February 2023 Wrap Up

Another successful month. Not as great as January but still a great month.

  • I read 15 books this month
  • Genre: 6 fantasy, 3 sci-fi, 3 romance, 1 crime, 1 magical realism and 1 non-fiction
  • Gender of authors: 9 women, 3 men, 1 duo and 1 unknown
  • Race of authors: 9 white authors, 5 Asian authors and 1 Middle Eastern author
  • Age range: 10 adult, 4 YA and 1 middle grade
  • Format: 7 paperback, 6 ebook and 2 hardback


  • Prompt: Romance
    • Inuyasha Vol.1
    • Blood in the Thread
    • The Last Tale of the Flower Bride
    • My Killer Vacation
    • Wotakoi, Vol.1
    • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
    • This Is How You Lose the Time War
  • Sequel: Didn’t read any
  • Tor.com: Blood in the Thread – Cheri Kamei

This Is How You Lose the Time War – Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (DNF)

Now did I DNF this book 75% in? Yes… Was it super short? Also yes. This follows two women who are time travel spies that fall in love during a war. I personally found this to be too pretentious for me. Now I don’t mind my fair share of pretentious writing. But this writing made it super hard to follow which just left me not caring about the characters or their story.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – V.E. Schwab (DNF)

I have learnt that I am not a vibes person. If someone describes a book to me as nothing but pure vibes – I now know to stay away. Barely anything happened in this book and it bored me. It follows a young woman who makes a deal with a god to get out of an arranged marriage. The god ends up granting her basically a life of no ageing and we follow her during the time she gets this curse and then like 300 years later.

The scenes set around the time Addie makes her wish and the first couple of years as she learns and adapts were super interesting. I enjoyed learning about how the wish worked and what its restrictions were. But once that passed the rest of the book was just boring. It is literally just following Addie walk around New York. I didn’t think she was that interesting of a character so she didn’t keep me wanting to read more.

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku – Fujita (3 stars)

This was fine. I enjoyed it as a whole and I really enjoyed the friendship dynamic between the four characters. I cannot say though that I enjoyed any of the romance elements. I found them to be unrealistic and, in the case of one couple, very unlikeable. I did enjoy some of the topics of gaming and anime.

My Killer Vacation – Tessa Bailey (3 stars)

This was a fun easy read. It was a romance with a murder mystery side plot. I enjoyed the characters and I found the dialogue to be funny and fun. Was it the best mystery I have ever read? No. But it was super fun and added an extra exciting layer to the story. I will say that by the end I started to feel that the story got a bit cringe mainly because Bailey kept adding what I felt was unnecessary sexual dialogue in moments that I felt should have been left to be romantic. I also am not a fan of how quickly everything progressed within the relationship it was too fast for my liking. Finally, when will we free authors from the shackles of the ginormous man x tiny woman trope PLEASE!

The Sixteenth Century in 100 Women – Amy Licence (3 stars)

A super informative and concise look at women from across the world. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about women I didn’t know plus re-reading and familiarising myself with women from 16th-century history that I already knew.

Some of my favourite stories to learn were:

  • La Malinche
  • Elizabeth ‘Blessie’ Blount
  • Roxelana, aka Hurrem Sultan
  • Mary Boleyn
  • Women of the Devonshire Manuscript
  • Lady Nata, or Otomo-Nata ‘Jezebel’
  • Susan Clarencieux
  • Amye Robsart

The Last Tale of the Flower Bride – Roshani Chokshi (3.5 stars)

This was an interesting book to read. Overall I really enjoyed the story. I felt the book did a really great job of delving into the complexities of certain types of female friendship specifically the cases where it’s all-consuming and toxic with very strong sapphic energy! I have rarely seen this portrayed in media and I found it to be a really interesting dynamic. I thought the female characters in this story were expertly written. That being said, I will be critiquing the main male character as that man was boring. I didn’t really feel that he brought much to the story apart from being the force that allows us to find answers. I will also say that I found the constant reference and discussions of fairytales and folklore to be great at the start but it got old very quickly. It was over-saturation by the end of the book and I found myself skimming those paragraphs so I could get to the actual meat of the story.

