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Daughter of the Forest (The Sevenwaters Trilogy, Book 1)

Daughter of the Forest - Juliet Marillier *Edited* Downgraded my rating when I realized I've spent the past few days feeling increasingly creeped out by the way the romance was handled. Ugh.

Uneven in general, and the first half was much stronger than the second. And while I'm not often put off by a book's length, much of the length here comes from tiresome repetition of the POV character's thoughts.

There were so many moments where this book teetered at the edge of being something much greater than it ultimately is. But it never quite gets there.

A Tale of Two Cities (Penguin Classics)

A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens I keep list of all the books whose endings truly and thoroughly satisfied me. It's a very short list, and A Tale of Two Cities is now on it. That ending. Oh man.

The Dickens With Love

The Dickens With Love - Josh Lanyon A good and enjoyable beginning and middle with a disappointingly abrupt and unsatisfying end. I mean, this is why I typically avoid novellas, but I generally enjoy Josh Lanyon's longer works so I gave this one a shot.

Untitled (Penryn & the End of Days, #2)

Untitled (Penryn & the End of Days, #2) - Susan Ee This series is so addictively great. It's going to be an agonizing wait for book 3.

Mother Night: A Novel

Mother Night - Kurt Vonnegut Again I'm gut-punched by Vonnegut. And my tremendous admiration for his writing is reaffirmed, for his simplistic and economical prose that makes his books such easy reads, so that the words slip right on in, and only later unfurl themselves to show their many sides and depths.

Dragon Slayer

Dragon Slayer - Isabella Carter A lovely, quick read.

The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies 1)

The Magpie Lord - K.J. Charles I need to add a note here because, while two stars is an honest rating, it doesn't feel like a totally fair one. The thing is, I wanted to like this book more than I ultimately did. All of the elements for an enjoyable story are there, but for me they never really coalesced. I have a strong suspicion that a few more trips through the edit cycle would have made an enormous difference, and I truly believe the author has talent. I won't hesitate to read future books of his/hers. I just can't quite recommend this one.

The Haunted Heart: Winter

Winter - Josh Lanyon I love a well-written ghost story! The suspense, dread, atmosphere, they all feel more effective in the written medium than in any other.

Though I haaaaate waiting, I'm glad that the central relationship is (presumably) being given the space of four books to develop; for it to resolve itself more quickly would definitely feel dishonest, given how damaged Flynn is at this point in the story. I really like both main characters, though, and I'm looking forward to getting to know Kirk more in the future; Flynn's POV naturally limits Kirk's character development, but I enjoyed the glimpses beneath the surface that we did get.

Irregulars: Stories by Nicole Kimberling, Josh Lanyon, Ginn Hale and Astrid Amara

Irregulars - Astrid Amara, Nicole Kimberling, Ginn Hale, Josh Lanyon It's no surprise that my favorite story was the fourth, since I'm a total Ginn Hale fangirl (even if I haven't read Wicked Gentlemen yet - I own it! But as soon as I read it I won't have anything new of hers to read!). I also enjoyed Josh Lanyon's and Astrid Amarra's stories, but I wished both could have been longer; the storytelling felt complete but the relationships could have used more room to breathe and develop.

At His Throat, A Promise

At His Throat, A Promise - Lilith Grey 3.5 stars, rounded down for the flimsy world-building. The hurt/comfort quotient is through the roof, though, and I'm never not down for that particular trope.

Days of Blood & Starlight

Days of Blood & Starlight - Laini Taylor When I was reading this I was really wishing that I'd taken the time to reread Daughter of Smoke and Bones first, but even with that handicap, this was fantastic. Laini Taylor is a gorgeous writer, a masterful storyteller, and she even raised the emotional stakes by throwing in additional POV characters and doing it really well.

Can't wait for the third book!

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1) - Susan Ee WHY did I think the next book had already been released??? And instead I have to wait until NOVEMBER?????

Making Promises (Keeping Promise Rock)

Making Promises - Amy Lane I liked this MUCH more than the first book in the series. (It helps that I liked BOTH of the MCs in this one.)

Keeping Promise Rock

Keeping Promise Rock - Amy Lane 4.5 stars for Crick, .5 stars for Deacon, rounded up to an overall 3.

I'd be a lot more forgiving of Deacon's characterization if every single other character didn't immediately and eternally love and worship the man and treat him like a long-suffering saint and give him pass after pass on controlling, violent, and immature behavior.

It's not even that it's not typical of the Amy Lane novels I've read - flawed but oh-so-saintly men - but usually she does a much better job of selling it. Here, I wasn't buying it. And I was torn because I really did love Crick, and I wanted him to get his HEA, and his HEA included Deacon - but I also wanted Crick to want someone better for himself.

(Also, I was particularly irritated by the way Crick's one night stand in Germany was treated like cheating and something else he needed to be "forgiven" for - when Deacon had EXPLICITLY GIVEN CRICK PERMISSION TO DO IT. And for Deacon's later "indiscretion" to be treated like something that made them "even" just grossed me out.)


Sidecar - Amy Lane I think it's safe to say that Amy Lane's style really works for me.

His Sacred Bones: Book Three of The Rifter

The Rifter Book Three: His Sacred Bones - Ginn Hale Those 5 stars are for the whole thing, because I read it all at once and JFC what an absolutely stunning epic.