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?
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?
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…
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?
I really didn’t think I would have a Friday post, but yet I’m here…
I have been going through a book slum and I’ve had a slow couple of weeks where I am choosing to take a nap in the afternoon over reading my books and it has drove me absolutely crazy! I want to read but nothing has made me get out of this indecisive mood brewing inside, until Vanessa Vale posted that the first book of the Wild Mountain Men series was free and I was, like, “OHTHANKGOD!” So, I hope you enjoy what I had to say about this story below.
If you liked Bridgewater County, you don’t want to miss this hot new series full of wild mountain men!
We want Kit Lancaster. We’ve wanted her for years. Both of us. Me and Donovan. It might not be normal for two guys to claim a woman together, but we live in Cutthroat, Montana and we’ll do what we want.
And what we want to do is Kit.
What could get in the way? Oh yeah, a little thing called murder. And since I’m the lead detective and Donovan’s the prosecutor, it might not be the smartest thing to bed the prime suspect.
As if that would stop us.
taken from Goodreads.
I have to say, it was really nice to be back reading Vanessa’s stories again. I enjoy the mixture of both series, the suspenseful drama behind all of the sexiness that is definitely hard to resist, but I am especially difficult when it comes to erotica writers. I thought I only loved the inked, bad boy, rock stars and sort of superficial responses of daily life but she is definitely pulling me into the world of having two good men falling for the same girl and have it completely normal in these small towns As hot as this story is and relatable in the thinking of Kit’s thinking was, there are a few things that I was sort of ignoring while reading it, so I need to address those to you before you get this book.
The first thing I need to say is, you might need to read the book I did last year called, Ride Me Dirty as it explains the ins and outs of this lifestyle, where you have three characters: two guys and one woman in a relationship. It is pretty interesting to explore this world in that series but unfortunately, it is considered more like an afterthought in this book, which is why I wanted to share that book because Vanessa does dive in and explain to you about what means to be in this kind of love triangle.
I was a total slut. And I was loving every minute of it.
The guys are not gay by any means (although that wouldn’t be such a bad idea!) and even though they are upfront about having feelings for this woman and feel protective over her, I feel like it is quite unfair that they do not express any jealous towards each other. There is one point in this book, where it presents itself but is knocked out pretty quickly. And I will say I did not have these thoughts while reading RMD, but it definitely crept into my mind for this one as I couldn’t wrap my mind around it, but in the author’s defense, I’ve only read the first books of each series, so maybe it is mentioned in the next couple of books?
Despite my thoughts above, I honestly loved the story. It was hot and loving all at the same time, so in a way I don’t have much to complain about, other than the fact that this one was much shorter in length. A part of me was thinking that I was only reading fast to get to the good stuff but once I finished, I was kind of stunned with myself but again I think it helped me kick the slump a little bit because it made me excited again to continue reading it. All I wished was that the rest of the series was listed as free on Amazon too, so I wouldn’t have to wait ages to see what else happens because I am more curious with this series than the other one. It had a great cliffhanger and now all I want is more of it, or in this case, Kit, Nix and Donovan!
Have you read the “Wild Mountain Men” series or any other books by Vanessa Vale lately? If you have read this story, what did you love and/or hate about it the most?
I bet you didn’t think you would get two reviews in one week, huh?
For today, we stray away from the disability/contemporary type of books for a bit and go straight for the 18+/erotica novels! If this isn’t your cup of tea then you can skip it.
I found this book in December. It was part of my “free” purchase spree I took part in and out of the five that I thought would be interesting, this was the only romance book to survive. If you are a lover of erotica books like me, you might have a favorite theme. Some people like outlaw types, billionaires, rock stars (like moi!) or Doms. This one talks about cowboys.
No horses were harmed creating this blog post. 😉
They’re going to claim her. Together.
She just doesn’t know it yet.
Catherine’s life is in New York. The property she’s inherited is in Bridgewater, Montana. Going back to the town she visited every summer as a child stirs up long forgotten memories and a girlhood crush, on not one teen-turned-hot-cowboy, but two. Cousins Jack and Sam Kane. Fortunately for her, in Bridgewater, one cowboy’s never enough.
In this contemporary version of Vanessa Vale’s USA Today bestselling, Bridgewater Ménage series, Catherine is forced to choose the life she really wants: the big-city lawyer or the small town cowgirl with two men who want to take her for a very dirty ride.
taken from Goodreads.
I live in a city that is surrounded by corn, soy beans, and wheat farmers. I also have family members who enjoy watching Westerns on a weekly basis. So, I’ve never really enjoyed stories focused on cowboys and/or farmers.
Despite all of that above, I still read and quite enjoyed myself!
I don’t think it was the country lifestyle that turned me on (no pun intended) to be honest with you, I think it was the fact that there were two men involved here. Sam and Jack Kane.
I was pretty jealous of Catherine by the time I ended it.
It starts innocently enough with a young woman, a lawyer fighting to climb the ranks at her firm, has to go to Bridgewater, Montana to asset her uncles property. On her flight there, a very fine gentleman sat next to her and fantasies start forming in both of their minds about what they wanted to do to each other. When they arrive, Catherine and Jack part but they don’t go far. Catherine has been there before when she was younger, but she is taken aback after finding out a very common practice among everyone in town.
The majority of the women are married to two men!
At first, you’d think this is an awful thing to do, because let’s face it, men can be very disgusting at times! However, the main reason why people do it is so someone is there for the other person. The real term is polyamory, “a lifestyle to being open to the possibility of people having more than one loving, intimidate relationship at a time, with a full knowledge and consent by all partners involved.” I knew of it before I started reading the book, but never considered it until I finished but it is a glorious idea, but I don’t know if I’m only agreeing with it because of my love of Sam and Jack.
There were things I liked about it–obviously–but there were a couple of misspellings that I caught every once in a while. And considering I am awful about spelling words wrong all the time, sometimes I do not notice them right away! However, I have become Grammar police when I do spot some mistakes throughout a story. If it happened in every chapter, I wouldn’t be here saying all of this great stuff about it. I would have deleted it right away, because I hate seeing them all over the place! Thankfully, they were only in two spots. Overall, the story was great and the sex scenes were AHH-mazing too!
Have you read anything by Vanessa Vale? If you read this book, what were your thoughts about it? Did you enjoy it too?