Undine Reads

Reviews Romance, Mystery, Science Fiction & Fantasy

November 3, 2020

October 2020 Wrap-Up

I didn’t read all of the thrillers/spooky books that I wanted to in October. But I did make a dent in my ARCs so I’m consoling myself with that. The dozen books I read in October 2020.

Books I Read in October 2020

I started the first book in September but finished in October. It definitely doesn’t have a spooky szn vibe lol.

Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop

Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop by Rebecca Raisin

First up is Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop by Rebecca Raisin. This is a sweet starting over story. After getting dumped on her birthday, sous chef Rosie, starts over when she buys a big pink RV and starts travelling. All about found family, facing your fears, and finding your passion. My full review on Goodreads.

Burning Roses

burning roses
Burning Roses by SL Huang

Next is Burning Roses by SL Huang. I love retellings of fairy tales. This novella is a queer, multicultural retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. Beautiful writing with intriguing world-building. I want to know more about this world, its magic, shapeshifters, and dragons.

Every Vow You Break

Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson

Peter Swanson’s Eight Perfect Murders showed up all sorts of “Best of” lists last year. So I was excited to receive an ARC for his new book, Every Vow You Break. After a series of relationships that didn’t work out, small press editor Abigail thinks she’s found Mr. Right. Bruce is kind, smart, and thoughtful. And if he isn’t the most passionate guy, oh well. At least he isn’t breaking her heart. Plus, he’s incredibly wealthy and wants to take care of her. Of course, all is not as it appears. Due in March 2021. My full review on Goodreads.

The Year of the Witching

the year of the witching
The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

Next is The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson. I was SO excited to win this in an Instagram giveaway! The day it came, I unboxed it and immediately started reading. This dark fantasy tackles, misogyny, racism, and religion. Immanuelle is the illegitimate daughter of two accused witches. Her father, a black man burnt at the stake because of witchcraft. Immanuelle tries so hard to follow her community’s rules. Then the witches in The Forest give her her mother’s journal. And everything changes.

To Love and to Loathe

to love and to loathe
To Love and To Loathe by Martha Waters

To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters was my next read. I’m not usually a historical romance reader but this banter-filled Regency was a delight. Diana, Lady Templeton and Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham have fought like cats and dogs for years. So of course it’s Diana that Jeremy turns to after receiving less than glowing reviews from his recently dumped mistress. Due in April 2021. My full review on Goodreads.

First Comes Like

First Comes Like by Alisha Rai

Next is First Comes Like, the third book in Alisha Rai’s Modern Love series. This was a sweet catfishing to fauxmance to love story. I loved seeing a hijab-wearing Muslim woman depicted as a successful beauty and lifestyle influencer. Due in February 2021, Read my full review on Goodreads.

Piranesi

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

My next read was Piranesi by Susanna Clarke and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. I love a good mysterious house story like House of Leaves or The Haunting of Hill House. I also love a story about learning how to alter or even visit other realities. And this was sort of that? The writing was beautiful, the premise intriguing but I never quite fell in love with it. A man lives in a seemingly endless house. The top floor is so high it contains clouds and the bottom floor contains an ocean. The rooms are full of statues. Who is he and why is he there and where exactly is there?

The Guest List

The Guest List by Lisa Foley

My next read was The Guest List by Lucy Foley. For fans of the locked room or isolated on an island type of mysteries. An expensive wedding on a remote island, secrets, lies, anger, resentment, and the need for revenge. Plus a lot of drinking and you just know someone’s going to get murdered. The mystery is figuring out who the victim’s going to be. Lots of fun!

The Emperor’s Wolves

The Emperor’s Wolves by Michelle Sagara

I was so excited to learn about this book! The Emperor’s Wolves is the first book in a new series st in Elantra. I’ve been a huge fan of Michelle Sagara’s Chronicles of Elantra fantasy series since the beginning. I’ve always wanted to know about the reserved, even mysterious secondary character, Severn. So I real-life squealed when a friend casually mentioned that she’d just received the new Severn book because I had NO idea that it was even a thing! I finished it the day I received it!

By the Pricking of My Thumbs

By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie’s been a favorite author for decades. As a middle schooler, I was prowling around our house looking for something to read when I found my mom’s copy of an Hercule Poirot story. As a mystery lover already – Trixie Belden, the Dana Girls, Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie was the perfect transition to adult mysteries. 2020 marks 100 years since her first mystery was published. I found a list of her more obscure titles and thought By the Pricking of My Thumbs made a perfect spooky season read.

Shadows in Death

Shadows in Death by JD Robb

My next book was JD Robb’s *51* entry in her In Death series, Shadows in Death. I’m amazed that Nora Roberts writes two books in this series every year along with all of the books she writes as herself. And they’re still fun, exciting, engaging reads! I love all of the banter and found family love the characters show each other. The books in this series are always “drop all other books to read this RIGHT NOW” and this one did not disappoint.

The Dating Plan

the dating plan
The Dating Plan by Sara Desai

My last October read was The Dating Plan by Sara Desai. I read the first book in the series, The Marriage Game, earlier this year and enjoyed it. So when I saw an ARC available for The Dating Plan I knew I had to read it. Childhood crush to heartbreak to fauxmance was a great trope as it made for lots of opportunities for angst and sarcastic banter – a few of my favorite things in romances. Great to see a WOC MC with a successful tech career. Zany family members, delicious food descriptions, and quirky fashions added to the fun of this book. Due out March 2021. Read my full review on Goodreads.

Your thoughts

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

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Wrap-Up 4 Replies to “October 2020 Wrap-Up”
Laura
Laura Eckert
I'm a lifelong book lover and voracious reader. I'm a former bookstore owner and current library marketer and book blogger.

COMMENTS

4 thoughts on “October 2020 Wrap-Up

    Author’s gravatar

    What an amazing blend of genres you’ve got you! I’m feeling really inspired now. Michelle Sagara isn’t an author I’ve heard of before but I’m really intrigued by the one you’ve featured here, I’ll have to look up her others. Great wrap-up. Happy reading in November!

      Author’s gravatar

      Thank you! Michelle Sagara also writes under the name Michelle West. I met her at a con and she was an absolute peach. 😊 I hope you have a fabulous month of reading!

      Author’s gravatar

      As a locked room/ Agatha Christie fan, The Guest List was so much fun. Looking forward to her next book.

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