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Monday, September 29, 2014

Review: The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: The Governess Affair by Courtney MilanThe Governess Affair by Courtney Milan
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Series: Brothers Sinister, Book 0.5
Published by Self-Published on 21 April 2012
Genres: Adult, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Girls & Women, Historical, Historical Romance, Love & Romance, Social Issues
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Adult Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 101
Format: eBook
Source: Library
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleGoodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: London, England // New Shaling, England (1835)

First Line(s): The door to the upstairs library slammed viciously, rattling in its frame.

Courtney Milan is one of those authors that I’ve heard a lot about but just haven’t gotten around to reading until recently when I was searching through my libraries digital catalog and stumbled across The Governess AffairThe Governess Affair is a prequel novella to her Brothers Sinister series and introduces the parents of one of the characters in that story. I really enjoyed the push and pull that existed between Serena and Hugo and I found myself whizzing through the pages of this novella. I was curious to see how things would end up and what new tricks each would employ against the other. I loved Serena’s sass and spunk and how she wasn’t about to sit back and just let things happen to her any more.

The Governess Affair was a short story but it has a lot of heart and feeling to it and my only real complaint was that this wasn’t a full length novel. I would have loved to have seen more of Serena and Hugo as they moved from strangers, to adversaries, to their happily ever after. I really enjoyed how The Governess Affair was written and how well it as paced. Novellas can sometimes feel unfinished as they have so few pages but Milan managed to tell a complete story and even without it being a full length novel there is nothing missing from Serena and Hugo’s story. More pages would only flesh out their chemistry in greater detail than what was already on the page.

This was my first Courtney Milan story but its not going to be my last. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the Brothers Sinister series and then exploring her other titles. She is s fresh voice in historical romance and I love the world that she has created. I am hoping that her other books have equally strong heroines and alpha males who aren’t douchebags. All too often an alpha hero is also a jerk and while Hugo does some unkind things he also shows little kindnesses that show that he isn’t heartless. He was an endearing character and as I said above I liked how he and Serena interacted on the page. This was a fun, fast romance and one that I would recommend to anyone looking to explore the genre. As The Governess Affair is currently a free download from most etailers as well as from the library you really don’t have much to lose.

irishdarkblue

Governess Affair Quote

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Audio Review: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Audio Review: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer GrahamThe Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Jennifer Graham, Rob Thomas
(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)
Series: Veronica Mars, Book 1
Also in this series: Veronica Mars
Published by Random House Audio on 25 March 2014
Genres: Abduction, Adult, Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Espionage, Friendship, Girls & Women, Mystery & Detective, Suspense
Reading Challenges: 2014 Listen to 12 Audiobooks, 2014 Personal Challenge
Narrator: Kristen Bell
Length: 8 hours 42 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Neptune, California // Bakersfield, California // Stanford, California

First Line(s): The buses began to roll into Neptune, California, late Friday afternoon and didn’t slow up until Monday.

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas is the start of a new series featuring our favorite sleuth Veronica Mars. Tan Line picks up just a few weeks after the events of the Veronica Mars movie end and in some ways I think that does the book a little bit of an injustice. With the movie you could watch it without being a fan of the show and still enjoy it. Albeit, not as much as the fans as all the inside jokes from the show were missed. But for me, Thousand Dollar Tan Line seems more dependent on the movie and doesn’t really stand on its own as well. Ability to stand on its own aside, Thousand Dollar Tan Line, reads a bit like an episode of the show only instead of a first person narration the book is a weird third person narration that distances the reader from the story. Part of what worked on Veronica Mars was the voice over narration from Veronica and that was something that was missing from the book.

I did like that Kristen Bell was the one who narrated the book but because of the third person narration it just seemed weird and there were certain phrases that would take me out of the story. It was jarring to hear Veronica call herself Veronica and other characters in a clinical, out of body way was just so very odd and while I loved hearing Kristen voice the book there were times when I wish I read read it in print form instead.

