Reviewing the Unreviewed: November 2020

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. Reviewing the Unreviewed is my monthly post where I share my few thoughts on all the books I didn’t formally review.


Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards. Read November 12-15. 3 Stars. 

This sounded a lot more intriguing than it actually ended up being. I thought that the identity of the “bad guy” was so obvious from the beginning that it couldn’t possibly be that person because it was so obvious. So that made me suspect some of the other characters briefly, but it ended up being the super obvious person, which was kind of disappointing. I’m giving this three stars, just because this is the first book I finished in a couple weeks.

*****Books with Future Reviews Scheduled*****

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The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous – 3 Stars

Shipped by Angie Hockman – 3 Stars

The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon – 3 Stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Thankful for This Year

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is a Thanksgiving Day freebie. In this dumpster fire of a year filled with book slumps, I decided to go with the top ten five books I’m thankful for this year.

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1. Beach Read by Emily Henry. This was completely different than what we all thought it would be, but it ended up working for me. This is one of my favorite books of the year.

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2. The Heir Affair (The Royal We #2) by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. I have been waiting for a sequel to The Royal We for so long and it didn’t disappoint.


3. Anxious People by Fredrik Backman. After loving the Beartown books, I was a little afraid to read anything else by Fredrik Backman because my expectations were so high, but this book definitely stands out as one of the best of 2020.

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4. The F List by Alessandra Torre. This book kind of came out of nowhere for me and I was surprised by how much I loved it.

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5. The Tourist Attraction (Moose Springs, Alaska #1) by Sarah Morgenthaler. This one stands out to me because it was the only 4 star read in the midst of a bunch of 2 and 3 star books.

WWW Wednesday: November 18, 2020


WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

What did you recently finish reading?


Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards. This was the first book I read in a couple weeks and it was just ok. I thought it had a lot of potential, but it was super predictable.

What are you currently reading?


The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous. I don’t really have anything bad to say about this so far, except that it hasn’t fully captured my attention yet. I like it well enough when I’m reading it, but once I set it down, I don’t think about it again until I make myself pick it back up. This is probably just my extended book slump mood, though.

What do you think you’ll read next?


I’m not sure, but if I continue with my 2021 ARCs, Shipped by Angie Hockman is next up.

What are you reading?

Review: The Mistletoe Trap (Heart in the Game #2) by Cindi Madsen

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

From the moment Julie sees her best friend, Gavin, in the airport, it’s like no time at all has gone by instead of months and months. No matter how long they’ve been apart, their relationship has always been steady, comfortable, and decidedly just friends. Even though their meddling parents have hung what seems like unlimited amounts of mistletoe everywhere she goes this holiday season, Julie knows some things will never change.

Gavin is well-aware his family’s wanted him and Julie to get together since forever, even though he’s been friend-zoned since they could talk—and he’s been happy to play that role. After all, as the new starting quarterback for the San Antonio Mustangs, he’s got enough on his plate without adding romance to the mix.

But between playing elves in the holiday bazaar to nights spent one-on-one watching rom-coms or soaking in their town’s hot springs, suddenly the “reverse parent trap” they’ve fallen into is actually starting to work. But this could be one scheme where letting themselves get trapped might be way too dangerous.

Each book in the Heart in the Game series is STANDALONE:
* The Wedding Deal
* The Mistletoe Trap

I received a copy of this title from the publisher via NetGalley. It does not impact my review. 

What I Liked:

*I love a good Friends to More Romance and Madsen does them well. I really enjoyed Julie and Gavin’s friendship and shipped them to get together.

*Though I thought their parents bordered on rude and over the top sometimes when it came to wanting Julie and Gavin to be together, I did really like how close their families were. It’s nice to see happy marriages and even nicer to see big, happy families. It made me wish my family was as close to another as Julie and Gavin’s are.

*I liked the small town and all the cute holiday traditions.

*While I had some problems with the evolution of their relationship (I’ll get to that), I liked the big, cheesy, romantic gesture at the end. It was cute and made me smile.

What Didn’t Work for Me:

*I’m not a fan of the whole “looking for a casual fling” thing. After Julie breaks up with her boyfriend and he calls her boring, she decides she needs a fling to prove she’s not boring and also improve her bedroom skills. This is kind of a common Romance plotline and I never appreciate it. It made me like Julie a little less.

*I also am not a fan of the Friends-with-Benefits plotline. Though we know that the couple are obviously in love with each other, I didn’t like that they – especially Gavin – chalked it up to just being a new physical attraction and wanted to work it out of their systems and then move on with their friendship. I also didn’t like how either one of them handled the fall out when they realized it wasn’t that simple.

*I thought the book was a little longer than it needed to be. For how little actually happens in the book, it could have been about half the length.


Overall, I did enjoy The Mistletoe Trap. Though it’s definitely not my favorite Madsen book, it had it’s cute moments and helped put me in the holiday mood. If you’re looking for a Christmas Romance, you should give this one a try.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3 Stars

October 2020 Recap and Some November News

My reading slump hit hard in October. I only read 5 books. I even had several days where I didn’t pick up a book at all, which is very odd for me. I did finally pick up a couple of good ones towards the end of the month, though. I also hit my Goodreads goal of 125 books for the year. In life news, we celebrated my youngest niece’s first birthday. Other than that, there wasn’t much about the month that stands out.

It’s my Birthday!

Happy Birthday Wishes for your Son | Proud Parents Celebrating

I’m old. That is all.

Short Hiatus Announcement:

I’m going to take the first couple weeks of November off. My last 2020 ARC is set to publish in mid-November, so I’ll be back to review that. I’m going to spend the next couple weeks focusing on writing for NaNoWriMo instead of reading and want to give myself time away from social media during the aftermath of the election. Whether I end up happy or disappointed with whatever the results are, I’d rather not have to deal with the two sides of the population attacking each other online. Please do your best to be kind and gracious to each other, no matter what side of the political aisle you sit on.

Books Read: 5

Adult: 5

Favorite Book I Read This Month:

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The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler.

  Books Reviewed: 4

Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell – 2.5/5 Stars

Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella – 3/5 Stars

Little Threats by Emily Schultz – 2/5 Stars

Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent – 2/5 Stars

Books Read in 2020 Overall: 125

Funny Fridays:

October 9

October 16

October 23

Other Posts:

Reviewing the Unreviewed: September 2020

September 2020 Recap

Streaming Saturday: Teen Wolf

WWW Wednesday: October 7, 2020

WWW Wednesday: October 14, 2020

WWW Wednesday: October 21, 2020

Streaming Saturday: I Still Believe

Reviewing the Unreviewed: October 2020