Weekly Book Recap #13

The #ReadingMyLibrary Challenge kicked off April 1st so I’m reading more library books this month and sharing with you about my library. I have a giveaway going on for an eBook copy of Royal Date by Sariah Wilson that ends on the 15th. You can enter here. I also signed up to participate in the Blog Ahead mini-challenge hosted by Herding Cats and Burning Soup.

What I Posted: 
What I Read: 

You and I Alone by Melissa Toppen (eARC)
You and I Together by Melissa Toppen (eARC)
Where She Went by Gayle Forman (library)
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell (Audio) (library)

Currently Reading:

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (library)
Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard (Audio) (library)
Beckon Me by Cindy Thomas
Cupcakes and Crushes by Keri Ford (Netgalley)

Up Next: 

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (library)
Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer (library)
When a Rake Falls by Sally Orr (Netgalley)

#ReadingMyLibrary Challenge Week 2 Update

I’m a day late posting this update because I went to visit my family and spent most of the weekend chasing my nephew around. I did get a lot of reading done this week though! I started and finished the audio book of Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. I finished Where She Went by Gayle Forman and read about half of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.

This week’s topic is “Books you would like to suggest to your library.” Here’s a list of what I would like to see at my library.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes (after it’s released)
Denton Little’s Deathdate by Lance Rubin
What books would you like to see at your library? 

Better With Sugar by Katrina Kirkpatrick #BookBlitz

Better With Sugar by Katrina Kirkpatrick
Cranefly Romance #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 10, 2015

War veteran Ethan Quill’s horse doesn’t like people. And that’s okay because neither does he. Broken by their pasts and shunned by the community, they keep to themselves on Ethan’s rundown farm. And then along comes a brown-eyed baker who turns their world upside down.

Heiress by birth, optimist by heart, Elly Baptiste has left Manhattan behind and picked up her spatula in Cranefly, a quaint Adirondack town. She’s looking for love and finds the promise of something unexpectedly delicious with the local recluse. But how does a woman who’s running from life find happily ever with a man who’s hiding from it?

Elly knows sugar. Ethan knows war.

She knows sweet. He knows defeat.

When put to the test, can they prove that love and life really are better with sugar?

About The Author
A love of language led Katrina Kirkpatrick to a degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of Illinois, a love of her babies led her to the illustrious title of Stay-At-Home-Mommy, and a never-ending, lifelong delight of storytelling led her to pursue publication. She infuses love with laughter because love might make the world go round, but laughter lights up the scenery.  

            She has two daughters who call her Mommy Queen, two dogs, two cats, lots of chickens and a husband happy to call this chaos home. They reside in central Illinois.


Excerpt
“I am not crazy.” She scratched again.

“Really? Because you seem pretty damn crazy. You shaved me—you took my jeans—”

“Borrowed. I borrowed them.”

“You keep your mother in the fridge.”

Her fingernails dug at her back, irritation only making her itch worse. “It’s a jar of yeast!”

“That you call your mother! Why are you scratching like a stray dog? Just what exactly is the problem back there?”

“I don’t know!” Elly snapped and tried to stop. The slow crawl of movement tickled her again and she froze. There was something in there. Not on her. But in the robe. She prayed she was imagining it and tried to speak. Her mouth flapped twice, no sound came out.

“What? What is it?”

Her fingers knotted together, she forced in two deep breaths of air. It moved again. She wasn’t imagining it. There was something in there. Oh, God. There was a spider in her robe.
Elly raised her gaze to Ethan, begging him to understand what she had to do.

“Are you alright?” He took a half step towards her.

And Elly did the only thing she could do.

She threw her robe off and leaped naked at Ethan Quill.

Giveaway
The author is hosting a giveaway for a $10 Amazon gift card and 2 eBook copies of Better with Sugar. You can enter the rafflecopter below. 

Rock You by Candy J. Starr #BookBlitz

Rock You by Candy J. Starr 
(Fallen Star #1) 
Publication date: April 8th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Working for a cranky, old hermit in an isolated house sounds like Ruby’s idea of heaven – but her boss isn’t quite what she expects.

Tex is a fugitive from the rock and roll world – a tragedy abruptly halted his career. No one knows why he quit, no one knows where he is.

