Book Review

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: May 2022

A mixed bag of a month, most of five star reads came from rereads. But now I am ready for all of the summer reads!

Favorite Reads This Month: Some Mistakes Were Made, The Phoenix Priest, TBK/TTQ, QOS, Love & Olives, All the Feels, Love in Bloom, Roaring, The Bluff

  • [Graphic Novel] Heartstopper Vol. 4 by Alice Oseman
  • Obsidian Throne (The Lochlann Feuds #4) by Robin D. Mahle and Elle Madison
  • [ARC] Exactly Where You Need to Be by Amelia Diane Coombs
  • Just Go With It (Just Us #1) by Madison Wright
  • Bonded Fate (Guardians of the Maiden #2) by Beck Michaels
  • The Do-Over by Bethany Turner
  • Some Mistakes Were Made by Kristin Dwyer
  • Book of Night by Holly Black
  • Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
  • Book Lovers by Emily Henry
  • The Phoenix Priest (The Blood and Water Saga #2) by Cassidy Clarke
  • [Reread] The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1) by Danielle L. Jensen
  • [ARC] Every Summer After by Carley Fortune
  • [Reread] Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas
  • [ARC] Edward and Amelia by Karen Thornell
  • Love & Olives (Love & Gelato #3) by Jenna Evans Welch
  • Last Chance Summer by Shannon Klare
  • The Queen’s Rising (The Queen’s Rising #1) by Rebecca Ross
  • The Witch Collector (Witch Walker #1) by Charissa Weaks
  • [Bonus Chapters] The Calm Before the Storm (The Bridge Kingdom #3.5) by Danielle L. Jensen
  • All the Feels (Spoiler Alert #2) by Olivia Dade
  • [Novella] The Missed Connection (Airport Novellas #2) by Denise Williams
  • [Graphic] Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron by Julia Quinn
  • [Reread] The Traitor Queen (The Bridge Kingdom #2) by Danielle L. Jensen
  • [ARC] For Butter or Worse by Erin La Rosa
  • Complex (The Sweet Rom”Com”s #2) by Kortney Keisel
  • An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X.R. Pan
  • Love in Bloom (Some Kind of Love #4) by Jenny Proctor
  • Firebrand (Green Rider #6) by Kristen Britain
  • Maybe Now (Maybe #2) by Colleen Hoover
  • Reign & Ruin (Mages of the Wheel #1) by J.D. Evans
  • [Novella] Unrequited (The Donovans #0.5) by Martha Keyes
  • How to Kiss Your Best Friend by Jenny Proctor
  • Roaring by Lindsey Duga
  • [Novella] A Wilderness of Glass (Wraith Kings #2.7) by Grace Draven
  • The Queen of Blood (The Queens of Renthia #1) by Sarah Beth Durst
  • Gleam (The Plated Prisoner #3) by Raven Kennedy
  • A Show for Two by Tashie Bhuiyan
  • [ARC] The Bluff (Graham Brothers #2) by Emma St. Clair
  • [Novella] Love Beginning (Some Kind of Love #0.5) by Jenny Proctor

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Our Last Days in Barcelona by Chanel Cleeton

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Historical Fiction + Romance
Length: 336 pages
Author: Chanel Cleeton
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: May 24th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

When Isabel Perez travels to Barcelona to save her sister Beatriz, she discovers a shocking family secret in New York Times bestselling author Chanel Cleeton’s new novel.

Barcelona, 1964. Exiled from Cuba after the revolution, Isabel Perez has learned to guard her heart and protect her family at all costs. After Isabel’s sister Beatriz disappears in Barcelona, Isabel goes to Spain in search of her. Joining forces with an unlikely ally thrusts Isabel into her sister’s dangerous world of espionage, but it’s an unearthed piece of family history that transforms Isabel’s life.

Barcelona, 1936. Alicia Perez arrives in Barcelona after a difficult voyage from Cuba, her marriage in jeopardy and her young daughter Isabel in tow. Violence brews in Spain, the country on the brink of civil war, the rise of fascism threatening the world. When Cubans journey to Spain to join the International Brigades, Alicia’s past comes back to haunt her as she is unexpectedly reunited with the man who once held her heart.

Alicia and Isabel’s lives intertwine, and the past and present collide, as a mother and daughter are forced to choose between their family’s expectations and following their hearts.

Thank you to the publisher for an eARC.

LOVED THIS.

I have been a fan of Cleeton’s since her first historical fiction book came out, and once again I completely enamored with a sweeping story of loss, love, and choosing your path. I truly loved getting Isabel’s story. She was an incredible main character. I like that she stuck to her personal truths, but allowed her self room for growth within them. Making the harder decision to find HER happiness and being the woman that she’s had to stifle for so long.

Interspersed were other POV chapters (one mentioned in the synopsis and one not!). It was really great not to have these chapters overwhelm Isabel’s own story. They drifted in at the right moments to add more background and understanding for present characters and found ways to pull at my heartstrings.

The love stories interwoven were romantic and sweet. I love the way Cleeton builds these in such a short time where I continually find myself reading with intense focus because I MUST HAVE A HAPPY ENDING. And while there’s a rise and fall to that ending, it’s good. It’s lovely. And it’s what sealed the deal on another incredible read.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction + romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: closed door
  • Violence: mild blood/gore
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: war theme, air raids, teen pregnancy, infidelity, divorce, gun violence

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Book Review

Book Review: Come Back to Me (Waters of Time #1) by Jody Hedlund

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical fiction romance
Length: 384 pages
Author: Jody Hedlund
Publisher: Fleming H. Revell Company
Release Date: June 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The ultimate cure that could heal any disease? Crazy.

