March 2020 Monthly Wrap-Up

March, the month of audiobooks and self care/luvin like never before! Mid-month was the start of social distancing, work from home, and remote learning. Like many of my fellow bookworms I saw myself struggling to do what I love most & that is reading. While finding my groove in this new normal I found comfort in audiobooks. The one exception I made was House of Earth and Blood which also happened to be the last book I physically picked up in Barnes & Nobles. I listened to 3 quality audiobooks and read the tome that kicks off the Crescent City series by Sarah J. Maas. In between reading, I fell down the rabbit hole of Pinterest & Latin food recipes. The kitchen has become my little piece of heaven, creating meals while listening to books or watching my favorite content creators on Booktube. It’s now Mid-April & that means this post is hella late but prioritizing self care during these trying times is where a lot of us are at. Cutting myself a break here & just enjoying the little things while safe at home 🖤

*Reviews linked down below*

UNDERCOVER BROMANCE BY LYSSA KAY ADAMS – ✨4 STARS✨The follow-up to The Bromance Book Club which follows Mack & Liv. This is a hate-to-love romance that covers the #metoo movement. We get the see all of our old cast members while they team up to help Mack help Liv get rid of her dirt bag of a boss. LOVED this & I cannot wait for the next installment Crazy Stupid Bromance (Bromance Book Club #3) *eeeeK!*

THE LAST HOPE BY KRISTA & BECCA RITCHIE – ✨3.75 STARS✨LOVED the full cast audiobook production so much! this follow up to The Raging Ones was one I was MOST looking forward to & it did NOT disappoint. I haven’t read anything else by this author duo but my curiosity has been piqued to the max. I got so attached to Court, Franny, and Mykall making this conclusion all the more bittersweet. This duology is definitely one to keep on your radar if you’re looking for Sci-Fi + Romance.

HOUSE OF BLOOD AND EARTH BY SARAH J. MAAS – ✨5 STARS✨ THIS BOOK PUT ME THROUGH IT! I’m so glad I read this at the same time my Twin BFF Gretchen (ChicNerdReads) did because we got to experience this emotional rollercoaster together! Best word of advice for those who haven’t read but plan on reading this one soon…DON’T READ THE SYNOPSIS!!! the effect of certain events won’t be the same if you do. All in all, I really enjoyed getting to know this world & characters. Eager for the next book in this series!

AN ANONYMOUS GIRL BY GREER HENDRICKS & SARAH PEKKANEN – ✨3.5 STARS✨ This was an audiobook I picked up after hearing much buzz about the author duo ( see The Wife Between Us) the narration was on point & gave you that spider stuck in a web vibe. The only reason I gave it 3.5 stars is because the MC is HIGHLY inquisitive & yet she continued to irrationally allow herself to fall deeper.Eventually I started to get a bit frustrated but won’t deny I couldn’t stop listening to the story unfold. I’d def check out this author duos future works.

BIRDS OF PREY: AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN

I’m a HUGE Harley Quinn fan but seeing Margot Robbie in The Suicide Squad solidified my love for this character. Birds Of Prey gave us a good dose of Harley as she picks up the pieces of her broken heart. The opening scene alone is very cathartic for Harley as she accepts the truth & cuts ties to her past to the Joker. Of course it’s Harley & wherever she goes trouble shortly follows but you can’t help but love her. One of my favorite ICONS Rosie Perez also had a role in this film & ahhhh! I Was LIVING for this HIGH adrenaline rush flick till the very end. Can’t wait to see Harley in future films & what is planned for her role in this universe.

BLOODSHOT

This isn’t my typical type of flick but my boyfriend was looking forward to it having had read the comics. I was curious enough to check it out & I’m pretty much game to anything Sci-Fi. Well, overall I wasn’t a fan of this movie & that’s simply because the plot failed to keep my interest. Still, Vin Diesel pretty much won my loyalty when I first saw him in The Fast & The Furious (yea I’ve given this franchise too many years/Dollars to stop now) which makes it a sure thing I’ll watch all his movies. Don’t ask me why but I just can’t disappoint Dom Toretto haha!


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SPOILER FREE REVIEW: THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL BY MAUREEN GOO

Title: The Way You Make Me Feel

Author: Maureen Goo

Pub. Date: May 8th 2018

Genre: YA Contemporary

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Pages: 336 Pages

GOODREADS | BARNES & NOBLES | AMAZON

This book will forever go down in my little corner of the universe as THE book that snuck up & delivered such a beautiful message of finding yourself and the connections we make along the way. Our MC Clara Shin is known as the school prankster & she sort of thrives on being disruptive. When one of her pranks goes a bit too far, she comes face to face with her archenemy. Rose Carver is the polar opposite of Clara, she’s very rigid and serious about her academic journey. Rose has made it very clear to Clara that she can’t stand her chill laid back approach to school. This last confrontation ends up getting a bit physical and both girls get heir parents called. Clara’s dad is a single parent trying to run a successful food truck in hopes of one day opening his own restaurant. It’s his idea to have the girls hash out their issues by working together at the food truck. The Way You Make Me Feel serves up delicious Korean-Brazilian dishes, teenage drama, cute romance, new found friendships, and parent/child relationships. 

