Wednesday, November 14, 2018

What I've Been Reading Lately {October 2018}

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 with 4 comments

So THIS edition of What I've Been Reading Lately is a little...late. πŸ˜‚ Oh, well. Better late than never, right?

October (and on into the beginning of November) was a bit of a whirlwind.  We (me, my hubs and Auntie Kat, who is featured in the pictures here with her favorite niece) took Katie to the State Fair of Texas, which is always fun. Hot and crowded, but fun nonetheless.

And then the next night we went and saw Taylor Swift! It was Katie's very first concert and also my absolute favorite concert I've ever been to. Like, I've never seen a performer put on a show like that, and I've been to a ton of concerts over the years. Even my husband said it was the most bad-ass performance he'd ever seen. The snake! The fire! The fireworks! And how Taylor made it so that everyone around the stadium got a little bit of her. It was just perfect!

We just got a hotel room near the stadium so we wouldn't have to drive home afterward, and the Uber driver told us when he dropped us off that the best location to get an Uber back was at Texas Live. Which is a bar/music venue. And which we took Katie into and ordered her a Shirley Temple while we waited on our driver. Because we are obviously awesome parents. πŸ˜‰

So, yeah. Awesome weekend. And that was only the first week of October! The month was chock-full of rain and fishing and cleaning as we prepared for the bestie to visit with her kiddo, just in time for Halloween. Katie dressed as the majestic unicorn (technically a pegicorn -- unicorn and pegasus -- because horn and wings, yeah?) you see to the right. We all went and got pedicures and saw the new Nutcracker movie one afternoon, too, and it was lovely. We also binged some Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and I gotta say, I loved it. I still need to watch Riverdale, though, despite some speculation that it might have jumped the shark this season. Anyway, we pretty much did all the things we'd do together if we lived closer.

Needless to say, there were times when I didn't do much reading at all. But since I already hit my Goodreads goal awhile back, I haven't been too worried about it. I haven't checked to see if I'm on track for my goal of a book a day, but with all the audio I listen to, I'm sure I can catch up if need be.

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

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown - (Semi-) Annual re-read because it's October, this book is awesome, and I've just really been in the mood for vampires. Go figure. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Cruel Prince - Couldn't resist. With The Lost Sisters releasing this month and The Wicked King due out in mere months now, I had to re-read. And it was just as amazing as the first time. I'd surprisingly forgotten quite a bit, though, so this was actually necessary for my sanity. πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ

The Lost Sisters - I pretty much only didn't like this because it was Taryn trying to justify her choices to her sister and it was a lousy attempt at that. Sometimes you feel a little bad for an antagonist after hearing their side of things, but not this time. It only infuriated me more. But also made me that much greedier for The Wicked King. πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ

The Darkest Part of the Forest - Since I was already knee-deep in faerie, I figured I'd just round out my Holly Black readathon with her magical story about a horned boy encased in a glass tomb and the siblings with ties to the fey who just happen to find him. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Spinning Silver - After months and months, my hold on the audiobook finally came through at the library. I loved buddy reading this with my bestie, but somehow the audio was even better. The narration just made the story that much more captivating. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Royals - Rachel Hawkins books are always a little too cutesy for me, but I was actually in the mood for something like that recently, plus I just like stories about royalty. Royals was indeed cute but not in a mind-numbing way. It was just enough...the perfect palette cleanser amid a bunch of dark fantasy stories.🌟🌟🌟

The Boneless Mercies* - I waited so long to read my ARC that the audiobook had already released and so I went that route instead. And I think I probably enjoyed it more than I would have just reading the book. That said, if you've not read Tucholke's work before, you need to understand that it's going to be very different from what you're used to. This was a Beowulf retelling and having not read that before, I can't tell you anything about this story as a retelling. What I can tell you is that it's dark and violent and feminist AF. And I was here for it. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Daughter of the Burning City - Seemed like the perfect time of year to re-read a story about a traveling circus and all manner of creepy things. It was. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Wicked Lovely - I was on a roll with faeries, or so I thought. That ended when I decided I'd try to read the whole Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr since I discovered that Hoopla had all the books. So, this was actually the third time I'd read this first book because apparently, I set out to do something similar back in 2015 and failed that time, too. I still like this book, but after starting the second one, I remembered why I never followed through. 🌟🌟🌟

Ink Exchange - This is a companion novel to Wicked Lovely. The fact of which, I fooled myself into forgetting upon re-reading. I fully expected to leave the mortal world behind and gallivant off into the world of faerie with Aislinn and Keenan and while away my time there. But it was not to be, at least not to the extent I wanted. And so, once again, I'm putting this series aside. 🌟🌟🌟

*ARC received from publisher for review purposes. This does not affect my review in any way.


Trial of Three - Even though there's only mere months between releases in this series, it still feels like I've been waiting forever for more of Lera and her fae companions. This is one of two reverse harem series that's managed to hold my attention -- not for lack of trying -- and I eagerly anticipate every book's release. And then when the audio is available, I download it and re-listen to the series all over again. The narrator is not my favorite, but I forget about that every time because I'm so hooked on the story. I think this third book might be my least favorite of the three, but that might be because I've only read it once so far. ;0) So much happened and I'm still trying to wrap my head around all the implications. Plus, I'm still waiting on a certain fae to get his day in the sun. I'm sad that the next book is purportedly the last, but I also can't wait to see how it ends. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Josh & Hazel's Guide to Not Dating* - This was all kinds of adorable. Awkward and cringeworthy, but in the cutest way possible. That whole setting each other up with dates while avoiding the sexual tension between them thing was priceless. And hilarious. I'm all about the slow-burn, and this story definitely delivers. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

My Favorite Half-Night Stand* - I plan to come back to this one, I really do. But according to Goodreads, I started reading this on September 21st, and I honestly don't think I've picked up or even thought about this book since. And that's with finding their most recent release completely adorkable. I think this is more of a 'it's me, not you right now' thing, so I'll try again later. But DNF for now.

