February 2021 Wrap Up: a new favorite Black romance author and so much more

Hi everyone! I was in a bit of a reading slump during February, which is why I mostly read short books and especially romance books. This month a discovered a new favorite Black romance author, which was super exciting and that’s why I read 5 of her books in a row. Overall, february was a month of reading some amazing books by Blakc authors and I’m excited to share my thoughts aobut them with you.

Without further ado, here are the books I read in February:

How to Catch a Queen by Alyssa Cole (4 stars): I couldn’t stop reading this, it was SO GOOD! It was a very engaging read. I really liked the main characters, they were both very flawed but they put in the work and I really enjoyed the way they grew throughout the book. Their relationship starts really slow but I enjoyed the way it developed.

I Think I Might Love You by Christina C. Jones (4 stars): This was a quick, entertaining novella. I particularly liked the main characters, they both had captivating and unique voices and great chemistry between them. I also liked the discussion about how someone’s past doesn’t have to define their entire lives. Lastly, there are some great side characters in this book and even a side romance which was a good addition.

I Think I Might Need You by Christina C. Jones (4 stars): I really liked the main characters and the plot was very engaging. In the beginning, I was sure the chemistry was there between the two main characters, but they won me over and by the end, I was a huge fan of their relationship. The only issue I had was that the secret of who the baby’s dad was dragged a bit too long for such a short novella.

I Think I Might Want You by Christina C. Jones (3 stars): This was my least favorite book of the series. I liked Jemma, but I didn’t like Levi that much. The way he spoke didn’t feel natural at all and it was kind of pretentious. Also, it felt like Jemma spent the entire time going in circles, which wasn’t very entertaining to read about.

Getting Schooled by Christina C. Jones (4 stars): This was such a fun book! A great hate to love romance, the main characters had so much chemistry and the banter between them was great. Also, I really enjoyed Jay’s relationship with his family as well as Reese’s relationship with her mom and Devin; including those relationships added a lot to the stories.

Pulling Doubles by Christina C. Jones (3.5 stars): This sounded like a book I would love, but sadly, it was only ok for me. I think mainly it had to do with the fact that I don’t like the “He acted like he hated her to hide that he liked her” trope, so in the beginning, I wasn’t that invested in the relationship. But also, there were some conflicts that were thrown in there but not really resolved, and something happens at the end that was unnecessary, didn’t work well, and made the ending feel abrupt.

A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore (3.5 stars): This was definitely not as good as the first book in the series. Mainly because the main characters were really unlikeable at times and because the connection and chemistry between them weren’t really there at the beginning. Nonetheless, the second half of the book is a lot stronger in terms of the romance. I enjoyed the subplot revolving around Lucie’s activism and the suffragette movement, and the discussions about how romantic love and feminist activism are not mutually exclusive.

Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor (4 stars): This was a quick read, but it was very captivating and it accomplished a lot in terms of world-building and character development for such a short amount of pages. The concept is very interesting and the execution delivers on the promise of that concept.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (4 stars): This book has a great message about letting go of regrets and Matt Haig communicates that message through incredible writing. I’ll say that it never feels like the main character and her particular journey are the actual focus of the book, it feels like they a vehicle to deliver the message that Haig is trying to convey. But this doesn’t mean that the character and her journey are not an engaging part of the book, it’s simply that they are not the most important part.

In the beginning, Haig does a better job of making sure that reading about the different lives of the main character isn’t boring, but once the main character starts to stay longer in these lives, the book does drag a little. Especially, because the message of the book is so obvious that you know what the main character is going to discover and in which life she is going to end up

So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo (5 stars): Ijeoma Oluo covers so many topics in a concise, clear and very smart way. I learned a lot, especially when it came to ways to reframe conversations and actions that can help in uncomfortable and hard situations when discussing race.

Stamped by Jason Reynolds (4,5 stars): This book was thoughtful, clear, and concise. It’s told in a tone and style that it’s easy to read and understand, the amount of skill that Jason Reynolds shows with the way he wrote this book is outstanding.

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin (4 stars): This is a powerful book that’s part essays and part memoir. It talks about the race issue in America in a way that it’s sobering and it does it through excellent writing. The way James Baldwin talks about different religions in this book and the link between religion, power, race and racism was very interesting.

Homie by Danez Smith (4 stars): This was a really good poetry collection about friendship, blackness, grief, politics, queerness, and community. As with every poetry collection, there are some poems that I liekd more than others but all of the poems in this collection are worth the read.

What is your favorite and least favorite book you read in February? Was February a good reading month for you?

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February TBR: books I want to read for Black History Month

Hi everyone! February is Black History Month and while I read books by Black authors all year (and you should too!), I wanted to put together a tbr that would help me make sure I don’t read only fantasy and romance books (which are my favorite genres). In 2021, I want to explore two genres a bit more and those genres are horror and non-fiction and I want to make sure I read diverse books within those genres, so I think this is a good way to start doing that. Which is why this tbr is fantasy, romance, horror and non-fiction.

