Sunday, March 4, 2018

February Roundup

Are you ready for some TOP READS from February?  

KC Lynn

OH WOW!!  This one blew me away.  I've been in love w/ KC's books for ages, and this one delivers the same great story telling, but also has some different things that, for some (for me!), will be shocking.  The part that shocked me, tho, didn't detract from my love for this story.  The build up to it, the way each character is woven into the story... by the time I got there, I understood where they were coming from, and I empathized with them.  
Super intense story all around!  

Feels Like Home
Jennifer Van Wyk

This one is sweet & spicy & just so much FUN to read!  It's book 3 in a connected standalones series, and the supporting characters from previous books are perfectly placed to update you on how they are & not detract from the main characters' story.  Just a very feel good read!  

To Cherish
ML Pennock

This is another book 3 in a series of connected standalones, and it's written in a way that we get even more depth to the story.  We aren't just brought into the H and h's POV, but another integral character's as well.  I don't see this style used very often, and in this instance it's used so WELL!  I adore the whole series, each book is a slow & steady burn, allowing us to really get to know each of our characters, connecting to them and rooting for their HEA.  

Anna Brooks

*fans self*  Shooo-eee!  
This one is a companion/connected standalone to Bulletproof Butterfly.  I wasn't really a fan of BB - There was just something about it I couldn't get into.  The writing was great & everything, but I just didn't connect.
And then I read Heartbreaker, and suddenly I needed to re-read BB because I loved this one SO MUCH, and I felt connected to the characters.  So, I did a quick re-read & enjoyed the last half of it so very much that I went in & re-did my review.  I almost never change my posted reviews, because whatever I've written is what I felt about the story at the time.  I might add a re-read note, but I could probably count on one hand the number of times I've actually re-written the whole review.  This was one of those times.

February was also a month full of new releases from Lani Lynn Vale, MJ Nightingale, and Cybill Cain, all two thumbs up & enjoyable recommendations!!  

Looking forward to sharing my March reads - it's only day 4 of the month & I've already read some really amazing ARC's for this month's releases!!  

What're some of your favorites from February?
And what're you looking forward to in March?


: ) 

Friday, February 23, 2018

Reckless by Lex Martin

I'm trying something new with this post.  
It's a spotlight on a single book (well, and the book before it, because I think you should read that one, too).

What are those books, you ask?
by Lex Martin!

I fell in love w/ Shameless a couple years ago (Kat & Brady are part slow burn, part friends to lovers) and when I heard we were getting more from that world, I was super excited!!  Reckless, which is Tori & Ethan's story, did not disappoint!  And look at this cover!!
*heart eyes*  

It's faster paced, but still has the friends-to-lovers vibe.  Tori is there to take care of Ethan's kids (they're adorably written - I love well-written kids!) & has sworn off men.  Ethan is stressed to the max & going through a divorce & the two butt heads at their first meeting.  But they have pretty great communication with each other, and don't really let things "stew" for long at all.  That is one of my pet peeves, when misunderstandings happen and the main characters don't bother to talk to each other for an extended period of time.

Tori & Ethan might have an issue (or two) but they talk to each other & get it figured out quickly & then move on to working out other issues.  I loved the pacing, the laugh out loud moments, and am especially looking forward to Lex (hopefully) writing Ethan's brother, Logan's story!  : )  

I hope you'll give both these books a shot & let me know what you think!!  

: ) 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Welcome, 2018!

So far, 2018 has been amazing, book-wise!  I already have a few favorites and it's only February!  

I started out the year with some new-to-me authors, and discovered some amazing stories! (The title will link to my review on Goodreads, if you're interested.  : ) ) 

- Becoming Mrs Lockwood by K.I. Lynn - 10++ stars, and full of sweet emotions and steamy times. The cadence of the story reminded me of another favorite, Tina Reber's Love Unscripted series.  : ) 

- Lovin' on You by Fabiola Francisco - Wonderful story that pulled me right in & wouldn't let me go!

