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Drunk on Love by Jasmine Guillory Blog Tour

Margot Noble needs some relief from the stress of running the family winery with her brother. Enter Luke: sexy, charming, and best of all in the too-small world of Napa, a stranger. The chemistry between them is undeniable, and Margot is delighted that she lucked into the perfect one-night stand she’ll never have to see again. That is, until the winery’s newest hire, Luke, walks in the next morning. Margot is determined to keep things purely professional, but when their every interaction reminds her of the attraction still bubbling between them, it proves to be much more challenging than she expects.
 
Luke Williams had it all, but when he quits his high-salary tech job in Silicon Valley in a blaze of burnout and moves back to Napa to help a friend, he realizes he doesn’t want to tell the world—or his mom—why he’s now working at a winery. His mom loves bragging about her successful son—how can he admit that the job she’s so proud of broke him? Luke has no idea what is next for him, but one thing is certain: he wants more from the incredibly smart and sexy woman he hooked up with—even after he learns she’s his new boss. But even if they can find a way to be together that wouldn’t be an ethical nightmare, would such a successful woman really want a tech-world dropout?
 
Set against a lush backdrop of Napa Valley wine country, nothing goes to your head as fast as a taste of love—even if it means changing all your plans.

I love Jasmine Guillory! Her characters are always so much fun to get to know and the story usually keeps me invested outside of the romance as well as inclusive of it. Of course, Drunk on Love does not disappoint in either of these. It was quite fun to read about Margot & Luke’s relationship (which started as a one night stand but then slowly becomes so much more). I love a strong female character and Margot is exactly that, she knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go for it. The repercussions of Margot & Luke’s meet-cute drive the story and because of the employment aspect of it, bring a sense of anxiety to the whole plot. At least it did for me 🙂

I found myself completely invested in these characters and the situations they going through. I can’t get enough of Jasmine Guillory, which is why she is an auto-buy for me, and I hope she has many more stories for us!

4/5

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Mini Reviews – August Wrap Up

This was a very slow reading month. The last few months of the year are always busy so it is not surprise. Let’s see what I read.

Stuck with You by Ali Hazelwood – Novella two in the STEMinist series and probably my favorite.  I’m not sure what got me; the forced proximity, the insta love (well not quite but pretty dang close), or the big silent mountain sized man.  What does that add up to?  A very cute story.  It was weird reading these out of order, I read the third, then first, and then the second one last due to library holds.  It wasn’t as horrible as I thought to do this but I hope I never have to again.  4/5

Maggie Moves On by Lucy Score (audio) – Another fun read from who seems to be a new favorite author.  It was kept light-hearted for the most part but I do feel that the MC’s “issues” were a bit ridiculous.  I know everyone processes things differently but from what happened to her to how she was acting didn’t match IMO.  I loved the ending, wrapped everything up and I truly appreciated that.  4/5

When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn (audio) – Book six of the Bridgerton series.  I took a break from my reread and now I’m back.  Francesca is the one kid we barely see in the entire series but she by far has one of the best books.  I love the setting but I’m not a fan of the second choice feeling here.  I always wanted Michael to be the first but I’m glad the families were so kind and understanding about it. I’m really curious how they will portray her first marriage in the show.   3/5

When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn: Second Epilogue (audio) – A great second epilogue, it makes me happy that they were able to have the child they wanted so much.  4/5

Bravely by Maggie Stiefvater – Merida and Stiefvater?!  Sign me up.  Merida is my favorite princess, I love a good mother/daughter dynamic so I was beyond excited to start this one.  Finish though?  Unfortunately that took awhile.  I found the story a bit boring but the idea of it was great.  There is a lot that could be expanded here and if I’m to believe that ending I’m going to need more details on the inbetween (Don’t want to spoil for anyone so vague it is).  This could have been twice as long or at least two books so the rest could be fleshed out but it is Merida so that alone gets a decent rating.  3/5

Do you Want to Start a Scandal by Julia Quinn – Book five of Spindle Cove and book four of Castles Ever After.  I’m not sure if this is the last book in these two series?  They were published five years ago so there is a good chance.  This book was just ok to me.  There was a larger age difference but I’m not sure how big since the male MC age wasn’t specifically said that I can remember and that was a bit off putting but I think the bigger issue is this didn’t happen in Spindle Cove or a castle, the whole point of the two series.  This was just a character from each series.  I also felt like there were some unresolved issues that weren’t addressed with minor characters.  3/5

The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle by Matt Cain – When I saw the blurb on this one it just gave heartwarming vibes that I knew I needed to pick it up.  I can say after reading the “if you like Fredrik Backman & T.J. Klune” I was very excited, I haven’t read a book of either author that I haven’t loved. When I was about halfway through I stopped and ordered a copy because I knew I’d want to keep it (I’d originally picked it up from the library.) Albert was so relatable about how scars as young adults can shape your adult life and how we treat ourselves like we are not worthy of happiness because of the past and our choices.  I loved everyone in the book, I think I would have liked a little more at the end and a few small plot changes would have rounded it out to me but it was a great, heartfelt read.  4/5

Wicked Beauty by Katee Robert (audio) – Book three of the Dark Olympus series.  This is a tough one to rate.  I think storyline wise this is the best by far but honestly I don’t like how the “terms” so to speak were set.  To each their own but I just can’t get past an open relationship when there are already three people in this one.  If it would have stayed closed I might have gone up to a four.  3/5

Sacrifice by Katee Robert – I have a 3 month free kindle unlimited trial that is 2 months in and I haven’t attempted to read anything so I wanted to start looking at authors I know or wish list kindle editions.  Book one of the Bloodline Vampires series, this is a reverse harem book that was recently published as a special edition at Barnes and Noble. It was probably my favorite of the three (I’m writing this after I’ve read all of them) and it definitely made me want to read more books by her (as you’ll see below) . It’s been a bit since I’ve read a vampire book outside of the Black Dagger Brotherhood so it was a slow start on the vampire aspect but the spicy scenes started QUICK. 4/5

The Dragon’s Bride by Katee Robert – Book one in A Deal With a Demon series. This is the only the second monster romance I’ve attempted, I quit the first one (though I’m not sure why at the moment), but I really liked this one! I liked that we went to another realm and saw a different way of living. There were some anatomy challenges that were thought inducing but still a great read. I will definitely pick up the second book. 3/5

Well, that’s it. A slow month in reading and an even slower attempt at posting since we are almost in October and I’m just getting to August but what you have been reading? Have any monster romance recs?

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Mini Reviews – July Wrap up

I really want to start working on clearing out my book shelves at home so I did a small purge (very small, didn’t even make a dent) and set up another bookshelf to get stacks off the ground and be able to see what I have available.  Will I start reading those this month?  Probably not, but it is a start!  

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert – Book one in The Hazel Wood series.  This is a reread to continue on with the series, I couldn’t remember much of my first read.  When rereading I always leave my rating the same as my initial read but I’m not sure why I rated this 5/5?  If I were to rate again I wouldn’t go over a four.  The MC had so much anger and we were left in the dark for so long that I just didn’t see the magic so to speak again.  4/5

Tales from the Hinterland by Melissa Albert – Book 2.5 in The Hazel Wood series.  This is the series of fairy tales that the other books are based on.  These were good, but most seemed like there could have been a bit more to the story.  3/5

The Shadows by J.R. Ward – Book 13 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  The best part of starting this book means I’m done with the Fallen Angels series and there is no looking back!  I can guarantee if I ever reread this series again that it will be left out.  I’m torn with this series now.  Do I still love the characters?  Absolutely, but the way they talk is a bit ridiculous and I’m not sure if the newer books have grown at all (this book came out in 2005) but I hope they have.  The amount of toxic talk is starting to be upsetting.  Also I miss the books being about one set of characters.  From what I can see storyline wise we had three lone characters, one sibling set,and about four couples.  This count is off the top of my head so it could very well be more and I’m forgetting something.  We jump so much that even though one “couple” is supposed to be the main focus I feel like if they get more page time it is only about 5-10 %.  Also, the outcome on this one left a lot to be desired.  3/5

