Quick Read Recommendations

Once upon a time when I was suffering from a terrible case of book snobbery, I wouldn’t dare read a “novella,” or “short story.” I wanted the bragging rights of saying “Oh yeah, you know, I read xxx many novels this year.” *insert eye roll* So happy am I, to say that once I began reading romance, I got over that really quick..because oh gee would I be missing out!

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I get it! When you’re reading a book that’s less than 200 pages, there is that fear that you’ll get hooked to the story, attached to the characters and then before you know it..the story is over. I’ve seen some authors work magic though..leaving me completely satisfied in a short amount of pages. Here are a few:

A recent read for me, which came in at about 255 pages was Imperfect Match by Melanie Harlow and Corinne Michaels.

Imperfect Match

Imperfect Match is a friends to lovers romance following Willow and Reid. Willow wants to take over her Mom’ match making business and uses Reid as her guinea pig basically. She swears to both him and her Mom that she will set him up with the right girl, he’ll fall in love..and that should convince her Mom to let her take over the business. What she doesn’t expect is for her and Reid to fall in love. It was magical, sexy, so much fun..I loved it..I would’ve read 100 more pages if that’s what the authors decided to do. Can’t recommend it enough.

My next recommendation literally has *at the time of me typing this* 97 ratings, and 32 reviews on Goodreads which is crazy to me because I freaking loved it! That is The Devil’s Heart which is book 1 in The Dark Tide’s series by Candace Osmond.

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Time travel. Romance. Pirates. Unexpected love. Family secrets. This 233 page book had it all for me and Don’t get Me Started on the cliff hanger at the end! The ending had me immediately one clicking whatever else was available on amazon at the time because I had to have them readily available for when I was ready to jump back into this world. Do yourself favor and go one click this book. Like now, please!

My next recommendation is one I found via the Audible Romance package and coming in at 107 pages, managed to listen to in it’s entirety one day after work while stuck in traffic.

Wednesday

Wednesday by Kendall Ryan was dark, emotional and oh, so sexy. It’s a friends to lovers’ish romance. The love interest is a widower and after the death of his wife, he basically comes and has sex with his best friend, the heroine, every Wednesday. She starts wanting more. He doesn’t think he has it in him to give it to her..you know how it ends, but damn it was good getting there!

Can’t Escape Love by Alyssa Cole is 128 pages and one of my five star ratings of the year.

Reggie

Reggie and Gustave were perfection. Reggie is a blogger, whose website Girls with Glasses has really taken off and has caused her to have a serious case of insomnia. The only thing that used to help her sleep was this guy Gustave’s voice via his YouTube video. She tracks him down. You help me, I’ll help you type of situation happens and shortly after blooms a romance. I loved these two. I want to be besties with Reggie. I totally could’ve read more of this story had it ben a full length novel but Alyssa Cole worked her magic and it was perfect just the way it was.

I have learned after reading three of her books to never underestimate the power of Taylor Jenkins Reid. Like ever. She is bad ass at what she does. I couldn’t make a recommendations list of shorter stories and not recommend Evidence of the Affair by her.

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In Taylor Jenkins Reid style, the formatting alone of this book is different. It is entirely told through letters..which in my opinion, itself makes it a quick read. The book is a whopping 115 pages and took me no time at all to make my way through. If you don’t read this one in one sitting, it’s because you’re not trying. It’s addicting. There’s just so much wrong and you keep reading because you have to know what the hell is going to happen next. How is this all going to be rectified? So good. I need more short Stories from Taylor Jenkins Reid. Please and thanks.

So those are a few short story recommendations from me. Share some of your favorites with me if you have any..I’d love to add them to my tbr. Take care of yourself, we’ll chat again soon. xo.

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June in Review

We have made it through another month Friends. I can’t believe this is it for June 2019 yet am excited to see what July has in store for me. June was a month of ups and downs per usual and a few things happened that solidified for me that I still have work to do, personally. Even with all of the craziness that was going on, I still made reading a priority and finished 17 books.

