Unusual Historicals: Best Bets for January 2020

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 20, 2020 9:45:00 AM / by Wendy the SuperLibrarian posted in best bets

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

Dear Romancelandia, was it just last month that I was wishing for blue skies ahead? Here we are, not four weeks into 2020 and already this year has felt like it’s been six months long.  Between what’s been going on with RWA, coupled with world events, the start of my reading year hasn’t been all that great.  But it’s too soon to throw in the towel on 2020 yet and what better way to head off a potential reading slump than book browsing?

Here are some new Unusual Historicals catching my eye:

 

This post contains affiliate links.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Andrea's 2019 Audio Faves

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 2, 2020 9:45:00 AM / by Andrea posted in best bets, list

[fa icon="comment"] 1 Comment

This year was really difficult. For all the reasons that many of us struggled with, and for many personal reasons on top of those. I struggled to find motivation to be a person at all, and my concentration capabilities basically quit on me with no notice. As Suzanne said in her 2019 Favourites: It was "a really bad year for reading with my eyeballs." When I could eyeball-read, (Can we trademark this term? Getting my lawyers on this, stat!) I reread the books that comforted me; ones I could dive into and know everything would be exactly as I needed. But this year of limited eyeball reading also lead to an Audiobook Adventure! (Pretend there are sparkly emojis here, okay thanks!) 

[Editor's Note - All reading is reading! To suggest otherwise is horribly ableist among other things. So please don't. There are lots of reasons why reading with eyeballs doesn't go well/isn't possible, and everyone deserves stories.]

Suzanne has beeeen repping audiobooks, and I really wanted to be the kind of person who was there with her, but I never got round to it. Then, during a LiP Patreon chat (whoop whoop this is the sign up link, join us for the next one wink wink) before my long flight to South Korea, the LiP Patreon gang SOLD me! I signed up for Audible while still on the chat, and added a ton of their recs to my Wishlist. In the end, I was violently ill the entire flight there and knocked out cold on the flight back, so I did not get to listen. But when I came home and everything sucked, audiobooks swept in and saved the day! These are my favourites on the adventure so far:

 

Salt Magic, Skin Magic, by Lee Welch  
This is the very first audiobook I listened to. Got dat free Audible trial credit, listened to this sample and boom. I was hooked. It was SO captivating and intriguing, and it made me smile. Even just looking at the cover, I hear the specific atmospheric British accent and immediately feel pulled into the Salt Magic, Skin Magic realm and wanna go back. I've never really been into things this... mystical and magical in Romance but wow this one captures your whole heart and man, these guys are so deeply devoted to each other it's magnificent. Thank you Suzanne for the rec! It's literally the reason I got into audiobooks. I am eternally grateful, and so are my eyeballs.  
 
Finders Keepers, by N.R. Walker
This is a book I will never stop recommending. And now I can recommend it in audio format! It is PURE SUNSHINE. This will come up in my eventual 'books I read for comfort' list because man, oh man, I must have read it eight times this year alone. Twice on audio. It's equally cheerful and sexy and utterly perfect in both formats. I love the Australian-ness of it, I love how normal and genuinely good both these guys are. And I love love love Wicket, the dog the story centers around! It's a charming, sweet as heck, all-in perfect summer romance that is as delightful as the cover makes it seem. Possibly even more! 
 
King Me: A Forever Wilde novel, by Lucy Lennox
Okay, whoa. Think of every cool heist movie you love, and then squish them into one. You're thinking 'But Andrea, how would that even work? There's so many twists and levels to just one of them! How could that all fit into a single book?' I don't know how!! But that's what happens!! And the thing that really hits my heart in the very golden juicy middle (my heart is now a Caramello bar, apparently) is that these guys are sworn enemies, but pretty much from the moment they dive in and accept they're into each other, that's it. Sold. All in. The drama and the worry and the ups and downs of the story and the EPIC crime plot twists are all set on the solid ground of knowing they trust and love each other, which MAKES MY HEART SING. The art heist suspense vibes often made me GASP. And these characters made me LAUGH OUT LOUD! A lot. Like, a lotttt.
 
I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
Amazon (and Audible)
There's something about the wonder of a YA Romance --that ohmygoshisthishappening of the first kiss and the first crush and the chaos of being a teenager against the quiet of being with someone that stills your heart because true love. Jandy Nelson is... The person whose writing I am most in awe of. I have read her books to escape into their magical realism, I have read them as a writer being like "howww can I do what she does here," and I have read them as a young adult daydreaming that I too could find bright love in the middle of my grief. I know this story well. Hearing it on audio somehow showed it to me from new angles and emphasized a whole new layer of whoa.
 
