Apr 3, 2017

March Reading Recap

Can y'all believe it's already April?! March went by in the blink of an eye, but I did manage to read 12 (yes, 12!) books. I know, I know. 12 is a bit much! But, in my defense, my mom had a minor surgery in which she had to stay overnight in the hospital for and then she stayed at my house for the weekend while she recovered. Spring break also happened this month, so I had a little extra reading time. Obviously, I took advantage of it! I read SO MANY great books this month and I can't wait to share them with you!

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Since I had the overnight hospital stay as mentioned above, I knew I needed to find a good book to pass the time with. I was reading The River at Night, but I just couldn't get into it. I think I read about  100 pages, but then I decided to try something else. I was having the worst luck finding something that I just couldn't put down when I came across this author. I had never heard of R.S. Grey and after a bit of research, you apparently can only get her books on the kindle (or kindle app) if you have the Kindle unlimited subscription. I read the sample of this book and loved it. I signed up for the free 30 day trail just to finish it. It's a hate to love story (I just love those types of romances!) about two people who have grown up together and hated each other since the very beginning. After moving away and becoming doctors, they move back home and start working in the same office and both have plans to take over the practice. Such a great book! If you love The Hating Game (which was one of my favorites from last year and is one of my favs of all time!), you'll like this one! 

About the Book:
Lucas Thatcher has always been my enemy.

It’s been a decade since I’ve seen him, but our years on opposite coasts were less of a lasting peace and more of a temporary cease-fire. Now that we’re both back in our small town, I know Lucas expects the same old war, but I’ve changed since high school—and from the looks of it, so has he.

The arrogant boy who was my teenage rival is now a chiseled doctor armed with intimidating good looks. He is Lucas Thatcher 2.0, the new and improved version I’ll be competing with in the workplace instead of the schoolyard.

I’m not worried; I’m a doctor now too, board-certified and sexy in a white coat. It almost feels like winning will be too easy—until Lucas unveils a tactic neither of us has ever used before: sexual warfare.

The day he pushes me up against the wall and presses his lips to mine, I can’t help but wonder if he’s filling me with passion or poison. Every fleeting touch is perfect torture. With every stolen kiss, my walls crumble a little more. After all this time, Lucas knows exactly how to strip me of my defenses, but I’m in no hurry to surrender.

Knowing thy enemy has never felt so good.
 

Rating: 5 STARS

After discovering this author and loving her latest book, I thought I had found my new Lauren Layne. I downloaded The Allure of Julian LeFray and loved it too! It wasn't as good as Anything You Can Do, but I still really enjoyed it. I loved the fact that the main character was a fashion blogger who had moved from a small town. I love easy to read romance stories like this one. They remind me of the Sweet Valley High books I use to read in high school. This isn't a lot to them, but they are fun and enjoyable. A guilty pleasure!

About this book:

From: JosephineKeller@LLDesigns.com
To: LilyNBlack@gmail.com
Subject: Justin Timberlake Nudes!


Lily, you predictable perv. I knew you’d open this email faster if I tempted you with a glimpse of JT's “PP”. Well, put your pants back on and grab some bubbly because I have much better news to share.

I GOT A JOB!

As of tomorrow, I’ll be the new executive assistant at Lorena Lefray Designs. I am SO excited, but there’s one itty bitty problem: I won’t be Lorena’s assistant. I’ll be working for her older brother, Julian.

I know what you're thinking- "But Jo, what’s the problem?"

Google him. Now. He’s the man in the fitted navy suit whose face reminds you that there’s hope yet for this cruel, ugly world. Keep scrolling…Do you see those dimples? Yup. That’s the Julian Lefray I will be reporting to tomorrow morning.

Lord, help us all...

XO,
Jo

Rating: 5 STARS

I also read the sequel to this one, which follows Jo's best friend Lily. It was good too, but not as good as this one. I liked the romance, but I preferred this story. I gave the sequel 4 stars.

So like I said, I thought I had found my new go to author in RS Grey. I was flying through her books and loving them. I read The Design and was disappointed. I never really connected with either character and felt like the romance was forced in this one. I only gave it 3 STARS.

About this book:

Five minutes until the interview begins. 

Fresh on the heels of her college graduation, Cameron Heart has landed an interview at a prestigious architecture firm.

Four minutes until the interview. 

She knows she’s only there because the owner, Grayson Cole, is her older sister’s friend.

Three minutes. 

For the last seven years, Grayson has been the most intimidating man Cammie has ever had the pleasure, or displeasure, of being around.

Two Minutes. 

But the job opportunity is too good to pass up. So, Cammie will have to ignore the fact that Grayson is handsome enough to have his own national holiday. 

One. 

