April wrap-up

Hi everyone!

April went by extremely fast for me. I feel like nowadays I’m always late to my wrap-ups but at least I keep posting them, am I right?

This month I exclusively read Kindle Unlimited romances with the exception of the last two books I read in the month, which were both rereads. I read a total of 12 books, 10 of them were romances. I also discovered a bunch of new romance authors that I’m really excited to check their backlists.

Let’s see what I ended up reading:

Maybe Next time (Vegas Nights #1) by Christina C. Jones ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Here we follow a married couple that is going through a rough time as they try to work through their problems and rekindle their love.

I love this couple, they have a lot of chemistry and they are the type of people that are constantly bickering, and pushing each other’s buttons. I loved how they eventually communicate and talk through their problems. It also featured some very steamy scenes and I’m overall really happy I read this, and I can’t wait to read more from this author.

Maybe This time (Vegas Nights #2) by Christina C. Jones ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is a really fun, quick romance novella featuring two best friends who get married in Las Vegas and come face to face with what they are really feeling for each other.
I really appreciated how Trace behaves with Des. He is way more on board with the idea of commiting to a romantic relationship, but understands that Des needs time to process and make up her mind. He is really respectful of her pace and doesn’t preassure her, which really shows the amazing realtionship they already had established.
For how short this is, I think it delivered on everything I wanted: fun setting, lots of steamy scenes, a lovable couple and some sweet moments. Can’t get better than that.

Braking the Bully by Jessa Kane ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I really loved this. I’m not someone who enjoyes taboo romances, I have a hard time getting into them and rooting for the couple, but I have a especially difficult time with bullies. I’m okay with redemption arcs but I almost never want the bully to end up with the victim. However, this really worked for me. I think the fact that we don’t see the bullying happening, we see a couple of instances but nothing more, is what really helped me get on board with the idea of the two mc together.
And since I do think they had a lot of chemistry I was okay with it. It’s also super short and steamy so there wasn’t that much depth to them that would make me question their relationship all that much.
Overall, a really steamy, short novella that I really enjoyed.

Hefty by Jessa Kane ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This was such a sweet surpirse. I absolutely loved this. This is part of a series of companion romance novellas that all feature plus-sized heros, I believe there are currently four books out and I binge read three of them. In this story, our heroine is a cheerleader and the hero is part of the football team.I thought the hero was such a sweet, caring boy and the heroine was also super adorable and kind hearted. I really shipped them together, I think they make such a cute couple and I also found the sex scenes super steamy. This is the only book from this series that takes place in high school.

Definitely my favorite from from this series.

Burly by Jessa Kane ⭐⭐⭐

I didn’t love this as much as Hefty simply because I wasn’t as into the realtionship dynamic in here. I’m not one who typically likes taboo romances, I enjoy them once in a while but very specific ones, and this had more of a taboo dynamic since the heroine is the hero’s best-friend’s daughter. He was also her security guard since the heroine is an aspiring pop singer, which that aspect I really enjoyed, but I simply wasn’t in love with the characters in here.
Still enjoyable, still very well written and I would definitely still recommend if you enjoy smutty, romance novellas.

Husky by Jessa Kane ⭐⭐⭐

I liked this more than Burly but still less than Hefty. In here the hero works at a bar and the heroine comes in one day, trying to catch a quick break from work. She’s a super young fashion desinger and is desinging the last outfits for her fashion show but has run out of inspiration and finds it again, when she sees the hero. I thought the heroine was once again, super sweet and the hero was also really nice. I think at this point I was a little burnt out by Jessa Kane’s novels because, at least all the ones I’ve read by her so far, follow a very similar formula so even though I enjoyed everything, nothing was really new or exciting for me.

Cherry Bomb by Carmel Rhodes ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I keep saying in this post that I don’t typically love taboo romances and yet, I keep picking them up, and this one I really enjoyed a lot. This one features an age-gap romance between a college student Cherry, who works as a waitress at a restaurant and an older man that comes in one night. They have a really strong physical atraction but they soon find out that Cash, our hero, is her bff’s dad. So that’s where another taboo element comes from.

I loved the dynamic these two had. Cherry is a bit of a self-destructive character, she’s struggling with some things and has a kind of self-savotage vibe to her that I usually don’t really enjoy but for some reason it really worked here. Cash was a really great hero who really valued honesty and communication and I love when those things are featured in love stories. I thought their chemistry was great, they had a very intense relationship since both of them knew that they were doing something kind of risky but neither was willing to give each other up.

If you like age-gap romances I really recommend checking this one out.

Midnight Kiss by Carmel Rhodes ⭐⭐⭐

This is a companion novel to Cherry Bomb. In here we are following one of Cherry’s friends as she starts a sort of relationship with Cash’s friend. Once again, we have an age-gap romance. In this case, Logan (our hero) is a single dad and is having some trouble balancing his work life and rising his child, especially since the nanny he has working for him is out on vacation. He meets Emma (our heroine) at the restaurant where she works, and they have a very interesting first encounter. Logan is a bit of an asshole and a definitely grumpy hero, and I wouldn’t say that Emma is a sunshine character, but she’s definitely kinder, she’s a bit shy but also knows how to hold her ground and is also trying to escape difficult situations from her past. Long story short, Logan hires Emma as a nanny and their relationship unfolds from there.

