What Are You Reading? (391)

Posted August 18, 2017 by Holly in Features | 1 Comment

WAYR-New

Casee: It was another slow reading week for me. I have been reading Devil’s Cut by J.R. Ward for a week now. I love this series. It is so soap opera like. I adore it. I dare say that I like it more than the BDB. I really admire JRW for ending it with this book. I’m hoping that I have some quiet time to really get into it this weekend. I know once I do that I won’t be able to put it down.

Holly: This was a quiet reading week for me. I read Fused in Fire by K.F. Breene, the conclusion to the Fire and Ice Trilogy. It wrapped up the overarching storyline, but I still have so many questions! Luckily the author’s note said she plans to explore the world more through different characters. I started several books and couldn’t get in to them. Hidden Fire by Elizabeth Hunter ($.99 for Kindle right now!), Charred Heart by Lizzy Ford (currently Free for Kindle!), and A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I think I was suffering  a book hangover from the Fire and Ice Trilogy and that’s why I couldn’t get into them. I’m going to set them aside for now and come back to them later.

I ended up rereading Sweep in Peace and One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews. I started Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie last night. I’m a little concerned I won’t love it as much as I used to, because it’s been years since I’ve read it. I’m sure it’ll hold up and I’m worrying for nothing.

I’ve been craving Arthurian romances since I finished Spellbinder by Thea Harrison, but I’ve been having a hard time finding any. Amazon popped up with a recommendation for Magic Waking by Eva Chase. I’m going to start that next.

Rowena: It’s been a productive reading week for me and I’m glad to finally be reading on a regular basis. This summer has been a struggle on the reading front so really, I’m glad to be reading something again. This week, I read Links by Lisa Becker, which was an overall good story but I struggled with the dialogue and the heroine a bit. The hero was fantastic though. After that, I jumped into Gentlemen Prefer Heiresses by Lorraine Heath and I really enjoyed that one. It was a quick read but I adored both Andrew and Gina in the other books and they really shined in their own story. My only gripe is that I wish it had been longer…but that was just me being greedy. Their story was damn near perfect.

Right now, I’m finishing up Royally Screwed by Emma Chase and it’s got me silly grinning at work. I really am enjoying Nicholas and Olivia’s story and I can’t wait to buddy review this one with my friend, Ames. After I finish Royally Screwed, I’m going to jump into Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews so that I can finally see what everyone else has been going on and on about. Everyone loves Ilona Andrews so I’m going to find out if I love her too. Finally.

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!


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Review: Born in Fire by K.F. Breene

Posted August 18, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Born in Fire by K.F. BreeneReviewer: Holly
Born in Fire (Fire and Ice Trilogy, #1) by K.F. Breene
Series: Fire and Ice Trilogy #1
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: February 18, 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 448
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Heart pounding and laugh out loud funny, USA Today Bestselling author K.F. Breene will take you on a magical joy ride you won't soon forget.

Supernatural Bounty Hunter isn't the sort of thing you see on LinkedIn. But with a rare type of magic like mine, I don't have many options.

So dangerous or not, the job is mine. And it was going fine, until an old as sin vampire stole my mark, and with it, my pay day.

Knowing I'm poor and desperate, he has offered me a job. I'll have to work by his side to help solve a top secret case.

Everyone knows not to trust vampires. Especially a hot elder vampire. But without any other jobs coming up, I'm stuck. As I uncover a web of lies and treachery, revealing an enemy I didn't know existed, the truth of my identity is threatened. I might make it out alive, only to end up in a gilded cage.

Born in Fire is the first book in K.F. Breene’s Fire and Ice Trilogy, which follows supernatural bounty hunter Raegan Somserset. It’s currently $2.99 for Kindle (or free for KU), which is where I picked it up after seeing it recommended at the back of one of Ilona Andrews’ books (I don’t recall which one).

Raegan hunts down those with magical abilities, though the majority of the human population doesn’t realize they exist. Despite being great at her job, she doesn’t make a lot because her lineage makes it impossible for her to acquire legal papers to work. So when her latest mark gets stolen – and her cut of the bounty with it – by a vampire, she’s beyond angry. Out of money – and options – she’s forced to agree to work with the vampires on another matter, even though it goes against everything she’s been taught about staying under the radar and avoiding vampires.

Raegan has a smart mouth and a sharp wit, which means she constantly butts head with her vampire escort, Darius, the one who stole her mark. Though she’s forced to work with him she isn’t happy about it, and refuses to pretend otherwise. Of course that doesn’t help with the inappropriate attraction she feels toward him – which seems to be reciprocated. Good thing she knows vampires are users and can’t be trusted – especially with her secrets.

This is my first book by Breene, but it won’t be the last. It was fast-paced and action-packed from the start. Raegan’s sarcastic humor and smart mouth made for some entertaining scenes. There were a few times it bordered on being campy, though for the most part it was just a lighter UF. There’s very little romance in this book. There are hints that more may come in later books, but here it’s very mild.

There were times the story seemed to drag on. At 488 pages, it’s pretty meaty. It probably could have been cut down a bit and been an easier read. Even so, it was well-written and very enjoyable. I can’t wait to find out what happens with Raegan and Darius in the future.

3.75 out of 5

four-stars


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Bookish Thoughts: Full Book Lists Wanted, The Ripped Bodice is Accepting Patrons, Passionflix, Series Reading and #ShallowReaderBingo

Posted August 17, 2017 by Holly in Discussions | 10 Comments

Wanted: Full book lists on author websites

Authors, please include a full list of your works, including short stories, on your website. I’m the type of person who likes to read a series (especially long ones) in order, including novellas. If I can’t find the information on your website, I’m going to be pretty annoyed. As an example, I’m going to use Ilona Andrews. On the Kate Daniels page, it lists only the full length novels. However, there is a link to the full list, including anthologies.

Clicking the Small Magics anthology link takes me to a full page list of the stories set in the world, including all short stories and where they fall in the line-up.

Authors, seriously. I need this in my life. Please, if you haven’t already, go update your book lists. Keri Arthur, I’m looking at you. The title of your novella and what anthology it’s available in would also be much appreciated!

The Ripped Bodice (the only exclusively romance bookstore in the Northern Hemisphere) is now accepting Patrons

From their latest newsletter:

Today we’re taking a new step that we hope will help us to continue to grow and thrive for years to come. Many members of the romance community have expressed a desire to support The Ripped Bodice from afar.

We’re excited to announce that we’ve launched a Patreon, and you can become an official Patron of the Ripped Bodice.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, I think it’s great for those who want to support them but don’t live close enough to do so in person (I live in SoCal, but the 2.5 hour drive makes it hard to get down there on the reg). On the other hand, why offer a crowd funding service instead of pushing their online bookstore? Unless this is a way to help offset the cost of author and reader events at the store? That would make sense. Anyway, here’s the info:

Why become a Patron?

Our page has detailed information about giving levels and some of the fun and exciting things you’ll receive every month. While we will never stop communicating and sharing the goings on at the store with the internet at large, some of our behind the scenes tomfoolery will be moved over to the Patreon and be available just for our patrons.

For the first month of our Patreon, all our new Patrons will get 10% off our fly new gear!
Discount code only available till 9/5/17 (code comes in your thank you email)
You can check it out here!

You can donate $3, $5 or $20 (or more!) per month for various offers and discounts from The Ripped Bodice. Check out the Patreon site for details. There’s a Sherry Thomas short story being offered for new members, thanks to Berkley and the author!

Passionflix – Turning your favorite romance novels into movies and series… On Demand

Have you guys seen this? I can’t tell you how excited I am! Passionflix is a subscription streaming service that turns our romance novels into movies on demand. I’m not going to lie, I’m a little nervous about the quality of the movies being produced. We’ve all seen the traveshamockery at Hallmark and Lifetime (remember Rose Hill, the made-for-t.v. movie of For the Roses by Julie Garwood? shudder). Still, I’m hoping for the best.

Here’s what you get for your money:

Becoming a found member ($100 flat fee):

A 2 year Subscription (a 30% savings!)
Invites for a walk on role, Passionflix parties or set visits.
Voting privileges on our exclusive reality shows like Cast Your Book Boyfriend.
Help us find the next romantic leading man.
Discounts on Passionflix Merchandise.
Be the First to Know what’s going on Behind the Scenes.

Be an Early Bird Subscriber ($3.99 monthly fee):
Register your interest now and you’ll be invited to join when we launch for a discounted price of $3.99/month.

I signed up as a Founding Member. Despite my concerns over the (possible) quality of the movies, I’m excited about this.

