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WHERE WE LEFT OFF by Roan Parrish

Leo Ware may be young, but he knows what he wants. And what he wants is Will Highland. Snarky, sophisticated, fiercely opinionated Will Highland, who burst into Leo’s unremarkable life like a supernova… and then was gone just as quickly.

For the past miserable year, Leo hasn’t been able to stop thinking about the powerful connection he and Will shared. So, when Leo moves to New York for college, he sweeps back into Will’s life, hopeful that they can pick up where they left off. What begins as a unique friendship soon burns with chemistry they can’t deny… though Will certainly tries.

But Leo longs for more than friendship and hot sex. A romantic to his core, Leo wants passion, love, commitment—everything Will isn’t interested in giving. Will thinks romance is a cheesy fairytale and love is overrated. He likes his space and he’s happy with things just the way they are, thank you very much. Or is he? Because as he and Leo get more and more tangled up in each other’s lives, Will begins to act like maybe love is something he could feel after all.

Title : Where We Left Off
Author : Roan Parrish
Series : Middle of Somewhere (book three)
Format : eBook
Page Count : 260
Genre : LGBQTIAP+ romance
Publisher : Dreamspinner
Release Date : September 26, 2016

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ .5

Hollis’ 2.5 star review

On the one hand, though we did not go out with a win, this book — unlike the second — did not give me any déjà vu feelings. So that’s nice.

On the other hand, however, the author made an interesting choice with how this story shook out. In this series finale, we are reunited with secondary characters we met in book one. Leo, a young queer boy living in Holiday, and Will, an older man who has since relocated to New York, and, oh, is Rex’s ex. They had a bit of a flirty dynamic in book one but it was well established nothing would happen due to the age different and how young Leo was. But now, a few years later, Leo is in New York for university and, also, for Will; a man he hasn’t been able to forget.

I skimmed some reviews after finishing this book because I wanted to see why the rating for this one was so much lower than the rest (not that it means anything to me, seeing as I’ve rated all three the same), and wow, readers did not hold back on this one! I’m not spoiling anything, you can go take a look if you’re really interested, but again I’ll just reiterate : Parrish made some interesting choices. I’m not against it or for it, I feel pretty middling, but I completely understand the frustration.

What was a nice change, however, was that for the first time in this series, it wasn’t our POV that I had the hardest time with. I actually did like Leo a lot and really appreciated how the author tracked his coming of age progress. But nor did I hate Will. I could understand his motivations well enough.. to a point. I think there did come a point for things didn’t quite make as much sense as they did in the early stages but.. yeah. Also, the whole thing with his looks, I don’t know, that was strange at times, too.

As an aside, I’m starting to wonder if the author’s current obsessions found their way into the each book; the middle instalment was very preoccupied on Supernatural for a few chapters and this one had a lot of page time dedicated to Felicity. A little weird. Oh well.

If nothing else, I’ve knocked the first series off my Five Series to Finish list and, yeah, to that end, in general, I’m glad to have completed one more series that I started so long ago. They can’t all be winners.

OUT OF NOWHERE by Roan Parrish

The only thing in Colin Mulligan’s life that makes sense is taking cars apart and putting them back together. In the auto shop where he works with his father and brothers, he tries to get through the day without having a panic attack or flying into a rage. Drinking helps. So do running and lifting weights until he can hardly stand. But none of it can change the fact that he’s gay, a secret he has kept from everyone.

Rafael Guerrera has found ways to live with the past he’s ashamed of. He’s dedicated his life to social justice work and to helping youth who, like him, had very little growing up. He has no time for love. Hell, he barely has time for himself. Somehow, everything about miserable, self-destructive Colin cries out to him. But down that path lie the troubles Rafe has worked so hard to leave behind. And as their relationship intensifies, Rafe and Colin are forced to dredge up secrets that both men would prefer stay buried.

Title : Out of Nowhere
Author : Roan Parrish
Series : Middle of Somewhere (book two)
Format : eBook
Page Count : 274
Genre : LGBQTIAP+ romance
Publisher : Dreamspinner
Release Date : February 26, 2016

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ .5

Hollis’ 2.5 star review

You know that feeling you get when you’re convinced you’ve read something before? But know you actually haven’t read the specific thing you’re reading? That was my experience with Out of Nowhere. This was so familiar and likely means I’ve read something very similar somewhere along the way (not a surprise, hardly anything is unique).

