Monthly Wrap-up: December 2015

It’s hard to believe that 2015 is over! 2015 was a great year for me with the birth of my daughter but it wasn’t what I expected as far as reading goes. I only completed 3 of the challenges that I signed up for but that’s okay. 2016 is a new year and I will be trying for several challenges again. 

Books Read: 

The Butterfly Code by Sue Wyshynski
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
A Whisper of Desire by Bronwen Evans
Persuasion by Violetta Rand
Crashed Out by Tessa Bailey
His to Take by Katee Robert
Say You’re Mine by Diane Alberts

Seduction and Surrender by C.C. Gibbs

Dearest Clementine by Lex Martin

Finding Dandelion by Lex Martin

Reviews Written: 
The Butterfly Code by Sue Wyshynski
Persuasion by Violetta Rand
A Whisper of Desire by Bronwen Evans
Crashed Out by Tessa Bailey
His to Take by Katee Robert

Reading Challenge Updates:

You can see my main starter post here.

Where Are You Reading? Challenge
Illinois: The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
England: A Whisper of Desire by Bronwen Evans
Texas: Persuasion by Violetta Rand
New Jersey: Crashed Out by Tessa Bailey
Massachusetts: Dearest Clementine by Lex Martin
Massachusetts: Finding Dandelion by Lex Martin
22/50 states
12 other countries
8 fictional places

Young Adult Contemporary Challenge
7/16 books

Historical Romance Reading Challenge
6. A Whisper of Desire by Bronwen Evans
6/12 books

Erotic Romance Reading Challenge

8/24 books


Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge– sign up post

21/26 books

Books in Translation Reading Challenge

3/5 books

New to You Reading Challenge
40. The Butterfly Code by Sue Wyshynski (new to me author)
41. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (new to me author)
42. Crashed Out by Tessa Bailey (new to me author)
43. His to Take by Katee Robert (new to me author)
44. Say You’re Mine by Diane Alberts (new to me author)
45. Dearest Clementine by Lex Martin (new to me author)
45/72 books

Literary Pickers Reading Challenge- sign up post
Completed 11/24/15
Back to the Classics Reading Challenge
2/6 books

Pages Read Challenge- sign up post
December: 2,859 pages
Total so far: 23,963/ 52,000 pages

Banned Books Challenge
2/15 books
What’s in a Name? Reading Challenge
A word containing ‘ing’- Finding Dandelion by Lex Martin
An animal- The Butterfly Code by Sue Wyshynski
2/6 books

You Read How Many Books? Challenge
74. The Butterfly Code by Sue Wyshynski
75. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
76. A Whisper of Desire by Bronwen Evans
77. Persuasion by Violetta Rand
78. Crashed Out by Tessa Bailey
79. His to Take by Katee Robert
80. Say You’re Mine by Diane Alberts
81. Seduction and Surrender by C.C. Gibbs
82. Dearest Clementine by Lex Martin
83. Finding Dandelion by Lex Martin
83/200 books

Victorian Reading Challenge
2/5 books

Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge
Completed 11/17/15
Netgalley Challenge- sign up post
26. A Whisper of Desire by Bronwen Evans
27. Persuasion by Violetta Rand
28. Crashed Out by Tessa Bailey
29. His to Take by Katee Robert
30. Say You’re Mine by Diane Alberts
31. Seduction and Surrender by C.C. Gibbs
31/30 galleys- finished 12/13/2015

Reading Challenge Addict- sign up post
Netgalley Challenge- completed 12/13/2015

Short Hiatus

As you might have noticed, I’ve been absent from the blog for the past week. I gave birth to my beautiful daughter last Wednesday December 16th. I feel very blessed to be a mommy so I will be taking a short break from the blog until after the first of the year. I will still be around some to answer comments left on any of the posts and any emails I get. I’ve left the links below to the 2 Reading Challenges I will be hosting in 2016. I would love for all to join in!

