Everything I Read in January

Will this be the year I actually manage to do a wrap-up every month? Honestly, not likely, but I’m going to at least try.

Full disclosure: This wrap-up does not include any books I read that were written by DI. Given the information that has come to light about DI’s actions, I am no longer supporting her or her books and have removed my reviews.

Break Me by Ivy Arnold

Rating: ☆ ☆

I still don’t even know what this was/what I read…I enjoyed the author’s other books but this one isn’t romantic—it’s…a lot. I’m going to need time to process it but definitely click the link with the TWs that the author provides at the beginning because there are a LOT.

The Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3) by Lisa Kleypas

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½ 

The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games, #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Audacity must be on sale because the amount that the author has making us wait until August for the finale????? UNREAL.

Enemies Abroad by R.S. Grey (gifted)

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

An enemies-to-lovers rom-com set in Rome with forced proximity, only one bed, pining, and no miscommunication? I could cry.

I read Enemies Abroad in under 24 hours because I had the hardest time putting it down. The only reason that I initially set it down was because I was losing my battle against being tired, but even then, I was trying my hardest to stay up to keep reading.

R.S. Grey is an auto-buy author for me because I always know, going in, that I’m going to get amazing banter, well-paced stories, and steam. I find all of her stories to be so enjoyable, but I knew early on that Enemies Abroad was going to be a new favorite of mine, joining the ranks of Anything You Can Do and To Have and To Hate (my other all-time favorites). From the first pages, I was drawn in and so invested in both Audrey and Noah. This was also one of Grey’s funniest books, in my opinion—Audrey and Noah were hilarious, yes, but the antics with the students were laugh-out-loud funny. This was just such a feel-good book.

I felt so happy and giddy while reading this. I laughed out loud multiple times. Really, it doesn’t get much more enjoyable than this.

Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

At no point did I know where this story was going. But I also kind of enjoyed it? I’m torn because it felt very juvenile at points and honestly, kind of messy with how many twists and hidden motives the author tried to put in there, but it was actually pretty entertaining and I’m sufficiently intrigued by the ending to want to read the next book.

Vicious Promise (The Promise Trilogy, #1) by M. James

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Broken Promise (The Promise Trilogy, #2) by M. James

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ½ 

The Bone Spindle by Leslie Vedder (gifted)

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Such a fun, action-packed twist on a beloved fairytale classic. I loved Fi, Shane, and Briar—but especially Fi and Shane; fantastic narrators with such rich backstories and motivations. All of the characters in this world were great, actually, and I am super eager for the next book in this series. I love what the author has set up here and am excited to keep reading. I do wish that we’d gotten a bit more closure at the end, but I recognize that the author was also trying to set it up for the next book.

Ruthless Promise (The Promise Trilogy, #3) by M. James

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Mafia Mistress (Kings of Italy, #1) by Mila Finelli

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

I couldn’t put this down. Obsessed doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt.

Above the Shop by Chloe Maine

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

This ticked all the boxes; daddy kink and age gap but not skeevy at all, lots of fun, and so sweet. This was an absolute joy to read, which was so unexpected and wonderful. More than just a short, steamy read, this was a really great story that is an example of age gap done well. I’m also very much in love with Henry now, okay, thanks, bye.

Hot Revenge by Simone Blue

Rating: No rating.

I read this as a joke and I still wasn’t fully prepared for how ridiculous and absurd this book was. I’m not even linking to this book because I don’t want to recommend it in the slightest.

Santa’s Baby by Chloe Maine

Rating: ☆ ☆

I really liked Above the Shop and enjoyed Before He Was her Headmaster so I was curious about Chloe Maine’s other novella but NOPE. I’m not here to yuck anyone’s yum, but I’m just not the right audience for it.

Priceless by Miranda Silver

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

I’m so torn between a 4 and a 4.5 rating for this. When I first finished it, I wanted to give it 5 stars, but I had to sit with my thoughts for a bit. This book was absolutely enthralling—I was completely captivated by it and could barely put it down. Patrick and Christina were so flawed but I honestly loved them. This is one of the hottest books I’ve ever read and I thought it was super well done.

Where I struggled a bit: I needed more time with them together, as in, actually together and not together in the transactional relationship. We only get a short glimpse of them at the end and it’s not nearly enough. For all the angst, I needed more fluff / happy feelings. It has a HEA, of course, but I needed a bit more. Also, there’s a point where the plot kind of unraveled for me—at a certain point, the plot got convoluted and there was SO much going on and yet, only some of it was ever resolved. Overall, this was an absolutely compelling read that has left me in such a book hangover but it wasn’t the strongest story.

Love Unexpected by Q.B. Tyler

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

All I have to say is…they seemed to forget about the mom really quickly. Yikes.

January Favorites

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I received review or finished copies of some books from the publisher or author, as indicated above by (gifted). This has not impacted or influenced my review or opinions.

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