I had a lot of fun with this book as well. I didn’t love this as much as Cherry Bomb, mainly because I wasn’t totally in love with Logan. I don’t mind a grumpy and broody guy, but he was a bit too rude for my liking and kind of a jerk at times, and I didn’t appreciate that. Also this has some BDSM elements that made for some really fun sexy scenes but keep it mind in case that’s not your thing.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. I do recommend it.

Side note: it felt like there was going to be a third companion novel that is actually one I’m super interested in reading, but I can’t seem to find any information on it so if you’ve read these books and know anything please let me know in the comments.

To be Alone With You by Jodie Slaugther ⭐⭐⭐

This is another romance novella from an author I’ve been meaning to try for a while now. This is a forced-proximity, age-gap romance between Naomi, a woman who ten years ago, when she was young and in college, declared her love for one of her mother’s mentors Ira. He declined her and she has been avoiding him ever since.

Naomi decides to take a vacation in the house that Ira is renting and while there, COVID-19 happens and so she’s stuck there, in the middle of the desert, with Ira for the entirety of quarantine.

I really loved Ira, he was a very mature, calm man that always treated Naomi with the outmost respect. Naomi was a great heroine to follow as well. She’s trying to figure out what to do with her life, what she finds meaning in doing. She is facing a lot of everyday struggles that made her very relatable and easy to root for. Their relationship was very gentle. I feel like that’s the perfect word I could use to describe this story. Even though it takes place during the pandemic, even though both of our protagonists are facing many struggles, it was overall such a gentle and sweet story that definitely has me wanting to read more from this author.

Stolen Heir (Brutal Birthright#2) by Sohie Lark ⭐⭐⭐

The last romance I read in the month is a mafia romance, which is a subgenre I rarely ever read. I didn’t realize this is the second book in a series, and I did see the couple of the first story in the background which didn’t prevent me from enjoying this, if anything I think it made me all the more intrigued to check out the first book to see how that couple ended up together.

Back to this story, we have another forced-proximity but this time is because our hero Miko has kidnapped our heroine Nessa, because she is on of the daughters of the Mafia family that killed Miko’s father. Miko is now the head of his own Mafia and is taking his revenge by keeping Nessa captive. This is also a lose retelling of Beauty and Beast and you can really draw the pararllels with Nessa‘s character. She is surprisingly sweet and innocent coming from her family. She’s not involved in any of her family’s business and is actually a ballerina who loves to choreograph the dances for different recitals.

I really enjoyed the dynamic they had going on. Miko is this type of character that’s emotionless and feels a bit like a robot, but Nessa’s gentle nature slowly creeps out on him and he starts to melt to her, and it was really great to read. Mafia romances aren’t generally my favorite, but I did really enjoy this one and I might check out the previous book from the series really soon.

Shadow and Bone (Shadow & Bone #1) by Leigh Bardugo ⭐⭐⭐

I reread this in preparation for the Shadow & Bone Netflix show (which btw, I have watched it two times and I will watch it a third one, it’s sooo incredibly good, although not perfect because nothing will compare to the Six of Crows books).

I first read the entire trilogy four or five years ago and I remember really loving it, but upon this reread I totally see some weaker writing especially compared to the author’s recent works. I also don’t ship book Alina and Mal, nor the darkling really, although I love them in the show.

This definitely has some flaws and it reads a bit like older YA, full of tropes and predictability, but I will say I had mostly a good time with it so, three stars.

Las Luces de Septiembre (Niebla #3) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is the third and final book in the Niebla trilogy, a middle-grade fantasy series that I loved when I was a child and spontaneously decided to reread in March. They are all companion novels, they follow different characters, different worlds and plot so you can read them in any order and treat each of them as a standalone. What they all have in common is the eerie and creepy atmosphere, the spooky vibes and thrilling plot.

This one I loved just as much as the first one. I was engaged from the very beginning, it took no time at all to warm up to the characters and get invested in their lives and adventures. I’m so happy I decided to reread this since I had forgotten absolutely everything, it felt like experiencing the story for the first time. Such a fun series that I really recommend.

Stephanie did an awesome reading experiment in which she read 5 Japanese Books About Cats and I loved her post so much. It was such a creative idea and I was really surprised by some of the gems she found!

Veronika talked all about Poscasts she’s Listened to Recently and since I’m slowly getting into podcasts myself, I found her post really helpful and well written.

Rebecca posted about 5 Characters Who Gave Her “All you exes” Vibes which not only offered great book recommendations, but it also introduced me to an artist I hadn’t heard of before and I’m now really enjoying. Especially the song that inspired her post, so good.

Rums Read Only Romances for a Week and discovered some true gems from the genre. If you’ve read my blog you know I’ve been obsesed with all things romance lately, to this post came at the perfect time.

How was your reading month? Did you find any new favorite books? Let me know!

Until next time, stay safe

Leyre

5 thoughts on “April wrap-up

  1. Stephanie says:

    Looks like you had a great reading month! I keep wanting to check out some KU romances, but feel like I don’t know how to pick out the good ones haha.

    Thanks for sharing my post! I’m so glad you enjoyed it so much! (I think this is the second monthly wrap up you’ve shared it in 😂)

    Liked by 1 person

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