Missed us? Missed our book recommendations? Well, here is what we’ve been reading in the last few months of 2019 when no one was watching:
Beth: You can catch up with my favorites of 2019 in this post, but I spent the last two months of the decade reading the latest releases in Ruby Dixon‘s Kindle Unlimited alien world of my heart: Ice Planet Barbarians. And, in the process, I realized that I had not read the full cache of her Icehome novels, so November was AWESOME. I will summarize Ice Planet Barbarians and Icehome with a quote from my friend, Katy, from the comments of this post I wrote years ago: they are “7-foot cerulean alien tapeworm erotica.” You need them. Trust me. I also read The Perfect Mother which was a decent audio book for the ride on the way to the beach, but was mostly a Big Little Lies rip off. And Get a Life Chloe Brown, which was EXCELLENT. If you are looking for a diverse contemporary romance, it’s the perfect choice.
Amy: I thought I had read the Bridgerton series, the one being developed for TV by Netflix and Shonda Rhimes, but I was confusing it with the Mackenzies and McBrides series from Jennifer Ashley. So it was a lovely surprise to know I had a full beloved Regency series to inhale. The Duke and I (Bridgerton #1) plays its tropes perfectly. Pretty girl, Daphne, who is a little too self-assured for the marriage mart, finds a handsome duke, Simon, who has no intention of ever marrying. To save each other the stress of the ball season, they fake their engagement…only to fall in love. Two quibbles, one minor, one major. Minor: The sex isn’t very satisfying. When the P only goes in the V and no attention is paid to the C, I get annoyed. Major: This book has a consent problem. Daphne makes a decision to have sex with an over-served Simon, to get the one thing missing in their marriage: a child that Simon has stated very clearly he does not want. I’m expecting the TV series to fix this issue, because I really want to enjoy something we have long clamored for. More Regency romance — besides Jane Austen — on TV!
Heidi: 2019 was my year of navigating school drop-off schedules, fighting over homework, attending cheerleading practice and sometimes washing my hair. Thus, my Goodreads challenge list looks like the paperback aisle found in that obscure corner of your local grocery store. All romance, all the time. Just the way I like it. My personal favorites of the year were those ending the years long series that I have loved, The Winston Brothers Series by Penny Reid. But, admittedly those may be niche content so please feel free to read the romance novels by Laura Thalassa which focus on the love lives of the four horseman of the apocalypse. I told you 2019 broke me.
Karen: Honestly…I slogged through Game of Thrones (and almost went blind) and wondered how I could get through the next 8 books….and then I remembered that I survived The Fiery Cross not once but twice, and what does not kill you can certainly leave scar tissue. I KID, DIANA!!!! (The power of positive thinking will get me through my third read for In the Waterweeds, GOD WILLING.) I only read 12 books in 2019, but three of them were The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta. RECOMMEND. I tore through them in 10 days total and got that satisfying and awful hollow and empty feeling when I was finished. That is the best/worst feeling in the world, isn’t it? Because I am a glutton for punishment, I am going to get through Clash of Kings and also have about 367 books Beth has recommended. (This time next year, I’ll let you know how the four I managed to get through were!) But first on my list for this year is Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas.
Julie: I’m going to be perfectly honest: I miserably failed my Goodreads Challenge. Also, I devoted an embarrassingly substantial amount of my time to Reylo fan fiction. Fine, I’m lying. It wasn’t embarrassing at all. I loved each and every extended and alternative universe Rey and Kylo Ren smut I could find. However, I did have time to squeeze in an actual published book in between. Most notably was Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin. It’s got all the romance tropes we crave: enemies to lovers, forbidden love, the marriage before romance scenario. There were times that the book could have used a second editor, but when it ended, I was ready for the sequel. Luckily for me, it’s coming fall of 2020. Just in time for a good distraction from the real world.
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