Monday 4 January 2021

Reading Round Up 2021 #1

 For the past few years on my blog I have run a weekly reading linky where others could link up their various book posts and reviews.

But as the blogging community has changed, linkies have become less popular and the number of people linking up to Read With Me was dwindling so I made the decision at the end of last year to stop it and to instead just concentrate on my own reviews.

So instead, every Monday I've decided to write a post to compile all of the books I read in the previous week. 

Quick snippets along with the blurbs and a star rating to perhaps give you some reading inspiration.

Layla by Colleen Hoover 3.5 stars out of 5

When Leeds meets Layla, he’s convinced he’ll spend the rest of his life with her—until an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. After weeks in the hospital, Layla recovers physically, but the emotional and mental scarring has altered the woman Leeds fell in love with. In order to put their relationship back on track, Leeds whisks Layla away to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. Once they arrive, Layla’s behavior takes a bizarre turn. And that’s just one of many inexplicable occurrences.

Feeling distant from Layla, Leeds soon finds solace in Willow—another guest of the B&B with whom he forms a connection through their shared concerns. As his curiosity for Willow grows, his decision to help her find answers puts him in direct conflict with Layla’s well-being. Leeds soon realizes he has to make a choice because he can’t help both of them. But if he makes the wrong choice, it could be detrimental for all of them.


Now I am a huge fan of Colleen Hoover, so much so that I'm willing to read all of her books without even looking at the blurb.

Layla for me unfortunately fell flat. With elements of the paranormal (which I actually quite enjoy) I just didn't get the connection to the characters or those usual feels that I've come to love when I tend to read Colleen's books.

The storyline itself was quite unique and although written well, it just didn't hold my attention.

I'd say this was more of a case of it isn't you, it's me. Really I think I just wasn't the intended audience for this story.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid 5 out of 5 stars

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life.

When she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways. 


You can tell by my star rating that I adored this book.

This novel is glamorous, charming and breathtaking all at once. Written beautifully, almost poetic in places.

We follow the life of Evelyn Hugo. A Hollywood actress who is nearing the end of her life, who now feels it is the right time to reveal all there is to know about herself, not just the parts the cameras have already captured.

There is a wonderful mix of styles woven throughout the book. From pure story telling to interviews and even newspaper excerpts.

A story that reads as though it is truly real life.


The Player and the Pixie by L.H. Cosway 4 out of 5 stars


Lucy Fitzpatrick doesn’t like rugby.

As the little sister of Ireland’s most infamous rugby player, Lucy can’t seem to escape the championship-sized shadow cast by her big brother, or her mother’s frequent attempts to micromanage her future. Her rainbow hair is as free-spirited as her quest for inner peace, yet overbearing expectations keep bringing her down. And when she’s down, her compulsive little problem lands her in seriously big trouble.


Sean Cassidy is a cold-hearted brute… or so he’s been told. Frequently. By everyone.

His blonde locks, baby blues, and rock hard bod make ladies the world over drool with desire. As the rugby world’s second most infamous player, he should be basking in his success. But Sean has never been content settling for second place, and his frequent confrontations with Lucy’s big brother leave him cold. And when he’s cold, his compulsive little problem lands him in the lap of Lucy Fitzpatrick.


Sean has a problem only Lucy can solve. Lucy has a problem only Sean can fix. The solution seems obvious: you scratch my back, and I’ll bail you out of jail. But when their business arrangement unexpectedly leaves Sean scorching hot and Lucy on the precipice of inner peace, can they convince the world—and Lucy’s big brother in particular—that this is the real deal?

Either way, both the Player and the Pixie are about to teach each other some pretty monumental lessons about family, life, but most importantly, love.


Sometimes all you need is an easy read that gets your heart racing.

This book hit the spot.

Nothing too serious but with enough grit (and sexy scenes) to keep me turning the pages. I loved the banter between Sean and Lucy and those bedroom scenes - wow!

I'll happily read the rest of this series.

The Girls I've Been by Tess Sharpe 5 out of 5 stars.

Nora O’Malley’s been a lot of girls. As the daughter of a con-artist who targets criminal men, she grew up as her mother’s protégé. But when mom fell for the mark instead of conning him, Nora pulled the ultimate con: escape.

For five years Nora’s been playing at normal. But she needs to dust off the skills she ditched because she has three problems:

#1: Her ex walked in on her with her girlfriend. Even though they’re all friends, Wes didn’t know about her and Iris.

#2: The morning after Wes finds them kissing, they all have to meet to deposit the fundraiser money they raised at the bank. It’s a nightmare that goes from awkward to deadly, because:

#3: Right after they enter bank, two guys start robbing it.

The bank robbers may be trouble, but Nora’s something else entirely. They have no idea who they’re really holding hostage…


If you are a fan of books such as One of Us is Lying then you are going to love this YA book.

I'm going to write a full review on this novel soon but just know that this is a book you'll want to read. Cleverly executed twists and turns and a protagonist that has more than one side to her.

This is actually being made for Netflix and I can see why.

A book that pulls no punches, it is fast, edgy and will leave you wondering just who the hell is Nora?

Do any of these books appeal to you? What have you read so far this year?

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