Get Rec’d with Amanda – Volume 62


I’m back with another round of recommendations for all types of readers. I even selfishly included one I keep getting that I want some second opinions on. This time, we have a Medusa story, a love story anthology, and non-fiction.

Get any good recommendations lately? I would love to hear about them in the comments!

  • A Dawn of Onyx

    This is more of a recommendation for myself! This one keeps popping up on social media and various booklists. I love  dark, fantasy romance but I’m wary of TikTok recs and romances that follow the same couple over multiple books. Is it worth it?

    The breakout TikTok fantasy romance!

    Captured by the king of darkness, she was forced to find the light within.

    Arwen Valondale never expected to be the brave one, offering her life to save her brother’s. Now she’s been taken prisoner by the most dangerous kingdom on the continent, and made to use her rare magical abilities to heal the soldiers of the vicious Onyx King.

    Arwen knows better than to face the ancient, wicked woods that surround the castle on her own, which means working with a fellow prisoner might be her only path to freedom. Unfortunately, he’s as infuriating as he is cunning—and seems to take twisted pleasure in playing on Arwen’s deepest fears.

    But here in Onyx Kingdom, trust is a luxury she can’t afford.

    To make it out of enemy territory, she’ll have to navigate back-stabbing royals, dark magic, and dangerous beasts. But untold power lies inside Arwen, dormant and waiting for a spark. If she can harness it, she just might be able to escape with her life—and hopefully, her heart.

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  • A Drop of Venom

    A Drop of Venom by Sajni Patel

    Sajni Patel has written some great adult and YA contemporary romances! Now, she’s dabbling in mythology with a South Asian twist. I also love a “villain” origin story with a gorgeous cover to boot.

    All monsters and heroes have beginnings. This is mine.

    Sixteen-year-old Manisha is no stranger to monsters—she’s been running from them for years, from beasts who roam the jungle to the King’s army, who forced her people, the naga, to scatter to the ends of the earth. You might think that the kingdom’s famed holy temples atop the floating mountains, where Manisha is now a priestess, would be safe—but you would be wrong.

    Seventeen-year-old Pratyush is a famed slayer of monsters, one of the King’s most prized warriors and a frequent visitor to the floating temples. For every monster the slayer kills, years are added to his life. You might think such a powerful warrior could do whatever he wants, but true power lies with the King. Tired after years of fighting, Pratyush wants nothing more than a peaceful, respectable life.

    When Pratyush and Manisha meet, each sees in the other the possibility to chart a new path. Unfortunately, the kingdom’s powerful have other plans. A temple visitor sexually assaults Manisha and pushes her off the mountain into a pit of vipers. A month later, the King sends Pratyush off to kill one last monster (a powerful nagin who has been turning men to stone) before he’ll consider granting the slayer his freedom.

    Except Manisha doesn’t die, despite the hundreds of snake bites covering her body and the venom running through her veins. She rises from the pit more powerful than ever before, with heightened senses, armor-like skin, and blood that can turn people to stone. And Pratyush doesn’t know it, but the “monster” he’s been sent to kill is none other than the girl he wants to marry.

    Alternating between Manisha’s and Pratyush’s perspectives, Sajni Patel weaves together lush language, high stakes, and page-turning suspense, demanding an answer to the question “What does it truly mean to be a monster?”

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  • Who’s Loving You

    Who’s Loving You by Sareeta Domingo

    If you enjoyed the diversity of stories of Bolu Babalola’s Love in Colour, give this anthology a try. This one as a variety of authors, which I love, because it allows me to try out some new-to-me writers in a low-risk format.

    ‘A beautiful collection that I both lost and found myself in. Unbelievably exciting stories from some show-stoppingly talented writers.’ Candice Carty-Williamsauthor of Queenie.

    Lost love. Forbidden Love. Unrequited love. Tenderness. Desire. Romance. Passion.

    Who’s Loving You? is a celebration of love in all its guises written by women of colour, with ten original short stories from bold new voices, literary prize-winners and national treasures.

    Two souls come together and are torn apart, lifetime after lifetime. A seed of hope begins to grow out of the ashes of grief, heartbreak and loss. Romance sparks in the most unexpected of places. And an unbreakable bond is formed that transcends countries, continents and even the boundaries of time…

    In this extraordinary collection, ten writers explore the full spectrum of love in all its messy, joyful, agonising and exhilarating forms. Celebrating and centering the romance, passion and desire of women of colour, these stories burn with an intensity and longing that lingers long after the final page.

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  • You’ll Do

    You’ll Do by Marcia Zug

    For those who may want something at the intersection of niche history, race, and feminism! This one can definitely be rage-inducing at times.

    An illuminating and thought-provoking examination of the uniquely American institution of marriage, from the Colonial era through the #MeToo age

    Perfect for fans of Rebecca Solnit and Rebecca Traister

    Americans hold marriage in such high esteem that we push people toward it, reward them for taking part in it, and fetishize its benefits to the point that we routinely ignore or excuse bad behavior and societal ills in the name of protecting and promoting it.

    In eras of slavery and segregation, Blacks sometimes gained white legal status through marriage.

    Laws have been designed to encourage people to marry so that certain societal benefits could be achieved: the population would increase, women would have financial security, children would be cared for, and immigrants would have familial connections.

     As late as the Great Depression, poor young women were encouraged to marry aged Civil War veterans for lifetime pensions.

    The widely overlooked problem with this tradition is that individuals and society have relied on marriage to address or dismiss a range of injustices and inequities, from gender- and race-based discrimination, sexual violence, and predation to unequal financial treatment.

     One of the most persuasive arguments against women’s right to vote was that marrying and influencing their husband’s choices was just as meaningful, if not better.

    Through revealing storytelling, Zug builds a compelling case that when marriage is touted as “the solution” to such problems, it absolves the government, and society, of the responsibility for directly addressing them.

    Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

    This book is available from:

    As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

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