Reviewing the Unreviewed: May 2021

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.

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Eleanor & Grey by Brittainy C. Cherry. Read May 1-2. 3.5 Stars

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I feel like lately it’s been taking me a really long time to finish books, but I did not want to put this one down once I started it. I really enjoyed Eleanor and Grey’s love story, but there were a few things that made me not quite able to give it 4 stars.

The story is told in two parts – the first with the characters in high school in 2003-2004 and then the next in 2019. It felt like reading two different stories. I really enjoyed the first part and thought they were absolutely adorable together, but felt the time jump to be really jarring. Grey didn’t seem like the same character at all for a long time once the second part began. And I get it that they’ve grown up and he’s gone through a lot, but he seemed too different. I think maybe interweaving the timelines instead of keeping them in separate parts of the book might have helped.

Also, it’s never really mentioned, but based on the age of his oldest daughter, it means she would have been born his Sophomore year of college. It made me a little sad that he would’ve moved on with someone so quickly after leaving Eleanor. Which brings me to another point – I wish we would’ve seen some of his relationship with his wife before she passed. Without getting to see their love story, it made me just feel a little resentful towards him that he was with someone else and I wasn’t as patient with his grieving because I wanted him back together with Eleanor.

There were also a few things with the writing that threw me off. There’s a lot of the same words and phrases repeated a lot. I get what Cherry was going for, but it didn’t always work for me. I also didn’t like that the characters prayed to their dead relatives. And the last few chapters were way, way too sappy for my liking.

And I know this sounds like I didn’t like a lot about the book, but I did really enjoy it! It was sweet and funny and I loved what a booknerd Eleanor was and her introvertism. I loved that Grey read her favorite book so they could talk about it and I will definitely be reading more from this author in the future.

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Badly Behaved by Meagan Brandy. Read April 30-May 4. 3 Stars. 

I’m not really sure if this book is a little less crazy than the last couple books I tried by this author, or if my threshold for the ridiculous has changed, but this one was ok for me. It was over the top, but not all the time and I liked the friendship between the characters.

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It’s In His Kiss (Bridgertons #7) by Julia Quinn. Read May 2-4. 4 Stars. 

I loved this one! Hyacinth and Gareth’s banter was so much fun. While I did miss seeing some of the other Bridgertons, their absence wasn’t as noticeable as it has been in previous books since I loved Hyacinth and Gareth so much.

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Sunkissed by Kasie West. Read May 4-6. 3 Stars. 

This had some cute and funny moments, but ended up being just ok for me. It felt like there were a lot of things recycled from some of West’s other books – the songwriting from “PS I Like you“, the making a list of things to do to expand your horizons like “Life, Love, and the List“, the outdoorsy setting like “Listen to your Heart.” It was just kind of odd. I liked the main character well enough, but felt pretty ambivalent about everyone else, including the love interest. I also felt like she spent the whole book trying to become a better version of herself and then it happened all at once at the end. This probably isn’t one I would read again, but I’ll still look forward to the next Kasie West book.

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Hostage by Clare Mackintosh. Read May 8-10. 3 Stars. 

I enjoyed this, but not as much as I had hoped to. I recently read another book about a plane hijacking and couldn’t help myself from comparing the two. While this one did a much better job on character development and a giving a fresher take on who the hijackers were, it was not nearly as fast paced or suspenseful as the other one. Being a fan of Mackintosh, I knew to be on the look out for a great twist at the end – and we got it. However, there was a big clue into at least part of that twist throughout the book and I guessed it from a mile away. The epilogue was pretty great, though. I might have increased my rating by half a star due to those final few pages, but then my whole reading experience was brought down a bit by the condescending climate change lecture given in the Author’s Note.

*I received a copy of this title via a giveaway on Goodreads.*

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On the Way to the Wedding (Bridgertons #8) by Julia Quinn. Read May 13-16. 4 Stars.

I’ve seen some rather mixed reviews for this one, but I really enjoyed it! The last couple of chapters were a little on the ridiculous side, but I enjoyed the rest of the book enough to make up for it. I really liked Gregory and Lucy. I liked that there were some more Bridgertons around than the last couple of books had, but I wanted at least one scene where they were altogether since this was the last book in the series and was sad we didn’t get that. Still, though, this has been such a fun series that is outside the genre I usually read and I’m glad I gave them a try.

