A Good Marriage

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

a good marriage book by Kimberly mccreight
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Author: Kimberly McCreight

Published: May 5, 2020

Pages: 400

For fans of: Suspense, Mysteries, Slow-burn Thrillers, books like The Girl on the Train, Big Little Lies, Presumed Innocent, who-done-it plots

Good to know: mentions of child sexual abuse, different POV’s, story switches between past and present time lines

This was one of my June Book of the Month picks (click on the link to save on a subscription while I get a free book credit :))

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂 I will receive a small fee from Amazon, but your book will still cost the same.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Big Little Lies meets Presumed Innocent in this riveting novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia, in which a woman’s brutal murder reveals the perilous compromises some couples make—and the secrets they keep—in order to stay together.

Lizzie Kitsakis is working late when she gets the call. Grueling hours are standard at elite law firms like Young & Crane, but they’d be easier to swallow if Lizzie was there voluntarily. Until recently, she’d been a happily underpaid federal prosecutor. That job and her brilliant, devoted husband Sam—she had everything she’d ever wanted. And then, suddenly, it all fell apart.

No. That’s a lie. It wasn’t sudden, was it? Long ago the cracks in Lizzie’s marriage had started to show. She was just good at averting her eyes.

The last thing Lizzie needs right now is a call from an inmate at Rikers asking for help—even if Zach Grayson is an old friend. But Zach is desperate: his wife, Amanda, has been found dead at the bottom of the stairs in their Brooklyn brownstone. And Zach’s the primary suspect.

As Lizzie is drawn into the dark heart of idyllic Park Slope, she learns that Zach and Amanda weren’t what they seemed—and that their friends, a close-knit group of fellow parents at the exclusive Grace Hall private school, might be protecting troubling secrets of their own. In the end, she’s left wondering not only whether her own marriage can be saved, but what it means to have a good marriage in the first place.

My Review:

The worst part of marriage was the way somebody else’s problems became your own”

This is a slow-burn Thriller, meaning it took seventy percent of the book for everything to start coming together and the pace to pick up. I don’t particularly enjoy books about trials, or when the legal aspects take over the plot, but I did feel like the court documents and transcripts included were necessary to the story. The legal jargon and court preparation did get a bit bothersome at times, and this is probably why the story was so slow to develop.

Success is an abstraction only to rich people”

This book was full of unlikeable characters. Both of the main female characters, Amanda and Lizzie, made multiple reckless and impulsive decisions just to get a rise out of their husbands or to get their attention. The only character I actually liked was Sebe, one of the side character’s husbands, and Millie, the detective who helps Lizzie. My list of suspects was constantly changing, and by the end I still was not one hundred percent sure who the killer was. There were some major plot twists, which I really enjoyed. I highly recommend this book to all Mystery/Thriller fans.

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My Life in Books Tag

I saw this book tag over on Eleanor Sophie’s blog, and I thought it looked super fun. Thanks for doing this Ellie! If you are not currently following her you should, her blog is amazing. If you are reading this then consider yourself tagged. Looking forward to reading your answers.

deviate book by jay kristoff lifelike book two
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Find a book for each of your initials:

D -Deviate by Jay Kristoff –read my review

E – Edge of Oblivion by J.T. Geissinger

E – End of Days by Susan Ee

the boyfriend project by farrah rochon book
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Count your age along your bookshelf:

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon. You can read my review for this one here.

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Pick a book set in your city or country:

A Land Remembered by Patrick D. Smith. This book is set in Florida, and it’s one of those that they made me read in College, but I ended up actually enjoying it.

infernal devices series by cassandra clare
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Pick a book that is set in a destination you would love to travel to:

I would love to travel to England. Many of my favorite books are set in England, including Harry Potter, but I would have to pick The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. I fell in love with the way she describes the gray sky, the near constant rain, and all the landmarks. I would love to visit the bridge that Tessa and James chose to meet at. Clare has posted pictures of people who still travel there and leave notes.

kingdom of ash by sarah j maas book seven in throne of glass series
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Pick a book that has your favorite color on it:

Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7) by Sarah J. Maas. I almost cried when I saw this cover announced. Empire of Storms was such a bad cliff hanger and I had waited almost two years for this last one to be released. I was so excited that it was yellow 🙂

harry potter and the cursed child book by j
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Which book do you have the fondest memories of?

