Jul 13 2012 1:00pm

July 2012 Recommendations: Heiresses, Tattoos, and OMG Moments

Ravishing the Heiress by Sherry ThomasAt 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 July 2012 (and if you’ve missed any, be sure to check out the JanuaryFebruaryMarch, April, and May, and June 2012):

Katy Cooper

My best of July is Sherry Thomas’s Ravishing the Heiress. I’m a huge Thomas fan, but this might be my favorite of all her books. Any romance that can make me truly fear the hero and heroine won’t find their happy ending is something special. This one had me in knots, fearing Fitz and Millie would miss their chance.

Dark Companion by Marta AcostaSuzanne Johnson

My best read in July has been Dark Companion by Marta Acosta, a modern-gothic YA book inspired by Jane Eyre. The story managed to be dark without the hand-wringing, overwrought angst I see in too much YA, and managed to tread a fine line between psychological study and paranormal...but not quite paranormal. The romance in it was disturbing and unflinching in showing the lengths a young girl who’s been disenfranchised her whole life might go to if confronted with the attentions of the boy who seems to represent the shiny, popular life she’s never had...and what happens when she’s confronted with the ugly truth. It was one of those rare books I couldn’t quite stop thinking about after I finished it.

Unexpected Family by Molly O’KeefeWendy the Super Librarian

Unexpected Family by Molly O’Keefe is the follow-up to a book that I read and adored last year, His Wife For One Night. This latest features an artistic heroine running away from her collapsing business, and a former rodeo star hero still coping with taking custody of his three orphaned nephews.  I loved that both of these characters had their own believable baggage, and that the author didn’t take a conventional route to their happy ending. The hero isn’t a Super Dad who can do no wrong, and the heroine who wants to help him out doesn’t swoop in with all the magical answers to make everything “all better.”  It’s emotional angst at it’s finest.

War Paint by Kyle CassidyVictoria Janssen

I just read a book put out by a friend of mine who’s a photographer. War Paint: Tattoo Culture & The Armed Forces by Kyle Cassidy is a series of beautiful portrait photographs of soldiers and their tattoos. Each photo is accompanied by the person’s account of getting their tattoo, and what it means to them. The stories range from funny to heartbreaking, and the veterans run the gamut from WWII to Iraq.

Consumed by Rebecca ZanettiLucy Dosch

Consumed by Rebecca Zanetti.  This is a great series and we have been waiting for Katie and Jordan’s story since they first appeared in Book #1.  This book has so many OMG moments that it’s hard to discuss without giving them all away.  Just let me say it is action-packed, sexy, sweet and absolutely incredible.  I can’t wait for more.

My other favorite book this month was Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness.  It was a great continuation of the story started in A Discovery of Witches, the characters are so well written and our H/H quickly figure out that their plans of a timewalk into the past isn’t going to the quick pop-in, accomplish our “to do” list and pop on home that they thought.  Time travel involves more than picking up a new set of clothes to blend in.    
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