Tuesday, January 2, 2018

I'm a bit late posting this for December, obvi, but what are you gonna do? :P

I'm not making any real resolutions this year. But I'd like to work on getting healthier, which means there may be a chance for more audiobook listening. :) And I'd like to get back into #bookstagramming; I've already got so many ideas and some cool new props. But I'd also love to start posting here again a little more frequently. Not daily like it used to be; no way do I want that stress again. But I miss this more than I thought I would. I probably still won't interact on Twitter, though, because that's just a lost cause for me at this point. ¯\_(ใƒ„)_/¯

My reading fell off quite a bit there at the end of 2017, didn't it? Oh, well. Good thing I completed my reading goal in November! :P

And without further ado, here's what I've been reading lately...

(More on why I've gone to this format here in lieu of traditional reviews for each.)

Y O U N G   A D U L T

I started To Kill a Kingdom, but I didn't make it very far before the holidays hit. Oops. :)

T H E   H O L I D A Y   R E A D S

Mistletoe Between Friends/The Snowflake Inn - These two stories themselves were cute enough, but it was the execution that was lacking. I honestly can't tell you why I kept reading when I wasn't even remotely enjoying myself. The writing is just awful. I know a lot of readers enjoy this author's work -- and there are thirty distinct works, according to GR -- but I don't get the appeal. It was cringe-worthy and eyeroll-inducing and I do not plan to submit myself further to this torture by reading any more of her books. That said, I preferred Mistletoe Between Friends to The Snowflake Inn because it involved the fake romance trope, friends-to-lovers, AND a hot, nerdy scientist as the love interest, but that still couldn't save the story for me. So you can imagine how little I enjoyed The Snowflake Inn, since it didn't have any of that. :P ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

The Afterlife of Holly Chase - I DL'd this one from the library after having an eARC for ages, and though I wasn't exactly in the mood for it, I knew that if I didn't listen now, it'd be next year before I got to it because I can't listen to holiday-themed books when it's not Christmas. At first, I loathed the main character. She was unlikable to the nth degree, but I guess every Scrooge starts out that way. In the end, she had me in tears. As far as A Christmas Carol retellings go, this one was actually really well done. It wasn't too heavy-handed with the lesson and ended up being quite light-hearted, and well, much more enjoyable than I expected. ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

An Ex for Christmas - Despite the cringe-worthy cover that doesn't fit the story at all, I ended up really liking An Ex for Christmas. I mean, it was predictable and cheesy but also so adorable and addicting that I found myself reading at work or any other chance I got. Best friends-to-more stories are my kryptonite, second only to hate-to-love romances, so I had an inkling that I was going to enjoy this one. It's like the best of the holiday romance movies I've been binge-watching of late, much to the chagrin of practically everyone I know. But there's just something about romance around the holidays. The cheesier the better, I say. :) But in all seriousness, this was actually a pretty good book. It hit me in the feels but was also low drama, which is one of the reasons I'm so picky about my romance novels. There was open and honest communication, but when things did get a little rocky, it didn't take eons for the characters to reconcile or admit their feelings. Plus, the writing was good. Much better than I expected. And definitely good enough to make me want to download all of the other books my library has from Lauren Layne, which is admittedly enough to keep me reading well into the new year. :D ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

T H E   C L A S S I C S

The Black Moth - I just cannot kick this habitual need to have a Georgette Heyer novel on my currently-reading shelf. As I type this, I have a tab open for Hoopla so I can grab a few more. =) I love that her novels are full of the frippery and finery I'm accustomed to in a historical romance novel, but the plots always seem fresh and completely engaging. This novel featured a disgraced brother who was actually taking the blame for his brother's misdeed and turned said disgrace into a career as a highwayman. While the real villain of the story -- not the ne'er-do-well younger brother but a true evildoer -- attempted to kidnap the would-be love of his life. It was all very cloak and dagger and I very much enjoyed it. Off to find another new favorite... ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

