Since my last contract finished up a whole heap earlier than expected, and my new contract currently has me working 3 days a week, I’m snatching a bit more reading time… and slowly working my way through the three big boxes of books a good friend gave to me when she downsized to an apartment. Yep, for me there’s nothing better than being given a box of books (or three!), and reading every single one before passing them on to some other avid reader. Bliss!
Stand-out reads for me over May/June were: Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop (May) and Laura’s Big Break by Janet Elizabeth Henderson.
First up, Anne Bishop’s Marked in Flesh.
“Since the Others allied themselves with the cassandra sangue, the fragile yet powerful human blood prophets who were being exploited by their own kind, the delicate dynamic between humans and Others changed. Some, like Simon Wolfgard, wolf shifter and leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn, see the new, closer companionship as beneficial—both personally and practically.
But not everyone is convinced. A group of radical humans is seeking to usurp land through a series of violent attacks on the Others. What they don’t realize is that there are older and more dangerous forces than shifters and vampires protecting the land that belongs to the Others—and those forces are willing to do whatever is necessary to protect what is theirs…”
This is the 4th book in the series, and didn’t disappoint! While I would have loved to delve more deeply into the relationship between Simon and Meg, it was quickly obvious that this wasn’t going to be the main focus of Marked in Flesh. With a “big bad” imminent, and the looming threat of humanity being wiped out for their sins, for me it would have felt totally out of character for Simon and Meg to be taking the next step relationship-wise.
To be honest, it’s refreshing to go on a journey with a heroine who’s not completely kickass and able to physically hold her own from day one. So, while I dearly hope that Meg will one day have a little more agency and become a fitting match for Simon, I’m willing to go along for the ride while she feels her way in this startling new world and grows as a person. Can’t wait to see what the fifth “Others” instalment has in store for readers!
(If you haven’t read any of the Others novels, check out my rave about the first book in the series, Written In Red, here.)
And finally Janet Elizabeth Henderson’s Laura’s Big Break:
“Laura needs an interview. Charlie needs sleep. And they both need to grow up and get over the past. But not before Laura cycles into a canal, sets fire to a tent and posts nude pictures of Charlie on the internet – all with the hope of getting her story.”
When Laura is forced by her heinous boss to get an interview at all costs with Charlie (a blast-from-the-past that didn’t end well), she finds herself on a 2 week cycle trip around Holland… with disastrous consequences.
I first encountered Janet Elizabeth Henderson’s writing when I stumbled across Lingerie Wars (my brief review can be found here). The wicked humour that Henderson does so very well is much in evidence in Laura’s Big Break, and I found myself laughing out loud at the woefully ill-prepared Laura’s attempts to save her job, cope with the cycle trip from hell, and finally realise that Charlie is the man for her.
Here’s my full reading list for May and June:
Blade’s Lady by Fiona Brand
Taking Chances by Ariadne Wayne
Fighting Fair by Anne Calhoun
Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop
In Too Deep by Tracey Alvarez**
The Playboy’s Redemption by Diana Fraser**
**Second Chances anthology
Laura’s Big Break by Janet Elizabeth Henderson**
Dating Daisy by Joanne Hill**
The Counterfeit Mistress by Madeline Hunter
The Borrowed Bride by Susan Wiggs*
A Bridge to Dreams by Sherryl Woods*
Sister Of The Bride by Susan Mallery*
Marrying McCabe by Fiona Brand
The Charmer by Madeline Hunter
The Sinner by Madeline Hunter
The Seducer by Madeline Hunter
The Romantic by Madeline Hunter
Secrets of Surrender by Madeline Hunter
**Second Chances anthology
*Summer Brides anthology