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Hello sassy people!!!
Today I’m gonna tell you guys about all the books I read this first month of the year!
1 – The Kiss Thief
Author: L.J. Shen
Blurb: They say your first kiss should be earned. Mine was stolen by a devil in a masquerade mask under the black Chicago sky. They say the vows you take on your wedding day are sacred. Mine were broken before we left church. They say your heart only beats for one man. Mine split and bled for two rivals who fought for it until the bitter end.
I was promised to Angelo Bandini, the heir to one of the most powerful families in the Chicago Outfit. Then taken by Senator Wolfe Keaton, who held my father’s sins over his head to force me into marriage. They say that all great love stories have a happy ending.
I, Francesca Rossi, found myself erasing and rewriting mine until the very last chapter.
One kiss. Two men. Three lives. Entwined together.
And somewhere between these two men, I had to find my forever.
This book was interesting, not at all what I expected. Reading the synopsis, I believe that this book was gonna be about a love triangle between her childhood love and her newly arranged husband. But no, she never loved both men at the same time (despite what her caveman of a husband believes).
This book has a lot of sexism, but at the same time is a mob-related book, so we ignore some things, like the arranged marriage.
Overall, nice read, not the cutest couple ever, and I honestly don’t like Wolfe a lot, but it was an interesting book.
General grade: 4/5 (developed characters, the plot was a little dense, but overall a nice experience)
Feminist grade: 3/5 (sexist characters, a strong female lead, but her actions are a lot of times childish and immature, and their relationship is far from healthy)
Final grade: 7/10 (A nice book, but not something I feel in love with)
2 – The Setup
Author: Meghan Quinn
Blurb: I’ve fallen victim to a heinous act.
An act so vile, so downright dirty, that I’m not sure as a twenty-year-old man I’ll ever recover. Brace yourself, because what I’m about to tell you might have you gasping in secondhand horror.
Ready? Here it goes . . .
I’ve recently become the pawn of a meddling mom. Yes . . . A MEDDLING MOM–who’s been trying to set me up all summer. Now, I understand it’s not a crime for a mother to want her child to fall in love, but when she makes it her relentless MISSION, the heinous act should be classified as a misdemeanor at least. Of course, my mom, the evil matriarch in the devil’s leggings, made her final stab at finding a girl for me days before I went back to college. And I hate to admit it, but she saved a doozy for last. A titan in black skinny jeans. A boss of nonchalance. And a girl who would not only turn my life upside down, but do it while juggling a soccer ball, looking effortlessly gorgeous around campus, and is one hundred percent against relationships. Of any sort.
I was extremely excited about this book, I love Meghan Quinn and the rest of this series (even if the book says is a standalone, it’s a series haha) so I had really high expectations for this book. I waited a few months for its release but didn’t have time to read it when it finally came out. So at the begging of this year, I couldn’t wait anymore.
I have to say I was disappointed, unfortunately. The relationship of this couple was not the best one, no communication at all and they were never really honest with each other, which resulted in a lot of problems.
General grade: 3/5 (developed characters, but the plot drags for too long and sometimes is messy, but also their relationship never gets real development)
Feminist grade: 4/5 (the male character is not sexist, which I love, but I believe the female lead has some questionable actions in this story, some manipulations, and overall, not healthy relationship material)
Final grade: 7/10 (good book, but I expected more based on previous experience and it didn’t deliver)
3 – The Strike Out
Author: Meghan Quinn
Blurb: It started with one night out with the boys.
She was the hot diner waitress putting herself through school.
I was the rich, arrogant player everyone misjudges.
On paper we didn’t match.
Yet all it took was one day. One single day to change her mind.
She wasn’t planning to spend her day off with me.
She wasn’t supposed to fall for my charm.
But one day, one smile, turned into several nights of her calling out my name.
I’m not the guy she should end up with. I’m jealous, possessive. Not here for a long time – just a good time.
She’s changed me.
But, for some reason, I feel her slipping through my fingers and no matter what I do, I fear I’m going to strike out with the one and only girl I’ve ever fallen for.
Now, this was soooo goood! This couple is just so cute! Their story has depth and meaning and even though it was a simple story without a lot of plot twists, it all makes sense. I loved that Holt was a sensible and sensitive character, that even has anxiety problems, which I love seeing in a strong male character, because man also have psychological problems, but most of them won’t ask for help in dealing with them. He is, sometimes, too jealous but we see him addressing and working on that, as he does with every problem that he finds in himself.
This is an amazing example of a couple, they communicate and even their fights are civilized and mature. This is a great role model as a relationship and as individuals.
General grade: 4/5 (a good and structured plotline, but fairly simple, without a lot of twists)
Feminist grade: 5/5 (amazing characters and an amazing example of relationship)
Final grade: 9/10 (loved the reading, but not as exciting as other books)
4 – The Dugout
Author: Meghan Quinn
Blurb: Let me ask you a question:
If someone is vying for your spot on a team and just so happens to injure you during practice, would you believe it was on purpose?
