Halloween Smutathon Wrap Up

The last week of October was the Halloween Smutathon and I read five books and I’m currently in the middle of a fifth book. I had a lot of fun with this readathon and I wish I could have devoted more time to it but I was still trying to read some other books from the other readathon’s I participated in.

Rating: 5/5

Tillie Cole is the queen of dark romance and I have never read a book by her that I wasn’t instantly in love with. Hands down my favorite romance author and top three favorite author ever. This is a prequel to a dark romance series involving the Church and the horrible abuse boys are put through that are considered evil at a home for orphans. Since this is a dark romance there are a ton of trigger warnings so please be aware of that. I need to read the first book in this series asap.

Rating: both 4/5

These are both very short novellas (about 40 pages) and are just what the title suggests. And yet, despite the low page count, Harley Laroux does an incredible job of giving the couples in this story a physical and emotional connection. There is no insta love but it is about two people who agree to do some dirty, sexy things to each other. Both books come with trigger and content warnings which I recommend you read since these books are basically all BDSM smut. However, the nature of the things that they do together requires a lot of trust which helps form that bond between them.

WARNING: This review contains a spoiler.

Rating: 1/5

I really need to stop giving Alexa Riley a chance. I do not ever seem to enjoy their books. This is a quick little novella involving a teacher and her students uncle that takes place the day before Halloween and the day of Halloween. First off, this book could literally take place any day of the year since the only Halloween content we got was a couple of mentions of the characters costumes and as soon as our hero walked into the Halloween party he left with our heroine. I am someone that needs to have an emotional connection between the characters to find the smut enjoyable and I just didn’t get that at all. Which I wasn’t expecting going into this book but the level of disgust I felt for our hero was off the charts. He is basically a stalker who came off as manipulative and creepy. And the freaking epilogue where he tells his wife, who just had twins two or three months ago, that she is pregnant and she just shrugs and says ok since he told her last time too. WTF???? I understand why people enjoy Alexa Riley because they write books that are just a good time but for me they are not and I need to remember that in the future.

Rating: 2/5

This is another book that is just smut with no emotional connection. Which lots of people enjoy, so if that is you then that’s awesome. It’s just not what I prefer to read. And the main character, Tyler, makes no sense. I was never sure why he was a priest and he certainly didn’t seem to care about it despite the author telling us many times he did. And the heroine, whose name I don’t remember, was a flat one dimensional character who was not very likable. She would say she didn’t want him to choose between her and his priesthood but then she would flat out seduce him and it was confusing. I love a good forbidden romance but this wasn’t it. Especially since it didn’t seem that forbidden since Tyler didn’t really care about his job that much. Tyler would list of all the parts of his job he enjoyed and he could have done all the same things volunteering so the stakes weren’t actually that high. I could go on but I don’t want to keep bashing a book that I know a lot of people enjoy. I will say that I was surprised that this entire story is from Tyler’s perspective. I might have enjoyed our heroine more if I had gotten to know her side but I also found it refreshing to read a story completely from a male perspective. There are a few trigger warnings for this including suicide and sexual abuse so please be aware.

Currently reading

I am loving this so much more than I thought I would. It is laugh out loud funny and I am swooning over the enemies to lover aspect. Which is why I am reading this so slow because I want to draw out this delicious relationship as long as possible. I really hope the second half of this book doesn’t disappoint!

~Cassie

Vampathon Wrap Up

Last month the bulk of my TBR was my Vampathon choices. Technically Vampathon was supposed to only be the last week of the month but I really liked all of the prompts so I decided to just make it a month long readathon for myself. However, I totally failed at this readathon and only read 4 of the 16 books on my list. I did have an extra book that I threw on at the bottom of the list which was for a blog tour that I ended up DNF’ing. Which is a bummer since I was so excited to read all of them. I had also planned on reading the entire A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series and I didn’t even start it. Also, I did start The Lost Village at the very end of the month but since I have rolled it over to my November TBR I will include it in that wrap up instead.

