Penny's Passion: What I Read in January 2023

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

What I Read in January 2023

Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday where I talk about something I'm thinking about and invite you to link up and share what's on your mind.  Today I'm sharing the books I read in January.

It was a slow reading month for me in January!  If it wasn't for going on vacation for a week, I would have only gotten through one book!

The first book I read in January was The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict.  This was the book selection for the library book club I participate in.  This is the third Marie Benedict book I've read and I enjoy her style.  Being a historical fiction book, sometimes I wondered where the truth stopped and fiction began.  Overall, I would recommend this one.  Here's the summary from Amazon ~
Her beauty almost certainly saved her from the rising Nazi party and led to marriage with an Austrian arms dealer. Underestimated in everything else, she overheard the Third Reich's plans while at her husband's side and understood more than anyone would guess. She devised a plan to flee in disguise from their castle, and the whirlwind escape landed her in Hollywood. She became Hedy Lamarr, screen star.

But she kept a secret more shocking than her heritage or her marriage: she was a scientist. And she had an idea that might help the country fight the Nazis and revolutionize modern communication...if anyone would listen to her.

A powerful book based on the incredible true story of the glamour icon and scientist, The Only Woman in the Room is a masterpiece that celebrates the many women in science that history has overlooked.

The first book I dove into on the plane to Hawaii was The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren.  My daughter-in-law had recommended this because it was actually based in Hawaii.  It was the perfect beach read!  Funny with a little bit of suspense.  Here is the summary ~
Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion...she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.

Olive braces herself for wedding hell, determined to put on a brave face, but when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. Suddenly there’s a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo.

Agreeing to a temporary truce, the pair head for Maui. After all, ten days of bliss is worth having to assume the role of loving newlyweds, right? But the weird thing is...Olive doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, the more she pretends to be the luckiest woman alive, the more it feels like she might be.

With Christina Lauren’s “uniquely hilarious and touching voice” (Entertainment Weekly), The Unhoneymooners is a romance for anyone who has ever felt unlucky in love.

Lastly, I read The Chemistry of Love by Sariah Wilson.  This one had been sitting in my queue for I don't even know how long.  I must have read someplace that it was good and added it to my library.  Glad it bubbled to the top because it too was a great beach read.  It's free right now on Kindle Unlimited too!  For me, it got a little draggy in the middle but was still a fun book to have on vacation.  Here's the summary ~
How can Anna Ellis, a geeky, brilliant, and hopelessly smitten cosmetic chemist possibly win over Craig Kimball, the man of her dreams—who also happens to be her boss? The answer is Craig’s empathetic (and handsome) CEO half brother, Marco. The makeup mogul knows Craig for the ridiculously competitive rival he is. Whatever Marco has, Craig wants. That can be Anna, if she’s game to play.

All Anna and Marco have to do is pretend they’re falling in love and let the rumors begin. If the experiment in attraction works, a jealous Craig will swoop in and give Anna her happily ever after—if it weren’t for one hitch in the plan. There’s more to Marco than meets the eye. With every fake date, Anna’s feelings are starting to become dizzyingly real.

Blame it on chemistry. It’s unpredictable, exciting, and occasionally combustible. If Anna and Marco are really falling in love, who are they to argue with science?

Now it's your turn - what are you thinking out loud about?  Link up and share!


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  1. I really enjoyed the Unhoneymooners; it was so funny. The other two books sound great too; I love when historical fiction novels have a little section in the back explaining where the fact leads off and the fiction begins. They always lead me to dive in just a bit deeper and learn a bit more about history.

  2. Overall, 3 good reads. I liked the Unhoneymooners. Thought it was fun. Will keep The Chemistry of Love in mind for warmer days in the near future. The Benedict book sounds very good to me. I like historical fiction and especially books set during WWII. Reading All the Broken Places right now, which is a kind of stand-alone sequel to The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. I recommend it.