Dec’20 Wrap Up

Would I have made the choice to binge listen to a fantasy series had I known the last two books weren’t currently on audiobook?

I honestly don’t know, but that was the biggest reading disappointment of December. I was at work, had just finished the fifth book in the Venatrix Chronicles and went to download the sixth and lo and behold it wasn’t available.

Legit, instant bad mood.

I still need to read the last two books – or wait for them to hit Audible, but I liked everything I read last month. Like, I experienced pure enjoyment as I read and listened to books. They weren’t all Five Star Reads, but that was okay. I had fun, I was sucked in and completely lost in the books – that’s what’s important.

I even ended the year on a fantastic read, so I’m good! 16 books in the course of a month is absolutely fine and I’m not complaining.

But, let’s check out what I read in December.

55364222. sy475 Graves for Drifters and Thieves (Drifters’ Saga #1) – Sophia Minetos   

eARC Finished: December 1, 2020

Review / ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / GR

“[..] Sophie’s descriptive ability legit makes you feel like you’re actually there. I could easily visualize the world, the various locations and I loved it. This book just comes to life on the page and you’re instantly sucked in. The opening to this book immediately hooks you and makes you invested. You want to find out what happened to Jae’s father, why he’s missing and how she’s going to find him. You instantly root for her, because she’s very much navigating “a man’s world” and kicking ass at it. I’m excited to find out what happens next – especially with how the ending went down. I honestly expected that character to be around for longer, so it’ll be interesting to see what the gang does next.”

51063468. sx318 sy475 Daughter of Shades (The Venatrix Chronicles #1) – Sylvia Mercedes   

Audiobook Finished: December 6, 2020

Review / ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 / GR  

“[…] I really like Ayleth. She kind of reminds me of Aelin form TOG and Reille from Blade and Rose. Maybe not as intense, but just as willing to take risks and chances and hope they pay off. And she takes risks, and she takes chances and she’s a badass. She’s not infallible and often finds herself in a world of trouble, but she’s resourceful.

Then there’s Terryn. What a moody man. I love him. I knew he was going to be a new favorite Brooding Book Boyfriend from the moment I met him. He’s just so “I can’t allow myself to be happy” and it makes part of me want to hug him and the other part to shake him and knock some sense into him. He’s more of the perfectionist, calculated, methodical risk taker. He’s kind of no nonsense, stick to the rules – until he starts listening to his heart over his head.”

53138253A Vow So Bold and Deadly (Cursebreakers #3) – Brigid Kemmerer      

ARC Finished: December 6, 2020

Review / ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / GR

“[…] As for the plot – expect an emotional rollercoaster. Just expect it. Expect Brigid to break your heart a couple of times but trust her to put it back together. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better ending. It’s so satisfying and worth it and the characters get what they need a deserve.

I don’t know what else to say. I want to talk about everything, but I won’t do spoilers. Know that I binged this book in about 5/6 hours because I couldn’t put it down. I went through a gauntlet of emotions and struggled to process certain scenes. I was legit text screaming at my friend who had just finished the book to discuss with her.

I’m so incredibly happy with this book and I love it so much. It does not disappoint and will leave you feeling content but also wanting more – though I always want more of Brigid’s books, her worlds, her characters. Now I really don’t know what to say, except read this book when it comes out.”

52537871. sx318 sy475 Visions of Fate (The Venatrix Chronicles #2) – Sylvia Mercedes           

Audiobook Finished: December 7, 2020

Review / ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 / GR

“[…] There was no waiting to get sucked into this book. It picks up right where the first one leaves off and Ayleth feels like an outsider, like she has to take five steps for Terryn’s every single one. There seems to be a budding attraction that she stuffs down. Relationships between Venatrix’s and Venator’s is forbidden (so, yes, there’s forbidden/frowned upon romance!) but that doesn’t stop the rogue thought from crossing minds. Between the two of them, they’ve got the “I like you, but I wish I didn’t like you” thing going on and it’s fantastic.

A little – I just want you to kiss already – but super enjoyable. It’s all made better by the tension and dislike for each other that they both share.”

49431641. sx318 sy475 Paths of Malice ((The Venatrix Chronicles #3) – Sylvia Mercedes         

Audiobook Finished: December 8, 2020

Review / ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 / GR

“[…] This book was a little slow to start, but then wham! You get sucked in and the internal conflict that both Ayleth and Terryn struggle with is so good. And that’s on top of their obvious growing attraction to each other. I spent most of this book just wanting to reach into the book and force them to break the ever-growing sexual tension between each other. I think their obvious attraction makes sense, but it’s also a tad hilarious because you can see how uncomfortable it makes Terryn. Like, how dare his body and mind react to her in that way. I do love how Ayleth forces Terryn to see the world differently – that there is more than one way, even if all rules dictate something else. That some things aren’t worth your soul.

