Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Review: Loving Cara by Kristen Proby

Loving Cara (Love Under the Big Sky, #1)

Publish Date: January 21, 2014
Mass Market Paperback {p.328}
Genre: Contemporary
Series: Love Under the Big Sky #1
Source: Publisher
Cara Donovan, Josh King
In this new Love Under the Big Sky series from a USA TODAY bestselling author, Cara agrees to tutor her former classmate's nephew—and learns some lessons in love!

Josh King is an expert at running his family’s multi-million dollar ranch in Montana. (And all that outside manual labor has done wonders for sculpting his six-foot-three body, too.) But as sure footed as he is when it comes to the ranch, Josh doesn’t know anything about how to deal with an adolescent boy—so when his twelve-year-old nephew, Seth, is dropped off on his doorstep, looking scared and acting surly as hell, Josh knows he needs help in straightening him out.

Cara Donovan loves her quiet life as a teacher in her sleepy hometown, so she jumps at the chance to make a little money over the summer as a tutor. But when she learns she’ll be teaching Josh King’s nephew, Cara’s sweet summer job gets a little bit hotter. Cara tries to focus all her attention on tutoring Seth, but Josh proves to be a delicious distraction, while Josh’s memories of the shy girl he once teased in high school are nothing like the beautiful woman he’s facing now. Can he persuade her that there’s more between them than a summer fling?

Cara was this plain, curly haired girl in high school that guys never noticed. Now as an adult, Josh has finally taken notice of her, but so have other men. This really brings out Josh's alpha male side. Cara sees Josh as walking perfection and doesn't understand why he'd be interested in her. But when these two get together, they set the sheets on fire.

I was drawn into this book from the first page. Josh and Cara had a very loving, playful type of relationship. It wasn't always about the sex. This two were able to interact outside of the bedroom as well, which is refreshing to read. There was none of that insta-love that I find hard to choke down. The attraction was instant, but that's how it happens for the bulk of us. These two were real from the start. The obstacles thrown their way weren't so huge that they were insurmountable, but they also weren't so petty that they were pointless.

I loved not only Cara and Josh, but all the characters in the book. I am so hoping that this is an actual series and not just a trilogy, because the background characters and the town are just that great. I loved Ty and Zack, and was intrigued by the small snippets of Sam, the town paramedic.

As if I wasn't already fiending for the next installment, I made the mistake of reading the snippet of Seducing Lauren at the back of the book, and now I have to wait until AUGUST to read it. Ugh! In the meantime, I will have to scour the shelves to find any and all of her previous books to hold me over until August.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

In My Mailbox {152}

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren. Every week I'll post what books I've received either by mailbox/library/store.

I'll try to post an entry of IMM every Sunday that I receive books by mail/library/store of that week.





Books via Paperback Swap
Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off (Country Music Collection, #1)
 
Books via Publisher
Loving Cara (Love Under the Big Sky, #1)The Plover: A Novel
Loving Cara by Kristen Proby
The Plover by Brian Doyle


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Review: After the Storm by Maya Banks

After the Storm (KGI, #8)

Publish Date: January 7, 2014
Mass Market Paperback {p.392}
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: KGI #8
Source: Personal Library
Eve, Donovan Kelly
The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super-elite, top secret, family-run business.

Qualifications: High intelligence, rock-hard body, military background.

Mission: Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering. Handling jobs the U.S. government can’t…

Over the years, Donovan Kelly has fought relentlessly for justice, women and children always holding a special place in his heart. Working side by side with his brothers, Donovan has witnessed firsthand the toll it’s taken—physically, mentally, and emotionally—on his loved ones, and the innocent lives caught in the crossfire. What he never expects is for his next mission to happen right on his home turf—or for it to take a very personal turn.

Picturesque Kentucky Lake is the perfect place for a soul in search of safe harbor. A beautiful stranger has arrived—desperate, breathless, and on the run from a dark past closing in on her and the younger siblings she has vowed to protect. Donovan must now draw on every resource at his disposal—if he wants to save a woman and the children who may prove to be his destiny.


