Books

July 2020 Wrap-up including The Pop Culture Readathon

Hello friends and fellow book lovers! I’m writing this post early in the month of June as I’ve already read a ton of books. Considering how much I’ve been reading, I might try to do a mid-month wrap-up. With all the books I’ve been buying on Kindle and ones I’ve been adding to my TBR, I always feel like I have something to read. Either way, let’s get into my reads for July including the Pop Culture Readathon.

If you want to know more about the Pop Culture readathon, you can check out my TBR post from earlier in July. For this round, I decided to read books via the prompts from the “Adult Table” board so I’m going to include the board below and all of the books I read for each of the prompts.

I’m going to go row by row for this one so let’s get into the books. ūüôā

Poetic Justice: Read a book written in verse

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The book I read for this prompt was Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga. This book is a middle-grade written in verse and it follows Jude who immigrates from Syria to American with her mother. Personally, I thought this book was so beautifully written and it was light while still focusing on some tough topics. It was such a wonderful audiobook and I don’t want to give too much away as I thought it was better to go in blind since it unfolds so nicely. 5/5 stars

The First Wives Club: Read a book from your fave genre

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Originally, I planned on reading Take A Hint, Dani Brown for this one, but you’ll see which prompt I used it for. Instead, my library hold for this book came off and I decided to pick it up. I was ready to not enjoy this book because of the hype but I absolutely loved it. If you didn’t know, it’s a romance between two writers who write in completely different genre and challenge each other to write their respective genres.

Oddly enough, this book is less of a romance and more about our characters dealing with their lives while having a romance. It was so much more than I hoped for and I absolutely loved this. 5/5 stars. It does deal with the loss of a parent if that’s a topic you’re sensitive to.

Pretty Woman: Read a book with a gorgeous cover

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The book I read for this prompt is Professional Pleasure by Tia Love. This is a boss-employee romance and it’s incredibly short. I don’t want to give too much away as it’s so short. I thought it was cute and sexy but I think things moved a little bit slow and it had an eplogioe I found unnecessary. Either way, it was a solid Black romance read. 4/5 stars

Black American Princess: Read a book with royalty

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The book I chose for this one was Surrender To Sin by Nicola Davidson and this book was everything. It focused on a woman who wants to “ruin” herself to get out of a forced engagement so she enlists a guy who owns a sex club called Fallen. This one was incredibly sexy and smutty but with a historical setting. It was super short to boot if you’re looking for some sexy historical romance. The main issue I had was the ending which felt a little bit too dramatic. 4/5 stars

It’s Friday, Craig: Read a book with 150 pages or less

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For my book under 150 pages, I decided to read Naughty Boss by Whitney G. This is my first book by Whitney G and I have to say it was everything I thought it would be. It’s all about a girl who “hates” her boss and then the two end up hooking up. Eventually, things go from there but that’s basically it. It’s incredibly smutty if you enjoy that. 3/5 stars

Death Becomes Her: Read a backlist book

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This was actually the first book I read this month and it’s the sequel to Strictly Professional which I read earlier this year. This book follows the same characters and it’s basically their “second-chance” romance. I don’t want to give away too many details but I thought it was better than the first book and I loved seeing these characters again. 4/5 stars

Titanic: Read a historical fiction novel/novella

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The book I read for this one was Hammer & Tongs by Lara Kinsey. I read some of her books last month so I decided to pick up a series by her. This is a historical romance between Isaiah and Arthur/Brigid and the challenges they face with Isisah’s business and their relationship. I’m pretty sure both characters are either bi or pan but I don’t remember. Either way, I enjoyed this book but I wish it would’ve been longer. 4/5 stars

Sister Act: Read the first book in a series

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Next up is Mile High which is the first book in the Mile High duet by B. Cranford. It follows Bianca who recently divorced her husband and Luke, the guy she’s seating next to’s romance. This book is just a prequel to a full-length novel and I might continue the series. This was incredibly quick but had a lot of heart and lots of smut in it. While not my favorite smutty read, it was a quick one to read before bed. 4/5 stars

“Don’t Get Mad, Get Everything:” Read a book with a revenge plot

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For the revenge prompt, I decided to read Lady Ruthless by Scarlett Scott. This book actually features two revenge plots. First, Callie exacts revenge on Lord Sinclair as she believes he murdered her brother and ruins his reputation. For his revenge, Lord Sinclair decides to marry her and save his reputation. Despite him abducting her in the beginning, this book is solid.

I had three main issues with it, though. First, I thought that Callie was a little too headstrong as she really had no prove Sin did those things. Second, this book features a marriage of convenience and we don’t see the wedding. I would’ve liked to see Callie and Sin get married as there would have been fireworks. Lastly, I wished this book was a little shorter. I think the author could have condensed some things. Either way, it wasn’t a bad read. 3/5 stars

Soul Food: Read a book with a dysfunctional family/relationship

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The book I read for this one was Better Off Red by Rebekah Weatherspoon which is the first in her Vampire Sorority Sisters series. This follows a romance between Ginger and the queen of the vampires, Camila. Honestly, it took me forever to get into this book and I’m not sure why. It had all the makings of a good vampire romance but it just didn’t work for me. Either way, it ended up working for this prompt so worth it lol. 2/5 stars

My Best Friend’s Wedding: Read a second-chance romance

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I was trying to find a place to fit this book as it was 4th of July romance and it fit in this square. This book focuses on Rosie and Leo who were together when they were teens until he moved away. Now he’s back and Rosie’s divorced so obviously, they agree to hook up like old times. This book is short yet so sweet, spicy and fun. I don’t even really celebrate the 4th but this book was a delight. Not to mention, this book has a bisexual male character and tons of kinks so if you like that, read this. You won’t regret it. 4/5 stars

The Best Man: Read a book with a wedding

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Originally, I had a different book in mind for this, but I saw this one was on hold at the library and I like Jackie Lau. Not Another Family Wedding follows Natalie who is 36, doesn’t want kids and is attending her sister’s wedding. She brings her friend Connor along to hopefully ensure nothing goes wrong as it’s a curse in her family. Of course, things do go wrong and it’s their romance.

I really enjoyed this book especially all of the commentary about Natalie not wanting kids and how she wanted someone to value her rather than value what she could do for them. The only issue I had was the writing style. For some reason, I like Jackie Lau but her writing style maybe isn’t for me. 4/5 stars

Sister Act 2: Back In the Habit: Read the next book in a series

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The book I used for this prompt was Take A Hint, Dani Brown. I absolutely loved this book and if you want to know more of my thoughts, be sure to check out my post.

Never Been Kissed: Read a romantic comedy

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I knew I wanted to pick some incredibly short books and this one was incredibly short as it clocked in at just under 60 pages. This book is a short story, following Puneet and Clint who go out after emailing back and forth. While it’s incredibly short, I think their relationship was well-developed although I do wish we’d gotten more of it. Either way, I really enjoyed this and no one has rated it yet on Goodreads so if you like romance, I implore you to check it out. 4/5 stars

Bad Boys: Pick up an action-packed read

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The book I used for this prompt is The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates. This book follows Hiram who was born a slave and the powers he possessed. This book also features slavery, some questionable acts by “trusted” characters and a bit of a magical twist. My main issue was that this book wasn’t marketed as “magical realism” and it is very much is. Additionally, I didn’t enjoy the certain personification of a historical figure along with the writing style. However, it did feature a lot of action. 3/5 stars

Romy & Michelle: Read a book with a colorful cover

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This was the final prompt on the board and also the last book I read to get a blackout bingo. The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill is an adorable graphic novel featuring Greta who is introduced to the Tea Dragons and the people who take care of them. She takes an interest in it and it’s basically her journey to becoming part of the Tea Dragon Society.

Honestly, this was such a soft and sweet story. The art style was also super adorable and it just made me so happy. While I really loved this, it’s probably not going to be one of my absolute faves. Either way, it was just such a delight. 4.5/5 stars

As for the second board I’m working on, I decided to go with the “Teen Dream” category as the books I’ve been in the mood for really work with this board. With that being said, I decided to read books in the first row down so let’s get into them.

Cher Horowitz: Read a book with a clueless character

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The book I ended up using for this one is My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing. I read a lot of light and fun books so I wanted something a little darker. This book follows a couple who works together to kill women for fun. I’m not going to say anything else to avoid spoilers but I enjoyed this. While not my favorite thriller, I’m glad I read it and is part of the reason why I picked up another book on this board. 3.5/5 stars

Courtney Shayne: Read a book that intimidates you

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The next book I picked up is surprisingly another thriller. After reading lots of light books at the beginning of the month, I was in the mood for something darker at the end of the month. This book is basically a retelling of The Amityville Horror story with two different timelines: one focusing on the book written by the MC’s father and the present when she’s back at the house. I won’t say much more but this book absolutely blew me away and I was right to be intimidated. Overall though, I thought it was an enjoyable read and it honestly scared me which isn’t easy to do. 4.5/5 stars

10 Things I Hate About You: Enemies to Lovers

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The next book I read came off hold at the library and this is the second novella in the Dimple & Rishi series. This is set before 10 Things I Hate about Pinky and gives a brief glimpse into the enemies-to-lovers relationship to come. While this one is teetering on the border of this challenge, I’m going to count it. This was cute and I think it gave an interesting look at what the dynamic in the final book will be. 4/5 stars

But I’m A Cheerleader!: A book with a sapphic romance

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The next book I read was Four Letter Word by Ava Freeman. This is a novella featuring a romance between two co-workers, Maya and Anais. While I really enjoyed it, I did have a few issues with it. First, it needed more editing and it was very distracting. Second, I felt like the sexy scenes were a little bit too long/clunky. Lastly, I think it should have been longer. Overall though, Four Letter Word was an adorable romance with two Black main characters and I do plan on continuing the series. 3.5/5 stars

Girl, Interrupted: Read a book with a focus on mental health

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One of my library holds came off and it was Girl Gone Viral which is the second book in the Modern Love series. This one follows Katrina and the romance with her bodyguard after a fake “meet-cute” puts her in danger. This was such a cute romance but the main issue I had was the lack of communication between characters. They should’ve been better about sharing their feelings and I think things would have been smoother. It wasn’t as good as the first book but I still enjoyed it. 4/5 stars

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The last book I read this month didn’t fit into the bingo board and it was The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon. This book focuses on three women who find out they’re being three-timed by the same man and form a friendship. This book focuses on Samira, one of the women who is in STEM and the relationship she gets into with Daniel.

