Continuing this as a monthly post, even if I end up with none.
Night Shift by Annie Crown
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Night Shift by Annie Crown
Published by Wattpad Books on November 14, 2023
Genres: NA Contemporary Romance, NA Sports Romance
Source: the publisher
The bookworm and the basketball player are about to meet their match.
Kendall Holiday spends her Friday nights exactly where she wants to be: with her head buried in a spicy romance novel while she works the graveyard shift at her university's library. She knows she could join her friends for a weekend of drunken debauchery and college parties, but she likes her alone time, so she tells herself she isn't hiding when she gets lost in the pages of fictional love stories.
But that all changes when Vincent Knight, captain of the basketball team, turns up with an injured wrist, a sour mood, and a pressing need for poetry recommendations for a class he hates. Vincent is tall, smart-mouthed, and challenges Kendall like no one has before. Suddenly, she's falling headfirst into her very own romance novel—but it takes a lot more truth than tropes to get to a happy ever after in real life.
So, I think I maybe need to stop requesting or getting excited to read Wattpad books. The idea behind this and of course the cover totally grabbed my attention. I only got about 7% when something happened that was just so out there, so weird, that I couldn’t go any further.
Sex, Lies and Sensibility by Nikki Payne
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Sex, Lies and Sensibility by Nikki Payne
Published by Berkley on February 13, 2024
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Source: the publisher
Two sisters roll up their sleeves to run a dilapidated, beach town inn but must learn to work with the locals in this deliciously spicy Sense and Sensibility inspired rom-com by Nikki Payne.
There's never a good time to learn you’re your father's secret second family—especially not at the reading of the will. To add insult to injury, Nora's racy leaked videos just went viral. Nora Dash has got no reputation, no dad, and only a forgotten beach house in rural Maine to her name. There are no other Black people for miles, the place is abandoned, but at least no one will recognize her O face in the backwoods. She and her free-spirited sister Yanne haven’t even knocked the traveling dust off last season's designer boots when the first problem pops up: a fake park ranger giving tours of their property like it's his own—and he’s hotter than the local lobster boil.
Ennis "Bear" Freeman is used to people showing up unannounced on his land. So when a beautiful city girl shows up with the deed to his unofficial headquarters in one manicured hand, he gives it a week before their whole crew packs up and leaves. But it isn't long before they find out they work better together than apart. To his surprise, Nora's damned good for Bear's business, and his own secrets might turn out to be the thing that sends them packing.
I do always have trouble with third person telling, and this one had that, and I had trouble for sure knowing what character. Also, I did read Sense and Sensibility, but forced myself to finish it just for the ending because I’d never seen any movies for that before. Now this does have some really great cultural aspects to it from the 22% I read. But I should have known that not having the Oxford comma in the title, which bugged me right away, that this one wouldn’t work for me.
The Words We Keep by Erin StewartThe Words We Keep by Erin Stewart
Published by Listening Library on March 15, 2022
Genres: YA Contemporary
Source: the library
A beautifully realistic, relatable story about mental health and the healing powers of art--perfect for fans of Girl in Pieces and How it Feels to Float.
It's been three months since The Night on the Bathroom Floor--when Lily found her older sister Alice hurting herself. Ever since then, Lily has been desperately trying to keep things together, for herself and for her family. But now Alice is coming home from her treatment program and it is becoming harder for Lily to ignore all of the feelings she's been trying to outrun.
Enter Micah, a new student at school with a past of his own. He was in treatment with Alice and seems determined to get Lily to process not only Alice's experience, but her own. Because Lily has secrets, too. Compulsions she can't seem to let go of and thoughts she can't drown out.
When Lily and Micah embark on an art project for school involving finding poetry in unexpected places, she realizes that it's the words she's been swallowing that desperately want to break through.
While I think this is probably a really good book, for my own mental state, I can’t keep reading someone spiraling like the main character is. I don’t need the extra spiral on top of my own swirling thoughts with all the things going on in my family right now. However, I can tell it is a really good book and one that could make a good possibility for the Gateway list, which is why I was listening to it. I got to 17% before I decided I wasn’t going to go on.
The Christmas Clash by Suzanne ParkThe Christmas Clash by Suzanne Park
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on October 4, 2022
Genres: YA holiday romance
Who's naughty and nice at Riverwood Mall? In this hilarious holiday rom-com, two rivals get together to save their families' livelihoods, and Christmas, too!
Chloe Kwon can't stand Peter Li. It's always been that way. Their families don't get along either: their parents operate rival restaurants in the Riverwood Mall food court―Korean food for the Kwons and Chinese food for the Lis. Now it's the holiday season and Chloe's the photographer at the mall's Santa Land, and Peter works at the virtual reality North Pole experience right across the atrium. It's all Chloe can do to avoid Peter's smug, incredibly photogenic face.
But it turns out the mall is about to be sold to a developer and demolished for condos. Eviction notices are being handed out right before Christmas. Their parents don't know what to do, and soon Chloe and Peter realize that the two of them need to join efforts to try to save the mall. Just when it seems like they can put aside their differences and work closely (very closely) together, they discover that the Kwon and Li feud goes far deeper than either of them realize...
So, I bought this one at Target this month! I was unsure about one of the other holiday books I’d bought for the Ho-Ho-Ho Readathon and when I saw this on the shelf, I remembered I’d liked another book by the author. Unfortunately I just could not get into it. Didn’t really care for either of the characters. It’s possible I was just having a hard time getting into any books because I seemed to keep giving up! But I’ll just take it in and add it to my school library because my students might enjoy it!
