At the end of last year, we ran our fabulous bloggers’ lists of top reads of the year. Those posts were so fun that we’ve decided to continue, asking our bloggers to share the best thing they’ve read each month (or things, plural, if our bloggers declare a tie ’cause they just can’t choose). It doesn’t have to be a new book, as evidenced below; just something that made the month sparkle just a bit more. So here’s this month’s installment for August 2012 (and if you’ve missed any, be sure to check out the January, February, March, April, May, June, and July 2012:
My Best of August pic is The Taken by Vicki Pettersson. It’s a hard-boiled urban fantasy with an amazing world, and two wounded, lonely protagonists. It puts the mystery elements back into the UF genre with a hard-boiled aplomb Hammett and Cain would be proud of, and the romance is heartbreakingly yummy. I’ve downsized my UF series over the past year, but this has shot straight to the top of my must-buy list!
A Night to Surrender (Tessa Dare) - I seem to excel in reading books out of order for a series. I decided to grab this first of the series in prep for this month’s new release of A Lady by Midnight.
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry – Echo is trying to recover the memories of an attack that left her scarred. Noah is trying to get custody of his brothers so they don’t have to go through the same abuse he experienced in foster care. She’s shy and broken; he hides his vulnerability behind a bad-boy façade. Their story is angsty, over the top, and very romantic. If you’re looking for an unputdownable book, this is it. Pushing the Limits is an excellent YA that deals with mature and dark subjects, so it should appeal to a broader audience. By far one of the most entertaining books I’ve read this year.
My best read of August was Within Reach by Sarah Mayberry. I’ve been a Mayberry fan since I read her the first time, and I think this one may be her best yet. I’m going to quote from my own review to explain why I love her books generally and this one particularly: “Mayberry’s characters always seem real; they behave like adults who know what it is to hurt, to dream, to grow. And Mayberry has the knack for giving her readers romances with plenty of sizzle without making the characters appear to have the libidos of adolescent males. But Within Reach goes beyond her usual excellent romance to present a powerful and moving look at grief and recovery.”
My favorite August read is Ben Aaronovitch’s RIVERS OF LONDON (US title MIDNIGHT RIOT). It’s so great! I love the narrator’s dry, sarcastic sense of humor, and the urban fantasy aspects feel utterly fresh and interesting. I kept reading bits aloud to other people!
A Man of Privilege by Sarah M. Anderson features a classic Harlequin Desire hero, one groomed for a bigger political stage by his power-broker parents. What this story also includes is your anything but typical romance heroine, a Native American woman, now clean and sober, a former junkie prostitute who granted favors (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) to a corrupt judge in exchange for staying out of jail. A lawyer for the Justice Department, with his eyes on the prize, the hero needs her cooperation to convict the judge. What he doesn’t plan on is falling in love with her.
Kissin’ Tell by Lorelei James. Book 13 in the wildly popular and amazingly steady Rough Riders series, Kissin’ Tell is yet another strong entry that showcases James’ vast talents at adding yet another dimension to the family saga while telling another individual couple’s story that manages to be special on its own. Tell and Georgia were high school almost-sweethearts who never got off the ground and get a second chance when their 10-year reunion comes around. It features the same smoldering, sexy love scenes and a deeply beautiful story as these two finally fall in love and do it right. One of my favorites in the series