Anticipated Romance Books of the First Half of 2022

Hi everyone! Today I’m bringing you an exciting post where I talk about my most anticipated romances of the first 6 months of 2022. One thing I noticed while putting together this post is that illustrated covers seem to be here to stay because every single one of these books has one. I don’t mind too much since I think they are cute and I think most of the covers of books on this list do a good job letting the reader know that it’s an adult book and not a YA book, which is my main problem with illustrated covers. Still, I wish there was some variety.

Without further ado, here are the romance books I can’t wait to read this year:

JANUARY

The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka: second chance romances can be a hit or miss for me, but this seemed like the angsty, emotional type of second chance romance that I enjoy. I haven’t read anything by these authors before, but I have heard great things about their YA contemporaries so I have high expectations. (January 25)

D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding by Chencia C. Higgins: it seems that 2022 will be full of sapphic romances and I’m here for all fo them. This one seems like it’s going to be chaotic and fun. I mean fake dating, a fake wedding and a reality show, what could possibly go wrong? I can’t wait to find out. (January 25)

FEBRUARY

Count Your Lucky Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur: I loved the first book in this series and I liked the second one, so I’m excited to read the last romance for this friend group. Another sapphic romance and it’s an ex-best friends to lovers story with a little of second chance romance thrown in there. I couldn’t be more excited. (February 1st)

Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake: And the sapphic lovefest continues! As a fan of complicated family dynamics in books, I’m intrigued about where the storyline with the stepsister will go. Also, I’m excited to read a romance where one of the characters has a kid, I always like reading about that dynamic. (February 22nd)

MARCH

If You Ask Me by Libby Hubscher: I really enjoyed Hubscher’s debut last year even if it made me cry inconsolably, so of course, I’m intrigued about her sophomore novel. Her first book was more women’s fiction than romance, and I think this will also be the case for this book, and I trust that I will enjoy it too. (March 8th)

Savvy Sheldon Feels Good as Hell by Taj McCoy: I love that we are getting so many more romances with plus-size protagonists and I always enjoy a good story revolving around a life makeover, so I think I’ll love this. (March 22nd)

APRIL

The Wedding Crasher by Mia Sosa: I have read a few Mia Sosa books and I have enjoyed all of them, so I’m looking forward to her newest release. The heroine of this one crashes and ruins the wedding of a stranger and then ends up fake dating the groom, it seems like this book will be a wild ride. (April 5th)

To Marry and to Meddle by Martha Waters: I really enjoyed the first two companion novels in this series, so I can’t wait to keep reading about this group of friends. I’m hoping this will be as witty and funny as the previous installments and since it includes a marriage of convenience, which it’s a trope I love, I’m even more excited. (April 5th)

MAY

Book Lovers by Emily Henry: While I loved Beach Read, I thought People We Meet on Vacations was just ok, but I’m being cautiously optimistic and hoping I’ll love this. Since I really love books that are related to the publishing industry, a story about an agent and an editor falling in love seems like something up my alley. (May 3rd)

The Emma Project by Sonali Dev: this series walks the line between romance and women’s fiction and while the romances are not the strongest, they are still enjoyable and the whole plot about this wealthy Indian family that expands all the books in this series has me hooked. (May 17th)

JUNE

Fake It Till You Bake It by Jamie Wesley: a reality star, a cupcake-baking football player and a fake relationship…I am in! that sounds exactly like the type of romance I enjoy. (June 21st)

Don’t Go Baking My Heart by N.G. Peltier: I really enjoyed N.G. Peltier’s debut and the first book in this series of companion novels, so I’m excited for the next story in this world. A lot of romances revolving around baking seem to be coming out and I’m loving all of them (June 21st)

What upcoming releases are you excited for? Are you looking forward to any of the books I mentioned?

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My Favorite Books of 2021

Hi everyone! Today I’m really excited to share my list of favorite books of 2021. These are all books that I think are fantastic and that I hope you read. As I do every year, I will also be posting a list with my favorite romances of 2021, which is why there are no romances on this list. Usually, I also make a favorite YA books list but this year surprisingly I only read 4 YA books, so there won’t be a YA list.

2021 was not the best reading year for me, so it was easy to choose the books that I included on this list because there were not many contenders, which is so sad and something I’m hoping to change in 2022.

Now, for the fun part, here are my favorite books of 2021:

Eartheater by Dolores Reyes

This book has a fascinating concept revolving around a woman who can see how people died, where they are or what happened to them by eating earth connected to the person. It follows this woman as she uncovers the truth of what happened to people that are missing or are found dead, and in that sense, it’s a book about grief, pain, desperation, and it portraits all that in a visceral and honest way, which was very hard to read at times. It’s a masterpiece in my opinion.

This book has a compelling main character that feels like a real, complex, fully rounded person, and her bittersweet journey and relationships are also very captivating. The writing is absolutely beautiful, raw, and perfectly transmits the array of feelings that the main character goes through and that the story tries to capture: anger, frustration, fear, grief, passion, indifference, love.

The Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews

An Introduction to the World of Kate Daniels for New Readers | Den of Geek

I’m cheating a little bit by putting an entire series on this list, but I read all 10 books and 3 of the novellas in the space of 2 weeks, which makes the entire series feel like just one big story instead of individual books. This series is engaging and fun to read and it was exactly what I needed when I read it. It made me remember my love for urban fantasy after years of not reading the genre.