Knee Deep, Book 1 – Joe Flood (4 stars)

Following in a semi-post-apocalyptic climate change disaster world we follow a young girl who goes on a mission to find her parents. Great art, amazing character design, and an engaging storyline that left me wanting more!

The Promised Neverland Vol, 12&13 – Kaiu Shirai (4 stars)

What can I say that I haven’t already said before. Always a great read.

Blood in the Thread – Cheri Kamei (4 stars)

A powerful sapphic short story about 2 high school sweethearts who hide their relationship when one of them becomes a famous actress and how they navigate the toxicity and abusive nature of Hollywood.

I loved this short story so much. The writing was beautiful and atmospheric with amazing imagery. I loved the ending and how it tied into ‘The Crane Wife’ folktale.

Moonlight – Gill Lewis (4.5 stars)

A middle-grade story about a young rat going on an epic adventure to return a stolen jewel. I could see Disney or Studio Ghibli snatching up this story for an adaptation! This story has heart, exhilaration, plot twists and a strong message, throughout, of doing the right thing. With incredible settings, a fun myriad of characters and a plot that keeps you wanting more.

Inuyasha, Vol. 1 – Rumiko Takahashi (5 stars)

A manga about a young girl who falls through her family’s well and ends up in Ancient Japan. It’s there she gets caught up in the fight of good v evil. Inuyasha was not a disappointment! I loved the blend of history and fantasy. I love the lore behind this series and how we mix historical moments with folklore. I really like our main characters and their dynamic is super engaging. I just really wish Kagome was older than 15 as it was the only thing that felt a bit icky. I also want to add that I did not expect it to have any horror or gore elements whatsoever and was super shocked when the blood started spraying. Not a critique at all, I was just super unaware.

Godkiller – Hannah Kaner (5 stars)

This world was a great balance of taking well-known and highly loved elements of the fantasy genre but adding a fresh new set of ideas and world-building. I loved the staple of the very detailed world with a brewing civil war where we get a lot of detail about different cultures etc. but I loved the addition of the Gods. Everything surrounding the Gods from the ones we meet all the way to the long and twisted history of the Gods was by far my favourite part of the book. They added so much depth to the story not just in terms of varied and vibrant characters but also in terms of world-building and character motivation. 

We follow 4 different characters in this story all with secrets to hide and questions to answer. I found every single POV in this book to be engaging and exciting. I enjoyed all of their stories equally and I looked forward to turning the page and seeing who we were following next. I really enjoyed watching these characters as individuals and learning their story and learn who they are at their core but I LOVED watching these characters together and bond with each other.

The story itself was simple and detailed at the same time. The story is a quest story. A journey that leads all our characters to the same ruined city but the detail of the world and the history that we learn alongside this journey was so grand and detailed that it elevated such a simple concept.

The Mountain in the Sea – Ray Nayler (5 stars)

A near-future dystopia is about a young woman researching a possibly killer octopus. This book is so much more about an incredibly intelligent Octopus. This book is kind of a window to the future, to what our future may be like if we stray down the path we are going. Where AI and technology start to take over our world when corporations get greedy and we destroy our eco-system, over-fishing, capitalism, and modern-day slavery. This book covers a lot. This book covers so much that on paper you think how can this author cover all of these themes in a coherent and easy-to-follow/accessible way while also maintaining an engaging story about humanity and connection as well as a killer Octopus? Well, Nayler does all of that and more.

Speak of the Devil – Rose Wilding (5 stars)

This book swept under the radar at the last minute for me. It follows 7 women as we navigate their lives after the head of a man is found in a seedy hotel room. As the story continues you find that all these women had some connection to the deceased and as you unravel the secrets of the women you find out who killed him. This book is heavy for trigger warnings re. rape, sexual harassment, abuse, forced outing, alcoholism.

I have never been so strongly impacted by a book in my life. The harrowing, raw and truthful way that Wilding writes as we slowly learn more about these women and how one singular man’s actions caused a ripple effect in these women’s lives was a hard read but a powerful read. I really enjoyed getting into the mind of these women and living their stories and their truths. Some of the best character work I had read alongside a super engaging mystery where each time we learn something you feel yourself creeping closer and closer to the reveal of the murderer.

