After a way-too-long break, I am back with a new book review! I am sharing my end of winter reading list. I have a hard time motivating myself to read when it’s cold outside. Admittedly, I love blowing the day off and sitting outside in the sun with a good book. End of winter reading is harder, since I am inside and reminded of all the chores/house stuff I could be doing instead.
Let’s jump right in!
End of Winter Reading
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder Series
I read the whole three book series in February, so I guess you could say I enjoyed it! The first book was what got me back into reading this season! A girlfriend was telling me about it, and let me borrow it. I was immediately hooked. Thankfully, she had all 3 books 😉
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder starts with a high school student working a school project, Pippa’s look into the media’s handling of a missing persons-turned murder case in a small town. It quickly spirals, and Pippa is basically a detective, solving what police couldn’t. There were so many twists, and Pip realizes she is putting herself in danger. As much as I wanted to, I failed to solve the case before Pip did, but that just made me like AGGGTM so much more!
As soon as I finished the first, I picked up the sequel: Good Girl, Bad Blood. I actually read the first on our way to Marco Island, though I wouldn’t classify this as a beach read! Since it’s a sequel, I was prepared to be underwhelmed – how could the author top the first? WELL. Pip’s project goes viral, and she starts a podcast, which also quickly goes viral. I mean, she’s a high school student who solved a murder case. In a world of true crime lovers, it’s not a surprise there. Good Girl, Bad Blood was full of twists and turns. Despite Pip’s vow to not put herself or her family in danger by solving another case, another case ends up at her feet. One she can’t walk away from.
I loved having all our favorite characters back in action. Once again, I did NOT see the end coming. Kudos to Holly Jackson for doing it again. Again, I was picking up As Good As Dead as soon as I finished the second book.
As Good As Dead started off really slowly, and I was originally thinking Jackson had finally run out of ideas for Pip… boy was I wrong! Pip had received a few “But who will look for you when you’re missing?” messages and tweets (referenced in the first and second books as well), and it quickly spirals into a potential stalker. Pip is noticing strange things, but with everything that happened to her in the last year, she’s struggling with some PTSD and doesn’t know if she can trust what she’s seeing or not.
I especially love how we came full circle here, without giving away the ending. We had solid closure on the series, but I found myself wishing I had just a few more pages! Whenever I finish a book and want more, it’s huge!
Keys to Love: Anchored Hearts
Anchored Hearts is the second book in the Keys to Love series by Priscilla Oliveras (read my review of the first book here). This is a second-chance love story, set in Key West. The story follows Anamaria and the Navarro family (who you cannot help but adore). While I felt like this started SO slowly, I did enjoy the book as a whole. There were several steamy parts throughout, but after reading the first book, that was almost expected 😉
Anamaria and her first (and only) serious boyfriend broke up years ago. He wanted to travel, to see the world. Ana had wanted the same, but chose her family and her island. She never truly got over him, and when Alejandro is seriously injured, he is forced to return to the island. This causes a TON of family drama, since he left on bad terms with his father and never returned.
I would say Anchored Hearts is the perfect beach read – I read it coming home from Marco Island, nearly cover-to-cover!! The characters are engaging, and I have NO background in Spanish, but Ay Dios Mio! I just loved the Latin American phrases that are used throughout. Those phrases just added so much color to the story, and I thought the way Oliveras “translates” them without taking away from the story was VERY well done.
Anchored Hearts pulled at every single heartstring I have, and I cannot wait for a third book — we need Luis to find love!!!!
The first page had me hooked in a “Verity” kind of way:
Now this, I did read cover-to-cover. I picked Reckless Girls up in the afternoon, and basically came up for air long enough to make and eat dinner, and then dove back in. I wouldn’t call this a top 10 book ever, but it was an easy, enjoyable read, and I found myself NEEDING to know how it ended.
When Lux McAllister and her boyfriend, Nico, are hired to sail two women to a remote island in the South Pacific, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. Lux loses her dead-end job at a resort in Hawaii, and longing to travel the world after a family tragedy, Lux is eager to climb on board The Susannah and set out on an adventure.
She’s also quick to bond with their passengers, college best friends Brittany and Amma. The two women say they want to travel off the beaten path. But like Lux, they may have other reasons to be seeking an escape. The island they chose is riddled with an intense and troubling past. As we read, it turns out EVERYONE is harboring secrets… some of them so dangerous, everyone might not make it off the island!
This book jumped timelines from “The Now”, “The Before”, and “The After” — kind of leaving breadcrumbs for the reader. Toward the last half of the bool, I put everything together, and did feel that the author gave a little too much away. That didn’t distract or take away from the story — I just prefer to be surprised by an ending!
Reckless Girls is classified as a thriller, but I wouldn’t call it that: ChickLit seems like a better genre fit. A page-turner, but not a nail-biter — but I still enjoyed it enough to make my end of winter reading list!
The Golden Couple
I mentioned above that I like when a book has me completely fooled, and The Golden Couple kept me guessing until the very end! This is one of my favorites on my end of winter reading list!
St Martin’s Press sent me an early release of The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, the #1 New York Times bestselling author duo behind You Are Not Alone, An Anonymous Girl, and The Wife Between Us. In this domestic thriller, Marissa cheats on her husband Matthew, and seeks out the help of Avery, former therapist who very recently lost her license due to her “unconventional” methods. She promises to fix their marriage in 10 sessions (You’re already intrigued, aren’t you? 😬).
The Golden Couple is told from both Marissa and Avery’s perspectives, and we quickly learn that perfection can be deceiving and that there are loooots of secrets being kept. I was immediately engrossed, and really liked the characters (despite their flaws 😬).
The Golden Couple was a page-turner!! I don’t think I came up for air once I hit Part 3. I just had to see how it ended, and I didn’t have any complaints at the ending (which is rare for me!).
Have you read any books on this end of winter reading list? Be sure to check out this book review post for a few more great titles, and another book by Rachel Hawkins!