April felt like a long month, and I'm not sure I remember much about the books I read. I procrastinated for almost a week before writing this post because of that. But then, if I don't write down what I remember now, I will forget it later. So here I finally am, with mini-reviews on all my April reads.

I read 14 books in April. I am really happy with the fact that I read 3 paperbacks and 3 audiobooks. My reading wasn't 90% ebooks for once.

radiant sin by katee robert

radiant sin book cover

I actually started listening to the audiobook in March but finished the book in April. Since it had been a while since my last audiobook, I wanted something easy and quick. Radiant Sin sounded like a good enough option.

This is the 4th book in the Dark Olympus series. I've read the first two books—I liked the first and felt meh about the second. I wasn't inclined to continue the series and hence didn't read the third. Radiant Sin was available in the influencer catalogue on libro.fm so I gave it a chance.

After this book, I can confidently say that this series isn't for me. I'll admit that the first book wasn't bad but it wasn't great either. Another Hades & Persephone retelling that I read around the same time (Drag Me Up by R. M. Virtues) was much better. And then, I was disappointed by the second book. So I didn't go into this one with any hopes but I was still disappointed.

My main issue was with Apollo. He is one of the main characters and we constantly read about how he is great at his job and knows all the information and is amazing at deducting things. But throughout the book, we kept seeing him say "I don't know" and not being good at his supposed skillset. If I'm to believe that he's equivalent to a god, I need to see it, not just be told. Telling doesn't make a difference.

The plot was basically like a murder mystery—something similar to And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (and many other books, I'm sure). The plot wasn't very original and it wasn't fun either. I couldn't care about any of the characters and I wasn't curious to know the ending. Apollo and Cassandra were shitty detectives.

Speaking of Cassandra, she was so dull. She repeats the same things over and over throughout the book. Her thoughts were repetitive and boring. I wouldn't have been fazed if she was killed in the book—that's how little I cared about her.

The romance wasn't interesting either. It's an office romance that starts as a fake-dating plot in order to go together to a party to spy on someone. As they spend time pretending to be in love, they are unable to hide their real feelings anymore. But the chemistry was so off. The explicit scenes were especially off-putting. The switch between regular and spicy scenes was always abrupt. It didn't make sense half the time. After a couple of times, I fast-forwarded the audiobook until the explicit scenes ended.

Overall, it wasn't a good read. I do not recommend it.

daisy jones & the six by taylor jenkins reid

daisy jones & the six book cover

Although I've read the three other popular books by Taylor Jenkins Reid, I hadn't read Dainy Jones & the Six until now. I tried reading it as an ebook a long time back and just couldn't get into it. Everyone said that the audiobook is amazing so I put it off thinking that I'll try it someday. When the adaptation was airing, I decided to finally listen to the book.

Everyone was right: the audiobook is brilliant. The full cast narration was absolutely amazing and I wouldn't have enjoyed the book as much if I had read it. It was easy to familiarize myself with the characters' voices and distinguish them as the book went on. This was perfect especially because there were many sections where characters spoke for only a sentence or two and their statements linked together. Reading the book simply wouldn't have given the same level of enjoyment.

I really enjoyed the book. It's hard for me to listen to audiobooks and finish them fast but with TJR's books, it's very easy. I finished listening to this book in two listens. The second time, I picked up from around 30% in and simply could not stop listening to it. I was lying in bed until 2 am, listening to it. And yes, I had some tears near the end.

The characters were interesting and the writing was engrossing. I became invested in the story in no time. All the characters are flawed and make bad decisions but it's hard to not root for them (except one person, LOL). I loved how passionate the main characters were about music. I loved the twist about the interviewer. I loved it all.

I'm looking forward to reading other TJR books but only as audiobooks, I think. I read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and listened to the rest—the audiobooks felt better.

desserts for stressed people by letizia lorini

desserts for stressed people book cover

I came across this book on social media (Twitter first and then Instagram) and had to read it. The title begs the book to be read. I didn't read the synopsis before reading the book because I wanted to dive in directly.

Desserts for Stressed People is an office romance with a secret identity trope. Heaven (the main character) finds out that her boyfriend has been cheating on her and vows to mess with him. She signs up on a dating app to match with him and also matches with a really sweet baker. As she struggles with her toxic relationship and a budding relationship, things change at her work. And she realizes that her new temporary boss is the baker she matched with.

