Looking Back at the Books I Read in August & September 2023

Instead of making individual posts for August and September, I decided to combine them because I’ve been really busy with moving for the last two months. Was I actively moving the entire time? No. But I was settling into a temporary living situation and making plans for what I’d need once I moved in. After that, I was putting my belongings back in order. So, while I didn’t get to read as much as I would have liked, I did read quite a bit.

So, what did I read this month?

These are all the new books I read, not any that I decided to re-read along the way. If I did a review, I’ll share the link to those. Otherwise, I will do a quick review of the book or series (with the series getting the mini-review at the end of all the books in the list). Mostly, those will just be a quick blurb about what the book/series was about.

Any book with a ♥ next to the rating are available on Kindle Unlimited. Not all of these I read through there but in case you have that subscription, I figured I would let you know.

  1. Crossed (Never After, Book 5) by Emily McIntire 3.5 stars
    • Check out my review for thoughts on this series.
  2. Six Scorched Roses (Crowns of Nyaxia Novella) by Carissa Broadbent – 4 stars
    • I knew Vale and Lilith would end up together as well as Lilith would become a vampire since I read the Nightborn Duet already, but I still enjoyed reading how these two got together. I did wish this was a little longer and we went more in depth on certain aspects as time flew by in this. But it was a nice quick read.
  3. Cruel Seduction (Dark Olympus, Book 5) by Katee Robert3.25 stars
    • Check out my review of the series for my general thoughts on this book.
  4. The Summer Girl (Avalon Bay, Book 3) by Elle Kennedy – 3.75 stars
    • This was such a cute, light-hearted read. Basically Cassie is in town for her family’s going away from Avalon Bay as her grandmother sold her house and the hotel they owned for fifty years. So, while she’s in town for the summer she decides she wants to have a fling. She ends up meeting Tate after overhearing his previous hookup calling things off with him. The two become friends but he decides to keep things that way at first, afraid that Cassie would develop feelings. However, the two are anything but platonic and end up together. However, secrets from the past threaten to take away their happiness once they both realize they are in love with each other. Cassie learns how to stand up for herself thanks to Tate, and Tate learns he doesn’t always have to put his dreams aside for his family. I’m 100% going to be reading the previous two books in this series, as I didn’t realize there were other books until after I started this one.
  5. A Duet with the Siren Duke (Married to Magic, Book 4) by Elise Kova3.75 stars
    • Check out my review for thoughts on this Little Mermaid inspired book.
  6. With These Last Breaths (Aisling Sea, Book 3) by Vanessa Rasanen4.25 stars
    • Check out my review for thoughts on the final book in the Aisling Sea trilogy.
  7. Daughter of No Worlds (The War of Lost Hearts, Book 1) by Carissa Broadbent4.5 stars
  8. Children of Fallen Gods (The War of Lost Hearts, Book 2) by Carissa Broadbent4.5 stars ♥
  9. Mother of Death & Dawn (The War of Lost Hearts, Book 3) by Carissa Broadbent4.5 stars ♥
    • Check out my review for thoughts on this series.
  10. Assistant to the Villain by Hannah Nicole Maehrer2.75 stars
    • Check out my review for thoughts on this book.
  11. The Ever King (The Ever Seas, Book 1) by LJ Andrews4.25 stars ♥
    • Check out my review for thoughts on this book.
  12. Song of Sorrows and Fate (The Broken Kingdoms, Book 9) by LJ Andrews4 stars ♥
    • Check out my review for thoughts on this series/book.
  13. Court of Ravens and Ruin (The Shadow Bound Queen, Book 1) by Eliza Raine – 2.75 stars ♥
  14. Court of Greed and Gold (The Shadow Bound Queen, Book 2) by Eliza Raine – 2.75 stars ♥
  15. Court of Monsters and Malice (The Shadow Bound Queen, Book 3) by Eliza Raine – 3 stars ♥
  16. Court of Serpents and Secrets (The Shadow Bound Queen, Book 4) by Eliza Raine – 3 stars ♥
    • This series is inspired by Norse mythology and very loosely Hades/Persephone and Beauty and the Beast. As Reyna is kidnapped by Mazrith from the Gold Court and taken to the Shadow Court. She has to help Maz and forced into an engagement with him as she helps him investigate some statues. As apparently they reference her specifically and many individuals want her dead, which is why he kidnapped her. One of my main problems is the plot doesn’t have a lot of depth (or moves at a weird pace) and both of the main characters are frustrating. Maz has anger management issues and doesn’t share anything about what’s going on. And Reyna thinks being rude and argumentative makes her strong, when really it makes her a petulant child. Also she doesn’t really have any survival skills and makes dumb decisions that are constantly being called out by everyone around her. To the point, it was almost annoying. I did think it got slightly better as the series went on, but a lot of it was rushed and could’ve used an editor.
  17. When She’s Shy (A Risdaverse Tale) by Ruby Dixon – 3 stars
    • This is a short story, so it’s really quick without a lot of depth. It was still good, but I would’ve loved to see it more flushed out like other novellas in the Risdaverse. It’s also the first W/W book in the series and I don’t feel like we got to spend enough time with Ali and Haina.

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.

What did I DNF?

There is only one book I DNF’d during this time period, which was The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy) by S. A. Chakraborty. I made it 23% into the book before I realized it was not for me. While I enjoy reading other myths, this one hasn’t clicked with me. I’m not sure if this is because things weren’t explained the best, the writing style was too dense and dry, or if it’s a cultural issue that you need to be aware of in order to grasp. And, to be honest, I don’t know much about the Muslim faith/culture, so when references to it are made without going into detail, I’m confused. It took me hours to read a single chapter before I needed to put the book down to give my brain a breather. I don’t think the book is bad, but I know this book is not for me so rather than struggle to finish reading it, I decided to move on and read other things.

What did I re-read?

The only book I re-read was R’Jaal’s Resonance (Ice Planet Clones, Book 1) by Ruby Dixon during the course of the last two months. I did skip some sections of the book, but it was basically a full re-read.

What is currently unfinished?

The only thing that’s currently unfinished is Slaying the Vampire Conqueror by Carissa Broadbent. I just started it, so I’ll finish it soon. So far, I’m liking this book a lot. It takes place in the Crowns of Nyaxia universe, but on a human continent rather than Obitraes, which the House of Blood is currently attacking. Sylina is an assassin charged with joining Atrius (the House of Blood’s conqueror) to learn more about their plans. Of course, since this is a romance novel, I know she’ll forsake her cult and end up with Atrius. But I’m curious how that will play out for her.

Love ya,

Mae Polzine

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