Books

August 2020 Wrap-Up

Hello friends and fellow book lovers! Today is an excellent day for multiple reasons. The first being that it’s my mom’s birthday and I wouldn’t be here without her. The second is that I met the Jonas Brothers one year ago today and that concert still makes me SO happy. Thirdly, I had a great reading month in August so let’s get into the books I read in August!

This month, I didn’t participate in any readathons or challenges. I just read whatever I wanted this month. The only usual thing about my TBR was letting my followers pick out one of my reads so let’s get into all of the books I read in August 🙂

Credit to Pure Imagination Blog
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1. Nordic Daddy (Business Trip Boyfriends #1)

I wrote a mini-review of this one so be sure to check that out if you want to know my thoughts on it.

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2. Trouble & Strife (Chances Limited #2)

The next book I read was another one by Lara Kinsey. This was the other book I featured in my mini-reviews. Once again, check out that post if you want my full thoughts.

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3. Let Me Be Your Motivation (🎧)

This was an audiobook I checked out via Hoopla. This is a second-chance romance between Jordyn who gets dumped at the altar and Amir, an NFL player who went to her high school. I really wanted to enjoy this but I thought it was way TOO dramatic. It also felt like Tay Mo’Nae rushed things too much. Lastly, the sex scenes were written so cringey. Those things just annoyed me a little too much so it was a 2.5/5 stars

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4. Wonder Woman ’77, Vol 1

This is a Wonder Woman comic following Lynda Carter’s version of Wonder Woman and I thought it was going to be amazing. Ultimately, it fell kind of flat to me. I also think WW was way too sexualized when she didn’t need to be. Overall, I thought this volume had potential but focused too much on other subjects. It was Wonder Woman though so I’m not too disappointed. 3/5 stars

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5. Jasmin’s Billionaire

The next book I read was Jasmin’s Billionare which follows a side character from Puneet’s Getting Mail. I enjoyed Jasmin as a character but I feel like the author was trying to do too much. She wouldn’t just focus on one story line and all of the plotlines felt disjointed. I also felt like Jasmin spoke about subjects that had nothing to do with her and it annoyed me. Overall, I feel like this book needed more editing but I’m excited to read this author’s next book. 2.5/5 stars

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6. Midnight Sun (Twilight #5)

The next book I read is Midnight Sun and oh boy! Do I have thoughts about this one. If you’ve been living under a rock, this is Twilight told from Edward’s perspective. I honestly kind of enjoyed it more than Twilight because being in Edward’s head is absolutely bonkers. The first 100 pages had me rolling especially his first meeting with Bella which was just great.

What was most enjoyable was learning more about the Cullen family. If there’s one thing this book did well, it was finding out the backstory of the entire Cullen coven and I’m not mad about it. If anything, it made the book more interesting than being stuck in Bella’s head. It’s clearly not my favorite book ever but I enjoyed my time, reading it and I could see Ellyn and I rereading it in the future lmao. 3/5 stars

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7. Me + Somebody’s Son: A Heights Story

After reading Midnight Sun, I wanted something fun and Me + Somebody’s Son was just that. It follows a second-chance romance between August and Haven who harbored college crushes on each other but meet up again when they’re adults. This was only 84 pages so it focused on the start of their relationship, the sex they had and them eventually becoming a meme. This was cute, steamy and fun along with being the perfect palette cleanser. 4/5 stars

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8. Heartstopper: Volume 1

This is the first volume in Alice Oseman’s graphic novel series and it follows an m/m relationship between Nick and Charlie. It’s how the two became friends and then eventually more. The art style was super cute and it had all the trademark loveliness of Alice Oseman’s other works. While I thought it was good, it’s not a new favorite and I think it’s a bit over-hyped. 4/5 stars

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9. Coffee In The Noon

The next book I read is another Black romance novella and this was such a delightful read. It’s a short story following Forge and Onyx’s romance which was truly the stuff of movies. One thing I enjoyed was that Harleigh Rae featured a disclaimer that talked about how fast-paced this would be which was much appreciated.

I also adored the writing style and highlighted SO many quotes. It was so gorgeously written but ultimately, had a few too many editing errors and the sex scenes were pretty cringey. If it weren’t for those two things, it would have been an easy 5 stars because this was such a gorgeous story. 4/5 stars

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10. The Change-Up (New Beginnings #1)

The next book I read is yet another Black romance book. This one follows a girl who gets picked randomly to throw a pitch at a local baseball game and goes viral. It’s basically her journey to become part of Team USA baseball team and a romance she has with a sports blogger who started off trolling until things progress. Honestly, this book checked all of my boxes for everything I love.

