Suzanne

Suzanne

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Top Off Your TBR: October 2023

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 8, 2023 7:46:07 PM / by Suzanne posted in new releases

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October is packed with books I'm excited to read and I can't wait to dive in. As usual, I only highlighted three, but there are so many more I could have rambled about. Gargoyles and Shakespeare and a mid-century gay detective... An embarrassment of riches this month.

There are also lots more Christmas romances this month and I've again opted to leave them off my list, with the exception of Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone's A Holly Jolly Ever After because I'm really enjoying that series. (My list, my rules.)

That's enough intro, I'm off to read!

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The Court of Shadows, by Victor Dixen

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 19, 2023 2:14:56 PM / by Suzanne posted in review

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A few months ago, I was offered a copy of a book that's essentially catnip for me: The Court of Shadows, by Victor Dixen, out today! This is a long review, so here's the quick version:

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Top Off Your TBR: September 2023

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 4, 2023 4:36:16 PM / by Suzanne posted in new releases

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September is usually a big month for new books, so this year I've decided that rather than listing them all, I'd prune aggressively. The longer list below is made up of books I think people in my audience might be interested in, rather than an attempt at being comprehensive. I didn't include any of the fifty-ish Christmas romances, for example. The only holiday romance on the list is Three Holidays and a Wedding, which takes place once upon a time when Christmas, Hannukah, and Eid all fell during the same week.

Happy Autumn! I'll be back in a few weeks with a bunch of Spooky Season reads.

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Review: Marry Me by Midnight, by Felicia Grossman

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 16, 2023 11:01:33 AM / by Suzanne posted in review

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We've been fans of Felicia Grossman's books since the beginning, but I think she's outdone herself with Marry Me by Midnight. Since the death of her father, businesswoman Isabelle's place in the family surety business is at risk. She needs to marry, but she also needs to make sure the man she gives that much control to won't steamroll her or squander her money. Fending off the advances of the Barab brothers, who own the other half of the business, she hatches a plan: she'll hold a series of balls at which she will entertain suitors from the Jewish community... and pick one by midnight at the final ball.

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Mini-Reviews, Second Chance Romance 8-9-23

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 9, 2023 7:20:00 AM / by Suzanne posted in review

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These mini-reviews are all second-chance contemporary romances. Those of you who know my reading preferences might be surprised to learn that I liked and recommend all of them. One of them is maybe cheating a bit, but I'll get to that in the post.

I read all four of these in the last month and have determined I require most of the following criteria:

  • A convincing reason the couple separated.
  • That obstacle must be surmountable and not something that will come up again. If they've already broken up once, I will not settle for a Happy for Now ending.
  • Equal amounts of suffering for both characters. I hate when one character has been miserable for a decade and the other was happily pursuing their dreams. (If both are happy in the interim, that's fine!)
  • Some kind of flashbacks or enough exposition that we get a good feel for the foundation of their relationship. This is my preference for novellas, too.

 With those very me-specific requirements in mind, here are my reviews of Jana Goes Wild, Happy Place, The Seven Year Slip and Snow Place like LA! I also wrote about Julie Soto's debut, Forget Me Not back in May and I think the same list above applies to that book, which is probably why it worked so well for me.

Ratings are based on whether or not I recommend them to fellow readers -  DNF (Did Not Finish), Pass, YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary), Read It, Read It Soon.

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Top Off Your TBR: August 2023

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 6, 2023 3:45:03 PM / by Suzanne posted in new releases

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Lots of fun releases on the way in August! For example, I was lucky enough to read an early copy of Regina Black's debut, The Art of Scandal, and I think you should read it. More about that below.

I'm trying to squeeze every last drop out of summer so I'm keeping this short! Hope you find something great to read this month.

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Top Off Your TBR: July 2023

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 7, 2023 2:30:00 PM / by Suzanne posted in new releases

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Here in the Northern Hemisphere it's the hottest month of the year. I'm trying to push the non-urgent responsibilities away and spend more time in my garden and with friends and family. That means less reading and that's fine by me. Books don't spoil! I'll still be chipping away at the newest Shop Your Shelves board, but some of these July releases are sneaking onto the TBR anyway.

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Shop Your Shelves Summer 2023

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 30, 2023 9:57:49 AM / by Suzanne posted in bingo

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New quarter, new Shop Your Shelves board! Once again, I reused some squares, but some are brand new! I also added some that are much more open to interpretation, so make sure to read the square descriptions. One change to the "rules" - I moved re-reads to the Don't section. Like reading new books, re-reads are great... but not the point of this particular challenge.

Below you'll find rules, explanations for the squares and a link to square and story boards.

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Review: Queen of Dust, by H.E. Dare

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 28, 2023 9:27:47 AM / by Suzanne posted in review

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I pitched this book to one of my reading Discord servers as "if Jessie Mihalik wrote erotic romance." I didn't mention that the FMC reminded me of Inara from Firefly, but that too!

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Review: Mickey Chambers Shakes It Up, by Charish Reid

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 15, 2023 3:31:00 PM / by Suzanne posted in review

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An adjunct professor and a widower find love behind the bar in Mickey Chambers Shakes It Up.  Charish Reid is an auto-buy/auto-read author for me because of her skill with character building, humor and tension. I was a little hesitant to pick this up because I don't enjoy books with lots of alcohol, but I'm happy to report this book strikes just the right balance by focusing on the workplace dynamics rather than endless descriptions of alcoholic drinks. If that's a concern for you, have no fear! I would put this in the same category as Natalie Caña's stellar debut, A Proposal They Can't Refuse, but with more heat.

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