Archive of ‘Romance’ category

Review: The Rogue Not Taken

The Rogue Not Taken (Scandal & Scoundrel #1) by Sarah MacLean

From Goodreads: The youngest of the infamous Talbot sisters scandalized society at the Liverpool Summer Soiree, striking her sister’s notoriously philandering husband and landing him backside-first in a goldfish pond. And we thought Sophie was the quiet one…

When she finds herself the target of very public aristocratic scorn, Sophie Talbot does what she must to escape the city and its judgment—she flees on the back of a carriage, vowing never to return to London…or to society. But the carriage isn’t saving her from ruin. It’s filled with it.

ROYAL ROGUE’S REIGN OF RAVISHMENT!

The Marquess of Eversley was espied descending a rose trellis—escaping an irate Earl and his once-future countess. No lady is safe from Eversley’s Engagement Ending Escapades!

Kingscote, the Marquess of Eversley, has never met a woman he couldn’t charm, a quality that results in a reputation far worse than the truth, a furious summons home, and a long, boring trip to the Scottish border. When King discovers stowaway Sophie, however, the trip becomes anything but boring.

WAR? OR MORE?

He thinks she’s trying to trick him into marriage. She wouldn’t have him if he were the last man on earth. But carriages bring close quarters, dark secrets, and unbearable temptation, and suddenly opposites are altogether too attractive…

Jennie’s Thoughts: I am a huge Sarah MacLean fan, though I only discovered her in the last year or so. But I’ve binge read all of her books, and couldn’t wait until it was my turn at the library for her newest.

The Rogue Not Taken is the first book in MacLean’s newest series, one that I’m certain I will be gobbling up. Not only was the drama high (society outcasts and gossip papers and carriage road trips!) but the characters were fabulous in their own right. A bruised guy with a big heart and the youngest sister of a collection of dramatic sisters. Plus, a super mysterious doctor (I really want his novel soon!) and a collection of hilarious and fantastic secondary characters.

I think it is the characters in her novels that make me the fan that I am. (Confession: I am such a sucker for characters over plot, which I think is why I like reading series so much…I get to follow characters along for a long ride.)

Oh, and there is a cross-dressing heroine which is reason enough in itself for anyone to read this book!

A Reading Funk

I could feel it coming. I would binge a few great books and then stare at my library pile with apathy. Indecision meant starting multiple books before setting them aside.

I was in a Reading Funk.

The fact that reading keeps me sane means a reading funk is no good. I picked up a few quicker romance reads and that kept me going for a few more weeks.

But then I was back to aimlessly staring at covers, my fingers slipping over the spines but ending up empty handed. It was time of the big guns.

The only thing that can save me from this situation is a good old fashioned reread.

Sometimes it only takes one more trip to Paris with Anna and Etienne to pull me out of my funk, but this time it felt bigger than that. I needed a series reread, but Anna wasn’t calling to me.

Sookie Stackhouse was calling to me instead. In the past few days I’ve read the first and second, and am starting on the third. I needed something fast, dramatic, and familiar, and this series gives me exactly that. I don’t know if I’ll reread the entire series (though that would surely help me recover from my lackluster beginning of the month) but I figure I’ll reread until I see an unread book on my shelves that jumps into my waiting hand.

What do you do when you hit a reading funk/slump? Power through? Take a break? Reread?

For the Romance Readers Out There

Lately I’ve been on a romance binge, dancing between contemporary and historical, some pretty H-O-T and some tame in the bedroom (at least tame in what is described on the page).

I know I’m one of the only WSR ladies that reads romance novels, so I thought I’d share a few of my new favorite romance series with our readers. Just in case any of our readers are looking for a steamy read or two. 😉

The Blue Heron series by Kristan Higgins. The first book is The Best Man. Another bookish mom friend recommended this series to me, saying I would love it. And she was right on the money. I devoured these books! You know, ignoring my family to read, hiding in the bathroom for a few more pages…that kind of thing. The next book comes out in December (I believe) and I’m already dying for it!


Hearts and Crafts by Nicole Michaels. First book is Start Me Up. Confession: Nicole is a local-to-me author and one of the nicest people I’ve met. Seriously. Which might surprise you when you read the steamy scenes in her novels! :) I just finished her newest in this series a week or so ago, and it was delicious and heart-warming. So. Good.

