Today I’m reviewing Under the Midnight Sun by Lore Graham.
Blurb: The eldest son of Thunderhill’s warrior-kings, Otto Johanson lives for battle but has forsaken love since the death of his partner three years ago. Still when the Midsummer festivities bring nomadic reindeer herders back to town, Otto can’t help but notice the handsome, if sullen, Lukas.
Tension rises between them during the annual tournament, but when a terrible attack devastates Thunderhill, Otto and Lukas must put aside their burgeoning rivalry to embark on a dangerous quest that may be the town’s only hope of survival.
I’ve read one other short story by Lore, so I was excited to jump into something longer by this author!
Lore seems to have a knack for painting rich, developed worlds. I loved the myths and legends of the land. If I had to pick a favorite thing about the book, that would be it. One thing I particularly liked was that this world was accepting of all relationships, including same sex and triads, something that I always love to see in fantasy settings.
Though the world was well developed, I would have liked to see a bit more build up between Otto and Lukas. There were several places where exposition was used throughout the story to signal passages of time on the characters’ quest, which made it feel like less time passed than it actually had to me.
While this story probably didn’t quite have me on the edge of my seat, it’s rich mythos and descriptions still make for an enjoyable read. If you’re looking for lighter fantasy read with some m/m in it, you might want to give this one a try!
My rating: 3.5/5
Under the Midnight Sun releases on August 14th. You can preorder it now on Less Than Three’s website!
It is also on Goodreads if you’d like to add it to your shelf!
Disclosures: I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and I’m friends with the author on Slack and social media.
Content warnings (provided by the author on Goodreads):
Explicit sexual content; graphic violence (fantasy-typical); animal death.
For specifics, which may contain minor spoilers, highlight over the text below:
A few scenes of explicit sex. Several scenes involving violence, including a couple of gory moments, a minor character being maimed in battle, and some secondary character deaths. Animal death (primarily reindeer) and violence towards animal-like monsters, but (specific spoiler) the dogs do not die!
It’s been awhile! I’ve been busy getting my second book ready to submit to LT3, and then I went through a period of being very up and down, mostly down and not feeling good.
But I have still been reading!
To get back into things, I thought I’d share my reads for the month of June, in the first addition of Fiction Cove’s monthly bookchest! (I swear I thought I’d read more books this month, but according to Goodreads, I read three books).
Bookchest will be a monthly showcase of books I read for that month, with mini reviews of each one.
So, let’s get started!
Starting off the month, I finally got around to reading my ARC of Agent Bayne, the latest book in the Psycop Series by Jordan Castillo Price. After reading the previous book, Skin After Skin, I have very mixed opinions about this series and the main protag, Vic.
I’ll set that rant aside though, and say, despite the opinions I have on this series now, Agent Bayne was an enjoyable read overall. Many more intriguing elements are brought to the forefront in this installment, though I saw right through the mystery and knew from the get go who the culprit was.
Next, in mid-June, I finally revisited A Gathering of Shadows, by V.E. Schwab. I started this book about a year ago, but I’m awful when it comes to sticking to reading paperbacks, and got sidetracked. I finally got it as an e-book and finished it off.
AGoS had some great character building, and as always a vivid world, and I was anxious to see what would come for Kell, Lila, and Rhy, who all get POV time in this installment, as well as a couple other characters who I won’t name! Be ready to jump into the third book if you read this one though, because it does end on a cliffhanger! (I say as I haven’t started the third one yet, by some weird miracle).
The last book I read of the month was Timekeeper, by Tara Sim (yes I was doing a lot of catch up on some older releases). I adored this book! I loved the characters, the world, and the twist I didn’t see coming! Just everything! The only reason I’m not picking up the next book right now is because I know from friends that it ends in a cliffhanger, so I’m waiting for the third book to be out before I dive back in.
That’s it for the June edition of bookchest! Have you read any of these books? Let me know what you thought of them in the comments!
Today I’m reviewing No Rulebook For Flirting, by Laura Bailo, which I received an ARC for!
This is a super short contemp romance novella, coming in at 12k, so can easily be read in one sitting. It starts with a meet cute between the two characters when one steals a parking spot from the other at a board game convention. The two of them get off on the wrong foot but quickly move on to flirting over a game in the convention.
Though I’m not trans myself, I loved the trans rep in this story because it was there and it wasn’t a big deal. Aitor brought it up to Gabriel pretty early on, and then they moved on with things like it was no big deal. That acceptance was nice.
There is a side character, Raul, that is a bit abrasive during the story, which came off as him being queer-phobe, but [SPOILERS, click and drag over if you wish to reveal] at the very end of the story, this is played down as him just having an attitude but nothing actually against the characters for their sexuality, which left me feeling a bit conflicted about him.
All in all I thought this was a cute, sweet, and short read. If you like board games, D&D, and queer characters, consider checking it out. No Rulebook For Flirting releases on February 10th!
My Rating: 3/5