reading round-up: June

I’ve read lots and lots of lovely books this month, including:

Detour by Reesa Herberth and Michelle Moore

I go through phases where I don’t read contemporary romance at all; and when I do. they have to have *something* there to hold my interest. This did, all the way through. Two people with pretty severe issues, working them out with each other whilst driving across the US. Sweet, thoughtful, tender. It was lovely.

The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi

Second in the Interdependency series. Really interesting universe, fantastic plot, as always amazing characterisation. I particularly like the sweary bi morally-grey, unashamedly sexy Kiva Lagos.

5th Gender by G. L. Carriger

Really sweet gay tentacle-haired purple skinned chap in exile from his home planet falls for human detective on a space station. They solve a murder on a space ship. Lovely romance, but the draw is the world-building. Brilliant.

Secret Warriors by Taylor Downing

I read this as research for my post-WW1 work, looking for references to Trench Code. It didn’t have much in it about that, but it’s an absolutely fascinating look at the behind-the-scenes skullduggery of the First World War. I found the bits about propaganda most interesting.

Catalysts by Kris Ripper

I’m re-reading this whole series – it’s so GOOD. Poly, kinky, queer. Angst. Tenderness. People being people. I love it.

Hard recommend.

The Seventh of December by Garrick Jones

An astonishingly detailed and historically accurate love story between two men in WW2.

SOE, MI6, the Blitz, parachuting in to France, unarmed combat, virtuoso violin playing, blackmail involving Princes of the Realm, sexy Yanks and chaps dancing together in evening dress.

I understand it’s the first in a series and I am now biting my nails waiting for more.

That’s all for this month!

reading roundup: May

A quick round-up of some of my reads this month, in no particular order. These have mostly gone up on Instagram over the course of the month… you can find me there as CogentHippo.

Under the Radar by Lillian Francis

A slow burn love affair between submariners in WW2. Fantastic historical detail that helps give the the characters depth and breadth. Funny, touching and heart-wrenching with spy-stuff tension, set against the backdrop of life in a cramped submarine. I loved it.


Ashore by Isabelle Adler (Staying Afloat #2)

Poor Matt is so oblivious to his own feelings and those of his lover, Ryce. And there’s no time to discuss anything because Val has been kidnapped and the baddies are threatening to cut off bits of him to motivate everyone else. This is a well-paced space-romp with a background love story that is tender and believable. I’m looking forward to book three.


Finders by Melissa Scott

I love the normative queerness of all Melissa Scott’s writing and this is no exception. It features a three-way poly relationship between salvage operators scrounging the ruins of an inexplicable civilization for the bits and bobs that will keep their remnant tech working. The crew find that there is more going on than they know about and the suspense is set against the low-key renegotiating of their relationship. I really enjoyed it.


Ribbons Among the Rajahs by Patrick Wheeler

This one was a disappointment. I’m researching pre-Raj British women in India and the surrounds for my work in progress and I had high hopes that this would give me some decent background. However, although there’s lots of good detail and well researched, accurate history in there, it’s a) often from the point of view of the men that the women ‘belonged to’ and b) bloody hell, there’s some racist and sexist crap in there. Cosmic fail, have not finished.


She-Merchants, Buccaneers & Gentlewomen by Katie Hickman

Again, research for my WIP about British women in pre-Raj India. This one is much better written. Hickman’s usual meticulous research and women-centered narrative made this a much easier read for me. I also loved her Daughters of Britannia.


Deadline by Stephanie Ahn

Loved this. Lesbian, masochistic witch in New York, trying to sort her life out after a minor misjudgment (cough) that ruined her career and nearly killed her. Also with cute alligator-moles, demons and a sadistic succubus.


More to come next month!