TOP TEN TUESDAY: Authors I Haven’t Read, But Want To

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly discussion hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl (and formerly hosted by The Broke and the Bookish), and this week’s topic is “Bookish Merchandise I’d Love to Own” but I am not really a bookish merch person any longer, so I will use last week’s prompt that I missed which is “Authors I Haven’t Read, But Want To”! I’m sure there are others that I’m forgetting about, but in a glance at my to-read list and things I can remember off the top of my head, here are ten authors/books I’m looking forward to that I haven’t read yet. Some of these have been on my TBR for a while, and some of these are new-to-me!

  • Tasha Suri – Ever since Empire of Sand was released, I’ve had her work on my TBR/radar, and after The Jasmine Throne‘s release last year and her upcoming Wuthering Heights retelling, I want to read everything of hers sooner rather than later!
  • Alexis Henderson – When The Year of the Witching came out in 2020, I needed it and I bought it and I still haven’t read it. With her second book coming out later this year, it’s definitely time to dive into her work.
  • June Hur – The Red Palace is a historical mystery set in 1758 Korea and looks absolutely amazing to me. I’ve had my eye on her previous books too, but everything about her most recent release has spoken to me!
  • Fonda Lee – I am one of those people who usually puts off starting a series until all of them are announced or out, and now that all of the Green Bone saga is out, I need to stop procrastinating on reading it!!
  • Naomi Novik – I don’t know why I haven’t read anything of Novik’s yet, but I have Uprooted, A Deadly Education, and His Majesty’s Dragon on my shelves to read!!
  • Tade Thompson – I’ve heard such good things about The Wormwood Trilogy (Rosewater, The Rosewater Insurrection, and The Rosewater Redemption), and his books have been on my shelf forever! .
  • Seth Dickinson – The Traitor Baru Cormorant has come up a lot of my friends’ socials and blogs with nothing but praise, and something about it keeps calling to me!
  • Ottessa Moshfegh – I checked one of her books out from the library years ago but didn’t get around to it because of due dates, and I’ve been wanting to actually read her work because it’s been everywhere!
  • Jessie Mihalik – Her Consortium Rebellion trilogy caught my attention awhile back, and the first book of her new series looks interesting to me too! It’s sci-fi romance, and it’s gotten a lot of love on my friends’ socials lately too!
  • Sally Thorne – I’ve been meaning to read The Hating Game for a while (and I even own it!!) but when I found out about her historical rom-com about Victor Frankenstein’s younger sister, my interest has only increased!!!

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY: New/Upcoming Fantasy Releases

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme originally hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine (though it seems as though it’s been a while since she updated that particular blog, so if you know of the current host, if there is one, please let me know) that highlights upcoming releases that we’re impatiently waiting for. This week I’m featuring upcoming/newly released Adult Fantasy titles I’m excited to read!  As usual, pub dates change without warning, so keep that in mind!

The Book of Gothel, by Mary McMyne – I don’t know what it is a bout fairytale retellings and specifically Rapunzel retellings, but as soon as this came on my radar, I added it to my ‘keep an eye on this’ list because I’m supremely interested in the story being told from the mother’s point of view. The last Rapunzel retelling I recall having the mother’s point of view in it is Donna Jo Napoli’s Zel, and it added a level to the story that I hadn’t considered before then. (July 26, 2022)

The Oleander Sword, by Tasha Suri – This is the follow up to The Jasmine Throne (which I haven’t read yet), but that doesn’t stop me from adding it to my TBR because I definitely am in the mood for some chonky fantasy, and Orbit has been releasing a lot of amazing looking books lately! (August 16, 2022)

The Cage of Dark Hours, by Marina Lostetter – I read the first book last summer and really enjoyed it, and I usually don’t start series until at least one of the other books are announced/released, but this was an exception! I loved the world-building, loved the intrigue, and I can’t wait to see where the story goes next. (February 14, 2023)

The Bone Orchard, by Sara A. Mueller – This looks creepy and fantastic, with necromancy and witches and madams. I’ve been in the mood for deliberately weird/creepy fantasy, and this feels like it’ll be just what I want. (March 22, 2022)

The City of Dusk, by Tara Sim – Another book with bone and shadow magic, with four houses and gods for each, necromancy and intrigue. I’ve been meaning to read Sim’s work, and this seems like a great start! It’s been getting some decent reviews from what I’ve seen, and again, I’m ready for some hefty fantasy reads this spring/summer.  (March 22, 2022)

Are any of these on your TBR? What upcoming fantasy titles are you excited to read?

