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Sunday, February 1, 2015

January 2015 Recap

Can't believe it! Another month is finished and it's time for the first Recap of 2015! 
I had a lot on my plate on January, a variety of genres and authors, one absolute favorite new author, a few disappointments from new and loved authors, much anticipated sequel, quite a few short novellas, new authors to add to my "to read list" - what more can one ask? (less disappointments I guess, but that's life.. we get the good AND the bad)

let's see how I did this month: 
Total read - 16 eBooks (+ 5 DNF) / 3586 pages (~116 pages per day)

As I did a little change in the appearance of the monthly Goals this month I figure, why not do a bit of a change in the monthly recap as well? I struggle every month finding a book for each category. Sometimes I just don't find the right book for the right category or I have a few books I want to "nominate" so let's try it differently for 2015 - 

★  ★  ★  ★  ★ - Cheers and Shouts for the Favorites -  ★  ★  ★  ★  ★
While I can't say I enjoyed every book I've read this month, the ones I loved made the real impression of the month. 

I have 3 new authors to check out after enjoying my first read by them - 

"Making Faces" by Amy Harmon
"Archer's Voice" by Mia Sheridan
"Fighting for Redemption" by Kate McCarthy
While these three are different from one another I think there is one thing in common - all have a wounded hero and all are considered New Adult (though the ages vary). 
Archer's Voice was elected Best Romance for 2014 by GoodReads (which is why I added it to my list). 
Making Faces and Finding Redemption both have a soldier dealing with his past experience in the military. They have a very different vibe from one another even if there is the same theme of a girl they left behind and rekindle their love for one another with their return. 
In both Making Faces and Archer's Voice there's a literally wounded man, dealing with a real disability. It's not something that we encounter a lot, and I cherish the books that bring us less than perfect heroes and DOESN'T fix the disability when the book concludes.  

I also found a new absolute favorite author - T.Baggins (S.A. Reid). It started last month with "Protection" the first book I've read by her, and then this month I added all the other books she has written under this pan name (she has another one - Emma Jameson - she writes Mystery under). My absolute favorite of all of them was "Something Different" though all of them were really good. She writes MM Romance some "Realistic" and some with a Paranormal theme to them. 

She truly has a unique way of bringing a sensitive beautiful love story yet not forgetting that love is a part of life and life isn't always what we want or wish for it to be. 

FINALLY the 3rd installment in the Night Prince series - "Bound By Flames" by Jeaniene Frost is out! I've obsessed with Jeaniene's Vlad Dracul from the first time we met him in the Night Huntress series. Him getting not only a simple mention of a Happily Ever After but in 4 
enjoyable books is simply a PRIZE! Long live Vlad the impaler and his worthy wife Leila Dalton!!
The third installment was a JOY as was the previous ones. Can't wait for the fourth one which sadly will also be the last.. 

I have a new project for the beginning of 2015 which is re-listening / re-reading "Cut & Run" Series by Abigail Roux and Madelieine Urban before the 9th and LAST book in the series launches on the ending of March. I LOVE this series. It's such an enjoyable read! It's MM Romantic Suspense but as I see it, it's more about the Romance and less about the Suspense (it's just them being unable to keep AWAY from trouble). The built up of the relationship between the two main characters - Ty and Zane - is beautifully done, slow going and realistic with each novel bringing them closer and dealing with more of what a relationship is all about, especially when you are an ex marine (Ty) and under cover agent (Zane) both having too many secrets to share. 
This month I listened to two out of the five books that have audiobooks - Cut&Run and Sticks&Stones.  Both were a great and enjoyable read. LOVE this series! (yeah I already said that, deal with it!)

★ DNF ★ - Cries and Sniffs for the Disappointments - ★ DNF ★ 
I'll start by saying - these are MY disappointments, you might love these with all your heart! Yet for me, these , sadly, were NOT what I expected. 

I'll start by noting my first disappointment of the month and not only chronologically speaking. I LOVE Serena Bell's writing. She writes beautifully Contemporary Romance. I loved everything else by her. She is quite "new" and don't have a lot of novels out, yet I went through all her novels and each was a joy to read. Well, except for one which was an "OK read" and turns out it the first in a sort of series with "Hot and Bothered" being the second installment. Since Serena is an "auto-pre-order" author for me I didn't even bother reading the synopsis before ordering it so I totally missed the fact it would resemble "Still So Hot!". Such a shame. I'm still looking forward to Serena's new novels though, I'll just try and stay away from the Harlequin Blaze ones.. (or maybe just research them better..).

"The Hearts of the Anemoi" a Paranormal Romance series by Laura Kaye was HIGHLY recommended to me, yet I couldn't find myself interested or invested in either the main characters nor the plot maybe because I felt as though NOTHING was happening and the characters weren't engaging enough to keep me going. I stared with "North of Need" DNFed it, yet after reading a few other books went back to the second installment "West of Want" and it too "suffered" from the same problems I encountered in the first so I left it too, forsaking the whole series (which contains total of 4 books).

Sometime there's a price to pay when you are acting too shallow. "'Till Death (Vol. 1)" by Bella Jewel is an EXCELLENT example for that. I might point one finger towards the main character in the book for being the shallowest person I've EVER read about (besides her other horrendous traits..) but as the saying goes- at least 3 fingers point back at me.. Yep! Since I added this Erotica / Romance book to my list almost SOLELY due to the STUNNING cover I shouldn't be offended if the PLOT is NOT what I was looking for. I think it would suit the "Fifty Shades" fans out there. which I'm DEFINITELY not! 

I'm somewhat "late" for the party of John Green's books. Maybe it's  because I usually don't read Young Adult, maybe it's because they are not specifically Romance novels, I don't know, but somehow this month I planned to right that wrong and check two of his novels. As everyone were raving about "The Fault in Our Stars" (especially with the movie out now) I decided to start with "Looking for Alaska" to see what the "hype" is all about and NOT with his most famous work. It was nice. Nothing to write home about, I liked it but didn't love it. It was well written and different from the things I usually read and even the Young Adults weren't that bad. Yet my main problem with the book was for the teenagers being TOO DAMN PHILOSOPHICAL (not to mention it doesn't really suit teenagers..). So after finishing it I was intrigued with the other one which was suppose to be heart breaking and beautiful beyond words. Well, I thought it was boring. I literally waited to hear if someone would die so the book would get some sort of interest to it since as it seems it's not only the guys Looking for Alaska being philosophical its ALL of John's characters. I just got tired of it all. It could have been an amazing piece, yet for me it was the most futile book I've EVER read. I know, there is no such thing as getting nothing out of a book or a book being redundant yet when I finished this book the only thing I could think about was "Gees, what did I read this things for". 

One of this year's "projects" is reading (most of) Aleksandr's Voinov's books so prepared for reading A LOT of reviews of books by him in the following months. I was FLOORED with "Unhinge the Universe" the first book by him I've read and "Special Forces" literally left my speechless (and too many damn times in tears). Yet "Collateral" a free Fanfic of Tony Stark ("The Iron-Man") and Frank Castle ("The Destroyer") by him and Gileonnen wasn't what I expected.. It was slow going and the romance between the main characters just didn't make any sense to me. Naturally I WON'T let this one discourage me from more and more and more by Aleksandr and I did enjoy another short one at the end of the month - "Spoils of War" co-written with Raev Gray.

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

So that's it for January's Recap. I think this format is better - noting just the highlights and the "downfalls" since "best and worst" is what we tend to remember anyhow.. 

Have an amazing February with lots and lots of heart gripping books!

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