Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall TBR List

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is Books On My Fall TBR List. This list could go on and on, so I kept it at 10. Trust me, there’s way too many books I want to read to list them all. Click on the book title to head to that book’s Goodreads page.


1. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

2. Well Hung by Lauren Blakely

3. To Love and to Cherish by Lauren Layne

4. Royally Screwed by Emma Chase

5. Keepsake by Sarina Bowen

6. The Player by Claire Contreras

7. Someone Like You by Lauren Layne

8. From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon

9. The Sexy One by Lauren Blakely

10. Twisted Palace by Erin Watt


Are any of these on your fall TBR?

Review: Carolina Heart by Virginia Kantra

Carolina Heart
Series: Dare Island, #4.5
Author: Virginia Kantra
Publication Date: July 19, 2016

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Determined to leave her wild past behind her, Cynthie Lodge is forging a new life for herself and her daughters—one that’s man-free and drama-free. But not everyone is so eager to let go of the past.

When sexy loner Max Lewis returns to Dare Island, seeing Cynthie again rekindles his feelings for his high school crush. Now he must convince her to take another chance on love.


Carolina Heart was a great addition to Virginia Kantra’s Dare Island series. Despite being a short and sweet novella, it had a big emotional punch. Both Cynthie and Max were trying to move on from their high school labels. Neither could see that they already had. It took falling in love with each other to prove to themselves that they weren’t who they were in high school anymore, they were better versions of themselves.

This novella was a light and easy to read story that was so much fun. It was exactly what I’m looking for when I pick up a contemporary romance. Virginia Kantra’s entire Dare Island series is. I would highly suggest it to adult contemporary romance readers who like a fast-paced and romantic read.

Reader Confessions Book Tag

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I was tagged by Jesse @ Books at Dawn for the Reader Confessions Book Tag. (Thanks, Jesse!) This tag looks like so much! And you get to know a little more about my secret reading habits. 😉


QUESTIONS:

Have you ever damaged a book? 

Unfortunately, yes. More to come on that in a minute.

Have you ever damaged a borrowed book?

This finishes the answer from above. My old boss lent my Jodi Picoult’s Plain Truth back in the day. I don’t remember what happened, but somehow the book got a little wet. There’s no way I would return a book that way, so I went out and bought a second copy to return to her.

How long does it take you to read a book? 

Depends on the book. If it’s a fast-paced romance, I can read it in an evening or two. If it’s a thriller or fantasy then it takes me longer, maybe three days or so. I need breaks for the intensity of thrillers. I’m not sure why it takes longer with the fantasies. Maybe I just need to absorb what I’m reading more. In general, I’m a really fast reader.

Books that you haven’t finished? 

I think DNF’ing books you don’t like is great. I don’t do it as often as I should. I always hope a book is going to get better. I’m trying to think of books I’ve DNF’d and only a couple come immediately to my mind:

Hyped popular books that you don’t like?

This was kind of a hard one to answer. The only books I could think of were The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and Modern Lovers. They were all okay, but not as good as I was expecting. I won’t be recommending them.

Is there a book you wouldn’t tell anyone you were reading?

I’m pretty open about what I’m reading. I recently told some friends I was reading a book about a sex addict and an alcoholic that fall in love. The only people I might censor myself for would be my parents, my 8 year-old and other people my parents’ age.

How many books do you own? 

My best guess is around 200 physical books. I would count them all, but they’re in different bookcases in different areas of my house and I’m being lazy right now. That doesn’t include all of the Kindle books I own. I own A LOT of Kindle books. My Amazon account says it’s like 998. I don’t think that includes all the ARCS and stuff downloaded from other sources. I probably haven’t read even half of those, though. 🙁

Are you a fast reader or a slow reader? 

I would say I’m a fast reader. I think most people would agree with me. I practice reading a lot. Lol.

Do you like to buddy read?

Yes! I have a Goodreads group I do it with at least once a month. It’s fun. We have a thread where we add our comments in spoilers by chapters. It’s a great way to have a “book group” without having to meet for an actual book group.

Do you read better in your head or out loud? 

Interesting question. I think reading out loud forces me to read every single word written and not speed read over anything. I don’t do it often with books for myself, pretty much only when reading to my daughter. Right now I’m reading Return to the Isle of the Lost out loud to her each night. I did read the entire Harry Potter series out loud for myself, though. I did it when my daughter was a newborn so she could hear my voice. I swear it helped. She was talking before her first birthday. But I guess that counts as reading out loud to her…

If you were only allowed to own one book what one and why? 

