My last few reads have been excellent enough that I wanted to make sure I did another Fiction Friday post straight away.
I mentioned How to Howl at the Moon in the last post. That was a 5 star read for me.
And I followed that with yet another 5 star read. Megan Derr's Tournament of Losers. This book can only be described as a fairy tale. Rafe, our lead, may be a wharf rat and sometime time whore but he is loyal, patient, generous with the little he has. Tresse, the noble he falls in love with, is adorable and, well, the secret he's hiding is obvious to anyone who has read any sort of fairy tale before but it doesn't matter. The tale may be as old as the hills but the execution is glorious.
And another. 5 stars to Annabeth Albert's Status Update. Adorable. It's brimming with tropes. Road trip. Snowed in. 35 year old virgin. Geeks in love. Dogs. If quite extreme internal homophobia with a backdrop of religion isn't your thing then you may not enjoy this. But while the religion was the main reason for the internal homophobia I didn't feel that it dominated the story in any way. Mostly this is just the story of a chance meeting that changes two people's lives for the better and the fight they have to keep things that way. And it is adorable.
Anthologies are, by their very nature, hit and miss. For a start not everybody likes short stories, and some story ideas are not suited to the length impositions (several stories in this collection suffer from this), but you can always find a few gems among the more mediocre stories and they are a great way to introduce you to new writers. Stranded, a Wayward Ink anthology is all about being stranded in some way or another. My favourite stories of the bunch were Say Cheese, Out of Order, and Dating for Deafies. I loved The Raider, too, but desperately wanted it to be a longer story. Of the rest there were only four that I wasn't overly keen on.
Continuing the 5 star theme, Custom Fit by Josephine Myles. The long awaited (by me in particular) sequel to Tailor Made. Witty, sexy, with a distinctively British voice and men in lacy undies. What more could you want.
Returning Home by Alex Jane. An extended epilogue to book 1 with Caleb and Jacob returning 'home' to be married, several years after the end of book one. There is a small amount of angst but overall it is a sweet tale of acceptance and coming home.
I've also been betaing reading for Sue Brown and Elin Gregory. Two great stories but very different. More about those as the stories come to fruition.
Looking forward I plan to mix it up with some of the very old reads that have been hanging about on my Kindle.
Let me know what you've enjoyed reading recently.