Audiobook Review: The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgerton #2) by Julia Quinn

Title: The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgerton #2)
Author: Julia Quinn
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction / Romance
Publication Date: December 5th, 2000
Publisher: Avon
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“This time the gossip columnists have it wrong. London’s most elusive bachelor Anthony Bridgerton hasn’t just decided to marry—he’s even chosen a wife! The only obstacle is his intended’s older sister, Kate Sheffield—the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with her determination to stop the betrothal, but when he closes his eyes at night, Kate’s the woman haunting his increasingly erotic dreams…
Contrary to popular belief, Kate is quite sure that reformed rakes do not make the best husbands—and Anthony Bridgerton is the most wicked rogue of them all. Kate’s determined to protect her sister—but she fears her own heart is vulnerable. And when Anthony’s lips touch hers, she’s suddenly afraid she might not be able to resist the reprehensible rake herself…” (Goodreads)

I’m happy I got back into this series!

Although this is a quite bit different than the show, I really enjoyed how it played out and all of the banter between Anthony and Kate. They are hilarious, especially while playing Pall Mall. I’m happy that the extra epilogue included another round of it!

Kate and Anthony are very similar when it comes to being stubborn and relying on ones own self. They had a lot of growing to do and we see that change throughout the book. Anthony definitely had a lot more growth since it is his book and he lost his father which he internalized deeply. I couldn’t help but laugh at the bee scene even though it was very surreal to him!

Their romance is very slow but that is what I like and it paid off in this case. It was very sweet and I loved when they were together.

I liked the little moments we got from the Brigderton siblings. Eloise and Colin are a favorite! They also like to meddle.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read and I can’t wait to continue on.

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Audiobook Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Title: The Summer I Turned Pretty
Author: Jenny Han
Genre: Ya Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: May 5th, 2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Rating: ⭐⭐

Some summers are just destined to be pretty.
When each summer begins, Belly leaves her school life behind and escapes to Cousins Beach, the place she has spent every summer of her life. Not only does the beach house mean home away from home, but her favorite people are there: Susannah, her mother’s best friend, and her sons, Conrad and Jeremiah. Belly has been chasing Conrad for as long as she can remember, and more than anything, she hopes this summer will be different. Despite distractions from a new guy named Cam and lingering looks from Conrad’s brother, Jeremiah, Belly’s heart belongs to Conrad. Will he offer his to her? Will this be the summer that changes everything?” (Goodreads)

My sister had been wanting to read this one so she figured why not do a buddy read with me, haha. Although, I listened to it.

The book is much different than this author’s other series, To All the Boys, and personally I liked that one a lot more. The writing style for TSITP was very wonky and the narration for it felt like it made it worse in my opinion. I’m not sure how others felt about the narration, but my sister did agree that the writing style was just hard to get into.

It is all told from one point-of-view and it comes from Belly. She is wanting to have a good summer and it only gets more complicated when it involves cancer and two brothers. I am usually one for a love triangle but I just didn’t love this one. I did think the characters were fine and I have no complaints there.

There are relationships, more so outside of the circle of friends, but also hints at ones starting. I am not invested enough to continue on and googled what happened. Oopsie!

Overall, this one just didn’t work for me and that’s fine. I think I would have loved it if I was younger.

Audiobook Review: The First Girl Child (The Chronicles of Saylock #1) by Amy Harmon

Title: The First Girl Child (The Chronicles of Saylock #1)
Author: Amy Harmon
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction / Romance / Mythology
Publication Date: August 20th, 2019
Publisher: 47North
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨

“Bayr of Saylok, bastard son of a powerful and jealous chieftain, is haunted by the curse once leveled by his dying mother. Bartered, abandoned, and rarely loved, she plagued the land with her words: From this day forward, there will be no daughters in Saylok.
Raised among the Keepers at Temple Hill, Bayr is gifted with inhuman strength. But he’s also blessed with an all-too-human heart that beats with one purpose: to protect Alba, the first girl child born in nearly two decades and the salvation for a country at risk.
Now the fate of Saylok lies with Alba and Bayr, whose bond grows deeper with every whisper of coming chaos. Charged with battling the enemies of their people, both within and without, Bayr is fueled further by the love of a girl who has defied the scourge of Saylok.
What Bayr and Alba don’t know is that they each threaten the king, a greedy man who built his throne on lies, murder, and betrayal. There is only one way to defend their land from the corruption that has overtaken it. By breaking the curse, they could defeat the king…but they could also destroy themselves.” (Goodreads)

I feel like this is just what I needed to break up my average rated reads. It reminded me a bit of Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young, which I enjoyed. So, I am very pleased with this book!