The series has an amazing main character, who is strong, smart, and compassionate but also very flawed, and it also has so many lovable side characters, I was so invested in all of their stories. The characters and the relationships between them are definitely the main reason I loved this story. The main romance was a slow burn, dislike to love romance and it was so good, and there were some incredible secondary ships that I couldn’t help but root for. Also, the world and magic system were unique and interesting, it included mythologies from all over the world, and it was really fast-paced, easy to read, full of action.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying a Vampire by Grady Hendrix

This book was so captivating, I was completely invested and it made me feel so many different emotions. I went into this book thinking the villain was the vampire, but the real villain in this story is the husband. I hated him with my entire soul, I was so frustrated and angry at the way he made the main character feel small and unimportant, the way he gaslighted her, made her doubt herself, and try to make her be seen as silly. Honestly, all the husbands in this book were shitty. I think this book did a great job of exploring the roles white women were confined to in the 90s, especially housewives living in the suburbs, and how everyone saw them as unimportant and silly. While at the same time showing the privileges they had and that marginalized communities and, in this case, especially Black women and Black communities didn’t have.

Also, this book has some truly disgusting scenes that made me feel gross-out, there are also infuriating scenes where the main character is gaslighted, there are so many sad and frustrating moments between the core friends that were part of the book club, this book truly made me feel so many things. The ending was bittersweet, realistic, and also satisfying.

Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez

If you told me before this year that a short story collection was going to make it into my list of favorite books of the year, I wouldn’t have believed you. Nonetheless, while there were stories that didn’t completely work for me, the other stories were so incredible that I couldn’t help but love the book.

This collection does a good job of commenting on subjects like poverty, addiction, feminicide, police brutality, and so much more, through a gothic lens and with a touch of paranormal elements (a lot of them related to Argentinian folklore). Most of the stories are disturbing and quietly eerie, some with grotesque moments, some transmitting very well the sense of dread and fear of the characters, and a lot of them with spooky and mysterious circumstances. The author leaves the resolution of a lot of the stories up to the reader’s imagination, so it feels like they end quite abruptly, which is a bit jarring but ends up working really well to maintain the sense of uneasiness that the stories create.

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

It had been a while since I got really interested and invested in a story, but this book managed to suck me in. Even tho, I was so confused at the beginning because it’s that kind of book that throws you in the middle of the story, the world, the characters and doesn’t really hold your hand. But as the story progresses you start to understand more and more, and it becomes a rewarding experience of figuring it all out.

This book has incredible main characters, Gideon is likable, sassy, and entertaining, and Harrow is fierce and focused on getting what she wants, both of them are very damaged by their shared past. I loved the dynamic between them, their banter, and all the angst. It was my favorite part of the book. The side characters are really good too and by the end, I felt like they were very distinctive and I could differentiate them easily. The mystery about this abandoned palace and its previous inhabitants, as well as the whodunnit aspects, are very compelling.

What are your favorite books of 2021? If you had to choose one book that you read in 2021 for me to read, which one would it be?

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Merry Christmas + Blogmas Wrap Up | Blogmas Day 25

Hi everyone! I want to wish a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of those who celebrate and in general, I want to send the best wished and vibes to everyone, I hope you are all having a lovely day.

For the last day of Blogmas, I want to thank everyone that has read, liked and comment on my blogmas posts. I had a lot of fun doing blogmas this year and I’m happy that so many people enjoyed the content I put out and took the time to interact with me and my content.

To wrap up this 25 days of posting, I’ll just share the links to all my blogmas posts in case you missed any of them:

Recommendations

Reviews

Goals

Anticipated Releases of 2021 + Anticipated Adaptations

Books to Read in 2021

End of the Year Lists

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Books that Wrecked Me in 2020 | Blogmas Day 17

Hi everyone! When I started to write this post, I had no idea that I had read so many books that made me sad or emotional in 2020. I usually like reading fluffy, fun, adventurous books more than heartbreaking ones, but this year I made a lot of exceptions to that without realizing it and today I want to talk about them.

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

Plot: Mila’s best friend and two other girls from her school die and everyone thinks it’s a suicide pact, but Mila doesn’t believe it, so she brings the girls back to life through witchcraft to uncover the truth, but they only have 7 days to do it.

This book actually is very fun and entertaining, but the ending, which is very obvious from the premise of the book, was really sad and I ended up crying, which I don’t do often.

A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti

Plot: something tragic happens to Annabelle and, as a response to it, she runs from Seattle to Washington, DC and tries to process and heal from what happened.

This is a heavy book, it’s a powerful story about ptsd, grief and slowly healing. From the beginning, we know that something happened and that it’s the product of toxic masculinity, but it’s not clear what happened and learning the details was still devastating and I definitely teared up while reading it.

More Happy than Not by Adam Silvera

Plot: Aaron is struggling after a family tragedy and his new best friend, Thomas, helps him get throught it. As Thomas and Aaron get closer, Aaron discovers things about himself that he wants to forget, and a revolutionary memory-alteration procedure might be the solution.

This book is full of twist and turns that make this book really interesting and complex. The ending was heartbreaking, bittersweet and shocking and it wrecked me.

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

Plot: People have lost the ability to dream and this has led to widespread madness. The marrow of Indigenous people holds the cure for the rest of the world, but getting it means death for the unwilling donors. This is the story of a fifteen-year-old and his companions struggling to survival while being hunted.

