Alright, at this point you should know the drill. Because I have already read so much this year I have decided to break my favorite annual post (my reading list) into a monthly series. You can also keep up with Hunkiedorië this year as I release more book content than I have in the past. Let me know what you think. Do you have any suggestions on what I should read next?
I had a lot of fun with the books I read in August. It was the first time in a while that I didn’t feel drained or obligated to finish a series (once I start a series, I push through regardless if I am enjoying myself). October is always a fun reading month for me because booksellers really push the fantasy/supernatural books that I love and read year-round. This year was interesting because I was introduced to the concept of ORC-tober. And let me tell you, it was a bit of a rollercoaster. I was introduced to a ton of new smutty concepts, and again felt a bit strained to get through some of these books and felt a little wrung out after making my way through Finley Fenn’s writing. But, now that I have opened up myself to the world of orc authors I found many new authors to love, whom you will find on my November reading list.
Disclaimer: there may be a few spoilers; if you read on you have been warned.
What I’ve read so far:
And now…may I present…
My October 2022 Reading List
The Kiss Curse (The Ex Hex, #2)
by Erin Sterling
Gwyn Jones is perfectly happy with her life in Graves Glen. She, her mom, and her cousin have formed a new and powerful coven; she’s running a successful witchcraft shop, Something Wicked; and she’s started mentoring some of the younger witches in town. As Halloween approaches, there’s only one problem—Llewellyn “Wells” Penhallow.
Wells has come to Graves Glen to re-establish his family’s connection to the town they founded as well as to make a new life for himself after years of being the dutiful son in Wales. When he opens up a shop of his own, Penhallow’s, just across the street from Something Wicked, he quickly learns he’s gotten more than he bargained for in going up against Gwyn.
When their professional competition leads to a very personal—and very hot—kiss, both Wells and Gwyn are determined to stay away from each other, convinced the kiss was just a magical fluke. But when a mysterious new coven of witches come to town and Gwyn’s powers begin fading, she and Wells must work together to figure out just what these new witches want and how to restore Gwyn’s magic before it’s too late.
Hunkiedorië Review: Loved this second book coming on the heels of ‘The Ex Hex’, just as cute and exciting in a Hallmark-y way as book one, and I can NOT wait for what I am assuming will be a third book for the remaining brother….the only thing I am wondering about is who will be our FMC?
The Glamourist (The Vine Witch, #2)
by Luanne G. Smith
Abandoned as a child in turn-of-the-century Paris, Yvette Lenoir has longed to uncover the secrets of her magical heritage and tap her suppressed powers. But what brave and resourceful Yvette has done to survive the streets has made her a fugitive. With a price on her head, she clings to a memento from her past—what she believes to be a grimoire inherited from the mother she never knew. To unlock the secrets of her past, Yvette trusts in one woman to help solve the arcane riddles among its charmed pages.
Elena Boureanu is the vine witch of Château Renard, noted for its renowned wines. Even as she struggles with her own bloodline—and its poisonous threat to her future—Elena can’t ignore a friend on the run. Joined by a cunning thief, the proprietor of an enchanted-curio shop, and a bewitching black cat, Elena and Yvette are determined to decode Yvette’s mysterious keepsake. But what restless magic will be unleashed? And what are Yvette and Elena willing to risk to become the witches they were destined to be?
Hunkiedorië Review: The followup book to the ‘Vine Witch’ silly me didn’t check when I found book three in my Audible library and assumed that ‘The Conjurer’ was the second book in the series instead of ‘The Glamorist’, meaning I listened to the books out of order. I was left feeling really confused as book two was referenced a lot and some major magical character developments take place in ‘The Glamorist’. Unfortunately even going back and reading book two (out of order) I wasn’t a huge fan-not loving the ending.
The Conjurer (The Vine Witch, #3)
by Luanne G. Smith
Sidra didn’t murder her husband. Yet even a jinni can’t wish away a wrongful imprisonment. Determined to prove her innocence, she returns to her adopted home—a French village renowned for its perfume witches—with her friends Elena and Yvette by her side. Here is where Sidra’s true destiny awaits, but danger also lurks in the village’s narrow lanes.
