EDIT: I didn’t really have a good time of figuring out the best way of publishing my posts – I do hope you enjoy this review just as much though. Don’t worry tomorrow, we’ll carry on as normally!
April was productive but not as much last month…
I was able to finish six books. I have never done this before; my usual quota is three to four books each month, but I was able to convert the majority of my reads into audiobooks or they were a part of my second list of books I am keeping track of this year. If you are curious about this, you can click here to be transported to that blog post.
Originally on the Read Me Romance podcast. This eBook release is a novella set in the world of the Bishop Brothers with bonus chapters & an extended epilogue!
An unforgettable one-night stand filled with heat and passion starts the unraveling of a love-hate feud between a small-town baker and an arrogant cowboy.
When Katarina shows up at the Circle B Ranch Bed & Breakfast to serve her new gluten-free, sugar-free, organic pastries, Braxton decides to make her life hell for kicking him out the next morning and then pretending he never existed.
First step, make fun of her tasteless muffins. Second step, get revenge.
Soon the duo are at each other’s throats, getting even until things go too far and the chemistry burns too hot.
Kat claims their night together meant nothing. He’s determined to prove her wrong.
taken from Goodreads.
If you didn’t know, I absolutely love the ladies of Kennedy Fox and I’ve actually had this book for a few months now. Anytime they have multiple books out for free, I am taking an advantage of the opportunity and I had just finished a great month of reading and wanted to basically sink my teeth into something juicy so I thought I could get a move on with the Circle B Ranch series, since I have quite a collection piling up on my Kindle, and I just thought if you needed a nice and sexy short story, you could look into these books soon!
“Beautiful flowers for a beautiful lady.” I smirk. “You know I’m immune to that cowboy Casanova bullshit, right?”
This quote is exactly something I’d say prior to reading any cowboy-ish books. I thought I would only fold for Vanessa Vale’s stuff since she loves to discuss dirty cowboys, but oh no, apparently Kennedy Fox is taking me for a ride as well!
Honestly, this was a great way to start the entire series. You rarely see novellas at the top of the series–or at least I don’t!–but I think the main reason why it worked so well is because not a lot of women out there enjoy cowboys. I live in the Midwest and I can personally tell you that I’ve found country dudes somewhat fake. There’s a difference between acting the part and actually being a cowboy, like Ree Drummond has herself a true cowboy, with husband Ladd. He works on many different areas on the ranch and not a lot of guys who want to be like that can do it physically.
I will be diving into the other books of this series this summer as a little treat to myself. Here are the ones that have been sitting in the depths of my e-reader for way too long: Catching the Cowboy and Kissing the Cowboy. There are many reasons why I absolutely love Kennedy Fox books but the one thing I love the most is that all of their books (until said otherwise!) are standalones! They may belong in a series and some characters from the other stories can join in through background scenes, and this makes me feel better for not having the exact order to know everything. Jasinda Wilder writes her books in the same way, or at least the Badd Brothers series can be read out of order too, which has helped me get over my insecurities for not knowing certain players and stories.
Are you reading the ‘Circle B Ranch’ series by Kennedy Fox too? Which book or couple do you love the most? How are you about the cowboys involved too?
One thing I wanted to do this year is limit the amount of romance books. I want to focus on other genres, but I saw the ladies of Kennedy Fox mentioned this one was free on Amazon last month, and I couldn’t help myself I had to get it before the opportunity disappeared. They were also in the process of releasing the fourth book of this series called “The Heart Of Us” so I figured I would check out the start of this collection.
I am still on the fence about it, mainly because I don’t really care for age-gap romances, but the snippets they shared on Instagram prior made me really happy, so we’ll have to see what comes out of this post. I’d still like to continue Travis and Viola‘s story of their Checkmate series, but these things take time apparently!
What happens when the biggest blizzard of the year hits and you’re trapped in a cabin with your best friend’s brother? You take every opportunity to spend time together and make him fall in love with you.
The Best of Us is a best friend’s brother, opposites attract, and snowed-in together standalone romance.
taken from Goodreads.
There were a lot of things I truly loved about this story. I mean besides the steamy sex scenes; it had a great and relatable plot amongst the characters. The main reason why I choose the word “relatable” is because everyone, especially Ryan, are coming out of the COVID-19 mess. He is a doctor who saw firsthand of what the virus did to his co-workers and patients. I thoroughly enjoyed Ryan as a whole, he was portrayed as a stoic person, but also showed a lot of emotion about his family and work. Whenever I read books like this, I am pulled towards the female character a lot of the time, but for this, I was fully on Team Ryan.
