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Friday, July 31, 2015

Rest And Be Thankful by Joanna Chambers ~~~ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ~~~

Another short and very sweet novella. It was quite heart breaking just how things got messed up for Cam. He came with so much hopes and dreams to live in a small town, only to somehow find himself a total outsider with a failing business. He says he isn't a "people's person" and it shows, but he isn't a bad guy, he just made a few mistakes. 

Incursion by Aleksandr Voinov ~~~ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ~~~

Another excellent short novella. I gotta say, I was a bit worried about the fact this is Sci-Fi which I usually don't like or more accurately I usually don't GET. I"m not even sure why by all these cyber talk never made sense to me. Shape shifters, vampires, witches - no problem. Makes a whole lot of sense hehe 

Like the previous one, what drew me into this story wasn't the surrounding it was the tenderness of the characters and how the connection between them was building. The conclusion was beautiful, so so beautiful. I couldn't have asked for a better ending. Since I don't usually read Sci-Fi my imagination to who this one will end was somehow limited so I can't say I saw that one coming. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Skybound by Aleksandr Voinov ~~~ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ~~~

So short yet so sweet! This short novella is told from Felix's POV. He is a mechanic working on planes near the ending of WWII. He has a huge crush on Baldur, one of the pilots, he sees him as a true hero, but never considers Baldur would ever even speak to him, a mere mechanic. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hard Time by Cara McKenna ~~~ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ~~~

This one was quite a surprise! I mean, I"m not surprised that a book by Cara was beautifully written and brought unique characters and a different kind of story wrapped around steamy sex, no, this was NOT what I was surprised about. It was just that the MC were so great together yet you wouldn't think they would "match"? Also I wouldn't have thought the Eric would interest Annie, or that I would be interested in reading about someone who I personally don't find appealing. I mean, when we read we naturally want to somehow feel drawn to the hero, that's why they are called "book boyfriends", right? yet here, it was one of the few times I enjoyed a book without it having to do with me AT ALL. I didn't mind that there is no way I would have found myself with someone like Eric. Not in real life and not in fantasy yet I could totally see what Annie found in him and it was enough for me. When usually it's a turn off and I can't get what the heroine sees in "that guy".. Do I make any sense there? I really hope I do! :) 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Unbound by Cara McKenna ~~~ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ~~~

What a beautiful beautiful ride. I didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. I LOVED the character development of both MC. Merry was so empowering! truly an inspiration the way she decided to change her life and do the things she always wanted. I loved how she was able to accept Rob and generally her compassion and understanding. Rob was SUCH a sweetheart. I ached for the life he lived and the hard choices he made in order to exist without being a pain to people in general. The journey both went through, together but also, quite a lot on their own, was a JOY to read. Yes, this is Erotica, there is kinky sex yet it's not the center of the story and frankly I don't think we encounter the first kiss in the first quarter of the book. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

After Hours by Cara McKenna ~~~ ★ ★ (DNF 28%) ~~~

I can't really say what my "problem" with this book is actually. I just didn't find myself interested enough in the two main characters, alone or together. The story is told solely from Erin's POV and I was just depressed from her life and the choices she made. There was something so redundant about her life. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

You Get Full Credit For Being Alive by Cari Z ~~~ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ~~~

A wonderful tender love story. I didn't know what to expect from this one, but what I got was PERFECTION. I'm really impressed by Cari, giving us a real relationship buildup in so few pages, and not only that but a story behind it, with side characters and even a bit of a mystery thrown in. 


Candy Man (Candy Man #1) [Adam & Finn] by Amy Lane ~~~ ★ ★ ★ ★ ~~~

Another sweet story by Amy. I'm really getting addicted to those :) This is the last short novella by Amy I have planned for this month and I truly can't wait to read more books by her (short or long). I liked this one, both MC were sweet - Adam and Finn, yet I can't say I LOVED it. Finn was a total and absolute sweet heart I loved the way he insinuated himself into Adam's life. Adam on the other hand, was a bit unclear for me. I'm not sure I "get" how him past made him into who he is today. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Turn up the Heat (Second Chances #1) by Serena Bell ~~~ ★ ★ (DNF 29%) ~~~

I can't really explain why I didn't like this novel. Somehow I wasn't interested in both MC. Mostly I was getting tired of the constant inner dialogue so on the third mark when I realized nothing truly happened it felt the right time for me to stop. 

