Saturday, May 18, 2019

Stacking The Shelves (2019) #8: Library Book Sale

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!!

I went back to the library bookstore and picked up a few new books to add back to the library. 

Brave the Wild Wind Johanna Lindsey, I used to love her books and I have a few on my shelves I like to re-read parts of when in a slump. So I figured I'd snag a new to me title from her historical romance catalog.

Stephanie Laurens:I once owned all the Stephanie Laurens books and when I first moved out I got rid of most of them, now I'm getting them back for my more permanent library. 
A Gentleman's Honor

A Lady of His Own

Susan Sizemore: I was a huge fan and once had all her books, I'm getting them back to add back to my collection.
Master of Darkness (Primes 4)
I Thirst for You (Primes 2)

Happy Holidays by Janet Dailey. I'm trying to grow my Holiday collection of books and Janet seems to be a big writer for the subgenre of romance. It's only after I snagged this title for 0.25 that I was reading an article about authors known for plagiarizing ( I believe it was about Nora Roberts suing an author for plagiarizing her works) that I saw something about her being a known plagiarizer (incidentally also from Nora Roberts)   I won't be buying anymore of her titles.

Christine Feehan. As you know I'm caught up on two of the seven series she writes. Now I'm trying to recollect the Drake sisters series and of course read my way through the other five series on my shelves, Whenever I see books I'm missing I grab them. I don't like the cover of the new Oceans, but until I can find an original cover this will have to do, plus for 0.25 can I really argue??

Fire Bound
Dollar Tree

Keeping Misery Company Michelle Larks. Y'all know I'm trying to read more African American romance, outside of my comfort authors so when I saw this I snagged it because it looked good. It's got a pretty good rating on good reads so here's hoping I've found another author to autobuy. 

And that's all folk!! Have you read any of these?? 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

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Book #Review: Leaving Paradise (Paradise 1) by Simone Elkeles .@SimoneElkeles .@fluxbooks

Book Title: Leaving Paradise (Paradise 1)
Author:  Simone Elkeles |WebsiteTwitterFacebook| Instagram
Publisher: Flux
Genre: Young Adult, Social Situations, Romance
Series/Standalone: Book 1
Format: ebook
Cost: $9.95
Pages: 303
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: April 1 2007
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
Nothing has been the same since Caleb Becker left a party drunk, got behind the wheel, and hit Maggie Armstrong. Even after months of painful physical therapy, Maggie walks with a limp. Her social life is nil and a scholarship to study abroad—her chance to escape everyone and their pitying stares — has been canceled. After a year in juvenile jail, Caleb’s free . . . if freedom means endless nagging from a transition coach and the prying eyes of the entire town. Coming home should feel good, but his family and ex-girlfriend seem like strangers. Caleb and Maggie are outsiders, pigeon-holed as "criminal" and "freak." Then the truth emerges about what really happened the night of the accident and, once again, everything changes. It’s a bleak and tortuous journey for Caleb and Maggie, yet they end up finding comfort and strength from a surprising source: each other. (less)
I snagged this one from my shelves because I was looking for a light read. I should have known better. Simone's books are great reads, but she always packs a punch. In this one, we are meeting two teens dealing with the repercussions of a night of drunk driving.  Caleb Becker is having the chance to be released from juvie early due to being a model citizen and when he does he's going home to make the necessary changes to make sure he never has to think about this past year ever again.

Maggie Armstrong is struggling to move on from the night that changed her life. She's counting down the days until she can move on by leaving Paradise and that night behind. She's devastated to learn that Caleb is coming home before she can leave for her study abroad and she knows that her life will never be the same. I absolutely loved this story. I'm going to go ahead and say I guessed the twist from the beginning because 1) I'm older and have lots of life experiences and know that it's never what it seems and 2) when I was a teen I read another story like this by Katherine Applegate from her Boyfriends and Girlfriends series so yeah. While it wasn't obvious at the beginning of the story, as it progresses and we see certain character reactions we are given the clues to know the twist at the end.

