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Unique, unusual, and otherworldly; Fave Reads Jan – July 18

By August 21, 2018 Recommended Reads

Can you believe it’s been a whole EIGHT MONTHS since my last Fave Reads post? 🙁  This is my first Fave Reads post of 2018! Shocking, I know.

I actually I wondered whether there was any point in continuing with these posts, but I don’t think I could ever stop blabbing about my fave books, no matter how busy I get. So I’ll do a seven-month round-up of my favorites so far this year, and then maybe try and do a post every three months or something.

So anyway, on to the reads!

1 – Top Read

The V Girl by Mya Robarts (Dystopian YA Romance)

In post-apocalyptic North America, sexual slavery is legal. Lila Velez desperately wants to lose her virginity before the troops visit her town and take it away by force. She makes plans to seduce her only friend. Lila does not love him, but he is the only man who has shown her true affection, an affection she is willing to take as a substitute for love.
Lila’s coping mechanism to deal with her mother’s loss is her secret. A secret that will bring her closer to Aleksey Fürst, a foreign, broody man who she distrusts because of his links to the troops and his rough, yet irresistible appearance. He offers Lila an alternative to her plans, a possibility that terrifies her…and tempts her in spite of herself.
With threats looming at every turn and no way to escape, Lila fears that falling in love will only lead to more heartache. The consequences of laying down her arms for Aleksey and welcoming hope might destroy more than her heart. They might force her to face the worst of her nightmares becoming a reality. Is love possible in a world that has forgotten what the human touch is?

I’m starting with a little bit of a cheat because I think I read this in December 2017, but for some reason, I didn’t include it in my end of year round-up, and this book deserves to be singled out. It’s an incredible story of a young girl trying to navigate and survive a really fucked up post-apocalyptic world. She is keen to lose her virginity before she is raped because rape is a standard expectation in the way this society has been set up and it’s legal. This is her main goal in the story, but the story encompasses so much more about her circumstances and her true strength. I love that even though she is kinda innocent and naive, she is also a smart-mouth and a badass AND a voyeur lol! She watches people having sex ha ha ha! The hero in this story is a General and most certainly an alpha through and through–possessive, rough, and closed off, but still incredibly taken with the heroine. I had certain expectations of him which were fulfilled but he also surprised me at every turn. Their unique ‘meet cute’ is what made me buy this book and the rest of the story is just as strong.

The quality of writing in this book amazed me. I love the way Mya Robarts paints her scenes and the palpable tension between the couple just shot off the page. One of the kissing scenes was so hot! I also really liked the storytelling because I never knew which direction the story was heading in. It didn’t feel like a YA story to me. Although it is slow burn, the sex scenes were open door, the themes were mature, and there were some dark and disturbing events that happened throughout. Also, the ending is one of the things that made this book memorable to me–it was satisfying but bittersweet. That’s not to say it didn’t have a HEA, but the world isn’t suddenly a safer place by the end of the story and I like that their romance has made the despicable world a better place for them.

I cannot recommend this book enough. It’s one of my all time favorites and one I will re-read many times.

2

Pestilence by Laura Thalassa (Dystopian/Mythical Romance)

 

When Pestilence comes for Sara Burn’s town, one thing is certain: everyone she knows and loves is marked for death. Unless, of course, the angelic-looking horseman is stopped, which is exactly what Sara has in mind when she shoots the unholy beast off his steed.
Too bad no one told her Pestilence can’t be killed.
Now the horseman, very much alive and very pissed off, has taken her prisoner, and he’s eager to make her suffer. Only, the longer she’s with him, the more uncertain she is about his true feelings towards her … and hers towards him.
And now, well, Sara might still be able to save the world, but in order to do so, she’ll have to sacrifice her heart in the process.

This book was being recced EVERYWHERE while I was writing Crave To Claim, and I saw it was about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and filed it away for investigation later. I’m not a massive sci-fi romance reader, but I have read a few dystopian novels that I’ve enjoyed and I was intrigued by the mythology this book was based on. Boy, am I glad I got round to reading it! It’s set in a world that is in an ‘in-between’ stage of becoming dystopian (at least, in my opinion). The hero is one of the Four Horsemen and the heroine tries to kill him to stop the plagues he is spreading across the world. But… she fails in her task, and he takes her on his journey with him, intent on revenge.

There were three things I loved about this book. One; the utter dedication and obsession of the hero toward the heroine, even when he didn’t understand why he was feeling the way he did. He treated her rough at the beginning, but part of this was down to his annoyance of her attack on him, and part of it was down to his lack of understanding about mortals/humans. He was impatient with her and annoyed with her, but also curious about her and willing to question her in order to understand. There were so many cute moments and ‘aww’ lines where I was just melting even though he was also being a blockhead. LOL! I loved those moments and it made him a pretty unique hero in my opinion. It’s hard to find that balance sometimes and I feel like it was done so well here and was actually quite unique because of who he was and what his task was. Two; I loved the heroine’s witty and sarcastic comments. Sometimes this can be an annoyance with heroines, but Laura Thalassa really did it well and I was laughing out loud at some of Sara’s one-liners. Three; Our couple had to stop off and invade a number of houses on their journey, and one of the families was an elderly couple. I can’t say much more without spoiling it, but it was so refreshing to see a couple like this. I loved the bittersweet nature of their existence in the story and what they represented and signified for the main couple.