The Story of Son by J.R. Ward – Book 13.5 (novella) of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  After the last book and the mediocre ending I was a little gun shy on continuing thinking I needed a little break.  There are more characters we’ve seen for awhile now that haven’t had their story or a revisit yet but we get a new character in Book 13 and they are the next book?  It’s technically a spin off series but I’m still a little salty.  Am I going to read either way?  Absolutely.  This was a novella, I want to say it was cute but kidnapping and imprisonment aren’t exactly happy events.  It involves two characters we’ve never seen.  Though in Caldwell there is no crossover.  I felt bad for the MCs but I’d have liked for the male MC to have met the brotherhood, or even a vampire that knows them, just to let you know that he will find others like him.  3/5

Stranger Things:  The Other Side by Jody Houser – I decided I’m going to start reading the Stranger Things graphic novels and books set between seasons or as alternate POVs of aired shows. to get more backstory and fuel for my season five theories, LOL.  This was a quick and interesting look at what Will experienced on his side in season one while everyone was looking for him.  If you like the show I think you will like these as well.  3/5

Stranger Things:  Six by Jody Houser – Honestly?  It was a bit boring but it was really small so it read very quickly.  This is about one of the other kids in the program with Eleven, though it doesn’t quite have the same feel. 3/5

Heartstopper Volume 4 by Alice Oseman – I was excited to pick this one up, the guys are fully a couple now and the new school year is getting started.  I really liked this one.  We didn’t just have HEA in this we saw a couple try to support one another through some difficult conversations with family and experiences with mental health issues.  A great look at a working relationship between two people that love each other and how you can support each other without trying to do the work for them, you should want yourself to get better if there are some issues to resolve.  4/5

Price and Premeditation by Tirzah Price (audio) – I really enjoyed this one! This is more the vibe of what I thought The Murder of Mr Wickham would be but didn’t get.  I think focusing on one book probably helped, it was a fun take on how to incorporate the murder mystery.  There were a few classic lines that stood out and I felt were done right, Lizzy though – SIGH – she was a little too much at times.  I look forward to the next Sense and Second-Degree Murder.  3/5

This wasn’t a great reading month, work has picked up which means I’m more tired than normal when I get home.  I did watch most of the Umbrella Academy though!  What are you reading?

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Mini Reviews – June Wrap Up

Mythos by Stephen Fry (audio) –  I’ve always had a fascination about Greek myths so this was something I definitely wanted to check out.  While I can guarantee that I will not remember half of the stories (there was some serious crossover between partners) it was still a great book to listen to – Stephen is a great narrator.  The older I get the more I realize how horrible they were and that the people shown as heroes are really villains. 3/5

Immortal by J.R. Ward –  This is the last installment of the Fallen Angels series (though ANOTHER series starts to mix in with BDB moving forward).  I dragged my feet on this one.  I had to renew it FIVE TIMES at the library because I just knew I wasn’t going to like where it went.  As I said for the last book in the series I read – the story line has really gone off the rails and I’m not a fan and I don’t know what else to say it was clear grooming talk.  You cannot call someone a kid or girl for three books and then try to say she is a woman now.  She is the same age and I found this disturbing. The only reason I picked this up was because it was the last book in the series and obviously even then I struggled to get going.  It took almost 200 pages just to vaguely hint at who was the next soul to save, roughly half of the book so it was a slow start at that. Overall though?  This book was better than the last, but not by much.  A decent ending and a part of the ending leads me to believe we will see a couple characters again.  3/5

The Beast by Katee Robert – Book four in the Wicked Villains series. I really don’t know what to say about these books anymore – this one is Beauty and the Beast. . . and Gaston (Gaeton in the book).  They are very entertaining and I will definitely keep reading more of her books.  3/5

The Wedding:  The Beast Bonus Short by Katee Robert – Again I’m amazed at how much Ms Robert fits into her shorts. 3/5

Sparring:  The Beast Bonus Short by Katee Robert – A short for the guys along with some information about another series. . .  3/5

Seven Minutes in Heaven:  The Beast Bonus Short by Katee Robert – A quick visit with an old friend, LOL. 3/5

When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare – Book three in Castles Ever After.  This is the book that I saw on tiktok that motivated me to pick up this series as well as Spindle Cove since the next book is a crossover between the two series.  Hands down my favorite so far.  No real issue outside of their personal ones, no evil villain if you will.  This made me realize how much I miss Highland regency romance books.  I’ll definitely have to pick up more soon.  I think it is safe to say I’ll be reading more books by Ms Dare in the future.  4/5

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett (audio) – I bought a copy of this one forever ago but when I saw an audio version read by David Tennant and Michel Sheen (with a full cast) I knew I had to get it.  It moved quickly, much more upbeat for what I thought considering the plot, LOL.  I wasn’t blown away but it was fun.  I can definitely see this being a great show though so I’m looking forward to starting it soon.  4/5

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn (audio) – Book one of the Bridgerton series. I’m doing a reread via audio because I’ve been talking to friends about them and a lot of details are fuzzy for me. I liked listening and picturing the actors this time.  It helps me see the characters more fully in my head.  3/5

The Duke and I:  Second Epilogue  by Julia Quinn (audio) – Reread, I really do love most of these added epilogues.  I really hope we get another generation of Bridgertons soon. 3/5

The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn (audio) –  I have to say though I don’t care for some of the voices given to the men (just seems off) I’m really liking my revisit into the family.  There is more Colin interaction in the books and overall I think I like the stories a little more in the book world.  Anthony and Kate banter is a 10/10.  It helped that I got to see Kate and Edwina back as they should, not loving the same man.  3/5

The Viscount Who Loved Me: Second Epilogue by Julia Quinn (audio) – I really do love pall mall.  Long live the mallet of death! 4/5

Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron by Julia Quinn – Anyone who has read the Bridgerton series knows about these books within the books.  Though a graphic novel I still found it charming, and what a lovely tribute to Tessa’s sister who worked with her on it before her death.  4/5

An Offer from a Gentleman by Julia Quinn (audio) – Book three of the Bridgerton series and one of my least favorite of the series.  I’d split them as the top four (not in order) being Anthony, Daphne, Colin, and Francesca with the bottom four Benedict, Elosie, Hyacinth, and Gregory (these in order). Show Benedict is so much better than book Benedict, there just isn’t a better explanation.  I have hopes they can change enough for me to like when his story comes about.  I’ve had many discussions with book friends about possibly his story being swapped entirely with Eloise, I think though based on Colin and Penelope getting bumped up he might get pushed back to season five and Eloise would be season four?  I’ll guess we will have to see!  3/5

An Offer from a Gentleman: Second Epilogue by Julia Quinn (audio) – Book three’s second epilogue.  Now when I tell you Benedict’s book isn’t my favorite but this epilogue?  Probably my favorite of the entire series.  I adore Posey and her (quick) love story.  I truly hope that regardless of what happens with Benedict’s story that Posey still is a part in some way.  Timelines aren’t set in stone so I don’t see why we can’t see Posey and get her HEA.  5/5

To Sir Phillip, with Love by Julia Quinn (audio) – Book five of the Bridgerton series. 3/5

To Sir Phillip, with Love:  Second Epilogue by Julia Quinn (audio) – Book five’s second epilogue.   4/5

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan – Book one is the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series. With all the talk of the new Disney+ series I wanted to reread these to remind myself where I left off.  I only read part of the next two series so rereading everything also helps me continue and get through all of them, and boy are there a lot.  Though I didn’t remember all of the details it was fun to go back and see how much the movies originally missed.  5/5

The Lightning Thief (graphic novel) by Rick Riordan – Since these are basically the same as the original story I’m just going to do ratings for the remainder below but honestly they were just ok.  They did change the story some, mostly not for the better, and I don’t like the fact that someone who may not be able to get through a full traditional book wouldn’t get the same story overall.  3/5

The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan – Book two in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series.  Man, I flew through the first two books!  Though I started book one late the night before I read almost the entirety of it and book two in one day.  These books are just fun adventures that show mythology in a way that is easier to understand for kids and adults alike.  5/5

