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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Humbug by Joanna Chambers

Let's face it, this one getting a 5 star review is NO surprise and yet when I started reading this one I was a bit worried.. I mean, Quin sounds like a real douche.. redeeming a douche is ALWAYS a possibility but question is - can it be done in 74 pages? YES, apparently ;) 

Quin Flint is exactly the kind of guy I would love to hate. A self centered guy, who is not only just about himself, he is also all about the job and thinks everyone around him MUST be consumed by work responsibility 24/7.. He is a mean boss, he doesn't interact with his workers in a considerate way and not only that, he is also not that a good friend to his REAL friends. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

In Your Eyes (Mates #3) [Samuel & Korban] by C. Cardeno

~sigh~ I can't be more pleased with this beautiful love story. I read it in two gulps. The first up until the most significant moment of confrontation between the two packs where I realized I"m too ansgty to handle what's going to happen.. then returned the day after to read the whole thing in one sitting. I loved both Samuel and Korban though we only heard Samuel's voice. They truly completed one another. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Until Forever Comes (Mates #2) [Ethan & Miguel] by C. Cardeno

Well, I liked this one, but not as I did the first one. Which is a part of the problem - I'm comparing! I"m not sure what I would have thought if I'd read this one as the first in the series.. I loved Zev and Jonah SO MUCH. But here Ethan felt a bit "weak". He is sweet, I'll give him that, but he is also very childish and needs a lot of taking care of / teaching the way of the world which I wasn't very fond of. Miguel was sort of sweet in a creepy sort of way ;) He is a "bad ass" vampire, very strong and old, Ethan totally takes him by surprise. He is attracted to him, he wants to protect him - what's up with that? Ethan calling him his "true mate" doesn't really help because Miguel doesn't believe in these things.. In general he isn't very impressed with the shifters (which was really interesting actually, getting the story from a vampire's perspective). But it doesn't take much for both of them to realize they are "it" for one another - Until Forever Comes.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Wake Me Up Inside (Mates #1) [Zev & Jonah] by C. Cardeno

This is the first book I've read by Cardeno, I got great recommendations for books by her and I was really excited to finally try her books. Actually I didn't really know what to expect, as it was, I started the first chapter before going to bed and even from reading the synopsis the day after, it was different from what I expected. 

First off, this book it SO damn sweet, the romance was heart warming in a way, honestly, I'm surprised wasn't a bit too much for me. I was just hooked from the first chapter to Zev and Jonah's love story, I couldn't wait to get to the point when Zev and Jonah are finally connected as mates. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Real World (Bend or Break #5) [Tom & Reese] by Amy Jo Cousins

This one was everything I could have hoped for and more. I can't express how happy I am with the way this one turned out. I LOVED both Tom and Reese in the 1st installment in the series, and yeah, it was obvious that their problems won't just disappear when they are finally committed to one another but here we got to see them 4 years later and though there's much of the same (no one changes over night..), it's different, their relationship is stronger, their connection is beautiful and even when they are both making mistakes it's obvious where their heart are. 

Level Hands (Bend or Break #4) [Denny & Rafi] by Amy Jo Cousins

I loved the little glimpse I got of Denny and Rafi in the previous installment and was really interested in getting their story. Through the synopsis it's quite obvious we are going to get Rafi's POV, with his struggles in a new place (Carlisle College) where he doesn't fit in, for too many reasons.. his color, being gay, lacking academically, not coming from "money" and especially since he is only there because of a scholarship he got from Cash and Denny's family heavy meddling

If someone can get what it feels like being an outsider it's me. Though I never had any of the specific problems Rafi has. I could totally get the feeling of inferiority and what it made him think, but I couldn't understand what it made him DO - mostly toward Denny - his only point of support

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Girl Next Door (Bend or Break #3) [Cash & Steph] by Amy Jo Cousins

