The second half of April saw me beginning my new job and I can’t pretend my reading didn’t suffer from it. The majority of the books I finished were due to audiobook time since I’m back to having a decent commute and because I went home for Easter weekend. The rest of my reading in April occurred last weekend when I devoured three books in two days. I was hoping that was a sign that I was adjusting to my job and that I would read more during the week, but so far, I’m still exhausted when I get home so we’ll see when things level out. Anyway, let’s not get ahead of ourselves and let’s talk about the books I read in the second half of April! At the end of this post, I’ll review the OWLS I passed and what my new career path is since I definitely didn’t achieve what I had on my TBR.
1. Macrieve by Kresley Cole
So… Listening to the Fated Mates podcast episode on this installment of Immortals After Dark changed my perspective on this book somewhat, but on a purely pleasure reading take, I didn’t like this book. At all. It took me forever to read it. Essentially, we’ve got Will who was vivisected on Torture Island, which compounded his childhood trauma (of being sexually abused by a sucubus) that he hasn’t dealt with even though he’s 900+ years old. He discovers his mate is a human, Chloe, and he’s like, “Everything will be different! I have purpose again! I have found the one for me and it’s amazing!” Only things aren’t exactly as they seem and Will deals with this turn of events horrifically. I understood the entire time that his reaction was due to his traumas, but that, to me, didn’t make up for how horrifically he acted toward Chloe. Also the cliffhanger ending in this book is apparently not going to be dealt with until the book that may or may not be coming out at the end of this month even though there’s still not a cover??? I have questions.
2. Play of Passion by Nalini Singh
In contrast to Macrieve, I adored Play of Passion, obviously. I adore Drew and Indigo’s story, but even more than that (sorry, Nalini), I adore the build up we get to Hawke and Sienna’s story in Kiss of Snow. Give me all of the Hawke and Sienna goodness please. If you’ve not read this series yet, please pick it up! It’s so marvelous. I can’t imagine there is anyone left reading my blog who doesn’t know that I absolutely adore the Psy-Changeling series, so I’m just going to move on to…
3. Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh
HI HELLO, this book is absolute perfection and have I ever loved anything more? The answer is either no or what about Hidden Legacy, but we’ll focus on Kiss of Snow for now. Hawke is the alpha of the SnowDancers and Sienna is more than a decade younger than him, a Psy, and also hella powerful in her own right. Hawke tries real hard to resist his draw to her, but lol, he keeps failing because of course he does. And Sienna challenges him at every turn and I love her so much for it. Genuinely one of the greatest books of all time.
4. Lucky Suit by Lauren Blakely
This short novella was an Audible member Original thing in like… February maybe? I don’t remember, but I did snatch it up because I was like ROMANCE. I found this one really interesting for a lot of reasons, and it made me want to read the other books Blakely has written featuring some of these characters. Or maybe she’s just going to write another one featuring some of these characters. I’m not totally sure. Regardless, this story features Kristen, who is tired of her grandmother, mother, and friends setting her up all the time and has decided she’s only going to meet someone online. And then we have Cam, who meets Kristen’s grandma at a car auction in Miami and insists that meeting face to face is the only way to do things. Well, the brilliant grandmother intervenes and then great things happen. It’s pretty chill and not a lot of conflict happens in this short listen, but it was really enjoyable!
5. Best of Luck by Kate Clayborn
Hello, this Chance of a Lifetime series is absolutely incredible and I’m so glad I finally forced myself to read the final book. (Although as Kate reassured me, we’re getting a novella this winter.) Anyway, this story follows Greer and Alex. Greer is determined to be fiercely independent and in control of her own destiny so when the people in charge of her college graduation tell her she’s a credit short, she’s not pleased. Alex, world renowned photographer and Kit’s older brother is experiencing panic attacks that he can’t make go away, and when Greer asks him for help, he says yes. Alex, who is not used to staying in one place, finds himself obligated for an entire month, which challenges him in a lot of ways. Also!!! This book features THERAPY with a therapist who is a lil’ bit unconventional but since it’s not in a sleeping with her clients kind of way, I thought it was great. And I absolutely adored all of the photography details featured in this story. It’s such a great book about creativity. Highly, highly recommend.
