Reading Challenge

Take a quiz, Read a book: The Very Spicy Version

I recently found the She Reads Romance Books blog and it looks like a fun place to get a bunch of romance recommendations. She even has quizzes that will help you find your next book.

I took the book boyfriend quiz and got the erotic book boyfriend. See why this is the spicy version? Instead of giving me one book, I got a whole list called “Best Erotic Romance Novels for the Virgin Erotic Romance Reader.” What’s funny about this is that it’s supposed to be for people just trying out the genre, but some of these books even had me thinking this is way too much sex. I felt like she could have definitely recommended some lighter ones, but they were her favorites. I liked that the list is in categories, so she has her favorite historical or BDSM.

I did not read all of them and mostly because I couldn’t find them at the library.

Club:

Wicked Envy by Sawyer Bennett – Three best friends that work together decide to try out a “club.” I’ve never read a threesome like this where not all three are romantically involved. Only two of them are actually into each other, which was a nice take. I liked it more after they weren’t going to the club as much. There was also some good groveling at the end.

Rating: 3.5 apartments

Bedroom Fantasy:

Pillow Talk by Maya Banks – A couple starts to make their fantasies come true. I don’t think I really like reverse harem or maybe it’s that I need to read them occasionally, because I had just read one before this and it was just too much.
Their fantasies were odd, like it was all about them being with other people instead of with each other. Watching your partner with someone else doesn’t seem that fun to me. But if they were imagining the roommates, I guess it makes sense? The end took a quick turn and threw me. There was chemistry, but I still wasn’t expecting it.

Rating: 2.5 broken down vehicles

Historical:

The Duke I Tempted by Scarlett Peckham – Poppy is a botanist and is hired to design a garden in the ballroom for Westmead who needs an heir. I was pleasantly surprised that this was a lighter erotic romance. I think I needed it after the last two. This was definitely more what I thought would be on the list, especially since the list is for beginners. I liked it and there were times when I didn’t want to put it down. I did end up staying up late to finish it. I thought it was well written and entertaining. I liked that Poppy didn’t just take things, but stood up for herself. It would have been 4 stars, but I did get tired of them getting mad each other for not communicating.

Rating: 3.5 plants

Escort:

Escorted by Claire Kent – Lori hires an escort to take her virginity, but we end up following them grow their relationship. I wasn’t sure that I liked it, but then there were some scenes outside the bedroom, and he seemed to have a jealous moment which I love.
I also liked that there are hints of him falling for her and that she might, but it’s not blatant. While reading, I thought it would be great to read Ander’s perspective. I think there is another book with his perspective, but I think it’s kind of like a sequel/continuation.

Rating: 3.5 ice cream cones

Exhibitionist:

Beautiful Stranger by Christina Lauren – If you like Christina Lauren, I will say that this is very different from what they write now. I do like their recent books more than this series.

Sara’s ex cheated on her, so she escapes to New York and meets Max where a one-time thing turns into more than one night. I liked Max and that he was known as a guy that gets around, but ends up falling for the heroine. He has some vulnerability show later that’s nice to see in a guy like him.

Rating: 3 mirrors

BDSM:

Three Hard Lessons by Nikki Sloane – Payton works at a BDSM club and Dom comes in one night and is awkward and isn’t really into it, but he was told to show up to “relax.” He falls for Payton and asks her to come to Japan because that’s where he is living for another year for work. Payton is anti-love, but goes to Japan with him anyway. I didn’t have very many thoughts about this, but there were a few ridiculous moments, like doing something on command.

Rating: 3 flights to Japan

In conclusion, the question is do I like erotic romance? I think I do in small quantities, but most of them I just give three stars, which is a “like”, but none have made me think they were amazing. Erotic romance is when sex contributes to the storyline and I think most books that I have loved, I would still like if they were closed door. I don’t know how to get my thoughts across because I’m still confused as well to what books count as this and I think some books blur the lines.

Book Clubs · Reading Challenge

Book Club/Read Along Announcements

Thought I’d make a quick post about what I’m planning in case anyone would like to join in. I have created a book club with my coworkers and I thought since I’ll have to have something to say about the book anyway, I would bring back the read-along posts. These posts are like book reviews, but you’re seeing what I’m thinking as I read the book. I did this for the Cassandra Clare books and Throne of Glass series.

They are filled with spoilers, so read it if you’ve read the book, don’t care about reading the book, want to see spoilers to decide if you want to read the book (? people do it), or read the book along with me. I also want to do it with the books I choose to read for the Buzzword Challenge. It’s a little late in the month, but I haven’t read either of these books yet, so these posts will probably come out next month.

