Books I read in February 2021
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!!!!
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Hello sassy people
Today I’m gonna tell you guys about all the books I read this month! I read some amazing books and found out some new amazing authors!
I started the month with Handle With Care by Helena Hunting, because I finished January with Making Up. But, despite it being a good book, that I was fairly interested about, I found a book that got me more excited, so I stopped reading this one and went for:
1- Flirting with the Frenemy
Author: Pippa Grant
Series: Bro Code #1
Blurb: Mission: Survive my best friend’s wedding, where I must play nice with my ex and his perfect new girlfriend.
Strategy: Bring the hottest fake boyfriend on the planet.
Target: Grady Rock. Master Baker. Dimples. Muscles. The unicorn of fake boyfriends.
Complication: Wyatt Morgan. My brother’s best friend. My sworn enemy. Military man. Sexy as hell single dad. The man I let into my panties for one night of hot hate sex after my ex dumped me.
And the man who just scared off that perfect fake boyfriend.
By pretending to be my real boyfriend.
I can roll with this though. What’s the harm in Flirting with the Frenemy if it helps me get the job done? Complete my mission and move on.
Or so I thought. Until Wyatt kisses me again and I start feeling things I shouldn’t. The thing about weddings…nothing ever goes as planned.
I found this book because of a piece on “Book+Main Bites” and I just loved that piece. Then I saw that the trope was military man, and that has been on my reading list for months now, so I decided to give it a chance.
I have to be honest, the cover and the name of the book made me reluctant at first, but the writing quality on the bite was really good and it got me rooked, so I decided to give it a shot and I’m glad I did!
I loved this book, it was crazy (in a good way) but also so cute and it touched topics that are heavy in a super light way and because of that, right now, after a month that I read it, my main memory is not about the heavy or painful moments, but about the crazy pirate-themed moments and the super cute single dad moments.
The main characteristic of this book is its location. The story happens in Shipwreck, a city (in the mountains) that revolves around the pirate thematic. They make treasure hunts, pirate weddings, cosplays, and all types of pirate-related activities. That for me was one of the best and funniest parts of the book. There is also a crazy, cute, and funny best friend, a jerk of an ex-boyfriend, a hot, cute, loving, military man single dad, and a strong-minded, determined and stubborn female lead, who is also someone who went through some traumatic moments in a car accident.
All these things should not work together, but Pippa Grant manages to make it all fit and be light and enjoyable.
General grade: 4/5 (the plot is not full of things, it is simple, but not empty… but it’s not so elaborated, there are no plot twists or any major problems to solve, it is a very simplistic and uncomplicated book)
Feminist grade: 5/5 (Ellie super strong female lead, who never wants to depend on anyone and Wyatt is a cute and nonsexist male lead, who suffers from being away from his child.)
Final grade: 9/10 (light, funny and cute, but also eccentric with a lot of different tropes that somehow really worked together here)
After I finished this book there was the rest of the series, the next book would be “America’s Geekheart”, but I wanted to know Grady’s story, and the synopsis made me fall in love with this story.
2- Master Baker
Author: Pippa Grant
Series: Bro Code #4
Blurb: They call me the sugar whisperer.
Anything your tongue desires, I can bake it. Scones? Child’s play. Cupcakes? I’ll frost them so good you won’t know what hit you. Donuts? Please.
You’re talking to a master baker.
But there’s one egg I’ve never been able to crack.
My best friend.
Correction: My former best friend.
She’s the apple in my pie. The whip in my cream. The lemon in my meringue. The wish in my bone.
She’s the one who got away.
After ten years in the military, she’s back. She’s bruised and battered by life, but she’s back.
Except she’s not my second chance. She’s gone to the dark side.
Running a rival bakery in a town not big enough for two.
So now I have to decide—which do I want more?
Or the woman I never should’ve let go of in the first place?
This story was super cute and super fun, but it was not what I was expecting. First of all, one part that caught my attention on the synopsis was that the female lead, Annika, was in the military. I absolutely love to see females in male-dominated areas and the military is a super macho man area. But I got a little disappointed because she doesn’t mention the military so much and she had a desk job, so the military job doesn’t really make a difference to the story. If she did any other job before the book started, it wouldn’t make much of a difference.
