Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Month In Review: Jan 2018

Welcome to the end of the month. I'm so glad to share with you what I've read and what's coming up for me next month.  Why not share your monthly accomplishments.

2018 Challenge Posts & Master Lists:


Book Hauls:
Reviews on the Blog This Month:
Books Read This Month: 12

Yearly Goal: 150   Monthly Count:12     Balance: 138

Book Reviews To Look Forward to Next Month:
  • Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins
  • Delaney's Desert Sheikh by Brenda Jackson
I had an amazing reading month. I blew through 12 books and I can't wait to see what next month brings.  
Share in the comments down below so we can share and support each other.  As always, Love & Light and Happy Reading. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

ARC Book #Review:The Wedding Date by @thebestjasmine

Book Title: The Wedding Date
Author:  Jasmine Guillory |Website| Twitter| Facebook|
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Romance, Women's Ficiton
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Format: ebook, Paperback
Cost: $15.00
Pages: 320
How I got it: NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon| Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Publication Date: Jan 30 2018
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in this fun and flirty debut novel.

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn't normally do. But there's something about Drew Nichols that's too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex's wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend...

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she's the mayor's chief of staff. Too bad they can't stop thinking about the other...

They're just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century--or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want...
I am so in love with this one.  For a debut author she has done a wonderful job!! I went into this completely blind and fell completely in love, I so didn't want to be at work I needed to finish this as soon as possible.

Not knowing how this was going to go I went in knowing it was supposed to be a strangers to lovers story and I can't tell you how much I loved the book and it's take on this genre.  Written in a way that a woman like me can see herself in the story I was so happy to read it.  Alexa was a fun relateable character who had a lot going on and wanted just a little fun for herself, and Drew as just trying to not look like the loser at the wedding.  Their meet cue was hilarious and made me actually laugh out loud.  I loved Alexa's reaction to realizing Drew was in the elevator because who hasn't done that same thing more than once??

From that moment on I was hooked, the story flew by, unfolding slowly as each character meet more of themselves as well as the other in ways they never thought they would.  I enjoyed that even though race was a factor it wasn't THE factor in their situation-ship.  Race played a part in some ways and it was hilarious to watch Drew come to terms with it several times throughout the book.  I loved that Alexa had the thought that we have all had, it's not the first time we have been the only black girl in the room and we have to be super aware of how we carry ourselves.

I really enjoyed their conversations, their friendships and how fun and funny their respective best friends are.  Alexa has a great group of friends that have her back while also pushing her to be more than she would normally allow herself to be.  I love that she has such a passion for her job, that she's happy in so many aspects of her life but just this one at the moment doesn't bring her joy.  Drew also has amazing friendships and I love that his best friend never let him go down as an idiot.  While he also has a great career, he's afraid of commitment and this are they dating, not dating is she isn't she is girlfriend is throwing him for a loop.

There are moments within the novel that I wish were more fleshed out, as in why Drew had the thoughts he did on relationships.  I wish we also got a bit more background on the sisters and their familial relationship, beyond talking about their parents in the past neither character mentioned them ever again.  While I liked the intimate scenes eventually; I felt at first that it was kind of a half finished scene since we saw the beginning but everything happened off screen then we met back up with them after.  However once you realized it's being told from the perspective of each character and how they are speak is how they share the intimacy.  Alexa had a few flaws in that she liked to jump to conclusions about things and wasn't really mature in her thinking about confronting things head on. She would let things go unchallenged because she was afraid of the answer when more often than not it would solve the issue.  Drew was blind a few times to how his actions could affect her, and even how the words of his friends would really hurt because he choose to be seen as the good guy instead of sharing the full truth.

Beyond those few moments I loved this novel. I got home after I started it at work and told myself I was only going to read a few more pages, next thing I knew it was 130 am and I had finished the book.  I loved it and would highly recommend it. 
 ★★★★☆
RECOMMENDATIONS
If you loved this one I highly recommend other pretend lovers/ Rom-Com books including:

  • Delaney's Desert Sheikh by Brenda Jackson
  • Rent-A-Dad bu Judy Christenberry

Let me know if you have any other recommendations in the comments down below and of course Happy Reading my loves, 


Monday, January 29, 2018

ARC Book #Review: The Bittersweet Bride by @VanessRiley

Book Title: The Bittersweet Bride (Advertisements for Love 1)
Author:  Vanessa Riley |WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher: Entangled Amara
Genre: Historical Romance, Interracial Romance
Series/Standalone:  Series, Book 1
Format: ebook
Cost: $3.99
Pages: 200
How I got it: NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Entangled Publishing
Publication DateJan 29, 2018
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
Widow Theodosia Cecil needs a husband to help protect her son. The former flower seller turned estate owner posts an ad in the newspaper, and no one is more surprised than she when her first love, the man she thought dead, reappears.

