Reviewing the Unreviewed: January 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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Arrogant Devil by R.S. Grey. Read December 31-January 1. 4 Stars.

This was a fun little book. It was humorous and I liked the characters. I didn’t love that the romance between Jack and Meredith started while she was still technically married, though, even if she had left her abusive husband and was definitely planning on divorcing. I did like that they went slow, though, and Jack was really sweet. I never really felt like the title fit the book.

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The Swap by Robyn Harding. Read January 1. 4 Stars.

Well, this was an entertaining and twisted read. It’s a story of obsession and manipulation and pretty awful people, but it was incredibly addicting. Even though almost every twist could be seen from a mile away, I didn’t want to put it down.

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All the Rage (DI Adam Fawley #4) by Cara Hunter. Read January 3-6. 4 Stars.

Another great installment of the series. Loved the development of all the beloved characters, as well as the new mystery. There were lots of threads to bring together and Hunter did a great job with it.

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The Duke and I (Bridgertons #1) by Julia Quinn. Read January 12-16. 4 Stars.

I really enjoyed Bridgerton on Netflix, so I thought I should try the book and I really enjoyed this, too. I realized the show made quite a bit of changes, which probably would’ve annoyed me if I read the book first, but since I watched the show first, I find I’m ok with it.

I loved the banter between Simon and Daphne. The book was much funnier than I expected it to be and I had a fun time reading it. I plan to continue with the series.

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A Temporary Marriage (Fake Love #1) by Summer Dowell. Read January 17-18. 3 Stars.

I love a good Fake Relationship / Marriage of Convenience story and this was pretty cute. It did drag a little in the middle and I considered DNF-ing, but I’m glad I stuck with it. I’ll probably try more from this author.

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The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons #2) by Julia Quinn. Read January 21-23. 4 Stars. 

I really enjoyed this! I think even more than the first book. I didn’t like that Anthony was a little too mean in some parts, but I did like him overall, which I didn’t expect since he was not my favorite in the first book (or the tv show). I also really liked Kate and her family. There was so much fun banter, too.

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An Offer from a Gentleman (Bridgerton #3) by Julia Quinn. Read January 23-25. 3.5 Stars

I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as the previous two books, but I still enjoyed it. The fun banter that I’ve come to expect from these books was present and I loved it. I liked Sophie and Benedict together. I wanted a little more character development from Benedict, though.

*****Re-Read*****

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The Stand-In Boyfriend (Grove Valley High #1) by Emma Doherty.

I started the sequel to this book and after a couple chapters it just made me really want to read this one again. So I did. I enjoyed it just as much the second time around. Livy still managed to annoy me a good deal of the time, but Chase was just as sweet as I remembered.

*****DNF*****

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The Relationship Pact (Kings of Football #3) by Adriana Locke. DNF @ 16%. I wanted to like this, but I jut couldn’t get into it.

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The Backup Girlfriend (Grove Valley High #2) by Emma Doherty. DNF @ 17%. I wanted to like this, but I didn’t. At all. I’m not forcing myself to read any more of it.

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Varsity Rulebreaker (Varsity #3) by Ginger Scott. DNF @ 49%. I hated Cannon half the time. I hated Hollis all of the time. I have lots of other thoughts on why this didn’t work for me, but they all come back to the characters and their behavior, so I’m just going to leave it at this.

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The Class Reunion by N.L. Hinkens. DNF @ 17%. Just couldn’t get into this. I never really connected with the main character and the writing left a little to be desired.

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Marrying Mr. Darcy (Love Manor #2) by Kate O’Keeffe. DNF @ 20%. I enjoyed the first book in this series well enough and was looking forward to this one, but it just never captured my interest. Maybe if I could have read them back-to-back I would still feel invested in the characters, but I don’t now, so I’m going to call it.

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You Have a Match by Emma Lord. DNF @ 16%. I hate stories where the biggest source of drama is miscommunications. I also really didn’t care for the main character. I can’t make myself read anymore of this.

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The Happy Camper by Melody Carlson. DNF @ 50%. I really wanted to like this, but I never got invested. The main character was pretty unlikable and I found it hard to root for her.

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

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The Love Proof by Madeleine Henry – 4 Stars

WWW Wednesday: January 13, 2021

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

What did you recently DNF?

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It feels like it’s been awhile since I finished a book. I’ve DNF-ed The Backup Girlfriend (Grove Valley High #2) by Emma Doherty and Varsity Rulebreaker (Varsity #3) by Ginger Scott this week.

What are you currently reading?

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The Class Reunion by N.L. Hinkens and Marrying Mr. Darcy (Love Manor #2) by Kate O’Keeffe. This section can probably be renamed “What I will be DNF-ing Next.” I’m not terribly impressed with the writing for either of these so far. I plan to give each of them another chapter to see if they improve before I give up.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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My library hold for The Duke and I (Bridgertons #1) by Julia Quinn just came in, so I will probably give it a try next!

