The Word Nerd Reviews Team's August Top Picks!
Updated: Sep 17
August, the month that made us reach for comfort books and authors!
I think I speak for both of us when I say that August was an extremely busy month and not so good month where we weren't able to read as much as we wanted to, which lead to both of us picking our favourites among the books that made us feel the best during the month, We both needed comfort reads and this is what this books of the month list is all about, the books that brought up the most comfort and good vibes while we read them.
August has been a pretty terrible month for me personally. As a result, my ability to pay attention and to be able to critically analyze books has been compromised. I've not done a lot of 'official' reviewing during this time as I just don't think it would be fair to the amazing authors I work with.
However, this has given me the opportunity to go through my 'To Be Read' folder and be a true mood reader and just pick anything that can grab my attention long enough to finish it. Along the way, I've found some true gems that have been hidden in the depths of my TBR for way too long!
In the Absence of Light - Adrienne Wilder
This is one of those books that everyone needs to read at least once....
I, however, can see myself reading this many times over.
This book has it all: gorgeous but very flawed characters, a well-developed secondary cast, beautiful prose, all the romance you could possibly want, and enough steam to melt your e-reader! It also has a very in-depth plot with all sorts of goodies: a violent ex, ex-criminal hiding from the FBI, and said ex-criminal having to face up to his past to save his future. Romance and action/suspense - what a great mix!! I have no direct experience with autism, but the portrayal in this book seemed to mirror what I have observed from different sources and to me at least, it was sensitively described. Morgan was not a victim of his disorder, but a strong man who with help overcame his obstacles. A line from the book sums it up (paraphrased - not a direct quote): Morgan is a normal man with a disability; he is not a disability in the form of a normal man. This was, for me, one of those special stories that stay with you well after the last page is turned, and if you haven't read it yet, I urge you to do so!
Powder and Pavlova (Southern Lights #1) - Jay Hogan
Not Enough Stars!
Jay Hogan has once again given us a story with heart. Kurt and Ethan's grief is not easy to witness, and it had me in tears on more than one occasion. However, this story is ultimately about overcoming and living. A lesson Ethan, Kurt, and Tanner have all had to learn. Despite the shedding of a few tears, I also laughed many times and had a silly grin on my face from the antics and the sigh-worthy romance. This book has plenty of heat, but it is also intimate and sensual, making the reader feel Ethan and Tanner's relationship on a mental and emotional level. I can't wait to start book two and see what trouble Tanner's flamboyant city-loving best friend gets up to. If you've been hesitating to start this one, don't put it off any longer. This book is a funny, emotional page-turner you don't want to miss.
The Unicorn's Mate - Delaney Rain
A new to me author, but I think this will be the first book of many!
This story is simply gorgeous. It's a story of accepting yourself and recognizing that there are people around who will support you - you simply need to see it. It's a serious theme, but it's portrayed in a manner that is sensitive but light. There are never any really heavy or depressing sections.ç This story is the perfect light read where you want to escape or refresh your mind. I was absolutely surprised by how much I loved it, and I can't wait to read the other books by this author.
Endangered Species (Time Served #1) - Onley James
Onley James' work usually has a dark aspect to it. Psychopaths, sociopaths, abuse, assassins, all in a day's work.
For the most part, her books are liberally sprinkled with humour that leaves you grinning, if not laughing out loud. This breaks up the darkness, providing a small relief to the tension. Not so much in this one. The setting and the circumstances Nicky finds himself in don't really lend themselves to humour, no matter how dark. Yet, despite Nicky and Cy's terror that you can feel leap off the page, there is relief in the form of Nicky and Cy's emotional bond. Cy's alliances in the prison also offer some relief to the tension. Wyatt's brief appearances also add a touch of humour, no matter how fleeting. In combination, these elements stop the story from becoming too intense or depressing.
This book may be less humorous than many of Onley's works, but it is gripping and addictive, with a beautiful happily ever after that brought a tear to my eye. Nicky and Cy get their well-deserved happy ending and that alone makes it all worth it. Highly recommended!!
The 5th Gender - G.L. Carriger
This was a total surprise read. I didn't know what I was in the mood for and just started skimming. Hooked pretty much immediately!
If you've been unsure about this one, I encourage you to give it a go. If you enjoy a sunshiney alien who is desperate to love, and a gruff human who wants nothing more than to love him, then you'll have a lot of fun with this one!
