Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Review: Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis

Series: Lucky Harbor Book  #3
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 328
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Borrowed from the Library
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Forever

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads
Free-spirited Chloe lives life on the edge. Unlike her soon-to-be married sisters, she isn't ready to settle into a quiet life running their family's newly renovated inn. But soon her love of trouble--and trouble with love-draws the attention of the very stern, very sexy sheriff who'd like nothing better than to tame her wild ways.

Suddenly Chloe can't take a misstep without the sheriff hot on her heels. His rugged swagger and his enigmatic smile are enough to make a girl beg to be handcuffed. For the first time, instead of avoiding the law, Chloe dreams of surrender. Can this rebel find a way to keep the peace with the straitlaced sheriff? Or will Chloe's colorful past keep her from a love that lasts . . . and the safe haven she truly wants in a town called Lucky Harbor?
This was a really cute contemporary. It's easy to see why people like Jill Shalvis so much. And I do want to spend more time in Lucky Harbor.

Chloe stole the show for me. She was very easy to like and I really sympathized for her. It's sad that people won't take her seriously. She isn't just a ditzy fool. And her asthma was incorporated very well. It was a serious issue and played a roll in her character.

I don't have any complaints about Sawyer, but I did like Chloe better. They do have good chemistry, but the story wasn't all about that. There were other relationships to be explored.  And it's nice to see a romance that isn't only focused on the hero and heroine.

I'm definitely a sucker for a small-town romance. Ms. Shalvis creates a great world without going over the top with the stereotypical characters.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Top 10 Tuesday: College-Set Books

I've been out of college for five years but it is still one of my favorite settings. College wasn't the best-time of my life (or worst) but I'm still drawn to it for some reason. I do think part of it is that I really New Adult-especially good New Adult.
Top 10 Tuesday was created by the Broke and the Bookish. You can find more information here

I did put series together because otherwise this would be a list of all Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. While that would be accurate it isn't very informative.

Like all of my lists these are in more particular order.

1) The Ivy Years Series by Sarina Bowen
2) Off-Campus Series by Elle Kennedy
3) Addicted to You by Krista and Becca Ritchie
4) Wait for You/Trust in Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout
5) Game On Series by Kristen Callihan
6) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
7) Easy by Tammara Webber
8) Bowler University Series by Megan Erickson

Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Review: Paper Princess by Erin Watt

Series: Royals Book #1
Format: Ebook
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: New Adult
Publisher: Self-published

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.

These Royals will ruin you…

Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone.

Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.

Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.

He might be right.

Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees. 

This was definitely an addictive read. I didn't love it and found it a little problematic, but I couldn't put it down. And I do want to read what happens next.

There's a soap opera feeling to this story. And it kind of has an Abbi Glines feel, too. You know the poor helpless girl brought into a world of privilege and alpha males. And the characters are fairly well done or are on their way there.

I don't completely get the romance. But I'll trust them to make me buy it. And I do like a lot of the other relationships Ella has. It might've helped if Reed's POV had been explored.

My issues surround some of the alpha-hole behavior. I trust Elle Kennedy so I'm withholding judgement. Besides they kept straying toward slut shaming and then pulled away. So, the whole thing may be happening on purpose. We'll see when I read the next book.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Review: Once Upon a Winter's Eve by Tessa Dare

Series: Spindle Cove Book 1.5
Format: Ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Violet Winterbottom is a quiet girl. She speaks six languages, but seldom raises her voice. She endured bitter heartbreak in perfect silence. The gentlemen aren't beating down her door.

Until the night of the Spindle Cove Christmas ball, when a mysterious stranger crashes into the ballroom and collapses at Violet's feet. His coarse attire and near-criminal good looks would put any sensible young lady on her guard. He's wet, chilled, bleeding, and speaking in an unfamiliar tongue.

Only Violet understands him. And she knows he's not what he seems.

She has one night to draw forth the secrets of this dangerously handsome rogue. Is he a smuggler? A fugitive? An enemy spy? She needs answers by sunrise, but her captive would rather seduce than confess. To learn his secrets, Violet must reveal hers and open herself to adventure, passion, and the unthinkable... Love.

Warning: The heroine packs a pistol, the hero curses in multiple languages, and together they steam up a cold winter s night. "

Oh my god, that's probably the best novella I've read. Definitely romance novella. And it was very fast paced-mainly takes place in one night-which is normally a turn-off for me.