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY: New/Upcoming YA Fantasy Releases

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme originally hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine (though it seems as though it’s been a while since she updated that particular blog, so if you know of the current host, if there is one, please let me know) that highlights upcoming releases that we’re impatiently waiting for. This week I’m featuring upcoming/newly released YA Fantasy titles I’m excited to read!  As usual, pub dates change without warning, so keep that in mind!

Bright Ruined Things, by Samantha Cohoe – Apparently a retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest set on an island with Mae, a young woman living on the charity of the wealthy Prosper family. The Prosper family controls the magic on the island and the spirits inhabiting it. It sounds dark and magical and like my usual foray into YA fantasy. Plus, that cover is giving me Art Deco vibes, and I’m here for it. (February 15, 2022)

A Thousand Steps Into Night, by Traci Chee – A Japanese-influenced fantasy brimming with demons, adventure, and plans gone awry. The full description of this book sounds like Inuyasha?? This cover is gorgeous, as well. (March 1, 2022)

A Forgery of Roses, by Jessica S. Olson – This is a murder mystery gothic fantasy that sounds like it has The Picture of Dorian Gray vibes?? The main character is an artist whose paintings can alter real life, including possibly raising the dead?? Everything about this sounds amazing. (March 29, 2022)

A Far Wilder Magic, by Allison Saft – Give me any kind of fantasy involving alchemy and alchemists. I meant to read Saft’s first novel last year, but I never got around to it, but I think if I enjoy this, I’ll have to pick that one up too. This one seems like a more quiet slowburn kind of fantasy romance, and I think I’ll enjoy it. (March 8, 2022)

A Magic Steeped in Poison, by Judy I. Lin – This is about the magical art of tea-making, and Ning has inadvertently brewed the poison tea that killed her mother. Ning travels to the imperial city to compete in a tea-making competition to win a favor from the princess that might save her sister’s life. This gives me a little bit of The Bone Witch vibes for some reason, but tea-making competitions??? I need it. (March 29, 2022)

Are any of these on your TBR? What romances are you excited to read?

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY: New/Upcoming Fiction Releases

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme originally hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine (though it seems as though it’s been a while since she updated that particular blog, so if you know of the current host, if there is one, please let me know) that highlights upcoming releases that we’re impatiently waiting for. This week I’m featuring upcoming/newly released fiction titles I’m excited to read!  As usual, pub dates change without warning, so keep that in mind!

Kaikeyi, by Vaishnavi Patel – Based on Hindu mythology, Kaikeyi appears to be in the same vein as Miller’s Circe, in which Kaikeyi is the story of a vilified woman in Hindu mythology, the mother of Bharat and the stepmother of Ram. In Ramayana, Kaikeyi holds strong ties to her maternal side of the family, exiles her stepson to lift up her own son. Kaikeyi sets out to explore her side of the story, and I have been loving the mythology reimaginings, especially focusing on the female characters who have been historically villainized. (April 26, 2022)

Bronze Drum, by Phong Nguyen – This is about two warrior sisters in ancient Vietnam who raised an army of women to overthrow the Han Chinese and rule over a united people. The copy says it’s for readers of Circe and The Night Tiger, but stories about women who overcome immense odds and choose to lead tend to be some of my favorites. (August 9, 2022)

The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy, by Megan Bannen – This looks like a fantasy romance with grumpy/sunshine and enemies to lovers tropes, pen pals, and zombies??? One of the early reviews draws comparisons to Howl’s Moving Castle and anime, so with everything I’ve heard about this so far, I am definitely interested in reading this. (August 23, 2022)

A Lullaby for Witches, by Hester Fox – Fox has written a few gothic novels that I’ve enjoyed, and this one has the added twist of a present-day narrative as well. Augusta takes a job at a house and finds herself enthralled with a painting, leading her to want to discover more about the subject of that painting’s life. Secrets unfold, because how could they not, and I’m hoping for that spooky atmospheric vibe I’ve come to enjoy from Fox’s previous works. (February 1, 2022)

Lapvona, by Ottessa Moshfegh – This one’s a newer one on my radar, and I still have not read anything else by Moshfegh yet (though I’m sure that will change soon), but Lapvona looks like a pandemic novel, set in medieval times, with all the weirdness that comes with a medieval setting. (June 21, 2022)

Are any of these on your TBR? What romances are you excited to read?

LITTLE LIST OF REVIEWS #11: Historical Romances

Today’s Little List of Reviews features three historical romances that I’ve recently read! All three are new to me authors, and two series I will continue with and one I will not!

LITTLE LIST OF REVIEWS #11: Historical RomancesTitle: Knight of Desire by Margaret Mallory
Series: All the King's Men #1
Published by Forever
Published: July 1st 2009
Genres: Romance
Pages: 354
Format: Mass Market
Goodreads

FEARLESS IN BATTLE
His surcoat still bloody from battle, William FitzAlan comes to claim the strategic borderlands granted to him by the king. One last prize awaits him at the castle gates: the lovely Lady Catherine Rayburn.

