Winter Reads & Recs

It seems I’ve been solidly stuck on Urban Fantasy and Fantasy the last few weeks. There is one contemporary recommendation which if you’re a dino geek or a movie geek, it might give you some of that UF flavor.


Betrayal of Storms by Ben Alderson

I came across Ben’s book on IG, and was interested the moment he described it. Always a sucker for royalty falling for their personal bodyguards, I jumped into this one and wasn’t disappointed.

The magic system was interesting and the world building and setting were clearly defined. The next book is on my list to read. With the fate of the Fey and Human realms in the balance, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the second book.

Urban Fantasy

Lifeblood by Amara Rae

This is a Dark Urban Fantasy. It has dark themes and imagery. There’s also kidnapping and torture involved. And that’s basically how the fated relationship starts between a very powerful witch and a lone wolf of a warlock.

I liked the overall plot, and the world setting was interesting. The relationships between the witch in the head coven, their parents, and the witch council were mentioned, but you only get little tidbits of the background sprinkled through the book. While it was a good read, it might be a while before I pick up the next one. If you’re into Dark UF, this series should be on your TBR.

Kiss of the Fallen by Kharma Kelley

Nothing like an Urban Fantasy Enemies to Lovers story where the two main characters have to team up to figure out what the hell is going on with the local supes.

The world building here is solid, and the interplay between the main characters will keep you reading.

If you dig vampires, high action, and mystery, along with some steam, this book has all that and more.

Of Moons and Monsters by Willow Hadley

While the tendency toward exposition style of prose for the character POVs could put some people off this series, my recommendation is to stick with it.

The world building for both the supernatural world based in New York, and the other dimensional worlds brings a very nice twist to the various fairytales and myths and how they came to be.

There’s a lot going on and it starts at a party that goes horribly right and wrong for the two main characters, Isla and Alistair, who are best friends, separated by circumstances, and caught up in a much bigger power struggle than either of them realized.

This book focuses more on Isla and how she fairs in a world dominated by Chimera. It has monsters, fated mates, magic, polyamory, and queer representation!

Of Dreams and Demons by Willow Hadley

The follow up to “Of Moons and Monsters” picks up where the previous book left Alistair. He’s with his and Isla’s intended mates. After they all discover that Isla is missing, Rian, Matt, and Alistair investigate what happened to her. It leads them through New York’s supernatural underground.

In the meantime, Isla is settling in with her Chimera mates, until they are assigned to a dimension and learn that their duty to their kingdoms might not be everything they thought it was. Political intrigue and allies are formed. The four chimera are forever changed by their relationship with Isla, and they do everything in their power to make sure she’s safe and help her find a way home to Alistair.

Vanity and other Monsters by T.J. Nichols

This is the fourth book in the Mytho series, and I continue to enjoy the story. This time there’s a plot by LA vampires to take over San Francisco. The twist and the resolution were good, but there was plenty still left to find out and I hope to read more about those things in the next book. This series has three more books (based on the author’s website). The next one is due out next year.

While this does feature an M|M couple, there are some content warnings I would mention for readers – depictions of police (Jordan is an Inspector – which is equal to a detective in SFPD). Homophobia, racial issues between species, gore, and death.


Digging Up Love by Chandra Blumberg

This story has an epic meet-cute over dino bones no less. Alisha is a baker and Quinton is a paleontologist. There are a lot of sweet moments between these two as the romance heats up over a summer where Quinton is digging up bones from Alisha’s grandparents back yard in a very tiny town south of Chicago.

Lots of cute rural scenes, lots of great tension and very much a slow burn between these characters. Nothing on page here, sorry spice lovers. They are adorable nerds and share a love of movies and referenced a lot, which is a fun dynamic.

Content warning for racism and sexism toward the main characters.

What’s On My TBR

I’m not normally one to figure out what I’m reading ahead of when I read it, but as I have so many books I’d like to get through and a good chunk of downtime coming up, I’m going to list the next fifteen books I’d like to read, and try very hard to stick to it.

Here are my rules – No consecutive genre reading. No consecutive kindle reading. Reading paperbacks or hardcovers back to back is allowed. I can DNF for any reason.

  • The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina (already in progress) (pb)
  • The Priory of the Orange Tree (already in progress) (ebook)
  • Romance Your Plan (pb)
  • Trashed (ebook)
  • Everfair (pb)
  • Fierce Fairy Tales (pb)
  • Queen of the Conquered (ebook)
  • Real Sugar Is Hard to Find (pb)
  • Black Leopard Red Wolf (already in progress) (pb)
  • Understanding Michael Porter (ebook)
  • The Bookshop of Second Chances (pb)
  • The Body Fantastic (hb)
  • Taste of Her Own Medicine (ebook)
  • Grand Master of Demonic Cultivation (pb)
  • All Systems Red (ebook)

Okay – there’s my list! I start on December 23rd, and try to read all of these by January 31st. I’ll update my progress here and Twitter, along with a mention in the newsletter. If by some miracle I get through ALL of these before the 31st, anything after these are considered fair game and don’t have to follow the rules.

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