wrap up monthly reading books bookblog

May Wrap-Up

It’s monthly wrap-up time again folks!! Hope you all had a good reading month. I had a pretty good one, got about 10 books in and enjoyed them all.

Unmasqued Unmasqued by Collete Gale ★★★★☆

(FYI this is a durrrty book) Retelling of The Phantom of the Opera. So much better than I was expecting, this one is for everyone who wanted the phantom to get the girl.

Master of Seduction (Sea Wolves, #1) Master of Seduction by Kinley MacGregor ★★★☆☆

I wanted so much more from this book. I expected it to be a cheesy and silly as the cover but it was a bit….boring.

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1) Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams ★★★★☆

So witty and mental and fun to read! I didn’t enjoy it as much as Hitchhikers Guide but it was still great.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5) The Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling ★★★★★

My favourite one!!! A lot of people dislike this one because of teenage angst but I think it’s well founded. Love it!

Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #4) Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill ★★★★★

Awesome urban fantasy series. Merit kicks ass!!

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1) Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs ★★★☆☆

Interesting but not really for me.

Drink Deep (Chicagoland Vampires, #5) Drink Deep by Chloe Neill ★★★★★

That UF series again. This one is my favourite so far. Merit really comes into her own here and the world gets so much bigger.

The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire, #1) The Greyfriar by Clay & Susan Griffith ★★★★☆

Steampunk vampire apocalypse, you say? Hell yes!! Very heavy with the world building at the beginning but awesome story.

Zombie's Bite (Dorina Basarab, #0.1) Zombie’s Bite by Karen Chance ★★★★☆

Prequel novella to Chance’s Dorina Basarab series, available for free from her site. It’s set before the series but I wouldn’t recommend reading it before Midnight’s Daughter.

Bossypants Bossypants by Tina Fey ★★★☆☆

I thought this would be a lot funnier. It was very interesting though.

The Handmaid's Tale The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood ★★★★★

Harrowing. Everyone should read this.

Curse the Dawn (Cassandra Palmer, #4) Curse the Dawn by Karen Chance ★★★★★

There are only two book worlds I would like to live in and they are Harry Potter (obv) and this series. I love it!!!!!!!!!!!

Had one DNF this month and that was…..

Midnight Crossroad (Midnight, Texas #1) Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris

100 pages in and zzzzz boring. I’ll check out the show when it comes out.


Swashbuckling Romances

Oh, the thrill of the high seas (we’ll ignore the scurvy bit). Ya gotta love a bit of cheesy romance every now and then, there’s no shame in it. Even Marge chills out with a good swashbuckling adventure once and awhile. The romance genre gets looked down at a lot and this subgenre even more so but who cares what people think as long as it’s fun, right?! Here are some of my top picks from the genre.

Master of Seduction (Sea Wolves, #1) Master of Seduction – Kinley MacGregor

♦Enemies to Lovers ♦Pirates ♦Historical

I love that cover so much!!! It’s so cheesy!! (Kinley MacGregor is a pseudonym for Sherrilyn Kenyon so Dark Hunter fans this might be the one for you.) I expected this book to be a bit of a cheese fest with heaving bosoms and the like but it was much sweeter than that. It’s more like a romantic comedy on the high seas (which is a bit cheesy I guess). Jack and Lorelei set a wager that she can make him fall in love with her before he can get her into the sack. You can imagine the little cat and mouse games that follow. It’s a very entertaining and fun read. One thing that annoys me is that Jack actually walks around calling himself The Master of Seduction…..calm down lad! ★★★☆☆

The Iron Duke (Iron Seas, #1) The Iron Duke – Meljean Brook

♦Steampunk ♦Kick Ass Heroine ♦Suspense

Oh man, I love this book! Since it’s first in a steampunk series there is a good bit of world building but it doesn’t hinder the flow of the story. Mina and Rhys are some of the strongest characters I’ve ever read in a romance. And the story? Such an adventure! And there are zombies but they’re not super gross. Mina is an inspector assigned to a case involving a dead body dropped from the sky onto Rhys’s property. Together they unravel a conspiracy threatening the lives of everyone in England. ★★★★★

