What I Read September 2021

by - October 06, 2021

We have quite the range of genres for this month's reading roundup. I tackled quite a few titles that have been in my TBR list for awhile, but I didn't finish most of those so you won't see them here. I continued three series and read the first books in two others, one of which I'm definitely not going to continue. Over half of this month's books are not in the fantasy genre, which is rare.

Also, I want to mention that I finally read Den of Vipers, but it's not getting a review. It's not a book I'm comfortable discussing here, but if you really want to know my thoughts on it, shoot me an email and I'll fill you in. It's very much outside the scope of things I read and it's not one I would recommend.

Alright, let's jump into the reviews.

Animal Instincts (Gilded Knights 3)
Author: Emilia Finn

Beckett Rosa is the only veterinarian in town, but Tabitha is determined to change that, even if she has to start at the bottom as his receptionist. The two clash heads from the very beginning as Tabitha tries to convince Beckett to take her on as a second vet while he just needs someone to organize his professional and personal calendar.

The baby of the Rosa brothers might just be my favorite. This book didn't have an overarching conflict like most of her other books do, but the weekend at the "murder farm" made up for it.

Bloodlust (Rise of the Iliri #1)
Author: Auryn Hadley

Sal is Iliri. Considered a beast by humans, she's been kept as a pet her entire life until being conscripted into the military. Now, she has a chance to join an elite fighting force. She thinks it's her chance at freedom, but turns out the Iliri have a lot of secrets and the Black Blades have been hiding them in plain sight.

I didn't dislike this book, but like I said in my 'currently reading' post a couple weeks ago, this was a lot more fantastical than my typical fantasy reads. There was such a huge emphasis put on them not being human that it almost felt pushy. Like the author was trying a little too hard. That and some other key, often conflicting, character traits of the MFC made it hard for me to feel connected to her. I wasn't disappointed, per se, but I also haven't decided if I'll be continuing the series.

Author: Bella Forrest


Atlantis has risen and Davin's plan to restore his status that was destroyed by his alliance with Katherine is well underway. Finch and his friends have been reunited with the Rag Team and the rest of the San Diego Coven to stop the undying necromancer before he can destroy the world.

The ending to Finch's storyline in the Merlin saga was so much more satisfying than the ending of Harley's. Harley had a much larger role in this book than in the others in this season. The final chapter sets up the next season, which will feature Persie. Honestly, I'm kinda done with these for awhile. I'll probably circle back to it, but this saga is just never-ending, and I need a break.

Sin & Chocolate (Demigods of San Francisco #1)
Author: K.F. Breene

Alexis lives in what is essentially no-man's land. It's a place where people move about mostly forgotten, and that works just fine for her and the two kids she's taken in off the streets. She has magic but rarely uses it, preferring to fly under the radar. Then she catches the attention of the son of the city's magical ruler, and life as she knows it is over.

I've been waiting for this series to be complete before starting it, but after reading book one, I don't know that I'll continue. I feel like I know the who of the conflict but the why is very much unclear. There was a lot left unresolved at the end of this book, which is to be expected in a series, but I also don't feel like I have a clear enough reason to move forward with the story.

The Mogul and the Muscle (Bluewater Billionaires #2)
Author: Claire Kinsley

Cameron Whitbury is the engineering genius CEO of an aeronautics company. Other than her sleazy ex sharing a sex video of her with his friends, life is good. Then, someone attacks her in her company's parking garage. Her friends convince her to hire a bodyguard. Jude is a retired CIA agent who just can't seem to get out of the life. Cam and Jude have undeniable chemistry but vow to keep things professional, but as the danger ramps up so does the heat between them.

I enjoyed this second installment of the Bluewater Billionaires just as much as the first. I did just realize that they're written by different authors, which makes me wonder if there's a little fourth-wall breaking going on with the romance novelists mentioned in both books. As with The Price of Scandal, this book is smart and funny without being over-the-top silly.

Author: Brianna LaBuskes

Clarke is a special agent with the FBI who's been pulled from what's essentially desk duty to investigate a serial killer who's asked for her personally. Simon Cross is playing a game with her and her partner, leaving clues for them to find before they eventually recover the body of a redheaded woman. But now Simon's gearing up for his finale and has set his sights on his intended final victim, Clarke.

It appears I've got a thing for serial killers these days. However, this book is a lot more sophisticated than the others I've read recently. This one gave me a lot of Criminal Minds vibes, and I really liked how flawed and human the author made her characters.

Author: Kerstin Gier

Gerri is a career romance novelist who's career has just been upended, and it's the straw that breaks the camel's back. Determined that her death would make life easier for everyone in her life, Gerri meticulously plans out her suicide, right down to the brutally honest letters she mails to her family and friends. There's just one problem: Gerri's plan falls to pieces and she's very much alive.

I'm not gonna lie - this book was weird. There were a few editing issues in the Kindle, but I think it's because it was originally written in German. Nothing was too bad that it couldn't be read, though. I wasn't enthralled by it, but I also couldn't stop reading. Possibly because the whole book is about a concept I've never before considered?

Author: Lauren Landish

Kat has just discovered her boyfriend cheated on her when she calls in to a popular radio show, The Love Whisperer, for advice. After delivering said advice, the host, Derrick, does something he never does and asks her to call him back to let him know how everything went. You can guess what happens next, right? Kat and Derrick's phone connection turns into a relationship, but not everyone is happy about it.

This was a quick, fun read. It wasn't super deep, and there were a few places where I thought the author went a little off-plot. It was pretty easy to pick out who the "villain" was going to be, but I wasn't expecting the method.

Rogue Ghosts and Other Miscreants (The Guild Codex: Warped #3)
Author: Annette Marie & Rob Jacobsen

Kit and Lienna have been tasked with finding a missing teen, who's suspected to have been kidnapped by none other than the infamous Ghost. Told this case is totally off-book, the partners are on their own as they chase down leads. Feeling as if he's the only person to care about the teen's safety, and not truly understanding the scope of his magic, Kit vows to do whatever it takes to save the boy...even if it means breaking the rules.

I love how these play so nicely into the first Guild Codex series I read, Spellbound. Kit's character development in these is astounding, and I'm enjoying watching him come to terms with his powers.

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