Tag: Holly Says

2019 Reading Goals

Posted January 17, 2019 by Holly in Discussions | 4 Comments

This year we’re all setting reading goals. We’re all participating in Super Wendy’s TBR Challenge, and we plan to bring back our Summer Reading Challenge this year. Below are our personal reading goals.

I try not to overwhelm myself with reading goals. If I set too many I can’t keep up with, I start getting reading anxiety and it becomes a chore to read at all.

Read at least 200 books

Every year I join the Goodreads Reading Challenge and set my goal at 200 books. I’m not going to change the number this year, but I hope to read 250. I came close in 2018. So fingers crossed.

Read more diverse books

I’d like to focus more on reading diverse romances. I’ve already started a list. I’m not going to set a number goal for this, but I am going to make it a priority.

Read more historical romance

I’ve been on a historical hiatus for the past year or so. With few exceptions, I avoid the sub-genre entirely. I’d like to get my historical mojo back. For now I’m going to try to read at least 1 historical per month.

Read more new-to-me authors

This year I want to read more new-to-me authors. My goal is at least 5 per month. I’m a little nervous about this goal, because I tend to be a reader of habit, always sticking with authors I know and love, and re-reading a lot.

Read more books from Kindle Unlimited and the Audible Romance Package

The Audible Romance Package is just $6.95/mo if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber or Audible Gold or Platinum member ($14.95 if not). As with KU, if you have the Audible Romance Package you can listen to an unlimited number of audiobooks from the ARP catalog for one set price, up to 6 at a time. They have thousands of romance audiobooks available. Audiobooks can be expensive, so this is a much more budget friendly way of listening. I definitely want to take better advantage of the program in 2019. The same with Kindle Unlimited. I only just subscribed to KU in March of 2018 and I definitely didn’t read enough KU books to justify the cost.

Read more from – and better organize – my TBR Pile

Let’s face it, I’m a book hoarder. Digital reading has made things worse, because I don’t see the stacks of book sitting around. I’d like to organize my digital TBR pile this year and start culling it down. I’d like to read at least 2 TBR books per month.

Review More

I’m going to try to review every book I read in 2019. I’m not going to include re-reads in that, unless I’m re-reading a book I haven’t ever reviewed. I read so much, I often struggle to get all my books reviewed. Hopefully I can change that this year.


Reading goals make me antsy. It’s just a fact. When I think I’m not meeting a goal, I tend to just quit altogether. It’s kind of like me and exercise. But that’s another story. This year, I have decided to set reasonable goals for myself.

Read at least 100 books

I always join the Goodreads Reading Challenge and this year is no different. I didn’t meet my goal last year I was surprised at how disappointed I was in myself. How hard is it to read 75 books? 2018 wasn’t my reading year. 2019? A new me!

Listen to more audiobooks

It was late last year that Holly introduced me to the wonderful world of audiobooks. Honestly, I had no idea what I was missing. I had listened to an audiobook here and there that I checked out from the library, but really. Audible has opened up a new world for me. A world that I adore.

Read more books from Kindle Unlimited

I subscribed to Kindle Unlimited for one reason. To get the Audible Romance Package for $6.95. Don’t judge. I have found a few good books through KU. This year, I am determined to give KU more of my time. Just because they’re books through KU doesn’t mean that they’re bad. Honestly, I have no idea how I got that idea in my head.

Read more New-to-Me Authors

I only read ten (10!) new-to-me authors in 2018. That is crazy talk. Just crazy. I don’t even think my new author “kick” started until July. I’m ashamed. I tend to get into a comfort zone. Then I don’t leave it. I’ve already read two new-to-me authors so far this year and I’m determined to make it more this year.

Read more

What I really want to do more this year is to just read. I just want to take the time to sit down and read. Yes, I want to listen to more audiobooks, but I miss just being able to sit down for two hours and read. That’s one of my goals this year.

Review every book

Yes, you read that correctly. This year my goal is to review every since book that I read and/or listen to. I did pretty good last year since I read so few books. I remember a time when reviewing didn’t overwhelm me or feel like a chore. I started to feel that feeling again late last year. The feeling of enjoyment in writing a review. I’m hoping that feeling will continue.


I already wrote up my personal goals for the year on my personal blog so if you guys want to catch that, you can click on over and check it out for yourselves.


What are your 2019 reading goals? Tell us in the comments.

