Books

November 2020 Wrap-Up

Hello friends and fellow book lovers! I have to say that November was a great month for me especially because of my vacation. As for my reading, it took a bit of a nose dive after having such a HUGE reading month in October. I’m not mad about it though because a lot of good non-bookish things happened. With that being said, let’s get into the books I read in November.

First, I’m going to talk about my #NovellaNovember reads as I participated in Novella November in the month and managed to get a full black-out on my bingo board. You can check out my post, talking about it.

Prompt 1: 2020 Release

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The first book I finished for Novella November was My Husband, My Stalker by Jessa Kane. This book is basically exactly what it sounds like as it follows a guy who stalks a girl and then they get married. It was pretty predictable and cheesy but I didn’t mind it since it gave me Joe Goldberg vibes. 3/5 stars

Prompt 2: LGBTQ+ Rep

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My next read for Novella November is Bear With Me by Lucy Eden. I actually wrote a review of this one if you want to know my thoughts!

Prompt 3: Part of an Anthology

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For the anthology pick, I went with Love All Year: A Holidays Anthology which features non-mainstream holidays and romances set during that time. This was one of the few anthologies where I liked almost all of the stories. My top three favorites were “It Happened One Yule,” “The Sweet Spot” and “Legacy of Love” which were all super sweet and made me so happy.

My main complaint is that I felt like some stories were out of place and that some weren’t as good as others. Either way, it was good. 4/5 stars

Prompt 4: Holiday Romance

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This is a novella in the Sweet Curves series and it’s a romance between a girl and her best friend’s older brother. This is another super predictable story with a curvy virgin heroine that I’ve read 100 other times. 2/5 stars

Prompt 5: New-To-You Author

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This is another Thanksgiving romance I read and it’s between a girl and her brother’s friend. I don’t want to say too much about this because it’s super short and it has a paranormal twist. 3/5 stars

Prompt 6: Dana or Kelly Rec

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The next prompt was to read one of Dana or Kelly’s recs. I think I read one of Dana’s recs and that was My Lady’s Lover. This book is an f/f historical romance between a lady and her lady’s maid. This was such a soft and short historical with low angst and it was exactly what I wanted. 4/5 stars

Prompt 7: Historical Romance

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The next book I read is another by Nicola Davidson and it’s in the second book in the Fallen series. This one follows Lord Grayson and his estranged wife coming together for a wedding and eventually, working out their differences. Personally, I love stories about already established couples and this was exactly what I wanted plus it featured the hero as a sub. 4/5 stars

Prompt 8: Group Read

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One of the group reads was A Match Made for Thanksgiving by Jackie Lau and it was about a couple who hooks up once and then she gets set up with his brother and it’s their eventual romance. Honestly, I thought this was such a short and sweet romance set during Thanksgiving. I enjoyed this although I felt like it was way too short. 4/5 stars

Prompt 9: BIPOC Author

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The final book I read for #NovellaNovember was A Tale of Two Cities: A Thanksgiving Novella. This book follows a romance between a celebrity coming back home to visit her family and a family friend. These two have such chemistry and sexual tension which was the crux of the story. Once again, I wish this one had been a little longer. 4/5 stars

Credit to Pure Imagination Blog

With all my #NovellaNovember reads done, let’s get into the rest of the books I read in November. 🙂

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10. Crazy Stupid Bromance (Bromance Book Club #3)

The first full-length novel I read in November was Crazy Stupid Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams which is the third book in the Bromance Book Club series. This is Noah and Alexis’ book and honestly, it didn’t disappoint. This was such a delightful friends-to-lovers story that could have been five starts. Personally, it had too much family drama for my liking so that’s why I knocked off a star. 4/5 stars

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11. Wrapped Up in You

Moving back to novellas, Talia Hibbert released a Kobo exclusive Christmas novella entitled Wrapped Up in You. This book follows a romance between Will and Abbie who are long-time friends spending Christmas together. Honestly, this one was pretty low-angst and was exactly the holiday spirit I needed. I don’t really have much else to say about this one. 4/5 stars

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12. Being Cordial (Desert Rose Hook-Ups #2)