This installment of KGI featured an insta-love relationship. At least on the part of Donovan, the male lead. Only in a Maya Banks novel do you find it's the man that's head over heels upon first sight, and already planning the wedding.

KGI is an elite group that go out on missions and pretty much save the day. This installment of the series I think is the first one in which there is no mission. Yes, at the very end they had to go recover Eve, but they didn't really. Someone else did it for them and KGI pretty much just followed that person. Not really sure if you should call this romantic suspense since there was very little suspense.

Not only did Donovan fall for her and believe every word from her, but so did his family. No questions asked of Eve. No one thought to check and see if her story truly checked out or anything. Donovan's constant declaration that Eve, Cammie and Travis were "his" was over the top. That read more like a shape-shifter paranormal read than that of a contemporary setting.

I liked Donovan and I liked Eve and her family. I just would have preferred that the relationship between all of them developed over time instead of upon their first couple of interactions.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Review: Forgotten Sins by Rebecca Zanetti

Forgotten Sins (Sins Brothers, #1)
Publish Date: July 2, 2013
Kindle {p.384}
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Sin Brothers #1
Source: Personal Library
Josie Dean, Shane Dean

His Secrets Can Destroy Her

From the moment Josie laid eyes on sexy, mysterious Shane Dean, she was in love. Their desire ignited a passionate affair, and within weeks, Shane had slipped a ring on her finger. It seemed her every fantasy was coming true . . . until her new husband disappeared without a trace. Now, two years and one broken heart later, Josie is shocked by the hospital calls: Shane has been found . . . at a crime scene with no memory of how he got there.

Her Love Can Save Him

Shane can't remember the blue-eyed angel at his bedside—or who he even is—but he knows something isn't right. His hearing is razor sharp, his physical strength incredible, and the urge to protect Josie overwhelming. For powerful enemies are hunting him, and Josie is the key to discovering why. As Shane struggles to unravel his past, dangerous new truths come to light. Can he protect the only woman he's ever loved? And can Josie trust a man she thought she knew—one who carries such a deadly secret?

The premise of this book is what drew me to it. Once I got started with it, I guess it fell a bit short of what I expected.

I found myself getting irritated with Josie a lot throughout the book. She kept professing how she could take care of herself and didn't need anyone, but a lot of the messes both she and Shane were in, was because of her. Most of the sticky situations could have been avoided had she just listened. Those reasons along made the story less enjoyable for me.

On the other hand, I loved Shane and his brothers, Nate and Matt. I will more than likely continue the series at some point, just to check in with the brothers. Hopefully, their female counterparts will be more likeable than Josie.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

In My Mailbox {151}

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren. Every week I'll post what books I've received either by mailbox/library/store.

I'll try to post an entry of IMM every Sunday that I receive books by mail/library/store of that week.





Books via Books-a-Million
Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2)Rumors (Luxe, #2)Where It Began
Rumors by Anna Godbersen
Where it Began by Ann Redisch Stampler
 
Books via Paperback Swap
Before I FallRed-Hot SummerSons of Amber: Ezekiel
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Red-Hot Summer by Maya Banks, Red Garnier, Elle Kennedy, Mallery Malone
Sons of Amber by Bianca D'Arc
 
Books via Publisher
Cress (Lunar Chronicles, #3)
Cress by Marissa Meyer
 
Books via Wal-Mart
Shadow Woman
Shadow Woman by Linda Howard


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday {104}: Isla and The Happily Ever After @naturallysteph

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. It is showcases upcoming releases of books that I'm looking forward to. It is somewhat similar to one of my previous posts, Anxiously Awaiting. {Button courtesy of Bewitched Bookworms}

Isla and The Happily Ever After
Stephanie Perkins
May 15, 2014

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and √Čtienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Review: Tangled by Emma Chase

Tangled (Tangled, #1)
Publish Date: August 2, 2013
Trade Paperback {p.232}
Genre: New Adult
Series: Tangled #1
Source: Publisher
Katherine Brooks, Drew Evans

Drew Evans is a winner. Handsome and arrogant, he makes multimillion dollar business deals and seduces New York’s most beautiful women with just a smile. He has loyal friends and an indulgent family. So why has he been shuttered in his apartment for seven days, miserable and depressed?