The book is told through third-person narration from multiple point-of-views which I really liked. There are many plot lines at play that all come together and it was cool to see how each character intertwined with another. Bayr and Alba were a favorite pair of mine for obvious reasons. They each wanted what was best for one another and would do anything to remain together. Their dedication was something that I very much admired. Bayr also has a stutter and keeps it throughout the book. The audiobook does a great job with it!

There is romance and it stretched throughout by building a friendship between the two first. The reader gets to see Bayr and Alba from babies all the way up until they are older and ready to take on the challenges they face. It really helped me to connect to them on a deeper level.

One character that was wildly insane was the king. Just wow! Every time he did something I was like, “Oh, it couldn’t get worse…” and he always proved me wrong haha. Even though I very much disliked him, he made the story even better and for that I guess I liked him in a way.

The plot is filled with mythology. runes, an evil king, war, and many other things. I didn’t feel like there was ever a dull moment and I would listen to more than half of the audiobook in one day because of that. Which obviously isn’t a bad thing. It very much kept me engaged.

Overall, this was a great read and I can’t wait to get to the next book!

Book Review: Nick and Noel’s Christmas Playlist by Codi Hall

Title: Nick and Noel’s Christmas Playlist
Author: Codi Hall
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: October 5th, 2021
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablance
Rating: ⭐⭐

“Nick Winter is just out of the military, and his Christmas homecoming is not going as planned. What was supposed to be a memorable holiday with his long-time girlfriend goes sour when he learns she cheated on him while he was stationed overseas. At least Nick can rely on his usual shift at the family Christmas tree farm with his best friend, Noel Carter, and her endless supply of Christmas tunes to lift his spirits. A night of fun together is just what he needs to forget about his ex.
But then they kiss. And it feels…so right.
If Noel can turn Nick’s Blue Christmas merry and bright, this might be the last Christmas Nick spends with a broken heart. This year, they’ll be Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree as a couple―as long as Nick’s ex doesn’t go standing under any mistletoe.” (Goodreads)

I wanted to give this one a try as I had seen it last year but never got around to it. It doesn’t matter if it is Christmas or not, I’ll still read it anytime of the year lol.

Personally, this one just wasn’t for me. I am not a fan of friends-to-lovers but do try to give it a try when the book is appealing. It has worked a few times for me but I just couldn’t get behind Nick and Noel. It felt like they had already made their minds up from the beginning but just had all of this extra baggage that kept following behind them, especially Nick’s ex. She was something else.

The Christmas aspect of the book was very minimal. I would have liked to see more.

I also wasn’t a fan of the writing style and this is more of a me thing than an issue with the book. Sometimes it clicks and sometimes it just doesn’t and that is okay!

Overall, it was okay.

Audiobook Review: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Genre: YA Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: May 30th, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

“Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family—and from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?
Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.
The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitating toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?
Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.” (Goodreads)

I have been meaning to read this one but haven’t got around to it until now. It did help that I noticed the Netflix sticker, haha. Since I didn’t have an audiobook going on I figured why not give this one a try.

The audiobook has two different narrators, one for Dimple’s chapters and the other for Rishi’s. I did like how this was done as it was easier to tell who’s point-of-view it was.

Both of the main characters had something they enjoyed doing and we get to see it flourish throughout the book, especially with each other’s help. I would say that I liked Rishi more only because Dimple was very wish-washy and it kept going on even when there was only 5% left of the book. I understand that they both had to make sacrifices but I do think that Rishi was willing to let go of more than Dimple. This could also just be how their personalities are.