At first glance I thought I was getting into a cute light hearted Contemporary & to some extent it is but at a further glance, it’s so much more. Clara doesn’t know why she’s never taken school all that seriously however in her efforts to maintain a relationship with her mother, she discovers some truths about herself. I loved seeing the teens & parents in this story take on the hard task of introspection, facing that which drives them to behave a certain way. There’s discussion of the after effects of separation, academic pressures, anxiety, as well as the challenges of parenting for a single dad. My favorite aspect of this book revolved around the father/daughter relationship, Adrian gets all my love for being a rockstar Dad. Those that have been around my blog long enough know I have a weakness for father/daughter bonds as I had an amazing one with my own. Adrian doesn’t pretend to be perfect, he’s just a single dad trying to get back on track with providing some structure for his teen daughter. He’s known as the cool, fun, handsome dad & that worked for some time but he has a what I call “get real” moment. Finding a balance between Cool Dad vs. Tough Love Dad which he handles so well! On the topic of writing I will say there were times where Clara’s attempts at sarcasm felt a bit awkward. I don’t think the humor hit home with me & at times I sort of just looked past it. Instead I took away the bigger message and that’s that the road to self discovery is a journey worth making.


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Spoiler Free Review: Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore

Title: Dark and Deepest Red

Author: Anna-Marie McLemore

Pub. Date: January 14th 2020

Genre: YA Historical Fiction/LGBTQIA+

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan

Pages: 309 Pages

GOODREADS | BARNES & NOBLES | AMAZON 

*ARC provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review*

“Well-crafted seams and delicate beading gave my family a trade and a living. But red shoes gave us a name. They made us infamous. They made us brazen. Until they came for us. Except that’s not quite true. They didn’t come for us. They came for me.”

I’ve always been intrigued by the Salem Witch trials & the mass hysteria caused by outcries of devil worship. This story however takes place in 1500’s Strasbourg, a time when Romani people were being forced out of France & Germany. Our MC Lala is a Romani girl, she is a person of color, unwed, makes her own living and is in love with a transgender boy. She must give up all Romani traditions & beliefs if she is to pass off as German or French in Strasbourg. Lala has a target on her back when the women are inflicted with dancing fever, a dance they cannot stop & often ends in injury or death. Witchcraft is believed to be at the very heart of these dances as more and more women are touched by the fevered dance. The author gives us Lala’s POV during this time while also jumping ahead to her descendants in current time.

Five centuries later we meet Rosala Oliva & Emil who have ties to Lala & figuring out what those are may help stop the dancing fever from returning. Rosala’s family has been making the red shoes said to deliver a bit of magic to its wearer. Being Romani is something Rosala & Emil have in common, something they know makes them different. Five centuries later their traditions and beliefs aren’t something they’re made to feel they can openly share. When the threat of the Dancing Fever looms over Rosala she turns to Emil who is the only person who can shed some light on the history that binds her both literally & figuratively to her red shoes.

Content Warning: death, religious persecution, racism, homophobia/transphobia, some body horror

We follow two sets of characters, those in 1500’s Strasbourg & those in present day. I personally loved how well fleshed out Lala, Tante, and Alifair are as their part of history is brought to life. Lala knows it’s only a matter of time before she’s made a target of injustice & hate once the dancing fever takes a hold. She knows the odds are well stacked against her even as she falls deeply in love with Alifair who is a transgender boy. Seeking acceptance from those around them is something both Lala & Rosella share in common. They make themselves blend in so as to stay safe. Both learn that embracing that which sets them apart is really the only way to fight back oppression. I admired Alifair’s strength & how protective he is of his found family (Lala & Tante) while also carrying his own secret that if exposed would mean sure death.

Emil & Rosala were also very interesting characters to follow as they navigate relationships with their peers. Their parents have passed down their own knowledge of things that happened during the 1500’s to some of their ancestors. A knowledge that weighs heavy because it’s filled with pain, violence, and persecution for being Romani. These characters know they carry within them a history so rich it’s seeping into their day to day lives. It’s safe to say McLemore has once again delivered an unforgettable cast of characters.

Told in Multiple POV format this is a YA Historical Fantasy in which we follow two sets of characters. Most of the focus however is on Lala & her family in the 1500’s, these characters are well fleshed out vs. the ones we meet in present day. That being said, I felt this worked well since history has a way of repeating itself. Understanding where it all started was emphasized in the way this story was weaved. Although difficult to see, the time I spent reading Lala’s POV was perhaps what I loved most about this book. This may be my bias because I hold a special place in my heart for Historical Fiction but the touch of magical realism McLemore delivers so well is really what draws me in. Scenes with Tante dyeing cloth to sell in rich colors contrasted against the fevered women dancing through the streets till their feet were raw visually stand out. The heavy blanket of anxiety that sits on top of these characters is felt by the reader. Despite the darkness, I am thankful for how McLemore is consistent with delivering a sense of hope with all of their stories. There is a sense of solidarity that comes through at the very end that stirred up some deep emotions within me. I will continue to read all that Anna-Marie McLemore writes for the simple fact that their stories leave a lasting impression in my soul.


