Tea, Rain, Book

Tea, Rain, Book

The BL branch of my Tea, Rain, Book blog: http://teareainbook.blogspot.co.uk/


You can also find me on the following sites:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/840708-melissa

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tea_rain_book





Master List - 2017 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge (February Progress)
Lighting the Flames: A Hanukkah Story - Sarah Wendell Dangerous Allies - Renee Ryan The Sweetest Thing (Just Desserts) - Deborah Fletcher Mello Craving Temptation - Deborah Fletcher Mello
  • Items in bold were completed this month. Completed 8% of challenge this month. Completed 24% of challenge overall.
  • 1. Recommend by Librarian                                   
  • 2. On TBR Long Time                               
  • 3. Book of Letters                                   
  • 4. Audiobook - Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan                               
  • 5. Author is POC - The Sweetest Thing (Just Desserts #1) by Deborah Fletcher Mello                                   
  • 6. 1 of 4 Seasons in Title                               
  • 7. Story within a Story                               
  • 8. Multiple Authors                                   
  • 9. Espionage Thriller - Dangerous Allies (WWII Book 1) by Renee Ryan                          
  • 10. Cat on the Cover                                   
  • 11. Author using Pen Name - Apprentice in Death (..In Death #43) by JD Robb                           
  • 12. Genre Not Normally Read - Antidote for Night by Marsha De La O (modern poetry)                    
  • 13. By/About a Person with a disability

14. Involving Travel

  1. 15. Subtitle
  2. 16. Published in 2017
  3. 17. Mythical Creature
  4. 18. Re-read a shelf keeper
  5. 19. Food - Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan
  6. 20. Career Advice
  7. 21. Non-human Perspective
  8. 22. Steampunk
  9. 23. Red Spine
  10. 24. Set in Wilderness
  11. 25. Loved as a Child - Double Love (Sweet Valley High #1) by Francine Pascal and Kate William
  12. 26. Author from a country you’ve never visited - Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala (author is from Sri Lanka)
  13. 27. Title with a character name
  14. 28. War time setting
  15. 29. Unreliable Narrator
  16. 30. Book with Pictures - March: Book Two by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
  17. 31. MC is different ethnicity than you - Craving Temptation (Just Desserts #2) by D.F. Mello
  18. 32. Interesting Woman
  19. 33. Book with setting in 2 different time periods
  20. 34. Month/Day in title
  21. 35. Set in a hotel
  22. 36. By someone you admire
  23. 37. 2017 movie adaptions
  24. 38. Holiday other than Christmas - Lighting the Flames by Sarah Wendell (Hanukkah)
  25. 39. First Book in Series
  26. 40. Bought on a trip
  27. 41. Recommended by an author you like
  28. 42. 2016 Best Seller
  29. 43. Family member term in title
  30. 44. Takes place over a character’s lifetime - If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
  31. 45. Genre/subgenre you’ve never heard of
  32. 46. More than 800 pages
  33. 47. UBS find
  34. 48. Book mentioned in another book
  35. 49. Difficult topic

50. Based on Mythology

Friday Reads! (A Day Late)
Beauty and the Rake (The Rookery Rogues Book 3) - Erica Monroe A Lady Dares - Bronwyn Scott Echoes in Death - J.D. Robb

My weekend plans include sleeping, reading, and not leaving the house. First weekend in over a month that I do not have any pressing social appointments or special occasions. The next three weekends are going to be very busy, so this is the calm before the storm.


My reading goal for the last few days of February is to finish Beauty and the Rake by Erica Monroe (50% done)  and A Lady Dares (37% done) by Bronwyn Scott. Both are for my last two squares on the Romance Bingo card. The latter part of the week I will begin my March reading TBR, starting with Echoes in Death (....In Death #44) by J.D. Robb. I had put a ILL request in to my base library the day it was published and it was ready for pick up yesterday - timing was perfect.


Hope everyone has a great reading weekend!

0 Stars
Review: His Ring Is Not Enough by Maisey Yates
His Ring Is Not Enough - Maisey Yates

Romance Bingo - Virgin square


This was Nicki and Paris Hilton fan fiction circa early 2002 with a dash of 50 Shades of Gray thrown in. I see the couple (Nicki Leah and Ajax) divorcing the day after their 5th wedding anniversary (as per the plotline, the two have to be married for five years). Book two in this duology (Paris' turn! Rachel's turn) has a Kim Kardashian plotline/backstory (the early years when the sex tape first came out and she was still buddies with Paris). The virginity fetish displayed by both heroine and hero were of particular grossness. There wasn't anything redeemable about this book. Stay away.


First hate read of 2017.

Book Love Story: Why I love romance books


It's all about love during the Valentine's Week. Each day of the Valentine's week will present one book love story with a different genre insight. Today, it's all about romance books. We're happy to welcome Cat's Books: Romance on BookLikes blog. 


Watch out for the last Book Love Story on BookLikes blog tomorrow!



A guest post by Cat's Books: Romance



I unabashedly love Romance Novels.


I love them as at the center of the best ones are optimism, human connection, and feminism. The Happily Ever After promise allows the reader to explore very dark themes at times wit the knowledge that there will be hope and love no matter what. 


Because the main stay of romance is the find of a partner, the question of how to build a lasting connection and all the psychological l complexity of that quests shapes every romance. Most every romance is female centered. Female desire and viewpoints control the narrative.  


The genre is vast spanning  from science fiction, fantasy, new adult, young adult, contemporary, paranormal, historical, comedy, erotic, and eventing new sub genres all the time. 


In Romance, we can see the changing of social norms and the critical effort to see and explore through character and the lens of love hate and discrimination in all its forms while loving the body in all its diversity and sexuality which houses us all. 


At its best, the genre leads the way and it has a heck of a lot of fun at the same time. 


Here are some great love stories,  you should try.