On her trail is Jamra, another jinni, who’s after more than revenge for the murder of his brother. He also seeks vengeance for the indignities inflicted on jinn by mortals over the centuries. When he learns of an ancient relic capable of unleashing chaos on the world, and that the weapon is in the hands of his murderous sister-in-law, he vows to destroy Sidra to get it.
Relying on a sisterhood of magic, a mysteriously faithful dog, and a second-rate sorcerer, Sidra defends herself using the village’s greatest asset: its perfume. It’s as beguiling a lure as it is a formidable shield. But is it enough for Sidra to protect herself and those she loves from powers yet to be released?
Hunkiedorië Review: Book three of this series did not do it for me. The antagonist really stressed me out to the point that I couldn’t enjoy the book.
Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match
by Sally Thorne
For generations, every Frankenstein has found their true love and equal, unlocking lifetimes of blissful wedded adventure. Clever, pretty (and odd) Angelika Frankenstein has run out of suitors and fears she may become the exception to this family rule. When assisting in her brother Victor’s ground-breaking experiment to bring a reassembled man back to life, she realizes that having an agreeable gentleman convalescing in the guest suite might be a chance to let a man get to know the real her. For the first time, Angelika embarks upon a project that is all her own.
When her handsome scientific miracle sits up on the lab table, her hopes for an instant romantic connection are thrown into disarray. Her resurrected beau (named Will for the moment) has total amnesia and is solely focused on uncovering his true identity. Trying to ignore their heart-pounding chemistry, Angelika reluctantly joins the investigation into his past, hoping it will bring them closer. But when a second suitor emerges to aid their quest, Angelika wonders if she was too hasty inventing a solution. Perhaps fate is not something that can be influenced in a laboratory? Or is Will (or whatever his name is!) her dream man, tailored for her in every way? And can he survive what was done to him in the name of science, and love?
Filled with carriages, candlesticks, and corpses, Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match is the spooky-season reimagining of the well-known classic that reminds us to never judge a man by his cadaver!
Hunkiedorië Review: This was a cute and different story. But again as in many books I was just frustrated that the MMC in this story couldn’t just admit to what he wanted and let himself live a little (pun intended).
Not the Witch You Wed (Supernatural Singles, #1)
by April Asher
Magic-less witch Violet Maxwell wants nothing to do with alpha wolf shifter Lincoln Thorne—the man who broke her fragile, teenage heart. But when the two of them are forced by arcane Supernatural Laws to find mates, Violet and Lincoln agree to fake-date their way to a fake-mating in order to conjure themselves some time.
The joke’s on them. When old feelings make a reappearance—along with Violet’s magic—they both realize there’s nothing fake about their feelings. But there are old secrets and looming threats that could snatch away their happily ever after, again. One thing’s for sure: magic doesn’t make dating and love any easier,
Hunkiedorië Review: I’m pretty sure this is going to be a series and I couldn’t be happier, unless of course the books were published at a faster rate-I have no patience when waiting for the next installment of a book series, which is why I usually wait for the series to be complete before starting.
A Little Too Familiar: an Uncanny Romance Novel
by Lish McBride
Love brings out the animal in you
Louise Matthews has got it good. Wonderful job? Check. Loving family? The best. Roommates? Pretty fantastic, thank you. All of this helps her
stay focused on what she wants: to finish out her apprenticeship and become a fully licensed Switch-an animal mage who bonds familiars to their witches.
Only a problem has just moved in-a hot, occasionally wolf-shaped problem.
Declan Mackenzie doesn’t want to be a lone wolf, but he doesn’t have a choice. Girlfriend? Gone. Sister? Starting a new life. Parents? In prison where they belong, thankfully. All he wants is a fresh start-new home, new job, new life. What he gets is a house full of witches, a fledgling phoenix named Dammit, and rogue ferrets who won’t stay out of his business.
And he could handle all of that if it wasn’t for Louise. It’s not great to crush on your roommate. It’s even worse when you realize she wields the kind of
magic that sends you running for the door.
Still, Declan is no pup, and he’s not going to let this set him back.
Until the past comes back to haunt him-the parents he put in jail have busted out. They want revenge.
