Books

What I Read in 2020: August – December

Whilst I haven’t enjoyed holidays to all kinds of destinations, getting sweaty with other concert goers in crowded venues or whatever else I had planned for 2020, this crazy year has been a great one for reading.

I’ve already posted about the books I read in the first half of the year (you can read these posts here and here) so – without further delay – here’s what I read in the final few months of 2020.

August

The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas

Blurb

Grace has Asperger’s and her own way of looking at the world. She’s got a horse and a best friend who understand her, and that’s pretty much all she needs. But when Grace kisses Gabe and things start to change at home, the world doesn’t make much sense to her any more. 

Suddenly everything threatens to fall apart, and it’s up to Grace to fix it on her own.

My Thoughts

The State of Grace is a contemporary novel about changing family dynamics, friendships and navigating the world around you.

(Read my full review of this book here).

You can buy this book on Amazon | Book Depository | AbeBooks

September

Never Say No by Elizabeth Neep

Blurb

It’s always been yes. Yes, I’ll be your friend. Yes, I’ll be your girlfriend. Yes, I’ll move in with you. Yes, yes, yes. I can’t just change my mind now. Can I?

Hailey has always been told she can have it all. And saying yes to every opportunity that comes her way seems like the obvious way to make sure she gets it.

When she finds an engagement ring hidden in her boyfriend Dom’s closet, she knows she’ll say yes.

Her best friend Sophie suggests they run a marathon together and although Hailey hasn’t done more than sprint for a bus in years, she says yes.

And every time her new boss, the infamous Vivian Jones, asks her to stay late (again) at her dream job, the answer is always yes.

But somewhere between saying ‘yes’ to Vivian’s latest demands and still trying to make it home on time for boxsets and burritos on the sofa with Dom, Hailey has lost sight of what she really wanted in the first place.

Far from winning at life, Hailey feels like she is fighting to juggle two very different worlds. When those worlds finally collide, could having it all actually mean losing everything?

My Thoughts

Never Say No is a contemporary novel about work-life balance, working your way to the top and wondering just how much you’ve got – and are prepared – to lose.

(Read my full review of this book here).

You can buy this book on Amazon | Book Depository | AbeBooks

October

Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

Blurb

Marcus has a secret. While he may be the star of the biggest show on TV, he’s also a prolific fan fiction writer. Through his stories, Marcus releases his frustrations with the show, but if anyone ever found out about his online persona, he’d be fired. Immediately.

April has secrets of her own. A hardcore fan of Marcus’s show, she’s long hidden her fanfic and cosplay hobby from her ‘real life’ – but not anymore. When she dares to post her latest costume creation on Twitter, her plus-size take goes viral. And when Marcus asks her out to spite her critics, truth officially becomes stranger than (fan) fiction . . .

On their date, Marcus quickly realises that he wants much more from April than a one-time publicity stunt. But with so many secrets between them, can they ever stop hiding, or will a match made in fandom never make it in real life?

My Thoughts

Spoiler Alert is a contemporary romance about fandoms, falling in love and finding out there is more to people than you might’ve thought.

(Read my full review of this book here).

You can buy this book on Amazon | Book Depository | AbeBooks

Meet Me in London by Georgia Toffolo

Blurb

Aspiring clothes designer Victoria Scott spends her days working in a bar in Chelsea, and her evenings designing vintage clothes, dreaming of one day opening her own boutique. But these aspirations are under threat from the new department store opening at the end of her road. She needs a Christmas miracle, but one is not forthcoming.

Oliver Russell’s Christmas is not looking very festive right now. His family’s new London department store opening is behind schedule, and on top of that his interfering, if well meaning, mother is pressing him to introduce his girlfriend to her. A girlfriend who does not exist. He needs a diversion. Something to keep his mother from interfering while he focuses on the business.