Here are the selections:

Book Club: This is a young adult book club. Our criteria is that it must be YA and it can be found on the library app Hoopla, so that everyone can have a copy. It’s an every other month book club and there are themes. This month the theme was Fantasy.

The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy

Buzzword: January’s buzzword is “Life” and “Death.” I decided to go with “death” and a book that I bought a while ago and never read.

Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Memory Thief will most likely be done first approx. beginning to mid February. Till Death will most likely be posted mid to late February. I’m still deciding how I will announce the next books, either at the end of these posts or in a separate post.

Thanks for reading and I hope some of you decide to read along with me!

Wrap-Ups

December Wrap Up

Snug by Catana Chetwynd -Cute, funny graphic novel about two people in a relationship. There were some relatable things and realizing how single I am

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Queen Takes Rose by Katee Robert – This one was kind of boring. I did a lot of skimming. I was interested in the Paine brothers stories and then found out at the end that they actually do have their own books, although I think the series is on hold.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

A Writer’s Book of Days by Judy Reeves – This had a lot great tips and quotes about writing and being a writer. I did a lot of bookmarking and highlighting.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Holidate Season by Various – This was an anthology of romances during the holiday season. I’m not sure how many stars to give it since some were better than others. My favorites were Sleighed and Have Yourself a Grumpy Little Christmas. They were both cute and fun. The others were good. Christmas in Birdville had me confused because I thought her grandma died while she was with Hermann, so I was like when did she have these other kids.
I didn’t read Katee Robert or the farm one because they were characters from a series, while the others might have been from the same universe of their series they worked as standalones.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

There’s Something About Merry by Codi Hall – I liked it just as much as Nick and Noel’s Christmas Playlist. These are fun holiday romances. Holly has to be next, right? And it will definitely be with Declan. Christmas things were happening, but I was surprised that most of the book happens in November. If I’m remembering correctly, I don’t think Christmas even happened.
I liked Clark and Merry together. There was a part where I thought please tell him; don’t make this worse with miscommunication or him getting mad that she didn’t say anything. And I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t go that route.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Leo, Cancer, and Virgo by Gemma James – It’s hard to have thoughts, since it’s like being in the middle of a book. The way Virgo ended has made it take a turn, but I don’t see how it will end out well. Honestly, is there any way that this series can end in a good way?

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie – These Agatha Christie books I read while I had Covid, so they’re a bit of a fog. I also listened to them on audio and would fall asleep to them, so it was all a blur.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Lost Plays by Agatha Christie – This one had quite an interesting mystery that was kind of the only one that stuck with me and there were 3 plays. It had to do with a train station and this guy’s dead wife kept calling him on the phone.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

TBH, I don’t remember, but these next two probably had a spicy scene.

Lovelight Farms by B.K. Borison -Love best friends and fake dating. To seem more interesting to an influencer who is having a contest with a cash prize, Stella lies and says she owns her Christmas tree farm with her boyfriend who does not exist. Her farm is not doing well because a bunch of sketchy stuff is happening, so she needs the cash and ropes her best friend into pretending to be her BF. It was cute until the end and the dumbest thing ever happened. I guess this is a spoiler, but all romances have this part. He was telling her that he loved her and wanted to be her boyfriend and she wouldn’t believe him. I was just like, “you’re kidding me, this is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.” That’s when I was done and fast forwarded to the good part because I was listening on audio.

November 9 by Colleen Hoover – You know this should probably be technically a DNF, but in my world I just read a short story. I liked it and felt like there was a full love story and I just stopped reading before things got bad. This was about 50% into the book. It was a happy ending, they were going to be together, it was all cute and why read through the rest of their struggles when we’ll just come back to the conclusion I’ve already had? 

Choose from my TBR Chest (like a TBR Jar)

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco – I’m so excited to hear that this is a new adult series because I need more scenes like that one between Wrath and Emilia.
I don’t usually like witches as the protagonists, and I can’t really tell you why, just that I usually DNF those books, but this was different. Probably because it was more demons and murder than them making spells in a cauldron.
I had fun and was intrigued the whole time

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Reading Challenge

Did I Finish Any Series In 2022? + 2023 Series

I finished some series and I may have forgotten it was a goal for a little bit, but things were crossed off! Let’s do this!

