Raise your hand if you’re a vibrating ball of anxiety. WHEW. COVID has ramped up to eleven (which I hesitate to say because, let’s face it, it’s probably only going to get worse) and I am just like “I’ve been stuck in my house with a toddler for 8 months already what’s 4 more?” Except I say that as I sob into my third cup of coffee because this is all really hard on everyone in different ways. It didn’t have to be this bad, but here we are. We’ve been extremely lucky in a lot of ways with regard to COVID and the ways in which we’ve been able to choose to keep our family safe, but maaaaaaan it takes a toll. Of course, I’ve taken refuge in the safest coping mechanism at my disposal: books. I shall escape into other worlds! And, because it takes so long to write and publish books, COVID hasn’t mucked up any of my fiction yet. Huzzah! Here are some of my thoughts on recent reads.
In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren: Groundhog Day, but make it Christmas! No, really. The latest Christina Lauren rom-com centers on Maelyn Jones. Every year, she and her family gather with her parents’ college friends and their families at a secluded cabin. Things proceed as usual this year, until Maelyn drunkenly makes out with one of the boys she’s known her entire life… And NOT the one she’s been in love with since she was thirteen. It’s one thing to have a drunken hookup, quite another to have one with someone the brother of your love interest. Oh the cringe. It is so, so very cringe. The cherry on top? The family who owns the beloved cabin has decided to sell it. This will be their last Christmas together at the cabin. Maelyn is absolutely devastated. On their way to the airport, she and her family get into a terrible car accident. When Mae wakes up, she finds herself on the plane… On the way TO the cabin. She somehow skipped backward six days and is the only person aware of it. As she relives her holiday, Mae tries to overcome the extreme weirdness and try to figure out how to get out of the time loop. If she does it just right, she may just figure out what will make her happy. Sigh. This book is everything I love about Christina Lauren, complete with a quirky Australian faux-uncle. Haul out the holly and hide under the mistletoe- this book is the only holiday romance you’ll need this year.
HAVEN by Rebekah Weatherspoon- Hoo boy. I feel like I should preface this review with the fact that the series this book kicks off is called “Beards and Bondage.” Ahem. If you read Fifty Shades of Grey (no shame, who didn’t, honestly?) but thought Christian was low-key creepy in ways unrelated to his bedroom habits, this book shows a much healthier BDSM style relationship. Like, no NDAs or coercion or dictations about diet. It was, however, more of a suspenseful romance and that aspect stressed me out. Random serial killers stalking National Parks and hunting humans for sport is horrifying. Then there’s a lot of pain and trauma to sift through which is intense. And THEN there’s the extremely spicy sections which are extremely spicy. All that is to say, this book is definitely not for everyone. However, if a suspenseful romantic bondage story is your jam, this one is hard to beat.
Majesty by Katharine McGee- After devouring American Royals, I NEEDED to know what happened next. I was, however, quite distraught when I googled to check when the next installment of this story would be released and saw that there just isn’t one. THIS STORY IS NOT FINISHED, KATHARINE MCGEE. Ahem. So, Majesty picks up where we left off, keeping tabs on the American royal family that was established in an alternate history of the US wherein George Washington is made king post revolution. I can’t very well tell you much about the exact circumstances in the beginning of this book without dropping a zillion spoilers for the first one. I can, however, tell you that this book takes a refreshing turn and displays that first loves/infatuations, however intense they may be, are not necessarily the only situation in which a person can find joy and companionship. I mean, they’re called first loves, not only loves. A few of the characters seem to get their ish together in this sequel, while a few others just go further off the deep end. Prince Jefferson, beloved youngest son, remains the biggest doofus in the entire universe. Honestly, I want a third book just so he can pull his head out of his butt. C’mon Jeff, you can’t POSSIBLY be this dumb! Anywho. I’m going to need a book three. Please and thank you.
It feels so good to be on a hot reading streak! I’m just chowing down books like a voracious velocireader. (I have a “Velocireader” t-shirt, I’m not clever enough to have come up with that moniker on my own.) Right now I’m eyeball reading Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi, which, thus far, has proved charming and excellent. I just started listening to A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow- too early to give a verdict but it’s going quite well. Hark! ‘Tis my small boy stirring from his nap! I’ll have to leave you here, bookworms, but please fill me in on how your reading has been going.
If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. Links in the post above direct to Amazon, but if you’re interested and in a position to do so, please consider making a purchase from a local independent bookstore. IndieBound and Bookshop make it easy to do just that without having to leave your home!
Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf
Hooray for hot reading streaks!!
Gah!! I just finished American Royals and did a lot of poking about to see what the deal might be with book 3. I am way far on the hold list for Majesty so hopefully something gets announced before I read it? I already know I’ll want more.
Still trying to read Harrow- still confused.
*raises hand and waves emphatically like Hermione trying to get Snape’s attention* Me. Ball of anxiety. Same.
Books and writing have been my refuge, too, this whole year. Burying myself in reading challenges and baking projects has kept me sane, and I’m planning to hygge the heck out of my house this winter.
That includes catching back up on your blog posts! Sorry I’ve been silent for so long. ^_^;; A peek into the world of literary Hallmark movies sounds perfect right now.