How I Met My Book(s): The Morgan Brothers Series by Lauren Rowe

Once Upon a Time I attended my very first Shameless Book Con. This was only the second bookish convention I’d ever attended, the first being Apollycon.

I attended this event with my sister (and fellow romance lover) and we were so excited and overwhelmed by the awesomeness. Aside from Apollycon, we’d never been surrounded by so many like-minded people in our lives. Everywhere we looked there were books that looked amazing.

I’d gotten quite a bit more involved in the online bookish community back in 2018 at this convention (at least, I think it was 2018, I can’t really remember.) and I’d fallen in love with indie authors. Suddenly, I was surrounded by so many amazing indie authors I had yet to discover.

And one of them was Lauren Rowe.

First of all, the covers for this series are amazing. They would’ve caught my eye, even if I hadn’t heard of Ball Peen Hammer in passing.

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Having recognized the cover and her name as an author I wanted to buy books from, I practically ran over to her table. Unfortunately, though, by the time I got there, she was sold out of Ball Peen Hammer. Instead, she offered me to enter her giveaway for Ball Peen Hammer and Captain, so, of course, I did.

And HOLY CRAP! I actually won!

A few weeks later, when I was hit hard with the flu, my copies of Ball Peen Hammer and Captain came in the mail. I read them BOTH in one day.

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And thus began my love of all things Lauren Rowe.

I ended up purchasing all of her books on audio as well as physical copies because when I love a book, I like to both read and listen to it.

Now, here we are, a couple of years later, and she has come out with a spin-off of The Morgan Brothers Series based on one of the most intriguing characters from that series that I’ve been BEGGING for FOREVER: The Reed Rivers Trilogy. The first two books are already released (and available on Kindle Unlimited!), and the third is releasing TOMORROW, March 19.

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I admit, because of my lack of patience, I’ve been waiting for all three books to release so that I could binge them. And binge them I shall after Historical Romance Readathon ends this week!

How I Met My Book: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

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This book will always have a special place in my heart, and not just because it is a hard-hitting, super intense, romantic read… but because it was the first Colleen Hoover book I ever read.

And I was not prepared.

PS – Justin Baldoni is planning on making this book into a movie, and I was obsessed with his first movie, Five Feet Apart, which shed light on Cystic Fibrosis – and I loved it SO much.

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Let’s talk a little bit about how It Ends With Us and I met, shall we?

I was browsing the Goodreads Choice Awards and decided that I would read any book that won the Romance award, no matter what. I wouldn’t read the synopsis or reviews. And it didn’t matter if I didn’t know anything about the author or the book.

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I love romance and popular books enough to take the chance.

So, off I went, to Audible and I downloaded the audiobook and I went in blind.

I. Went. In. Blind.

Completely.

I knew nothing about Colleen Hoover and how she tends to throw gut-punch curveballs into her books.

I was all in with Lily and Ryle. I thought he was so charming and the way he pleaded with her in that tongue-in-cheek kind of way was so adorable and cute, I shipped them hard from the beginning.

I thought this was a typical romance. I was wrong.

::SPOILERS AHEAD::

All the minor “signs” that Ryle gave about his true nature didn’t even register to me. Heroes are aggressive and assertive in novels all the time – this was no different.

And then he hit her the first time.

And suddenly, I was Lily.

I’ve never been in her situation before, thank goodness. But instead of being the judgmental person I probably would have been if I wasn’t so invested in their relationship, I would’ve immediately thought, “GET THE EFF OUT.”

But I didn’t.

Because Ryle was the romance hero. I fell in love with him right alongside Lily. He’s charming. He’s sweet. I ran through all the adorable things he did previously and it didn’t compute that this was the same person.

And I did what Lily did. A horrifying thing: I started trying to justify it.

He had a really important surgery coming up. He was probably a little drunk. He was in pain. It was a reflex. He didn’t mean it.

All toxic self-talk.

And I realized what Colleen Hoover had done. She put someone who otherwise never had to deal with this type of abuse directly in Lily’s shoes.

As the book went on, as things got worse, I was just as scared as Lily. I saw no way out of the situation… how could I?

But Colleen did something else amazing… she lit a glimmer of hope. In Atlas.

I loved Atlas from the beginning, too. And as the book went on, I feel deeper for him. And I hurt for him, too. How hard it is to be on the outside of an abusive relationship. How hard it is to try to save someone you love from such a toxic, scary, life-threatening situation.

This is how I met my book. This is how I met one of my all-time favorite, auto-buy authors.