The two of them live in the same house, avoiding each other, until Tex screws up, endangering their lives and forcing them to move into close quarters. Suddenly, the idea of human contact seems more appealing, if only with each other. The sanctuary they have built is enough for Ruby — the man she grows to love is Tex the hermit, not Tex the rock star — but the outside world encroaches.

She thinks their fledgling love can’t shine brighter than the rock dream but can Ruby bare to let Tex go?

Goodreads // Amazon // iBooks // Nook // Kobo
AUTHOR BIO

Candy J. Starr used to be a band manager until she realised that the band she managed was so lacking in charisma that they actually sucked the charisma out of any room they played. “Screw you,” she said, leaving them to wallow in obscurity – totally forgetting that they owed her big bucks for video equipment hire.

Candy has filmed and interviewed some big names in the rock business, and a lot of small ones. She’s seen the dirty little secrets that go on in the back rooms of band venues. She’s seen the ugly side of rock and the very pretty one.

But, of course, everything she writes is fiction.
Want to know about new releases and secret fan only offers? Join her mailing list – http://bit.ly/160V44m
Author links:

https://twitter.com/candyjstarr
http://candyjstarr.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Candy-J-Starr/480163848790271
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7181055.Candy_J_Starr

EXCERPT
A man stood in the middle of the kitchen who most definitely had to be a burglar. He wore a hoodie and stubble covered half his face. He looked like he hadn’t bathed in a while. He wasn’t a ghost but he was scary.

“Stop right there, buddy,” I said.

I tried to sound tough but my heart pounded like a wild thing. He had a look of desperate danger in his eyes and looked like he hadn’t been outside much. Maybe because he’d been in prison.

He really did seem like he might have killed a man once. Maybe more than once. Bits of broken crockery splayed around his feet – those plates I’d spent all day cleaning.
I lunged at him, even shocking myself with my bravery. I was the head bitch of this house and no low life was stepping on my turf. I’d spent the day cleaning that kitchen and he was NOT going to trash it. The rush of adrenalin overruled my brain. He obviously wasn’t a guy to be messed with but he was near my phone. I had some pretty damn personal stuff on that phone. No way was he stealing it.

As I got close to him, he grabbed my hand and twisted the pencil out of it, then he backed me up against the bench, pressing his body against mine. He had me pinned tight.

I struggled but couldn’t get loose. He hadn’t looked that strong but he had some power in his grip. His body felt like steel against mine, harsh and unyielding. And he towered over me.
I’d die there in that kitchen and no one would even find out until I was just bare bones.

I didn’t know what was going on with his hands. My skin buzzed in a most disturbing way where he touched me. Was it a chemical thing?

I swung my foot and I kicked him really hard in the ankle. He didn’t loosen his grip. He didn’t even react. I was screwed.

Maybe it was really inappropriate in the circumstances but I noticed that despite his ragged, unwashed appearance, he smelt really good. The smell of him tantalised my nose and stirred some of those nerve endings that never, ever stirred in my body. It just wouldn’t do. It might’ve been an age since I’d been that close to a man but I sure as hell wasn’t desperate enough to get turned on by a manky house robber.

“You’ll want to bugger off, buddy. My husband is in the other room and you won’t want to mess with him.” I figured, if he thought there was another man in the house, it might scare him off. Not likely but it was worth a shot. He might not know that I was alone in this house in the middle of nowhere with no one but a feeble old man.

The man chuckled and let go of my arms. For a moment, his face softened and his eyes wrinkled into a smile – just for a split second – until he put the tough guy face back on.

That smile disarmed me, like the zap of an electric fence that makes the fillings in your mouth zing and your body hairs stand on end. He really was one of your better-looking robbers. He had a chiselled face and well-defined jawline. Not to mention, strong eyebrows. He leaned against the bench like he owned the place. I guess robbers could be disarmingly good-looking with a huge measure of arrogance thrown in.

You and I, Together by Melissa Toppen #Review

Title: You and I Together
Author: Melissa Toppen

Genre: Romance, Erotica

Publisher: Daft Empire
Publication Date: April 7, 2015

I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Series or Stand Alone: You and I Book 2

Twenty-one year old Anna Blake has lived her life by one simple rule; never get attached. At least she did, until her life was completely turned upside down by a man that not only consumed her but literally brought her to her knees.

