The first month of 2021 is almost gone! I feel like January is one of those months that takes a while to creep by. Is it just me? Anyways, January was a wonderful month for reading! I was able to finish a series I had started last year and find a new favourite series that I will reread for years to come. I’m very excited about all of the books I was able to read in January!
Escaping From Houdini
Summary: Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly. But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea. It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale?
My thoughts: This was my least favourite book in the series, unfortunately. While this book was important for Audrey Rose’s understanding of her feelings, I thought this book was lacklustre. I didn’t enjoy it like I had for every other book in this series. There were interesting themes, but overall this book didn’t really add anything into the series as a whole. In fact, I disliked most of the characters for the duration of Escaping From Houdini. Thankfully, I enjoyed the last two books in the series much more than this one. I have linked the book right here.
Capturing the Devil
Summary: Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell have landed in America, a bold, brash land unlike the genteel streets of London they knew. But like London, the city of Chicago hides its dark secrets well. When the two attend the spectacular World’s Fair, they find the once-in-a-lifetime event tainted with reports of missing people and unsolved murders. Determined to help, Audrey Rose and Thomas begin their investigations, only to find themselves facing a serial killer unlike any they’ve heard of before. Identifying him is one thing, but capturing him—and getting dangerously lost in the infamous Murder Hotel he constructed as a terrifying torture device—is another. Will Audrey Rose and Thomas see their last mystery to the end—together and in love—or will their fortunes finally run out when their most depraved adversary makes one final, devastating kill?
My thoughts: This series had a very, very, very good ending. I was happy with how it ended. It didn’t feel rushed, there weren’t any gaping plot holes, or questions left unanswered. Everything was resolved when I reached that final page. In a series as popular as this one, I know that’s a tall order. But, to my relief, it was a succinct and fitting end to a saga. I thought that the villain, once revealed, was the perfect bad guy. It was a masterfully written book because clues had been laid throughout the series as a whole. I highly recommend this series to those who enjoy mysteries and powerful women. I have linked the book right here on Amazon.
Becoming the Dark Prince
Summary: Enigmatic, brooding, and darkly handsome, Thomas Cresswell has always been the one mystery Audrey Rose has never been able to fully solve. As brilliant partners in crime investigation, they understand each other perfectly…but as young lovers, their passionate natures have led to both euphoria and heartbreak throughout the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. This novella features a collection of scenes that takes place during and after the pair’s horrifying Atlantic voyage in Escaping From Houdini. Experience new and familiar scenes from Thomas’s unique point of view, including an intensely personal look into his plea for Audrey Rose’s hand in marriage. With a romance for the ages, Audrey Rose and Thomas reach the conclusion to their epic, irresistible partnership in their final adventure, Capturing the Devil.
My thoughts: This was a cute novella. It was interesting to see things from Thomas’s point of view and see what he thought about the different events that transpired in Escaping From Houdini. While this book isn’t necessary to read to understand the series, I think it’s a nice add-on by the author. I’m always down for bonus content! I have linked the ebook right here.
Kiss My Cupcake
Summary: Blaire Calloway has planned every Instagram-worthy moment of her cupcake and cocktails shop launch down to the tiniest detail. What she didn’t plan on? Ronan Knight and his old-school sports bar next door opening on the very same day. He may be super swoony, but Blaire hasn’t spent years obsessing over buttercream and bourbon to have him ruin her chance at success. From axe throwing (his place) to frosting contests (hers), Blaire and Ronan are constantly trying to one-up each other in a battle to win new customers. But with every clash, there’s also an undeniable chemistry. When an even bigger threat to their business comes to town, they’re forced to call a temporary time-out on their own war and work together. And the more time Blaire spends getting to know the real Ronan, the more she wonders if it’s possible to have her cupcake and eat it too.
My thoughts: This was such a cute-sy fun read. I laughed quite a few times while reading this book and really developed an interest in the characters. I was rooting for them throughout the entire novel! I also happen to love baking, so this book might have been perfect for me. I gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars and plan on rereading it sometime in the future. I have linked the ebook right here.
Throne of Glass
Summary: After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
My thoughts: Sarah J Maas is without a doubt my favourite author. But it took me a while to pick up this series. Maybe because it’s so long? Eight books and thousands upon thousands of pages to read is a bit daunting. However, after completing the first book, I am astounded that it took me so long to begin reading this series. I absolutely adore Celaena, the most sarcastic protagonist to ever exist. I’m still reading the series at the moment, and I cannot wait to see where it’s going to go! I have linked the first book right here.
Crown of Midnight
Summary: She is the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But does she have the heart of a killer? After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. But Calaena is far from loyal to the crown. Keeping up the charade – while pretending to do the king’s bidding – will test her skills in an entirely new way. And it certainly isn’t the only point of confusion for the young girl. Because though she’s made her choice between Dorian and Chaol, the ways of the heart are never simple…
My thoughts: This was a great sequel. It built on events that had happened in the previous book and developed the plot so that it felt original. Crown of Midnight was really good because it truly set the stage for the rest of the series. I’m currently reading Heir of Fire and it’s great, thanks to the work Maas had done before in Crown of Midnight. I highly recommend this series and I have linked the book right here.
Heir of Fire
Summary: Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak-but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth . . . a truth about her heritage that could change her life-and her future-forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?
My thoughts: A lot of people I know have described this book as their absolute favourite book of the entire series. I’m only about forty pages in, and I am enjoying it immensely. I’m excited to see what’s going to happen throughout this book and how it affects the journeys of the characters. In this book, we have met loads of new characters that hadn’t been in the previous books; I’m looking forward to getting to know them! I have linked the book right here.
These are all of the books that I have read in the month of January! We have a week or so left, so I’m hoping to get to the fourth book of the series (Queen of Shadows). I’m happy with all of the books I was able to finish this month because not only was I able to finish a lot more than I thought I would, I was able to enjoy every book that I read. One of my resolutions this year is to read more of what makes me happy. With this in mind, I’m choosing the right books. Do you have any recommendations? Let me know down in the comments! And, as always, thank you so much for reading!