This month I made it my mission to get on track with my 100 book goal for 2023, which meant needing to do some catching up. This had me listening to audiobooks from my wish list based on the shortest length. You do what you must for the goal! Overall there were a lot of great books this month from a lot of different categories, so without further ado, here are my reviews for my March reads!
As you follow along with my monthly bookshelf, I will be sharing my reviews and ratings.
1 star: Did not like it
2 stars: It was okay
3 stars: Liked it
4 stars: Really liked it
5 stars: It was amazing
I hope that you are inspired by the books that I share and form your own opinions. Let me know what you think. Do you have any suggestions on what I should read next? You can follow me on Goodreads or head over to Hunkiedorië’s Amazon storefront to get your own copies and read along. Like what you see here, be sure to check out Hunkiedorië’s bookshelf posts as well.
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What I’ve read so far:
Disclaimer: there may be a few spoilers; if you read on, you have been warned.
And now…may I present…
Mighty Miley’s March 2023 Bookshelf:
A Court of Wings and Ruin
by Sarah J. Maas
Media: Paperback | Genre: Fantasy | Tags: Fated Mate, Found Family, Action
Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s actions and learn what she can about the invading king threatening to bring her land to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit. One slip could bring doom not only for Feyre but for everything-and everyone-she holds dear.
As war bears down upon them all, Feyre endeavors to take her place amongst the High Fae of the land, balancing her struggle to master her powers-both magical and political-and her love for her court and family. Amidst these struggles, Feyre and Rhysand must decide whom to trust amongst the cunning and lethal High Lords and hunt for allies in unexpected places.
Mighty Miley Review: Another good book, and loved the ending, but this one really drug on for me. I definitely prefer a faster pace than this book offers, but would still recommend it, and I am excited to keep reading this series!
The Last Bookshop in London
by Madeline Martin
Media: Audiobook | Genre: Historical Fiction | Tags: WW II, Bookworm, Survivor
Inspired by the true World War II history of the few bookshops to survive the Blitz, The Last Bookshop in London is a timeless story of wartime loss, love, and the enduring power of literature.
August 1939: London prepares for war as Hitler’s forces sweep across Europe. Grace Bennett has always dreamed of moving to the city, but the bunkers and blackout curtains that she finds on her arrival are not what she expected. And she certainly never imagined she’d wind up working at Primrose Hill, a dusty old bookshop nestled in the heart of London.
Through blackouts and air raids as the Blitz intensifies, Grace discovers the power of storytelling to unite her community in ways she never dreamed—a force that triumphs over even the darkest nights of the war.
Mighty Miley Review: This book was a good WWII historical fiction book with a strong FMC and a community that comes together during the challenges and losses of wartime.
by Emilia Hart
Media: Hardcover | Genre: Historical Fiction/Magical Realism | Tags: Multiple Viewpoint, Earthy Witches, Multiple Time Periods
I am a Weyward, and wild inside.
2019: Under cover of darkness, Kate flees London for ramshackle Weyward Cottage, inherited from a great aunt she barely remembers. With its tumbling ivy and overgrown garden, the cottage is worlds away from the abusive partner who tormented Kate. But she begins to suspect that her great-aunt has a secret. One that lurks in the bones of the cottage, hidden ever since the witch-hunts of the 17th century.
1619: Altha is awaiting trial for the murder of a local farmer who was stampeded to death by his herd. As a girl, Altha’s mother taught her their magic, a kind not rooted in spell casting but in a deep knowledge of the natural world. But unusual women have always been deemed dangerous, and as the evidence for witchcraft is set out against Altha, she knows it will take all of her powers to maintain her freedom.
1942: As World War II rages, Violet is trapped in her family’s grand, crumbling estate. Straitjacketed by societal convention, she longs for the robust education her brother receives––and for her mother, long deceased, who was rumored to have gone mad before her death. The only traces Violet has of her are a locket bearing the initial W, and the word weyward scratched into the baseboard of her bedroom.
Weaving together the stories of three extraordinary women across five centuries, Emilia Hart’s Weyward is an enthralling novel of female resilience and the transformative power of the natural world.
Mighty Miley Review: Overall a good book; the story felt a little confusing to follow with three different perspectives taking place at different times, and one of them also didn’t go in chronological order making it extra confusing to remember where we were with that individual’s story. If you like an earthy witch vibe, though, I think you will enjoy this book.
Braving the Wilderness
by Brené Brown
Media: Audiobook | Genre: Self-help | Tags: Inspiring, Motivating, True Self
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • REESE’S BOOK CLUB PICK • A timely and important book that challenges everything we think we know about cultivating true belonging in our communities, organizations, and culture, from the #1 bestselling author of Rising Strong, Daring Greatly, and The Gifts of Imperfection
Don’t miss the five-part HBO Max docuseries Brené Brown: Atlas of the Heart!
