3rd Quarter Wrap-Up 2020

open book with fairy lights

And that’s a wrap on another quarter. I can’t believe this year is almost over. In the last few months, I got a lot of reading done. I still read quite of bit of romance, but fantasy seemed to be creeping in more. So let’s get on with this wrap-up. Let me know if you’ve read any of the titles mentioned and what you thought about it.

This page contains affiliate links and any sales made through such links will reward me a small commission – at no extra cost for you.

JULY

chasing cassandra book cover

Chasing Cassandra by Lisa Kleypas

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was a cute historical romance. I thought that the main characters, Tom and Cassandra worked well together. You got to see their connection evolve throughout the book and it made sense why they would end up together.

Bookshop | Amazon


The Duke Effect book cover

The Duke Effect by Sophie Jordan

Rating: 4 out of 5.

If you’re looking for a historical romance with a strong female character, a brooding male lead, and a little bit of steaminess, then look no further. Overall this was a satisfying read. By the halfway point, I didn’t want to put this down. The novel included many tropes romance readers will be familiar with and the two main characters were an interesting match.

See full review here.

eARC provided by NetGalley

Bookshop | Amazon

AUGUST

The Multi-Hyphen Life book cover

The Multi-Hyphen Life by Emma Gannon (audiobook)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was an interesting book and overall I enjoyed the content. I like the idea of redefining work goals and creating a job you love. It is easy to overwork or be in a position one hates, so this book offered insight into changing that. I felt that the author was authentic and believed in the words of the book. This audiobook was narrated by the author and was easy to listen to and got the right tone across.

Audiobook provided by NetGalley

Bookshop | Amazon


Give Yourself Margin book cover

Give Yourself Margin by Stacie Bloomfield

Rating: 3 out of 5.

First, let me say that the art in this book was beautiful. I would love to frame some on my walls. But in terms of content, I think that this brushed the tip of self-help and unblocking obstacles. This book was only about 100 pages and much of that was filled with art and illustration. Dispersed throughout were snippets of motivational talk. I felt that I was reading a bunch of Instagram captions. I liked where the content was going, but it wasn’t enough to really inspire. The author’s voice was well received and I am interested in hearing more.

eARC provided by NetGalley

Bookshop | Amazon


Mexican Gothic book cover

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I thought I had the twist figured out and I was wrong. I love a good gothic novel and this book delivered. The novel started off slowly, but once you get halfway, the pace ramped up. All the major tropes were used. Darkness. Madness. Dreams. Eroticism. Isolation. It was nice to see. I was confused at a few points, but then maybe that was the point.

See full review here.

Bookshop | Amazon


Guardian's Grace book cover

Guardian’s Grace by Rebecca Zanetti

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was a pretty typical paranormal romance. Many of the themes/tropes can be found in several series. That being said, this was an entertaining read. I liked the characters and there was a good development of their relationship. Both appreciated the other for their strengths, interests, and pushed through obstacles. Although this is part of a series, you can read it as a standalone. However, it is probably a good idea to read the other novels and there is a backstory left out. I liked the pace of the novel and it has my interest to read others in this series.

eARC provided by NetGalley

Amazon


When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole (audiobook)

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This was an interesting read and I’m glad that I listened to it. I found the overall plot interesting and liked that this thriller took real-life issues. What makes this story scary is how realistic the problems are. I did find the plot slow-moving in the beginning. It took about half to the book to establish characters and for more thriller aspects to be displayed. 

See full review here.

Audiobook provided by NetGalley

Bookshop | Amazon


Follow Me Darkly Book Cover

Follow Me Darkly by Helen Hardt

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was a quick read and definitely sexy. I would say this is a typical contemporary romance. You have the powerful, mysterious billionaire and a young, innocent female. You can feel the tension between both characters, and this is definitely lusting at first sight. This novel starts to touch on the dominant/submissive relationship and includes a little bondage. We don’t learn much about the character’s backgrounds, so I’m hoping it comes up more in the series. There are definitely secrets. I’m also not sure I like the whole Instagram influencer aspect, but it isn’t too distracting. Overall, this book has what any erotica reader is looking for and I can’t wait for the second book to come out to continue the story.

eARC provided by NetGalley

Bookshop | Amazon


Midnight Sun book cover

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

DNF

I will admit that nostalgia influenced my purchase of this book. After waiting so many years I had high hopes that this novel would be a new take on the original story. However, I DNF’d after about 250 pages. I honestly found this boring. Edward was not an interesting character and I didn’t feel that any new insight to him or his family was given. It was hard to relive scenes in almost the exact same way. I also think that this book made me dislike Edward and his stalker tendencies more. He seemed to dislike everyone around him. Maybe I am just too old for this now.

