August 2023 Reading Wrap-Up

August 2023 Reading Wrap-Up

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My August reading was great. I read more books this month than any other months this year. I had a ton of 5 star reads including a whole cowboy romance series. Keep reading to see all the books I read this month.

 

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August Reading Stats

Books read: 19

Pages read: 7,294

Average rating: 4.66

DNF: 2 

Formats: 1 physical book, 4 eBooks, & 14 audiobooks

 

Books Read

These are all of the books that I finished in the month of August. I will mention other books that I read some of but didn’t finish later in this post.

 

1. Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Rating & Spice Level: 4/5 stars & no spice

Purchase here: Bookshop.org | Amazon | BAM | AbeBooks 

Book 1 of the Skyward series

 

Synopsis:

Spensa’s world has been under attack for decades. Now pilots are the heroes of what’s left of the human race, and becoming one has always been Spensa’s dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring skyward and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with her father’s–a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa’s chances of attending flight school at slim to none.

No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, yet fate works in mysterious ways. Flight school might be a long shot, but she is determined to fly. And an accidental discovery in a long-forgotten cavern might just provide her with a way to claim the stars.

 

A Few Thoughts:

While this book was a bit longer than I would’ve liked, I still really enjoyed this story and the world that the author created. The characters were really likable as well.

 

2. A Cowboy for Keeps by Jody Hedlund

Genre: Adult Historical Romance

Rating & Spice Level: 5/5 stars & no spice

Purchase here: Bookshop.org | Amazon | BAM | AbeBooks | Libro.fm (get a free audiobook when you start a membership)

Also available on: Scribd 

Book 1 of The Colorado Cowboys series

Synopsis:

Greta Nilsson’s trip west to save her ailing little sister, Astrid, could not have gone more wrong. First, bandits hold up her stagecoach, stealing all her money. Then, upon arriving in Fairplay, Colorado, she learns the man she was betrothed to as a mail-order bride has died. Homeless, penniless, and jobless, Greta and her sister are worse off than when they started.

Wyatt McQuaid is struggling to get his new ranch up and running and is in town to purchase cattle when the mayor proposes the most unlikely of bargains. He’ll invest in a herd of cattle for Wyatt’s ranch if Wyatt agrees to help the town become more respectable by marrying and starting a family. And the mayor, who has promised to try to help Greta, has just the candidate in mind for Wyatt to marry.

 

A Few Thoughts:

Loved this book so much! Here’s a quote that I really enjoyed 🙂

“I’m thinking it’ll serve as a reminder that next time you so much as blow a breath on my wife, I’ll be blowing off your head instead of your hat.”

 

3. The Heart of a Cowboy by Jody Hedlund

Genre: Adult Historical Romance

Rating & Spice Level: 5/5 stars & no spice

Purchase here: Bookshop.org | Amazon | BAM | AbeBooks | Libro.fm (get a free audiobook when you start a membership)

Also available on: Scribd 

Book 2 of The Colorado Cowboys series

Synopsis:

When he agreed to guard her, he never bargained on having to guard his heart.

Brilliant scientist Linnea Newberry is on the adventure of a lifetime, traveling the Santa Fe Trail with her grandfather, Dr. Howell, on a botanical expedition to Colorado Territory. She longs to be valued for her contributions and not seen as a helpless liability. But at every calamity she faces, her grandfather threatens to send her home.

After watching his ma suffer and die in childbirth, Flynn McQuaid has sworn off women and marriage forever. Headed west to start a new life, he has his hands full not only taking care of his younger siblings but also delivering cattle to his older brother. He doesn’t need more complications.

When Flynn rescues Linnea from drowning during a river crossing, Dr. Howell promptly
hires Flynn–unbeknownst to Linnea–to act as her bodyguard for the rest of the trip. As
Flynn fights against the many dangers of the trail, he soon finds himself in the greatest danger of all–falling for a woman he’s determined not to love.

