What I Read This Week: January 9, 2022

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Hello and welcome to my first blog post of the new year. I was sick with bronchitis all last week so I didn’t get any blogging done, however I did manage to read seven books!

Getting His Game Back by Gia de Cadenet

Contemporary romance

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Advanced copy from NetGalley, expected publication January 25, 2022.

This slow burn romance was a bit too slow for my liking, the characters didn’t even kiss until 50% in. While I understand why it took them a long time to come together, it was drawn out and repetitive leading up to it. What I did like about the story is the way it handled interracial dating. I’ve read several such romance novels but they all tend to gloss over the tough parts. Here, Vanessa is is honest from the start about why she doesn’t think a white man could be a fitting partner for her. Both she and Khalil have to face the ugly truths about her concerns and work through them. I also appreciate how the author handles mental health, particularly when it comes to men. Khalil’s struggles are realistic. This is a story with heart and humor but also heaviness and depth. I recommend this one for readers who enjoy a slow burn romance. 

Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead by Elle Cosimano


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Advanced copy from NetGalley, expected publication February 1, 2022.

I liked this book just fine. It had a compelling mystery, some solid humor, and fascinating characters. But it was missing something the first book had. Some of this may be because I listened to the first one on audio, and that was spectacular, but that’s not the only difference. The author’s note explains she struggled writing this book during the COVID pandemic, so that may explain it. The laugh out loud moments and the shocking reveals just weren’t here this time. I liked that this book picked up right where the last one ended. I’m glad I read it and I’d probably pick up another in the series but I wouldn’t be in a rush to get an advanced copy, like I was with this one. I recommend this one for readers who liked the first, it definitely can’t be read as a stand alone.

Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron

Contemporary romance

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This is the second romance novel I’ve read recently that centers round arranged marriage. I didn’t expect to enjoy them so much. What this novel is truly about is familial expectations and what is means when you let your family down to stay true to yourself. That resonates with me even though I’ve faced it in very different ways. This book also tackles family secrets and how they can cause tension. This book has great humor and some really swoon-worthy moments It’s also pretty sexy fort theta fact that it’s closed door (meaning the actual sex scenes aren’t included.)This was a quick read, enjoyable from start to finish, and made me think a lot. I loved Reena and Nadim, they were great together and their individual journeys were relatable. Even the side characters were great. I highly recommend this one for readers of romance.

On Location by Sarah Smith

Contemporary romance

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This novel is funny, charming, and sexy. I loved the setting of National Parks, especially Utah because it was unique and picturesque. I could easily image the landmarks the author described as well as the heat and grit of the hiking trails. I always enjoy a second chance romance too, so that made this story even better. The main characters had great chemistry and some hilarious moments as they fumble through coming together. All the side characters were well developed too and added to the enjoyment of the story. This novel makes a statement about sexual harassment that was refreshing in a romance novel. It was a little awkward at times but I appreciate the author writing strong male characters who stood up for what was right, even if it took them a while to get there. I highly recommend this for readers of rom-coms, especially if you prefer a little heaviness with your romance.

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Contemporary fiction

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Oh this book is one heck of an emotional roller coaster. I read it in a single day, which made the story even more intense. Or I should says stories plural because there are two different threads here. Hannah moves home to LA, meets up with an ex and is faced with a decision: to stay out with him that night or head home and take things slow. The book follows what happens in two different stories – what happened when she stayed and what happened when she went home. In each thread, things are revealed that the reader knows will affect the alternate story but those characters don’t know yet. It made for an intense reading experience, I was utterly hooked from the moment the two timelines popped up. I highly recommend this for readers of contemporary fiction and romance, although it’s not a romance novel in the traditional sense.

You Lucky Dog by Julia London

Contemporary romance

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Two and a half stars rounded up. This book had some sweet, charming moments but it also had quite a few problems. Mostly, it’s just too dang long and drawn out. The actual romance between the two main characters is more of a side plot point than the main focus of the book. It’s as if the books is about all that’s going on in each character’s life and then they just so happen to overlap in the romance department. There is SO MUCH going on in this book. Each character has a hectic life filled with lots of side characters, so when their worlds combine, it was very frantic and hard to keep track of everyone. But with all that being said, I did love the premise here. Carly and Max have a perfect meet cute when their dog walker mixes up their basset hounds. I especially loved how critical the dogs were to the plot of the book, and to the couple’s relationship. I’d recommend this one for readers who don’t mind a slow burn, especially if you like stories about dogs.

Sacrifice by Katee Robert

Paranormal erotica

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I was expecting more since this is Katee Robert. I would have liked some more world building and backstory, which I know she’s great at. We jump right into the story in the first scene and things get hot right away, which is her style, but I never felt like I got a good understanding of the characters’ motivations. There are many intense sex scenes, which I enjoyed but there wasn’t much emotional involvement in the sex, which is another thing she’s so great at. I recommend this for readers of paranormal erotica who don’t need much plot.

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