Word around campus is . . . it was no accident.
That injury has cost me everything; my starting position, my junior year—and the draft. Now, I’m a senior fresh off recovery, struggling to find my groove, until the day I run into a nervous, fidgety, girl with freckles, in the dining hall.
They call Milly Potter The Baseball Whisperer, The Diamond Wizard, and The Epitome of All Knowledge. She believes in baseball. She breathes it. She’s the queen of an infamous dynasty, but no one actually knows who she really is, and she plans to keep it that way.
One mishap in the panini line, one miscommunication in the weight room, and many failed attempts at an apology equal up to one solid truth — Milly Potter never wants to speak to me again — no matter how good my forearms look.
Little do we both know, she’s about to become more than just my fairy ballmother.
This was already one of my favorites last year, but after reading the last two books of this series I was missing this book because it was just so good!
This book has a strong and sporty female lead, an honest and adorable male lead, and one of the cutest relationships I’ve ever read.
This couple is honest and we see their relationship developing in the cutest of ways. Milly is a baseball goddess and I love that she can teach it to Carson, a star baseball player who lost his swing.
I can’t even describe how much I love their story, and reading it for the second time was even better.
General grade: 5/5 (structured plotline, developed characters, and just an amazing story)
Feminist grade: 5/5 (amazing strong and sporty female lead, a male lead who is just a super nice guy and can realize when he was being a douchebag)
Final grade: 10/10 (I just loved and this is probably not the last time I’ll read it)
5 – The Trade
Author: Meghan Quinn
Blurb: Can you pinpoint a time in your life where you realized you are completely and utterly screwed?
I can. I got the dreaded phone call, the one every baseball player hopes and prays never comes.
I was traded. Yeah, that phone call.
Traded from my long time team of over ten years. And not just to any team, but my childhood rivals; the Chicago Rebels.
Completely and utterly screwed, right? Wrong. The trade was the least of my concerns.
I met a girl. Natalie. Man, she’s perfect.
I swore I would never get involved with anyone during the season. Too complicated. But can you believe I have zero restraint when it comes to this girl? I couldn’t get her out of my head and the more I talked to her, the more I realized I needed her in my life.
So what’s the problem? Why am I screwed? Because, Natalie, the girl I can’t stop crushing on, yeah… she’s married.
At least, that’s what I was told…
After reading “The Dugout” I had to read this one.
Cory is Milly’s older brother, who is also a star baseball player for a major league baseball team. I wanted to read this one again because this was the first Meghan Quinn book I ever read and even though I understood the whole book without having to read the previous ones, the other characters are a big part of this story, something that I didn’t really get to appreciate the first time I read. So I decided to read again and see the difference.
It was definitely awesome to see these characters that I love interacting, but also this plotline is a bit dragged at some points, and since I already knew what was going to happen, the excitement of the book died soon, and my will to read it subsided a lot.
General grade: 4/5 (the plot line drags at some points, and some things take too long to happen)
Feminist grade: 4/5 (I honestly don’t have a lot of criticism nor complements on this area. Nothing problematic gets my attention, but also nothing super positive)
Final grade: 8/10 (A good book, but it doesn’t get me excited anymore)
6 – Shacking Up
Author: Helena Hunting
Series: Shaking Up #1
Blurb: Ruby Scott is months behind on rent and can’t seem to land a steady job. She has one chance to turn things around with a big audition. But instead of getting her big break, she gets sick as a dog and completely bombs it in the most humiliating fashion. All thanks to a mysterious, gorgeous guy who kissed—and then coughed on—her at a party the night before.
Luckily, her best friend might have found the perfect opportunity; a job staying at the lavish penthouse apartment of hotel magnate Bancroft Mills while he’s out of town, taking care of his exotic pets. But when the newly-evicted Ruby arrives to meet her new employer, it turns out Bane is the same guy who got her sick. Seeing his role in Ruby’s dilemma, Bane offers her a permanent job as his live-in pet sitter until she can get back on her feet.
I wanted to read this series for a long time, but since it was not available in Kindle Unlimited I dragged it until I couldn’t hold it anymore. I absolutely love Helena Hunting and all the books that I’ve read from her so far were amazing, so I had high hopes for this one, and she did not disappoint me.
Shacking Up, despite having a plotline that takes a little bit of time to develop, it was a great read because these two characters have a lot of personality (as you would expect from Helena) and their interactions are just amazing to read. They were just so cute and their flirting and banter were just adorable.
I love that Bancroft was accepting of her job and overall a decent and sweet guy who loves his pets.
