Romance and Urban Fantasy Recommendations: June Hot Reads

FV Monthly Recs

Here are our recommendations based on what we read last month. Not all the books on our list were published in June.

Jen’s Recommendations

Two of my kids are on a tour of their grandparents so I have had some extra time to read this month.  Too bad that didn’t translate into reading a whole bunch of good books.  :(  Hey, they can’t all be winners and I did have a couple of standouts.

Rough Canvas by Joey W. Hill ** [AMZBNSK]
Amy recommended this one to me because she knows I am on a m/m kick.  This book was so good.  It was extremely sexy, tons of angst and great characters.  It is crazy how Ms. Hill takes me out of my comfort zone but I always love it.  Every time I read one of her books I want to go on a glom.

Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones ** [AMZBNSK]
This was the book I have been waiting five books for.  It was ah-mazing.  I got everything I have been begging for and more.  Fans of this series will be so happy with what happens with Charley and Reyes and they will be hanging on the edge of their seats for what will come next.  Review to come.

Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh ** [AMZBNSK]
My good books this month were really good.  And this might be the best of the best.  I have gushed a lot about this book already so there is not much more to say.  Angela and I talk here.

Packing Heat by Kele Moon ** [AMZBNSK]
Another recommendation from Amy, Packing Heat was dirty.  I see a trend here.  LOL It starred two very big men which *might* be something that I fantasize about.  Might.  Just sayin’.

Samantha’s Recommendations

My reading seems to be picking up a little. Yay!

Fire Inside by Kristen Ashley ** [AMZ – BN – S – K]
I fell in love with Hopper Kincaid by the 5% mark. I’ve only read 2 books by Kristen Ashley. What should I start next? I need more!

Glitterland by Alexis Hall ** [AMZ – BN – S – K]
I read this book for review here at FVBR. It does not release until August and the review will be posting closer to release date. But keep it on your radar. This is the first published book for Hall and I’m looking forward to more. Glitterland is about two men who are such opposites helping each other find their way.

Beautiful Boy by David Sheff ** [AMZ – BN – S – K]
I asked Sophia if I could recommend a few books that are not the genre we typically review here and she said yes. So I’m recommending the following 3 books in this specific order:

Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff

Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff

We All Fall Down: Living with Addiction by Nic Sheff

Yes, I know – not exactly the usual stuff  talked about here at Fiction Vixen. But these books are gripping storytelling that absolutely grab a hold of you. I was floored by all three in very different ways.

Angela’s Recommendations

Cold by Brandon Shire ** [AMZ – BN – S – K]
Brandon Shire is a new to me author, but I saw several of my GR friends had read and loved this one so I hit my one click button and sat down to read. Cold is a prison romance between Lem, in for a long sentence having been convicted of his brother’s murder and Anderson, a short timer who is counting down the months to his release. The setting is dark and gritty (hey, it’s prison) and there is some violence, but once these men finally come together the romance is poignant and rather beautiful.

Black Dog Blues by Rhys Ford ** [AMZ – BN – S – K]
Being a big fan of Rhys Ford’s contemporary romances I was excited when I found out she was self publishing her first m/m UF. This story worked for me in a major way, I absolutely adored Kai, loved this new dark world full of dragons, sidhe and hellhounds and am hoping it doesn’t take too long for Ms. Ford to come out with the next installment in this series. See my review here.

Flesh by Kylie Scott ** [AMZ – BN – S – K]
Zombies!! Okay, don’t let that throw you off, this zombie menage romance was a wonderfully enjoyable read. Loved all three of the main characters and even though m/f/m menages don’t normally work for me at all, theirs actually did. Might have been the circumstances or setting. All I know is after I finished Flesh I immediately went to Amazon to snap up book two, Skin.

Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh ** [AMZ – BN – S – K]
So as not to appear as a complete Nalini Singh fangirl I’m going to refer you to mine and Jen’s joint review and just say…. This was the best book of the series and if you aren’t reading this series yet, you really should be.

Amy’s Recommendations

June brought a lot of so- so reads for me.  Here are the few gems that stood out and are worth a high recommend:

Making It Last by Ruthie Knox ** [AMZ – BN – S – K]
Making It Last is the final installment of the Camelot series and for such a small novella, Ms. Knox once again packs a huge punch.  I’m talking gut punch!  When I finished it I wanted to both shove Ms. Knox into a wall and hug her while sobbing.  Pretty extreme, right?  As I’ve said all along Ms. Knox knows how to slam the emotion into the reader and leave a memorable impression long after the last page.  This is not what I would consider a stand alone novella.  This is a continuation of Tony and Amber’s story from How to Misbehave.  Check back as Jen and I will be joint reviewing to kick off the release of Making It Last in July.

