Once again, I didn’t mean to take 5 months to post a reading update, but here we are. Some of these are briefer than others because I failed to write my notes as I read, but the ratings are as arbitrarily cakey as ever.
I Didn’t Do the Thing Today: Letting Go of Productivity Guilt by Madeleine Dore
Ironically, I set this one aside for a month or so because I couldn’t do the thing… I’m almost done and it’s been a great read so far and a solid reminder to let go of what isn’t serving.
The Masterful Cat is Depressed Again Today, vol. 1 by 🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰
If you’re looking for a sweet, slice-of-life manga about a somewhat hopeless mess of a 20-something and her human-sized cat, this is the one for you. Randomly picked it based on the title and it became an insta-fave. It’s only 5 volumes long, so worth a read if you’re looking for a short manga series.
Sweat and Soap, vol. 1-6 by Kintetsu Yamada 🍰🍰🍰🍰
One of my coworkers recommended this series after I mentioned that I like the more adult romance manga. It’s the story of a girl who suffers from excess sweating and a perfume expert who is captivated by her scent. Shenanigans ensue. It’s 11 volumes long, so I’m working my way through it.
Partners in Crime by Alisha Rai 🍰🍰🍰
I had mixed feelings about this one at first. Thought about DNF-ing at first, but I was stuck at the Dr.’s office and it was on my Kindle so I kept going and am happy I did. I prefer Alisha Rai’s earlier books (pre illustrated cover era), but this was a fun change and I enjoyed the heist element.
Rowankind by Jacey Bedford 🍰🍰🍰
I started reading this one in December 2021 and I kept setting it aside, distracted by new books and library holds, until I considered DNF-ing it. But I persisted and here we are. Book 2 is the strongest in the series IMHO, but if you’re into alternate British history with a fantasy element, and want to read something that isn’t set in Medieval England, give it a try.
The Fastest Way to Fall by Denise Williams 🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰
Britta and Wes were just what I needed to get out of a reading slump. Jess Owens mentioned this book in one of her reading vlogs and I was curious so I ordered it from the library and set my other books aside. It was perfect. A sweet but spicy slow burn romance between a writer embarking on a body positivity-inspired wellness journey and the CEO/fitness coach who takes her on as his client. You can feel the tension rolling off the page as they fall for each other.
Get a Life, Chloe Brown 🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰 and Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert 🍰🍰🍰🍰
Lumping these two together because I binged them one after the other. Why only books 1 and 3? Because I read book 2 when it came out and had these on my TBR for-ever! Talia Hibbert can do no wrong. She gets the humor just right and hits all the marks with the romance. I loved Chloe and could relate to her struggles with chronic pain and really enjoyed Eve’s journey of discovery.
Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood 🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰
Is Ali Hazelwood my new fave? Yes. Yes, she is. Tropey and familiar, but just what I needed when I was going through a rough time and desperately wanted something light and fluffy. I also love the side characters that Ali Hazelwood creates. They’re just a fleshed out as the mains and it makes for a good side plot.
A Sinister Revenge by Deanna Raybourn 🍰🍰🍰
YES! After DNF-ing the last installment, I’m happy to find that this one reignited my love for the mix of mystery and sexual tension that Deanna Raybourn does best. However, I kind of wish I read the book, rather than listened to the audio because the narrator’s rendition of male voices really messed with the one in my head. I’m not sure I would’ve gotten behind Stoker if the narrator’s rendition had been my first experience of the character.
Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren 🍰🍰🍰
I did it. I finally found the Christina Lauren series that checks my box. I don’t know if it’s a reflection of the current trends in romance publishing or a sign of my penchant for high heat reads, but I’ve never been able to get into any of the other books I’ve tried by Christina Lauren. This being their first published series, I can finally see why they got so popular within the romance reader community. Boss billionaire romance isn’t my usual trope, but this one does it for me.
Beautiful Stranger by Christina Lauren 🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰
This. This is the one that ticks all my boxes. If I had to recommend just one in this series, this would be it. Genuinely spicy with well-developed characters.
Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren 🍰🍰🍰
Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it. I’m not into the “I knew her as a kid” trope, so this one didn’t quite land for me.
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood 🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰
I was ambivalent about this one for a while, but I finally gave in to the hype and have 0 regrets! This was just the fun sort of campy romance I think of when I think of true RomCom, with the perfect amount of angst to balance it out. So glad I gave it a try.
The Christmas One Night Stand by L. Steele
Got about a third of the way through this one but the plot dragged a bit and too much was tied to other couples in what I figure was an earlier part of the series or a related, sister series. 🤷♀️ I lost interest in the story.
The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang
I DNF-ed her second book and now her third. I think it’s safe to say Helen Hoang’s series isn’t for me.
Chase Wilde Comes Home by Jennifer Ryan
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