Saturday, August 19, 2017

My Fair Princess - Vanessa Kelly
“I’m not a half-wit, nor am I naïve. I know exactly what men like Stratton are after. I’m quite familiar with the type.”
That silenced him for half a block. “I’m sorry you even have to worry about that,” he finally said.

Great, great thought and line from hero. 

Review: After I Fall

After I Fall After I Fall by Jessica Scott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

2.5 stars

Parker has had it with following her father and fiancé's orders, she wants to break free. When the offer of an internship leads her to the hot new bar The Pint, it's the owner who may be the chance of a lifetime.
Eli is out of the Army but you can't take the Army out of the man. His bar has become a haven for vets and as their pseudo commander, he watches over them all. When a high society miss, who he turned down the night before, comes in wanting the internship, he knows his world is about to be shaken up.

After I Fall, is the third installment of the Falling series. I haven't read the previous books and never felt lost, there are obvious previous characters and I think our hero and heroine are in the others but their romance starts here. Even though Parker and Eli are in their mid-twenties and thirties, this had a very New Adult feel to it. Each chapter is a pov change between the two, which is not a personal favorite of mine. The author did the changes fairly frequently, even in the middle of scenes, which had a tendency to break the scene for me and give a stop and go feel, keeping me out of the flow.

Parker was our poor little rich girl and Eli our bad boy soldier. This story was very trope heavy but every once in a while, there was a hint of nuances with the two that made them stand out a little bit. Parker has an abusive boyfriend and a rich daddy who doesn't pay attention to her but her business knowledge, she's trying to get into Grad school for her MBA, pops up to blow Eli out of the water with how he should market his business. Eli seems very still waters run deep but I didn't feel like we ever really got to dive into him. His big secret isn't revealed until around the 80% mark and while it was laid out, we never got the time to emotionally invest in it. However, the issues with how alienated soldiers feel when they return to civilian life and the complexity of how to manage and live with their emotions from living through war were dropped in here and there. The nuances are there but they weren't delved into or weaved in enough to become felt.

I couldn't help but feel slightly annoyed with Parker, her issue is written in a way that the heart of it seems to be that she simply won't go against her father's directives because then she'd have to pay rent for her own apartment; the father and fiancé villain characters were very underdeveloped. It's brought up that she tried to rebel once with a friend but once again, it's dropped in but never flushed out so we're left not really thinking much of it or getting an emotional impact from it. I had a hard time believing in Eli and Parker's relationship, the focuses is pretty much on them being angst-y sexually attracted to each other with Parker thinking the whole time she'll have to marry her fiancé and Eli thinking he could never be good enough for her.

The author has created a series with a handful of characters with deep troubled issues but the lack of depth and emotionally weaving them into the story hurt this installment. I believe Parker and Eli were sexually attracted to each other but not sure I buy into their long-term relationship.


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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Review: Beast: Great Bloodlines Converge

Beast: Great Bloodlines Converge Beast: Great Bloodlines Converge by Kathryn Le Veque
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Mostly a story about how a medieval knight who was tasked with watching over Joan of Arc befriending her, taking her heart from the pyre, and trying to secretly bury it in Winchester, per her request.
A forced marriage along the way, a boat load of characters, and some clandestine wheeling and dealing between French knights and English knights.
The romance is a small portion of this with a very real feeling 1400s feel, the author knows her time and place.
There's a story here, just not one I found too entertaining; medieval mundane.

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Review: Her Enemy at the Altar

Her Enemy at the Altar Her Enemy at the Altar by Virginia Heath
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book had the unlucky coincidence of being read right after a lackluster book that pretty much had the same storyline.

Tall heroine who hides her hurt behind a tough abrasive exterior. This book's heroine was better constructed but the whole "I can never believe I have any minuscule attractiveness to me" carried on far too long. It ended up giving her a bit of immaturity.

Poor gorgeous hero who needs to marry for money to save estate. Same character outline as the other books I read but story placement here was a bit different with hero and heroine's families having a centuries old feud. The feud wasn't really explained but how it effected their present families was detailed. They are caught in a compromising position and hero marries heroine even though her father doesn't give him her dowry, thus bankrupting the hero.

This book had more of a story construct but how long it takes the hero and heroine to develop past the immature "I hate you!" "No, I hate you!" took too long and I missed seeing their relationship without any animosity.
Since I read this right after not enjoying an extremely similar storyline, I definitely think I already had my fill of insecure abrasive tall heroines (I'm even one!) and the poor gorgeous heroes who just want them to recognize how regal they are.
The bottom line, I was exhausted by how long it took hero and heroine to move beyond their animosity.

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Review: If the Rogue Fits

If the Rogue Fits If the Rogue Fits by Eva Devon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

2.5 stars

Heiress is tall and not conventionally attractive, because of how her father always puts her down and men act toward her, she becomes very bitter towards the opposite sex. Earns reputation for being a man hater.
Gorgeous poor Earl needs money to rebuild estate father ruined. Finds out heroine is rich and goes for her, lucky him, he finds her sassy great.
Heroine's whole gender male hating and gruffness was a bit off-putting and hero's genial good guy shucks was a bit hokey dokey. Not a lot of depth to the writing, very surface characters with cliche villainous daddies and non-villainous misunderstood sister and friend.
The story was predictable from beginning to end and was a quick read. Some dialogue connection moments between hero and heroine but never flushed out. Surface and over trodden ground.

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Review: Barefoot in White

Barefoot in White Barefoot in White by Roxanne St. Claire
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"When I'm finished, you will see yourself as the beautiful, sexy, sensual, desirable, and smokin'-hot woman that I see every time I look at you."
Something cracked inside---some ice around her heart, maybe? Or maybe it was the wall of protection she'd erected for so long she couldn't remember life without it. Or perhaps it was her willpower to say no to anything. She didn't know, but all Willow could do was hope she didn't shed a tear while Nick Hershey gave her a gift she'd feared she'd never get or deserve.
Adoration.


This story moved along at a pretty quick clip while dealing with some pretty heavy issues. The heroine has big mommy issues, her mother was a model and apparently brow beat her and tried to control her, forcing her daughter into her image. This severely backfired and made the heroine turn to food for comfort. Hero is on medical leave after losing hearing in one of his ears and is dealing with guilt stemming from someone he cared about dying because of a decision he made.

The heroine is definitely the strongest of the characters with her more front and center and her thoughts and feelings flushed out more. There is a lifetime movie mechanism that throws a wrench at our couple just when they might get things figured out that eventually flows into a super rushed bow tie ending; our mother daughter reunion is solved far too quickly for the 80% of the book where the heroine goes over and over how her mother emotionally messed her up. Our hero is a little wooden with a basic military man guilt storyline and I didn't feel we delved into him as well.

The romance was rushed and it felt like our couple never got to really move and shake around with their bonding as the quick pace I mentioned along with heroine's emotional issues took over. There was a lot of stuttered stop and go between them.

The epilogue was cheesy ridiculousness and had me rolling my eyes. I got this as a freebie and its better than most. If the author delved deeper and flushed things out more while having our leads have more interactions outside the hero's villa and pool, this would have been better. I would give another in the series a try.


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Reading Update: 60%

Barefoot in White - Roxanne St. Claire
“Listen carefully, okay?” Another nod. “Every single time you doubt your beauty or worth or value or sex appeal?” She didn’t answer, but only because the lump in her throat was growing too fast. How did he know she doubted that stuff? How did he know she fought demons daily that told her she had none of that? She hadn’t told him.
"You remember that just looking at your goddamned ear gives me a hard-on.”

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Review: Fly

Fly Fly by Molly McLain
My rating: 2 of 5 stars



The story is incomplete, it's a cliffhanger, folks.
Now that is out of the way because SIGH, here's my personal opinion.



It clearly states this is book 1 but I felt lost as all get out in the beginning as people and relationships are thrown at you with no context or explanation. The hero and heroine supposedly have this epic friendship, but other than it being said over and over, I see no evidence of it. Every dude wants the heroine, every woman wants the hero and he likes to partake, heroine is the hero's emotional crutch, and hero likes to throw money at heroine.

This was almost 200pgs of the hero and heroine wanting to make a move on each other but scared the other one still just wanted to be friends. Which could have worked wonderfully but that was the only depth to our characters. The heroine has a little bit background with her father having a traumatic brain injury but even that wasn't fleshed out too great. The hero's fmx bike career somewhat touched on, the author has a brief scene listing a bunch of tricks and the over and over mentioning of hero having women throw themselves at him.

More context needed and less NA cliche been there done that. I also almost lost an eye rolling it so hard at the ending cliffhanger.

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Review: Dirty Sexy Saint

Dirty Sexy Saint Dirty Sexy Saint by Carly Phillips
My rating: 2 of 5 stars



Little rich girl runs away to make a stand against rich mean daddy who wants to force her into an arranged marriage.
Gets blackout drunk at bar owned by hot guy who's mother was a crack whore (the term they use over and over) and he had to raise his younger brothers.
He lets her stay at his apartment, has her be waitress at his bar, buys her clothes, and then a whole pastry chef ensemble because that is her dream job.
Guy tries to stay away from her because he is not good enough and likes rough kinky sex. She gives him a blowjob and they have missionary sex in his office. He's a kink master, folks.
A blip of danger, which causes girl to sacrifice her hopes and dreams for guy, while a completely forced storyline of mean daddy and threatening arranged marriage dude have a complete turn around.
This was pretty uninspiring with a completely predictable, took every generic NA and contemporary romance plot point.
I see these authors are decently popular and I have some other freebies downloaded from them, I hope they break away from this ones color by numbers format.

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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Kindle Freebies

I have not read these selections but they're free (at the time of my post).
So enjoy and partake at your own risk :)

*Click on the book cover to go to Amazon and Get Yourself Some!

An Affair to Dismember (Matchmaker Mysteries Book 1) by [Sax, Elise]  Burned Promises by [Winters, Willow]  Ashton: Lord of Truth (Lonely Lords Book 13) by [Burrowes, Grace]

Mr. Sinful (Heartfelt Book 1) by [Woods, Serenity]  The Seduction of Lord Stone (Dashing Widows) by [Campbell, Anna]  The Hunter and the Witch (Crescent City Arcana) by [Chanticleer, Rachel]

Seducing Summer (The Four Seasons Book 1) by [Woods, Serenity]  SEALs of Honor: Books 1-3 by [Mayer, Dale]  Beat: #1 The Beat and The Pulse by [Cross, Amity]

Finding Lyla: Book Ten In The Bodyguards Of L.A. County Series by [Beauman, Cate]  Healed by Love: Nate Braden (Love in Bloom: The Bradens at Peaceful Harbor Book 1) by [Foster, Melissa]  Unbreakable - A Bad Boy Romance by [Rhodes, Ashley]

Brazen Angel (Brazen Series Book 1) by [Boyle, Elizabeth]  SEAL of Approval (SEAL Series Book 1) by [Silkstone, Jack]  

Enjoy and hopefully everyone can find a winner!

Sunday, We Salad! And Dessert!

The weather has been so beautiful where I'm at, it's a little hot but knowing what is just around the corner I'll take as much sun as I can. I think I'm going to make this the last Sunday Salad and go back to Soup in September :)




The recipe called for golden balsamic vinegar, Target didn't have it, so I just used the dark I had in the pantry. It probably made the taste stronger, but we loved it so, You're not the boss of me, recipe!


I let these babies soak for 2hrs because I had time and I like things with a stronger taste. Plus, I hate when my bath time gets cut short, so here's to you, chicken!


Well, here's to you until I fry you to death. Mwwwhahahahhahaha!



STRAWBERRIES! I love me some strawberries and avocado. The new peanut butter and jelly, I say!



I like silvered almonds better than sliced, so again, "I do what I want!". Feta cheese, I could sing odes to feta cheese on salads. A must!


Look at those beautiful bowls :)  This salad was so simple but I'm telling you, the taste combos, especially the seasoning on chicken, blended together so awesome. I loved this one and so did the bf. Yummy simplicity. 



If there any thing more fun than flouring a pan?! Probably.



Drink every time the wrapped sweet potato photo bombs!



Or my huge foot.



I haven't made a from scratch cake for a while, I forgot how long they take. They take a long time.


Bf went to the grocery store this time, he didn't get the light sour cream. On the outside, I frown. On the inside, I'm all a tingle. 


You will definitely need three lemons for this, 3 tablespoons of zest is no joke. 
Does anyone else feel kind of weird when you don't need the juice from a lemon, just zest, and leave a massacred, looks like a serial killer went at it, lemon on your counter top? I always do a quick, "Thank you for your noble sacrifice" and toss in trash.


Look at that lemon poppy seed popping cake!



Sometimes, I wish I didn't visually see what goes in my dessert. You get a stick of butter, you get a stick of butter, EVERYONE GETS A STICK OF BUTTER! 
Seriously though, don't add up the butter in this cake.



The frosting calls for a teaspoon of lemon juice. Get out of here with that nonsense I say! I added the whole lemon because lemon desserts are kind of my thing and I want NEED to taste that sweet sweet sour taste. Didn't make the icing too runny either. Bonus. 



The cake was nice and fluffy but the recipe suggests you put leftovers in the fridge. When I had a piece after refrigeration, it made it more sort of hard/dry than I like. If you can eat most of it before refrigerating, I suggest you do. Otherwise, my lemony icing was awesome and the cake part had a nice taste but it wasn't as strong or awe inspiring as I would have liked. A box mix would come kind of close to this and would save you a butt load of time. 

Show me your salads and desserts!