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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Frosted by Katy Regnery

What a great, sweet story! Enjoyed it SO so much. Though this novella's timeline mostly lasts a whole day it was very easy to see a relationship building up somewhere even if it still needs time to evolve. What I'm trying to say, it never felt like "insta-love", it felt genuine and heart felt which is all I could have asked for. We have here a sort of "chance for love" for two people, who already loved and lost and know that giving this chance might not come easy when the blizzard is over. 

Grace was married to a VERY high class wealth man, they had a happy life together raising 4 kids, two from his first marriage and two of their own, but one thing they never actually had - romance. They were sort of best friends and because her life with him was so comfortable she truly didn't wish for more. Now 3 years after his death, their daughter believe it's time to move on, to find love for the first time and so she buys her 56 years old mother a weekend in a resort which hosts singles mixers. Grace feels embarrassed about the whole thing, but she IS lonely and so she agrees to go.. 

Always by Kindle Alexander

Had my hopes up for this one, from the synopsis and the many raving reviews I was sure it's going to be a treasure! Yet SO many things just didn't work out for me, I realized at 32% it won't get better, it would probably turn for the worse which is why I decided to sadly put it down. 

The book starts with Avery and Kane in their mid 70s. Already having two kids in their 30s, Avery having to undergo a serious operation and Avery remembering their relationship right from the beginning. I usually love those kinds of epic romances, where the relationship spans over a few decades... but that happens when I love the characters and mostly the relationship buildup (!) which can be more realistic when there's so much time to explore. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Forever Promised (Promises #4) [All couples] by Amy Lane

Mmm this wasn't exactly what I had in mind.. I mean, from the synopsis, it's quite obvious what we are mostly going to deal with and yet I didn't realize the way it's going to color the whole story. Thing is, this book feels like a lot of those books who deliver another chapter to a fully formed couple - a bit unnecessary. Yet I had my hopes up because it's Amy, and naturally because I came to love everyone in this series, so getting a glimpse of what it's like 5 years later, including couples we haven't seen forming and waited for them to form - like Kimmy and Lucas, Benny and Andrew was all I could have asked for, right? not exactly..

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Living Promises (Promises #3) [Jeff & Collin] by Amy Lane

Another beautiful, heart breaking story in the Promises series. ~sign~ I LOVE Amy's writing, I love this series and how HUMAN it is. Getting to the third installment means these guys (and a few gals ;)) are so REAL to me. Yeah there's a lot of angst in all of these, this one included.. Boy Oh Boy so much stuff Jeff has to deal with that he rather keep to himself! But when you think about it, it's never OTT, everyone here in these books feel genuine to me. I already wrote in the previous book's review I'd love to visit Levee Oaks and meet everyone because that's how it feels. They are, all of them together, such a warm and loving family and every new member just adds to the sweet mix. 

I'm blabbering without saying anything about this book.. I realize that.. it's just finishing another one in the series is so satisfying. Another couple is formed (well, actually more than one ;)) and the HEA vibe is everywhere ;) 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

COVER REVEAL - True North series by Sarina Bowen

Okay, I'm not sure if you're ready for this. I wasn't.. so sit down, will you?
I was SO excited when I heard Sarina has another Contemporary Romance series planned! I LOVED "Gravity" and was sad we had to say our goodbyes. But all great series needs to come to an end and since there's a new one I can't really complain!
So while I knew the first book in the "True North" series will be out in June, seeing the covers was..
You can be the judge.. 
I was without words or breath..

Right? Right? 
I love everything about these! I can't even say which I love best!

The first book in the series - "Bittersweet" - will be out on the 14th of June. 
Currently it can be pre-ordered exclusively through iBooks

Bittersweet (True North, #1) - BLURB

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Making Promises (Promises #2) [Shane & Mikhail] by Amy Lane

Another beautiful, heart warming story my Amy. Really enjoyed this one. Loved the two MC, getting both of their POVs and naturally also getting to re-visit the "family" we met in the previous installment. The timeline of this story and the first book in the series overlap which is one of the reasons you MUST read the first before getting to this one. Naturally I'm saying that so you won't have to deal with spoilers but also because the first one was superb as well! and I see missing it is an option! 

