When I was working and in school, I did most of my reading for pleasure during the summer months. Although my school days have long passed and I retired a few years ago, I find I still do more reading during the hot days of summer.it is because lounging by the pool or on the beach seems the ideal time and locations for relaxing with a book. Here are a few of the books I’ve tackled since the beginning of May and how I rate them on a 1-5-star scale. With some summer days left on the calendar, you might consider adding them to your list.
5 ***** Right now, I’m reading Xaghra’s Revenge by Geoff Nelder. I’m about a third of the way through this historical fantasy and find it compelling. It begins with a historical reality, in the 16th century, the entire population of about five thousand people from the Mediterranean island of Gozo were abducted with the goal of selling them into slavery. Some of these captives had relatives on the island of Malta who were wealthy enough to buy their freedom. Some of those have descendants now living. The fantasy portion is just beginning to wave its hand for attention and it is nothing short of tantalizing. The graphic descriptions of events are immediate and I challenge any reader to be able to set this book aside once begun. I’ll be posting a review of the entire story as soon as completed. Nelder’s writing is sharp and intense. I’ve read a couple of other books and short stories he’s written, and while this is very different as far as subject matter, he maintains his ability to tell a tale that draws the reader in and carries her along on a wave of anticipation.
Alexis Alvarez is another of my favorite authors. Upfront disclaimer: I am not a regular reader of BDSM although I have read a few. Alvarez handles the subject with a delectable taste of romance. There is a hint of where the story is going. As with most contemporary romances, the protagonists must travel a winding road. Each bring a history of either unpleasant or unsatisfactory love affairs to the table. Alex Masters and Cleo Martinelli are no exceptions. Watching the sparks fly between these two is enticing. The BDSM is consensual and far from violent. Alvarez actually concentrates more on the relationships between all the characters than the sex, which makes her stories even more enjoyable. My Full Review
I’ve been following this series since the first book. While you can pick this one up and enjoy it, I highly recommend going to the beginning. Watching these characters evolve has been one of the pleasures of reading the series. Phoenix and the Olympus Project are quite believable. Their missions are explosive and they deal with societal issues that are relatable. In addition, Tayler introduces the private lives and concerns of his characters causing the reader to become truly invested in their well-being.
The Devil’s Due Collection by Suzi Albracht
I rarely re-read a book since I have so many on my must-read list. That being said, I am a huge lover of horror stories. I decided to re-read The Devil’s Due Collection and then interviewed author Suzi Albracht. A few years ago, when I read the first book I dubbed Suzi the Queen of Scream. I stand by that title for a lady who definitely knows how to tell a tale that makes my skin crawl. I’m delighted to learn there is a fourth book in the making. Do yourself a favor and read the series. If you like horror, you will love these books. My Suzi Albracht Interview
This book was a surprise. It’s a mystery thriller with great twists and turns as well as some light romance. While it includes some gritty violence, the action fits well within the parameters of the story. I intend to read more of Ms. Mossman’s books! My Full Review
I love cupcakes and mysteries. This book provides the perfect combination. It’s a murder mystery, light hearted and romantic. It provides solid suspense as well as characters, both good and evil, who carry the story along. The romance is subtle enough not to overpower a good mystery. I recommend this one as an excellent and quick beach read. My Full Review
I’d read another book by Marilyn Baron, Stumble Stones, and enjoyed it. When I saw this book listed I knew I had to read it. I happen to be a big “cruiser” as well as an art collector. I’ve attended art auctions and made purchases on cruise ships. Killer Cruise provided all that and a murder mystery! I couldn’t resist. As it turns out this is the third book in a series. It stands alone very well as Baron has taken the time to fill in enough information from the previous books to bring the reader up to speed. It has paranormal overtones, with a psychic detective and her psychic mother. This is another easy to read book for the beach, by the pool, or camping. It’s like taking a cruise vacation on your own vacation – except for the murder I hope! My Full Review
I’ve been reading the Riz Sabir series for quite some time. This one is not only action-packed but it also reveals a great deal about the primary characters, Riz Sabir and his wife, Holly “Bang Bang” Kirpachi. They are agents who work for the British government but that is only the tip of the iceberg. Riz was once an extremist Islamist. Holly has a past far too colorful to itemize in a few short lines. Whether this is the first one of the books you read, or if you wisely opt to start at the beginning, you will find the action and back story fascinating and nail biting. My Full Review
I am a big fan of historical fiction. Add to this my fascination with ancient Egypt and it’s easy to see why this book appealed to me. The story is as much about freedom and the attempt to unite religions as it is about the various cultures and beliefs of the time. Following a Jewish shepherdess who is kidnapped and sold into slavery proves to be intense and moving. This is not a book to tackle in a day or two. It deserves undivided attention as well as the time to absorb the diverse implications of the story. My Full Review
This is a fascinating book that combines scientific research with a solid murder mystery. Petrick also tosses in a mystery revolving around one of the Baltimore detectives investigating the case. Great characters contribute to making this a winning book. Definitely a beach read despite its detailed plot. My Full Review
An Ill Wind Is Blowing and Escape Back to Charleston by Donald Montano
Since these are the second and third books in this series and closely related to the first one, I highly recommend reading them in order. It’s a thrilling series beginning in the post-Civil War Montana and ending in Charleston, South Carolina. I fell in love with the hero of this series, John Sampson, and have a great admiration for the strong willed female protagonist, Arley Ruttlinger. Anyone who enjoys Louis L’Amour and Larry McMurtry will likely enjoy this series. Review Review
Book number 7 in the Phoenix/Olympus Project series packs the same great punch as the first six. Start with The Olympus Project and follow the trail of adventures taken by Phoenix and his partners in vigilante justice. My Full Review
That’s my list from May forward to the present. I trust you will find something on this list you will enjoy. I hope you take the time to write a brief review for these fine books. They are written by indie authors and for them, every review is a treasure.
Please share any books you’ve read this summer that you think I might enjoy. There are still some weeks left to lounge in the sun with a tall, cool drink and a good story!