I definitely recommend this book to those that love mythical stories, dystopian worlds, and a romance against the odds.

3

In The Flesh by Sylvia Day (Sci-fi Romance)

For five years, Sapphire was the King of Sari’s most treasured concubine, and now that she has obtained independence, she refuses to be controlled again. But when she meets the proud and arrogant Prince Wulfric, the ruler of a rival kingdom, one night together changes everything. Their desire could prove powerful enough to bring two countries to the brink of war, and two hearts to the point of surrender.

So even though I just said I don’t read much sci-fi Romance, this book is another one that blew away this year. This was recced to me by one of my Dark Halos and I DEVOURED it! I loved the heroine and hero, and I loved the intrigue and conflicts surrounding their relationship. I loved the unique heroine who was a concubine for the King–she was self-assured and sexy and strong in so many ways, even though she was treated so shitty by some of the other characters. Her connection with the Wulfric was INCREDIBLE! And I loved watching him realize how much she meant to him and fight to get her with him. It was such a satisfying and highly memorable story and I know this will be a definite re-read for me.

4

A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole (Paranormal Romance)

 

After enduring years of torture from the vampire horde, Lachlain MacRieve, leader of the Lykae Clan, is enraged to find the predestined mate he’s waited millennia for is a vampire. Or partly one. This Emmaline is a small, ethereal half Valkyrie/half vampire, who somehow begins to soothe the fury burning within him. A vampire captured by her wildest fantasy . . .
Sheltered Emmaline Troy finally sets out to uncover the truth about her deceased parents — until a powerful Lykae claims her as his mate and forces her back to his ancestral Scottish castle. There, her fear of the Lykae — and their notorious dark desires — ebbs as he begins a slow, wicked seduction to sate her own dark cravings. An all-consuming desire . . .

It felt like this book plagued me for a long time. It was recced to me soooo many times and I never managed to fit it in when I had time to read. More fool me! lol My Halos insisted I would love it and they were spot on. I’m all about that delicious sexual tension and desire between the couple, and the tension in this book is insane. I actually went back a few times to reread some of the scenes again because… PHEW! It was incredibly done. It also had one of the hottest and sexiest scenes I’ve read in a book for a loooooooong time. Anyway… ahem. Let’s move on…

The hero and heroine in this book was another couple that I found interesting. The hero was an utter barbarian some of the times, and his dislike for vampires and conflict about his supposed mate was greatly steeped in his past experience, which added to my understanding of the world. It was brilliant to witness his defenses crumble and become besotted with the heroine AND, on top of that, he had a Scottish accent! Yum! The heroine seemed like a sweet one at first but she actually had a number of facets to her personality, especially when her vampire instincts and nature came into play, and I was intrigued by that. It made for a great dynamic between them. Additionally, the world in this book is so well developed and filled with surprises and interesting characters that it’s hard not to get sucked in. I definitely recommend this one for PNR lovers, although I’m sure most people have read it already… it’s just me that’s been slow to realize how great this book is lol

5

Training His Human Slave by Renee Rose (Sci-fi BDSM Romance)

Seke has no interest in owning or training a slave. Not even Leora, the beautiful human who had captivated his thoughts and fantasies since her arrival on their pod. As the Zandian Master of Arms, he has a war to plan and new troops to train. He can’t be tempted by the breathtaking human slave, who, according to Prince Zander, grows aroused by punishment. Yet he can’t allow another male to bring her to heel either. Not his Leora.
In all her lifetime as a slave, Leora might have submitted in body, but never in mind. But the prince has given her to the huge, scarred warrior, Seke, for punishment and she finds he has unexpected ways of bending her to his will. Ways that leave her trembling and half-mad with desire. But her new master is unwilling to take a new mate, and she fears that once he deems her training complete, he will set her aside, leaving her heart in pieces.

This is the third book in the series and it was actually the first book I came across, but I went back and started with book 1 last year. I love that the couple in this book are a little older than the usual ages we see in Romance novels. The heroine here is the mother of the heroine in the first book, and the hero is the stern training master of the hero in the first book. I never thought I would find alien heroes attractive, but there have been a few exceptions and the heroes in this series are one of them. I love the way their horns are described and how the heroines see them and, well, blue is one of my favorite colors lol. They’re just pretty fucking hot! They train their heroines using BDSM methods and the disobedient heroines obviously get aroused lol.

The hero here is in denial about how he feels about Leora as he trains her and comes to realize he can’t let her go, even though he tries to because of an emotional wound from his past. The tussle between them in this book is sweet and sexy, and so satisfying I actually sighed when I got to the end. I think I prefer this hero to the hero in the first book, though the first book is an excellent start to series and I did love that too, so I recommend starting there.

***

Looking back at this post, it’s been the Sci-fi Romances that have stood out to me so far this year, which is kinda unusual because I feel like I don’t read that much sci-fi. I’m going to try and redress the balance by focusing on some fantasy next; I’m already reading some recs that I’m really enjoying, so hopefully, there will be more on the next Fave Reads.

Thanks for checking out this post and happy reading until next time!

 

 

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