I read all these books for blog tours. Because I was struggling so bad with my reading I never actually finished them in time but I have since completed all of them. I’m trying to catch up on blog posts but all these reviews will be out shortly. My review for The Keeper of the Night is almost done so that will be coming later this week or early next week. I have family coming to stay for the rest of this week so I’m not too sure how much more blogging I will be able to get done this week.

Rating: 3/5

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Serpent & Dove, but this one was just lacking. I found the main characters to make irritating and nonsensical choices. I did enjoy the ending and I like how the author set up the next book so I will be completing this series at some point in the future.

I DNF’d this book at 25%. Here is my blog tour post where I also share my reasons for putting it down.

~Cassie

Victober Wrap Up

October is always the month long Victorian literature readathon. I wasn’t as successful this year but everything that I’ve read (or am still reading) I am absolutely loving.

Read

Rating: 5/5

This was a wonderfully written slice of life story written by one of the impeccable Bronte sisters. I don’t think I have ever read a book I didn’t absolutely adore from them. I went into this book knowing that it was the story of a governess in the 1800’s and I was happily surprised that it also has the sweetest romance. One of the reasons that I love classics so much is that they show such a clear view of what life was like when they were written and it always amazes me how similar human nature still is.

Currently reading

I think I’m on page 130 of this book that’s just over 500 pages. For some reason I always thought I wouldn’t like this book since all I ever really heard about was it deals with industrialization. However, this book is really about the main character, Margaret Hale, and her life. Due to circumstances out of her control she has to leave her bustling social life at her aunt’s house to move back with her mother and father. Then she quickly has to leave her home with her family and move to the city of Milton with all its factories and consequences of factory life. So far I’m really enjoying myself and Margaret Hale is a fantastic main character.

This is a collection of short stories and it was a readalong with the Victober Goodreads group. When I got my second Covid dose and my flu shot at the beginning of October I didn’t read anything for days and I lost my reading mojo. So I never was able to catch up with this readalong. I have just started the Lois the Witch story which is based off the Salem witch trials. I love how creepy and atmospheric this collection of stories are. Although, it does have that problem, that a lot of classics suffer from, where it will tell a really good detailed story and the ending is so abrupt that it leaves you a little stunned it’s over. This is the perfect October read though and I’m bummed I have to carry it over into November. I know some people like to continue the spooky season but November is when I start transitioning to the Christmas/Holiday romances. I am toying with the idea of just stopping where I’m at and then next October picking this book back up and restarting the story that I’m currently on.

I didn’t get to the other two Victorian literature books I wanted to read this month but I would love to pick them up early next year because both are ones that I really want to read.

~Cassie

Dewey’s 24 hr readathon wrap up

Whew, I am finally here to wrap up Saturday’s 24 hr readathon. For some reason I am always busier then I think I will be. I think with the pandemic I got used to my kids not having that much to do and that is no longer the case but I haven’t made the mental shift yet. Saturday the readathon started at 5am for me and so it ended at 5am Sunday. I was so tired when I went to bed on Friday that I somehow managed to not save my alarm for 5 but I still woke up at 5:40 so I started from there. I tried to make it as long as I could but I finally tapped out at 1:30 am which means I did most of the 24 hr readathon. I also posted most hours so I will link all those posts at the end if you want to follow along with what I did that day.

My two oldest boys also participated in the readathon which was very exciting for me because I love how much they enjoy reading. My youngest is only 4 so he wasn’t quite able to join in but he did play ABC mouse while he did some snacking with us. And of course he gets read to anytime he asks pretty much so I hope when he is older he will want to read with us!

Total books read

Hunter: 2 read/finished (had already started previously). 1 partially read.

