November Bookshelf, reviews and thoughts

November is a crazy month. NaNoWriMo takes up so much of my time. But with that being said, I love that reading is still a priority. In fact, I think I would be nervous to call myself a writer if I gave no time to reading. To me, they have and always will go hand in hand. So six books in November isn’t terrible, but I think it is my least amount of books all year.

Fetish by Tara Moss – This was a re-read and this time I listened to it. It’s a really awesome book. I actually enjoyed it more this time than I can remember enjoying it years ago when it was first published. There is some awesome tension and mystery going with Mak, and I still LOVE this character so much.
I think it’s held up pretty well, as long as you remember it’s set before EVERYONE had mobile phones. Great read, looking forward to listening to the rest of the series. I’ve not read all of the books so that’s exciting to look forward to.

Compass Rose by Anna Burke – There are so many things I adored about this book. The dystopian world and all it’s dynamics, the star trek gone wrong underwater sort of vibes and the characters, of the characters. Yes, of course I related to Rose, I damn near swooned over Miranda, but heck the other characters were what made it such a fun and interesting journey.
I adored the pirates and the powerful balance of action, responsibility, lust, longing, and humour.
I can’t wait to read the sequel. I squealed a little when I found out there was a sequel. 

A Place to Call Home by Jae – So in the past I have said that I prefer Jae’s longer fiction … bite my tongue. This was the most delightful and delicious short story. It is a beautiful insight and wonderfully realistic portrayal into the dynamics of Luke and Nora as they start their new lives. They struggle against the social norms and finding a place to call home in each other. One of my favourite short reads of the year. If you are after a historical short feel-good read that has beautiful representation of characters fighting against the roles society this is definitely the read for you.

Brimstone Bound (Firebrand #1) by Helen Harper – If you’re looking for a British take and twist of true blood, without the overly sexual focus and more on the crime and mystery. This is the book for you.
I had so much fun reading this book. The crime and mystery were fantastic. The characters were great.
It had a grittier, more realistic sort of feel to it and ooh the breadcrumbs and red herrings throughout the whole thing had me loving every reveal and twist.
Now if only we could get some sapphic in the mix this would be an ultimate book for me 😜

Sliced Ice by Lee Winter – Everything I wanted and more. 10 incredible short stories, each with their own one two punch. Here’s my break down (I also did a reading Vlog of it, there is blushing and fangirling here:
Five Times Felicity Met Elena – Oh Elena Bartell, my all time favourite of Lee Winter’s Ice Queens. I mean, what a perfect way to start this collection. And from Felicity’s point of you, I always found her snarkiness rather interesting, but now I’m even more excited about The Awkward Truth. It’s on my list I promise!
Aliens in New York – OMG I didn’t know we would be getting more than one story about the wonderful Elena. I mean, it’s awesome to see what happens to Madeliene with her writing after The Brutal Truth. *phew, got away with that one*. A magnificent snap shot into Lee Winter’s ability to craft beauty and emotion.
The Brutal Lie – ELENA! Cold shower required, and a truly interesting look into the ideas of outing others and the growing acceptance of people, irrelevant of sexuality.
Skye Storm’s Invite Absolutely Everyone Ultimate Pool Party – I adore Skye and her eccentric and wonderful take on life. An LA hippy. I also laughed out loud (in the middle of the shops) at her openness with her children, and ability to make them groan. She’s wonderful. Oh, I had also forgotten just how much I love Bess, so charmingly british and wonderful.
The Friend – This was a surprising addition but I think it might possibly be my favourite. Christmas in Australia, family drama, an Ice Queen in the most unexpected of places (or at least that’s how I interpret it)
Number Five – BLUSH! Holy Hannah. This is what happens when I refuse to know what’s coming up … BOOM! Hot as hell erotica story from the Madame herself of Duxton Hotel.
Flash Bang – Indeed. A nice hot scene with amusing insights into the crazy world of fashion.
When DC met Iowa – I LOVED this story so much. I am adoring Lee’s insights into side characters. This starts hilariously with a wake up in an unknown room and unknown woman in bed. Turns, with snarky humour, into something quite sweet.
First-Class Villians – All for a special bottle of Champaign, three of Lee Winter’s most delicious villians and one insidious bitch tell their stories for the prize. Yeah, there’s no secret that I hate Grace, but seeing others not put up with her shit was brilliant.
Love Is Not Nothing – My very first Lee Winter writing and it was the story I fell in love with her characters and her writing. A melted ice Queen, but only for her faux mouse. Sexy delicious writing with assassination and protectiveness thrown in.

Worthy of Love by Quinn Ivins – There is something truly beautiful about the way Quinn Ivins writes a balance of the beauty of humans and the worst part of humans. Characters you wanna cuddle and others you want to throttle. The characters in Worthy of Love are so real I feel like I’ve known many of them (not always happily) my entire life.
I adore the sex scenes in this book. Not only are they hot as hell without being an instruction manual but the realism even down to consent and internal monologues are balanced and smooth.
Quinn Ivins also manages yet again to make me care about things I’ve never really known much about before in my life.
Another great tick in the box is the way the characters talk to each other instead of having long drawn out angst because they simply won’t have a conversation.
Definitely recommend this book if you love real dynamic and diverse characters, hot sex scenes with realistic consent, an interesting story, and brilliant writing. Worthy of Love ticks all the righ

Paper Love by Jae – The beauty of this books makes me wish I could fly overseas right now and explore the beauty of Freiburg that Jae describes within the pages and step over (or into) a Bachle, grab a coffee and go sniff some stationary.
Susanne and Anja are pitted against each other in the beginning. A softish Ice Queen and a stationary junkie. And it’s delicious on so many levels.
In true, wonderful Jae style, the angst is low and conversations that need to happen actually do happen, and before 75% of the book. In fact, most issues of communication get resolved pretty quickly and I’ve never been so happy. The development of the relationships between the characters, all the characters not just Susanne and Anja, are realistic and human.
I also have a bit of a soft spot for Anja’s best friend, Miri. I feel akin to her, and her huge family and the effect of being the only childless sibling (at least until I was in my mid thirties). Of course, Miri is the funnier, cuter, and braver version of my life but I really adore this side character.
So if you love low angst, slow burns, steamy sex scenes that are 100% worth the wait and characters you hope to meet when visiting the sunniest city in Germany, Paper Love might be just what you are looking for.

Hope you enjoy my reviews of these books. I’d love to know if any interest you enough to try them out.

Be Safe
Be Brave
Be Kind

Neen xo

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