And the only thing standing between them and Declan is Louise and the very magic he vowed never to go near again.
Hunkiedorië Review: Another one that I hope becomes a series, I love the world built by Lish McBride in this story. Such a cute and creative story; witches, werewolves and creepy cult communities…what’s not to love?!
That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon (Mead Mishaps, #1)
by Kimberly Lemming
All I wanted to do was live my life in peace. Maybe get a cat, expand my spice farm. Really anything that doesn’t involve going on a quest where an orc might rip my face off. But they say the Goddess has favorites. If so, I’m clearly not one of them.
After saving the demon Fallon in a wine-drunk stupor, all he wanted to do was kill an evil witch enslaving his people.
I mean, I get it, don’t get me wrong. But he’s dragging me along for the ride, and I’m kind of peeved about it. On the bright side, he keeps burning off his shirt.
Hunkiedorië Review: BEST EVER, this fills the gaps left in my heart when I ran out of Ruby Dixon books to read. Kimberly Lemming is hilarious! My only critique is that her books aren’t long enough and aren’t published fast enough, because I need more! I couldn’t recommend this series more if you want a good laugh, a little spice and a lot of adventure.
That Time I Got Drunk and Yeeted a Love Potion at a Werewolf (Mead Mishaps, #2)
by Kimberly Lemming
Anyone else ever thrown a drink at someone’s head, only to miss entirely and hit a stranger behind them? Then have that stranger fall madly in love with you because it turned out that drink you threw was a love potion? No, just me? Well damn.
Dealing with a pirate ship full of demons that just moved into town was hard enough. Now on top of it, I have to convince a werewolf that I’m not his fated mate, he’s just drugged. Easier said than done.
Though I have to say, having a gorgeous man show up and do all of your chores while telling you you’re beautiful isn’t the worst thing to happen to a girl.
Hunkiedorië Review: Book two is just as good as book one, do yourself and read these.
Small Town, Big Magic
by Hazel Beck
Emerson Wilde has built the life of her dreams. Youngest Chamber of Commerce president in St. Cyprian history, successful indie bookstore owner, and lucky enough to have her best friends as found family? Done.
But when Emerson is attacked by creatures that shouldn’t be real, and kills them with what can only be called magic, Emerson finds that the past decade of her life has been…a lie. St. Cyprian isn’t your average Midwestern river town—it’s a haven for witches. When Emerson failed a power test years ago, she was stripped of her magical memories. Turns out, Emerson’s friends are all witches.
And so is she.
That’s not all, though: evil is lurking in the charming streets of St. Cyprian. Emerson will need to learn to control what’s inside of her, remember her magic, and deal with old, complicated feelings for her childhood friend–cranky-yet-gorgeous local farmer Jacob North—to defeat an enemy that hides in the rivers and shadows of everything she loves.
Even before she had magic, Emerson would have done anything for St. Cyprian, but now she’ll have to risk not just her livelihood…but her life.
Hunkiedorië Review: Meh, I felt like I missed a prequel book here. There seemed to be a world built and knowledge that felt implied and not explained.
The Lady and the Orc (Orc Sworn, #1)
by Finley Fenn
He’s the most feared monster in the realm. And she’s what he needs to win his war…
In a world of warring orcs and men, Lady Norr is condemned to a childless marriage, a cruel lord husband, and a life of genteel poverty — until the day her home is ransacked by a horde. And leading the charge is their hulking, deadly orc captain: the infamous Grimarr.
And Grimarr has a wicked plan for Lady Norr, and for ending this war once and for all. She’s going to become his captive — and the perfect snare for Lord Norr.
There’s no possible escape, and soon Lady Norr is dragged off toward Orc Mountain in the powerful arms of her greatest enemy. A ruthless, commanding warlord, with a velvet voice and mouthwatering scent, who awakens every forbidden hunger she never knew she had…
But Grimarr refuses to accept half measures — in war, or in pleasure. And before he’ll conquer Lady Norr’s deepest, darkest desires, she needs to surrender everything.
And with her husband’s forces giving chase, Lady Norr can’t afford to play such a dangerous game — or can she? Even if this deadly orc’s plans might be the only way to save them all?
