Tag Archive | Romance Series

New Book by Penny Reid: Beard in Mind

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Beard in Mind, an all new standalone in the bestselling, romantic comedy Winston Brothers Series by Penny Reid, is LIVE!

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All is fair in love and auto maintenance.

Beau Winston is the nicest, most accommodating guy in the world. Usually.

Handsome as the devil and twice as charismatic, Beau lives a charmed life as everyone’s favorite Winston Brother. But since his twin decided to leave town, and his other brother hired a stunning human-porcupine hybrid as a replacement mechanic for their auto shop, Beau Winston’s charmed life has gone to hell in a handbasket.

Shelly Sullivan is not nice and is never accommodating. Ever.

She mumbles to herself, but won’t respond when asked a question. She glares at everyone, especially babies. She won’t shake hands with or touch another person, but has no problems cuddling with a dog. And her damn parrot speaks only in curse words.

Beau wants her gone. He wants her out of his auto shop, out of Tennessee, and out of his life.

The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her coat of spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity—exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity—and Beau Winston soon discovers being nice and accommodating might mean losing what matters most.

LIVE

Read Today!

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)

Amazon US:http://amzn.to/2f53VN9

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2uRxDdZ

Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2u0lZPk

Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2whOBQB

Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/hsTLLC

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Enter the Giveaway!

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Meet Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

 

PennyReid

Connect with Penny:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PennyReidWriter/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lakzsD

Twitter: @ReidRomance

Newsletter: http://pennyreid.ninja/newsletter/

www.pennyreid.ninja

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2017 Book Challenge: Re-Read

2017 Book Challenge

 

A book you loved… read it again

Christine’s Book

The Elements of Chemistry

ATTRACTION (Part 1)

HEAT (Part 2)

CAPTURE (Part 3)

from the Hypothesis Series by Penny Reid

Elements of Chemistry

Synopsis: Kaitlyn Parker doesn’t like parties, doesn’t like attention, and certainly doesn’t like her chemistry lab partner Martin Sandeke. The jerk-face is a jerk, no matter how handsome he may be. Martin doesn’t care that he’s a jerk. All Martin cares about is that Parker has been driving him crazy for the past semester. Once Martin backs Parker into the proverbial corner, he’s not going to let her out. In fact, Martin goes so far as to get Parker onto an island so he can finally have her undivided attention. The problem, of course, is that Martin is still a jerk-face, and Parker is still a girl who doesn’t like attention.

I read this series in 2015 when they first came out. It was one of those situations where I bought the first book, not realizing it was a cliffhanger. After finishing book one, I bought the whole series bundled, essentially paying for book 1 twice, but not caring because the books were that good! It was time to re-read it because: 1) I was depressed about some real life drama and needed a pick me up; 2) Penny Reid has announced that she will be writing the second book in the Hypothesis Series, Laws of Physics, and so I needed to prep; 3) I love nerdy, geeky heroines who have a strong moral compass and are all-around awesome. If you’d like to read my original, full book review, you can find it here.

 

Fallon’s Book

Midnight in Austenland

By Shannon Hale

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I absolutely love Jane Austen. And my love for her has caused many relationship problems between me and other authors; I hesitate to start a book by an author I don’t know and usually just end up re-reading a book I know I’ll enjoy. My love, however, does not extend to all Austen inspired spin-offs, sequels, or changed point-of-view novels. I had just finished re-reading Hale’s Austenland and immediately picked up the next in the series (is it still considered a series if there are only two books?). It was at that time Christine and I decided to do this book challenge.
Midnight in Austenland does a good job reinventing itself from its predecessor. The story is once again set at the Regency-era Pembroke Park with a few familiar secondary characters. This time, we follow new guest, Charlotte Kinder, who just wants some time to reset her life but ends up trying to navigate through what’s real and what’s not At the park. During parts of the story I questioned whether I liked Charlotte or not, or if I found her too silly. Although everything about the people in Austenland can be described as silly, I don’t want my thirty-something heroine comparable to the naïve Catherine Morland. Once finished though, I was happy with Charlotte and had all those lovely, warm feelings I like to have at a conclusion. Maybe I should take the words of Hale to heart, “Jane Austen had created six heroines, each quite different, and that gave Charlotte
courage. There wasn’t just one kind of woman to be.”

Did you join us in our book challenge? What book did you re-read and why?

Our next book challenge will be pick a book solely based on the cover… we’ll post our picks on April 14. Hope you’ll tell us about the book you read!

