I thought that I would read more romance in February, but that is the plight of a mood reader! That said, the romance that I did read was stellar.
Number of Books Read: 10
Number of Pages Read: 3,255
Best Book of the Month: A Natural History of Dragons
I have such conflicting feelings about The Maid. There are things that I love and other things that just don’t sit right with me. This is one of those mysteries that is compulsively readable and I adored the hotel setting. I loved Molly, but I am not sure how I feel about how she was depicted. It is never directly stated that she is neurodiverse, but many readers have come to the conclusion that she is. I think that there are a lot of stereotypes at play in this book, and not just when it comes to Molly. I also found a lot of the characters to be one-dimensional. That said, I am excited about the movie and to see what Florence Pugh does with Molly as a character.
I read A Natural History of Dragons for a read-a-long that I am co-hosting. I will be on a live stream on Kristen’s BookTube channel on March 2nd, so join us if you want to hear more of my thoughts! All I will say is that I adored this book and cannot believe I left it sitting unread on my shelves for as long as I did. I have been telling everyone that it reads like Jane Austen with dragons!
I read an eARC of Fake It Till You Bake It, which does not come out until June 21st. I should have waited to read it closer to the release date, but I could not help myself. This is a romance that has so many things that I love- fake dating, an ex-reality star, and an NFL player who owns a bakery. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the intense chemistry between Jada and Donovan. I was so here for all the cupcake descriptions and the banter between these two characters. I think that we are being set up for a sequel following one of the other owners of the bakery, and I am thrilled!
I do not read a lot of paranormal romance, but something about Not the Witch You Wed called to me. I was so excited when I was approved for an ALC from Netgalley. I absolutely loved this book! There was a lot more world-building and political drama than I had anticipated, and I appreciated that. I also love a mix of hate-to-love and second-chance romance, so this book was a perfect match for me. I think that this love story between a magicless witch and a powerful werewolf is a must-read. A perfect one to save for October!
I do not read a lot of middle grade, but Forever Birchwood is making me think that I should! I first heard about this book when attending an HCC Frenzy virtual event. That is when I learned that that author is from my hometown and that the book itself is set there. My hometown plays such a huge role in this story, which made it feel very personal to me. There are a lot of great messages here and the main character, Wolf, has such a strong connection to nature. I just enjoyed every minute of this!
There is so much to love about Love & Other Disasters, from the cooking competition setting to the grumpy/sunshine trope. This was so much steamier than I had anticipated, and I kind of loved that. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the cooking competition and seeing both Dahlia and London interact with one another and the other competitors. Dahlia and London are both face some very real pressures from the outside world as well, which I thought added some layers to the story.
I don’t think I have ever read a book quite as whimsical as The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea! It made me want to delve more into the world of Korean mythology. I was enchanted by the writing, the world, the characters, and just the overall tone of this book.
I loved the Scottish setting of The Falconer and thought that Elizabeth May went in an interesting direction with fae, but I think that this book just confirmed for me that fae stories aren’t for me. I have yet to find one that I absolutely loved! The Falconer was published in 2013, so it has that sort of feeling to it. It reads like a book written during that era, which is not at all a bad thing and it was fun for me! I also really liked Elizabeth May’s writing and would read more from her. I think I just got bogged down by the fight scenes, wasn’t into the love triangle, and I am not a fan of books that end on a cliffhanger!
After reading the first few chapters of One Italian Summer, I was not sure how I was going to feel about it. I have read both The Dinner List and In Five Years by Rebecca Serle, and while I loved In Five Years, I did not jive with The Dinner List. For this reason, I was nervous going into One Italian Summer, but I was excited about it. Katy, the main character, was frustrating at first, but she is dealing with immense grief and we all deal with grief differently. That is a theme that Rebecca Searle handles so well! I also love the touch of magic that she adds to her books, though you do have to suspend your disbelief. The Italian setting and the delicious food descriptions alone make One Italian Summer worth reading!
I am so glad that Once Upon a Book Club sent me their Castle of the Evil Eye book box, which included a copy of Within These Wicked Walls. I am not sure I would have read this book otherwise, and I would have missed out. I had so much fun with this Jane Eyre retelling. I love the setting and the vibes of this book. I also adore Andromeda and her magic. The creation and use of amulets were fascinating to me! What didn’t click for me was the romance, though that didn’t really affect my overall enjoyment of the book.
What was the best book you read in February?