Now, that did not ruin the book, the book is still pretty good, really funny, and still handles some heavy subjects with lightness and a lot of weirdness and craziness.
One big thematic in the book is the rivalry between Shipwreck (Grady’s pirate-themed town) and Sarcasm (Annika’s eccentric town) and mainly the fight between their two bakeries.
The story is cute, funny, weird, and crazy and I’m starting to realize that that is Pippa Grant’s signature.
General grade: 4/5 (like the previous one, simple storyline, organized and light, but really simple)
Feminist grade: 4/5 (Annika is super strong and independent, even though she has a desk job in the military, she is still in the military and that is just badass, and I love that she is a female that cannot cook or bake, but sometimes I think Grady is a little sexist, he, in the past and sometimes during the book, wants her to give up her own goals to be with him, later he solves that, but is present at some points)
Final grade: 8/10 (again, light, funny and crazy, and mainly super cute)
The “bakery in a small town” mood got to me and I remembered that I didn’t finish the Hudson Valley Series (I read the first one last year during a reading challenge), so I went for the second book:
3- Cream Of The Crop
Author: Alice Clayton
Series: Hudson Valley #2
Blurb: Manhattan’s It Girl, Natalie Grayson, has it all: she’s a hot exec at a leading advertising firm, known industry-wide for her challenging and edgy campaigns. She’s got a large circle of friends, a family that loves her dearly, and her dance card is always full with handsome eligible bachelors. What else could a modern gal-about-town wish for? The answer, of course, is…cheese.
Natalie’s favorite part of each week is spending Saturday morning at the Union Square Farmer’s Market, where she indulges her love of all things triple cream. Her favorite booth also indulges her love of all things handsome. Oscar Mendoza, owner of the Bailey Falls Creamery and purveyor of the finest artisanal cheeses the Hudson Valley has to offer, is tall, dark, mysterious, and a bit oblivious. Or so she thinks. But that doesn’t stop Natalie from fantasizing about the size of his, ahem, milk can.
Romance is churning, passion is burning, and something incredible is rising to the top. Could it be…love?
I have to say that I did not expect what I got in this book. I met Natalie in the first book, which tells the story of her best friend, Roxie. There we already know that she has a major crush on the dairy farmer, Oscar. I also met Oscar in the previous book, where he was super quiet and seemed kinda moody and sulky.
They are completely different from what I imagined. What got to me the most in the entire book is Natalie’s confidence. I don’t think I ever read (or saw, or met) a woman with so much confidence. She talks about being a size-eighteen woman and what everyone says she cannot do, and how she does it anyway, or even better, how she does even more. No cleavage? Let’s get even more cleavage. No showing legs? Let’s get the highest heels ever and strut around town as you own it. And I just love that. Reading Natalie makes you love yourself, and it makes you want to be as confident as she is.
The other surprise is Oscar, because the sulky giant becomes a funny, smirky guy in Natalie’s presence, and I just love how comfortable they are around each other from day one.
One other thing that I need to bring up about this story is how Natalie was in an abusive relationship. A lot of people believe that abuse is only physical, but Natalie’s story shows how wrecking and damaging words can be. I believe that to be an incredibly important topic and I love to see how Natalie recovered and came out stronger from this trauma.
General grade: 4/5 (simple plot line and there are problems that are sometimes ignored and not exactly solved, but super fun writing and cute story)
Feminist grade: 5/5 (this book has two points that are worth mentioning, Oscar has some closed off behaviors and some super jerk moments (one or two only) where he was a bit ignorant, and I was not so happy about it, but Natalie’s confidence, power, and strength is too much to give this book any less than a 5 in this category)
Final grade: 9/10 (just amazing and a role model in so many ways to how we females should see ourselves)
I was gonna continue the Hudson Valley Series and start Buns, but Goodreads recommended this series, and I feel in love with the beginning of the synopsis, I couldn’t wait to read it.
