Looking Back on April 2022

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Another month has come and gone. I spent the first half of this month in a state of stress. Two months of being unemployed were starting to get to me. I had multiple interviews and jumped through a lot of hoops (essays, presentations, etc.) only to be told “the company changed their mind on hiring” or to hear nothing at all. Luckily, I got a job offer from a company I’ve heard good things about. I won’t start the new job until the middle of May, but I’m excited to start that next chapter. I just need to chill for another month, but I’m not stressed about what’s going to happen next. I already know. It’s just going to take some time before it starts.

On another note, I finally got a new graphics card for my computer. It wasn’t cheap by any means, but as I’m not worried about what’s going to happen within the next long while now, I thought it was worth it. Especially since I use game almost regularly and use my computer every day. The confetti glitch was really annoying and sometimes gave me a headache. So, I’m glad it’s gone.

Granted, it also means I’m not going to go to California in October for TwitchCon, but I think that’s for the best. I’m also going to my cousin’s wedding that month, so that’s going to be another small expense as I don’t have any dresses. I got rid of all mine years ago. Not that dresses are super expensive, but it’s something to note. Along with the fact I need to get dress pants again, it will be interesting going into an office again. Though it’s not every day, I will still be there at least once a week. So, I need something other than ripped jeans and sweatpants to wear. I have a month to find ones that work.

Body Paints of the Month

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. For the most part, these are in the order that I read them in, but if they were a series I kept them together so the blurb went underneath the series.

