Recent 5 Star Reads

I have been gone for far too long, my friends, but I’m back really quick with a new BookTube video!

Instead of trying to talk about all the books I’ve been reading while I’ve been gone, I decided to just talk about my favorites… and there are some great ones here.

For those who don’t feel like watching, I’ve listed my favorite reads from the past few months below. (If you’d like to hear my thoughts on these books, check out the video.)

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Satisfaction Guaranteed by Lauren Blakely

Look, she started it.

She issued me a challenge I couldn’t back down from. Make her purr like no man has done before.

Fine, she’s my business partner’s daughter. All right, I’m also working in the same damn practice with her. Yes, she happens to be my ex-fling. But that was seven years ago, and it was barely a week-long thing.

Except, Sloane is still the one I can’t stop thinking of — brilliant, sexy, captivating Sloane. Maybe a week of taking her to new heights will get her out of my head.

So what if we spend a few nights on the town too? So what if I romance her across Manhattan? It’s all in the name of scientific pursuit of more magnificent Os.

Until the rules change…

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Meet Cute by Helena Hunting

Talk about an embarrassing introduction. On her first day of law school, Kailyn ran – quite literally – into the actor she crushed on as a teenager, ending with him sprawled on top of her. Mortified to discover the Daxton Hughes was also a student in her class, her embarrassment over their meet-cute quickly turned into a friendship she never expected. Of course, she never saw his betrayal coming either…

Now, eight years later, Dax is in her office asking for legal advice. Despite her anger, Kailyn can’t help feeling sorry for the devastated man who just became sole guardian to his thirteen-year-old sister. But when her boss gets wind of Kailyn’s new celebrity client, there’s even more at stake than Dax’s custody issues: if she gets Dax to work at their firm, she’ll be promoted to partner.

The more time Kailyn spends with Dax and his sister, the more she starts to feel like a family, and the more she realizes the chemistry they had all those years ago is as fresh as ever. But will they be able to forgive the mistakes of the past, or will one betrayal lead to another?

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Amour Amour by Krista and Becca Ritchie

Love is a circus

“Every day,” he says lowly, “I hold a person’s life in my hands. The circus is based one-hundred percent off trust. I give it all to someone, and they give it all to me.”

The best aerial technique won’t land 21-year-old Thora James her dream role in Amour—a sexy new acrobatic show on the Vegas strip. Thora knows she’s out of her element the second she meets Amour’s leading performer. Confident, charming and devilishly captivating, 26-year-old Nikolai Kotova lives up to his nickname as the “God of Russia.”

When Thora unknowingly walks into the crosshairs of Nikolai’s after-show, her audition process begins way too soon. Unprofessional. That’s what Nik calls their “non-existent” relationship. It’s not like Thora can avoid him. For one, they may be partners in the future—acrobatic partners, that is. But getting closer to Nik means diving deeper into sin city and into his dizzying world.

Thora wants to perform with him, but when someone like Nikolai attracts the spotlight wherever he goes—Thora fears that she’s destined to be just background to his spellbinding show.

This sexy and exhilarating New Adult Romance can best be described as Cirque du Soleil meets the steamy, athletic romance of Center Stage.

*standalone & no love triangles—recommended for readers 18+ for mature content*

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Marriage of Inconvenience by Penny Reid

There are three things you need to know about Kat Tanner (aka Kathleen Tyson. . . and yes, she is *that* Kathleen Tyson): 1) She’s determined to make good decisions, 2) She must get married ASAP, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Being a billionaire heiress isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Determined to live a quiet life, Kat Tanner changed her identity years ago and eschewed her family’s legacy. But now, Kat’s silver spoon past has finally caught up with her, and so have her youthful mistakes.

To avoid imminent disaster, she must marry immediately; it is essential that the person she chooses have no romantic feelings for her whatsoever and be completely trustworthy. Fortunately, she knows exactly who to ask. Dan O’Malley checks all the boxes: single, romantically indifferent to her, completely trustworthy. Sure, she might have a wee little crush on Dan the Security Man, but with clear rules, expectations, and a legally binding contract, Kat is certain she can make it through this debacle with her sanity—and heart—all in one piece.

