How is the month over already? I swear this year is flying by… and dragging at the same time. It was a combination of training, customer support, twitch streaming, reading an armful of books, and bodypainting. So, you know, the usual.
Like last month, I went to the Boston area again. This time it was for a new hire summit for my job, which I started in May. There were about 400 people there, so there were more people than I’m used to engaging with. I like to think I’ve overcome my social anxiety and overall shyness over the years, but this conference brought it all back to the surface. I’m in this image somewhere, but you can’t really see me because I’m behind someone and too short to be seen.
As this post is coming out I’m off at the Renaissance fair with my family. We also went to Top Golf this month where I met my sister’s new boyfriend. He ended up joining us for the Ren Fair too, where he gave her a commitment ring. I know I’m writing this before it happens, but I know it’s on the agenda for the day. I’ve already seen pictures of the ring. So, I guess our little family outings of three are now outings of four. Which is weird in a way. It’s always been us girls even when we lived with my father. He traveled all the time, so he never really joined our merry little trio. So, adding another is going to be an adjustment but I know he’s pretty much going to be at all the family events going forward. Though I’m not 100% sure if he’s literally joining everything. I guess I’ll find out next month as we’re going to multiple sporting events (hockey, football, and basketball). Well, I know not football as that’s just my mom and me. But I’m happy for my sister, she deserves someone in her life that makes her smile. I’ve never seen her this happy before, and she’s the one with the heart of gold out of the two of us.
Body Paints of the Month
This month was odd as we didn’t do Caturday as people wanted to get ready for Halloween, so I let my followers pick body paints to do out of my inspiration folder, and I reduced the number of streams from four times a week to three. I was just feeling a little burnt out, and I started having trouble at the beginning half of the month when my stream would crash multiple times. Sometimes it was seven times in thirty minutes, other times it was once every three hours. So, that made streaming annoying.
I ended up playing these games during the course of the month:
- Cult of the Lamb: A super cute yet creepy game where you are the leader of a cult trying to take out an old religion as your ‘god’ demanded of you after you were sacrificed.
- Disney Dreamlight Valley: Disney’s cute early access game. You take on the role of a character who once ruled the land but then left for some reason, only to return years later. The majority of the characters have lost or forgotten their memories. So, it’s up to you to bring everyone back to the valley by befriending all of the Disney characters.
- In Sound Mind
Books I Managed to Read this Month
If they have a ♥ next to them, they are available on Kindle Unlimited. If I did a review, I’ll link it outside I decided to include quick reviews of books or series. If it’s a series, the mini-review is at the end of all the books. Mostly it’s just a quick blurb about what the book/series was about.
- Their Vicious Darling (Vicious Lost Boys, Book 3) by Nikki St. Crowe – 3.25 stars ♥
- See my review for my thoughts on the series (spoiler free). This book sees Winnie Darling merging with the Death Shadow of Neverland, Vane separating with the one he had, and war between all the groups. While several conflicts are resolved, there are still more on the horizon.
- The Mistake (Off-Campus, Book 2) by Elle Kennedy – 3.5 stars
- The Score (Off-Campus, Book 3) by Elle Kennedy – 3.5 stars
- The Goal (Off-Campus, Book 4) by Elle Kennedy – 3.5 stars
- The Legacy (Off-Campus, Book 5) by Elle Kennedy – 3.25 stars
- See my review for my thoughts on the series. Quick summary: Off-Campus follows four hockey guys and the girls they fall in love with during their last two years of college, and then a look three years in the future at their lives as they prank each other with a haunted doll.
- The Chase (Briar U, Book 1) by Elle Kennedy – 3.5 stars
- The Risk (Briar U, Book 2) by Elle Kennedy – 3.5 stars
- The first two books were the only ones I was really interested in reading from the spin-off series. I might read the other ones later, but not right now. They focus on Summer (Dean’s little sister) and Brenna (Summer’s friend and the daughter of all the guys’ coach). Summer ends up with the quiet, nerdy hockey player, while Brenna ends up with the rival team’s captain. Both of them were interesting and took on more political topics (teachers making sexual advances on students and the sexist media industry).
