Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sunday Post: Weekly Wrap-Up (12.27)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, showcase books, share upcoming news, etc. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

This Week's Happenings:
We had a lovely Christmas with our kids and family. It's hard not to have a great holiday with these gorgeous boys of mine. (Yes, I'm biased, lol.) We also finally saw Star Wars so now we don't have to be so paranoid about spoilers. 

What I Read Last Week:
Three Promises by Lily Everett
A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab (audiobook)

My Reviews Last Week:
The Asgardians by ST Bende (my 5 star review)
Marrying Mr. English by Katy Regnery (my 4.5 star review)

What I'm Currently Reading:

Built by Jay Crownover

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Stacking The Shelves (141)

STSmall_thumb[2][2]Stacking The Shelves, hosted by Tynga's Reviews, is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

We had a lovely Christmas with our kids and family. It's hard not to have a great holiday with these gorgeous boys of mine. (Yes, I'm biased, lol.)
I didn't do a lot of book buying/receiving this week, since there were many other wonderful and time-consuming things to do. But I did add a couple new ones to my shelves.

Paperback Pretty:

Maybe Not by Colleen Hoover

For My Kindle:

The Play by Karina Halle
(on sale)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: 738 Days by Stacey Kade

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

738 Days 
By Stacey Kade
Expected publication date: June 7, 2016

I loved Stacey Kade's 'The Ghost and the Goth' series. So while that series was YA, and this one is not, I am still really excited about it. The description sounds fantastic!

At fifteen, Amanda Grace was abducted on her way home from school. 738 days later, she escaped. Her 20/20 interview is what everyone remembers―Amanda describing the room where she was kept, the torn poster of TV heartthrob Chase Henry on the wall. It reminded her of home and gave her the strength to keep fighting.

Now, years later, Amanda is struggling to live normally. Her friends have gone on to college, while she battles PTSD. She’s not getting any better, and she fears that if something doesn’t change soon she never will.

Six years ago, Chase Henry defied astronomical odds, won a coveted role on a new TV show, and was elevated to super-stardom. With it, came drugs, alcohol, arrests, and crazy spending sprees. Now he's sober and a Hollywood pariah, washed up at twenty-four.

To revamp his image, Chase’s publicist comes up with a plan: surprise Amanda Grace with the chance to meet her hero, followed by a visit to the set of Chase’s new movie. The meeting is a disaster, but out of mutual desperation, Amanda and Chase strike a deal. What starts as a simple arrangement, though, rapidly becomes more complicated when they realize they need each other in more ways than one. But when the past resurfaces in a new threat, will they stand together or fall apart?

With charm and heart, Stacey Kade takes readers on a journey of redemption and love.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Novella Review: Marrying Mr. English by Katy Regnery

Marrying Mr. English by Katy Regnery
(The English Brothers #7)
Part 1: out on November 17, 2015
Part 2: December 18, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Contains: strong language, married sex
Source: eARC for Honest review

You’ve all met the children and Eleanora and Tom English…but how exactly did down-on-her luck waitress, Eleanora Watters, meet trust fund hottie, Tom English?

You won’t want to miss this Christmas novel in two parts (each a complete novella – the first is a “Happily for now” ending and the second is a “Happily ever after” ending) that tells the story of how Eleanora met Tom, while he was visiting Vail in the 1980s.

The first novella, Marrying Mr. English, Part 1, will be included in the 12 Christmas Stories to Melt Your Heart anthology, which will feature twelve brand-new books and the proceeds of which will benefit The Autism Society of America.

My review is just for Part One of 'Marrying Mr. English.' But let me tell you, I can't wait to get my hands on Part Two. Seriously, Tom and Eleanora are fabulous. If you've read any of the English Brothers series, or just simply read the title to this novella, you know Tom and Eleanora marry. So we go into this story with a blatant spoiler. But despite knowing the outcome, I was still fully engaged in the story, the conflict, and the circumstances. Just because I know the ending, doesn't mean I know the middle. And I loved reading the sweet, sweet story of Tom and Ellie's beginnings. The down-on-her-luck waitress and the trust fund cutie give us quite the show, but in true Regnery fashion, the love bug strikes, and strikes hard. And I loved seeing them work through their personal journey to get where they got in the end (but there's still more to come, so I'm anxious to see what new road blocks come their way before their HEA).

I also loved the setting of the story, 1981, with the hair styles and fashion choices. Very fun. Plus, getting a glimpse into how their sons' names came about. Super fun. Beyond that, simply seeing Tom and Ellie's personalities gave me insight into where their children's personalities came from, and I loved that. So this was a special bonus to Regnery fans. But anyone new to this series should get an idea how great the rest of the series is. With parents like Tom and Eleanora, it's no wonder I love the English brothers. Can't wait for Part 2!!