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December 2019 Monthly Wrap-Up & Book Haul

Yes…Yes I am popping up in your feed with my December Wrap-up & Haul 🙈It was a VERY hectic fast paced end of 2019 but I somehow still managed to read quite a lot along the way. Going into the New Year I will absolutely make it a goal here on the blog to wrap up the month in at the very least a fashionably late manner 😂 at most a week late *pinky promise*

December is my birthday month but as is expected, the Christmas rush is where it’s at haha! January is the month where you finally let out a huge sigh of relief for having made it through the holiday madness. I made great use of my Kindle on the go & also watched some new favorite series on Netflix. I didn’t draft up any end of year posts or resolutions instead opting to just allow the beginning of a New Year with hope. Hope for continued growth in all areas of my life (including this platform), embracing the new, and appreciating every moment of my journey 💜

Meg & Jo by Virginia Kantra –4 STARS ✨ (my reviewI really enjoyed this modern take on Little Women more than I had anticipated. The March Sisters will suck you into their lives. You’l easily see yourself investing your time into flipping pages just to see how they manage whatever is thrown their way. I hope to see more from this author in the near future 🤞🏽

Mangos & Mistletoe by Adriana Herrera –5 STARS(my reviewThis LATINX novella based on a F/F romance was everything I never knew I needed & then some. Two very different Dominican Bakers head over to Scotland to participate in a Holiday Baking Challenge. Sparks fly & things gets VERY steamy in & out of the kitchen. I will read ANYTHING & EVERYTHING by this author 💜

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black –5 STARS✨      (my reviewI may have waited more than a year to read this book but it DID NOT DISAPPOINT! I had a feeling this would be a favorite & I just couldn’t take it if it left me on a cliff hanger which it did. Thankful though to have waited & jumped right into the last installment soon after. I have no doubt in my mind that Holly Black is truly Fae & that no one can write Fae better than the Fae Queen herself.

The Queen Of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #3) by Holly Black –5 STARS(my reviewThe conclusion to this trilogy got 5 stars from me even though It truly wasn’t perfect. Mostly, I do feel this one could’ve benefited from being a bit longer. Everything seemed to be happening a bit too quick for my liking yet with that being said…it was a satisfying conclusion.

HARLEEN Vol 2 –5 STARS✨ I don’t have a review written for HARLEEN but I HIGHLY recommend these for any HQ/Joker fans. Besides the fact that the artwork is STUNNING! the storyline itself is A+  if you’ve ever been fascinated or even curious about the descent of Harley from intern Psychologist to Lover/Right hand to Joker then these are a MUST read 🖤

Reverie by Ryan La Sala –4 STARS (my reviewAhhh! this odd little gem of a book haha! I find that most who’ve read it either hate it or love it. I happen to have really enjoyed this one as a debut YA Fantasy from this author but it isn’t without saying it had plot issues. Ryan La Sala has convinced me of his skillZ & I’m really looking forward to see what he delivers next. A unique & vivid story like Reverie I have yet to read, this one definitely stands out in a good way.

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The Guinevere Deception | Children Of Virtue & Vengeance | House of Salt & Sorrows | Princess Jellyfish Volume 1 | HARLEEN Vol. 3

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The Wives | The Secret History | Long Bright River

Its been years since I’ve watched a movie in a theatre at 3am, it happened & gahhh! it was a challenge haha! The fact that I managed to stay awake at that hour though speaks to my personal enjoyment of this flick. The storyline revolves around the truth behind Rey’s parents & her finalizing Jedi training to face Kylo Ren. We see some interesting turn of events & unexpected revelations. Adam Driver as Kylo Ren in my opinion, continues to be the stand out performance & I’m not just saying that cause he’s easy on the eyes haha! I really enjoy Star Wars movies but I can’t say I’m a hardcore fan like say my boyfriend. He felt this film was a big imporovement from The Last Jedi but still left some unanswered questions. All in all, it was a satisfactory conclusion to the Skywalker Saga.

ICONS Lily Tomlin & Jane Fonda have gifted us with 6 seasons of this wonderful series I cannot get enough of! We had Thelma & Louise in the 90’s & now we have Grace & Frankie. This odd couple friendship starts off after their husbands who happen to be business partners, sit them down & let them know after 20+ years of marriage that they’re Gay & in love with each other. They somehow end up moving in together & start a new chapter in their lives. This show is all about friendship, rediscovery, self love, self healing and the shedding of inhibitions. It’s about family & finding your new normal, it’s also beautifully Queer & inclusive. Grace & Frankie has been green lit for a 7th season which will be its last & although it makes me a little sad, I’m glad It found its way into my heart.


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Top Ten Tuesday: The Ten Most Recent Additions to My E-Reader

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This weeks topic is “The Ten Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf” which I’ve amended to those that I hauled to my e-reader cause they deserve some love too. I’ll admit some of these I already own physical copies to, but its just easier nowadays to read from my tablet. Ok, this list here is QUITE the mixed bag which pretty much speaks volumes on my undying love for mood reading. These also happen to be the books I’ll be using as palette cleansers as I make my way through my ARC spreadsheet, a lot of which are Fantasy.

