First month of the year is over! That means that it’s time for me to do my January Monthly Reading Wrap Up! What a month this was too.
Wrap Up Statistics:
Books Read: 16
Pages Read: 5,806
Average Rating: 3.81
January Monthly Reading Wrap Up:
Here are the books! From my most favorite of the month to the least favorite! I hope that you find some that interest you, and please let me know what you’ve read. I’m always excited to learn about great books from others too!! I’ve put them from my least favorite to my most favorite of the month!
1.) My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
Get it Here | 2.5/5 Rating | Finished 01.02
Millie and Reid were not the right pick for the main characters. I can’t quite figure out Millie, she’s friendly and outgoing but shares nothing about herself and is incredibly dull. Reid is one of those smart pretentious douches without a single deductive clue in his pretty little head. Perhaps I’m being harsh (I probably am because I’m writing this late at night). But these two traipse their way through the novel sleeping together, not actually talking to each other, pissing off all their friends, and catfishing online. The one big redeeming factor of the novel is their other three friends. I would have much rather read a book about any of them as they all seem more mature in the emotional department. Do I recommend this one? Not really. Do I wish I had picked another book to start the new (and hopefully better) new year? Yes. Read my entire mini-review here.
2.) The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Get it Here | 3.75/5 Rating | Finished 01.03
This is a better book than the first Christina Lauren book I read. Olive and Ethan hate each other. In a lucky/unlucky series of events they’re stuck with each other on an inclusive Hawaiian honeymoon for 10 days. Poor them. I actually didn’t mind this one. I found both Olive and Ethan to be likable and I loved the family dynamics with both characters. Olive’s twin sister, Ami, was my favorite character in the book because she’s the only one to have any prerogative to do anything. It’s a simple, fun read. While it is rather predictable there are enough twists and turns (especially at the end) to keep you entertained the entire read. I do recommend this one! Specifically on a beach with a mai tai in hand. Read my full review here.
3.) Beach Read By Emily Henry
Get it Here | 5/5 Rating | Finished 01.08
Beach Read is not a fluffy romance beach read. It is a romance novel that analyzes why people stay and suffer through horrible actions, why good people do terrible things, and how our mindset on life can shape our world and how easily it can change. While I really enjoy romance novels, I love when they dig deeper into the characters and give them painful (yet reasonable) backstories. Ugh, that is my stuff right there! And when it makes sense to their personalities and their work and way of life. Hell yes. Beach Read was beautifully paced, the characters actions made sense, the plot was great with constant twists and addition of new information, and the writing was phenomenal. There aren’t enough words for me to properly explain why I loved this book. It has easily made its way on my favorites list. I highly recommend reading this book! Henry has another novel coming out in May that may already be pre-ordered. Read my full review here.
4.) Bringing Down the Duke By Evie Dunmore
Get it Here | 4.5/5 Rating | Finished: 01.10
Do you want a phenomenal historical romance with a lead who supports the suffragette movement and is highly intelligent? This book’s got it! I really liked that Annabelle had clear goals in the novel, which are the opposite of Sebastian (cue romantic tension!), and Sebastian has spent his entire life keeping up the dukedom by putting his duties above himself. The best part of the novel was watching both Annabelle and Sebastian realize their own mistakes and issues, and then changing them selves to be better. Their conversations were beautiful! Additionally, the themes of intellect, freedom, safety, and voice were potent as they were sprinkled into the novel as conversational points. So good. I do recommend this novel! Read my full review here.
5.) How to Hack a Heartbreak by Kristin Rockaway
Get it Here | 3.5/5 Rating | Finished 01.12
Melanie is an underemployed help desk worker at a start-up incubator. She deals with assholes at work and with online dating. Pissed off at everyone she creates JerkAlert, an app where women can warn others about dick pics, being stood up, and other issues with men. The novel is pushed as a romance novel, but I found it be more of a feminist critique of app dating and the perils of judgement. That’s not to say that there isn’t romance in it, actually the whole novel is based on it, but the romantic storyline isn’t the main focus. It’s more of a subplot, which is felt in the lack of characterization of Melanie’s love interest, but her friends are well established. Overall it is a good read and I do recommend it! It’s a fun story with a very realistic issue underneath the pink exterior. Read my full review here.