This is where the story just got better and better. I loved Tom and Eleanora's meet-up. The uniqueness of their circumstances and choices was engaging and endearing. But now they're broke. The grand plans of inheritance lost. Reality has settled in, leaving them like the rest of us regular people, needing a job, a place to live, and in Tom's case, lessons on how the rest of the world makes ends meet. And I loved it! I loved watching how beautifully Tom and Eleanora handled their change in situation. They were humble, hopeful, and steadfast. And definitely in love.

Tom was amazing because he was so humble. This guy came from everything, yet the depth of love in his heart for this woman allowed him to leave his pride at his family's estate and do what needed to be done for his new job and his marriage. Even the moments when his ideals of being the sole breadwinner were challenged, he tried to fight it but still was able to see when he was wrong and take the humble approach. And of course, his pure, passionate, unrelenting, unadulterated love for Eleanora shone brilliantly, leaving no doubt that he made the right decision.

Eleanora was brilliant. Unlike Tom, she was born and bred in humble circumstances, so adjusting to life with him was not as severe. But what I loved about her was how gentle she was with Tom in her example, but also how bold she was when the situation called for it. She knew how to stand up for herself, and she knew how to stand up for her marriage, even if she was simply standing up to her husband. There were a couple scenes where I wanted to give a "You go girl!" for Eleanora. She rocked! And, of course, she loved her husband deeply, selflessly, and with absolute devotion.

Simply said, I loved Tom and Eleanora English's love story. Learning their past, and then seeing their present with their kids, was a beautiful thing. It's no wonder their love has stood the test of time for 35 years, and will continue to do so. Just thinking about them puts a big smile on my face.

Included in the 12 Christmas Romances To Melt Your Heart collection:


About The English Brothers series:

*All books in The English Brothers series are approximately 200 pages. The RWA classifies this as "Mid-length Contemporary Romance."


Breaking Up with Barrett, The English Brothers, Book #1
My Review --  Amazon  -- Goodreads

Falling for Fitz, The English Brothers, Book #2
My Review -- Amazon -- Goodreads

Anyone but Alex, The English Brothers, Book #3
My Review  --  Amazon  --  Goodreads

Seduced by Stratton, The English Brothers, Book #4
My Review -- Amazon --  Goodreads

Wild about Weston, The English Brothers, Book #5
My Review -- Amazon --  Goodreads 

Kiss Me Kate, The English Brothers, Book #6
My Review ~ Amazon  ~  Goodreads 

Katy Regnery, award-winning and Amazon bestselling author, started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract for a winter romance entitled By Proxy.

Now a hybrid author who publishes both independently and traditionally, Katy claims authorship of the six-book Heart of Montana series, the six-book English Brothers series, and a Kindle Worlds novella entitled "Four Weddings and a Fiasco: The Wedding Date," in addition to the standalone novels, Playing for Love at Deep Haven and Amazon bestseller, The Vixen and the Vet.

The Vixen and the Vet is included in the charity anthology Hometown Heroes: Hotter Ever After, and Katy's novella "Frosted" will appear in the upcoming (Jan '15) anthology, Snowy Days Steamy Nights. Additionally, Katy's short story, "The Long Way Home" will appear in the first RWA anthology (Feb '15), Premiere.

Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, and two dogs create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.

Find Katy Regnery Online

Hosted by:

Monday, December 21, 2015

Novella Review: The Asgardians by ST Bende

Supernatural Chronicles: The Asgardians 
By ST Bende
(Dynamis in New Orleans Book 9)
December 21, 2015
70 pages
Genre: Paranormal
Content: Clean
Source: eARC for Honest review

Inga Andersson just can’t catch a break. She’s supposed to be enjoying a ski week in beautiful Åre, Sweden, with her immortal-assassin-husband. Instead, she and Gunnar are trapped inside a bizarre scavenger hunt, unraveling an incomprehensible riddle at the bequest of a mysterious being. And if Inga and Gunnar don’t decipher the puzzle and deliver a mythological relic to a New Orleans graveyard within three days, they’ll be ejected from the Norse pantheon, stripped of their immortality, and cast as the solitary line of defense against the onslaught of frost giants and Helbeasts ready to bring about Midgard’s fall. What started as a party game has become a lethal challenge with irreparable consequences, not only for Inga, but for the god she loves . . . and the realm she adores.

Let the hunt begin.

