Reviewing the Unreviewed: December 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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His Royal Highness by R.S. Grey. Read November 22-December 1. 3.5 Stars. 

It took awhile to get into this, but I did end up enjoying it overall. I had a hard time with Whitney for about the first half of the book, but I did ship grown up Whitney and Derek together and I liked the theme park setting.

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Not So Nice Guy by R.S. Grey. Read December 1. 4 Stars. 

I love a good Friends-to-More story and this was pretty cute. Sam was a little over dramatic, but other than that I found her likable enough and I liked Ian a lot. Though there were a few things I had issues with here and there, this is the first book in a long time that has really caught my interest and didn’t let go. I read it in a day, so it’s getting 4 stars from me.

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The Allure of Julian LeFray by R.S. Grey. Read December 1-3. 4 Stars. 

I enjoyed this. The characters were likable and I thought they went really well together. I honestly expected a lot more angst in their relationship than there was and I liked that. The one thing that brought it down for me was the whole “janitor gets put in a high fashion runway show” thing. Just a little too unbelievable. I also would’ve liked more of an epilogue for the relationship between Julian and Jo. I know that they’ll show up in the next book, but I’m a little hesitant to read it because of how much I disliked Lily in this book. I’m not sure I can take a whole book of her.

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Enemies by Tijan. Read December 6-7. 3.5 Stars

My first Tijan book. It took me a bit to click with her writing style, but I enjoyed the book, overall. Dusty was super frustrating, but she made some progress throughout the story. I thought the portrayal of depression and anxiety was really well done. And while I had issues with their relationship at times, I did ship Dusty and Stone.

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Faking Under the Mistletoe by Ashley Shepherd. Read December 7-10. 4 Stars. 

I enjoyed this a lot. There was some great banter and plenty of cute moments. I thought Olivia and Asher were really good together and they gave me some The Hating Game vibes, which I loved. It did feel a little unfocused at times, though, and I could have done with Olivia being a less less pervy sometimes. Overall, though, it was cute and definitely one I recommend.

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Girl in Luv (In Luv Duet #1) by Jay Crownover and Rebecca Yarros. Read December 10-12. 3.5 Stars. 

First off, I absolutely love the cover for this so much. I thought the main characters were likable and enjoyed their fake relationship. I expected this to be really angsty, but it wasn’t and I liked that. I was kind of bored for large parts of it, though. There really wasn’t much to it, but it was an easy read. I do plan on reading the next book.

I do have one little rant, though. This series is on Kindle Unlimited right now, but apparently you originally had to pre-order a book from one of the authors to get it as a bonus and to get the second book in the series you had to pre-order a book from the other author. I don’t like that at all. What if you loved this story, but had zero interest in the book you had to pre-order to get the second half of this story? It just seems wrong to me.

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Inside Out by Demi Moore. Read December 16-17. 4 Stars. 

I’ve never been a huge Demi Moore fan, but I was still really looking forward to reading this book. She definitely has led a crazy life and has overcome a lot of dysfunction. I appreciated that she was willing to really lay everything out in the open. She did take responsibility for a lot of things she did wrong, but there were a few times where she really painted herself as the victim, much like her mother did, and didn’t seem to recognize that. (There were also many, many times where she was definitely a victim of an atrocity and I am not talking about those instances in her youth here.) Overall, I enjoyed this book and learning more about Demi.

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Boy in Luv (In Luv Duet #2) by Jay Crownover and Rebecca Yarros. Read December 18-19. 3 Stars. 

Pretty slow-paced and not a lot happened. It wasn’t bad, but this isn’t a series I would pick up again.

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The Boss Who Stole Christmas (Reindeer Falls #1) by Jana Aston. Read December 21. 3 Stars. 

This had some cute moments and for the most part I liked the relationship between the main characters. It’s a short book, though, and while that has it’s merits, I don’t feel like I got enough time to really get invested in them. There was also a sex scene in a church I found a little offensive. I don’t see myself continuing the series, but this wasn’t bad for a KU pick.

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The Accidentals by Sarina Bowen. Read December 22-23. 4 Stars. 

