Catching Up on ARC Reviews: Wreckless, Serving Sin, and Sandcastle Beach

Once again, I come to you with books that have been out for months, but I am so excited to talk to you about them, I hope you will forgive me for my lateness. First up, we have Wreckless by Katie Golding, which is out from Sourcebooks Casablanca, so shout out to them for that e-ARC via Netgalley. (I actually read the book via audio from the Hoopla app through my library and I would most highly recommend that audio performance.) Then we have Serving Sin by Angelina M. Lopez, out from Carina Press, so thanks to them for the e-ARC via Netgalley. (I also listened to this one via Hoopla.) Finally, we have Sandcastle Beach by Jenny Holiday, which I also listened to partially on Hoopla, despite receiving an ARC from Netgalley and Forever. (I do not recommend this audiobook.) Anyway, let’s talk about them!

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Ranking Every 2021 Release I Read from May – August

If you missed where I did this with the 2021 Releases I read from January to April, you’re welcome to go back and catch up here. This post is going to be about the releases I’ve read since then and thankfully, I don’t have quite as many to rank. Between May and August I read a total of 27 books that released in 2021 so this should be just a little easier to rank. Let’s get started! (Oh, and I included nonfiction this time. Do I feel good about it? Not necessarily, but I did it.)

Ranking 2021 Releases || Firewhiskey Reader
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Catching Up on ARCs: The Heiress Hunt, Devil in Disguise, and Bombshell

Y’all… One of these books literally came out in March. MARCH. But whatever. I’m finally here to tell you my thoughts about three historical romance novels. Specifically, all three of these historical romances are out from Avon and despite having advanced e-ARCs of all three I read each of them as finished copies that I purchased. I did a combination audio/ebook read of The Heiress Hunt by Joanna Shupe and a print read of both Devil in Disguise by Lisa Kleypas and Bombshell by Sarah MacLean. So, thanks to Avon and Netgalley for the e-ARCs, but ultimately, I’m talking to y’all today based on the final version of each of these books! So let’s get to talking about them.

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August Wrap Up

So… “August slipped away like a moment in time” is definitely an apt lyric because wow, did the month fly by. Although somehow the first week of August when I was on vacation feels like it happened years ago. Weird how that works. Somehow (vacation probably) I got my reading groove back and managed to read 25 books this month! Before you get really impressed, nine of those books were re-reads and also, SO many of the books I read this month were Ilona Andrews books because I was in a mood. Basically I could re-read Hidden Legacy every month and probably improve my outlook on life in general, but instead I seem to limit myself to every couple months instead. But setting aside my IA dive, let’s just go ahead and get into the books, shall we?

August Wrap Up || firewhiskey reader
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Most Anticipated Books of Fall

I don’t know if you all have tried the new apple crisp macchiato from Starbucks, but it’s my new obsession and really made me excited to talk about my favorite books coming up in the next three months. AND the next time I write a post like this, I should be drinking my beloved chestnut praline latte while listening to RED (Taylor’s Version) and that, my friends, is going to be a whole mood. Anyway, before I start wishing time away, let’s talk about the books I’m so excited are coming in the next three months.

Most Anticipated Books of Fall
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Catching Up on ARC Reviews: What the Hex, What If You & Me, and Well, This is Exhausting

Lately I’ve really been trying to “theme” my ARC reviews and have three books that are at least in the same genre. But this set of reviews is coming to you courtesy of my reading slump that has meant reading books for review has been… slow. And therefore, I have three books to tell you about today and they’re not really similar at all. First up, we have What the Hex by Alexis Daria, an Audible Original that I’m fairly certain I did receive as an ARC, although I didn’t get an email telling me that. Anyway, I figured better safe than sorry and am going to review it for you today! It’s also a part of the Audible Plus program so I would have listened to it regardless because (a) I love Alexis Daria and (b) I’m an Audible Plus member so I had nothing to lose anyway. Then we have What If You & Me by Roni Loren, a contemporary romance I received as an ARC, but also purchased a physical copy of in the hopes that it would be everything I wanted it to be. Thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca for the review copy! Third, we have Well, This is Exhausting by Sophia Benoit, a memoir that I received an e-ARC of via Netgalley and Gallery Books, but actually read via an Audible copy I purchased myself.

