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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Sort-Of Return of a Terrible Blogger (aka Rapid Reviews #1)

Posted by Irish in Review1 Comment

Ack!!

2017 has not been a good year for me blogging wise. Its not that I don’t want to blog I just get so overwhelmed with how far behind I am on reviews and so run away from the open blog post window and escape into a book. Which then just makes the cycle repeat. So I think that I am just not going to try. Which is a terrible thing for a blogger to say…but its October 2017 and I’m like 158 blog posts in the hole….there is no way I am digging myself out that that with any grace. lol

So instead what I am going to do is draft up a series of posts listing out the books I’ve read each month. Starting with some of my 2016 backlog….yes, I still have books to review from 2016. 

 

I will mention the book, my star rating, and will add in a line or two of thoughts for those books I remember enough to comment on. Maybe one day, for some of them, I’ll write up something longer. But for now I think that this is what I can handle and then I can start of 2018 with a clean slate. Because I do miss blogging. I’ve just been doing this for ten years and got a bit overwhelmed so I think this break has been good for me. That said here are my first Rapid Reviews.

READ IN 2016 – Part 1

1. Title: All Note Long
Author: Annabeth Albert
Series: Perfect Harmony, Book 3
Genre: New Adult, MM Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Netgalley
Rapid Review: This was such a fun story and I just loved the push and pull between these characters. They gave me all the heart-achy feels that I love and I had such a hard time putting this one down. A great end to a fun series.
Recommend: Yes!

2. Title: Interference
Author: Kay Honeyman
Series: Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Rating: 3 stars
Source: Edelweiss
Rapid Review: This one left me wanting something more. I also did not like the main character. She was so clueless about everything, her love interest was always trying to make her look like an idiot, and her parents were just awful. I went into this one with high hopes and found it to be just so-so.
Recommend: Not really

3. Title: Even Odds
Author: Elia Winters
Series: Slices of Pi, Book 1
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Rating: 3 stars
Source: Netgalley
Rapid Review: So…I kind of recall reading this one but I also don’t really remember much else. GR says I read it in a day which is usually a good thing, but I made no notes. So, in the end a forgettable read.
Recommend: um…maybe? lol

4. Title: Two Summers
Author: Aimee Friedman
Narrator: Frankie Corzo
Series: Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Parallel World
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Purchased
Rapid Review: This was such a fun story!! I loved how Friedman pulled off the parallel words and how she brought everything full circle for a satisfactory ending. The narrator was A+ and really helped to bring these characters to life. I wasn’t always a fan of the secondary characters (Ruby 😡 ) but I could totally relate to Summer.
Recommend: Yes!

5. Title: The Star-Touched Queen
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Narrator: Priya Ayyar
Series: The Star-Touched Queen, Book 1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Rating: 2 stars
Source: Purchased
Rapid Review: ZOMG this MC bugged the ever loving crap out of me! Talk about your TSTL sort of heroine. I spent much of the book wanting to shake her and the rest rolling my eyes. I found the plot to be repetitive and really the only thing that kept me in this one until the end was the narrator.
Recommend: Nope!

6. Title: Girl Against the Universe
Author: Paula Stokes
Series: Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Publisher
Rapid Review: This was one of those books that I didn’t mean to start when I picked it up and then became so engrossed I couldn’t put it down. I loved these characters and the story that Stokes told. I do think that some things were a little rushed but overall just a great story that kept me up into the wee hours of the morning. <3
Recommend: Yes!

7. Title: Holding Up the Universe
Author: Jennifer Niven
Series: Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Publisher
Rapid Review: This was sent to me by a sales rep friend of mine and I wasn’t sure if it was a me book. But my starts, this friend gets me and the books that I like. I fell in love with these MCs and had such a hard time putting this one down. It just hit me right in the feels and I can’t recommend it enough.
Recommend: Yes!