Love By Numbers by Sarah MacLean, the first book: Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake. I loved Sarah’s more recent historical series, so I thought I’d try her first series and I was not let down. I prefer her more recent series, only because of the gaming hell aspects, but Love By Numbers still brought the awesome heroines and those super sexy romances that only Sarah MacLean can do!

Andrea’s first quarter 2015 wrap up

Recap: my list of reading goals included

Reading more physical books, non-fiction, the Dark Tower and Narnia series… etc etc. for a total of 52 books (including the 26 book challenge for Bringing Up Burns)

So…

How did I do through March 31?

So far I’ve read 14 books in 2015, so I’m 2 ahead of schedule per Goodreads.! This does include a re-read of The Sea of Tranquility, but I don’t even care. If you’ve never read that, stop what you’re doing and READ.IT.NOW. If you HAVE read it, you know what I’m talking about and you’ve already abandoned this post in favor of rereading it.

Five of the 14 have been ebooks, and four have been “real” books.  That means I’ve only listened to 5 audio books so far this year.

I’m currently listening to Wolves of the Calla, so I’m on book 5 of 7 of the Dark Tower series. The narrator on the audio is different beginning with book 5, but it’s still enjoyable. Basically it’s like going from Brad Pitt to…Leo? vice versa? Equally good but no reason to change in the first place.

Narnia has been on hold for some time, so maybe I’ll pick it back up with Megan; maybe I won’t this year. We’ve read Book 1 in the past, and she is only 5 and missing some of the context, so I’m not holding myself to this particular goal. (even though I’d *like* to meet it)

As far as the 26 book challenge goes…I’m obviously on track with it but haven’t really assigned any titles to specific categories since January. I’d like to do that soon, but it takes more energy than this momma has at the eleventh hour.

How are your reading goals progressing? Any titles I just have to read?

Review: The Last Letter from Your Lover

The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes

From Goodreads: “This story of passion and missed chances is entrancing.” –“Parade”
“A Brief Encounter” for our time, “The Last Letter from Your Lover” is a sophisticated, spellbinding double love story that spans decades and thrillingly evokes a bygone era. In 1960, Jennifer Stirling wakes in the hospital and remembers nothing–not the car accident that put her there, not her wealthy husband, not even her own name. Searching for clues, she finds an impassioned letter, signed simply “B,” from a man for whom she seemed willing to risk everything. In 2003, journalist Ellie Haworth stumbles upon the letter and becomes obsessed with learning the unknown lovers’ fate–hoping it will inspire her own happy ending. Remarkably moving, this is a novel for romantics of every age.”

Andrea’s Review:

At some point I’d requested that my library order this ebook, and then I promptly forgot all about it. Fast forward to them actually fulfilling my request, it being automatically lent to me…I downloaded it to my nook, read about 3 pages, and forgot about it until about 3 days before it expired.

I am so glad I picked up my nook and read this. It was a sweet, touching, wistful little love story that I read just prior to Valentine’s Day and just seemed to be good timing. It’s one of my highest rated books of 2015- earning 4 stars on Goodreads. Not too shabby for a twice-forgotten title, huh?

I liked Jennifer’s character; really I liked all the characters. I mean, I disliked the dislikable ones, liked the likable ones, and all in all enjoyed the writing, the story, and the imagery. I’d definitely recommend this one to my friends!

Audio Review: How to Knit a Love Song

How to Knit a Love Song by Rachael Herron

 

Goodreads synopsis: Abigail is more than ready for a change when she inherits a cottage from her beloved mentor, knitting guru Eliza Carpenter. Leaving the oppressive city for the greener pastures of a small California beach town, she intends to turn her cozy little windfall into a knitting shop and spend her days spinning, designing, and purling. But she’s not going to be welcomed with open arms by her new neighbor. Eliza’s disgruntled nephew, the gorgeous Cade, now owns everything surrounding Abigail’s ramshackle new home, and he views this sexy city girl as an unwanted interloper.

But chemistry working overtime is drawing two very different people closer than they ever thought possible. And when the past that Abigail thought she’d left behind comes calling, she’ll have to somehow learn to trust her handsome adversary with much more than just her heart.

Andrea’s review:

Well, this is a first- I’m reviewing a romance on WSR! When I was younger, I read a lot of romance, mainly because I could read one in just a couple of hours and move on. Over the years I’ve become more invested in the kind of junk books I read, so my trashy romances have fallen by the wayside.

