Reading Round-Up | January 2024

Wreck the Halls by Tessa Bailey 

In one sentence: A standalone holiday rom-com about the adult children of a former female rockstar duo agree to star on a live reality series in which they convince their mothers to play a Christmas Eve concert. (Add to Goodreads)

⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 stars | This was one of those books where it was exactly what I needed at the time. Even though the romance between Melody and Beat (yes, those are really their names) happens quickly, I didn’t mind because their dynamic was absolutely charming and I felt the chemistry jumping off the pages. And most of all, it was just fun! If you suspend your disbelief and let yourself go along with all the shenanigans, I think you’ll find it pretty enjoyable too. 

Raiders of the Lost Heart

In one sentence: Two rival archeologists, with a long history, team up on a secret Aztec expedition. (Add to Goodreads - Thanks Berkley for the copy!)

⭐⭐ 2 stars | I love a good adventure story and the idea of pairing that genre with romance made me very excited for this book. Unfortunately, this didn’t quite work for me. I expected a lot of hijinks and steamy moments, given the hate-to-love trope, and while the plot certainly had both in spades, I wasn’t into the execution (and don’t even get me started on the last few chapters!). Not to mention, I didn’t quite connect with either character or root for their romance. Overall, the book was okay but not a favorite.  

Done and Dusted by Lyla Sage

In one sentence: Emmy Ryder has made her horse-riding dreams come true but after an accident, she returns home and sparks fly between her and her older brother’s best friend, Luke. (Add to Goodreads )

⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 stars | So what did I like? The fact that it featured a female barrel racer — in the few horse books I’ve read featuring this sport, it’s usually a guy. I loved the dynamic and history between Emmy and Luke. It had just the right amount of angst. And I enjoyed the whole Ryder family, which is great because the next book features one of her brothers and I’ve already pre-ordered it. Lyla Sage’s Rebel Blue Ranch series is one I would 100% recommend if you enjoy romance regardless if you’re a horse girlie or not. 

Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery

In one sentence: Emily Starr is sent to live with her mother’s snobbish relatives, whom she’s never met, after her father passes away and starts a new life in New Moon. (Add to Goodreads)

⭐⭐⭐ 3 stars | This book is absolutely not a rehash of Anne of Green Gables. Emily is her own person and New Moon was entirely its own, surprisingly gothic, world too. I’ll admit, it was hard not to compare Anne and Emily; and I think you’ll find yourself in either one camp or the other (I’m an Anne girl, through and through). Emily is a lot broodier and haughtier but like any young girl, she’s looking for friends and family support and I understood that yearning even when I didn’t really warm up to any of the characters around her (except Perry, who I adored). I also found myself questioning the sub-plot choices and even editing (it was very repetitive at times) but in spite of that, it was an engaging read and I plan to finish the whole series.

Lighting round

Other books I've read lately...
  • This Dark Descent by Kalyn Josephson: ⭐⭐ 2 stars | I really wanted to love this horse fantasy but between the slow moving plot and lack of character development, I just couldn't get invested in it. 
  • Sword Catcher by Cassandra Clare: DNF | I really wanted to like this because I’m a Cassandra Clare fan but I had to call it quits at 50%.
  • Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 stars | I fully acknowledge that this series isn't anything new or groundbreaking but my goodness, everything about the dragon world, the romance, and the angst just reels me in and I can't get enough. 
  • Grimoire Girl by Hilarie Burton Morgan: ⭐⭐⭐ 3 stars | Even though her first book is still my favorite, I enjoyed this too! I also chose to listen to the audiobook and she is such an affective narrator. 
  • The Atlas of Us by Kristin Dwyer: ⭐⭐ 2 stars | I loved her debut novel so much, which is why I was disappointed when this YA novel about a young women's struggle with grief fell flat for me. 
  • The Meaning of Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 stars | This was another audiobook read and I loved Mariah's narration! I really felt as though I learned so much about her (including her funny side). 
  • The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 stars | I read this on a whim last month and it ended up on my top books of 2023 list. 

What have you read lately?


  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed WRECK THE HALLS! Bummer to hear about LOST HEART, though. Super curious what happens in those last few chapters...

  2. I loved Wreck the Halls as well- it was such a fun Christmas in NYC book! Done and Dusted and Iron Flame are both on my TBR for this year and I'm excited to read them!


with love,