Wonderfilled Reads Favorites: Underrated Books

Today I just wanted to take a little time to highlight some of my favorite books that aren’t super popular in the bookish community. I feel like we all tend to focus, myself included, on the really popular books and forget to spread the word about the lesser known titles that we love as well. Am I the only one who feels this way? Possibly. Which is why I decided to share some of own little “underrated” favorites with all of you… Sharing is caring after all! 😉


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Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

Yes, this book was picked for Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club but I still never see anyone talking about it! You all know that I’m not much of a contemporary reader, but I listened to the audiobook of this one and immediately fell in love. It was funny, heartwarming, and really engaging. I also loved getting to learn a little more about the Indian community in London. I cannot recommend this book enough.

Nikki lives in cosmopolitan West London, where she tends bar at the local pub. The daughter of Indian immigrants, she’s spent most of her twenty-odd years distancing herself from the traditional Sikh community of her childhood, preferring a more independent (that is, Western) life. When her father’s death leaves the family financially strapped, Nikki, a law school dropout, impulsively takes a job teaching a “creative writing” course at the community center in the beating heart of London’s close-knit Punjabi community.

Because of a miscommunication, the proper Sikh widows who show up are expecting to learn basic English literacy, not the art of short-story writing. When one of the widows finds a book of sexy stories in English and shares it with the class, Nikki realizes that beneath their white dupattas, her students have a wealth of fantasies and memories. Eager to liberate these modest women, she teaches them how to express their untold stories, unleashing creativity of the most unexpected—and exciting—kind.

As more women are drawn to the class, Nikki warns her students to keep their work secret from the Brotherhood, a group of highly conservative young men who have appointed themselves the community’s “moral police.” But when the widows’ gossip offers shocking insights into the death of a young wife—a modern woman like Nikki—and some of the class erotica is shared among friends, it sparks a scandal that threatens them all.

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Sanctuary by V.V. James

I had no idea what to expect when I first picked up this book, but oh man, it was a wild ride! This book little bit of everything – diverse characters, a murder mystery, deals with grief and hysteria. I mean, it REALLY has it all. Just note, that this is an adult book and does get dark in places.

The small Connecticut town of Sanctuary is rocked by the death of its star quarterback.

Daniel’s death looked like an accident, but everyone knows his ex-girlfriend Harper is the daughter of a witch – and she was there when he died.

Then the rumours start. When Harper insists Dan was guilty of a terrible act, the town turns on her. So was his death an accident, revenge – or something even darker?

As accusations fly and secrets are revealed, paranoia grips the town, culminating in a trial that the whole world is watching . . .

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Honor Among Thieves (The Honors, #1) by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre

This series has really blown me away so far. The concept of a person basically connecting to an alien (that is also a living ship) is such an interesting and unique idea. I think the sequel kicked the action up even more than the first book.

Petty criminal Zara Cole has a painful past that’s made her stronger than most, which is why she chose life in New Detroit instead of moving with her family to Mars. In her eyes, living inside a dome isn’t much better than a prison cell.

Still, when Zara commits a crime that has her running scared, jail might be exactly where she’s headed. Instead Zara is recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by the Leviathan—a race of sentient alien ships—to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers.

Zara seizes the chance to flee Earth’s dangers, but when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she’s assigned, Zara starts to feel at home for the first time. But nothing could have prepared her for the dark, ominous truths that lurk behind the alluring glitter of starlight.

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A Million Junes by Emily Henry

Honestly, Emily Henry is the only author that writes magical realism that I love. Her stories are always so poignant and full of emotion. And man, this book… it will wreck you in the best ways possible.

For as long as Jack “June” O’Donnell has been alive, her parents have had only one rule: stay away from the Angert family. But when June collides—quite literally—with Saul Angert, sparks fly, and everything June has known is thrown into chaos.

Who exactly is this gruff, sarcastic, but seemingly harmless boy who has returned to their hometown of Five Fingers, Michigan, after three mysterious years away? And why has June—an O’Donnell to her core—never questioned her late father’s deep hatred of the Angert family? After all, the O’Donnells and the Angerts may have mythic legacies, but for all the tall tales they weave, both founding families are tight-lipped about what caused the century-old rift between them.