As much as I wanted to love this book, it feel like the author couldn’t decide which direction she was going to go. She didn’t go fully into the romance genre but didn’t commit fully to a chick lit novel. It was good but I wish the author would’ve stuck to something over the other. It felt a little too under-developed for me but it was still a solid read. 3/5 stars

Credit to Pure Imagination Blog

Those are the 22 books I read for the Pop Culture Readathon. Personally, I’m really happy with all of the books I was able to complete. I’m also happy I was able to get a full blackout on my bingo board and one bingo on another. Overall, I thought this readathon was great and I’m happy I participated.

Before you finish reading my post, please take time to look over these attached links to help with Black Lives Matter. Whether it be signing a petition, donating or simply re-sharing this same link, USE YOUR VOICE. If you‚Äôre a white person reading this, you have privilege and it is your duty as an ally to educate yourself, amplify Black voices and show that Black Lives Matter. 

Find me on Twitter & Goodreads

Books

June 2020 Wrap-Up

Hello friends and fellow book lovers! As weird as it might sound, June has probably been my worst reading month yet. I mean I still read a decent amount of books but I wasn’t really in the reading mood this month. I also made some key changes to how I’ve been spending my free time so that might be why. Either way, I didn’t end up reading as much as the previous months. However, I’m still happy with the books I did read and how I did on the Olympic Games Read-a-thon. ūüôā

If you don’t know what the Olympic Games read-a-thon is, then you can check out my TBR post. I’ll be talking about all of those reads first including all of the challenges and then the advanced challenges I read for. Anyways, let’s get into those reads first and then the others will be books I read because I wanted to!

Credit to Pure Imagination Blog

Olympic Games Read-A-Thon Reads

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1. Check, Please! Book 1: #Hockey

The first book I read for the Olympic Games Read-a-thon was Check Please! Book 1 and honestly, what a delight. This book follows Bitty who is a former figure skater turned college hockey player and it was so just pure. Bitty is the world’s sweetest little cinnamon roll and I absolutely love him. He’s also gay hence why it was part of my queer reads for the read-a-thon.

I also really loved the friendships between the hockey guys and their different relationships. There was also a Jonas Brothers reference in here which I obviously loved. If you’re looking for a cute and soft graphic novel series, I highly recommend this one. This one fulfilled the challenge to Read a book while the moon is up‚ÄĚ or read a book at night. 5/5 stars

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2. Anyone But Her

The next book I read was Anyone But Her by Erica Lee. This is an f/f romance between a girl who is posing as her friend’s fake girlfriend and his sister. As much as I wanted to love this one, I just thought it was okay. I think a lot of the events in the book were overly-dramatic and it just felt completely unrealistic to me. I do plan on checking out more of this author’s backlist, though. 3/5 stars

I read this one for the prompt of “Read a book that starts with the letter ‚ÄúA.‚ÄĚ

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3. I Wish You All The Best

The next book I read was I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver. I’m pretty sure this is one of the first, if not the first I’ve read that features a non-binary character. This book is basically a coming-of-age story for our MC Ben as they grapple with getting kicked out of their house, a possible romance and living with a sister they just recently reconnected with. It’s more character-driven than anything so if you like that ascept, then you’ll enjoy this.

While I enjoyed this book, it wasn’t anything new or ground-breaking. I feel like I’ve read a lot of YA coming-of-age stories so this was good but not great. 4/5 stars I read this one for the prompt of “Listen to an audiobook.”

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4. Meet Cute Club (Sweet Rose #1)

Next up is Meet Cute Club by Jack Harbon. This book follows Jordan who starts a romance book club called the “Meet Cute Club” and the romance he has with Rex who works at the bookstore where he buy the books for the club. This is an adorable m/m romance with a few smutty scenes and lots of sweet moments. I especially loved how Jack Harbon talked about being a romance reader, the stigma that comes with it and why it’s great to be a romance reader.

I read this for the prompt: “Read a book you predict will be a five-star read.” I’m sad to say that this one was 4/5 stars. While it didn’t end up being a five-star read, I still really enjoyed it.

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5. Stage Dreams

The next book I read was Stage Dreams by Melanie Gillman. This book is a romance between Flor who is Latinx and Grace, a trans woman as they get stuck together. It’s relatively short and didn’t have much of a plot. I honestly wish this one would have been older because the story could have been much more developed. Either way, it was still a solid read.

I read this for the prompt of “Read a book you know will make you happy.” I was definitely smiling while I was reading so it was a success. 4/5 stars.

As for the advanced challenges, there were four of those so let’s get into the books I read for those. ūüôā

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6. The Babysitter (Encounters #1)

The next book I read was The Babysitter which is another book by Jack Harbon. This follows a guy who writes erotic fiction and accidentally leaves it at the guy he babysits for’s house. He writes it and then things ensue from there. This is basically just m/m erotica so it was short but overall good. If anything, it made me want to read more of Jack Harbon’s backlist. 3/5 stars.

This fufilled the “Archery” prompt which is to “Read a book shorter than 200 pages.”

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7. Bewilder (The Kaleidoscope Album #2)

The next book I read is Bewilder which is the second book in the Kaleidoscope Album series and I really liked it. This book follows Domino who is the sister of the MC from book 1 and the relationship she has with her home organizer, Sabrina. This book is an f/f romance and it’s incredibly cute.

I do think it was a little bit on the short side but it was so cute and soft and gah! I really enjoyed it. It also had some cute holiday moments if you’re looking for an f/f holiday romance. I read this one for the Climbing Wall prompt which is “Read the next book in a series.” 4/5 stars

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8. Tweet Cute

I think this is the only non-queer book I read for this read-a-thon. Tweet Cute is a YA romance between Pepper and Jack who are frenemies at school but are actually running rival Twitter accounts for their families’ restaurants. Eventually, they find out and shenanigans ensue from there. This book was such a delight and honestly, has one of my favorite romances I’ve read in YA in forever. The banter between Pepper and Jack was just everything.

If you haven’t read this book, then you seriously need to. I listened to it on audio and the narrators were excellent. This book had a cute romance, lots of discussions about family especially sibling relationships and lots of character development for our two MCs. I honestly can’t think of much I disliked about this aside from Pepper’s mom and the thread that connected to one of the plotlines. I read this for the Pegasus Riding prompt which is “Read a book published within the last five years.” 5/5 stars

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9. Behind You

The last book I read for the Olympic Games readathon was Behind You by Jacqueline Woodson. I read If You Come Softly two years ago and really loved it. This book follows the events almost immediately after the previous book. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but this book was as phenomenal as the previous one. It explored grief, love and moving on so beautifully. This book also had a gay side character so technically it had some queer rep and I’m pretty sure Jacqueline Woodson is a lesbian. 5/5 stars.

I read this for the “Capture the Flag” prompt which is to read one of your most anticipated books. Considering the first book was my favorite of 2018, I knew I had to use it for this prompt.

Credit to Pure Imagination Blog

Non Read-A-Thon Reads

These are going to be all the books I read for fun this month. I tried to stay with the queer theme but I did veer off in some places. Either way, I’m excited to talk about these books so let’s get into them. ūüôā

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10. Soft On Soft

The first book I read for fun was Soft on Soft by Mina Waheed. I actually saw this book on WocInRomance‘s site a long time ago and wanted to read it. For some reason, it wasn’t avaiable on Amazon but it is now so I picked it up. The title of this book could not be more appropriate to what the book actually contains.

This is an f/f romance between a plus-sized model and her makeup artist. They’re both so soft and queer. Things do move pretty slowly plot-wise and I wish the book would have had more built up tension. If you want a soft and sweet f/f romance though, I’d recommend this one. 3/5 stars

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11. Heavy Vinyl: Y2K-O!, Vol. 2

The next book I read was a graphic novel and it’s volume 2 of Heavy Vinyl. This book is about a group of girls who all work in a record store but are also in a band who is trying to take down this toxic record exec. It’s super cute while also being super kick-ass. I really love the art style and this series just makes me happy. This book has queer relationships too if you’re looking for some queer graphic novels. 4/5 stars

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12. Mooncakes

The next book I read was another graphic novel and that’s Mooncakes. This follows a witch and the second-chance romance she has with her non-binary childhood friend who is also a werewolf. This book was incredibly cute while still being action-packed and having a lovely art style. I think it would be a great Halloween read and it was just so soft and fluffy. 4/5 stars

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13. Pet

The next book was one I listened to on audio and that was Pet by Akwaeke Emezi. This book is truly unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It follows a trans girl named Jam who lives in a world without monster until a hunter comes out from her mother’s painting, looking for a monster. I don’t want to give much else away, but this book is really intense. I will give a trigger warning for child abuse so if you’re sensitive to that, be cautious.