The romance, which is a lot of the book, was fine. They had their sweet moments but since it is all done in a span of one summer program it does go quite quickly and the word “love” is thrown out. I would say for Rishi it was instant-love and Dimple took more to convince. It’s not bad just anything that has to be instant is not a favorite.

There are a couple side characters that stayed around for a lot of the book. Dimple’s roommate was kind of the opposite of her and let peer pressure bring her into questionable situations. Rishi’s brother was funny and I liked him. I believe the next book is for him so I may give it a go.

Overall, this was good and had it’s moments. I did like the narration and thought it was well done.

Book Review: Lovelight Farms by B.K. Borison

Title: Lovelight Farms (Lovelight #1)
Author: B.K. Borison
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: November 10th, 2021
Publisher: Indie Published (Kindle Unlimited)
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Where the lovelight gleams …
A pasture of dead trees. A hostile takeover of the Santa barn by a family of raccoons. And shipments that have mysteriously gone missing. Lovelight Farms is not the magical winter wonderland of Stella Bloom’s dreams.
In an effort to save the Christmas tree farm she’s loved since she was a kid, she enters a contest with instafamous influencer Evelyn St. James. With the added publicity and the $100,000 cash prize, she might just be able to save the farm from its financial woes. There’s just one problem. To make the farm seem like a romantic destination for the holidays, she lied on the application and said she owns Lovelight Farms with her boyfriend. Only … there is no boyfriend.
Enter best friend Luka Peters. He just came home for some hot chocolate, and somehow got a farm and a serious girlfriend in the process.” (Goodreads)

I found this one while looking through books on Kindle Unlimited and the cover definitely jumped out at me. Obviously, it isn’t Christmas time but I am always in the spirit for the holiday!

The book is told from one perspective and it comes from Stella. She is very outgoing and will do anything to save her tree farm, even if that means faking a relationship. One of my favorite tropes! I liked that it was mixed with friends-to-lovers which isn’t usually a trope I like. I haven’t found a friends-to-lovers I have loved but this one gave me a lot of hope for the trope.

Luka Peters is her top pick to fill the slot of “boyfriend” but she is very stubborn and refuses to see what is in front of her. I would definitely never friendzone that man! He is the total package and will do anything for Stella, literally. I thought that their friendship to more was developed well and I liked that they brought up how they first met and it’s easy to see where they had started. They had very sweet moments together and I loved the tree car freshener antics by Luka. That little detail on the cover *chef’s kiss*.

There are a few spicy times between them and it’s definitely over my level but I know there are a lot who will enjoy that.

Sometimes I did feel like it progressed too quickly into the danger zone, but I can also understand if they each had a tension around one another. There also could have been more with the competition as well.

Even though this is a romance novel, the side characters were great and I liked getting to know them all especially Beckett and Dane the sheriff. They are both great guys and are also there for Stella. She couldn’t ask for a better set of townspeople even if they are a bit nosey about her “relationship, haha.

Overall, this was a cute read and I will be adding the others in the series to my tbr.

Manga Review: Waiting for Spring Vol. 14 by Anashin

Title: Waiting for Spring Vol. 14
Author: Anashin
Genre: YA Manga / Romance / Contemporary
Publication Date: March 9th, 2021
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Mitsuki and Towa have found true love, leaving Rui to despair about his own future romance! However, in the background, Kyōsuke has been having his own girl problems — will his first love return his affection? Meanwhile, Nanase and Ryūji bump into their own relationship issues, and Aya must cope with his heartbreak once more.” (Goodreads)

The last volume has now come and gone…the feelings I still have are unimaginable and I just want more! Why do all good things have to end?!

There is so much to unpack in the last volume. One thing I do wish is that it was longer. I needed more closure for Aya and Mitsuki. I also needed more from the friend group as the others started pairing off into relationships and we didn’t learn much about one girl in particular. It all kind of felt rushed but at least I found enjoyment in it? It was sweet. I am glad that we got more from the others than just Towa and Mitsuki.

I think more could have been added if it wasn’t for all of the bonus chapters. I like how most mangas I read get us to the end where they are older and we know what happens to the characters. This one doesn’t have that you just have to speculate that it all stayed the same and everything was good.

