Monthly Wrap-Up: September 2019

Hello fellow book lovers! September was a hard reading/blogging month for me. I have been feeling very overwhelmed with the amount of work I have to do for my classes and so unfortunately I just didn’t feel up to reading or writing blog posts 😦 And then I felt guilty and anxious because I felt like I should be. Hopefully October will be a better month and I will get out of this reading rut!


INTO_THE_CROOKED_PLACE6INTO THE CROOKED PLACE: I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves Six of Crows or Ace of Shades! This book has a lot of similar elements that made it enjoyable, and yet it also had a plot that was entirely unique. The story is told through the POV of four characters and while I loved all of the characters, I think it could have lost a POV or two without losing the essence of the story.  ARC provided by the publisher.  ★★★½

44291755GRAVEMAIDENS: This was really not what I had been expecting. It was necessarily bad, it just didn’t impress me all to much, especially since I think I had really high expectations going into this from all the praise I had seen/heard over it. I tried really hard to like the protagonist, but she treated some of the other characters in the book really poorly and it made it hard to enjoy reading things from her perspective.  ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.  ★★★

40972652THE WALLFLOWER WAGER: You know I’m in a reading rut when I rate a Tessa Dare book anything less than four stars. I was really looking forward to Penelope’s story, but there was just ~something~ missing from this one that usually makes me fall head over heels over Dare’s books. I think there was just not as much of a build-up of tension that I usually look forward to in these books.  ★★★½


36199084._SY475_THE KISS QUOTIENT:
I really wish I had read this so much sooner. This is a book that I had been constantly hearing about, yet it kept getting putting off reading. Let me just say that this book was worth every bit of hype it has gotten. I loved that this is an #ownvoices novel featuring a high-functioning autistic woman and diverse characters. Stella was a fantastic protagonist and I resonated so much with her! It was very easy to root for her and her happy ending.  [review]  ★★★★★

37539001CAPTURING THE DEVIL: Audrey Rose and Thomas have such a special place in my heart and this was a fantastic end to a wonderful series! First of all, this book had so much damn angst and romantic tension throughout the pages it’s like Kerri Maniscalco wrote it specifically for me. I absolutely adore this series and I can’t wait for whatever the author has next up her sleeve!  ★★★★


36321739THE NEVER-TILTING WORLD:
Don’t feel fooled by this rating. I almost DNF’d this literally like five times. It took me almost T E N days to finish this. I was planning to only rate this 2 stars, but I have to give the book credit: things really picked up during the last quarter of the story. I wish the whole book could have been as exciting as that last bit. I went from not wanting to finish this book to looking forward to what will happen in the sequel.  ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.  ★★★

43189874._SY475_WELL MET: This book so so much fun to read. I absolutely cruised through it. This is a contemporary romance that was perfect way to end the summer. From the hate-to-love romance to the RenFaire shenanigans, there was really nothing to dislike about this story. I wasn’t aware that this was the author’s debut novel because it’s so well written and constructed.  ★★★★


42613944._SY475_THE MEMORY THIEF:
This is another book that was taking me forever to get through, except I was so bored that I had to stop. When I dread the thought of reading a book, that’s usually a pretty good sign that I should just quit while I’m ahead. The story itself is okay, although there are so many memory flashbacks that it was becoming extremely annoying and I started to skip over them to get on with the story.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  DNF @ 51%

44131124._SY475_THE PRENUP: This was a cute story! This was a new to me author and I had only happened upon this title from another blogger’s post about new contemporary romances this summer, but I’m glad I did because I enjoyed this! Fake marriage is one of my favorite tropes and I loved how it was handled in this book. My only complaint? Not enough (or any) steamy scenes  🔥 #sorrynotsorry. There was soo much build up in the tension between them and no resolution for us a reader!  ★★★½

OTHER

Contemporary Romances That Had Me Swooning This Summer | The ABC Book Challenge – O

Contemporary Romances That Had Me Swooning This Summer

Hello everyone! I haven’t been as active the past few weeks. Unfortunately, I’ve been feeling very overwhelmed with classes and clinicals and work that I haven’t felt up to reading or blogging lately. One of my favorite genres to read in the summer is contemporary romance, and now that summer is officially over, I thought it’d be the perfect time to wrap up my favorites!


THE UNHONEYMOONERS

42201431No one writes contemporary romances quite like the amazing duo of Christina Lauren. As soon as I read the synopsis, I knew I had to read this. Two enemies pretending to be in love while on vacation? Heck yes. The Unhoneymooners checked all of my favorite things: a quirky, relatable heroine, witty banter, scenes that make me laugh out loud, and a swoon-worthy love interest. This was super lighthearted and fun and made for the perfect summer read!


THE FRIEND ZONE

42785825The Friend Zone was a bit of a rocky start, but I’m glad I stuck with it because I ended up really enjoying it! While it definitely fits the fluffy, flirty contemporary romance mold for a summer book, it also contains an unexpected emotional complexity that really gave the story added character. I’m not a fan of the male lead in this one, however, I liked the protagonist, Kristen. Her story is very moving and it’s hard not to feel for her throughout the book.