February 2023 TBR

Another month, another bunch of books. January was really successful so I am hoping the same for Feb. The theme for this month is Romance! Now it doesn’t specifically be romance novels it can also include books where there are strong romance side plots as well.

  • Title: The Bride Test
  • Author: Helen Hoang
  • Series: The Kiss Quotient #2
  • Format: eBook
  • Age Rating: Adult
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance

Plot: Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, not big, important emotions – like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better – that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly refuses to consider a relationship, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride. As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. So when the opportunity arises to go to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down. This could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go quite as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working… but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection. As Esme’s time in the United States dwindles, will Khai let his head catch up with his heart? Will he find the strength to let go, and let love in?

  • Title: Once Upon a Broken Heart
  • Author: Stephanie Garber
  • Series: Once Upon a Broken Heart #1
  • Format: Hardback
  • Age Rating: New Adult
  • Genre: Fantasy Romance

Plot: Evangeline Fox was raised in her beloved father’s curiosity shop, where she grew up on legends about immortals, like the tragic Prince of Hearts. She knows his powers are mythic, his kiss is worth dying for, and that bargains with him rarely end well. But when Evangeline learns that the love of her life is about to marry another, she becomes desperate enough to offer the Prince of Hearts whatever he wants in exchange for his help to stop the wedding. The prince only asks for three kisses. But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. And he has plans for Evangeline that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or the most exquisite tragedy.

  • Title: Twisted Love
  • Author: Ana Huang
  • Series: Twisted #1
  • Format: Paperback
  • Age Rating: Adult
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance

Plot: He has a heart of ice… but for her, he’d burn the world. Alex Volkov is a devil blessed with the face of an angel and cursed with a past he can’t escape. Driven by a tragedy that has haunted him for most of his life, his ruthless pursuits for success and vengeance leave little room for matters of the heart. But when he’s forced to look after his best friend’s sister, he starts to feel something in his chest: A crack. A melt. A fire that could end his world as he knew it. Ava Chen is a free spirit trapped by nightmares of a childhood she can’t remember. But despite her broken past, she’s never stopped seeing the beauty in the world… including the heart beneath the icy exterior of a man she shouldn’t want. Her brother’s best friend. Her neighbour. Her saviour and her downfall. Theirs is a love that was never supposed to happen – but when it does, it unleashes secrets that could destroy them both… and everything they hold dear.

  • Title: Inuyasha
  • Author: Rumiko Takahashi
  • Series: Inuyasha #1
  • Format: Paperback
  • Age Rating: YA
  • Genre: Historical Fantasy Romance

Plot: Kagome is a modern Japanese high school girl. Never the type to believe in myths and legends, her world view dramatically changes when, one day, she’s pulled out of her own time and into another! There, in Japan’s ancient past, Kagome discovers more than a few of those dusty old legends are true, and that her destiny is linked to one legendary creature in particular – he dog like half-demon called Inuyasha! That same trick of fate also ties them both to the Shikon Jewel, or Jewel of Four Souls. But demons beware… the smallest shard of the Shikon Jewel can give the user unimaginable power.

  • Title: This Is How You Lose the Time War
  • Author: Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
  • Series: Standalone
  • Format: Paperback
  • Age Rating: Adult
  • Genre: Sci-Fi & Romance

Plot: Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading.
Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future. Except the discovery of their bond would mean death for each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win that war. That’s how war works. Right?

  • Title: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
  • Author: V.E. Schwab
  • Series: Standalone
  • Format: Hardback
  • Age Rating: New Adult
  • Genre: Historical/Fantasy Romance

Plot: When Addie LaRue makes a deal with devil, she trades her soul for immortality. But the devil takes away her place in the world, cursing her to be forgotten by everyone. Addie flees her tiny home town in 18th-Century France, beginning a journey that takes her across the world, learning to live a life where no one remembers her and everything she owns is lost and broken. Existing only as a muse for artists throughout history, she learns to fall in love anew every single day. Her only companion on this journey is her dark devil with hypnotic green eyes, who visits her each year on the anniversary of their deal. Alone in the world, Addie has no choice but to confront him, to understand him, maybe to beat him. Until one day, in a second hand bookshop in Manhattan, Addie meets someone who remembers her. Suddenly thrust back into a real, normal life, Addie realises she can’t escape her fate forever.