Turkey in the Snow by Amy Lane ~~~ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ~~~

What a SWEET story! It's not my usual read for a few reasons and yet I LOVED it. Hank and Justin were perfect for each other even if they are total opposites. I loved that Justin wasn't what Hank THOUGHT he needed, and yet it was exactly it. Even though they are both quite young (21/25) they both felt very mature (to what I'm used to reading of those ages). With Hank it's obvious from his past, but with Justin it was refreshing. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Him (Him, #1) by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy ~~~ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ~~~

Outstanding. Some books you just KNOW are going to be GREAT and this one was exactly that. I recently read Elle Kennedy's "Off-Campus" series and LOVED it, and well, I'm already obsessively addicted to Sarina Bowen's writing. What could go wrong - NOTHING. This book was PERfection. Loved both MC, the development, the romance but before that, the friendship turning into love. The struggles both of them had to deal with. It was angsty for sure, my stomach was dropping all the god damn time! and yet it wasn't "too" angsty, it was taking us on a journey each of them had to take together and alone to get to where they are happy with themselves as well as one another. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Left on St.Truth-be-Well by Amy Lane ~~~ ★ ★ ★ ~~~

This one was a nice enough read but I didn't feel any real connection to the MC.. The idea was nice, there was more than romance - a bit of a mystery in the most freaky hotel EVER. 

Carson drove from Chicago to Florida to look for Stassy, his boss's nephew. Arriving at the scary as hell hotel Stassy has been staying in is the beginning of the mystery, or rather, the morning after when instead of seeing Stassy in his room he sees a dead body.. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Food for Thought by Amy Lane ~~~ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ~~~

Perfection.  I can't honestly ask for more than I got in this sweetest heart breaking, beautiful novella. I loved both Emmet and Keegan, together and alone. Loved the interaction between the two and how cooking together from this special book clarified for Emmet what he have been craving for way too long. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Truth in the Dark by Amy Lane ~~~ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ~~~

This book certainly deserves 5 stars. Well, maybe even 6 for the cool concept of this novel and how it was concluded. Yet I was still annoyed with the banter between the MC or rather just how "rough around the edges" Naef / Knife was. Which is why I HAVE to somehow reduce my rating. 

Lets start at the beginning. This story is a sort of fairy tale combining "The Beast" (from "Beauty and the Beast") and well, "The Hunchback of Notredam" in the MM version.. It was GENIUS. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Going Up by Amy Lane ~~~ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ~~~

Another short sweet novella. I can't get enough of those. Short yet has it all, character development, romance, sexy times and two sweet guys wishing and hoping to find their HEA with one another. 

The story is told from Zach Driscoll's POV. He is a lawyer, having his own company yet he is still someone "owned" by his conservative parents. He lives in an apartment building owned by his parents and the building his company occupy as well, not to mention all the bonuses his employers get for being a part of the bigger Driscoll name. He plays the game they expect him to, yet he is so terribly lonely. Having almost no friends (aside from his employees) and no social life to speak of. Though he knows and accepts himself for being gay he isn't strong enough to come out to his parents not knowing what their reaction is going to be (horrible, question is just HOW horrible..) 

Christmas with Danny Fit by Amy Lane ~~~ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ~~~

The past couple of days have been a challenge for me. Let's not say they were horrible (some were, others I was just so damn tired!) So turns out it was a good idea adding so many short novellas to this month - I don't have the time to really read and when I do I'm just too tired to concentrate. This short novella was a great nightly read. I literally couldn't put it down! It was so damn sweet and precious I wanted to hug both MC and rush them to their Happily Ever After. If I didn't know before why I enjoy heart felt romance - now I do. It's about SOMEONE getting a HEA, finding happiness and joy in others even if they are imaginary. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

When The Sea and The Sky Turn To Blood by Amy Lane ~~~ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ~~~

This short sweet and a bit sad tale is an allegory of accepting others, of being human, showing love and compassion. I just write a few reviews ago that a story so short (less than 20 pages) is very problematic in giving a whole story. Well, I take it back. 


