March! Oh my goodness. Such a productive month for me both in terms of reading and writing! Between bouts of editing for my second novel, I managed to read 35 books in March! ADFGHJ. Fair enough some of them were novellas or shorts, and other’s I DNF’d, but the vast majority were actual novels! After finishing the first round of editing for Inyoni Rocks, I needed a break from my own writing before I dived back into it, and what better way to distract yourself than with other people’s words? And it was SUCH A GOOD MONTH omg you guys.

(Okay, not all of them were glorious, but the ones that were more than made up for the drivel interspersed between them!)

I ended up getting Kindle Unlimited, because they were offering a free month, and it’s been absolutely glorious so far! It’d technically be like paying for two ebooks a month and considering I’ve already read triple that through KU already, I’m tempted to keep my subscription after the trial period ends… but we’ll see! There was a reason I didn’t want to buy any new books, and that reason was money!

But let us not worry about that now! Now I want to tell you all about the glorious books I got to read this month 😀

[ 54 / 125 ]

Hue, Tint and Shade by Jordan Castillo Price

 

Hue, Tint & Shade
by Jordan Castillo Price

4 Star

Review: I’m kind of teasing myself with this author. Everyone I know wants me to read her Psycop series, and though I fully intend to… it’s kind of exciting to build up the anticipation for a series absolutely everyone I know is raving about. For this month, after the depressing stack of books I read in February, I thought I’d start off with something nice and easy… something to make reading a pleasure and I’m so glad I tried this little morsel! Introvert Tommy meets window-washer Nathan, an extrovert with no qualms in letting Tommy know how very interested in him he is… even when he’s dangling in front of his therapist’s office writing his number on the windows instead of washing them! It was a light, easy read, with likeable characters, a pretty believable scenario (you know, for what it was!), and included a magical chocolatier to boot! What’s not to love?!

Black Dog Blues by Rhys Ford

 

Black Dog Blues
by Rhys Ford

4 Star

Review: I read this one on a recommendation from Gail Carriger, who authored one of my favourite Steampunk series’ “The Parasol Protectorate“. And though this one is a fantasy, I thought I’d give it a shot as it’s been a while since I read anything with elves/et al and actually enjoyed it! The story follows Kai Gracen, an outcast elf who makes his living as a ‘Stalker’ (killing magical monsters). When a new Sidhe Lord comes to town, Kai is forcibly hired to do a job for him and, of course, the shit-hiteth-the-fan, as they say. I heavily debated my rating for this one, but ultimately settled on four stars because, whilst some of the content read as a bit ‘meh’, I did absolutely love the world building, (and the kisses. DEAR LORD THE KISSES!). And whilst I don’t intend to read the sequel, I did thoroughly enjoy this novel as a stand-alone.

Dim Sum Asylum
by Rhys Ford

4 Star

Review: Another one from the Charmed & Dangerous Anthology I’ve slowly been making my way through. It’s set in the same (world? universe?) Rhys Ford has already set up (basically: magical creatures now live amongst us), which I adore. I thought the relationship between Roku and Trent was a bit… sudden? I mean, I knew they’d end up in bed together (because, predictable much?) but it still seemed to come out of nowhere… it would have made sense if it had been an after affect from their ‘case’, but I understand why the author made a point to mention that it wasn’t. Still, a very entertaining read and I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing more of these guys!

A Reason To Believe by Diana Copland

 

A Reason to Believe
by Diana Copland

5 Star

Review: Oh man. This story! I loved it so much. It follows Detective Matthew Bennett who’s called out when a young girl goes missing and finds himself being confronted by her ghost. He’s… not quite freaking out about it when she shows him where her body is, but he is suitably freaked enough that when asked, he makes the mistake of telling his boss how he knew where to look… and ends up being forced to take some leave. One thing leads to another and whilst being stalked by the ghost he ends up meeting renowned medium Kiernan Fitzpatrick. Between the two of them, they team up to help solve the case and put the little girl’s ghost to rest, getting to know one another along the way. Each man has had his share of heartache and betrayal, but “As the two men grow closer, Kiernan helps Matt rediscover that life offers no guarantees–but love offers a reason to believe…

A Queer Trade by K.J. Charles

 

A Queer Trade
by KJ Charles

0.5 Rag & Bone – 5 Star

Review: I finally got around to reading this one in that Charmed & Dangerous Anthology, fully expecting to be able to dive right into the first book of the series, only… I forgot about all the drama with Samhain Publishing until I went to buy Rag&Bone and realised the ebook wasn’t currently available and asdfghj whhhhhhyyyyyy?! I absolutely adored Crispin and Ned, and that it’s still set in the Charm of Magpie universe. Fingers crossed things get resolved with Samhain soon because I dearly want to read more about these boys <33 THINGS HAVE BEEN RESOLVED! KJ Charles announced recently that she’s got her rights back and is working on releasing all of her titles asap so… fingers crossed I can get my grubby little hands on it soon!