The next book I read was another novella that was on my Kindle. This is an enemies-to-lovers romance between neighbors and I really adored this. The banter between these two was out-of-this-world and I absolutely loved seeing them warm up to each other. It was also super steamy for being such a short read. 4/5 stars

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13. Darren

I really don’t even want to talk about this one. This was a free novella I got on Kindle and it was about a rapper who falls in love with a rich girl. This one just felt entirely too predictable and corny. I probably should’ve DNFed it but it was only 47 pages but I still didn’t like it lmao. 2/5 stars

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14. Can’t Text This (Texting #3)

The next book I read was Can’t Text This by Teagan Hunter. It’s the third book in the Texting series and this follows Robbie, Zach’s best friend from book 1 and a romance he has with Monty. I thought this was such a great opposites-attract and I LOVED it so much but I did have a small problem. I feel like the synopsis was incredibly misleading as the major “conflict” mentioned in the description didn’t happen until almost the 75% mark.

Honestly, I feel like I would have enjoyed the book so much more if it had been featured as a larger part in the story. Either way, it was still a decent read and another enjoyable installment in this series. 4/5 stars

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15. Your Dad Will Do (A Touch of Taboo #1)

The next book is another one I have on my Kindle and it’s one I’ve been really excited for. Thankfully, it didn’t disappoint. This book is about a girl who finds out her fiancé is cheating on her and she decides to screw his dad as revenge. Honestly, this book is basically just erotica and it feature daddy kink which was just great. I thought it was an incredibly sexy book but it just wasn’t a perfect book for me. 4/5 stars

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16. A Feast for the Senses (Falls Sexy Holiday Shorts)

The next book I read in November was on Thanksgiving and it was A Feast for the Senses which is the 4th book in Nicole Falls Sexy Holiday Shorts series. This one is a Thanksgiving romance between Antwaun and his sister’s best friend as she’s trying to set the two of them up. The banter in this story was pure excellence but it was just a little too short for me. 4/5 stars

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17. The Boss Who Stole Christmas (Reindeer Falls #1)

The next book I read was The Boss Who Stole Christmas which is the first book in the Reindeer Falls series. This is an enemies-to-lovers office romance between a girl who loves Christmas and her “Grinch” of a boss. This one has a lot of adorable Christmas moments and was cheesy but still fun. If you’re looking for a fun and quick Christmas read, then I’d recommend it. This also counts for the Romance Takeover Readathon and fulfills the prompt to read a host recommendation. 4/5 stars

Books

Graphics-A-Thon Round 2 Wrap-Up

Hello friends and fellow book lovers! If you’ve been following me for a while, then you’ll know how I write up my read-a-thon posts. No matter which read-a-thon it is, I always do a wrap-up post where I break down my reads by day. This round, I co-hosted Graphics-A-Thon with Destiny and Ellyn and it was a blast. Hopefully, they invitie me back next year. 😉

Either way, I ended up getting a lot of reading done this week and I might get to my secret Goodreads goal before the years end. Let’s talk about that later though as I have a lot of books to talk about. If you want to know more of my in-depth thoughts, you can check out the Twitter thread I did where I talked about all my reads.

Day 1: October 11th

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My first read for Graphics-A-Thon was My Brother’s Husband Volume 1 by Gengoroh Tagame. This story follows Mike who travels to Japan to meet his deceased husband’s family and it’s basically the bond Mike, his brother-in-law and niece form. This book isn’t all fun and games though as it talks about grief, homophobia and coming out if you’re sensitive to those topics.

Either way, I absolutely LOVED this graphic novel. It was such a delightful read and I especially loved Mike and Kana’s relationship as they were quickly bonded to each other. I can’t wait to read the next volume of this series and I’m so happy I started with this one. 5/5 stars

My Brother’s Husband Volume 1 fulfilled the prompt to Read a book with queer rep.