This book has an interesting but devastating concept, there was a point while reading when I couldn’t help but think “WHAT ELSE ARE YOU GOING TO DO TO THEM?!” because things keep going wrong.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Plot: In a world where natural disasters are constantly happening, there are people who are able to manipulate the earth to ease them and these people are treated as slaves. The story revolve around three women who have these powers.

This book is brilliant but the journey all of the characters go through is heartbreaking. The last 80 pages made me feel hopeless and angry and devastated. This book was one bad thing happening after another and there was an actual flashforward that skipped the part where the characters were happy just to continue with the terrible things. The reason why is explained in the book but it was still very hard to read.

Jade City by Fonda Lee

Plot: this story is about a war between two clans over magical jade, but it mainly revolves around the family that leads one of the clans.

There’s one scene in this book that broke my heart, I was like “NOOOOO” and Fonda Lee was “oh yes”. This book hurt me so badly because I was so invested in the story and I loved the main characters so much.

The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

Plot: Rin is a poor, brown girl who gets into a very prestiguos combat school and it’s trained for war, and when war comes she has to do terrible things to stay alive and to win the war.

This book is overall very grim because it’s about war and while the ending is pretty devasting, the reason this is on this list is that something happened that shocked me and made me angry, because some characters were treated as disposable and I think it was on purpose to show how a lot of people are treated during a war by the people in power, but I didn’t love it. So what happened hurt and the way it was handled hurt too.

The Test by Sylavain Neuvel

Plot: This is the story of an Iranian immigrant who’s taking the British citizenship test so he and his family can stay in the UK, but it turns out nothing is what it seems. 

This is a quick, interesting and twisted novella about the choices we make and the choices we have to live with. There are lots of twists and turns and most of them are sad and frustrating. The ending is devastating and it made me so angry.

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

Plot: This is the story of three generations of the Trueba family, a story set in Chile that mixes the personal and the political. It’s an epic novel of love, magic, and fate. 

The last 100 pages of this book are brutal and brilliant, I teared up reading them and I was incredibly emotionally affected by everything that happened. The ending was heartbreaking and it was such a painful commentary on the cyclyc nature of violence

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrick Backman

Plot: This is the story ofan elderly man’s struggle to hold on to his most precious memories, and his family’s efforts to care for him even as they must find a way to let go.

This was an emotional and moving novella. I cried from beginning to end, every word in this was heart wrenching.

Land of the Cranes by Aida Salazar

Plot: This book tells the story of an undocumented Mexican girl living in the States, and it addresses the nightmare that thousands of people are currently living in the United States thanks to the zero-tolerance policies and mass deportations of the current government.

I had a lump in my throat the entire time I was reading this. This book is brutal and the poetry in the book is so evocative and the fact that it’s a little girl, who doesn’t entirely understand what’s happening, the one that tells the story makes it even more effective in transmitting how devastating the whole situation is. This book is heartbreaking in a way that only fantastic books can be.

Waht books wrecked you in 2020? Have You read any of the books I mentioned?

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The Anti-TBR Tag: books I’m not interested in reading

Hi everyone! Today, I’m excited to share my first tag of 2020. I’m usually not the biggest fan of tags hence this being the first one I do this year and we are already in November, but when I saw this tag I thought it would be cool to talk about books that I’m NOT going to read for a change.

This tag was originally created by NICOLE (@nicoleandherbooks), go check out their video!

Without further ado, here are the books I’m not interested in reading:

a popular book everyone loves but you have no interest in reading?

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

This book ahs been popular for a long time now and I have never thought about reading it. So many of my friends on Goodreads gave this book 4 or 5 stars and not even that has made me consider reading this. It just doesn’t sound interesting to me at all.

a classic book/author you don’t have an interest in reading?

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

I have a few answers for this question, but Moby Dick is the book that I feel most certain that I will never read. The tale of a white man and a whale is not something that I’m interested in.

an author whose books you have no interest in reading?

Stephenie Meyer

I read the Twilight series back in high school, about 10 years ago, and I thought it was ok, I even read The Host and enjoyed it. But I have no inclination to pick up any of her newer books, especially since she doesn’t seem to have any original or new ideas for books and it’s just releasing different versions of Twilight and hurting indigenous communities in the process.

a problematic author whose books you have no interest in reading?

Scott Lynch

I have a few, but the first one that comes to mind is Scott Lynch. I dnfed The Lies of Locke Lamora about 6 years ago while I was halfway through it because I was bored, but a couple years ago I started to hear everyone talk about how amazing the series was again and I was tempted to pick it up and give it another chance. But then this year, it came out that he manipulated and mistreated female authors and I inmidiately took his books out of my tbr.

an author you have read a couple books from and decided their books are not for you?

Cassandra Clare

It’s not so much that I decided that her books are not for me (because I have really enjoyed a lot of her books), but I decided this year that I’m done with Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters world. I read The Mortal Instruments series, The Infernal Devices Trilogy, The Tales of the Shadowhunter Academy, and 2 books in The Dark Artifices trilogy. I may read Queen of Air and Darkness to finish that trilogy, but after that I’m done with that world, I’m not interested anymore so I won’t pick up any of the newer books.

a genre you have no interest in OR genre you tried and couldn’t get into?

Dark Romance

I’m honestly open to try any genre, but Dark Romance is a subgenre that I don’t enjoy and I’m not interested in reading. I find some of the taboo topics that are addressed in this subgenre to be a bit disturbing and they make me uncomfortable.

a book you bought but will never read OR a library book you borrowed but returned unread?

