May and June Reads.

Happy Monday! I realize I completely dropped the ball last week. In all honesty, I got caught up binging some of my favorite anime. I am back, however, and picking up the slack! Since last Friday was the last Friday of June, today I’ll be sharing a few of the books I read this month, as well as a few from May since I didn’t get a chance to share those.

I don’t think I read as much as I usually do, there’s only a total of 18 books between the two months. A lot of the books I read the last two months were series so I’ll share the series as a whole. If I haven’t finished the series yet, I’ll also list the books that I did finish. Ready? Great!

If I Break by Portia Moore

This series centers around Lauren and Cal Scott. Their marriage is falling apart, thanks in part to Cal’s frequent disappearances. Labeled as business trips, Lauren isn’t sure she believes him, as he’s often gone for days on end with no communication. While Lauren still loves her husband, she’s done with their turbulent life. Then Cal leaves for good and Lauren suspects that it’s against his will. The only people who may know what’s going on aren’t talking. When Lauren finds her wayward husband, the journey ahead may be so twisted that Lauren might break before it’s over.

This is a series that I thoroughly enjoy. Up until this last read through, I had not read the final book in this series. So the suspense of what would finally happen proved to be too much and I ended up purchasing the fourth book. I also read a previously un-read prequel. I enjoyed it but a few plot points in it didn’t align with the main series. Thankfully they were minor and not fully relevant to the rest of the plot.

If you decide to try this series out, I strongly suggest not reading the summaries of the other books in the series.

I’ll be honest, I thought I knew how the first book would end. I did not. I wasn’t sure how any of it would end, actually, though I did have my suspicions. If you enjoy suspense alongside a romance plot, check this series out. There are a total of six books in the series with four main books and two novellas.

Charles Towne Belles by M.L. Tyndall

The Red Siren

Faith Westcott’s one goal in life is to save herself and her two younger sisters from being sold into marriage by their uncaring father. To do that, she becomes the infamous lady pirate, the Red Siren. As an Admiral’s daughter, Faith knows she’s playing a dangerous game, but she also knows that God’s benevolence doesn’t extend to His crowning creation, no matter what her sister Grace says. When her father puts a challenge before her–to find someone she’s willing to marry or be married to the man of his choice–Faith knows she’s on a deadline, one she’s desperate to beat. The only thing standing in her way is her temporary guardian, Captain Dajon White, a man she coincidentally pirated from five years earlier.

The Raven Saint

Grace Westcott has spent her life trying to fulfill the promise she made to her dying mother, but trying to steer her two sisters toward God has proven harder than she thought. Instead, she fills her days serving God and helping the less fortunate. When she’s kidnapped by a French mercenary, she wonders if God has abandoned her completely. As she comes face to face with her own sinful ways, she begins to see those around her in a different light, including the man who kidnapped her, Captain Rafe Dubois.

I’ve owned The Red Siren for a few years now and was unwilling to let the adventure of piracy go when I finished it this last time. Then I discovered the rest of the series was available with Kindle Unlimited. Though I downloaded the next two books, I had barely begun the second book before I switched to The Raven Saint, the third book (there’s four total).

One of my favorite things is reading about the establishment of faith. There’s nothing like a coming-to-Jesus moment. However, with Raven Saint, Grace is already established in her faith and struggles with feeling distant from God after her kidnapping. Even so, she does what she can to spread God’s love to those around her. Perhaps I enjoyed the third book more than the first for this very reason as I, too, have found myself in times when God felt distant but I did what I could to share His love and mercy with others. While Faith Westcott has to come to terms with God and reestablish a relationship with Him, Grace Westcott has to come to terms with her own sinfulness and discover the mercy that God has for her.

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

The Titan Kronos has been getting stronger and stronger as he recruits demigods and minor gods alike to his side. As Kronos begins to advance on New York City, Percy Jackson faces down the Great Prophecy that has been looming over him. It’s up to Percy Jackson and the other demigods from Camp Half-Blood to meet the Titan’s army in a battle that will determine not just the fate of the civilization, but of the gods and their offspring as well. But in a war this big, betrayal comes from the least likeliest of places.

I love the Percy Jackson series and this is the last book in the original series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians. It’s been awhile since I’ve read the entire series, so I can’t really say if this is my favorite book or not. In his usual way, Percy meets the oncoming conflict with determination and sarcasm, but he also learns to trust those around him in a way that he hasn’t before. I think this book shows a lot of growth in Percy, a glimpse into the leader and strong fighter he is in the next series.

The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan

The Son of Neptune

The only definite thing Percy Jackson remembers is a name: Annabeth. Other than that, his memory is blank. After being told he’s the son of the sea god by the wolf Lupa, he makes the treacherous journey to New Rome, the safest place for half-bloods. Soon after his arrival, Percy befriends two other half-bloods: Hazel, daughter of Pluto, and Frank, son of Mars. Though they both hold great secrets, Percy joins them in a quest to the land beyond the gods in order to free the god Thanatos from the giant Alcyoneus. Hopefully he’ll find the answers he’s searching for on the way.

The Mark of Athena

After searching for six months, Annabeth is finally reunited with Percy. The last thing she wants to do is be separated from him, but her mother’s orders are sending her on a quest. Alone. As Annabeth follows the Mark of Athena, searching for the one thing that could heal the rift between the Romans and Greeks, Percy and the others race against the clock to save another one of their own, Nico DiAngelo, who is surely the bait in a trap set by another pair of giants.

Have I mentioned I love Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase? They are the ultimate OTP. I remember the first time I read the first book in the series, The Lost Hero, and finding out that Percy was missing. Can you say heartbreak? This time around, it’s not just the demigods from Camp-Half Blood who are teaming up to save the world. Each one of the demigods who come together will grow as trust is built and hidden powers are revealed. As someone who loves history, I was pulled into the ancient information that peppers each of Riordan’s books. I also now have plans to visit a certain statue replica in Tennessee.

Have you read any of these books? What are some great books you read this month?

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