Tagged: , , , , , , ,

2018 Reading Year in Review: Holly

Posted January 16, 2019 by Holly in Features | 5 Comments

I track all my reading on Goodreads. I set up shelves for the info I want to track. When I finish a book, I add it to the relevant shelves and bam, done.

I may try to keep a more detailed log this year, but we’ll see if that lasts. I’m pretty lazy when it comes to tracking, and Goodreads makes it pretty easy.

2018 was a pretty good reading year for me. I set a Goodreads reading goal of 200 Books in 2018, which I managed to meet in November. I include new-to-me and re-reads in that, as well as DNF’s if I read at least half the book before quitting. I averaged about 18 books per month. I also set a personal goal to read more new-to-me authors. I tend to get into a funk and read a lot of the same authors. I didn’t do quite as well with that as I’d have liked, but I did a lot better than the previous two years.

Quick Stats for the Year

Books Read: 220 | Books DNF’d: 7 | Books Re-Read: 102
eARCs Read: 55 | Books Reviewed: 76 | Average Monthly Books Read: 18
 Audiobooks: 110 | Pages Read: 66,403 | New to Me Authors: 39

The Breakdown

By Month

I tried 39 new-to-me authors. Of those, I went on to read multiple books by Anne Bishop, Molly Harper, J.T. Geissinger, Lauren Blakely and Lorraine Heath. I DNF’d 7 books. Which isn’t too bad, considering how many I read throughout the year. I averaged about 18 books per month.

By Genre

I read a lot of UF/F in 2018. I took a long break from UF, so I had a lot of great series to catch up on. Contemporary remains my favorite sub-genre, but I’m determined to read more historicals in 2019. I really like Sci-Fi, but I rarely read it. I need to work on that. Romantic Suspense remains the bain of my existence. I doubt I’ll ever come to love it.

By Format

  • Hardcover (0)
  • Paperback (0)
  • Audio (110)
  • eBook (100)

I’ll be honest, I didn’t start keeping track of format until late in the year. I kept track of how many audiobooks I listened to, but otherwise didn’t pay attention. I know I didn’t read any hardcovers this year, but it’s possible I read a couple paperbacks. I just don’t remember which ones or how many. Generally speaking, I only read in digital or listen to audiobooks, and audiobooks are new for me. I plan to keep better track in the coming year of eArc vs Purchase, so I may track format better as well.

Monthly Breakdown


Books Reviewed

Books Read

A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Pretty Girls Dancing by Kylie Brant
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor
Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor
Happiness for Humans by P.Z. Reizin
Beyond Scandal and Desire by Lorraine Heath
Honor’s Splendour by Julie Garwood
The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen
The Gamble by Kristen Ashley
The Wedding by Julie Garwood
The Secret by Julie Garwood
The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan
Guardian Angel by Julie Garwood
Brooklynaire by Sarina Bowen

Favorite and Least Favorite

My favorite read of the month was probably Pretty Girls Dancing by Kylie Brant. It wasn’t a romance, but I enjoyed the ebb and flow of the story. I also really enjoyed Brooklynaire by Sarina BowenA Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet and the Binti series by Nnedi Okorafor. My least favorite read was Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet. That book was a hot mess.


Books Reviewed

Books Read

Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas
Written in Red by Anne Bishop
Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop
Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop
Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop
Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop
Lake Silence by Anne Bishop
Natural Witch by K.F. Breene
Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews
One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews
White Hot by Ilona Andrews
Saving Grace by Julie Garwood
Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
Rough Ride by Kristen Ashley

Favorite and Least Favorite

My favorite reads of the month were the Anne Bishop books. I’m not sure I have a favorite from the series, so I’m just including them all. Hello Stranger was also wonderful. I adored Ethan.

My least favorite was Rough Ride by Kristen Ashley. I liked Snapper, but overall the novella was slow moving and kind of boring. It wasn’t a bad read, it just didn’t hold up against the other books I read this month.


Books Reviewed

Books Read

The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard
Dark Desires by Eve Silver
Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt
Complicated by Kristen Ashley
Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley
For You by Kristen Ashley
On the Edge by Ilona Andrews
Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews
Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon by Kerrelyn Sparks
Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken
Flames and Chains by G.A. Aiken
About a Dragon by G.A. Aiken

Favorite and Least Favorite

My favorite read of the month was Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken, with Duke of Sin a close second. My least favorite was Flames and Chains, a short story included with Dragon Actually. It was originally written for her newsletter and it showed. I also really struggled with the audiobook of Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley. That was horrible. I love that book like whoa, but the audio was junk.


