So… My apologies for disappearing for… a while. I didn’t mean to really and I don’t have a good reason for it. I was super slumpy in the first half of the month as you’ll see. Regardless, we’re just going to do a full month wrap up! Some of these are going to be super short because almost half of my reading this month were re-reads.
1. Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
Yes, my third re-read of this book, and yes, I still absolutely adore it. So much. Could definitely re-read already, but more importantly…
2. Diamond Fireby Ilona Andrews
I READ DIAMOND FIRE AND IT WAS AMAZING!!! I am so thankful for Dani at Dani’s Bookshelf who is basically my book fairy godmother and I adore her for it. Diamond Fire comes out next week, which is exciting because I’m looking forward to everyone squealing about how great it is and I don’t want to spoil anything. But, I will say that I’m so excited for Catalina’s story to really begin and that I think this novella perfectly bridges the gap. Also, since I haven’t read this twice, it would be fine to re-read the trilogy and end with Diamond Fire again, right? Right.
3. Interceptedby Alexa Martin
I was really excited to read this book and was thrilled when my hold came in from the library so I pretty much stopped everything to read it. I mostly really enjoyed it, there were just a couple of things that bothered me. I think this was Alexa Martin’s debut, though, so I’m really looking forward to seeing where she goes from here. This is a football sports romance where our heroine dumps her cheating asshole football star and the new quarterback whisks her away and bonds with her dad. They fall in love and have really great sex. I was not so much a fan of the conflict toward the end of the book and I felt like the resolution was rushed. Otherwise, it was really fun!
4. The Way You Make Me Feel by Maureen Goo
This YA contemporary features a heroine I didn’t think was particularly likable (which I appreciated because we need more unlikable female characters) who mostly really loves her (single) dad and tries… Mostly. She gets into trouble and her punishment is working her dad’s food truck with her worst enemy all summer. What I really loved about this book is that the message is that not liking things is not cooler than really enjoying your life and trying for the things that you care about. Also, Maureen Goo’s writing is great and I love it. Did I love this book more than I Believe in a Thing Called Love? No, not at all. But I did enjoy it!
5. Goddess with a Bladeby Lauren Dane
I have seen too many people raving about this series for me to have been so wildly unimpressed. Essentially, this book follows a (sanctioned) vampire hunter who has an intense connection to the new vampire boss guy in Las Vegas even though they fight a lot. I just really didn’t like it very much, but that’s an unpopular opinion so if you’re trying out paranormal romance, this series is popular for some reason.
6. Deadly Silenceby Rebecca Zanetti
Speaking of books I didn’t really like… Deadly Silence is a romantic suspense featuring an alpha-hole who realllllly thinks he knows what the heroine should do all the time in every aspect of her life and a heroine who is risking her profession for her friend who may or may not deserve it. I don’t know if it’s just because losing my bar license is like my worst nightmare or what, but there was almost definitely somewhere else she could work as a paralegal instead of violating SO MANY RULES to help out her friend. I just… I can’t. Anyway, so there were very few things I liked about this book, but the main one is the overarching plot so I’m super curious about book two. I just hope that the other two brothers are less controlling than Ryker.
7. Bountifulby Sarina Bowen
I love Sarina Bowen’s writing so much that even a secret baby plot line didn’t keep me from LOVING this book. Zara meets Dave while she’s bartending and they have a series of one-night stands. Two years later, Dave walks into Zara’s coffee shop and learns that Zara had a kid, his kid. And y’all. It’s so good!! This series has had angst in each book at a level that the campus books did not, but like, I love it. They’re medium high angst to me (less than Alisha Rai’s Forbidden Hearts trilogy, but way more than Tessa Dare) and so, so good. There are two things I should note: (1) Zara slaps Dave, which is not exactly appropriately addressed and (2) Zara is described as exotic (gag me).
8. A Study in Charlotteby Brittany Cavallaro
This is the first book in a Sherlock Holmes inspired series that follows Charlotte Holmes (descendant of Sherlock) and Jamie Watson (descendant of Dr. Watson). Charlotte and Jamie resemble in personality their ancestors and when a murder occurs in their respectable boarding school and the two of them are being framed for it, they set out to solve it. I found this story enjoyable to read and quick, but I’m not sure I’ll continue on with it. Like, it’s fun, but I’m 27 and this feels like young YA to me. So once my youngest sister has read it, I’m probably going to pass it to one of our cousins.
