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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.. 

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