My Kind of Wonderful

*This was a book I purchased. All thoughts about the book are my own. I have not been compensated in any way for my review*

My Kind of WonderfulPublished: December 22, 2015

My Kind of Wonderful — Jill Shalvis

I’ve recently been able to (kinda) beat back the funk I’ve been in. Depression isn’t a fun thing, and I didn’t realize how bad it had gotten until I realized that I hadn’t picked up a book (or rather, my kindle) to read in about a year. A year. For someone who can read several books a week…that’s saying something.

But thanks to my wonderful doctor (and anti-depression meds) I’ve been able to lose myself in books again. Or start to.

The first book I read post-depression funk was My Kind of Wonderful by the hilarious Jill Shalvis. This is book two in her Cedar Ridge series, and it was amazing.

In it, we have Hudson Kincaid (or Hud for short). He’s the younger half brother of Gray (who I don’t think has a book. Humph) and Aidan (Second Chance Summer). He — along with his brothers and sister — run a ski resort in Cedar Ridge, Colorado. I’ve never been to Colorado, but I have seen mountains…and this book made me long to be back out west, admiring their beauty. Hudson is the head of the resort’s ski patrol and also a cop in town…so he’s basically a badass.

If you ask his family…he’s a grumpy badass. I think the leading lady of the story would agree with them. Bailey Moore is an artist. And a cancer survivor. So basically, one hell of a woman. I really, really loved her character and as the book went on, loved her more.

She’s sassy, independent and doesn’t take Hudson’s shit. Which is something he needs, I think. She forces him outside of his comfort zone, and it’s good for him. He does the same for her, but in his gruff dude way.

I loved that when he figured out that she’d had cancer…he didn’t baby her. Oh, he probably would have wrapped her in bubble wrap if she’d let him…but she didn’t, and he respected that. I mean, that doesn’t mean that he totally didn’t go out of his way (sometimes) to help her. But he wasn’t a jerk about it.

Though…he was a jerk sometimes. A big fat, say things without thinking them through, jerk face that I wanted to strangle a few times. But in the end, he pulled his head out of his ass. Bailey wasn’t without her flaws too though. A cheater for an ex-fiance (how she could remain friends with him…I’ll never understand) and an overprotective mother, plus having cancer for the majority of her life made her want to keep things light and fluid. Probably mainly so people wouldn’t get attached if things went sideways with her illness.

Keeping things light and fluid is all well and good…until you find THE ONE and fate knocks you on your ass. Or fate has you read a map upside down and you end up on the hardest trail on the mountain and you’re a novice skier….and you’re rescued by Mr. Hot Grumpy Pants.

I can’t wait for the next book in the series Nobody But You, but luckily for me… because I’m so late to the game on reading this book… I only have to wait until tomorrow. Because that’s when it comes out. It’s about Hudson’s twin, Jacob…and after reading My Kind of Wonderful I’m STOKED for Jacob’s story.

I’d give this book a 10/10 because it was amazing and it has helped pull me out of my funk.

Now I need to load up my kindle with more books.

Tamed by the Buccaneer

*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.*

Tamed by the BuccaneerPublished: June 26, 2015

Tamed by the Buccaneer — Normandie Alleman

The third book in Normandie’s Buccaneer trilogy is here! I loved the first two books — Rescued by the Buccaneer and Bound by the Buccaneer — so I was SO STOKED when I realized that the third book was out!

This is the end of Gaston and Freddie’s story. I have to say. I’m going to miss them.

If you haven’t read the first two books… you need to go do that. These are NOT standalone books and should be read in order.

Even though this is the end of their story…it was a wonderful end to the three books. Normandie did a wonderful job of tying up any loose ends from the previous books and didn’t leave it hanging. (Y’all know how much I hate to be left hanging…)

In this one, Gaston and Freddie have to deal with a whole new adventure. Parenthood. Gaston’s been down this road once before (it was mentioned in the first book, I believe…and is mentioned again in this book) but lost both his first wife and child before joining the pirate life. So, Gaston’s fully on board with becoming a parent again. In fact, I’d say that he was downright HAPPY about it.

Freddie on the other hand…she doesn’t take the news too well. Having really never thought about having children, she’s really freaked out by the idea of becoming a mother. How will she continue her life at sea with a baby?

I loved watching her journey from “What am I going to do I’m not prepared for this” to “I like being a mom”. It was a long journey, and it definitely had it’s ups and downs…but I loved it.

We got to see the battle with Captain Humphrey come full circle in this book. Remember him? He’s the nasty old pirate that started out the story (with having a kidnapped Freddie playing servant upon his ship and all). I won’t go into all that happens, but he gets his comeuppance.