He’ll tell you he has the flu.

But we all know that’s not really true.

Katherine Brooks is brilliant, beautiful and ambitious. She refuses to let anything - or anyone - derail her path to success. When Kate is hired as the new associate at Drew’s father’s investment banking firm, every aspect of the dashing playboy’s life is thrown into a tailspin. The professional competition she brings is unnerving, his attraction to her is distracting, his failure to entice her into his bed is exasperating.

Then, just when Drew is on the cusp of having everything he wants, his overblown confidence threatens to ruin it all. Will he be able untangle his feelings of lust and tenderness, frustration and fulfillment? Will he rise to the most important challenge of his life?

Can Drew Evans win at love?

Tangled is not your mother’s romance novel. It is an outrageous, passionate, witty narrative about a man who knows a lot about women…just not as much as he thinks he knows. As he tells his story, Drew learns the one thing he never wanted in life, is the only thing he can’t live without.
I had a hard time staying focused with this one. The author's writing style kept distracting me from the story. I found the whole, "see that guy there," and "back to the story" aspects of the book to be rather annoying. I would get frustrated with all the side-talk and guy humor, as it seemed to take away from the overall story.

The premise of their workplace romance was a bit reminiscent of Beautiful Bastard at times, but that could be due do the fact I'd just recently read it. Drew is the handsome, wealthy playboy that falls for his smart, beautiful new associate. Kate, I liked from the beginning. Drew, not so much. I never really liked him or his view of women throughout the story. He did manage to endear himself to me during his few scenes with his four year old niece McKenzie. This is the Drew he should have been throughout the whole story. These were some of his best and funniest moments.

I know the story was being realistic because there truly are a lot of asshole guys out there. But I don't necessary find myself rooting for the asshole guy. By the end of the story, I liked Drew, but I didn't love him. I don't think I truly trusted him. He seemed more like the guy a girl goes to to get advice about the guys she's dating, but not the guy she would actually date herself.

In the end, I did want them to work it out. What woman doesn't love to see a woman be able to change a man?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

In My Mailbox {150}

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren. Every week I'll post what books I've received either by mailbox/library/store.

I'll try to post an entry of IMM every Sunday that I receive books by mail/library/store of that week.





Books via Amazon
After the Storm (KGI, #8)Dark Wolf (Dark, #25)Hope Flames (Hope #1)
After the Storm by Maya Banks
Dark Wolf by Christine Feehan
Hope Flames by Jaci Burton
 
Books via Book Outlet
Article 5 (Article 5, #1)Breaking Point (Article 5, #2)Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)Crazy for YouEasyThe Perfect Hope (Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy #3)Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)Sky on Fire (Monument 14, #2)The Wild Ones (The Wild Ones, #1)
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Crazy for You by Jennifer Cruise
Easy by Tammara Webber
The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne
The Wild Ones by M. Leighton 
 
Books via Publisher
Four FriendsTangled (Tangled, #1)
Four Friends by Robyn Carr
Tangled by Emma Chase


Friday, January 10, 2014

List of Five ~ January 2014

I got the idea of making a list of the books I'm going to read for the month from a similar feature done by GalleySmith. Although she lists 10 books I'm only doing 5, to take into account ARCs I may receive or just falling into a reading slump.

Hopefully this will also cut down on the time I spend sitting in front of my bookshelf trying to decide what to read next. Plus maybe it will help with my need to read my own books. I have this problem of putting books on the shelves in favor of reading newer, shinier books and forgetting all about the previously purchased ones.

My goal is to stick to this 5 with the addition of others throughout the month. I may not read them in the order they are listed, but it is my goal to read all five.