6.) Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore
Get it Here | 4/5 Rating | Finished 01.14
This is the sequel to Bringing Down the Duke and follow’s suffragette Lucie’s story. Lucie is steadfast in her progressive views of women and is sure of who she is. When she finally is able to purchase 50% of a publishing company, her childhood nemesis, Tristian Ballentine, takes up the other half. What starts is a battle of desire. It took me quite a while in the book to figure out exactly Lucie’s intentions and plans, which was annoying, but I really enjoyed Tristian’s actions. There were some issues with the portrayal of India and Afghanistan in the novel which I definitely would have preferred not to have been there or handled better. Beyond that the tension was good, the dialogue was enjoyable, and it was wrapped up nicely at the end. I cannot wait for the third one in this series to come out! I do recommend this book! You don’t have to read Bringing Down the Duke first, but it does help with the characterization of secondary characters. Read my full review here.
7.) Duchess If You Dare by Annabelle Bryant
Get it Here | 3/5 Rating | Finished 01.16
I received an advanced copy from NetGalley and Kensington Books in exchange for an honest review. Scarlett isn’t your typical regency gal. She’s independent and badass. When one of her friends goes missing she starts to look for her. Duke Ambrose is searching for the same woman and their desire to solve the mystery creates an alliance between them. Duchess If You Dare is very different than other regency romances that I’ve read, but it’s pretty good. There’s a lot of say and not a lot of show. Between the growing attraction between Scarlett and Ambrose to Scarlett’s past to Ambrose’s life. I just found the book to be lacking any substantial detail and I wanted more. Additionally, the continuous repetition of the characters could have been cut down more to make the read smoother and more enjoyable. But the plot was entertaining and I do recommend picking it up when it comes out March 30, 2021. Read my full review here.
8.) The Dating Plan by Sara Desai
Get it Here | 4/5 Rating | Finished 01.21
I didn’t read The Marriage Plan before this so I knew going in I was probably going to be missing a couple of details from it. But The Dating Plan is cute, sweet, funny, endearing, and everything you’d want from a romance novel! I loved Liam’s character. He’s just an all around excellent human. I found Daisy and Liam’s romance to be adorable and it was nice watching them transition from former friends to something more. While it is a little annoying that Liam ditched Daisy on her prom and then didn’t communicate again for 10 years and this is brought up a lot, it’s understandable why. I mean Liam was apart of their family basically and then just vanished, I would be annoyed too. Read my full review here.
9.) Notorious by Minerva Spencer
Get it Here | 2.75/5 Rating | Finished 01.23
I liked the book and then I also didn’t like the book. The first two chapters were really good and got me hooked, but the rest of the book didn’t develop from there. I found the book to lack much depth, had a questionable approach to Gabriel (who is half-Algerian and half-British–you can see where this goes can’t you), and provided a lackluster romance. I wanted to like it though! I’m honestly conflicted on whether I like it or not. The premise and parts of the novel were promising, but how Spencer took on Gabriel just makes me hesitant to say that I liked it. I have come to the realization that this series (Rebels of the Ton) are a secondary series to another one that Spencer had written, but you can understand this book all the same. Read my full review here.
10.) The Trouble With Hating You by Sajni Patel
Get it Here | 5/5 Rating | Finished 01.24
TW: Sexual Assault, Death, Trauma, and Domestic/Verbal Abuse.
Hello to one of my favorites! This story follows Liya and Jay, whom after having a disastrous first meeting find that they are seemingly running into each other everywhere. Duh, duh, duh! It was such a good read. From the beautiful characterizations to the plot and descriptions. Just a stunning novel all around. I fell in love with Jay’s character. He is kind, caring, and just the right amount of smugness that makes you love him. Liya is incredibly strong and resilient. I don’t know how she could be that strong in the face of everything she’s dealt with. It’s not a light book, but it’s worth every page. Just go get the book and let us discuss all of it’s excellence!!! Read my full review of it here.