Ewan Fitzwilliam has been at war for six years. Now, the second son of a powerful earl is back but his beloved Theo needs a husband and will not consider him. She believes Ewan left her—in desperate straits—so she denies the feelings she still harbors for the handsome, scarred soldier. Theo and playwright Ewan must overcome bitter lies and vengeful actions that ruined their youthful affair. Theo must reveal her deepest secret in order to reclaim the love that has long been denied.
I snagged this one simply because it was mentioned by a favorite author on twitter, once I got it approved I jumped in.  I had just finished reading a historical romance by Beverly Jenkins and was looking forward to another and this was perfectly right up my alley.

Going in I never read the synopsis especially if a fave recommends it.  I found that I needed to put this book down and give myself complete time and attention in getting this book established on my reading schedule. I normally read ebooks during the day at work and during travel and save my physical books for being at home, there was so much going on that I needed to wait until I finished everything else and could devote time to it.

The beginning of this novel is a bit of an information dumb as it needs to establish the story and the time period for you, once it's established this novel actually flew by.  It's full of angst, people being prideful and stubborn and everything that makes a regency romance the fun read that it is.  I loved that this romance was a second chance romance, I guessed what her secret was pretty early on and knew what her motivation was, Ewan?? That boy worked my last nerve, he couldn't see past his pain and never once considered how things could have gone for her once he wasn't around.

Ewan is a good guy who is a bit selfish, he hasn't quite grown up yet despite having been apart of the military and having a close to death experience.  Like most men of that time period he had a major double standard and I wasn't really ok with the way he talked to the woman he claimed to love.  More than once his brother had to challenge his views before he would begin to wonder if the rumors were just that vicious rumors especially when you considered the sources.  I loved that the author showed the complicity and viciousness of some of the women in this era even as they wanted to be protected they threw other women under the bus, even when they could have aided them.

Theo carried a lot of guilt because she wanted to be a respectable woman but she's black and her pedigree didn't allow her the same kind of respect,she clung to the past as a way to make sure she never repeated those mistakes again.  While I understand that even her friends could tell that she wasn't as happy as she claimed to be.

I loved that this was a complex story line that dealt with forgiveness and learning to stand on one's own.  This demanded that the characters challenge their perspectives of their peers and themselves, while learning to navigate the world as the other did.  Theo's experience made it hard for her to trust especially in such an openly hostile environment where they were happy to eat her food but still looked down on her because she was black. She also wasn't alone anymore her actions could hurt her husband's heir and this made her extremely cautious, she feared failing him and disappointing the man who loved her enough to take on society's scorn.

I loved the way in which Theo challenged Ewan, he wanted everything to go back to the way it was and was willing to 'forgive' her for moving on when he most certainly didn't wait for her either.  I found myself googling about places and the names people were called especially after the theatre manager made his comment,and like a really good book not only did I enjoy the story but I also learned something.

While I did enjoy this one, I felt it took too long to get to them reconciling, most of the obstacles where self created and each time one got taken care of another was placed in the way.  I also felt as if at times we didn't get much on the characters' friends and family, they were simply tossed in the scene without much background given.  There was a whole lot going on and every once in a while I felt a little lost on who was who and what was happening.

Overall once the story got started it moved pretty quickly, with secrets being revealed and everyone being left to find out they were supposed to be after it's reveal.  I loved the friends and Ewan's brother Jasper and can't wait to find out if one of the friends ends up as his partner.  Very interesting read, I learned a bit more about the Regency era and Blackmoors. I can't wait to see what happens to the other girls.  It will be interesting to see if we get glimpses of Theo and Ewan even any future children and how that is affected by the world they live in.
 ★★★1/2☆
RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins

Happy Reading my loves, 


Saturday, January 27, 2018

Stacking The Shelves (2) Jan 2018

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page! Stacking The Shelves now has a new host and check out that new image!!

Yeah so we aren't going to discuss the fact that I'm here, just admire the books and pretend I haven't broken my no spend on books.

From The Dollar Tree: I got a few cooking and diet books:

Carrots 'n' Cake by Tina Haupert

Food & Exercise Diary by Allan Borushek

The Carb Lovers Diet by Ellen Kunes

Sparkle And Splash Colleen Mullaney

Brunch Galore

Quick & Easy Meals by the American Heart Association.

And I also grabbed Lucky Us by Amy Bloon because the cover looked interesting. 