Bookshop | Amazon


Machiavellian book cover

Machiavellian by Bella Di Corte

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I found myself devouring the novel and couldn’t put it down. Although long, the pace was well balanced, and I didn’t lose interest in the slower moments. I thought that the author did a good job creating the world around the characters and I developed an interest in many of the side characters as well.

See full review here.

ebook provided by author through Xpresso Book Tours

Bookshop | Amazon


Didn’t See That Coming by Rachel Hollis

Rating: 2 out of 5.

This book was written about grief and how to go through the hurting process. My takeaway from this is that the author wants you to choose an optimistic mindset. To choose happiness. Easier said than done and this book didn’t offer much advice. I honestly don’t remember much of what is said in this book. There are so many unnecessary anecdotes thrown in, that it becomes difficult to remember what the original topic was. Also, there seemed to be a lot of self-promotion. I also didn’t feel like this book contained actionable advice, which I’m sure readers would like. I also couldn’t understand how some chapters related to the main topic of grief. Overall, I felt lost in the writing and don’t feel like I’ve learned anything.

eARC provided by NetGalley

Bookshop | Amazon


the switch book cover

The Switch by Beth O’Leary (audiobook)

DNF

I was interested in this book after reading the synopsis. A granddaughter/grandmother duo swap homes for two months. The characters learn a little about themselves and find love along the way. Sounds cute right? However, I had to DNF after the first couple of chapters. I honestly found the granddaughter’s character annoying. I’m sure that her character traits improve as the novel goes on, but I couldn’t listen anymore. This is not the narrator’s fault. I actually thought both narrators did a wonderful job. Even so, I had to turn this off.

Audiobook provided by NetGalley

Bookshop | Amazon

SEPTEMBER

Fable by Adrienne Young book cover

Fable by Adrienne Young

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I really enjoyed this story. Although fantasy, I think that readers of many genres will enjoy this book. The pacing was spot on and there was a nice balance between action and character development. The author did a good job world building. I could imagine what each of the places and people looked liked. Fable also didn’t feel like an introductory novel. I think because it is part of a duology, not too much time was wasted explaining things.

See full review here.

eARC provided by NetGalley

Bookshop | Amazon


Namesake book cover

Namesake by Adrienne Young

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I very much enjoyed the conclusion of this duology. My only complaint is that there are only two novels in this series, as I would love to read more about these characters. This novel picked up right where the last one finished. I felt that there were more action and plot in this story. New characters were added, for good reason, but we also learned more about characters from the first book. This cleared up some confusion and offered insight that was much wanted. I thought the story had good pacing and there were many twists and turns. The main character, Fable, continued to be a strong female and held her own. The romance plot continued nicely without distracting from the other story arcs. This is a series I would recommend and everything was wrapped up nicely by the end.

eARC provided by NetGalley

Bookshop | Amazon


Her Night with the Duke book cover

Her Night with the Duke by Diana Quincy

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was a fun read and had all the elements expected for this type of romance. I was invested in each of the characters and hoping they would find happiness. Our lovers in this novel fight their feelings and societal expectations to find a way to be together. There are also familial complications. Overall, I enjoyed reading this novel. It kept my interest and the pacing was steady. I also liked that the main character was Anglo-Arab and she embraced that cultural identity. I do wish I saw more growth from the male lead. Although he does change, I feel like it wasn’t enough and he still said disparaging words at the end. But, I thought that the characters fit together. I also enjoyed the side characters and thought they rounded out the story.

eARC provided by NetGalley

Bookshop | Amazon


The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book was fantastic. It did well balancing horror with social issues. The characters felt real and were going through relatable issues along with the fantastical mystery. This book had me laughing and crawling in my skin.

eARC provided by NetGalley

Bookshop | Amazon


Sister of the Chose One book cover

Sister of the Chosen One by Colleen Oakes & Erin Armknecht

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I was drawn to this book by the cover, but the synopsis also sounded interesting. I’m glad that I gave this a read because it was wonderful. The authors blended action without taking away from character development. I think that many readers will be able to relate to the main characters. Their struggles were real and it added so much to this story. This was a fast read that had me hooked from the beginning.

See full review here.

ebook provided by YA Bound Book Tours

Bookshop | Amazon

Leave a Reply