Let It Shine by Alyssa Cole: Historical Interracial Romance set during the Civll Rights Era

Kulti by Mariana Zapata:   Contemporary Slow Burn Soccer Romance

To Seduce a Sinner by Elizabeth Hoyt: Historical  Plain Heroine and with a Hero with PTSD

Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison: Paranormal Dragon Shifter Hero and Thief Heroine

Kulti - Mariana Zapata Let It Shine - Alyssa B. Cole To Seduce a Sinner - Elizabeth Hoyt Dragon Bound - Thea Harrison



Watch out for the last Book Love Story on BookLikes blog tomorrow! If you'd like to join, please do! Write your book love story on your blog and add the link in the comment section below. Make sure to add why I love tag to your post so we could find it and share it. 

Reblogged from BookLikes
Book Love Story: Why I love historical fiction


It's all about love during the Valentine's Week. Each day of the Valentine's week will present one book love story with a different genre insight. Today, it's all about historical fiction. We're happy to welcome Susanna from SusannaG - Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady on BookLikes blog.




A guest post by Susanna from SusannaG - Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady


I love historical fiction. I love it in so many of its forms, from fictionalized biographies of long-dead monarchs, to stories about "normal people" of the past, to historical mysteries, time travel stories, and historical romances.


Why do I love historical fiction? I read in order to be taken on a trip to places I would otherwise never visit, and historical fiction is the gateway to the past.  And I love and am interested in the past - I trained as a historian.


I confess I can be a bit picky about historical fiction. There is nothing more likely to take me out of the flow of a book I'm enjoying than to run headlong into a "fact" that's wrong.   My next reaction is undoubtedly going to be "well, if they got that wrong, what else did they get wrong that I didn't catch?"  But good historical novel can give you a feel for another time and place in great ways.  You can feel like you've been there yourself.


I have been in love with historical fiction ever since I was a child, and my mother gave me Esther Forbes' Johnny Tremain  or Elizabeth Goudge's The Little White Horse.  These books took me on trips to the birth of the American Revolution, and to a remote valley in 1830s England. The stars of these shows were always children, of course, because they were also children's literature.


Johnny Tremain - Esther Forbes The Little White Horse - Elizabeth Goudge


When I was a little older, she gave me YA novels like A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver, E.L. Konigsburg's fictionalized biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Since YA mostly didn't exist then, she also gave me novels written for adults that she thought I might enjoy. These included, I remember, both Mary Renault's The King Must Die and Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels, which led to trips to ancient Greece and to the battle of Gettysburg.


A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver - E.L. Konigsburg The King Must Die - Mary Renault The Killer Angels - Michael Shaara


She also gave me novels by Georgette Heyer - my first regency romances - and introduced me to the "Williamsburg novels" of Elswyth Thane.  Heyer has never been out of print, but Thane's novels can be hard to find these days, as they are long out of print.


Yes, I have always loved historical fiction.


What historical novels might be a good place to start, if you've never read much of the genre before?


Well, if you love, for example, contemporary mysteries or romances, you might do well to pick a historical mystery or romance - there are plenty of both.  If you like science fiction, you might try a time travel story.  There are several types of story that are historical fiction mixed with another genre - if you like that other genre, you might want to start there.


Or perhaps you can pick a period and place that sounds interesting to you, and start there.  Some settings are more popular than others - if you want to read stories about ancient Rome or Tudor England, you're in great shape.  Other settings may be less popular, but can certainly supply great reads - 1600s Japan is not a common setting (in English, anyway), but is the setting for James Clavell's terrific Shogun.


But let me make a few more specific recommendations, of historical novels I adore.  Maybe you will love some of them, too.


Gary Corby's books about Nicolaos, the only private investigator in Pericles' Athens, and often featuring his annoying younger brother, Socrates, are a fun read.  They begin with The Pericles Commission.


Colleen McCullough's The Masters of Rome series, which starts with The First Man in Rome, tells the tale of the fall of the Roman Republic, from the conflict of Marius and Sulla, through Julius Caesar vs. Pompey, and the tale of Augustus, Mark Antony, and Cleopatra.  Note: McCullough adores Julius Caesar to the point of hero-worship.


Shogun: A Novel of Japan - James Clavell The Pericles Commission - Gary Corby The First Man in Rome - Colleen McCullough


Robert Graves' I, Claudius and Claudius the God are the purported autobiography of Rome's st-st-stuttering fourth emperor, the Emperor Claudius, who was found cowering behind a curtain after the murder of his nephew, Caligula.  But mostly it's a wonderful tale of murder and mayhem and madness in the imperial family, and most of all, of Augustus' poisonous (in more ways than one) wife, Livia.


I, Claudius - Robert Graves Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina - Robert Graves


Lindsay Davis' The Course of Honor is the tale of the Emperor Vespasian, and his long love affair with Caenis, a slave in the imperial household.


Ellis Peters wrote many tales of Brother Cadfael - I'm not so fond of the first, but the second, One Corpse Too Many, is a great introduction to the series, set in the 1100s in Shrewsbury, England.


Maurice Druon's Cursed Kings series, which starts with The Iron King, tells the tale of the fall of France's Capet kings, and the start of the Hundred Years War.


Connie Willis' Doomsday Book  is a pair of stories - one of a historian from 2060 Oxford's time machine project, set to research the 1300s, and the other of her colleagues in 2060, who realize that they've accidentally sent her to the wrong time and place - and they aren't sure they can get her back.


The Course of Honor - Lindsey Davis One Corpse Too Many (The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael Book 2) - Ellis Peters The Iron King - Maurice Druon Doomsday Book - Connie Willis


Anya Seton's Katherine is a fictionalized biography of Katherine Swynford, Geoffrey Chaucer's sister-in-law, and third wife of John of Gaunt.  Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt are the ancestors of the modern British royal family.  A tale of romance, adultery, murder, plague, and rebellion.


Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies are the first two volumes of a trilogy about Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's great minister. These cover the collapse of Henry's marriage to Katherine of Aragon, and the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn. These might be easier to follow if you know the general outline of what happened to the wives of Henry VIII.


C.J. Sansom's wonderful Shardlake novels are the best historical mysteries I have ever read.  Matthew Shardlake is a hunchbacked Tudor lawyer, and when we meet him in Dissolution, it's 1537 and he's working for Thomas Cromwell, dissolving monasteries. Cromwell sends him down to investigate a doomed (and frozen) monastery in Sussex.  The previous investigator was murdered there.