Hunkiedorië Review: I was turned on to the concept of Orc-tober through BookTok and this series was heavily referenced in those posts. And…um, it’s a lot. Im not sure how I feel about this series, I think it is a little too intense for me both spice level and emotionally. I’m cried and cringed my way through this.
Offered by the Orc (Orc Sworn, #1.5)
by Finley Fenn
When Stella wanders the forest alone one fateful night, she only seeks peace, relief, escape. A few stolen moments on a secret, ancient altar, at one with the moon above.
Instead, she’s accosted by a hulking, hideous, bloodthirsty orc. An orc who demands a sacrifice — not by his sword, but by Stella’s complete surrender. To his claws, his sharp teeth, his huge muscled body. His every humiliating, thrilling command…
But Stella would never offer herself up to be used and sacrificed by a monster — would she? Even if her surrender just might grant her the moon’s favour — and open her heart to a whole new fate?
Hunkiedorië Review: Did I say book one was a lot? Because this one is even more over the top. This book feels as though it is smut for smut’s sake.
The Heiress and the Orc (Orc Sworn, #2)
by Finley Fenn
Once, he was her dearest friend… but now he’s a brutal, terrifying monster.
In a world of recently warring orcs and men, Ella Riddell is determined to ignore it all. She’s the wealthiest heiress in the realm — and soon, she’s to wed a lord, and become a real lady.
Until the night her engagement-party ends in utter disaster, and Ella runs for the forest — and straight into the powerful arms of a hulking, deadly orc.
And it’s not just any orc. It’s Natt. The orc Ella made a secret, foolish pledge to, many years past…
He’s huge and shameless and vicious, not at all the gangly, laughing daredevil Ella remembers. And he’s here with one shocking, scandalous aim: to wreak vengeance on Ella’s betrothed. With her.
With her hunger.
Ella knows she should run, even if this deadly enemy was once a friend. Even if his scent drags up a dark, forbidden longing. Even if his kisses are the sweetest, filthiest thing she’s ever tasted in her life…
But will Ella truly risk her perfect future, for an orc? Will she face the bitter truths of the past, and brave the terrifying Orc Mountain, before more war rises to destroy them all?
Hunkiedorië Review: These orcs are idiots. Plain and simple. Stop the emotional torture to these poor already abused women!
The Librarian and the Orc (Orc Sworn, #3)
by Finley Fenn
He’s a fierce, ferocious, death-dealing beast. And he’s reading a book in her library…
In a world of recently warring orcs and men, Rosa Rolfe leads a quiet, scholarly life as an impoverished librarian — until the day she finds an orc. In her library. Reading a book.
He’s rude, aggressive, and deeply terrifying, with his huge muscled form, sharp black claws, and cold, dismissive commands. But he doesn’t seem truly dangerous… at least, until night falls. And he makes Rosa a shocking, scandalous offer…
Her books, for her surrender.
Rosa’s no fool, and she knows she can’t possibly risk her precious library for this brazen, belligerent orc. Even if he is surprisingly well-read. Even if he smells like sweet, heated honey. Even if he makes Rosa’s heart race with fear, and ignites all her deepest, darkest cravings at once…
But surrender demands a dangerous, devastating price. A bond that can’t easily be broken. And a breakneck journey to the fearsome, forbidding Orc Mountain, where a curious, clever librarian might be just what’s needed to stop another war…
Hunkiedorië Review: Again, can’t we just be nice to these poor girls?!
The Duchess and the Orc (Orc Sworn, #4)
by Finley Fenn
He’s a massive, mocking, murderous monster. And she’s offering him… everything.
In a world of recently warring orcs and men, Maria is desperate for escape. She’s trapped in an opulent prison, tainted by rumours of madness, and wed to a cold, vindictive duke who hungers only for war.
But with no family, no funds, and no hope, there’s nowhere left to run — except for the one place even a duke can’t reach. The place where women almost always meet their doom…
It’s a grim, deadly fortress, filled with fierce, bloodthirsty beasts — and the first orc Maria meets is the most terrifying of them all. A huge, hostile, hideous brute, hardened by hatred and war, who instantly accuses her of foul trickery, and threatens her with death —
But this orc also wants something. Something that kindles deep in his gleaming black eyes, in his rough, rugged scent, in the velvet heat of his voice. Something that just might grant Maria his safety… but only if she grants him everything in return.