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The second book I finished on Day 1 was Superman Smashes The Klan by Gene Luen Yang. This book focused on Superman and the Lee children as they work together to take down the “Clan of the Fiery Cross.” This book was incredibly timely and had some important messages. However, it wasn’t that memorable and I doubt I’ll go back to this one. Either way, it was still solid. 4/5 stars

Superman Smashes the Klan fulfilled the prompt to Read a a genre or story you wouldn’t usually reach for.

Day 2: October 12th

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On Day 2, I worked 8:30-5 so I didn’t have as much reading time and I didn’t even pick up this book until after 8pm. Nevertheless, The Black Mage was a book I had high hopes for but sadly, slightly disappointed me. I don’t want to rehash too much with this as I wrote a small review on Goodreads. However, my main complaint is that I either want another volume of this story and that the pacing was off. Either way, I’d still recommend it. 3.5/5 stars

The Black Mage fulfilled the prompt to Read a graphic with BIPOC rep.

Day 3: October 13th

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Tuesday was my day off from work and I ended up having a chill day. It was so chill that I only finished one book. I’m sure most of you know what Wire and Nerve is but it’s the spin-off graphic novel series featuring Iko from The Lunar Chronicles. This book basically picks off directly where the series ends and it follows Iko trying to fix Levana’s mistakes along with some cameos from other TLC characters.

Ultimately, I liked this but didn’t love it. For some reason, I couldn’t get into the style of this one as I felt like blue was an odd choice. Either way, I’m trash for this series so I ended up rating 4/5 stars.

Wires and Nerve Volume 1 fulfilled the prompt to read a graphic that has or will have an adaptation.

Day 4: October 14th

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Wednesday, I only worked 8-1 so I pretty much had my afternoon free and decided to pick up two graphic novels. The first was My Boyfriend Is a Bear which is about a girl who gets into a relationship with a bear. It was slightly bonkers at times but I ended up LOVING this. It was funny and sweet especially seeing how the two of them connected due to their language barrier. Easily one of my new favorite graphic novels. 5/5 stars

My Boyfriend is a Bear fulfilled the prompt to read a graphic with pink on the cover.

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The second graphic novel I finished on Wednesday was Snug and it was everything the title says. It’s basically like being snuggled up in a blanket with the person you love as that’s what this focuses on. It’s just short little one-page comics about being with the person you love. It had me smiling like crazy and I kept sending pages to my SO since they reminded me of us. 5/5 stars

Snug: A Collection of Comics about Dating Your Best Friend fulfilled the prompt to Read a graphic you predict will be 5 stars (Yes!)

Day 5: October 15th

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On Thursday, I was off again and woke up super early. As immediately after I woke up, I picked up The Tea Dragon Festival. This is a companion in the Tea Dragon series and it follows new characters along with some from Book 1. It follows Rinn who discovers a dragon in the woods, their friendship, and finding out why the dragon was absent for so many years. This book also features sign language as a major part of the story and talks a lot about mental health. Overall, it was cute and fun but didn’t surpass my love for the first book. 4/5 stars

The Tea Dragon Festival fulfilled the prompt to read a graphic novel with a disability and/or mental health rep.

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On Day 5, I also picked up Behind You: One Shot-Horror Stories by Brian Coldrick and it basically follows a format of an intro to a comic before showing the comic. It’s incredibly creepy and spooky. If you want some spooky Halloween vibes, then I highly recommend this.

Behind You: One Shot-Horror Stories fulfilled the prompt to read a spooky graphic read.

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Right before I went to sleep on Day 5, I re-read Lumberjanes Volume 1 and I forgot how delightful this series is. It’s all about the Lumberjanes who are a group of best friends at camp together and the shenanigans they get into. The art style is cute, the plot-lines are fun and it even has some spooky moments. Easily one of my favorite graphic novel series. 4/5 stars

Day 6: October 16th

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This was the first book I read on Day 6 and it was SO much fun. This is a story about two best friends who work at a pumpkin patch and it’s their last night before they go away to college. This is so cute and I absolutely loved the pumpkin patch as it was basically the coolest thing ever. My only complaint is that I wish it didn’t have a romance as it felt forced. 4/5 stars

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The second book I read on Day 6 was An Embarrassment of Witches which follows two best friends and it’s just so boring. While the art style was solid, this book was just not for me. The characters wouldn’t stop getting out of their own way and I was just bored the entire time. 2.5/5 stars

Day 7: October 17th

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The next book I finished was Komi Can’t Communicate Volume 1 by Tomohito Oda and it was alright. This book focuses on Komi who has severe social anxiety and it’s basically her trying to make 100 friends. Honestly, I didn’t feel like this had much of a plot other than Komi being great. However, I enjoyed the art style and I might continue it eventually. 3/5 stars

Day 8: October 18th

I didn’t read anything this day so let’s just skip it and move on to the final day lmao.

