Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Books From Before We Started Blogging

Top 5 Wednesday is a group of bloggers, booktubers and bookstagrammers posting on a common topic every (you guessed it) Wednesday. You can find the lists by searching #T5W or Top 5 Wednesday. And you can join the group on Goodreads if you want to participate.


This week's topic is:
Books from Before You Joined a Bookish Community
We chose when we started blogging.

Gretl's List

One of the things that changed when I started blogging is that I don't get to binge read as often. But before that I always read a whole series, or as much of it as was released at the time. That's why my list isn't single books but series. I didn't include any like Mercy Thompson or Kate Daniels that I'm still reading and reviewing - for me those are both before and after blogging. Though it wasn't my intention, this list is really Urban Fantasy 101.

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5. The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris
This is the first series I read when I started the genre and a lot of the others on the list are ones I started because Charlaine Harris recommended them.

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4. The Hollows by Kim Harrison
The Hollows may have been my first non-vampire centered series, though it has a little bit of everything. I've read some of the books in this series 4 or 5 times.

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3. The Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost
This is the most romance-like of my early UF choices, though it always used to bug me that they were published as romance. I see so many hybrid series now that I don't really worry about it.

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2. The Anita Blake series by Laurel K Hamilton
The early books in this series are so different from the recent ones. I tried to keep up for a while because there are some characters, like Edward, that I still love. I think I'm three or four books behind at this point though.

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1. The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
This series has also evolved quite a bit, though not in the same way as Anita Blake. I wonder when we're getting new a Dresden book?

Rose Red's List

5. The Dark Mission Series by Karina Cooper
When I first really got into urban fantasy, I used to search the "Customers Who Bought This Also Bought This" section of my favorite books on Amazon for anything that looked interesting. That's how I found Karina Cooper's Dark Mission series and I adored it! It's dark and gritty and features witches and witch hunters. I had never read anything like it then and I really haven't since. If you want to know more about it, I did write a RTFB post about it soon after I started blogging.

4. The Tales of the Ketty Jay by Chris Wooding
I don't know why I don't talk about this is series more. It's one of the series that cemented my love of steampunk and crews of misfits. I've tried to describe it to friends and all I can say is it's a an airship steampunk series that reads like Firefly but with little bits from The Lies of Locke Lamora, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Indiana Jones thrown in. It's one of my favorite series ever! I loved it so much, I imported the 3rd and 4th books from the UK because there was a several year delay getting them published in the US.

3. Sunshine by Robin McKinley
 Long before I read the Kate Daniels series, Robin McKinley taught me that vampires are not always handsome and sparkly and I loved that about it! The vamps were gross and the heroine was a normal baker at a bakery. Sunshine is the urban fantasy book that made me start looking for creature mythos that were outside the mainstream norm. It holds a very special place in my heart. I also wrote a RTFB post about this one.

2. Bitter Spirits and Grim Shadows by Jenn Bennett
About six months before I started blogging at the Goldilox blog, I was searching for a new paranormal romance series to start but I wasn't finding anything I wanted. Being a mood reader sucks some days. Then one of my favorite blogs wrote a review for Bitter Spirits and I was hooked on the premise. These books are still one of my all-time favorite PNR series.

1. Vicious by V.E. Schwab
I was introduced to Victoria's book by Jesse the Reader on booktube. He had made a video about how much he loved The Archived and I was immediately sold when I heard the premise. I went out that very day in early 2013 and bought it and The Near Witch then proceeded to read both of them in one day. I loved them! So I was super excited to hear that she was releasing an adult book a few months later. That book was Vicious and it blew my mind! It's still is my hands down favorite of Victoria's books. I did review it soon after I started blogging here.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Review: Beastly Bones by William Ritter

Jackaby, one of my favorite YA series, is coming to a close this week and I realized while I was reading my ARC of The Dire King that I've only reviewed the first book in the series in a Read This F@!%ing Book post back in 2014 when I first started reviewing books here on the blog. I'm going to fix that. Between now and Friday when my review and blog tour post for The Dire King goes live, I'm going to be reviewing the rest of the series starting with book two. So let's talk about the Beastly Bones!


Beastly Bones
(Jackaby #2)
William Ritter
Release: September 22, 2015
Goodreads Amazon
I've found very little about private detective R. F. Jackaby to be standard in the time I've known him. Working as his assistant tends to call for a somewhat flexible relationship with reality . . .