(narrated by Michael Lesley)
August was the month of doing everything but reading. We were peak in the middle of music festival season where I live, which took most of my free time. So the few minutes I had to dedicate to reading every day went to my favourite authors or authors that almost always work for me. I just wanted comfort and books that I knew I could pick up and love every second I spent reading them.
I just want to start with a quick shoutout to some of my favourite reads of this month, that didn't make it into this list. Grudge by Gianni Holmes, which was just the cutest daddy kink mafia romance and I just loved reading it. Dark Secret by Sue Brown, which was a book I was really anticipating and that gave me everything I wanted out of the story, it was just the cutest thing. The Professor's Date by Lane Hayes, which was a super cute and nerdy story that gave me all of the feels. Don't Hold Back by Colette Davison, which was just a super adorable hurt/comfort story that provided me with all of the good vibes. Until Now by Kate Hawthorne, which was the conclusion to a story I had been waiting to read and it was everything I wanted it to be. Only for the Summer by Shannon O'Connor, which was the cutest fake relationship summer book that provided the best distraction for me.
Mercy (Salacious Players Club #4) - Sara Cate
This book is not only my favourite book I read in August, but also a strong candidate for my favourite book I read this year.
I’m very simple person, if a book with a relationship between a man and a woman is BDSM and the woman is the domme, I will read it, no matter what. This type of dynamic is one of my favourite dynamic when it comes to kink in books and god was this book everything I wanted it to be.
This book was my most anticipated book of the last 3 months. I’ve been hyped for this book for what feels like an eternity. And now that the day is finally here and that I read it, I can safely say that this book was just perfect for me. This was everything I have ever wanted in a book and more, so much more.
I just loved everything about this book. I always love a good domme and sub book, and this one was just perfectly done for me. I just adored the kink exploration in this book. Both of the main characters were new to kink and they explored it together and that was just wonderful to me. I loved seeing them explore the different aspects of kink and what would be good for them. I loved seeing them trying out many things to see what would work for them as individuals and as a couple. I just loved seeing them experiement with kink and find the footing and what they love, together.
The relationship in this book. I just loved it, so much. The relationship between Beau and Maggie is the stuff that my dreams are made off. They were just so well suited for each other. They truly completed each other. And I just loved how much they cared for each other and how it showed through their every action. I loved how they talked about everything and how they always listened to each other. They truly had one of the best and cutest relationship I have ever read about and I just adored every seconds of it. I just loved how they accept each other no matter wha and how they cheer each other on through it all. It was just the cutest thing ever.
Also, the kink and the sex scenes in this book were just so absolutely wonderful and also some of the hotest scenes I have read in a while, while I just really adored.
I'm pretty sure that Sara Cate found a way to scan my brain and pull out everything I have ever wanted into a book so that she could incorporate it into this book. It really is rare for me to find a book that incorporates so many things I love into one book and this one had everything I could have ever asked for.
(narrated by Lucy Rivers and Gideon Frost)
Make me fall (Water, Air, Earth, Fire, #2) – Riley Nash
This book had everything I could have asked for in a book and I just adored every second of it.
I read this book on a very good day. I had traveled 5 hours to go see one of my favourite bands of all time in concert and it was one of the best concerts I have ever been to. And when I came back home, I was in a super good mood and I picked up this book and read it in one sitting and it just closed off the day perfectly for me. And I just enjoyed this book so much that I can honestly say that the concert followed by reading this book made it one of the best days I’ve had in a while. Reading this just really really worked for me in the mood that I was in when I read the book and it was the perfect way of ending the day for me.
At this point, I don’t know if it’s the book, or the wonderful mood I was in when I read it, but both combined surely led to one of the best reading experiences I have had in forever. This was a case of perfect book at the perfect time, and I’m so glad it was this one.
I also love a good grumpy and sunshine book, especially if that book has one of the best and most perfectly fleshed out characters I have read about in ages. The two main characters in this book were just so wonderful and I just loved reading about them.
Also, this book was very much hurt/comfort, which is one of my favourite things to read about. This just made me so emotional and made me cry my eyes out multiple times, due to how well done it was. I just loved how angsty this book was and then how it made everything better with the comfort it provided.
