Books read in July

Strong Enough by Melanie Harlow and David Romanov *Star**Star**Starw**Starw**Starw*

Hard Wired by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell *Star**Star**Star**Star**Starw*

Mature Content by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell *Star**Star**Star**Star**Starw*

Just One Touch by Maya Banks *Star**Starw**Starw**Starw**Starw*

Healed By A Dragon by Lauren Lively *Star**Star**Starw**Starw**Starw*

The Farther He Runs by Lynda Aicher *Star**Star**Starw**Starw**Starw*

Logan’s Need by Sloane Kennedy *Star**Star**Star**Starw**Starw*

Never Seduce A Scot by Maya Banks *Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*

Wondering Sight by Melissa McShane *Star**Star**Star**Starw**Starw*

Skin Deep by S W Vaughn *Star**Star**Star**Starw**Starw*

After The End by Katie Ruggle *Star**Star**Star**Starw**Starw*

Run To Ground by Katie Ruggle *Star**Star**Star**Starw**Starw*

Strong Signal by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell *Star**Star**Star**Star**Starw*

Just One Touch by Maya Banks
This book is so below Maya Banks’ normal standards. I know she can do better than this!

Okay, first off, the instalove. Jenna is a healer, and when Isaac is shot, she heals him. This is their very first interaction. Apparently Jenna doesn’t just heal Isaac’s body, but his soul too. He likens to her to an angel. Despite others she heals having very similar reactions, Isaac decides he is in love with Jenna, and she has no choice but to love him back. There is virtually no mention of any other facet of Jenna, just her amazing healing ability. He barely even knows her.

Jenna has lived an extremely sheltered life. She has never been touched in kindness by a man, let alone had a kiss or fallen in love. She falls for Isaac’s worship of her, and believes they are meant to be together. Again, she barely knows him and is more in love with the idea of being loved than anything particular to Isaac.

Secondly, Isaac’s ‘love’ for Jenna is more like obsession. There are numerous mentions of how he can’t ever let her go and how lucky it is that she loves him too because he wouldn’t let her go either way. Um, what? That’s so wrong, not to mention illegal. He even acknowledges the similarities between Jenna’s kidnappers and himself, noting that the only difference is that he would adore her instead of using her. Her permission seems irrelevant.

It’s all so wrong. And so shockingly beneath Maya Banks’ normal standards of book. Do NOT be put off Maya Banks if you haven’t read her other work. I’d even recommend the first three books in this series, where we meet Ari, Gracie and Ramie. Those three books were fantastic. The fourth didn’t do much for me, but this fifth Slow Burn novel is not worth your time and attention.

Top ten books

Prompt: If you were creating a list of top ten books, what would you choose and why? Is there an ongoing theme?

A Restored Man by Jaime Reese
A Sorceress of His Own by Dianne Duvall
Keep Me Safe by Maya Banks
Love Comes in Darkness by Andrew Grey
Love Comes Silently by Andrew Grey
Morganna by Jackie Ivie
Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks
The Harder He Falls by Lynda Aicher
The World As He Sees It by A M Arthur
Whispers in the Dark by Maya Banks

Putting together a top ten of books was crazy hard. They’re not in order of preference, by the way, that would have been even harder! I started off with all the books I’ve rated five stars on Goodreads, and then removed the ones that didn’t immediately leap out at me. Then I went with the ones that I’ve either re-read the most often or the ones where the story or characters have stayed clear in my mind over time.

It’s interesting to analyse.

  • 100% are romance. Duh.
  • 30% of my top ten are by Maya Banks and 20% are by Andrew Grey. That speaks highly for both those authors.
  • 70% are contemporary and only 30% are historical.
  • 30% are paranormal.
  • 50% are m/m and the other 50% are m/f.
  • 20% involve military or similar. Yep, those are both Maya Banks books. She does the military ones well.
  • A whopping 60% involve disabilities of some sort, whether physical or mental. And I know that some of the ones that I was humming and haaing over whether to include in my top ten did as well. Apparently I like characters with disabilities. If I break it down even further, excluding disabilities arising from the paranormal, it’s 50/50 for physical or mental disabilities. Interesting. And I haven’t included temporary disabilities arising out of injuries that will heal (which you tend to get with the military style ones).
  • I think 70% of them are based in America, which is interesting because I wouldn’t have said that’s my preference. I think there’s 20% Scottish and 10% English.

Yeah, very interesting.