When Oliver meets Victoria, he offers a proposition: pretend to be his girlfriend at the opening of his store and he will provide an opportunity for Victoria to showcase her designs. But what starts as a business arrangement soon becomes something more tempting, as the fake relationship starts to feel very real. But when secrets in Victoria’s past are exposed will Oliver walk away, or will they both follow their hearts and find what neither knew they were looking for…

My Thoughts

Meet Me In London is a contemporary romance about fashion, festivities and finding love when you least expect it.

(Read my full review of this book here).

You can buy this book on Amazon | Book Depository | AbeBooks

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Blurb

Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places…including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.

As Queenie careens from one questionable decision to another, she finds herself wondering, “What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be?”—all of the questions today’s woman must face in a world trying to answer them for her.

My Thoughts

Queenie is a contemporary novel about race, sexuality and figuring yourself out.

(Read my full review of this book here).

You can buy this book on Amazon | Book Depository | AbeBooks

Love, Almost by Hayley Doyle

Blurb

Chloe and Jack are soulmates. But life has other plans…

Chloe is deliriously in love for the very first time. But when Jack, her boyfriend of five months, is killed in a tragic accident, she is left reeling. Their relationship was amazing – but it never really had the chance to get started.

Grieving but determined, Chloe decides to live life for the both of them and makes her way through the list of things they’d planned to do together – this time on her own.

My Thoughts

Love, Almost is a contemporary novel about grief, getting over a relationship that didn’t have a chance to flourish and going out there on your own.

(Read my full review of this book here).

You can buy this book on Amazon | Book Depository | AbeBooks

The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent

Blurb

Have you ever imagined running away from your life?

Well Birdy Finch didn’t just imagine it. She did it. Which might’ve been an error. And the life she’s run into? Her best friend, Heather’s.

The only problem is, she hasn’t told Heather. Actually there are a few other problems…

Can Birdy carry off a summer at a luxury Scottish hotel pretending to be her best friend (who incidentally is a world-class wine expert)?

And can she stop herself from falling for the first man she’s ever actually liked (but who thinks she’s someone else)?

My Thoughts

The Summer Job is a contemporary debut novel about summer, stealing your best friend’s life and summer romance.

(Read my full review of this book here).

You can buy this book on Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones

November

The First Time We Met by Jo Lovett

Blurb

What if you met The One on his wedding day?

Izzy doesn’t believe in love at first sight, but when Sam walks into the cafe where she works one winter’s morning, she knows without a doubt that he’s the one. Too bad Sam’s getting married. Today.

Nearly a year later, Izzy still can’t stop thinking about Sam, the one that got away, but she knows it’s time to move on: he’s a married man and probably wouldn’t recognise her if he passed her on the street.

But Sam has never forgotten Izzy, the funny, gorgeous woman who asked him out on his wedding day. If the timing had only been better, he knows they could have had something wonderful.

When Izzy and Sam’s paths finally cross again, everything has changed. But with the Atlantic Ocean and decades of baggage between them, they are about to find out whether some obstacles are too big for even true love to overcome.

My Thoughts

The First Time We Met is a contemporary romance about first meeting, fate and finding love amongst life’s obstacles.

(Read my full review of this book here).

You can buy this book on Amazon | Book Depository | AbeBooks

Thank You, Next by Sophie Ranald

Blurb

Zoe really doesn’t want to die alone and surrounded by cats. But it’s not looking good: she’s had sex precisely twice in the last year, and her feline friend isn’t the kind of male company she wants in bed…

Her top dating disasters include:

1) The guy who kissed her hand, took out a violin and serenaded her in public.

2) The guy who force-fed her oysters (she can confirm that they’re not an aphrodisiac).

3) The guy who was so hungover he turned up with his t-shirt on inside out, sweating sambuca.

4) The guy who brought his actual kid on a dinner date.

And don’t even get her started on the dick pics, or how on earth you’re supposed to know whether a total stranger is an axe murderer or not.

Zoe’s ready to give up on the search for love, until her friend has an idea. Robbie lives by his horoscope, and he’s sure she’s got this dating stuff all wrong. He dares her to work her way through the zodiac until she finds The One.