This author’s usual Romance books aren’t really for me, but Deanna suggested this YA book to me awhile ago and I finally gave it a try and I really loved it! It totally broke me out of my book slump. Very addictive writing with just the right amount of angst. There were plenty of frustrating moments – like the fact that Rachel and her father, Fredrick, don’t have an actual real discussion about why it took almost 18 years for him to meet her until after the 90% mark – but there were lots of cute and sweet moments that helped make up for it. I loved Jake a lot, especially his e-mails from the beginning. One thing I was missing, though, was the emotion from Rachel losing her mother. Maybe it’s because the story starts out after she has already passed, but I felt it should have been a lot more emotional than it was. For me, though, the emotional connection didn’t come until much later as she worked through her relationship with her father. Overall, this was a very different book than I expected it to be, but I really enjoyed it and am sorry I waited so long to read it.

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Kissmas Eve by M.E. Carter and Sara Ney. Read December 25-26. 2.5 Stars.

This was a short Christmas-Office-Romance. There were some funny moments, but overall I thought it was kind of cheesy and rushed and I didn’t really buy the romance.

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

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Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen. I really thought this would be right up my alley, but I had a hard time getting into it and only read two chapters. I do hope to give it another try some day, though.

*****DNF*****

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The Guy on the Right by Kate Stewart. DNF at 6%. Maybe if I wasn’t in such a mood I would give this one more of a chance, but I couldn’t even make myself finish the first chapter of this.

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The Kingmaker by Kennedy Ryan. DNF @ 4%. I thought there was a good probability I would DNF this book, but I didn’t guess it would be for political reasons. Too much of that in real life, I don’t want it in my books.

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Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson. DNF @ 8%. I read one chapter and kind of hated everything about it. I was going to try to read at least one more chapter, but now my library loan has expired and I know I’m never going to request this one again.

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The Allure of Dean Harper by R.S. Grey. DNF @ 14%. Yeah, no. I tried, but I can’t do this one. A couple chapters in where Dean goes on and on about how he only hires attractive people to work in his restaurants and even says it goes looks first and then experience when it comes to the hiring process just came off as so disgusting to me. And then there’s Lily. I thought I was going to have problems with her based on the previous book and I was right. Anybody who has ever worked in the service industry knows that you are going to have to deal with a lot of horrible customers and that you have to suck it up and do your job, no matter how much of a jerk they are. And while Dean was deliberately trying to fluster her, I think he was 100% in his right to fire her for her behavior and it REALLY annoyed me that he came off as the bad guy in that scenario (and it was just before that that I decided he was disgusting and didn’t like him, so that really says something that I feel the need to defend him).

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A Billion Times No by Kenzie Reed. DNF @ 33%. I thought this sounded kind of cute, but it’s just really not for me. I don’t really care for any of the characters and there’s some major cheesiness going on.

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Hate Notes by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward. DNF @ 19%. I thought this sounded cute and I have heard good things about it, but the main character is just driving me absolutely nuts.

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

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Together We Caught Fire by Eva V. Gibson – 3.5 Stars

The Better Liar by Tanen Jones – 2 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?

WWW Wednesday: December 4, 2019

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

What are you currently reading?

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I’m one chapter into Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen and I’m not quite sure about it yet. I might put it down and try something else.

What did you recently finish reading?

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His Royal HighnessNot So Nice GuyThe Allure of Julian LeFray by R.S. Grey.  I have been book slumping for quite awhile and apparently what I needed was some Contemporary/Romance. This author is often hit or miss for me, but I enjoyed all of these. His Royal Highness took me a long time to get into and was my least favorite of the three, but it still ended up ok for me. The others were both 4 stars.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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I’m not sure yet. I kind of want to continue my R.S. Grey binge, but I’m a little hesitant to read The Allure of Dean Harper because I really didn’t care for Lily in the previous book and she’s the main character of this one. I also just got Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger from the library.

What are you reading?

WWW Wednesday: November 27, 2019

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

What are you currently reading?

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His Royal Highness by R.S. Grey and Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson. I’ve been in a weird reading mood for what seems like months now. I’ve barely enjoyed anything I’ve read. His Royal Highness is ok so far, but I’m not super invested in the story or characters yet. I’ve read one chapter of Never Have I Ever and I honestly hated it. I’ve seen so many glowing reviews for it, but I’m thinking it will probably be a DNF for me. I am just completely not in the mood for this type of story right now.