This book features a lot of different identities, too. I’m pretty sure all the characters in the book are Black while the mc Jam is trans. Her best friend Redemption’s parents are in a poly relationship but none of that is a huge part of the story. Rather, the story focuses on monsters and it’s so unique. Like I said, I don’t even really have words to describe this book. Go read it and you’ll see what I mean. 4/5 stars

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14. A Taste of Remy

If you couldn’t tell, I much prefer f/f romances to anything else. I’m not sure why but I always enjoy them. When looking on Amazon, I saw this one was only 40 pages so basically an f/f erotic novella. This is a second-chance romance between two women who knew each other in high school and then reconnected. Tbh it was mostly them having sex with a few “relationship” moments. Either way, it was still good and featured two Black women as the leads which was nice. 3/5 stars

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15. Budding Romance

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of f/f short stories via Kindle Unlimited. Since I’m buying for it, I want to start using it. This is a historical f/f romance between a gardener and the headmistress of a school. These two were just so cute and I absolutely loved watching their relationship development. This is another one like Soft on Soft that features two soft women who are queer. The main issue I had was the ending was incredibly abrupt and I wish we would have gotten more of their relationship development. 3/5 stars

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16. Vanilla Clouds

Next up is one of the few m/m romances I read this month and that’s Vanilla Clouds. If you couldn’t tell, I’ve really been getting my moneys worth with my Kindle Unlimited and I found this one browsing. This is a romance between two guys who meet online and things basically progress from there with a trope I don’t enjoy. Personally, I thought this was such a cute and soft romance especially since one of the MC’s is a chocolatier but ultimately, it was pretty predictable. If you’re looking for a new m/m romance though, then you might enjoy. 3/5 stars

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17. The Falling In Love Montage

The next book I read was one of my library holds and it was The Falling In Love Montage by Ciara Smyth. This is an f/f romance set in Ireland in which two girls embark on a “Falling In Love Montage” inspired by famous rom-coms. The book also focuses on the main character, Saoirse dealing with her mother having early on-set dementia, her dad moving on and everything changing after high school.

This book was incredibly cute and focused on a lot but didn’t feel disjointed. The main issue I had was that the book felt way too long. At almost 400 pages, I think this book could have been at least 50 or 100 pages shorter but still made an impact. Either way, it was a good YA f/f romance so I’d recommend. 4/5 stars

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18. The A.I. Who Loved Me

The next book is another non-queer read but I saw my local library had it on ebook and decided to pick it up. This was originally an Audible original and then Alyssa Cole decided to release it on ebook. It’s basically a romance between a Black woman and a “biosynthetic humanoid” who are both featured on the cover. While I enjoyed their romance and the little “human things” Trinity taught him, the plot twist at the end took me out of the story. It was pretty cute but honestly, not my favorite of Alyssa Cole’s works. 3/5 stars

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19. Worth The Wait

Earlier this month, I read another book by Lara Kinsey and enjoyed it so I figured I’d read another one since this was an incredibly short story. This is another historical f/f romance between a woman who is a daughter of a baron that runs away and the seamstress who hires her as a living mannequin. This is incredibly short but it has an adorable romance along with the two sharing a bed and ultimately things get a little bit steamy. Personally, I enjoyed this one more than Budding Romance so if I had to recommend one between the two, it would be Worth the Wait. 4/5 stars

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20. Fly With Me

The next book I read was Fly With Me by Hudson Lin. This book follows two Asian flight attendants who get off on the wrong foot and then keep bumping into each other while they’re traveling so feelings ensue. This also counts as a queer read since the love interest, Marco is bisexual. Although it was short, I thought their relationship was cute and this is a clean romance if I recall correctly. There was a conflict about 75% of the way in which I wasn’t a fan of so I docked a star. Other than this, this was an excellent read. 4/5 stars

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21. The Roommate

The last book I read in June was The Roommate by Brandy Bush. If you didn’t know, this is Katrina Jackson’s pen name and it’s basically just erotic short stories. This one follows a girl who meets her roommate’s parents and the sexual things that happen between the three of them. This was incredibly hot and sexy like probably my favorite smut I’ve ever read. It’s also an f/m/f read so I’d say it’s queer in some capacity. Either way, I absolutely loved it and would recommend if you’re looking for some quality smut. 5/5 stars

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22. I’ll Be The One

The last book I read was I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee which was audio listen from the library. This book follows Skye who joins a competition to become a K-Pop Star and prove to her mother that her being fat isn’t an “obstacle” she had to overcome. I will say before I get into anything else. If you’re sensitive to talks about weight or parents encouraging weight loss, then this book could be triggering for you. Skye’s mom is incredibly harsh on her due to her weight.

However, this book features a lot of great representation. Skye is plus-sized, Korean, and bisexual. Her love interest, Henry is also Korean and bisexual. There are two side characters who are in an f/f relationship while one of the finalists is Black. This book has a cute romance, excellent friendships, and isn’t afraid to tackle such a large industry like K-Pop. I absolutely adored this and the only reason I didn’t rate it 5 stars was that I didn’t love the ending. It was kind of meh when I wanted something more. 4.5/5 stars

Credit to Pure Imagination Blog

I’m not gonna lie, I ended up really enjoying almost all of the books I read this month especially the last one. In all, I ended up reading 22 books and I’m happy with that. I probably could’ve read more but I didn’t want to push myself. Either way, I’m happy with how June turned out. I’m also happy that I utilized Kindle Unlimited a lot as I’m really getting my money’s worth. ūüôā

Before you finish reading my post, please take the time to look over these attached links to help with Black Lives Matter. Whether it be signing a petition, donating, or simply re-sharing this same link, USE YOUR VOICE. If you‚Äôre a white person reading this, you have privilege and it is your duty as an ally to educate yourself, amplify Black voices, and show that Black Lives Matter. 

Find me on Twitter & Goodreads

Books

May 2020 Wrap-Up

Hello friends and fellow book lovers! I decided to do another bonus post and post my wrap-up on Monday. This year, I had another great reading month and tbh I have a feeling I’m going to meet my reading goal sooner rather than later. As for my reads, almost all of them were good or even, great. Either way, let’s get into my May reads. ūüôā

For this month, I only had one read-a-thon and that was the mini-round of the Contemporary-A-Thon. Similar to how I did my wrap-up with the OWLs, I’m going to give those reads their own section. Other than that, the rest of the books are ones I read just because I wanted to.


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1. Kill The Boy Band (ūüéß)

This was the first book I read in May and I wrote a spoiler-free review of it.

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2. Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3)

This is the third book in the Hunger Games series and let me just say, I forgot about everything that happened in this book. This is the final chapter for Katniss and the rest of our favorite characters. Either way, I forgot how much I didn’t like this ending aside from Peeta lmao. 4/5 stars

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3. Rules For Being A Girl (ūüéß)

I had this book on hold at the library and it finally came off. This book follows a girl whose life starts unraveling after a teacher takes things too far. While this was a solid feminist read, I felt like I’ve read this story before. Marin was a well-developed character but this book just felt similar to the others I’ve read. Plus I’ve never liked a book by Katie Cotugno so I’m not surprised I didn’t enjoy this. 3/5 stars

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4. Intercepted (Playbook #1)

I decided to reread this book and I absolutely loved it. This book follows a second-chance romance between Marlee and the new hot-shot quarterback Gavin who she had an incredible one-night stand with. This book also has one of my favorite friendships between Marlee and Naomi. If you like sports romances and haven’t read this, then I’d highly recommend. 5/5 stars

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5. You Deserve Each Other

Going into this book, I wasn’t sure to expect but I ended up falling in love with this story and these characters. The book follows Naomi who has grown to hate her fiance and wants him to break up with her so she won’t have to pay for all the non-refundable costs for their wedding. What I loved most about this book was the banter between Naomi and Nicholas along with how the author set up the downfall of their relationship along with how everything played out.

This book is easily the biggest surprise aside from the fact that it attacked me at various points. Honestly, it made me so happy and gave me a lot to think about. Everything about this book was it for me. 5/5 stars

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6. Kristy’s Great Idea 

I’ve had this book on my shelves forever and had yet to pick it up. It’s basically the first Baby-Sitters Club book but published in graphic novel form. Since I bought this, other books in the series have been adapted. As I read the original story like two months ago, it was fresh in my mind and I really enjoyed the art style. Overall, it was a cute read but nothing too memorable. 4/5 stars

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7. Foolish Hearts

This was a reread as it’s my favorite book of all-time. If you want to know more, I wrote a huge spoiler-free review forever ago. Either way, it was 5/5 stars

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8. Wanna Bet? (Dirty British Romance #2)

Earlier this year, I read the first book in this series and really enjoyed it so I knew I had to pick up its companion. This book follows Jasmine and Rahul who have been friends forever and the romance they have. I don’t want to give away too many details, but I think this book is incredibly complex and tells such an adorable story. It isn’t all just light and fun though as the book deals with gambling, neglect, and PTSD from a traumatic accident. 5/5 stars

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9. I Like to Watch: Arguing My Way Through the TV Revolution

Where do I even start with this book? I originally went into it thinking it was Emily Nussbaum writing essays about her favorite shows and analyzing them. However, it was basically just articles she’s written and compiled together to make the book. With that being said, I was incredibly disappointed in this one. Plus a lot of the shows were ones I’ve never watched, gave away spoilers to other shows or just plain weren’t that entertaining. 3/5 stars

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10. Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers #1)

Finally, I’ve read this book and I have to say I was pretty disappointed. This book is an enemies-to-lovers/second-chance romance between Jessica and Duane. All of the action starts after Jessica thinks Duane is his twin brother. Overall, I just thought this book was okay. Personally, I thought there was too much-added drama especially with the motorcycle club and the stuff with Jess’s aunt. Once again, it wasn’t a bad book but it just wasn’t what I was hoping for. 3.5/5 stars

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11-13. The Love Sisters series

The next three books I read were all part of the Love Sisters series by Christina C. Jones which is a follow-up to her Wright Brothers series. Each book focuses on the three Love sisters and their romances. First is Jaclyn’s hate-to-love romance with Kadan while the second is a second-chance romance between Joia and Teddy. The last follow Jemma’s second-chance romance with Levi and all were both short and sweet.