Connor: 3 audiobooks listened to (all from the Who Was series) and started a reread of Scythe

Me: 5 read. 1 finished that I previously started. 1 DNF

Wrap Up

DNF

I read 87 pages of this but I decided to put it down because it had multiple instances of detailing someone dying of cancer and that is a topic that is extremely hard for me to read. I can usually push past it but it kept being brought up and it brought my mood and reading pace down. Whenever I decide to DNF a book I always look up spoiler reviews so I can get some resolution on the story and boy after reading some reviews was I glad I put this down. It seems like I put it down while the plot was still somewhat together and after that it turns into a whole other story. I thought this was going to be a ghost story but apparently it is more of a romance which I wouldn’t have guessed at all. I knew there was a love interest but I thought he would be helping her investigate the creepy happenings of their boardinghouse but I was wrong. If you like romance with some paranormal elements then perhaps this is a book you would enjoy.

Books read

4 stars

This is a really cute romance between two long lost loves. The pacing of the main story was very quick. It had that insta love feeling since they fall back into their relationship so quickly after meeting again. The ending was also not great and a total rip off of a popular romance movie. However, the edition that I read had a few short additional stories that tell different parts of their relationship and it helped make everything seem more real. I really appreciated the sex talk in one story because it is not very often when a book is so open about safe sex options for women relationships. I also enjoyed the story that had some actual conflict between the wives and seeing them work through it was rewarding. When I first read this I gave it five stars but since thinking about it more I have lowered it down to four stars. The last story in the book also teased what the second volume will be about and I will definitely be picking that up.

4 stars

I will have a full review up for this season since it was gifted to me by the publisher. A really fun domestic thriller that is centered around Halloween.

4 stars

I read this because my son, Connor, has been wanting me to for awhile so I went into it without knowing anything. And I was not expecting a horror. This is basically the middle grade version of Junji Ito. Both the story and the art are creepy and there were a few instances where I was grossed out. The only downside to this book is that it doesn’t have a satisfying ending.

4 stars

This is another one that Connor wanted me to read but I obviously knew what this was about going into it. Although I was pleasantly surprised by how much I learned reading this.. There were a lot of interesting details about what was happening around the time of the Donner party that I never heard of before. These Nathan Hale books are great and my history loving son is obsessed with them. I also appreciated that there were trigger warnings for the kids reading this before it got into the graphic parts of the story.

5 stars

The perfect addition to the Stranger Things story that we all know and love from the tv show. This graphic novel showcases how important Dungeon and Dragons is to the friend group before the events of the first season and in between every other season. Stranger Things is my favorite show of all time so this was just a heartwarming read.

5 stars

One of the best written books I have ever read. Camilla Bruce is a genius and I have made it my mission to read everything she has ever written. (I recently got a collection of fairy tale retellings just so I can read her story.) A lot of people are not going to like this book and that’s ok. But if you love weird creepy books with unreliable narrators then this is one that I think you will enjoy. The topic of sexual abuse is a heavy theme of this story so please be aware of that if you are thinking of reading this. I will eventually have a full (probably spoiler filled) review up for this book.

Dewey Posts

Hour 2

Hour 3

Hour 4

Hour 5

Hour 6

Hour 8

Hour 11

Hour 13

Hour 14

Hour 18

Hour 21

And that’s all that I read. Thank you so much for everyone that followed along with me during that day! I enjoyed sharing my day with all of you but I’m glad that the readathon only happens a few times a year.

~Cassie

Weekend Round Up: Kindle Unlimited

On Friday I decided that I wanted to actually devote time to some Kindle Unlimited books. It annoys me that I pay for it every month and I barely use it. So this weekend I read one book, one short little story, and I am almost done with a non fiction book. I thought it would be fun to wrap them all up today plus another book that I finished last week that also happens to be a part of KU.

Rating: 2/5

This was an odd cozy mystery for the fact that it wasn’t that cozy. There is an out of place secondary story involving a side character’s abusive ex that added nothing to the mystery. The author even went so far to have on paper abuse which I wasn’t expecting and is the main reason I gave this book such a low rating. I did really enjoy the homesteading and farming aspects which is why I plan on reading at least one more from this series. That’s the great part of KU because I wouldn’t pay money for just this series but since they are available to me I can easily give the author one more try. I also was enjoying the sweet romance that was starting in this book and I am looking forward to seeing more of that in the sequel.