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling. I found this book when I was in a really bad reading slump and super depressed. This book took me out of that dark hole, and I attribute it all to Scorpius (Draco Malfoy’s son in the book), his character makes my heart happy.

under the dome book by stephen king
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Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

Under the Dome by Stephen King. I lost count of how many times I put this book down and then picked it back up, sometimes months later. It is a massive 1,074 pages, and it covers some very difficult topics such as very descriptive rape scenes. King does not hold anything back and I love his writing, but a lot of these scenes were very uncomfortable to get through.

the lightning thief by rick riordan book
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Which book on your TBR pile will give you the most achievement when you finish it?

I’m going to go with the whole Peter Jackson series for this one. This is a series I’ve been meaning to read for a while, and I will feel a great sense of accomplishment when I finally get to it.

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

One of Us is Next

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

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Author: Karen M. McManus

Series: One of Us is Lying, #2

Published: January 7, 2020

ISBN: 0525707964

Pages: 377

Goodreads rating: 4.05/5

For fans of: YA/Mysteries, Who done it trope, High School drama, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Come on, Bayview, you know you’ve missed this.

A ton of copycat gossip apps have popped up since Simon died, but in the year since the Bayview four were cleared of his shocking death, no one’s been able to fill the gossip void quite like he could. The problem is no one has the facts.

Until now.

This time it’s not an app, though—it’s a game.

Truth or Dare.

Phoebe’s the first target. If you choose not to play, it’s a truth. And hers is dark.

Then comes Maeve and she should know better—always choose the dare.

But by the time Knox is about to be tagged, things have gotten dangerous. The dares have become deadly, and if Maeve learned anything from Bronwyn last year, it’s that they can’t count on the police for help. Or protection.

Simon’s gone, but someone’s determined to keep his legacy at Bayview High alive. And this time, there’s a whole new set of rules.

My Mini Review:

Once again McManus delivered a fast-paced and action-packed YA/Mystery. I solved part of the mystery by the middle of the book, but the other twists were completely unexpected. This book had my heart racing in some parts, something the first book did not do for me. I liked that there were some familiar elements from the first story mixed in with completely new content.

I really enjoyed our two new characters’ point of views, Phoebe and Knox, and I liked learning more about Maeve (who was Bronwyn’s sister from the first book). All of these characters went through a lot of growth throughout the story as their lives were taken apart and they attempted to put themselves back together. McManus puts an emphasis on leaning on family and friends when you need it, and the fact that you shouldn’t hide things from those you love. If you enjoyed One of Us is Lying, I highly recommend you don’t wait to read this sequel, and if you are a fan of YA/Mystery then you will definitely enjoy this!

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂 I will receive a small fee from Amazon, but your book will still cost the same.

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The Hopeful Book Tag

We need a bit of hope in the world, especially during these uncertain times. I’m sure this year is kicking all our butts, and reading has been a nice escape for me. This book tag was a lot of fun to write. Thanks to Soulful Thoughts for tagging everyone. Everyone who reads this can consider themselves tagged. Remember to tag me back and I can’t wait to read all your answers!

harry potter and the sorcerer's stone by j.k. rowling
Picture taken by me. Buy book on Amazon.

1. A book world you would like to escape to: Hogwarts

I will forever be waiting for my Hogwarts letter. Always. This is the series I turn to for comfort, and I love rereading it when I’m in a reading slump. I also like to re-watch the movies when I need a reminder.

beach read by emily henry
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2. A romance that left you all mushy inside: Beach Read by Emily Henry

This was a much heavier romance book than I expected, both from the cover and from the synopsis. It was all very misleading, but in a good way. I thought about this book a lot as I was reading it, and for some time after. You can read my review here.

the existence of amy by lana grace riva
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3. A friendship we should all aspire to have: Nate and Amy in The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva

We would all be lucky to have a friend like Nate. Nate did things for Amy that I wondered if I would ever do for someone I work with. I think I would only go so far to help my husband and kids, and maybe my sister. Honestly, there is maybe only one work friend who I might go that far for. Am I a terrible person? Maybe. Go read my review for this book here.

my siberian husky names leah
Picture taken by me.

4. Intermission! Insert the cutest picture of your pet or the cutest animal you can find.

Meet Leah, my nine year old husky 🙂 She was named during my Twilight phase after the only female wolf in the pack. Don’t judge me!

the boyfriend project by farrah rochon
Picture taken by me. Buy the book on Amazon.

