The year is starting out with a bang, if my January reading list is any indication! It was also a month full of ARC's (Advanced Reader/Review Copy) for me, and let me tell you, there are some fucking fantastic books coming out this month! So, in no particular order, my favorite reads of the month:
Double Vision by L.M. Halloran (not available for order at time I hit publish, but look out for this one to release 2/22/18)
This book begins with Eden spotting her doppelgänger at a party one night, takes you on a dark and twisted road to an unexpected conclusion. I love dark romance, and I absolutely loved Double Vision. I loved the suspenseful ride of Eden's journey. I also LOVED the dynamic between Eden and Liam and how it all unraveled. Uniquely told in a compelling voice, I lost a serious amount of sleep staying up to read this because I simply could not put it down. I devoured this book in a day and wanted so much more. This was the first book by Halloran that I've read, and I'm now ready to read them all!
If you've read my blog before, you'll know I am super late to the game for a lot of books. If they have been raved about or really hyped, I often avoid them a little more. They almost never live up to the hype and I hate that kind of disappointment. I really thought Sea of Tranquility was going to fall into this too when I first started it. It was a slow burner for me, but was interesting, compelling, and heartbreaking. The characters were so flawed (love this) and Millay made sure you understood exactly why they were the way they were and why they make the choices they make. And then there's the growth of the characters. I want to say so much more, but like most amazing reads, they are best experienced with as little info as possible. I do have to say: The 2 pages or so of this book? The last sentence? Might be the best I've read. They seriously gave me chills, made me smile hard, and cry. Seriously, that good.
False Start/Pivot Line by Rebel Farris (At time of publish, False Start is available for pre-order and releases 2/7/18, while Pivot line releases 3/7/18)
You guys, these books... These freaking books! I really cannot say much about them without giving things away that are best left experienced while reading. False Start and Pivot Line are a duet, but are also part of a larger series that will release over the next year or so. They are a genre mashup in the truest sense of the word, and really take you on a rollercoaster ride of romantic suspense. There are mysteries to be unraveled, and while I was following the clues trying to figure out what's what (and let me just say, I'm great at figuring these things out and even I was surprised at some of the reveals), and having fun doing so, I was also falling into the emotional lives of these characters. I truly enjoyed the ride and I'm having a hard time having to wait for the rest of the series connected to this duet.
An anthology of short stories by amazing authors, Begin Again is filled with beautiful stories of heartbreak, loss, tragedy, second-chances, and above all else, hope. These stories are truly special, and while I'd love to pick out some standouts, I would pretty much be listing most of the stories in this book. I discovered some new to me authors that I can't wait to explore further, which is one of my favorite parts of reading anthologies. I also have to mention that all proceeds will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and NAMI. These are causes that are incredibly important and necessary, and another reason I was so happy to support this collection of stories. If you or someone you know is struggling, please know that there is help out there. One resource is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.
Oh, where to start with The Rebound? Like Winter Renshaw’s other books, I devoured this one in one day. I couldn’t get enough of the sweet and heartbreaking story of first love, hope lost and found, and second chances. There’s a little twist to the plot; it hit me at the beginning of Part 2 what it might be, and I tore through the pages not only dying to find out if I was right, but also just enjoying Yardley and Nevada’s story. My one complaint? I wish there was more because I wasn’t ready to leave their story, even though I loved their ending. All things considered, that’s a good problem to have.
After reading the blurb for this book, I went into it expecting a certain kind of story and for the plot to go a certain way. I was completely wrong, and I'm so glad I was. Hidden Seams was completely unexpected in the best way. I loved how complex and complicated both Avery and Marco were. I love flawed characters, and these characters fit the bill, but are so well written and relatable that I fell in love with them. The secondary characters are strong and add to the story. And that epilogue? So, so good.
There was a time I used to binge historical romances like there was no tomorrow. With a degree in Renaissance Studies, I guess the fact that I'm in love with other time periods probably isn't the biggest shocker. My reading began to slow down, to the point I practically wasn't reading at all. When I started up again, it was mostly YA series and Contemporary Romance. I recently began to see people talking about how great Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series was, so I decided to dip my toes back into historical romance. I am so glad I did! I loved The Duke and I. I love both Daphne and Simon, as individual characters and as a couple; their chemistry sizzles. The dialogue is fresh, something that feels so uncommon in the genre. If you're looking to try historical romance or looking to return to it, check out this series!
After reading Royally Screwed last year (book 1 in this series of standalones), I immediately wanted to read Royally Matched, the second book in the series. Life and my never-ending "to read" list got in the way. So, I don't talk about this much, but I don't do audiobooks. At all. I zone out, my mind goes to about twenty other things, and before I know it I've missed thirty minutes of the book and I'm lost. Then I was confronted with having to build a large dresser from Ikea. Something that took me about four hours to do. I needed something to entertain me and keep me sane. So I decided to take the chance on the audiobook for Royally Matched. And I was hooked. It was so good. Funny, clever, and sexy, I couldn't help but fall for Henry and Sarah. Whether your read it or listen to it, I think you will too.