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March 2023 | Wrap Up

Hello, my bookish friends!

March has been a difficult month for me reading-wise. Basically, I have been in a kind of a reading slump. I started out with Chain of Iron this month and maybe this was my mistake, but now I have put it on hold until I feel better and more energetic. So this month I read 15 books and 6 manga.

Always Mine (Honey Mountains #1) by Laura Pavlov – 4 stars ✨ Niko and Vivian have always been best friends. Niko’s hesitant to cross any lines with her because of that friendship, yet that friendship is exactly why Vivi feels so comfortable turning to him. I hated Niko’s dad and the childhood he had, but I love Vivi’s unwavering love and support of him, and I love the way Niko is always showing up for Vivi. Everyone around them also clearly knew they were meant to be 😅 true soulmates. I loved the Thomas family dynamics, and I’m so excited to get more of each of the sisters in the rest of the series!!

Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku, Vol. 1 by Yuji Kaku – 3.5 stars✨This starts off with a ninja named Gabimaru The Hallow and he’s being sentenced to die. But every time they try to kill this guy he somehow survives. Was he trying to get his neck chopped off? Nope. Burning him to death? No effect. This whole time Sagiri, a woman Samurai, is trying to find out if he really wants to die. Once we get past the first chapter of learning who Gabimaru is we get into the main plot, finding an elixir to keep people alive forever, so Gabimaru and Sagiri are forced to work together.

Hitorijime My Hero Vol.13 by Memeko Arii – 4 stars✨ Finally, read this volume I have been waiting for what feels like forever to read it! I’m really enjoying this series. This volume was again super fun, we got more into Kensuke and Hasekura’s relationship and some family problems on Hasekura’s side. My only complaint was how little we got from Masahiro and Kousuke in this volume, I hope to get more of them in the next volume this summer. This makes me super happy because I thought this was the final volume and I was just so happy that we are getting more….

A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell #1) by Deanna Raybourn – 4.5 stars✨ I love a story where two characters are forced to go on the run – it’s all the better if they’re forced into sharing a room or bed due to circumstances….I don’t know why, it’s just one of those things that I really enjoy. I find putting two characters in a room together shakes things up nicely and helps identify whether or not the chemistry is really there or if it’s being forced. So that part of the story really did work for me, which was good as it takes up quite a large portion of the book as they hide out in a couple of different places in order to avoid both people who seem to want Veronica as well as London’s finest, who have decided that Stoker makes a very convenient suspect. The mystery started off promising but I kind of found that it went to some pretty strange places and if this sort of thing continues in each book, Veronica is in danger of becoming a bit of a Victorian Mary Sue.

Kamisama Kiss Vol.2 by Julietta Suzuki – 5 stars ✨ This just keeps getting better and better!!! I love being back in this world and with all these characters. I missed them so much and I missed Tomoe the most, I just love him so much!!!! I’m definitely gonna continue and possibly binge-read this series

Kamisama Kiss Vol.3 by Julietta Suzuki – 5 stars ✨ Continuing my reading of this incredible series, I’m having the best time. In this volume with meet Mizuki, I remember super hating him here because he basically kidnapped Nanami and tried to force himself on him until our husband Tomoe showed up! Also in this one, the comedy continues strong, and as well as the romance is slow but steady.

Kamisama Kiss Vol.4 by Julietta Suzuki – 5 stars ✨ In this volume, we dive a bit more into the relationship between Tomoe and Nanami. We see Namami having developed feelings for Tomoe but he doesn’t like that bc he doesn’t believe that humans and Youkai can be together. I can’t wait to read more!

Kamisama Kiss Vol.5 by Julietta Suzuki – 5 stars ✨ The manga is much better than the anime. Nanami’s journey to mastering her kami powers is not rushed/forced, it’s a very realistic take on what it would be like for an ordinary human to suddenly be in such a position of power. Her persistence and selflessness are very admirable and are depicted with moderation so that her character feels realistic and even, to some extent, believable.

Mindfuck Series by S.T Abby reread – 5 stars ✨ Logan Bennett is a very successful FBI criminal profiler. His team is the FBI’s “dream team” of sorts. They get assigned the toughest cases, tracking down and capturing the country’s worst murderers. He is the quintessential “good guy” and a real-life hero.
Lana Myers is his polar opposite. Her life experiences have taught her that good does not always prevail. She is no longer a young girl with illusions of a criminal justice system that is fair and just. She knows all too well that there is true evil in this world. She has no qualms about handing out her own special brand of justice to those that she deems deserving of punishment. I can’t say that I disagreed either. Lana is one of my favorite leading female characters ever…and she’s a serial killer!
When Logan and Lana cross paths, sparks fly immediately. One chance meeting at a coffee shop sets a chain of events in motion that will change the lives of these two forever. I was completely glued to this story. I knew things were going to get really ugly, but I couldn’t tear myself away.

