May 2023 Reading Wrap-Up graphic

May 2023 Reading Wrap-Up

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May was a great reading month for me. While I didn’t read quite as much as April, I did read a lot of good books including one of my favorites so far this year.

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May Reading Stats

Books read: 13

Pages read: 5,088

Average rating: 4.15 stars

DNF: 0

Formats: 4 physical books, 3 eBooks, & 6 audiobooks

 

Books Read

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

 

1. David: A Man of Passion and Destiny by Charles R. Swindoll

Audiobook: 10 hours 32 minutes / 304 pages

Narrated by Michael Kramer

Genre: Biography

Series: Great Lives from God’s Word book 1

Read: Apr. 24 – May 2, 2023

Rating: 4.5 stars

Source: Hoopla (library app)

Synopsis:

The Bible tells us that David was a man after God’s own heart, but what does that mean in practice? David, the Old Testament shepherd, king, and psalmist, offers an answer in the shape of his own incredible life.

Poet, musician, courageous warrior, and national statesman, David distinguished himself as one of God’s greatest men. He modeled invincible confidence in the face of impossible circumstances. He made decisions with wisdom and equity. And he wrote with transparent vulnerability and quiet trust. But how well do we really know David?

In Great Lives: David, the first volume in Charles Swindoll’s bestselling Great Lives seriesSwindoll gives us a closer look at this incredible man who had his fair share of difficulties. Throughout his life, David was gripped by destructive passion, rocked by family chaos and personal tragedy, and motivated by political expediency. Like all of us, David was far from perfect, but Swindoll teaches us that David had the chance to become great when he placed himself at the Lord’s disposal.

As Swindoll guides us through David’s remarkable life and legacy, he asks and answers key questions along the way, including:

  • How did David become the national hero of God’s chosen people?
  • Why is he the one character in the Bible described as “a man after God’s own heart?”
  • How can modern believers become people after God’s own heart?

Join Swindoll as he teaches us that we can all endeavor to live a life marked by the humility, dependability, and integrity of David.

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

 

2. Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune

Audiobook (ALC): 9 hours 56 minutes / 336 pages

Narrated by A. J. Bridel

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Read: May 3-5, 2023

Rating: 3 stars

Spice: 2.5 hearts

Source: Libro.fm ALC Program

Synopsis:

Fern Brookbanks has wasted far too much of her adult life thinking about Will Baxter. She spent just twenty-four hours in her early twenties with the aggravatingly attractive, idealistic artist, a chance encounter that spiraled into a daylong adventure in the city. The timing was wrong, but their connection was undeniable: they shared every secret, every dream, and made a pact to meet one year later. Fern showed up. Will didn’t.

At thirty-two, Fern’s life doesn’t look at all how she once imagined it would. Instead of living in the city, Fern’s back home, running her mother’s lakeside resort—something she vowed never to do. The place is in disarray, her ex-boyfriend’s the manager, and Fern doesn’t know where to begin.

She needs a plan—a lifeline. To her surprise, it comes in the form of Will, who arrives nine years too late, with a suitcase in tow and an offer to help on his lips. Will may be the only person who understands what Fern’s going through. But how could she possibly trust this expensive-suit wearing mirage who seems nothing like the young man she met all those years ago. Will is hiding something, and Fern’s not sure she wants to know what it is.

But ten years ago, Will Baxter rescued Fern. Can she do the same for him?

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

 

3. The Impossible Princess by Keira Dominguez

eBook: 285 pages

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Series: Royals of Sondmark book 1

Read: May 4-6, 2023

Rating: 3.5 stars

Source: Kindle Unlimited

Synopsis:

Mom’s eyes narrow into tiny, triumphant slits. “I knew it. You asked her. You asked the—”

“Princess. Yes. I asked Princess Clara out. It seemed the gentlemanly thing to do after groping her on live television.”

Hoping to carve out a meaningful role in the royal family of Sondmark, Clara needs to prove to her mother that she can be the perfect princess. Perfect means opening mass-transit car parks and giving speeches on childhood nutrition without a hair out of place. Perfect doesn’t mean developing a crush on an unnamed military officer she sees once a year. But infatuation is a victimless crime, and nobody ever has to know.

When Princess Clara falls into his arms in front of a bank of photographers, Lieutenant Commander Max Andersen of Her Majesty’s Royal Navy is thrust into the tabloids, the gossip threatening his promising career. He hates the sudden glare of media attention and hates how it diverts focus from his job. But the way Clara feels in his arms is a different story.