That’s exactly what research scientist Marian Creighton has always believed about her father’s quest, even if it does stem from a desire to save her sister Ellen from the genetic disease that stole their mother from them. But when her father falls into a coma after drinking a vial of holy water believed to contain traces of residue from the Tree of Life, Marian must question all of her assumptions. He’s left behind tantalizing clues that suggest he’s crossed back in time. Insane. Until Marian tests his theories and finds herself in the Middle Ages during a dangerous peasant uprising.

William Durham, a valiant knight comes to Marian’s rescue and offers her protection . . . as his wife. The longer Marian stays in the past, the more she cares about William. Can she ever find her father and make it back to the present to heal her sister? And when the time comes to leave, will she want to?

Bestselling author Jody Hedlund is your guide down the twisting waters of time to a volatile era of superstition, revolts, and chivalry in this suspenseful story.

AN INTRIGUING IDEA.

This plot was interesting!! It had been described to me as Outlander-ish (without a very long list of trigger and content warnings). I’d have to agree, this did remind me of that series, but it’s also very much its own book.

Marian was a intelligent woman who ends up in the 1300’s trying to save her Dad. Little does she know, she’s about to fall in insta-lust/love with William Durham. With the instantaneous nature of it all I never caught up to fully being invested in the romance, but I did like it by the end. They seemed well matched. I did wish I knew going in that this is a STANDALONE. The second book follow another couple. You’ve been made aware.

I definitely had a hard time putting this down. The story is engaging and the pace moves fairly quickly. I would have loved more set-up on both sides of the world, but it was good overall. More length would have made the present time period have a clearer direction. There’s much more here and I hope the second book will expand on that.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction + romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses / heated make-outs
  • Violence: sword battles, physical altercations, being beaten
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: hostage situations, loss of a parent, loss of a spouse, brief mention of a side character discuss miscarriage, a sibling with a terminal illness

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Book Review

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: April 2022

A wishy washy reading month. I threw away way to many DNFs, but there were some diamonds in the rough here.

Favorites: The Godborn and the King, Double or Nothing, The Love Connection, Long Story Short, Lodestar, A Brush with Love, The Saltwater Heir, Heir of Fire, The Diamond Eye

  • [ARC] The Godborn and the King (The Raven and the Dove #4) by Kaitlyn Davis
  • The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James
  • Mr. Hoa (Fake It #1) by Carina Taylor
  • [Novella] Inheritance (American Royals #0.5) by Katharine McGee
  • Souls of Fire and Steel (Frozen Sun Saga #3) by Jill Criswell
  • The Atlas Six (The Atlas #1) by Olivie Blake
  • [ARC] Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle
  • [Novella] Passion or Penalty by Leah Brunner
  • [Novella] Falling for Your Brother’s Best Friend by Emma St. Clair
  • [ARC] Double or Nothing (A Pride and Pranks Romance #2) by Cindy Steel
  • [Novella] There Goes the Groom (Romance of Rank #1.5) by Esther Hatch
  • The Shadow Rising (The Wheel of Time #4) by Robert Jordan
  • [Novella] The Love Connection (Airport Novellas #1) by Denise Williams
  • The Ace of Hearts (Larkhall Letters #1) by Ashtyn Newbold
  • One for All by Lillie Lainoff
  • [Novella] Below Zero (The STEMinist Novellas #3) by Ali Hazelwood
  • The Fine Print (Dreamland Billionaires #1) by Lauren Asher
  • [Novella] Somewhat of a Ruse by Jess Heileman
  • Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor
  • Lodestar (Keeper of the Lost Cities #5) by Shannon Messenger
  • [Reread] Air Awakens (Air Awakens #1) by Elise Kova
  • [ARC] Long Story Short by Serena Kaylor
  • My Fine Fellow by Jennieke Cohen
  • In a New York Minute by Kate Spencer
  • Four Aunties and A Wedding (Aunties #2) by Jesse Q. Sutanto
  • A Brush With Love by Mazey Eddings
  • Scarlet Princess (The Lochlann Feuds #1) by Robin D. Mahle and Elle Madison
  • [ARC] The Dachshund Wears Prada by Stefanie London
  • The Wedding Crasher by Mia Sosa
  • [Novella] Finding Cinderella (Hopeless #2.5) by Colleen Hoover
  • Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez
  • Tarnished Crown (The Lochlann Feuds #2) by Robin D. Mahle and Elle Madison
  • An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons #3) by Julia Quinn
  • The Saltwater Heir (The Blood and Water Saga #1) by Cassidy Clarke
  • [Reread] Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas
  • Pretending at Love (Greenbank Romances #2) by Karen Thornell
  • The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn
  • Terms and Conditions (Dreamland Billionaires #2) by Lauren Asher
  • Crimson Kingdom (The Lochlann Feuds #3) by Robin D. Mahle and Elle Madison
  • Meet Me in the Margins by Melissa Ferguson
  • The No-Show by Beth O’Leary
  • [ARC] When in Rome by Sarah Adams

Did we read any of the same books? See any you want to read? Leave a comment!

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