 

A Few Thoughts:

The chemistry between the main characters in this story was so good! I loved this second book in the series so much!

 

4. To Tame a Cowboy by Jody Hedlund

Genre: Adult Historical Romance

Rating & Spice Level: 5/5 stars & no spice

Purchase here: Bookshop.org | Amazon | BAM | AbeBooks | Libro.fm (get a free audiobook when you start a membership)

Also available on: Scribd 

Book 3 of The Colorado Cowboys series

Synopsis:

They share a passion to heal what is broken, but it’s their own hearts that need to be made whole.

Brody McQuaid is a broken man, and he knows it. While his body survived the war, his soul did not. Besides loving his little niece, his only sense of purpose comes from saving the wild horses that roam South Park. Ranchers in the area have taken to killing the horses, which are competing with their cattle to feed on the open grass.

Savannah Marshall is a veterinarian on her family’s Colorado ranch. She longs to keep her father happy following the tragic death of her older brother, including marrying a man of his choosing. But days before her wedding, she gets cold feet and disappears to South Park. As she learns more about the destruction of the horses, she joins Brody in an attempt to save the wild creatures. But when Savannah’s family and the resentments of the area cattlemen catch up with them both, Brody and Savannah will have to tame their fears if they’ve any hope to let love run free.

 

A Few Thoughts:

Brody and Savannah were so good together! There were definitely some plot twists in this book that I enjoyed.

 

5. Falling for the Cowgirl by Jody Hedlund

Genre: Adult Historical Romance

Rating & Spice Level: 5/5 stars & no spice

Purchase here: Bookshop.org | Amazon | BAM | AbeBooks | Libro.fm (get a free audiobook when you start a membership)

Also available on: Scribd 

Book 4 of the Colorado Cowboys series

Synopsis:

Years ago, he shattered her heart. Now she must trust him with her life.

As the only girl in her family, and with four older brothers, Ivy McQuaid can rope and ride with the roughest of ranchers. She’s ready to have what she’s always longed for–a home of her own. She’s set her heart on a parcel of land south of Fairplay and is saving for it with her winnings from the cowhand competitions she sneaks into–but her dream is put in jeopardy when the man she once loved reappears in her life.

After two years away, Jericho Bliss is back in South Park as an undercover Pinkerton agent searching for a war criminal. He has no intention of involving a woman in the dangerous life he leads, but one look at Ivy is all it takes for him to question the path he’s set out for himself.

Even though Jericho tries to resist his longtime attraction to the beautiful and vivacious Ivy, he finds himself falling hard and fast for her. In the process, his worst fear comes true–he puts her smack-dab in the middle of danger. With Ivy’s life in the balance, will Jericho give her up once again, or will he find a way back to her, this time forever?

 

A Few Thoughts:

I loved that this book focused on the sister in the McQuaid family. She has such a great personality, and I loved seeing her grow as a character in this book.

 

6. The Last Chance Cowboy by Jody Hedlund

Genre: Adult Historical Romance

Rating & Spice Level: 5/5 stars & no spice

Purchase here: Bookshop.org | Amazon | BAM | AbeBooks | Libro.fm (get a free audiobook when you start a membership)

Also available on: Scribd 

Book 5 of the Colorado Cowboys series

Synopsis:

With danger drawing ever closer, their only hope of saving their futures lies in each other.

As a midwife, Catherine Remington is successful in bringing new life into the world, but she’s failed one too many times in finding true love. When she’s accused of a murder she didn’t commit, she’s forced to flee to Colorado to honor a patient’s dying wish by delivering a newborn infant to his father.

The repentant prodigal Dylan McQuaid is finally back in Fairplay. As sheriff, he’s doing his best to prove to the town he’s a changed man and worthy of their trust. When a woman shows up with an infant son he didn’t know he had, Dylan is left with only complicated choices on what to do next.

Having grown attached to Dylan’s son, Catherine doesn’t want to part ways with the infant, but what she doesn’t bargain for is how easily she’ll fall for the charming sheriff, or how quickly the past will catch up with her and put their love and lives in danger.

