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Piper’s Reading Roundup – January & February

Hey, peeps! I know it’s been a while since I did one of my book recommendation posts. I’ve definitely read some great stuff since the beginning of the year, so let me rectify that now! These are the titles I’ve read and loved since January 1st. 

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Astounding! by Kim Fielding – It’s probably not a surprise to anyone who regularly follows me to see a Kim Fielding title on this list. I have yet to dislike anything I’ve read by Kim. Here we have Carter Evans, founder and EIC of Astounding!, a speculative fiction magazine that is fast approaching the end of its life. Then there’s J. Harper, an author who keeps submitting terrible stories to the magazine that Carter continually rejects. One day while drunk, Carter drafts and sends a crueler rejection letter than he would under normal circumstances, and subsequently, he sets out to find J. Harper and apologize. I loved this story and the entire cast of characters.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – What can I even say about this book? It’s my favorite read of the year so far and I seriously doubt anything else I read before the end of the year will knock it from that pedestal. This is the sort of GLBT YA I aspire to write. I thought it was absolutely perfect, and if someday I produce a book that makes people feel the way Simon made me feel, I’ll consider my ultimate goal as an author accomplished. I loved it that much. All of the stars to this fabulous read.

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Some Kind of Magic (Beings in Love #1) by R. Cooper – There’s no denying R. Cooper is an author of considerable talent. I’d venture to say she’s the strongest author in the genre at writing pining/mutual yearning. At least in my opinion. The UST (unresolved sexual tension) in her stories is so intense I have reactions anywhere from rage to tears. It doesn’t matter the story; I can always feel the deep, painful longing between her characters, and I LOVE IT. Seriously. If you enjoy UST and that will-they-or-won’t-they anticipation, that delicious, “Please just let him love you already” feeling, you need to try R. Cooper. I don’t think you’ll regret it!

Love You Like a Romance Novel by Megan Derr -This was a sexy story. I love Megan Derr’s rockstars. I love her writing. Hell, I just love her! She’s pretty damn swell. I’m an unashamed Megan Derr fangirl, and she’s another author who is fantastic at writing UST. She also wrote me a story called Tournament of Losers, which just came out last month and I cannot recommend highly enough. It was fabulous, and if you like reading stories in which the hero has to compete in a tournament for their lover’s heart and hand, well, I don’t think you’ll find a better one in M/M!

Blind Space by Marie Sexton – Speaking of sexy stories… damn! Y’all know I love me some men in lingerie, and I was thrilled to see that fetish explored here. Tristan and Valero were super hot together, but beyond that, I loved the world-building in this little sci-fi gem. It was just enough to tantalize me and make me want more. I’d love to see more stories in this universe!

Hunter of Demons (Spectr #1) by Jordan L. Hawk – I frequently see readers recommending Jordan L. Hawk, but I hadn’t read any of her work until this year. Now I can see why she has such a fanbase. I really enjoyed this story, and I’m looking forward to reading more in this series and more of Hawk’s work in general.

Hell for the Company (Brimstone #1) by Angel Martinez – What a delightful little story this was! I’m a fan of Angel Martinez, and I love the humor and tone in the Brimstone stories (I’ve also read the second one). It sort of reminds me of Firefly with the whole space western/pirates theme. Definitely looking forward to continuing the adventures of Shax, Verin, and Ness.

Nowhere Ranch by Heidi Cullinan – I love ranchers, cowboys, drifters, and stories about friendship, finding a home when you least expect it, and building a family not tied by blood. Cullinan pairs all that with BDSM and some sexy pony-play. This was dirty and kinky, but beneath the smoking hot sex was a surprisingly tender love story. Definitely recommended.

The Professor and the Smuggler by Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon – This is one of my favorite author duos. They write interesting historicals in a genre that’s dominated by contemporary, and this is another reason I never hesitate to recommend them. I think they deserve more attention. Their stories always feel different and refreshing, and this opposites-attract romance was simply lovely. You can tell they know their stuff and they’ve done their research, but it never feels like I’m reading a textbook. I want authenticity in the setting, yes, but I also crave readability. I’ll DNF a historical romance that feels like it’s trying to teach me a history lesson. I don’t want to be bogged down by an overwhelming amount of detail, and I think Dee and Devon strike the perfect balance when it comes to this.

And those are my recommendations for January and February. What have you read and loved since the start of the year? Do tell. 😉 

Piper’s Reading Roundup

My reading has gotten off to a slow start this year. I’ve only read 8 books in the entire month of January. To be fair, for the first half of the month, I was writing at full-tilt to meet our January 15th deadline. Fortunately, we got our manuscript turned in a whole day early. Now… we wait. But I have another deadline coming on March 15th to keep me occupied.  😉

Before I dig into Gavin’s story this month, these were my favorite reads from January. They weren’t necessarily published this month, just books I happened to read.

Rarely Pure and Never Simple – Angel Martinez

This is dystopian sci-fi at its finest. I loved the characters, the writing, the world-building and suspense, and of course, I always love a man with a lingerie fetish. 😉 Can’t wait for more in this world.

A Wealth of Unsaid Words – R. Cooper

I’ve been on a bit of an R. Cooper binge over the last month or so. I realized one day I owned all her books but hadn’t read any. I remedied that with her Christmas story, Casper Gets His Wish, in December, and since then, I’ve read 3 more. This one affected me the most strongly.

It was poignant and masterfully written. As someone who’s struggled with depression all my life, I especially related to Alex, the main character, who suffers from bipolar disorder. I cried throughout most of this novella, and I highly recommend it. It’s so much more than just a holiday story, even if it revolves around the Christmas holiday.

Elements of Retrofit – N.R. Walker

I loved the start of this May/Dec series. And what can be said, really? N.R. Walker is a gifted writer and an M/M fan favorite. You can’t really go wrong. I’ve never been disappointed with a book of hers, and this was no exception. I loved Tom and Cooper and I’m looking forward to finishing the series.

Wolf’s Sacrifice – Draven St. James

I’d been looking forward to this story ever since I read Scent of a Wolf, the first book in Draven’s “Pack of Light” series. This is the story of Liam, a wolf who was blinded by experiments done to him while being held in captivity, and his mate, Sean. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend reading this if you haven’t read the first book, as a lot of what happens ties into events in Scent of a Wolf, but if you’re looking for a unique shifter series to try, I’d say give this one a shot! I very much enjoyed this book.

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What have you been reading since the New Year? Any favorites? I’m always looking for recs, so feel free to comment. 😀 

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