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Forbidden (Ward Sisters #4) by Karla Sorensen. Read May 22-23. 4 Stars. 

I’ve been waiting for Isabel’s story and while I found her much more frustrating than I expected to, I liked her and Aiden together. I wish we got a little more of Aiden’s POV and I wish there was more relationship development and less focus on physical fantasies. Still, though, it was a good end to the series that I sped right through. I liked that we got to see a good deal of the rest of the Ward family and that there was some closure with their estranged mother.

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The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After (Bridgertons #1.5-8.5; 8.6) by Julia Quinn. Read May 23. 4 Stars.

I was able to read the 2nd epilogues for all of the previous books when I read them, so I got this just for Violet’s story. It didn’t go the way I was expecting it to, but I did like it. I really liked that we got to see some of her relationship with her husband, who never got to make an appearance in the series. And while I wish she would have found love again, I liked that she was still happy with her life without it.

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In the Now by Jennifer Ann Shore. Read May 23-24. 3.5 Stars

3.5 Stars. I picked this one up randomly browsing KU and it’s one of the better books I’ve found in that way. I liked the characters, but I wanted a little more from the romance. Noah bullied Olivia pretty hard in high school. Like, really mean things and I thought it was all just brushed past way too easily. Adult Noah was like a completely different character. There’s also a lot said about his family that I thought could have been explored a little more. Overall, this was a quick, enjoyable read and I might check out more from this author.

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Find You First by Linwood Barclay. Read May 25-27. 4 Stars.

I enjoyed this one. When it comes to character driven thrillers, Linwood Barclay is one of the best. The plot veered into the unbelievable a bit more than his books usually do, but it was entertaining.

*****DNF*****

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The Engagement Arrangement (Boots and Bouquets #2) by Jaci Burton. DNF @ 4%. I usually try to give books a little more of a chance before I decide to DNF it, but this is the second time I’ve tried to read this one and I still can’t make myself get past the first chapter. I thought the main character was kind of creepy and found myself saying, “that escalated quickly” several times – and it was only the first chapter! I think it’s safe to say that this book won’t be for me.

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Match Made in Paradise (Paradise, Alaska #1) by Barbara Dunlop. DNF @ 58%. I thought this had a lot of potential in the beginning, but I pretty quickly became bored with it. I didn’t think the “hate-to-love” was that well done – they had bad first impressions of each other and then lots of inner-monologues about how attractive they found each other. I never really felt any real chemistry or friendship between them. I didn’t like the main character and her “poor me for being so beautiful and rich” behavior. Since I was so far into the book I thought I should finish it, but once I got to the part where the main character and her cousin discuss shipping in models from LA to date the local Alaskan men, I just couldn’t take any more.

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Just One Look by Lindsay Cameron. DNF @ 14%. I don’t have anything bad to say about the writing, but after just a few chapters I felt like I had already read this story several times before and I was just not in the mood for it. I did skim through to the end just to see if there was anything new or surprising. There wasn’t. I have seen some very positive reviews on the book, though, so I’m sure it will still be an entertaining read for many.

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The Bookworm’s Guide to Flirting (The Bookworm’s Guide #3) by Emma Hart. DNF @ 6%. I thought this looked funny and cute, but it only took one chapter to know it’s not for me. That’s not to say that it won’t be funny and cute. There was some banter that made me smile, but I know that I can’t take a whole book in the main character’s head. I really did not care for her and the general tone of the writing.

*****Back on the TBR*****

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Win by Harlan Coben. I think I was in a weird mood when I started this and I only read one chapter that didn’t grab me. I put it down to try some other books and was never inspired to pick it back up. I do plan on requesting it from the library again in the future, though.

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

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Such a Quiet Place by Megan Miranda – 2 Stars

The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish – 3.5 Stars

Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian – 4 Stars

WWW Wednesday: May 19, 2021

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

What did you recently finish reading?

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On the Way to the Wedding (Bridgertons #8) by Julia Quinn. I am so sad to be done with this series! However, I guess I still do have one more short story to read. All the copies of the books I read contained the 2nd epilogues, but those were also all put together in one book and that book also has a story about the mother, Violet, so I’m on hold for that at the library.  Then I’ll truly be done with the series. Until I do a binge re-read, which I am absolutely planning on.