What did you recently finish reading?

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One of the Girls by Robin Daniels. I have Kindle Unlimited for a couple months, so that means cheesy contemporaries and romances. This one was pretty cute, though. I loved Nick.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I really don’t know. I’m in such a mood that I have no idea what’s going to catch my interest.

What are you reading?

Reviewing the Unreviewed: June 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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Marriage for One by Ella Maise. Read May 31 – June 2. 3.5 Stars. 

This had a great slow burn romance that I loved. However, like the other book I’ve read by this author, once the slow burn developed into the actual relationship, I didn’t enjoy it quite as much. There were several explicit scenes and the end was a cheesefest. It was also a lot longer than it needed to be. However, if you’re a Romance fan and like slow burn, I still definitely recommend this one.

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Trashy Romance Novel by Jacqueline E. Smith. Read June 2-4. 3 Stars. 

Interesting idea, but a little underwhelming. I thought the big conflicts in the story were a little unbelievable. The main character published several books under a pen name and she keeps it a secret from her real life friends. But, she still does book signings and takes pictures and gives interviews and no one is supposed to figure it out? I thought what happened to her in high school that makes her refuse to tell people her real name was going to be something really intense, but it was just some poor decisions and a little bullying. I felt like the characters should have been aged down a lot for that to still have such an impact. 

I also thought it was odd that she was on set of the tv show for the whole shoot. She was a co-writer on the script, but she’s never consulted or has to do any actual work on the script while she’s there. She basically just stands around and watches them film. And the actors seem to get a whole lot of time off? I also HATED her best friend, Gemma. However, the romance was cute and there was some good banter here and there. It wasn’t bad for a Kindle Unlimited selection.

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Wild Reckless (Harper Boys #1) by Ginger Scott. Read June 8-10. 3.5 Stars. 

Cute, but super angsty – sometimes a little too over-dramatic. I shipped the romance, though there were times it didn’t seem all that healthy of a relationship. I thought the characters were well developed, though. Also, I found parts of Kensi’s relationship with her father relatable – I’m always up for seeing cheating, emotionally-abusive men get kicked to the curb.

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When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington. Read June 12-14. 3 Stars. 

A cute, summertime read. I liked the romance and the characters – though Olivia did annoy me sometimes. One thing that kind of seemed odd to me was that the story was told in alternating 1st person POV and it would sometimes change several times in one chapter. Which isn’t that big of a deal, but sometimes it would only be for a couple paragraphs at a time before switching back. I just didn’t really see the purpose in it. And since both voices sounded exactly the same, maybe this would have been better told in 3rd person? Anyways, it was still an enjoyable read, but the last quarter or so of the book could have been a little better for me. The ending felt really abrupt and I felt there could have been a little more detail and that’s why I’m dropping my rating down to 3 stars instead of 4.

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Coldhearted Boss by R. S. Grey. Read June 15-16. 3 Stars.

This was cute. I shipped the romance, but there were still plenty of things about it that I was kind of annoyed by. I thought they both acted really childish for way too long and I guess I expected a little more from all the hate-to-love antics.

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No Exit by Taylor Adams. Read June 17-21. 3 Stars.

This didn’t quite live up to the hype for me, but it wasn’t bad. I was hoping for a few more twists and surprises, though. I really loved to hate the main villain. I thought that characterization was pretty well done and made the book worth the read.

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A Pizza My Heart (Slice Series #1) by Teagan Hunter. Read June 21. 3.5 Stars.

As with all Hunter’s books, the addictive writing made this a fast read. I really loved about the first half. I’m all about the slow burn. I also loved the banter. I just felt like once they started to get together it became all about the physical relationship, which kind of cheapened the actual love story. I also wish the secondary characters were developed a little bit more. However, it was a quick fun read and I definitely shipped Wren and Foster.

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Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis. Read June 22-24. 4 Stars. 

