As you probably know about me by now, I'm a big reader. That being the case, I thought it might be fun to blog about the best books I read each month. So without further ado, off we go!
I read so many books in June (15 novels, 5 short stories), and I was really hyped for a lot of them. Unfortunately, most of what I read didn't live up to the hype. So that was disappointing. I don't think I'm difficult to please when it comes to books - my ratings are usually pretty generous, and it's rare for me to give a book fewer than 3 stars, because I can find something to like in most books – but this month's stack didn't yield the abundance of 5* reads I was hoping for. But there were four of them, all by the same author: KJ Charles. She is my new favourite!
I'm going to talk to you about three: The Magpie Lord, A Queer Trade (a short story set in the same world), and Band Sinister. I would be hard pressed to choose my favourite between them. They're all romance, all M/M, all historical, and the first two are fantasy too.
Friends have been recommending these books to me for YEARS, and I've just never got around to reading them. Now I feel stupid for waiting so long! What makes them so strong is, as always with romance, the characters. They're really well put-together, with individuals both loveable and hateable.
The plot to Band Sinister is pleasantly straightforward: a lady falls off her horse on the land of a local lord about whom there are terrible rumours, and her brother has to stay in the lord's house with her until she recovers from the broken leg she suffered in the accident. It's an enemies-to-lovers M/M romance with all the classic trappings of regency romance.
The Magpie Lord delivers the same mixture, but with the addition of magic. And the magic system is wonderfully constructed, whilst feeling utterly period-appropriate. It's dark and creepy, and I had definite shivers at some of the spooky goings on.
A Queer Trade introduces a fascinating new limb to the magic system, one that is actually even creepier. I loved it. It's a prequel short story to Rag and Bone, but I much preferred the short story.
If you're a fan of historical fantasy, I really can't recommend these three highly enough. But be warned: this is steamy romance, and the sex is relatively graphic.
What are the best books you read this month? I'd love to hear your recommendations.
x- Josie -x
Everything I read in June:
THE SURFACE BREAKS by Louise O'Neill - 🌟🌟
QUEEN OF SHADOWS by Sarah J Maas - 🌟🌟🌟🌟
THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA by Scott Lynch - 🌟🌟🌟🌟
THE NIGHTJAR by Deborah Hewitt - 🌟🌟🌟
HANNAH GREEN AND HER UNFEASIBLY MUNDANE EXISTENCE by Michael Marshall Smith - 🌟🌟🌟🌟
THE LAST SMILE IN SUNDER CITY by Luke Arnold - 🌟🌟🌟🌟
All the below by Emily Suvada:
THESE PRECIOUS SCARS - 🌟🌟🌟🌟
THIS MORTAL COIL - 🌟🌟🌟🌟
THIS CRUEL DESIGN - 🌟🌟🌟
THIS VICIOUS CURE - 🌟🌟🌟🌟
All the below by KJ Charles:
BAND SINISTER - 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
THE MAGPIE LORD - 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
INTERLUDE WITH TATTOOS - 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
A CASE OF POSSESSION - 🌟🌟🌟🌟
A CASE OF SPIRITS - 🌟🌟🌟🌟
FLIGHT OF MAGPIES - 🌟🌟🌟🌟
FEAST OF STEPHEN - 🌟🌟🌟🌟
JACKDAW - 🌟🌟🌟
A QUEER TRADE - 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
RAG AND BONE - 🌟🌟🌟