Except, what happens when Dan O’Malley isn’t as indifferent—or as trustworthy—as she thought?

★★★★★ Goodreads Choice Award Semi-Finalist for Best Romance ★★★★★

Marriage of Inconvenience is book #7 in the Knitting in the City series. Each book is a standalone, full length (110k words), contemporary romantic comedy novel, and follows the misadventures and exploits of seven friends in Chicago, all members of the same knitting group.

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Maybe Now by Colleen Hoover

What is more important? Friendship, loyalty or love?
Colleen Hoover and Griffin Peterson collaborate once again to bring fans of Maybe Someday back into the musical world of Ridge and Sydney.
And Maggie.
And Warren and Bridgette.

This is a follow-up to the NYT bestselling novel, Maybe Someday. It should be read after Maybe Someday and the novella spinoff, Maybe Not in the series.

Completed

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A Lesson in Thorns by Sierra Simone

When librarian Poe Markham takes the job at Thornchapel, she only wants two things: to stay away from Thornchapel’s tortured owner, Auden Guest, and to find out what happened to her mother twelve years ago. It should be easy enough—keep her head down while she works in the house’s crumbling private library and while she hunts down any information as to why this remote manor tucked into the fog-shrouded moors would be the last place her mother was seen alive. But Thornchapel has other plans for her…

As Poe begins uncovering the house’s secrets, both new and old, she’s also pulled into the seductive, elegant world of Auden and his friends—and drawn to Auden’s worst enemy, the beautiful and brooding St. Sebastian. And as Thornchapel slowly tightens its coil of truths and lies around them, Poe, Auden and St. Sebastian start unravelling into filthy, holy pleasure and pain. Together, they awaken a fate that will either anoint them or leave them in ashes…
***
From the author of the USA Today bestselling New Camelot series comes an original fairy tale full of ancient mysteries, lantern-lit rituals, jealousy, money, murder, sacred torment, and obsessions that last for lifetimes…

***A Lesson in Thorns is the first of four books in the Thornchapel series.***


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Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.


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Infini by Krista and Becca Ritchie

Some love is infinite

“Don’t have a best friend that’s a girl” — this was the advice from my older cousin. I didn’t take it. Because he followed with, “friends don’t f*ck friends. And you’ll want to f*ck her.”

It was terrible advice.

My cousin should’ve told me that being best friends with Baylee Wright — since she was twelve — would be the best and worst decision of my life.

He should have told me to protect her from what was coming.

He should have told me that when a darkness crawled towards us, there’d be no safety net.

Now I’ve signed back on to the same Vegas acrobatic show as Baylee, working together for the first time in years. And she tells me that she’s having trouble in a certain “area” of her life — because of our past.

“You can help me fix it,” she says.

And then she hands me a list.

 

Wanderlust (Part Time Lover) by Lauren Blakely

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Wanderlust
Author: Lauren Blakely
Series: Part Time Lover
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
A charming British hero, the woman who tempts him, and a hands-off arrangement that’s oh-so-hard to maintain.

My bags are packed and I’m ready to go. All I have to do is board a plane, and I’ll be on my way to fulfilling a promise I made long ago. Bonus points — my last week in Paris looks to be even better when I meet a gorgeous, clever American woman and make plans to take her back to my flat that night.

But before we can get together for what would surely be a fantastic final fling, my boss hits me with a double whammy. My previous client didn’t pay, so there’s no trip, and the new client I now desperately need is none other than the tempting American I’m about to take home.

Have I mentioned this timing bloody sucks?

***

I’ll admit it — I have a big weakness for a hot British accent. As in, they make me swoon, sigh, and want to toss my panties. Good thing I can avoid that kind of temptation in Paris. So it’s just my luck that the man who’s the key to success in my new job is the man whose voice makes me melt. Oh, and we have to spend all our days together for work.