Purchase here: Amazon

 

4. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Hardcover book: 476 pages

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Series: The Infernal Devices book 1

Read: Apr. 29 – May 8, 2023

Rating: 4 stars

Source: owned

Synopsis:

When Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks, and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length…everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world…and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

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

 

5. My Calamity Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows

Audiobook: 13 hours & 28 minutes / 544 pages

Narrated by Sophie Amoss

Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction

Series: The Lady Janies book 3

Read: May 6-13, 2023

Rating: 4 stars

Source: Scribd (2-month free trial)

Synopsis:

Welcome to 1876 America, a place bursting with gunslingers, outlaws, and garou—better known as werewolves.

And where there are garou, there’re hunters: the one and only Calamity Jane, to be precise, along with her fellow stars of Wild Bill’s Traveling Show, Annie Oakley and Frank “the Pistol Prince” Butler.

After a garou hunt goes south and Jane finds a suspicious-like bite on her arm, she turns tail for Deadwood, where there’s talk of a garou cure. But rumors can be deceiving—meaning the gang better hightail it after her before they’re a day late and a Jane short.

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

 

6. Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score

Paperback book: 557 pages

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Series: Knockemout book 1

Read: May 11-15, 2023

Rating: 4.5 stars

Spice: 4 hearts

Source: owned

Synopsis:

Bearded, bad-boy barber Knox prefers to live his life the way he takes his coffee: Alone. Unless you count his basset hound, Waylon.

Knox doesn’t tolerate drama, even when it comes in the form of a stranded runaway bride.

Naomi wasn’t just running away from her wedding. She was riding to the rescue of her estranged twin to Knockemout, Virginia, a rough-around-the-edges town where disputes are settled the old-fashioned way…with fists and beer. Usually in that order.

Too bad for Naomi her evil twin hasn’t changed at all. After helping herself to Naomi’s car and cash, Tina leaves her with something unexpected. The niece Naomi didn’t know she had. Now she’s stuck in town with no car, no job, no plan, and no home with an 11-year-old going on thirty to take care of.

There’s a reason Knox doesn’t do complications or high-maintenance women, especially not the romantic ones. But since Naomi’s life imploded right in front of him, the least he can do is help her out of her jam. And just as soon as she stops getting into new trouble he can leave her alone and get back to his peaceful, solitary life.

At least, that’s the plan until the trouble turns to real danger.

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

 

7. My Imaginary Mary by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows

Audiobook: 13 hours & 15 minutes / 496 pages

Narrated by Morag Sims

Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction

Series: Mary book 2

Read: May 15-18, 2023

Rating: 4.5 stars

Source: Scribd

Synopsis:

Mary may have inherited the brilliant mind of her late mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, but she lives a drab life above her father’s bookstore, waiting for an extraordinary idea that’ll inspire a work worthy of her parentage—and impress her rakishly handsome (and super-secret) beau, Percy Shelley.

Ada Lovelace knows a thing or two about superstar parents, what with her dad being Lord Byron, the most famous poet on Earth. But her passions lie far beyond the arts—in mechanical engineering, to be exact. Alas, no matter how precise Ada’s calculations, there’s always a man willing to claim her ingenious ideas as his own.

Pan, a.k.a. Practical Automaton Number One, is Ada’s greatest idea yet: a machine that will change the world, if only she can figure out how to make him truly autonomous . . . or how to make him work at all.

When fate connects our two masterminds, Mary and Ada learn that they are fae—magical people with the ability to make whatever they imagine become real. But when their dream team results in a living, breathing, thinking PAN, Mary and Ada find themselves hunted by a mad scientist who won’t stop until he finds out how they made a real boy out of spare parts.

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

 

8. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Paperback book: 502 pages

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Series: The Infernal Devices book 2

Read: May 9-22, 2023

Rating: 5 stars

Source: owned

Synopsis:

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when it becomes clear that the mysterious Magister will stop at nothing to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, tortured Will and the devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal and fueled by revenge. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa is drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa answers about who she really is? As their search leads to deadly peril, Tessa learns that secrets and lies can corrupt even the purest heart.

Purchase here: Amazon | BAM | AbeBooks

 

9. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Audiobook: 17 hours & 30 minutes / 440 pages

Narrated by Polly Stone

Genre: Adult Historical Fiction

Read: May 19-25, 2023

Rating: 4 stars

Source: Hoopla (library app)

Synopsis:

With courage, grace, and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of World War II and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France—a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

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

 

10. Rocky Mountain Rendezvous by Misty M. Beller

eARC: 320 pages

Genre: Adult Historical Fiction

Series: Sisters of the Rockies book 1

Pub. Date: June 6, 2023

Read: May 22-27, 2023

Rating: 3.5 stars

Source: NetGalley

Synopsis:

In 1837, Juniper Collins and her sisters are shocked by their father’s deathbed request for them to return a special set of beads to a Piegan Blackfoot woman he credits with saving his life during his travels West. Together, the sisters set out for the trapper rendezvous to find the woman, but their mission turns more daunting when they come upon the mass of men and lodges spread out in the Green River Valley.

