Tag Archives: 8.75 out of 10

An American in Scotland, by Lucy Connelly

6 Apr
Cover for An American in Scotland; under a stormy sky (with lightning and menacing clouds), an old stone church sits, with light shining from a couple of windows, and mountains in the background. The title is in "murder yellow".

I am pretty sure that I requested this ARC because Robin Bradford (@tuphlos) posted the cover on social media and we talked about the “murder yellow” font for the title, and the blurb intrigued me. On the whole, I’m glad I did.

Reader beware: not the best treatment of suicide (spoilers in the body of the review); miscarriage; fridging of a bisexual character; some violence; references to past emotional and physical abuse of children; superficial descriptions of medical settings and procedures; first person past tense narration.

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The Mimicking of Known Successes, by Malka Older

27 Feb
Cover for Malka Older's "The Mimiching of known successes": against a background that is an stylized rendition of Jupiter in ocher and earth tones, with an industrial looking skyline towards the bottom, two figures silhouetted in black walk towards the horizon. One of them has long hair and a hip-length coat, the other one wears a wide brim hat and a knee-length coat.

I have been aware of Doctora Malka Older as a person for a while; though I didn’t follow her on twitter, we interacted there a few times. I’ve known, for at least as long, that she writes speculative fiction. Given that lately I’ve struggled to read, and that most of what I do read is genre romance, I hadn’t considered reading any of her work until now.

See, the publisher’s tag for this novel is, “a cozy Holmesian murder mystery and sapphic romance, set on Jupiter”. Then there’s the cover (look at it!). How could anyone resist?

So I requested this ARC in a fit of unwarranted optimism, and was absolutely delighted when I got it.

Reader beware: there’s one murder off page, and some violence on page; first-person, past tense narration.

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“The Governess Affair” by Courtney Milan

28 Sep
A white woman with long, curly reddish brown hair, wearing a long bright yellow gown, looking down to the daisy corsage she's holding

This novella is a prequel to The Duchess War; it establishes one of the most important relationships for the hero of that novel, and thus is the first installment of the Brothers Sinister series, despite having been written a couple of years after the release of that book.

Reader, beware: backstory of physical abuse by a parent, backstory of rape, difficult sibling relationships, general trauma, and a most lovely scene of consent, seduction, and sex.

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Out of Nowhere, by Felicia Davin

22 Jun
Cover or Out of Nowhere; the background is a photograph of space, showing a star breaking the horizon of a planet, with space matter around. The foreground is the silhouette of a man composed of starlit sky.

The second book in the Nowhere trilogy, Out of Nowhere ratchets up the tension from Edge of Nowhere. I confess, I stalled somewhere around the halfway mark, not opening the book again for weeks. Eventually, trusting the author to fulfill the promise of a happy ending that’s the immutable part of genre romance got me over the emotional block.

Reader, beware: some sex on the page between two adult men, swearing, trauma from childhood and from recent forced experimentation, including starvation, and a bit of violence. The author has a very comprehensive list of warning and tags here, below the blurb.

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