Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 1-24-23
Adult - Historical Romance

Her Lessons in Persuasion- Megan Frampton: Lady Wilhelmina Bettesford would rather spend her time studying the stars than looking for a husband. But when her father unexpectedly brings home a wife younger than Wilhelmina, she finds herself thrust into society. Her new stepmother is sure that if the men of the ton see Wilhelmina on the arm of another man, they'll throw their cap at her as well, so she enlists the help of Bram Townsend, a barrister, to pretend to woo Wilhelmina. The only problem is the more time the pair spend together, the more they can't deny their growing attraction. Neither one entered this agreement intending to marry, but true love can be very persuasive.

I'll pick up any romance book if it has a fake dating trope, and I was so looking forward to this one. Sadly, it didn't work for me. I found the whole thing so boring. The writing felt repetitive and awkward, and I couldn't get invested in the plot. I did like our main characters, Wilhelmina and Bram, and thought they complemented one another nicely, but I wanted more from them. The relationship was a bit slower than I liked, and the payoff was slightly underwhelming. I did enjoy Bram's group of friends and will most likely pick up their books, but unfortunately, this one wasn't my favorite.

Rating: 2/5

*Big thanks to the publisher for this copy!

Pub Date: 1-24-23
Adult - Historical Romance

The Duke Gets Even- Joanna Shupe: Most women her age look forward to the prospect of marriage, but Nellie Young is not one of them. She has purposefully ruined her reputation and would rather spend nights stealing kisses from men in the ocean and living life to the fullest. To save his crumbling estate, the Duke of Lockwood is determined to find an American heiress, preferably one with a spotless reputation. On the outside, he may seem the perfect and proper Duke, but inside, Lockwood hides some dark desires. Nellie and Lockwood have been circling each other for months, both drawn in by the undeniable attraction brimming between them. Nellie sees the true Lockwood beneath his stuffy interior and embraces him fully but is Lockwood willing to sacrifice everything to follow his heart?

I didn't think anything could top the previous book in this series for me, but then along came Lockwood. I've loved every little snipe and interaction between him and Nellie we've gotten so far, so I was beyond excited to see their story unfold, and Shupe more than delivered. The chemistry between them was so palpable that I was surprised the pages weren't smoking. There was so much tension brewing under the surface every time they bickered, and it was explosive once their dynamic switched. I binged this in pretty much one sitting because I was so addicted. I loved how strong and independent Nellie was. She was brash and so unapologetically herself. Lockwood seemed so prim and proper, but in private, he was rough and demanding but still vulnerable and cared so much for Nellie. Everything about this, from the characters to the plot (I loved how passionate Nellie was about reproductive rights), worked so well for me, and it's easily my favorite in the series.

Rating: 5/5

*Big thanks to the publisher for this copy!

Pub Date: 10-4-22
Adult - Horror
Jackal- Erin E. Adams: Liz Rocher doesn't have fond memories of growing up in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Being a person of color in a predominately white town, Liz was often ostracized and looked down upon, and left town as soon as she was able. The only reason Liz has come back home is to attend her best friend's wedding. But sometime during the reception, the bride's daughter, Caroline, goes missing in the woods. Liz can't help but notice the half-hearted attempts at finding Caroline, so she does her investigating. She discovers a pattern dating back years of young black girls going missing during the summer solstice. Some have reappeared mutilated; some haven't been found at all. Liz refuses to let that same fate befall Caroline, but the more she digs into the town's history, the more secrets she uncovers.

I've had this book on my radar for a while, and I'm so glad I finally decided to pick it up. The writing and the premise were so good. Adams had me hooked from the very first page. She wasn't afraid to confront hard topics such as racism and classism, which made for a compelling read. I also loved how she mixed in so many different genres, from horror to thriller to mystery, and even sprinkled in some magical realism. With that said, the ending is what kind of lost me. The first two-thirds of this book was a solid five stars for me, but I thought the end went off the rails. I didn't love the direction it went in, and I would've liked something a little more believable. Despite that, I would highly recommend picking this up, and I can't wait to check out more from this author.

Rating: 4/5


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