Books Reviewed

Books Read

Dragon’s Oath by Sophie Stern
Snowfall and Secrets by Kimberly Loth
Natural Mage by K.F. Breene
Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid
Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
White Hot by Ilona Andrews
Prince in Leather by Holley Trent
The Hellion by Christi Caldwell
Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Sweep in Peace
One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Hour of Need by Melinda Leigh
Ocean Light by Nalini Singh
Crimes Against Magic by Steve McHugh

Favorite and Least Favorite

My favorite read of the month was Natural Mage by K.F. Breene. I’m really loving that series. My Least favorite was probably Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid. I didn’t hate the book, but I had high expectations based on recommendations from those in my trust circle and it didn’t live up to them.


Books Reviewed

Books Read

Planet Dragos by Thea Harrison
The Hookup by Erin McCarthy
Rock Chick Reborn by Kristne Ashley
Not Quite Crazy by Catherine Bybee
Burn for You by J.T. Geissinger
Melt for You by J.T. Geissinger
Chosen by K.F. Breene
Hunted by K.F. Breene
Shadow Lands by K.F. Breene
Invasion by K.F. Breene
Siege by K.F. Breene
Overtaken by K.F. Breene
Overtaken: Bonus Epilogue by K.F. Breene
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews
Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews
Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley
Diamond Bay by Linda Howard
White Lies by Linda Howard

Favorite and Least Favorite

My favorite read of the month was Burn for You by J.T. Geissinger. It’s a modern-day Beauty and the Beast retelling. I ended up reading it 3 times it was so good. My least favorite read was Rock Chick Reborn by Kristen Ashley. I was so looking forward to Shirleen’s story, but she acted so unlike herself it killed the story for me.


Books Reviewed

Books Read

A Questionable Client by Ilona Andrews
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Curran POV Collection: Unicorn Lane by Ilona Andrews
Curran POV Collection: Fernandos by Ilona Andrews
Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews
Curran POV Collection: Soup by Ilona Andrews
Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews
Curran POV Collection: Midnight Games by Ilona Andrews
Curran POV Collection: Hot Tub by Ilona Andrews
Magic Mourns by Ilona Andrews
Curran POV Collection: Kate’s Origin by Ilona Andrews
Curran POV Collection: Naked Dinner by Ilona Andrews
Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
Curran POV Collection: Conclave by Ilona Andrews
Curran POV Collection: Awake by Ilona Andrews
Magic Dreams by Ilona Andrews
Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews
Magic Gifts by Ilona Andrews
Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews
Retribution Clause by Ilona Andrews
An Ill-Advised Rescue by Ilona Andrews
Curran Twitter, The Wilson Building by Ilona Andrews
Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews
Dabwaha, Curran Twitter by Ilona Andrews
Magic Steals by Ilona Andrews
Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews
Magic Stars by Ilona Andrews
Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews
In Bed with a Highlander by Maya Banks
Seduction of a Highland Lass by Maya Banks
Never Love a Highlander by Maya Banks
The Kingpin of Camelot by Cassandra Gannon
Giving Chase by Lauren Dane
Taking Chase by Lauren Dane
Shadow’s Edge by J.T. Geissinger
Edge of Oblivion by J.T. Geissinger
Hot Single Dad by Claire Kingsley
Her Best Friend by Claire Kingsley

Favorite and Least Favorite

My favorite non-reread of the month was probably Hot Single Dad by Claire Kingsley. There were some issues, but overall it was a cute read. My least favorite was Shadow’s Edge by J.T. Geissinger. I kept anticipating some major event to happen, and it never came to be. I enjoyed book 2 quite a bit more.


Books Reviewed

Books Read

Wild Like the Wind by Kristen Ashley
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
The Trouble with Love by Lauren Layne
Midnight Valentine by J.T. Geissinger
Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews
Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews
White Hot by Ilona Andrews
Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh

Favorite and Least Favorite

My favorite read of the month was The Kiss Quotient. I really loved the reverse Pretty Woman storyline and both the hero and heroine. My least favorite was Midnight Valentine by J.T. Geissinger. It started out really strong but went downhill at the end.