What are you currently reading?

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Match Made in Paradise (Paradise, Alaska #1) by Barbara Dunlop. I thought this sounded cute (and similar to the The Simple Wild) and I did enjoy it at first, but then I got pretty bored with it and am struggling with the characters. I’m a little over half way through, but I might just call it.

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The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish. I am not too far into this yet, but it grabbed me right away. I have high hopes it will continue to entertain.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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Forbidden by Karla Sorensen comes out tomorrow, so it will probably be my last book I read from KU before my subscription ends next week. I hate the title and the cover, but I’ve been waiting for Isabel’s story to wrap up this series.

What are you reading?

WWW Wednesday: May 12, 2021

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

What did you recently finish reading?

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Hostage by Clare Mackintosh. This one ended up being just ok for me.

What are you currently reading?

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Such a Quiet Place by Megan Miranda. I’m a little over half way through and finally something JUST happened to actually advance the plot. The main character is driving me insane, too. Unless there’s some terrific twists still to come, I don’t think this is going to be a winner for me.

I’ve only read one chapter of Win by Harlan Coben so far and then I set it down to read a couple other things and now I don’t really feel interested to pick it back up. I’ll probably let this go back to the library and try borrowing it again sometime down the road.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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On the Way to the Wedding (Bridgertons #8) by Julia Quinn. I just got this from the library and am anxious to start it, though I am really sad that this is the last book in the series!

What are you reading?

WWW Wednesday: May 5, 2021

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

What did you recently finish reading?

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It’s in His Kiss (Bridgertons #7) by Julia Quinn. I really enjoyed this one! There was some amazing banter.

What are you currently reading?

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Sunkissed by Kasie West. I always look forward to a new Kasie West book, so I’m feeling optimistic about this one.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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I just got Win by Harlan Coben from the library, so I will probably go with this one.

What are you reading?

Reviewing the Unreviewed: April 2021

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.

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Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson. Read April 3-5. 2.5 Stars.

This book was bonkers. The writing had that addictive quality I expect from Swanson, which I’m giving the extra half star for, but the story itself was like a campy Lifetime movie. I had some theories about what would happen that I thought couldn’t be right because it was too crazy, but then it went down an even crazier path. You definitely have to suspend your grip on reality to enjoy this, which I wasn’t entirely able to do.

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All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata. Read April 5-7. 4 Stars. 

I loved this! Such a sweet, slow-burn romance. I might have some issues with Zapata’s writing sometimes, but she definitely knows how to write a romantic hero that will make my cold, black heart have some feelings.

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When He Was Wicked (Bridgertons #6) by Julia Quinn. Read April 8-10. 3.5 Stars. 

Another enjoyable book in the Bridgertons series, but not one of my favorites. I wish there was a little more of the Bridgertons present, but I did like both Francesca and Michael.

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Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne. Read April 16-18. 3.5 Stars.

The first several chapters were a bit of a chore to get through, but I was eventually able to get into the story. I didn’t like that the main character, Ruthie, keeps being referred to as old at 25, mostly by her 22 year-old assistant, Melanie. I didn’t really like Melanie at all. She’s supposed to be funny and supportive, but I found her a little grating. I also thought the two elderly ladies hiring young men to exploit and humiliate was a little tone deaf in today’s environment. There also wasn’t really much of a plot. But, despite all that, I did enjoy watching Ruthie and Teddy fall in love. There were several cute moments and I liked how they helped each other grow. If you’re looking for another The Hating Game, you’re not going to find it here, but it was definitely a solid effort from Thorne and I’ll try whatever she writes next.

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The Beach by R.S. Grey. Read April 25. 2.5 Stars. 

This was very short and didn’t have much of a plot. The characters are from Doctor Dearest (which wasn’t my favorite R.S. Grey book) and the story is basically the female lead internal monologuing about her crush on the guy, them hooking up a lot, and then deciding it’s not just an island fling. I would have liked a little more banter and romance thrown in to round out the story a bit.

