My Favorite Unique Romances in Books

As a self-proclaimed Romance Novel Junkie, I start to see a lot of the same tropes or similarities in the books that I read. Honestly, this isn’t usually a problem for me. There are a ton of amazing authors out there who can take something that has been done a million times and make it their own.

Every once in a while, though, I come across a romance plot line that is particularly unique.

I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you in hopes that you’ll chat with me down in the comments and share some that you’ve read!

Continue reading “My Favorite Unique Romances in Books”

Goodreads Recs: To Read or Not to Read Book Tag #2

Hey there booklovers!

I created this tag and I thought I’d resurrect it once per month. Feel free to participate, too!

Because I’m SURE we all need MORE books on our TBR, right? /sarcasm

Here are the ‘rules’:

  1. Link back to Bree @ In Love & Words
  2. Look at your Goodreads Recommendations (Goodreads>Browse > Recommendations)
  3. Choose a shelf (To-Read, Read, etc.)
  4. Pick at least 3 of the recommended books
  5. Share the synopsis and covers of each book
  6. Add the “Recommended because I added _____ ” section (change to “list” view and hover over “Because you added…”)
  7. Decide whether or not you’re going to add it to your TBR
  8. Explain why or why not
  9. Tag at least 3 friends

Goodreads Book Recs

updated: March 26, 2019 09:33 AM. Based on my ‘Favorites’ shelf.

The Man I Love (The Fish Tales, #1) by Suanne Laqueur

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“A watershed moment exists in every man’s life, Fish—the moment he stops being his mother’s son and starts being his lover’s man. When he transitions from protected to protector.”

Erik “Fish” Fiskare is only a college junior when a gunman walks into the campus theater, intent on stopping the show. From the lighting booth, Fish sees his girlfriend, Marguerite “Daisy” Bianco, get caught in the line of fire. Everyone runs away from the stage but Fish, in a watershed moment, runs toward it.

Spanning fifteen years, The Man I Love explores how a single act of violence reverberates through a circle of friends. At the center are Fish and Daisy, two soul mates who always brought out the best in each other. Both are hailed as heroes after the shooting, yet the tragedy starts to bring out the worst in them, tearing the circle apart.

Soon, Fish is running again—not toward Daisy this time, but as far away as possible. But can you really leave the one you were born to love? And is leaving always the end of loving?

“You never got over her, Fish. You just left. You may think that’s closure, but it isn’t. You may think a woman like Daisy comes along twice in a lifetime, but she doesn’t.”

Fearlessly touching on today’s social and mental health issues, The Man I Love follows Erik Fiskare’s journey back to the truth of himself and a woman he can’t forget. With its gripping story and an unforgettable cast of characters, this epic novel of love and forgiveness lingers long after the last page is turned.

“A new kind of romance, well-crafted and intelligently written. Suanne Laqueur deftly explores what it means to be vulnerable, resilient and human.”

“A compelling, heartfelt, intense read. The Man I Love raises important and tough social topics that are relevant and timely.”

“An intelligent, perfectly-pitched modern romance. NOT your typical boy meets girl, but a story of first love and how people handle extreme situations.”

“The Man I Love looks love, sex, depression and PTSD in the face and calls them by name. An astounding journey of forgiveness and recovery.”

“Laqueur combines the dynamics of a circle of friends with a school shooting. The result is The Man I Love, a gripping, angsty psychological romance that explores second chances at first love. Book clubs will find plenty to discuss in this coming-of-age emotional journey of forgiveness and recovery. The characters are flawlessly crafted and deserving of love after tragedy. You’ll be thinking about them long after you’ve finished.”

“From university to adulthood, through love and loss, devotion and betrayal, estrangement and forgiveness, the Fish Tales series will bring you on an emotional journey of love and truth.”

Recommended because I added: All In (Full Tilt #2) by Emma Scott
Add to TBR? No
Why or Why Not? I really don’t think I can handle this. It’s a little too intense for me. I might consider it if it is highly recommended by a friend, but otherwise, I don’t think I can do it.

 

Red Winter (Red Winter Trilogy, #1) by Annette Marie

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Emi is the kamigakari. In a few short months, her life as a mortal will end and her new existence as the human host of a goddess will begin. Carefully hidden from those who would destroy her, she has prepared her mind, body, and soul to unite with the goddess-and not once has she doubted her chosen fate. Shiro is a yokai, a spirit of the earth, an enemy of the goddess Emi will soon host. Mystery shrouds his every move and his ruby eyes shine with cunning she can’t match and dares not trust. But she saved his life, and until his debt is paid, he is hers to command-whether she wants him or not. On the day they meet, everything Emi believes comes undone, swept away like snow upon the winter wind. For the first time, she wants to change her fate-but how can she erase a destiny already wrought in stone? Against the power of the gods, Shiro is her only hope… and hope is all she has left.