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

If I Must by Amy Lane ~~~ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ~~~

I'm having the worst couple of days so this sweet novella came in just at the right time. Actually it's exactly what I was looking for in the previous short novellas that I DIDN'T find. Yet I have a feeling that it's also a length thing. I guess in round 60 pages a story can be told in a totally different way than in round 20. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Raising The Stakes by Amy Lane ~~~ ★ ★ ~~~

I want to blame my mood for the fact I didn't really like this one, but truthfully, I think it has nothing to do with it, I just didn't like the interaction between the two MC - Quentin and Jace. They have been working partners and Poker partners for years but only recently started a sexual relationship. 

Cocklebur's Christmas (Stuff My Stocking) by Amy Lane ~~~ ★ ★ ~~~

Let's just say it, okay? I didn't really get it. I'm not sure if it was the hour, the fact that I was stressed the HELL out, maybe because it was too damn short and there were too many details about the world the story was built into that confused me. Don't know! All I do know is I didn't get the whole thing. It was a story about a Healing Elf who is now married (?) to someone who is pregnant with twins (one his the other not?) and he tells his wife (?) through a visual dream how he came to befriend their house elf who is a bit grumpy. Not that I know WHY he is grumpy(maybe it's another part I didn't get? who knows..) 

Do-over by Amy Lane ~~~ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ~~~

This was a very sweet short novella. Engall has a crush on Chandler his science partner but him being so plain looking and Chandler being so gorgeous makes him reluctant to even try, not to mention he is still contemplating his sexual orientation. Finding the guts to go to a party at Chandler's and confessing how he feels doesn't really work. Why not? because he keeps getting killed! Lucky for him Dagiel the Angel keep giving him a Do-Over so he can get his Happily Ever After but the conclusion it different from what Dagiel had in mind, it's not just Engall how needed to accept himself and how Chandler have been feeling toward him.


Monday, July 6, 2015

Winding Road by Cecilia Ryan ~~~ ★ ★ ~~~

I wanted and mostly expected to love this story as much as I loved the previous novellas I"ve read by Cecilia. This one was different and dare I say "strange"? Ashleigh "Ash", The main character and our sole POV was a guy round 20 years old who behaved like he was maybe 15 if not less (if we ignore the sexual situations..). There is a reference to him being stupid, so I'm not sure if it was the intention of the author but he truly sounded a bit, well, trying to be politically correct here so let's say "slow". He was a sweet guy, I'll give him that but he was also clueless about life (asked his best friend what languages do people speak in Europe besides English?!) also very naive from the crush he has on a local musician- Indigo. A lot of people had some kind of obsessive interest in a rock star back in the day, right? it ended when they grew up.. With Indigo it's different. Or, should I say the same.. meaning he is crushing on a guy he knows through his lyrics. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Mistake (Off-Campus #2) [Logan & Grace] by Elle Kennedy ~~~ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ~~~

Another excellent installment! Loved both MC, loved the interaction between the two, the relationship buildup and yeah, also the drama. All felt very genuine. I have to say, as I was reading this book I kept thinking there gotta be a mix-up because the synopsis doesn't seem to match the story and since I was nearing a third of the book I found it quite bizarre.. then when I actually hit the third mark - everything started to fall into place.

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Deal (Off-Campus #1) [Garrett & Hannah] by Elle Kennedy ~~~ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ~~~

Beautiful. So So Beautiful. A solid 5 star (if not 6!) I loved this book SO MUCH. I loved Hannah, loved Garrett, loved everyone! well, naturally except for "the villains" (let's not name them at this moment..). I totally think Garrett should get a cup, not of tea but a real trophy - ♥🏆♥ THE ultimate BEST book boyfriend🏆♥ I truly envy Hannah for finding such a perfect specimen. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 2015 Goals

So many books planned, but really, so little time to read! This month is going to be C-R-A-Z-Y! While the pressure started on June (Goals / Recap), the real mess will be trying to juggle packing my apartment and moving out as well as starting a very intense course for a specific exam (pretty much a mandatory exam to whomever wants to apply for MA in Psychology). It's been a while since I studied this intensely so I"m worried it's going to kill every "available" hour I have.. So I don't really think it's possible to read the whole of this monthly plan, yet most are stand alone novels, at the worst, I'll postpone them..

