05 June 2019

What I'm Reading Wednesday {May Reads}

Hey y'all,

I cannot believe it is already June! We are almost halfway done with 2019. Crazy! May was a busy reading month as tv shows wrapped up and some of my weekly events take a break for the summer. I am officially at 33/65 books read for the year.

The Girl He Used to Know

Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people's behavior confusing, she'd rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.
Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game--and his heart--to the shy and awkward, yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone.
Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She's living the life she wanted as a librarian. He's a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start. The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.

I love a good chic lit book and this one included a realistic relationship between Annika & Jonathan in both the past and present. The struggles the deal with are not unbelievable. Annika is not your typical romance heroine and I loved that fact. I don't want to spoil too much about the book but if you need a quick read this summer I would pick it up. Also, yay for more representation in romance for all types of people. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars. 

Thief of Shadows - Maiden Lane #4

Winter Makepeace lives a double life. By day he's the stoic headmaster of a home for foundling children. But the night brings out a darker side of Winter. As the moon rises, so does the Ghost of St. Giles-protector, judge, fugitive. When the Ghost, beaten and wounded, is rescued by a beautiful aristocrat, Winter has no idea that his two worlds are about to collide.
Lady Isabel Beckinhall enjoys nothing more than a challenge. Yet when she's asked to tutor the Home's dour manager in the ways of society-flirtation, double-entendres, and scandalous liaisons-Isabel can't help wondering why his eyes seem so familiar-and his lips so tempting.
During the day Isabel and Winter engage in a battle of wills. At night their passions are revealed.... But when little girls start disappearing from St. Giles, Winter must avenge them. For that he might have to sacrifice everything-the Home, Isabel...and his life. 

I started the Maiden Lane series back in March with book #6 on accident and here is book #4. Winter was revealed to be one of the Ghosts of St. Giles back in the first Maiden Lane book. I loved Isabel's character. She is a strong widow who charts her own course in society. I also loved that Hoyt includes an adoption storyline as the home for the foundling children is so important to this family. 3/5 stars

Lord of Darkness - Maiden Lane #5

Lord of Darkness (Maiden Lane, #5)Lady Margaret Reading has vowed to kill the Ghost of St. Giles—the man who murdered her one true love. Returning to London, and to the man, she hasn't seen since their wedding day, Margaret does not recognize the man behind the mask. Fierce, commanding, and dangerous, the notorious Ghost of St. Giles is everything she feared he would be—and so much more.
He lives in the shadows. As the mysterious masked avenger known as the Ghost of St. Giles, Godric St. John's only goal is to protect the innocent of London. Until the night he confronts a fearless young lady pointing a pistol at his head—and realizes she is his wife.
When passion flares, these two intimate strangers can't keep from revealing more of themselves than they had ever planned. But when Margaret learns the truth—that the Ghost is her husband—the game is up and the players must surrender...to the temptation that could destroy them both. 

This was not one of my favorites in the Maiden Lane series and I believe that comes from knowing more about the characters having read book #6 first. It was still a good quick read and delved more into who the Ghosts of St. Giles are and the fight against the gin distilleries and other crimes in the St. Giles section of London. 2.5/5 stars.

Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine - audiobook

No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine. 
Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. 
But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Similar to the Girl He Used to Know, this is another fiction novel that focuses on a woman who is not your typical heroine. Eleanor learns the power of friendship, asking for help, and living life rather than existing. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5. 

The Silent Patient - audiobook

Falsely accused of murder and mute from a near-fatal beating, Apollo Greaves, Viscount Kilbourne has escaped from Bedlam. With the Crown's soldiers at his heels, he finds refuge in the ruins of a pleasure garden, toiling as a simple gardener. But when a vivacious young woman moves in, he's quickly driven to distraction . . . 
Alicia Berenson writes a diary as a release, an outlet – and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can’t bear the thought of worrying Gabriel or causing him pain.
Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word.
Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia’s silence goes far deeper than he first thought.
And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth?

I love a good mystery and the Silent Patient is filled with you attempting to figure out what really happened in the Berenson home the night of Gabriel's murder. While I was a bit disappointed in the outcome and predicted a few of the major twists I still really enjoyed the novel and the concept. What happens when you do not speak to defend yourself? 4/5 stars.

Darling Beast - Maiden Lane #7

London's premier actress, Lily Stump, is down on her luck when she's forced to move into a scorched theatre with her maid and small son. But she and her tiny family aren't the only inhabitants-a silent, hulking beast of a man also calls the charred ruins home. Yet when she catches him reading her plays, Lily realizes there's more to this man than meets the eye.
Though scorching passion draws them together, Apollo knows that Lily is keeping secrets. When his past catches up with him, he's forced to make a choice: his love for Lily . . . or the explosive truth that will set him free. 

