THE BOOK LIST | #6

Here’s what I read in December:

 

AFTER I DO BY TAYLOR JENKINS REID

 

“Ryan and I are two people who used to be in love.
What a beautiful thing to have been.
What a sad thing to be.”
Let me gush about the perfection of AFTER I DO for a moment. This book. This. Book. I felt as though I crawled into Ryan and Lauren’s life. I felt their pain. I felt their frustrations and indifference and joy. I laughed. I cried. Oh how I cried! This is my favorite TJR read yet, and she has cemented herself as one of my new favorite authors of all time.

TALKING AS FAST AS I CAN BY LAUREN GRAHAM

This book was exactly what I expected it to be. I could easily have glossed over some of it, but that’s okay, because really, I just wanted to hear about Gilmore Girls and her writing career. Done and done.

NAILED BY STACI HART

As a big fan of Staci Hart’s, I knew I would devour this little, sexy novella. Four stories. Four sets of strangers. Four sexual encounters. I mean, who hasn’t fantasized about such a thing before? These stories were short and delicious … just like I knew they’d be.

FOREVER, INTERRUPTED BY TAYLOR JENKINS REID

At the time of this review, I have read three of Reid’s novels, and I can say, without a doubt in my mind, that all three have made me cry. What a truly, truly wonderful story. And what an inspiring, yet heartbreaking ending.

MILK AND HONEY BY RUPI KAUR

I loved this collection of poetry, mainly because it is just how I like my poems; short, direct and powerful. This book is one I’m happy to own and will be reading over and over again.

SWEETBITTER BY STEPHANIE DANLER

Ok, where do I start? I was on the library waiting list for this book for MONTHS. When it finally came, I was so excited and read the first section with gusto. But then, despite the beautiful language and the intriguing cast of characters, I had to continually push myself to keep reading.

THE ANIMAL UNDER THE FUR BY E.J. MELLOW: LET US BOW DOWN TO THE GREATNESS THAT IS THIS COVER

Listen, I don’t do a lot of these cover reveals, but when it comes to books and authors that I love, I’m all about supporting them in any way I can. E.J. Mellow happens to be an author I absolutely adore, which means I’m more than willing to help spread the news about her new book, The Animal Under The fur.

On the count of three, let us all release a collective sigh in awe of the greatness of this book cover. Ready? 1… 2…. 3…

I’m going to need to buy this in paperback because … yeah … that cover will look amazing in person!

The Animal Under The Fur
by E.J. Mellow
Publication date: 2017
Genres: Action, Adult, Romance

SYNOPSIS:

From award-winning author E. J. Mellow comes an action romance dripping with vengeful delight.Orphaned on the streets as a baby, Nashville Brown, a.k.a Kill Operative 3, knows better than to rely on anyone. With heightened senses and superhuman strength to survive, she’s been raised as the perfect assassin.The trick to her success? Keeping everyone, even her best friend, at arm’s length.Losing his entire family in the span of a year, Carter Smith left his ability to love buried deep in their graves. His only concerns now are completing his missions and effortlessly charming the next temptress to warm his bed.The key to his accomplishments? Working alone mixed with a Casanova smile.But when a deadly weapon needs to be stopped from falling into the wrong hands, the lone wolves find themselves thrown into an explosive partnership. Can Carter and 3 lower their guns aimed at one another long enough to succeed, or will their unwillingness to compromise end up destroying more than their perfect records? Whatever their differences, both agree on one thing—in the game of lies and deceit, the line between friend and foe is often blurred by blood splatter.The Animal Under The Fur is a hate-to-loath-to-love stand-alone novel filled with savagery, secrets, and enough angst to wrinkle the pages you’ll find gripped in your hands.Coming 2017Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32623625-the-animal-under-the-furAUTHOR BIO

E.J. Mellow is the Award Winning author behind the NA Contemporary Fantasy trilogy The Dreamland Series. With a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, E.J. Mellow splits her time between her two loves – visual design and writing. Residing in NYC, E.J. is a member of Romance Writers of America and their Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter. She has no animals but loves those who do.