 

A Few Thoughts:

This was a re-read for me. I read it earlier this year without having read the four books before it. I upped my rating this second time around because having read the previous books now, I enjoyed the story even more! There is so much chemistry and gentleness between these characters, and I really appreciated it.

 

7. House of Marionne by J. Elle

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating & Spice Level: 4.5/5 stars & no spice

Purchase here: Bookshop.org | Amazon | BAM | AbeBooks | Libro.fm (get a free audiobook when you start a membership)

Book 1 of the series

 

Synopsis:

17 year-old Quell has lived her entire life on the run. She and her mother have fled from city to city, in order to hide the deadly magic that flows through Quell’s veins.

Until someone discovers her dark secret.

To hide from the assassin hunting her, and keep her mother out of harm’s way, Quell reluctantly inducts into a debutante society of magical social elites called the Order that she never knew existed. If she can pass their three rites of membership, mastering their proper form of magic, she’ll be able to secretly bury her forbidden magic forever.

If caught, she will be killed.

But becoming the perfect debutante is a lot harder than Quell imagined, especially when there’s more than tutoring happening with Jordan, her brooding mentor and— assassin in training.

When Quell uncovers the deadly lengths the Order will go to defend its wealth and power, she’s forced to choose: embrace the dark magic she’s been running from her entire life or risk losing everything, and everyone, she’s grown to love.

Still, she fears the most formidable monster she’ll have to face is the one inside.

 

A Few Thoughts:

This was such an interesting fantasy book with a nice romance sprinkled throughout. I’m curious to see how the author builds on this book in the sequel.

You can read my full review here.

 

8. A Beautiful Disguise by Roseanna M. White

Genre: Adult Historical Fiction

Rating & Spice Level: 4/5 stars & no spice

Purchase here: Bookshop.org | Amazon | BAM | AbeBooks | Libro.fm (get a free audiobook when you start a membership)

Also available on: Scribd 

Book 1 of The Imposters 

Synopsis:

Sir Merritt Livingstone has spent a decade serving the monarch in the field, but when pneumonia lands him behind a desk in the War Office Intelligence Division just as they’re creating a new secret intelligence branch, he’s intent on showing his worth. He suspects an aristocrat of leaking information to Germany as tensions mount between the two countries, but he needs someone to help him prove it, so he turns to The Imposters, Ltd. No one knows who they are, but their results are beyond compare.

Left with an estate on the brink of bankruptcy after their father’s death, Lady Marigold Fairfax and her brother open a private investigation firm for the elite to spy on the elite. Dubbed The Imposters, Ltd., their anonymous group soon becomes the go-to for the crème of society who want answers delivered surreptitiously. But the many secrets Marigold learns about her peers pale in comparison to her shock when she and her brother are hired to investigate her best friend’s father as a potential traitor.

Lady Marigold is determined to discover the truth for her friend’s sake, and she’s more determined still to keep her heart from getting involved with this enigmatic new client . . . who can’t possibly be as noble as he seems.

 

A Few Thoughts:

This was an interesting read and different than any other book I’ve read. I liked how the author combined historical facts from the time with fun elements such as secret investigators, acrobats, and a cute romance.

You can read my full review here. 

 

9. Love, Holly by Emily Stone

Genre: Adult Contemporary Fiction

Rating & Spice Level: 4/5 stars & 2/5 hearts

Purchase here: Bookshop.org | Amazon | BAM | Libro.fm (get a free audiobook when you start a membership)

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Ever since a car accident tore her family apart, Holly has been part of a lonely-hearts holiday letter–writing club. Each December, she writes to a stranger who is also spending Christmas alone, and receives a letter from another lonely person in return.