She never dreamed that accepting a job as a dancer at one of the most secretive and exclusive clubs in the country would bring her face to face with the one man she simply could not resist.

Bentley Reed….

Rich, powerful, sexy. Bentley can have any woman he wants. But to him, there is only one. Determined to prove to Anna that he can be the type of man she needs, he sets out to win the ultimate prize; her heart.

But things are not always so black and white. While Bentley struggles against Anna’s resistance, she has her own battles to fight. Because when you are dealing with a man like Bentley Reed, anything can happen….

You and I Together is the second installment in the irresistibly addicting You and I series.


Review

This is exactly what I expected the continuation of Anna and Bentley’s story to be. Anna is such a strong, independent woman that she doesn’t realize what it means to truly be in love with someone. There are a lot of trust issues in this book, not just from her but Bentley as well. This really shows the consequences of what happens when you keep secrets and hide things from the person you love.

I must say that my favorite character in this book is Lo. There is something about her that I absolutely love and I can’t quite put my finger on it. All of the characters are well-developed and are easy to relate to, but I wish we could learn more about Lo at some point.

I feel like I’m a wreck after finishing this book because I could feel the emotions the characters felt as they were feeling them: love, anger, and pain. I definitely got emotionally involved in this series and can’t wait for the third book, You and I Forever, to come out in June.

Rating: 5 stars

You and I Alone by Melissa Toppen #Review

Title: You and I Alone
Author: Melissa Toppen

Genre: Romance, Erotica

Publisher: Daft Empire
Publication Date: February 3, 2015

I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Series or Stand Alone: You and I Book 1

Twenty-one year old Anna Blake has lived her life by one simple rule; never get attached. Having learned early on in life that nothing is guaranteed, she knows there is only one person she can truly rely on; herself.

But when she accepts a job as a dancer at one of the most secretive and exclusive clubs in the country, operating under the name Logan, she meets the one man who makes her question everything she thought she knew.

Bentley Reed is exactly the type of man women crave. Rich, powerful, and as sexy as they come; the definition of a playboy. A former soccer star turned business mogul, Bentley is used to getting what he wants, when he wants it…. but he has never met a girl like Logan before.

Their undeniable attraction is clear from their first encounter and neither can deny the sexual chemistry that flows between them. When Logan agrees to one night with Bentley, she has no idea that one night will alter her very existence.

Determined to walk away from a man insistent on not letting her go, Logan struggles to resist the temptation of what her body desires above all else.

What happens when two people who operate by the same rules, find themselves breaking them all for the chance to experience just one more night in each others arms?


Review

I love love love this book! Anna is a stripper working at an elite club under the name of Logan when she meets Bentley who happens to be the owner of the club. Anna refuses to give him a chance at first because she doesn’t do relationships. Bentley finally talks her into one night with him. What happens after will break the rules that both of them have set for themselves. 

I don’t know what it is about books that contain a protagonist who is a stripper, but I love them. Anna isn’t ashamed of being a stripper and uses it as a way to continue dancing after she blew out her knee. The songs that Melissa Toppen uses for her dances are such good songs and I could see Anna dancing to them as I read. 

I normally don’t care alpha males that much but Bentley is definitely the exception to this. He’s a strong alpha who has a hard time accepting the word no, but I love the way he treats Anna as his equal and not someone that he can just boss around. Also, he’s hot. 

The sex scenes in this book were hot and contained just enough detail to make you want more. It takes an incredible writer to write the perfect sex scene without making it too erotic and Melissa Toppen is that writer. I would highly recommend reading this book, but be prepared; you are going to want to immediately read the sequel, You and I Together.

Rating: 5 stars

A Touch of Passion by Bronwen Evans #review

Title: A Touch of Passion
Author: Bronwen Evans

Genre: Historical Romance

Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: March 24, 2015

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

Series or Standalone: The Disgraced Lords #3

 In the latest Disgraced Lords novel from USA Today bestselling author Bronwen Evans, a vivacious thrill seeker clashes with her dutiful defender–causing irresistible sparks to fly.