Without further ado, here’s my tbr:

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin: I read the first book in the series for Black History Month 2020 and it’s finally time to read the sequel. This book is going to break my heart and I’m ready (I think).

A Phoenix First Must Burn: I have been meaning to read this for a while and this seemed like the perfect chance. I really wanted an anthology in this tbr as a way of discovering new authors, so I can pick up their other books later.

When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole: I love Alyssa Cole’s romance books, so I’m excited to read her first attempt at a thriller/horror book. I have heard that the commentary this book makes on gentrification is on point, so I’m looking forward to reading it.

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson: This book sounds exactly like something I would enjoy, an atmospheric, quiet book about witches and it also involves a cult, which makes it sounds even more interesting.

How to Catch a Queen by Alyssa Cole: Another Alyssa Cole book on this list because I love her romance books, I haven’t read her lastest release and this seems like the perfect time to do it.

Queen Move by Kennedy Ryan: I have heard a lot of amazing things about this book and I’m looking forward to reading a book by a Black romance author that I have never read before.

Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi: I decided to read the shorter, more accesible version of this book first, because it’s very focused on the history of the United States and I’m not from the United States. But I may pick up the longer version later on.

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin: I have watched the documentary about James Baldwin, I have watched his speeches and commentary on youtube, and I have read some of his quotes, it’s finally time I read one of his books!

What are you planning to read for Black History Month? What are your favorite books by Black authors?

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Book Recommendations for Each Zodiac Sign

Hi everyone! Today I bring you a post that took me forever to put together, so I hope you enjoy it! I have had this idea for a long time and I finally sat down and did some research about each zodiac sign and based on what I found I chose one book recommendation for each sign. Disclaimer: I’m obviously not an expert on astrology. I knew a bit about the zodiac signs but I definitely had to do research before writing this post, if there are any mistakes, I’m sorry!

In this post you will find: a basic description of the 12 zodiac sign and, based on those descriptions, a book recommendation for each zodiac sign and a few elements of the book that I think they would enjoy.

Credit for the images of the zodiac signs go to: pikisuperstar + click in the book titles to go to the Goodreads page

ARIES

People who have Aries as their sun sign love to be the hero, lead others into adventure and steal the spotlight. They fight for their beliefs and inspire others to do the same. Some of their strengths are their courage, confidence, boldness and passion. Some of their weaknesses are their impatience, impulsiveness and their tendency to be bossy.

My recommendation for Aries is Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria, in which they will find a relatable heroine. Bossy, bold, implusive and brave. With convictions so strong that she persuades her friends to fight back the powers that opprese them and follow her into the adventure of a lifetime.

TAURUS

People who have Taurus as their sun sign love great food, romance and beautiful things.  They work hard and they get the job done. Some of their strengths are their patience, practicality, loyalty and responsability. Some of their weaknesses are their stubbornness, possessiveness and tendency to be uncompromising.

My recommendations for Taurus is The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera, in which they will find a romance that will take their breath away and a heroine that’s loyal, stubborn, possesive, used to getting what she wants and that will wait however long is neccesary to be with the woman she loves.

GEMINI

People who have Gemini as their sun sign constantly flip between moods and interests, their minds move really fast so they have a million great ideas. Some of their strengths are their curiousity, adaptability, and their ability to learn quickly and exchange ideas. Some of their weaknesses are their nervousness, inconsistency and indecisiveness.

My recommendations for Gemini is A Duke By Default by Alyssa Cole, in which they will find a heroine with many hobbies and interests, who’s curious and loves to learn for the sake of learning about the topics she cares about, even if they seem useless to other people.

CANCER

People who have Cancer as their sun sign are nurturing and they like to take care of others. At first, they may be perceived as cold or distant, but with time they reveal their gentle nature. Some of their strengths are their loyalty, sympathy and persuasiveness. Some of their weaknesses are their  pessimism and insecurity.

My recommendation for Cancer is Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri, in which they will find a hero who is perceive as cold and distant by others and even by the heroine at the beginning, but that ends up being the kindest, softest man, who tries to keep the main character safe and even risks his life to do so.

LEO

People who have Leo as their sun sign are natural-born leaders and they love to be the boss. They need praise and appreciation, but they have big hearts and they always help the people they love. Some of their strengths are their creativeness, passion and cheerfulness. Some of their weaknesses are their arrogance and stubbornness.

My recommendation for Leo is Invictus by Ryan Graudin, in which they will find a passionate, arrogant and stubborn main character who decides to fulfill his dream at any cost and leads a group of his friends into a huge adventure, where he is the boss and tries to protect them.

VIRGO

People who have Virgo as their sun sign analyze everything, forming opinions and judgments. They are there when help is needed and they are an amazing listener and give the best advice. Some of their strengths are their loyalty, kindness, and practicality. Some of their weaknesses are their tendency to worry and be overly critical.