The Captain of All Pleasures (Sutherland Brothers, #1) The Captain of All Pleasures – Kresley Cole

♦Enemies to lovers ♦Historical ♦Suspense

This is Cole’s debut novel but it still shows signs of the style she writes with in Immortals After Dark. This book is quite the adventure as well. Derek is taking part in a ship race while holding Nicole prisoner after he believes she attempted to sabotage his ship in the hopes of winning the race herself. Adventure (and lurve) ensue. ★★★★★

 The Price of Pleasure – Kresley Cole

♦Historical ♦Adventure ♦Tortured Hero/Heroine

Sometimes I feel like I might be pushing Kresley Cole on you guys…..but she is awesome so you should really read her books!!! Seriously, my favourite romance author. Anyway, this book is the follow up to The Captain of All Pleasures but you don’t need to read it to enjoy this one. Here we follow Derek’s brother Grant as he seeks out and rescues Victoria whose family was stranded on a desert island years before (I think it was like 7 years). Grant was the stoic responsible brother who finds his restraints tested around Victoria. ★★★★☆

Top Rated Books Jan-Apr

I’ve read some awesome books this year already (and some flops but never mind them). I’ve done a good few rereads as well which automatically get a high rating so I’m not going to include them. The list is long enough already!

5 Star Ratings ★★★★★

The Vagina Monologues The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler

This was so much more entertaining than I expected it to be. It was really funny.

The Importance of Being Earnest The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Such silliness. I love it!

Skin Game (The Dresden Files, #15) Skin Game by Jim Butcher

There are a lot of books from the Dresden Files on this list. Out of the 15 books in the series, I think the lowest rating I’ve given is 3 and only on one or two books.

We Should All Be Feminists We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Indeed we should.

Angel in Scarlet Angel in Scarlet by Jennifer Wilde

Not the usual historical romance.

Ghost Story (The Dresden Files,  #13) Ghost Story by Jim Butcher

Oh, Harry 😥

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1) First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

This woman is hilarious! I’d call these books action comedy.

Changes (The Dresden Files, #12)   Changes by Jim Butcher

I don’t think I will ever get over this book. My god Butcher!!!!!

Buying Trouble (Dorina Basarab, #1.1) Buying Trouble by Karen Chance

Fun intro to the Dorina series.

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

Very funny woman. She’s had an interesting life.

4 Star Ratings ★★★★☆

Side Jobs: Stories from the Dresden Files (The Dresden Files, #12.5) Side Jobs by Jim Butcher

The Professional (The Game Maker, #1) The Professional by Kresley Cole

The Gashlycrumb Tinies (The Vinegar Works, #1) The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey

Small Favor (The Dresden Files, #10) Small Favour by Jim Butcher

Dark Desires After Dusk (Immortals After Dark, #6) Dark Desires After Dusk – Kresley Cole

Thorn Queen (Dark Swan, #2) Thorn Queen by Richelle Mead

Ten Little Zombies: A Love Story Ten Little Zombies by Andy Rash

The Alchemist The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Spider's Bite (Elemental Assassin, #1) Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep

Macbeth  Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Scrappy Little Nobody Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

Far from the Madding Crowd Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Jabril (Vampires in America, #2) Jabril by D.B. Reynolds

Web of Lies (Elemental Assassin, #2) Web of Lies by Jennifer Estep

A Questionable Client (Kate Daniels, #0.5) A Questionable Client by Ilona Andrews

Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1) Halfway to the Grave by Jeanine Frost

Raphael (Vampires in America, #1) Raphael by D.B. Reynolds

Woo, man, I didn’t realise I had so many! Pretty awesome that my reading year has been so good so far.

Have you read any of these books? What rating did you give them? Have you read many 4/5 star books so far this year?

Books I DNF’d

For those who don’t know, DNF means Did Not Finish.

Luckily it’s a short list. Usually, I go back and finish a DNF but some of them I have no intention what so ever of finishing.

