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Monday, August 31, 2015

Brazen by Cara McKenna

O-M-G this short novella was SO DIRTY! It was yet again another novella by Cara I had a distinct impression of after reading the synopsis then got a total different thing when I actually started reading it. 
While it was A LOT about the sex, there was also a very interesting heroine (the sole POV) with quite an interesting psychology behind her behavior. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Her Best Laid Plans by Cara McKenna

Another great novella by Cara, I can't believe I have only ONE left. When I started reading this one, I wasn't sure how another Erotica novella is going to "play out" for me. I mean, I"ve been reading short Erotica novellas practically the WHOLE month, yet this one was SUCH an EXCELLENT read, I really liked both MC (though we only get Jamie's POV), really enjoyed the way it was "played", how they came closer together. I felt the whole ride with them and in the last chapter my heart was clenching with how much I wanted it to WORK, no matter how exactly. 

I'm getting ahead of myself.. though I won't write a lot about this novella because it's short and I SHOULD leave something for you to discover ;)

Friday, August 28, 2015

Shadow Bound by Garrett Leigh

Ultra short Paranormal novella. I was dead tired yesterday and needed a "boost" to my general mood after realizing that this week has gone by with little work achieved and almost no fun.. :/ Though it was very short it was kinda sweet and I felt as though the Paranormal part, even if not explained to the fully, was done really well. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Convenient Strangers by Cara McKenna

Really enjoyed this short novella. It was steamy, yet it was really "human" and felt very real and genuine. I also liked how it ended, thinking about the situation both of these men are in, and considering how short this novella is, it was well played with a hopeful future rather than an unrealistic HEA. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Ready and Willing by Cara McKenna

Very engaging, steamy (!) and somehow very sweet short novella. It's another novella I had my "doubts" about which were TOTALLY unfounded. I really enjoyed this one, especially the way it was concluded, the whole feel of it. I'm not a holiday person but if YOU are, read this on Christmas or whenever you feel festive :)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Darkest Flame (Roadmap to Your Heart #1) [Vaughn & Smoke] by Christina Lee

I haven't read for a full week. So when Saturday arrived I felt like I NEED to read and this one was on my immediate reading list having pre-ordered it and hoped I'll actually find the time to read it the day it was released..Yeah, no luck there.. It was a nice read, I liked both MC and the progression of their relationship but something was missing or rather I didn't find myself interested in the overall plot of the Motorcycle club. 

Both Vaughn and Smoke are a part of the Disciples Motorcycle club, while Smoke is a "real member" Vaughn's business ends with owning "Hog's Den" the bar the Club calls their own. Smoke and Vaughn were attracted to one another the first time they met, yet they didn't act upon their attraction, not wanting to draw unwanted attention. Motorcycles clubs being quite "old school" so accepting two bisexual men in the gang seemed unlikely. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Willing Victim (Flynn and Laurel #1) by Cara McKenna

I'll admit I sort of read this novella as an "experiment". I love Cara's writing and I do occasionally like to read things that take me out of my comfort zone. This one was something like that. I knew it's going to be more than just an Erotica novella, with the MC's kinks including "rape-play". 

I liked it more than I thought I will. I honestly thought that the sex would be "too much" for me, and I would rate this book low and say it's my personal "problem" not being able to "handle" reading something like that. I was more than surprised just how interesting this novella was! Both characters were complex and had more than just the rough sex. Yeah it took a huge part of the book, but it was also a very interesting glimpse into something that just thinking about it repulses me. Yet it wasn't "that bad", I mean, I still don't "get it" on a personal level, and I know I never will, but somehow it did kinda made sense considering the MC, it worked for THEM. Somehow a bit like my reaction to  "Unbound" also by Cara (even though it IS totally different). 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Resist: Gavin (Sphere of Irony #3) [Gavin & Mitch] by Heather C. Leigh

A very enjoyable read :) I didn't know what to expect from this one, and frankly it's not usually my "thing" to read the third book in a series, even though these are stand alone ones (also the two couples from the previous books don't show up that much). I really liked both MC and the fact they were two strong willed men, yet they somehow completed each other, both having a more sensitive compassionate side as well as being able to defend the other (mentally and physically). I gulped this one in two days after a WHOLE week of not reading a WORD (moving and studying t-o-g-e-t-h-e-r tend to do that..) so I was really happy I was sucked right into Gavin and Mitch's story  and didn't want to let them go. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Ruin Me by Cara McKenna

Quite difficult to review this short novella. Or rather I'm not really sure what I felt about it. I mean, most reviews say it's one fucked-up mess and it WAS. I"m not sure at all what I think about EVERYTHING that happened in this one but I think that now, "the morning after" I truly get it, even though I don't think that I would have acted like ANY of the characters in the book. Also I wasn't sure what to expect from the ending or how it's going to end / suppose to end? Yeah, I was confused about EVERYTHING. Yet, it was a good story, written beautifully, hot as hell, and in the end I think it was kinda sweet. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

When in Rome by Cara McKenna

Sweetness. Total sweetness. A very short and yeah, SWEET, story. Amy and Jens meet in Rome (no shocker here ;)) when he is running away from the paparazzi, the only place being open so early in the morning is the bakery Amy has been working in for the summer (she is in culinary school). They spend less than a day together, yet somehow there is a beautiful connection between the two of them. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

August 2015 Goals

This month I'm planning REALLY low. On July (Goals / Recap) I started this intense course I've already talked about, so now that I"ll be in the core of the course I know I probably won't be able to read more than an hour a day and let's not forget I'm just moving out of my apartment meaning I have a lot of things to do and organize (I genuinely see it as a good time, just a time consuming one ;)).   