The book is about Heaven healing from her relationship while bonding with a new and sweet person. A majority of the book is about the new romance but we see quite a bit of her healing process as well. Her boyfriend of years was a manipulative person who made her fit her personality into a box of his liking. Heaven, with the help of her new love interest, realizes that she's not been happy and takes steps toward freedom and happiness.

While all of that was nice, the book had two things I did not like. Firstly, the office romance. I really don't like office romances. Especially because of the way they mess with the couple's professional lives. This book showed that. Secondly, the dual identity. I didn't like that Heaven kept it a secret that she knew her boss in two ways.

And the worst part—there weren't any "desserts for stressed people" scenes. There were desserts and there were stressed people. There weren't any significant desserts for stressed people scenes.

Overall, the book was just okay. A little disappointing because I had higher hopes.

legends & lattes by travis baldree

Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree book cover

Since the last couple of romance books didn't work for me, I decided to reread a favourite instead of picking another new book. I read Legends & Lattes last year as an ebook and have wanted a paperback since. I finally got it this year and was waiting for a good time to reread it. This felt like a good time because I also wanted a comfort read.

Legends & Lattes is a cosy low-stakes fantasy about an orc who gives up her way of life to open a coffee shop. In the process of setting up the shop and running it, she meets people who become her cadre or found family. It's super cute and comforting. I love every single character. And I love the love the book has for coffee and coffee shops.

Since I had the paperback this time, I went all in to annotate. I don't think I annotated as much as I could but I did mark quite a bit. I'm looking forward to rereading the book multiple times and adding annotations over the years. While annotating is fun all the time, it is even more so on rereads. I love adding marks to previously marked lines, filling up pages slowly, and conversing with my old self.

I mainly read Legends & Lattes in the mornings with a cup of coffee—reading and annotating slowly. It was great <3 I'm looking forward to the next book by the author which is set in the same world.

tis the season for revenge by morgan elizabeth

tis the season for revenge book cover

Okay confession: I didn't actually read this book in April. I don't exactly remember when I read it. I'm pretty sure it was this year because I clearly remember staying away from Christmas romances around Christmas time. But I don't know the exact date. I came across this book again while looking at other romance books and realized that I somehow missed marking this read. So I marked it as read in April.

I remember the story pretty well, though. Tis the Season for Revenge is about a revenge relationship that turns into a happily-ever-after. Over four years of her relationship, Abbie has done her best to please her boyfriend and be the person he likes. But she gets dumped right as she expects a proposal. As she mourns the relationship and the time she lost, she realizes that he wasn't a good partner. He was controlling and toxic. While drunk, Abbie decides to date his boss Damien (whom he hates) and shows up at the office party (that she's never been taken to) as Damien's date as revenge. But as she spends time with Damien, she falls in love with him.

This book was really good. I enjoyed the small ways in which Damien took care of her and how she came to realize what she should expect in a relationship, and I loved watching them fall in love. I low-key want to reread the book now.

the playlist by morgan elizabeth

the playlist book cover

I was looking for new contemporary romance books to read when I came across The Playlist. And on looking at all of the books in the series, I realized that I forgot to mark Tis the Season for Revenge. Since I liked the latter, I decided to try The Playlist and had some hopes.

The story is a friends-to-lovers romance with the best-friend's-brother trope. Zoe and Zander have liked each other for years but their timing never synced and they never got together. When Zoe has an epiphany about how her life is not like what she dreamt of, she makes some drastic decisions to get back on track—starting with dumping her boyfriend whom she doesn't want to be with forever.

Zander, on hearing that Zoe is single at the same time as him and is struggling with her life, decides to do something about it. He ropes her into an impromptu road trip with him and plans to check off as many of her bucket list items as possible. He hopes that she realizes they're meant for each other along the way.

The book is a romance but don't be fooled, a big part of it is about Zoe coming to terms with her life and doing her best to be who she dreamt of as a young girl. I couldn't fully relate but it was lowkey heartbreaking to see her unlearn what an adult is supposed to be like and go after her dreams. I liked how the book showed that it's easy to lose one's way and hard to change direction afterwards and that it's worth it.

Overall, a good book. I liked it. Oh and an interesting part: the book is Taylor Swift themed! It was so cool to see the main character be a Swiftie and parts of the books were matched to Taylor's songs. I happened to read this the weekend Eras Tour started so it gave me a little bit of solace from missing the tour.

any duchess will do by tessa dare

any duchess will do book cover

I read and loved Forever Your Rogue by Erin Langston in March and was missing it so I wanted to pick another historical romance book. I heard of this on social media, I think, and got it. Tessa Dare is a popular author and while her books can be a hit or miss for me, I had hopes for this book.

