I read one of my favorite books of the entire year in the second half of November! I’m also halfway through Becoming by Michelle Obama on audio and I’m loving it. Just throwing that out there. I’m way too slow at listening to nonfiction (or reading it) and will interrupt a book to listen to a whole romance novel multiple times before I ever get around to finishing it. Anyway, let’s hop to the ten books I read in the final fifteen days of November.
10) The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory
This book was absolutely hilarious and while I think I should re-read The Wedding Date to make sure, I’m pretty sure I loved this book even more than The Wedding Date. I laughed out loud so many times reading this book and yes, I was reading it at like 5:45 am until 9:00 am on maybe three hours of sleep, but I’m pretty sure it was actually hilarious. Actually, I had my friend (male and very much not a romance reader) read the chapter that had me absolutely dying and while he did not laugh out loud, he did agree that it was really funny.
Oh, this book follows Nik and Carlos and they’re both wonderful, commitment scared people. Carlos and his sister rescue Nik after she’s proposed to on the Kiss Cam screen thing at a baseball game by a guy she’s been casually seeing for a few months. The two of them have absolutely marvelous chemistry and I genuinely adored everything about this book. A new favorite, for sure!
11) Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews
This is the first in the Kate Daniels series that I’ve given five stars and it was definitely because the story actually made sense to me and it was really engaging. I immediately borrowed the next book in the series from the library–which, for the record, was difficult to do in the short period of time from me finishing this one and my plane taking off. I really liked this story line and I liked the forward progression between Kate and Curran. So this one was great, in my opinion.
12) Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai
Remember when I told you that I keep interrupting Becoming to listen to romance novels? Yeah, well, that’s what happened here. I was really excited to learn that the Forbidden Hearts series is on audio and since it was on Hoopla, I decided to take the plunge and listen to one of my favorite books. I’m not sure that the guy who voices Nico sounds anything like Nico does in my head, but I will say that this book remains absolute perfection to me. I cried listening to it because I’m a sappy mess of a human being apparently. If you haven’t read this one, I would highly recommend. It’s so good.
Also, a general reminder: You deserve compassion.
13) The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
I really loved this book right up until the end (potential spoiler ahead, read on at your own risk).
I felt like we were building to something about ruination and then… Nothing really happened? This is the third book in the Rokesbys series by Julia Quinn and serves as a prequel series to the much beloved Bridgertons series. This book follows the second son (or maybe the third) of the Rokesbys who is essentially a pirate and Poppy Bridgerton, who stumbles upon the smugglers cave Andrew uses and finds herself kidnapped and captive on Andrew’s ship. Obviously a big risk of this plot/trope is having the burgeoning romance feel like it’s due to Stockholm Syndrome and it definitely did not feel that way. What I would have preferred though is that we have more not kidnapped time with Andrew and Poppy at the end of the book. But we didn’t get that, so… While this book was funny and witty with JQ’s trademark style, it didn’t have all that I was hoping for.
14) Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
This really should have been five stars for me, considering we finally get the romantic payoff I’ve been waiting for. And yet, it wasn’t quite. I guess in this urban fantasy world I’m just having issues adjusting to the fact that we’re not really using every opportunity to thrust Curran and Kate together, because that’s what I’m accustomed to even in Hidden Legacy. Plus, I just still don’t actually get this world. But it is a fun world, I guess, so I’m adjusting. They are enjoyable to read so there’s that.