Rating: 5/5

This is a super quick 17 page memoir that is an Amazon exclusive. I previously read Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson and this little collection of stories felt like an extension of that book. I don’t know if I would have enjoyed it as much if I didn’t have that experience of being familiar with her life already since it is so short. Woodson has a way with words that makes everything she writes come vividly to life and I am slowly working my way through her back list.

Rating: 5/5

Since I was focusing on KU books I thought it was the perfect opportunity to continue on with the King series by T.M. Frazier. I am planning on doing a full review of the series but I will say that this was my absolute favorite book so far in the series. I love that the “bad” one in this book was our heroine and I thought the twist in this book was pretty clever. Also the connection between Rage and Nolan was perfection. The King series is dark romance and this one is just as gritty and dark as the others.

Rating: 5/5 (possibly since I’m not quite finished yet)

My brother told me about this book so I picked it up when I was done with All Her Rage and I’m surprised by how much I really like this book. If you love horror movies and true crime then this is a fabulous book. It is very interesting and informative and it goes into to detail about both the movie and the crime. A lot of these cases are pretty brutal so I would be aware of that if it sounds interesting. I have been listening to the audiobook and it is an enjoyable listen and almost feels like a podcast.

~Cassie

July Wrap Up

Last month I managed to actual complete my TBR for maybe the first time ever. I don’t remember ever finishing one before so I’m just going to roll with it. July was also the month that I figured out that I enjoy listening to books while working on my knitting or cross stitch projects so I expect to utilize that a lot more in the future. So, hopefully, I can complete more TBR’s in the future. For this wrap up I’m going to start with all the books that I read for the Pop Culture Readathon and then I will share the extra books I read at the end. Each book I will be giving a few sentence review/my thoughts on it. I did have a few DNF’s this month which probably aided in my completing everything but I just couldn’t get into them for various reasons.

*If you want synopsis for any of the books I’m talking about then click on the cover and it will take you to Goodreads.

Pop Culture Readathon

Prompt: Ginger Snaps

Rating: 5/5

I listened to this book on Audible and I really enjoyed it. The world is so unique and fun. There are tons of supernatural creatures in this world that all interact with each other against an intriguing backdrop of magic and technology. Kate Daniels was a great heroine and I look forward to finding our more about her in future books. I did see a review on Goodreads where they said the author even admits this book isn’t that great which was surprising to me and has me really looking forward to how amazing the other books in the series are.

Prompt: Zodiac

Rating: 5/5

I’ll be honest that I probably boosted this up to a five stars just because it’s Riley Sager. It did have a few surprises in it but it is really only a book I would recommend to true lovers of the suspense thriller genre. My favorite thing about this book is that it is set in the 90’s and evokes a lot of my favorite horror movies atmosphere. Basically if you love 90’s horror movies then you might really enjoy this book.

Prompt: Cabin Fever

Rating: 2.5/5

I picked this book up on a whim at Target and unfortunately a lot of it fell flat. This book had the potential but the author used a lot of shortcuts for our hero, Luke, to obtain information. I really feel like if things were set up in a more believable way that it would have been a more satisfying mystery. This book is fun if you enjoy YA mysteries and you are able to suspend your disbelief at many of the situations and characters.

Prompt: Donnie Darko

Rating: 4/5

This was a fun slasher book. It is pretty gory so be aware of that. This is also reminded me a lot of a movie I enjoy (which I’m not naming because that would be major spoilers). If you are a horror movie fan than this would be a great book to pick up during the upcoming spooky season.

Prompt: Jennifer’s Body

Rating: 4/5

I had originally put the sequel to this book on my TBR because I didn’t realize that it was a direct sequel to The Golden Cage. This is a very twisted Nordic thriller that has tons of twists and turns. Like most Nordic thrillers it can be very graphic and gruesome but I thought I would mention it in case you are interested in reading this one.

Prompt: Cursed

Rating: DNF

I almost made it halfway through this book and I was managing with one case of insta love but then there became another insta love relationship and I couldn’t handle it. There also wasn’t that much world building and nothing to really keep my interest.