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

  • Did not finish
  • 4/8

Cassandra Clare shadowhunters

  • Did not finish

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

  • Finished

Magical Romantic Comedies by R.J. Blain

  • Will not continue

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

  • Finished

Aurora Cycle by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

  • Finished

Lobizona by Romina Garber

  • Will not continue

Deadly by Cynthia Eden

  • Won’t continue right now

Ravenels by Lisa Kleypas

  • Did not finish
  • 3/6

The Diviners by Libba Bray

  • Finished

Killer Instincts by Cynthia Eden

  • Won’t continue right now

Little Bridge by Meg Cabot

  • Finished

Also, during 2022 I started and finished these series: Wicked Villains by Katee Robert, Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Last Man Standing by Avery Flynn, and Book of Ivy by Amy Engel. I also finished the three books in Scarlett St. Clair’s Hades and Persephone series, which I thought was trilogy, but found out there will be a fourth book.

For 2023, I would like to keep Throne of Glass, Cassandra Clare, and Ravenels. And I will add these series that I began: Kingmaker Chronicles by Amanda Bouchet, Briar U by Elle Kennedy, Once Upon a Dukedom by Lorraine Heath, Zodiac Queen by Gemma James, Thornchapel by Sierra Simone, Mystic Bayou by Molly Harper, and Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

Wrap-Ups

Buzz Word Reading Challenge

This was my second year reading a buzz word a month. I really enjoy it and am all ready to do it for another year. Here is 2023’s prompts.

Also, Romanceopoly is back! I think they were gone for the last two years and now they are back and revamped. Here’s the challenge for that.

Here is my wrap up for the Buzz Words of 2022. Yes, I did DNF some of them, but I still count it because I tried.

January – 5 Ws: WHEN We Caught Fire by Anna Godbersen (DNF)

February – Pronouns/Possessives: The Shadows Between US by Tricia Levenseller

March – Locations: The PARIS Apartment by Lucy Foley

April – Big & Little: Kind of a BIG Deal by Shannon Hale (DNF)

May – Directions: Aurora’s END by Ami Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (I know, it’s a stretch)

June – All: ALL Chained Up by Sophie Jordan

July – Bookish Words: BOOK Lovers by Emily Henry

August – Items: The CHEAT SHEET by Sarah Adams

September – Light and Dark: These Fleeting SHADOWS by Kate Alice Marshall

October – Creatures and Animals: Cry WOLF by Patricia Briggs

November – “-ing”: Daughter of the Pirate KING by Tricia Levenseller

December – Numbers: THREE Hard Lessons by Nikki Sloane

Oh, hey! I only DNFed 2 of them. That’s pretty good. I think I really liked at least half of them.

Wrap-Ups

My Favorite Books of ’22

This is not the Christmas gift I asked for. I have covid, about a couple weeks short of my one year anniversary of the first time I got it. I hope this doesn’t turn into a pattern. Anyway, it’s kind of funny to see the books I read then and that they made this list.

Uncategorized

Holiday Books

Photo by Bianca Debisko on Pexels.com

Somehow, even though Christmas and the lead up to the holiday is my favorite, I always have more ideas for Fall books and media. I think because I always reread and rewatch my favorites during Christmas. Like the movie trifecta for me is Elf, Christmas with the Kranks, and The Polar Express.

Might as well make a mini list of my favorites beside those three: Noelle, Home Alone, The Santa Clause, The Holiday, While You Were Sleeping, A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish, Holiday in the Wild…

So, here’s a list of mostly Christmas books:

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston – This is my favorite! Sophie is set up on a blind date for each day through the holidays by different family members.

The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss – Kate also goes on dates leading up to the holiday with many disasters.

Any Boy But You by Julie Hammerle – A teen You’ve Got Mail.

All I Want for Christmas is You by Lisa Mondello – Honestly, I don’t remember this one, but I gave it 4 stars, so….

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren – It’s like Groundhog’s Day, where she keeps living the day over, but it does end quickly. So, if you’re not a fan of reliving the day, I think you’ll still like it because it’s not the whole book.

The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie – Need a Christmas mystery? This is good one where Poirot spends Christmas in a country house with a dead body.

One by One by Ruth Ware – This is a thriller where the characters are snowed in while a killer is running around.

The Christmas Swap by Melody Carlson – Back to the romances. It’s like the movie The Holiday where people swap houses for Christmas except that one person ends up staying at their house when they see their new houseguests instead of leaving.

A Holly Jolly Diwali by Sonya Lalli – Niki, last minute, decides to go to her friend’s wedding where she meets Sam who helps her become more free-spirited.

Nick and Noel’s Christmas Playlist by Codi Hall – Friends to lovers, need I say more? They’re both really into music and are always making playlists for each other. There is a playlist to listen to as you read. There is fake dating, since both Nick and Noel were just dumped.