When Caleb comes home he's furious to realize that time has passed but instead of living their lives his family has fallen apart. He can't see Maggie without feeling like hell and going back to school is worse than being locked up. He's struggling to acclimate and being in school where he's not the same as everyone else really hurts. He's not dealing well with the year he was away and doesn't know how to pretend everything is perfect like his mother is demanding he do. Maggie is devastated to know her best friends' brother was the one who killed her tennis dreams and is even more hurt as time goes by in school and he seems to be settling back into his old life while hers will never be the same.

Drawn together despite all the reasons they shouldn't be friends Maggie and Caleb are struggling to deal with living next door to each other and seeing the changes that the one night made. It's impacted everything destroyed the two families close friendship, the girls's friendship and of course Maggie's dreams and self esteem. Caleb is angry that things aren't settling in the way they should and he's trying to find a way to redeem himself and also bring his family back together. His twins sister is avoiding him, his dad pretends because his mother demands it and his mother is drowning her sorrows in a prescription addiction.  I loved that Simone showed how this action ripples across the whole family not just the one who is injured and not just the one who did the deed. You could feel their pain and the fear each character was feeling and ho much that confusion led to their choices.

I absolutely loved Mrs Reynolds and the influence she has not just on Maggie and Caleb, but on Maggie's mom as well. There were great cast of characters who worked to help Caleb and Maggie learn to deal with the night that changed their lives. From mentors that tried to teach Maggie to accept the now instead of wishing for what could have been to fellow classmates who open their eyes to the truth.

It was wonderful to read their journey from confused and battered enemies to a couple that wanted to stand strong, but life isn't easy and it isn't perfect and when the truth comes out and pride stands in the way, their lives are changed forever and the one who wanted to stay runs, and the one who wanted to run finds a way to stay and be strong in that.

I absolutely loved this story and dived right into the second and I can't wait to share my feeling about that one as well. I highly recommend my loves.

As an aside I will say this did rely on the fragile stereotype and protecting that at all costs. Using patriarchy as a way to escape punishment then resenting being reminded of your guilt; as well as how your actions are impacting those around you but caring only about your precious feelings. I wanted to slap the heck out of the character and tell them to grow up. And yes I know as a teen you think you know it all but really don't know much.
 ★★★★☆
RECOMMENDATIONS
  • Estelle Maskame's Did I Mention I Love You Series
Happy Reading my loves, 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesdays (Formerly Waiting on Wednesdays) 2019: REBEL by Beverly Jenkins

Originally hosted by: Jill over at Breaking The Spines.  However, the Breaking The Spines blog is no longer hosting the prompt, there is a new one called Can't Wait Wednesdays hosted by Wishful Endings. Same premise of sharing books we can't wait to get our hands on. This is a weekly book lust prompt, asking for us to share our absolute can't wait to get our hands on a copy books. Swing on over to find out how to participate and to see what others are sharing. 

Adult Fiction/ Romance / Erotica

Rebel  (Women Who Dare 1, The Le Veq Family 4) 

The first novel in USA Today Bestselling Author Beverly Jenkins' compelling new series follows a Northern woman south in the chaotic aftermath of the Civil War...

Valinda Lacey's mission in the steamy heart of New Orleans is to help the newly emancipated community survive and flourish. But soon she discovers that here, freedom can also mean danger. When thugs destroy the school she has set up and then target her, Valinda runs for her life—and straight into the arms of Captain Drake LeVeq.

As an architect from an old New Orleans family, Drake has a deeply personal interest in rebuilding the city. Raised by strong women, he recognizes Valinda's determination. And he can't stop admiring—or wanting—her. But when Valinda's father demands she return home to marry a man she doesn't love, her daring rebellion draws Drake into an irresistible intrigue.
Due Date: May 28th
Print: Mass Market
Pages: 384
Publisher: Avon
Pre-Order Links: Author's Website 
Status: Pre-ordered
Add To Goodreads
Why I'm Excited:
I can't wait to read this. Beverly does an amazing job writing fun strong characters and fantastic witty female leads. Her male characters are amazingly strong, virile and know a good woman when they meet her. She never fails to share an amazing story and impart some great lessons about Black lives post Civil War. I have loved all the others I've read and just know this is going to be amazing. I didn't even really look up the synopsis until now, as soon as the link appeared to pre-order I did just based on her catalog.

