It’s Monday! What are you Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, a place to share and discuss what we’ve read in the past week and what we’re in the middle of or are planning to read this week.
What I read / listened to last week:
The Village Inn of Secret Dreams by Alison Sherlock -blog tour
After escaping her parents’ unhappy marriage to sleepy Cranbridge a long time ago, Belle Clarke dreams of staying at The Black Swan Inn forever.But with the rundown Inn threatened with closure, Belle may be forced to leave, unless a buyer can be found … quickly. So, when her oldest friend Pete Kennedy returns from working abroad with a plan to save the Inn, Belle should be overjoyed. The trouble is, Pete has some rather radical ideas for the renovation which Belle disagrees with. But when a snow storm hits, Belle and Pete are forced to put aside their differences and work together to help the village.
The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling (Rachel Hawkins)- this title is surprisingly popular, but, of course, Rachel Hawkins puts her own unique spin on this witchy staple.
Nine years ago, Vivienne Jones nursed her broken heart like any young witch would: vodka, weepy music, bubble baths…and a curse on the horrible boyfriend. Sure, Vivi knows she shouldn’t use her magic this way, but with only an “orchard hayride” scented candle on hand, she isn’t worried it will cause him anything more than a bad hair day or two.
That is until Rhys Penhallow, descendent of the town’s ancestors, breaker of hearts, and annoyingly just as gorgeous as he always was, returns to Graves Glen, Georgia. What should be a quick trip to recharge the town’s ley lines and make an appearance at the annual fall festival turns disastrously wrong. With one calamity after another striking Rhys, Vivi realizes her silly little Ex Hex may not have been so harmless after all.
Suddenly, Graves Glen is under attack from murderous wind-up toys, a pissed off ghost, and a talking cat with some interesting things to say. Vivi and Rhys have to ignore their off the charts chemistry to work together to save the town and find a way to break the break-up curse before it’s too late.
Destroyer of Light by Jennifer Marie Brisset – an extremely well-written sci-fi retelling ofthe myth of Persephone. Make sure you pay attention to the content warning, this was not an easy read, although it was certainly thought-provoking.
The Matrix meets an Afro-futuristic retelling of Persephone set in a science fiction underworld of aliens, refugees, and genetic engineering in Jennifer Marie Brissett’s Destroyer of Light.
Having destroyed Earth, the alien conquerors resettle the remains of humanity on the planet of Eleusis. In the three habitable areas of the planet–Day, Dusk, and Night–the haves and have nots, criminals and dissidents, and former alien conquerors irrevocably bind three stories:
*A violent warlord abducts a young girl from the agrarian outskirts of Dusk leaving her mother searching and grieving.
*Genetically modified twin brothers desperately search for the lost son of a human/alien couple in a criminal underground trafficking children for unknown purposes.
*A young woman with inhuman powers rises through the insurgent ranks of soldiers in the borderlands of Night.
Their stories skate across years, building to a single confrontation when the fate of all—human and alien—balances upon a knife’s-edge.
Warning: This book is designed for audiences 18+ due to scenes of physical and sexual violence, and themes that some may find disturbing.
What I am reading/listening to now:
Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood
Kiersten White meets Tomi Adeyemi in this Ethiopian-inspired fantasy retelling of Jane Eyre
Andromeda is a debtera—an exorcist hired to cleanse households of the Evil Eye. She would be hired, that is, if her mentor hadn’t thrown her out before she could earn her license. Now her only hope of steady work is to find a Patron—a rich, well-connected individual who will vouch for her abilities.
When a handsome young heir named Magnus Rochester reaches out to hire her, she takes the job without question. Never mind that he’s rude and demanding and eccentric, that the contract comes with a number of outlandish rules… and that almost a dozen debtera had quit before her. If Andromeda wants to earn a living, she has no choice.
But she quickly realizes this is a job like no other, with horrifying manifestations at every turn, and that Magnus is hiding far more than she has been trained for. Death is the most likely outcome if she stays, the reason every debtera before her quit. But leaving Magnus to live out his curse alone isn’t an option because—heaven help her—she’s fallen for him.
What I’m reading /listening to next:
Archibald Finch and the Lost Witches
History, magic, and adventure collide in this riveting middle-grade fantasy novel about an unusual boy who unlocks an ancient relic—and with it, a forgotten world. Befriended by a band of young witches, Archibald Finch must quickly adapt to survive in Lemurea, where a battle born in the Middle Ages is still unfolding . . .
Archibald is a risk-averse boy with quirks that earn him plenty of eye-rolls, especially from his older sister, Hailee. Things get worse when his parents move the family from London to his grandmother’s creepy manor in the English countryside. Now he has to deal with hairless dolls in the library, weird stone creatures on the roof, and a spooky forest at the edge of the backyard. But these turn out to be the least of Archibald’s problems . . .
One day, as he’s exploring the cavernous house, he finds a curious globe that whisks him away to a secret world, hidden for 500 years. Archibald finds himself on a thrilling adventure full of medieval magic, mysterious symbols, and the strangest beasts, while Hailee—who witnessed her brother’s disappearance—embarks on a daring quest to find him.
A Christmas Courtship (Berlin Bookmobile#3) by Shelley Shepard Gray
In this endearing Christmas tale, a bookmobile librarian knows just the novel to help an Amish bachelor woo his next-door neighbor in the latest installment of the “charming” (Carla Laureano, RITA Award–winning author of Five Days in Skye) Berlin Bookmobile series.
A solitary sort, forty-two-year-old Atle Petersheim spends his time hard at work in his wood shop. But as the days get long, he realizes just how lonely he’s become. When his longtime crush, Sadie Mast, a widow and mother of three, asks him to help her build a room in their barn for her son Cale, Atle can’t say no. Eager to pursue Sadie at last, he turns to bookmobile librarian Sarah Anne Miller for courting advice. More than happy to help, Sarah Anne decides the best way to learn about love is through books—romance novels to be precise.
Between completing holiday orders for her flourishing food business, helping Cale navigate a dramatic new relationship with his boss’s daughter, and coming to terms with the trauma her late husband had inflicted upon her and her children—not to mention Atle showing up at her door with flowers—Sadie is in over her head. Though Atle’s efforts are initially clumsy and his declarations a bit awkward, Sadie can’t help but be charmed by him. He’s patient and kind…and at times even seems to know far more about romance than he’s let on.
How did your last week go and what are you reading this week?