March 2019 Wrap Up

Hello!

I am here with March wrap up! It took forever to get this one up because procrastination! This month I read 10 books and a total of 3,416 pages.

The genres I read this month were fantasy, romance and historical fiction. I read 3 first books in the series and 7 sequels.

I will do my best not to include spoilers for the sequels but just be weary if you want to avoid finding out too much about the storyline.

Onto the ratings!

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★★★★1/2

 

 

Fall (VIP#3)  by Kristen Callihan 

I stared the month off with the next book in the VIP series. In this series we focus on frontman, Jax Blackwood, the broken hero who’s suicide attempt almost broke the band apart for good. The band is off tour and Jax is struggling with his depression and his self-loathing only seems to fan the flames. But a carton of mint chocolate chip ice-cream and a fiery redhead named Stella, is about to set is world upside down.

I feel like I say this about each book of the series but this is my —current— favourite of the series. They way Jax and Stella meet is all kinds of adorable and I live for it! The pair are pretty perfect for each other, despite their issues. I love that Stella is a stunt pilot, its very different from other hobbies written about.

This book does deal with some heavy topics such as suicide and depression and I think Callihan handles them respectfully and gives as true depiction.  Like always with this series, I love how much music is at the centre and all the song references listed.

 

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson & The Olympians #5) by Rick Riordan 

Wow, I have finally finished this series for the first time but I’m so sad it’s over. I adore Camp Half-Blood. Percy’s voice is really engaging , it feels like you’re talking to a friend. The build up to the battles scenes are are done well , you feel the tension. Percy’s character development throughout the series has been written well and he had grown into the leadership role.

Like always, I love the way Riordan modernises mythological character is so creative and one of the really draw cards for this series. I will sad I found the ending anti-climatic but overall really enjoyed the series and am excited to get to Riordan next series The Heroes of Olympus.  

 

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★★★★

 

 

The Friend Zone (Game On #2) by Kristen Callihan

Playboy and college football star, Gray Grayson doesn’t have female friends that is until he borrows a bubblegum pink car from his agent’s daughter. Gray doesn’t want to drive it but he needs the wheels and she’s studying abroad. Something he explains when she sends him an irate text to let him know exactly how much pain she’ll put him in if he crashes her beloved ride Ivy Mackenzie makes sure to text Gray and let him know. Before they know it, the pair texting buddies. Ivy stresses that she will be friends with  Grey and nothing more. All which goes slightly haywire when Ivy comes home and all Gray can think about is being with Ivy.

Gray Garyson was my favourite characters of the first book The Hook Up and I’m so excited that he gets his own book. This book is also set around a similar timeline as the first books. This book is hand down one of the best friends to lovers romances I’ve ever read. The banter between the two is hilarious! I also love that we get to see the romance unfold from both Gray and Ivy’s perspectives.

 

The Game Plan (Game On #3) by Kristen Callihan

So no surprise that the second I finished reading The Friend Zone I picked up the next book in the series. This one takes places around two years after the first two books. The college boys are football at the professional level and have been scattered to different teams around the country.

NFL center Ethan “Dex” Dexter’s focus has always been on playing football and little else. Except when it comes to one particular woman. The lovely Fiona Mackenzie might not care about his fame, but she’s also never looked at him as anything more than one of her brother-in-law’s best friend. Dex is looking for a forever girl, but they live vastly different lives in separate cities.

I loved that in this book the traditional roles in new adult romances are reversed. Dex is the shy, unexperienced one of the pair where Fiona is confident and comfortable with her sexuality. The romance is a slow burn and is does have a few challenges with the long distance aspect. Also I loved that is set in New Orleans, the setting really comes to life.

 

 

 

 

The Hot Shot (Game On #4) by Kristen Callihan

This is the last book in the series that is currently published and takes place in the same timeline as The Game Plan and focuses on Dex’s quarterback, Fin Mannus and photographer, Chess Copper.

Agin this book has an amazing friends to lovers romance — although with all the sexual tension, I’m not sure these two were ever friends in the first place. These two have one of the more unique meetings I’ve read. Chess is hired as the photographer for the nude calendar Dex and Fin’s NFL team is putting together for charity. Fin really is the sweetest, when Chess ends up without a home, he offers to let her stay at his place. Chess slow realised that there’s more to Fin that the fun-loving player she thought he was. Reading her slowly discover that and slowly fall for him too ah it gives me all the warm and fuzzy feelings.