From the Charity Shops I have these that I purchased for 0.49 each:

The Darkest Passion by Gena Showalter

Savor Me Slowly by Gena Showalter


Beautiful Stranger by Christina Lauren

Bound by Loreli James

And my final books came in from a few trades on Paperbackswap:

A Wish & A Prayer by Beverly Jenkins

Gettin Merry Anthology by Beverly Jenkins

Tristan Taormino's True Lust Adventures in sex, porn and perversion.  

Pre- Order



Say You'll Remember Me by Katie McGarry. Because I always order her books and this one is due here any day.

What'd you get in your haul this week?? Share in the comments down below and I'll see you next time.

Happy Reading & Haulin' my loves

Friday, January 26, 2018

ARC Book Review: Lord Of Night by Erica Ridley .@EricaRidley

Book Title: Lord Of Night (Rogues To Riches Book 3)
Author:  Erica Ridley |WebsiteTwitter| Facebook|
Publisher: WebMotion
Genre: Historical Romance
Series/Standalone: Book 3
Format: ebook
Cost: $4.99
Pages: 350
How I got it: NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |IndieBound
Publication Date: July 22, 2017
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
Unlike proper debutantes, Miss Dahlia Grenville is secretly Robin Hood in a bonnet. Her home for wayward girls has too many dependents and not enough donations. But just as she’s about to pull off the heist of the Season, she tumbles straight into the arms of the handsome detective who has sworn to deliver Mayfair’s mysterious thief straight to the gallows.

Highly principled Bow Street runner Simon Spaulding’s world is black and white. There’s no mastermind too clever, no criminal alive who can escape the hangman. Until he realizes the delightful young lady he’s been courting is a liar and a thief. Suddenly, his career—and his heart—are in peril. How can he bring her to justice when it means losing her forever?
This one ended really quickly, I wanted so much more from this one.  It was a great read.  I really enjoyed the push and pull of the characters and what they believed to be true.  The story can be read as a single story, as the previous books and characters only make a small appearance and their story lines are summed up really quickly.

I loved when Dahlia realized that losing her stance in Society meant losing a way to protect her girls. Way too often the authors write the women as 'independent' women, however they are pivoting on their father's money or Society's good grace, like you can't be independent if you have no social standing.  I loved that she questioned how Society worked and how shallow so many of her contemporaries were, but at the same time realized that she needed society even though she knew it was flawed.  In this she really reminded me of Mary from Downton Abbey. 

Simon was seeking the Thief of Mayfair and he wasn't trying to see beyond saving the city and doing his job due to his past.  His life was small and he didn't realize that living so small did him a greater injustice than having a life would have.  He had tried so hard to not be like his father and even was jealous of his half brother and he never gave thought to how his half brother might have felt about him.  From his point of view things should have been black and white but once he realized people were complex and feelings made things more so.  It was so interesting to see how he bloomed from knowing Dahlia and the girls. How just a few small conversations made him really think and look forward to more than just doing his work, it even made his work life worth looking forward to.

Dahlia's mission was so sweet and I couldn't understand why more weren't trying to aide her.  I loved her sister and her friends and I can't wait to see if we get more from them.  I'm definitely getting the first few books in the series. I'm especially interested in seeing what happens to Faith. 

I really loved the back and forth between them and ho witty their conversations were together.  I really enjoyed how the author made me feel like I as back with Downton Abbey especially with the story line of the chauffeur and the middle sister. 
 ★★★1/2
RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins
  • Amanda Quick Novels

Happy Reading my loves, 

Monday, January 8, 2018

2018 Brenda Jackson Challege Post (Master List)

Hi my loves

Welcome back to another week and another post about my challenges. This time we're talking one of my favorites and a great author Brenda Jackson. This woman is a fantastic prolific author, so much so that I'm behind on almost all her series because she writes faster than I can read. however, my challenge to my self this year to really catch up on the Westmoreland Series and try (yes try) to catch up on some of the others as well.

The Main Focus, however, is the Westmorelands and here are all the books I need to read listed down below:

Westmoreland Series 
Books In Series: 34
Read; 5
Remaining: 29
2018 Read: 2
Remaining: 27
Titles:
  1. Thorn's Challenge
  2. Stone Cold Surrender
  3. Riding The Storm
  4. Jared's Counterfeit Fiance
  5. The Chase Is On
  6. The Durango Affair
  7. Ian's Ultimate Gamble
  8. Seduction Westmoreland Style
  9. Corey's Mountain
  10. Westmoreland's way
  11. Taming Clint Westmoreland
  12. Spence's Forbidden Passion
  13. Cole's Red Hot Pursuit
  14. The Proposal
  15. A Wife For A Westmoreland
  16. What a Westmoreland Wants
  17. Hot Westmoreland Nights
  18. Canyon
  19. Stern
  20. Bane
  21. Feeling the Heat
  22. Zane
  23. Texas Wild 
  24. Tall Dark Westmoreland
  25. Seduced by A Stranger
  26. The Rancher Returns
  27. The Secret Affair
  28. Breaking Bailey's Rules
  29. His Secret Son
Granger Series:
Books In Series: 5