Prompt: Paranormal Activity

Rating: 5/5

My favorite book of the month is easily The Little Stranger. Everything about this book is mesmerizing and I would love to just sink back into this book again and again. Sarah Waters is an extraordinarily talented writer and the story she crafted is magnificent. This book is probably in my list of top ten favorite books of all time. If you love classics and want something a little spooky to read this upcoming Fall season then I definitely think this would be a a wonderful choice.

Prompt: Eight Legged Freaks

Rating: DNF

I’m just going to copy and paste my Goodreads review since that sums it up pretty well. The writing makes this book impossible to get into. It is very juvenile and reminds me a lot of the short chapter books I read with my 9 year old. Also everything is over explained which becomes annoying quickly.

Prompt: The Ring

Rating: 4/5

If you are a fan of Agatha Christie then you should consider reading this short story collection. I enjoyed all of them, of course, some more than others but all of them are unmistakably Christie. It was fun reading more from her brilliant mind. The Spanish Chest was probably my favorite story because it feature Hercules Poirot and a clever little mystery.

Prompt: “Twinkies”

Rating: 4/5

This was a great start to a cozy mystery series. The beginning felt a little clunky to me but it settled down and really hit its stride about a third in. I saw a few other people mention it and I noticed it too while reading, that the diabetes rep in this book is pretty awful. It is pretty clear that the author didn’t know much about it and just used it as a plot device. On the flip side of that though, this is the first book I have read that recognized my food allergy (coconut) so that was pretty special. The food in this book all sounds so delicious and like a typical cozy story there are recipes included and I plan on making some of them.

Prompt: Men in Black II

Rating: 5/5

Lars Kepler is easily one of my favorite authors. They are a husband and wife duo and they are both immensely talented. Nordic thrillers are my favorite sub genre of mysteries and Kepler does it best. This is my third Kepler novel and all of them start off going one way and I can never anticipate all the twists and turns that are going to occur.

Prompt: Skeleton Key

Rating: DNF

I read two chapters of this book but there was something about the writing that rubbed me the wrong way. This was a Netgalley ARC and it comes out next month. Don’t let my thoughts on it hold you back though because currently Summer Sons has a 4.47 rating on Goodreads.

Other

Rating: 5/5

Review: https://bookswithcassie.com/2021/07/16/blog-tour-lady-sunshine-by-amy-mason-doan/

Rating: 4/5

This is the first Icelandic thriller that I have ever read and I am eager to read more by Sigurdardottir. This mystery has Da Vinci Code vibes and I enjoyed the bits of Icelandic and Germany history that we got to know. The biggest downside to this book is that I didn’t like how most characters had an antiquated idea of a lot of things but mostly women. I don’t know if it’s because it was published in 2005 or if it’s because the author is Icelandic but it didn’t add much of anything to the story so it would have been better without it.

~Cassie

April Wrap Up

April was an interesting month because if you look how I did completing my TBR’s then it was fail. However, if you look at the amount of pages read it was a huge success. I read a lot of tomes last month so while I read half the books I did in March I still ended up reading more.

Books Read: 11

Pages Read: 4,539

Books Read from my April TBR: 5/13 (I’m currently reading another but I have put it down temporarily to concentrate on my May TBR)

Books Read from Amish in April TBR: 0 (Although I tried to read one but ended up DNF’ing it)

Books DNF’d: 3

Best Book

Worst Book

I gave this 2.5 stars but I have high hopes for the rest of the series.

All books read

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

Tell No Lies by Allison Brennan

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

These are books 3 and 4 in T.M. Frazier’s King series. I plan on doing a full review of the entire series once I work my way through them. I gave Lawless four stars and Soulless 3 stars. There are 9 books in the series plus a few novellas so I still have quite a few to read.

His & Hers by Alice Feeney

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Dewey’s 24 hr readathon wrap up

I gave this 2.5 stars mostly because I found it boring and I didn’t think there was any chemistry with the love interest and potential love interest. I’m hoping as the series progresses I will enjoy them more.

