Friday, July 5, 2024

What Deanna Read #97: June 2024

In an attempt to try to get sort of back on track, I'm putting this together earlier. Who knows when I'll get it finished, but this is a start. I'm still struggling with trying to stay up to date with my gigantic to-do list, but work is taking more and more priority and it's gotten busier. I'm not complaining, I love my work, but I won't be honest if I don't at least admit that I was a little burnt out a week ago and needed a break.

Here's what I read for the last month.

Husband Fur Hire by TS Joyce
Husband Fur Hire
Boarlander Cursed Bear by TS Joyce
Boarlander Beast Boar by TS Joyce
Boarlander Beast Boar
B Clones by Laurann Dohner

His Wild Obsession by CD Gorri
His Wild Obsession
Close To The Edge by Cassie Mint
Close To The Edge
Merciless Saints by Michelle Heard
Merciless Saints
The Hero She Craves by Anna Hackett
The Hero She Craves

Hunted By A Shadow by Michelle Heard
Hunted By A Shadow
Craving Danger by Michelle Heard
Craving Danger
Tempted By The Devil by Michelle Heard
Tempted By The Devil
Heated by Naima Simone

Drawn To Darkness by Michelle Heard
Drawn To Darkness
Flash by Jayne Ann Krentz
St Kilda Blues By Geoffrey McGeachin
St Kilda Blues (book club read)
Trust No One by Jayne Ann Krentz
Trust No One

This seems to be the average these days in terms of what I'm reading each month. It's a combination of a few things. (1) I'm reading some longer books. (2) Work is busy and I have less time to read for fun and everything here is what I read for fun. (3) I'm doing a lot more work-related reading, so when I have free time, my brain can get kinda mushy and I would end up watching YouTube videos instead of reading because my brain can't process words anymore. And finally, (4) I'm finding it harder and harder to find new authors I enjoy. I have a lot to say about this new crop of your romance authors who write to trend, but that's a topic for another day. Oh, one more thing, because you know I never stop when I say I'm stopping. (5) Which is sort of related to (2) in that COVID is well and truly over in terms of being stuck at home with nothing to do, so all I did was read for three years and my reading numbers went through the roof. I mean, it's bonkers that in 2020, 2021, and 2022, I cracked 300+ books read a year, and then in 2023, I cracked 200+ books read a year which was still significant. I'll be happy if I can get back to my pre-pandemic average which was around about 150+ books a year. I think that's going to be doable.

I've finally finished the Boarlander Bears series with Boarlander Beast Boar and Boarlander Cursed Bear. Gosh. That was so good and I got hit all in the feels with all the shifter rights story arc going on. Tears were shed. I'm taking a short break from the Damon's Mountain world and diving into Bears Fur Hire series for a little while. I'm thoroughly enjoying the first book, Husband Fur Hire. One of the things I love about Ms Joyce is that I find her effortlessly funny. It's like she's not even trying, but her words are hilarious to me sometimes. I'm sure it's not effortless for her and she works hard to be funny without seeming like she's trying too hard.

Only one Cassie Mint this month and sadly, it seems like Ms Mint has slowed down her publishing schedule, so it's only a book a month now. I can deal. I loved Close To The Edge.

New to me author I binged - yay! It was a recommendation from someone in a book group and believe me when I say I asked a gazillion questions before I actually downloaded the book to read, but I'm glad I did. I loved Michelle Heard's writing even though mafia romance is not usually my thing. A few things I love about her. I enjoy her writing. It reads like she's worked on her writing craft and it's good writing. Her heroines are not noodles. This is a giant plus. And her mafia romance is not dark in the more common sense of the label for dark romance. There's some violence, in fact, book 3 of the series, Hunted By A Shadow was probably right on the edge of being too much for me. It was pretty extreme and very violent. Very very intense and possibly not for everyone. Fortunately for me, I was warned beforehand and I started with book 4, Drawn To Darkness which was downright light and fluffy by comparison. It was supposed to be the lightest of the entire Kings of Mafia series so far. I'm glad I started with that one, plus with them all being standalone stories, I didn't feel like I was missing anything by starting in the middle of the series. Then I went back to book 1, Tempted By The Devil and glommed the series making my way to book 2, Craving Danger, and then book 3. Book 5 is coming out soon and that's Damiano's book. He's the leader of the Cosa Nostra and the most intense of them all, so I think his book is going to be a doozy, but I'm prepared for it. Look at me, being all brave and everything. I also started Ms Heard's The Saints series, but I only managed book 1, Merciless Saints before I needed a break from all her mafia goodness. Plus The Saints series in more new adult so it's taking me a while to wrap my head around much younger protagonists.

Back to the Unbroken Heroes world by Anna Hackett and I enjoyed The Hero She Craves. Poor Ren. He tried so hard to resist Halle, but he also failed miserably at it. Heh. It wouldn't be a romance if he succeeded. Let's face it, Halle was very determined, and Ren gave in pretty quickly. Yeah! Thoroughly enjoyed the book. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

I'm not sure if you've noticed but hubby and I joined a book club, so there have been some book club reads the last couple of months. So far they have all be terrible. And boring. This month's in particular was rather terrible. Lazy writing, formulaic, and I didn't not need chapter after chapter of the bad guy getting a boner after being splattered by blood and gore. It was gross. I do not like reading the antagonist's point of view. Especially if he's a serial killer and pretty effed up in the head. I do not recommend this book at all. I gave up after the first chapter and hubby, bless him for persevering, made it about a third way through the book before he gave up too. My giant grumble about the whole book club thing is that there are millions of books out there to pick from and we are limited to the 40+ books available in our local library's book club lending program. Feh!

That's it from me. What did you read last month?

PS. I have made my list for my top 10 for 2023 (hey, that's progress!!), so that's coming soon. Soon...

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  1. Not many in June as I was on holiday for half of the month.

    1 Fighting for Adalyn by Katie Reus. Redemption Harbor Security #3. USA, Louisiana. Wasn't keen

    2 People in Glass Houses by Jayne Castle. Harmony #17. Space

    3 The Comfort of Ghosts by Jacqueline Winspear. Maisie Dobbs #18. UK, London/Kent. A great finale to the series

    4 The Hero she Craves by Anna Hackett. Unbroken Heroes #3. USA, California/Hawaii

    5 The Hero she Craves bonus epilogue by Anna Hackett. Unbroken Heroes #3. USA

    6 Blaze by Lynn Raye Harris. Ghost Ops #1. USA, Alabama. A great start to a new series

    7 Boys who Hurt by Eva Björg Ægisdottir. Forbidden Iceland #5. Iceland, Akranes

    8 A Miracle for the Alien Warrior by Honey Phillips. Treasured by the Alien #11. Space

    9 The Missing Witness by Allison Brennan. Quinn and Costa #5. USA, California

    10 Man in Black by Julie Ann Walker. Black Knights Inc Reloaded #3. USA, Illinois, Chicago

    11 Fever by Jordan L Hawk. USA, Alaska

    1. It's still a decent number of books for the month. I think I've had some months that were shorter.