Thursday, February 28, 2019


Embers - Helen Kirkman

"He understood nothing of her and everything.

More comments & quotes: Embers Buddy Read

Reading Update: 20%

Not only would he be taking her beyond the gates and into what amounted to a war zone tomorrow, but also his damned CO had just made him her bodyguard for the duration of the time she was in Djibouti. While his A-Team was out doing the job they’d been sent here to do—molding the locals into guerilla fighters—he was going to be Indiana Jones’s fucking sidekick.

Have to go to bed but great so far, addictive story.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Reading Update: 20%

Embers - Helen Kirkman
He had seen the proof of her courage long ago, strong and high-hearted. Reckless, just like his.

More quotes and comments: Embers Buddy Read

Monday, February 25, 2019

Review: Lady Notorious

Lady Notorious Lady Notorious by Theresa Romain
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

“The ton is more bloodthirsty than I ever knew as a youth. Fancy betting on one’s survival at the expense of others.”

Fourth in the Royal Rewards series, we have a not quite official Bow Street Runner and a marquess. Cass works with her twin brother Charles at Bow Street but basically shoulders most of the work while George is experimenting with his camera obscura and basically just passing time until he inherits the dukedom. George loves his gambling father, though, and when members of the tontine, a bet his father entered into where the last surviving member gets all the money, start dying in auspicious ways, he hires Cass and her brother to help him uncover who is behind it.

This was a murder mystery and friends-to-lovers, that moved very slowly in both regards. The investigation regarding the tontine was a bit chaotic and confusing to understand in the beginning. I did not read the previous book in this series and I have a feeling our characters were introduced there and provided a foundation for them that was lacking here. Once I got further in the story and began to know Cass and George more, the story began to click better. However, the investigation seemed to stall out here and there as actual investigating seemed to be missing from the pages. We don't get to really know all the characters involved in the tontine, or even if there is anything nefarious going on. The murder mystery began to feeling glaring obvious as a mechanism to get our hero and heroine together and with a pretty quick boom ending with an info dump about the culprit, there wasn't much about it that I found griping.

“I’m always joking a little bit but serious underneath. Once you know that, you can see to my very soul and understand me utterly. It’s a great curse.” He said this, of course, as if he were joking, but his blue eyes were deep and worried. She had smiled then, almost.

I liked George's kind of shy, vulnerable personality. His father is bent on gambling away his inheritance and his mother spends her days laying in bed drunk on laudanum, he seemed very lonely. He does have a sister that he seemed close with but we don't get any in depth scenes with them. His hobby of trying to create pictures was interesting but like the murder mystery, it just seemed there, something listed for the character, given the same weight as his blue eyes. Overall, he seemed a little hapless and I would have liked to have seen his character given more range through conversations with his sister or friends.

Cass was splendid, with her pockets and her weapons and her matter-of-fact ways.

I liked the heroine and her matter of fact ways, she was a cut and dry character. Her twin brother is a little lazy and a little bit of a scapegrace, so it is up to her to be responsible with the money. I was a little thrown when she declares she wants to sleep with the hero. There was definitely ground laid for the reader seeing and feeling George's attraction to her but I didn't completely buy into from her. Even halfway through the book they felt like friends from her side; some appreciating of looks. These two seemed like great friends but their romantic chemistry was a bit dull.

“You really matter to me,” he said, then kissed her neck, bared by her pinned-up hair.

There was a secondary romance involving the heroine's brother but that to felt dropped in out of nowhere, I wasn't connected to the characters to become involved in their romance. The depth and character background was missing for me here, being dropped into their investigation right away didn't give me time or material to really care for them. The romantic chemistry was also off, these two were more believable as friends. I appreciated the shy vulnerability from the hero and practical heroine but I just felt the story and characters were missing some magic, which made the story somewhat dry and a wade to get through.

