Review: Brigerton Books 1-3

Brigerton Books 1-3 by Julia Quinn

Genre: Romance

📖The Duke and I

DAPHNE’S STORY

In the ballrooms and drawing rooms of Regency London, rules abound. From their earliest days, children of aristocrats learn how to address an earl and curtsey before a prince—while other dictates of the ton are unspoken yet universally understood. A proper duke should be imperious and aloof. A young, marriageable lady should be amiable…but not tooamiable.

Daphne Bridgerton has always failed at the latter. The fourth of eight siblings in her close-knit family, she has formed friendships with the most eligible young men in London. Everyone likes Daphne for her kindness and wit. But no one truly desires her. She is simply too deuced honestfor that, too unwilling to play the romantic games that captivate gentlemen.

Amiability is not a characteristic shared by Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings. Recently returned to England from abroad, he intends to shun both marriage and society—just as his callous father shunned Simon throughout his painful childhood. Yet an encounter with his best friend’s sister offers another option. If Daphne agrees to a fake courtship, Simon can deter the mamas who parade their daughters before him. Daphne, meanwhile, will see her prospects and her reputation soar.

The plan works like a charm—at first. But amid the glittering, gossipy, cut-throat world of London’s elite, there is only one certainty: love ignores every rule…

Thoughts:

This book gave me the most trouble and will be hard to review. I loved most of this book and was all in for Daphne and Simons story! I loved the banter between Simon and Daphne and the romance was just so sweet! Then boom almost near the end the book there is a scene that just totally changed my view! It was not needed! So that completely ruined the book for me. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

📖 The Viscount Who Loved Me

ANTHONY’S STORY

This time the gossip columnists have it wrong. London’s most elusive bachelor Anthony Bridgerton hasn’t just decided to marry—he’s even chosen a wife! The only obstacle is his intended’s older sister, Kate Sheffield—the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with her determination to stop the betrothal, but when he closes his eyes at night, Kate’s the woman haunting his increasingly erotic dreams…

Contrary to popular belief, Kate is quite sure that reformed rakes do not make the best husbands—and Anthony Bridgerton is the most wicked rogue of them all. Kate’s determined to protect her sister—but she fears her own heart is vulnerable. And when Anthony’s lips touch hers, she’s suddenly afraid she might not be able to resist the reprehensible rake herself…

Thoughts:

This book was fun. I loved the banter between Anthony and Kate. I loved how strong willed Kate was and didn’t take Anthony’s crap. I loved Kate’s relationship with her sister and stepmother. My biggest complaint with this one was Anthony just got on my nerves after awhile. He has Kate and then just starts being a complete jerk because he doesn’t want to fall in love. Get over yourself. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

📖An Offer From a Gentleman

BENEDICT’S STORY

Sophie Beckett never dreamed she’d be able to sneak into Lady Bridgerton’s famed masquerade ball—or that “Prince Charming” would be waiting there for her! Though the daughter of an earl, Sophie has been relegated to the role of servant by her disdainful stepmother. But now, spinning in the strong arms of the debonair and devastatingly handsome Benedict Bridgerton, she feels like royalty. Alas, she knows all enchantments must end when the clock strikes midnight.

Ever since that magical night, a radiant vision in silver has blinded Benedict to the attractions of any other—except, perhaps, this alluring and oddly familiar beauty dressed in housemaid’s garb whom he feels compelled to rescue from a most disagreeable situation. He has sworn to find and wed his mystery miss, but this breathtaking maid makes him weak with wanting her. Yet, if he offers her his heart, will Benedict sacrifice his only chance for a fairy-tale love?

Thoughts:


I couldn’t stand how Benedict was so selfish that he wanted Sophie for a mistress but not to marry. This book really touched me though and I found myself sobbing at one point. I was just so sad for Sophie who thought she meant nothing and wasn’t worthy of happy life. How she was treated and how she knew she would never be able to marry Benedict. Of course there is a HEA at the end though. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Overall:

As you can see these books are full of romance but there is always something in them that I just can’t get behind. Honestly I’m not sure why I’m continuing to read but I know I will! I am hooked on the Netflix series right now and am so looking forward to more seasons!

