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I had a fairly quiet reading month. I hit a reading slump in the first few weeks where nothing I picked up appealed. Don’t you hate it when that happens? It frustrates me no end. How do you get out of a slump? Do you pick up an old favourite or just keep ploughing on? I usually plough on.

Anyway, the slump disappeared the moment a certain book got into my grabby hands. That book also turned out to be my favourite read of June and it was …

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Sisters of the Resistance by Christine Wells

Sisters of the Resistance by Christine WellsRegular readers will know what a fan of Christine Wells’ books I am. Her stories always feature incredibly strong women and have lovely mysteries woven through them. Sisters of the Resistance, the first story in what I hope will be a series set around Catherine Dior’s Paris spy network, was no exception.

Sisters of the Resistance takes the reader on a wonderful journey not only through the streets of occupied Paris but also into the rooms of couture fashion. It was incredibly glamorous in parts, but this is a war story and Christine Wells wasn’t afraid to show the terrifying and dangerous side of occupation either.

I loved both sisters – Yvette and Gabby. They were so brave! As were others in the spy network. There were also small but lovely romance threads too, for extra satisfaction.

Put Sisters of the Resistance on your reading list.

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Where the Lost Wander by Amy HarmonWhere the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon

A historical novel set in America in the mid-1800s, Where the Lost Wander is a wonderful love story between half Pawnee man John Lowry and young widow Naomi May as they journey west with a wagon train to a better land.

It’s full of hardship, tragedy and sacrifice but it’s also full of love – love of family, of people, of landscape, and that of Naomi and John. I’ve read a lot of Amy Harmon books and they always wring my heart out. Where the Lost Wander didn’t disappoint.

I see Harmon has another fantasy coming out, one set in the same world as The First Girl Child (I talk about that here). Can’t wait!

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Beast by Matt WesolowskiBeast by Matt Wesolowski

If it weren’t for the fabulousness of Sisters of the Resistance, this would have been my favourite read of June. I just adore this series. It is soooo compelling!

Beast is book four in the Six Stories series, which means I only have Deity left to read before I’ve run out of books, and I have yet to see any mention of a book six. Wah! Anyway, as I’ve mentioned previously, the Six Stories series is written like a podcast, where host Scott King investigates a mystery by interviewing six people involved in it. The way the stories unfold makes for great tension.

In Beast, King looks at the death of a young vlogger – her death apparently a prank gone wrong, except there was nothing prankish about the aftermath.

Another cracking read. I’ve already started finished Deity.

If you’re interested in starting the series (and you should be!) I think the first book, Six Stories, is currently discounted in the Australia Kindle store.

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The Other Side of the Sky by Amie Kaufman and Meagan SpoonerThe Other Side of the Sky by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Ah, these two really know how to write a page-turner. If you’re a romance reader, then I HIGHLY recommend you get your hands on Kaufman and Spooner’s Starbound Trilogy. That’ll knock your socks off.

But I digress.

What not as breathtaking as the first Starbound book, I enjoyed The Other Side of the Sky. A lot. It’s a young adult romance set in a sort of fantasy sci-fi world ruled by magic and gods and technology, and where civilisation escaped to the sky when the ‘surface’ became unliveable, the two worlds then evolving separately.

When Prince North falls from the sky and is found by the below’s Nimh, a living goddess, their meeting puts their two worlds on a collision course. Despite their attraction Nimh and North are forced to make impossible choices, for themselves and the worlds they represent.

Fab. The second book, Beyond the End of the World comes out in January. Too far away!

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The Chase by Elle KennedyThe Chase by Elle Kennedy

The Chase would not normally be my thing, but I’ve heard a lot of praise for Kennedy and the Briar U series and thought I’d see what the fuss was about.

It turns out the fuss is well warranted. The Chase was fabulous. Sexy, fun, interesting and feminist. Summer and Fitz were great characters, and this is very much an opposites attract romance which always tickles my fancy. Poor Fitz is completely bamboozled by Summer even though he tries desperately to convince himself he shouldn’t be.