How I Met My Book (Series): The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by JR Ward

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The story of how I learned about this series is actually a pretty funny one.

My sister had a coworker who read a lot of the same types of books as us. We would pass books around to each other and give each other recommendations.

This was before the days of Goodreads (or at least before we found out about it, anyway.) So, it was a lot harder to find books based on those that we already loved.

I had just discovered adult paranormal romance and had, in turn, passed that obsession along to my sisters and her coworker.

As fate would have it, her coworker happened to be flipping through one of those random discount magazines that has a bunch of random stuff in it (including, apparently, books) and she came across the Black Dagger Brotherhood boxed set.

It reminded her of The Nightwalkers series by Jacquelyn Frank that I’d introduced everyone to, so she bought it on a whim.

Next thing she knew, she’d blown through all the books in the boxed set and handed them over to my sister. My sister then handed them over to me, and the rest is history.

Although I still haven’t caught up to this series because it has approximately 320875038753186319867 books in it, I do still have extremely fond memories of reading the first few books (particularly Z’s book because, omggggg it’s so amazing.)

Check it out on Goodreads.

Have you read this series? How did you learn about it?

How I Met My Book: (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon

How I Met My Book is a series in which you introduce your readers to a book on your shelf and share all about how it came to be there. I first discovered this series on The Book Dutchesses and decided to incorporate it here on my blog.

Look on anyone’s “Least Favorite Tropes” posts, and 9/10 times you will likely see “love triangles.”

I have to wonder if these are the aftershocks of the Twilight decade in which every single romance-heavy book published after Twilight involved some sort of love triangle.

Meanwhile, I’m over here googling “Books with the Best Love Triangles” back in July of 2016… well after the love triangle phase died down.

I wish I could find the list that had Outlander on it so that I could link to it, but I honestly couldn’t tell you where. It’s likely on a Goodreads list somewhere.

In any case, I saw how popular the book was and decided to give it a try even though it was freakishly long, the cover looked boring, and I never really had any interest in time-travel romance.

Little did I know what was about to happen to me.

I began reading Outlander and my world was turned upside down like only great books can do.

It’s rare, but when it happens? It makes the search for The Next Great Book completely worthwhile.

I finished Outlander and immediately started the next book in the series. When that was done, I was in such a heartbroken daze.

With every great book I’ve ever read, I’ve always been left feeling somewhat hollow when the book was finished. As if it took something out of me, or maybe filled me up so much that I was overflowing. Maybe a combination of the two.

Either way, I started googling more information about the series and stumble upon the TV series. I never paid for a subscription to a channel faster than I did Starz when I saw that the TV series was available there.

Thank goodness I’d discovered the show on a weekend because I got zero sleep. I stayed up all night watching.

The show was so epically good that I was left even more zombie-like when I blew through the whole season.

I forced my sisters and mom into reading the books so that we could mourn and die together, and they all went through the same thing I did. It is so gratifying when you can go through something like that with others.

Anyway, that’s my story about Outlander. I never did read past the third book and never watched past the second season, however, I do plan on finishing both at some point.

Have you read this book? How did you meet your most recent read?

 

 

 

How I Met My Book: Jacob (Nightwalkers #1 by Jacquelyn Frank)

How I Met My Book is a series in whiwch you introduce your readers to a book on your shelf and share all about how it came to be there. I first discovered this series on The Book Dutchesses and decided to incorporate it here on my blog.

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While Twilight didn’t get me into reading, I’d definitely never been so obsessed with a love story in my entire life. Honestly, before I’d read Twilight, the only romance novels I’d ever read was this cheesy YA series I’d stumbled upon in my library, but they were just that, super cheesy.

I assumed all romance novels were like that: cute, fun to read, but nothing earth-shattering.

I’d never read a book about epic love until I read Twilight. And it threw my world into a tailspin.

I know now that there are many books that do it so much better, but I’ll never forget the first time I felt butterflies like those induced by a work of fiction.

I was addicted.

To feed my addiction, I started reading any YA paranormal romance novel I could get my hands on.

And I found many great books during that process.

However, it was a few years before I explored outside of the YA realm when it came to romance.

I was in my early 20s (if not late teens) when I picked up Jacob. It was my first hesitant step into adult romance of any kind.

Keep in mind what this means. It means that I had no idea that books went into such graphic detail when it came to sex scenes. I’d read sex scenes, of course, but they were always PG. I didn’t even know epic sex scenes existed inside of books!

