The beginning of March always takes me by surprise. Yes, I know that February has fewer days but my brain still expects 30 days. So when March comes around, I feel like I haven’t done enough in the month.
The one thing I did do enough was read. I read 16 books in February! The beginning of February saw me read the most and then my steam started tapering down. I am overwhelmed by the number of books I want to read immediately, though. Wish me luck for March
the bombshell effect by karla sorensen
- 1 the bombshell effect by karla sorensen
- 2 tempest by beverly jenkins
- 3 keile’s chance by dillon watson
- 4 the anthropocene reviewed by john green
- 5 juniper hill by devney perry
- 6 snowfall on haven point by raeanne thayne
- 7 chasing waves by bianca mori
- 8 one percent of you by michelle gross
- 9 she who became the sun by shelley parker-chan
- 10 enemies abroad by r. s. grey
- 11 for vacation only by mila nicks
- 12 the inheritance of orquídea divina by zoraida córdova
- 13 six of crows duology by leigh bardugo
- 14 secret baby on board by abby knox
- 15 let me in by r. m. virtues
I read this when I was still on my high of reading single parent romance books. The Bombshell Effect is a single dad sports and workplace romance with banter and a typical three act structure.
It was a good book. I liked Allie’s growth the best. She inherits a football team along with a bunch of other things when her dad passed away suddenly. As she had a strained relationship with her dad, she is not a fan of football because it was his first priority. But she steps up and learns about football and managing a team. She becomes good at it.
Allie and Luke get off on the wrong foot because he judges her capabilities based on her looks. They grudgingly decide to b civil but since Luke’s daughter adores Allie, they are pushed together more.
All-in-all, it was an enjoyable romance. I generally don’t like workplace romances so that affected here as well. But it was good otherwise.
tempest by beverly jenkins
Beverly Jenkins writes the best historical heroines and I will accept no arguments on this.
Tempest follows Regan Carmichael—a rich Black woman—arriving in Colton’s town to be his mail order bride. Colton is a poor doctor and is marrying so that his daughter will have a mother. But when they first meet, Regan shoots him assuming he and his party are trouble.
Colton expected a woman who is true to the traditional sense of “woman” but Regan is anything but. She is loud, bossy, has strong opinions, and will not stay at home in deference to her husband.
It is so fun to watch Colton rearrange his meaning of woman and fall in love with Regan without meaning to. This is also the only historical romance I’ve read where the man is poor and woman is rich, a Black woman at that. It makes for an interesting dynamic.
Overall, a banger romance. Loved it.
keile’s chance by dillon watson
This is a slow burn and slow paced lesbian single mom romance. In the beginning, I didn’t like the book much but liked it more and more as I kept reading.
Keile was in the park one day when a lost boy ran upto her. She had a strong connection with him right from the start that she herself was taken aback by. When she meets his mom, Keile immediately starts crushing on her.
Hayden was supposed to become a parent with her partner but when her partner suddenly walked out, she went ahead with it anyway. She loves being a mom and wants a partner who will love her son too. She takes time to warm up to Keile because of her past experiences.
The book is heavily focused on relationship growth, found family trope, and individual growth. If you’re into slow burn sapphic romances, this book is for you.
the anthropocene reviewed by john green
I heard a lot about this book before going into it. It won a bunch of awards and people called had it in their best books of 2023 lists. I have liked a couple of John Green’s works before but couldn’t expect anything as this was very different from them.
The Anthropocene Reviewed disappointed me. So much that I made voice notes and ranted to my friends after I finished it. I do not see why it is so highly revered.
My main problem with it is that it is so American. I understand that the book is partially autobiographical and comes from Green’s personal life and interests, but I don’t see why people love it so much. Especially non-Americans.
The book is born out of a podcast series of the author, and it literally reads like that. I hated that the chapters are in random order. There is no flow to them or connection between consecutive chapters. I did not feel like I was reading a book. It was just like listening to a podcast. And considering that I’ve been reading blogs for years, I don’t see how his material is comparatively great.
Another thing that annoyed me was how some American things were generalized as if they’re common experiences across the world. Having grown up in the Global South, I know of many American things only through media. We do not sing Aulg Lang Syne at the start of every new year so I can’t remember that feeling.
