Hi, everyone, and welcome to the May edition of Booyah Books!, the place where we get to share some of our favorite reads from the past 31-derful days (sorrynotsorry). This was a really tough month, let me tell you, because I myself had four outstanding contenders for the best of the best, and narrowing it down to one was really difficult. So, if you’re looking for some other great reads, be sure to check out Aidan Wayne’s Loud and Clear, Lissa Kasey's Candy Land, Amelia C. Gormley’s Risk Aware, Eli Easton’s Howto Wish Upon a Star, S. Hunter Nisbet’s WhatBoys Are Made Of, Felice Stevens' Learning to Love, and Bey Deckard’s Kestrel’sTalon, just to give a shout out to a few.
But now, to move on to our top reads for the month of May, here they are. And, as always, there’s a chance to win any two e-titles mentioned in this post, including those ^^^ honorable mentions. :)
Brock – Earthshatter by Albert Nothlit – “Earthshatter is an adrenaline-pumped page-turner with an action-packed plot—I freaking loved it. I was on the edge of my seat from the beginning to the end. The premise of the plot is pretty simple: eight people are taken by an artificial intelligence for safe keeping during a riot, but when they wake up, the town they grew up in has been destroyed by swarming bugs, and even though it seems to them as if they were just put into stasis, the evidence stacks up to suggest they were under for a lot longer. Why they were chosen, and what happened to the town is a mystery they have to uncover before they die of the elements, starvation, or the horde of man-eating insects that are hot on their trail. Yeah… that might be a problem.”
Angel – Where There’s a Will by Cari Z – “Cari Z is a repeat author for me, and like the other stories I have read by her, I couldn’t put down the next novel in the Panopolis series. Where There’s a Will takes a turn from the previous installments, as the other stories were told by the Villains. That doesn’t detract from Cari Z’s abilities and, in fact, enhances my respect and admiration for such dedication to the trade. As a villain girl through and through, this says something to me, and that something is Cari Z has talent. She knows her characters, and her world, and doesn’t skimp on sharing those details with her readers. But she does it at her own pace, and that makes this world, and story, all the more fantastic.”
Lindsey – A Time to Rise by Tal Bauer – “Though there is a romance between Alain and Cris that builds through this book, the focus isn’t entirely on their romance. I would say it is split equally with the paranormal and religious aspects. It worked for me. The way the Knights Templar’s history overlaps with the Catholic religion’s, specifically the Vatican’s own history, along with the paranormal elements is something I haven’t seen, and I enjoyed every moment of watching it unfold. The way the religious leaders within the Vatican walls interacted with the halberdiers and the chain of command within the Vatican was very interesting. The attention to detail made me feel like I was right there in Rome, seeing the beauty as well as the darkness it masked with the Vatican’s secrets buried deep within.”
Kathie – Safe in His Heart by Renae Kaye – “Andrew has spent way too long listening to other well-meaning friends and family. Being gay is a sin and the only true way to live your life is with a wife and children. One of the recurring themes in this story is Andrew’s thoughts about “the vault.” Andrew describes the vault in many ways, but the one I took notice of was, “that was where his true self was allowed to come and play,” and “without that outlet you could explode into a billion pieces.” Those two quotes really summed up Andrew and his struggles for me. To stay in a traditional marriage, he needed to rely on his vault. And once in a while he needed to allow himself an outlet, or explode. Maybe that would have worked for Andrew, keeping his two lives separate with the use of his vault, but life does have a way of getting in the way of the best laid plans.”
Carrie – Five-Sided Heart by Max MacGowan – “First let me say, I loved this book! Like really loved it! And it shocked me that I did. Don’t get me wrong, my prejudice wasn’t with the book; it was with the whole polyamorous storyline. These books are flat out difficult to write, and sometimes harder to read as your brain tries to process all the differing points of view and body parts. This is only Max MacGowan’s second book and WOW. Just WOW. It’s clear; it’s concise; it is engaging, evoking emotions with every page; it is well written, and the story takes you in directions you don’t expect.”
Jules – Power Play by Avon Gale – “Power Play had a slightly heavier feel than the previous two books in the series. It’s still playful and light throughout much of the narrative, but with darker backstories for Misha and one of the Spitfire’s players, it definitely had a more serious tone. Don’t get me wrong…it’s still very funny at times, and there is still that epic banter we have grown to love with all of these guys. I LOVE how funny these books are! But, this one felt a little deeper and more serious at times, and I liked that, too.
Once again there was a ton to love here. Misha and Max…the team and all the rest of the supporting characters (including some fabulous cameos from other Scoring Chances peeps that are so fun)…so much humor and love, and so many feels…and, the hockey. Always the hockey.”
Maryann – Only Say the Word by Scott D. Pomfret – “Even though there is an abundance of characters, and all play a part in this tragedy, Father Jack and Colm Flaherty were the two characters I grew most concerned over. They both seemed to know what they had gotten involved in with the church, but they couldn’t walk away. This novel is very different and deals with some disturbing events, and I couldn’t put it down. Only Say the Word has no HEA. It’s a tragic story because so many people suffer in different ways, and it raised many issues for me; how people are still trying to deny the right to same sex marriage and the way homosexuality is used as a scapegoat so people will focus their attention away from the pedophilia issues, and what happens when a person is a victim of a pedophile.”
Jennifer – Phase Shift by Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen – “There really was not a single bad book in this series, and each one builds up the tension to this one. The first reunites Zed and Flick and rekindles their love for each other. The subsequent books show the challenges their love will face if they decide to stay together. This final book puts them on the ultimate test and, as I said, the most dangerous mission. Stuck on Leonis Bb, an uninhabited planet, they must survive all sorts of things—weird tentacle creatures, a sunken ship, and scorching temperatures—with barely anything to survive on. And when they find out they aren’t alone? Well, that’s when all hell breaks loose.”
Lisa – Hexbreaker by Jordan L. Hawk – “Once again, Hawk has captured the nuances of the historical time period in which this novel is set, a post-Boss Tweed/pre-turn-of-the-century New York City in which the cops were sometimes every bit as corrupt as the criminals, the place where a melting pot of humanity were freshly landed to grab hold of the American dream—only to discover that survival often meant a hardscrabble existence where the profit of crime maintained a certain level of appeal, and the city was ripe for an anarchy that would bring about a change in power. And again, the atmosphere is drawn out to perfection in the sights and sounds and the often unappealing scents that permeated the air. I love to sit down to read a historical novel and become grounded in its setting, especially a historical novel that bleeds unreality into it—Hexbreaker does that with ease. Hawk offers the perfect balance of detail without burdening the pace of the narrative with extraneous description, and in every scene you’re right there with the characters.”
And that’s it for this month. Until next time, happy reading!
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