Happy Tuesday! Hope everyone is having a fantastic summer! As part of Forever Romance's Summer Reading blog event, I will be presenting to you the lovely Katie MacAlister's five recommended reads for this summer. And if you haven't already read her latest release, Memoirs of a Dragon Hunter, I have included my review and a few buy links below. There is also a fun giveaway hosted by Forever Romance at the bottom of the post.
Coming from Katie MacAlister herself, here are her Summer Reading recommendations...
I usually don't get a ton of time to read during the summer; it seems like if I'm not writing, I'm editing a book. But when I do manage to squeeze out a bit of "me time" I almost always reach for a mystery. And since I have a great love of mysteries from the golden era of crime fiction, that's what I dive into.
The following are the five most recent books I had clutch in my hot little hands (or plugged into my ears) while lounging around my deck:
Light Thickens by Ngaio Marsh: a classic mystery for fans of acting, and especially of Shakespeare and MacBeth.
The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers: Lord Peter Whimsy at his best, IMHO. He rings bells, he deduces like crazy, and he has much fun with a character with the best surname of all time: Gotobed.
Singing in the Shrouds by Ngaio Marsh: This is one of my favorite Ngaio Marsh books because it's set on a cruise ship. I have a secret passion for cruise ship mysteries, and this one ticks all the boxes--interesting characters, red herrings galore, and pre-WWII cruise ships.
The Talisman Ring Georgette Heyer: My second favorite Georgette Heyer romance, this has some of the wittiest lines, and best action. I listened to the audio version of this narrated by the wonderful Phyllida Nash, and highly recommend it.
Footsteps in the Dark by Georgette Heyer: My favorite G. Heyer mystery. It's another one with dry wit that makes me giggle, and even has a wee bit of romance to counteract the spooky noises and mysterious figures haunting a dark, brooding mansion...
Thank you, Katie! Please check out her latest book below.
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo
First of all, I would like to applaud the author for having a heroine with OCD! It's not often you see characters in romance novels with real-life challenges like that, and it was both humbling and inspiring to have a main character face it head-on as part of the storyline. That being said, yes, I did rate it three stars, but this was mostly due to lack of chemistry, I felt, between the hero and heroine. I loved the plot, the characters' individual growth, and the worldbuilding, and I highly recommend this book to readers. But when I can't get behind the romance of the book, it takes away a big part of my enjoyment. I know people will disagree with me, and I think that's totally fine - I think the fact that this book has so much going on makes it an enjoyable ride for all, no matter what floats your boat in a romance novel!
Veronica James is in an OCD nightmare - first, she has to watch her sister die in an extremely filthy environment, then she has to team up with Ian Iskander (albeit a hottie) who she can't stop touching no matter how much she insists she hates touching, and finally her home has been torn to shreds which really messes with her mojo. But now that she's a dragon hunter with mad fighting skills and a death to avenge, her focus is on saving the world, one demon kill at a time. If only she could get past her obsession with half-demon Ian and his manly muscles.
Veronica was hysterical - her quirks that stem from her OCD made her super relatable and enjoyable to read about. While it did get a bit disconcerting at times, since I do not have OCD myself, I found that a lot of things she had problems with were totally understandable. Ian was a bit of a flat character initially, and I had a hard time getting a read on his personality. It was only after he and Veronica became closer that I started to warm up to him and understand who he was. Sadly, her bubbly personality just didn't mesh well with his, well, boring one. I liked them as individuals and loved seeing them overcome their personal challenges, but as a couple, I didn't feel they clicked. The secondary characters were interesting as well, particularly Sasha, who was a mystery for majority of the book. I went from thinking she was a baby demon to being Ian's plaything to finally thinking she was just a very juvenile sidekick. Turns out, she was none of those things!
I look forward to reading more in this series, and hopefully next time the romance will click better for me! Katie MacAlister is always an entertaining author, and I have a great time reading her books.
**I received a free copy from the publisher and this is my honest review.**