In 1892, New Fiddleham, New England, things are never quite what they seem, especially when Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer, R. F. Jackaby, are called upon to investigate the supernatural. First, members of a particularly vicious species of shape-shifters disguise themselves as a litter of kittens. A day later, their owner is found murdered, with a single mysterious puncture wound to her neck. Then, in nearby Gad's Valley, dinosaur bones from a recent dig go missing, and an unidentifiable beast attacks animals and people, leaving their mangled bodies behind. Policeman Charlie Cane, exiled from New Fiddleham to the valley, calls on Abigail for help, and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the hunt for a thief, a monster, and a murderer.

Review:
Have you ever been reluctant to pick up a sequel to a book that you absolutely adored because you’re afraid that it won’t live up to the expectations of the first book? Beastly Bones was one of those books for me. Jackaby was easily my favorite book the year I read it and I couldn't help but fear that its sequel would fall victim to the second book syndrome. What if I didn’t like it? Well, I’m happy to say that I loved Beastly Bones just as much as I did Jackaby! It had the same fun and mysterious feel that the first one did along with all the interesting paranormal elements, strange happenings, and hilarious dialogue. Plus, there’s shapeshifting kittens of all things!

I cannot begin to express how much I love the characters in this series. Jackaby and Abigail, they compliment each other so well. Jackaby’s eccentric no-nonsense scientific approach to the supernatural is easily offset by how down-to-earth and centered Abigail is. I love how Jackaby’s habit of missing the obvious plays well off of Abigail’s snappy wit and sharp mind. They’re the best! And we get to see the other characters we fell in love with in the first show back up again. Jenny and Douglas are still my favorite secondary characters. The cast is expanded in this book as we are introduced to a few new characters which include a very interesting tracker who is kind of the Hagrid of the Jackaby universe, two fighting archaeologists, and a reporter that just won't quit.

The story is well paced, funny, and filled with lots of character growth. The mystery kept me guessing until the end and when the big reveal happened everything just clicked into place and I feel like I should have been able to guess it. I love the fact that I didn’t! This book was so much fun to read and that’s just what I needed when I picked it up. Something that I appreciate about William Ritter’s writing is that not a single event or character is unconnected in his books. I feel like I could read about Jackaby and Abigail’s adventures for longer than the four books we're getting.

Beastly Bones was the amazing and fun sequel that Jackaby deserved and I can’t wait to read Ghostly Echoes!

    1/2
  4.5 / 5 Stars!


My reviews of other books in this series:
Jackaby RTFB Post

Monday, August 21, 2017

Review: The Druid Next Door by E.J. Russell


The Druid Next Door
(Fae Out of Water #2)
E.J. Russell
Release: August 21, 2017
Goodreads Amazon
Professor Bryce MacLeod has devoted his entire life to environmentalism. But how effective can he be in saving the planet when he can’t even get his surly neighbor to separate his recycling?

Former Queen’s Enforcer Mal Kendrick doesn’t think his life could get any worse: he’s been exiled from Faerie with a cursed and useless right hand. When he’s not dodging random fae assassins in the Outer World, he’s going toe-to-toe with his tree-hugging neighbor. And when he discovers that the tree-hugger is really a druid, he’s certain the gods have it in for him—after all, there’s always a catch with druids. Then he’s magically shackled to the man and expected to instruct him in Supernatural 101.

All right, now things couldn’t possibly get worse.

Until a mysterious stranger offers a drunken Mal the chance to gain back all he’s lost—for a price. After Mal accepts, he discovers the real catch: an ancient secret that will change his and Bryce’s life forever.

Ah, what the hells. Odds are they won’t survive the week anyway.

Review:
Oh! The Druid Next Door! Let me count the ways that I loved thee!

I loved the first book with David and Alun but I absolutely adored Mal and Bryce's story. I read it all in one sitting and I was so sad when I ran out of pages. I love the mystery, the characters, and the romance! Thanks to all the worldbuilding in the first book, the plot in this one was able to be much more complex while still being a fun read. I loved learning more about the history of the Fae and how society is made up in both the Seelie and Unseelie worlds. I will say that I only figured out part of the mystery which was nice. I hate when romance books have overly predictable villains.

I wanted Mal's book from the moment he showed up in Cutie and the Beast and it didn't disappoint! He's a confident playboy who has had to adjust to the new circumstances he found himself in after being cursed at the end of the last book. And he's struggling with it. His whole sense of self was tied into being the Queen's Enforcer and he is struggling to learn how to live outside of Faerie. Mal gets himself involved in a questionable quest in an attempt to reverse his curse without meeting the conditions to do so. He learns that there's more to himself than even he thought there was and I loved being along for the ride.

