What I Read This Week: March 28, 2021
I think I might be climbing out of my reading funk. I managed to finish four books this week and they were all enjoyable!
Aegean Sun: The Kafenion by Stephanie Wood
Advanced copy from Rachel’s Random Resources, expected publication April 6, 2021 While this might qualify as a romance novel, it’s not one in the traditional sense. The book takes place over the course of one summer at a traditional Greek cafe in a small town. It’s a place that’s overflowing with tourists all season, then goes quiet when they leave in the fall. It explores what that’s like for the residents, to have a bustling life for a while and then deal with the consequences of visitors who always leave. There’s a full cast of characters, each with their own complex backstory and present journey. It was fun to see them intermingle and wonder how things would end up. I recommend it for readers of contemporary fiction and romance.
The Player and the Pixie by L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid
Book two in the Rugby series. This was SO MUCH BETTER than the first book. Both of the main characters are way more than they appear to be on the surface, and I love stories like that. Sean is a monster of a rugby player who comes across as nothing but a huge jerk. Lucy is the younger sister of Sean’s nemesis and teammate. The two can’t deny their chemistry so they give into it and things don’t exactly go as expected. Or at least not how Lucy expected. So she makes a deal with Sean to improve his bedroom skills. Things get pretty sexy and inevitable feelings get involved. It’s a fun story that tackles some heavy issues. I highly recommend this one for readers of romance, particularly of the sports sub-genre. Unfortunately, I don’t think I would have liked this one as much or have understood it as well if I hadn’t read the first, so while it’s not nearly as good, I have to recommend you start there.
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
This mystery was a nice slow burn. The writing is atmospheric and creepy. I alternated between the audiobook and my physical copy. The narrators were fitting for the different characters and added to the dark vibe of the story. At the start, the reader knows something bad has happened at a wedding. Then we go back and forth between the day of the event and the few days prior, to get to know the guests from the perspective of multiple narrators. Each chapter gives us a little snippet of these folks from all walks of life who are gathered for this celebration. I was engaged in the story from the start and while it was a slow pace, the suspense built well. I enjoyed seeing how the seemingly separate characters were connected and learning their opinions about each other. Some of the chapters have a reality TV confessional feel to them. At the end, I wasn’t as satisfied as I’d hoped to be. I recommend this one for readers of mysteries.
Writing into the Wound: Understanding trauma, truth, and language by Roxane Gay
Available from Scribd. I listened to the audiobook read by the author. I love Roxane’s work and this was a compelling listen. As a writer myself, I was hoping I would learn techniques from this book. Instead it more of her commentary on writing about trauma from what she teaches on the subject. She did recommend several books she considers well written about trauma, so that’s good to have. This is a very short audiobook so I plan to listen to it again soon for it to fully sink in. I recommend this one for Roxane’s readers as well as those interested in reading or writing about trauma.