Author: Holly

Standalone Series Books: Yes, That’s a Thing

Posted November 6, 2018 by Holly in Discussions | 5 Comments

Holly: Lately, Rowena and I have been increasingly frustrated with the number of authors who label their books as standalones when they are, in fact, part of a series.

The Chase by Elle Kennedy is the first book in the Briar U series, which is a spinoff of the Off-Campus series. Yet the description says, “A sexy standalone novel from New York Times and international bestselling author Elle Kennedy!”

The blurb for Part-Time Lover by Lauren Blakely says, “From #1 New York Times bestselling author Lauren Blakely comes a sexy new standalone romance…”, yet it features characters we met in Wanderlust (Part-Time Lovers series).

Rowena: It seems to me that this is a new development, at least in romance because I don’t ever remember going through this before. Books in a series could be read as standalone but they were linked by something. Some of those series were linked together by characters, some were linked by the world that they were set in, and sometimes they had a story arc that went through multiple books, but that last one wasn’t necessary or even the case for every series. I can’t agree with what Holly says above enough. It is possible for a book to read as a standalone but still be part of a series.

She also mentions that there are some readers that prefer to read standalones and that’s fine, you should be able to love and want what you want. We prefer to know that characters we meet and love in one book, also show up in their own books…because then it’s not a standalone, it’s part of a series and should be labeled as such.

I just finished reading Sleepover by Serena Bell and though the book is listed as a standalone, I just know that the hero’s brother Brooks is going to get his own book because the ending led the reader to believe as much. The ending also announces the engagement of a couple from another book that was released back in June of this year. So this book is definitely part of a series and is linked together by the characters but if you were a new reader of this author (like me), you wouldn’t know that. “Sleepover is a standalone novel with no cheating, no cliffhangers, and a satisfying happily ever after. This ebook includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.” Yet, it follows Do Over and Head Over Heels.

She’s not the only author that is guilty of this. She’s just the latest one that I’ve read and my frustration continues to grow and grow and grow. Holly hears about this frustration every time so we figured it was time to write this post.

Here are some examples of series with books that can be read as standalones but are linked together under the series umbrella.

The 21 Wall Street Series by Lauren Layne

This series follows three friends who work together on Wall Street. You don’t have to read the first book to get the second book, or the third book. The only thing that links these books together are the heroes in each book are friends. That’s it.

FBI/US Attorney Series by Julie James

Here’s another series that doesn’t need to be read in order. Each book can be read as a standalone and the series follows a different couple in the same world.

Colorado Mountain Series by Kristen Ashley


The same deal applies here with this series. They don’t really need to be read in order but there are recurring characters in each of these books. Some characters show up in all of the books, some show up in only a few but the common link in these books are the characters. The point is, the books can be read as standalones, but they’re connected in some way.

I’m not sure if this is a publisher thing or an author thing but whoever is in charge of making these decisions, please change this back. If books are linked in any way, readers should know that. I’m not sure when books being part of a series became a bad thing but I promise, I don’t see it as such.

The more you know and all of that…


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What Are You Reading? (+ Helena Hunting Giveaway)

Posted November 2, 2018 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 10 Comments

WAYR-New

Casee: I’m still reading/listening to the same books I was last week. Yep, I may have reverted back to my curse. One bad reading week isn’t going to get me down, though. It just wasn’t a great week. I’m a little farther into Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini Singh. I just simply love this series. This series is it for me.

I’m also still listening to Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven. It’s gotten really, really good and I’m hoping to finish that off in the next few days.

Holly: I spent the week mostly re-reading. I binge-watched The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix, and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. That took up a lot of my reading time.I reread Fantastical, Broken Dove, Midnight Soul, The Time in Between, Sweet Dreams and The Gamble by Kristen Ashley. I know, I know. Once I started I couldn’t stop. I finished listening to Natural Dual-Mage by K.F. Breene and started a re-read of Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs.

I’m currently reading Sleepover by Serena Bell.

Rowena: This week was a pretty slow week for me on the reading front. I blame my having to watch and re-watch Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House with everyone in my life that I forced to watch it so that I can discuss it with them. I’ve watched the entire series 2 and a half times and I enjoyed watching it every single time. It’s so good, you guys should watch it for yourselves.