Here are the movies already in production:

Hollywood Dirt

Alessandra Torre

While making a movie in a small Georgian town, Hollywood’s hearthrob Cole Masten casts spirited local girl Summer Jenkins as his leading lady, on screen and off.

Coming Sept 2017

 
 

Afterburn/Aftershock

Sylvia Day

Businesswoman Gia Rossi is determined to be successful in her new job, but when her ex lover Jax Rutledge waltzes back into her life, their passionate connection ignites not only in the boardroom, but the bedroom.

Coming Nov 2017

 
 

The Trouble with Mistletoe

Jill Shalvis

Real estate developer Keane Winters may have stood up pet shop owner Willa Davis in high school, but now he wants her under the mistletoe and in his life.

Coming Dec 2017

 
 

A Brother’s Honor

Brenda Jackson

While working to prove their father’s innocence and save the family company each of the three brothers come to terms with the past, find their own future happiness and unexpected love.

Coming 2018

 
 

Shallow Reader Bingo

Thanks to Willa on Twitter, I recently discovered Shallow Reader Bingo. You guys, this is amazing! It looks like it hasn’t been updated in a couple months, but I love the idea.

Series Reading – When is it Time To Say Goodbye?

While putting together a list of books I’m looking forward to in September, I started thinking about long-running series. Specifically J.D. Robb’s In Death series (currently at 45 books) and Hannah Howell’s Murray Family series (21 books). I had to stop reading the Murray Family series because I felt like each book was the same, so I’m not quite sure how it ended (or if it did). I’m behind about 10 books in the In Death series, but I wonder if it’s becoming stale (for the record, I’m not suggesting it is, as I’m so far behind, just wondering how long she can sustain it).

At what point should a series end? When the author is tired of it? When it stops selling well? Obviously, there’s no right answer to that question since each series and author is different, but how do you feel about open-ended series?


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Guest Review: So Bad It Must Be Good by Nicole Helm

Posted August 17, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: So Bad It Must Be Good by Nicole HelmReviewer: Tracy
So Bad It Must Be Good by Nicole Helm
Published by Kensington Publishing Corp., Lyrical Press
Publication Date: August 22nd 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Wrong guy. Wrong situation. Might be right.

Free of her overbearing family and their dreams, not hers, Kayla Gallagher is living for herself instead of for her clan's successful restaurant. Step One: finally make her move on Aiden Patrick, the bad-boy son of Gallagher's long-time repairman. Too bad Aidan’s taciturn older brother shows up instead . . .

As the “responsible Patrick,” Liam has always made a conscious choice to do the right thing. He likes fixing things for people—whether it be a broken appliance or a bad situation. Which means he can’t just brush off the quiet Gallagher. Clearly, she needs a shoulder to lean on. But suddenly a shoulder becomes so much more, and Kayla isn’t the quiet little girl she used to be. She’s a vivid, down-for-anything woman showing Liam several sizzling ways to put passion first . . .

As things heat up between them, Liam’s family threatens to come apart for good. The only way Liam can set things right means giving up Kayla. But she’s not about to take no for an answer—or let their chance for something sweeter than desire crash-and burn without a fight.

Kayla has always worked for her family but she decided she’d been treated badly one too many times and quit.  Unfortunately she’d not really done anything since then.  She sees her old crush Aiden Patrick one day and he’s excited to see her.  Aiden asks Kayla out but when it comes time for the date Aiden isn’t around – is supposedly dealing with something – and asks his stoic brother, Liam, to go tell Kayla that he can’t make it.

Liam heads to the bar and ends up talking to Kayla (who’s pissed about Aiden) and even though they don’t touch each other that night they eventually start a relationship.  They’re so good together but Aiden is pissed at his brother for taking “his girl” and complains to mommy – who asks Liam to give Kayla up to keep the peace in the family.  Liam has to decide if he will go with his family’s wishes or stay with the woman he loves.

This was a pretty cute book.  It seemed to be a pretty fast read as Liam and Kayla get together and things move along at a pretty fast clip.  I liked Liam and Kayla together so reading their romance was a treat.

I hated the way that Liam’s family treated him – mostly his mother and brother.  Kayla hated it too and it was really the only thing they got into arguments about.  When Liam’s mom asks Liam to give her up because of Aiden, I was madder than a hornet! What mother does that?  Ugh!

Anyway, the romance was cute and I liked the characters in the story.  It was a pleasant read and I definitely liked it better than book one in this series.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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