Usually, the letters go unanswered. That’s the point—the letters are anonymous, and the senders write whatever is in their heart. But this year, the letter Holly receives is different; not only is the letter full of a grief she knows all too well, but its writer, Emma, mentions a place that Holly has visited. When she realizes that she might actually be able to find the letter’s author, Holly becomes determined to reunite Emma with the estranged grandson, Jack, with whom Emma is desperate to reconnect.

When Holly finally tracks him down, she remembers that she’s met Jack once before . . . and the connection was electric. The spark between the two of them is still there—until a misunderstanding risks their burgeoning romance and his strained relationship with Emma, too. But Holly is determined; if she can fix Emma’s family, she might also be able to fix her own. Though as it turns out, Holly might have less time to put things right than she thought.

 

A Few Thoughts:

This was such an emotional book with a focus on character growth. I loved seeing the characters overcome so many obstacles and find family in the process.

 

10. The Do-Over by Lynn Painter

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Rating & Spice Level: 5/5 stars & no spice

Purchase here: Bookshop.org | Amazon | BAM | AbeBooks | Libro.fm (get a free audiobook when you start a membership)

Also available on: Scribd 

 

Synopsis:

After living through a dumpster fire of a Valentine’s Day, Emilie Hornby escapes to her grandmother’s house for some comfort and a consolation pint of Ben & Jerry’s. She passes out on the couch, but when she wakes up, she’s back home in her own bed—and it’s Valentine’s Day all over again. And the next day? Another nightmare V-Day.

Emilie is stuck in some sort of time loop nightmare that she can’t wake up from as she re-watches her boyfriend, Josh, cheat on her day after day. In addition to Josh’s recurring infidelity, Emilie can’t get away from the enigmatic Nick, who she keeps running into—sometimes literally—in unfortunate ways.

How many days can one girl passively watch her life go up in flames? And when something good starts to come out of these terrible days, what happens when the universe stops doling out do-overs?

 

A Few Thoughts:

Okay, so time loops are really not my thing. However, Lynn Painter knocked it out of the park with this one. I loved everything in this story (even the time loop!). The characters were amazing and had such a great friendship.

 

11. The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Rating & Spice Level: 4.5/5 stars & 3/5 hearts

Purchase here: Bookshop.org | Amazon | BAM | AbeBooks | Libro.fm (get a free audiobook when you start a membership)

Book 1 of The Friend Zone

 

Synopsis:

Kristen Peterson doesn’t do drama, will fight to the death for her friends, and has no room in her life for guys who just don’t get her. She’s also keeping a big secret: facing a medically necessary procedure that will make it impossible for her to have children.

Planning her best friend’s wedding is bittersweet for Kristen — especially when she meets the best man, Josh Copeland. He’s funny, sexy, never offended by her mile-wide streak of sarcasm, and always one chicken enchilada ahead of her hangry. Even her dog, Stuntman Mike, adores him. The only catch: Josh wants a big family someday. Kristen knows he’d be better off with someone else, but as their attraction grows, it’s harder and harder to keep him at arm’s length.

 

A Few Thoughts:

I went into this book thinking that it would be lighthearted with a touch of heavier topics since I knew that it included infertility. However, this book was much heavier than I expected. I loved the main male character, but there were definitely some things that I wish the author would’ve done differently. That being said, I still think this is my favorite Abby Jimenez book I’ve read so far.

 

12. Committing to the Cowgirl by Jody Hedlund

Genre: Adult Historical Romance 

Rating & Spice Level: 5/5 stars & no spice

Purchase here: Bookshop.org | Amazon | BAM | AbeBooks | Libro.fm (get a free audiobook when you start a membership)

Also available on: Scribd | Kindle Unlimited

Book 1 of the Colorado Cowgirls series

Synopsis:

After years away, Astrid Nilsson has returned home to Colorado, hoping to become Fairplay’s second doctor . . . and to find healing for her reoccurring consumption. Spirited and independent, Astrid doesn’t want her illness to be a burden to those she loves, so she has resisted getting serious about any man.