Get to Know the Vampire Girl

Vampire Girl Series by Karpov Kinrade

Young Adult/Paranormal Romance

 

Vampire Girl

Vampire Girl 2: Midnight Star

Vampire Girl 3: Silver Flame

Vampire Girl 4: Moonlight Prince

 

These books are not standalones and must be read in order.

Vampire Girl

Overall Rating: 4.5 (XOXO)

Quick & Dirty summary: Arianna Spiro is just another girl when she walks to work on the night of her 18th birthday. But nothing in her life will ever be the same once she returns home to find her mother dead. Arianna will do everything in her power to save the people she loves the most, but when she finds that vampires are real, she’s not sure how much she can really do to save herself let alone anyone else.

These books are wonderfully written. From the very first page I was transformed into another place, following Arianna around on her birthday. Karpov Kinrade (KK), a married couple who have put their last names together, do a wonderful job of describing the characters and scenery enough to pain a vivid picture without slowing down the narrative. I love the dialogue and Arianna is an awesome heroine.

This is a love story, but what I love about so many young adult novels is the love they portray goes beyond the romantic. It’s about love of family, love of friends, and love of yourself. Yes, of course there is romance. I enjoyed reading about Arianna’s relationship (I won’t give it away since you aren’t really certain until further along in the story), but Arianna’s love for her friends and family play a major role in this novel.

In order for that to effectively happen, the secondary characters have to be strong and multidimensional and KK do that beautifully. This is the kind of book where you have more than one favorite character because there are so many good ones to choose from. And this is not a story of simple human beings (or vampires). Instead, each character makes choices based on a whole series of complex factors. While there is a “bad” guy, most of the characters have redeeming qualities. This adds a bit of mystery and suspense to the series, but also gives the books great depth.

I could not wait to read each book in this series! They are enthralling!

 

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $13.96 for all four books)

Now you guys know that I am not one to advocate buying a $14 ebook. I highly recommend checking to see if your library has this series since it’s one you don’t want to miss. And I also highly recommend buying it, if a $14 ebook is in your wheelhouse (it’s just not in mine). If you’re wondering how I got to read these books, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear that they are FREE on Kindle Unlimited! I’m finding it is paying off more and more to have KU.

Something else you might enjoy:

Try one of the first series I reviewed on this blog, the Witching Savannah Series by J.D. Horn. You can read my review of the series here, but it’s similar in that it’s PG rated and full of paranormal love.

Darkest London Book 3

Darkest London Series by Kristen Callihan

Paranormal Romance

 

Winterblaze (Book 3)

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Overall Rating: 4 (sXe)

Quick & Dirty summary: Poppy London has always been the steady sister. With her husband and her bookshop, her life seems mundane and ordinary. But when a werewolf attacks her husband, Winston, long held family secrets are revealed that may cost Poppy her marriage. After Winston recovers he leaves Poppy to find some semblance of solace after his wife’s betrayal, but when Poppy suddenly appears on his ship, his life takes another dangerous turn. As Poppy and Winston face a threat bigger than the two of them they must decide if the love that brought them together is enough to overcome a deal made with the devil.

This might have been my favorite Darkest London book yet. And that’s saying something because I love the first book in this series. But there is something about the undeniable love between Poppy and Winston that makes my heart sigh. It’s not that Winston doubts his love for Poppy, but it’s whether the two of them can forgive and move on in their relationship.

The universal theme of forgiveness is so applicable to life, whether staring down a demon or ignoring the little hurts your partner may inflict. People inevitably require forgiving, we are so imperfect, and Kristen Callihan’s portrayal of this truth is quite moving. I wouldn’t say that the resolution is definitive, but the story offer glimmers as to how a couple can move on.

The pacing of this story is kind of like the sea: it swells with action and then ebbs a little with memories and dialogue. I enjoyed it and read the novel quickly. The climax of the novel is a little hazy for me—I’m not sure I understand exactly what happens, but it’s a happily-ever-after and for that I am grateful.

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $6.99)

Even though it’s a bit expensive, because it’s my favorite book in the series so far, I’m going to have to say yes, you should buy it. It’s sweet and touching and lovely, plus you get to see Poppy’s two sisters as they live out their happily-ever-afters.