This wasn't exactly what I was expecting.. I mean, I LOVED Cash, he is one of my absolute favorite male characters. He's got it all, mostly a BIG heart and no prejudice no matter the subject. It's exactly what makes him such a good friend not only to Reese and Tom, but also to Steph, even if back in college their friendship had a bit more.. Now, a few years later, he is living in Chicago, has left all his fortune behind to coach young kids through a none profit organization. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes

"The Princess Bride" is my absolute favorite movie. I can and had watched it gazillion times and know all of it by heart. It's a brilliant movie, can be watched by kids as well as grown ups and it never feels "old". If you haven't watched it - now is the time. Though maybe you should watch it with someone else who HADN'T watched it or by yourself (if none other virgins can be found ;)) because there is nothing WORSE than watching a movie with someone who keeps quoting the WHOLE movie next to you ;)

I came by this book totally by accident. I was talking to my brother about Andre The Giant and said I've heard so many amazing things about him by fellow cast members. So when I went on a look out on Youtube I found a video of Cary Elwes promoting his new book and I simply HAD to have it. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Nothing Like Paris (Bend or Break #2) [Jack & Miguel] by Amy Jo Cousins

While I absolutely LOVED the previous one this one was VERY disappointing. I didn't know what I would feel about Jack who was really mean to Tom in the previous installment. The question of "is he redeemable" was asked and the answer is - there is nothing to redeem. If I would have heard/read about him without knowing his age, I won't give him more than 9 years old and that's me being generous.. The point where I stopped (32%) was after he and Mike/Miguel were on a mission to hang a poster of Batman on the school's wall. Well, I think it was a wall, frankly in a certain point I started skimming this chapter, not understanding what the F I'm reading here..

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Off Campus (Bend or Break #1) [Tom & Reese] by Amy Jo Cousins

Though I was really looking forward to reading this series, when it was right there in it's scheduled spot I was a bit worried.. I've just put aside a series people were raving about and now here's another series I heard so many great things about and I wasn't sure what to expect. So when I finally had the time Friday evening I just opened the book and started reading (then stopped and remembered I didn't even read the synopsis! went back to read it and continued on). It was 1 AM in the morning when I realized I WANT to keep on reading but my eyes are burning with how tired I am. Reluctant I went to sleep only to wake up two hours later to read a bit more, then woke up in the morning to finish it. Didn't even have my coffee.. 

I was really floored by just HOW amazing this book was. In a way I don't like writing a raving review of a book I absolutely love because I feel like I'm screwing it up! There is NO WAY I'm able to express how good it was, how and why I liked it that much and here it's the same. I loved both MC, they both dealt with horrible experiences, were doing the best they could on their own and it just didn't cut it. Because as much as we want to be big heroes and deal with life, sometimes it's a bit too much for us on our own, especially since we adapt a certain world view according to our experiences (not always positive or adaptive) so another person's perspective is a good idea. I'm saying here that not only Reese and Tom were PERFECT for one another they genuinely NEEDED each other.  

Friday, November 6, 2015

Unforgivable by Joanna Chambers

Truthfully, it's pointless to even attempt to write a review for this OUTSTANDING novel. It's one of THE best I've read this year. I enjoyed many books this year, some by authors I know and other by authors I WISH to know better, but this one, I don't know, just throw me completely. Even though I already knew I loved everything else I've read by Joanna it was still a surprise just how MUCH I enjoyed it. Especially with one issue it deals with that could have changed my review for the worst - it's no secret that the hero cheats on the heroine - repeatedly! But before you condemn this book because of this issue, or because you're not into HR, or some other reason - please, I ask of you - give it a shot. It's SO well written, it's IMPOSSIBLE to put down and it's so heart crushing it's impossible not to be sucked into this story without even wanting to return to life as we know it. 

You see what I mean? what is there more to say?

Yet, I WILL write a review, if only to give you an idea of what this one is about, and to remind myself in the future when I look at this beautiful cover and try to remember what it was all about and why I get the sudden feeling as though I want to hug the screen...