This book takes place parallel to the timeline of book one but focusing in on Colin, one of Daniel’s brothers, back in Philly. If you’ve read book In The Middle of Somewhere, you know Colin is something of a pseudo villain. I say pseudo because he’s got Reasons for why he’s an asshole and we get to spend the entire book waiting for the author to convince us that those Reasons are enough to redeem him.

I’ll admit I preferred the plot and plot elements of this story more than book one but once again I was left feeling a lot less positive feelings about the main character and feeling many positives about the love interest. Which sort’ve makes me dread book three because one time is a fluke but twice is a potential trend.

Colin is a self-loathing closet case who self-harms, in a variety of ways, and twists himself into knots to please his undeserving father. He lives the same day over and over again without consciously realizing he has no expectations for his future because he’s always living a lie. Rafael, meanwhile, has a sordid past he is committed to leaving behind and, with his second chance, he wants to do good. While I could only root so hard for a relationship when I liked only half of the pair, I’ll admit I always enjoyed the interactions between the two men when Rafe was helping Colin figure little things out. Once again, these Mulligan men are finding love with people who are probably too good for them. But that’s the fantasy, right?

Like in book one, I enjoyed the supporting cast of characters, this time the colourful group of queer kids at the youth group where Rafe, and then Colin, work and volunteer. They were a delight. The whole tangent around Supernatural went a little too long but everything else? Great.

The epilogue was probably the worst part of the whole book, though. There was a group interaction between a bunch of couples that was just so painfully awkward and shoehorned in for the sake of tying up some loose ends while also setting up book three. And speaking of which.. I’ll be diving right in and hoping to end this series on a high note!

THE DEEPEST OF SECRETS by Kelley Armstrong

It’s not always easy to live in the hidden town of Rockton, something Detective Casey Duncan knows firsthand. Tucked away in the Yukon wilderness, the community survives―and thrives―because the residents’ many secrets stay just that―secret.

But what happens when these secrets start to come out? Overnight, no one is safe. It’s not a question of if your secret will come out―but when

Casey and her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, need to find the culprit while protecting those who have been thrust into the spotlight. For a place built on privacy and new beginnings, Rockton isn’t handling these revelations very well. People are turning on one another, and when one of the loudest complainers turns up barely alive, it’s clear that their trickster is actually a murderer. 

Title : The Deepest of Secrets
Author : Kelley Armstrong
Series : Rockton (book seven)
Format : eARC
Page Count : 352
Genre : mystery/thriller
Publisher : Minotaur Books
Release Date : February 15, 2022

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ .5

Hollis’ 2.5 star review

This wasn’t at all how I thought this series would wrap. I mean, in some ways, yes, because we’ve known the end of Rockton was literally nigh for these characters but.. between the somewhat meandering mystery and cases to solve and how it does, actually, end? Rather disappointing.

What makes it extra sad is that book six had felt like a resurgence in a series that hadn’t been satisfying me like the early instalments had. So my hope had been restored we would go out with a bang. Instead it was a bit of a whimper, both with the villain(s) of the week and any kind of romance element. There just wasn’t much here.

This is still such an interesting series overall, with a great and exciting and challenging concept, and if you’re looking for something different amongst all the various procedural mysteries, this is definitely one to try. I just had much higher hopes for how we would say goodbye to these characters and what their futures would look like.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **


Happy “where’d all my money go?” new release Tuesday, everyone!

As you know, the most exciting day of the week in this community is the day that follows the one we all dread (Mondays for the nope) and today we’re going to highlight some of the new books chipping away at our bank accounts — but each one is so worth it.

House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas is the much anticipated sequel to House of Earth and Blood but, oh, you stopped reading after we said “Maas”, huh? We get it!

Deepest of Secrets by Kelley Armstrong is the final instalment in the Rockton series. Look out for our review on this finale soon.

Only a Monster by Vanessa Len won’t be out in US/CAN until next week but UK friends can grab this “[sweeping romance..] Passenger meets the dark fantasy edge of This Savage Song in this stunning contemporary fantasy debut where the line between monster and hero is razor thin,” on February 17, 2022.

Mickey 7 by Edward Ashton is memorable sci-fi, full of spark, and wit and gets a top recommendation from us! It’s also soon to be a film featuring Robert Pattinson. Need further convincing? Check out our review here. UK friends, don’t worry! This will be out on February 17, 2022.

Are there any titles out today you’re excited for? Let us know in the comments below! 


Daniel Mulligan is tough, snarky, and tattooed, hiding his self-consciousness behind sarcasm. Daniel has never fit in—not at home in Philadelphia with his auto mechanic father and brothers, and not at school where his Ivy League classmates looked down on him. Now, Daniel’s relieved to have a job at a small college in Holiday, Northern Michigan, but he’s a city boy through and through, and it’s clear that this small town is one more place he won’t fit in. 

