Meet My Book Boyfriend: Caden Grayson from Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye


My heart aches just thinking of Caden.

If you haven’t read the Hearts in Darkness duet, stop what you are doing and go read it. The duet is a couple of novellas and such few pages have never packed more of a punch than in these books. At least, not in my opinion. And certainly not in novellas.

I am not typically a romance novella person. I need a TON of chemistry to truly love characters… but Caden and Makenna? So. Much. Chemistry.

McKenna and Caden get trapped in an elevator together. They never truly lay eyes on one another before the elevator goes pitch black and gets stuck for hours.

I related SO much with Caden. He has severe anxiety that is triggered by small, dark places. So, needless to say, when he begins to completely freak out, I was so there with him.

However, McKenna is able to talk him down from the ledge, despite being a stranger, and so their romance begins.


Oh, my sweet Caden. I adore him SO much.

Caden is this big, tattooed and scarred guy who is easily misjudged because of his appearance.

I have a SUPER soft spot for intimidating guys with big, soft hearts.

Caden is also an EMT who is passionate about what he does because an EMT once saved his life.

I also have a soft spot for guys who are PASSIONATE about something.

The fact that he suffers from crippling anxiety, just made him even more relatable to me. My heart absolutely broke for him and I was rooting for him so hard.

Her Forbidden Hero (The Hero #1) by Laura Kaye

Overall Rating: 3 Stars
Title: Her Forbidden Hero
Author: Laura Kaye
Series: The Hero #1
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible

She’s always been off-limits…

Former Army Special Forces Sgt. Marco Vieri has never thought of Alyssa Scott as more than his best friend’s little sister, but her return home changes that…and challenges him to keep his war-borne demons at bay. Marco’s not the same person he was back when he protected Alyssa from her abusive father, and he’s not about to let her see the mess he’s become.

…but now she’s all grown up.

When Alyssa takes a job at the bar where Marco works, her carefree smiles wreak havoc on his resolve to bury his feelings. How can he protect her when he can’t stop thinking about her in his bed? But Alyssa’s not looking for protection—not anymore. Now that she’s back in his life, she’s determined to heal her forbidden hero, one touch at a time…



To be fair… I was in a pretty epic reading slump when reading this book.

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Authors I’m Looking Forward to Meeting at Shameless Book Con

Shameless Book Con is about a month away and I’m so ridiculously excited!

I was lucky enough to attend this convention last year with my sister and this year I’m attending with my mom and my sister. Even though we only live two hours away from where the event is being held, we’re still getting a hotel room so we can all hang out together in Orlando for a couple days.

Anyway, as I always do when I register for a book convention, I check out the list of authors attending the event and make a list of all the authors I want to meet. Usually, a few days before the event, the organizers release and map showing where all the authors will be sitting, so I go through that and map my course.

This time around, I figured I’d share the list of authors I’m super excited to meet at the convention … and one of their books that I’ve either read and loved or want to read.

New-to-Me Authors I’m Looking Forward to Meeting at Shameless Book Con


Alessandra Torre


Autumn Jones Lake


Kandi Steiner

KK Allen


Meredith Wild


Olivia Cunning


Skye Warren



Authors I Love at Shameless Book Con

Emma Scott


Jana Aston


Laura Kaye


Laurelin Paige
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00031]


Lara Adrian


Lauren Rowe


Mariana Zapata


Marni Mann


Sierra Simone


Trisha Wolfe


Are you going to Shameless Book Con?





Things I Thought I Hated in Romance Novels (And the Books That Proved Me Wrong)

I’ve seen these questions asked many times in the book blogging community:

What do you hate in romance novels?
What tropes can’t you stand?
What are your romance novel pet peeves?

I used to have several definitive answers to this question, but slowly, as I’ve read more and more romance novels, I’ve come across so many books that have proven me so very, very wrong.

Now, whenever this question comes up, I struggle.

I struggle because even though there are many books that get these things wrong, there are still those few who get them right and part of me feels like I’d be betraying those great books if I listed those pet peeves. I know, it’s silly, but for those of you who view reading books as time spent with close friends will understand where I’m coming from.

And even if I haven’t come across a book that defies me yet, I know that one may exist – I just haven’t read it yet.

Honestly, I think this mindset could go for any genre of books. I mean, if the story is good enough? The things you think you hate can easily turn into the things you love … if done right.


Here is a list of my romance novel pet peeves… and the books that proved me wrong:

Continue reading “Things I Thought I Hated in Romance Novels (And the Books That Proved Me Wrong)”

Favorite Romance Novel Comfort Reads

Comfort reads are books that I turn to when I’m in a total book slump and need a reminder that great books exist in this world. They are books that I know I will enjoy no matter how many times I read them.

They are basically the paperback equivalent to a hot bath and warm tea. A Sunday morning an freshly laundered sheets. A midnight snuggle soaked in moonlight. Floofy socks and a crackling fireplace on a cold night. A giant bowl of soup and buttered crackers. Cool, crisp sheets at the end of a long day.

These are the books that you stop to pick up and hug every time you pass by your bookshelf. The ones that you see in a bookstore and get a wave of excitement, as if you’ve just run into an old friend. The ones you pull from whatever self they’re on in the store and move them front, center, and eye-level on the bookshelf, then walk away whispering, “you’re welcome, world.”

Or maybe that’s just me who does that. #obsessive

Anyway, here are some of my favorite comfort reads

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Josh and Luci have come to the rescue so many times! Also, every time I see a friend on Goodreads begin reading this, I stalk them like a psycho.