8. Title: Wolf by Wolf
Author: Ryan Graudin
Narrator: Christa Lewis
Series: Wolf by Wolf, Book 1
Genre: Young Adult, Alternate History
Rating: 3 stars
Source: Purchased
Rapid Review: I went into this one with high hopes and was terribly disappointed. It was so very sssllllooowww! Nothing seemed to happen for much of the story and then you blink and its over in this crazy convoluted climatic scene. Ugh. I was annoyed more than anything and not sure if I’ll ever pick up sequel as I really don’t care about these characters.
Recommend: Maybe

9. Title: Connection Error
Author: Annabeth Albert
Series: #gaymers, Book 3
Genre: New Adult, MM Contemporary Romance
Rating: 3.5 stars
Source: Netgalley
Rapid Review: Annabeth Albert is a total must read author for me as she writes such wonderful characters. There is angst and heart ache and everything just ends in a happy sigh. I know when I pick up an Albert book that I’ll most likely read it in one sitting and be left wanting more and this one was no exception.
Recommend: Yes

10. Title: Shadow Magic
Author: Joshua Khan
Narrator: Ramon de Ocampo
Series: Shadow Magic, Book 1
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Purchased
Rapid Review: It took me FOREVER to start this one, not because anything was wrong with story but because I was so scared I wouldn’t like it that I was afraid to start it. But once I did I was totally sucked in. Loved these characters (HADES!!!) and this world. Such a fun, fast paced middle grade series. My only real disappointment was that they didn’t use two narrators. There were POV chapters from Lily’s POV and they would have been even better with a female narrator to go along with them.
Recommend: Most definitely!

11. Title: The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You
Author: Lily Anderson
Series: Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Netgalley
Rapid Review: Holy geekery goodness! I loved everything about this story. Trixie was a character that I could easily relate to and this story took me notice or at all to read. I think I had a big smile on my face for much of the book. Lots of pop culture nerd references which you don’t see a lot of in YA characters. The only real thing missing was that the romance wasn’t super romancy (i.e. not enough kissing) but there is a companion coming out so I hope to see more of these characters in that book!
Recommend: Si Senor

12. Title: Gemina
Author: Amie Kaufmann and Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files, Book 2
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Publisher
Rapid Review: I DEVOURED Illuminae and was super excited for Gemini. While I didn’t love this as much as the first I did still enjoy it. This one was a wee bit more love triangly (though not terribly so) than I would have liked. Overall this was still an addicting read and I am really curious to see where things go in the third book.
Recommend: Heck yeah!

13. Title: One Silver Summer
Author: Rachel Hickman
Series: Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: 2 stars
Source: Gift
Rapid Review: This one seemed like it would be totally up my ally but oh my stars it was painful to read!! I did read it in a single sitting as I kept hoping for improvement but alas this one was a dud. Too many one off POVs, easy story lines to figure out and a way to annoying heroine just wrecked this one for me.
Recommend: Nope. Nope. Nope.

14. Title: Cold-Hearted Rake
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Ravenels, Book 1
Genre: Adult, Historical Romance
Rating: 3 stars
Source: Purchased
Rapid Review: Kleypas is usually an easy sell for me but I didn’t love this one as much as her others. I really wasn’t a fan of how the heroine’s sister hijacked much of the book. This is all the more annoying when you know that book 2 is the sisters book so much of what happened here should have happened there. I liked the characters for the most part those the heroine did annoy me more than I would have liked as well.
Recommend: Yes, but not to everyone

15.Title: The Deepest Blue
Author: Christina Lee
Series: Roadmap to Your Heart, Book 2
Genre: New Adult, MM Romance
Rating: 3 stars
Source: Purchased
Rapid Review: I always love a good Christina Lee story and have been enjoying her foray into MM romances. And while I enjoyed this one there was just something missing that kept me from loving it entirely. I liked the family interactions and the push/pull between the two MCs…I just can’t put my finger on what didn’t set my heart aflutter. Still worth the read though if you stumble on it 🙂
Recommend: Yes

16.Title: Overexposed
Author: Megan Erickson
Series: In Focus, Book 4
Genre: New Adult, MM Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Purchased
Rapid Review: Oh star this book!! Oh how these characters made my heart ache in all the best possible of ways. I could not put this book down and its totally my favorite in the series. I loved how this story progressed and how Erickson brought them to their HEA. Biggest regret is that it had to end.
Recommend: YES!!

