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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Reclamation by Cari Z.

Great story! I'm usually not into either Dystopian world or Sci-Fi, I find I simply get confused and lost in the world building, but while I DID find some difficulties connecting to the world, the story was so well written and engaging I couldn't put it down. I was with tears of exhaustion in my eyes but I kept going. I loved that though both MC were "rough around the edges", they both had a very tender heart and it showed in how much they learned to care for one another. It's a brutal world out there, but inside Grayson's home they had their own ha(e)ven. 

Freckles by Amy Lane

This book was somehow too superficial.. The idea behind the story, the characters were a sweet as it could get, and maybe because of that, there was very little to "cling" to. The two MC were a bit "neurotic" but also cute, they were perfect for one another, both looking for the man to spend the rest of their lives with. They wanted to take it slowly then somehow found themselves REALLY rushing it and I was confused as to "what changed". They were great together, they had a good influence on one another. But all in all, there was very little if any angst (besides both being VERY insecure), the was very little if any drama. If you are a dog lover you'd enjoy the part about Freckles though it also was a bit superficial with very little if any resolve to the issues Carter had with her (pooping and peeing around the house though granted maybe the book's time span wasn't enough for that).

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Again by Mary Calmes

NOPE! While this novella started off REALLY nicely, when we actually meet the mysterious Dante who broke Noah's heart 6 years ago and disappeared from his life I was NOT impressed. I mean, I hoped, and was rewarded with a better story than a simple misunderstanding, I could have accepted the strange situation that broke them apart, but I couldn't stand the way Dante behaved. I know some people like the alpha aggressive possessive type but while I can be annoyed and still accept it in some scenarios, here it just didn't work for me AT ALL. It's not just Noah and Dante anymore, there's a 5 years old kid, who didn't know a thing about Dante though he is her actual father. Noah have been raising her like his own because he couldn't even get in touch with Dante to let him know he is a father.. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Perilous by Cari Z.

How to explain this novella.. I'm really not sure. I did enjoy it, liked both MC (we only get one POV - Tom's) and yet something about the pace, the way it was constructed left too many "holes" as to how Christopher and Tom built their relationship. There was too much of "ship-talk" I didn't really understand and so somehow alienated me from the general plot, and yet at some point (the third part) the story becomes about THEM in such a heart crushing way I was hooked and couldn't wait for them to somehow find each other and be together at last as a couple even if there were many casualties on the way. 

Good Boy (WAGs #1) [Blake & Jess] by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

FUN read, this one was SO different from the previous one. I REALLY enjoyed it, though I wish I had more time to enjoyed it as a should - in one Laughing Out Loud gulp! As it turns out, life TOTALLY got in the way of my reading but you know what? No worried, it means I got to enjoy it longer. Blake is OUT OF THIS WORLD. Though I could totally believe in him and his character - he is a sort of a "one of a kind", his charm was IMPOSSIBLE to ignore and even fall for, I could TOTALLY get why Jess was reluctant to accept his flirts and yet the moment she truly SEES him for who he is, and not just the "dumb jock" facade her fall is just inevitable. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Belle vs. the BDOC (Bend or Break) by Amy Jo Cousins

I'm HIGHLY annoyed. This started off funny and nice, but then I got totally lost in Shelby's POV. First, though I AM a girl of the 90s, I am still too young (was at high school at the time, not college) and second Shelby is WAY WAY WAY too competitive for me. Everything with her was SO OTT I was just annoyed with her. Everything was a game to be won and everything was done with the highest of emotions - winning, fucking, whichever. I don't have one competitive bone in my body and if I wanted someone BADLY, the one LAST thing I would do is try to destroy everything he (in this case she) achieved. It started with Trivia nights and went to a game of assassin. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

No Small Parts (Bluewater Bay #16) [Nat & Rafael] by Ally Blue

The struggle was real unfortunately.. I gave this one my best shot, I read through all of it, yeah from round the middle I DID skim a little but I tried and failed to connect to either Nat and Rafael. While Nat's life situation is heartbreaking, Rafael's life is nearly perfect (just needs to kickstart his directing career which he achieved throughout the story). He was too damn nosey but I guess it's what made Nat open up to him in the end. The story felt flat for me, even though it was dealing with difficult stuff - Nat's father addicted to pills, struggling with depression and Nat having to deal with all of it by himself with no help from anyone. Yet there were very few instances where I truly FELT Nat and ached for him. Which was a huge part of the problem..

