Okay, so I might have inhaled quite a lot of books last month.
Like, so many.
Most of them were really good and I found some new favorites. Favorites that I can’t stop thinking about and I’m desperately waiting and wishing for the next books to be out on audio so I can listen to them at work.
I even started a Throne of Glass series re-read, which wasn’t something I was planning to do. But I was struggling to get into anything, so I just decided to go for it. And honestly, it’s been great.
Since I did read so many, we’re going to keep this intro short – and just dive right in.
Dark Seduction (Vampire Royals of New York #2) – Sarah Piper
Audiobook Finished: August 1, 2021 / 5 / Review TK / GR
“[…] Their relationship in this book was really good and leaves you feeling all sorts of things, but at the same time, I was a tad disappointed. I wanted a little more from Dorian. I know he kind of overreacts to Charley’s “betrayal” but I love drama, and I wanted to see more of his angry resolve. And while it’s not entirely fair to Charley, I’m a sucker for drama, and watching her lightly suffer at Dorian’s adamant refusal of her was just so good.
It raised the tension, and I just ate it up.
And I really liked that we get a hint at Dorian’s darker, more animalistic side. It’s just a hint, just a tease, but omfg. I don’t want to say it leaves you wanting more, because civilized Dorian is so damn yummy, but it cements the idea of just how dangerous these vampires are.
Then there’s the spice – and phew. Dorian doesn’t play around.
I also really loved the expansion of the world – we get the werewolves now, and the grey’s (vamps whose base instinct is to fuck, feed, kill). And I love that Charley’s sister gets a bigger role, and she meet’s the Redthorne’s. Her practically instant friendship with Aiden just furthers my belief that he’s amazing and a fantastic friend.”
Bonded Fate (Guardians of the Maiden #2) – Beck Michaels
“[…] Let’s see if I can put thoughts into words, other than “fucking go read this book”.
I loved the characters in this book – Zev needs hugs. So many hugs. He needs someone to cradle him in their arms and run their hand over his hair to soothe him. While everyone had their share of plights, hardships and trauma in this book – Zev is so lost. It hurts my soul that he’s hurting so much.
But then there’s that scene towards the end with Cassiel – fuck me. My heart broke. Actually, I guess that’s a two part heartbreak. He’s dealing with some internal shit as well, and he messes up so many times. But it’s part of the reason I love him so much. For someone who thinks he knows everything, he’s so utterly clueless, and it’s equally endearing and aggravating. Honestly, I don’t know how Dyna deals with him.
Beck just said, “Hold my drink and watch me rip out my readers hearts”.”
Defy the Night (Defy the Night #1) – Brigid Kemmerer
“[…] The way I fell into this book, wholly and completely.
I inhaled it.
The first 100 pages leaves you reeling.
Ask Brigid. I hit roughly that 100 page mark and I was madly texting her emotional reactions. Because omfg. Y’all aren’t ready.
She told me “don’t throw it” in regards to my reaction – talking about the book. Because y’all, its throw your book worthy in like, the best way possible.
You instantly fall in love with Wes and Tessa. You can’t not. It’s impossible. From the moment they hit the page, I knew I would be sunk.
Then you also have Corrick, Quint and Harristan and you end up loving them as well. Quint is truly going to be a favorite and I might be putting him in a basket with Tycho as Characters To Protect At All Costs. The boys need a friend, and Quint is that person. Nothing can happen to him. Okay Brigid? Leave Quint alone. Please.”
Barbarian Mine (Ice Planet Barbarians #4) – Ruby Dixon
eBook Finished: August 4, 2021 / 3 / GR
Why, why am I a sucker for a captive romance? Almost a Beauty and the Beast type plot? Like, what in the Stockholm Syndrome is wrong with me? While this wasn’t my favorite book, I think this is the one where I really started to reevaluate my thoughts and feelings on the series. while they’re definitely kind of mindless reads, as the world expands, more characters are introduced and the stakes getting higher, the more interested and invested I am. Ruhk and Harlow are – I don’t want to say adorable, because that doesn’t sound right, but they work so well together. He’s been alone for so long, and then he finds her, and just reading about how they grow to care for each other – I definitely enjoyed this book.
In the Same Boat – Holly Green
“[…] But Sadie and Cully are so fantastic. I loved their chemistry and the flashbacks to their past and their friendship. I loved how they still knew each other, but also learned so much about the other person. It made for a really interesting and emotional dynamic. Sadie is a badass, she is so driven, so motivated. She’s out to prove herself and it’s pretty inspiring. When everything and the person she wants to impress the most is seemingly against her, she doesn’t back down. Even when it gets hard and she wants to quit, she pushes through.
Her journey of self-discovery and what the race means to her – what finishing means – is so good.
Like Sadie, I loved Cully. He had his own demons, his own struggles which are shown in the flashbacks. His reasons for doing the race are pretty similar to Sadie’s. He has something to prove. The history they share – the history their families share shaped who they are, who he is. They have so much baggage, it’s amazing they work so well together.”