While I loved Mal, I absolutely adored his love interest! Bryce is my kind of guy. He's a nerdy, introverted professor on sabbatical from teaching at the local university. He's the one who designed and helps maintain the environmentally sustainable wetlands habitat that's adjacent to the green neighborhood where him and Mal live. I love that he is SO dang proud of his home that has such a small carbon footprint. Finding out he's an actual druid was outrageous and hard for him but it made sense all at the same time. Like many introverts, he is a little bit insecure and doesn’t really have a lot of romantic experience. It was adorable and painful to watch him trying to navigate through what was developing between him and Mal.

Watching Mal and Bryce grow and change, both individually and as a couple, was awesome and one of the things I loved the most about this book. The bonds between these two are strong both metaphorically and literally. I loved seeing Mal accept the parts of himself that needed to be explored. Watching him accept that Bryce was his everything and seeing Bryce grow from slightly awkward professor into a take charge druid was just beautiful. I also loved that this book was much, much steamier than book one.

Overall, I adored this book! I'd highly recommend this series if you're looking for a fun paranormal m/m romance. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book about Gareth!

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

    1/2
  4.5 / 5 Stars

 

My reviews of other books in this series:
Cutie and the Beast by E.J. Russell

Friday, August 18, 2017

Review: Cutie and the Beast by E.J. Russell


Cutie and the Beast
(Fae Out of Water #1)
E.J. Russell
Release: July 24, 2017
Goodreads Amazon
Temp worker David Evans has been dreaming of Dr. Alun Kendrick ever since that one transcription job for him, because holy cats, that voice. Swoon. So when his agency offers him a position as Dr. Kendrick’s temporary office manager, David neglects to mention that he’s been permanently banished from offices. Because, forgiveness? Way easier than permission.

Alun Kendrick, former Queen’s Champion of Faerie’s Seelie Court, takes his job as a psychologist for Portland’s supernatural population extremely seriously. Secrecy is paramount: no non-supe can know of their existence. So when a gods-bedamned human shows up to replace his office manager, he intends to send the man packing. It shouldn’t be difficult—in the two hundred years since he was cursed, no human has ever failed to run screaming from his hideous face.

But cheeky David isn’t intimidated, and despite himself, Alun is drawn to David in a way that can only spell disaster: when fae consort with humans, it never ends well. And if the human has secrets of his own? The disaster might be greater than either of them could ever imagine.
Review:
I'd been looking for m/m romance book with Beauty and the Beast elements for a long time when I saw All Things Urban Fantasy post a review of Cutie and the Beast. I was sold and I immediately went to see if it was still on Netgalley. Thank heavens it was! I probably gave my mouse whiplash because I requested it fast after that. And I'm happy to say that it did not disappoint my high expectations! I loved it! It was fun and cute and just plain lovely.

David Evans is a mess. He seems to be a bit unlucky. Wherever he goes, chaos follows. Like riot and drunken fist fight chaos. It gotten to the point where he's been banned from actually working in an office by the temp service he works for even though he's more than qualified to do so. Thanks to an awful flu virus is going around, he gets an assignment he was never meant to have... being the office manager for a psychologist. And not just any psychologist. He's going to go work for Dr. Alun Kendrick, the doctor he's had a crush on since hearing his voice at a medical transcription job.

The thing is Dr. Kendrick is not your normal psychologist. He's a fae lord who treats members of the supernatural community and the occasional supernaturally traumatized human. Alun Kendrick has been dealing with a 200 year curse that has transformed his once perfect face into that of a beast's. Despite being barred from the Seelie Court because of his ugliness, his deformed face works well for him as a therapist. His paranormal patients get to see that everything in his world hasn't been perfect.


I felt for Alun during the whole book. He's one of those characters whose guilty conscience has convinced him that he's not worth being loved. Then in walks David Evans into his life and he turns everything in Alun's life upside down with his caring ways. Poor Alun has no idea what to make of him. David is awkward and he knows it. He has long since accepted it and embraced it. Despite said awkwardness, he is kind and sweet and only wants to help people. He figures as long as he isn't hurting anyone, then it's more than okay to be awkward. It seems to work because he seems to have a natural affinity for making all sorts of supernatural creatures comfortable despite being human.