Three's Company by N.R. Walker

 

Three’s Company
by NR Walker

5 Star

Review: I didn’t realise it at the start but I’ve actually read this one before. Or rather… I did realise, but as I hadn’t marked it on goodreads I thought I was getting it confused with another series I’d started last year which had a similar premise (exclusive gay resort et al). I quickly realised that I definitely had read the book but decided to keep reading because I found myself adoring every word of it even though I knew what was coming. A delightful tale about a hurt young man finding solace in the arms of two strangers and the three of them bonding in ways none of them truly expected to.

Spencer Cohen, Book One by N.R. Walker

 

The Spencer Cohen Series
by NR Walker

Books 1-3 – 4 Star

Review: The premise for this series is basically “fake boyfriends” that end up becoming not-so-fake. And who doesn’t love that trope, really? I enjoyed the whole thing very much if I’m being honest. There was just enough angst and drama to keep things interesting, and yet the whole thing is still original enough to keep it from reading like every fanfiction you’ve ever read on the trope!

Sixty Five Hours by N.R. Walker

 

Sixty-Five Hours
by NR Walker

1 Sixty-Five Hours – 5 Star
1.5 The 12 Days of Christmas – 4 Star

Review: Yes, I did read the Christmas coda in March. No, I’m not proud of it. BUT.. I couldn’t not read it, okay?! The novel was so good and so typically Walker, she’s such a comfort read for me now and I didn’t want to wait ten more months just for a coda to a story that doesn’t need a sequel… so there!

Fearless Leader by Tricia Owens

 

Juxtapose City Series
by Tricia Owens

1 Fearless Leader – 2 Star

Review: Such a disappointment. I wish I’d DNF’d to be quite honest. I used to read Owens’ LotR fanfiction waaaay back in the day and her writing had always seemed so… great, you know? I definitely didn’t feel that way about this book. It was poorly written, and just as poorly executed. Every character read like a stereotype and they all acted like a bunch of… high schoolers more than an elite response team. Everyone was corrupt or turning a blind eye, rape was par-for-the-course, the rape victim exploited and sexualised, and the one woman we met in the whole novel was a hysterical kidnap victim I can’t even remember if we got a name for, only that she was some guy’s mistress. Ugh. Nope. No thank you. It’s completely put me off trying anything else by this author, at least anytime soon.

Beau and the Beast by Kay Simone

 

Beau and the Beast
by Kay Simone

2 Star

Review: DNF @ 23%. I adore Beauty and the Beast. And like most people, I’m all over that bandwagon with the new movie recently released (have you seen it? HOW GOOD IS IT OMG!?), and since I’ve recently subscribed to Kindle Unlimited I figured I’d give this one a shot. Big Mistake. Too many jumping POV’s. Annoying characters. Unbelievable set up, and when I realised it was almost 140k in length I decided to quit whilst I was ahead. I’d already wasted my time on one unsatisfactory read, really didn’t feel the need to add another to that list

 

Control by Manna FrancisQuis Custodiet by Manna Francis

 

The Administration Series
by Manna Francis

4 Control – 5 Star
5 Quis Custodiet – 4 Star
+ 13 Novellas set between books 4 through 6 – ranging from 3-5 Star

Notes: When in need, read some “Mind Fuck”. Ugh. I love this series. I’m trying to pace myself (honest!) because I never want it to end. Toreth is such a messed up guy (though lets be honest, you need to be “in a world in which torture is a legitimate part of the investigative process“). And sometimes I can’t forgive him for the way he treats Keir, but then there’s a coda like “Smoke & Cameras” and I’m basically in hysterics because ~BOYS! Seriously, if you like dark near-future dystopian fiction, please for the love of everything holy, read this series. It will blow your mind!

