Keeper Shelf: Year of the Unicorn by Andre Norton. Squee from the Keeper Shelf is a new feature wherein we share why we love the books we love, specifically the stories which are permanent residents of our Keeper shelves.
Despite flaws, despite changes in age and perspective, despite the passage of time, we love particular books beyond reason, and the only thing better than re-reading them is telling other people about them. At length. If you’d like to submit your reasons for loving and keeping a particular book for Squee from the Keeper Shelf, please email Sarah! So when I saw the first one of the Squee from the Keeper Shelf reviews go by I knew I had to ask to write about this book. THIS, piled in the Science Fiction/Fantasy section of the local bookstore, is the book that totally ruined romance for me for years.
And the reason it is perfect is that though it was written in 1965, it is devoid of fail. I think I read it the first time when I was maybe eleven. And the war got won. The brides are not happy. Except for our heroine, Gillan. Cyber Monday Deals, a Free Historical, & Sports Contemporaries! Amazon has a ton of great romances on sale for Cyber Monday!
The sale includes books by Susanna Kearsley, Georgette Heyer, & more! The Little Free Library organization is having a 20% off sale! Use the code: Cyber20 at checkout. I have a LFL from the site and I love it. Perfect Prey by Laura Salters. Perfect Prey by Laura Salters stands out from the psychological thriller crowd due to it’s excellent portrayal of a heroine with a mental illness.
Like The Woman in Cabin 10, Perfect Prey depicts a heroine who is unapologetic about struggling with a mental illness (in this case generalized anxiety), who is gaslit because of it, and who perseveres even when she has to overcome the dual obstacles of physical danger and mental distress. The only reason this book didn’t get an A from me was that I felt the mystery element was a little unbalanced. Carina Corbett and her best friend, Erin Baxter, are in Serbia working on a feature for the magazine for which they are both interns. Both women are attending a music festival called JUMP and are writing pieces on how Serbia is rebuilding its tourism and fashion industries. During one of the concerts the women are at the main stage. Erin is everything that Carina is not–she’s an extrovert, a magnetic personality, seemingly always in control. Also: Of Dreams and Rust by Sarah Fine. Of Dreams and Rust is a sequel to Sarah Fine’s Of Metal and Wishes ( A | BN | K | G | ARe | iB ).
The two books basically function as one single book, and this review contains spoilers for Of Metal and Wishes. Alert – this is a YA story with first person, present-tense narration and a love triangle. Fortunately, the setting, characters, and overall plot made it feel fresh. Of Metal and Wishes is inspired by The Phantom of the Opera, one of my favorite books. This story takes place in a steampunk world very loosely based on China – and what a delight it is to see steampunk motifs in a non-Western setting.
Wen is a member of the dominant ethnic group, the Itanyai. When a Marquess Loves a Woman by Vivienne Lorret. If you like enemies-to-lovers romance, then you probably want to read When a Marquess Loves a Woman.
It’s got all my prerequisites for a good Regency romance–loads of sexual tension, a heroine who owns her shit, and epic sass-battles. Also canoodling in libraries. Also a stock market crash. There’s a lot going on in this book. The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst. The Queen of Blood is a fantasy book that is written so beautifully and so naturally that it feels completely matter-of-fact.
There’s nothing pretentious or mannered about this book, which makes its depictions of magical spirits all the more powerful. The Queen of Blood involves a world in which nature is full of spirits that long to kill and destroy. The relationship between people and spirits is summed up in a child’s jump rope chant: Don’t trust the fire, for it will burn you. Don’t trust the ice, for it will freeze you. Don’t trust the water, for it will drown you. Don’t trust the air, for it will choke you. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake.
I should be in bed right now.
I should be getting a good night’s sleep before I start my work week tomorrow, but I’m not. All hope of being productive today or tomorrow went by the wayside when I started Three Dark Crowns this afternoon. Since I started the book I’ve done nothing but read, and now I’m reviewing it late at night because OMG YOU GUYS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS. I am literally sweating right now under a cat and my blankets, typing this on my phone in the dark (#baddecisionsbookclub). The Rec League: He's Always Loved Her. The Transatlantic Conspiracy by G.D. Falksen.
