This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books they’ve read and share what they have got up to during the last week.
I was hoping that 2023 would prove to be a kinder year than 2021 or 2022. So far it hasn’t been. I am gritting my teeth, putting my head down and enduring. I’ve been tempted to start howling at the moon at the sodding unfairness of it all. But it’s a tad nippy outside and we have plenty of yapping dogs in the neighbourhood anyway, without my adding to mix. Besides, no one said Life would be fair… Oh well. Thank goodness for books. At least, on that score I’m doing well, in that I’ve had some marvellous reads and listens this past week.
Last week I read:-
All for All – Book 3 of the Cast Adrift series by Christopher G. Nuttall
Humanity has won a great victory, liberating their homeworld from the alien Pashtali and convincing many of the alien Great Powers that Earth is much more than a vassal state of a decaying empire, easy meat for the first invader who comes along. But the war is far from over. The Pashtali are gathering their forces, closing down their border wars with smaller powers while the greater ones sit on the sidelines, readying their navy for a final confrontation with Earth. The end cannot be long delayed.
There is one hope left. Allying themselves with the other smaller powers, the Solar Navy sets off on a final desperate campaign to break the aliens once and for all, or lose everything on the final throw of the dice.
As ever, Nuttall’s skills in plotting and providing plenty of adventure come to the fore in this gripping addition to this entertaining series. There is plenty here to gladden the heart of old-school fans of the genre… a varied cast of characters, a nicely nasty alien species to hate – and a climactic space battle with lots at stake. What I particularly like is that Nuttall knows his history and uses it to good effect in depicting his scenarios. Initially I was under the impression that this was trilogy – but I’d be very happy to see more in this series. 9/10
AUDIOBOOK – Sweep of the Heart – Book 5 of the Innkeeper Chronicles by Ilona Andrews
Life is busier than ever for Innkeeper, Dina DeMille and Sean Evans. But it’s about to get even more chaotic when Sean’s werewolf mentor is kidnapped. To find him, they must host an intergalactic spouse-search for one of the most powerful rulers in the Galaxy. Dina is never one to back down from a challenge. That is, if she can manage her temperamental Red Cleaver chef; the consequences of her favorite Galactic ex-tyrant’s dark history; the tangled politics of an interstellar nation, and oh, yes, keep the wedding candidates from a dozen alien species from killing each other. Not to mention the Costco lady.
They say love is a battlefield; but Dina and Sean are determined to limit the casualties!
Discovering this addition to one of my all-time favourite series has been one of the highlights of the year so far! I LOVE this wacky sci-fi/fantasy mash-up that shouldn’t work, but absolutely does because of the attention to detail and sheer inventiveness of the authors. 9/10
Death by a Cornish Cove – Book 2 of the Cressida Fawcett Mystery series by Fliss Chester
A seaside party at a Cornish mansion with plenty of fizz, what could be more perfect? But something fishy is afoot… a killer lurks among the guests, and only Cressida Fawcett can stop them.
When Cressida Fawcett is invited to stay at Penbeagle House on the Cornish coast for a fancy-dress ball, she is looking forward to sipping rum cocktails clad as a pirate, watching the red-sailed boats go by and relaxing in the sea air with her good friend Dotty. But before they can raise their glasses to toast Cressida’s former flame Lord Canterbury’s engagement, he drops dead in front of the horrified guests.
The local doctor determines that Lord Canterbury was poisoned, and soon Detective Chief Inspector Andrews is on his way from Scotland Yard. But Cressida is dismayed by the murder of the intrepid explorer who once asked for her hand in marriage, and she cannot simply leave the case to the police. Together with Dotty and her little pug Ruby, Cressida searches for clues only to discover that many of the guests have a motive for murder. Did an irate journalist or a bitter fellow explorer send Lord Canterbury on his untimely final journey?
I have thoroughly enjoyed the slew of 1920s murder mysteries I’ve read recently – and this is fast becoming a favourite series. Cressida is a force of nature and Chester has clearly done her homework on period details, which I appreciate. Review to follow.
Spirit Guide – Book 3 of the Madame Chalamet Ghost Mysteries Novellas by Byrd Nash
When a nobleman’s daughter goes missing, Elinor Chalamet and Tristain Fontaine, the Duke de Archambeau, must work together to discover who has kidnapped her and why.
Saddled with a bumbling apprentice, a drunk soldier, and a prickly nobleman who won’t explain why he hasn’t paid a proper call, Elinor must decide if the Society is hiding something from her. When the investigation reveals a connection to an old rival, she finds herself going it alone, something Tristan had demanded she not do. Will her dance with ghosts be a permanent arrangement?And when Tristan Fontaine discovers her missing, who will be able to face his wrath?
