My trial is over so y’all will never have to read another KU mini review/wrap up post from me again!! Thank you for all your support on these mini reviews!
All in all I read 15 Kindle books and DNF’d seven during a two month trial all bc I wanted to read one book so I think it was worth it. I do not plan on subscribing to KU in the near future, but maybe one I finish my entire TBR haha
The Player Next Door by K.A. Tucker
The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker is one of my favorite books of all time. Read my full review here. See a cover recreation I did for TSW here. But, I have been a bit more lukewarm towards the other books I have read by her. I enjoy her books, but they do not stand out to me like TSW does. I was excited to read The Player Next Door and was really excited that KU had it. Overall, it was okay. I liked the whole “guy next door” trope. Honestly cannot say much without spoilers, but if you are fine with drama and almost excessive small-town drama then you might enjoy this one. Also, it is “hate to love” but the “hate” is gone super quick. I will say if Tucker writes a book about the best friend then I would definitely be interested in reading that. 3/5 stars
The Kingmaker by Kenndy Ryan
HOW COME NO ONE HAS TOLD ME HOW GOOD KENNEDY RYAN IS? This book was so good? I low key hate the cover because I thought we had a completely different story coming our way! We follow Lennix Hunter, who is a member of Yavapai-Apache nation and an activist and Maxim Cade who at the beginning is studying for a masters in Climate Science. They meet a a protest for a pipeline that would disrupt the reservation and Maxim “forgets” to tell her that it his dad’s company laying the pipeline. But, its okay because he does not agree with his dad. We then follow the next 14 (!!!) years of their lives and their chance encounters. IT IS SO GOOD. We have discussions on environmental racism, the disproportional rates of indigenous women who go missing, white/financial privledges, and more. Plus a swoony romance. THERE IS NOTHING I LOVE MORE THAN A POLITICAL ROMANCE plus this is written by a Black woman?? Love to see it. Anyways. There is a cliff hanger so brb got to read book two.
My only critcique is that I did not love some of the poltical ideas explored in the novel (the more politically netural ideas), but won’t say more bc spoilers. Also, Maxim gets a tad too possessive and stalkery for my liking.
*I am not an indigenous woman so I cannot speak to the accuracy of the representation in the novel. See the author’s note for more. 4.5/5 stars
Hands Down by Mariana Zapata
Look I toyed with making a full review for this one bc I love QUEEN MZ. But, honestly I don’t have a ton to say about this one except if you like Mariana Zapata, you’ll like this book. Her books are just fun and feel a bit different than most romance novels (maybe bc the slowburn is sooooo slow (I mean seriously they don’t kiss until like 92% lol)). But, I was so happy reading this book. Her last two releases have been enjoyable but not like favorites and idk where this one will end up landing, but I really enjoyed my time reading it. I LOL’d, I smiled, I almost teared up….what more do you want from a romance novel? This novel follows Zac who is introduced in The Wall of Winnipeg and Bianca from The Best Thing, but you can read this one without reading those. I don’t want to say too much because going into an MZ novel blind is my favorite thing. I would say if you are new to her don’t start with this one, but I do recommend it.
OH JASMINE AND IVAN FROM FROM LUKOV WITH LOVE CAMEO AND I ALMOST DIED 4.5/5 stars
Welcome to ghost town by Gretchen Gomez
I have been wanting to read something by Gretchen Gomez for years and am glad I finally got to read some of her poetry. Her poems are a bit longer than I like, but I did like how the book was structured. Each poem discusses different people from her life. I liked the overarching metaphors and how she listed trigger warnings before each poem. No rating because I do not like rating people’s person stories. Overall, if you like sad poems check it out.
The cover is stunning though, like omg.
The Wall of Winnipeg & Me by Mariana Zapata After I finished Hands Down I needed to read this one.
This may have been my third time reading this massive novel. I missed Aiden and Vanessa so much and their love story is one of my favorites. Here is Bree’s full review. I am just obsessed with this sports romance and it is definitely one of MZ’s best and one of the best romances I’ve ever read. FYI is super slow burn like all of MZ’s and its hella long, but you’ll get invested in the story and the characters and it will go by too quickly. Knowing nothing about the plot for this one is the way to go into it. But, if you’re new to romance or MZ this is a good one to start with! 5/5 stars
Rebel King by Kennedy Ryan
So I adored book one, but book two is all about Lennix and Maxim trying to figure out how to be a couple for the first like 30% which is not my favorite thing to read about. I only picked this one up because I loved book one so much and because it ended on a cliffhanger. AKA I wanted to know what happened. Spoiler: it is resolved super quick. It is also way to steamy for me and has too many sex scenes. But, the non romance plot was mostly so good. I love election plot lines and this one was very entertaining to read, but it took a turn I did not love. I liked book one a lot more than this one. I already am not typically a fan of direct sequels with romance as I am not a huge fan of characters figuring out how their relationship is going to work & all that jazz.
This one started rough with me and I eventually liked parts of it, but I did not enjoy the main plots. The campaign plot was done v well, but then a twist came and I was not a fan and it was just overall predictable and kind of annoying. I can’t really talk about my issues with this one without talking about spoilers. I will say that I loved Lennix as a character and wish the plot was a bit more focused on her and Kimba’s business rather than the romance (lol this is a romance novel, but like I don’t need like 10 sex scenes)
That being said, Kennedy Ryan is a very talented author and I cannot wait to read more from her. 3/5 stars
TW: character death, PTSD
Thanks for reading!