January 2014 List of Five:

  • Summer of Lost Secrets
  • Dark Lycan
  • After the Storm
  • Tangled
  • Faithful

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2014


January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2014

*Books must be owned by you prior to January 1, 2014. No ARCs (none), no library books. No rereads. This challenge is being hosted by My Reader's Block.

Challenge Levels:
Pike's Peak: Read 12 books from your TBR pile/s
Mount Blanc: Read 24 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Vancouver: Read 36 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Ararat: Read 48 books from your TBR piles/s
Mt. Kilimanjaro: Read 60 books from your TBR pile/s
El Toro: Read 75 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Everest: Read 100 books from your TBR pile/s
Mount Olympus (Mars): Read 150+ books from your TBR pile/s


  1. Secrets of the Lost Summer by Carla Neggers
  2. Trouble Me by Laura Moore

#BookBingo2014 Reading Challenge

January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2014

This reading challenge is hosted by Reading in Winter and Creativity’s Corner. For more information and to sign-up, please see their post.

Feel free to use the hashtag #BookBingo2014 on Twitter!

TBR Pile
One Book: Secrets of the Lost Summer by Carla Neggers
Two Books: Trouble Me by Laura Moore
Three Books: Searching For Someday by Jennifer Probst

Mix It Up
Reread: Golden Eyes by Maya Banks
Free Read (New Adult): Twisted by Emma Chase
Contemporary: Four Friends by Robyn Carr

Series
One Book: Wanted by Kelly Elliott
Two Books: Saved by Kelly Elliott
Three Books: Faithful by Kelly Elliott
Four Book: Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines
Five Books: Never Too Far by Abbi Glines

Genre
Free Read (Paranormal): Dark Lycan by Christine Feehan
Romance: Tangled by Emma Chase

New Releases
One Book: Loving Cara by Kristen Proby
Two Books: Dark Wolf by Christine Feehan
Three Books: Come Home to Me by Brenda Novak
Four Books: After the Storm by Maya Banks
Five Books: Waiting on You by Kristan Higgins

Monday, January 6, 2014

#BoutOfBooks Read-A-Thon 9.0


http://boutofbooks.blogspot.com/



The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 6th and runs through Sunday, January 12th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 9.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team


Goals for this read-a-thon are yet to be determined. It seems whenever I set specific goals/titles I will be reading for a read-a-thon, I tend to read something different. Or feel the pressure to stick with a set number. So this time, I'm just going to have fun with it and wing it.

Completed:

  • Secrets of the Lost Summer
  • Tangled
  • After the Storm (started)
  • Faithful (started)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

In My Mailbox {149}

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren. Every week I'll post what books I've received either by mailbox/library/store.

I'll try to post an entry of IMM every Sunday that I receive books by mail/library/store of that week.






Books via Amazon
How To Run With A Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf, #3)
 
Books via Books-a-Million
Born of Silence (The League, #5)ForbiddenMine to Hold (Wicked Lovers, #6)Real Vampires Have More to Love (Glory St. Clair, #6)Seventeenth SummerThe Vincent Brothers (The Vincent Boys, #2)
Born of Silence by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
Mine to Hold by Shayla Black
Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly
The Vincent Brothers by Abbi Glines
 
Books via Paperback Swap
Shameless Embraces (Bound Hearts, #6 and #7)
Shameless Embraces by Lora Leigh
 
Books via Publisher
Somebody to Love (Cupid, Texas, #3)
Somebody to Love by Lori Wilde
 
Books via Reader Service
Cider Brook (Swift River Valley, #3)Highlander Mine (Clan Mackenzie, #3)Home to Seaview Key (A Seaview Key Novel)Say I Do: The Wedding Gift\The Wedding Dance\The Wedding Song
Cider Brook by Carla Neggers
Highlander Mine by Juliette Miller
Home to Seaview Key by Sherryl Woods
Say I Do by Lucy Kevin
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