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    One Line Reviews Of Some Books I Read This Year (September – December 2022)

    This is a round up of the books I read on the 4rd quarter of this year that I’m too lazy to do a full review.

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    REVIEW: Acsquidentally In Love by K.L. Hiers

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    Sucker For Love Mysteries: Acsquidentally In Love – K.L. Hiers

    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.

    A super fun take on the Lovecraftian mythos featuring TENTACLES!

    Acsquidentally In Love is the opener of A Sucker For Love Mystery, a series about hapless humans trying to solve mysteries while stumbling upon (and dating) elder gods along the way.

    Our boy Sloane is a grieving son who witnessed his parents being stabbed to death in a ritual gone wrong 19 years ago. Since then, he dedicated his life trying to find the hooded man who killed them. Well-meaning friends set him up on a date. The man, Lochrain, failed to show.

    The one who showed up was Azaethoth the Lesser a.k.a. Loch, inhabiting the body of the murdered Lochrain and vowing to avenge his favorite worshipper. God and detective set out to find the killer. The god also wasted no time claiming the detective as his mate. Sloane quickly discovered the joys of Loch’s various wiggly parts. So glad our boy could finally catch a break.

    LOVE Loch! He can be a cheesy dork at times but I adored the way he adores Sloane. This trickster god was a whirlwind who swept our boy off his feet since day one and hasn’t stopped showering his mate with affection ever since. Mischievous and sneaky as expected of the patron of thieves but also surprisingly benevolent towards his followers. He never hesitates to comfort distraught humans when he knows they needed it. He also likes making children smile.

    The story is set in a paranormal universe of where most elder gods are asleep and have been rendered irrelevant. A dominant religion has taken over. Sloane and his parents are followers of the old ways. Like all followers of the ancient gods, Sloane is blessed with a gift. His power is starlight. Loch fondly calls him his Starkiller.

    The mystery ties in both old and new cases. I already expected that but I don’t mind the predictability. I was having a lot of fun. While the story touches upon revenge, death, grief, religion and afterlife, it doesn’t dwell on the heavy feels. It kept the tone consistently humorous and upbeat, breezing through the world-building and the plot, stopping only for some steamy tentacular shenanigans.

    This is the only book I could read during my hiatus. It’s a great book to read during troubled times because it’s light, fluffy, fast-paced, low-angst and funny. I don’t have to think too much about anything. At the same time, the story still has enough substance to keep it from being completely mindless.

    Personally, I think the Lovecraftian mythos is fascinating but the stories themselves are somewhat dull affairs. Acsquidentally In Love gives us an effervescent version complete with a lovable eldritch god and a sweet romance that makes you go aaw. If tentacles are your appendage of choice, this one will have you squirming with delight. If you are curious about the trope and want to see how it’s done, this is a good place as any to get in touch with those extra limbs.

    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Starlight
    Artist: Jai Wolf feat. Mr Gabriel
    Album: The Cure To Loneliness

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    REVIEW: Unhallowed by Jordan L. Hawk

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    Rath and Rune: Unhallowed – Jordan L. Hawk

    Monsters. Murder. Librarians.

    Librarian Sebastian Rath is the only one who believes his friend Kelly O’Neil disappeared due to foul play. But without any clues or outside assistance, there’s nothing he can do to prove it.

    When bookbinder Vesper Rune is hired to fill the vacancy left by O’Neil, he receives an ominous letter warning him to leave. After he saves Sebastian from a pair of threatening men, the two decide to join forces and get to the truth about what happened to O’Neil.

    But Vesper is hiding secrets of his own, ones he doesn’t dare let anyone learn. Secrets that grow ever more dangerous as his desire for Sebastian deepens.

    Because Kelly O’Neil was murdered. And if Sebastian and Ves don’t act quickly enough, they’ll be the next to die. 

    I mentioned somewhere on this blog that when I grow up, I want to be a Ladysmith Librarian, ready to defend the world against Outside forces with my trusty dictionary. I’m still waiting for my summons from Mr. Quinn, which is to me what a Hogwarts letter is to an HP fan.

    Every Whyborne and Griffin fan knows what the Ladysmith Museum and its Library mean to the entire series. It was almost a character itself, holding a certain mystique that intrigued me to no end. So I was beyond overjoyed that we get an closer look at the inner workings of this fantastical library through the eyes of the very Librarians themselves!

    Well, technically, its Archivist and its Book Binder.

    Sebastian Rath and Vesper Rune are our heroes. Sebastian is a character I typically describe as likable. This is because I liked him, his co-workers like him but I don’t think he would really stand out as a secondary character. As the MC, he has admirable characteristics and some distinguishing quirks but I have yet to connect with him like I did with Vesper. Combining him with Ves though, they’re good together. The author did a great job making their dynamics stand out from those of the original series.

    Vesper is my cinnamon roll. He’s very good at giving hugs. Raised in a cult by a fanatical mother, endured years of abuse, he and his brother, Nocturne, ran away. They lived in the ever present fear of being found out. He agreed to infiltrate the library for a sorcerer who promised to break the curse he and Noct are under.

    Majority of the story was spent with him working hard to conceal his true nature. Ves’s knowledge of the real world was mostly limited to what his mother and grandfather taught him and his brother. Which is a load of occult mumbo jumbo, fearsome fighting skills and top-notched book binding techniques.

    Unhallowed is set in 1910, 8 years after what should have been the end of the world, something that Ves and Noct were supposed to help bring about. Widdershins is now a different place. Still considered weird by outsiders but more accepting of the otherworldly as Ves was shocked to find out.

    The world building is immersive. There is the Widdershin mythos we all know and love but seen through fresh eyes. You get a great sense of the labyrinthine library and the kind of work it takes to run the place. We also get some background on the illicit rare books trade and hear about Ves’s strong opinions on page margins.

    The plot was a combination of paranormal, mystery and romance. It took place over the course of several days but it feels like the timeline is stretched because a lot of things were happening. Nonetheless, the story moved smoothly along. It tackled dark subjects, had a bit of angst but overall, the tone was light and humorous. It did a great job exploring the rich history of the original series, adding more delights to uncover. There were sinister secrets, crazy cults, dangerous books, mind-boggling designs, mad architects, evil necromancers and an unexpected love affair that answered some of my burning questions.

    Rath and Rune has a great supporting cast, starting with Noct, who’s totally adorbs, the mysterious Mr. Quinn, the Head Librarian, Irene, Librarian and sorceress from the Endicott family, Bonnie, Sebastian’s sister and Mortimer, Librarian and Irene’s fiance. He was an obnoxious, annoying character who I developed an unlikely soft spot for because I’m kind of tickled with the idea of him and Irene. I hope the author gives them a nice story arc.

    I love the direction this spin-off is heading! Unhallowed is a wonderful return to a beloved town with new characters to love and intriguing story arcs to keep you hooked. It’s a great start to another grand magical adventure that promises high-intensity book binding and pure-hearted weapons of mass destruction. If you love Whyborne and Griffin, curious about the Ladysmith library, and/or in the mood for some highly appealing wriggling bits, do read now!

    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Unhallowed
    Artist: Sunstained
    Album: Quiet My Demons

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