Wrap-Up: January & February 2024

Posted March 3, 2024 by Brin in Wrap-Ups / 0 Comments

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Monthly Reading Wrap-Up (Jan/Feb 2024)

I’ve been seeing loads of these types of wrap-up monthly posts floating around recently (mostly on Instagram and Reddit) and I’ve been so behind on updating what I’ve read in the last couple of months so thought it would be fun to do my own version on my blog!

I used to do monthly wrap-up posts years ago but that fell by the wayside (just like posting regularly round here too heh) but I think it’s time to bring that back, not so much to highlight my recent posts (of which there have been too few of lately) but instead to focus on what I’ve been reading. I’m hoping this might get me back to actually reviewing books on the regular which was kinda the idea when I started this blog in the first place… 😉

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January 2024

1. Holiday Romance by Catherine Walsh : I was an absolute eejit and read the sequel to this before I realised there was an earlier book! 🤦🏻‍♀️ I had to rectify this grievous error by seeking out the first book and made it a priority to start off my New Year reads!

2. Take A Chance On Me by Beth Moran : I’d heard great things about the author but was a little bit disappointed by this book. After seeing some reviews, the general consensus seemed to be that this was one of her weaker stories, I decided to give another of her books a try and I’m very glad I did!

3. Always On My Mind by Beth Moran : This was more like it! I really enjoyed this sweet story and it really highlighted why the author is so popular. It definitely encouraged me to seek out the rest of her back catalogue…

4. Beautiful Hearts by Jax Calder : A must-buy author for me but it took me awhile to pick up this one for some reason. It was a really sweet read for the most part with a twist or two to keep it interesting.

5. Check & Mate by Ali Hazelwood : This was a cute read! The first YA I have read from this author and I really enjoyed it.

6. A Highland Christmas by Samantha Young : It took me awhile to remember who the MMC was (he appeared in one of the previous books as a ‘love rival’) but this was a nice little Christmas read (albeit I read it a bit after the festive haha!)

7. And Then You by Briar Prescott : A follow-up to Until You, I think I might have enjoyed this one even more. The main couple just sparked more for me.

8. The Matchmaker by Catherine Walsh : I think I’ve read all of this author’s back catalogue now! I liked this one but maybe not as much as her other books. Still, it was an entertaining read and the FMC and MMC were definitely cute together.

9. Take Me Home by Beth Moran : This was definitely my favourite read of January 2024. I normally get annoyed when books switch from the past to the present but this one really worked for me. A new favourite, for sure.

10. This Year’s For Me And You by Emily Bell : This was a great read – not the easiest (it definitely had its share of angst) but very worthwhile. A new author (to me!) that I will definitely be checking out more of.

11. All My Love by Miranda Dickinson : This was a really sweet love story but probably a little too sweet for my tastes. It’s well-written and I definitely enjoyed it but with some reservations (namely, it was a little too fluffy and nice – that was probably just my mood at the time though so I would still recommend it).

12. Christmas Every Day by Beth Moran : I liked this one a lot (I’m a sucker for the grumpy/sunshine trope!) I was invested in the main characters and was really rooting for the main couple.

13. Never EVER Getting Back Together by Phoebe MacLeod : I wanted to love this one but it didn’t really hit the spot for me. I got annoyed by the FMC and so many issues she had with the MMC could have been resolved if they just communicated. I will definitely still be giving the author’s other works a go though…

14. The Wake-Up Call by Beth O’Leary : I really enjoyed this one (in fact, I think it might actually be my favourite O’Leary book!!) I enjoyed the characters a whole lot and although there was an instance of a ‘big misunderstanding’ that resulted in a lot of the FMC and MMC’s issues with each other, it still didn’t annoy me? Like, even though a bit of communication would have gone a long way I could see how it got to the point it did and was happy to see the resolution when it did come.

15. We Are Family by Beth Moran : This was another great story from Moran (and I always love to see a FMC share my own first name – it’s a rare occurrence haha!) The love interest was absent for most of the book and the eventual get together with the main character was a little abrupt which is why it was not a five star read for me but it was still very good and I enjoyed it a great deal.

16. We Belong Together by Beth Moran : This book was so sad but at the same time very uplifting. I loved the main character and her love interest was swoony but still grounded (and a little bit of a grump which I do like in my fictional men lol). It wasn’t quite as strong as Take Me Home but it was probably a close second in my ranking of Moran books. 😉

17. Just The Way You Are by Beth Moran : Another goodie, I particularly related to the FMC in this one. The love interest wasn’t the most interesting of her leading men but the overall plot was good and it was a solid read to end January on.