  • Title: My Killer Vacation
  • Author: Tessa Bailey
  • Series: Standalone
  • Format: Paperback
  • Age Rating: Adult
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance & Murder Mystery

Plot: It was supposed to be a relaxing vacation in sweet, sunny Cape Cod – just me and my beloved brother – but discovering a corpse in our rental house really throws a wrench into our tanning schedule. Now a rude, crude bounty hunter has arrived on the back of his motorcycle to catch the killer and refuses to believe I can be helpful, despite countless hours of true crime podcast listening. Not to mention a fulfilling teaching career of wrangling second graders. A brash bounty hunter and an energetic elementary schoolteacher: the murder-solving team no one asked for, but thanks to these pesky attempts on my life, we’re stuck together, come hell or high tide. I’m just here to do a job, not babysit an amateur sleuth. Although… it is becoming less and less of a hardship to have her around. Sure, she’s stubborn, distracting and can’t stay out of harm’s way. She’s also brave and beautiful and reminds me of the home I left behind three years ago. In other words, the insatiable hunger and protectiveness she is waking up in me is a threat to my peace of mind. Before I sink any deeper into this dangerous attraction, I need to solve this murder and get back on the road. But will fate take her from me before I realize the road has been leading to her all along?

Belladonna Review

Orphaned as a baby, nineteen-year-old Signa has been raised by a string of guardians, each more interested in her wealth than her well-being—and each has met an untimely end. Her remaining relatives are the elusive Hawthornes, an eccentric family living at Thorn Grove, an estate both glittering and gloomy. Its patriarch mourns his late wife through wild parties, while his son grapples for control of the family’s waning reputation and his daughter suffers from a mysterious illness. But when their mother’s restless spirit appears claiming she was poisoned, Signa realizes that the family she depends on could be in grave danger and enlists the help of a surly stable boy to hunt down the killer.

However, Signa’s best chance of uncovering the murderer is an alliance with Death himself, a fascinating, dangerous shadow who has never been far from her side. Though he’s made her life a living hell, Death shows Signa that their growing connection may be more powerful—and more irresistible—than she ever dared imagine.

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches Review

As one of the few witches in Britain, Mika Moon knows she has to hide her magic, keep her head down, and stay away from other witches so their powers don’t mingle and draw attention. And as an orphan who lost her parents at a young age and was raised by strangers, she’s used to being alone and she follows the rules…with one exception: an online account, where she posts videos “pretending” to be a witch. She thinks no one will take it seriously.

But someone does. An unexpected message arrives, begging her to travel to the remote and mysterious Nowhere House to teach three young witches how to control their magic. It breaks all of the rules, but Mika goes anyway, and is immediately tangled up in the lives and secrets of not only her three charges, but also an absent archaeologist, a retired actor, two long-suffering caretakers, and…Jamie. The handsome and prickly librarian of Nowhere House would do anything to protect the children, and as far as he’s concerned, a stranger like Mika is a threat. An irritatingly appealing threat.

As Mika begins to find her place at Nowhere House, the thought of belonging somewhere begins to feel like a real possibility. But magic isn’t the only danger in the world, and when a threat comes knocking at their door, Mika will need to decide whether to risk everything to protect a found family she didn’t know she was looking for….

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag 2022

I literally say this every year but how are we in June! These 6 months has flown by so quickly!!!!! This has by far been my best reading year to date! I have never read so much in a span of 6 months ever! I have read more in this 6 month span than some of my entire reading years!

Also, this has been the most enjoyable 6 month span. I have enjoyed loads of books this time round compared to other years. Let’s jump in as there is a lot to cover.

The Books I Have Read So Far!

Here are the reviews I have bought out so far this year.

