5 great summer reads

5 Great Summer Reads

Lately, I have been reading a lot, especially between noon and 3 pm, since those are the hottest hours of the day and it is hard getting anything done. I live in the semi-desert in the Baja, Mexico; and I always call those hours the lazy hours (only in the summer) Temperatures get so high that you don’t feel like doing much, so reading has become a popular pastime for the hottest time of the day, which is how I got my list of 5 great summer reads.

I don’t always take a break during the lazy hours; sometimes, though, the sun and humidity are relentless and then a break is due. Now, I am actually starting this article at 01:21 pm on a very hot day. A hurricane passed by two days ago and after every storm or hurricane, the heat is more intense than usual. Today, however, there is no lazy hour break 😉 here I am, typing away, protected by the cool breeze of my fan. 😉

great summer reads

For these summer reads I ventured into different genres. I usually pick crime thrillers or fantasy, and some comedy, but this time I also dabbled into time travel romance and comics. So, those were some welcome changes.

In summary, this list includes fantasy, time travel romance, Victorian romance, historical fiction, and a vigilante comic. It couldn’t get any more different, but at least we got something for everyone here 😉

Fantasy – Forgotten Gods, by ST Branton

This is an urban fantasy series of 8 books, so if you end up getting hooked by it, be prepared to spend a long time in the company of Vic, the main character, and the monsters she has to battle.

Synopsis:

Vic has spent all her savings to track down the killer of her parents, a NY mobster. When she finally finds him, a supernatural event brings Marcus, an old centurion with an age-old mission, into her life. At first, she doesn’t believe his tales of the Forgotten Gods, but strange occurrences that are happening in the city soon make her realize that Marcus speaks the truth … and he needs a warrior.

Vic becomes that god-fighting warrior, wielding the centurion’s magical, golden sword. The gods have escaped swordCarcerum where they were imprisoned for millennia. They are now descending upon Earth in droves. Their goal: rule the world and enslave the human population like they used to thousands of years ago. Vic is the chosen hero who can save humanity.

Vampires, werewolves, all-powerful gods, and all kinds of ghoulish monsters will stop at nothing to conquer the world. Vic must stop them before all hell breaks loose. Not an easy task …

My Thoughts:

Although I enjoyed the story, I always looked forward to reading it, and I finished all 8 books I am not quite ready to give it a full five stars. There were a few things that irked me.

  1. Vic, the main character, turns into a sword wielding heroine and seems to have no – or few – qualms about her first killing. I found that the authors tried too hard to make her look like a badass which in my opinion took some of her humane side away. There she was, killing several vampires or other otherworldly monsters as if it were nothing while spouting the typical Hollywood nonsensical jokes which – I think – no one – except for a trained assassin perhaps … – would do under the circumstances. Throughout the story, I didn’t quite warm to her. handsome man
  2. The romance between her and the FBI agent she meets in book 1 looks promising, but by the time these two finally get together there is absolutely no romance (although they seem to love each other). It looks more like a sexual attraction, marred by Vic’s ceaseless badass quips, which in the long term spoiled many things for me.

monsters

The Forgotten Gods has a good story line, and I was much more taken by side characters such as Frank, Maya, Jules, Brax, and Deacon than by the main character herself. The end of each book keeps you wanting to open the next in the series to see how it all continues.

If you don’t mind the negative points that I mentioned, then this is a nice, entertaining read. I just feel that the authors could have done a little more with Vic’s character development; but if you’re looking for fantastical creatures and nonstop action you’ll probably enjoy it.

Historical Fiction – My Father, My Enemy: Juliane, daughter of Henry I, by J.P. Reedman

This is book 6 in the Medieval Babes, Tales of Little-Known Ladies series, and the story centers around Juliane Fitzroy, one of Henry’s twenty-two illegitimate children.

