*shy wave* Oh…hello. It’s me, and yes I’m still here. As you may or may not have noticed, I haven’t been active at all this month with my blog. I started my new RN job and transitioning to 12 hour night shifts has been an ~adjustment~ to say the least. I have zero energy to do anything on my days off and I’m really struggling to find the motivation to write reviews, blog posts, take photos for my bookstagram, and to respond to all of the amazing comments I’ve gotten this month. If anyone has any suggestions to help me adjust and get my energy back please let me know! 😩
That being said, I read some really great books this month! I didn’t read as many as usual, but it’s all about the quality and I didn’t read a single book I didn’t enjoy so that’s a huge win!
WELL PLAYED: This was such a good follow-up to Well Met! I really loved the characters, Stacey and Daniel, and I thought their romance was sweet. And once again, the Ren Fair setting was amazing! I was bummed to have to miss out on going this year (thanks, Covid) and reading this gave me my fix, even through all the bittersweet nostalgia. My only issue was that a good chunk of the book was dedicated to Stacey’s online exchanges and therefore there wasn’t much else going on during those portions, causing me to be a little bored. ARC provided by Berkley through NetGalley. ★★★½
QUEEN OF VOLTS: This was the perfect conclusion to the Ace of Shades series! Between new characters being introduced, additional POVs, and higher stakes in the Shadow Game, I absolutely breezed through this book. The writing and pacing were flawless and I loved how everything came together and the conflicts were resolved. This series is so underrated: if you haven’t read this series yet, I encourage you to! ARC provided by Inkyard Press through NetGalley. ★★★★ [review]
TOOLS OF ENGAGEMENT: I liked this one better than Love Her or Lose Her, but still not as much as Fix Her Up. My biggest issue was probably the male lead, Wes, who annoyed me throughout the story and found kind of unlikeable (apart from his interactions with niece). It felt like he spent the majority of the book drooling after Bethany (quite literally) and their connection never felt any deeper than physical. Their relationship began to develop a lot better towards the end, but I needed more than what I was given. ARC provided by Avon through Edelweiss. ★★★½
KINGDOM OF FLESH AND FIRE: I think I actually enjoyed this better than From Blood and Ash. Jennifer L. Armentrout is one of my favorite and most-read authors, and this series reminds me why. I’ve been very adamant that we need more fantasy adult novels geared towards those in their 20s transitioning away from YA (thus the New Adult genre) and JLA is really out here showing us all why those kind of books would not only work, but excel. From the action to the plot twists to the steamy romance, I delved right into this and quickly became absorbed. The ending of this one has me super excited for the next book in the series! ★★★★
THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS: I’ve had this one on my radar for a while and was thrilled when I was sent an eARC! I keep seeing this touted as a Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai and full of gangsters and yearning, oh boy did the author deliver! The retelling aspect was perfectly executed and I’m obsessed with both the Scarlet Gang and the White Flowers. I highly recommend this YA debut come November! ARC provided by Simon Pulse through NetGalley. ★★★★
IN A HOLIDAZE: I haven’t been this in love with a Christina Lauren book in a long time. This is the perfect holiday romance story and had everything I could have wanted and more: family, Christmas magic, romance, angst, childhood friends-to-lovers, mistletoe kisses. This book gave me all the warm and fuzzy feelings! The romance was so sweet and adorable and I couldn’t get enough of the cozy, snowy setting. ARC provided by Gallery Books through NetGalley. ★★★★½ [review]
THE TRAITOR QUEEN: I loved this follow up to The Bridge Kingdom! There was plenty of high-stakes action and lots of delicious romantic angst to propel me through this book. Lara really grew as a character and spent the entirety of this novel making up for her mistakes in the previous one. Danielle L. Jensen is such a talented writer and I can’t wait for more from her! We need more new adult fantasy books like this! ★★★★½
Let’s Talk Bookish: 3 Star Ratings – Good or Bad?