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2021 Reading Goals and January Picks: The Read and the To-Be-Read

It’s still early enough in the new year that I am figuring out my reading plan for this and coming months. It’s impossible to know what to read next when I have so many books surrounding me…literally. My desk is neatly tucked into the front window well of my bedroom, and there is enough room along each of the sides that you could stack books pretty high up against the wall.

I’m surrounded by the Great Wall of Books.

My 2021 reading goal is 50 books, and I have already read two, but I have to be strategic about how I achieve this goal. I’ve never been very good and strategizing and anticipating which is probably why I tend to avoid board games, but I digress. The goal for January is to read all of the smutty romance novels that are taking up valuable shelf space. These books aren’t super long and take very little time to read because their plots tend to be mindless. It doesn’t take much brain power to figure out that sexual tension + two hot characters + ridiculous back story = characters running, and/or fucking, off into the sunset. I’ve read more sex scenes than I have experienced for myself in the last two years…so these novels need to go before I malfunction.

So far I have read: Grave (Book #2 of The Dark Kings series) by Shantel Tessier and Penthouse Prince by Kendall Ryan.

How can I kindly and succinctly wrap up these two novels?

  • The men are a mess, the women are a mess, everyone is gorgeous, and everyone needs MAJOR therapy. When did self-respect and self-love go out of style?
  • I have more issues with the relationship in Penthouse Prince than I do with Grave. Penthouse Prince is about super hottie real estate mogul, Lexington “Lex” Dane (the name is a 4/10) and Corrigan (I don’t think they mention her last name). It’s your typical “fell in love with the brother’s best friend who is basically like another brother to me” romance. Lex and Corrigan dated in high school, but then he left for college in NYC. She stayed in North Carolina, became a teacher, and apparently sat around pining for Lex because she only hesitated slightly when she was asked to be nanny to Lex’s daughter. Oh yeah, he moved back to town to help care for his sick/dying mother.
  • In Grave the character, Grave (real name is Kyle) unfortunately suffers from some mental health issues and addiction. He’s stuck in some bad patterns and involved with some really bad people. It probably doesn’t help that he owns a casino and secret escort service in Las Vegas and is super rich. He’s involved with a woman, who also does drugs, when he meets April, the local florist, and he takes an instant liking to her. She is the sole care taker for her younger brother, who gets himself into some money troubles that Grave helps her resolve. It’s an awkward, sexual dance of saving one another but it feels more real. Maybe I just like seeing vulnerable men in distress being saved by a woman? The ending of this book didn’t really excite me the way that book one’s ending did, but each story is standalone so they can’t all be winners I suppose.

What’s on deck: I am reading Unexpected by Kelly Rimmer. This is a Harlequin Romance. I am 114 pages in and I already have some thoughts on where this mess is going. Haha! At the same time, I am reading Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, which I have heard great things about from co-workers and friends whom have read it. If I still have time this month, I’d like to read Wintering by Katherine May because I could use a little inspiration right now.

I have two more pocket size Harlequin romances two read through and then add them to the donation pile. Any book that I read that doesn’t really scream “Keep Me” is being donated to Better World Books, which has a bin at one of the libraries local to me. My hope is that by the time I am ready to move out of my parents’ house, again, that I won’t be packing so many books.

What’s on your January To-Be-Read list? Do you plan your reading or just go with the flow? Let me know in the comments section OR hit me up on Instagram @bookslothlife !


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