Tag: Holly Says

Our Favorite Office Romances

Posted April 17, 2019 by Rowena in Discussions | 7 Comments

Rowena: I freaking LOVE office romances. I love boss/secretary romances, the battle for promotion between co-workers romances, hate to love coworker romances, and really, any kind of romance that takes place in an office. Sure, in real life, office romances aren’t my thing but in fiction? I can’t get enough so we’re going to be sharing our Top 10 favorite office romances with you lovely readers today.

While putting this list together, we realized that we all have different thoughts on what makes a romance, an office romance. For me, an office romance is set in an office between two people who work together so those are the kinds of office romances you’ll see in this post.

Here’s our list given in true Book Binge fashion. Since we couldn’t agree on a set ten because reading is subjective and Holly hated all of the books Casee and I chose, each of us took turns listing our favorite books with comments from the peanut gallery. Enjoy! (H: Hey! I didn’t hate them all…just most of them) (C: Uh-huh)

Straight couple posed in an embrace with woman fixing man's tie
Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James

Behind closed doors, they’re laying down the law.

When it comes to the laws of attraction…

Payton Kendall and J.D. Jameson are lawyers who know the meaning of objection. A feminist to the bone, Payton has fought hard to succeed in a profession dominated by men. Born wealthy, privileged, and cocky, J.D. has fought hard to ignore her. Face-to-face, they’re perfectly civil. They have to be. For eight years they have kept a safe distance and tolerated each other as coworkers for one reason: to make partner at the firm.

…There are no rules.

But all bets are off when they’re asked to join forces on a major case. Though apprehensive at first, they begin to appreciate each other’s dedication to the law—and the sparks between them quickly turn into attraction. But the increasingly hot connection does not last long when they discover that only one of them will be named partner. Now it’s an all-out war. And the battle between the sexes is bound to make these lawyers hot under the collar…

Rowena: Man do I miss Julie James books. Practice Makes Perfect is the second book that Julie James released and it’s one that I adore so much. The competition between Peyton and J.D., the sizzling chemistry between the two of them made for such a fabulous romance. Julie James does excellent office romance and this one is top notch.

Holly: It’s funny, because everyone always raves about this book, but I’m not a huge fan. I didn’t hate the book, but it certainly isn’t my favorite by James. Still, I can see why Rowena included it on this list.

A red book cover with leaves in the background
Double Standards by Judith McNaught

In the exclusive, glittering world of business superstars, Nick Sinclair was a legend…

The ruggedly handsome president of Global Industries handled his business the way he handled his women — with charm, daring and ruthless self-control. A man used to the very best, Nick hired Lauren Danner, and assumed the proud beauty would soon be another easy conquest. But Lauren’s flashing wit and rare spirit dazzled him — and slowly, against his will, he was intrigued, challenged — and in love.

Yet Lauren was living a lie, a charade that became more dangerous with every passing moment. Trapped in a web of deceit, she fought her growing love for Nick. Her secret could destroy his fragile trust — and the promise of life with the most compelling man she had ever met!

Rowena: Is this book problematic? Sure….but that doesn’t stop me from loving the hell out of this book anyway. Double Standards is one of those books that shouldn’t have held up because my reading tastes have changed and a lot of things that happen in this book would piss me off in real life and in other books but for some reason, I absolutely love this one and I probably always will. Don’t listen to Holly. Don’t listen to Casee either.

Holly: Y’all. Sometimes I think Rowena should be committed. This book isn’t just problematic. It’s downright awful. He sent her outside in Chicago in the middle of winter without a coat. She literally got on her knees and begged him to listen to her and he just sent her away. My blood boils every time I think about it. There’s a whole lot of nope from me on this one.

Casee: For once I agree with Holly (go buy a lottery ticket!). This book wasn’t just problematic. It’s horrendously bad. As stated above, she got down on her knees and begged him. Then sent her away into a storm without a coat. I know I’m just repeating what Holly has said, but these were all the things that bothered me as well. Including the fact that Lauren actually forgave him. Ugh.

Rowena: She was sent to spy on him and cripple his entire life’s work. She never came clean and he found out about her betrayal and reacted. Considering his past and who she was working for? I would have kicked her ass to the curb too. She was fired. She was escorted out. It just happened to be winter. Give me a break.


Huge Deal (21 Wall Street #3) by Lauren Layne

Even for a top-gun banker, temptation this hot is quite a gamble, in a sexy Wall Street romp from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

An alpha among the wolves of Wall Street, Kennedy Dawson rose to the top of the pack by striking the right contracts at the right times. But there’s one deal that’s been giving him a run for his money—a pact to never again let his assistant, Kate, get under his skin. She may be smart, gorgeous, and sharp as a whip, but she’s definitely off-limits.

Kate Henley isn’t a banker, but she knows a thing or two about risk management—specifically, about managing her attraction to her smolderingly sexy boss. She already fell once, and Kennedy showed no sign of paying a return on her investment. So when Kennedy’s brother starts pursuing her, Kate figures she has the best of both worlds. Jack is charming, rich, very attentive, and the spitting image of his older brother.

It’s also making Kennedy think twice. But to win Kate’s heart, he’ll have to broker the deal of a lifetime…and prove he’s worth the risk.

Rowena: The lead up to this book was fantastic. We meet these two in book 1. The heroine is the hero’s administrative assistant but there’s a history that’s hinted in the previous books that had me thirsty to get their story. Lauren Layne does not disappoint. This book was everything that I wanted Kennedy and Kate’s story to be and I can’t wait to re-read it…it was that good for me.

sexy man in glasses with the word brooklynaire across the length of the picture
Brooklynaire (Brooklyn Bruisers #4) by Sarina Bowen

A sexy new standalone from USA Today bestseller Sarina Bowen.

You’d think a billion dollars, a professional hockey team and a six-bedroom mansion on the Promenade would satisfy a guy. You’d be wrong.

For seven years Rebecca has brightened my office with her wit and her smile. She manages both my hockey team and my sanity. I don’t know when I started waking in the night, craving her. All I know is that one whiff of her perfume ruins my concentration. And her laugh makes me hard.

When Rebecca gets hurt, I step in to help. It’s what friends do. But what friends don’t do is rip off each others’ clothes for a single, wild night together.

Now she’s avoiding me. She says we’re too different, and it can never happen again. So why can’t we keep our hands off each other?

Rowena: Nate and Becca’s book was such a sweet romance and it’s got a spin on the old boss and secretary office romance trope. This time around, the boss is mad for the secretary and seeing him try to win her over at every turn while trying to give her the world made for such a fantastic romance. Sarina Bowen hit it out of the park for me with this one. I loved it!

Holly: I loved this one, too. Bowen teased us with Becca and Nate’s flirty little romance for ages and I wasn’t disappointed when we finally got the real deal.

Hate Notes by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward Book Cover
Hate Notes by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward

From New York Times bestselling authors Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward comes an unexpected love story of secondhand hearts and second chances…

It all started with a mysterious blue note sewn into a wedding dress.

Something blue.

I’d gone to sell my own unworn bridal gown at a vintage clothing store. That’s when I found another bride’s “something old.”