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman – Our MC works in a bookstore and is pretty much a happy introvert who thinks she’s an only child. When she finds out the father she never knew has passed away & that she’s one of many siblings, her whole life makes a huge turn. Add to this a unexpected romance with her trivia nemesis, I’m all IN!

Kushiel’s Dart (Phèdre’s trilogy #1) by Jacqueline Carey – I’ve heard SO much about this series & finally got my copy. It’s a dark sexy Fantasy where the MC is trained as both a spy & a courtesan. When she stumbles across a plot against her homeland, she sets out to save that which she loves.

“Set in a world of cunning poets, deadly courtiers, heroic traitors, and a truly Machiavellian villainess, this is a novel of grandeur, luxuriance, sacrifice, betrayal, and deeply laid conspiracies. Not since Dune has there been an epic on the scale of Kushiel’s Dart-a massive tale about the violent death of an old age, and the birth of a new.”

The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1) by Helen Hoang – this well loves contemporary is about a MC with Aspergers who hires a Vietnamese/Swedish professional to help her in all things dating & bedroom. This eventually turns into more & I’m really just way overdue to read this one.

The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient #2) by Helen Hoang – The sequel to The Kiss Quotient cause lets face it, I will most likely fall in love with TKQ & crave this one! $1.99 on Kindle last time I checked (1/19/2020) is a steal. Following characters from TKQ, this time our MC is a Vietnamese Autistic guy who feels he’s incapable of loving after experiencing a loss. The MC’s mother travels to Vietname to see if she can find him a bride. The love interest is a Bi-racial (Vietnamese/White) single mom who is willing to take  his mom up on her off to marry her son in hopes for a better life.

The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite – a F/F Historical Romance that comes HIGHLY recommended by some of my closest bookish buddies. Here we follow Lucy who is hoping to get the job translating a groundbreaking French astronomy text by a deceased Scientist. Recently widowed, Catherine isn’t expecting to fall in love as Lucy spends her nights translating scientific text.

The Queens Of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton – A land drained of it’s magic by a mad King who Is obsessed with property is being circled by enemies who want control over its ideal port for trades. The King must choose an heir on the longest night of the year. His three daughters care not to leave this decision to rituals & instead choose to go to war. Having really enjoyed Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton, I’m really hoping to LOVE this one *fingers crossed*

GUAPA by Saleem Haddad – A coming of age story following a Gay man in a unnamed Arab country during much political and social upheaval. In the course of one night his whole life changes. Caught in bed with his lover by his Grandmother, our MC heads out only to find three of his closest friends to be missing. Ashamed to return home he sets out to find his missing loved ones which takes him throughout the countries seediest slums. 

The Walflower Wager (Girl Meets Duke #3) by Tessa Dare – It wasn’t until I sat down to draft this post that I realized this is book 3 in this series SMH! however, it does seem like it can be read on its own as a stand alone. This one features a wealthy ruthless MC who just wants his neighbor to clear out all of the furry animals she’s keeping next door. Lady Penelope Campion however, cannot truncates away any animal in need. She strikes a deal with the Duke, if he can find homes for all of her wounded charges the & only then will she clear out her home. THIS should be innneresting haha!

The Rage of Dragons (The Burning #1) by Evan Winter – “Game of Thrones meets Gladiator in this debut epic fantasy about a world caught in an eternal war, and the young man who will become his people’s only hope for survival.”—> This is an African inspired EPIC Fantasy I’ve heard good things about. I am ALWAYS looking for Diverse/Own Voices high Fantasy reads & so this was a MUST!

Shadow Frost (Shadow. Frost #1) by Coco M

IN THE KINGDOM OF AXARIA, a darkness rises.

Some call it a monster, laying waste to the villagers and their homes.
Some say it is an invulnerable demon summoned from the deepest abysses of the Immortal Realm.
Many soldiers from the royal guard are sent out to hunt it down.

Not one has ever returned.” —>This is a YA Fantasy I caught wind of last year. Having heard it features a cast of very funny characters, that’s just about all I needed to know I’d give it a go.


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SMUTATHON WINTER 2020 READATHON WRAP-UP

What better way to start the New Year than with a little Smut? amiright? 🤗 #SMUTATHON is a Readathon hosted by RileyMarie & GingerReadsLainey where we read any & all things Romance/Smut. This round of #SMUTATHON ran from January 4th through January 11th 2020 & it was EVERYTHING I never knew I needed 🙌🏽 after having a mediocre reading year in 2018, this was a nice way to start 2020. This time around they included a Bingo Board with 9 challenges which I layered up on since reading 9 books in one week, personally would be very challenging.