Tres Tristes Tigres by Guillermo Cabrera Infante

I could choose a few different books for this answer because there was a time when I felt bad for reading so many books by english-language authors and I felt pressuared to read more well-known authors from Latin American countries, so during that time I got a bunch of books that I don’t think I’ll ever read. I think the book I’m less likely to read from that group is Tres Tristes Tigres by Guillermo Cabrera Infante.

a series you have no interest in reading OR a series you started but have dnf’d?

The Reign of the Fallen duology by Sarah Glenn Marsh

I had the first book, Reign of the Fallen, on my tbr for years and, at the beginning of 2020 I finally read it and I was extremely disappointed. The sapphic romance, which was one of the things that I was looking forward to, was the biggest problem of the book. I hated that relatinship and you can learn why by reading my review. I definitely won’t read book 2.

a new release you have no interest in reading? 

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

A 2020 release that I have no interest in reading is The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Usually prequels are not my thing, so I wasn’t interested to begin with, but when it was announced that the main character was Snow, I lost any curiosity that I may have had about it. Also, the terrible reviews didn’t help.

What are some books or authors that you are not interested in reading?
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Latinx Book Bingo + Latinxathon TBR | Latinx Heritage Month 2020

Hi everyone! This post is a bit early but I’m so excited about the readathons taking place this Latinx Heritage Month that I couldn’t wait any longer to put together my tbr and share it with you all. I chose a lot of short books because I’m going to try to read 16 books and while I’m not worried about the amount of books, I’m concern about the fact that I’m going to have a set tbr that it’s that long since I’m a mood reader, but I’ll give it my all!

If you don’t know I’m one of the hosts of the  Latinx Book Bingo, this is the third year this readathon is taking place and it goes from September 15th to October 15th. On the other hand, the Latinxathon takes place from September 15th to September 24th. Both readathons share the same group book as part of an initiative called #LatinxLitTakeover.

For the Latinxaton there are 5 prompts:

  1. VOICES: Read a book written by an Indigenous and/or Black Latinx author.
  2. LATINIDAD: Read a book written by an intersectional Latinx author. 
  3. ROOTS: Read a translated book or a book prominently featuring more than one language
  4. HERITAGE: Read a book written by an author from a non-Spanish speaking Latin American country/heritage
  5. #LatinxLitTakeover: Read the group Book

And for the Latinx Book Bingo, the idea is to read books that fit the prompts of this bingo board:

Without further ado, here’s my tbr:

Afro-Latinx MC/ Voices:

Here to Stay by Adriana Herrera (Goodreads | Amazon)

Julia moved to Dallas with her boyfriend, who ended up breaking up with her and moving back to NYC, despide that, Julia decides to stay in Dallas because she got an amazing new job. The only problem is Rocco, a fellow new yorker, who is in Dallas temporarily for a job- which entails proving that Julia’s job isn’t needed.

Since I’m attempting to read so many books, I obviously put a lot of romances on this tbr because I fly through them. I have read all 7 of Adriana Herrera’s books and I’m highly anticipating Here to Stay, which comes out on August 25th. Adriana Herrera is Afro-Dominican and the main character in this book is too.

Lighthearted Story / Heritage:

Crashing into Her by Mia Sosa (Goodreads | Amazon)

Eva moves to L.A. and she wants to do stunt work, but first she needs training, the problem is that her instructor ends up being a previous one night stand that she can’t stop thinking about. Anthony only does flings but he hasn’t been able to stop thinking about Eva since their night together either.

This is the third book in a series of companion novels. I enjoyed the other two books in the series as well as Sosa’s newest release The Worst Best Man, so I can’t wait to read it. Mia Sosa is a Black Brazilian American woman and in this book, the heroine is Black and the hero is Latino.

Set in LATAM / Roots:

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel (Goodreads | Amazon)

Tita has been forbidden to marry and she has to look after her mother until she dies. But Tita falls in love with Pedro, and he is seduced by the magical food she cooks. Pedro marries her sister Rosaura so that he can stay close to her, so that Tita and Pedro are forced to circle each other in unconsummated passion. Only a freakish chain of tragedies, bad luck and fate finally reunite them against all the odds.

I’m the reader in my family, my parents and my sister don’t read that much, but they have all read this book and I have not and it’s time to change that. This book is set in Mexico, it has Mexican characters and the author is Mexican too. I’ll be reading the original Spanish version of the book.

Any book by a Latinx Author:

The Dream Weaver by Reina Luz Alegre (Goodreads | Amazon)

Zoey’s grandfather owns a historic bowling alley on the Jersey Shore that it’s in danger of closing, so Zoey enlists the help of a group of kids practicing for a summer bowling tournament and they hatch a grand plan to save the place.

I’m not the biggest Middle Grade reader, but I saw the author in a panel for a virtual festival and she was so sweet and her book sounded lovely, so I immediately got it and I have been saving it to read during Latinx Heritage Month. Both the main character and the author of this book are Cuban American.

Backlist tittle:

Journey through the Socialist Countries by Gabriel García Márquez (Goodreads)

Before he was a well- known author, Gabriel García Márquez was a journalist and he wrote a series of chronicles – that are included in this book – after spending 3 months during 1957 in the Socialist Bloc: East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and the USSR.

I usually love Gabriel García Márquez’s non-fiction works a lot more than his fiction and this book sounds so interesting, I’m hoping I’ll love it! Unfortunately, this book hasn’t been translated to English. The author of this book is Colombian.