5. A character in a leadership role that inspires you.

Even though this wasn’t an amazing read for me, I still consider Samiah to be a great role model for little girls and grown women alike. Samiah taught the girls she mentored that the color of their skin did not determine the career they should follow, and that they should work hard and do what they were passionate about. I was also inspired by the fact that Samiah went back to school as an adult to obtain another degree in the field she loved, as opposed to the degree she first got in order to please her parents. You can read my review here.

The house in the cerulean sea
Picture taken by me. Buy this book on Amazon.

6. Recommend three books that fill you with hope.

1. The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune -read my review here

This book filled me with hope for humanity. If more people like Linus exist, then perhaps there is still hope for this world.

2. The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes -read my review here

These women were heroines in their own right, and as a bookworm this story about a traveling library made my heart happy.

3. Night of the Dragon (Shadow of the Fox, #2) by Julie Kagawa -read my review here

This story spoke of resurrection, and this is something that I’ve always wanted to believe in so badly. It gave me hope that maybe those who love us never really leave us, and their souls will always find us again.

7. (Optional) Tag People.

If you are reading this consider yourself tagged, and remember to tag me back. I want to see all your answers!

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

Most Anticipated 2020 Releases

Pictures from Goodreads.

I cannot believe June is over already. My birthday month just flew by! This has been a crazy year. I’ve found that reading has been a great form of escape, and this blog has been a great way to express myself. Thank you all for reading and following me!

I decided I needed to talk about my most anticipated releases for the next half of 2020, because the list is getting a bit lengthy and I am bursting with impatience. Some of these I’ll have to wait until the end of the year for, and some are much closer. If the book is part of a series, then I only provided a synopsis for the first book in the series, because I did not want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read them.

What are your most anticipated 2020 releases? Let me know in the comments!

Truelife (Lifelike, #3) by Jay Kristoff

truelife by jay kristoff lifelike #3
Pre-order on Amazon

This one will be released today June 30, 2020, and I’m super excited I won a copy from a Giveaway on Instagram. I love everything Kristoff writes, and I hope this won’t be the last series we see from him. Deviate had a terrible cliff hanger, so I’m excited to see how he ends this series. You can read my review of Lifelike here, and Deviate here.

Here is a Synopsis of Lifelike, the first book in the series from Goodreads:

On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap.

Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.

But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past.

Even if those secrets were better off staying buried.

Blood and Honey (Serpent and Dove, #2) by Shelby Mahurin

blood and honey serpent and dove #2 by Shelby mahurin
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Look at that gorgeous cover! This one will be out on September 1, 2020. I’m very excited to learn more about our side characters Ansel and Coco from Serpent and Dove, click on the link to read my review for the first book.

Here is a Synopsis of the first book from Goodreads:

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

The Lost Book of the White (The Eldest Curses, #2) by Cassandra Clare

the lost book of the white by cassandra clare the eldest curses #2
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I love the Shadowhunters, but I love me some Magnus Bane even more. The best thing Clare ever did was start this series where Magnus is one of the main characters. This second book will be published September 1, 2020. Here is my review of The Red Scrolls of Magic, #1.

Here is a synopsis of the first book from Goodreads:

All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.

Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec will have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping.

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

to sleep in a sea of stars
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I love the Eragon series by Christopher Paolini, and he hasn’t written anything since then. I am very intrigued about this new book of his. It’s a hefty one, 800 pages. The cover is amazing and the synopsis looks very interesting. It will be published on September 15, 2020.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

It was supposed to be a routine research mission on an uncolonized planet. But when xenobiologist Kira Navárez finds an alien relic beneath the surface of the world, the outcome transforms her forever and will alter the course of human history.

Her journey to discover the truth about the alien civilization will thrust her into the wonders and nightmares of first contact, epic space battles for the fate of humankind, and the farthest reaches of the galaxy.

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer

instant karma by marissa meyer
Pre-order on Amazon

Marissa Meyer hasn’t written anything else since she finished The Renegades series, and The Lunar Chronicles, which as you all know is one of my favorite series of all time. This is going to be Contemporary Romance, and I’m very excited to see where she goes with this story. The premise sounds interesting to say the least. This one will be released on November 2, 2020.