So yeah, I might not feel optimistic about my reading abilities for this month, but I feel as though it's an end of an "era" and a fresh beginning of one. I'm pumped about moving out, and the whole journey into the MA program is also something I'm quite excited about. 


The Deal (Off-Campus, #1)   ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2)   ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I"m on a role of those New Adult College Romance series. I get a lot of recommendations for those from a group I started following a while ago. Heard great things about the author and she is also writing a book with Sarina Bowen who I absolutely ADORE also to be published this month. 


Winding Road   ★ ★
This is the last novella I have on my list by Cecilia. I'm really sad to say goodbye :( I truly hope Cecilia would get back to writing. Everything I've read by her was absolutely amazing. 


Do-Over   ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Cocklebur's Christmas   ★ ★
Raising the Stakes 
If I Must   ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
When The Sea and Sky Turn to Blood   ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Christmas with Danny Fit   ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 
Going up   ★ ★ ★ ★ ★  
Truth in the Dark   ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Food For Thought   ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 
Left on st. Truth-Be-Well   ★ ★ ★
Turkey in the Snow   ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 
Candy Man (Candy Man, #1)  
There's a WHOLE list of Amy this month as you can see. The thing is, two month ago I read two Contemporary MM Romance novels by her - "Sidecar" ; "Clear Water" - and I became OBSESSED. I started with adding mostly short novellas to my immediate reading list, then added a whole lot of her full novels to my 2016 list (yeah I already have one of those..) and still there are about 20+ more.. But I"ll get there :) little by little. 

Him   ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 
A new book by Sarina is always a reason to part-y! I haven't read anything by Elle yet, but I'll have two novels by her in the beginning of this month, this one, also a New Adult MM College Romance scheduled to be published at the 28th of July will probably be one of those I read the SECOND I return home from work, though I"m moving out of my apartment 3 days later so.. well.. I hope life won't get in my way of my reading! ;)

Turn Up the Heat   ★ ★ (DNF 29%)
It's been a while since I"ve read a novel by Serena and actually the last I wasn't very impressed with. I truly hope this one will remind me of her previous work which I absolutely LOVED like "Hold on Tight" and "Yours to Keep"

You Get Full Credit For Being Alive   ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I probably won't have time for this short Contemporary MM Romance novella, yet I hope I do! Recommended to me by my friend Tami a short while ago.

After Hours   ★ ★ (DNF 29%) 
Unbound     ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Hard Time    ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
One of my yearly goals is reading more (probably MOST) of Cara's novels. She writes mostly Erotica under this name. I've read all her novels under the name Meg Maguire (writes Contemporary Romance under this name). Though I'm usually problematic with Erotica (wanting to actually have a plot besides sex scenes ;)) till now, Cara didn't disappoint! 
Originally I had the "Desert Dogs" series on my list for this month, but after I read a bit of the first novel I realized it's not really to my personal taste. It was too focused on the Suspense / Mystery for me. So since it's specifically my personal taste and nothing to do with the writing, and since I haven't read THAT much of the first installment I'm just putting it away without writing a review.  

Skybound     ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Incursion     ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Another one of my yearly goals - reading as much of Aleksandr as possible :) This month I'm just adding 2 short MM Romance novellas (one Historical and the other Paranormal) since my studies and moving out has taken most of my free time near the end of the month. I actually have only 3 full length novels and two short novellas by him to read and I'm finished (!) with most of his work. There are some I decided not to read (the Sci/Fi ones, I'm not a fan of the genre) and naturally the few that are currently unavailable. I do have I think maybe 4 (?) that are co-written that I haven't scheduled yet. 

Rest and Be Thankful     ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is the last minute add. A Short Contemporary MM Romance novella by an author I really enjoyed in the past few months. I read most of her novels and plan on getting to all of them till the end of the year.  