The Sea of Monsters (graphic novel) by Rick Riordan – 3/5

The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan – Book three is in Percy Jackson & the Olympians series.  It’s fun rereading these, I forgot so much.  There is less interaction between Annabeth and Percy that I can remember though.  5/5

The Titan’s Curse (graphic novel) by Rick Riordan – 3/5

The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan – Book four in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series.  Rereading these, knowing more about mythology it’s hard to justify how “cool” the idea of demigods are because it is a lot of cheating and I’m not a fan.  The story was great, I love Backjack! 5/5

The Battle of the Labyrinth (graphic novel) by Rick Riordan – 3/5

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan – Book five of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.  This finishes my reread of the first series.  I only have a couple more books in this world that I’ve read so it won’t be long till it is all new to me.  I really liked these, like I said with the others – I forgot a lot of the details but I’m excited to move on to other series and check back on these guys later. 5/5

The Last Olympian (graphic novel) by Rick Riordan – 3/5

The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright by Tessa Dare – A quick and absolutely adorable novella about two people who meet several times over the course of a few years.  4/5

Fangirl Volume 2:  The Manga by Rainbow Rowell and Sam Maggs – book two in the manga series of Fangirl.  I really loved it, I mean it’s a story I already know, but where it left off broke my heart.  5/5

The Office BFFs: Tales of The Office from Two Best Friends Who Were There by Jenna Fischer & Angelia Kinsey – While a fun listen the majority of the book was a bit of a repeat from their podcast so if you love to listen to that you will definitely enjoy the book.  They also read it themselves and has several special guests so overall a fun book to listen to and you can’t go wrong if you love The Office 4/5

Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn (audio) – Book four in the Bridgerton series. Penelope is by far my favorite.  I completely empathize with her on not being the one picked, etc and the old maid title.  What bothers me about Colin book wise is that it doesn’t feel quite natural how he falls in love with her but I have high hopes the show will correct this small problem.  I know so many that don’t like this book but I adore Penelope and she would never be at the bottom of my list.  4/5

Romancing Mister Bridgerton:  The Second Epilogue by Julia Quinn (audio) – Book four’s second epilogue.  Cute, makes me think I might like Eloise’s book more this time around.  We shall see.  4/5

By the Book by Jasmine Guillory – Book two in the Meant to Be series; books that are written by different authors and are modern day retellings of Disney fairytales.  BTB is based on Beauty and the Beast, a true classic, one of the OG (for me) of Disney movies that imprinted on the brain.  This is also my first book by the author.  I was excited for this – a fairytale retelling set in publishing? Check!  Overall I did enjoy the story but the cliche references came off too kitschy to me.  I feel like maybe having alternating POVs might have helped, I’d have liked to had some of Beau’s internal monologue.  3/5 

Adult Assembly Required by Abby Waxman – This is a standalone (though I’d argue more companion) book set in the world of Nina Hill so I was excited to read it as we are still dealing with bookstores within books and getting to revisit characters.Imagine my surprise as I started to read and realized Nina isn’t the first book for this world.  I wish I’d have known that – now I need to go back and check out the backlog of books, who knows if this is it.  I’m definitely not reading them in order of events so that is frustrating.  It was very cute and I loved seeing inside everyone’s head but it shifted between characters quickly. Also, we got such a small window of the relationship that I was left wanting to see more of their story.  Maybe there will be another book with more of these characters?  One can hope.  3/5

The Bookish Holidays of Nina Hill byAbby Waxman – A quick novella (set before the above book) following Nina and her new friends and family during the holidays.  Quick and cute.  3/5

Not a bad reading month! I can tell you July isn’t off to a good start though. What you are reading?

Adult Fiction · for everyone

Mini Reviews – May Wrap Up

I met my reading goal for the year. I’m happy I’m reading so much again but I’m mad at myself because it has been mainly library books and therefore my shelves are still spilling over onto the floor and other places I can store handfuls. I really need to try and read books I own this month. . . in addition to the library books.

The Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan (audio) – Book eight in the Wheel of Time series.  I don’t think my brain can handle any more names. Halfway in and we have only had two true POVs (there are a few scenes with others but still).  I’m just “over” so to speak on what I think is too much detail on certain things but not enough in other areas.  Also?  I just wanted to hear from Mat and Rand but we got neither until roughly the halfway mark if not longer?  Some of the political aspects are starting to come out -I’m seeing the strategic moves, etc but I’d really like more internal dialogue to know what the character is thinking other than cursing.  Way too many “blood and bloody ashes”. I feel like the majority of this book was just a check in to not forget about certain characters but didn’t really advance the story much but like almost every book a random battle happened in the last couple of chapters.  I don’t remember which books people said were more filler but to push through because the ending is fantastic – I have a feeling this might have been one of them. 3/5

Winter Heart by Robert Jordan (audio) – Book nine in the Wheel of Time series. I think I’m at the point that it feels like I might never get to the end of this series, LOL.  I’m in line at the library for these audios and so far I’ve had at least a week or two between but this is the first time due to holds I started it almost immediately after the last and really could have used the break. In fact I think I might take a bit of time off before requesting the next one because I’m not liking where some of this is going and I may have spoiled a bit while trying to separate names and I’m definitely not happy about what I read. At this point it just feels like everyone thinks they are the leader and know all but not a single one knows everything because they don’t talk and have zero experience even just being an adult let alone leading wars.  This entire series could be cut in half and the point could have still been made.  I almost rated this one even lower but I’m trying to be more open minded that these books were not written recently.  3/5

Below Zero by Ali Hazelwood (audio) – Novella three of the STEM series.  I’m not one to ever knowingly read out of order but my library only has the one for now.  SIGH.  Am I going to read the other two novellas?  Yes.  Was this one great?  Not at all.  3/5

Under One Roof by Ali Hazelwood (audio) – Novella one of the STEM series.  The library got this one after the third (still no #2 at this time) so I’m reading out of order and it is killing me.  I definitely liked this one more than the other, I love a good roommates turned lovers.  4/5

Book Lovers by Emily Henry – GUYS.  The banter in this book is 10/10!  I truly laughed out loud at so many scenes when the MCs interacted.  My favorite of Ms Henry’s books, it was fun that so much of the book was in a smaller town.  The only bit I wish might have been a bit different was the reason behind the issue between sisters.  I feel like it didn’t feel 100 % authentic, like part of the story was missing.  Overall a great read.  4/5

The Duke Undone by Joanna Lowell (audio) –  Book one in the Duke Undone series.  Regency isn’t the best audio choice to me but this is the edition my library had available.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m really enjoying the regency era books I’ve been reading as of late but the more I read the more I find them completely unbelievable.  I realize they are fiction so by rights they are “made up” but the amount of gently bred women that are for lack of a better word sassy is mind blowing.  The villain in this book made me so angry that I wanted to both stop and push through the book faster because I wanted him to get his due.  Overall a good read, and a wonderfully written villain.  3/5

The Beast of Beswick by Amalie Howard – Book one in the Everleigh Sisters series.  I found an upcoming release but Ms Howard that looked very promising so I wanted to try out another book that is out to see if I’d like her writing style. In short?  I loved it!  It was a quick, fun read with great banter.  I look forward to reading the next book in the series and other titles by the author.  4/5

The Awakening by Nora Roberts – Book one in the The Dragon Heart Legacy series.  I was in the mood for an adult fae book and in my googling came across this series.  I haven’t read Nora Roberts in years but wow, she has written so many books!  How does she have the time?!  I loved that though this was fantasy it still had the feel of a normal fiction story.  Absent parents, trust issues, self confidence, etc while still having an adventure.  I think the ending was done well and I look forward to book two!  4/5

The Murder of Mr. Wickham by Claudia Gray – I read this one with Daphne and a few of the old Selective Collective group in a buddy read. Originally I was very excited for this one ( all of Austen’s characters in one book?!) but it didn’t live up to the expectations I had.  I hated that all the couples who were left with “HEAs” in their books now are all at a distance from each other.  Also, the potential for a romance was there but it had no time to even attempt to develop.  I didn’t need explicit scenes, these are Austen characters after all but give me some hope that something is progressing.  I don’t feel that way about the ending which I’m sure others might. The story just felt silly overall. How many times can Marianne say “sensible”?  I know what book she comes from. 3/5

Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez – This was a no brainer on picking up, I loved all of Abby’s other books and do you follow her on tiktok?  The videos of her pups are the best and I just want to hug them, they are so cute!  In this book there is a pup that is based off of Tess but not exact.  This has a switched May/December romance (well not THAT big but still) that was cute at times but the vibe here was very different than her first series.  Not as many laugh out loud moments but still enjoyable.  I look forward to seeing where the next in the “series” goes.  3/5

A Lady but Midnight by Tessa Dare – Book three in the Spindle Cove series.  The book follows one of the three “main” male leads that we’ve been introduced to so far, Thorne and the Spindle Cove music teacher, Kate.  I don’t know. . .maybe I built this one up in my head more but I wasn’t as great as the first two to me and I had high hopes for Thorne – I love me a broody hero.  I love seeing the other couples pop in though! 3/5

Beauty and the Blacksmith by Tessa Dare – Book 3.5 in the Spindle Cove series.  I think I enjoyed this novella more than the last novel.  I liked that there was no real dilemma, things moved quickly so it was a very quick read.  I’m a sucker for a blue collar man.  3/5

Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare – Book four in the Spindle Cove series.  The heroine is someone from previous books but not someone that was ever highlighted so this almost felt like a seperate book, not part of a series.  Definitely not my favorite, I’d probably rank it last in the series so far but not in the sense that it was a bad book – just that I preferred the other characters more.  3/5

Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare – Book two in the Castles Ever After series.  Based on the blurb this was the book I was least looking forward to but I was pleasantly surprised.  There was great banter, the heroine was fun, and the og was perfect.  I’m a sucker for pups.  Probably one of the top three of the two series combined. 3/5

Lord Dashwood Missed Out by Tessa Dare – Book 4.5 in the Spindle Cove series.  I liked the story, these novellas sure do pack a lot in, but this really didn’t feel like a part of the series other than some scenes in the town while things happened elsewhere.  From what I remember neither lead is a part of the series before this book so the only SC characters are the additional scenes. It read quickly and I’m happy that I’m almost caught up in another series!  3/5

Buy Yourself the Fucking Lilies by Tara Schuster (audio) – This is one I’ve been looking forward to for awhile now.  I even bought the paperback but as most books go I stack them up.  When I saw the library ordered the audio I knew this was my chance to read it.  This was a quick audio to push through and probably one of the best that gives advice that seems easier than most.  I loved that it was written from the perspective of someone who while privileged (parents, a home, etc) still turned out a little damaged because regardless of your place in life that doesn’t stop you from having issues so it shows that someone that you might think is further along in life doesn’t have it together either so where you are at is perfectly normal and it is ok to focus on yourself.  It was great to see someone who had a loving family that insulted you constantly about your body because though I loved both of my grandmothers they were not kind.  A lot of the information is repetitive and I’ve seen it in other self-help books but still enjoyable.  3/5

Ten Steps to Nanette: A Memoir Situation (audio) – I loved the Nanette special so I was looking forward to this one but it fell flat for me.  The stories felt like we picked up in the middle of them and left before any of them ended.  I 100% understand not wanting to get into your past traumas in a book but when the point of the book is how you got to the point of the “breakthrough” I think that makes them relevant or at least the stories told should have been more complete. 3/5

Seek You by Kristen Radtke – I saw this one on tiktok and decided to pick it up.  It was informative but I wasn’t blown away.  In the age of COVID it’s a good read though.  3/5

Unmasked:  My Life Solving America’s Cold Cases by Paul Holes (audio) – Though I purchased a physical copy I borrowed the audio from the library as Paul read the book himself.  I love Paul, I’ve loved him as part of My Favorite Murder and, his TV show about cold cases, and his own podcast with Billy Jensen but this was a rough read for me.  I think Paul definitely shows you behind the curtain so to speak on his life and how his obsession in solving crimes hurt so many of his friends and family.  Do not go into this thinking it is just about how he helped crack the Golden State Killer case, you’ve been warned.  3/5

The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman – I’m slowly going back and reading all of Mr Backman’s books, I truly have enjoyed them all so far and I don’t think I can go wrong with any of them.  This was my least favorite so far, but short – just a novella length and about a very sad topic.  This is a trigger warning story of loss. 3/5

How about you? What did you read this month?

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Mini Reviews – April Wrap Up

Let’s see. . .I’m still not ready to set new goals.  If you read last month’s post I was in a wreck and I still do not have my car so there is a lot going on right now but I’m stuck at home more so my reading is increasing dramatically for the time being.    As of right now due to part shortages I won’t get it back till at least June so I’m curious how my May reading will be.  

In A New York Minute by Kate Spencer – This almost made the March wrap up but I finished the last 30 pages or so on April 1st.  This read fairly quickly and was a lovely rom com.  No huge drama to get through, though there were moments of misunderstanding and fear. I’m still waiting for my own meet cute.  A must read for all romance readers.  4/5

A Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan (audio) – Book seven in the Wheel of Time series.  What is up with these massive prologues?  On top of that I don’t understand fully.  The prologue picked up directly from the end of the last book but then 7-9 chapters in we are still at events that took place before the battle with other characters.  It feels very much out of order but the action was there from page one.  I didn’t find the start slow like I have for this series in the past but it is the same issue as always – the women think the men are stupid and know nothing and the men know more than the women but don’t say anything.  These are still obviously women written by a man.  3/5

The Night Shift by Alex Finlay (audio) – This isn’t something I probably would have discovered on my own, I saw it listed on a blogger’s upcoming books to watch for (I’m sorry fellow blogger!  I don’t remember where I read it.)  While this would be a thriller – something I wish I read more of – it gave off a slight true crime vibe to me based on the cases as I listened to a podcast about something vaguely similar.  I did find out halfway through the book there is a character from this book that was in the author’s last book so I’m going to have to go back and read that one.  This one kept me engaged and it honestly surprised me more than once but I did get the BIG reveal correct. But the ending?  A bit of a let down.  3/5

Miss Lattimore’s Letter by Suzanne Allain (audio) – Overall a very cute, clean regency but I think I can safely say I need to read these moving forward.  I don’t know if it was the narrator or the language but I fold myself backing up to relisten to pieces frequently.  I liked this one enough that I will pick up her book that is being made into a movie, Mr. Malcolm’s List. 3/5

Desperate Measures by Katee Robert (audio) – Book one in the Wicked Villains series in which you have Jasmine hooking up with Jafar – Ali (Aladdin) is the OTHER bad guy (since Jafar is also one IMO).  Wow.  This was much more descriptive than the Dark Olympus series.  It’s a bit hard to wrap my head around the villains getting the leads and slightly weird to listen to, I think I’ll have to go back to reading with the next book.  I think I like this more than the DO books – I can’t describe the feeling it gave off.  Sexy Nostalgia? IDK. 4/5

Meg’s Apology: A Desperate Measures Bonus Short by Katee Robert: You wouldn’t think something so short would have anything too NSFW would you?  Katee Robert is the equivalent of hold my beer, LOL.  Quick and very fun for the characters. 3/5

Jasmine’s Winter Solstice:  A Desperate Measures Bonus Short by Katee Robert:  These bonus stories didn’t come to play!  Or I guess they did?  HAHA. I see a character from another series was mentioned here, Abel from the Sabine Valley series. Another series I can’t wait to read as it’s Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and boy did I love that old movie.  I think this version might not be as innocent though?  LOL   3/5

Learn My Lesson by Katee Robert – Book two in the Wicked Villains series, this follows Hades (not the Hades of Neon Gods but read Hades and Hades and you will understand) Meg and Hercules.  I’m definitely liking this series more than the other still.  I read this in a day and I’m definitely looking forward to more of these stories.  There isn’t a huge plot in them but I’m not looking for a murder mystery when reading these.  4/5

Going Public Part 1-2 by Katee Robert:  Seriously.  These shorts are crazy.  This is listed as Going Public in the shorts but this is Meg’s Punishment and Hercules Cross.  3/5