- The next book in the series is about Hunter, so maybe I’ll read it as I’ve already been reading his backstory for the last five books to a degree. But the fourth doesn’t really seem like it fits with the rest. It’s someone on the team, sure, but he’s not as connected as all the others. Even Hunter’s book seems disconnected to a degree, as the rest of the characters will have graduated and moved on. So, it’s not as interconnected as Off-Campus or the first two books were. Which is probably why I won’t get to them any time soon. Especially as The Legacy kind of gave a glimpse at Summer, Hunter, Fitz, and Jake in the future while the next two pairings don’t make features.
- Court of the Vampire Queen by Katee Robert – 2.5 stars ♥
- Not the best of the books that I read from Katee Robert. There were quite a few errors and barely a plot. What there was for plot was questionable at best. Need to take a barrier down to get free? Have sex with four men. Need to defeat her father? Better have more sex to get pregnant. I like smut as much as the next person, but there’s smut and then there’s that.
- Married by Sandal by Tessonja Odette – 3.75 stars ♥
- See my review for my thoughts. I did receive this as an ARC.
- On These Black Sands (Aisling Sea, Book 1) by Vanessa Rasanen – 4.25 stars ♥
- From These Dark Depths (Aisling Sea, Book 2) by Vanessa Rasanen – 4.25 stars ♥
- See my reviews for my thoughts on these books. This series is for you if you enjoy pirates, fantasy, fae, morally grey characters, and lots of action.
- The Play (Briar U, Book 3) by Elle Kennedy – 3.5 stars
- I gave into reading the rest of this series. Mostly because after the Aisling Sea series, I needed something light-hearted, and college sports romance just hit the spot. This book focused on Hunter, who managed to get through 9 months of his 1 year of celibacy vow, then broke it to get with Demi a while after she ended things with her long-term boyfriend that cheated on her multiple times.
- The Dare (Briar U, Book 4) by Elle Kennedy – 3.5 stars
- This book jumps over to Conor, who ends up fake dating and then real dating a girl named Taylor. Whose mother starts dating Coach Jensen, which basically ties everything together. I thought moving over to Conor would open up the possibility of the rest of his housemates being explored, but they all graduated, so I think Briar U is officially done at this time. Unless Elle Kennedy decides to write more, but there are no more roommates to explore or unexplored side characters tied to the main cast at this point. Though it would’ve been interesting to see Mike Hollis and Rupi get a good.
- Kingdom of the Feared (Kingdom of the Wicked, Book 3) by Kerri Maniscalco – 3.5 stars
- See my review for my thoughts.
- Beauty and the Baller by Ilsa Madden-Mills – 3.5 stars ♥
- A cute read that features small-town romance and fake dating. Ronan (former 3-time Super Bowl champion quarterback) hooked up with Nova two years ago, drunk, calling her his dead fiance’s name. She left before he woke, and he realized that he had to fix the way things were going in his life after a terrible car accident that destroyed his football career and killed his fiance. They both end up in Blue Bell, Texas, living next door to each other. He helps her get a job at the high school (unbeknownst to her at the time) and she agrees to fake date him so the entire town will stop trying to set him up in an effort to make him stay. Through working together and fake dating, the two end up falling in love for real, and the goals for their lives they had shift along the way due to this.
My Rating System
Check out this post to see how my rating scale works, but the quick version is:
- 5 stars = Masterpiece. Nothing can literally be better than this. Not to mention, a major book slump happens afterward where I am unable to pick up another book for quite some time.
- 4 stars = One of the best books I’ve ever read, I couldn’t put it down and found little fault in it.
- 3 stars = A good book but there were some flaws, from editing to plot to you name it.
- 2 stars = Liked the book, but wouldn’t say it was something that was memorable.
- 1 star = Book wasn’t for me.
I almost never give a 5-star rating. Some books have come close, but something always held me back from giving it to those books. I also use .25 increments with the ratings, so there’s a range in each of those levels.
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