So that's it for July, pretty presumptuous of me.. but well, at the worst I'll have more to read the following months ;) 


Check out more of my Recap and Goals of the past months!

June 2015 Recap

Summer is here and with it a lot of changes to my life. First I was "apartment hunting" for a whole week (for me it usually take up to 3 days..), it was EXHAUSTING! It's the first time I'm looking for an apartment with B a really good friend of mine. I lived with boyfriends in the past but I never had a "roommate" so to speak. So it's different for me but I have a really good feeling about it, me and B are really good friends and we have a lot in common so I feel like it's going to be a "good match". We found a BEAUTIFUL house with a yard for the dogs in our price range (honestly we expected to settle for a small apartment) so we have been in this roller-coaster of all the things we need to organize or buy and all that - which also means that my June Reading wasn't as impressive as I wanted it to be, but well, I was over excited, my head totally focused on the move scheduled for the end of this month.

So, what I did accomplish?


Total Read - 14 ebooks / 3046 pages (~102 pages a day)

I gotta say, it's not that bad considering how little time I had at least half of this month! and well, no DNFs, no huge disappointments, also a bonus! I found a really good series I'll be revisiting later this year and enjoyed really good short novellas by an author I come to adore and these are just the highlights :)


★  ★  ★  ★  ★ - Cheers and Shouts for the Favorites -  ★  ★  ★  ★  ★
So this month I had two new series - first being "Bowler University" by Megan Erickson. I've read quite a few of those college New Adult Romance novels by now, yet I feel lucky that the ones I DID read didn't just fall into the mediocre slot of the jock getting the pretty girl. It actually deals with real issues, ones that feel genuine and real. In the first novel the heroine finds out she has dyslexia and the second one deals with a heroine with a physical disability. I gotta say, I enjoyed the first two more than the third that was about a love rekindled (I guess it felt more predicable though it was still well written and very sensitive). I gotta give a shout to two more NA College series I ABSOLUTELY ADORED! Sarina Bowen's "The Ivy Years" and Christina Lee's "Between Breaths". Both are HIGHLY recommended.

The second series new is "Firefighters of Station Five" by Jo Davis. A while back I was looking for a good Contemporary Romance featuring Firefighters, I"m shallow this way ;) Well, I GOT what I wanted in this series! It's an EXCELLENT Romantic Suspense. It's steamy both in action and between the sheets and the sweet romance buildup was a joy to read. Besides the 4th installment I adored them all, the MC were beautifully portrayed and the action kept me on the edge of my seat. HIGHLY recommended!

I've already read a few short MM Romance novellas by Cecilia Ryan so I was excited to get my hands on more novellas by her. The three I had on my list this month didn't disappoint! "Mate" was ultra short yet very sweet, "Merger" was heart crushingly beautiful and "The Sartorialist", well it was just different in a very unique way. I have only one more novella by Cecilia scheduled for the beginning of July then I'll continue to stalk her GoodReads page until I find something new! (Sadly there were no new publications since 2012). I really hope she'll get back to writing SOON!

★ DNF ★ - Cries and Sniffs for the Disappointments - ★ DNF ★
I had HIGH hopes for "Bad Ex Karma" by Donna Cummings. I LOVED her previous Contemporary Romance novel "I Do.. or Die", sadly when I read it I wasn't into reviewing so I can't offer any real review. What I remember is I read it on the weekend, couldn't put it down and couldn't stop laughing! This is exactly what I HOPED I signed up for when I bought this one. Yet somehow it was totally different from what I expected, it was childish with silly humor I didn't really get and too nosy BFFs. I'll probably try out more by Donna in the future as well as Re-Read "I Do.. or Die" (THEN write a good review of it! :)). I really don't know what happened with this one and hope the next ones won't disappoint. 

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

That's it for this month's recap, it feels shorter than usual, maybe because the two series took quite big chunk of this months reading. Happy I got introduced to Jo Davis, I'll be getting my sticky fingers all over her spin off series "Sugarland Blue" near the end of the year.  Also next month I'll be reading the last novella by Cecilia Ryan which I'm equally excited and sad about.

Till next time! :)
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