Hello again and welcome, or welcome back, to the Kissing Books newsletter! It’s been a week since we last spoke. Regardless of if you celebrated or observed any of the holidays, I hope that this past week wasn’t an overly stressful one for you.
This is always an interesting time of the year since we’re so close to the new year. I think a majority of us, based on how the last two years have gone, are understandably gun shy about vocalizing high hopes for 2023. However, it is also worth noting that you’ve only truly lost at something when you’ve completely given up hope. And, as small of a kernel as it may be, I still have some. I hope that, whatever challenges you’re facing or will be facing, that thought process helps you as well.
It’s time for Read Harder 2023! We’re going on nine years for this challenge and we love that we’re still able to help you push your reading limits! Click here to sign up to receive newsletter tailored for each prompt and recommendations for books to tackle all 24 tasks from some of our well-known Rioters.
If You Can Read This, Please Bring Me a Book socks by WineALittleGifts
After the hustle and bustle of family time, I’m sure we all feel this deep within our souls. Plus who doesn’t love a good pair for socks? I know that I have really begin to appreciate and collect socks in the last few years, which is funny since as a child I loathed wearing them. These come in five colors. $17+
Never Cross a Highlander by Lisa Rayne
Ailsa’s plans to escape enslavement are shattered at the arrival of Kallum, the infamous Dubh Mahoun or Black Devil. Unbeknownst to her and everyone else, Kallum uses this fearsome persona as a front to help free enslaved people. His secret identity is at risk of being exposed unless he accompanies Ailsa home. Which would be easier if she weren’t fighting him every step of the way and if there wasn’t an attraction brewing between them.
The Bookstore’s Secret by Makenna Lee
Nicole takes a job in the café at a local bookstore to help pass the time while waiting to hear about another job opportunity. Unbeknownst to her is that her boss is none other than her first crush, Liam. And, despite his avoidance of small town gossip and being set up, single dad Liam is finding himself very attracted to the widowed Nicole. Will he take a chance on romance again or continue to keep his walls up?
For a more comprehensive list, check out our New Books newsletter.
The two last recommendations I have for y’all this year are still some of my best of 2022, but these are the ones that surprised me with exactly how much I enjoyed them.
Now, I never go into a book expecting to hate it. Because honestly, if that was the case, I wouldn’t bother starting it. Worst case, I expect to not love it or just feel “meh” about it. But, having been let down in the past by highly anticipated or hyped books, I do temper my expectations to just enjoying the book and not regretting the hours spent reading it.
Following that train of thought, it stands to reason that there are some books that blow me away with how much I enjoyed them. I love those because then I can truly gush about a book when recommending it. And that’s why my recommendations today are two of of the books that pleasantly surprised me with how much I enjoyed them and why.
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna
Based on the elevator pitch for this one, I was expecting to at least moderately enjoy it. I didn’t expect to fall in love with everyone in this book — with the exception of the solicitor, of course — in a unique way. Found family is a big draw in a lot of genres, and it really shows here, as we get to watch Mika finally find a place and people who accept her for what she is and don’t have any nasty ulterior motives to keeping her in their lives. If you haven’t picked it up yet, be sure to do it soon, because it is amazing.
Two Wrongs Make a Right by Chloe Liese
I enjoyed this for multiple reasons. First, that it took a not quite as popular Shakespeare play and managed to update it quite nicely. Second, the couple in the book zodiac signs matched my spouse and I, even if he’s not a typical Capricorn. And third…it was just that good. I loved the banter and the slow burn between Jamie and Bea and how they eventually fell into love. It’s a great story and it leaves openings for at least two other books.
And that’s all for today. Again, it will be another week before you hear from me, due to the holiday observance on January 2nd. But after that, it will be back to two sends a week! In the meantime you can find my floating over on Twitter under @PScribe801. See y’all in the new year!