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!