7-Year-Old Picks My TBR

Last month I had Roree, my 7 year old, pick out five books from my bookshelves for me to read and the order I should read them.

It took me this long to actually finish them because I had a bunch of ARCs to read and a few readathons, but I finally did it!

And this was the result:

 

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Book #1: Fall Back Skyward by Autumn Grey

Why She Picked It: She loved the girl on the front cover’s hair – she thought she looked like a mermaid.

What It’s About: This is a contemporary epic romance about a girl who moves in next door to two brothers who both fall for her, but from the beginning, her heart belongs to the quiet brother who happens to be deaf, as opposed to the charming, outgoing brother.

What I thought: I ADORED this book. Autumn Grey is definitely going to be an author I read more of. Much like Mia Sheridan and Brittainy C. Cherry, I’m determined to read her backlist.

This book was heartbreaking and swoony. I adored how it was told and how it jumped timelines. When you’re first introduced to the characters, it is right in the middle of their story. I love how I was immediately invested in these characters and when you do get to see how they met and how things progressed, it’s so satisfying, but also heartbreaking because you know how the story is going to end.

Or at least you think you do.

Contemporary books don’t tend to have a lot of epic romances, but man, this one did. I was so in love with this couple.

I can’t even tell you how many butterflies I had while reading this book and I’m so grateful that my daughter picked this one out for me to read. It truly makes me wonder how many great books are sitting on my shelf, just waiting to be read and continuously being looked over.

Rating: 5 Stars ★★★★★

 

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Book #2: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Why She Picked It: This faces out on my bookshelf and the cover drew her eye because of the metallic red on black.

What It’s About: This is a retelling of the Queen of Hearts’ origin story from Alice in Wonderland.

What I thought: Holy. Crap. Another amazing choice!

I’ve been reading Melissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles and I read Renegades as well, and I really enjoyed both of them, but, in Renegades in particular, I found it to be a little immature and I think that is what I was expecting from this book.

I was wrong.

This book is such a book hangover cure for Caraval because of the whimsy and magic that has the ability to absolutely sweep you away.

I knew how this story would end. I mean, it’s a villain’s origin story, so the sense of foreboding I had while reading this was warring with how much I was rooting for the romance.

And the romance.

It was SO good. It felt so much like the romance in Caraval. Epic and effervescent. But combined with the tinge of darkness because of who our main character ultimately becomes.

Rating: 5 stars ★★★★★

 

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Book #3: Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

Why She Picked It: She liked the cover of it because it looked like “Tie dye.”

What It’s About: This is about a very old witch in a teenager’s body, who is sick of how dark her life has become and decides to hide away at a retreat for magical beings.

What I thought: The premise of this is so good. I loved the idea of a witch who has grown tired of the dark privilege her so-called friends have to the point where she escapes to this tree-hugging, everyone-pitches-in-and-earns-their-keep farm. 

However…

I hated the main character. She was so immature, yet was supposed to be something like a thousand years old! Yes, she was in a teenager’s body, but she threw tantrums and was rude and acted like a 13 year old brat.

I feel like this would’ve been so much better if it was new adult and she was in her early 20s, and, yes, being reluctant in a new lifestyle is fine, but acting like a brat – I just couldn’t handle it. And it makes me so mad because I love the title of this and I really do like this author, but I couldn’t handle the main character.

Rating: No rating. I DNF’d this book.

 

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Book #4: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

Why She Picked It: She thought the girl on the cover was beautiful and she liked the flowers. She also liked the metallic blue.

What It’s About: This is a twist on the story of Mulan.

What I thought: This book was as beautiful and badass as the cover.

I’ve always been partial to the story of Mulan, but I love how much more intricate this story was in comparison.

Our main character doesn’t magically have all sorts of powers and though she is a badass, it’s because of her quick-thinking bravery, and resilience, not any magical skill.

The writing was also one of my favorite things about this book. It was beautiful and fit so well with the story itself. I felt like I was experiencing everything our main character did, right beside her.

 

Rating: 5 stars ★★★★★

 

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Book #5: Becoming Mrs. Lockwood by KI Lynn

Why She Picked It: She liked the purple spine and the guy on the cover “looked cool.”

What It’s About: A high school girl whose mom ditches her while they are on vacation in Las Vegas, so she meets this older, rich guy in her hotel lobby who takes her out to see the sights since her mom didn’t.