The Transatlantic Conspiracy is no Agatha Christie, but it’s an exciting, fun YA steampunk mystery set on an underground train, so I’ll take it.
Despite the gorgeous cover, there are no cephalopods of any kind in the book. Otherwise, it’s fine. The plot is as follows: in an alternate version of 1908, seventeen-year-old Rosalind is ordered by her father to take the first ride on his new train, the Transatlantic Express. Her father designed this undersea train and he wants Rosalind on it for its maiden voyage because it indicates to the public that he thinks the train is safe. Urban Fantasy, a Freebie, & More! Along Came Love Along Came Love by Tracey Livesay is $1.99!
This book just came out THIS MONTH! It was also featured in Hide Your Wallet. Livesay writes smart, competent characters, but some reviewers that the heroine was a bit too Manic Pixie Dream Girl for them. Anyone interested? When a silly, impulsive decision lands free-spirited India Shaw behind bars in San Francisco, she has no choice but to call the only person she knows in the unfamiliar city—the very man she abandoned after a steamy two-day fling. A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas. Oh my gosh, I have such feels about this book.
I had high expectations for it and I was not disappointed, and my challenge here is to try to sum up my feelings in a literary way instead of just doing this: A Study in Scarlet Women is the first book in the new Lady Sherlock series. Charlotte Holmes is an upper-class young woman who seems to be on the autism spectrum. She does not wish to marry and after an unfortunate series of events she sets up shop as a private detective. However, Charlotte believes that men will not take her seriously if they know that she’s a woman. I’m going to start off here with the one thing I didn’t like about the book, and that’s the actual mystery.
Still, I suspect that even an ardent mystery reader will think this is not the strongest mystery ever written. A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas. This is going to be a somewhat brief review. I have a longer and more in-depth review scheduled for elsewhere later in the week, and Carrie is working on reading this book as well. But A Study in Scarlet Women releases today and I couldn’t let the release go by without telling you HOW MUCH I ENJOYED IT OH MY GOSH. You might have heard my podcast interview with Sherry Thomas last week wherein she talked a bit about the inspiration for this book. Keeper Shelf: Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. Squee from the Keeper Shelf is a new feature wherein we share why we love the books we love, specifically the stories which are permanent residents of our Keeper shelves. Despite flaws, despite changes in age and perspective, despite the passage of time, we love particular books beyond reason, and the only thing better than re-reading them is telling other people about them.
At length. If you’d like to submit your reasons for loving and keeping a particular book for Squee from the Keeper Shelf, please email Sarah! When Sarah first approached me about writing the first Squee from the Keeper Shelf, I honestly had to wrack my brain for what book I’d select. A lot of my “keeper” books are in storage at my parents’ place. Lightning Reviews: Crafting, Romantic Suspense, & Alan Cumming. Crafting with Feminism author: Bonnie Burton Crafting With Feminism: 25 Girl-Powered Projects to Smash the Patriarchy includes the directions for completing twenty-five crafting projects that are aimed squarely at my level of crafting competence, which is zero.
Some projects require a small amount of hand sewing, but none of them require a sewing machine. You don’t have to know how to knit or crochet – you just need access to fabric and maybe glue and some glitter. These projects are silly and funny and cool and will make your feminist soul reach for the sequins! The Rebel Heir by Elizabeth Michels. TW for descriptions of emotional and physical abuse. You ever have the sense when you’re reading a book in a series and think, “Oh, boy am I missing something here?”
It’s even more disconcerting when you know you’ve read the other books in the series (or related series, as the case may be) but can’t remember much other than, “Uh…this seems familiar?” That’s what reading this book was like. The primary story – the perfect debutante and the con man – was really interesting, and I was really into that! But there’s these surrounding characters, and they are all clearly in the middle of their own story. Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare. Do You Want to Start a Scandal is good. It’s so, so good. How good is it? It’s this good: I wake up at the ass crack of dawn on a Saturday because a big storm is rolling in and I’m getting pre-migraine twinges, so I take my usual migraine cocktail of Excedrin, ibuprofen and a muscle relaxer and plan on sleeping until noon.
