April Bookshelf

It’s been a rough month and for a while I wasn’t sure I would get many books read, but 10 isn’t too shabby. A little behind in my overall goals but that’s the way of the roundabout 😀

The video wrap up will be up shortly over at the Hyperactive Bookworm. Jump on over and subscribe to make sure you don’t miss out on all the monthly wrap ups, extended reviews, and author interviews throughout the month.

Leviathan by Erik Schubach – My first book by this author and damn I can’t wait to read more of the series. Brilliant sci-fi fantasy blend with elves and sprites on the world ship. A ship, in essence that is travelling to the new home world. I love so much about this book, from the use of 80s and 90s music, to the snark and humour, to the kick arse main character and a story line that while not entirely unique is set up in fantastically unique and brilliantly described ways.

Departure from the Script by Jae – If you’re after low angst, slow burn, SVU references, and brilliant chemistry look no further. I always know when I open a book of Jae’s I’m going to be swept alone with well rounded characters, beautiful writing and an interesting story. I adore Michelle and the family relationships both characters have. I also really enjoyed the less glitz and glamour Hollywood focus of this book. I can’t wait to read the rest of Jae’s Hollywood books.

Tumbledown by Cari Hunter – A brilliant sapphic crime and mystery story with action and brutality thrown in. It’s balanced masterfully with humour and down moments to let you breath, just not too much before something else drops and you are racing to figure it all out. This sequel to Desolation Point made it impossible to stop reading. Firstly, wwwhhhyyy? *sobs ugly* Had Sarah and Alex not been through enough?! And yet, I was so excited to see them again. The writing is spectacular, the characters brilliant, and the story gripping. I loved that it was a carry on from events of the first book. And that is made sense that these two would become embroiled once again in the cross hairs of a psycho. Cari Hunter, making me an insomniac since I picked up No Good Reason, the first of the dark peak series.

Shattered by Lee Winter – YES! I’m rereading it again. BUT this time I finally did a video review … you can watch it here.

Alias by Cari Hunter – BAM! What a start, and then it just gets better from there. The writing is fantastic and the action and story pulled me along with ease. I loved how there is so much going on in the story and the mystery that keeps unfoldIng and twisting. I really enjoyed the relationship between the main character and the ‘love interest’ and how it grew organically and as a second aspect to the main story.
Nicola Victoria Vincent is a brilliant narrator, very underrated. Would love to find more brilliant books narrated by her.

Sunshine by L.T. Emery – Loved the nasty grissly descriptions of the perils and dangers Cyra must face in her search for Sunshine. Lots of great lines and insults that made me laugh out loud between the gore.

No Strings by Lucy Bexley – I heard such amazing things about this book and I wanted to love it sick. If you like quirky eccentric character meets wound tight corporate tropes, laugh out loud moments and some fun kiddo scenes, this is a good read. I enjoyed Elsie’s character, I loved the relationship between her and Avery and how Jones’ first ideas of who Elsie was is questioned as you see how well rounded Elsie is as a human and how judged she has been because she doesn’t follow the more traditional life paths. The writing has some really beautiful and chest punching moments. And more than once I had the actual laugh out loud squeals. Gummy bears and fart attacks I’m looking at you. Elsie’s internal monologues and the way she thinks in Fangley is brilliant. One of my favourite things about the book is the twist on who is actually the workaholic (psst- it isn’t the business suit, rich, older woman this time). What I did also love about the book was the way mental health was treated, though at times I felt like I was told it more than shown it. For me it was sort of Jones’ saving grace. I did struggle with initially getting into this book. Jones’ reactions to Bentley to begin with really put her offside for me, but I mean that’s what character arcs are all about so I pushed through. She soon made up with the Bentley love but her character frustrated the hell out me more often then not. At times I got frustrated with the tendency and writing style to end a scene and then recap what wasn’t on the page in the next scene, it really pulled me out of being inside the characters heads. And there were some scenes I really would have loved to see play out in real time, like the roller skating. The relationships of the four main players were so wonderful and well developed. It was a little jarring the lack of relationship and development of other characters like Jones’ mum and all the ‘evil’ corporate males. I didn’t love No Strings sick, but I did enjoy the majority of the ride and I’m glad I read it. Also, besides Elsie my favourite character is Avery, closely followed by Benz. I would love to see more of both of these characters. Their stories would be epic.

Damage Control by Jae – I couldn’t resist diving into the second of the series :-). I love Jae’s writing, the characters and the build up, the slow burn romance. But boy oh boy was I ready for the characters to finally get it on when they did. I adored the adult respect each character gave the other in terms of their relationship with understanding each other’s point of view and position in situations without them having to be hit on the head repeatedly before they got it. I also adore Jae’s Easter eggs/cameos in her books. I love that so many of them are all in the same world. Beautifully written and a great story.

Chasing Dreams by A.L. Brooks – Before now I have only read one other A.L Brooks book and I loved it. But having read Chasing Dreams I’m definitely scurrying off to get her back catalogue sooner rather then later. There is so much I loved about this book so let me break down some of my favourite points and ramble a bit more about others.
– Amazing seamless and realistic safe sex. I have no idea how she did it but the author managed to incorporate a safe sex scene that was smooth and natural and still sexy while also managing another scene discussing characters last tests and checks in a way that is believable.
– Mature characters (mostly lol) who actually think before they dive in.
– Realistic and well rounded characters with their own unique personalities, lives and dreams seperate from each other. They both have pasts and lives, scars and fears that influence their decisions and reactions in the world.
– Side characters that I adore who are just as real as the main characters. Extra shout outs to Shannon, Katie, Ned, and Wayne.
– Writing that is beautiful and encompassing.
Yes, it’s true the story starts with an enemies to lovers trope but even that didn’t feel as pitted against each other as is often the case. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my fair share of the binary tropes – sunshine vs grumpy etc. but I truly adored that neither of the main characters were ‘perfect’ or ‘the bad one’. I loved that they were both wonderfully flawed and brilliant in such a human way. They are both on their own journeys of facing very real and painful pasts and fears, and they do this for themselves. Yes they find each other and it helps them face these things … they don’t NEED each other to sand down any rough edges. And if that hasn’t given you the desire to read it … damn, the sex scenes throughout the book are simply delicious. 😉

Breathless by Lianyu Tan – I have been umming and ahhing about reading Captive in the Underworld. I love the idea of twisting gods and turning them into Goddesses and examining the sapphic versions of old stories. But, I’ve never been known to be a fan of dark romance. Other dark genres yes, but not so much romance. Then I saw this short story that fits within the Captive in the Underworld book and I thought, hey let’s finally give dark romance a chance. I was right, the genre isn’t particularly for me but this story was mostly well written and intriguing. A few moments I found a bit confusing in the description but overall not a bad short read. So if dark romance is your cup of tea I recommend giving this one a try.

Be Safe
Be Brave
Be Kind

Neen x

P.S. My monthly newsletter will be flying out to inboxes tomorrow … you can sign up here.

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