This was the month in which we had a mini-heat wave, with temperatures soaring to the high 20’s/low 30’s degrees celsius. Since then we’ve had grey skies, howling winds and torrential downpours, because if there is one thing you can be certain of in Britain, it’s that you will get some weather!
It might be a national obsession, but I’m currently looking at a November sky on a summer day. I’ve been led to believe that it is mainly due to us being an island. Large land masses heat up and cool down slowly, so the changes in weather are much more gradual. My brother certainly experienced that when he lived in Europe for 10 years.
In June I read twenty one books, though for two I ended up skim reading some parts. I also had a DNF. Nineteen books were read from cover to cover, or whatever the e-reader equivalent of that is. 0 – 100% perhaps? There was also some beta reading mixed in at various points through the month.
Love and Music (Small Town Secrets Book 3) by Jade C. Jamison
I’m not crying, you’re crying. Sorry, excuse me whilst I compose myself.
I love a sexy hero with a soft side, I love an everyday heroine and I’m a huge sucker for second-chance romance. All that, added to great writing, meant that I thoroughly enjoyed Love and Music. A few chapters from Tyler’s pov would have pushed this from 4.5 stars to the full 5, though I can understand that the one person perspective left us as unsure and anxiously hopeful as Megan.
What really stood out for me was just how emotional this story felt. I could feel my heartstrings being tugged on pretty much from the first page. There were times when I felt anxious, parts that made me smile , moments when it wasn’t just the summer weather raising the temperature and pieces that sliced my heart into ribbons. The majority of the book is set over a really short period of time, and yet I found myself utterly convinced by the genuineness of their feelings for one another. Circumstances didn’t give them opportunity to totally talk, in the way that both wanted, but it did offer untold opportunities to reconnect in so many other ways.
For me this was a beautiful story of reawakening, both of the heart and soul. An opportunity to correct past mistakes and to love in a forever way.
Years later, he still takes her breath away. Does that mean he’s the one? Time has not changed the way Megan feels about her ex Tyler Green, now a famous rock star. It’s pathetic, and that’s why she absolutely will not—WILL NOT—attend her ten-year high school reunion. But her bestie convinces her that there’s no way a guy like Tyler would ever attend their reunion anyway. He’s got better things to do with his time. Megan feels like a complete idiot when he shows, but she feels even more foolish when she confirms she’s still head-over-heels in love with him. It’s doomed to fail: their worlds are now completely different, urban rocker and country mouse. But how will she ever be able to let him go again?
Curl up by the fire with a glass of wine or a mug of hot chocolate and settle into Winchester, Colorado—where the nights are cold…but steamy!
Well we went from scorching temperatures in the UK (mid to high 80’s and since it happens so rarely we don’t have air-conditioning, so it gets very sweaty, very quickly!) to high winds and rain. However we are all still well, and working or being paid furlow, so no complaints here.
It was my birthday mid-week and I felt thoroughly spoilt. My sons actually managed to buy something under their own steam (one has his beautiful girlfriend to thank for that!), my daughter and husband also bought me some wonderful presents, including these gorgeous flowers.
I’m sharing my usual Monday post, summarising my reading week. It’s hosted by Book Date and is great fun to join in. It also helps me focus on achieving reading aims. There was one book on my to-read list last week that I didn’t get to, but it was replaced with other books, so I still got plenty of reading done.
Completed Last Week
Currently On My Kindle
Despite the cover, this is a very “gentle” rom-com with a sexy, slow-burn vibe. By gentle i mean this is a feel good, low angst read.
My Reading Plans For This Week
So that sum’s up my reading plans – what books are you planning to read this week?
Top 5 is a weekly meme hosted by Devouring Books – do visit them as a thank you for running it! It’s a great way to find even more gems to add to your TBR mountain.
There are three simple rules –
Share your top 5 books of the current topic– these can be books that you want to read, have read and loved, have read and hated, you can do it any way you want.
Tag the original post on Devouring Books.
Tag 5 people.
Morally grey characters are my favourite type of antihero (or heroine), narrowing the list down to just 5 will be a tough call! A dark romance isn’t dark without at least one character with questionable ethics. And if there’s one think I love it’s a romance that is wrong in all the right ways.
1 – Ryke, Branded Possession by Cari Silverwood
If this was a contemporary romance, based on Earth with Ryke as a human, I would consider him morally depraved and somewhat evil. He carries an air of menace and dark about him, exploiting the attraction between Gio and himself in order to manipulate her. However, since this is based in another universe I really liked him instead. In all probability I would run screaming in the opposite direction if I met Ryke, but my word he did some hot things to Gio!
