off the shelf: what I read – July 2020

Still Reading

A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane – barbarian romantic fantasy is a flavor I haven’t tried…

Finished

Destiny’s Captive by Beverly Jenkins – Selected purely for the pirate lady cover. I was thrilled to find that the heroine is a Cuban pirate/rebel/thief, but wish it had played a larger role in the plot. My one pet peeve: the Spanish is not quite right (including the main endearment), but I doubt anyone involved in the editing was aware of it shrug.

Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai – A sweet romance with a thoughtful look at PTSD and trauma. It’s cute, but I prefer Alisha Rai’s earlier series. This series leans into Women’s Fiction territory more than contemporary romance IMO.

Daring and the Duke (Bareknuckle Bastards series) by Sarah MacLean – Brazen and the Beast is still the best in this series (IMHO), but this was a great follow-up. I love a redemption story (not a surprise, if you’ve been following my recent reviews), and this one hits the spot.

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (Rules of Scoundrels series) by Sarah MacLean – I didn’t love this. The “nerd girl who is clueless about sex” trope is popular, but not one that works for me. I skimmed to the end, so I could move on to the next book in the series.

Audiobooks

Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole – back at it…

DNF

none! yay!

Follow me on

twitter | instagram | youtube | pinterest | goodreads | podcast

off the shelf: what I read in June 2020

Still Reading

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (Rules of Scoundrels series) by Sarah MacLean – hmmmm… there are tropes I don’t love…

Finished

Chaos Reigning by Jessie Mihalik – The last in the Consortium Rebellion series. Polaris Rising remains my favorite, but each book in this series shines with rebel princesses, political intrigue, and the space drama. (Jessie Mihalik is one of my favorite authors of the last two years. I already pre-ordered her next book.)

Reborn Yesterday by Tessa Bailey – A fated mates-style vampire romance—not at all what I expected from this author. It was cute. Not quite for me. I had a hard time understanding the reasoning behind the Ginny’s status as a social pariah. I mean, I got it, but I couldn’t understand why… it just didn’t resonate.

The Baby-Sitters Club, books 1-4 by Ann M. Martin – read for the podcast. I now realize how my mom felt when I was kid and insisted on watching Full House… I’m not the audience for this series and I’m not sure I ever was… (listeners will know that I didn’t jive with what passed as children’s/YA hits in the 90s)

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard – I lost interest in this series midway through Book 3 (when it came out), but something drew me back to this world (can it be the impending sense of doom in our own?). I didn’t love it shrug. It’s very drawn out (war war detail detail) and I interest waned early on, but I persisted by skimming to the end.

A Rogue by Any Other Name (Rules of Scoundrels series) by Sarah MacLean – I love an an angsty redemption story and this one has angst in spades! Childhood friends, a ruined Duke turned scoundrel, semi-forced marriage of convenience, and a whole lot of “How you gonna fix this?” drama.

Audiobooks

Untouchable (also called Deep Kiss of Winter? Why does the audio have a different name?) by Kresley Cole – it’s official, the Wroths are some of my favorite IAD males. I love a broody vampire and there’s no denying it.

DNF

The Great Influenza by John M. Barry – not quite what I was looking for… More on the history of individuals rather than the pandemic (though I DNFed in the first section. I didn’t have the drive to continue).

Follow me on

twitter | instagram | youtube | pinterest | goodreads | podcast

off the shelf: what I read in May 2020

Still Reading

Chaos Reigning by Jessie Mihalik – my favorite spacey romance series

Finished

It’s Getting Scot in Here by Suzanne Enoch – It was ok. Highlanders, manipulative mothers, and a trip to Gretna Greene. I skimmed the last quarter because I was in too deep and just wanted to know how it ended.

Too Hot to Handle by Tessa Bailey – Siblings with tons of baggage and a road trip gone awry. Also grew a little exasperated with this one, seemed to rely more on love scenes than plot development. I’ve enjoyed all the other books I’ve read by this author; this one just didn’t satisfy in the same way.

Smitten by the Brit by Melonie Johnson – I’m not sure if this reads like old school romance, or the heroine is just that clueless. I received this as part of a blind box from an indie bookstore, so it’s not an author or genre that I normally go for.

A Murderous Relation by Deanna Raybourn – This series is an insta-read for me. Excellent mystery and the slowest of slow burn romance subplots. Historical mystery set against the backdrop of the Ripper murders. It feels like a conclusion, but maybe not?

Audiobooks

Dark Deed’s at Night’s Edge by Kresley Cole – ballerina flapper ghost meets vengeful virgin vampire. We love a virgin vampire! Sort of a friends to lovers in the IADverse.

Dark Desires after Dusk by Kresley Cole – I didn’t love Holly, but I did like Caed. Sheltered, OCD mathematician meets disgraced demon prince. Adventure, betrayal, redemption. A road trip with high stakes that didn’t feel that high TBH, but still a good distraction.

Kiss of a Demon King by Kresley Cole – We enter the realm of light bondage. Enemies to lovers who bring out the best and worst in each other is my kind of kink.

Follow me on

twitter | instagram | youtube | pinterest | goodreads | podcast

off the shelf : what I read, March – April 2020

I debated recording a video, but I don’t have the mental space to record, edit, and try to upload on my mediocre connection, so here’s what I read in March and April… with super short reviews.

Also, I’ve read a lot of romance and fantasy in the last 4 years… the current state of the world is leading me further down this rabbit hole.

Read

The Beast of Beswick by Amalie Howard – Regency romance meets Beauty & the Beast in this story about a spinster who will marry a “beast” to save her sister.

The Queen’s Gambit by Jessie Mihalik – the leader of a refugee planet crosses paths with the emperor of one of the warring factions that put her people in danger. Misunderstandings, political intrigue, and a rogue with a heart of gold in SPACE.

