Reading Recap: November 2023

I managed to read four books for November, which is an achievement in and of itself 🥳. Comparing year over year, since I love me some data, I read 3.5 more books this year than last year! It’s also an achievement because I’ve been in a bit of a slump. While I have been consistently reading, it has slowed down considerably, and to add to that, I haven’t been writing any reviews since the last one published here. While I’ve been enjoying my reads, I don’t really have much to say about them. 

I’m optimistic that things will change now for December. I have a stack of books from my last book haul (which you can see what I got on Instagram here) that I’m hoping will relight the fire to want to write about my reads. That said, here is my reading recap for November!

All I’ve Wanted All I’ve Needed by A.E. Valdez – this is my first A.E. Valdez book, and I was very excited to jump in given I’ve heard good things. This book was cute though, as the main character, Harlow, navigates finding herself in a new town fresh off a long term relationship. I didn’t like how parts of the story that were meant to be character building didn’t really add much to Harlow or the story – it felt like it was there to be told but nothing else which I felt dragged the story. It’s a little bit of a slow burn and friends to lovers but it’s worth the wait. It is very much a HEA even though I anxiously flipped through each page just waiting for the other shoe to drop. 

Mickey Chambers Shakes It Up by Charish Reid – Mickey Chambers is an adjunct professor struggling to find her footing in the professional world. As her class load shrinks, so does her paycheck which she obviously depends on to pay her bills and to ensure her meds are stocked. Despite the thoughts of running out of money looming, Mickey doesn’t let it stop her from figuring out what to do. She ends up with a bartending job at a local bar that shakes up her life (ha!) in ways she wasn’t expecting. This one’s a workplace relationship, age gap romance as Mickey’s love interest is her older boss and bar owner. The characters are likeable and you’ll find yourself rooting for Mickey and Diego as the story progresses. 

The Art of Scandal by Regina Black – this was my book club’s November pick. Rachel Abbott receives an unsolicited dick pic from her own husband on the night of his birthday party. Obviously not meant for her, it’s clear her politician husband is cheating on her. Rachel feels numb as she’s felt like she’s done everything to be the perfect wife to her mayor husband and it still wasn’t enough. Stuck in this predicament where she’s expected to remain by her husband’s side, despite that their marriage is irreparably broken, Rachel finally gets to ask herself what does she want for herself, outside of being someone’s wife and someone’s mom. The web she’s in becomes even more tangled when she begins an affair with a younger artist and secrets become exposed that could threaten Rachel’s future. 

The Kingmaker by Kennedy Ryan – as a fan of Kennedy Ryan’s writing, I’ve been reading some of her backlog and decided to jump into her “All The Kings Men” series. This is the first book of the series. Lennix Hunter is a young activist who is trying to preserve her Native American culture from greedy, rich billionaires set on taking and destroying sacred land. As she fights to stop Warren Cade’s pipeline from being built, she ends up getting saved by a strange but handsome man from a dog bite. Sparks fly between them but nothing happens until they meet again by chance in Amsterdam (where she’s finally of age) and they have a magical week together. There are some time jumps in this story where several years pass before Lennix and Maxim interact again. There’s also a lot of politics in the story, both related to Lennix’s Native heritage but also because of the plot of the story. This is the first time where I read a book in a series where the entire series is focused on the same couple. That said, this book felt like it had a lot of filler with the in depth storytelling of the politics happening in the story, which started to feel kind of boring.

Here’s hoping I feel chattier about December’s reads!

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