Books Reviewed

Books Read

Complicated by Kristen Ashley
The Secret (Highland Lairds #1) by Julie Garwood
Saving Grace by Julie Garwood
Ransom (Highland Lairds #2) by Julie Garwood
Herons Landing (Honeymoon Harbor #1) by JoAnn Ross
Snowfall on Lighthouse Lane (Honeymoon Harbor #2) by JoAnn Ross
When a Duke Loves a Woman (Sins for All Seasons #2) by Lorraine Heath
Lumberjack Werebear (Saw Bears #1) by T.S. Joyce
Wanderlust by Lauren Blakely
The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo (Victorian Rebels #6) by Kerrigan Byrne
The Bourbon Kings (The Bourbon Kings #1) by J.R. Ward
The Hookup (Game On #1) by Kristen Callihan
The Chase (Briar U #1) by Elle Kennedy
The Time in Between (Magdalene #3) by Kristen Ashley
Play it Safe by Kristen Ashley
Duke Most Wanted (Heiress Brides #3) by Celeste Bradley
Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels #10) by Ilona Andrews
Wild Like the Wind (Chaos #5) by Kristen Ashley
Getting Schooled (Getting Some #1) by Emma Chase

Favorite and Least Favorite

My favorite read of the month was a tie between Getting Schooled by Emma Chase and When a Duke Loves a Woman by Lorraine HeathWanderlust by Lauren Blakely gets an honorable mention. I loved the story, but Richard Armitage as narrator really put it over the top. That might actually be my favorite. Or maybe just my favorite audiobook. My least favorite was The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward. I know I DNF’d it, but trust me, it was bad.


Books Reviewed

Books Read

Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven
Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks
Hot Dad by Whitley Cox
Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone
The Lion’s Lady by Julie Garwood
Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs
The Only One by Lauren Blakely
Trophy Husband by Lauren Blakely
Light My Fire by Christie Ridgway
Feral Magic by Robin D. Owens
Fairytale Come Alive by Kristen Ashley
Touch the Sky by Kari Cole
The Sexy One by Lauren Blakely
For the Love of English by A.M. Hargrove
Part-Time Lover by Lauren Blakely
The Seduction of Elliot McBride by Jennifer Ashley
The Will by Kristen Ashley
Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Lover by Jennifer Ashley
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley
Satisfaction by Lexi Blake
Complicated by Kristen Ashley
Getting Schooled by Emma Chase
Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs
Wild Hunger by Chloe Neill
Nights with Him by Lauren Blakely
The Hot One by Lauren Blakely

Favorite and Least Favorite

My favorite read of the month was Part-Time Lover by Lauren Blakely, with an honorable mention to Getting Schooled by Emma Chase. I also really liked Phoenix Unbound, but the beginning was a little slow. My least favorite read was Hot Dad by Whitley Cox. That book was a mess from start to finish.


Books Reviewed

Books Read

Fantastical by Kristen Ashley
Broken Dove by Kristen Ashley
Midnight Soul by Kristen Ashley
Soaring by Kristen Ashley
How to Date Your Dragon by Molly Harper
Love and Other Wild Things by Molly Harper
Lionheart by Thea Harrison
The Scribe by Elizabeth Hunter
The Singer by Elizabeth Hunter
Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh
Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini Singh
Shadow and Ice by Gena Showalter
Speakeasy by Sarina Bowen
If He’s Daring by Hannah Howell
Steadfast by Sarina Bowen
Once Upon a Sure Thing by Lauren Blakely
On the Surface by Kate Willoughby
Red Wolf by Jennifer Ashley
Natural Dual-Mage by K.F. Breene

Favorite and Least Favorite

My favorite reads of the month were Lionheart by Thea Harrison and Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini Singh. I’m still not recovered from AP. I need the next book SO BAD! My least favorite reads were The Scribe and The Singer (which I DNF’d) by Elizabeth Hunter. The premise was really interesting, but I’m annoyed The Scribe ended in a cliffhanger and The Singer was basically just a recap of The Scribe for the 35% I read.