As Saul and June’s connection grows deeper, they find that the magic, ghosts, and coywolves of Five Fingers seem to be conspiring to reveal the truth about the harrowing curse that has plagued their bloodlines for generations. Now June must question everything she knows about her family and the father she adored, and she must decide whether it’s finally time for her—and all the O’Donnells before her—to let go.

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Ink and Bone (The Great Library, #1) by Rachel Caine

I just want everyone to read this amazing series set in an alternate history where the Great Library of Alexandria never burned down, but instead now controls the world and all writing. Do you love books? Action? A quirky cast of characters? If you said yes to any of those, then you’ll love this fun series.

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn…

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The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen, #1) by Alison Goodman

I could go on and on about meticulously researched the author did on Regency England because she truly transports you into that era. You feel as if you could be reading a fantastical Jane Austen novel at times but with a little added spice. Stubborn heroine, check. Hate-to-love trope, check. Paranormal activity, check.

London, April 1812.

On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?


What are some of your favorite novels that you think are underrated? Have you read any of the ones on my list? If so, what did you think about it?

Wonderfilled Reads Recommends: Books with Romance

I don’t know if it’s the fact that it’s cuffing season or just the fact that mushy Hallmark Christmas movies are playing constantly on tv, but it feels like love is in the air right now… and yes, I am aware that it’s Christmas and not Valentine’s Day. And I know some readers don’t really care for romance in their novels, but I actually enjoy it. It adds just a little something extra that I can root for. I even enjoy the universally hated trope – love triangles. Yes, you read that correctly. Please feel free to judge me, as I know that this is quite a controversial opinion. However, I always like choosing a side and guessing which person the character is going to choose. With that being said, I wanted to recommend a few books that I really enjoyed, that include some romance in them. Because hey, we all could use a little more love.


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Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This is one of those where the romance is integral to the story, but doesn’t actually make itself the entire plot. I found it to be one of most realistic portrayal of a real love story. I highly recommend the audiobook version.

Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six: The band’s album Aurora came to define the rock ‘n’ roll era of the late seventies, and an entire generation of girls wanted to grow up to be Daisy. But no one knows the reason behind the group’s split on the night of their final concert at Chicago Stadium on July 12, 1979 . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock ‘n’ roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

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The Bone Season (The Bone Season, #1) by Samantha Shannon

If you are like me and love the enemies-to-lovers romantic trope, this book (or really series) might be just the thing you’re looking for. You won’t be able to turn the pages fast enough.

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

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Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy, #1) by Ken Follett

This book intertwines the lives of multiple families across Russia, England, America and Germany through the start of WWI. It is definitely an epic family saga with epic romances to match, which Ken Follett is a master at writing.

It is 1911. The Coronation Day of King George V. The Williams, a Welsh coal-mining family is linked by romance and enmity to the Fitzherberts, aristocratic coal-mine owners. Lady Maud Fitzherbert falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German Embassy in London. Their destiny is entangled with that of an ambitious young aide to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and to two orphaned Russian brothers, whose plans to emigrate to America fall foul of war, conscription and revolution. In a plot of unfolding drama and intriguing complexity, “Fall Of Giants” moves seamlessly from Washington to St Petersburg, from the dirt and danger of a coal mine to the glittering chandeliers of a palace, from the corridors of power to the bedrooms of the mighty.

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The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) by Holly Black

You probably already know all about this enemies-to-lovers story. But damn, it is so worth it to mention it again.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

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The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy, #1) by S.A. Chakraborty

This is a slow burn romance that doesn’t take over the plot. This book stands on its own with fast pacing, incredible political intrigue, and a wonderful setting inspired by Middle Eastern mythology.

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for…

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Stars Over Clear Lake by Loretta Ellsworth

I am sucker for any WWII historical fiction. But one that includes star-crossed lovers and a mystery? Yep, I am so here for it.

For the first time in decades, Lorraine Kindred has returned to the ballroom where she was swept away by the big bands during the 1940s – and by a star-crossed romance. As she takes in the magnificent energy and brassy sounds of her youth, the past comes to life, along with the fateful decision all those years ago that forced her to choose between personal conviction and social expectations, between the two men who had captured her heart. It had been a time of great music and love, but also of war and sacrifice, and now, trying to make peace with her memories, Lorraine must find the courage to face buried secrets. In the process, she will rediscover herself, her passion, and her capacity for resilience.

Set during the 1940s and the present and inspired by a real-life ballroom, Stars Over Clear Lake is a moving story of forbidden love, lost love, everlasting love – and self love.