Loving the Player in the Player and the Pixie

Rugby Series by Penny Reid and L.H. Cosway

Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy

 

The Player and the Pixie (Book 2)

 

If you’d like my opinion on the first book in the series, The Hooker and the Hermit, you can find it on Goodreads by clicking this link. I wrote this before I began this blog and so the format is different and the evaluation system is a bit different, so please read it with a grain of salt. The third book in the series, The Cad and the Co-Ed, is scheduled to be released Feb. 14 so I suggest reading the first two books now so you’re all caught up. While each book is technically a stand-alone novel, they are much better read in sequence. And as a side note: if buy books on Kindle, then the new book won’t be available for pre-order. If you read on other platforms it is available for pre-order, but once Feb. 14 hits, it will go off those platforms to be exclusively available on Kindle. In summary, if you read on Kindle you will have to wait to buy it till it’s release date. If you don’t, you need to pre-order it NOW.

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Overall Rating: 4.5 (sXe)

Quick & Dirty Summary: Sean Cassidy is the player everyone hates, especially after he betrayed his teammate Ronan and violated the bro code. Sean has it out for Ronan and he isn’t above using Ronan’s little sister, Lucy, to mess with him. Lucy may have rainbow colored hair, but she’s not a child. She knows that she has problems and she’s doing her best to fix them, but when Sean blackmails her into having dinner with him, she might have added one more problem to her list. When Lucy discovers that Sean is terrible in bed, she finds an enjoyable way to kill two birds with one stone. But when emotions get out of hand, it’s Sean who has the problem of convincing Lucy to give him an honest shot at becoming more than just a player.

I enjoyed this novel so much! It probably had something to do with the unique storyline of the player being bad in bed. It’s hilarious to think of all the women who use Sean for his celebrity and have to pay for it in bad sex. I do wish the storyline had gone into a little more depth as to WHY Sean is bad in bed. It speculates a little, but it’s made out to be more a matter of technique than actually paying attention to how a woman is responding to a man’s touch. This aspect of the book reminded me a little of the movie Don Jon with Joseph-Gordon Levitt. If you aren’t afraid of sex scenes and porn, the movie has an interesting “lesson” of a similar vein.

The psychological aspects of this book are immense, what with Lucy’s problems with her mother, Sean’s childhood emotional neglect, and the whole needing to get “warm.” If you enjoy thinking about human nature, then reading this book is fascinating.

The progression of Lucy and Sean’s relationship is another strong selling point for me. While it started off with a kind of tense anger, it slowly evolved into a friendship of sorts. This incremental development to their relationship was believable and enjoyable.

Overall, this book is a great journey. It moves from Ireland to Spain to New York and then back to Ireland and each place seems to represent a different phase of Lucy and Sean’s relationship. Oh, and the sex scenes are pretty great too and they also traverse spaces.

One other small critique I had of the book is the resolution of the central conflict for Lucy. In the end, it seems too easily solved after Lucy spent weeks upon weeks, and even a few tears, worrying about it. This aspect of the plot didn’t bother me as much as it could have, though, because Sean is so earnest in his attempts at being with Lucy. I love it when a man is cute and vulnerable and needy (in a healthy way).

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $1.99)

Yes, get it now while it’s on sale! The third book in the series releases on Feb. 14 and prices will probably go up after that so hurry. And bonus, if you have Kindle Unlimited it’s free!

Something else you might enjoy:

There are a lot of reforming-the-player themed books, but none of them have a storyline where the hero is bad in bed. In fact, I can’t think of a single book where the sex isn’t just magically wonderful. Has anyone else read a book where the partners have to work at learning what each other likes?

Entranced by Moonglow

Darkest London Series by Kristen Callihan

Historical Romance/Fantasy

 

Moonglow (Book 2)

moonglow-darkest-london-2

Overall Rating: 4 (sXe)

Quick & Dirty Summary: Daisy Ellis Craigmore has always seemed like the daring sister. Outrageous and infectious, Daisy’s big personality seems to imply a certain looseness of character. And now that her year of mourning her stuffy old husband is done, Daisy is determined to earn her reputation. Her pleasure is short-lived when she witnesses a gruesome murder and is almost killed herself. When Ian Ranulf happens to come along and save her, she promptly puts him in his place. Yet, as killings continue to happen in London, Ian must keep Daisy close in order to keep her safe. And as he does so, they both learn some startling new things about each other and themselves.