While I prefer the Wright Brothers series, the Love Sisters series has all the same charm while being a lot of shorter, having well-developed relationships and even some smutty scenes. I gave each of them 4 stars.

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14. Hello Girls 

After reading all that romance back-to-back, I decided to finally read Hello Girls which is a Thelma & Louise retelling. While I enjoyed the friendship between Winona and Lucille, this book was incredibly dramatic. Either way, it was still fun and I’m curious to see if Emily Henry and Brittany Cavallaro write another book together. 4/5 stars

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15. The Culmination of Everything (Sugar Valley #1) [ūüéß]

If you couldn’t tell, I’ve been going on a Christina C. Jones binge. I saw that hoopla had this one on audio an d I was excited to read it. This book follows Kyle, a woman who is dealing with grief after a traumatic event and the romance she has with Ben who is in a similar situation. The two end up having a enemies-to-lovers romance and it’s incredibly intense yet still sweet.

While I wanted to love this book, the issue I had was that it felt super intense yet incredibly light-hearted at moments. Personally, I’d prefer if it was one or the other which was frustrating. Plus I feel like this book just didn’t feel like what I was used to from CCJ. 3/5 stars

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16. As Kismet Would Have It (Dimple & Rishi #1.5)

For some reason, I’ve been thinking a lot about Dimple and Rishi and I saw this book was available at my library. This was only about 50 pages and basically, followed Dimple and Rishi’s relationship a few months into the future. It’s super short so I won’t say much else. Either way, it was cute and took basically no time to read. If you like When Dimple Met Rishi, then I’d highly recommend this one. 4/5 stars

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17. Guarding Temptation

This book is actually for a secret post I have coming up this month. I either might be later this month or next month. Either way, this is a novella from the Dirty British Romance series and follows a romance between a girl and her brother’s best friend. While I enjoyed the subject matter, it felt like I didn’t connect to the characters as much and that I didn’t feel their chemistry by then. I still enjoyed it though albeit it’s not one of my favorite Talia Hibbert books. 4/5 stars

Books

April 2020 Wrap-Up including the OWLs and Smutathon

Hello friends and fellow book lovers! Let me start off by saying April was a weird reading month for me. Firstly, it was the time where they really started cracking down on staying home and quarantining so I couldn’t really do anything. Mostly, I just went to work, came home and found things to do. With that being said, I did a lot of reading during that time so let’s get into the things I read.

My wrap-up is going to be a little different as I’m going to focus on the books I read for the OWLs first and then all of the books I read until the Smutathon. Basically, I’m just going to be breaking things up and I’m also going to be featuring a short stats list at the end so let me know what you guys think of this format. ūüôā

*Before I get started, I wanted to include two books I read before the OWLs. The first was¬†A Cowboy To Remember¬†by Rebekah Weatherspoon which I finished on March 31st and sadly, it was disappointing. This book felt incredibly slow-paced and I didn’t feel the chemistry between the leads so it was a 3-star.

The other book I read was March Sisters which was a collection of essays by authors focusing on the March sisters from Little Women. I thought it was interesting how the authors connected to the characters to their own lives but it was just meh. I rated it 3.5 stars.


OWLs Wrap-Up

If you want to find out about my career and the books I picked, you can check out my TBR post.

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2. The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride #1)

The first book I read for the OWLs was¬†The Angel Experiment¬†which is the first book in the¬†Maximum Ride¬†series. This book follows a group of teenagers who have powers and it’s basically them trying to get away from people trying to capture them. I thought this book was super fast-paced but kept shifting the focus with all the characters. I’m not sure if I’m going to continue the series, but I thought it was a good start.¬†4/5 stars

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3. The Babysitters Coven (The Babysitters Coven #1)

I wrote a spoiler-free review of this one if you want to know my thoughts!

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4. I Wanna Text You Up (Texting #2)

The last book I read for the OWLs is¬†I Wanna Text You Up¬†by Teagan Hunter which is the second book in the Texting series. I read the first book in January and really liked so I was excited about this one. This one was a romance between the girl in the first book’s romance and her ex which is touchy but I think the author handled it well.

Personally, I thought their romance was really believable and I thought their chemistry was off-the-charts. I do think the ending was a bit rushed and there was some drama in there for no reason but overall it was enjoyable. Teagan Hunter also has such a fresh and modern writing style which makes for a fun reading experience. 4/5 stars


Non-Read-A-Thon April Reads

These books are ones I read because I wanted to. They weren’t related to a read-a-thon so let’s get into those.

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5.¬†No Good Deed (ūüéß)

This is actually a book I read amidst my OWLs reading.¬†No Good Deed¬†focuses on our main character Gregor who goes to an activist camp and it’s basically a satire of how activism can turn competitive and how good things can quickly turn bad. What makes this book so enjoyable is Ashley Woodstone, an actress who goes to the camp and it’s basically how those two connect as they’re both outcasts in their own way. The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the “men’s rights character” which was intentional but I thought he was incredibly annoying so I made the story less enjoyable.

This one also kickstarted my listening to audiobooks for most of the month so it deserves kudos just for that. 4/5 stars

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6.¬†Undone¬†(ūüéß)

The next book I read was¬†Undone¬†by Bryce Oakley which is one I found on hoopla and I saw it was short. This book is an f/f romance between a songwriter and the singer she’s writing the songs for.¬†Undone¬†is such a short book but it features an adorable romance and even, some smutty scenes. The only issue I had was the ending being dramatic which didn’t really suit the tone of the rest of the book. Either way, I still liked it.¬†4/5 stars

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7.¬†Open Book¬†(ūüéß)

The next book I listened to was¬†Open Book¬†by Jessica Simpson which is her memoir and what a delight this was. It was basically Jessica recounting her life including her childhood, music career along with her relationship struggles and alcoholism. I thought it was so well-written and informative especially with her body image issues. Even if you’re not a fan of Jessica Simpson, I’d still recommend this. Honestly, I have a lot of respect for her after reading this and having her narrate it made for an incredibly personal reading experience.¬†5/5 stars

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8. The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)

Ellyn and I decided to buddy-read this series together and what a throwback. I really didn’t remember anything from this book so reading it again was awesome. I don’t need to go into much detail since it’s super popular. I really do think this book holds up and I can’t wait to continue with the rest of the series Also #teampeeta all the way!¬†4/5 stars

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9. Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2)

Ugh, this starts a string of books I gave 3 stars so get ready. With that being said, this was a book I really wanted to love but it just fell flat. All of the chemistry from the first book faded away and I thought these two were just weird. This book focuses on Thea’s sister Liv and her relationship with Mack which should’ve been amazing. Sadly, this one fell flat as I didn’t feel their chemistry and I thought Liv wasn’t ready for a relationship with Mack. Plus this book called me out at one point and I was huh..that’s really how it be so I was unamused lmao. 3/5 stars

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10.¬†You Know Me Well¬†(ūüéß)

This was the last Nina LaCour book I had left to read and what a disappointment. This is her collaboration with David Levithan and ugh, I wish I liked this. It was a story about Kate and Mark who become friends after seeing each other at a gay bar. The two are going through it with their romantic relationships and all the ugliness is laid out there on the pages. Honestly, I think this book just wasn’t for me as it was super slow-paced and it felt like nothing happened. I am happy to say I’ve read all of Nina LaCour’s books now though so that’s something.¬†3/5 stars

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11. The Cake King (Sugar & Spice #1)

This was a novella about the “cupcake queen” and the romance she has with another contestant on the baking competition she’s in. While I did enjoy this book, I thought the romance was a bit under-developed and I thought there weren’t really any stakes. I’m also not really sure if I read the wrong edition or what but this book was totally different than the one people are describing on Goodreads so who knows?¬†3/5 stars

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12. Enemies

This was a book on my 20 books to read in 2020 and what a disappointment. This book is a “hate-to-love” romance between two childhood friends and how dramatic. This book is basically one long tragedy porn storyline for the MC Dusty and it’s basically how she learns to trust Stone, her childhood friend who is now an NFL star. If there was one word to describe¬†Enemies, it would be dramatic as anything that could happen would. I wish the book had felt more like a “true” hate-to-love romance rather than a complete misunderstanding by the two characters who were young when things happened.

I was really excited about this book but it left a bad taste in my mouth. I especially hated how these two were brought together. This book was just so disappointing in so many ways and I wouldn’t recommend.¬†3/5 stars

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13. Sweet On The Greek (Just For Him #3)

For the last few months, I’ve been making my way through Talia Hibbert’s backlist and this was one of the last books on the list. Aside from her upcoming release, I only have two books left and I have no idea why I waited so long to pick this one up. Honestly, this one is probably my favorite of the entire¬†Just For Him¬†series.

This book follows Aria, the best friend of the MC in book one and the fake relationship she has with a retired footballer, Nik. While there were a few dramatic moments, I think this book was both cute and sexy at the same time. I basically liked everything about this book besides the conflict. While I do understand why Aria was mad, I think she reacted a bit too overdramatic. Either way, I LOVE this book and I’ll sing it praises forever. 5/5 stars

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14. This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America¬†(ūüéß)

The next book I listened to was¬†This is My Undoing¬†by Morgan Jerkins. I’ve heard about this book for a while so I was excited when I saw hoopla had the audiobook. As excited as I was, I didn’t end up enjoying this book as much as I’d hoped for. I’m not the target audience though so that makes sense. The main issue I had was that she kept moving around to different topics but without much cohesion. She’s bring something up in chapter 3 and then again in chapter 7 but not really with any context.