Holidate (Dating #3) by Monica MurphyHolidate by Monica Murphy
Series: Dating #3
Published by EM Publishing on October 9, 2019
Genres: Adult Holiday Romance
Candice Gaines loves Christmas. Not only does she bask in the twinkling lights, sing Christmas carols and go crazy with the decorations, she’s also in the giving spirit, donating much of her time and wealth to various charities in the local area.
Charlie Sullivan despises Christmas. Though it keeps his family afloat, considering they own Sullivan Family Christmas Tree Farm, the main provider for Christmas trees on the Monterey peninsula. He’d much rather work among the trees versus have to deal with people.
But Charlie’s parents are taking on more philanthropic projects—and as their oldest child, they want him to be their official public representative. He just has to play nice and convince everyone he’s not a total holiday hater.
When Charlie’s mom asks Candice to accompany him to a variety of holiday parties and events, she reluctantly agrees. She thinks Charlie is a big ol’ Grinch, but is determined to change his mindset and help him spread Christmas cheer. Charlie finds Candice too chatty, too sweet, too much. Do people like her really exist?
Why yes, yes they do. The more time they spend together—along with a few kisses under the mistletoe—the more they start to like each other. Hopefully Charlie can convince Candice he doesn’t have a heart that’s two sizes too small before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.
So, while I’m a fan of Monica Murphy, even on her reader team somehow, I don’t always love her books. And there are a lot of her past novels from before I found her that I haven’t read. This is one I think I got on Amazon for free a couple years ago. I have been looking forward to it for awhile. However I had issues getting into it, as well as some of the same just not connecting with the characters that happens in other books. And I gave it almost a third of the book before I finally gave in and picked up another book for the Ho-Ho-Ho Readathon challenge. I figure the goal is to read more books, not struggle through the ones I’m not enjoying.
Snowdown at the Old Schoolhouse by Margaret Amatt
I received this book for free from Rachel's Random Resources in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Snowdown at the Old Schoolhouse by Margaret Amatt
Series: The Glenbriar Series Book #6
Published by Leannan Press on November 12, 2023
Genres: Adult Holiday Romance
Source: Rachel's Random Resources
Whatever happens this Christmas, they didn’t forecast this!When charismatic and handsome weather presenter Marcus Bowman walks back into Willow Roxburgh’s life three weeks before Christmas, her quiet job as an admin worker at the Old Schoolhouse residential care centre in Glenbriar is shattered. He’s not only the man she used to crush on, he’s also the one who thwarted her TV forecasting dreams.But she’s no longer the anonymous studio assistant; she’s secretly Scotland’s new favourite weather forecaster, Rocky Rainman.With the Schoolhouse facing closure, Marcus is on an assignment to drum up festive support. However, he’s discovered the internet sensation Rocky Rainman lives somewhere nearby and is determined to expose him after Rocky’s recent damaging comments on social media. Seeing Willow, the girl he used to obsess over, shakes his priorities.When a blizzard hits, Willow and Marcus are snowed in, and she discovers her perception of him wasn’t as accurate as her forecasts. Marcus isn’t convinced it’ll be a white Christmas, but he’s determined to win Willow’s heart. Can their new love weather storm if he discovers her secret? Because how can there be a future for Marcus Bowman and Rocky Rainman?♥ ♥ ♥♥ Snowdown at the Old Schoolhouse is the sixth book in The Glenbriar Series, but can be read on its own as a standalone.♥ Set in the highlands of Scotland in a small town with fun, romance, drama, and a guaranteed happy ending. Snowdown at the Old Schoolhouse has a bit of steam and lots of heart.♥The Glenbriar Series is a spinoff from the Scottish Island Escapes series and there are crossovers and intertwining characters.♥ A beautiful romance story, perfect for fans of Holly Martin, Heidi Swain and Rachel Lucas
So, to be fair, I only gave this one about one or two chapters before I gave up. I think I had just had too many not work for me right before this, and then a couple good ones, and had no patience for characters that weren’t likable or it wasn’t understandable how one could like the other. And again, to be fair, I probably should have given it a bit more time, but I’m okay with DNFing because I went on to another really good book!
Always the Bridesmaid by Laura Carter
I received this book for free from Rachel's Random Resources in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Always the Bridesmaid by Laura Carter
Series: Brits in Manhattan #4
Published by Boldwood Books on November 17, 2023
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Source: Rachel's Random Resources
A cheeky chappy comedian Charlie is most comfortable playing the funny man in front of boisterous crowds in London’s comedy clubs. But he’s about to be swapping his routine for wedding speeches. And his new acquaintance Sarah, thinks he is anything but amusing. The woman who’s got it covered Weddings are always a difficult time for widower Sarah, but you would never tell – she’s too focused on making the week of her best friends’ wedding as perfect as possible. She definitely has no time for the grumpy and surly Charlie, who it's clear her friends are trying to set her up with. And only one room left at the rental... When a drunken invitation adds more people to the pre-wedding holiday house than Sarah organized for, she finds herself spending A LOT more time with Charlie than she intended. If only they could both let their guards down, they might find they have more in common than they think.
I did really try. I got a fourth of the way through the book and I still didn’t really see how or why either character would or should like the other one. And there was so much again of the telling instead of showing, I got bored quickly with how the author told the story. I find myself wondering if I have been in a reading rut with all the books I DNFed this month, or if it has something to do with being behind on my Goodreads goal so not wanting to waste time on books I don’t enjoy that are taking me longer to read than one I can’t put down. Now I want to go back and check to see if I always DNF books more this time of the year. Anyway, looking at the ratings for this on Goodreads it seems I’m not the only one who wasn’t blown away, so I don’t feel so bad for DNFing.