Author: Emma Chase
Series: The Legal Briefs #1
Blurb: As a DC defense attorney, Stanton Shaw keeps his head cool, his questions sharp, and his arguments irrefutable. They don’t call him the Jury Charmer for nothing – with his southern drawl, disarming smile and captivating green eyes – he’s a hard man to say no to. Men want to be him and women want to be thoroughly cross examined by him.
Stanton’s a man with a plan. And for a while, life was going according to that plan. Until the day he receives an invitation to the wedding of his high school sweetheart and mother of his beloved ten-year old daughter. Jenny is getting married — to someone who isn’t him. That’s definitely not part of the plan.
Sofia Santos is a city raised, no-nonsense litigator who plans to become the most revered criminal defense attorney in the country. She doesn’t have time for relationships or distractions. But when Stanton, her “friend with mind-blowing benefits” begs for help, she finds herself out of her element, out of her depth, and obviously out of her mind. Because she agrees to go with him – to The-Middle-Of-Nowhere, Mississippi – to do all she can to help Stanton win back the woman he loves. Her head tells her she’s crazy…and her heart says something else entirely. What happens when you mix a one stop-light town, two professional arguers, a homecoming queen, four big brothers, some Jimmy Dean sausage and a gun-toting Nana?
The Bourbon flows, passions rise and even the best laid plans get overruled by the desires of the heart.
I’m gonna start by saying, I think I found a new favorite author. Emma Chase is now sharing a spot with Helena Hunting and Meghan Quinn (and Elle Kennedy) in the top 3/4 greatest authors I’ve ever readen. I’m pretty sure I’ll read all her books.
But this book in particular has my heart for several reasons…
So first of all it has a different plotline from any other book that I’ve ever read. Stanton is a dad, who has a high school sweetheart, with who he has an open relationship, being that they live in different places, him in DC, working as an attorney, her in Mississipi. You would think the story is about him and his sweetheart, especially since I did not read the entire synopsis. But then, a powerful, amazing, BRAZILIAN, attorney comes into the scene. Did I say Brazilian? Yes! Brazilian! Sofia Santos is a strong-minded, powerful and intelligent defense attorney, who is friends with benefits with Staton, her colleague, for months now. But Staton is still in love with his baby momma, so he (and Sofia) go back to his hometown, to get her back.
Sounds crazy and painful? It was.
But it is so good!
One last thing that I loved (I loved a lot more, but if I write everything, this post will have 10.000 words), is the courtroom scene and all the arguing qualities that Sofia and Stanton have. I never thought that reading a courtroom scene would be as entertaining as watching one.
General grade: 5/5 (amazing writing; structured plotline with amazing plot twists and also a different story structure than most books, having two conflict points)
Feminist grade: 5/5 (I said this a thousand times already, but Sofia is strong, intelligent, is in a male-dominated area, and did I mention that she is Brazilian? Cause she is the perfect Brazilian character (for those who don’t know, I’m Brazilian), and Staton is just awesome too, nonsexist and respectful and also a great dad)
Final grade: 10/10 (this book brings my new favorite character, Sofia, and an amazing couple that I wish I could read more of)
This series rooked me, and even now, that I finished it, I’m sad because I wanted more. So it is no surprise that after reading Overruled (in 24 hours), I went stray to:
Author: Emma Chase
Series: The Legal Briefs #2
Blurb: A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.
When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.
Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.
Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I’m going to Mommy & Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal’s office.
Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.
And that — that, I know how to do.
This book… No words.
I’m joking, I actually have a lot of words, they include amazing, wonderful, marvelous, phenomenal, spectacular… The list keeps going.
I’m not gonna say that it is my favorite book because Sofia is not the lead, but if Chelsea was Brazilian, it would be my favorite book.
Did you notice I’m excited?
Okay, let me calm down. This book was amazing, and I got that notion even before it started. The writer, Emma Chase, wrote in the intro how this book was the one book she thought was perfect, the one book that when she finished she wouldn’t change anything. Because it is perfect.
