I read all year ’round, but there’s something about sitting in the sunshine with a book—whether on the beach or on the patio—that’s just so awesome. Since I started reading ebooks a few years back, I’ve used a tablet, but I decided this year, I wanted to do more reading outside, so for Mother’s Day, Hubby and the kids got me a Kindle Paperwhite. So far, I’m loving it. I didn’t think the e-ink would be that much easier on the eyes, but wow.
Anyway, over the past month, I’ve read some great books. Check them out…
Triad Blood by ‘Nathan Burgoine
This is the first full-length novel featuring ‘Nathan Burgoine’s paranormal triad: Luc the vampire, Anders the demon, and Curtis the wizard. In this world, paranormal creatures must form groups of three (or more) in order to be safe from other creatures, and those groups are usually of one kind: three vampires, three demons, etc. In previous short stories, Luc, Anders and Curtis—each alone and vulnerable—formed a connection with each other that started out as solely an act of desperation, but has developed into something more like friendship.
This was a well-woven tale, meshing storylines from each member of the triad into a cohesive whole. The pacing was excellent, the mystery kept me turning the pages, and I loved the depth of the world ‘Nathan has created here. The characters are also very well developed and individual, but complementary, too. Luc is the old soul, so to speak; Curtis is the intellectual; and Anders is as daring and rakish as you’d expect a demon to be.
I especially appreciated that the book felt Canadian. There’s always something really special about a book set in your home town. Being able to visualize the area being described in words brings you that much deeper into the story. ‘Nathan did a great job of incorporating the culture and presence of Ottawa into the story seamlessly. (Also, I giggled that Curtis lived in the same general neighbourhood that my hero of Her Sexy Sentinel lived in…clearly there’s something magical about the Rideau Canal area.)
I will note that this book was more on the urban fantasy side of things rather than romance. I’m hoping that the relationship between Luc, Anders and Curtis develops further in future books. They have a good foundation for it now!
You can pick up Triad Blood at:
Breakaway and the Scoring Chances series by Avon Gale
Do you like hockey with your m/m? If you haven’t read this series by Avon Gale yet, you need to! I absolutely fell in love with the characters in the first book, particularly Lane, and I ended up devouring the rest of the series over the next few days.
In Breakaway, Lane Courtnall is a rookie on the ECHL’s Jacksonville Sea Storm. He’s 20, gay, from Chatham, Ontario, and does not communicate well—he’s a shade too blunt and really doesn’t grasp the point of a brain-mouth filter. His teammates don’t like him very much because of said lack of brain-mouth filter, so he decides to throw his gloves down during a game against Jacksonville’s rivals, against their bruiser, Jared Shore. As it turns out, Jared’s bisexual, and that fight leads to Lane and Jared connecting off the ice in a much more pleasant manner. But Jared’s at the end of his career (he’s in his early 30s) while Lane is at the start of his very promising one, so can they figure out how to work out a future together?
The best thing about Avon’s Scoring Chances series is how strongly the love of hockey shines through the narration and the characters. There’s not a lot of angst in these books (the third is about the angstiest to date, but I think the upcoming number four might top it). Most of the players have no problem accepting their bisexual and gay teammates, which is refreshing. These books are about the love of the game first and foremost, which makes them a joy to read.
Even if you’re not a hockey fan, I think you’d still like these books. They make hockey very accessible—the games and practices are big parts of the story, but the books don’t linger on the play-by-play on the ice. I seriously loved them.
You can pick up Breakaway and the other Scoring Chances books at:
Will & Patrick Wake Up Married serial by Leta Blake & Alice Griffiths
One morning in Vegas, two strangers wake up in bed together. Neither Will nor Patrick really remembers the night before (at first, anyway), but their bodies illustrate that there was some serious loving happening. All night. And to top it off, they’re sporting matching wedding rings. Oops.
For almost anyone else in that situation, it would be a simple thing to get a divorce—but not for Will. He’s the son of a mobster, who inherited a massive trust fund from his grandfather, and one of the stipulations of the inheritance is that should he ever marry, it needed to be for love, and divorcing will ensure his inheritance returns to his mobster relatives. He can’t let that happen, because he’s got a humanitarian non-profit depending on those funds. Double oops.
This series of novellas was such a fun romp. The family drama was dramatic—as you expect a mob family to be—but the characters of Will and Patrick raised the story to a whole new level. Will is diabetic and an alcoholic, which I thought was worked into the story quite well and not used for melodramatics. Patrick is a neurosurgeon, with all of the ego that goes along with that. He also has Asperger’s, which shines through in his dealings with everyone in Will’s wacky hometown.
Because this is a serial, with quite a significant overall word count, Leta Blake and Alice Griffiths have plenty of time to explore Will and Patrick’s personalities and the secondary characters as well. There are plenty of ups and downs for the two of them, from difficulties at Patrick’s new job to Will’s still-lingering feelings for his ex. This was the best kind of contemporary romance, with more than a little wish fulfillment, a ton of sexual tension, and scads of emotions, both high and low.
The first episode is currently free on Amazon and elsewhere if you want to give it a try. You can also buy all of the books in one package for a decent discount, which is what I did after whipping through the first book.
You can pick up the serial package of Will & Patrick Wake Up Married at:
It seems Barnes & Noble only has the individual episodes.
Embrace the Beast by Mia West
This is the latest novella in Mia’s Grizzly Rim series. I’ve loved the previous books in this series, but you can definitely read this one as a standalone if you wish.
Otter shifter Nate Landry might have come to Alaska under not-the-best circumstances, but he’s made himself a home amongst the other shifters in Grizzly Rim. Except none of them know he’s using a borrowed name, not even his best friend Mac. Mac’s got his own secrets that keep him from getting too close to anyone, but when he finds out that Nate’s real name is Charlie, and the circumstances surrounding his flight to Alaska, he can’t help but be drawn even closer to the man.
One of the things I love about Mia’s Grizzly Rim series is that although the books are novella-sized, they are complete and whole stories that balance their paranormal and romantic elements very well. If you’re looking for a very well done paranormal snack, I highly recommend these books!
You can pick up Embrace the Beast at:
Burn the Sky by Jaye McKenna
I found Burn the Sky through an automatically generated recommendation on Goodreads. I’d never read Jaye McKenna before, but I love high fantasy romance. Plus, dragons!
Prince Garrick is a bit of a playboy—he doesn’t take his studies too seriously, since his younger brother Jaire is serious enough for the both of them. He’s much more interested in a tumble with his buddy, Kian, than learning things he’ll need to know as the next Wytch King of Altan. But when Jaire develops his Wytch powers, Garrick’s world starts to crumble. At 20, Garrick should have developed his powers years ago, and the fact that he hasn’t means that he’s not liking to hold his title of Heir Presumptive for much longer. Though Jaire has strong magic, he’s frail and delicate, and unprepared to become Wytch King. In order to save his brother, Garrick agrees to undergo a spell to forcefully awaken his Wytch powers…which results in disaster.
Ilya, a Wytch Master who is an expert in dangerous powers is called in to train Garrick—or to try, anyway. Because if Garrick can’t learn to control himself, Ilya won’t be his saviour—he’ll be his doom.
One of the things I really enjoyed about these books was that Jaye McKenna takes the time to set up her characters individually, so you know exactly what each character’s motivations and goals are by the time they meet. The world-building is deep, but she only provides what you need to know on the page—which is awesome. I really enjoyed both of the books in the Wytch Kings series, and I’ll be looking at more from this author!
You can pick up Burn the Sky at: