Reviewing the Unreviewed: April 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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Boys of Brayshaw High (Brayshaw High #1) by Meagan Brandy. Read March 30-31. 2 Stars

So this is kind of the definition of Trashy Romance and Toxic Relationship. It was quite ridiculous and over the top. It’s getting two stars instead of one just because it kept my attention enough that I actually finished it. I might even try the next book to see where this crazy story goes. 

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The Marriage Effect (Washington Wolves #3) by Karla Sorensen. Read April 1-3. 4 Stars. 

I really enjoyed this. Super cute with likable characters. I liked that we got both POVs. I loved Logan and Paige’s relationship with his sisters. I’m definitely going to read more from this author.

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Anything You Can Do by R.S. Grey. Read April 8-9. 3.5 Stars. 

I was really frustrated by how childish Daisy acted for most of this book, but I did really like how it ended. And there were some funny and cute moments. Not my favorite Grey book, but definitely enjoyable.

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Dear Ava by Ilsa Madden-Mills. Read April 9-10. 3 Stars. 

I really enjoyed parts of this. I liked the romance between Ava and Knox. I loved the relationship between Knox and his twin brother, Dane. I liked how Knox’s family finally got their act together. There were some things that didn’t work for me, though. The whole secret admirer love letter portion of the book was very short. There’s one letter, then some texts and you know who it is pretty much right away, even if it takes several chapters for Ava to confirm it (she also figured it out long before then, though). I was expecting that to be a much bigger part of the plot, so I was a little disappointed. I also didn’t think the sexual assault storyline was handled very well. It was used more for a “whodunit” type of plotline and didn’t deal too much with the physical, emotional, or psychological aspects that such a serious subject deserves.

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Doctor Dearest by R.S. Grey. Read April 12-13. 3 Stars. 

This was just ok for me. Both the characters had trouble with communicating and that frustrated me. This book also utilized one of my least favorite tropes. Had a couple of cute moments, but overall a pretty average Romance.

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Boyfriend Bargain (Hawthorne University #1) by Ilsa Madden-Mills. Read April 11-15. 2.5 Stars

This one wasn’t really my cup of tea. The angst was the only thing I really liked about it, which tells you how much I didn’t like the rest of it. But, I finished it and there were some funny or cute moments, too. 

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Fake Fiance by Ilsa Madden-Mills. Read April 15-21. 3 Stars. 

I got this for free awhile ago and finally decided to give it a try. It was just ok for me. It followed the basic formula every other book I’ve read by this author follows: Damaged protagonist falls for damaged athlete who has a complicated relationship with his father, a dead mother, and one close friend who provides comic relief.

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The Gambler (The Wedding Pact #3) by Denise Grover Swank. Read April 21-22. 4 Stars. 

I really enjoyed this. I totally shipped Noah and Libby and I had a fun time reading about all their crazy adventures. One particular scene involving a big wedding dress and a public restroom made me laugh out loud. I did struggle with Libby a bit, though. Since it’s been so long since I read the previous books, I can’t remember if she was always so frustrating, but she really got on my nerves here. She did a ridiculous and crazy thing, after a history of doing ridiculous and crazy things, and then she got mad when her friends called her out on it. I also wish Swank wouldn’t have waited until almost the end of the book to reveal the root of Libby’s issues. I think I would have been less frustrated with her if we found out about it earlier. However, the rest of the book was so cute that these things didn’t really lessen my enjoyment at all.

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Focused by Karla Sorensen. Read April 21-23. 3.5 Stars

It took me a while to get into this, but about a third of the way in I really started to enjoy it. I was a little annoyed with Molly towards the end, but everything worked out in a cute way. I did like seeing Paige and Logan again. I’m definitely going to check out more books by this author.

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Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram. Read April 26. 4 Stars.

This was both really sad and really sweet. Ella is in a car accident that kills her mother and leaves her with scars on 70% of her body and mobility issues. She moves across the country to stay with her father who she hasn’t seen in ten years when he basically abandoned her. She has to deal with a lot of cruel people who make fun of her because of her scars, as well as new dysfunctional family dynamics. I really didn’t like her dad. I thought what he did and the reasons he did it were spineless and I think he should have been a little sorrier than he was. I also didn’t really like his new wife and I wish they would have handled the wicked stepsisters a little better than they did. Though, by the end of the book they have a lot of therapy and things do start to get better between them all and I liked that.

It took me a long time to get on board the romance. I found Brian (aka “Cinder”) really unlikable for awhile. Pretty much any time he wasn’t interacting with Ella, he was a dick. He did grow on me, though, and I shipped him and Ella. I’m a little nervous to read the next book because I feel like Ella’s already had to go through so much and I don’t want to see more bad things happen to her, which you know there has to be if a Romance/Family Drama gets a sequel. I still plan on reading it, though. I did really enjoy this, even if I had some issues with it.

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Fallen Crest Campout by Tijan. Read April 28. 3.5 Stars.

This was a quick, fun foray back into the Fallen Crest universe. There was still some immature drama, but for the most part it was a more grown up look at the Kades and I liked that. There was also the inclusion of characters from the Crew series, which spun off from Fallen Crest, and even though I haven’t read those yet, I didn’t feel too lost on the new characters. If you’re a fan of Fallen Crest, you should definitely check this one out.

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Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier. Read April 27-29. 2 Stars. 

I am so disappointed! I loved Jar of Hearts and have been waiting for Hillier’s next book ever since. I found this really underwhelming, though. It was super predictable with really unlikable characters. It read a lot more like a Women’s Fiction book than a mystery/thriller. The majority of the book revolved around a cheating plotline, which annoyed me. I kept waiting for all these great, twisty reveals and found absolutely none of them surprising. Just another hyped book that let me down.