Day 9: October 19th

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I read Lumberjanes Volume 2 and like the first volume, this was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it although I’m curious where the story will go next. I’m just happy to finally be getting back to this series. It’s so much fun and I can’t wait to read more. 4/5 stars

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The next book I read was one I discovered on Kindle Unlimited. It’s written by Simon Sweet who I’ve never heard of. Matchmaking Maestros Volume 1 is tough to explain as there are a lot of characters and lots of plotlines developing. I really enjoyed the art style of this and I think it has the potential to be drama-filled. I don’t really have much to say about this but it was a solid read. 3/5 stars

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The final book I read was another on KU and it was Lick-It Man. It’s basically the origin story of a superhero who gives women earth-shattering orgasms. It’s as weird as it sounds but it was a lot of fun. I don’t really have much else to say about this but if you have KU, I’d give it a read for some fun times. 3/5 stars

Credit to Pure Imagination Blog

Graphics-A-Thon Stats

Challenges: 8/8 challenges completed

Star Ratings: 5-stars (3), 4-stars (8) and 3-stars/2.5 stars (4)

Average Rating: 3.9

Favorite Read: My Brother’s Husband Volume 1

Least Favorite Read: An Embarrassment of Witches

Those are the 15 books I read for Graphics-A-Thon and honestly, I’m really happy with the number of books I read during this round. I definitely have a new appreciation for graphic novels/comics, too. Overall, I’m just excited for the next round and I can’t wait.

Find me on Twitter & Goodreads

Books

September 2020 Wrap-Up

Hello friends and fellow book lovers! I’m officially making my return to blogging and oh boy, I have to say that I missed it. I love talking about what I read and doing my weekly posts. With that being said, let’s get into the books I read in September. This was easily my least productive reading month. I was going to say worse but there’s no such thing so let’s get into the books I read in September. 🙂

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1. The Wall of Winnipeg and Me

The first book I read was The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata. This is my first Mariana Zapata and I absolutely adored it. This book is a slow-burn romance and that’s all I’m going to say. I think it’s better to go into this book without knowing much but I LOVED it. Maybe it’s because I love NFL romance or the trope this book features but this book is easily going to be one of the my top ten/twenty favorite reads. 5/5 stars

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2. The House in the Cerulean Sea

The second book I finished in September is The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune and this is also my first book by him. This book follows Linus who is set to the House in the Cerulean Sea to investigate an orphanage of magical children. This book is incredibly whimsical, features an adorable m/m romance and has kids that don’t annoy me in a book. It’s truly magical in that sense but this book was so soft and magical.

I do think it’s a bit overhyped imo. This book is good but I don’t think it’s going to be one of my top books of the year. However, it was still a fun and enjoyable read. 4.5/5 stars

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3. Reborn Yesterday (Phenomenal Fate #1)

The next book I finished was another magical book and that’s Reborn Yesterday by Tessa Bailey. This is a paranormal romance between a girl and a vampire who she meets after he wakes up in her funeral home. This book also features the fated mates trope and tbh, I liked it but didn’t love it. Some parts of this book had me thinking this girl was a rip-off Bella Swan because she wanted that vampire D and didn’t care how she got it.

