Monday, January 23, 2017

Review - Accidentally on Purpose by Jill Shalvis @JillShalvis @avonbooks

Accidentally on Purpose by Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #3
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Publication Date: January 24, 2017
Date Read: January 21, 2017
Source: Edelweiss

There’s no such thing as a little in love…

Elle Wheaten’s priorities: friends, career, and kick-ass shoes. Then there’s the muscular wall of stubbornness that’s security expert Archer Hunt—who comes before everything else. No point in telling Mr. “Feels-Free Zone” that, though. Elle will just see other men until she gets over Archer . . . which should only take a lifetime . . .

There’s no such thing as a little in lust…

Archer’s wanted the best for Elle ever since he sacrificed his law-enforcement career to save her. But now that she’s earned happiness and success, Archer just wants Elle 24/7. Their chemistry could start the next San Francisco Earthquake, and Archer doesn’t want to be responsible for the damage. The alternative? Watch her go out with guys who aren’t him . . .

There is such a thing as…

As far as Archer’s concerned, nobody is good enough for Elle. But when he sets out to prove it by sabotaging her dates, she gets mad—and things get hot as hell. Now Archer has a new mission: prove to Elle that her perfect man has been here all along…

My Review

I have been waiting for Elle and Archer's story ever since the first book in the series.  They just obviously belonged together but I knew that watching them figure it out would be a lot of fun.  This book lived up to my expectations and I really enjoyed watching Elle and Archer admit their feelings both to themselves and each other.

Elle and Archer are very close.  They have known each other for a long time and actually have a very interesting history that really explained a lot.  Elle feels like she is in Archer's debt because of the events of the past.  Archer does not feel like Elle has cause him any damage and has looked out for her over the years.  They both have deep feelings for each other but they have never acted on them.

I liked learning about Elle's past.  She is such a confident and put together woman and it was interesting to learn just how different her teen years were.  It really explained why she works so hard to better herself and strives to be as perfect as she can.  The fact that Archer knows about her past is a fact that Elle never forgets.  He doesn't hold anything against her and is in fact impressed by all that she has accomplished.

I loved Elle and Archer together.  The chemistry between the pair was incredibly intense.  Waiting for them to actually act on their attraction to each other was intense and I was relieved when they finally kissed.  The way they acted towards each other as the book progressed was fun to watch.  Their romance ended up being as intense as I had expected.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance.  This is the third book in the Heartbreaker Bay series but it could be read as a stand alone.  It was fun to hang out with the characters from the previous books again for a little while.  I hope that we see a few more books in this wonderful series.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Avon Books via Edelweiss.

The Series - Heartbreaker Bay
Book #1 - Sweet Little Lies - My Review
Book #2 - The Trouble with Mistletoe - My Review
Book #2.5 - One Snowy Night - My Review
Book #3 - Accidentally on Purpose

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill's bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Review - Out of Frame by Megan Erickson @MeganErickson_ @BerkleyRomance

Out of Frame by Megan Erickson
Series: In Focus #3
Berkley Publishing Group - InterMix
Publication Date: March 15, 2016
Date Read: January 18, 2017
Source: NetGalley

Romance trades the open road for the high seas in the latest from the author of Focus on Me and Trust the Focus...

Perpetually shy, Quinn Mathers is content to remain in the shadow of his brash best friend Jess Hartman. But before their college graduation, he and Jess have planned one last hurrah: a spring break Caribbean cruise.

And it won’t be just any cruise. On board are members of the reality show Trip League, which follows young twenty-somethings on adventures around the world. Since the show’s beginning, Quinn has been fascinated by J. R. Butler, with his amazing body, warm eyes, and killer grin. Unfortunately, he’s straight—or so the world thinks.