Here is a synopsis from Goodreads:

Chronic overachiever Prudence Daniels is always quick to cast judgment on the lazy, rude, and arrogant residents of her coastal town. Her dreams of karmic justice are fulfilled when, after a night out with her friends, she wakes up with the sudden ability to cast instant karma on those around her. Pru giddily makes use of the power, punishing everyone from public vandals to karaoke hecklers, but there is one person on whom her powers consistently backfire: Quint Erickson, her slacker of a lab partner and all-around mortal enemy. Soon, Pru begins to uncover truths about Quint, her peers, and even herself that reveal how thin the line is between virtue and vanity, generosity and greed . . . love and hate.

A Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes, #4) by Sabaa Tahir

a sky beyond the storm an ember in the ashes #4 by sabaa tahir
Per-order on Amazon

The last book in this series, A Reaper at the Gates, completely tore me apart. I hadn’t started my blog yet so there is no review on here for it. But even if I had, I don’t think I could’ve gotten my thoughts in order for a coherent review. I know Tahir has received a lot of bad reviews for it, but in my opinion any book that makes me feel so many emotions, even IF these emotions were anger and frustration, is a book worth reading. I can’t wait to see how she ends the series. I’ve seen her evil tweets, saying how many characters she is going to kill and how they will suffer, and I’m anxious. This one will publish all the way at the end of the year on December 1, 2020.

Here is a synopsis of the first book in the series:

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
 
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
 
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
 
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
 
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

Series I Need to Start

There are a lot of series I need to finally start. I have the first books from various series just sitting there on my shelf. Let me know in the comments which one of these I should definitely read next!

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

1. We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1) by Hafsah Faizal

we hunt the flame by hafsah faizal
Picture from Goodreads. Buy on Amazon.

Goodreads rating: 3.8/5

This is one of those books that was inside one of my book subscription boxes. I don’t even know which one, because it was so long ago. It has decent reviews on Goodreads, but I just haven’t had the time.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.

2. The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy, #1) by S.A. Chakraborty

city of brass book one of the daevabad trilogy by s.a. chakraborty
Picture from Goodreads. Buy on Amazon.

Goodreads rating: 4.15/5

I’ve heard so many great things about this one. It has been recommended to me over and over by all Fantasy lovers, but somehow I’ve put off starting it. I’ve seen the excited posts on Instagram from those finally getting their copies of the third book in the series The Empire of Gold, which was just released June 11th.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for…

3. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)

Picture from Goodreads. Buy on Amazon.

Goodreads rating: 4.25/5

I know, I know, have I been living under a rock? Somehow I grew up with Harry Potter and not Percy Jackson. Now that the new T.V series is about to be released, I really need to get to reading these.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse – Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena – Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

4. The Bromance Book Club (The Bromance Book Club, #1)

the bromance book club #1 by lyssa kay adams
Picture from Goodreads. Buy on Amazon.

Goodreads rating: 3.95/4

I’ve had friends who have read this one and really enjoyed it. I need to start it soon when I’m in one of my light romance moods. The reason I put a lot of these series off is because I’m a major mood reader and I have to be in the right kind of mood.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.

5. Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1) by Leigh Bardugo

ninth house alex stern #1 by leigh bardugo
Picture from Goodreads. Buy on Amazon

Goodreads rating: 4.07/5

I love Bardugo’s YA/Fantasy series, so when I saw she was publishing an Adult/ Fantasy I pre-ordered it immediately. I then decided not to read it due to some trigger warnings about rape. I had a friend who read it some time later and she said that the rape scene was not too descriptive and it was necessary to the story. The book has been sitting on my shelf since then, and it probably will be until Bardugo announces a sequel, because she has so much on her plate that I doubt she has even written one.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

6. Get a Life Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters, #1) by Talia Hibbert

get a life chloe brown by talia hibbert
Picture from Goodreads. Buy on Amazon.

Goodreads rating: 3.85/5

I recently added this series to my TBR after reading some glowing reviews on Instagram. I really like the premise of the story, and that the main character Chloe makes a list that she thinks will help her “get a life.” I’m interested to see if she will follow through with her list. The second book in the series Take a Hint Dani Brown was just released June 23. I hope I can catch up with this one soon.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?

• Enjoy a drunken night out.
• Ride a motorcycle.
• Go camping.
• Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
• Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
• And… do something bad.

But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.

Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

The Giver of Stars

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

the giver of stars by jojo moyes book hard cover
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Author: Jojo Moyes

Published: October 8, 2019

ISBN: 0399562486

Pages: 400

For fans of: Historical Fiction, Romance, the 1930’s Depression Era, traveling libraries, women’s rights.