17.Title: All the Wrong Places
Author: Ann Gallagher
Series: Bluewater Bay, Book 14
Genre: New Adult, MM Contemporary Romance (Ace MC)
Rating: 3 stars
Sourced: Library
Rapid Review: This one drew me because of the Ace MC but I did feel like I was being lectured to a lot about the different types of love. It also seemed a little too, gay for you at times as well, but that may have just been my frustration with how some of the characters acted and all the lectures. I also really hated on character and wasn’t a fan of the epilogue. Why oh why do I read epilogues? Overall though, I did like how different types of sexuality were explored in this book as there aren’t enough Ace characters in books.
Recommend: Yes

18.Title: Fly With Me
Author: Chanel Cleeton
Series: Wild Aces, Book 1
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Publisher
Rapid Review: Hello sexy fly boys! I don’t read a ton of military romances but I did enjoy this one. The characters were fun and the chemistry sizzled off the page. There was lots of great banter and angst and I just rushed right through this one until I hit the end of the book.
Recommend: Yes

19.Title: Shuffle, Repeat
Author: Jen Klein
Series: Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 stars
Source: Purchased
Rapid Review: This one started off of so adorably cute and I was loving every page. I was flying through the pages but then it all just took a turn near the end. I still liked it but it totally killed some of my enjoyment of the whole story.  Definitely worth the read though if you are looking for something cute to pass the time.
Recommend: Yes

20.Title: Frazzled: Everyday Disasters of Impending Doom
Author: Booki Vivat
Series: Frazzled, Book 1
Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary
Rating: 3 stars
Source: Edelweiss
Rapid Review: I don’t read a ton of middle grade but I did adore this one. Its a mix of drawing and story and it just all flowed really well. Abbie Wu is a character that was easy to identify with and the story made me laugh out loud at times. It was a super quick read and I am looking forward to reading more of Abbie’s adventures in middle school.
Recommend: Yes

Reviews Left in the Queue

2016: 30
2017: 111
Total Reviews: 138

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Contemporary Romance Challenge – July 2017

Posted by Irish in Challenge0 Comments

Hello Internet

I’m only participating on one official challenge this year and that’s the Contemporary Reading challenge hosted by my friend, Andi at AndiABCs. Here’s what I’ve read, contemporary wise, this past month:

LEVELS:

  • 1st Base: read 1 – 5 books <– Level unlocked
  • 2nd Base: read 6 – 10 books <– Level unlocked
  • 3rd Base: read 11 – 15 books <– Level unlocked
  • Home Run: read 16 – 20 books <– Level unlocked
  • Grand Slam: read 21+ books <– Level unlocked

Current Number of Contemporary Books Read = 46

READ IN JULY

42. Title: Dirty Deeds (MM Romance)
Author: HelenKay Dimon

43. Title: Wanderlove
Author: Kirsten Hubbard

44. Title: More Than We Can Tell
Author: Brigid Kemmerer

45. Title: #Junkie (MM Romance, No HEA – story continues in another  book)
Author: Cambria Hebert

46. Title: Save the Date (MM Romance)
Author: Annabeth Albert & Wendy Qualls

CURRENTLY READING

Title: The Upside of Unrequited (For reals now, HONEST! LOL)
Author: Becky Albertalli

Title: Hello Forever (MM Romance)
Author: Sarina Bowen

ON MY RADAR

These are the books that I hope to get to next month or so, we’ll see how well I do as I’m terrible at sticking to a reading schedule! As I read books on the list I’ll replace with other books on my radar. 🙂 Have you read any of these? Any I should bump up on my list to read? What books should be on my radar?

Title: Coming Up for Air
Author: Miranda Kenneally

Title: Bad Romance
Author: Heather Demetrios

Title: Royally Matched
Author: Emma Chase

Title: Twist
Author: Kylie Scott

Title: Keeping His Commandments
Author: Elle Keating

Title: Girl Out of Water
Author: Laura Silverman

Title: Just Friends
Author: Tiffany Pitcock

Title: Isla and the Happily Every After (Re-Read)
Author: Stephanie Perkins

Title: The Names They Gave Us
Author: Emery Lord

Title: Noteworthy
Author: Riley Redgate

READ IN JANUARY

READ IN FEBRUARY

READ IN MARCH

 

READ IN APRIL

READ IN MAY

READ IN JUNE

 

 

 

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Travel Log: Guatemala

Posted by Irish in Travel Log0 Comments

Those who know me know that I love to travel and for the last few years I’ve been trying to see at least one new place every year. This year, I had things pretty well locked with visiting Atlanta, GA in January and then Edinburgh, Rome, Prague and Barcelona later on this year. But then I had to renew my passport and the empty pages were just begging to be filled. Then around the second week of June I stumbled on a great deal from Gate 1 Travel for a 5 day trip to Guatemala which left on 30June. I debated back and forth and then before I could say Guatemala I was booking my flight and counting down the days.