R E - R E A D S

The Bear and the Nightingale - From my original GR review:  This fairy tale-esque story set in medieval Russia was just lovely, possibly more so because of the gorgeous audiobook. I wish it hadn't been nearly 80 degrees outside while I was reading it because it's one of those comfy stories best read near a fire. It's also one of those rare books that doesn't really have a place: not YA but not wholly adult either. In fact, it felt very reminiscent of Naomi Novik's Uprooted in that respect. But I couldn't care less because it was so atmospheric and magical and the perfect read for this time of year...assuming you live in a place that has an actual winter. *sigh* ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Uprooted - So, naturally, after re-reading the gorgeous The Bear and the Nightingale and its sequel this month, I had to re-read Uprooted. It's been too long since I read it. I remember downloading the audio from the library before and not finishing because I wasn't enjoying the narrator. I still didn't love the narration this time around but found it tolerable enough. It's just such an engaging, magical story that you can't help but fall into it. ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ


Some Kind of Magic - This story was rather adorable. Maybe a tad unrealistic but still adorable. Yet, not quite The Hating Game level of adorable I was hoping for, though it still made me smile and laugh...when I wasn't cringing. The snark was on point,  and the characters -- namely Eden, Adam, and Micah -- were all perfectly written, but I always hate that feeling of anxiety that washes over me when I'm anticipating that the story is going to take a turn for the worse. And it's even more awful when it could have been avoided had there been a little honest communication between characters. I set this aside somewhere around 75% and seriously contemplated just reading the end because I didn't want to witness when things fell to pieces for the main character. But I decided not to take the coward's way out. And it was still really cute, once I got past the fallout. Now I'm looking forward to picking up the companion novel, which focuses on Eden's brother Micah.  ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

The Day of the Duchess - I honestly wish I remembered more from the previous books in this series, but I barely remember the sisters, not enough to distinguish them yet. Which is sad because apparently they've all been quite scandalous and should be at least a little bit memorable. I do remember their love interests, though, and I think I preferred them to Seraphina's duke. Rash behavior, snap judgments, and poor communication have led this couple into a miserable existence, and I just couldn't empathize. Oh, sure, it was entertaining to see them scheme as each attempted to get what they wanted: her, a divorce and freedom, and him, the love of his life back. But each had to atone for their part in the destruction of what they'd once shared and it took the whole damn book. And I still don't think I like Malcolm, even after all that groveling. :P I do hope that the next book is about Cecily and "the American" as that has the potential for loads of fun. ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Too Scot to Handle - I love a punny title. I love even more when the book manages to be just as clever. I enjoyed the first book in this series well enough, but Too Scot to Handle was just lovely. A couple clearly devoted to one another and to a worthwhile cause. A nefarious ne'er-do-well who gets his comeuppance. And a general feeling of contentment when all was said and done. I loved the teaser for the next book in the series and can't wait to pick it up. And I'll probably have to make time to read Burrowes' older series so that I can better acquaint myself with the older Windhams. =) ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

The Girl in the Tower - Oh, what a lovely sequel this was to The Bear and the Nightingale! I could use a hundred more books like this in my life right now. The setting in this series just comes alive, almost a character in and of itself. I just loved reading as Vasya trudged across the snowy Russian countryside, dressed as a boy to escape a miserable future. This story was both tragic and beautiful, and I wept for what Vasya stood to lose. I love the folk lore aspect and just the general fairy tale feeling of this series, and I can't wait to read the next book. ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

May the Best Man Win - Love is hard. It's hard to trust. Hard to let go. Hard to let down your guard. And in that way, this messy, will-they-won't-they romance was genuine, if not a bit angsty. I just love a good hate-to-love romance, too, so May the Best Man Win definitely had that going in its favor, as well. I did find it a little unrealistic that these two people had so many friend couples in common, that they were forced to be in the wedding party, shoved together because of their height for every one of them. But it made for good chemistry and sexual tension, so whatever. =) This was more like 3.5 stars, but I'm rounding up because I'm looking forward to reading about the other best men, even if I was hoping it would be Brody featured next instead of Max. ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Wilde in Love - Eloisa James' books are fun, but they never just captivate me like some other historical romance novels do. I just never care about the characters as much as I should because I find them hard to connect with. There's good banter and flouting the rules of society, but neither are hardly uncommon in historical romance. I did enjoy the cast of characters well enough to continue with the series, mostly because I'm more interested in North's story. ;) ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Have you read any of these? What did you think? Find any new titles to check out? ;0)

Until next time! Happy reading!


  1. The cover is terrible, but An Ex for Christmas was fabulous! I am glad I took other reviewers' advice and overlooked the cover. The Hallmark love was strong and the ending!!! Fantastic!

    1. It is awful and it's not the first time I've seen it used either. But, yeah, I'm so glad I gave it a chance, too. Such a happy, feel-good Christmas story!

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