To say it has been a rough few months would be quite the understatement..
I had originally planned on giving monthly recaps, to review the books I had read that month and which ones were my favorites. I realize asking a reader to narrow down their favorite books is like asking a fish not to swim, or a bird not to fly, but I figured I could at least get it down to my top 5 of the month (I was thinking just top three – like gold, silver, bronze – but I don’t even know if I will be able to narrow it down to only five). However with the craziness go on in the world, things got pushed aside. So we will do a quarter recap – I think it will be fun.
In the first quarter of the year, I read 22 books! I am actually surprised I read that many. I tend to be a very fast reader, but I’ve got a busy work schedule and I have a lot of other things that take priority to reading right now (studying for my big tests, packing and cleaning to move, my mental & physical health, just to name a few). I read three books in January, ten books in February, and nine in March. I use Goodreads to track my books – which is helpful because it gives me stats that I find interesting.
Such as : the longest page length I read was 450 pages and the shortest was 68 pages – not sure that even counts as a book does it? should it be classified as a novella? – but the average length was 222 pages, which would put my total number of pages read at just under 4,900.
All that being said – let’s get on to my top 5 books of the first quarter!
My favorite re-read
This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas
I previously read this book a few years ago; a coworker that was in love with the Fifty Shades of Grey series had stumbled across it and recommended I give this a read. Once I started I couldn’t help but love Jesse. I didn’t want to, because he was so controlling and overbearing & frankly I had enough of that in my past relationships that I wasn’t wanting a book boyfriend to take on those qualities too, but I couldn’t help it (kind of like Ava). This is the first book in a series – and I have read most of them. I think this is a book (series, really) that I could re-read many times and never get tired of Jesse & Ava’s love story. It has so many of the good elements that you would want your romance novels to have; there is such a strong chemistry between the main Hero and heroine. There is so much drama that it’s no wonder this was originally released as a trilogy (now with 4 books centered around the main couple) – all those pages were needed to clear up all the underlying tension and drama between the surrounding cast of characters. This may go by as a weekend read for you, but if you’re like me and you get sucked in you will most likely go straight from this book to the sequels.
My favorite new release
This was a hard one for me to pick because I read quite a few new releases during the first quarter of the year, so narrowing it down to just one to feature was more difficult than I imagined. I am a big fan of Melissa Foster’s books and I try to read all of them as soon as they are released. This one featured a great couple that had excellent chemistry but both had serious hangups about long-term, traditional relationships. We’ve all read stories where friends become lovers or where they will start a friends-with-benefits arrangement that ends up becoming more. So it isn’t a new idea in the world of romance books, but this author’s take on it was new and fun. I like that the Hero kept surprising me; he started out being portrayed as a workaholic, who had no time for friends or his family, but that’s not who he was at all. He had some issues with needing to prove himself worthy of love and attention but he also was willing to do so much for others that my heart couldn’t help falling for him. And the heroine – I have never wanted to be so much like a book heroine in my life – she was confident, sure of herself, and so caring about everyone around her. They really were a perfect match!
My favorite non-romance
Kisscut by Karin Slaughter
So it it is no secret that I feature a LOT of romance novels and authors on this blog. But contrary to how it may seem, I do read books other than romance. I recently stumbled across this book and couldn’t put it down. It was some pretty dark material – even for a mystery book – but it was so good. I didn’t realize that there was another book before this one and that it might be a series; I just read the brief synopsis and knew it was a book I needed to read. As I said – the content was a bit dark, so I’m not going to go into it too much here – but the mystery was intense. Every time I got to a point in the story where I thought I knew what was happening, or whodunit (so to speak), I was thrown for a loop. I love mysteries that leave you guessing until the conclusion! I like to think I’m a smart individual, but when a book keeps me on my toes you can believe I’m going to want to read more. There are a few more books in this world so I can’t wait to read those!
My favorite duet/trilogy/series
I love this author. I have been in love with her books since I first discovered her Twist Me series back in 2015 (I believe? maybe 2016). She typically writes some darker romances, with some Taboo subjects, but this duet isn’t her normal. This set of books has a serious wealth gap between the Hero and the heroine, and maybe some years of age, but that’s about the most taboo subject she touches on. However, that made them no less addicting to me. The Hero is used to getting what he wants, and makes that known, but the heroine still has no trouble telling him that she isn’t interested and walking away from him! They have good chemistry and I like how they work together to overcome their battles – mostly the heroine’s issues with the Hero spending his wealth on her. These together would be a great weekend read to escape reality for a bit!
My favorite new to me author
I am always trying to find newer to me authors that I hadn’t read before and this was one I had received an ARC for. I was pleased with this book; the author wrote a story that was a new twist on a classic trope. I really enjoyed how the main Hero and heroine came together & the chemistry that they had. The drama, the walls that were built between the characters, and the steps they took to overcome those walls and trust issues – everything came together for a great read. I will definitely be looking for more books by this author in the future!