August Reading Favorites

My reading momentum in the month of August definitely slowed down. August is this really awkward in between’ish transition month for me. I feel it every year. It’s the last month of summer and being a mood reader, I am in this weird space where I want to binge the last bit of my summer reads but am also *over* the heat and ready to dive head first into my fall reads.

So faithfully every year, it’s like I go super hard in July then August comes around and I’m at this fork in the road..like what do I go with? I did read a few things though that I really enjoyed, so let’s chat about them.

First up is Cowboy to the Core by Maisey Yates.

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Maisey Yates’s writing abilities always stir up all kinds of emotions in me that I don’t expect to see coming. This is book six in her Gold Valley series, which I highly recommend losing yourself in if you’re looking for a new series. At this point, we are seeing two very prominent families start to blend, but in this one we follow Jamie Dodge and Gabe Dalton. Both of these characters are so complex and so complicated. Maisey Yates writes some of the best internal conflict I’ve ever read. It adds so much depth to the romance itself. It was perfection. I could go on and on about Cowboy to the Core, but seriously, just go read it!

Yes, your girl has already started reading my favorites, the holiday romances. Next up is Christmas With the Marine by Candace Havens.

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Christmas With the Marine is Ben and Ainsley’s romance. The two meet in the shopping mall where Ben has been tasked with buying toys on behalf of his unit for the local Toys for Tots drive. While there, he runs into Ainsley who is this rich girl, who has started her own business as a professional shopper..out here trying to make money of her own and get out of the shadow of her rich parents. This romance takes place in Texas which is always fun to read being that I live here. I love seeing the military camaraderie, but we also see the flip side, where Ainsley’s Dad doesn’t think Ben is good enough for his daughter. I thought that a very interesting perspective to add to the story. It definitely presented some conflict. I really enjoyed it. It hooked me right from the beginning, but I won’t say anything further! In December, you’ll be able to see more of my thoughts.

My next two..

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First up is Grading Curves by Naima Simone.

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Naima Simone serves us a wonderfully served, interracial, older woman younger man, professor/student novella and I loved every minute of it. Long story short: lady professor goes to get a tattoo and gets way more than that. Goes to work a few days later and tattoo boo is one of her new students. Simone’s writing is magical and I am so obsessed with her. I need to own everything she’s written.

My last favorite was literally less than 30 pages, but trust me on this: Sierra Simone wrote it, so it’s the right mixture of dark, sexy as hell and twisted.

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The Seduction of Molly O’Flaherty is a historical, is erotic. I loved the hell out of this book. The story kicks off with something really messed up to Molly. We don’t witness the act, but we see how Molly is struggling with it. Enters Silas who Molly has been friends with for a very long time.

“Somehow along the way, somewhere in our decade of friendship, I’d fallen in love with Silas. And I had no way to process that revelation.”

In true Sierra Simone fashion, it feels so wrong, but is so damn right, it’s irresistible. You get hooked. Despite what has happened to Molly, she makes the choice to sit still, and allow Silas to take care of her, to take what’s happened away and make her feel good.  I’ll leave you with this:

“Whose little doll are you?” Silas asked. “Yours,” I whispered, still malarial from my incredible orgasm. “Only yours.” “And who takes care of you?” “You do.” He nudged in a little deeper, so I could feel exactly how much he stretched me. “And what are you going to do right now?” “Not move.” I moaned as he slid in farther. “Let you make me feel good.”

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Let me know your reading favorites from August and until next time, take care of yourselves.

xo.

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Sin and Ink by Naima Simone

Hello Friends! I finished my first ever Naima Simone romance and don’t mind me as I casually binge my way through everything I can find with her name on this year.. I read Sin and Ink which is a romance I have heard nothing but raving reviews on.  Did it live up to all of the hype it gets? Absofreakinglutely!

Sin and Ink by Naima Simone

Published October 15, 2018 by Entangled Publishing, LLC (Scorched)

Audiobook narrated by Rock Engle & Mackenzie Cartwright

4/5 Stars

 

“Sex with Knox, my employer, my friend, my brother in law, is about 31 different flavors of crazy. Inappropriate doesn’t even begin to cover it. But forbidden and practically incestuous does.”

Synopsis:

There’s sin, and then there’s literally going-straight-to-hell sin…

Being in lust with my dead brother’s wife pretty much guarantees that one day I’ll be the devil’s bitch. But Eden Gordon works with me, so it’s getting harder and harder to stay away. I promised my family—and him—I would, though.