Katherine - Anya Seton Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel Bring Up the Bodies - Hilary Mantel Dissolution - C.J. Sansom


Judith Rock's The Rhetoric of Death  is the first of several fine historical mysteries about Jesuits and the ballet, in the Paris of Louis XIV.


Lisa See's Peony in Love is a strange tale from 1600s China, told by an Angry Ghost.


Daphne du Maurier's The Glass Blowers is the tale of her own family during the French Revolution.


Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell is a strange and lovely mixture of historical fiction about the Napoleonic wars, and fantasy about the return of magic to the land.  Take my advice and don't get involved with The Man With the Thistle-Down Hair, or his seelie court.


A.S. Byatt's Possession tells two stories - one of two Victorian poets, and another of the English professors who research them in the 1980s.  There is a great deal of faux Victorian poetry, as well as a fanatical American collector, and a spot of grave robbing.


Elswyth Thane's Yankee Stranger tells the story of the American Civil War, through the eyes of the members of two intermarried Virginia families, the Spragues and the Days, and those of Eden Day's fiance, a Yankee reporter.


The Rhetoric of Death - Judith Rock Peony in Love - Lisa See Yankee Stranger - Elswyth Thane Possession - A.S. Byatt


Geraldine Brooks tells a very different story of the Civil War in March - the story of the father of the sisters in Little Women.  He has a very different war from the accounts he sends home to his wife and daughters.


Amy Stewart's Girl Waits with Gun is the tale of New Jersey's first female sheriff's deputy, and how she got the job. 


Laurie R. King's The Beekeeper's Apprentice is the first of her dozen or so Mary Russell novels.  In 1915, the teen-aged Mary Russell, disguised as a boy, is wandering the Suffolk downs, and encounters a bad-tempered man hunting bees - his name is Sherlock Holmes.  This book is the story of her apprenticeship in detection, and of their first big case.  If you're picky about Sherlock Holmes, you might want to give this series a pass.


R.F. Delderfield's To Serve Them All My Days tells the tale of David Powlett-Jones, a Welsh miner's son, a shattered man invalided out of World War I, who goes to teach history at a Bamfylde, a remote boy's school.


March - Geraldine Brooks Girl Waits with Gun - Amy Stewart The Beekeeper's Apprentice - Laurie R. King To Serve Them All My Days - R.F. Delderfield



Watch out for more Book Love Stories on BookLikes blog this week! If you'd like to join, please do! Write your book love story on your blog and add the link in the comment section below. Make sure to add why I love tag to your post so we could find it and share it. 

Reblogged from BookLikes
Friday Reads!
A Lady Dares - Bronwyn Scott His Ring Is Not Enough - Maisey Yates Beauty and the Rake (The Rookery Rogues Book 3) - Erica Monroe

My holiday weekend is going to be BUSY...for the third weekend in a row. You guys, I am tired. Baby boy's 6th birthday and the kids' joint birthday party is this weekend. We are also on alert for son to lose his first tooth, which is exciting/freaking him out. I probably won't be on BL again until Tuesday.


I got 3 squares left for Romance Bingo black out card, so that is what I am going to focus on this weekend/ next week:


1. A Lady Dares by Bronwyn Scott (Pirates square)

      Still at 23% - pirates/sailors don't really do it for me.


2. His Ring is Not Enough by Maisey Yates (Virgin Square)

        Last contemporary romance of the bingo.  A Harlequin Presents line, so should be a quick read.


3. Beauty and the Rake (The Rookery Rogues #3) by Erica Monroe (Fairy Tale Re-telling)

        New to me author! My NOOK copy has a different cover than the BL database one.

Book Love Story: Why I Love Comic Books and Graphic Novels

It's all about love during the Valentine's Week. Each day of the Valentine's week will present one book love story with a different genre insight. Today, it's all about comic books and graphic novels. We're happy to welcome Grimlock ♥ Vision on BookLikes blog. 



A guest post by Grimlock ♥ Vision


I remember was first introduced to comic books by one of my first boyfriends, whom I indulged. It was, by the way, the death of our relationship: he took me the store, and reluctantly handed me She-Hulk I dumped him within a week, hoarding my own stack of X-Men. He probably looked at the comics, looked at me, and asked, ‘But why?’ He underestimated me, and I couldn't abide by that. It killed the relationship, but struck up a life long love of comics. I’ve always loved books as well as movies and TV, so the cinematic flair of the visual aspects combined with storytelling just works for me in comics. 


Let me break down the difference between comic books and graphic novels.  Comics are shorter, come out monthly, and are stapled together, and thus have a more magazine like look and feel to them.   Most graphic novels combine issues into a more book-like format with a spine: four to six issues tend to be fairly standard, although I’ve seen both shorter and longer graphic novels as well as original graphic novels. Comics are usually slightly more expensive than their bound counterparts, although if you’re into digital reading, I highly suggest Comixology. You can find many, many sales as well as  a collection of free comics


Finally, please let  it be noted: I don’t know everything about comics.  I tend to specialize.  I will get into one character, or writer, or franchise and focus heavily on that.   Marvel was my introduction, it’s been the publisher I’ve been most heavily invested in - emotionally and monetarily - and is my primary love.  


I'm going to recommend some comics by publisher. 




Wolverine, and the X-Men, were some of my first Marvel hits.  Claremont's runs are always excellent. Morrison’s New X-Men run is superb, relatively newer work.  For classic Wolverine, I’d suggest Weapon X, which tells of how he got the metal in his bones.  Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men is a must read (as is his Doctor Strange.)   If you like your Wolverine a little more girl-powered, try Tom Taylor’s All-New Wolverine, which focuses on Wolverine's clone, Laura Kinney.   