Fun Fact: Since first starting this trilogy, I have been playing around with genealogy. I discovered that I’m related to a pirate. But… not just any pirate. Captain Henry Morgan (also known as Captain Morgan — yes, the one on the rum bottle) is my first cousin, ten times removed. I think that the knowledge that I have a little pirate in me made me love the book(s) more.

I thought this was a book to end the trilogy. Like I said, no loose ends were left (thank you, Normandie). Tamed by the Buccaneer was just as well written as Rescued and Bound. I loved the book, and I loved how it ended. I can’t wait to see what Normandie puts out next.

Tamed by the Buccaneer gets a very solid 10/10 from me, and a place (next to the previous two) on my favorites list.

Taking What’s His

*This was a book I purchased. All thoughts about the book are my own. I have not been compensated in any way for my review*

Taking what's hisPublished: April 28, 2015

Taking What’s His — Jen McLaughlin (writing as Diane Alberts)

Firstly, hello readers! I have MISSED YOU. I know I said that I was going to be posting more, but obviously that hasn’t happened. The short story is that I started a new job at a hospital in my field of study (I’m a Pharmacy Technician) so I’ve started working 40 hour weeks and I’m basically exhausted all the time.

This book, Taking What’s His is the first book I’ve read in months. Since probably April? It’s crazy, and totally unhealthy for my sanity to go so long without a book to get lost in.

LUCKILY, I found this book. I got lost in it when I wasn’t at work. (Do you know how hard it was to know that my kindle was in my locker while I was doing pharmacy tech things? SO HARD)

In Taking What’s His we have Lydia Thomas. A generally all around good girl that hasn’t had the best luck with past relationships. Her brother is former military and has an overprotective streak a MILE WIDE (not kidding, you’ll understand when you meet Steven). We also have Steven’s best friend, Holt Cunningham. Who’s tall and handsome…and also kinda nerdy. He’s also a badass former military man. I didn’t know that there was such a thing as a hunky, badass nerd type until I met Holt. There are a LOT of Dr. Who references in this book. I personally haven’t watched the Dr… but my aunt has and loved it. I’ve seen enough references about it on Tumblr so I could get most of what the references were in the book. Ex, I know who Ten is. I don’t think it will take anything away from the book if you aren’t a Dr. Who fan.

I love, love, loved this book.

It starts off with a chance encounter and a one night stand with no last names exchanged. Y’know. Like most one night stands (or how I assume) go. Lydia figures out who Holt is first, and keeps her pretty little mouth shut, because she knows that he will stop this thing between them if he finds out that he’s with his best friend’s little sister. Whom he’s never met. When Holt finds out who she is, he’s understandably pissed. I probably would have been pissed too if I had been in his shoes.

Holt tries to follow the “bro code” and keep his hands off Lydia (much to her displeasure) but…well… that’s easier said than done. When it’s right, it’s right.

I loved their relationship. She’s concerned about him, but doesn’t try to change him. She loves him for who he is… flaws and all. He loves her (even when he doesn’t know that he does) even though she has a scary older brother that can kick his ass, and that sometimes she’s a little too stubborn for her own good.

Though, like any good romance novel, there’s some upset that happens on their path to happiness. In the words of Holt: “I fucked up big”. Yes. Yes you did, Holt. BIG. It almost made me cry when Lydia and Holt were going through their rough patch. That’s how involved I got in this book. It made my little ginger heart hurt when she was upset.

I loved the ending and the epilogue. Holy shit, I loved the epilogue.

This book is firmly in place in my favorites selection in my kindle.

If you love big badass nerdy guys, sweet nurses that have no problem telling said badass nerd when he’s being an ass that he’s BEING AN ASS, and Dr. Who references… you’ll love this book.

Jen McLaughlin is amazing and I can’t wait to read another book by her. I give this one a very solid and well deserved (in my opinion) 10/10. Go read this book!

Loving You Always

*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.*

Loving You AlwaysPublished: October 7, 2014

Loving You Always — Kennedy Ryan

Remember last year when I read When You Are Mine and I got mad? Actually… I was pretty pissed with how things ended. I actually wrote TWO posts about the book (I don’t normally).

I’ve had this book to read since before it came out. I don’t know what has taken me so long to read it. I loved this damn book. I could NOT put it down and it seriously made me go on a rollercoaster of emotions.

Loving You Always picks up right where When You Are Mine leaves off. Kerris (still love her name) and Cam are married. Walsh is on the other side of the country and is miserable. All three of them are miserable.