Books Reviewed

Books Read

One More Time by Laurelin Page
Goddess with a Blade
Royally Hung by Anne Marsh
Coming Undone by Lauren Dane
Ache for You by J.T. Geissinger
Sin and Chocolate by K.F. Breene
Ain’t She a Peach by Molly Harper
Save a Truck, Ride a Redneck by Molly Harper
Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper
The Christmas Cottage by Samantha Chase
Taking Chase by Lauren Dane
Making Chase by Lauren Dane
Chased by Lauren Dane
The Restorer by Amanda Stevens
Sleepover by Serena Bell
Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs
Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs
Night Broken by Patricia Briggs
Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
Raven’s Shadow by Patricia Briggs
Mornings on Main by Jodi Thomas
A Little Night Magic by Lucy March
Complicated by Kristen Ashley
Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley
The Gamble by Kristen Ashley

Favorite and Least Favorite

My favorite new read of the month was probably Save a Truck, Ride a Redneck. I actually really enjoyed the entire Southern Eclectic series by Molly Harper, but that was my favorite of them. My least favorite read was Ache for You by J.T. Geissinger. I haven’t hated a heroine that much in..maybe ever. You know things are bad when the idea of her falling down the stairs and breaking all her bones makes you giddy inside.


Books Reviewed

Books Read

Spiral of Need by Suzanne Wright
Force of Temptation
Lure of Oblivion
Echoes of Fire by Suzanne Wright
Feral Sins by Suzanne Wright
Wicked Cravings by Suzanne Wright
Carnal Secrets by Suzanne Wright
Wild Hunger by Suzanne Wright
Hate Notes by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward
Inside Out by Lauren Dane
Never Enough by Lauren Dane
Mystery Man by Kristen Ashley
Fairytale Come Alive by Kristen Ashley
My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

Favorite and Least Favorite

My favorite reads of the month were Echoes of Fire and Wild Hunger by Suzanne Wright. I really enjoyed both. My least favorite was Hate Notes by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t good, either.

Do you track your reading each year? How did your year in books look? Share in the comments!

Tagged: , , ,

Bookish Thoughts: Holly’s Ultimate Christmas Wishlist

Posted December 12, 2018 by Holly in Discussions, Features | 3 Comments

Every month, Casee, Rowena and I tackle a different bookish and sometimes non-bookish topic together. This month, we’re sharing our Christmas wishlists with you lovely readers.

For me, Christmas is about giving, not receiving. That doesn’t mean there aren’t things I’d like to see for me under the tree. I went with a more practical list, rather than the one I was considering (castle in Scotland, 6 month world cruise, Tesla Model S etc). The things I listed are attainable, but I know I won’t be getting them for Christmas.

Stony Island Arts Bank Library Bookshelves
Stony Island Arts Bank Library, Chicago (USA)
1. New Bookshelves

I have a gorgeous, 20 foot wall in my entry way I would love to cover in bookshelves. I keep bugging my husband to build me some, and he keeps looking at me like I’m crazy. But y’all, I need them! Ones that look just like those at the Stony Island Arts Bank Library in Chicago. They’d be perfect.

2. Kindle Paperwhite

I don’t need a Paperwhite. I have a perfectly good(ish) Samsung Tab I use solely for reading (I prefer it to a dedicated reader because I read across many platforms). I still want it. I want it for reading at the beach and at the pool in the summer. And this new version is waterproof, so it would be great for reading in the tub, too.

3. Samsung Galaxy Tab a 8, 32gb

I currently have the Galaxy Tab 7. It works fine (mostly) but I’d really like a new one. Since I have an iPad and a Windows Tablet, I can’t really justify asking for a new dedicated reading tablet (the only thing I want the Galaxy Tab for). And yet…Sigh. I want the additional storage and upgraded processor of the Tab a8.

Wine Glasses for Book Lovers

4. Book Related Wine Glasses

I’m in love with these stemless wineglasses from CustomKreationGoods on Etsy. Wine + Books + Bookish Wineglasses = Best.Christmas.Gift.Ever.

Silver Prius Prime Image

5. Prius Prime

If this is my ultimate wishlist, I can add a new car, right? I have a perfectly fine car now, but I commute 45 miles each way to work. Having a hybrid would be wonderful. I used to think the Prius was really ugly, but I really like the style of the new Prime. Plus, it gets 133 mpge.

What’s on your wishlist list this year? Anything outrageous or are you pretty reasonable?

Tagged: , , , ,

Auto-Buy Authors Holly Stopped Buying

Posted November 27, 2018 by Holly in Discussions | 9 Comments

This is a difficult topic for me, since a lot of these authors are still wonderful. Some I outgrew, some I plan to go back to at a future time, some I may never be able to read again. I stopped auto-buying all the authors on Rowena’s list awhile ago. Some others I stopped buying are…

Hannah Howell

I adore Howell’s older highland romances. She writes fabulous heroines who are smart and plucky and always manage to save themselves. Plus, she does female relationships really well. But after awhile they all sort of blend together. While she’ll always have a special place in my heart, I don’t buy her new releases anymore.

