Breaking All Her Rules

*I was given a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. I was not paid by the publisher or the author for my review.*

Breaking All Her RulesPublished: August 12, 2014

Breaking All Her Rules — Maisey Yates

Okay… fair warning. This is a Red Hot Cosmo Reads book. I didn’t pay attention to that little detail before I started reading this book. At work. The “Red Hot” part of the description of the book is not false.

It was all I could do to not blush bright red whenever someone came near me… so my advice is to make sure that you have a glass of ice water handy… and to not read this at work.

This isn’t a very long book… I’d call it a novella more than anything else… but I don’t know if I could handle all this hotness in a longer book. That’s a lie. I totally could. This book however, I felt was the perfect length.

Grace Song is a financial advisor who lives her life by a set of very strict rules. She always plays it safe and never takes any risks. I really loved Grace. Parts of me wishes I could be a bit more like her because sometimes I’m a little too unreserved. She rarely curses (even when she probably should) and I swear like a sailor.

Artist/Cowboy Zack Camden is pretty much the opposite. He’s got that artist thing going for him… and pretty much does whatever. He’s grumpy (aka eccentric) and travels a lot promoting and selling his pieces of art.

Grace and Zack meet by chance. She’s in need of a cab and he decides to share his with her. Cowboys… aren’t they sweet? During their shared ride, he flirts and she begins to relax her strict rules… just a little bit.

Things get interesting when the cab ride results in them accidentally swapping phones. Grace is smarter than I am and tracks her phone thanks to the internet. I would have just cried and called the cab company (and also said bad words). Grace goes to switch back their phones when her and Zack are reunited again… the sparks start to fly.

And well… so do the clothes.

Grace is able to let go and be bad for a little while. It’s liberating for her. For Zack, it’s a little different. He’s drawn to this woman… to a woman in general… for the first time since his divorce six years before. He’s got some own demons in his past that make things difficult for him, but he jumps into this explosive thing with Grace eyes wide open.

Of course, because they’re spending so much time together (after the first night they’re pretty much inseparable…) and learning about each other… Grace falls head over heels for him. His response to her declaration wasn’t the best thing ever… but it was understandable. I still wanted to shake him. And maybe smack him upside the head.

Because Grace has been able to loosen the reins so much after meeting Zack, she knows that she doesn’t have to put up with someone who can’t give her what she needs. She loves him, but doesn’t need him if he can’t love her back.

Zack’s character growth didn’t happen really until almost the end. I loved it when he came to his realization about how dumb he’d been… and how much he’d changed from who he had been.

Breaking All Her Rules was everything I needed it to be. Y’all know I love Maisey and her books. This one is no exception.

If you’re looking for a quick but very hot read, this is for you. I wasn’t kidding about the ice water… just so y’all know.

10/10 would recommend.

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Stranded With The Rancher

*I was given a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. I was not paid by the publisher or the author for my review.*

Stranded with the RancherAvailable: October 7, 2014

Stranded With The Rancher — Janice Maynard

I’ve read several of Janice’s books in the past… but I think this one might be my favorite of hers. Who doesn’t love a good cowboy romance? I know I do.

Most of the western/cowboy romance books have similar plot lines. Billionaire rancher falls for the poorer woman in town and uses whatever means he deems necessary to woo her. This one… wasn’t quite like that.

Yes, there is a Billionaire Rancher man. Drew Farrell is known for his prized horse breeding program. He’s a self made man and likes things just the way he likes it. Unfortunately, his neighbor likes to make things difficult. Mainly by putting her vegetable stand right on the fence line that separates the shared road between their two properties. He’d prefer that she didn’t have her business so close to where his customers were driving by, and she’d prefer that he wasn’t such a good looking asshat all the time.

But beggars can’t be choosers.

Drew and Beth Andrews have a relationship founded on bickering. It’s sort of like a love/hate relationship. They love to hate on each other.

Until Mother Nature decides to intervene. During one of their usual spats about the location of her veggie stand, a tornado worthy of Oz makes an appearance. Both Drew and Beth have to run for their lives to the nearest tornado shelter, which happens to be on her property.