Have you read anything by Ms Bev?? If you love historical romance you should definitely check her out.  What's on your book lust list?? Share in the comments down below!!
Happy Lusting

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Book #Review: In the Flesh by Sylvia Day .@sylvia_day .@SylDay

Book Title: In The Flesh
Author Sylvia Day |Website| Twitter| Facebook| Instagram
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Romance, Sci-Fi Romance
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Format: Trade paperback, ebook
Cost: $9.99
Pages: 252
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: September 25, 2013
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
An infamous beauty. A daring warrior…

For five years, Sapphire has been the King of Sari’s most treasured concubine. Independent at last, she refuses to put herself in anyone’s control again. But now another’s meddling has led her into the path of proud, arrogant Wulfric, Crown Prince of the rival kingdom of D’Ashier… a man who is dangerous to her in every way.

…and a seduction that could destroy them both.

The daughter of Wulfric’s fiercest opponent, Sapphire is a prized warrior in her own right and highly skilled in the sensual arts—in short, Wulfric’s perfect match. A lasting union is unthinkable, but the bargain they strike—to spend one night together, and then part—proves impossible in the face of a desire powerful enough to bring two countries to the brink of war, and two hearts to the point of surrender…
This was a fantastic sci-fi read, a romance I didn't know I needed until I was reading it.  This takes place in a world that is technologically advanced but still a bit archaic in its societal structures, revolving around Kingdoms at war and all the political intrigue that comes with that.

The Kingdoms ar war have been at it for centuries all stemming from one section of the country rebelling and forming its own country and the former country not accepting them as a separate country even though the other countries in their world have accepted it as such.  With the Kingdoms ar war, there are people trying to bring them down, kidnappings, twisted plotlines that include jealous lover and all they will do to bring their obsessions to heel. A good majority of this also stems from a King's obsession and the consequences of that obsession.

I didn't realize the pages were flying by, because I was so captivated by the story. This was a romping good read that had all the political intrigue, mystery, and delicious sex anyone could want. Filled with memorable characters like Kate/Sapphire who is a  member of the King's Harem. This makes her the most desirable women in her country where being a Courtesan is a highly respected position. The daughter of the most famous Courtesan and the King's most trusted advisor is a woman who is well schooled in all the arts of being desirable. She's however not as happy as she could be because she's no longer being challenged in her position and she wants what her parents have; a close and intimate relationship with a partner or partners who see her as more than Sapphire.

Kate/ Sapphire is a phenomenal character, who was well rounded and strong without being harsh or lost in either side of her character.  Wulfric was a future King trapped behind enemy lines. He becomes intrigued by the woman who has rescued him and wants to know more about her. A man used to being obeyed in all things he's struggling to keep his character in check when he realizes he's further from home than he thought and also being made to be subservient to another.

Kate was a politically astute character who engendered loyalty because she was so genuine.  Wulfric was fantastic because even after all he'd been through was unbowed in who he was and what he wanted.  Their chemistry was off the charts. I loved their battle of wills and how their story unfolded.

I loved how the world was unfolded without it being an information dump. The glimpses of the differences between Kingdoms and how cultural differences can really set up relationships for success of failure was great to see.  The story just drew you in, it's filled with so many plot twists, evil characters & jealousies. I was stunned when it ended and I realized all of this happened in less than 300 pages.  I loved that this gave you a great ending for this book but was left in a way that if she ever felt like it a sequel could be written. I'm personally in the bandwagon of more, please!!
 ★★★★1/2☆
RECOMMENDATIONS

Happy Reading my loves, 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

May 2019 To Be Read:


Welcome my loves it's May 2019. And my April was a fantastic month of reading.  not just in the number of books I read, but also in the quality of books I read. I had a lot of 4 and 5 stars reads and I'm hoping this month will also be the same.