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A Discover of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1) by Deborah Harkness

If you thought vampire romances were so 15 years ago… you are wrong. Harkness has managed to write a uniquely scientific paranormal romance mystery that will have you hooked from the very first page.

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

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The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

This is a magical realism retelling of Romeo & Juliet set among two modern day travelling performer families. It has beautiful writing and a truly unique concept with a more hopeful romance than the original story it’s based on.

For twenty years, the Palomas and the Corbeaus have been rivals and enemies, locked in an escalating feud for over a generation. Both families make their living as traveling performers in competing shows—the Palomas swimming in mermaid exhibitions, the Corbeaus, former tightrope walkers, performing in the tallest trees they can find.

Lace Paloma may be new to her family’s show, but she knows as well as anyone that the Corbeaus are pure magia negra, black magic from the devil himself. Simply touching one could mean death, and she’s been taught from birth to keep away. But when disaster strikes the small town where both families are performing, it’s a Corbeau boy, Cluck, who saves Lace’s life. And his touch immerses her in the world of the Corbeaus, where falling for him could turn his own family against him, and one misstep can be just as dangerous on the ground as it is in the trees.

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Foundryside (Founders, #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett

I really enjoyed how the romance in this story was very subtle and one that I didn’t particularly see coming. It definitely has me excited to see what will happen next.

Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle.

But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic–the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience–have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims.

Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them.

To have a chance at surviving—and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way—Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.

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Honor Among Thieves (The Honors, #1) by Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre

I really don’t want to spoil too much of this story so I won’t say whole lot. Just know that it is unlike any other love story you’ve read.

Petty criminal Zara Cole has a painful past that’s made her stronger than most, which is why she chose life in New Detroit instead of moving with her family to Mars. In her eyes, living inside a dome isn’t much better than a prison cell.

Still, when Zara commits a crime that has her running scared, jail might be exactly where she’s headed. Instead Zara is recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by the Leviathan—a race of sentient alien ships—to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers.

Zara seizes the chance to flee Earth’s dangers, but when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she’s assigned, Zara starts to feel at home for the first time. But nothing could have prepared her for the dark, ominous truths that lurk behind the alluring glitter of starlight.


What are some of your favorite books that include romance? Do you like romance in your novels? Which romance trope is your favorite? Have you read any of the books on my list?

Backlist Books You Shouldn’t Forget About

With so many new and shiny books constantly being released and paraded all over bookstagram, I think the fall is a nice time to dive back into some of those backlisted books that have been sitting on our shelves for a while. I am really bad about buying stacks of books at a time and immediately grabbing the newest ones off of the pile and then forgetting about the others. However, I hope to focus mostly on some of those forgotten stories over the upcoming months. That plan gave me an idea to spotlight some really awesome backlist books for others to pick up soon!


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Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1) by Susan Dennard – Series Not Yet Finished

In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

This book got a lot of hype when it was first released a few years ago, but has since been drowned out by more recently released hyped books. I actually put off reading it for a long time until I was reminded of it when the sequel was released. WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG?! This book became an instant favorite and I could not put it down. I loved the focus on the friendship between the two girls and found the plot to be super engaging.

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Zodiac (Zodiac, #1) by Romina Russell – Completed Series

Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can’t solve for ‘x’ to save her life—so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.

When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens—including its beloved Guardian—Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House’s new leader. But, a true Cancerian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, Rho accepts.

Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus—the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend—has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho—along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard—must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.

But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?

I never see anyone talking about this book series and that is really such a shame because I absolutely loved it. It was so unique and I like that the setting revolves around the astrological zodiac. All of the characters are fun and interesting and the story isn’t afraid to get dark at times. If you are looking for a science fiction series that has been completed, this might be one you should look into picking up.

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Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys – Standalone

It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.

Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.

I feel like Ruta Sepetys’ WWII novels tend to get more universal praise and recognition than this hidden gem of a story. The 50’s New Orleans setting was a nice change of pace from the usual historical fiction time periods and I think the author did a great job bringing it to life.