Titles:
  1. Locked In Temptation
  2. Seized by Seduction
  3. Forged In Desire
  4. A lover's Vow
  5. Captivated by Love
Bennet Family Series:
Books In Series: 6
Read:2
Remaining: 4

Titles:
  1. Forever Mine 2.5
  2. What A Woman Wants
  3. Her Little Black Book
  4. Tis The Season..For Romance 4.5
Perfect Series:
Books In Series: 2

Titles:
  1. Perfect Timing
  2. Perfect Fit
Bachelor In Demand Series:
Books In Series: 5
Read: 1
Remaining: 4

Titles:
  1. Bachelor Untamed
  2. Bachelor Unleashed
  3. Bachelor Undone
  4. Bachelor Unforgiving
The Grand Total is 50 Books to be read this year. if I break that down to 4 books per month and then just one month with 6 books that is totally doable. 

What are you challenging yourself to do this year?? Share in the comments down below and if you're looking to buddy read let me know.  

Happy Reading and Good Luck with your reading goals this year.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

2018 Nora Roberts/ JD Robb Challenge (Master Posts)

Good Morning My loves

Here's another round of books I get to pull from for the year. Nora Roberts has over 74 books on her shelf in my library and I would really like to take at least 10 off this list. There are several stand alones and a few series as well.

Titles in Blue purchased/traded for in 2018. As I read I'll update and strike the titles completed

Single Titles Include:
  • The Witness
  • Public Secrets
  • The Reef My Review
  • Honest Illusions
  • Northern Lights
  • The Liar My Review
  • The Villa
  • Angels Fall
  • Tribute
  • High Noon
  • Carolina Moon My Review
  • The Obsession My Review
  • Black Hills My Review
  • The Search
  • Chasing Fire

Series Include:

Keys:
  • Key of Valor
  • Key of Light
  • Key of Knowledge
The Circle Trilogy:
  • Morrigan's Cross
  • Dance of Gods
  • Valley of Silence
Chesapeake Bay Sage:
  • The Quinn Brothers
  • The Quinn Legacy
  • Sea Swept
  • Inner Harbor
  • Rising Ties
  • Chesapeake Blue
In The Garden:
The Inn Boonsboro Trilogy
  • The Perfect Hope 
  • The Next Always
  • The Last Boyfriend
Other Series: Including titles in series and bind ups of single titles
  • Taming Natasha
  • Night Shift 
  • Night Moves
  • Night Shadow
  • Luring a Lady
  • Entranced 
  • Charmed
  • Falling For Rachel
  • Nightshade
  • Convincing Alex
  • Night Smoke
  • The Return of Rafe Mackade
  • The Heart of Devin Mackade
  • Forever
  • The Law of love
  • Irish Hearts
  • A Little Magic
  • The Last Boyfriend
  • Bed of Roses
  • Waiting For Nick
  • Playing the Odds
  • Big Jack
  • Hot Rocks
  • Summer Desserts
  • Table For Two
  • Considering Kate
  • O'Hurley's Return
  • The Mackade Brothers
  • Blood Brothers
  • The Hollow
  • Dance of the Gods
  • O'Hurley Born
  • Dark Witch
  • Dance Upon the Air
  • Happy Ever After
  • Blood Magic
  • Night Tales
  • From the Heart
  • All the Possibilities
  • Heaven & Earth
  • Face the Fire 
  • The Stanislaskis Sisters
  • The Stanislaskis Brothers
  • Stars
  • Savor the Moment
  • Daring to Dream
  • Holding the Dream
  • Vision in White
  • Rising Tides
  • Dangerous
In Death:
  • Thankful in Death
  • Delusion in death
  • Secrets in Death

As I purchase or find more I'll add them to this list. However, I would like to complete the ones I have on the shelf first.  Here's Hoping

Have you read any of these?? Would you like to buddy read any of the titles?? Share in the comments and we can read them together!! Happy Reading this year my loves.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Stacking The Shelves (1) Jan 2018

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page! Stacking The Shelves now has a new host and check out that new image!!