  1. Mini ARC Reviews – The Key in the Lock & The Chosen Twelve
  2. The Twyford Code Review
  3. Mini Book Reviews: A Court of Thorns and Roses & Heartstopper: Volume One
  4. The Village of Eight Graves Review
  5. This One Summer Review
  6. The Obelisk Gate Review
  7. The Promised Neverland Vol. 1 & 2 Review
  8. The Atlas Six Review
  9. Mini Book Reviews: Under the Whispering Door & The Mad Women’s Ball
  10. Murder By The Book Review
  11. Beast and Beauty: Dangerous Tales Review
  12. The Killings of Kingfisher Hill Review
  13. Moriarty the Patriot: Volume 1 Review
  14. The Leviathan Review
  15. It Happened One Summer Review
  16. Attack on Titan Whole Series Review
  17. Three Act Tragedy Review

Challenge Update!

I have set myself 5 challenges this year.

  • The Goodreads Reading Challenge
  • Audiobook Challenge
  • Sequels Challenge
  • Work BOTM Challenge
  • Physical TBR Challenge

Goodreads Reading Challenge

So far, I have read 57 books out of my planned 70! A lot of this has been contributed to audiobooks and manga both of which I have started properly reading/listening to this year. I also decided to not increase my goal everytime I DNF a book as I couldn’t be bothered to continue doing so.

Audiobook Challenge

When I re-newed my phone I was able to get a free year of Audible so I set myself a challenge to expand my horizons and listen to some audiobooks. So far the challenge in doing quite well. I have listened to 6 audibooks so far and I am currently on my 7th. I set myself a goal to listen to 12 this year. So, that’s 6 out of 12!

  • Iron Widow – Xiran Jay Zhao
  • Empress and Aniya – Candice Carty-Williams
  • The Ghost Bride – Yangsze Choo
  • The Story of the World in 100 Moments – Neil Oliver
  • Dead Famous – Greg Jenner
  • Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The World’s Greatest Detective – Mark Aldridge

Sequels Challenge

Another challenge that is going at a steady pace. Every year I task myself with reading one more book from all the series I currently have on the go. As the years go on my list of on-going series increase rapidly. So, this year, I did get the shorter books out of the way first. This means I am left with the chunkier books for the latter part of the year. This will either haunt me or go really well, trying to get all my tomes read at once. Here is what I have read so far, in no particular order:

  • Three Act Tragedy – Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot #11)
  • The Man Who Died Twice – Richard Osman (The Thursday Murder Club #2)
  • Attack on Titan Vol. 2 – Hajime Isayama (I have actually read volumes 3, 4, 33 and 34. I just decided, having seen the show already, to just read the final volumes and finish the series that way.)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 6 – Hiromu Arakawa (I also read volume 7 as well)
  • The Village of Eight Graves – Seishi Yokomizo (Detective Kosuke Kindaichi #3)
  • The Killings at Kingfisher Hill – Sophie Hannah (New Hercule Poirot Mysteries #4)
  • The Obelisk Gate – N.K. Jemisin (The Broken Earth Trilogy #2)

My original list from Jan this year listed 16 different books from 16 different series. So, far I have read 7 out of the 16! Very soon to be 8!

I also started a bunch of new series this year!

  • Iron Widow – Xiran Jay Zhao
  • Haikyu!! – Haruichi Furudate
  • The Promised Neverland – Kaiu Shirai
  • The Atlas Six – Olivie Blake
  • British Library Crime Classics – British Library (Multiple Authors)
  • Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End – Kanehito Yamada
  • Moriarty the Patriot – Ryosuke Takeuchi
  • Solari – Tola Okogwu
  • The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang

Book of the Month Challenge

From Jan – Nov my bookstore highlights books they want to promote that month and I tried to read 1 for each month. But with this one I did fail. I went for one each month but that did not happen… My excuse is that I always have way to many books on my hands and I had to prioritise others books over this challenge. But here is what I did read:

  • The Hatmakers – Tamzin Merchant
  • Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Being Good – Louie Stowell
  • The Last Firefox – Lee Newbery
  • Noah’s Gold – Frank Cottrell-Boyce
  • Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun – Tola Okogwu

So, I have read 5 out of the released 6.

