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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Shiny! by Amy Lane

Sweet lovely story! This book was so heart felt, it had a bit of angst in it, but mostly it was about Will and Kenny building a beautiful friendship that also evolves into the best relationship they could have imagined for themselves. The story starts almost from the end, with Kenny and Will attending a wedding of a dear friend and then they go back to how they met and share most of it with their friends. I wasn't sure what I thought about the way the story went back and forth - from their beginning to the wedding but all of it was so damn sweet I just couldn't put it down! :) 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Puppy, Car, and Snow (Ryan & Scott #3) by Amy Lane

This is the third (and last) part of Ryan and Scott's story. The First one, telling of how they've met was originally a part of the Anthology "Curious? A Woman's Introduction to Gay Romance" I haven't read. So I started from the second one - "Phonebook" when they are a formed couple.The first installment "Shirt" was eventually released on it's own enabling me to get the story of how they met. 

I liked the second installment, it was sweet and sexy, liked the interaction between Ryan and Scott, they might be different but they are perfect for one another. In this one they have to struggle through the holidays with Ryan's family, mostly his mother and brother-in-law and their constant criticism. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Touch the Sky (Free Fall #1) [Gabriel & Lucas] by Christina Lee & Nyrae Dawn

Beautiful. So so beautiful. Heart breaking and yet heart warming all together. Sweet and yet harsh. I couldn't have asked for more for Gabriel and Lucas than each other and yet it wasn't JUST about finding their way to one another's arms it was MUCH more. 

I've missed Christina's NA novels. I LOVED all of her book in the "Between Breaths" series so getting this one was a total and absolute TREAT! Also getting to know Nyrae from this book was great. I don't know how this book written, if it was alternating Gabriel / Lucas's POVs for each author or they wrote it all together, anyhow it was superb! I didn't feel it was written by two different people it was so fluent. Only problem is now I have to check more books by Nyrae and there is not enough time! (not in a day, ant not in a freaking year!) for my endless TBR list. 

Gabriel and Lucas met 5 years ago through a message board on the net, they soon became best friends or rather the only true honest and close friend they had. While they come from very different backgrounds they find a lot of common grounds, and not only because they are totally alone in the world (even if they do technically have a family). Gabriel comes from a rather wealthy family and yet it's totally dysfunctional, his mother is depressed and his father uses his fists to show his disappointment from his only son. Lucas on the other hand, doesn't always have food on the table but he does have his mother whom he loves dearly and who loves him back, she just loves her liqueur more.. Gabriel and Lucas promise each other to finally meet in person in West Hollywood when they finish school and accomplish their dreams together, yet something happens and the connection between the two is severed. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Phonebook (Ryan & Scott, #2) by Amy Lane

There's very little to be said about a novella this short - it was funny and sweet, I liked the interaction between the two MC - Scott and Ryan. I didn't feel I was missing on something (them being a couple for the past two years) it was a sort of glimpse into their lives and relationship and there's even a sort of relationship progression. 

This short novella is part two (out of three), the first one telling of how they met was originally a part of the Anthology "Curious?: A Woman's Introduction to Gay Romance" I don't plan on reading (from the reviews I have a feeling most novellas won't appeal to me) so I had to get this one "from the middle" but truthfully, I don't feel as though I was missing out. The first part "Shirt" was eventually published on it's own so I could finally read it (granted, after reading part 2+3)

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Ginger's Heart (A Modern Fairytale, #3) [Ginger & Cain / Woodman] by Katy Regnery

This book was so amazing I truly have no words. It was quite long but it never dragged, read it literally in a day - started Saturday, a little after midnight and finished it on 10 p.m. and I was just floored with what this book brought out from me, the dept of emotion, the tears that kept on falling (which is quite rare for me). I don't like making those kind of grandiose announcements so I won't say it was THE best book I've ever read, frankly I'm not committing to it because I might not remember one at the moment and find myself upset in the future ;) but there is NO DOUBT it's one of the best I've EVER read. This book was so heart breakingly beautiful I don't even know where and how to begin this review. But one thing have to be said right away - GO GRAB IT AND START READING - ASAP!