It had a solid romance, awesome friendships, a loving father-daughter relationship and subverted a trope I love. The only issues I had were the couple of editing mistakes and the lack of real conflict in the story. Things just seemed to work out perfectly and I wish there was a bit more angst. Other than that, this was EVERYTHING. 4.5/5 stars

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11. Go Deep (Unexpected Lovers #1)

During my birthday week, I decided to read all the Black romances I’d been waiting to read for BlackLoveAThon and this was the first one. What a way to start as this book follows an erotica novella writer who is dealing with a slump. To get over it, she enlists her best friend to give her some assistance. Honestly, I don’t really have any complaints about this book aside from my dumbass waited too long to read it.

It’s a friends-to-lovers romance featuring life-long friends, lots of steamy scenes and just the right amount of angst. Honestly, this book was chef’s kiss and I want everyone to read it. It’s also a book I know I’ll want to revisit it so I might buy it in paperback so I’ll have a copy for my shelves. 5/5 stars

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12. Basking in Bloom: A Novella

The second book I read for my birthday week Basking in Bloom by Wynta Tyme. This book follows Bloom who deals with tragedy over tragedy but eventually, is able to find happiness at the end of the story. Personally, I didn’t enjoy this story for multiple reasons as I felt like the author did too much telling and not enough showing. I also feel like this book was entirely too dramatic and it truly felt like this book lacked a lot in the romance department. Overall, I was sorely disappointed. 2/5 stars

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13. Room For Three? (Erotic Accommodations #1)

My third birthday week read was Room For Three? by Katrina Jackson. This book follows Mike and Cali, two models who become roommates with Precious, a grad student. Eventually, it ends up being a poly situation and it’s delightful. As with all Katrina Jackson books, the smut is god-tier but the main complaint was the story felt like it was doing too much.

There would be issues with characters but it would feel under-developed in parts where I wanted development. I would have preferred if it would have been either only erotica or a poly romance if that makes sense. Either way, it was a fun sexy time. 4/5 stars

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14. Harbor (Beards & Bondage #3)

I saved my longest book for my day off and what a smart move this was. Wednesday’s usually a slow day for most of us and Harbor was exactly what I needed. This book follows Brooklyn who is reeling after she found her out her fiance was murdered and also cheating on it. It’s her relationship with Shaw and Vaughn, the men who were in a poly relationship with the woman Brook’s fiance was with who also died.

While a dark premise, this book portrayed such a loving and honest poly relationship. It was also incredibly steamy to boot. Overall, I don’t have anything to complain about as I felt like this was the perfect ending to Beards & Bondage. Easily my favorite of the series and one of my new favorite books. 5/5 stars

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15. Blind Date with a Book Boyfriend

The next book I read was Blind Date with a Book Boyfriend by Lucy Eden. This is a romance between a girl and a guy who meet at a bookstore and their day-long date. This book is super fast-paced, features insta-love and has a unlikely conflict. Honestly, I felt like this book was super cute and fun but ultimately, didn’t have much substance. I did enjoy it and I especially loved all the romance books mentioned throughout. I do plan on reading more of her books as this was super short and fun. 4/5 stars

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16. Being Hospitable (Desert Rose Hook-Ups #1)

I had plans on the day before my birthday so I read this and honestly, it was a lot of fun. It’s an f/f romance between Ki and Charley who is her best friend’s sister. It was incredibly short and steamy but also incredibly sweet at times. Overall, it wasn’t anything groundbreaking but it was fun. I really don’t have much to say about it lol. 4/5 stars

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17. Birthday Sex: A Sexy Short by Té Russ

The read for my birthday was none other than Birthday Sex by Té Russ. This was my first Té Russ book and it won’t be my last. This book focuses on a girl and a guy who hook up every year on their birthdays and it’s basically them hooking up. This is super short like 40ish pages but it’s steamy and had a cute ending. It was the perfect way to cap off my birthday. 5/5 stars

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18. Love In The Time of Corona

I loved Go Deep by Rilzy Adams so I knew I wanted to read another one. This book focuses on a married couple on the verge of divorce and end up getting quarantined together. Even though this was only 60 pages, I was super invested in their relationship plus this had some steamy parts and I think Rilzy Adams did a great job of developing everything in such a short time. She’s definitely on the verge of becoming one of my new favorite romance authors. 5/5 stars

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19. Here We Are Now (🎧)

The next book was one I listened to and that’s Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga. While I liked her middle-grade book, this one didn’t work for me. This book featured two plot lines: one about a girl meeting her dad for the first time and then finding out the history between her parents. Music is a huge theme throughout the book as the girl’s dad is a famous singer in a band. Overall, I felt like this book lacked substance and the plot felt pretty lackluster. It was beautifully written though so I’ll give it that. 3/5 stars

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20. Teach Me (There’s Something About Marysburg #1)

I put a hold on this book at the library and only waited a few days before it became available. Anyways, this book follows a romance between Rose, a veteran teacher and Martin, a veteran teacher who is new to her school. Even though things start off on the wrong foot, these two are clearly attracted to each other and it basically develops from there.