Knight of a Trillion Stars (Matrix of Destiny #1) Knight of a Trillion Stars – Dara Joy

The audiobook of this was free on scribd a few months so I decided to give it a whirl. Ugh, what a waste of time. It was just way too cheesy for me. Every time Lorgin spoke I would just roll my eyes. Will not finish.

Bait (Wake, #1) Bait – M. Mabi

This was ok. The story was pretty slow though. There was a lot of cheating going on and they weren’t really going anywhere so I got bored and just didn’t bother picking it up again. Will not finish.

My Name Is Lucy Barton My Name is Lucy Barton – Elizabeth Strout

I was so excited to read this after reading loads of great reviews for it but man was it boring. This woman lived totally inside her own head, fell ‘in love’ with any man that was nice to her and was just plain boring. Will not finish.

Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined Life and Death – Stephenie Meyer

I just wanted to see if the story would be more enjoyable with the gender swap. It was the same. Will not finish.

From Ashes (From Ashes, #1) From Ashes – Molly McAdams

I got bored and the “love triangle” pissed me off. Will not finish.

The Exorcist The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty

I was listening to the audiobook read by the author. I didn’t like his narration. I’ll pick up the book instead.

Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper (Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #1) Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper – J.L. Bryan

This was ok. I just lost interest. Ghost trapping sounds exciting and fun but not so much for these guys. Based too much in reality I think. Will not finish.

Torrent (Condemned, #1) Torrent – Gemma James

No. Just no. Rape fantasies and slapping a woman across the breasts with a belt. Nope. I got as far as the main guy saying he cared for the girl but really wanted to rape her. What the fuck?! Will not finish.

Keystone (Crossbreed #1) Keystone – Dannika Dark

I got bored. It started off pretty good but then grew stagnant during the world building/training stage. I didn’t care about any of the characters so why bother. Will not finish.

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre Mr Darcy, Vampyre – Amanda Grange

I don’t remember anything about this… I’m a big fan of classic retellings so I might give it another go.

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4) City of Fallen Angels – Cassandra Clare

I was satisfied with the third book in the series being the end so didn’t feel much incentive to keep going. I think I will come back to this though because I really like the characters and the world.

Faithful Faithful – Alice Hoffman

I have this on my DNF shelf so I must have started it but I don’t remember a single thing about it.

The Magicians (The Magicians #1) The Magicians – Lev Grossman

Quentin was such an asshole. I got about half way.

The English Patient The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje

This I will come back to at some point I just wasn’t feeling it at the time.

Dark Prince (Dark, #1) Dark Prince – Christine Feehan

The guy in this was just too positive which is really common in PNR but got annoyed with this one. I didn’t like Feehan’s writing style either. I’ve since read a good few of her books from other series and enjoyed them so I might give this another go.

Dune Dune – Frank Herbert

I wasn’t feeling an intricate story with lots of characters at the time. I will come back to this at some point.

How many DNF’s do you have? Have you read any of these books and think I should give them another chance?

April TBR & Goals

I’ve seriously been lacking in the reading department lately. I read some interesting books last month but didn’t read anywhere near as much as I usually do.

This month I want to read at least 10 things and maybe finish some DNF’s from last month.

Books I Started in March

Wintersong Wintersong

Rajmund (Vampires in America, #3) Rajmund

Venom (Elemental Assassin, #3) Venom

The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby

The Complete Persepolis The Complete Persepolis

Bloodfever (Fever, #2) Bloodfever

The Historian The Historian

Midnight's Daughter (Dorina Basarab, #1) Midnight’s Daughter

New Reads for April

Kushiel's Dart (Phèdre's Trilogy, #1) Kushiel’s Dart

The Force of Wind (Elemental Mysteries, #3) The Force of the Wind

Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #4) Hard Bitten

Heart of Steel (Iron Seas, #2) Heart of Steel

Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1) Burn for Me

Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7) Lover Avenged

Other Plans for April

I’m taking part in two bookish Instagram challenges this month which means I will be posting more than usual. So far it’s been fun. I plan to post daily here as well and get my youtube channel going properly.

What’s on your TBR for April? Are you taking part in any challenges?