As for the mystery, well, its a typical mystery in the land of Neptune only the stakes are a bit higher than back when Veronica was in high school and college. The stakes are a little higher and the clues are a little murkier and as such this one comes across as a bit muddled at times. There were also times when the story dragged a bit for me and and it took a bit long to connect the dots. But there were a few surprises tossed into the story that kept things interesting although there was a distinct lack of Logan in the story. Overall, Thousand Dollar Tan Line was a decent read but it wasn’t a great one. I did enjoy returning to Neptune and I do look forward to more books in this series as I hope that things will smooth out as Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham hit their stride in transitioning Veronica Mars from visual media into print. If you are a fan of the show and movie then this book is worth the read but if you haven’t watched either then this might not be the right book for you.

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irishdarkblue.

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Veronica Mars Quote

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Review: Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas

Posted by Irish in 2 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Sugar Daddy by Lisa KleypasSugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Goodreads)
Series: Travis Family, Book 1
Published by St Martin's Press on 06 May 2007
Genres: Adolescence, Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friends to Lovers, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Adult Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 371
Format: eBook
Source: Library
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
two-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Welcome, Texas // Houston, Texas

First Line(s): When I was four, my father died in an oil-rig accident.

Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas came to my attention when I stumbled on some Twitter chatter about swoon worthy male leads and there was much talk about Hardy Cates who makes his debut in this book. As I’d heard about Sugar Daddy from others I decided to move it up on my list of books to read. I’ve become a more active reader of adult contemporary romances recently and was familiar with Kleypas’s historicals and so was looking forward to reading this one. However, I ended up being pretty disappointed in it. This book was a very on the surface read and it involves a lot of Liberty Jones inner monologue and there is very little in the way of character dialogue. Much of the book seems to be her reflecting on events as opposed to directly interacting with the characters that she talks about.

Sugar Daddy is also a divided book there is the part that is the Liberty/Hardy interaction and then there is the time that comes after when she finds her ‘sugar daddy.’ Or who her new friends assume is her sugar daddy but in truth is just an older man who becomes a father figure of sorts. But her friends aren’t the only ones who make assumptions, his son does as well. This bring in the second romance that is contained within Sugar Daddy and the reader is supposed to be torn between Hardy and Gage. Both of whom are abusive, alpha males and there is very little appeal to either of them. In fact, Gage does some pretty horrible things all in the interest of “protecting what’s his” and what he considers his is Liberty. Which is annoying and frustrating on so many levels.

Overall, I found Sugar Daddy to be a very slow and boring book. There is very little in the actual way of romance in the story and its more of just a recounting of Liberty’s life, her past and where she is now. For a romance novel there was very little romance in the story. Liberty never dated Harday and they only shared a few kisses before he left without a word to make his fortune. The same goes with Gage and at 70% through the book there really wasn’t a ton going on. Many times I wondered why I was still reading the book. Sugar Daddy wasn’t a story for me and at this time I don’t think I’ll be reading the rest of the books in the series. I will still read Kleypas’s historicals but for now I’ll think twice before trying one of her contemporaries again.

 

irishdarkblue

 

 

 

People who liked this book better than I did

Dear Author – “The first person POV totally works, mainly because Liberty is such a terrific heroine. She’s funny, self-deprecating and strong.”

Not Another Romance Blog – “This is the first 5 out of 5 Aww review on the blog and with great reason. This book was a Journey! We sat back and watched as a naive, self-conscious 14 year-old is transformed by life and grows into a strong young woman. This book was just GOLD. plainly, and simply, gold.”

 

Sugar Daddy Quote

 

 

 

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Review: Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Review: Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCaffertySloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)
Series: Jessica Darling, Book 1
Published by Broadway Books on 01 January 2001
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Parents, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Books Published Before 2013, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 298
Format: eBook
Source: Library
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Pineville, New Jersey

First Line(s): Tonight I’ve been thinking about the mosaic Hope gave me the night she U-hauled ass out of Pineville.

Internet,

Sometimes a book gets recommended to me and I jump right one it depending on the person who is doing the recommending and then other times I file the suggestion away. Such was the case with Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty. I can’t tell you how many people told me I should read this book, including book bully TIffany, and for whatever reason I didn’t listen. Then on a whim not long ago I downloaded it from BPL eLibrary catalog and simply devoured it. Jessica Darling is a delight and in so many ways she reminds me a bit of myself when I was her age. Jessica is smart and snarky and it was so easy to get lost in her world. Jessica is reeling from the loss of her best friend Hope who recently moved across country. They survive through letters, email and the phone but its not the same as having your BFF right there with you.