What I loved most about this book was how the author featured some well-known tropes but they didn’t feel overused or cliche. For me, everything worked. The only issue I had was the third-act breakup but other than that, this was a delight. In addition, this book featured a fat MC but it wasn’t her only identity. Honestly, I stan this book and I can’t wait to read the next one. 5/5 stars

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21. 40-Love (There’s Something About Marysburg #2)

After reading and loving Teach Me, I knew I wanted to read 40-Love as soon as possible. This book focuses on Tess who was a side-character in book one and the romance she has on vacation with Lucas, a 26-year-old former tennis pro. These two have such a fun meet-cute and their relationship is surprisingly mature despite their age difference.

As adorable as this book was, I did have some issues. Firstly, I felt like most of the conflicts could have been easily avoided. Second, this book did feel a little boring at times and third, I felt like things were too rushed for a longer book. Either way, I still had a lot of fun with it and would recommend. 4/5 stars

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22. You Deserve Each Other

After reading 40-Love, I wasn’t sure what to read and I noticed You Deserve Each Other on my shelves so I decided to pick it up. This book makes me incredibly happy and re-reading it gave me such a serotonin boost. No doubt I’ll probably read this a third time before the year ends lmao. 5/5 stars

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23. Heatwaves: A Summer Fling Novella

The next book I read was a novella recommended by Sil from The Book Voyagers via her Booktube channel. With summer almost over, I wanted something summery and steamy which is exactly what this was. It’s a second-chance romance between a romance novelist and the guy who comes to fix her A.C. They have the most unfortunate meeting and it basically starts from there. I don’t want to give much away since it’s only about 60 pages but it was steamy and fun which is exactly what I wanted. 4/5 stars

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24. Birthday Shot

This was my third book from Rilzy Adams this month and honestly, I have to stan at this point. This book features a romance between Shae and her brother’s best friend, Kofi who reconnect at her 30th birthday party. I absolutely loved their romance, how steamy this book was and how soft they were with each other. I also really enjoyed the conversations they had about dealing with Shae’s brother and how all of that played out for them. While I still prefer Go Deep, this book made me so happy and cemented Rilzy Adams as a new favorite author. 5/5 stars

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25-29. The Mindfuck series (Books 1-5)

I recently started following Intentionally Bookish on Youtube and she posted a video talking about this series so I decided to pick it up. This is a romance between Lana Myers, a revenge serial-killer and Logan Bennett, an FBI agent who tracks down serial killers. Obviously, this book is very dark and very intense with so many triggers including murder, rape, assault, abuse, pedophilia, homophobia and basically anything that could trigger someone so tread cautiously if you pick this up.

I absolutely loved the build-up of this story and their romance. It was an incredibly dark series but the romance was everything lmao. As weird as that might sound, the romance is what kept me reading. As for ratings, I gave the first three books 4 stars and then the last two books 5 stars which averages out to a 4.5 rating for the entire series.

This obviously isn’t what I normally read but this series was so good and I’m definitely considering picking up darker books before the year ends. The books are also super short and available on KU if you’re interested in checking it out.

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30. Desire and the Deep Blue Sea (Love Unscripted #1)

The next book I read was unsurprisingly something light and fun. This is a fake-dating romance between two co-workers who get to go on a “couples” vacation on a reality show and get to spend time at their favorite island. Personally, I think this was super cute and fun but a little too short. It felt like their relationship was just developing as the book ended. Either way, I thought it was fun and it was another Olivia Dade book off my list. 4/5 stars

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31. The Nanny

The last book I read in August was The Nanny by Brandy Bush. This is an m/f/m romance in which the woman keeps getting identified as a nanny rather than her children’s mother. To try to combat that, she wants her husbands to get her pregnant. While this was steamy, I didn’t love it as much as her previous release. This one felt a little undeveloped and I wish it had been longer plus I felt like it wasn’t steamy enough. 4/5 stars

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32. Marriage For One

The last book I read in August was Marriage for One by Ella Maise. This is a slow-burn, marriage of convenience between Jack and Rose who meet under odd circumstances but eventually, the two have a romance. This book was incredibly slow at times but once the two started warming up to each other, it was just a chef’s kiss…excellence. I adored these two characters even though Jack was a little harder to love.

Either way, this book was just incredible. It does focus a lot on strained family relationships, loss of a family member, relationships breaking up and a lot of illness including a medical procedure. Overall, I was so pleasantly surprised by this book and it’ll probably end up being on my top 10 books of the year list. 5/5 stars

Credit to Pure Imagination Blog

Those are the 32 books I read in August and I’m really happy with how much I read this month. I also discovered a new favorite author in Olivia Dade which is great. Other than that, I don’t have much else to say about August. All I know is that September is going to be a catch-up month for me and I’m going to try to read some longer books. Before you finish reading my post, please take the time to look over these attached links to help with Black Lives Matter.

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