What I Read April & May 2024

by - June 01, 2024

What I Read April & May 2024
Who's ready for a Spring reading roundup? I know I am! It's been too long since I shared my reading list with you, and it was not because I was intentionally holding the good stuff back. Nope. April just was not my month. The month started with Alexis being sick, then I got sick and stayed sick for what felt like forever. On top of that I was finishing up my non-traditional teaching course and getting ready for state testing with my seventh graders. Then we had Alexis's first big multiple-night field trip, which I also went on, followed by my graduation, my school's field day and final Honor's Day program that I presented in, Mother's Day, Alexis's gymnastics showcase, and general end-of-the-schoolyear craziness. By the time I had time to breathe, we were halfway through May! So you get a doubled-up dose of reading goodness.

Arcane Mage series by TS Snow

Author: T.S. Snow

Charisma Carter is a former member of one of the six elite Arcane families, but when it became clear she would not be as powerful as her parents, she was essentially kicked out, but she's okay with that. Charisma has put herself through college and made a name for herself in the tech industry. Upon graduation, she finds herself fielding job offers from not one but all five of the other Arcane heirs. Not only that, her top-secret job with the magical community's enforcement agency is heating up as she's brought in to help flush out a mole who's working with a dangerous resistance group.

I enjoyed this six-book series. I actually had this series on my radar for awhile as I waited for it to be completed before I started reading. Charisma was such a funny protagonist. I admired her independent spirit and how she didn't let the unrealistic expectations of her parents hold her back from her true potential.

The Killian Blade series books 1-3 by Stella Brie

The Rowan, The Rowan's Stone, The Rowan's Destiny (The Killian Blade series)
Author: Stella Brie

Arden has been living with a huge secret her entire life, but when the third Killian Blade makes its appearance she knows it's time to fulfill her destiny. The first stop? The Abbey where a group of men known as the Imperium Cadre offer sanctuary to creatures of all backgrounds. Arden cashes in one of the Cadre's life debts to her adoptive mother to gain entry to their inner circle. As Arden begins to reclaim her witch history, secrets start to unravel. The biggest one? Arden is the Rowan, a witch prophesied to right ancient wrongs and reveal the true lineage of the witch race. 

Arden is such a strong MFC. I really liked her. I appreciated how the members of the Cadre tried to protect her, even when she didn't need it. I enjoyed the character dynamics and overall storyline. When I started this, I didn't realize that these were just the start of a larger series. However, you can stop with the third book as it finishes Arden's storyline and book four moves into a new storyline with secondary characters from the first books. I haven't decided if I'll delve into those, but if I do you'll obviously read about it here.

Horror of Your Heart - Tears of the Siren book 1 - M Sinclair

Horror of Your Heart (Tears of the Siren book 1)
Author: M. Sinclair

I wanted to read this because at some point the series will intercept with another by this author that I really enjoyed (that is still unfinished - ugh). Unfortunately, I just couldn't get into this one. Don't get me wrong. The characters are well written and there was plenty of action compared to the series I wrote about in my last reading roundup, and while I did finish this book and actually downloaded and started book two, there was just too much in this storyline that I could not get behind (lots of substance abuse and physical and sexual abuse).

Lorcan and her twin brother, Cormac, are sirens. They've spent their lives believing that they can't experience love because of their supernatural allure, but between her singing voice and his instrumental musicality, they're international superstars that can't escape the spotlight. When they return home, some people from their past reenter their lives and things start to change.

The Protector Guild series book 1-6 by Gray Holborn

Author: Gray Holborn

I'm currently on book seven of this series (there are eight total), but I've not actually started it. I will because I want to see how it all ends, but I feel kind of like I just want the story to wrap up already! I like reading series, obviously, but the last couple of books have been dragging for me. I think it's all the politics included in the storyline. I understand the reason behind them, but it's really slowing the plot down and causing a lot of complications that I feel like might be distracting from the main conflict.

Max Bentley has been living in the middle of nowhere, just one step above complete isolation, with her adoptive father and brother. She knows about the Protectors and that she and her brother are ones, but for whatever reason, her guardian seems to have no intention of integrating them into that world. Then on of Max and her brother's trips into town, they encounter a werewolf and everything changes. Their guardian whisks them off to the Protector Academy where Max quickly learns things aren't as cut and dried as she's been led to believe.

Take What You Can Carry by Gian Sardar

Author: Gian Sardar

This was my One Woman Book Club pick for April, but I have to confess that I didn't read it until the beginning of May. I spent a good bit of April sick and just could not focus on reading something serious, which this book is.