9. The Husband’s Secretby Lianne Moriarty
For unknown reasons, the characters in this book are all obsessed with The Biggest Loser and like to talk about weight in a way that comes across as fat shaming (to me) and there’s just really absolutely no reason for it. Otherwise, the plot is very much a domestic novel with a hint of intrigue and I didn’t really like it. But also I have very spoiler filled opinions about it so… I don’t know. Big Little Lies is amazing, but this one? Not so much.
10. The King of Bourbon Street by Thea de Salle
I started this book several months ago and wasn’t really into it so I was dragging my feet and I decided since I was hauling an absurd amount of books and I decided I wanted to balance the books, I should finish this one real quick so that it would look better numbers wise at the end of the month. Well, I still didn’t really love this book because I really just do not get the connection between the main characters or our hero and his ex-wife. So… This book was very much not for me, but again, this seems to be an unpopular opinion so… Have at it? (P.S. Our heroine is plus sized despite what it looks like on the cover.)
11. Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft Edited by Jessica Spotswood & Tess Sharpe
I listened to this on audio for Spookathon, which I sort of participated in, and I enjoyed some of the stories and some of them not so much. CW: A few of these stories involve domestic or sexual violence. I adored Emery Lorde’s short story and really liked Zoraida Córdova’s as well. There were a few others I enjoyed but because I listened while I was driving, I couldn’t really take notes. Anyway, if you’re into witchy reads, this is a fun collection that takes place in different times. They’re mostly set in the real world with a fun magical element (fun is questionable), which I enjoyed, but I know some people may not.
12. Last Night with the Earlby Kelly Bowen
I really loved this book. Eli Dawes has returned from the dead by sneaking into his home in a rainstorm in the middle of the night, only to find his home occupied. He has a lot of ideas that he keeps learning are stupid and his character growth is excellent. Then you’ve got my beloved Rose Hayward who really doesn’t have time for this man and his problems, never mind that they used to be friends. Except, whoops, he’s asking for forgiveness and she thinks he might mean it and well, here we are. I adore Kelly Bowen’s writing and she’s definitely one of my favorite historical romance writers.
13. How the Dukes Stole Christmasby Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, and Joanna Shupe
I have a full review of this one already posted, so I’m just going to move right along because this is already such a long post…
14. Undone by the Ex-Conby Talia Hibbert
I have completed my owned Talia Hibbert collection, so I need to go buy the other five of hers that I do not already have. That’s how this works, right? Thus far, this one is probably my least favorite because I didn’t love the characters. I do, however, love Talia. Essentially, this book follows ballet dancer turned teacher, Lizzie, who is struggling with adapting to the fact that she has diabetes and is recovering from an eating disorder. Lizzie gets blackmailed to get close to Issac by this asshole dude and shenanigans ensue. (Also, some really great conversations and really hot sex.) (Also, also, my babies from Bad for the Boss are getting married and I LOVE it.)
15. The Storm Runnerby J. C. Cervantes
I really like Mayan mythology and I loved the Percy Jackson books so I was excited to read The Storm Runner when my hold finally came through. This book follows Zane as he sets out on an adventure he really didn’t ask for and learns that he’s the son of a god. For a middle grade novel, I thought this book was both long and dragged at times, but I enjoyed myself while reading it, especially in the second half. I will likely continue in the series when the sequel comes out. I just think these books are so fun!
16-22. Throne of Glass(the whole series)
I am obsessed with this series and am a little devastated it’s over. I may make a series wrap up, but honestly, who knows. But Kingdom of Ash was such a satisfying conclusion to the series and I am so grateful to Sarah J. Maas for creating this world. The series is not great about representation, which I won’t excuse, but I adore it so much for what it means to me.
23. Angels’ Bloodby Nalini Singh
Archangel’s Prophecy came out on Tuesday, but ya girl was out of Hoopla credits, Audible credits, and also was broke, so I re-listened to Angels’ Blood, thanks to my romance Audible subscription. I really love Elena and Raphael, but oh man, Illyium is my favorite. I hope he finds happiness soon. This series (the Guild Hunters series) follows Elena, a vampire hunter, who is hired by Raphael and the Cadre of 10 (Archangels) to find a rogue archangel. Elena and Raphael, whoops, fall in love. It’s so good. I love them.
24. Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh
Much earlier in the month than this number suggests, I re-listened to Kiss of Snow because I have a problem and I love Hawke and Sienna too much. I didn’t mark it on Goodreads, but I listened to it driving back from Atlanta, I think. Anyway, this is my favorite of the Psy-Changeling books and I almost started it again a couple of days ago so… Yay for restraint!
So those are the 24 books that I read. If you stuck around this long, let me take the time to encourage you to go vote on Tuesday if you haven’t already done so!