Professional Development (Benchmarks #1) by Kate Canterbary
The book starts commences with Tara’s point of view, and I quickly found myself detesting, loathing, Drew with an absolute passion. Oh my word I wanted to shake him until his teeth rattled. Condescending, bullish and down right rude. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that Kate Canterbary would have me loving him by the end, and I wasn’t wrong. Between his penchant for providing arm porn and his tight ass in grey pinstripes, he needs a health warning label. Tara deserves a medal for the amount of self restraint she demonstrated, is it wrong to want to be her BFF since she’s a fictional character?
Novella’s are not often a format I bother with, they often leave me with a feeling that things just weren’t quite developed enough. Not enough depth to the protagonists, not enough plot, not enough heat, not enough believability. We’ve all seen facsimiles of the Mona Lisa, but there’s nothing quite like standing in the Louvre gazing upon the genuine article. That’s how I view novella’s, they’re the reproductions, the lacklustre images that don’t do the real thing (ie novels) justice.
Apart from that once in a blue moon moment, when all the stars align perfectly and a great author produces that exception to the rule, an amazing novella. That is exactly what Ms Canterbaryhas achieved with the masterpiece that is Professional Development. I quickly came to adore both main characters and totally believed in the strength of their feelings for one another. I swooned with delight when the walls finally tumbled down and grinned like a loon over those final scenes of the book.
Bravo Ms Canterbary, this is a truly wonderful story.
Tara Treloff and Drew Larsen hate each other. They really hate each other. This would be fine except for the issue of them sharing a job title …and an office …and now a five-hour-long drive to a conference their boss has made mandatory to resolve their issues. And they would’ve been able to muddle through all of those matters but a major snowstorm is heading their way …and there’s only one bed.
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a wonderful place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be, reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! Everyone is welcome. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn over at The Book Date.
Since it’s the last day of the month I will do a round up of August, rather than just the last week. Though I have to say, the end of August?! I’m still looking for May and June, I’m sure they got lost somewhere because I really don’t remember where they went!
Books Read In August
In total I read 22 books during August, mainly novels of about 3 hours reading time. 14 of these were ARC books and I went on to buy, or had pre-ordered, 7 of these. Only 5 books were “free choice” reads, I had hoped the figure would be higher but I had a LOT of unexpected or early ARC’s this month. The final 3 books were beta reads.
5 Star Reads
Eternal Sin is an MM Fantasy where a demon and an angel fall in love. Gosh that book gave me all the feels and totally pulverised me. In a good way. Professional Development is notable in that it is one of the few novella’s ever to hit full marks with me. This is another author who not only makes me feel but whose characters feel like real people. I highly recommend both of these reads.
4 and 4.5 Star Reads
3 and 3.5 Star Reads
I adored the author’s Eternally Yours series and hope this is just as well written.
Reading in September
I’ve got a few ARC reading commitments in September, including the third Punishment Pit book and Heresy, Book #4 in the Antihero Inferno Series by Lily White. I’m also expecting a couple of Measha Stone books and a few beta reads. I had originally planned on rereading/completing the entire Demigods of San Francisco series by KF Breene, however I may just re-read book #4 and then read #5 and #6. Time will tell.
Shadowlands Sector, Two (Shadowlands Sector #2) by Mila Young
I thoroughly enjoyed this second installment of the Shadowlands Sector Trilogy. You do need to have read book 1 prior to this, and it does end on the cliffiest of cliff-hangers.
The story picks up right where we left the action in book #1, with the infected attacking the Ash Wolves compound and Meira using it as an opportunity to escape. A third alpha male is added to the mix – it would seem that Meira’s wolf isn’t happy with just 2 fated mates! The scenes between Meira and her new mate are scorchingly hot, and we also get more scenes with Dulsan. I do feel Lucien hasn’t been given his fair share of her time but I did enjoy how Meira’s relationships with all three males have evolved and I liked how their personalities and characteristic have also been developed.
Unlike many reverse harem tales, this had plenty of action and adventure to enhance the story. And with how this book ended – well I can’t wait for book #3.
It’s only a matter of time before I destroy them all… A raging, bloodthirsty wolf isn’t the only deadly thing inside me. So, I have to do what I’ve always done best. Run. Leaving my alphas and the first taste of love I’ve ever known is the only answer now. And even when Fate steps in and puts us all back together, including a sexy new alpha with troubles of his own, I can’t stay. Even though it’s killing me to go. The pain of being away from them will literally kill me, but no matter what happens to me, I can’t let them pay for my weakness. I can’t save myself, but I can save them. I can save them from seeing what I will become… But my dominant alphas are better hunters than I am prey, and they’re determined to keep me…whatever the cost.
I can’t believe today is the last day. I’m actually a little sad not to be continuing after today, though the school break is almost over and in a few days I’ll be returning back to work full time. In the UK we are introducing a “new normal” , one where different year groups are kept apart as much as possible. I work in an alternative education provision, so I don’t think I will see as many changes in that way – though I will be spending two days a week teaching at a hospital school. So lots of new things to learn there!
For today’s prompt I had considered nominating Ren and Della, from Pepper Winter’s Ribbon Duet. However I don’t consider their relationship doomed, just unfairly shortened on Earth, because it was pretty damn clear that pair would meet again and be together for eternity somewhere else. Oh lord, there I go tearing up just thinking about them! And they’re fictional for heaven’s sake 😂.
So today I’m going to highlight Jake and Desirae/Daisy from Fool’s Desire, by Poppy Flynn. I know it would have been “settling” and both went on to get their HEA’s but there was a part of me that felt this pair would have been happier together, rather than apart.
Today’s prompt is to share 6 book covers that feature my favourite colour. Part of me wants to say I don’t particularly have a favourite colour – and from my home and my clothing you probably wouldn’t be able to identify one either. I love colour full stop. However there is one colour which ALWAYS catches my eye when I see an item in it, and that’s purple. Hopefully I can find 6 books I’ve read that fit the bill!
Just An Illusion – EP by D. Kelly A Contemporary Romance that is guaranteed to produce an ugly cry. It isn’t standalone, Just An Illusion Side also Side B must be read first. It is a great NA trilogy.
Black Light: Valentine Rouletteby Various An anthology of BDSM romance short stories. Normally I’m not a big fan of anthologies – I often only read or enjoy a few of the stories. However the Black Light anthologies always have a great cast of authors who produce some scorchingly hot BDSM scenes to indulge in.
Deacon by Kit Rocha A hot SFR set in a dystopian future and featuring alpha males and equally strong females. This is a follow on series to the steamy adventure that is the O’Kane series. Whilst each book can be read standalone, it is one of those series’ that is best read in order.
Resistance by Pippa DaCosta The sixth book in the science fiction/space opera 1000 Revolutions series, this can NOT be read standalone. It is a totally captivating series that will give you all the feels.
Reign to Rule by Zoey Ellis This is third “Reign to” book and part of a fantasy omegaverse series that must be read in order. I would recommend reading the Crave trilogy first, for background, though Reign is set on a different continent and this trilogy can be read separately.
Daddy PI by EJ Frost A DD/lg story that is one of the best kink books I have ever read. The attention to detail is fantastic and the author cleverly weaves in consent and discussions without making the book feel like an instruction manual. One of my favourite reads of 2020.