My recommendation for Virgo is Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez, in which they will meet Gabi, who is smart, loyal and kind, who has opinions about everything and sometimes can be a little quick to judge people, like she does with Sal, but then she also sees her mistakes and corrects them.

LIBRA

People who have Libra as their sun sign love to be surrounded by culture and beauty in a harmonious environment with lots of people. They can’t stand anything that’s unfair or unbalance. Some of their strengths are their tendency to be cooperative and fair-minded. Some of their weaknesses are their indecisiveness and aversion to confrontations.

My recommendation for Libra is Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno, in which they will find a peaceful and beautiful little town, full of people who know and love each other and a main character caught between cultures, who won’t stop until she saves the Marina from being sold.

SCORPIO

People who have Scorpio as their sun sign are intensed and focused, they know what they want and aren’t afraid to work hard to get it. They see every little detail and they can read people well. Some of their strengths are their resourcefulness, passion and loyalty. Some of their weaknesses are their tendency to be distrusting, stubborn and secretive.

My recommendation for Scorpio is The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa, in which they will find a main character who is focused on making her small buisness a success. She is the wedding planner who will get every little detail right and she will make sure the couple gets exactly what they want. She is resourceful, passionate and stubborn.

SAGITTARIUS

People who have sagittarius as their sun sign like open spaces with plenty of adventure. They juggle a million projects and hobbies. They have big goals and they love to tell it like it is. Some of their strengths are their idealism, open-mindedness and ambition. Some of their weaknesses are their impatiance and tendency to be undiplomatic.

My recommendation for Sagittarius is Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika & Maritza Moulite, in which they will find a main characters who is traveling to Haiti and having an adventure that may not go how she wanted. She is smart, ambitious, she has a lot of projects and plans and she gets into trouble for being outspoken and undiplomtic.

CAPRICORN

People who have capricorn as their sun sign play by the rules and follow tradition. They often think rewards arrive through suffering and sacrifice. They are devoted to their love ones. Some of their strengths are their responsability and discipline. Some of their weaknesses are their tendency to be unforgiving and condescending.

My recommendation for Capricorn is Erotic Stories For Pujabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal, in which they will find a story about traditions, cultural clashes, community, friendship, and women’s lives at all ages. A story of the sacrifices that are expected of some women and about the love that can exist between women.

AQUARIUS

People who have aquarius as their sun sign have originality and an authentic style. They are individualistic, but also naturally popular and they care deeply about social justice issues. Some of their strengths are their originality and independence. Some of their weaknesses are their tendency to be temperamental and uncompromising.

My recommendation for Aquarius is The Pros of Cons by Alison Cherry, Lindsay Ribar and Michelle Schusterman, in which they will find three girls that are all uniquely themeselves: a drummer, a fangirl and a taxidermist, who are part of three different conventions taking place in the same hotel and become friends while they help each other.

PISCES

People who have pisces as their sun sign have huge imaginations and they love art and music. They often try to run away from problems and they can easily become swallowed by emotions. Some of their strengths are their creativity, intuition and gentleness. Some of their weaknesses are their fearfulness and their tendecy to escape reality.

My recommendation for Piscis is Invitation to the Blues by Ronan Parrish, in which they will find a struggling pianist who fled his partner, his career and a hospital a few months before. In his new life, he is falling in love again but he’s very fearful about the future and overwhelmed by the choices he needs to make.

What is your sign and have you read the book I recommend for it? Did you like it? or if you haven’t read it, does it sound like something you would enjoy?

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Ranking all the books I read this month aka my February 2020 Wrap Up

Reading Wrap Up

Hi everyone! It’s time for my february wrap up and I’m excited with the new format that I’m using where I rank all the books I read from my least favorite to my favorite book of the month. The ranking is not enterily dependent on rating, so there can be books with lower ratings that are higher on the list than other books with higher ratings and that has to do with my enjoyment of the books.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted my February tbr and I’m so happy to say that I read all the books on it – even if I finished We Unleash the Merciless Storm on March 1st which is why it’s not gonna be in this wrap up. So I read 8 books on my February tbr + 6 more books that were not on it. Here’s how I ranked them:

*Click the book titles to go to the Goodreads page*

My Least Favorite Books of the Month

Unfortunately, this month I read two books that I really disliked and that I had a lot of issues with, specially in terms of characters and writing.

14. Frenemies by Emma Hart (2,5 stars): The writing in this wasn’t good and the main character was annoying, she kept going around in circles about her relationship with the love interest and then she suddenly changed her mind at the end. I think this had lots of potential, but it needed to be longer and better written.

