Don’t you just love a lazy Sunday when you’ve cleared your schedule of all the boring stuff and decide to spend the day taking care of your soul, doing the things you want to do, instead of the things you should do? I know, I know, we’re grown-ups and adulting is required, the laundry won’t wash itself etc, but sometimes, after a loooooooooooong work weak or a busy weekend with lots of guests and activities, I allow myself to ignore the messy kitchen, order pizza instead of cooking, and indulge.
I’ll make a pot of tea, or grab a cold soda and sit by the fire. I’ll shop for books online, crochet, listen to music, or read. Mostly, I read, and on a lazy non-adulting day like this, I want to read more than one book. I want to make my way through the virtual equivalent of a tall stack of books, and that means short stories (I’m a fast reader, but not so fast I can get through more than one 300+ page book per day). You know I love short stories in general, but on my lazy reading Sundays, I crave them more than usual.
I’ve had two lazy days like this pretty recently, and I read a handful of lovely stories I want to tell you about. All of them get five glowing stars and my warmest, I-want-to-shout-from-a-rooftop-how-great-they-are recommendations.
I read December Beginnings when I’d had a particularly gruesome work week and I needed a book that would be the equivalent of a warm, tight hug. You know by now that I’m a huge K.L. Noone fan, and while I pretty much pre-order all her books, I don’t necessarily read them immediately upon release. No, I save them for when I need a book that I can be sure is fantastic, that I know will leave me with a smile on my face, and that will make me swoon. December Beginnings was exactly that. Matthew and Dylan are so freaking cute, and definitely made me feel better.
I read Batshit Bassel on the same day. While I scheduled the guest post for Holly on my blog, I read the excerpt and was immediately sucked in. I was going to buy it, but Holly was kind enough go give me an ARC, and after I’d finished December Beginnings, I threw myself on Bassel. I freaking adored it. Bassel is a quirky character with a huge heart, I love him to death, and his soups managed to warm my frozen soul even though they aren’t real.
A few weeks later, I’d had a jam packed weekend full of people and happenings, and I needed a quiet day, where I communicated with the hubby via texts instead of talking. I also needed a bunch of short stories to recharge me, and that’s when I read the next three books.
In Lines of Light, another K.L. Noone book, is a beautiful, poetic, sci-fi story. I don’t generally read sci-fi; my mind tends to wander when I encounter extensive world building or excessive techno-babble, but this had none of that. The sci-fi parts were light and easy, and used to enhance the story and highlight Tam and Val’s budding relationship. And the language! Gawd, ms. Noone sure knows how to write!
The Long Game is probably my new favorite Ellie Thomas story. I don’t always like stories about an established couple because I like my HEAs to be happily ever afters, not happily-until-the-author-decides-to-eff-up-their-happiness-for-the-sake-of-drama, please and thank you. But sometimes, an author manages the perfect tale of an established couple, and whatever drama happens doesn’t seem contrived or silly and in the end, the couple is even closer than when the story started. The Long Game was that book and it left me with a smile on my face.
And finally, I decided that since I’d had such luck with In Lines of Light, I might as well try another sci-fi, especially since it was written by Kim Fielding. I haven’t read anything by her that I haven’t liked, and Once Upon a Dance was no exception. It’s a cinderella re-telling about Dom, an aging house android, and this short tale made me feel angry, sad, melancholy, and romanced off my feet in seventy short pages. It’s the perfect example of why I love short stories so much
December Beginnings :: Batshit Bassel :: In Lines of Light :: The Long Game :: Once Upon a Dance
Stunt double Matthew Reid is in love with actor Finn Ransom but Finn’s getting married to someone else. Matthew’s good at hiding emotions while rehearsing with Dylan Li, their show’s star. Dylan’s adorable, optimistic, hardworking, and Matthew likes making him smile. But Matthew’s in love with Finn. Right? When Dylan’s injured on set, Matthew realizes what he truly wants if he isn’t too late.
Some people perform miracles, others serve soup. Bassel is a psychic with no control over his powers. He’ll never work wonders, but he can serve soup. Thor lost his sister and became the guardian of his nephew, but his life doesn’t have room for a cub. Bassel aches for the little boy cloaked in grief and the growling bear he lives with, but will soup be enough to ease their sorrows?
In Lines of Light
Federated Planets ambassador Tamlin Rye is headed home, having just finished a successful negotiation. Tam’s looking forward to some rest … but the beautiful mysterious captain of his courier ship is more tempting than restful. Captain Valentine Perrin doesn’t sleep well. He might be young, but he’s seen his share of difficult missions. His starship’s observation deck offers solitude on those nights … until his new passenger interrupts. And, on this starlit night, Tam and Val will both find exactly what they need.
The Long Game
In 1760s London, Joshua Jones, a young working man of colour, is balancing his art studies with his shifts at a gambling hell in exclusive St. James’. Last year at the club, he met and fell in love with Frank Bartlett, an older man and a diplomat. Now Joshua fears their budding relationship is faltering. Can he convince Frank that they have a future together?
Once Upon a Dance
Dom is an aging house-android, toiling away for the cruel and ungrateful owners of an inn. He secretly dreams of freedom, friendship, and love. When an inn guest offers him the chance to attend a grand masquerade ball, Dom jumps at the opportunity. For a few precious hours he enjoys a level of independence he had never imagined—and the company of a handsome and kind prince of industry. Until the clock strikes midnight.