15) Lick by Kylie Scott
I blame the Fated Mates podcast for this one because Sarah MacLean made this book sound oh so great. I think, though, this book wasn’t meant for the mood that I was in. I enjoyed it fine, but it didn’t grip me in the same way that Dirty by Kylie Scott gripped me a few months ago. Instead, I found myself wondering what the hell the heroine saw in this guy because I thought he was a bit of a jerk. Also, I am pretty much done reading about men who have trust issues with women because one woman did them wrong. Like, I’m sorry, you expect women to trust you because ???? The most dangerous place for women is the home and yet we’re expected to not really have any issues trusting men, unless we, personally, experienced some kind of very bad assault. (Did I mention that it might just be the mood I’m in? I think this review can show you why I might not have enjoyed this one as much. Haha)
16) The Friend Zoneby Kristen Callihan
The follow up to The Hook Up, which I absolutely adored earlier this month, The Friend Zone suffered from the same mood that caused Lick to not quite work for me (plus the inclusion of a trope I hate). That said, I still enjoyed reading about Ivy and Gray. I just think that I would have enjoyed reading their story more if I wasn’t in this mood. Gray lends his truck to Drew in The Hook Up and his potential agent lends him his daughter’s little car while she’s in London. Gray and Ivy strike up a text conversation that causes them to form a quick emotional bond that continues when Ivy lands back in the States. I really liked that this is a friends to lovers where we get to see the two become friends and don’t just jump into the relationship already formed. Plus, their sexual tension is pretty excellent.
17) Acute Reactionsby Ruby Lang
This book, in contrast to the last two, was not suffering from my bad mood and finding all heroes irritating. No, this one just did not work for me. The set up to this book is essentially that a dermatologist who is struggling to get started in private practice is attracted to her patient. This attraction is mutual, but obviously it is against the ethics rules. Eventually, he stops being her patient and then the two reconnect and start seeing one another. I would say that it’s the premise that doesn’t work for me on account of me having similar ethics rules, but that’s not really the issue. The writing style of this book just didn’t work for me and I really didn’t like the heroine. She’s just… I don’t really know how to explain it, but I felt like she was unnecessarily mean to her mother who didn’t do anything wrong. Her friendship with her two best friends felt weird and I didn’t buy into their friendship either. Just nothing about this book particularly worked for me. That said, I bought the trilogy as one book so I’m going to give Ms. Lang’s style another go and hope that it was just this particular heroine who didn’t work for me.
18) Fireworks by Sarina Bowen
I don’t know how Sarina Bowen’s writing works, but it can pretty much always draw me completely in. Plus, Benito is a pretty great hero and I’m already so attached to every side character in this series. Essentially, Skye and Benito became really close the year Skye spent in Vermont trying to avoid the creepy cop guy who her mom was seeing. Well now she’s back in this small town, ostensibly to hang out with her not quite step-sister, but said step-sister steals her rental car and tells her not to worry, she’s just trying to get some evidence and tells Skye to go find Benito. Skye hasn’t seen Benito since she fled Vermont years ago after learning that Benito went to prom with someone else, even though he’d asked her. Is that actually what happened that night? Well, you’ll see. Anyway, I love this book and this series so much.
19) Never Sweeterby Charlotte Stein
I could not resist a re-read of this book for some reason. I think I saw it mentioned a few times during #RomBkLove and some people on Twitter were talking about it a while ago. Anyway, I gave in to the temptation to re-read it and holy cow, what a trip. I do not understand how this book works. I just really don’t. It shouldn’t. It’s about Letty, who was bullied horrendously in high school to the point that one of her bullies (with the other two in the car) hit her with his car and knocked her off of a cliff. Now she’s in college (two years late thanks to the “accident”) and Tate is trying to make amends. It is bananas sexy, but like, IT SHOULD NOT WORK. And yet. I did knock it down to 4.5 stars this time because, I think, I spent the entire time going, “HOW DO YOU LIKE THIS?” But you know. Here we are. Never Sweeter is fantastic and I just can’t help it.
Alright, there you have it! The rest of m y November 2018 reads. We have almost made it to the end of this year that has been draining and exhausting and endless. Can you believe it hasn’t even been twelve months since the winter Olympics? Since Black Panther graced our screens? I cannot. But thank goodness we made it. Well, almost. Nearly. SO CLOSE, Y’ALL. I’m struggling today, but you know, that’s alright, because we deserve compassion.