As Jessica makes her way through her first year of school without Hope she also comes into contact with Marcus Flutie, the stoner, the social outcast, and everything that Jessica shouldn’t like in a guy. And yet there is something about him that she is drawn to. There is just something about the bad boy to draw a girls heart isn’t there? It can be cliche but its a cliche that often works. I just loved these two on the page and talk about your slow burns!! Oh how they would make my heart ache at the misunderstandings and the missed connections! Another thing that I liked about this book was how involved Jessica’s parents were in her life and how real they were. I liked how Jessica interacted with her other friends and no matter what her opinions of them were they and integral part of her world.

Sloppy Firsts is an older book but there is still much about it that is relevant to today. Jessica is a girl that is easy to relate to and I think that most people can find a bit of themselves in her. I read this book in about a day for once I started it I couldn’t put it down. Sloppy Firsts made me laugh out loud and it made my heart ache and then that ending!! Oh how cruel of an ending it was! This is where coming into a series late is a good thing because I don’t have to wait for the next installment to be released they are all available for me to bounce right into. Or at least get to a little more quickly than having to wait a year, or more, for the next book to come out. I adored Sloppy Firsts and my only really regret is that I didn’t get to this series the first time that it was recommended to me. But you can be sure that I will be finding time in my reading schedule to weave in the other Jessica Darling books.

Sloppy Firsts Quote

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Review: Hard to Hold on To by Laura Kaye

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Hard to Hold on To by Laura KayeHard to Hold on To by Laura Kaye
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Series: Hard Ink, Book 2.5
Also in this series: Hard As It Gets, Hard As You Can
Published by Avon on 19 August 2014
Genres: Abduction, Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Girls & Women, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, People of Color, Short Story / Novella, Social Issues, War & Military
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Adult Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 208
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Baltimore, Maryland

First Line(s): As the black F150 truck shot through the night-darkened streets of one of Baltimore’s grittiest neighborhoods, Edward Cantrell cradled the unconscious woman in his arms like she was the only thing tethering him to life.

Hard to Hold on To by Laura Kaye is the most recent book in her Hard Ink series which involves a group of 5 ex-military team members who are working to clear their name after a betrayal of their commander. Each book in the series needs to be read in order as each book builds upon events that happened previously. We are first introduced to Edward Cantrell, Easy, in the first book and I was looking forward to his story. However, I was very disappointed to learn that rather than get a full book like all the other team members, his story was only going to be a novella and I am left to wonder why. Granted to have so many books that happen in only a few days with two characters falling madly in love does stretch credibility so I might have had issue with that. Though as this is a novella where characters fall in love even faster that too stretches the realm of probability so if we’re going to deal with unrealistic timelines then I would have rather had this one exist as a full length book.

The other books in the series founded themselves on being more than just a love story and had this crazy, over the top storyline that they were dealing with and Hard to Hold on To didn’t do anything to add to the overall storyline. This book does deal with a little bit of post-traumatic stress of Jenna as she recovers from her kidnapping in book 2 but it doesn’t really go very deep into the potential ramifications of that. Though I did like the connection and bonding that this incident brought between Jenna and Easy. And I did enjoy the little cameos from the rest of the team as well. Since Hard to Hold on To is a novella its a very quick read and there isn’t a lot of substance to it since it is just Jenna and Easy’s trip to a HEA.

While this one doesn’t add to the overall story ARC I don’t think that it can be skipped entirely though if a reader does skip it they won’t be missing much at all. Which is part of why I think that Jenna and Easy got the shaft and its a shame that their story was almost an after thought to the series as a whole. I just feel that there was so much potential wasted here and some psychological issues for both Easy and Jenna that could have been explored/addressed that could have taken up a longer book even without making an addition to the Church storyline. So while I enjoyed this novella I was also very disappointed by it.

irishdarkblue

Hard to hold on to quote

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall TBR list

Posted by Irish in Top Ten Tuesday7 Comments

Graphic made by David at From My Bookshelf

Graphic made by David at From My Bookshelf

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish this weeks topic calls for a list of those books that are on our fall TBR list. I’ve been trying to do better at reading all the books that I put on these seasonal TBR lists but this isn’t always an easy task. Its not that I don’t want to read these books but sometimes you just need to go with the mood or with the bright and shiny new book that you weren’t expecting to show up on your doorstep. So here are the books that I hope to read this fall…what are some of the books on your fall TBR let me know in the comments or leave me a link to your Top Ten Tuesday post. (Links go to GoodReads)

 

TTT Words of Radiance

1. Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson – I am determined to finish this one by the end of the year.

 

TTT Ollie

 

2. Ollie and the Science of Treasure Hunting by Erin Dionne – I really enjoyed Moxie and looking forward to whatever shenanigans Ollie gets into.

 

TTT Ash Mistry Bk 3

3. Ash Mistry and the World of Darkness by Sarwat Chadda – I often have issues reading the last book in a series I adore, but I am far to curious to not see how this one ends!

 

TTT Spirit Bound

 

4. Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead – See above about series ending…but I think its time to put this one to bed.

 

TTT First Lord's Fury

 

5. First Lord’s Fury by Jim Butcher – I’ve had this book since it was released and I haven’t wanted the series to end but as with the 2 books mentions about I think its time.

 

TTT Truth About Forever

 

6. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen – This book has been recommended to me several times and it might be time to read it.

 

TTT Shadow Thieves

 

7. The Shadow Thieves by Anne Ursu – Stumbled on this one recently when I was poking around a bookstore before a signing. The bookseller also gave it a ringing endorsement so I am looking forward to it.

 

TTT All Broke Down

 

8. All Broke Down by Cora Carmack – Silas may not have been my favorite in All Lined Up (my review) but am curious about his story and to see if Cora can make him likable.

 

TTT Blood of my Blood

 

9. Blood of My Blood by Barry Lyga - The final book in the Jasper Dent series….I’m so excited for this one!

 

TTT Free to Fall

 

10. Free to Fall by Lauren Miller – This is another book that comes to me highly recommend and its about time I get to it

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Review: I Want it That Way by Ann Aguirre

Posted by Irish in 2 Stars, Blog Tour, New Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: I Want it That Way by Ann AguirreI Want it That Way by Ann Aguirre
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Series: 2B Trilogy, Book 1
Published by Harlequin on 26 August 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Netgalley Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
two-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Mount Albion, Michigan // Ann Arbor, Michigan // Sharon, Nebraska

First Line(s):  There’s always a meet-cute, right?

 

I first became familiar with Ann Aguirre when I read her young adult series, Razorland, which I really enjoyed and so was excited to try her New Adult Contemporary titled, I Want it That Way. (A title that is impossible to say without getting the Backstreet Boys song stuck in your head.) Unlike her YA series, I Want it That Way was a book that frustrated me on many levels. First there was the insta-love of the two main characters, Nadia and Tyler. Oh how I dislike insta-love in books. I get that its a tool that’s used as a way to accelerate a story but I always feel as though something is lost when there is no time given for a relationship to build over the course of a story. Then there was just how Nadia would seem to over react at the littlest of things. Tyler would tell her maybe and she’d cry for days as if her entire world had just collapsed. The reactions just never seemed to match up with the actions that were happening.

The language of I Want it That Way was also a bit off and was overly flowery, using a dozen words where only 5 might be needed. And then there were all the times when Nadia would use phrases that were inconsistent with a normal 21 year old. At least, a character outside of a John Green novel. A phrase that particularly stuck out at me was when Nadia used the phrase “exquisitely taken” during one of the sexy times scenes and it just pulled me out of the story as its something out of a bad 80s romance novel involving a much older character. This overly flowery way of thinking and many of Nadia’s other mannerisms just made it so hard to connect with her character in any meaningful way.

Tyler was also hard to connect with as he often came across as stiff and two-dimensional. There were many times when reading I Want it That Way that it was also told from Tyler’s POV as then maybe he would have seemed like a more realistic person. As it was he only really seemed to exist in a very superficial sense. He’d ignore Nadia when his son was around, not even saying hello, because that might let someone get too close or give his son the wrong idea. Say what now? The man had no friends and while I get that its hard for a single dad to keep up with the lifestyle of his friends when his son was born its not outside the realm of possibility that he would have made other friendships over the years. Heck, there are teenagers who end up as young parents and while they can’t go out and party every night they still have friends to hang out with and occasionally help with the child. Especially when you stay in the same town that you grew up in.