I admit, he is a good writer. He makes us feel about mundane things and evokes emotion well. But the material of the book was not it for me. I could care less about 70% of it and I hope that my brain will discard the vast amount of random American facts it got due to this book.
juniper hill by devney perry
I’ve read and enjoyed another book by this author and I expected that I’ll like it too, but I actually loved it.
Juniper Hill is a riches-to-rags story about a woman who leaves her life behind when she becomes a mother because she doesn’t want him to have the same life. She rents an apartment owned by a grumpy chef who’s only goal is to have the best restaurant.
We see her adjust to her new life while also taking care of a newborn, see the grumpy neighbour chef fall head over heels in love with her and her son, and also see her grow and find her true passion.
It has the grumpy x sunshine trope, it has a small danger element, she finds not only love but a dream family, and there’s no third act breakup. Nothing went wrong with this book! I highly recommend it.
snowfall on haven point by raeanne thayne
I had never heard of this author or this book and, honestly, it’s surprising that I found it. But it’s good and I’m going to be pushing it on y’all.
The book follows Andrea and Marshall after she is roped in to take care of him as he recovers. She lives next door with her two kids and it’s supposed to be a temporary thing. But he is a huge softy under all the grump, bonds with her kids very quickly, and becomes a solid person for her.
I like romance books with single parents because we get to see some really cute bonding moments between the kids and the partners. This book gave me everything on that front. The epilogue especially made me swoon.
This book is going to be one I reread for comfort over time. Highly recommend it if you want a cozy low-steam winter romance.
chasing waves by bianca mori
Honestly, I read this book because it’s not set in the United States. I was getting tired of that country. Chasing Waves is a short single mom workplace romance set in the Philippines and it had potential.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t that great for me. I can see it being good for other readers but the office romance ruined the story for me.
I know I know, I always that office romances are not for me and yet I read so many books with it. It’s because I believe it can be done well without positions coming into play. I keep reading to find those gems.
This book was nice enough but the office romance wasn’t charming and there were some terms and professional situations mentioned which I couldn’t understand, probably because I’m not from the Phillippines? So that hindered my experience as well.
one percent of you by michelle gross
THIS BOOK! The premise sounded good but, trust me, the book will blow the expectations set by the premise.
I went in without expecting too much and found a new favourite romance with the sunshine and grumpy trope. This book has an age gap romance (which I generally hate) and I still loved it so much!
Elijah, a big tattooed scary-looking guy, gets into a tiff with a three year old in a store over chips. The kid and her mom end up being his new neighbours and he has to deal with it. When he realizes that he was being an arse, he apologised and actually became besties with Lucy! And they have the sweetest bond.
The characters were too good. Elijah is flawed and makes mistakes but grows and becomes a good partner and dad. Watching him bond with Lucy was the best. Seeing him admit his favourite drink is chocolate milk sets the tone for his character.
And Hadley is a girlboss who dumps her cheating boyfriend and is dealing with a toddler and pregnancy while studying to become a nurse. And she does not take any nonsense. She is also flawed and we see her battle her insecurities and issues to accept Elijah fully.
Overall, another one added to comfort romance reads pile.
she who became the sun by shelley parker-chan
This book has been making the rounds in the online book community for a while now and has become quite popular. It’s premise is great but the reviews and praise sold it to me. I finally picked it up in February as a buddy read with a few friends.
Unfortunately, I didn’t love this book. I didn’t even like it that much. It did have it’s good parts and I enjoyed a bunch of it. But overall, it was underwhelming for me.
My main problem is how this book does not feel character-driven. Characters either actively lean towards their “fate” or against it. Anything done is explained as “a part of their fate” and all of them talk as if they have no control over their fate.
The story is good at delving into gender, destiny, and identity. But that is all the book is about. The story itself was not engaging enough, barring one point. I found myself bored and uninterested in continuing the book almost throughout.
The writing kind of annoyed me as well. I enjoy learning new words in books but too many of them too frequently can ruin the reading experience, like in this book. Uncommon words were used for absolutely no reason. If one can skip through it and read simply based on vibes, it’s fine, but it wasn’t good for me.
I’m sad and disappointed that I didn’t love it. Oh well.
enemies abroad by r. s. grey
R. S. Grey’s romance books are generally quite enjoyable and I expected the same from this book as well. They aren’t on my “best romances” list but they do satisfy romance cravings pretty well.
Enemies Abroad is about two warring school teachers who end up chaperoning a school trip to Rome. They take their enmity all the way there and, of course, sparks fly.
