#WrapUp August 2019 (with reviews): I read 22 books this month!

Guys… what else did I do this month? Apparently, I just did nothing but read and listen to audiobooks because…

Twenty-two books!

I’m not even kidding. I finished 22 books during the month of August. Here’s what they were…

How to Walk Away
Katherine Center
★★★★★
Truth and Lies
Caroline Mitchell
★★★★★
Once and Future
Amy Rose Capetta and Cory McCarthy
★★★★

Katherine Center is quickly becoming a must-read author for me. How to Walk Away was so, so good!

Once and Future was good, but it seemed a little young for my tastes in several parts, but I loved how details from the Arthurian legend books and the Disney movie, The Sword in the Stone, were all sprinkled into that one.

The Whisper Network
Chandler Baker
★★★★
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler
Kelly Harms
★★★★
The Masterpiece
Francine Rivers
★★★★

The Whisper Network was a bit of a let-down based on my expectations. I didn’t like that this was supposed to be a feminist novel, yet the POV character women would mentally insult the other women. It was a good read, but IMO, not a great read.

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler was a really fun chick-lit story.

The Masterpiece was really good, if a little heavy on the proselytizing for my tastes. I don’t typically read a lot of Christian fiction, but if you do, I think you’ll like this one. I enjoyed the relationship.

From Lukov With Love
Mariana Zapata
★★★★★
Life and Other Inconveniences
Kristan Higgins
★★★★★
The Promise
Teresa Driscoll
★★★★

From Lukov With Love was an unexpected but excellent romance read. I found it on the Audible Escapes program and got to listen to it for free. Well worth it! I really enjoyed it.

Life and Other Inconveniences was another really fun read, with excellent characters, an interesting story, and I liked how it showed various survivor experiences of those who lost a loved one to suicide. Genevieve was a spitfire!

Spinning Out
Lexi Ryan
★★★★★
Front Page Fatality
Lyndee Walker
★★★★★
Strange the Dreamer
Laini Taylor
★★★★★

Spinning out by Lexi Ryan was another Audible Escapes find, and I absolutely loved this book. It reminded me a lot of the Richer Than Sin trilogy by Meghan March, with the opposite sides of the track/forbidden love/love triangle/dueling families themes. So much tragedy and struggle, but so much chemistry.

Also, how poetic and beautifully written is Strange the Dreamer? Excellent book! Cliffhanger ending.

Ghost Gifts
Laura Spinella
★★★★★
Venom and Vanilla
Shannon Mayer
★★
A Bone to Pick
Melinda Leigh
★★★★

Ghost Gifts was a really fun read. It mixed two of my favorite topics … crime fiction with a strong female lead, and psychic mediums! Really fun story, where the bad guys are the Heroes, and people who should be good guys are crooked.

Venom and Vanilla was a serious disappointment for me. I thought it was all over the place … warlocks and werewolves and vampires, but then there’s Merlin from the Arthurian Legends, and then there’s Achilles and Zeus from Greek Mythology. I honestly felt like… pick something and stick with it! Then there was the heroine, who was a nothing special nobody at the beginning, and then she gets turned into this “super-duper” type person with powers, and suddenly she can go head to head with gods and other immortals, with no special training at all? Umm, no.

Where the Forest Meets the Stars
Glendy Vanderah
★★★★
The Body Reader
Anne Frasier
★★★★★
(REALLY LOVED THIS!)
How to Write a Novel
Melanie Sumber
★★★

Where the Forest Meets the Stars was a really, really great read. The only reason I didn’t give this 5 stars was because I did not appreciate how the foster care system and social worker were villanized. Umm, hello, people go into social work because they want to help people. Not because they are ass holes with power trips. Yeah, there’s a few ass hole outliers here and there, just like with any profession, but somehow those are always the ones that get portrayed in the media. It’s just dumb. Aside from that, this story was just fantastic.

And then there’s The Body Reader. This. Book. Was. Phenomenal. I loved every minute of it. The way it captured the emotion, the detail. Phew… seriously, if you read any crime fiction this year, pick up this one.

How to Write a Novel was the pick for my local book club this month. I read it, and it was cute, but I didn’t love it. Nor did I really get what the point really was. Where was that story supposed to go? And did it ever get there? I read it, but I still don’t know. The dialogue was witty and cute, though.

Butterfly in Frost
Sylvia Day
★★★★
1st To Die
James Patterson
★★★★★
The Woman in the Window
A.J. Finn
★★★★★
(Awesome thriller read!)

Butterfly in Frost was probably my most anticipated book to read this month, and of course, it just came out on Aug 27. I finished it the day it came out. And it was good. So here’s the thing about this story… the author says it’s one that’s meant to be read twice, and I can concur. As I was reading the book, I enjoyed it. It has classic Syliva Day characters with tortured pasts and issues they are still trying to deal with in the present. And S.T.E.A.M.Y. But aside from that, I didn’t really think there was all that much conflict in the story as I was reading along. I, of course, like my books angsty and suspenseful. But then, at the very end, and I mean the very end, something gets revealed, I won’t spoil it because you need to read this for yourself and experience it all on your own. But my mind was blown, and I realized there HAD been conflict all along, I just didn’t know it at the time. You’re going to have to read it to know what I mean by this. And I am going to have to read it again. Seriously.

So then I finally got around to starting the Women’s Murder Club series by James Patterson, and oh my goodness, I loved it! I can’t wait to continue the series. Great crime fiction/mystery with a twist at the end. I love the premise … 4 women in various, male-dominated jobs, all working together to solve murders. Exquisite. I borrowed this from my local library on my Libby App.

The Woman in the Window, I started reading thinking it would take me a few days, but nope, I blew right through that one, too. This is my local book club’s pick for September (hosting at my house!). And how appropriate that we’re hosting THIS book at MY house. First time for me to host, first time for these 10 women to see where I live, and wouldn’t you know, I pretty much live like Anna Fox, a hermit and less-than-stellar housekeep. We’ll see how that goes… Hahaha. Anyway, I absolutely loved the book. I also borrowed this book on my Libby app.

Sweet Tomorrows
Debbie Macomber
★★★★

It’s been too long since I’ve read a Debbie Macomber book, so I borrowed this one from my local library on my Libby App. As always, super sweet and super good writing. I liked how we got 2 different couples to follow and saw how all their lives were interconnected. Great military romance!

So, that’s it! 22 books, in the order that they were read.

Anyone notice I did NOT read All the Light We Cannot See? Well, I tried. Really, I did. I just could not get into it. Then I tried a different historical and couldn’t get into that one, either, so I decided it was not the month for historicals, and read a ton of crime fiction instead. #sorrynotsorry. I’ll try to pick up All the Light We Cannot See again at a later date. I know I’ll like it, surely, when I’m in the mood for historical again. Fingers crossed.

Stay tuned. Tomorrow I’ll post my #TBR for September!!

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