I don't think I need to say that May was a challenging month for reading. I read all of 7 - yes, you read that right - seven books. It's almost incomprehensible. But as phenomenal as some of these books were (and boy oh boy were some of them fantastic), my ADHD brain was scattered by the shit in my life. So, without further ado, let me tell you about the books I read....
How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper (4 stars)
This is a silly, sweet, romantic and emotion-packed story of Mo, a woman raised by overbearing hippie parents. She flees to Alaska after a breakup - to get as far away from her parents as possible - so that she can figure out what she wants out of life. Through a fluke, she ends up running the kitchen at the local diner and meets Cooper, a somewhat cranky, rough, sexy werewolf who is trying to get away from the responsibility of running his pack. Sparks fly. But there are obstacles (like the town hunting a rogue wolf that they think is killing tourists) and a sexy game warden and a whole lot of nutty characters. (Not to mention, their desire not to desire each other.) Yes, its a typical romance format, but Molly Harper writes better than most and I actually really enjoyed it. Definitely worth reading.
Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison (3 stars)
Another romance. (Yes, I was in a weird funk this month.) This one is about Pia, who is half-human, half-wyr (think shapeshifter). All her life, her mother has taught her to hide what she is (and you don't know - but if you're smart like me, you'll guess it pretty quick). She's forced to steal from Dragos, the oldest dragon-wyr by an ex-boyfriend with whom she's shared her secret. Since she doesn't want to do it, she actually only steals a penny and replaces it with another penny along with an apology note. This both infuriates and confuses Dragos. He hunts her down. Now, some people might not like Dragos. He's overbearing, brutish and prone to violent tendencies. He's not modern at all. And yet, I liked him. I thought he was well portrayed. I don't think a dragon wyr who's been around since the beginning of time and who basically rules all the wyr would be any other way. And the sex is graphic, and at points almost animalistic - which, I have to say, makes sense as well. They fall in love even as the Dark Fae King comes after them, intent on destroying both of them. This should have been a book I hated (I don't normally like these types of books - they annoy me), but I thoroughly enjoyed it and I will definitely be reading the next installment.
Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (5 stars)
I loved this book! Bryn is a human girl taken in by Callum, an alpha werewolf, after her parents were killed by a rogue. She realizes something is going on and she's being kept in the dark. What she discovers is a boy, Chase, being hidden in Callum's basement in a cage. He's been bitten by the werewolf that killed her parents. What follows is a series of events where Bryn learns that nothing she believed (and no one) can be trusted. Jennifer Lynn Barnes is a great storyteller. She creates compelling characters and an interesting take on werewolves. She put serious thought into their actions, motivations and behavior. I can't wait to read what happens to Bryn next.
The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen (5 stars)
If you've never read a book by Sarah Addison Allen, you need to. This book was wonderful. (They all are.) Emily is a girl dealing with the death of her mother. She moves to a small town to live with a grandfather she never knew existed, and what a strange little town it is. What she discovers is the mother she knew, isn't at all the mother the town remembers. And people hold grudges. Within that story is the story of Julia, a woman who has returned to the town after the death of her father. She wants nothing to do with the town that condemned her. Both of them find love in the most beautiful way. A must read. I swear, it will make you feel good about life.
Tangled Threads by Jennifer Estep (5 stars)
The latest book in the Gin Blanco series. Gin is a retired assassin and a secret elemental. Or she would be a retired assassin if Mab Monroe and her flunkies would just behave and leave Gin alone. I love this series with a ridiculous passion. Finn, Gin's "brother" is funny and sexy. Owen, her boyfriend, is sweet but with an iron core. Sooo, Gin is kind of a sociopath, except she loves the people she loves and will do anything to keep them safe. And nothing will stop her. I don't want to spoil the series. Just freaking read it. Jennifer Estep is a crazy good writer.
Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill (6 stars)
(Yes, it gets the coveted 6 stars!)
I love love love this series. But, oh holy hell, this one has a killer ending that left me unable to read for two days!! I kid you not. If you can't take major traumatic endings, I'd suggest you hold off reading this until the next book comes out, because it's going to weigh on you.
The series follows Merit, a newly (and unwillingly) turned vampire. She is Sentinel for Cadogan House, run by Ethan. Merit and Ethan have a bit of a love-hate relationship, because he's a bit....well, lets just say bossy and egotistical and she is...hmm, not going to put up with it. Yet they're drawn to each other. Mix in werewolves coming out in the open; a nasty ass bitch vampire who wants Merit dead and Ethan brought down; humans who aren't at all happy to discover their world contains supernatural creatures; political intrigue; a jerk of a father and well-written world and you have the Chicagoland Vampire series. I can't recommend this series enough.
Almost Final Curtain by Tate Hallaway (5 stars)
This is the second book in a series about Ana, who has a witch mother and a vampire father (although she doesn't know that her father is a vampire at the beginning of the first book). She's been studying to become part of the coven her whole life, unfortunately she has no magic. Or at least she doesn't think she does. Then on the night of her initiation, her dad pays her a visit. It turns out he's a prince and she's a princess. Then there's her best friend - who is a witch and majorly jealous of Ana. And her boyfriend, who just so happens to be a vampire slayer (that's a problem). And then she discovers she has vampire powers. These books a funny and yet serious. Tate Hallaway does a great job writing angst even as she makes you smile. The characters are wonderful, the storyline is great and I think it all works incredibly well. Definitely worth reading.
And that's it for my reading this month. Next month, I have Jennifer Rardin's last book, Ilona Andrew's latest and a slew of others to tackle. That's if life cuts me some slack.