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

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The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. I absolutely loved this just as much the second time around. I had forgotten how it really puts you through the emotional wringer. It was still a bit too long. I still wanted to punch Nick right in the face a few times. But I loved it so much. I loved Bex and Nick and watching their relationship unfold. I will say, though, that if Lacey meets an untimely demise in the sequel, I will not be sad.

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From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata. I still liked this a lot the second time around, but not quite as much as I was expecting. I forgot how unlikable Jasmine was about 90% of the time. For some reason I had less patience for her behavior this time around. I still loved Ivan, though, and the romance.

*****DNF*****

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Teardrop Shot by Tijan. DNF @ 10%. I just couldn’t get into this. I found the main character really off-putting and couldn’t take any more of her.

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The Best Mistake by Cookie O’Gorman. DNF @ 26%. I wanted to like this, but it’s just not for me. The dialogue made me cringe and everything the main character did just made me roll my eyes. I’ve seen some really good reviews on it, though, so it could just be me.

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

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The Heir Affair (Royal We #2) by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan – 4 Stars

The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda – 3.5 Stars

The Vacation by T.M. Logan – 4 Stars

The Bright Lands by John Fram – 2.5 Stars

Always A Bridesmaid by Cindi Madsen – 4 Stars

Beach Read by Emily Henry – 4 Stars

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Kindle Unlimited Books of 2019

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is about books you hope to find under your Christmas tree, but I decided to change it up and do My top ten favorite Kindle Unlimited Books I read in 2019. I’ve had 3 different 2-3 month subscriptions of KU this year. I only sign up for it when I can get a good deal on it (they’ve ranged from 2 months for free to 3 months for $1.99) and that is usually when I get all my cheesy or angsty contemporaries in – but sometimes I come across a book I really enjoyed and that’s what this list is for.

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1., 2., & 3. R.S. Grey is the big Kindle Unlimited winner for me. I’ve read several of her books through KU, but these three are the ones that really stood out to me: Hotshot DocNot So Nice GuyThe Allure of Julian LeFray.

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4. Huge Deal (21 Wall Street #3) by Lauren Layne

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5. The Stand-in Boyfriend by Emma Doherty

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6. Let’s Get Textual by Teagan Hunter. This was actually a re-read for me – and that’s how much I love it!

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7. & 8.  Girl at Heart by Kelly Oram and One of the Girls by Robin Daniels. 2 authors, 1 series, and some seriously adorable YA romance.

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9. A Killer’s Mind by Mike Omer.

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10. Faking Under the Mistletoe by Ashley Shepherd.

Have you uncovered any gems in Kindle Unlimted?

Reviewing the Unreviewed: November 2019

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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I Knead You Tonight (Slice Series #2) by Teagan Hunter. Read November 3-4. 3 Stars. 

This was compulsively readable, had some sweet romantic moments, and some good banter, but it ended up being just ok for me. The characters were a little more crass than I generally like and it kind of brought down my overall enjoyment. I also didn’t really like Drew. I felt like she was never called out for her reverse snobbery when it came to why she “hated” Winston and she didn’t really take responsibility for the fact that he was only mean to her in response to her being mean to him. While I did like the sweet moments between them, they were mostly a dysfunctional couple and were a little hard to root for. However, by the end they both grew a lot and I liked that.

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Engaging Mr. Darcy by Rachel John. Read October 31 – November 10. 3 Stars. 

Pretty cheesy, but had some cute moments. Not bad for a KU pick, but not one I would want to read again.

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Girl at Heart by Kelly Oram. Read November November 14-15. 3.5 Stars

This was so cute! And also a little cheesy. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed it, there were a few things that kept me from giving it a full four stars. Charlie was likable enough, but I thought she talked a little too much about how rich she was. And what an amazing athlete she was. And while she did have insecurities about her appearance, once she had her make-over she started using words like “gorgeous” to describe herself. She just seemed really full of herself sometimes and had zero self-awareness about it. But other than that, the story was cute (reminded me of On the Fence by Kasie West sometimes) and Jace was the absolutely sweetest character I’ve ever read. I completely adored him and his romance with Charlie. I’m going to try and read more books from this author while I still have my KU subscription.

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Thirteen (Eddie Flynn #4) by Steve Cavanagh. Read November 12-18. 4 Stars. 

I liked this. It wasn’t quite as suspenseful as I had anticipated, but it was a good court room procedural with some surprises. I thought the angle with the serial killer was interesting and the story was well plotted. This is the fourth book in the series, but it’s the first one I read and I found it worked well as a standalone. There was a few relationship histories that I felt I was missing out on, but nothing that left me confused. I’m definitely going to check out more from this author.

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The Whisper Man by Alex North. Read November 18-22. 3 Stars. 

This was decent, but I don’t really get the hype for it. There were a couple of ok surprises, but wasn’t really much a of thriller. Is “Men’s Fiction” a genre? Because this read a lot like Women’s Fiction to me, except about men. It’s a multi-generational tale of fathers and sons and it really focuses on family and emotions more than anything else.

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One of the Girls by Robin Daniels. Read November 24-26. 3.5 Stars.

This was pretty cute, if slightly unrealistic. I adored Nick, though. There was some fun banter and I shipped the romance. 

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

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Call Down the Hawk (Dreamer Trilogy #1)  by Maggie Stiefvater. I read the prologue for this and didn’t get farther than that. I just really wasn’t in the mood for this story, but I will definitely try it later. I might wait until the other two books are published first so I don’t have to wait.