I live in the Midwest where monster tornadoes are common. Actually… where tornadoes of any kind are common. Every house in my neighborhood has a storm shelter. Most of them are like the ones in the book, where it’s accessed by the outside and your only protection is two doors and a latch. In my house, our shelter is in the basement. We have a six by six concrete room to hide in if the sirens go off.

I’m sure Beth and Drew would have preferred the storm shelter in my house to the one they took shelter in outside her house.

The way that Janice Maynard described the terror that was the tornado was pure magic. I could see what Drew and Beth were going through. I could feel their terror when the tornado passed over the top of their shelter.

After the storm passes and they’re eventually freed from their shelter turned prison, things are different. Not just because their town is destroyed in some places, and only battered in others. Not just because they survived death. Or maybe because they survived death. Both of them start to see each other in a new light.

Beth fights it harder than Drew does. Her life hasn’t always been pumpkins and farming and happy times. Her childhood was horrible and left scars that remained long into adulthood. Drew’s had it pretty easy for the most part. He’s wealthy and didn’t have to deal with the same things Beth has had to while growing up. He’s used to getting what he wants and isn’t exactly pleased when things don’t go his way.

I loved watching them change. It was horrible that they had to go through such a terrifying ordeal first, but I think they grew into being better people.

Of course, some things from the past come back to make things hard for them. Beth’s family issues and Drew’s hardheadedness both almost break them before they’ve really even begun to have their relationship.

Drew knows that he’s messed up almost from the time that the mess up happened. When you do something and you’re second guessing yourself… in my experience, that isn’t a good sign. Luckily for him, his hardheadedness comes in handy with fixing everything and overcoming her insecurities.

I really loved this book. I could completely understand why both Beth and Drew did the things that they did. There were times that I either wanted to pop one of them upside then back of the head and shake the other. Or vice versa. It was wonderfully written and I was very sad when it ended.

If you want a heartfelt love story with some scary weather, a hardheaded rancher, and a woman who is stubborn personified… then this is your book.

10/10 would recommend.

No Limits

*I was given a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. I was not paid by the publisher or the author for my review.*

No LimitsAvailable: August 26, 2014

No Limits — Lori Foster

It physically pained me to have to put this book down. From the very first page, I was captured and there was no stopping until it was over. Well. Unless I had to do that pesky thing called sleep. Or go to school. Other than that… I was obsessed with this book.

I’ve made no secret over the fact that I’m a fan of Lori Foster. I just re-read one of my first books of hers (Say no to Joe?) and pretty much fell right back in love with Joe Winston. I’ll probably have to do a review of that one too now. Just for fun.

I’ve kept a list of book boyfriends that I’ve had an on going love for. Joe Winston is one, and Jude Jamison is the other. Jude has for years now been the top guy on my book boyfriend list.

Until I met Cannon Colter.

I’m sorry to say, but I think Cannon has taken Jude’s spot as top man. He’s just… perfect.

This book was everything I hoped it would be. When I found out that Lori was doing a second MMA series, I was pumped. I loved the last one, so I had high hopes for this one. I’ve not been disappointed so far.

The first novella in the series Hard Knocks was a great kick off to the new series. No Limits was a perfect follow up.

In the book we have Cannon Colter, who was first introduced in Lori’s last series. If you’ve been reading her books, you’ll recognize him. He’s not a newbie. His leading lady in the book, Yvette Sweeny isn’t a newbie either. She also was in the last series. Both had not very big parts… more like an introduction, but it was enough to learn a bit about them.

Cannon is a mixed martial arts fighter at the top of his game. HIs fighter name is “Saint”. He’s always cool and collected… so the name fits. Okay I lied. He’s cool and collected unless it has something to do with Yvette. She has the ability to drive him nuts and twist him into knots. They danced around each other before. She was “too young” in his opinion and he was getting ready to start his MMA career. Things just weren’t right.

Fast forward to three years later and a tragic circumstance brings them both back together. Things are right now. Or mostly right. Cannon can work with the little bit of right he’s given to get things the rest of the way right.

He’s always been her weak spot. She’s loved him since she was a teenager and now that she’s an adult, and they’re living in the same house…things are torturous for her. In a delicious way. He doesn’t let her hide from their attraction and chemistry. Cannon pushes her to become a stronger version of herself, and to watch it happen gradually through the book was wonderful.

Of course there were some things they had to deal with that weren’t so pleasant. A stalker ex-boyfriend who’s just a little crazy. A mysterious person who’s set on destroying everything that’s important to them… just to keep a secret.

With the help of their friends (other fighters and previous characters) and some willpower…plus maybe a little luck… they’re able to overcome their obstacles and get their happy ever after.

I can’t wait for the next book in this series. I loved Cannon, and I have a feeling that I’m going to love Denver.

I haven’t read a book by Lori yet that I haven’t loved.

10/10 would recommend.

Books are great… and so are these web series.

So by now, everyone on this blog know’s that I’m a big reader. I love books. I’ve also fallen in love with some weberies. Primarily… online adaptations of beloved books. I figured that since I’m a blog devoted to books, y’all wouldn’t mind a post about book adaptations…right?

These are the series that I’ve watched so far and loved. Loved with a borderline obsession.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

This series has been around for a little while. It was the first major web adaptation of a book that I’ve seen. The first episode was published two years ago (which makes me extremely sad). Because it’s an adaptation, things have been changed slightly.

The sisters are Lizzie (with an ie instead of a y), Jane and Lydia. Kitty Bennet is an actual cat. Mary is a cousin instead of a sister. Lizzie is a grad student and decides to make a video diary for a project for school with the help of her bff Charlotte Lu. The diaries get a little away from Lizzie sometimes, but it’s very real feeling. Authentic. I loved it.

In the series, we don’t see Mr. or Mrs. Bennet, but we hear about them. We also never see Mrs. de Bourgh either. The characters we don’t see (and some that are introduced) are acted out by the main characters (usually Lizzie) through Costume Theater. When you watch the series, you’ll understand what I mean. Don’t be surprised if you fall in love with Darcy. I did. I almost fell for Bing too. Bing Lee… instead of Bingley. Lydia has a small spinoff channel and you’ll be able to find that as you get further along in the series.

Here’s episode one.

Emma Approved

Another Austen adaptation (from the same people that did The Lizzie Bennet Diaries). It’s a lot like Clueless (the movie) but it’s in my opinion, better. It starts off pretty slow… and things can be a little confusing. Some people in the fandom hated this adaptation. They hated the way it was set up. Emma is a life coach/matchmaker. She’s recording things that happen so that she can “document her excellence”. We, the viewers, aren’t supposed to know that the videos exist. They aren’t “in world”. I know that sounds all very confusing. I promise it’s a really great show. It just ended. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll make more episodes, but that might not happen. Just… keep an open mind and give it a try.

Here’s the first episode.

Frankenstein M.D.

This is also by the same people that did Emma and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. They also have teamed up with PBS to bring Frankenstein to life. It’s the first adaptation that they’ve done that isn’t Austen. This series has just started, so there aren’t very many episodes yet, but from what I’ve watched so far, I’m hooked. The cast is hilarious so far and I’ve already formed attachments to Victoria Frankenstein (instead of Victor) and Izzy.

Here’s episode one… just to get you started.

The Autobiography of Jane Eyre

I also loved this one. It made me cry, it made me laugh, it made me want to throw things. Kind of like what a good book does for me. If you loved the Jane Eyre book (or the movies) you’ll love this one. It was produced by a group of actors in Canada who loved the book. They did everything themselves and without pay. Knowing that makes it even more wonderful for me. Be prepared for lots of tea drinking and lots of weird socks.

Here’s episode one.

The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy

Okay, I love books… right? I also love Disney. Tinkerbell has always been my favorite Disney character. I have a Tinkerbell key on my keyring and numerous Tink figurines in my room. I’m almost twenty five. I’m a Tinkerbell fan and PROUD. When I found out that there was an adaptation about Peter Pan I was very excited. This series is hilarious and weird and the first season just ended. They also just finished crowdsourcing to fund season two. I don’t know when that will start, but I’m hoping soon. I’m starting to go through withdrawals.