 

Caged Sanctuary by Tempeste O'Riley

 

Caged Sanctuary
by Tempeste O’Reilly

3 Star

Notes: DNF @ Chapter 7. This one… I feel like… I don’t know. It seemed too insta-something! Not-quite love, but there was a level of trust between dom and sub that felt very unrealistic considering the build up of the sub’s mental state prior to meeting the dom. I had been looking forward to this one because the sub- Kaden- is in a wheelchair and I thought that was a very interesting dynamic. From what I did read, the disability was written very well, but the execution of the story just didn’t read well with me. Upped my rating from 2 to 3 Stars because I felt bad XD

As The Crow Flies by Damien Boyd

 

As The Crow Flies
by Damien Boyd

3 Star

Notes: This is the second time I’ve tried to read this one, and I actually managed it this time! Whoop. It was actually alright overall. And though I guessed pretty much everything before the end, I didn’t see the ‘twist’ in regards to Jake’s death coming, so I came out of it feeling pleasantly surprised! Still, overall, I have no plans to read any more of this series. While the plot was readable, the characters felt that wooden way most cops/detectives/etc do in crime novels, and if I don’t care about your MC, there’s not really much point in me reading your book.

Safe in His Arms by Renae Kaye

 

Safe in his Arms
by Renae Kaye

3 Star

Notes: DNF @ Chapter 14. I thought I was enjoying this one, but the further I got the more I realised I just wanted it to finish. Which is a shame because there are so many things to love about this story. Lon for a start <33 and any book with a setting outwith America is always a plus (this one is in Australia). And I even adored Casey at the beginning… until he started getting clingy and whiny and… ugh. I don’t even know. I want to give him a chance because of everything he’s been through but… I just don’t like him as a character and when I started getting annoyed because it was his POV I knew it was time to stop reading. Alas!

Hold The Line by S.E. Jakes

 

Hold the Line
by SE Jakes

4 Star

Notes: I’m all over this one! As simple a premise it was, basically: two strangers end up travelling across America together to get to a wedding. One is the groom’s best friend. The other is the groom’s brother. And, predictably, things aren’t exactly plain sailing at the start. I really enjoyed watching the development between Quinn and Con on their roadtrip. They’re both pretty messed up characters, and even with the mutual attraction they’re both more than happy to act on, it’s still raw and complicated and not-easy between them.

Gray Justice by Alan McDermott

 

Gray Justice
by Alan McDermott

3 Star

Notes: Who doesn’t love a wee bit of vigilante justice? Relatively enjoyable, I liked the premise and the story, I just wasn’t in love with it as much as I could have been. Not sure I’ll read any more of the series either.

The Mystery of Nevermore by C.S. Poe

 

Snow & Winter Series
by CS Poe

1 The Mystery of Nevermore – 5 Star
1.5 The Innter Working of Sebastian Snow – 3 Star

Notes: OMG YOU GUYS IT’S THE NEXT ADRIEN ENGLISH SERIES! I feel like I’ve been waiting for this book since finishing the Adrien English Series by Josh Lanyon. Honestly, nothing has ever come as close to eclipsing my love for Adrien/Jake as much as The Mystery of Nevermore’s Sebastian/Calvin have <33 Now, maybe I love it as much as I do because it basically is the first Adrien English book- the plots are eerily similar, which makes this first novel pretty predictable, but there’s just enough of a difference between plot and character and situation to make it still read as fresh and new and ASDFGHJ I need to get my hands on the second book ASAP!

The Palace Job by Patrick Weekes

 

The Palace Job
by Patrick Weekes

3 Star

Notes: DNF. Not a bad story, just couldn’t really get into it. Again, I loved the premise- sort of a fantasy/dystopian type world that starts with a prison break and leads to a ragtag group coming together to steal something super important. By the time it came to the heist though I realised I wasn’t invested in any of it and decided that was the time to quit reading.

 

All in all, not a bad haul for March! I’m skipping the Writing and Random sections of The Rough Draft this month, mostly because Writing is just all about my upcoming novel Inyoni Rocks, which you’ll be hearing about for the better part of the next week whether you like it or not anyway!

And my Random section was completely filled with podcasts, which I think now deserve their own post entirely because I have so many feels about them! So that’ll be on the agenda for April I think.


And Finally…

  • Launch Amanzimtoti: Inyoni RocksAvailable April 11th! **IS FREAKING OUT** 
  • Finish plotting out the sequel Amanzimtoti: Nyala Place
  • Start work on the Amanzimtoti novella(s)
  • Start plotting/working on a non-Amanzimtoti novel
  • Do that creepy-podcasts-that-i-love-so-hard-asdfghj post

I want to make 2017 as productive a year as possible for me in terms of my writing, and that means less procrastination (and travelling D:) and waaaaay more plotting!

(I reserve the right to keep binge-reading however!)

Wish me luck!
–Carmen-Shea

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