For me, I Want it That Way, was just one frustration after another and I could go on and on with all the different things that bugged me. But I think that you get the point that this book wasn’t a book for me and at this time I don’t have plans on continuing this series. But I will not give up on Ann Aguirre’s stories as I did love her debut YA series and I look forward to reading her next YA book, Mortal Danger.

irishdarkblue

I Want it That Way Quote

People who liked this book better than I did:

What a Nerd Girl Says - “The story of Nadia and Ty is really beautiful, and I think I loved it so much because of the involvement of Ty’s child. It was hard enough dealing with the complications of Nadia and Ty trying to make their romance work, but throwing in the addition of a child just throws everything through a loop.”

Bittersweet Book Love – “I Want It That Way took me by surprise in a couple of different ways. There is real depth to these characters, each contributing something to the story. Furthemore, there’s just something about this book that urges you to turn the pages.”

Stuck in Books - “I Want It That Way hit me right in the heart, and I loved it. The writing made me feel, the characters made me love, and the romance made me swoon.”

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Review: My Best Friend, Maybe by Caela Carter

Posted by Irish in 2 Stars, Review, Young Adult3 Comments

Review: My Best Friend, Maybe by Caela CarterMy Best Friend, Maybe by Caela Carter
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Goodreads)
Published by Bloomsbury on 03 June 2014
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Girls & Women, GLBT, Love & Romance, People & Places, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2014 Personal Challenge, 2014 Read 12 Books Recommended by Others
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
two-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Bridgewater, New Jersey // Athens, Greece // Santorini, Greece // Crete, Greece

First Line(s): “So, you wanna go?” That’s how she asks me.

 

 My Best Friend, Maybe by Caela Carter is a book that I really wanted to like. I liked the idea of the premise and loved that the bulk of the book was going to be set in Greece. This was also a book that came to me as highly recommend and so I had high hopes for it when I first opened its pages. However, the book that I read was nothing like my expectations and it really strained credibility in how events transpired. It starts off with Colette’s former best friend, Sadie, asking her to join the family on their upcoming trip to Greece. This happens a couple weeks before the trip is supposed to take place and is crazy, out of the blue as Colette and Sadie haven’t spoken to each other in three years. Also, Colette has a trip booked to Cosa Rica (or somewhere, I forget the exact place) to do some missionary work with her boyfriend. The fact that Colette says yes without considering her other trip or what her parents might say just made me go, WTF? And that wasn’t the first time that phrase came out of my mouth during my read of the story.

As a character Colette often comes across as very young and naive. She’s also a very passive character and tends to do what everyone arounds her tells her to do. Sadie says go to Greece and she does. Her boyfriend says he’ll break up with her if she goes so she says she’ll won’t. And then randomly her dad just drops her off at the airport and tells her to go to Greece. Then while there Colette is placed in some awkward situations as Sadie’s family all know the big secret and she is drawn into Sadie’s schemes. And the secret? The whole reason why Sadie just stopped talking to Colette is one that is super sigh inducing and eye roll worth. I swear communication is the source of so much angst within books and this thing is something could have been avoided if the two had just talked to each other. Maybe they still would have stopped being friends, especially with Colette passive ways, but maybe they wouldn’t have.

There was also some romance aspect to My Best Friend, Maybe but it just seemed like an after thought and I never really believed in the various couples that formed over the course of the novel. These romantic moments also had me rolling my eyes as the characters all failed to communicate and let misunderstandings get in the way. Again. Overall, My Best Friend, Maybe was a head ache inducing book because I often stopped reading it in order to bang my head against it or throw it across the room in disgust. Even the promise of a Grecian setting fell flat as it wasn’t much discussed and Colette seemed to spend a lot of time in her room moping. This wasn’t a book for me and I am not sure if I’ll read another Caela Carter book. My Best Friend, Maybe wasn’t a book for me but I do know several people who enjoyed it so maybe you will as well.

irishdarkblue

 

 

 

 

People Who Liked This Book Better Than I Did:

Itching for Books - “Overall, it was a good story and I don’t want to say more about it and risk spoiling it. But it is great writing and interesting themes that will have you thinking. Good job, Caela. I look forward to reading more of your work.”

Book.Blog.Bake - “My Best Friend, Maybe is full of tough decisions and themes. Colette and Sadie both find themselves having to confront their own prejudice and preconceived notions again & again.”

