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Books I’ve Read

(A) means I listened to it.
(RR) means I re-read it.
(P) means I read it on paper.

I link titles to Powell’s Books if they carry them. I will often link to an edition other than the one I read. If Powell’s (or another non-Amazon site) doesn’t have it, I will link to Amazon. These are not affiliate links.

I also log my reading on StoryGraph. I’m KarenD there. Feel free to friend (or follow) me. Once in a while I add spoilers to my reviews there in addition to what I write on this page (using spoiler tags there, of course).

< < 2022

January 1, 2023 to Now: (latest finished on top)

Georgie, All Along, Kate Clayborn
This felt realistic to me, which is saying a lot for a contemporary, as those usually give my brain problems in that area.

The Earl’s Christmas Pearl, Megan Frampton
Short yet didn’t feel incomplete. I do want to know more about this couple … maybe they show up as secondary characters in another book in the series?

Beyond Magenta, Susan Kuklin
Given the persecution of trans youth by the GOP, it felt important to read about some of them in their own words in this book.

Her Best Worst Mistake, Sarah Mayberry
This was one of those “I’m not sure how this is going to work out” ones for me. But of course it did. I liked it a lot.

Her Perfect Affair, Priscilla Oliveras
This is subtitled “a feel-good multicultural romance”, but I did not feel good for a lot of it. Too much uncertainty and stress.

Chef’s Kiss, TJ Alexander(P)
Really liked the inclusiveness of this. Didn’t like the work stress the characters were under but that’s realistic.

More Than a Mistress, Mary Balogh

Marrying Winterborne, Lisa Kleypas
This flouts romance conventions, which I appreciated. Especially because I knew things would work out okay.

Heartbreaker, Sarah MacLean
Enjoyed this more than the first in the series.

Get a Life Chloe Brown, Talia Hibbert (P)
Appreciated that the struggles here for both the main characters felt realistic and were woven into the romance plot so skillfully.

The Fiancee Farce, Alexandra Bellefleur
Loved this. I cut my romance reading teeth on marriage in name only books so the fake fiancee trope is a deep groove in my brain, and this contemporary version just delighted me.

Permanent Ink, Avon Gale & Piper Vaughan
Yes. Age gap is not a trope I usually like but it worked for me here.

Solid Soul, Brenda Jackson
The writing style didn’t engage me overmuch but I liked the story.

Hidden, Rebecca Zanetti
Another one I didn’t think would be for me, but it held my attention.

The Companion, EE Ottoman
This felt cozy. I admit I was confused about the genders of the characters but that’s a me problem, not the book’s.

Something About You, Julie James
Based on the blurb, it seemed this wasn’t something I’d like, but I did.

The Viscount Made Me Do It, Diana Quincy
Unlike the last two books I read, this one grabbed me much more strongly and I finished it pretty quickly and want to read more in the series.

Butterfly Swords, Jeannie Lin
Read this for the atypical setting for a historical romance.

Hot Ice, Nora Roberts
All the smoking definitely dates this one. Don’t think I’ve ever read a book set in Madagascar before.

Talk Dirty to Me, London Hale
More reading for the Fated Mates challenge on StoryGraph. This author’s tagline is “just the right side of wrong”, and yeah, that fits. I chose this particular book for the challenge since it seemed to have the most distance from where I draw that line. It was fine but I think my tastes are just changing and erotica doesn’t hit the way it used to.

All Systems Red, Artificial Condition, Rouge Protocol, Exit Strategy, and Fugitive Telemetry, Martha Wells
Another re-read of these favorites of mine.

Gaywyck, Vincent Virga
If I hadn’t been reading this for a podcast challenge, and if I hadn’t had to buy it, I might not have finished it. Gothic is not my jam. Age gap when there are no vampires/immortals involved is not my jam. I’d also say look at content warnings on StoryGraph before you decide to read this.

Niksen, Annette Lavrisjen
I wish I’d read this one in paper, as I have the idea that the illustrations would have been even more charming in color (my Kindle is old and doesn’t do color). The non-illustration content seemed not as helpful as I’d hoped … maybe because I’m already pretty good at doing nothing. There were a couple of nuggets but overall I was left unsatisfied.

Adam and Eva, Sandra Kitt
Part of my effort to read more books with non-white leads. This particular one didn’t click for me, but I’m still in my reading slump so it’s not the book’s fault.

Passion, Lisa Valdez
Another book that didn’t work as well for me as I’d hoped. Maybe my tastes are changing; maybe I’m in a funk. This started with a bang, and then banged again and again to the point where I was craving exposition. The ending felt rushed to me. All that said, I might read the next book in the series because I did like the writing, if not the plotting.

The Regional Office is Under Attack, Manual Gonzales
I think this is a good book but for someone else. Or maybe for me at a different time in my life. Now, I found it melancholy and somewhat confusing to follow.

Her Halloween Treat, Tiffany Reisz
Just what I needed. I’ve seen this recommended a lot but kept putting off reading it because it’s not in any library I have access to and I never remembered to buy it around Halloween time. But I wanted something fun and decided to just buy it, and I’m glad I did. It’s not super tied to Halloween, so that wasn’t an issue at all reading it in March.

The Wolf and the Dove, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
If I hadn’t been reading this for a challenge, I probably wouldn’t have finished it. These old historicals are rife with stuff I don’t want to read about. This one also had some plot points that were too far for me to stretch my credulity.

A Libertarian Walks into a Bear, Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling
There are a fair few libertarians around me, so I picked this up. Some of it felt super familiar, even though this is set in New Hampshire and I’m all the way across the country.

Lead, Kylie Scott
The first in the series wasn’t quite for me, but I gave the second a chance because it had a different trope. It was a better fit, so I figured I’d finish the series. One down, one to go. I still don’t quite click with these for some reason though I can see the appeal.

The Magic of Pockets, Jess Driscoll
I have some sewing experience, so some of this was information I’d already been exposed to, but that’s fine. I liked the variety of ideas here, both for altering garments and making external pockets, as in pouches and bags.

The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls, Mona Eltahawy
Thought provoking.

So Happy for You, Celia Laskey
This was weird for me. The horror was both too unbelievable and too close to reality at different times.

How the Dukes Stole Christmas, Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, Joanna Shupe
Liked the small connection between the stories. One of these would definitely have been better as a full length novel, as there was not near enough time for grovelling on the part of the hero.

Written in the Stars, Alexandria Bellefleur
Yes, more like this please.

A Kiss for Midwinter
, Courtney Milan
Another enjoyable novella that fits into the Brothers Sinister series.

Hana Khan Carries On, Uzma Jalaluddin
Given that I live near many white Christian nationalists, some parts of this were very uncomfortable to read since they hit too close to home. I wish I hadn’t read the blurb I did before I picked this up, as it took away some of the sense of discovery for me as the plot unfolded.

The Governess Affair, Courtney Milan
I found this backstory to the Brothers Sinister series delightful. Given how my brain works, I’d forgotten I’d read the first few books in that series until maybe ¾ of the way through but it didn’t matter.

Running Scared, Elizabeth Lowell
More suspense and violence in this one than I generally like in my reading life but I found many of the characters engaging.

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