My goal this year is 150  books, if I break that down it comes out to 13 books per month, with 3 to 4  books a week. Totally doable in my books, so as the proverb says, you can eat an elephant one bite at a time, so here are my first few bites:

Read So Far This Year: 42
TBR Pile 150
TBR Balance: 108
Monthly Goal: 13
    Perpetual Author Challenge:

    • Brenda Jackson A Brother's Honor
    • Beverly Jenkins 
    Finish Series Challenge:
    • Sylvia Day Crossfire Series

    Top 19  List
    • Jan Read: Shifting (haven't finished yet)
    • April Read:
    • May Read:
    Black Out Challenge:
    • Beverly Jenkin's Capture
    • Beverly Jenkins Wind Sweet Love
    Erotica Book Selection: 

    Book Club Book: (This month I'm skipping this one since it's not a title I own, however, I'm listing it so I know what the book was for this month at the end of the year).
    • S.J Sindu  Marriage of A Thousand Lies
    What are you going to be reading my loves?? Share in the comments down below if you have read any of these and as always

    Happy Reading


    Tuesday, April 30, 2019

    Paranormal Telly: A Discovery of Witches .@ADiscoveryOfWTV .@DebHarkness


    This was a feature on my previous blog and I want to bring it over. Here I will share my favorite paranormal television shows and of course make it a bit bookish by sharing books I think go along with it. Of course, if there is source material I will also link any reviews to the original books as well.

    Show: A Discovery of Witches (Season 1)
    Seasons: 1
    Run Time: 60 mins
    Air Dates & Time: Sundays @ 9pm
    Reruns can be seen: Sundance, Shutter, Amazon Prime, AMC

    IMBD Link
    Synopsis:
    Brilliant historian Diana Bishop is a witch denying her own heritage. But when she unexpectedly calls up an ancient, bewitched manuscript from Oxford's Bodleian library, one that was thought by the creatures to be lost and could answer the mysteries of their existence, she finds herself thrown into the heart of a dangerous mystery - and into the path of the enigmatic geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont. Matthew is driven to solve the looming threat of the creatures' decline and extinction, but their unlikely alliance to find the book before it falls into the wrong hands - and their deepening relationship - threatens to violate age-old taboos and shake the fragile peace that exists between the species.

    Tagline: It begins with absence and desire. It begins with blood and fear. It begins with A Discovery Of Witches.

    Trailer:

    I absolutely loved this adaptation of Deborah's book. I watched this via Amazon prime. I watched it over a weekend and got absolutely nothing done because I was so absorbed.  Starring Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer as Matthew and Diana I absolutely fell in love with their dynamic, their chemistry and the way in which they portrayed the characters.

    The show is a cast of characters ranging from vampire, Daemons and Witches living within a hidden world right next to ours. Diana has spent her life running from magic until of course magic comes calling in a big way.  I love that this cast of characters are diverse, and you feel the mystery of who each of them are right from the get-go. None of the characters are any less than the others and the potential for betrayal ranges high when so many are seeking to retrieve the manuscript.  Within the book, we don't get as much background about the others as we do in the show, but the show makes all these different threads come together into a wonderful tapestry of a story.

    There are a few changes in the show from the book, like when events occur and who gives some information, but the bare bones match and the story doesn't sacrifice anything for the telling. I will say the characters are more real and fleshed out in the show than they are in the book and we get more back story from the side characters in the show than we did in the book, which makes this way better. 

    Since this is being told from so many different perspectives and each person has their own agenda you can feel the tension escalating as the story advances. Each episode giving us just enough to make you come back for more. And that final episode??? I almost fell out of my chair. DId they or didn't they make it?? We'll have to tune into next season to find out. 

    I highly recommend for my paranormal lovers and for even those who thought they wouldn't love paranormal.  
    Books In Series: ALL SOULS TRILOGY 
    • A Discovery of Witches (Review)
    • Shadow Of Night
    • Book Of Life

     ★★★★
    RECOMMENDATIONS
    Here are a few books and shows that would also suit your fancy if you like this one.