Rec’ed by a Latinx Reader:

Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz (Goodreads | Amazon)

This book is set in an alternate contemporary world, in which riders and their dragons compete in an international sports tournament. The story revolves around Lana, who is part of the team representing Puerto Rico in the tournament, until an international conspiracy threatens her dream.

I have an arc of this and it sounds amazing, so it’s going to be one of the first things I pick up for the readathon especially since I want to read it before the release date on October 6th. My friend Carol read it recently and gave it 5 stars so I’m counting it as a rec’ed by a Latinx reader. The author and the main character of this book are Puerto Rican.

Nonfiction:

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado (Goodreads | Amazon)

This is a memoir where Carmen Maria Machado talks about her experiences in an abusive same-sex relationship while using a series of narrative tropes—including classic horror themes—to create an entirely unique piece of work.

I have heard nothing but great things about this one and I’m so intrigued about the unique and inventive way this memoir is supposed to be written in. The author of this book is Cuban American.

On Cover Rep:

Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe by Carlos Hernandez (Goodreads | Amazon)

Sal Vidon creates wormholes and his father, a calamity physicist, is trying to shut the wormholes down to stop him from eroding the very fabric of our world. Meanwhile, Sal and Gabi have to try to make everything right with our world when there is a rogue Gabi from another universe running loose seeking revenge for the fact that her world has been destroyed.

The first book in this series is my favorite Middle Grade of all time and Gabi is one of my favorite characters, so I’m incredibly excited to read the sequel! The main characters as well as the author are Cuban American.

Never Before Read Latinx author:

A Taste of Sage by Yaffa S. Santos (Goodreads | Amazon)

Lumi is a chef with a gift: she can perceive a person’s emotions by tasting their cooking. After her own restaurant fails,  she is forced to take a position as a sous chef at a restaurant owned by Julien Dax, a celebrated chef. She is so irritated by him that she vows to never to taste his cooking, but after she takes a bite one day and is overcome with shocking emotion, she finds herself beginning to crave his cooking.

I’m always looking for new Latinx romance authors and I’m excited to give Yaffa S. Santos a chance. Also, I’m really curious about a romance book with slight touches of magical realism. The main character as well as the author are Dominican American.

Cover with Latinx Flag Colors:

The Infamous Miss Rodriguez by Lydia San Andres (Goodreads | Amazon)

Graciela Rodriguez is determined to break her engagement to Ciudad Real’s most eligible bachelor—even if it means ruining her reputation. Vicente Aguirre has been hired by Graciela’s aunt to keep her from damaging the family name. When her charms prove irresistible, will he fall for the infamous Miss Rodriguez?

I’m determinated to find some new Latinx romance authors during Latinx Heritage Month, so here’s another author I have never read before. One of my friends loves this book so I’m hoping I’ll like it too! This is set in a made up island in the Caribbean and the author is also from the Caribbean.

Awards Winning:

Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica (Goodreads | Amazon)

This book takes place in a future where canibalism has become normal. The main character works at a local processing plant, where humans are slaugther though no one calls them that anymore. Then one day he is given live specimen as a gift and she changes the way he sees things.

I only heard about this book recently and it sound fascinating and unique. This book is set in Argentina, it has Argentinian characters and the author is also form Argentina. The translated version came our earlier this year, but I’ll be reading the orignal Spanish version.

Group Book / #LatinxLitTakeover:

By Any Means Necessary by Candice Montgomery (Goodreads | Amazon)

Torrey is trying to balance her freshman year of collage and trying to save the bee farm his uncle left him after his death. Torrey would love nothing more than to leave behind the family that’s bleeding him dry, but he cares about the project of his uncle’s heart. As notice letters pile up , dividing himself between family and future becomes impossible unless he sacrifices a part of himself.

This book sounds really good and I tend to enjoy books with complicated family dynamics, so I’m hoping to love it! The author of this book is Afro-Brazilian, the main character is a Black and Gay and the love interest is Afro-Brazilian.

2020 Release:

Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez (Goodreads | Amazon)

This book is set in Argentina and it’s about Camila, a rising soccer star, who must put everything on the line—even her blooming love story—to follow her dreams of playing Soccer and getting an athletic scholarship to a North American university.

I have an e-arc of this, it comes out on September 15th and it’s going to be the first thing I read once the readathon starts. I’m hoping to post my review on the 16th or 17th at the latest. This is set in Argentina, it has Argentinian characters and the author is Argentinian.

Queer Rep/ Latinidad:

Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore (Goodreads | Amazon)

In 1518, a strange sickness makes women dance in the streets, some until they fall down dead. As rumors of witchcraft spread, suspicion turns toward Lavinia and her family, and she will have to try to save them. Five centuries later, a pair of red shoes seal to Rosella Oliva’s feet, making her dance uncontrollably. They draw her toward Emil, whose family was blamed for the fever five hundred years ago. But there’s more to what happened in 1518 than even Emil knows.

I have read 2 books by McLemore in the past and really enjoyed them, so I really want to get to their newer releases. Rosella is Latina and Emil is trans and the story is Own Voices for both of those identities.

Immigrant Story:

The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (Goodreads | Amazon)

One of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans. After the election of 2016, Conrnejo Villavicencio wrote her immigration lawyer’s phone number on her hand in Sharpie and embarked on a trip across the country to tell the stories of her fellow undocumented immigrants–and to find the hidden key to her own.