Rough Canvas by Joey W. Hill ** [AMZ – BN – S – K]
I recommended Joey W. Hill’s Nature of Desire series last month but I must single out my favorite book now that I have completed the series.  Rough Canvas is by far one of the best m/m books I’ve read.  Ms. Hill is a character driven writer through and through and the emotion, heart and soul of Marcus and Thomas shines bright within the pages of their story.  Definitely a story I will return to in the future.  I was fortunate to meet Ms. Hill this month at a local book signing.  Check out my post here.

Lick by Kylie Scott ** [AMZ – BN – S – K]
Tempt me with a teaser of rock stars and sexy times and I’m usually hooked.  Lick is a refreshing addition to the rocker romance genre.  It starts out with a bang and takes you on an emotion ride until the end.  I really enjoyed the main couple as well as the secondary characters.  Looking forward to more of the Stage Dive series.  Jen’s review.

Sophia’s Recommendations

My reading month was a flop. I only have one book to recommend this month and it’s already been mentioned by the other reviewers. Next month will be my month. I just know it.

Lick by Kylie Scott ** [AMZ – BN – S – K]
Rock star romance staring a sensitive rock star? Yes please. Funny, sexy secondary characters? Thank you very much. Waking up in Vegas with a rock stars name tattooed on your ass? Alright then. Read it.


These are our recommendations from what we read in June. How was your reading month?

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  1. says

    Jen, I’m so thrilled to hear Fifth Grave Past the Light was an awesome read. I can’t wait to read it when it comes out! And I agree with all of you who mentioned Heart of Obsidian. It was a great book.

  2. pamelia says

    @ Samantha: which 2 KA books have you read so far? I myself started out with “Knight” (loved it!) then “Golden Dynasty” (loved it!!) and then “Mystery Man” really really really got the ball rolling for me and I have now read just about all of her books.

    My June reading was largely comprised of reading “Heart of Obsidian” and then doing a re-read of the first 5 Psy/Changeling books (with plans to read the rest of the series soonish). Love Nalini Singh!
    I also recently read (and highly recommend) “Cottonwood” by R. Lee Smith (who wrote “Heat”). This isn’t a good book if you’re squeemish or like pretty stories. It’s about insectoid aliens living in internment camps on Earth. It has a fantastic romance, well-rounded villains, humor, a really good moral backstory and is super engrossing.

      • pamelia says

        You should either read the rest of the Dream Man books (Mystery Man, Wild Man, Law Man) OR you should read the Corado Mountain books which I think is her best series overall. (The Gamble is the first one in the series) Have fun!

  3. Kele Moon says

    Thank you!!!! I’m totally flattered to be in such great company! So thrilled you enjoyed it!!



    P.S. That might be something I fantasize about too. . . but don’t tell anyone!!!

  4. Helen says

    Samantha – I recently read BEAUTIFUL BOY when I heard David Sheff talk about his new book on the radio (I had bought it when it was a Kindle Daily Deal and it sat on my iPad for a year or so…). It was such a good book. At times harrowing, but a total page turner.

    I LOVE Kristen Ashley. I have favorites in all her series – THE GAMBLE, SWEET DREAMS, LADY LUCK AND LAW MAN would be my top picks. Go get ’em!

    • says

      Sorry – been without internet access since July 3 but wanted to comment on reading David Sheff’s book! Harrowing is a great way to describe it. Do you think you’ll read Nic Sheff’s books? The first one, Tweak, gives such an interesting perspective after reading his father’s book.

  5. says

    What would you guys suggest as a good Joey W. Hill book to start with? I’ve heard lots and lots of recommendations for her stuff.

    • says

      Ailsa- I started with her PNR/ Arcane Shot series and loved it. There are currently two books in the series. I recently finished her Nature of Desire series and absolutely loved all of the books. If you check our our May recommends I gave a brief synopsis of the series. It is more erotic, emotional and character driven. Hill’s most popular series is the Vampire Queen series which I have yet to start. Jen informed me the Knights of the Boardroom series is a HOT one too. I’m glad I have more of her books to read since I have enjoyed her writing so much!

    • Jen says

      Knights of the Boardroom is filthy dirty. I loooove them. If you read m/m Rough Canvas is an excellent one too.

  6. Debbie says

    Thanks for helping me plump up my too read list! Just finished The Forever Girl and reading Caged next then my list was looking pretty bare. There’s some here I am excited about now!