This year is half over and I know I feel this sense of shock every year, but wow. So much has happened since the beginning of this year that it’s wild to me that it’s only been six months AND it’s wild to me that it’s already been six months. At this point I’ve posted my Mid-Year Wrap Up so definitely feel free to check that out if you’re curious where I stand on my reading for the year to date. and you can see my Best Books of Spring as well for my top ten (ish) from the last three months, a couple of which you might see here.
Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
This book. I was really, genuinely not expecting to fall in love with this book. I borrowed the audio on a whim and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in recent memory, tbh. I think romantic comedies can sometimes depend too much on sort of mocking the heroine (usually) and this book definitely could have gone that route. Instead, Hazel is so genuinely herself that I couldn’t help but love her. She’s eccentric and zany and a great friend and really funny. She also completely lacks a filter. Josh is a complete sweetheart and I adored him and listening to him fall for Hazel. The book has my least favorite plot point and I still consider this one of my new favorite romances.
Luck on the Line by Zoraida Cordova
Honestly, I really didn’t like this book. Like, at all. I feel bad for saying this because, well, I don’t like disliking books? Anyway, other people like it. I think Fated Mates recommended it actually in the Foodie interstitial. But I liked exactly none of the characters, tbh. And that’s all I feel like saying about that.
Sweet Ruin by Sarah MacLean
The unfortunate thing about Fated Mates is that I was expecting Sweet Ruin to blow me away and I actually really didn’t like Ruin at all? He grew on me a little bit, but mostly the only good thing about this book was Jo. I just… I really did not like Ruin. I don’t even know what more to say about this book. Sarah MacLean has a theory that you could jump into the series here and I mean, I could see that because as a person reading the entire series, I was confused af about what was happening here so it seems like you could jump in and be equally as confused. I did like the book, it just wasn’t my favorite.
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
So I really enjoyed this book, other than the end of it where I wanted to set Ethan on fire, literally. I was so mad. Please don’t make me that mad at a hero toward the end of the book romance authors. Like there are black moments and then there are moments that are so rage inducing, I’m actively annoyed that wasn’t the beginning of the book and at the end Olive had a whole new hero. But I digress, because I did enjoy this book. It’s not my favorite Christina Lauren, but it was funny and had such a perfect amount of Harry Potter references. I do think it sometimes veered into making fun of the heroine territory too much, but I liked it anyway.
Into the Night by Suzanne Brockmann
I genuinely cannot recommend this book, but because of the NEXT book, I like, need you to read this one? I mean, at least read enough to get the like few key Sam/Alyssa plot development. Sam and Alyssa are not, for the record, the main characters here. But Sam is great and he’s becoming friends with Jules and I love him and I love Jules and I love Alyssa. Mary Lou can choke. The main romance here is between Joan and Mike. Joan is older than Mike and trust me, you will not be able to forget that fact. They’re both full grown adults and it’s ridiculous how she refuses to get past that given their intense attraction to one another. I just wasn’t the biggest fan of this one. At all.
Gone Too Far by Suzanne Brockmann
HELLO THIS BOOK IS GLORIOUS BECAUSE SAM AND ALYSSA FINALLY, FINALLY HAVE JOY AND HAPPINESS AND ALSO THERE’S A LOT OF JULES, MAX, AND GINA. Basically, this book made putting up with Mary Lou’s bullshit worth it. Sorry, okay, what an intro to the book. Anyway, basically, Sam gets wrapped up in a possible murder and Alyssa comes to save the day because my baby can’t resist, but guess who else is in Sarasota? GINA!!! So Max sees Gina again because he just can’t help it and wow, book nine, where are you? (Jk, I definitely already read it and it was also !!!!!!!!!!!! inducing. I love them. But tbh, this book is better.) I feel like I’m getting side tracked and also I think I’m maybe incapable of reviewing these books at this point. Whoops.
Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews
So when Dani finally settled in to read Hidden Legacy, I freaked out and was like, TIME TO RE-READ! So I did. I cannot pinpoint when I fell in love with Mad Rogan, but swerving for a squirrel might have been that moment. If you haven’t read these books yet, I’m not sure what more I can say that I haven’t already said. Basically, Burn for Me sets up a trilogy that sets up a series of books that are incredible. The original trilogy follows Nevada Baylor and she’s a badass who I would die for and Connor “Mad” Rogan whom I would also die to protect. Never mind that my “help” would be a hindrance. Anyway, there’s a bad guy, they team up to catch him and it’s GLORIOUS.
Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren
So I had a lot of feelings about this book. It made me laugh out loud and smile giddily a lot, but the set up of hate to love office romances also means that there were times that I wanted to scream. Evie is a top notch agent and yet, when her firm is merged with Carter’s, she has to compete for her job with him because her boss is a trash can. And Carter, for all that he tries to be a good feminist ally, is an IDIOT and he caves too much to their sexist boss and it made me want to scream. And also burn the world down because bosses like Evie and Carter’s definitely exist, but thank goodness mine isn’t like that. I would be fired in .2 seconds.
Flashpoint by Suzanne Brockmann
I’m very thankful Melinda prepared me for the fact that this book was going to be different than the Troubleshooters books that came before this one because it isn’t following our Seal Team AND there wasn’t a WWII tie in. That said, with my expectations adjusted, I really loved this one! It follows Deck and Nash, best friends and covert operatives, and the remaining members of their cobbled together team. Importantly, the team includes Tess, whom Nash had a one-night stand with and then ghosted because *gasp* he has feelings for her. I LOVED them faking being married and also just being generally angsty and adorable at the same time. I have some feelings about their arc in later books in the series, but I don’t want to spoil anything.
Rock Hard by Nalini Singh
This is one of my favorite romances of all time. Like, I read it three times last year favorite romances of all time. I just adore this book so much. Charlotte has a traumatic past and watching her move from living but hiding to really living is everything to me. I love Gabriel. I know some people think he’s too alpha, but like, I would absolutely date Gabriel in real life. He would drive me crazy sometimes, but like… I love him, okay? Anyway, Charlotte is promoted to Gabriel’s assistant at the beginning of the book so if that’s a thing that you hate, be forewarned. That said, I loved rereading this so much and I can’t wait for Jake’s book!
Sorry this wrap up is a bit late. I had a really good reading month though! What was your favorite of the month? Mine was probably Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating. It just gave me so much joy!