I will say, this not an enemies-to-lovers in the truest sense. It’s the contemporary exaggerated meaning of “enemies.” The main characters bicker and pull pranks but of course it gives way to their explosive chemistry.
It is a quick and satisfying romance (bonus: with the only bed trope) without a useless third act breakup. The ending was very nice. You should read it.
for vacation only by mila nicks
This book caught my eye a while back when other readers were talking about it on Twitter but I hadn’t realized that it was on KU until February. I picked it up as soon as I could.
For Vacation Only follows a rich guy who is stood up at the altar and a singer on a cruise ship trying to become big in her career. When they meet, they just click. The chemistry between them is clear and they just have to work through the other life issues to be together.
The book is perfect for a vacation read. It has the vibes, it takes us on tours to multiple cities as the characters go to them, and is light hearted. The male lead is rich but not of the super-confident and bossy kind. He finds his passion during the book. The woman is massively talented and works hard for her dreams.
All-in-all, a good book.
the inheritance of orquídea divina by zoraida córdova
I got the ALC of this book on libro.fm a while back and finally picked it up. Although I’m not in much of a fantasy mood, the disappointment of She Who Became the Sun pushed me to pick up a non-romance book to enjoy. So, I started this and was glad because it surprised me.
The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina is a standalone adult fantasy book with a multi-generational magical adventure. Orquídea Divina has always been a magical, mysterious, and aloof mother and grandmother to her family. None of them know her true past. When she is about to die, she calls her huge family back home to give them their inheritance. Only, they also inherit the danger and price of Orquídea’s past.
In dual narration, we follow Orquídea as a young woman taking her place in the world and her grandchildren piecing together Orquídea’s past as they try to outrun whoever is after them. The book is adventurous, atmospheric, eerie, and wholly enthralling. I highly recommend it.
six of crows duology by leigh bardugo
My book club picked the Six of Crows books to buddy read in February which gave me the chance to finally read and annotate my SoC collector’s edition.
I first read the books back in 2016 and hadn’t reread them after that, not even when Shadow and Bone season 1 released. I’ve not been in a YA fantasy mood. I remembered bits of pieces of Six of Crows and only the ending of Crooked Kingdom.
Reading the books again was quite enjoyable. I forgot how easy to read YA fantasy books were. The books may be long but they kept me interested and I was done with them pretty quickly. Book 1 took me only two days.
Final verdict: the books were just as enjoyable. I noticed more things during my reread, some of them were annoying, but overall they are still good.
secret baby on board by abby knox
Listen, the only reason I picked this up was because it had secret baby in the name and it was available on KU. I had specifically heard nothing about it. And after reading it, I understand why.
First of all, the book does NOT have the secret baby trope. Authors really need to understand what story they’re writing. If the title is misleading, it ruins the book for the reader.
This book had the accidental pregnancy trope. Vanessa and Ian had a one night stand after which Ian rushed away due to a family emergency. Vanessa, in her rush to join her new job, lost her phone and his contact too. So they lose touch. But Ian doesn’t give up and finds her somehow. By then, she knows she’s pregnant. And it doesn’t take long for him to realize it based on her actions.
It wasn’t even a secret pregnancy trope. He just didn’t know it for a few days because she didn’t know how to tell him.
The story was short. There was no depth to anything. It’s for quick romance lovers but honestly, there are better books.
let me in by r. m. virtues
If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably know that I’m a huge fan of this author. His books Drag Me Up and What Are the Odds? were two of my best books of 2023. When I found that ARCs are available for book 3 in the Gods of Hunger series, I jumped on the chance.
Let Me In follows Dionysus and Athena, best friends who have been in love with each other for years, as their feelings finally become something. I was mainly reading for the romance but I absolutely loved the plot and world-building too. The politics in the book were really interesting to read, especially because all the characters are inspired by Greek myth.
I was a little disappointed by the romance because it wasn’t what I expected but it was good in it’s own way. Dio and Athena are complete opposites and complement each other in the best way. They learn how well they work together, how they can be good together, and also how to be in a relationship with each other. There is good relationship development.
There was really good individual development too. Athena and Dio grow to become stronger people. I loved their relationships with other characters in the world. The family in this series will always have my heart.
Overall, it was not what I expected but I enjoyed it. The book will be out on March 25th!