Physical TBR Challenge

Another challenge that I am not doing well on. To be honest, I know I will not complete this… Every year I try to get through my massive physical TBR. This consists of all the books I have either been gifted or bought from previous years and just haven’t got round to it. So far, out of my planned 30 (which is still only half of the books on my actual TBR) I have read 10! Not good at all.

Best Book I Have Read So Far

I have to go with The Promised Neverland Vol. 1 here. I had heard really good things about this series and I wanted to see if it was worth the hype and I was locked in from pretty much the first panel. I now compare each new manga to this first volume. Does this new manga I’m reading match up? Does it compare to how I felt when I read the first volume of this series?

Best Sequel I Have Read So Far

I read the first book back at the very beginning of 2021. While I enjoyed it, I felt that it couldn’t match the legendary hype I had seen all over social media. It was good enough for me to continue the story and then I picked up The Obelisk Gate. Now, this book was exactly what I expected the first book to be like. I loved this sequel so much. My mind was literally blown away by how amazing this book was. I have already bought the final book so I can read the ending.

A New Release You Haven’t Read But Are Excited For!

Everything about Her Majesty’s Royal Coven sounds incredible! Historical fiction, witches, getting the gang back together trope. Ugh I need to read this ASAP!

Biggest Disappointment So Far!

The first book in this series was a 5 star for me. And now the quality for me is slowly going down hill. I felt it the most when reading The Village of the Eight Graves. I just found myself bored, I thought certain additions were unneeded and now I can’t even remember who the murderer is and why they did what they did.

Biggest Surprise So Far

I have a whole blog post dedicated to how surprised I was by This Happened One Summer. I never really thought romance was for me until this book. Now I am up for reading more and more romance ASAP.

Favourite New Author

There are a lot of new authors that I read and loved but I think my favourite has to be Kaiu Shirai the author of The Promised Neverland. Every volume amazes me and blows my mind.

Favourite New Characters

  • Stella Lane – The Kiss Quotient
  • Piper Bellinger – It Happened One Summer
  • Tanaka – Haikyuu!!
  • Hugo – Under The Whispering Door
  • Libby Rhodes – The Atlas Six
  • Zetian – Iron Widow
  • Mom – The Promised Neverland

A Book That Made You Cry!

Under the Whispering Door had me sobbing! Literally sobbing! It was not a pretty sight whatsoever. I felt all the feelings reading this book.

A Book That Made You Happy!

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End is the first manga series I found by myself not through social media or friends. I am loving this series and I happy that I found it on my own.

The Most Beautiful Book You Have Received or Bought This Year

I ahve some big contenders coming up in the next couple of months but for now I will say the new Stormlight Archive collectors editions. I currently have The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance. Next month I should receive Oathbringer!

What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of This Year?

I have way too many! I literally tallied up how many books I own but haven’t read yet and it’s over 100!

It Happened One Summer Review

Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar… in Washington. Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be? She’s determined to show her stepfather—and the hot, grumpy local—that she’s more than a pretty face. Except it’s a small town and everywhere she turns, she bumps into Brendan. The fun-loving socialite and the gruff fisherman are polar opposites, but there’s an undeniable attraction simmering between them. Piper doesn’t want any distractions, especially feelings for a man who sails off into the sunset for weeks at a time. Yet as she reconnects with her past and begins to feel at home in Westport, Piper starts to wonder if the cold, glamorous life she knew is what she truly wants. LA is calling her name, but Brendan—and this town full of memories—may have already caught her heart. 

Always Human Review

In the near future, people use technology to give the illusion of all kinds of body modifications—but some people have “Egan’s Syndrome,” a highly sensitive immune system that rejects these “mods” and are unable to use them. Those who are affected maintain a “natural” appearance, reliant on cosmetics and hair dye at most to help them play with their looks. Sunati is attracted to Austen the first time she sees her and is drawn to what she assumes is Austen’s bravery and confidence to live life unmodded. When Sunati learns the truth, she’s still attracted to Austen and asks her on a date. Gradually, their relationship unfolds as they deal with friends, family, and the emotional conflicts that come with every romance. Together, they will learn and grow in a story that reminds us no matter how technology evolves, we will remain . . . always human.