*****DNF*****

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The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz. DNF @ 47%. I saw so many glowing reviews of this book and was very excited to read it, but it just didn’t work for me. The beginning was so slow and felt like a chore to get through. I found myself really annoyed about how often this super amazing plot is mentioned, without actually finding out what it is. I also guessed right away who the internet “troll” who accuses the main character of plagiarism was. I stopped reading properly at around 47%, but then skimmed through towards the end so I could see if my prediction was correct. It was. And that plot that kept being mentioned as revolutionary? VERY disappointing. Honestly, I thought it sounded similar to an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer…

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

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The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren – 3 Stars

Falling by T.J. Newman – 3.5 Stars

Shutter by Melissa Larsen – 1 Star

WWW Wednesday: April 14, 2021

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

What did you recently finish reading?

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When He was Wicked (Bridgertons #6) by Julia Quinn. Not my favorite Bridgerton book, but still enjoyable.

What are you currently reading?

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A Dark and Secret Place by Jen Williams. I’ve been looking forward to this, but it’s just ok for me so far. I don’t care for any of the chapters from the main character’s POV, but everything else is interesting.

The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren. This one is ok, but like with the other book, I’m struggling with the main character.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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I just got Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne and The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth from the library.

What are you reading?

Reviewing the Unreviewed: March 2021

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.

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To Sir Phillip, With Love (Bridgertons #2) by Julia Quinn. Read March 8-11. 4 Stars.

I have been eagerly anticipating Eloise’s book and while I enjoyed it, I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I expected to. It took me awhile to figure out what wasn’t working for me, and it was half way through when her brothers show up that I realized I was missing the other Bridgertons. The banter that I love wasn’t as present in this installment of the series due to the Bridgertons not being around for most of the book and also that Phillip is on the quieter side. I also was a little disappointed that we didn’t get to see much of the initial letters that led up to their meeting and their wedding was glossed over. Though we did get to see more of it in the previous book, I wanted to see it from Eloise and Phillip’s point of view. And I know this sounds like a lot of complaints, but they’re small nitpicky things and I did end up enjoying this. I will be eagerly waiting the next book in the series to become available at the library.

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Too Good to be True by Carola Lovering. Read March 5-12. 2 Stars. 

I found this really disappointing. I kept hearing about great twists, but there was absolutely nothing in this book that was surprising. Maybe if you’ve read very few books in this genre? Still, though, at least one of the “twists” was super obvious from very early on and wasn’t “revealed” until after half way through the book. I was waiting for a really explosive ending, but everything that happened just made me roll my eyes.

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Love at First by Kate Clayborn. Read March 4-13. 4 Stars. 

Quirky, romantic, a little sad, and sweet. I really ended up enjoying this book. I loved Will and Nora and all their neighbors. Though it took me just a bit to get into the story (I think that probably had more to do with my mood at the time I started it than the book itself), once I did, I was hooked and didn’t want to put it down. While it was just a little longer than I thought it needed to be, it was such a sweet story and I’m really looking forward to checking out more by this author.

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Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn. Read March 17-18. 4 Stars. 

I struggled a little with how to rate this. There wasn’t really much to the plot for most of the book, it could get pretty cheesy, and the big dramatic turn it takes in the last quarter or so of the book seemed a little out of nowhere – and in how it impacted Meg a little on the unrealistic side. However, the romance was cute and sweet, there was some good humorous moments, it made me want to learn calligraphy, and I did overall enjoy the reading experience, so I’m going to boost my rating up to 4 stars.

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To Have and to Hate by R.S. Grey. Read March 18-19. 4 Stars. 

This was a cute marriage of convenience story. I got a little frustrated with the lack of communication and would have liked Elizabeth’s relationship with her family a little more explored. Overall, though, it was a quick read that I enjoyed.

*****Back on the TBR*****

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A Simple Murder (Kate Burkholder series novellas) by Linda Castillo. I was in a big book slump for the last week and a half or so and by the time I finally felt like reading again, I only got through one of the stories before my library book expired. I will definitely try this again later, though. 

*****DNF*****

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A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses #4) by Sarah J. Maas. DNF @ 4%. Yes, I only read a couple chapters of this, but I couldn’t really force myself to read anything more. I looked at a lot of other reviews and there was nothing in them that made me think it would be worth it to me to finish the book.

