LAST YEAR I WAS READING…(December 22, 2021)

This meme was created by Reading Marie. It’s a great meme because it’s nice and easy to do.

Here are the rules:

Take your current read and compare it to what you reading this exact time last year. Which one do you like better? What is different about the books? Any special facts/things you want to make note of or bring attention to

This Year I Am Reading…

Will Darling came back from the Great War with a few scars, a lot of medals, and no idea what to do next. Inheriting his uncle’s chaotic second-hand bookshop is a blessing…until strange visitors start making threats. First a criminal gang, then the War Office, both telling Will to give them the information they want, or else.

Will has no idea what that information is, and nobody to turn to, until Kim Secretan—charming, cultured, oddly attractive—steps in to offer help. As Kim and Will try to find answers and outrun trouble, mutual desire grows along with the danger.

And then Will discovers the truth about Kim. His identity, his past, his real intentions. Enraged and betrayed, Will never wants to see him again.

But Will possesses knowledge that could cost thousands of lives. Enemies are closing in on him from all sides—and Kim is the only man who can help.

A 1920s m/m romance trilogy in the spirit of Golden Age pulp fiction.

Amazon Buy Links: KindleAudiobook
Amazon UK Buy Links: Audiobook

I’m finally ready to take a deep dive into this much-lauded K.J. Charles post-WWI historical. I’m on the final stretch of the series opener. It’s as fun as promised! Will is wonderful! Kim…well, loved him too, but I also want to wring his neck.

Last Year I Was Reading…

Keeping secrets is never a good way to start a relationship…

Theo hardly has time to date. Between work and caring for his four-year-old son there aren’t many hours left over. He’s lonely though, so he joins a hook-up app and starts chatting to a guy called Luke. Luke seems friendly and they arrange to meet. Theo doesn’t mention that he has a child. It’s early days and he’s worried about putting Luke off before they get to know each other.

Luke is currently working as Santa at the local shopping mall. He figures Theo never has to know. Christmas will be over soon and Luke will move on to a new, less embarrassing job. He’s surprised when Theo and a little boy visit Santa one afternoon. Theo doesn’t recognise Luke, and Luke realises he’s not the only one with a secret.

Despite misgivings on both sides, they start dating, and the chemistry is amazing. But as Christmas approaches their secrets pile up like colourful packages under the tree. If they’re not careful, they’ll lose the best gift of all—each other.

Bookshop: US
Amazon Buy Links: KindleAudiobook
Amazon UK Buy Links: Paperback | Audiobook

An enjoyable Christmas novella but not so memorable because I can’t recall much of what happened here off the top of my head.

My 3.5-star review here.

Today we have two very different books. One is a historical mystery set in the 1920s starring a bookseller and an aristocratic spy. The other is a straightforward contemporary romance with a holiday setting featuring a single dad and a grumpy part-timer. However, both books deal with secrets, mysteries, and characters who lie to their love interests. There is also a strong female presence in the two stories. This year’s read had one of the MCs engaged, while last year’s read had the MC co-parenting his son with the mother.

Slippery Creatures opens the Will Darling Adventures, a trilogy that chronicles the misadventures and the relationship of Will Darling, bookseller, and Kim Secretan a.k.a. Lord Arthur, a marquess’s son, also a spy. Will inherited a book shop from his late uncle, also named William Darling. It also appeared he inherited his uncle’s shadowy dealings when one day, a man turned up asking for information Will had no idea what or where. Later he learned his uncle had some correspondence with a scientist who invented a weapon of mass destruction.

Kim came to the picture, pretending to be a well-meaning stranger helping Will deal with some unwanted visitors. The two hit it off. Turns out, Kim had some hidden agenda and was engaged to a socialite. Delightful woman that she is, she took it upon herself to set the dorks to rights when they were being idiots.

The big mystery here is where to find the information hidden among 40,000 books. There are also secret societies looking for said information whose members are willing to do anything to get their hands on it. So how do you find a needle in a haystack when the needle is not a needle but is also hay?

Secret Santa is a Christmas novella about a Grinder meet-cute between two ordinary guys. Luke is currently temping as Santa at the local M&S. He’s tired of online hookups and only talked to Theo because he seemed like a nice guy. Meanwhile, Theo, a single dad working as an Apple technician, had a hard time finding a guy who would stick around. Most of them were put off by his 4-year-old son, Archie. So when he and Luke hit it off, he decided to keep his son a secret because he really liked the other man.

Theo is a devoted dad and is best friends with his son’s mother. Theo frequently takes Archie to the mall to see Santa. Luke recognized Theo but kept his identity a secret. The two continued dating and keeping secrets from each other. The miscommunication part sucks, but the chemistry between Luke and Theo was amazing! It’s what made the whole thing worth sticking around. Overall, a warm, cozy, low-angst, and very sweet story full of holiday cheers and feel-good vibes.

Between secret santas and secret societies, the first may come bearing gifts, the other comes bearing lies, trouble, danger, a new world order and, hell yeah, 40, 000 old books!

I’m ending the post with a book I’m looking forward to reading.

Cliff Baxter is approached with a dream job, but it means time away from the man he loves and the family he’s only just reconciled with. When opportunity knocks twice and another unexpected offer comes his way, he and Paul make a decision neither dreamed possible, changing their lives forever.

Paul Monroe has everything he’s ever wanted—the man he loves, the respect of his coworkers…everything except the answer to his first murder investigation, the only case he’s never been able to solve.

Who killed Ginny Sweeten?

Follow along with Paul and his partner, Rob, as they wade through years-old evidence and piece together Thornwood Park’s most notorious cold case, leading to its startling and unexpected conclusion.

Amazon Buy Links: US | UK

I love the noir-ish, cozy-ish Paul Monroe Mystery series. Can’t wait to read the last book.

What were you reading this time last year?

(I hope it’s as riveting as Morticia’s book)

reading-gif-17 - Fumble

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