Happy August, my darlings! July was a busy month for me, and August is set to be another. But I did get some reading done—some rereads in audio during walks/cleaning/cooking, a couple of things I started and put aside for when I'm in the right mood, and a few new to me books I finished.
The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri (Fantasy with F/F romance): The Jasmine Throne is an epic fantasy inspired by Indian folklore with intricate world building, fantastic characterization, and a compelling plot. Though there are multiple points of view (all of them providing needed information and perspective), the story centers on Priya, a maidservant possessing forbidden magic and a secret past, and Malini, a princess imprisoned because she tried to overthrow her evil brother the emperor. The romance between the two is very much slow-burn, enemies-to-lovers, and not at all the focus of the story, but it's perfect for the story. The women in this book are quite willing to plot and plan and burn a patriarchal system to the ground, and I am here for it. The second book in the trilogy is already out, and I'll definitely be reading it soon.
Murder at Pirate's Cove by Josh Lanyon (Cozy Mystery): I've had this first book in Lanyon's Secrets and Scrabble series for a while, but finally moved it to the top of the (mountainous) TBR when a friend recommended the series. Ellery recently inherited a failing mystery bookstore and a rundown mansion in a small town, and needing a change, he moved there to start a new life. But then he finds the guy who has been pressuring him to sell the bookstore dead and becomes the chief suspect. So of course, he has to try to solve the mystery himself. Plus there is the beginning hints of a romance between Ellery and the police chief. It's classic Josh Lanyon and solidly good. I have the next book all ready to read.
Bisclavret by KL Noone (M/M Fantasy Romance): This short story is a really lovely retelling of the medieval story by Marie de France in which a man turns into a wolf three days out of the month and is betrayed by his wife to keep him in wolf form forever but is then saved by the kindness of the king. The broad strokes of the story are the same here with the addition of a lovely slow-burn romance between bisexual Lord Bisclavret and the demisexual king.
Twice Bitten by Eliot Grayson (M/M Paranormal Romance): This novella is part of Grayson's Mismatched Mates series and was a lot of fun. When a werewolf shows up in town, vampire Angelo is tasked with solving his problem and making sure he doesn't cause trouble. Angelo has enough problems of his own without adding someone else's and just wants to get through this without ruining his suit or falling in love. I think you can guess how that turns out. The chemistry between the main characters is great, and there is a delightful visit with some characters from earlier in the series (magical attack scorpions had me laughing out loud).
What have you read and loved lately?