Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is: Underrated/Hidden Gem Books.
For this week’s Top Ten, I’m choosing to highlight books and comic books I’ve read last year that didn’t get a lot of attention from the bookish community. They are all great and exciting reads, most of which are M/M novels, and I wish more people knew about them. Here’s my list:
BLACK MAGICK, VOL. 1: AWAKENING by Greg Rucka, Nicola Scott
Amazing story, interesting characters, kickass female friendships, beautiful art, and great use of colors to really drive a point home. This trade tells the story of Rowan Black, who is a detective with the Portsmouth PD… and a witch. It follows the story as Rowan finds out someone is targeting her with the intent to expose her secrets and who she really is. It’s just a great comic with a badass set of characters.
A FEAST OF SORROWS by Angela Slatter
Can you guys tell I’m in love with Slatter’s work? This collection of short stories tells dark and magical tales about life and death, and love and family, all with a little twist of magic woven through the plot. Each piece is beautifully written and filled with emotion, and the unique concepts and little worlds Slatter created for this anthology are fascinating. It’s the best of what Dark Fantasy has to offer, and it is a delight to read.
THE HIGH KING’S GOLDEN TONGUE by Megan Derr
A Fantasy M/M novel for you! This is the first installment in the Tales of the High Court series. It’s about Prince Allen, who has been trained to be the new consort of High King Sarrica. This is a kind of enemies to lovers slow burn romance story, with antagonism and adventure and court intrigue thrown in.
VELVET, VOL. 1: BEFORE THE LIVING END by Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting
Real talk, this comic has all of the things I love. Let me this them for you: older women kicking ass, incredible and detailed art, spies, engaging story, lots of fights and action, plot twists that left me gaping at my trade, and did I mention older women kicking ass? This is about Velvet Templeton, the personal secretary to the Director of the Agency who is suspected of killing one of the world’s greatest secret agent.
IF THE SEA CATCHES FIRE by L.A. Witt
I love books about organized crime, and this is no different. This novel is action packed and super steamy, with lots of contracted killings and lap dances and clandestine meetings in hotel rooms. It’s about Sergei, a stripper by night and hitman by day, and his plan to take down the Mafia. But of course everything turns into a right mess when he meets Dom, who is part of the same organization he wants to destroy.
THE SINS THAT BIND US by Geneva Lee
This is one of those heartbreaking and beautiful books that stay with you long after you’re done reading them. It’s a story about Faith, a woman determined to leave her troubled past behind her as she moves to a new town with her four-year-old son. The novel deals with love, guilt, forgiveness, moving on, and redemption. It shows that addiction comes in many forms, which is a very important lesson to learn.
FAMILY OF LIES: SEBASTIAN by Sam Argent
Another Fantasy M/M novel! It is funny, action-packed, sweet, and a little bit dark. It’s the story of Sebastian, a guy who lives under a curse that keeps him from showing his face to anyone, living instead covered by a magic cloak. The last thing he wants is for anything to disrupt his life, especially when a certain Crown Prince shows up in his lands badly injured. This is a surprisingly lighthearted read, even though it deals with curses.
KILL OR BE KILLED, VOL. 1 by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips
One of my favorite Image books at the moment! Brubaker always seems to write stories I love to read, and he hit gold once again. This tells the pretty twisted story of Dylan, a young man forced to kill bad people, and the way he struggles to keep his secret from destroying his entire life. It gets pretty dark at times, as you might suspect, especially with the use of colors and how detailed the art is, but it is still a phenomenal story.
THE MERMAID MURDERS by Josh Lanyon
This cover is dreadful, but I have to give it to Josh Lanyon: she knows how to write a mystery. This novel follows Special Agent Jason West as he is temporarily partner with Sam Kennedy, a disgraced “manhunter,” when it seems that Kennedy’s most famous case may actually have been a disastrous failure. The story is kind of creepy at times, which to me is a very good thing, the suspense is really well done.
KILL WITHOUT MERCY by Alexandra Ivy
This is a Romance Suspense book and the first installment in the ARES Security series. It focuses on Rafe, an ex-military hero, as he goes back to a small town in Iowa to clean out his grandfather’s house after his death. The town doesn’t bring good memories for him, something Annie White, the daughter of a serial killer, agrees with. This is an engaging and funny story that can be read as a standalone.