Favorite Reads of Quarter One

I love these check in posts! I have done a lot of reading in three months and it’s nice to be able to look back and see what my favorites were of that quarter. I read 81 books in the first quarter of the year and I have a list of ten favorites for you all. I am going to try to rank order them starting from 10 and counting up to my most favorite so we’ll see how that goes. Alright, enough suspense. Let’s get to it!

Pine trees covered in snow in the background and then a gray box with text reading 1st quarter favorites takes up the center

10. A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

This is Nalini’s first foray into thrillers and I really, really liked it. It’s a slow paced mystery/thriller trying to piece together what happened to a beloved local girl with a bright future and also the mystery of what happened to these missing hikers from our main character’s childhood. There’s also a really great slow-moving romance developing between Anahera and the new detective in town. It’s so atmospheric and I really loved it, especially on audio. I would definitely recommend!

9. Desire & the Deep Blue Sea by Olivia Dade

A quick novella with fat rep and anxiety rep, Desire & the Deep Blue Sea is about two librarians fake dating so they can go on an all expenses paid island vacation on a reality show. Callie is kind of over Thomas when she invites him at the last minute on this trip because he’s not the best co-worker, but Thomas is all in on Callie. I really loved this quick read and would absolutely recommend!

8. Nightchaser by Amanda Bouchet

This is a really fun sci-fi romp that I really loved despite having a deception plot. Honestly, no one is more surprised than me. But genuinely, this book has both high stakes and yet has the security of trusting that things are going to work out. I love romance. Tess Bailey has a secret identity and wasn’t really expecting to be found out by the family she ran away from, but she finds solace on the run with her found family and the man she found to fix her ship, Shade Ganavan. Of course, Shade isn’t exactly who he seems either. Anyway, I really liked this one and would recommend!

7. When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors & Asha Bandele

This nonfiction memoir is about Khan-Cullors and touches on so many issues, like mass incarceration and how it affected her life, gang ordinances, poverty, mental health, queerness, and, of course, how Khan-Cullors helped found the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s a very emotional read and there’s a lot of grief tied up in this memoir, but I would absolutely recommend.

6. Small Change by Roan Parrish

This is an absolutely gorgeously written novel featuring jaded but hopeful tattoo shop owner and artist, Ginger, and the cinnamon roll sandwich shop owner next door, Christopher. I highlighted so many lines as I read this book and I just absolutely adored it. There’s a lot of talk about depression and also Ginger is bi or pan, I don’t remember if her label is on page… The cast of secondary characters in this novel is just top notch and I’m so excited to read more of Parrish this year.

5. American Love Story by Adriana Herrera

You know how people keep trying to write books with people on opposite sides of the aisle falling in love and half of us are like, wtf, no, stop? Yeah, well, this book is how to do that concept without throwing your morals out the window. This book is about a domestic violence prosecutor who is acting district attorney (Easton) and Cornell University professor and activist (Patrice) and their adventures in wanting to be together and not being able to quite figure out how to make that happen. It’s a beautiful book that gave me a decent amount of anxiety because of my own job, but I would absolutely recommend this book!

4. Love Hard by Nalini Singh

I mean, tbh, this book was destined to be one of my favorites when it opened with Gabriel and Charlotte getting married. Like, how do you not fall in love with a book when it involves your favorite couple getting married? Fortunately for me, Nalini also gave me new characters to fall in love with. I have been intrigued by Jake for ages and wanted to know what his story was given that he’s a single father. Turns out Esme’s mom died shortly after giving birth to her. And now Jake finds himself reunited with Esme’s mom’s best friend, who happens to be a tabloid favorite. Jules is not actually the wild child the tabloids would have you believe and I adored everything about her. She’s prickly and strong willed and loyal to a fault. I just loved this book with my whole heart and I’m so glad I got to read it.

3. The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite

Another absolutely beautifully written book that has a ton of kindle highlights from me, The Lady’s Guide is about two ladies finding hope and joy again. More literally, the book involves Lucy deciding to fulfill Lady Catherine’s request for a translator herself and showing up at Catherine’s door. Catherine has some issues with science because of her late husband, but she’s certainly intrigued by Lucy. This book is soft and sweet and angsty at the same time. It’s delightful.

2. The Rogue of Fifth Avenue by Joanna Shupe

I absolutely fell in love with Mamie and Frank in this book, which starts with Frank finding his client’s well-bred daughter gambling in a gentleman’s only casino and not for the first time. He decides he must keep an eye on her, but finds himself sucked into her world and learns that there’s a lot more than meets the eye to Mamie. Which is how he winds up defending a woman accused of murdering her husband at Mamie’s behest. This book is absolutely delightful and brilliant in every way. I loved it so much.

  1. House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

My favorite book of the quarter is one of my most anticipated books of the year and it certainly lived up to the hype for me, personally! Although the beginning is slow, the build up of relationships and the character development had me head over heels for these characters by the end. It’s a bit of a murder mystery set in a fantasy world that straddles an interesting line between urban and high fantasy in my opinion. There’s a super slow burn romance at the heart of this book too, but it’s not as steamy as some of her other books despite being her first adult title. I’m so excited to find out more about what comes next!

And there you have it! My ten favorite books of the first quarter of the year. I’ve read a ton of really good books, but these are the ones that have stuck with me the most. What are some of your favorite books you’ve read this year?


3 responses to “Favorite Reads of Quarter One”

  1. I need to read all of these, especially Crescent City! Except, you know, the ones I’ve already read 🙂 But seriously, hopefully I can manage to get into Crescent City now that I have more free time


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