest stop when his motorcycle won’t start, and he’s going to California, too, so why doesn’t Aubrey give him a ride? A fainting goat, detours to the Grand Canyon and Los Vegas, and some epic miscommunication later, Aubrey finally learns what Chance was hiding the whole time, but it might be too late to salvage their relationship.

This book doesn’t break any new ground, but like I said, a pleasant and welcome distraction for a few hours. Aubrey starts off strong, and she only gets stronger. More, she matures. She waffles some in the second half of the story (which is told from Chance’s point of view), but that’s where her maturity comes through. I liked her. Chance…eh, he’s a good enough guy, I guess, but nothing you haven’t read before.

Oh, and I got to read the latest Nora Roberts book! The Liar has been out for a few months, but it just came in at the library. Shelby went from a dizzying, glamorous life to learning her recently deceased husband was a con artist who’d left behind millions in debt. Determined to dig herself out, she packs up her life and moves herself and her young daughter back to her hometown of Rendezvous Ridge, Tennessee.

Beings as this is a Nora Roberts standalone, you know that someone’s after Shelby, there’s a hot, sweet guy who falls head over heels for her and her daughter, and everyone will get exactly what they want, even if they didn’t know they wanted it to begin with. There’s a comfort in that. Roberts does a number of things very well – she researches the hell out of her characters’ occupations and puts in just enough detail to make them believable. Also, there’s home improvement shit happening in this book, and that is like romance catnip for me. Then she immerses you in the town and families and by the end, you want to know the rest of the story – what happens with Matt and Emma Kate? Will Forrest ever settle down? – but you know she won’t go back there, so you have to content yourself with your imagination. Nora Roberts is comfort reading to a T for me, and jumping into her latest was another much-needed respite.

Next month promises fewer review books, thankfully, and it’s a good thing, too – tomorrow alone brings new books from Carrie Mesrobian (Cut Both Ways), a multi-author YA (Violent Ends), and titles from Cara McKenna and Nalini Singh. I’m hoping for more storms so I can spend some quality reading time on the couch.

What’ve you read this month? My TBR pile isn’t falling over (yet) 🙂

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