April Book Reads & Recs

Welcome back! March was a super busy month. So I didn’t read much, but I’ve definitely made up for it the last few weeks. It goes like that sometimes. There’s a great mix here, so let’s jump in and check them out shall we?

Lust & Other Drugs – By T.J. Nichols

There are three books in the Mytho series, and I read all three in one weekend! Very bingeable reads, well paced, and plenty of interesting creatures, including dragons. The world setting starts ten years after the Hadron collider brought two dimensions crashing together: one that was human, and one that was mythos. In this book, humans and mythos traveled between their dimensions, but humanity had turned what used to walk among them into myths. The series focuses on Jordan, a human cop working with his assigned Mythos public servant, Edra, a dragon shifter tasked with keeping humans out of Mythos business, if he can. But fate has other ideas for these two. The cases they follow up on are mostly murders of Mythos. Content Warnings: Drug use by an MC, homophobia, police brutality, and xenophobia. 

Paper Dragon – By Coralie Moss

This is the first book in the Jake Winslow series. Jake is adopted and his adopted upper crust dragon parents are throwing him a thirtieth birthday party to find him a mate. In this world setting, dragons gain their full power after they find their mates. The one thing Jake doesn’t have are wings. He’s the only dragon he knows of that can’t fly. He’s also a virgin. The focus quickly shifts from trying to find Jake a mate, to trying to understand where he came from and find out more about his biological parents. This is a very low heat series so far, but I’m interested. Jake is an interesting character because not only does he not have wings, but he has several other sensitivity issues that he’s grown up with. He’s not perfect, and he’s rather squishy as far as typical dragon portrayals go. That’s the reason I’ve continued reading the series. 

Carnal Cryptids – By Vera Valentine

Five alarm heat warning for this one! If you’re a monster lover, enjoy polyam stories, and light dominance, this book should be right up your alley! Based in New Jersey around the famous Boardwalk, seasonal worker Desi meets the first of a trio of Concepts at one of the boardwalk bars. Concepts are urban legends brought to life by the power of belief. And Desi, she’s a Believer. This is a unique take on myths and legends and how humans give them power in the new age of mass media verses a more aural history and campfire stories. Content Warnings: dubious consent, mild queer phobia, explicit sex with non-humans.

Monstress (Graphic Novels) – By Marjorie M. Liu & Sana Takeda (Illustrator)

I’m on book six of the graphic novels and I have to tell you, this story has so many great things about it. Tentacles, queerness, fae, evil witches, and mythical legends that possess and consume. Not to mention the art. The sheer beauty packed into every page of these comics astounds me every time I open one of the books. Definitely for mature readers. I highly recommend this series for the art alone, but the characters are compelling, and so is the plot. There are a lot of factions at play here and while the main character, called Halfwolf, is a major part of the story, there are other characters that are important too. This comic is ripe for an anime series. Don’t be surprised if that happens at some point.

Saga (Graphic Novels) – By Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples (Illustrator)

Don’t let the beautiful sci-fi, fantasy comic covers trick you into thinking this is another interesting take on “Lost In Space.” While the story does have some of those elements, it’s got so much more to it. Set in a war that no one really remembers how it got started. Two folks from opposing sides fall in love and create a child. The whole series opens with the birth of Hazel the narrator. It doesn’t stop with the social questions, and hard truths ever. There’s a lot to see in Saga, and it’s just come back from hiatus. It’s a hell of a ride, but take my word for it, always expect the unexpected from this team. Content Warnings: VERY MATURE, death, gore, sex, abortion, more death, birth, nudity, child slavery/sex rings, incarceration. And I’m not sure that’s even all the warnings on this one.

An Acquired Taste – By Kelly Cain

The first in a series of books that feature a trio of brothers that are cooks and strong female character narratives from different backgrounds. This book is a great casual read and very easy to enjoy. It picks up steam toward the latter half, and then you definitely don’t want to put the book down. 

The recipes featured are some classic soul food staples that I do plan on making myself at some point. The spice/heat level is light to medium, and works very well with the characters and plot. If you’re looking for enjoyable contemporary between your spicy monster romances, I can definitely recommend this book!

Passion Over Power – By Karmen Lee

The tension between McKenzie and Jameson starts off right from the beginning and keeps amping up until the characters eventually admit to themselves that they have been into each other for a while. This is a great M/F queer relationship book and I love that the main characters didn’t shy away from talking about their histories. While both McKenzie and Jameson have a lot going on with careers, family, and each other, once they come together, it’s spicy and absolutely a joy to see how they are there for each other once certain things get sorted between them. 

Love Language – By Reese Morrison

I absolutely love this book for all the things it does with the story and the characters. Marco and Greg meet in a kink club. Marco is Deaf and Greg is CODA. And from there the story starts, and I have to say, this is one of the best depictions of Deafness, Queerness, and BDSM I’ve seen in any book to date. The combination is stunning and works so well, I’m shocked that this book isn’t more well known. It has stuck with me long after I’ve read it. I’m looking forward to more from this author. 

Collage of book covers associated with the blog post.

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