This is a historical fiction that takes place in 1979 in Iraq. Olivia Murray is an aspiring photojournalist who's dating a Kurdish-American, Delan. She's been struggling to break out of the secretarial role she holds at a Los Angeles newspaper, and when the photo department announces a contest to choose its next member, Olivia is determined to enter and win. When Delan receives word that his cousin is getting married, Olivia believes this is her opportunity to take the winning photo, so she convinces him to take her with him to Iraq not truly understanding the situation in the country, and Delan hasn't been home in so long that his understanding is outdated and outweighed by his guilt at leaving his family.

This is, at its core, a story about a family trying to survive and not lose their Kurdish heritage, something the Iraqis are intent to stamp out at any cost. It's also the love story of a struggling couple - one who will do almost anything to please those around him and the other who fears commitment on this grand a scale but who also can't imagine life apart. This book is heartbreaking and heartwarming and so emotional.

Shadow on the Wing by Katya Moore

Shadow on the Wing (Arysia Bellmont book 1)
Author: Katya Moore

Sia is a lost dragon princess essentially. Her family was slaughtered by a cult of sorcerers when she was a child, and she was put in the foster system to keep her hidden until she's taken in by a pub owner. The cult are followers of the Great Serpent, and they need Sia to bring him forth, which is obviously a bad thing. Sia is also the last of the ruling class of dragons and only she can bring unity between the clans. As in all stories of this nature, Sia can't stay hidden forever, even though she doesn't even know she's hiding. The cult finds her, but so, too, does a group of dragons who promise to keep her safe as well as train her on how to be a dragon.

I've only read book one of this series, but it was a good start. It was pretty typical of dragon romances  as far as the main plot goes, so if you're into that, you should definitely check it out. Some of the other concepts were new to me, however, like the sorcerers being able to halfway shift into animals. I thought that added a unique element to the story. I also really enjoyed how the author used Sia's 'found family' instead of just letting them fade into the background. That always kind of irritates me in other books. There's also a bit of rubbing elbows with the Irish mob, which was unexpected but also made perfect sense.

Girl of Hearts - Luck Gods series - J Gabriel Gates

Girl of Luck (Luck God series book 1)
Author: J. Gabriel Gates

Okay, first of all, I didn't realize this was a male author until I had finished reading the book. If you've been a reader for long, you'll have noticed that I don't read a ton of male authors. It's not really a conscious thing, but there tends to be more female authors for the genres I gravitate toward. That said, I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to read the next one to see where the story goes. The concept behind this book was so novel for me, and there were so many twists and turns! I liked that he kept his MFC true to her age instead of having a teenager act like a grown adult. That was so refreshing.

Aggie and her mom have been working on a breakthrough invention involving dark matter. When they finally get the machine to work, though, it opens a rift and infuses each of them with luck magic. Aggie is filled with good luck while her mother is filled with bad. When her mom disappears after a suspicious man who calls himself Seven stops by the house looking for her numbers, Aggie assumes her mom's gotten into trouble counting cards at the casino and sets out to find her, stumbling into the middle of a fight between the Hearts and Clubs. She luckily turns the tide for the hearts, which leads to her eventually becoming the Six of Hearts and joining the fight between good and bad luck.

Floating Twigs by Charles Tabb

Author: Charles Tabb

This was my May book club pick. This historical/realistic fiction has kind of a Last Boys of Summer feel to it, which was my book club pick for last June. Like Last BoysFloating Twigs is set in the 1960s, but while it references a brother who joined the Army and is being deployed to Vietnam, that is not the focus of the story in any way. In fact, this book is set around a much more sensitive topic: an older man who is falsely accused of molesting a 12-year-old boy. That boy is Jack, the protagonist of the story, and in reality Hank is filling the role of father/grandfather figure for Jack, whose own parents are essentially the town drunks.

It all starts when Jack finds a starving, three-legged dog that he names Bones. When his dad says he can only keep the dog if he figures out a way to pay for his upkeep, Jack decides to get a job. His first attempt, cleaning fish at the docks, ends with a group of older boys beating the snot out of him and stealing the money he made that day, but that's also when he meets Hank. Hank gets him cleaned up and then offers him a job. When that work runs out, Hank sets Jack up with Mrs. Dawson, secretly paying the boy's wages. Jack continues to visit Hank daily, and the town gossip takes notice and turns it into something sinister. The town bullies latch onto the rumor and run with it, and pretty soon the cops are involved. Hank is arrested and put on trial, and Jack suffers the blowback of unwarranted judgment.

You May Also Like