More That I Could by Adriana Locke – 5 stars ✨ From the first chapter, I was hooked on the story that Ms. Locke, I love single-parent stories and I fell hard and fast for single dad Chase Marshall even though he is a grumpy man, add in a small town and I was hooked. The chemistry between Megan Dawn and Chase as she becomes his daughter Kennedy’s temporary nanny was intense. It was impossible to ignore and once they crossed the line, there was no stopping its intensity as it built. I love a grumpy hero, but make him a small-town, single dad & that’s my personal favorite! Chase is everything I love in a romance: gruff, but sweet. Single dad that’s both fun-loving and restrained & parental.

A Perilous Undertaking (Veronica Speedwell #2) by Deanna Raybourn – 4.5 stars ✨ I think it’s pretty obvious that I loved the heck out of this book! The characters are just so delightful. I only hope that the author continues the series, as I want more! Veronica and Stoker clearly have plenty of adventures ahead of them and, at the risk of sounding completely voyeuristic, I want to get to see where their relationship goes, when and if they finally take the plunge and acknowledge their mutual attraction.

A Treacherous Curse (Veronica Speedwell #3) by Deanna Raybourn – 4.75 stars ✨ Deanna Raybourn continues her series of late-Victorian historical mysteries featuring the intrepid lepidopterist Veronica Speedwell and her piratically handsome, enigmatic associate, Revelstoke Templeton-Vane (Stoker) in A Treacherous Curse. The big draw of this third installment was the prospect of at last getting to know more about Stoker’s chequered – and sometimes heartbreaking – past and what exactly happened to turn him into a social pariah with the blackest of reputations. We’re also treated to a mystery concerning a missing Egyptian artifact and an ancient curse – and the two storylines are inextricably linked by virtue of the fact that one of the parties involved is none other than Stoker’s ex-wife, Caroline.

Depraved (Pleasure & Prey #1) by A.J Merlin – 5 stars ✨ OKAY, SO THIS BOOK WAS INCREDIBLE!
I picked it up completely on a wimp and I couldn’t put it down it was exactly what I wanted, it’s been a minute since I read a dark romance and this was perfect! I think I like stalker romance, I know shocker…
I could read about Virgin and Sloanne for hours, this book was just so fun!
I loved the Ghostface aspect of it and I can’t wait to read more from this series… As a fan of horror movies, I can’t wait to meet the other characters better and see the similarities.

A Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell #4) by Deanna Raybourn – 4.5 stars ✨ This book gives me all the gothic mystery vibes. It’s really the first one in the series where we take Stoker and Veronica out of London and place them on a secluded estate on a small island near Cornwall. It really gave me murder mystery vibes a la Agatha Christie. The mystery in this one is so fun as well. We don’t really know what happened to Rosamund – all we know is she disappeared on her wedding day years ago and no one has seen her since. The secluded island is the perfect setting for this – there is something mystical and magical about the place that makes you think Rosamund could have just up and vanished or turned into a ghost. I also loved the surprise of Malcolm springing the notion that he’s going to uncover what happened to Rosamund on everyone at the house party – it all feels like such a classic mystery plot. Once again, I feel like I had no idea where the story would take me and I loved finding out what happened and who the murderer was.

A Murderous Relation(Veronica Speedwell #5) by Deanna Raybourn – 5 stars ✨ With a mystery so scandalous the very balance of the British monarchy is threatened, Veronica Speedwell, a butterfly-collecting amateur detective, and her natural historian colleague Mr. Revelstoke Temple-ton-Vane have been called on to help. In Deanna Raybourn’s A Murderous Relation, readers are taken on a quirky ride through dangerous perils and a nail-biting adventure. As Veronica and Stoker are trying to solve the case, they are also trying to solve the complexity of their emotions. The idea of mystery and intrigue tied up with slow-burning romance just waiting to bubble over ticked all the must-read boxes for me.