6. Fumbledby Alexa Martin
No one is more shocked than me that this book featuring a second chance romance AND a secret baby worked this well for me. I was super intrigued by this one after listening to the Wicked Wallflowers Club podcast episode… Whatcha Reading #4 (I think) because I was really intrigued by the CTE discussion they mentioned. Alexa Martin is also the wife of a former NFL player so I love how she infuses her books with some of those details I trust more because they’re from someone who knows about it. The baby is nine, btw, and the reason the baby is a secret is because TK Moore’s mom gave Poppy money for an abortion and also stole his phone to back up the idea that TK wanted Poppy to just have an abortion and disappear. Poppy obviously did not have an abortion and Ace is such an adorable child, I love him. (Seriously, are children ever this well behaved? If so, I want to take a parenting class from whoever is making this happen because my little cousins are terrors. Adorable and they listen sometimes, but mostly… Terrors.)
7. The Hot Shot by Kristen Callihan
I finally finished off this series as well and unsurprisingly loved it too. For the first time, The Hot Shot follows a teammate of Dex’s that was not on their college team, Finn, the quarterback for the New Orleans football team. (Is it New Orleans? I think so. Is the team The Saints? I doubt it, but idk what they’re called because that’s a detail that absolutely doesn’t matter.) ANYWAY, Finn and Chess get off to a rocky start, but Chess pulls him out of his shell during the naked photoshoot for the marketing team’s calendar and they wind up feeling some type of way about each other. Finn kind of just forces his way into Chess’s life but the slow burn is real. The two know they’re attracted to one another, but they refuse to act on it. Ahh. So good. It’s a friends to lovers slow burn that will likely work for people who don’t like romances with people who have been friends for ages before becoming lovers. I super love the cover image because it makes sense with the photo shoot at the beginning. I do wish there had been more about photography throughout the whole novel, but I really loved the beginning so I’ll let it slide.
8. When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton
I was actually really disappointed by this book, not that it isn’t good or well-written or whatever, but because I have never been so frustrated by character decisions in my life. I’m just never going to understand meeting someone and being ready to throw away principles right off the bat. Like, how does a ten minute conversation with someone have you ready to throw away your reputation? I mean this for both Beatriz and Nick, but honestly, Nick Preston is a Senator with aspirations for the presidency. He’s reckless and hypocritical throughout so much of this book. He drove me nuts. So I definitely prefer Next Year in Havana romance wise, but I did really like the spy stuff going on in this one. Sorry I know that I didn’t provide a synopsis at all, but if you’re curious, the link in the title is to Goodreads. (Also, I still gave this book four stars, just go in not expecting what I was expecting. Or hoping more than anything else.)
9. Gotta Catch Her by Kelly Haworth
I DNF’d this book at 80% because I was getting to the point where I was hate reading it. I really, really liked Corey Alexander’s review of this one, which I think articulates all of my issues in a much more eloquent way than my way, which is just like I don’t like this and I don’t like this and I don’t like this. So, if you don’t want to read a more eloquent review that tells you the good and bad, here goes: I hated the way this book treated Rachel being a single mom and Ann being into her. HATED. It misses the point of having kids in romance and maybe that will work for you, but for me, if you’re not into the kid or kids at all, then maybe like, don’t try to date a single parent?? And then there’s this huge focus on Ann’s work, which has NOTHING to do with the romance at all. Oh boy, I was so annoyed.
OWLS I Achieved and the Books I Read for Them:
1. Charms: When We Left Cuba
2. Defense: The Right Swipe
3. Divination: Branded by Fire
4. Herbology: Arouse
5.History of Magic: Blaze of Memory
6. Muggle Studies: A Prince on Paper
7. Potions: Shadow’s Claim
8. Transfiguration: Lucky Suit
Career I’m Going to Try to Achieve
Since I can’t be a Mind Medic, I’m going with a Ministry of Magic employee in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement or whatever. I don’t want to be an auror, but I think this is where the lawyer equivalents are so let’s just go with real life, shall we? Also I’m definitely stretching the bounds of History of Magic (it’s a 2009 release, but I think it was in June?) and Transfiguration (but there is red on the cover!!). We’re counting it though because I need a job, okay?
So, what was your favorite book of April? Did you participate in the OWLS readathon?