LAST YEAR I WAS READING…(December 8, 2021)

This meme was created by Reading Marie. It’s a great meme because it’s nice and easy to do.

Here are the rules:

Take your current read and compare it to what you reading this exact time last year. Which one do you like better? What is different about the books? Any special facts/things you want to make note of or bring attention to

This Year I Am Reading…

When I gave up life as a hitman, I thought everything was going to be better. I was going to become a PI, help people, and live normally… and then I met Jeremy, the most perfect man to have ever saved my life (I mean, he might be the only one who has saved my life, but he’s still the best at it). From that point on, it was all over for me—I knew we were meant to be. The issue is that he doesn’t… quite seem to realize that. But when he’s targeted by criminals (literally, someone just shot at his head), he needs to rely on someone, so why not me? He might not know about my past as a hitman or that I don’t need to be protected, but I’m prepared to do everything I can to save the day.

When my past comes back with a vengeance, I’ve never felt so alone and out of my element. That is, until Cassel offers me information that I desperately need, forcing me to drag him straight into danger. The issue is that he’s too sweet and innocent for this world and I’m not sure that I’m strong enough to protect him, but I can’t bring myself to push him away. As truths come to light, I realize that maybe Cassel isn’t quite who I thought he was, and maybe we’re not so different after all.

While you can read The Former Assassin’s Guide on its own, you’ll get maximum enjoyment by reading The Hitman’s Guide series first. This book contains speedy car chases and not-so-speedy ATV rides, a wager Cassel is determined to win even if it kills him, and way-too-tight sparkly spandex suits.

Amazon Buy Links: KindleAudiobook
Amazon UK Buy Links: Paperback | Audiobook

I love this rag-tag band of unlikely heroes, but so far, the story needs more Jeremy+Cassel moments.

Last Year I Was Reading…

USA TODAY bestselling author Ella Frank concludes the story of Sean Bailey and Alexander “Xander” Thorne in Headlines.


If I had to describe Sean Bailey, it would be as the sexy, caring, wonderful man I’ve gone and fallen in love with. I never could’ve imagined a world where he was my everything. But with each passing day, the connection between us grows stronger, and the idea of a world without him is something I can’t imagine.

But Sean’s love doesn’t come without complications. As the older brother of my lifelong best friend, this new love has caused relationships to break down and communication to become stilted, and the one question that remains is: am I willing to give up the love and friendship of one for the chance of love and forever with another?

I didn’t mean to fall in love with Alexander Thorne, my brother’s ex and the number one prime-time news anchor in the country. I mean, no one could’ve seen that coming—least of all me. But that’s exactly what happened over these past couple of months: I fell in love.

That’d be complicated enough, I suppose, but Xander? Well, he fell in love with me too, and while it’s caused some major upset in the dynamics around here, I have to believe that a love this real can only lead to somewhere amazing.

This thing between us started out as a job, a friend helping out a friend. But after playing the role of Xander’s boyfriend, I find myself wanting the job full-time, because neither of us are playing anymore.

Headlines is the final book of the Prime Time Series and should only be read after book one, Inside Affair, and book two, Breaking News.

Bookshop: US
Amazon Buy Links: Kindle Audiobook
Amazon UK Buy Links: Paperback | Audiobook

A finale that would not have made it on the front page had it not been for the beautiful romance between Sean and Xander. The rest of the book wasn’t news-worthy enough.

My 3-star review here.

Today, we have two contemporary romances about law enforcement officers. One is on the comedic side, the other tends to be more angsty. The current is an unrequited love by an assassin-turned-PI for a police officer with a dark past. The former is an established relationship between a police detective who fell for the news anchor he was guarding while playing his fake boyfriend. Both books have a strong sense of family or found family. The current is a spin-off while last year’s read is the finale of a trilogy.

The Former Assassin’s Guide To Snagging A Reluctant Boyfriend shines the spotlight on Cassel. He was introduced in The Hitman’s Guide series as Leland’s housekeeper. He was actually another assassin trained by Leland’s former mentor. Our boy has a bad crush on Jeremy, a police officer, and has been forever trying to get the man to notice him. Then one day, Jeremy was nearly shot. Cassel jumps at the chance to play hero and find out who’s after his man.

The book brings us more of the entire Hitman’s Guide gang’s ridiculous antics. Their found family dynamics mostly revolved around husbands Leland and Jackson but Cassel held his own against the more OTT Leland. Jeremy’s past moves the story forward while Jeremy himself seems to be just there for the ride. I love Jeremy and Cassel as a couple. I’m already in the 3rd act and yet the book is still oddly reluctant to give them quality time together.

Headlines gives Sean and Xander their HEA, making them wade through a bunch of non-events to get there. The main issue here was that Bailey, Sean’s little brother, also Xander’s best friend, didn’t take the news of their relationship well. 

There’s a lot of unnecessary family and relationship drama that could have been resolved sooner. However, Sean and Xander remained solid throughout most of the book. Their strength as a couple pulled the book’s ratings up.

Between the reluctant and the steady, I say, happy endings are everybody’s dream, new beginnings take us there.

I’m ending the post with a book I’m looking forward to reading.

As the last of my kind, I’ve long lived in the shadows. But, with the death of my father, I have a dying wish to fulfill, and I can no longer keep quiet. I can no longer stand back and watch as the Santa Claus Organization takes everything from us. So, I launch an attack that was doomed from the start. I am but one krampus up against the cruelest organization in the world. I knew it was a long shot. I knew I would likely die.

Then something surprising happens. The most recent Santa Claus comes into my life, and I don’t know what to make of him. He wasn’t what I was expecting. He’s supposed to be a puppet. A heartless, despicable Santa. But he’s not. He’s … a good person?

Do I have things wrong? Have I had them wrong all along? Or am I falling for the biggest con in the world?

Either way, change is coming for North Pole, and this is sure to be the deadliest Christmas on record and a time that no one will ever forget.

A Christmas to Fight For is a standalone M/M Fantasy Romance. It is recommended for readers 18+
Content Warning: Coarse language, violence, and sexual situations between two men.

This book does not connect to A Christmas to Die For.

Amazon Buy Links: US | UK

I’m not very familiar with the krampus so this book grabbed my attention right away. Pairing the krampus with santa is a stroke of holiday brilliance!

What were you reading this time last year?

(I hope it’s as riveting as Morticia’s book)

reading-gif-17 - Fumble

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