TENDER IN BED
Catherine risked everything to spy for the crown. Her reward? Her lands are declared forfeit and she is given this choice: marry FitzAlan or be taken to the Tower. Catherine agrees to give her handsome new husband her body, but she's keeping secrets, and dare not give him her heart. As passion ignites and danger closes in, Catherine and William must learn to trust in each other to save their marriage, their land, and their very lives.

I had an omnibus of the first two in this series, but I decided I liked the original covers and I don’t think the third book was going to be released in the newer format, and I’m a completionist. So. I enjoyed this for the most part. I think it was more due to the setting and the history involved with the medieval setting than the actual characters themselves. The heroine was true to form, discovering herself after being married to a terrible man who held no regard for her. But the hero got annoying after a while. Like yes, you’re a decent person for not forcing yourself on her, but he kept complaining about the heroine’s trauma repeatedly, and it got tiresome after a while. Overall, I’m going to continue the series and hope the heroes get better in the subsequent titles!

LITTLE LIST OF REVIEWS #11: Historical RomancesTitle: Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane #1
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Published: August 1st 2010
Genres: Romance
Pages: 382
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Goodreads

A man controlled by his desires . . .
Infamous for his wild, sensual needs, Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, is searching for a savage killer in St. Giles, London's most notorious slum. Widowed Temperance Dews knows St. Giles like the back of her hand-she's spent a lifetime caring for its inhabitants at the foundling home her family established. Now that home is at risk . . .

A woman haunted by her past . . .
Caire makes a simple offer-in return for Temperance's help navigating the perilous alleys of St. Giles, he will introduce her to London's high society so that she can find a benefactor for the home. But Temperance may not be the innocent she seems, and what begins as cold calculation soon falls prey to a passion that neither can control-one that may well destroy them both.

A bargain neither could refuse.

I didn’t really care for this one. I liked the heroine and her work the most and that she felt torn toward duty and her desires, but like…………… so much of this was over the top for me, even for a historical romance. I don’t know what it was, honestly. I kept reading it though, I enjoyed the writing itself, but the story wasn’t for me. The hero was pretty terrible to the heroine and never makes any effort to forgive himself towards her for it. There was also a buildup to bondage but nothing was ever fully committed to on the page, so it’s teasing but in the not fun way??  I don’t think this series is for me either, because I read the first couple of chapters from the second in the Maiden Lane series and didn’t like where the story was going to go. I have another first book in a series by Hoyt, so I’ll give that one a go soon to see if it’s just me with this particular series or if it’s the author I don’t mesh with.

LITTLE LIST OF REVIEWS #11: Historical RomancesTitle: Never Kiss a Duke by Megan Frampton
Series: Hazards of Dukes #1
Published by Avon
Published: January 28th 2020
Genres: Romance
Pages: 358
Format: Mass Market
Source: Purchased
Goodreads

A disinherited duke and a former lady are courting much more than business in the first novel in Megan Frampton's newest titillating series, Hazards of Dukes.
Everything he had ever known was a lie…
Sebastian, Duke of Hasford, has a title, wealth, privilege, and plenty of rakish charm. Until he discovers the only thing that truly belongs to him is his charm. An accident of birth has turned him into plain Mr. de Silva. Now, Sebastian is flummoxed as to what to do with his life—until he stumbles into a gambling den owned by Miss Ivy, a most fascinating young lady, who hires him on the spot. Working with a boss has never seemed so enticing.
Everything tells her he’s a risk she has to take
Two years ago, Ivy gambled everything that was precious to her—and won. Now the owner of London's most intriguing gambling house, Ivy is competent, assured, and measured. Until she meets Mr. de Silva, who stirs feelings she didn't realize she had. Can she keep her composure around her newest employee?
They vow to keep their partnership strictly business, but just one kiss makes them realize that with each passing day—and night—it becomes clear to them both that there's nothing as tempting as what is forbidden…

While I liked this one, liked the characters, liked the writing, nothing much happened. This was definitely the set up to the series, had a lot of supporting characters that I’m looking forward to reading about in the rest of the series, and Frampton’s writing is engaging! The chemistry between the hero and heroine was believable and sparkling, but aside from the development of themselves and their relationship, the heroine hires the hero to work in her gaming den, they fall in love, the hero finds out some things about being and not being a duke, and it’s a happy ending. I’m not sure I’ll purchase the rest of the books aside from the fourth I bought thinking it was part of a new series, but I’ll definitely read them from my library!!