After seeing this book raved about on TikTok for the past year, I picked up a copy at Daunt books in London to see what all the commotion was about. After getting about 150 pages in, I realized that this book has no plot, only vibes. Blake has developed really compelling characters and a strong sense of place, but this read more like a character study than a novel, at times. There is a big twist at the end, but it felt forced and not crafted into the story from the beginning. I can see how some people love this book – it’s very atmospheric in dark academia way with a cast of young, hot characters who are all lusting after each other, but there just wasn’t enough driving this forward for me.
The Taker started strong and I was pretty hooked on the first 100 pages, but then it took a dark turn and really never came back from it. In fact, it got darker and darker until I didn’t really want to finish it. I appreciate that all the characters are somewhat morally gray and there’s a muddled sense of ‘good’ and ‘evil’, but it wasn’t enough to make up for the fact that the whole book felt like setup for action that never took off. I had this recommended to me by a friend, so it was nice to read something off the beaten path for me, but wasn’t my favorite!
SJM has done it again. I read both her A Court of Thorns and Roses and Throne of Glass series last year, so I’m well-versed in the SJM universe at this point and the Crescent City books are some of my favorites. I had a few issues with the structure and pacing of this book and found some of the POVs to be gratuitous, but knowing her, we’ll see the whole picture soon enough and know why we spent so much time with Tharion lol. Overall, though, she brought us even further into her world, introduced us to a new cast of characters, and made us fall further in love with old ones (Ruhn Danaan, anyone?). Oh and the ending absolutely broke my brain. Dying for Crescent City 3!
I randomly bought this on my Kindle when it was on sale for $2 and picked it up as a palette cleanser after Crescent City with zero expectations and absolutely adored it! I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to root for shallow party girl Piper at first, but her story has so much heart that I couldn’t help but fall in love with her and grumpy fisherman Brendan. It’s the perfect combination of cute, steamy, and romantic. Highly recommend if you’re looking for a vacation read!
Oaths and Omissions by Sav R. Miller (available on Kindle Unlimited)
I was craving a dark romance and saw this recommended by a few romance accounts I follow, so thought I’d give it a chance. Unfortunately, this didn’t do a whole lot for me. I didn’t feel like the characters had much of an emotional connection and it was hard to understand their motivations and internal worlds, which made it hard to root for them. The steam was fine, but, again, without the emotional element, it felt stilted and it didn’t feel particularly hot or compelling to me. This is technically a stand alone, but it’s the third book in a series and I haven’t read the first two so that may impact my reading. Overall, though, I don’t feel compelled to read any other books in this series.
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