I was planning this kind of a post for a long time. This is a little departure from my usual book reviews/book recommendations. I’ll chose my favorite quote from each book, and I’ll give it some context through a short explanation of the story and impressions I was left with after reading the novel. I hope you’ll be intrigued enough to give a shot with the books.
5. Soul on Fire (Tal Bauer)
This is one of Tal Bauer’s visionary books, depicting the events during an African ebola outbreak. In this novel a US marine – Elliot – with a rebelling personality and an African doctor – Ikolo – are thrown together in the frenzy caused by the epidemic. They have to combine forces and wit in order to prevent the disease from reaching outside Africa’s borders. Speaking of the main characters, my personal favorite was Ikolo, Elliott was sometimes too bullheaded for my liking. And why is this book visionary? Because around that time the book got published there was an ebola outbreak in Africa.
I don’t want this to end. I don’t either. Confessions, maybe, but wanting and having were two very different things. He wanted Elliot, wanted him to stay, though he’d never ask him to. He wanted to keep falling for him, all the way until he fell in love with him, until he knew Elliot like he knew himself, and the breathless blush of falling in love had left them and Elliot was simply a part of his life, inextricable and eternal. He wanted this to never end.
4. Death Meets the Devil series (L.J. Hayward)
It’s a series of 8 books (up to now, but I hope there will be more) recounting the adventures of a spy and an assassin. It’s a very unconventional action packed love story, but totally worked for me. I really liked Ethan, the assassin’s transformation from an almost perfectly programmed, obedient machine to a man wanting a normal life with his chosen spy (as normal as it can be). In several occasions they have to tear through the world in order to get back to each other. The events following in rapid succession won’t let us, the readers either, to catch our breath.
Ethan and Jack together (quote from Why the Devil stalks Death):
“Perhaps I am a natural bottom, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’m not attracted to men.”
Jack blinked. Then again. “Um . . . what?”
“Hmm. I worded that wrong.” He shifted onto his knees and, when Jack didn’t stop him, straddled his lap. “I’m incredibly, scarily, desperately, attracted to you. The fact that you are male is secondary to the fact that I very much like how you make me feel.” He rolled his hips over Jack’s groin. “Physically.” He cupped Jack’s face in his hands and stared directly into his eyes. “But most importantly, intellectually and emotionally. I have never felt so alive with anyone else. So . . . human.”
3. Red, White & Royal Blue (Casey McQuiston)
This book is a love story depicting the slow process of Prince Henry of Britain and Alex, first son of the US falling in love, followed by the difficulties they encounter together while trying to keep their feelings/relationship secret. I liked the dynamic between the boys even if I’m a bit (a lot) biased towards Henry. His struggles and depression was so well explained and his background so meticulously developed, I could feel everything he had felt during the events of the book.
Henry trying to express his feelings for Alex:
Should I tell you that when we’re apart, your body comes back to me in dreams? That when I sleep, I see you, the dip of your waist, the freckle above your hip, and when I wake up in the morning, it feels like I’ve just been with you, the phantom touch of your hand on the back of my neck fresh and not imagined? That I can feel your skin against mine, and it makes every bone in my body ache? That, for a few moments, I can hold my breath and be back there with you, in a dream, in a thousand rooms, nowhere at all?
2. Lost in Time (A.L. Lester)
This time-traveller story is among the best ones I’ve ever read. The ’20s London is one of my favorite time periods. And it was described so vividly, with so much details, I could see the events of the book flashing before my eyes. And the development of Lew and Alec’s relationship was so catching: first the resentment, then the tentative sympathy and friendship and finally devoted love… it was so beautifully enrolled, I was really hooked from the start.
Alec trying to figure out his feelings for Lew and if they might have a future together (quote from Shadows on the Border):
There was a lot that Alec wanted to say…“Please don’t go back to 2016. Be careful, this is dangerous, and I don’t think any of us understand it. What are we doing? I’m pretty sure I am in love with you, saying it at the Lewiston wasn’t an aberration. Is this going to get us three to twenty months hard time for indecency? And…I don’t really care if it does…please…stay with me.”
1. Finding you, finging me (Bailey Queen)
This book is my all time favorite, and the main character Henry is my imaginary best fried. His story is a long journey from being the company’s laughing stock (he’s the member of a ww2 paratrooper division) to be one of the most valuable member of the unit as the last medic standing. I really like and admire Henry’s unrelenting devotion to saving lives, he does everything to save as much of his companions as possible. He always seems to be grumpy and keeping himself to himself, but he just has a hard time accepting the others starting to trust him, when things got really bloody in the foxholes along the forest of the Ardennes. But Will is always with him, slowly but surely persuading him that the queer medic too is worth of affection, friendship, and above of all: love.
“I can’t handle your death,” Henry said. He closed his eyes as he sat back on his heels, letting go of Will. “I’m a shit soldier. I used to be better than this. I used to be professional. Have distance. But now.” He shook his head. “Every time I hear bullets, I think this might be the time that you’re hit. Every time I hear someone call for a medic, I worry that it’s for you. Every time we got through the day, I panic, that tomorrow will be the day that—” He couldn’t speak for a moment, and his words chocked off. “And,” he pressed on, his voice dropping, deep and trembling. “Every time that is not you, I’m relieved, and I feel so fucking guilty about that.” (…)
“Don’t make take your body out of this forest.” Henry held Will’s gaze, his eyes burning. “Don’t.”
“Don’t run away from me,” Will countered. “Please don’t push me away. If this is the end, then I want to now that I saw your smile that day before I go.”
- Source of book covers: Goodreads
- Grid by PhotoGrid
- Source of cover image: unsplash.com (Mert Talay)