This book was definitely a lot more mature though so don’t go into this thinking you’re getting a Twilight love story. I just couldn’t connect with the main character and the story was slightly predictable. It was still fun, though. 3/5 stars

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4. Warmth

The next book I read was a novella by D. Rose and it was SO good. Even though it was less than 100 pages, I loved the relationship between Tessa and Raj. It was clear these two had feelings from each other from the start but were both cautious for different reasons. However, it was incredible watching their relationship build and then eventually become healthier. My only complaint is that I wish this was longer or that Tessa and Raj got their own book. 4/5 stars

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5. Fans Only

Next up, I read Fans Only by B. Love. This is a friends-to-lovers romance between Aries and Merrick who decide to create an Only Fans page to get money on the side. This is such a fun and unique concept so I was excited from the start. Ultimately, two things fell flat for me. For being such a sexual book, I felt like there weren’t enough steamy scenes and I felt like the “conflict” came way too late in the book. Overall though, this was still a fun and sexy read. 4/5 stars

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6. Pink Slip (The Spies Who Loved Her #1)

If you’ve been following me for a while, then you’ll know I love Katrina Jackson. This book is a romantic suspense/thriller featuring a throple between a pair of married spies and their assistant. This book is super intense as it features a lot of triggering content such as murdering, assault, death and basically anything you think a spy would do. It is incredibly sexy though as it’s an f/m/f romance. It’s truly the perfect blend of erotica and suspense which I’d highly recommend. Once again, my only complaint is I wish this book had been longer. 4/5 stars

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7. Blooming in the Sun (Nicolette & Dorothea #2)

The next book I finished was Blooming In The Sun by Lara Kinsey. I discovered Lara Kinsey in 2020 and I can’t get enough of her books. This book is a follow-up to Budding Romance and it follows Nicolette and Dorothea on their summer vacation together in Italy. This is such an adorably soft f/f romance and I couldn’t get enough of it. It’s truly such a sweet story but once again, I wanted a full-length novel about these two. If you’re sensing a theme here, it’s that I want novellas to just be a little bit longer lmao. 4/5 stars

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8. Only One Bed (Romance Anthology Vol 1)

I saw this book advertised months ago before it was released so I knew I had to pick it up when I got the chance. This book features 8 different takes on the “only one bed” trope and it was a lot of fun. My personal favorites were “Holding On” by Ali Williams, “What You Need” by Torrance Sené and “Only One Bed of a Pickup Truck” by Lucy Eden.

With an anthology, it’s hard to rate as you’re probably not going to love each single story in there. For me, I ended up rating this a 3.5/5 stars

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9. Tiny House, Big Love (Love Unscripted #2)

The next book I finished was Tiny House, Big Love by Olivia Dade which is the second book in her Love Unscripted series. This is a friends-to-lovers romance between Lucy and Sebastian who go on a House Hunters type show to try to find Lucy a small house to travel around in. Eventually, it ends up becoming a romance between these two but somehow, I felt like it lacked angst when it needed some. 3/5 stars

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10. White Whiskey Bargain

The next book I finished was White Whiskey Bargain by Jodie Slaughter. This book was such a pleasant surprise. It features a marriage of convenience between Hannah and Javier whose families are dealing with a threat and decide to marry those two as a way of trusting each other. This book had such an adorable romance but was also action-packed as both families own alcohol production companies and they’re dealing with a threat together. Plus the smut is god-tier. Easily one of my new favorite romances I’ve read in 2020. 5/5 stars

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11. The Pumpkin King

My next read is my first Halloween read of the season and it follows a girl who gets transported to this alternate world and meets the Pumpkin King. This is only 20 pages so it doesn’t have much going on. At points, it was weird but for the most part, it was alright and a fun read. That’s really all I wanted and it didn’t disappoint. 3/5 stars

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12. The Halloween Bet

The next Halloween read I picked out was The Halloween Bet by Abby Knox. This is a second-chance romance between Blake and Dalilah who make a “Halloween bet” to stay in this haunted house together. Of course, things go from there and while I enjoyed this, I feel like Blake babied Dalilah too much when she didn’t need it/want it. Second, I felt like the conflict was pointless and was thrown in for nothing. Either way, this was another fun read. 3/5 stars

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13. Red Hot Night

Keeping with the Halloween reads, I picked up Red Hot Night by C.M. Steele. This is a stereotypical insta-love alpha guy and helpless damsel in distress. However, these two meet on Halloween and end up being basically falling in love during the night. It was a fun one but ultimately, a story I’ve read before. 2/5 stars