Per my usual, I am going to share my thoughts on my favorites from this month, so let’s get into it.

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First up is Rebel by Beverly Jenkins.

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At this point, I don’t think it’s possible for Queen Bev to have a miss. Staying on brand with her norm, Ms. Jenkins effortlessly weaves historical facts into her love story in a way that it works for me. As a woman of color who wants to adore historical romances just as much as the next romance reader, every time I finish a Jenkins novel, I am so proud to say I (finally) have an author who is writing heroines who I can identify with. Val, our heroine in Rebel, which is book 1 in the Women Who Dare series is so brave and is full of so much passionate. She has no ties to where she is, but is so driven to help the recently freed flourish that nothing could persuade her to leave.

A Duke By Default is next!

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I was so excited about starting Portia and Tavish’s romance. I have so many friends who swear by this book. This is the favorite of so many and I can see why. Portia and Tavish are both complicated as hell but I instantly found myself rooting for both of them. Having loved Reggie from Can’t Escape Love, I was happy to have bits and pieces of her in this story being that she’s Portia’s sister. The ending to this book! Oh my goodness, I swooned so hard. If you haven’t started reading this series, please do so now!

Last but not least is Untamed Cowboy by Maisey Yates. This is book 2 in her Gold Valley series, which is another series I’ve been reading completely out of order.

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Untamed Cowboy is Kaylee and Bennett’s romance. It is very slow burn. Friends to Lovers. Surprise kid, but not what you’d expect. I loved it. I have grown to love the Dodge family so much and each book has it’s own vibe but stays on brand with how close knit the family is. Things between Bennett and Kaylee were intense with both having their own internal conflicts they needed to work through but it was amazing, it all worked. I now only have book 3 to read and then I’ll be all caught up and can move onto the new release, Cowboy to the Core. If you enjoy slow burn, cowboy romance with a strong family element, I can’t recommend this series enough.

I hope you had a wonderful June and read something amazing. Let me know what your reading favorites were this month. Until next time, xo.

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Spring Reading Faves

Here in South Texas, Spring is a mixture of cool breezes out of nowhere, the occasional thunder storm which causes people to forget how to drive a motor vehicle and days that feel like it’s mid August already. Despite that I wanted to squeeze the most out of this Spring because I won’t get a redo and I wanted my reading to reflect that. I had a few duds but overall this Spring, reading wise was great. Here are my favorites:

spring reading faves

I loved Can’t Escape Love by Alyssa Cole, so much!

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Can’t Escape Love is Reggie and Gus’s romance and I adored it. I rated it 5/5 stars and would’ve gave it 100 stars if I could. Reggie is a woman of color. She is a blogger. She is a self-proclaimed nerd. She does all of the incredible things while living in a wheel chair. She was a subscriber to Gus’s youtube channel before he stopped making videos, and his voice is the only thing that helped with her insomnia. She tracks him down and basically they come to agreement of if Gus helps her, then Reggie will help him with a project he has going on.  The representation in this book felt so natural and real. It didn’t feel overdone or like the author was trying too hard. I don’t know how Alyssa Cole does it, but this was perfection.

My next fave should come as no surprise because it is basically still all over the place. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren.

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The Unhoneymooners is Olive and Ethan’s enemies to lovers romance. Long story short, Olive and Ethan end up taking Olive’s sister and Ethan’s brothers honeymoon and find themselves in situations where they have to fake a marriage. Every single thing that could possibly go wrong with the scenario of a fake marriage, happens for these two. I loved the banter between the two. Olive’s family is hilarious. There is some total screwball stuff going on behind the scenes. It was just so good!

My last but not least fave was The Imperfect Match by Melanie Harlow and Corinne Michaels.

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Oh Willow and Reid! The Imperfect Match reminded me of how good a friends to lovers romance can be. I loved this book and to be honest, it frustrated the heck out of me at times. Reid is absolutely smitten with Willow yet I understood why she was hesitant with taking their friendship to the next level. It was funny. It was sexy. It made me swoon. I adored it and highly recommend checking out the audiobook if you can!

