Category: Features

Monthly Reads: March 2020

Posted April 8, 2020 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 4 Comments

It’s a new month so we’re back with a list of our Monthly Reads to share with each of you. This is where you’ll see what each of us has read and what our favorite books and our least favorite books of the month are. Check it out.

Casee

March was status quo for me. I read six books. I’m 6 books behind on my GR Challenge and am trying to catch up. It’s not really working for me at the moment.

Shadow Flight by Christine Feehan | 3.5 out of 5
Knight Awakening by Rebecca Zanetti | 3 out of 5
The Deal by Stella Gray (audio) | DNF
Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews | 4.25 out of 5
Wolf Rain by Nalini Singh | 3.75 out of 5
Alpha Night by Nalini Singh | 4.5 out of 5

My absolute favorite book of the month was Alpha Night by Nalini Singh. I’ve kind of been “off” the Psy/Changeling books for awhile, but I’m so glad that I went back. My least favorite book of the month (besides the DNF) was Knight Awakening by Rebecca Zanetti. Which really made me sad because I love the Scorpius Sydrome series.

Holly

March was a very sad reading month for me. Honestly, all of 2020 has been sad for me on the reading front. We’ve had a lot going on and I don’t have the mental energy for reading anything new at the moment. I’ve been rereading a lot, though.

Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh (reread) | 4.5 out of 5
Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven (reread) | 4 out of 5
Complicated by Kristen Ashley (reread) | 4 out of 5
Fairytale Come Alive by Kristen Ashley (reread) | 4 out of 5
Wildfire by Ilona Andrews (reread) | 4.5 out of 5
Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews (reread) (audio) | 3.25 out of 5
Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews (reread) (audio) | 3.5 out of 5
Magic Mourns by Ilona Andrews (novella) (reread) | 3.5 out of 5
Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews (reread) (audio) | 4 out of 5
Magic Dreams by Ilona Andrews (novella) (reread) | 3.75 out of 5
Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews (reread) (audio) | 4.25 out of 5
Magic Tests by Ilona Andrews (novella) (reread) | 4.25 out of 5
Magic Gifts by Ilona Andrews (novella) (reread) | 4 out of 5
Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews (reread) (audio) | 4.25 out of 5
Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews (reread) (audio) | 4.75 out of 5
Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews (reread) (audio) | 4 out of 5
Magic Stars by Ilona Andrews (novella) (reread) | 4.25 out of 5
Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews (reread) | 4 out of 5
Iron an Magic by Ilona Andrews (reread) | 4 out of 5
Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews (reread) | 4.25 out of 5

Rowena

March was a pretty stressful month for everyone and personally, it wrecked my reading mojo. My mind hasn’t been able to slow down enough to concentrate on much of anything outside of work and what’s going on at home. I tried reading books from my review pile but I just couldn’t concentrate on anything so I gave up on my review pile and jumped back into the Kate Daniels series. I’m having a blast in this world and am making a great dent in this series.

Here’s what I read in March:

Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels #3) by Ilona Andrews (eBook) | 5 out of 5
Magic Mourns (Kate Daniels #3.5) by Ilona Andrews (eBook) | 4 out of 5
Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels #4) by Ilona Andrews (eBook) | 4.75 out of 5
Magic Dreams (Kate Daniels #4.5) by Ilona Andrews (eBook) | 4 out of 5
Magic Slays (Kate Daniels #5) by Ilona Andrews (eBook) | 4.25 out of 5
Smoke Bitten (Mercy Thompson #11) by Patricia Briggs (eARC) | 4.25 out of 5
Magic Gifts (Kate Daniels #5.5) by Ilona Andrews (eBook) | 4 out of 5

My favorite read of the month goes to Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews. I laughed a lot while reading this one. From Kate’s team name to Jim being pissed at Kate and Curran for their first fight in the games to Dali’s personality, there was a lot that I absolutely adored about this book. There were also a lot of things that made me cry. I ugly cried for Derek, for the guilt Kate felt for not getting to Derek in time, I even got teary-eyed when reading about Julie at school. I love the life that Kate is building for herself, the family that is coming together around her and I just really love everything about this world. I don’t want to ever leave it and man am I anxious to keep reading.

My least favorite book of the month is probably Magic Mourns and that’s not because I didn’t like the book. I just probably liked this book a smidge less than the other books that I read. Andrea and Raphael are great characters and I don’t think I was prepared for what I’m reading right now, Gunmetal Magic. I want to knee Raphael in the balls so much right now.

Giveaway Alert

Three lucky winners will choose their prize (one book) from any of the books we logged this month. If you want to be entered to win, leave a comment on this post telling us what your favorite – and least favorite – reads of the month were.