13. Dominik by Sawyer Bennet (2,8 stars): the hero of this book was extremely arrogant and controlling, he was a very two dimentional character and even if he did get a bit better by the end, the improvement wasn’t significant. Beyond sexual chemistry, the characters didn’t have any connection and they barely speak to each other for the first half of the book. Also, the writing wasn’t the best, the inner monologues of the main characters were so repetitive.

The One I Had Issues With, But It’s Not Bad

The books I give ratings between 3 and 3,5 stars are the ones that I have a lot of issues with but they have redeeming qualities and I can see that they are not bad books.

12. American Street by Ibi Zoboi (3,4 stars): This was a quick read but I had a hard time getting into it because I didn’t like the main character, I found her naive and judgemental. Nonetheless, all the other characters were interesting. This book didn’t handle the topic of abusive relationships very well and the ending was rushed and it was deus ex machina.

The “I Mostly Liked Them, But…” Books

The “I mostly liked them, but…” books are the ones I give between 3,5 and 3,7 stars to and they are books that have small things I disliked or I had some issues with them.

11. Unbreakable by Melanie Harlow (3,7 stars): I really liked both of the main characters, they had great chemistry and they were kind and understanding with each other. There was a storyline in this that was predictable revolving around pregnancy and infertility and I think it could have been handled better.

10. Wherever You Are by Krista & Becca Ritchie (3,7 stars): This book was told in dual timelines, at the beginning it did a good job of staying in one timeline long enough to not feel jumpy, but halfway through it started to feel like a bunch of scenes haphazardly put together without a strong narrative behind them and it actually skipped some really important scenes, which annoyed me.

9. The King of Crows by Libba Bray (3,7 stars): Nothing happened in this until the very end and then when the big confrontation took place it was so anticlimatic. The ending was nothing memorable and it felt like the stakes were super low. Still I’m not mad at this book because my two favorite characters got the ending I wanted for them and that was all I was asking.

The Ones I Really Liked

I consider books I really liked the ones I give a rating somewhere between a 3,8 and a 4,4 stars.

8. The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor (3,8 stars): It took me a while to get into this, but when the action started, I got really invested in the story. This book tried to cram to much world building into very few pages and it suffered a bit for it and also I didn’t love the ending, but overall I enjoyed the conclusion to Binti’s story.

7. The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa (3,8 stars): This was a highly entertaning read, I really liked the characters and their chemistry was off the charts. Also, I LOVED the way Brazilian culture was incorporated. I know a lot of people were saying that the sex in this book was awkward and I would agree that the first sex scene was, but it got better.

6. Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole (3,8 stars): The plot of this got a bit ridiculous by the end, but I LOVED Portia and Tavish as characters and as a couple, their chemistry was amazing.

5. A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole (3,8 stars): I LOVED the main characters! Nya and Johan are precious and I loved seeing them fall in love and get their happily ever after. I think the whole storyline with Nya’s father was resolved in a very weird and rushed way, but beyond that I really enjoyed it

4. Can’t Escape Love by Alyssa Cole (4 stars): This book has the most adorable, nerdy couple I have ever encountered in a romance book. I LOVED both of the main characters. There was a point where this book had me at the verge of tears just because the hero felt confused and sad and that’s a testament of how deeply Alyssa Cole made me fall in love with the characters.

3. American Sweethearts by Adriana Herrera (4 stars): I love both of the main characters. Juan Pablo is such a swoonworthy hero. I really love how sex positive and unapologetically Latinx this book is. (Full review)

2. Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams (4 stars): Queenie’s voice is incredibly captivating even when her life is spinning out of control. The first half of this book is full of Queenie making terrible choices and getting involved with the most horrific men, who treated her like she was a plaything that was there for their pleasure. But seeing the whole process she went through to get better was beautiful.

My Favorite Book of the Month

My favorite books of the month can have different ratings depending on how good a particular reading month was, but the books I consider new favorites usually are the ones that get a rating of 4,5 stars or more. This month unfortunately I didn’t rate anything higher than 4 stars, but I still read a brilliant book:

1. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (4 stars): The world building and magic system in this book were unique, intriging and devastating. The way it mirrors our society was smart and poignant. There were so many twist, some that I saw coming and some that I didn’t, but they all made sense to the story. I loved Syenite and Alabaster and I’m heartbroken over everything they went through. This is brilliant but the last 80 pages made me feel hopeless and angry and devastated and I’m not sure that I will continue on with the series because this book was one bad thing after another and I feel like I can’t handle that.

What were your favorite and least favorite books you read this month? Have you read any of the books on this wrap up? Do you agree with my opinions about them?

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My Favorite Romance Books by Black Authors

Hi everyone! Happy Valentine’s Day! I thought today was a good day to recommend some romance books and since February is Black History Month, I came up with a list of my favorite romance books written by Black authors.