The book was fun and incredibly creative. It takes place in our world where no humans know that the supernaturals exist. I loved how diverse the supes were in this book! There's the fae both Seelie and Unseelie, vampires, druids, and shifters of all kinds. I also loved the mythology that surrounded this series's version of Faerie and I can't wait to learn more about it.

This book is one I've added to my kindle collection since I've read it and I'm excited to reread it in the future! I loved the heck out of it and I can't wait to get my hands on the next two books that feature Alun's brothers, Mal and Gareth! I need more of the Kendrick brothers in my life!

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

    1/2
  4.5 / 5 Stars!


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Review: The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal by K.J. Charles


The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal
K. J. Charles
Release: March 25, 2017
Goodreads Amazon
A story too secret, too terrifying—and too shockingly intimate—for Victorian eyes.

A note to the Editor

Dear Henry,

I have been Simon Feximal’s companion, assistant and chronicler for twenty years now, and during that time my Casebooks of Feximal the Ghost-Hunter have spread the reputation of this most accomplished of ghost-hunters far and wide.

You have asked me often for the tale of our first meeting, and how my association with Feximal came about. I have always declined, because it is a story too private to be truthfully recounted, and a memory too precious to be falsified. But none knows better than I that stories must be told.

So here is it, Henry, a full and accurate account of how I met Simon Feximal, which I shall leave with my solicitor to pass to you after my death.

I dare say it may not be quite what you expect.

Robert Caldwell
September 1914

Review:
In this last Monday's Read This F@!%ing Book post, I mentioned a novella in the Whyborne & Griffin series that crosses over with K. J. Charles's Simon Feximal stories. I loved that novella and it made me want to read more about Simon Feximal and Robert Caldwell's adventures with the occult. The novella is an older one and had listed a few short stories the author had written and posted to Smashwords. Much to my delight, I discovered that Charles had compiled those short stories and others into one volume earlier this year and was available as a Kindle book.

Spoiler alert: I bought it and I loved the hell out of it!

The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal
is really a collection of short stories chronicling how Simon and Robert's first meet and different key cases that they worked on in the early years of their acquaintance. Funny enough, their relationship starts out with Robert Caldwell having a ghost he can't ignore anymore when the walls start bleeding. He finds help in the form of one Simon Feximal, noted occultist with steel-colored hair. Robert finds himself almost instantly drawn to this serious man who smiles so rarely.

This fascinating book is presented as the posthumous journal of a well-known popular writer in the Watson/Holmes dime novel mold. It starts as what appears to be two stand-alone short stories but then the storylines quickly become intertwined, much as do the lives of Robert and Simon. These tales are the stories that Robert could never tell in his writing of his Casebooks of Feximal the Ghost-Hunter novels because they chronicle the love story between him and Simon.

If you've read K. J. Charles's A Charm of Magpies books, you know that she has a knack for writing a plausible image of queer life in Victorian London that's filled with the paranormal and the occult. Her characters have to deal with the dangers of a hostile social world that condemns two men for having a romantic relationship. She weaves that feeling of having to hide in with the fact that ghosts and the occult are accepted as normal parts of life in her novels. Simon and Robert have to deal with much of the same. What I loved is that even though them having to hide their relationship is part of the story, it's not the focus of the story. Simon and Robert’s world is full of fearsome things and the events of the stories are fascinating and intriguing at the same time but their developing love for each other and hope for a life together is what gets the spotlight.

I loved this strange little collection of vignettes so much! I can't really go into detail about why I loved the ones I did the most because they are short stories and any talk of specifics would be spoilery. The romance is a lot sweeter than I thought it would be when we're first introduced to one Simon Feximal. Both Robert and Simon are complex characters who don't always act as we first predict. Because of that, these two sneakily found themselves a spot on my favorite OTPs list before I even realized that I shipped them together. Just go read this book and come join me in happily shipping Simon and Robert together.

Random Note: Charles introduces historical figures in the story who were celebrated in the world of the occult in the 1890s which reminds us that there has always been a human fascination with the world below.

    1/2
  4.5 / 5 Stars



Recommended for fans of:
The Magpie Lord by K. J. Charles
Widdershins by Jordan L. Hawk

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Characters Whose Fitness Routines We Want

Top 5 Wednesday is a group of bloggers, booktubers and bookstagrammers posting on a common topic every (you guessed it) Wednesday. You can find the lists by searching #T5W or Top 5 Wednesday. And you can join the group on Goodreads if you want to participate.