This book caught my eye, of course, because of the knitting. I’ve recently gone on my annual early-winter knitting binge, and not much makes me happier than knitting while listening to an audio book (if it’s about knitting, all the better!)

This was such a cute book. I mean, I’m not going to tell you it’s the greatest romance, or that the writing was awesome, or anything like that. I gave it three stars, which is pretty solid for me for a romance. BUT. It was so cute, and so good. I’m actually putting the second book on my audio wishlist for the library, because I wouldn’t mind listening to the story continue. Also, I generally find “knitting” stories to be quite lame or a drag, but not so much this one. I will probably borrow this one again from the library if I get into a rut next year.

Holiday Romance Mini-Reviews

Each fall when the temps start dropping I get in the mood for holiday theme stories. With steamy scenes by the fire and snowy settings, these three contemporary romance novels do not disappoint!

The Heart of Christmas (Whiskey Creek #7) by Brenda Novak – From Goodreads: Eve Harmon has always enjoyed Christmas, but this year it reminds her of everything she doesn’t have. Almost all her friends are married now, and that’s what Eve wants, too. Love. A husband and kids of her own. But the B and B she manages, and even Whiskey Creek, the small Gold Country town where she was born and raised, suddenly seem…confining.

Eve’s worried that her future will simply be a reflection of her past. There’s no one in the area she could even imagine as a husband—until a handsome stranger comes to town. Eve’s definitely attracted to him, and he seems to have the same reaction to her. But his darkly mysterious past could ruin Eve’s happily ever after—just when it finally seems within reach. And just when she’s counting on the best Christmas of her life!

Jennie’s Thoughts: I haven’t read all of the Whiskey Creek novels, but I’m working on it. They are full of interesting characters and intriguing plot twists. This novel was full of action and suspense which I loved, and the romance was pretty steamy too.

Christmas on 4th Street (Fool’s Gold #12.5) by Susan Mallery – From Goodreads: There’s nowhere better to spend the holidays than with New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery in the town of Fool’s Gold, where love is always waiting to be unwrapped…

Noelle Perkins just got a second chance at life, and she intends to make the most of every minute. That’s why she ditched a frustrating legal career to open her own store in Fool’s Gold, California. The Christmas Attic celebrates everything that’s magical about her favorite season. Business is booming, and as a bonus, gorgeous army doctor Gabriel Boylan has offered to help out during the holiday rush.

Gabriel’s memories of Christmas past contain more sour grapes than sugar plums, thanks to a drill sergeant father who ran his home like a boot camp. Spending the holidays with his family while he recuperates from injury sounds as appetizing as last year’s eggnog. Still, there are some enjoyable distractions in town, including sunny, sexy Noelle…and the red-hot mistletoe kisses they can’t stop sharing.

Gabriel didn’t think he was made for happily-ever-afters. But when fate hands you a love as sweet and surprising as this, only a fool could refuse….

Jennie’s Thoughts: This is another series I’m slowly making my way through. Noelle and Gabriel’s story was sexy and sweet. I loved the subplot with Gabriel’s parents and Noelle’s store is exactly the type of store I expect in Fool’s Gold! This story was full of holiday spirit and snow, including an unplanned stay in a cabin!

Maybe This Christmas (O’Neil Brothers #3) by Sarah Morgan – From Goodreads: This winter, ex-skiing champion, reformed heartbreaker and single dad Tyler O’Neil has only one mission—making sure his daughter, Jess, has the best Christmas ever. The fact that his best friend, Brenna, is also temporarily moving into his chalet at the overbooked Snow Crystal resort is a delicious distraction he’s simply going to have to ignore. Theirs is the one relationship he’s never ruined, and he’s not about to start now.

Ski pro Brenna Daniels knows all about the perils of unrequited love—she’s been in love with Tyler for years. But living with him is absolute torture…how can she concentrate on being his friend when he’s sleeping in the room next door? Then when Tyler kisses Brenna, suddenly the relationship she’s always dreamed of feels so close she could almost touch it. Could this be the Christmas her dreams of a happy-ever-after finally come true?

Jennie’s Thoughts: This was my favorite of these three holiday romance novels. I just love the O’Neil family, and a friends to lovers story is one of my absolute favorites. Plus, the skiing stuff was fascinating and I am bit of a sucker for Tyler and his daughter’s growing bond! This is one of my favorite romance series I’ve read lately. It’s full of winter fun, family drama, and super hot romance!

NetGalley hooked me up with these three books, but these are my views, I promise!

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