Read in December

Number of Books Read in December: 18

Below are the books I read in December but didn’t have time to review this month. I read a lot of novellas this month. Most of them were good quick reads for the busy holiday season.

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Alice in the Country of Joker: Afternoon Dreams Vol. 2 by QuinRose

Genre: Manga

Series: Nightmare Trilogy #2

Rating: B –

Alice is told about a book in a locked case that Nightmare doesn’t want her to read. Intent on finding out why, she recruits various people to open it for her. This trilogy isn’t shaping-up to be my favorite spin-off of the Alice books. However, I do find Nightmare an interesting character. I’m curious enough that I’ll read the last book in the series, which is due out in March.


Counterfeit Magic by Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Women of the Otherworld 10.4

Rating: A

Counterfeit Magic takes place right before Waking the Witch and is told from Paige Winterbourne’s perspective. In this novella, Paige and company are hired to investigate a death in one of the supernatural fight clubs. I really loved this one, even though it ends a little abruptly. What really drew me in was seeing the emotional struggle Paige and Lucas were facing as he steps firmly into his role of heir to the Cortez Cabal. I would highly recommend this to fans of the series.


Kisses, She Wrote by Katharine Ashe

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: Prince Catchers #1.5

Rating: B +

Kisses, She Wrote was my introduction to Katharine Ashe’s writing. Cam Westfall is shocked when he discovers that the steamy diary full of fantasies starring him belongs to shy Jacqueline of Sensaire. I kind of cringed when I found out the plot was centered on a diary. I hate the inevitable moment when everyone reads it. So, I was relieved when Ashe didn’t go the expected route with this. All in all, this was a cute holiday read and I look forward to reading more by Ashe in the future.


Witches of Bourbon Street by Deanna Chase

Genre: Urban Fantasy (?)

Series: Jade Calhoun #2

Rating: B –

Witches of Bourbon Street is a new (to me) series I stumbled across while surfing Amazon. Jade Calhoun is a reluctant witch with empathetic powers. After coming across three possessed paintings the people in her life start acting oddly. As things turn to chaos, she must work with the local coven to fix things. I really enjoyed Chase’s take on empathetic powers and how they could be seen as a burden. However, the characters didn’t really draw me in. I’m not sure if I’ll continue with this series or not.


Viscount’s Christmas Temptation by Erica Ridley

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: Dukes of War #0.5

Rating: B –

Another author I had never read before. This was a cute holiday read to launch Ridley’s Dukes of War series. Lady Amelia Pembroke is determined to see that the annual Sheffield Christmas ball continues as usual, despite the Sheffield’s ballroom having been destroyed. To do this, she wedges herself into Lord Benedict Sheffield’s life for the holiday season to help him orchestrate the affair at a new location. I really liked Amelia’s no non-sense character and her interactions with Sheffield as he found himself oddly drawn to her. I might, in the future, read the first full length novel in this series.


How to Marry a Highlander by Katharine Ashe

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: Falcon Club #3.5

Rating: B +

 Katharine Ashe is slowly convincing me to read historical romance again. This is a feat, considering it’s been quite a few years since I managed to make it through a full-length book in the genre.Teresa Finch-Freeworth is determined to marry Duncan, the Earl of Eads… so she proposes. His terms for accepting her offer is that she first find a husband for each of his seven sisters. Teresa was fun to watch as she spun tall tales and traipsed about town trying to contrive marriages for the seven oddball sisters. If you’re looking for a light historical romance, I would recommend you pick this one up.


Defining Destiny by Deanna Chase

Genre: Erotica

Series: Defining Destiny #1

Rating: A –

Defining Destiny was a huge surprise for me. I was not expecting to enjoy the story as much as I did. In the Defining Destiny universe, everyone has one true soul mate. However, sometimes who destiny chooses isn’t the right person for you. This is the case with Lucy Moore and her soul mate, Devin. I really enjoyed how Chase played with the soul mate idea and how people changing can impact their relationships. There are expectations that you stay with your soul mate no matter what and I loved watching the heroine struggle past the  different expectations. All in all, a great start to the series. I look forward to reading the next book.