Gild (The Plated Prisoner #1) – Raven Kennedy
“[…] This really didn’t live up to the hype BookTok gives it, but it was still an enjoyable read, nonetheless. I pretty much inhaled it in one sitting on the beach. It’s a pretty quick read. With the way people talked about this book, I was expecting more. It’s not really spicy, tbh. Yeah, there’s graphic sex on the page, but it didn’t really elicit any kind of reaction. I think my opinion is going to change come book 2, but book one really didn’t meet my expectations. People really hyped this book up – and I think on some level – that’s a detriment.
That being said, I was completely transported into this world. I was so easily sucked in and captivated. I had no problems envisioning what was happening, what the world looked like, all of it.”
Ice Planet Holiday (Ice Planet Barbarians #5) – Ruby Dixon
eBook Finished: August 6, 2021 / 3.5 / GR
This was the book where I started to change my opinion on the series. While this is a pretty fluffy filler book, plot is starting to sneak in – and not going to lie – the characters have definitely started growing on me. I’m probably way more invested that I ought to be, but oh well.
I just loved the warm fuzzy feeling I got reading this book. I’m not going to lie, I did a little eye rolling when I first saw that there were holiday installments in this series, but I loved this.
Barbarian’s Prize (Ice Planet Barbarians #6) – Ruby Dixon
eBook Finished: August 9, 2021 / 3.5 / GR
I’m all for books with no plot and just spice, but I’ll admit that I’m glad that these books are building up some more plot. It might not be incredibly deep or complex, but it’s there. There’s internal and external conflict – it’s not just humans and blue aliens fucking…which is a sentence I never thought I’d type. But here we are. I liked Tiffany and Salukh. She’s got her own trauma is just trying to survive. I also like that he’s willing to be her friend – even if that’s all she’ll ever ask of him. I really loved that aspect of their relationship. He went against his nature to just be there for her, and if I didn’t melt.
Dark Obsession (Vampire Royals of New York #3) – Sarah Piper
Audiobook Finished: August 10, 2021 / 5 / Review TK / GR
This was a fantastic ending. I mean, seriously. I’ve loved this whole trilogy and this last book was just so good. It was stuffed full of more tender scenes, more action packed scenes, so much drama and heartache. It had everything you could possibly want. Charley and Dorian are still so delicious together. I know it’s not healthy to be jealous of a fictional character, but damn. I am. Legit, I have such a crush on Dorian LOL – it’s fine.
I couldn’t have asked for a better end. After the little reveal at the end of book 2 I had no idea what to expect – and I’m not complaining. 100% check this book/series out. I’m not kidding. Sarah Piper knows how to write a book that immediately sucks you in and keeps you enthralled.
Gods & Monsters (Serpent & Dove #3) – Shelby Mahurin
Audiobook Finished: August 11, 2021 / 5 / Review TK / GR
“[…] Mahurin transported me directly into this world. It didn’t matter that I didn’t immediately remember plot details, the world came to life instantly in my mind. I had no problems imaging what was happening – scenes unfolded and played out like a movie.
Honestly, I loved this book. There were moments where things felt a little disjointed, but I enjoyed the ride. Even when I wasn’t 100% sure what was happening, I was enjoying myself. I fell in love with Lou, Reid and Co in the first book, and I still love them by the end. It was just such a good story, a good journey and I loved going on it. I’m sad that the trilogy is now over, and I definitely plan on rereading them in the future – probably will do the audiobooks again (Serpent & Dove for the first time). Book 1 was amazing, book 2 good, but this third book…so many elements that added drama and I loved it. The stakes were high as were the rewards and I can honestly say that I couldn’t ask for a better ending.”
Song of the Forever Rains (Mousai #1) – E.J. Mellow
Audiobook Finished: August 13, 2021 / 5 / Review TK / GR
Okay, so put this book on your radar. Like, right now. Hell, drop what you’re currently reading and pick this up. I’d heard really good things, and I’d read some of Mellow’s stuff before, but I wasn’t prepared for just how much I was going to love this book. It’s kind of moody and atmospheric. Kind of gave off some gothic vibes – like pair high fantasy with a dark gothic atmosphere – and that’s this book. I will admit that I thought it was going to be a bit spicier than it was, but I’m in no way really complaining. I loved every minute of this book, and I’m counting down the days until book 2 is out on Audible.
Heart of Thorns (Vampire Royals of New York: Gabriel #1) – Sarah Piper
Audiobook Finished: August 14, 2021 / 5 / Review TK / GR
So, this picks up pretty much right after Dark Obsession and let me tell you how much I freaked the fuck out when I learned that moody, short temper traumatized Gabriel was getting his own trilogy. And that it was enemies to lovers. Like, yes please, sign me up. Gabriel and Jacinda are so good, their chemistry so good. I also really loved that it does take place after the events of Dorian’s series. I was a bit sad to see them go, but he and Charley are still in this series. I love when authors do this and I loved this first book. The Redthorne brothers are to die for, honestly.