What I thought: How can a book simultaneously be insta-lovey and also 500 pages. I just don’t understand.

The other thing I didn’t understand was what the heck the hero saw in the heroine. He’s infatuated with her because he sees her across the room staring at her phone for a really long time and somehow she’s “not like other girls.”

On top of that, when he does talk to her, he finds out she’s 18, but still in high school, yet he pursues her anyway.

And, of course, she’s virginal and innocent, yet super inappropriately flirty for having just met an older man.

I just… I couldn’t do it. I could not do over 500 pages of this nonsense.

Rating: No rating, DNF.

ARC Review: Beach Read by Emily Henry

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Beach Read
Author: Emily Henry
Format: ARC received in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley, hardcover purchased from Book of the Month.
Release Date: May 19, 2020

Synopsis:
A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

GOODREADS

Review

There are two key indicators that I loved this book:
1. I unconsciously disobeyed the laws of a pandemic and found myself constantly touching my face – pressing my hand over my mouth to hold in gasps of surprise and sighs of happiness.

2. I sat staring blankly at the pages after certain scenes, trying to pinpoint what exactly it was making the butterflies swarm in my belly.

Beach Read, I feel, will be my new recommendation for people who like Women’s Fiction and find they want to get into romance. To me, I think this book could easily be categorized as both.

The “deep dive into everyday, angsty life” aspect felt very Women’s Fiction-y, but the romance was one of the strongest elements of this story… and it helps that it was done really well.

Also… the humor in this had me snorting out loud so many times. The one-liners in this book were on point. I had to keep a pen with me anytime I picked up this book so that I could underline my favorite parts.

Let’s talk about the romance because I realized a few things.

This book had two key elements that many of my favorite romance novels have: pining and longing. Extra points for when one of the love interests has no idea those two things are going on.

This. This is exactly how I want to feel when I read a romance novel. I want to feel giddy and excited and hopeful. I also like feeling as though I went through something to get there. That I earned it.

Beach Read was all of those things. The hype surrounding this book is well deserved.


Butterfly Rating: 4 Stars

4-stars


Re-read Worthiness: Yes!


Bookshelf Placement: Yes!


Book Boyfriend Rating: 4 stars

4-stars

 

 

 

April Audiobook Haul

In light of my recent eBook haul, I thought it would be fun to share all the audiobooks I hauled last month.

Thankfully, Audible Escape lets you view your borrow history now, which makes this even easier!

I subscribe to a bunch of audiobook services, so I’ve broken up this list by each service.

If you’d like to watch the video version of this post, head over to my BookTube channel:

 

Audible Credits

I used my precious monthly credit on House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas. This is SJM’s first adult book. It’s an urban high fantasy with all sorts of magical creatures including angels, fae, demons, shifters, and sprites. I read the first half of the physical book and listened to the rest on audio to give my hands a break from the weight of that hefty book.

Goodreads

 

I purchased a couple of extra credits and ended up using one of them on The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez. This is the second book in The Friend Zone series. I adored The Friend Zone even though some think the ending is problematic. In fact, I liked it more than this one, just a bit. It’s about a grieving woman who finds the hero’s lost dog and takes care of him while he is on vacation. If you like dogs, you’ll like this series.

Goodreads

 

The other credit I used to get the second book in the Hard Hitters series by Nalini Singh – Rebel Hard. Unfortunately, I DNF’d this one. I just wasn’t feeling it, but I might try it again. This is a contemporary romance with an arranged marriage trope.

Goodreads

 

Audible Escape Borrows

 

Inappropriate by Vi Keeland
I liked this one more than I expected! I gave it 4 stars. It’s about a girl who gets fired for having inappropriate content on her private social media and ends up calling her boss’s boss in a drunken rage. It’s their romance and it was really good!

Goodreads

 

Better When It Hurts by Skye Warren
This is a super short gritty stripper romance novella that I read for Smutathon. It was ok. I gave it 3 stars.

Goodreads

 

Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers # ) by Sarina Bowen
This is a contemporary hockey romance series that I’ve been reading and enjoying! I gave this book   stars.

Goodreads

 

Assigned a Mate by Grace Goodwin
This is a slightly ridiculous alien mail order bride super short, smutty book I read during Spring Break. It was OK for what it is and I gave it 3 stars.

