Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag!

Hello!

Originally, I had another post I was going to do today but I couldn’t motivate myself to finish it for this month, so it’ll (hopefully) go out in July, along with some other interesting things too! I did this tag last year and really enjoyed it, but I didn’t post it at the right time of the year so I was determined to do this one along with everyone else, because it is huge with other book bloggers and YouTubers too. If you would like to see what I had mentioned in the first post, click here. If you end up doing the tag on your blog or YT channel, I would love to see your answers too, so please leave a link down in the comments section for me to check out later.

I do want to mention before I officially start; I am only going to talk about the books I’ve finished already so that it goes into the reviews that I will be publishing later this week and possibly next week too. I am also including the reviews to each book that is mentioned below.

Best book you’ve read so far in 2021?

This question is always so difficult to answer, especially so early in the year, but for the sake of the tag itself, I think it is a three way tie between A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St Clair, This Is War by Kennedy Fox, and Highland Raven by Melanie Karsak, What I find interesting about all three books is that they are all in different genres and for once I have a book focused on two characters but found the male character more compelling! Honestly, Viola really drove me crazy, which in a way worked out great for the banter between she and Travis, but I found it absolutely annoying!

ATOD and HR mean a lot for me, mainly because they were the start of their series I didn’t expect I would fall in love with earlier in the year but I’m forever thankful I found them! The myth behind both Persephone and Lady Macbeth generally perceive these ladies as weak and despite the fact I have only heard of little things about these characters in the past, I really believe the authors are giving them a voice to their stories. It is focused on them where most of historical knowledge is focused on their counterparts instead. However, in the defense of the God of the Underworld Hades, Scarlett has made him out to be as ruthless as you’d expect anyways but full of compassion and very loving towards Persephone!

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2021?

I’ve read 14 books in the last six months and the only one I can say for certain that I think was the best sequel is, Highland Blood by Melanie Karsak. At first, I had written out “Highland Vengeance” but honestly, the second book was WAYY better!

This book really took me on a ride just as much as it did was our main character Corbie! It was full of twists and turns but I truly loved the bond between Corbie and Gillacoemgain. I didn’t really know I loved that relationship until I got to the third book and I started noticing that everytime she would bring him up, I had tears in my eyes. It totally threw me for a loop but nevertheless I don’t regret my decision on continuing the series.

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

For some odd reason, I have yet to actually start reading A Touch of Malice which came out in late May. It is the third book of the series and I’ve done a really good job of staying away from various spoilers, so I feel pretty good about that but I am hoping that once I finish my current books I will make the switch because I desperately want to know what the hell has happened to Hades and Persephone.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

I guess this post is mostly about Scarlett St. Clair and Melanie Karsak because they each have a book coming out after the summer. Scarlett is up first with the second book of the events that happened in both A Touch of Ruin and A Touch of Malice. The title is A Game of Retribution and I’m not exactly thrilled that both of these books will be in one storyline because that means it’ll either be well over 400+ or some things will be left out of the whole thing; honestly the only thing that is keeping me excited is we get to hear Hades say “fucking fates” again…

As for Melanie, she is releasing a historical fiction about the warrior Queen Boudicca in “Queen of Oak” and since I am nearing the end of the Celtic Blood series, which discusses Boudicca quite a bit in the first and three books, I am very ready to see the spark I enjoyed so much in Corbie again. Trust me, I will be very happy to read this book after I’m done with her story! I’m going to need something to help get me through the grief but I am slightly troubled because I would also like to read a historical biography about Boudicca as well, and I had planned on reading it once I finished with Highland Queen but I don’t know if I should wait until I have read QOO first. I don’t think I would do a lot of comparisons between them but I am sort of torn on what to do now…

Biggest disappointment

To be perfectly honest, I’ve had some good luck lately but there was one book that I was very excited to get into at first but I was so irritated about what the hell I was seeing on my Kindle that I ended up being in a tiny slump for a few weeks. The book in question was Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel. I knew it was about King Henry VIII and his court but that was about it, I wasn’t familiar with the other stuff going down on the sidelines and I think this was my issue. I wanted to hear a story about a courtier at Hampton Court either during the end of Catherine of Aragon or start of Anne Boleyn’s days.