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

From the author of Me Before You, set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond.

Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically.

The leader, and soon Alice’s greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who’s never asked a man’s permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky.

What happens to them–and to the men they love–becomes an unforgettable drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. These heroic women refuse to be cowed by men or by convention. And though they face all kinds of dangers in a landscape that is at times breathtakingly beautiful, at others brutal, they’re committed to their job: bringing books to people who have never had any, arming them with facts that will change their lives.

Based on a true story rooted in America’s past, The Giver of Stars is unparalleled in its scope and epic in its storytelling. Funny, heartbreaking, enthralling, it is destined to become a modern classic–a richly rewarding novel of women’s friendship, of true love, and of what happens when we reach beyond our grasp for the great beyond.

Life is complicated, which is why finding a little joy where you can is important”

I really enjoyed “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes, so when I saw she published this I had to buy it. When I realized it was Historical Fiction I wasn’t expecting to love it so much. I haven’t read that genre since I was forced to do so back in High School. Surprisingly, I found the narrative to be soothing and captivating. I enjoyed being transported to the middle of the Depression Era in Kentucky, 1930’s. Moyes’ writing was very descriptive and the scene setting was accurate for the time period.

Moyes has a way of making us empathize with her characters. I found myself feeling frustrated and powerless along with Alice and Margery, the main characters, due to the unequal treatment of women and the segregation of people of color during that time period. I fell in love with both our main characters, and I liked the contrast between their personalities. Both Alice and Margery had very impressive character arcs, and they grew so much throughout the story.

As a bookworm, I loved the whole idea of the traveling libraries, and I appreciated the courage it took for these women to undertake such a mission in such a dangerous time for them. They hiked through mountains, braving the heat, and eventually the snow, in order to deliver some literary joy to those who needed it. Some of them would stay and read to those who could not, and they would offer some much needed advice and support. This book made me fall in love with Historical Fiction, and I’m open to any suggestions you guys might have. Please let me know your favorites in the comments! I highly recommend this one to all Romance/ Historical Fiction fans, and for fans of Jojo Moyes’ writing.

Waiting On A Sequel

king of scars by leigh bardugo a court of thorns and roses by sarah j maas six of crows by leigh bardugo chain of gold by Cassandra clare
Pictures from Goodreads.

I’ve been waiting on all these sequels for a while. Some of them have a release date, some of them don’t even have one yet. All I know is these authors need to get to writing, I’m getting super impatient. But I do understand writing is a hard process and it takes time to make a masterpiece that can top, or at least compare to, the first books in these series.

What are some of your most anticipated sequels? Let me know in the comments so I can add some to my TBR 🙂

King of Scars (Nikolai Duology, #2) and Six of Crows, #3 by Leigh Bardugo

Buy on Amazon. Picture from Goodreads

I’ve been patiently waiting for these sequels to be written and released. I understand Leigh Bardugo has been working on a Netflix series for her Grishaverse books, and I cannot wait to see how that turns out! But I really need the sequel to King of Scars and the third book for Six of Crows, now! Also, I really hope Netflix doesn’t mess the Grishas up for me, because it’s one of my favorite fantasy worlds. So far from what I’ve seen Bardugo post on Twitter, it looks like she is happy with how it’s all been coming along. I hope she gets back to writing soon though. I love Nikolai and I love the Crows, so I can’t wait to read more about them!

Chain of Iron (The Last Hours, #2) by Cassandra Clare

chain of gold the last hours series by cassandra clare
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There has recently been some progress for this one. Cassandra Clare announced on her Instagram that the cover for the second book will be released July 1st. This first cover was gorgeous, and I can’t wait to see what they do for the second one. I’m really hoping it’s James Herondale on the cover this time. You can read my review for the first one here.

A Court of Thorns and Roses (#4) by Sarah J. Maas

a court of thorns and roses by sarah j maas
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There’s actually a release date for this one now! January 26, 2021 🙂 There’s been a lot of speculation that this one will be about Nesta and Cassian, and I’m super excited about it. Cassian is one of my favorite characters, and I really hope Nesta doesn’t completely shred him to pieces. There isn’t a synopsis out yet for this one.