Review: Honor

Honor by Thrity Umrigar

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Literary Fiction

“As children, we were taught to be afraid of tigers and lions. Nobody taught us what I know today – the most dangerous animal in this world is a man with wounded pride.”

Synopsis:

In this riveting and immersive novel, bestselling author Thrity Umrigar tells the story of two couples and the sometimes dangerous and heartbreaking challenges of love across a cultural divide.

Indian American journalist Smita has returned to India to cover a story, but reluctantly: long ago she and her family left the country with no intention of ever coming back. As she follows the case of Meena—a Hindu woman attacked by members of her own village and her own family for marrying a Muslim man—Smita comes face to face with a society where tradition carries more weight than one’s own heart, and a story that threatens to unearth the painful secrets of Smita’s own past. While Meena’s fate hangs in the balance, Smita tries in every way she can to right the scales. She also finds herself increasingly drawn to Mohan, an Indian man she meets while on assignment. But the dual love stories of Honor are as different as the cultures of Meena and Smita themselves: Smita realizes she has the freedom to enter into a casual affair, knowing she can decide later how much it means to her.

In this tender and evocative novel about love, hope, familial devotion, betrayal, and sacrifice, Thrity Umrigar shows us two courageous women trying to navigate how to be true to their homelands and themselves at the same time.

Thoughts:

This book took me by complete surprise. I went in almost blind picking it up at the library because I had seen as a Reese pick. Boy am I so glad that I did. Reviewing this book is complicated because this is not in any way an easy book to read. It’s full of horrible facts about the world that we don’t want to think about it. But the author takes this horror and turns it into a beautiful story. I knew this would be a 5 star book for me when I was a third into it and I had to bring it to work with me so I could try and read when I could. I cried a lot in this book! I was angry and disgusted as well. I thought for sure this book was a true account with how vivid and real the author writes this story. The characters are well written and the story really grips you in. I know this will be a book that I wont soon forget and will continue to think about.

Overall:

This book is beautiful, moving and so powerful! I really feel I can’t do justice in a written review of this book so just go read it! This was also Reese’s book club pick for January!

Review: The Book of Magic

The Book of Magic by Alice Hoffman

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Magical Realism

“Some stores begin at the beginning and others begin at the end, but all the best stories begin in a library.”

Synopsis:

For over three-hundred years a curse has kept the Owens family from love—but all of that is about to change. The novel begins in a library, the best place for a story to be conjured, when beloved aunt Jet Owens hears the deathwatch beetle and knows she has only seven days to live. Jet is not the only one in danger—the curse is already at work.

A frantic attempt to save a young man’s life spurs three generations of the Owens women, and one long-lost brother, to use their unusual gifts to break the curse as they travel from Paris to London to the English countryside where their ancestor Maria Owens first practiced the Unnamed Art. The younger generation discovers secrets that have been hidden from them in matters of both magic and love by Sally, their fiercely protective mother. As Kylie Owens uncovers the truth about who she is and what her own dark powers are, her aunt Franny comes to understand that she is ready to sacrifice everything for her family, and Sally Owens realizes that she is willing to give up everything for love.

A heartfelt and satisfying conclusion to a beloved series, The Book of Magic celebrates mothers and daughters, sisters and brothers, and anyone who has ever been in love

Thoughts:

I knew this one would end up being 5 stars when I am already crying within the first 50 pages. This book had the best of both worlds. It was a trip down memory lane with characters that I’ve loved- Franny and Jet along with Sally and Gillian. But it was also a fresh look at the Owens women with the youngest girls- Kylie and Antonia. I loved the premise of this book that they were finally going to try and break the love course. This book was sad, nostalgic but with a happy ever after that was well deserved for this family. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to these characters. I have loved these books and count them among my all time favorites. But the ending was perfect. Alice Hoffman is one of my favorite authors and this book shines as one of her best!

