What I Read This Week: January 23, 2022

I finished three books this week, including my first five star read of the year!

The Arc by Tory Henwood Hoen

Contemporary fiction/romance

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Advanced copy from NetGalley, expected publication February 8, 2022 I read a lot of romance novels and this one is different in many good ways. It reads more like literary fiction than a typical romance novel. In fact, I wasn’t always sure what type of book this was going to end up being. Ultimately, it’s a love story but it’s also Ursula’s journey to being happy with herself as a person. I loved Ursula and Rafael as individual characters and together. It was interesting to learn about what kinds of people pay $50,000 for an elaborate matchmaking service when they are guaranteed to meet their one true love. This book has a lot of heart, it’s also funny, and thought provoking. I recommend it for readers of romance and literary fiction.

The Mane Event by Shelly Laurenston

Paranormal romance

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Book one in the Pride series. I’m not sure why this needed to be two stories in one book. Neither was particularly short. I liked that they tied together well, it made for a smooth transition into the second story. As for the stories themselves, I thoroughly enjoyed them. The humor is fantastic and the sex scenes are hot. I appreciate that the author is obviously knowledgable about animals to get the personalities just right for each shifter. The writing isn’t particularly strong, but I’m willing to overlook that for the great characters and fun stories. I recommend this for readers of paranormal romance but I disliked the formatting in the Kindle edition so I suggest you find another format.

These Precious Days by Ann Patchett

Essay collection

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This is my first five star read of 2022. It’s an absolutely delightful collection of essays. Patchett writes with honesty and vulnerability. The essays cover a wide range of topics, from dogs to family to cancer to the pandemic and of course books. All of them contain lots of emotion and humor. While some of the pieces are sad, overall this is a hopeful, life-affirming book. I highly recommend it for Patchett’s fans and any readers of personal essays.

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