2016 You Read How Many Books
2016 Pages Read

Weekly Book Recap #31

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme now hosted by Book Date.

I’m hosting two reading challenges for 2016! Be sure to check out the sign ups below and join in if they interest you!


What I Posted: 
Persuasion by Violetta Rand

Crashed Out by Tessa Bailey

His to Take by Katee Robert
Say You’re Mine by Diane Alberts

Currently Reading:

Seduction & Surrender by C.C. Gibbs
Up Next: 
Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

His To Take by Katee Robert #Review

Title: His To Take
Author: Katee Robert

Series: Out of Uniform #3.5
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: eBook, 76 pages

Publisher: Entangled: Brazen
Publication Date: December 7th 2015

**I received this ARC for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**

A sexy category romance novella from Entangled’s Brazen imprint…

Truth or dare…

Erin Robinson is having an epically bad year. Her blossoming career on Broadway tanked, forcing her to crawl back to home to Wellington. The icing on her failure cake? Her former on-again, off-again fling is in town, and the sexy Marine is taking up way too much space.

Warren Davis always knew Erin was special, which is exactly why he can’t have her. A girl like her deserves something permanent–something neither of them wants. But now that they’re both back in town and she’s right there in front of him, a challenge in her eyes he’s never been able to resist, he’s questioning everything.

That challenge quickly escalates into an epic game of Truth or Dare. Erin’s sure she’s got him on lock, but as the night progresses, Warren’s dares intensify, drowning her in lust. But with the past still breathing down their necks, there’s no way either of them can win… 

Review

This is the first book from the Out of Uniform series that I have read but I didn’t have any problem following along. Everything you need to know is covered in the story. 

The game of Truth or Dare will never look the same to me. I haven’t played Truth or Dare since I was 13 or 14 so it definitely looked nothing like the game Erin and Warren played. Warren knows he can get Erin to open up to him and possibly entertain the idea of a relationship if he challenges her to an epic game of Truth or Dare. Erin doesn’t back down from a challenge and immediately accepts the dare to flash the sheriff. 

As the night progresses, the game takes a more sexual turn. There are several steamy scenes that follow. Since this was a novella, it was a quick read and it made me want to read the rest of the Out of Uniform series. 

Rating: 4 stars 


Crashed Out by Tessa Bailey #Review

Title: Crashed Out
Author: Tessa Bailey

Series: Made in Jersey #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: eBook, 175 pages

Publisher: Entangled: Brazen
Publication Date: December 7th 2015

**I received this ARC from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.**

A sexy category romance from Entangled’s Brazen imprint…
His inspiration. His torment. And his temptation…
Jasmine Taveras is the reason Sarge Purcell grabbed his six-string and bailed the hell out of New Jersey four years ago. She’s the fuel for every song he’s ever written-each one laced with bitter, hard-edged, hungry lust. Now, with his hugely successful band is on temporary hiatus, Sarge is determined to prove to Jasmine that this “kid” turned into every inch the man she’s always needed…
Men are slim pickings for a single factory girl in Hook, New Jersey…until tall, broad-shouldered hotness walks-or rather storms-into Jasmine’s life. Sarge’s return shouldn’t affect her this way. He’s her best friend’s much younger kid brother, and the kind of rough, gritty, sexiness Jasmine has no right to taste for herself. Even if he lets her.
But lust is a blinding, insatiable force. And when it crashes, it will take both Sarge and Jasmine down with it…
Review
Sarge is the lead singer for Old News, a band whose lyrics are so dirty they aren’t suitable for kids. He comes back to New Jersey to see  his sister and meet his 3 year old niece for the first time. His sister is worried about what it will do to his niece when he leaves, so she gets her best friend, Jasmine, to let him stay with her. The thing is Jasmine has been the inspiration for every single one of Sarge’s songs and she has no idea. 