Recommended because I added: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
Add to TBR? Yes
Why or Why Not? Wow this actually sounds really good and it’s highly rated on Goodreads. I actually can’t believe I haven’t heard of this before. The cover is pretty, too!

 

Charming Hannah (Big Sky, #1) by Kristen Proby

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From New York Times Bestselling author, Kristen Proby, comes the first in an all-new trilogy in her beloved Big Sky Series!

Hannah Malone loves her new town. Despite living in Cunningham Falls for five years, she’s still considered a “move in” by most of the locals, and that doesn’t bother her in the least. She’s the “new girl”, and she hasn’t regretted it for one day. This town is her sanctuary. Her home. The one place she finally fits in and feels safe after a lifetime of being different and running from the memories and a past so far away it can’t haunt her anymore.

As the newly appointed police chief, Brad Hull has the responsibility to keep his citizens safe and to maintain order. His roots in this town are deep—five generations deep, to be exact. Cunningham Falls, Montana is his town, and being a cop and protecting what’s his is his passion. Everything’s running like clockwork until a sassy redheaded doctor moves in and disrupts the order—and Brad’s focus.

She’s not just beautiful, funny, and strong. Hannah’s everything he’s been looking for in a woman. The chemistry is undeniable, and the heat in the bedroom is off the charts. Brad knew the minute he met Hannah that she was the one for him. He’s tenacious in his pursuit of her. But when the past catches up with Hannah, will Brad be able to protect her and their hearts?

Recommended because I added: Best Laid Plans by Lauren Blakely
Add to TBR? No
Why or Why Not? This sounds like it is a spin-off series and I’m kind of a stickler for reading things in order.

 

Stalk Me (The Keatyn Chronicles, #1) by Jillian Dodd

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Gossip Girl meets Hollywood in this steamy new series by That Boy author, Jillian Dodd.

Keatyn has everything she ever dreamed. Her life is following the script she wrote for the perfect high school experience. She’s popular, goes to the best parties, dates the hottest guy, and sits at the most-coveted lunch table.

She’s just not sure she wants it anymore.

Because, really, things aren’t all that perfect.
Her best friend is threatening to tell everyone her perfect relationship is a scam.
Her perfect boyfriend gets drunk at every party they go to.
It’s exhausting always trying to look and act perfect.
And, deep down, she isn’t sure if she has any true friends.

To add to the drama, her movie star mom has a creepy stalker.
A hot, older man flirts with her and tells her they should make a movie together.
And she’s crushing on an adorable surfer. Dating him would mean committing social suicide.

So she writes a new script. One where all the pieces of her life will come together in perfect harmony.
But little does she know, there’s someone who will do anything to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Recommended because I added: Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
Add to TBR? No
Why or Why Not? I’m 100% not usually into the YA Hollywood trope. Though this one sounds like it could potentially be interesting, I’m just not interested enough.

 

Strength & Courage (The Night Horde SoCal, #1) by Susan Fanetti

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The only constant is change.

The Night Horde SoCal is the new charter of the Night Horde MC, one that rose up from the ashes of a violent war with a drug cartel. The Horde’s outlaw days ended with that war.

Muse, like many of his SoCal brothers, was a member of an MC that was destroyed in that fight. A former Nomad enforcer, he’s struggled to be settled in a straight life. But Southern California is his home, his family is now Horde, and he has responsibilities. So he keeps his head down and does his best to take care of his family and responsibilities.

Sidonie has recently moved to Madrone, the town where the Night Horde SoCal has set up its base, to begin her job as a social worker for San Bernardino County. It’s work she feels a sense of mission to do.

Muse and Sid meet under stressful circumstances, on opposite sides of a dilemma. When Muse tries to bring her to his side, a fire catches between them.

As their feelings for each other deepen, the work of the SoCal charter becomes dangerous again. But the club isn’t the only potential danger for Sid. Her own work carries risk, too.

Muse needs to keep her safe. Sid needs to stand on her own. They won’t have a future together until they find the place where those needs merge and make them stronger.

