I’ve been burning through a lot of books this past month (I’m currently in the midst of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, which I am LOVING), so here are a few quick reviews of some of the books I’ve been reading! There’s a contemporary m/m romance, a science fiction m/m romance, and a historical m/f romance. All links are Amazon links, but they’re not affiliate links.
The Bones of You by Laura Stone
The Bones of You is a pleasant reconciliation story about Oliver, a grad student finishing up his master’s degree in Cambridge, unexpectedly reconnecting with his high school boyfriend, Seth, who has gone on to make it big on Broadway.
It’s been five years since they broke up, and when they run into each other again, it’s pretty clear their feelings haven’t gone away. But the same things that broke them up are still issues, and the big question is whether Oliver and Seth will be able to make it work.
It was very, very sweet, though I was never terribly worried about whether Oliver and Seth would figure their shit out. They just worked too well together not to.
My favorite character, though, was Big Mike, Seth’s gigantic motorcycle-riding father. He was so genuinely kind and loving and proud of his son that it brought tears to my eyes. My favorite scene in the whole novel was the New Year’s party at his house.
There wasn’t much conflict, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I did wish it had been a little harder to figure out how things would shake out at the end. You just knew everything was going to be all right. Overall, though, it was an enjoyable story.
The Star Host by F.T. Lukens
The Star Host is a fast-paced science fiction story that reminded me of Firefly at times. Ren is a duster, someone who was born on a planet, even though he dreams of seeing the stars. Those dreams are dashed pretty quickly when he, and several of the other teenagers and children in his village, are conscripted into service for the villainous baron, who’s trying his level best to take over the entire planet.
It’s while he’s in captivity that Ren meets Asher, a drifter who’s been held captive for over a year, and they realize they’ll have to get out together to thwart the baron’s plans.
I thoroughly enjoyed the worldbuilding in this story and the legends of the star hosts (people who have special powers granted by the stars), and I really liked Ren dealing with his newfound powers. His relationship with Asher starts out antagonistic before they each come to rely on the other, and I liked how believably it was built. Even though there is a romance between them, it’s not really as large a part of the story as the “stop the baron” plot, and that worked very well for me.
I really loved it once they got off the planet and started hopping between space stations. I wished we could have seen more of how the larger universe was set up, because what we did see was really cool. I’m really, really looking forward to the rest of the series.
The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
Julia Quinn is one of the mainstays of historical romance, and I’ve heard so much about her Bridgerton series–of which this is the first–that I was very much looking forward to The Duke and I. Ultimately, despite the witty writing and hijinks that made me laugh out loud at times, the book had some issues that made it difficult for me to totally enjoy.
The biggest of these was the head-hopping, the way she drifted between Simon’s and Daphne’s viewpoints in such a way that it made it difficult for me to remember whose head I was in. I can’t count the number of times I had to go back and reread, trying to identify where the switch happened. And while I liked Simon and Daphne together overall, I wasn’t terribly thrilled with the resolution of their relationship for a number of reasons.
I also wasn’t a huge fan of the overprotective older brothers in Anthony, Benedict, and Colin, although thankfully they did get told off numerous times by both Daphne and her mother.
However, I can see why people enjoy the Bridgerton family; their family dinners and outings were hilarious and I really did like the messy, loving family dynamic between all of them. When the older brothers WEREN’T being overprotective nitwits, I really liked them as well.
So it was good, but I don’t think I’ll go hunting up the rest of the Bridgerton series just yet.
What have you all been reading lately? Any books I should add to my list?