Overall, it was still good as it had sweet moments but I just thought that there would be more from the conclusion.

Audiobook Review: The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Title: The Call of the Wild
Author: Jack London
Genre: Classics / Survival / Nature
Publication Date: 1903
Publisher: Varies
Rating: ⭐⭐

“First published in 1903, The Call of the Wild is regarded as Jack London’s masterpiece. Based on London’s experiences as a gold prospector in the Canadian wilderness and his ideas about nature and the struggle for existence, The Call of the Wild is a tale about unbreakable spirit and the fight for survival in the frozen Alaskan Klondike.” (Goodreads)

Sadly, I didn’t like this one as much as White Fang. It is still the same where the book is told from a dog’s perspective. I did like that, but this one just felt less appealing when it came to the action. There is also a really sad moment I was prepared for! I feel like this one was more about survival, not just for the dogs but for the men as well. In White Fang it was about much more. London does have a way with words though and I do enjoy his descriptions.

Since this review is short I will leave you with some interesting facts about Jack London. He was born on my birthday, January 12th! He also had a daughter named Joan which is pretty close to mine, Joanna. Maybe these are only cool facts to me, haha.

Overall, this was okay but still one I didn’t click with. I guess the ending was probably my favorite and felt more like White Fang. The audiobook was narrated well.

Audiobook Review: Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Mistborn
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Publication Date: July 17th, 2006
Publisher: Tor Fantasy
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

“Once, a hero arose to save the world. A young man with a mysterious heritage courageously challenged the darkness that strangled the land.

He failed.

For a thousand years since, the world has been a wasteland of ash and mist ruled by the immortal emperor known as the Lord Ruler. Every revolt has failed miserably.

Yet somehow, hope survives. Hope that dares to dream of ending the empire and even the Lord Ruler himself. A new kind of uprising is being planned, one built around the ultimate caper, one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the determination of an unlikely heroine, a street urchin who must learn to master Allomancy, the power of a Mistborn.” (Goodreads)

This one took me awhile to get through! Partly because it is so long but also partly because I just wasn’t that invested in it.

The book is told from multiple point-of-views through third person narrating. I thought that it was done nicely as it gives us more information into the lives of the characters, especially because there are so many characters that bring something to the plot.

The characters weren’t really what I was expecting but I also wasn’t sure what to expect, haha. I think the hype definitely had me wanting to love them more but it was just hard to fully connect. When things happened to certain characters it kind of was hard to feel and I just ended up being like, “Oh, that happened. Well, alright then.” I don’t think there is anything wrong with them and did at least find them interesting for the most part.

This is a chonker and with that comes its low moments where nothing seems to happen. The beginning was very enticing but it felt like it reels you in just to slow down a lot of the time. I am sure because it’s the first in the series that the sequel will have more action. I can only hope or this series just may not work for me.

Overall, this was good but because of the hype I was just expecting a bit more. I don’t really have many thoughts on it since it took me over a month to get through and by then you kind of forget things, lol. I wasn’t going to start it over either!

Audiobook Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry

Title: The Giver
Author: Lois Lowry
Genre: YA Dystopian / Classics
Publication Date: April 26th, 1993
Publisher: Ember
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐✨

“The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community.” (Goodreads)

I picked this one up on a whim as I had never read it before, probably because this particular cover is a turn-off. Haha. I went into this one not knowing anything about it either. I think I may have known that it was a dystopian but I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if I didn’t.

The books a boy named Jonas who is only 12 years-old. He has much to learn about his community and really only knows what others have told him that have gone before. I would say that he has the most development out of all that characters. Along the way he starts to form his own thinking and ideas, really becoming his own person and going against the grain.

In the beginning there was a lot of times I didn’t understand what was going on and the pacing was very slow. It does pick up drastically once Jonas is given his job and we start to understand what the job entails and the old man that he is replacing. From this point on we see a lot of interesting concepts and ideas flourish through Jonas.

Overall, this was an interesting and good book. I don’t know if I would continue on with the series, but maybe one day I will.