Goodreads

 

Fighting for Everything by Laura Kaye
This is an emotional friends-to-lovers military romance where the hero is dealing with some serious PTSD. I enjoyed everything in this book except the romance and considering this is a romance, I only gave it 3 stars.

Goodreads

 

The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen
This is a friends-to-lovers new adult sports romance with disability rep. Our heroine is recently wheelchair-bound after a hockey incident. I loved seeing her journey, but the romance wasn’t believable – I would’ve preferred the two just stay friends and I didn’t agree with the hero’s choices. 3 stars.

Goodreads

 

 

Menace by JM Darhower
This is a dark scarred hero mafia romance that just had a weird tone to it that threw me off. I also didn’t really care too much about the characters or the story in general and ended up giving it 3 stars.

Goodreads

 

Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers # 2) by Sarina Bowen
This is another book in the Brooklyn Bruisers contemporary hockey romance series that I’ve been enjoying.

Goodreads

 

Jock Row by Sarah Ney
I DNF’d this one because the heroine was so annoying. It’s about a girl who is kicked out of a frat party for being … annoying … she refuses to leave because her friends are there (even though her friends didn’t care about her), so the hero is charged with guarding her from coming in the house and somehow ends up falling for her even though she’s the worst. I think she was supposed to be funny, but she wasn’t. It would appear this author is not for me because I didn’t like How to Date a Douchebag either.

Goodreads

 

I Dare You by Ilsa Madden
This was OK. It fell a little flat for me despite having a cute premise. It’s new adult unknown number sports romance and the two of them dare each other to do things. 3 stars.

Goodreads

 

The entire Pucked series by Helena Hunting
This was a reread for me – I love this series! I fell even more in love with Book 6 than I did the first time I read it!

Goodreads

 

January by Audrey Carlan
This was a short read for Smutathon and it was dumb. We have our stereotypical “I’m not like other girls” heroine that made me roll my eyes more often than not. The hero wasn’t well developed either. 2 stars.

Goodreads

 

Brooklynaire (Brooklyn Bruisers #4) by Sarina Bowen
NEW FAVORITE! I adore this book so freaking much! 5 million stars! It’s about the quirky owner of the hockey team who also happened to build a tech company from the ground up and the girl he has cared about for years – his assistant who has no idea.

Goodreads

 

Cherish Hard by Nalini Singh
This has one of my favorite heroes and a super fun second meet cute. It’s about a girl who gets publicly dumped at a party in college and the younger guy who has liked her since then.

Goodreads

 

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
I read this book during Spring Break and really enjoyed it. It had all the elements I like in a YA. It’s a friends to lovers to enemies to lovers, forced togetherness romance that takes place in the wilderness for the majority of the book.

Goodreads

 

Misconduct by Penelope Douglas
This was a really good forbidden romance between a teacher and her student’s father with a great meet cute.

Goodreads

 

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
I love this author’s To All the Boys series and I was hoping I’d like this one just as much, but I ended up DNFing this one.

Goodreads

 

Art & Soul by Brittainy C Cherry
BCC has yet to let me down so far. This is a sweet romance between a musician and an pregnant artist in high school who have to work together on a school project.

Goodreads

 

Try by Ella Frank
I did not like this one at all. The main character was pushy and made me super uncomfortable. I ended up DNFing this one.

Goodreads

 

The Butterfly Project by Emma Scott
This was a rec from a subscriber and I absolutely loved it. It’s about a tattoo artist with a troubled past who has dreams of publishing a graphic novel and ends up moving in with a guy she just met in a one bedroom apartment. This is so swoony and the hero is amazing.

Goodreads

 

Fire in His Blood by Ruby Dixon
This is the author of the Ice Planet Barbarians series that I really enjoyed. This book is a post-apocolypic dragon shifter romance. This was just ok for me. I gave it 3 stars.

Goodreads

 

Audible Sale Purchases

Audible had a $5 sale and I picked up a couple of exciting books!

Wolfsong by TJ Klune
This was my favorite read of April. I absolutely adored this book because of the epic romance and the all around fantastic story. It’s a slowburn M/M shifter romance.

Goodreads

 

Rhapsodic by Laura Thalassa
I bought this blindly simply because of the author, but since then I found out that a lot of people really enjoy this book. I believe it is a fantasy romance with fae.

Goodreads

 

 

Libro.FM Credits

This is my new favorite audiobook service because all purchases benefit independent bookstores! They have a great selection. It works just like Audible. You can get your first month free with my link!