We already met Shane in the previous book. He is a cop, originally came to handle Benny's father when he was crazy enough to try and forcefully take Parry Angel (Benny's daughter). Shane and the family got along just fine (once Jon realized he's not there to harm anyone, he's actually on THEIR side) but there is still much we don't know about Shane. He and Deacon are both guys who doesn't express themselves verbally, for different reasons. Though Deacon is considered the "patriarch" of the family and sure act as one, he is actually quite shy. Shane on the other hand sees himself as "weird" and so he rather not speak his mind and be considered the odd bird.. Which is why he sticks to himself mostly, after arriving in Levee Oaks he adopted as many dogs and cats as he could and considered keeping to himself. Yet without even realizing it he procured a loving family, one who truly cares for him, unlike his real family - self centered parents and Kimmy, his twin sister, he was never close to. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Keeping Promise Rock (Promises #1) [Crick & Deacon] by Amy Lane

Wow. I don't even know where to start! I LOVED this one SO MUCH. It's one of my absolute favorites in general and by Amy specifically (though I think "Sidecar" still gets No. 1 ;)) It's one HELL of a ride, so many things go wrong before everything turns just right but it was SO worth it. I loved both MC, enjoyed getting both of their POVs and all the other side characters really helped to make this one a masterpiece. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

All Played Out (Rusk University #3) [Mateo & Nell] by Cora Carmack

Sadly I didn't like this one. But since I read the other ones and LOVED them and surely want to continue on with the series I struggled to actually finish this one. I'll be brutally honest here - I skimmed most of Nell's POV from right around the third mark. I didn't like her or find her interesting AT ALL. Her inner dialogue was EXHAUSTING! Mateo on the other hand I REALLY liked, which is why I don't understand what he actually saw in her.. He was either hysterically funny - which I enjoyed! or boring when he was either saying how much he's into Nell or talking WAY too much about Football.

Friday, April 8, 2016

All Broke Down (Rusk University #2) [Silas & Dylan] by Cora Carmack

I was a bit worried about this one, Silas didn't seems like the sort of guy I would want to read about.. not as a MC at least.. Lets say it clearly, he's a douche.. or at least he was to Dallas.. but then, seeing how he acts toward Carson it makes you wonder what's under the, well, duchiness.. and Dylan? sound exactly like the girl Silas wouldn't even consider hooking up with and yet they worked out more than beautifully. My only compliant is I would have like to see a little bit more of them actually working out. The book ends with me feeling it's more of a HFN than a truly HEA. 

I want to start at the end actually. RIGHT at the end, after the last words about Silas and Dylan are finished we get to the Author's Note. I don't always read those, depending on my mood. So I'm really happy I took the time and read it. It was heart touching and beautiful and made me consider not only what I just finished reading but about how I want to be / act and the things I shouldn't ignore. I'm not activist but I'm very passionate about justice, people say it's because I'm a Libra. Yep, makes sense ;) But lets be serious for a moment here, I truly think we SHOULDN'T ignore injustice. NEVER-EVER. We should do what we can, show our support, even if all we personally have to offer is a hug and our compassion. 

Heavy.. yeah, I know.. sorry about that.. Let's get back to the story shall we?

Thursday, April 7, 2016

All Lined Up (Rusk University #1) [Dallas & Carson] by Cora Carmack

Sweet and endearing :) A fun and easy read. Not angsty even though both MC had issues to deal with, I liked both of them, and enjoyed getting both of their POVs. I was glad they felt more mature than the ones in Cora's previous NA (YA) college series "Losing It", while I did really enjoyed them, THIS was what I was missing and yet I was missing something in this one as well, I wish it was a bit more complex or rather the was more emphasis on the issues the MCs had to deal with.  

