In the month of September, I read eighteen books, which is a bit lower than normal. It’s also a pretty good indicator of where I’m at right now in terms of dealing with the pandemic. AKA, I can’t do anything, including focus on reading. That said, I’ve read some really incredible books, so I’m looking forward to talking about my five favorites of the month. But let’s jump into this new format again!
A Visual Gallery of All the Books I Read This Month
A Brief List of Each Book I Read and Star Rating
- Truth or Dare by Danielle Allen – 5 stars
- When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole – 5 stars – ARC Review
- Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade – 5 stars – ARC Review
- The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaller – 3.5 stars
- Well Played by Jen DeLuca – 3 stars – ARC Review
- Destiny’s Surrender by Beverly Jenkins – 4 stars
- White Hot by Ilona Andrews – 5 stars (reread)
- You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle – 5 stars
- His Until Midnight by Reese Ryan – 3 stars
- The Duke Who Didn’t by Courtney Milan – 5 stars – ARC Review
- The Liar’s Dice by Jeannie Lin – 4 stars
- All Scot and Bothered by Kerrigan Byrne – 2 stars (also, problematic, please see Goodreads review updates) – ARC Review
- Her Halloween Treat by Tiffany Reisz – 3 stars
- Act Like It by Lucy Parker – 4.5 stars (reread)
- After Hours Redemption by Kianna Alexander – 3 stars
- Pretty Face by Lucy Parker – 5 stars
- Sweet on You by Carla de Guzman – 4 stars
- Untamed Passion by Cat Shield – 3 stars
Total Books Read: 18 books (This is the lowest amount I’ve read all year)
Average Rating: 4 stars
Sources: Owned (including hauled in 2020): 10 (3 are books I read as ARCs but hauled the final copy), Borrowed: 3, ARCs: 8
Genre: 12 Contemporary Romance, 1 Thriller, 4 Historicals, 1… whatever White Hot is
Age: 18 Adult
Format: 2.33 Physical, 12.33 Ebook, 3.33 Audiobook (I literally read When No One is Watching in every format)
Authors of Color: 8
Five Favorites of September
Pretty Face by Lucy Parker
As soon as I finished this book, I just wanted to reread it again immediately. I’m in love with these characters and I know this is going into my continual reread rotation. It’s about Lily Lamprey, who is gorgeous in the way that makes sexist people assume she’s dumb, even though she really isn’t. She also has a voice like Marilyn Monroe singing happy birthday and… she’s being put forth to play Queen Elizabeth I in a play Luc Savage is directing. He says some really sexist things and then finally meets her and discovers that she can act (obviously). And then they oopsies fall in love even though he’s her director and also much older than she is and I spent the whole book in a constant state of glee and then sadness and then glee again. Also, we see Lanie and Richard again and it was GLORIOUS.
You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
This book had me literally laughing out loud so loudly my sister came out of her room to ask me what the heck I was doing. I loved this book with every fiber of my soul and while I had a feeling that was likely, I had no idea how much I would love this. The pettiness of these characters is everything to me. This is a relationship in trouble story between Nicholas and Naomi, an engaged couple, who basically hate each other. Probably. Or more accurately, Naomi loves Nicholas like 10%. There are pranks and ridiculous antics and everything about this book could have gone veering off a cliff into disasterland and instead kept me glued to the pages, laughing, and eventually crying HAPPY TEARS. Who does that? Me apparently. Anyway, forever grateful to Aarya for pushing me to actually pick up this book that was languishing on my shelves because I loved it so much.
The Duke Who Didn’t by Courtney Milan
I am so excited for Courtney that this made the USA Today List and I’m here to tell you that it deserves that and more. This book is absolutely incredible and I’m so obsessed with it. I can’t wait to eventually have a physical copy for my shelves. Honestly, just, the characters and the town and the romance in this book are all to die for and I was so grateful for the subversion of the tropes and the lack of the bleak moment. It was everything I needed and still suspenseful and just… Courtney Milan is a master at craft and if you haven’t read this book yet, don’t wait. Go get yourself a copy immediately.
Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade
Speaking of books that are wonderful and just what I needed, Spoiler Alert was just what I needed. As this image indicates, there is fandom and fanfiction writing, which is not seen as something dumb or lesser. Our heroine, April, is a geologist and she’s incredible. There’s a museum trip that was super hot and I was like, “what!!!” The fat representation is classic Olivia Dade, so the fatphobia is called out and not internalized by April. She knows what she deserves and she’s going to get it and accept nothing less. Which is where boundary setting comes in and, y’all, it is glorious.
When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole
This book definitely creeped me out, but also it’s Alyssa Cole so the writing is impeccable and the characters are fascinating. Ultimately, it left me wanting more like this from Alyssa, which is very concerning.
P.S. My honorable mention this month is Truth or Dare by Danielle Allen, which was sexy af and I loved it a lot. Here is Nick’s review about it in her Twitter made me read it post (same).
My Favorite Posts of Mine from September
My Favorite Posts from Around the Internet
This fun Reel about Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade from Ellie Darkins and this incredible cosplay of April from Emily Hemenway! And did you see these gorgeous fanart photos of Jen DeLuca’s characters from Well Met and Well Played? And Shannon is making character cards for the ladies of the Uptown Girls series by Joanna Shupe.
This great list of 12 romances with fat representation from Carole V. Bell for Book Riot
This excellent episode of Black Chick Lit interviewing Alyssa Cole
This really great thread of Rebekah Weatherspoon’s asking for recommendations of romance novels with characters who have super specific professions
Nick’s thread of books as donuts that made me SO hungry and want donuts badly. And this one from Ели of books as jewelry was fantastic! This thread of Chris Pine as romance novel covers is, um, something nice for your eyeballs. Normally, I don’t like to link to this particular site but, Chris Evans as book covers was everything to me, so… And Henry Cavill (so gorgeous despite his problematic ways) as book covers is here… And Tom Hardy’s. Now someone needs to do Henry Golding and make sure you tag me because my eyeballs are ready.
This incredible article from Shondaland about Indie Romance being a big business!
Zeee made a great post about how we need diverse audiobook narrators, which I think is an excellent point.
Did you read anything you want to squeal about? Rant about? If so, leave it down below so we can chat! And let me know what you think about my five favorites this month and what yours were.