Strength & Courage is the first book in the Night Horde SoCal series. Though this series, and thus its backstory, spins off from the Signal Bend Series, and though key characters from that series appear here, this focus is on the SoCal charter. If you haven’t been to Signal Bend yet, you won’t be lost in Madrone.

Note: explicit sex & violence.

Recommended because I added: All In (Full Tilt #2) by Emma Scott
Add to TBR? No
Why or Why Not? You lost me at drug cartel.

 

Tag… You’re it!

 

 

Buzzword Readathon TBR & Recs! + {New Video}

The Buzzword Readathon starts on Monday and I’m SO ready.

OK, maybe not SO ready, but kind of ready and also nervous because I have a lot of physical books on my list and only one audio. Finding time to sit down and read a physical book is always a challenge for me, but that’s the whole point right?

If you’d rather watch this TBR and rec, check out my video here:

Otherwise, keep reading!

Continue reading “Buzzword Readathon TBR & Recs! + {New Video}”

Instalove/lust Stories That Actually Worked

As I mentioned in my Things I Thought I Hated in Romance Novels post, Instalove/Instalust romance novels can be a bit hard to swallow.

Most of the time.

But every so often, an author comes along who can convince me that two complete strangers can fall in love (or lust) after just one look, conversation, or interaction.

Below is a list of romance novels that were able to pull this off for me.

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Reading Recs: Favorite Damaged Heroes

Although I tend to have more of an appreciation for charming, charismatic, somewhat irreverent heroes, every so often a beautifully damaged hero comes along in a novel that absolutely sweeps me off my feet.

Maybe it’s that innate romantic in me that loves the idea of epic love being the one thing that can heal a tortured soul.

Anyway, here is a short list of my very favorite damaged heroes and the novels in which they exist:

Lance Romero

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Pucked Off (Pucked #5) by Helena Hunting
Oh, my sweet, sweet Lance! Lance’s book is second-to-last in the Pucked series and it came out of nowhere for me. His story was heartbreaking and intense and he loved so fiercely despite having such a hard time in life. Of all the guys in this list, Lance is the one whose story surprised me the most because my perception of him from the other books were nowhere near how he ended up.

 

Caden Grayson

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Hearts in Darkness Duet by Laura Kaye
It’s not until the second book in these novellas do you realize just how broken Caden is, but because of the epic love that develops between the two characters in the first book, you are just as willing to fight for him as Makenna.

 

Grayson Pierce Sullivan

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Darkly, Madly Duet by Trisha Wolfe
I mean… Grayson is a serial killer, so… You don’t get much more damaged than that. His book is by far the darkest out of all of these books and it certainly is not for the faint of heart. Grayson is also, in his darkness, alluring and intensely compelling.

 

Rhysand

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A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
I hesitate to say much about Rhys’ story because it would be riddled with spoilers for those who haven’t read the first two books in this series, but just know that he 100% deserves to be on this list.

 

Zsadist

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Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood #3) by JR Ward
Zsadist’s story was actually the first true broken hero story I’ve ever read and it completely slayed me. I was not prepared. I’ve re-read this story over and over and though nothing will compare to how it made me feel the first time I read it, the story still hits me where it counts every time. Of all the damaged heroes on this list, no one is as broken as Zsadist. But it just makes his story that much better.

Who are some of your favorite damaged heroes?

 

 

 

 

Goodreads Recommendations: To Read or Not to Read #1

Hey there booklovers!

I thought I’d have a little fun today with my Goodreads recs. Feel free to think of this as a tag and do it over on your own blog! I’ll probably do this once a month or so. (Because I need to add more books to my TBR *insert eyeroll*)

Here are the ‘rules’:
Take a look at your Goodreads recommendations, choose a shelf, pick a few, share the synopsis, and decide whether you’ll add it to your TBR (including why or why not).

Goodreads Book Recs

updated: Sep 21, 2018 05:25AM. Based on my ‘Favorites’ shelf.

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Title: M-Theory: A Marauders Short Story (Marauders #0) by Lina Andersson*

Synopsis:

M-Theory: This theory combines the five different string theories into one. It states that strings are really 1-dimensional slices of a 2-dimensional membrane vibrating in 11-dimensional space and that the five different versions of string theory might describe the same thing seen from different perspectives. In plain text: it’s a fucking mystery.

Recommended because I added: Under Locke by Mariana Zapata
Add to TBR?: No. TBH, that synopsis told me nothing about this book.

 

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Title: Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (Necromancer, #1) by Lish McBride*

Synopsis:

Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he’s doing all right—until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak. Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he’s a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces . . . or else. With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get. Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin?

