What I'm Reading Wednesday {April Reads}

Hey y'all,

I cannot believe that it is already May! The weather in NC is warming up and I am ready for weekends spent reading by the pool in my complex. I am surprisingly on track to read 75 books this year as I finished my 25th book this week. April was a month of good books but not a whole lot of standouts except for the final book to the All Souls Trilogy. Here are the six books I finished this month.

Wicked Intentions

Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane, #1)Infamous for his wild, sensual needs, Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, is searching for a savage killer in St. Giles, London's most notorious slum. Widowed Temperance Dews knows St. Giles like the back of her hand - she's spent a lifetime caring for its inhabitants at the foundling home her family established. Now that home is at risk.
Caire makes a simple offer-in return for Temperance's help navigating the perilous alleys of St. Giles, he will introduce her to London's high society so that she can find a benefactor for the home. But Temperance may not be the innocent she seems, and what begins as cold calculation soon falls prey to a passion that neither can control-one that may well destroy them both.

This is the first book of the Maiden Lane series which I accidentally started by reading book 6 last month. Maiden Lane is the street where the foundling home resides in St. Giles and this book begins with one of the home's caretakers looking for benefactors to keep the home running. She meets Lord Caire while on her way back from rescuing an infant. The story was a quick read and set up a lot of the characters for the remaining books. 3.5/5 stars.

The Book of Life-audiobook

The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy, #3)Bringing the magic and suspense of the All Souls Trilogy to a deeply satisfying conclusion, this highly anticipated finale went straight to #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. In The Book of Life, Diana and Matthew time-travel back from Elizabethan London to make a dramatic return to the present—facing new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home, Sept-Tours, they reunite with the beloved cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency.

This is the final book in the All Souls Trilogy. I loved this series and there was a lot of action in this final novel. I think it was helpful that a lot of the questions you would ask in the first book finally had answers. While I wish there was more to the series since I love Matthew and Diana, I am glad Harkness came out with a book with some of the characters called Time's Convert which I hope to read in May. 4.5/5 stars.

Notorious Pleasures


Lady Hero Batten, the beautiful sister of the Duke of Wakefield, has everything a woman could want, including the perfect fiancĂ©. True, the Marquis of Mandeville is a trifle dull and has no sense of humor, but that doesn't bother Hero. Until she meets his notorious brother . . . 
Notorious Pleasures (Maiden Lane #2)Griffin Remmington, Lord Reading, is far from perfect - and he likes it that way. How he spends his days is a mystery, but all of London knows he engages in the worst sorts of drunken revelry at night. Hero takes an instant dislike to him, and Griffin thinks that Hero, with her charities and faultless manners, is much too impeccable for society, let alone his brother. Yet their near-constant battle of wits soon sparks desire - desire that causes their carefully constructed worlds to come tumbling down. As Hero's wedding nears, and Griffin's enemies lay plans to end their dreams forever, can two imperfect people find perfect true love?

This is the second in the Maiden Lane series and I wasn't in love with the premise. I mean, can romance authors stop with the girl falling love with the brother of the guy she is engaged to? I did enjoy other characters in the book and wanted to keep going in the series especially for Silence's story which begins in this novel. 3/5 stars.

Scandalous Desires

Scandalous Desires (Maiden Lane, #3)Can a pirate learn that the only true treasure lies in a woman's heart? Widowed Silence Hollingbrook is impoverished, lovely, and kind - and nine months ago she made a horrible mistake. She went to a river pirate for help in saving her husband and in the process made a bargain that cost her her marriage. That night wounded her so terribly that she hides in the foundling home she runs with her brother. Except now that same river pirate is back . . . and he's asking for her help. 'Charming' Mickey O'Connor is the most ruthless river pirate in London. Devastatingly handsome and fearsomely intelligent, he clawed his way up through London's criminal underworld. Mickey has no use for tender emotions like compassion and love, and he sees people as pawns to be manipulated. And yet he's never been able to forget the naive captain's wife who came to him for help.

Book #3 in the Maiden Lane series and the book that I had been waiting for after so many glimpses of Silence in the previous books. It's the classic bad boy story with a few twists. This book continues to focus on the gin problems within St. Giles and reveals one of the main villains in the story and adds a lot of context and background to the area. Another quick read that continued to immerse me in Elizabeth's Hoyt's world and now I need to know more about the Ghost of St. Giles. 3.5/5 stars.

This is How it Always Is-audiobook


This is Claude. He’s five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress, and dreams of being a princess.
This is How It Always IsWhen he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl.
Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They’re just not sure they’re ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude’s secret. Until one day it explodes.
This Is How It Always Is is a novel about revelations, transformations, fairy tales, and family. And it’s about the ways this is how it always is: Change is always hard and miraculous and hard again, parenting is always a leap into the unknown with crossed fingers and full hearts, children grow but not always according to plan. And families with secrets don’t get to keep them forever.

This was my book club's April pick and I hate I missed the meeting as I am sure this sparked a lot of discussion. This novel weaves together the family drama of walking through a child with gender dysphoria, discussions of safety for those that are different, and fairy tales. It did end very sweetly which I don't think is the most realistic in these situations but also presents some of the tragedies that occur in the transgendered community. 3/5 stars.

Verity

VerityLowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.
Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity's notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn't expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity's recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.
Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen's feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife's words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.

I am usually a big Colleen Hoover fan, but this change to a thriller was not for me. I love a good thriller but I felt that this one was a bit predictable and I was never really surprised when a "twist" occurred. I hope that the next Hoover novel is back to her quick, heartwrenching romance books that I cry over rather than another "romantic thriller." 3/5 stars.

What's on your to-read list?
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