X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga - Chris Claremont,John Byrne New X-Men Omnibus - Grant Morrison,Marc Silvestri,Chris Bachalo,John Paul Leon,Frank Quitely,Leinil Francis Yu,Igor Kordey,Ethan Van Sciver,Keron Grant,Tom Derenick,Phil Jimenez Doctor Strange Vol. 1: The Way of the Weird - Jason Aaron,Chris Bachalo All-New Wolverine Vol. 1: The Four Sisters - Tom Taylor,David López


I love the All-New Ghost Rider, as seen on Agents of SHIELD.  But I loved him before he hit the small screens, from his first appearance in All-New Ghost Rider.   He was a little more diverse, the car is super hot, and I loved the mastery of how he became the Ghost Rider.  His new series Ghost Rider is a little less impressive to me, but it’s only a couple issues in so I’m giving it more of a chance. 


Right now, though, my focuses are on three characters: Black Bolt, the king of the Inhumans, Vision and his daughter Viv, and Deadpool. 


I’ll start with Black Bolt. The Inhumans were created when the Kree, aliens looking for living weapons, experimented on a small population of humans.   When they come of age in their society, they’re exposed to the Terrigen mists in a process called Terrigenesis. This brings their latent powers, which are varied, to the fore. Black Bolt was experimented on when he was in the fetus and was born more powerful than the average Inhuman.   I love Black Bolt for a couple reasons. The power that comes from his voice makes it impossible for him to use it at all.  If he speaks, he destroys his home and those he loves, reminding me of the blind seer trope from the Greek myths I loved as a child. Except at one point, he declares war by literally saying that one word.  Everything before him explodes, making a strong statement about the power of words  In addition, the restraint that he shows in training himself not to make a sound even when he sleeps is something that draws me to his character.   


Marvel Knights: The Inhumans - Paul Jenkins,Jae Lee  For Black Bolt, I would suggest starting with Paul Jenkins’ Inhumans, then moving right on to Charles Soules’ Inhuman, followed by his dual series All-New Inhumans and Uncanny Inhumans.   Inhumans vs. X-Men is a well thought out crossover, in which characters are paired up perfectly.   If you want to see Black Bolt speak, give the alternate universe Attilan Rising a try.  Three new Inhuman series are slated for this year: Black Bolt, The Royals and Secret Warriors.


Vision is a no brainer as he's my sex appeal in the Marvel universe. Vision is a synthezoid, which means is that he has organs, but they are’t organic. Ultron created him to take down the Avengers, and he joined them instead. He can control his density, and become insubstantial enough to walk through things in his way, or let them pass through him, or increase his weight to hit back hard. He’s also portrayed by Paul Bettany  in the new Marvel movies. 


Vision has a lot of solid older stories, but I’m going to focus on the ones I love the most: the newer ones. Vision had his own series written by Tom King.  It’s heartbreaking and all too human and one of the best things I’ve read ever.  It sadly only lasted twelve issues, and I reread this as a buddy read whenever the opportunity arises.   As for him as an Avenger, he was in the second series of Uncanny Avengers which I adored. I also loved what was done in All-New, All-Different Avengers, as well in the new Avengers, both written by Mark Waid.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Rage of Ultron, which focused not only on Ultron, but his relationship with his father, Hank Pym, and his son, Vision.  It’s lushly illustrated and I’ve read it twice.


Vision Vol. 1: Little Worse Than A Man (Vision (2015-)) - Mike Del Mundo,Gabriel Hernandez Walta,Tom King Uncanny Avengers Vol. 1: Counter-Evolutionary - Daniel Acuña,Rick Remender All-New, All-Different Avengers Vol. 1: The Magnificent Seven - Mark Waid,Adam Kubert,Mahmud Asrar Avengers: Rage of Ultron - Rick Remender,Jerome Opena,Pepe Larraz,Mark Morales


Viv, his daughter, is much like both her father and her mother, Virginia.  She shows up in Vision as well as the new Champions series, alongside Ms. Marvel, who is another much beloved character. I highly recommend Champions, not only because I’m interested in both Vision and Viv.   It’s a powerful statement about the modern world, the problems it faces, and the way that they help women being terrorized by Islamic radicals is incredibly empowering - and touching. 


Deadpool?   I’m not getting lazy on this.  I’ve just put in a lot of work, and someone called this the most helpful post they’ve ever read about getting into a comic book series, so I feel like I can post this here: Where to Start with Deadpool


I’d add that he becomes an Avenger in the third Uncanny Avengers series, which I really enjoyed as well.    


Another note: Marvel has Kamala Khan, a Muslim American hero, has a lady Thor, a black Captain America, and has Ta-Nehisi Coates writing The Black Panther and Roxanne Gay co-writing Black Panther: World of Wakanda.  (Coates is her co-author.) Moon Girl is the smartest character in the universe - and a black girl.  They’ve also had transgender characters, a gay marriage, a lesbian couple who raised Miss America - and Miss America is also a lesbian. Prodigy has come out as bisexual.  Angela by Marguerite Bennet featuring the trans woman Sera, are both highly recommended. (So Angela: Asgard’s Assasin, 1602: Witch Hunter Angela, and Angela Queen of Hel.  And of course her work on A-Force, the all-women version of the Avengers.)  Basically?   Marvel is doing a lot for diversity right now, including hiring more diversely. I should note that the woman who writes Ms. Marvel is a convert to the Muslim religion which gives her series a lot of little moments that feel incredibly real.


Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal - G. Willow Wilson,Adrian Alphona Thor Volume 1: Goddess of Thunder - Russell Dauterman,Jason Aaron Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 1 - Ta-Nehisi Coates,Brian Stelfreeze Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur - Amy Reeder,Brandon Montclare,Natacha Bustos

Angela: Asgard's Assassin Vol. 1: Priceless (Angela: Asgard's Assasin) - Kieron Gillen 1602 Witch Hunter Angela (1602 Witch Hunter/Siege) - Marvel Comics Ms. Marvel, Vol. 5: Super Famous - G. Willow Wilson,Takeshi Miyazawa,Adrian Alphona,Nico Leon,Cliff Chiang





So I am a recent DC convert. I’m not going to go over this character by character; I don’t have the kind of knowledge to do that.  I’m going to suggest my favorites and tell you why I love them, but then I’m going to let others, who might be more knowledgable, speak up if they so choose. 




