We can add another month to the 2019 books as we close out May and get ready for June. Every month I ask my fellow contributors to tell me all about their favorite read during the month. It could be any book, and not necessarily one that released in May. Back in April, we all talked about books that had yet to release. I’m personally taking a different tactic for May and talking about a re-read that falls into my all-time favorite category. I hope you find some good reading ideas from our list and I’d love to hear all about your favorite read in the month of May!
Donna Soluri | A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
I read this book when it first released back in 2011 and fell in love with Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont from the very beginning. When I learned the rights to this trilogy had been sold to the small screen, I did a happy dance around my kitchen. I’ve waited not so patiently for the show to make its way to the US via AMC. After watching the first episode I knew a re-read was in order and boy, it was just as good the second time around. This book has everything: magic, witches, demons, vampires, history, wine and love, oh boy does it have so much love! Love of family, deep, unconditional love and a scandalously sexy forbidden love that cannot and will not be denied. Diana is such a smart and strong character and Matthew is such a delicious hero, oh goodness, be still my heart. This book, in fact, the entire series is nothing short of brilliant. It is expertly researched and no detail is left behind. Diana unwittingly discovers a long-lost book of alchemy that is rumored to explain the origins of all creatures, human and mystical alike. Lots of creatures, with various motives want this book and now that Diana has access to it, her life is in peril. The storied history of the three creatures, witches, vampires, and demons, takes Diana and Matthew on a harrowing journey that will leave you breathless. And did I mention the love story? Matthew and Diana take the term “fated mates” to a whole new level. If you haven’t read it, you should and if you’re not watching it you need to get it in your queue…but I should also say, I’m a sucker for actor Matthew Goode, I’d watch that man read the phone book and be mesmerized for days!
Aurora Dominguez | With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
On a recent bookstore trip, I picked up this book from the author of Poet X. I fell in love with it! In the book, ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions and doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free. And, break free it does! I was loving all the food descriptions and recipes perfectly placed in the novel.
The book includes a cute romance, amazing banter and great writing. Not to mention, a lot of Puerto Rican culture is peppered in, which I loved as a Puerto Rican myself. Emoni is a character you truly fall in love with…I highly recommend this novel!
Lisa Ward | The Slow Burn by Kristen Ashley
I’ve been a huge Kristen Ashley fan for years. She’s incomparable at describing feelings, character traits, clothing, location, and the scene’s overall vibe. I always feel like I’m part of the story, and this book was no different.
Although Addy and Toby are introduced in The Hookup, this book can be read as a standalone. Her sister and his brother are engaged, so they spend a lot of time around each other filled with sexual tension. It was spark at first sight that becomes friends to lovers.
The story focuses on Addy, a single Mom who is trying to start over and Toby, a loyal and protective man who has yet to settle down in one place. Not only did I love reading about their relationship, but also Toby’s relationship with Margot, the woman who was like a mother to him and his brother growing up. This sweet and sexy story goes beyond a romance. It touches our heart and shows us that money is only money, but the support of family, blood-related or not, is priceless.
Mary Dube | Marriage for One by Ella Maise
I was absolutely captivated by Marriage for One from the moment that I began reading this gorgeous slow-burn romance. Rose has barely met Jack Hawthorne when he barrels his way into her life and unexpectedly offers to marry her so she can save her dream to open a coffee shop. She doesn’t understand his motivation to help a near-stranger, especially because Jack is anything but warm and friendly to her; but he explains that he needs someone to help him navigate the social situations required of a successful lawyer. She enters their marriage of convenience with trepidation and soon discovers that her new husband is a very complicated puzzle – one that she desperately wants to solve. He is antisocial, broody, quiet and downright grumpy, but he’s also seriously sexy, quietly supportive, patient and kindhearted. Soon his cantankerous demeanor and gruff quasi-rebuffs don’t intimidate the quirky, endearing businesswoman. She finds him oddly charming and slowly unravels the mysteries of Jack Hawthorne, she wants to prove that if anyone can melt his stone-cold heart, she can. They slowly and tentatively get to know one another and develop a fragile connection as the sexual tension escalates to fan-yourself-worthy levels. Their emotions leap off the page and their yearning for one another is palpable as they work toward admitting their burgeoning feelings and taking a chance on their fake relationship. I felt everything along the way and rooted for them with each turn of the page. Marriage for One has an intensely compelling and beautifully romantic storyline with unique, unforgettable characters, and you’ll be thinking about this book after finishing it.
Jillian Davis (Manager of Creative Operations) | Lore Olympus
This might be cheating since it’s not technically a book, but the comic I’ve been most excited about this month is Lore Olymups by Rachel Smythe. It’s a web comic that follows the tumultuous romance between persephone and Hades and like… you guys. I’m OBSESSED. There’s drama and sexiness and heartbreak and squealing and yelling and gasping and AHHH. Okay. Maybe those last parts were just me. But I believe everyone on Earth should read this comic because it’s amazing.