- Watch Me Follow by Harloe Rae - OMH!  This one blew me away!  The premise (he's a stalker, whaaaat?) sounds dark, but the story is full of Sunshine.  The way these characters are written is so amazingly beautiful!  They just fit together so well, and I love the direction the story takes!  

I've also read some FABULOUS old and new stories by favorite authors.  

- Married Into Love by Rochelle Paige - Easy, quick read full of humor, love and sexiness!  No drama, just a super fun Vegas wedding that sticks!  ; )  

- Day by Jessica Florence - This is book 2 in her Hero Society series (superheroes, y'all!!) & I love the direction and way the stories are written so far.  Each one is its own episode while doing an AMAZING job of creating an overall story arc.  SUPER fun read!  

- Steady by Lindsay Paige - I coin it as a great "life" read - sweet & steady & highly enjoyable!  

- Until Harmony and Stumbling Into Love by Aurora Rose Reynolds - Both added to my favorites shelf immediately.  Steamy, fun, make-me-feel-happy reads!  (Until Harmony comes out next month!)

- I also caught up w/ several reads from various Lani Lynn Vale series, and Piper & Jack Davenport have several books out this year so far.  I ALWAYS devour books by them!  : )  LB Dunbar & Susan Stoker are on my list this year so far as well!  

Soooo blessed, and from the looks of things, I'll have some more gushing posts ahead this year!  I can't wait!  : )  

What've you read & loved this year so far?  Share share share!  Obviously I'm always up for new-to-me authors!  ; )  


Monday, January 1, 2018

Two More Favorites for 2017

I have debated this and what I came up with was ...
My blog
My rules.

: ) 

I've gushed about these two authors before.
I sometimes feel like I'm playing favorites with them, and then I feel guilty because - as mentioned before and as you can see from my previous posts - there are SO MANY AMAZING AUTHORS I've read in 2017!  

But I couldn't in good conscience not share just one more time (for 2017 - I have no control and will more than likely be gushing about them again for many years to come, so ... yeah.  *grin*)!!
(Please also note the happy coincidence that the hero in both stories is named Dane...Heh!!)

And so, here you are:

Meghan March

This story pulled me in and would not let me go!  
I thought it might be a tough read, but it pulled me in from page one and I couldn't put it down until it was finished.  There are twists and turns and laughter and tears - and oh, the passion!  This is a second chance story - but not your regular kind of second chance.  It gave me the best kind of book hangover, and will be a re-read for certain!  It's the kind of story I want to read again for the first time, to experience all the things that are Kat & Dane.

: ) 

Susan Stoker

There were a lot of books by Susan that I loved this year - she had a new one out just about every month, plus I did a re-read of quite a few.  But Bryn & Dane each hold a special place in my heart because of very specific things about their personalities & individual stories.  And together they have one of my favorite, FAVORITE things in any story - excellent banter!  

*happy sigh*  
I feel better now.
I just couldn't leave these two excellent stories out of my 2017 favorites, and I hope if you haven't read them yet, that you'll give them both a try!  

: ) 

Some of my Top Reads of 2017 (Part 2)

Whoops, I meant to publish part 2 before January 1st, sorry about that!  

Somehow, my Top Reads posts became more author-specific than book-specific, because there were so many authors I read more-than-one book that touched me & became a favorite, making the author into a favorite to share & recommend!  

So, here are a few more of those authors who gave me MANY books to love this year!  

Lani Lynn Vale - This woman has SO MANY series going, and they are (from what I can tell) ALL connected.  It's amazing!  Connected stand alone stories are my favorite things ever, and to have multiple series all connected... You never know which characters from other areas are going to pop up & it's faaaabulous!  I'd read a couple of her books a few years ago, and I was blessed to meet her at a signing (Nashville, October 2016).  It wasn't until 2017, however, that I truly DISCOVERED her stories.  I devoured 10+ this year & enjoyed each & every one!  Looking forward to more in 2018!!

Aurora Rose Reynolds - I've gushed about her before, so y'all already know I adore everything she writes.  : )  Watching her career grow these past few years has been AH-MA-ZING!  She works so hard & writes stories (again, connected, LOVE IT!) that touch my heart every single time.  And in 2018, some of my other favorite authors (Susan Stoker!  Brynne Asher!) will be writing stories for a KW (Kindle World) based on ARR's story universe.  I am SO EXCITED!  

Jennifer Vester - Her Lakefield series sucked me in SO HARD!  The stories are fast-paced & full of ALPHA-Y GOODNESS!  One of my authors posted a recommendation for her series on their FB page, so of course I had to check it out.  ; )  The covers drew me in & then I looked at the blurbs & devoured all three right away.  Then when Chase came out, I was ON IT!  *pounce*  *laugh*  Seriously, tho, I'm so thankful to have found these stories!!   

Jennifer Van Wyk - I somehow was blessed to read an ARC of A Better Place, and it was FANTABULOUS!  10+++ stars.  The banter, humor, meet-cute - everything about this story kept me turning pages & laughing out loud & swooning all over the place.  I need to read more from her in 2018!!  : )  

Scarlett Cole - I fell in love with her Second Circle series a bit ago, and then this year I discovered she has a spin-off series, Preload, and OH MY HECK!  The world she built around these characters is amazing.  My eyes are tearing up typing this, because the guys in Preload had such rough childhoods, but they came together as a family.  The support they have for each other... the way she wrote them, the overarching story line for both series is nothing short of brilliant.  These stories stick with me and pop into my head at random times... *sigh*  *hearts*  

I'm seriously going through all the books I read this year, and it was such a wonderful year for books!  I've gotten pretty good at picking books that will be 4 or 5 (or more) star reads for me.  New-to-me authors are always a gamble, but I've been pretty good in that respect this year as well.  Found some that became favorites - Amie Knight, RB Hilliard, Cybill Cain, Jamie Schlosser, Jessica Florence, Devney Perry, Brooke Parker, Alice Ward, RL Mathewson, Parker S Huntington... I could seriously go on & on, because I found SO MANY authors to love this year!  
And then, of course, the authors who I've been obsessed with for a while, who put out some great reads this year - Rochelle Paige/Elle Christensen/Fiona Davenport, Susan Stoker, L.B. Dunbar... 

(EDIT: I had to put together a book-specific post, as well... I'm OBSESSED!)  

Being able to read these stories is a blessing, and one I'm grateful for!

Who've you discovered in 2017, and what are you looking forward to reading in 2018??


: ) 

Top 10 (or 11) READS (actual books) of 2017

I couldn't resist.
These books blew me away in 2017 & I had to share!
I'm linking to my Goodreads reviews, which include highlights (love that feature on the site!) & you'll be able to get to purchase links if you so desire.  : )  

Tied by Carian Cole - Carian has written some of my favorite reads, it's true (Storm, Torn, Talon), but Ty & Holly's story absolutely blew me away.  It unleashed a level of emotion I'd been unable to let go of for a very long time.  The love and devotion of these two characters, the way they brought each other out of very valid shells... It's not only one of my favorites of the year, but one of my favorite stories ever.  

The Bad Guy by Celia Aaron - I don't really do dark reads.  I like to leave a story feeling good vibes, and want to feel good about falling in love with the hero/heroine of the tale.  But Jamie Schlosser sent me a note that basically said READ THIS NOW and I trust Jamie, so ... I read it.  And WOW!  The premise is definitely darker than my usual (a kidnapping, what?!), but the nuances and pacing, the way we're shown what's going on in Sebastian's head... Yep.  It did it for me & I join Jamie in highly recommending this one!  

Speaking of Jamie... Untamable by Jamie Schlosser - This story is the furthest from a dark read that you will find.  It is HILARIOUS and is just a total feel-good tail... I mean tale.  *grin*  So many true LOL moments!!  : )  

A Steel Heart by Amie Knight - This was another LOL and swoony favorite!  It could have been a dark read - our hero, Holden, is suffering from PTSD & he is a growly beast.  But Miranda is such a burst of joy, and she has the perfect personality to help him through his darker times.  Tippy top read!

Orion by Raeah Wilding - I have this deep, abiding love for wounded warriors, PTSD survivors, men who have put it all on the line in service to their country & come back with scars (seen, and unseen).  This is a story with all of that and more.  It is deep and emotional, and made me want to crawl inside the story to dole out hugs.  

The Map To You by Lindy Zart - There is a lot going on with this story, and I can't even begin to describe it with any level of accuracy.  It tugged at my heart, made me laugh and tear up and fall in love!!  

Pierce My Heart by Kelsey Jensen - This one is an insta-love with lots of depth - I know, sometimes those two things don't go together, but this story is done perfectly in that regard!  Jake & Anna are FUN to read.  : )  

Dare to Dream by C.A. Harms - When I wrote my review for this story, I described it as a 100% perfect read.  There are parts that are so completely a mirror of my relationship w/ my dad that it was a very emotional read for me.  Even with the tears it brought forth, though, it is a FUN read, and one I am looking forward to re-reading & falling in love with again!  Also, it's one of my favorite covers!!  : )  

Trick by Laramie Briscoe - This was one of my first reads of the year, and my first by this author.  It pulled me in from the teasers & blurb I saw on FB, and I pre-ordered it based on that teaser/blurb.  It's a great example of single-parent stories done right, and the chemistry & love you can feel between Trick & Hadley, and the way they have a care to her daughter's feelings ... Loved it!  

Drowning to Breathe by A.L. Jackson - I'm not a big "duet" fan.  I like connected books, but tend to want each couple to have ONE book, because I don't like when things get drawn out unnecessarily.  So, for this one - part two of a duet at the beginning of a series of connected stand alones - to make my top reads of the year, well, it's THAT good!  There is some relationship drama at the beginning, but it gets resolved fairly quickly & the rest of the story is Baz & Shea working together as a team, which I loved!  

Unspoken Words by H.P. Davenport - This one is a little more angsty than I normally like - friends to lovers tend to do that, have a bit of back & forth because they don't want to mess up their friendship.  But Jamie & Cami's story is just so well done that it made it to my list of favorites!  You can feel what they're feeling, and can understand (mostly) the hesitations.  There is also a tragedy that gets mixed up in there, and again the writing is just so beautifully done... AND as a bonus, there is a follow up, Unspoken Vows, where we get to see more from these two.  : )  

There you have it, my friends!  
I hope you've found one or two new-to-you authors to check out, or discovered you & I have a love for the same books!  
Do share!  


: )  

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Some of My Top Reads of 2017 (Part 1)

There's no way I could pick a "Top 10" or any other such number, so I decided I'm just going to highlight a few of my favorites from this year.  

Since it's my blog & I really have no rules, these could have been published at any time, but I did READ them this year.  They may be re-reads, or new to me authors.  There will be some authors who've written multiple books I read this year, so I'll highlight them a little differently.

I'm super excited to share this with you, and I hope you'll find some favorites on this list, maybe a new-to-you author, maybe rediscover someone or something you'd like to read again in 2018!

And now, without further ado, let's begin!

Piper Davenport - I read my first Piper book in August of 2016 (Witness), but it wasn't until this year that I pretty much went on a Piper Binge.  I read Justice in February & have read over 20 this year.  She's re-branded and re-published her Cauld Ane series (formerly under Tracey Jane Jackson) & that may just be my favorite of her series!  I'm ecstatic to have discovered these stories!!  