Then there’s that whole scene in the witch’s cottage…”

48639355. sy475 Dance of Souls (The Venatrix Chronicles #4) – Sylvia Mercedes           

Audiobook Finished: December 9, 2020

Review / ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / GR

“[…] This book was good. So good.

Ayleth is brilliant in this book and Terryn is finally figuring out who he is. Between the two of them, they go through a lot. So much is at stake and powers that haven’t been seen for twenty-odd years are back in play and wreaking havoc.

Terryn is seriously trying to figure out his feelings. These books are hella slow burn and it started to drive me nuts, because of the sexual tension. But it’s also super enjoyable seeing Terryn war with his emotions and to see Ayleth try and convince herself that no she isn’t feeling what she’s feeling because that would be absurd.

There is a scene between the two of them – where Ayleth says fuck you to societal standards and Terryn has to keep up and they’re so perfectly matched. He ground her, while she urges him to let go enough to live a little. That whole scene between them was so vivid. It came to life right in my mind and I loved it.”

50243780. sy475 Tears of Dust (The Venatrix Chronicles #5) – Sylvia Mercedes  

Audiobook Finished: December 10, 2020

Review TK / ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 / GR

“[…] If you want to go through a gauntlet of emotions – this is the book for you. Relationships are strained, strengthened and long kept secrets are revealed. The world is changing, and loyalties are tested. Ayleth has to face a past she never could have imagined. Terryn makes choices that further define his character, and there are a whole slew of characters who should just swan dive into a bottomless hole, because they make life Hard.”

55720451. sy475 Rebel (Starlatten #2) – Darby Cupid         

Audiobook Finished: December 10, 2020

Review / ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / GR

“[…] I loved Crystal in this book – her arc is really great to read. From where she starts to where she ends the book, there’s a lot of growing, maturity and stepping into her power. She gains confidence and skill and it’s so satisfying to read.

Jaik on the other hand…I’m honestly not sure. On one hand, I love him, I think he’s seriously in love with Crystal and willing to do anything for her. But on the other, I think his love for Crystal blinds him and causes him to act rashly and overprotectively. He’s got perceived ideas about what his future looks like, and really doesn’t seem to want to deviate from it. I don’t know, for as much as I love his character, I feel like he could really go the twisted route.

And then there is the ending for this book…I need the next one. I need to know what happens next. Things are just starting to get really interesting and the answers to questions that are on the line, hanging in the balance are waiting to be discovered. Things about Starlatten came to light in this book and I want to know – no, I need to know. I need their journey and I need to know what is on the other end of it.”

54477007. sy475 Stealing Embers (Fallen Legacies #1) – Julie Hall

Audiobook Finished: December 13, 2020

Review / ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / GR

“[…] Emberly gave me Alex vibes from the Covenant Series – snarky, bad ass, able to survive just about anything with a mixture of luck and skill. She felt very real, like if you or I were suddenly thrust into a world where everything we knew was flipped on its head.

Then there’s Steel. Let’s be real, I was gone before I even met the guy. I mean, he’s every broody, hot, fantastical male you can think of and I’m a fucking sucker. There’s also a bit of rivals to lovers, unexplainable attraction, I want to claw your eyes out tension/connection between him and Emberly, and have I mentioned I’m here for it? I mean, within the first 100 pages, there’s an altercation that draws blood, verbal fights because they can’t stand each other, and they are forced to spend time with each other in a cramped space made for 1 person.

Again, I was gone before I even started and then I was absolutely sunk.”

7736182. sy475 The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus #1) – Rick Riordan      

Audiobook Finished: December 15, 2020

Review / ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 / GR

“[…] And that’s not to say that I didn’t like the new characters. I liked Jason, Piper and Leo. I liked their dynamic, their friendship and how well they worked and complimented each other. I liked their quest and the slow reveal of what they’re up against and what this new prophecy has in store for them. They grew on me, and while I’m not as attached to them as Percabeth, I’m sure that’s bound to change, and I love Piper and Jason. Like Percy and Annabeth, they’re just so easy together. They give each other crap, but they are 100% there for each other. Leo is a comedic genius and such a goofball. I thought he was going to be like Grover (who, tbh, I found really annoying, though that might have just been the narrator) but I legit love him.

Their character arcs are really good in this book as well. From where they started to where they’re at by the end – they each come into themselves more, and it’s so satisfying.

This book also had some really great one-liners and I found myself more than once, snorting while at work in attempts to not actually laugh out loud. Between Gleeson and Leo I was thoroughly enjoying myself.”

