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

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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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