Influential Magic - The ARP strikes again. This story was relatively good, with magic and witches and vampires, and I fully planned to continue the series. But the ARP only has the first book, which means I would have to purchase the next two. I liked the book but not that much. 🌟🌟🌟

Insatiable & Overbite -
I was kind of on the hunt for vampires this month. Seemed fitting. And I loved the other assorted Meg Cabot books I've read over the last few months, so I decided to give this series a try, not knowing there were only two books completed and there may never be a third. 😭 Which is really devastating because I really enjoyed these books. Cabot's trademark humor and feisty heroine meet their match in a seductive vampire and a sultry vampire-hunter in this series full of forbidden love. The second book felt a little contrived, a little hasty, and is maybe why there's no official third book planned? But I still enjoyed it. Perfect for this time of year. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Beginner's Luck - Let's be real: we all daydream about winning the lottery. But how many of us consider the complications that might arise? I loved the MC's unflinching resolve to continue working at a job she loved, even after winning the lottery. Even when a top company sends a hot recruiter to poach her. Even when, in the process of trying to woo her to his company, they fall for each other. This was a really sweet story about taking chances and being willing to give second chances, and I can't wait to read about the other friends who won the lottery with Kit. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Charged - Nope. I tried. I tried so freaking hard. Gave this story so many chances to get back on track. But it was one of those reverse harem stories that exists mostly for the sex and there's only a plot for a few seconds while the characters recover from their lust haze. Look, it didn't sound exactly great from the summary, but it had potential. Potential which was never realized because of all the sex. I'm not a prude, obviously, because there for a bit, reverse harems were my jam. But this story was just too much. And some of it sounded...quite painful. Hard NOPE. 🌟

The Cafe by the Sea - I wasn't sure about this one, but I'd seen so many people talking about it on GR recently that when I saw it on Hoopla, I couldn't pass it up. And it was delightful and sad and, well, it definitely had its moments. The narration was great, and the storytelling was such that I felt like I was wandering the moors of Mure and discovering my love of cooking once again. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Christmas on the Island - I did not realize that this was a series until I downloaded this book. And then I realized that I missed the second book. But a quick perusal of the summary on GR and the bit of recap at the beginning of this book had me set to rights. I loved the deepening of the complex relationships first introduced in The Cafe by the Sea, and though this story got a little bleak at times, it was still full of the soul-searching I appreciated from the first book. I am definitely a fan of Jenny Colgan's now. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Blurred Lines - I'm pretty sure no other Lauren Layne book will ever match up to Walk of Shame for me. (Also, now I kind of want to re-read that one, now that I think about it.) This was one of those stories where a failure to communicate just further complicates matters and it takes the whole of the book to get things sorted out. It was also kind of flat (read: no chemistry) and predictable and why can't all of her books be as good as Walk of Shame? πŸŒŸπŸŒŸ

Someone to Watch Over Me - Starting to think that Lisa Kleypas' much older books just aren't for me. I liked The Hathaways and I loved The Wallflowers, and I even enjoyed Sugar Daddy despite a rather unfortunate title. So I'm definitely thinking she's honed her technique over the years. Which isn't to say this particular story wasn't good; it just wasn't on par with what I've come to expect from Kleypas. The story and eventual outcome were a little predictable, and I didn't fall for the hero as I'm wont to do with her stories. I feel kinda lost in this moment. Maybe I should re-read Devil in Winter to regain my composure. ;0) 🌟🌟

The Governess Game - I gotta tell you, Tessa Dare's ability to make me laugh, even in the most mundane circumstances, gives me life. I thought this book was going to feature an ass of the highest order and I was prepared to dislike him on the spot, but instead, this might just be my favorite Tessa Dare novel of ever. Which is saying something because I've pretty much loved all of her books up to this point. But even better than being a great romance with fantastic leads, this book was fun! And funny! I am so ready for Penelope's story next. I have a feeling I might just bust a gut with that one. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris - Since I enjoyed her Summer Seaside Kitchen series, I thought I'd check out what else was available from Jenny Colgan on Hoopla. She does love her foodie-inspired stories, doesn't she? =) I loved the dual narrative of two women on separate timelines but with very similar trajectories for their life paths. I also loved the chocolate and the setting and the characters and just how introspective the story was. It was a little like The Chocolate Thief, but with more bite. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

*ARC received from publisher for review purposes. This does not affect my review in any way.

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

Until next time! Happy reading!


  1. You read a lot! I really want to read Boneless Mercies and Josh and Hazel. I'm glad you liked both. Sounds like a fun month. I might be legally allowed to drink, but I'd so go for a Shirley Temple. :)


  2. I love that you still do these posts. <3 And I so envy your ability to read so fast. I just have been so slow lately with getting through books. I've been listening to Kingdom of Ash for weeks. Almost done though and soooooo worth the wait. It's epic. :)

    Love the pics of Katie. She's getting so big. <3 And I've always wanted to go see Taylor Swift. Maybe one of these days.

    Ink Exchange was my least favorite of that series. I really loved them back in the day. I'm afraid to re read them, because my tastes have changed and I'm not sure they are up to par with some of the stuff I've read lately.

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