Hi my loves welcome to a whole new year.  These are books I hauled at the end of the year after I shared last weeks' haul, so I wanted to share with you what I got.  For 2018 I am going to be on the No Spend Challenge across my personal life, beyond the books on the 2018 pre-order list I am not going to be purchasing any books.  I might be getting a few from publishers but I can't plan for those ahead of time so this should be my last books beyond those.

For Christmas my sister got me the following:

I had this on my amazon wishlist for a while and my sister saw it and got it for me.  I read the beginning series years ago and when I decided to re-collect them I saw that the collection was even bigger, girl I had to make myself not buy them all.

Wardance by Elizabeth Vaughan

My sisters know that I'm doing the Lemonade Challenge so they of course gave me one of the books and she picked the one with the gorgeous covers.

The Salteaters by Toni Cade Banbara.

And now on to the books I purchased:

My favorite author has had to push back the launch date of this book several times, I know I have shared it so many times as highly anticipated.  It finally came in and I can't wait to dive in: Brave by Tammara Webber


Pushout by Monique W. Morris This has been on my list for a while so I snagged it when I needed to grab some crafting supplies.

From charity shops and dollar tree I picked up the following.


How To Expand Love by the Dalai Lama I love reading his work so when I saw this I had to have it


Stealing Parker by Miranda Kennealey.   I have had this on my tbr for a while, I borrowed from the library and never got a chance to read it, so now I have my own copy, I love this series so much I highly recommend if you're a fan of sports books.


Black Elk Speaks Translated by John G Neihardt I started reading this in college and somehow when I moved back home this went missing, I was very glad to see this and snag it again for my shelves.


& the final book I'm hauling is The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden.  I have several of this author's works on my shelves, so when I saw this I just had to have it.

Traded For on Paperbackswap:

Heart Of Gold by Beverly Jenkins. I read the first one on ebook which I got several years ago and then picked up the second book at the store, so when I got some credits when I traded several of the duplicates I got several weeks ago. 

That is it. I can't wait until I can buy more books but for now let's enjoy hat we have. What'd you get in your haul this week?? Share in the comments down below and I'll see you next week.

Happy Reading & Haulin' my loves

Friday, January 5, 2018

2018 Christine Feehan Challenge (Master Post)

Hi my loves,

Once again I have decided to challenge myself to read all the books on my shelves by a single author and since I've been catching up on the Carpathian Series I figured I would read the other series and single titles on my shelves.  Christine is one of the few authors that I have several titles from her in each of her series and I want to get them read and moved to the read bookshelf this year. let's see how many I can complete.

Here is a list of the books from each of her series that I haven't read yet:

Carpathian Series
Completely Caught Up!!!

Dark Sentinel (Carpathian 38)  September 2018

Sea Haven 
Books in Series: 6
Read: 0

Titles:
  1. Water Bound
  2. Spirit Bound
  3. Air Bound
  4. Earth Bound
  5. Fire Bound
  6. Bound Together

Shadow Series
Books: 3
Read: 3

Titles:
  1. Shadow Rider Sept 2018
  2. Shadow Reaper
  3. Shadow Keeper

Torpedo Ink:
Books: 2
Read: 1

Titles:
  1. Judgment Road June 2018
  2. Vengence Road

Drake Sisters Series:
Books in Series: 7
Read: 0

Titles:
  1. Magic In the Wind
  2. Twilight Before Christmas
  3. Oceans of Fire
  4. Dangerous Tides
  5. Safe Harbour
  6. Forbidden Series
  7. Hidden Currents

Leopard Series:
Books In Series: 11
Read: 0

Titles: 
  1. Fantasy 
  2. Wild Rain
  3. Fever
  4. Burning Wild
  5. Wild Fire
  6. Savage nature
  7. Cats Lai
  8. Wild Cat
  9. Leopard Prey
  10. Leopard's Fury
  11. Leopard's Blood
  12. Leopard's Run

GhostWalker Series:
Books In Series: 14
Read: 1

Titles:
  1. Covert Game
  2. Power Game
  3. Spider Game
  4. Viper Game
  5. Samurai Game
  6. Ruthless Game
  7. Street Game
  8. Murder Game
  9. Predatory Game
  10. Deadly Game
  11. Conspiracy Game
  12. Night Game
  13. Mind Game 
  14. Shadow Game July
Single Titles (Not a part of any particular series)
  1. A Very Gothic Christmas
  2. Shadows of Christmas Past
I believe for 2018 I am going to focus on the smaller series as well as the GhostWalker Series as I have most of those books on my shelves.  Let me know if you have read these before or if you would like to buddy read these and we can work something out.

Good luck in whatever challenges you are trying out this year my loves and I will check in periodically to let you know how I'm doing.

Happy Reading