One of the things I want to do more this year is write series reviews. I think they can be really informative when other people do them and I usually enjoy writing them! Plus, since I’m no longer reviewing every book I read on here, it seems like a nice way to be able to review a few more books than I would otherwise be able to. It’s also a goal of mine to try and complete or wrap up some series this year, so hopefully I’ll have plenty of content and can write one of these at least quarterly. I welcome any feedback on this idea! It’s going to be a learning experience for sure.
The majority of the series I’m going to review here are trilogies, but not all! The first series that I’m going to review for you is the Destiny trilogy by Beverly Jenkins then, Cara Bastone’s brilliant Forever Yours trilogy and then, the Modern Love trilogy by Alisha Rai. Now, let’s dive in!
Destiny by Beverly Jenkins
Destiny is a three book series set mostly in California in the 1800s and each book can be read as a standalone, though the secondary love story between Alanza and Max has a through line in the series, though the meat of it is in Destiny’s Surrender. Destiny’s Embrace, the first book in the series, shows Mariah in Philadelphia prior to making the journey west to California to be Logan Yates’ housekeeper. Mariah has a whole lot of spirit and watching her go toe to toe with Logan was an experience. This book made me laugh and I enjoyed it more than I was expecting given the slow beginning. For many people, book two, Destiny’s Surrender is their favorite because of Billie and I have to agree that Billie is pretty amazing. Billie is a prostitute and a good one. When she finds herself pregnant, she winds up keeping the child and knows once he is born that the child is definitely Andrew Yates’ son. There is a lot of adventure in this book and the HEA feels especially hard fought in a lot of ways. Then finally, the series is capped off with Destiny’s Captive, which is probably the darkest book in the series. Definitely check content warnings for each book. Anyway, in Destiny’s Captive, we have Pilar, a lady pirate who takes Noah and his boat captive, but that’s really only temporary. I liked that this book took us to Cuba and Florida before returning to California, but I wish we’d gotten more pirate times with Pilar. The familial through line in this series really worked for me and I liked getting to see their interactions over time and how the dynamic changed with each additional person. Overall, I enjoyed this series and rated all three books 3.5-4 stars.
Forever Yours by Cara Bastone
Technically, Forever Yours is a trilogy plus a novella and they can definitely be read as standalones, but why would you want to? If you’ve been here for a bit, you’ve probably heard me rave about my love of Cara Bastone. I have ARC reviews of books two (Can’t Help Falling) and three (Flirting with Forever) in the series where I just rave about all of my favorite things about these books, of which there are many. But beginning with When We First Met, the introductory novella where the epilogue introduces you to Matty and his dad, Sebastian (the romantic lead of the first book), Bastone is really building a community. These books are rich with love in many ways and they explore family and duty and work in full complexity and I love that about them. In both Just a Heartbeat Away and Can’t Help Falling there is an age gap where Sebastian and Tyler are both older than Via and Fin and the way Bastone sort of explores that with Mary being older in Flirting with Forever is fantastic. Bastone truly knocks it out of the park in the careful nuance and attention to detail. In case my raving about it wasn’t clear, I think this series is one that works really well together. The first two are probably more tightly wound up in one another, but even Flirting with Forever does such a perfect job of illustrating the community Bastone develops. Everything about this entire series is amazing and if you haven’t read it, I cannot recommend you do enough.
Modern Love by Alisha Rai
The conceit of Rai’s Modern Love series is a take on how things like dating apps, ghosting, cat fishing, and going viral impact relationships. The tie holding these books together is the friendship/roommate-ship of Rhiannon, Katrina, and Jia, but this series more than the others can really be read as a stand alone. That said, the glimpses we see of Rhi and Samson and even Katrina and Jas in later books in the series is delightful. I do have ARC reviews of each of these books! The Right Swipe (ARC Review) kicks off the series and features Rhiannon, a kickass CEO of her own dating app, who was ghosted by Samson, a man she had a really amazing immediate connection with. The walls Rhi has up are intense and for some people that didn’t work, but for me, everything about all three heroines worked so well. In Girl Gone Viral (ARC Review), Katrina has anxiety and I loved seeing that representation, plus the bodyguard/mutual pining scenario will basically never not work for me. And in First Comes Like (ARC Review), Jia is just all around AMAZING and I loved her so much. I also really liked the men in each of these books. My one criticism across the board of this series is that the endings were always too abrupt! That said, each of these books was a 4.5-5 star read for me so I definitely recommend!
Have you read any of these series? Let me know!