1. Once a King 3* (Erin Summerill): To really enjoy this book, even though it is supposed to be a stand alone, I believe you need to have read the rest of this world … even one book of the Clash of Kingdoms duology would have really helped with understanding the world, the past war, the grievances, hardships, tenuous alliances, friendships … all of it assumed a higher level of understanding in this read. It was well written and interesting … but I spent most of the time doing catch-up … or trying to.
2. Grim Lovelies 4* (Megan Shepherd): Totally enjoyable, fast paced, unique ride of a novel that smashes a lot of diversity into its small page count. See the full review here.
3. Four Dead Queens 2* (Astrid Scholte): A really interesting premise that fell short due to the limited space allotted in the 400 pages. Too much story, not enough book to explore it in – left everything rushed, thin, and eventually just a joke. See the full review here.
4. The Night Tiger 5* (Yangsze Choo): I surprisingly, really liked this. I thought it was going to be a dumpster fire because of the sheer amount of various stories in here – mythical, romantic, thriller, mystery, history … but where Four Dead Queens fell short, The Night Tiger shone. It handled a big story so very well, pacing was little slow at the beginning, but just a compulsively readable book. Will be one of my favs this year – read the full review here.
5. A Curse So Dark & Lonely 5* (Brigid Kemmerer): Just so good. If you like retellings, Beauty And The Beast, excellent heroines, romance, or … a good book …. just read it. You should read it … now. Read the full review here.
6. Catwoman 4* (Sarah J. Maas): Impressive amount of heft to this novel – exploring black lives matter, environmentalism, corruption, despairing gap between the wealthy and the poor, and what it means to be a “true” criminal. Are there crimes for the greater good? Where do we draw that line? Blended in with a great LBGTQ+ relationship and kick butt ladies. There was a lot more here than I was expecting and truly enjoyed it.