Cheri’s Funk Reading List

As some of you already know, I’ve been feeling a bit off the past couple of months. When I’m in a funk, I reject most of the reading I should be doing for reading that I want to do. That means that reviews that I should have done are still waiting to be done. And I’m not sure when I’ll get all caught up because I’m still a bit funky.

Since my funk reading list tends to be only old favorites, I thought I’d share what made the list. There are a few other books on the list because they were selected as Books of the Month for the Mostly Lesfic Goodreads group or for Cocktail Hour.

Ok, here we go! These are not in any order because I can’t remember in what order I read them. Some of them have already been reviewed here so I provided links to the older reviews.

Open to Persuasion by Allie (CanadaBadGirl) – This is one of my favorite SVU fics. I think Allie aka CanadaBadGirl or CBG is a great storyteller and I’ve read everything she’s written in the Bad Girls fandom but I think there are other SVU fics that she’s done and she may also write for other fandoms. Not sure. This story not only has a very good depiction of a relationship between Alex and Olivia but two good cases. I highly recommend it. Andy and I also featured this one on an episode of Cocktail Hour and I reviewed it previously here. I haven’t read that review recently so who knows what I said…

My Lord by Mayt – This is a super long, super angst filled, and super good Conqueror fic. Are there some issues grammatically? Sure. Does it take away from the epic tale? Not at all. This is possibly the best Conqueror story I’ve ever read. There are a total of 7 books and some are better than others but, overall, just a great series. Be sure to keep a box of tissues nearby. Mayt has plenty of other fics available and a published series that starts out with Hesed by Maytee Aspuro Y Gonzalez

Snowbound by Queenfor4 – I came across this story awhile ago during a browsing of Calli’s Creations galleries of covers. I’m one of those people who will pick up a book because the cover grabs me… I had forgotten about it until Cari Hunter’s Snowbound was selected as the Mostly Lesfic book for May and it came up during my search. So I read it a couple of days ago. I very much enjoyed it! Megan Galagher is a homophobic mystery writer who ends up snowbound with a lesbian doctor, Randi Oakes. The unfolding of the story is good and the relationship building is good, too. I’d read it again and do recommend it. A nice Xena Uber. I also just noticed that UK reviewed the story here awhile ago so you should see what she had to say, too.

Snowbound by Cari Hunter – I just reviewed this one here.

Bonded by CBG – One of my very favorite stories in the Bad Girls fandom. CBG does angst like nobody’s business. She also has a very good grasp on the essence of the characters. A joy to read.

Biography & the sequel Plus Ca Change (or Ties That Bind) by CBG – Another favorite! AND this one has been published! You can find it under the name A Walk in the Rain by Alison Barnard. I grabbed the sample from Amazon to see if it started out differently and it appears to be exactly the same with the exception of changing the names of the characters that appeared in Bad Girls. I will, eventually, buy it to support the author but will probably wait until the next time I get the urge to read it. Shouldn’t be too long. Incognito also reviewed both of these stories here and here.

Reapers, Inc.- Brigit’s Cross by B. L. Newport – This was the April book of the month for the Mostly Lesfic group. We all agreed that it was pretty damn good. It’s the story of a newly dead woman who becomes a grim reaper. Initially, it was hard for me to get the image of Dead Like Me out of my head but as I got into it, it was definitely a good read. It’s the first in a series and you’ll probably want to pick up the second one just before you finish the first so you can move on. You’ll know if you want to continue by mid-book.

Soiled Dove by Brenda Adcock – I love westerns – especially westerns with brothels and whores. I didn’t really love this one but I didn’t dislike it either. It was ok. I enjoyed it mostly. I guess it just didn’t move me but it did give me a few hours of entertainment. I don’t not recommend it. You know what I mean?

The Road to Glory by Blayne Cooper & T. Novan – I’ve read this one before and enjoyed it but I enjoyed it even more the second time. I just love Cooper’s sense of humor and Novan’s ability to write angst and there’s lots of both here.

The Story of Me by Blayne Cooper – This short story is, in my opinion, fantastic. It’s classic Blayne Cooper. Stalkers, squirrels, and mishaps make this a very funny, well done romp.

None So Blind by LJ Maas – This is one of my very favorite romances of all time. It’s got the classic formula but Maas, I think, was a fabulous storyteller and I fell in love with both Torrey and Taylor. Yes, there are some issues – lots of flashbacks and many times when the lack of communication between the main characters makes you want to shake them violently – but I just don’t care. My dear friend, incognito, reviewed it here a long time ago so you can see what she had to say, too.

Balance of Forces: Toujour Ici by Ali Vali – I read this one for my appearance on Cocktail Hour with Andy and Ali Vali. It had been awhile since I read a book of Vali’s that I honestly enjoyed. I enjoyed this one. I don’t know if it was because it started out as an online fic – I love her old fan fic more than just about any book she’s put out – or if it’s just a good story, but I do recommend this one!

There were a few more but I can’t remember what they were. I’m still on the edges of the funk so who knows where that will take me!