A Worthy Opponent by Katee Robert – Book three in the Wicked Villains series.  This one follows Tink/Hook/Peter.  Peter is the “bad” guy in this story – Tink made a deal with Hades to escape but now the deal is up and there is a new plan. I enjoyed the book but I guess I’d say my only issue is believing that these characters are falling in love so quickly when they barely talk as they are otherwise occupied quite a bit.  I mean there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that but these books would have to be double the size to give a backstory worth investing in.  Will I continue with the series?  Absolutely.  3/5

Tink’s Punishment:  A Worthy Opponent Short by Katee Robert:  Drinks with the girls turns into a free show.  3/5

A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare – Books one in the Spindle Cove series. This is my first book by Ms Dare, I saw a book mentioned on Tiktok from her series Castles Ever After that I wanted to read but found out it was book three in that series and that it had a crossover book with this one so hello 11 story (?) commitment.  This book reads very quickly and I think the idea of a regency town for women that don’t quite fit society’s mold is a great series idea.  If book one is an indication I’m very much looking forward to the rest of the series.  I’d call this a steamy book but not a spicy book.  3/5

Once Upon a Winter’s Eve by Tessa Dare – Technically book 1.5 of the Spindle Cove series.  This is a novella (a little over 100 pages) so it reads quickly. Cute, amazing how much was fit into a novella. 3/5

Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare – Book one in the Castles Ever After series. While I enjoyed this book it didn’t quite live up to the first in the Spindle Cove series.  I think the issue was resolved too quickly and mainly off book so it left me wanting a bit more at the end.  Another steamy, not spicy book. 3/5

A Week to Be Wicked by Tess Dare – Book two in the Spindle Cove series.  This follows the hero from book one’s cousin, Colin aka Lord Payne and of course one of the lovely Spindle Cove ladies.  I loved that the town rake goes for the “spinster” nerd of the town.  I love that we see what they each wrote about each other, but not the town scenes.  I understand going back to her family and how they reacted but the couple from the next book started having scenes and I’d have liked Colin and Min to have their own book completely.  My favorite so far. 4/5

The Wicked + The Divine Vol 6:  Imperial Phase Part II – I pushed through the last four of this series to knock it off my TBR.  I didn’t remember everything from where I left off previously but the ending was decent.  I like the author’s adding themselves in for the ending of it all. 3/5

The Wicked + The Divine Vol 7:  Mothering Invention – 3/5

The Wicked + The Divine Vol 8:  Old is the New New – 3/5

The Wicked + The Divine Vol 9:  Okay – 3/5

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James – I definitely like her writing style – her books read quickly and deliver on the story.  There is mystery but also follow through – you get answers.  Give me anything with a true crime podcast/blog plot and I’m in.  In this story I’d have liked a bit more on the possible romance and maybe a flashback to the MC’s trauma to help with understanding her more.  3/5

Daughters of a Dead Empire by Carolyn Tara O’Neil – I got about 100 pages in and DNFed.  I loved the idea around this book but it just read too young to me to continue.  -/5

A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis (audio) – I’ve read so many books on grief since my mother’s death. Now this book was written as a husband grieving his wife but I think the basis of grief is the same for all losses.  It was interesting but not quite what I thought it would be.  Anyone that has suffered a loss will find something to connect to thought. 3/5

Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn – Man I missed the Bridgertons!  Now, this series is about the Rokesbys BUT they are good friends with the Bridgertons (Edmund, our brood’s dad is a sibling at school, age 14-15?) and several are married into the family from the blurbs I’ve read.  I flew through over half in one evening after work so I know I could have read in one sitting if it would have been the weekend.  I don’t think I love these as much as the sibling series but it was nice to see a familiar name pop up.  The story wasn’t overly complicated and generally fun – book one follows the eldest Rokesby sibling George and Edmund’s older sister Billie.  I like that Billie was a bit of a rebel and that her family was for the most part accepting of her more independent nature.  3/5

The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband by Julie Quinn – Book two of the Rokesby sibling series.  This one was definitely more “action packed” so to speak.  Edward Rokesby was a soldier in America that had gone missing and at the end of the first book you find out that he is alive.  Again this read very quickly 3/5

The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn – Book three of the Rokesby sibling series.  Back to Bridgertons!  I wonder if they might incorporate this series somehow into the prequel show that Netflix announced?  This is a cousin – her uncle is the Viscount. I must say I do love Andrew.  He definitely gives rake vibes and I loved the banter between the characters.  In all of these books so far I feel like the endings are rushed.  It feels like we get 1-2 chapters and an epilogue for the end to resolve.  I wish it would have been a bit longer in that respect.  Still love these families though!  3/5 

First Comes Scandal by Julia Quinn – Book four (and final) of the Rokesby sibling series.  What’s that? Another Bridgerton?  I think this might have been my favorite out of the bunch.  I liked that they grew up together but man their parents were a bit ridiculous at the beginning.  I loved that Nicholas is studying to be a doctor and never discourages Georgiana.  Though they had their hiccups he never talked down to her or didn’t trust her.  3/5

Heartstopper Vol 1 by Alice Oseman – With the upcoming netflix series I wanted to get started on this series ASAP.  I flew through the three volumes that my library currently has and I look forward to the remainder (4 & 5) as soon as they are in.  I can tell this is going to be a great show from the trailer and I look forward to meeting all of the characters on screen. 4/5

Heartstopper Vol 2 by Alice Oseman – 3/5

Heartstopper Vol 3 by Alice Oseman – 4/5

Giant Days Vol 14 by John Allison and Max Sarin – This volume is the end of the series.  While I enjoyed it for the most part I really wish we’d have seen just a bit more of the girls adulting but overall it was a good ending. 3/5

Queen of Nothing by Holly Black – I flew through this book!  This book is the one that makes me wish we had a spin off or at least 1-2 more books left in the series.  If you are on the fence for this series or haven’t finished it yet believe me – it is worth it.  It’s put me in a fairy book mood and now I’m looking at TBR books that are fae related for a possible read.  4/5

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black – A book of short stories throughout Cardan’s life including ones that take place after QoN.  A great addition to the series!  4/5

Not a bad month! I’m less than 10 books from my YEAR goal on goodreads.  It’s so nice when you can stay out of slumps and keep flying through books, I’d love to actually make a dent on the TBR and get below, let’s say 700 books by the end of the year.  I’m hovering around 750 right now – it seems that for every one book I read I add two more.  LOL. How was your month? Happy reading!!

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Mini Reviews – March Wrap Up

This was going to be a harder month to keep up my pace because for the first week I was on vacation.  Since I missed some goals last month I’m didn’t set any for this one; hopefully that will let me get back in a groove. 

Possession by J.R. Ward –  This is the book that if there weren’t just one left I’d quit the series.  75% in on the book and Jim hadn’t even interacted with the presumed soul to be saved.  His obsession with Sissy was frankly disturbing.  For five books we’ve known her as a 19 year old child that was killed but in this book at least 3-4 times it’s said that she wasn’t really a girl anymore, she was a woman.  PLEASE.  That is grooming, I don’t care what you say.  While everyone isn’t technically alive he is roughly double her age and I just can’t with that.  Based on the blurb I have a feeling the last book won’t be much better.  As for the soul?  If we had 10-15 pages with him?  The narrative of this series has gone off the rails and I can see why it isn’t as popular as the Black Dagger Brotherhood (which I’m still reading and enjoying).  I’ll push through one more (or at least attempt to) to complete the series but this was a huge miss in my opinion.  2/5

The King by J.R. Ward – Though this is supposed to be about Beth and Wrath most of the BDB books are just 3-5 couples and their issues now.  In this one we see Beth & Wrath, Sola & Assail, Trez & Sabrina, and Layla & Xcor.  I’m vaguely ok where things are now minus Layla.  She takes risks but they do not involve just her and that is horrible.  Actions have consequences so I hope things can work out but so disappointing.  3/5

The Nineties by Chuck Klosterman (audio) – God.  Just the cover alone made me feel ancient, we had one of those phones.  This book wasn’t quite what I thought it was but it was very informative still. I’d definitely check out more books by this author and I think anyone that is Gen X, Xennial, or Millennial will enjoy this one. 3/5

