It’s time for my November reading list! Better late than never right? This month was a pretty great reading month for me. There were some really, really great books this month and only one “dud!” My favorites this month were The Bromance Book Club and The Simple Wild. This month I gravitated towards contemporary romance books. Sometimes you just need those cute, feel good books, ya know?!
As always, you can see my latest reads on my bookstgram account @enw_reads (I share ALL things books there!) and on my Amazon Shop page! If you have any book recs, send them my way! I would love to hear what you have read recently in the comments. Thanks for stopping by!
RED AT THE BONE by Jacqueline Woodson | Red at the Bone is a story of a family, of motherhood, love & loss, and coming into your own. Two African American families are brought together after their only children, Iris and Aubrey, become pregnant in their teenage years. The story unfolds the history of Melody’s parents and how their defining moment of becoming pregnant ultimately changed everything and everyone in their family. review: Red at the Bone is only a little over 200 pages, but it sure packs a punch. Told in five different point of views ranging from present day to the past, you really get a grasp on the characters and their lives. The writing is absolutely wonderful and it totally transforms the story. The author did a great job at capturing motherhood and sexuality in a very raw, authentic way. This story captures the legacy of a family and how each individual member creates a part of the next generations’ story. rating: 4 out of 5 ⭐️
THE BROMANCE BOOK CLUB by Lyssa Kay Adams | Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him. Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. review: I absolutely loved this unique, refreshing take on a second chance romance! At the core, this book is about two vulnerable people who are working through some deeply-seated issues that have affected their marriage in numerous ways. I think the author did a great job of weaving laugh-out-loud scenarios with real life problems that contained depth and emotion. Gavin’s character was my favorite – he was flawed, authentic, funny, and helplessly lost at times! I’m already looking forward to the second book! rating: 5 out of 5 ⭐️
THE SIMPLE WILD by K.A.Tucker | Calla Fletcher wasn’t even two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when Calla learns that Wren’s days may be numbered, she knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born. She braves the change of scenery for a chance to know her dad. Little does she know, this trip may change her in ways she never expected. review: This book had been on my bookshelf for quite some time and I’m so glad that I finally picked it up! Life in Alaska is both simple and more complicated, thanks to the rugged remoteness. The author did a great job of painting the scene of Alaska and detailing the complications that the locals deal with on a day to day basis. I really appreciated that the characters were flawed and relatable. The dialogues between the characters were heartfelt & genuine, and at times funny! At first I didn’t care for Calla, but I enjoyed seeing Calla’s growth as she spent more time in Alaska and allowed herself to be submersed in their culture. I loved Calla and Jonah’s story – their enemies-to-lovers relationship was exceptionally well done! I couldn’t help but to root for them! I think the author did a great job of weaving this story together – it flowed so well and I loved each character. It also carried a message that life is too short and it’s important to love, forgive & appreciate those around you. rating: 5 out of 5 ⭐️
WILD GAME: MY MOTHER, HER LOVER & ME by Adrienne Brodeur | Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover and Me is the story of Adrienne Brodeur’s tumultuous relationship with her mother, Malabar. At just 14, Adrienne’s relationship with her mother changes one fateful night when her mother wakes her up from sleeping to inform Adrienne she’s just been kissed by Ben Souther, her husband’s best friend. Adrienne becomes an accomplice to this secret affair and helps keep it alive for years to come, as she perpetually seeks her mother’s love, affection, and approval. review: When I heard about this book earlier in the year I was immediately intrigued. I’m not one to read a lot of memoirs, but this one read almost like fiction and I flew through it. The writing is compelling and the family dynamics were like a train wreck you couldn’t stop watching. As I read I was equal parts shocked at Malabar’s behavior and appalled that Adrienne could be an accomplice to her mother’s inappropriate behavior. Brodeur also discussed the repercussions for the affair that she was coerced into covering up and how the lies affected her own relationships and emotional wellbeing as an adult, which I enjoyed hearing about. rating: 4.5 out of 5 ⭐️
WHAT HAPPENS IN PARADISE by Elin Hilderbrand | A year ago, Irene Steele had the shock of her life: her loving husband, father to their grown sons and successful businessman, was killed in a helicopter crash. But that wasn’t Irene’s only shattering news: he’d also been leading a double life on the island of St. John, where another woman loved him, too. Now Irene and her sons are back on St. John, determined to learn the truth about the mysterious life — and death — of a man they thought they knew. Along the way, they’re about to learn some surprising truths about their own lives, and their futures. review: This book is the second book in the Paradise series by Elin Hilderbrand. If you haven’t read Winter in Paradise yet, start there! Admittedly, I didn’t love the first book so my expectations for the second book were a bit low. Elin Hilderbrand is one of my favorite authors, so I was happy when book #2 was a hit for me! I love that with this book you’re getting a glimpse at the family relationships, that Elin is so well known for creating, as well a bit of mystery! I always appreciate that she creates flawed characters and authentic families in her books. I have spent time on St. John and Cannel Bay, so I really enjoyed knowing the locations and spots the characters frequent. This book ended on a cliffhanger & I’m not-so-patiently waiting for the third book in this series! rating: 4.5 out of 5 ⭐️
THE LAST WIDOW by Karin Slaughter | On a hot summer night, a scientist from the Centers for Disease Control is grabbed by unknown assailants in a shopping center parking lot. Vanished into thin air, the authorities are desperate to save the doctor. One month later, the serenity of a sunny Sunday afternoon is shattered by the boom of a ground-shaking blast—followed by another seconds later. One of Atlanta’s busiest and most important neighborhood’s has been bombed—the location of Emory University, two major hospitals, the FBI headquarters, and the CDC. Medical examiner Sara Linton and her partner Will Trent, an investigator with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, rush to the scene—and into the heart of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to destroy thousands of innocent lives. review: This is book #9 in the Will Trent series by Karin Slaughter and this book certainly disappoint! Karin Slaughter always delivers an action-packed book that will leave you on the edge of your seat. This book, like many of her others, draws you in by only giving the necessary information. She slowly provides other details and clues to keep you engaged until the final detail ties it all together. I found the events of this book to be incredibly timely and it actually scared me a bit! p.s. her books can work as stand alone as well! rating: 4.5 out of 5 ⭐️
IF ONLY I COULD TELL YOU by Hannah Beckerman | Audrey’s family has fallen apart. Her two grown-up daughters, Jess and Lily, are estranged, and her two teenage granddaughters have never been allowed to meet. A secret that echoes back thirty years has splintered the family in two, but is also the one thing keeping them connected. As tensions reach breaking point, the irrevocable choice that one of them made all those years ago is about to surface. After years of secrets and silence, how can one broken family find their way back to each other? review: I read this for my book club and y’all it was a doozy. I thought the book sounded compelling and the cover was designed so well, but this one fell flat for numerous reasons. First and foremost, I can’t give this review without mentioning the many triggers within this book – breast cancer, child with cancer, miscarriage (graphic), suicide (graphic), adultery, and estranged family relationships. These alone made the book incredibly hard to read for the sole fact that it was triggering and quite depressing. With that said, I thought the writing was compelling and the multiple perspectives of Audrey, Jess and Lily were complex and helpful in understanding the family dynamics. I also enjoyed the non-linear timeline – it gave a glimpse into other periods of their lives. I do wish there had been less sub-plots and overall less triggers, because the story had potential, but it wasn’t a book for me. rating: 2.5 out of 5 ⭐️