Reading Roundup | October 2022

pub 9/20/22 by Dell • Contemporary Literary Fiction • Received from pub for review⭐⭐⭐ 3 stars | I’ll be honest—this wasn’t exactly the most memorable romance for me but it was a super sweet, wholesome, quick read with minimal angst and fit the mood that I was in at the time. Rae Rose, as she’s known to the public,  is a famous pop star and right before she’s about to embark on a major tour, she takes off for Rome, Kentucky (inspired by Roman Holiday, her favorite Audrey Hepburn movie) so she can take a minute to be breathe and be herself, just Amelia. Her car breaks down on Noah Walker’s front lawn and naturally this handsome, slightly grumpy, stranger offers her his guest bedroom until her car is fixed and she accepts. Everything in the book is really surface level (little is said of her music for instance) and moves at breakneck speed (insta-love, the whole kooky town of Rome rooting for them, and the resolution of any conflict). But there is a sweetness to the simple way this story is executed so if you’re in the mood for something quick and fun, this would be a good option to borrow from the library. 

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pub 9/27/22 by Delacorte Press • Magical Realism • Received from pub for review⭐⭐⭐💫 3.5 stars | I’ve read all of Adrienne Young’s books and while Sky in the Deep continues to be my favorite, I did enjoy this foray into magical realism / mystery thriller with Spells for Forgetting. It’s an atmospheric story about an island (who feels like a character all on its own!), old and magical ways, people who can’t let go of the past, an unsolved murder, and an all-consuming love. Emery Blackwood hasn’t been the same since the love of her life, August Salt, was accused of murdering her best friend Lily Morgan, and ran off. Now he’s back and it reignites a lot of suspicion plus pain and suffering for Emery and the people of their island. I appreciated how Young told the story, switching perspectives often while still focusing on Emery and August, and unsurprisingly, I didn’t guess a single thing correctly beforehand (I like just being along for the ride anyway!). Mysteries, in general, are difficult for me to connect with so I didn’t exactly fall in love with this, but I was drawn enough into the story to need to know how it would all end.  

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pub 10/11/22 by Berkley • Historical Romance • Received from pub for review⭐⭐ 4 stars | The Belle of Belgrave is the second book in the Belles of London series and the author continues to deliver on this historical romance (be forewarned: it’s absolutely not Bridgerton levels of steamy) that involves four friends who would rather spend their time riding horses together than subjecting themselves to societal female expectations of their Victorian era.  This installment focuses on Julia, who would rather fake being sick so she can stay home and read a book instead of attending a ball, and Captain Jasper Blunt, who is on the hunt for a rich wife but is clearly more than what he seems. Their romance is clearly a take on Beauty & the Beast, but with a twist. I adored the steady progression of their relationship, which felt romantic and earned, but also how each individual grew and came into their own by the end of the book. With this latest book, there are now two more friends left in their little circle and I cannot wait to read what the author comes up with for each of them! 


with love,