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Sunday, February 24, 2019


Lady Not - Theresa Romain

“Don’t worry too much,” he said. “My plans generally go as I expect they will.”
“That is the sort of statement that makes people want to throw things at your head.” She sighed. “Such schemes and secrets are much like a romantic novel. What comes next, George? You will give me lessons in how to behave in society, and I will fall wildly in love with you?” 
Why wouldn’t she stop touching the ring? It was most distracting. “I wouldn’t argue with the second part,” he said lightly, “but the first sounds like far too much work. And I’m sure you’d give me one of those withering glances if I even tried.”

"he said lightly." I love little subtlety like this.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Friday, February 22, 2019

Review: Born of Silence

Born of Silence Born of Silence by Sherrilyn Kenyon
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

“You are my heaven… And you will always be my eternal hell."

This was almost 700 pgs and I'm guessing 680pgs have the hero either experiencing physical or emotional abuse or recalling it. It is truly awful stuff, examples: (view spoiler)

Those are just some examples. It was all too much for me, the torture and constant homophobic slurs started to feel sensationalized, the point that the hero was constantly kicked and belittled by people, past and currently but still remained kind to those less fortunate was made without the feeling of, not reveling in it, but torture porn.

The heroine had some offbeat moments with almost thinking things weren't fair for her after all the hero had endured from her carelessness, not much of heroine material. The whole thing was just off with the excessive torture the hero went through and constant homophobic slurs. This wasn't fun or entertaining to read. I did enjoy past characters from the series and the world the author has set this in but I don't ever want to revisit or read Darling's story again.

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Thursday, February 21, 2019

Reading Update: 30%

Born of Silence - Sherrilyn Kenyon
His heart hammering, he stared at her, torn between the two things he wanted most. To kill her and to love her...

This isn't exactly a fun/enjoyable story to read. Geesh, with the torture :/ 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Reading Update: 60%

The Truth About Love and Dukes - Laura Lee Guhrke

He groaned against her mouth, and as if that was what he’d been waiting for, his arm tightened around her waist again, and he pushed her backward, following her into the corner of the room. Her shoulders hit the shelves behind her, and books toppled out of the bookcase as his other arm came around her back to hold her tight.

Hot library scenes. HERE FOR IT


Even though he is pooping in chest high snow now, he still loves it. 
I’m so freaking done with the snow. 

Give them extra snuggles and treats today!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Review: It's Getting Scot in Here

It's Getting Scot in Here It's Getting Scot in Here by Suzanne Enoch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.7 stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Before she could face forward again, he caught her gaze with those impossibly light-green eyes of his. “Too late. I’m already charmed, adae. Whether ye dunnae wish me to tell ye so or not.” And she was charmed, as well. If only he’d been the oldest MacTaggert. If only her mother wasn’t mad for a title in the family. If only, if only, if only.

Wild Wicked Highlanders is a new series by Enoch involving an English woman who married a Highlander, found she missed London and when the shine comes off their whirlwind romance, their combined stubbornness had her taking her baby daughter to live in London and leaving behind her three boys. Seventeen years later, with only a handful of letters exchanged, the sons learn that their father signed an agreement stating that his son's have to marry, Englishwomen at that, before the daughter, with their mother directly picking at least one woman for one son or their mother can cut off funding for their home. The three sons angrily travel to London after learning their sister is engaged, thinking they'll be able to intimidate anything English to get out of the mess. Once arrived, they learn there is already a contract drawn up for Coll, the eldest, to marry an Englishwoman named Amelia-Rose. Coll, not used to being in control or getting his way, turns into a beastly Highlander and leaves his youngest brother Niall, the peacemaker, to smooth things over with Ameila-Rose. What follows is an insanely romantic at times, complete journey between two people just wanting to love one another.

And then he’d said that he found her charming, which had kept her awake all night.