“True belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are. It requires us to be who we are.” Social scientist Brené Brown, PhD, MSW, has sparked a global conversation about the experiences that bring meaning to our lives—experiences of courage, vulnerability, love, belonging, shame, and empathy. In Braving the Wilderness, Brown redefines what it means to truly belong in an age of increased polarization. With her trademark mix of research, storytelling, and honesty, Brown will again change the cultural conversation while mapping a clear path to true belonging.
Brown argues that we’re experiencing a spiritual crisis of disconnection and introduces four practices of true belonging that challenge everything we believe about ourselves and each other. She writes, “True belonging requires us to believe in and belong to ourselves so fully that we can find sacredness both in being a part of something and in standing alone when necessary. But in a culture that’s rife with perfectionism and pleasing, and with the erosion of civility, it’s easy to stay quiet, hide in our ideological bunkers, or fit in rather than show up as our true selves and brave the wilderness of uncertainty and criticism. But true belonging is not something we negotiate or accomplish with others; it’s a daily practice that demands integrity and authenticity. It’s a personal commitment that we carry in our hearts.” Brown offers us the clarity and courage we need to find our way back to ourselves and to each other. And that path cuts right through the wilderness. Brown writes, “The wilderness is an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching. It is a place as dangerous as it is breathtaking, a place as sought after as it is feared. But it turns out to be the place of true belonging, and it’s the bravest and most sacred place you will ever stand.”
Mighty Miley Review: This book hit home for me. I really enjoyed the message and have found myself recommending it to everyone.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz
by Heather Morris
Media: Audiobook | Genre: Historical Fiction | Tags: Based on True Story, WW II, Love Story
In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.
Imprisoned for more than two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.
One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.
A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov’s experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.
Mighty Miley Review: It feels weird reviewing someone’s life story that went through such a traumatic experience. But overall, I am grateful they were willing to allow their story to be told.
A Court of Frost & Starlight
by Sarah J. Maas
Media: Paperback | Genre: Fantasy | Tags: Cozy, Sister Family Dynamics, Holiday Story
Feyre, Rhysand, and their friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly altered world beyond, recovering from the war that changed everything. But Winter Solstice is finally approaching, and with it, the joy of a hard-earned reprieve.
Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, her concern for those dearest to her deepens. They have more wounds than she anticipated-scars that will have a far-reaching impact on the future of their court.
Bridging the events of A Court of Wings and Ruin with the later books in the series, A Court of Frost and Starlight explores the far-reaching effects of a devastating war and the fierce love between friends.
Mighty Miley Review: An enjoyable story to give a little more of the found family that I adore so much, but overall it wasn’t anything earth-shattering on either end of the spectrum for me, resulting in the solid middle-of-the-road rating of 3 stars.
The Spanish Love Deception
by Elena Armas
Media: Paperback | Genre: Contemporary Romance | Tags: Fake Dating, Enemies to Lovers, One Bed
Catalina Martín desperately needs a date for her sister’s wedding. Especially since her little white lie about her American boyfriend has spiraled out of control. Now everyone she knows—including her ex and his fiancée—will be there and eager to meet him.
She only has four weeks to find someone willing to cross the Atlantic and aid in her deception. New York to Spain is no short flight, and her raucous family won’t be easy to fool.
Enter Aaron Blackford—her tall, handsome, condescending colleague—who surprisingly offers to step in. She’d rather refuse; never has there been a more aggravating, blood-boiling, and insufferable man.
But Catalina is desperate, and as the wedding draws nearer, Aaron looks like her best option. And she begins to realize he might not be as terrible in the real world as he is at the office.
Mighty Miley Review: The FMC was a bit annoying at the beginning, but this was such a cozy sweet story with some great moments that had me laughing out loud and feeling all warm and fuzzy for Lina and Aaron! Good for anyone that loves a slow burn, one bed, or workplace romance.
It Ends With Us
by Colleen Hoover
Media: Paperback | Genre: Contemporary Romance | Tags: Dream Chasing, Domestic Violence, Former Lover
Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.
Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up — she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So, when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelms her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan — her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.
Mighty Miley Review: I sobbed. This book was so moving and offered a perspective into a world that is hard to imagine. I think Colleen Hoover did an amazing job with this book conveying various emotions and perspectives on a very sensitive topic. Don’t read this if you only want a happy-go-lucky romance, as this book will have you feeling all the feels.
The Age of Witches
by Louisa Morgan
Media: Audiobook | Genre: Historical Fiction/Magical Realism | Tags: Evil Stepmom, Witchy Legacy, Long-Lost Relative
Harriet Bishop, descended from a long line of witches, uses magic to help women in need — not only ordinary women but also those with powers of their own. She must intervene when a distant cousin wields dangerous magic to change the lives of two unsuspecting young people… one of whom might just be a witch herself.
