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Welcome to another year of favourite book sharing!

Ooh, I had a fabulous January for books. I ended up reading eleven, which is a seriously big month for me. Probably a summer holiday thing and spending too much time kicking back on the deck. Still, it’s all good fun and a girl must do her bit for the book industry!

I had one DNF (did not finish) which was disappointing because it was a story I thought I’d love because I adored the author’s other books. These things happen though, and the brilliance of the others made up for it.

I’m not going to choose an overall favourite this month because they were all fab.


Two Secret Sins by Anna CampbellTwo Secret Sins by Anna Campbell

I had a ball reading this book. I suspect Ms Campbell had a wonderful time writing it too because joy seemed to flow through every word.

Two Secret Sins is the second book in Anna’s Scandal in Mayfair series (the first being One Wicked Wish, which I talk about here). Despite clearly deserving to be happy together, our hero and heroine Eliot and Verena are cleverly kept apart by a well devised conflict that had me fretting they might not overcome. I got my happily ever after, of course, so all was right in the end.

I’m very much looking forward to the next in the series, Three Times Tempted, which is garden-mad Imogen’s story. I have the feeling it’ll be even better than Two Secret Sins.


Malignant by Michaelbrent CollingsMalignant by Michaelbrent Collings

Okay, so this might be my new favourite Michaelbrent Collings. A big call because I have luuuurved many of his other horror novels. The pace and heart-palpitations and characters in Malignant though… they were awesome.

This isn’t your standard horror. I found it more thriller, really. Armed men storm a private school and take students and staff hostage. Led by a man who calls himself ‘Teacher’, much lesson-teaching ensues and it’s not a pleasant learning experience for anyone.

But as MbC says in his afterword, the subject matter is indeed horrifying. I won’t say more on that in case I spoil the story. He’s right though. It is horrifying.

Fantastic writing, great characters, and much food for thought. Loved it.


Half a Soul by Olivia AtwaterHalf a Soul by Olivia Atwater

I’ve had historical romantic fantasy Half A Soul on my Kobo wishlist for quite some time so when they notified me it was on sale I grabbed it. Now I wish I’d bought it earlier because there’s a whole series and if they’re anything like Half A Soul, then I want to read them all.

Theodora was very well done. As a quite emotionless character (because a nasty faerie stole half her soul) she could have come across as unsympathetic, but Atwater did a brilliant job of making Theodora likable and deserving of happiness. I really enjoyed our Lord Sorcier hero Elias too. He was quirky and lovely.

Speaking of whom, when you sign up to Olivia Atwater’s newsletter you score a bonus novella, The Lord Sorcier. Gotta love that!


Wild Place by Christian WhiteWild Place by Christian White

White’s previous books The Nowhere Child and The Wife and the Widow were cracking reads, which made Wild Place an auto-buy for me when it released. With a fast plot, lots of twists, interesting characters, a Neighbourhood Watch group that left me goggle-eyed more than once, and an ending that had me gaping, this was a very enjoyable read.

I’m showing my age here, but I particularly liked that Wild Place was set in the late eighties. There was a lot I could relate to, from the music and general daggy-ness to life in the pre internet era. These days it’s sometimes hard to recall that there was once a time when if you wanted to know something you went to the library instead of hitting Google.


Wages of Sin by J Robert KennedyWages of Sin by J. Robert Kennedy

I so adore these Professor James Acton adventure thrillers. They are just a hoot!

Wages of Sin sees James and his wife Laura enjoying a holiday in Africa when they make a chance discovery they can’t help but follow up. What follows is a terrific treasure hunt, with baddies and bullets and even wildlife getting in on the act, and the usual doses of humour and love.

So. Much. Fun.

Atlantis Lost is next on my list. I reckon that’ll be a blast.


Death at the Workhouse by Emily OrganDeath at the Workhouse by Emily Organ

Death at the Workhouse is book eight in the Penny Green Victorian mystery series where we again see our intrepid reporter Penny sticking her nose in where it isn’t wanted, this time in a workhouse.