Start with Batgirl from Burnside. She’s strong, smart, and confident, and I love both the writing and the art.  I should also mention  that it’s illustrated by a woman, so I felt that the art itself was more real in that it didn’t put women in impossible poses that would break their backs if they tried actually standing that way. The creative team wasn’t intact for Rebirth and I’m such a fan of them together, I didn’t follow.


Batman: Hush: 


Love, love, love this series.   The artwork by Jim Lee is superb and the storyline is tense and paranoid and incredibly tight.   


Wonder Woman by Perez: 


I’ve slacked and haven’t quite finished all the comics I have.   I do love what I read: Wonder Woman is pure of heart, innocent, maybe even a little naive in some ways, but also incredibly strong and even beautiful.   She also looks like she has some weight: she has a little meat on her bones, and that made her more appealing to me, as did the fact that she tried to talk first and fight as a last resort.




Wrong in all the right ways and the basis for the new AMC TV show.   It touches upon religion a lot and I can easily see someone thinking of this as blasphemous.  If you're okay with that, violence, drinking, drugs, and just all kinds of wrongness in fiction, though, it's a compelling read that asks a lot of big, hard questions without handing you the reader pat answers. 


Batgirl Vol. 1: The Batgirl of Burnside (The New 52) - Babs Tarr,Brenden Fletcher,Cameron Stewart Batman: Hush - Scott A. Williams,Jeph Loeb,Jim Lee Wonder Woman, Vol. 1: Gods and Mortals - Bruce Patterson,Greg Potter,Len Wein,George Pérez Preacher, Book One - Garth Ennis,Steve Dillon


The original Suicide Squad:


I’m talking John Ostrander.   His wife, Kim Yale, co-penned many stories and they created Oracle after the Killing Joke disabled Barbara Gordon.   It also tapped into the current political clime and made statements about them, as well as giving Amanda Waller a compelling backstory and making her an incredibly strong black woman.


I'd also suggest anything Ostrander wrote on Deadshot.   


Death in the Family: 


The brutal death of Jason Todd, aka Robin, at the hands of the Joker. Brutal and effective, making me feel for a character I’d just come to know.   Another heartbreaking, but worthwhile read. 




The new Rebirth event was lauded, as it spawned so many series that the fans adored. I don’t read that many, but I do read the new Batman by Tom King of Vision fame, Cyborg, the new Suicide Squad, and Blue Beetle. I love them all.   


Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Trial by Fire - Luke McDonnell,John Ostrander Batman: A Death in the Family - Mike DeCarlo,Jim Starlin,Jim Aparo Batman #1: Batman Day Special Edition (2016) (Batman (2016-)) - Tom King,David Finch Blue Beetle (2016-) #1 - Keith Giffen,Jr., Romulo Fajardo,Scott Kolins


Midnighter/Midnighter and Apollo


Midnighter is a pastiche of Batman, with Apollo as the pastiche of Superman, they’re also the ‘World’s Finest Couple.’  Steven Orlando’s take on Midnighter wasn’t just ultra-violent - any incarnation of him should be. It was also full of heart and humor and even warmth. It got cancelled but lived on in Orlando's current Midnighter and Apollo mini-series that I’m also loving.


Red Tornado is similar to Vision and I love him. I’ve read a lot of Young Justice with him, as well as The Tornado’s Path, but he’s sorely underused.   I also fell in love with the Trinity of Sin, because I adored The Question’s angst filled backstory, but he hasn’t really been seen since.   


Also, DC’s new Dr. Fate is of Egyptian descent, and my sister loves the way they handle the mentally ill in general: put them in an asylum where they try to help them, instead of killing them, or imprisoning them like the Inhumans do with Maximus. (Athough their treatment of mental health in Moon Knight is spectacular and the Scarlet Witch, who has been dealing with trauma and PTSD, was deftly handled.  Same with Jen Walters in Hulk.) They haven’t allowed Batwoman, who is a lesbian, to marry her girlfriend stating that they don’t believe their heroes should be happy.  Red Tornado married his wife and they adopted a child, though, and Superman is currently raising a child with Lois Lane, so I feel that they didn’t think that out completely, though. Still, they have some representation and are getting better about it in general in my opinion.


Justice League of America, Vol. 1: The Tornado's Path - Brad Meltzer,Damon Lindelof,Ed Benes Trinity of Sin #1 - J.M. DeMatteis Doctor Fate (2015-) #1 - Paul Levitz,Sonny Liew Moon Knight (2016-) #1 - Greg Smallwood,Jeff Lemire




I’m going to put this out here: I love IDW for their media franchises. The Buffy series they’ve done - continuing it beyond season seven in comic format - utilizes many screenwriters from the series and is overseen by Joss Whedon himself. Their work on Transformers is just stunning. I mostly read them for tie-ins. They do good work outside of that, too, but nothing that compels me quite as much as the franchise work they do. 




My favorite series are those written by Roberts, who wrote a fan novel that I also adored.   Furman used to be my favorite Transformers scribe. And this isn’t a slight: his work is fun, exciting and in character. Barber’s Robots in Disguise and Roberts More Than Meets the Eye were just better than Furman's runs. MTMtE in particular is transcendent, tackling sexuality, politics, religion, philosophy, and anything else you can throw at the series.   It does so deftly and with so much humor that it makes me laugh out loud with every single issue.  And again, this is not a slight to Barber, who ended up writing the Doctor Strange/Punisher crossover that I loved. Barber simply isn’t quite Roberts.   Which is daunting: Roberts is nuanced, and foreshadows years ahead. You think a panel is just funny and two years later, you read something that makes you go back and go ‘oh, that’s why that was there.’   


Transformers: Maximum Dinobots (Transformers (Idw)) - Simon Furman,Nick Roche,Marcelo Matere Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye, Volume 1 - Nick Roche,Alex Milne,James Roberts,John Barber Doctor Strange/Punisher: Magic Bullets Infinite Comic #1 (of 8) - John Barber Transformers: Robots in Disguise Volume 1 (Transformers (Idw)) - John Barber,Andrew Griffith


The most frustrating thing about this is that no one takes a Transformers comic seriously. And it very much is, despite the humor and warmth. I was talking about Whirl, who is one of my favorite characters and Jessica wanted to know more about him. I sent her two Whirl heavy issues via Comixology - and got her hooked on both series.   


