January Wrap-up Part 1

     I’m going to have to break this into two parts. I had no idea I’d read as many books as I had till half way through the month.

   The books I read and reviewed/have reviews upcoming I’ll list here first, to help shorten this:

  • Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia
  • Laughter at the Academy by Seanan McGuire
  • Hungry Hearts Edited by Elise Chapman
  • Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children #5) by Seanan McGuire
  • Get a Life, Chloe Brown (Brown Sisters #1) by Talia Hibbert
  • Moan: Anonymous Essays on Female Orgasm edited by Emma Koenig
  • Exit Strategy (Murderbot Diaries #4) by Martha Wells
  • Gods of Jade & Shadow by Silvia-Moreno Garcia


  So here are the things I’ve read that I didn’t do a full Thoughts review on:

  • The first novel is The Rogue of Fifth Avenue by Joanna Shupe. I’ve read some Joanna Shupe before, and I knew I had but I couldn’t remember much about it so I picked up another one. Now we’re back where we were in the first place. I don’t remember much about this one, but I do remember enjoying it while I read it – which I think is probably the best thing I can say. If you’re looking for an in the moment sort of enjoyment this could be a good one to try.
  • I then decided to give an old series a try – the In Death series by J.D. Robb, starting with Naked in Death. This was triggered by catching up on what was happening in Romancelandia and seeing Nora Roberts’ statement on it. She pops up from time to time on my radar and I generally agree with a lot of what she says but I very rarely actually read her work. So that in conjunction with my watching a new booktuber who just read through this series (Mara at BooksLikeWhoa) I thought I’d go for this. Like I said on Goodreads – egg on my face for not trying this sooner. It was dark and gritty (at least for me) but I enjoyed the snot out of this. I also have a real soft spot for Alpha type heroes and the male lead in this is obnoxiously Alpha. I may do a series check in every so often on this and update my status and thoughts. So more then! The characters seemed fairly static throughout but the pacing and the story moved at such a pace that it was pretty clear that was not the focus of the book. I’m hoping the character development and change will be something we’ll see over the course of the series. 
  • A few books later saw me chug through Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno. I think I read this over the course of one day, it was a short little thing – quick and fast paced enough to blaze through. It’s a queer YA magical realism story that honestly had me confused at first, was it Middle Grade or YA? The writing screamed Middle Grade as did the characters from time to time, but the events within seemed to indicate otherwise.  At the end the story it got much darker and dealt with an assault and a murder (not necessarily of a human? I do not know if that’s a spoiler or not). This made that half feel much more heavy because the beginning was so light and airy. If this a genre/age range you read a lot of though I’d recommend it.
  • I followed that one up almost immediately with Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare. This was a delight, I highly recommend this for fans of historical romance. Tessa Dare rarely misses with me, so I’m not sure why I was so surprised with this. It managed to hit on some personal notes with me as well, as a main character was still dealing with grief from the loss of a child, so it was even more profound for me. I went from crying at one moment to laughing at the next. That being said I think that was the overwhelming appeal for me. Some people may see an odd or even unequal power dynamic between the Duke and Simms (you’ll figure it out quick), but I think within the story Simms did a good job of bucking that and staying strong within herself. For me this was a very good romance novel, one that as I stated before I’d recommend.

   I think that’s going to be it for the first part of my January Wrap-up. The rest of the books I read in January I’ll cover in the next installment! Any thoughts on these from anyone else are welcome, have a good one!

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