As the current doctor of Fairplay, Logan Steele is seeking to hire a male physician to take over his clinic after he goes back East. When Astrid, his childhood sweetheart, insists that she’s the one for the job, he offers her a bargain she can’t refuse: pretend to court him to appease his mother and he’ll give her the doctor position on a trial basis.

Astrid accepts the arrangement even though she’s reluctant to be in a sham relationship with a man who’d once broken her heart. She tries to keep herself from falling for Logan again but soon finds herself getting much more than she bargained for. With the clock ticking for both of them, can they commit to real love before it’s too late?

 

A Few Thoughts:

I absolutely loved the Colorado Cowboys series, so when I saw that there was a spin-off series featuring characters from previous books, I was super excited! This book did not disappoint! I loved getting to see how Astrid turned out. I also really like fake dating, so I liked that element as well.

 

13. Cherishing the Cowgirl by Jody Hedlund

Genre: Adult Historical Romance

Rating & Spice Level: 5/5 stars & no spice

Purchase here: Bookshop.org | Amazon | BAM | AbeBooks | Libro.fm (get a free audiobook when you start a membership)

Also available on: Scribd | Kindle Unlimited

Book 2 of the Colorado Cowgirls series

Synopsis:

Charity Courtney is at her wit’s end trying to save her boardinghouse from a bank foreclosure. Short of money but not short of marriage proposals, she dreads putting aside her fairy tale dreams of love and having to settle for a marriage of convenience. But with the need to provide for her two younger sisters, she doesn’t have any other options.

While visiting Fairplay, wealthy railroad magnet Hudson Vanderwater hears of Charity’s plight. Although he comes across as cold and calloused, he is drawn to helping women in need because of a tragedy that destroyed his sister. He concocts a plan that will save Charity—he’ll employ her and rent her boardinghouse for the month and in doing so alleviate her debt.

With a grumpy and demanding new boarder who is now her boss, Charity determines to hold the handsome Hudson at arm’s length. But she’s the sunshine for his stormy soul, and he can’t resist being drawn to her. As danger closes in and threatens to destroy Charity, he’ll stop at nothing to save her.

 

A Few Thoughts:

The chemistry between the characters was so good! I loved seeing the sisters from the boarding house mentioned in the previous book.

 

14. Just Don’t Fall by Emma St. Clair

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Rating & Spice Level: 4.5/5 stars & no spice

Purchase here: Amazon 

Also available on: Kindle Unlimited

Book 1 of the Sweater Weather series

 

Synopsis:

Before Logan Barnes was hockey’s hottest bad boy, he was my brother’s best friend … and my first crush. Oh, yeah–and the guy who ghosted me and broke my teenage heart.

Now Logan is back in Harvest Hollow, but not willingly. Recovering from an injury (and some bad press), he’s stuck playing for our minor league team.

Which means I’ll be working with him almost daily.

As the hockey team’s social media manager, it’s my job to wrangle all the guys into filming TikTok trending videos. But Logan doesn’t want to be wrangled.

Turns out … neither does my heart.

Because my old crush never died.

And when Logan becomes my accidental fake boyfriend, those old feelings flare hot enough to melt the ice.

But this is all totally one-sided. Totally fake. Isn’t it?

No matter what signals he seems to be giving me or how real things start to feel, I know Logan’s not home for good.

I survived Logan leaving me once. But this time, I’m not so sure my heart will recover …

 

A Few Thoughts:

A hockey romance without spice!!! I’m a huge sports romance fan; however, most that I have read are too spicy for my taste. This book had all the chemistry without the spicy parts, and it had some of my favorite tropes. I definitely recommend it!

You can read my full review here. 

 

15. Convincing the Cowgirl by Jody Hedlund

Genre: Adult Historical Romance

Rating & Spice Level: 5/5 stars & no spice

Purchase here: Bookshop.org | Amazon | BAM | AbeBooks | Libro.fm (get a free audiobook when you start a membership)

Also available on: Scribd | Kindle Unlimited

Book 3 of the Colorado Cowgirls series

Synopsis:

When unexpected visitors arrive at the Courtney Boardinghouse and claim the place belongs to them, Patience Courtney finds herself homeless and penniless. Having failed at so many things already in life, Patience is determined to find a way to survive and thrive.