At nineteen, J. R. signed a contract to play straight for the show, and there’s no way to get out of it now. Yet with each passing day, Quinn and J. R. find it harder to keep their hands off each other and to keep out of the camera’s frame. But when the lens finally focuses on them, J. R. must decide if he’s willing to risk his career by admitting his bisexuality, and Quinn must determine if he's bold enough to stand in the spotlight with the man of his dreams...
My Review

I found this to be a fun, sweet, and sexy story.  This was one of those books that I seemed to like the characters more and more as I read further into the story.  By the end of the story, I was cheering for things to work out for Quinn and J.R. which is exactly what I want to happen when I read a romance novel.  This book is the third book in the In Focus series but I read it as a stand alone with no difficulty.

Quinn is going on a cruise with his best friend Jess during the last spring break before his college graduation.  Quinn has spent his life playing it safe and following the rules.  He is looking forward to having fun on this cruise.  The cast of a reality TV show, Trip League, is also on the cruise which just adds to the excitement for Jess and Quinn.

J.R. is almost at the end of his contract to be on the reality show, Trip League, and he is ready for it to be over.  He signed a contract to be on the show as a straight man and is ready for the show to be over so he can finally be the bisexual man he really is.  He is portrayed on the show as a tough guy who is often mean to others but that isn't who he really is in reality.  When he sees Quinn on the boat, he can't make himself look away.

I liked Quinn and J.R. together in this book.  I thought it was great how they had an instant attraction to each other and how Quinn had been drawn to J.R. just from the television show.  I thought that each of these characters seemed stronger together than they did apart.  I liked how they were able to open up to each other and seemed to understand each other from the very beginning.  The chemistry between them was intense and played out well on the page.

I thought that the reality TV show added an interesting twist to the story.  I found the scenes when they were trying to be together but having to hide from the cameras to be well done.  I thought it was great how creative they had to be to find time to be together and the fact that friends helped it happen was even better.

I would recommend this one to fans of m/m romance.  I don't tend to read a lot of m/m romance but I have enjoyed the ones that I have picked up.  This was a very well done story and I wouldn't hesitate to read more books written by Megan Erickson in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Berkley Publishing Group - InterMix via NetGalley.

About the Author

Photo: © TK
Megan Erickson is a USA Today bestselling author of romance that sizzles. Her books have a touch of nerd, a dash of humor, and always have a happily ever after. A former journalist, she switched to fiction when she decided she liked writing her own endings better. She lives in Pennsylvania with her very own nerdy husband and two kids. Although rather fun-sized, she’s been told she has a full-sized personality. When Megan isn’t writing, she’s either lounging with her two cats, named after John Hughes, characters or . . . thinking about writing.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Stacking the Shelves #53

I am really excited to participate in Stacking the Shelves, a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews

This was a pretty easy week at my house.  I took a vacation day on Martin Luther King day so I had an extra day off to stay home and read which is always a good thing.  My oldest daughter stopped by for a visit one evening this week and we had a nice chat.  I will be going to my niece's baby shower today and hope to get to see a lot of family.  It is hard to believe that I will soon be a Great Aunt!

Digital Books

Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse (NetGalley)
Breathless by Beverly Jenkins (Edelweiss)
Nuts by Alice Clayton (Kindle Purchase)
Seventh Grave and No Body by Darynda Jones (Kindle Purchase)
Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones (Kindle Purchase)
The Dirt on Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones (Kindle Purchase)
The Curse of Tenth Grave by Darynda Jones (Kindle Purchase)

Seven Days of You was a book that I grabbed as a read now on NetGalley without a lot of thought.  Sometimes that works out well for me and I hope that is the case this time.  I have been wanting to read Beverly Jenkins for a while so I decided to join the blog tour for Breathless and am looking forward to reading it.  I have wanted to read Nuts for some time so I had to grab it when it was on sale last weekend.  The Charley Davidson series was on sale on Amazon this week and I picked up the books in the series that I am missing.  I now have the first 10 books in the series so it is probably time to try to start reading them now.  

What books do you add to your shelves this week? 
Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave a link to your own STS post!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Audiobook Review - Big Rock by Lauren Blakely @LaurenBlakely3

Big Rock
Written by Lauren Blakely
Narrated by Sebastian York
Lauren Blakely Books
Publication Date: January 22, 2016
Date Read: January 8, 2017
Source: Audible Purchase
Length: 6 hours 5 minutes

My Review

This was a fun listen.  I saw this audiobook on sale a few weeks ago and when I noticed that Sebastian York did the narration, I immediately bought it.  I found parts of the story to be rather funny which was a huge plus for me.  There were other moments that were very romantic and many moments that were very sexy.  I enjoyed this book quite a bit.

This book is told from Spencer's point of view.  I just love it when we get a romance told completely from the male perspective because it is a lot more rare.  Spencer is a known playboy who has a different lady on his arm most nights.  His playboy ways may be putting his father's business deal in jeopardy so he decides to announce that he is engaged.  He just has to get his best friend, Charlotte to go along with it.

Anyone that reads romance probably knows what usually happens in a fake engagement story and this follows that rule.  Charlotte and Spencer were so good together.  They have been best friends for a long time so they are worried that taking a chance on a relationship could mess things up but they decide to cross a few lines during their fake engagement.  They had a lot of chemistry together and the sexy times in the story were well done.

Sebastian York did a fabulous job with the narration of the this book.  I was hooked to the story right away and found myself wanting to listen to this book for hours at a time.  The narration really brought out the emotion of the characters in the story.  I thought he did a wonderful job in delivering the funnier moments in the story as well as the more serious parts.

I would recommend this books to fans of contemporary romance.  I think that the best way to experience this story is through the audio since the narration is so well done.  This is the first book by Lauren Blakely that I have read and I look forward to reading more in the future.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Review - City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett @robertjbennett @penguinrandom

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
Series: The Divine Cities #1
Random House Publishing Group -Broadway Books
Publication Date: September 9, 2014
Date Read: January 15, 2017
Source: Library

Years ago, the city of Bulikov wielded the powers of the Gods to conquer the world. But after its divine protectors were mysteriously killed, the conqueror has become the conquered; the city's proud history has been erased and censored, progress has left it behind, and it is just another colonial outpost of the world's new geopolitical power. Into this musty, backward city steps Shara Thivani. Officially, the quiet woman is just another lowly diplomat sent by Bulikov's oppressors. Unofficially, Shara is one of her country's most accomplished spymasters — dispatched to investigate the brutal murder of a seemingly harmless historian. As Shara pursues the mystery through the ever-shifting physical and political geography of the city, she begins to suspect that the beings who once protected Bulikov may not be as dead as they seem — and that her own abilities might be touched by the divine as well.
My Review

I really enjoyed this book overall.  I decided to read this book because I have seen so many glowing reviews for it.  Since everyone seemed to think that this is a great book and I like great books, I grabbed a copy and jumped in.  I will say that it took me a while to really get into this book.  I think that I just really needed to get a good feel for the world and the characters before everything clicked for me.  By the end of the book, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

The world that this book was set in was so well done.  Bulikov is a city that was once ruled by divine powers until they were all killed.  It is now illegal to even talk about these Gods anymore.  They are not allowed to study or know their culture's history.  The city is ruled by the Saypur and there is a lot of ill feelings towards the ruling class and their rules.

Shara was such an interesting character.  She is smart and not afraid to take action.  She tries to follow the orders of her superiors but will go against them if she believes it is necessary.  As much as I liked Shara, I loved Sigrud even more.  He was my favorite character in this book.  He seemed to do the impossible with ease and it was just a lot of fun to watch.  Mulaghesh was great.  She was tough and very competent.  Mulaghesh and Shara worked well as a team and I really liked how they were able to depend on each other.  Vo kept me guessing.  I liked him even when I wasn't sure if I should.  This book was filled with wonderful characters whose personalities really shined.

I would recommend this book to fantasy fans.  It is a smartly written story that really keeps you guessing.  There was enough action to really keep the story moving.  The world building was fantastic and highly imaginative.  I plan to continue with this series very soon.

The Divine Cities Series
Book #1 - City of Stairs
Book #2 - City of Blades
Book #3 - City of Miracles
About the Author
Photo: © Josh Brewster Photography
ROBERT JACKSON BENNETT was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but grew up in Katy, Texas. He attended the University of Texas at Austin and, like a lot of its alumni, was unable to leave the charms of the city. He resides there currently with his wife and children.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday - Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

 Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My Waiting on Wednesday pick is:

Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #3
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: July 25, 2017

Just when Nevada Baylor has finally come to accept the depths of her magical powers, she also realizes she’s fallen in love. Connor “Mad” Rogan is in many ways her equal when it comes to magic, but she’s completely out of her elements when it comes to her feelings for him. To make matters more complicated, an old flame comes back into Rogan’s life…

Rogan knows there’s nothing between him and his ex-fiance, Rynda Sherwood. But as Nevada begins to learn more about her past, her power, and her potential future, he knows she will be faced with choices she never dreamed of and the promise of a life spent without him.

As Nevada and Rogan race to discover the whereabouts of Rynda’s kidnapped husband and are forced to confront Nevada’s grandmother, who may or may not have evil motives, these two people must decide if they can trust in each other or allow everything to go up in smoke.

Pre-Order:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | BAM!

Why Am I Waiting?
I absolutely loved  the first book in this series, Burn for Me.  I can't wait to read more about Rogan and Nevada and am really excited that we will get not one but two new books in this series this year. 

What are you waiting for this week? 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

New Releases - January 17, 2017 #newreleases #newbooks

January 17, 2017  

It's Tuesday!  That means it is time to make a little bit of room on the bookshelves, load up your ereader, or make your way to your local library.  In other words - It is time to get your hands on a new book!

Here are just a few books that have just been released that you may want to grab soon:

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another.

Feversong by Karen Marie Moning

The Futures by Anna Pitoniak

In this dazzling debut novel about love and betrayal and redemption, a young couple moves to New York City to prove their mettle and to find success—only to learn that such success may come with dangerous strings attached.

Julia and Evan falls in love as undergraduates at Yale. For Evan, a scholarship student from a Canadian logging town, Yale is a whole new world, and Julia—blonde, beautiful and rich—fits perfectly into the future he’s envisioned for himself. After graduation, and on the eve of the great financial meltdown of 2008, they move together to New York City, where Evan takes a job at a hedge fund. But Julia, who has only known a life of privilege, feels unmoored and increasingly shut out of Evan’s secretive world.

With the market crashing and banks failing, Evan becomes involved in an increasingly high-stakes deal at work—a deal that, despite the assurance of his Machiavellian boss, begins to feel more than slightly suspicious. Meanwhile, Julia reconnects with someone from her past who offers a glimpse of a different kind of life. As Evan and Julia spin apart into their separate orbits, they each find that they are capable of much more—good and bad—that they’d ever dreamed, and that betrayal is easier than they ever imagined.

Rich with suspense and insight, Pitoniak’s thrilling debut reveals the fragile yet enduring nature of our connections to one another and to ourselves. THE FUTURES is a glittering story of a couple coming of age and a tender, searing portrait of what it’s like to be young and full of hope in a city that often seems determined to break us down—but ultimately may be the very thing that saves us.

Lillian Boxfish Take a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

Fall 2016 Library Journal Editors' Pick

It’s the last day of 1984, and 85-year-old Lillian Boxfish is about to take a walk.

As she traverses a grittier Manhattan, a city anxious after an attack by a still-at-large subway vigilante, she encounters bartenders, bodega clerks, chauffeurs, security guards, bohemians, criminals, children, parents, and parents-to-be—in surprising moments of generosity and grace. While she strolls, Lillian recalls a long and eventful life that included a brief reign as the highest-paid advertising woman in America—a career cut short by marriage, motherhood, divorce, and a breakdown.

A love letter to city life—however shiny or sleazy—Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney paints a portrait of a remarkable woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the onset of the AIDS epidemic; the Great Depression to the birth of hip-hop.

More Great Books Being Released Today
(Covers link to Goodreads)

What new releases are you excited about this week?
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