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Rain in Spain by Amy Jo Cousins

Magda and Javi are celebrating a year together in the honeymoon they only now found the time for. Though they love each other dearly - which is clear from their every move (even though we only get Magda's POV) there is a HUGE gap between them, it seems mostly because they are SO different from one another yet it's not exactly that. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Blackbird Knitting in a Bunny's Lair (Granby Knitting #4) [Aiden & Jeremy] by Amy Lane

While I LOVED the previous novels in this series, this one was so-so. We start this book with Jeremy in the hospital after he was nearly killed by the mob-boss who was after Johnny/Gianni's boyfriend Stanley, Aiden being pissed as HELL about the whole situation but when he comes to his senses and mostly when Jeremy comes home things begin to settle between them, Jeremy goes through a whole process especially with the big event he finds himself planning for Ariadne's baby who needs to have a surgery. 

The last paragraph summed up the whole story. Though there ARE a lot of bumped along the way, it's mostly Jeremy learning his value not only to Aiden but to people in the community. I guess truly seen by everyone he is honest to his core. Unlike the previous ones this one is the length of a full novel and it has dual POVs of both Jeremy and Aiden. It was a nice change and was needed in this story. 

As I said in the previous installments, any of the novels in the series shouldn't be read as a stand alone. Better start at the beginning and get the whole story behind all the reoccurring people and naturally not get spoilers which are evident especially because of time overlap in the books. Consider this paragraph a spoiler alert if you haven't read the previous ones! 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Knitter in His Natural Habitat (Granby Knitting #3) [Stanely & Johnny/Gianni] by Amy Lane

This one reminded me a little of the first installment, coming from Stanley's POV it's hard to keep a straight face throughout this book. The way he looks at life, his flashy and unapologetic self is a JOY to read (meaning a LOT of laugh-out-loud moments!) and yet something was missing, I think it was Johnny who was in a way too good to be true. Some would classify this one as "insta-love" but I think it was the two of them longing for more and finding each other at the  perfect time

quick note before I continue on to my review - this series must be read in order. Not only because of overlapping time-lines but also because characters we met in the previous installments play important roles in the next, so if you haven't read the first two it's better to start at the beginning and maybe even stopping reading my review so you won't be spoilered ;)

How to Raise an Honest Rabbit (Granby Knitting #2) [Jeremy & Aiden] by Amy Lane

~sigh~ was a beautiful heart breaking story! From reading the first one, I expected this one to be funny and easy going but it was actually the kind of love story that breaks your heart at every turn. I loved that the younger guy - Aiden was the one to navigate the relationship, leaving Jeremy no other choice but to follow in his footsteps or else! 

Jeremy's dad was a con man so that's what he grew up to  be, but after his father is shot to death in front of him he realizes that's NOT how he wants to live his life, yet being an honest man isn't something he knows how to be! So while two years in jail did help a little (having no one to con..) the first step comes along when Rance Crawford offers him first a warm meal, then a job opportunity including free meals and a place to stay which are the three things he asks for in life. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Winter Courtship Rituals of Fur-Bearing Critters (Granby Knitting #1) [Rance & Ben] by Amy Lane

Sweet and funny, you know what, not just funny - HILARIOUS. You just have to get used to that sort of humor - the way Rance sees life, meaning ONLY through critters / knitting / wool making analogies, was kinda strange at the beginning but quickly it grew on me, and no surprise on Ben as well. 

Rance Crawford (our sole POV) lives in a small town and does what he loves best, tending to his alpacas and making wool. Naturally he knits as well, but only for the ones closest to him which is not a lot of people mind you.. mostly the ones working for him and now his new gay neighbor Ben.  

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Between Ghosts by Garrett Leigh

Another great read by Garrett! Which is why I'm dead tired on my feet! Finished this book near 3 a.m. but what can I say? I just couldn't and frankly wouldn't put it down! The love story between Connor and Nat was so heart felt, it progressed so slowly and yet so fast I was drinking in every interaction between the two, the longing, the feel that this couldn't be real and yet it is for the both of them. Much more than they admitted to one another and even to themselves. 

