4th Quarter Wrap-Up 2020

books with santa mug on top

We’ve made it to the end of the year. Which means it’s time to wrap-up the books I read for the last three months of 2020.

I’ve held strong the last quarter and read quite a bit, especially in December. As per usual, there is quite a bit of romance, but I also started reading more horror and fantasy. I hope to continue that in the new year.

Read below to hear my thoughts on each novel, there were quite a few good ones.

Also, for 2021, I will be switching to monthly round-ups. I’ve been reading a lot more and also posting recap videos, so I think it will work better for me and you.

October

Beauty and the Beast book cover

Beauty and the Beast by Vivienne Savage

Fantasy, Romance, Fairytale Retelling

I enjoyed this retelling. It was an interesting spin with the beast being a dragon and the dreams. I liked that the story focused on the strength of the heroine. She made the most from her circumstance and became stronger for it. I also appreciated that this story discussed different types of love, like friendship.

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Year of the Witching book cover

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

Horror

DNF

I wanted to love this story, but unfortunately, I didn’t. My expectation was a different type of story. I couldn’t connect with the main characters and found the villains one dimensional. The plot was muddled and I couldn’t figure out what the point of the story was. Unfortunately, I struggled to gain interest and DNF’d about 60% in.

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Midnight Bargain book cover

The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk

Fantasy

Overall, I enjoyed that novel. There was a fairly typical in the male-driven society aspect, but I thought the characters were well developed. Our heroines had a clear idea of what they wanted to do with their life. I thought the author did a good job discussing what represents freedom and equality and the skewed perspectives we have.

There was and insta-love moment, but the lovers had time and conversations together, so you could see their attachments grow. The ending wrapped up nicely, although I feel like some characters did not receive justice for their actions and were let off too easily.

eARC provided by Netgalley

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King of Wands book cover

King of Wands by Anna Durbin (Kings of the Tarot, Book 2)

Historical Romance

I have read many a historical romance, and King of Wands delivers. This novel includes solid leads, tension, strong female characters, and an intriguing storyline. Many elements worked together seamlessly to make this an exciting story with characters you want to see succeed.

See full review here.

eARC provided by Reedsy Discovery

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Inheritance Games book cover

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (The Inheritance Games, Book 1)

Young Adult, Mystery

I really loved the concept of this book and was intrigued by puzzles and twists. However, I was expecting more. I wanted the excitement and mystery to be amped up. There was also and under-developed love triangle. Even so, this novel had my interest enough to finish and I would be interested to see how the story continues throughout the series.

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One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London

Contemporary Romance

I really enjoyed this book. It was smartly written and had me laughing out loud several times. I thought the main character was interesting and had a nice personal arc. The bachelorette plot was cute and kept you guessing on who she would choose. Saw the twist coming and thought the final resolution happened very quickly. But overall, this was great.

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November

Birth of the Fae: Locked Out of Heaven by Danielle M. Orsino

Fantasy

I enjoyed Birth of the Fae. This was not a long book, which you often find in fantasy, and easily read over a weekend. There was a lot going on towards the end of the novel and I’m interested in how it continues because the possibilities were left wide open.

See full review here.

Copy of book provided by author

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The Haunting of Ashburn House book cover

The Haunting of Ashburn House by Darcy Coates

Horror

I enjoyed this horror story. There were many elements that you expect to find in a horror novel. This book was a fast read and easily completed in a weekend. It hit a low creepiness factor and made me me jump a couple times. Interesting conclusion that I didn’t see coming.

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counterfeit lover book cover

Counterfeit Lover by J.C. Farmer

Thriller

This was an intriguing thriller story, and made scarier by the reality of it. However, I did find that some characters fell flat. Don’t expect answers at the end of this novel, you’ll have to read the next installment.

See my full review here.

eARC provided by Xpresso Book Tours

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Imprisoned Heir by River Starr (Atlantis Institute for Dangerous Criminals, Book 1)

Paranormal Romance

This was a great paranormal romance. The story was interesting and different and the romance scenes were steamy. I was very interested in the characters and thought that as the first novel in a series, this was very compelling.

See my full review here.

eARC provided by Xpresso Book Tours

Amazon


Written in the Stars book cover

Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur

Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA

I was hooked on this book from the very beginning. The writing was funny, sweet, and relatable. The main characters leaned on each other and connected as friends as well as lovers. I also liked that the side characters had personality, but were also very supportive.

eARC provided by NetGalley

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December

Hero Wanted book cover

Hero Wanted by Betina Krahn

Historical Romance

Tension. Kidnapping. Romance. This was a fantastic historical romance. The characters were drawn together and got to know each other as the plot developed. A good bit of action was thrown in as well.

eARC provided by Netgalley

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Magic Lessons book cover

Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman

Fantasy

Not a book I would normally pick up, but glad to have done so. This was an interesting tale following the life of a witch as she develops her powers and learns about life and love. Very descriptive language, so I found it a little slow going, however I really enjoyed the story being told.

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The Jackal book cover

The Jackal by J.R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood: Prison Camp, Book 1)

Paranormal Romance

My first J.R. Ward book. I can’t believe it has taken this long. I really enjoyed this book and you don’t lose anything by not reading the other series. The characters were definitely interesting and the twist broke my heart. However, I am looking forward to seeing how this series continues.

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Den of Vipers book cover

Den of Vipers by K.A. Knight

Dark Romance, Erotica, Reverse Haram

This was interesting. Definitely a dark romance. There is murder, torture, and rough sex scenes. Overall, I found it an enjoyable read and liked that we got to know each character through narration. Very steamy throughout. This is a long book though and I felt it slowed down the last quarter. Also, that cover is amazing.

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Dark Lover book cover

Dark Lover by J.R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 1)

Paranormal Romance

After reading The Jackal, I became interested in reading more from this author. So, I read the first three books of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I enjoyed this one, not my favorite as I thought bits were slow going. But it was a nice introduction to the series and sets up central characters.

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Lover Eternal Book cover

Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 2)

Paranormal Romance

This was another fantastic paranormal romance. I enjoy and good mix of action and romance and this story delivered. You really got to know the characters in this book and it is fun to see who pops up that will be integral to the series.

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Lover Awakened book cover

Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 3)

Paranormal Romance

This book brought out the feelings. First we have characters dealing with sexual abuse and the lasting impact of that. So there were a lot of ups and downs, but you could see how the main characters were connecting and helping them overcome obstacles. Some events occur that made me grab that box of tissues, but overall and enjoyable read.

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From Blood and Ash book cover

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Blood and Ash, Book 1)

Fantasy, Romance

I don’t read a lot of high fantasy novels, but this kept getting rave reviews so I had to read it. And it was amazing! The world building was set up nicely and there are plenty of hints dropped that will I assume be revealed in future novels.

The story felt unique and is a perfect blend of fantasy and romance and I didn’t find it difficult to follow. The twist gutted me. I truly loved this and then immediately moved on to book two.

Amazon


The Kingdom of Flesh and Fire book cover

A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Blood and Ash, Book 2)

Fantasy, Romance

This book was so good. There is conflict between the main love interests and I liked seeing them work through their feelings. This novel felt a little slower than book one. We learn more about the world and characters, but it more or less sets ups book three, where there will probably be more action. Ends on a nice cliffhanger too.

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