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December TBR

This year hasn’t been the best for me in terms of reaching my reading challenge goal. I set out a 100 book goal and I’m nearly half way through it. I just have been so busy with other things and I’ve been focusing on my health and surgeries.

I still have a month left to get some reading in and I’m determined to post the rest of my book reviews. So, without further ado, here are the books I plan on reading until the end of the year.

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I’m finishing up the second half of Of Blood and Bone

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the epic Year One returns with a new tale of terror and magic in a brand new world.

They look like an everyday family living an ordinary life. But beyond the edges of this peaceful farm, unimaginable forces of light and dark have been unleashed.

Fallon Swift, approaching her thirteenth birthday, barely knows the world that existed before—the city where her parents lived, now in ruins and reclaimed by nature since the Doom sickened and killed billions. Traveling anywhere is a danger, as vicious gangs of Raiders and fanatics called Purity Warriors search for their next victim. Those like Fallon, in possession of gifts, are hunted—and the time is coming when her true nature, her identity as The One, can no longer be hidden.

In a mysterious shelter in the forest, her training is about to begin under the guidance of Mallick, whose skills have been honed over centuries. She will learn the old ways of healing; study and spar; encounter faeries and elves and shifters; and find powers within herself she never imagined. And when the time is right, she will take up the sword, and fight. For until she grows into the woman she was born to be, the world outside will never be whole again.

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I’ll move onto the third book in the Chronicles of One series by Nora Roberts, The Rise of Magicks.

Nora Roberts, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Year One and Of Blood and Bone concludes her stunning new trilogy praised as “A match for end-of-the-world classics like Stephen King’s The Stand” with The Rise of Magicks.

After the sickness known as the Doom destroyed civilization, magick has become commonplace, and Fallon Swift has spent her young years learning its ways. Fallon cannot live in peace until she frees those who have been preyed upon by the government or the fanatical Purity Warriors, endlessly hunted or locked up in laboratories, brutalized for years on end. She is determined to save even those who have been complicit with this evil out of fear or weakness–if, indeed, they can be saved.

Strengthened by the bond she shares with her fellow warrior, Duncan, Fallon has already succeeded in rescuing countless shifters and elves and ordinary humans. Now she must help them heal–and rediscover the light and faith within themselves. For although from the time of her birth, she has been The One, she is still only one. And as she faces down an old nemesis, sets her sights on the enemy’s stronghold, and pursues her destiny–to finally restore the mystical shield that once protected them all–she will need an army behind her… 

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Next is another trilogy by Susan Old about vampires. I’m excited to re-read the first book and to move onto the other two. If you haven’t checked it out, I would highly recommend. Rare Blood, Rhapsody In Blood, and Gift of Blood.

Rare Blood (The Miranda Chronicles, #1)

“The first time I met Tristan I thought he was a conceited, arrogant, womanizing bastard. Too late, I realized those were his best qualities. It was a warm, May evening in Los Angeles. A book party was held at the Bel Air Hotel to promote my thriller OBSESSION WITH DEATH. Three years of disciplined writing and the luck of signing with a well-connected agent had put me on the brink of success…”

Miranda Ortega was about to find out why a Templar knight, Tarot Cards, a rare blood type, and an extremely seductive billionaire book publisher all played important roles in her life.

She could not believe her luck when a scholarship to UCLA enabled her to leave the cornfields of Illinois and pursue writing. Little did Miranda know that the events in her life were part of a well-orchestrated plan by an ancient being called the Magus.

Her book agent pressures her to meet the demands of Tristan Mordecai, her publisher who has no sense of personal boundaries. She feels control of her life slipping away as she is pulled into a nocturnal world of Lamborghini driving, Chanel wearing, egomaniac assassins with a strict liquid diet.

There, she struggles to make sense of a crazy world where people are often not what they appear to be. Fortunately, she has a really good bullshit detector, with little regard for class distinctions.

Miranda Ortega loves to surprise people who underestimate her, especially powerful, wealthy, brilliant vampire nobility.

Rhapsody in Blood: The Miranda Chronicles: Book II

Miranda, exasperated with her powerful, unfaithful, arrogant husband, Baron Tristan Mordecai, returns to the small farm town where she grew up. Crazed monk vampire hunters, rebellion within the nocturnal world, and jealous lovers of her husband follow and challenge Miranda’s ability to protect her family.

Miranda, exasperated with her powerful, unfaithful, arrogant husband, Baron Tristan Mordecai, returns to the small farm town where she grew up. Crazed monk vampire hunters, rebellion within the nocturnal world, and jealous lovers of her husband follow and challenge Miranda’s ability to protect her family.