I originally planned 4 (!) full length novels for this month but had to abandon two due to lack of time.. all the other ones are short novellas. I think it would be easier this way when I only have a short time each day. Besides, I know myself.. when I have books I'm really into I have a hard time putting them aside to do anything ELSE so I'm trying to put as little temptation as I can, or rather - temptation in small measures ;)

Resist (Sphere of Irony, #3)   ★
I haven't read anything by Heather yet, and I feel a bit crazy here starting from the third book in this Contemporary MM Romance series (this IS a stand alone novel but I'm anal about these kind of things..) I kindly received this book as an ARC and I'll be delving into it as soon as I finish "Bound to Darkness". This one releases on the 9th of August.  

I LOVED "Between Breaths" series by Christina, and now that it's finished I'm ready for her next series. This one will be more on the Contemporary Romance side (characters are more mature). The first one is of a couple we already met in the last installment of her "Between Breaths" series and is going to be MM. I"m not sure if all the books in the series will be MM as well. Anyhow - excited! YEP!

When in Rome   ★
Ruin Me  ★
Willing Victim  ★
Ready and Willing   ★
Convenient Strangers   ★ ½
Her Best Laid Plans   ★
Brazen   ★
By Cara McKenna 
Reading Cara's books have been one of my yearly goals. These short novellas are actually the only ones left on the list! There are several I decided not to read (I'm problematic as it is with Erotica novels..) but I'm really excited to put this big happy "V" on her books :)

Shadow Bound   ★ ½
This extremely short novella is a free read released at the end of July. As I loved everything by Garrett I"m looking forward to this one. I'm almost finished reading all her novels, there are 5 left scheduled for September.  

That's it for this month. it's going to be hot, humid and stressful but hopefully it will have enough leisure reading time as well. 

Check out more of my Recap and Goals of the past months!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

July 2015 Recap

Well, well, well.. it's actually a really good thing this month is OVER. So many things happened this month, mostly stressful or time consuming I can't believe all these things happened in one month! 

The highlights are the course I started somewhere in the middle of this month. It's a really intense course, with a lot of home work and stuff to do. It's a preparation course for a specific exam scheduled for the beginning of October and is a must for applying to most MA programs in Psychology. The other thing that sat heavily on my mind was moving out of my apartment and finding a place with one of my best friends. There was this one day I called about 20 (!) adds. We dedicated a whole week to the process and FINALLY found a really cool place we both really liked. So the second step was cataloging what we have and what we need to order/buy, another one or even two weeks of this and then, the last two weeks I was all about packing! Because it's me, after I was about half way done I made a list of what to do next till I"m finished so I won't be stressed out with packing while trying to study as well.. and naturally I packed so quickly that almost a whole week before the move all was expertly packed! So yeah, all worked out beautifully in the end :) 

Moving from apartment to apartment is something I often do. Every two-three years I move out so it's not something I actually dread. I enjoy organizing my stuff (less packing it though..) and I like throwing things and making sure I have the things I need and not junk I collected for no good reason. This time while packing I realized I've been really good these three years, not adding a lot of things that needed to be thrown away. I'm really excited about my new vanity area which is going to be costume made by my brother. Also I bought this cool glass cabinet for the dog's trophies :) I used to display them on shelves but this is WAY cooler. Can't wait to actually put to use all these things, to BUILD them. I'm a huge fan of building things with my own hands, I also move everything on my own, no company or big truck (though I don't have a lot of heavy stuff this time around so it's not THAT hard). 

But we're here to talk about books! and specifically how good I was with my July Reading:

Total Read - 22 ebooks (+ 2 DNFs) / 2983 pages (~96 pages a day)

It just seems like I've read a lot of books, there were a lot of short novellas because I knew I won't be able to be really invested in reading so short is better (next month will be the same, a few full length novels but mostly short novellas).

★  ★  ★  ★  ★ - Cheers and Shouts for the Favorites -  ★  ★  ★  ★  ★
I've been on an Amy Lane roller coaster this month and I loved every minute of it! She is such a superb author! Not to mention an excellent novellas (!) writer. That's not something that's so easy to achieve and yet, she managed to capture me with her writing with every new book I open. I recommend all the ones listed above but since there are MORE just click on her name and find my other reviews of her awesome (!) work. There were a few I didn't like that much but they are the few and I don't think too much of it. 
I have more by Amy near the end of the year and A LOT more planned for 2016 (almost all of her work, I only left aside 4 Fantasy series I'll have to check later).