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February 2024

monthly readin wrap-up january and february

1. Through The Glen by Samantha Young : I’ve been waiting on this book to be released for months and it didn’t disappoint! My second 5 star read of the year (and the first for the month of February!) I was so invested in Sarah and Theo…

2. The Love Wager by Lynn Painter : This was an entertaining read but I’m kinda pissed at myself for not realising it was book 2 in a series! I only twigged about half-way through the book but by then I was invested so I kept going. My rating was probably affected by my annoyance at myself so I will definitely re-read this again at some point (after I pick up and read book 1!!!)

3. Will They Or Won’t They by Ava Wilder : I liked the story and the writing but the FMC and MMC irritated me at points which brought down my enjoyment a bit. Lots of miscommunications and misunderstandings and not listening to each other – it all got a little tedious.

4. Because You Loved Me by Beth Moran : Another solid outing from Beth Moran. I loved the secondary characters in this one and the FMC was very relatable. The MMC was involved with another woman throughout most of the book which did prove a bit of a barrier to me rooting for him and the main character but it did help that him and his girlfriend were so obviously unsuited (and I did appreciate that she wasn’t portrayed as a total witch even though she had her moments of being snobby and mean).

5. A Day That Changed Everything by Beth Moran : I did like this one but I found it uncomfortable reading at times. Now, I don’t suffer from agoraphobia per se, but I do have other mental health issues and there have been times I haven’t wanted to go out and basically turned into a hermit, so this one hit a little to close to home for me which affected my enjoyment. It’s still a really great read though (my issues were what kept me from loving it as much as I wanted to).

6. The Bastard And The Heir by Eden Finley and Saxon James : I have really loved Eden Finley and Saxon James’s output in the past but some of their recent stuff has felt a little more formulaic for me (although I do still read and enjoy each of their new releases). I did absolutely adore Up In Flames though (it felt very different) and this is basically like a companion novel (following one of the side characters) so this worked for me too.

7. Lizzie Blake’s Best Mistake by Mazey Eddings : I don’t know what the hell I’m playing at lately, I’ve basically read this series in reverse order (I read The Plus One last year not realising it was book 3). This is book 2 and I’ve yet to read book 1 (my head is all over the place at the moment – I blame my hormones hehe!) I did enjoy this book though (but it probably would have made more sense reading them in the correct order…)

8. Just My Type by Falon Ballard : I liked this one; I do enjoy good snarky banter between love interests and second-chance romance stories are my secret catnip. It wasn’t quite a four star read for me but I did have a ball reading it and will definitely be on the lookout for more books from the author.

9. The Catch by Amy Lea : This one was cuteness overload!! I loved the back and forth between the FMC and MMC (not quite a grumpy/sunshine pairing but the love interest does start out as a grump though you find out the reasons why as the story progresses). This is definitely my favourite of the series, for sure!

10. 10 Things That Never Happened by Alexis Hall : This one was so good guys! I think I loved it even more than Boyfriend Material or Husband Material! The plot was a bit convoluted but the interplay between the two MC’s was just delicious!

11. Let It Snow by Beth Moran : I loved this one. Bea is an awesome main character and the love interest was just so super-adorable! I wasn’t a fan of her on-off-on-off again boyfriend but I did like the fact that he wasn’t necessarily a bad guy, he just wasn’t the right guy, if that makes sense? Just a really nice, cozy romance.

12. Fool Me Once by Ashley Winstead : The FMC was an absolute scream – all the crazy shenanigans she got herself into! I also really liked the love interest and there’s nothing like a good second-chance romance to warm my cold dead heart haha! 😀

13. The Boyfriend Candidate by Ashley Winstead : This was just as enjoyable as the previous book (above) even though this is a very different FMC (despite between the sister of the FMC in Fool Me Once). I enjoyed this one a great deal.

14. The Lyre Thief by Jennifer Fallon : I’ve put off reading this one for ages due to difficulty getting the second book (there’s issues with the UK/US publisher) but I was able to track down a used copy of book 2 (Retribution) so I now can justify reading this (Jennifer Fallon is one of my all-time favourites so it was so hard not to dive into it). It was sheer perfection. I’m so happy I got to immerse myself back in this world.

15. Retribution by Jennifer Fallon : This book destroyed me! It was just so good. I barely have the words to describe just how amazing it was. It’s going to be torture waiting for the 3rd (and final) book in this trilogy. I know the author has some health issues (plus publisher problems) so it could be a long while but I’m still glad I read these because it has encouraged me to go back to the start and read them all again from the start – so yay!!

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Well folks, there you have it – my January and February were pretty good overall reading-wise. I read a lot of good books plus a few truly exceptional ones. I’m looking forward to seeing what March will bring! See ya all soon!!

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Brin

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