The Queen’s Advantage by Jessie Mihalik – All I can say is give me more!

Tycoon by Joanna Shupe – a Gilded age novella. Sassy heroine witnesses a murder, runs straight into the arms of a sexy older bank owner. Old old timey billionaire romance

Boiling Point by Tessa Bailey – sexy thriller with lots of dirty talking con artists
Asking for trouble by Tessa Bailey – enemies to lovers with even more dirty talk… Tessa Bailey scratches an itch.

Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas – a classic romance (1994) by an author I’ve never read. Fun and not too much of a cringe re: older romance tropes.

The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley – A spiritualist and her mother run afoul of the law when she accidentally knocks out a Duke’s nephew. More misunderstandings, Victorian sexy times. TW for rape and trauma.

Winterwood by Jacey Bedford – Georgian adventure fantasy – pirates! faeries! magical revolution! An under the radar read.

Listened

The Immortals After Dark series – Immortals of ALL kinds. Lots of sex. This is the ULTIMATE paranormal romance series (and it’s 18 books long to date). Mostly enemies to lovers.

A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole – Vampire/Valkryie meets crazed, tortured Lykae. Rapey times ensue.

I initially DNFed this book. It’s extremely rapey, but I’m glad I decided to try the audiobook because the other books have grown on me. Listening is a better experience than reading it because I don’t have to get into the character’s heads. I’m kind of surprised this is the opening to the series because Lachlan’s treatment of Emma is a big NOPE for me.

*still, I persisted*

The Warlord Wants Forever by Kresley Cole (technically a prequel to book 1, novella) – Valkyrie warrior meets Estonian Vampire. It’s a better start than the actual first book.

No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole *loved – Estonian Vampire 2 meets cold-hearted Valkyrie assassin on a magical version of the Amazing Race.

Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night by Kresley Cole *loved – Prophecied witch meets grumpy Lykae on a quest to revive his dead mate.

*Kaderin and Mariketa are my favorite heroines so far

 

Follow me on

twitter | instagram | youtube | pinterest | goodreads | podcast

social distance diaries: day 1

a snapshot of my day thus far

*officially went remote for work

started with the usual – feed the cats, coffee & biscotti, make the bed, etc…

2 hours of working the library’s online chat service

schedule online meetings with department to catch up tomorrow

drive to work to take care of remote staff needs

[stop by Whole Foods for cereal and cookies because I ran out of the first and craved the second]

back home after taking care of business

lunch and panic call with mom

meeting and emails

walk and quick workout to get the jitters out

more emails and a quick check-in meeting on updates to our services that needs to go live ASAP

phone meeting on library-wide situation

heat up dinner because we’re meal prepping again

get to work reading review books that I’ve been too mentally drained to read 😦

I’m checking in on Insta stories throughout the day. Expect #quarantinecats and mental health walks.

———————

on a side note, I posted my February reads 🙂

Follow me on

twitter | instagram | youtube | pinterest | goodreads | podcast

video: off the shelf – what I read – January 2020

A little bit of everything this month… What I read, what I started, and what I gave up on in January.

What have you been reading lately? Any female-driven fantasy recommendations? 

📚 Read

Harleen, v.3 by Stjepan Sejic

A Christmas Promise by Mary Balogh

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking

Emergency Contact by Mary HK Choi

Atomic Habits by James Clear (audiobook)

📖 Reading

On a Wild Night by Stephanie Laurens

Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating by Christy Harrison

🚫 DNF

Twice Upon a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

🤔 Forgot to mention

Stuck-up Suit by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland – this is a billionaire romance, which is not my style normally. It was ok. There was some weirdness re: possessiveness and unprotected sex that I didn’t like.

 

Follow me on

twitter | instagram | youtube | pinterest | goodreads | podcast

video: off the shelf – what I read: Nov – Dec 2019

Another marathon #romance reading session… What I read, what I started, and what I didn’t finish in November and December 2019.

What have you been reading lately? What are you loving? I’m open to all genres and recs ❤️

📚 Read

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai (audiobook)

Forbidden Hearts series by Alisha Rai (I read them in reverse, don’t judge me.)

  • Hurts to Love You (book 3)
  • Wrong to Need You (book 2)
  • Hate to Want You (book 1)

Trade Me by Courtney Milan

The Rogue of Fifth Avenue by Joanna Shupe

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

📖 Reading

Emergency Contact by Mary HK Choi

📕 DNF

The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan

 

Follow me on

twitter | instagram | youtube | pinterest | goodreads | podcast

video: off the shelf – what I read in August

And I’m back! More books, more mini reviews 🙂

 

MENTIONED

You can buy these titles using the affiliate links or find them at your local library via WorldCat

 

Follow me on

twitter | instagram | youtube | pinterest | goodreads | podcast

video: off the shelf – July 2019

What I read (and didn’t finish) in July.

Disclaimer: Affiliate links help support the blog/channel/podcast at no extra cost to you. Feel free to google the titles, if you prefer not to use them. You can search your local library on WorldCat.

 

Follow me on

twitter | instagram | youtube | pinterest | goodreads | podcast

video: The F*ck It Diet review and response

Settle in friends, this is a long one..

I noted in my June “off the shelf” that The F*ck It Diet triggered all my triggers: my history with diet culture, body image, fatphobia, doctor avoidance, and more…
Here, I break it down, share what I learned, my current struggles, and the very real realization that I still see the fat girl I was when I shop for jeans.

Also mentioned: how the Whole30 screwed with my head, and how having hypothyroidism affects my perception of wellness vs. dieting.

MENTIONED

 

Follow me on

twitter | instagram | youtube | pinterest | goodreads | podcast