Day 1: Flying into Guatemala City 

My flight into the city was scheduled to arrive a little after 1 pm Guatemala time (2 hours behind Eastern, my local time zone) and by the time I deplaned, got through customs, and arrived at my hotel it was almost 2. It then took until almost 3 for my room to be ready. I was tired from the flight so spent the time in the hotel lobby bar grabbing a drink and reading my book and just relaxing. Initially had some grand plans to go out and explore the city but after checking in I was hungry so grabbed dinner at one of the restaurants in the hotel and by the time I was done it was getting late and I was getting tired so I just called it a night. Lame I know, but some days sleep just wins.

  

In Guatemala City I stayed at the Barcelo Hotel which was pretty nice. The lobby was pretty swank with nice, friendly staff and an ATM where I could pull out some Quetzals (the local currency). My room was on the 10th floor and while the view was nothing super glamorous I did have two balconies and a king sized bed which was pretty nice. I also forgot to take decent photos of the hotel so I grabbed the snaps above from the internet.

Day 2: Antigua

My first full day in Guatemala began bright and early as I had a 7:15 am meet up in the hotel lobby with my Gate 1 guide, Sergio, and to begin the drive to Antigua. Antigua is a UNESCO World heritage site and was founded in the 1500s and originally named Santiago. You can see iconography of this initial name throughout the city which was also the original capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala. Antigua is a city that is prone to earthquakes and much of what was originally built has collapsed and new things built in their place. We did see an old cathedral from the 1600s which is a shell of its former self but still really beautiful even though its barely standing.

   

Antigua is a city that is filled with such amazing history and architecture and I really wish that I had more time to wander around explore it more fully. Its colorful and vibrant and there is something to look at on every building. There are quaint little courtyards in many of the buildings that are open to the public and I could easily have spent a few days there. If I ever make it back to Guatemala I will definitely spend more time in this fabulous place. I highly recommend the city to anyone who goes to Guatemala. There is a reason that its on the UNESCO world heritage site after all.

After having one of the best lunches and discovering a new favorite cerveza (Muy Antigua, a local brew) we headed back to the bus and drove another few hours up into the highlands to our next stop, Chichicastenango.

Day 3: Chichicastenango & Lake Atitlan 

Chichicastenango is a town best known for the market that pops up there twice a week. Its crazy how the town literally transformed overnight and the streets became much narrower as they turned into a literal maze of shop after shop after shop all selling a wide variety of things. There were shops selling fruit, live birds, leather goods, jewlry, toys, tortillas, and pretty much anything that you could think of. It was crowded and chatotic and easy to get lost in the narrow aisles. From every stall people are calling out to you trying to get you to stop and if you do then they really amp up the pressure to buy. Its also expected, and encouraged, to bargain so whatever price the shopkeeper gives you always come back with something lower and eventually you meet in the middle. I liked bargaining but it was also the hardest part as the people in this area are so poor and the items so cheap (1 Quetzal is around 14 cents) that I felt bad at not spending full price on things.

 

In Chichicastenango, I stayed at the Mayan Inn which is a small hotel but also a really unique place to stay. The hotel spans across the street and I had to cross it in a monsoon to get to the bar and dining areas. Each room in the hotel is different and is like a mini-museum and best of all they all come with fireplaces. I wasn’t going to light mine as the temperatures weren’t that cold but in the end I just had to because how often do you get to have a cozy fireplace in a hotel? Another unique thing about this hotel is that each room is assigned a caretaker and this guy not only answers the bell when you ring it (for when you need help lighting said fireplace) but he also cleans the room, handles your luggage, and serves you in the restaurant.

By far though, one of the most interesting things about Chichicastenango was the cemetery which was a short walk from my hotel. It was bright and colorful and just a fun place to explore.

Lake Atitlan 

After spending the morning in the market we drove a few hours to the town of Panajachel which is one of the villages on Lake Atitlan which is the deepest lake in Guatemala. The lake itself is a massive crater of an old volcano and its surrounded by volcanoes. We got lucky on the day we went and while it wasn’t a bright and sunny day the rains held off until after we got to town and got to see the lake. The lake is massive and the views are really pretty and I can only imagine how much prettier it would be on a sunny day.

Day 4: Tikal

My final day in Guatemala was the part of the trip that I was looking forward to most, Tikal. My day started around 4 am (ugh! So early!) but we needed to get to the airport for our flight to Flores. The plane was larger than I thought but also a propeller plane so that was different. What was also nice is that on the plane we got not just beverage service but also a snack box….for a 45 minute flight…along with nice, talkative, friendly flight attendants. The US could remember a thing or two from Guatemala.