Biggest surprise

Truthfully, I didn’t expect how much I would end up enjoy reading Twilight at the beginning of the year. I was really into the movies early on but I had made my choice when they started becoming more and more popular with my family and friends, because I was knee deep in love with The Vampire Diaries, I didn’t want to basically guide me away from my favorite characters and show overall. So, being able to read it with fresh eyes as an adult was interesting! I was able to enjoy Bella a lot more than I ever did with the films. Bella isn’t as dull and quiet toward the Cullens or friends in general and I think that was made it enjoyable for me!

Favorite new author (Debut or new for you)

If you have never read any of my reviews, you might find it curious that I rarely read about what the book is actually about, and no book has ever made me do a double take in the middle of the chapter, as Rough” by Renee Rose and Vanessa Vale did. As you might have seen this spring and last year, I have become a fan of Vanessa Vale’s books, but before finding this one, I had never heard, much less read anything by Renee Rose.

The series itself is called Wolf Ranch, and my first thought was, “this sounds cool, let’s go!: and then I began to read it and Boyd had explained that when he saw Audrey for the first time, his “wolf” caught sight of her and wanted her. I thought this was his nickname for his junk. It never dawned on me he was a shapeshifter, because Vanessa normally doesn’t write about them in her books, just mostly gorgeous cowboys and sex! So, once I started putting two and two together I made the assumption that this must be part of Renee’s influence and in the end, I was right. She has written several paranormal books in the past.

Newest fictional crush

Ooooooh boy.

This one always gets me because I tend to fall for the majority of the characters, but there are at least two that I just cannot stop thinking about and the first is the Lord of Moray, Gillacoemgain. It’s always the ones who you think are going to be the worst of the bunch that you basically fall over heels in love with, and then by the end of the story, that person is gone. I am still grieving over him because he just made me so happy.

I’ve just finished reading the first book of the Badd Brothers series by Jasinda Wilder, and I am in love with Sebastian! Bad boys who can’t express their feelings are usually not my thing but he threw me for a loop and I kind of liked it. No pun intended of course!

Newest favorite character

I am really torn between Lulach, who is the son of Corbie from Highland Blood. You get a glimpse of him at the end of that book, but he doesn’t start to have a bigger role for everyone in the series until Highland Vengeance–he goes from being a newborn to around five or six years old from start to finish so everything that comes across Corbie’s way, she’s not doing it for herself, she’s doing it for him.

And since this question is asking for newest favorite character, I think I should probably add Sebastian Badd to the mix! I’m actually shocked that I like Bast more than Baxter, since I read out of order of the Badd Brothers series. I don’t know why but I prefer Bast at the moment. He seems like a really good guy, but not saying Baxter didn’t. I just find him a little more attractive while reading Badd Motherf*cker by Jasinda Wilder.

Book that made you cry

Now I know I may not have the review out yet but since the film continues to make me cry, I knew it happen again while reading the book too. I just didn’t think it would affect me that much, but you know it happens. Oh, and the book I’m talking about is Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire.

Book that made you happy

I’ve basically talked about all of the books I’ve read so far except for me and I have to say, I am not adding it here because of this reason, but because it did make me happy in the beginning: Before Wallis: Edward VIII’s Other Women by Rachel Trethewey. I love reading historical nonfiction and if it’s about royalty I will probably be drawn to it, and I think King Edward VIII before he met Wallis Simpson was totally different than what he became later on, and it allows you to understand a tiny bit of why Prince Harry would want a normal life away from the royal family.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year

Heh, funnily enough, I really haven’t bought a book since December–well except for that one series Mafia Brides by Measha Stone, but in my defense, I swore I was clicking for the Kindle Unlimited but I ended up purchasing a trilogy series and as much as I am not loving it, I feel like I have to complete the series because they were not cheap, as they were $15.99! So, if you are a Kindle Unlimited looking for a series to get into, please watch what you’re clicking or you’ll feel so guilty that you force yourself to read it anyways!