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Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

My Favorite Half-Night Stand

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

my favorite half-night stand book by christina lauren
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For fans of: Romantic comedies, friends to lovers trope, roosters (inside book joke)

Author: Christina Lauren

Published: December 4, 2018

ISBN: 1501197401

Pages: 384

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single.

So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Millie and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. There’s only one hitch: after making the pact, Millie and one of the guys, Reid Campbell, secretly spend the sexiest half-night of their lives together, but mutually decide the friendship would be better off strictly platonic.

But online dating isn’t for the faint of heart. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and creepers. Enter “Catherine”—Millie’s fictional profile persona, in whose make-believe shoes she can be more vulnerable than she’s ever been in person. Soon “Catherine” and Reid strike up a digital pen-pal-ship…but Millie can’t resist temptation in real life, either. Soon, Millie will have to face her worst fear—intimacy—or risk losing her best friend, forever.

My Review:

This was another laugh-out-loud book from Christina Lauren. I really enjoyed the romance between Millie and Reid, mostly because I am a big fan of the friends to lovers trope. I liked how the authors explored the new online dating trends and explained the different websites available. It was interesting how they included group chat conversations, texts, and emails between Millie and her friends, which helped to show how friendships have evolved along with modern technology.

I liked that Millie was a strong woman leading a successful career in a field she had been passionate about her whole life. The authors delved into the nuances of finding the right man for a woman who knows exactly what she wants, but might not be ready to open herself up completely. I would have liked a bit more emphasis on the hardships of being a successful woman in a man’s world. Also, there is always that part in a Christina Lauren book when I start screaming at the characters to “just talk to each other already!”

As always, there was a very important emphasis on friendship and family, and being there for those who love us and need us. I enjoyed the relationship between Reid and his family, and I really liked his mom (her cooking sounded delicious). Seeing their close family bond pushed Millie to try to mend her own relationship with her sister and father. I highly recommend this one to all Romance fans for a light hilarious read.

Crier’s War

⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

book one in series crier's war by nina varela
Picture from Goodreads

Author: Nina Varela

Series: Crier’s War, #1

Published: October 1, 2019

ISBN: 0062823965

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Impossible love between two girls —one human, one Made.
A love that could birth a revolution.

After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, Designed to be the playthings of royals, took over the estates of their owners and bent the human race to their will.

Now, Ayla, a human servant rising the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging the death of her family… by killing the Sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier. Crier, who was Made to be beautiful, to be flawless. And to take over the work of her father.

Crier had been preparing to do just that—to inherit her father’s rule over the land. But that was before she was betrothed to Scyre Kinok, who seems to have a thousand secrets. That was before she discovered her father isn’t as benevolent as she thought. That was before she met Ayla.

Set in a richly-imagined fantasy world, Nina Varela’s debut novel is a sweepingly romantic tale of love, loss and revenge, that challenges what it really means to be human.

For fans of: An Ember in the Ashes, Lifelike, and Ash Princess

My Review:

If longing is madness, then none of us are sane.”

This book was included inside one of my book subscription boxes back when it was first published, and it has been sitting there on my shelf ever since. I thought it would be a good idea to read it since it’s LGBTQ+ month, and this covers the romance in between two girls; one made and one human. The romance did not take center stage, which was okay with me. These two girls had to deal with a whole different set of prejudices and stereotypes; centered around the fact that they were a human and an automa in love, while also being in the middle of a rebellion between their two peoples.

The first half of the story was a bit slow. I’m also not a fan of court scheming and boring council meetings and there was a lot of that. The action does pick up a bit on the second half of the story, but I felt like not a whole lot happened. I realize this is the first book in a series, and there was a lot of scene setting, character development, and history that needed to be explained, but that was all the book really was. It just set the stage for the next book in the series. Usually I would expect this type of transitional content in the middle book in a series, not the first.

The writing was beautiful, and the scene setting was captivating and descriptive. This book really delved into what it really means to be human. I loved the explanation of human things like hearts, souls, and tears coming from Crier’s point of view, because Crier was not human. I enjoyed the small history lessons in the beginning of the book, and during the story. I could’ve done with a lot more action and a bit more closure at the end of the story, instead of it being so open ended. The ending was a bit of a cliff hanger, but it didn’t leave me wanting to immediately get my hands on the second book like a good cliff hanger usually would. I would recommend this to YA/Sci-Fi fans who don’t mind a fairly slow story, who enjoy stories centered around royalty, and a like a light romance.

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