Jasmine was determined to make it as a singer but never did. She ended up stuck in New Jersey working in a factory. When she sees Sarge for the first time in four years, she doesn’t realize it is him and is instantly attracted to him. For her, the biggest problem is that she is seven years older than him. She worries what the town will think if they have a relationship. 

The lust between Sarge and Jasmine is super hot. There are several steamy scenes in this book and I loved them! The writing style was excellent and the characters were very relatable. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Rating: 4 stars

A Whisper of Desire by Bronwen Evans #Review

Title: A Whisper of Desire
Author: Bronwen Evans

Series: The Disgraced Lords #4
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: eBook, 300 pages

Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: December 1st 2015

**I received this ARC via Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.**

Sensual heat melts the ice in the new Disgraced Lords novel from USA Today bestselling author Bronwen Evans, as a marriage of convenience leads to delightful pleasure—and mortal danger.
Lady Marisa Hawkestone’s nightmare is just beginning when she wakes up naked, with no memory of the night before, lying next to Maitland Spencer, the Duke of Lyttleton—a man so aloof and rational he’s nicknamed “the Cold Duke.” A scandal ensues, in which Marisa’s beloved beau deserts her. As a compromised woman, Marisa agrees to marry Maitland. But on her wedding night, Marisa discovers the one place the duke shows emotion: in the bedroom, where the man positively scorches the sheets.
Taught from a young age to take duty seriously, Maitland cannot understand his new wife’s demands on his love and affection. Marisa’s hot-blooded spirit, however, does have its attractions—especially at night. In retrospect, it seems quite silly that he didn’t marry sooner. But being one of the Libertine Scholars requires constant vigilance, even more so when the enemy with a grudge against his closest friends targets Marisa. Now Maitland must save the woman who sets his heart aflame—or die trying.
Review
I absolutely love The Disgraced Lords series and this book did not disappoint. Marisa is in love with Lord Rutherford and is anxiously awaiting his proposal. While at a ball, her brother’s best friend, Maitland, catches Lord Rutherford with his mistress talking about how he is only going to marry Marisa for her money. The next morning Marisa wakes up naked, with no memory, next to Maitland. 

To prevent a scandal, Marisa must make a choice: ask for Rutherford’s forgiveness and deal with the scorn or marry Maitland and let the scandal disappear. She decides to marry Maitland even though she swore she would only marry for love. The passion that ensues between them in the bedroom is scorching hot. 

A Disgraced Lords book wouldn’t be complete without the villainess, who we don’t know the identity of, trying to kill one of the Libertine Scholars or their loved ones. She goes after Marisa to get to Maitland, so now he must do everything in his power to make sure she remains safe. 

Marisa might be my favorite female in this series so far. She’s spunky and doesn’t let anyone tell her what she’s going to do. She has a kind heart and genuinely wants to help people. She has insecurities about Maitland and his feelings for her but I think most women have doubts at some point. 

Maitland has a very difficult past to overcome and I was overjoyed when he finally opened up to Marisa about it. She finally made him see that the past wasn’t his fault and that he could overcome it. 

I can’t wait for the next book in the series! I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical romance with steamy scenes. 

Rating: 5 stars

Persuasion by Violetta Rand #ReleaseBlast #Review


 Persuasion
Sons of Odin MC #1
By: Violetta Rand
Releasing December 8, 2015
Loveswept


Buy Links:  Amazon | B & N |Google PlayiTunes | Kobo
If you love the motorcycle romances of Joanna Wylde and Julie Ann Walker, don’t miss Violetta Rand’s irresistible novel about a sexy-as-sin biker who tempts a good girl to go bad.
Lang Anderson may be the new leader of the Sons of Odin motorcycle club, but his personal life is in shreds. He’s struggling to take care of his three young sisters in the wake of tragedy, while rumors of drug dealing within his ranks jeopardize everything he’s built. The last thing he needs is another distraction—like a bar brawl over a woman—but Lang is a sucker for a damsel in distress. And this one gets him roaring like a finely tuned engine.
High school guidance counselor Lily Gallo is no fender bunny. So why can’t she get Lang off her mind? Lily’s head says the rugged, rough-and-tumble biker who came to her aid is bad news. Her body begs to differ. But when Lang’s troubled kid sister walks into her office, Lily’s determined to help, even if it puts her in the crossfire of a gang war. On a crash course with danger and desire, Lily partners up with Lang to fight for his family—and for love.

