What I Read This Week: May 29, 2022

Hello and welcome to the final weekend in May. How is this year going so fast?!

This week I finished six books and they were all pretty good.

Fred: An Unbecoming Woman by Annie Krabbenschmidt

Memoir

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Advanced copy from MindBuck Media, expected publication June 3, 2022 One of my goals for this year was to read more diversely and Fred is exactly the type of memoir I was hoping it would be. Actually it was even better than I hoped because it was flat out funny. Annie writes with honesty and vulnerability in a way I truly admire. I learned a lot about what it means to “come out” and why that can be so difficult. I appreciate Annie’s transparency in how she has felt about her sexuality and why it took so long for her to feel at home in her body/sexuality. I highly recommend this one for readers of memoir, particularly LGBTQ+ stories. 

The No Show by Beth O’Leary

Contemporary fiction

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

It’s difficult to discuss this book without spoiling it so I’ll keep things vague. I absolutely loved it so much! It ripped my heart out and put it back together, in the best way. The middle is a little confusing but the rest more than makes up for it. The author makes some choices while telling the story that feel manipulative but again, it’s worth it. It’s one of those books that you appreciate more once you’re finished than when you’re reading it. It’s important to note this is not a straight forward romance novel. It’s a love story for sure and has romance elements but it’s something all its own. Beth O’Leary is amazing when it comes to intertwining characters’ lives and telling a beautiful story. I highly recommend this one for her fans.

A Brush With Love by Mazey Eddings

Contemporary romance

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

This is a nearly perfect romance novel. The hero has tension with a parent that resolves way too easily. It doesn’t feel like the rest of the book. Otherwise, this book is a gem. It has everything I need in a romance: witty banter between the love interests, sharp writing, enjoyable side characters, heaviness, and of course hot sex scenes. 
I had put this book off for a long time because I hate anything dental related and didn’t want to read about it. But the good reviews kept showing up on my Instagram feed so I finally gave it a chance and I’m SO GLAD I did. While having some great humor, this story also tackles some difficult subjects. Grief is a huge topic as well as familial drama/guilt and mental health. Another one of my favorite things to come across in a romance novel is emphasis on the importance of therapy and it’s here in spades. As someone who has an anxiety disorder, I feel the representation here is accurate. I highly recommend this one for romance readers. 

The Push by Ashley Audrain

Thriller/Contemporary fiction

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I was expecting a different kind of book when I went into this but I love what I got! I was hooked from start to finish, though I will say I would have liked a more finite ending. This isn’t a thriller in the traditional sense. It’s more of a dark family drama, and it’s high tension. I was never quite sure if our narrator was reliable or not, and I think that’s part of the appeal. As a woman who’s never had kids, I was surprisingly emotional throughout the book. I couldn’t fully relate to the protagonist or other mother characters yet I could understand and feel their emotions because the writing is that great. I started listening to this audiobook and the narration was fantastic. Then I switched to my physical copy so I could get through it faster! I highly recommend both formats for readers of thrillers and family dramas, especially stories about motherhood.

Inked 8 by Stephanie Brother

Erotic romance

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Available on Kindle Unlimited. This was a fun read, it’s very hot and sexy. Here were have eight smoking hot tattoo artists (two sets of twins, a set of triplets, and one other guy) who own a business together and all fall for the new female office administrator. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great fantasy, BUT it’s quite clear that the author hasn’t spent any time in tattoo shops! I have a lot of tattoos and I’ve worked in a shop as a receptionist and I don’t feel this is a realistic look at how a shop operates at all. Of course, being realistic isn’t the point of this book! Eight heroes was too many. It was difficult to keep track of them all plus I didn’t form an emotional connection to any of them. Still, I’d recommend this for readers of erotic romance, specifically reverse harems.

Flying Solo by Linda Holmes

Contemporary fiction/Romance

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Advanced copy from NetGalley, expected publication June 14 This books is a little bit of everything. It’s a romance and it’s also a family drama with a mystery component. I was invested from start to finish. Laurie is about to turn 40, she’s recently called off her wedding, and now she’s returned to her hometown to sort through the home of her great aunt who has passed away. She’s proud of the life she has back in Seattle but she’s torn between it and the comfort and familiarity of being back home. When she finds a mysterious item tucked in her aunt’s stuff, she needs to follow through on figuring out its history. This is an emotional story with some great humor. I highly recommend it for fans of romance and women’s fiction.

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