We’ve almost survived the entirety of 2017! Woo! This year has been really hard and emotionally exhausting, but it’s come with a lot of really awesome accomplishments for me in my personal life. Plus it came with Reputation by Taylor Swift, so like, not all bad. But mostly, I’m really ready to close the chapter on this year. So, here we go. The last TBR of 2018!
1. The Lady in Redby Kelly Bowen
I adore Kelly Bowen’s works, though I’ve only gotten through two so far. I definitely plan on reading the others that she’s written as soon as I can. Anyway, The Lady in Red is book 3.5 in the Season for Scandal series and even though I haven’t read book 3 yet, I’m hoping it’ll be fine. I have this book as an ARC from Netgalley and I’m super excited for it. Here’s the Goodreads summary:
Lady Charlotte Beaumont has spent her whole life being ignored. By her parents, her brother, even the servants. So she was secretly able to develop her talent for painting well beyond the usual watercolors. Too bad no one will let her actually use it—women are rarely accepted into the Royal Academy. But when a connection at the Haverhall School for Young Ladies gets Charlotte her dream commission, she’ll do whatever it takes to make it work. Including disguising herself as “Charlie.”
Flynn Rutledge has something to prove. His lowly upbringing is not going to stop him from achieving his artistic dreams. This commission is the key to his future, and his partner, an unknown youth in oversized clothes who is barely old enough to shave, doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. But Charlie does inspire Flynn’s artistic passion—something he worried he might have lost forever. For all his street smarts, nothing can prepare Flynn for the shock of Charlie’s true identity. He doesn’t care that she’s a woman, but a lady of the ton is a different matter altogether.
2. So Over You by Kate Meader
This is going to be my first Kate Meader book! I am so excited because I’ve heard such good things about her sports romances. Again, I haven’t read the first book in the series, but I’m hoping I won’t need to. I also got this one from NetGalley! The Goodreads synopsis is long so this is all I’m going to say:
Three estranged sisters struggle to sustain their late father’s failing hockey franchise in Kate Meader’s sizzling Chicago Rebels series. In this second entry, middle sister Isobel is at a crossroads in her personal and professional lives. But both are about to get a significant boost with the addition of a domineering Russian powerhouse to the Rebels….
Isobel Chase knows hockey. She played NCAA, won Olympic silver, and made it thirty-seven minutes into the new National Women’s Hockey League before an injury sidelined her dreams. Those who can’t, coach, and a position as a skating consultant to her late father’s hockey franchise, the Chicago Rebels, seems like a perfect fit. Until she’s assigned her first job: the man who skated into her heart as a teen and relieved her of her pesky virginity. These days, left-winger Vadim Petrov is known as the Czar of Pleasure, a magnet for puck bunnies and the tabloids alike. But back then… let’s just say his inability to sink the puck left Isobel frustratingly scoreless.
Vadim has a first name that means “ruler,” and it doesn’t stop at his birth certificate. He dominates on the ice, the practice rink, and in the backseat of a limo. But a knee injury has produced a bad year, and bad years in the NHL don’t go unrewarded. His penance? To be traded to a troubled team where his personal coach is Isobel Chase, the woman who drove him wild years ago when they were hormonal teens. But apparently the feeling was not entirely mutual.
That Vadim might have failed to give Isobel the pleasure that was her right is intolerable, and he plans to make it up to her—one bone-melting orgasm at a time. After all, no player can perfect his game without a helluva lot of practice…
3. After the Wedding by Courtney Milan
I’m so excited for this book! As you know, I love Courtney Milan and cannot wait until I get to have this book in my hands. I know I just read her short story in Hamilton’s Battalion, but I still feel like it’s been way too long since I have had a new Courtney Milan book. This is the second in her series, which I would actually recommend reading in order, but the synopsis doesn’t have spoilers so I’m leaving it here:
Adrian Hunter has concealed his identity and posed as a servant to assist his powerful uncle. He’s on the verge of obtaining the information he needs when circumstances spiral out of his control. He’s caught alone with a woman he scarcely knows. When they’re discovered in this compromising circumstance, he’s forced to marry her at gunpoint. Luckily, his uncle should be able to obtain an annulment. All Adrian has to do is complete his mission…and not consummate the marriage, no matter how enticing the bride may be.
Lady Camilla Worth has never expected much out of life—not since her father was convicted of treason and she was passed from family to family. A marriage, no matter how unfortunate the circumstances under which it was contracted, should mean stability. It’s unfortunate that her groom doesn’t agree. But Camilla has made the best of worse circumstances. She is determined to make her marriage work. All she has to do is seduce her reluctant husband.
4. The Hate U Giveby Angie Thomas
If I have not read this book by December 1st, it will be one of the first books I read in December because it has to be. I’ve already resolved that I’m passing this book and Dear Martin and All American Boys to the oldest of my black male cousins in the hopes that if the characters look like him, he might actually become a reader. Or at least enjoy the three books. We’ll see, I suppose. If you don’t know what this book is about, here’s the Goodreads synopsis:
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
5. All American Boysby Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
Again, if I have not read this book by December 1st, it has to be one of my first reads. I am so excited to get to both this and THUG, but also, you know, being informed about what’s going on in the world right now is exhausting and I have been looking at escapism more than let’s dive in and rip the bandaid off and get some catharsis by going through it instead of avoiding it. However, it is time. We’re ripping off the band aid. I started this in October with Dear Martin and continued in November with Done Dirt Cheap and I’m ready to keep going and continuing to get through some of the harder books on my shelves. Here’s the Goodreads synopsis:
Rashad is absent again today.
That’s the sidewalk graffiti that started it all…
Well, no, actually, a lady tripping over Rashad at the store, making him drop a bag of chips, was what started it all. Because it didn’t matter what Rashad said next—that it was an accident, that he wasn’t stealing—the cop just kept pounding him. Over and over, pummeling him into the pavement. So then Rashad, an ROTC kid with mad art skills, was absent again…and again…stuck in a hospital room. Why? Because it looked like he was stealing. And he was a black kid in baggy clothes. So he must have been stealing.
And that’s how it started.
And that’s what Quinn, a white kid, saw. He saw his best friend’s older brother beating the daylights out of a classmate. At first Quinn doesn’t tell a soul…He’s not even sure he understands it. And does it matter? The whole thing was caught on camera, anyway. But when the school—and nation—start to divide on what happens, blame spreads like wildfire fed by ugly words like “racism” and “police brutality.” Quinn realizes he’s got to understand it, because, bystander or not, he’s a part of history. He just has to figure out what side of history that will be.
Rashad and Quinn—one black, one white, both American—face the unspeakable truth that racism and prejudice didn’t die after the civil rights movement. There’s a future at stake, a future where no one else will have to be absent because of police brutality. They just have to risk everything to change the world.
Cuz that’s how it can end.
There you have it. My five must reads of December! What are yours?