However, the ‘most beautiful’ book cover would have to be A Touch of Darkness. Honestly, the first three books have gorgeous covers, but the fourth cover is a bit different compared to the others as it has roses and vines instead of that iron design.

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

Apparently the Lost Pharaoh Chronicles by Lauren Lee Merewether is pretty long; the final book will be coming out soon but I would like to at least three more from that series before the end of the year. I would also like to do the same for the Twilight series, but we’ll really have to see what happens with those books.

I still have a lot of different books on my Kindle that I could knock out before the start of 2022 and here is on my to-do list as of now.

  • Still Me by JoJo Moyes (3%)
  • One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus (15%)
  • After Alice Fell by Kim Taylor Blakemore (22%)
  • Roping The Cowboy by Kennedy Fox (4%)
  • Wicked Beat by Olivia Cunning (38%)
  • Crown Of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
  • Elizabeth Woodeville: Mother of the Princes in the Tower by David Baldwin (20%)
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (4%)
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

The main reason why everybody is so low is because I have a real problem with staying away from KU and looking for freebie gems! Like with my Harry Potter books, I am also casually reading Gone Girl. I will get through it eventually, as I will with all of these books too.

So, what do you think of my answers? Are there any books you think you would like to read listed above? If so, which ones are calling out to you and why?

Book Review: “Good Girl Gone Badd” by Jasinda Wilder

Hello!

You know ever since I decided I wasn’t going to feel guilty about reading erotica/romance this year, I’ve really taken that idea to heart considering I read three books in the same genre back-to-back. I don’t necessarily regret it but yikes! I also made a little goal to myself that I would love to read five books for May and I didn’t make it until I finished This Is War but I was committed to it and was so excited and proud that I was able to complete it, which is why I decided to publish this review a little earlier than I originally planned. I didn’t think anyone would mind either!

I’ve never read a Jasinda Wilder book before. I have seen her books on my feed, mainly Amazon and the site to track my reading goals (before I switched over to Goodreads in 2016!) but I was never attracted to them; I can tolerate BDSM but not a lot of it and her books always tend to show up on those type of lists so I would just glaze over them but as you may know by now, I have a real weakness for free e-books, and this and another book in the series are on my Kindle but I’ll explain all about that down below..

Let’s get into the review, shall we?


71i1LMyVvqL

Evangeline du Maurier is the definition of a good girl. Attending Yale, raised with the best tutors and etiquette instructors, she’s expected to toe the family line and be a trophy wife for a future senator. But when this good girl takes a quick getaway to clear her head, she finds a whole lot more than she’d bargained for. She finds herself in the arms of a bad boy. 

Baxter Badd. 

Big, hard-drinking, and as rough and demanding in bed as he is out of it, Bax may be the baddest brother yet..

taken from Goodreads.

Over the years I’ve seen a lot of drop dead gorgeous covers and you always hope (and sometimes pray) that they can live up to what the cover is basically trying to telling you, but there have been some duds and there is nothing more disappointing than a cover for a romance to be such a let down. Fortunately for me, this wasn’t one of them! I didn’t quite know what I was getting myself into with it but I was very surprised how quick I dove into it and considering I found it one day before Scarlett St. Clair’s newest installment in the Hades x Persephone series “A Touch of Malice” released and completely ignore it for like three days (and nights!) after waiting since March! I’m still shocked I did that!

I was free to do what I wanted. No one had any expectations on me. Least of all Baxter.

I didn’t know what to expect in the beginning and was a bit worried about the introduction of the two characters, because in a way, it sounded a bit odd that a woman like Evangeline would even come across a situation she had and I just didn’t think it was relatable or whatever. I still don’t but the way Baxter reacted was fine. I thought it would be a way a guy sees a woman anyways! I liked the pair and was quite taken with how Bax acted especially to Evangeline in certain scenes, the one in the diner was interesting because I never saw him in that threatening way as one might feel while coming across someone like Bax in the first place. And then, when he is explaining to her about what she wants and basically tells her to make those choices for herself, was nice and if I’m honest, very educational at the same time!

