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.
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!
Traffic Stop was a sweet romance focusing on Ryan Thomas, a cop who stops for a car at the side of the road and meets the other main character, Dr. Tobi Drexler. Officer Thomas, being the sweetie she is, sees that Tobi is trying to recover from an emotional breakdown and offers an ear if she needs one. She’s surprised later to receive a call from the good doctor while at the precinct. The two begin dating, and fall in love, when Tobi picks up a stalker.
Ok, the romance is nice and I enjoyed that they took it slowly to get to know each other. The mystery was alright and kept the guilty party somewhat hidden for most of the book – although the basic motive was pretty clear from before the actual stalking started. There were several times toward the end of the book when I yelled at the characters because what was happening or what they were doing just didn’t seem logical or believable. I think my only real complaint about the book is that some of the writing of the scenes describing what the characters were doing or background action was dry and gave too many details. Many of these scenes felt like some sort of transcript of the events and scenery and I eventually ended up skimming these “set up” scenes to move through them more quickly.
I do want to stress that the romance portion of the book was very good and I’d read another offering from the author. Very sweet. I really liked the characters.
I love period pieces. And I like wartime stories. So I had high hopes for The War Between the Hearts. I wasn’t disappointed. Sarah-Bren Coulter, aka Bren Cordell, disguises herself as a man and becomes a Union spy during the Civil War. During her time posing as a Confederate scout, Bren is wounded and nursed back to health by the widow of another Confederate solider, Faith Pruitt. Faith discovers that Bren is really a woman and each of them feel some attraction but it’s not discussed. Then bad things happen.
I truly did enjoy this book. I liked the writing style and the non-romance aspects of the book. I enjoyed the romance parts, too, but as I got closer to the end it seemed to drag on a bit. What I mean by that is I had figured out who was going to end up with whom and some of the story seemed to be intent on dragging that final resolution out too long. I still liked it very much and recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good historical fiction. Now, I’m not an expert on the Civil War but if there were any errors there, I didn’t notice them.
There’s a sequel called The Clash Between the Minds available. I also found that The War Between the Hearts was posted on The Academy of Bards but I haven’t read it so I don’t know how different it is. If you’ve read both, let us know if there’s a difference. Of course, if you can, pick up a copy of the book. It’s always good to support the authors if you can afford it.
I think that this is the best written of the three B. L. Miller works I’ve read. I believe there’s another one on her website that I will probably compile today. The premise of the story seemed much more believable to me than the other two. Don’t get me wrong, I truly enjoyed all three. This one just touched me more and I could relate to the characters on different levels.
Graceful Waters, aka Grace, is a tough 17 year old whose life is about to change. She’s ordered by the court to spend the 6 months until her 18th birthday at Sapling Hill. It’s a girl’s boot camp-type facility. There she meets Joanna Carey, the 29 year old head instructor and the woman who takes on the responsibility of being Grace’s mentor.
Being prior military, so much of the story took me back to my own boot camp days. Also being a survivor of sexual child abuse, I was able to connect with much of what young Grace was going through. But beyond that, the story was well put together and well written. Miller and Foster are a great team and I hope they continue to work together.
This story is also available in a published book which I’m going to pick up once it’s available in ebook. There were parts of Graceful Waters that I think could have been expanded upon and a bit that could have been trimmed down. I’m curious to see what the final version turned out to be.