Thanks a lot, fate.

To top it off, I quickly learn he’s witty, kind and has a heart and mind I’m falling for fast.

All I have to do is resist him every single freaking day. That’s so easy. Not.

But then I learn that’s nothing compared to the real hurdle we face.

What could go wrong with falling in love in Paris? Nearly everything, it seems…

GOODREADS

Review

Until I read this Lauren Blakely book (and the several others I read after it), I didn’t realize how much of a go-to author she would become for me.

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Best Laid Plans by Lauren Blakely *New Fav*

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Best Laid Plans
Author: Lauren Blakely
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible
Synopsis:
That time I had the brilliant idea to ask my good friend for lessons in sex-ploration…

Awkward? Maybe. But how else is a good girl going to find out if she likes being naughty? I might be sweet as cherry pie, but I’m also bold and damn curious. And Gabe is charming, trustworthy, aces at seduction (or so I hear) and—bonus!— willing to give me lessons. But to guarantee it won’t ruin our friendship, I have some specific requirements for his instruction. I want these classes to be hypothetical more than hands-on. So what if he’s hella sexy? I can handle that, no problem.
***
I have it bad for Arden. She’s bright, brilliant, insanely fun, and I want to take her home and spend all night together—and then spend the day with her, too. When she asks for my help, I see my chance to win her sweet heart by showing her how much fun we can have getting spicy. Trouble is, she has a different idea of what “sex-ploration” should mean. Now I’m going to have to get really clever to win her over.

Good thing I know exactly how to upend her best laid plans.

 

GOODREADS

Review

This book was everything I needed for so many reasons.

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My Top 5 Favorite Male & Female Romance Audiobook Narrators (and My Favorite Books they Read)

As you may or may not know, I’m an obsessive reader of audiobooks. A decent percentage of the books I read are on audio, and a lot of times, even if I read a physical or eBook and enjoy it, I’ll likely purchase it on audio as well.

I’ve always loved having people read to me, but I totally get that it isn’t for everyone.

I’m a really good multitasker, so listening to audiobooks actually makes me more productive and as long as I’m not reading, writing, or talking while listening to an audiobook, I get sh*t done a lot faster when I’m listening to a book.

If it wasn’t for audiobooks, I wouldn’t have read as many books as I have (200 last year! 150 the year before!). I don’t have a lot of down time to sit and read a book without feeling guilty, but with audio, I can still get what I need to get done while also getting some reading done.

In my many years of listening to audiobooks, I’ve come to love certain narrators and even will purchase audiobooks based on the narrator first, then the author/synopsis second.

I’ve become a huge fangirl of these narrators.

Of course, all of these narrators are popular in the romance genre because, obviously, that’s my main love.

Continue reading “My Top 5 Favorite Male & Female Romance Audiobook Narrators (and My Favorite Books they Read)”

Mini-Reviews {January 2019}

The last couple of months of the year consisted of me binging on books during my Thanksgiving and Winter vacations. It was absolutely glorious and satisfying to catch up with my Goodreads challenge and read a bunch of books I’d been dying to get my hands on for a long time.

With those huge binging sessions, though, came a giant backlog of reviews that needed to be written.

Instead of trying to remember exactly what I liked and didn’t like in all of the novels I read, I decided to do a series of mini-reviews instead!

These are little bite-sized snippets of my thoughts and feelings about these books, along with a star-rating. Perfect for those who like to skim (like meeeeee!)

I hope you enjoy!

Continue reading “Mini-Reviews {January 2019}”

4 Authors I Fell in Love With in 2018

I’m trying really hard to pretend that my vacation is coming to an end by staying in bed all day and reading/updating the blog.

For some reason, my vacations seem so much shorter when I’m running around doing things the entire time. I feel like it’s much longer when I sit around and read all day.

Does anyone else feel like this?

Maybe it’s an introvert thing.

Anyway, I’ve been seeing similar posts like this all around the blogosphere and I thought I’d list the authors I’ve discovered and loved this year.

