Well, a month later than when #SnowInLoveBingo is meant to end, I’ve finally finished it! Woo! And even though you may not actually care anymore, I’m still excited to talk about the 25 books I read for it! So let’s dive in since these posts are always much too long.
Black Love: The Promise of a Kiss by Synithia Williams is a novella in the Jackson Falls series about two people who are not part of the wildly rich and very… um, dramatic, Robidoux family. It was a really lovely addition to this world, fleshing out some side characters and I liked the romance. I just wish it could have been a little longer.
’tis the damn season: Santa’s Baby by Té Russ is an incredibly short story that is rather sweet about a woman whose sister has nicknamed her Miss Scrooge getting her holiday spirit back thanks to a gorgeous Black man who filled in for the mall Santa one day.
Found Family: I really like the friendship that ties the three novellas Hazelwood is releasing together, but mostly I really liked this romance in Stuck with You. It’s short and quick and fun. I listened while driving to my friend’s house and it was a joy to listen to and made the drive go by quicker. (Along with the other several audiobooks I listened to on the trip.)
Adventure: Fate’s Edge by Ilona Andrews happens to be one of the audiobooks I enjoyed on my home from my friend’s house and it too made the time go by faster. It also got me through the stress that was driving 81 with snow on the ground. Y’all. I do not recommend. Anyway, I really liked this installment of The Edge series. I really enjoyed Kalder and Aubrey and more importantly, Jack and George. I love them. I’m looking forward to reading/re-reading The Innkeeper series because apparently they show up in that one? I’m looking forward to it, for sure.
20th Century Vibes: A Delicate Affair by Lindsay Evans was a really interesting historical. The love interests come from very different stations in life. Golden was born in the South and fled to avoid being lynched for allegedly looking at a white woman and now he’s in D.C., not necessarily content with the city or his life. He plays music in this club and is really talented. Anyway, one night Leonie walks in and he’s immediately drawn to her. She grew up wealthy in D.C. and is suffocating under the weight of her parent’s expectations. Their romance is very physical, but also they have a pretty intense connection. I would definitely recommend.
Romantic Gesture: I really loved The Spire, which brings together Erin Walsh, a precious bean who has been through so much, with Nick Acevedo, a doctor and a snack. He’s the best with romantic gestures, while Erin sort of wants to keep running forever. I love them both.
Job You Want(ed): I have basically always loosely wanted to be an author, which is why I chose Seven Days in June by Tia Williams to fulfill this spot, since both love interests are in fact authors. I also really appreciated the chronic illness representation and the recovering alcoholic situation. This book is written beautifully, but let me tell you, listening to that audiobook was high key STRESSFUL because I really thought all of you lied to me when you told me it had an HEA.
Cozy: Sing Anyway by Anita Kelly is a brilliantly cozy little novella with excellent Queer representation and also the karaoke café of my dreams. The friends, the romance, the fat rep… Everything about this was like being enfolded in a warm hug and I was a big fan.
Established Relationship: I’m in love with Katrina Jackson’s The Family series and the only thing that is surprising about me using Dolci to fill this prompt is that I waited so long to read it. I do wish I’d re-read The Hitman first for maximum impact, but nonetheless, it was a fun, sexy novella.
Wolves: Not the Witch You Wed by April Asher is (a) a book I have an ARC review of and (b) one of the mostly fun, paranormal rom-com with light world-building that’s been coming out lately. I was glad for the emergence of witches, but I’m still not sure I’ve found my perfect book with witches yet. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this series intro enough that I will definitely be continuing on!
Dessert: Honestly, Accidentally Engaged is just full of food and it made me very hungry while reading. I also really enjoyed the romance though! It made me excited to return to The Chai Factor, which I sort of wandered away from after getting about halfway through. Oops.
Author You Want to Try: Wicked Intentions is the first book in the Maiden Lane series, which I’d been wanting to try thanks to b.andherbooks enthusiasm for the series. I’m glad I finally did because I’m hooked, although I will say, I didn’t love Wicked Intentions.
Happy Holidays: bittersweet by CCJ was magnificent as always. I truly just love her characters and her community. This is a hate to love set during the Christmas season and it sparkled.