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Blood Red Road (Dust Lands, #1) by Moira Young – Completed Trilogy

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That’s fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when four cloaked horsemen capture Lugh, Saba’s world is shattered, and she embarks on a quest to get him back.
Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the outside world, Saba discovers she is a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba’s unrelenting search for Lugh stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

I actually have every book in this trilogy and I read them all a long time ago, but I plan to do a full reread soon. However, I do remember devouring this book. It was released during the dystopian craze a while back, but I would compare it more to Mad Max and other such post-apocalyptic stories. It’s fast-paced and follows a kickass heroine that everyone loves to read about. And if you can’t take my word for it, then just know that this book has been nominated and won a bunch of awards.

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The Cutting Season by Attica Locke – Standalone

The American South in the twenty-first century. A plantation owned for generations by a rich family. So much history. And a dead body.

Just after dawn, Caren walks the grounds of Belle Vie, the historic plantation house in Louisiana that she has managed for four years. Today she sees nothing unusual, apart from some ground that has been dug up by the fence bordering the sugar cane fields. Assuming an animal has been out after dark, she asks the gardener to tidy it up. Not long afterwards, he calls her to say it’s something else. Something terrible. A dead body. At a distance, she missed her. The girl, the dirt and the blood. Now she has police on site, an investigation in progress, and a member of staff no one can track down. And Caren keeps uncovering things she will wish she didn’t know. As she’s drawn into the dead girl’s story, she makes shattering discoveries about the future of Belle Vie, the secrets of its past, and sees, more clearly than ever, that Belle Vie, its beauty, is not to be trusted.

A magnificent, sweeping story of the south, The Cutting Season brings history face-to-face with modern America, where Obama is president, but some things will never change. Attica Locke once again provides an unblinking commentary on politics, race, the law, family and love, all within a thriller every bit as gripping and tragic as her first novel, Black Water Rising.

A murder-mystery and old family secrets set on a plantation in Louisiana… How could this book not be perfect to pick up during October?! Simple: it couldn’t. The atmosphere is creepy and soulful, while also shedding light on today’s culture and racial politics. While this is the only book by Locke that I’ve read (so far), I know that I will enjoy anything she writes.

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City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson – Standalone

In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn’t exist. After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arrived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. Her mother quickly found work as a maid for a prominent family, headed by Roland Greyhill, one of the city’s most respected business leaders. But Tina soon learns that the Greyhill fortune was made from a life of corruption and crime. So when her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill’s personal study, she knows exactly who’s behind it.

With revenge always on her mind, Tina spends the next four years surviving on the streets alone, working as a master thief for the Goondas, Sangui City’s local gang. It’s a job for the Goondas that finally brings Tina back to the Greyhill estate, giving her the chance for vengeance she’s been waiting for. But as soon as she steps inside the lavish home, she’s overtaken by the pain of old wounds and the pull of past friendships, setting into motion a dangerous cascade of events that could, at any moment, cost Tina her life. But finally uncovering the incredible truth about who killed her mother—and why—keeps her holding on in this fast-paced nail-biting thriller.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first picked up this book. However, it immediately captured my attention and never let go. I haven’t read many books set in modern day Africa, so it was nice to know that the author actually spent most of her career working with NGOs and the UN in Africa.

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The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen, #1) by Alison Goodman – Completed Trilogy

London, April 1812.

On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?

This trilogy has become one of my all-time favorite. It’s a super fun genre-bending novel mixing historical fiction and paranormal. It is one of the most well-researched novels that I’ve read and Goodman did a crazy good job of bringing Regency England to life. Also, two thumbs up for the broody hate-to-love romance, which I’m always a sucker for.


Do you tend to read more recent releases or backlist titles more? What are some of your favorite backlist novels? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think of them?

 

The Audiobook Tag

I saw this awesome tag on Kristin Kraves Books page. I’ve really gotten into listening to audiobooks in the last couple of years, so I thought this would be the perfect tag to do.

Please feel free to do it as well! I’d love to see your answers!


HAVE YOU ALWAYS LISTENED TO AUDIOBOOK OR WHEN DID YOU BEGIN?

I definitely have not always listened to audiobooks. I was very against them personally for the longest time, as I just knew that there was no way that I would be able to really focus on what I was listening to. I thought that I would have a hard time really taking in the story without actually reading the words.. Well I was wrong. I finally decided to give audiobooks a shot about two years ago and I haven’t looked back since. It’s such a unique reading experience that I really appreciate. I also feel like some books actually translate better via audio as well, such as Daisy Jones & The Six or Sadie.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUDIOBOOK?