Tough question. Probably Bright Side by Kim Holden. It made me laugh. It made me cry. It made me think about how I live my life. It was very inspiring.


I TAG:

Ari @ The Daydreaming Bookworm
Ashley @ What’s She Reading?
Claire @ Art and Soul
Cristina @ My Tiny Obsessions
Stephanie @ Stephanie’s Book Reviews
Susan @ Susan Loves Books

Review: Roman Crazy by Alice Clayton & Nina Bocci

Roman Crazy
Series: Broads Abroad, #1

Authors: Alice Clayton & Nina Bocci
Publication Date: September 13, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Avery Bardot steps off the plane in Rome, looking for a fresh start. She’s left behind a soon-to-be ex-husband in Boston and plans to spend the summer with her best friend Daisy, licking her wounds—and perhaps a gelato or two. But when her American-expat friend throws her a welcome party on her first night, Avery’s thrown for a loop when she sees a man she never thought she’d see again: Italian architect Marcello Bianchi.

Marcello was the man—the one who got away. And now her past is colliding with her present, a present where she should be mourning the loss of her marriage and—hey, that fettuccine is delicious! And so is Marcello…

Slipping easily into the good life of summertime in Rome, Avery spends her days exploring a city that makes art historians swoon, and her nights swooning over her unexpected what was old is new again romance. It’s heady, it’s fevered, it’s wanton, and it’s crazy. But could this really be her new life? Or is it just a temporary reprieve before returning to the land of twin-set cardigans and crustless sandwiches?

A celebration of great friendship, passionate romance, and wonderful food, Roman Crazy is a lighthearted story of second chances and living life to the fullest.


Contemporary romances readers — Get ready for a new favorite series!

I absolutely loved Alice Clayton and Nina Bocci’s Roman Crazy. I’ve read collaborations before, but never have I read a collaboration without dual points of view. Avery was the sole narrator in Roman Crazy. Alice Clayton and Nina Bocci’s writing melded together so fluently it read like it was written by one person. I was so impressed!

Another thing that impressed me about Roman Crazy was the setting. The authors made Rome feel like one of the characters. I could easily imagine the streets and buildings. I’ve never thought about traveling to Rome, but this book has me tempted!

Avery was a really great character going through a mid-life crisis. Leaving behind her almost ex-husband opened her eyes to how she was truly living life. She quickly discovered who she was might not be the person she wanted to be. Running away to Rome and reuniting with Marcello added even more depth to her discovery. It allowed her to come to terms with her decisions over the past ten years and fight for what she really wanted for herself.

I adored Avery and Marcello’s love affair. No matter how complicated Avery’s life was at the moment, their relationship felt simple. They connected in a sweet, but carnal way. Marcello got her in a way no one else did. Their second chance at love made me so happy!

There were also some really interesting twists along the way for readers. I have to admit I was a little surprised by some of the revelations that both Avery and Marcello made toward the end of the book.

Obviously, I was enchanted by Roman Crazy. It was so much fun to read. I would highly recommend it to readers who enjoy humorous second chance romances.

“A Long Time Ago, in a Land Far, Far Away” Book Tag

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I was tagged by the lovely Cristina @ My Tiny Obsessions for the “A Long Time Ago, In A Land Far, Far Away” Book Tag. This tag was created by Keira @Pirate Lady Pages. It looks like so much fun! Thanks, Cristina!


ONCE UPON A TIME

At least in western fairy-tales, once upon a time is the most common and well-known opening for a traditional fairytale. What book opening makes you feel nostalgic?

If you’ve read The DUFF, you’re probably laughing. This book is in no way my life story, but it did remind me of being 18. Like Bianca in the beginning, my friends and I used to go to this 18 and over club in Seattle called DV8. (I totally just aged myself for anyone who lives in the Seattle area. Lol.) It kind of made me miss that time in my life. So much drama — but so much fun!

IN A LAND FAR, FAR AWAY

Another common opening which speaks of far off places. What is a book set in a country completely unlike your own?

Roman Crazy is (gasp!) set in Rome. Even though it’s set in present day, there are so many customs that are different from what I experience daily in the U.S. I really enjoyed reading about them.

FROM MOUTH TO MOUTH

Our oldest fairy tales were told time and time again with no written record, told only in the spoken form. Everyone had their own version of the fairy tales. What is your favorite retelling?

Broken is a take on the Beauty and the Beast theme. The entire Redemption series by Lauren Layne is filled with fun retellings with interconnected characters. I loved reading them.

THROUGH THE GENERATIONS

Fairy tales are told to us as children and so are passed on through the years. What is a book that someone beloved passed on to you?