And surely, a duchess wouldn’t dare make such a shameful deal with the devil — or would she? Especially when surrender might spark yet more war… or bring the mighty Orc Mountain to its knees?
Hunkiedorië Review: eye roll, more of the same.
The Midwife and the Orc (Orc Sworn, #5)
by Finley Fenn
Orc Mountain needs a midwife. And this devious, deadly orc is determined to find one…
In a world of recently warring orcs and men, Gwyn Garrett is a lord’s daughter on a mission — to escape her lord father, dump her cheating betrothed, and pursue her true calling as a plant-obsessed midwife.
Until the night her brand-new house is invaded by an orc. A tall, taunting, treacherous monster, with sharp teeth, vicious claws, and gleaming black eyes. And worst of all, a blatant, brutal mission of his own…
He’s come to court her.
But Gwyn is far too clever to fall for this sneaky orc’s schemes — right? Even if he moves like a graceful god, if his voice is sweet syrup in her ears. If his low, mocking laugh sparks something hot and reckless, deep in her soul…
It’s hunger, it’s home, it’s everything Gwyn never knew she needed — but in its wake, there’s only devastation. Defeat. And the realization that she’s forever linked with this horrible orc, and his horrible plans…
And with the war. The fates of hundreds of women like her. And the truth that Orc Mountain desperately needs her, and maybe this proud, lonely orc does too…
Hunkiedorië Review: guess what…same song and dance. Lots of misery and perversion before acknowledging that the main characters should just love each other.
The Maid and the Orcs (Orc Sworn, #6)
by Finley Fenn
She’s fallen for an angel… but he’s mated to a monster.
In a realm of orcs and powerful men, housemaid Alma Andersson is drowning — in grief, debt, and drudgery. And when her awful employer makes his darkest demand yet, she flees for the forest, and tumbles toward her doom…
Until she’s snatched to safety by a huge, vicious green beast.
He’s utterly terrifying, with his towering bulk, sharp teeth, and deadly black claws — but his touch is gentle, and his eyes are kind. And his scent is a deep, decadent sweetness, sparking a furious flame between them…
But it’s only more disaster, because Alma’s shy, soft-hearted rescuer is already mated… to another orc. A tall, silent, snarling monster named Drafli, who loathes Alma on sight, and clearly longs for her death.
Yet Drafli will do anything for his sweet mate, even if it means tolerating a weak, worthless human. So he makes Alma a cold, calculated offer: he’ll share his mate with her… but only on his terms.
He wants her silence.
And with Alma’s fate firmly in Drafli’s ruthless hands, how can she face her own dark desires — or all the secrets hidden behind Orc Mountain’s walls? Can a lost, lonely housemaid come between two orcs… without being crushed?
Hunkiedorië Review: Double the drama
The Sins of the Orc (Orc Forged #1)
by Finley Fenn
He’s fallen too far to save… but his enemy is going to try.
In a world of warring orcs and men, Kesst of Clan Ash-Kai is a pawn. A pretty, pliant plaything, bound to the cruelest orcs in the realm.
Until the new healer storms in.
He’s huge, hostile, and hideous, with a powerful scarred body and terrifying ancient magic. And it only takes one disastrous meeting before he and Kesst are bitter enemies, and Kesst vows to see the vile brute destroyed…
And then a sudden, deadly attack hurls his helpless body straight at the healer’s feet.
Kesst fully expects to be mocked, belittled, abandoned to his doom — but instead, his new enemy picks him up.
Soothes his wounds.
And carries him home…
Soon Kesst is trapped in a tiny sickroom beneath Orc Mountain, caught in the thrall of the healer’s impossible magic. In the surprising gentleness of his touch. In the strength of his stubborn, seductive safety…
But with his horrid handlers close on their scent, Kesst can’t possibly be falling for his forbidden foe… can he? Can a healer save him from his sins… or destroy him?