Stone Heart by Katee Robert (novella) – A novella featuring Medusa & Calypso set before the first book of the Dark Olympus series, Neon Gods.  It was a quick read but just ok story wise.  Extremely rushed IMO. 3/5

Hades and Hades by Katee Robert (novella) – This is a short story that shows how this series connects to the Wicked Villains series.  I haven’t started that one yet but I do have the first few books on my kindle ready to go.  This was even shorter than Stone Heart so there wasn’t much plot.  Maybe this will have more meaning after I read the Wicked Villains books but still better than StoneHeart IMO. 3/5

Mr. Wrong Number by Lynn Painter – I’m a sucker for books in which people communicate via text or email so this sounded right up my alley.  It read quickly – I finished it in one day, but man the MC was dumber than a bag of rocks.  I THINK the brother might be getting a book?  I’ll have to check back later but if you love romance I think you will enjoy it.  3/5

Meet Me in the Margins by Melissa Ferguson – Let me start this off with a quick disclaimer – this is a CLEAN romance.  I know some people are strictly one way or the other but it was still extremely cute.  I started it at night and finished by mid day the next day. It was quick, fun, no heavy drama, and just overall enjoyable.  4/5

Emotional Inheritance by Galit Atlas – One of the books I brought to read on vacation but didn’t open.  That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great read.  This book shows how both hiding and showing past traumas in families affects the dynamics and influences all other relationships in one’s life.  There was one patient’s story that ended on such a cliffhanger I was blown away.  I need to know the name (fake is fine) to see if what happened is what I think.  Regardless if names were changed I find it hard to believe that the patient wouldn’t know about that reveal if she read it.  The other details were too specific.  4/5

Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire – I didn’t like this one quite as much as some of the others but it was one of the best installments so far either way.  I liked that we went to another school for wayward children though I missed our normal cast of characters. 4/5

Ghosts by Dolly Alderton (audio) – I think this one started off a little slow but I loved the story.  It shows what it is like to be one of or the last single friend in a group and how dating pressures are so different now.  It felt very real and relatable and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.  One gripe and it’s not with the book itself but the blurb on goodreads.  This is NOT a romcom so I’m not sure who wrote that up but there were no hijinks, true meet cutes, or a traditional happy ever after. 4/5

The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec (audio) – You know if a book involving Loki pops up I’m immediately intrigued.  I’ve always had an interest in all mythology but the older I get the more I see how horrible the Gods truly were.  This was an interesting read but didn’t excite me.  The best I could explain is that it’s like reading a non-fiction book, I’ve learned something but wasn’t blown away.  3/5

Riley Thorn & the Corpse in the Closet by Lucy Score – I loved the first book in this series so I was excited that the library borrowed this one for me to continue.  It was more of the same from book one, hijinks and criminals everywhere.  I said it before and I’ll say it again – this is what Stephanie Plum should have been.  It was just so much fun. 4/5

How to Be Perfect by Michael Schur (audio) – I did buy a copy (if you can you should, all profits are donated) but I needed to listen to the audio as it was both the author and the cast of The Good Place which I just loved. It’s Schur’s take on what he learned in creating The Good Place so if you loved the show or frankly Parks & Rec and/or The Office I think you’ll love it.  If you can, I 100% recommend the audio.  5/5

Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan (audio) – Book six in the Wheel of Time series.  SIGH. It took almost 4 hours to just get out of the prologue.  THE PROLOGUE.   I’m so happy to see Perrin again but THESE WOMEN.  All of them are just horrible.  It’s like no one is learning anything but all think they know all.  I really hope the show shows them in a more flattering light.  Also?  Too many POVs in my opinion.  There was never a name given to tell when you moved to someone else, you just had to listen to figure it out.  To me there was so much story but it didn’t advance enough for the amount of information given.  I’d say the first half – if not more – of the book was just random filler and wasn’t even necessary. The ending though?  The reason for the rating.  I can see that battle on the show and know it has the potential to be a great episode.  4/5

One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serles (audio) –  I DNFed.  The MC Katy was horrible.  I realize everyone processes grief differently but the way she treated her husband was beyond unacceptable.  Now that she’s on the trip?  I know where this is going and frankly there is no coming back from that.  She’s a horrible person doing horrible things to people in the name of her “grief”.  BLAH. -/5

Well.  This was a rough month reading.  Not only did I have a vacation but I was also in a wreck so my time dwindled down fast.  I still think I did pretty well though.  What about you?  What did you read this month?

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SPOTLIGHT: Sadie on a Plate by Amanda Elliot BLOG TOUR

SADIE ON A PLATE (Berkley Trade Paperback Original; on sale March 15, 2021) follows Sadie Rosen, an up-and-coming Seattle chef gaining attention for her unique and modern takes on traditional Jewish cuisine. After a messy—and very public—breakup with her chef boss, she becomes the laughingstock of the Seattle restaurant scene. Now jobless and blacklisted from every reputable restaurant in the city, Sadie is sure her career is over. That is, until she gains a coveted spot on her favorite TV show, Chef Supreme.

On the plane to New York, Sadie has undeniable chemistry with her seatmate and fellow chef, Luke. Though she makes it clear that she and Luke won’t be able to meet for the next six weeks, she joins him for an unforgettable dinner before beginning her journey on Chef Supreme. They bond over their mutual love of cooking and their dreams of opening restaurants that honor their roots, and Sadie wants nothing more than to see him again after filming ends. But, to her shock, she turns up to set the next day realizes she’ll be seeing a lot more of Luke than she thought.

In order to save her career, Sadie will have to use all the skills at her disposal to prove that she has what it takes to compete with some of the best chefs in the country while ignoring her growing feelings for Luke. With the stakes so high, will Sadie be able to keep her heart out of the kitchen long enough to secure her future?

Featuring a young Jewish protagonist, mouthwateringly described cuisine, and a sizzling forbidden romance, Amanda Elliot delivers a delicious romantic comedy, perfect for fans of Rachel Lynn Solomon, Christina Lauren, and binge-worthy cooking competitions like Chopped and Master Chef.

Amanda Elliot is the author of several young adult and middle grade books as Amanda Panitch. Sadie on a Plate is her first adult novel. She lives in New York City, where she owns way too many cookbooks for her tiny kitchen. Learn more online at amandapanitch.com

Sadie On A Plate by Amanda Elliot is out today!

Credit: Cassie Gonzales 2021
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Mini Reviews February Wrap Up

I liked setting goals for January, though all weren’t met it wasn’t a hard list so I didn’t feel confined.  Now February is a shorter month and I will be on vacation at the end so I’m not sure how this month will go overall.  I’m going to keep the same goals from January and then add on to it a little.  

For February:

  • read at least 20 books/novellas
  • read at least six books from my own physical shelf
  • finish the reread portion of Black Dagger Brotherhood series AND start new books
  • listen to at least six audiobooks
  • read at least one book on vacation (highest probability is the car ride)
  • complete a series – can be something already started or a complete series within the month

Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon (audio) –  This was a cute read and a more realistic romance than most books out there.  Our MCs dealt with having kids too young, depression, broken homes, and body issues. I flew through this audiobook, this is a definite read for any romance lover.  4/5

The  Ex Hex by Erin Sterling (audio) – I started this one but I just wasn’t drawn in, I DNF’ed.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman (audio) – An audio from the library to try and clear a book from my physical shelf. I’d watched around half of the first season of the show when it premiered but stopped, wanting to read the books. Billed as the adult Harry Potter meets Narnia I had high hopes but it wasn’t even close story wise.  It felt like so much of the story was pointless.  Hopefully the next book will pick up.  3/5

Never Fall for Your Fiancee by Virginia Heath – The first in a regency rom-com series. This one started out strong, I was even thinking it could be a five star read for the first 25 % but once the story shifted to no one being able to see their own faults and Minerva being so smug thinking she was correct in everything it immediately dropped to a possible three star.  By the end of Chapter 11?  I knew I wouldn’t like Minerva no matter what happened by the end of the book.  To be so vindictive to do what she did I don’t know how someone would fall in love with that.  The issues in the book seem legitimate but are brushed off so easily I feel like the book would have been better with none and just a cute romance alone.  Now with all that being said?  I know I’ll read the next book. 3/5

Riley Thorn and the Dead Guy Next Door by Lucy Score – I saw a friend one Goodreads give this one a high rating so I was curious to check it out.  It has strong Stephanie Plum vibes (though more of the early books – I gave up on this series because it never changed) and I can tell you it was worth the high rating.  It was so much fun!  The chaotic family was everything and her neighbors gave me so many laugh out loud moments.  I’m looking forward to book two!! 5/5

Covet by J.R. Ward –  I remember absolutely nothing about the books in this series so I’m not sure why there are only 6 books since book one says “Seven Deadly Sins, seven souls to save.” but we will find out somehow!  My only vague memory of these is that they had crossover characters and I didn’t like them as much.  Overall the story wasn’t bad, more building in this one to set up the storyline.  I’m thankful there are only six to get through.