I don't want to spoil things, but the characters and their story is beautiful. Ms. Dare took one of my least favorite tropes and made it compelling. Violet definitely stole the show. She has so much sass and strength under her wallflower shell.

And the pacing. This is how you do a well-written romance. The time is so compressed, but the characters face conflicts (internal and external) in a natural way. The romance truly had a beginning, middle, and end (Happily Ever After).

I've said before that writing a novella is a particular skill set and not everyone can do it. But Tessa Dare sure can. I want more of these characters in the best possible way.

Probably, the best compliment I can give this is that I wanted to immediately read it again when I finished it. That doesn't happen very often.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

TTT: Books on Your TBR from Before Blogging/YouTube

Top 10 Tuesday was created by the Broke and the Bookish. You can find more information here
To be 100% honest, I've gotten rid of a lot of old books that were on my TBR. Because of that this list is a little small. So, here we go.

1) If You Give a Girl a Viscount

2) Glitter Baby

3) How to Entice an Enchantress

4) The Princess Bride

5) Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister

6) Glamorous Double Life of Isabel Bookbinder

7) Sexiest Vampire Alive

8) A Secret in Her Kiss

Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Review: A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare

Series: Spindle Cove Book #1
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 372
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Historical Romance, Small Town
Publisher: Avon

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads
Welcome to Spindle Cove, where the ladies with delicate constitutions come for the sea air, and men in their prime are... nowhere to be found. Or are they?

Spindle Cove is the destination of choice for certain types of well-bred young ladies: the painfully shy, young wives disenchanted with matrimony, and young girls too enchanted with the wrong men; it is a haven for those who live there.

Victor Bramwell, the new Earl of Rycliff, knows he doesn't belong here. So far as he can tell, there's nothing in this place but spinsters... and sheep. But he has no choice, he has orders to gather a militia. It's a simple mission, made complicated by the spirited, exquisite Susanna Finch—a woman who is determined to save her personal utopia from the invasion of Bram's makeshift army.

Susanna has no use for aggravating men; Bram has sworn off interfering women. The scene is set for an epic battle... but who can be named the winner when both have so much to lose?

I've read this series before, but I didn't read all of the novellas and it's been a long time. So, I didn't remember much of what happened.

Spindle Cove is amazing. It's like a small-town romance, but historical, which I feel like you don't see that often. There's tons of quirky characters and sequel bait. Oh, there's so much sequel bait.

Honestly, now that I'm writing this I realize I don't have much to say. I find some of Rhys' decision or words problematic. But generally, they are good characters. I cared about them. And it isn't everyday you read a romance between two alpha characters.

My plan is to go through this complete series in order including the novellas. Wish me luck.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Review: Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas

Series: Ravenels Book #2
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 416
Rating: 4. Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads
A ruthless tycoon

Savage ambition has brought common-born Rhys Winterborne vast wealth and success. In business and beyond, Rhys gets exactly what he wants. And from the moment he meets the shy, aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel, he is determined to possess her. If he must take her virtue to ensure she marries him, so much the better…

A sheltered beauty

Helen has had little contact with the glittering, cynical world of London society. Yet Rhys’s determined seduction awakens an intense mutual passion. Helen’s gentle upbringing belies a stubborn conviction that only she can tame her unruly husband. As Rhys’s enemies conspire against them, Helen must trust him with her darkest secret. The risks are unthinkable… the reward, a lifetime of incomparable bliss. And it all begins with…

Marrying Mr. Winterborne

The first book in this was good, but this is why Lisa Kleypas should never stop writing historical romances. And the next book?! My favorite characters from my favorite book are coming back.

This felt a lot like an older Kleypas book. I reminded me a lot of Tempt me at Twilight and Secrets of a Summer Night. She really knows how to write a social differences story. And I'm a real sucker for those.

Helen and Rhys are both great characters and they are an enjoyable couple to read about. Rhys is a very well written alpha male. She explores whyhe is that way instead of it just being an alpha-hole. Helen is also fantastic. She is so gentle and kind, but isn't just a push over.