I want Kendall as much as she wants me, and the only thing coming between us is my insecurities.
Now with that being said, it doesn’t mean Kendall wasn’t an awesome character. I admired her sense of humor but most importantly her strength while wanting to find herself outside of her family and focusing on her charity work.
It was interesting to see how these characters share their reasons why they do what they do and you as the reader find out they are more alike in ways neither one expected, and I was surprised I didn’t find it annoying or unrealistic once they got over that hump–no pun intended there!–and began to think there could be more for them as a couple.
If you haven’t read anything by Kennedy Fox, I definitely you should grab this book. If you think using the pandemic as a prop for this story is a bit weird, because honestly, I thought I wouldn’t be into it either, trust me when I say it makes sense to use it to show you another side of Ryan’s life as a doctor.
Have you read “The Best Of Us” yet? If you have, what were your thoughts about this story of Ryan and Kendall?
This is my final post of 2021, and I thought the only way to end out the year is talking about all of the books I read this year, plus give you my all-time favorites at the bottom. This may turn out to be a chunky blog post so get ready for the rambles I’ll be doing throughout this thing.
For my Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2021, I decided to read over 30 books, since that is the age I turned this fall, and I was particular surprised on my speed at which I hit the yearly goal. On October 28th, I finished my last book to hit my goal, but of course I couldn’t stop reading in general. I ended up taking reading five other books of different genres and length afterwards; that is another thing that happened, towards the beginning of summer I started reading novellas and I know they helped me get over that hump a whole lot faster, but I learned quickly to live with it because I have really enjoyed the last two months since I’m not rushing to finish out the rest of the year.
It’s actually kind of hilarious when I look back to my reading plan at the start of the year looked fairly cool, as I was going to continue various series and then I watched Chelsea Palmer’s haul within two days of scheduling that post and I found out that Scarlett St Clair’s Hades x Persephone series was on Kindle Unlimited on my original idea quickly went to hell and I did not finish the four books I initially bought for myself as a late Christmas present! If I had the control to stay off of KU, I think I would be able to get into those books, but I couldn’t get over the pull and that’s why I’m leaving them for 2022 now.
When the month of August came around, I went through a small phase of thinking I could complete four book series this year. I had already gone threw one series a couple of weeks earlier so I began to feel a little overzealous with confidence in my reading ability, and honestly, I probably could do it, but not this one. I still have the final book in “Me Before You” by JoJo Moyes and “Sinners On Tour” by Olivia Cunning series and I hope to make time for them because I truly adore those characters and want to see how they all end within their stories.
I did add on to last year’s limit because I made my own goal bigger, and I thought it would also ease the pressure of giving every book a spot if I truly believed they deserve it. I didn’t want to do like I did in my previous post and make my two favorite books of the year share the same number when I could just add on to the list itself.
1. This Is War by Kennedy Fox
I was in thick of my romance craze when I got to this book, I didn’t even plan for it to happen but was fairly glad for the amount that came my way in the end.
For my first Kennedy Fox book ever, this was amazing! I found out something interesting about myself and what I love about explicit romances and that is, I really enjoy funny banter between the characters: the enemies to lovers’ kind of topic. It was a thing I searched for while sticking to the goal, and I’ve only found three others that could rival the antics of Travis and Viola big time. It has become a bit of a standard in my choosing future books, especially for the new year. I have yet to get the next book in its duet series but maybe I can persuade Santa Claus to grant me this one.
2. Highland Blood by Melanie Karsak
After completing Jenny Han’s “To All Of Boys I’ve Loved Before” series, I wondered what the next batch of would be, and if I had kept reading “After You” by JoJo Moyes in January, this might have an even more confident spell in my brain but instead I wanted to chase my Scottish roots a little bit more and ended up finding the “Celtic Blood” series by Melanie Karsak. These books were available on KU and made the whole process of reading go very quick. Once I got the first book, I was gone! There wasn’t a moment I’d take back because I just adored the story of Gruoch so much.
I did have somewhat of a hard time picking between Highland “Raven” and “Blood” because I loved them equally, but I had to give it to this book because of the number of emotions I went through along with Gruoch. I enjoyed almost everything about it. I became interested in Celtic mythology, witchcraft, etc. for the majority of the year. I’ve been learning a lot about their beliefs, and I think seeing Gruoch become a strong woman in this story was amazing! I loved her relationship with Gillacoemgain, and wanted to stay in that Castle of Moray with the two of them forever, but then the ending came and she and I cried together in those last couple of chapters.