I honestly couldn’t really decide which audiobook I loved more. They are both so different from one another, while also just amazing. I really appreciated the cast for Sadie and how this story seamlessly flowed as via audio. While I love that the actual author narrates The Night Tiger.

WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVOURITE THING ABOUT AUDIOBOOKS?

I tend to listen to my audiobooks while I’m working or driving, which means that I occasionally don’t always fully focus on the story and end up missing parts of the story. And for me personally, I have a harder time listening to a fantasy story than I do with historical fiction of contemporary, as it requires more focus to fully be able to grasp the world and story.

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE DIFFERENCE IN EXPERIENCE BETWEEN PHYSICALLY READING A BOOK AND LISTENING TO IT?

This is a hard question to answer, but I think that audiobooks can sometimes really bring a story to life by giving it that cinematic element with the narration, such as the full cast version of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. There are also some books that I think just translate better as audiobooks. I also think audio versions can help some of those slower paced novels that we struggle through.

HOW AND WHEN DO YOU LISTEN?

Like I mentioned earlier, I tend to listen to audiobooks while I’m at work or when I’m driving. I like to switch them up with the podcasts that I listen to on a regular basis. (Feel free to ask me for some podcast recommendations as well!) I use Audible as well for my books. I appreciate their return policy sooo much.

WHAT STYLE/GENRE DO YOU PREFER?

I actually tend to gravitate towards historical fiction with my audiobooks and then just sprinkle in some contemporary and fantasy. I’ve recently gotten into science fiction as well, which I used to always just want to physically read. I’m surprised that I enjoy listening to it just as much as reading it.

WHAT ARE SOME AUDIOBOOK/NARRATOR RECOMMENDATIONS?

I don’t have any specific narrator recommendations but I’ll definitely give you some audiobook recommendations listed below!

  • Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal
  • Sadie by Courtney Summers
  • The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo
  • Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye
  • Leviathan Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld – Side Note: This trilogy is narrated by actor Alan Cumming and he does an amazing job!)
  • This is Our Story by Ashley Elston
  • Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – Side Note: I highly recommend the full cast version!

Do you enjoy listening to audiobooks? What are your favorite audiobooks? Do you prefer to listen to a certain genre?

If You Liked That…Read This: Historical Fiction Edition

I am a sucker for a good historical fiction. I’m a bit of a history buff and so when I can get my hands on a book that can transport me fully into a different time and place, I’m a happy little clam. I know it’s not a genre for everyone, but hopefully you’ll give at least one of my recommendations a shot!


If You Liked The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah… Read Stars Over Clear Lake by Loretta Ellsworth

Both stories featured star-crossed lovers set amidst the backdrop of WWII, with The Nightingale being located in France and Stars Over Clear Lake is set in Iowa. I would put Hannah’s novel more in the literary historical fiction category, as it has won many awards. But what I really enjoyed about Stars was how it incorporated the local ballroom and big bands into the overall plot. I really feel like this is an underrated gem of a story.

If You Liked Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys… Read The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye

These two books focus on stories and eras that are fairly unique to the genre. I loved that they dive into fairly important issues, though completely different from one another. Both follow women that are sit fairly outside of the normal realms of society, one being involved in the 20’s New York mafia and the other growing up within a 50’s New Orleans brothel. I feel like The Paragon Hotel really takes some of the darker themes of Out of the Easy and dives deeper into them. It’s not a happy story, but so important in today’s world. Please be aware – The Paragon Hotel includes adult content.

If You Liked Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell… Read Roses by Leila Meacham

If you’re a regular to my blog, then you might be a little tired of me constantly mentioning Roses. But it is so worth it! It has such a sweeping romance story with a focus on family history and relationships, just like Gone with the Wind. I will say that it does go back and forth between early 1900’s Texas to the Present, spanning three generations. It’s such a great story and there is even a prequel, Summerset, that you can dive into afterwards as well.


What are some historical fiction novels that you would recommend? Have you read any of my recommendations? If so, what did you think about them?

If You Liked That…Read This: Science Fiction Edition

Do you like space? Aliens? What about futuristic societies? If you answered yes to any or all of those, then I think you’ll appreciate today’s recommendations. I’ve always been a big science fiction reader, as that’s what my dad has always read and got me into from a very young age. Now I can’t get enough!