Docile by KM Szpara
This seems to be a pretty polarizing read and the premise sounds interesting to me. It’s takes place in a world where family debt can be erased in exchanged for slavery for the rest of your life. If you choose to do that, you get injected with a drug called Docile which makes you complient. This is the story of a man who decides to do this without the drug.

Goodreads

 

Sick Kids in Love by Hanna Moskowitz
This is a YA romance between two teens with chronic illnesses. I’m here for the chronic illness rep.

Goodreads

Kindle Unlimited & Free eBook Haul

A long time ago I used to include eBooks on my book hauls back when I posted them here on my blog. It’s been several months since I have, so I thought it’d be fun to show you what I downloaded on eBook in April.

These are all KU or books that I found for free. Since pricing and KU availability changes so frequently, I can’t promise that these will still be available a the price I got them, but there is a decent chance!

If you’d rather watch this haul, you can check out this video on my BookTube channel:

April eBook Haul

Summer Magic by TM Cromer
Free download
A small town witchy romance. First in the Thorn Witches series. A romance between a witch who is struggling with her powers and the local sheriff.
Amazon

 

Lakeshore Secrets by Shannyn Lear
Free download
An small town second chance romance about a girl who was forced to leave her town, her family, and the man she loved… and what happens when she returns.
Amazon

 

Taming Her Mountain Man by Cameron Hart
Kindle Unlimited
A romance between a curvy girl and an older mountain man.
Amazon

 

The Forbidden Man by Karina Halle
Kindle Unlimited
This is a standalone forbidden sports romance between an older woman and a soccer player.
Amazon

 

Theirs for the Night by Katee Robert
Free
A super steamy MMF romance between a girl, a prince, and his bodyguard. I read this one, you can read about my thoughts in my April Wrap Up.
Amazon

 

Deliver by Pam Godwin
Free
This is a dark, taboo romance between a woman who sells male slaves, but ends up falling in love with one of them.
Amazon

 

Third Son’s a Charm by Shana Galen
Free
This is a historical romance between a duke’s daughter and her bodyguard.
Amazon

 

Lost & Found by Nicole Williams
Free
This is a new adult romance about a girl who promises her mom that she will get herself together in exchange for her mother paying for art school. She has a lot of baggage and has made a lot of bad choices… until she meets Rowen, a cowboy who lives in her town.
Amazon

 

Ruin by Rachel Van Dyken
Free
A romance between a girl with a dark past and the guy who tries to save her.
Amazon

 

Taken by Love by Shannyn Lear
Free download
An emotional small-town romance between a girl who fled her town, but has to return and a wealthy horse breeder.
Amazon

 

Insatiable by Melanie Harlow
Kindle Unlimited
This is a small town friends-to-lovers romance.
Amazon

 

Fortuna Sworn by KJ Sutton
Kindle Unlimited
A fantasy romance that has been said to have an epic romance as good as A Cour of Mist and Fury.
Amazon

 

Something in the Way by Jessica Hawkins
Kindle Unlimited
This is a forbidden, age-gap romance between a college girl and a construction worker.
Amazon

 

Captive in the Dark by CJ Roberts
Free
This is a dark mob romance about a man that is seeking revenge on the heroine’s father by kidnapping her.
Amazon

 

Black Sheep by Tabatha Vargo
Free
The hero in this one shows up at the heroine’s family’s door hungry and alone. He doesn’t think he is worthy of the heroine.
Amazon

 

Pucks & Penalties by Helena Hunting
Kindle Unlimited
Pucked series outtakes and deleted scenes.
Amazon

 

Spring Romance Anthology
Free
A cute spring romance collection with authors such as Skye Warren, Tessa Bailey, Devney Perry, and Kennedy Fox.
Amazon

 

Addicted to You by Krista and Becca Ritchie
Free
This is the first book in their Addicted series about a sex addict and an alcoholic.
Amazon

 

Petal Plucker by Iris Morland
Free
A second chance romcom about a heroine who is determined to lose her virginity at 26 years old.
Amazon

 

Amnesia by Canada Jackson
Free
A sci-fi romance that involves demons.
Amazon

 

Your Dad Will Do by Katee Robert
Free
This is a super steamy taboo romance about a girl who seeks revenge on her cheating fiance by sleeping with his dad. I loved this one. Read my review in my Wrap Up.
Amazon

