RECENT READS #25

Hi everyone, I hope you are all well and having an amazing day. Today I will be doing the next in a series on my blog called Recent Reads. As I’ve been reading 20+ books each month, it would be really hard for me to incorporate that into a standard wrap up format. Doing a list of my recent reads that I want to do mini-reviews on is the best way for me to keep track of everything I’ve been reading!

Rhythm of War

After forming a coalition of human resistance against the enemy invasion, Dalinar Kholin and his Knights Radiant have spent a year fighting a protracted, brutal war. Neither side has gained an advantage, and the threat of a betrayal by Dalinar’s crafty ally Taravangian looms over every strategic move.

Now, as new technological discoveries by Navani Kholin’s scholars begin to change the face of the war, the enemy prepares a bold and dangerous operation. The arms race that follows will challenge the very core of the Radiant ideals, and potentially reveal the secrets of the ancient tower that was once the heart of their strength.

At the same time that Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with his changing role within the Knights Radiant, his Windrunners face their own problem: As more and more deadly enemy Fused awaken to wage war, no more honorspren are willing to bond with humans to increase the number of Radiants. Adolin and Shallan must lead the coalition’s envoy to the honorspren stronghold of Lasting Integrity and either convince the spren to join the cause against the evil god Odium, or personally face the storm of failure

I honestly do not have the brain cells to even try and write a coherent review on this behemoth of a book, but in short I absolutely adored the latest instalment in the Stormlight Archive. There was so, so much to love about it – specifically the character development from Kaladin, Navani and Shallan. They all go on such different journeys throughout this book and they never failed to make me emotional. This book also made me absolutely rage at times – which of course was the right reaction – and I am so incredibly nervous for the final book in this first arc.

Leo

Evie and Leo met in foster care as children and formed a bond of friendship. As they grew, their bond turned to love, and they vowed to make a life together when they turned 18 and were no longer a part of the system.

When Leo unexpectedly gets adopted as a teen and moves to another city, he promises Evie that he will contact her as soon as he gets there and come back for her in a few short years. She never hears from him again.

Now eight years later, in spite of the odds, Evie has made a life for herself. She has a job. She has friends. She’s content. Then a man shows up out of the blue, claiming that her long lost love, Leo, sent him to check up on her. The attraction between them is undeniable. But, should she trust this sexy stranger? Or is he keeping a secret about what his connection to Leo is really all about and why Leo disappeared all those years ago?

As you should all know by now, I think I am one of the biggest Mia Sheridan fans on the planet. I absolutely adore her books and I thought I’d throw it back and read (what I think is) her first book. While I could definitely tell it was an earlier work from her – she has definitely improved since this was published – I absolutely adored the storyline and I thought it was great. I could really see the same elements she included in future books and for me, this book felt like a foundation to the great, emotional, heartwarming books she has released since. Part of me wishes this was the first book I picked up from her, but honestly I’m so glad I read it and despite some issues to do with the writing, I actually had a lot of fun with it.

Beard Science

Jennifer Sylvester wants one thing, and that one thing is NOT to be Tennessee’s reigning Banana Cake Queen. Ever the perpetual good girl and obedient daughter, Jennifer is buckling under the weight of her social media celebrity, her mother’s ambitions, and her father’s puritanical mandates. Jennifer is officially desperate.

And desperate times call for Cletus Winston.

Cletus Winston is a puzzle wrapped in a mystery covered in conundrum sauce, and now he’s in a pickle. Despite being convinced of his own omniscience, extortion by the exalted Banana Cake Queen of Green Valley has taken him completely by surprise. So… what’s a maniacal mastermind to do?

Likely, the last thing you expect

I absolutely loved this book and it was my favourite in the series so far. I absolutely adored both protagonists and I thought that they both had the best development as the story progressed. I loved them together, they were such a quirky yet genuine couple and I loved how much Cletus tried to apply science to his situation but there was just no explaining it! As with the previous books, I loved how much of other characters we got to see in this book – the entire Winston family is one of my favourite aspects of the book. I loved seeing how Duane and Jess and Sienna and Jethro’s stories had progressed since their books. The small town element is also another aspect of this book I adored – it really is so atmospheric and at this point in the series you begin to recognise the same places and you can build a good picture of the town in your head. This book was also just so hilarious (I mean how could it not be with Cletus as a protagonist), I laughed out loud so many times and this book just filled me with so much happiness. I’m so invested in all of these characters and I’m so excited to get to the future books, especially Billy and Claire’s, because we are getting so much build up for them!

Devil’s Rock Series

There are bad boys and then there are the men of Devil’s Rock . . .

Some men come with a built-in warning label. Knox Callaghan is one of them. Danger radiates from every lean, muscled inch of him, and his deep blue eyes seem to see right through to Briar Davis’s most secret fantasies. But there’s one major problem: Briar is a nurse volunteering at the local prison, and Knox is an inmate who should be off-limits in every way.

Knox feels it too—a shocking animal magnetism that drives him to risk his own life to protect Briar’s. Paroled at last, he tries to resist her. She’s too innocent, too sweet, and she has no idea what Knox is capable of. But a single touch can lead to a kiss—and a taste . . . until the only crime is denying what feels so right . . .

I absolutely consumed the five books in this series, so I thought I’d just do a review for the series in general. I honestly had no idea what to expect going into these books, I was buddy reading them with a friend for a laugh, but I honestly had so much fun with them! All five books I gave between a range of 3.5 and 4.5 stars, so I really did enjoy them. I liked that there was different dynamics between the couples in each book, and although four books focused on ex convicts from Devil’s Rock prison, I liked how the town expanded and we got to see other sides to it through the dual POVs in each book. The first and last books were my favourite – with the first book in the series, I was surprised more than anything on how much it passed my expectations? I thought the chemistry between Knox and Briar was off the charts, and loved that the events were really high paced too. I loved the last book between Cruz and Gabby, as they were the only couple that had history, and I really like what that added to the story. In short, if you want a fun, angsty series about ex-convicts in Texas, I would definitely recommend it!

Dear Ava

The rich and popular Sharks rule at prestigious, ivy-covered Camden Prep. Once upon a time, I wanted to be part of their world–until they destroyed me.

The last thing I expected was an anonymous love letter from one of them.

Please. I hate every one of those rich jerks for what they did to me. The question is, which Shark is my secret admirer?

Knox, the scarred quarterback.
Dane, his twin brother.
Or Chance, the ex who dumped me. . .

I went into this book not knowing too much about it, but I’d heard amazing things about this author so I thought I’d give it a go. Guys, I absolutely ADORED it. It was the perfect mixture of everything I love in the romance. My favourite thing about this book by far was the characters. I thought the characterisation of Knox was absolutely top notch. He was the perfect blend between sensitive and emotional and a classic bad boy, and I loved it! One of my all time favourite tropes is ‘he loved her all along’ and the fact that this was such a large part of the story really contributed to how much I loved it. I cried a few times throughout this book, as it’s definitely on the heavy side (trigger warning for sexual assault from the first chapter), but seeing Ava heal and her personal growth was so touching to read about. The third act conflict really didn’t surprise me and while I was certainly frustrated, I could completely understand both sides, which is all I can really ask for in a conflict. I thought the epilogue and last chapter were absolutely gorgeous too! All I can say about this book is the good reviews are totally worth it – it was absolutely amazing and I think it’ll definitely be one I will reread in the future!

Have you read any of these books? Any on your TBR? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Happy reading,
Lucy

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