March 2023 reading wrap-up graphic

March 2023 Reading Wrap-Up

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March was a great reading month for me. I read several books that I loved including one book that I think will end up being one of my top books of the year.

 

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March Reading Stats

Books read: 13

Average rating: 4.27 stars

Pages read: 5,292

Formats:  4 physical,  5 eBooks, &  4 audiobooks

 

Books Read

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

 

1. Lease on Love by Falon Ballard

paperback book:  332 pages

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Read: Feb. 27 – Mar. 4, 2023

Rating: 3 stars

Source: owned book

Synopsis:

Sadie wasn’t looking for love until it landed on her doorstep.

After getting passed over for an overdue—and much-needed—promotion, Sadie Green is in desperate need of three things: a stiff drink, a new place to live, and a one-night stand. But when an accidental mix-up lands her on the doorstep of Jack Thomas’s gorgeous Brooklyn brownstone, it’s too bad Sadie is more attracted to the impressive real estate than she is to the man himself.

Jack, still grieving the unexpected death of his parents, has learned to find comfort in video games and movie marathons instead of friends. So while he doesn’t know just what to make of the vivaciously verbose Sadie, he’s willing to offer her his spare bedroom while she gets back on her feet. And with the rent unbeatably low, Sadie can finally pursue her floristry side hustle full-time. The two are polar opposites, but as Sadie’s presence begins to turn the brownstone into a home, they both start to realize they may have just made the deal of a lifetime.

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

 

2. Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover

paperback book:  324 pages

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Read: Mar. 5-6, 2023

Rating: 5 stars

Source: owned book

Synopsis:

After a childhood filled with poverty and neglect, Beyah Grim finally has her hard-earned ticket out of Kentucky with a full ride to Penn State. But two months before she’s finally free to change her life for the better, an unexpected death leaves her homeless and forced to spend the remainder of her summer in Texas with a father she barely knows.

Devastated and anxious for the summer to go by quickly, Beyah has no time or patience for Samson, the wealthy, brooding guy next door. Yet, the connection between them is too intense to ignore. But with their upcoming futures sending them to opposite ends of the country, the two decide to maintain only a casual summer fling. Too bad neither has any idea that a rip current is about to drag both their hearts out to sea.

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

 

3. The Metropolitan Affair by Jocelyn Green

eARC:  384 pages

Genre: Adult Historical Fiction

Series: On Central Park book 1

Read: Mar. 4-11, 2023

Rating: 3 stars

Source: NetGalley ARC

Synopsis:

For years her explorer father promised Dr. Lauren Westlake she’d accompany him on one of his Egyptian expeditions. But as the empty promises mounted, Lauren determined to earn her own way. Now the assistant curator of Egyptology for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lauren receives two unexpected invitations.

The first is her repentant father’s offer to finally bring her to Egypt as his colleague on a new expedition. The second is a chance to enter the world of New York’s wealthiest patrons who have been victims of art fraud.

With Egyptomania sweeping the city after the discovery of King Tut’s tomb, Detective Joe Caravello is on the hunt for a notorious forger preying on the open wallets of New York’s high society. Dr. Westlake is just the expert he needs to help him track the criminal. Together they search for the truth, and the closer Lauren and Joe get to discovering the forger’s identity, the more entangled they become in a web of deception and crime.

| You can read my review here |

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

 

4. The Cheat Sheet by Sarah Adams

paperback book:  313 pages

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Series: The Cheat Sheet book 1 (book 2 is not out yet)

Read: Mar. 12-13, 2023

Rating: 5 stars

Source: owned book

This was a re-read for me. I previously read this book in 2022 and gave it 5 stars.

Synopsis:

The friend zone is not the end zone for Bree Camden, who is helplessly in love with her longtime best friend and extremely hot NFL legend, Nathan Donelson. The only problem is that she can’t admit her true feelings, because he clearly sees her as a best friend with no romantic potential, and the last thing Bree wants is to ruin their relationship. But those abs . . .

Nope! Nothing but good old-fashioned, no-touching-the-sexiest-man-alive, platonic friendship for Bree. In any case, she has other things to worry about. After a car accident ended her chance at becoming a professional ballerina, Bree changed paths and now owns her own dance studio, with big dreams to expand it. But one more rent increase could mean the end of the studio entirely.

Then, as usual, Nathan comes to the rescue and buys the entire building. A stubborn Bree is not happy about it and decides to rebel with a couple—okay, maybe more than a couple—of tequila shots. Then her plan backfires as she spills her deepest, darkest secret to a TMZ reporter. One viral video later, the world thinks Nathan and Bree are the perfect couple. Before they can really talk about her confession, Nathan’s publicist proposes a big opportunity that could mean financial security for Bree. The catch? They have to pretend to be in love. For three whole weeks.

What will happen when Bree gives in to the feelings she’s been desperately hiding for so long, and could she be imagining that Nathan is actually enjoying it?

