Five Most Recent Reads | January 30th

I wanted to start off today’s post by saying how much I’m enjoying putting these posts together. There’s something weirdly cathartic about finishing a book and then putting my words down into a post and then having it go up when I’ve done five of them. I hope you’ve been enjoying them as well.

Anyway, here are books 10 through 15 for 2022!

Duke, Actually (A Princess for Christmas #2) by Jenny Holiday

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I heard about this one at Christmas and immediately had to get my hands on it. Having read it, I don’t know whether I’d consider it a Christmas book—it is partly set at Christmas but there’s a lot more to it than that. It was adorable—the two MCs have a really, really nice friendship throughout the book and I loved getting to see that. I have to admit I was less in love with the romance itself—it was sweet and definitely slow-burn (until it’s not) but I was expecting a bit more steamy action. When the sex scenes did come around, I just wasn’t that impressed by them. However, I think that would make this a great book for someone just starting to get into romance—it feels a bit like a chick lit/rom-com, but with a little more. Apart from that, this is filled with amazing side characters (my favourite being Max’s brother, Seb) and cute moments. It was a really fun and cute read and I’ll definitely look into reading the next book in the series.

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Electric Idol (Dark Olympus #2) by Katee Robert

Electric Idol was probably my number one most anticipated read of 2022. I absolutely adored Neon Gods last year—I honestly still think about it all the time, so I was pretty damn excited for this one. While I didn’t love this one as much, I definitely don’t feel disappointed by it at all. I think, honestly, it just has more to do with the fact that I’m much more familiar with the Hades/Persephone myth than the Eros/Psyche one. But Katee Robert is just a fabulous writer—it’s so easy to get yourself lost in the world of Dark Olympus and to feel a little dazed when coming out of it. I really loved the relationship between Eros and Psyche in here. Katee is an absolute master at writing steamy sex scenes and then unbearably precious and sweet moments as well. I definitely don’t recommend these books to new romance readers—they’re intense, but if you’re a romance reader looking to branch out a little or if you just need a new series to devour, then this is absolutely perfect. I’ll have a more in-depth discussion about this book coming soon, so watch out for that if you’re interested.

A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes

As you might be able to tell, I was in a bit of a mythology mood recently. A Thousand Ships was actually the first book I bought this year so it seemed like a good one to pick up and read. I loved the first half of this—it felt so detailed and atmospheric and the fear of the women felt very real. I don’t really know at one point it changed but I suddenly started feeling very overwhelmed by the number of women we were given the story of—some of them only appeared for a few pages and I got a little lost trying to follow along with who was who and trying to figure out why they were important and how they fit into the story. I’ve mentioned quite a few times in these most recent reads posts already this year that one I start getting lost and things start going over my head, it’s almost impossible for me to come back around to enjoying that book and unfortunately, that’s what happened here. I think had this had fewer perspectives and a more cohesive timeline and story it could’ve easily been a 4 or 4.5-star book for me, but alas, three stars it is.

Heart of the Impaler by Alexander Delacroix

Unfortunately, this is an example of a great story, but bad execution. In theory, this should be incredible—it’s a Vlad the Impaler retelling. Honestly, the historical element of this was pretty good—I liked the political side of the book for the most part. But the characters just plain sucked. Vlad is a complete brat, Ilona and Andrei have no real personalities beyond being softer than Vlad. I really do think that with better characters, this could have been a really enjoyable read but instead, it came off as a bunch of teenagers being whiny little shits. The romance was also terrible—it’s a love triangle and I’m not as against that as other people are, but this one just wasn’t pulled off well. There’s a bad case of insta-love and some seriously disturbing possessive behaviour. If you looking for something action-packed and intense, do yourselves a favour and just skip this one.

Lore Olympus: Volume One by Rachel Smythe

This one was a slightly late Christmas gift from my bestie Angel, so thank you! I’d already read most of this volume on the WebToon app, but it was so nice to get to revisit some of my favourite moments in this gorgeous physical copy. Obviously, I was still feeling in a bit of a mythology mood and this was such a great reminder as to why I enjoy mythology retellings after the disappointment that was A Thousand Ships for me. This is a great Hades & Persephone retelling, one of my favourites in fact, but the best thing about this for me is the colour palette and the character design—it’s honestly amazing. I love how all the characters have a different colour associated with them and the contrast between the pink of Persephone and the blue of Hades. I can’t put into words how absolutely stunning this is. Seriously, if you haven’t already go and look up a few of the panels because the cover just doesn’t do it justice. I’m very eagerly awaiting the next volume.

And that’s it for today’s reviews. I’ll be back in a few days to talk about my final few reads of January and into my reads for February!

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