Other than that, this book just didn’t seem to fit into one realm. At times, it focused more on her life and then to society and then to pop culture. Overall, I think I hyped it up too much in my head before reading.¬†3.5/5 stars

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15. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2)

This is one of the few books where I listened to some of this and then physically read it but the majority of my reading was done physically. This is the second book in¬†The Hunger Games¬†series and boy, I loved this. Unlike the first book, we have a better understanding of the characters and the aftermath of the games. This book was intense and fun while still being incredibly serious. I didn’t remember the ending either so color me shocked when that happened. Also Finnick was introduced so basically this was everything. 4.5/5 stars

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16. You (You #1) (ūüéß)

Since watching the Netflix show, I’ve been curious about this book and once my library finally bought it, I was ecstatic. Unfortunately, this book didn’t have nearly as much charm as the show did. The show portrayed Joe as more charming but in the books, he’s cleary a stalker. If you don’t know, this is a book about Joe who ends up stalking a customer who comes into his store, Beck and it’s basically their “relationship” and him proving how unstable he is. Overall, I think the audiobook narration was great as he really captured Joe’s essence but ultimately, it was a bit too creepy for me.¬†4/5 stars


Smutathon Reads

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17. Theirs For the Night (The Thalanian Dynasty #1)

The first book I finished for Smutathon was the group book. This book follows Meg as she has a dalliance with Theo and Galen. While we find out more about their identities as the book goes on, I thought this book was good. It was super smutty while still exploring the characters and their relationships. Since it’s the prequel to the start of a series though, it could have been more fleshed out. 3.5/5 stars

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18. A Pinch of Sugar (Light Camera Insta-Love #1)

The second book I finished for smuathon was¬†A Pinch of Sugar¬†by Jessa Kane. This is basically a smutty novella about a girl who unknowingly gets entered into a baking competition and starts a relationship with one of the judges. If you’ve read Jessa Kane before, this is basically the same format as the rest of their stories but either way, it was still fun and smutty.¬†3/5 stars

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19. Marshmallow (Sweet Curves #1)

The third book I finished was Marshmallow by Megan Wade which follows a plus-sized model and the insta-love relationship she has with a book cover model. While this was smutty, it was more focused on their love for each other and body positivity. It was still a good read but nothing groundbreaking. 3/5 stars

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20.¬†Pizza My Heart (The Way To A Man’s Heart #1)

I’ll be honest and say I finished my entire TBR on Saturday. The last book I read on Saturday night was¬†this one and what a delight it was. It follows Matt who upon seeing Mirabella falls immediately in love and it basically follows their relationship. As for the title, he meets her at the pizza place she works at and they end up making a lot of “cheesy” jokes about pizza and stuff. This one was just the right amount of steamy and sweet, easily one of my favorite reads.¬†4/5 stars

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21. Thunder Thighs

If you haven’t noticed a trend, I like reading my smutty romances with plus-sized ladies. While I’m not caterogized as “plus-sized,” I’m right on the cusp of standard and plus sized so these ladies are much more my speed. Either way, this book is about a girl who owns a bar and a relationship she had with Gunnar who is basically a huge Viking man. As per usual, this featured the virgin trope and was basically all of my other reads.¬†3/5 stars

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22. Saved By The Cult

Next up, I read¬†Saved by the Cult¬†which started off promising. It follows a girl trapped in a cult and Jake, an ex-con who she’s extremely attracted to. They feel an instant connection so Jake works to help her escape. While it does try to cover a lot of topics, I think the sexual scenes kind of detracted from that. This book would have better if the sex scenes were tampered down a little bit and the book focused on one or the other. 2/5 stars

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23. Mating The Huntress

The last book I read for smutathon and my last for the month was Mating The Huntress by Talia Hibbert. As everyone knows, Talia Hibbert is my queen and can basically do no wrong. This book follows Chasity who is a werewolf huntress and the relationship she has with Luke, a werewolf. Hibbert did a great job of creating a believable romance while mixing in the paranormal elements and still being steamy which was delightful. No surprise that I gave it 5/5 stars. 


Those were the 23 books I read in April. Considering I’ve been in quarantine, this is pretty impressive. Even though I’ve been working during this time too, it was nice to be able to escape into my reading. This is my most impressive reading month yet so I’m ready to take a slight break next month so be on the lookout for my TBR ūüėČ

Find me on Twitter & Goodreads

 

Books

March 2020 Wrap-Up

Hello friends and fellow book lovers! Welcome to my March wrap-up where I read a bunch of books and forget to do a post until almost the last second. I swear I’m better than this but the world being how it is, I have no motivation. I’d rather just sit in my house, listen to an audiobook and eat ramen. Considering I did all three of those things this month, it’s probably why I did a solid amount of reading this month so let’s get into the books I read.

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1. Undone by the Ex-Con (Just For Him #2)

This month, I continued on with my challenge to read all of Talia Hibbert’s books. This is the second book in the¬†Just For Him¬†series and this one follows the love interest’s best friend’s sister. I didn’t realize who she was at first either but eventually, it clicked. Either way, this was a pretty angsty story as a lot of it dealt with trauma, blackmail and the lengths you’re willing to go for family. Regardless, it was still a solid romance albeit not my favorite of Hibbert’s.¬†4/5 stars

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2. Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide From the My Favorite Murder Podcast

Since getting a library card for my local library, I’ve been listening to a lot of their audiobooks and thankfully, most of the waits are short. The book I decided to pick up was Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered. While I enjoyed this one, I think I would have liked it more if I actually listened to the podcast. Karen and Georgia were delightful narrators and truly put everything on the page which was nice. If anything, it made me want to go check out their podcast.¬†4/5 stars

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3. The Worst Best Man

I wrote a spoiler-free review of this one if you want to know my thoughts!

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4. So You Want to Start a Podcast: Finding Your Voice, Telling Your Story, and Building a Community That Will Listen

This month, you’ll notice I read a lot of non-fiction. For some reason, I enjoy listening to my non-fiction rather than physically reading it. Sadly,¬†So You Want To Start a Podcast¬†was an absolute miss for me. While I do think Kristen Meinzer did a great job, I don’t feel like this book was for me. It focused a lot on starting a podcast and finding your passion for it which I wasn’t really looking for. Rather, I wanted more of an instructional guide. For the right person, this could be a great book, though.¬†2/5 stars

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5. The Queen of Nothing (Folk of the Air #3)

I’ve been holding off on picking this book up for a few reasons. First, I participated in read-a-thons for both January and February. I wanted to have a clean slate when I decided to start this book and March was it. As the final book in the series, I do have to say this one was a bit lackluster. While I enjoyed the book as a whole, I think things wrapped up a little too neatly while others were dragged on for too long. Nevertheless, it was nice to get back into the world and see those characters again.¬†4/5 stars

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6. When The Moon Was Ours

Originally, I planned on buddy-reading this with Ellyn but plans changed so I sat down and read it in one sitting. This book is so many things as it’s a story about sisters, friendship and falling in love while being a coming-of-age tale for many. I don’t want to talk too much about it but I think it was such a delight. There were some scary moments especially with the Bonner sisters but I didn’t mind it much. While it likely won’t be my favorite Anna-Marie McLemore, I’m glad I read it.¬†4/5 stars

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7. Sanctuary (Beards and Bondage #2)

I was SO hyped to read this book as it’s been on hold since like December. Thankfully, it came off hold this month. Similar to the first book, this one features our main character dealing with something horrible and her needing a break from life. In this story, she goes to stay with her co-worker’s twin and the two begin a relationship from there. This book had basically everything as it featured two strong leads, an adorable romance, a country setting and lots of smut.

What sets its apart from other romance books is the book doesn’t shy away from tough subjects either. It’s clear our MC is going through some form of PTSD and it’s chronicled during the story. Also, I thought it was interesting how the universe Rebekah Weatherspoon created is connected as I recognized this couple as they were featured in Xeni.¬†4/5 stars

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8. The Kingmaker (All the King’s Men Duet #1)

I’ve not so secretly shared my love for Kennedy Ryan on this blog and I was nervous yet excited to pick this book up. The book is a romance between Lennix, a Native American woman and a guy whose father is putting a pipeline on Native American burial grounds but it follows multiple timelines. What made this story so great to me was how much appreciation for Native American culture Kennedy Ryan put into this book and how well plotted this book was.

Since it’s Kennedy Ryan, this book was emotional and a lot of times, I had to wipe away a few tears. Unfortunately, this book does end on a cliffhanger so I do plan on continuing onto book two. Of all the romance books I’ve read this year so far, this one is easily one of my favorites. 5/5 stars

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9. Notes from My Captivity

I just realized I read three emotional books back-to-back haha. Anyways,¬†Notes From My Captivity¬†follows Adrienne as she’s going on a journey with her father to find the Osinovs who are a family that ran away from society. The book starts off with Adrienne not believing before things start playing out in the second half and we find out a lot more about both Adrienne and the family.

Someone whose review I read mentioned a major tone shift and that’s true. This book started off pretty light-hearted and funny before getting dark fast. I didn’t mind it much but I think the ending was a bit convenient. I only wish we’d gotten a novella or something to help wrap up some loose ends.¬†4/5 stars

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10. Work For It (Just For Him #4)

Technically, you can read this series in any order so I skipped over book 3 since this one came off hold early. This book follows the MC from book 2’s brother who is gay so this is an m/m romance. It basically features Keynes getting his life together and realizing he deserves love. As for the love interest Griffin, it’s about him learning to be more confident in himself and watching these two together was adorable. For some reason, this book dragged a little bit for me but I thought it was a solid read.¬†4/5 stars

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11. Love Her or Lose Her (Hot & Hammered #2)

This book features one of the side characters from book 1 and her husband as their relationship is basically falling apart. It follows the two of them trying to repair what’s broken and figuring out how to move forward rather than repeat old habits starting with therapy. I know not many people liked this book, but I thought it was refreshing and made the story a little more realistic.