After all, she shouldn’t feel that way about her new boss. And, he will be her new boss.


“I’m not intimidated by you,” I said with a confident smile.
“Perhaps we should fix that, Ms. Heart. Close the door.”

Rating: 3 STARS

Oh boy, this book. I discovered this book from a fashion blogger who occasionally posts book reviews. I shouldn't have tried to read it, but I was having trouble finding something I liked and I was in the mood for a romance book since I had enjoyed the first RS Grey books I read. Since the blogger went on and on about how much of a connection the main characters had, I thought there was a good chance I would like it. Spoiler alert: I didn't.

First of all, the cover is hideous. I'm sorry if you like it, but I hate it. Nevertheless, I persisted and read it. Oh my word. I didn't realize what kind of book this was. I'm not a prude, but lordy! This book was graphic! I felt like I was too young to be reading it and I'm 30 years old! Joking aside, I did not like this one at all! The characters fell in love almost instantly, and while that doesn't usually stand out to me or bother me, I felt like it was very noticeable and unbelievable in this book. I could not STAND Talon. There wasn't one redeeming quality with him. I was mildly interested in the plot and figuring out what happened in his past, but when I realized that the mystery would extend over the course of 3 books, I stopped reading. This series isn't for me. It's a best seller, so apparently other people love it, but it wasn't the book for me. 

About the book:
After being left at the altar, Jade Roberts seeks solace at her best friend's ranch on the Colorado western slope. Her humiliation still ripe, she doesn't expect to be attracted to her friend's reticent brother, but when the gorgeous cowboy kisses her, all bets are off.

Talon Steel is broken. Having never fully healed from a horrific childhood trauma, he simply exists, taking from women what is offered and giving nothing in return...until Jade Roberts catapults into his life. She is beautiful, sweet, and giving, and his desire for her becomes a craving he fears he'll never be able to satisfy.

Passion sizzles between the two lovers...but long-buried secrets haunt them both and may eventually tear them apart.
 

Rating: 2 STARS

I learned about this book on GoodReads. Sometimes the books that they have ads for catch my eye and this was one of those books. The girl on the cover looks like a southern girl and I'm always searching for a good southern fiction book. I loved The Book of Polly! It's about a 10 year old who has an older mother. Polly had Willow when she was 58 years old. Willow is obsessed with discovering info about Polly's life before she was born. Such a good read! The ending was a bit rushed and I was left with questions, but other than that, it was so good!

About the book:
Willow Havens is ten years old and obsessed with the fear that her mother will die. Her mother, Polly, is a cantankerous, take-no-prisoners Southern woman who lives to shoot varmints, drink margaritas, and antagonize the neighbors and she sticks out like a sore thumb among the young modern mothers of their small conventional Texas town. She was in her late fifties when Willow was born, so Willow knows she's here by accident, a late-life afterthought. Willow's father died before she was born, her much older brother and sister are long grown and gone and failing elsewhere. It's just her and bigger-than-life Polly.
Willow is desperately hungry for clues to the family life that preceded her, and especially Polly's life pre-Willow. Why did she leave her hometown of Bethel, Louisiana, fifty years ago and vow never to return? Who is Garland Jones, her long-ago suitor who possibly killed a man? And will Polly be able to outrun the Bear, the illness that finally puts her on a collision course with her past?  

Rating: 4.5 STARS

Another book I learned about from GoodReads. A friend reviewed this one and the synopsis sounded really good! Now, this was a different book. I don't think I've ever read anything like it. I don't want to spoil it, but it was different. Someone messaged me and said they just couldn't get through it because of the difficult subject matter (it deals with incest and sexual abuse) but I was so interested in what happened. The Roanoke family was definitely different. In a nutshell, the book focuses on a girl whose mother commits suicide when she is 14 and she goes to live with her grandparents and cousin. After spending a summer with the Roanokes, she runs away and the story picks up years later when the cousin goes missing. The narrator returns home to find out what happened and has to deal with what happened the summer she spent there all those years ago. Again, this book was just so good! If you can get past the subject matter, definitely pick this one up! And then message me so we can discuss! 

About the book:
Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.

After her mother's suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother's mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran fast and far away.

Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.

As it weaves between Lane's first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart.

Rating: 5 STARS

Okay, this one was purchased entirely for the adorable cover. When I saw this one on the shelf in Barnes and Noble, I had never heard anything about it nor the author. This one was cute. It was about a 32 year old girl who is engaged (although her fiance is off on a journey across the states and isn't really a part of her life). She returns home and purchases a fixer upper cottage. I thought it would focus a little more on the cottage and her process of redoing it, but that was hardly ever mentioned. There's a mystery surrounding the house and a romance with her coworker. I enjoyed this one, but it wasn't a favorite. Still cute and I would recommend it!