Plenty of steam in The Chase and done really well too. These two are seriously hot together.

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The Conjurer by Luanne G SmithThe Conjurer by Luanne G Smith

The Conjurer is the third book in the Vine Witch series, featuring jinni heroine Sidra, and ties everything up nicely. I found this the most romantic of the three books. Sidra’s backstory evoked enormous sympathy and though she could be fiery character, she was also kind.

It was great to see Elena from The Vine Witch (I talk about that here) and Yvette from The Glamourist (more on that here) involved too. I liked how important their friendship had become and the strength they gained from it.

Lots of revenge, magic and magical creatures, sisterly solidarity, perfume, and a loyal dog, all set in the south of France. Lovely.

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What reads have tickled your fancy lately?

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6 Responses

  1. Cathryn, always happy to see you’ve done another great reads column. Isn’t Sisters of the Resistance fab? I couldn’t put it down. And I love the connection with Dior’s New Look as a contrast to the miseries of the war.

    I’ve had a bit of an up and down reading month. Like you, I seemed to be in a slump. I didn’t hate a lot of what I was reading but I didn’t love it either. But I’m currently REALLY enjoying Catherine Lloyd’s Kurland St. Mary’s mysteries, set in a Regency village and with a lovely romance thread through the stories. The first one was good but didn’t really grab me but I stuck with them and I’ve just loved the next two. Very in the Lady Fan mysteries style and I know you enjoy those.

    I loved, loved, loved Digging up the Dirt by Pamela Hart but I’ve got a feeling I might have mentioned that last month.

    I’m halfway through The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood. Wasn’t convinced I’d like this one because it seemed like a copy of Richard Osman’s fantastic The Thursday Murder Club which I adored. But it’s actually not at all the same and the characters are fantastic. Robert T is behind the Death in Paradise series on the BBC and there’s a bit of a similar mixture of comedy and suspense in this story. Hoping it keeps going as well as it’s been going so far.

    • Oh, thanks for the heads-up re Digging Up the Dirt, Anna. I’ve been eyeing that one off since its release. It sounds a lot of fun. Looks like I’ll have to indulge. Which also reminds me that I want to read The Thursday Murder Club too.
      And yes, Sisters of the Resistance was wonderful. But I expect no less from a Christine Wells book. Luuurve them.
      Thanks for sharing!

  2. Cathryn, thanks for sharing your reads. Wasn’t ‘Sisters of the Resistance’ brilliant? I’m a fan of her books too and this one was particularly satisfying. I loved the mix of fashion and danger and now I want to go to the south of France in time to see the flower farms in bloom!

    I also read Anna Campbell’s latest ‘One Wicked Wish’ – the first in her new Scandal in Mayfair series. Spicy hot and emotional too and so engaging!

    Have you read any Ruth Ware? I gobbled up ‘The Death of Mrs Westaway’. It’s a mystery with thriller elements and a good yarn about some intriguing characters. The heroine is young, broke and in debt to some nasty people, making a living reading tarot on Brighton pier when she gets a letter saying she might be a beneficiary in a will. Trouble is, she knows they’ve made a mistake and it’s not her, but still…

    And for something utterly light, I just read Celia Imrie’s ‘Not Quite Nice’ about a 60 year old British woman who moves to a tiny coastal village near Nice and joins the tiny ex-pat community. Things are not plain sailing but living there has so much appeal.

    • Wouldn’t it be lovely to see France again, Annie? Sigh indeed. Ah well. We’ll get there.
      I have Anna’s new one on my Kindle, a-waiting me. Sounds like I’m in for a treat with this new series. Yay!
      Ruth Ware is an author I’ve been eyeing for a while too. In a Dark, Dark Wood is the one I was looking most closely at. Maybe time to stop looking and start reading. Except I’ve just started a new book by a certain author called Annie West…
      Thanks for visiting and sharing your reads, Annie!

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