Welcome to my monthly reading round up; where I choose a small selection of the books I have been reading recently and recommend them. Simple! If you are looking for inspiration on the next book to pick up, then scroll down. I’m sure something will grab your interest.
The Boneless Mercies – April Tucholke
‘Nothing is written in the stars, our journey is our own.’ – this is how to do standalone fantasy and do it well. I absolutely loved this book and thought it was FIRE. We follow 4 young women who are a group of ‘Mercies’; women tasked with bringing about death to those who are sick and dying in a quick and merciful manner. That is until the Mercies leader, Frey, decides she wants more from her life and answers the call to hunt and kill a monster who is causing havoc in a nearby kingdom.
There are strong Norse and Celtic influences evident throughout this story and it has a dark fairytale vibe which definitely gives it an interesting edge. It was atmospheric and descriptive and I really enjoyed how each of our Mercies had their own story which we got to discover as the plot progressed. It’s short and sharp and I thought it was great.
A Corruption of Blood – Ambrose Parry
I received an ARC of this historical crime thriller via Netgalley and hadn’t realised it was the third book in a series when I picked it up. It didn’t stop my immense enjoyment of it however. This is a sharp and entertaining story which is fairly dark in content (there is a theme running throughout my recommendations this month!)
Set in Edinburgh in the 1850s we follow Dr Will Raven, who is training under the very well known and highly respected Dr Simpson, and Sarah Fisher, a woman who wishes to train in medicine but finds her way continually blocked due to her gender. Raven and Fisher find themselves pulled into helping to solve different mysteries which end up revolving around the same issue: that of baby-farming in the city.
Although the topic of the overall mystery is quite bleak and macabre, there is a dry sense of humour which underpins the main storyline and was one I found quite entertaining. The back and forth between Raven and Fisher was something I also enjoyed along with the atmospheric historical setting. A solid page turner which will keep you guessing until the end. Highly recommend.
Starfell: Willow Moss and the Lost Day – Dominique Valente
A slightly sweeter theme for the next book as I decided to pick up a middle-grade and lighten the mood.
‘Magic never dies. It simply waits until we are ready for it.’
This is the perfect example of magical whimsy. It’s a sweet ‘finding who you are’ story about Willow, who has the magical gift of being able to find lost things. Considered the least powerful witch in her family, Willow has often wished for more impressive abilities but when the most feared witch in Starfell approaches Willow and asks for her help to find a day which has been wiped from everyone’s memories, Willow finds herself off on an adventure.
It’s an interesting concept; Willow is a very likeable protagonist and she meets some varied and delightful friends along the way as well as discovering just how important her gift of magic is. Highly recommend for any mini bookworms out there or anyone who simply wants a bit of warm and lighthearted fiction.
The Love Square – Laura Jane Williams
I’m often underwhelmed by contemporary romance but The Love Square hit just the right tone for me and I found myself pleasantly surprised. We have our main character Penny, who has always been unlucky in love. Until one day a handsome stranger walks into her London café and it’s pretty much love at first sight. What follows is a three week whirlwind romance until a family situation means Penny has to leave London and return home.
She breaks off her romance, and thinks that is it for her. Of course life is never so straightforward and Penny meets another incredible man. And then another. And suddenly she finds herself in a love square. A really heart-warming and endearing story; I enjoyed how Penny strove to be independent and sought what made her happy first but that she also realised it can be pleasant to have someone else come along for the journey as well. Just because you can do something on your own doesn’t mean you have to. It was humorous in places, and moving, and as I say…hit all the right notes. If you enjoy contemporary romance then definitely add this one to your list.