Girl Gone Reading: It's summer reading time!

Dante's Inferno
The Universe According to Dante, image from

I have a few folks asking me where my most recent book recommendation is, and the problem is I don’t really have one at this very moment because I'm absolutely trapped within 12 Patients: Stories of Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital. Thing is, it's more than just an average read for me, it feels personal so I'm taking my time and learning about myself as well. It's been quite beautiful but also painful. I will write about it eventually.

And here's the thing, I want you to read books and talk about them! I want to know how they make you feel, how they affect you when you're finished reading, have any of them changed your life, and what are you going to read next? I have a reading list a mile long, and what I'm reading "right now" is absolutely tied to how my day, my week, or my month has gone. (Some of the links below will open in new windows to other blogs or an author's site so you can investigate while you're reading this. These are not "paid" links and I'm not paid per clicks. We've discussed that already in another blog.)

When I finished Straight to You, a very intense, very emotional book, I simply needed a break so I turned to an author who I know is light, funny, and quick.

Her new series is light, and it is funny, but it’s not quick. When I started the first book, I swear I thought this may be the most ridiculous series I’ve read in quite a while, but here’s the thing – I’m still reading it and I can’t stop, and last night at around 11pm I downloaded the last book in the series even though I'm only on book three.

The Lilly Harper Series by H.P. Mallory is exactly what I’ve needed lately. I’m a big fan of this author because she has multiple books that give a girl exactly what she needs when she needs it – a bit of humor, a bit of sex, a bit of the supernatural, and the occasional questionable moral judgment as you're reading. (Don't lie. Ya'll know you need that once in a while.) Ms. Mallory started out as a self-published author who flew to the top of every e-book fiction list out there. I admire her quite a bit.

This series follows a woman, Lily, through Dante's Inferno. Yes, I mean the book. Within the first chapter Lily passes away and shortly thereafter learns it's because her guardian angel, Bill, was drunk and hitting on prostitutes when he should have been saving her from the car accident that took her life. Yep. Hooked. (This is not Young Adult (YA) so it's not something I would recommend for YAs.)

The first book goes through the process of explaining to Lily (and us readers) what has happened to her and why, where she will be "working" in the afterlife and the tasks she has ahead of her in order to gain entry into "the promise land." If she doesn't agree to work, she will be sent to "Shade" for 100 years where there is nothing but silence and darkness.

The bonuses to working in the afterlife are probably something most of us would die for. (Sorry, couldn't resist.) Lily was able to pick a brand new body, pick a location anywhere in the world to live, and has a full bank account without limits. Sign me up! While these things are obviously an incentive, she also has to live with her guardian angel Bill. Watching out for Lily as she goes through this process is his punishment for allowing her to die. Lily is assigned tasks that lead them into the underworld, and Dante's Inferno is the guide to get them through. Seriously - Bill carries the book in his back pocket.

Ms. Mallory has a way of creating characters you love to hate (Bill) and characters you root for from the very first word (Lily.) In their multiple journeys to the underworld, they come across various demons, the ruler of the underworld, other angels and people like Lily who are also "working" their way into the promise land instead of heading straight to Shade. My favorite is Tallis Black. We meet him in the first book and he's still around at number three. He's a gigantic, muscled, Scottish blade smith living in the Dark Woods who has a Viking Demon living inside of him. I warned you I thought this was going to be silly - but I'm actually really enjoying the series and can't wait to get on to the next book.

The books in this series are:

  • Better Off Dead

  • The Underground City

  • To Hell And Back

  • Persephone

  • The Bladesmith

The series may be a good summer read for the "hot" weather we have coming! All books are available now on Amazon Kindle and FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited. Better Off Dead is available for only $2.99 - or again, free for Unlimited members. Get them all now because you won't stop reading!

#girlgonereading #girlgonesmart #hpmallory #summerreading #bookreviews #summer #lillyharperseries #bookreview #betteroffdead