Okay, I’d like to do 2 honorary mentions. These are two books that aren’t romances but I read them and loved. Both of these I rated 5/5 stars on Goodreads.

First is With The Fire on High by the force that is Elizabeth Acevedo.

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Go go go read this book! It is a very quick read, especially If you snag the audiobook. It is told in short little vignettes that lead up to the ending. It works. This is Emoni’s story. She is a mixed race, aspiring chef, teenage Mom who lives in Philadelphia with her Puerto Rican grandmother. Emoni is the heroine I’d recommend to any young girl looking for a bad ass heroine to read. I liked her cool, casualness. She had goals and fought for them against the odds.

And my second honorary mention is The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart.

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Coyote’s story is a middle grade novel about her and her Dad, Rodeo. They live in an old school bus and just drive across the country. Coyote speaks to her Grandmother one day and learns that a park she used to frequenters with her Mom and sisters is being torn down and turned into something else. She concocts this plan to get her dad to drive her back home and they meet this cool cast of characters along the way. I loved this book so much. I loved Coyote. She reminded me of being a young girl and believing in the goodness in people. Kindness, she was kind to everyone she met and I liked how this book showcased grief, how some choose to deal with it and that effects that the way they choose to deal with it may have on someone else. So so good! Go to your library and haul it if you can! I listened to the audiobook and it was fantastic!

 

What was your favorite read this spring? let me know. until next time, take care of yourselves.

xo.

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Thoughts While Reading: Can’t Escape Love by Alyssa Cole

May 25, 2019, 7:35 pm

Okay so Can’t Escape Love is the third book that I’ve read from Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series. We won’t get into why I am reading this series book out of orders, but I still have book two and the newest release to read.

According to my Kindle, I am currently 57% of the way and being that I’ve reached the halfway point, I wanted to do a check in and share what I think so far of the book and then share final thoughts once I’ve finished.

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I want to be best friends with Reggie, our heroine in this book. Reggie just screams black girl magic to me. She is comfortable in her own skin. She rocks beautiful curls. She is a blogger, running a website. She is a complete nerd, and I just love her. Reggie has worked her butt off with her blog and has been recently been suffering from insomnia. The only thing that used to help is watching this guy Gus’s live streams of him doing puzzles and hearing his voice.

Reggie hits him up basically like, “I’ll pay you to record yourself talking so I can get some sleep.” Gus learns that Reggie is very knowledgeable about this tv show that he has to speak about, write about so he’s like “you watch the show with me, help me become knowledgeable of it and I’ll record myself for free.” (not in those words, but basically–you help me, I’ll help you kind of deal) This leads these two to actually spending time together.

First and foremost my favorite thing about this story is the representation. I love how much I feel like I see myself in Reggie. She wears these big rimmed glasses like me and every time they are described, knowing she’s also a woman of color and a blogger.. I just can’t help but feel like hey hey the heroine could be me! Reggie also lives in a wheel chair and refuses to let her disability define her. It is interesting to see her interaction with Gus as he enters the picture. He is this total good guy, smooth, but you can tell Reggie is used to people wanting to fix her, so she has her guard up a bit, insists on doing everything herself..which is completely understandable.

Reading the clues, I think Gus may be on the autism spectrum. He is written so flawlessly and it isn’t made to be this big deal, it’s just part of who he is. I don’t know how Alyssa Cole did it, but it feels so natural. What I like about Gus is how obvious it is that he’s absolutely crazy about Reggie and his game is so strong, so smooth..

“Is there a reason you chose the chocolate tart first? she asked. His gaze darted down to her mouth and then back up. “You know the answer to that.

She shivered at the twin caresses of his vote in her ears and his breath across her mouth. “Tell me.”

I wanted to see how it tasted on your lips.” His voice had gone deeper again, to that level that made her whole body sound like a sound receptor vibrating from his eery word. 

“Then what are you waiting for?”

