I finished 26 books in January, although admittedly a number of them were novellas. As I mentioned in my previous post, I delved into a new(ish) type of genre: gay (or M/M) romance. I found everything from genuinely sweet romance to hardcore BDSM, in sub-genres like fantasy, suspense and mystery and even a quartet of entertaining (and unlikely) rock star romances. Other books I read in January include the highly enjoyable memoir of cooking doyenne Julia Child, two straight romances, and Jennifer Worth‘s trilogy of memoirs about her experiences as a midwife in a London slum in the 1950s. I also watched the first season of the TV series based on these books and may (I say 'may') write something about this when I have finished the second series (I'm off to the post office tomorrow to pick up the DVDs).
The standouts of the "also reads" were Julia and Jennifer (especially the first book in the Midwife trilogy), and of the gay romances my favourites were the four rock star romances by Jet Mykles (Heaven, Purgatory, Hell and Faith) and Adam and Holden by L.B. Gregg. Both were well plotted and had fun and/or interesting characters and the storyline of the latter also included a juicy murder mystery. Love You, Loveday was notable for the creepy stalker storyline and the interesting twist on the “damsel in distress” trope. I can also recommend the two Tere Michaels books, especially Love & Loyalty, the style of which reminded me of a Nora Roberts novel.
The Golden Boy/Golden Man duology by Clare Thompson was admittedly well written and plotted, and while I will never, ever understand the attraction of BDSM, I don‘t regret reading them because they gave me an insight into that culture. (I must, however, admit I have no idea how representative it is of reality. Doubtless there is some poetic licence involved).
There were also some fairly bad books among the M/M romances. Since I hadn‘t done much research on the subject before being (rudely) handed a Kindle and ordered to start reading (I know, I‘m a pushover) it was hit or miss whether I picked something good or something I had rather not finish, and in fact there were three DNF stories among the ones I started reading in January (not included in the list) and a couple more I did finish but wouldn‘t recommend.
- Katie Allen : Private Dicks . Romantic mystery, M/M.
- Mary Calmes : His Hearth . Romantic fantasy, M/M.
- Julia Child & Alex Prud'homme : My Life in France . Memoir.
- L.B. Gregg: Men of Smithfield: Adam and Holden. Romantic mystery, M/M.
- Jean Haus : Ink My Heart . Romance, contemporary.
- G.A. Hauser : Love You, Loveday . Romantic suspense, M/M.
- Amy Lane : Christmas with Danny Fit . Romance, M/M.
- Carol Lynne : Rough Ride . Romance, M/M.
- Angel Martinez : Boots . Romantic fantasy, M/M.
- Tere Michaels : Faith & Fidelity and Love & Loyalty. Romance, M/M.
- Jet Mykles : Heaven, Purgatory, Hell and Faith. Romance, M/M.
- Terry O'Reilly : One Night in December. Romance, M/M.
- Lucius Parhelion : A Faint Wash of Lavender.Historical, romantic, M/M.
- Marty Rayne : A Master's Love. BDSM romance, M/M.
- Nora Roberts : Secret Star. Romance, contemporary.
- Katrina Strauss : Sleight of Hand. Romance, M/M.
- Clare Thompson : Golden Boy and Golden Man. BDSM romance, M/M.
- Lori Toland : The Replacement Guitarist. Romance, M/M.
- Jennifer Worth : Call the Midwife, Shadows of the Workhouse and Farewell to the East End. Memoirs.