Synopsis:

When Juliane is married to Eustace de Breteuil it looks as if she has done well for herself and was lucky enough to wed an attractive husband her own age. They have three children and at first they seem happy together, but Eustace’s obsession with a castle he cannot have soon leads to tragic events.

castle

Henry I proposes a hostage exchange to keep the peace between Eustace and Ralph Harenc – the lord of said castle – which ends in Juliane’s two daughters being held captive by Henry while Ralph leaves his son in Juliane and Eustace’s keeping. In a drunken rage, Eustace blinds the boy, and Henry allows Ralph to take terrible revenge on Juliane’s daughters – his own granddaughters …

Overcome by grief, Juliane and Eustace rise in rebellion and Juliane plots to punish and kill her father …

My Thoughts:

This story is based on true historical events and people. The cruel maiming of Juliane’s children by their own grandfather did indeed happen, an act that destroyed the girl’s future. Three innocent children were hurt because of a feud over a castle … Juliane did indeed try to kill her father, and the author did an excellent job in describing Juliane’s emotional turmoil.

The subservient role of women in medieval times is painfully brought to light with Juliane as one of the few women who challenges this forced submission.

While Henry I is certainly no Henry VIII and he doesn’t always resort to beheadings like the latter did, he still is a terrible character and definitely no candidate for a grandfather (or husband) of the year coffee cup.

medieval woman

I finished this book in a little over a day. Juliane’s story was a page-turner that kept me wanting more, and I will probably read other books by J.P. Reedman. It was well-written; and characters were carefully researched and described in depth. The children’s tragic fates – and the fact that such injustice and cruelty really took place … – is something that remained with me long after I put the book down.

Highly recommended!

Time Travel Romance – Trapped in Time, by Denise Daye

Trapped in Time is the first in a time travel romance series, but it can be read as a standalone book.

Synopsis:

Emma Washington was raised by a father who abused her mother, and consequently she vows never to get married or fall in love. An accident, though, catapults her from the 21st century to the slums of Victorian London in 1881. She soon learns that Victorian England is a harsh world for women of a low status, and she cannot survive in poverty for long. Her only chance to escape her dire situation and perhaps find a way back to her own century is by doing the very thing she swore never to do: marriage …

A plan to trick the arrogant and feared Lord William Blackwell into marrying her begins to take shape, but as soon as this is set into motion, things turn out a little different from what she expected. Having to run to save her life, Emma is given a new chance at true love … if she can find a way out of this mess.

My Thoughts:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Although I am not much of a romance reader, I picked this book because I felt likevictorian woman trying a different genre, and I’m glad I did. What kept me on the edge of my seat were the unpredictable turns of events, surprising me every time.

The main and side characters are all three-dimensional, which is always important to me. I need to connect to the main character, which I absolutely did in this story.

Trapped in Time is a love story with a few twists which turned it into a wonderful page-turner and a distraction from the real world 🙂 , a highly recommended summer read.

Victorian Romance – An Outlawed Heiress and her Duke, by Denise Daye

This is book 3 in the time travel romance series, but this last one doesn’t involve any time travel. Since George, one of the main characters, was mentioned in book 2 (A Modern Lady), a time travel romance about his sister Isabella, a woman from 1881 who ends up in the 21st Century, he also got his own story 😉

I decided not to include a synopsis about book 2 because it is the same genre as book 1. All three books can be read as standalone books anyway.

Synopsis:

After her father passes away and the family’s lawyer vanishes in the Wild West, Esther Silverton, one of America’s richest heiresses, is robbed of her inheritance and finds her life in great danger. Forced to flee her home, she ends up in the slums of New York, facing poverty and perils. In the disguise of a man, she tries to stay afloat.

train

When George, the Duke of Aberdeen, hires her as a guide to take him to the place where her lawyer disappeared, she takes on the job … and a lot of trouble. George has his own reasons for traveling out west and it involves a gold mine, a vanished friend, saving his sister from a terrible marriage, unlawfully obtained land, and local trouble with the Apaches which he desperately wants to resolve.

George is at a loss, for he finds himself strangely attracted to his guide, and Esther – who is now called Egan – is not immune to his charms either. Moreover, Esther is still being pursued by the man who stole her inheritance and wants her dead. Trouble is brewing …

My Thoughts

This was another story I enjoyed. It had a little bit of everything, historical fiction, danger, romance, and also some humor. The interaction between Esther and George was entertaining and sweet and there were some funny moments. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for another escape.