Review: Mr. Wrong Number

Mr Wrong Number by Lynn Painter

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Romance

Synopsis:

Bad luck has always followed Olivia Marshall…or maybe she’s just the screw-up her family thinks she is. But when a “What are you wearing?” text from a random wrong number turns into the hottest, most entertaining—albeit anonymous—relationship of her life, she thinks things might be on the upswing….

Colin Beck has always considered Olivia his best friend’s annoying little sister, but when she moves in with them after one of her worst runs of luck, he realizes she’s turned into an altogether different and sexier distraction. He’s sure he can keep his distance, until the moment he discovers she’s the irresistible Miss Misdial he’s been sort of sexting for weeks—and now he has to decide whether to turn the heat up or ghost her before things get messy.

Thoughts:

This book was so much fun and so easy to get lost in! I am all about romcoms right now and I think it’s because they are such an escape and give you all the feels.

I freaking love Olivia. She is a hot mess and it doesn’t stop her. Colin is oh so swoon worthy and you hate to love him. The banter and the chemistry between these two is just perfect. Old friends (or enemies) to lovers is my absolute favorite and this book delivers on so many levels! I love when you finish a book and days later you miss those characters. That is what is happening to me.

Overall:

I picked this up on a NetGalley whim and so glad I did. It was my favorite read in January! Pub Date is March 1 2022

Review: Gods & Monsters

Gods and Monsters by Shelby Mahurin

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis:

This is the third and final book in the Serpent & Dove trilogy. Lou has spent her whole life running. Now, after a crushing blow from Morgane, the time has come to go home—and claim what is rightfully hers. But this is no longer the Lou her friends knew. No longer the Lou who captured a chasseur’s heart. A darkness has settled over her, and this time it will take more than love to drive it out.

Thoughts:

I was a little mixed in my feelings at the start. It felt like it was dragging out content to just to make a third book. It was very repetitive. But I was invested in this story and characters and kept going. The book got better with more action and great moments. The last third of the book really got good and had me not wanting to put it down. And the ending was just epic. I cried a few times at the end because their were some really tender and heartwarming moments. And the epilogue had me sobbing as well. I really loved this story and these characters and was sad to let them go.

Overall:

I feel like this third book wasn’t really needed. It would have made for a great duology although the second book would have needed altered. Overall though I really enjoyed this series. I am anxious to read more from this author and these are books I will reread in years to come!

Review: The Maid

The Maid by Nita Prose

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Mystery

Thank you to Penguin Randomhouse Audio for the gifted audio of this book!

Synopsis:

Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by.

Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has been navigating life’s complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection. 

But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, one she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had unite with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black—but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late?

Thoughts:

Molly is such a great MC. Molly is serious and straight to the point and gets to be the hero of her own story! Quirky characters like Molly who feel a little awkward around people and in society I hold a special love for cause I see a bit of myself in them! I adored hearing her point of view and outlook on the events of the story! Listening on audio the narrator did a great job portraying her personality! This book is entertaining, well developed and great story telling. Audiobooks I can usually set aside and come back to but this one I didn’t want to put down. The ending did have a slight twist and I debated my rating overall but I think it made it work actually and understand why she wrote it that way.

Overall:

Overall this book was so great and I’ve already added it to my book of the month cart as an add on for February. I would definitely read it again!

Review: Hang The Moon

Hang the Moon by Alexandria Bellefleur

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Genre: Romance

“Since when is love supposed to be convenient?”

Synopsis:

Brendon loves love and that’s why he created a dating app for others to find true love. When Annie- his sisters best friend- shows up in town he jumps at the chance to show her around town. He had a crush on her since they were kids! Annie is in Seattle temporarily so she knows getting involved with Brendon would be a bad idea. But Brendan is determined to change her mind about leaving.