Connor Regan is a journalist, more of the artsy kind, so what he is attempting now is very far from what he believed he will ever be a part of. Losing his brother 3 years before left him longing for answers no one seems to have so traveling to the middle east to capture the essence of what it's like to live and fight in a war zone is as close as he can get to his brother. He tried to tell himself there is more to it than this, it's the attempt to get closer to who his brother was and see what he saw through his eyes while Connor was living on English grounds objecting to the whole idea of participating in the fighting in the middle east in the first place. He prepared physically for the job and yet no one can really prepare for living in a war zone when every moment can be your last. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Black John (Johnnies #4) [John & Galen] by Amy Lane

While I wasn't sure which of the previous ones was my favorite NOW I can finally say THIS one is! I have to say John never made a good impression on me. I mean, it's not about him building a porn company, it's what he did to screw everything up or rather snort it up his nose while forgetting everyone around him including the man he proclaimed to be in love with - Dex. Yet getting his side of the story which is NEVER about diminishing guilt was very enlightening. He had a very long journey to go to become a whole man, seeing himself and his WORTH and not just self accusing of all the things he done wrong or failed to achieve. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Ethan in Gold (Johnnies #3) [Evan "Ethan" & Jonah] by Amy Lane

A hell of an emotional ride but SO worth it. I LOVE Ethan/Evan and and Jonah is SUCH a sweet guy! They deserved each other, they both had very difficult lives for different reasons but what connected them has nothing to do with that. They meet at the Pet shop Tommy ("Tango") started working in and conversation just flowed from there. But while Ethan doesn't want more than a friend it's clear he is falling for Jonah, and Jonah, well, he is quite clear with how much he wants Ethan and nothing of the things Ethan thinks will keep him at bay works, not even the big secret - what he actually does for a living..

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Us (Him #2) by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

I'm not actually sure how to review this book. Thing is, it's not what I expected. As I remembered Him (the first one), even though both MC had their issues it as a fun sort of read. Yet when I re-read my review today (after finishing this one) I see it WAS very angsty but this one was a different kind of angsty maybe? 

Jaime Canning and Ryan "Wes" Westley are couple for a few months now, they are living together in Toronto, Wes playing in the NHL and Jaime coaching, yet they can't out themselves as a coupe since it's Wes' first year in the NHL and it would be better (as the PR sees it..) if they can keep their relationship a secret until the year ends. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March 2016 Goals

Spring! That's what March is all about in my mind. Though I DO love the winter, cold days to snuggle up in bed, sitting outside in the not-too-warm weather sound really appealing at the moment especially with my current set-up in my new apartment. 

I'm really excited to start reading the second part of Sarina and Elle's MM New Adult Romance! I LOVED the first installment and as I always say about Sarina - everything she writes is GOLD so there was no chance I would have passed this one out anyway :)  

I have a silly confession to make :) a while ago I was trying to remember a certain book a friend of mine told me I recommended to her, she remembered very little of the actual plot so I had a hard time thinking about it (also it was EARLY IN THE MORNING! and I'm NOT a morning person). Her next clue to me was - it's by your favorite British writer! Yeah it got me the right answer! it WAS a book by Garrett :) But I feel embarrassed because mostly the distinction between British and American isn't something I pay a lot of attention to.. It's not that they are the same, but a book taking place in Britain written by an American IS possible.. 
With Garrett, first I add the book on GR, then order or pre-order (if it's available) and only when I'm a second away from starting to read it do I bother to read the synopsis. See, it doesn't really matter. It could be about Unicorns on the moon (probably gay ones hehe) but it can't go wrong.. This one is Contemporary MM Romance, it's more that enough for me. 

I have A LOT of Amy's this month. I'll be finishing Johnnies (which I really enjoyed last month) and reading a bunch more short novellas by her. I love Amy's writing. I also love how diverse it is. Each book / series is SO different and yet always touching. Most of them are somewhere between New Adult and Contemporary MM Romance but with Johnnies it's also on the line of Erotica as well. 

I've been a huge fan of Christina's New Adult series "Between Breaths" so when I heard she is planning a new (MM) NA series I was really excited. I haven't read anything by Nyrae yet so I'm also interested to see how this collaboration work and if I'll be adding more books by her to my endless TBR list.

This short Contemporary Romance novella was a free read awhile back but I didn't have time to read it up until now. 