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Take it Off the Menu by Christina Hovland. DNF @ 36%. I thought this sounded cute, but I never really connected with it. I didn’t think the main character was very likable and I hate when poor communication is a major plot point.

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

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Where Secrets Lie by Eva V. Gibson – 2 Stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Spring 2021 TBR

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is: Books On My Spring 2021 TBR

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1.  The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

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2. Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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3. Sunkissed by Kasie West

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4. Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne

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5. To Have and to Hate by R.S. Grey

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6. When He Was Wicked (Bridgertons #6) by Julia Quinn

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7. It’s in His Kiss (Bridgertons #7) by Julia Quinn

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8. A Dark and Secret Place by Jen Williams

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9. The Engagement Arrangement by Jaci Burton

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10. Shutter by Melissa Larsen

WWW Wednesday: March 10, 2021

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

What did you recently finish reading?

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Bookshop by the Sea by Denise Hunter. This ended up being 3 stars for me. My review will post next week.

What are you currently reading?

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Love at First by Kate Clayborn. I’m kind of in a mood where things aren’t really catching my interest and I’m not totally invested in this yet, but I do like the characters so far.

Too Good to be True by Carola Lovering. This is a book I’ve been highly anticipating, but I’m kind of bored with it so far. And I feel like I already have the big twist figured out, but it feels so obvious that I’m sure there has to be another twist coming.

To Sir Phillip, with Love (Bridgertons #5) by Julia Quinn. This is the one that’s keeping my attention the most right now. I like it so far, but not as much as I thought I would. I’m hoping this is due to my weird mood and I’ll get over it.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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Winning the War in Your Mind by Craig Groeschel. I did a mini devotional series based on this in The Bible app recently and it kind of spoke to me, so I bought the book.

What are you reading?

Reviewing the Unreviewed: February 2021

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.

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Nate by Tijan. Read February 18-21. 3 Stars.

I liked this, but I didn’t love it. Usually I hate the “Surprise! You’re a father!” trope, but there was kind of a twist on it here, so I didn’t mind it as much. I loved all the times we got to see Nate interacting with Logan and Mason. I was never fully on board the romance, though. It felt a little icky to me since Nate had previously been with Quincy’s sister.

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Romancing Mister Bridgerton (Bridgertons #4) by Julia Quinn. Read 21-24. 4 Stars. 

I have really been enjoying this series so much more than I ever expected to and I think this book has become my new favorite so far. Collin has been one of my favorite characters in the last couple of books – he always has the best lines. His banter with Penelope (and so many others) definitely did not disappoint. Since I watched the show before I started the books, I already knew who Lady Whistledown was, so that reveal felt a little drawn out to me, but I didn’t mind it too much. I loved the relationship between Penelope and Collin and I had a lot of fun reading this one.

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Wrong For Me by Meagan Brandy. Read February 24-26. 2 Stars. 

After reading a couple Tijan books recently, I was kind of in the mood to continue with that type of crazy, angsty read and I came upon this while browsing KU. This book was ridiculous. Like every single crazy thing that happened was more ridiculous than the thing before it. I honestly don’t know why I kept reading it, but I did and that’s why it’s getting 2 stars instead of 1. It’s definitely not one I would ever recommend to anyone, though.

*****Back on the TBR*****

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Enjoy the View (Moose Springs, Alaska #3) by Sarah Morgenthaler. I’m a little concerned that this series might be a one hit wonder for me. I loved the first book in this series, but I couldn’t get into the second book despite trying it several times and I couldn’t get into this one either. I’m hoping it’s just my mood and I will try this again sometime. 

*****DNF*****

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An Unexpected Love Story by Ellie Hall. DNF @ 10%. I was browsing Kindle Unlimited and thought this could be cute, but two chapters in and it was way too sappy for me.

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If It’s Perfect by Summer Dowell. DNF @ 26%. I just wasn’t very impressed with this. I didn’t really like the characters or the writing. It was around the time the main character called someone a “scoundrel” that it really lost me.

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

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People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry – 4 Stars

The Insiders by Tijan – 3 Stars

The Songbook of Benny Lament by Amy Harmon – 4 Stars