Kerris and Cam are trying desperately to make their marriage work. Cam knows that she still loves Walsh, and is beyond bitter about it. He holds it against her. He holds both Kerris and Walsh’s attraction to each other against Walsh.

When two people get married for the wrong reasons…things don’t normally work out too well. At least, that’s my experience. I still don’t like Cam all that much. He hasn’t really endeared himself to me in any way… but I feel like I understand him a bit better. Even if I really didn’t want to.

After Kerris is in an accident and things turn to shit, Walsh is brought back into the picture by one of Kerris’ friends, much to the displeasure of Cam. But it was exactly what Kerris needed. Cam decides that he is going to follow his own passions as an artist and knows that Kerris isn’t going to follow him. Things are too broken between them. Their sham of a marriage ends, and that’s when Walsh really steps up to the plate.

Poor Kerris. I just wanted to hug her for the majority of the book. The ending of her marriage was devastating. The results of the accident were even more so (I’m not going to spoil the book, you’ll have to read it to figure out what I mean). After all that heartache, she needed a chance to just be herself. Learn who she was again. Maybe even for the first time.

Even though Walsh wants nothing more than to finally be with Kerris, he respects her decision that she needs space. Only…that space is a YEAR. A whole YEAR. But after waiting as long as he has…what’s another year? Because he loves her, he agrees to the time and leaves her be. I can’t even express how much I loved that. I don’t know of many men (in fiction or in real life) that would give someone a year of space. It was wonderful and made me love him all the more.

I still love Kennedy’s writing. She’s got a serious talent for making you fall in love with her characters, and makes you start to reevaluate how you feel about the ones that you don’t  like. If you haven’t read either book by her, you’re seriously missing out. This book made me laugh, it made me cry (damnit, Kennedy!) and it definitely gave me my warm and fuzzy feelings that I’m always looking for in my books.

I can’t wait to see what she does in Be Mine Forever (Cam’s Book). I’m hoping that he’ll have enough growth that I’ll be able to like him. I’m seriously crossing all of my fingers AND toes on that one.

I give this one a VERY solid 10/10 recommendation.

Playing Knotty

*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.*

Playing KnottyAvailable: March 16, 2015

Playing Knotty — Elia Winters

I’ve read my fair share of BDSM books…spanning a wide variety of kinks. There have been some that I’ve liked more than others. This one was one that I hadn’t ever read before. I don’t just mean the book, but the kink.

Most of these BDSM books have elements of all of the BDSM in it. For those that don’t read erotica, or just don’t know what it stands for… B = Bondage, D = Domination, S = Submission/Sadism, M = Masochism.

Playing Knotty is basically ONLY about the Bondage. I found that I really loved that there was really only one kink that the book revolved around.

Emma Green isn’t someone that you would look at and think she likes being tied up. She’s a bookstore owner (my dream job) and pretty shy. She’s got some self conscious/body hangups that are totally understandable (especially after you meet her mother. Lawd).

Ian Cooper isn’t really what I’d call a Dom. He really just likes tying women up. He’s an accountant by day and a bondage expert by night. Actually, he’s always a bondage expert.

I loved Emma and Ian’s relationship. Neither are too sure of themselves and don’t know exactly what they’re doing. Are they dating? Just having fun? Neither of them can really seem to get a grasp of their situation. There are several miscommunications between the two of them. Some made me laugh, some of them made me ache and others just made me mad. There were several times that I wanted to shake them and yell “JUST TALK TO EACH OTHER”.

I really loved Elia’s writing style. She made me want to equally hug and love on Emma and Ian…and then shake and strangle them. I very happily got my warm and fuzzy feelings at the end (which is important).

I would give this one a solid 10/10 recommendation.

The Marine’s Temptation

*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 Marine's TemptationAvailable: March 3, 2015

The Marine’s Temptation — Jennifer Morey

This book was delightful. It had a nice mixture of lighthearted banter between the two main characters (Carson Adair and Georgia Mason), intrigue, danger and of course…the romance.

I think this isn’t the first book in the series (I’m not 100% sure about that) but regardless, you’re able to jump right into the story and not feel like you’re missing anything. Well. I was, anyway.

Carson Adair is a former Marine and son of a wealthy business man. When his father dies, Carson comes back to the family to help pick up the pieces and figure out what exactly happened. His family has skeleton’s in their closet…some rather large ones.

Georgia Mason is the step-daughter of Carson’s father’s first wife. She’s also a librarian (which I just loved). She’s sassy and spunky… but she’s got a bit of a chip on her shoulder when it comes to the wealthy.