I've recently got acquainted with Katy's novels and I gotta say I'm enjoying myself SO much! I started with this series, which is fabulous! Hey, who doesn't like a modern fairytale, right? ;) This is the Contemporary Romance take on "Little Red Riding Hood".

I added quite a lot of books this month, but I guess I probably won't get to all of them. I try! I do! Anyhow like every month I'll update this post with the actual books I've read. 

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

February 2016 Recap

It's funny I keep on planning my reading list according to what I used to read before I started studying again, though I had very different kind of courses for the past few months, it's obvious that having 3 courses a week + 4 work outs doesn't leave as much free space as I USED to have.. which is why I've been reading, well, as much (little) as I have.. (February Goals). 

Total Read - 11 ebooks / 1918 pages (~66 pages a day)

I gotta say, it's better than last month but not as much as I WISH I could sit down and relax with a great book. I'm really good at keeping myself busy, I LIKE being busy, and yet I like just as much to lose myself in a book and everyone / everything else be damned. Balance. I think I need more balance in my life.

★  ★  ★  ★  ★ - Cheers and Shouts for the Favorites -  ★  ★  ★  ★  ★
This month I FINALLY finished the last installment in "The English Brothers" Contemporary Romance series by Katy Regnery with "Marrying Mr. English", the story behind the brother's parents. Loved it. It was surprising, I mean, I think I remembered Eleanora not coming from money, and yet seeing how money played such an important "match maker" in their relationship and yet meant nothing at all when it came to learning to love each other made this story so special. 

I've drinking Cari Z. novellas like a camel in the desert. I LOVE her writing! It's amazing that no matter how short or how different her romance novellas are there is ALWAYS a beautiful story to be told. This month's novellas weren't different, I only wish I would have being able to read all the ones I had planned. Since these are so short and I don't want to say more than I already said in my reviews here are the links to the ones I've read this month. I was thinking about picking one as a favorite but forget it. I don't think I can! So here I the ones I enjoyed most - "Different Spheres" (M/M CR), "Wanting More" (M/M CR), "Surviving the Change" (M/M PNR), "Strangely Familiar" (M/F PNR)

Amy Lane also has this incredible gift of writing different genres and bringing each time a story I can't disconnect from emotionally, one that keeps me thinking even when I'm not holding the book in my hands. "Johnnies" is no different in that matter. I"ve only read the prequel and the first and second installments (the next one's I"ll be reading next month) but I was so surprised with how GOOD it was. I mean, I KNEW it's going to be good but I wasn't really sure how I'd react to the porn industry and the fact that a few of the guys cheated on their girlfriend or had an open relationship with them (while getting detached from that relationship) yet it was so HONEST I just accepted it for what it is and didn't waste my time agonizing about lost ideals.. Both full novels gave me one hell of an emotional ride and yet they were optimistic in the end (yeah, took a LONG time to get there). I was struggling with how exactly to define this series, it's somewhere  between New Adult and Erotica MM Romance. I mean, it's more of NA because for me, it's more about dealing with life than anything else and yet there IS a LOT of sex going around.. ;)  

★ DNF ★ - Cries and Sniffs for the Disappointments - ★ DNF ★
Usually I enjoy reading Anthologies, I really like the idea behind it - getting to know new authors through short easy readings. Yet "12 Christmas Romances To Melt Your Heart" was different, first because it's not your regular Anthology with short INDEPENDENT stories, each of the ones here are actually a part of an going Contemporary Romance series making it harder to connect to these if you haven't read those series or don't know the world in which they occur. It wasn't only that, I"m not sure why by besides two I liked - and one I LOVED (Part 1 of "Marrying Mr. English" which is mentioned above) I didn't like the other ones. Leaving me feeling quite empty. 

My problem with "
Sing to Me" by Jeffrey Rivera is one I'm very familiar with, it seems I simply cannot read Young Adult these days, and calling it "New Adult" because actually they ARE (young) adults in their early 20s doesn't help, sometimes they are still children. I know it's not the book itself as my inability to connect to those younger minds and mostly their decisions and the force of their emotions which I mostly see as "over reacting" or taking things WAY too far. 

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

I feel as though I read SO little this month it's amazing I can actually write a recap of what I read. But this is life and it gets busier everyday now.