March Mid-Month Wrap-up

I have been on a reading spree. Usually, I average about eight books a month, but it’s March 17 and I’ve already read ten. Last week alone, I read almost a book a day. Part of it is because I was in a reading slump last month and only read two books, so I had a lot of catching up to do. But part of it is simply because I’ve been enjoying reading so much. I’ve gotten into the bad habit of coming home and vegging in front of the TV while scrolling mindlessly on my computer. The past couple weeks, I’ve turned off the TV and limited my screen time to focus on reading. It’s been a joy. My mood has lifted, I’m excited to read, and motivated to search out new things. It’s been wonderful.

Here are the list of books I’ve read, along with a brief description and my thoughts.

Hexmaker by Jordan L. Hawk follows the romance between a fox shifter, Malachi, and Dr. Owen Yates, who is a forensic hexman for the Metropolitan Witch Police. Malachi is a thief who is caught red handed. Unfortunately, the man he was stealing from has been murdered and Malachi is the prime suspect. The only way to clear his name is to bond with Yates and work with him until the murderer is caught. Swept away by a deep passion for the other, they also begin an affair that they know can’t last, as Yates is days away from an arranged marriage to secure his family fortune.

I really enjoyed this book. It’s a lighthearted romance where both characters were really interesting and endearing. Owen does his best to do what’s expected of him even when his heart is leading him in another direction. And Malachi, despite his illegal profession, has a good heart. It’s a little predictable and not very deep, but it was exactly what I needed to get me out of my reading slump. Four out of five stars

Becoming by Michelle Obama is her memoir about her life. She talks about her early childhood, growing up in an apartment above her Aunt Robbie’s house in Chicago. She details her teenage and college years, talks about meeting Barack Obama and initial impressions (not great, he was late for their meeting) all the way through the White House years. I found the writing style very engaging and easy to read. Actually, I found it so thought-provoking and stimulating, that I could only read a chapter at a time, otherwise her voice followed me into my dreams all night. And while that’s not a bad problem to have, it did interrupt my sleep. I cried several times during this book for different reasons, both joy and sorrow. I really thought this book was well written and an inspiring. Five out of five stars

Hexslayer by Jordan L. Hawk is the third in the Hexworld books. This romance centers on Nick, a horse shifter who is fiercely independent and swears he will never bond with any witch, and Jamie McDougal, a former Rough Rider who lost his leg in the line of duty and now works for the Metropolitan Witch Police. When Jamie’s former lover, another familiar, is found dead almost a year after he was supposedly killed in action, Jamie and Nick join forces to solve the crime. Like Hexmaker, this is a light, fluffy book and an easy read. This one had to win me over a bit because I didn’t like Nick all that much to begin with. However, once he and Jamie really started connecting, Nick exposed his vulnerable side and I liked him a lot more. Four out of five stars

A Duke in Disguise by Cat Sebastian. I got an early Kindle copy of this book. This is set in the same universe as Unmasked by the Marquess, which I read last year. In A Duke in Disguise, best friends Verity Plum and Ash find their unspoken attraction harder to ignore when Verity asks Ash to illustrated an erotic book she’s publishing. When Ash discovers a long kept secret about himself, he decides to throw caution to the wind and court Verity in earnest, at least for a month. This is a delightful book with fantastic characters. Verity is strong and independent. I love that she’s in charge of her father’s old publishing house and also that she keeps her brother out of danger. And Ash is, of course, noble and true, just as a good romantic hero should be. Four out of five stars.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. In a land where magic people called Grisha exist, a drug is created that give them unimaginable powers. To keep this highly addictive drug from being abused, Kaz Brekker is hired to take a band of criminals to break the creator of the drug out of the prison he’s being held. To be honest, I struggled with this one. I started it in February and eventually had to put it aside because it wasn’t working for me. I know people passionately love this book, but I couldn’t connect to any of the characters. I finally picked it up and gave it another try. I’m glad I did, because I enjoyed it, but I wish I loved it as much as everyone else does. Three out of five stars.

How I Changed My Life in a Year by Shelley Wilson. This book is a self-help/inspirational book about how one woman set 12 goals for herself to complete over the course of a year. She then broke them down into 52 challenges and blogged about her experiences. I listened to this on audio and overall enjoyed it. Three out of five stars.

Of Five and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst. Instead of rehashing my thoughts, you can read my review here. I gave it four out of five stars.

The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes by Leonard Goldberg. Again, I’ve reviewed this on my blog here if you’re interested. Two out of five stars.

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler. Five women and one man come together to discuss their love of Jane Austen. In between, flashes of their lives are revealed, friendships are formed, and romantic matches are made. I didn’t like this book. I found the characters dull and uninteresting. Their lives were boring. Every once in awhile, there’d be something interesting, but it didn’t last and was driven away by the how mean-spirited the characters seemed to be to each other. There was barely any discussion of Austen, which made sense because any time someone offered an opinion, it was immediately torn apart by someone else. I wouldn’t want to talk about something I loved if that was the environment either. This was just all around an disappointing book. One out of five stars.

Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry. This is about a group of outcasts at a religious high school. Michael’s an atheist, Avi is Jewish, Eden is pagan, Max doesn’t like the dress code, and Lucy wants to change the church. They come together to discuss their difficulties until one day, Michael suggests they take action and try to create change. However, things soon go to far and Heretics Anonymous is put in danger of being exposed. I really liked this book. The characters were real, the struggles were interesting, and the emotional message was compelling. Four out of five stars.
That’s all the books I’ve read so far this month. I’m currently reading Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco and enjoying it quite a bit.

What books have you read so far this month? Drop a comment below and let me know. I’d love to hear from you!