I did manage to get some reading in though. I finished Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs and enjoyed that one, even though I was expecting a bit more with the villain in the end. Still, it was a good addition and I’m looking forward to continuing the series. After that I started three different books before I finished one of them last night. I started Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs, Wait for It by Mariana Zapata and Sleepover by Serena Bell. I finished the Serena Bell last night and thought it was a cute romance. A great single parents romance that made me smile and look up the other two books that are linked with this book (even though it’s listed as a standalone, grrr). Today, I’m going to jump right back into the Patricia Briggs book and finish that one and the Mariana Zapata book over the weekend.

Giveaway Alert

We are very fortunate here at Book Binge. We have loads and loads of books to read and we want to share the wealth so each week, we’ll be tacking on a Freebie Friday giveaway to our What Are You Reading posts. This week, we’re giving away…

What Are You Reading? (+ Helena Hunting Giveaway)I Flipping Love You (Shacking Up, #3) by Helena Hunting
Series: Shacking Up #3
Also in this series: I Flipping Love You (Shacking Up, #3)
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Format: Print
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

A new kind of love story about flipping houses, taking risks, and landing that special someone who’s move-in ready…

SHE’S GOT CURB APPEAL

Rian Sutter grew up with the finer things in life. Spending summers in The Hamptons was a normal occurrence for her until her parents lost everything years ago. Now Rian and her sister are getting their life, and finances, back on track through real estate. Not only do they buy and sell houses to the rich and famous, but they finally have the capital to flip their very own beachfront property. But when she inadvertently catches the attention of a sexy stranger who snaps up every house from under her, all bets are off…

HE’S A FIXER UPPER

Pierce Whitfield doesn’t normally demo kitchens, install dry wall, or tear apart a beautiful woman’s dreams. He’s just a down-on-his-luck lawyer who needed a break from the city and agreed to help his brother work on a few homes in the Hamptons. When he first meets Rian, the attraction is undeniable. But when they start competing for the same pieces of prime real estate, the early sparks turn into full-blown fireworks. Can these passionate rivals turn up the heat on their budding romance — without burning down the house?

I FLIPPING LOVE YOU, set in the Shacking Up world, follows two people, both working in real estate, who find themselves vying for the same properties in the Hamptons, leading to a sometimes-not-so-friendly competition.

What Are You Reading: I Flipping Love You

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


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Books to Binge On: November 2018

Posted November 1, 2018 by Holly in Features | 1 Comment

Books to Binge On

The countdown to holiday reading has begun. Are you guys ready for Thanksgiving? How about Christmas? Those holidays are right around the corner. If you want to bury your head in the sand for a little while longer, here are some books we think you should binge on in the month of November.


Diamond Fire (Hidden Legacy #3.5) by Ilona Andrews.

Nevada Frida Baylor and Connor Ander Rogan cordially invite you to join their wedding celebration. Summoning, weather manipulation, and other magical activities strictly forbidden.

Catalina Baylor is looking forward to wearing her maid of honor dress and watching her older sister walk down the aisle. Then the wedding planner gets escorted off the premises, the bride’s priceless tiara disappears, and Rogan’s extensive family overruns his mother’s home. Someone is cheating, someone is lying, and someone is plotting murder.

To make this wedding happen, Catalina will have to do the thing she fears most: use her magic. But she’s a Baylor and there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for her sister’s happiness. Nevada will have her fairy tale wedding, even if Catalina has to tear the mansion apart brick by brick to get it done.

Casee: I usually don’t go for novellas, but Nevada and Rogan? I’m so there.

Rowena: More Hidden Legacy goodness? Count me in, count yourself in too…these books shouldn’t be missed!

Holly: YASSSS.


Fireworks (True North #6) by Sarina Bowen.

Skye Copeland is on paid leave from her broadcasting job after accidentally drawing a pecker on the traffic map.

Let that sink in. Like it’s her fault the traffic pattern created a perfect schlong?

Skye isn’t laughing. She needs this job. And that’s the only reason she’s willing to chase down a story in her least favorite place—that hell on earth known as Vermont.

A quick trip. In and out. Much like – never mind. She can sneak into the town that once tried to break her, get the story and slide back into the good graces of her producer. Easy peasy.

But things go sideways the moment she steps over the county line. Her stepsister is running from a violent drug dealer. And the cop on the case is none other than Benito Rossi, the man who broke Skye’s teenage heart.

His dark brown eyes still tear her apart. And even as she steels herself to finally tell him off after twelve years, the old fireworks are still there.

Things are about to go boom.

Casee: If you told me in August that I would be looking forward to a Sarina Bowen book I would have told you that was crazy. Not so crazy these days.

Rowena: Benito!! I can’t wait for everyone to read this book. I enjoyed it so much!

Holly: Yaaasssss.


Leopard’s Run (Leopard People #9) by Christine Feehan.

He keeps his emotions on a tight leash, but she can see the desire burning in his eyes…

Timur Amurov has one purpose in life: protect his family at all costs. With lethal skills honed from a violent upbringing, Timur is a leopard shifter who sees any newcomers as possible threats–and the petite blond barista who his sister-in-law, Evangeline, has hired to work in her bakery is definitely hiding something. While Timur still needs to determine if Ashe is an enemy, he does know that she is the only woman whose presence has ever truly calmed the beast roaring inside of him.

Ashe Bronte is well aware she has a type: sexy, gorgeous and dangerous as hell. Despite the fact that Timur is all those things and more, Ashe is in San Antonio for reasons that do not involve getting wild with a ruthless leopard–and she cannot afford to make any mistakes. But Timur has ignited something deep within her, and even though she knows she should keep her distance, every move he makes has her craving a taste…

Casee: I’m addicted to these books.


The Other Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys #3) by Julia Quinn.

She was in the wrong place…

Fiercely independent and adventurous, Poppy Bridgerton will only wed a suitor whose keen intellect and interests match her own. Sadly, none of the fools from her London season qualify. While visiting a friend on the Dorset coast, Poppy is pleasantly surprised to discover a smugglers’ hideaway tucked inside a cave. But her delight turns to dismay when two pirates kidnap her and take her aboard a ship, leaving her bound and gagged on the captain’s bed…

He found her at the wrong time…

Known to society as a rascal and reckless privateer, Captain Andrew James Rokesby actually transports essential goods and documents for the British government. Setting sail on a time-sensitive voyage to Portugal, he’s stunned to find a woman waiting for him in his cabin. Surely, his imagination is getting the better of him. But no, she is very real—and his duty to the Crown means he’s stuck with her.

Can two wrongs make the most perfect right?

When Andrew learns that she is a Bridgerton, he knows he will likely have to wed her to avert a scandal—though Poppy has no idea that he is the son of an earl and neighbor to her aristocratic cousins in Kent. On the high seas, their war of words soon gives way to an intoxicating passion. But when Andrew’s secret is revealed, will his declaration of love be enough to capture her heart…?

Rowena: Julia Quinn is a must read author for me. I have enjoyed all of the other books in this series and am looking forward to more Bridgerton and Rokesbys goodness with Andrews book!

Holly: I haven’t read a JQ book in ages. I’m excited for this next set of the Bridgerton’s though.


Ache for You (Slow Burn #3) by J.T. Geissinger.

In this fairy tale with a sexy twist, she’s a penniless San Francisco seamstress. He’s the king of Italian couture. Who’s got designs on whom?

Boutique owner Kimber DiSanto has seen better days. She’s been dumped at the altar by Prince Charmless, her business went up in flames (literally), and now she’s stuck in Florence, Italy, with an ice-queen stepmother, to try to save her late father’s failing dress shop. Only one thing could make it worse: another man in her life. The arrogant Italian fashion tycoon offering to buy her father’s shop is as rich as he is sexy, and their attraction is off the charts. But Kimber’s not about to get burned again.

Women don’t say no to Matteo Moretti—and certainly not with Kimber’s stinging precision. With all the heat and fury sparking between them, Matteo can’t resist baiting the gorgeous American. His plan? Win her over one scorching kiss at a time.

Kimber tells herself it’s all just a game. That her broken heart isn’t in danger, and that Matteo’s touch does not make her Lady Land dance with joy. But sometimes it takes the fieriest of enemies to turn a fantasy into a real-life romance.

Rowena: I read and enjoyed the first book in this series so much that I’m looking forward to reading more from this author, and this series. This one is definitely on my wishlist.

Holly: I really loved the first book in this series. The second didn’t work as well for me, but I’m still excited for this one.


Snowfall on Lighthouse Lane by JoAnn Ross.

Lose yourself in the magic, charm and romance of Christmas in the Pacific Northwest as imagined in JoAnn Ross’s heartwarming Honeymoon Harbor series.

Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks, Jolene Harper is forever indebted to the mother who encouraged her to fly—all the way to sunny LA and a world away from Honeymoon Harbor. Although Jolene vowed never to look back, returning home isn’t even a question when her mom faces a cancer scare. Which means running into Aiden Mannion all over town, the first boy she ever loved—and lost—and whom she can barely look in the eye.

Aiden’s black-sheep reputation may have diminished when he joined the marines, but everything he’s endured since has left him haunted. Back in Honeymoon Harbor to heal, he’s talked into the interim role of police chief, and the irony isn’t lost on the locals, least of all Aiden. But seeing Jolene after all these years is the unexpected breath of fresh air he’s been missing. He’s never forgotten her through all his tours, but he’s not sure anymore that he’s the man she deserves.

Despite the secret they left between them all those years ago, snow is starting to fall on their picturesque little town, making anything seem possible…maybe even a second chance at first love.

Holly: I’m really liking this series. The town of Honeymoon Harbor came to life in the first book. I didn’t love this one quite as much, but it was still a good read.

What books are you looking forward to binging on this month? Any books we missed?


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Exclusive Excerpt: Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini Singh (+Giveaway)

Posted October 30, 2018 by Holly in Promotions | 3 Comments

Although I adore Nalini Singh as an author the Guild Hunter series is my favorite of everything she writes. It’s such a dark, gritty world and Elena is such a badass, I live for each new release. Archangel’s Prophecy returns to Elena and Raphael, with Elena growing more mortal each day. Things are getting more violent for our favorite power couple and I can’t wait to see where Singh takes us next.

Exclusive Excerpt: Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini Singh (+Giveaway)Archangel's Prophecy (Guild Hunter, #11) by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #11
Also in this series: Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Storm (Guild Hunter #5), Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter #6), Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter, #8), Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter #1), Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9), Archangel's Kiss, Angels' Blood, Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter, #10), Archangel's Viper
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 368
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

Return to New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s darkly passionate Guild Hunter world, where human-turned-angel Elena Deveraux, consort to Archangel Raphael, is thrust center stage into an eons-old prophecy....

Midnight and dawn, Elena’s wings are unique among angelkind…and now they’re failing. The first mortal to be turned into an immortal in angelic memory, she’s regressing. Becoming more and more human. Easier to hurt. Easier to kill.

Elena and Raphael must unearth the reason for the regression before it’s too late and Elena falls out of the sky. Yet even as they fight a furious battle for Elena’s very survival, violent forces are gathering in New York and across the world.

In China, the Archangel Favashi is showing the first signs of madness. In New York, a mysterious sinkhole filled with lava swallows a man whole. In Africa, torrential monsoon rains flood rolling deserts. And in Elena’s mind whispers a haunting voice that isn’t her own.

This time, survival may not be possible…not even for the consort of an archangel.

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || INDIE BOUND || iBOOKS || KOBO

Excerpt

Excerpt from ARCHANGEL’S PROPHECY
By Nalini Singh

Her blade safely stored, Elena’s sister took the jacket that Jeffrey had retrieved for her. It was a puffy thing, dark green in color and with fake brown fur around the hood that suited Eve’s face with its soft layer of baby fat that was already being honed to adult sharpness by age and the strenuous training regime at Guild Academy.

Jeffrey’s coat couldn’t have been more different; tailored black, it reached halfway down his calves.

He held out something to Elena.

Startled, she took it, unraveling the soft gray fabric to realize he’d handed her a scarf. She knew it was his the instant she put it around her neck. The scent of his aftershave lingered in the woven strands, bringing with it a thousand childhood memories.

Of being held against his chest when she got too tired to walk.

Of laughing wildly with him as they played a game of tag.

Of watching him dance with Belle and Marguerite in the living room while Ari took photographs on her new camera and Beth played with her dolls.

Of walking in on a kiss in the kitchen between Jeffrey and Marguerite and feeling her heart squeeze so hard in happiness.

Shattered pieces of a mirror with jagged edges, memories of a life forever destroyed.

Part of her wanted to tear off the scarf, tear off this resonance of yesterday, but she didn’t reject the offer. With her and Jeffrey, it was a tightrope, a fragile balance that could be upended with a single word.

They began to walk the five blocks to Majda and Jean-Baptiste’s home.

It was three minutes later that Eve said, “Ellie, psst.”

Following her sister’s gaze, Elena saw that Eve was pointing to where Elena’s left wing dragged through the snow. A chill filled Elena’s blood, and it had nothing to do with the winter white that blanketed the world and made her breath create small, icy clouds as it left her mouth.

She hadn’t felt the slack in her wing muscles.

Neither had she felt the wet cold of the snow.

Posted by arrangement with Berkley, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Nalini Singh, 2018.

Guild Hunter Series

Giveaway Alert

Print Giveaway: Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini Singh

About Nalini Singh

I've been writing as long as I can remember and all of my stories always held a thread of romance (even when I was writing about a prince who could shoot lasers out of his eyes). I love creating unique characters, love giving them happy endings and I even love the voices in my head. There's no other job I would rather be doing. In September 2002, when I got the call that Silhouette Desire wanted to buy my first book, Desert Warrior, it was a dream come true. I hope to continue living the dream until I keel over of old age on my keyboard.

I was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. I also spent three years living and working in Japan, during which time I took the chance to travel around Asia. I’m back in New Zealand now, but I’m always plotting new trips. If you’d like to see some of my travel snapshots, have a look at the Travel Diary page (updated every month).

So far, I've worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher and not necessarily in that order. Some might call that inconsistency but I call it grist for the writer's mill.


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Review: Snowfall on Lighthouse Lane by JoAnn Ross

Posted October 29, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Snowfall on Lighthouse Lane by JoAnn RossReviewer: Holly
Snowfall on Lighthouse Lane (Honeymoon Harbor, #2) by JoAnn Ross
Series: Honeymoon Harbor #2
Also in this series: Herons Landing (Honeymoon Harbor, #1)
Publisher: HQN
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Lose yourself in the magic, charm and romance of Christmas in the Pacific Northwest as imagined in JoAnn Ross’s heartwarming Honeymoon Harbor series.

Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks, Jolene Harper is forever indebted to the mother who encouraged her to fly—all the way to sunny LA and a world away from Honeymoon Harbor. Although Jolene vowed never to look back, returning home isn’t even a question when her mom faces a cancer scare. Which means running into Aiden Mannion all over town, the first boy she ever loved—and lost—and whom she can barely look in the eye.

Aiden’s black-sheep reputation may have diminished when he joined the marines, but everything he’s endured since has left him haunted. Back in Honeymoon Harbor to heal, he’s talked into the interim role of police chief, and the irony isn’t lost on the locals, least of all Aiden. But seeing Jolene after all these years is the unexpected breath of fresh air he’s been missing. He’s never forgotten her through all his tours, but he’s not sure anymore that he’s the man she deserves.

Despite the secret they left between them all those years ago, snow is starting to fall on their picturesque little town, making anything seem possible…maybe even a second chance at first love.

Snowfall on Lighthouse Lane is book two in the Honeymoon Harbor series. Jolene was the character from the previous book I was most looking forward to learning more about.

Jolene grew up dirt poor with a wonderful mother but an alcoholic father in a small town. As soon as she could she left town and made a life for herself as a makeup artist in California. After an Emmy nomination, things are going very well for her in her career, but after the mother of all bad days – she finds out her boyfriend is engaged to someone else and her apartment burns down – she learns her mother may be sick. She’s been wanting to develop a line of organic beauty products, so she heads back home to Honeymoon Harbor to work on that and be with her mom.

Aiden Mannion was a hellion as a teen, but after a stint in the Marines and several years working undercover with the LAPD, he’s settled down. After his partner was killed in an op gone bad, he’s back in Honeymoon Harbor to lick his wounds and heal. The town needs an interim Sheriff and he reluctantly accepts the job on a temporary basis. He and Jolene have history, and he’s quick to renew their friendship – and more – once she returns to town. But things are never simple in a small town, especially when he’s starting to think he never wants to leave and Jolene has a life several states away.

The small-town of Honeymoon Harbor came to life and I felt a real connection to those who live there. It was clear Jolene and Aiden had a true, deep foundation once they got past their initial awkwardness over their separation. They dated in high school, but broke up right before Aiden left for the Marines. He always regretted not telling Jolene how much he cared for her, and he’s glad to have the opportunity to renew their friendship…and possibly have more. It was lovely how quick he was to recognize Jolene as the only person he wanted in his life. Their romance set off sparks, but was also very heartwarming.

I did struggle a bit with the pacing. Parts seemed to drag on, especially in the middle. The book had a paranormal element I wasn’t expecting that seemed out of place given this is a contemporary romance.

View Spoiler »

Still, I can’t deny I enjoyed those parts, so I guess I can’t complain too much.

Overall I liked the story, though not quite as much as the first book, Herons Landing. JoAnn Ross always writes sweet, lovely stories. This small-town romance delivers in a big way.

3.25 out of 5

Honeymoon Harbor

three-half-stars


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