3. What Passes as Love by Trisha R. Thomas
By the time I came across this one, I was coming through a small slump. I had just finished the fourth and final book in the CB series, so I felt very lot and sad, but I went looking through the books in the genre historical fiction since I had a great turnout before, and I found this gem and it made me stay off KU for at least a week or two because I didn’t need to look for books, this was what got me through to the finish line.
I am one of those people who is attracted to the cover than anything else. The day I found this book was very boring, I had been searching for something to get me out of the slump for a while and it wasn’t long before I found “What Passes as Love” on Kindle Unlimited. I remember looking at the cover and thinking, this is really pretty, and clicking to see what it was about, and after learning about it, I thought it sounded great but I was still so unsure I was ready for it so I left it and could not stop thinking about it for two whole days! They always say, if you can’t stop thinking about it, get it and that’s what I did and I did not look for another book until I finished it about a week later!
4. A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St Clair
At the end of 2020, I came across the Hades x Persephone series through Chelsea Palmer’s YouTube channel. It was new and steeped in Greek mythology, and this is how I ended up getting into the Celtic Blood series as it is somewhat centered in Celtic mythology as well, but this series is a modern take on those stories of the Underworld God, Hades and The Goddess of Spring, Persephone.
Anyways, I kind of cheated when I started reading the first book, which is “A Touch of Darkness” because I began reading it a week or so before the first day of 2021. I couldn’t stop myself from diving all-in with it and I didn’t. I’m glad I read it because it gave me a chance to really enjoy the prospect of another set of goals within the new year. I want to say it me over a week to finish this book and probably two months to complete the first three books between the two characters before I started on my CB journey.
5. Rough by Renee Rose and Vanessa Vale
I had the most difficult time figuring out which of my erotica books I loved the most, I could have done a Top 5 post of just those books honestly!
You might have noticed, Vanessa Vale was another big author for me as I read four books in total but my absolute favorite out of all those was Rough, and she wrote it with Renee Rose. Before this one, I had never read anything by Renee, but I loved the book so much that I literally got her “Holiday Gift Box” that has The Director (Chicago Bratva), Alpha’s Temptation (Bad Boy Alphas) featuring Lee Savino, King of Diamonds (Vegas Underground), His Human Slave (Zandian Masters) and of course Rough (Wolf Ranch) as an early Christmas present for myself. Technically it was free, so it wasn’t like a big deal on that part.
Back to this though. I go back and forth on whether I love cowboys–and it’s only with Vanessa Vale’s books that I really question it because they are always so damn dreamy! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I’m still embarrassed about the fact that I confused the male character’s last name “Wolf” to be for his ding-a-ling, but it was actually because he is a wolf…
6. Queen of Oak by Melanie Karsak
If the name Melanie Karsak seems familiar to you, well oddly enough, I read five books by Melanie this year. I’ve only had four other authors in total hook me with multiple books and/or series, and they are Kennedy Fox, Vanessa Vale, Jasinda Wilder, and J.K. Rowling.
This book is about Queen Boudica and her journey, and by the time I was able to read it, I was going through withdrawl because I loved the CB series so much! It was nice to come back into that world again and even though it wasn’t Gruoch as I’ve gotten to know her, I still enjoyed Boudica as a whole, but she actually wasn’t my favorite in the book though. I really enjoyed Don and Ula the most as they reminded me of “Gramma” from Moana, she was in my head for the character Ula, they are a little weird, but you never doubted their power as a woman. As for Don, she came across to me like, the Northuldra leader Yelena from Frozen II as she was very stoic but laidback too. They were two different personalities, but I just loved them so much.
7. The Boleyns at Hever Castle by Claire Ridgewater and Owen Emmerson
Shockingly, I only read a handful of nonfictions this year. I started out my reading journey with two distinct genres: historical fiction and biographical/memoirs. As I’ve mentioned above, I had a fairly good selection of the historical fiction but only three memoirs though!
I thought the book about The Duke of Windsor was interesting, but I felt it just dragged on and on as it continued that I almost gave up on it twice! After I was done, I took a very long break and then I saw this while on Goodreads earlier in the year, as it was being released to the public and I put it on my TBR list but figured I’d never get it, so imagine my face, the day a few months later when I discovered it on Kindle Unlimited! I was so happy that I literally stopped whatever I was doing to read it. I think it took me three days to finish it. I still don’t like the beginning of the book as Claire and Owen explain Hever’s medieval blueprint and how it changed up until The Boleyn family lived there. Other than that, I really enjoyed this book. It was different from what I normally read, and I hope I can find more books like it in the new year.