IDW had a crossover event called Revolution that I, full disclosure, hated. It meshed certain series, like Transformers and GI Joe and ROM, and made it so they had what they called a ‘shared universe.’ What this means is they share the same fictional universe now and IDW doesn’t have to come up with convoluted reasons why Transformers are in a GI Joe comic. RiD and MTMtE were cancelled, although Barber is writing Optimus Prime and Roberts is writing Lost Light. I love LL and am less in love with OP. 




Astounding. It feels very much like the series and the artwork is some of the best that I’ve seen that is based on real people. There’s also Angel and Faith, that continues with, well, Angel and Faith. It’s also superb, as is there Spike mini-series. 


Edward Scissorhands: 


This manages to be as adorable, insightful, and odd as the original movie. Just a beautiful, hopeful story that is good for any age!


Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8, Volume 1 - Georges Jeanty,Cliff Richards,Paul Lee,Joss Whedon,Brian K. Vaughan  Edward Scissorhands Volume 1: Parts Unknown - Kate Leth,Drew Rausch  




Motor Crush: 


Illegal racing. Hot vehicles. Drawn by the woman who penciled Batgirl from Burnside. It’s a fun series, although I’ve only read the first issue.   




Expansive Space opera. It has robot families which is a plus to me, but the main draws are the fantastic art and storyline that is about overcoming hatred and war and joining together to form a family. And keeping it together. Very adult, shows sex scenes pretty graphically, and has drug use and the violence that goes along with war and being on the run from both warring parties. Beautiful, hopeful, heartbreaking. Just one of the best comic series out there today.   




I fell in love with how dark and gritty this was when it came out, and I feel it got stronger later on. The original issues are still fun, but it takes a bit to find it’s footing.   It lost the plot, and I dropped this series, and then there was a new Spawn, who I’m not as into as Al Simmons. Pretty typical deal with the devil, and then it gets more and more convoluted. I feel that recently a solid storyline came back into play so I’m reading this again. I’d suggest the original issues, anything with Angela - who was later sold off to Marvel after Neil Gaiman won her rights in a lawsuit, the Hellspawn retelling, and anything after Resurrection. Very violent, and deals with abuse, racism, and suicide in just  some of the issues I’ve read.  


Black Mask: 


I have to include this small press for Kim and Kim, which includes a transgender Kim.   It’s fun, it’s funny, and it’s a positive portrayal of a transgender woman.  Just for the record: Kim’s father insists on calling her ‘him’ and ‘son’, but doesn’t correct his employees when they refer to her by her proper gender. There’s a rift between father and daughter, no doubt because he can’t accept her as she is. But if you don’t want to read that, then steer clear of this. 


Saga, Volume 1 - Fiona Staples,Brian K. Vaughan Motor Crush Volume 1 - Brenden Fletcher,Cameron Stewart,Babs Tarr Spawn Origins, Volume 1 - Todd McFarlane Kim & Kim Vol. 1 - Magdalene Visaggio,Eva Cabrera,Claudia Aguirre


However, if you’re tempted by futuristic bounty hunters and robot gorillas, then by all means read this. Also, please note that the writer is a trans woman, which is probably why it doesn’t play into a lot of the stereotypes about trans woman. I loved it so much that I bought a small box of Black Mask collector edition covers on sale the next time I was in Newbury because I just trust the press after this one work.



The most resistance I get to comics is that they aren’t a serious, thought provoking medium.   I’d counter with The Champions - and have in real life - and also by saying that Time listed DC’s Watchmen as one of their best 100 novels. Maus, Art Spiegelman’s two volume masterpiece, went a long way towards legitimizing comics.   It’s a heart wrenching, biographical tale of his father during the Holocaust where all the Nazi’s are portrayed as cats while their victims are mice, thus the name.   A more recent entry is WE3, another heart breaker. This time, Grant Morrison tackles animal testing, and it’s a worthwhile and ultimately hopeful miniseries, but I’ve warned anyone away who can’t deal with cruelty towards animals.  Still, it’s proof of the power of comics, especially when it comes to making a political statement and trying to change the world for the better.  It’s one of the comics I’d start people off with who believe that comics are simply kiddy stories.  


The Complete Maus - Art Spiegelman  Watchmen - Alan Moore,Dave Gibbons  


I hope this leaves you with something you're interested in.  If not, drop me a line here, on my blog, or DM me and I'll see if I know of anything that might entice you!  If you're just interested in reading reviews of comics, feel free to follow me!



Watch out for more Book Love Stories on BookLikes blog this week! If you'd like to join, please free to write your book love story on your blog and add the link in the comment section below. Make sure to add why I love tag to your post so we could find it and share it. 

Reblogged from BookLikes
4.5 Stars
Review: Craving Temptation (Just Desserts #2) by Deborah Fletcher Mello
Craving Temptation - Deborah Fletcher Mello

Romance Bingo - Eye shadow and Bosom square


This duology has been sitting on my NOOK for at least two years and I am now kicking myself for not reading it sooner. Also, D.F. Mello is a new-to-me author that I look forward to reading more from in the future. Okay, onto the review of this book:


Amina Salman is trying to understand her family and childhood religion (Islam) while taking on the job of her father's campaign manager for mayor of Memphis, TN. Amina gave up Islam when she moved in with her mother in Atlanta after her parents divorced when she was a kid.Troy Elliott is the older brother of the last book's hero and a lawyer who has his sights on a political career, starting with winning the mayoral race for Memphis, TN. They first met at the end of the first book, and it picks up several weeks later. This story was much more romantic suspense but still a strong romance. Amina and Troy's relationship was a little more insta-love, but they went through some serious ups and downs (thanks to the awfulness that was Amina's brother) that strengthen their love. There is a lot less sex in this book.


The side characters make several appearances in this book, continuing the world building and giving the reader a strong sense of place and community. This time, I like to point out the side character of Rachel; her lawyer skills are on point and when something/someone threatens her family, she is a major badass. Also Amina's younger sister, Rasheeda, was a stand out.


