Monthly Wrap-Up

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: March 2020

Does March feel like it’s been going on forever? Even more than January? While practicing social distancing for the last 2+ weeks, I honestly haven’t seen the inside of anything but my house. Hence, a lot of reading happened.

A lot.

I broke my monthly record and it 26 books in never-ending March. Unfortunately, I also dolled out more 2 stars than I ever have too. But you win some, you lose some! Still plenty of good reads.

My favorites this month: House of Earth and Blood (NO SURPRISE), Undercover Bromance, Dragonfly in Amber, Until it Fades, The Giver of Stars, A Voice in the Wind, and Aurora Rising.

My least favorites this month: Five Dark Fates, Lucky Caller, Of Curses and Kisses and The Stars We Steal

Reviews will be out in the coming months!

  • [ARC] A Temporary Boyfriend (The Fake Love Series #2) by Summer Dowell – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Windwitch (The Witchlands #2) by Susan Dennard – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Heart of Flames (Crown of Feathers #2) by Nicki Pau Preto – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Harvest (Call of the Sirens #1) by K.B. Benson – (☆☆☆)
  • House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2) by Lyssa Kay Adams – (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Five Dark Fates (Three Dark Crowns #4) by Kendare Blake – (☆☆ 1/2)
  • On the Fence by Kasie West – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • [ARC] More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2) by Diana Gabaldon – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • Bloodwitch (The Witchlands #3) by Susan Dennard – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Until it Fades by K.A. Tucker – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • Maybe This Time by Kasie West – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes – (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • A Voice in the Wind (Mark of the Lion #1) by Francine Rivers – (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Lucky Caller by Emma Mills – (☆☆)
  • Chain of Gold (The Last Hours #1) by Cassandra Clare – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Of Curses and Kisses (St. Rosetta’s Academy #1) by Sandhya Menon – (☆☆)
  • More Than We Can Tell (Letters to the Lost #2) by Brigid Kemmerer – (☆☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] Don’t Go Stealing My Heart by Kelly Siskind – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • [Re-read] Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • Neighbors Like That (A Love Like This #1) by Carina Taylor – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • When You Ask Me Where I’m Going by Jasmin Kaur – (☆☆☆)
  • The Creeping Shadow (Lockwood & Co. #4) by Jonathan Stroud – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Dreamland by Sarah Dessen – (☆☆☆☆)

How did your month of reading go? Did we read any of the same books? Lets talk in the comments!

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2) by Lyssa Kay Adams

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: March 10th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Braden Mack thinks reading romance novels makes him an expert in love, but he’ll soon discover that real life is better than fiction.

Liv Papandreas has a dream job as a sous chef at Nashville’s hottest restaurant. Too bad the celebrity chef owner is less than charming behind kitchen doors. After she catches him harassing a young hostess, she confronts him and gets fired. Liv vows revenge, but she’ll need assistance to take on the powerful chef.

Unfortunately, that means turning to Braden Mack. When Liv’s blackballed from the restaurant scene, the charismatic nightclub entrepreneur offers to help expose her ex-boss, but she is suspicious of his motives. He’ll need to call in reinforcements: the Bromance Book Club.

Inspired by the romantic suspense novel they’re reading, the book club assist Liv in setting up a sting operation to take down the chef. But they’re just as eager to help Mack figure out the way to Liv’s heart… even while she’s determined to squelch the sparks between them before she gets burned.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC. All opinions are my own!

I JUST LOVED THIS.

Okay. It’s official. I loved this more than The Bromance Book Club. While I appreciated and adored that it was about a married couple, Undercover Bromance brought in my favorite trope, enemies to lovers, to make this a stellar read.

I am TOTALLY SMITTEN WITH BRADEN MACK. Oh my goodness. I fell in love with him over this book in more ways than one. I couldn’t get enough of his tougher exterior, but softest soul. And can we all applaud the fact that men express real feelings in this series? Because I am here for it. I love how Mack conquered his past and fought for his love. He was incredibly sweet and his perseverance with Liv is admirable. I’m so glad we got a sequel with him because I will be gushing for days.

The way the book club helps Mack throughout this story made me smile and want to group hug all of them too [who doesn’t?]. I love their friendship with each other and feel like the romance books have helped them all explore their own softer sides and be able to talk to one another. I love a good gal pal friendship, but seeing all of these guys together is one of my favorite aspects of this series.

Undercover Bromance covers a really relevant and serious topic [sexual assault, specifically in the work place]. This was a hard subject to read about. I thought it was well put together in the story and while broaching a tough theme it didn’t overshadow the romance. It was great to see so many men in this story stand up for women and have constructive discussions.

I absolutely was all over the chemistry between Liv and Mack. It was a lightening storm out there whenever they were near each other. The banter, flirtations, steam, honest moments, tender moments. Oh my, this book had it all. Every single thing I could ask for when looking for a memorable romance. My only 1/2 star deduction was from Liv. Occasionally I didn’t love her character. She did have a solid arc over the course of the story and once she started apologizing I was way more on her side.

There was only one added scene from a romance novel. Unlike The Bromance Book Club, where a few chapters were dedicated to a romance novel within the book, Undercover Bromance only had a few paragraphs one time. I looooove this change and thought it kept the pace and the story smooth. Nothing felt broken up as the POV switched back and forth between Liv and Braden. And can we talk about that epilogue? Because it was adorable and I live for happy ever afters.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: a lot of strong language throughout
  • Romance: kisses, passionate make-outs, a few detailed love scenes
  • Violence: physical
  • Trigger warnings: sexual assault [MC walks in on it happening; discussed throughout as one of the main themes of the story; hearing survivor stories]; domestic abuse [MC recounts past of abusive father]

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Book Releases for the First Half of 2020

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

Putting this list together made me all the more excited for the great books I’m excited for this year. It’s going to be an amazing first half of 2020.

WHO’S EXCITED?

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas

Release date: March 3rd

OH MY GOODNESS I CAN’T WAIT TO HAVE SJM’S NEXT BOOK IN MY HANDS.


The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

Release date: February 25th

I love everything Levenseller writes (no really). This book sounds so crazy good I can’t even stand waiting one more month.


The Empire of Gold (The Daevabad Trilogy #3) by S.A. Chakraborty

Release date: June 30th

This finale is sure to be epic. It’s been a fantastic series and I’m stoked to finish it this year!


Dark Skies (Dark Shores #2) by Danielle L. Jensen

Release date: May 5th

I adored book one in this series and helped with the cover reveal for this one. I’m definitely a fan!


All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth #1) by Adalyn Grace

Release date: February 4th

Did someone say mermaids? I’LL BE RIGHT THERE.


Wild at Heart (Wild #2) by K.A. Tucker

Release date: March 3rd

The Simple Wild was one of my top books of 2019, I clearly have flippin’ high hopes for BOOK TWO!


Tiem of Our Lives by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Release date: April 21st

I absolutely ADORED If I’m Being Honest. If that was their sophomore book I am on edge waiting to see what their junior book will be like!


Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2) by Lyssa Kay Adams

Release date: March 10th

I’m apparently all about sequels this year. This is another sequel I’m excited for after loving The Bromance Book Club. I’m curious how this story will develop with a new main character!


Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Release date: May 5th

LOOK AT MY BABE ON THE COVER. AHHHHHHH, this book will probably destroy me. I welcome it.


The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton

One of my favorite “series” of historical fiction books! I was so happy when I saw that there was going to be another one from Cleeton. YAY!

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