Comics – The Lost Boy, by Joshua Grant

This is a comic that tackles the question, “what if Peter Pan became a vigilante superhero?” The Lost Boy is Joshua Grant’s debut comic and it is a promising beginning for this series.

Synopsis:

After the murder of his best friend, Peter Barrie seeks vengeance against the head of a criminal empire, none other than Los Angeles’ mayor J.M. Hook. He finds help with unexpected friends, and on his quest for revenge he unwittingly walks a trail of eye-opening self-discovery.

My Thoughts:

This was an excellent debut comic! Illustrations were superbly done and Peter Barrie is portrayed with a lot of depth and emotion. The story has great action and moving characters.

I am certainly looking forward to the next in this series. I used to devour comics when I was a teenager, but until I got my hands on The Lost Boy I had not read comics in many years. That’s going to change now. It looks like I’m going to buy the rest of these books, I’m looking forward to following Peter Barrie’s adventures.

If you are into comics, then this is highly recommended!


Thank you for checking out my book reviews and recommendations. As an Amazon associate, I earn a small commission if you decide to purchase any of these books through the links I provide in the photos of the books, at no extra cost to you. This helps me maintain my website.

Have a beautiful day and a great read! 🙂

29 thoughts on “5 Great Summer Reads

  1. Hi Christine. As a child I did a lot of reading and I had quite an imagination and as a result was quite good at writing captivating stories at school.

    However, as I grew up, I completely lost interest in reading books lol. I will much rather watch a movie as for me it takes a lot less effort than having to concentrate on what I am reading. Whenever I try to read in the evening, I have only read a couple of pages before falling asleep haha.

    The kind of reading I do a lot of however is the reading of news articles and articles to do with research.

  2. Hi, Christine,

    Thank you for these recommendations. While reading your article, I had the feeling I want to read them all 🙂

    I used to be reading a lot in my childhood, I guess I red all the books in my local library lol.

    Unfortunately, I have so little free time to enjoy reading books nowadays. Balancing between my family and job is what keeps me busy.

    But I also know that this is only an excuse 🙂 If I make reading a book 30 minutes before bed a habit, I can esily read a few books throughout the year.

    Regarding your list here, I would start with historical fiction.

    Cheers,
    Natalie

    1. Hi Natalie,

      It’s true, you can make time, 30 minutes before bed. I love reading in bed, it’s comfortable and relaxing. There was a time when I also had little time for reading, but then I made the time, fitting it in my daily schedule 😉

  3. Thank you for sharing these 5 great summer reads, I never knew the power of reading until I was in my mid-thirties. Now I read such a variety of book topics because I enjoy learning from reading books, I am a big fan of mystery novels and self-help books. As time has gone by I have acquired the interest in books of many topics, I thank you again for sharing these 5 great summer reads and I have added them to my books to buy and read list

    I thank you again
    Jeff

    1. Hi Jeff,

      I also love reading. Books literally transport you far away, make you travel long distances (or time) without ever leaving your couch ;-).
      Thank you for your comment!

  4. Christine,

    I love your book reviews! I haven’t read of the books you mentioned, I’m currently on Laurell K Hamilton’s Sucker Punch right now which is the umpteenth book in her Anita Blake series. I love her books, so I’ve been reading them for the last 18 years. I was on Terry Goodkind’s The Omen Machine, but put that to the side to read the new one by Hamilton.

    I love that your reviews are a brief description of the books you’ve read and what you’ve thought of them! You don’t see many reviews like yours and it helps in the event someone is looking for a good book to grab.

    Thanks for sharing this awesome information!

  5. HI Christine,
    You always review stuff with such honesty and passion. I loved the way u have described the books and their basic sttructure so well. My THoughts and Synopssis are great headings to break down a book-review and makes it so readable.
    Thanks for suggesting these lovely books.
    What books have u published Christine ?
    Aparna

    1. Hi Aparna,

      I am glad that you enjoyed my reviews 🙂
      I have published mostly historical fantasy books, also a postapocalyptic fantasy, and a book about street dogs (and cats) in Los Cabos, Mexico. You can find them here on my Amazon author page 🙂

  6. Hi Christine,

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post on 5 great summer reads. I am particularly fan of the romantic stories 😉 therefore I would love to read the Trapped in Time by Denise Daye. the way you described the story is something I would like to read fully. The plus point is that it’s a edgy which I really like.