 

Work in Progress by BJ Harvey
Free
This is a house flipping romcom.
Amazon

 

Saint by EM Snow
Kindle Unlimited
This is a high school bully romance that I was bullied into downloading by a friend of mine LOL!
Amazon

 

With a Twist by Staci Heart
Free
This is a second chance romance between a girl who is a competitive eater, underwater cave diver, and ballerina and her high school crush.
Amazon

 

The Secret Note by Lauren Rowe
Free
A little brother’s friend romance.
Amazon

 

The Prince by Skye Warren
Free
A romance between a girl and a boy she finds hiding out in the woods.
Amazon

 

A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane
Kindle Unlimited
A popular fantasy romance with dragons.
Amazon

 

 

 

 

ARC Review: By the Book by Amanda Sellet

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: By the Book
Author: Amanda Sellet
Format: eARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Synopsis:
As a devotee of classic novels, Mary Porter-Malcolm knows all about Mistakes That Have Been Made, especially by impressionable young women. So when a girl at her new high school nearly succumbs to the wiles of a notorious cad, Mary starts compiling the Scoundrel Survival Guide, a rundown of literary types to be avoided at all costs.

Unfortunately, Mary is better at dishing out advice than taking it—and the number one bad boy on her list is terribly debonair. As her best intentions go up in flames, Mary discovers life doesn’t follow the same rules as fiction. If she wants a happy ending IRL, she’ll have to write it herself.

 

GOODREADS

Review

A personal anecdote for you that, I swear, relates to this book: I work with a lot of ivy league graduates of the scholarly nature and our main character, Mary’s parents are so painfully, triggeringly, pin-point-perfectly depictive of those types of people.

I truly wondered if I would make it through this book with all the eye-twitching I had going on any time her parents spoke.

Mary’s parents have the uncanny ability to overcomplicate when communicating and they are in need of constant validation and awe with their usage of SAT words in normal conversation.

Honestly, that goes for everyone in Mary’s family. Including our narrator. I tolerated it because her voice makes total sense given her upbringing and obsession with classic novels.

The narrator honest-to-goodness threw in the word “erstwhile.” As soon as I read that, my eye started twitching because I have a vivid experience at work in which my boss’s boss tried to come at us with an email communication to the community using that word, and we (in the marketing/communications department) immediately vetoed it.

As I hit the 50% mark, I began to find Mary charming, funny, and observant, which made for a great reading experience and I fell more and more in love with her big, quirky family. Yes, even her parents whose arms must hurt from all the self back-patting.

I grew up in a big family (3 siblings, lots of cousins) and seeing it depicted in books and movies always warms my heart – especially when done well. It’s why I tear up watching Little Women and why I adored To All the Boys I Loved Before. This was no different.

I say the following with both praise and warning:
The writing style is very nobody-talks-like-that-but-we-love-to-see-it Dawson’s Creek meets SAT prep with a lot of Gilmore Girls, but with classic literature references instead of pop culture references. There is even a glossary of literature references made at the end of the book.

You know how there is a Rory Gilmore reading challenge? I totally could see a Mary Porter-Malcom reading challenge stemming from this book.

All that being said, I think this book is very self-aware. I believe (and hope) that it is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, in which case, it is done incredibly well.

And now, I shall gush, because it’s what I do best:

I loved seeing how Mary’s world clashed with contemporary high school – how she interpreted everyday high school drama and how everyday high schoolers interpreted her.

The friend group in this was so, so refreshing. All three girls have such vivid personalities with little focus on looks, which I so appreciated. I seriously WISH I had friends like those in high school. I’m many, MANY years out of high school and I even wanted to hang out with them.

And who would I be if I didn’t talk about the romance in this book?

YA romances can be pretty predictable, but I’m going to be honest, this one wasn’t nearly as predictable as most YA novels I read. There were SO many sweet, swoony moments. The type of tiny moments that are significant simply because of the build-up.

The inclusion of Mary’s diary entries were not extra fluff. They directed the story in significant, but subtle ways. They weren’t boringly long, they were short and sweet, but packed a punch.

When I closed this book (figuratively speaking because I read the eARC for this), I felt exactly how I hope to feel every time I open one… a little giddy, a little nostalgic, and a lot satisfied.


Butterfly Rating: 4 Stars

4-stars


Re-read Worthiness: Maybe


Bookshelf Placement: Yes

I love the cover!


