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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’ve decided to stop updating my goodreads account in favor of focusing on StoryGraph this year. 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).

< < 2021

January 1, 2022 to Now: (latest finished on top)

Unmasked by the Marquess, Cat Sebastian
Liked this historical with a twist one doesn’t often see. Couldn’t figure out how it would work out.

Whiteout, Adriana Anders
More suspense than I usually go for in my reading. Definitely could have done without the epilogue.

Captain of All Pleasures, Kresley Cole
I forgot I was reading this one and started two other books before I remembered. Not sure why it didn’t hold my interest, as it’s got a spunky heroine, and I usually like that.

The Black Lyon, Jude Deveraux
This hero is definitely not for me.

Aurora Blazing, Jessie Mihalik
Loved it. It had been a while since I read the first one in the series but I fell right back in to this space opera.

The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever, Julia Quinn
Eh. Not really for me at this time in my life. Too much pining. Too obnoxious of a hero.

Beautiful Bastard, Christina Lauren
Like 50 Shades, this is a Twilight fanfic that was rewritten for publication. Also like that book, it has a power differential problem. If you can get past that, there are some hot scenes here.

Lick, Kylie Scott
I can see the appeal of this book but it’s not quite for me, as I don’t think anyone should be getting married at 21, much less when black out drunk.

Until You, Judith McNaught
Some delightful tropes here.

A Treasure Worth Seeking, Sandra Brown
Oh my. This is an older book, and it shows. Consent is not great though not completely ignored. I kept thinking/hoping that the crime that brings the main characters together would be resolved differently than it was. Some words stuck out to me, as if the author had recently helped a teen study for the SAT, very vocabulary word of the day. I got rather distracted by the details of a plane flight. Yes, things were different in the 90s but I don’t remember passengers being allowed to sleep laying down across three seats during landing.

The Hating Game, Sally Thorne
I somehow missed this when it was new. Really liked it. Takes tropes and uses them so skillfully and entertainingly I didn’t have any brain cells wandering off to nitpick details as I so often do.

Bombshell, Sarah MacLean
I had trouble focusing on this due to my confusion about whether I’d read it before, which I don’t think I could have given the publication date and how relatively recently I’ve found the author. That’s not the book’s fault, it’s my brain’s.

You Had Me at Hola, Alexis Daria
I liked the layering of the second chance romance in the tv show the two main characters were making alongside their off-screen romance.

The Billionaire’s Bargain, Naima Simone
The premise requires a fairly big suspension of disbelief. There are some awful people in this book, including a hero I found manipulative and who didn’t have to do enough grovelling for my taste. I’m undecided if I want to read the others in the series.

Where the Drowned Girls Go, Seanan McGuire
Set in the rival school to the one the previous books have been centered around, so that was interesting.

Bombshell, Jody Gehrman
I came across this when searching for another book with the same title. It was fun quick read.

A Matter of Class, Mary Balogh
This was charming in a way I didn’t expect.

Serving Pleasure, Alisha Rai
Another recommendation from Fated Mates that I’m glad I read.

You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know, Heather Sellers
This was a tough read for me at times. Glad I picked it up despite that.

Everything I Left Unsaid, M. O’Keefe
Disappointed this is a cliffhanger. Again, maybe I should go for spoilers so I know what I’m getting into.

Not If I Save You First, Ally Carter
I have a bad habit of putting books on my library hold list and then forgetting anything I knew about them by the time it’s my turn to check them out. Thus I found myself surprised that this was both young adult and suspense … I was expecting romance, because that’s what I tend to put on my hold list, and there is a touch of that here but it’s definitely not the focus. It’s a good book just not in my wheelhouse/comfort zone.

A Heart of Blood and Ashes, Milla Vane
I had trouble getting into this one, with all the world building in the early chapters. I eventually got my bearings and enjoyed the story.

The A.I. Who Loved Me, Alyssa Cole
I loved this so much. It reminded me of the Murderbot series in some ways, and was even funnier. I hope there are more books coming about the characters in this one.

Through the Banks of the Red Cedar, Maya Washington
As an alum of Michigan State and a person who’s watched a fair few Minnesota Vikings games, I appreciated this biography of a man who played football in both places so I could learn some of the history I hadn’t been exposed to before. Also as an alum of MSU, I wish the title had been “On the Banks of the Red Cedar” because I have a deep groove in my brain from singing that opening line to the fight song so many times as a student. I’d like to track down the documentary film that covers this same ground.

Mangos and Mistletoe, Adriana Herrera
Quick cute romance set against a cooking competition show backdrop.

