Hi, friends and fellow bookworms, welcome to The NovelApproach’s Book of the Month picks and giveaway for February! We have such a strong list of contenders this month, thanks to some talented authors, so without further ado, here they are: the books we loved in February!
Ky – Just Here for the Pain by K.A. Merikan – “Just Here for the Pain, the second book of The Underdogs series, is even better, even hotter, even kinkier than the first!
Dusk and Lolly of course make an appearance here. It was good to see them again, though Dusk irritated me at times. I didn’t remember him being so annoying in the first book, but maybe that had something to do with the fact that now he is in couple-heaven, so he feels free to tease and torment his bandmates about their relationship troubles. I still like Dusk and Lolly very much, but Sid and Asher are by far my favorite couple. Even though Asher starts off as a stalker, I liked him a lot from the beginning of the book, and this held firmly till the end of it. Trust KA Merikan to make you like an unconventional character! 5 star read – highly recommended!”
Mike – The Long and Winding Road by TJ Klune – “Bear and Otter are the makers of a logical family, one Armistead Maupin taught us is what we do when our blood families are not enough to fill our lives. Bear and Otter along with the Kid have finally overcome so much—moving from coast to coast, the death of someone close to them, near fatal accidents, and addiction. But just when things begin to settle and life is finding a balance, an unknown sister, a rekindled romance, and super sperm all land at once and conspire to take their nice and quiet (never mind normal, that never happens), the occupants of the “Big Green Monstrosity,” and all their sundry friends and family, and toss them into the air like a cartoon salad. The results are funny, sweet, sad, and ever so satisfying.”
Carrie – Joshua’s Rainbow by Victoria Sue – “This is the first book in a brand new series by the amazing author Victoria Sue, and if this book is an indication of what she has planned for the remainder of the series, then I cannot wait for the rest of them! This book drew me in and I cannot say enough good things about it. This quirky, atypical cast of characters won my heart, but even the island of misfit toys needed someone to lead them and ground them, and this is what Joshua’s Rainbow is all about. Yes, technically this is a May/December romance, but honestly, the MCs fit together so well that they don’t notice the age difference, and neither will you. At first glance, you’re not sure how the two will get together but as the story unfolds, you realize the big picture of how they are yin and yang to each other. They are both at a crossroads. They are both so unsure. They both see the good and positive in the other that they cannot see in themselves.”
Jules – Somewhere Over Lorain Road by Bud Gundy – “Bud Gundy’s Somewhere Over Lorain Road is riveting. There’s just no other word for it. I was absolutely enthralled with the story from the opening paragraph until the final moments, and went through a small rollercoaster of emotions in between. Gundy keeps the reader guessing up until the very end as to what really happened that long-ago summer in North Homestead, Ohio, but it wasn’t only the mystery that had me on edge throughout the book. Somewhere Over Lorain Road is as much a portrait and study of human behavior and small-town dynamics as it is a murder mystery. And, it’s almost more a survival story than anything else. It’s about the Eskers surviving the onslaught of ill will and ridicule and small-mindedness they endured back in 1975, and coming out the other side.”
Jenn – Dead Speak by Pandora Pine – “This book grabbed me from the very start with a rush of action that was the bottom of a long spiral of despair for the main character, built into a complex and wonderful book that hooks you in and gives you a satisfying ending.
I liked how the author never really went into how or why Tennyson had his gifts, instead focusing on how he used them and how they impacted his life, leaving that air of mystery and potential magic for the readers. I loved his family and can’t wait to read about how his best friend, Carson, met the man he loved, since just the summary we’re given was fantastic. Tennyson’s caring personality and determination to help the ghosts he sees is endearing, and I loved watching him interact with the ghost of Michael Frye.”
Sammy – King Daniel by Edmond Manning – “If there were enough descriptive words or phrases to describe how incredible this last book is, I would no doubt continue to wax prosaic. However, given my lack of imagination when it comes to sharing how greatly this book, this whole series, impacted me, I will leave this scant review with this last thought or two. What Daniel experiences is as foreign to me as is humanly possible, and yet, through the deft and masterful hand of Edmond Manning, I am able to step into Daniel’s world, share his pain, weep for and with him and then, blessedly, experience the emotions he has when that burden gets lifted. What this author does is remind us that we all carry scars of one sort or another and, if we can take just a moment to tap into that shared experience, we will find the lost king or queen within ourselves and others. For just a second or two, we can understand what it is to walk the path of another person and appreciate how hard their journey is, and see how it sometimes connects to our own. And that? That is beautiful, redemptive, inspiring and majestic.”
Lindsey – Relief Valve by JL Merrow – “The first book in the Plumber’s Mate series, Pressure Head, reeled me in, and Relief Valve hooked me completely. Tom continues to astound me, and I can’t get enough of his internal thoughts and observations. He captured me with his wittiness, and I wasn’t let down one bit in the second book.
This installment surrounds Cherry, Tom’s sister, who he is mildly estranged from. She enters dropping all kinds of drama into his life. Between the death of his sort-of aunt, and her last will and testament, and Cherry being poisoned, Tom has his hands full. The mystery surrounding the poisoner was intriguing and kept me glued—so many possible characters, and each with their own brand of crazy, some you can’t help but like, others you may hate, while some just make you scratch your head and wonder what the heck is up with them. I thoroughly enjoyed working through the clues uncovered to find the whodunnit. And, most importantly, the why.”
Maryann – Where Death Meets the Devil by L.J. Hayward – “This was my first time reading L.J. Hayward. Where Death Meets the Devil is excellent, and it will keep you guessing! The title alone was intriguing enough for me to select it, and I was not disappointed. There’s high espionage, a great deal of fast-paced action and danger and suspense and mystery, with a touch of futuristic technology too. I just can’t say enough about how very well-written this novel is, down to the fight scenes and the environment being so descriptive. I also like how the plot is set up in a Then and Now way, each Now chapter coinciding with the flashback Then chapters. I couldn’t see this story being told any other way.
Both Jack’s and Ethan’s personal stories are heartfelt. They each have their quirks and issues, and their banter brings the humor—their sincerity is just so pure. The chemistry between them is explosive, and they are a force to be reckoned with. I also have to mention Sophia, who is definitely a star in her own right!
Lisa – Bad Boyfriend by K.A. Mitchell – “The undeniable truth here is that Quinn and Eli are combustible together. The sex, the chemistry, the age play, it’s all there in spades, but the only way it works is if their characterizations are strong individually, which they are. They’re both so charming and funny and sassy and passionate, and their conversations run the fine line between revelation and evasion at the opportune moments. It all came together in such a perfect storm of storytelling that the book was unputdownable even though I already knew how it all played out. Mistakes were made. Of course they were. That’s to be expected when a relationship begins on one big lie and mind-blowing sex is the only thing going for you, but Mitchell builds on it and leads readers to a believable happy beginning for Quinn and Eli. That’s the definition of well-written erotica as far as I’m concerned—if you can take out the sex and be left with a good story that develops into a credible relationship, it’s been done right.
And yeah, we get to savor Peter’s day of reckoning too, which is altogether delicious.”
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