At well over 300pgs, this was a little longer than romances have been clocking in lately and it showed, for the better. I was a little nervous about the engaged to one brother but falling in love with another but even though it was a little awkward in the beginning with how the author kept Coll out of the picture, and he'll have to work extra hard in his own book to make me forget how immature and rude he was in the beginning, I was all-in for Niall and Amelia-Rose's romance. With a higher page count, the author had the time to bring the reader in, this means I felt introduced and had a stable footing to grow to know the characters and immerse myself in their thoughts and feelings. There is a quick spark between Niall and Amelia-Rose but they obviously can't act on it right away, there was an actual getting to know, gradually appreciate, and bonding between the two. This made the second part of the book and ending so much more emotional for me, I believed in them.

Time to begin again. And this time, he’d be wooing the lass for himself.

Niall was a sexy sweet hero, he really shined because of the contrast with his older brother and his antics but the way he listens to the heroine and his self-assured “I am what I am” in the face of London superiority complexes was greatly attractive. I really liked how the author handled the tangled weave of him falling in love with what is supposed to be his brother's betrothed. There's no emotional connection between Coll and Amelia-Rose but Niall stills try to respect it, which gave us some great barely leashed restraint. The first half is spark and getting to know while the second half is desire, longing, and learning. Niall turned out to be a ridiculously lovely hero, you're going to swoon over him.

No one had ever called her stubborn before, except for her mother, and Victoria had meant it as an insult. Stubborn meant she had a backbone, and a lady wasn’t supposed to have one of those.

Amelia-Rose was a heroine who I grew to really like over the course of the story. It was refreshing to have a heroine who unapologetically enjoyed London society, the parties, friendships, and culture. She had some preconceived notions about the Highlands and Highlanders but she was willing to listen and get to know. She felt real to me, from her trying to constrain herself so she didn't feel society's backlash, looking to marriage as an escape from her parent's home, and to her being so scared to fall and give into her love for Niall. She's young, nineteen, and I know women will have their heart break a little bit for the woman she is told she must be and the woman she wants to be. Consequences, losses, and gains were beautifully articulated through her character.

She followed the rules of propriety as best as she could, but his lass did have a wicked streak.

This story could have been 500 pages and I don't think I would have complained. I would have liked to have seen Amelia-Rose interact more with people she considered friends, a little more time, depth, exploration into the three sons becoming more open to their mother, and the four siblings having more interactions. This is a series though and I imagine the author is saving some of those emotional moments for future books, I just enjoyed this world so much. I can see some maybe thinking the story gets a little slow in the middle but if you lean into, the emotional payback will be greater at the end, and this was a little bit less sexual than has been coming out in historical romance lately. I, personally, enjoyed the focus more on the emotional personality bonding, longing, and working/fighting for a relationship but I can see some wanting a few more sexually hot scenes. The author took the time to craft a relationship between her leads and I greatly enjoyed losing myself into Niall and Amelia-Rose's romance for a while. I can't wait future books in this series.

“Because of you, I am me.”

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Sunday, February 17, 2019


It's Getting Scot in Here (Wild Wicked Highlanders) - Suzanne Enoch

“Look at me,” a low brogue came from directly in front of her. A shiver ran up her spine. Niall. “I don’t want to,” she whispered. 
A warm, rough hand took hold of hers. “Then just waltz with me, lass,” Niall murmured.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Reading Update: 20%

It's Getting Scot in Here (Wild Wicked Highlanders) - Suzanne Enoch

“You are not what I expected, Niall MacTaggert,” she said, walking Mirabel in a circle around him. 
“Neither are ye.” 
She stiffened a little. “Is that bad?”
“Nae.” He continued looking at her, pivoting to keep her in view as she circled. “Nae.”

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Reading Update: 40%

Surrender of a Siren - Tessa Dare

Mr. Grayson made  a show  of  smiling  at the  jest.  But  his  grin  faded,  and for  a  moment  Sophia  saw  what  she  had  never  before  noticed,  in  those dozen  occasions.  It  cost  him  something,  that  roguish  smile.  Behind  it,  he looked … weary. Empathy gripped her before she could push it away. She’ d  spent  many  evenings  in  many  ballrooms,  struggling  under  the  weight  of feigned levity. Fooling everyone but herself.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Review: The DNA of You and Me

The DNA of You and Me The DNA of You and Me by Andrea Rothman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

“I don’t think it’s just you, Emily. I think we all feel like mutants in our own way.”