Humans are precious on Aerthe. Except for Gio. Gio has killed. Now she is to be broken by Ryke, the King’s Own Lawgiver, a hooded, scarred man who exterminates people as if they were insects underfoot. She will pay for her sins with her body, spill her secrets, and sob out her misery on Ryke’s spears. The man has his ways. Though he reserves special treatment for his females, no one has ever escaped being broken. Clinging to hope, Gio prays she can still save her people. But is there more to Ryke than torturer extraordinaire? Does a heart hide beneath the cold exterior? Deep in the Underdeck of the royal landship, Ryke and his new toy, Gio, will wrestle with secrets from his past and maybe, just maybe, discover a way for his despicable people to salvage what’s left of themselves and find peace on Aerthe. Inspired by the Gor series by John Norman
2. Sophia, Bedroom Hymns by Morgan Reeves
Sophia is the victim of a despicable crime but throughout it all she strives to be anything but a victim. The world she was dragged into made her behave well outside the bounds of the law and societal norms but my word she is one of my favourite bass-ass heroine. She is ‘da bomb’, with an steel core forged from the trials of both her childhood and her ‘training’ to be a slave.
They took me, broke me, remade me in their image. I am branded by their twisted ambitions; martyred by their greed. They ground me down until I was everything they wanted and more, and at the end I thanked them for it. Jackson. Dominic. Cole. They forced me to love them, and then they cast me aside like yesterday’s trash. But they taught me to be the best. So that’s exactly what they’ll get. Because in the end… Revenge is sweeter than love. And they’ll never see me coming.
3. Synek AND Iris, Syn by London Miller
Syn is one of the most violent, crazy and messed-up of heroes, but at the same time you just can’t resist him. I totally bought into his character and loved him. I felt the background on how Iris had become a bounty hunter was a little vague, but I still really liked her, she was a strong, independent and no-nonsense woman. Syn and Iris worked so well as a couple. They had enough in common to understand each other, whilst being different enough that together they formed a perfect whole.
ONE NIGHT WAS ALL HE WANTED … Synek ‘Syn’ Jøsson has never been anything more than a jaded, broken man trying not to lose himself in his darker urges, but sometimes, the need to do something reckless proves too strong. ONE NIGHT WAS ALL SHE NEEDED … Every job brings Iris Adler one step closer to the vengeance she swore against the men that murdered her father, so when she‘s tasked with finding a man that’s as terrifying as he is tempting, she refuses to back down. ONE NIGHT WAS MORE THAN THEY BARGAINED FOR … Two broken people searching for a way out of the darkness. One impossible relationship they never saw coming. Nothing proves more complicated than love in all the wrong places.
4. Toby, Fools Paradise by Lilliana Anderson
Toby is the oldest brother in a family of career criminals. It’s the life the brothers were born into and they have never had a choice about it. I had been a little in love with Toby since we first saw his hidden heartache in Fool Me Twice, Book #1 of the series. In each successive book we’ve caught glimpses of a man who constantly puts his family before his own happiness. So this book was going to go one of two ways……… I was going to be broken in the best possible way, or I was going to be hugely disappointed. Thankfully I loved it.
My job had a very specific goal: I found people who didn’t want to be found and delivered them to whoever employed me. After that, well, I tried not to think about what happened while I spent my money on things that made me happy. Resorts, men…I lived life by the seat of my pants because I never knew where I’d be the next week, or who I’d be looking for. When the head of a lesser-known criminal family hired me to find her son, I wasn’t sure what I was walking into. I had his photo, so I knew the man was hot with a capital H. But I expected the usual agitated scumbag I normally went after. Not some guy running a fishing charter and looking like he didn’t have a care in the world. I might have been curious. I might have gotten a little too close. I might have done a lot of things I shouldn’t have. Things that could get me killed this time. But hey, life wasn’t always about making the right choices. It was about making good ones. And Toby Cartwright was a great choice.
5. Christian, Redemption by Nicolina Martin
Christian is all things bad, yet somehow through his unrelenting misery and pain, the author gives us a glimpse of who he could be. She allows us to begin to forgive the monster who made the wrong choice and begin to love the man who will do anything for those he loves. He isn’t a good or nice man, he is violent and threatening and comes very close to murdering the heroine.
Redemption: Part one in the Savage duet. Killing her wasn’t supposed to be complicated. Drug Kerry Jackson and get rid of her, that was his simple task, but he screwed up everything. Unable to resist the enticing young woman, Christian seduced her and fell hard. Then it all went to hell. She beat him at his own game and disappeared without a trace. No one crossed a Russo and got away with it. Night after night, their steamy encounters melted her will and twisted her mind. Then Christian Russo turned out to be her worst enemy. He robbed Kerry of her innocence, stole her trust, and made her life a living nightmare. A second encounter would be fatal. For one of them. And Kerry was determined that it wasn’t going to be her.
Take one Princess, literally and in all senses of the word, a man who has been to hell and back, also literally-ish, add in a fluffy creature of dubious origins, a quest to save True Love, otherwise known as Xander, and some delicious kinkiness. Stir it all well, add a great story line, cook with the heat from the sexy scenes and – voila! – you have, THE PRINCESS TIED.
“He liked that worse word far too much.”
Where do I start with this? Based loosely on The Princess Bride, this is a kinky, dub-con, thigh slapping, funny adventure of the swashbuckling kind. If Monty Python, Errol Flynn and EL James produced a menage love child, it would be this. (I know MP isn’t a person but per-lease, you get the idea! 😉) In case you’re wondering, I really likedthis book, which is why it got 4 stars here, but it will be 5 stars on Amazon. I’m pedantic like that.
Po shook her head and said nothing more. This adventure was feeling less organized by the hour. She liked her facts in rows and columns. She liked them organized in folders. With notes.
Floof Machines, magical doors(can you guess them all?), giant dwarfs and mechanised men join in the fun to produce a wonderful, adventurous, questing tale. The characters are somewhat stylized, deliberately so since this is a pastiche of a pastiche of the swashbuckling films of the 20’s and 30’s. These characters are also interesting, unusual, well crafted and genuine and despite being OTT they felt believable and loveable.
Making things happen, like fires, was a new thing. Many things were new, including naked men and sex.
This wouldn’t be a Cari Silverwood book if there wasn’t some dirty, filthy smut smut. And what incredibly hot and saucy sauce it is! Dabbling in the waters of dub-con, but mainly because Po is far too proper to admit to her unusual desires, there are lots of delightfully erotic scenes to indulge our baser desires. Sorry, I meant to say to indulge Prince Drakes deviant sexual preferences. Those scenes did absolutely nothing for me, no they did not. They didn’t induce hot flushes and a need to find privacy for a little one on one time. Who shouted Liar, liar, pants on fire? Humph, ok maybe those scenes are somewhat hot.
He walked on air with lust rampant in his veins. He took a small, careful bite of her neck then released it. She tasted of sex to him – future sex.
Whilst most of the book is written from Princess Po and John’s points of view, we do get just enough from Xander to both make him ‘real’ and to add interest to the tale. The adventure is epic, crazy and, at times, weird and I loved it all. The plot canters along, with your hands tied behind your back, oops sorry that’s Po I’m thinking of. The plot moves at a good pace, with surprises, twists and easter eggs thrown in to keep your interest. I know I’ve already mentioned the activities in Prince Drakes tent, but they’re so hot they totally deserve a second intimation. Talking of intimate, despite certain events that occur during the course of the story, the ending didn’t feel awkward, forced or contrived. In fact I was very pleasantly surprised by how smoothly everything came together (#punalert).
She was sure he had an erection. Not being an expert, she had to file it under maybe.
If you’ve made it this far (TL;DR) this is a great story that I highly recommend.
Her tutors aimed to educate her in a wide range of subject, so she could rule with wisdom. Most of which, like algebra, she thought she would never use. Clocks had been quite fun, in comparison to math, autopsies, and string theory.
“Falling in love with Xander, the has-been noble I lined up to marry, is sadly wrong.” Princess Pollianna the First, smartest royal ever. Wrong is about to get wronger. Square-jawed, handsome Xander gets kidnapped and his brother, John, returns from Hell. The fire in this guy’s eyes says he’s not to be messed with. With Princess Po tied and roped over his horse, and a hand firmly clasped on her ample ass, John sets out to rescue his beloved bro, while not looking at aforesaid cute ass…or doing anything bad to it. As he travels the roads, a ragtag band falls in around him. True Love will light their way, except John doesn’t believe in True Love. “As wholesome as a threesome up against a thorn-entangled wall.”
Features Fighting, Dwarf Giants, a Killer Bunny, Storytellers, True Love, Angsty Tortured Anti-heroes, Snooty Princesses, Rope, Monsters, and sundry Mayhem. And quite a lot of Steam. Inspired by The Princess Bride. Written with naughty words.