Happy December, friends 💜📖
Here we are at last. The end of the year. As I get older the years seem to get shorter and shorter but also better and better. Each year brings it’s own lessons and experiences that I’m so happy for. Not all of them are pleasant experiences but they all help me grow.
For the final month of the year, I’ve picked out mostly fantasy books to read and some romance to end the year on a lighthearted and fun note.
“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”-Dr. Seuss
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
I’ve been meaning to read this since it was released and it seems like a good winter read.
Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.
And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.
Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.
The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
Another one I’ve been meaning to read for ages! I actually started this one awhile ago but wasn’t in the mood for historical romance. It’s one of my favourite genres for this time of the year though and I really want to read the series before the Netflix adaptation gets off the ground.
Can there be any greater challenge to London’s Ambitious Mamas than an unmarried duke?
—Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers, April 1813
By all accounts, Simon Basset is on the verge of proposing to his best friend’s sister, the lovely—and almost-on-the-shelf—Daphne Bridgerton. But the two of them know the truth—it’s all an elaborate plan to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers. And as for Daphne, surely she will attract some worthy suitors now that it seems a duke has declared her desirable.
But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, it’s hard to remember that their courtship is a complete sham. Maybe it’s his devilish smile, certainly it’s the way his eyes seem to burn every time he looks at her… but somehow Daphne is falling for the dashing duke… for real! And now she must do the impossible and convince the handsome rogue that their clever little scheme deserves a slight alteration, and that nothing makes quite as much sense as falling in love…
Skinwalker by Faith Hunter
Everyone in the Urban Fantasy raves about this series so it’s a wonder I haven’t read it yet.
Jane Yellowrock is the last of her kind—a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can turn into any creature she desires and hunts vampires for a living. But now she’s been hired by Katherine Fontaneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans and the madam of Katies’s Ladies, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who’s killing other vamps.
Amidst a bordello full of real “ladies of the night,” and a hot Cajun biker with a panther tattoo who stirs her carnal desire, Jane must stay focused and complete her mission—or else the next skin she’ll need to save just may be her own…
The Bromance Bookclub by Lyssa Kay Adams
I was so excited to get this book (pre-ordered it and everything) but then didn’t read it. It should make for some nice easy going reading over the hectic Christmas season.
The first rule of book club:
You don’t talk about book club.
Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.
Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.
Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.
>RELATED: November’s Reading List
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
I enjoyed A Court of Thorns and Roses but I’m told this one is even better. I may not actually get to this one though because it’s a long book and I want to read a few books this month.
Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.
With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.
Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole
I really want to reread this series before the final book comes out next year. I’m really excited and nervous about this series ending!
Can Evie convince her rival loves to work together? Their survival depends on it in this third book of #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles, a nonstop action tale of rescue, redemption, and a revenge most wicked.
Evie was almost seduced by the life of comfort that Death offered her—until Jack was threatened by two of the most horrific Arcana, the Lovers. She will do anything to save him, even escape Death’s uncanny prison, full of beautiful objects, material comforts…and stolen glances from a former love.
Despite leaving a part of her heart behind with Death, Evie sets out into a perilous post-apocalyptic wasteland to meet up with her allies and launch an attack on the Lovers. Such formidable enemies require a battle plan, and the only way to kill them may mean Evie, Jack, and Death allying. Evie doesn’t know what will prove more impossible: surviving slavers, plague, Bagmen and other Arcana—or convincing Jack and Death to work together.
Two heroes returned
There’s a thin line between love and hate, and Evie just doesn’t know where she stands with either Jack or Death. Will this unlikely trio be able to defeat The Lovers without killing one another first…?
Untouchable (Deep Kiss of Winter) by Kresley Cole
This isn’t a Christmas book but it’s the closest thing to one from Cole and I am itching for some of her PNR.
In this paranormal story from the Deep Kiss of Winter anthology, #1 New York Times best-selling author Kresley Cole delivers a breathtaking tale about a brutal vampire soldier who experiences love for the first time…and a Valkyrie aching to be touched.
Murdoch Wroth will stop at nothing to claim Daniela the Ice Maiden — the delicate Valkyrie who makes his heart beat for the first time in three hundred years. Yet the exquisite Danii is part ice fey, and her freezing skin can’t be touched by anyone but her own kind without inflicting pain beyond measure. Soon desperate for closeness, in an agony of frustration, Murdoch and Danii will do anything to have each other. Together, can they find the key that will finally allow them to slake the overwhelming desire burning between them?
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
So, this book is meant to be amazing. It’s about time I read it especially since I’ve been enjoying more and more YA fantasy books lately.
Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.
When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
I created a list on Scribd and added a bunch of Christmas romance novels, novellas and audiobooks to it. I don’t expect to read them all but I’ll certainly have something festive and feel good to read on Christmas Day. Check out the list here. I will have a post about Christmas books soon as well.
December Reading List from @elainehowlin_Tweet
Hello friends, here is my second journal with me of 2021 in my new reading journal. Two months of nothing and then two videos in a row! I aim for a rustic vintage aesthetic with my reading journal but I would like to bring a bit more of a dark academia style to it going… Read more
Hello friends, here is my first journal with me of 2021 in my new reading journal. I aim for a rustic vintage aesthetic with my reading journal but I would like to bring a bit more of a dark academia style to it going forward. I feel like that style would suit a reading journal… Read more
In honour of The Irish Readathon happening all of this month, I created some Ireland themed ephemera bundles for reading journals, junk journals and scrapbooks. You could use them in other craft projects as well like card making. I used vintage maps of Ireland, illustrations of various areas in Ireland, Irish script, and hand-drawn illustrations… Read more
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Links provided are affiliate links. If you make a purchase from these links I will earn a moderate commission. This post contains advertisements. None of this influences my review. Synopsis and book cover from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_