What I Read This Week: November 21, 2021

I’ve been on a roll lately with good, quick reads! I managed to finish six books this week, one of which I read in a single day.

How to Marry Keanu Reeves in 90 Days by KM Jackson

Contemporary romance

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This is a cute story with a unique premise but it fell flat for me. The first half of the book was slow and I almost quit a couple times. It wasn’t until we reach the 50% mark and get to the “only one bed” trope that I felt an emotional connection to the characters. It isn’t until this point that their pasts and individual intentions become clear. I wanted all of that much sooner. If it was any actor other than Keanu, I’m not sure I would have picked this book up. All the references to his films and sightings of him were quite fun! I appreciated how Lu’s role as a Keanu fan was part of her identity, as I feel that way about some musical artists. When someone’s work (movies/songs) become closely intertwined with your life, it can be hard to accept that the person is actually a stranger to you. While this is a fun book, it also has heaviness. The plot is centered around loss, grief, and survivor’s guilt. I recommend this one for readers of romance and Keanu fans. 

Crime and Periodicals by Nora Everly

Contemporary romance

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Available on Kindle Unlimited. Book two in the Green Valley Library series, which is a spin off from the Winston Brothers series by Penny Reid. This is probably the sweetest, mushiest romance novel I’ve ever read. I loved it but I can’t give it five stars because it doesn’t have the heaviness I like to see in a “perfect” romance novel. Sabrina is a shy assistant librarian whose priority is her family. Wyatt is new to town, a single dad sheriff’s deputy, who is smitten with Sabrina but not sure how to let her know without scaring her off. The story covers some heavy territory, such as loss, grief, absent parents, and mental health. I recommend this one for romance readers.

Beautiful Things by Hunter Biden

Memoir

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I read this because I heard it was a well written addiction memoir, not for political reasons. And while addiction has played a huge role in Hunter’s life, this is ultimately a book about grief. It shows all the ways loss affects a close family and the individuals. With all the buzz I’d heard about this book, I wanted more. It’s interesting for sure, and there are parts that are incredibly beautiful and poignant but overall it’s flat. . I never felt an emotional connection to him through his writing. Yes, things get political at times but that’s not what the book is about. And honestly, if there were no politics, I’d feel he was being dishonest. I recommend this one for readers of memoir, particularly on the subjects of grief and addiction.

The Sea Witch by Katee Robert

Erotic romance

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Book five in the Wicked Villains series. This one didn’t land with me like the previous three did and I’m not exactly sure why. For some reason I found this coupling less believable, I think it’s just my mental images from the Disney movie getting in the way of me enjoying this alternate universe! This also had a lot of instalove vibes, which are my least favorite in the romance genre. It’s still an interesting and very sexy read, I just didn’t have the emotional connection I did with the previous three. In this installment, the villain who gets her happy ending is the Sea Witch. I definitely appreciate Robert’s take on these characters, and as always her world building is stellar. While there are individual relationships that are the focus of each book, there’s an over arching storyline about the cities in this universe and the territory leaders who are hungry for power. I recommend this series for readers of erotica and romance.

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert

Contemporary fiction/audiobook

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Queen Takes Rose by Katee Robert

Erotic romance

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I liked this book more after I finished it and gave it thought than I did while I was reading it. It’s a dark, unique take on the enemies to lovers trope. Aurora and Malone have danced around each other for nine years, now they have two weeks alone together, and both have very different motivations for being there. Malone is the reason Aurora’s mother spent twenty years in a coma she never woke from, but Malone isn’t aware of the connection. This is a book about grief and anger, and how those feelings can mingle with attraction, lust, and even love. The story emphasizes the complicated nature of humans, no one is every completely bad or completely good. Everyone is a little of both and when we fall for someone, we are accepting all their parts. Both of these characters have showed up in previous books and I enjoyed finally getting to know them and see behind their facades. It was sexy as hell, very gritty, and continues the world building that Robert does so well. I recommend this series for readers of romance and erotica.

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