Keep the Memories, Lose the Stuff, Matt Paxton
I have stuff from several households and several generations, including my own, that I know I can’t take with me the next time I move. I don’t know that I’m going to take much from this book, though, as the key to his method is telling your stories to someone outside the immediate family, which I don’t see as practical for me. Unless I count writing journal entries about the stories and posting them online, which I don’t think he had in mind.

Brazen and the Beast, Sarah MacLean (A)(RR)
I needed to listen to an audiobook for a challenge on StoryGraph, and this was one of the options. Since I’d enjoyed the ebook of this title and my library had the audio, I chose this to listen to. It was well done, but since I didn’t have enough driving to do, I had to listen to some parts out of the car, and that leads to me being distracted by other things and not paying attention and having to rewind sometimes.

The Prince of Broadway, Joanna Shupe
I didn’t realize before I started reading that the timeline here overlaps with the first book. These women’s parents sure have a lot to deal with at the same time. As with the first one, I had some trouble believing some of the plot points, though it was easier this time as the world and the characters’ reactions were consistent with that first book. I did enjoy it overall and will read the third one at some point.

Tied Score, Elia Winters
I wanted more of this when I was done. It was a good BDSM palate cleanser after Fifty Shades. These main characters don’t have a huge power differential. These main characters educate themselves using good resources.

Fifty Shades of Grey, E.L. James
I only read this finally because it was one of the books selected for discussion on Season 3 of the Fated Mates podcast. I knew it was problematic. Now I’ve seen it for myself. I’ve read enough good BDSM fiction written by folks who are in lifestyle to feel concerned about folks who only read this series and think that’s how it works in real life.

Brazen and the Beast, Sarah MacLean
I would have sworn I’d read this before, but I think I just have heard it mentioned enough on the Fated Mates podcast that it just felt like I knew it well enough to have read it (and I did read the next installment so did know the main characters here from that). I really liked this one.

Come Tumbling Down, Seanan McGuire
More horror and less humanity than I would have liked but that’s how it goes sometimes. I’m still going to continue with the series.

Polaris Rising, Jesse Mihalik
Just what I needed. Escapist sci-fi with some sexy times.

Powder Days, Heather Hansman This collection of meditations on ski bums and the ski industry sort of bummed me out. I missed the golden age of skiing and ski bumming, which is okay for me since I don’t have the drive that classic ski bums do and due to circumstances I can afford to participate in the sport that’s out of reach of a lot of people now that small ski hills are disappearing.

The Rogue of Fifth Avenue, Joanna Shupe
This series comes up a lot in the Fated Mates podcast, so I picked up this first one. I liked it, though wasn’t quite able to suspend disbelief about some of the plot points.

Merrily Ever After, Jenny Holiday
I had a problem with the backstory in this one that colored my feelings about the whole read. Since I jumped into this series midstream, perhaps the issue that bothered me was explained in an earlier book. Regardless, the main storyline here is not my favorite trope.

In an Absent Dream, Seanan McGuire
This installment of the series felt sadder to me than the others.

The Tourist Attraction, Sarah Morgenthaler
This lived up to its illustrated cover: a sweet, low-steam romance. As a person living in a mountain town with a fair bit of tourism, this probably hit me differently than most readers.

Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America, Ijeoma Oluo
I learned some things from this. I am not as hopeful as the author that we as a country can change.

Beneath the Sugar Sky, Seanan McGuire
Nonsense worlds can be hard for me but I did my best to roll with it. I really liked seeing what happened after the events of the first book, even if some of the twists made my brain hurt.

Get a Grip, L. A. Witt
Finished this m/m before Romancelandia Twitter blew up with discussion of why so many m/m are written by white women. I enjoyed the book enough that I’ll probably pick up other in the series (this is #19; surely some of the others have different types of pairings).

Down Among the Sticks and Bones, Seanan McGuire
Though it was dark, I enjoyed learning the backstory of two of the characters from the first book in the series.

My Butt As A Slightly Frustrating But Ultimately Rewarding And Meditative Daily Routine
, Chuck Tingle
My first Chuck Tingle, purchased because the title made me laugh when I saw it in my Twitter feed amongst all the Wordle grids.

The Heart Principle
, Helen Hoang
This was harder to read than the previous two in this series, probably because some of it hit too close to home for me. I’m still glad I read it.

The Bride Test, Helen Hoang
I practically inhaled this, feeling fortunate I could get more Helen Hoang so soon after I finished The Kiss Quotient.

The Kiss Quotient, Helen Hoang
Yes. Just yes.

Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire
I really liked the concept. I didn’t connect with the story as much as I’d have liked. That’s probably a me problem.

A Kingdom of Dreams, Judith McNaught
A problematic premise for me, but that’s not super unusual in a romance of this vintage.

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