Reading Challenge Update: April 2020

Hello, quarantine friends! How are we all doing? Have we all just completely lost it yet? We haven’t lost it here yet, but I’m not sure how much longer that’ll last. It’s time for another reading challenge update, and this month was crazy! I had plenty of time to read, so read I did. I read 4 books this month, getting me to 14/30 books for the year. As always, I receive no compensation for reviewing these books or you purchasing them. I’ve included links to purchase the books on Amazon, but feel free to support your local library (if they’re open, or you can find it as an ebook) or bookstore (if you can order it).


Legend of the Jade Dragon by Yasmine Galenorn

This book was the second installment in the Chintz n China series. Emerald does a tarot reading for a gentleman who seems very down on his luck. Almost immediately after, Emerald witnesses the man die in a hit and run accident. He leaves behind a little jade dragon figurine, which the police tell her she can keep since they can’t find any next of kin (which I wonder exactly how by the books that is). After the accident, it seems like nothing goes right–her store is broken into and completely trashed, someone throws a brick through her window, and then someone breaks into her home and trashes it. It’s one thing after another, but Emerald finds out their family is cursed by this dragon figurine, as well as the cure: it needs to be bathed in the blood of a thief (ew). Eventually Emerald manages to save her family and get rid of the curse destroying her family and relationships.

You can purchase this book here.

A Harvest of Bones by Yasmine Galenorn

Ok, this is book four, when Jade Dragon is book 2. I’d read book 3 last year, which was when I found this series. I really liked it, but I didn’t reread it for this year. Anyway, on to book 4! This one might be my favorite in the whole series. Emerald’s boyfriend, Joe, buys the vacant lot next door to her house. When they clear out the wild overgrowth, it stirs up things that were supposed to be forgotten and people who were supposed to disappear. Emerald ends up dealing with will o’ the wisp, a ghost cat, her own cat getting sent to the spirit world, and a woman who can’t rest in peace. I liked there were passages in the book that came from Brigit’s diary. There’s something about this series that, while I enjoy it, I couldn’t seem to pick up what I had issues with. I eventually figured it out while reading this book: Emerald is “Perfect Mom.” She always knows the exact right thing to say. Her discipline moments are perfect, and her kids always apologize immediately after and don’t repeat the behaviour. That puts a bit of a damper on the series, but this book was still good.

You can purchase this book here.

One Hex of a Wedding by Yasmine Galenorn

Yes, another book. I decided to read the whole series since I had the time. I’m not too sure how I felt about this book. Emerald and Joe are getting married, and everything goes wrong in the last two weeks, starting with Emerald’s ex husband, Roy, showing up at their engagement party. Joe get shot, vendors back out of the event, family fights happen, and her best friend is being stalked by someone who has the mentality of “if I can’t have you, no one will.” By the way, I guessed who it was once we learn Murray has a stalker. It was really obvious to me. I thought the resolution to Emerald’s problems with the wedding was really anticlimactic, but you can’t really do battle with a cursed necklace, I guess. In the end, Emerald and Joe get married, everything goes great, Roy enters rehab, Murray’s stalker is taken care of, and everyone is happy.

You can purchase this book here.

Holiday Spirits by Yasmine Galenorn

Ok, this was definitely my LEAST favorite of all of them. The whole premise of the book felt like it was just to emphasize how Emerald is “Perfect Mom.” I’m pretty sure if I were arrested at 11 years old and did the things her son does in this book, my only punishment would NOT be a stern talking to, dealing with my own guilt, and community service. I was really looking forward to a battle with Krampus, but it turned out that Kip just needed to “not feel guilty.” I read this book in about an hour and a half (it’s a novella, to be fair), and I can think of a bunch of things I probably would’ve enjoyed more than this book, one being dental work. Basically, if you read this series, you can give this one a skip unless you REALLY want to read it. I’m still going to link to it, but I felt this book was unnecessary to the series as a whole. Apologies to the author, but it’s just how it felt.

You can purchase this book here.

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