Quick Lit: February 2019 (Part 2)

Thanks for joining me for the continuation of my thoughts on what I read in February! If you missed it, here's Part One. Just to refresh your memory, Kelly and I spent last month re-reading, and we loved every minute it. The reviews below have my thoughts after re-reading, but you can click the title of the book for my original review. As always, check out the Quick Lit linkup that's hosted by Modern Mrs. Darcy for reviews and recs from other readers.

FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK, FROI OF THE EXILES AND QUINTANA OF CHARYN BY MELINA MARCHETTA – There was no doubt in my mind that I’d be reaching for The Lumatere Chronicles as my first choice for #FebruaREREAD. Want to talk about an underrated series? This one right here! I read these for the first time in 2013, but I’ve never revisited them. I always meant to though — and even pushed them on Kelly last year! I ended up being so glad these kicked off our little re-reading project, and they ended up being my favorite books of the month.

When I first read them, I wasn’t yet in love with fantasy. And I’ve always wondered if I’d love them more now than I did then. Spoiler alert: I did! I enjoyed them on my first read, but I’m so obsessed with them after this re-read. They have everything I love in books: complex characters, quotable writing, slow-burn romances, a detailed setting, a compelling conflict, and EMOTIONAL TORTURE. The main characters are technically young adults, but these books read like adult fiction to me (partly due to some of the subject matter). While the stories are often heartbreaking, they’re still so hopeful. “Because today, I think I’m leaning on the side of wonder.” 

If I had to choose just one specific thing to praise, it’s how Marchetta depicts the various relationships that are so crucial in this story: an oath between friends, the love of a parent for their child, the loyalty of siblings, the bond between a captain and his men, the trust subjects put in their ruler, and the promise between lovers. And honestly, those are just the positive examples. There’s also the heartbreak and devastation of trust broken, people betrayed, and lives lost because of pure evil. So, you can expect a whole range of emotions while you’re reading. These books are definitely character driven and have a slower pace, but that works for me as a reader. In case you can’t tell, I So Obsessed With It and look forward to many more re-reads in the future.

AFTER I DO BY TAYLOR JENKINS REID – This has been one of my favorite books since I first read it in 2014. I read it twice in that year alone, but hadn't revisited it since then. WHAT?! This is a story about when love seems to have faded from a marriage — what happens next? This couple spends a year apart to see if they can find their way back to one another. And though I wouldn’t make the exact same choices they did, I loved the truths they learn in the process and how they answer the question, “What are you willing to fight for?” I listened to this one on audio and never liked the narrator in the sample, but I had no issue with her at 3x speed. Still not a favorite narrator for me, but better than I expected. Of all of Reid's book, this one means the most to me me. I'm So Obsessed With It.

COME AWAY WITH ME BY KARMA BROWN – This book is such an emotional read! Tegan’s entire life is changed in the wake of a terrible car accident. In her grief, she decides to travel to Thailand, Italy, and Hawaii with her husband to try to heal and find peace. On my first read in 2015, I didn’t expect Brown to take the story where she did. I loved re-reading and being able to see that she’d laid the foundation from the very beginning for some of the things that had originally surprised me. The travel aspect is the real draw for me. If this story was solely set in Chicago, I don't think I would have re-read it. But it was worth re-reading just to re-examine a few aspects of the story. The audiobook performance was fine, though not noteworthy. As for the book itself, I So Enjoyed It. 

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY BY BETHANY CHASE – This book is about a woman who thinks she’s got her life figured out — until an old flame comes back into town and throws everything into question. I first read this is in 2015 and immediately loved Chase’s writing. She made me so invested in a storyline that normally wouldn’t work for me! There’s so much that I enjoy about this book: the Austin setting, the heroine’s passion for her career as an architect, and an emotional secondary storyline. While I still don't love everything about the romance, I would still say it's a well-written relationship. Not my favorite trope, but Chase does it better than most. This was probably my favorite narrator of the three books pictured, though I listened to this one at 3x speed, too. I So Enjoyed It.

THE PERFECT RAKE, HIS CAPTIVE LADY AND THE WINTER BRIDE BY ANNE GRACIE – As you may be able to tell from the books featured in this post, Kelly and I tried to re-read across a variety of genres throughout the month. We made a list at the beginning of the month and then filled it our choices as we went. For the historical romance category, I thought about reading one book from each of my favorite authors. And then I thought, "Why don't I just re-read my favorite Anne Gracie books?" All three are from different series, but it was a fun mix of books.

Gracie was my introduction to this genre, and I've always wondered how I would feel about The Perfect Rake compared to everything I've read since. Thankfully, I found it just as delightful the second time around! I don't love the beginning or the melodrama near the end, but the relationship between Pru and Gabriel is fantastic. So much banter! Their first meeting is probably one of my favorite scenes in all the romances I've read. Once again, I So Enjoyed It. It's probably my least favorite of the three I re-read, but still so fun.

Next up was His Captive Lady, which I read for the first time last year. The Devil Riders are such a fun group of friends! I remembered this book as the most emotional of the five in the series, and my memory is correct. I loved the romance – and both characters' backstories. Gracie could have easily upped the drama by making one character keep a secret from the other, but I absolutely loved that she didn't. The characters honesty and forthrightness is my favorite! While there's a plot point near the end that make me eyeroll, I So Loved It overall.

And finally, The Winter Bride. This is my favorite of all three – and, dare I say it, possibly even my favorite historical romance? I don't even know why I love it so much, but it just works so perfectly for me! I love both characters individually, but they're even better together. And the scene where the heroine defends the hero? Someone pass the smelling salts because I definitely just swooned. I appreciated the internal and external conflicts in this one, and I love that it never gets too over the top. I'm clearly So Obsessed With It, in case you can't tell.

What have you been reading lately?

1 comment

  1. I still have so much Anne Gracie to read! I've only ever read one series from her, but enjoyed all the books in it - so I definitely would like to read more of her stuff.

    Also, I would love to deep dive back into The Lumatere Chronicles! I haven't read them since that first time in 2013 (what a throwback!), but I feel pretty confident that I would still really enjoy them.


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