What I’ve read (or listened to) this year, so far…

This is still a bit weird for me, after being away for so long, so bear with me for a little while…

2021 has been a weird year. While 2020 started “normal” and then it all went to sh*t around March, 2021 started already in this weird state. In Portugal, we were in confinement, that went even stricter after the start of the year (a lot because we had a free-ish Christmas, which lead to a huge increase in number of cases).

At the end of 2020 I also moved and am now living by myself, which has been great, but also lead to a lot of movie/series watching on Netflix and Disney Plus. So I haven’t read a lot this year, I have, though, listened to a few audiobooks. I believe I mentioned this on the last post, but I’ve been listening to audios on my way to and from Lisbon, but because I’m lucky enough to still be working from home, I usually don’t wonder into the big city more than 1 or 2 times a week.

Single Dad Seeks Juliette (Max Monroe) was the first book of the year (and the only one I actually “read”). This was an extremely cute read, to be fair, Max Monroe rarely disappoints, and their books are always extremely fun and swoony.

I really enjoyed the 2 main characters. Jake especially, and it was great to see a single dad of a teenager not completely losing it :D. Holley was hilarious, but there were a couple of times where I wanted to share her.

Overall, super enjoyable, and I already have the follow up book lined up on my kindle.

Then, like most of the world, I watched Bridgerton on Netflix. Of course I liked it, of course, and as soon as I understood it was an adaptation from a series from Julia Quinn, I queued the audiobooks on Scribd and started the series. As much as I enjoyed the series, the books are a lot better. I scored them all between 4 and 5 (with the extended epilogues sometimes getting a 3 when I felt they didn’t add anything to the story). I’m super excited to see the series continue, as I’m super curious as to how they’re going to adapt Anthony and Kate’s story. I think book 3 (Benedict’s) and book 6 (Francesca’s) were my favourites, I especially liked Fracesca’s story, I think because it was a second chance romance… it just warmed my heart. Gregory’s final story was also super enjoyable and sweet :D.

When I was done with the Bridgertons, I started with the Rokesbys, a set of stories set a few decades before the Bridgertons’, and I liked this one even better than the first set of stories. Again, the rating of the books was all between 4 and 5, but the characters, especially the female ones, were AMAZEBALLS.

After all the historical romances, I was in a bit of a slump. So I decided to re-listen The Legal Briefs series by Emma Chase – FYI, this was my third read of the series. Sustained is and will be always one of my favourite books ever.

Best Friends Don’t Kiss by Max Monroe was actually a bit of a disappointment (up until now, it was my lowest rating of the year – a 3 stars). The story started out well, but soon I was getting frustrated by the lack of communication of these 2 supposed best friends. The end was super cute though…

Tamed by Emma Chase I couldn’t tell you why I didn’t read it back when I read all the other books of the series, but I enjoyed this one, super fun!

Beautiful Bastard I did a full post on, so yeah, read it, but warning: I did not like it.

Now, these 2… WOW. I had almost forgotten how much I love Jenn and Cletus, but also, everyone else in this town and on these series. Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries is a spin of Winston Brothers and these books are a perfect combination of fun, sweet and a great mystery. Now I severely need book 3 of the series, that will only be out next year 😦 . So… I’ll go into another re-read binge, and this time, I’m re-reading the Winston Brothers. Also, the narration on these books is AMAZING. It made it that more enjoyable for me. 5 stars for both of these!

So, these are the books I’ve mostly listened to this year. What did you think of them? Did you read them? Also, any suggestions (of books that I HAVE TO read?)? 🙂

Book Review: Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren

Hey People!

It’s now been well over 2.5 years since I last wrote on this blog, and I have to say, I did not expect to return like this.

I now understand the power of dissatisfaction (I mean, it’s not like I don’t know what’s behind it… I’ve been working in customer service for 4 years now, and we humans, are always more keen to speak out when we’re unhappy, than when we are happy with something)… so to be clear, yeah, this book was not for me… =/

But hey, before I get into why Beautiful Bastard was not my favourite, I just want to say… I missed this! Is this even done nowadays? Or is everyone on TikTok? (I mean, is there anyone out there who hasn’t downloaded the app during lock down?). And how are YOU? It’s been a pretty intense 2020/2021, are you OK?

Now, back to the subject at hand. I’ve had this book on my TBR since I started to read romance books, and for some reason, that I never could quite put my finger on it, I just didn’t get to it. But I moved houses a few months ago, to a place slightly out of the city, so whenever I go into the city, I pop up an audiobook, and I’m able to get through books quite quickly like this (best subscription that I have right now if for sure Scribd). I finished a few of Emma Chase’s books (re-reads), and thought “no time like the present”. Fair warning, I might drop some spoilers here. You’ve been warned…

So there I was, just cruising on my way to Lisbon, and not even 10 minutes into the book, and I’m having second thoughts. Why? Hmmmm. For context, I love smut, big fan here, but I like my smut with character development, context, relationship development doesn’t hurt either.

From my understanding this book started as online fanfiction that was later published, and all the merit to the author, but it reads exactly like that:

  • each chapter is its own world with instant gratification to the reader;
  • no thought out plot for the whole book;
  • so much sex… no, I’m serious, this was too much.

I wasn’t able to understand the characters and much less like them. Bennett was a bastard to Chloe from the start, and the whole relationship did not make sense to me. Mostly I think because they start their sexual relationship completely out of nowhere, one moment it’s “hey, I need to make a presentation“, and on the next “oops, are we banging on top of the table without a freaking condom on” (spoiler alert, yes they were!). But this was the first chapter. And from this point on there is no effort to develop either of them.

One thing that left me really really confused was Chloe’s decision towards the end to abandon her job of many many years, and her almost finished internship project, because she felt like she was at a disadvantage in their relationship, as she was his intern. This part, yes, she was, and yes, when it would turn to shit, she would be the one burned for sure. But what confuses me, is that this was not a concern when she was initializing some of their activities IN THE OFFICE. There’s one scene that I had so much trouble with, because until that point he was always the one initializing it in one way or another, but then she takes the reins (I mean, girl power and all), but then your attitude doesn’t match your words and thoughts… yeah…

But I want to address something that made me mad. I heard the audiobook as I mentioned before, and this was published by Simon Schuster Audio (not a small company). However, in a book told in dual POV and in the first person, they decided to have a single narrator for the whole thing.

Why would you do that?

There is nothing weirder than hearing a male masturbation scene narrated by a girl trying to sound a bit more masculine. Why didn’t you just get Sebastian York? The narration can make or break a book, and I have to say, the book was already a miss for me, but the narration make it that much worse.

But I did finish it… yeah, don’t really know how. However I will not be reading the remaining books in the series. I like big series, where I can just explore a group of friends, however, because there was no world or character building, I really just can’t.

In the end I rated this book:

Questions for you: have you read this book? what are your thoughts?