About the book:
At thirty-two, Faith Frankel has returned to her claustro-suburban hometown, where she writes institutional thank-you notes for her alma mater. It's a peaceful life, really, and surely with her recent purchase of a sweet bungalow on Turpentine Lane her life is finally on track. Never mind that her fiancĂ© is off on a crowdfunded cross-country walk, too busy to return her texts (but not too busy to post photos of himself with a different woman in every state.) And never mind her witless boss, or a mother who lives too close, or a philandering father who thinks he's Chagall. When she finds some mysterious artifacts in the attic of her new home, she wonders whether anything in her life is as it seems. What good fortune, then, that Faith has found a friend in affable, collegial Nick Franconi, officemate par excellence . . .

Rating: 3 stars

If Carving was nominated for worst book cover, this one would win it. I just hate this cover! 
This book is the third in the Fusion series. By now, you know I love a good romance book. I love romance series even more, especially series that follow the same group of characters. That's how I discovered this series. And despite the horrendous cover, the stories are pretty good. Not great and not my favorites, but good. This was my least favorite of the series so far (the last two haven't been released yet), but it was still enjoyable. If you're looking for a good romance series with the same characters, try anything by Lauren Layne. She's by far my favorite romance writer. Love her! 

About the book:
New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby continues to delight the senses with the latest novel in her delectable Fusion series.

As the take-charge wine bar manager of Seduction, Portland's hottest new restaurant, Katrina Meyers is the definition of no-nonsense, and she isn't afraid of anything. Well, almost anything: she hates to fly. When she's forced to travel on a death trap with wings, the turbulence from hell has her reaching for any safe haven—including the incredibly handsome guy sitting next to her. 

Ryan "Mac" MacKenzie hasn't been able to get his sexy seatmate out of his head. The way she clung to him stirred something inside him he didn't think existed: tenderness. As the owner of a successful wine touring company, Mac thinks he's got a handle on what life can throw at him and he's not prepared for any surprises, especially in the feelings department. And when he brings a tour into Seduction, he sees the petite spitfire he just can't forget.

Mac is determined to discover what else they have in common besides fine wine and the inability to keep their hands off each other. But what will it take for two stubborn people to realize that what they have is so much more than a hot chemistry between the sheets and to admit to falling in love…?

Rating: 3 STARS

Kasie West has written several YA books, but I've only read The Fill In Boyfriend and PS I Like You. I really liked the first and didn't really love the second, so I was hesitant to pick up her new one By Your Side. At first, I thought I was going to hate it. I found the main character really annoying and immature. But by the middle of the book, it started getting interesting and I grew to like both characters. I didn't like it as much The Fill In Boyfriend, but I liked it much more than PS I Like You. 

About the book:
In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

Rating: 4 STARS

I've stepped away from the world of Young Adult books, but I've started slowly returning to what was once my favorite type of book. I've heard about My Lady Jane for so long and I decided it was time to see what all the fuss was about. I'll admit, the 500 pages was a bit daunting at first. I started it on Tuesday of Spring Break and I was worried that it would take up all my break and I wouldn't get to any others books. I finished it on Thursday night and had to hold back tears because I didn't want it to be over. 500 pages weren't long enough! 
This is such a funny story! I couldn't get over how much I loved it. It's a retelling of Lady Jane, a girl who served as queen of England for 9 days before her cousin Mary overtook the throne and beheaded her. This book rewrites history and gives Jane a happier ending. It was SO GOOD. I cannot get over how much I loved this one! Definitely pick it up!

About the book:
The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.

At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane is about to become the Queen of England.
 

Rating: 5 STARS

I admit, I'm a huge Gilmore Girls fan and could not wait for the revival. I loved every minute of the new 4 episodes and I'm #teamlogan all the way. While I'm a huge GG fan, I'm not a big fan of Lauren Graham. I don't dislike her. I just don't *love* her. When this one came out, I didn't rush out to buy it. But after hearing so many great things about it, I decided to try it out. I did love all the behind the scenes stuff about Gilmore Girls, but the rest was just so so. I think I would have like it more if I had watched Parenthood or been more of a fan of Lauren Graham. If you love GG though, definitely pick this one up!

About the book:
In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood—along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again.

In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).

In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.

Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).

Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.
 

Rating: 3 STARS

So, that's all I read in March! I'd love to hear what you read or your thoughts on any of the books I shared this month! :)

Here's to a fabulous month of reading in April!



2 comments:

  1. Love these titles! I can't believe you read 12 books this month! I can barley get through 3-4! Love your review! I'm going to follow you on Good reads!

    ReplyDelete