So, here’s to all the authors who made my 2018 reading experience exceptional.

 

Trisha Wolfe

I did my very first author spotlight on Trisha because she has pretty much taken over my blog this year ever since I read the Darkly, Madly Duet.

 

Lauren Layne

I feel like Lauren Layne came out of nowhere for me. I went into Blurred Lines with no real expectations and ended up re-reading it again within a few games because I loved it so much. I read three more of her books (I Knew You Were Trouble, Irresistibly Yours, and Good Girl) and really enjoyed all of them.

 

Helen Hoang

I loved everything about The Kiss Quotient and I’m so excited about the movie and her next book!

 

Lauren Blakely

I have no idea where I have been, but I’ve recently fallen absolutely in love with Lauren Blakely thanks to Wanderlust. The best part is that I found her after she’d already published a bunch of books I was able to binge on thanks to the Romance Package on Audible!

 

Authors Who I Wish Were My Best Friends

Here’s something you should know about me: I fall into platonic love very easily and very quickly and for very random reasons.


It may be entirely superficial and 100% built upon these imaginary scenarios in my head, but still.

There have been many times I’ve had one conversation with someone and decided that I needed to be best friends with them.

Also, I’m, apparently, very dramatic.

All this to say I’ve found that sometimes an author’s personality so clearly shines through their characters and I’ve found myself thinking about how awesome they must be to have brought such interesting/charismatic/charming characters to life so (seemingly) effortlessly.

To be fair, not every book that contains an interesting character makes me feel like the author would be just as interesting, there are just a handful that have given me that vibe… and at the same token, there are authors who I have met or watched interviews with are amazing, but I didn’t necessarily get that feeling from their books.

I have no idea if what I’m saying makes sense, but just in case it does and you haven’t given up on reading this blog post yet, here is my list of authors who I want to be BFFs with because their personalities seem to shine through their characters and story-telling:

I’ve limited myself to two recs per author because otherwise this could get excessive.

Lauren Blakely

Lauren Blakely 100% inspired this post. I’ve read one of her books a long time ago, but I just recently went on a Lauren Blakely binge and I’m absolutely living for her books, now. It wasn’t until I read my 3rd or 4th book by Lauren that I realized just how much I loved the author based entirely on her characters.

Lauren has such a way with writing incredibly charismatic, self-deprecatingly hilarious heroes who are magnetic without taking themselves too seriously. They’re such a refreshing reprieve from the cocky jerks (soft side or not) that got so popular in the romance world recently.

Her characters also seem to have this inherent goodness that is incredibly attractive – and not necessarily in a romantic way. They’re the kind of characters you’d happily have as a friend or a lover and I feel like only someone who has that type of personality themselves could create characters like that so convincingly.

Clearly, Lauren Blakely’s characters have convinced me that she is an amazing human being and I want to be her best friend.

Also, when I gushed about the first couple of books I read by her and asked for more recs in my favorite audiobook FB group, Lauren Blakely HERSELF responded with her recs for me! It was really hard not to immediately be like, “OMGPLEASEBEMYBESTFRIENDILOVEYOU!”

Book Recs:

Wanderlust
♥ Most Valuable Playboy

Lauren Rowe

Between writing delightfully outrageous characters and such convincing instalove stories, it is no wonder that this Lauren made it on my list. I mean, read Ball Peen Hammer and then tell me you don’t want to just sit down and have a conversation over drinks with Lauren.

Many of her characters have that same draw-you-into-their-unusual-hyper-world-and-nickname-you vibe, it’s hard to imagine she wouldn’t also have at least a touch of those traits.

I have, in fact, met Lauren in person albeit very briefly at signings, and her warmth could be felt even at the back of her table’s line.


I met her twice… can we just go ahead and buy BFF necklaces yet?

Book Recs:

♥ Misadventures of a College Girl
♥ Ball Peen Hammer

Mariana Zapata

Mariana writes such low-key hilarious characters with fantastic inner monologues, I’m guessing that her thoughts mimic those of her characters as well and, girl, I’m right there with her. I feel like my inner monologues would speak her hers on a spiritual level.

