As I did last month and will continue to do each month this year, I will be posting a list of my top 5 reads for the previous month (if it is too difficult to choose just 5 I may include more) along with some brief thoughts on why I chose them. The books may be old or new releases, but they will come from the list of books I read that month. At the end of the year I will compile a list of my top reads for the year taking books from each month’s “Top Reads” posts.
Here is my list for February, which is in no particular order (the entire list of books I have read this year can be found in the sidebar later this week), but here it is…
(You can find out more about each book by clicking on their covers.)
First up is the eBook Be Mine by Gwendolyn Cease. This was my first book by this author and I really enjoyed it. I absolutely LOVE friends-to-lovers themes in romance books and this one had that theme but with an interesting twist. In the book, Jacqueline, finds her relationship with her friend, Caleb, changing after he breaks up with her other best friend. Unsure of where the break-up leaves them since she is good friends with both Caleb and his ex, Jacqueline is not sure how to act around him now especially since she would like more than friendship with Caleb. Meanwhile, Caleb is also attracted to Jacqueline and determined to make her his…forever. Throw in a Valentine weekend at a romantic bed-and-breakfast and some steamy love scenes, and you have a wonderful quick read. It was really interesting and kind of made me think about what happens to mutual friends once a couple breaks up…do they choose sides? Can they all still be friends?
Up next is another eBook, Dakota Ranch Crude by Leah Brooke. This is an interesting ménage romance about a young woman willing to do anything to keep her troublemaker brother safe and two brothers who want to share and make the woman a part of their lives. I really loved the characters of this story, especially Samantha and Shayne. The author gave each character a distinct personality and it was interesting to see the dynamics of their unconventional relationship as they interacted with one another. Sometimes it is the plot that makes a book a top read for me, other times it is the characters, or sometimes it is both, but the reason this one was a top read for me was definitely because of the characters and their relationship.
The next top read for February for me was another ebook, Erotic Research by Mari Carr. I used this book for my Random Reading Challenge (friends-to-lovers theme) so I won’t go into too much detail, but I do want to say that I loved it. For this one I really enjoyed the plot…an editor challenges his friend, a romance author, to try a new genre (erotica) after she falls into a depression/rut. And since he has lusted after her for a while, he is more than willing to help her with the research. This one was a quick and fun read (as well as being steamy), and I loved the characters and the sexy innocence surrounding the heroine as she explored the possibilities.
My next top read is another book that I read for the Random Reading Challenge, Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh. This is the second book in the Psy-Changeling series from Ms. Singh and it was just as good as the first (Slave to Sensation…which was a top read for me in January). The whole concept of this series fascinates me and I can’t wait to read more. Ms. Singh has created a complex and intriguing world filled with shapeshifters and seemingly emotionless beings with special abilities. This book was a page-turner and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. It also seems to provide some set up for future books and characters introduced in the first two books and I am curious to see how things play out.
The last book in my Top Reads list is one that required me to step outside my reading comfort zone a bit as it is an M/M (male/male) eBook, The Tin Star by J.L. Langley. I haven’t read too many straight M/M books…okay that doesn’t sound right, but you know what I mean…most of the M/M interactions I have read have also involved an F (female) in there somewhere…LOL…but a couple of months ago I decided to challenge myself to step outside my comfort zone and try some books in this genre and I am glad I did. I still like and prefer an F in my romances, but I have widened my comfort zone a bit and, in fact, several of the books I read last month were M/M romances (I even discovered a great series by Carol Lynne).
Anyway, this one was a wonderful love story featuring two handsome cowboys with an underlying message about tolerance. In the book, a young gay man comes out to his family and is promptly kicked out and disowned by his rancher father. A neighbor, who is his brother’s best friend, offers him refuge and a job, but the older man has a secret of his own and soon they find themselves growing even closer. But the men face a lot of prejudice and danger in their small town now that their secrets are out, but both are very strong characters who seem to be able to handle just about anything life throws at them as long as they have each other and the support of other family members and friends. There were quite a few secrets in this book as well as a bit of suspense. But the main focus was this touching relationship between two longtime friends. I loved the characters of this story and their relationship. It was interesting watching things transition between them and to see the effect it had on those around them.
So there is my list of Top Reads for February. I read quite a few eBooks last month (and continue to do so) so it is not surprising that most of my Top Reads are eBooks. All of the books that I read covered a variety of genres, storylines, and characters. I read everything from Inspirational romance to erotic romance including historicals, sci-fi, paranormal, contemporary, same-sex, etc….a little bit of everything.
What about you? Read anything good last month? Step outside your reading comfort zone lately?