    Thank you for this amazing share.

    Happy reading

  7. Christine,

    These sound like great books! I’m more partial to historical and non-fiction books but the My Father, My Enemy: Juliane, daughter of Henry I by J.P. Reedman sounded really interesting. I enjoyed reading about your thoughts about each book. It made the synopsis come alive to read about your perspective. I feel like with any book review, the reviewer has to give their opinion about it. Also, the other books you mentioned sounded like great reads, especially The Lost Boy comic! I believe that comics are also books. Thanks for your suggestions!

    1. Hi Robert,

      My Father, My Enemy was a good book, and I will probably read more books by this author. Soon, there will be a sequel to the Lost Boy 🙂
      Thank you for your comment!

  8. I love to read although I can rarely find the time these days but having read your synopsis of trapped in time I feel I must make time!
    I must admit though I would much prefer to be reading it in the afternoon heat of Mexico than the dreary Derbyshire rain 🙂
    Thanks for the recommendations.

    1. Hi Amy,

      I really enjoyed Trapped in Time. I hope the weather gets better soon on your end :-)Sometimes I like rain, but not if it rains for days …
      Thank you for your comment!

  9. I love reading books and you have an impressive list on here Christine. I love romance!
    The Victorian Romance sounds so interesting. I would love to read more about this story so will get myself a copy. Thanks a lot!
    socialworkhaven.com

  10. Hi Christine! Thank you so much for putting together this article on possible books for me to read. I am behind on reading and need to catch up. Soon. Soon. I am particularly intrigued by the Henry I story as I absolutely love well written historical fiction. I do not look forward to reading about the maiming of children, but alas, that is a part of our history. I will be reading this one soon.

    1. Hi Wes,

      The story of Juliane, daughter of Henry I, is a great story, but yes, it is upsetting to read about the maiming of those children, knowing that this really happened …
      I like historical fiction and there are often several described cruelties, it is – unfortunately – part of our history … that is true.
      Thank you for your comment!

  11. Thank you for these summer reads! Your summary break down of each is done so simply and I love this – I can have a easy overview of what each book is about. My Father, my enemy sounds really interesting and I enjoy reading about that era. I am not familiar with the titles or the authors so that is currency for me to get my hands on them and dig in! 🙂 Thank you.

  12. Thanks for the suggestions. I used to read stories like that some years ago. Now I am more into self development, but maybe I should vary my reading and read a bit of fiction as well.

  13. Forgotten Gods had my immediate attention after seeing that it incorporates some type of serial killer (crime books are some of my absolute favorites) the twists and turns you have portrayed throughout the description of the book are very intriguing, and even if it’s not summer, I’ll be looking forwards adding this one to my must-read list

    1. Hi Stephanie,

      Forgotten Gods incorporates many elements, so I’m sure you will enjoy it. It’s quite a ride of fantasy, sword fights, and getting the bad guys 🙂

  14. These look like some interesting stories. I particularly like the 8 book fantasy series. I read far more non-fiction than fiction, but the fiction I do enjoy is usually either science fiction, crime, or fantasy, which is why these books stood out for me. I like how the author was able to throw a New York mobster into the same story with magical swords, werewolves, and vampires. That historical fiction series looks pretty interesting, as well. I’m a big history buff, so I enjoy imagining what life would have been like for people from various walks of life in those days. Fascinating stuff, indeed! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Mark

  15. Thank you for this here. Honestly reading is a very good practise and anyone getting into the act is surely in for a lengthy treat. For your suggestions here, thanks so much. Why I am rating these suggested books here is because I have actually reqd the My Father, My Enemy: Juliane, daughter of Henry I, by J.P. Reedman. It was a great one and I enjoyed it a lot. In factz it is in my special best reads. So, I’m sure the other ones here would be worth it too

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