9520360. sy475 The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus #2) – Rick Riordan         

Audiobook Finished: December 22, 2020

Review TK / ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / GR

“[…] I could totally fully believe that there are demigods out there fighting battles and waging wars on behalf of humanity. Is it bad that I kind of wish it were true?

Then there’s the ending of this book and I’m actually really looking forward to listening to the next one when I go back to work after this break. So much happened in this book, and it was epic. The journey never lagged, the pace was perfect and the emotional turmoil that Hazel, Percy and Frank had to go through made them stronger. I love how they claimed each other and became a family.

Swapping Percy and Jason to unite the Roman and Greek Demigods was perfect. The fate of the world hangs in the balance and I cannot wait to see what the seven heroes will have to go through to save everyone. It’ll probably break me, but let’s go. I’m ready.”

43701756Feather (Angels of Elysium #1) – Olivia Wildenstein      

Audiobook Finished: December 24, 2020

Review TK / ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / GR

“[…] I’d initially bought this book earlier last year because *angels* and I’d read another one of the author’s books. So, I figured I’d give this one a try. Then in an effort to *not* binge The Heroes of Olympus and in the mood for something spicier – I opted to listen to Feather.

I was instantly hooked. If you’ve read/love Midnight Poppyland over on Webtoon, you’re probably really going to enjoy this book.

Angels + French Mafia + Romeo & Juliet retelling?

Spicy scenes?

An absolutely traumatic ending that will leave you desperate for the next book?
If any or all of those things interest you, then you’re going to want to check this book out.”

53375824Lore – Alexandra Brakcen  

eARC Finished: December 29, 2020

Review / ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / GR

“[…] I knew going into this book that I was bound to really enjoy it. I’ve enjoyed Alex’s books in the past and I’m a sucker for Greek Mythology and fresh takes on Greek Mythology. So, I knew that this book would be a great and fun read regardless. I didn’t expect to have it become an instant favorite. I didn’t expect to fall so in love with the characters that when Cas says Lore’s name and this one line that it would shatter me.

Jfc, if I guy ever said that to me and meant it – I’d marry him on the spot.

Fuck, now I’m thinking about it again and I want to cry, because I want that.

Despite everything – all the horrible, traumatizing, terrible shit both Lore and Castor go through – I fucking want their relationship. Well, my own version, but I want that friendship, the trust, the love and the absolute completion knowing that someone loves you for who you are wholly.”

51075452The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss – Amy Noelle Parks           

eARC Finished: December 30, 2020

Review / ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / GR

“[…] Have I mentioned that I love books where best friends become more? Because omfg, I’m absolutely trash for those kinds of stories and it makes me desperately wish I had a cute boy next door who was in love with me.

Can I just say over and over and over again that I loved this book and leave my review at that? Because I did and my brain does not want to cooperate with me right now and give me actual reasons. I just want to fling this book at you and say READ IT.

I love Evie and Caleb. So much. Their friendship is wonderful, and the way they know each other is so heartwarming. And how wholly infatuated Caleb is – I was sunk from the first line.

Leo on the other hand – that boy could swan dive into a bottomless hole and I’d be okay. Granted my feelings changed a bit by the end of the book, but I was not a fan of his.

I’m fully Evie + Caleb = 4Ever.”

37531545. sy475 The Prince (A Wicked Trilogy #3.5) – Jennifer L. Armentrout  

eARC Finished: December 31, 2020

Review TK / ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 / GR

“[…] It’s interesting reading from Brighton’s POV over Ivy’s, but I actually enjoyed it. I enjoyed her character in the main books, so I’m not complaining. I’m just kind of sitting here hoping that these novellas are as spicy as the main trilogy, because The Prince…

I’m such a sucker for tormented characters – especially when it’s self-inflicted and someone else has to help them see that things aren’t always black and white, aren’t always their fault (especially when there’s a loss of autonomy). And true to JLA form, shit’s gonna get worse before it gets better and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.”

53138158You Have A Match – Emma Lord  

eARC Finished: December 31, 2020

Review / ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 / GR

“[…] I thoroughly loved this book, was sucked in and stayed up until 5AM because I couldn’t put it down. While I didn’t love it quite as much as Tweet Cute, I’m still recommending you pick this book up if you’re a fan of romcoms. If you loved The Parent Trap, books set at summer camps, the best friends to something more trope, or just cute reads in general you need this book in your life.

It will keep you up way past your bedtime, because you will get sucked in and suddenly, you’ll hear birds chirping and you’ll look at your phone to check the time and you won’t believe that it says “5:38AM”.

Yes, this was my experience. I didn’t even care that I knew it was getting late. I just kept hitting the button on my Kindle to go to the next page. I needed to know what happened next. This book had everything I loved – all those things that I mentioned before – yeah, those are automatic sellers for me.”

Let me know in the comments, what your favorite read of December, or of 2020 was!

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