Seeing Rosie and Dominic deal with their problems was something I don’t normally see in romance books so it was nice. While I can see why others wouldn’t like it, I found this book to be pretty delightful. 3.5/5 stars

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12. My Fake Rake (Union of Rakes #1)

I usually don’t read historical romance unless it’s written by Tessa Dare. I decided to branch out and try something by Eva Leigh. Honestly, this book was NOT it for me as I was constantly annoyed. This book features Grace who basically decides to fake date her friend so another guy will want to be with her and since Sebastian is hopelessly in love with her, he does it. That’s not what made me so angry about this book, though.

What made me so mad is that these two never talked to each other. He’d make a comment she didn’t agree with and rather than fix it, she’d just agree and let him think her feelings weren’t what they were. Ugh, it drove me nuts for the entire book and I couldn’t believe it took until the very end for them to finally communicate. I can only hope future books in this series don’t share the same issues. 2.5/5 stars

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13. The Witches Are Coming

Moving back to non-fiction books, I listened to the audio of The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West. This is another collection of essays by West with a witch theme being featured throughout. While I think West did a good job of focusing on the subjects she wanted to, she glided over others that deserved a bit more. Additionally, I think she focused a lot more on pop culture than her own life when I wanted to know more about Lindy. While I preferred Shrill, this one was worth the read. 4/5 stars

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14. Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, & Advice for Living Your Best Life

Ever since watching Ali Wong’s Netflix specials, I’ve really liked her so it was only right I’d pick up her book. This book is easily my favorite non-fiction read of the year because Ali Wong doesn’t hold back. The book is her writing letters to her two daughters and the thing she talks about made me laugh one second and cry the next. She was incredibly honest and vulnerable while still being funny.¬†Dear Girls¬†made me so happy and with everything going on right now, it was just what I needed. Plus Ali Wong narrated the audiobook so it was golden.¬†5/5 stars

Little Weirds

15. Little Weirds

After loving non-fiction earlier this month, I listened to three back-to-back and of all, I enjoyed¬†Little Weirds¬†the least. While I do enjoy Jenny Slate, this book wasn’t just a little weird. It was a lot weird and I couldn’t really connect to it. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right headspace. Nevertheless, the parts I enjoyed, I really enjoyed so I felt bad about rating it too harshly since it wasn’t a “bad” book. Rather, it was the book that didn’t connect with me and that’s alright. As with my other two reads, Slate narrates it herself which is wonderful. 3/5 stars

 


Honestly, I was going to try to read something else but this month has already felt so long so I’m cutting it off at 15 books. I should have my TBR next month and I’m SO excited to talk about that so look out for it. Hopefully, everyone is staying safe/home and feeling some healthy vibes ‚̧

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Books

February 2020 Wrap-Up

Hello friends and fellow book lovers! Welcome to my February wrap-up in which I read my entire TBR before Contemporary-A-Thon. I’ll be honest that after CAT, I felt a little bit slumpy but I tried to power through. With that being said, let’s get into the books I read in February 2020. If you want to hear about the books I read during CAT, you can check out my wrap-up ūüėÄ

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1. The Princess Diaries

The first book I finished this month was¬†Princess Diaries¬†and what a place to start as this book was nothing like I remembered. I’m sure most of you know the story of Mia finding out that she’s a princess and how her life changes. While most of the story is the same, this book is pretty dated with a lot of comments the characters make and Lilly’s entire protest idea. Plus Michael is 18 and Mia is 14 which is pretty gross. Overall, it was nostalgic read and part of a future post but 3/5 stars

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2. The Unrequited

The second book I finished was a dark romance between a student and her college professor. This book reminds me a lot of the TV show,¬†You¬†if you’ve watched that as it features our main character, Layla being a lot like Joe. I don’t want to give away too many details as I think it’s better to go in blind. Personally, I thought this book was good up until about 75% mark in which things took a drastic turn and ended on a note that I didn’t enjoy. The ending completely changed the book for me and I wish the author would have taken a different route with it.¬†4/5 stars

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3. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Similar to¬†Princess Diaries, this is another book for a post. I haven’t read this book since I was young and honestly, I was surprised at how good it was. If you don’t know, this is a book about four friends who share a pair of jeans during the first summer that they’re not all together. Overall, I thought this book was as good although there was another weird age-gap element between Bridget and Eric that I just couldn’t ignore. That was really the only thing that bothered me but everything else is pretty good.¬†4/5 stars

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4. The Guy on the Right

I heard a lot of buzz about this book in 2019 so I decided to put it on my books to read in 2020 list. This book is a friends-to-lovers romance between the “nice guy” and a girl he meets at a party. While I thought this book has an incredible romance, I thought the two leads could be annoying at times. Lance wasn’t always the “nice guy” and Lainey felt more like she was being difficult to further the plot. It could be annoying but overall didn’t hinder my enjoyment that much. 4/5 stars

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5. Matilda

The next book I picked up was¬†Matilda¬†which I hadn’t read before now. I originally started out reading this out loud to my interest (I’ll call him that!). He kept making me stop so I decided to read it all on my own since I was sick of stopping. I thought this book was really fun although some of the adult characters were just horrible. I’m sure that was Roald Dahl’s intention but holy hell, they were monsters. Regardless, this was such a fun read.¬†4/5 stars

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6. Untouchable

The next book I finished was¬†Untouchable¬†by Talia Hibbert. Last month, I read¬†A Girl Like Her¬†which is the first book in the series and loved it. This one wasn’t a new favorite but I still thought it was good. It follows Ruth’s sister, Hannah and the romance she has with her employer/old friend, Nate. I thought it was cute but at times, needlessly dramatic. I think I might take a bit of a break from reading her backlist as it felt like I was slogging through it. Regardless, I’m happy to say that I read it.¬†4/5 stars

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7. Come Tumbling Down 

After getting done with Contemporary-A-Thon, I was in a bit of a reading slump. To try to combat that, I decided to read something that wasn’t contemporary. I got a library card from my local library and they had this one without a hold. It’s the 5th book in the¬†Wayward Children¬†series and it’s basically a sequel to the 1st book. Honestly, I thought this was great and I loved getting to see these characters again.

The only thing I didn’t like was how it ended. I wish that the event at the end would have been handled differently as Alexis noted in the book.¬†Overall, it was a nice change-of-pace from reading all of that contemporary. While it wasn’t my favorite of the series, I enjoyed it.¬†4/5 stars

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8. If You Ask Me 

For some reason, I’m really not in the mood to read any contemporary. In my upcoming post, you’ll see why I picked this book. Anyways, this is a short memoir by Betty White that I listened to on audio since she narrates it. While I enjoyed getting a look at her life, the advice she has and her adventures, it felt a little bit disjointed. If I had been more cohesive, I probably would have enjoyed it more but it was still good.¬†4/5 stars

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9. Here We Go Again: My Life In Television

After loving Betty White’s other book, I decided to pick up¬†Here We Go Again: My Life In Television. This was a pretty informative book, both about Betty but also about the television world as a whole. There was a bit of overlap between this one and my previous read but it was still pretty good. Of course, my favorite sections were when she talked about¬†Golden Girls¬†but I thought this book was just delightful. Maybe it’s because Betty narrates it again but I just love it.¬†4/5 stars


Those are all the additional books I read this month aside from Contemporary-A-Thon. I might have one before the month ends but I’ll probably just include that one in my March wrap-up. Hopefully, March is filled with even more books I enjoy so I’m going to cross my fingers. ūüôā

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Books

Contemporary-A-Thon Round 6 Wrap-Up

Hello friends and fellow book lovers! Welcome to my wrap-up of Round 6 of the Contemporary-A-Thon. This is easily my favorite read-a-thon and I always try to participate every round that they have. This round was a special throwback round in which they featured prompts from the previous rounds so let’s get into the hosts, prompts and how I did.

This is going to follow the same format as my previous CAT wrap-ups so let’s go. First, this round was hosted by Chelsea, Julie, and Natasha. You can check out my TBR if you’d like to see the books I had picked for each one but here are the prompts.

  • Read a contemporary book with green on the cover
  • Read a contemporary from a new-to-you author
  • Read a diverse contemporary
  • Read a backlist contemporary
  • Read a dark/hard-hitting contemporary
  • Read a contemporary with an illustrated cover
  • Read a contemporary beloved by a member of the book community (and shout out the creator!)


Day 1: February 10th

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Originally, I was supposed to be off Monday but ended up having to work. Because of that, I decided to pick up¬†Never Him¬†since it was relatively short. While it was a short read, I think it lacked a lot of character development. I think it’s independently published though so I’m not going to knock it down much. Some editing could have taken it from an okay to a good read, though.

Honestly, I don’t have much to say about this one. It was a hate-to-love romance that’s basically about a huge misunderstanding between two people who are in a wedding party together.¬†3/5 stars

Never Him fulfilled the challenge to read a contemporary by a new-to-you author. (1/7)

Day 2: February 11th

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On Monday, I started this book and then on Tuesday before work, I powered through and finished it. This is a Black woman, Asian man romance between a boss and his employee with a small age-gap. It’s a little bit taboo but nothing that would really bother a mild romance reader. As for what I liked, I loved our main character Jennifer and how strong she was along with how she wasn’t ashamed of herself. I also loved the romance between her and Theo although he could be a bit overbearing.