    Shows

    • Midnight Texas
    • The Originals 
    • Vampire Diaries 
    • The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
    Books:
    • Katie McAlister (rom-com supernatural )
    • Christine Feehan's Carpathian Series
    • Susan Krinard
    • Maggie Shayne 
    • Karen Marie Morning's Highlander Series (This also contains a bit of time travel as well)
    What else would you recommend my loves??? Have you had a chance to either read the book or watch the series yet?? Share in the comments down below and I'll see you tomorrow.


    Monday, April 29, 2019

    Monday Movie #Review: Avengers Endgame

    Movie Title: Avengers Endgame
    Released: April 29th, 2019
    Directed by: Anthony & Joe Russo
    Starring: Everybody in Hollywood named Chris (LOL)
    Based on. Marvel Comics
    Run Time:3 hours 2 mins
    Premise: 

    After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to undo Thanos' actions and restore order to the universe. via IMBD
    Trailer: 



    Hi my loves,

    I haven't done one of these in a while. I really am excited to be sharing my thoughts on Avengers: Endgame. Now I will freely say I haven't been a devout watcher of all the Marvel Cinematic Universe (from now on in this review known as the MCU) I sporadically watched the movies over the years. Of course, I like just about every black person the world over (hyperbolic but that's what it felt like) watched the Black Panther movie and next Avengers movie because it had Black Panther in it. That wasn't just an addition to the MCU but a cultural moment for us and I watched in theaters a good 7 times. 

    With that said, let's talk about Endgame. Going in we know that so many are lost after the battle with Thanos. The few that are left are desperate to find a way to right the wrong done to the universe & not just to their planet. However, there doesn't seem to be a way to bring everyone back. And this becomes the central plot point in the show. Interpersonal relationships are explored, grief and its outcome are explored and the question of is one person's happiness worth more than the lives of billions is asked several times.  

    Beloved characters are seen and everyone assembles to battle for the soul of the universe. The question of what happens when heroes fail is answered, of couse, it wouldn't be a Marvel movie it didn't have a few jokes about that.  As the story progresses we get the question of is it better to try to move on past the pain or try to bring the others back.  We know from the trailer that Captain Marvel is now apart of the team and I absolutely love her showing up when she did.  I loved how each character showed up, and we learned how each dealt with the blow Thanos dealt the worlds.  There was humor as well as the discussion of grief. My favorite being Rocket being called Rachett, and a raccoon (which is a running theme throughout). 

    I freely admit to crying several times throughout this movie. One of the first times was realizing that no matter what comes after this Stan Lee won't be making his appearances like always before. I've never been so grateful to have met him at BEA (book expo america) 2014. I wasn't watching the Marvel movies at the time so I didn't know who he was but my sister was fangirling fiercely and went to meet him. I'm so glad we got that moment.  (lucky girl has met him a few more times due to going to comic con). There are hard choices to be made by each character and by the group and when the final moves are made it breaks my heart. I squealed when events happened, I cheered on the Avengers when they formulated their plan and sobbed through the ending. Once I realized it was the end for the overall theme and characters I was saddened to see the saga end. Hopefully, there will be more from this universe 

    I highly recommend the series but of coirse this movie as well. I loved the way it wrapped up the entire saga. It's definitely the end of an era.  I'm going to rewatch all the movies in timeline order and share my thoughts. Have you seen it?? Let me know what you think down in the comments my loves.
    ★★★★
    Bring popcorn & tissues
    and as always enjoy my loves,

    Saturday, April 27, 2019

    Stacking The Shelves (2019) #7: April: 2nd Hand Haul

    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!!

    Thriftbooks:

    Hate To Want You by Alisha Rai
    Wrong To Need You by Alisha Rai
    The Exposure by Tara Sue Me. I have been working my way through the series and this was one of the few that I didn't own, I wish to end the series so I'm snagging these as well. 