Rex Vale clings to routine to keep loneliness at bay: honing his muscular body, perfecting his recipes, and making custom furniture. Rex has lived in Holiday for years, but his shyness and imposing size have kept him from connecting with people. 

When the two men meet, their chemistry is explosive, but Rex fears Daniel will be another in a long line of people to leave him, and Daniel has learned that letting anyone in can be a fatal weakness. Just as they begin to break down the walls keeping them apart, Daniel is called home to Philadelphia, where he discovers a secret that changes the way he understands everything. 

Title : In the Middle of Somewhere
Author : Roan Parrish
Series : Middle of Somewhere (book one)
Format : eBook
Page Count : 416
Genre : LGBQTIAP+ romance
Publisher : Dreamspinner
Release Date : July 10, 2015

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ .5

Hollis’ 2.5 star review

Having just demolished a long (loooong) fantasy series, I decided to switch gears with a queer romance. And seeing as this particular series is on my Five Series to Finish list for 2022, and book one would be a reread (and thus would only require half the usual brainpower), it couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ll admit I’m going to be stealing a lot of the content from my first review (yes, I had a review for this one!) as though my rating has changed, the majority of my feelings have not.

Even back in 2016, when I was far newer to queer romance, I wasn’t as in love with this one as I might have otherwise expected.

In The Middle of Somewhere wasn’t bad but it was a little disappointing.  

The romance features a fairly typical match up; Daniel, the brainy mile-a-minute professional, fish out of water, and Rex, the burly, shy, protective, caretaker (as in, he takes care of those around him) who lives a rather isolated life in the woods. I think I probably was less bothered by Daniel all those years ago, though he was far from my favourite at the time, but I’ve come to realize that Daniel is one of my least favourite kind of leads. Switching from intensely vulnerable and uncertain to preppy and sophisticated to scrappy and cussing often in the same breath. And, oof, wow did his crazy rambles make my eyes glaze over. And as this is told from his POV, and his POV only, that resulted in a bit of frustration. Though he, too, was something of a typical archetype, I did really like Rex, Daniel’s love interest; but it’s also hard not to because for all his issues he’s pretty much perfect. Ginger, Daniel’s best friend, was good fun in that quirky female bestie kind of way.

This series opener did seem a little drama/’everything in my life was or is awful’ heavy but I think that’s natural in a book where the plot is very emotionally driven — even if I wasn’t terribly emotionally moved by it all. However, that may be because I did find this to be a very long book (and, I mean, it is long, over four hundred pages). Other than two major events, the one that brings Daniel to Holiday and another which I won’t spoil, not a lot happens. And what does seem to occur in the day to day wasn’t super interesting (Daniel is an english professor and a lot of time is spent focusing on his classes and his own schooling while also revealing how he’s mostly useless at life). I felt the story got rather bogged down in the middle and, for some reason, seemed repetitive with information; and those rambles. See aforementioned eyes glazing over. I’m not afraid to admit I skimmed certain passages that I knew were not critical to the story. And hey, they weren’t! I didn’t miss a thing.

My original review went on to say the romance between these leads was sweet and I don’t really disagree but all these years later.. it isn’t memorable or any kind of a standout. But it’s comfortable and did what it set out to do. And past me was right! This did not find it’s way onto my list of must-reads. In fact, after this reread, I’m sorta regretting prioritizing this series. Oh well. Onto book two!

JADE LEGACY by Fonda Lee

Jade, the mysterious and magical substance once exclusive to the Green Bone warriors of Kekon, is now known and coveted throughout the world. Everyone wants access to the supernatural abilities it provides, from traditional forces such as governments, mercenaries, and criminal kingpins, to modern players, including doctors, athletes, and movie studios. As the struggle over the control of jade grows ever larger and more deadly, the Kaul family, and the ancient ways of the Kekonese Green Bones, will never be the same.

The Kauls have been battered by war and tragedy. They are plagued by resentments and old wounds as their adversaries are on the ascent and their country is riven by dangerous factions and foreign interference that could destroy the Green Bone way of life altogether. As a new generation arises, the clan’s growing empire is in danger of coming apart.

The clan must discern allies from enemies, set aside aside bloody rivalries, and make terrible sacrifices… but even the unbreakable bonds of blood and loyalty may not be enough to ensure the survival of the Green Bone clans and the nation they are sworn to protect.

