June has flown by! So it's time for another mostly reading update. I've continued to listen to a lot of audiobooks, often the only type of reading my brain will focus on (someday, this pandemic-induced reaction will fade...right?), including some rereads: Spectred Isle by KJ Charles, Salt Magic Skin Magic by Lee Welch, and Not Dead Yet by Jenn Burke. I also read some new to me books this month:
Peregrine by Piper Scott and Virginia Kelly: From the beginning of the Forbidden Desires series, Perry has been my favorite character, and I was so excited to read his story. It did not disappoint! Perry and Sebastian have been together and long time, and this weaves together their past and present to give us the story of their romance and push the plot of the series farther in interesting ways. I came out of it adoring Perry even more and loving Sebastian too. I'm not sure how the authors are going to redeem the main characters of the next book after what we learned in this one, but I'm interested to find out.
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang: This was a charming, sweet graphic novel with lovely art that enhances the fairy tale feel of the story in which Frances, a dressmaker, gets the opportunity to make gowns for royalty—Prince Sebastian. The characters are both wonderful and so is their relationship and how they help each other be the best versions of themselves. Discussions of gender identity are handled so well, and the end made me happy. I read this on my Kindle, and it worked well enough, but I think I'd love to see the art in print.
Finding the Wolf by Mell Eight: I had an ARC of Finding the Wolf, which was rereleased by NineStar in June. I mostly enjoyed this story. The main characters basically fall in love at first sight, though it might be a magical mate thing (between the dragon shifter and the wolf shifter). My main complaint with the romance is that I wanted more of it! They were very cute together, but I wanted more development. There isn't a lot of focus on the relationship once the book shifts to the fantasy plot. I did enjoy the world building, especially the dragons and their hoards.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett: A friend read this for her book club and recommended it to me, so I grabbed it from the library (well, I put a hold in and waited for it to appear on my Kindle!). This book is a beautifully written complex family drama that spans years. It begins with twin girls in the town of Mallard where all the residents are Black but so light they might be mistaken for white. The girls run away, and from there, their paths diverge when one sister vanishes into the world to pass for white. The stories twine back together when their daughters meet by chance. Just an excellent, thought-provoking book that deals with so many issues—like racism, colorism, and identity.
Subtle Blood by KJ Charles: I'm not certain I'm at the point where I can do anything except shriek in delight at this book, but I'll try. This is the final book in the Will Darling Adventures (and also an extended world that includes the Think of England books), so don't dive in here—go back to the beginning to understand and appreciate what's going on. I loved every little bit of this (except that it ended!). Will and Kim's relationship development was perfect and gorgeous and so was their character development, as Will finally realized that no, he wasn't as okay as he thought. Everything—relationship, plot of the series, even some reference to characters from past books—wrapped up beautifully.
The Queer Principles of Kit Webb by Cat Sebastian: This fun, sparkling historical romance is now one of my favorites of Cat Sebastian's. In it, we have a grumpy ex-highwayman getting talked into one last job by a duke's son who looks lovely in the intricate fashions of the 1750s (the highwayman thinks so as well). The duke's son is grappling with family secrets and revelations and looking for justice. And there's plenty of discussion of privilege and classism as well. I'm definitely looking forward to the next book in the series because I still have questions!
What have you read and loved lately?