  1. Blood and Wrath (Blood and Ruin, Book 2) by Rumer Hale – 3.5 stars ♥
    • The second book in the Blood and Ruin series and the first series released by Rumer Hale. It picks up a few days after the events of the first book, where the guys are searching for Kiarra after she’s been kidnapped by her step-father. Unlike the previous book, this one switches POV between the guys and Kiarra. This book answers the question of what type of supernatural Kiarra is and how the group’s powers change takes to the mate bond between them. We also get more history on the guys and what happened to them after Kiarra was taken the first time. While the previous book was considered a romance, this is the first book that includes sex scenes (almost every chapter included one once the group was reunited, a little excessive to a degree but didn’t take away from the overall book). I’m curious what will happen in the next book in the series since King still needs to be dealt with along with demons from the Pits of the Underworld.
  2. Through Illusions and Deceit (A Court of Gilt and Shadow, Book 2) by Stacy Jones and Harper Wylde – 3.75 stars
    • The second book in this series takes place a few weeks after the events of the first. Arawyn has been learning how to use her Fae powers after discovering she’s the rightful Queen of Faery. Viper has pulled away not thinking he’s deserving of being loved by a Queen. Something that Arawyn eventually helps him to see past. And she eventually learns not to fear that the guys will want her to pick one over the others, they are all her mates. Granted, Rathe still pulls away and is distrustful of her. The majority of the book outside of their relationship is focused on Arawyn learning her abilities of Night and Light Court, while the guys try to figure out who the assassin is. I’m curious where the third book will take the series as they are heading to the Faery to deal with those that want Arawyn dead.
  3. Empire of Ruin (Dirty Broken Savages, Book 4) by Eva Ashwood – 3.25 stars
    • The final book in the Dirty Broken Savages series, a dark new adult/mafia romance novel. The previous book left off with one of the guys getting shot with his fate being unknown if he survived or not. It was heavily implied that Gage did not make it, but we learn that he survived just barely. The group: River, Ash, Knox, Gage, and Priest (Daire) make a plan to take down Alec Beckham and his secret society, so that they can live in peace with River’s nephew, Cody, whom she has taken custody of after her sister’s death and killing his father/aunt. In this book, we learn just how far Alec went into ruining River’s life at every turn. I don’t think there’s one aspect of her life that is not tainted by something he had a hand in.
    • There are also characters from other series of Eva Ashwood that assist in the taking down of the secret society. I have not read those novels, but now I’m tempted to as I enjoyed this series as well as another I read earlier this year by this author. And the characters seemed interesting even if we only get a brief mention of them.
    • Full thoughts on the series here.
  4. A Familiar Magic (A Familiar Magic, Book 1) by E. M. Rinaldi – 3.75 stars
    • I really liked this book. Kaya is a shifter with powers (unknown to her until demons start targeting her), who ran away after the death of her best friend and the third son of the King. She is tracked down by one of his older brothers, Auden, who she had been close to growing up. She learns upon coming back that a lot has changed in the last four years. Traditions and views have changed in the community, and a lot of things are not as they seem. I’m interested in where the next book will take this series, especially where Kaya and Auden stand with each other.
  5. The Power of Hades (The Hades Trials, Book 1) by Eliza Raine and Rose Wilson – 3.5 stars ♥
  6. The Passion of Hades (The Hades Trials, Book 2) by Eliza Raine and Rose Wilson – 3.5 stars ♥
  7. The Promise of Hades (The Hades Trials, Book 3) by Eliza Raine and Rose Wilson – 3.5 stars ♥
    • This series focuses on Persephone after she’s been kidnapped by Zeus to perform in a series of trials for marriage with Hades, whom she was married to previously but has been made to forget the memories of along with her powers. While she wants to go back to New York, another part of her wants to know what happened in the past that resulted in her being sent away. After the first book, the series goes back and forth between the POV of Hades and Persephone, but the majority is still told from Persephone’s perspective.
  8. Succubus Sins (The Blood Stone Series, Book 1) by J.R. Thorn – 1.75 stars
  9. Siren Sins (The Blood Stone Series, Book 2) by J.R. Thorn – 1.75 stars
  10. Vampire Sins (The Blood Stone Series, Book 3) by J.R. Thorn – 1.75 stars
    • These three books I read in a combined book off Kindle Unlimited called Seven Sins, but they are technically three books. I found it interesting that the combined book has a different name than the series.
    • This book is a fast-burn meaning that relationships develop immediately. The second someone is introduced that’s a love interest, they immediately are going at it. Which isn’t something I enjoy. Mainly as there’s no development between the characters. A lot of the book flows like that. Plot points and relationships change on a dime to a point you don’t know any of the characters. Plus, suddenly there’s a time jump and you aren’t informed until several pages or chapters later. For instance, in one chapter one character is running away while the MC breaks up with her girlfriend, and in the next chapter, they’re discussing going after said character. You think it’s like later that day or the next day, nope it’s been three months. What the hell were they doing for three months? Why the sudden change? Oh and let’s not forget how somehow the MC is considered a “mother” to a creature that was born quickly after a three-way and is physically sixteen years old. When she’s not the one to give birth to it and was purely used to turn on the wife so the husband could get his wife pregnant. How does that work? No idea, it’s not explained. It just happens and then said husband wants to make more of those creatures.
    • I picked this book up after seeing a quote on TikTok, and while it was a quick read, I wouldn’t recommend this series. It was too disjointed and while some elements were interesting, too much of the books felt rushed or like they needed a prequel in order to understand what was happening. Most of the relationships in the first book were already established, but even then there wasn’t a sense of how their relationship worked. Especially when they are falling apart. Why does Sarah care that David is dying so much? Why did Sarah care so much about the fact that Sonya needs sex with men in order to live? She basically forces Sonya to starve and blames her for what she was born as. I just don’t… nope. Should’ve just DNF’d but I didn’t.
  11. Wretched (Never After Series) by Emily McIntire3.5 stars
    • This is a standalone book though it is part of Emily McIntire’s Never After Series, which are fractured fairy tales. This one was a fractured dark version of The Wizard of Oz told from the perspective of Eveline (the Wicked Witch of the West) and Nicholas (the tin man). Eveline is a drug supplier for her family’s business led by her father (the scarecrow? not 100% sure who he represents). Her sister Dorothy killed her other sister, Nessa (Wicked Witch of the East) seven years prior so Eveline doesn’t trust anybody. Nicholas is a federal agent working for the DEA looking for the supplier of the opium called The Flying Monkey. He manages to get in through Zeke (the cowardly lion) then works to get close to Dorothy first then Eveline trying to learn who the supplier is. Only Nicholas and Eveline fall in love, which makes things complicated because she’s the supplier he’s after and she has been lied to about his true identity. I won’t spoil everything but there are tons of references to The Wizard of Oz throughout the story including Cody (the Wizard, aka the man behind the screen), yellow brick road, SS Toto, and more. It was a good read. There is a lot of dark and graphic content, so this might not be a book for everyone. But I enjoyed it. Plus, it got me out of a reading slump after Seven Sins (the last three books on this list) killed my desire to read.
  12. Wild Soul (Real Wolves Bite, Book 5) by C.R. Jane and Mila Young – 3 stars
    • This book picks up where the last left off, and like most books in this series leaves off on a cliffhanger for what’s coming next. Daxon and Wilder finally start sharing Rune without getting too jealous of the other (it’s more banter than true fighting now), even participate in threesomes. They have come a long way from hating each other, to hating the idea of sharing Rune with each other, to the point they are now. But the vampire, Ares, also believes he’s the Blood Match (mate) of Rune. So, she’s torn all over the place and there isn’t much progress as far as figuring out who she is (though we have gotten glimpses that she might be the lost princess of a European family that was wiped out 20 years ago), her wolf is still cursed/blocked, and Alistair (her wolf fated mate that rejected and tortured her previously) has teamed up with the Fae (Wilder’s ex who caused the drama of the previous book). It will be interesting where the next book will go now that Daxon’s mate mark was accepted by Rune. I have a feeling Wilder’s will happen in the next book, and I’m curious how they’ll handle Ares’s claim for Rune. Will it go from a throuple to a reverse harem? Or something else? I highly doubt Rune is done with Wilder after everything, she wasn’t the last time he left thinking she wanted Daxon more. And Ares can slip into her dreams, though I don’t get good vibes from him. I mean he kidnapped her, has a monster watching her, and put a tracking device into her bloodstream. The feelings from him seemed forced due to his thrall, but maybe that will change with time.

Check out this post to see how my rating scale works, but quick version: 5 stars = Masterpiece, nothing can literally be better than this. Not to mention, a major book slump happens afterward where I cannot 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.

Hope you had a great April!

Love ya,

Mae Polzine

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