This is the twenty first weekly update I’ve written this year so far. And, fun fact- my baby cousin turned 21 last week. I know that doesn’t seem super interesting, except that my whole life all my cousins on both sides of the family were relatively close age-wise. I was a teenager and living under the assumption that all the cousins I would ever have were already in existence when this particular kiddo arrived on the scene. And, while 16 seems impossibly young now, at the time, I felt mostly adult. So the idea that a human being born when I was practically grown is now old enough to drink? Well. I feel like my bones shall flake away into dust any second now. But it’s FINE, OKAY? It’s not like that baby cousin’s even babier sibling just graduated high school or anything. Oh wait. Damn. Please excuse me while I mourn my lost youth…
You still here? Good good. Glad to have gotten that existential crisis out of the way early today. I have been READING, y’all. Let’s talk about these books!
In for a Penny by Rose Lerner- A young rogue of a gentleman, Lord Nevinstoke spends most of his time partying. This is a regency novel, so “partying” isn’t the appropriate verbiage for the time, but my brain is fried. After the unexpected death of his father, Nev finds himself in charge of a bankrupt estate with few options. In a quest to right his balance sheet, Nev proposes marriage to a wealthy heiress. He’s completely upfront about his motives, but also thinks that they may have a bit of a spark. Penny accepts, despite her better judgement, because she appreciates Nev’s honesty and is drawn to him in spite of herself. Plus, being of “common” birth, this marriage allows Penny to opportunity to finally be accepted as a part of the upper crust. But, as we all know, marriages of convenience in romance often turn into marriages of heart-eye-emojis with a side of steam. This book was such a wonderful surprise! I had read one of Rose Lerner’s novellas a while back (All or Nothing, if you’re interested, I don’t believe I ever reviewed it), so I really thought I knew what to expect. But, reader, a novella is not necessarily indicative of what an author’s full length work will hold. I thought In for a Penny was beautifully crafted. The characters were flawed and showed real growth. The narrative was compelling beyond the surface love story. I wasn’t simply waiting for the characters to hook up, there were so many other things going on that I cared about. If you like regency romances at all, you really really need to give this book a read. It’s absolutely wonderful.
Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith- Divya Sharma is a Stream Queen- that is, she streams her video game play online and has an impressive following. Her following is so impressive that she receives sponsorships that help her support Divya and her mother. She’s often plagued by trolls, unfortunately, because there are a lot of garbage white dudes floating around on the internet who don’t think brown girls should be taking up space in what they think is their domain. But Divya carries on, because she doesn’t want to let them win… And she needs to help her mother finish grad school. Aaron Jericho is also an avid gamer, but streaming isn’t his bread and butter. He’s a writer with aspirations to craft brilliant stories to accompany new games. Then one day, he randomly runs into the famous D1V while gaming and the two strike up a friendship. But, you know, the trolls are still there and they both have their own specific life problems and they live in different cities so it’s not all smooth sailing. Still. It’s a lovely ride. Now, I don’t play video games. I haven’t since the original Nintendo we had when I was a kid. My hand eye coordination is garbage and I was never particularly good at it. Once things progressed past very simple two dimensional movement, my spatial awareness completely spaced out. Trying to play Goldeneye on N64 (which is a 20 year old game, yes, I’m THAT out of touch) usually finds me aimlessly circling because I just CANNOT with the depth perception. All of that is to say, I don’t know jack about online gaming, but I happen to know quite a bit about online friendships and how awesome they can be. If you like YA novels and appreciate the power of online friendships? Definitely give Don’t Read the Comments a read!
Once Upon a Winters Eve by Tessa Dare- This novella was the last remaining Spindle Cove installment I hadn’t read. Violet Winterbottom is a polyglot- her gift for languages allows her to speak 6 of them fluently, not that it does her much good in the limited sphere of gently born women. She is expected to marry well, though she only has eyes for the one that got away. That is, until a mysterious stranger literally crashes (like with broken glass and everything) the Spindle Cove Christmas Ball. Turns out the “one that got away” was more of a “if I told you where I went, I’d have to kill you” kind of situation. What? Aren’t all the best love interests spies in the Napoleonic wars? This novella was cute, but not my favorite of the series by any stretch. It’s always good to read a Tessa Dare, though. Minimal angst, maximal joy.
An excellent reading week, all in all. Right now I’m reading I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez with my eyes. So far, it’s excellent. I’m also listening to Tweet Cute by Emma Lord- it’s too early to even give a preliminary commentary on this one, but I have high hopes.
What have you been reading, Bookworms?
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