Five Most Recent Reads | August 1st

This post marks my last full post of Indie Accords reviews. My next round of recent reads will have a few stragglers for the last few days of July, but this is the last full one. I’m kind of sad about that, but I’m also feeling very ready to jump into some of the books I’ve been holding back on because they aren’t Indie. But anyway, just before we get started I just wanted to say that I’ll be doing a post every day this week as I’ve got quite a few backlogged posts I’d like to get up. But for now, let’s get into the books.

The Dragon’s Bride (A Deal With a Demon #1) by Katee Robert

I told myself at the end of June that I wasn’t allowed to read this until I finished the last few books in the Wicked Villains series, but I caved. And I’m so glad that I did because I had really great time reading this. I’m very new to the monster romance genre having read only one other series, but Katee Robert felt like a safe author to lead me further down that rabbit hole. I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting this to be as sweet as it was. Yes, there’s definitely some dirty smut, but there are some really sweet moments too. I admit that I didn’t love the character of Briar Rose—I like the idea of her, but some of her actions annoyed me. It’s always hard to talk about representing trauma because everyone’s experiences are so different, but I think, for the most part, Katee Robert did a good job of it—I really appreciate how clear she is in the trigger warnings as well. It wasn’t really until I was writing this review that it clicked for me that Briar Rose is Sleeping Beauty, but while I was reading this I was definitely feeling more like this was a Beauty & the Beast retelling—that’s one of my favourites, so I was quite happy with that, but it does make me wonder if I just missed the Sleeping Beauty references or whether this was just a very loose interpretation. Either way, I’m excited to continue with the rest of the series.

After Story by Larissa Behrendt

This one was a lovely gift from my booktube bestie, Mel, last year as Melbourne reentered another lockdown—naturally, I didn’t read it for almost an entire year. But it was the perfect thing to sneak in this month for Indie Accords between all the fantasy romances I’ve been reading. This is definitely outside of my usual genres, but I really enjoyed it. This follows two women—Jasmine, a young First Nations lawyer, and her mother, Della as they go on a literary tour of England. As the story goes, we learn more about the relationship between the two of them and their family back home, as well as some tragic past events. It was a fantastic look at how complex familial relationships can be—which is admittedly one of my favourite things to read about, as well as looking at generational trauma and, of course, some fantastic literary-inspired moments. I’m so glad that I did decide to pick this one up this month for a nice break from other things. Now my only question is, who wants to do a literary tour of the UK with me?

Savage Lands (Savage Lands #1) by Stacey Marie Brown

A couple of months ago, I started reading Savage Lands on KU and enjoyed it so much that I grabbed myself a physical copy of it…only to find myself disappointed by this after all. The first few chapters were extremely intriguing to me—I love books set in unique places, and this one takes place in fantastical Budapest split between humans and the fae. I was so interested in seeing the world, but we only get a glimpse of it before the story changes. Our main character finds herself in a fae prison, and from there, it became very much like every other YA fantasy set in a prison or a setting like that. There’s also this very strange sexual undertone that runs through the whole book—there’s no smut, but every character seems to be constantly horny. Maybe the smut steps up in the rest of the series, but there’s nothing here. I’m sad because I felt like this had so much potential, but nothing was done with it.

40 Love (There’s Something About Marysburg #2) by Olivia Dade

If you’ve been following along with my reviews closely this year, you might know that I’ve become a little obsessed with Olivia Dade. I’ve loved all three of her books so far, and I’m sad to say this is the first that has disappointed me a little. I’m not sure whether it was the book’s fault, or rather that it just wasn’t the book I wanted. I don’t know that ‘vacation romances’ are a sub-genre of contemporary romance that I enjoy because I found myself wishing this was set in Marysburgwith its cosy feelings rather than an island resort in Florida. Maybe it’s because I kind of hate the beach or because it’s definitely Winter here right now, but the whole setup just didn’t work for me. The romance was sweet, and the smut was definitely on point, but it just didn’t blow me away like the rest of Dade’s books have so far.

Death (The Four Horsemen #4) by Laura Thalassa

Phew, let me just say how I glad I am I managed to get this one read in July. I’d been holding off on it because I’m the worst at finishing series, but here we are—it’s done. Unfortunately, this is definitely my least favourite book in the series. I think this was probably just because I wasn’t in the mood for this but I pushed through. I don’t know, I feel like some of the magic of this series has worn off on me. I still love the first three books and continue to count them among my favourites, but this one felt like the same story but with two different leads. I was expecting this to be drastically different from the first three, but it’s really the same repetitive story of the horseman going town to town killing everyone and the heroine trying to stop him. I would’ve loved to have seen something different for our final horseman. It’s still a fun book—it has its sweet moments and its sexy ones, but I just felt very letdown by the whole thing. But it’s a series that I can mark off now, so if nothing else at least there’s that.

And that’s it for today. Have you read any of these? Are any on your TBR?

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