General grade: 4/5 (the plot takes some time to develop, but nothing that gets in the way, developed characters, and a structured plotline that makes a lot of sense)
Feminist grade: 5/5 (Bancroft is sweet and non-sexist, non-judgemental, and overall a super nice guy, while Ruby is super strong and strong-minded, can deal with things herself, and it was just amazing)
Final grade: 9/10 (Loved this book, and will probably read it again)
7 – Hooking Up
Author: Helena Hunting
Series: Shacking Up #2
Blurb: Amalie Whitfield is the picture of a blushing bride during her wedding reception ― but for all the wrong reasons. Instead of proclaiming his undying love, her husband can be heard, by Amalie and their guests, getting off with someone else. She has every reason to freak out, and in a moment of insanity, she throws herself at the first hot-blooded male she sees. But he’s not interested in becoming her revenge screw.
Mortified and desperate to escape the post-wedding drama, Amalie decides to go on her honeymoon alone, only to find the man who rejected her also heading to the same tiny island for work. But this time he isn’t holding back. She should know better than to sleep with someone she knows, but she can’t seem to resist him. They might agree that what happens on the island should stay on the island, but neither one can deny that their attraction is more than just physical.
Now, Amie and Lexington was a couple that I predicted at the beginning of Shaking Up, Armstrong (Amie’s former fiance) was just a huge douchebag and I was waiting for the day she would dump his ass, but it took a ruined wedding to make that happen.
I love that they did not stall the beginning of their relationship even though they put a deadline to it, but I also love that when it came to solving problems they were able to be honest, and open with each other, even though sometimes their first instinct was to run away. A super cute couple, that I just loved.
General grade: 4.5/5 (Loved everything, developed characters, but a really simple plotline)
Feminist grade: 5/5 (strong female lead, a respectful male lead, and a fiance who shows us all the manipulation and twisted problems that can happen and go unnoticed in a relationship)
Final grade: 9.5/10 (Loved it, and will also probably read it again)
8 – Making Up
Author: Helena Hunting
Series: Shacking Up #4
Blurb: Cosy Felton is great at her job—she knows just how to handle the awkwardness that comes with working at an adult toy store. So when the hottest guy she’s ever seen walks into the shop looking completely overwhelmed, she’s more than happy to turn on the charm and help him purchase all of the items on his list.
Griffin Mills is using his business trip in Las Vegas as a chance to escape the broken pieces of his life in New York City. The last thing he wants is to be put in charge of buying gag gifts for his friend’s bachelor party. Despite being totally out of his element, and mortified by the whole experience, Griffin is pleasantly surprised when he finds himself attracted to the sales girl that helped him.
As skeptical as Cosy may be of Griffin’s motivations, there’s something about him that intrigues her. But sometimes what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas and when real life gets in the way, all bets are off.
This one disappointed me. After two great books, I had really high expectations that were not met. These characters don’t really have a lot of personalities and they were not so developed which made me wonder why they were doing the things they did. This had a big age gap (11 years I believe) and that would not be a problem if the characters didn’t bring it up so often. Cute couple, but I didn’t fall in love with them and that is sad, because I love Helena Hunting, so it was sad to not love her book. But honestly, I think that if I didn’t know this book was Helena’s I would find it cool, but I expected so much of it and it didn’t meet the standards I had for it.
General grade: 3/5 (didn’t understand the characters and their choices, the plot was a little all over the place with problems that didn’t find a solution, they were just forgotten)
Feminist grade: 4/5 (Griffin is possessive and domineering, not in a bad way, but I didn’t appreciate some of his actions. And Cosy went from strong female to virgin innocent girl, also something I didn’t appreciate)
Final grade: 7/10 (Overall good and had some cute moments, but left me disappointed)
Those were all the books I read this month, soon I’ll be posting individualized reviews for each of them where I tell in extreme detail (and some spoilers) why I loved or not so much all these books.
Well, that is all for today, I hope you like this post, hope you enjoy these books if you decide to read them. Feel free to leave your opinion about it in the comments and I will see you next time!
Bye sassy people!
- I know that some comments I make about decent guys on my posts are the bare minimum a guy should do, so no, they don’t deserve to be treated like gods for doing the minimum, but at the same time, I’ve read a lot of sexist books and I appreciate authors who make characters that can serve as role models and examples of how a decent guy acts and what a loving and respectful relationship looks like. I believe we should always encourage these authors and bring attention to the ones that still write sexist characters and stories.
- I make a lot of comments about sexism and healthy role models in books, but a lot of times these characteristics don’t make the book a bad book and definitely don’t make the author a bad author. Please never shame these authors and these books for these comments, I simply feel that we need to have awareness of the less than ideal situations some books bring us, and not use the romanticized problem as examples of what a relationship should be. Most of these authors are still amazing and the content they write doesn’t reflect directly with their personal views and opinions. Always make sure to respect and be kind to everyone, even while criticizing their content.
Find Me In
Brazilian architecture student and book lover
One of my goals in analysing my readings was to talk about important topics, like feminist and consent, because literature, art and culture influence us, and I believe we should always encorage authors who talk about this topics.
Come check out my Goodreads Reading Challenge!
Goodreads Reading Challenge 2020
I read 148 books in 2020, come see them!