11.) Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare
Get it Here | 2.5/5 Rating | Finished 01.24
I’m just going to be straight-up honest with you all, I didn’t like the book. It wasn’t my cup of tea. Between the cartoon-like characters and outlandish plot I found things hard to like. First there’s Izzy who goes around pretending for these people who love her father’s stories (it becomes so much worse once you’ve actually read the whole book–I’m not putting any spoilers in this!!). Then add a grumpy-ass duke who wants no help from anyone. Guess what freaking happens? Little-miss-sunshine makes the grump duke’s life *better* and happier through being herself and being oh so quirky. I mean there’s more to it, but not a whole lot. One thing I did like about the book is that Ransom is blind, well mostly. You don’t typically find characters that are anything but able bodied in romance, especially historical romance. I did appreciate that aspect of him. Read my full review of it here.
12.) Outrageous by Minerva Spencer
Get it Here | 3.5/5 Rating | Finished 01.26
I received an advanced copy from NetGalley and Kensington Books in exchange for an honest review.
When I finished reading Notorious I immediately went to check to see when the next book was coming out. I happily found it on NetGalley and requested it. To my delight I got a copy! (Thank You Kensington Books!!!). Let me just say this book is a much better delight than Notorious. I found the characters had more depth to them, the romance was more believable and enjoyable, and I liked the plot. While I did have issues with some plotting and characters arcs, it was a fun read. I only put the book down once when I realized I had been reading too late and couldn’t keep my eyes open. My main wish was that it was longer and more drawn out, but otherwise it was so good.
13.) Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner
Get it Here | 4/5 Rating | Finished 01.26
This book was not what I expected it to be. I don’t really know what I expected it to be, but not whatever I read. It was good though! It starts off with Daphne’s life up until the wedding with consistent flashbacks to give you a well rounded view of how Daphne came to be an influencer, her issues with her weight, and her turbulent relationship with Drue. The flash backs in the first half are powerful. You learn so much about Daphne and the vignettes are poignant. The first half was my favorite part and if she would have continued that writing style throughout the novel I would have been completely content, even if it did make the book longer. Read my full review of it here.
14.) Ten Rules For Faking It by Sophie Sullivan
Get it Here | 3.25/5 Rating | Finished 01.28
I was really in love with this book until about 70% done. The last 30% of the book is what got me. The first 70% is sweet as hell and makes you feel all soft and warm inside. The plot isn’t the most original, but the depth of the characters is what keeps you involved. I loved peaking inside of their lives. Everly, Chris, and Stacey were all phenomenal characters that I wish I got a little more from with wrapping things up! The last 30% is where my feelings for the novel change. All of a sudden there are issues that aren’t brought up before and feels really really weird. I was set on giving this a 4.5/5 until then. Ugh. I’m not saying it was a bad read, rather it just disappointed me at the end. Read my full review here.
15.) Teddy Spenser Isn’t Looking For Love by Kim Fielding
Get it Here | 3.25/5 Rating | Finished 01.30
Two men who don’t like each other are forced to work on the same project and then present it to a quirky, rich lady for funding. It’s cute. It fits all of the bills for a nice romance novel. But the beginning of the book felt off to me and the whole concept of the story was… quirky? The whole idea of a rich woman flying these two men out to complete tasks for the sake of funding for their company was outlandish. While it made for some sweet moments the whole book felt strange. I liked Teddy and Romeo’s relationship, but it felt really quick. Like they found each other and bam! they’re in love. Overall it was a cute read.
16.) The Heiress Gets a Duke by Harper St. George
Get it Here | 5/5 Rating | Finished 01.31
I really, really, really liked this book. It had everything I could want in it! I love this time period for novels, a working and determined heroine, a hero who respects her, enough banter, sizzling chemistry, AND it’s so well written! If I could reread this book again for the first time I would. August is a heroine that doesn’t want or need a man. She works for her family’s company and wants to keep it that way, thus marriage isn’t an option for her. She’s fiercely independent, wants her family to be proud of her, and incredibly quick. Evan is a duke that was never meant to be a duke. The lengths that he goes to for his family is endearing and the way that he treats August is so perfect. Their conversations are fabulous. Read my full review here.
Am I a month late on this? Yeah, but you know sometimes things get away from you! But it’s here now and hopefully I’ll get February’s out sooner than this one (fingers crossed).