Turbulence, by E.J. Noyes
Isn't this cover just great? Such pretty colours! Awesome things in this book: Women just killing it in their professional lives. Brilliant stockbroker. Badass pilot. Doing their jobs well and having epic sexual chemistry. There's teasing, and a whole lot of masturbation while they fantasize about each other and also when they can't spend the night together. The HR logistics and employee-relationship conflict is very much addressed and considered a lot, with company lawyers and Isabelle's (really great) therapist, which is dope. It's also extremely (2011 rom-com) Friends With Benefits in its "This is just sex, okay wait I took you home to meet my mom, oops we're in a wonderful rhythm of food and friendship on top of the sex, okay woah are we basically dating aaaahh! but neither of us is gonna say that aloud because we don't want to risk it ending" vibes. It is Great! Also very very sexy, did I say that? I mean it, from the bottom of my heart. 
Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Unusual Historicals: Best Bets for December 2019

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 19, 2019 9:45:00 AM / by Wendy the SuperLibrarian posted in best bets

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

Well Romancelandia, we made it. 2019 somehow managed to flit by in a second and still feel like the longest year in recorded human history. It’s been a rough year for a lot of folks, but I hope that you were able to snatch a few moments of joy and that nothing but blue skies are ahead for 2020. Let’s blow this popsicle stand by taking a gander at some of the unusual historicals that caught my eye for December.

This post contains affiliate links.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Ana's Best of 2019

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 11, 2019 9:45:00 AM / by Ana Coqui posted in best bets, top reads, list

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

I’ve read so many wonderful books this year it actually hurts to pare down the list to a Top 5, so I had to cheat a little bit and create sub-genre specific Top 5 (and occasionally Top 10) lists to figure out what should be in my Top 5 list of the year so I am going to sneak in mentions of all the others books I loved in here too.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Unusual Historicals: Best Bets for November 2019

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 22, 2019 9:45:00 AM / by Wendy the SuperLibrarian posted in best bets

[fa icon="comment"] 1 Comment

Here we are, in November, and I’m in denial. Have I thought about Thanksgiving dinner or my holiday gift purchasing? Of course not. Because it just doesn’t seem possible that somehow nearly a whole year blew past while I was busy doing...stuff, I guess. Who the heck knows anymore. I’m sure it involved The Day Job, continuing to finely tune my tea snobbery and books, because of course books.  Which brings us to the latest crop of unusual historicals that have caught my eye. Here’s what’s hitting my wishlist for November:

 

This post contains affiliate links.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Unusual Historicals: Best Bets for October 2019

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 21, 2019 9:45:00 AM / by Wendy the SuperLibrarian posted in best bets

[fa icon="comment"] 1 Comment

Here we are, in October.  When I’m dodging all sorts of tasty, sugary temptations (it’s a good thing I don’t have kids - I’d steal all their candy spoils from trick-or-treating and likely drive them into therapy that much sooner…) and I look to distract myself with just about any healthy alternative - like, say, books!  Here are some of the October unusual historicals catching my eye this month:

 

This post contains affiliate links.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Unusual Historicals: Best Bets for September 2019

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 23, 2019 9:45:00 AM / by Wendy the SuperLibrarian posted in best bets

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

September is the time of year where I seriously begin to question my decision to leave the Midwest - which this time of year is cooling off, the leaves are turning, and every mile marker or so you can find apple cider and homemade donuts.  Instead, I’m living in the land of triple-digit temperatures with the constant specter of wildfire danger. Seriously, I miss the cider and donuts. But I still have historical romances, which are equally as delicious and, quite frankly, much lower in sugar.  Here are some of the Unusual Historicals catching my eye this month.

This post contains affiliate links.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Unusual Historicals: Best Bets for August 2019

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 22, 2019 9:45:00 AM / by Wendy the SuperLibrarian posted in best bets

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

I’m not sure where 2019 has gone, but here we are - already in August.  RWA has come and gone, the kids are either already back in school or will be very soon, and large swaths of the US are looking forward to Pumpkin Spice Everything. While, on one hand, I felt energized at RWA to come home and “read all the things,” the reality has been “um, not so much.”  Distracted and cranky seems to be the mood of the moment. So to snap myself out of it, why not browse for intriguing sounding unusual historicals? Here are the August releases that caught my eye.

This post contains affiliate links.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Unusual Historicals: Best Bets for July 2019

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 22, 2019 9:45:00 AM / by Wendy the SuperLibrarian posted in best bets

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

July in the United States means heat, humidity, and large swaths of the population shooting off fireworks for a solid month terrorizing animals and keeping me up at night.  It’s also my busiest time of year at The Day Job, with a variety of budget-related tasks and conference season hitting full swing. This year I’ll be soaking up some of that heat and humidity in New York attending RWA.  Yes, I’ll be there - as will some of the Love in Panels crew. If you see us milling about, be sure to say hello! So what books look good for potential reading on my long (loooong) flight to the Big Apple?  This month self-publishing takes front and center!

This post contains affiliate links.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Unusual Historicals: Best Bets for June 2019

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 25, 2019 9:45:00 AM / by Wendy the SuperLibrarian posted in best bets

[fa icon="comment"] 1 Comment

Squeaking in under the wire, file this month’s Unusual Historicals column under “better late than never.”  But while I’m running obscenely late this month, that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of intriguing options for historicals that take place outside a Regency era ballroom.  Keep your one-click finger ready, it’s time to go browsing!

This post contains affiliate links.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]