Later today, I have a little countdown of this list going up on my blog’s Facebook page. I had specifically made this banner for that video but I forgot to put it in so I thought I would share my thoughts on my favorite recent reads on the last bit of this post.
The first book I read after completing “Queen of Oak” was Mario Escobar’s “Auschwitz Lullaby” and it was a beautiful disaster. I always have a difficult time explaining how much I love a book about stories from World War II and the aftermath of the Holocaust, so that is why I called it like that. Anyways, this tells the story of what happened in the Gypsy camp of the Auschwitz II camp from 1941-42. I explain more in my mini review on Facebook if you’d like to check that out afterwards.
Secondly, we have Melissa Gilbert’s memoir “Prairie Tale” and I just finished it a few weeks ago and I am still reeling from it. I was a casual watcher of Little House on the Prairie growing up, and even as an adult, I’ve never seen it all the way through so when we got to certain parts like talking about her close relationship with Michael Landon really took me by surprise because I would just start bawling on myself and Chapter 21 definitely kicked my ass, but really, the entire book is so much fun and even a little hilarious here and there!
And finally, my most recent read, which if you enjoy holiday centered books, you should definitely check out “A Very Bossy Christmas” by Alexis Winter. Not only did I find out how much I adore Christmas books, but apparently like everything else, I liked the steamy romance books more than anything else, as you may noticed in last Friday’s blogmas post. I am in love with this book so this might be a worthy purchase after Christmas for me.
I’m officially done with all of my blogmas posts. I hope you have enjoyed everything I’ve published this month, and I already have some ideas coming to me for 2022 blogmas.
I do have a slight plan on what I want to do for the upcoming year, but I will not talk about it until I come back for the end of January as I am going to continue my blogging schedule, I’ve done for the last two years because it works very well for me. I will say I have an idea to do something different for the new year though, so I hope you have a lovely Christmas and enjoy the rest of your weekend too.
How did you go about your reading for 2021? What were all-time favorite book(s)? And do you have an idea on what you’re doing goal wise for the new year?
If I am being totally honest, I’ve been going through a bit of a burn out with reading romance books in the last month or so. I have one other book in the genre that I am trying to finish, but I wouldn’t surprised if I decide to not read any more for a while.
Nevertheless, this one was a freaking godsend but first, let’s check out the blurb about it.
Jolie Louis is a smart girl. She knows that her best friend, Sage Poirier, is a bad idea. He’s a walking, talking cliché. The Adonis quarterback with the bulging biceps and harem of fangirls trailing behind him on campus like a stench you can’t get rid of. Sadly, that’s also the reason she can’t stay away from him. Well, that and the fact that they’re roommates. Jolie is already straddling the line between friendship and more when Sage comes to her with an offer she cannot refuse: be his fake girlfriend and live for free for the rest of the semester. She tells herself that she can handle it. He’s just the boy she saved ten years ago, right? Wrong. So very wrong. He is a man now, and she is his captive Heart, body, and soul…
taken from Amazon.
Every August I go through this thing of missing high school with its football games, colder nights, and gorgeous boys I had a crush on throughout those four years. I usually try to keep myself out of reading romance that talk about various sports, mainly football and basketball since they were the most present in my life. However, I decided to take a chance on it and ultimately I enjoyed The End Zone a lot more than I anticipated, so if you’re like me, going through the same thing around this time of year, hopefully this will help you out a little bit.
If you are afraid that because it has a football player on the cover, it’ll have a bunch of football terms, it doesn’t! Despite the fact that I enjoyed it so much, that was one thing that really lacked the most. As I’ve said above, every August to end of October, I want something to do with football in it, and this didn’t quite fit the bill for me.
My forever crush.
This is not a long story, it’s definitely written in the novella style so you don’t get a lot of information about the characters. It’s basically a day-to-day sort of read, which isn’t something I usually strive to find with books, because I use to do the same thing in the past and was always told I didn’t have enough history, for a lack of a better word, to learn everybody’s purpose in the story.! If you want something that is basically straight to the point–or in this case, straight to the sex–and everybody moves on, then you might enjoy it too. Honestly, it is like the shorter version of Kennedy Fox’s “This Is War” in certain ways, so you if you want to check out that book or vice versa beforehand, it might put you in the mood for the others.
I have one more thing to mention, with the Kindle edition, you get two extended endings or epilogues. My favorite is the final passage and I like how the entire scene is flat out hilarious in the beginning and ends on a very hot and steamy note, and that is all I am going to say about it.
Have you read :”The End Zone” by L.J. Shen yet? What were your favorite parts of the story? Is there any other books by the author you think I should look into in the future? Send me some suggestions below!
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.
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.
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?