Jake, a sulky and quiet guy, goes from a one-night stand kind of guy to the father figure for six orphan kids. Chelsea, a 26-year-old, who is now responsible for these kids, had to leave her whole life behind to be with them.
I love the family dynamic and I love all the kids, they are unique, each one has a personality and a development that is hard to see even in some lead characters.
The story is amazing, it starts and progresses in an amazing way, there are no loose ends. Everything in this story happens for a reason.
I have a lot more specific points to mention, but if I started saying them this post will become a review of only “Sustained”.
General grade: 5/5 (structured plotline, has the Emma Chase expected double plot twist and super developed characters)
Feminist grade: 5/5 (strong female, but admitting that you need help, sometimes is the biggest sign of strength; we also have a male that is afraid of commitment, but he works through it, and in the end, their relationship is an example)
Final grade: 10/10 (I just loved everything, these characters now have a small piece of my heart and this is probably not the last time I’ll read it)
Now, this is a sad moment because this is the last book from the “The Legal Briefs” Series (actually there is a novella, that I read in March) but I was so sad to not have more stories of these characters. But the series ended with an amazing couple and a character that I was waiting to read since the first book:
Author: Emma Chase
Series: The Legal Briefs #3
Blurb: When Brent Mason looks at Kennedy Randolph, he doesn’t see the awkward, sweet girl who grew up next door. He sees a self-assured, stunning woman…who wants to crush the most intimate – and prized – parts of his anatomy beneath the heels of her Christian Louboutins.
Brent has never let the loss of his leg in a childhood accident affect his ability to lead a fulfilling life. He sets high goals–and then he reaches them.
And now he has his sights set on Kennedy.
When Kennedy looks at Brent Mason, all she sees is the selfish, Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue-worthy teenager who humiliated her in high school to join the popular crowd. A crowd that made those years a living hell.
She’s not a lovesick social outcast anymore – she’s a DC prosecutor with a long winning streak behind her. Brent is the opposing attorney in her next case and she thinks it’s time to put him through a little hell of his own.
But things aren’t exactly working out that way.
Because every fiery exchange has her wondering if he’s as passionate in the bedroom as he is in the courtroom. Each argument and objection only makes him want her more. In the end, Brent and Kennedy may just find themselves in love…or in contempt of court.
Brent is amazing. Let’s start there. He is funny, smart, confident, and has a joy that pours out of him. He is full of jokes, but a lot of times, I don’t see them as a defense mechanism (sometimes they are) but most times he is just a person who learned to live life to its most.
Kennedy is strong. She is a prosecutor, she is powerful and she was hurt before. They have a long story together, but also have sides that are unknown to the other. A series of misunderstandings separate them for several years, and ultimately break Kennedy’s trust in Brent.
I love to see them argue in the courtroom, I love their story and especially their strength.
And finally, I love how until the last minute, you don’t know how they are gonna solve their situation, who is gonna win the battle? Because we root for Brent’s client, but Kennedy will not accept losing.
It’s just addictive and now is over and I’m sad.
General grade: 4.5/5 (I loved the plot-line, but I’m not the biggest fan of flashbacks, if not that, the writing is amazing; structured plotline, super developed characters, and an amazing story)
Feminist grade: 5/5 (Kennedy is strong, especially since she suffered from her mother’s verbal abuse for her entire life, but she fights that and becomes who she wants to be, a badass woman, who puts bad guys behind bars. And Brent is a super decent guy and his strength deserves to be here as something that makes him an amazing character and an amazing role model, also because he goes to a therapist and I will always love guys who take care of their mental health; he has a small jerk moment, but he solves that with his therapist and comes back to being amazing, nonsexist and decent)
Final grade: 9.5/10 (This book is pretty damn near perfect and I absolutely loved it, will probably read it a thousand more times)
Okay, that was all. I gotta say, this month was really good bookwise. Found two amazing authors and only read really good books. My vacation is over and college is back so my reading time may be a little shorter, but considering I’ll be reading everything that Emma Chase and Pippa Grant ever wrote, I’ll be reading really good stuff.
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 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.
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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!