You can read all of the series mentioned in this post out of order if you don’t mind spoiling the previous books or you can skip one of the books without problem if you are more interested in other books in the series

Without further ado, here they are:

*Click the book series titles to go to the Goodreads page*

Reluctant Royals Series by Alyssa Cole

If you like romance books about royalty, there’s no better choice than the Reluctant Royals series by Alyssa Cole, which includes three books about members of the royalty falling in love and two novellas about people that are connected to royalty in one way or another also falling in love. This series includes Black rep, disability rep, Asian rep, ADHD rep, Latinx rep and one of the main subject that is discussed throughout the series is immigration. If you are looking for an incredibly diverse and inclusive series with complex and lovable characters and swoon-worthy romances, this series is for you!

Fit Series by Rebekah Weatherspoon

If you are looking for short, sweet and steamy romance novellas, I have two perfect recommendations! Fit and Wrapped by Rebekah Weatherspoon have swoony heroes, mentions of delicious food since the heroines have jobs that in one way or another are related to the food industry and some really sexy scenes between the main characters.

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

If you like heroes that are adorable softies, this book is for you! Get a Life, Chloe Brown is a fantatic book that manages to be cute, funny and steamy and at the same time it also includes important discussions about chronic pain, abusive relationships and mental illness. This book has a strong, smart and hilarious main character and a hero that’s kind and talented and their banter is fantastic!

The Wedding Date Series by Jasmine Guillory

If you like weddings, this series is perfect for you! An entire romance series in which all three companion novels in one way or another revolve around weddings. Books two and three are specially good, but the entire series is funny, sexy and entertaining. The first two books in the series have interacial couples and race is a subject that’s discuss thoughtfully throughout the series.

Honorable Mentions

This are honorable mentions because I already included these authors in my post about Romance Books by Latinx Authors, but I thought it was a good idea to include them here as well in case anyone missed that post. These books have Afro-Latinx main characters and they are written by Afro-Latinx authors.

Dreamers series by Adriana Herrera: This series is about a group of four friends that are Afro-Latinx and each book is the story of one of them falling in love. Fantastic friendships, sweet romances, mentions of amazing Latinx food and music, conversations about important subjects like domestic violence and police brutality are some of the reason why I would recommend it! The fourth book is coming out March 30th but I read an arc and I can tell you it’s amazing.

Love on Cue Series + The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa: The Love on Cue series is a series of companion novels that includes great dialogues, lovable characters, complicated family dinamics and the second book discusses diversity in the movie industry. The Worst Best Man just came out in Febuary 2020, it has a really sweet hero, lots of chemistry between the main characters and it includes an amazing #ownvoices depiction of Brazilian culture including mouthwatering description of food.

Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? Do you have recommendations for romance books by Black authors?

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February TBR: Black History Month + Latinx Book Club + Anticipated Releases

Hi everyone! It’s time for my February tbr and I’m very excited to read the books I picked. Most of the books I’ll be reading in February are books by Black authors because February is Black History Month; I also included on my tbr the book pick of the Month for the Latinx Book Club, which is a book by an Afro-Latinx author; and lastly, I included 3 of my most anticipated releases of the year.

As I did in my January tbr, I have a list below with the goals and challenges that I want to keep track of in 2020 and I chose an emoji that represents each one. 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:

🔮⭐💫🌞 The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin: This book has been on my tbr for so long, I have heard nothing but great things and I’m excited!

🌞⭐🦄 Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor: I read the first two books in this series almost two years ago and I need to finally read the conclusion to the story.

🔥🌞⭐🦄 American Street by Ibi Zoboi: I’m reading this for the Latinx Book Club, which I co-host on Twitter and Goodreads

🌞 ⭐A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole: I have read and liked two books in this series, so I’m excited to read this one, especially aince it seems to be the favorite of a lot of my friends

🔥🌞The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa: one fo my most anticipated releases of the year since I love Mia Sosa’s Love on Cue series. Release date: Fabruary 4th

🌞 ⭐🦄Queenie by Candice Carty Williams: This has been on my tbr for a year but the synopsis is resonating a lot with where I am in my life right now, so I can’t wait to read it.

🔮The King of Crows by Libba Bray: The Diviners Series is one of my all time favorite series and I can’t wait to read the final book. Release date: February 4th

🔮🔥 We Unleash The Merciless Storm by Tehlor Kay Mejia: The first book in this series was one of my favorite books of 2019, so I can’t wait to see what happens next. Release date: February 25th

Dominik by Sawyer Bennett: This is the sixth book in this series and I have really enjoyed the previous books, so I’m really excited for this one. Release date: February 18th

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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A Late June 2019 Wrap Up (#Smutathon, #Buzzwordathon, #Romanceathon & #Summerathon)

Reading Wrap Up

Hi everyone! This is really late because July was such a hard month for me and I had to take an unexpected break so I didn’t post anything. I will talk a bit more about it in my July wrap up, but for now I’ll say that june was an amazing month, I defended my thesis which was approved and I officially finished my Master’s degree. It was also a month of pool parties with friends and lots of rest.

