Reading this Week – August 4

  • Her Christmas Cookie by Katrina Jackson – Somehow I missed this one when I was reading the Welcome to Sea Port series. It’s a continuation of the throuple in From Scratch where they meet each other’s families. m-m-f, happily ever after.
  • Dirty by Kylie Scott – m/f, contemporary This was funny and cute. A quick read.
  • The Client by Meghan O’Brien – f/f, former bully. This was a quick, steamy story. I have trouble with the former bully trope, but it was well-done here. I wish this had been longer and gone more into their relationship and a true HEA instead of the quick HFN.
  • By Fairy Means or Foul by Meghan Maslow – m/m, magic, dragons, fairies. This was an adorable and funny book. The first in a series and I am looking forward to reading more.
  • Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean – m/f, historical – This was an amazing story with an AMAZING heroine! It is indeed the Year of Hattie and I am here for it! Whitt was an excellent hero as well. I don’t always love the grunt-y heroes, but this totally worked for me. I already bought the paperback for my keeper shelf.
  • Man vs. Durian by Jackie Lau – m/f, fake relationship. OMG, I loved this book! My review will post on the 27th, release day. Another that I’ll have to track down in print for the keeper shelf. Peter is total book boyfriend material.
  • Swallow by Piper Scott and Virginia Kelly – m/m, dragons. This is a spinoff of the bananapants crazy series that I loved so much by these authors. It’s about the dad dragon and his HEA. Major age gap. Something like 1,000 year-old dragon with a 20 year old. haha. This wasn’t as bananas as the original series but I still enjoyed it and loved seeing some of my favorite characters from the original series pop in.
  • Loving the Secret Billionaire by Adriana Anders – m/f, disability rep, age gap, virgin hero. This was a good story. Older heroine (I don’t remember if it ever says how old, but I’m guessing late 30’s) falls for a 23 year old billionaire hacker.
  • Endless Stretch of Blue by Riley Hart – m/m, grief, friends to lovers. This was a sweet story of two straight guys who both lost siblings in a bar fire and they meet and fall in love.
  • The Beast in Him by Shelly Laurenston – m/f, wolves, wild dogs, shifters, paranormal, friends to lovers. Like everything from this author, this was a funny read with enough steam and some original characters. I really hope the hero’s sister gets a story in this series. She’s mean and crazy, but kind of my favorite.

Reread this week:

  • A Boy Called Cin by Cecil Wilde
  • S.O.S. by Arabella Faith
  • Getaway Girl, Runaway Girl and Halfway Girl by Tessa Bailey

Reading this Week – July 23

The reading slump is over!

  • Wound Tight by Tessa Bailey – very sexy m/m between a CEO and his security guy. I like stories with two alpha dudes falling in love.
  • Toxic Desire by Robin Lovett – crazy-pants m/f alien romance. It’s a planet full of a toxin that will kill you if you don’t have sex regularly. First in a trilogy. Naturally, I’m reading them all as fast as I can.
  • Captivated by Tessa Bailey and Eve Dangerfield – m/f, neighbors. This was good. Funny and dirty.
  • Heat Wave by Ceri Grenelle – m/f, neighbors, friends to lovers. This quick read was cute.
  • Building Up to Love by J.V. Speyer – cute enough m/m. See full review here.
  • Written on His Skin by Simone Stark – m/f, epistolary, plus size heroine. This quick and dirty read was good.
  • Drilled by Brill Harper – m/f, age gap, plus size heroine, brothers bff – The author describes it as trope soup and that’s accurate. This came up in KU recommendations and it was ok.
  • Captive Desire by Robin Lovett – m/f, enemies to lovers, aliens – Second in the crazy-pants sex planet series. More wtf sexytimes. Very entertaining.
  • It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time by Kylie Scott – m/f, age gap, surprise baby. This was cute and funny, but I was let down by the ending. Still, I enjoyed the author’s style enough to know I’ll read more of her stuff.

Reading this Week – July 14

Another two weeks together. The reading slump is somewhat better. I read more but I wasn’t super enthusiastic about it.

  • Obey by Piper Scott – m/m, omegaverse, mpreg, billionaire, bdsm. No shifters in this one, just regular old human omega men who can get pregnant. haha.
  • Theirs for the Night by Katee Robert – m/m/f, good enough menage novella
  • S.O.S. by Arabella Faith – m/m, sweet, writer hero. I enjoyed this one a lot.
  • Runaway Girl by Tessa Bailey – m/f, funny. You can always count on some good old Tessa Bailey dirty talk to bust a reading slump.
  • Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey – m/f, funny, brothers best friend. I loved this one. Tessa Bailey can do no wrong to me.
  • Wound Tight by Tessa Bailey – m/m, workplace. This story was intense and somewhat uncomfortable because both dudes were so alpha. But I liked seeing how they worked it out.
  • Tied to the Tycoon by Chloe Cox – m/f, wtf sexytimes. I read this one from a Romancelandia friend’s WTF sex scene spreadsheet. They do butt stuff while the heroine is suspended by ropes off a skyscraper in Manhattan. Totally nuts.
  • Smoke Signals by Meredith Katz – m/m, dragons! This was a new type of dragon shifter and I loved it. His hoard was comprised of every game in existence. So cute.
  • All Grown Up by Vi Keeland – m/f, age gap. This older woman, younger man romance was a cute, fun, quick read.