If you are not familiar with the other books in the series, especially Badd Motherf*cker, Badd Ass, and Badd To The Bone as you will properly be respectively introduced to each of the couples mentioned inside, but you don’t have to. For the most part, the story is about Bax and Evangeline but the Badd family is an important aspect of the plot and reason to the eight brothers. I have the first book but not the other two and I would love to read them as well but I don’t have any plans in reading about the rest of the books. Personally, I think basing the entire series on these eight guys is a bit much, it’s like the literature version of the K-Pop bands, for some odd reason people seem to think you can an unlimited amount of people in group and everything would be fine with it. Since I started with this book, this is the last Badd brother in the original lineup for me. I will hopefully have the review for BM sometime later next month, which is tomorrow. How crazy is that?!

Have you read “Good Girl Gone Badd” or any of the other books about the Badd brothers by Jasinda Wilder? Do you have a favorite brother? Are there any other books by Jasinda you think I should check out for the future?

Book Review: “This Is War” by Kennedy Fox

Hello!

May has been a really successful reading month for me! I don’t know how I did it but I managed to finish three books and a novella that I don’t want to talk about, because I didn’t really enjoy it that much. However, thanks to awful read, I have completed 10 books for 2021! I am really hoping they are all awesome and I thoroughly enjoy them!

This book is still technically a mystery to me, but before this, I had never read a book by Kennedy Fox (who, I, quickly found out is two women masking as one person!) all I remember was looking up ‘free e-books’ on Instagram and coming across this cover and the one for their other book called “Baby Mine” and I decided to go for it at the last minute and I am forever grateful because I really loved this story, even though it was a bit of a cliché.


57562606._SY475_

She hates him.
He loves getting under her skin.


Travis King is the worst kind of asshole.
He taunts me for being a good girl and mocks my high standards.
He’s cruel, crass, and has enough confidence to last two lifetimes.
And I hate him.

It wouldn’t matter so much if he were avoidable.
But considering he’s my older brother’s best friend and roommate, I see him more than I’d ever want to. His sculpted abs and gorgeous eyes are wasted on such an arrogant man, which makes me hate him even more.

Even though I’ve had a crush on him since I was ten, the feelings weren’t mutual and he’s made that very clear. He’s always loved getting under my skin and one night against my better judgment, I let him in my bed. I’ve succumbed to his man whore ways, but that doesn’t change a thing.

Because the King is about to get played at his own game—and lose.

Checkmate, King.

taken from Goodreads.

I am the type of reader that judges a book by its cover, and when the main genre is romance, I am usually really picky because I don’t like to be misled and this cover was so tempting that I didn’t even wait five minutes after it finished downloading to my Kindle before I dug into it to see what all the fuss was about, and I definitely do not regret it either! For my first Kennedy Fox book, this was very promising and that truly is a good thing because I have two others by them as well that I plan on reading this summer!

A part of me was crushed that the plot was sort of a cliché.

Travis and Viola have a history, that started out cool and friendly, and then all hell broke loose for these two people. Travis King thinks of himself as sort of a sex god, and Viola is the nerd with old wounds and self-esteem issues and younger sister to Travis’s best friend Drew. My favorite part of these two characters were the snappy comebacks they would throw at each other. I couldn’t stop laughing at them! I always enjoy the little banters that go on in romance books, and what made it even better is that they’ve done it so much to each other over a 10 year span so whenever they start to have sex, they continue with their jokes and it is literally perfect!

Hello player, meet the game.

If it wasn’t for the wonderfully written sex scenes, I would have had a difficult time finishing the actual book. Honestly, there is a scene that occurs before they get it on and it comes up again later on, but we don’t get to really know what goes on and I thought it was such a viable part of the story between these two that I was kind of mad about it. As hot as the Challenger scene is, I would have loved to skip it and been on what takes place there, you know? This would be the only thing I would have changed about the entire storyline but I can live with it though.

