April was a good reading month for me and the second half of April introduced me to my new favorite romance novel/series, possibly ever. If you’ve been here for a while, you’re probably confused because how on earth could I love a series more than the Forbidden Hearts series by Alisha Rai? I know! I feel the same way. And it’s a fantasy or paranormal romance (if you have the patience to teach me the difference, do feel free to try, but it doesn’t seem to stick in my mind). So that was quite a shock. Anyway, I can’t wait to tell you more about it, so let’s jump in!
What Happened in London by Julia Quinn
I adored this book, which is more surprising now that I’ve also read The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever in which Olivia, our heroine, is introduced. Olivia is a little bit… Hm… She’s a beautiful woman, but she’s really underestimated. That said, in The Secret Diaries, which is the one I read most recently, I really didn’t like her. In What Happened in London though, I found her utterly charming. She is told by two non-friends that her new neighbor murdered his fiancé so she starts watching him from her bedroom window. When they encounter one another, their traded barbs are absolutely hilarious and wonderful. Thus, I adored this book.
The Hidden Legacy Trilogy by Ilona Andrews
Holy cow, this trilogy sucked me right in and I devoured these books. Burn for Me is such an incredible first book to start off the series and I can criticize absolutely nothing about it. Nevada Baylor is a certified badass, in my opinion, and holy cow, did I fall for Mad Rogan like… Wow. It’s been weeks and I still can’t put words to paper about how much I love this trilogy, but um, I think it’s time for a re-read, maybe? (Definitely?)
I wish I could explain to you the allure of this trilogy, but honestly… Just pick it up. Even if you don’t really read paranormal-esque romance. It’s so good.
Under His Kilt by Melissa Blue
I needed something completely different as a palate cleanser after devouring Hidden Legacy and Melissa Blue delivered with this steamy novella. I wish I’d had a little more time with the characters (do I say this after every novella or does it just feel that way right now?), but overall, I thought the characters were extremely well crafted and the book was SEXY. Also, apparently, Blue’s alter ego is Dakota Grey, author of Perv, which, um, I think I need to read.
I’ve Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm by Kelly Bowen
Tbh, give me all the books about society ladies rescuing women who have been abused. But when the book is crafted like this? Well. Kelly Bowen, as per usual, writes so skillfully and created characters I adored. Jamie is definitely suffering from some kind of PTSD/trauma related mental health issue and he’s absolutely wonderful. He’s one of my favorite male characters I read this month, actually. He was kind of exactly what I needed at the time.
After the Weddingby Courtney Milan
As you may have seen, I have already reviewed After the Wedding. The second book in the Worth Saga, After the Wedding is a romance novel about hope. Following Lady Camilla, who is working as a servant and known as Half-Priced Camilla, and Adrian Hunter, the book explores what happens when you find yourself forced into a marriage. For Adrian and Camilla, that means trying to get out of the marriage and their adventures along the way introduce us to one of my new favorite side characters who has literally no use for men. I love her. Also, Adrian is a black man who lost two of his older brothers to the Civil War and Camilla is a bisexual woman. The amount that I appreciated the representation cannot be understated. The world has also contained multitudes and it’s great to see that reflected.
Rock Courtshipby Nalini Singh
I really enjoyed this novella that follows David and Thea. You absolutely should read the first book in the series before you pick this one up. Getting to actually read the memos that we were teased about in Rock Addiction was amazing and wonderful. I really enjoyed seeing someone specifically tailor their courtship overture to the person of their affection. You know? Regardless of receiving the tip from Molly because, I mean, David could have ignored her, you know?
The Harlot Countess by Joanna Shupe
Oh, Joanna Shupe, you have completely stolen my heart. Give me all the heroines trying to rescue women from terrible men and the men who help them. Bless up. I love the way Shupe uses The Ton and their stupid rules and courtesans and prostitutes because it feels so true to life to me. I’m far from a historian and I’m not sure there were women back then who were determined to make things better for these women, but I would not be surprised at their existence. Anyway, I digress. Maggie and Simon are wonderful even though, actually, I disliked Simon through most of the book. In the end, I decided he couldn’t be blamed for his stupidity, but… I mean, really, Simon?
If Ever I Should Love Youby Cathy Maxwell
I have complicated feelings about this book. On the one hand, I really appreciate that this book shows that survivors of sexual assault sometimes self-medicate with alcohol. On the other hand, I really didn’t appreciate having to see our main character be sexually assaulted on the page twice. Unfortunately, I was vague on Goodreads and no longer remember exactly what my other concerns were, but I know I had them! I am interested in reading book two though, so I currently have it on hold at the library!
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secretsby J.K. Rowling
Unlike Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, listening to CoS on audio made me like the second book in the series more than I ever have before. The sheer amount of foreshadowing in this book is WILD. And now I have new theories about horcruxes and Harry? As if I haven’t re-read these books a thousand times and more than my fair share of fanfic? Oh well. Anyway, I definitely enjoyed my re-read and also HERMIONE IS THE BEST. That is all.
The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheeverby Julia Quinn
I know that my review of What Happens in London probably makes it seem like I would have enjoyed this book more than What Happens, but um, not the case. Not the case at all. This book is one with one of my least favorite plot points, but I can’t really tell you about it without SPOILERS. It also does this super fun thing where the hero’s bad behavior keeps being attributed to the fact that (a) his wife was awful and (b) she died. Literally, this book includes the line: “Let Miranda heal you.” Perhaps, if I hadn’t read this book around the same time as headlines about the woman who broke the Golden State killer’s heart (impliedly leading him to murder a bunch of people?????), this line would have bothered me less. But perhaps not. Blaming others (especially women) for a man’s actions is something I would like to see again never. Thanks. (The hero really does behave badly, btw, be forewarned.)
You have my sincere apologies for the delay in getting this posted. My internet has been most uncooperative for the past several days and I’ve been quite sick. Anyway, I would love to hear your opinions about any of these books (especially Hidden Legacy, please squeal with me!) so please leave a comment down below.