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

 

5. The Words We Lost by Nicole Deese

eARC:  384pages

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Series: Fog Harbor book 1

Read: Mar. 14-17, 2023

Rating: 4.5 stars

Pub. Date: April 11, 2023

Source: NetGalley ARC

Synopsis:

Three friends. Two broken promises. One missing manuscript.

As a senior acquisitions editor for Fog Harbor Books in San Francisco, Ingrid Erikson has rejected many a manuscript for lack of defined conflict and dramatic irony–two elements her current life possesses in spades. In the months following the death of her childhood best friend and international bestselling author Cecelia Campbell, Ingrid has not only lost her ability to escape into fiction due to a rare trauma response, but she’s also desperate to find the closure she’s convinced will come with Cecelia’s missing final manuscript.

After Ingrid jeopardizes her career, she fears her future will remain irrevocably broken. But then Joel Campbell–the man who shattered her belief in happily-ever-afters–offers her a sealed envelope from his late cousin, Cecelia, asking Joel and her to put their differences aside and retrieve a mysterious package in their coastal Washington hometown.

Honoring Cecelia’s last request will challenge their convictions and test their loyalties, but through it all, will Ingrid and Joel be brave enough to uncover a twice-in-a-lifetime love?

| You can read my review here |

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

 

6. Mile High by Liz Tomforde

eBook:  603 pages

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Series: Windy City book 1

Read: Mar. 18-21, 2023

Rating: 4.5 stars

Source: Kindle Unlimited

Synopsis:

Zanders

Chicago hockey isn’t complete without me—everyone’s favorite player to hate. I know my role, and I play it well. In fact, I thoroughly enjoy spending the majority of my game time in the penalty box before leaving the arena with a new girl on my arm each night.

What I don’t like is the new flight attendant on our team’s private plane. She works for me, not the other way around. But I’ll be sure to remind her of that, and I can guarantee, by the end of the season, she’ll be begging to quit her job.

But every road trip blurs the lines, and I can’t quite figure out if I keep pushing that flight attendant call button in order to push her buttons or if it’s more than that.

Stevie

I’ve been a flight attendant for years. I thought I’d seen it all, but when my new job lands me onboard working for the most egotistical and self-righteous diva in the NHL, I start to second guess everything. Including the promise I made to myself of never hooking up with an athlete again…no matter how annoyingly tempting he may be.

Evan Zanders is unfiltered, unapologetic, and too attractive for his own good. He loves his image, but I hate everything about it.

Everything but him.

Purchase here: Amazon 

 

7. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

audiobook:  7 hours 48 minutes / 352 pages

Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction

Read: Mar. 1-21, 2023

Rating: 4.5 stars

Source: Libby (library app)

 

Synopsis:

Fifteen-year-old Lina is a Lithuanian girl living an ordinary life — until Soviet officers invade her home and tear her family apart. Separated from her father and forced onto a crowded train, Lina, her mother, and her young brother make their way to a Siberian work camp, where they are forced to fight for their lives. Lina finds solace in her art, documenting these events by drawing. Risking everything, she imbeds clues in her drawings of their location and secretly passes them along, hoping her drawings will make their way to her father’s prison camp. But will strength, love, and hope be enough for Lina and her family to survive?

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

 

8. Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert

paperback book:  315 pages

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance

Read: Mar. 11-22, 2023

Rating: 4 stars

Source: library

 

Synopsis:

Bradley Graeme is pretty much perfect. He’s a star football player, manages his OCD well (enough), and comes out on top in all his classes . . . except the ones he shares with his ex-best friend, Celine.

Celine Bangura is conspiracy-theory-obsessed. Social media followers eat up her takes on everything from UFOs to holiday overconsumption—yet, she’s still not cool enough for the popular kids’ table. Which is why Brad abandoned her for the in-crowd years ago. (At least, that’s how Celine sees it.)

These days, there’s nothing between them other than petty insults and academic rivalry. So when Celine signs up for a survival course in the woods, she’s surprised to find Brad right beside her.

Forced to work as a team for the chance to win a grand prize, these two teens must trudge through not just mud and dirt but their messy past. And as this adventure brings them closer together, they begin to remember the good bits of their history. But has too much time passed . . . or just enough to spark a whole new kind of relationship?

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

 

9. My Phony Valentine by Courtney Walsh

eBook:  373 pages

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Read: Mar. 22-24, 2023

Rating: 4.5 stars

Source: Kindle Unlimited

 

Synopsis:

My days usually consist of agonizing over my failing restaurant, worrying about my mountain of debt and nursing my broken heart.

Everything changes when I bump into a man in the coffee shop and claim him as my new boyfriend. To my absolute horror, he turns out to be hockey’s most renowned bad boy, Dallas Burke. To my absolute delight, he goes along with my story.

When his no-nonsense manager and meddling grandmother jump in the picture, they see a win-win solution for my failing restaurant and Dallas’s less-than-stellar reputation.

A full-fledged fake romance complete with contract negotiations, pretend dates and phony PDA.

But as I get to know the real Dallas Burke, who is not the man the press says he is, it becomes clear that if this isn’t real. . . someone better tell it to my heart.