The Loner’s Lady by Jesse Kane -✨ 3 STARS ✨ This was truly like nothing I’ve ever read before 🙈 a HUGE age gap romance where our female MC is 18 & traveling with her gay BFF to see his dad who he hasn’t told he’s gay. They pretend they’re dating each other because the 40+ year old dad is former military & quite intimidating. It wasn’t the age gap so much as how it all wrapped up that didn’t make this a winner for me. Also, the dad comes off as a bit primal #jussayin

The Headmaster by Tiffany Reisz -✨ 5 STARS ✨ On the steam scale this one is a whole lot tamer than anything I read this week. It’s Gothic vibes were hella atmospheric, set in the 1960’s this one takes place in a all boys school. Our female MC gets into a car accident and ends up working as the new English teacher at the school. There’s a bit of mystery surrounding the school & its inhabitants I enjoyed unraveling. The whole English man look & accent also really worked for me ☺️ I’ve been recommended to read The Rose which is based on Greek Gods Mythology.

Grading  Curves by Naima Simone – ✨ 4 STARS ✨ Naima Simone has made a true fan out of me! 🙌🏽 Good Lawd this steamy scenes had me all shades of red on my early morning train into work. The female MC walks into a tattoo parlor & ends up really hitting it off with the tattoo artist. Things get steamy & the next morning the male MC walks into the college classroom she’s teaching. My ONLY wish was that this was a smidge longer, the ending felt rushed. The writing however is legit off the meter steamy & sexy, LOVED IT!

The Kingmaker (All the King’s Men Duet #1) by Kennedy Ryan– ✨4.5 STARS✨ This author deserves all of the high praise they receive 🙌🏽 I got so much more than I expected from this story 💓This is a dual POV between our MC’s Lennix & Maxim who meet when Lennix is a underage activist protesting a pipeline that is being built on sacred Native American grounds. Maxim is the son of the man behind the pipeline however father & son share no common interests. We follow Lennix & Maxim through a span of time from teen years through Lennix’ 20’s & 30’s. I LOVE stories that span over time because we get to see growth in character & how life has shaped them in their adult lives. This book was BEAUTIFULLY written with a spotlight on such relevant hard hitting issues like the disappearance/murder of Native American women. The only reason I docked it half a star was because that ending was a bit left field & I’m still unsure how I feel about it but overall its’s a high quality read I’d recommend.

Beautiful Dreamer by Melissa Brayden – ✨ 5 STARS ✨ a F/F romance written for the stars! I ABSOLUTELY LOVED this book to pieces! a beachside dual POV story that left me wanting to leave the city & relocate in a small beach town where everyone wants to be your friend haha! We meet Elizabeth who is very friendly & outgoing, the town sweetheart who owns a odd job business she runs from her garage. Elizabeth is watching over Jill who has just experienced a life threatening car accident. She reaches out to Jill’s sister Devyn who is a BIG time real estate broker in Philadelphia in hopes she can get her to come out to Dreamer’s Bay. Devyn leaves Philly to be by Jill’s side & slowly starts to fall in love with Liz & the town she left behind after her High School graduation. Liz & Devyn are polar opposites but it’s their differences that make this romance work. Quirky, fun, heartwarming are just a few of the words that describe this read. Liz will forever be one of my favorite fictional characters 💓


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Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Book Releases for the First Half of 2020

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This weeks topic was a walk in the park cause I’m sure a lot of us have already started compiling & organizing our Goodreads shelves with 2020 titles. This will be the first year my list includes multiple genres & that’s because YA hasn’t been my primary focus. I still consume a fair amount of YA Fantasy however in an effort to continue reading what brings me joy in the new year, this list will be a mixed bag 😉

P.S. I sure did throw in 2 additional titles cause I just couldn’t stick to 10 #noregrets


The Girl and the Stars (Book of the Ice #1) by Mark Lawrence 

Releasing on 4/30/2020 is the next adult Fantasy series by the King himself Mark Lawrence! That cover is EVERYTHING! Mark Lawrence is one of my auto-buy authors. I don’t need to know much about the book & prefer to go in on good faith. I read just the one line on Goodreads that gave me all the chills & solidified its place on this list…

“In the ice, east of the Black Rock, there is a hole into which broken children are thrown.”

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas

Releasing on 3/3/2020 is Sara J. Maas 1st Adult Fantasy & for those of us who’ve read Maas YA Fantasy, the anticipation is pretty HIGH!

The story of half-Fae and half-human Bryce Quinlan as she seeks revenge in a contemporary fantasy world of magic, danger, and searing romance.

This one can go either way, Maas can either really kill it in Urban Fantasy or leave much to be desired. Either way, I will be picking up a copy to see for myself.

Wild at Heart (Wild #2) by K.A. Tucker

More Calla & Jonah?!? ummm YES PLEASE! 3/3/2020 is going to be one EPIC release day <3’s!  The Simple Wild (my spoiler free review) was one of my TOP favorite reads in 2019. I’ve been a K.A. Tucker fan for the past 4 years & there hasn’t been anything she’s written I haven’t enjoyed. Take me back to Alaska & I will unplug myself from reality for these 400 pages 😉

You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria 

I came from a generation where little girls watched telenovelas with grandma & it was perfectly normal haha! I myself have some really fond memories in fact of watching Spanish stories with G’ma & so seeing this cover stopped me dead in my tracks. “Perfect for fans of Jane the Virgin & The Kiss Quotient” this Own Voices Contemporary Romance is exactly what I would LOVE to see more of in the bookish world *fingers crossed* this book will hit shelves on 7/7/2020.

