Grumpy Fake Boyfriend by Jackie Lau – recommended by someone on Twitter, liked the premise in theory and found the book readable, but didn’t care about the characters at all.
Flowers of Vashnoi by Lois Bujold McMaster – nice to circle back to the Vorkosigans but nothing groundbreaking here.
Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews. Painful retconning to make Hugh D’Ambray a palatable protagonist. I didn’t really care about the romance, and would’ve been more interested in Hugh as villain adrift without the retconning.
The Prodigal Tongue: The Love-Hate Relationship Between American and British English by Lynne Murphy. Very interesting and extremely readable for non-linguists.
Provenance by Ann Leckie. Interesting, but not as gripping as the Ancillary series.
Jane Austen, the Secret Radical by Helena Kelly. An interesting mental exercise, but it seems a little strange and speculative to interpret backward based fiction texts; one could just as easily have selected much more conservative positions and defended them using different passages from the same texts.
Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews. Andrews writes very readable books. As I read them, the plot holes and worldbuilding inconsistencies don’t matter. It’s only after I’m finished that I think, well, that doesn’t really match up with prior texts. The denouement was…predictable, I guess. With lots of other series bait. And more retconning for Hugh D’Ambray.
The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It by Tilar Mazzeo. Picked this up on impulse while at the Battery Park Book Exchange; it seemed appropriate in light of their extensive champagne menu. Fascinating if a little speculative about some of the widow’s early life/experiences, given lack of primary sources.
Leverage in Death by JD Robb. DNF. I’ve mostly stopped reading this series, but a copy of this was on an end cap at the library, so I borrowed it on impulse. I’m so sorry. Look, if Roarke is a bazillionaire capitalist and investor, he probably in theory should understand how markets are regulated, and if he’s also a brilliant reformed criminal he should understand civil and criminal authorities engage in manipulation investigations. Maybe Robb could have done some research before building a plot around it; it reads as sloppy and lazy. Not impressed.