If You Liked The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams… Read Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente

If you enjoyed the really kooky aspect of Hitchhiker, then you’ll appreciate Valente’s writing as well. Both books explore the more minute details of what life is like for everyone else in space, especially the really strange customs of our alien neighbors. It’s sad to think that we haven’t actually been able to participate in a galaxy-wide singing competition.

If You Liked The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins… Read Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Both of these stories involve futuristic dystopian societies that are separated by “districts” in the former and “colors” in the latter. They focus on the struggle between classes and a rebellion against the ruling system in power. However, I would say that Red Rising continues to grow in scale with each book and far surpasses The Hunger Games in terms of writing quality. Be warned though, it is truly an adult trilogy as it contains extreme violence!

If You Liked Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff… Read Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre

If you enjoyed the unusual aspect of AIDAN and his interesting perspective, then I think you’ll appreciate the sentient ship in Honor Among Thieves, Nadim. The dynamic between him and his Honors is extremely interesting and is something completely unique to any other YA novel that I’ve read. Also, DIVERSITY!!! And it only gets better and better with the sequel.


Do you enjoy reading science fiction? Have you read any of the books on my list? Would you agree with my recommendations? What books would you recommend?

Top 5 Audiobook Recommendations

I know some people aren’t big fans of audiobooks or have ever given them a chance, as I used to be one of them. However, I’m lucky enough to work at a job where I can keep a headphone in one ear and listen to music or whatever. So one day about two years ago, I finally decided that I needed to give listening to audiobooks a try… and I am SO glad I did. I get to listen to so many audiobooks now, between work and listening while at the gym. So if you’re like the old me and are just starting out with audiobooks, or are maybe a pro at it and just want some new ones to add to your Audible account, then I hope my recommendations help! 🙂


Sadie by Courtney Summers

This book is written in two different ways – one as a regular narrative following Sadie, and the other is a podcast format. Now I haven’t read this book in hard copy, but I can say that listening to the audiobook version truly brings you into the story. It makes the podcast narration come to life, just like if you were actually listening to a true crime podcast. I cannot recommend it enough.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

We all love Neil Gaiman. I mean, how could you not? But I wonder how many of you have tried his middle grade novel, The Graveyard Book? Well if you haven’t, I cannot recommend the audiobook version enough. It’s a full cast experience complete with music and sound effects. You can really feel the atmospheric setting of the graveyard come to alive. Seriously, you won’t regret it.

This is Our Story by Ashley Elston

A YA murder-mystery is the perfect story to translate into an audiobook. I loved how the mystery seemed even more realistic like you’re experiencing it in a movie, rather than just following along the page. The narration had me hooked from the beginning and I think it will do the same to you too!

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I’ll admit that I’m actually currently in the middle of this one, but I can already tell that it’ll be one of my favorites. It’s another full cast audio featuring actors Benjamin Bratt, Jennifer Beals, Pablo Schreiber, and Judy Greer. It sounds just like listening to an episode of Behind the Music. I love that documentary feel to it.

The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo

Audiobooks read by the author can be very hit or miss. However, Choo does an amazing job bringing her own characters to life. She has a very peaceful voice that really lends an extra ethereal quality to the magical realism and Chinese mythology in the story. It’s also just a beautiful story set in 1930’s Malaysia, which isn’t a typical setting for a YA novel.


Do you like to listen to audiobooks? If so, what are some of your favorites? Have you listened to any of the books on my list?

If You Liked That…Read This: Classics Edition

I’m sure you all have seen this kind of post at some point or another so I don’t think it really needs too much explaining. But today I wanted to start out with some recommendations based on classic books that you might have read and really enjoyed! I used to read classics really often and lately I’ve been thinking back on some of my favorites and comparing them to newer releases. I hope you enjoy! 🙂


If You Liked Little Women by Louisa May Alcott… Read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Now it might seem like these two books are vastly different, but I would have to say that below the surface they share a lot of common themes. The dynamics of sister relationships changing, female coming of age stories, strong focus on writing and literature, and a bit of romance can all be found and explored in both of these stories. I would say Cath might not be as immediately likable as Jo is, but her journey of self-discovery is still enjoyable.

If You Liked Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray… Read Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress, #1) by Julie C. Dao

I don’t think many people would say that Becky Sharp is a shining example of a human being, and you sure as hell can’t say that about Xifeng either. These two women come from low backgrounds and are willing to do anything to climb to the top of the society. If you like reading about strong and independent women clawing their way to the top, I think you’ll enjoy both of these. Though be warned, Xifeng is a much darker than Becky!