    Traded books on Paperbackswap:

    I have been reading my way through the Blackout bookshelves and clearing my way through some of my backlog, so I have collected a few of my favorite authors works, so I'm working on pulling in:

    Rochelle Alers:

    Bittersweet Love

    Long Time Coming

    Della's House of Style (Anthology)

    And that's it. I do still have more coming in and I will be going back to slowing down, but the more I read the more I haul. How about you?? 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, April 26, 2019

    Book #Review: Enthralled (The Enslaved Duet 1) by Giana Darling .@GianaDarling

    Book Title: Enthralled (The Enslaved Duet 1)
    Author:  Giana Darling |WebsiteTwitterFacebook| Instagram
    Publisher: Giana Darling
    Genre: Dark New Adult, Dark Romance,
    Series/Standalone: Book 1
    Format: ebook, Trade paperback
    Cost: $3.99
    Pages: 394
    How I got it: Purchased
    Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
    Publication Date: March 2019
    Add To Goodreads
    Synopsis:
    It was the biggest day of my life. I know most people say that about something joyous; a graduation, a wedding ceremony, the birth of their first child. My situation was a little different.

    Sure, it was my eighteenth birthday, but it was also the day that I was sold.
    Sold to a man with hair like a crown of gold and eyes blacker than the darkest pits of Hell.
    He bought me to own me, to control me, and to use me as a means to an end.
    I was his tool and his weapon.
    And through it all, somehow, I also became his salvation.
    There are so many feelings I have about this book, I'm not sure where I'm supposed to go with it. First I went into this based on the review of a fave booktuber (Jess from Peace Love, Books) and I'm just a mixed bag of emotions ever since the book finished.  There are so many things going on in this story and it's all so complicated. There are many moving parts and just...OMGawd. The story was extremely engaging and the writing wonderful even if a bit poetic at times but once you got used to the writing style it wasn't a problem. I will give trigger warnings for those who need them, discussion of anorexia, sex trafficking, and suicide are within this novel.

    Ok let's start with the fact that the protagonist is being manipulated by so many different people that it's impossible to see where she's going. Everyone has their reasons for using her to get to the other and no one is including her in the choice, of course almost all the people manipulating her young heart and life are the powerful men playing at getting back at each other.

    Cosima is a young model struggling to support herself and her family. Born into poverty in a town controlled by the mafia and its violence, she's one of the few people in her family trying to stay above water. Her father is a drunk who gambles the families livelihood away, her mother is a devout wife and Catholic who despite all the reasons she should leave to protect her children actually puts them in deeper harm. She's hellbent on penance and suffering, even though as a child and even now Cosima doesn't' see her failings. (she's an infuriating insufferable idiot but we don't learn all of that until later & I'm so effing pissed at this woman, like all of this could have been avoided if she wasn't such an effing coward).

    Cosima and her twin brother are pushed into using their beauty as models so they can earn money to protect their younger siblings from the terrible decisions her parents are and have made.  She puts herself into a risky situation and saves a man's life, in doing so puts the crosshairs of unseen enemies unto herself. Once the ball gets rolling and debts are called in her father who is another massive coward uses her as his trump card and sells her to pay his debts. Cosima sees little alternative to aide her family as her father's enemies are powerful and she's afraid of it blowing back on her family.

    Trapped with a beast who now owns her, she's furious when she realizes the ties she has to this person. Forced into sexual slavery, she discovers a part of her craves giving up control. This she fights the best she can until she realizes that she's only hurting herself even more. Her sentence is for five years, and she's negotiated a deal that aides her family in getting out, now she's here not because of her father's debts but because of her own deal. While their initial scenes maybe triggering for some, they are very darkly erotic.

    Then the story just unfolds beautifully, we get more mystery as the hands that are pulling the levers begin to be revealed and until the very end, we don't know who all the players in this game are. We get mystery, murder and mayhem, which while going in I didn't expect. I wouldn't necessarily call this one a romance, it's an extremely dark new adult with a few erotic moments.  I will say I was very intrigued by all the moving parts, the mystery the who done it of it all. The past comes back full force and the part that an unsuspecting villain plays is heart rendering. There are moments when Cosima is close to seeing some of the true nature and yet she is unwilling to see it. As the story unfolds and we learn that even her beast has monsters who can and will harm him, I'm even more intrigued. Who scares the big bad?? Unfortunately, we are given the answer to that and I just can't deal. I wanted to reach into the book and break them all. That moment is when we realized even he was making the most of bad situation and it wasn't all that it seemed and we get a glimpse of the hidden man.