The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton 

6/16/2020 We head over to Fictional Key West to follow the lives of three women in the aftermath of a powerful hurricane. Set in the 1930’s this is one historical fiction stemming from the Cuban Revolution I am eager to read. I have copies of Next Year in Havana & When We Left Cuba  I still haven’t read but are at the VERY top of my TBR for 2020.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

“He is trying to poison me. You must come for me, Noemí. You have to save me.

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find — her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.”

Ok so everything about this author screams READ ME! & I’ve collected a couple of their books but I think I’ve allowed myself to be creeped out into thinking the writing might be too scary. Whelp! I simply can’t pass this one up with THAT cover! Set in Mexico, this MC doesn’t exactly scream rescuer material & yet I’m so down to see the type of amateur sleuthing sure to ensue in this Mexican countryside house. Still…this one does creep me out a smidge & I will be reading during the day.

 

The Gilded Ones (Deathless #1) by Namina Forna 

“The start of a bold and immersive West African-inspired, feminist fantasy series for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and Black Panther. In this world, girls are outcasts by blood and warriors by choice.”

Releasing on 5/26/2020, The Gilded Ones looks absolutely promising! This one features a female army all of which have powers like our MC training to defeat the empires biggest threat but nothing & no one is as they seem. Super curious seeing as I’m a HUGE fan of both Children of Blood and Bone & Black Panther to which this new series has been compared.

The City We Became by N.K Jemisin 

Five New Yorkers must come together in order to defend their city in the first book of a stunning new series by Hugo award-winning and NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin.

Every city has a soul. Some are as ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York City? She’s got five.

But every city also has a dark side. A roiling, ancient evil stirs beneath the earth, threatening to destroy the city and her five protectors unless they can come together and stop it once and for all.

This fellow New Yorker CANNOT wait for 3/26/2020! N.K. Jemisin is yet another author I am prioritizing this year.

All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

Mermaids and Pirates! oh my! legit two of my very favorite fictional beings. I know a few close friends have already reviewed their copies (I’ll be reading mine this month) & are giving it HIGH praise. After getting a taste of a underwater kingdom in Holly Blacks The Folk of the Air trilogy, I was left wanting more. I’m hoping this is the start of a new expansive underwater YA Fantasy, either way 4/4/2020 we take to the treacherous waters!

Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2) by Lyssa Kay Adams

The Bromance Book Club was a 2019 favorite for me & now we get more as we follow Braden mack & Liv Papandreas. This time around the club is not reading a regency romance, instead they’ll be reading a romantic suspense novel that ties in with this couples story. STOKED! I was blessed by the Book Gods with an early copy before its 3/10/2020 release date.

INCENDIARY (Hollow crown #1) by Zoraida Cordova 

Zoraida Cordova is quickly becoming a favorite auto-buy author, she won me over with her Brooklyn Burjas series & now this cover has blown me away! this one follows a female MC who has the power to steal memories which set the King upon her & her people. Now a rebel, our MC is helping others escape the Kingdom. When her love interest gets captured she has to maintain control of her need for vengeance while she infiltrates the Kingdom. I’m ready for 4/28/2020! *Heart Eyes* 

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo 

Elizabeth Acevedo stole my heart with her raw narratives! This is one I CANNOT wait to get my hands on, 5/14/2020 cannot come soon enough. This time we follow two teens girls brought together by grief. One lives in the Dominican Republic & the other in NYC when they find out their father has passed away (ooooF! this will be triggering for me but if anyone can handle this with sensitivity it’s Acevedo) & that they’re sisters! Dual narrative POV’s, I’m pretty sure I’ll also be getting the audiobook to accompany my physical copy cause if ya didn’t know, Elizabeth Acevedo narrates her own books & she’s AMAZING! *STOKED*


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November Monthly Wrap-Up & Book Haul

Hello Bookworms! a smidge late here…Ok very late here but tis’ the season amiright? haha! November was FULL of family happenings but I’m happy to report that I still managed to read on the go. These wrap-ups are where I share a bit of everything bookish & life related to give you all a glimpse at the gal behind this blog. This month was a bit eventful, the boyfriend & I met each others families…it was just a little nerve-racking but also VERY different and better than I could have ever expected. Both families were friendly & welcoming which of course made us breathe a HUGE sigh of relief!

In between attending family birthdays, baby showers, Thanksgiving & my first Sunday Football game there were some new fave reads. I also learned my lesson with library holds during the holiday season after having them ALL come through in one shot…not the way to go Lol! I was also left feeling unsure about one of my highly anticipated reads but here goes my wrap-up (my reviews linked down below)

The Last True Poets of the Sea (4 STARS) A friendship story at its core, this one is set off the coast of Maine. There are definitely some triggers for suicide and drug/alcohol abuse as well as talk of panic attacks & anxiety to look out for. The MC can be seen as unlikeable but the bonds formed here make this one worth the read

The Bromance Book Club (4.5 STARS) The more I think about it, this can easily be a 5 star read cause I still think of the characters here & there. Also, I haven’t read anything like this or had this much fun reading PERIODT! haha! I enjoyed it enough to request the sequel coming out Spring 2020 & the Book Gods delivered with an ARC 🙂

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me (5 STARS) The one audiobook I listened to in November that had me gripped to the very end. I loved listening to this SUPER slow burn romance, nodding my head whenever the two MC’s had scenes together. Both have very different love languages but the chemistry is A+!