Book Boyfriend Rating: 5 stars

5-stars

 

 

 

April 2020 Wrap Up // Books I Read in April

FEBRUARY STATS
  • 32 Books total
  • 6 Re-reads
  • 2 Secret TBR reads
  • 1 DNF
  • 1 two-star book
  • 6 three-star books
  • 9 four-star books
  • 8 five-star books
  • 26 audiobooks
  • 3 hard copies
  • 4 eBooks
  • 3 currently reading
  • 1 readathons: Smutathon
REREADS

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The entire Pucked series by Helena Hunting.
I kept saying that I’ve been wanting to reread this whole series – and I finally did! This time around I realized how much more I liked Book 6 than before! Book 5 is still my all-time favorite, but Book 6 is up there with Book 1 and Book 5 now!
Goodreads

 

REREADS


Beach Read by Emily Henry
This is absolutely adorable and I’m loving it so much! I’m hoping to finish this one today. It’s a romance about two authors in neighboring beach house that have some history. One is a romance writer and one is a literary fiction author.
Goodreads

Fire In His Blood by Ruby Dixon
This is a dragon shifter, post-apocalyptic fantasy romance by the author of Ice Planet Barbarians. I like IPB better so far, but this one has a lot of potential.
Goodreads

1 secret book!

 

DNF

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Jock Row (Jock Hard #1) by Sara Ney
The main character in this book was SO annoying and I could not stand it. She gets kicked out of a frat party for basically being super annoying and holier than thou. I don’t think you are supposed to agree with the frat guys who kick her out, but I certainly did. It’s a romance between her and the athlete who has to guard her from coming back into the party. She was the worst and I couldn’t take it anymore, so I DNFd it. I don’t see myself picking this up again.

Goodreads

 

★★ 2 STARS

January (Calendar Girls #1) by Audrey Carlan
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This is about a girl who becomes an escort to make enough money to save her father from gambling debt. The main character was the “not like other girls” girl and I couldn’t handle how judgey she was. The hero is ok, but his character wasn’t well developed.
Goodreads

 

★★★ 3 Stars


Menace (Scarlet Scars #1) by JM Darhower
This is a scarred hero dark mafia romance. Check out my Spring Break Wrap Up to see my thoughts.
Goodreads

Fighting for Everything (Warrior Fight Club #1) by Laura Kaye
This is a military, friends-to-lovers romance. Check out my Spring Break Wrap Up to see my thoughts.
Goodreads

Assigned a Mate (Interstellar Brides Program #1) by Grace Goodwin
This is, essentially, an alien mail order bride romance. Check out my Spring Break Wrap Up to see my thoughts.
Goodreads

Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2) by Sarina Bowen
This is a contemporary hockey romance. This was fine. I didn’t find the hero very likable, even though I tend to like grumpy heroes and the heroine was pretty forgettable. Coming off of the high of Brooklynaire, not much could compare, though, so I can’t fault it for that. I really do like this series so far and plan on continuing.
Goodreads

The Loner’s Lady by Jessa Kane
I read this short novella for Smutathon. This is about a girl who is pretending to be her best friend’s girlfriend, but she ends up falling for his dad instead. This just was a little too extra for me. I felt like everything was rushed and ridiculous. Granted, that’s kind of the nature of this type of book, but Katee Robert has already proved to me it can be done well. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a good example of that.
Goodreads

I Dare You by Ilsa Madden-Mills
I read this for Smutathon because it was a short audiobook I found on Audible Escape. This book was fine, but not very memorable. It actually has a cute premise, it’s a new adult sports romance about a girl who develops a relationship with someone who text her from an unknown number.
Goodreads

 

★★★★ 4 Stars

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
This is a thriller following the story of a woman whose sister had gone missing years ago and present-day disappearances that are affecting her. I feel weird rating this highly only because it’s so graphic and gruesome and entirely messed up. But I could not stop reading this book. I really need to read more thrillers.
Goodreads

The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years #1) by Sarina Bowen
This is new adult friends-to-lovers sports romance with disability rep. I talk more about this in my Spring Break Wrap Up.
Goodreads

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
This was an adorable friends-to-lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers YA Contemporary romance that involves camping and forced togetherness. I talk more about this in my Spring Break Wrap Up.
Goodreads

Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers #3) by Sarina Bowen
This is the same hockey romance series as Pipe Dreams. I actually read this series out of order, I read the first book first, but then I skipped ahead to Brooklynaire, and ended up going back to this one. I didn’t mind that, though, mostly because this book takes place during the same timeline as Brooklynaire, but you get a different perspective. This one is a second-chance romance that was a little hard to swallow, in my opinon, which is why I took away a star.
Goodreads

Cherish Hard (Hard Hitters #1) by Nalini Singh
This is a second chance contemporary romance that had a really great meetcute and such a good book boyfriend. I talk more about this in my Spring Break Wrap Up.
Goodreads

Inappropriate by Vi Keeland
This is a story about a woman whose vacation video gets leaked to her boss, which gets her fired. It’s obviously not fair at all, so in a drunken rage she sends a hate-email to her boss’s boss. And so begins our story. I read this one completely on a whim. I saw in it my wish list for Audible Escape, and decided to give it a shot. I’ve never loved anything by this author, but I’ve never strongly disliked anything either. This one I definitely liked more than other books I’ve read by her, but it wasn’t quite 5 stars. What I did really enjoy was that there was much more to this book than you would expect given the premise. It was more emotional than I anticipated.
Goodreads

The Happy Ever After Playlist (The Friend Zone #2) by Abby Jimenez
This takes place in the same world as The Friend Zone, only this time we are following the friend of the heroine in that book. I don’t really want to say more because I feel like it is spoilery to The Friend Zone, just know there is a rockstar element in this book. I think I am one of the only people who really liked The Friend Zone. I completely understand the issues many readers had with the ending of that book, but I still really, really liked it. In fact, I liked The Friend Zone more than this one (I gave that one 5 stars). I’m not going to lie, I thought I was going to adore this book and though I really liked it, I didn’t love it.
Goodreads

Theirs for the Night (The Thalanian Dynasty #1) by Katee Robert
This is an MMF romance about a girl who goes out to a club with her friend on her birthday and ends up going home with two guys – who happen to be a prince and his bodyguard. This was the group read for Smutathon. As usual, I think Katee Robert does such a great job with super steamy, short romances. I really like this one, though maybe not as much as I liked Your Dad Will Do. I think i’m going to enjoy the rest of this series a little bit more than I liked this one.
Goodreads

Better When It Hurts (Stripped #2) by Skye Warren
I decided to read this book for Smutathon because it was on Audible Escape and super short. It’s a gritty stripper romance. I’ve been wanting to read more Skye Warren books, and though this wasn’t my favorite, I definitely want to read more of her books.
Goodreads

 

★★★★ 5 Stars

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J Mass
This is SJM’s first adult fantasy novel – it’s full of pretty much every type of fantasy creatures including angels and faeries. I talk more about this in my Spring Break Wrap Up.
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Art & Soul by Brittainy C Cherry
This is a YA romance between a musician and an artist who have to work on a school project together. I talk more about this in my Spring Break Wrap Up.
Goodreads

Misconduct by Penelope Douglas
This is a forbidden romance between a teacher and her student’s father. I talk more about this in my Spring Break Wrap Up.
Goodreads

Brooklynaire (Brooklyn #1, Brooklyn Bruisers #4) by Sarina Bowen
I have no idea what series this book belongs to because it takes place in the same world as Brooklyn Bruisers and in some places it is listed as part of that series and others it is listed as the Brooklyn Series. Either way it can be read as a standalone. It follows the story of a quirky millionaire who owns an Apple-like tech company and a hockey team. It’s a friends-to-lovers workplace romance with so much longing and swoon, I can’t even. I’m so in love with the hero in this book and how much he pines after the heroine without her ever knowing.
Goodreads

By the Book by Amanda Sellet
This was an ARC from Netgalley. It’s a YA contemporary romance about a girl who reads a lot of classic and historical novels and creates a scoundrel survival guide for the girls at her school based on the books she’s read. It was super cute, but written in a very particular way that may not appeal to everyone – review to come!
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Your Dad Will Do (A Touch of Taboo #1) by Katee Robert
This was a highly anticipated read for me ever since I saw that Katee Robert was planning to release it and it lived up to what I hoped for it. This is a super short, super smutty, super taboo romance about a girl whose fiance cheats on her, so in revenge she sleeps with his dad. A lot of people say this one lacks plot, but they still really liked it, and I don’t disagree, but I also didn’t mind. I had so much fun reading this one and it made me fall even more in love with Katee Robert.
Goodreads

