My Favourite Reads of June 2019

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My Favourite Reads image

Welcome to my favourite reads for June 2019. The past month turned out to a month for series reads. There was only one stand-alone book, and that stand-alone book turned out to be my favourite, although it was a close-run thing.

Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver

Wakenhyrst by Michelle PaverMy favourite of the month.

I’ve been a Michelle Paver fan for a very long time now. Her novel A Place in the Hills is a cherished (albeit rather tattered) book that will never leave my keeper shelf. I’m also pretty sure Paver is the author who introduced me to romance. Until her, I’d only really read chick-lit, then I read A Place in the Hills followed by Without Charity and loved them, but it was the historical “Daughters of Eden” trilogy that truly opened my eyes. Or maybe I should say opened my heart because it had all the feels. Whatever the case, it made me want more.

Paver’s more recent books make me feel too, but in a different way. These stories are Gothic and ghostly and creepy. And if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know how much I adore a good creeping out.

In true Gothic style, Wakenhyrst features a crumbling manor house. Wake’s End is in Devon, near the village of Wakenhyrst and surrounded by the Fens, which add to the atmosphere of isolation and seclusion. There are legends, secrets and madness, Superstition clashes with religion, as does ancient healing with new medicine. Then there’s Maud, a great lead character who’s clever and strong, yet also lonely and secretive, and around whom the story winds.

Wonderful storytelling, vivid characters and spine-tingles galore. Loved.

Defy the Fates by Claudia GrayDefy the Fates by Claudia Gray

This is the final instalment in the Constellation trilogy and a very close second favourite read for the month. I’ve adored this series (my comments on book one, Defy the Stars here and book two, Defy the Worlds here) and never thought I could come to care so much about an android, or “mech” as they’re called in the books. Aiden, though, is very easy to fall in love with. Deep sigh.

Defy the Fates was loaded with surprise twists and many times I worried that Noemi and Aiden were never going to make it. The way their romance was resolved was very satisfying and I feel like I should have seen that coming from the start, but I didn’t.

Loved this book and the series. I can’t wait for more from Gray.

Blackstone and the Burning Secret by Sally SpencerBlackstone and the Burning Secret by Sally Spencer

This is the fourth book in Spencer’s Inspector Blackstone series and it certainly won’t be the last for me. As I’ve mentioned before (my comments on the first three books here), I really enjoy the late Victorian setting. It was period of great change and Blackstone’s investigations tend to have their genesis in the social, political and industrial upheavals of the time.

The books aren’t terribly long but they’re compelling and interesting, and I find them excellent for ‘snacking on’ between fatter books. Next up, Blackstone and the Stage of Death. Rah!

The Cheater's Game by CJ ArcherThe Cheater’s Game by CJ Archer

I can’t believe I’m up to book seven of the Glass and Steele series, but I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve been hooked on Archer’s stories since reading The Last Necromancer (book one in the Ministry of Curiosities series and currently free across ebook platforms), and her new After the Rift series has me totally intrigued.

But back to India Steele and Matt Glass and The Cheater’s Game! Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show has arrived in London and Willie, my favourite character in Matt’s crew, can’t stop from hanging with the performers. Naturally, trouble follows. With plenty of danger, mystery, and a secret that could harm Matt and India’s relationship, this was a lot of fun.

Chocolate and Old Lace by Kaz DelaneyChocolate and Old Lace by Kaz Delaney

Kaz Delaney, also known as Kerri Lane, is a prolific writer of children’s and young adult books. She is also a delightful person who’s appeared on this blog’s (now archived) Friday Feast. Kaz has turned to adult fiction and was kind enough to give me a copy of her new cozy mystery series. I’m so glad she did. It was lovely fun!

Chocolate and Old Lace introduces us to the Rosie Hart series – tag line: Murder has never been so delicious. Don’t you just love that? So cool. Anyway, Rosie loves to cook and her skills in the kitchen endear her to the small Texan town she’s moved to, and one sexy cowboy in particular. Oh, and me. Got to love a heroine who cooks.

Quirky characters, lovely baking, murder and mayhem, and there are even recipes at the back of the book. Hugely enjoyable. Next in the series is Preserving the Evidence. loving these titles.

By the way, if you sign up for Kaz’s mailing list you score the Rosie Hart novella, The Funeral Crasher, for free. Enjoy!

What have you been reading lately?

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4 thoughts on “My Favourite Reads of June 2019

  1. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    Cathryn, when did you put this blog post up, I’ve been keeping my eye out every Friday for this and I just thought you were super late this month. Lucky I was scrolling through Goodreads and I happened to see your post you shared and I thought what the … lol. I never miss your favourite reads so don’t know what happened. I found it scrolling through your website between Teaser Tuesday with Fiona McArthur and This Writing Life. Hmm.

    Ooh, I took advantage of the free book offer and now have The Last Necromancer on my Kindle (app). I’ve yet to finish the Emily Chambers trilogy – love that series so much. I love Kaz Delaney’s book cover, so cute, would love to have that one and similar covers displayed on my shelf, reminds of the cute shabby chic cottage look for some reason. I have a couple of cookbooks in those colours and a pink squishy cake, lol. Oh, Chocolate and Old Lace is sitting on my Kindle too.

    Books I enjoyed last month:
    A Fortunate Life by A.B. Faced – one of the best memoirs I’ve read
    A Diamond in the Dust by Frauke Bolten Boshammer – a very interesting account of a German family migrating from Germany to the Kimberleys (audiobook)
    Violent Exposure by Katherine Howell – love how the stories centre around paramedics.
    Working Class Boy by Jimmy Barnes – Another cool narration by Jimmy
    Devil’s Lair by Sarah Barrie – my first read by this author and wow, loved this gothic style novel – cults, witchcraft and spooky happenings in the night.
    The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris – great book but awfully sad. (audiobook)
    A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles – I found this one very slow but the protagonist was a lovely character
    Lily D V.A.P. by Madeleine West – really enjoying Madeleine’s character on Neighbours I had no idea she is also a children’s author – I listened to this on audio narrated by Madeleine herself, her protagonist is a little cutie and her course of action is to walk in others shoes and learn practical and useful life lessons. The series is really sweet, the illustrations are lovely and I like how the books are set out.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Hmm. I posted this on the 19th July and shared it via Facebook and Twitter, but not everything gets seen on Facebook. Do you subscribe to the blog, Sue? There’s a widget on the sidebar, below the cover of The French Prize where you can subscribe to the blog.
      Your list is fantastic! What a mix of genres and so interesting . I’ve had my eye on A Gentleman in Moscow and on Sarah Barrie’s new one too. Sarah is lovely too, I need to get her on the blog.
      Thanks so much for sharing. That was great.

      1. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

        Yes, I subscribe to your blog, Cathryn, time has flown by so fast I never realised it’s been a week since I checked my emails. I’m checking now and there it is. I must get in the habit of checking every couple of days but life seems to be so busy these days – looking after April and her husband’s foster child because they work is keeping me very very busy.

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