Spark, Hybrid, and Synthesis by Harriet

This SVU, Alex & Olivia trilogy was highly enjoyable. Now, I didn’t see the episodes dealing with Alex being shot and then whisked away to the witness protection program. I didn’t really watch the show regularly. Once I started reading fan fiction, I watched the first two or three seasons on Netflix Instant View just so I could get an idea of who the characters where. But you don’t really need to know all of the background to enjoy this series.

All together, the three stories are the size of a standard romance novel. Each one is well written and I noticed probably a handful of typos total. Spark starts out with Olivia returning from a very short vacation with her quasi-fiance, Mark. He loves her, she’s pretending to love him because it’s just easier than dealing with a break up. That is until she stops at work on her way home from the airport. Turning around after hearing a familiar voice, she sees Alex, back from her secret life in Nebraska. Two and a half years she’d been gone and Alex has decided that she’s waited long enough for Olivia. It’s time to put their cards on the table and move forward.

The first in the series deals with them acknowledging their feelings, the second, Hybrid, has the women taking a trip to Nebraska so Alex can tie up some loose ends. And the third, Synthesis, deals more with how they’re adjusting to being a couple after the excitement wears off a bit. I definitely recommend them. Well written, interesting, a bit of hot sex thrown in for good measure.

Held Within the Beat of Your Heart by lostintranslation21

Reading this SVU fic was painful for me on two levels. The writing itself made trying to get into the story and connect with the characters difficult. Typos, omitted words, using the same adjectives and phrases over and over, sometimes within the same sentence, made this moderately long work hard to get through.

The plot was very original; I’m fairly certain I’ve never read anything like it before. Here’s the basic premise: Alex and Olivia are abducted after having a semi-work related dinner together. They are beaten and taken by two men to an abandoned warehouse where the bad guys force Olivia to beat and rape Alex. Sounds interesting and different and has some potential, right? Well, I thought so, too. This is where the writing and grammar got to me. But there’s more that added to my discomfort. I don’t want to give too much away but I feel safe sharing that within two days of the abduction – yes, they get away – Alex and Olivia are having sex. Rough sex. Alex is into BDSM, which is fine with me. I don’t think I have too many sexual hang-ups but the context of the sexual play within the larger abuse and rape background just seemed a bit much for me.

The author wants to show the reader that healing can come from the characters’ new found intimacy and the love and trust required for BDSM, but the majority of the last half of the story is really not much more than one sex scene after another. I just could not connect with the characters and caught myself frowning or grimacing through almost the entire thing. Even my wife noticed. There were several times when she walked into the room to see me with my face in my ereader and said, “you’re still reading that SVU one, aren’t you?”

I think if the author worked with a good beta and did some revisions it could be a much better story. The premise is what drew me to it. Being able to write a fair review was the only thing that compelled me to finish it.

Open to Persuasion by Allie

Open to Persuasion is a well written, long SVU fic that has Alex and Olivia finally admitting their feelings for each other. Well, it doesn’t happen immediately. There’s some murder and child porn cases that need to be solved and criminals brought to justice, too.

All in all, I did enjoy the story. There were very few typos, although we did have some victims’ last names change mid-story, which is one of my pet peeves. The plot was good, the sex was hot, and there was angst to make it complete. With that said, there were a few things that I was disappointed in. I thought the crime investigations and prosecutions could have taken a more prevelent role in the work. They, initially, were just as important as the changing relationship between the detective and ADA but, toward the end, they faded into the background more. Since I thought they were an interesting part of the overall story, I wished they would have stayed more of a focus. The ending itself seemed sort of abrupt to me. Almost like the author just wanted to wrap it up.

I still recommend the story, though. It was easy to get lost in and I did feel a connection to the characters. Give it a try.

Thin Frames by Patricia L. Givens

It’s tough to fall in love during a murder investigation, especially when the victim is a lesbian who is into extreme S&M and is also the only child of a judge and the Goddaughter of the captain of the SVU. But that’s what happens to Alex and Oliva in this well written, tight mystery.

This fairly long fic has just over a handful of typos or misused words – less than the mainstream novel I recently finished. The characters were believable and easy to connect to and care about. I think I may have even squeezed a tear or two at some point. Even though I figured out who did it and why about halfway through, I never thought about not finishing the story.

I’ve read other work from the author, Xena stuff, and have enjoyed each one. I’ll have to go back and re-read them now to compare. I absolutely recommend this one.

Out of Context by Coolbyrne

I was hesitant to read this one because, at the time, I really wasn’t very familiar with the characters of Law & Order: SVU. And I hadn’t read any crossover fic. And I wasn’t familiar with this author. There was a lot stacked it and just imagine my surprise when I found this to be a very good story. I’ve read it twice.

The basic plot is that Olivia ends up in Larkhall on some undercover duty. There’s a drug ring using children to transport their merchandise from England to the US. Through the joint operation between nations, Olivia ends up spending time with our girls Nikki and Helen.

The story is well written and the characters ring true to their television counterparts. I absolutely recommend it.