I had a chance to read a lot, so I ended up participating in 4 readathons: Smutathon (🔥), Buzzword Readathon (🐝), romanceathon (💓) and summerathon (🌴). If I read a book for one of these readathons, I’ll put a emoji next to it.

Diverse Romance 

🔥 Marriage of Unconvenience by Chelsea M. Cameron (3,5 stars): This is a really cute story, but the writting isn’t the best and the book needs better editing. (Review)

🔥 Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole (3,6 stars): my main issue with this book is the instalove, which made me not be invested in the relationship. (Review)

Kulti by Mariana Zapata (4 stars): I’m a big fan of Mariana Zapata, this is my third book by her and I love it as much as the others. This is a slow (so, so slow) burn romance with complex and captivating characters. Also, the main character is Latinx 🎉 🎉🎉

💓🌴 Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal (4 stars): This is an incredible Pride and Prejudice retelling set in Pakistan, that keeps the themes and the general plot of the original, but it includes so many amazing new commentary about colonialism, colorism, sexism and classism in Pakistan.

Romance

🔥 Hard Sell by Lauren Layne (3,8 stars): This book has one of my favorite couples in a romance book, the chemestry between them was explosive. (Review)

🔥 Huge Deal by Lauren Layne (3,8 stars): I loved the female love character in this book and there’s a great slow burn romance that I enjoyed quite a bit. (Review)

🔥 Love Story by Lauren Layne (3,6 stars): I enjoyed this second chance romance, but it gets repetitive at points and the miscommunication is a bit frustrating. (Review)

🔥 An Ex For Christmas by Lauren Layne (3,6 stars): This is one of my least favorite Lauren Layne book. This is a slow burn friends to lovers romance, but the main characters are so  different that sometimes their relationship doesn’t make much sense, not even their friendship. (Review)

🔥 Sustained by Emma Chase (3,7 stars): I LOVED the family aspect of this book, it was so sweet and the romance was really good as well.

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker  (4,2 stars): This book is amazing, it’s set in Alaska, which becomes another character of the story, the romance is so sweet, and the development of the father/daugther relationship is amazing. This is definitely a bittersweet book that made me sob.

💓🐝 I Flipping Love You by Helena Hunting (3,6 stars): I enjoyed the romantic relationship in this book, but the writing isn’t the best and the ending is kind of rushed.

💓 Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey  (3,7 stars): This is SO STEAMY, my first Tessa Bailey book and I’m a fan. I definitely need to read more of her books.

The Roomate Agreement by Emma Hart (3,5 stars): I really enjoyed this friends to lovers story, which isn’t a surprise since it’s one of my favorite tropes. This is funny, steamy and entertatining.

Desperately Seeking Roomate by Micalea Smeltzer (3,2 stars): This is not terrible but the writing wasn’t for me and the chemestry between the characters wasn’t completely there.

Others 

🐝 Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen (3,8 stars): This is a cute enemies to friends to lovers story and exactly what I needed at the time I read it!

🐝 I See You by Clare Mackintosh (4 stars): I really liked this book, but there were some things at the end that were rushed, one of the detectives makes some guesses that come out of nowhere and that took away a little bit of the enjoyment for me.

🌴 Mr Mercedes by Stephen King (4 stars): I love crime novels and this one is great, I love the cast of charactes and the plot was so good as well. Definitely recommend this one!

🌴 Finders Keepers by Stephen King (3 stars) I was so frustrated while reading this sequel, the main characters of the series didn’t show up until like 60% of the book and I was so bored before that. I’m reading book 3 now and when I’m done I’ll do a series review.

Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Did you enjoy them? Do you want to read any of them?
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Romance Report: let’s talk about two f/f romances (Once Ghosted, Twice Shy & Marriage of Unconvenience)

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Hi everyone! This is the first installment of Romance Report, a new feature that I created because I’m usually looking for very especific elements in romance books depending on my mood (like a especific trope or a certain level of angst or a certain level of steam, etc) and I think a lot of people feel the same way, so in the romance report that’s the kind of information I’ll include as a way to make it easier for people to decide if a romance book is the one they are looking for or not.

Without further ado, here’s my first romance report:

Marriage of Unconvenience by Chelsea M. Cameron 

Marriage of Unconvenience

  • Series: it’s a standalone
  • Synopsis: Two childhood best friends get married to inherit some money and solve their financial issues, but they end up realizing they have feelings for each other (Goodreads)
  • Pages: 197
  • Representation: lesbian and queer main characters and a trans side character.
  • Point of View (POV): single female pov
  • Relationship: female/female
  • Tropes: friends to lovers, fake marriage
  • Romance: this book has so many sweet moments including a wedding dress shopping scene that warmed my heart, these two women love each other so much and it’s easy to tell throughout the book.
  • Steam level: low, it’s more cute than steamy. But there are explicit sex scenes.
  • Angst level: low, there aren’t any huge obstacles or any dramatic moments.
  • Comments : The writing isn’t the best, but the real problem is the editing. There are inconsistencies that go from the protagonists having different middle names throughout the book to one character being described as the best secret keeper and a few pages later as not being the best at keeping secrets.
  • Rating: 3,5 stars

Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole 

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  • Series: book #2.5 in the Reluctant Royals series. It can be read as a standalone.
  • Synopsis: Two women reunite months after a short fling that left them brokenhearted and fall in love all over again (Goodreads)
  • Pages: 106
  • Representation: african lesbian main character and haitian-american bisexual main character.
  • Trigger warnings: deportation and forced separation of families.
  • Point of View (POV):  dual pov, one narrates the present and another the past
  • Relationship: female/female
  • Tropes: second chance romance
  • Romance: This books relies too much in the characters’ past feelings that were instalove-y to begin with (3 dates and they are in love!), which made me not be invested in the relationship. Also, the main conflict in the past and present timelines is that the characters don’t talk to each other, which gets a bit frustrating.
  • Steam level: low, there’s one explicit scene and the other scenes are fade to black.
  • Angst level: medium, there’s angst because of the way things ended between the main characters the first time they were together and also because of the reason behind their separation.
  • Comments: the writing wasn’t really for me and, because of that, it took me a long time to get into the story and connect with the characters. Also, issue of possible deportation was solved so easily that it because obvious that it was a plot device more than anything else.
  • Rating: 3,6 stars

Have you read these books? Are you excited to read them? What romance books with f/f relationships would you recommend?

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December 2018 Wrap Up: Queer Lit Readathon, Smutathon & Shortathon

Monthly Wrap Up newest

Life Update 
  • December was such an amazing month. I went on a trip to Barcelona with my best friend and we had an amazing time. There are so many things to do and it’s such a vibrant and beautiful city, it’s a new favorite place for me.  We were there for only 4 days and I really want to go back some day!
  • Since I’m living in Spain and I had to spend Christmas and New Year’s eve away from my family that is back in Colombia, my best friend and I planned a trip to Paris for Christmas, then Milan and then Rome for New Year’s Eve (Spoilers for January:  I also went to Florence and Venice at the beginning of 2019, I just got home yesterday!). Paris is my new favorite city, I had the best time there, we stayed for 6 days and got to see so much of that beautiful place. I can’t wait to go back!
  • Even after traveling so much, I managed to read the 16 books that I needed to complete my goal of reading 150 books in 2018, so that’s really exciting as well!
What I Read
Queer Lit Readathon

 

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera (3,6 stars) 

It took me a while to get into this books, I didn’t really enjoy the first part of it, but once it got to part two, I found it a very cute read. (full review)

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo (4 stars)

I really enjoyed this book, I think it was interesting that instead of a coming out story, this was about a trans girl living her life. I liked the way this book explored the relationships between Amanda and her parents and the way those relationships developed.  I think the main conflict was a bit unnecessary and I wish things could have gone differently, but overall this was a great read.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera  (3,8 stars) 

It took me a while to get into this book, but when both of the main characters finally meet it gets better. While I didn’t really feel the chemistry, overall I really liked their relationship and I think the way they both grew in this book was amazing. I don’t understand what was the point of the chapters told from other people’s perspectives, since I didn’t feel like they added anything to the story, but nontheless, I fount his to be a thought provoking book.

Smutathon

 

Rafe by Rebekah Weatherspoon (3 stars) 

This was just ok, sadly the writing style wasn’t for me and I felt like the characters had no chemistry, they had their sweet moments though.

Big Rock by Lauren Blakely (3,7stars) 

This was a short and fun read, steamy and low on angst. The fake relationship trope is one of my favorites and that part of the story was really well done. Also, the fact that this was friends to lovers made it even better. The characters had so much chemistry and I really enjoyed their interactions.

Mister O by Lauren Blakely (3,7 stars)

After reading Big Rock, I wanted to read the sequel right away. I really liked this couple, their dynamic is playfull and fun and they have lots of chemistry. This book handles the best friend’s little sister trope really well, because it avoids the whole ‘you’re my best friend but you don’t deserve my sister’ narrative.

 

A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole (3,7 stars) 

At first I thought I wasn’t gonna like this, because the prince in this story comes off as a entitled jerk, but at the end I enjoyed seeing his development. I really liked the fact that the main character was a woman in STEM and I think the topic of sexism in her field was handled really well. My problem with this was that the last part of the book goes in a weird direction and it didn’t worked that well for me.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne (4 stars) 

I really enjoyed reading about Josh and Lucy’s relationship. Enemies to lovers is one of my favorite tropes and this book did it so well. I really liked Josh as a love interest, he is introduced as an asshole, but ends up being such a soft guy and I want to cry just thinking about it!

