January 2021 Wrap-Up | Nadia Lee, Sue Monk Kidd, Kim Johnson…

I really need to get better at writing individual book reviews, but I definitely find monthly wrap-ups so much more satisfying–especially when I’ve read 5+ books!

β†  Not My Romeo by Isla Madden-Mills
Kindle, 346 pages
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟 (3/5)

It feels like it was so long ago that I read this book, but it was literally only a month ago! The blind date premise definitely got me at the beginning. But when the football-playing protagonist somehow ends up playing Romeo to this small-town girl’s Juliet, I was rolling my eyes. Regardless, a fun and easy quicky (yikes) to warm up with this winter.

A colleague of mine who’s very much into trashy contemporary romances like I am introduced me to Nadia Lee who has written a slew of romance series which are all interconnected. To ensure the best reading experience, my colleague provided me a spreadsheet which lists these novels in what I’m assuming is order by publication date. Reading the books in this order allows me to see how the characters are all related to one another–and there are a lot of them. Also, reading in this particular order makes sense chronologically in Lee’s “world.” Below are all the books I’ve read so far from what I believe is a list of 20+ books, in the order I completed them.

β†  The Billionaire’s Revenge (Seduced by the Billionaire #1) by Nadia Lee
Kindle, 256 pages
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟 (3/5)

β†  The Billionaire’s Pursuit (Seduced by the Billionaire #2) by Nadia Lee
Kindle, ?? pages
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟 (3/5)

β†  Pregnant with Her Billionaire Ex’s Baby (Seduced by the Billionaire #3) by Nadia Lee
Kindle, 378 pages
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟 (3/5)

β†  The Millionaire’s Crush (Seduced by the Billionaire #3.5) by Nadia Lee
Kindle, ??
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟 (3/5)

β†  The Billionaire’s Secret (Seduced by the Billionaire #4) by Nadia Lee
Kindle, 378 pages
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (4/5)

I remember liking this one in particular because the protagonist, Catherine, is depicted poorly in the previous installments. I tend to like stories which feature characters who prove other people’s assumptions of them to be wrong.

β†  The Billionaire’s Counterfeit Girlfriend (The Pryce Family #1) by Nadia Lee
Kindle, 302 pages
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟 (3/5)

β†  The Billionaire’s Scandal (Seduced by the Billionaire #5) by Nadia Lee
Kindle, ?? pages
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟(3/5)

As evidenced by the titles, these stories generally revolve around extremely wealthy families with some serious soap-opera-like drama including extramarital affairs, unexpected pregnancies, and secret children. Lee’s writing is decent even if her stories are over the top. But they’re great to read before bed when you just want to get lost in some trashy love stories.

β†  Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Danica Novgorodoff
Graphic Novel, 208 pages
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (5/5)

An absolutely stunning and heartbreaking story about a black teenager named Will who witnesses his brother’s death and decides to go after the killer. The watercolor illustrations are breathtaking and haunting, heightening the emotions of the story itself.

T/W: gun violence

β†  This is My America by Kim Johnson
Hardcover, 416 pages
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (5/5)

Tracy Beaumont’s innocent father is on death row with less than a year to live. And now her brother Jamal is on the run after one of their white classmates is found dead and he was last seen fleeing the scene. The reflection of our racist America is so painfully honest, but the mystery aspect of this story is so engaging and thrilling.

T/W: loss and mention of murder (including lynching)

β†  Teen Killers Club by Lily Sparks
Hardcover, ?? pages
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (5/5)

Signal Deere was framed for the murder of her friend, Rose. She manages to avoid prison by signing up to join a government-run camp that trains teen assassins. During her time there, one of her campmates helps her look into Rose’s murder. Simultaneously macabre and heart-warming–definitely not a story for the faint of heart!

T/W: graphic depiction of murder and violence, mention of dismemberment (of both fake and real human bodies), mental illness including sociopathy.

β†  The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd
Hardcover, 416 pages
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (5/5)

An absolutely gorgeous story about Ana, a scribe and the fictional wife of Jesus, who longs to explore and fulfill her greater purpose in life, despite living in a world that silences women. This is one of those books that I just can’t bear to read reviews about because I loved it so much. I’m a Catholic woman and one of the greatest struggles I have with many belief systems is the role of women in relation to both men and a higher being. “Good and faithful” women are often characterized by their grace, purity, and obedience to men. But Ana is anything but sweet and docile–she is clever and extremely loyal to those closest to her. Regardless, her relationship with Jesus is full of tenderness and mutual respect. But this story isn’t about Jesus, it’s about Ana.

T/W: mention of rape, unwanted sexual advances, violence against women, loss of a child, suicide. 

What’s the best book you read in January and what made it so good?

xo jasmine

Instagram | Goodreads | 2021 Reading Goal: 14/105

2 thoughts on “January 2021 Wrap-Up | Nadia Lee, Sue Monk Kidd, Kim Johnson…

    1. Glad to hear you enjoyed the book too, Dorothy. I appreciate that Kidd depicted Jesus the Man as opposed to Jesus the Son of God and wove his ministry work into Ana’s life. I think the story would have been a little less moving or believable if she constantly followed him in his work.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s