This week's topic is:
Characters' Fitness Routines You Want
When we started brainstorming for this topic, we realized these "fitness plans" all fell into a few broad categories so we've ranked our favorite categories and given a few examples for each one.

5. The "I'm so ripped because I have wings" workout.
Followed by Raphael and the Angels in the Guild Hunter series. Not only do they have great abs, they get to fly! We're totally jealous.

4. The "all liquid diet that grants super powers and immortality."
Followed by Eric Northman, Cat and Bones, the Salvatores.
So gross, but highly effective. Like kale.

3. The "practice martial arts with hot, half naked shifters" workout.
Followed by Mercy Thompson.
This is the only plan our list that actually requires getting sweaty, but it's probably worth it for the eye candy.

2. The "skip physical therapy by spending the day in animal form" program.
Followed by Jane Yellowrock and Adam Hauptman.
Ribs sticking out? Arm ripped off? No problem, just shift! I sprained my ankle two months ago and it still hurts when I step on a crack in the sidewalk.

1. The "Dean Winchester eat like a fifteen year old boy and never gain weight" diet plan.
Followed by Tallulah Correntine, Gin Blanco and like every werewolf ever. Yeah, we kinda hate them too.

 and

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

July Whimsify Unboxing


I've been loving my Whimsify boxes so far, as you know if you've been following these posts. But I think the July Something Wicked This Way Comes box might be the best one yet. They did a great job creating a cohesive theme, not just with the items but visually. Look how gorgeous it is! (The only way it could be better is if the book cover were red and black, but I like the purple cover so I'm not going to complain too much.)


Here's what's inside the box:

Whimsify includes a candle in every box. (Yay!) This month's is from Muggle Library Candles and was custom made for this box. It's called Gamorrah, which is the name of the festival in the book and smells like licorice and cherries. I'm not a fan of licorice but I love that this is a scent taken directly from the book.

The gorgeous tote with a quote from Caraval was designed by Miss Phi. It says, "Every person has the power to change their fate if they are brave enough to fight for what they desire more than anything."

This box has included some great bookmarks. This month's is designed by Dreamy and Co. and features a quote from Menagerie by Rachel Vincent, which I think is an odd choice only because it is very much not a YA book. It is perfect for this theme though. The quote is "In the end it wouldn't matter. I had no intention of being broken."

This is the first time there have been edible goodies in the box and there are two: chocolate and strawberry tea from Riddle's Tea Shoppe and Curiosities inspired by Night Circus and caramel corn from Kettle Encore Popcorn. I had to fight my kid to get the picture taken before she ate the popcorn. It was a big hit! I've also heard great things about Riddle's Tea Shoppe and I like fruity tea so I'm excited to try this one.

There are lots of quotes in this month's box! The final one is an art print featuring the line from Macbeth from which the box's theme is taken. It was designed by Dorothy Reads.

The book is Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody. This was one of 2017 Most Anticipated so I was really excited to see it included in the box. There's also a signed book plate and a poster.

I'm trying to include a book review in my unboxing posts, in part to make sure I read the books, but with school about to start I didn't quite make it this time. Watch for my review later this month.

30237061Daughter of the Burning City
Amanda Foody
Release: July 25, 2017
Goodreads Amazon
A darkly irresistible new fantasy set in the infamous Gomorrah Festival, a traveling carnival of debauchery that caters to the strangest of dreams and desires.

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear. 




Monday, August 14, 2017

Read This F@!%ing Book (60)

Welcome to a feature we're going to post called:


Read This F@!%ing Book!

This is a feature for us to push our favorite reads that just aren't getting enough attention!

We're also opening it up to anyone who would like to guest post. Do you have a book that you just LURVED but feel like its not getting the play it deserves? We'd be THRILLED to have you post about it here! Especially if it's something we haven't reviewed yet - that's even better (but not necessary)! If you're interested, email us at goldiloxandthethreeweres@gmail.com.

Read This F@!%ing Book Post 60: The Whyborne & Griffin Series by Jordan L. Hawk
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35080593-widdershins https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32467177-threshold https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32723564-stormhaven
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32881273-necropolis https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35232496-bloodline https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33099507-hoarfrost
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35513115-maelstrom https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30962644-fallow https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33506227-draakenwood
(Click book cover to go to Goodreads page)

For Pride Month, I decided that I was going to read as many of my LGBTQ+ books as I could and it was glorious! I read SO many amazing books that I just kept going. My Pride Month reading extended well into August.