Now we have to discuss the ending. I am usually not a huge fan of cliffhangers with these types of books, but this one really worked and has me thinking about what the hell happened in the last 12 hours before it happens. I will say I am hoping Travis didn’t do anything that stupid, but I don’t know exactly how to get him out of getting in trouble with the most important people in his life either. I am going to take a break from this series for a little bit and get back into it in the peak of summer because this was a definitely summertime type of book for me.

Sidenote: While I was attempting to finish this book last Saturday, I had my dad coming into my room to check on me every fucking five minutes and I have to say, I thought he was such a buzzkill, but it wasn’t until I was like four pages to finish that Nolan came over for a visit. I had to take an hour timeout because I did not want to think about Travis fucking King while my almost three year old nephew was showing me his new sandbox toys! I thought you might enjoy or get a laugh at the crazy interruptions.

Have you read “This Is War” by Kennedy Fox before? If you have, what were some of your thoughts on it? Without giving away what happens in the second book, could you give some insight about what happens after the cliffhanger?

Book Review: “Rough” by Renee Rose and Vanessa Vale

Hello!

I have been on a serious romance kick for the last two months. Honestly, I don’t have any shame for it because in last year’s reading challenge I told myself that I needed to read other genres than besides erotica, and I did manage to keep them at a low amount but for 2021, it’s a freaking mess!

I have never been interested in cowboys before, trust me, I went to a high school were the majority of the boys were in cowboy boots, lived out in rural areas, and would rather be fishing and hunting than go to school. So, I have been really pushing these types of guys away for a very long time and ever since I found Vanessa Vale’s books, I’ve sort of changed my views on cowboys…


28581456._SY475_

Pack Rule #1: Never reveal to a human.

I broke that rule the day I met the beautiful doctor.
I might be a rodeo champ, but she made me lose my concentration on the back of a bull.
Now the sweet female is on to me since being gored means injury.
When I heal within hours, she knows something’s not right.
My alpha told me to watch her.
Not a problem. I’ll watch her all right. Real close.
I’ll stick to her like superglue. And those human men who want to date her? They’d better step back.
Because the doctor is all mine.
Whether she knows it yet or not.

taken from Goodreads.


Here’s the deal, I follow Vanessa on Instagram and she had posted that this book “Rough” is free on Amazon and I couldn’t help myself. It is my second (but third overall!) book that was written by Vanessa. but this time she is working with another author by the name of Renee Rose. I haven’t read any of Renee’s books before but I was very curious about how this was going to go, and it is probably best to see what genres the second author is generally writing in her books, or you’ll end up like me, who was on chapter three I think, before I figured out that Boyd’s “wolf” isn’t just a name he chose to call his dick. He’s actually a wolf!

In my defense, I rarely look up what the story is about, and apparently the words: Wolf Ranch wasn’t registering to me before I downloaded it because all I saw was the hot blue-y cover and went mine in my head so I am slightly embarrassed that I didn’t put these elements together in the first place–I mean, I had to do a double take at first, because I just wasn’t expecting it. Vanessa talks about Montana and cowboys, but not shapeshifters or werewolves, so I quickly thought “well, this must be Renee’s influence here” and went on with reading about Boyd and Audrey’s love fest.

.I was a good girl and imagined a wild romp in bed.

Overall, I really loved this book. There were a couple of things that I had issues with, but probably the biggest thing that bugged me was while I was updating my progress on Goodreads, the page number stops at 222, whereas it is like 400+ at least on the Kindle version! So, I would like somebody to fix that issue because everytime I wanted to see how far along I was, I couldn’t and it drove me nuts! Anyways, the story itself was definitely a lot more emotional, and I really enjoyed seeing the male love interest show his feelings for not only Audrey, but his past too! Despite the hot sex scenes, Boyd Wolf almost had me in tears at the end! And Audrey was everything, she wants the stereotypical American family, but she doesn’t believe someone as gorgeous and/or successful like Boyd would want that with her. I can relate to that because I am currently dealing with that sort of thing… but without the werewolf in the picture.

