Late as I wanna be. But I'm here, right?
For November, I did way too much, AGAIN! But it was so worth it to read some of the books I indulged in. Double digits, again. I read 14 books and 1 NTM (new to me) author. So, let's get into it, because I gots thangs to say!
First up was a book I had been anticipating for quite some time and is by one of my favorites. As a matter of fact, I own all but 1 of her books (in ebook format) and I'm only 3 books shy of completely finishing her catalog. Rilzy Adams took me through the fucking wringer with "Before We Fall"!!!!!!! OMG, my emotions were on a thousand reading that book. And I knew it was going to get that way by the comments she made about her own emotions while writing it.
I tell people all the time, I'm not one to write reviews on GoodReads and Amazon for a book unless I'm compelled to do so. I will rate and keep it pushing. I HAD to write one for this book when I finished it. If you are interested in what I had to say, check it out here. I literally had to take breaks while reading the book because of how much it took out of me. I'm a naturally emotional person. Hell, I'm a Cancer. But when I tell you I understand why it took Rilzy so long to complete this book, I GET IT. Sis did her damn thing in that book. And she didn't skimp on the raw and difficult parts either. But that's why I love her books so much. Because she knows how to write a fucking book. I will say, though, if you can't deal with topics of domestic violence and the like, this might not be the one for you. It's a great read if you need a tool to give you the hope that you can overcome your own situation (in my opinion) though.
After that heart wringer, I dove into another of my favorites that I have been going h.a.m. on since January, CCJ. I've talked about her more than once. Well, I got back into the order that I originally started in reading her books in. So, I read her Friends and Lovers series, which was a 2 book situation. Book 1 started as a "he's my sneaky link, I'm smashing my best friend's brother" ordeal but turned into an "I'm pushing you away for your own good" thing. Not gonna lie, I was ready to bop the heroine in the head multiple times in the book. Then, I was ready to stomp a mudhole in the woman the hero was with for being a trash ass woman and blaming it on someone else. Let's just say, I HATE people like her. But I loved every bit of the book though. Book 2 wasn't a creeping kind of vibe but it was just as lighthearted as the first one. Which I needed after the first book I read for the month. Neither are ones I would run to read repeatedly like some of CCJ's other books, but they were still enjoyable reads nonetheless and I wouldn't mind seeing them in other books as recurring characters, which she's known to have. I'm not even halfway through her catalog so I wouldn't be surprised if they already are.
Next was the beginning of a series by a NTM author, Stephanie Nicole Norris, who I've heard so much about that I felt like I'd read one of her books before. It's probably because I've read plenty of samples of her work. So, let me preface my thoughts by saying, I have enjoyed many of the samples of her books before I've read any full-length project by her. However, the first book of the Lunch Break Series got a 2 out of 5 stars to me. And the only reason I didn't give her a 1 star rating for it is I was actually enjoying the first part of the book.
To be honest, I'm glad I got the book for free. The plot lines of the book were all over the place and a lot didn't add up for me. I started out giving the book 4 stars, but the more I sat with my thoughts about it, the lower the rating went. I'm all for a second chance romance, but for this to be written during the author's, AT LEAST, 6th book of writing, if felt like such a novice project. I was disappointed since I know she can actually write and I prayed the rest of the 7-book series was better since I had all 7 books.
Thankfully, the rest of them were not as bad as the 1st one. They got a mix between 3s, 4s, and 5s in star ratings. I think only one got a 5, but I didn't feel like I wasted my time on them like I did with the first. I've come to realize after reading the series and reviews from other readers that SNN is a hit and miss type of author. I've heard great things by some of my reader friends about other series that she has. So, she's gonna stay on the TBR. We're just gonna be cautious about how high we set the expectations on them.
Between reading the Lunch Break Series, my boo Kema B. dropped the much anticipated "What You've Been Missing" novel that had me screaming at my phone, iPad, or Mac screen (depending on which one I was on at the time) throughout the entire book. This was another book I HAD to write a review for. Baby, Raymond Sosa Pierre was EVERYTHING. I'm more of a caramel/butterscotch flavored man lover, but that hunk of chocolate could get it any day of the week... and 3 times on Sunday because BAYBEE!!!!!! He understood the muthafucking assignment.
I told Kema Ray, Raymond, and Sosa could get, on GAWD! I loved the way he loved India. Especially after her trash ass, ain't shit "baby daddy" (and I despise that title) did and said the things he did. I can't wait to see what karma comes back on his ass AND the bottom feeding tramp he was with. Both of them are irredeemable characters. But, off those scum buppies from the bottom of the earth... Kema is NASTY!!!!!!! The amount of times India and Ray... Raymond... or Sosa (depending on how filthy they wanted to get) got down with the get down, I was surprised sis wasn't pregnant by the end of the book. GEEZ! Now this one, I probably will read more than once... or twice. lol
Once I finished that delicious book and completed the rest of the Lunch Break series, I was presented with what I can honestly say was the best series I devoured the entire year. It was a gift that we didn't know we were going to get until it landed on or social media screens. Three of the authors we have been dying to have a book collar from came in and collected all my lil coins for an immaculately curated Thanksgiving novelette series called The Fiennes (pronounced Fine) Family.
Alexandra Warren, Christin C. Jones (CCJ) and Nicole Falls did the damn thing with those three "mediums" as Nicole called them. Although I can't really choose which bruzzin is my favorite, I think Nico was the one that caught my heart with his backstory. But the opening of Alexandra's "No, Thank You" took the pound cake, top of the Christmas tree, and sparked the fireworks. I was like, so this is how we starting this thing off. Oh, OKAY THEN! And I was all the way there for it.
The ladies never made a promise that the three couples would have a part two or make our acquaintance again. However, I'm holding out hope that they come around again. They were some FINE men. So, that's how I ended my November reading list. What a ride it was too.
As always, I hope that my list sparks your interest and you decide to indulge it one or more, or all, of the books list below. Happy Reading: