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Friday, April 1, 2016

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". 

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