Backlist Title: Necessary Restorations was another installment of The Walsh series, which y’all may have noticed I’m hooked on. Ultimately, Sam and Tiel aren’t my favorites, mostly because Sam is… well, Sam. But I don’t think I can ever really dislike a Kate Canterbary novel either so it was still a good time. (Please note the entire Walsh series requires content warnings if you are sensitive to… well, almost anything.)
Five Star Prediction: For some reason, between this cover and the fact that Melanie talked about the book a few times, I was convinced The Heiress Gets a Duke by Harper St. George would be a five star read for me. It wasn’t quite, but I devoured the entire series so I have no regrets. I’m now impatiently waiting for book four in the series.
All The Tropes: Honestly, this might be a stretch, but I decided to count Under One Roof by Ali Hazelwood because the enemies to friends to lovers paired with the forced proximity trope of roommates (housemates, in this instance) felt very trope-tastic. I enjoyed this one immensely on my drive to see my friend. I didn’t have the same issues with the audio narrator I think other people did, so maybe listen to a sample before you pick it up!
Winter Wonderland: Okay, so in Dancing Through the Snow by Té Russ, the male love interest gifts our female love interest with a handmade snow globe of a ballet dancer and I full on melted. I really enjoyed both the main story and the bonus story at the end of this one. Highly recommend.
Indigenous Author: For absolutely no reason I’ve put off reading Seducing His Secret Wife by Robin Covington for ages and let me tell y’all, I thought it was amazing! What an excellent category romance. The characterization was impeccable! I really enjoyed it.
Holding Hands: My sister came to visit and decided it was her opportunity to get me to finally listen to From Blood and Ash and I’m so grateful. I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with this series, but I’m genuinely enjoying it so much. What a fun ride it’s been. Also, there was a truly great hand holding scene in here. Turns out when you’re basically kept from touching anyone ever, it really amps up even innocent touches.
Swoonies Rec: So one of the books nominated for The Swoon Awards this year was The Wedding Ringer by Kerry Rea, which ultimately didn’t win, but I listened to it partially because of the Swoonies nom and because I’d seen some positive reviews from trusted sources (Amber, Nick, Jess, Brie, Kini, and Kim to name just a few) and I absolutely adored this one. I would say it’s not a romance, but the friendship storyline in here is magnificent. I think about this book a lot even now, two months later, which is always a good sign.
Sparring: I love this book. I almost forgot how much and then I went to start writing this paragraph and remembered the gloriousness of the banter between Shannon and Wes in The Cornerstone and the urge to read it again hit me like a wave. I think this one might be my favorite in the series. Truly, just a brilliant book. I loved it so much.
Star: Hunt the Stars by Jessie Mihalik is the first book in her new series and it was a delightful space adventure. I didn’t love it quite as much as Polaris Rising, but I think that might have been due to the audiobook. You can read my ARC review if you’d like more information.
Hotel/Inn: Well Matched by Jen DeLuca was a good time and I really liked April and Mitch together. I still wanted it to give just a little more, but overall, it was much closer to living up to Well Met than the second installment in the series.
Non-Binary/Trans Representation: Anita Kelly’s Love & Other Disasters was a really fantastic time and also still managed to feel pretty cozy even while dealing with a fair amount of topics. The reality tv set felt like the perfect backdrop and I think did it the best of most of the books I’ve read of a similar vein in the past year or so. Here’s a link to my ARC review if you’d like more of my thoughts.
MC’s Name Starts with an A/D/J: Tempting the Bride by Sherry Thomas was a great way to cap off the angsty series of my dreams. I spaced out the three books in the Fitzhugh series much more than I really meant to, but I have no regrets. All three installments are great, but ouch, Sherry Thomas really knows how to hurt a heart.
And there you have it! The best part of Bingo might be finding new favorites and I think that was certainly the case here. I found some new series to love and to devour, new characters to love, and some books that will stay with me for a very long time. I hope if you participated, your #SnowInLoveBingo experience was fantastic! If not, I hope you’ll join us for #SpringIntoLoveBingo and that even if you don’t, your reading in the next few months is a smash hit.
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