Seriously, if you haven't read a Lisa Kleypas book you need to.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Review: The Good Girl by Lauren Layne

Series: Love Unexpectedly Book #2
Format: Ebook
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Loveswept

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads
Jenny Dawson moved to Nashville to write music, not get famous. But when her latest record goes double platinum, Jenny’s suddenly one of the town’s biggest stars—and the center of a tabloid scandal connecting her with a pop star she’s barely even met. With paparazzi tracking her every move, Jenny flees to a remote mansion in Louisiana to write her next album. The only hiccup is the unexpected presence of a brooding young caretaker named Noah, whose foul mouth and snap judgments lead to constant bickering—and serious heat.

Noah really should tell Jenny that he’s Preston Noah Maxwell Walcott, the owner of the estate where the feisty country singer has made her spoiled self at home. But the charade gives Noah a much-needed break from his own troubles, and before long, their verbal sparring is indistinguishable from foreplay. But as sizzling nights give way to quiet pillow talk, Noah begins to realize that Jenny’s almost as complicated as he is. To fit into each other’s lives, they’ll need the courage to face their problems together—before the outside world catches up to them.

This was my first Lauren Layne book. I've been wanting to read one for awhile, but didn't know where to start. I heard the summary of this one and I knew this was the one.

It reads a lot like a steamy ABC Family movie. It isn't too deep and is full of good chemistry and fun interactions. It's definitely a steamy read. And it's a great look at the celebrity story. I'm used to the guy being the famous one so a Taylor Swift kind of heroine was nice to read.

I can't say much because I actually read this like a month ago. I will read another Lauren Layne book, but I still don't know what to read next.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Review: Across a Star Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund

Series: For Darkness Shows the Stars Book #2
Format: Paperback
Pages: 452
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Young Adult, Post-Apocolyptic, Sci-Fi
Publisher: Balzer & Bray

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads
Centuries after wars nearly destroyed civilization, the two islands of New Pacifica stand alone, a terraformed paradise where even the Reduction—the devastating brain disorder that sparked the wars—is a distant memory. Yet on the isle of Galatea, an uprising against the ruling aristocrats has turned deadly. The revolutionaries’ weapon is a drug that damages their enemies’ brains, and the only hope is rescue by a mysterious spy known as the Wild Poppy.

On the neighboring island of Albion, no one suspects that the Wild Poppy is actually famously frivolous aristocrat Persis Blake. The teenager uses her shallow, socialite trappings to hide her true purpose: her gossipy flutternotes are encrypted plans, her pampered sea mink is genetically engineered for spying, and her well-publicized new romance with handsome Galatean medic Justen Helo… is her most dangerous mission ever.

Though Persis is falling for Justen, she can’t risk showing him her true self, especially once she learns he’s hiding far more than simply his disenchantment with his country’s revolution and his undeniable attraction to the silly socialite he’s pretending to love. His darkest secret could plunge both islands into a new dark age, and Persis realizes that when it comes to Justen Helo, she’s not only risking her heart, she’s risking the world she’s sworn to protect.

In this thrilling adventure inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel, Diana Peterfreund creates an exquisitely rendered world where nothing is as it seems and two teens with very different pasts fight for a future only they dare to imagine.


Yay!!!. I finally read this one! I do like the first book better, but this was still a very solid book.

Not a lot of YA books are written in third person like this or at least not that I've read. I'm really glad because it helped me get a better idea of what was going on New Pacifica. I was still confused sometimes, because all the sciencey talk made me confused.

Persis especially a great character. She was pretty badass in a few different ways. There was a little bit of political navigation which I always enjoy. She has so much on her shoulders, but she doesn't become angsty or mopey.

The other characters like Isla and Justen were also well done. I actually would like another book for a few reasons like some unresolved questions. Maybe a story set after this one that follows Isla and what she does to navigate her personal and political life. But I'm guessing that will never happen. :(

Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan

Series: The Brothers Sinister Book #3
Format: Ebook
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased in ebook bindup
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Self-Published

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads
Sebastian Malheur is the most dangerous sort of rake: an educated one. When he’s not scandalizing ladies in the bedchamber, he’s outraging proper society with his scientific theories. He’s desired, reviled, acclaimed, and despised—and he laughs through it all.

Violet Waterfield, the widowed Countess of Cambury, on the other hand, is entirely respectable, and she’d like to stay that way. But Violet has a secret that is beyond ruinous, one that ties her irrevocably to England’s most infamous scoundrel: Sebastian’s theories aren’t his. They’re hers.

