What I Read January 2023

by - February 04, 2023

Welcome to the first book roundup of 2023. January was a really good month of reading for me. A majority of my time has been devoted to one series in particular, but I also started my one-woman book club and finished a book I started several months ago.  I don't have a lot to say in lead-up this go 'round, so let's let the books speak for themselves, yeah?

Royal Honor (Dragon Royals series book 5)
Author: May Dawson

I technically read this book in January, but because my December book roundup was so late in getting posted, I had already finished the entire series and did a full series review. I'm going to paraphrase for this post, but if you want to read my full review, you can do so here.

The Dragon Royals series kept me entertained despite the editing issues, which got worse with each book. Like I said in my December post, I hope the author goes back and fixes those issues because they were distracting at times. If I hadn't been invested in the storyline, the editing problems would have been enough for me to DNF it.

Honor is the first ever female dragon shifter, something that is supposed to be impossible, so she disguises herself as a male to attend the shifter academy. Of course, her disguise only lasts so long. She is eventually not only discovered but the truth about who she is is also uncovered. Once she learns that she is the long-lost daughter of the first dragon king, Honor's mission becomes uniting all shifters and ending the scourge curse.

Cocktails and Cauldrons (Unlucky Charms series book 4)
Author: T.M. Cromer

This is the fourth book in the Unlucky Charms series, which I originally thought was a trilogy. The first three books deal with the elder siblings and ending the curse that the O'Malley family has been under for hundreds of years. In this book, Eion finds his mate, Brenna, who turns out to be a siren whose evil aunt has been siphoning power from for most of her life. Additionally, Brenna runs the risk of turning into a succubus if she doesn't learn to control her inner siren and there's someone out there hunting her kind to gain the ultimate power.

Author: Sarah Penner

This was the first book in my one-woman book club (read more about that here), and I really couldn't have picked a more interesting book to start with. Let me start by saying that the blurb for this book does not do the actual story justice at all. This is a dual timeline novel that executes this parallel story flawlessly. I was never lost or confused, and the author did a truly wonderful job of lining up the details just so.

Nella runs an apothecary in 18th century London, but it's not your traditional apothecary. Nella caters specifically to women who are looking to get the ultimate revenge on the oppressive, abusive, or cheating men in their lives. She operates in relative obscurity, hidden behind a secret bookshelf in a seemingly-abandoned shopfront, until a 12-year-old girl enters her shop and turns everything on its ear.

Meanwhile in present-day London, Caroline is spending her tenth wedding anniversary alone after discovering her husband's infidelity. An aspiring historian, Caroline stumbles onto a clue to the still-unsolved apothecary murders. Soon, Caroline's present begins to mirror the past she's digging into, and she's forced to make some pretty tough decisions about her future, both in terms of her marriage and the mystery she's unraveling.

Author: Samantha Bee & G.N. Wright

I downloaded this after seeing it recommended in a book group. I didn't realize it was the first book in an incomplete series until I'd finished it. In one night, Brielle's entire life changed. She simultaneously lost her four best friends and tied herself to Carson. The one good thing she has going for her is that she won't have to see her former friends anymore because she's attending the one school they'd never go to. Except they changed their plans, and now the revenge she's worked so diligently to achieve is being threatened.

Author: Kel Carpenter & Aurelia Jane

This is the first book in a series that is complete, but each book is a standalone. I think. This one had a pretty clear beginning, middle, and end, with no cliffhanger. I don't have plans to read the rest.

Dannika is a wolf shifter who's never been able to shift. Instead, a witch managed to pull her wolf out so that it exists outside of her body. Considered a freak, Danni is an outcast in her pack but still required to attend pack functions, including the party where the alpha's heir will pick his mate. You could probably guess from the title, but he chooses Danni. She, in turn, rejects him, is thrown out of her pack, and taken in by the Vampire alpha where she agrees to become his mate.

Author: Yangsze Choo

Wow. I'm a bit ashamed at how long it took me to finish this book because it was fantastic. This is exactly what I look for in historical fiction. I loved the folklore that was woven into this story. Weretigers were a new one for me, but the legend was fascinating. I especially liked the dual points of view. You've got Ji Lin, who is moonlighting as a dancehall girl to pay her mother's debts, and Ren, who is on a mission to reunite his dead master with his missing finger, a finger that ends up in Ji Lin's possession when one of her dance partners drops it. She enlists the help of her stepbrother, Shin, to return it, but it's not so simple as they anticipated. Eventually, Ji Lin and Ren's paths cross, but it's a fateful night. There are so many complex relationships in this book, and more than one mystery to solve. I highly recommend this book. It's the best thing I've read so far this year.

Author: T.M. Cromer

I'm about halfway through this series, and I am in love. This is the precursor to the Unlucky Charms series. In the first five books, the five Thorne sisters are working with their father/uncle (it's complicated and too much to explain here) to revive their mother from a magically-induced coma after she was shot with a poisoned bullet. Alastair purposefully pairs each of the sisters with their one true love to go after the artifacts needed to wake Aurora, his one true love. In the sixth book, Alastair and Aurora must rekindle their relationship. Then in book seven, we move on to Alastair's sister, Gigi, and her estranged husband, Ryker. Throughout it all, the Thornes face opposition from the Witches' Council and a group known as the Desorcelers whose mission is to eradicate all witches and warlocks.

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