I loved the interactions between Carson and Georgia. From the very start it is very clear to the reader and to all the secondary characters that there’s something between the two of them. Carson teases her about her dislike…or is it disapproval?… of the wealthy. The way he’d do it was in a way that wasn’t too much of a jerk. He was able to get her thinking about her prejudice and start to change her way of thinking. It was wonderful.

Carson was fun to read. He’s a badass Marine and he’s also a sweet dude. He could be ruthless and deal with the multiple dangerous situations that himself and Georgia found themselves in, and he could make Georgia blush like nobody’s business. He didn’t let his injury that resulted in his discharge from the Corp define him. Sometimes the leading guy (when he’s military) in a book when he has an injury…he let’s it really effect his character…Carson didn’t have that problem. He knew what he was capable of doing and delt with things within his limitations.

Georgia was also fun to read. She’s a librarian, so she’s naturally curious. I just really loved her. She didn’t let Carson bulldoze over her, and she wasn’t afraid to call him on his shit. She also knows when she’s wrong about something, and can admit it. All around just loved her.

I loved Jennifer Morey’s writing style and how she was able to draw me right into the book. I read it while I was at work, and only put it down when I really had to. I can’t wait to see what other books she has available and for what else she puts out next.

I give this a solid 10/10.

Undone

*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.*

UndonePublished: July 2, 2013

Undone — Shannon Richard

I won this book in a contest that I entered. I won three other books and a tote bag… this was the first book in the set I received that I read.

Or rather… devoured.

I could not put this book down. Okay. I could. But it was really hard. I stood at the stove and cooked my lunch while reading this book. I stood at the stove and cooked my dinner while reading this book. I ate both meals quickly…just so I could get back to this story.

It took me about seven hours (with a few interruptions…humph) to finish this book. Seven torturous hours.

This book made me laugh. It made me mad (more than once) and it freaking made me cry. It is VERY RARE that a book will hit me right in the feels like that and activate my tear ducts… but lawd have mercy. I cried. Damnit.

Paige Morrison is someone that I could totally see myself being best friends with. She’s sassy, funny and once you’re her friend… you’re set. She’s a bit of a free spirit. Kind of. She has a serious love affair with shoes (the higher the heel the better) and bright colors in her wardrobe is an absolute must. She’s got some baggage from the break up, but overall she’s a pretty happy lady.

After a bad breakup and job loss, Paige moves from Pennsylvania to Florida to move in with her retired parents. Things don’t exactly go according to plan. There’s that thing about Southern Hospitality… but if you move to a small town… well. Good luck.

I LOVED that she moved to a small beach town in Florida. I’m from a small beach town in Florida. I kid you not. My beach town was further west than Paige’s Mirabelle… but things were pretty similar. When I pictured Mirabelle in my head, I pictured a combination of my hometown and Carabelle, Florida (which is totally a real place. I’ve been there).

If you’ve never spent any decent amount of time in the south, firstly… bless your heart. Secondly, 95% of the things that were portrayed in this book are so totally TRUE FACTS. Yes, you can buy doe/buck urine in stores on the side of the road. It smells horrible and if you get it on you, you’re screwed. Small town gossips are a thing and there is no getting around it. If you mess up badly, expect to see it in the paper.

Brendan King is DEFINITELY my new book boyfriend. Tall, has a southern accent (it’s sexy, okay), has pretty blue eyes and when he knows how he feels…he knows. There’s no “well maybe” with Brendan. If he likes you, you know it. If he doesn’t… you know that too. I just loved him. He was thoughtful and sweet when he should be and a badass “don’t mess with my girl” when that was called for too.

Their relationship was so sweet. They didn’t immediately jump into bed, which was a bit different from the books I’ve been reading. In fact, I can’t remember the last book that I read that the couple didn’t jump into bed within a short time frame of meeting each other. I loved that they took it slow and really got to know each other before their relationship progressed. Though, when it did progress… lawd.

I won’t tell you what made me cry…but I will say that as you get closer to the end, make sure you have tissues. I’m completely not kidding. YOU WILL NEED THEM.

Another thing I loved about this book? Each chapter has a “title”. It’s not exactly a title I don’t think, but it’s a sentence that gives you a small hint about what the chapter might contain. Example: Chapter Nine — The Case of the Disappearing Bra. Makes you wonder what happens…right?! So clever. I loved it.

I seriously loved this book. I’m so terribly sad that I’m done with it…but I’m already planning on getting the next two books in the series. I have to get them. I just have to. Shannon Richard is so talented. I loved her writing style and her ability to give me warm and fuzzies at the end…even though she freaking made me cry!

I wholeheartedly give this book a 10/10 recommendation. I loved it.