Hunkiedorië Review: sad
The Night Crossing
by Robert Masello
Bram Stoker kept secret a tale even more terrifying than Dracula.
It begins among the Carpathian peaks, when an intrepid explorer discovers a mysterious golden box. She brings it back with her to the foggy streets of Victorian London, unaware of its dangerous power…or that an evil beyond imagining has already taken root in the city.
Stoker, a successful theater manager but frustrated writer, is drawn into a deadly web spun by the wealthy founders of a mission house for the poor. Far from a safe haven, the mission harbors a dark and terrifying secret.
To save the souls of thousands, Stoker―aided by the explorer and a match girl grieving the loss of her child―must pursue an enemy as ancient as the Saharan sands where it originated. Their journey will take them through the city’s overgrown graveyards and rat-infested tunnels and even onto the maiden voyage of the world’s first “unsinkable” ship…
Hunkiedorië Review: This was a fun read but I felt as though the book concluded without really allowing the reader a real look at the monster. The dark presence in this book stayed on the fringes the whole time and I felt like the Shadow Box and Egyptian Ritual plot lines could and should be two different stories.
Long Live the Pumpkin Queen: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
by Shea Ernshaw
Jack and Sally are “truly meant to be” … or are they?
Sally Skellington is the official, newly-minted Pumpkin Queen after a whirlwind courtship with her true love, Jack, who Sally adores with every inch of her fabric seams– if only she could say the same for her new role as Queen of Halloween Town. Cast into the spotlight and tasked with all sorts of queenly duties, Sally can’t help but wonder if all she’s done is trade her captivity under Dr. Finkelstein for a different cage. But when Sally and Zero accidentally uncover a long-hidden doorway to an ancient realm called Dream Town, she’ll unknowingly set into motion a chain of sinister events that put her future as Pumpkin Queen, and the future of Halloween Town itself, into jeopardy. Can Sally discover what it means to be true to herself and save the town she’s learned to call home, or will her future turn into her worst… well, nightmare?
Hunkiedorië Review: SO SO Cute, an easy read. This book was gifted to me by my mom as part of my Halloween reading and I blew through it in one sitting. This book gave me something I have always wanted, a look behind the other holiday doors that are shown in ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’.
When She’s Pregnant
by Ruby Dixon
Naomi has spent her entire profits from her farm’s yield for a fertility shot. She wants a baby to ease some of the loneliness of life at the edge of the universe. Unfortunately for her, the donor she had lined up can’t finish the job. What’s a lonely, ovulating human to do?
This one heads to the Port Custodial office and asks for help from the military custodian on duty.
Brawny but awkward Ainar isn’t sure why this human is insisting on needing his help for sleeping, but he’s happy to assist someone as delicate and pretty as the human colonist. And when he figures out what she really wants…well.
Surely this is a dream come true.
Hunkiedorië Review: When a book starts off with “I’m the sluttiest slut that ever slutted” you know it’s going to be good. Another Risdaverse book allows readers to experience Ruby doing what she does best-bring our own inner monologs to life in her stories.
I have absolutely loved all that BookTok is throwing my way and I can not wait to share my monthly reading list with you all as we move through 2022. If you have any suggestions please let me know!
My Top 5 Reads of 2022 (thus far)-Counting series as one because it is getting too hard to choose just one (or five) book(s)
- Corsair/Corsair Brothers/Risdacverse (series)
- Ice Planet Barbarians/Ice Home (series)
- The Ruthless Boys of the Zodiac (series)
- Bonds That Tie (series)
- Dragon Kin (series)
- The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter (Theodoa Goss)
- The Viscount Who Loved Me (Julia Quinn)
- The Toll (Neal Shusterman)
- The Midnight Library (Matt Haig)
- The Immortals (Jordanna Max Brodsky)
- Mr. Dickens and His Carol (Samantha Silva)
- Scythe (Neal Shusterman)
- Thunderhead (Neal Shusterman)
- The Vine Witch (Luanne G. Smith)
- Ready Player One (Ernest Cline)
- The Graveyard Book (Neil Gaiman)
- Strange Practice (Vivian Shaw)
- Dreadful Company (Vivian Shaw)
- Grave Importance (Vivian Shaw)
- Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
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