Cheers, fellow pathological readers! And welcome to TheNovel Approach’s November Book of the Month picks. We had a lot of great reads to choose from this month, but these are the best of the best, and I’m so excited to share them with you.
As always, there’s a chance to win two eBooks from the list, so be sure to check out the Rafflecopter widget for entry details.
And now, here they are, our fave November reads!
Ky – Wheels Up by Annabeth Albert – “Wheels Up deserves all the stars! It had me so immersed that I didn’t want it to end. This is another great installment in the Out of Uniform series, an emotional read with two kinky characters navigating a minefield of regulations and restrictions in an effort to find a way to be together, all while battling their feelings for each other. Wes and Dustin were amazing and earned a place right up there along with Apollo and Dylan as my favorite couple of the series. I can’t pick just one, sorry.”
Cassie – Building Forever by Kaje Harper – “I love that that the story puts the reader right in the characters’ headspace surrounding the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage. It’s thrilling to celebrate with these guys as they can finally start planning their own wedding. And the hilarious series of mishaps that follows is just like one of those stress dreams when you know you have to get to work, but you can’t find your shoes or your keys, the front door won’t open, and WHY ARE YOU NAKED?!
Kaje Harper does an excellent job of aligning the reader with the characters’ emotions, and it’s a fun (and bumpy) ride to the well-earned happy ending. This whole series is absolutely on my re-read list, and Building Forever is a sweet way to say goodbye.”
Maryann – Hurricane by BA Tortuga – “In this third installment of the Stormy Weather series, BA Tortuga delivers a stormy, emotional, and erotic chapter in Galen and Shane’s growing relationship. For Galen and Shane, it seems that sometimes you can be so close that you miss what’s really going on. Shane is sweet and vulnerable, and he surprises Galen when he takes a stand to protect what he loves. Decisions have to be made on what they want for a future, for themselves and each other. They also have to face people using them for their own gains. Even though Galen’s momma doesn’t have a big part in the storyline, she is a breath of fresh air when it comes to her boys. She loves Shane just like her own son, and treasures her grandchildren, Goober and Khan.
Stormy Weather is just a wonderful, simple series of two men who really love with all their heart. I enjoyed the entire series: the storylines, the great characters, and BA Tortuga’s unique writing style.”
Jenn – Archie’s Accidental Kidnapping by Toni Griffin – “This was such a refreshing take on the paranormal genre, and I loved the idea of Hellhounds being assigned on earth to protect humanity and send the truly evil paranormals into Hell where they belong, as well as exploring other kinds of paranormals than the usual witches, vampires and werewolves. The author gradually built up our knowledge and understanding of her world from the first chapter where the hellhounds are on a hunt. I also loved that they didn’t immediately meet leader of the pack Adze’s mate immediately. This allowed us time to get used to the world and a feel for the characters.”
Mike – Carnal (a Graphic Novel) by Dale Lazarov and The Amir – “In his traditional style, Lazarov writes scripts that are wordless on the page, but the art direction is so tight you don’t need words to understand the action or the outcome of the stories presented. Each one is a joyous expression of male/male sexuality that, while erotic, is neither grubby nor tasteless. The stable of artists employed by Sticky guarantees the reader a range of art styles that are lush in color and detail, and that present the story in such a way that no one is left behind. Being able to add your own words to the story gives this book a unique ability to make it completely your own, while still sharing it with the legion of Lazarov fans who have made a number of his books Number One Bestsellers in the gay erotic comics market.”
If you have never tried a gay graphic novel, this may be a great way to enter into the market, available in digital format and easily downloadable. And select Sticky titles are also available in print. This is a great book in keeping with the high quality of the work Sticky puts out. If you have the time, pick up a copy for yourself. You may just be surprised how hot and engaging a wordless novel can be.”
Jennifer – The Whore of New Slum by TA Chase – “Author T.A. Chase always comes up with fascinating stories, and The Whore of New Slum is no different. What I loved most about this book was how different the hero was compared to other books. Most of the time the hero is someone that others aspire to be, or someone put in the spotlight, who shines. With The Whore of New Slum, the hero is just that: a whore. Or, sex peddler in his world. He works behind the scenes to help the people in his city, and I just loved that.
While this book is a dystopia reminiscent of some others out there today in the market, what makes this stand apart (aside from the m/m romance and the unconventional heroes) is the steampunk elements. I couldn’t help but think of that as Abdur has parts replaced by gears that whiz and whir as he moves. Loved it!”