What are you reading?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Winter 2020-2021 TBR

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is: Books On My Winter 2020-2021 TBR. I’m going with a mix of anticipated releases, ARCs I currently have copies have, and KU books I mean to read before my subscription expires.

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1. Marrying Mr. Darcy (Love Manor #2) by Kate O’Keeffe.

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2. Varsity Rulebreaker (Varsity #3) by Ginger Scott.

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3. You Love Me (You #3) by Caroline Kepnes.

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4. The Newlyweds by Arianne Richmonde.

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5. The Love Proof by Madeleine Henry.

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6.  A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses #4) by Sarah J. Maas.

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7. Nate by Tijan.

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8. The Song Book of Benny Lament by Amy Harmon.

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9. The Minders by John Marrs.

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10. A Dark and Secret Place by Jen Williams

What books are on your Winter TBR?

Reviewing the Unreviewed: September 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.

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The Rural Diaries by Hilarie Burton Morgan. Read August 29 – September 1. 4 Stars.

I enjoyed this. I thought Hilarie’s journey from teen drama star to small-town farmer\occasional actress was really interesting. Though I definitely respect all of the work she and her husband have put into their relationship, I have to say it came across as pretty dysfunctional most of the time. He mostly came across as self-centered and controlling to me, following all of his hollywood dreams while she either took care of things at home or just followed him around. I did think she downplayed a lot of the acting jobs she took, though. And she seemed happy with her life, so I’ll try not to judge.

While I think the tone of the book was supposed to be kind of inspirational about how you can do anything you put your mind to, there wasn’t much said about how everything they did was possible because of how wealthy they are. Overall, though, I thought she came across as likable and relatable and this was an enjoyable read.

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Yours to Keep (Man of the Year #2) by Lauren Layne. Read September 3-6. 4 Stars. 

I am always happy when a new Lauren Layne book comes out. This was cute and bantery and fun. I really liked both Carter and Olive and loved watching as their friendship evolved into more. I also liked that it was set mostly in a cute, small town. Most of Layne’s books these days are set in NYC with super rich, polished characters and it was a nice change to see a quirky high school teacher as the lead.

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Dating Mr. Darcy (Love Manor #1) by Kate O’Keeffee. Read September 8-9. 3.5 Stars.

This was pretty cute. I liked the dating reality show concept. I liked the romance, but thought it could have been developed a little more. It felt like they only had a couple real interactions before they were “in love.” I’d be interested in reading more from this, author.

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Steal Home (The Sweet Magnolias #1) by Sherryl Woods. Read September 8-11. 3 Stars.

I wanted to read this ever since watching the Netflix show. I enjoyed it for the most part. I liked watching Maddie navigate her divorce and becoming a single parent and her new relationship with Cal. I liked the romance, even if it was a little fast. I kind of skimmed through a lot of the rest of it, though. In the show, I really liked the friendship between Maddie and her two best friends, but they kind of annoyed me here. They weren’t really given much to do besides encourage Maddie to go into business with them and pursue a relationship with Cal (though, the next couple of books in the series shifts the focus to them, so I’m sure the character development will improve).

Since I’ve already watched the show, I have to point out some of the differences. The show made Noreen a much more sympathetic character than the book did. There were several plotlines on the show with Maddie’s kids and I have to say I’m not mad that most of them didn’t exist in the book. I thought Book Cal was a lot sweeter than Show Cal, but I thought Show Maddie was more likable than Book Maddie.

I’m looking forward to watching season two, but I don’t see myself reading more of this series, even though I mostly enjoyed this one.

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Not My Romeo (The Game Changers #1) by Ilsa Madden-Mills. Read September 12-13. 3.5 Stars.

I actually enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. The characters were likable and I loved the small town atmosphere. I thought Jack was really sweet, if a little unbelievable. There were several more graphic scenes than I generally appreciate, but that was one of the only things that brought it down for me.

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Loathe Thy Neighbor (Roommate Romps #1) by Teagan Hunter. Read September 17-27. 2 Stars. 

This wasn’t for me. There were some funny parts, which Hunter always does well, but the story itself was pretty ‘meh’. I didn’t like the main character and I didn’t even really ship the romance.

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

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The Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell – 2.5 Stars

Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella – 3 Stars

WWW Wednesday: September 9, 2020

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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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They Never Learn by Layne Fargo. I was kind of surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this. My review will post next week.

What are you currently reading?

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Stealing Home (The Sweet Magnolias #1) by Sherryl Woods and Dating Mr Darcy (Love Manor Romantic Comedy #1) by Kate O’Keeffee. I’m in one of those moods where I’ve started multiple books and none were really sticking. These two are ones that I was able to read more than a few pages at a time.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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I’m not sure, but Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell is the next ARC I need to read.

What are you reading?