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#FallInLoveBingo Announcement and My TBR

I am so excited to be bringing seasonal bingo back! I have loved interacting with the community in the past and I’m really looking forward to doing so again. Aarya is unfortunately taking the Fall season off from bingo because of some incredible life moves and we’re excited for her and also we miss her being part of this! Nevertheless, Dani and I are so excited to unveil the #FallInLoveBingo board! Our illustrations are courtesy of Canva pro this time because my sister is busy with real life and also we didn’t quite decide we were going to bring back bingo until much too late to have her cute illustrations. I hope you still enjoy the board and play along with us!

If you are playing along, please remember to use Alt tex for any images you use, including the Bingo board. You are welcome to copy and paste the caption below the board here to use on Twitter or Instagram, wherever you prefer to participate! Additionally, when you hashtag #FallInLoveBingo, please remember to capitalize the first letter of each word to make it easier for screen readers. Thank you for helping make this reading challenge an accessible and fun group activity!

#FallInLoveBingo board
From September 1, 2021 to November 30, 2021 Row 1: Meddling Characters, Dancer (with image of ballerina), Series Continuation, Sweater Weather (with image of a sweater), and Latinx MC
Row 2: Astrology (with image of astrological chart), Friend Rec, Black Love (Black love interests and author; with image of Black man and woman dancing together), Character Description You Love, Witches (with image of a white woman on a broomstick with a black pointy hat)
Row 3: Hyped, New Release (with image of a bookmark), HEA, Reread (with an image of six books), Library Book
Row 4: Pumpkin (with image of a pumpkin), HGTV Vibes, Sapphic Rec (with an image of two women in an embrace), Sub-genre You Rarely Read, Woman in Tech (with an image of a Black woman sitting at a computer)
Row 5: Book by Fave Author, Sick Bed Scene (with an image of a woman sitting cross legged with a tissue on either a bed or couch wrapped in a blanket), RED, Forehead Kiss (with an image of a man kissing a woman on the forehead), and Jewish MC
Created by: @GraciouslyJen and @Danis_Bookshelf
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Reading (And Reviewing) Three Harlequin Categories from Three Different Lines

Category romances are often some of my favorites when I’m stressed and overwhelmed and so I was pretty thrilled to be approved for three ARCs from three different lines so I could bring you another post like this! From the Harlequin Desire line, I read Second Chance Love Song by Jessica Lemmon, which I adored to the tune of buying a physical AND ebook copy of the book, as well as buying the other books in the series, not all of which are even by her! From the Harlequin Romantic Suspense line, I read Guardian in the Storm by Carla Cassidy and from the Harlequin Romance line, I read Awakened by the CEO’s Kiss by Therese Beharrie. Thanks to Harlequin and Netgalley for these e-ARCs! Now let’s talk about these titles, shall we?

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July Wrap Up

So… I took a sort of impromptu and also long time coming blog hiatus for part of last month. I’ve never been the most consistent, so I didn’t bother to write a post about it and I didn’t officially take one, even to myself. I kept telling myself I was going to get it together and write the posts I had planned, but this summer has been incredibly challenging to get it together, you know? Anyway, I also wasn’t doing much reading. So today, I have just seven books to talk about, although I read Last Guard twice so kind of eight books to discuss? I also thought that just for fun, I would share with y’all the extensive list of books I am “currently reading” so you can understand where I’m at. So let’s dive in, shall we?

July Wrap Up || firewhiskey reader
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Favorite Books of Spring (Q2)

I really love sharing more with y’all about my favorite books at all times of the year so I am very attached to this quarterly thing I’ve got going on right now. I am presenting you today with ten favorite books and I will say that this list was sort of challenging to make so I make no promises that this list is 100% accurate even for me personally, but it is as accurate as I can be about my preferences at this time. This list is just coming in a rough approximation of when I read them. So let’s talk about them!

2nd Quarter Favorites
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