What I Read This Week: October 31, 2021

Hello and Happy Halloween!

Photo by Ramona Mead

Here’s a rundown of the four books I read this week.

The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun

Contemporary romance

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This book has the perfect title because it’s absolutely charming. I don’t watch reality dating shows but somehow I’ve managed to read a few romance novels about them and this is the best by far. There is so much representation in this book, it’s truly heartwarming. Of course there is LGBTQ+ representation but also a lot to do with mental health, specifically OCD, depression, and anxiety disorders. I can say the scenes dealing with these issues were realistic, which means they were heavy at times. Dev and Charlie are both wonderful characters. I was rooting for them both from the start. Their “issues” make them relatable. Overall the writing is strong and Cochrun did a great job weaving in humor and silliness with serious, heavy topics.  I highly recommend this one for readers of romance and LGBTQ+ stories.

Desperate Measures by Katee Robert

Erotic romance

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This book blew my mind a little bit. It made me uncomfortable and curious and turned on, it was a wild ride. We’re in an alternate universe with Jasmine and Jafar. It’s dark and twisty and smoking hot but also heavy. It’s definitely not an average “sexy book.” It introduced me to consensual non-consent, which I wasn’t familiar with and found difficult to read at times. I appreciated that while it may not seem so in the middle of a scene, consent and health were priorities for the characters.Jasmine’s journey to claim her power was awesome to witness. The last 10% of the book was my favorite part by far. I recommend this one for readers of erotic romance, particularly dark stories.

The Missing Treasures of Amy Ashton by Eleanor Ray

Literary fiction/mystery/audiobook

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This novel has serious Fredrik Backman vibes. It’s a beautiful story about loss and grief. It explores the different ways people respond and how they can eventually heal. Amy suffered a major loss eleven years ago and since then she’s had a hard time getting rid of things. Her house is overflowing with items she collects. I related to Amy a lot, especially in understanding how “stuff” can take control of us when we attach emotions to objects. There’s a mystery woven throughout the storyline, which I liked a lot. All of the characters were a pleasure to get to know. I highly recommend this novel for readers of literary fiction and mysteries.

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

Mystery/thriller/audiobook

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This is a mystery with a heavy dose of historical fiction and it kept me fully engaged from start to finish. We have two alternating timelines, one in 2014, the other in 1950, both in the same area of Vermont. The focus of both storylines is Idlewild Hall, a school for unwanted or troublesome girls. In 1950 it’s a functional school but by 2014 it’s in ruins and is the source of mysterious happenings. The writing is atmospheric. We truly get a feel for not only what the school was like when it was open but the sense of dread surrounding it now. All the characters are interesting, though there are a lot of them to keep track of. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Rebecca Lowman. She does a great job bringing the story to live and giving it good pacing. I highly recommend this one for readers of mysteries, thrillers, and ghost stories.

Currently Reading


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