August was a great reading month as I delved into some intriguing new worlds…mostly fantasy but who is complaining? I had a little laugh about the majority of the stories following along with the enemies to lover trope. This trope is always welcome in my library because it always ticks all my boxes.
Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco (5 stars)
I began the month off with Kingdom of the Wicked. And my gosh, it did not disappoint at all. My entire review is up on the site, if you click through last months uploads. Kingdom of the Wicked has been added to my five star list to recommend. Its an exciting tale of witches and Princes of Hell in the Italy; late 18th century-early 19th century, I believe. The food descriptions are incredible and the banter between these two protagonists is exemplary. All of these fantastical settings are making me want to delve back into these Medieval type settings and dance (I’m reminded of Kingdom Dance from Tangled and Sea Shantys).
“You always have the power of choice, even when those choices seem limited. Never forget that
The King of Crows by Libba Bray (4 stars)
Overall, The King of Crows was an enjoyable read. It had remarkable moments that had me giddy and laughing. Although, I have to give the ball to the third book in the series. The ending for this series was a bit underwhelming and I wish we had more time to develop the relationships between the whole group. Also the ending had references to WW2 and I thought that would be a far more interesting plot to tangle with.
My final thoughts: this is still a series driven by characters and Libba Bray performs well in this regard. The setting is so-very reminiscent of the 1920s with all of the references, dancing, singing and culture. The blossoming romances and friendships were my favourite part of the story, especially when you see the seams of the found family concept building. OVERALL, highly recommend this series if you love historical fiction, fantasy, occult, mystery, thriller.
We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal (5 stars)
This addition should not be a surprise as I have raved about this duology across my platform and to many, many people. My absolute favourite of the month goes to We Free the Stars! It’s a phenomenal sequel and somehow even more spectacular than the first book??!! Nasir and Zafira are literally one of my OTPs now and I’ll be rereading this story for sure!! Its a tale of devotion, will and love that I’ll recommend to all of my friends and continue to rave about. There’s the epic romance, the slow-burn of the relationship and the dangerous role of darkness, reflected internally and externally through the death of magic.
“Darkness doesn’t need to be destroyed. We need the dark as much as we need light. It makes us bold, as much as it makes us afraid.” She smiled. “Darkness needs only to be tamed.”
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (4 stars)
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is an excellent and engaging story that quickly captures your attention, teases you with questions, and reveals right up until you think you’ve uncovered something only to dissuade your deductions. It was unlike what I expected – this story is one of a woman’s objectification in society as they deem her worthy of attention and admiration simply because of her image and fame. TJR composes a distinctive novel across decades that I’m sure sticks out from the rest.
“It’s always been fascinating to me how things can be simultaneously true and false, how people can be good and bad all in one, how someone can love you in a way that is beautifully selfless while serving themselves ruthlessly.”
The Huntress by Kate Quinn (4 stars)
The Huntress is one of a book filled with mystery and anticipation as you await the final strike when our characters discover the Huntress and bring her to justice. The hunter becomes the hunted in an exhilarating tale of hope and justice for those stories lost during the war. The subtle hints of romance we get are also my favourite bits of this novel. Recommend if you love historical fiction set in WW2 and post-WW2.
“Some men ogle, some men look. The first makes us bristle, and the second makes us melt, and men are at an utter loss knowing the difference. But we do, and we know it at once.”
Serpent and Dove by Shelby Maurin (5 stars)
Serpent and Dove is one of those books that I knew would be a favourite. From the first chapter, I was hooked and I couldn’t – wouldn’t put it down. I finished it in possibly less than 10 hours and it was a journey! There’s great banter, romance, the enemies to lovers trope, of course, and much more to delve into. I’m in love with the main couple and their banter/chemistry. I need the sequel like today! The world reminds me of other stories I’ve read, but I’d say that Kingdom of the Wicked has some similarities to Serpent and Dove.
“There are some things that can’t be changed with words. Some things have to be seen. They have to be felt.”
A Wandering Reader