Author Info
An environmental scientist by day, Violetta Rand has been in love with writing since childhood. Struck with an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age, she wrote short stories illustrated by her best friend and sold them in her neighborhood. Rand enjoys outdoor activities, music, reading, and losing herself in the world she brings to life in the pages of her stories. The only thing she loves more than writing is her wonderful relationship with her husband.
Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads



Excerpt
Unlike his Brothers who preferred the classic Softails or full dressers, Lang rode the sinister Night Rod Special. He chose bikes like he did women—favoring off-the-line explosive handling. Just as he mounted his bike, two news vans screeched into the parking lot, effectively blocking his exit route.
Sandy Fuentes, an investigative reporter the club was well acquainted with, jumped out of the first vehicle, straightened her ass-hugging miniskirt, and snatched a microphone from her cameraman. She scooted across the asphalt, nearly slipping on the gravel in her heels as she stopped in front of him.
“Lang Anderson,” she said, throwing him her best fuck-me pout. “Corpus Christi wants to know . . .” Her tagline. “With your president on a fast track for lethal injection, what’s next for the Sons of Odin?”
She was easy on the eyes, and Lang couldn’t blame her for trying to get an exclusive. Depending on her mood, which shifted with the wind and on whether he’d fucked her right the night before, she might provide her fans with an accurate report. Regardless, he liked her aggressive personality and the way she rode him like a racehorse.
Lang crossed his arms over his chest, leaning against his bike. “Nice to see you too, Sandy.”
She grimaced, always affected by the way he spoke her name. It disarmed her every time. “No sweet-talking your way out of this one, Lang.”
He grinned. “You mean the way you sweet-talked your way into my bed last night?”
His Brothers catcalled and laughed.
Sandy’s face flushed and she spun around, signaling her crewman to kill the camera. “What the hell, Lang? Thought we agreed to keep our association a secret.”
A secret? Her bright yellow Corvette parked overnight in the club lot spoke for itself. He didn’t fuck and tell, she did. “Turn your camera on, Sandy, I’ll give you a statement.”
“Really?” Her hand slipped to her hip. “Why?”
Lang edged closer, leaned in so only she could hear him. “Because you give the best blowjobs.”
The slap stung his face, but he didn’t care. A little pain reminded him of the kind of life he chose to live. “Clubhouse, eleven tonight.”
She inhaled, her pretty face a mixture of emotions. Lang didn’t trust her at all. But she warmed his bed, and he never had to ask twice. Gaze sweeping her hourglass figure a last time, he turned to go.
“Wait,” she said.
Lang didn’t bother looking at her.
“I’m getting tired of our arrangement. I want more.”
So did Lang. More for himself, but most of all, more for Maya, Leigh, and Trisha, his little sisters. The only ones who inspired him to hold back, to contemplate his future, to keep from diving headfirst into a life of violence that could easily swallow you whole. And as for women—he’d never found one worthy of commitment. And if he did, she wouldn’t deserve the life of being a biker’s old lady. Property.
“There’s nothing more to give, Sandy.” He turned, then pounded his chest with his fist. “My family and Brothers are the only things I care about.”
“Is that a quote?” she asked, doing a shitty job of masking her hurt feelings.
“Don’t take it personally,” he advised. “Take it for what it is.”
People considered him many things, all the clichés: dark and dangerous, violent and crude, barbaric even. But never a liar. And with women, he told it like it was. Mutual pleasure, nothing more. And if he really liked someone, she could stay the night in his bed. But when the sun came up, don’t let the door hit you . . . Better not to tie himself down, living the life he did.
He felt the weight of her stare on his back as he climbed on his bike. The Harley roared to life underneath him, louder than a small aircraft. That thunder between his legs always made him smile. He raised his hand, gesturing for his Brothers to follow in formation, arranged by rank. He merged with traffic on North Shoreline Boulevard, wondering what the future held for the Sons of Odin.