Who am I kidding? It's still going.

A few years ago, my friend, Meghan, read this self-published book and immediately started pushing it and the rest of the series on all of our friends online and in real life. I trust Meghan's recommendations a lot because we read and love a lot of the same things. But with this series, I was immediately sold when she told me it was "kind of like Sherlock Holmes meets The Mummy (with Brendan Fraser) if Sherlock was an introverted museum philologist with an ex-Pinkerton Watson who fall in love with each other and encounter secret societies and eldritch-type horrors". I bought Widdershins that day while it was still on sale along with the next two books. Sadly, they just sat on my kindle with my other unread books until last month.

Guys. I freaking loved these books! I binge read all nine books, the two novellas, and the three short stories in less than a week. And I wanted to immediately reread them as soon as I finished. It's magical when a series invokes that kind of reaction.

Why should you read this series? Let me give you some reasons.

The Romance
I was pretty much an insta-shipper of Whyborne and Griffin the moment Griffin was nice to Whyborne in their first meeting. They just work well as a couple and they NEED each other in so many ways. I loved them together by the end of the first book. By the end of the series, they had catapulted through the ranks and landed a spot on my Top 5 OTPs list. Griffin's humor and extroversion balances out Whyborne's seriousness and introversion. They struggle and fight and grow together and I'm just here for that kind of romantic growth.

Christine Makes This Great Series 100% More Awesome
Whyborne's best friend and museum colleague totally gets her own bullet point. I love Whyborne and Griffin but Christine made the series for me! She's a spunky, independent woman who is not going to let society push her into the box they think women should be in. She's an Egyptologist who has made one of the biggest archeological finds in decades. She needs no man to be who she wants to be and I loved that about her!

Her friendship with Whyborne is an A+ platonic relationship that should be the rest of us's friendship goals. She's always ready to back Whyborne up whether it's in a staff meeting at the museum or battling monsters and secret societies. They're each others' found family and their relationship gives me life! Also, I loved that she accepts Whyborne's sexuality without blinking an eye in a time when it meant serious trouble if people found out. And I love that the only outrage she showed about it at all was that Whyborne thought she'd dump him for it. I probably could write a whole post about why I love Christine but I'll stop there for now.

Not Your Normal Town and Not Your Normal Monsters
The worldbuilding in this series is amazing! Widdershins has the totally weird and abnormal town aesthetic down and its history adds so much to the narrative. I want to visit there so badly! One of the most used phrases in this series is that "Widdershins knows its own" and I loved how the author integrated that into the story. I won't tell you how though because spoilers, sweetie.

The magic system is intriguing as is how Whyborne stumbled upon sorcery but what I loved the most was the monsters. They're not your normal paranormal fare. There are vampires and werewolves that show up. Kind of. They aren't your garden variety supes. They've been given an eldritch upgrade and have very few characteristics with the vamps and werewolves that immediately come to mind. Plus, this series boasts some original creatures and it was refreshing to read! I kind of loved them even though one of them kind of scared the pants off me at first. This series would be worth reading for the worldbuilding alone.

The Adventure! Oh! The Adventure!
Whyborne is the reluctant adventurer I never knew I needed in my life. He doesn't like to travel and if he never had to leave Widdershins that would be just fine with him. I love that he lets himself get dragged to far off places almost against his will. He may consent to go and help but he will not be happy about it and I love that about him. The gang have adventures in so many awesome and weird places! They go to places like Egypt and the Yukon and a small town in Kansas. Kansas may not seem very exciting but it really was an interesting and kind of exciting setting. I need more homebodies having reluctant adventures ala Whyborne and Bilbo Baggins in my books and in my life.

Those are just a few of the examples I can think of off the top of my head on why you should read these books. If you're looking for a fun m/m romance series with a lot of adventure, look no further. The Whyborne and Griffin series is just what the doctor ordered! 

Random Aside: If you're a fan of K.J. Charles's m/m romance books, there's a fun crossover novella with the leads from her The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal book and it's utterly delightful! I highly recommend that one as well! Look for my review of it later this week!

Have you read this series?
Let us know in the comments below!
Did we persuade you to add these books to your TBR mountain?


Novellas and Short Stories in this Series:
(A couple of these stories are offered for free and the links will direct you to where you can read them. The rest of the links are to that book's respective Goodreads pages.) 
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