So when Sebastian threatens to dissolve their years-long conspiracy, she’ll do anything to save their partnership...even if it means opening her vulnerable heart to the rake who could destroy it for good.

I was really excited going into this one. And I did really enjoy it. Courtney Milan is a great author. But I was a little let down. The ending especially is were I thought there could've been more development.

Sebastian and Violet were both great. He was probably the best version of the "unrequited" love character I've ever read. So good, I even feel weird classifying him that way. And Violet was such a complex character. They also have a very interesting relationship. They are friends, but also have a really difficult situation to deal with.

Sorry, my recent reviews have been pretty crappy. I'll try to get better.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Walk the Edge by Katie McGarry

Series: Thunder Road Book #2
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 426
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Young Adult, New Adult
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads
Smart. Responsible. That's seventeen-year-old Breanna's role in her large family, and heaven forbid she put a toe out of line. Until one night of shockingly un-Breanna-like behavior puts her into a vicious cyber-bully's line of fire—and brings fellow senior Thomas "Razor" Turner into her life.

Razor lives for the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, and good girls like Breanna just don't belong. But when he learns she's being blackmailed over a compromising picture of the two of them—a picture that turns one unexpected and beautiful moment into ugliness—he knows it's time to step outside the rules.

And so they make a pact: he'll help her track down her blackmailer, and in return she'll help him seek answers to the mystery that's haunted him—one that not even his club brothers have been willing to discuss. But the more time they spend together, the more their feelings grow. And suddenly they're both walking the edge of discovering who they really are, what they want, and where they're going from here.
Katie McGarry really knows how to write a brooding guy. Razor reminded my a lot of Noah from Pushing the Limits. The book also had some real Crash Into You vibes with the social differences things.

Breanna is probably my favorite part of this book. She has some very relatable struggles like feeling lost in your family. And her "crazy" brain was very interesting. It seemed like she had OCD with the way she became fixated on certain things.

Just like the first book, this takes a deep look at motorcycle club life. Razor struggles with trusting the club which I was really glad to see. It allows Ms. McGarry to really look at different aspects of the MC.

The next book better be about Chevy and Violet because I need to know what the heck is going on with those two.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Top 10 Tuesday: Inspirational Characters

This week's topic was a rewind. There are a bunch of old topics I waas never able to do so this was exciting. So, I picked the one that first jumped out-Inspirational Characters.

Top 10 Tuesday was created by the Broke and the Bookish. You can find more information here
These characters inspire me for a variety of reasons. And I would like to do a video on this topic so I can go into more detail.

And here's the list in no particular order as per usual.

1) Thora from Amour Amour
2) Becky Bloomwood from the Shopaholic Series
3) Yelena from the Study Series
4) Lily Calloway/Hale from the Addicted and Calloway Sisters Series
5) Alexia Taribotti from the Parasol Protectorate Series
6/7) West & Caroline from the West and Caroline Series
8/9) Beth and Ian MacKenzie from the MacKenzies Series
10) Julian from the Heartstrikers Series

Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Review: Bitter Sweet Love by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Series: The Dark Elements .5
Format: Ebook
Rating: 3 Stars
How I Got It: Free ebook
Genre: New Adult, Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads
Dez wasn't just Jasmine's crush. A gargoyle Warden like Jas, he helped her come to terms with her destiny—fending off demons and maintaining the balance between good and evil. He was her everything…right until the moment he disappeared without a trace. It didn't help that Jas's father had just announced that she and Dez would one day be mated. Hard not to take that personally.

And now he's back, three years older, ten times hotter, ready to pick up exactly where they left off. But Jas isn't taking that risk again. Dez has seven days to meet all her conditions and earn back her trust. Seven days filled with terrifying danger and sweet temptation. Seven days to win her heart—or shatter it all over again...

I mean, this was ok. I'm glad I got it for free. There was nothing particularly wrong, but it didn't contribute to the rest of the series. Personally, I think prequel novellas should. Maybe things will come together as the series continues.

Jasmine was the more interesting characters, but they both fell a little flat. She talks a lot about disliking parts of Warden society, but doesn't deliver with it. At least, she's nice to Layla even though she's half demon.

The romance between Jasmine and Des is the main focus of the story. It's fast-paced and a pretty typical Jennifer L. Armentrout one.