Side Note: The Asgardians is the first Elsker/Aere crossover. It has Gunnar & Inga, and Henrik & Brynn all together! Another Aere Saga character might just make a guest appearance at the end, too. It's also different from the other stories. First of all, it's a novella, at only 20,000 words, so it's a quick read. Second, this story is part of a collection of stories written by a group of paranormal authors called #Dynamis. Supernatural Chronicles in New Orleans is a project in which each author takes their character(s) on a quest that ties in to one big, overarching #Dynamis story. So each story fits into each author's own world as well as fits into the group #Dynamis world.

'The Asgardians' was just the action-packed story I was hoping for. Despite being a novella, it was full of all the good things I like in a story: action and suspense, a couple in love, and sweet friendship. Having already loved Inga and Gunnar from Bende's Elsker series, taking this ride along with them made me fall for them even more. Seriously, I love Inga and Gunnar!

Here their vacation is interrupted by an Asgardian emergency, throwing them, along with Henrik and Brynn, into a non-stop quest of mystery solving and fierce action. With dark forces out to stop them, these four have to stick together or the consequences will be dire. I loved this journey and my only complaint is that I want another and another.

If this is your first ST Bende book, you are getting just a glimpse at the fantastic Norse world she's created in her books. And if you are already a fan, then you will love this little gem and some extra time with Inga, Gunnar, and friends.

The ELSKER Saga:
TUR #0.5
TRO #3
My Review Amazon  * Goodreads

The AERE Saga:
Perfect Order #1
Perfect Control #2
(Coming February 9, 2016)
Perfect Balance #3
(Coming April 5, 2016)

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sunday Post: Weekly Wrap-Up (12.20)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, showcase books, share upcoming news, etc. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

I wish you all a wonderful week!!

** My Top Ten Books I Read in 2015! **

What I Read Last Week:
A Bad Boy for Christmas by Jessica Lemmon
The Asgardians by ST Bende
Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye
Marrying Mr. English (part 2) by Katy Regnery

My Reviews Last Week:
A Bad Boy for Christmas by Jessica Lemmon (my 4 star review)
Nikolai by Roxie Rivera (my 4.5 star review)
Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye (my 4 star review)

What I'm Currently Reading:

Embraced by Jus Accardo

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Stacking The Shelves (140)

STSmall_thumb[2][2]Stacking The Shelves, hosted by Tynga's Reviews, is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Hardcover Beauty:

Untamed by AG Howard

eARC Excitement:

Three Promises by Lily Everett

For My Kindle:
Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye
Grayson's Vow by Mia Sheridan

Friday, December 18, 2015

Novella Review: Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye

Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye
(Hearts in Darkness Duet #1)
April 20, 2011
112 pages
Genre: Adult Romance 18+
Contain: explicit sex, language
Source: Personal purchase

Two strangers…

Makenna James thinks her day can't get any worse, until she finds herself stranded in a pitch-black elevator with a complete stranger. Distracted by a phone call, the pin-striped accountant catches only a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on his hand before the lights go out.

Four hours…

Caden Grayson is amused when a harried redhead dashes into his elevator fumbling her bags and cell phone. His amusement turns to panic when the power fails. Despite his piercings, tats, and vicious scar, he's terrified of the dark and confined spaces. Now, he's trapped in his own worst nightmare.

One pitch-black elevator…

To fight fear, they must reach out and open up. With no preconceived notions based on looks to hold them back, they discover just how much they have in common. In the warming darkness, attraction grows and sparks fly, but will they feel the same when the lights come back on?

For such a short little book, this baby packed it in. Two strangers trapped in an elevator in the dark. Could be the makings of a horror movie. Could be the makings of endless hours of awkward silence. Or could be the makings of love at first sight sound. And this little beauty delivered a steamy, yet heartfelt, romance.

Makenna and Caden drew me in right from the start. The concept of getting to know someone without having fully seen them was really well done. I loved how Makenna and Caden connected. Loved how there was this almost simultaneous slow progression of getting to know each other combined with the intense chemistry and heated building up between them. And heat there was! These two not only instantly bonded in a friendship, but also scorched the pages with their newfound intimacy.

Honestly, it's a bit ridiculous to buy into two strangers essentially falling in love (and lust and love) in a few hours. But when a story is well-written, and characters are well-fleshed out, it's easy to connect and believe. And I came to believe in Makenna and Caden's new relationship. I got to know them, felt their connection, sizzled with their heat, and couldn't help but to root for them. I'm super excited to see where their relationship goes next!

Hearts in Darkness Duet:
Hearts in Darkness #1
Love in the Light #2
Coming: January 12, 2016