Watched over at night by an ancient, scholarly vampire, and during the day by a vampire approved mortal biker, makes readjusting to rural life after years living in L.A. a daily struggle. After settling in for only a few weeks, a visit by the Baron throws her life back into chaos. He stirs up Miranda’s conflicting emotions of love and resentment, complicated by passion and frustration. The night of his first visit succeeds in igniting her fiery temper, and on a visit to town attracts the notice of the local police.

Join Miranda in her search for normalcy as the ever-chaotic insanity of the centuries-old vampire society seeks to avoid attention in the modern world. Miranda’s coffee intake increases as she continues to fight the centuries-old vampire patriarchy.

Gift of Blood: Miranda Chronicles Book III

Newly divorced Miranda Ortega- Mordecai has moved her family to the Pacific Northwest to limit contact with the vampire society. The Common Caste rebellion is over, but there are still rogue vampires targeting Miranda and her children. The Magus, the original vampire, will do anything to get samples of her rare HH blood. Tristan will not let go of her that easily, and other vampires vie for her attention. Miranda has only one course of action to protect her family.

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I would like to read Malibu Rising, which has been on my tbr list for quite some time.

Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of twenty-four hours, their lives will change forever.

Malibu: August, 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together, the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over—especially as the offspring of the legendary singer, Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud—because it is long past time to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.

And Kit has a couple secrets of her own—including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come bubbling to the surface.

Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them… and what they will leave behind.

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Another on my tbr list is The Last Thing He Told Me.

We all have stories we never tell.
Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her.

Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers: Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.

As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered; as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss; as a US Marshal and FBI agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.

Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth, together. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they are also building a new future. One neither Hannah nor Bailey could have anticipated.

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Hunting Wives is another one that I’ve heard is really good. Can’t wait to read this one.

The Hunting Wives share more than target practice, martinis, and bad behavior in this novel of obsession, seduction, and murder.

Sophie O’Neill left behind an envy-inspiring career and the stressful, competitive life of big-city Chicago to settle down with her husband and young son in a small Texas town. It seems like the perfect life with a beautiful home in an idyllic rural community. But Sophie soon realizes that life is now too quiet, and she’s feeling bored and restless.

Then she meets Margot Banks, an alluring socialite who is part of an elite clique secretly known as the Hunting Wives. Sophie finds herself completely drawn to Margot and swept into her mysterious world of late-night target practice and dangerous partying. As Sophie’s curiosity gives way to full-blown obsession, she slips farther away from the safety of her family and deeper into this nest of vipers.

When the body of a teenage girl is discovered in the woods where the Hunting Wives meet, Sophie finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation and her life spiraling out of control.

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I’ve put off The Kindest Lie too long now. I need to read all these books. This one should be really good.

A promise could betray you.

It’s 2008, and the inauguration of President Barack Obama ushers in a new kind of hope. In Chicago, Ruth Tuttle, an Ivy-League educated Black engineer, is married to a kind and successful man. He’s eager to start a family, but Ruth is uncertain. She has never gotten over the baby she gave birth to—and was forced to leave behind—when she was a teenager. She had promised her family she’d never look back, but Ruth knows that to move forward, she must make peace with the past.

Returning home, Ruth discovers the Indiana factory town of her youth is plagued by unemployment, racism, and despair. As she begins digging into the past, she unexpectedly befriends Midnight, a young white boy who is also adrift and looking for connection. Just as Ruth is about to uncover a burning secret her family desperately wants to keep hidden, a traumatic incident strains the town’s already searing racial tensions, sending Ruth and Midnight on a collision course that could upend both their lives.

Powerful and revealing, The Kindest Lie captures the heartbreaking divide between Black and white communities and offers both an unflinching view of motherhood in contemporary America and the never-ending quest to achieve the American Dream.

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I started to read The Lost Apothecary awhile ago and ended up putting it aside. Sadly, I waited a long time to pick it back up.

A female apothecary secretly dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them – setting three lives across centuries on a dangerous collision course.

Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman.
Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register.

One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose – selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register.

In present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, reeling from the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. When she finds an old apothecary vial near the river Thames, she can’t resist investigating, only to realize she’s found a link to the unsolved “apothecary murders” that haunted London over two centuries ago. As she deepens her search, Caroline’s life collides with Nella’s and Eliza’s in a stunning twist of fate – and not everyone will survive.

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I know this is ambitious because December is going to be crazy, but I’m going to attempt to read them all. If I don’t get through them, I’ll carry them over into the new year.

What is on your TBR?

Until next time,

Ruth

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