    As I stated there are many hidden and moving parts. So many enemies masquerading as friends, and hidden friends among them all. It's so engaging that I finished it in one weekend because I just needed to know. I'm on pins and needles until the second comes out in May. I want to know how it all unfolds. I want to know more about her brother and what's happening in his life.   I definitely had a deadly book hangover when I was done and didn't know what to do with all these feels.

    Once out of the book, it reminded me of another I read a year or two ago and also a true life story I read about trafficking that told of a fame similar to the one played in this book and by similar men ( I believe even a royal of Europe was arrested in the sting operation). It made it even more real and brutal to know that these games do truly exist.

    At the end we are left on a cliffhanger, how does it all turn out?? I looked and saw that the second comes out May 31st (to which I have already pre-ordered) and that the other family members have books. I'm hoping she comes out with a book for the brother soon as well because hello?? That sounds awesome.
     ★★★★☆
    RECOMMENDATIONS
    Happy Reading my loves, 

    Wednesday, April 24, 2019

    Book #Review: The Chase Is On ( Westmoreland 7) by Brenda Jackson

    Book Title: The Chase Is On (Westmorelands 7)
    Author:  Brenda JacksonWebsiteTwitterFacebook
    Publisher: Silhouette Desire
    Genre: Romance, Contemporary, African American Romance
    Series/Standalone: Book 7
    Format:  ebook, Mass Markey
    Cost: $5.99
    Pages: 192
    How I got it: Purchased
    Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
    Publication Date: November 15, 2005
    Add To Goodreads
    Synopsis:
    WHAT CHASE WESTMORELAND WANTED...

    Something sure looked tempting, and Chase knew it wasn't on his restaurant's menu. His new neighbor Jessica Claiborne was as deliciously enticing as the confections she created--so enticing, Chase was finding it difficult to concentrate on anything but the curve of her lips.

    CHASE WESTMORELAND GOT!

    Jessica couldn't deny the heat that sparked every time Chase was near. But she had a secret, one that could destroy the desire she saw burning in his eyes. Yet if she wanted a chance with Chase, she was going to have to reveal the truth and withstand the heat that was bound to go beyond the kitchen.
    Told from dual perspectives we have a sweet romance tempered by a secret. Several years ago, a family friend betrayed the Westmorelands and this has caused bad blood between them. Jessica is a transplant to Atlanta from California and she's opening up a sweet confectioners shop right in the same plaza as Chase's successful soul food restaurant.

    The day they meet Chase puts his foot in his mouth because he accuses her of being inconsiderate when she had actually shown up to apologize for the inconvenience her moving in might have caused. And the sparks fly from there. Chase is attracted to the fiery woman who called him out and now he has to make it up to her. From the start, Chase lived up to his name and even though Jessica didn't exactly give him a hard time in seducing her into a relationship.

    Much like the other men in his family Chase has decided based on a college heartbreak to never get married and have children. He plans to pass the restaurant on to his nieces and nephews and maybe later in life marry for convenience. Jessica has had a deadbeat father who causes her and her mother nothing but strife and ultimately cost them even more. She's determined never to marry because she believes way too many men are like her father and she doesn't need that drama in her life.  When the two meet their affair seems inevitable they are so attracted to each other. Brenda loves to write the hell out of a lovemaking scene, their scenes are scorchers and just make you love the consideration that goes into a good relationship.

    I loved that they both went in with their eyes open to how it's going to end and along the way re-evaluated. Chase is unaware of Jessica's big secret and as they get to know each other Jessica's secret goes from a mission to a burden. She's conflicted on sharing with Chase and one day the secret comes out. Chase makes his assumptions and they split.

    I loved that separately Chase made the right decisions and when he realized his haste might have cost him more than his pride went all out to make amends.  I loved Jessica and her family because she turned to them when she needed to be bolstered.  The Westmoreland clan as always is welcoming to the new women in their family members lives and also give Jessica a sense that ATL could be for her, and I just love how awesome they are.

