Recent Notable Reads

I’ve been blogging over at Alleskelle.com lately, but I thought I might toss a few of my favorite recent reviews out there and say “hey y’all!”

 

Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold by Ellen O’Connell

Western romances are a difficult genre for me. I love them in theory. Cowboys are yummy. But frequently the stories are too silly – characters relegated to two-dimensional prejudices and sketches. And this book could have gone that way.

Cord is half Native American in the old west in the early 1900s. He’s had a few violent incidents that led to this reputation for being a psychopath. Cord revels in his reputation – doing nothing to stop it even amongst his own family. Anne is the only person not afraid of Cord – sort of Bc he’s really a good guy. Also sort of Bc she’s nuts.

I loved that this book started with the action out the gate. At 6% I leapt out of my relaxing bath Bc no way could I calmly read surrounded by bubbles. Cord and Anne had a painful beginning – pun intended. And then they were “married,” but the book had the most amazing slow burn feel. Cord and Anne had these doubt and issues and communication problems that made one he

ll of a climb to CordAndAnne. So delicious.

Another favorite thing – the writing is so pared down. OConnell trusts her story to carry the reader. And she has good reason. I got lost in this book. Incapable of putting it down. Totally blissed out. I fell for Cord so hard y’all prolly heard the splat from your house.

I heard about this book in my Old School Romance Book Club. I get some of my best recs there and haven’t been led astray once. I can’t wait to read through Ellen OConnell’s entire works.

Here Kitty, Kitty By Shelly Laurenston

5 jackass stars. Really – it was a 4 Star read. But I enjoyed them so much – I’m giving it 5 stars for unlikable characters who were so much fun.

You need to read the other books in the series before you read this one. It stands alone – but nothing will make as much sense if you haven’t read the others.

I loved this book Bc Angie and Nik were awful – selfish, rude, obnoxious twats totally perfect for one another. (And Nik – a redneck, super-cuddly tiger? Can I get a hell yeah? He is a personal-favorite hero for sure.)

Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan

YES! YES! YESSSSSSSSSSS!

Dude. Believe the hype…

So here’s the thing about angsty books. I love/hate them. When done well I love the reverse rollercoaster. As low as the author brings me – I know that I’m going to zoom up higher. A huge rush after abject misery. It’s oddly addicting. But most authors don’t trust themselves or their readers. They create horrid, agonizing, OTT circumstances (cancer, homelessness, unloving parents, death) that shove you out of the story rather than sucking you in. I don’t wanna be depressed when I read – I want to be riveted. I don’t want to be pounded by waves of despair that have me chucking my kindle – I want to be adrift in a gentle sea of misery from which I can see the shore. And Kennedy Ryan NAILED IT!

Hot freakin damn, y’all. I haven’t been this miserable/happy in forever. I stick with the lighter reads for the reasons listed above. However, nba players are my jammmmmmm (irl, too – although you wouldn’t know id dated a couple from looking at my shorty husband). I also like to check out books that have good buzz. Frequently I get to 3% or 10% and know it isn’t the book for me. I thought the beginning here was a little stilted – but Iris was too likable to give up on early. And August was compelling – in his own way.

The gist of the story – on the cusp of the rest of their lives 2 people meet and are so clearly meant to be together. But Iris finds herself in a situation from which she can’t escape. I felt so trapped along with Iris – my heart slamming into my rib cage. I kept setting the book down to walk circles around my house. I felt Iris in my toes and the palms of my hands and in my heart and soul. August was a wonderful hero – warm and strong and with his own struggle. But this is Iris’s story – Iris’s strength. She’s a gorgeous, compelling, inspiring and meaningful heroine. And I fell in love with her.

I came for the hero. I stayed for the heroine. (And while I didn’t sob I did cry twice – which is HUGE. Books rarely rarely make me cry).

I’m going to go get in the shower. Turn some slow jams on my bathroom speaker. Stare into space under the hot water and think about what I just read and what I just felt and how glorious it all was.

Warnings – seriously, y’all. The lows are low. If you’re sensitive to abuse/violence etc be prepared or don’t read this book. At one point I thought I’d puke – and this isn’t a trigger for me. Kennedy Ryan doesn’t sugar-coat shit. Mad respect for that.

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