Riley Turner came West to find peace and quiet and live off the land, but when four unprotected women arrive at the rendezvous, he feels compelled to help them and is more fascinated by Juniper than any other woman he’s known.

As their search brings only empty leads and dead ends, the sisters must decide whether to return East or stay in the mountains to continue looking–and that’s if the mystery woman is even still alive. Is the risk to honor their father’s last request worth the danger they find at every turn?

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

 

11. The Reunion by Kayla Olson

Audiobook: 9 hours & 23 minutes / 320 pages

Narrated by Andi Arndt

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Read: May 26-29, 2023

Rating: 4 stars

Source: Scribd

Synopsis:

Liv Latimer grew up on TV.

As the star of the popular teen drama Girl on the Verge, Liv spent her adolescence on the screen trying to be as picture perfect as her character in real life. But after the death of her father and the betrayal of her on-screen love interest and off-screen best friend Ransom Joel, Liv wanted nothing more than to retreat, living a mostly normal life aside from a few indie film roles. But now, twenty years after the show’s premiere, the cast is invited back for a reunion special, financed by a major streaming service.

Liv is happy to be back on set, especially once she discovers Ransom has only improved with age. And their chemistry is certainly still intact. They quickly fall into their old rhythms, rediscovering what had drawn them together decades before. But with new rivalries among the cast emerging and the specter of a reboot shadowing their shoot, Liv questions whether returning to the past is what she needs to finally get her own happy ending.

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

You can also get this book from Book of the Month

 

12. Fairest of Heart by Karen Witemeyer

eARC: 352 pages

Genre: Adult Historical Romance / Christian Fiction

Series: Texas Ever After book 1

Read: May 27-29, 2023

Rating: 4.5 stars

Source: NetGalley

Synopsis:

Once upon a time in Texas . . .

Beauty has been nothing but a curse to Penelope Snow. When she becomes a personal maid for a famous actress whose troupe is leaving Chicago to tour the West, she hides her figure beneath shapeless dresses and keeps her head down. But she still manages to attract the wrong attention, leaving her prospects in tatters–and her jealous mistress plotting her demise.

After his brother lost his life over a woman, Texas Ranger Titus Kingsley has learned to expect the worst from women and is rarely disappointed. So when a young lady found in suspicious circumstances takes up residence with the seven old drovers living at his grandfather’s ranch, Titus is determined to keep a close eye on her.

With a promotion hanging in the balance, Titus is assigned to investigate a robbery case tied to Penelope’s acting troupe, and all evidence points to Penelope’s guilt. But Titus might just be convinced that the fairest woman of all has a heart as pure as her last name . . . if only he can prove it.

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

 

13. Practice Makes Perfect by Sarah Adams

Paperback book: 331 pages

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Series: When in Rome book 2

Read: May 30-31, 2023

Rating: 5 stars

Spice: 1 heart

Source: library

Synopsis:

Annie Walker is on a quest to find her perfect match—someone who complements her happy, quiet life running the local flower shop in Rome, Kentucky. But finding her dream man may be harder than Annie imagined. Everyone knows everyone in her hometown, and the dating prospects are getting fewer by the day. After she overhears her latest date say she is “so unbelievably boring,” Annie starts to think the problem might be her. Is it too late to become flirtatious and fun like the leading ladies in her favorite romance movies? Maybe she only needs a little practice . . . and Annie has the perfect person in mind to be her tutor: Will Griffin.

Will—the sexy , tattooed, and absolutely gorgeous bodyguard—is temporarily back in Rome, providing security for Amelia Rose as excitement builds for her upcoming marriage to Noah Walker, Annie’s brother. He has one personal objective while on the job: stay away from Annie Walker and any other possible attachments to this sleepy town. But no sooner than he gets settled, Will finds himself tasked with helping Annie find the love of her life by becoming the next leading lady of Rome, Kentucky. Will wants no part in changing the sweet and lovely Annie. He knows for a fact that some stuffy, straitlaced guy won’t make her happy, but he doesn’t have the heart to say no.

Amid steamy practice dates and strictly “educational” tutoring lessons, Annie discovers there are more layers to Will’s usual stoic attitude. As the lines of their friendship become dangerously blurred, Annie reconsiders her dream guy. Maybe her love life doesn’t need to be perfect—it just needs to be real.

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

 

To Be Continued…

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

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

I started listening to the audiobook for this, and so far, I am really enjoying it.

It’s an historical romance and the first in a series.

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

 

 

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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