 

The Order of the White Boar (The Order of the White Boar #1) by Alex Merchant 

I don’t know why I’ve been putting off read this book but I’m so glad I got to his for Middle Grade March. I adored it and the friendship group is amazing. We follow merchant’s son, Matthew a 12-year-old boy who’s always wished to be a knight, who gets the chance when he joins Richard Duke of York’s household at Middleham Castle in 1482. Although it’s not everything he’s hoped for. Soon after arriving he encounters, Hugh a fellow page and bully who’s decided to make Matthew’s life hell. However, he also finds a group of friend — Alys, Roger and Edward, the Duke’s only son. Together they forge a secret knightly fellowship, the Order of the White Boar, and swear an oath of lifelong loyalty – to each other and to their good lord, Duke Richard.

Despite being a middle grade book, the history, setting and culture comes really do come to life. Merchant has found the balance between staying true to the history and developing engaging characters, which is no easy feat! You get an understanding of what everyday life was for people in the middle ages and it was also interesting to see just how much religion plays a huge role in their day. The scenes taking place in London over Christmas as my favourite. You get to see the majesty of Edward IV’s court but also feel the tension between the Woodvilles and Richard of York. I am excited to get to the sequel, The King’s Man to see what happens for the Order next!

 

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★★★ 1/2

 

 

Odin’s Ravens  (The Blackwall Pages #2) by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr

I enjoyed this book just as much as I enjoyed the first one, Loki’s Wolves. This series is pretty much written in the vein of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series but with Norse mythology. We follow Matt Throrsen, a descendant of the great God Thor, who’s chosen to represent Thor in Ragnarok. He along with Loki’s descendants Laurie and Fen, they must gather the other descendants stand, defeat a giant serpent, and save the world.

This story picked up right after the events of the first book. We are told the story through multiple perspectives—Matt, Fen, Laurie and Owen. I enjoyed Owen character he does have all the mystery and all known element that Odin’s has and I’m interested to see more from his character. It’s his character I think who blends mythology and reality the most. The way the authors weave in the mythological elements is both entertaining while also informative, which I love because my knowledge of Norse myths is limited.

Sprinkled throughout the story is these wonderfully black and white illustrations. I love their addition they really help to bring the world to life.

 

Songwoman (Skin #2) by Ilka Tampke 

I’ve been waiting for this book since the moment I finished reading Skin back in January 2016. The events in the book follow the aftermath of Skin and finds Ailia in the welsh mountains after she fled from her destruction the Romans have inflicted on her village. She’s searching for the war king, Caradog, who’s leading the Britons in a guerrilla campaign against the invading Romans.

I adore the way Tampke is able to bring to life Iron-Age Britain’s culture. Her writing is lyrical and her descriptions vivid which help to piece together their everyday life along with the practices of the Druids.  I haven’t read many book set in the time period, which is a real shame,  and if I have the perspective as been on the Romans. I love the Ailia has found her voice and is able to stand up for herself — thanks to the help of her teacher and fellow journeyman, Rhain.

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★★★

 

The Hook Up

 

The Hook Up (Game On #1) by Kristen Callihan

Since I loved Callihan’s VIP series and there next books haven’t been released yet, I thought I would try her other series. This focuses on college quarterback, Drew Baylor. Football has been good to Drew, it’s given him recognition, , two National Championships, and the Heisman, but what her really wants is Anna Jones. Her cutting humour and disinterest in his fame turns him on like nothing else. However, Anna just wants to finish college and figure out her life. When a chance encounter leads the pair to hook up, Anna wants it to remain casual but Drew wants more.

Full disclosure, I never thought I’d read a book about American Football but here we are. Drew was a dreamy love interest. He has a big heart and looks out for his teammates. But Anna’s character annoyed me to no end. She is rather snobby and looks down at Drew for being a footballer and really she does kind of string him along. But overall I enjoyed the book.

 

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★★1/2

 

Come Away With Me

 

Come Away With Me (Come With Me in Seattle #1) by Kristen Proby 

This is a quick read but overall not really that enjoyable. Natalie Conner’s plan for taking photo on the beach turns south after being confronted by a stranger, Luke Williams, who accuses her of taking his photo. Luke is surprised when he find out Natalie wasn’t taking his photo and has no idea who he is.
The romance happened way to quick for my liking, from the first encounter they spend every day together. This book is under 350 pages but I feel like every romance trope was throw in. Also, some of Luke’s behaviour, I feel was meant to show that he’s protective and that he care for Natalie but I found borderline abusive, territorial and not at all sexy. I don’t think I will be reading any more of the series, unfortunately.  

 

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Comment down below and let me know what your favourite read of March was.

Until next time, happy reading!
Dearna

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