Kristen Ashley - I've been a KA fan for a few years now, and this year she published a few that I don't really care to read (the Honey series - she went a new direction with that series, which I admire & this is awesome, but just isn't for me at this time).  However, I read about 14 of hers this year, some newly published, some new-to-me reads, and some re-reads.  My favorite of this batch has been The Hookup, which was published in December & is a quicker, lower angst read than her other series.  I absolutely loved the story line & the way it's just about life.  Very low relationship drama once the initial relationship drama is sorted.  : )  

Susan Stoker - I've been a fan of Susan for a couple years, too, and this year I read about 20 of hers (combination of new & re-reads).  When I discovered her books, it was when Protecting Fiona (SEALs of Protection book 3) had just come out, so that was my first of hers.  I fell in love w/ the writing style, and gobbled up each new release after that!  I will literally get up in the middle of the night when she has a new release to start it.  I may only get through a chapter before needing to go back to sleep, but THAT'S how excited I am about every new release of hers!  : )  Her heroes are ALPAHA, her heroines are SASSY, and there's always a rescue to look forward to (and it's not always the rescue you THINK)!!

Jessica Florence - I'd been following her for a bit on FB, but this was the year I actually discovered her writing with Long Drive in January.  It was only JANUARY, and I declared it a top read of the year.  I stand by that assessment!  It's one of my favorites!  I went on to read several more stories during the year, and am looking forward to adding some more to my list in 2018!  She's started a new series about modern-day superheroes, and book one, Day, also go two thumbs up from me this year!!  

B.L. Mooney - I think B.L. was another random FB find.  Someone recommended me to her as a beta reader for the books she was working on last year, and so I read this book.  I didn't fall in love w/ the story, but I fell in love w/ the anti-hero of the story.  I fell in love with this character so hard, I begged for him to have his own story.  Thankfully, he DID!  And I got to read it!  AND IT WAS AMAZING!!  This year, she released all three books, Love Me, Leave Me, and Lose Me, out into the wild!  I read Love Me again, and fell in love with Brody all over again, and really, ppl, please read!!  Love Me is one of my TIPPY TOP favorites of this year!  <3  

Anna Brooks - I started her It's Kinda Personal series out of order last year, fell in love with her writing style, and gobbled up the rest of the series this year, along with her Pleasant Valley series and her stand alone stories.  They're always quick, well-written stories with just enough angst to make your heart pound - but not so much you're yelling at the characters or wanting to throw something!  ; )  Of the several books I read from her this year, they're all 4-5 stars, with the majority being 5!  

This post is getting long, huh?  I'm going to go ahead and make it Part 1, and will be back with Part 2 after Christmas.  *grin*  But, because I like odd numbers, here's one more favorite before I go... 

Brynne Asher - OH MY GOODNESS!  Okay, so I randomly found Athica Lane on FB.  There were ads or something (YES, FB ads can work!).  The cover sucked me in, and the story cemented my love.  I finished that book & immediately went back to read books 1 & 2 in the series (did I mention AL was book 3 in the Carpino series?  Heh).  Devoured them, they are so good!  At the end of last year, she published book 1 of a new series, The Killers, and I ate that one up, too.  But we're talking about 2017, right?  I just wanted to give you some background.  LOL  THIS YEAR, she released books 2 & 3 of The Killers (not dark reads, no worries!) and I was blessed to read book 3 as she was writing it.  SERIOUSLY!  DREAMS DO COME TRUE!!  ; )  So, this year, Brynne gets some top billing!  I re-read the Carpino series, I fell in love w/ The Killers series, and I am absolutely in awe of her talented story telling!  

Now, as we wait for Part 2 - tell me what you think!  Who are some of your top authors / books from this year?  Do we share some on this list?  If any of the authors listed are new-to-you & you're intrigued, I've linked their Goodreads profiles w/in their names.  Some may have free books so you can check out their writing style risk-free... *grin*