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…

Mortal-enemies-turned-furniture-breaking-lovers August Morrison and Ricardo Torralba have found a groove that suits them both. They’ve teamed up as hired guns, they live together, and by some miracle, they haven’t killed each other. It’s the closest to normal they’ll ever have, and they love it.

But their guns-and-roses future is thrown into chaos when Ricardo’s past comes crashing into their present. What begins as a favor for an old friend-well, “friend,” but don’t tell August-quickly spirals into something far bigger than they anticipated. Now they’re in way over their heads with powerful people on both sides of the law, and it’s going to take more than snark and explosions to see them through.

Nevertheless, there will be plenty of snark and explosions, because this is August and Ricardo, and no one would expect any less. In between the smoke and sarcasm, though, they are determined to bring an evil operation crashing down… no matter who they have to work with to get the job done.

And no matter who they have to kill.

Sniper vs Spotter is the sequel to the apparently-it-doesn’t-want-to-be-a-standalone Hitman vs Hitman, which absolutely was supposed to be a standalone, but August and Ricardo (predictably) refused to be contained. Our audiobook narrator also shares some of the blame, Michael. So here we are.

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

The sassy assassin and the grumpy assassin are now happy and thriving when exes start coming out of the woodwork. It’s as fun and even better than the first book!

Last Year I Was Reading…

Liam loves his life as a linguist and trader on the Rownt homeworld, but he has ignored his heart and sexual needs for years. After escaping the horrors of war, he wants a boring life. He won’t risk letting anyone come too close because he won’t risk letting anyone see his deeply submissive nature. For him, submission comes with pain. Life burned that lesson into his soul from a young age.

This fear keeps him from noticing that the Rownt trader Ondry cares for him. Ondry may not understand humans, but he recognizes a wounded soul, and his need to protect Liam is quickly outpacing his common sense. They may have laws, culture, and incompatible genitalia in their way, but Ondry knows that he can find a way to overcome all that if he can just overcome the ghosts of Liam’s past. Only then can he take possession of a man he has grown to respect.

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

Totally would have judged this by the cover and would not have bothered if not for the author’s superbly written book, Earth Fathers Are Weird, that I had read prior.

Claimings is out of this world in so many levels!

My 5-star review here.

Today we have a romantic suspense and a sci-fi romance. They don’t have much in common, but both books have ex-military MCs and the practice of commerce and trading. Although in the case of the current read, trade here comes in the form of criminal activities.

The romantic dynamics is a play on opposites. The current book has an established couple. One is grumpy and dresses casually, while the other is a flamboyant billionaire obsessed with clothes. In last years read, there is the size difference and the hurt-comfort dom/sub relationship between a human and an alien.

The current is more of an escapist read, combining OTT humor and action with a plot about taking down a human trafficking ring. Last year’s had a more serious tone, covering PTSD and incompetence of senior officers. It also dissects human nature through linguistics as explained to another sentient race.

Sniper vs. Spotter is the second book of Hitman vs. Hitman. Billionaire assassin August Morrison and his grumpy boyfriend, ex-spec ops sniper, Ricardo Torralba’s domestic bliss were shattered when Ricardo’s ex-wife showed up. It appears she dated Ricardo’s former spotter, an abusive psychopath who went loco when she tried to kick him out.

A quick surveillance on the man unearthed his involvement in one of the worst criminal activities. August takes such things personally, and the assassin boyfriends vow to wipe the scums from the face of the earth. They soon realize they’re butting heads with the biggest crime family in the city.

While Ricardo broods and grumps his way through things, August stops people in their tracks with neon blue suits. He never fails to make me laugh with his outrageousness. Their 2nd story is much better, more substantial plot-wise and a great balance between humor, action and romance. I’m at the part where they’re trying to rescue the victims, and bullets start flying. It’s chaos and mayhem all the way!

Claimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artifacts is last year’s read. It is the first book of Claimings. It is a series about military linguist and trader, Liam Monsun, who unwittingly became the spouse of the Rownt trader, Ondre. He was claimed by Ondre after witnessing Liam being abused by his commanding officer.

Not only was the story incredibly nuanced and deep, but it’s also an intelligent dissection of human language, nature, customs, and culture, as well as the gift of submission and the responsibilities of a dominant. The Rownt is a tailed giant alien species, vaguely resembling humanoid turtles, who value those who are innately submissive, a rarity in their kind. And they are extremely protective of them.

Liam hid his submissive nature due to abuses and humiliations he experienced in the past. It took a very perceptive and protective Rownt to recognize him for who he is. To a Rownt, that is a gift that appears so rarely it’s almost mythical. What began as a misunderstanding and a profitable trade partnership blossomed into one of the most tender and beautiful love stories.

Between assassins and aliens, one takes you to a world of chaos and mayhem, the other takes you to a world beyond your ken.

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

Can Cassius and Morgan overcome an elusive enemy and save a young girl’s life?

Eden Monroe has spent her entire existence believing she has no magic. Shunned by her mother Brianna and the magical bureau Hexa, she runs away from home when she is forced to embrace a future she never chose, only to fall into the hands of ghastly monsters from the Nine Hells. After being rescued by a mysterious Dryad with secrets of his own, Eden realizes there is more to her past and future than she could ever have imagined.

When San Francisco PD asks Argonaut to assist them in solving a series of strange bank robberies, Cassius Black and Morgan King uncover a disturbing plot that points to an unknown artifact hidden somewhere in the city. Their investigation soon has them crossing paths with a desperate Brianna, who seeks their help in finding her missing daughter. When the witch reveals the shocking circumstances surrounding her daughter’s birth as well as the deadly magic sealed inside the young girl’s body, the Argonaut agents realize their case is linked to Eden and the weapon of devastating power the bank robbers are after.

Can Cassius and Morgan defeat the malevolent organization behind it all and save Eden from her cursed fate? Or will the young girl suffer a destiny worse than death itself?

Spellbound is the second novel in the gay urban fantasy romance series Fallen Messengers. This is an MM paranormal adventure full of action, magic, snark, and a host of steamy angels and demons.

Bookshop: US
Amazon US: Kindle | Audiobook
Amazon US: Paperback | Audiobook

Not keen to see the asshole Morgan again but I’d love to see more of Cassius’ crazy power ups.

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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