Stitched into the lining of a fabulously feathered design was the loveliest message I’d ever read: Thank you for making all of my dreams come true.

The name embossed on the blue stationery: Reed Eastwood, obviously the most romantic man who ever lived. I also discovered he’s the most gorgeous. If only my true-love fantasies had stopped there. Because I’ve since found out something else about Mr. Starry-Eyed.

He’s arrogant, cynical, and demanding. I should know. Thanks to a twist of fate, he’s my new boss. But that’s not going to stop me from discovering the story behind his last love letter. A love letter that did not result in a happily ever after.

But that story is nothing compared to the one unfolding between us. It’s getting hotter, sweeter, and more surprising than anything I could have imagined.

Something new.

But I have no idea how this one is going to end…

Casee: I actually enjoyed this book until Holly started picking it apart. Reed was a jerk, but what hero isn’t?

Holly: Ugh. No. Reed, the hero, was such a jerk. For the entire book he was a jerk. Did I say no?

Rowena: I didn’t hate this book though I do agree that Reed was a dickhead. This isn’t a favorite of mine by any means but in the end, Reed’s character came around for me.

Rock Hard by Nalini Singh Book Cover
Rock Hard (Rock Kiss #2) by Nalini Singh

In New York Times Bestselling author Nalini Singh’s newest contemporary romance, passion ignites between a gorgeous, sinfully sexy man who built himself up from nothing and a shy woman who has a terrible secret in her past…

Wealthy businessman Gabriel Bishop rules the boardroom with the same determination and ruthlessness that made him a rock star on the rugby field. He knows what he wants, and he’ll go after it no-holds-barred.

And what he wants is Charlotte Baird.

Charlotte knows she’s a mouse. Emotionally scarred and painfully shy, she just wants to do her job and remain as invisible as possible. But the new CEO—a brilliant, broad-shouldered T-Rex of a man who growls and storms through the office, leaving carnage in his wake—clearly has other plans. Plans that may be equal parts business and bedroom.

If Charlotte intends to survive this battle of wits and hearts, the mouse will have to learn to wrangle the T-Rex. Game on.

Rowena: This is another fabulous boss/secretary office romance. I loved seeing Gabriel and Charlie battle wits and I especially loved seeing Charlie grow strong over the course of the book and Gabriel win her over. Nalini Singh really killed it with this one and I so adored every minute of this book.

Casee: While this isn’t my favorite book of the Rock Kiss series, I really did enjoy seeing Charlie come out of her shell.


Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

Meet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets.

Secrets from her boyfriend: I’ve always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken. Secrets from her mother: I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom with Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben-Hur.
Secrets she wouldn’t share with anyone in the world: I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is.

Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger.…Until Emma comes face-to-face with Jack Harper, the company’s elusive CEO, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her…

Rowena: This book cracked me up from beginning to end. I loved getting to know both Emma and Jack. Emma was such a delightful character and Jack was a total babe. Sophie Kinsella delivered a charming rom com that had me laughing at every turn….it’s one of my favorites to re-read.

Holly: You guys, I love this book. SO much. Kinsella definitely delivered with this book. I haven’t read it in ages, but I remember it fondly.

A cartoon cover with woman in yellow dress and hand on her hip, looking at a man in a white button down shirt fixing his tie
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.

Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.

If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth-shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.

Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

Rowena: Gah, I love this one. Josh and Lucy are coworkers who hate each other. They do things that annoy each other every single day and when they’re both up for a promotion, the one-upmanship kicks into high gear. This book was so much fun and I adored both Josh and Lucy so much. Sally Thorne did her thing with this one and I ate it all up. So good!

Shirtless Man holding a woman's leg with a black stiletto up
The Trouble with Love (Sex, Love & Stilettos #4) by Lauren Layne

As Lauren Layne’s salacious Sex, Love & Stiletto series returns, a jaded columnist discovers a steamy way to get over an old flame: falling for him all over again.

As Stiletto magazine’s authority on all things breakup-and-heartache, Emma Sinclair writes from personal experience. Five years ago, Emma was Charlotte, North Carolina’s darling debutante and a blushing bride-to-be. Now she’s the ice queen of the Manhattan dating scene. Emma left her sultry Southern drawl behind, but not even her closest friends know that with it she left her heart. Now Emma’s latest article forces her to face her demons—namely, the devilishly sexy guy who ditched her at the altar.

After giving up everything for a pro-soccer career, Alex Cassidy watches his dreams crumble as a knee injury sidelines him for good. Now he’s hanging up his cleats and giving journalism a shot. It’s just a coincidence that he happens to pick a job in the same field, and the same city, as his former fiancée . . . right? But when Emma moves in next door, it’s no accident. It’s research. And Alex can’t help wondering what might have been. Unlike the innocent girl he remembers, this Emma is chic, sophisticated, and assertive—and she wants absolutely nothing to do with him. The trouble is, Alex has never wanted her more.

Rowena: Lauren Layne is my favorite author right now. She writes office romances like a champ! Alex and Emma’s story began before they worked together and the chemistry between these two was super steamy. I loved this book to pieces and will always, always pimp it out at every turn.

Holly: I haven’t read many books by Layne, but this was a great office romance. I loved the dynamic between the two and how much chemistry they had.

Casee: I really need to read this one. I loved the Oxford series.

Wanderlust by Lauren Blakely Book Cover
Wanderlust by Lauren Blakely

A charming British hero, the woman who tempts him, and a hands-off arrangement that’s oh-so-hard to maintain.

My bags are packed and I’m ready to go. All I have to do is board a plane, and I’ll be on my way to fulfilling a promise I made long ago. Bonus points — my last week in Paris looks to be even better when I meet a gorgeous, clever American woman and make plans to take her back to my flat that night.

But before we can get together for what would surely be a fantastic final fling, my boss hits me with a double whammy. My previous client didn’t pay, so there’s no trip, and the new client I now desperately need is none other than the tempting American I’m about to take home.

Have I mentioned this timing bloody sucks?

***

I’ll admit it — I have a big weakness for a hot British accent. As in, they make me swoon, sigh, and want to toss my panties. Good thing I can avoid that kind of temptation in Paris. So it’s just my luck that the man who’s the key to success in my new job is the man whose voice makes me melt. Oh, and we have to spend all our days together for work.

Thanks a lot, fate.

To top it off, I quickly learn he’s witty, kind and has a heart and mind I’m falling for fast.

All I have to do is resist him every single freaking day. That’s so easy. Not.

But then I learn that’s nothing compared to the real hurdle we face.

What could go wrong with falling in love in Paris? Nearly everything, it seems…

Casee: I absolutely adored this book. I loved Joy and Griffin. I loved how there was none of the usual drama between the characters, but their love came through loud and clear. It’s one of the best books that I’ve listened to this year.

Holly: This is one of the best books I read in 2018. I absolutely loved both Joy and Griffin, and bonus! Richard Armitage narrated the audio. ::swoon::

Did any of your favorite office romances make our list? Which ones?
What do you consider office romances?


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Book Binge’s Most Anticipated Reads of 2019

Posted February 20, 2019 by Holly in Discussions, Features | 20 Comments

There are so many wonderful books coming out in 2019. We decided to compile a list of our most anticipated of them all. At the end of the year, we’re going to come back to this post and see how many of the books we were looking forward to lived up to the hype we gave it. We’ll be counting the books that we actually read and enjoyed and which books were flops.

In the meantime, here are the books that made our list.

January


Free (Chaos #6) by Kristen Ashley.
Paperback – January 29, 2019

Through good times, bad times and times of war, Cole “Rush” Allen grew up in the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Along this journey, he watched his father, Tack, and his MC brothers fight, sweat, bleed and die to steer the Club to legitimacy.

And they’ve got one more battle on their hands.

A battle they have to win.

But when Rush meets the woman who put herself right in the thick of it, he knows he has to stop at nothing to get her out.

Rebel Stapleton has lost someone she loves to murder and she’s the kind of woman who’s going to do something about it. She puts her career on the line, and her life, to bring the man who did it to justice.

That is, she does this until Rush Allen intervenes.

Chaos is at war and they’re about to face the ultimate showdown. They’ll have to negotiate skeletons from the past, enemies becoming allies, and loved ones in the line of fire on their ride to be…

Free.

February


Huge Deal (21 Wall Street #3) by Lauren Layne.
Kindle Edition – February 12, 2019

Even for a top-gun banker, temptation this hot is quite a gamble, in a sexy Wall Street romp from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

An alpha among the wolves of Wall Street, Kennedy Dawson rose to the top of the pack by striking the right contracts at the right times. But there’s one deal that’s been giving him a run for his money—a pact to never again let his assistant, Kate, get under his skin. She may be smart, gorgeous, and sharp as a whip, but she’s definitely off-limits.

Kate Henley isn’t a banker, but she knows a thing or two about risk management—specifically, about managing her attraction to her smolderingly sexy boss. She already fell once, and Kennedy showed no sign of paying a return on her investment. So when Kennedy’s brother starts pursuing her, Kate figures she has the best of both worlds. Jack is charming, rich, very attentive, and the spitting image of his older brother.

It’s also making Kennedy think twice. But to win Kate’s heart, he’ll have to broker the deal of a lifetime…and prove he’s worth the risk.


The Risk (Briar U #2) by Elle Kennedy.
Kindle Edition – February 18, 2019

A sexy standalone novel from New York Times and international bestselling author Elle Kennedy. THE RISK takes you back to the world of hot hockey players, feisty heroines, bro banter, and steamy scenes…

Everyone says I’m a bad girl. They’re only partly right—I don’t let fear rule me, and I certainly don’t care what people think. But I draw the line at sleeping with the enemy. As the daughter of Briar’s head hockey coach, I’d be vilified if I hooked up with a player from a rival team.

And that’s who Jake Connelly is. Harvard’s star forward is arrogant, annoying, and too attractive for his own good. But fate is cruel—I require his help to secure a much-coveted internship, and the sexy jerk isn’t making it easy for me.

I need Connelly to be my fake boyfriend.

For every fake date…he wants a real one.

Which means this bad girl is in big trouble. Nothing good can come from sneaking around with Jake Connelly. My father would kill me, my friends will revolt, and my post-college career is on the line. But while it’s getting harder and harder to resist Jake’s oozing sex appeal and cocky grin, I refuse to fall for him.

That’s the one risk I’m not willing to take.


Devil’s Daughter (The Ravenels #5) by Lisa Kleypas.
Hardcover – February 19, 2019

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas delivers a scintillating tale of a beautiful, young widow who finds passion with the one man she shouldn’t…

Although beautiful young widow Phoebe, Lady Clare, has never met West Ravenel, she knows one thing for certain: he’s a mean, rotten bully. Back in boarding school, he made her late husband’s life a misery, and she’ll never forgive him for it. But when Phoebe attends a family wedding, she encounters a dashing and impossibly charming stranger who sends a fire-and-ice jolt of attraction through her. And then he introduces himself…as none other than West Ravenel.

West is a man with a tarnished past. No apologies, no excuses. However, from the moment he meets Phoebe, West is consumed by irresistible desire…not to mention the bitter awareness that a woman like her is far out of his reach. What West doesn’t bargain on is that Phoebe is no straitlaced aristocratic lady. She’s the daughter of a strong-willed wallflower who long ago eloped with Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent—the most devilishly wicked rake in England.

Before long, Phoebe sets out to seduce the man who has awakened her fiery nature and shown her unimaginable pleasure. Will their overwhelming passion be enough to overcome the obstacles of the past?

Only the devil’s daughter knows…


Lady Derring Takes a Lover (The Palace of Rogues #1) by Julie Anne Long.
Mass Market Paperback – February 26, 2019

A mistress. A mountain of debt. A mysterious wreck of a building.

Delilah Swanpool, Countess of Derring, learns the hard way that her husband, “Dear Dull Derring,” is a lot more interesting—and perfidious—dead than alive. It’s a devil of an inheritance, but in the grand ruins of the one building Derring left her, are the seeds of her liberation. And she vows never again to place herself at the mercy of a man.

But battle-hardened Captain Tristan Hardy is nothing if not merciless. When the charismatic naval hero tracks a notorious smuggler to a London boarding house known as the Rogue’s Palace, seducing the beautiful, blue-blooded proprietress to get his man seems like a small sacrifice.

They both believe love is a myth. But a desire beyond reason threatens to destroy the armor around their hearts. Now a shattering decision looms: Will Tristan betray his own code of honor…or choose a love that might be the truest thing he’s ever known?


The Scoundrel in Her Bed (Sins of All Season #3) by Lorraine Heath.
Mass Market Paperback – February 26, 2019

The third electrifying romance in Lorraine Heath’s USA Today bestselling Sins of all Seasons series.

The bastard son of a nobleman, Finn Trewlove was a shameful secret raised by a stranger. As Finn came of age, he had secrets, too—the clandestine nights spent with an earl’s daughter. But her promise of forever ended in betrayal.

Driven by a past that haunts her, Lady Lavinia Kent seeks redemption in London’s underworld, engaged in a daring cause inspired by the young man to whom she gave her innocence, and who then proved himself a scoundrel by abandoning her.

When their paths cross again, they can’t deny the yearning and desire that still burns. As they discover the truth behind the deceptions that tore them apart, Finn and Lavinia must fight to reclaim what they’ve lost, no matter how dangerous—because love is worth the risk…

March


Wild Country (World of The Others #2) by Anne Bishop.
Hardcover – March 5, 2019

In this powerful and exciting fantasy set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Others series, humans and the shape-shifting Others will see whether they can live side by side…without destroying one another.

There are ghost towns in the world—places where the humans were annihilated in retaliation for the slaughter of the shape-shifting Others.

One of those places is Bennett, a town at the northern end of the Elder Hills—a town surrounded by the wild country. Now efforts are being made to resettle Bennett as a community where humans and Others live and work together. A young female police officer has been hired as the deputy to a Wolfgard sheriff. A deadly type of Other wants to run a human-style saloon. And a couple with four foster children—one of whom is a blood prophet—hope to find acceptance.

But as they reopen the stores and the professional offices and start to make lives for themselves, the town of Bennett attracts the attention of other humans looking for profit. And the arrival of the Blackstone Clan, outlaws and gamblers all, will uncover secrets…or bury them.


Sin & Salvation (Demigod of San Francisco #3) by K.F. Breene.
Kindle Edition – March 19, 2019

Valens has noticed his two missing employees. It won’t be long before he knows who is responsible.

It won’t be long before he claims his vengeance.

The race is on. Kieran and Lexi must scrape together an army worthy of taking on the Demigod of San Francisco before he destroys them all.

But Valens isn’t Lexi’s only problem. Mordecai’s rapid recovery has been noticed, and he has once again become a threat to his old pack.

Lexi’s little family is in jeopardy of being torn apart, and to save them…she must finally embrace what it means to be a Soul Stealer.

April


The Savior (Black Dagger Brotherhood #17) by J.R. Ward.
Hardcover – April 2, 2019

In the venerable history of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, only one male has ever been expelled—but Murhder’s insanity gave the Brothers no choice. Haunted by visions of a female he could not save, he nonetheless returns to Caldwell on a mission to right the wrong that ruined him. However, he is not prepared for what he must face in his quest for redemption.

Dr. Sarah Watkins, researcher at a biomedical firm, is struggling with the loss of her fellow scientist fiancé. When the FBI starts asking about his death, she questions what really happened and soon learns the terrible truth: Her firm is conducting inhumane experiments in secret and the man she thought she knew and loved was involved in the torture.

As Murhder and Sarah’s destinies become irrevocably entwined, desire ignites between them. But can they forge a future that spans the divide separating the two species? And as a new foe emerges in the war against the vampires, will Murhder return to his Brothers… or resume his lonely existence forevermore?


Gimme Some Sugar (Southern Eclectic #3) by Molly Harper.
Paperback – April 2, 2019

A young widow returns to Lake Sackett, Georgia to face the ghosts of her past—and decide if she’s ready to take another chance on love—in the third sparkling Southern Eclectic novel that “goes down as easy as honey on a deep-fried Twinkie” (Library Journal, on Sweet Tea and Sympathy).

Lucy Brewer would never have guessed that her best friend, Duffy McCready (of McCready’s Bait Shop & Funeral Home) has been in love with her since they were kids. Fear of rejection and his own romantic complications prevented Duffy from confessing his true feelings in high school, so he stood by and watched her wed Wayne Bowman right after high school. Wayne had always been a cheapskate, so it comes as no surprise when he suffers a fatal accident while fixing his own truck.

Even as her family and friends invade Lucy’s life and insist that the new widow is too fragile to do much beyond weeping, Lucy is ashamed to admit that life without Wayne is easier, less complicated. After all, no one knew what a relentless, soul-grinding trudge marriage to Wayne had been. Only Duffy can tell she’s hiding something.

In need of a fresh start, Lucy asks Duffy to put his cabinet-building skills to use, transforming the town’s meat shop into a bake shop. As the bakery takes shape, Lucy and Duffy discover the spark that pulled them together so many years ago. Could this finally be the second chance he’s always hoped for?


Meet Cute by Helena Hunting.
Paperback – April 9, 2019

Kailyn Flowers was always calm, rational, and controlled-until she ended up sprawled all over Daxton Hughes, the former actor she totally crushed on as a teenager. Then she did the unthinkable: She became a mortifying fangirl in five seconds flat, which may or may not have included professing her undying love. And oddly, he didn’t run away. In fact, their meet cute led to a friendship she never saw coming. Of course, she never saw his betrayal coming, either…

Now Dax needs her help. As guardian to his thirteen-year-old sister, he’s in way over his head. And though Kailyn hasn’t forgiven Dax, she isn’t heartless enough to make him fend for himself, either. Soon their friendly meetings turn into flirty dinner dates, and Kailyn can feel their chemistry is as explosive as ever. But how can she possibly let down her guard again to a guy who has heartbreak written all over him?


At the Pleasure of the President (The Perfect Gentlemen #5) by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake.
Paperback – April 9, 2019

When a dangerous conspiracy threatens to tear them apart, he’ll have to choose between his country and the woman he loves…

Decades ago, ambitious Zack Hayes set his sights on the White House. He’s worked his whole life to become the leader of the free world—attending the right schools, marrying the perfect bride—all to aid his campaign. He didn’t realize someone behind the scenes has been pulling the strings to manipulate Zack and the country he loves into a dangerous position—one he will risk his life to wrench free from. The one thing he can’t risk is Elizabeth Matthews.

From the moment she met Zack Hayes, Liz felt the connection. Serving as his campaign manager and then his press secretary, she accepted that her love for him would remain unrequited. Still, she’d thought they were friends, so when he pushed her aside, she felt the stab in her heart. And when she realizes he’s done it to protect her, nothing will stop Liz from standing by his side—not even the men who would use her as a weapon against him.

As shocking secrets are revealed, Zack and Liz find succor and passion in each other’s arms. When the ultimate villain shows his face, Zack may have to choose between his country and the woman he loves…

May


Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson #11) by Patricia Briggs.
Hardcover – May 7, 2019

In this new instalment in the No. 1 New York Times bestselling series, Mercy Thompson must face a deadly enemy to defend all she loves . . .

My name is Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman, and I am a car mechanic.

And a coyote shapeshifter . . . And the mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack.

Even so, none of that would have gotten me into trouble if, a few months ago, I hadn’t stood upon a bridge and taken responsibility for the safety of the citizens who lived in our territory. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. It should have only involved hunting down killer goblins, zombie goats, and an occasional troll. Instead, our home was viewed as neutral ground, a place where humans would feel safe to come and treat with the fae.

The reality is that nothing and no one is safe. As generals and politicians face off with the Gray Lords of the fae, a storm is coming and her name is Death.

But we are pack, and we have given our word. We will die to keep it.


The Bride Test by Helen Hoang.
Paperback – May 7, 2019

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.


Sweep of the Blade (Innkeeper Chronicles #4) by Ilona Andrews.
Kindle Edition – May 14, 2019

Maud Demille was a daughter of Innkeepers. She knew that a simple life wasn’t in the cards, but she never anticipated what Fate would throw at her.

Once a wife to a powerful vampire knight, Maud and her daughter, Helen, had been exiled for the sins of her husband to the desolate planet of Karhari. Karhari killed her husband, and Maud had spent a year and a half avenging his debts. But now all the debts are paid. Rescued by her sister Dina, Maud had swore off all things vampire. Except she met Arland, the Marshal of House Krahr. One thing led to another and he asked for her hand in marriage. She declined.

Try as she might, she can’t just walk away from Arland. It doesn’t help that being human is a lot harder for Maud than being a vampire.

To sort it all out, she accepts his invitation to visit his home planet. House Krahr is a powerful vampire House, and Maud knows that a woman who turned down the proposal from its most beloved son wouldn’t get a warm reception. But Maud Demille never shied from a fight and House Krahr may soon discover that there is more to this human woman than they ever thought possible.

Published in as an online free serial before the book is compiled and self-published shortly after completion.


The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren.
Paperback – May 14, 2019

Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Amy, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.


Passion on Park Avenue (The Central Park Pact #1) by Lauren Layne.
Paperback – May 28, 2019

From the author of the New York Times bestselling Stiletto and Oxford series, the first in a sizzling new series following the unlikely friendship of three Upper East Side women as they struggle to achieve their dreams and find true love and happiness in the city that never sleeps.

For as long as she can remember, Bronx-born Naomi Powell has had one goal: to prove her worth among the Upper East Side elite—the same people for which her mom worked as a housekeeper. Now, as the strongminded, sassy CEO of one of the biggest jewelry empires in the country, Naomi finally has exactly what she wants—but it’s going to take more than just the right address to make Manhattan’s upper class stop treating her like an outsider.

The worst offender is her new neighbor, Oliver Cunningham—the grown son of the very family Naomi’s mother used to work for. Oliver used to torment Naomi when they were children, and as a ridiculously attractive adult, he’s tormenting her in entirely different ways. Now they find themselves engaged in a battle-of-wills that will either consume or destroy them…

Filled with charm and heart and plenty of sex and snark, this entertaining series will hook you from the very first page.

June


Shadow Warrior (Shadow #4) by Christine Feehan.
Paperback – June 4, 2019

Vittorio Ferraro is a man whose family loyalty knows no bounds. He would die for his siblings and the people they love, but what he really wants is to start a family of his own. Deep down, Vittorio has always known finding a woman who could ride shadows would be nearly impossible—let alone one who could accept his particular needs—and he never expected to find her in the middle of a kidnapping.…

Grace Murphy has always been drawn to Vittorio Ferraro—or at least to the billionaire’s public bad-boy persona. Now that she’s under his protection and the sole focus of his intense caring, she can’t help wanting to get as close to him as possible. But Grace knows her presence is putting the entire Ferraro family in danger. Her monster of a brother will never let her go, but Vittorio has no intention of losing the woman whose shadow matches his own.


Wolf Rain (Psy-Changeling Trinity #3) by Nalini Singh.
Hardcover – June 4, 2019

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh takes us on a new adventure in this next novel of the Psy-Changeling Trinity series…

The end of Silence was supposed to create a better world for future generations. But trust is broken, and the alliance between Psy, Changeling, and human is thin. The problems that led to Silence are back in full force. Because Silence fixed nothing, just hid the problems.

This time, the Psy have to find a real answer to their problems–if one exists. Or their race will soon go extinct in a cascade of violence. The answer begins with an empath who is attuned to monsters–and who is going to charm a wolf into loving her despite his own demons.


Alpha’s Promise (Dark Protectors #10) by Rebecca Zanetti.
Kindle Edition – June 25, 2019

Though he has vampire, demon, and Viking blood rushing through his veins, Ivar Kjeidsen’s soul-crushing trip to hell broke him in ways he can barely fathom. One vow keeps the deadly immortal standing: To rescue the vampire brother who had sacrificed freedom for him. To do that, Ivar needs the help of a brilliant physicist with wary brown eyes, fierce brilliance, and skin that’s way too soft.

Dr. Promise Williams understands the underpinnings of the universe but has never figured out the human beings inhabiting it. Her function is to think—and not feel—until she’s touched by a vampire who’s nowhere near human. The primal hunger in his eyes awakens feelings in her that defy calculation. As she shows him the way to step between worlds, he brands her with a pleasure that could last more than a lifetime . . .

July


The Swipe Right (Modern Love #1) by Alisha Rai.
Paperback – July 2, 2019

Alisha Rai returns with the first book in her sizzling new Modern Love series, in which two rival dating app creators find themselves at odds in the boardroom but in sync in the bedroom.

Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules:

– Nude pics are by invitation only

– If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice

– Protect your heart

Only there aren’t any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night… and disappears.

Rhi thought she’d buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won’t fumble their second chance, but she’s wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…


Brazen and the Beast (The Bareknuckle Bastards #2) by Sarah MacLean.
Mass Market Paperback – July 30, 2019

The Lady’s Plan

When Lady Henrietta Sedley declares her twenty-ninth year her own, she has plans to inherit her father’s business, to make her own fortune, and to live her own life. But first, she intends to experience a taste of the pleasure she’ll forgo as a confirmed spinster. Everything is going perfectly…until she discovers the most beautiful man she’s ever seen tied up in her carriage and threatening to ruin the Year of Hattie before it’s even begun.

The Bastard’s Proposal

When he wakes in a carriage at Hattie’s feet, Whit, a king of Covent Garden known to all the world as Beast, can’t help but wonder about the strange woman who frees him—especially when he discovers she’s headed for a night of pleasure . . . on his turf. He is more than happy to offer Hattie all she desires…for a price.

An Unexpected Passion

Soon, Hattie and Whit find themselves rivals in business and pleasure. She won’t give up her plans; he won’t give up his power . . . and neither of them sees that if they’re not careful, they’ll have no choice but to give up everything . . . including their hearts.

August


Sapphire Flames (Hidden Legacy #4) by Ilona Andrews.
Mass Market Paperback – August 27, 2019

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews comes an enthralling new trilogy set in the Hidden Legacy world, where magic means power, and family bloodlines are the new currency of society…

In a world where magic is the key to power and wealth, Catalina Baylor is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, and the Head of her House. Catalina has always been afraid to use her unique powers, but when her friend’s mother and sister are murdered, Catalina risks her reputation and safety to unravel the mystery.

But behind the scenes powerful forces are at work, and one of them is Alessandro Sagredo, the Italian Prime who was once Catalina’s teenage crush. Dangerous and unpredictable, Alessandro’s true motives are unclear, but he’s drawn to Catalina like a moth to a flame.

To help her friend, Catalina must test the limits of her extraordinary powers, but doing so may cost her both her House–and her heart.


The Wallflower Wager (Girl Meets Duke #3) by Tessa Dare.
Mass Market Paperback – August 27, 2019

They call him the Duke of Ruin.

To an undaunted wallflower, he’s just the beast next door.

Wealthy and ruthless, Gabriel Duke clawed his way from the lowliest slums to the pinnacle of high society—and now he wants to get even.

Loyal and passionate, Lady Penelope Campion never met a lost or wounded creature she wouldn’t take into her home and her heart.

When her imposing—and attractive—new neighbor demands she clear out the rescued animals, Penny sets him a challenge. She will part with her precious charges, if he can find them loving homes.

Done, Gabriel says. How hard can it be to find homes for a few kittens?

And a two-legged dog.

And a foul-mouthed parrot.

And a goat, an otter, a hedgehog . . .

Easier said than done, for a cold-blooded bastard who wouldn’t know a loving home from a workhouse. Soon he’s covered in cat hair, knee-deep in adorable, and bewitched by a shyly pretty spinster who defies his every attempt to resist. Now she’s set her mind and heart on saving him.

Not if he ruins her first.

September


Archangel’s War (Guild Hunter #12) by Nalini Singh.
Mass Market Paperback – September 24, 2019

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, faces a new challenge that threatens the balance of the world.

The world of the archangels, guild hunters, and humans is thrust into peril by a new emerging threat. Elena Deveraux and her archangel Raphael are irrevocably changed, but how their changes affect the world around them is yet to be determined…

Which books are you most looking forward to this year? Share in the comments!


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2019 Reading Goals

Posted January 17, 2019 by Holly in Discussions | 8 Comments

This year we’re all setting reading goals. We’re all participating in Super Wendy’s TBR Challenge, and we plan to bring back our Summer Reading Challenge this year. Below are our personal reading goals.

Holly
I try not to overwhelm myself with reading goals. If I set too many I can’t keep up with, I start getting reading anxiety and it becomes a chore to read at all.

Read at least 200 books

Every year I join the Goodreads Reading Challenge and set my goal at 200 books. I’m not going to change the number this year, but I hope to read 250. I came close in 2018. So fingers crossed.

Read more diverse books

I’d like to focus more on reading diverse romances. I’ve already started a list. I’m not going to set a number goal for this, but I am going to make it a priority.

Read more historical romance

I’ve been on a historical hiatus for the past year or so. With few exceptions, I avoid the sub-genre entirely. I’d like to get my historical mojo back. For now I’m going to try to read at least 1 historical per month.

Read more new-to-me authors

This year I want to read more new-to-me authors. My goal is at least 5 per month. I’m a little nervous about this goal, because I tend to be a reader of habit, always sticking with authors I know and love, and re-reading a lot.

Read more books from Kindle Unlimited and the Audible Romance Package

The Audible Romance Package is just $6.95/mo if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber or Audible Gold or Platinum member ($14.95 if not). As with KU, if you have the Audible Romance Package you can listen to an unlimited number of audiobooks from the ARP catalog for one set price, up to 6 at a time. They have thousands of romance audiobooks available. Audiobooks can be expensive, so this is a much more budget friendly way of listening. I definitely want to take better advantage of the program in 2019. The same with Kindle Unlimited. I only just subscribed to KU in March of 2018 and I definitely didn’t read enough KU books to justify the cost.

Read more from – and better organize – my TBR Pile

Let’s face it, I’m a book hoarder. Digital reading has made things worse, because I don’t see the stacks of book sitting around. I’d like to organize my digital TBR pile this year and start culling it down. I’d like to read at least 2 TBR books per month.

Review More

I’m going to try to review every book I read in 2019. I’m not going to include re-reads in that, unless I’m re-reading a book I haven’t ever reviewed. I read so much, I often struggle to get all my books reviewed. Hopefully I can change that this year.

Casee

Reading goals make me antsy. It’s just a fact. When I think I’m not meeting a goal, I tend to just quit altogether. It’s kind of like me and exercise. But that’s another story. This year, I have decided to set reasonable goals for myself.

Read at least 100 books

I always join the Goodreads Reading Challenge and this year is no different. I didn’t meet my goal last year I was surprised at how disappointed I was in myself. How hard is it to read 75 books? 2018 wasn’t my reading year. 2019? A new me!

Listen to more audiobooks

It was late last year that Holly introduced me to the wonderful world of audiobooks. Honestly, I had no idea what I was missing. I had listened to an audiobook here and there that I checked out from the library, but really. Audible has opened up a new world for me. A world that I adore.

Read more books from Kindle Unlimited

I subscribed to Kindle Unlimited for one reason. To get the Audible Romance Package for $6.95. Don’t judge. I have found a few good books through KU. This year, I am determined to give KU more of my time. Just because they’re books through KU doesn’t mean that they’re bad. Honestly, I have no idea how I got that idea in my head.

Read more New-to-Me Authors

I only read ten (10!) new-to-me authors in 2018. That is crazy talk. Just crazy. I don’t even think my new author “kick” started until July. I’m ashamed. I tend to get into a comfort zone. Then I don’t leave it. I’ve already read two new-to-me authors so far this year and I’m determined to make it more this year.

Read more

What I really want to do more this year is to just read. I just want to take the time to sit down and read. Yes, I want to listen to more audiobooks, but I miss just being able to sit down for two hours and read. That’s one of my goals this year.

Review every book

Yes, you read that correctly. This year my goal is to review every since book that I read and/or listen to. I did pretty good last year since I read so few books. I remember a time when reviewing didn’t overwhelm me or feel like a chore. I started to feel that feeling again late last year. The feeling of enjoyment in writing a review. I’m hoping that feeling will continue.

Rowena

I already wrote up my personal goals for the year on my personal blog so if you guys want to catch that, you can click on over and check it out for yourselves.

MY PERSONAL, READING, AND BLOGGING GOALS FOR 2019

What are your 2019 reading goals? Tell us in the comments.


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2018 Reading Year in Review: Holly

Posted January 16, 2019 by Holly in Features | 7 Comments

I track all my reading on Goodreads. I set up shelves for the info I want to track. When I finish a book, I add it to the relevant shelves and bam, done.

I may try to keep a more detailed log this year, but we’ll see if that lasts. I’m pretty lazy when it comes to tracking, and Goodreads makes it pretty easy.

2018 was a pretty good reading year for me. I set a Goodreads reading goal of 200 Books in 2018, which I managed to meet in November. I include new-to-me and re-reads in that, as well as DNF’s if I read at least half the book before quitting. I averaged about 18 books per month. I also set a personal goal to read more new-to-me authors. I tend to get into a funk and read a lot of the same authors. I didn’t do quite as well with that as I’d have liked, but I did a lot better than the previous two years.

Quick Stats for the Year

Books Read: 220 | Books DNF’d: 7 | Books Re-Read: 102
eARCs Read: 55 | Books Reviewed: 76 | Average Monthly Books Read: 18
 Audiobooks: 110 | Pages Read: 66,403 | New to Me Authors: 39

The Breakdown

By Month

I tried 39 new-to-me authors. Of those, I went on to read multiple books by Anne Bishop, Molly Harper, J.T. Geissinger, Lauren Blakely and Lorraine Heath. I DNF’d 7 books. Which isn’t too bad, considering how many I read throughout the year. I averaged about 18 books per month.

By Genre

I read a lot of UF/F in 2018. I took a long break from UF, so I had a lot of great series to catch up on. Contemporary remains my favorite sub-genre, but I’m determined to read more historicals in 2019. I really like Sci-Fi, but I rarely read it. I need to work on that. Romantic Suspense remains the bain of my existence. I doubt I’ll ever come to love it.

By Format

  • Hardcover (0)
  • Paperback (0)
  • Audio (110)
  • eBook (100)

I’ll be honest, I didn’t start keeping track of format until late in the year. I kept track of how many audiobooks I listened to, but otherwise didn’t pay attention. I know I didn’t read any hardcovers this year, but it’s possible I read a couple paperbacks. I just don’t remember which ones or how many. Generally speaking, I only read in digital or listen to audiobooks, and audiobooks are new for me. I plan to keep better track in the coming year of eArc vs Purchase, so I may track format better as well.

Monthly Breakdown

January

Books Reviewed


Books Read

A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Pretty Girls Dancing by Kylie Brant
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor
Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor
Happiness for Humans by P.Z. Reizin
Beyond Scandal and Desire by Lorraine Heath
Honor’s Splendour by Julie Garwood
The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen
The Gamble by Kristen Ashley
The Wedding by Julie Garwood
The Secret by Julie Garwood
The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan
Guardian Angel by Julie Garwood
Brooklynaire by Sarina Bowen

Favorite and Least Favorite

My favorite read of the month was probably Pretty Girls Dancing by Kylie Brant. It wasn’t a romance, but I enjoyed the ebb and flow of the story. I also really enjoyed Brooklynaire by Sarina BowenA Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet and the Binti series by Nnedi Okorafor. My least favorite read was Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet. That book was a hot mess.

February

Books Reviewed


Books Read

Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas
Written in Red by Anne Bishop
Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop
Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop
Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop
Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop
Lake Silence by Anne Bishop
Natural Witch by K.F. Breene
Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews
One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews
White Hot by Ilona Andrews
Saving Grace by Julie Garwood
Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
Rough Ride by Kristen Ashley

Favorite and Least Favorite

My favorite reads of the month were the Anne Bishop books. I’m not sure I have a favorite from the series, so I’m just including them all. Hello Stranger was also wonderful. I adored Ethan.

My least favorite was Rough Ride by Kristen Ashley. I liked Snapper, but overall the novella was slow moving and kind of boring. It wasn’t a bad read, it just didn’t hold up against the other books I read this month.

March

Books Reviewed


Books Read

The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard
Dark Desires by Eve Silver
Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt
Complicated by Kristen Ashley
Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley
For You by Kristen Ashley
On the Edge by Ilona Andrews
Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews
Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon by Kerrelyn Sparks
Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken
Flames and Chains by G.A. Aiken
About a Dragon by G.A. Aiken

Favorite and Least Favorite

My favorite read of the month was Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken, with Duke of Sin a close second. My least favorite was Flames and Chains, a short story included with Dragon Actually. It was originally written for her newsletter and it showed. I also really struggled with the audiobook of Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley. That was horrible. I love that book like whoa, but the audio was junk.

April

Books Reviewed


Books Read

Dragon’s Oath by Sophie Stern
Snowfall and Secrets by Kimberly Loth
Natural Mage by K.F. Breene
Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid
Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
White Hot by Ilona Andrews
Prince in Leather by Holley Trent
The Hellion by Christi Caldwell
Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Sweep in Peace
One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Hour of Need by Melinda Leigh
Ocean Light by Nalini Singh
Crimes Against Magic by Steve McHugh

Favorite and Least Favorite

My favorite read of the month was Natural Mage by K.F. Breene. I’m really loving that series. My Least favorite was probably Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid. I didn’t hate the book, but I had high expectations based on recommendations from those in my trust circle and it didn’t live up to them.

May

Books Reviewed


Books Read

Planet Dragos by Thea Harrison
The Hookup by Erin McCarthy
Rock Chick Reborn by Kristne Ashley
Not Quite Crazy by Catherine Bybee
Burn for You by J.T. Geissinger
Melt for You by J.T. Geissinger
Chosen by K.F. Breene
Hunted by K.F. Breene
Shadow Lands by K.F. Breene
Invasion by K.F. Breene
Siege by K.F. Breene
Overtaken by K.F. Breene
Overtaken: Bonus Epilogue by K.F. Breene
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews
Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews
Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley
Diamond Bay by Linda Howard
White Lies by Linda Howard

Favorite and Least Favorite

My favorite read of the month was Burn for You by J.T. Geissinger. It’s a modern-day Beauty and the Beast retelling. I ended up reading it 3 times it was so good. My least favorite read was Rock Chick Reborn by Kristen Ashley. I was so looking forward to Shirleen’s story, but she acted so unlike herself it killed the story for me.

June

Books Reviewed


Books Read

A Questionable Client by Ilona Andrews
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Curran POV Collection: Unicorn Lane by Ilona Andrews
Curran POV Collection: Fernandos by Ilona Andrews
Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews
Curran POV Collection: Soup by Ilona Andrews
Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews
Curran POV Collection: Midnight Games by Ilona Andrews
Curran POV Collection: Hot Tub by Ilona Andrews
Magic Mourns by Ilona Andrews
Curran POV Collection: Kate’s Origin by Ilona Andrews
Curran POV Collection: Naked Dinner by Ilona Andrews
Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
Curran POV Collection: Conclave by Ilona Andrews
Curran POV Collection: Awake by Ilona Andrews
Magic Dreams by Ilona Andrews
Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews
Magic Gifts by Ilona Andrews
Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews
Retribution Clause by Ilona Andrews
An Ill-Advised Rescue by Ilona Andrews
Curran Twitter, The Wilson Building by Ilona Andrews
Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews
Dabwaha, Curran Twitter by Ilona Andrews
Magic Steals by Ilona Andrews
Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews
Magic Stars by Ilona Andrews
Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews
In Bed with a Highlander by Maya Banks
Seduction of a Highland Lass by Maya Banks
Never Love a Highlander by Maya Banks
The Kingpin of Camelot by Cassandra Gannon
Giving Chase by Lauren Dane
Taking Chase by Lauren Dane
Shadow’s Edge by J.T. Geissinger
Edge of Oblivion by J.T. Geissinger
Hot Single Dad by Claire Kingsley
Her Best Friend by Claire Kingsley

Favorite and Least Favorite

My favorite non-reread of the month was probably Hot Single Dad by Claire Kingsley. There were some issues, but overall it was a cute read. My least favorite was Shadow’s Edge by J.T. Geissinger. I kept anticipating some major event to happen, and it never came to be. I enjoyed book 2 quite a bit more.

July

Books Reviewed


Books Read

Wild Like the Wind by Kristen Ashley
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
The Trouble with Love by Lauren Layne
Midnight Valentine by J.T. Geissinger
Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews
Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews
White Hot by Ilona Andrews
Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh

Favorite and Least Favorite

My favorite read of the month was The Kiss Quotient. I really loved the reverse Pretty Woman storyline and both the hero and heroine. My least favorite was Midnight Valentine by J.T. Geissinger. It started out really strong but went downhill at the end.

August

Books Reviewed


Books Read

Complicated by Kristen Ashley
The Secret (Highland Lairds #1) by Julie Garwood
Saving Grace by Julie Garwood
Ransom (Highland Lairds #2) by Julie Garwood
Herons Landing (Honeymoon Harbor #1) by JoAnn Ross
Snowfall on Lighthouse Lane (Honeymoon Harbor #2) by JoAnn Ross
When a Duke Loves a Woman (Sins for All Seasons #2) by Lorraine Heath
Lumberjack Werebear (Saw Bears #1) by T.S. Joyce
Wanderlust by Lauren Blakely
The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo (Victorian Rebels #6) by Kerrigan Byrne
The Bourbon Kings (The Bourbon Kings #1) by J.R. Ward
The Hookup (Game On #1) by Kristen Callihan
The Chase (Briar U #1) by Elle Kennedy
The Time in Between (Magdalene #3) by Kristen Ashley
Play it Safe by Kristen Ashley
Duke Most Wanted (Heiress Brides #3) by Celeste Bradley
Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels #10) by Ilona Andrews
Wild Like the Wind (Chaos #5) by Kristen Ashley
Getting Schooled (Getting Some #1) by Emma Chase

Favorite and Least Favorite

My favorite read of the month was a tie between Getting Schooled by Emma Chase and When a Duke Loves a Woman by Lorraine HeathWanderlust by Lauren Blakely gets an honorable mention. I loved the story, but Richard Armitage as narrator really put it over the top. That might actually be my favorite. Or maybe just my favorite audiobook. My least favorite was The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward. I know I DNF’d it, but trust me, it was bad.

September

Books Reviewed


Books Read

Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven
Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks
Hot Dad by Whitley Cox
Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone
The Lion’s Lady by Julie Garwood
Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs
The Only One by Lauren Blakely
Trophy Husband by Lauren Blakely
Light My Fire by Christie Ridgway
Feral Magic by Robin D. Owens
Fairytale Come Alive by Kristen Ashley
Touch the Sky by Kari Cole
The Sexy One by Lauren Blakely
For the Love of English by A.M. Hargrove
Part-Time Lover by Lauren Blakely
The Seduction of Elliot McBride by Jennifer Ashley
The Will by Kristen Ashley
Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Lover by Jennifer Ashley
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley
Satisfaction by Lexi Blake
Complicated by Kristen Ashley
Getting Schooled by Emma Chase
Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs
Wild Hunger by Chloe Neill
Nights with Him by Lauren Blakely
The Hot One by Lauren Blakely

Favorite and Least Favorite

My favorite read of the month was Part-Time Lover by Lauren Blakely, with an honorable mention to Getting Schooled by Emma Chase. I also really liked Phoenix Unbound, but the beginning was a little slow. My least favorite read was Hot Dad by Whitley Cox. That book was a mess from start to finish.

October

Books Reviewed


Books Read

Fantastical by Kristen Ashley
Broken Dove by Kristen Ashley
Midnight Soul by Kristen Ashley
Soaring by Kristen Ashley
How to Date Your Dragon by Molly Harper
Love and Other Wild Things by Molly Harper
Lionheart by Thea Harrison
The Scribe by Elizabeth Hunter
The Singer by Elizabeth Hunter
Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh
Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini Singh
Shadow and Ice by Gena Showalter
Speakeasy by Sarina Bowen
If He’s Daring by Hannah Howell
Steadfast by Sarina Bowen
Once Upon a Sure Thing by Lauren Blakely
On the Surface by Kate Willoughby
Red Wolf by Jennifer Ashley
Natural Dual-Mage by K.F. Breene

Favorite and Least Favorite

My favorite reads of the month were Lionheart by Thea Harrison and Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini Singh. I’m still not recovered from AP. I need the next book SO BAD! My least favorite reads were The Scribe and The Singer (which I DNF’d) by Elizabeth Hunter. The premise was really interesting, but I’m annoyed The Scribe ended in a cliffhanger and The Singer was basically just a recap of The Scribe for the 35% I read.

November

Books Reviewed


Books Read

One More Time by Laurelin Page
Goddess with a Blade
Royally Hung by Anne Marsh
Coming Undone by Lauren Dane
Ache for You by J.T. Geissinger
Sin and Chocolate by K.F. Breene
Ain’t She a Peach by Molly Harper
Save a Truck, Ride a Redneck by Molly Harper
Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper
The Christmas Cottage by Samantha Chase
Taking Chase by Lauren Dane
Making Chase by Lauren Dane
Chased by Lauren Dane
The Restorer by Amanda Stevens
Sleepover by Serena Bell
Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs
Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs
Night Broken by Patricia Briggs
Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
Raven’s Shadow by Patricia Briggs
Mornings on Main by Jodi Thomas
A Little Night Magic by Lucy March
Complicated by Kristen Ashley
Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley
The Gamble by Kristen Ashley

Favorite and Least Favorite

My favorite new read of the month was probably Save a Truck, Ride a Redneck. I actually really enjoyed the entire Southern Eclectic series by Molly Harper, but that was my favorite of them. My least favorite read was Ache for You by J.T. Geissinger. I haven’t hated a heroine that much in..maybe ever. You know things are bad when the idea of her falling down the stairs and breaking all her bones makes you giddy inside.

December

Books Reviewed


Books Read

Spiral of Need by Suzanne Wright
Force of Temptation
Lure of Oblivion
Echoes of Fire by Suzanne Wright
Feral Sins by Suzanne Wright
Wicked Cravings by Suzanne Wright
Carnal Secrets by Suzanne Wright
Wild Hunger by Suzanne Wright
Hate Notes by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward
Inside Out by Lauren Dane
Never Enough by Lauren Dane
Mystery Man by Kristen Ashley
Fairytale Come Alive by Kristen Ashley
My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

Favorite and Least Favorite

My favorite reads of the month were Echoes of Fire and Wild Hunger by Suzanne Wright. I really enjoyed both. My least favorite was Hate Notes by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t good, either.

Do you track your reading each year? How did your year in books look? Share in the comments!


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Bookish Thoughts: Holly’s Ultimate Christmas Wishlist

Posted December 12, 2018 by Holly in Discussions, Features | 3 Comments

Every month, Casee, Rowena and I tackle a different bookish and sometimes non-bookish topic together. This month, we’re sharing our Christmas wishlists with you lovely readers.

For me, Christmas is about giving, not receiving. That doesn’t mean there aren’t things I’d like to see for me under the tree. I went with a more practical list, rather than the one I was considering (castle in Scotland, 6 month world cruise, Tesla Model S etc). The things I listed are attainable, but I know I won’t be getting them for Christmas.

Stony Island Arts Bank Library Bookshelves
Stony Island Arts Bank Library, Chicago (USA)
1. New Bookshelves

I have a gorgeous, 20 foot wall in my entry way I would love to cover in bookshelves. I keep bugging my husband to build me some, and he keeps looking at me like I’m crazy. But y’all, I need them! Ones that look just like those at the Stony Island Arts Bank Library in Chicago. They’d be perfect.

2. Kindle Paperwhite

I don’t need a Paperwhite. I have a perfectly good(ish) Samsung Tab I use solely for reading (I prefer it to a dedicated reader because I read across many platforms). I still want it. I want it for reading at the beach and at the pool in the summer. And this new version is waterproof, so it would be great for reading in the tub, too.

3. Samsung Galaxy Tab a 8, 32gb

I currently have the Galaxy Tab 7. It works fine (mostly) but I’d really like a new one. Since I have an iPad and a Windows Tablet, I can’t really justify asking for a new dedicated reading tablet (the only thing I want the Galaxy Tab for). And yet…Sigh. I want the additional storage and upgraded processor of the Tab a8.

Wine Glasses for Book Lovers

4. Book Related Wine Glasses

I’m in love with these stemless wineglasses from CustomKreationGoods on Etsy. Wine + Books + Bookish Wineglasses = Best.Christmas.Gift.Ever.

Silver Prius Prime Image

5. Prius Prime

If this is my ultimate wishlist, I can add a new car, right? I have a perfectly fine car now, but I commute 45 miles each way to work. Having a hybrid would be wonderful. I used to think the Prius was really ugly, but I really like the style of the new Prime. Plus, it gets 133 mpge.

What’s on your wishlist list this year? Anything outrageous or are you pretty reasonable?


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