My days as an MMA champion are behind me. But whenever I see her, with those wicked curves and soft mouth created for dirty deeds, it’s a knock-down fight to just maintain my distance. “Hard Knox” becomes more than just the name of my tattoo shop. However, surrendering to the forbidden might be worth losing everything…

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My Thoughts:

Sin and Ink had my emotions here there and everywhere. Simone has created this back story to Knox and Eden’s romance that is a complete ode to how forbidden and wrong their attraction to each other. I love a grieving hero story and reading Sin and Ink made me realize it’s been a while since I’ve read a grieving widow story. I liked how in this romance though, Eden lost her husband two years ago, so when we meet her in the book, she is at the point where she is ready to stop grieving and move on. She makes an important point in the book which is basically that she didn’t die with her husband.

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I liked that Knox and Eden didn’t immediately jump each others bones. As the reader we really get a much needed glimpse into the guilt that both of them feel about their attraction to one another. I liked that the author explored this and didn’t have them just going for it. Besides these two grappling with both their guilt and this love and lust that’s ready to explode, there is this constant feeling of walking around on egg shells when it comes to Knox’s family.

Knox’s Mother is still really grieving the death of her son and blames Knox for his death. In the story she spews out some pretty hurtful words his way. I liked the way that his Mother was written. Her still grieving and accusations toward Knox only added to the conflict surrounding the romance.

I listened to Sin and Ink on audio while following along with the ebook and there were a few parts early on in the book that felt a bit slow. These slow parts I will attribute to the male narrator and me having to get use to his narration style.

Not to end off on a negative though, I loved this book. I was addicted to the attraction between Eden and Knox while at the same time listening with my eyes closed and sneaking a peek every once in a while.  It felt so wrong but the love between the two was undeniable. Simone did a great job of of writing what it must feel like the surviving spouse but rather than dwelling on that and focusing the story around it, I loved how our surviving spouse is ready to move on with her life.

Overall this was an emotional roller coaster. It’s very, very sexy. Very descriptive. If that’s not your thing, you’ve been warned..

“My love for him is that of a woman who has experienced the suffering of life and has come out stronger, forced into unbreakable steel. A woman who understands that she doesn’t need a man by her side to complete the picture of who she is but chooses to want him there. My love for his is with the knowledge that heroes aren’t shiny, golden-haired, perfect Gods. They’re men. Scarred, battered, wounded men with feet of clay…and hearts of the purest, most precious gold.”

 

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Sunday Coffee

Hello Friends. We have made it to another Sunday and wow, what a week. Thursday and Friday in particular were crazy days for me. I feel like I earned the hell out of this weekend. Grab your Sunday drink of choice and let’s catch up.

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This past week I finished the second two books in Melanie Harlow’sHappy Crazy Love trilogy.

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Both were fantastic, but the third book, Some Sort of Love I’d have to say is my favorite of all three. Melanie Harlow has become one of the few authors who after reading one book of hers, I want to read anything and everything I can get my hands on by her.

I had another incident of right place, right time, new favorite song. Seriously, I need to create a playlist dedicated to songs I hear on a whim, while out and about. I was at my local Central Market yesterday morning after grabbing coffee and heard this reggae beat being played throughout the store. Reggae isn’t a genre I know basically anything about but I have an ear for older music. Older music is a first love of mine. I immediately pull out my phone and Shazam it. I learn that song is, It’s True by Alton Ellis from his album, Sunday Coming. It’s True gives feeds my old school, crooning, doo wop soul what it needs while on top of a reggae beat that transports me to an island paradise I need to visit sooner rather than later.

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One of my current reads is a poetry collection by Andrea Gibson, The Madness Vase.

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I am enjoying this one a whole lot more than a previous read of hers. I was pretty let down by that one after reading and loving, Pansy.  I’ll share some of what I have highlighted so far:

Like drumbeats forever changing their rhythm I am living today as someone I had not yet become yesterday, and tonight I will borrow only pieces of who I am right now to carry with me to tomorrow.

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I am whatever I am when I am it.

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I will say I have never cared to Be nearly as much as I care to Become.

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I am also currently in the middle of Sin and Ink by Naima Simone.

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I don’t want to say too much about it, because I am pretty far in and will definitely post a full review once I am done, but I am enjoying it so far. Up to this point I felt like I’ve read some very forbidden romances. Like, what else could be out there? Then I started reading Sin and Ink and all I’ll say I if you like a good forbidden romance. A totally messed up situation? You have to give this one a try! More to come on it once I’ve finished.

This past week was insane. One of those weeks which consisted of early mornings to get to work and attempt to catch up, yet still leaving feeling like I accomplished nothing. I am determined to do better at time management while also not stressing myself out. My Psychologist I have been seeing is moving out to Arizona, so I start therapy with a new doctor this week. Wish me luck. I’ve met this particular doctor before and she seems nice, but I have built trust with the doctor I’ve been using and it kind of feels like starting all over again.

Let me know what is going on in your corner of the world. How did your week go? Anything awesome coming up this week for you? I am wishing you the best. Take care of yourself. Until next time, xo.

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