What I Read August 2021

by - September 01, 2021


This may be my first book roundup that isn't dominated by fantasy stories. I've been kind of in a fantasy book slump lately. I cannot seem to find something new to whet my appetite, so I've been rereading some of my favorite series, which is also a good way for me to reset between new books.

This past month I was definitely feeling more romantic reads, although not all mushy ones. I've got two rather dark romances that will most definitely not be for everyone, but if you're into shows like Criminal Minds I encourage you to give them a shot.

Let's get to the books!

Author: Jennifer Hillier

This book has been on my TBR list for awhile, but I haven't been in the right head space for this much darkness, and make no mistake - this book is very dark. There is no true hero in this story. It's up to you to determine how far is too far.

Georgina "Geo" Shaw goes to prison for her role in her best friend, Angela Wong's, murder. She receives a reduced sentence for testifying against the killer, her ex-boyfriend, Calvin James, who is known as the Sweetbay Strangler. While Geo finds ways to survive in prison, Calvin escapes and eludes police for five years. Just before Geo is set to be released, more victims are uncovered. Detective Kaisler "Kai" Brody knows it all links back to Geo somehow; he just has to find the connection.

Author: S.T. Abby

I don’t have a lot of words for this one. It’s a five book series, but each book is only 100 pages or so. The heroine is most definitely an anti-hero. This is so morally gray, but I liked the grittiness. It is definitely not a story for a weak stomach. There are SO MANY triggers. There’s really not even redemption in this story, but I wasn’t mad about the ending.

Our heroine, Lana, is a serial killer but for all the right reasons. When she meets FBI profiler, Logan, who happens to be investigating her kills, she knows she should stay away, but they're drawn to each other like moths to a flame. Believed to be be dead, Lana has taken on a new identity as she seeks revenge for a series of truly awful crimes against her family.


Combust (Shades of Trouble 3)
Author: Kitty Cox

These really do just keep getting better. As a reminder, I started this series in May. The overall theme is about reestablishing a juvenile diversion center in a rural Texas town, but each book addresses a specific issue. Book three is a continuation of the secondary storyline of Luke and his daughter. The way this unconventional family comes together to protect this little girl has me feeling pretty emotional. As with the other books in this series, so far, there are heavy topics and triggers, not to mention unconventional relationship. But the author is truly a master of character development.

Author: Bella Forrest

Once again, I can't give you a ton of detail without spoiling the entire series. What I can tell you is that  in this book, Finch and his crew take one step forward and five giant steps back. Now, not only is Finch's future at stake, but the entire world - both magical and non-magical. I can't wait to finish the last book in this series.

Author: Claire Kingsley

This is another book that's been on my TBR list for awhile. I'm kind of mad at myself for leaving it unread for so long. If you saw my Instagram post about this book, you already know that I loved it. It's listed as a rom-com, but I think it's an all-around solid romance. There are some quirky characters, but I found the story to be quite smart and not overly silly.

Emily is a self-made billionaire who finds herself in a potentially career-ending scandal after a PR-arranged date gone wrong. Her company's board of directors, headed by her father, hires a professional "fixer" to rectify the situation. In his quest to draw out the real Emily, lines blur, and eventually disappear altogether. As their relationship blossoms, things get worse and they discover there's more at play than a date-gone-wrong.

Author: Brittainy Cherry

This is one of my Amazon First Reads from earlier in the year. This book was a pleasant surprise. The story was deep, thoughtful, and poignant.

Emery is a struggling single mother with no support system outside of her neighbor. Oliver is spiraling after the death of his twin brother and bandmate. On the night of what's supposed to be his comeback concert, Oliver instead gets wasted in the bar where Emery works. When his presence causes a scene that loses the bar money and costs Emery her job, Oliver steps up to make things right. Together, they find solace, but can their love withstand the world?


Hellbound Guilds & Other Misdirections (The Guild Codex: Warped book 2)
Author: Annette Marie & Rob Jacobsen

I read book one of this series back in January. Kit Morris was a small character introduced in The Guild Codex: Spellbound series. Book one was the story of what leads to him becoming a special agent in the magical equivalent of the FBI. In this book, Kit is still a probationary agent. When his future partner, Lienna, is in danger of being transferred to another city if she doesn't solve a case, Kit makes it his mission to help her.

I really do love this world that Annette Marie has created. This book has the same great snark, but I was pleasantly surprised that it had a whole lot more action than others and that the storyline was more serious than I was expecting. There was a lot of depth to this book, and I appreciate the character development to make Kit more than just a funny guy.

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