I don’t read that much nonfiction but for this particulary subject (immigration), I really wanted to read some real life stories and that’s why I chose this book. The author of this book is from Ecuador.

Intersectional MC:

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Andeson (Goodreads | Amazon)

After Mila’s best friend and two other girls died , Mila refuses to accept that it was some kind of two Fairmont Academy mean girls. So she brings the girls back to life, unfortunately they have no recollection of their murders, but they do have unfinished business to attend to. With only seven days until the spell wears off , Mila must work fast to discover their murderer…before the killer strikes again. 

This book was on my tbr for last year’s Latinx Book Bingo and I didn’t get to it, so it needs to happen this round! The author is Afro-Boricua and the main character is Latinx and Fat and the rep for both of those things is Own Voices.

Are you participating in the Latinx Book Bingo? Have you picked the books for your tbr?
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April TBR: Anticipated Releases + Latinx Book Club + Mystery & SFF Books

Hi everyone! It’s that time of the month again when I put together my tbr. With the currrent situation that we are living around the world, I haven’t been reading that much because I don’t seem to be able to concentrate on books, especially if they are long. So for April I decided to pick up some of the short books on my tbr, some of my most anticipated releases or books that I feel excited about to see if I actually manage to get back into reading.

As always, I have a list below with the goals and challenges that I want to keep track of in 2020, I chose an emoji that represents each one and next to each of the books on my tbr, I’ll put the emoji of the goal or challenge that that book is going to help me fullfil.

  • Read 20 fantasy books in 2020 (🔮)
  • Read 35 books by Latinx authors in 2020 (🔥)
  • Keep reading diverse books: by Asian authors (☁️), by black authors (🌞), other #ownvoices rep (🌈)
  • Read 50 books by the #StartOnYourShelfathon challenge (⭐)
  • Read the 20 books on my tbr for the #StartOnYourShelfathon challenge (💫)
  • Read a book from a genre that’s not fantasy or romance (🦄)

Without further ado, here is my Febraury tbr:

You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle: This sounds so good and I’m counting the days until it’s out and I’m able to read it. Release date:  April 7th 2020 

☁️ Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai: I read the first book in this series in 2019 and I thought it was just ok, but I’m excited about this one because I think I’ll like it more. Release date: April 21st 2020 

🔥🔮 Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega: I love Claribel and I have been waiting for this book for so long, I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Release date: April 7th 2020

🦄🔥⭐ The Victoria in My Head by Janelle Milanes: I’m reading this for the Latinx Book Club, which I co-host on Twitter and Goodreads.

🦄⭐An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena: This sounds like an Agatha Christie book and I can’t wait to read it.

🦄⭐ A Question of Holmes by Brittany Cavallaro: I really want to finish this series and find out what happens to Jamie and Charlotte.

🔮Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski: I read the prequel/first book of this series in March and I really liked and I’m curious about what happens next.

🦄To Be Taught, If Fortunate y Becky Charmbers: Since I want to read the nominees for the Booktube SFF awards and this one is really short, I thought it would a great pick for April.

🦄The Test by Sylvain Neuvel: same as the one before, it’s nominated for the Booktube SFF awards and it’s really short, so it was perfect for April.

What are your reading plans for February? If you want to buddy read any of the books on my tbr, let me know in the comments!

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Book Review: Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey

Title: Love Her or Lose Her

Author: Tessa Bailey

Series: Hot & Hammered #2

Published by: Avon

Publishing date: January 14th 2020

Genre: Romance

Pages: 384

Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, madly in love. Well, they used to be anyway. Now Rosie’s lucky to get a caveman grunt from the ex-soldier every time she walks in the door. Dom is faithful and a great provider, but the man she fell in love with ten years ago is nowhere to be found. When her girlfriends encourage Rosie to demand more out of life and pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she decides to demand more out of love, too. Three words: marriage boot camp.

Never in a million years did Rosie believe her stoic, too-manly-to-emote husband would actually agree to relationship rehab with a weed-smoking hippy. Dom talking about feelings? Sitting on pillows? Communing with nature? Learning love languages? Nope. But to her surprise, he’s all in, and it forces her to admit her own role in their cracked foundation. As they complete one ridiculous—yet surprisingly helpful—assignment after another, their remodeled relationship gets stronger than ever. Except just as they’re getting back on track, Rosie discovers Dom has a secret… and it could demolish everything.

Goodreads | Amazon

I have been waiting to read Love Her or Lose Her since I finished Fix Her Up, the first book in the series, about six months ago. In that book there were glimpses of Rosie and Dom’s relationship that left me incredibly intrigued and I couldn’t wait to find out more, so off course I read it as soon as it came out and while I enjoyed a lot of things about it, ultimately it didn’t live up to my expectations.

I loved Rosie right away and as I kept reading I could relate more and more to her. She is such a strong, brave, determined character that’s flawed and has insecurities, but works to overcome them. And then there’s Dom, I’ll admite that I have my issues with Dom, he’s very alpha male, the protective guy who can be a bit too possesive and he has some very antiquated ideas about being the provider for his wife and men not showing emotions. I think he had internalized a lot of toxic masculinity and it was hurting him and ruining his marriage and he had to work on that, and while he doesn’t completely change these aspects, he learns to see why they are wrong or why they can be harmful and that’s depicted well in the book, even if I wanted to see those realizations taken further. But despite the things they needed to work on indivudually and as a couple, the chemistry between Rosie and Dom was fantastic and it was so evident anytime they were together in this book.