Historically-Set Books with Time-Slipping, Masquerades, & More! Guest Review: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald. NB: The Readers of Broken wheel Recommend has been on our radar for a while, so we’re happy to have this squee-worthy guest review from Kim W. Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, & a Recommended Fantasy. Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova. Guest Squee: The Tigers of Mompracem by Emilio Salgari. Beautiful Wreck by Larissa Brown. Historical Romances on Sale! The Duke of Shadows The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran is $1.99 right now. Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. As many of you know, psychological thrillers featuring kickass ladies are just about my favorite thing ever, and when I got my grabby little hands on The Woman in Cabin 10 I was super excited.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet. All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda. Historical Romances by Kleypas, Gordon, & More! The End of the Perfect 10 by Dvora Meyers. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin. Dukes, Romantic Suspense, & More! Lightning Reviews: Mary Balogh, Iron Age Heroes, & Scifi. Pastoral by Nevil Shute. In the Waning Light by Loreth Anne White. Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine. The Mountain Midwife by Laurie Alice Eakes.
Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn. The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman. Love Me Sweet by Tracy Brogan. Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn. Recommended YA, Historical Romance, and Nonfiction. All In by Simona Ahrnstedt. Midnight's Kiss by Thea Harrison. Emily and the Dark Angel by Jo Beverley. The Warlord's Wife by Sandra Lake. Midnight’s Kiss by Thea Harrison. Stiletto by Daniel O'Malley.
The Ghost by Monica McCarty. The Shattered Court by M. J. Scott. Once Upon a Dream by Liz Braswell. Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye. Cravings by Chrissy Teigen - With Giveaway! Kindle Daily Deals with Nonfiction, Fantasy, & Paranormal Romance! Tremaine’s True Love by Grace Burrowes. Contemporary Romance, YA, and The Miniaturist. Lightning Reviews: New Kleypas, a Titanic-Inspired Scifi, & a Renovation Romance. Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt.
Sweetest Scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt. Nacho Figueras Presents: High Season by Jessica Whitman. Historical Romances with Bodyguards, Cake, & More! Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt. The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett. It Started with a Scandal by Julie Anne Long. Plum Bun by Jessie Redmond Fauset. The Marriage Contract by Katee Robert. Steampunk, Contemporary Romance, & More! The Rec League: Unassuming, Underestimated Heroes. Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, & Neil Gaiman. The Duke of Olympia Meets His Match by Juliana Gray. The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn. Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen. Lightning Reviews: Hamilton, Knitting, & a Former Rockstar Hero. Falling into Bed with a Duke by Lorraine Heath. Fantasy, Romantic Suspense, and a Scot! All's Fair in Love and Scandal by Caroline Linden. Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik.
Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress by Theresa Romain. Let It Shine by Alyssa Cole. I Thee Wed by Celeste Bradley. Wishes by Jude Deveraux. Temptations of a Wallflower by Eva Leigh. Mad About the Marquess by Elizabeth Essex. Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, & Steampunk! The Undoing by Shelly Laurenston. Historical Romances from Jane Ashford, Laura Kinsale, & More! Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly. 'Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick. Sweet Starfire by Jayne Ann Krentz. Sweet Starfire by Jayne Ann Krentz. Lainey Gossip Entertainment Update. Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff. The Luckiest Girl by Beverly Cleary. The Obsession by Nora Roberts. Lady Byron and Her Daughters by Julia Markus. Contemporary Romances & a YA Fantasy! Her Every Wish by Courtney Milan. Lightning Reviews: Princes, Charlotte Bronte, & New Theresa Romain. In the Labyrinth of Drakes by Marie Brennan. Six Degrees of Scandal by Caroline Linden.