Griffin, a Duke, has no intention of marrying. His mother decides to take matters into her own hands and literally kidnaps him and takes him to a town where many eligible women stay. When forced to pick a bride, he decides to get cheeky and pick a servant girl instead of any of the women his mother pointed to. After all, she did say that anyone will do because she will train the woman to be a duchess. But as they spend time together, they fall in love. Griffin has a secret as to why he doesn't want to marry, though.

The book had potential with such a premise but it wasn't executed well. Although Pauline and Griffin were interesting, I couldn't ship them. I didn't feel any chemistry between them. The entire romance just didn't hit. Despite the book being 375 pages, the story felt rushed. I remember things happening quickly all the time without proper development.

Overall, not a fan. I'll probably take a long break from Tessa Dare's books before picking up another one.

the city we became by n. k. jemisin

the city we became book club

After Any Duchess Will Do, I wanted a break from the romance genre complete. So I went to my physical shelf and picked a book that has been waiting for quite a while. I got The City We Became several bookstore trips ago and was waiting to be in the right mood for it.

The City We Became is a bizarre story where when a city is "born", a person becomes the city and embodies it. There's always an enemy who is trying to break the city so this person has to fight and win so that the city survives. The book tells the story of New York. Only, because New York is a big city, there's a person who embodies the entire city and there is a person for each borough. Random fantasy things happen, there are fights, and sometimes the scenes are weird but it works.

The book is low-key a love letter to New York. The city has tons of faults but the book shows how much history it has, how it is the city of dreams, and how the people form communities that make the city. I've never been to New York and never knew about the borough concept so reading this book and learning about each borough and how they interact was interesting. The fantasy aspect was well-done. The characters start out clueless so we learn things as they learn. The setting, the plot, and the characters all worked really well together.

Overall, a very interesting and unique book. Something so out of the world and yet rooted in our world and our world's issues. I was impressed by the story. I added the sequel to my TBR but I don't know when I'll read it.

rosie's travelling tea shop by rebecca raisin

rosie's travelling tea shop book club

I just wanted to read a random book so I scrolled through the books I had on Kindle and found this one. I have no clue when I got it or how I got it. It sounded interesting so I opened it.

The book follows Rosie as she quits her job and decides to run a travelling tea shop in the UK. She has been unhappy with life's grind and decides to fully get away. She gets a van and gets some help online and starts travelling and making friends. She learns about herself on the way and makes some good connections.

While the premise was great, I did not like this book. The writing was choppy and didn't flow well. The main character was smart at times and incredibly naive at others. I absolutely hated the romance parts. I liked it when she made a new good friend and hated it when the friend constantly pushed Rosie towards men. It was very annoying. It was pretty clear that the author was excited about the sequel about the friend because the friend runs a travelling bookshop. We read so much about how the bookshop is amazing, much more than the teashop. For a story about opening a travelling teashop, the first time the shop was open for business wasn't even covered! It was only mentioned later.

Overall, a disappointing read. It had very less of the things I was expecting and was more of random stuff.

cursed by marissa meyer

cursed book cover

I read the first book Gilded in March and did NOT like it. I was disappointed. I took almost a month to finish it and was lowkey dreading having to read book 2 because I already bought it. When I had several free hours on a weekend, I picked up Cursed so that I can finish it soon and unhaul it.

I went into this book expecting nothing and that was a good attitude to have. The book was not any better than the first book. I still did not like the characters and wasn't impressed by the story. I did read up on the Rumplestiltskin fairytale to understand if this is a good retelling and I can say that it's not. The ending was really bad and I hated it.

Overall, it was as bad as I expected. It's a good thing that I skimmed a lot instead of giving the book all my attention. I finished it in two days and I'm happy to be done with it.

the protector by morgan elizabeth

the protector book cover

Book 3 by Morgan Elizabeth in April! I felt brave so I picked up a romance book and since I enjoyed the last two books I read. The Playlist referenced some of what happened in The Protector and it sounded good so I picked it up.

This book is a brother's best friend romance and includes the man doing everything to protect the woman from danger. Luna and Tony have been in love for years but never made a move. When Luna's shop is defamed and she gets threatening messages, Tony goes into Hulk mode and basically shelters her and protects her. And of course, feelings are revealed and they get together.

