As always, there's also a chance to win two of the e-titles on our list, so be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!
And now, here they are, our fave reads for January:
Kathie – The Music of the Spheres by Chase Potter: "I loved the range of emotion each character demonstrated. Ryan had a quirky sense of humor, and I especially liked his comeback when Adam asked him where he got his shoulders. And, let’s not leave out the fart jokes. Why are they always funny?
Chase Potter, in my humble opinion, is just getting better and better as an author, and The Music of the Spheres is such a great story of friends to lovers. It pulls you right in with the first hut! Which is football talk for throw the ball. ;)"
Karen – Tied to Trouble by Megan Erickson: "I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before that I love a story where the bad boy and the nerd get together…but, I don’t think I’ve ever loved the trope as much as I did in this book. First of all, since I don’t think a review can be written about Tied to Trouble without the subject of bow ties coming up, I will just say that prior to reading it, I liked the look of a guy in a bow tie. After reading this book, I’m pretty sure I will never look at another bow tie without smirking and thinking of Chad and Owen (and probably blushing)…just so hot! Also, I have to throw in here that I thought Dapper Dick was awesome!"
Maryann – Refired by BA Tortuga: "I just love BA Tortuga’s stories, and Refired is up there with the best of them. Staying true to form, Ms. Tortuga delivers a story packed with great characters, love, heartache and humor. Refired is also a tale of learning how to let go and truly forgive."
Carrie – Cold-Hearted Concept by Whitley Gray: "Shivers. This book gave me shivers and goosebumps. I had to keep reading because I just had to KNOW what came next in the story, and I had to finish it well before bedtime because there was no way I would be able to sleep with this imagery in my head. The inside of a serial killer’s mind is scary place to be, and Whitley Gray does an excellent job of taking you there. I would love to have a story for Van next. If you had told me from book one I would feel sorry for his character, I wouldn’t have believed you. But I can see redemption there… maybe."
Taz – Demon of Mine by Rayna Vause: "Demon of Mine is a tale of epic love transcending time and death. Ms. Vause has created a unique spin on the heaven/hell, angel/demon storyline, bringing a corporate structure to what is normally portrayed as ancient and archaic.
Ryan and Zavier are extremely lovable characters. Not only is their capacity for love fierce, but they are deliciously stubborn and flawed as well. Each has a strong sense of who they are and remain true to themselves. At the same time, they have the maturity to bend, and communicate to overcome the barriers which could split many couples."
Jennifer – Warrior and Priest by Katie Howe: "There is so much to say about this book, and I’m not sure what I can say without just reciting the entire book, but I absolutely loved this story, and I am completely psyched that there will be a sequel. I completely fell in love with Nico and Alex and loved watching their relationship grow.
Seriously, give this book a shot. It’s a mixture of sci-fi/fantasy with a bit of a historical regency romance feel to it set on a near earth-like planet in the future. I know I, for one, cannot wait for the next book! The sooner the better!"
Lynn -- Vanished 3 by Carter Quinn: "Oh. My. God. I finished reading the final book of the Vanished series, and I honestly feel as though I’ve just run a marathon. What an intense, amazing read.
Looking back at the first two books, we saw Henry dealing, quite horribly, with the loss of his husband, Tom: the denial, the heart wrenching realization that Tom’s gone. We watched Henry move along with his life as though in a cloud, nothing seeming real anymore. The major cliffhangers at the end of each book told me this series would go out with a bang.
And it did! I’m gobsmacked!
I won’t give spoilers away, I never do, so all I’ll say is this was an edge of your seat, hang on for your life conclusion to an already powerful, emotional story. As I was reading, I geared myself up, ready for anything to happen. Is Tom alive? Will they be too late? Was he already dead? As information, clues and scenes unfolded, I couldn’t read fast enough."
Sadonna – Redemption by Eden Winters: "After a lot of turmoil and conflict and difficulty in dealing with the bureaucracy, this story has a lot of surprises that literally keep us guessing until the last page. Diversion is a series that gets better and better with each new book. Bo and Lucky’s relationship keeps growing and changing, as do the characters themselves—just like in real life. This is my favorite book of the series so far, which is saying something because I am a huge fan of these books and this couple! I loved every second of Redemption, and I really cannot wait to find out what happens next to Bo and Lucky and their friends."
Sammy – Scenes from Adelaide Road by Helena Stone: "What makes a novel such as Scenes from Adelaide Road successful is strict attention to detail and establishing a solid “voice” for the lead character. When you have a young man who has lived with abuse most all of his life, the story created around him can fall into a whiny sense of pity me, and lose the punch it might have. No such concerns in this novel, however, for author Helena Stone excels at creating a voice for Lennart that keeps the reader both fully invested in his life, and compassionate about his circumstances. Never whiny or long-winded, instead, each time Lennart falls into the trap of seeing himself only through his father’s narrow and abusive eyes, we are reminded again that this boy is only nineteen and his every response, be it fearful or paranoid, seems to just fit. By contrast, Aidan comes across as much older, more stable and very sympathetic—again, just the right mix of young adult (given he is just twenty-three) and a more mature man."
Jules – Breakaway by Avon Gale: "This book was an absolute delight. I adored – absolutely ADORED Lane. And Lane and Jared. And Zoe. And Lane and Zoe. Hell, I adored the whole damn lot of them! Honestly, there wasn’t a single thing not to like about Breakaway. The characters are fresh, fun, and hilarious. The dialogue is sharp and just so perfect for all of them. And, the hockey! Gah! Who knew I’d like hockey this much? It’s awesome! It’s fantastic to read about something that is clearly a passion for the author, and Avon Gale definitely knows her stuff.
Pick this one up, guys. I promise you will laugh, you will swoon, you will learn about hockey, and you will be so glad you read it. Breakaway is the first in Avon Gale’s new Scoring Chances series, and I am all in. I can’t wait to dig right in to Riley and Ethan’s story next! Bring on more hockey boys!"
Lisa – A Frost of Cares by Amy Rae Durreson: "A Frost of Cares is, at its core, a redemption story built around a ghost story and then intertwined with an opportunity for second chances for Luke and Jay. It’s a story of healing and of the sort of trust that grows between two people when they risk exposing all their secrets and fears and scars to each other, and find that when all is said and done, they have no reason to hide because they’ve become each other’s safe place to land. I loved every bit of history and detail and imagination Durreson wove into this story, and all the parts and pieces that manifested so subtly and moved the plot along, keeping me riveted to my Kindle, beginning to end. Especially in the end, which placed a beautiful and romantic period on this love story.
If you’ve ever doubted that a chilling ghost story and a sweet romance can coexist within the pages of a single book, I think A Frost of Cares could well make a believer out of you."
Jules/Lisa – The Borders War Series by S.A. McAuley: Because Jules and I split the difference on the reviews in this series, and there's no way of really breaking the series down into a single favorite because none of the books can stand alone--they absolutely must be read in order, each an integral thread in the weave of the storyline--the logical solution was to nominate the entire series.
As I'd said in my review of the final two books, I don't think I've ever read a series that is so sadistically plotted. Every secret revealed, every lie fabricated, every truth exposed came at a price and served the whole of the storyline in a brilliant way. So many shocks and surprises and heartaches and tears... it's an absolutely stunning series, not easy on the emotions, but is so worth every single bit of agony.
And that does it for January. The whole of these reviews and many more can be found at The Novel Approach. Until next month, happy reading!
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