There’s Something About Merry by Codi Hall – I haven’t finished it yet, but I really like it so far. This is the sequel to Nick and Noel’s Christmas Playlist starring Nick’s younger sister, Merry. There’s another You’ve Got Mail situation happening.

The Holidate Season – This is an anthology with six short stories taking place during Christmas. Two of them are about couples that are already together, but the rest are them deciding to be together.

Wrap-Ups

November Wrap Up

Feast of Sparks by Sierra Simone – I don’t understand. What did I just read? How could this happen? Why? Why would you do this?!

So this is the sequel to A Lesson in Thorns and it ended in a shocker obviously. It was something that made me wonder what the point of this second book was, since it took a huge step back in the relationships. I also skimmed quite a bit. There’s so much description and trying to make the book seem more prestigious than it is.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron by Julia Quinn and Violet Charles – This actually had some laugh out loud moments. It was such a fun story that had back story, plot, revenge, and a happy ending.
I loved their thought bubbles with mini versions of themselves. At one point the Baron says something about Miss Butterworth that shows that he might like her and the mini person in his head is down on his knees yelling “Nooooooooo!”
I like the art and the light wash of color. The characters are a little cartoon like and it gives off a whimsical vibe.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I had a few books/authors on the wheel that I’ve been wanting to read, so I got Tricia Levenseller, who wrote one of my favorites – The Shadows Between Us.

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller – Only the second book I’ve read by her and both heroines are fierce, badass, and are out to kill people. I like that she is showing how ruthless pirates were like how Alosa kills without hesitation and she’s always physically fighting Riden (the love interest, that’s real enemies to lovers.)
It was pretty easy to tell it’s a debut novel. I had high hopes and they were squashed. She spent most of the book doing the same things : get kidnapped, sneak out of cell, search for map, get kidnapped again. It got boring real quick.
The ending was abrupt. I was disappointed since I liked her other book, so much more, but maybe she just got better at writing.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Book Recs playlist: I have a playlist on YouTube with videos of booktubers giving book recommendations. I put that playlist on shuffle and got “books read in one sitting.” Out of all the books, only one was at the library.

How to Date Your Dragon by Molly Harper – I will say this was not read in one sitting, but I did read it in one day.
It was very entertaining and funny and I liked the romance. I didn’t realize there was going to be a murder mystery, but I liked it and I guessed who did it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Favorite Author: I really liked Nick and Noel’s Christmas Playlist by Codi Hall and I was going to read second book but it wasn’t available yet, so I decided to reread this, which I didn’t remember much anyway.

Nick and Noel’s Christmas Playlist by Codi Hall – My first time thoughts – This was so fun. It had friends to lovers, fake dating, Christmas, music. I liked all of the characters, loved to hate Amber. I love that her friends and Nick’s family was her family. There was humor, love, care, friendship, fights. It was just a fun read.

Reread: I didn’t like it as much this time. I would give it 4 stars. I still really like it, but Noel bugged me a little. She had a lot of problems and should probably go back to therapy.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I did get All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace, but it was a DNF. My hopes were too high and it wasn’t what I was expecting.

writing

Nano Diaries – Day The End is Here?

How it’s going: I haven’t written since I went on vacation a week and a half ago. I went out of town, went to work, went out of town, got sick, and now it’s the last day of November. Good thing I cheated and already got to 50k.

I’m still sick and I don’t think I’ll be getting any more words in, so the final word count is over 54k, which means I wrote about 12,700 words in half a month. I call that a success, since I would say a normal month would be lucky if I got 5k. My story is not finished, but hopefully I’ll be close in the new year.

Thank you for following my journey and on to the next challenge. The Goodreads reading challenge. I need to read 17 books in December to get my goal. That’s a lot of graphic novels haha.

How did your nanowrimo go, if you participated?

writing

Nano Diaries – Day 17 & 18

How it’s going: I feel like I write better in the morning. I’m not thinking as much about other things that I need to do or if people are waiting on me. Day 17 was a little hard and I was feeling the ‘I don’t want to write every day anymore.” Day 18 has been better. I wrote a scene that will probably not be in the final draft, but it was fun to write and got me out of the slump because I didn’t have to think too hard. Sometimes writing a scene that you don’t plan on actually having in the book is freeing and makes writing fun again.

I probably won’t have a post for this weekend since I’m going out of town. I actually don’t know how the next week will be since I’ll be working extra and then going out of town again.

The Story: Been doing some cute, funny scenes and the scene that will probably not make it. I’m not sure how close to the end I am because I keep adding things in. I think this could be a 60 or 70k book, which would be my longest I’ve ever written.

Word Count: 54,492