I’ve read a lot of books in March because I’ve done very little outside of reading. I moved to my new town that is very small and started my new job, which is both wonderful and stressful. I honestly feel like that line in 22 where Taylor says “it’s miserable and magical, oh yeah.” Like, yes, Tay, but I’m 26. Should I be past this yet? Am I really an adult? Do I have to be? Can I take it back? And then we sing Delicate because “is it cool that I said all that?” You know? Probably not, but it’s late and I’m way over due for this post. So let’s just jump right in.
1. Hello Strangerby Lisa Kleypas
First, let me say that I really enjoyed this book, but for the problems Elise brings up and states extremely eloquently in this review. This book is imperfect. The unnecessary influence of imperialism and racism into this book did detract somewhat from my enjoyment of the book. However, overall, I really enjoyed the story between Garrett and Ethan. I also really appreciated the snippet at the end for West’s book and um, is it time for that one yet?
2. Nice Try, Jane Sinnerby Lianne Oelke
I wanted to like this book so much, not in the least because I won it in a Twitter giveaway hosted by Oelke herself. The problem for me, I think, is that I couldn’t connect to the main character’s humor. The book is written in a diary-like format and because I didn’t really connect with the main character, I did feel like that really hindered my enjoyment. That said, it’s nice to see a book that shows us what it’s like for a main character who is dealing with a lot mental health wise and family issues and not completely high school.
3. Magnateby Joanna Shupe
Dani at Dani’s Bookshelf told me I should try Joanna Shupe ages ago and I’m not sure why it took me so long, but I finally did, and I’ve found a new love. I’m desperately in need of my used book stores to get more of Shupe’s works in stock because ya girl needs them. Magnate opens with society darling, Elizabeth Sloane, making a business proposition to Emmett Cavanaugh, the opposite of society’s darling, but a man she thinks is friends with her brother. Spoiler: he is not. And the book goes from there and it is a wild ride and I adored it, even if sometimes the HEA felt like it was taking way too long and all these impossible detours and omg, TALK ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS ALREADY moments. Ya know, the usual.
4. The Lady Hellion by Joanna Shupe
The other used bookstore in my town had only The Lady Hellion by Shupe, but I obviously snatched it up after reading Magnate. Let’s just say that I fell head over heels for Sophie and my beautiful precious Damien. Sophie is dressing up as a man to solve crimes for lower class women (read: prostitutes) and Damien is a precious smol child suffering from PTSD and God bless, did I fall head over heels in love with the two of them together.
5. This is Warby Kennedy Fox
I heard someone on BookTube praise this book and um… I mean, it has it’s moments, but overall I didn’t like it. Now, I will admit that I don’t really like asshole heroes. I’m over them. So that’s probably a large part of why i didn’t love this book. Another thing is that this book does not end with an HEA because it’s a two-part thing. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO ME? It is hate to love and older brother’s best friend and also kind of childhood sweethearts? I like all of those things, but the end of this book and our heroes not great life choices, paired with this heroine? Yeah, it just didn’t work for me.
6. Fixed on Youby Laurelin Paige
Honestly, I would hard pass on this book as a concept and avoid at all costs if you have issues with 50 Shades-esque books repeating the thing where the rich billionaire buys a business because he saw this woman who he knew worked there and he wanted her. I would avoid this book if you have issues with addiction being used in really f’d up ways. Because the thing is, Laurelin Paige writes in a way that makes you want to keep reading EVEN when you absolutely hate what’s happening on the page. So this got three stars for me and all of those stars are because Laurelin Paige is a really good writer. But definitely would not recommend this book. Also, it ends as a HFN.
7. Royal Playerby Katie McCoy
I honestly wasn’t expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did. I thought it would be one of those guilty pleasure reads where I try to talk myself out of feeling guilty even while I’m feeling guilty. But nope. Royal Player is fun and well-written and had me wanting to pick up the rest of McCoy’s work ASAP. Basically, this book takes off when Emmy gets lost and winds up in Charlie Davenport’s dressing room pre-his Wimbledon match and shares a good luck kiss with the sexy stranger. Except the sexy stranger is a prince (a British prince?) and well, it goes from there.
8. Dirty Filthy Rich Menby Laurelin Paige
I mentioned that I really liked Laurelin Paige’s writing a few books ago and I’ll say it again. This book has a dominant, alpha, asshole as a hero, who is closed off for questionable reasons and also maybe is a stalker kinda, but damn if it didn’t work for me in this book. It shouldn’t. Okay? This relationship is not that healthy, so I wouldn’t really recommend it. But if you want a steamy read you can’t put down? Well, this one might fit the bill. Major CW for sexual assault on the page (not between H/h) and blurred consent between TA and student (between H/h). The book also doesn’t end with an HEA (blanking on if HFN or just abrupt, buy book two now!).
9. Cherish Hardby Nalini Singh
March 11, 2018 shall from henceforth be known as the day Jenica discovered Nalini Singh because omg. I think I’m addicted. It’s worse than my addiction to Joanna Shupe (but also better because the library has these books). Bishop and his family are the most incredible people and I am obsessed. Singh’s ability to craft secondary characters I genuinely care about is evidently unparalleled. I think I will eventually read everything she has ever written. But for now, I’m in contemporary land and loving every second. If you haven’t given her a shot yet, probably read this one first, but then immediately read Rock Harder.
10. Going Darkby Monica McCarty
I had issues at the beginning of the book when the group of SEALs were explaining their nicknames and then, “That kind of oversensitive feminist crap drove him crazy–not everything was a microaggression.” So even though I eventually wound up enjoying this story, I did feel like it was plagued with issues throughout. That said, I desperately want to know wtf is going on in the wider plot of this series and so McCarty might have converted me to a reluctant fan.
11. Rock Hardby Nalini Singh
A gold star romance novel and probably my favorite book of March, Rock Hard is perfection. Charlie is my little precious bean who survived some serious trauma, poor love, and her new boss, Gabriel Bishop, is both terrifying and stunning. The two come together slowly and in a way that allows for Charlie to work through a lot of her trauma. Plus, FAMILY. Oh goodness, I want to re-read both this and Cherish Hard again so desperately. These books are gold, y’all. GOLD. Read them. Then come fangirl with me because I’m dying over here.
So that’s the first eleven books I read in March. I wasn’t exaggerating when I said I did a lot of reading. And mostly just romance novels. I’m trying to work through the romance novels that are on my iBooks, but I keep getting distracted by buying more books and checking out more books from the library. There are so many books and so little time. Anyway, what was your favorite read of the first half of March?