If you're interested in this series, I would just start with White Hot Kiss. You can come back to this one if you really want to.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Review: Lingus by Mariana Zapata

Stand Alone
Format: Ebook
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Humor
Publisher: BookBaby

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Most people would describe Katherine Berger as a responsible girl with a big heart, a loyal friend who takes care of those close to her, and the possessor of a wicked sense of humor. There was something about her that most people didn't know. "My name is Kat Berger, and I love porn."

When twenty-five-year-old Kat is dragged to a porn convention by her best friend, she's both embarrassed and nervous. The last thing she ever expected was to meet someone who makes her laugh like no other. This is a story about acceptance and friendship, and a love born out of the most unexpected of places.
I have some conflicted feelings about this book, but overall, I would say I liked it. Based on the synopsis I thought it would be like Wallbanger by Alice Clayton-which is a personal favorite. And it does have some similarities. This is advertised as a romantic comedy and it is, but a R-rated one.

There is a ton of situational comedy in here which I appreciate. But some things just didn't make sense or work-like the thing were she gets her period. And Tristan and Kat have a really good natural banter. They became good friends before having a romantic relationship which I really liked.

The whole porn story line was were I had most of my issues. Personally, I don't think I could be with someone who was actively doing port so I get Kat. And it was a great opportunity to explore sexuality. But if often felt like a punch line. And Ms. Zapata would hint at more, but not deliver. I don't want to go into spoilers so I'm being kind of vague.

I was also disappointed by the amount of slut shaming. Kat can watch porn and her best friend can do porn (not a spoiler) but all the other women who do it are huge sluts. That just left a bad taste in my mouth.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

July Wrap-Up (2016)

It didn't feel like I read a lot this month. Then, I actually look at it and apparently I did. I ended up reading eleven books.

In an effort to save money, I've started using my library again. Yeah, I have a ton of books on my TBR, but the library has been great. It's allowed me to read books I've been a little apprehensive about picking up. And the library always makes me happy.

July was definitely an eclectic reading month which describes me.

These are the books I read and my ratings.

Head Over Heels-4 Stars

Only With You-4 Stars

A Week to Be Wicked-4.5 Stars

Made For You-3 Stars

The Demon King-4 Stars

A Lady by Midnight-4 Stars

Some Kind of Perfect-5 Stars

Asking for More-5 Stars

Bet Me-4 Stars

Bared to You-3 Stars

First & Then-3 Stars

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books You'd Buy Right This Second If Someone Handed You A Fully Loaded Gift Card

Top 10 Tuesday was created by the Broke and the Bookish. You can find more information here.

Damn this is a topic! There are so many books I want that I don't already own. So, how to narrow it down-Books that would add to my TBR? Books that I've read and just don't own?

Fortunately, I already have a list of the books I want to buy soon so I pulled from that. And I only did ones that are already released. It's primarily romance and new adult, because that's what I'm really into right now.

It's been a long time since I did a Top 10 Tuesday, but in case you were wondering, I put these in no particular order.

So, here's my list.

1) Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton

2) His Royal Secret by Lilah Pace

3) Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

4) Broken Prince by Erin Watt

5) Up in Flames by Abbi Glines

6) The Power by Jennifer L. Armentrout

7) Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne

8) Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

9) Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen
Bittersweet (True North, #1)

10) Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach

Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 1, 2016

May/June Wrap-Up

My blogging and YouTubing have gotten a little bit away from me. Mostly, I haven't been in much of a reading mood. Not a reading slump because I don't really believe in them. But that's a discussion for another time. Plus, I was busy packing up my stuff and moving.

I read about ten books which includes a decent amount of re-reads. It's never a bad time to read a Sarina Bowen or Elle Kennedy book in my opinion.

I did finally read Across a Star Swept Sea and it didn't let me down. Neither did my first Lauren Layne book which I've had been wanting to do for awhile.

My reading may have slowed down a little, but I'm OK with that.

These are the books I read and the ratings I gave them.

The Countess Conspiracy-4 Stars

The Fifteenth Minute-5 Stars

The Score-5 Stars

Across a Star Swept Sea-4.5 Stars

The Good Girl-4 Stars

Marrying Winterborne-4.5 Stars

Wait For You-4 Stars

For Your Arms Only-2 Stars

A Night to Surrender-4 Stars

Once Upon a Winter's Eve-5 Stars

Paper Princess-4 Stars

Thanks for reading!