Title : Jade Legacy
Author : Fonda Lee
Series : Green Bone Saga (book three)
Format : eARC
Page Count : 713
Genre : fantasy
Publisher : Orbit
Release Date : November 30, 2021

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ .5

Hollis’ 3.5 star review

I think, in some ways, this might have been my favourite of the series. Mostly because it made me cry (twice!) but also because even though it’s the longest, and a bit drawn out at times, and it was sometimes hard to gauge the fact that the story spanned two decades, I did really appreciate certain characters the most in this instalment.

This book, Jade Legacy, might have been the most aptly titled and I think was a perfect name for the finale. This series was about many things but the legacy of this family, of the clans, of Kekon, was what it was all about.

Hilo, the man who eventually became the Kaul patriarch and leader of the No Peak clan, was a character I liked right from book one. But his journey over the course of the series was so interesting because in many ways he did not change. But there were subtle differences, as he aged, as he had a family to think of, as he saddled the weight of years of losses, that showed his progression as a person despite all the other factors at play. Shae, Hilo’s sister and right hand man, was a character I was always a bit perplexed about. She was so strong and independent, and rarely swayed by her brother and often outright challenging him when she shouldn’t, and I don’t think I ever liked her. But I absolutely appreciated her role and how she made space for Wen, Hilo’s wife, who could not be a Green Bone. The two shouldn’t be compared but I loved how their strengths came out to play in different ways and despite those differences they were both forces to be reckoned with. Anden, the aforementioned characters’ nephew, was another favourite — mostly. I loved that Lee put him on the journey she did because it was not remotely what was expected of him and where he ended up was so different from where he began. But it was very needed. I think his particular path, and POV, was maybe one of the most lackluster in a lot of ways but he was still integral.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

With a series that spanned over twenty years, with the amount of POVs we got, there’s no way to touch on everything. At the same time I do think, as characters grew older, and more were introduced, it was harder for those new faces to make as much of an impact. There was definitely some overshadowing. But I think maybe that was also intentional? And it’s also how it sometimes feels, growing up in the shadow of legends, being part of a new and more modern, or sometimes just different, generation. Nothing stays the same forever and that was beautifully touched on, too. Having said that, the plotting was plodding sometimes and the action occasionally felt really spaced out because of how much time the story spanned, but when it was good? It was good. When it hurt, it hurt. Lee pulled no punches even if the wind up could take hundreds of pages.

Strangely, considering I do think I enjoyed this most, this was also the one I had to push myself to get through as I did find myself frequently pulled out or distracted and I put it down a lot. But it also made me cry so maybe that’s a fair trade off. I’m sure there are things that, if I were more invested, or if I were to reread (which I don’t think I ever will), I might feel didn’t get explained as well, or weren’t resolved to enough satisfaction, but as it is? I am satisfied.

This was an immensely ambitious project with so many moving parts, so much history, and Lee gets massive amounts of credit for that. I had read her before and enjoyed her and after having read this series, even though it’s far from a favourite, I will definitely pick her up again.

** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

MICKEY 7 by Edward Ashton

Dying isn’t any fun…but at least it’s a living.

Mickey7 is an Expendable: a disposable employee on a human expedition sent to colonize the ice world Niflheim. Whenever there’s a mission that’s too dangerous—even suicidal— the crew turns to Mickey. After one iteration dies, a new body is regenerated with most of his memories intact. Mickey signed on to escape from both bad debts and boredom on Midgard.

After six deaths, Mickey7 understands the terms of his deal…and why it was the only colonial position unfilled when he took it. When he goes missing and is presumed dead at the hands of deadly indigenous creatures, Mickey8 reports for duty, and their troubles really begin.

Title : Mickey 7
Author : Edward Ashton
Format : Physical ARC
Page Count : 400
Genre : Sci-Fi
Publisher : Solaris/Rebellion Publishing
Release Date : Feburary 17, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★

Micky’s 4 star review

What is dead and what is alive?
Bring your ethics with you for perusal
Witty and real

Mickey7 is the best book I’ve ever read with my name in the title…okay it’s the only book I’ve ever read with my name but it was still great. This witty sci-fi brought a lot to the reader’s plate with an ease of writing that you don’t always find in sci-fi.

The world Mickey7 existed in was one built from humans that once existed on earth (no, you don’t want to know how we ended up). Who or what Mickey7 was, was the nub of the question I considered throughout this book. At first, this was an easy answer but actually as I read on and really thought about the ethics of his existance, his rights as an expendable, it was a little more tricky.