Purchase here:  Amazon 

 

10. A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

audiobook:  9 hours & 7 minutes / 321 pages

Genre: Young Adult Mystery

Series: Charlotte Holmes book 1

Read: Mar. 21-25, 2023

Rating: 5 stars

Source: Scribd (get a 2-month free trial here)

Synopsis:

Jamie Watson has always been intrigued by Charlotte Holmes; after all, their great-great-great-grandfathers are one of the most infamous pairs in history. But the Holmes family has always been odd, and Charlotte is no exception. She’s inherited Sherlock’s volatility and some of his vices—and when Jamie and Charlotte end up at the same Connecticut boarding school, Charlotte makes it clear she’s not looking for friends.

But when a student they both have a history with dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.

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

 

11. From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata

eBook:  540 pages

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Read: Mar. 25-28, 2023

Rating: 5 stars

Source: Kindle Unlimited

 

Synopsis:

If someone were to ask Jasmine Santos to describe the last few years of her life with a single word, it would definitely be a four-letter one.

After seventeen years—and countless broken bones and broken promises—she knows her window to compete in figure skating is coming to a close.

But when the offer of a lifetime comes in from an arrogant idiot she’s spent the last decade dreaming about pushing in the way of a moving bus, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything.

Including Ivan Lukov.

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

 

12. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

audiobook:  15 hours & 40 minutes / 384 pages

Genre: young adult science fiction

Series: Ready Player One book 1

Read: Mar. 25-28, 2023

Rating:  4 stars

Source: Libby (library app)

Synopsis:

A world at stake. A quest for the ultimate prize. Are you ready?

In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the OASIS, a vast virtual world where most of humanity spends their days.

When the eccentric creator of the OASIS dies, he leaves behind a series of fiendish puzzles, based on his obsession with the pop culture of decades past. Whoever is first to solve them will inherit his vast fortune—and control of the OASIS itself.

Then Wade cracks the first clue. Suddenly he’s beset by rivals who’ll kill to take this prize. The race is on—and the only way to survive is to win.

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

 

13. Come Fly the World: The Jet-Age Story of the Women of Pan Am by Julia Cooke

audiobook:  7 hours & 33 minutes / 288 pages

Genre: Nonfiction History

Read: Mar. 29, 2023

Rating:  3.5 stars

Source: Scribd

 

Synopsis:

Required to have a college education, speak two languages, and possess the political savvy of a Foreign Service officer, a jet-age stewardess serving on iconic Pan Am between 1966 and 1975 also had to be between 5′3″ and 5′9″, between 105 and 140 pounds, and under 26 years of age at the time of hire. Cooke’s intimate storytelling weaves together the real-life stories of a memorable cast of characters, from small-town girl Lynne Totten, a science major who decided life in a lab was not for her, to Hazel Bowie, one of the relatively few Black stewardesses of the era, as they embraced the liberation of their new jet-set life. Cooke brings to light the story of Pan Am stewardesses’ role in the Vietnam War, as the airline added runs from Saigon to Hong Kong for planeloads of weary young soldiers straight from the battlefields, who were off for five days of R&R, and then flown back to war. Finally, with Operation Babylift—the dramatic evacuation of 2,000 children during the fall of Saigon—the book’s special cast of stewardesses unites to play an extraordinary role on the world stage.

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

Other Things I Read

These are the other books I read this month but didn’t finish

 

Books That I DNF (Did Not Finish)

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

 

First Down by Grace Reilly

I liked the sound of this sports romance. It sounded cute.

Unfortunately, I didn’t know that it contained so much explicit sexual content. I prefer not to read books that contain that much spice, so I decided to stop reading it.

If that doesn’t bother you, you may enjoy this book.

You can read it on Kindle Unlimited or purchase it here: Amazon 

 

 Honestly, I’m Totally Faking It by Amanda Gambill

This book came highly recommended to me on Instagram. Unfortunately, I only decided to read half of it.

I can see why some people would enjoy it, but I didn’t really care about any of the characters or the political aspect of it.

This book is an open door romance (meaning it has explicit sexual content) if you were wondering.

You can read it on Kindle Unlimited or purchase it here: Amazon | BAM |AbeBooks

 

To Be Continued…

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

 

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

I’m trying to finish reading this series and read the Six of Crows duology before I watch the Shadow and Bone TV series. I didn’t get very far into this book yet, but I’m hoping to finish it in April.

I loved reading Shadow and Bone. Siege and Storm took me a long time to finish because I wasn’t as invested in the story. I’m hoping that Ruin and Rising will be more like Shadow and Bone for me.

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

 

The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi by Shannon Chakroborty

I started listening to the audiobook of this on Scribd after receiving this as my adult FairyLoot book for February.

I’m not very far into the book, but the narrator is hilarious and snarky.

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

 

 

Double or Nothing by Cindy Steel

Back in January, I read Faking Christmas by this author and loved it. Recently, this eBook was available to buy for free, so I decided to give it a try (it is also available on Kindle Unlimited).

What I’ve read so far has been cute and lighthearted.

Purchase here: Amazon 

 

 

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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