Elinor Chalamet uses her wits and her ghost-talking skills to hunt for her father’s killer in Alenbonné, a coastal city where ghosts walk at all hours. The third of a six-part gaslamp fantasy ghost mystery series featuring a Sherlock Holmes-like female character in a slow burn romance.
This is a series I’ve recently encountered and thoroughly enjoyed to date. Elinor is an experienced and clear-headed young woman who copes with a dangerous occupation by planning ahead for every contingency – until she doesn’t… This slice of the adventure sees our plucky protagonist unusually vulnerable, which gives us insights into her character. Review to follow.
My posts last week:
*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of NETGALLEY arc Love Will Tear Us Apart – Book 3 of The Stranger Times series by C.K. McDonnell
*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of NETGALLEY arc Sentenced to Death – Book 4 of A Writer For Hire Mystery series by Betty Hechtman
Can’t-Wait Wednesday featuring Frontier by Grace Curtis
*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of NETGALLEY arc Before I Sleep – Book 24 of the Bill Slider series by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
Hope you, too, had some brilliant books to tuck into and wishing you all a happy, healthy week😊.
Thank goodness for books indeed! What would those of us so inclined do without them? I hope 2023 improves for you. I’m a little ambivalent about it so far too!
Thank you, Greg:). Yes… I’m very aware I’m not the only one having a rough time right now – so many other folks are also struggling. But I’m so blessed in having so many good books stacked up right now.
Books can make things a bit better 🙂
Oh, Sarah, I’m sorry that 2023 is not going better for you than the last couple of years. It is not fair that you should be suffering like this. I admire your grit and your resolve. Here’s to overcoming this awful sickness. It has lingered with you too long.
I agree…thank goodness for books.
Thank you for your kind good wishes, Deb. I appreciate being able to have a bit of a whine where everyone is so kind and supportive. But on the plus side, I’ve been reading all sorts of enjoyable entertaining stories that have taken me away from my own rather grim reality:)).
I’m sorry it’s so tough at times. I have certainly felt too heavy from the inactivity when my hip was a problem. Wil I ever get that pep back? But yes the books make it all so much better. Ilona Andrews is my favorite!
Thank you, Anne. It is a challenge building up stamina and fitness after being inactive for such a long time. And yes… discovering an Innkeeper book I hadn’t read was SUCH a treat!
I am sorry things have been so rough for you, Sarah. I am grateful for books too. They keep me sane. I love the Innkeeper series too and need to get caught up. Thank you for the reminder! I hope you continue to enjoy your reading and the year gets better for you.
Thank you, Wendy:)). Yes – when the going gets tough, the tough head for the library! That’s going to be my motto, anyway…
Books are indeed a girl’s best friends – who needs diamonds? 😉
Here’s to hope that 2023 will come to its senses and be kinder to you….
Ah, thank you, Maddalena! Yes… I’m going to be having a firm talking-to 2023 if it doesn’t pull its socks up and start being more reasonable.
I’m sorry the year isn’t starting out well. I’m struggling in a different way so I can’t say mine is better either. But yes, books do make life a little easier😁
Thank you, Tammy:)). Yes… I guessed from some of the things you mentioned that Life isn’t exactly a stroll in the park for you right now, either. Let’s hope that things improve with the warmer weather for both of us! And thank goodness we’re both avid readers:)).
2023 has been a bit stressful for us too. I hope things get better for you soon.
Thank you, Jen. Let’s hope 2023 eases us for both of us!
I’m so sorry life hasn’t been kinder in 2023. I know life isn’t fair but sometimes it feels like we should get a break now and then! Books are definitely my escape and solace. Thanks for the warning about long covid. I’m trying to be careful to stay caught up on my rest and everything. I don’t have the best stamina at my healthiest so tend to get worn out really easily so I’m trying to be extra careful. Have a great week!
You too, Katherine:).
You DID have some really good reads, Hon. Now that I’ve opened the bookstore (Rae’s Reads) and have taken on a supposedly easier teaching position (at the same university) everything is new and I’m sort of starting from scratch, which leaves little time for reading. Sigh…
Thank you, Rae:)). How exciting to be running a bookstore – I hope you are enjoying it. And I know your teaching commitments were very demanding, so I do hope you get a chance to put your feet up at some stage and tuck into a good book.
Putting my feet up now.