Monday, January 23, 2017

Bluewater Blues (Bluewater Bay #15) [Jack & Mark] by G.B. Gordon

I'm stunned speechless. If I could give this book a higher rating than 5 stars I would. It was incredible and unique in a way I've never ever read before. The way the book, and mostly Jack, dealt with Margaret his autistic sister and Mark diagnosed with Asperger (or what used to be called that, now it's called differently) was beautiful beyond words. His whole relationship with his sister, and how much they meant for one another, how they communicated was simply inspiring. It's no wonder he connected with Mark right from the start. He could see his quirkiness but it didn't really phase him. He accepted him the way he is without resenting him even for a second for what he couldn't do or couldn't give (or be..). 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

All the Wrong Places (Bluewater Bay #14) [Brennan & Zafir] by Ann Gallagher

Another book I'm not sure how to review.. Thing is the whole topic of Asexual was new to me and I enjoyed seeing a different relationship, and yeah, there was something even refreshing about a relationship being based on friendship closeness and trust with lust having NOTHING to do with anything. That being said, the story just didn't "grab" me. I liked both Brennan and Zafir, I could get both their difficulties with being together, but I wasn't that patient with them. I was tired of hearing redundant thoughts about life, definitions and insecurities. I wanted to SEE it, not hear about it. Also there was very little actually "going on" besides them forming a friendship, hanging with one another. Sometimes it works for me when it's just the couple, here I felt MORE would have been better than just being inside these guys heads and seeing them become more than just good friends. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Dangerous Territory by Cari Z.

I really enjoyed this story though the beginning was a little bit confusing for me. The Paranormal aspect of the story are the shifters. They are known to the human world but not really accepted. When Carter needs to move his cattle FAST in order to sell them before everyone else does (in a better price) he has no other chance but to take a shifter guide and hope for the best, it's not only Rani he doesn't like or trust it's also the rain which could flood the way and kill the cattle AND the venomous gigantic snakes. YIKES! 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Hunting a Lady by Cari Z. & Caitlin Ricci

Another sweet story by Cari and Caitlin. Really enjoyed this one. I'm labeling it Historical Romance though truthfully, it feels like a sort of Fantasy world, or at least, the timing feels like it (there are no Paranormal elements in the story). It's a short adventure leading to so much more possibility than either one expected to find. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Worth the Wait by Cari Z. & Caitlin Ricci

What a sweet sweet holiday novella! I LOVED it! Christmas is 3 days away and Tate promised his little niece he'll get her the new book signed by her favorite author. He planned on coming early to the signing he just didn't know how crazy it's going to get! Though he is soaking wet he waits patiently in line and that's how he meets Brandon who offers him to share his umbrella.

Steamroller by Mary Calmes

This was a short sweet novella, I enjoyed both MC - Vincent Wade (our sole POV) and Carson Cress, yet at times I wasn't sure I'm TOTALLY liking their dynamics. As the name suggests, Carson comes at Vincent like a steamroller, not giving him a chance to really consider saying no. For me he was a bit TOO pushy, and yet he WAS sweet, and he went after what he wanted even though it would have unknown (probably negative) consequences.. Being a star quarterback is one thing, being a GAY one is totally a different story. Yet Carson have been wanting Vincent for the past year and he is NOT letting him go now. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Selfie (Bluewater Bay #13) [Connor & Noah] by Amy Lane

~ sigh ~ I can't do this. I simply can't. I've read many reviews of this book, especially since they were either A-Mazing or bashing the hell out of the author and frankly, all I felt while reading this book is CONFUSED. It was SO depressing, we only got Connor's POV who was tormented about his lover's death, a lover he couldn't acknowledge since they were both in the closet. Connor's thoughts were just ALL OVER THE PLACE. At times I was simply lost, I didn't know what he was talking about, or understood his strange humor. Noah was a GOD SEND but I wish I got to hear HIM instead of the broken guy who wasn't even sure who he is anymore. This was NOT what I was expecting. I expected it to be heart breaking in the worst yet best kind of a way. I mean, it's the one thing repeated in all those raving reviews. The other reviews? the ones saying Amy was being disrespectful to POC I didn't see AT ALL in the 51% I DID read. Noah was portrayed beautifully, I liked his character and appreciated how sweet and caring he was toward Connor, how gentle and understanding. He was almost perfect.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

How the Cookie Crumbles (Bluewater Bay #12) [Blaire & Frederic] by Jaime Samms

I'm not sure how to review this book. I liked it, I did enjoy it, but I somehow had too many misgivings about it. I considered DNFing it about half way in, but decided I SHOULD give it a better chance because I liked the idea behind the story and WAS interested in seeing how things would work out between Blaire and Frederic.

Blaire and  Frederic have history, and not a positive one.. while participating in a Reality TV Show about baking, Frederic falls for Blaire who not only deceives him, but chooses someone else, not only for his bed, but for winning the big prize (since he was one of the producers). Even though Frederic was compensated for what happened it basically screwed with his big plans.. He needed more than money, he needed the equipment because having money means his father will be at his door asking for more and more to buy alcohol. While for the most part Frederic's father was a HORRIBLE dad, Frederic is incapable of pushing him away though he deserves it for sure. He also can't leave his grandmother with the liability which is his father - her son, so he does what he can, and even what he can't really and works himself almost literally to death in the bakery he opened in Bluewater Bay. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

First Day Of Forever + Us by Mary Calmes

I'm not sure how to review this short novella. I liked it, the whole idea of it and the fact it was short yet not too short to deliver a solid story, and yet it WAS too short to establish more than a promise of "Forever". 