The Butterfly Project by Emma Scott
This book was recommended to me by a subscriber friend, Taseen, in the comments of one of my videos and I feel like you guys know me so well, because I loved this freaking book. I did not realize that this is about a character I loved from the Full Tilt duet. She’s a tattoo artist who is trying to publish a graphic novel that is very personal to her and when she gets rejected she almost leaves New York, but ultimately ends up staying when she’s able to become roommates with our hero. They have an adorable meet cute and omggg the hero in this book. He’s one of those characters who is such a good person who is put in bad situations. Both of our characters are dealing with guilt from their pasts, but slowly healing together. I’m kind of obsessed with him, he’s one of my favorite book boyfriends.
Goodreads

Wolfsong (Green Creek #1) by TJ Klune
I knew I was going to love this book, but I didn’t know how hard I would swoon. For some reason, I don’t know why I expected that this book wouldn’t be as romance heavy as it was. I think maybe because it’s about werewolves and I figured it’d be more about that than the romance and while the world was well-developed, the characters were well-developed, and the plot was interesting, the romance was also extremely strong. I feel like a lot of the time you’re sacrificing one thing for another, but it truly felt like this book didn’t lag behind in any of those things. Even the writing was excellent.

But honestly, it was the swoon in this book that tipped me over the edge. My heart hurt in the best and worst ways while reading this book and I can’t get enough.

Goodreads

Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1) by Leigh Bardugo

4-stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

GOODREADS

Review

So… I actually wrote this review a looong time ago when I first read this book, but somehow I forgot to post it!

It’s been awhile since I’ve been in the mood for a fantasy novel, but it’s been even longer since I’ve heard about this book.

I’ve seen bits and pieces of the fandom, and I’ve been wanting to read the book for awhile, but I definitely need to be in the mood for fantasy (unless it’s a series I’ve read before and enjoyed.)

Well, I finally decided to give it a try and I’m glad I did.

I’ve started and stopped Six of Crows about a zillion times. For some reason, I haven’t been able to get past the first chapter. I couldn’t seem to keep track of the characters or what was going on and I was a little worried that it would be the same for Shadow and Bone (since they both take place in the same universe.)

But, it wasn’t.

I was sucked into the story right away and it held onto me until the very end. I think the best part of this novel was the fact that I didn’t find it predictable at all.

Now, to be fair, that isn’t saying much because I make it a point to try not to envision what is going to happen next, I like to be surprised.

I think the only downside of this book, for me, was I had high expectations for the romance in this book and I was a bit disappointed. As a self-proclaimed romance wh*re, the thing I love most about fantasy or paranormal novels, is that a lot of the time if there is a romance storyline, it’s epic in a way that contemporary books just cannot be. When you throw in magic or supernatural situations into a romance – you have endless opportunities to make it amazing.

The romance in this book fell a little flat for me.

Since I’m not a huge fantasy reader unless there is a good romance subplot in it, this book wasn’t a five star read, however I truly did appreciate the story.


Audiobook Performance: 4 stars

4-stars


Butterfly Rating: 1 Star

1-star


Re-read Worthiness: Yes


Bookshelf Placement: Yes


Book Boyfriend Rating: 2 stars

2-stars

 

 

 

{Review by Kayla} Silver Shadows (Bloodlines #5) by Richelle Mead

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Silver Shadows
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines #5

Synopsis:
In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

GOODREADS

Review

Deep breaths. There’s one more book to go.

Wow.

I didn’t see that one coming.

But seeing as this series never fails to surprise me, the only thing I’m not surprised is that it’s going to continue to test my abilities to withstand this amount of suspense. What’s with the book hangers?! They are killing me, but I have to say I’m not complaining.

One thing that I can say about this book is that you really get to see Adrian’s true character – to say the least. Throughout this series I always talk about how much Sydney has grown and changed, but the same goes for Adrian. Not only is he charismatic and charming, but he is also the most caring person ever. He originally was introduced as a selfish, brooding character, but he grew to be so much more than that and willing to sacrifice anything for his loved ones. And that is what makes a swoon worthy character. The fact that I only have one more book to go and knowing that

I will be finished with these characters both terrifies and excites me.


Butterfly Rating: 5 Stars

5-stars


Book Boyfriend Rating: 5 stars

5-stars