~Cassie

Dewey’s 24 hr Readathon Wrap Up

This will be a short post because unfortunately I wasn’t feeling well last Saturday and ended up taking four naps! I also didn’t stay up to read more so I didn’t have a lot of reading time but I still managed to read two books and start one so I’m still considering it a success.

Pages Read: 577

Books Read: 2

And Then There Were None was a reread for me but I actually ended up rating it higher this time around. I gave it four stars the first time and five stars this time around. The only thing I can think of is that reading it all in one sitting made for a better reading experience. And Then They Were None is the classic locked room mystery where everyone that is stranded on an island is murdered which makes the list of suspects grow smaller and smaller over time. The movie Clue must have been heavily inspired by this book because a lot of scenes and dialogue were in this book.

If you don’t like horror then you will not enjoy The Only Good Indians especially since it contains a lot of descriptive animal horror. I don’t know what to say about this book without giving anything away but it is a very well done story. I really enjoyed the slower pace Jones had at the beginning and then he starts to ramp it up until the ending that had me on the edge of my seat. So many moments in this book took me by surprise and I actually gasped out loud more than a few times. This is a brilliant work of fiction and the added horror elements made this book one that I won’t easily forget.

I also started His & Hers by Alice Feeney but that book will get its on review next week since it is a Netgalley ARC that I am way behind on reviewing.

~Cassie

Quarterly Wrap Up

I can’t believe we are already halfway through the month of April. It completely escaped me that I needed to put this post together but better late then never! The first two months of the year were relatively slow for me and as I have said many times, March was a much better month for me. I used to track a lot of stats but I stopped toward the end of last year. I really need to start using Storygraph since they automatically track all the stats but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. For today I will be sharing some basic stats but hopefully when July rolls around I will have some more interesting ones.

January Books Read: 9

February Books Read: 5

March Books Read: 22

Total Read: 36

Total DNF: 3 (I’ve had one a month which isn’t great. So far this month I have had none!)

January Wrap Up

February Wrap Up

March Wrap Up

Favorite Book Read

I couldn’t choose between them. Both are five star reads that will stick with me for a long time.

Authors

Female: 27

Male: 8

Mixed: 1

Format

Ebook: 26

Audiobook: 1

Physical: 9

Source

Library: 10

ARC/Netgalley: 8

Owned: 18

~Cassie

March Wrap Up

March was a really great month of reading for me since I finished 22 things! I also read a lot from both TBR’s that I posted plus knocked off some ARC’s and library books. I also read some of my favorite books of the year and I feel like I was able to completely reset my reading. Since summer of last year I have had a bad habit of picking things up and then putting them down and just thinking about them but not finishing them. March was truly like a breath of fresh air and it feels good to start to get some normalcy in some way. My last relapse left me with more complications and physically I’m struggling more but mentally and emotionally I feel more like myself this past month and I’m going to mark that as a win. I’m still praying and hoping for perfect healing but I feel like I have also made the shift that MOG is something that I will have forever and I have accepted it. In saying that though I’m also praying hard that my infusion (happening at the end of April!) will prevent anymore relapses and I can just work on getting stronger and recovering.

Books Read: 22

DNF’s: 1 *Snow Place to Die by Mary Daheim

March TBR: 5/9

March Mystery Madness TBR: 5/9

Best Book: Parachutes By Kelly Yang

Worst Book: Snow Place to Die

Dear Child By Romy Hausmann

Her Dark Lies By J.T. Ellison

The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson

Changeling By Matt Wesolowski

Danger in Numbers by Heather Graham

House of Earth and Blood By Sarah J. Maas

48 hr BookopolAthon Wrap Up

Spring Into Readingathon Wrap Up

I’m going to link all my Wednesday WWW posts here because I talk weekly about my thoughts about all the books I’m reading and they might be helpful if there is a book you are interested in but I haven’t written a full review for/yet.

WWW Wednesday 3.10.21

WWW Wednesday 3.17.21

WWW 3.24.21

WWW 3.31.21

~Cassie