This short Free Online Read tells us the story of Cameron Mancini and Davis Boone, they have been best friends their whole lives, through the good times and the bad ones. They are both gay, and yet when Cameron told his parents he was gay - they just accepted him as he is, with Davis it was the opposite - they literally threw him out of the house. Cameron thought THIS is the best time for them to be together as a couple as it's obvious how much they care for one another, but Davis was scared. Cameron is the only family he has, he can't lose him in a relationship which can totally break them apart if things didn't work out.. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2) [Patrick & Ari] by Sarina Bowen

WOW. It's been a while since I sat for that many hours without moving and read a WHOLE book (especially considering it was a workday). I was just hooked from the first page and didn't want to let it go. Patrick and Ari, alone or together were a JOY to read. I loved them both SO MUCH. I really connected with both of them, each for a different reason. They felt so HUMAN, they had their problems, their flaws that made them who they are. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Any Closer by Mary Calmes

I can honestly say THIS was not what I expected. I almost randomly chose it due to it's length because I knew won't be able to stay up for long last night.. SUCH a beautiful heartfelt story. Leo and Charlie were a beautiful match. It's clear they not only deserved one another, they NEEDED each other. I couldn't have asked for more. Took them long enough to make the first step, but when Charlie's past comes knocking at the door neither one of them seem to be able to put aside what he truly feels for the other. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

January 2017 Reading List

As I tend to change things up once in a while, here's me trying to stamp the "New" over the beginning of 2017. Though I enjoy making my monthly goals & recaps at times they feel time consuming and a bit repetitive so I'm trying a new thing here which is actually a different format of my usual Goals. I don't think I'll write any monthly recaps (explaining my rating) I'll just use this monthly list to rank my readings (with links to reviews as I go).
In order not to make just a long list, I'm separating the books into genres.  

So what are we having on the table this month

There's a new (and probably funny as F) Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy collab I kindly got as an ARC, there are a few novels and novellas by Mary Calmes, Amy Lane and Cari Z - Three authors I enjoyed reading and trying to get my sticky hands all over their book list. There's a short FF romance by Amy Jo Cousins I'm excited to try and there are the last books I had left in the Bluewater Bay series (they come out so fast!).

A superb way to start 2017.

Statistics (will be filled at the end of the month)
Total Books: 18
Total Pages: 2266
Pages per day: ~73
Click for more Recap & Goals of previous months

Contemporary Romance
    ♥ Paranormal / Sci-Fi Romance ♥
    ♥ Historical Romance ♥

    ♥ New Adult Romance ♥

    2016 Yearly Recap

    Each year I'm trying to figure out how to summarize my yearly reads. It's natural I mostly remember what I read in the few previous months, but the ones I read in January-February seems so far away. 

    I recently made rating tags, mostly for this post, but also because it's interesting to see which were my favorites in a glance that has nothing to do with author and all about what I actually thought about the book.

    Considering I read 122 books this year having SO many of them in the 4½-5 Star category, 79 to be exact, is pretty amazing. For me, though there IS a difference between 4½ and 5 stars rating I consider both as superb reads, but I'm not adding the 4 stars (21 books) because I want this list to include my absolute favorites not just "good reads". 

    When I realized I have such a high percentage of 4-5 stars rating I was wondering if I over-rate, especially after seeing my Yearly Summary by GoodReads which says I rate on average 4.3 stars. Frankly I don't think I do, I'm honest about my feelings, and while there are so many with higher rating there ARE quite a few so-so ones and even lower rating (and some DNFs). As I see it, I just know how to pick 'em :) Especially considering this year was a lot about reading books by authors I already knew I loved.   

    Here are my favorite reads of 2016: (by category)

    EROTICA (3/5)
    The brackets in the category refers to number of favorites out of total read this year.
    ♪ The Italic are series (links to series page) In brackets are my favorite in

    My Yearly goal for this year have been MUCH modest than 2014-2015. While this year I've read 122 books, I've read 194 books in 2015, and 183 books in 2014. 2013 was the first year I started organizing my books on GR but the count was from round middle of the year (102 books). 

    Looking at GoodReads' Yearly Summary is really cool! 

    Funny how the most popular book (on GR) I've read (Rule by Jay Crownover) feels to me as overrated, while the least popular (on GR) (Strangely Familiar by Cari Z.) is a book and an author I wish more people knew about. Also the highest rated (on GR) is a book (Sing to Me by Jeffrey Rivera) I gave 1 star rating though it  DID mostly mostly had to do with the genre (YA). 
    Just shows how personal reading and reviewing a book is. 

    One last thing I ALMOST forgot is my pages' count! 
    I LOVE doing that though I'm not even sure why :D 

    This year I've read 24,022 pages which are ~66 pages a day.

    See you next year! ♥☺♥