If you liked Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte… Read Sadie by Courtney Summers

Okay, these two books are completely different on the surface – one is a romance and the other is a mystery/thriller. However, both follow two of the most courageous and amazing heroines. You won’t get any romance in Sadie, but what you will get is a girl who will do anything to figure out the truth and seek vengeance for her sister. Jane and Sadie are both women that have the kind of inner strength to persevere and stick to their sense of right and wrong, even amidst some of the most trying circumstances. I also recommend listening to the audiobook version of Sadie if you get the chance. It brings a whole new experience to the story.


Do you enjoy reading classics? Have you read any of the books on my list? Would you agree with my recommendations? What books would you recommend based on these classics?

Valentine’s Day Reading Recommendations

It’s that time of the year when love is in the air (supposedly) and the greeting card companies, florists, and candy corporations are all excited about the money they’re making off of us. And if you were looking for some books to add to all of the love stuff floating around right now, I decided to help you out with some recommendations. Don’t worry, I’m gonna help you out with a bunch of different genres so you don’t have to worry about getting stuck with only contemporary (which we all know isn’t my favorite…). Enjoy!


Contemporary

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Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

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A Million Junes by Emily Henry

For as long as Jack “June” O’Donnell has been alive, her parents have had only one rule: stay away from the Angert family. But when June collides—quite literally—with Saul Angert, sparks fly, and everything June has known is thrown into chaos.

Who exactly is this gruff, sarcastic, but seemingly harmless boy who has returned to their hometown of Five Fingers, Michigan, after three mysterious years away? And why has June—an O’Donnell to her core—never questioned her late father’s deep hatred of the Angert family? After all, the O’Donnells and the Angerts may have mythic legacies, but for all the tall tales they weave, both founding families are tight-lipped about what caused the century-old rift between them.

As Saul and June’s connection grows deeper, they find that the magic, ghosts, and coywolves of Five Fingers seem to be conspiring to reveal the truth about the harrowing curse that has plagued their bloodlines for generations. Now June must question everything she knows about her family and the father she adored, and she must decide whether it’s finally time for her—and all the O’Donnells before her—to let go.

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Me Before You (Me Before You, #1) by Jojo Moyes

Louisa Clark is an ordinary young woman living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A love story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

Science Fiction

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Defy the Stars (Constellation, #1) by Claudia Gray

She’s a soldier – Noemi Vidal is willing to risk anything to protect her planet, Genesis, including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she’s a rebel.

He’s a machine – Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel’s advanced programming has begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he’s an abomination.

Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they’re not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they’re forced to question everything they’d been taught was true.

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Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1) by Beth Revis

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone—one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship —tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

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Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1) by Marissa Meyer

A forbidden romance.

A deadly plague.

Earth’s fate hinges on one girl . . .

CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.

This is not the fairytale you remember. But it’s one you won’t forget.

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Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Fantasy

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The Bone Season (The Bone Season, #1) by Samantha Shannon

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.

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Caraval (Caraval, #1) by Stephanie Garber

Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

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Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms, #1) by Morgan Rhodes

In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.

As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed… and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.

The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

It’s the eve of war…. Choose your side.

Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.

Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword….

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The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1) by Mary E. Pearson

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.

Historical Fiction

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These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

Jo Montfort is beautiful and rich, and soon—like all the girls in her class—she’ll graduate from finishing school and be married off to a wealthy bachelor. Which is the last thing she wants. Jo secretly dreams of becoming a writer—a newspaper reporter like the trailblazing Nellie Bly.

Wild aspirations aside, Jo’s life seems perfect until tragedy strikes: her father is found dead. Charles Montfort accidentally shot himself while cleaning his revolver. One of New York City’s wealthiest men, he owned a newspaper and was partner in a massive shipping firm, and Jo knows he was far too smart to clean a loaded gun.

The more Jo uncovers about her father’s death, the more her suspicions grow. There are too many secrets. And they all seem to be buried in plain sight. Then she meets Eddie—a young, brash, infuriatingly handsome reporter at her father’s newspaper—and it becomes all too clear how much she stands to lose if she keeps searching for the truth. Only now it might be too late to stop.

The past never stays buried forever. Life is dirtier than Jo Montfort could ever have imagined, and the truth is the dirtiest part of all.