In a very strong debut, Rothman gives us a contemporary fiction slice of life story featuring Emily, a daughter of a single father, starting off in the science research community. As a child, Emily had an allergy to cut grass and had to stay indoors in the summer, essentially isolating her from playing around with kids her own age. Raised only by her father as her mother dropped her off as a baby and never looked back, he immersed her a lot in his science work. Trying to isolate the genes that allow us to smell, with hopes of possibly one day fixing anosmia, Emily ends up in a lab rife with personal and job political pitfalls.

The story started off with giving us a peak at the ending and then rewinding to show how Emily got where she was. Told completely from Emily's point of view, the story is broken up into parts that worked really well to help conceptually understand where and how Emily is mentally and emotionally at each part. The background on her childhood, reason for not being able to be outdoors, relationship with father, and how this molded her, gave a good emotional impact building block for why her work was important to her and even her feelings toward Aeden, her co-worker and love interest.

As this is, what I call, a slice of life story, it is a glimpse into one character's life, they and the other characters don't always act in ways that the reader wants them to. I thought it was interesting how the parallels were there to be drawn between Aeden and Emily's father. Emily mentions similarities between the two and then how she can't quite connect with Aeden the way she wants to, possibly why she very quickly became fixated on Aeden. Aeden was a bit hard to read as we don't get his point of view, did he feel guilt tripped or did his feelings just naturally grow from being around Emily? However, this uncertainty did put the reader in the same boat with Emily and as she seems to struggle overall with human connection; you'll feel it.

The science in the story was interesting and if you go in with the desire to soak in this world for awhile, you won't feel overwhelmed or lost. I'm definitely a layman with this field and thought everything was explained and relayed in a clear interesting manner, very few times did I feel maybe some in depth moments could be edited out. I do wish I could have gotten a better feel for Emily and some of the emotional moments could have reached deeper; her relationship with her father seemed like a rich well. I also thought her relationship with her boss Justin could have been explored more.

I did think, for a debut, the author had an amazing ease of writing style that flowed well and kept me engaged to keep reading; the pages flew by. However, I ended up feeling like I didn't quite have a solid handle on Emily, her growth emotionally and career wise, was left somewhat open. Competitiveness and relationships in the workplace, why we do the things we do, and destiny versus our own decision making were all leading themes in this story about Emily as she searched for scientific and emotional answers. A slice of life story, where mice hold a lot of the answers.

“[...]because at the end of the day science has nothing to do with luck, but with truth, and the truth does not always make one happy.”

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Reading Update: 20%

Snow day for me! Snuggling in with this debut and Valentine's Day inspired snack :)

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Reading Update: 45%

Heartbreaker - Julie Garwood

Company salad turned out to be a square of lime Jell-O nestled on a bed of iceberg lettuce with a dab of mayonnaise on top. He hated Jell-O, but he ate it anyway so he wouldn’t hurt their feelings,

The Jell-O is what he hates here?!? Is, is this a thing, Company salad??? It can't be. Mayonnaise, iceberg lettuce AND Jell-O?????
This story involves a serial killer but learning about Company salad has terrified me more than him.

Saturday, February 9, 2019


Death in the Stocks - Georgette Heyer

'But I don't like policemen. Some people feel the same about cats. Always know the instant one comes into the room, and begin to get creepy. Not that I've any objection to cats, mind you. Far from it. In fact, if I had to be bothered with any sort of animal, I think I should choose a cat.' 
'Well, I wouldn't,' said Antonia, who had happened to listen to this. 'They're inhuman things - though I suppose there are cats and cats.'

I hear you, Antonia, I'm the same way. There are cats and cats. Although, it probably has more to do with their decision than mine.

Kenneth laughed, and said with a good deal of delight: ''A touch, a touch, I do confess.' You know, I'm beginning to like you quite a lot.' 
'I might return that compliment, if it occurs to you to stop trying to hoodwink me. You are fond of quoting from Hamlet (though not always sure of your source), so I will give you one more line to digest: 'Take care that you don't become as a woodcock to your own springe'.'

Bless your heart, Kenneth. Don't try to win a sassy Hamlet quoting war with Superintendent Hannasyde, it won't end well.


"Regular old cough-drop she is, too. Name of Murgatroyd."

Named Murgatroyd, described as a "regular old cough drop", if she's the murderer, I'd say she had her reasons.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Reading Update: 10%

'Your half-brother, miss, died as a result of a knife thrust through the back,' said the Inspector. 
'Oh!' said Antonia. 'Rather beastly.'

Review: The Scoundrel in Her Bed

The Scoundrel in Her Bed The Scoundrel in Her Bed by Lorraine Heath
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

2.5 stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

While he was responsible for so much pain, there was a time when he’d been responsible for her most ultimate joy.

Third in the Sins for All Seasons series following the Trewlove siblings, Finn falls for an Earl's daughter. As the Trewlove siblings, except for the youngest, were all born on the wrong side of the blanket and “farmed” out (in this case, delivered by aristocrats or their servants, with a one time payment to Ettie Trewlove to take care of or dispose of baby as she saw fit), this proves dangerous for Finn and Lady Lavinia Kent, as she starts to fall for him, too.

The first half of the book had flashback scenes that went back and forth with the current events happening. These flashbacks did a pretty good job of delivering the how and why of Finn and Lavinia's relationship but as Lavinia starts off as fifteen to Finn's early twenties, some of their deeper emotional connection wasn't there for me. There was more of a feel of kid giddiness, especially from Lavinia, of doing something forbidden than actual deeper love. The misunderstanding that initially keeps them in tension is talked about and for the most part resolved in the first half. The second half is fully in the current time and we get Finn still expressing his feelings for Lavinia and Lavinia still working through the pain of their past.

“There’s no pleasure in taking what isn’t freely given.” He grinned wolfishly. “Doesn’t mean I won’t test you to see where the boundaries are.”

Finn was my favorite part of this story, he was sweet, sensitive, and conscientious. I did think that even though he was supposed to be the same age as his brothers, he felt much younger, he had more of a tender naivety feel; this could have been done to make his romance with a late teens heroine feel more natural. While I liked Finn, I struggled at times with Lavinia. She lives the very sheltered and confined life of an aristocrat daughter and after escaping some horrors her mother and father inflict on her, she decides to make it her mission to save farmed out babies. However, it felt like she blindly and naively, rich-woman-striding-in-thinks-she-knows-the-best-way-to-solve-the-problem by stepping in to buy the children and put them in nun run homes. She doesn't bother to really see if what she is doing is better for the children; Ettie Trewlove more than likely ended up being a far better situation for Finn to grow up in than being dumped at a very full nun orphanage. Lavinia never really lost her, what I think is best is, feel and her drawn out, felt a bit pointless at times, “we've changed so we can't be together” whole second half of book with Finn.

Their breathing was shallow, fraught with tension, as they each took a measure of the other.

While this started off intriguing with the from the different side of the tracks relationship, not a lot really happens, the second half felt like a bunch of forced overly melancholy we can't be together and when there were emotional moments, they felt rushed and didn't quite leave an impact. The elements for a good story were here but the spark and emotion to immerse you were not. Heath's writing is good but this felt like a going through the motions, there was some repetitiveness and I think this could have been better as a novella. There are still other Trewlove siblings to get their stories and as Heath has wrote an intriguing family, I'll still be on the lookout for future installments.

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Thursday, February 7, 2019


It was madness to have him back in her life, but she didn’t want to walk away from the possibilities, no matter how much they frightened her.

Reading Update: 30%

The Scoundrel in Her Bed: A Sins for All Seasons Novel - Lorraine Heath
She’d played him for a fool. No memory of her should be pleasing to recall but there were still nights when he lay awake in his bed, staring at the ceiling because when he closed his eyes he saw her.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Reading Update: 25%

Again, slowly, deliberately, he raised her wrist to his lips. 
Holding her gaze, kissed.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Review: Crashing into Her

Crashing into Her Crashing into Her by Mia Sosa
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

“Eva,” he whispers in a low groan. “Friends shouldn’t do this.”

Third in the Love on Cue series stars Eva and Anthony. Eva was the friend and Anthony the cousin to the heroine in the first in the series, Acting on Impulse. Series readers will enjoy the many appearances and inclusion of past heroines and heroes. However, newbies could comfortably start here as Eva and Anthony are just beginning their relationship. Eva and Anthony start off a little ornery with each other but when their thought to be one-night stand turns into now we're working with each other, their back and forth really heats up.

Eva was a gusty heroine, she moved from the east coast to the west, even though she lost financial and emotional support promised by her dad. She does gain proximity to her bestfriend and a job, which I must mention how wonderful it was to read about three women (heroines from #1 and #2 Pretending His Mine ) with varying personalities having fun together, encouraging, and being a support system for each other. It helps round out the heroine and series' world when they don't live in isolation or primarily for the hero. Even though I didn't get a great feel for Eva's relationship with her mother, I enjoyed how her issues with her father weren't heavy angst, more like family growing pains; it was nice to see them talk and work to improve their relationship.

Anthony had the often used, can't commit because my father loved my mother more than she did him and now I can never love because I don't want to turn out like him. This felt a little forced and I thought the overall theme and feeling of the story's two people trying to navigate life and open up for love, could have did without it. Anthony seemed like a pretty busy guy, he helps to run/instruct at a gym and stunt work business, just having him unsure if he could take time from his career while emotionally opening himself up could have worked.

“Last night was incredible, but I think you wanted to keep it impersonal, and only after experiencing impersonal did I realize it doesn’t fit the way I feel about you.”

I really enjoyed Eva and Anthony's back and forth and chemistry. There were a couple times where I thought they didn't have to be so clever with each other all the time but it was refreshing how they were generally friends through the majority of it. They both had a little bit of bitterness and fear of what could happen, instead of taking each problem as it came. It was enjoyable to follow along with them as their chemistry couldn't help but push their friendship into more heated situations. They also did a great job talking and owning up to mistakes or missteps.

This is written in first person point of view, alternating chapters, which not a personal favorite, I sometimes feel like I'm missing some connection between the two. *Per publisher's email, this was a formatting mistake and will be fixed in final copy. I read an arc of this, so not sure if this will be changed, but there were a couple times where the pov changed within a chapter, without any warning. An example:
When I cup her cheeks, sweeping my thumbs under her eyes to dry them, she leans into my touch, all soft and vulnerable. “Hey, hey, baby,” I say. “Talk to me. Why the tears?”
I look up at Anthony, not caring that I’m a blubbering mess. The warmth of his body is a balm that calms me like a magic cure for a colicky baby.

This chapter was under the heading “Anthony” and was all from his pov, until suddenly it switched to Eva. This is exactly how it read for me, no spaces or acknowledgment that the pov was changing to Eva. I, personally, found this incredibly disruptive to the flow and had me backtracking and some confusion as to was speaking for a little bit. This example was easier to catch on because of the “look up at Anthony” right away but the “I” at first made it read funny to me. Others who read a lot of first pov may not have the problems I did.*

This author does a fantastic job writing family and friendship dynamics, I believe in her characters and world. I do think that while this is contemporary right now, the character's parlance could have this not aging well, even within 5/10 years; a lot of current/pop culture word usage. The author's use of food to immerse and showcase in some small way the characters' cultures was delightful and had me wishing there was a companion cookbook. All in all, an entertaining contemporary where two people try to just be friends but their chemistry can't be denied.

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