On the surface, Shoreditch Workhouse looks to be providing all the care it should, even maybe better than others. But after spending a night there undercover, Penny isn’t as convinced and when two men die in what seems to be a fight, Penny’s nose becomes even twitchier. Something is off. The challenge is finding someone to believe her.

There was a nice side plot in this one in which Penny appears to be threatened by a mystery gift-leaver.


A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor TowlesA Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

What an absolute delight of a book!

From the opening until the final page, A Gentleman in Moscow was a complete charmer. Count Alexander Rostov is just brilliant – an aristocrat from top to toe and deep in his heart, and a joy to spend time with. A bit crushable, in fact.

Having been sentenced to house arrest in the Hotel Metropol, Rostov should have been miserable. Instead, he makes the most of it and ends up thriving in this wonderful story about friendship, love and what really matters in life.


Apparently, there’s to be a telly series starring Kenneth Branagh. YAY!


All Systems Red by Martha WellsAll Systems Red by Martha Wells

I first heard about the Murderbot Diaries in a Facebook author group a few years ago and immediately checked it out, but it’s taken me until now to read it. Was it worth the wait? Oh yeah. You bet it was.

All Systems Red is the first in a science fiction series about a murderous robot that has hacked its own governor module so it can enjoy a measure of independence, and it was hoot. Our robot has such a great voice. It’s funny and clever and observant and occasionally murderous, and I found it weirdly sympathetic. So much so I’m cringing every time I use the pronoun ‘it’. It was so much more!

Next up: Artificial Condition


Kiss My Putt by Tara SivecKiss My Putt by Tara Sivec

I made a comment recently on Instagram about one day writing a golfing story because… GOLF! Eh hem. Anyway, I was given a few reading recommendations to see how others have done it and Kiss My Putt was one of them (waving at you, Monique).

Kiss My Putt proved to be great fun, with sexy, funny characters, lots of snappy dialogue, laugh aloud moments, an attractive island setting, and an enjoyable romance about a golf pro and the best friend he left behind on his way to stardom.

This is book one of the Summersweet Island series, with book two featuring the sister of Kiss My Putt’s heroine. To be honest, as much as I’d like to read Wren’s story, right now I’m more interested in Tess’s and Bodhi’s. They were adorable.


Claiming His Virgin Princess by Annie WestClaiming His Virgin Princess by Annie West

Another cracking, emotion-charged romance from Annie but I didn’t expect any less.

Claiming His Virgin Princess features Ilsa, a character we’ve known peripherally from previous novel Pregnant With His Majesty’s Heir (which I talk about here). It was so good to get Ilsa’s story. Even though we only met her briefly in Heir, she seemed a lovely character who’d suffered a great deal in the name of duty. That she finds someone as sexy and decent and ‘normal’ as Noah was perfect, and highly satisfying.

A sizzling romance with some bonus armchair travel. Loved it.


Luck of the Draw by Kate ClaybornLuck of the Draw by Kate Clayborn

Luck of the Draw is book two in Kate Clayborn’s series about three friends who win the lottery. I adored book one, Beginner’s Luck (read about that here, and her other amazing stand-alone release Love Lettering here) and was keen to read the other two but for some reason the ebooks weren’t available in Australia. Then suddenly they appeared and I was clickety-clicking to booky happiness!

This was a beautiful read. On the face of it, Luck of the Draw is a fake engagement story but it’s also much, much more and ventures into some deeply emotional places. Aiden has every right to hate Zoe, while Zoe only agrees to go along with his fake engagement plan as a form of atonement. With both so weighed down with grief and guilt neither are in the right place for a relationship, yet their attraction can’t be denied. But with so much between them, how can they overcome the past and find love?

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Can’t wait to read book three, Best of Luck!


What books have tickled your reading fancy lately?


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