Tag Archives: Odd Thomas

Favourite Reads of March

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My Favourite Reads image

I had a fantastic reading month in March, with every book a page-turner. As usual the list is a bit eclectic but I really enjoy reading different genres and think it keeps me fresh and inspired. I also tried a few new-to-me authors and returned to the comfort of a couple of beloved series.

Two stories stood out, which made it hard to choose my favourite, but that title has to go to…

Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey

Letters to the Lost by Iona GreyThis book was amazing. I wept in the opening, sniffled a bit throughout and spent the last part bawling. I loved everything about this story – the characters, the dual timeline, the writing, the vivid settings. Most of all I loved the way it took my heart and squeezed it tight from beginning to end.

Letters to the Lost won the UK Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Goldsboro Books Romantic Novel Of The Year 2016 and I can see why. It’s simply beautiful. And because of the two timelines, one set during World War Two and the other contemporary, you get two romances in one. Bonus.

Perfect for Mother’s Day. Perfect for any day, really. Read it, but keep those tissues handy!

I also read…

The Lie Tree by Frances HardingeThe Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

My second favourite read of the month. Not a romance, but a wonderfully creepy Gothic tale set in Victorian times and featuring a unique premise and incredible writing. Another award winner too. The Lie Tree took out the prestigious 2015 Costa Book of the Year.

I want to read everything this author has written now. Next stop, Cuckoo Song.

Oh, and don’t be put off by its children’s book classification. The book felt about as child-suitable as a Stephen King novel to me!

The Last Sherlock Holmes Story by Michael DibdinThe Last Sherlock Holmes Story by Michael Dibdin

Regular followers will know what a Sherlock Holmes fan I am so I was never going to resist this one, especially when it also features the Jack the Ripper murders. The story rollicked along and was very entertaining but there’s a huge twist at the end that, while cleverly done, did leave me pretty gobsmacked. Can’t say more. You’ll have to find it out for yourself.

The Widow by Fiona BartonThe Widow by Fiona Barton

A mystery-thriller which follows the tale of a man suspected of a terrible crime, and how much, if anything, his wife knew about it. It’s something you wonder yourself, when you read about murderers and other terrible criminals.

A Vow To Secure His Legacy by Annie WestRebel’s Bargain by Annie West & A Vow To Secure His Legacy by Annie West

Annie is a friend and kindly sent me copies of her two books to read, and what fun I had! Arrogant alpha males usually leave me cold but Annie has the gift of keeping them real and relatable, as well as super sexy. I particularly enjoyed A Vow To Secure His Legacy. That one made me cry.

Odd Hours by Dean KoontzOdd Hours by Dean Koontz

I adore this Odd Thomas series, and while Odd Hours didn’t rate as a favourite it was still a good read. I’ve already bought Odd Apocalypse, the next in the series, and will be reading that soon. I need to know what happens to poor Odd!

Kings Rising by CS PacatKings Rising by CS Pacat

And, sadly, with this book the journey ends. What a stunner of a series. Unique and brilliantly written. Can we have more please, Ms Pacat? Pretty please?

Tempting Mr Townsend by Anna CampbellTempting Mr Townsend by Anna Campbell

I’ve loved all the books in the Dashing Widows series, and maybe it’s because it’s still on my mind but I think this one is my favourite so far. Anthony was gorgeous (I’m a sucker for a big man) and Fenella’s anguish and guilt over her burgeoning attraction for him very real.

 

What were your favourite reads?

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THIS WRITING LIFE: Highlight Reads of 2014

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I read so many memorable books this year that it’s hard to choose which were my highlights but I’m going to give it a go, ending with a

Book Hangover Of The Year Award

for the book or series that left me totally bereft and rudderless on completion.

For more information or to buy any of the books, click on the headline or covers.

So… in no particular order, here they are!

Dinner at Rose’s by Danielle HawkinsCover of Dinner at Rose's

I adored this book. It was quirky, romantic and made me laugh and cry. And it featured a hot dairy farmer. Not to be missed Kiwi rural romance. (Hawkins’ second novel, Chocolate Cake For Breakfast, was also a beauty).

the-winter-brideThe Winter Bride by Anne Gracie

The Chance Sisters series has been wonderful so far but The Winter Bride is my favourite. Damaris and Freddy are such great characters. Following their journey to happily ever after was hugely satisfying. Please read this series. It will make your heart sing.

Marina by  Carlos Ruiz ZafónCover of Marina

I can’t rave about this book enough. I’m a huge Zafón fan. His gothic stories captivate from the opening page but for me this is his best. It was mesmerising.  The moment I finished I wanted to go back and read it all over again. Even typing this makes me want to reach for it. Runner-up for Book Hangover of the Year. Yeah, it was that good.

being-jadeBeing Jade by Kate Belle

A riveting, complex and beautifully written tale of love, betrayal, tragedy, and the difference between love and sex. What a talent Belle is.

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontzodd-thomas

Oh, this was fun. Spooky, quirky and perfectly paced. A rollicking ride through our hero Odd Thomas’s most interesting life. With bonus Elvis sightings.

holding-out-for-a-heroHolding Out For A Hero by Amy Andrews

What a hoot! A sexy sportsman hero, a determined heroine and loads of memorable secondary characters. Wish Andrews would hurry up with the sequel.

daughter-of-smoke-and-boneDays of Blood and Starlight and Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

This trilogy (starting with Daughter of Smoke and Bone which I read in 2013) was amazing. The writing is lush, and the world-building and characterisations are first class. Absolute page-turners.

thornwood-houseThornwood House by Anna Romer

I’m a terrible sucker for a gothic story and this Australian-set tale didn’t disappoint. Romer has a distinctive and appealing writing voice, and the romance in this was subtle but very fulfilling. Her next, Lyrebird Hill, is near the top of my to-be-read pile.

Mr Impossible by Loretta Chasemr-impossible

No wonder this romance is considered a classic. It has everything. Great setting, amazing characters, adventurous plot, witty dialogue and a completely gorgeous romance. Not to be missed.

rivers-of-londonRivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Like Harry Potter for grown-ups! Huge fun. I’ve already read the 2nd in this series, Moon Over Soho, and plan to keep going. It’s just too much fun to stop now.

Her Christmas Earl by Anna CampbellHer Christmas Earl

Maybe it was my mood, maybe it’s a result of reading a Christmas themed book on Christmas Eve but this has just shot to the top of my Anna Campbell favourites list. Who’d have thought being locked in a wardrobe could be so much fun?

 

And now for the big one…

My Book Hangover of the Year Award goes to

The Grisha Trilogy:

Shadow and Bone, Siege and Stormand Ruin and Rising

by Leigh Bardugo

Grisha 1.0

I gobbled these books one after the other and was so bereft after finishing this romantic fantasy series it took me nearly two weeks to settle into another book. I missed the characters dreadfully and if it weren’t for my gigantic to-be-read pile I would have gone back to the start and read it all over again. Stunning.

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What were your highlight reads of 2014? I’d especially love to hear which one gave you the biggest book hangover so I can check it out myself. Unlike other hangovers, book ones are good for us!