As has been the theme with these lately, I’m running a little behind on these post. This is partly because it’s Christmas, and I work retail. And partly because I’ve been reading a whole bunch of secret books for secret projects that I can’t review yet because of SECRETS. But more on that later because here are the books I can actually share with you right now.
Lore Olympus: Volume Three by Rachel Smythe
I’ve been loving this series so far, but I started to feel a little burnt out on this. The story is starting to feel a little slow and stunted for me. I felt like we’d already been through this all in the last volume, and we’re not seeing anything new. I love a good slow burn, but this feel like the same scenes just replaying again and again and I’m bored of it. I hope we start to see things moving forward in volume four otherwise I’m not sure I’ll continue with this. I still think it’s beautiful—I mention in all of my reviews that I love the monochromatic styling of the characters, but I need some development, some action before I completely lose interest. Volume four isn’t out until midway through next year, so maybe I’ll feel differently by then but right now, I just feel disappointed.
A Decline in Prophets (Rowland Sinclair #2) by Sulari Gentill
After really enjoying book one in this series, I absolutely had to pick this up this month. I mention this every single time I talk about the series (even just to my friends)—there’s just something so charming and interesting about these books to me. I really don’t know what it is. They’re pretty slow and sometimes a little light on the mystery element, but they’re just really engaging. Book one was very politically based, and this one focuses a little more on religion and spirituality, neither of which are things I enjoy reading about and yet I couldn’t tear myself away from this. I just love Rowly and his friends—I just love their friendship with one another, and they’re so much fun to read about. I already have book three out from the library so expect to see a review of that before the end of the year as well and the rest of the series probably shortly after.
The Edge of the Ocean (Strangeworlds Travel Agency #2) by L.D Lapinski
I read the first book in this series back in October and honestly felt kind of meh about it, but I buddy read this one with my friend Helen, and I really enjoyed it. I said in my review of the first one that I felt like it was missing something—I don’t know what it was, but this one didn’t have that same issue. I’m not usually into the whole pirate or mermaid thing, but I really enjoyed that aspect in here—it was just so much fun. I loved seeing Flick develop and come into herself more in this book and I love where the world-building went in this one too. I was honestly surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this one and I can’t wait to pick up book three to see how this series wraps up from here, especially with the way this one ended. I think it’s going to end up being absolutely fantastic.
To Wed A Wild Lord (Hellions of Halstead Hall #4) by Sabrina Jeffries
I don’t really know what to say about this one. I’ve mentioned so many times that Sabrina Jeffries is my favourite historical romance author, which definitely still rings true, and I’ve just been trying to finish off this series before the end of the year. I think this is possibly my favourite series of Jeffries’ so far, but this one was just fine. I really didn’t dislike anything about it—it was a fun romance, there was some good banter and I still love the way the Sharpe siblings all interact. I just didn’t really care about these two leads as much as I have for some of the others so far—they were fine, cute even but they just didn’t grab me the same way. I’ve already started book five, which I think might shape up to be a favourite, but I’ll have my review of that one soon.
If We Ever Meet Again (If Love #1) by Ana Huang
Look at me already getting to work on my Summer TBR. This had been on my radar for a while when Ana Huang was announced for RARE Melbourne 2023 and immediately got bumped up my list. I finally picked it up last Friday on my way to work, and by the time my train pulled in, I was invested. I was honestly so sad when I had to put my Kindle away and be a contributing member of society because I could’ve easily just sat there and read the whole thing in a few hours. I think the thing that really captured me was the Shanghai setting—I love the way Huang showcased so much of the city (from different neighbourhoods, the food and etc.) in this book. This isn’t usually the type of contemporary romance I’d go for, but that aspect, alongside the friendships, made me really enjoy it. I will say there is some weird pacing—it skips over a lot, and that did weaken the story for me a little, but I’m really excited to continue this series.
And that’s it. What have you been reading lately?