In The Soup This Week... SM Reine, Pepper Winters, Amber Belldene, Alexa Riley, Rachel Aaron/Bach, Jeffe Kennedy.
Soup Dish: on my mind/good links
✽The Word Whores are seeking a new blog name, plus a link to the snarkiest review that never made it to Amazon.
✽Book Riot's debrief of RT16: less sex, more Vikings?
✽Really liked this blog post on character development - it's a great framework for reviewing too.
What I'm reading
The great irony of going to the big RT Convention is that there is zero time to read. I didn't even read on the plane on the way, because it was a short flight and early! But I have finished a few books since the last time I wrote a Soup post.
✽I kept seeing Facebook ads for books by Alexa Riley, so I downloaded a freebie. I got about 2/3s through it and stopped, but when I went looking to find the correct name for the blogger I'd hung with in NOLA, I discovered that her blog was gone and she is now one half of the Alexa Riley writing team. I have to say, I didn't love this title, and several of them look even less appealing. The team has landed on a new-to-me trope: the hero is SO dominant and SO possessive that he needs to impregnate the heroine so she can never be free of him; Romlandia is calling this a "breeder" trope (ugh). Well, everyone's line between alpha and alph-hole is a little different, but that's way over for me. I read Guarding His Obsession, which only included that trope as a side note in the secondary romance. The heroine in this book is apparently on the Asberger/Autism spectrum, although this is never called out by name. Her dialog reads a little bit like a kindergartner in the body of a 24-year-old-woman discovering sex for the first time. So while I adore Melissa K and her snark, these books are not for me.
✽Not A Mistake, by Amber Belldene. I do plan a full review, but I confess that I didn't realize the release date was in March. Short answer -- liked it a lot, really wonderful heroine, angsty hero, and church politics. Christian but not inspy.
✽Debt Inheritance, by Pepper Winters. This one is a super-dark captive/slave fantasy. I did finish it, but it's a serial and I won't be continuing. Competently written and emotional, but much too dark for me; it's a tale of a 5-century family feud that involves some incident so heinous back in the 1600s that king granted one family "the life of the firstborn female" of each generation of the other family to do with as they wish, up to and including murder -- which this heroic family has availed themselves of right up to the hero's father killing the heroine's mother. Includes a scene of non-consensual violation of the heroine by ~20 men including the hero. Not for me.
✽Cast in Angelfire, by SM Reine. This is one of those authors that I mentioned, that was at RT but I didn't realize until too late. I enjoyed this book quite a lot, as the beginning of a UF series about an extremely powerful woman who has been mysteriously stripped of her memory. The romantic interest is reclusive and powerful, but secretive and reclusive. The worldbuilding is intriguing, borrowing equally from biblical references and popular fae, were-beast and witchy mythology. Currently 99 cents, give it a shot.
2016 Book Goals
My physical-book stash keeps growing! My stash reading is not keeping up. I guess it will stop when I die or my house explodes, whichever comes first. I got some advice from Jeffe Kennedy about tracking my TBR inventory in a spreadsheet, which I might try. Because you know I love a good spreadsheet.
I am sadly behind on my non-fiction goals. I'm consistently running at about half-goal: instead of 1 per month, I've read 2 and here we are at the end of April.
That's it for this week. Happy reading!