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Stars Over Clear Lake by Loretta Ellsworth

For the first time in decades, Lorraine Kindred has returned to the ballroom where she was swept away by the big bands during the 1940s – and by a star-crossed romance. As she takes in the magnificent energy and brassy sounds of her youth, the past comes to life, along with the fateful decision all those years ago that forced her to choose between personal conviction and social expectations, between the two men who had captured her heart. It had been a time of great music and love, but also of war and sacrifice, and now, trying to make peace with her memories, Lorraine must find the courage to face buried secrets. In the process, she will rediscover herself, her passion, and her capacity for resilience.

Set during the 1940s and the present and inspired by a real-life ballroom, Stars Over Clear Lake is a moving story of forbidden love, lost love, everlasting love – and self love.

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The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen, #1) by Alison Goodman

London, April 1812.

On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?

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Roses by Leila Meacham

Spanning the 20th century, the story of Roses takes place in a small East Texas town against the backdrop of the powerful timber and cotton industries, industries controlled by the scions of the town’s founding families. Cotton tycoon Mary Toliver and timber magnate Percy Warwick should have married but unwisely did not, and now must deal with the deceit, secrets, and tragedies of their choice and the loss of what might have been–not just for themselves but for their children, and children’s children. With expert, unabashed, big-canvas storytelling, Roses covers a hundred years, three generations of Texans and the explosive combination of passion for work and longing for love.


Do you like to books with romance around Valentine’s Day? Have you read any of the books on my list? What books would you recommend for Valentine’s Day?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Book Recommendations To Pick Up This Fall!

For those of us in Texas, it doesn’t really start to feel like fall until October rolls around. We aren’t as blessed with temperature drops in September like those of you to the north of us (so jealous, by the way!). However, we are finally expecting our first cool front to roll through later this week and so I thought this would be the perfect time for me to share some recommendations for you to cozy up with this fall. I can already smell all of the cinnamon and pumpkin candles being lit!


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Scream All Night by Derek Milman

I just finished this audiobook yesterday and really enjoyed it. I mean, a book set in a horror films studio that’s basically a big creepy castle? Oh yes! Mark this one as quirky rather than scary, as it lacks the horror and focuses more on the eccentrics.

 

 

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The Diviners (The Diviners, #1) by Libba Bray

I’m sure most of you are aware of Bray’s atmospheric reads, and this series is no different. It’s got plenty of the supernatural, all mixed up with the excitement of the Roaring 20’s. So fun!

 

 

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The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) by Holly Black

I don’t know why but I always associate books about the Fair Folk with autumn. Something about them just screams changing leaves and crisp fall air to me. And I cannot get enough of multi-dimensional characters in this series! Cardan is just sooo delicious. 😉

 

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These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

I’m a sucker for really good historical fiction, so combine that with a murder mystery set in the turn of the 20th Century and I’m totally here for it!

 

 

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The Cutting Season by Attica Locke

I really enjoyed this atmospheric contemporary mystery set on an old plantation in Louisiana. Old buried secrets come to light when a young women who grew up there becomes the manager and must confront her past, as well the as haunted past of the plantation itself.

 

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Sadie by Courtney Summers

I listed to this audiobook recently and fell in love. It was intense and full of emotion, and I cannot recommend it enough. If you enjoy unresolved mysteries then you’ll really like this one.

 

 

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Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

Come on, a traveling magical circus?! That just screams fall and you cannot tell me otherwise! I can already taste the caramel corn…. Yum!

 

 

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How to Hang a Witch (How to Hang a Witch, #1) by Adriana Mather

If you thought the Salem Witch Trials ended in the 1600’s, then you’re wrong. All hell breaks loose once again when a descendant of the one of the original victims returns to Salem, and that’s only the beginning…

 

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The Bone Season (The Bone Season, #1) by Samantha Shannon

Something about the gloomy nature of this dystopian London just screams fall to me. Also, this series is one of my all-time favorites, so I really just want to read it any time of year. I’m dying for the next book to be released!

 

 

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A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #3) by Deborah Harkness

I think this one is pretty self-explanatory based on that title. However, this is also just an amazing series. It’s got witches, vampires, Daemons, and all sorts of supernatural elements. And for all of my British friends, you can currently watch the television series on Sky! So jealous!

 


What are some books that you would recommend to read in the fall? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think of them? Do you tend to read a certain genre in the fall?