Recommended because I added: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Add to TBR?: No. You know me, I always need at least little romance in most of my books. This doesn’t seem to have any.

 

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Title: Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King, #1) by Tricia Levenseller*

Synopsis:

There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for. Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship. More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

Recommended because I added: Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Add to TBR?: YES! OMG! This sounds SO good! Especially after reading To Kill a Kingdom, I’m all about pirates right now… and the potential romance sounds so good!

 

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Title: A Little Ray of Sunshine by Lani Diane Rich*

Synopsis:

Emmy James is not the kind of girl who attracts angels. In fact, after she sent her life into a nosedive six years ago, she’s tried to attract as little as possible -attention, people, or responsibility. She skips from town to town in an Airstream trailer, working odd jobs and keeping to herself until a sudden whim lets her know it’s time to move again. And this works just fine, until the day two unexpected visitors show up at the New Jersey trailer park she calls home. One is a childhood friend with news: her mother and his father are getting married, and they want EJ to be there. The other is a sweet but odd woman named Jess, who says she’s an angel specializing in cosmic relationship mending…and blueberry pancakes. Jess doesn’t think it’s any coincidence that this is all happening at once, but EJ would rather run herself over with her own Airstream before reconnecting with her neglectful, self-absorbed mother. When she wakes up to find her trailer cruising down the highway with a determined angel at the wheel, however, EJ realizes that sometimes what you want and what the Universe intends for you can be two very different things…

Recommended because I added: A Little Night Magic by Lucy March
Add to TBR?: No. Eh, it would take quite a bit for me to get into a book like this and I don’t really have the confidence that I’ll be able to based on the summary and the cover.

 

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Title: Flora Segunda (Flora Trilogy, #1) by Ysabeau S. Wilce

Synopsis:

Flora knows better than to take shortcuts in her family home, Crackpot Hall–the house has eleven thousand rooms, and ever since her mother banished the magickal butler, those rooms move around at random. But Flora is late for school, so she takes the unpredictable elevator anyway. Huge mistake. Lost in her own house, she stumbles upon the long-banished butler–and into a mind-blowing muddle of intrigue and betrayal that changes her world forever. Full of wildly clever plot twists, this extraordinary first novel establishes Ysabeau Wilce as a compelling new voice in teen fantasy.

Recommended because I added: Howl’s Moving Castle (Howl’s Moving Castle #1) by Diana Wynne Jones
Add to TBR?: No. The ratings aren’t that high and it’s not really my cup of tea.

 

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Title: One by Jewel E. Ann*

Synopsis:

Lake Jones is a cover girl for cutting-edge prosthetic legs, a binge-watcher of Netflix, known to spy on her neighbor through her door’s peephole, and fond of laser games with her hairless cat. She’s also a bit sexually-frustrated. Until … God bestows a breath of mercy upon her in the form of Minnesota’s NFL starting quarterback. But this gift is no stranger. Lake met Cage Monaghan three years earlier. It was one day. One moment. One kiss that resurrected her dreams of finding love. His dimpled smile distracts from his imperfections, which include: a love for country music, fishing, and a feline-hating girlfriend. When life finally gives them their chance, it’s a humorous and heart-wrenching journey to find their place in the world. “We would be Cage and Lake. We would be unpredictable. We would be reckless. We would give normality the middle finger.” ***This book is a standalone. However, it is HIGHLY recommended that any readers who have not, but may consider, reading the Jack & Jill Series, do so before reading this book. It contains spoilers to Jack & Jill.

Recommended because I added: Ball Peen Hammer by Lauren Rowe
Add to TBR?: Yes! And, actually, I’m going to add the Jack & Jill book, too!

 

What books are on your Goodreads recs? Do you agree with them?

 

 

 

Reading Recs: Favorite Forbidden Romances

Forbidden Romances are one of my all-time favorite tropes. I don’t know what the “official” definition of a Forbidden Romance is (or if there even is one – I’m too lazy to look it up), but I consider any book in which the main character’s love interest is someone that he or she should not be involved with for any given reason.

The books I’m listing below are a few of my favorites in this category. They’re filled with the longing, intensity, and excitement you’d expect from forbidden love stories.

The genres run the gamut: contemporary romance, fantasy, dark romance, paranormal romance… everything from age gaps to body guards to dueling mystical creatures to supernatural interspecies to teachers and students to religion … it’s quite the mix!

So, without further ado…

My All Time Favorite Forbidden Romance Stories

Continue reading “Reading Recs: Favorite Forbidden Romances”