Monthly Wrap-Up: November 2019

Hello everyone! So I as I was writing this post, I realized I totally forgot to write my monthly wrap-up for October. Whoops! I haven’t been as active with writing posts or reviews the past few months because of school which is kind of a bummer. It’s hard watching your blog really grow and make huge strides for the first half of the year and then watching those numbers dwindle away simply because you don’t have enough time for reading and blogging 😔. I’m hoping to catch up on a lot of reading over winter break. I’ll have two weeks off from school and work and I plan to spend most of it relaxing!


42292077._SX318_THESE DIVIDED SHORES: I was one of the few people who enjoyed These Rebel Waves, so I was really looking forward to the sequel. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to thrill me as much as I had been hoping. The plot and characters continued to be well written, but there was just some compelling aspect missing that was present when I was reading These Rebel Waves. But overall it was still a great sequel and conclusion to the series.  ★★★

44046860THE BROMANCE BOOK CLUB: I loved this book so much! When I first read the synopsis, I knew I had to read this book as soon as it was released. The entire concept of the plot was amazing: in order to fix his marriage, the protagonist enlists the help of his buddies and historical romance novels. Um, YES. From the steamy romance to the adorable twin girls, this was such a cute, heartwarming story and I can’t wait for more from this author.  ★★★★

42771754SUPERNOVA: There was no better finish to this amazing trilogy. A lot happened throughout the pages and the action never stopped! There were definitely a few clever twists placed and the book went in a few directions that I had not been expecting. Also, THAT EPILOGUE. Like, how is no one else talking about that HUGE reveal?! I really hope it means a spin-off or a novella is in the works! This was such a fun, exciting series and I loved reading every minute of it.  ★★★★

43220998._SY475_THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE: This is a beautiful story about a period of history that I was wholly unfamiliar with prior to reading this. This is my first book by Ruta Sepetys and I can see where all of her high praise comes from. Set in Spain 1957 following the end of the Spanish Civil War, this was not something I had learned about before and so it was very eye-opening. It blew me away with it’s gorgeous writing, compelling characters, and thought-provoking story.  [review]  ★★★★

26032912._SY475_QUEEN OF NOTHING: The wait for this book was agonizing, but it was totally worth it! It was so great to be back in Faerie with Jude and Cardan and all of the other characters I’ve enjoyed reading about. However, there were a couple of things that left me a tad disappointed. First of all, this book felt really short? Not just page-wise (which was much shorter in length) but also plot-wise it felt kind of rushed. I also missed the angst and tension between Jude and Cardan. Obviously, we needed to get to the love part of a hate-to-love relationship, but it just felt really quick and I would have appreciated a bit more build with the feelings.  ★★★★

40148425._SY475_WINTERWOOD: Shea Ernshaw really excels at writing deliciously atmospheric stories. She does a great job of tying in mystery with magic, and writing it with such beautiful words and descriptions. Because of how The Wicked Deep ended, I spent a majority of the book trying to solve the mystery surrounding Oliver, and I was pleased that I was correct! However, the little plot twist involving Nora and her nightshade took me totally by surprise and I thought it was very well done. The ending to this book was much more satisfying than The Wicked Deep, and therefore I enjoyed the story better!  ★★★

43263331THE BEAST OF BESWICK:  This was a fun story by a new-to-me author! I actually won this book from Bookish First and after I read the excerpt and became totally intrigued by the story! The plot is basically Tessa Dare’s The Duchess Deal meets The Taming of the Shrew. I found Astrid to be a remarkable heroine whose POV I enjoyed reading and I really loved the interactions between her and Thane! I was not disappointed in the slightest by the romance and I will be reading more from this author in the future!  ★★★★ 


OTHER

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REVIEW: Dangerous Alliance – Jennieke Cohen (ARC)

Title: Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance
Author: Jennieke Cohen
Rating: ★★★★★

ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.

Dangerous Alliance was absolutely DELIGHTFUL. I had such a fun time reading this book! It was witty, smart, full of romance and a little dash of mystery. I’m a huge fan of reading Regency romances, so the fact that this is a YA historical novel coming tropes of a Regency romance + Jane Austen elements + an actual mystery? This was a combination I never knew I needed in my life but I completely devoured this glorious tale.

I’ve read other YA historical fiction books with similar premises, but not that have been written as excellently as Dangerous Alliance, or that have capture my attention as fully. From the very first chapter, we are introduced quickly to both the capable protagonist, Vicky, and the nonstop action. There is a lot of different types of conflict present which kept me constantly turning the page to find out what happened next. And I loved the mystery aspect as well! It kept me guessing until late in the game which made it all the more enjoyable.

The romance aspect was constructed perfectly as well. Some of my favorite tropes from Regency romances were at play: heroine needing to marry quickly to save her family, estranged childhood friend back in town, slow-burn romance. I also think the decision to have both Vicky and Tom’s POV worked extremely well for this book. I was surprised at first, but not necessarily disappointed. One of my favorite parts of reading historical romance novels is reading the mutual angst and tension from both points of views.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction, Jane Austen, the Regency-era, or the fun elements of historical romance books. Dangerous Alliance is a well-crafted, wonderful story full of non-stop action and fun!

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.