LAST YEAR I WAS READING…(August 24, 2022)

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…

Can two rivals work together to solve a case?

When an infant is taken from his carriage in broad daylight, missing persons detective, Quaid Valor, must race against the clock to find the child and bring him safely home to his family. Unfortunately, Quaid’s partner isn’t available, and his team is spread thin. Begrudgingly, Quaid must accept the help from his rival, homicide detective Aslan Doyle, if he wants to get the job done.
Aslan is Quaid’s opposite in every way. He’s bold, outspoken, arrogant, and the office playboy. And much to Quaid’s chagrin, Aslan seems to have set his sights on Quaid as his next conquest.
Quaid doesn’t have time to deal with Aslan’s flirty behavior when he’s trying to solve a case and juggle his cheating ex’s incessant interruptions.
It doesn’t matter how attractive Aslan is or the undeniable chemistry they seem to have. Getting involved with Aslan would be a huge mistake.
But as tension with the case builds, Quaid keeps forgetting he’s supposed to hate this new partner. Maybe Aslan is exactly the kind of distraction he needs.
Temporarily at least.

**Temporary Partner is the first in the Valor and Doyle Mysteries.

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

So far, my first Nicky James book is a highly enjoyable experience, even with Quaid being pathetic and Aslan borderline annoying.

I especially like that the case is not the usual murder mystery but that of a missing baby. I’m kinda tired of murder always the go-to crime in procedurals, so I am thrilled that the author did something different.

Last Year I Was Reading…

Nothing brings two men—or one man and an ancient god—together like revenge.

Private investigator Sloane sacrificed his career in law enforcement in pursuit of his parents’ murderer. Like them, he is a follower of long-forgotten gods, practicing their magic and offering them his prayers… not that he’s ever gotten a response.

Until now.

Azaethoth the Lesser might be the patron of thieves and tricksters, but he takes care of his followers. He’s come to earth to avenge the killing of one of his favorites, and maybe charm the pants off the cute detective Fate has placed in his path. If he has his way, they’ll do much more than bring a killer to justice. In fact, he’s sure he’s found the man he’ll spend his immortal life with.

Sloane’s resolve is crumbling under Azaethoth’s surprising sweetness, and the tentacles he sometimes glimpses escaping the god’s mortal form set his imagination alight. But their investigation gets stranger and deadlier with every turn. To survive, they’ll need a little faith… and a lot of mystical firepower.

Amazon Buy Links: USUK

A book I knew would be so much fun, even before I read it. One of my favorite takes on the Lovecraftian mythos.

My 4-star review here.

Today we have a police procedural and a paranormal mystery. Both books star detectives, the current, police officers, while last year’s, private investigators. Each has the grumpy, broody one paired with a flirty, fun-loving partner. They are also both series openers and set in urban areas. Other than that, the books don’t have much in common.

The biggest differences between them are the cases, the tone, and the use of paranormal elements. The current is a search for a missing child. The mood is more serious and angsty, many of the scenes have heightened emotions. Last year’s is a murder investigation with a lighter, more effervescent, and steamier take on a popular horror mythos. There is the presence of old gods and magic.

The current book is Temporary Partner, book 1 of Valor and Doyle. It stars Missing Persons Unit Detective Quaid Valor (stick up his ass, bad at relationships) grudgingly partnering with Homicide Detective Aslan Doyle (sleeps with anything with a pulse and two legs) to find a baby snatched from his pram in broad daylight.

The POIs are not cooperating. Quaid’s cheating ex is begging for yet another chance because the guy is apparently a doormat and has taken the bastard back six times already. Aslan is trying to distract his distracted partner from caving in so he could focus on the case. Every minute counts in a kidnapping, and time’s ticking fast.

It’s a enemies to lovers, partners to lovers romance with out and proud cops. Aslan is a bisexual playboy who draws the line at cheating. He’s been lusting after Quaid, and the two apparently shared a kiss. It’s on the prequel, Department Rivals. Can’t say I’m drawn to either of them, but I don’t dislike them either.

I’m more invested in the mystery. The persons of interest are unpleasant individuals who are definitely hiding something. I don’t read much missing person mystery where that person turns up alive. Well, here I’m assuming the baby will be returned alive. I’m looking forward to Quaid and Aslan doing more serious investigation (instead of Quaid wallowing).

Acsquidentally In Love is the first book of Sucker For Love Mysteries. It stars private detective Sloane Beaumont, dedicating his life to solving the murder of his parents. He was set up for a date with a friend’s friend, but his date, Lochrain, didn’t show. Then he was asked by Loch’s sister to investigate. Someone turned up in the body of Lochrain, claiming to be Azaethoth the Lesser, god of mischief. Who wasted no time claiming Sloane as his fated mate. Together, they search for Loch’s killer because Loch was Azaethoth’s favorite worshipper.

In this world, some people can use magic. Sloane’s power is starlight. Azaethoth fondly calls him Starkiller. The god of mischief is a cheesy dork who showers his mate with affection. It was super sweet! Sloane’s life was blah and kinda miserable, but our boy finally caught a break and a god who adores him. He also discovered the joys of Azaethoth’s wriggly bits.

While the story touches upon revenge, death, grief, religion, and the afterlife, it doesn’t dwell on the heavy feels. It’s consistently humorous and upbeat, breezing through the world-building and the plot, stopping only for some steamy tentacular shenanigans. This is a fun book that brightened my mood during troubled times so it’s very memorable.

Between police detectives and private detectives, why sleep with anything with two legs when you can play with a god’s many wriggly bits.

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

Regi has settled into a comfortable life away from his home and family and gods. By choosing to leave the Empire, he chose to leave all those behind and live alone and godless. He still claimed to follow Poque, goddess of wanderers, but he doesn’t expect her to notice him as he serves on Coalition ships. However, when an improbable series of events strands his ship near a black hole with no engines, no communication, and a pirate ship in the area, he must wonder if the gods’ first blessing—misfortune—has found him. If so, he needs to find the second blessing that follows, or the entire crew will die.
Dante had a rather uncomfortable life until aliens kidnapped him, and then it turned downright miserable, but when a ship shows up claiming to be law-enforcement from the Coalition, he wonders if life might improve. The security chief is kind with an expressive face and velvety skin, not that he’s noticing any of that. It’s just that he’s been alone for a long time and having someone touch him with kindness is stirring feelings Dante hasn’t felt for a long time. However, he doesn’t have time for foolishness when they’re on a pirate ship and trying to escape certain death. Danger first, deciding how to ask an alien out on a date second.

Amazon Buy Links: US | UK

Lyn Gala completely changed my outlook on sci-fi romance. She should hold a masterclass on how to write alien boyfriends. I expect this latest release to be no less stellar than her other works!

What were you reading this time last year?

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

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