My July reading was sort of “bookended” by two really amazing reads and in between them more of my J.R. Ward series read.
I picked up The Night Circus near the end of June. It’s been on my TBR list for so long, I decided it was time. It was slow to get into, and I’m not sure at what point it started to really capture my attention, but I suspect it was when Bailey went to the circus and was mesmerized by the different tents and performers. I loved the Cloud Maze, the Labyrinth, the Ice Garden. It was such a beautiful book and I’m so glad I decided to finally read it.
After finishing the Night Circus, I went back to my J.R. Ward reading. Next up was The Jackal, which is the first in another spin off series called The Black Dagger Brotherhood Prison Camp and is also a paranormal romance. Annette, who I’m buddy-reading these with, said this one was good, so I was looking forward to digging into it. I started it on the 7th of the month and finished it in about a week. It was pretty slow to get going, but I enjoyed it. It intertwined with the main BDB series and its characters, which allowed for some interaction with those familiar faces.
When I finished up The Jackal, I moved on to the next J.R. Ward book in the list, A Warm Heart in Winter. This is a novella in the Black Dagger universe. This one also took me about five days to read, which was probably way longer than it should have considering it was a novella. I enjoyed this one and it was a surprise to get to revisit Blay and Qhuinn again.
And then it was on to the next in the main Black Dagger Brotherhood series, Lover Unveiled. This is number eighteen in the series and a new read for me, so I was going in blind. I started this one on the 19th of the month and it took me about nine days to read. I was curious to see where we were going to go with this story. The book was ok, but not great, which is why I guess it took me so long to read. But, although it got a bit better than it was at the beginning, it never got to the point where I was hooked. And then the end, just kind of ended. Just, boom, we’re done. And an ending like that is always unsatisfying.
When I finished Lover Unveiled, Annette urged me to drop everything and read Perfect Strangers by J.T. Geissinger. I wasn’t able to get this through my library, so I purchased the ebook. The first half to two-thirds of this book I devoured. Really really good, lots of spice, plus it’s Paris, so I’m sold. About two-thirds of the way through though, I texted Annette and told her I was about to throw this book down and not finish it because if what I thought was happening really was happening, I didn’t want to know. She told me she completely understood, but to trust and keep going. She said it was worth it. So, I kept going but hoped all the while that she better not have done me dirty on this. In the end, I was glad I kept reading, but the problem I have with books that have a twist in them like this is that I walk away from it feeling like I’ve been duped by the author. And I don’t like that feeling.
I am curious to read something else by the same author to see how it stacks up (Annette has now recommended Pen Pal, so that may be the one I go for next). There are definitely some great scenes in this book that make the whole thing worth it in the end, such as the scene in the bookstore. It reminded me a lot of the library scene in Beautiful Stranger by Cristina Lauren.
Anyway, that’s what I read in July. I actually finished Perfect Strangers on August 1st, but I figured I’d count it with my July books.