Where’d You Go, Bernadette was passed from my sister to my mom and then to me. It was a funny and amazing book. Plus, it was set in Seattle. I loved it!

A SPECIAL STORY

Fairy tales are a big part of our culture and say a lot about who we are as people. What is your favorite fairytale and what does it say about you?

I’ll always have a soft spot for Beauty and the Beast. I think it came out when I was in junior high. My friend gave me the VHS tape of it (Yes, I’m THAT old.) and we used to watch it all of the time. I think that says I have emotional ties to memories from the past?

AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER

Fairy tales tend to have happy endings. What is a book you’ll love forever?

I can’t say enough how special Bright Side is to me. I try to base my life on some of the stuff I read in this book. It was filled with every emotion and such a touching story.


I Tag:

Alex
Ashley
Jesse
Jill
Joey
Sky
Stephanie
The Orang-utan Librarian

And anyone else who wants to join in!

This or That Book Tag #3

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I was tagged by the lovely Wendy @ Birdy Bookworm for the This or That Book Tag. (Thanks, Wendy!) I have participated in this tag before, but it’s been quite a while so I thought I’d give it a go again. 🙂


THE RULES OF THE TAG:

  1. Mention the creator of the tag. (Sorry! Not sure who created this one!)
  2. Thank the blogger who tagged you.
  3. Choose one of the options, you don’t have to tell the reasons why you chose that but you can also do them if you want to.
  4. Tag 10 other people to do this tag to spread the love!

THE QUESTIONS:

Reading on the couch or on the bed?

Neither! I know I’m supposed to pick one or the other, but I read in a recliner. It’s my favorite reading spot.

Male main character or female main character?

I like romances with dual points of view, so I want to pick both. If I absolutely have to pick, I’d go with male. I love, love, love a good cocky alpha male narrator. 😉

Sweet snacks or salty snacks when reading?

Normally, I would pick sweet. I have to say salty right now, though; because my hubby and I are avoiding the sugar. My new go-to reading snack is popcorn. It’s yummy!

Trilogies or quartets?

That’s a hard one. I guess quartets? I like series with interconnected characters that can be read as stanalones.

First person point of view or third person point of view?

First person. I like to feel like I’m the character.

Reading at night or in the morning?

Night. That’s when I read. My hubby watches whatever show he likes (usually something intense or bloody that I can’t watch) while I read. It’s like we’re hanging out but doing our own thing.

Libraries or bookstores?

Bookstores. I just like to hang out and look at all the pretty new books. I do frequent the library, but old, used books give me the heebie jeebies. I blame my Grandma Faye who lived to be the ripe old age of 104 and wouldn’t touch a library book.

Books that make you laugh or make you cry?

I want a book to make me feel, so either works. But if a book does both, then it cements a place in my all time favorites. (That’s why Bright Side ends up in ALL of my lists!)

Black book covers or white book covers?

As long as they have a half-naked male on the front I really don’t care!

Character driven or plot driven stories?

Character driven. Like I said, it’s all about the feel and characters thoughts are what drives that.


I TAG:

Kendra @ Reads and Treats
Zoe @ Zoe169
Esther @ Chapter Adventures
Tash @ The Bookie Monsters
What A Book Wants
Camryn @ The Writing Crafter
Jenn @ Jenn’s Bookish Wonderland
Kathy @ A View to a Book
Sheri @ Read in a Flash
Susan @ Susan Loves Books

Also, feel free to do this tag if you want to join in!

Review: The Layover by Whitney G.

The Layover
Author: Whitney G.

Publication Date: January 27, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

I don’t care which city. I don’t care which flight. I just need to get the hell out of here… Paris Weston is tired of all the broken promises her boyfriend has given her over the years. Instead of showing up to their ‘secret’ engagement party, she shows up to the airport—ready and willing to go wherever the next flight is bound. Determined to get away and start again, she’s certain that a week or two away will solve all of her problems. Until she never makes it to her final destination. Until the sexy, dirty-mouthed stranger who sits next to her on the plane changes everything. Until the unintended layover leaves her never wanting to go back home.


This novella by Whitney G. couldn’t have been more perfect! It was delightfully funny, sexy and sweet. I loves Paris and Blake. Things between them were more slow-burn than I expected, but still incredibly hot. And the dialog between them was so witty!

I absolutely loved this novella. The only thing wrong with it was that it ended. 🙁 I wish it would have been a full length novel instead of a novella. I needed more! I want to know what happened next! Can someone please convince Whitney G. to either make this into a full length novel or write a Part 2? I would totally buy it.