Things We Hide From the Light (Knockemout #2) by Lucy Score – 5 stars ✨ It was great to be back in Knockemout – this sequel did NOT disappoint! I think I liked it better than the first one, and that was a very tough competition. There was just something immensely compelling about this wounded and vulnerable hero; he’s a genuinely good guy who is in a dark place, and it’s not until a fierce, fiery woman enters his life that he starts coming back into the light. I also loved the neighbor’s aspect, and just how much this community bonds together. It could certainly be read as a standalone if you really wanted to, but the community is integral to the story and the suspense element ties the books together. The romance is at the heart of everything though, and these two were fire together – it’s a hot slow burn, with crackling chemistry and tons of sexual tension. These opposites attract in a big way, and it was so much fun watching them fall together.

Wreck & Ruin (Blue Angels Motorcycle Club #1) by Emma Slate – 5 stars ✨I loved this book! This was the first Emma Slate book I read, and I need more! Mia uses Colt as a way to get away from some creep hitting on her at a bar, only to find out he’s the president of the Blue Angels, a biker club! When she gets targeted after witnessing a crime, so runs straight to Colt for protection. I loved everything about this book, the bickering between these two when they’re first getting to know each other.

Coach by Devney PerryARC – 4 stars ✨Millie and Ford share history, and before ford stopped all communication, they were the best of friends in college. ten years later ford is back to become the head coach of his alma mater without knowing he’d also be reconnecting with his past. ford knows he’s made mistakes and his biggest one was not confiding in millie and ultimately walking away from her. he only hopes that she’ll listen to him and for both of them to move past everything and get a second chance to finally start what was always meant to be. millie and ford were the ultimate, these two were just amazing. their friendship was my favorite and I just loved their banter so much. they had undeniable chemistry and were just perfect for each other. ford was an amazing man but he was an even better father. the relationship with his daughter, joey was fantastic and he’d do anything and everything for her. millie, ford, and joey were amazing and they made the best family.

The Stranger in Seat 8B by Nikki Castlenovella – 4 stars ✨Anyways, no surprise people, Nikki slays it again! She truly is one of the BEST. She killed it in 5 Rounds, crushed it with 2 Fights, and follows suit here again with this super fun, sexy, steamy novella, “The Stranger in Seat 8B.” I wasn’t ready for Damien and Annie to say goodbye, crossing my fingers for another installment, AND I can’t wait for November, Book 3 here we come!

Your Dad Will Do by Katee Robertnovella – 3 stars✨ As a way to get back to her furnace, who cheated on her, Lily plots to seduce his father, she shows up at his house, and they basically start having sex then and don’t stop for the whole book. This book is dirty with dirty talk, public sex, and daddy fantasies. I do think this book could have been better with a little more plot. Maybe a little backstory on the mutual attraction between them in the two years Lily was dating Shane’s son. It would have made their rush into bed a little more believable, as well as how quickly their relationship progressed. Overall I like Lily and Shane, but I don’t feel like I knew them very well. Even though this book is told from Lily’s point of view, there is so little character building that I don’t feel like I learned much.

A Soul to Keep (Duskwalker Brides #1) by Opal Reyne – 5 stars✨ The entire time I read this book I had one thought in my head that was consistent and that was that Orpheus is absolutely adorable and precious and must be protected at all costs. He wanted to only have companionship and friendship. He craved to be loved and wanted more than anything, especially after the disaster of his first human. I liked the world and the magic system also how demons and Duskwalkers came to be. I found the world really intriguing and the fact the Demon King is still alive tells me we have not seen the last of him? We find out that all the Duskwalkers are ”brothers” and created by the Owl witch and we also get to meet a nameless one who seeks to get his own human and fall in love but he is a bit behind on knowing the basic things so I am excited to read his book.

A Soul to Heal (Duskwalker Brides #2) by Opal Reyne – 4 stars✨ I read the first novel in The Duskwalker Brides series, A Soul to Keep, last year and I absolutely fell in love with it. The author has stated that she was inspired to make this series by the anime/manga The Ancient Magus’s Bride, and since that is one of my all-time favorite series, I knew I had to check these books out. A Soul to Heal is the second volume, and you definitely need to have read the first book to fully understand this one. Delora is a woman trapped in a loveless marriage. She has learned to tolerate it until she comes home to find her husband having sex with another woman in her village. In a fit of passion, she kills them both. Instead of executing her, the village council decides to toss her into the world of monsters, where she literally lands on the head of a Duskwalker. Duskwalkers are creatures that are about 7 feet tall, covered in fur and feathers, and have the skull of the first animal they ate. They lack intelligence or humanity unless they eat humans. The Duskwalker in this novel is nameless and lonely. After meeting another Duskwalker with a human bride, Nameless then endeavors to become worthy to have a human bride of his own.

How Was Your Reading Month?

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