To say I enjoyed this book would be an understatement. I was completely enthralled and had a hard time putting it down. I love Daisy’s personality, although parts of it seemed uneven to me. She loves perfume and has a great sense of smell, but hates dirt and being outside. It seems like all the best smells would be outside in a garden. But what do I know? In any case, she is spunky and outgoing and I really enjoyed getting to know her better (her appearance in the first book is rather brief).

Ian I could take or leave. He wasn’t the super swoony guy I’d always hoped for, but the dialogue between Ian and Daisy is great. His tragic backstory explains a lot of his behavior in the first book of the series, and I love when an author takes a challenging character and transforms him into a sympathetic one. That Kristen Callihan succeeds is evident in how much I like this book.

There is a lot of action and quite a few plot twists throughout this novel. I was very surprised by the evil mastermind behind all the killings and really enjoyed that aspect of the storyline. I can’t wait to read the next novel, since the end of this one gives a glimpse into the next one. That’s the bad thing about borrowing the books from the library—it takes FOREVER to get the next installment. But I’ll happily wait if it means more of this exciting goodness!

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $8.99)

This one makes me edgy because even though I liked the book, more than the first one even, nine dollars for an e-book makes me uncomfortable. I definitely recommend reading it, but I think borrowing it from the library may be the way to go unless you’re going to buy the whole series.

Something else you might enjoy:

The London Steampunk Series by Bec McMaster has a similar feel to the Darkest London Series and I really enjoyed the first book in the series, Kiss of Steel. And the best part about it is that it’s free to read if you have Kindle Unlimited. I didn’t read the rest of the series, but there are a lot of books, five to be exact with an additional two novellas, so if you’re looking for a new series this may be a good option.

Series I Hope Van Dyken Keeps

Seaside Pictures Series by Rachel Van Dyken

New Adult

This is the second book in the series. You can read my review of the first book, Capture, here.

Keep (Book 2)

keep

Overall Rating: 4 (sXe)

Quick & Dirty Summary: Zane (Saint) Andrews is a sex symbol the world over. While Zane is perfectly happy playing the role of playboy, he has more than one secret he’s done just about everything to hide. No one wants to think of a rock god as a person who struggles with anxiety and food issues. Fallon is a huge fan of Zane and while she is perfectly content to admire him from afar, when her best friend throws her to the wolves (aka Zane) she knows she has nothing to offer him. After all, she’s nerdy, awkward and isn’t nearly as beautiful as the women he is pictured with in the tabloids. But Zane doesn’t want those Hollywood beauties; he wants someone who sees him for himself. When Zane realizes that Fallon can help him keep his image while providing inspiration for the songs he needs to write, he makes Fallon a deal. They get more than they bargained for once Zane’s walls come down and his secrets are revealed.

I love this book more than I loved the first book and that’s saying something because I really enjoyed Capture. One of my primary reasons for loving this book is Zane. He is so complicated, but his issues make sense once his history is revealed. Zane has layers and they aren’t all sweet, but they also aren’t all horrible. I love the way his anxiety is dealt with because it’s clear there are no simple answers. While we’d all like for love to solve every problem, that’s just not the truth of it.

Of course I enjoy Fallon a lot because I love an awkward heroine. There’s nothing better than the popular guy falling for the sweet, insecure girl. Plus, I love the name Fallon because one of my sweetest friends is named Fallon (Hi Fallon! She reads my blog :-).

Like all of Rachel Van Dyken’s books, there is a lot of action in this book. The circle of friends who surround Zane are really sweet, kind of outrageous, and funny. They add a great dimension to the novel and once again I wish I had read the Seascape series. As a side note, I just saw that Amazon has a bundled version of the Seascape series for $4.99, which sounds like an awesome deal!

Unfortunately I don’t see any more books scheduled for this series. Van Dyken has published or will publish first books in new series so I’m not sure if more books are in the future on this one. If anyone knows if more are coming, please let me know! Maybe I will send Rachel a tweet and see if I can get a response.

UPDATE: Rachel tweeted me back saying book 3 is set for July 2017! It will feature Will and Angelica’s story. Happy news!!

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $2.99)

Yes! I really enjoyed this book. I think I enjoyed it more than the first one and I liked the first one a lot. I will be honest with you, though, and tell you I borrowed it from the library.

Something else you might enjoy:

Try Marry Me at Christmas by Susan Mallery. It’s part of a series but can be read as a standalone. I love the Fool’s Gold Series, but this particular book has a similar plot, except with older characters and without the anxiety and edgy feel. It’s a little expensive so you might want to borrow it from the library if you’ve never read a book in this series.