Check it out here:

There are a few more web adaptations that I haven’t watched yet, but y’all might be interested in.

A Tell Tale Vlog — Edgar Allen Poe adaptation

The Dashwood Diaries — Based on Sense and Sensibility (not by the same people that did The Lizzie Bennet Diaries)

Enjoy!

And don’t be mad at me if you have a new addiction. Sorry!

The Billionaire Cowboy

*I was given a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. I was not paid by the publisher or the author for my review.*

The Billionaire CowboyAvailable: October 7, 2014

The Billionaire Cowboy — Mandy Baxter

I will totally admit, I requested to read this book just based on the cover before I ever read the synopsis of the book. That’s probably super shallow of me…but do you see that cover!? *fans self*

This was the first book that I’ve ever read by Mandy Baxter, and I seriously enjoyed myself. This is the first book in a set of three (maybe there will be more later) novellas. Notice I said first. I read something in order finally! Go me!

Anyway.

The Billionaire Cowboy is a very quick read. It takes place over a weekend (maybe two days) so it’s not very long. There’s enough backstory given and the characters are fleshed out enough that it makes it work. Do I wish it had been longer? Of course I do, but I was definitely okay with the book and the length.

Sometimes when books are this short, it’s hard to get a really good feel for the main characters and have an actual storyline… not just hot sexy times. Mandy Baxter pulled it off splendidly. There was definitely sexy times. Hot sexy times, but it had more than that. We were given a bit of back ground of both Ryder and Lara.

I loved Lara. She was a strong woman who didn’t take any shit from Ryder. She’s trying to rebuild her family’s tarnished reputation and has been avoiding Ryder’s advances because it’s known in town how much of a playboy he is… and being seen as his flavor of the night isn’t something that would particularly help her endeavor to give the family name some good press.

I also really liked Ryder. He was a bit of a butt, but he was a lovable butt. He knew what he wanted (Lara) and went after it. Of course, when he realized that his current plan of action wasn’t working, he switched gears and did what he had to so that he could get the girl. There were a few times I wanted to pop him on the back of the head, but overall I liked him and I loved how he was with Lara.

Even though this is a really short read, I really enjoyed the book. I’ve already added the next two books to my ever-growing “To read” list.

If you’re looking for a hot quick read, The Billionaire Cowboy is a very good option.

10/10 would recommend.

No Strings Attached

*I was given a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. I was not paid by the publisher or the author for my review.*

No Strings AttachedPublished: August 1, 2014

No Strings Attached — Susan Andersen

This book was such a treat to read. I’ve been a little stressed the last few days because school started back (the joys of college!) and it’s a pretty intense class that I’m taking. This book offered such a great escape from all that stress. Lose myself in a book? Yes please.

I’ve read several books by Susan Andersen in the past, and have always loved her books and writing style. So when I heard about this book, I jumped at the chance to read it.

I was not disappointed.

Like I said, it was my escape from reality this last week. I did not want to put it down. I found myself reading it at work when I had down time, reading it on my phone while I was waiting for the water for my shower to heat up… I read this book every chance I got.

I loved that the book started as kind of a flash back to when Tasha and Luc first met. It set up a very solid base and a great backstory for the rest of the book. Their shared history plays such a big role in the book, and I thought the beginning was perfect. Well. Except for the spending two days in a tiny, dark, bug filled room. If you ignore that part…it was perfect.

Tasha was hilarious. She’s a redhead (okay so it’s strawberry blonde…but close enough) and she’s sassy. She doesn’t let the big brute Luc Bradshaw walk all over her or intimidate her. Even though he towers over her and has enough charisma to make her forget her name. Sometimes.

Their first interaction after not seeing each other for seven long years was the best. I can totally picture myself having the same reaction that she did. Poor Luc. He was in the dog house from the very start… and finding himself on the wrong side of a woman isn’t something that he’s used to. I loved how determined he was to redeem himself to Tasha. He couldn’t stand the thought of her hating him, so he did whatever (and I do mean whatever) he thought was necessary to convince her that he was a good guy.

The other characters in the book were equally as delightful as Luc and Tasha. Luc’s brothers (Max and Jake) each have their own story in previous books — look at me reading out of order again! — which of course have been added to my ever growing “to be read” pile.

There was a cute little side romance between two high schoolers in the book. It was very sweet, and totally a romance between teens (I almost said “youths”. Like I’m that much older than they are…). Nothing explicit happens between these two, and I won’t go into any more detail… but I loved it.

This book was just such a pleasure to read. I was sad when it was over, but I was happy to have been able to read it.

I loved all the characters, loved Susan’s writing, loved the story.

10/10 would definitely recommend.

Riding Home

*I was given a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. I was not paid by the publisher or the author for my review.*

Riding HomePublished: August 1, 2014

Riding Home — Vicki Lewis Thompson

I know I sad that I was going to go and read all the books in this series that came before the last book I read of hers (Riding High)… but that obviously hasn’t happened.

Yet.

This book was in my “to be read” pile… and I saw it… and then I realized that it was set after Riding High… and I had to read it. I JUST HAD TO. I’ve realized (of course) after reading this one that there is a book in between Riding High and Riding Home. Oops. Why do I even try to read books in order anymore?

I loved this book. From the start, I loved it. I couldn’t help myself.

In Riding Home…we have Jeannette Trenton and Zach Powell. Part of me at first didn’t want to like Jeannette. She’s Regan’s ex fiancé (Riding High) and the reason that she’s an ex is because she cheated on him. With his best friend. Sorry if that was a spoiler…but it’s in all of the descriptions of the last three books in the series. So it’s not exactly a secret.

So, knowing what I know about Jeannette… and knowing how much I just loved Regan’s character… I really didn’t want to like her at first. I just didn’t. I have a very low opinion of people who cheat…so I didn’t think that I would ever like her. I was wrong. I mean, I still totally don’t agree with her actions, but I forgive her (but only because Regan is with Lily now and things are EXACTLY how they should be).

Throughout the course of the book… I couldn’t help but start to like her. By the end of it, I kind of loved her even. Flaws and all. She’s spunky and southern (hello, I’m southern too), and also very sweet. She knows that she made a huge mistake with Regan and travels to Wyoming to set things right between them. Not to get back together with him, because she know’s that he’s perfectly happy with Lily now, but just to clear the air… apologize. So she takes a short weekend vacation from the law firm where she works in Virginia and heads to Wyoming to make things right. Which is easier said than done.

And then there’s Zach Powell. Former hotshot California lawyer, who is now a ranch hand on the same ranch that Jeannette is coming to visit. The same ranch that Regan’s sisters live because they’re married to some of the cowboys. Zach and Jeannette meet when she takes a break from the icy welcome she’s been receiving from Regan’s family and heads to the horse barn.

The sparks between them are intense and are immediate. There’s no denying their attraction, and after a brief conversation, no denying that they are somewhat compatible. He offers to take her into the city so that she can pick up some clothes that will help her fit in better with everyone else on the ranch. Once they’re in town… things heat up. Both admit to their attraction, and decide to give into it.

Things are never easy though, and Jeanette is only supposed to stay in town for the weekend. He is able to convince her to give up her hotel room at the local B&B so that she can stay with him in his mobile home trailer so that they can have more time together before she has to leave.

I loved their romance. It was hot and super intense, but it was also lovely. Because of their time crunch, they both knew that the time that they had together was special, and so they made the most of every moment. They both pushed the other to grow and get outside their comfort zones. It was great.

Getting to see how things were going between Regan and Lily was nice too. I need to go and read the book that’s between the two of these now…and then go and read all of the books before these.

From start to finish, I loved the book and I loved the characters. I’m happy that I was able to get past Jeannette’s past infidelities and love her too. After reading this book, I want a solar shower. For the next time I go camping. Or maybe just to have… (because let’s be serious, I’m not a camper) but only if I have a Zach Powell to share it with. 😉

10/10 would recommend.