When wealthy rancher, Spencer Wolcott, proposes a marriage of convenience, Patience accepts the arrangement. In exchange for a new home, she agrees to become the mother to Spencer’s precocious little girl so that he can manage his prosperous ranch.

As Patience falls in love with her new family, she learns Spencer has no intention of giving his heart away to any woman. With growing threats to the ranch, Spencer must decide what is truly important and whether he’ll allow himself to love again before it’s too late.

 

A Few Thoughts:

I am a sucker for a good marriage of convenience, and this had it. I loved how well the characters suited each other even though the circumstances that brought them together weren’t great.

 

16. All’s Fair in Love and Christmas by Sarah Monzon

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance (Christmas)

Rating & Spice Level: 3.5/5 stars & no spice

Purchase here: Bookshop.org | Amazon | BAM | AbeBooks | Libro.fm (get a free audiobook when you start a membership)

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Two workplace rivals. One festive competition. And a romance that upends it all.

Every December two things are guaranteed for graphic designer Mackenzie Graham–Christmas celebrations and the annual promotion at her workplace. Those two things are by no means mutually exclusive. In fact, the better an employee is at harnessing the Christmas spirit, the more likely they’ll win the new job. With her social anxiety, Mackenzie never thought she’d be a contender in her company’s holiday competition, so how exactly has she found herself dueling her workplace crush with wrapping paper tubes and using tinsel as her weapon of choice for a much-needed raise?

Jeremy Fletcher’s life is meticulously planned out, including how to win this year’s promotion at work. Not only will the new position fulfill some of his career goals, but as a single guardian to his twin niece and nephew, he needs the salary increase to support his family. Jeremy has barely noticed Mackenzie Graham around the office, but now that she’s his rival, he can’t stop thinking about her. Her quirkiness intrigues him, and he’s afraid that if he can’t get his head on straight, the promotion isn’t the only thing he’ll end up losing to Mackenzie.

 

A Few Thoughts:

This was such a sweet Christmas book. It reminded me a lot of a Hallmark movie (without being too cliched).

 

17. Flirtation or Faceoff by Leah Brunner

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Rating & Spice Level: 4.5/5 stars & no spice

Purchase here: Amazon

Also available on: Kindle Unlimited

Book 2 of the D.C. Eagles series

 

Synopsis:

After getting my heart broken, I’ve sworn off athletes forever.

Then my best friend has to go and marry an NHL player, and his teammate, Colby Knight, won’t leave me alone.

Colby is a master at scoring (on and off the ice), and he’s not used to being told no. So he takes my disinterest as an invitation to pursue me even harder. I ignore him… until I realize I can use his expertise to help me get my crush’s attention.

But now that he’s my dating coach, and we’re spending so much time together, I’m growing more and more distracted. I mean, those dimples? Very enticing.

Just when I think he might be more than just a playboy hockey player, a blast from the past comes back and reminds me why I swore off athletes in the first place.

Can I trust Colby, or is he just another jerk who will break my heart?

 

A Few Thoughts:

Loved this book! This is another great hockey romance without the spice. The characters in this series are so fun, and Colby was such a sweetheart.

You can read my full review here.

 

18. The Hurricane Wars by Thea Guanzon

Genre: Adult Fantasy

Rating & Spice Level: 5/5 stars & 2.5/5 hearts

Purchase here: Bookshop.org | Amazon | BAM | AbeBooks | Libro.fm (get a free audiobook when you start a membership)

Book 1 of the Hurricane Wars series

 

Synopsis:

The heart is a battlefield.