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14. Halloween with the Hunk (Holiday Studs #1)

The next Halloween romance I read is between a girl staying at her friend’s parents rental home and the guy next door who is only there to take care of family business. It’s another one of those insta-love/lust stories but with a fun Halloween twist at the end of the story. Overall, it wasn’t anything amazing or ground-breaking but was still fun. 3/5 stars

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15. Crazy, Sexy, Ghoulish: A Halloween Romance (Crazy, Sexy, Ghoulish #1)

Surprise, surprise. It’s another Halloween romance but this one was actually a lot different than the others. This is a “second-chance” romance between Nora who works at a haunted house and Brendan, a guy she used to bully in middle school. Normally, I don ‘t read new adult romances, but this one was SO much fun. It was the perfect amount of horror and romance to make for a perfect Halloween read. My only complaint was that I wish it was longer and thus had a more developed romance. 4/5 stars

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16. Tools of Engagement (Hot & Hammered #3)

The next book I read was Tools Of Engagement which is the final book in the Hot & Hammered series. This book is Bethany and Wes’ romance which I’m sure we all knew was coming. I absolutely loved the enemies-to-lovers thing the two had going on and I especially loved Cowboy Wes. I also rarely got annoyed with Laura, his niece but something about this book felt off. Maybe it was because of the “conflict” or the reality show plot point but this book wasn’t as solid as the others in the series.

That’s not to say it wasn’t good but it was and it was fun. It just wasn’t as dynamic as hoped for. It was capping off a pretty decent series and I didn’t love it as much as I wanted to. 3.5/5 stars

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17. Retrosexual (Frisky Beavers #0.5)

The last book I read in September was Retrosexual which is a freebie I got on Kindle and it was SO much fun. It’s a short little novella between a married couple who spends the weekend together. It’s really only 50 pages long but it’s incredibly steamy and even, has some cute moments. Overall, it was a quick and fun read so I’d recommend it especially as a freebie. 4/5 stars

Credit to Pure Imagination Blog

Those are the 17 books I read in September and I have to say, it was still a pretty decent reading month. I started off pretty good with a couple of 5-stars and I found some series I know I’ll be continuing. Overall, the hiatus was incredible for both me and my reading so I’m ready to come back for a strong October reading month. Before you finish reading my post, please take the time to look over these attached links to help with Black Lives Matter.

Find me on Twitter & Goodreads

Books

August 2020 Wrap-Up

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

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

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

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

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2. Trouble & Strife (Chances Limited #2)

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

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3. Let Me Be Your Motivation (🎧)

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

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4. Wonder Woman ’77, Vol 1

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

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5. Jasmin’s Billionaire

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

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6. Midnight Sun (Twilight #5)

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

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

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

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

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8. Heartstopper: Volume 1

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

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9. Coffee In The Noon

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

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

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

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

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

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11. Go Deep (Unexpected Lovers #1)

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

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

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12. Basking in Bloom: A Novella

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

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

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

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

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14. Harbor (Beards & Bondage #3)

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

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

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15. Blind Date with a Book Boyfriend

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

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

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

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17. Birthday Sex: A Sexy Short by Té Russ

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

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18. Love In The Time of Corona

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

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19. Here We Are Now (🎧)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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22. You Deserve Each Other

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

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23. Heatwaves: A Summer Fling Novella

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

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24. Birthday Shot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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31. The Nanny

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

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32. Marriage For One

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

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

Credit to Pure Imagination Blog

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

Find me on Twitter & Goodreads

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. 🙂

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’re 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. 

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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. 🙂

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” 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 “A.”

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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. 🙂

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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. 🙂

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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. 🙂

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’re 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. 🙂

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 (🎧)

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 (🎧)

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) [🎧]

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. 🙂

*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 (🎧)

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 (🎧)

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 (🎧)

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 (🎧)

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 (🎧)

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) (🎧)

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 😉

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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 Xeni4/5 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 😀

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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. 🙂

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