What I Read April 2022

by - May 04, 2022

When I first started doing these monthly reading roundups, it was to hold myself accountable for a New Year's goal to get back to reading. Back then, my goal was one book per month, and some months I struggled to meet it. Looking back now it's hard to even fathom that I let myself get so far separated from this lifelong love of reading, and I've done a much better job the last several years of not letting go of this thing that brings me joy and peace during times of stress...even if some months I read more than others.

April was not the easiest month of reading for me, despite what this roundup looks like. I was very undecided on what I wanted to read, and I feel like I bounced around and spent a lot of time just scrolling through all the samples I've downloaded. I also didn't want to speed-read through the series I've been enjoying so I've been forcing myself to take those slow.

There are a few books missing from this roundup. I've been reading a series called Untouchable, but I'm not ready to talk about any of them yet. I've still got several books to go and the final book won't be released until this summer, and I don't think I can give an accurate review until I've read the series completely.

Okay, enough explanation. Let's get to the books!

Author: Amalia Carosella

This book was incredibly thought-provoking from a religious standpoint and called into question a lot of things many of us take for granted. For that reason, I don't know how many people I can recommend it to, but it is fantastically well-written.

Freydis is the daughter of Erik the Red. Not only did she inherit his red hair but also his infamous temper. Forced to marry in order to secure a ship of her own while steadfastly holding onto the faith of her ancestors and her belief in Thor, Freydis is the exact opposite of what the Christians taking over her father's settlement expect her to be. When a mysterious stranger offers her the freedom she's always sought, Freydis knows the impact of her choice will be felt for centuries to come.

Meanwhile in 2016, Emma is the daughter of a conservative Catholic Congressman who's up for reelection, but Emma herself has left the Catholic faith. In fact, she's no longer Christian at all, but a Heathen who believes in and worships the Norse gods, specifically Thor. When her personal faith is thrust into the spotlight, it's not only her own life that's turned upside down but also that of her family.

Greed (The Deadly Seven book 2)
Author: Lana Pecherczyk

Loved it. This series just keeps getting better. Griffin, a.k.a. Greed, has got handling his sin down to a fine science. He's convinced he doesn't need to find his soulmate to keep it all balanced. Then he's forced to go undercover at the newspaper to find whoever has been writing sensationalist, untrue pieces about his family and meets Lilo, a reporter and daughter of the city's biggest mob boss.

Authors: S.M. Shade & C.M. Owens

This is the sequel to one of my favorite books from last year, Worth It, and just like its predecessor, I laughed my butt off reading this. It picks up pretty close to where the first book ended, but it changes protagonists - Sicily and Lydia. Sicily is the sister of Lydia's best friend's husband. They become roommates when Lydia moves to town seeking a fresh start. Sicily, meanwhile, is trying to find her place in her brother's company and ends up working under Lydia's cheating ex...the same ex whose wedding Lydia and her friends ruined in the first book.

I didn't laugh quite as much in this book as I did with Worth It, but it's still worth the read. You do need to read the books in order, though, as there are some references throughout F*ck It that won't make sense otherwise.

Author: Carole Lawrence

In 1880, Elizabeth van den Broek is the only female reporter in New York City. When she and her friend stumble across a dead body wrapped up like a mummy in Central Park, Elizabeth convinces the editor to allow her to report on the mysterious murder. More bodies with ties to Egyptian lore turn up, and the closer Elizabeth gets to uncovering the truth the more it becomes apparent the killer is watching.

I had no clue who the killer was until the big reveal. I enjoyed the book, but felt like the actual ending was awkward, almost as if the author didn't know how to end it. Also, there were a lot of unanswered questions for me outside of the main mystery. I almost feel like the author spent so much time with these extraneous details but then didn't give them a conclusion. Some of it, I'll admit, was for background but I don't like for my conclusions to feel like the story is over, and this just didn't for me.

Wild Pride (Kingson Pride book 1)
Author: Kristen Banet

Riley has been living in Wild Junction for the past two years after escaping an abusive relationship. She's content with her mediocre life. Then, five locals move back to town, and Riley finds herself thrown into the world of cat shifters.

I was disappointed with this one. I really enjoyed Banet's Redemption series and had high hopes this would be similar. I had a hard time connecting to Riley, and I didn't like how weak she was. As much as I wanted to love it, I just didn’t and won't be continuing the series past book one.

Medusa (Court of the Underworld book 2)
Author: Alessa Thorn

I know, I know. It took me long enough to get around to reading this one. It usually doesn't take me so long to read next-in-series books, but life ya know? Anyway, this book picks up right where book one left off but with new main characters: Medusa and Perseus. Medusa is the famed Gorgon of legend, while Perseus is a reformed thief. The two are thrown together when Pithos, the anti-monster cult, kidnaps Perseus's sister to coerce him into stealing a necklace from Medusa. He doesn't so much get caught as he turns himself in and ends up joining the team. There's a nice little twist in this book, though, but you'll have to read it to find out what it is.

I loved Medusa in the first book of this series. She's smart and sassy and definitely doesn't know she's sexy. Perseus, meanwhile, is an unexpected bad boy. He's blind, but that's all I'm going to give you on that, and he's got the most delightfully dirty mouth. I love these two together. Up next, Hades meets Persephone.

Author: Crea Reitan 

I really love Reitan's Wonderland retelling, and this is part of the same world in that Ira comes from the same place the heroine in the other series came from and is working toward the same goal but in Neverland instead of Wonderland. The difference between Mal (Wonderland) and Ira is that Ira was raised with the sole purpose of being a fixer. She's spent her entire life training to fix whatever has turned Neverland toxic, but she's not prepared for what she finds when she enters the tale. Turns out, another fairy tale has invaded Peter Pan's world, and Ira must gather her crew, master magic, and set Neverland to rights.

I found myself unconsciously comparing this series to the Wonderland saga, which is unfair since the two fairytales are nothing alike, but it still happened. I'm glad I kept going past the first book - I almost didn't. The action picked up, and we finally got into the meat of the story. Admittedly, I think the Wonderland series is better - it was way more involved and complex - and this one definitely could have used a better editor (there were a good bit of typos and a lot of tense swapping, which for me is distracting). In the beginning of both series, there are four fixers mentioned, and I'm excited to see if Reitan brings their stories to life, as well, especially the one who went into Oz. I'm desperate for a good Wizard of Oz retelling.

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