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 2014 (and if you’ve missed any, be sure to check out past recs via the Related Posts section at the bottom of the post):
My best of August book is Sherry Thomas's My Beautiful Enemy.
The hero and heroine have Sherry Thomas's trademark depth and vividness, and she does an extraordinary job of developing a relationship across time, cultures, and geography. One of her best, in my opinion.
My “best of” for August, We Are All Completely Besides Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler, is absolutely not a romance. It is, however, a love story
about family. An intriguing high-concept plot and clever narrative
structure reveal deeply moving ideas about how love for family shapes our
identity, and about our ability to close our minds to unpleasant truths.
In romance, I loved the wit and tenderness of The Suffragette Scandal by
Courtney Milan, a lovely end to a memorable series.
I really enjoyed Marguerite Kaye's novella duet The Undoing of Daisy Edwards and The Awakening of Poppy Edwards. Two sisters, both actresses, one in London, the other in Los Angeles, torn apart and still reeling in the shadows of World War I meet their matches in men also bearing scars from the war. Great angst, wonderful emotion, with some well-done world-building that never stumbles into info-dumping territory.
My favorite read this month was easily Beyond Addiction by Kit Rocha. This book proved once again that not only are the women of Sector 4 badass, but their male companions are lethal (especially when it come to their women.) We get a glimpse into the greater world of the Sectors and meet lots of new people, just whetting the appetite for more stories. And oh yeah, Finn and Trix are smoking hot. Like, really hot.
My vote goes to Beyond Addiction by Kit Rocha. The Rocha team delivers again with a lovers reunited story that introduces fascinating new characters and sets up the next romance between an ice princess and an icier prince.
My favorite book this month is Shelter Me by Catherine Mann. I am a big fan of fiction that incorporates animals in the story, so the anthropomorphism of Trooper is a big plus as is the dog rescue organization. However, the individual family members dealing with the death of a husband and a father was just so poignant. And of course re-united lovers is a big favorite trope of mine.
My pick has to be The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred. It's a beautiful, poignant story set in the south. It depicts a small town and a romance that spans decades. I couldn't put it down. I was happy, sad, mad then happy again. It's a roller coaster I never wanted to end. Alix and Nick's story is sweet torture for them. Their tumultuous relationship is gripping and heart wrenching. This is a story I'll keep rereading. I haven't been able to let them go yet!
My favorite read of August is Elizabeth Camden's With Every Breath. On the surface you would expect this to be a rather sad and difficult tale since it centers around tuberculosis research in the early 20th century. The author manages to infuse the tale with light and sweetness through her two main characters, Kate and Trevor. As the work together in an effort to find a cure they discover that life comes with no guarantees and that love is the secret of finding a way through the tough times.
My Best of August pick is Upside Down by Lia Riley. Riley's book has an off the charts steamy romance between Talia and Bran. Hot surfers, Aussies, and a surly, swoon-worthy environmentalist, this is the perfect summer read.
Going a bit out of my usual reading zone for this month's pick, Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell. College freshman Cath navigates the waters of university life and finding her own writing voice. Her twin sister, Wren, has abandoned her as a roommate, veered from their identical twin look, and chooses a relationship with their long-absent mother. Three different men vie for Cath's heart; her roommate's boyfriend, her writing partner from class, and her old high school boyfriend. The big question, though, is can any of them hold a candle to the love of her two fictional loves, an alternate universe pairing of the hero and villain from the popular Simon Snow movie and book series? As Simon Snow draws to an end, so does Cath's magnum fan-opus, and her real life romantic options will keep readers intrigued and rooting for the right guy.
Fit by Rebekah Weatherspoon. While the personal trainer/client relationship isn't a new one in the erotic romance genre, Rebekah Weatherspoon does a wonderful job bringing her kinky setting to life in Fit, the first in a trilogy. Fit brings together about Grant, a dom who's licking his wounds after an ex tried to steal from him and kidnap his dogs, and Violet, who wants to stay in shape but isn't sure if including kink in the process is too much for her to handle. I like that Violet gives as good as she gets and doesn't simply roll over (or anything else) just because Grant tells her to; she's not ashamed of her size, and makes sure Grant knows exactly how tough she is before she lets down her guard for him. This is a delightful, sexy short romance that made me eager to read the next one!
My recommendation for August is C.L. Wilson's The Winter King. This book was originally recommended to me by other members of Team H&H. I totally fell in love with the worldbuilding and the heat that Wilson brought to Wintercraig. It was both complex, and yet approachable for those who aren't high-fantasy readers. Wynter and Khamsin might be my new book power couple—and I can't wait for the next book in the series.