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Favourite Reads


posted by Lucy V Morgan

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I've been meaning to do this post for aaaaages. Today, I'd like to share with you some of my all-time favourite books.

I'm an eclectic reader. I love a bit of smut--especially the darker stuff--but I'm always skipping between genres. These books are part of the tapestry of my life, stories I always come back to. If you like my work, you might like some of these...and if you don't, you might like them anyway. Because they're awesome.


Jacqueline Carey's KUSHIEL series

My love affair for this alternate history/fantasy saga began on a plane to the Maldives, which is rather glamorous, hmm? I'd picked up the second book (unknowingly) at a store not long beforehand, and thought it would make an excellent companion for the thirteen hour flight due to its sheer size. And I was right.

Carey takes us to an alternate early Europe, and introduces us to Phedre, a courtesan "cursed" to find pleasure in pain. Her worldbuilding is intricate and intoxicating, and her characters are layered, shadowy beasts. The sheer scope of these books is breathtaking. Carey has built a global subculture around these books; she regularly shares fan art and fan tattoos on her Facebook page.

Start at the beginning with Kushiel's Avatar. (You may find the maps and huge dramatis personae intimidating--unless you're a George RR Martin fan, anyway. Press on. I promise, it's worth it).


Falling Under by Danielle Younge-Ullman

Current romance trends have spawned a whole subgenre of books featuring abused heroines working through their issues by exploring both their sexual and emotional selves. This is one of the "originals"--first published in 2008--and it does not disappoint in its grit or brevity. If you've recently enjoyed The Siren by Tiffany Reisz or Unteachable by Leah Raeder, you should give this beautifully written novel a go.





The Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Suzanne


This book is what Mad Men would be if it was all about the women. Set in the same era, it follows three young women on their individual paths to self-destruction. It is pulp fiction with fat spatterings of depressing realism, but I loved the characters all the same. A classic, and a thought-provoking read.









Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton


I miss Crichton. I was probably more upset by his death than I was about Buffy being cancelled, which is quite the feat. I'm a sucker for contemporary sci fi thrillers, and Jurassic Park managed to be wonderfully escapist to boot. The book goes into a lot more scientific detail than the film, and I adore this kind of thing because I come away feeling like I've learned something.













The Last Hour of Gann by R. Lee Smith


I only read this one recently, but it's one of my favourite reads for a long time. A sci fi/fantasy romance featuring...a lizard dude. You may think this isn't sexy; you see my lurve for the raptors above, so I was already half gone before throwing myself into this. But still, I like to describe this book as Jacqueline Carey and Joss Whedon having babies. It's something of a slow burn, but the world-building is done so carefully and the characters are so engrossing that I loved stretching it out, really taking my time with it--it's the posh box of chocolates of the book world, even if one of them is lizard flavoured. Read it.




Curio by Cara McKenna


Hot French male prostitute book. I actually don't read a great deal of straight romance/erotica (I'm too cynical. Weep) but this is something else.

This is erotica at its most introspective and provocative. The heroine is smart and believable, and the hero is a beautifully wrapped enigma. I've read a few of McKenna's books, but this one really stands out for me in terms of originality.











BZRK & BZRK Reloaded by Michael Grant


Contemporary sci fi thrillers about nanotechnology. Loads of blood and guts--those nanobots get "down in the meat," as the characters say. The series comes pretty damn close to the glory of Crichton, though Grant's voice has a blunt, wry edge. These books have crack-tastic plots and geeky characters soaked in various shades of grey, with a satisfying romantic subplot. I wish I could write stuff like this.







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