Review

I was super excited when I saw that Violetta Rand was stepping into the MC world with her new series, Sons of Odin. Persuasion did not disappoint. It had the hot, sexy scenes I loved from all of her other books and the characters were well developed. 

Lang was your typical MC hero with the jealous, protective, and possessive aspects. I didn’t care for him too much because of the way he portrayed himself for most of the book. I liked Lily for the most part though. She came off as a feminist but seemed to put up with a lot of stuff that she probably shouldn’t have. I would have loved for her to have put up at least a little bit of a fight at times. 

I did like that Lang didn’t mess with the passarounds. That’s always the part of MC books that bothers me the most and it was nice to not have that. Overall, I look forward to exploring more of this series. 

Rating: 4 stars



Pages Read 2016 Sign Ups

I took over this challenge from Gina @ Book Dragon’s Lair. The challenge runs from January 1st 2016 to December 31st 2016. Here are the rules:

1. Choose a Level
    Level 1: 13,000 pages read
    Level 2: 26,000 pages read
    Level 3: 52,000 pages read
    Level 4: 78,000 pages read
    Level 5: 104,000 pages read
2. A blog is not necessary to participate. Feel free to link to a Goodreads shelf or another public profile where we can see your books read.
3. Reviews are not necessary but a list of books is. There will be a link up for anyone who wishes to post reviews.
4. Crossovers from other challenges count!
5. Books started before January 1st do not count.
Sign up below with direct links to where you will list your books (not your homepage) so we can follow along please.

Reading Challenges 2016

It’s time once again to sign up for Reading Challenges for the new year. My plan is to go for realistic levels this year and move up if I need to (which I hope I do haha). I’m going to be a new (single) mom so I may not get as much reading done as I hope to and I’m trying to keep that in mind. However, I really enjoy challenges if you can’t tell. 😉 I’m also hosting two challenges for 2016 (Pages Read and You Read How Many Books?) This is my first time hosting so I’m super excited. 
2016 Choose Your Genre Challenge
Pick Your Genre 2016
hosted by: Herding Cats-Burning Soup
Sign Up

After going through all the books on my Kindle that I haven’t read, I decided I’m going to try 3 different genres with different levels for each. 

Mystery-Level 2 (Dipping the Toes): 12 books
Progress: 0/12 (0%)
Paranormal- Level 1 (Sunbathing): 6 books
Progress: 0/6 (0%)

New Adult Romance- Level 3 (Wading In): 25 books
Progress 2/25 (8%)

1. Kissing Madeline by Lex Martin
2. Anatomy of a Player by Cindi Madsen
2016 Blogger Shame Challenge
Blogger Shame

hosted by: Herding Cats-Burning Soup and Addicted to Happily Ever After

Sign Up
Progress: 0/25 (0%)

I have roughly 40 books that are waiting to be reviewed. I hope to get through at least 25 of these in 2016 if not all of them.

2016 Pervy Girl Reading Challenge
Pervy Girl Challenge

hosted by: Herding Cats-Burning Soup


Level 2: Still Blushin’: 12 books
Progress: 0/12 (0%)
2016 New to You Reading Challenge
New To You Square
hosted by: Herding Cats-Burning Soup
Sign up

Level 3: Wading In: 25 books

Progress: 3/25 (12%)

1. Stealing the Bachelor by Sonya Weiss (new to me author)
2. Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan (new to me author)
3. Anatomy of a Player by Cindi Madsen (new to me author)

2016 Pages Read Challenge

hosted by: The Crafty Engineer’s Bookshelf (that’s me!)