Once in Flores we got on a bus and drove another hour or so to Tikal which is in the middle of the jungle. We then spent the next 5 hours hiking through the jungle and up and down ruins and just seeing so many amazing things. Only about 20% of Tikal has been excavated and it really is impressive just how much they let people touch and walk on.

The first view of the Grand Plaza sort of sneaks up on you. Oh, on of the first things you see is the back of Temple 1 but it doesn’t fully prepare you for the overlook at the plaza. Its just so big and open and looks just how you see in pictures and movies but bigger and greener and just more. There are times when you think that you aren’t in a real place because its just so grand and impressive! Walking up to the top of Temple 2 to over look the plaza is break taking and I still can’t believe that I was there. That I was standing in a spot that’s been around since ancient times. Its hard not to wonder what life was like for those living in Tikal or why their civilization collapsed and the people moved on.

After exploring the Grand Plaza there was more hiking and ruins seen until we reached Temple IV. Temple IV is still most unexcavated and rises 212 feet with the top just over the tree line. The sunrise here is supposed to be spectacular but that wasn’t part of our agenda. It was a long climb up and there are times when I thought of turning back but I persisted and it was worth it.

Once on top of the pyramid you learn that safety isn’t a high concern for the Guatemalans as there are no guardrails and not a lot of room to walk around. The view is absolutely breathtaking. Nothing but blue skies and greenery and in the distance the tops of Temples I and II from the Grand Plaza. I could have sat up there for hours just in contemplation. But I was also very hungry and we were all promised food so down I went (much easier than up! lol) and we hiked backed through the jungle to a restaurant in the jungle for one of the best meals I had the entire trip. It was BBQ chicken with vegetables and soup and just so so good! But then again after a long day of hiking I’m not sure my assessment is the most accurate as I really worked up an appetite! lol

After we ate we hiked out of the jungle and then headed back to Flores. We had the opportunity to wander the town but most of us in the group found the nearest restaurant and just sat, drank and waited until it was time to head back to the airport. Needless to say I slept really well that night!!

Going home passed by in a blur, I got upgraded to first class (YAY!) and got to see some fireworks over NYC. It was pretty cool and I was so happy to be home. Not happy to find my car battery dead or the flat tire but very thankful to airport services who were able to get me up and running quickly!

I had a great time in Guatemala and would totally recommend it to anyone filled with Wanderlust and who doesn’t mind hiking through the jungle. I’m not sure that I’ll ever go back to Guatemala but I never say never. I am so glad that I went this truly was a very memorable trip.

See more of my photos on Instagram under the hashtag #gailandtheguatemalatrip.

 

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Contemporary Romance Challenge – June 2017

Posted by Irish in Misc0 Comments

Hello Internet

I’m only participating on one official challenge this year and that’s the Contemporary Reading challenge hosted by my friend, Andi at AndiABCs. Here’s what I’ve read, contemporary wise, this past month:

LEVELS:

  • 1st Base: read 1 – 5 books <– Level unlocked
  • 2nd Base: read 6 – 10 books <– Level unlocked
  • 3rd Base: read 11 – 15 books <– Level unlocked
  • Home Run: read 16 – 20 books <– Level unlocked
  • Grand Slam: read 21+ books <– Level unlocked

Current Number of Contemporary Books Read = 41

READ IN JUNE

 

31. Title: Mature Content  (MM Romance)
Author: Santino Hassell & Megan Erickson

32. Title: Blank Spaces (MM Romance, Asexual MC)
Author: Cass Lennox

33. Title: Sex Ed (MM Romance)
Autho: ZB Heller

34. Title: Helping Hand (MM Romance, Bi-Sexual MCs)
Author: Jay Northcote (Trans Author)

35. Title: Like a Lover (MM Romance)
Author: Jay Northcote

36. Title: Practice Makes Perfect (MM Romance)
Author: Jay Northcote

37. Title: Watching and Waiting (MM Romance, Bi-Sexual MC)
Author: Jay Northcote

38. Title: The Secret History of Us
Author: Jessi Kirby

39. Title: Concourse (MM Romance, Demisexual MC)
Author: Santino Hassell

40. Title: Summer Stock (MM Romance)
Author: Vanessa North

41. Title: Regret
Author: Christina Lee

 

 

CURRENTLY READING

Title: The Upside of Unrequited
Author: Becky Albertalli

Title: And We’re Off
Author: Dana Schwartz

Title: There’s Someone in Your House
Author: Stephanie Perkins

ON MY RADAR

These are the books that I hope to get to next month or so, we’ll see how well I do as I’m terrible at sticking to a reading schedule! As I read books on the list I’ll replace with other books on my radar. 🙂 Have you read any of these? Any I should bump up on my list to read? What books should be on my radar?

Title: Coming Up for Air
Author: Miranda Kenneally

Title: Bad Romance
Author: Heather Demetrios

Title: Royally Matched
Author: Emma Chase

Title: Twist
Author: Kylie Scott

Title: Keeping His Commandments
Author: Elle Keating

Title: Girl Out of Water
Author: Laura Silverman

Title: Just Friends
Author: Tiffany Pitcock

Title: Isla and the Happily Every After (Re-Read)
Author: Stephanie Perkins

Title: The Names They Gave Us
Author: Emery Lord

Title: Noteworthy
Author: Riley Redgate

READ IN JANUARY

READ IN FEBRUARY

READ IN MARCH

 

READ IN APRIL

READ IN MAY

 

 

 

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Monday, June 26, 2017

Book Spotlight: Regret by Christina Lee

Posted by Irish in Excerpt, Spotlight0 Comments

Regret RDB Banner

REGRET

CHRISTINA LEE

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 06.26.17

Regret Cover

COVER DESIGN: KANAXA

BLURB

When Brian “Brin” Schubert’s condo floods, he takes his co-worker up on the offer to stay on his crappy futon for a while. The last thing he expects is for his friend’s roommate to be the one guy he despises the most. The same guy who stomped on his heart senior year of high school. And by the looks of the girl on his arm, the same man who’s still deep inside the closet.

Nicholas Dell never predicted that eleven years later, one of his greatest regrets would show up on his doorstep down on his luck. Nick has made some terrible mistakes—story of his life—and he’s been paying for them ever since. And if the guilt and shame aren’t enough, his first crush had to turn into one of the sexiest men he’s ever laid eyes on.

Nick and Brin have weeks to steer clear of each other. Weeks to avoid strangling each other. But when stubbornness leads to skyrocketing sexual tension, hate-sex doesn’t seem like such an awful way to work through their frustration. Except hate is a powerful emotion, especially when it’s turned inward. And in Nick’s case he’s been drowning in a sea of self-loathing for so long, he can’t see his way out.

As Brin reconnects with Nick, his perception of what really happened in their past begins to change. He’s finally ready to forgive him and take a second chance on the one guy who stirs him like no other. But Nick’s demons are complicated, heart-wrenching…demanding. So devastating, he might never allow himself true happiness—even with the one man who’s always owned his heart.

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2rjELhF

Regret Teaser 1 3 Regret Teaser

EXCERPT

Tally pawed at the pillow for a few seconds before finally sinking down, apparently resigned to her position. I straightened to back out of the room, only then allowing my gaze to slide over Brin’s sleeping form. My pulse spiked when I noticed his eyes on me.

“Not sure Tally will want to sleep without you,” he rasped out. The words were like a thunderbolt to my chest. As if he was referring to more than the dog finding her way to my bed.

“Not sure I’ll want to sleep without her,” I replied in a hoarse voice, attempting to get my emotions under control.

Without you. Because you’ve taken up residence inside my heart once again. But maybe you’ve always been there, winding inside my rib cage, coiling around my lungs. Making it impossible to breathe, to think, to stop wanting.

As I turned to leave, his warm fingers curled around my wrist, searing into my skin. My breath caught in my throat. It was the first time he made the first move and my heart bloomed into an impossibly large bouquet of hope and aching desire inside my chest.

Our gazes snagged and held as his other hand slowly reached for the edge of the blanket and pulled it aside.

CL Pic

Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son–her two favorite guys. She’s addicted to lip balm, coffee, and kissing. Because everything is better with kissing.

She writes MM Contemporary as well as Adult and New Adult Romance. She believes in happily-ever-afters for all, so reading and writing romance for everybody under the rainbow helps quench her soul.

WEBSITE

FB FAN GROUP: THE SWOON ROOM

INSTAGRAM

NEWSLETTER

 

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Friday, June 2, 2017

Contemporary Romance Challenge – May 2017

Posted by Irish in Misc0 Comments

Hello Internet

I’m only participating on one official challenge this year and that’s the Contemporary Reading challenge hosted by my friend, Andi at AndiABCs. Here’s what I’ve read, contemporary wise, this past month:

LEVELS:

  • 1st Base: read 1 – 5 books <– Level unlocked
  • 2nd Base: read 6 – 10 books <– Level unlocked
  • 3rd Base: read 11 – 15 books <– Level unlocked
  • Home Run: read 16 – 20 books <– Level unlocked
  • Grand Slam: read 21+ books <– Level unlocked

Current Number of Contemporary Books Read = 30

READ IN MAY

 

25. Title: Illegal Contact 
Author: Santino Hassell

26. Title: Pretty Face
Author: Lucy Parker

27. Title: Afraid to Fly
Author: L.A. Witt

28. Title: Waiting for Prince Harry
Author: Aven Ellis

29. Title: One Night with Rhodes
Author: Eden Finley

30. Title: Once and For All 
Author: Sarah Dessen

CURRENTLY READING

Title: The Upside of Unrequited
Author: Becky Albertalli

Title: And We’re Off
Author: Dana Schwartz

Title: There’s Someone in Your House
Author: Stephanie Perkins

ON MY RADAR

These are the books that I hope to get to next month or so, we’ll see how well I do as I’m terrible at sticking to a reading schedule! As I read books on the list I’ll replace with other books on my radar. 🙂 Have you read any of these? Any I should bump up on my list to read? What books should be on my radar?

Title: Coming Up for Air
Author: Miranda Kenneally

Title: Bad Romance
Author: Heather Demetrios

Title: Royally Matched
Author: Emma Chase

Title: Twist
Author: Kylie Scott

Title: Keeping His Commandments
Author: Elle Keating

Title: Girl Out of Water
Author: Laura Silverman

Title: The Last Thing You Said
Author: Tiffany Pitcock

Title: Isla and the Happily Every After (Re-Read)
Author: Stephanie Perkins

Title: The Names They Gave Us
Author: Emery Lord

Title: Noteworthy
Author: Riley Redgate

READ IN JANUARY

 

READ IN FEBRUARY

READ IN MARCH

 

READ IN APRIL

 

 

 

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Monday, May 1, 2017

Contemporary Romance Challenge – April 2017

Posted by Irish in Challenge2 Comments

Hello Internet

I’m only participating on one official challenge this year and that’s the Contemporary Reading challenge hosted by my friend, Andi at AndiABCs. Here’s what I’ve read, contemporary wise, this past month:

LEVELS:

  • 1st Base: read 1 – 5 books <– Level unlocked
  • 2nd Base: read 6 – 10 books <– Level unlocked
  • 3rd Base: read 11 – 15 books <– Level unlocked
  • Home Run: read 16 – 20 books <– Level unlocked
  • Grand Slam: read 21+ books <– Level unlocked

Current Number of Contemporary Books Read = 24

READ IN MARCH

 

19. Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon

20. Title: First & Then (reread)
Author: Emma Mills

21. Title: Good Boy
Author: Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen

22. Title: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart
Author: Jenn Bennett

23. Title: Winning Bracket
Author: Annabeth Albert

24. Title: Unconventional
Author: Maggie Harcourt

CURRENTLY READING

Title: The Upside of Unrequited
Author: Becky Albertalli

Title: And We’re Off
Author: Dana Schwartz

ON MY RADAR

These are the books that I hope to get to next month or so, we’ll see how well I do as I’m terrible at sticking to a reading schedule! As I read books on the list I’ll replace with other books on my radar. 🙂 Have you read any of these? Any I should bump up on my list to read? What books should be on my radar?

Title: Coming Up for Air
Author: Miranda Kenneally

Title: Bad Romance
Author: Heather Demetrios

Title: Royally Matched
Author: Emma Chase

Title: Twist
Author: Kylie Scott

Title: Flat-Out Love
Author: Jessica Park

Title: Girl Out of Water
Author: Laura Silverman

Title: The Last Thing You Said
Author: Tiffany Pitcock

Title: Isla and the Happily Every After (Re-Read)
Author: Stephanie Perkins

Title: The Names They Gave Us
Author: Emery Lord

Title: Noteworthy
Author: Riley Redgate

READ IN JANUARY

 

READ IN FEBRUARY

READ IN MARCH

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book

Posted by Irish in Top Ten Tuesday1 Comment

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 is about the words and phrases that make me instantly want to read a book. This one was a pretty easy one for me and while this post is pretty bare bones (sorry!!) that’s only because I tossed it together real quick over my lunch break. 🙂

1. Letters from unknown senders

This is one of my most favorite tropes and one that will instantly get me to pick up a book. I love the letter/email exchange and the not knowing who is sending. Just makes me swoon every time.

Notable reads: Letters to the Lost by Bridgid Kemmerer, Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum, PS I Like You by Kasie West, and Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett.

2. Second Chance at Love

Another favorite trope! I love a good redemption story!

Notable read: Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean

3. Quickie Marriage/Vegas Wedding

Don’t know what it is about this one but I do adore the vegas wedding style book. Its fun watching two people who never thought the other would be their match come together, which leads me into my next favorite surefire thing to make me pick up a book.

Notable reads: Accidentally Married on Purpose by Rachel Harris // Lick by Kylie Scott

4. Opposites attract 

Can you say TENSION!!! Oh I just love the push and pull when two people who are so opposite from each other meet up in a story.

5. Friend of a sibling

Oh that forbidden sort of love is just oh so sweet. Where the main characters try to stay away because of a promise made to sibling or because they really should fall for their BFFs little sister but yet can’t help doing so.

6. Road Trip!!!

This one pretty much goes without saying if you know anything about me. I love to travel and when I can’t travel myself then the next best thing is to travel in a book. And one super fun way to do that is with a road trip!!

Ok…so right now I can only think of six sure fire things that will make me immediately pick up a book. I am sure that there are some others that I’ll be kicking myself on later and if I think of one I’ll come back and update. But for now, if you know of any books that fit any of these categories (or any combination of them) them PLEASE FOR THAT IS HOLY LET ME KNOW!!!!!

irishdarkblue

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Behind the Blogger: Tackling the Review Backlog

Posted by Irish in Behind the Blogger1 Comment

 

Hello Readers!

How are you on this fine and glorious day…or at least I hope that its fine and glorious…up until a few days ago its been rainy and dreary here in Massachusetts but the sun (and Spring!) seem to be making an appearance! With Spring I’ll be trying to do a little Spring Cleaning here on the blog, cleaning up tags and updating post format on my pre-wordpress posts. But first I want to try and tackle my review backlog because let me tell you, I am drowning!

The trouble with taking an unexpected blog hiatus is that those reviews start to pile up as I most certainly did not stop reading! And now I have all these books that I want to talk about but feel completely overwhelmed when I sit down at my laptop to write them. This leads me to closing my laptop and picking up a book and so the cycle perpetuates.

During my hiatus, I’ve tried to come up with a new way to review books and while I’m still pondering that I would like to start tackling the backlog and get back into the blogging grove. I currently have 66 books that I can review. I may not review all of those books formally but there are many that I would like to talk about in some form. So, I was thinking of doing a series of Fast Five mini-review posts (providing I can figure out how to review multiple books in UBB) in order to start whittling this number down.

Anywho….this is the plan. Lets see how well I am able to stick with the plan. Until I get caught up I do plan to keep pondering review post ideas, maybe use more gifs and/or incorporate youtube videos, or something…just need something to make it all see fresh again. Ten years of blogging is a long time and the fatigue its weighs down on me. With luck though, if I can do 3 Fast Five posts a week then I should be all caught up in just over a month. Which will hopefully be enough time to figure out a new review format.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Hello? Is this thing on?

Posted by Irish in Misc3 Comments

 

Greetings and salutations dearest readers!

Some of you may have been wondering where I’ve been, at least when it comes to this corner of mine of the internet.

Yes, I’ve been on Twitter, Facebook, Litsy (Irisheyz77) and Instagram but lately it may have seemed like I’ve forgotten that I have a book blog.

Sure, I’ve put up the odd posts here and there but now real reviews and you may have wondered why because overall my posts have been few and far between.  I have been doing this blogging thing for almost ten years now and I’ve grown weary. There is so much drama in the blogging world and I haven’t had the energy to deal with that. Work has also been super hectic so when I get home, rather than turn on my laptop to blog, I open a book and read. I have been neglecting my baby and for that I am sorry.

I will do better. I have a plan. I may not be posting 5 days a week as I was before. And until I get caught up I may not be posting full reviews of all the books I’ve been reading. Because I have still been reading and I do miss sharing my thoughts on what I’ve been reading with all of you. So, I am here to say that I’m dusting off the old keyboard and that I will be back to posting more regularly.

I have missed you.

And I hope that you have missed me.

I will do better. Please bear with me. Life has been hectic and it hasn’t left me with much energy to word. But I will figure out a better balance.

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