The Starless Sea Ok..SOoo I was REALLY looking forward to this one having LOVED The Night Circus so much. Also, my boyfriend knew how much I wanted this book & went out of his way to surprise me with a signed copy *eeeK* that being said, I’m still unsure where I stand with it. I opted out of giving it a rating or writing a review. This was such a strange whimsical read that I truly enjoyed & yet it left me hella confused. It may have gone over my head but ummm…no regrets here *shoulder shrug*

Song of the Crimson Flower | Ninth House | Get A Life, Chloe Brown | Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire (illustrated edition) | Call Down the Hawk | The Starless Sea

The Shadowglass (The Bone Witch #3) | Dirty Letters | A Girl Like Her: A Small Town Romance (Ravenswood #1) |Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2) (ARC)

This Netflix series about a Cuban American family has become my go-to for mood lifting & comfort. Set in Los Angeles we meet a Veteran single mother with PTSD, her two kids and mom as they manage day to day life. Bonus: Her mom is played by none other than RITA MORENO! *clutches pearls* an ICON to say the least. This show has flown under the radar yet it’s the MOST relatable. Not to mention it’s LGBTQIAP+ friendly & socially aware making it a top favorite of mine.


Wishing you all the happiest of holidays Luvs!


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Spoiler Free Review: The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

Title: The Bromance Book Club (The Bromance Book Club #1)

Author: Lyssa Kay Adams

Pub. Date: November 5th 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Berkley

Pages: 352 Pages

GOODREADS | BARNES & NOBLE | AMAZON

🖤ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review🖤

I’m typically the bookworm who can get enticed by a nice cover but this plot is what immediately got my attention. We get introduced to Gavin who is the Nashville Legends Second Basemen as he finds out his wife Thea has been faking her orgasms for the majority of their marriage. On the brink of divorce, Gavin is brought into a secret club comprised of Nashville’s top elite alpha males. The Bromance Book Club are a group of husbands, boyfriends, and fiancés who at one point or another have faced the possibility of divorce. They discovered a love for Regency Romance books because they offered up a old school way of courting their significant others that actually works. The guys in the club begin to coach Gavin on the ways to save his marriage but ultimately it requires getting down to the root of the matter. Both Gavin and Thea will have to figure out what truths they’ve been avoiding & decide whether a second chance is worth putting in the time and effort for.

Thea- Our female MC is a former art school student who fell in love with our male lead Gavin. She gave  up her studies to become a full time supportive wife to a major baseball player & mom to two adorable twins. In the process, she lost herself and the passion she had for the things that bring her the most joy. Think of Ruby Rose shedding the leather jacket & bad gal look to instead don pastel sweaters and life planners. Every minute of her life now scheduled on a white board. We get to see her reclaims her lost self.

Gavin- Our male MC is a pretty big deal in baseball, he has just found out on the biggest night of his career that his wife has been faking her orgasms. He reacts poorly to this revelation which triggers their separation. Gavin won me over & this is one lead I’d use to start my book boyfriend Pinterest board 😂 I don’t think I’ve ever found someone so endearing on the page & I just wanted him to win his lady back. Gavin has a stutter, a part of him he had to grow comfortable with…something Thea embraced wholeheartedly. An amazing father to his twins & ultimately a husband who was willing to go the distance to save his marriage.

Liv- Reminded me so much of my own little sister! Liv is fiercely protective of Thea & the twins. She’s an amazing sister & aunt who quickly stepped up to the plate in offering Thea her support. Liv has Thea’s back & having had a rough childhood, they face their issues of abandonment together. Side note: Liv will be getting her own story line in the upcoming book Undercover Bromance (The Bromance Book Club #2) & this Gal is STOKED!!! 🤗

Twins- I had to include them if only to say they are the cutest little girls on the page! both their personalities so different & well fleshed out. We see the effect separation can have on children which was a bit triggering for me but very well depicted.

The Bromance Book Club- These guys SMH 😂😎😍 I LOVED being invited to their meetings! Del, Mack, Yan, Malcolm, and The Russian have all been where Gavin and Thea are. They all recognize toxic masculinity for what it is and through Regency Romance novels have managed to save their relationships. These meetings are hillarious but also how cool would it be if more men felt comfortable coming together to support one another on personal matters?  Their Bro Code is one I can get behind 🙌🏽

Lyssa Kay Adams not only gave us a book about a Bromance Book Club, she also sprinkled a bit of Regency Romance throughout the book. Told from dual POV’s, we toggle between Gavin and Thea which really helps the reader paint a picture of what led up to their separation. My heart went out to both characters for very different reasons & never once felt either of them were self serving. They both wanted each other & their marriage to work but they had some baggage to unload. The more serious passages are broken up with well timed humor and passages from the actual romance book the club has chosen for Gavin to read & study. I laughed & at times also self reflected seeing as I’ve been in Thea’s position. I’ll admit there were times it felt a bit preachy with the commentary on toxic masculinity however, it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book. The news of Liv (side character) getting her own story line in the upcoming book Undercover Bromance has me STOKED to continue with this new Romance series 🖤