Independent and high-spirited, Lady Portia Flagstaff has never been afraid to take a risk, especially if it involves excitement and danger. But this time, being kidnapped and sold into an Arab harem is the outcome of one risk too many. Now, in order to regain her freedom, she has to rely on the deliciously packaged Grayson Devlin, Viscount Blackwood, a man who despises her reckless ways—and stirs in her a thirst for passion.
After losing his mother and two siblings in a carriage accident years ago, Grayson Devlin promised Portia’s dying brother that he’€™d always watch over his wayward sister. But having to travel to Egypt to rescue the foolhardy girl has made his blood boil. Grayson already has his hands full trying to clear his best friend and fellow Libertine Scholar of a crime he didn’€™t commit. Worse still, his dashing rescue has unleashed an unforeseen and undesired consequence: marriage. Now it’€™s more than Portia he has to protect . . . it’s his battered heart.

Review

This may be book 3 in The Disgraced Lords series but it can be read as a standalone. This is the only book I have read of the series and it was easy to follow. 
Portia is a strong willed woman who doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her. She runs her own cider business even though the ton frowns upon her and tries to cheat her out of money. After facing death at the age of 16 from a lung fever, Portia has created a bucket list of sorts to make sure she lives life to fullest. One item on her list is to experience passion. 
Grayson is afraid to love after losing his parents and sister in a carriage accident that only he survived. Portia’s family took him in and raised him as their own from the time he was 15. Now Grayson has promised her brother on his death bed that he would look after Portia. When she gets kidnapped and sold into an Arab harem, Grayson will face the ultimate test of if he can love her and take care of her like he promised. 
This book was so good I didn’t want it to end. I love the characters and thought they were very well developed. I understand Grayson’s hesitation to love anyone and Portia’s resistance to marry a man who doesn’t love her. This is a beautifully written story and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.
Rating: 4 stars 

Weekly Book Recap #12

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey.

The #ReadingMyLibrary Challenge kicked off April 1st so I will be reading more library books this month and sharing with you about my library. Be sure to check out the Giveaways tab for my current giveaways.

What I Posted: 
What I Read: 

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Lost and Found by Nicole Williams

Love, Lucy by April Lidner (Netgalley)

A Touch of Passion by Bronwen Evans (Netgalley)

Currently Reading: 

You and I Alone by Melissa Toppen
Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell (Audio)
Up Next: 

You and I Together by Melissa Toppen
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
When a Rake Falls by Sally Orr (Netgalley)
Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard (Audio)

#ReadingMyLibrary Challenge Week 1 Update

The #ReadingMyLibrary Challenge started April 1st. Sign ups are open through April 15th. To find out more and sign up go here.

My library is part of the Madison County Library System which consists of libraries. I love this because if there is a book I want to check out that my library doesn’t have but another library in the system has I can get it within a few hours without going to a different branch.
My library has a great selection of books, audiobooks, eBooks, magazines, and DVDs. I usually check out 3 DVDs a week and at least one of them is a new release. Right now I have 9 books, 3 DVDs, and 2 audiobooks checked out. I’ll share these with you as I get to them so you can see what I read/watch/listen to each week of the challenge. 
Here’s what I’m currently reading: 
     
         Where She Went by Gayle Forman
         I should finish this book tonight.
     

         Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

         I’ve only read a couple of chapters so far but I already love it!

Books ‘n’ Bloggers Swap

I just joined the Books ‘n’ Bloggers Swap. You can find out more about the rules and sign up here



Your Swap Objective: 
Get to know your fellow book-loving partner and send them a fantastic bookish package.  
Your package must include: 
  • A book from your partner’s wishlist.
  • A book you have read and loved.
  • A book you haven’t read, but think looks interesting. (Can also be on their wishlist.)
  • *Optional* Other book-related goodies.  

Important Dates to Remember:
  • Sign-ups Open: Monday, March 30th.
  • Sign-ups Close: Monday, April 6th.
  • Giveaway Ends: Tuesday, April 7th.
  • Partners Assigned by: Wednesday, April 8th.
  • Packages Ship: on or by Saturday, April 18th.
  • Show-Off Linky Opens: Wednesday, April 22nd.
This will be my first time participating in this exchange and I can’t wait. It should be a lot of fun!