I’m not entirely sure HOW I read so many books in November, especially considering it was so close to finals. I think I just squeezed in as many pages as I could on my commute(s)? It probably also helped that the majority of the books I DID read had very small page counts.
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Newt’s Emerald – Garth Nix ★★★½
A fantasy-adventure love letter to Georgette Heyer’s romance books and super cute to boot. This was one of my favorite reads in November, mainly because of how energetic and adorable it is. There’s magic! Romance! Spies and miscommunication and meddling great-aunts! Maybe not as much romantic development between the two leads as I’d prefer, but I definitely enjoyed the rest of the book.
The Bastard Prince – Megan Derr ★★★
The third book in the Kria series is also the shortest at only 86 pages, which actually worked out pretty well except for how the ending felt rushed. This one’s about a spy and a secretary and how they’re in love but it’s very difficult to get together when somebody’s trying to take over the throne and possibly murder the king. Adorable romance, iffy conspiracy, and the ending was a mess. Oh well! (My favorite of the series is still book two, Bound.)
The Omega’s Bodyguard – Dessa Lux ★★½
A werewolf bodyguard meets his mate during a case, and then they get it on, basically. This is the only non-Scribd book in this post; I actually got it as a freebie during a promotion, mainly because I’m familiar with Dessa Lux’s fanfics and wanted to see what her pro stuff was like. This one was based around a trope I’ve only ever seen in fanfics, and thus felt about as fanfic-y as a pro story can get. Which was great, actually! Even though I wasn’t as into the actual story or characters as I wanted to be, I very much enjoyed finding the familiar fanfic beats in a completely original urban fantasy/paranormal world. It was a fun experience, and I’d definitely read more books by the author.
Pricks and Pragmatism – J.L. Merrow ★★
A down-on-his-luck college student gets kicked out of his sugar daddy’s apartment right before finals, meets a nerd, moves in with him, and falls in love. Angst ensues. Only about 60 pages long, it felt way too short and not completely developed. The emotional satisfaction of the characters and their relationship wasn’t as high as it probably needed to be, going from how angsty the actual story was. However, the characters themselves were pretty cute!
A Solid Core of Alpha – Amy Lane ★★
Scifi romance! No aliens, but there IS an exploded planet, a super traumatized survivor, various holographic computer entities, and a slow maneuvering back to being relatively okay. I liked the world-building (aliens!) but the narrative/writing style left something to be desired, personally. For example, the bad guy is an alphahole who is LITERALLY called “Alpha.” Eh. However, I loved how supportive the characters were for each other, especially during times of extreme stress! Plus, kudos for tackling some tougher issues (PTSD, depression, etc.) while still keeping a good balance with scifi and romance.
Signed and Sealed – B.A. Stretke ★
I feel like I should’ve DNF’d this except somehow it turned into a hate read by about the halfway mark and I didn’t want to put it down. It is BONKERS. A guy’s terrible sister runs away from her fiance. Fiance’s brother then forces the guy to live at the ranch with him in order to (it turns out) Stockholm syndrome him into loving him. Because guy is so trustworthy or something??? It’s the sort of stereotypical romance plot from the 1980s, with an alphahole hero who tries to romance a ridiculously accommodating (other) hero. If you enjoy crazypants books, you might actually like this one.