Frances Allington has used her wiles and witchcraft to claw her way out of poverty and into a spectacular marriage with one of New York’s wealthiest new tycoons. She is determined to secure the Allingtons’ position amongst the city’s elite Four Hundred families by any means necessary — including a scheme to make a glorious aristocratic match for her headstrong and reluctant step-daughter, Annis, using the same strange power with which she ensnared Annis’s father.
To save Annis from this dark magic, Harriet reveals to her Frances’ misuse of their shared birthright and kindles in Annis her own nascent powers. Together, Harriet and Annis must resist her stepmother’s agenda, lest she — and the dashing young lord she suspects she could come to love — lose their freedom and possibly their lives.
Mighty Miley Review: Overall enjoyed this book. It was a bit of a slow start but enjoyed the FMC’s journey throughout. Fair warning if listening to the audiobook that the narrator’s voice for the stepmother is a bit annoying….
by Sara Cate
Media: Paperback | Genre: Romance | Tags: Spicy, Age Gap, Ex-Boyfriend’s Dad
He calls me perfect.
His flawless pet.
His good girl.
Broken down and wounded by my emotionally neglectful ex, I wanted someone to tell me I was good enough. Then, I stumbled into a new job with a boss who brings me to my knees—literally. He has me do things a real secretary would never do.
Emerson Grant tells me I’m more than just good enough. I’m worthy of his praise.
There are a million reasons why I should stay away. The owner of the Salacious Players’ Club is not just my new boss; he’s twice my age. And my ex-boyfriend’s father. With him, I am treasured. I am adored. I am his. I’m a good girl, but I’m falling for the wrong man.
Emerson Grant knows what he wants—
And he wants me. So how far will I go to hear his approval?
Mighty Miley Review: If you want a spicy book, this one brings the spicy! I am normally not really big into age gap romances and didn’t know how I would feel about the ex-boyfriend’s dad component, but it wasn’t in your face taboo to be taboo. The characters and situations were still relatable enough not to pull me out of the story the way that can happen with these two tropes for me. I am not sure if I will continue with the series, but there were some characters introduced in this book that I wouldn’t mind reading more about, so I likely will eventually pick it back up.
A Court of Silver Flames
by Sarah J. Maas
Media: Paperback | Genre: Fantasy | Tags: Enemies to Lovers, Found Family, Action
Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.
The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.
Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.
Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance and healing in each other’s arms.
Mighty Miley Review: Let me start this out by saying I am not a long-book girlie. I don’t want 700+ pages of one dragging story. Per usual, though, SJM had an ending that was worth slogging through the length of the book. The journey of healing, the power of female friendships. Also, the spice of this book was steamy!!! The only thing keeping this from 5 stars for me was the length, I don’t think it was needed, but the ending was more worth pushing through to me than ACOWAR.
A Spinster’s Guide to Danger and Dukes
by Manda Collins
Media: eBook | Genre: Historical Fiction | Tags: Fake Dating, Murder Mystery, Classism
England, 1867: Miss Poppy Delamare is living a lie. To escape an odious betrothal, she fled to London, where she’s been hiding as the unassuming secretary Flora Deaver. However, when her beloved sister is accused of murder, Poppy cannot leave her to the wolves. Only a most unexpected—and unwelcome—collision interrupts her journey home . . .
Despite a rather dismal first meeting, Joshua Fielding, the Duke of Langham, has no intention of abandoning a lady in need. But he’s not above asking a favor. A fake betrothal will give Poppy and her sister the power of the dukedom and protect Langham from the society misses intent on becoming his duchess.
Yet the longer the ruse goes on, the more Poppy and Langham realize how false their first impressions were—and the less pretend their engagement feels. But before Langham can propose in truth, their search reveals a tangled web of lies and betrayals. With time running out, can Poppy and Langham find the real culprit—before Poppy becomes the next victim?
Mighty Miley Review: (I was gifted this eARC from NetGalley, but all opinions are my own.) Truly I was so excited when approved for this book as I had listened to the first two books in this series and was anticipating this book’s release! It was everything I liked about the first two books but even better. I loved the strong FMC, a little murder mystery, fake dating, and a little bit of enemies to lovers! Highly recommend!
My Top 5 Reads of 2023 (thus far)
- A Court of Mist and Fury
- A Spinster’s Guide to Danger and Dukes
- To Sir Philip with Love
- Ugly Love
- Braving the Wilderness
Author for the Hunkiedorië team and sharing my experiences with you all! Some of my favorite things include traveling, adventures with my two dogs, craft beer, cupcakes, and time with family and friends. I love getting out and trying new things whether that is a new restaurant, workout, recipe or a new business.