Mickey7 was the most likeable character, rather sanguine and wholly humble because the figurative grass could never grow beneath his feet. The plot was very engaging, light and then loaded underneath with deeper stuff that I just loved getting my teeth into. I enjoyed some of the side characters, Nasha, other Mickey iterations and the creepers. Marshall was vile and Berto was not my favourite. I was here for the Mickey/Nasha sandwich!

Mickey7 was a memorable sci-fi, full of spark and wit. It had moments that reminded me of Murderbot but Mickey7 was no murderbot. Highly recommend to all my sci-fi loving friends.

Thank you to Rebellion Publishing for the early review copy.

JADE WAR by Fonda Lee

In Jade War, the sequel to the World Fantasy Award-winning novel Jade City, the Kaul siblings battle rival clans for honor and control over an Asia-inspired fantasy metropolis.

On the island of Kekon, the Kaul family is locked in a violent feud for control of the capital city and the supply of magical jade that endows trained Green Bone warriors with supernatural powers they alone have possessed for hundreds of years.

Beyond Kekon’s borders, war is brewing. Powerful foreign governments and mercenary criminal kingpins alike turn their eyes on the island nation. Jade, Kekon’s most prized resource, could make them rich – or give them the edge they’d need to topple their rivals.

Faced with threats on all sides, the Kaul family is forced to form new and dangerous alliances, confront enemies in the darkest streets and the tallest office towers, and put honor aside in order to do whatever it takes to ensure their own survival – and that of all the Green Bones of Kekon.

Jade War is the second book of the Green Bone Saga, an epic trilogy about family, honor, and those who live and die by the ancient laws of blood and jade.

Title : Jade War
Author : Fonda Lee
Series : Green Bone Saga (book two)
Format : physical
Page Count : 590
Genre : fantasy
Publisher : Orbit
Release Date : July 23, 2019

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ .5

Hollis’ 3.5 star review

So, funny enough, this wasn’t quite the war-filled book I expected based not just on the title but also where we left things in book one. Things had definitely built up and my expectations that things would get even more brutal and intense were definitely unrealized; at least for most of the book. The war, again, with some exceptions, was really less in your face and more sneaky and guerilla style. Which is fine! And it makes sense based on the clan’s goals. However, I’ll admit I was rather disappointed by this read for a good chunk of this chunky book. With the exception of one event, I was pretty ambivalent by both the plot and characters until well after the half-way mark.

My enjoyment, and the rating, is all because of that last 30%.

I’m still not loving these characters, and there’s so much detail and complexity and politics — also world/geo-political stuff — that honestly some of the close-to-home stuff gets drowned out. It’s one thing to flesh out a world and give things scope but you can also lose some intensity and momentum and that definitely happened here.

That said, there were just enough unexpected turn of events, not to mention some high stakes moments, to keep me pushing through, which stopped me from putting this down too many times. I still remain, for the most part, emotionally hands off with the characters but they do have their moments.

I’m, of course, immediately diving into book three (or, rather, as it’s after midnight on a work night I will be immediately diving in to book three on my lunch break tomorrow!) and can only imagine what awaits me in the seven hundred pages to come.

JADE CITY by Fonda Lee

JADE CITY is a gripping Godfather-esque saga of intergenerational blood feuds, vicious politics, magic, and kungfu.

The Kaul family is one of two crime syndicates that control the island of Kekon. It’s the only place in the world that produces rare magical jade, which grants those with the right training and heritage superhuman abilities. 

The Green Bone clans of honorable jade-wearing warriors once protected the island from foreign invasion–but nowadays, in a bustling post-war metropolis full of fast cars and foreign money, Green Bone families like the Kauls are primarily involved in commerce, construction, and the everyday upkeep of the districts under their protection.

When the simmering tension between the Kauls and their greatest rivals erupts into open violence in the streets, the outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones and the future of Kekon itself. 

Title : Jade City
Author : Fonda Lee
Series : Green Bone Saga (book one)
Format : eARC
Page Count : 560
Genre : fantasy
Publisher : Orbit
Release Date : November 7, 2017

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ .5

Hollis’ 3.5 star review

I’d just like to start out by saying that this ARC has been hanging over my head, haunting me, since 2017. I a l w a y s read my ARCs. But this one was due around the time of an epic slump and once I crawled out of it I was intimidated by both the page count and of starting a new, unfinished, complicated series. Eventually I just told myself I would wait until the series ended. And here we are.