I'm finally caught up with the Maiden Lane books. Back in  March I accidentally read book 6 of the Maiden Lane series. I then went back and started at book one and I am finally on book 7 and the characters I have been wondering about are back. I have been wanting to learn more about Apollo after reading his twin sister's story (book #6) and to solve the mystery of who actually committed the murders he was accused of.  3/5 stars.

Dearest Rogue - Maiden Lane #8

Lady Phoebe Batten is pretty, vivacious, and yearning for a social life befitting the sister of a powerful duke. But because she is almost completely blind, her overprotective brother insists that she have an armed bodyguard by her side at all times-the very irritating Captain Trevillion.
Captain James Trevillion is proud, brooding, and cursed with a leg injury from his service in the King's dragoons. Yet he can still shoot and ride like the devil, so watching over the distracting Lady Phoebe should be no problem at all until she's targeted by kidnappers.
Caught in a deadly web of deceit, James must risk life and limb to save his charge from the lowest of cads-one who would force Lady Phoebe into a loveless marriage. But while they're confined to close quarters for her safekeeping, Phoebe begins to see the tender man beneath the soldier's hard exterior...and the possibility of a life-and love-she never imagined possible. 

I love Pheobe as a character and I'm so glad to see her in her own role. Since the start of the series, her loss of eyesight has been discussed and I enjoyed the independent nature she grows to have. When everyone is dictating your life to protect you, you feel like you are a caged bird. I also enjoyed the mystery of discovering who was behind the kidnapping in the novel. 3.5/5 stars.

Sweetest Scoundrel - Maiden Lane #9

Prim, proper, and thrifty, Eve Dinwoody is all business when it comes to protecting her brother's investment. But when she agrees to control the purse strings of London's premier pleasure garden, Harte's Folly, she finds herself butting heads with an infuriating scoundrel who can't be controlled.
Bawdy and bold, Asa Makepeace doesn't have time for a penny-pinching prude like Eve. As the garden's larger-than-life owner, he's already dealing with self-centered sopranos and temperamental tenors. He's not about to let an aristocratic woman boss him around . . . no matter how enticing she is.
In spite of her lack of theatrical experience-and her fiery clashes with Asa-Eve is determined to turn Harte's Folly into a smashing success. But the harder she tries to manage the stubborn rake, the harder it is to ignore his seductive charm and raw magnetism. 

Asa Makepeace made his first appearance in book #1 of the series so it's interesting to see how all the characters tie together. Now all the Makepeace children have spouses so I'm excited to focus on some new characters for the last three books in the series. I wasn't expecting to like Eve's character in the novel due to her connections to some villains in previous stories but I loved Hoyt's way to weave in a character's past. Eve's horrific abuse in the past plays a role in her willingness to be open to others and a potential relationship. 3/5 stars.

Whew that was a lot of books this month!

Linking up with Jana and Steph.

What have you been reading?

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  1. The Girl He Used to Know is up next on my shelf! I can't wait to read it!

  2. I really enjoyed eleanor oliphant as well. It was darker than I expected but pretty good.

    I just got a copy of the silent patient so Im excited to get to it

  3. Omg, your cat is adorable. Okay, back to the books. LOL I really want to read The Silent Patient, so I'm glad you liked that one.


  4. I really liked Eleanor Oliphant and love The Girl He Used to Know.

  5. Justed requested The Girl He Used to Know - even if the story didn't sound as good as it does I think I would have grabbed it simply because of the placement - UofI and Chicago, haha!

  6. I loved The Girl He Used To Know and I have Eleanor on my list.

  7. i really liked eleanor oliphant! i read the girl he used to know during a hard time in my life and when she goes through something similar it was too hard to read, but i needed the distraction so i kept reading it but i think it tainted how i felt. i've never read an elizabeth hoyt book i don't think, though i own several. one day!

  8. I love your cat! My cat Max loves snuggling next to me when I read or rubbing against the book while I read (more annoying but I allow it because I spoil him). I loved Eleanor. It wasn't what I expected but it was terrific. I also enjoyed The Silent Patient.

  9. I'm glad you liked The Girl He Used to Know. It sounded like one I'd love, but I always get nervous that it's not going to live up to my expectations.

  10. I loved Eleanor but was unprepared for how dark it was. Didn't make me like it less. I just wish I had known. Or maybe not. Maybe not knowing is why I liked it so much.

  11. I couldn't put down "the girl he use to know" it was very good!

  12. I liked The Girl He Used to Know! :) I have the first Maiden Lane book on my TBR! Here from SUYB. :) XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things


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