FIX HER UP

39854434This book was not only lighthearted and funny, but also hot as hell. Fix Her Up is another contemporary romance featuring the tried-and-true trope of fake dating. The way the relationship unfolds from genuine friendship to something more between Georgie and Travis was amazing. Don’t let the charming cover be deceiving: some of the scenes in here were extremely steamy! This book is perfect for sexy, lighthearted summer read!


ONE THE CORNER OF HATE AND LOVE

42587433For anyone who enjoys a slow-burn romance, childhood friends-to-lovers, and a healthy dose of angst, then I highly recommend On the Corner of Hate and Love. This book delivered everything I wanted in a summer book. It was fun, witty, and charmingly romantic. The first kiss between Emma and Cooper gave me butterflies, and the major scene between them later in the book had me honest-to-God swooning.


HOW TO HACK A HEARTBREAK

41887423This book is absolutely perfect for those out there (including myself) sick and tired modern dating in a digital age. Honestly, How to Hack a Heartbreak was so relatable. Melanie was such an intelligent, charming character and it’s impossible not to root for her to find love and a great guy in a world full of swiping left or right. The book sheds light on the ups and downs of dating apps in a funny, cheerful story perfect for summer.


NO JUDGEMENTS

43386668No Judgements was the perfect mixture of charming, romantic, and light-heartedness for a summer read. The romance between Bree and Drew was excellently written. The obvious chemistry and tension was really fun to read, and the slow-build between them was very believable. The story was really heart-warming and romantic and the perfect contemporary romance for summertime!

REVIEW: The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang

36199084._SY475_Title: The Kiss Quotient
Author: Helen Hoang
Rating: ★★★★★

Wow, I really wish I had read this so much sooner. The Kiss Quotient is a book that I had been constantly hearing about, yet it kept getting pushed further down my TBR. Let me just say, however, that this book was worth every bit of hype it has gotten.

The Kiss Quotient was a heartwarming, charming story about a woman named Stella, who hires an escort to help her enjoy sex/intimacy with a partner. I loved that this is an #ownvoices novel featuring a high-functioning autistic woman and diverse characters. Stella was a fantastic protagonist and I resonated so much with her! It was very easy to root for her and her happy ending.

The romance was amazing! When a romance book can give me butterflies as I’m reading it’s a total win. I felt like such a giddy fool reading all the scenes between Stella and Michael. The two of them together were such #couplegoals, I swear.

The Kiss Quotient brought me out of a horrible reading slump because it was that fantastic. This book has so much hype and every single ounce of it is well deserved! This was an utterly charming, romantic story and I absolutely adored it.

 

REVIEW: No Judgements – Meg Cabot (ARC)

43386668Title: No Judgements
Author: Meg Cabot
Rating: ★★★★

ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.

Meg Cabot is a staple of my reading experience growing up. The Mediator series continues to be one of my favorite sets of books ever, and so I was really excited to see she was writing a new series of contemporary romances! No Judgements was the perfect mixture of charming, romantic, and light-heartedness for a summer beach read.

The thing that reeled me in the most about No Judgements was how relatable I found both the story and Bree! We share the same nickname so that was a unique aspect that I haven’t read before and definitely added to my liking. And as someone born in Florida–and who spends a good deal of vacation time down there these days–I also really loved the Key West setting!

The romance between Bree and Drew was really well written. The obvious chemistry and slow-build tension was fun to read, and the way their relationship was built was very believable. Bree and Drew are both animal lovers and it was great to see them work together to help the pets left behind by their owners during the hurricane.

No Judgements was a heart-warming, romantic story perfect for a summer read! I had a lot of fun reading this and I look forward to more stories from Meg Cabot in this series.

REVIEW: On the Corner of Love and Hate – Nina Bocci (ARC)

42587433Title: On the Corner of Love and Hate
Author: Nina Bocci
Rating: ★★★★½

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

I enjoy the finer things in life and literature: slow-burn romance, hate-to-love romance, a healthy dose of angst. Thankfully, On the Corner of Love and Hate delivered everything I wanted in this fun, witty, charmingly romantic story.

I don’t often comment on book covers in my reviews, but I really think this book is going to fly under the radar undeservingly. I don’t hate the cover and I don’t think it’s terrible, but I really think having a cover that was brighter and more fun would attract the eyes of more readers (think along the lines of Christina Lauren’s The Unhoneymooners or Tessa Bailey’s Fix Her Up).

The crux of this story is a frenemies-to-lovers romance, so obviously I was all onboard. Emma and Cooper have a rocky relationship: they were childhood best friends who had a bit of a falling out later in life, and now work together in the same department. The two of them seem to be constantly bickering and arguing, but it’s still obvious that they care about each other.

I don’t think there was a single thing I didn’t love about this book. I adored the characters, the writing was fantastic, and the plot was super compelling. When a book gives me, the reader, a series case of butterflies during the first kiss scene, that’s when you know it’s done a tremendous job building the tension!

On the Corner of Love and Hate is the perfect summer read. It has a great blend of humor, politics, anst, and romance. I’m so thankful the publicist reached out to me about this title because I absolutely adored it. Nina Bocci has another book coming out this fall and I will definitely be keeping my eye out for it!