Back from Vacation with Photos and Mini Book Reviews

Key Largo Beach Photo

The Florida Keys are awesome.

There’s a reason I chose it as Dave and Val’s vacation destination when I wrote Kill Them All. And I’m happy to report that my trip went a lot better than theirs did and wasn’t interrupted by rocket launchers and complex, supervillain-related plots. 😉

In all seriousness, I had the perfect honeymoon. It was wonderfully relaxing and filled with beautiful sights and excellent food. Coming back to reality this past week has been tough.

A few highlights include driving over the Seven Mile Bridge.

Seven Mile Bridge

Seeing a manatee while on a boat tour.


Drinking all the fruity, tropical cocktails.

Fruity drink

And, of course, reading good books while relaxing in a hammock on the beach.

Me in a hammock

I read two and a half books during the week I was down there and finished the last one the day after I got back. They were all excellent, and if you’re looking for a recommendation on what to read next, I’ve got three for you.

(This post contains affiliate links)

Kill the Queen

Kill the Queen CoverThis book is so awesome. I’ve read plenty of epic fantasy novels that were slogs to get through, the narrative veering off from the main plot to explore some inconsequential bit of world-building. Not here. Kill the Queen is perfectly paced. I struggled to put it down and leave my hammock so I could go do all the excursions I’d planned and paid for in the Keys.

The villain is oh-so-hateable, and I was cheering on the main character in her quest for revenge. The supporting cast is fun and well-rounded, and there’s just the right amount of romance between the fight scenes. I will definitely be picking up the sequel.


Heroine Worship

Heroine Worship CoverSpeaking of sequels, Heroine Worship is the follow-up to Heroine Status, which is one of my absolute favorite superhero novels (and you know how much I love superhero novels). I was happy to find it just as good as the first book.

This one is from Aveda Jupiter’s POV, and considering that she was a mostly antagonistic diva in the first book, she’s surprisingly sympathetic here. She’s trying so hard to be a good friend and failing miserably for a lot of the book, but that just makes it all the more heartwarming when she and Evie finally have a heart-to-heart and figure things out near the end.

I’m slowly catching up on this series and need to get my hands on the third novel.



Starshine CoverI got this novel in Rogue Stars, a box set of space exploration sci-fi novels (which is currently free, so download it now if you’re interested). I’m still working my way through the collection, and not every book in it is for me, but Starshine is my favorite so far. If I had to boil down the epic, complicated plot, I’d say that the main characters are trying to stop a war that turns out to be a plot by aliens to weaken humanity before an invasion.

There’s a lot more to it than that, and the plot is full of espionage, family drama, and a romance between a heroine who’s a space explorer and a hero who’s a spy. I completely fell into the world, and my only complaint is that the tense ride ends on an awful cliffhanger.


Do you have a favorite type of novel to read while on vacation? Ever been to the Florida Keys? Let me know in the comments!

Published by Brandedkristen

If Kristen Brand could have any superpower, she'd want telekinesis so she wouldn't have to move from her computer to pour a new cup of tea. She spends far too much time on the internet, and when she's not writing, she's usually reading novels or comic books. Icon by @heckosart.

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