I actually really enjoyed the first half of this book, mainly because of the way it depicted two people that loved each other but that had stopped putting work into their marriage, two people who had to accept that things in their marriage were not ok and that both of them had played a part in getting to the point they were in and both of them had to be commited to try and work through their issues and choose to stay and fight for their marriage. I think the book did a good job of showing that whole process with all its ups and downs in the first half.

Nonetheless, the second part of the book revolved around such a ridiculous conflict and that’s where my issue with this book was. I spent so much of the second half wanting to scream at Dom “JUST TELL HER ALREADY”. This book uses the miscomunitation trope, which is a trope I strongly dislike, and in this book it’s worse because the first half was spent getting the characters to learn to communicate and then the conflict in the second half relied on them not doing it. And while I understand that growing and changing doesn’t happen in a day, so off course there were still going to be problems with the communication, this conflict was so ridiculous that it was pretty annoying. The worst of all is that the conflict dragged for a long time and I was bored. And then the resolution was incredibly rushed and I kept thinking that if less time was spent in such a ridiculous conflict more time could have been spent seeing the characters getting to a good place again.

Overall, there were a lot of things I liked about Love Her or Lose Her, but my enjoyment was severely affected by the conflict in the second half of the story. Nonetheless, I’m still really excited to read the next book in the series, the glimpses of the main couple that are present in this book left me wanting more.

Rating: 3,6 stars

Have you read this book? How did you feel about it? Do you agree with my opinion?

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Most Disappointing Books of 2019 | Blogmas Day 23

Hi everyone! Today I’m talking about some books that ended up disappointing me because they didn’t live up to my expectations. These are not the worst books I read this year, just books that for one reason or another, left me feeling disappointed after finishing them. If you are curious, here are my 7 Most Disappointing Books of 2017 and my Most Disappointing Books of 2018.

Without further ado, here are my most disappointing books of 2019:

The Last Swipe by Alisha Rai

What’s this book about?  This is the story of Rhiannon and Samson, who hooked up once thanks to a dating app and decided they wanted to see each other again. Unfortunetely, do to circumstance one of the parties felt ghosted. Then they meet again and realize that they are working for two rival dating app and they find themselves at odds in the boardroom, but in sync in the bedroom.

Why is on this list?  I heard so many great things about this book right when it came out, so I had huge expectations when I decided to pick it up and while I didn’t dislike this, I didn’t like it as much as everyone else seemed to. I felt disconnected from the characters and I never got fully into the story and I think it may have been the writing style that made me feel that way. Still, I’m giving the second book a chance to see if I enjoy it more.

The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro

What’s this book about? Since this is a sequel I won’t tell you what’s about, but I’ll say that the series is a reimagining of Sherlock and Watson, but told in the perspective of their descendants, Charlotte and Jamie, and it’s set in modern day.

Why is on this list?  After loving the first book ar the beginning of 2019, I started this sequel with huge expectations and unfortunately I was let down. This was a fast and entertaining read, but the mystery left something to be desired, for most of the book, the characters were chasing a lead that wasn’t important and it was frustrating to feel like a lot of what happened in the book was pointless. I was confused the entire time while reading this and I was left confused after I finished it.  Also, there was absolutely no character development. (More of my thoughts)

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

What’s this book about? Dr. Watson, who has just returned from a war in Afghanistan, meets Sherlock Holmes for the first time when they become flat-mates at the famous 221 B Baker Street. Dr. Watson tags along with Holmes as he investigates a murder at Lauriston Gardens while narratively detailing his amazing deductive abilities.

Why is on this list?  I’m a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes TV shows and movies, so I though it was about time I picked up one of the books. But the dry and boring writing style, as well as the weird structure used to tell the story made me not enjoy the reading experience at all. This jumps 20 years in the past to tell a different story, so we actually don’t see Sherlock and Watson for a big part of the book, which was what I was interested in. Also, there were almost no clues, no interrogations and honestly, there’s barely any information about the crime that was committed and the resolution didn’t really make sense (Review)

Finders Keepers by Stephen King

What’s this book about? Since this is a sequel I won’t tell you what’s about, but I’ll say that this series is about retired cop Bill Hodges, who becomes a private detective and solves crimes with two unlikely allies.

Why is on this list?  After finished the first book and loving it, I started Finders Keepers inmediately and it was one of the mosr frustrating reading experiences of my life. My main issue was that the main characters of the series didn’t show up until like 60% of the way through the book and I was so bored before that. The first part of this book was slow and I think the backstory could have been a lot shorter.

Crush, Interrupted by Zaida Polanco

What’s this book about? When a down-on-her-luck writer gets the opportunity to house-sit at her friend’s fancy condo for a few weeks, she jumps at the chance. What she hadn’t planned on, however, is her best friend’s brother crashing at the condo as well. Her best friend’s very very hot brother who just so happens to be the one that got away.

Why is on this list?  I have been looking for more romance Latinx authors, so I was incredibly excited when I heard Zaida Polanco’s ebooks were free on Amazon. I got 3 of her books and I inmideately started reading this one and I was so disappointed. The first 70% was really bad,  the writing wasn’t the best and the romance made no sense at all.  Even if it got a bit better at the end, it wasn’t that much better.

What books disappointed you in 2019? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? How did you think about them?