Roaring Up the Wrong Tree by Celia Kyle

Genre: Erotica

Series: Grayslake #3

Rating: D+

I had sworn off reading Celia Kyle a while ago, but I wanted something quick to read earlier this week so I ended-up reading this one. Part-Hyena, Trista has spent years fighting for her life against the other shifters who hold major prejudices against her species. This all changes when shifter, Keen steps into her life. There were a lot of gaps in logic throughout this book, which were getting to me by the end of the story. Parts of this book also dragged because not much was going on. Don’t think I’ll be picking-up the next book in this series.


This Time by Marie Hall

Genre: Erotica

Series: Moments #3

Rating: F

I came really close to not finishing This Time. The only thing that kept me going is that it would’ve been my one and only DNF book for the year. Jamie Sullivan has spent most of her life trying to save her high school sweetheart, Angel, from his self-destructive path. After a one night stand with the drummer Tor Boler results in a pregnancy, she’s forced to reevaluate her priorities. I absolutely hate books where an unexpected pregnancy gets two characters to fall in love and changes the heroine’s life for the better. So this book was not my cup of tea. In fact, it read a lot like a crazy soap opera to me. While I enjoy Hall’s Kingdom series, I won’t be trying another of her Moments book.

Read in October

October was a pretty good reading month for me. Below is a breakdown of what I read last month but didn’t have time or the inclination to write a full review for:


15789274 Wolverine and the X-men, Vol. 1 by Jason Aaron

 Rating: B+

Genre: Comic

Wolverine and Kitty Pride are trying to pass inspection so they can open the Jean Grey school for mutants. As expected, things don’t go well when the new Hellfire Club (teen edition!) decides to attack. I loved the dynamic of Wolverine and Kitty trying to play nice with the bigoted inspectors while also attempting to keep the school in one piece as things crash down around them. It was a great set-up for a little more light-hearted X-men series and I can’t see where things go.


17182373 Captain Marvel, Vol. 2: Down by Kelly Sue DeConnick

 Rating: A

 Genre: Comic

Captain Marvel: Down starts out with a fun plot involving Carol and Monica Rambeau investigating an unexplained ship/plane graveyard near New Orleans. This was just straight-up fun that features Carol punching sharks and flows into a story about Carol trying to find a missing friend. Really enjoying DeConnick’s Captain Marvel run. One of the best things is that Carol is allowed to have female friends who genuinely enjoy one anothers’ company. This is harder to find in comics than some would think.


13431883 Wild Justice by Kelley Armstrong

 Rating: A –

 Genre: Suspense

After 4 years of waiting, fans of Armstrong’s Nadia Stafford series finally got a conclusion to the series. In Wild Justice, Nadia finds herself face to face with the killer of her young cousin and is forced to confront her memories of the past. I love the Nadia Stafford series, so I was extremely relieved when this book got released, as I knew it would wrap-up questions from the previous books. However, some things in this novel seemed like they were on fast-forward. I got the feeling that Armstrong had originally intended to have more than 3 books in the series but then changed her mind (either due to her other stories being more popular or a loss of interest in the concept) and decided to cram everything into this one. Despite this, I still really loved Wild Justice and thought it was a strong ending for the series. But I am still holding onto the fragile hope that maybe someday Armstrong might decide to give us another book featuring Nadia.


20883304Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

Rating: C

Genre: Humor

I listened to Dad is Fat on an 8 hour road trip. Gaffigan’s delivery of the book was pretty fantastic and there were moments in the book that had me chuckling to myself. However, I mostly left book thinking Gaffigan was absolutely insane. Live on the fifth floor of a two bedroom apartment in New York with 5 kids, your spouse, and no elevator? No, thank you. .


17899546Avengers: The Enemy Within by Kelly Sue DeConnick

Rating: B+

Genre: Comic

The Enemy Within is actually the conclusion to plot started in Captain Marvel: Down. If you haven’t read that one, you won’t be able to follow Enemy Within very well as it wraps-up the mystery behind Carol’s illness and the person that has been stalking her, which was not really seen in DeConnick’s Avengers run prior to this. Despite this, it was a great conclusion to that story arc and I look forward to see what comes next.