Content Warnings: Divorce, mention of miscarriage,   depiction of abandonment issues in children


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October Monthly Wrap Up & Book Haul

Pardon me while I bust out in a little dance cause I read 8 books in October!!!! I broke a record seeing as 2019 has been a bit of a slumpish year for me I’ll count this as a major break through *whoop whoop* I’ll admit I was a bit all over the place in my books this month because I simply was picking up whatever I was in the mood for at the time. I can also see this being the case for the rest of the year. Once January comes around I will be buckling down just a smidge because I have acquired some new arcs I’m really excited to get around to in the New Year. I may have a post in the works with those highly anticipated arcs I managed to get a hold of 😉

We can all use a lil Rosie Perez in our lives! *Queen* ❤

The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh4 STARS✨ (my review) polarizing in the bookish community, this book isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea but it def was mine! ❤ more than anything, I’m STOKED at the hints of what’s to come.

Dear Girls by Ali Wong5 STARS (my review)

I listened to the audiobook & laughed my a** off at all hours of the day/night. Ali Wong won me over when I first saw her in Always be my Maybe but listening to Dear Girls led me down a rabbit hole. I watched Baby Cobra on Netflix as well and Hard Knock Wife which really rounded out the audiobook experience. These stand-up series are mentioned in Dear Girls and it was nice to go back & see those after. This book also got me wanting to start my own letters to my two tiny humans.

The Never Tilting World by Ron Chupeco ✨4 STARS (my review)

A WILD RIDE!!!! I was not sure what I was expecting going in after reading & loving The Bone Witch series but this was unique and chaotic in the best way. I tried to gather my thoughts as best as possible in my review haha!

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo5 STARS (RTC)

I have ZERO excuses for not having a review up just yet but I promise it’s coming & it will be a RAVE review 🙂

Can’t Escape Love (Reluctant Royals #2.6) by Alyssa Cole ✨4 STARS✨ (RTC)

This novella is absolutely my MOST favorite addition to the Reluctant Royals series! Nerd love at it’s finest & most cutest! GAHHHH! I need more! I will save my thoughts for the mash-up review I have coming for this & the other novella in this series Once Ghosted, Twice Shy #2.5

American predator by Maureen Callahan 5 STARS

I did consider writing a review for this SUPER creepy read but opted not to. I rated this one a 5 stars simply because the amount & quality of research really jumps off the page here. This is a real life story told from the perspective of the killer who has been captured. He is absolutely remorseless & only confessing certain kills in order to ascertain the death penalty for himself cause he just can’t live with himself anymore.

Kingdom of Souls by Rena Baron ✨4 STARS (my review)

I’m so happy there will be more books in this series/trilogy & even more excited to one day see it hit the big screen. This West African inspired Fantasy reads more like an Adult Fantasy as far as world building & complex character development. I’d love to see more YA Fantasy fleshed out in this way where the author fully trusts the reader to take in the world they’ve imagined on the page.

Paper Girls Volume 1 ✨3.5 STARS

This one was recommended to me because I love Stranger Things & all things Goonies. Paper Girls gives off the weird sci-fi vibes I love & for that reason alone I’ll be continuing with this graphic novels series. However, there are a lot of triggers for homophobic slurs, homophobia, violence, and alcohol abuse. Even though these issues align with the time period this takes place in, I’m seriously hoping this isn’t a theme in the volumes to follow.

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The Grace Year | The Bone Houses | The Water Dancer | Imaginary Friend

My October haul was a bit on the humble side seeing as I unhauled give or take 60 books. I wasn’t trying to spend much on books but I was focused on reading from my shelves. Two of these were my monthly Book Of The Month picks (my referral link& the other two were highly recommended. November however is already turning out to be shelf luvin’ & I’m not complaining 🙂

Joker 5 STARS

This movie will forever be seared into my memory for its depiction of mental health & the real need for discussion and resources for those that are struggling. I wasn’t expecting for it to be as hard hitting as it was but it only deepened my appreciation for this portrayal. I feel Joaquin phoenix performed exceptionally & frankly left me in awe.

LEGACIES ✨4 STARS

The Originals spin-off is highly addictive & full of bad a** characters you can’t help but get invested in. Hope Mikaelson truly feels like a piece of Klaus was gifted to us & I cannot wait to see her growth in this series. We follow Hope in this school for supernatural beings that has a very X-Men vibe I love. It was almost a full 5 stars if it hadn’t been for the meh last episode haha! still though, as a whole this is one show worth checking out if you followed its predecessors & are looking for your paranormal fix 😉


October was such a great quality reading month that i’m hoping it continues into november. with all of the major new releases i think that’s a safe bet. i’m enjoying the cooler weather, bookstore dates, & coffee breaks with good company and books.I hope you’re all having a great start to this Autumn season <3’s!


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