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

It's Not Shakespeare by Amy Lane

Well, I liked this book but frankly, I didn't really enjoy it. I know it doesn't make any sense, it's just that on the one hand, I really liked the idea, the concept of a professor, a literature professor (!) dating an Hispanic mechanic with no real education, and yet, I didn't really "connect" with both MC. There was something that was putting me off both of them (on their own, I did like them together). I struggled to finish this one, even though it's quite short. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Alex (Cold Fury Hockey #1) [Alex & Sutton] by Sawyer Bennett

I truly expected to love this series and yet I don't.. there were few things that annoyed me enough to put this book aside and not continue on reading this series. First off, I have to say, even if it's obvious - this is my personal opinion - so feel free to disagree and rave about this series. I've read a LOT of positive reviews to realize I'm not in the majority here, which is fine by me. 

November 2015 Goals

A new month, a new season, a new educational beginning and hopefully enough time to enjoy by reading. Though I did expect October (Goals / Recap) to be that.. 
So cheers to new beginnings! 

Alex (Cold Fury Hockey, #1)   ★ ★ ★ (DNF 39%)
Garrett (Cold Fury Hockey, #2)
Zack (Cold Fury Hockey, #3)
Ryker (Cold Fury Hockey, #4)
oh how MUCH I've heard about this series I can't wait to put my hands on it! I've recently read quite a lot of Hockey series (this one being Contemporary Romance, most of the others were NA) and I really love it! Though I still haven't seen a game even ONCE (it's not something people play in my country.. we barely get a whole week of snow per year and only in very specific places around the country).

It's No Shakespeare   ★ ★ ½
Though I have MANY books by Amy on my list, this month I only added this MM Contemporary one, I already have most of her work planned for next year. 

Off Campus (Bend or Break, #1)  
Nothing Like Paris (Bend or Break, #2)   ★ ★ (DNF 32%) 
Real World (Bend or Break, #5)   ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
 Up until now I only read a few short novellas by Amy so now I finally have the time to read this New Adult series by her. Heard great things about it! This one is part MM part MF which is great. I love it when authors do diverse series.

Wake Me Up Inside (Mates, #1)   ★ ★   
Until Forever Comes (Mates, #2)  ★  ½
In Your Eyes (Mates, #3)   ★ ★    
Last but not least another new series, a MM Paranormal Romance. Heard great things about this series and other books by this author so I'm intrigued to give this one a go. 
Unforgivable   ★ ★
Humbug   ★ ★  
Unnatural (Enlightenment Spin-off)    ★ ★    
As most of Joanna's novels Unforgivable is a Historical Romance, but unlike most it's M/F.
I've recently read most of Joanna's novels and loved absolutely everything! This month she also had 2 releases. "Humbug" a M/M Contemporary Romance for the holiday - a total surprise - didn't know anything about it but naturally grabbed it as soon as it was out, and "Unnatural" which is a spin-off novel to the amazing M/M Historical Romance series Enlightenment. Reading "Unnatural" this month feels like closing a circle - as I was first introduced to Joanna's fabulous writing through the Enlightenment series and will finish reading all her published work with its spin off novel.

A lot less than what I originally planned, as were all the previous month since the summer started.. 
Happy winter everyone! 

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

Sunday, November 1, 2015

October 2015 Recap

Unlike what I THOUGHT this month would be like, I actually had very little time to read.. and so my Monthly Goals kinda suffered.. First on the 8th of October I had that horrible exam. I still don't know how I did, have two more weeks to wait, so at the moment I'm in the "who freaking cares" mood :) 
Then I had a whole week that was deleted from my memories and another week I vaguely remember following an AMAZING vocation with my mom in the south of Germany on the "Castle Road". Beautiful panoramic views of old houses and the Neckar river and A LOT of old fortresses, some no more than ruins and other well maintained, extravagant castles. We even slept one night in one. No vampire or ghosts disturbed our sleep ;) 

 So how did I actually do? 