13537838Wolverine and the X-men, Vol. 2 by Jason Aaron

Rating: B –

Genre: Comic

I hate mystery pregnancy plots and even though it’s made clear that Kitty isn’t actually pregnant (not a spoiler, it’s revealed within the first couple of pages) this came way too close to that kind of story. The resulting plot centered on her and the invasion of the school was boring to me. What made up for it was Wolverine and Kid Omega going gambling in space to save the school. I hear that the next couple of installments of this series aren’t the greatest, but I’ll probably continue on with it anyway.


18007564The Martian by Andy Weir

Rating: B +

Genre: Sci-Fi

A great listen on audio. I posted a full review on a blog I share with a friend of mine, which can be found here.



12119496Steel’s Edge by Ilona Andrews

Rating: B +

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Steel’s Edge is supposed to be the last book in Andrews’ “The Edge” series. Charlotte moved to the Edge after her illusions about her husband and life were shattered. She worked hard to build a new life for herself but it’s all destroyed one afternoon when she agrees to help an injured man. Now she’s set on taking her revenge and will use Richard Marr’s help to get it. I really loved Charlotte and thought the dynamics of her magic were interesting. However, I felt like there were a few minor plot threads that weren’t finished by the end. So, I’m hoping this means the Andrews writing team haven’t completely finished writing stories in this world.


19124363Evernight by Kristen Callihan

Rating: B

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Evernight is the 5th book in Kristen Callihan’s “Darkets London” series. I’ll admit I skipped over book 3 and 4 for no real reason except this one sounded more interesting at the time. Holly Evernight has been agoraphobic ever since she was kidnapped and held captive. And the constant stream of supernaturals bent on killing her isn’t helping alleviate that fear. Will Thorne is the first one person to make it past her security and she’s shocked to find he’s also someone she was forced to experiment on. I’m not a huge fan of “hate turns to love” romances, so the first part of this book wasn’t my cup of tea. Callihan’s writing was enough to keep me going though and I new that the ending wouldn’t play out the way I expected. It’s one of the things I love about Callihan’s books. She never quite goes down the path I expect her to take. All in all, an enjoyable read and I look forward to reading the next book in the series (Soulbound).


26759Dark Water by Koji Suzuki 

Rating: C+

Genre: Horror

Dark Water was my horror novel for October. Essentially, it’s a collection of short stories all connected through the characters’ interactions with water and death. The way Suzuki incorporated paranormal elements into these connections was very interesting and was what kept me reading. However, I was thinking this would be more of a horror book than it really was. The majority of the tales reminded me more of Karen Russell‘s short stories, which are general fiction that utilizes some paranormal elements. So, if you’re looking for a scary or creepy read, I would suggest you look elsewhere. But if you’re looking for a collection of interesting stories then this is a solid read.


13330537Garment of Shadows by Laurie R. King

Rating: A –

Genre: Mystery

Garment of Shadows is the 12th installment in King’s Mary Russell series. I’ve been skipping around a lot with these books but it has never affected my understanding of what is going on. In this one, Mary is suffering from amnesia while trying to navigate her way around a strange city. A large chunk of this book revolves around everyone trying to figure out how Mary got injured and where the person she was traveling with has vanished. I really adore this series and loved getting some chapters told from Holmes perspective.


18136549It Happened One Wedding by Julie James

Rating: C+

Genre: Contemporary Romance

It Happened One Wedding is the 5th book in James’ FBI/US Attorney series and I really wish she’d get away from writing only books in this series. I’m starting to get a little tired of the concept and would love to see what she would do outside of FBI/US Attorney novels. In this story, Vaughn and Sidney are the best man and maid of honor (respectively) of their siblings wedding. After a rocky start, they find themselves growing on one another. Nothing too surprising here, it basically went the way I figured it would. Not bad, but nothing very memorable about it.