As for something I didn’t like, I think the book had a shift in tone that didn’t really suit the 75% mark. If anything, it made me lower my rating and is easily my least favorite of Talia Hibbert’s books I’ve read so far. Either way, it’s another one that I can check off of her backlist.¬†3.5/5 stars.

Bad For The Boss fulfilled the challenge to read a diverse contemporary. (2/7)

Day 3: February 12th

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It’s Wednesday and it’s my day off so I decided to sit down and read this book. Oh boy, it was such a treat. It was mostly about Kimi visiting her grandparents and figuring out her future but she also has an adorable romance with a guy she meets. I liked Kimi’s character and how she didn’t have it all figured out. I also loved all of the food references and it felt like I was in Japan by how Sarah Kuhn described everything.

As for what I didn’t like, I think this book felt a little bit flat as it was good but didn’t have much substance. It was a cute story overall but it didn’t blow my mind. It was still a really cute read though.¬†4/5 stars.

I Love You So Mochi¬†fulfilled the challenge to read a contemporary beloved by a member of the book community (3/7).¬†I’d like to shoutout one of my best friends, Lysette as she gifted this to me for Christmas and honestly, it was such a wonderful gift ‚̧ ‚̧

Day 4: February 13th

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Since it was Galentine’s Day, I spent most of my day with my friend Laura and her kids. We left around 11:30 and I didn’t get home until like 7ish so a pretty long day. After showering and dealing with some other things, I sat down and read¬†Lucky Caller¬†all in one sitting. Honestly, this book is easily one of my favorites which is no surprise.

This book follows Nina as she signs up for a radio broadcasting class and it’s basically about the class, her friendships and possibly romance with a fellow member and the changes going on in her family. In typical Emma Mills fashion, everything was fleshed out and it was just so wonderful. I loved the characters, the romance, the friendships and the Easter eggs from other books. What I didn’t enjoy was Nina’s dad and the role he played in the story. However, it was still¬†5/5 stars!¬†

Lucky Caller fulfilled the challenge to read a contemporary with green on the cover. (4/7)

Day 5: February 14th

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Since it was Valentine’s Day, I decided to read something completely out of my normal comfort zone and read a dark romance. This is a romance between London, a criminal psychologist who falls in love with her patient Grayson, a serial killer. This book was super dark and twisted like it felt like I was on a roller coaster the entire time. While it wasn’t my favorite read, it was still pretty good. I enjoyed how dark it was and the writing style was unlike anything I’ve read before.

What I didn’t enjoy was just how twisted it was at times. I think the story could have been grounded in reality a little bit but I guess that’s what makes it fiction. Either way, it was completely different for me.¬†4/5 stars.

Born, Darkly fulfilled the challenge to read a dark or hard-hitting contemporary. (5/7)

Day 6: February 15th

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I worked 3-9 on Saturday so that’s why I saved my graphic novel and this one was such a delight. I really do enjoy these characters and their stories as they’re super relatable. I do think this series is a lot of fun but it doesn’t have much in terms of substance. They’re enjoyable but also my go-to for read-a-thons so I’m not sure if that means anything.¬†4/5 stars.

Giant Days Vol 4 fulfilled the challenge to read a contemporary with an illustrated cover. (6/7)

Day 7: February 16th

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Thank goodness I was off on the last day of the CAT so I saved¬†Sweet Pea¬†until the end and what a good decision. This is a middle-grade following Sweet Pea who is dealing with 7th grade but also jugging her parent’s divorce, her dad coming out as gay and friendships. Overall, I thought this was really cute but didn’t have much as far as substance goes. It was cute but nothing overly memorable. Either way, it was still a cute and fun read. 4/5 stars.

Sweet Pea¬†fulfilled the challenge to read a backlist contemporary. (7/7)¬†Technically I cheated a little with this one as it hasn’t been on my TBR for a year but I was still excited to read it. Lol


Contemporary-A-Thon Stats

Challenges: 7/7 challenges completed

Star Ratings: 5-stars (1), 4-stars (4) and 3-stars (2)

Average Rating: 4 stars

Favorite Read: Lucky Caller (Uh duh! :P)

Least Favorite Read: Never Him

Those are the 7 books I read for Contemporary-A-Thon and it’s hard to believe that another round is in the books. This round was a lot of fun although I didn’t have as many 5-star reads as I hoped for. Either way, it was a good time so I can’t ask for much more!

Did you participate in Contemporary-A-Thon? How did you do? Any books you’d recommend? I’d love to know ‚̧

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Books

January 2020 Wrap-Up

Hello friends and fellow book lovers! It honestly felt like January was never going to end and we’re finally on the last day. Either way, I have to say that January was a pretty good month for me. The Jonas Brothers released a new song, I did a lot of productive article writing and honestly, things have been starting off relatively well for the new decade.

You’re not here to hear about that, though. Instead, you’re here to see all of the books I read in January. In January, I participated in Smutathon which had its own wrap-up so you can check that out. With that being said, I’ll including the other books I read that weren’t a part of smutathon so let’s get into it.

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1. Wild Beauty

If you saw my TBR post, then you know that Ellyn picked my TBR this month. For the most part, I enjoyed all of the books she picked. The first one I finished was¬†Wild Beauty¬†which is a magical realism story and that’s all I want to say. I feel like people gave too much away in their descriptions so I don’t want to give away more.

Regardless, I really enjoyed the writing, the characters and how comforting this story felt. It’s like I could feel flowers all around me while I was reading. What kept it from getting a full 5 stars was that it was a bit of a slow start and took a while for me to actually get into the story.¬†4/5 stars.

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2. The Lightning Thief

I wrote a review of this one so you can check it out if you want my full thoughts!

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3. Dirty Letters 

In my bullet journal, I have a list of 20 books I want to read in 2020 and this book was on it so I picked it up on a whim. This book follows a guy and a girl who meet as pen pals in elementary school and then reconnect years later. There is a big twist when it comes to who the guy is and personally, I didn’t really enjoy it. I thought this book was good but not great as the conflict felt somewhat forced and I think the authors could have fleshed out their relationship a bit more. Either way, it was a fun read so¬†4/5 stars.

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4. Along For the Ride

This is another book that’s on my 20 books to read in 2020 list. This is an enemies-to-lovers romance between a girl and her brother-in-law’s best friend. Some of the book takes place during a road trip and honestly, I wish the entire book would have followed that. It was SO much more interesting and I hated seeing how these two juggled their real lives with trying to be together.

For some reason, the road trip aspect was much more exciting. Either way, it was still a pretty good romance so I can’t complain much. This also only has 100 ratings on Goodreads so it needs more love. 4/5 stars.

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5. Caraval

Wrapping up Ellyn’s picks for me, I read¬†Caraval¬†and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I feel like everyone knows what this book is but it follows a girl and her sister who are invited to Caraval which is basically a huge game and the plot gets wilder from there. This book had so many twists and turns that I had no idea what to expect. Either way, I still really enjoyed it. I really don’t know how to explain my feelings on this book besides that it intrigued me and I want more. 4/5 stars.

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6. His Royal Highness

This book checks off another from my 20 books to read in 2020 list. I’ve heard really good things about R.S. Grey but haven’t read anything by her until now. This book is a friends-to-lovers yet somewhat of a second chance romance? Either way, it follows a girl who works as a character at a Disneyland type park and the relationship she has with a higher-up in the company she knew previously.

I really enjoyed the timeline for Whitney and Derek’s relationship as well as the flashbacks we got to when they originally met. While it took a while for the two to get together, I absolutely loved their relationship. As much as I liked this book, it wasn’t a new favorite and I didn’t think the epilogue was really necessary as the book would have been good without it. Either way, it was a fun read and unlike anything I’ve ever read before.¬†4/5 stars.

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7. A Girl Like Her

I put a hold on this book a while ago and it finally came off. This is a romance between two neighbors, Ruth who is the town pariah and Evan, who works for Ruth’s ex-boyfriend. They basically strike up a friendship when Evan agrees to cook for Ruth if she’ll let him borrow her comic books. It goes on from there, but honestly, this book was just magical. I loved all the different relationships, the diversity and most of all, how the book told a complex story about Ruth’s situation and what happened.

I’m also on a mission to read Talia Hibbert’s backlist this year so this is just the start as I’m sure you’ll see the rest of her books pop up elsewhere. Either way, this book was just a fucking delight and it was my first 5-star read of the year.¬†5/5 stars.

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8. Damaged Goods 

The next book I read was a novella or 1.5 in the Ravenswood series. This one follows Laura who is the ex-wife of Daniel from the first book. This is a story about her having a second-chance romance with her childhood sweetheart along with her dealing with the trauma of being abused. Overall, I thought this novella was super sweet while still talking about hard-hitting topics. This also features a pregnant main character which is incredibly rare in romance but I really loved this. 5/5 stars.

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9. The Princess Trap

Right after I finished reading¬†Damaged Goods,¬†The Princess Trap¬†came off hold and I couldn’t wait to read it. I dove into it and finished it in two sittings. I’ll just leave what Talia Hibbert tweeted as the description of this book: “Plus-size Black British heroine, royal, bisexual, Scandinavian hero, fake engagement.” So basically if any of that interests you, then you need to give this one a read.

Considering that I read three Talia Hibbert books in a row, I never got sick of them and honestly, I have a ton more on hold at the library. The only thing I disliked was the love interest’s brother but I know why he was there and the role he played. Either way, this book was another delight and honestly, I can’t wait to read the rest of her backlist!