From Lukov With Love by Mariana Zapata (4 stars) 

This is the most beautiful enemies to friends to lovers relationship of all times. The main character, Jasmine, goes through so much character development and it’s amazing, and she and Ivan are perfect for each other. I usually don’t get crushes in fictional characters, but I have a huge crush on Ivan Lukov.

Shortathon

 

Filthy Gods by R. Scarlett (3,4 stars) 

I had low expectations for this one, but I found it entertaining and it actually left me intrigued about the next books in this series. A short and steamy romance, it has good characters and it has low levels of angst.

Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Andersen (4 stars)

This was so relatable!!! I really enjoyed this one, it was cute and funny and I wanted to take pictures of so many pages and send them to my friends.

Merry Inkmas by Talia Hibbert (3 stars) 

My main problem with this was that I didn”t understand why the characters got together, they had cero chemistry and honestly the guy was a jerk most of the time and it was excused because of his tragic past. Also, the writing wasn’t for me. At the end, it got better and when the guy wasn’t being a jerk, they actually had some nice moments, but nothing beyond that.

The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks & Kurt Busiek (3 stars) 

This was ok, it did nothing especial, but it was entertaining. I honestly don’t have anything else to say about it.

 

Soft on Soft by Em Ali (4 stars) 

This was so adorable and soft. I loved both of the main characters and their relationship, even if I did feel like they got together out of nowhere. A f/f romance that I would totally recommend!

Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman (3 stars)

This is a f/f romance novella and I think it was ok, it had some cute moments, but I felt like it tried to cover too much in very few pages and somethings felt both unnecessary and unresolved.

For Every One by Jason Reynolds (4,5 stars) 

I really enjoyed this book, it was the perfect book to end the year because it left me feeling hopeful. A beautiful book written in verse about working to accomplish your dreams and not giving up.

Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Did you enjoy them? Do you want to read any of them?

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Smutathon TBR

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Hi everyone! December is defintely the month of readathons for me, I decided to participate in 3 of them before I remember that I have so much school work for the first half of the month and I’m going to be traveling during the second half. I’m probably gonna fail all these readathons, but I’m trying anyway!

About the readathon: SmutAThon is a romance focused readathon hosted by Riley @ Riley Marie and Lainey @ Ginger Reads Lainey and it will take place from December 10th-16th.

There’s six challenges and I chose a book for each one of them. So here they are:

The hating game

Enemies to Lovers: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Lucy and Joshua are competing for the same job after the companies where they worked merge. At the beginning they hate each other but they end up falling in love. 

I have heard mixed things about this, some people love it and others have issues with it because of that, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read it, but at the end, some people I trust really liked it so I’m giving it a chance!

 

Dirty Rowdy Thing

Friends with Benefits: Dirty Rowdy Thing by Christina Lauren 

Harlow and Finn were married for 12 hours after a trip to Las Vegas. They still see each other occasionally and they still have a lot of chemestry.  When they see each other, they either end up fighting or having sex.  Until it turns to more. 

I’m a huge fan of Christina Lauren’s books, so I’m pretty sure I’m gonna enjoy this one. It’s the second book in the series and I haven’t read the first, but I think it’s not a big deal.

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00074]Fake Relationship: Big Rock by  Lauren Blakely

A playboy, whose father needs him to cool it for a bit because of some conservative investors, asks his best friend/business partner to be his fiancée for one week and she agrees. Then all the pretending in public leads to something more.  

I’m a bit nervous about this one, because the main guy (the description of the books is written from his pov) sounds like he’s a bit too cocky. I like cocky protagonist, don’t get me wrong, but he sounds like he may crossed the line to inssuferable. Also, that cover is SO BAD! Still, I’m willing to give it a chance.

 

From Lukov with love

Slow Burn: From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata

Jasmine and Ivan are figure skaters and they hate each other, but end up competing as a team and then their relationship evolves to something more. 

I have heard from several people that Mariana Zapata is the queen of slow burn, so I knew I had to read one of her books for this challenge. Also, I love figure skating so I’m excited!

 

 

Rafe

Forbidden: Rafe: A Buff Male Nanny by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Sloan is one of the youngest black female surgeons and single mom to twin girls, she ends up hiring Rafe, a big, bearded and tattooed guy to be their nanny and things happen between them. 

The premise of this one made me want to read it, thinking about this big, bearded and tattooed guy taking care of two little girls makes me smile everytime! I have heard this is fluffy and fun and it sounds like exactly what I need, especially since it seems like I’m gonna be extremely busy during the readathon.

 

A princess in theory

Different Worlds: A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole 

Ledi, a grad student in a STEM field, starts to receive emails telling her she is some sort of african princess, she ignores them until Prince Thabiso shows up to tell her they are supposed to get married.

I have heard great things about this one and I can’t wait to read it! A black women in STEM and an african prince falling in love?! What more could I ask for?!

 

 Are you participating in Smutathon? What are you reading? 

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