Review: Raze

Not crazy about this cover. It’s not how I pictured Felix at all.

I received an e-ARC of Raze by Roan Parrish from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I loved the first two books in this series and I was excited to get the chance to read this one early.

I was really looking forward to Huey’s story and it did not disappoint! Roan Parrish writes emotions and personal growth so well. There was not a lot of “action” in this story, just a lovely tale of two people coming together to find their forever person and overcoming a lot of personal baggage that stands in the way of their relationship. Huey is a recovering addict who has overextended himself trying to give back, and Felix had to grow up fast and be responsible for his younger siblings from an early age. We get to see them learn to communicate their needs and wants in an open and honest way. This book comes alive in small moments, looks, and touches. It’s so beautifully written.

I give this book five stars. If you like Roan Parrish, you will love this book. If you like books that create emotional space, you will love this book. I highly recommend it.

Review: Once Upon a Bad Boy

My only complaint of the cover is I imagined more of a height difference. The heroine is only 5’1″.

This book is a very sweet, emotional m/f contemporary romance, with a second chance at love. Sadie and Bo were childhood sweethearts, but Bo broke up with her on prom night and broke her heart. They don’t see each other for 10 years. They end up having to work together on a movie that is Sadie’s big break as an actress and Bo’s biggest job as a stunt coordinator. The old sparks reignite and they don’t fight their feelings.

I appreciated that they didn’t run from what they felt for each other. They both accepted really early that they were each other’s person. But the road is not all smooth sailing as they still have ghosts from the past to face. She never knew why he broke up with her. And she also kept a big secret from him.

I was able to guess what the secret was pretty quickly, but I didn’t mind. I liked the way they talked to each other. I liked the way they cared about each other. I liked the memories of their time together as first loves. But it drove me crazy how long it took them to talk about their past. I wanted to scream at them to just talk already! But really, that’s a minor complaint.

All the friends from the previous books in the series were there, and they were fantastic. I would have liked more of them, actually. We got to see so much of them in the first book, which was a smart way to kick off the series. In fact, this book might be my favorite in the series. I loved the first one because of the big, sexy ginger hero, but this one gave me more feels. It was a bit of a slow start, but once I got into it, I couldn’t stop.

I give this book 4.5 stars. It was a fun, sweet read, and I will probably enjoy it on rereads. In fact, I’ll probably track down a print copy to go with my copy of Getting Hot with the Scot. Also, I really love the covers they are putting on this series.

Reading this Week – June 16

  • All Hours by Andie J. Christopher – This m/m was sweet and steamy. Full review coming.
  • Natural Enemies by Roan Parrish – Another feels-y m/m from this wonderful author. Great descriptions of plants and the love story was super sweet.
  • Mr. Hotshot CEO by Jackie Lau – This m/f had excellent depression representation. Almost too good in fact. Her descriptions of depressed feelings nearly bummed me out.
  • Misadventures with a Professor by Sierra Simone – m/f, age gap. This author is hot, hot, hot.
  • Somebody to Love by Aurelia Fray – m/f. This was not my favorite. Full review already posted.

Reread this week

  • Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish
  • Out of Nowhere by Roan Parrish

Review – Somebody to Love

I received an e-ARC of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

I really hate writing negative reviews. I like squeeing over books and it bums me out when I don’t like something. But I really did not like this book. All of the characters were stupid and mean. That sounds really harsh, but it’s true! The main characters meet when the heroine mistakes the plumber (hero) for her new psychologist, and he realizes her mistake and pretends to be the doctor. She feels like he’s probably full of shit but agrees to another session (I guess because she’s self-hating and curious??) and then continues seeing him for coffee and other activities while still pretending she thinks she’s getting therapy. At first, I thought she mistook him for a prostitute she had hired and that would have been less ridiculous, or at least less offensive. But then she starts spilling her guts to him and I realize she thinks it’s therapy. Maybe it’s my extensive history with mental health care services, but I couldn’t believe someone would pretend to be a therapist. And it’s not a funny meet-cute to me.

The heroine has this cousin/best friend who’s a total monster and makes the heroine feel like shit all the time. Both MCs screw around with other people over the course of the book. The hero’s girlfriend is another mega-bitch crazy woman. It just felt really woman hating. Although the heroine was plus size and mostly happy about it, there was fat-shamey language throughout the book from other characters. Including the hero. The mega-bitches get their comeuppance in the end, but the heroine sinks to their level too much for my liking by publicly humiliating them. 

I didn’t get the feeling that this author truly likes romance novels. It felt more like she was trying to subvert tropes and mocking them instead. There were some funny lines though. And the cover is adorable.

Review: 28 Dates

28 Dates by Stacey Lynn was cute and sweet. Caitlin and Jonas are friends with benefits but Jonas wants more. Caitlin is afraid of commitment and breaks it off. They remain friends, sort of. Caitlin’s boss asks her to test his dating app and Jonas joins without her knowing. They get matched and Jonas tries to win her heart via text, while watching her go on 28 dates with random dudes. Eventually Caitlin finds out the dude she likes from the app is Jonas. She’s not pissed that he sort of lied. She’s very wooed. Then HEA, baby. (Actually babies. Nice epilogue. I know a lot of people think baby epilogues are unnecessary. And they are. But I still like them.)

I felt like the book kind of glossed over Caitlin’s issues. She has parental problems and she just kind of magically gets over it after one conversation with her friend. And Jonas dates another girl after Caitlin rejects him at the beginning. He breaks up with the other woman before he starts going after the Heroine again, but I just don’t like any other woman drama.

I give this book 4 Stars. I enjoyed the writing style and the side characters. I will probably track down the other books in this series.

Oh, and I have to say, I freaking hated the cover on the ARC. I don’t know if it will end up being the final cover, but I’m guessing it will because it has the same look as another book in the series. It made me expect a very different book. I was happily surprised that the book didn’t deliver on the promise of the cover.

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Reading this Week – June 9

  • Hardcore by Dakota Gray – m/f, workplace, sort of second chance. This was first person narration from the hero’s point of view, which I feel like is hard to do well. First person of anyone is hard to pull off, but I’m always impressed when the hero’s POV is done well and it was here. He was a dirty dude though. Wow.
  • Want Me by Neve Wilder – m/m, college. Definitely the most explicit m/m I’ve ever read, but it also had these moments of true sweetness from the two alpha bros who fell in love. Typically, I don’t love an alpha bro, much less two, but seeing these guys come together was lovely. So.Much.Sex. though. So if you’re looking for lots of plot and dialog, probably want to skip this one. I loved it though. I’ve already read it two more times.
  • Dedicated by Neve Wilder – m/m, workplace, friends to lovers – Another sweet one from this author. This one had more conflict and less sexytimes, but it was still really good.
  • Knight’s Fire by SJ Himes – m/m, paranormal, DRAGONS! I fucking love dragons. I don’t know why, but I do. This mythology was a little different. Rather than a human/dragon shifter, the dragon was a true shape shifter and could assume any shape. He preferred to assume the human shape so he could get it on with the knight. I’m looking forward to the next in the series, about their wedding and resolving the Big Bad.
  • Jericho Candelario’s Gay Debut by R. Cooper – m/m, friends to lovers, virgin hero – This was the sweetest, most precious (in the best sense of the word) love story. Jerry is my favorite. And I loved Lincoln’s dad bod.

Reread this week:

  • Band Sinister by KJ Charles – My #1 go-to comfort read. And fitting my theme of only reading LGBT books the rest of this month for Pride.

Reading this Week – June 2

  • Seriously H*rny by Piper Scott and Susi Hawk (m/m, dragons and unicorns) – Another bananapants KU find. Piper Scott and crew write crazy shifter mpreg romances that are so ridiculous. I love them.
  • Dangerously H*rny by Piper Scott and Susi Hawk (m/m, dragons and unicorns) – Not as good as the others by this author but I still enjoyed it.
  • Renaissance Man by Tessa Baily (m/f, instalove) – This was a really cute novella.
  • Bad Habit by Charleigh Rose (m/f, new adult) – Angsty. Friends to lovers to enemies to lovers. I wasn’t really into it but at the same time I wanted to see what the misunderstanding was that made him he hate her so much. It’s weird for me to read about people that young getting sexy.
  • Lucky Charm by Chace Verity (m/m, disability rep) This novella was the sweetest! Set just before the great depression when talking films were just starting out. A deaf actor loses his place in Hollywood and hooks up with an old friend to get revenge on his former director/lover. It was so cute and sweet!
  • Disturbing His Peace by Tessa Bailey (m/f, workplace) – Ok, Tessa Bailey is so good at dirty talk. This was a great story. I loved the heroine. The hero was alpha and really walked the line between sexy and too obnoxious but he stayed on the right side of the line.
  • Hardcore by Dakota Gray (m/f, workplace) – Fun, very steamy read. Hero is kind of annoying.