Goodreads | Amazon


Hearts in Darkness Duet by Laura Kaye

When I need a quick pick-me-up, this duet is absolutely perfect because they are short and sweet, but pack a punch.

Goodreads | Amazon | My Review


A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

When my current reads are lacking butterflies and I need an overdose, I reread this entire series and swoon over Rhys while huffing my Liber de Stella Rhys candles.

Goodreads | Amazon


The Pucked Series by Helena Hunting

Ok, so maybe I just read this series, but I already know this is going to be a go-to for me!

Goodreads | Amazon | My Review


Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

When I need a little bit of something unique, yet still romantic, I reach for this book.

Goodreads | Amazon


The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

When instalove starts to get on my instanerves, this is my slow burn go-to.

Goodreads | Amazon


What are some of your comfort reads?

Favorite Romance Novels of 2017


Oh. My. Goodness.

This year has been such an epic reading year for me. Not necessarily in the amount of books I’ve read, but more in that I discovered so freaking many amazing books and authors all in one year!

My Goodreads goal this year was 100 books and I completed that goal just in time this month. Now, I’m off re-reading all the books I’ve become obsessed with thanks to this goal.

Screen Shot 2017-12-21 at 12.18.59 PM.png

2017 was the year I discovered auto-buy authors like Mariana Zapata, Rainbow Rowell, Laura Kaye, Jay Crownover, Helena Hunting, Sierra Simone, Sally Thorne, Lauren Rowe, and Penny Reid. I know, RIGHT?!

I also discovered a few series that I burned through in a matter of days, characters and stories that have stuck with me, oh, and I wrote and published a novel that I love, too!

These are my absolute favorite romance reads of 2017


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Love in the Light by Laura Kaye

book review

Overall Rating: 5 Stars


Love in the Light (Hearts in Darkness #2) by Laura Kaye
[Kindle eBook Purchased from Amazon]


Goodreads synopsis:

Two hearts in the darkness…

Makenna James and Caden Grayson have been inseparable since the day they were trapped in a pitch-black elevator and found acceptance and love in the arms of a stranger. Makenna hopes that night put them on the path to forever—which can’t happen until she introduces her tattooed, pierced, and scarred boyfriend to her father and three over-protective brothers.

Must fight for love in the light…

Haunted by a childhood tragedy and the loss of his family, Caden never thought he’d find the love he shares with Makenna. But the deeper he falls, the more he fears the devastation sure to come if he ever lost her, too. When meeting her family doesn’t go smoothly, Caden questions whether Makenna deserves someone better, stronger, and just more…normal. Maybe they’re too different—and he’s far too damaged—after all…


I was not expecting to love this book as much as I do. I didn’t think that there was any possible way to top my love for the first book in this series, and while I don’t think this book is better than the first, I do think it is just as wonderful — which is pretty rare.

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Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye

book review

Overall Rating: 5 Stars


Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye (Hearts in Darkness #1)
[Audiobook, purchased from Audible]
Hearts in Darkness

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Find the full details here.

Makenna James thinks her day can’t get any worse, until she finds herself stuck in a pitch-black elevator with a complete stranger. Distracted by a phone call and juggling too much stuff, the pin-striped accountant caught only a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on his hand before the lights went out.

Caden Grayson is amused when a redhead literally falls at his feet. His amusement turns to panic when the power fails. Despite his piercings, tats, and vicious scar, he’s terrified of the dark and confined spaces. Now, he’s trapped in his own worst nightmare.

To fight fear, they must both reach out and open up. With no preconceived notions based on looks to hold them back, they discover just how much they have in common. In the warming darkness, attraction grows and sparks fly, but will they feel the same when the lights come back on?

I’m not a fan of short stories.

Or… at least I didn’t think I was.

I like big books and I cannot lie

Laura Kaye has effectively changed my mind with Hearts in Darkness. And short stories aren’t the only thing I didn’t think I liked that this book proved wrong, I also didn’t think I liked instalove (or instalust in this case), but, alas, I apparently do. Maybe I need to not be so judgy about those things from now on (LOL).

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Audiobook Binge: 13 Audiobooks in 7 Days



So, I think I’m single-handedly keeping Audible in business this month.

Don’t tell my husband, but I downloaded 13… that’s right… THIRTEEN audiobooks this month alone.

Guys. I got 1 audiobook a month with the membership I had. Obviously, I’ve updated my account to 2 books a month, but seriously. I bought 13 audiobooks this month.

Do you know how many I’ve read/listened to out of those 13? 4.

I’ve listened to 4 audiobooks in 7 days.

I blame Mariana Zapata.

Trying to figure out what audiobook to download with that one measly credit is always a struggle. I use my TBR ASAP list on Goodreads and add those books to my Audible Wishlist, then from there, I narrow down which books are the most expensive and put them in order by how badly I want to read them. It’s definitely a long process.

Anyway, The Wall of Winnipeg and Me won that battle for my monthly credit and when I blew through that incredibly long book, I craved more. I needed more. So, I downloaded two more MZ books.

And I blew through those.

“WTF?” You might say. “Did you do nothing with your life aside from listen to audiobooks?” My answer, “Yeah, maybe.”

Mostly, like I said, it is MZ’s fault. Not just because the books are addictive, but because the books I read first, Kulti and The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, had very athletically driven characters and they really motivated me to work out. And I listen to audiobooks while I workout. (And when I clean, drive, and do other mindless tasks.)

I also had a couple very late nights. One even ending at 3:30am. I wanted to die the next day, but it was so worth finding out what happened with Kulti.

Anyway, this was just a long-winded introduction to the main event: my July audiobook haul!

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