Monthly Reads: March 2020

So…what was your favorite read of the month? And your least favorite? Use the Gleam Widget to enter! Good luck!


Tagged: , , ,

Books to Binge On: April 2020

Posted April 6, 2020 by Holly in Features | 3 Comments

Books to Binge On

Our Books to Binge On feature is pretty simple in its purpose. Every month, we put together a monthly new releases list of books that we’re all looking forward to. These are the books that we can’t wait to read and want everyone to add to their monthly binge-reading lists. Here are the books that we plan to binge on in April of 2020.


Sin & Lightning (Demigod of San Francisco #5) by K.F. Breene

One thing has become incredibly clear to Alexis and Kieran, if they hope to last in the arena of Demigods, they’ll need a more robust defense team.

They must take two incredibly dangerous journeys, seeking the prized talents other Demigods would kill for. Except, there is a reason other Demigods don’t have these magical workers–they are as ruthless as they are dangerous, and the last thing they want is to be on a Demigod’s team.

If that isn’t enough, Alexis has received an invitation from Demigod Lydia, the only Hades Demigod who hasn’t openly declared war. She’s talking like they could be allies, but those of Hades cannot be trusted. A trap is just as likely as a handshake. Still, it’s a chance they must take.

Any one of these trips could be their last, but to back down would be the most dangerous of all.

Holly: I’m so glad this next book is coming out soon. I need my fix.


When He’s Dark (The Olympus Pride #1) by Suzanne Wright

The Olympus Pride series centres around the ex-pride of Dominic’s mate, Mila. The first novel is her twin brother Alex’s story—he’s not a pallas cat like her or their father, though, he’s a wolverine like their mother. The heroine in the book, Bree, is a pallas cat; she’s also an omega.

Holly: A Phoenix Pack spin-off? YES PLEASE!

 
 
 
 


First Comes Scandal (The Rokesbys #4) by Julia Quinn

She was given two choices…

Georgiana Bridgerton isn’t against the idea of marriage. She’d just thought she’d have some say in the matter. But with her reputation hanging by a thread after she’s abducted for her dowry, Georgie is given two options: live out her life as a spinster or marry the rogue who has ruined her life.

Enter Option #3

As the fourth son of an earl, Nicholas Rokesby is prepared to chart his own course. He has a life in Edinburgh, where he’s close to completing his medical studies, and he has no time—or interest—to find a wife. But when he discovers that Georgie Bridgerton—his literal girl-next-door—is facing ruin, he knows what he must do.

A Marriage of Convenience

It might not have been the most romantic of proposals, but Nicholas never thought she’d say no. Georgie doesn’t want to be anyone’s sacrifice, and besides, they could never think of each other as anything more than childhood friends… or could they?

But as they embark upon their unorthodox courtship, they discover a new twist to the age-old rhyme. First comes scandal, then comes marriage. But after that comes love…

Rowena: We’re finally getting Nicholas’ book so I’m excited and dude, there are a lot of Bridgertons in the world. Haha.


Island Affair (Keys to Love #1) by Priscilla Oliveras

Sought-after social media influencer Sara Vance, in recovery from an eating disorder, is coming into her own, with a potential career expansion on the horizon. Despite the good news, her successful siblings (and their perfect spouses) have a way of making her feel like the odd one out. So, when her unreliable boyfriend is a no-show for a Florida family vacation, Sara recruits Luis Navarro—a firefighter paramedic and dive captain willing to play the part of her smitten fiancé . . .

Luis’s big Cuban familia has been in Key West for generations, and his quiet strength feeds off the island’s laidback style. Though guarded after a deep betrayal, he’ll always help someone in need—especially a spunky beauty with a surprising knowledge of Spanish curse words. Soon, he and Sara have memorized their “how we met” story and are immersed in family dinners, bike tours, private snorkeling trips . . . sharing secrets, and slow, melting kisses. But when it’s time for Sara to return home, will their island romance last or fade with the stunning sunset?

Rowena: I’ve seen this book cover around but I haven’t really been paying attention to new releases the last little while so I never read the blurb before now. I’m definitely interested in this one so on my wishlist it goes.


(Im)perfectly Happy by Sharina Harris

When four college friends formed the Brown Sugarettes Mastermind Group, they had very different goals–but matched each other in ambition. Yet ten years later they can’t help wondering what happened to the hopeful, confident, driven women they used to be–and how to get
them back . . .

Radio personality Raina, known as “the black Delilah,” hates the wholesome persona that’s made her a success. Doling out syrupy versions of her grandma’s wisdom feels worlds away from the sarcastic,
tell-it-like-it-is woman Raina really is.

Kara Jones was sure she’d be a master sommelier by thirty. Life and loss interfered with that plan. Now she has one more chance–but it’s taking a toll on her self-esteem and her marriage.

Nikki Grayson hardly recognizes the stay-at-home mom she’s become. When her band signed a record deal, she swapped the limelight for a minivan and a sensible ‘do. Now she’s wishing she had followed her heart. Instead, she’s drowning her regret in alcohol.

Public defender Sienna Njeri willingly put her city council aspirations aside to support her fiance’s bid for office–and now she’s wondering if her loyalty is misplaced.

Longing for the support, advice, and tough love they once shared, all four resolve to start meeting up again. After all, their dreams may still be within reach. But are they worth the price they’ll pay to achieve them?

Rowena: I came across this book a couple of months ago and it sounds like a good time so I’m all in. This one is definitely on my reading list for this month.


Girl Gone Viral (Modern Love #2) by Alisha Rai

In Alisha Rai’s second novel in her Modern Love series, a live-tweet event goes viral for a camera-shy ex-model, shoving her into the spotlight—and into the arms of the bodyguard she’d been pining for.

OMG! Wouldn’t it be adorable if he’s her soulmate???

I don’t see any wedding rings [eyes emoji]

Breaking: #CafeBae and #CuteCafeGirl went to the bathroom AT THE SAME TIME!!!

One minute, Katrina King’s enjoying an innocent conversation with a hot guy at a coffee shop; the next, a stranger has live-tweeted the entire episode with a romantic meet-cute spin and #CafeBae is the new hashtag-du-jour. The problem? Katrina craves a low-profile life, and going viral threatens the peaceful world she’s painstakingly built. Besides, #CafeBae isn’t the man she’s hungry for.

He’s got a [peach emoji] to die for.

With the internet on the hunt for the identity of #CuteCafeGirl, Jas Singh, bodyguard, friend, and possessor of the most beautiful eyebrows Katrina’s ever seen, comes to the rescue and whisks her away to his family’s home. Alone in a remote setting with the object of her affections? It’s a recipe for romance. But after a long dating dry spell, Katrina isn’t sure she can trust her instincts when it comes to love—even if Jas’ every look says he wants to be more than just her bodyguard…

Rowena: I didn’t enjoy the previous book in this series as much as I hoped I would have but I was mighty interested in the heroine of this book so I’m still looking forward to reading this one.


The Rakess (Society of Sirens #1) by Scarlett Peckham

Meet the SOCIETY OF SIRENS—three radical, libertine ladies determined to weaponize their scandalous reputations to fight for justice and the love they deserve…

She’s a Rakess on a quest for women’s rights…

Seraphina Arden’s passions include equality, amorous affairs, and wild, wine-soaked nights. To raise funds for her cause, she’s set to publish explosive memoirs exposing the powerful man who ruined her. Her ideals are her purpose, her friends are her family, and her paramours are forbidden to linger in the morning.

He’s not looking for a summer lover…

Adam Anderson is a wholesome, handsome, widowed Scottish architect, with two young children, a business to protect, and an aversion to scandal. He could never, ever afford to fall for Seraphina. But her indecent proposal—one month, no strings, no future—proves too tempting for a man who strains to keep his passions buried with the losses of his past.

But one night changes everything…

What began as a fling soon forces them to confront painful secrets—and yearnings they thought they’d never have again. But when Seraphina discovers Adam’s future depends on the man she’s about to destroy, she must decide what to protect…her desire for justice, or her heart.

Rowena: I’ve been seeing good things about this book around online so my interest and curiosity are definitely piqued. This one is on my wishlist for sure.

What books are you looking forward to reading this month? Share in the comments!


Tagged: , , ,

What Are You Reading? (522)

Posted April 3, 2020 by Rowena in Features | 4 Comments

Casee: I’m working from home these days, so I have a little more reading time. I thought I would be reading much more, but that’s not really been the case.

I’m reading Viper Game by Christine Feehan and listening to Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews. I am enjoying them both.

Holly: Nothing. I’ve read nothing this week. Sigh.

Rowena: I’m still not reading all that much. I’m on week 2 of reading Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews. I’m enjoying it but if I’m not working then I’m watching TikToks. 2020 sure does suck big donkey balls.

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


Tagged: , , ,

Sunday Spotlight: Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh x2

Posted March 29, 2020 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 3 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Casee and I were discussing the Psy/Changeling series the other day and it reminded me how much I love this book Featured this as a group some time ago, but I’m bringing it back today because I love it so much.

Sunday Spotlight: Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh x2Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling #12
Also in this series: Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, The Magical Christmas Cat , Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Slave to Sensation , Wild Invitation, Heart of Obsidian, Shield of Winter, Shield of Winter, Visions of Heat, Mine to Possess, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, Hostage to Pleasure, Shards of Hope, Shards of Hope, Heart of Obsidian, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Play of Passion, Allegiance of Honor, Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Shield of Winter, Shards of Hope, Allegiance of Honor, Allegiance of Honor, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace, Silver Silence, Silver Silence, Tangle of Need, Ocean Light, Ocean Light , Caressed By Ice, Wolf Rain
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 360
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: five-stars

Step into New York Times bestseller Nalini Singh’s explosive and shockingly passionate Psy-Changeling world…
A dangerous, volatile rebel, hands stained bloodred.
A woman whose very existence has been erased.
A love story so dark, it may shatter the world itself.
A deadly price that must be paid.
The day of reckoning is here.

Excerpt

Kaleb’s priorities and goals were murky in the beginnng of the series, but as time when on we saw there was more to him than we previously thought.

It was the greatest of ironies that the only person who had ever held him as if he mattered was the one person who did not need to hold him at all. If Sahara called, he would come. Always.

Sahara was the most important thing in the world to him, and he never faltered when it came to her.

[..]He rose to his feet and, placing his hands on the table, leaned toward her until she could’ve reached out and run her fingers along his freshly shaven jaw. “You are here,” he said in a tone that made her heart thump wildly against her ribs, “because you belong to me.”

They were both broken, and had issues.

[..]He sat on the edge with his back to her and his arms braced on his knees . . . and he remembered the seven years he had waited for her to come back, the countless days he’d stood on this terrace staring down at the gorge as the rational part of his mind tried to convince the obsessive madness that lived in him of her likely death.

The gorge, deep and without end, hadn’t existed until the first time he’d imagined her erased from existence.

I love how strong Kaleb’s determination to find Sahara was. How he continued to build a life for her, even though she’d been gone for so long.

“Who are you?”

“A caretaker,” he said, and it was a truth, if not everything.

Frown lines on her brow, her fingers flexing and clenching against his chest in a way that challenged his already unsteady control.

“Of this house?”

“Yes.” It was an anchor, a physical symbol of his search, of her.

“Who owns it?”

“You do.” He’d had it built according to specifications she’d outlined at fifteen, watched over it all the years of her captivity, using

On the surface, Kaleb seems to live in perfect Silence, but things are more complex than that.

“That,” Tatiana said, putting down the stylus, “is why we’d make an unbeatable team. Neither one of us has any flaws in our Silence.”

Kaleb thought of the woman who slept in the house he’d built for her, of the man with a broken neck who had burned to ash in a crematorium incinerator hours ago, and knew his Silence was far more complex than Tatiana could imagine.

Psy-Changeling

Psy-Changeling Trinity

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: March 2020

Have you read this series? What’s your favorite novel from the series to date? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

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.


Tagged: , , ,

What Are You Reading? (521)

Posted March 27, 2020 by Rowena in Features | 4 Comments

Casee: It’s self-quarantine Friday! I’m working hard trying to read, but I still have to do my actual job. I finished Wolf Rain by Nalini Singh and have started Alpha Night. I’m also still reading Lethal Game by Christine Feehan. I really need to finish that one up.

I’m listening to Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews, but I haven’t been in the car much so my listening time has been limited. I am really enjoying Andrea and am looking forward to getting back to it.

Holly: I’m working remotely as much as possible right now. I thought I’d be reading a ton, but it turns out it’s actually more time consuming to work from home. Who knew? I reread Fairytale Come Alive and Complicated by Kristen Ashley, and Wildfire by Ilona Andrews (yes, again..don’t judge me). That’s it. I really want to read Dragon Unleashed by Grace Draven, so I think I’m going to reread Phoenix Unbound, the first book, as a refresher. Wish me luck? I feel like I need it.

Rowena: Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you’re all well and that you have toilet paper and water. With everything going on, not being able to leave the house and what not, you’d think that I would have read hella books but nope. I haven’t finished reading a damn thing this week. I’m watching movies and working from home. I’m also sending Ames and Holly funny memes and TikTok videos. But that’s it. I’ve started Love Hard by Nalini Singh but I’ve only read bits and pieces of it, in short spurts. My mind won’t slow down long enough to retain what I’m reading so I’m not even paying attention to what is going on. I hope this goes away because I want to read again. Wish me luck.

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? If you aren’t reading, what are you doing to stay sane during the quarantine? Share!


Tagged: , , , ,