Each month, we ask our bloggers to share the best thing they’ve read (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 a bit more.
Without further ado, here’s the installment for August 2013 (and if you’ve missed any, be sure to check out past recs via the related posts section at the bottom of the post):
Wendy the Super Librarian
His Uptown Girl by Liz Talley features some of the best emotionally-charged dialogue I have read in a long time and elevated this story to one of the best I've read so far this year. The heroine is a young widow who essentially takes a dare from a friend to get her groove back by flirting with a sexy handyman across the street. Turns out that handyman is none other than the musician, and business owner, who wants to open a jazz club in the same neighborhood as her antiques store—a development she had been actively opposing. A great New Orleans back-drop featuring fully-realized characters still haunted by the shadow of Hurricane Katrina.
The best book I read in August was If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor by Bruce Campbell—it's a memoir, but reading it felt more like having someone tell you a series of amusing stories in a bar somewhere. Recommended if you love movies!
White Balance by Ainslie Paton. Like her other books, White Balance is filled with complex and fully realized secondary characters that drew me into the story. I love all of them as much as the hero and heroine!
I am still book-drunk on In the Midnight Rain by Barbara Samuel, writing as Ruth Wind. This slow, sweet, hot, seductive blues song of a book is the first contemporary romance to be counted among my favorites, due, in part, to the strong sense of the past—two different eras—that permeates the modern storyline. Music biographer Ellie Connor sets out in search of the truth behind the disappearance of a legendary blues singer decades before, but she has a hidden agenda as well, that of discovering her own roots, shrouded in mystery. Then there's Laurence “Blue” Reynard, a grief-stricken, bourbon-voiced botanist with a thing for the blues, who knocks Ellie off her feet at first sight. For Ellie, finding her answers may mean losing her heart, and when the truth about Mabel intertwines with some Vietnam-era small town intrigue, neither Ellie nor Blue will ever be the same again. Definitely a must read for anybody who wants their heart wrung out in the very best possible way.
Beyond Pain by Kit Rocha—I love me a dirty, sexy romance. Hardened people finding moments to be soft with the right people. That's what Kit Rocha does in her dystopian erotic romance Beyond series. This third book is marvelous. It's dark when it needs to be. It's fully of heady romance that will leave you weak in the knees. The characters are dynamic and strong and compliment each other in subtle ways.
Beyond Pain is by far my favorite book in this series, and that's saying something.