End of the Year Book Reading Round-up

I spend all day reading, which is awesome. Unfortunately, it also means I don’t read a lot outside of work, so this list is going to be Riptide titles that I read over this past year that stuck out to me (and I’ll give reasons why). I can’t list ALL the ones I love, but here’s a sampling (12, so one for each month…sorta):

Midlife Crisis by Audra North – This book made me have so many emotions. It was really tough at times, but seeing Cam’s life unfold was really breathtaking and uplifting.

Sons of Devils / Angels of Istanbul by Alex Beecroft – This is a heavy pair of books but if you’re committed, you’ll find yourself taken on a fantastic adventure. It’s vampires as the truly horrific monsters they were originally meant to be–which makes the potential for a horrible ending all the more likely…

Heels Over Head by Elyse Springer – I’m not a huge fan of sports romance, or rather I’d never really read any that grabbed me. This was the first that made me go “Oh” and I was hooked all the way through. It’s a sweet struggle as the boys come to terms with themselves and each other.

Citywide by Santino Hassell – I loved the menage story, and not because of all the hot sex. But Chris’s thinking about relationships and being the third and preferring triads is just amazing and it really pinged something in my head.

Infamous by Jenny Holiday – There’s something about this friends-to-lovers tale that just carried me along. It was just a lovely read that gave me everything I wanted out of it.

Rogue Magic by Kit Brisby – In many ways this is your standard magic-in-the-real-world story, but the character growth and the story that comes to life really pulled me along through the story so I couldn’t wait to see what happened next.

Wanted, a Gentleman by KJ Charles – This is a playful historical, which was a delight to read. It’s covering some serious, dramatic topics, but it doesn’t bog the reader down.

Permanent Ink by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn – A May/December, learning-to-be-an-adult story, this one surprised me with how much I liked it. The characters come alive on the page and that’s what makes this one so great.

In His Majesty’s Service by Jenny Urban and Elizabeth Silver – sci-fi romance with some action and political intrigue, it never takes the politics so seriously that it makes the story drag. A good balance of all the elements, this one had me reading as fast as I could to find out what happened.

Finding Home by Garrett Leigh – I mean, I love most of Garrett’s books, but this one is special with the heart-wrenching tale it tells, but also the hope and inspiration it gives.

Off the Ice by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn – I think this was the second sports book I read that made me interested–not in the sport, but in the story. I loathed who I was meant to loathe and loved who I was meant to love. The support and love in this book was heart-warming, and the sex was steamy.

I hope you check these titles out and find them as enjoyable as I did!

Happy New Year!

Book recommendation

If you follow me on tumblr, this information may sound familiar.

But I wanted to talk about a book that I just finished. I know I try not to smudge the line between editor Alex and writer Alex, but this time I just have to.

Because this book is special to me. I’ve known I’m asexual for a while (a few years) and I’m pretty comfortable with it (um, outside of relationships). My friends are cool with it. Tumblr is cool with it. Yay! Okay, my family doesn’t know, but they know I’m not giving them kids, so I don’t think they really need to know.

Anyway. This book. I have a wide appreciation for this book. First off, it’s well-written, a mix of romance, quaint British town, and suspense. But what really made this book speak to me on a deep level is the main character is asexual. He has a lot of heavy-duty stuff going on in his life, especially in the beginning of the book, but toward the end there are some serious conversations that happen that were just…amazing. They had me pointing at the screen and shouting, “That!”

Some readers may gripe about the lack of sexy times happening on the page. But the book is about an asexual character, and there is a very short list of books that have asexual characters. This book fills a need and it fills it well.

If you want to understand more about the mindset of asexual people (or at least this particular person’s experience, in the story), then please read it. It’s very accessible and may help you see how a person feels/thinks/etc.

If you are asexual, you’re going to love this character. No, he’s not every asexual, but at least some part of him will likely speak to you.

If you don’t care about asexual characters at all, you can still enjoy a sweet, exciting story that tears at the soft underbelly without gutting you completely. And maybe you’ll learn a thing or two along the way!

Blue Steel Chain by Alex Beecroft

At sixteen, Aidan Swift was swept off his feet by a rich older man who promised to take care of him for the rest of his life. But eight years later, his sugar daddy has turned from a prince into a beast. Trapped and terrified, Aidan snatches an hour’s respite at the Trowchester Museum.

Local archaeologist James Huntley is in a failing long distance relationship with a rock star, and Aidan—nervous, bruised, and clearly in need of a champion—brings out all his white knight tendencies. When everything falls apart for Aidan, James saves him from certain death . . . and discovers a skeleton of another boy who wasn’t so lucky.

As Aidan recovers, James falls desperately in love. But though Aidan acts like an adoring boyfriend, he doesn’t seem to feel any sexual attraction at all. Meanwhile there are two angry exes on the horizon, one coming after them with the press and the other with a butcher’s knife. To be together, Aidan and James must conquer death, sex, and everyone’s preconceptions about the right way to love—even their own.