I met Mariana for the first time at Shameless Book Con in Orlando a few months ago and OMG SHE BROUGHT HER MOM WITH HER AND I FELL A LITTLE BIT MORE IN LOVE WITH HER.

She’s so freaking sweet and absolutely adorable  in person. She has this super subtle awkwardness that makes me want to squeeze her because, I mean, how can someone who has a cult following be so humble?    

Book Recs:    

♥ The Wall of Winnipeg and Me
♥ Lingus

Sierra Simone

Ok. Sierra Simone fans. Don’t even tell me you wouldn’t want to hang out with Sierra at your house with a glass of wine and talk about all the dirty things you wouldn’t even talk to your best girlfriends about.

Honestly, I just want to pick that brain of hers and learn allllll her tips and tricks.

Sierra was also at Shameless and she seems like such a beautiful, cool person.

Book Recs:

♥ American Queen
♥ Priest

Jana Aston

It’s not often that I am absolutely dying with laughter and all sorts of other feelings while reading a book, but Jana Aston manages to bring that out of me.

I’m not usually into the slapstick funny romcoms, sometimes they can be too over-the-top for me, however, Jana is just enough without being too much.

I also had the chance to meet Jana at Shameless a couple months ago and I swear I only talked to her for a couple minutes and she already had me laughing. At one point, I was in Sierra’s line and Sierra said something about being really interested in the Catholic faith and Jana (who was at the table next to her)  just leans over and was like, “Wait… What? I would’ve never thought that about you.” It was obviously 100% sarcastic. If you’ve read Sierra’s Priest series, you’ll understand the hilarity of that comment.

Book Recs:

♥ The Wrong series

I am 100% positive that I will have left someone off of this list and immediately regret it once this posts, so don’t be surprised if you see a volume 2 of this post soon.

The Sexy One (One Love #1) by Lauren Blakely

book review

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

4-stars

The Sexy One (One Love #1) by Lauren Blakely

[Audiobook Purchased from Audible]

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00022]

Let me count the ways why falling into forbidden love is not my wisest move…
1. She works with me every single day.
Did I mention she’s gorgeous, sweet, kind and smart?
2. She works in my home.
Playing with my five-year-old daughter. Teaching my little girl. Cooking for my princess. Which means…
3. She’s the nanny.
And that makes her completely off-limits… But it doesn’t stop me from wanting her. All of her.

***

The other nannies in this city don’t call him the Sexy One for nothing. My boss, the amazingly wonderful single father to the girl I take care of every day is ridiculously hot, like movie star levels with those arms, and those eyes, and that body. Not to mention, the way he dotes on his little girl melts me all over. But what really makes my knees weak are the times when his gaze lingers on me. In secret. When no one else is around.

I can’t risk my job for a chance at something more… can I? But I don’t know how to resist him much longer either…

Synopsis from Goodreads.

 

Review

I almost loved this book. Almost. The only thing that took this from a 4 or 5 star rating for me was the instalove. Now, sometimes instalove doesn’t bother me. I’ve read several books in which it totally works out (the first two that come to mind are Captain and Ball Peen Hammer by Lauren Rowe), however, in this case. I really wanted that slow burn and was greatly disappointed when it didn’t happen.

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Book Haul: Audible’s Win-Win Sale

book-haul

Audible has done it to me again.

They have a sale going on now that I just couldn’t pass up. $4.95 for some fantastic audiobooks that have been waiting for me on my To Be Read list, along with several favorites that I already own. If you’re an Audible member, I highly recommend checking out this sale. Some of these audiobooks retail for $30+ and they are on sale for less than $5 until Sept. 17.

I should mention now that I am in no way affiliated with Audible, I’m just an avid listener and I probably keep them in business with how many audiobooks I purchase. #obsessed

Anyway, onward to the haul and favorites from Audible’s Win-Win sale!

 
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