I don’t listen to a lot of audio books, but I was going on a little trip and decided to browse through Hoopla to see what was available to listen to while I drove. I’m not that familiar with Rachel Hollis, but I have heard a lot of good things about her from other bloggers and decided to give this one a try. I’m glad I did. I am not really an ambitious person at all, but this made me feel inspired to start setting some small goals for myself – and then maybe some bigger goals. And while audio isn’t my favorite format because I can’t easily go back and look up passages I wanted to revisit, I think it really added to the experience to hear it narrated by Rachel herself. Definitely recommend this if you’re looking for something a little motivational.

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The Stand-In Boyfriend (Grove Valley High #1) by Emma Doherty. Read June 24-25. 4 Stars. 

I loved this. There were many ridiculous things and Livy kind of drove me crazy about 90% of the time, but I still loved it. Chase was so, so sweet and made up for everything else. A fun fake relationship story I recommend if you can deal with the angst.

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Four Doors Down (Becca McKenzie #1) by Emma Doherty. Read June 26-27. 3 Stars. 

Easy, quick read that was kind of addicting, but I did not like this one as much as the other book I have read by this author. The plot was different, but it felt really similar. Both books are about a completely oblivious girl who doesn’t realize the hot, popular guy is SUPER into her. Becca was a really unlikable character and I wish more than just the epilogue was told through Ryan’s POV. Becca was always going on about how other people were stuck up and thought they were too cool for her, but she was a complete jerk to everyone. I don’t even really want to read the next book because I don’t think I can handle any more of her. If you’re interested in this author, I would recommend The Stand-in Boyfriend, instead.

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

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The Proximity Principle by Ken Coleman.

This is for people who already know their passion and need to figure out how to achieve it, which is definitely not me yet, so this goes back on the shelf for another day.

*****DNF*****

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Rule #1: You Can’t Date the Coach’s Daughter by Ann-Marie Meyer.

DNF @ 30%. Found this on Kindle Unlimited and thought it might be cute. However, the writing isn’t great and the main character is a bit of a psycho.

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Love at First Like by Hannah Orenstein.

DNF at 33%. I really wanted to like this book, but it just wasn’t for me. The writing wasn’t bad, but the story was far-fetched and the main character was AWFUL. She was so shallow and selfish and she had zero self-awareness. I think that there will probably be a lot of people that can overlook those things and enjoy this, but I’m not one of them.

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Chasing Clouds by Kathryn Andrews.

DNF @ 14%. This seems a little unbelievable, but it has potential. However, I put this down because it hadn’t really grabbed me and I just don’t feel interested in picking it back up again.

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

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Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham – 3 Stars

WWW Wednesday: June 19, 2019

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

What are you currently reading?

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No Exit by Taylor Adams. This is one I’ve been looking forward to for awhile. It’s started off pretty slow, but I’m starting to get into it more now.

What did you recently finish reading?

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When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington and Coldhearted Boss by R.S. Grey. Both were ok, but kind of forgettable.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham. I need to get back on track with my ARCs.

What are you reading?

Reviewing the Unreviewed: February 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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99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne. Read February 1-2. 3 Stars. 

After reading a lot of mixed reviews, I went into this one cautiously and I think that helped. I mostly enjoyed it, but I did have some issues with it. I felt like Thorne tried just a little too hard to make Darcy the complete opposite of nice, people-pleasing Lucy from The Hating Game. She was a little too much sometimes. I did like the general storyline of the romance between childhood friends and Darcy’s relationship with her twin brother. I just felt like so much of the story was overtaken with Darcy’s pervy thoughts about Tom. I thought it really cheapened the love story. Overall, I liked the beginning and the end, but most of the middle I just kind of got through. I have to say, though, my favorite part of the whole thing was that there was bonus content that included an epilogue for The Hating Game. This may not be one I would want to read again, but I’d still be interested in more from Thorne in the future.

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The Foxe & the Hound by R.S. Grey. Read January 31 – February 4. 3 Stars

This one was just ok for me. I thought it was going to be a fake relationship story, but that plot line only lasts about a chapter, which was disappointing to me. I liked the characters and the dog and there were some funny moments, but overall I don’t think this is one that will leave any kind of lasting impression for me.

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Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West. Read February 5-6. 4 Stars. 