 

REVIEW: A PLACE IN THE SUN BY R.S. GREY

SYNOPSIS

When her mother’s incessant matchmaking hits an all-time high, Georgie Archibald does what any sensible woman would do: she flees the country.
Seeking refuge in the picturesque seaside village of Vernazza, Italy, Georgie’s only plan is to lie low, gorge herself on gelato, and let the wine and waves wash her troubles away…that is until she wakes up in a bed that belongs to the most romantic-looking man she’s ever seen.
Gianluca.
After going out of his way to rescue her, the former London financier turned mysterious recluse makes it clear that despite acting as her white knight, he has no plans to co-star in her fairytale.
But Georgie isn’t asking for his heart—she’s merely intrigued.
After all, Gianluca isn’t just gorgeous—tall and tan from days spent in the sun—his touch sets her world on fire. With him, Georgie experiences the most intoxicating passion she’s ever known, and it only takes a few steamy nights for her to realize that sometimes running away from trouble is the best way to find it.

MY REVIEW

There is a moment, after I finish a book, where I sit back and take a deep breath. What comes after is completely dependent on how I felt about the book. I may sigh contentedly. I may frown. I may smile, or curse, or cheer. I finished A Place In The Sun just moments ago, and my reaction was exactly what I believed it would be: a deep sigh and a knowing smile.

A Place In The Sun was romantic in a way that I haven’t seen in quite some time. It wasn’t the fastest paced, nor did it give you emotional whiplash … but I was grateful for that. It was … exactly what I needed it to be. Light, funny, sweet and full of hope. R.S. Grey has out done herself.

4.5 stars.

BUY LINK

Amazon – http://amzn.to/2ewA8ID

REVIEW: A LOVE LETTER TO WHISKEY BY KANDI STEINER

SYNOPSIS

It’s crazy how fast the buzz comes back after you’ve been sober for so long.

Whiskey stood there, on my doorstep, just like he had one year before. Except this time, there was no rain, no anger, no wedding invitation — it was just us.

It was just him — the old friend, the easy smile, the twisted solace wrapped in a glittering bottle.

It was just me — the alcoholic, pretending like I didn’t want to taste him, realizing too quickly that months of being clean didn’t make me crave him any less.

But we can’t start here.

No, to tell this story right, we need to go back.

Back to the beginning.

Back to the very first drop.

This is my love letter to Whiskey. I only hope he reads it.

BUY LINKS

Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2dJrZl1
Amazon CA – http://amzn.to/2ers8Mj
Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2e3gO5Z
Amazon AU – http://amzn.to/2dJ90Y

MY REVIEW

I honestly don’t know where to start, because this book broke me. It absolutely broke me. But in the best kind of way. A Love Letter to Whiskey is full of angst. It will stress you out. It will leave you laughing and crying and cringing and holding your breath … and shouting at the pages.

It will also leave you knowing you’ve just read something epic.”It turned out a Whiskey stain was just as permanent as ink, and I wondered If I would ever truly wash myself clean. Or if I even wanted to.”

ALLTW is Kandi Steiner’s best book yet. An absolute must-read.


REVIEW: TONIC BY STACI HART

SYNOPSIS

Joel Anderson doesn’t take anything seriously.

Not his relationships, which have been few and far between since his brutal divorce. Not the drama of working in a tattoo parlor, which seems to be around every corner. When things get him down, he smiles and cracks a joke. But he’s not the kind of man you cross, or you’ll find yourself at the wrong end of his fists.

Annika Belousov takes everything seriously.

Like her job as a reality television producer, given that she typically has something to prove. Or her love life, which is defined by a series of requirements — affluent, ambitious, accomplished, to name a few. Definitely her family, who worked their whole lives to afford her every opportunity, a sacrifice she doesn’t take lightly. When she’s tapped to produce a reality show at Joel’s shop, she doesn’t think twice, just goes in for the kill, as if there were any other way.

The second Annika walks into Joel’s shop, he makes it his mission to crack her open, but she’s not having it. He’s all wrong — too crass, too hairy, too un-serious. But it doesn’t take her long to find out there’s more to him that smirks and tattoos. And what she finds could put her career and his heart on the line.

Not that Joel cares. Because for the first time in a long time, he’s found his tonic.


MY REVIEW
I’ve been trying to write this review for a few days now. It’s not normal that I can’t immediately put into words how I feel about a book, which leads me to believe that this one hit me pretty hard.

That wouldn’t be far from the truth.


“She was all eyes and lips and a story I wanted to know. Needed to know.”

I loved Joel’s character immediately, but I will admit that it took me a little while to warm up to Annika. There is no denying, though, that the constant up and down of their relationship made for some good reading. And I love the way she ties in the characters from her other books.

