February reading wrap-up of eight books and a reading slump

Let’s recap the books I read in February, which included eight books and a book slump. The book slump is questionable. All I know is I can’t get into any book I pick up. That’s a story for another time. Let’s get to the books I read and whether I liked them.

February Reading Wrap-up - momworksitout.com

Beartown by Fredrick Brackman (Beartown #1)  Rating: 4.5⭐

Beartown is like Friday Night Lights in a hockey town instead of a football town. The story focuses on what happens when loyalty and commitment are questioned after a tragic event in this small town. 

I didn’t think I would like the book because the subject matter is HEAVY, and many characters were introduced from the start. I didn’t think knowing about every single character that was being mentioned. Spoiler: at the end of the book, I understood the need for all the characters because it showed how closely connected everyone in the town is to each other. What happened to Mya was devastating, but seeing how the town handled the incident was shocking. I don’t want to give too much away about the book because it’s powerful and meaningful, and the writing is beautiful.  

Beartown is a story about friendship, commitment, and loyalty and how all those things play out when you are forced to choose sides. You are either with “us” or against “us,” and how that affects adults and children. Beartown is powerful and a must-read.

When in Rome by Sarah Adams  Rating: 3 ⭐

There’s not much for me to say about this book. I finished it within 24 hours, and it’s a standard rom-com novel. It’s an easy read, and if you want to get out of a book slump and enjoy romance, this book is for you. Amelia is a big-time pop star who takes a break in small-town Rome, Kentucky, where her car conveniently breaks down in Noah Walker’s front yard. It’s grumpy sunshine, small-town, forced proximity romance where the two MCs work through family issues to find their way to each other.

Daisy Haites (The Magnolia Parks Universe Book 2) by Jessa Hastings   Rating: 4.5 ⭐

Daisy Haites is my second favorite character from the Magnolia Parks universe, next to Christian Hemmes, but these books are about them as a couple. I mention that because I tend to favor the Daisy Haites books over the Magnolia Park’s point-of-view books. This book was a re-read for me because I wanted to read the books before the newest book came out. 

The Magnolia Parks series has no plot, just vibes, but the writing is beautiful and captivating. Daisy Haites focuses on Daisy’s relationship with her ganglord brother and wants to live an everyday life outside the family business. Daisy is brilliant and sarcastic and is in love with Christian Hemmes, who falls out of love with Magnolia Parks. Daisy and Chrisitan have an up-and-down relationship, and this book focuses on them finding their way to each other by cutting ties with their past loves.

Daisy Haites is the book where I fell in love with Christian Hemmes, who makes me like Daisy more as a character. Also, Daisy has more depth and understanding of the world, which makes her different and more likable than Magnolia. On the other hand, Daisy and Magnolia have many similarities, like running in the same social circle and the way they view the world around them. They go about it in different ways. It’s a nice contrast with the books told on the same timeline, just through different points of view.

The Long Game by Elena Armas   Rating: 3 ⭐

I like Elena Armas’s books, such as The Spanish Love Deception and The American Roomate Experience, but The Long Game didn’t hit me. (All of these books are available on Kindle Unlimited.) The only thing I remember about this book was how long it took me to finish it, and it should have been a relatively easy read. The Long Game is a slow-burn and enemies-to-lovers romance. The characters of Adalyn and Cameron didn’t seem to have any chemistry between them, and it was hard for me to root for their relationship. I was more interested in Adalyn’s family backstory and what she would do in the future. The third-act conflict seemed minor, and it broke the book for me.  

Love Resigned (Lakefront Billionaires #1) by Lauren Asher    Rating:  4.5 ⭐

Lauren Asher’s romance books are well-written, and she did not disappoint with the first book in the Lakefront Billionaires series. I read Asher’s F1 books as a joke when the F1 Imola race was canceled last year, but the joke was on me because I loved her writing style. Asher develops her characters well with relatable storylines and some humor. And yes, Asher writes long, spicy contemporary romance books.

Dahlia and Julian are childhood friends with the potential to become something more until life gets in the way. The couple is reunited when life brings them back together in their hometown, where they confront the past to build a future together.  Love Redesigned brought a family element that warmed my heart and a budding love story for people meant to share life.

Magnolia Parks: The Long Way Home (Magnolia Parks Universe Book 3) by Jessa Hastings   Rating:  4.5 ⭐

The Long Way Home picked with Magnolia leaving London for New York after discovering the truth about BJ. Magnolia dates around and tries to heal herself by focusing on other men. Meanwhile, BJ is back in London with a new girlfriend. Magnolia returns home for her father’s wedding and decides she needs to stay permanently, and the story plays out from there.

I’ve previously mentioned Magnolia isn’t my favorite character. Still, I did love her dabbling in a relationship with Julian and finding new friendships with Taura and Daisy while also repairing her relationship with Christian. It bothered me that Magnolia couldn’t or wouldn’t realize who Julian Haites is daily. Her naivety ruined bits of the story for me because I know this girl can’t be that self-absorbed and dense to deny the truth. She was falling in love with Julian, but she never really could without realizing the truth. The Long Way Home is an excellent continuation of the series, and I can see why people love Julian Haites so much.  

Daisy Haites: The Great Undoing (Magnolia Parks Universe Book 4) by Jessa Hastings    Rating:  5 ⭐

The Great Undoing is the next book, following Daisy Haites, where she is living the “normal” life she wanted outside of the crime family and dating her cop boyfriend, Tiller. Things are good until Daisy faces death threats, and she is forced to go back home to live under Julian’s protection. Her relationship with Tiller is fragile because she is a criminal, and her family is wrapped up in everything Tiller is against. Their relationship unravels when Daisy is put back into that world, and during that time, she grows closer to Christian, who finally starts speaking his mind and wants to love Daisy the way she deserves.

In the book, you get a glimpse into the life of a ganglord, and we get to witness Magnolia Parks and Daisy Haites becoming friends. The book better explains what happened at the end of The Long Way Home and leaves the reader with a cliffhanger. I wish the next book picked up at that point in Daisy’s perspective, but it doesn’t. 

A Curse for True Love (Once Upon a Broken Heart #3) by Stephanie Garber    Rating:   3.5 ⭐

A Curse for True Love is the final book in the Once Upon a Broken Heart series, and this was the best book of them all. This book did what it needed to do by giving a speedy conclusion to the series. It’s a young adult fantasy based on fairy tales, so it’s a bit cheesy and light, but fairy tales are meant to give us a childhood feeling. This is an old-school fairy tale with villains and a happy ending. There’s little to say about the book after that. The series overall was meh, and I initially read this book because many people raved about it. It was a good series, but it could have been better. It’s a light, simple, quick read and a great step into fantasy if it’s different from a genre you usually read.


After reading Daisy Haites: The Great Undoing, I was excited to jump into the new Magnolia Parks book Into The Dark. I started reading, but I found myself hitting a slump. The book is good, don’t get me wrong, but I jumped in too soon with the book instead of letting my thoughts digest. I got 35% into the book and put it down because it wasn’t a book I was running to read. That is when I picked up A Curse for True Love. I’m glad I did because I felt the slump coming on, and I want to enjoy the next book into Magnolia Parks. I’ll give it a try next month!

Those are all the books I read in February. After not reading in December, I needed a great month of reading and getting back into it in January. My saving grace has been going to the gym to read on the treadmill, the elliptical, or the stair stepper. It’s been nice to be outside the house to read and move my body simultaneously. Combining those two has been a helpful and healing experience for me.

How many books did you read in February?  What was your favorite February read?