What I Read March 2023

by - April 05, 2023

It feels like I didn't read much of anything in March if I'm being honest. I started five new series, though, so I guess that's saying something. Not all of them will be continued, however, for various reasons. I also ventured out of my comfort zone into a genre that I typically avoid and read what might be the best cliffhanger I've ever experienced. My book club pick for the month knocked it out of the park, and I'm really enjoying the series Alexis and I are reading together at bedtime. Let's dive into the review!

Knightfall (Tangled Crowns series #1)
Author: Ann Denton

This book kept showing up in my recommendations list, so I finally caved and read it. Essentially, a princess runs away from her kingdom because the magic she possesses will ultimately kill her and her bonded guards. But when she overhears a threat to kill her sister, she returns to the castle only to find her mother, the queen, on her deathbed, the men who were selected to be her guards furious, and war on the horizon. Honestly, it wasn't the worst story I've ever read, but I felt like everything was very rushed, and I had a hard time really liking many of the characters.

Of Glass and Lavender (The Ascension Rising series #1)
Author: K.R. Rainbolt 

Apparently I was on a bit of a vampire kick in March seeing as how this is the first of two vampire-themed series. I don't know that I've read something that was vampire-centric since the Twilight series first debuted (before they became movies). There for awhile it was all vampires, all the time, and it just felt so overdone with nothing new and exciting, and I was just over it. But the cover of this book caught my attention, and the blurb sounded different than other things I've read. It's an interesting premise, but I didn't really relate well to the characters. They felt very closed off to me, and for that reason I haven't made up my mind whether to continue with this series.

Wild Knight (Midnight Empire: The Tower #1)
Author: Annabel Chase

This was a quirky read. I enjoyed the MFC, and I found the plot line to be engaging. Not only is this vampire-centric, but it's also post-apocalyptic, which is another trope I tend to avoid because they're always dark and angsty and not something I'm usually into. This one was dark, literally, because the sun has been blotted out by volcanic ash from the eruption of the world's super-volcanoes. Vampires are now the rulers of everything with witches keeping oxygen and plant-life going. So definitely a different take on the end-of-the-world journey.

Finding You (The Holt Family series #1)
Author: T.M. Cromer

As much as it pains me to say this, I did not enjoy this book nearly as much as the Thorne books. It was magical but not in the same way. The main character, Samantha, has psychic visions, and her siblings have similar abilities, but none of them perform magic. In this book, Samantha loses her soul mate in an accident, but she doesn't believe he is really dead. Fearing she might take her own life, her family has her admitted into a mental health facility, where Samantha meets a doctor who reawakens her ability to love.

This book was honestly just so sad. I don't know if the rest of the books in this series will be like that, but I certainly hope not.

Author: Jess Walters

Now for this month's One Woman Book Club pick. It took me literally all month to read this, but not because it was difficult to get through. Quite the opposite actually. I forced myself to savor this one and read it at a slower pace. This was a masterfully-written dual timeline book. While the present timeline was written in chronological order, the past timeline was not, at least not entirely. And yet, I never felt lost or confused with the storyline. It made perfect sense.

In the 1960s, an actress who believes she is dying shows up at a run-down hotel on an isolated Italian island. While there, she learns that the set doctor lied about her condition to get her away from the star of the movie, Richard Burton, whose child she is carrying. Instead of terminating the pregnancy as expected, Dee keeps the baby, marrying an author she met at the hotel and passing the baby off as his. This story follows all the things that happen after that, while revisiting the past to explain the why of it all.

The Accidental Apprentice (Wilderlore series #1)
Author: Amanda Foody

This is the series Alexis and I are currently reading aloud at bedtime, but it's a really fun story. Barclay lives in Dullshire, a town that not only has no magic but also fears it and the beasts that grant it. When he's out on a mushroom-finding mission for his master, Barclay accidentally bonds with a high-level Beast that turns him into what's known as a Lore Keeper. This transformation gets him kicked out of his hometown and set on a path to what will become his new life. Barclay travels to Sycomore, a Lore town, where he competes in a trial for wannabe Lore apprentices and finds himself facing off against a dangerous Lore Keeper set on gaining ultimate power.

Locked Up Liars (Saint View Prison series #1)
Author: Elle Thorpe

This is not a genre I typically read, but I read an excerpt on Facebook before I even knew the title and got hooked. Then I read the blurb and it sounded different than any other prison book I've tried. Essentially, one of the main characters is arrested for killing his ex, a murder he did not commit and that his ex's sister is now trying to solve. In the process, she takes a teaching position at the prison and enlists the help of a hotshot attorney and reluctant prison guard. This book was incredibly well-written and the plot line is complex and engaging, and the ending! Man, I have never read a cliffhanger like this one that had me literally on the edge of my seat. I can't wait to see where the rest of this series goes.

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