Did it take me longer than 4 weeks to read all these books? Yes. Did I read every book on this list? No. We should expect this by now. I give myself these tight deadlines and then fall apart either do to book availability (I’m trying to focus on library books instead of spending money on books) or because I fell apart (life comes at you fast and I’m terrible at ducking).
I started a new anxiety med that made me very sleepy for a few weeks. I’m better now, but I’m pretty sure it was surgery recover 2.0. But I did get through 5 romance novels. It just took me 5 weeks. Honestly, not bad and I’m pretty proud of myself.
The Original List
Back at the beginning of August I gave a list of 5 books I was going to read:
- Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
- Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim
- Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado
- The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang
- Talk Bookish to Me by Kate Bromley
For the most part, I did actually follow the list. I read everything but Unravel the Dusk. I still have that checked out from the library, but got pulled into the third installment of the Brown Sisters by Tali Hibbert. What can I say? I’m a sucker for her writing style.
I do hope to finish Unravel the Dusk in the next week, but since I checked out the book and not the audiobook, I have to sit down and focus just on reading it…which lately has been super hard to do. I should make that my next challenge.
But here are the books I read in August (and a little in September) for Romance Novel Month. Just as a warning, they probably aren’t spoiler free, but are short. So proceed with caution.
Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Tali Hibbert
I…barely remember this one, I’m not gonna lie. Part of it being the first one I read for the challenge, part of it being just not as good as the first book and it definitely was not better than the third. The voice was still nice. I love the author and what she writes so I’ll probably pick up any of her books. But I definitely prefer the first over this one. I didn’t even love the sex scenes and Tali is so good at those. This book just felt flat.
Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Tali Hibbert
Yes, I know this wasn’t supposed to be on the list, but I needed to see if I was going to be disappointed again. I love Eve more than Dani and I’m not even sorry to admit that. It was so good. The book was about finding yourself, or really just realizing you already know yourself.
Eve is wonderful. She’s loud and fun and the complete opposite of her love interest. She hits him with a car for fuck sake. The story is something I understand yet it isn’t fully mine. I love that she learned she was autistic and still was like that’s whatever. I’m me, deal with it. And even if that’s not something you’re going through. You can still understand the I am me, deal with it. I think that’s so important. Seeing someone be truly themselves an still loved fully.
Talk Bookish to Me by Kate Bromley
Why, oh, why did this story have to have a cheating element as the conflict? Why couldn’t it have been her using him to write a book? The ending felt so dull because it was her forgiving him for cheating on another woman after learning the entire reason she was mad at him was a lie. He didn’t cheat then…but now he cheats?
I don’t know. The start of the novel was good. I loved both of their voices as characters and the sex scenes were steamy, but I’m a no go on the cheater aspect. Can we stop writing about those? And can we stop having them get together even with that happening? I just felt so gross after.
Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado
Being a plus size girl who didn’t kiss someone until I was 25, this book…weirdly made me more sad. I was so happy for the romance but also…in a weird place about it. I kept getting anxiety whenever she talked to her absolutely shitty mother. She reminded me too much of my own some days (though my mother is plus size like me, she still liked to other herself from other fat people and tried to tell me how to dress…it was weird). The ending was sweet and nice. The conflict small but understandable. But boy did it take me a lot to get through it. I felt all that shame and dread in my entire body. I had to hug my boyfriend extra hard at points during the read because it flat out hurt.
If you’re not in a good space with your body (as a plus size person), I would maybe skip this book until you are. Otherwise I highly recommend it. Not only to show that we want to read about plus size girls, but because it’s nice to see us as a happy ending no matter what else is happening.
The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang
Hello, I would like to sell my soul to Helen Hoang so I can write such compelling and complex stories. I loved every character and I loved how characters from the previous two novels weave in and out of the story. Everyone is connected and so different. Her take on those on the autistic spectrum was wonderful and grounding. It helped me understand more without having to pester autistic people and still get to enjoy a wonderful love story. I want more from her in every way. She writes beautifully. She makes the most wonderful, compelling characters, and the world is fun to be in. I love that I’m seeing more people different than me become popular fiction. I would love to meet these characters in real life (and eat all the delicious food, dang).
I had a blast reading romance novels this past month. And overall I loved most of the novels. I think (minus one of them) they helped me escape the real world just for a little bit.
Let me know in the comments below if you read any romance this past month, if you’ve read any of these books. I would love to hear your opinion on them as well.