April Recent Reads

Hi Everyone!

Wow, how the world has changed in just one short month. The coronavirus has hit with full force, sending huge numbers of people into enforced quarantine and self isolation. These are unprecedented events for humanity, but somehow we are coming together (virtually and metaphorically) to support one another and get through this crisis as best we can.

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re probably stuck at home, desperate for distraction and entertainment. So hopefully a few book recommendations from me will help point you in the right direction. Here are some of the books I’ve read this past month that I enjoyed, and I hope you enjoy them too!

“Tell Me It’s Real” by T.J. Klune

It’s been a while since a book had me laughing so hard, I had to physically put it down and take a few deep breaths before continuing. Tell Me It’s Real had me in stitches from start to finish. If you like your romance served with sass, wise cracks and heart – you’re going to love this one!

Paul gave up on the idea of love a long time ago. A combination of chronic low self esteem, body issues and social anxiety has convinced him that the whole romance ship has sailed. But he’s happy with his two legged dog, drag queen best friend, borderline insane family and his Grandmother’s homophobic parrot.

Enter Vince. Vince is Paul’s total opposite. Confident, sexy, and only has eyes for Paul. Paul is convinced that Vince is part of some elaborate “Freddie Prinze Jr / She’s All That” type plot designed to humiliate him, so rejects Vince’s relentless advances – until Paul accidentally hits Vince with his car…

This book had me howling with laughter. Paul’s inner monologue is a polluted stream of consciousness that is a witty, self deprecating, pop culture referencing roller coaster ride! The snarky dialogue between Paul and his best friend, drag queen Helena Handbasket / Sandy, is delightful and feels both over-the-top and genuine at the same time. Overall, this book is destined to be one I will read and reread multiple times. Highly recommended!

“Stranded” by Andrew Grey

Andrew Grey is one of my favourite romance authors. His ability to create realistic, well-rounded characters is second to none. So when he decided to turn his hand to a thriller, I wasn’t sure what I was going to get. What I got was a book that I couldn’t put down if I tried…

Kendall Monroe is handcuffed to a car, alone, in the middle of the desert. He doesn’t know who’s done this to him, only that this situation exactly mirrors the scene he has just performed that day in the movie he’s starring in.

Alone in the scorching desert heat, Kendall has to find a way to survive. But who is responsible for this? Is it his partner of ten years, whom he suspects is having an affair? Could it be the antagonistic director who had made filming the movie a nightmare from the first day? Perhaps the crazed stalker who has been leaving Kendall flowers and gifts?

Whoever it is, they want Kendall dead, but why? Will he survive long enough to find out?

This book is a slow burn. It starts by establishing the characters, setting up the pieces like a chessboard, then carefully ramping up the tension. It’s a brilliantly constructed story that had me desperate to read “just one more chapter” – and then reading another, and another! If you like mysteries / thrillers – you’ll love Stranded.

“How To Vex A Vampire” by Alice Winters

I’m not usually a fan of vampire / werewolf type books, but this one caught my eye on Kindle Unlimited and I decided to give it a whirl. Boy, was I glad I did! Such a fun, engaging story that had me laughing, thinking and totally engrossed.

When Finn, a human cop, manages to score a position in a vampire-only detective unit, he has an uphill battle to be accepted by his new team. Especially the hot, ancient vamp with a bad attitude who keeps threatening to eat him!

Marcus can’t believe they’ve assigned a pesky little human to his unit, and is even more outraged when they are partnered together. Finn seems to delight in finding new ways to drive Marcus insane. But behind the human’s jokes and inappropriate flirting, lies a secret and pain. Marcus is determined not to involve himself with Finn, but the more they work together, the less pesky the little human seems.

The two men will have to find a way to work together if they ever want to find out who is trying to shatter the fragile peace between vampires and humans. Otherwise a full blown, bloody war will erupt on the streets…

This is the first book in a new series, so I’ll warn you now that not everything is resolved by the end of this book. But as a stand-alone, I really enjoyed the dialogue between the two main characters. Finn is outrageous, funny and snarky, while Marcus plays the perfect “straight man” – secretly bemused by the behaviour of his “pesky human” partner while outwardly grumbling and threatening to eat him. The main storyline is great, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. Dark, but funny and romantic in places. You’ll enjoy it if you like cops, vampires or romance!

Well, that’s it from me for this month. Please stay safe and well during these uncertain times. Stay at home, read a book, pet the cat and bake some bread. We will get through this. Big, socially distant hugs to you all.

Lots of Love

Alex Leslie


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