I didn’t read Jacob right away. I picked it up on a whim and it sat on the back of my bookshelf for, literally, years, until one day while unpacking in my new apartment, I decided to read it.

And I was floored.

My jaw dangled from my face, I couldn’t believe how that book made me feel. The butterflies this time were not so innocent. They were violent and ravenous and so, so good.

And I was hooked.

Now, here we are. I read 99% romance novels, most of which are adult romance novels, and it all began with this book. Well, this entire series, really.

I feel like this series is extremely underrated, I rarely hear about it and I don’t understand why.

Every few years I re-read this series (and its spin-off series, Shadowdwellers) and I fall all over again.

Of course, nothing is like the first time you read a book, but still. There are definitely echoes.

 

Have you read this book? How did you meet your most recent read?

 

 

 

How I Met My Book: The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

How I Met My Book is a series in which you introduce your readers to a book on your shelf and share all about how it came to be there. I first discovered this series on The Book Dutchesses and decided to incorporate it here on my blog.

Today’s story is short and sweet and it is proof that the book community and fangirls are some of the best people to interact with.

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The Wall of Winnipeg and Me is one of my all-time favorite books, and Mariana Zapata is one of my all-time favorite authors.

So, how did I come across this book? The short answer? Flamethrowers.

No, not the weapon (well, I guess it kind of is to Joshua), I’m talking about the red lipstick that Lucy wears in The Hating Game. You see, Sally Thorne’s Facebook Fan Group is called Sally Thorne’s Flamethrowers, and the second I finished The Hating Game, please believe I joined that group.

As you might anticipate, one of the most frequently asked questions in that group is “I NEED MORE BOOKS LIKE THE HATING GAME!” And the #1 response to that question? The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata.

I kept seeing this rec over and over again and I finally gave in and bought the book. I devoured it in a day, then I bought the audiobook and listened to it in a day and I’ve been listening to it periodically for over a year now.

I’ve probably reread it about 15 times.

Have you read this book? How did you meet your most recent read?

How I Met My Book: How to Kill a Rockstar by Tiffanie DeBartolo

How I Met My Book is a series in which you introduce your readers to a book on your shelf and share all about how it came to be there. I first discovered this series on The Book Dutchesses and decided to incorporate it here on my blog.

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The story of how I discovered How to Kill a Rockstar by Tiffanie DeBartolo is one of the my interesting tales.

It all began with an obsession with a band called Ours and their lead singer, Jimmy Gnecco.

My sister introduced me to Ours well over a decade ago.

You see, Ours isn’t the type of band that has fans. They have followers. Worshippers.

Jimmy lays his soul out for the plucking in every single song. The way he uses his voice to convey emotion is breathtaking.

As most of you may know, my two sisters and I are huge readers thanks to my mom’s obsession with books. We are constantly sharing music and books.

This all came together when my sister excitedly told me that she discovered that an author had written a book in which the main character was based on Jimmy.

She was reading a news site for the band and the book was mentioned in an article.

Of course, we both immediately bought the book.

Little did we know we’d soon discover our all-time favorite author.

Tiffanie DeBartolo seemed to be the only person on the entire planet that could put into words what Ours followers feel when they listen to Jimmy’s voice put to music.

Even the way she describes Paul is how I’d describe Jimmy. The description of “flashlight eyes” that she uses for Paul is Jimmy through and through.

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I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Jimmy a couple of times and I swear, when he looks at you, the world stops. His deep-set eyes seem to glow in the dark like a cat.

Jimmy’s flashlight eyes on full display even through a camera lens

I will forever be jealous of my sister for this experience, but during an Ours concert that she attended (one of the few she went to without me!) she brought a copy of How to Kill a Rockstar, and when she met Jimmy after the concert, she asked him to sign the book. He agreed and said, “Why don’t you have Tiffanie sign it, too?”

According to my sister, she began freaking out more about meeting Tiffanie than she had about meeting him. She clutched Jimmy’s arm in excitement as he led her over to Tiffanie.

Tiffanie turned out to be absolutely amazing. She and my sister became good friends and a few months later I was able to meet her as well.

We met in a small diner where the two of us interrogated her about her books, writing, and music… then we went to see her brother-in-law’s band together. It was such a surreal experience.

She and my sister still keep in touch to this day, and I talk to her occasionally.

I’ve read How to Kill a Rockstar about a million and a half times. So much so that the book is literally in pieces, has my underlines and scribbles all throughout, and Tiffanie’s signature on the front. I destroy the books I love and this book is the most destroyed out of all the books I own.

 

Have you read this book? How did you meet your most recent read?