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 meme was created by Reading Marie. It’s a great meme because it’s nice and easy to do.
This Year I Am Reading…
A darkness runs deep beneath London …
Reeling from recent revelations and forced to lie for Kempthorne, the unthinkable happens: Dom fails the latent competency test. One more strike and he’ll be deemed unstable, have his registration stripped, and the life he’s come to love at Kempthorne & Co will be over.
If that weren’t bad enough, someone is stalking him, taunting him. Someone who knows what Dom did all those years ago.
While Dom juggles Kempthorne’s lies and his own shady past, latents are being murdered. The police won’t help, so it’s up to Dom, Kempthorne & new-recruit Kage (Hollywood) to find the killer, before they strike too close to home.
Dom soon finds himself at the heart of it all with his control slipping, his trick breaking free, and the shadows rising.
He’s coming undone. And for unstable latents, there’s only one way out …
Please note, this is an adult urban fantasy, so there are multiple swears, some darker themes and scenes, and on-page sex.
I didn’t expect to like this as much as I did. I picked this up on a whim, and I was completely hooked!
Last Year I Was Reading…
New York City, 1924
Once their paths cross, their worlds will never be the same.
Danny Moore and his crew only meant to rob the hotel suites of rich guests. He wasn’t supposed to find himself in gangster Ricky il Sacchi’s room. And il Sacchi wasn’t supposed to wind up dead. Now Danny has the attention of another notorious gangster.
Carmine Battaglia is intrigued by the Irish thieves who would have made off with a huge score if not for il Sacchi’s death. They’re cunning, careful, and exactly what he needs for his rum running operation. But Danny’s already lost two brothers to the violence between New York’s Irish and Sicilian gangs, and he’s not about to sell his soul to Carmine.
With a gangster’s blood on his hands, Danny needs protection, whether he likes it or not. And that’s to say nothing of the generous pay, which promises to pull him and his crew—not to mention their families—out of destitution.
Working together brings Danny and Carmine to a détente, then to something so intense neither can ignore it. Something nearly enough to make them both forget the brutal tensions between their countrymen.
But the death of Ricky il Sacchi hasn’t been forgotten. And someone is determined to make Danny bleed for it.
The Venetian and the Rum Runner is a 144,000-word gay historical romantic suspense novel set during Prohibition and the Roaring Twenties.
CW: graphic violence, PTSD
This is a book best experienced in audio form. It was inspired by the very narrator himself, the great Michael Ferraiuolo. He really poured his heart out in bringing the story to life.
My 4-star review here.
Today we have a romantic suspense, mafia standalone set in the Prohibition era and an action/suspense, urban fantasy set in modern-day London. Both books involved guns, violence, PTSD, contraband items, found families, organized crime, and characters with Italian blood.
The current features magic users from both sides of the law. Various Agencies are tasked to keep volatile magic users in line and retrieve deadly artifacts. The story touches upon mystery, workplace romance, class difference, and childhood traumas. The tone is humorous edged with sarcasm and self-deprecation. The romance between the main couple is very slow-burn. The MC has on-page sexual encounters with another individual.
Last year’s is a forbidden romance between traditional enemies, an Irish gang member and an Italian mafioso. The development was very slow-burn as well. There is a forced proximity and workplace romance of sorts happening as the two were forced to work together. The tone is somewhat dark and serious, highlighting the thrum of tension constantly present.
Tide Of Tricks is the second book of the very riveting, Shadows of London. It picks up directly after the events of Book 1 and should be read in order. It stars John “Dom” Dominici, formerly from the East End, ex-military, and current member of Kempthorne & Co. The story is told from his 1st-person POV.
Theirs is one of the many Agencies responsible for handling deadly artifacts and keeping unstable latents (magic-users) in line. Dom is a latent himself and has some very dark secrets he’s desperate to hide from his co-workers, people who he now regards as family. This second book has Dom’s past finally catching up to him in unexpected ways. His boss, and crush, the very posh Alexander Kempthorne, also has ghosts coming after him.
Poor Dom has been pining for the man for years! I gave a big hurrah here because it finally has Dom and Kempthorne working together on-page. Especially after Dom’s dalliance with an American. Dom is a pretty compelling character. I was drawn to him immediately. His ‘voice’ propelled the story in a very engaging way. I’m at the part where he is in very deep shit. Kempthorne has saved Dom’s neck many times, but can he save him again this time?
The Venetian And The Rum Runner brings together Irish Danny Moore and Italian Carmine Battaglia after Danny inadvertently killed another mafioso. The man was a high-ranking member of a rival organization. Due to the circumstance of the incident and its repercussions to his family, Carmine was forced to cover up the identity of the killer.
Learning Danny and his little gang of thieves were very resourceful and smart, he hired them to run his smuggling operations, offering them protection in exchange. With secrets to keep and enemies looking for their boss’s killer, neither Danny nor Carmine expected things to get more complicated and very personal.
I had to grab this not only because of my favorite narrator but also because of the 1920s setting. This novel is in dual 3rd-person POVs. It’s very well-researched, offering interesting tidbits of the various tricks used to disguise alcohol. The rum-running was also fun, and I enjoyed the schemes the gang came up with. The book was all about TENSION. The dangerous kind and the sexual kind, often both at the same time. One scene even had me holding my breath.
Between gangsters and latents, secrets have a way of bringing people together. It can also tear them apart.
I’m ending the post with a book I’m looking forward to reading.
Every psychopath in the Mulvaney family has a role to play. Archer Mulvaney is the gambler, a drunken reprobate making his living as a high-stakes poker player. Very few people know the real Archer, not even his brothers. But there is one man who knows far too much.
Mackenzie Shepherd spends his days photographing endangered wildlife. He’s also the brother of a psychopath and son to the woman who literally wrote the book on raising one. When his mother asks him to head a secret government project, it seems like the perfect excuse to run away from his life.
But running from his past has Mac colliding straight into Archer. And that’s a problem. For this project to be successful, Mac and Archer have to agree on every decision, and the two see eye-to-eye on nothing. Except, maybe the sex. The sex is off the charts.
When Mac’s old life comes back to haunt him, Archer insists on putting their differences aside to help keep him safe. But Mac, like Archer, is used to solving things on his own. Can they finally stop fighting each other to find the truth, or is their relationship the next thing on the endangered species list?
Lunatic is a filthy hot, enemies to lovers, psychopath romance with an HEA and no cliffhangers. It features a sexy, roguish degenerate and a hunky bleeding heart ginger who love how much they hate each other. As always, there’s gratuitous violence, very dark humor, more blood than a slaughterhouse, and enough heat to melt your metaphorical undies. This is book six in the Necessary Evils series. Each book follows a different couple.
Of all the Mulvaneys, I am most curious about Archer. He’s the one we know least about. Heck, we even know more about Aidan even though he barely makes appearances. About time the Mulvaneys’ very own Jack Sparrow tells his story!
What were you reading this time last year?
(I hope it’s as riveting as Morticia’s book)