Another enjoyable Kasie West book. I liked the movie set atmosphere and the characters and the romance was cute. The movie scenes left a little to be desired for me, though. If you like West’s other books, you’ll like this one, too.

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Text Me Baby One More Time (Text #4) by Teagan Hunter. Read February 10-11. 3.5 Stars. 

Another enjoyable book in the Text series. Hunter’s writing is really addictive which makes these pretty fast reads. When the main characters of this book appeared in previous books I didn’t really care for either of them at all, so I was happy that I did like them here. I liked their texting past and the whole hate-to-love thing. This series is a little more full-on Romance Novel then I usually read and I feel like as the series goes on they keep getting more explicit, which I don’t love, but it was still a fun read overall.

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King of the Friend Zone (Power of the Matchmaker) by Sheralyn Pratt. Read February 17-20. 3 Stars. 

This was just ok for me. Esme kind of infuriated me about half the time. I liked Hunter a little more, but he was a bit of a hothead, so I didn’t love him as much I had hoped for. The whole magic cookie lady thing was a bit odd. This book has been on my TBR for quite a while, so I’m glad I read it, but it’s not one I would be interested in reading again.

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Dizzy by Nyrae Dawn and Jolene Perry. Read February 20-23. 3 Stars.

Parts of this were cute, but for the most part a whole lot of nothing happened. I also found the whole plot surrounding the couple getting married odd. They’re in college (sophomores or juniors, I can’t remember) and get engaged and then decide to take a semester off to plan the wedding and get married. And all the parents are just fine with it. And there’s no talk about where they’ll live or how they’ll support themselves – although the guy’s family is super rich, so I guess he has a trust fund to take care of them? It just seemed really irresponsible to me. I think it would have made more sense if they had just graduated college. Anyways, this was another book that’s been on my TBR for a long time and I’m glad to get it off the list. 

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A Curse so Dark and Lonely (A Curse so Dark and Lonely #1) by Brigid Kemmerer. Read February 25-27. 3.5 Stars

I enjoyed this one. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairytales, so I’m always up for a good re-telling and I thought this did a decent job of that. There were times it felt really reminiscent of A court of Thorns and Roses, but I ultimately thought this one was better written. I liked Rhen and Grey a lot. I completely despised Harper for about the first half of the book, though. I really have a hard time connecting with characters that are so antagonistic and needlessly reckless. She eventually got a little better for me. I did like the romance, though it wasn’t as prevalent as I would have expected. I also didn’t realize this is a series and am kind of disappointed by that. With just a couple of small changes, this could have very easily been a standalone and I would have been happy with it. I’ll read the next book, but it’s not going to make my “most anticipated” list or anything.

*****Re-Reads*****

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Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills. I could not concentrate on anything, so I decided to re-read something so I could skim through it, but then I got invested and there was no skimming and I basically read this book in one sitting. Loved it just as much as the first time around.

*****DNF*****

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What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon. DNF-ed at 47%. Though I have definitely enjoyed both from time to time, I’m not currently much of a fan of Historical Fiction or Fantasy. I have never really cared for time-traveling plots in particular. However, I’m a big fan of Amy Harmon and that’s why I picked up this book. Unfortunately, it was not enough for me to love it. I had a really hard time getting into the story and I decided to set it down for awhile and I read a couple of other books. I finally tried picking this up again and still couldn’t get into it. It was at 47% that I decided to stop reading and then I just kind of skimmed to the end. I didn’t really find the end very satisfying (mostly due to my time-traveling plotline feelings) so I’m glad I decided to call it when I did. However, everyone else I know has loved it and I wish Harmon nothing but the best. I’ll still definitely be picking up more books from her in the future.

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Starworld by Audrey Coulthurst and Paula Garner. DNF at 23%. I just couldn’t get into this book at all. I think it will have a very specific audience that will love it, but I am not that audience. I found it kind of depressing and quirky and other than the very pretty cover, I don’t really have anything positive to say about it and I really couldn’t make myself read anymore. I found Sam incredibly off-putting. I found the writing in her chapters especially were just not my style.

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

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Passion on Park Avenue (Central Park Pact #1) by Lauren Layne – 3 Stars

Fumbled (Playbook #2) by Alexa Martin – 4 Stars

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin – 3 Stars