You Were Made To Be Mine by Julie Anne Long

ARC Review: You Were Made to Be Mine by Julie Anne Long

You Were Made to Be Mine by Julie Anne Long
You Were Made to Be Mine
Julie Anne Long
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: June 28, 2022
Series or Standalone: The Palace of Rogues #5
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 4.5 Stars


MY REVIEW

CW: Rape; physical abuse

Returning to The Grand Palace on the Thames ( or TGPOTT as it’s referred to) is like being welcomed home by a dear friend. I adore the Palace of Rogues series so much, and every book I read from Julie Anne Long solidifies her place as one of my favorite historical romance writers. You Were Made to Be Mine is one of the more emotionally heavy books in the series, but Long crafts a beautiful tale of love and resiliency with the romance of Hawkes and Aurelie.

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June 2022 Reading Recap

Oh wow did June fly by! I cannot believe we’re already past the halfway mark of the year now.

June was a tough reading month for me, and an even tougher month for reviewing. I only read 7 books and reviewed 3. Lots of travel and then some personal things popped up. I had a scare with the health of my cat that really threw me for a loop (she’s okay now but needs IV fluids every day so it’s been an adjustment).

For the first time ever, I read more audiobooks than physical books as I just did not have the time to sit down and read as much as I would have liked. Reading more audiobooks was a goal of mine this year and I can say, I’m fully smashing that.

As June is the mid-point of the year, I’d also thought I do a little check-in on some of my other reading goals. My biggest reading goal is to read 100 books this year. At the end of June, I’ve read 48 books this year, just shy of where I need to be on track to read 100. Luckily, I’ve already finished one book in July and have three more I’m currently reading (I’m all over the place right now) so I’m feeling optimistic still about hitting my goal for the year!

Now, on to what I read in June:

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Review: Lothaire by Kresley Cole

Lothaire by Kresley Cole
Lothaire
Kresley Cole
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: January 10, 2012
Series or Standalone: Immortals After Dark #11
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating:3.5 Stars

MY REVIEW

CW: Rape; suicidal thoughts; murder; violence; blood; torture

I went into this book with sky-high expectations – it is Lothaire, the Enemy of Old, after all! I’ve been intrigued since he first popped up on the page way back in A Hunger Like No Other and built up how awesome his book was going to be in mind. 

Unfortunately, this one didn’t meet my overall expectations, though it was more BONKERS than expected. Honestly, I was not expecting Lothaire to rip his LITERAL heart out as an expression of love, yet here we are. Seriously, so many limbs and organs were lost in this book. And that’s saying something for this series, as there is at least one limb lost per book. 

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How To Fake It In Hollywood by Ava Wilder feature image

ARC Review: How to Fake It in Hollywood by Ava Wilder

How to Fake It in Hollywood by Ava Wilder
How to Fake It in Hollywood
Ava Wilder
Publisher: Dell
Publication Date: June 14, 2022
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 4.5 Stars


MY REVIEW

CW: Alcoholism; drug use; death of a friend; grief; references to cheating (not the main couple); references to physical abuse

Don’t be fooled by the illustrated cover and fun-sounding premise, How to Fake It in Hollywood tackles some heavy topics, most prominently alcoholism and grief, but Ava Wilder managed to write a story that perfectly balances the romance with the heaviness. This book felt like something magical, real and raw, and I cannot recommend it enough.

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Audiobook Review: Love & Other Disasters by Anita Kelly

Love & Other Disasters by Anita Kelly
Love & Other Disasters
By Anita Kelly
Narrator: Lindsey Dorcus
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: January 18, 2022
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars

Performance Rating: 5 Stars

Story Rating:4 Stars

MY REVIEW

CW: Misgendering; enbyphobia; divorce; strained parental relationships

I had seen a handful of folks gushing over Love & Other Disasters on IG back when it was published, and fate would have my audiobook come in on the first day of Pride month! This delightful cooking show romance was a beautiful story of queer love. 

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May 2022 Reading Recap

I have to be honest – May was a rough month for me. You probably noticed a lack of posts this month. It wasn’t for lack of trying, but my work was insane this month, the world felt like a dumpster fire and I was mentally and physically exhausted so I took a bit of a step back from reviewing to prioritize myself.

While I don’t regret that decision, it definitely sucks that I wasn’t able to be as active with reviews and reading this month.

All this to say, May was not a good reading month for me. I only read six books this month – and that was a struggle. I’ve fallen slightly behind on my reading goals for the year, but I have no doubt I’ll catch up over the summer.

Here’s what I read this month:

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Review: How to Be a Wallflower by Eloisa James

How to Be a Wallflower by Eloisa James
How to Be a Wallflower
Eloisa James
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: March 29, 2022
Series or Standalone: Would-Be Wallflowers #1
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating:3 Stars

MY REVIEW

I feel like I went into this book with high expectations, but unfortunately, this book felt a bit flat. I didn’t hate this book, but I also didn’t love it – I guess what I felt was vague indifference. It took what felt like a long time to get through this book as it didn’t engage me with the romance, and I struggled to connect and like Cleo.

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ARC Review: How to Steal a Scoundrel’s Heart by Vivienne Lorret

How to Steal a Scoundrel's Heart by Vivienne Lorret
How to Steal a Scoundrel’s Heart
Vivienne Lorret
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: May 24, 2022
Series or Standalone: The Mating Habits of Scoundrels #4
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 4 Stars

MY REVIEW

CW: Emotional abuse; parental abandonment; cheating; pregnancy

If there is one thing I can count on from Vivienne Lorret, it’s that her books will be fun. How to Steal a Scoundrel’s Heart is no exception. I liked this one – but wow, did it go in a direction I did not expect towards the end. Vivienne Lorret kept me on my toes with what would happen with Leo and Prue’s relationship on their journey towards a happily ever after.

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ARC Review: The Bride Goes Rogue by Joanna Shupe

The Bride Goes Rogue by Joanna Shupe
The Bride Goes Rogue
Joanna Shupe
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: May 24, 2022
Series or Standalone: The Fifth Avenue Rebels
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 5 Stars


MY REVIEW

Joanna Shupe hit it out of the park with her third installment in the Fifth Avenue Rebels series. The Bride Goes Rogue is, quite possibly, the hottest book Shupe has ever written. Shupe perfectly balances the steaminess with compelling characters and a charming romance that gave me all the emotions. I already know this book will be one of my top favorites of the year, as I couldn’t stop smiling the whole time while reading it. 

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Review: Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole

Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole
Dreams of a Dark Warrior
Kresley Cole
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: February 15, 2011
Series or Standalone: Immortals After Dark #10
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating:4.5 Stars


MY REVIEW

CW: Torture; murder; suicidal thoughts; death; violence; substance abuse and addiction; kidnapping

I was very nervous going into this book knowing what had happened to Regin on Torture Island and that her mate was the head honcho on the island. I didn’t think that Cole would be able to redeem Declan Chase as that was an incredibly tall order. But somehow, she did, and this book is one of my favorites in the Immortals After Dark series.

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