August 2021 Recap

Once again, I find myself asking how it is the end of the month already?? Summer truly flew by this year and I’m in denial that fall is right around the corner.

While August might have flew by, it was also an incredible reading month for me. I didn’t even realize how much I read until I sat down to write this. This month I read 11 books, brining my total for the year up to 77 books! I’m feeling really good about surpassing my goal of reading a 100 books this month based on how the last few months of reading have gone.


August 2021 Reads

Looking back at my August TBR, I read 8 out of the 10 books on the list. The two I missed were The Day of the Duchess (which I skimmed for scenes of Caleb and Sesily in prep for Bombshell) and It Happened One Summer which I still really want to get to!

Here’s what I actually read:

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Review: Beauty and the Blacksmith by Tessa Dare

Beauty and the Blacksmith by Tessa Dare
Beauty and the Blacksmith
By Tessa Dare
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Publication Date: April 28, 2013
Series or Standalone: Spindle Cove 3.5
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 4 Stars

MY REVIEW

I’ve read the Spindle Cove series multiple times but always skipped over the novellas. There isn’t anything wrong with novellas, but I’m not the biggest fan of them. As part of the But Do They Bang? Readalong, we picked a few of Tessa Dare’s novellas to read and I’m so glad we did as it gave me an excuse to read the stories I always skipped over.

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Review: Bombshell by Sarah MacLean

Bombshell by Sarah MacLean
Bombshell
By Sarah MacLean
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: August 24,2021
Series or Standalone: Hell’s Belles
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 5 Stars


MY REVIEW

I’ve been waiting for Sesily’s story since we met her in A Rogue Not Taken over five years ago. I was also so worried her love story with Caleb would not live up to all the hype around this book. It’s safe to say that Bombshell truly lives up to the hype – and even exceeds it – in so many ways. I didn’t want this book to end while reading. I actually cried happy tears when I finished it because it was so dang perfect and I was so happy to have the story in my life. It literally blew me away.

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ARC Review: When You Wish Upon a Duke by Charis Michaels

When You Wish Upon a Duke by Charis Michaels
When You Wish Upon a Duke
By Charis Michaels
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: August 24, 2021
Series or Standalone: Awakened by a Kiss #2
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 4 Stars

MY REVIEW

Content warning: This book contains discussions of miscarriage

When You Wish Upon a Duke is book two in Charis Michaels Awakened by A Kiss series. This book offers Michaels’ spin on Peter Pan, focusing on Tinker Bell. While I enjoyed this one, I didn’t find it as magical as A Duchess A Day, the first book in the series that I absolutely adored. The tone in this one felt a little more serious at times, which isn’t a bad thing, but it wasn’t as light-hearted a romp as A Duchess A Day. However, I still really loved the spin Michaels put on the classic tale of Peter Pan and how she wove different elements of that story into this historical romance.

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Review: A Duchess a Day by Charis Michaels

A Duchess a Day by Charis Michaels
A Duchess a Day
By Charis Michaels
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: November 10, 2020
Series or Standalone: Awakened by a Kiss #1
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 4.5 Stars


MY REVIEW

Now, this is how you do a fairytale retelling! I’m not usually a big fan of fairytale retellings, particularly in historical romance, but Charis Michaels’ A Duchess a Day is a pure delight. Not only does Michaels manage to make an old tale feel new, but she also manages to weave in the whimsy and fantastical elements into a heart-warming romance.

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Review: Exposed by Kristen Callihan

Exposed by Kristen Callihan
Exposed
Kristen Callihan
Publisher: Plain Jane Books
Publication Date: July 13, 2021
Series or Standalone: VIP #4
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 5 Stars


MY REVIEW

Why is writing reviews for books you love so hard? I’m struggling to find the words to express just why I love Exposed by Kristen Callihan so bear with me if this is a little rambly!

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed the VIP series (well except for book one, which I’ve tried to read three times and can never finish), and this one might knock Managed from the top spot. There is something so incredibly raw and vulnerable to the emotions portrayed in this book that really resonated.

Exposed is book four in Callihan’s VIP series. You can read it as a standalone, but I think you get more out of it if you’ve read the other books in the series as you’ll have more backstory and context on the antagonist nature of Brenna and Rye’s relationship.

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Review: Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas

Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas
Mine Till Midnight
Lisa Kleypas
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperback
Publication Date: October 2, 2007
Series or Standalone: The Hathaways #1
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 3.5 Stars

MY REVIEW

CW: Discussion of suicide, racist language/depictions of Romany/Gypsies, alcoholism, drug use

Rating and reviewing Mine Till Midnight has been a challenge. I’m not a hundred percent sure of how I feel about this. I think I liked it? There isn’t anything glaring that I disliked about this book, but I also wasn’t in love with it. I mainly feel indifferent to this book. It also took me a while to read this – nearly a month, which is AGES for me – and it was a very broken-up reading experience so that might have contributed to my feelings. 

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Review: A Lady By Midnight by Tessa Dare

A Lady by Midnight by Tessa Dare
A Lady by Midnight
Tessa Dare
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Series or Standalone: Spindle Cove #3
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 3 Stars

MY REVIEW

In A Lady By Midnight, we get Kate Taylor and Corporal Thorne’s story. While I enjoy these characters, this story is my least favorite from Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove series. This was a reread for me, and this is the one book in the series I’ve never felt a strong desire to reread. I feel like the romance is missing that special spark between the two characters that I’m looking for in a historical romance and don’t find myself drawn to go back to this one frequently.

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Review: A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare

A Week to Be Wicked
A Week to Be Wicked
Tessa Dare
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: March 27, 2012
Series or Standalone: Spindle Cove #2
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 4.5 Stars


MY REVIEW

A Week to Be Wicked was the second Tessa Dare book I ever read back in the mid-2010s when I was first really dipping my toes in historical romance, so this book holds a special place in my heart. Full disclosure, I’ve reread this book a handful of times and it’s safe to say I love this one.

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Review: A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare

A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare
A Night to Surrender
Tessa Dare
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: August 30, 2011
Series or Standalone: Spindle Cove #1
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 4.5 Stars


MY REVIEW

A Night to Surrender kicks off one of my all-time favorite Tessa Dare series, Spindle Cove! If you’re new to the historical romance genre, I love to recommend this series as a great place to start. Tessa Dare brings the wit, the steam and the humor in all the books of this series.

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