    This being a romance we know there is going to be a happy ending. It's the journey to the ending that makes these worth reading and I loved their journey. I loved how they courted and how they journeyed from friends into lovers. Chase uses his skills as a cook to woo her and she used her chocolates as a way to soften him up. Their mutual love of food was a great base for their relationship and friendship to grow on. Plus the fact that they both own successful shops.

    Of course, I enjoyed this one and the little bit of a mystery it had with it. Another to add to the TBR if you haven't read it and want a hot man who can cook who is hell-bent on getting his delicious delight.
     ★★★★☆
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    Happy Reading my loves, 

    Monday, April 22, 2019

    Book #Review: Jared's Counterfeit Fiancee (Westmoreland 6) by Brenda Jackson

    Book Title: Jared's Counterfeit Fiancee ( Westmoreland 6)
    Author:  Brenda JacksonWebsiteTwitterFacebook
    Publisher: Silhouette Desire
    Genre: Romance, African American Romance, Contemporary
    Series/Standalone: Book 6
    Format: ebook, Mass Market
    Cost: $5.99
    Pages: 192
    How I got it: Purchased
    Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
    Publication Date: May 10, 2005
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    Synopsis:
    Pretending to be Jared Westmoreland's fiancée wasn't high on Dana Rollins's list of priorities. But she owed him a favor, and Jared's persuasive charm and sinful masculinity--not to mention his sizzling kisses--were impossible to refuse. Helping Jared meant spending time together publicly, but the private moments they shared made Dana wonder how she'd ever survive this engagement with her heart intact.

    A confirmed bachelor, Jared didn't want any of the sticky entanglements that went along with commitment. But the more he got to know his beautiful fake fiancée, the more Jared wondered if their romantic charade might be the real thing after all.
    Back into the Westmoreland clan we go, this time spinning off from the main family we are here to see the love story of a cousin of the main clan. So far the baby girl of the family has been married off and her three older brothers have also found love, one with her best friend.  Jared is a cousin who is a successful divorce attorney and has seen the ravages of 'love' is determined to never go down that path. This just proves that despite the parents doing everything right the children can still by their own experiences learn the wrong lessons.  Even though there are successful marriages that last around him Jared is still gun shy.

    When a mistaken moment is overheard by his mother, Jared's afraid to embarrass her in front of her guests lets her continue to believe her error. He plans to tell her what she had overheard wasn't the right information, and then it snowballs. He's made aware by his father that there are health concerns which put him and his brothers in the uncomfortable position of trying to be concerned without being overwhelming. Knowing that the belief that he's engaged is going to help her he pitches a deal to Dana to help him until they know more and seeing how close the family is she says yes.  Dana met Jared when he represented a client and the attraction was off the charts, but she's a bit gun shy.

    Dana is a successful woman who was getting ready to get married when her fiancee drops a bombshell and she's devastated. She's alone in the world after her parents' death and now another person she thought she could rely on is leaving her. She has a great career and a few good friends she can rely on but it's not the same and when she sees how close the Westmoreland family is and how wonderful they are she's not able to turn Jared down.  This should have been an easy favor, but it's complicated by their attraction and the more they give in the deeper this mire gets.

    I love this trope and Brenda does an amazing job spinning this tale. From the dates, tot he quite moments of recognition of the change in their paths; this couple made you want to root for them. Jared's fall into love was wonderful to read, as he re-evaluated and even sought the wisdom of his fellow men about what made them realize they were in love. I loved the glimpses we get of the families and the new brides integrating into the family.  I love how the women have formed their own little club within the family.

    Reading positive stories about black love and black families is so affirming.  I also loved the mini story that took place within this one as well, because that helped Jared realize there were other choices out there. I loved the way in which they fell in love and of course, their lovemaking scenes were amazing!! They just clicked so well and I loved their journey into love.

    You guys know I'm a sap when it comes to romance, so make sure to grab this one if you're looking for a sweet quick romance.
     ★★★★☆
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    Happy Reading my loves,