There was a little "How Muslims Live 101" conversations early in the book. Amina and Rasheeda show the variety within the religion and how they live their faith and maintain a lifestyle that feels comfortable for them (ex: Amina doesn't wear the hijab, Rasheeda does).  


I really recommend this book set!


Bookish Mail
March (Book One) - Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell, John Robert Lewis March: Book Two - Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell, John Robert Lewis March: Book Three - Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell, John Lewis Gaddis Love is Love - Various, Phil Jimenez DC Bombshells #1 - Marguerite Sauvage, Marguerite Bennett DC Comics: Bombshells Vol. 2: Allies - Marguerite Bennett, Marguerite Sauvage

Past me got present me Valentine's Day gifts. Really, past me is so generous to present me it is almost embarrassing. Almost. Anyway, here is what came in the mail:


1. March: Book One by Rep John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell

              Read a copy from the base library, wanted a copy for my personal library.


2. March: Book Two by Rep John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell

              Read a copy from the base library, wanted a copy for my personal library.


3. March: Book Three by Rep John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell

             Haven't read this one yet, wanted to complete the set for my personal library.


4. Love is Love by Various Authors

             This anthology was published as a team effort by IDW and DC comics to raise money and awareness/support for the survivors and families of those killed in the Pulse Night Club shooting in Orlando, FL back in June. I heard about this graphic novel because the Throwing Shade podcast interview with Phil Jimenez, who worked on several of the short stories featured in the volume.


Along with the two volumes of the DC Bombshells I received from me at Christmas, I am well stocked in the graphic novel arena. I plan on reading (or re-reading) these comics during July's 24in48 read-a-thon. I also hope to have a copy of the second trade volume of Vision: A Little More Than a Man by Tom King in my hands by then so I can finish the series (with a re-reading of the first volume).


4.5 Stars
Review: The Sweetest Thing (Just Desserts #1) by Deborah Fletcher Mello
The Sweetest Thing (Just Desserts) - Deborah Fletcher Mello

Romance Bingo - Love (Free Space) square


I had a hard time putting this book down. The characters drove the two story lines without anything gimmick spoiling the emotional journey of the two couples. I also really liked the setting, Memphis, TN, because it was a big enough city to have diversity among the characters but still small enough to get that community feel. Also, the dialogue uses Southern accents very well; you can tell the difference between a Memphis accent and a Baton Rouge accent without it going into Southern stereotypes territory.


Harper Donovan goes to Memphis for her father's funeral; last time she saw her dad she was five and her parents broke up. She is met by Troy and Quentin Elliott, the foster sons of Harper's dad. They owned and operated a bakery; Troy was also an attorney with his own law firm and Quentin played sax with friends. Harper and Troy had a great little sister/big brother relationship at the end of the story. Harper and Quentin had eyes for only each other and not in a familial way.


Harper and Quentin acted like adults and actually talked to one another about their thoughts and feelings. There was one time when Quentin did shut down his emotions and froze Harper out, but he apologized to Harper for doing that before hitting the sack with her. It was really great to read about adults acting like adults in a relationship. Harper did have her business back in Baton Rouge, LA to attend to, so there was lots of scenes with her talking with her business partner/BFF Jasmine over Skype. Just because she is in love and also grieving for her father doesn't make Harper forget her duties. The sex scenes were a very much on the pages and a bit of variety to add spice to a sweet story.


The side romance between Rachel Harris (Troy's law firm partner and Quentin's ex-girlfriend) and Dwayne Porter was a little darker but their HEA was more appreciated for the hard times and hard work they went through to get to the HEA. The sex scenes here is much kinkier than in Harper/Quentin's romance, so heads up.


The one side character I want to mention is Ms. Alice (girlfriend of the deceased dad). She was overall AWESOME and she needs her own talk show so she can dole out advice. The scenes with Ms. Alice and Rachel were especially highlights of the story.


The only reason this is not a 5 star is that there is a little too much sex in the book for my taste. But that is a minor quibble. I'm starting the second book in the Just Desserts duology tomorrow.

2.5 Stars
Review: Dangerous Allies (WWII book one) by Renee Ryan
Dangerous Allies - Renee Ryan

Romance Bingo - Rogue square


Too much religious preaching and repetitive preaching at that. The religious preaching showed up in inopportune or inappropriate times (such as when Jack is having a major conversation with Heinrich Himmler and all he can think about is one-liners from the Bible - dude pay attention to your surroundings). There was one point in the preaching that crossed the line into bigotry; painting all pagans as evil because some Nazis believed in the occult and/or pagan spirituality was a big turn off for me.


Aside from the constant preaching, this was a good story about two British spies: Kat (a former Russian princess and now actress in Germany) and Jack (an American naval engineer on loan to the Brits). The conflict was something different than most of the romances I read - how do to spies trust each other with their lives, their hearts,  and the missions? I thought the writing really captured how they went about trusting each other slowly while planning and completing the parts of the mission. There was an intensity to the espionage scenes that kept me engaged in the story. However, the author's note at the end (a substitute for an epilogue) felt sloppily written and as a last minute add-on to turn the HFN ending into a HEA. Personally, I would have preferred the HFN ending.

Samhain Closing
I got this email today:
"Greetings, Samhain Readers.

It's with a heavy heart that we announce Samhain Publishing will be closing at the end of February. Due to the declining sales we’ve been experiencing with this changing market we’ve come to the sad conclusion it’s time to call it a day.
The last of our new titles launch February 21st; I hope you will check them out and support them as you have so many other Samhain titles through the years."
Our site will go dark at the end of the day, February 28th. Please take a few moments and visit, buy what you might have been planning on getting someday in the future, but download and back up your bookshelf because you won’t have access to it after February 28th.
Thank you for all your support through the eleven years we’ve been open. It’s been a pleasure to bring to market new voices in publishing and new works from familiar authors. From start to finish, we’ve always kept what the reader wants in mind and hope you enjoyed what we had to offer.

Reblogged from Rachel's books
Friday Reads!
Dangerous Allies - Renee Ryan A Lady Dares - Bronwyn Scott His Ring Is Not Enough - Maisey Yates

I hit the wall on reading romance this week and as a result I only finished one book this week. But I have only 6 squares to fill in for a black out card, so I am just going to put my head down and plow through as best as I can. I think March is going to almost all non-fiction, just to give myself a break.