Usually Zoe would laugh at such a suggestion, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Could love be written in the stars? Or is she destined to end up alone, eating take-out in bed and watching endless re-runs of Friends?

My Thoughts

Thank You, Next is a contemporary romance about ditching the ex, dating and determination to get yourself back on track.

(Read my full review of this book here).

You can buy this book on Amazon | Book Depository | AbeBooks

The Last Goodbye by Fiona Lucas

Blurb

Spencer was the love of Anna’s life: her husband, her best friend, her rock. She thought their love would last forever.

But three years ago, Spencer was tragically killed in an accident and Anna’s world was shattered. How can she ever move on, when she’s lost her soulmate?

On New Year’s Eve Anna phones Spencer’s number, just to hear his old voicemail greeting. But to her shock, someone answers…
 
Brody has inherited Spencer’s old number, and is the first person who understands what Anna’s going through. As she becomes more reliant on their calls, Anna finds herself opening up to Brody – and slowly she rediscovers how to smile again, how to laugh, even how to hope.

But Brody hasn’t been entirely honest with Anna. Will his secret threaten everything, just as it seems she might find the courage to love again?

My Thoughts

The Last Goodbye is a contemporary novel about grief, getting to grips with loss and getting the chance – and the courage – to love again.

(Read my full review of this book here).

You can buy this book on Amazon | Book Depository | Wordery

December

Red/Black by Rachael Atherton-Charvat

Blurb

Sarah Hughes. Wife, mother, secret gambler. 

Her life is one of stability and security. Settled in Cheltenham, married for over twenty years, lovely children but her inner trauma of losing a child in a car accident in which she was driving is reopened when her husband accepts a full-time posting to a military camp in Germany. Upon arriving in Germany, her underlying depression returns and she starts gambling online. The isolated posting and pressures of army life exacerbates her struggle and exposes the frailties of her marriage. 

The stakes rise as her gambling escalates and she starts to realise her husband is not all she believed…

My Thoughts

Red/Black is a contemporary novel about struggles, rising stakes and secrets.

(Read my full review of this book here).

You can buy this book on Amazon | Book Depository | AbeBooks

Lonely Castle In The Mirror by Mizuki Tsujimura

Blurb

In a tranquil neighbourhood of Tokyo, seven teenagers wake to find the mirrors in their bedrooms are shining.

At a single touch, they are pulled from their lonely lives into to a wondrous castle filled with winding stairways, watchful portraits and twinkling chandeliers. In this new sanctuary, they are confronted with a set of clues leading to a hidden room where one of them will be granted a wish. But there’s a catch: if they don’t leave by five o’clock, they will die.

As time passes, a devastating truth emerges: only those brave enough to share their stories will be saved.

My Thoughts

Lonely Castle in the Mirror is a contemporary novel about childhood, wishes and being brave.

(Read my full review of this book here).

You can buy this book on Amazon | Book Depository | Forbidden Planet

Meant to Be by Louisa Leaman

Blurb

After a spate of terrible boyfriends, Jess is sure she’s found her perfect man in dependable – but occasionally dull – Tim. But when her grandmother, tasks her with retrieving a family heirloom from a local auction she finds herself face to face with a charming stranger, Guy.

Guy has already bought her grandmother’s precious necklace and whilst Jess desperately tries to buy it back from him, he somehow convinces her to go out on a date instead.

Ridiculous. But Guy has the necklace and Jess’s grandmother’s health is declining rapidly. Jess has no choice but to indulge Guy and go on a date with – if only to get the necklace back.

But when she and Guy hit it off on their date Jess’s dependable happily-ever- after is thrown off track…

My Thoughts

Meant to Be is a contemporary romance about family, finding out who you are and figuring out what you want.

(Read my full review of this book here).

You can buy this book on Amazon | Book Depository | WH Smith

📚 📚

So that’s it for my “What I Read in 2020” posts. Have you read any of these books? Alternatively, what have you read in 2020? I’m always on the hunt for recommendations so, if you have any, send them my way 😂.

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4 thoughts on “What I Read in 2020: August – December

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