Pat here. Devilish Montague, my latest Regency romance, will be coming out in a few weeks and I’ll have to plug it hither and yon then, but self promo is tedious. Since I’m scheduled to blog both Bookviewcafe and Wordwenches today, I thought I’d gift our readers (and myself) with a summer reading list. I’ve gathered the list from among the Wordwenches and BVC members, but we’re remaining anonymous because there are so many good books and we can only recommend so many. As it is, I’ll have to cut all the suggestions in half and do more later. Below is an eclectic mixture of recommendations from my reading buddies…
Anything by Terry Pratchett. He writes fantasy, but if you don’t like fantasy, don’t be put off. It’s down-to-earth, witty, funny fantasy. It’s really hard to pick one, but women will probably enjoy Witches Abroad, and most men seem to really like Pyramids. But really, anything. http://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/
Jo Beverley’s An Unlikely Countess, historical romance set in 1765, tells the story of the impoverished daughter of a scholar who becomes entangled with an equally impoverished ex-soldier, but fate makes him an earl, and life becomes very complicated indeed.
The Attenbury Emeralds, Jill Paton Walsh’s third novel based on Dorothy Sayers’ beloved Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. It’s a powerful and entertaining story where the mystery exists mostly as a structure for the family, social, and romantic relationships and an elegiac look at post WWII England.
Hunting and Gathering, by Anna Gavalda. French and a little quirky, about four people, pretty much adrift in the world, damaged by life and barely surviving – but before you screw up your nose and say, ‘not for me,’ it’s not at all grim. It’s the kind of book that makes you smile, and the ending leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy. The French title is “Ensemble, C’est Tout” which means “Together is Everything” and that’s what the book is about — people needing people, forming families by chance and though random acts of kindness. And it’s a romance.
Vienna Waltz by Teresa Grant (the new pen name of Tracy Grant), an historical murder mystery set at the Congress of Vienna, and is a fabulous mix of political intrigue, complex psychological layering rich historical detail and scintillating dialogue.
For delicious urban-fantasy-done right: Desdaemona by Ben Macallan (BVC’s own Chaz) and Katherine Kerr’s Water To Burn (an August release).
Immortal by Pati Nagle, a contemporary elves and vampire romance in both print and digital, and a darker paranormal/fantasy romance by Pati Nagle, Heart of the Exiled in ebook
Thistle Down by Irene Radford, a light and fluffy paranormal romance masquerading as urban fantasy. Pixies in the park.
Vampire Chef #1: A Taste of the Nightlife by Sarah Zettel comes out July 5. Humorous, paranormal, mystery with vampires. And food.
Trey Shiels, The Dread Hammer, “An enthralling, darkly comic fairytale of love, war, murder, marriage, and fate.”
Martha Well’s The Cloud Road. Epic fantasy/adventure with a PW starred review
Sherwood Smith, The Trouble With Kings, a romantic fantasy from Samhain
Madeline Robins: Althea, an old-fashioned “sweet” Regency, which will be followed in July by My Dear Jenny (also Regency, also sweet), ebooks from bookviewcafe. Also, her Sarah Tolerance books: Point of Honour and Petty Treason, a fusion of Regency, noir, and swashbuckler set in a slightly-alternate England in ebook format
The Iron Druid trilogy by Kevin Hearne, a new urban fantasy author with a light, intelligent touch. The first two books, HOUNDED and HEXED are out, and HAMMERED will be along in a few weeks.
Evil Genius by Patricia Rice–mystery, romance, and a wickedly colorful cast of eccentric characters in this e-book only story.
SILK & SHADOWS & SILK AND SECRETS by Mary Jo Putney–these are e-book editions of her exotic Silk Trilogy. The third, VEILS OF SILK, should be out soon. I loved reading these books, and it’s great that they’re available again.
Katherine Kerr, License to Ensorcell , a Nola O’Grady urban fantasy,
Among Others, by Jo Walton, a wonderful combination of fantasy, coming-of-age, and modern historical (girl with magic in her extended and peculiar family, growing up in the 70s in Wales).
Tim Powers, On Stranger Tides–”Whether or not the Pirates of the Caribbean film satisfied, try the original novel by Tim Powers. Almost nothing of Powers magnificent yarn was taken for the film, so you won’t feel as if you’re reading anything tied to a movie. Adventure, romance, pirates, and supernatural wonders abound. Highly recommended.”
Lois McMaster Bujold’s The Curse of Chalion and its sequels—fantasy
And as the weather gets hot, nothing is more cooling than to read works about British explorers freezing to death: The Birthday Boys by Beryl Bainbridge, a Booker finalist.
Speak to Our Desires by Brenda Clough, mystery/thriller set in the Summer of Love in the 60’s, for those looking for e-fiction.
We, Robots by Sue Lange, a humorous fantasy novella about a young girl who is given a robot nanny. The story is told from the viewpoint of the robot and explores what effect technology has had on the meaning of life
Vonda McIntyre, The Moon and the Sun: Nebula Award winner. Set in the court of Louis XIV, a secret history revealing what happens when the king’s natural philosopher, Yves de la Croix, captures a sea monster — a mermaid — or is it something more?
Ashley Gardner’s Gabriel Lacey regency mysteries. They’re not “light” exactly, but very engaging—rather perfect for long summer evenings when a bit of London fog is just the thing. Book One is The Hanover Square Affair.
Maya Bohnhoff: Taco Del and the Fabled Tree of Mystery is a good summer eBook read and The Meri (in print fantasy) and Star Wars: Patterns of Force (in print SF)
Kelley Armstrong’s Dime Store Magic and Industrial Magic, urban fantasy
K.E. Kimbriel’s Nuala SF novels contain romance, but are easier to find in e-book and usually cheaper.
Andrea Penrose, Sweet Revenge, Regency mystery (Deception with a dash of murder is a recipe for disaster…)
Cara Elliott, To Surrender To A Rogue, a historical romance RITA finalist (Lady Alessandra della Giamatti arrives in Bath to excavate newly discovered Roman ruins-only to find herself caught in a web of evil intrigue . . .)
Susan King, The Black Thorne’s Rose, medieval historical romance, now on Kindle and Nook
Susan Fraser King, Queen Hereafter, Scots historical fiction about saintly Queen Margaret
Wow, and that was just the start of the suggestions I’ve collected! Please, add more below if you like. Give a little bit about them so readers know if they’re the kind of book they like to read. There are so many amazing books out there, it’s so very hard to choose among them. Hope we’ve given you some choices!