Born at Dawn (Da’Valia Trilogy #1) – Christina Davis
Audiobook Finished: August 17, 2021 / 4.5 / Review TK / GR
This had been sitting on my shelf for a while, but when I saw that the audio had come out – I jumped on it. I was honestly pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed this more than I initially thought I would when I first went into it. But I was sucked in, everything was super vivid and bright in my mind. I had no problems picturing the setting. I did struggle just a bit to picture the Da’Valia, but it didn’t really bother me that much. I fell in love with the characters and the world. The plot was engaging, and I just wanted to find out what happens next. I’m excited for book 2 and I can’t wait for it to come out.
A Dance with the Fae Prince (Married to Magic #2) – Elise Kova
“[…] I fell into it.
Head over heels.
It’s been two days since I finished it, and I’m still thinking about it. I’m still thinking about how I want more. I loved Katria and Lord Fenwood, so much. I loved that while this was very much a Cinderella retelling, aspects felt a little like the story of Eros and Psyche. I loved the way their relationship progressed and how Katria bloomed once she was out from under her stepmother’s abuse. I loved how simple their relationship was in the beginning, and how it altered and changed into something much brighter and fierier.
There were moments between them that had me melting, broken hearted and absolutely gushing. The way her hubby cared for her – I loved it.”
Unleashing Fire (Fallen Legacies #3) – Julie Hall
Audiobook Finished: August 19, 2021 / 4.5 / Review TK / GR
I’ll admit that I was a bit burnt out with angels/supernatural beings with wings going into this book, but I’d been dying to know what happens next, so I dove in anyways. No regrets. I enjoyed this book. I loved the high stakes and the tension – the drama. So much drama. I loved the twist the author threw in, the explanations of Emberly’s character. I will admit that Steel and Emberly are pretty insta-love-y and I don’t quite buy into their relationship, but I was still eating it up. I’m apparently really easy to please. Godforbid soulmates/fated mates actually exist – because I think I’m fucked LOL. I’m sad that this was the end for these characters and this story, but I enjoyed it.
Enchanting the Elven Mage (Kingdoms of Lore #1) – Alisha Klapheke
Audiobook Finished: August 20, 2021 / 2 / Review TK / GR
Yeah. This was a miss quite honestly. I’m bummed that it didn’t live up to my expectations, but I’m also glad that I didn’t go and buy the whole series on kindle like I nearly did so many times. I didn’t like the main character – she was whiny and just overall annoying. the Prince was the most interesting character, but I still didn’t really care for them. And the two of them together weren’t believable at all. I didn’t buy that they had any type of chemistry. And the whole Sleeping Beauty element felt like it was tacked on and felt unnecessary. I really don’t recommend this, but feel free to give it a shot.
Sanctum (Blackwater Pack #1) – Hannah McBride
Audiobook Finished: August 22, 2021 / 5 / Review TK / GR
THIS BOOK. It had no business being as good as it was. I mean that in the best way possible. At first I thought it was just going to be your typical shifter romance, and in some regards it is, but honestly, it’s so much better. I was enthralled. Completely hooked. I mean, I’m dying to read book 2 and I bought it – but I really want the audio – which doesn’t exist yet. I love Remy and Skye. I loved the plot and the tension and the drama. There honestly wasn’t a single part of this that I didn’t inhale. 10/10 recommed. Read this book.
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) – Sarah J. Maas
Audiobook Finished: August 24, 2021 / 5 / GR
Well, this wasn’t planned. I tried starting a couple different audiobooks and nothing was holding my interest. I had this audiobook in my library so I just decided to go for it. One, it’s nice being able to just read a book (or series) without needing to review it. And even though I have quite the backlog of posts that it doesn’t really matter, it’s honestly pressure free. This is my first re-read post KOA. I re-read the series right before Kingdom of Ash and knowing what I know, it’s amazing to see the threads that SJM wove through since the beginning. And just like the last time I read this series back to back, I’m reminded of just how amazing it is and now I desperately want a tv show.
Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) – Sarah J. Maas
Audiobook Finished: August 26, 2021 / 5 / GR
Again, I forgot how good these books are, how good this book is. I forgot how much happened in the beginning – it’s a bit insane. I am unofficially kind of clocking the timeline for this series, since SJM said something like, it happens within a year. And I call BS, sorry lol. I’m not actively trying to timeline it or anything, but as I hear about any big time jumps, I make a little note. But I love Celaena in this – I forgot how sassy she is as Celaena, and just how traumatized as well. I’m having so much fun being back in this world, it’s great.
Rise to the Sun – Leah Johnson
ARC Finished: August 28, 2021 / 3 / Review / GR
“[…] I really had no expectations going into this book. I know people loved Johnson’s debut, so I was a little excited and the premise did sound pretty good. Unfortunately, I didn’t love this as much as I figured. Early on, I thought that this was going to be something that I ultimately really enjoyed and would recommend to a bunch of people. While I don’t think the book was wholly bad, and there are some really funny and adorable moments, my big complaints are the 3-day timeline, the insta-love element and I didn’t buy into the chemistry between Olivia and Toni.
I think the expedited timeline and insta-love go hand in hand. Unless there is some fantastical, magical, supernatural or something element that can provide a reason for insta-love – I’m not a fan. I’m a firm believer that in a contemporary setting, insta-love isn’t love. It’s lust.”