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The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro | Buddy Read Discussion

Buddy Read Discussion

Hi everyone! Like I mentioned in my last wrap up, I’m doing a buddy read with Rebecca @ Bookishly Rebecca and Jenna @ Bookmark Your Thoughts for books 2, 3 and 4 of the Charlotte Holmes series by Brittany Cavallaro. As a way to share the thoughts of all three of us in our blogs, Jenna (inspired by Chaz and Marie), suggested that we should try a “buddy read discussion” post, so that’s what we are doing today! We will be sharing our thoughts on The Last of August, the second book in the series. This ended up being a super interesting discussion since we had very different opinions about the book, as you’ll see.

The Last of August

Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter-break reprieve after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But Charlotte isn’t the only Holmes with secrets, and the mood at her family’s Sussex estate is palpably tense. On top of everything else, Holmes and Watson could be becoming more than friends—but still, the darkness in Charlotte’s past is a wall between them.

A distraction arises soon enough, because Charlotte’s beloved uncle Leander goes missing from the estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring. The game is afoot once again, and Charlotte is single-minded in her pursuit.

Their first stop? Berlin. Their first contact? August Moriarty (formerly Charlotte’s obsession, currently believed by most to be dead), whose powerful family has been ripping off famous paintings for the last hundred years. But as they follow the gritty underground scene in Berlin to glittering art houses in Prague, Holmes and Watson begin to realize that this is a much more complicated case than a disappearance. Much more dangerous, too.

What they learn might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.

Goodreads | Amazon 

Without further ado, here are our thoughts about The Last of August:

Q1. That ending was … wow. Without giving away spoilers, what were your thoughts? Were you expecting that outcome?

Jenna: “Honestly, I liked how I did NOT see it coming. So to answer the second question, no … I did NOT see that coming at all. The last 3 chapters were probably my favouite parts of the novel, since the action started to pick up more.”

Sofia: “Even before starting this book I guessed one of the big things that happened at the end, but I did doubt it a bit throughout the book. So in a sense I was expecting the final outcome, but a lot of the situations and characters surrounding that outcome were surprising to me.”

Rebecca: “I most definitely was not expecting it. Maybe it’s because I don’t read many mystery books or thrillers, but I did not see that coming. While I didn’t see it coming, I do think that the ending made sense with the tone of the story. It just wasn’t exactly what I had pictured.”

Q2. What elements and topics did “The Last of August” execute better than its predecessor, “The Study in Charlotte”? What elements and topics did it not execute as well?

Jenna: “I found the character development and depthness to them was better executed in this novel, in addition to the mystery element. But I found the intensity and action was more well-balanced in the first book.”

Sofia: “I want to start by saying that I think this book was a good book, BUT I can’t think of anything that it executed better than the first book. I’ll talk about the characters in the next question, so for now I’ll focus on the mystery. I think the mystery could have turn out to be more interesting that the mystery in the first book, but it ended up being confusing and frustrating, because for most of the book, the characters are chasing a lead that it’s not actually that important t and even tho looking back I can see that there were hints about that not being as important, it’s still frustrating to feel like a lot of what happened was pointless.”

Rebecca: “I’m going to agree with Sofia and say that I didn’t notice much that was executed better than the first book. I felt pretty middle-of-the-road about both so I didn’t see much difference. As for what wasn’t executed as well, I think that mystery was WAY more confusing than it needed to be. It felt like Brittany Cavallaro took the long way around to unravel this mystery rather than making it a bit more straight-forward.”

Q3. Do you feel like Charlotte and Jamie went through character growth between books one and two? Do you feel like their relationship changed between one book and the other?

Jenna: “I do. I feel as though we get to know a bit more about them. But I also feel like they change themselves, adapting to their new surroundings and from the events that took place in the first book — especially Watson. Their relationship definitely changed … but I still feel like it wasn’t explored enough.”

Sofia: “As someone that absolutely loved Charlotte and Jamie in book one and that enjoyed their relationship inmensly, I was disappointed with The Last of August. I didn’t feel like there was any character development, I felt like Jamie was childish at some points and I didn’t know how to feel regarding some of his thoughts and actions towards Charlotte and the sexual assault theme in this book. Also, I was very frustrated with Charalotte and how she handled the mystery and all the things she kept to herself. In terms of their relationship, that in book one was full of banter, tension and chemistry, in book two it became an endless, frustrating back and forth and for the most part it was not as entertatining”

Rebecca: “I think so but maybe not for the better. If anything, I felt like Charlotte and Jamie both did a backslide in terms of their characters especially Charlotte. She seemed like a shell of her former self in this book compared to who she was in A Study in Charlotte and the same can be said for Jamie who played his sidekick role to a tee. As for their relationship, I think it was extremely unhealthy for both of them and that August only pushed a wedge further into it.”

Q4. Finally, what do you anticipate to occur in its sequel “The Case for Jamie”?

Jenna: “From what I can tell with the title, Watson’s going to have his OWN troubles that will need solving. I also think there’s going to be a lot of Watson and Holmes growing as characters APART before they are the amazing dynamic duo we all know and love. And I think it’s going to get darker, since that seems to be the trend so far.”

Sofia: “I think that Charlotte is gonna pull away from Jamie and try to solve all the problems herself. Now, for what I hope will happen, a lot of character development for Charlotte and Jamie and a mystery that doesn’t rely so much on Charlotte hiding things from Jamie as a way to keep the reader in the dark”

Rebecca: “I’ve already read book 3 and I have to say that it’s my favorite of the series. :)”

Have you read the Charlotte Holmes series? What are your thoughts on it? 
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