Football is another sport (like Hockey) I know NOTHING about. They're a ball in it, I'm SURE, also it's not round. That's the extent of my knowledge.. and so it was a sort of refreshing change :) 

Friday, April 1, 2016

April 2016 Goals

Though this year started stressful (and frankly, considering my schedule it still is) last month showed me that I CAN read more if I put my mind and spare time on it, not only that it made me realize something else entirely - I MISS reading MF romance. I mean, I LOVE reading MM, there's a reason it's 90% of what I read, and so I'm glad that I have a NA MF series this month. I'll have to check the rest of the year and see if I can change it up a bit. The one thing I DON'T want to change is the amount of Amy Lane I'm reading :) There's A LOT of her this month as well. 

It's been a while since I read anything by Cora. I've read her YA/NA "Losing It" series and LOVED it, even though the characters were a bit young I really enjoyed her writing and how it was so much FUN with a lot of laugh-out-laud moments. This one seems more of a NA which I definitely prefer.  

More by Amy is always a treat :) I have two Contemporary MM Romance series, a new one as well as a continuation of a book I read a while back. Also I added a PNR I'm not sure I'll actually get around to reading. 

I'm blushing just thinking just how many months ago I planned to read this, but somehow because it's the first I'm reading by Kindle I keep postponing it. This month I'm NOT going to forget about this Contemporary MM Romance novel [Yeah, originally I had two here, but I only managed to read one.. the next I'll read at the beginning of next month). 
NOTE - imagine my disappointment when this one turned sour.. 

A last minute add to this month reading! Katy was a rather new author on my list who soon became a favorite. I LOVE all of her books, all are contemporary romance novels (MF). I have many more by her this year, mostly from her "Blueberry Lane" series but also one big surprise - "Dark Sexy Night", the 4th in the "A Modern Fairytale" series to be published next week. This one is a short Contemporary Romance novella. 

That's if for this month, something new (Kindle), something "old" (Cora) and something I've been reading for a while now (Amy). 

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

March 2016 Recap

I gotta say, I'm quite proud of myself for the amount I actually DID read this month (March Goals). I plan to read between 100-120 pages a day, so getting to even CLOSE to that makes me feel a lot better about myself. It's funny, saying that means I had MORE free time, but I think it mostly means I slept less or spent less time doing what I SHOULD be doing hehe.

Total Read - 14 ebooks / 2787 pages (~90 pages a day)

Yep, we're getting there ;)   

★  ★  ★  ★  ★ - Cheers and Shouts for the Favorites -  ★  ★  ★  ★  ★ 
Ever since I started writing these recaps I also started planning my reading in a way that allows me to finish a whole series a month, but last month didn't leave me much choice so "Johnnies" got separated giving me another opportunity to rave just HOW MUCH I loved this series by Amy Lane. Though I have a hard time defining it (naturally except for being MM..) - is it New Adult? "regular" Contemporary Romance or is it Erotica with a lot of story to it? - It doesn't matter it's just GREAT. I loved all 4 installment in the series, some more than others, this month Ethan and John were amazing reads. So much focus on the characters and how they evolve throughout not only the book but the whole series. 
The MM Contemporary Romance series "Granby Knitting" also by Amy Lane couldn't be more different though which was so much FUN! It wasn't so dark even though it had difficult moments, it was so enjoyable getting to know all the characters and their obsession with knitting. Almost felt like starting knitting myself! hehe (actually learnt how when I was a kid both I don't really remember..). Amy creates a beautiful picture of those friends becoming close as family with knitting bringing them all together. 
I finished this month's reading with "Shiny!" also by Amy Lane. I loved it SO much, it was light and deep, it wasn't angsty and yet it was heart felt and sweet just what I needed. Two guys, meeting randomly on the worst day ever - forming a brave friendship that hold right up until they realize they both want MORE and not just while it's Shiny and new.. 

