I hope your April has started off on a great start! I’m here to wrap up the rest of March and I read a new favorite Penny Reid book in the second half of the month. So let’s jump in:
12. Here and Now by Cheryl Etchinson
I really was not the biggest fan of this book. There were moments that I really enjoyed, but for the most part, I felt a complete disconnect from the plot and the characters, or perhaps a combination of both. This book follows a former Ranger medic who is now going to college and working night shift as an aide of some kind at the local hospital. His skills far outstrip his job description, which is frustrating for all involved. Our heroine is a nurse who switches to the night shift because her boyfriend is a tool bag and she’s trying to figure out how to get rid of him. They have a history, but it’s fairly neutral in regards to it’s impact. While our hero’s arc follows his frustration with his job/college, our heroine is struggling with her parents’ complete lack of interest in her life. I felt like several of the plot points were uneven and disjointed, but maybe you’ll disagree.
13. Along Came Love by Tracey Livesay
An accidental pregnancy apparently manages to work for me only when it’s Hermione x Draco fanfic. Or any fanfic, maybe? In real life, I’m a 26 year old woman who is still confused about how people are getting pregnant on purpose at my age. How are you prepared for that? Please teach me your ways. So perhaps I should revisit this at a time where being pregnant does not seem like one of the worst things that could happen to me. Anyway, if that’s not something that has you screaming, the book was well-written, although the hero annoyed me immensely. Rich white guys can be the worst and um, well…
14. Deliver Me by Farrah Rochon
Hello, Holmes family! I like this family almost as much as I love the Winstons from Penny Reid’s Winston Brothers series. I found the Holmes just a little less laugh out loud funny, but I also found Eric to be quite compelling. I didn’t fully buy into the way he and his heroine tumbled head first into love so quickly, but I think I was just a little cranky that weekend. (I was a lot cranky. Nothing was pleasing me.) Anyway, I’m very excited to read some more books in this series! Especially the one about Eric’s single-dad brother. He stole the show, in my opinion.
15. Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne
This book was friends to lovers by way of friends with benefits so even though it was not the most well-written book in the world and arguably lacked some depth, I thought it was pretty excellent. I don’t really have much to say about it beyond it executed the tropes well and also CW for cancer (mother of heroine).
16. Forever Entangled by Kathleen Brooks
I’m still a thousand percent confused by the purpose of the prologue to be honest, but I wound up enjoying this book so much more than I thought I would. It’s completely ridiculous and inexplicably has a sheik living in small town Kentucky, though he doesn’t play a very large role in this book. His two sons are featured though and I’m incredibly intrigued by their characters in spite of myself. Anyway, focusing on the main characters, I thought that it was interesting to have the heroine be a couple years older than the hero and have been completely uninterested in the hero until he kissed her a few years ago. Now he’s back and whoops, they want each other a lot. There is some troubling jealousy issues, but… Yeah. You could probably say I liked this whole book in spite of myself, but I really did!
17. Lirael by Garth Nix
I thought this book was pretty slow in comparison to Sabriel and I felt like when Sameth’s perspective is added, it’s really choppy and confusing. It made a lot more sense in Abhorsen and even the latter part of Lirael. That said, this book introduces the Disreputable Dog so I mean, how can you complain about this book really? It was great to return to and enjoy a book I loved so much in my childhood.
18. A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
I am always blown away by how well Alyssa Cole crafts the voices of her characters. Naledi is a black woman in a STEM field (epidemiology, I think? Idk, science) and her voice absolutely reflects every aspect of who she is. Her analogies and metaphors are crafted in ways that belie her science background and it was just so well-crafted that I’m in awe. I did take off half a star for my personal enjoyment because omg, Thabiso, why did you have to lie about who you were for SO LONG? I really just don’t like duplicitous men, but… You know. Alyssa Cole definitely got me past that because my precious Thabiso, despite his poor choices, is a precious bean and I love him.
19. Abhorsen by Garth Nix
This book delivers a great conclusion to the storyline that Lireal begins, but despite dropping you in during the middle of an intense journey, I still felt like it was a little slow. I think combining Lirael and Abhorsen would have made for a more enjoyable read, but that’s just me. I also hate how Nix ends the books as soon as the victory has concluded. SHOW ME WHAT’S THE AFTERMATH. This is a problem I have with a lot of books in general, to be honest, but especially fantasy. I guess at least Nix doesn’t ruin it the way J.K. Rowling did with the 19 Years Later nonsense.
20. Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh
You may have noticed that Nalini Singh has captured my attention at the moment with her brilliant contemporary romance novels and this one was no exception. Although not as amazing as Rock Hard (omg, that book!!!! I already want to re-read it.), Rock Addiction delivers a solid read with Molly learning to be okay with being in the public spotlight after her traumatic experience with the spotlight in her past. Fox is a solid hero, but I never quite fell for him as our lead dude. I think he was honestly a little too perfect, which is a weird thing to say considering some of the things he does in this book, but idk, something about him didn’t totally click with me. That did not prevent me from enjoying the book immensely, of course, so I still highly recommend all of Singh’s works.
21. Grin & Beard It by Penny Reid
Speaking of the Winston Brothers, omg, Sienna and Jethro are adorable and I love them. Mostly, I love Sienna and to me, she is perfection. I think she’s funny and adorkable and I want her to be my best friend right now. The first Latina woman to win an Oscar (and for a comedy!), Sienna really just wants a break. So she heads to Green Valley, Tennessee a few weeks before her new movie starts filming. But my girl is really good at getting lost and Jethro is really good at playing hero in that regard. Also, Jethro washes her coffee cup when she leaves it in his car and then starts bringing her coffee in her thermos and omg, my heart!!!!!!! I literally love this book so much.
22. Beard Science by Penny Reid
Apparently this book is most people’s favorite of the Winston Brothers series so far? Idk, but those people are wrong. To be fair, I adore Jennifer Sylvester and watching her evolve from The Banana Cake Queen to a full, three-dimensional person was top notch excellence. That said, I don’t get everyone’s obsession with Cletus. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed this book, but upon discovering that this one is everyone’s favorite, I was about ready to fight people on behalf of my beloved Sienna because clearly she deserves to be the favorite. (I’m totally reasonable over here, I promise.) Anyway, please tell me your thoughts on this one because I am very curious.
23. Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen
I was putting this book off mostly because I didn’t want it to be over. But alas. It is over and I am very sad about that fact. Kelly Bowen writes really excellent historical suspense. I love her writing so much. I especially loved these characters.
I apologize for the delay in getting this post up, but I’ve been having internet issues and this is approximately the third time I’ve had to make this post because it keeps getting lost. So fingers crossed this time is the charm. Please let me know how March went for you! I’m especially interested to hear about your favorite book that you read in March.