Rather Be Reading – “Despite the heaviness of the conflicts and secrets in My Best Friend, Maybe, I gobbled this one up. Read it in under 24 hours. I had to see how Greece would change Colette, get her thinking on her own without constant pressure from her parents. I had to know if Colette and Sadie’s friendship had anything left after all these years and after this trip. Plus, there’s a sweet romance that felt just right.”

 

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Review: When the Duke was Wicked by Lorraine Heath

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: When the Duke was Wicked by Lorraine HeathWhen the Duke Was Wicked by Lorraine Heath
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Series: Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, Book 1
Published by Avon on 25 February 2014
Genres: Adult, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Girls & Women, Historical Romance, Love & Romance
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Adult Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 372
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: London, England (1874)

First Line(s): On the morning of February 2, 1872, I Henry Sidney Stanford, the seventh Duke of Lovingdon, Marquess of Ashleigh, and Earl of Wyndmere, died.

When the Duke was Wicked by Lorraine Heath is a bad boy historical romance and the start of a new series from one of the queens of romance. Though despite this, When the Duke Was Wicked is the first book by Heath that I’ve read though it won’t be my last. I like how Heath was able to write a strong female heroine who is smart and rational and dreams of the best life she can make in a world full of restrictions. Lovingdon is also a character with a good heart but after the loss of his wife and child he’s lost his way and become bitter to the world around him. But he is Grace’s neighbor and her long time crush and a friend of the family and only he can help her find a husband who is after more than just her fortunes.

When the Duke was Wicked is a fast read and a fun story. Its easy to get lost in this world and these characters and watch as Lovingdon starts to fall for Grace. Its always fun seeing the strong, alpha males fight what the reader knows is inevitable and find his HEA with the heroine. As with many romances, the reader knows the ending prior to starting the story but its all about the journey in getting there. While there isn’t a ton of other things that happen in When the Duke was Wicked it acts as a nice pallet cleanser when you just need a fun story about two people falling in loved.

I really liked how Heath crafts a story and brings about all the bits and pieces of her historical London. I liked the dialogue and the chemistry that existed between Lovingdon and Grace. I always love when I stumble on a new to me author and Lorraine Heath is definitely one that I look forward to reading more stories from. If you are looking for a fun romance then you might want to check this one out. Or if you are a long time fan of Heath then be sure to let me know in the comments what book of hers I should check out next.

When the Duke Was Wicked Quote

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Review: Playing It Close by Kat Latham

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Playing It Close by Kat LathamPlaying it Close by Kat Latham
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Goodreads)
Series: London Legends
Also in this series: Knowing the Score
Published by Carina Press on 14 April 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Love & Romance, People & Places, Sports & Athletics
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Adult Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 230
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
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three-half-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Unknown, Venezuela // London, England

First Line(s): Warm seawater sliding over naked. That’s how Tess wanted to end her second night in Venezuela.

Playing it Close by Kat Latham is the second book in her London Legends team which is an English Rugby team. This story involves Liam, who we first meet in Knowing the Scoreand Tess, a new character. At the start of the book both Tess and Liam are in Venezuela, each trying to escape real life issues that are waiting for them back in England. The two meet and have an instant connection but both start out lying to the other which never ends well in a romance novel. Because the truth does come out along with several misunderstandings tossed in just for fun. Though despite these self-made obstacles Tess and Liam do have real chemistry on the page and its hard not to fight for them as they work their way to a HEA.

What is missing from Playing it Close is any real crossover with the first book, Knowing the Score, as Liam and Spencer are supposed to be best friends. This lack of Spencer is made all the more glaring with how often the other London Legends players appear on the page. It was also a little confusing trying to figure out the timeline from when the first book ended and where this one begins and I probably spent more time than I should have trying to connect the dots.

Overall, Playing it Close, was your average contemporary romance filled with the usual sorts of cliches. It was filled with a fun cast of secondary characters and I did enjoy the humor that Liam’s teammates brought to the story. I also enjoyed Liam and Tess’s interactions when they weren’t being stupid and letting a lack of communication get between them. Sometimes I really wish that you could reach into a book and knock some sense into the various characters. Playing it Close was a quick and engaging read and I look forward to the next book in the series, Tempting the Player.

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