One fact about the book: in the first version, Tony was a cop. The author has since changed the book to make him a private security agent. However, the changes weren't enough to make it look like it fit. I could see the remains of the cop elements which was disappointing.

The romance wasn't great and I did not like the characters. They were annoying and clearly fit a damsel-in-distress trope. There wasn't much to them above what they signified in the trope. Since I didn't like the characters, I couldn't root for the romance. I also felt like the book was stretched and should have been shorter.

Overall, a disappointing read. Why is it that so many of my romance reads lately have been a miss? I used to like almost everything I read. Nowadays, I dislike many of them. And I'm not even talking about the several books I've DNFed this year! It's just not my year for romance, I guess.

mine to hold by natasha madison

mine to hold book cover

But I'm not giving up on romance books just yet. I got Mine to Hold on Kindle Unlimited after seeing an Instagram post. I did not have high expectations from it but I hoped that it wouldn't be too bad.

Shelby finds out that her husband has been cheating on her the night before her wedding with her best friend's girlfriend. She exposes him at the altar and leaves. But since the honeymoon is booked, she invites her best friend to get away together. They did not think that they had feelings for each other but they realize that they are the perfect match and fall in love while on the honeymoon.

The book was fast-paced and spicy. I have read other books with a similar premise before and this wasn't very original. However, it is good as a quick escapist read. I skimmed quite a bit because there were so many explicit scenes and I wasn't interested. But the characters and the chemistry were nice.

the worst wedding date by pippa grant

the worst wedding gate book cover

I've read one book by the author before and liked it so I had hopes for this one. I came across this on Instagram as well. (Have to say, a lot of the people I follow read KU books so it's pretty easy for me to find more KU romance books to read. 4/5 times, the books I come across are available on KU.)

Laney is her friend's bridesmaid and when the bride asks a favour, she will do it. Even if the favour is to babysit the bride's unruly brother. But as Laney spends more time with Theo, they learn more about each other and realize that they did not actually know each other. And they fall in love.

The book was quirky, funny, and entertaining. It had a few emotional parts as well but they're never too emotional to change the vibe of the book. I really liked Theo's character, though. I liked his outlook, his love for the people around him, and how he eventually worked through his issues. I liked how Laney was almost a clear-cut doormat but she grew out of the box she's put into all her life and starts to have fun. And I especially liked how Laney and Theo supported each other in the book.

Overall, a good read. I liked it. It's not a book for everyone or for every mood. But if you're open enough and don't criticize too much, you'll enjoy this book.

the lonely hearts book club by lucy gilmore

the lonely hearts book club book cover

I started listening to this audiobook on libro.fm soon after finishing Daisy Jones & the Six and read it slowly over the month. It sounded good and it did not look like a romance so I started it.

Sloane is a librarian who is "more than happy" with a "settled" life. The only things that get her to show extra emotion are books. One day a cranky old man picks a fight with her about books and she gives it back. Soon, Sloane begins to enjoy regular arguments with Arthur. When he becomes ill and requires care, she drops everything to take care of him because he seems to be the only person who understands her. Slowly, over the course of the book, she meets and befriends more people who become family to her and help her be passionate in life.

This book is about platonic relationships. The book clearly challenges—both subtly and directly—the idea that romantic relationships are more important. Sloane and Arthur find kindred spirits in one another. And slowly, they befriend Arthur's neighbour and set up a book club of their own. One by one, a few more people join and they all become a group. A group containing very different people of varying ages from different backgrounds. But they find solace and love in one another.

While the book did not have me listening to it non-stop and was not about a "grand" thing, it was touching. I loved how it spoke about and showed the importance of platonic relationships, how it showed that everyone needs kindred spirits, and how we all need (platonic) love to thrive. They read books together and used words from the books when they cannot find the right words to say something. They argued and shared food and insulted one another as a form of love.

I really liked this book. I was not expecting it to be so good. But it was. I especially loved how annotated books were used as gestures of love. It was a good book to end April with.

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What did you read in April? Would you recommend any of them? What are you looking forward to reading this month?

photo of Sumedha

Sumedha spends her days reading books, bingeing Kdramas, drawing illustrations, and blogging while listening to Lo-Fi music. Read more ➔

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  • abookowlscorner says:

    I'm happy to see all the praise for Daisy Jones & the Six and Legends & Lattes, which I also adore! ? I've never tried the Daisy Jones audiobook, though, so maybe I need to test that in a future reread...

    Anyway, I'm glad you had such a successful reading month, and will keep my fingers crossed for an even more successful May! ?

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