Lover Mine by J.R. Ward – John Matthew!  I don’t remember this story at all but he’s probably my favorite after Zsadist.  I’m getting so close to finishing the reread and can’t wait to see where everyone went.

The Lido by Libby Page (audio) – This book was absolutely wonderful.  I saw a comment that if you loved A Man Called Ove you would love this and I couldn’t agree more.  It’s just a great example that things can change drastically if you just look at things from a different view.  4/5

Crave by J.R. Ward – I don’t know why but these books are so much harder for me to read than the BDB books.  You’d think with some crossover and the same author I’d be more on board but alas. . . maybe it’s the good versus evil?  I have real issues with neither side is supposed to be able to intervene but the evil side sure seems to find loopholes. . . I can see why I stopped these last time but I’m hoping to push through.  Only four more to go! (Yikes)

Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward – We’ve already established I don’t remember most of the books, though I remember the characters. When I started this one I was completely shocked with the prologue – I truly think I must only remember names past this point because nothing is familiar.  I do have a vague feeling that I never cared for Manny, the male MC in this one.  Payne?  She was ok but I really didn’t like sparring with the King.  After the reread?  I know why I didn’t care as much for them.  Though the story itself was great, I didn’t like the choice they made at the end.  (If you’ve read the series you know what I mean.)

Envy by J.R. Ward – This was the last of the Fallen Angels series I read so I’m moving along in this reread.  What worried me the most about rereading this one is that I’d rated it a 2/5 originally, this must be why I didn’t continue with the series at the time. After my reread I know why I rated it so low – I just can’t get over that police officers go on with no evidence and just word of mouth.  Is evil truly this powerful?  While I know this is a fantasy this wasn’t believable to me at all. The rating stands. 

Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward – Tohr’s book, it was eye opening.  I don’t remember Tohr being this cruel the first time but I know grief can change someone dramatically.  

Rapture by J.R. Ward – I’ve made it to “new to me” in this series!!!  Now there are only two more books after this one so I guess that isn’t as big of an accomplishment as I think but I’m taking the win! I enjoyed it overall but it was very different from the rest of the series so far.  Devina was almost completely missing from the book, it is like the writing style completely changed here.  3/5

Lover At Last by J.R. Ward – This is officially the last of the already read of the series.  I really love these two guys so it was great to see them again.  I know they have a novella later in the series so I’m excited to see where their story goes.  

The Wedding Ringer by Kerry Rea – Rec’ed by several friends this was a very cute, light on drama romance book.  It was very light; it showcased several great friendships, mainly female but male as well and worth the read.  This was the author’s debut book and I can tell you I’ve marked her second as TBR already.  4/5

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell (audio) – A book from my shelf but audio so I could clear it out faster.  The descriptions of America by British people were hilarious.  It’s Rainbow so I went in knowing I’d love it.  The only fault I really found would be the way the chapters end.  Every ending felt so abrupt.  Can’t wait to continue with the next book! 4/5

Giant Days Volume 13 by John Allison – Another great graphic novel that I don’t think can go wrong.  3/5

The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman – This is another reread.  It’s a three book series that I stopped at one.  I have book two so this helps me get towards two goals, get a book off my shelf and complete a series.  I didn’t remember much but I did remember really liking it.  I can say it didn’t hold up overall for me but to be fair I also read this over 10 years ago.  I still love the story but this time around I saw just how many questions the MC asked and frankly I wanted to punch her.  

The Wells Bequest by Polly Shuman – Finally, another book I own to clear out! This is book two in the Grimm Legacy series.  It read extremely fast and was a cute story.  Though at times a little silly (it is YA and I’d lean on the younger YA side at that) I like the idea of the plot and wished there was a real library like the one they work at.  3/5

New Spring by Robert Jordan (audio) – The prequel to the Wheel of Time series, it follows Moiraine and Lan as they meet and come together to start their journey.  How strange for such a small book in this series, LOL.  It was more of the same.  The men were written as stoic and the women as raging bitches.  God I like the overall story but I wish these characters would grow emotionally. 3/5

How far did I get for my February goals?  Let’s see!

  • read at least 20 books/novellas – Done!
  • read at least six books from my own physical shelf – I only got to four this month.  
  • finish the reread portion of Black Dagger Brotherhood series AND start new books – Done!! I’m so excited!!  Next month is all new to me, 
  • listen to at least six audiobooks – Done if you count the DNF, if not I only hit five.
  • read at least one book on vacation (highest probability is the car ride) – I didn’t make it.  I brought three books and my ipad and didn’t read a single page.  
  • complete a series – can be something already started or a complete series within the month – Nope.  I’m one book off on several series though so the chances for this to happen in March are higher. 

Considering I went on vacation and this was a shorter month the fact that I got as far as I did was an accomplishment.  What did you guys read this month?

Uncategorized

Mini Reviews January Wrap Up

I’m going to try something new this month.  I’m going to list what my goals for the month were and then at the end we will see how many I hit.  I promise the goals were made at the beginning of each month.  If at the end of the month I decide I put too much pressure on myself then I’ll scrap them for February.  


For January:
*  read at least 20 books/novellas*  read at least six books from my own physical shelf

*  finish the reread portion of Black Dagger Brotherhood series to start new books

*  listen to at least six audiobooks


I think the hardest task on the above to accomplish will be the BDB series catch up as I stopped on book 11 and there is another series that interweaves with it as well.  In addition, I might have to wait on a library holds so while I will try the likelihood isn’t high.  The rest overlap in more ways so I can meet more than one task with some books.  


The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan (audio) – Book four in the series.  Note while I’m not going into details some things moving forward in all Wheel of Time mini reviews might be spoilery for past books in the series.  I really feel like the story is really picking up but I am disappointed in parts of it.  World building?  They have that for days. But what of the magic?  I hate that we get absolutely zero details on what’s going on.  How did the magic come about?  How is it used?  Also, more background on the different cultures spoken of.  Just saying things like “this is our way” etc bothers me.  I want to learn.  Next, relationships.  This is probably the most frustrating part still.  The men are portrayed as fumbling generally romance wise which is somewhat on point but the women?  I feel like all of the women were supposed to be independent and strong, capable of handling their own, and they are BUT when interacting with men they always seem to talk down to them (the women to men) and are always angry.  Women can be strong and not come off as a controlling bitch so to speak and that bothers me.  I appreciate the effort but the execution didn’t or hasn’t worked so far IMO.  If I rated this strictly on the story and how it was progressing I’d rate it 5/5 but the relationships drag it down (I’d rate those 3/5) so I’m going to stick with the middle ground here and stay with 4/5

The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan (audio) – Book five in the series.  I’m over all of the women.  I like them in theory still but for the love of God they are just horrible to the guys and so bossy.  Robert Jordan did not know how to write women and it shows.  I wish they’d work together with the men more and not talk down to them so much.  The women have been too trusting and been caught multiple times yet the men are the issue?  They tell the men to do what they say and when they don’t and can actually save them the first thing they say is that they didn’t listen.  And don’t even get me started on the “you belong to so and so”.  Man or woman no one belongs to anyone just because one of the two has declared they love them.  I just can’t.  I don’t think the book advanced the story at all and was longer than it needed to be.  On top of that?  No Perrin at all. I can see where people say the middle of the series is a bit of a waste.  3/5

Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward – I forgot some of the details on this, I don’t like that Butch hooked up with someone that is the lead in another book, I like my romance to not have crossing lovers (I know it wasn’t cheating as neither person was in the “couple” they will be a part of) but I just don’t like Butch all that much in general so I may hold a grudge here.  Still a good book, this reread has helped so much and I’m becoming more motivated to try and get through the reread portion of the series faster.  

Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward – Still in the reread portion, these are the few I didn’t care for as much now that I’m remembering more so I know why I might want to drag my feet a bit.  This is the part of the series where it started being less about one couple and a more collective story that makes me feel like a little something of the first few books was lost.

Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward – Probably my least favorite of the brothers but man did I forget some details!  I’m really trying to meet my catch up timeline goal to where I stopped for the month but I’m not sure I’ll make it just based on this book alone.  I’m starting to slow down story wise,  Though I love the series, jumping around to so many people each book makes me lose interest faster and the storylines aren’t exactly light so I try to read another book between each.  It might take me longer to continue but I’m going to keep mixing them in the TBR. I will not stop fully again!

Father Mine by J.R. Ward – novella set after Lover Enshrined about the window of time after Bella and Zsadist’s baby is born.  As he’s my favorite brother I enjoyed the revisit.  

Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward –  We are moving back to more of the books I vaguely remember liking again but man I barely remembered what this book was about!  The only thing I remembered was the main cast from other books, who was the hero in this one, and that’s about it.  Wow, I’m really glad I’m working on this reread!

The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider’s Guide by J.R. Ward – Just a quick refresher about the brothers.

The Lost Village by Camilla Sten (audio) – A very interesting read though the reveals were predictable to me.  This could be that I’ve just watched too many criminal shows so that is open to debate.  The MC was horribly selfish and I feel like overall the view of mental illness was weak and feel more could have been done there.  I’d definitely like to try another book by the author, I think she nailed (this is my opinion) that organized religion is really just a sanctioned cult. 3/5

Zodiac Academy:  Origins of an Academy Bully by Caroline Pechkam & Susanne Valenti – This is one of the series going around booktok right now, though I can tell you I bought it awhile back when one of the author’s tiktoks popped up and she billed this as spicy Harry Potter.  SOLD.  I wanted to finally get this one started because there is a special edition coming out next month and I want to know if it’s something I’d like to own because that edition will be pricey.  If the rest of the series if like this novella I’m going to love it.  To compare to HP – it’s like reading from the Mafoy’s POV and I don’t hate it at all.  5/5

Just Haven’t Met You Yet by Sophie Cousens – A very cute book.  It’s basically a Hallmark movie and a quick, fun, light read.  Though not mentioned by name if you read her last book, This Time Next Year they are mentioned in a blink and you’ll miss it but I like that we are in the same “world” as the other couple.  3/5

My Dear Friend Janet by Keke Palmer & Jasmine Guillory – This one and the four listed below are all novellas following one character who tried multiple magic wigs that transform her into a new person that gets what she wants through various means.  When I first heard about these they sounded cute and while it was a fun read overall they were just ok.  I’m sure I’m in the minority on this one but I just didn’t care for the voices Keke gave for each wig.  There was a lot of extra emphasis that I didn’t like, it felt like she was yelling at me.    3/5

From the Desk of Lady Miss by Keke Palmer & Jasmine Guillory – 3/5

Chelsea’s Werk Week by Keke Palmer & Jasmine Guillory – 3/5

Keri on the Loose by Keke Palmer & Jasmine Guillory – 3/5

Sophie Dreams Big by Keke Palmer & Jasmine Guillory – 3/5

The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke – I’d been interested in this one for awhile and was a bit disheartened when I saw a couple of other bloggers mark it low but I still picked it up to give it a shot and I’m glad because I really enjoyed it. Though I didn’t read in one sitting I did read in one day and I was surprised by at least part of the storyline.  I’d compare this as almost Simone Sts James level, I’ve already read several of her books and loved them so and I will definitely look into reading any backlist titles. 3/5

The One Hundred Years of Lenni & Margot by Marianne Cronin (audio) – Though I listened to the audio from the library this is a book I own as well.  The blurb sounded fantastic, a good cathartic crying type of book but that wasn’t what I read. Don’t get me wrong, I still cried a bit but It was supposed to be about Lenni and Margot but I’d say roughly 90% of the book was about Margot’s life (I know she is older and has more stories) but the glimpses were so brief.  We didn’t even get the entire story from each memory.  I loved the idea of this book but the execution wasn’t great.  3/5

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (audio) – I got to about 25% in and quit.  This is the second book by this author that others love but there is just something about them I don’t like.  Maybe one day I’ll try again. DNF/5

Lore Olympus: Volume One by Rachel Smythe – I’ll admit it, I requested this without knowing anything other than it was super popular.  It was ok, nothing blew me out of the water.  I appreciate the trigger warnings but I still didn’t want to read that even though I knew it was coming.  I’ll at least pick up Volume 2 when it comes out.  Overall a quick read.  3/5

Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle (audio) – Adorable.  This was just adorable.  Just an unproblematic story about two wonderful and quirky people finding someone that gets them.  3/5

The Body is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor (audio) – I’m here for anything promoting people to accept themselves and others to live as they are, something I know so many of us can relate to.  I found myself smiling at more than one point while listening, there are many inspiring messages throughout that brought sparks of happiness and hope.  3/5

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander (J.K. Rowling) (audio) – I bought a set of these stories YEARS ago and they popped up at the library on overdrive so I figured they could be quick reads to clear out the backlog.  Read by Newt himself (Eddie Redmayne), I was excited to listen to it.  It was a cute read, nothing deep.  3/5

Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp (J.K. Rowling) (audio) – Read by Andrew Lincoln (Rick from The Walking Dead), another great narrator.  Give me all the British accents.  A quick fun read. 3/5

he Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling (audio) – Read by various actors in the Harry Potter world.  I think this one might be my favorite of the three books.  A fun return to the world. 3/5

Electric Idol by Katee Robert (audio) – I wasn’t in love with the first book in this series but I did like it enough to continue.  There is something about making the Greek gods modern that I don’t care for. . .that some are elected?  How one Greek can be “promoted” to another higher position just seems weird.  I think overall I liked this story more than Neon Gods.  I liked having a monogamous couple with a plus sized heroine over the exhibitionist habits of book one.  3/5

Lumberjanes Vol 20:  End of Summer – I mean I’m 20 volumes in, it’s safe to say I like the series.  Cute as always. 3/5

Opening to Grief by Claire B. Willis & Marnie Crawford Smuelson – Got about 1/3 through but I couldn’t.  They basically say there is no correct way to grieve (agreed) but push a lot of meditation and reflecting.  Not for me.  DNF/5

Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection & the Language of Human Experience by Brene Brown – I adore Brene and her books are required reading for me.  Something about the way she approaches how things are processed makes so much sense, I just can’t commit mentally to the follow through for them right now.  Bonus:  If you love her she has two podcasts out.  I’m a bit behind on all my podcasts but I look forward to listening to her again soon.  She makes me feel like I’m a friend getting advice and not being lectured.  5/5


What points did I hit this month?  Let’s check.

For January:
*  read at least 20 books/novellas – DONE!

*  read at least six books from my own physical shelf – Done, sort of?  I cleared six but only read five.  One was a DNF.

*  finish the reread portion of Black Dagger Brotherhood series to start new books – I only made it through book seven this month (though I’ve started the next book which is the first in the FIRST interweaving series) but I did have to wait for a few of them so I think this is still a win.  I already have the next two books ready to go and the two after that requested so I’m hopeful February will be the month I can finish the catch up unless there is some rush at my local library I haven’t seen yet.  Once I can get a little bit further they have both physical and audio copies so that would help me move faster.

*  listen to at least six audiobooks – DONE!


3/4 goals fully met!  Not bad I think!


What did you guys read this month?