Better late than never!
I’m not going to lie, all of the content I posted in December for Blogmas/Bookmas was super draining so I allowed myself to take a little over a week long break. Not going to lie, I couldn’t totally stop myself from thinking about making content but it was nice not posting for a bit.
That being said, I’m working on some changes to implement over the next few months in how I post so stay tuned for more on that later!
We’re here to talk about what I read in December so let’s get to the books!
Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson
Review to come but this was a sweet read. I did not like it as much as her other book Edenbrooke, but I think it is hard to live up to that one in my mind haha. I enjoyed the use of flashbacks in Blackmoore and how it drove the ‘present day’ story forward. The ending was also satisfying and reminded me of a far more wholesome version of the ending of Portrait of a Scotsman by Evie Dunmore. I feel odd that I am comparing these even slightly haha.
The Last She by H.J. Nelson
I received an eARC of this book from Wattpad and NetGalley and my full review is available on Goodreads. Sadly this one did not hit the mark for me in many ways but I can see how there could be an extremely devoted fan-base for this eventual series.
Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy #2) by Robin Hobb
I get so depressed reading this series. I feel like I will read book 3 (because I own it) to complete the trilogy but I won’t finish the larger Realm of the Underlings series. You can read my review for Assassin’s Apprentice (book #1) to get more of my thoughts but these books are slow, character driven stories that offer no hope. Just not my thing.
The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary
Full review to come but this was the 3rd book in a row that let me down. I loved The Flat Share and adored much of The Switch but her 3rd book put me in the same mindset as when I read Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella. None of these characters were likeable. The relationship was tenuous at best. The ‘antagonist’ in the car seemed like a mustache twirling caricature of a villain. There was a tastelessly handled near sexual assault scene. I just found myself frustrated the entire time reading it.
Another eARC from Revell and NetGalley where you can find my full review here. I am so happy I finally got to a book I thoroughly enjoyed in December. It took a while to get here but it happened! While not perfect, this was a refreshing and fast-paced mystery that kept me turning the (digital) page. A few plot points felt oddly convenient and the ending felt a bit like Lord of the Rings when you think it’s done and fading to black but then - surprise! - there’s a bit more, one too many times. But I enjoyed it overall.
An Impossible Impostor (Veronica Speedwell Mysteries #7) by Deanna Raybourn
Then I had to reward myself with my eARC of one of my favourite ongoing series thanks to an eARC from Berkley and NetGalley. You can see my thoughts here but this one does not come out until February 15, 2022.
An Alaskan Christmas (Wild River #1) by Jennifer Snow
This was a book that I just stumbled upon while scrolling through Instagram and I am glad I did. The synopsis gave me Virgin River vibes and it did not let me down. If anything, I just wanted more. I will definitely be continuing with the series.
A Princess for Christmas by Jenny Holiday
I picked up Duke, Actually by this author first but then realized it was book 2 in this series so I obviously had to read book 1 first. I’m glad I did because you get a lot of insight into the main characters of Duke, Actually in this book and I would have been disappointed if I read them out of order. Not sure if I will do a full review of this one but it was a super fun read that had me wondering what would possibly happen when it seemed like most of the events took place within the first 3rd. Let me tell you, plenty happens haha. This one is referenced as ‘Hallmark after dark’ and it certainly delivers on that. Even within the book itself, there are cheeky comments to this effect which I found really fun.
A Distance Too Grand (American Wonders Collection) by Regina Scott
Full review to come but I will say I’m excited to continue this series. If you enjoy early world exploration, this is worth a read. There was a conflict at the end that seemed a bit forced and out of nowhere but, other than that, I found very little that I did not enjoy while reading this one. While a good chunk of it takes place while traveling, it did not drag and it kept me interested. The relationship was also unique to me for this kind of a book and I could not help but root for them.
The Nature of a Lady (The Secrets of the Isles #1) by Roseanna M. White
I received an eARC of book 2 in this series before I realized it was book 2 so, naturally, I had to grab up the first book. It was nothing like what I expected. Full review to come but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. The synopsis does not do it justice. Even the fact that it really only talks about 2 main characters when there is actually 3 and we get all 3 POVs. Each of these characters have a great balance of time on page and learning about their stories was so interesting. The set up for book 2 is also amazing and I am excited to get to it.
And there we are, 10 books that ended my year!
I started out the month extremely worried since the first few books were such flops for me but I’d say I ended the month on a high. I hope the start of your 2022 has been lovely and that you are excited for a fresh new year of reading!
Until next time, keep reading!