All Talasyn has ever known is the Hurricane Wars. Growing up an orphan in a nation under siege by the ruthless Night Emperor, she found her family among the soldiers who fight for freedom. But she is hiding a deadly secret: light magic courses through her veins, a blazing power believed to have been wiped out years ago that can cut through the Night Empire’s shadows.

Prince Alaric, the emperor’s only son and heir, has been tasked with obliterating any threats to the Night Empire’s rule with the strength of his armies and mighty shadow magic. He discovers the greatest threat yet in Talasyn: a girl burning brightly on the battlefield with the magic that killed his grandfather, turned his father into a monster, and ignited the Hurricane Wars. He tries to kill her, but in a clash of light and dark, their powers merge and create a force the likes of which has never been seen.

This war can only end with them. But an even greater danger is coming, and the strange magic they can create together could be the only way to overcome it. Talasyn and Alaric must decide… are they fated to join hands, or destroy each other?

 

A Few Thoughts:

Wow! I loved this book! This world is so interesting, and I’m excited to see where the author takes this story. The chemistry between the main characters was so good and had such a good slow-burn romance.

 

19. I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

Genre: YA Historical Fiction

Rating & Spice Level: 5/5 stars & no spice

Purchase here: Bookshop.org | Amazon | BAM | AbeBooks | Libro.fm (get a free audiobook when you start a membership)

Also available on: Book of the Month 

 

Synopsis:

Romania, 1989. Communist regimes are crumbling across Europe. Seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu dreams of becoming a writer, but Romanians aren’t free to dream; they are bound by rules and force.

Amidst the tyrannical dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu in a country governed by isolation and fear, Cristian is blackmailed by the secret police to become an informer. He’s left with only two choices: betray everyone and everything he loves—or use his position to creatively undermine the most notoriously evil dictator in Eastern Europe.

Cristian risks everything to unmask the truth behind the regime, give voice to fellow Romanians, and expose to the world what is happening in his country. He eagerly joins the revolution to fight for change when the time arrives. But what is the cost of freedom?

 

A Few Thoughts:

I loved this book! I knew very little about what happened to Romania when it was communist, so it was very eye-opening. Like other books by the same author, I love that she talks about events in history that most people don’t know a lot about it.

 

Books That I DNF (Did Not Finish)

These are books that I chose not to finish for a variety of reasons.

 

1. Throttled by Lauren Asher

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Spice Level: 4/5 hearts by 79% point

Purchase here: Amazon | BAM | AbeBooks | Libro.fm (get a free audiobook when you start a membership)

Also available on: Scribd | Kindle Unlimited

Book 1 of the Dirty Air series

Synopsis:

What happens when my brother’s rival becomes my secret crush?

Noah Slade is a Formula 1 legend in the making.
Focused. Unapproachable. Ruthless on and off the track.
A man with walls higher than the Grand Canyon.
And my brother’s new teammate.
I want more of the prince who disguises himself as the villain.
But while I crave a happy ending, he wants to destroy his.

Maya Alatorre is a forbidden temptation.
An ambitious post-grad I should stay far away from.
And chaos wrapped with a bow.
We’re a ticking time bomb, about one wrong move away from exploding.
I want to trip the wire, detonating together in passion and pain.
Because in the end, all’s fair in lust and war.

 

A Few Thoughts:

So this was my first Lauren Asher book and first book about formula 1 racing. The main reason I decided to stop reading this book was because of the spice level. I was about 79% off the way through the audiobook, and the book had already had too much spice for my taste. I decided to stop there since I figured that there would probably be even more spice to come. Otherwise, I was enjoying the storyline and the characters.

 

2. The Chemistry of Love by Sariah Wilson

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Spice Level: none by the 85% point

Purchase here: Bookshop.org | Amazon | BAM | AbeBooks 

Also available on: Kindle Unlimited

 

Synopsis:

How can Anna Ellis, a geeky, brilliant, and hopelessly smitten cosmetic chemist possibly win over Craig Kimball, the man of her dreams―who also happens to be her boss? The answer is Craig’s empathetic (and handsome) CEO half brother, Marco. The makeup mogul knows Craig for the ridiculously competitive rival he is. Whatever Marco has, Craig wants. That can be Anna, if she’s game to play.