So far this book feels like a five star read for me. I’ll check back once I’ve finished it.

May 25, 2019, 10:00 pm

I finished! I ended up rating Can’t Escape Love 5 out of 5 stars over on Goodreads.  This book is less than a 3 hour listen to via audiobook, less than 200 pages and yet Alyssa Cole creates these emotions between Reggie and Gus, brings the tension, brings the family tension between Reggie and her family..all of these different layers to the story but ties it up in the end, enough that left me satisfied.

My heart went out to Gus there for a while. He really began to second guess himself. He began running through interactions with Reggie, which put him in his feelings..thinking she didn’t feel the same way he did.

“He’d told her that he’d give her whatever she needed. She’d never asked for him.”

I liked seeing the evolution of Reggie though. She is this strong, fierce woman of color who has always believed she didn’t need anyone.

“I’ll take care of you. Those were the exact last words Reggie had thought she’d every want to hear from someone she was dating, but coming from Gus, it wrapped her in warmth instead of pricking her anger.”

I loved seeing her stay true to herself, but allow Gus to Love her and for her to become open to loving him.

I definitely recommend this Reggie and Gus’s romance if you’re looking for a fun, quick read. I honestly would’ve loved another 100 or so pages. This is part of a series but I wasn’t totally lost having not read book 2 yet, so I think this could for sure be read as a standalone.

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#SmutAThon Round 3 Wrap Up

Okay, here’s what I managed to read for round 3 of #SmutAThon which is hosted by Lainey and Riley over on the bookish corner of Youtube.

WrapUp

First I listened to Wednesday by Kendall Ryan on audiobook. It is available on the Audible Romance package.

Wednesday

I rated this one 3/5 stars. It was a quick, sexy read that deals with some heavy grief issues. I really liked it.

My next read was Imperfect Match by Corinne Michaels and Melanie Harlow.

Imperfect Match

I rated Imperfect Match 4/5 stars. This was a fun, sexy, friends to lovers romance and I loved it, so much.

Next I finished A Duke By Default by Alyssa Cole!

A Duke by Default

I rated this one 4/5 stars. It was another wonderful interracial romance delivered to us from Alyssa Cole with issues that need working through, friendships, familial crap and a few sizzling moments all wrapped up into one really awesome story.

I literally finished my next pick in one sitting..in the car.

smooth

Smooth-Talking Cowboy by Maisey Yates is book 1 in her Gold Valley series. This is another series I have read completely out of order but at this point that’s to be expected. *shrug* This was a pretty sexy enemies to lovers romance following a girl who recently broke up with her boyfriend and comes up with this plan to pretend date this guy she’s never really cared for..with the hopes that this will persuade her ex to get his crap together. In true romance fashion, things don’t turn out the way she intended and there is a happy ever after. I loved it.

My last read is also part of a series. It is the second book in Alisha Rai’s Forbidden Hearts series which I read book one to literally a year ago.

Wrong to Need You

Wrong To Need You while reading feels so wrong, so forbidden yet you want Jackson and Sadia to just freaking go for it already because it’s very apparent that these two have basically always been made for each other and never got their chance. A very serious vibe to it. Kind of dark and emotional yet so sexy. I really liked it.

 

So yeah, those are the books I managed to read for round 3 of #SmutAthon. I didn’t manage to get to my Sierra Simone pick or Emma Hart but there is another romance readathon coming up in June..so you never know! We’ll see what my picks are for it.

xo.

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#SmutAThon TBR

Round 3 of #SmutAThon is kicking off tomorrow and your girl is excited. This has become one of my favorite readathons, so shoutout to Ginger from GingerReadsLainey and Riley from Riley Marie on Youtube for making it happen!

SmutAthon

This go around the ladies created a Bingo card to utilize throughout the week..

Bingo Card

Being that I work all week I’m not going to stress myself out even more and focus on the actual Bingo card or necessarily any of the prompts but I do have a few books Id like to get read and we’ll just kind of see how it goes.

First, on audio I’ll be listening to Imperfect Match by Corinne Michaels and Melanie Harlow.