Thoughts:

This was such a cute romance and I loved the storyline! Brendan had me swooning almost from the start and is such a sweetheart. He and Annie made such a cute couple and I loved the dates they went on. Annie did get a little frustrating at times which lowered my overall stars of the book. It was close to 5⭐️. I felt like some of the decisions she was making weren’t very thought out. There was a lot of emotional background issues hidden in these main characters which brought a sense of reality to the romance.

Overall:

This is the second book in this series and I haven’t actually read the first one. I don’t feel like they need to be read in order.

This book was just so sweet and heartwarming and definitely recommend to fans of friends to lovers!

Review: 11/22/63

11/22/63 by Stephen King

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis:

It begins with Jake Epping, a thirty-five-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away—a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than fifty years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer. Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life—like Harry’s, like America’s in 1963—turning on a dime. Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. 

So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson, in a different world of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there’s Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading eventually, of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful, and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.

Thoughts:

This was one of my last reads in 2021. I switched back and forth between audio(such great narration!) and physical book because I could not atop reading! This was my first Stephen King book and after this I can see why he is such a popular author. His writing is just genius. This is not my typical genre and I was so surprised how much I loved it. This story has mystery, a bit of fantasy and sci-fi, some history and even some romance. I laughed and I cried! I bought this as a gift for my aunt last Christmas and this Christmas it was all we talked about. The story of Jake and what he sets out to accomplish is so engaging and well written!

Overall:

Definite ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and a book I will forever recommend. It is thick but so worth it! I can’t wait to read more from Stephen King!

Review: The Hawthorne Legacy

The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Genre: Suspense

Synopsis:

The Inheritance Games ended with a bombshell, and now heiress Avery Grambs has to pick up the pieces and find the man who might hold the answers to all of her questions—including why Tobias Hawthorne left his entire fortune to Avery, a virtual stranger, rather than to his own daughters or grandsons. 

Thanks to a DNA test, Avery knows that she’s not a Hawthorne by blood, but clues pile up hinting at a deeper connection to the family than she had ever imagined. As the mystery grows and the plot thickens, Grayson and Jameson, two of the enigmatic and magnetic Hawthorne grandsons, continue to pull Avery in different directions. And there are threats lurking around every corner, as adversaries emerge who will stop at nothing to see Avery out of the picture—by any means necessary.

Thoughts:

This is the second book in The Inheritance Games series. I loved the first book and this one continues with more mystery for Avery and the Hawthornes. They are trying to dig even deeper into why she was gifted the inheritance.

I really wasn’t getting into this one at first, which was upsetting because I loved the first book. The story just felt like it was a mess but then something clicked and I was hooked again. The puzzle aspect is always the highlight of these books! I love it!! It really makes you want to not put the book down!

I am really looking forward to the next book to wrap everything up and finally solve this mystery!

Review: A History of Wild Places

A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Mystery

Synopsis:

Travis Wren has an unusual talent for locating missing people. Hired by families as a last resort, he requires only a single object to find the person who has vanished. When he takes on the case of Maggie St. James—a well-known author of dark, macabre children’s books—he’s led to a place many believed to be only a legend. 

Called Pastoral, this reclusive community was founded in the 1970s by like-minded people searching for a simpler way of life. By all accounts, the commune shouldn’t exist anymore and soon after Travis stumbles upon it…he disappears. Just like Maggie St. James. 

Years later, Theo, a lifelong member of Pastoral, discovers Travis’s abandoned truck beyond the border of the community. No one is allowed in or out, not when there’s a risk of bringing a disease—rot—into Pastoral. Unraveling the mystery of what happened reveals secrets that Theo, his wife, Calla, and her sister, Bee, keep from one another. Secrets that prove their perfect, isolated world isn’t as safe as they believed—and that darkness takes many forms.

Thoughts:

My thoughts on this one are mixed. This book is a little strange and a little hard to understand. It has a really creepy and dark feel to it as well. I think that is the best part of the story is the atmosphere it projects. There is a sense of something just isn’t right throughout the book. But it did keep me engaged and wanting to read and I read it pretty fast too.