Level 3: 52,000 pages
Progress: 1,092/52,000 (2%)

1. Kissing Madeline by Lex Martin- 260 pages
2. Stealing the Bachelor by Sonya Weiss- 155 pages
3. Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan- 375 pages
4. Anatomy of a Player by Cindi Madsen- 302 pages
2016 You Read How Many Books? Challenge

hosted by: The Crafty Engineer’s Bookshelf (that’s me!)

Level 1: 100 books

Progress: 4/100 (4%)

1. Kissing Madeline by Lex Martin
2. Stealing the Bachelor by Sonya Weiss
3. Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan
4. Anatomy of a Player by Cindi Madsen

The 12 Month Classics Challenge

hosted by: You Me and A Cup of Tea

Progress: 0/12 (0%)
January: A classic you’ve always wanted to read.
February: A classic you’ve dreaded reading.
March: A classic you’ve been recommended.
April: A classic you’ve seen the movie/mini series/TV shows.
May: An American classic.
June: A British Classic.
July: A European (non-British) classic.
August: A modern classic.
September: A Children’s Classic.
October: A Classic by a female author.
November: A Classic by a male author.
December: A classic written under a pseudonym.
2016 Hard Core Re-Reading Challenge

hosted by: You Me and A Cup of Tea
Sign Up

Level 2: Re-reading bug 16-25 books
Progress: 0/25 (0%)
Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2016

hosted by: My Reader’s Block
Sign Up

Mt. Ararat: 48 books
Progress: 1/48 (2%)
1. Kissing Madeline by Lex Martin
2016 Bad Boys of Romance Challenge

hosted by: Delighted Reader
Sign Up

Level 2: Engaged to the Bad Boy: 10-15 books
Progress: 1/15 (6%)

1. Anatomy of a Player by Cindi Madsen

The Series That Never Ends 2016 Challenge

hosted by: Delighted Reader
Level 2: 10-15 books
Series to Read: Billionaire Bachelors by Melody Anne (7 books)
Wardham by Zoe York (10 books)
Progress: 0/10 (0%)
2016 Literary Pickers Challenge
hosted by: Delighted Reader
Level 3: Professional Picker- 50 items/ 50 places
Progress: 0/50 (0%)
2016 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

hosted by: Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book
Progress: 4/26 (15%)
A- Anatomy of a Player by Cindi Madsen
B-
C-
D- Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan
E-
F-
G-
H-
I-
J-
K- Kissing Madeline by Lex Martin
L-
M-
N-
O-
P-
Q-
R-
S- Stealing the Bachelor by Sonya Weiss
T-
U-
V-
W-
X-
Y-
Z-
2016 Banned Books Challenge
hosted by: Buckling Bookshelves
Rabble-Rouser: 6-9 banned books
Progress: 0/6 (0%)
2016 Audiobook Challenge
hosted by: The Book Nympho & Hot Listens
Weekend Warrior: 5-10 audiobooks
Progress: 0/10 (0%)

You Read How Many Books? 2016 Sign Ups

I took over this challenge from Gina @ Book Dragon’s Lair. The challenge runs from January 1st, 2016 to December 31st, 2016. You can sign up at any time. Here are the rules:

1. Choose a Level
    Level 1: 100 minimum
    Level 2: 150
    Level 3: 200
    Level 4: 250 or more
2. You may move up a level but not down.
3. You don’t need a blog to participate. Feel free to link to a Goodreads shelf or another public profile where everyone can see your books.
4. Reviews are not necessary but a list of books is. There will be a link up for reviews if you wish to post them.
5. All formats allowed as long as the book has an isbn or equivalent and can be purchased/borrowed, the book counts.
6. Individual short stories in a collection and individual books of the Bible do not count.
7. Crossovers from other challenges count- they’d have too!
8. Books started before January 1st, 2016 don’t count.

Sign up below with the link to where you will be keeping up with your books (not your homepage) please!