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Friday, May 1, 2015

April 2015 Recap

I gotta say, I did quite well with my April readings. Maybe not as I expected (had 3 more books originally).. but I'm starting to realize I expect a little bit too much.. 

In numbers: 

Total Read - 14 ebooks (+ 1 DNF) / 3396 pages (~113 pages a day)

This is an average I can "live with", not just in the sense that it's "acceptable" by me, but it's something I find "manageable". When I make my lists I plan on 130-140 pages a day but I think that I shouldn't jump that high. After all, one does need (?) to live life and not just read books ;)

I had a lot of great novels this month by authors I know I enjoy reading. Had one series that really surprised me to the better and one that sadly I gave up on. But all in all, great monthly reads!

★  ★  ★  ★  ★ - Cheers and Shouts for the Favorites -  ★  ★  ★  ★  ★
"Finding Purgatory" is another favorite by Kristina M. Sanchez. I loved her two previous novels (one is more of a novella). I love her writing and how she portrays her characters. This one is a New Adult novel, focusing on the relationship between two sister that were apart for most of their lives. There is a little romance on the side but it's not the main issue of the novel. Hungrily waiting for her next release!  

"The Shameless Hour" is the 4th installment in the "The Ivy Years" New Adult series by Sarina Bowen. Not a surprise I loved this one, for me everything Sarina writes is gold! Each installment in the series not only deals with two MC finding their HEA, it also brings a not so easy subject and deals with it beautifully without the whole story feeling depressing. While I wasn't sure I'll like the Bella (the MC) I really came to love her, as well as her love interest Rafe. 

I've been following Christina Lee's work from the first one she published in the "Between Breaths" series. Back then the first installment was a stand alone and I really hoped I'd read more by her - I'm really happy she continued with the series, I enjoyed each novel in the series, "There You Stand" was no different. Unlike the previous ones in the series this one is a MM New Adult Romance novel which was great! I loved both MC, the romance between them and the way it was building - so beautiful and tender. It wasn't too angsty even when dealing with pretty difficult staff. Can't wait for her next Contemporary Romance novel "Two of Hearts" (to be published 5th May 2015).

The "Market Garden" series by Aleksandr Voinov and L.A. Witt was a real surprise this month! I added it because I loved 2 previous work by Voinov and Witt together, but the subject at hand - a brothel.. (even if caters for the "well off" costumers) - got me worrying we're going to get a whole lot of sex without any real story (or enough of it). Boy was I WRONG! The series focuses on a few couples, some have a few short novellas bundled up to a full story - Tristan & Jared / Nick & Spencer - while others bring a whole novel in one installment - Capture & Surrender / If it Drives

My absolute favorite of the bunch was "Capture & Surrender" (Frank & Brandon's story). It wasn't just about two guys finding their way to one another it also dealt with a very heavy subject. I was with a constant heart ache and shivers while reading it. 
Beside that I also really enjoyed "Tristan & Jared"'s story with "Nick & Spencer" being a nice read and "If It Drives" my least favorite (I partly blame the BDSM relationship in these two though it wasn't the sole reason). 

I really want to try more novels by L.A. Witt. I only read her with collaboration with Aleksandr Voinov. But she has so many novels I don't even know where to start! I'll have to think about it and see if I can make her a "project" for next year though I think that if I actually read ONLY her novels the whole year I still won't finish them all hehe 

I was contemplating if to add "A Different Blue" by Amy Harmon to my favorites. It WAS a sweet and touching coming of age New Adult novel, yet since I had one MAJOR misgiving about it (mentioned in quite the rant in my review..) I'm still not sure it IS in fact a favorite. It beautifully written, the friendship and much later on, the love between Wilson and Blue was building slowly but surely, making it feel very genuine and heart touching. The story itself, and the sensitive way it was brought to us, the full story of Blue's past was all done extremely well. 

★ DNF ★ - Cries and Sniffs for the Disappointments - ★ DNF ★ 
The "Cut & Run" series by Abigail Roux (partly co-written with Madeleine Urban) was my first real venture into the MM Romance genre and for a long while have been my absolute favorite series. Since then I've read a lot of great MM Romance novels and series so this series had a lot of competitors yet it was my Holy Grail nevertheless, well up until the last two installments in the series. The first 7 were absolutely amazing and re-listening / re-reading them only made me love Ty and Zane even more. Yet both "Ball & Chain" and "Crash & Burn" (Installments #8 and #9) which tried to bring the story to a closure with a bang left me feeling unsatisfied. Yeah I loved the way it ended but the final journey there wasn't what I would have liked it to be. Not to mention I feel the new couple (Nick & Kelly) took too much of the stage in a series that was suppose to be of another couple entirely.. 

I won't be reading the spin off of Nick & Kelly. I don't find myself interested in them (on the contrary), yet I do think I should try out more by Madeleine Urban considering the amazing series she built with Abigail Roux. 

Another series that really disappointed me for the past two novels have been "Black Dagger Brotherhood" by J.R.Ward. This is another series that was Holy Grail and brought me into a genre I haven't read before - the Paranormal Romance. "The Shadows" (Installment #13) could have been SO good, yet I had so many misgiving with it. I feel as though Ward has gotten lost with all the sub plots and the progression of her previously main characters that the series has changed into something I'm not sure I want to keep on reading. Now it's more of an Urban Fantasy series, dealing with family and kids, the MC don't take center stage and the huge amount of sub plots make it feel as though nothing is happening in too many fronts. I will probably read the next one, but I'm not sure about the others and I'm surely NOT going to read the new spin off series of the original brother "Black Dagger Legacy". 

One last very saddening disappointment was "Scorpion" (Memory of Scorpions, #1) by Aleksandr Voinov. I love Aleksandr's writing! I've read quite a lot by him this year including the amazing "Market Garden" mentioned above. Yet this one, which was a sort of MM Erotic Fantasy, wasn't what I expected from him and in general. The world building was superb! But sadly the sex took center stage and I just felt bored and annoyed with it. There was so much to the story yet I couldn't get there with all the hard ons.. A total shame.

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

The past two years I've discovered a lot of amazing authors and I keep on adding more and finding out more novels by them. This month wasn't any different. I truly feel blessed with the amount of great books I have on my "Read" shelf as well as the ones that are still on my "To Read" shelf. Next month I plan on mostly enjoying those new authors I've recently discovered. 

Hope you enjoyed my recap of April. More and more and more reviews to come soon :)

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