This weekend starts birthday mayhem in the household, with my daughter turning 4 on Sunday and then my son turning 6 next Saturday. I got out-voted and so we are taking the kids to a zoo nearby on Saturday (I wanted to go to the British Library, but I guess I will wait until Spring Break now).


Here is what I am hoping to get done reading wise this weekend:


1. Dangerous Allies (WWII Book 1) by Renee Ryan

    I'm 50% done and really enjoying reading about British and Russian spies working together in Germany. However, the book is from the inspirational line at Harlequin and the author is shoe-horning in the Christian faith at weird/inappropriate times (like when hero is having a conversation with Henrich Himmler and keeps saying Psalms in his head - dude pay attention to the evil bad man in front of you).


2. A Lady Dares by Bronwyn Scott

    I am stuck at the 23% mark just because I seem to not read as fast or get easily distracted reading a print book. Not a bad story so far, and I am digging the chemistry between the hero and heroine, just need to adapt to reading print after so much ebook reading.


3. His Ring is Not Enough by Maisey Yates

    If I am able and lucky to knock out the first two, this will be my kick off book for the next week. This time it is not about a sheikh!

1.5 Stars
Review: Key of Knowledge (Key Trilogy #2) by Nora Roberts
Key of Knowledge (Key trilogy #2) - Nora Roberts

Romance Bingo - Key to Heart square


What a draining story. There were only two things keeping me from DNF'ing this: 1) to fill a Romance Bingo square and 2) to find the mystery of the hidden key. I have no interest in reading book one or book three; I feel that so much of this book does flashbacks and conversations all relating to book one to the point I felt like I was also reading book one (so many plot points are repeated, it is almost like the author did a find and replace with just the characters' names).


Characters: The main side ones (couple from book one Malory and Flynn; couple from book three Zoe and Brad) are annoying, but tolerable since you get them in small doses. The main couple in this book is Dana and Jordan and they suck as a couple. I couldn't get up enough emotional resources to root for them. Jordan was an interesting individual, with a backstory ripe with potential. But he was a mystery/thriller novelist, so you get a crap ton of "insight" into how authors work/think about writing/think about readers, etc. I hate this because I always read into this more as how the author of the book thinks/works. Dana is an obnoxious, demanding, bitchy, hot-headed, judgmental, snob who is also dumb as a box of rocks. Seriously, I figured out where the key was by the middle/two-thirds of the story. I just hated every word out of her mouth, every action she took, and thought she had.


Writing: the dream sequences and final jump into the book was wonderful and kept me hanging on. The premise of the book had a nice and well-thought out paranormal aspect to it. The romance part failed horribly - it was either cheesy or cringe-worthy, especially the sex. Also two engagement scenes from different couples was serious over kill.


Overall it is done and another square filled.

Review: Celtic Viking (Heart of the Battle #1) by Lexy Timms
Celtic Viking: Historical Romance (Heart of the Battle Series Book 1) - Lexy Timms

Romance Bingo - Man in a Kilt square


Sweet humanity, this book sucks. Historical inaccuracies up the wazzoo, contemporary NA characterizations, and to top it off, this is only the first 12 chapters of a three-part serialized story.


The most glaring screw up has to deal with Erik (the hero) and his merry band and killing and pillaging Vikings...who are also Celts....from the kingdom/country of Denmark, making them Danes as well ?????????? For a group of commanders who don't want their enlisted men to rape the townswomen because it would taint their "pure" Saxon blood, it seems they couldn't decided on what group they belonged to, so they belong to every group (except of course the dirty English, yet they were fighting near the Scottish border). Look, I did not major in European history (modern American history was my concentration), but even I know that keeping the blood of rank-and-file fighting men "pure" was not much of a concern; in a very vile way, raping was seen as a right of the victor to the spoils of war.


Not for these confused commanders - they just want everyone dead, so that the people of northern England/southern Scotland will be terrorized and thus, kneel before them as their conquerors - except no one piped up and said "hey, if we kill everyone, there won't be any English people subjected to our rule."


Don't even get me started on how Erik was drinking coffee with his men on the mornings before battles....in England....in 876 AD.


Linzi (the Scottish heroine with a name spelled to damn cutesy to be taken seriously) is more concerned about boys and getting a free, huge rose tattoo from her BFF who has enough experience to do so because she gave herself one (in between her breasts yo). Linzi is seventeen and ready to mix it up with blonde English local boyLuke (older brother's friend) or Erik, who she meets at 68% into the story - where this part of the story ends. Pretty much any blonde will do.


Much spelling and grammar mistakes; formatting for the NOOK is off as well.


If you want to read this, I suggest you get all three parts at once because they are a quick read and ends with cliffhangers. I can't do anymore of this historical inaccuracy or the NA characters, so I won't be continuing with the other two volumes.



Friday Reads!
Key Of Knowledge - Nora Roberts Celtic Viking: Historical Romance (Heart of the Battle Series Book 1) - Lexy Timms Dangerous Allies - Renee Ryan

I got a full weekend ahead of me, so my short list of weekend reading is aspirational rather than a firm to-do. My base library is having a "Souper Bowl" dinner on Monday evening, so I am attempting to make homemade Italian Wedding soup as a donation. Monday is a down day for us, so kid is off from school and husband is home from work (shout out to the regional commanders in Germany who understand that late-night Super Bowl parties and early to rise military work don't mix well!).


What I am reading this weekend, amongst the social appointments I need to keep:

1. Key of Knowledge (Key Trilogy #2) by Nora Roberts - my number one priority, as it is a library loan that is due back on Tuesday.


2. Celtic Viking by Lexie Timms - short book featuring (I am assuming...) a man in kilt. I have a sinking feeling this may be more of an installment of a serial read.


3. Dangerous Allies (WWII Book 1) by Renee Ryan - nothing says rogue like a sexy spy teaming up with another sexy spy to save the world from the Nazis. I need this right now. 

currently reading

Progress: 50%
Progress: 37%