Those are the 9 books I read that weren’t part of Smutathon. If I count my smutathon reads though, I finished this month by reading 18 books. I’m hoping that I have similar numbers with the Contemporary-A-Thon going on next month. Plus I’m going to continue to make my way through Talia Hibbert’s backlist aka the entirety of my library holds ūüėõ

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Books

Smutathon Winter 2020 Wrap-Up

Hello friends and fellow book lovers! Even though it’s a little bit late, I knew that I wanted to post a wrap-up of my Smutathon reads. This is easily one of my favorite read-a-thons that I’m taking part in so I’m excited to share the books I read and what I thought of them. Unlike my other read-a-thon wrap-ups, I’m not breaking this up into days because I’m writing this up a little bit later. Either way, let’s get into the books I read!

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1. Birthday Girl 

The first book I finished was¬†Birthday Girl¬†by Penelope Douglas and let me say that I was pleasantly surprised. This is a romance between a girl and her ex-boyfriend’s dad which sounds a bit awkward. However, I think that Penelope Douglas handled it respectfully without being too taboo. I really liked the development of Jordan and Pike’s relationship although the ending didn’t really work for me. 4/5 stars.

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2. Filthy Boss

This was by Penny Wylder and it follows a girl who gets caught writing things about her boss and the shenanigans that ensue because of that. This was pretty short and somewhat steamy but didn’t really do anything for me. Personally, I thought it was a little bit cheesy and cliche plus it had some typos. Overall, it had potential but just didn’t work for me. 2/5 stars.

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3. Anyone But You

I’ve heard really good things about Chelsea M. Cameron and this book was a freaking delight. It was an enemies-to-lovers story about two women, one who owns a yoga studio and the other who owns a Crossfit gym. Things start off rocky but the two eventually form a relationship and honestly, I thought it was SO good. The only complaint I had was that it felt a little bit rushed and at points, it felt like the author was just adding diversity for the sake of it. Maybe I was reading too much into it but that’s just what I thought. 4/5 stars.

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4.¬†The Loner’s Lady¬†

The next book I read was The Loner’s Lady by Jessa Kane. This book was about a girl who poses as her best friend’s beard and ends up in a relationship with his dad. It’s a virgin story so I didn’t really enjoy it. Considering that it was only 60 pages, I wasn’t sure what I was expecting but it just wasn’t good.¬†2/5 stars.

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5.¬†Let’s Get Textual

If you read my post about Ellyn picking my TBR, then you’ll know that this is a book she picked out for me. I’m SO excited that I decided to pick this book up as it ended up being super cute and fun. It follows a guy and a girl who think they’re texting someone else and how the misunderstanding brings them together. Unfortunately, the plot-twist at the end really irritated me so I docked it a star. It was still an enjoyable read, though.¬†4/5 stars.

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6. Ice Planet Barbarians

The next book I finished was Ice Planet Barbarians which is honestly probably the most out of my comfort zone book. This book follows a girl who gets abducted by aliens before getting dumped on a different planet and ends up being mated to an alien there. Yes, it is as weird as it sounds but also SUPER sexy. Personally, this book was a little bit darker than I thought and it didn’t end up being as great as I hoped. I do plan on continuing in the series, though.¬†3/5 stars.

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7. Whipped

As for the next book I finished, it was¬†Whipped¬†by Jenika Snow. It’s a romance between a girl who goes into a bakery and the guy who owns the bakery after the two are paired up when her company uses him as a caterer. It’s a typical smutty romance so it wasn’t anything new for me. Personally, I was getting to the end of my rope at this point lmao so this one was kind of meh. 3/5 stars.

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8. Desperate Measures

My next-to-last read was¬†Desperate Measures¬†by Katee Robert which is kind of like an Aladdin retelling in which Jasmine and Jafar are in a sexual relationship. I don’t really know how to describe it but honestly, this was just fun. It was super sexy and smutty but a little bit of romance and suspense. Overall, I thought it was good albeit not great so I didn’t really love it as much as I wanted to.¬†4/5 stars.

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9. From Scratch

The last book I finished for Smuathon was an M/M/F romance between a firefighter, a cop and a baker. I thought this book was super sexy as it focused a lot on the smutty side of their relationship and the challenges they had. However, the story did have some grammatical mistakes which took me out of the story and I think that the story could have been a bit more fleshed out. I do think that I’m going to continue on in the series, though.¬†3.5/5 stars.


Before I wrap-up, I wanted to talk about which books fit which challenges so let’s get into it. ūüôā

  • Enemies to Lovers:¬†Anyone But You
  • 2019 Release:¬†Whipped
  • LGBTQ+:¬†From Scratch
  • New to You Author:¬†Desperate Measures
  • Forbidden:¬†Birthday Girl
  • Workplace:¬†Filthy Boss
  • Recommended to You:¬†Let’s Get Textual
  • Fake Relationship:¬†The Loner’s Lady
  • Out of Comfort Zone:¬†Ice Planet Barbarians

As for my favorite book, I’d have to say that¬†Let’s Get Textual¬†was my favorite and my least favorite was probably¬†Filthy Boss. I’m sure I kind of expected that but I’m pretty sure that I read for all new-to-me authors this week. That’s pretty cool so I knew I had to mention that.

Overall, I had a successful Smutathon and I’m excited about the next round. Hopefully, I’ll get a 5-star read the next round. Either way, I still had fun so I consider it a win!

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Books

December 2019 Wrap-Up

Hello friends and fellow book lovers! This is a surprise post as I didn’t want to bring my 2019 reads into 2020 so I decided to post my wrap-up today. In December, I read 14 books and honestly, I read a lot of books that I really loved this month albeit a few disappointing ones as well. With that being said, let’s talk about the books I read in December 2019.

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1. Wish List by Sylvia Day

The first book I read in December was¬†Wish List¬†by Sylvia Day and honestly, this book was so cheesy and cliche. I think that it had the potential to be good but it just didn’t do anything for me. It’s about a girl who writes a “sexy” wish list about a guy she works with and it’s basically him making her fantasies come true. However, there’s a weird plotline at the end that really took the enjoyment out of the story for me.¬†2/5 stars.

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2. The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

The second book I finished was a birthday gift from Ellyn. I’ve been waiting since August to read this and I really loved it. It’s a modern retelling of¬†A Christmas Carol¬†and honestly, this book was such a delight. While our main character was somewhat unlikeable, I think Hand told a compelling story. The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the ending as I think it could have been handled differently. 4/5 stars.

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3. 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

I wrote a spoiler-free review of this one if you want to read it!

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4. One Hot December (Men at Work #3) by Tiffany Reisz

The next book I read was the conclusion of a series and that was One Hot December. As much as I loved the previous book in this series, this one was just meh. I did like that it was a romance between a boss and his employee but something about it was lacking. Maybe it was the chemistry between the two or the ending, but this one really missed the mark for me. 3/5 stars.

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5. Hoops Holiday by Kennedy Ryan

Keeping with the Christmas theme, I read¬†Hoops Holiday¬†which is a Christmas novella that Ryan wrote about a side-character. It follows the owner of the Waves and his relationship with a sports personality. Honestly, this one was pretty emotional yet still sweet at the same time. The romance was well-developed but it just wasn’t my speed if that makes sense.¬†4/5 stars.

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6. Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club #1) by Lyssa Kay Adams

Before reading this, I heard some mixed things about this book so I was a little bit nervous but I ended up, loving it. It follows a professional baseball player and his wife as they’re about to get divorced and he’s trying to win her back by joining the “bromance book club.” Honestly, this was super sweet while still being steamy and realistic which is why I loved it so much. Plus I love books where the love interest is an athlete so¬†4/5 stars.

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7. Christmas in the City

Next up is a Christmas short story collection released by a handful of popular romance authors and that’s¬†Christmas in the City. These short stories all follow different characters and honestly, I loved all of them besides the first one. I don’t want to get into too much detail but this is a perfect Christmas romance collection.¬†4/5 stars.

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8. We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates

This was a book that I mentioned in a Top 5 Tuesday post and once I asked my friend Jav about it, she was down to read it. We decided to break it up into reading 2 essays a day which didn’t happen. It took a lot longer to read and ended up making me a bit slumpy even thought it was a solid read. The essays were written by Coates every year of Barrack Obama’s presidency and before each essay, Coates reflected on what was happening in his life. Overall, it was a very powerful read but could get dry at times.¬†4.5/5 stars.

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9. Haven (Beards & Bondage #1) by Rebekah Weatherspoon

After I finished the last book, I knew that I wanted something fun and less heavy so I decided to read¬†Haven. If you didn’t know, I’ve been reading a lot of Rebekah Weatherspoon’s backlist and this was another one I enjoyed.¬†Haven¬†follows Claudia and Shep who meet under unfortunate circumstances that basically bonds them together and the romance they have. Overall, I thought this book was intense with its subject matter but featured enough romance and smut to still make it enjoyable. While not my favorite of hers, I definitely plan on continuing the series. 4/5 stars.

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10. Blitzed (Playbook #3) by Alexa Martin

This was easily my most anticipated release for 2019 and I have to say that for the most part, it lived up to the hype. It was obviously an NFL romance as the previous books have been but this one focused on Brynn who is a side character in the first two books. I really enjoyed this book as it had a great romance, incredible characters and made me so happy up until the very end. Unfortunately, the “plot-twist” at the end really killed my enjoyment and I wish that Alexa Martin had gone a different route with it. It pains me to say that it didn’t end up being a 5-star read because of that. 4/5 stars.

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11-14. The Curves for Christmas series by Various Authors

The last four books I read this year was on Christmas and it was the¬†Curves for Christmas¬†series. The series included 4 Christmas novellas that featured curvy women and their relationships with men they met around Christmas. Personally, I found them all disappointing as they were all virgin breeder romances which isn’t my thing. Either way, they were quick and fun reads so I can’t really complain.¬†2/5 stars.


Those are the 14 books I read in December! I think I had a pretty good reading month albeit a disappointment at the very end. Either way, I’m excited to see where 2020 takes me and see if I end up reading more than 157 books ūüėČ

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