Total Read - 10 ebooks / 2688 pages (~87 pages a day)

I started this month with two new books I knew I"m going to enjoy - and that I did! Following by a new series I've heard great things about and was happy I finally had the time to read, after that my main focus was a Romantic Suspense series that was LONG overdue, I've heard so many rave about it, but frankly, I"m on the fence about it. Ended this month reading with a sweet fairy tale novella.
★  ★  ★  ★  ★ - Cheers and Shouts for the Favorites -  ★  ★  ★  ★  ★
To think it's been two years since I was first introduced to the Paranormal Romance series "Celtic Wolves" by Jan DeLima... The first book, also her debut novel, was amazing, but right from the start I was intrigued by Elen and Cormack's story which is exactly what we FINALLY got in "Autumn Moon". It was a JOY to read as were the previous ones, mature romance, beautiful characters development (actually for them it was from the first novel in the series), the plot was interesting and engaging, I thought it would conclude with this novel but I'm happy to be mistaken, there is more to come and I can't wait to read it! (next year... :( )

I'm obsessed with Sarina Bowen's writing. I don't care what she writes about I'll read it! This was the 5th (and also the last..) in the New Adult "The Ivy Years" series but don't be sad! There is a spin off series planned next, portraying the next characters out of college. Like the previous ones in the series, "The Fifteenth Minute" was dealing with unique problems, and yet it never feels depressing, there's always a positive feel to the story. I highly recommend all books by Sarina and can't wait for the spin off! 

My book friend Cristina have been recommending this series to me for while now, well, all books by Katy Regnery really. I'm a fairy tale lover like so many of us (closeted ;)) romantics. There is NEVER enough Beauty and the Beast novels and frankly not much of Hansel and Gretel at all! So getting both stories in a Contemporary Romance (modern) setting felt very special. I loved both stories, in a way "The Vixen and the Vet" (the first one) better than "Never Let Go" (the second) mostly due to the fact the second was a bit too long for me. Both were heart breakingly beautiful. 

The Midnight Breed series by Lara Adrian is one of my absolute favorite PNR series. I seriously can't rave enough about it! "A Stroke of Midnight" is a short outside story novella, could definitely be read as a stand alone, enabling to get into the world Lara so beautifully created without actually being spoilered from the previous installments. Unlike other short novellas in the series, this had a very "fairy tale" vibe to it, in an "Arabian Nights" sort of a way. Very sweet and yet also engaging. A fast enjoyable read.

▲  ▲ On the Fence ▼  ▼
The "Adrien English" Romantic Suspense series by Josh Lanyon is well known, not only that it has good rating and everyone seems to rave about it. Which is why I was VERY curious to try it out and see for myself what the hype is all about. I started reading these books a little before my vocation then during my vocation till almost the end of the month. Considering how short most novels in the series are - took me long enough to read them.. Somehow except for the 4th novel, the books weren't engaging enough. The mystery part of the story didn't "grip" me, it also felt very "amateur-ish" which was suppose to be part of Adrien's charm and yet I can't say I truly warmed up to Adrien, he was a very anti-hero kind of hero and I wasn't convinced by him. The romance part of the series was VERY weak. Though I wanted it to progressed it was always too little too late. 
Knowing what I know now I wouldn't have bothered reading it. It was an okay read since the writing WAS superb (!) and yet so many things were not "it" for me I can't actually recommend it.

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

That's it for my October Recap, can't believe this month is over already! So much has happened! and though I expected this month to mostly be about me getting my rest after the hectic summer months I'm not even sure I remember the half of it! 
I already organized my reading for 2016, can you believe it? Yep, I'm crazy like that.. though from how it seems I have to remove some books - while I did manage to read about 3 hours a day before my exam, now that I started studying again (about 2-3 times a week) I'm not sure I'll be able to hold on to that.. Don't you hate it when life get in the way of your reading? ;)