It was a really interesting story from start to finish and I think once I am allowed to buy more books (that won’t happen for a while! I don’t want to talk about it.) I would like to get the next couple of books to see what else happens to these special characters. If you love wild boys, well, get ready because they’re coming in hot!

Have you read the Wolf Ranch series by Renee Rose and Vanessa Vale? If you have, what were your thoughts on bringing the supernatural aspect to a cowboy hoedown? Have you ever read a book with two authors but one, you have absolutely no experience with before going in? What were your thoughts on that as well?

Book Review: “Highland Blood” by Melanie Karsak

Hello.

This April has been absolutely crazy for me but there was one thing I did not expect to do and that was finish reading the second book in the Celtic Blood series by Melanie Karsak. This past month has not been a great month to read any of my books so the fact that I managed to complete this one was an interesting feat altogether!

If you haven’t checked out what I had to say about the first book in the series, Highland Raven, click here to be directed back to that review. If you haven’t read the whole series, and still want to without reading spoilers, you might want to ignore this post as there may be some spoilers included with this review too.


28581456._SY475_

Scotland, 1032—When a marriage contract calls Gruoch away from Ynes Verleath, she leaves with the hope she’ll be reunited with Banquo. But fate has different plans. Lies, betrayal, and violence await her. Set on a collision course with destiny, Gruoch soon finds herself thrust into the arms of another man. Her dreams shattered and rattled by unexpected brutality, it becomes more than Gruoch can handle. The raven, however, is no stranger to carnage. Fierce power grows inside Gruoch, and more than anything, it craves bloody revenge.

Fans of Outlander and The Mists of Avalon will relish this sweeping Scottish Historical Fantasy that tells the tale of Gruoch, a woman struggling to escape her fate without blood on her hands.

taken from Goodreads.


I was pleasantly surprised by my overall judgement of this story.

We continue on the journey of Lady Gruoch’s life as she comes back from the otherworld and is transported back to the harsh reality of her life. The entire story is based around a very significant part that happens while walking away from Ynes Verleath and into the coven’s grounds and it will become a big thing for Gruoch as a whole. Although the events that happened at the end of the first book hinted at what could be coming, once this situation appears at the reader’s feet, you know that everything was definitely change.

In the first book, Cerridwen had married her druid by the Gods, but she was still at the mercy at her cousin’s King Malcolm and he has finally found her a suitor to hopefully align him closer to the throne of Scotland. She is forced to marry the lord of Moray, a man by the name of Gillacoemgain. Even though Cerridwen isn’t happy about the arrangement, she has no choice in the matter and weds her new husband and swallows the lie growing inside of her. Even though Gillacoemgain has a particular reputation as a difficult and hard man, they seem to really get along and as the reader, you are hopeful that Gruoch could enjoy this man and the people of Moray.

Be a raven amongst doves.

Since nobody is suppose to know about her time in the coven and her Goddess name, she is generally called Lady Gruoch around the people both at court and out in public, but she is affectionally called Corbie for the majority of the book. You have a good amount of the characters featured in the other book come back like the ladies of the coven plus Grouch’s aunt Madelaine at the very beginning and end of the story.

I generally enjoyed seeing the raven make her presence known, especially against men who are used to telling women to do this or that. Grouch is not like this in any way shape or form, so I was very happy that even though she was a different place, her fierce personality was still awake and well throughout the narrated because this was one of my favorite things about this series. Well, in generally speaking, I enjoy reading about strong women in their various situations. Grouch is a human being and is just learning to accept her role as both a woman in the line of the Scottish throne and as a warrior for the Dark Goddess too.

Have you checked out the second book, Highland Blood by Melanie Karsak yet? If you have, what were some of your thoughts about it?