The Word Nerd Reviews Team's January Top Picks!
Updated: Mar 18
"We should each pick one book for book of the month"
*cue hysterical laughter* HAHA! Famous last words, there is no way we'd ever be able to pick a single book! I'm just grateful we limited to the top three each, and even that was almost impossible!
To be honest, January was a bit of a mixed bag reading wise. I'm a mood reader, and I blame a lot of that on the New Year 'meh' feeling. However, it made those books that stood out even more special.
I'm going to be really cheeky and add in one latecomer that missed the initial cut off for this post. Jay Hogan's Off Balance lived up to the hype, and I'm so happy to have read Judah and Morgan's story. Plus I timed it so well that latest book in the series is out in just a few days!!
Demon's in the Details ~ Meghan Maslow;
Narration ~ Greg Boudreaux
This was my third read for this month, finishing it on 4 January, and the only reason it took me that long was because I had to work!! I read and listened to this one thanks to Whispersync, and it was an experience that stuck with me. Even now, 4 weeks later I still think about this book/narration duo.
Meghan Maslow was a new to me author, and while the story intrigued me -(who wouldn't be curious about a take on Rumpelstiltskin that also involved crow shifters?) it was Greg Boudreaux's narration that sealed the deal, and made me give it a go.
What I found was a new favourite author, who weaved a complex and sensual tale of a demon with a heart of gold, and a crow shifter who thought he had nothing to offer and was just trying to survive and protect his family.
If you haven't read/listened to this one yet, I simply cannot recommend it highly enough!! I've very much looking forward to the next book in the series.
Curl Up and Dye Mysteries ~ Aimee Nicole Walker; Narration ~ Joel Leslie
I picked up the Curl Up and Dye Mysteries series after someone described the prequel to me. I was intrigued and decided to give it a go. I'd also heard rave reviews of Joel Leslie's narration so decided to use Whispersync again. The story, the characters, the narration, grabbed me from the first moment. The story is a delicate blend of emotional romance, high heat, and suspense in a whodunit format. Joel did an amazing job bringing the characters to life and adding more than a little passion to the intimate scenes. I do suggest though, that you follow the reading list on Goodreads, as this series intersects with the Blissville series, and if you read them out of order you'll end up confused. The Blissville series is a spin off featuring the supporting cast from the Curl Up and Dye series, so really it's like reading just one series. Highly Recomended!
Dad's Omega Best Friend (Meadowfall Professors #2) ~ Anna Wineheart
This one was a bit of an unexpected surprise. I had enjoyed the first book in this series, and was looking forward to the next, but I didn't expect to love this one as much as I did. This was an intensely emotional and romantic story. My heart absolutely bled for poor Nico who had gone through so much trauma. I'll admit this one had me in tears a few times, but there was also plenty of humour and lighter situations to break it up, so it never felt overwhelmingly heavy. It also has the most beautiful HEA to make it all worthwhile. It's a much better experience if you've read the first book, but this could be read as a standalone.
Dad's Omega Bestfriend (Meadowfall Professors #2) - book
Measuring Up (Meadowfall Professors #1) - book
Off Balance (Painted Bay #1) - book
January was quite a fantastical reading month for me. I really enjoyed quite a lot of books and I had some really good reading experiences throughout the month, and I read some books that I don’t think I will ever forget about.
A Matter of Fact (Two Truths and a Lie # 3)
~ Kate Hawthorne
While this could be read as a standalone, I feel like it’s really beneficial to the reading experience to read the series in order as this book is the redemption of one of the side characters in the first two books of the series. This book is about Rhys, who is a cruel, manipulative and very money driven side character in the first books of this series. This book was my most anticipated new release of the entire year and it gave me everything I could have ever wanted in a book. The redemption of an evil side character is my favourite book trope of all time and the way this book handled Rhys’ redemption was absolutely marvelous to me. I love when redemption books show me what the character did wrong, and what his reasons were for it, and why he wasn’t the nicest person in the past. I love when the book shows me the character acknowledging what he did wrong in the past and then the character works on being a better person and this book did exactly all that with such brilliance that I just adored every second of it. I started this book disliking Rhys but being really intrigued about his character, and he’s now one of, if not my favourite, main character that I have ever read about in a book.
“Beckett, I think I’m in love with you.”[...] “You don’t have to say it back.”
“What if I want to?” [...]
“What if I love you too?” [...]
“Then you’re a fool,” [...]
“Then I’m a fool.”
This book is about Rhys’ redeeming himself for what he did in the past but it’s also about Rhys meeting a man named Beckett and falling in love with him. And the romance part of this book was so wonderful. I swooned so many times while reading this book, it just gave me so much good feelings and the romance was so heartwarming. I absolutely adored Beckett and Rhys together. I loved how they had really good communication and how they just wanted to make each other happy and give the other everything that they have ever wanted. I loved how you could see how happy they made each other through their every action, it was just so sweet to read about.
Reading this book was such a satisfying reading experience for me and I felt so rewarded by the end of the book, the journey the book took me on was wonderful and it was perfectly crafted and it provided me with everything that I could have ever ask for in a book.
A Matter of Fact by Kate Hawthorne is released on 1 March 2022 and is available for preorder.
Two books were very strong candidates for my favourite book of the month, and both could have taken the spot, but I happened to get an ARC for A Matter of Fact, my most anticipated release of the entire year, and in the end, that book just took over everything for me.
His Boy to Cherish ~ Colette Davison
This book is really high on comfort, and I loved every minute of that. I love a little hurt with a lot of comfort in my books, and this was definitely the case of this book. I have been reading a lot of daddy kink books lately, and this book gave me all I could ever want from this type of book. I would take a hundred more books like this one and I would love them all, because the way this book was done was just perfect to me. The way this book captured the dynamic between the boy and the daddy is absolutely perfect to me, and it was just so lovely to read about. The romance in this book was so sweet and it made me swoon so many times while I was reading the book. This book is so comforting and I have the best time reading it.
Full review of His Boy to Cherish can be found here.
Shaun's Salvation (Maine Men #5) ~ K.C. Wells
I was very keen on reading this book because Shaun’s dad has Alzheimer’s, and I wanted to see how the book would handle that. I hadn’t read a book with a side character that has Alzheimer’s before this one and I loved how that part of the book was done. I really loved how much of an emphasis on grief there was in the book, that felt so realistic and it was lovely to read about. But also, I absolutely loved the romance in this book. I’m not the biggest fan of slow burns, and this book is definitely a slow burn but it worked so well for me in this case. I loved reading about all of the small moments between the main characters, like how they held hands for comfort, before they got together. I absolutely loved the romance in this book, it was just super sweet and a source of comfort for the characters and it really worked for me.
Shaun's Salvation is book 5 of the Maine Men series. I could be read as a standalone, but is best enjoyed as part of the series. It is also available as an audiobook (Whispersync ready) narrated by John Solo
A Matter of Fact - book
His Boy to Cherish - book
The Maine Men series - books (all are also available on audio, whispersync ready and narrated by John Solo)