Also, I just adored the relationship in this book. It was one of the cutest and most romantic relationships I have read about in ages. The romance in this book just made me melt so much and I absolutely adored it.
Reading this book was just a wonderful experience for me and it's not one I will forget any time soon.
Adrift in the Embers (The Game #7) - Cara Dee
This book was just everything I wanted it to be and it was an absolute joy to read.
This book is better read after the previous book in this series, The Shepherd, for maximum enjoyement.
I just enjoyed this book so much. I was really looking forward to reading this book, after I read the previous book in this series and it did not dissapoint me, at all. This book had everything I wanted to read about and it was such an enjoyable reading experience for me.
This book is about Corey who is in a bad relationship. He has been hanging out with Greer, Sloane and Archie lately, who keep showing him how much better life could be if he was with them instead.
I just adored Corey, so so much. He was such an enjoyable character to read from. I could really relate to Corey and a lot of his thoughts so I really appreciated being in his head and reading all about it, since this book is all in his point of view. I also adored how much everyone cared for Corey and how they kept doing little things to show that they care for him, it was just so cute.
I really loved the relationship in this one. It was just so good to me. I really loved their dynamic and everyone really complimented each other. I also loved how much everyone seemed to care for each other and how well their wants and needs fit with the others. I really loved how they all put each other before anything else and how it never felt like anyone was left behind.
I just really appreciated reading this book. It was such an enjoyable experience and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
Famine (The Four Horsemen #3) by Sienna Moreau
I was waiting for this book and I was super excited to read it and i’m happy to report that it ended up really working for me.
I’ve been super invested in this series and i’m really enjoying following along the characters journey and it was the same for this book. This was just such a enjoyable installment in the series and I had a really good time reading it.
I really love the plot and the world building in this series. It’s always developed in so many details and super nicely crafted. And it was just so fascinating to read in this book. The plot of this book went in so many directions that I never saw coming and I enjoyed each and every one of them. I had such a good time following through these characters journey and seeing where the plot would take them.
I just adored the romance in this book. It was so well crafted. I just wanted to keep reading so I could see where their relationship would go. I always love a good second chance romance and the way this one was executed was just such a joy to read. The romance in this book just made me feel so many emotions, I went from pure joy to absolute torture where I was crying my eyes out more than once and I absolutely loved that. It kept the book very engaging to read. The romance in this book was so romantic and I loved every seconds of it.
Meet Me There by K.M. Neuhold
This book worked for me because it was a premise that I can really relate to and it was such an unique reading experience for me.
The premise of this book is everything I have ever wanted out of a romance book. I have never found another romance book that was like this one, where most of the book is the main characters actively being in a long-distance relationship. And I have yearned and craved for a book like this for years. This is an experience that I can really relate to due to my own life experiences so it made for a wonderful reading experience for me.
So, while I really appreciated the content of this book, what really worked for me here, is how I could relate to every second of their relationship and how I kept comparing the character’s experiences with my own. That just really enhanced the reading experience for me.
I loved the long-distance relationship in this book. The meeting online and getting to know each other part, was just so relatable and absolutely wonderful to read. And everything about the time that they spent doing long distance, the longing, the pining, the want to be near each other so much but you must wait a little, no matter how much you don’t want to. The face-to-face meetings where you do everything to see each other and the want to spend every seconds together because you don’t know when you will get to see each other again. The stilled goodbyes that feel like they will rip your heart apart more and more every time you do it. The want to say fuck it all but not being able to because in the end, you love that person, even if the distance hurts. Just everything about how this was portrayed in this book worked for me.
My favourite thing in the world is reading about online interactions in books. And this book had so many texting interactions it just made my heart melt. That was just the cutest thing in the world to me.
Also, this book is about chilhood friends to lovers and I just loved how you could see the remains of their childhood friendship in everything that the characters did, that was just so good to me.
I don’t think I have ever read a book in which I could identify to the romance as much as I could with this book. This book was exactly what I have been waiting to read for years in a romance book.
(narrated by Nick. J. Russo)
August's Books of the Month:
(narrated by Michael Lesley)
(narrated by Lucy Rivers and Gideon Frost)
(narrated by Nick. J. Russo)
(narrated by Alexander Cendese)
Most of the books listed are available in Kindle Unlimited. Don't have Kindle Unlimited?