This has been a long time coming. Was it worth the wait? Well, it wasn’t not worth the wait. If that makes sense.

Listen, you’ve probably heard all you need to know about this series. You’ve either picked it up already or determined it’s not for you. You are aware it’s an Asian-inspired fantasy about multigenerational feuding clans, pitched as comparable to The Godfather, with magical jade. And yes, it’s literally all of that. I actually have nothing more to add, really.

The stand-out here is the writing. I’ve read Lee before and while it was ages ago this still feels like a step apart. It’s well done. The complexities of the world, the history of it’s people, the politics, the families, it’s all well done. For all that it required some brainpower, and the page length was long, I found it very easy to not only stay engaged but it was hard to put this down. But did I like it? I don’t know. I definitely didn’t dislike it. And again I’m in awe of what the author crafted together. I also did like the characters in the sense that I was interested in them as opposed to, like, enjoying them.

Yeah, this is a tough one to explain.

Maybe it’s easier to say that for all that I was pulled into the story, I wasn’t invested. But maybe that’ll change. Book two has the word “war” in the title and let me tell you that there was a lot of war in book one. So I think (no, I know) the stakes are going to be much higher in the coming instalment. All in all I’m curious to see where things go and do hope that somewhere along the line I get emotionally invested in the characters.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

RECKLESS GIRLS by Rachel Hawkins

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs comes a deliciously wicked gothic suspense, set on an isolated Pacific island with a dark history, for fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware.

When Lux McAllister and her boyfriend, Nico, are hired to sail two women to a remote island in the South Pacific, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. Stuck in a dead-end job in Hawaii, and longing to travel the world after a family tragedy, Lux is eager to climb on board The Susannah and set out on an adventure. She’s also quick to bond with their passengers, college best friends Brittany and Amma. The two women say they want to travel off the beaten path. But like Lux, they may have other reasons to be seeking an escape.

Shimmering on the horizon after days at sea, Meroe Island is every bit the paradise the foursome expects, despite a mysterious history of shipwrecks, cannibalism, and even rumors of murder. But what they don’t expect is to discover another boat already anchored off Meroe’s sandy beaches. The owners of the Azure Sky, Jake and Eliza, are a true golden couple: gorgeous, laidback, and if their sleek catamaran and well-stocked bar are any indication, rich. Now a party of six, the new friends settle in to experience life on an exotic island, and the serenity of being completely off the grid. Lux hasn’t felt like she truly belonged anywhere in years, yet here on Meroe, with these fellow free spirits, she finally has a sense of peace.

But with the arrival of a skeevy stranger sailing alone in pursuit of a darker kind of good time, the balance of the group is disrupted. Soon, cracks begin to emerge: it seems that Brittany and Amma haven’t been completely honest with Lux about their pasts––and perhaps not even with each other. And though Jake and Eliza seem like the perfect pair, the rocky history of their relationship begins to resurface, and their reasons for sailing to Meroe might not be as innocent as they first appeared.

When it becomes clear that the group is even more cut off from civilization than they initially thought, it starts to feel like the island itself is closing in on them. And when one person goes missing, and another turns up dead, Lux begins to wonder if any of them are going to make it off the island alive.

Title : Reckless Girls
Author : Rachel Hawkins
Format : eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 320
Genre : mystery / thriller
Publisher : St. Martin’s Press
Release Date : January 4, 2022

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★

Hollis’ 3 star review

So, while this isn’t getting a rave review or rating, I will say that I found it hard to pull myself away from this and also really liked how the story was told and also unfolded. Will I remember it in a few weeks or, even, months? I don’t know. It definitely has unique elements that will stand out but the details? Hard to say.

If you like island settings, or boats, or isolated anything and anywhere, you will absolutely be into this one. The setting was definitely a stand out. The characters.. well, they had their moments.

While we do get some backstory, and motivations, for our cast of characters, they didn’t get much more than surface level. Likely because we didn’t need anything more from them as they served their purpose; particularly once said purposes were revealed. This could likely be equated to an action flick where the effects dazzle and distract from anything else. And that’s totally fine, a-okay, I love to consume that kind of content. And I enjoyed consuming this, too.

Probably the only thing I actually disliked (beyond a certain bit of main character hypocrisy that made me grind my teeth) was the final chapter. I was totally fine with how things wrapped with the conflict but that final tease? Eh, left me wanting.

While I’ve enjoyed, though not loved, this author’s recent forays into adult titles and will continue to pick her up. I continue to hesitate about recommending said titles, however, but I’ll say that if this sounds like your thing.. it might be your thing.