All Anna and Marco have to do is pretend they’re falling in love and let the rumors begin. If the experiment in attraction works, a jealous Craig will swoop in and give Anna her happily ever after―if it weren’t for one hitch in the plan. There’s more to Marco than meets the eye. With every fake date, Anna’s feelings are starting to become dizzyingly real.

 

A Few Thoughts:

Throughout the 85% of the book that I read, there were just too many scenes that were filled with cringe. I also thought that the female main character was way too immature for her age, and the guy she liked was awful.

 

To Be Continued…

These are books that I started in the month of August but haven’t finished reading yet.

 

1. House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Adult Fantasy

Spice Level: 3/5 hearts as of page 235

Purchase here: Bookshop.org | Amazon | BAM | AbeBooks 

Also available on: Scribd 

Book 2 of the Crescent City series

 

Synopsis:

Bryce Quinlan and Hunt Athalar are trying to get back to normal-they may have saved Crescent City, but with so much upheaval in their lives lately, they mostly want a chance to relax. Slow down. Figure out what the future holds.

The Asteri have kept their word so far, leaving Bryce and Hunt alone. But with the rebels chipping away at the Asteri’s power, the threat the rulers pose is growing. As Bryce, Hunt, and their friends get pulled into the rebels’ plans, the choice becomes clear: stay silent while others are oppressed, or fight for what’s right. And they’ve never been very good at staying silent.

 

A Few Thoughts:

I’m loving this book, but it’s taking me a long time to read it. I think part of the reason is that there are so many characters and points of views in this story, so it’s constantly jumping back and forth in the story. It makes it kind of easy to set down since you just get bits and pieces of each point of view. I will hopefully finish it within the next few weeks.

 

2. Up in Flames by Hailey Alcaraz

Genre: NA Contemporary

Spice Level: none so far (as of page 146)

Purchase here: Bookshop.org | Amazon | BAM | Libro.fm (get a free audiobook when you start a membership)

 

 

Synopsis:

At eighteen, Ruby Ortega is an unapologetic flirt who balances her natural aptitude for economics with her skill in partying hard. But she couldn’t care less about those messy college boys—it’s her intense, brooding neighbor Ashton who she wants, and even followed to school. Even the fact that he has a girlfriend doesn’t deter her . . . whatever Ruby wants, she eventually gets.

Her ruthless determination is tested when wildfires devastate her California hometown, destroying her parents’ business and causing an unspeakable tragedy that shatters her to her core. Suddenly, Ruby is the head of the family and responsible for its survival, with no income or experience to rely on. Rebuilding seems hopeless, but with the help of unexpected allies—including a beguiling, dark-eyed boy who seems to understand her better than anyone—Ruby has to try. When she discovers that the fires also displaced many undocumented people in her town, it becomes even more imperative to help. And if she has to make hard choices along the way, can anyone blame her?

 

A Few Thoughts:

This is an ARC that comes out on October 3, 2023. I like the story okay, but the main character is really unlikable. I am curious to see where this story is going since the big thing that this book is about hasn’t happened yet.

 

3. Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber

Genre: YA Fantasy

Spice Level: none so far (as of 21%)

Purchase here: Bookshop.org | Amazon | BAM | AbeBooks | Libro.fm (get a free audiobook when you start a membership)

Also available on: Scribd 

 

Synopsis:

For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in true love and happy endings . . . until she learns that the love of her life will marry another.

Desperate to stop the wedding and to heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic, but wicked, Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing.

But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game — and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or the most exquisite tragedy.

 

A Few Thoughts:

I’m loving this book so much! I am so excited to see Jacks character after really enjoying him in the Caraval series.

 

Have you read any of these books?

Comment down below if you’ve read or want to read any of these books!

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