This month I was introduced to Elle Kennedy's writing and I just fell in love. I LOVED her "Off-Campus" series, can't wait for the third book to be published! Even though there are so many NA College series out there, her books feel unique. I loved that the books had real issues the characters were dealing with, yet they were still fun and funny (as college should be ;)). 

I didn't expect to get an ARC of "Him" by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. Honestly,I was dreading the 28th since I KNEW I'll be in the middle of the milestorm of moving and couldn't put aside my life to enjoy this book. I was so impressed with "Off Campus" that I really wanted to see what Elle with one of my absolute favorite authors - Sarina - would cook together :) Than on an off chance I asked for the ARC and got it! I was OVER THE MOON. I swear. Then all that was left was delve right into it (no air needed). Read this sweet MM NA College novel in two days and loved every second of it. I totally fell in love with both MC. The relationship buildup with beautiful. So sensitive and heart aching.

"You Get Full Credit For Being Alive" by Cari Z. was recommended to me by a friend a while back. I didn't know when or even if I'll have time for it but since it was quite short (a free read by the M/M Romance Group in GoodReads) and I gotta say, it really impressed me! I didn't expect to get this kind of emotional ride, with a solid relationship buildup in less than 100 pages. Not only that, we actually got a bit of a mystery in between. I added about 10 more short novellas by Cari for 2016. Really looking forward to reading those. 

This month I had 3 books by Cara McKenna While I wasn't impressed with the first one I grabbed, "Unbound" was a total joy to read. I was so different to what I expected on so many levels. First this is Erotica but it was more about the characters and their personal journey than about the sex (though it was significant to the story). Merry, the MC was totally an inspirational character. I was really impressed with her. Rob was so sweet it was truly heart breaking learning of his past and how he made himself live in order to repent and not harm anyone else. Though their romance built in a short period of time it was very realistic and the ending also made sure of that. "Hard Time" was also a really good read and also a delicious surprise! The two MC complimented each other beautifully even though "on paper" or maybe outside (!) of paper, in real life, it probably wouldn't have worked, yet they clicked. So sweetly (with a lot of heat added to the mix ;)). 

"Skybound" and "Incursion" By Aleksandr Voinov were a few last minute adds to this month and what an absolute joy! This month I really enjoyed reading short, "not demanding" novellas. It's so much fun getting a full story or rather the beginning and a good feel for the future. It just gives me this positive feel. Both of these were like that for me, sweet and tender while everything around the two MC is crush and burn (literally). It's funny giving these two a bundled up overall review when they were so different, one Historical Romance about WWII and the other Sci-Fi with space ships and shape shifters :) 

Another last minute add for this month - "Rest and be Thankful" by Joanna Chambers. I've already read most of Joanna's MM Romance novels and enjoyed all of them. This sweet thing was no different. Both MC were sweet and truly deserved to be happy, and have each other in their lives. Loved how everything resolved.

★ DNF ★ - Cries and Sniffs for the Disappointments - ★ DNF ★

"Winding Road" was the last book I had on my list by Cecilia Ryan who writes beautiful MM Romance. All her other novels were an absolute JOY to read! Yet this one, more on the Young Adult side, didn't spike my interest. The characters were STRANGE. I didn't get them AT ALL and not only because they were musicians. I'm not sure how I actually finished reading this one.

I really enjoyed most of Serena Bell's Contemporary Romance novels but for some reason the previous one, and this one - "Turn Up The Heat" didn't catch my interest. I wasn't overly invested in the MC and her constant inner dialoge and wasn't sure I liked where her interest in the hero was going, or rather that it wasn't really going anywhere though I've read a quarter of the book. So I decided to let this one go after 29%. I hope I'll feel differently about her future books because I truly loved "Yours to Keep" and "Hold on tight" and still highly recommended it to people around me.

Though I usually enjoy Cara McKenna's (Erotica) books "After Hours" was lacking something. Not sure really what but I just didn't like both MC. Mostly Erin who felt a bit off. There was a total dissonance between her inner dialogue and what she was saying, and I didn't find the appeal she was finding in the hero. So after reading 28% I realized it's just not going anywhere or anywhere of interest and besides, I also have a feeling I won't like the (sexual) relationship between Erin and Kelly so I decided to let it go.. funny enough the next ones I read "Unbound" and "Hard Time" were superb reads! (more fitting to what I expect from Cara).

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

I"m really happy with this month's reads. Though I had a few disappointments, generally I enjoyed authors I already know I love - Amy Lane, Sarina Bowen, Cara McKenna, Aleksandr Voinov and Joanna Chambers but I also added two new ones I can't wait to check more of - Elle Kennedy and Cari Z. I already added a few novels by both authors hope I"ll be able to schedule soon :)

Well then, I"m off now, I"m either unpacking, studying or sleeping and hopefully finding a bit of a time to read somewhere in between..