Welcome again to My Favourite Reads. Considering I’ve been madly reading books for the Romance Writers of America Rita Awards (none of which I can tell you about, sorry!), I’m surprised that I still managed four personal reads. On the other hand, maybe I shouldn’t be because every one of them was un-put-downable and I’m hard-pressed to choose my favourite.
Seems like I say that every month but, seriously, these books were CRACKERS and I can’t recommend them highly enough. Of the four, I think my favourite – only by a whisker, mind – would have to be…
The writing was beautiful and atmospheric, the characters real, the setting incredibly vivid but the story… oh my god, THIS STORY! It had me hooked from page one and didn’t let go.
Beyond the Orchard is a layered mystery set across different timelines. Actions from one era echo into following generations, but it’s our heroine Lucy who is determined to unravel the past. In doing so, she hopes to set herself free of the turmoil that has haunted her from childhood, and created a restlessness that drives her constantly to run.
Think mystery, romance, a big old guesthouse on the windswept Great Ocean Road (with the wonderfully creepy name of Bitterwood), and characters with dark secrets. If you’re a fan of Kate Morton or Susanna Kearsley you will love this one. It’s fantastic. Go buy it or borrow from your local library. You won’t be disappointed.
This was one of those Kindle First deals where, for a limited time, Amazon offers six editor’s picks in advance of release date for only $1-99 each. I’m not sure I would have discovered Extracted otherwise. I spotted it while trawling for something non-romance to give me a break from my RWA reads and it sounded a hoot, so I bought it and I’m glad I did. What a ride!
This was a funny, thrilling, violent, sweary and intriguing time-travel/sci-fi with characters that I pretty much fell in love with on introduction. Safa and Ben were awesome, but Mad Harry cracked me up completely. He was just too cool. They all were, really. I can’t wait to see what they get up to next.
A word of warning: this is book one in a trilogy and ends on a cliffhanger but the good news is that book 2, Executed, isn’t far away. I’ll be snapping that baby up as soon as it’s released. Huge fun. Huuuuuuge!
If you pay any attention at all to the ebook best-seller charts on sites like Kobo and Amazon you wouldn’t have missed Robert Brydza’s previous titles The Girl in the Ice and The Night Stalker (you can read what I said about both here). They’ve been mega sellers for months now (The Girl in the Ice has sold over a million copies alone) and there’s a good reason for that – they’re completely compelling.
Dark Water is the third in this Detective Erika Foster series and doesn’t disappoint. I feel like I should have seen the twist coming but I didn’t, probably because I was too wrapped up in this fast-paced book to dwell too much on the clues. Hmm. That sounds a bit weird given this is a whodunit, but Bryndza’s books don’t give you much time to breathe, let alone think, and I’m more than happy to let myself be swept away in the story.
The next one, Last Breath, is out in April… better mark the date in my diary.
Making Faces is an incredibly touching small-town story about inner beauty, friendship and love, and I guess about war too. At times it had an almost Christian romance feel to it – which is not my thing at all – but it’s not classified as such, and the spiritual side didn’t bother me in the slightest. It felt right rather than preachy.
Ambrose, our hero, is the goods – beautiful, sporty, smart, and Fern has loved him forever. But boys like Ambrose don’t look at ugly duckling girls like Fern. Except Fern is as special as he is, perhaps even more so, and how Ambrose learns this will take your breath away.
The heartbreak and heroism in Making Faces will have you reaching for the tissues but never fear, this is a romance. A happily-ever-after ending is always there.
Next stop on my Amy Harmon reading journey is From Sand and Ash, already locked ‘n loaded on my e-reader and ready to go. Whoop!
What were your favourite reads of February?