Jules – The Consumption of Magic by TJ Klune – “What is there to say about the epicness that is The Consumption of Magic? And, really, this series in its entirety. Consumption is the third book in the Tales From Verania series, and the second book in what the author affectionately calls the ‘Destiny FUCK YEAH!’ trilogy. That’s not the “official” name, though, because the publisher wouldn’t let him call it that. Pfffft. Weird. But, anyway…back to the epicness… In this installment, Sam of Wilds is in the midst of collecting the other dragons—the mated pair in the mountains, and the Great White in the Dark Woods—who are a part of his destiny of dragons, and a piece of the puzzle that is the prophecy he is a part of. So far Sam has Kevin, of course, and now Zero, the Desert Dragon, who has also agreed to join up with Sam to fight against Myrin and the dark forces threatening to take over Verania.
This one was definitely rough in quite a few places. My feels were shredded at the end. Shredded. But, there was so much that was great about it.”
Christie – Mad Lizard Mambo by Rhys Ford – “Filled with adventure, intrigue, twists, and turns, Mad Lizard Mambo is a non-stop thrill ride thru a post-apocalyptic world where Underhill and the Human world crashed violently together, forever changing life as we all know it. Adding to this fantastical book is Greg Tremblay’s extraordinary narration. He breathed new life into an already outstanding book, and made it even better. You should definitely add Mad Lizard Mambo to your collection. And, if you have not yet jumped on the audio bandwagon, why not start by getting this book as soon as possible?”
Carrie – High Balls by Tara Lain – “High Balls is Book five in the Balls to the Wall series, and continues Lain’s love affair with Laguna, California and the gorgeous men who live there. While each book is a standalone, there are several crossover characters, as they all live and work in the same universe and are friends. For fans of this series who have been waiting for another book to drop (that would be me), it is a welcome addition and certainly fits right in with the feel and storyline of the other books in the series. As with the other books, this one tackles some pretty hefty issues, but it does so while staying positive and bringing a measure of forward-thinking which gives the story a lightness it might not have otherwise. Lain covers single parenthood and adoption issues, religious expression and family issues, even homophobia mixed with gender issues in the literary and academic pantheons. Whew. With all that—in spite of all that—we get a heartwarming story of a precocious seven-year-old boy, a dad working on his PhD, and barely holding it together, and a rake named Snake, who is not exactly what he seems. Together they make a family, and I totally enjoyed their journey to their own HEA.”
Sammy – Soul Searching by AJ Rose – “My first suggestion to the intrepid reader who picks up this book is don’t read it at night, and, if you do, keep the lights on! This one is a thriller from the start, and the author cleverly crafts her story so that it ebbs and flows for a bit, lulling you into a false sense of security just as she does her characters. She gives you such insight into Trevor’s state of mind and his undeniable affection for Merrick. This is unrequited love with a capitol L, and it’s so frustrating to watch Merrick’s latest boyfriend walk all over him while Trevor dies a little bit inside, wishing he could tell Merrick exactly how he feels. I loved these two men in all stages of their relationship. While I felt Merrick’s reaction when Trevor’s real feelings are revealed to him by Trevor’s best friend, Tempest, were a bit too easy and quick, I could not fault the chemistry and ease which the two men had with each other.
The romance side to this story was definitely a second runner to the real focus–the haunting of their home. I must tell you that AJ Rose writes a darn good scary story, and she injects just enough suspense and horror in it to keep you up at night. Of course, I was way too sensible to start jumping at every wayward bump and sound that cropped up in my home as I read this novel. No sir, not me.”
Lisa – Walking on Water by Matthew J. Metzger – “Coupling my love of fairy tales with my love of seeing them re-imagined, and then adding to that an author whose work has been on my radar for a while now, there was no way I was about to take a pass on Matthew J. Metzger’s Walking on Water, and it was so, so worth it. Borrowing from the original tale’s [The Little Mermaid] tropes and then adding a lush new world and multi-faceted characters, Metzger delivers a story that is both heart-rending and hopeful. Not only is it a beautiful romantic tale, but it is also the story of a man discovering his true self, and is the story of a king’s—and, perhaps more importantly, a brother’s—day of reckoning and ultimate redemption.
The cast of Walking on Water is well-rounded and diverse. I especially appreciated Doktor Hauser as the cranky and plainspoken physician whose bark proved worse than his bite. He became not only ally to Janez and Held but their saving grace, and provided, single-handedly, their plausible happy ending while a certain princess provides the means to it. I also enjoyed the warm moments Janez spends with his family—the queen, his niece, his mother. Their scenes served to build our understanding of Janez’s desire for love and family, and I adore the way the author wrapped up the story in a happily-ever-after way for our romantic couple.
If you love a classic fairy tale gorgeously re-imagined, Walking on Water is it.”
And that does it for this time around. Until next month, when we’ll be back with our Best of 2017 list, happy reading!
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