Books of the Month: October 2021

I somehow read nine books this month and it’s mostly because seven of them were smut, fast paced reads, but that may be the most books I’ve ever read in a single month? I also fully embraced ‘no bones’ days and curled up with a book too many days in a row to count, these overcast LA days are definitely playing in my favor. This post took forever to write because, NINE books, so buckle up, folks. Here’s what I read in October:

Fruit of the Drunken Tree is a story about two girls, Chula and Petrona, living in 1980’s Colombia where Pablo Escobar reigns and the streets are very unsafe. Chula is an upper-middle-class young girl, and Petrona is her family’s teen maid. It’s historical fiction told through their perspectives and while it was interesting, it was very slow paced and I almost gave up several times. Read at your own risk.

The Heart Principle was so heartbreakingly good. I think it may be my favorite of the trilogy? Anna was thrust into fame after videos of her playing the violin went viral. Burned out and sick of living her life for others, she meets Quan (Michael’s cousin) and decides to try living a more carefree life. When her father becomes ill and she has to move home to help take care of him, her mental health only suffers further. This book was much heavier than the others in the series, tackling mental health, caregiver burnout, and suicidal ideation. My heart broke for Anna and her need to please those around her (same). Definitely read this series if you haven’t already, Kiss Quotient was one of my favs!

Verity was a RIDE. I definitely didn’t see the twists within the book and honestly, I’m still not sure what the truth actually was now that I’ve finished? Down on her luck, Lowen is asked to ghostwrite a series for Verity, an author who, due to medical reasons, cannot finish writing her thriller series. She goes to Verity’s home to shift through notes when she finds an unpublished book that details Verity’s true nature (these portions of the book were MESSED up, major caution). As Lowen and Verity’s husband, Jeremy, get closer, and Lowen read more of Verity’s unpublished book, Lowen isn’t so sure Verity is what she seems. Very fast-paced, very wild book!

Love Hypothesis was pure Adam Driver smut and I am here for it. Olive is a third-year Ph.D. candidate at Standford when she panics and kisses the first man she sees in the science lab, attempting to convince her best friend she’s happily in a relationship. The man she kisses is a professor named Adam (they didn’t even try?) who eventually agrees to fake date her and of course, over several weeks, they fall in love and live happily ever after. I read in about 5 hours so definitely a fast read.

Bringing Down the Duke was everything I wanted Bridgerton to be. Historical fiction, romance, and feminists for the win! I was traveling and read this in about a day; Sebastian and Annabelle gave me strong Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth vibes, strongly following the enemies to lovers trope that is very much overdone, but I will keep reading as many of these books until I die. Annabelle just wants to go to school to be educated, away from her past. After a tense meeting with Sebastian, she ends up sick and has to stay at his manor leading up to the holidays, and of course they fall in love. The sub-story is about the women’s suffrage movement in the UK at the time, so I felt like I learned something as well?

A Rogue of One’s Own surprised me. The male ‘sort-of villain’ from Bringing Down the Duke ended up being the love interest in this book; I was initially annoyed because I didn’t like his character but she really turned him around and by the end, I was cheering for Tristian and Lucie. I did prefer Bringing Down the Duke better, but this was a solid sequel, continuing the story of the women’s suffrage movement at the time.

Rules of Civility was alright. I gave me Gatsby or City of Girls vibes, but the overall story was a bit slow and the characters were a bit flat, at least the main characters we followed through the whole book. I would have rather read a whole book about Eve’s adventures in LA, or even Kate’s coworkers at Conde Nast, Alley or Mason Tate? It was also apparent the author was male, I’m unsure why he chose to write from the female perspective but he didn’t nail it? Skip if you can (though I’ve heard Gentleman in Moscow is really good?)!

The Ex Hex was cute, very Hallmark-esque, and aligned perfectly with the calendar as October comes to an end. Vivi accidentally might have cursed her ex, Rhys, when she was 19, heartbroken and drunk; now that he’s back in town 9 years later, weird things are magically happening in their town. Vivi and Rhys must race to break the curse, all while ignoring the “magic” lingering between them. HAH that was cheesy but it’s a cheesy book, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

It Happened One Summer…whew this was a sexy book (not quite The Roommate, but a close second). Piper is an LA socialite who lands herself into some trouble after a public breakup; her stepfather sends her away to a small fishing town in Washington as punishment. It’s all very Alexis Rose from Schitt’s Creek and I am here for it!!! The only thing I wasn’t here for was the way Brendan possessively spoke to Piper (and her body) during intercourse. Possessive ‘you’re MINE’ talk is not my personal kink but if that’s your thing then read this! I personally cannot wait for the next book in the series about Hannah and Fox!

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

Verity by Colleen Hoover

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

A Rogue of One’s One by Evie Dunmore

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

What did you read this month? Anything I should add to my list?


Sara Ann