Christine Feehan

Oh, Christine Feehan. Where do I begin? About 14 years ago, Casee sent me the first 4 Dark Series books and told me I had to read them. I stuck with that series for about 15 books until I gave up. I still gobbled up every Sea Haven and Leopard book she put out, though. Now that the Sisters of the Heart series is done, I think it’s time to say goodbye. I’m not interested in the MC books and the Ghostwalker and Leopard series just don’t work for me like they did.

Jill Shalvis

I used to love JS’s small-town contemporary romances. They always managed to hit the spot. It’s not that I’m really over her book, necessarily, just the small-town romances in general. I have a good number of her books in my TBR pile, but until I start reading them again, she’s off my auto-buy list.

J.D. Robb

Robb’s In Death series was a long-time favorite of mine. I eagerly awaited each release and read them as soon as they came out. I think I’m behind about 9 books now. As much as I love Eve and Roarke, I haven’t been in the mood to read them. I may go back to the series at some point, but for now I’m no longer buying them.

Julia Quinn

Y’all. This one is hard to admit, but it’s true. I’ve stopped buying JQ. To be fair, I’m really not reading historicals much at all lately. Even so, when I see a new JQ release I don’t immediately think “I need to buy that”.

Which auto-buy author was the most shocking for you to give up?

Tagged: , , ,

Standalone Series Books: Yes, That’s a Thing

Posted November 6, 2018 by Holly in Discussions | 5 Comments

Holly: Lately, Rowena and I have been increasingly frustrated with the number of authors who label their books as standalones when they are, in fact, part of a series.

The Chase by Elle Kennedy is the first book in the Briar U series, which is a spinoff of the Off-Campus series. Yet the description says, “A sexy standalone novel from New York Times and international bestselling author Elle Kennedy!”

The blurb for Part-Time Lover by Lauren Blakely says, “From #1 New York Times bestselling author Lauren Blakely comes a sexy new standalone romance…”, yet it features characters we met in Wanderlust (Part-Time Lovers series).

Rowena: It seems to me that this is a new development, at least in romance because I don’t ever remember going through this before. Books in a series could be read as standalone but they were linked by something. Some of those series were linked together by characters, some were linked by the world that they were set in, and sometimes they had a story arc that went through multiple books, but that last one wasn’t necessary or even the case for every series. I can’t agree with what Holly says above enough. It is possible for a book to read as a standalone but still be part of a series.

She also mentions that there are some readers that prefer to read standalones and that’s fine, you should be able to love and want what you want. We prefer to know that characters we meet and love in one book, also show up in their own books…because then it’s not a standalone, it’s part of a series and should be labeled as such.

I just finished reading Sleepover by Serena Bell and though the book is listed as a standalone, I just know that the hero’s brother Brooks is going to get his own book because the ending led the reader to believe as much. The ending also announces the engagement of a couple from another book that was released back in June of this year. So this book is definitely part of a series and is linked together by the characters but if you were a new reader of this author (like me), you wouldn’t know that. “Sleepover is a standalone novel with no cheating, no cliffhangers, and a satisfying happily ever after. This ebook includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.” Yet, it follows Do Over and Head Over Heels.

She’s not the only author that is guilty of this. She’s just the latest one that I’ve read and my frustration continues to grow and grow and grow. Holly hears about this frustration every time so we figured it was time to write this post.

Here are some examples of series with books that can be read as standalones but are linked together under the series umbrella.

The 21 Wall Street Series by Lauren Layne

This series follows three friends who work together on Wall Street. You don’t have to read the first book to get the second book, or the third book. The only thing that links these books together are the heroes in each book are friends. That’s it.

FBI/US Attorney Series by Julie James

Here’s another series that doesn’t need to be read in order. Each book can be read as a standalone and the series follows a different couple in the same world.

Colorado Mountain Series by Kristen Ashley

The same deal applies here with this series. They don’t really need to be read in order but there are recurring characters in each of these books. Some characters show up in all of the books, some show up in only a few but the common link in these books are the characters. The point is, the books can be read as standalones, but they’re connected in some way.

I’m not sure if this is a publisher thing or an author thing but whoever is in charge of making these decisions, please change this back. If books are linked in any way, readers should know that. I’m not sure when books being part of a series became a bad thing but I promise, I don’t see it as such.

The more you know and all of that…

Tagged: , , , ,