I LOVE Garrett Leigh novels, yeah she tends to torment the Sh** out of her MCs but when she finally brings them together there's this sigh of content and a smile of the beautiful closure. "Between Ghosts" was no different. It's been a while since I've read a novel taking place in a war zone / military situation, but though I sort of expected it to be on the Romantic Suspense side, it was what Garrett does best - a beautiful heart felt Contemporary Romance story between two men who deserved happiness and surely deserve each other. Both have a heart felt back story to why they put out a "stern front", but when the layers starts to fall, slowly slowly, they realize how much they actually have in common and how much they would give to keep each other. 

Amy Jo Cousins' short Contemporary Romance novella "The Rain in Spain" was a light read and yet it wasn't. Two very different people not sure what they are doing together a year after they got married and yet they have good reasons they need to verbally express so all of us (we+them) can get our closure or rather a promise of HEA.

Though I pre-ordered "Ginger's Heart", the third in "A Modern Fairytale" series, by Katy Regnery, I waited until the weekend. I KNEW I'll need FREE time to read it and wasn't planning on grinding my teeth through my stressful week trying to squeeze a free hour. It definitely was a good decision! I read this book literally in a day! Started at 00:00 a.m. and finished 10:30 p.m.. Life happened somewhere in between - sleeping, eating, you know the usual but mostly I was wrapped tight in this beautiful and yet so very heart crushing Contemporary Romance novel. This is a sort of modern retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood", the way it was written and how everything came to be was just perfect. Yet be prepared for A LOT of tears before the long overdue HEA arrives. 
I have many more by Katy the following months. Hope to finish almost all of her novels this year :) 

"Touch the Sky" by Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn was EVERYTHING I wanted it to be. I keep praising Christina's other NA series "Between Breaths" I was SO sad to see it go! Yet here she comes again, with Nyrae at her side and they bring us SUCH a beautiful heart felt NA MM Romance novel. I loved the MCs, loved the way their relationship and connection was building and really enjoyed how realistic it felt. Can't wait for more in the series! 

▲  ▲ On the Fence ▼  ▼
I'm probably one of the very few who hasn't swooned over "US" (the second installment of the New Adult Him series) by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. Well, I've read the first one, it was SUPERB, I loved everything about that story, the main characters, the struggle they had to go through to be together was heart breaking and yet the story itself felt more "easy going" and, well, FUN. This one was depressing. I think maybe if I would have thought it's going to be this way I would have enjoyed it more, but as it was I felt I'm not sure where this story is going.. I didn't feel like I'm seeing any "light at the end of the tunnel" for them even though we get there in the end. I actually had another "dark" story this month that even though was a sort of difficult read didn't give me the "hopeless" vibe so I'm not sure what went wrong for me here. But I gotta say, I'm GOING to read the next one and I have a great feeling about it :) 

I love Amy Lane's writing. Had so many of her books this month and a lot more to come in the following months. I actually checked and I think there's just one month I DON'T have anything scheduled by her. Though I had two great series I loved, "Ryan & Scott" was a bit disappointing. It's a three part story, anyone of them could be read as a stand alone novella. Though "Phonebook" (the second) was a sweet short read I was a bit disappointed with "Puppy, Car and Snow" (the third), I didn't get a sense of closure and the story itself felt a bit "shallow", very little actually HAPPENED to them as a couple. 

These two "on the fence" books shows that we can't love everything even by our ABSOLUTE FAVORITE authors. It's just life isn't it? I'm still going to auto-buy Sarina's books, check out more by Elle and surly keep on reading ALL of Amy's booklist. 

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

I consider this a REALLY good month with some GREAT reads. Also realized I should go back to reading more MF romance novels. Which shows that diversity IS a good thing mostly because it's so easy to get stuck in "routine".