Imperfect Match

I am a total Melanie Harlow fan and have yet to read a Corinne Michaels romance so I’m excited to see what together these ladies will do. I also have this on ebook so I’ll be able to follow along.

My next pick, is Wrong To Need You by Alisha Rai.

Wrong to Need You

Currently I have the audiobook for this downloaded on Scribd, but I’m not getting my hopes up. I’m already listening to a book on Scribd so I have a very big feeling that in their usual douchebaggery..this one will disappear as soon as I’m finished with my current read. If so, I do own a physical copy and checked out the ebook from the library to tag team it.

Also from the library, I have the audiobook of A Duke By Default by Alyssa Cole.

A Duke by Default

Between having the physical copy along with the audiobook, I’m pretty sure I can finish reading this one during the readathon. I have been completely reading this series out of order. I recently finished Can’t Escape Love, which is from Reggie’s perspective and Reggie is the sister of Portia..who is the heroine in A Duke By Default. Portia was kind of a hot mess in A Princess in Theory so I’m excited to read her story.

I needed some Emma Hart on this list!

the roommate agreement

I for real want to read everything by Emma Hart at some point, but The Roommate Agreement seems like it’ll be the perfect mixture of fun and sexy which if this next week is anything like last week..I’ll need.

Lastly, some Sierra Simone.

a lesson in thorns

I wish so badly that there was an audiobook to A Lesson In Thorns by Sierra Simone. I have read a few pages into it and it seems very dark, and atmospheric and all around the kind of story I could get swept away by while listening. I do though, own both the physical copy and ebook and if I had to pick a main book for the week to accomplish, this would be it. It has been sitting on my nightstand for over a month now.

To everyone reading this and participating in the readathon, good luck to you! Let me know what you’re reading.

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May in Review

May was a blur.

may in review

Reading really came through for me this May. This May was full of crazy hot, long, stressful days and I really tailored my reading to escape. I wanted fun reads. I wanted light romances. I wanted sexy romances and in the end it turned out to be a good reading month.

Overall, I managed to read 11 books in May and will share a few favorites.

I loved The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren.

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The Unhoneymooners was a fun enemies to lovers romance with a fake marriage plot entangled into the story that I couldn’t put down. I haven’t read this author duo’s entire back list but I’d definitely recommend starting with this one to anyone new to their writing.

Can’t Escape Love by Alyssa Cole was a quick read that will stay with me for a long time!

 

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I want to be besties with Reggie (our heroine) from this book. She doesn’t allow her circumstances to define who she is. She is self made. She’s a proud nerd. She blogs. It was so refreshing to see a woman of color as the heroine of her own story, fall in love and she was so damn relatable and so normal.

My third favorite from May was Unbroken Cowboy by Maisey Yates.

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I seriously need to go back and read the prior Gold Valley books but I’m kind of nervous to. I kind of feel like I know enough and need to just keep on reading whatever else comes out next. Unbroken Cowboy was so damn good. This is Dane and Bea’s romance. Dane is a hard headed, stubborn bull rider who was recently hurt and is being looked after by family friend Bea..whose been in love with him secretly for years. I’m sure you can see where this is going. I couldn’t get enough of these two!

bye may

In May, a co-worker of mine left to go to another base. It honestly never gets easier to see people leave but I am so excited for this new journey, new phase of her life. I am trying not to be selfish and dwell on how much it sucks without her around but it can be hard.

The four day weekend for Memorial Day was so very needed and I am so appreciative that it came. Sometimes I think it’s absolutely necessary to have nothing on the agenda to do but spend time lying on the couch doing nothing.

I am excited for June. My son turns 9 years old *can’t believe it* and my Granny turns 80. June 21st will also mark 14 years in the Air Force for me. I still remember the day I left home like it was yesterday. What I wish for myself in June is to practice patience with myself. To give myself a break. To set realistic expectations but also get ahead in areas that I need to. Use time management and get things done. We’ll see..

hello june