“It had been ten years since I’d been bared this way, my heart, my body. I’d forgotten. I’d forgotten how to trust, how to feel, how much I needed to be felt.”

All in all, Tonic was another great read from one of my favorite authors, Staci Hart.

COVER REVEAL: A PLACE IN THE SUN, BY R.S. GREY

In the grand scheme of things, I’m a new R.S. Grey fan, but that’s okay. It doesn’t make me less excited for her releases. This one … well, I will be buying it in paperback FOR SURE.


Title: A Place In The Sun
Author: R.S. Grey
Release Date: Oct 24, 2016
Add on Goodreadshttp://bit.ly/2dICdRG

SYNOPSIS

When her mother’s incessant matchmaking hits an all-time high, Georgie Archibald does what any sensible woman would do: she flees the country.

Seeking refuge in the picturesque seaside village of Vernazza, Italy, Georgie’s only plan is to lie low, gorge herself on gelato, and let the wine and waves wash her troubles away…that is until she wakes up in a bed that belongs to the most romantic-looking man she’s ever seen.

Gianluca.

After going out of his way to rescue her, the former London financier turned mysterious recluse makes it clear that despite acting as her white knight, he has no plans to co-star in her fairytale.

But Georgie isn’t asking for his heart—she’s merely intrigued.

After all, Gianluca isn’t just gorgeous—tall and tan from days spent in the sun—his touch sets her world on fire. With him, Georgie experiences the most intoxicating passion she’s ever known, and it only takes a few steamy nights for her to realize that sometimes running away from trouble is the best way to find it.

AUTHOR INFO

I am a lover of books, chocolate, reality TV, black labs, and cold weather. Seriously, if I had it my way, I would be curled up on the couch with all of those things… everyday.

I live in Texas where I spend my free time writing and reading. My favorite authors include Mindy Kaling & Jonathan Safran Foer. I’m a comedy geek and love all things “funny”. Women like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling are definitely the biggest inspirations for my writing, though I think my work tends to skew a bit smuttier than theirs.

Facebook http://on.fb.me/1P1szVn
Twitterhttp://twitter.com/AuthorRSGrey
Instagramhttp://bit.ly/1JqWEJc
Website http://rsgrey.com/
Goodreadshttp://bit.ly/1sjpCGJ

COVER REVEAL: TONIC BY STACI HART

My love for Staci Hart seriously knows no bounds. It’s kind of like how I feel about this cover too. ABSOLUTE. SWOON.

Title: Tonic
Author: Staci Hart
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Cover Design: Staci Hart
Photographer: Perrywinkle Photography
Release Date: October 13, 2016

SYNOPSIS

Joel Anderson doesn’t take anything seriously.

Not his relationships, which have been few and far between since his brutal divorce. Not the drama of working in a tattoo parlor, which seems to be around every corner. When things get him down, he smiles and cracks a joke. But he’s not the kind of man you cross, or you’ll find yourself at the wrong end of his fists.

Annika Belousov takes everything seriously.

Like her job as a reality television producer, given that she typically has something to prove. Or her love life, which is defined by a series of requirements — affluent, ambitious, accomplished, to name a few. Definitely her family, who worked their whole lives to afford her every opportunity, a sacrifice she doesn’t take lightly. When she’s tapped to produce a reality show at Joel’s shop, she doesn’t think twice, just goes in for the kill, as if there were any other way.

The second Annika walks into Joel’s shop, he makes it his mission to crack her open, but she’s not having it. He’s all wrong — too crass, too hairy, too un-serious. But it doesn’t take her long to find out there’s more to him that smirks and tattoos. And what she finds could put her career and his heart on the line.

Not that Joel cares. Because for the first time in a long time, he’s found his tonic.

AUTHOR INFO

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life: a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, even though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey. Her favorite word starts with f and ends with k.
From roots in Houston, to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s sleeping, cleaning, or designing graphics.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stacihartnovels
Twitter: https://twitter.com/imaquirkybird
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/quirkybird/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/imaquirkybird/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31549928-tonic

COVER REVEAL: A LOVE LETTER TO WHISKEY

Here’s the truth: I 100,000% judge a book by its cover. I’m not really ashamed of that … you should have a cover that stands out! So… the reason I discovered Kandi Steiner in the first place was because I kept seeing Weightless. And … hello! Amazing cover. Then, I saw this one … and all I can do is bow down to her.


Title: A Love Letter To Whiskey
Author: Kandi Steiner
Release Date: October 13, 2016
Add on Goodreadshttp://bit.ly/29flbY7

SYNOPSIS

It’s crazy how fast the buzz comes back after you’ve been sober for so long.

Whiskey stood there, on my doorstep, just like he had one year before. Except this time, there was no rain, no anger, no wedding invitation — it was just us.

It was just him — the old friend, the easy smile, the twisted solace wrapped in a glittering bottle.

It was just me — the alcoholic, pretending like I didn’t want to taste him, realizing too quickly that months of being clean didn’t make me crave him any less.

But we can’t start here.

No, to tell this story right, we need to go back.

Back to the beginning.

Back to the very first drop.

This is my love letter to Whiskey. I only hope he reads it.

 AUTHOR INFO
Kandi Steiner is a Creative Writing and Advertising/Public Relations graduate from the University of Central Florida living in Tampa with her husband. Kandi works full time as a social media specialist, but also works part time as a Zumba fitness instructor and blackjack dealer. 
Kandi started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic (like most girls brought up on Disney movies).
When Kandi isn’t working or writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys beach days, movie marathons, live music, craft beer and sweet wine – not necessarily in that order.

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/KandiSteiner
Twitter https://twitter.com/KandiSteiner
Websitehttp://kandisteiner.com/
Goodreadshttp://bit.ly/2dqsZtd
Facebookhttp://on.fb.me/1P1szVn

THE BOOK LIST | #5

Here’s what I read in July:

WASTED WORDS BY STACI HART

This was my first Staci Hart read and it certainly won’t be the last. This kind of genre fiction is my favorite: something I can get lost in. Something that makes me smile. Makes me feel. I really liked this book and can’t wait to read more of her work.

BECOMING BY LAURA JANE WILLIAMS

Loved this one so much that I wrote a full review about it, here.

WE COULD BE BEAUTIFUL BY SWAN HUNTLEY

This book was, much like its cover, incredible. I was pulled into the world of the characters right away, finding so much about the book very relatable. WCBB is an epic story of love and greed that leaves you wanting more.

I LET YOU GO BY CLARE MACKINTOSH

I had heard so much about this book, and was excited to read it. So when I got the email notice from my library that it was my turn to read the ebook, I was thrilled. I jumped in with both feet, completely in awe. I Let You Go was well written and had me staying up late for three nights reading it. It was engaging and kept me guessing for the most part (I will admit that some of it was predictable, but it’s pretty much impossible NOT to have some predictability). That twist in the middle, though… that one got me 🙂 A GREAT read.

MOONSHOT BY ALESSANDRA TORRE

This was my first Alessandra Torre book, and certainly not be my last. Moonshot had me hooked and I read it in a few spurts over a span of a few days. Great read. I’ve gone and purchased two more of her books (in paperback this time). I so wish I’d bought the gorgeous paperback of this one instead of the eBook…

SOME THOUGHTS ON BECOMING, BY LAURA JANE WILLIAMS

I’m a little late to the game, though maybe not, seeing as this book isn’t yet available in the US. I waited something like four weeks from the release before I simply couldn’t take it anymore. So I ordered it from Amazon.uk, and when I saw the total (with the exchange rate and shipping), I sucked it up and hit order.

I sure don’t regret that. Not one bit.

It’s been almost over two weeks since I finished reading Becoming, and I still feel as though I can’t quite put into words how it made me feel. I was underlining sentences and marking up the margins with asterisks and jumbled notes to myself. I even wrote notes on scrap pieces of paper, like this one, which so well sums up how this book made me feel.

I saw a lot of myself in this book — and in Laura. Maybe not all of the sex (though there was some of that, too) but the desperate desire to find myself and my place in the world. In many ways, I’m still working on that.

I haven’t read many reviews of the book, but I know what people are saying: that’s it’s all about dirty sex and promiscuity. I’m not going to say that isn’t a big part of it, but that so many people are taking only that away from the novel is an absolute shame.

Becoming is about a woman’s journey to find herself after she was broken. And as we all know, that can be a long and messy road.

I’d followed Laura’s blog for a few years before reading Becoming, so I knew what I was getting into. Except, I didn’t really, because she blew me away. Her writing blew me away. And while the book didn’t have the WOW ending that one might expect from a memoir, as a reader, it was enough to know that she could go through all she did and come out on the other end standing tall. That is her WOW.

And that was more than enough for me.